Legislating by anecdote makes for bad public policy. While an illegal alien named Maria, whose story was related in a recent Christianity Todayeditorial, may put a sympathetic human face on the issue, her story of near-rape and apparent Christian faith isn't the end of the story that policymakers must consider.

Indeed, Maria's Christianity doesn't seem enough to prick her conscience over the very real wrongdoing she's done by coming into this country unlawfully. And the fact she's a fellow believer doesn't excuse what she has done or relieve her of a moral obligation to observe the laws.

For every Maria who unlawfully lives and works in America, there are many more would-be Marias back in the home country. And for every Maria, there are many times more Americans, including the native-born, whom Maria is hurting—call them Patricias.

Patricia Morena is an American whose plight was reported in a 2003 Los Angeles Times Magazine story. Patricia, a U.S. citizen, is a single mother with three children, living in a one-bedroom California apartment. She earns pre-tax $300 a week as a motel maid.

The magazine profiled Patricia's life as a poor American whose greatest fear is being replaced by the ever-plentiful illegal foreign workers—newly arriving Marias—who continually depress Patricia's wages. The Times Magazine put it, "Morena can't work her way up the economic ladder because the bottom rungs have been broken off by the weight of millions of new illegal workers."

The average Mexican worker earns 1/12 what the average American makes. But there are 4.6 billion people in the world who earn less than the average Mexican. That's a lot of "willing workers" whose immigration here, lawfully or unlawfully, will hurt the most ...

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