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Outsiders vs. Insiders: Thanks to amnesty ‘Only in America’ now has a negative sound to it

Think about it -- how often do we hear the phrase, “Only in America”? Quite a lot I’d say, as America represents a whole host of unique qualities that’s made it the standard for comparison for decades running and the envy of the world in many respects.

The problem for Americans in the evolving 21st century is the saying “Only in America” is starting to take on negative connotations. For example, “Only in America” would a political class that wastes money by the Amnesty MS 13bucketful (like the Washington establishment does) continue to win election after election; and only in this country is there the need for a political debate about who gains admission to and remains here without official sanction.

Borders are borders, after all; governments don’t tend to favor people sneaking into their geographic territory without their willing say-so. I doubt there are many fools who would intentionally try to break into North Korea, for instance, but those who succeed definitely wouldn’t be greeted with a friendly smile and a “welcome” sign by Kim Jong-un himself.

Even America’s southern neighbor, Mexico, frowns on people coming into the country illegally.

Then why is it Americans are having so much difficulty deciding what to do with “undocumented” persons in the United States today? Is it a political question or a matter of moral values?

Longtime friend of William F. Buckley Jason Lee Steorts wrote at National Review, “[L]et’s grant undocumented immigrants who have peaceably established themselves here a path to citizenship after they pay an affordable but symbolically important fine, perhaps scaled to an estimate of back taxes. Those we have accepted de facto as members of our community should be accepted de jure as soon as they submit themselves to the authority of the law…

“As for the ‘Dreamers,’ those who were brought to the country illegally as children, they provide a limiting case of Principle 2: Someone who is not meaningfully accountable for having violated the law should be held blameless. Dreamers should therefore be offered a path to citizenship that imposes no penalty on them. Their interests should not be considered negotiable in the way that those of the broader undocumented population are.”

Steorts’ article is very thorough and presents the case for granting some form of amnesty to law-abiding illegal immigrants and those who were granted temporary protected status as the result of natural disasters, etc… By the looks of it Steorts’ view likely commands a majority in Congress, too – all of the Democrats plus the Flake/Graham faction of wishy-washy Republicans.

Steorts doesn’t address the necessity of sealing the border with a wall or the greater need to enforce the internal laws of the United States, however; seeing as there are millions of people already in this country who fit the “illegal” category he merely looks at the “humanitarian” side of the controversy. Deporting them all isn’t a possibility in Steorts’ view for a variety of reasons.

But granting amnesty with the promise of eventual citizenship isn’t entirely “humanitarian” either. It’s more than just “unfair” to those millions who came here in recent times and endured the arduous citizenship process to earn the privilege of taking a government oath – it’s the future threat of millions more coming here uninvited with the goal of attaining another amnesty from the deeply conflicted political elite.

To say this “problem” is everywhere is an understatement. In one form or another, all of us have come across individuals who were more than likely here without permission. Not too long ago I was behind a threesome buying beer in a supermarket and the ID they presented to the clerk was in Spanish – and obviously not issued from any state in the United States (do any states even offer driver’s licenses in Spanish?). They didn’t appear to be tourists either.

Likewise the men who put up the drywall in our new house (twenty years ago) didn’t speak a word of English. It was a miserably cold day and there was no heat in the unfinished rooms so they all sat around a heater when on break. I highly doubt they were U.S. citizens.

It doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to recognize immigrant labor – legal and otherwise – helps fuel the economy. While simple common sense reveals there’s little merit to the old saying “they only do the jobs Americans won’t do,” a more accurate rendition would be “they work for a lot cheaper than some Americans otherwise would.”

Driving past the agricultural fields in my native California last fall I once again realized the reality of the situation. Dozens of people could be seen at any one time bending over and picking some form of produce – back breaking work that is as tedious as it is physically challenging. Someone’s gotta do it though – at least for $8 an hour or whatever these poor souls are getting to ruin their health. Today’s American youth never aspire to be lettuce pickers…it’s the truth.

Were these folks illegal? How did they get here? Why did they come here? Who’s paying for their medical care? Who’s paying for their kids’ educations? How can they live on the money they’re paid? Where’s ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)? And, if they don’t harvest the strawberries, who will?

