America is an exceptional nation. We are also a prosperous nation because of our liberties and our free market system. That's why people from all over the world want to come to America to create better lives for themselves and their families, because we are truly the land of opportunity.
Americans have embraced their role as the world's premier "melting pot," welcoming immigrants from every corner of the planet. We readily learn about other cultures, customs and beliefs. We appreciate those who are willing to come to this country and make America a more vibrant and enriched place.
Americans do resent, however, the willingness of some to circumvent our laws and enter our nation illegally. While many if not most illegal immigrants are peaceful people simply seeking to provide for their families, some are not. In fact, some are quite dangerous, jeopardizing the safety and well-being of American citizens.
Illegal immigration has only exacerbated illegal activity, such as the horrendous crimes of drug smuggling and human trafficking. Illegal immigrants who are repeat offenders are harder to track, making it difficult for law enforcement to prevent crime. Further, weak borders have caused a compounding problem of terrorists assimilating with illegal immigrants, crossing the border with them and entering the U.S.
Illegal immigration also puts a tremendous strain on America's entitlement and health care systems. Illegal immigrants are typically uninsured and cannot afford to pay for their medical care, driving up costs for all Americans, even those actually insured. In fact, several hospitals in the U.S. have declared bankruptcy as a result of the costs of caring for illegal immigrants.
We must secure our borders, enforce our laws and promote the existing path to citizenship. Protecting our nation's sovereignty should be a paramount concern of those elected to lead us, not an afterthought or a reaction once the problem becomes even worse. Further, taking a stand on the issue does not mean one lacks compassion, but instead, that one respects the rule of law and the importance of not becoming a lawless nation.