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July 11, 2014

Compassion and Rule of Law

The difference between government and private action for immigrants.

Months before the 2012 election, Barack Obama announced he would stop enforcing deportation laws and grant work permits for illegal aliens between the ages of 16 and 30, under certain conditions. In doing so, he was unilaterally (and unconstitutionally) implementing the DREAM Act, which Congress had already refused to pass on multiple occasions. Given Obama’s failure to secure our southern border, his refusal to enforce existing laws and his promise of de facto amnesty for alien children, is it any wonder that the parents of thousands upon thousands of Central Americans are taking advantage? These families know their children may be the “get out of jail free” card they need to come to America as well.

Once upon a time, the U.S. made efforts to screen immigrants and make sure they went through a process leading to citizenship. In turn, those newcomers were very happy to become Americans in the most patriotic of ways. They followed the law and were rewarded in the end by becoming citizens.

Unfortunately, all that is turned on its head now. This year more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border – smuggled in by criminal gangs like MS13 – on top of 25,000 last year and 14,000 in 2012. Prior to that, only about 7,000 per year made the trek. Clearly, Obama’s words and deeds are to blame. This includes twisting a 2008 law regarding deportation of Central American minors, which was meant to deter sex trafficking.

Naturally, however, Obama blames the Republicans, but says they could help by giving him $3.7 billion through an emergency supplemental budget request. Yet much of that money is earmarked for resettling these children in far flung areas of the country, not returning them to their families or finishing the long-ago promised border fence. To reject the request, howled Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would be like turning away “boatloads of Jewish immigrants trying to come to this country during Nazi Germany.” Really? These immigrants may not have it great in their home countries, but we’re not aware of any cattle cars headed to gas chambers.

Meanwhile, Obama couldn’t even be bothered to visit the border during his trip to Texas, scoffing, “I’m not interested in photo-ops.” The hypocrisy was too much for even his allies, because, for Obama, everything is theater and a photo-op.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called this “a problem of the president’s own making.” Indeed, though Obama’s callousness is garnering comparisons to Hurricane Katrina, that was not a creation of George W. Bush. The current immigration crisis is absolutely Obama’s doing.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) warned about the message we’re sending by allowing these kids to stay. “We’re putting a lot of kids at risk,” he said. “Remember, this is organized crime that is selling this. … [T]hey’re extracting large amounts of money and then abusing children as they carry them up here. It’s terrible. The best way to stop that is to have airplanes landing every day bringing these children back to their country of origin.”

Coburn also speculated that flying these children back home would cost far less than Obama’s request, which would leave the vast majority of them here: “The president just asked for $3.7 billion; for less than $20 million we can fly them all back first class. So think about how stupid our policy is.”

Obama is trying to bully his way into immigration reform by flooding our southern border with illegal immigrant children. His aim is also to bankrupt an already teetering system.

While government debates more money to deal with the problem, radio personality Glenn Beck is pleading for us to “open our hearts” to the humanitarian crisis. Beck is sending a convoy of trucks to the border with food, water and toys for the children, a voyage for which he will be accompanied by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). “Through no fault of their own, [the children] are caught in political crossfire,” said Beck, who was soliciting donations to assist the effort – one that will cost far less than $3.7 billion.

Red State’s Eric Erickson thinks Beck is doing the right thing: “I do not think the government should be helping these people stay here. I do not think the government should be bussing them to other places. I do not think we should let these people stay here. But I think while here we should, in private charity, show mercy and give comfort where we can.”

Beck’s effort is truly a compassionate one, and it’s something government can never do well. He’s calling for Rule of Law while still giving aid to children in desperate straits. His effort also highlights a huge difference between conservatives and liberals: Conservatives cherish Rule of Law so everyone has an equal chance to pursue happiness. Liberals pursue rule of men so government can determine what’s best for us. But that’s not Liberty, and it’s not compassion; it’s slavery.

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