The debate over illegal immigration is one of the most frustrating issues for those who approach public policy logically. Seldom do we have so much history to draw upon when crafting new policies like we do with illegal immigration, yet nobody in Washington is willing to learn the lessons of the past.
We have seen time and again how one amnesty begets another because liberalizing our immigration laws without a commensurate plan to prevent future flows of illegal immigration will only encourage more of the same. The solution is not an enigma. All we have to do is actually implement the border and interior enforcement mechanisms that both Republicans and Democrats claim to support and eliminate all welfare and birthright citizenship for future waves of illegal immigration. At that point, the question of what to do with those already here will be minimized and any legal status granted will be done from a position of strength – knowing that we will not encourage a new wave of illegal migration.
So if all sides supposedly agree on the need to prevent a new wave of immigration, and in light of the past failures of an ‘amnesty first’ approach, why aren’t the liberals willing to try our approach?
On Fox News Sunday, former Governor Jeb Bush (R-FL) provided us with a candid answer, revealing what we have always known about our opponents in this debate. The point of contention is not just about the status of those already here illegally. Rather, it’s about the essence of our existence as a sovereign nation with defined borders. Individuals like Bush support illegal immigration and open borders as an ends to itself – even an ideal. They actually extol the virtues of illegal immigrants over Americans. Here is what the former Florida governor had to say yesterday:
“I’m going to say this and it will be on tape, and so be it. The way I look at this is someone who comes to our country because they couldn’t come legally, they come to our country because their family’s dad who loves their children was worried that their children didn’t have food on the table, and they wanted to make sure their family was intact. And they crossed the border because they had no other means to work to be able to provide for their family. Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. it’s kind of — it’s a — it’s an act of love. It’s an act of commitment to your family. I honestly think that’s a different kind of crime that should be, there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t be — it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families. And the idea that we’re not going to fix this but with comprehensive reform ends up trapping these people, when they could make a great contribution for their own their families but also for us.
Taking Jeb’s approach to its logical conclusion, it is clear that his side has no desire to prevent future waves of illegal migration, and in fact, they would oppose actions to do so. Indeed, their vocal efforts to delegitimize our laws, borders, and sovereignty have already engendered an increase in illegal border-crossings.
As for Jeb’s false sense of love, it is born out of the same dyslexic priorities of the left on fiscal policy in general. What liberals don’t understand is that public policy in this country cannot be geared towards accommodating every person living in poverty throughout the world. Constitutional governance must take into account the best policies that benefit the broadest number of Americans without redistributing wealth while still being within the confines of the Constitution.
Hence, on paper it would make sense to redistribute wealth from the richest among us and support those who live in poverty. After all, the wealthy do not need all the money they earn, and it can certainly go towards a better cause. However, conservatives intuitively understand that it is not the job of this country and this nation’s government to take the fruits of labor from some and redistribute to others. Moreover, it is counterintuitive, mitigates economic growth, and has a net effect of creating more poverty.
The immigration issue is no different. Undoubtedly, there are many impoverished people in this world of 7 billion individuals, particularly in Latin America. However, it is not the duty of our government to take care of the world. We already lack the resources to properly foster economic opportunities for those who are subject to the jurisdiction of this nation. And indeed we currently have the most generous immigration policy in the world. In recent decades, we have let in over a million new immigrants annually, many of whom are from penurious parts of the world.
The idea that we must support a welfare system for millions more throughout the world represents a false sense of morality – the same morality that fuels the pagan beliefs of the modern-day Baal worshipers who advocate redistributionist policies. In fact, those Republicans who advocate for open borders are even worse because they are extrapolating the traditional liberal ethos on a domestic level to a global level.
Ironically, open borders Republicans are promoting illegal immigration for the expressed purpose of lining the pockets of big business with cheap labor. It is precisely because they intend to pay them cheap wages that the average taxpayer will be caught holding the bag paying the massive tab for their welfare checks and healthcare bills. Their highbrow rhetoric about love and compassion is about as credible as a blue city mayor exalting the successes of socialism in creating economic opportunity.
Furthermore, the creation of an unnaturally large flow of people from impoverished countries will artificially depress wages and lower the standard of living for Americans, particularly recent legal immigrants.
Unlike our liberal counterparts, conservatives believe that solving every socio-economic problem – certainly those outside of our borders – on the backs of American taxpayers is beyond the scope, the ability, or the moral foundation of the government. The job of our nation is to protect liberty, economic freedom, and religious freedom so that the greatest number of people in this country can reap the blessings of God’s gifts. In turn, as individuals and practitioners of the world’s major religions, we care for all of humanity through prayer and charity.
But until the leaders of either party learn about the fundamentals of borders and sovereignty, our declining Republic and economic system will continue to inhibit us from serving as the beacon of light for the rest of the world.
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