Of course there’s always the other side of the coin, the problems illegal immigrants bring with them from their home countries. Just the other night on Laura Ingraham’s Fox News program the stalwart conservative host interviewed an expert (Jay Lanham) on the El Salvadoran MS 13 gang – and one of the places he mentioned as a hot spot of crime activity was none other than my own Northern Virginia suburb. Having personally talked with local police officers in the past there’s no doubt the problem is here and it impacts everyone.

It all leads to one unmistakable conclusion: blanket amnesty just can’t happen. Democrats only want it because historically speaking, Hispanic immigrants choose Democrats over Republicans by high percentages -- and if the party can’t beat Republicans with ideas they’ll do it through demographics instead. I wouldn’t be surprised if Democrats proposed annexing the entirety of the Caribbean just to lock in tens of millions more Spanish speaking voters.

Democrats accuse Republicans of being anti-immigrant for seeking to change the current directionless mess to a merit-based system like they have in Canada and Australia. Do Democrats think Canadians and Australians are all a bunch of racists too because they’re choosing not to accept indiscriminate boatloads full of humans from the third world?

Hardly. A merit-based system would work well in America just as they do in other places with sane immigration policies. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote the other day at The Washington Times, “In fact, our current immigration system is designed to be blind to merit. It favors not education or skills but anybody who has a relative in America — and not necessarily a close relative.

“President Trump ran for office arguing for a merit-based system that lets in the best and the brightest but turns away criminals — even if they do have a relative here.

“It’s a commonsense idea. After all, employers don’t roll dice when deciding who they want to hire. Our incredible military doesn’t draw straws when deciding whom to accept. But for some reason, when we’re picking new Americans — the future of this country — our government uses a randomized lottery system and chain migration.”

Sessions is 100% correct. Granting citizenship to those who broke the law to come here – and then afterwards allowing in their relatives -- isn’t a very smart way to choose Americans either.

Since the earliest days of North American settlement most people chose to come here for the prospect of a better life. Africans were dragged here by force (and native peoples were already here) but for most everyone else it was the promise of property ownership and rewards earned through their own hard labors. (Yes, religious freedom did have something to do with it as well.)

There was hardly any randomness involved with the initial settlers. You couldn’t just steal your way onto a ship and cross the vast ocean to arrive on American shores. They came because they were called by their own ambitions to try for a better life instead of being chosen by chance (visa lottery) or because they were blood relatives of someone already here (chain migration).

To suggest we do otherwise today just doesn’t make sense. To assert, as the Democrats often do, that America just accepted anyone at any time is simply untrue. Unfortunately for Democrats the famous Emma Lazurus poem inscribed on a plaque mounted on the Statue of Liberty (“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”) is not official United States immigration policy.

Up until roughly the last half century America was always choosy about who came here to become Americans. President Trump is right to insist on returning to a sound policy now.

Other countries around the world are making similar pushes to shore-up their own identities, knowing it could mean the difference between survival and cultural death. Patrick J. Buchanan wrote at The American Conservative, “The Democrats who refused to vote to keep the government open did not object to anything in the Republican bill. They objected to what was not in the bill: amnesty for the illegal immigrants known as ‘dreamers.’ It was all about who gets to become an American.

“And what is the divisive issue of ‘open borders’ immigration all about, if not the future ethnic composition of the United States?

“Consider a few of the issues that have convulsed our country in recent months. White cops. The NFL players’ protests. Desecration and removal of statues of Columbus, Lee, Jackson. The Charlottesville battle of antifa versus the ‘alt-right.’ The ‘s—-hole countries’ crack of the president. The weeklong TV tirade of rants against the ‘racist’ Trump…Are they not all really issues of race, culture and identity?”

Conservatives see the DACA issue as a battle for the soul of the country; Democrats see it as the ticket to political immortality – instantly fashioning a grateful class of new voters who theoretically owe their American existence to the party.
 
Only in America do illegal aliens act defiantly immune from the threat of judgment while they carry signs and shout slogans about the “fairness” involved with their legitimately groundless situations. Only in America is there a political establishment begging to grant them amnesty without hope of recompense or prevention of future waves of unsolicited newcomers.

Only in America is there a compassionate people who might grant them their wish and allow them to stay. Illegal aliens shouldn’t be angry – they should be thankful. A border wall and internal enforcement is the least Democrats should offer in exchange for permission to remain here.

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