President Trump acted boldly and decisively Thursday when he threatened to send troops to close our southern border and cut off payments to Mexico and Central American countries if Mexico fails to halt a caravan of about 4,000 Hondurans headed for the U.S.
The president dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with government officials in Panama on Thursday and Mexico on Friday to discuss border security. Hopefully, the president’s threat will convince our neighbors to the south that he is serious about dealing effectively with this vital issue.
President Trump understands that he must act to deter additional waves of illegal immigrants from entering the U.S., putting themselves at risk and violating our immigration laws with impunity. If illegal immigrants believe they can enter the U.S. at will, many more may choose to come here in violation of our laws.
The president tweeted Thursday morning: “....The assault on our country at our Southern Border, including the Criminal elements and DRUGS pouring in, is far more important to me, as President, than Trade or the USMCA. Hopefully Mexico will stop this onslaught at their Northern Border. All Democrats fault for weak laws!”
USMCA is the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement for free trade between the three nations that is awaiting ratification as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
President Trump added in another tweet: “...In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught - and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..”
Halting the flow of illegal immigration ought to be a bipartisan issue, because Congress and the president are obligated to enforce our immigration laws.
If Democrats in the House and Senate believe immigration laws need to be changed they should work with Republican colleagues and the president to try to do so. But ignoring existing law by turning a blind eye to the flow of illegal immigrants is irresponsible.
Unfortunately, many Democrats see immigration as a political issue they can use to gain votes in the Nov. 6 midterm elections rather than a public policy issue requiring legislative compromise solutions.
One of these Democrats is House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who inexplicably attacked President Trump in personal terms Tuesday for his effort to gain funding for his proposed border wall that would reduce the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into our country.
“It happens to be like a manhood issue for the president, building a wall,” Pelosi said, “and I’m not interested in that.”
Pelosi tried to soften her stance by giving general support for strengthening America’s border but it was far too late. The political damage was done.
With less than three weeks before the midterm elections, Pelosi fell into a political trap of her own making. Her inflammatory remarks are a stark reminder to voters of how she and the Democratic Party are utterly disconnected from the state of America’s immigration system and how we ought to fix it.
When Democrats speak about immigration, the emphasis is almost always on how immigrants in past years have contributed to our current greatness.
No reasonable person would disagree with these great contributions, of course. But that’s not the question before us. Rather, we must ask whether yesterday’s policies of the open embrace of immigrants will lead to the same kinds of success tomorrow.
The answer – no matter how politically incorrect – is decidedly and unquestionably “no.” To understand why, we must look to the roughly 4,000 people who are at this writing heading towards our border with Mexico.
These people are part of a decades-long wave of migrants from Central and South America. Most are destitute, hoping to find safety and economic security in our country.
Their numbers were once staggering, with 1.6 million illegal immigrants arriving at our border annually back in 2000. Since 2010, that number has decreased to below 500,000 a year.
Still, none of these travelers followed American law to get here. If they had, they would have spent months in dialogue with their local American embassy or consulate officials to process the appropriate paperwork.
So why don’t they follow the rules? Some are unquestionably criminals. Mexican drug cartels, for instance, make tens of billions of dollars each year in the illicit drug trade. They frequently use children as drug mules to ferry their dangerous cargo across the border and onto America’s streets.
But many other immigrants skip our embassies and consulates because they know they’ll never be granted legal status. The reason is clear: they lack the skills, education and financial stability that would make them attractive additions to the American family.
But still they come. And when they enter our country, studies show that most end up as a net drain on the American economy and government. Indeed, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine state unequivocally that “first-generation immigrants are more costly to governments than are the native-born.”
Moreover, the vast majority of these illegal immigrants lack a basic ability to speak English. Indeed, the government puts the figure who can speak English at less than 20 percent.
It’s no wonder, then, that these workers tend to stay in low-paying jobs. Of the top 10 jobs held by immigrants (both legal and illegal), none earn more than $20 an hour and most are well below $15.
More troubling, there’s good data that suggest these jobs pay so poorly because wave after wave of illegal immigrants keep flocking to them, thereby depressing wages from an oversupply of labor. That, in turn, hurts not just other immigrants but native-born Americans – particularly those without high school diplomas.
As politically combustible as these facts may be, they are but a sliver of the great upheaval to come. In late 2016, the Obama administration published an alarming study that showed upwards of 47 percent of American jobs might be eliminated due to the technological advances in robotics, automation and machine learning.
The most vulnerable jobs? Those filled by workers with lower pay, lower skills and less education. In fact, President Obama warned that any American making less than $20 an hour – the average wage for U.S. factory workers – would likely be “automated into obsolescence.”
None of these facts are controversial, or at least they shouldn’t be. They’re simply a reflection of common sense backed by good science and rigorous study. And up until 2008, they rightfully formed the backbone of the Democratic Party’s policies on immigration.
“We cannot continue to allow people to enter the United States undetected, undocumented, and unchecked,” the Democratic Party platform read 10 years ago. “Those who enter our country’s borders illegally, and those who employ them, disrespect the rule of the law.”
Alas, that Democratic wisdom is dead and gone. In its place is a cabal of immigration activists who believe America should instead embrace sanctuary cities, open borders and abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). Why? They view deporting illegal immigrants of any kind and for any reason an act of “ethnic cleansing.”
And so America watches as the progressive mob takes over a once proud Democratic Party. Sadly, we should expect more talk of Trump’s “manhood” instead of securing the border and a careful tightening of America’s immigration policies.
If Democrats lose in November, the progressive fever may break and a semblance of normalcy might return.
But don’t hold your breath. It’s awfully difficult to put out a brush fire in a party filled with arsonists.