Immigration Fault Lines
Many issues illuminate America’s cultural fault lines, but none is hotter than immigration, and it’s time to provide some much-needed perspective for no other reason than to counter the blizzard of b.s. being foisted on the American public. An American public that will be labeled nativist, bigoted or mean-spirited if they don’t buy into every contemptible ounce of it. We begin where everyone begins these days with Donald Trump. Like him or hate him, he has done this nation an enormous service in bringing the immigration issue front and center.
Many issues illuminate America’s cultural fault lines, but none is hotter than immigration, and it’s time to provide some much-needed perspective for no other reason than to counter the blizzard of b.s. being foisted on the American public. An American public that will be labeled nativist, bigoted or mean-spirited if they don’t buy into every contemptible ounce of it.
We begin where everyone begins these days with Donald Trump. Like him or hate him, he has done this nation an enormous service in bringing the immigration issue front and center. Yet in doing so he has revealed a divide that transcends the issue completely, one in which the expected gaps between Democrat and Republican or liberal and conservative have been rendered largely beside the point. Perhaps it’s because those are not most important divides anymore. So what is?
The Transnationalists vs. the Soveriegntists. Those who believe the world is a giant warehouse of goods and services to be moved around the global chessboard at their whims, and those who still have this quaint notion that borders, language, customs and culture mean something. And right now, the transnationalists have an edge because they’ve largely succeeded in keeping this way of looking at things out of the national conversation.
Thus with regard to illegal immigration, it’s not just people on the Left who are railing against Trump’s “inhumane” idea that people living here illegally “have to go.” Here is the plan his campaign has released. Take a good long look and you’ll notice that two words are conspicuously absent: mass deportation. What Trump did say in an interview was the following: “We’re going to keep the families together … but they have to go,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
The answer was in response to interviewer Chuck Todd's discomfort with the idea that Trump would rescind Obama’s executive orders granting legal status to the children of illegal aliens. Perhaps it never occurred to Todd that those executive orders were specifically intended to make it virtually impossible to divide families into legal and illegal components, precisely so Americans would be made to feel guilty breaking them up — and thereby allowing all of them to stay.
In fact, the Obama administration is already actively engaged in a “family reunification” program for unaccompanied alien children from Central America. In other words, if pro-amnesty forces get their way, the 11 million illegals to which they would like to grant legal status would be nothing more than the tip of a reunification iceberg. And Trump knows it, which is why he is further enraging the transnationalists with the idea of eliminating “anchor babies.” And make no mistake: Those transnationalists are so enraged they are trying to eliminate the term itself from the lexicon because it is “offensive.” Yet as American Thinker’s Jon N. Hall wryly notes, “[W]ere one of Osama bin Laden’s pregnant wives to scramble across the border and give birth, her child would be an American citizen according to the current interpretation of the 14th Amendment.”
I’m guessing most Americans would have a problem with that.
Yet even more telling was the media’s lemming-like raising of the pro-amnesty crowd’s most reliable straw man, “a mass roundup and deportation of millions of human beings,” as Beltway blowhard George Will put it. Maintaining that straw man is vitally necessary because it obscures the reality that the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which gave 2.7 million illegals unambiguous amnesty in exchange for sealing the border and cracking down on businesses that hire illegals, has been gelded by those very same transnationalists. Transnationalists who know illegals would deport themselves if conditions in America were made economically onerous enough they had no choice.
In other words, they’re not really upset about mass deportation. They’re scared to death Americans might rally behind someone who understands “we either have a country or we don’t have a country,” and that enforcing a law already on the books is part of that equation.
Yet as the transnationalists and their overwhelmingly leftist supporters remind us, while respect for the law is paramount when it comes to issues such as gay marriage or ObamaCare, it can be cast aside with complete impunity when it comes to sanctuary cities and their open defiance of federal immigration statutes. That such laws have gotten people killed? You can’t make a transnational omelet without breaking a few American eggs.
Trump also wants a pause in legal immigration so “employers will have to hire from the domestic pool of unemployed immigrant and native workers.” With 92 million Americans out of the labor force, it’s a compelling argument. Yet the transnationalists are clamoring for an increase in H-1B visas, fraudulently claiming America has a shortage of STEM workers. What America really has is a shortage of STEM workers willing to take the pay cut their foreign counterparts would willingly accept or train their replacements before being pink-slipped.
