There is a humane, transparent, truthful — and constitutional — way to address illegal immigration. Unfortunately, President Obama’s unilateral plan to exempt millions of residents from federal immigration law is none of those things.
Obama said he had to move now because of a dawdling Congress. He forgot to mention that there were Democratic majorities in Congress in 2009 and 2010, yet he did nothing, in fear of punishment at the polls.
The last thing a liberal proponent of immigration reform wants is liberal immigration reform. Remember that paradox, and the insanity at the border makes some sense.
Each day a worried politician or pundit, with creased brow and pained expression, lectures us about the need for “comprehensive immigration reform” to avoid the sort of chaos we are witnessing on the border.
Then a funny thing happens. The speaker never defines the term. If on rare occasions advocates are asked, they fumble around, annoyed that anyone would press them to explain what they mean.
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.
Eric Cantor’s luck ran out, when his long insistence of pushing immigration-reform legislation finally coincided with a massive and sudden rush of thousands to the U.S. border from Central America. That lining up of the planets explains why a good but obscure candidate beat a supposedly invincible insider. There are a number of elements to the illegal-immigration debate that really tick off people of all races and classes and drive them to the polls in a way the alliance of the Chamber of Commerce and La Raza activists can never comprehend. Continue reading “Illegal Immigration and Eric Cantor”→
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”→
Rather than twisting the political knife in the gaping wound that is Obamacare, House Republicans are off on a “comprehensive immigration reform” toot. The latest news has the Speaker putting off any action for now, and waiting until after the midterm elections in order not to anger the anti-amnesty base, and “to goose Latino turnout or to swing purple districts” in 2016, as political blogger Allahpundit put it. In other words, electoral timing rather than principle is determining what happens.
But principle, not to mention common sense, is what’s at stake here. Anyone proposing “comprehensive” anything after the debacle of Obamacare is delusional. Complex problems are not going to be solved with grandiose legislation that tries to politically please everybody. Nor are most sensible voters likely once again to play Charlie Brown to the Congressional Lucy jerking away the promised “enforcement triggers” and “border security” football after the de facto amnesty is already in place. We went through all that in 1986, when the same promises of employer checks of legal residency and beefed-up border security were broken, more than doubling the number of illegal immigrants from 5 million to 11 million today. Continue reading “Republicans Go On an Immigration Reform Bender”→
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?
Washington has a bad habit of naming laws by what they are not.
These euphemisms usually win temporary public support. After all, who wants to be against anything “affordable”? But on examination, such idealistically named legislation usually turns out to be aimed at special interests and the opposite of what voters were promised.
The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010,” otherwise known as Obamacare, frontloaded for immediate enactment some popular freebies. Who would oppose keeping children on their parents’ health coverage until age 26, or prohibiting denial of insurance for those with pre-existing illnesses?
Then, three years later and with two elections out of the way, the tab for all the perks suddenly came due. The law turns out neither to protect patients from rate hikes nor to make health care affordable. In fact, the administration promises of 2009–10 are becoming the nightmare of 2013. Continue reading “Beware of Beautifully Misnamed Laws”→