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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

The United States Never Volunteered to Be the World’s Orphanage



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From the Thursday Morning Jolt:

Glenn Beck’s Charity is the Best of America. It’s Also No Substitute for a Coherent National Immigration Policy, nor a Secure Border.

Glenn Beck is a big-hearted man:

Glenn Beck on Tuesday announced that he will be bringing tractor-trailers full of food, water, teddy bears and soccer balls to McAllen, Texas on July 19 as a way to help care for some of the roughly 60,000 underage refugees who have crossed into America illegally in 2014.

[Note from Jim: Notice the use of the term "refugee." Is that term really accurate for all of these children? Aren’t refugees usually fleeing a war, anarchy, or a natural disaster? Do you get refugee status if you’re leaving an area with a high crime rate?]

Beck said he will be joined by Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), Congressman Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), and a number of pastors and rabbis.

“Through no fault of their own, they are caught in political crossfire,” Beck said of the children. “And while we continue to put pressure on Washington and change its course of lawlessness, we must also help. It is not either, or. It is both. We have to be active in the political game, and we must open our hearts.”

“Everybody is telling me I’m seeing subscriptions down; I’m seeing Mercury One donations down,” Beck said, growing emotional. “I’m getting violent emails from people who say I’ve ‘betrayed the Republic.’ Whatever. I’ve never taken a position more deadly to my career than this — and I have never, ever taken a position that is more right than this.”

“We sure could use your help,” Beck continued. “I would like to ask you to donate to MercuryOne.org. If you don’t want to be involved in this, you don’t have to be. You can donate and earmark your money to be for preserving American history; we have a museum to build. . . . You could do it to help education. . . . We’re building hospitals. . . . But all the things that we do, they’re not about politics, because politics is turning us ugly. Politics is the vehicle that is driving us to the fundamental transformation of America.”

We’re fools if we criticize Glenn for his massive act of charity . . . but I also think we as Americans need to loudly proclaim that we are not set up to be, nor have we volunteered to be, the orphanage for the rest of the world. We may help out these kids because we’re kind-hearted souls; some will say it’s the Christian thing to do. But we’re not obligated to do this. This isn’t our responsibility and this isn’t our fault. The parents of those kids are the ones who should be taking care of them — feeding them, clothing them, sheltering them and educating them. And I don’t think it’s cold-hearted to ask whether our immediate effort to take care of these kids — because they so desperately need care — is setting us up to be their long-term caretaker.

We, the citizenry, did not make the choices that led us to this point.

Okay, a few of us did. Businesses, big and small, made the decision to employ illegal immigrants in violation of the law. A generation of Washington politicians made the decision to under-react to a largely open border with Mexico, even after 9/11. That same generation of politicians, running a government infrastructure capable of reading all of our e-mails and vacuuming up the metadata from all of our cellular phones, also shrugged as millions of visitors overstayed their visas and disappeared from the system. Local governments that will nail you for an expired parking meter announced they were “sanctuary cities” that would not cooperate with efforts to deport those here illegally.

Most of us had nothing to do with all of that. We lived our lives, periodically expressing the view that our immigration laws ought to be enforced, our borders ought to be secure, and legalizing an illegal immigrant is unfair to those who were willing to go through the (too-long, too-complicated, too-bureaucratic) process of naturalization — the ones who should be welcomed with open arms. For this view, we were called racist, hateful, and xenophobic.

And now we’re stuck with a humanitarian crisis on our border, one driven in part by the perception in some Central American countries that the United States is offering “permisos” for children who cross the border illegally — a rumor that picked up steam after President Obama announced he would not deport children who had come into the country illegally with their parents.

Some of the folks labeled “restrictionists” — I’ll let you decide whether that’s the fairest or most accurate description of that side of the debate — argued that just publicly discussing an amnesty creates new waves of illegal immigration, as foreign citizens rush to get over here to be in place to enjoy the amnesty. Give them credit for their ability to foresee the consequences of policy options.

President Obama could have mitigated, if not resolved this issue early on with a clear statement from the Oval Office declaring, “There are no ‘permisos.’ There will not be an amnesty. You have been lied to, or misinformed, by smugglers who want to take advantage of you. U.S. immigration law is still in effect. You will not be allowed to stay. Turn around and return to your homes. If you wish to live in America, begin the process of applying for a green card and be prepared to be patient.”

President Obama will never say things that simply because he wants to enact an amnesty — or at least a “comprehensive immigration reform” with “a path to citizenship” for those who entered the country illegally.

Last night’s presidential statement was sort-of, kind-of in the neighborhood when he said that the children were “unlikely” to be allowed to stay. But are poor families in Central America going to hear that? Or do they perceive that as “there’s a chance your children will be allowed to stay?”

So give those kids soccer balls and teddy bears, hot meals and fresh water, real cots, real blankets, and real clothes. And then give them a plane ticket back to their own country.


Tags: Illegal Immigration , Immigration , Border Security , Glenn Beck , Barack Obama


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