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Opinion

Reining in illegal aliens in Edgefield County
web posted July 31, 2006

OPINION – It is time to act on illegal aliens in Edgefield County and the three municipalities in our county. It is obvious the federal government, Congress, and the President are not going to solve our problem, so it is up to us to do so. All too often our local governmental bodies pass meaningless “feel good” resolutions or ordinances that infringe on our own personal liberties but fail to address the major issues in our county. That has to end.

There is not a week that goes by that illegal aliens are not arrested in our towns or county. Within days, they are back on the streets and continue to take jobs away from local legal residents. It is no wonder our local unemployment rates continue to be above the national average. Illegal aliens are not counted among legal residents that are unemployed.

Law enforcement says their hands are tied due to the inaction of the INS and the federal government. Locking them up in our county jail would fill the jail to capacity in a matter of weeks and there would be no room for the criminals and felons that we have among our legal residents.

However, there is an answer. Hold those who employ or rent to illegal aliens accountable for their actions. Take away the jobs and the homes and these illegals will leave our county and seek refuge elsewhere.

Across the country towns and counties are passing ordinances that do just that and it is time Edgefield County, the towns of Edgefield, Johnston, and Trenton follow suit. The fines most such ordinances contain are $1,000 for the first offense and a second offense results in the loss of the business license or right to rent the property.

Employers and landlords have the ability to verify if the person they are employing or renting to are legally in the United States of America.

However, Edgefield County and our local towns need to be more aggressive than other areas across the country. We strongly suggest fines for the first offense to be at least $2,500 and a second offense be met with a $5,000 and the loss of the employers business license and the inability to regain that, or any other, business license. For landlords who knowingly rent to illegal aliens their property should be seized on the second offense.

The problem may not be able to be solved on a national level but it certainly can be solved on a local level.

With the present County Council’s penchant for “looking forward” perhaps they can look forward to the drastic effect these criminals have on our communities and county. They are draining our resources for social services, healthcare, and law enforcement. The very fact these people are in our country, state, and county illegally makes them a criminal the second they cross the border.

Enough is enough. Attend your local council’s meetings, call or visit your representative, and demand they take action. If they do not, vote them out and replace them with someone who actually has the best interests of our county and towns at heart.

The best way to assure a continued influx of illegal aliens into our area is to do nothing. We have enough of nothing being done already.





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