By Matthew Prosper Contributing Writer A democracy can only work when there is a clearly defined, politically active and informed populace to take part in the democratic process so that policy and legislation is in the best interest of the people. At present in the United States the increasing amount of illegal, undocumented immigrants flowing into our nation as well as cities and states providing sanctuary from them is extremely concerning for several reasons. The first reason is the issue of crime. Is every illegal immigrant a dangerous criminal? Of course not. The first act in the United States of entering the country illegally does violate laws, but as far as clear danger to American citizens, the large majority of illegals do not pose any. That being said, lax restrictions on immigration and not addressing this issue does allow for it to be easy for criminals to slip through the cracks along with the non-dangerous illegal immigrants, giving them all a bad name. Many use this as an argument for more lax restrictions on immigration, but regardless of the amount of danger illegal immigrants pose to Americans they are all criminals (by entering the country illegally) and should be dealt with accordingly. Not punishing them for their crimes would be giving them preferential treatment, which is hideously unfair to American citizens. With the increased amount for terror attacks in Europe, especially those in countries with lax immigration laws, it is more important than ever that the United States tries to tighten its borders. Allowing for possible terrorists to slip into our country, and then having no documentation for them could lead to a massive tragedy. American lives should not be put at risk because other countries cannot sustain their own economies. Another reason, and my main reason for concern, is the ambiguity of the popular will. A successful democracy has politically active constituents, who through political discourse and private action influence the popular will, which the government is then supposed to implement. In a previous article I outlined an argument for the government to put the interests of the United States ahead of the interests of the rest of the world by saying the the American government is by, for and of the people. For that to be the case, the only people that should be in the United States are those that are actually supposed to be here. A large illegal, undocumented immigrant population could shift the popular will to address the issues faced by a group of non-American citizens, violating the essence of our government. Does our immigration system need to be reformed? Absolutely, but that does not mean that before doing so we should absolve the crimes committed by those who refused to play by the rules. Undebatably, there are deep rooted issues with our government. The first step in solving these problems is to restore the integrity of our democracy, and that requires defining the American citizenry.