A Sensible Compromise Is Needed on Dreamers and Border Security

By McIntyre, Doug | Pasadena Star-News, January 13, 2019 | Go to article overview

A Sensible Compromise Is Needed on Dreamers and Border Security


McIntyre, Doug, Pasadena Star-News


In 1858, Abraham Lincoln famously warned, “A house divided against itself cannot stand… half slave and half free… It will become all one thing or all the other.”

In 2019, Americans of all political persuasions must come to grips with a similar reality; this country cannot endure permanently half legal and half illegal. We either believe in the sovereignty of our borders or we don’t. If we chose the latter over the former, we will punt away our birthright and America will be a nation in name only. It’s that simple.

And that complex.

Our government is in shutdown mode with the President threatening to invoke emergency powers to pay for construction of a border wall Congress has refused to fund. Our previous President also bypassed Congress. Before signing his Dream Act executive order, President Obama warned, “If congress won’t act, I will.” Today it’s the Democrats who refuse to act. And like the Republicans under Obama, they will undoubtedly turn to the courts if President Trump makes good on his threat.

How did we get to this sorry state of affairs? More importantly, how do we get out?

The unalterable fact is the Democratic Party (along with the Chamber of Commerce wing of the Republican Party) does not believe in border enforcement. Period. They pay lip service to enforcement, but whenever real action is taken, or even proposed, they dig their heels in, cry racism, quote Emma Lazarus, and subvert enforcement via local legislation or litigation. California’s Sanctuary Law, SB54, is Exhibit A. The new Sheriff of L.A. County won’t even allow ICE to set foot in his jails. The thousands upon thousands who have been murdered or maimed by illegal immigrants are dismissed an “anecdotal” rather than data. If the GOP is anti-science, the Democrats are anti-math. President Trump has not helped by continuing to send out a steady stream of belligerent Tweets that repel rather than persuade potential supporters.

But this is a much bigger issue than Donald Trump, Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi. The mass-migration of people is a global phenomenon, roiling countries as disparate in ethnicity and cultural traditions as Greece, France, Sweden, Holland and Japan. Something is afoot that transcends the usual Left/Right Yin and Yang. In the digital age, millions see themselves as “citizens of the world” rather than citizens of a nation state. Allegiance to country and community is no longer a matter of geography. Technology has allowed us to organize our lives outside established institutions, across time zones, language and traditions. We have a second generation who grew up with on-line friends on the other side of the world. There are obvious upsides to bringing people together but to deny the downside is to deny the curvature of the earth.

In 2015, Donald Trump saw Ann Coulter plug her book, “¡Adios, America!” on FOX News and decided to make illegal immigration the centerpiece of his presidential campaign. By shoving the issue onto the front burner (where it should have been decades ago) Trump forced Americans to make a choice; are we a nation of laws or a nation of feelings?

Last week, the President did what he should have done his first week in office, he addressed the American public directly, from the White House, and made his case for a physical border barrier without the nonsensical, “What are we gonna do?”, “Build a wall!”, “Who’s gonna pay for it?!”, “Mexico!” pep-rally red meat. It’s not Mexico’s responsibly to pay for America’s border security, it’s our responsibility. …

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