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Let's stop calling people racist for stating the facts
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One Saturday night three years ago police in a local Valley city were running a fairly routine sobriety checkpoint.

In the first 20 minutes of stopping vehicles to make sure no one was drinking and to check driver's licenses, they had pulled six vehicles over.

One was a suspected drunken driver. One was driving with a suspended license and the other four had no license.

The four without licenses were driving fairly nice vehicles including a year-old Mustang GT. They also had another thing in common. They were illegally in this country and all four happened by chance to have come from Mexico.

Police did what the law calls for - they had the vehicles towed that all six individuals drove and arrested all six with one being accused of driving intoxicated, one driving on a suspended license and the other four of having no license. They did not arrest the four who had no license for being illegals but they did notify federal authorities since that is a how it is supposed to be done.

The simple reporting of those facts got me branded as a racist by none other than a DMV employee in Modesto who did a no-no and used a state computer - and one might assume perhaps state time - to send me a scathing personal e-mail. She accused me of being a racist for pointing out the four illegals were Hispanics who said they were from Mexico. The sender was reprimanded for her violation of state policy but I'm sure no one challenged her racist accusations.

Too many people are in denial of simple, inconvenient truths when it comes to the entire issue of illegals in this country regardless of their skin tone or if they are overstaying student visas, work visas, or snuck in by crossing the borders illegally.

First and foremost they are not simply immigrants. They are illegal immigrants as they are not lawfully in the United States.

That status doesn't automatically give them a pass on other laws that pertain to citizens of this country such as being properly and legally licensed when you drive a vehicle.

The automatic unleashing of the word "racist" to describe someone who doesn't think illegals - whether they are from Canada, Mexico, India, Colombia or wherever - shouldn't be given carte blanche to operate in this country with impunity because they are simply seeking a better life are doing as much to make it impossible to come to a reasonable national agreement on how best to deal with the issue as those who are indeed honest-to-goodness racists.

Simply rounding up all "illegals" and deporting them isn't a solution. Contrary to what some may believe, they do contribute to the economic well being of this country. Many are hard working and they are no different than most of us who just want a better life for their families.

The problem is they are here illegally. One can't just automatically give them a pass because they are here so therefore their immigration status must be a bureaucratic technicality of sorts that splits hairs. It is nothing of the sort.

At the same time, it is futile to simply keep playing the game we're playing.

There needs to be a national policy that opens the door for illegals to become citizens within a set amount of time by doing what is needed to take citizenship tests and to do so using basic English. They don't have to master the language, that's not the point. They need to have a basic understanding of how things work, that's all. It is no different than what is required of legal immigrants who become citizens.

And whatever we come up with for a process, there needs to be a three or four year window after which time the door slams shut. And if you are here illegally after that you will be deported, period.

After that, there also needs to be a workable immigration policy for temporary workers and/or those who want to come here to become citizens that reflects reality and not theory.

We should have no problem with someone who wants to come here to simply work as long as they do so legally nor should we begrudge someone who legitimately wants to commit to a course of citizenship. But that doesn't mean we should let them break our laws until they make up their minds to become legitimate or return home.