The cab driver taking me to the Washington Nationals baseball game on July 4 is from Bangladesh. I ask him how he got here. He said his father “won the immigration lottery” some years back, was admitted under U.S. immigration law and eventually became a citizen, as did his son. He is proud to be an American and said after he dropped me off he was going to a traditional Fourth of July party to celebrate America’s independence.
Those are the kinds of immigrants America should welcome. My driver — I will call him “Yusef” (not his real name) says he works hard, supports his family and is outraged by those who break the law to cross the border and immediately begin getting free stuff that he, now a taxpayer, must subsidize.
At a July 4 White House naturalization ceremony for more than two dozen foreign-born service members, President Obama said welcoming people to America is “central to our way of life.” No, what is central to our way of life is the Constitution, which protects our freedoms. Historically, we have conditionally granted under the law a safe haven for those “yearning to breathe free.” There is no constitutional right for anyone to come to America, or become a citizen.
The Department of Homeland Security website publishes a list of restrictions and prohibitions on aliens wishing to enter the United States. Among those barred are people with “a communicable disease of public health significance.” From various media reports it appears some of those flooding our southern border have, or are suspected of having, such diseases. Among those who are to be denied entry are children who have not been vaccinated for certain types of diseases, including “mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B, and any other vaccinations for preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices.
Does anyone believe the unaccompanied minors pouring over the border — 52,000 so far and 240,000 other migrants since April, according to The New York Times — have brought with them proof of vaccinations?
Who will follow up to make sure each alien child is vaccinated, much less “sponsored”? Probably no one, because no one will ensure they will ever show up in court, as required for their cases to be properly adjudicated.
Disease is only one of many categories that make an alien ineligible for admittance to the U.S. The others are available on the DHS website. The clauses I mentioned are under ACT 212. After reading them, you might wonder why they are not enforced by the president, who took an oath to uphold them?
The one promise President Obama is keeping is to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” He is transforming the country by flooding it with illegal immigrants that will result in creation of a new permanent underclass beholden to government and thus the party of government, the Democrats.
Numerous opinion polls show the public disapproves of this transformation and a majority no longer favors this president.
The easiest solution to “immigration reform” is to first secure the border and then deal with the illegal aliens already here. Polls show the public favors this approach by large majorities. Meanwhile the president makes speeches and seeks to add to his party’s political base, rather than solve the problem.
My cab driver, not the president, is modeling an approach to immigration most Americans support.
Cal Thomas is America's most widely syndicated op-ed columnist. His latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America". Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.