No one knows just how many tens of thousands of Central American nationals — most of them desperate, unescorted children and teens — are streaming across America’s southern border. Yet this phenomenon offers us a proverbial teachable moment about the paradoxes and hypocrisies of Latin American immigration to the U.S.
For all the pop romance in Latin America associated with Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Cuba, few Latinos prefer to immigrate to such communist utopias or to socialist spin-offs like Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, or Peru.
Instead, hundreds of thousands of poor people continue to risk danger to enter democratic, free-market America, which they have often been taught back home is the source of their misery. They either believe that America’s supposedly inadequate social safety net is far better than the one back home, or that its purportedly cruel free market gives them more opportunities than anywhere in Latin America — or both.
The number of unaccompanied children from Central America into the U.S. has reached 47,000 since October, and may hit 90,000 by the end of this year. The official story is that they are fleeing drug-gang mayhem and political violence in their home countries, and so are refugees and asylum-seekers. But the Guatemalan ambassador has said they are seeking economic opportunity and the “American dream.” It’s hard, however, not to see a connection with Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Arrivals Program, which defers deportation for illegal aliens who are minors. Obama enacted by executive fiat––and just recently extended for 2 years––this open invitation to illegal minors when Congress proved unwilling to pass the Dream Act legislation.
Sometime around 1212, mystics in Europe cooked up the idea that kids could part the seas, reach the Holy Land, reclaim Jerusalem, and convert the infidel Muslims. Thousands of children in Northern Europe flocked to the Mediterranean in response to such rumors, but when they reached the shore, the seas would not part, and many of them died as they scattered home in hunger.
We are witnessing a sort of children’s crusade on our own southern border. Thousands of young, poor would-be immigrants — 90,000 this year alone — have swarmed across the border, the logical fruition of the entire cynical approach of the Obama administration toward illegal immigration.
Solving the illegal-immigration problem should not be hard. No one knows how many foreign nationals are residing illegally in the United States — estimates range from 11 million to 20 million. But everyone understands that it is an untenable situation that must be addressed.
The two extreme positions of the Left and Right probably have little public support — on the one hand, blanket amnesties and open borders, and on the other, deportation of all foreign nationals who reside here without legal authorization.
Polls show that most Americans want something in between.
Close the border. Allow entry only to those who have legal permission. Ensure that employers hire only those foreign nationals who have valid green cards. Permit those who have resided here for a while, who are without criminal records and are employed, to apply inside the U.S. for either a pathway to citizenship or legal residence. Continue reading “The True Opponents of Immigration Reform”→
If there are executive orders overriding federal immigration law to extend amnesty to foreign nationals, without legal residence, and to continue their educations, there are also de facto all sorts of un-Dream Acts that simply allow anyone wishing to enter the United States without much audit. In other words, one of the strangest things about illegal immigration is that a nation that is monitored, taped, videoed, and bugged, that is struggling now with the AP, IRS, and NSA scandals whose common theme is excessive government intrusions in our private lives, knows absolutely nothing about those who arrive illegally into the U.S. Continue reading “An Immigration Morality Tale”→
We are fast approaching what promises to be the year of “comprehensive immigration reform.” In the manner of the “Affordable Care Act,” it will not be comprehensive nor will it reform immigration.
All sorts of new trends have emerged in the American Southwest to address the fact that federal immigration law does not really apply to those who arrived here illegally from Mexico or Latin America. In-state tuition discounts at public universities are now customarily extended to those without citizenship — in effect, privileging the foreign national over the U.S.-citizen student from out of state who helps subsidize the cost. Cities establish sanctuary zones that protect illegal immigrants from the enforcement of federal immigration laws — and the taxpayer picks up the additional tab in social services. Imagine what might happen should a city declare in similar fashion that it was exempt from enforcing federal gun-control laws.
Another trend is the effort to end penalties for past use of multiple Social Security numbers. Many who crossed the border illegally adopted various — and thus fraudulent — identities and acquired numerous Social Security numbers. When they later obtained green cards or citizenship, their poly-personas were found out. But isn’t it discriminatory to count such illegal behavior against the job applicant, if such criteria apply disproportionately to a particular ethnic group?
There are many strange elements in the current debate over illegal immigration, but none stranger than the general failure to discuss the role of Mexico.
Are millions of Mexican citizens still trying to cross the U.S. border illegally because there is dismal economic growth and a shortage of jobs in Mexico?
Not any more. In terms of the economy, Mexico has rarely done better, and the United States rarely worse.
The Mexican unemployment rate is currently below 5 percent. North of the border, it remains stuck at over 7 percent for the 53rd consecutive month of the Obama presidency. The American gross domestic product has been growing at a rate of less than 2 percent annually. In contrast, a booming Mexico almost doubled that in 2012, with its GDP growing at a robust clip of nearly 4 percent. Continue reading “By Hook, Crook, or Comic Book”→
The “comprehensive immigration reform” bill cooked up by the Senate has a decided Obamacare stink to it. Like that disaster, the immigration bill is rushing to solve a whole host of complex problems with a massive, muddled bill few Senators will have the time or inclination to read in its entirety, with the same plethora of unforeseen expensive consequences, all perfumed with the same dubious CBO estimates of money saved and revenue increased. Continue reading “The Senate Immigration Bill: Another Legislative Disaster”→