Sometimes, despite the best efforts of some to blur the lines in a sniffing sort of pass-the-canapés-intellectualism, things really are black-and-white simple.
Illegal immigration is one of those things. Now, you may say that coming to this country illegally is just a "little" crime. A veritable white lie sort of thing. Just a trifle.
If you sneak into the U.S., you are breaking some very important laws. And your law breaking doesn't end just because you're able to hide out here for years. As long as you are here, you are involved in what amounts to an ongoing trespass.
Furthermore, those who help you continue your trespass, either through acts of commission or omission, and whether motivated by a misplaced compassion, or a profit motive, or something else, are aiding and abetting criminality.
They are also doing a disservice to law-abiding citizens and are helping desensitize the public to crime and the corrosive effect of your illegality on society, and they are at the same time coarsening and diminishing the quality of life of those who play by the rules.
Communities that allow this — sanctuary cities — quickly become crime filled holes-in-the wall that are soon abandoned by law abiding citizens. Then, the crime gets worse and more intense and the downward spiral of the community continues.
Soon, the local population includes a very large number of criminals. And then (forgive me, but a different metaphor now presents itself), it becomes a matter of the inmates running the asylum and voting out the guards.
Back in the old West, there were towns that lived on criminality. Many of the corrupt "upstanding citizens" of such towns supported leaving the local criminals alone. They just turned a blind eye to the criminality. It was good for business in some cases and the criminals were often dispersed throughout the community and were the neighbors living next door.
No doubt, the same arguments we're hearing now from some misguided people in Costa Mesa about how illegal aliens are our neighbors and our co-workers, and how we should all just get along; were made back in the old West about the criminals of that day.
Today, many sanctuary cities and those who support them really are the modern equivalents of those hole-in-the-wall towns and the so-called civic leaders of those towns.
We are a nation of laws, and those who break our laws in the first instance and those who help them in the second are both outlaws.
It doesn't matter if these second instance outlaws are local politicians, business leaders, charitable types, or religious leaders. Know them by their actions, not by their words.
We in Costa Mesa don't have to look far to see what happens when a city turns a blind eye to the little crime of illegal immigration. There is a nearby city — a hole-in-the-wall — that has almost nightly shootings and violent crime.
And, yes, there is a correlation to be found in that city's welcoming of illegal immigrants, citizen flight out of that city, its failing schools, its poor business base, its gangs, and its violent crime that is killing many young people in that city years before they have ever really lived.
Costa Mesa hasn't yet fallen to that level — at least the whole city hasn't — but without the help of citizens who refuse to condone the pervasive and cancerous illegality that we see all around us, and who will then stand up for what's right even when their neighbors and so-called civic leaders want them to turn a blind eye to that criminality, we may end up that way.
M.H. MILLARD lives in Costa Mesa.