Immigration

Democrats Have Zero Tolerance for Solutions to Illegal Immigration

Border Patrol agents apprehend an illegal immigrant who crossed the border near McAllen, Texas, April 2, 2018. (Loren Elliott/Reuters)
They’d rather blame the GOP, stir up emotion, and maintain the status quo.

As soon as the Trump administration adopted a “zero-tolerance” policy requiring law enforcement to prosecute all immigrants who crossed the border illegally, it became clear that officials weren’t prepared to deal with the crush of kids who would find themselves under their supervision. Nor were they able to implement the policy in a humane way.

Family separation is callous and ineffective, but its existence doesn’t excuse the ginned-up moral panic, the pious grandstanding, or the historically illiterate associations to Nazi death camps unleashed by its critics. Nor does it excuse the fact that Democrats have shown zero interest in dealing with the underlying problems that propel these situations.

“Why won’t the GOP stand up to Donald Trump?!” is the well-known refrain from those who followed in lockstep their way through the eight-year hard-left turn of Barack Obama. Yet every Republican member of the Senate claimed to support legislation to fix existing laws that separate children from parents who are caught crossing into the United States illegally, even as the president defended it. Ted Cruz, despite criticism from the president, has proposed perhaps overly optimistic legislation expediting asylum claims by adding more immigration judges and prioritizing families to be processed first.

So maybe the House (also working on legislation) and the Senate won’t be able to come to an agreement. Or maybe Trump will veto the bill. We don’t know. Not that any of it is going to matter if Democrats block the legislation, which is what they were promising to do even before seeing it.

“There are so many obstacles to legislation, and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, who is a co-sponsor of proposed Democratic legislation to supposedly fix the problem, stated. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”

Now, I realize Democrats have gotten used to the idea of a president ruling with a pen while concocting immigration law unilaterally. But even though Trump acquiesced to pressure and signed an executive order, the subsequent action will not be “easy.” Democrats know that the administration could be stopped by the courts and that the long-standing Flores consent decree complicates efforts to enforce border laws and keep families together. They know that only legislation could allow both to happen. They’re more interested in returning to the status quo.

Someone should ask leading Democrats whether they believe that any immigrant illegally bringing children should be detained at the border for any reason whatsoever — because these Democrats, who ignore the moral cost associated with thousands of children wandering over the border, have yet to explain how we can possibly know whether these kids are going to be okay if we have no way of ensuring their parents’ compliance with a court.

Claiming amnesty after apprehension is basically a get-in-free card.

Someone should ask Schumer whether he opposes the “child separation” policy or he opposes a “zero-tolerance” policy on illegal immigration. Has any Democrat clarified why the latter position wouldn’t incentivize more migrants to bring children (sometimes their own and sometimes not) on the dangerous trek over the border rather than to ports of entry? There’s been a spike in the number of families and unaccompanied children at the border over the past five years. Claiming amnesty after apprehension is basically a get-in-free card.

Someone should ask Democrats what kind of undocumented immigrant they believe doesn’t deserve de facto asylum. I’m well aware that most of the people flowing in from Central America are escaping poverty and violence, and I’m highly sympathetic to their plight. But I assume migrants who properly ask for asylum are in the same situation — other than being punished for following rules.

I’m a pretty liberal guy on immigration — open to more asylum-seekers, more immigration, more temporary workers, etc. But I’m not a huge fan of chaos. And I suspect I’m not alone. Yet we have Democrats and activists calling for the total elimination of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. We have a Democratic party unwilling to make any compromise on the issue even when we’re faced with a surge of migrant children. As Gabriel Malor pointed out in The Federalist this week, the proposed legislation co-sponsored by every Senate Democrat was so carelessly written that it would prevent “federal law-enforcement agencies almost anywhere inside the United States from arresting and detaining criminals who are parents having nothing to do with unlawfully crossing the border and seeking asylum.”

It’s not healthy for the country or the people who come here seeking a better life for them to be thrown into a system that doesn’t work. Nor, as we are increasingly seeing in Europe, is it politically tenable to rely on emotionalism as a means of ignoring all law.

© Creators.com

David Harsanyi is a senior writer for National Review and the author of First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History with the Gun

Most Popular

Elections

What Do Republican Voters Want?

The latest entry in the post-Trump conservatism sweepstakes was Marco Rubio’s speech at the Catholic University of America in early November. The Florida senator made the case for a “common-good capitalism” that looks on markets in the light of Catholic social thought. “We must remember that our nation ... Read More
Books

The Houellebecqian Moment

We are living in the imagination of Michel Houellebecq. The bête noire of French literature has spent decades deploring the erosion of Western mores that he believes resulted from the sexual revolution of the 1960s. His last novel, Submission, revolved around the election of a theocratic Muslim to the French ... Read More
Culture

‘Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself’

It was just one more segment to fill out the hour, and thereby fill the long 24 hours of Saturday’s cable news on November 2. Or so it seemed. Navy SEAL Mike Ritland was on the Fox News program Watters World to talk to Jesse Watters about trained German shepherds like the one used in the raid that found ... Read More
World

Israel’s New Way of War

Commuters on Route 4, driving toward the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod on November 12, were shocked by an explosion, a rocket impact next to a major intersection. Had it fallen on a car or one of the many trucks plying the route, there would have been deaths, and the road would have been closed. Instead, police ... Read More