Tom Homan: At Iowa Democratic debate, presidential candidates fail to address key issue of illegal immigration

The Democrats running for their party’s presidential nomination are running away from reality with their irresponsible positions on immigration and border security, moving further and further to the radical left and away from the views of most Americans in an unprecedented manner.

In the Tuesday night televised Democratic debate in Iowa, the critically important issue of illegal immigration never even came up. This was a missed opportunity that should not be repeated in future debates.

Americans deserve to hear the extremist positions of the candidates on the illegal immigration issue. These positions will be bad news for America should one of these Democrats become our next president, but good news for President Trump in his reelection bid. That’s because Democratic extremism regarding illegal immigration will prompt millions of Americans to cast ballots for Trump in November.

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We can all agree that the vast majority of immigrants entering the U.S. illegally are coming to find work and not to commit crimes, but that doesn’t give elected officials the right to ignore the law. And it would be naive to ignore the fact that a small but dangerous percentage of illegal immigrants are drug smugglers and violent criminals.

Until now, every U.S. president – Democrat as well as Republican – has felt a responsibility to enforce our immigration laws, secure our border, and protect the American people from immigrant criminals.

Congress can change our laws, of course. But unless that happens, ignoring laws only breeds contempt for them. And if a future president choses to ignore some laws, what is to stop him or her from ignoring others? What, in fact, is the point of Congress even passing laws if the president can unilaterally decide to ignore any laws he or she dislikes?

The Democratic presidential contenders this year are ignoring their responsibility to enforce federal laws. Instead, they are seeking to open our borders wider and rejecting proven law enforcement actions needed to protect our national security.

I wish I had the opportunity to ask the Democratic presidential candidates a series of questions about their immigration positions at their next debate. I know that won’t happen, so let me list here the questions I would like to ask – questions that the American people should hear the Democratic candidates address:

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Congress can change our laws, of course. But unless that happens, ignoring laws only breeds contempt for them. And if a future president chooses to ignore some laws, what is to stop him or her from ignoring others? What, in fact, is the point of Congress even passing laws if the president can unilaterally decide to ignore any laws he or she dislikes?

The Democratic presidential contenders this year are ignoring their responsibility to enforce federal laws. Instead, they are seeking to open our borders wider and rejecting proven law enforcement actions needed to protect our national security.

I wish I had the opportunity to ask the Democratic presidential candidates a series of questions about their immigration positions at their debate Tuesday night or in future debates. I know that will never happen, so let me list here the questions I would like to ask – questions that the American people should hear the Democratic candidates address:

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Democratic candidates, do you believe laws enacted by Congress and signed by past presidents must be enforced, or does the president have the option of ignoring any law he or she doesn’t like?  If immigration laws can be ignored, what other laws would you ignore if elected? Be specific.    

We all know that children are not responsible for breaking the law when they are brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents or others. But are their parents responsible for breaking the law and should they be held accountable? Or do you believe that if parents bring children across the border illegally the parents should not be jailed, because they need to be free to care for their children? And if you believe this, what is the deterrence from others doing bringing in children illegally?

If adults know they will not face punishment for entering our country illegally as long as they bring children with them, won’t that encourage more adult illegal immigrants to bring children with them – even if those children are not their own?

And if a parent fails to leave when ordered and successfully hides for several years and has a child born in the U.S. (making that child an American citizen) should the parent be removed as required by a federal judge’s order, or is the parent automatically immune from the law because he or she successfully hid from authorities for a number of years? (This is the position of some of the Democratic candidates).

We know that 90 percent of Central Americans who come to our border and apply for asylum never get asylum from our courts. Doesn’t that make it obvious that most of their asylum claims are bogus?

Thousands of children of U.S. citizens get separated from their parents every day when their parents are jailed on criminal charges. The children are cared for by child protective services. If this system works for U.S. citizens arrested for crimes, why should it not work for immigrants arrested for illegally entering our country?

Should parents of minor children never be arrested and jailed for any crime, to ensure they are available to care for their children? Since you advocate this for illegal immigrants, why not advocate this for U.S. citizens? Do you suppose that this policy just might encourage more parents to commit more crimes?

Tens of thousands of children have been separated from their parents when their parents left them in Central. America and came to the U.S. illegally. Do the parents bear responsibility for abandoning their children, or is President Trump to blame?

Many parents then hired a criminal organization to smuggle their children into the U.S. These are what we refer to as Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and there are tens of thousands of them. What would you do with these children?

During the period when federal authorities enforced a zero-tolerance policy against illegal immigration, the children were placed in a licensed childcare facility by the government while their parents were prosecuted. You now call that inhumane. Is it inhumane to hire a criminal organization to smuggle a child into the U.S. in a trunk of a car or in the back of a tractor-trailer? Do parents share in any responsibility for putting their children in the hands of a criminal organization and separating themselves?

What about the Angel Moms and Dads – parents whose children were killed by illegal immigrants? The deaths of at least some of these children might have been prevented if we had true border security, no sanctuary jurisdictions, and enough Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents to actually enforce the law in a meaningful way. Will you invite these parents to the White House if you are elected and explain to them why you support releasing illegal immigrants who are criminals back into U.S. communities where they might commit more murders, so more parents lose their children?

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Do you think your promises of free health care, free college tuition, decriminalizing entering the country illegally, abolishing ICE, your support of sanctuary cities, your desire to shut down all ICE detention facilities, and rewarding those who illegally enter our country with a pathway to citizenship will bring more or less illegal immigration to our country?

Do you think allowing more illegal immigrants into the U.S. will result in criminal cartels getting richer, more women being raped, and more children dying? An estimated 31 percent of all women who enter the U.S. illegally are sexually assaulted along the way and some children have died. What would you about this horrific problem?

And finally, do you think if Congress would have closed the loopholes that caused the unprecedented border surge of illegal immigration two years ago that this all could have been prevented? If Congress would have done this, there would have been no need for President Trump to declare a national emergency, no need for zero tolerance, and no need for increased family detention. Just think for a moment on how many women would not have been sexually assaulted, how many children might have been saved and how much less powerful the criminal cartels would be today.

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If members of Congress did their job to secure our border and support this president on border security, we could have the safest, most secure border we have ever had. And since some of you are members of Congress, is this partly your failure?

I don’t expect the media to ask all these questions at any debate. Many journalists have bought into the myth that any enforcement of our immigration laws is evil. But these are important questions that voters should think about before casting their ballots for president in November.

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