Wednesday, July 16, 2014
From: Gary L. Bauer
The Backlash Builds
The immigration protests in Murrieta, California, made headlines. Now they barely get any coverage at all. But don’t think for a second that the opposition to the Obama Administration’s open borders policy is waning. In fact, the backlash is building all across the country in communities in Arizona, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland. Connecticut, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.
Big cities, with their liberal populations and large illegal immigrant communities, would seem like logical places to relocate the immigrants detained at the border. But the administration is running into fierce resistance even in those places.
Jesse Jackson is upset that illegal immigrant children seem to be taking priority over Chicago’s kids. And the homeless in Los Angeles are feeling even more neglected as city officials rush to find housing for illegal immigrants. They have a point. The federal government can find $50 million to refurbish a resort for illegal immigrants, but our veterans cannot get the care they need and deserve?
In response to the growing public backlash, the Obama Administration is increasingly acting in secret, depositing children into communities without informing local or state officials. As one Massachusetts sheriff said this week, “We’re all becoming border states now.” Governors are furious, and they are struggling to find legal remedies to respond.
But the American people are stepping up. More than 250 protests against this open borders policy are scheduled to take place this weekend.
“Our Doors Are Open!”
Don’t fall for the left’s half-truth that this border crisis is the result of violence in Central America. Illegal immigrants are streaming across the border because they believe they will be allowed to stay here.
That was the conclusion of a recent government intelligence assessment based on interviews with detained migrants. According to the report, 95% “cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or ‘permisos’ to UAC (unaccompanied children).”
What would give them that idea? Obama’s unilateral action granting a quasi-amnesty to the “Dreamers” had a lot to do with it. So do comments from politicians on both sides of the aisle suggesting we lack the will to enforce our borders and our immigration laws.
For example, during an online town hall event yesterday, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said, “We can’t just build a wall or a fence and say no more. This is America. Our doors are open.”
Really, Mr. Lewis? I don’t believe it is an exaggeration to say that Rep. Lewis will bear some responsibility for immigrants who read that quote, attempt the dangerous trek and never make it. But Lewis is not alone in encouraging this nonsense.
The Limits Of Compassion
Sadly, a lot of folks on the left and many well-meaning individuals in the faith-based community are quoting poet Emma Lazarus, who wrote the inscription on the Statue of Liberty: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”
It is worth reflecting on a little history here. When that statue was erected in 1886 and for many decades afterwards, there was no welfare system in the United States. We were a rapidly growing nation that desperately needed labor. It was in the national interest to welcome anyone who wanted to work hard at little-to-no expense to the taxpayer.
And it was hard work. The American labor movement was in its infancy. There were no federal child labor laws, for example. That wave of immigration helped to grow the country. But as conservative/libertarian icon Milton Friedman said, “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.” And America today is a welfare state.
Most individuals coming across the border right now will be a financial burden on American citizens of all races, some of whom live in neighborhoods plagued by crime and poverty.
We would never want to go back to the 1880s when everyone, including children, was expected to work. And we shouldn’t cite an immigration philosophy of 1880 as a motto today when the people coming are likely to add to the burdens of current American workers whose wages are already depressed.
The moral calculation is not so simple as some would have you believe. If a person fleeing persecution from Africa or Asia turns up on our border, the moral thing to do is to welcome him in. But even compassion has to have rational limits.
More than 38,000 unaccompanied children were detained at the southern border in fiscal year 2013. According to the Washington Post, a leaked Border Patrol memo “estimated that more than 90,000 youths would be apprehended at the border this year and 142,000 next year.”
Those figures do not include adult illegal immigrants. Nor do they include the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already here.
Surely no rational person would say, “I don’t care what the number is, we have an obligation to let them all come in.” As Friedman suggests, doing so could bankrupt the country.
The debate should be about what a compassionate nation can reasonably do in a world where millions of people live on less than a dollar a day. That means we must be able to regulate the number of people who enter our country. And we can’t rationally and compassionately regulate the number unless we secure our borders.
The faith community should insist that, before anything else, the United States should regain control of our borders. Then, and only then, can we have a legitimate debate about who should be allowed in.
To my friends in the faith community, of which I am part, I would make this observation: This uncontrolled wave of illegal immigration is fomenting an understandable backlash that will intensify unless the American people are assured that their government is fulfilling its number one priority — protecting the boundaries and sovereignty of our country.
By the way, as I write, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is meeting with the president at the White House, and Nancy Pelosi has just announced her opposition to speeding up deportations.
Meanwhile a new Gallup poll finds that “immigration/illegal aliens” tops the list of issues facing the country, followed closely by “dissatisfaction with government.”
Hamas Rejects Peace
Yesterday the Egyptian government proposed a cease-fire to stop the fighting between Israel and Hamas. Israel accepted and ceased its airstrikes. Within six hours, Hamas responded by firing dozens of rockets at Israeli civilians, rejecting the deal.
Today Israel resumed its airstrikes against Hamas terrorists. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend itself until peace and quiet are restored.” And predictably the left-wing media are back to blaming Israel for the “cycle of violence.”
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