T he timing couldn't have been better.
Last week, I received an email from a friend that actually made me laugh out loud.
That happens sometimes, but not often.
Anyway, I was reminded of that email when I read the story in Tuesday's York Dispatch about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on immigration action taken by individual states. In this case it was Arizona, but it ends up applying to every state.
And it was far from a unanimous decision -- 5 to 4 -- which means politicians, especially the two presidential candidates, will be debating the issue from now until we're all sick to death hearing about it leading up to Election Day, on Nov. 6.
Actually, I'm already sick to death hearing about it. We've been in more-or-less continuous discussion about our immigration law and our lack of enforcement of it for what seems like 10 years, at least.
Still, no compromise. And darned little enforcement.
Frankly, it's an open and shut case with me. We have had an immigration law in this country for nigh on to 60 years. And we've had a naturalization law in this country for more than 220 years, though it's been amended a number of times.
So I don't understand why it's enforced for some people, but not others. We have a law. It's on the books. We should enforce it equally for everyone.
And if we don't want to enforce it, we should get rid of it. At which time we could just fling the doors open along this country's borders and let people come and go as they please.
Until then, no illegal resident of this country should be allowed privileges extended to American citizens.
Like I said, open and shut.
But we're at an impasse in this country over immigration law.
Politics, once again, has prevented us from doing anything even remotely logical. So it's status quo.
And even though the federal government doesn't want to enforce its immigration law, now we're told by the Supreme Court that individual states won't be allowed to enforce it, either. Nor can the states enact their own immigration laws.
So, in effect, we end up not having much of an immigration law at all.
Which takes me back to the email I received last week. I'll try to set the stage for you: There's a picture of a bus loaded with a bunch of old farts. I can say that, by the way, since I am an old fart myself. An old fart is anyone my age or older.
And the headline above the picture says: "Just saying good-bye ... leaving town."
The caption under the picture says: "To help save the economy, the Government will announce next month that the Immigration Department will start deporting seniors in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs."
Why would the government do this? you might ask. Isn't it obvious?
"Older people are easier to catch and will not remember how to get home."
OK, there's some truth to that, I admit.
Then the punch line -- "I started to cry when I thought of you. Then it dawned on me ... Oh, crap ... I'll see you on the bus!"
Like I said, I laughed. Out loud.
Because I could imagine myself sitting on the bus.
As is often the case with humor, there is probably some truth to be found in there somewhere.
We know the federal government is elbow deep in debt. And it's been talking for years about reducing the cost of government by cutting entitlements -- that's what they call Social Security and Medicare -- which, the last time I checked, American citizens are paying for out of their paychecks every week along with their regular income taxes.
So maybe it's time to cut our losses.
You can almost picture some idiot in Congress suggesting that a way around the cost of Social Security and Medicare is to ship every American over the age of 62 to Canada or Mexico.
By bus, no less.
I say go ahead. I could use a vacation.
Some place warm, please.
Columns by Larry A. Hicks, Dispatch columnist, run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. E-mail: email@example.com.