What about the oft-repeated claim America needs illegals to be legalized because only they will take the jobs “Americans refuse to do”? Another load of bull hockey thoroughly debunked by a Center for Immigration Studies report illuminating the reality every occupation from maids, housekeepers and janitors, to meat processors, construction workers and groundskeepers have a majority of American workers performing them.
The pro-amnesty Wall Street Journal highlights the labor shortage for California farmers who can’t get enough workers to pick fruits and vegetables because of a “tighter border” — even as they describe such work as “an industry notorious for poor working conditions.” That would be the same California containing one third of the nation’s welfare recipients, but only one-eighth of its population, and the state where legislators proposed a package of 10 bills that would also provide illegals with subsidized health care and other benefits. Apparently the reality that Los Angeles county alone doled out more than $650 million to illegal parents in 2013 was insufficient.
Anyone else think better working conditions for farm laborers, stringent welfare/workfare requirements for able-bodied Californians and lowering the state’s sky high taxes instead of subsidizing illegals at greater and greater levels would go a long way towards solving some problems here?
Yet by far the most jarring aspect of the transnational philosophy boils down to one inescapable reality: People, just like goods and services, are seen as commodities. Commodities to be distributed irrespective of borders that inhibit such distribution, and irrespective of the idea that America should serve the needs of all Americans, not just the needs of elitist oligarchs and their contemptible enablers in government and the media.
Americans might also remember the last time people were viewed as commodities for the purposes of enhancing the economic prospects of the few, we fought a Civil War to end that odious practice.
Trump also enrages the transnationalists and their enablers with the idea that America should build a wall along our Southern border and have Mexico pay for it. The first part of the equation should have been realized already. It’s been nine years since the Secure Fence Act of 2006 required a double-tier fence to be built along 700 miles of the border. However a year later, the bill was watered down to the point of meaninglessness. Last January, House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) introduced a new bill — with less than 50 miles of border fencing because more than that is too expensive, and 50 miles of fencing is all that is necessary to complete the original 700 miles. Double-tier fence? Fence period is a slippery term. McCaul’s own staff admitted that 353.8 miles of fence so far constructed is pedestrian fence “and the remainder, 299.8 miles, is made up of vehicle barriers.”
As for Mexico paying for it, chances are nil. But it might be worth asking the public if the $971.3 million we provided to Mexico in foreign aid in 2014 — more than double the $417.8 million we gave them in 2013 — might be used for that purpose. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that survey because the pro-amnesty crowd doesn’t want to know the answer.
That would be the same pro-amnesty crowd that regularly regales us with surveys showing majority support for “comprehensive immigration reform” — even as they conspicuously omit that support is completely contingent on five requirements, in addition to sealing the border. They include the payment of back taxes, learning English, passing a background check, paying fees and fines, and going to the back of the immigration line. And what if illegals refuse to abide by any or all of those conditions?
Again, don’t expect to see a survey with that question included, because the answer to it would blow a giant hole in transnationalist ambitions.
Last but not least, the push for legal and illegal immigration is also about maintaining the nation’s out-of-control spending on entitlements. As in Europe, the Ponzi scheme that forms the heart of those entitlements, as in the necessity of having enough current workers to pay for the obligations granted to entitlement recipients, including retirees, is the worst kept secret out there. Without importing millions of immigrants, countries on both sides of the Atlantic that long ago stopped reproducing at replacement level birthrates would have been forced to put an end to the entitlement party. But rather than reform entitlements — which would end a lot of vote buying in the process — our ruling elites prefer importing workers to mask the problem. Yet as Mark Levin so aptly notes, the amount of debt we’ve already accumulated and expect future generations to pay for is at best a moral outrage. At worst we are bequeathing an inevitable Third World status on people yet to be born.
Perhaps that is why, as AP reports, GOP leaders are anxious to change the subject and focus on other issues. “For all of the candidates, much of what’s being talked about in August 2015 could well be largely forgotten by the time people cast votes next year,” the article states.
Don’t bet on it.
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