Tales From The Walk-out Basement
I live in a house with a walk-out basement. When we built the place we decided to finish the basement to maximize the value of our investment and to serve as a potential apartment for aging parents. It's a pretty nice place, overall. The house is plenty big and has a lot of square footage. We keep the freezer full and the fridge fairly well stocked. I always lock the door.
Now, if someone wants to come stay with us, they're welcome to. All they have to do is ask. They'd be treated to their own private bedroom, bathroom and living area. A small additional investment could easily be made to install a kitchenette as well. It has a private entry, which is always locked and has a burgler alarmed hardwired in.
I do think I would have a problem if someone was walking by and decided they would just move into my basement. Although I'd be flattered to think they had a high enough opinion of my house to want to live here, I'm afraid I would not like it if they came in through the door or any of the five full-length windows. I think the conversation would go something like this:
Katherine Coble: AAAAAGH!
Other Guy: Hi. I was passing by and saw that you had plenty of space here. I'm moving in.
KC: I don't think so. Get out!
OG: But I need a place to stay. Right now I just have a small bedroom at my parents' house. This room is much nicer.
KC: Glad you think so. Get out.
OG: But it was so easy to get into. The door was open and the five floor-length windows were all unlocked and the alarm was off.
KC: That's because it's a nice day and I wanted some fresh air and it's a pain to lock everything up and turn on the alarm and the alarm system costs money. But get out.
OG: I think I'll stay. And it'll work out great because I'll vacuum down here for you and wash the windows and fix the carpet cheaper than if you paid someone to do it.
Okay. I know what you're thinking. I'd be an idiot to let the other guy stay in my basement. He broke in, I know nothing about him and even though he seems like a nice guy, do I really want him living in the basement rent free? Sure, he'll keep it cleaned up and I won't have to pay a carpet guy to fix the carpet...but he is a stranger. Who broke in. And I was going to have my mother in law stay here. She called ahead-- made plans and everything.
In case you hadn't guessed, this pretty much sums up my feeling on illegal immigration. Just because we have a nicer house and have been idiotic enough to not lock the door and the windows doesn't mean that people who come here without calling ahead deserve to live in the basement. Just because we have a more prosperous country and have failed to secure our borders doesn't mean that illegal immigrants deserve to stay in the country. The relative theoretical inexpensiveness of their labour doesn't lessen the offence of entering the country illegally. I know several people who desperately wish to live here and have spent many years and thousands of dollars to do so. Providing amnesty to illegal immigrants is a slap in the face to those who have struggled against red tape and bureaucracy to come here legally.
Tim and I worked hard to be able to afford this house. We do all we can to keep our house nice and make sure it is available for those who need it. Like all Americans, we take pride in our home and are glad when others appreciate it also. However, a squatter is still a violation of the sanctity of our home and should be dealt with accordingly.
This post was inspired by A.C. Kleinheider who so eloquently said:
I never understand conservative commentators and writers who encourage watered-down positions and compromise. Politicians have that covered all by themselves. Writers should talk about what is right -- what should be.