The Corner

Flushing Out the Extremists

Apart from actually saving children from being killed, the political objective of the ban on partial-birth abortions and the Born Alive Act was to flush out NARAL and NOW and their minions in Congress as not just pro-choice, but radically pro-abortion. These kinds of measures also serve to drive a wedge between those who oppose them and the many ordinary people who vote pro-choice but are nonetheless disgusted by such practices.

In immigration, Secure Communities serves a similar function. It’s a DHS initiative that checks the fingerprints of suspects booked by local cops and sheriffs against immigration databases, with about half the nation’s jurisdictions already enrolled and the rest expected to be online by 2013. It’s especially useful, obviously, in identifying criminal aliens, who are a priority for deportation. Although I’m against this administration’s efforts to exempt from deportation all illegal aliens who haven’t yet committed violent crimes, who could object to deporting serious criminals?

Except that some people do object to deporting criminals, and denounce Secure Communities for enabling the immigration authorities to identify them. If you’re against Secure Communities you aren’t just dovish on immigration — you are a genuine open-borders radical. My colleague Jon Feere highlights one of the radical groups flushed out by this controversy: something called the Immigrant Defense Project, whose director, one Michelle Fei, bemoans that a convicted armed robber she knows was deported to Guyana. Fei writes that “our coalition has vociferously called for the protection [from deportation] of all immigrants, not just those who can be deemed innocent or low priority. . . . People with criminal convictions still belong with their families and communities, no matter what.”

Sure, it’s easy to find a wacko on any issue, and there wouldn’t be much political value to flushing out a kook living in his mother’s basement. But this organization is not marginal; it’s actually part of the mainstream Left. The Immigrant Defense Project’s parent organization, the Fund for the City of New York, was founded by the Ford Foundation and is funded by Ford and George Soros and others, and includes on its board the former managing director of Lehman Brothers, a former New York state attorney general, a former state judge, the president of Perseus Books, professors from Columbia and CUNY, and others. It succeeded in getting New York governor Andrew Cuomo to try to opt out of Secure Communities (in vain, since it’s not a voluntary program).

Opposition to Secure Communities means support for open borders — not “open borders” as a polemical tool, but the actual absence of any immigration enforcement. The fight over the issue should help voters and reporters and politicians see that Ford, Soros, and their various extrusions on the political landscape are against immigration enforcement, as such. Now, one can make an argument for ending national borders and national sovereignty, just as one can make an argument for cracking babies’ skulls open and vacuuming their brains out. But supporters of such policies need to be honest about their objectives, and Secure Communities helps clarify that debate.

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More