Real Leverage on Illegal Immigration

The main reason it is so difficult to deal with illegal immigration is that there is an unwritten but not secret alliance between RINOs who want cheap labor and leftists who want new voters. It is not clear whether either side of that bargain really gets what it wants, but it endures. Meanwhile, conservatives want a secure border and the rule of law. Keeping criminals and drugs out is a high priority and only a wall or other barriers will do, The RINOs and leftists are willing to tolerate the criminals and drugs in return for their other goals.

What do conservatives want? Of course, no list will be agreed to by all but here are the main desired reforms:

  1. Build a border wall or other barriers.
  2. Mandate E-verify.
  3. End chain migration
  4. End the visa lottery.
  5. End “catch and release”.
  6. Tighten rules for asylum seekers and only admit them after they prove their case.
  7. End sanctuary cities, states, or other jurisdictions.
  8. Add citizenship question to 2020 census. Redistrict based on only U.S. citizens.

Liberals want none of the above; they want open borders.

President Trump is dealing with two distinct adversaries. The first is the Democrats, of course. They are truly shameful, showing no empathy for the Americans who are harmed by unsecured borders but demanding special treatment for the illegal invaders.  The only logical explanation is their expectation that these illegals and their children will eventually vote, and those votes will help realize the Democrat dream of one-party dominance for them.  Perhaps more cynical are the RINOs who are willing to risk the future of their country in return for short term cheap labor

There laws on the books which could be invoked to raise the stakes for the progressives and RINOs so high that they would have to back down.  I am speaking first of the laws prohibiting the employment of illegal aliens, aka “undocumented workers”. Second, there are laws prohibiting the harboring of or abetting illegal aliens.

For the most part, these laws are ignored and rarely enforced. Imagine if the president ordered the FBI and DOJ to start strict enforcement of these laws. The place to start, of course, would be in sanctuary cities and states. Imagine the uproar if a few well-chosen companies with progressive management and illegal employees suddenly found themselves facing hefty fines and indicted executives.  Imagine further that a few prominent loudmouths faced similar treatment for harboring or abetting illegals. This would all just be enforcement of existing laws.

No doubt, there would be an outcry against these sudden actions, which would be characterized as “selective” or “political”. Sarah Sanders could then remind the press arm of the Democrat Party that it is merely prosecutorial discretion -- the same lame argument that the left has championed in its witch hunt against our duly elected President.

As I said, I first thought of using this option when President Trump took office, purely as a reaction to sanctuary cities and states. The businesses targeted for hiring illegals should be located in sanctuary geographic locations. That makes sense on many levels.

Start by examining current immigration laws. For some twenty-five years, since the last general amnesty, it has been illegal to employ undocumented workers.  The law is haphazardly enforced except to deny presidential appointments to high profile women with undocumented nannies. On paper, it actually imposes harsh fines and prison for hiring undocumented workers:

Actual Immigration Statute:


Any person or entity which engages in a pattern or practice of violations of subsection (a)(1)(A) or (a)(2) of this section shall be fined not more than $3,000 for each unauthorized alien with respect to whom such a violation occurs, imprisoned for not more than six months for the entire pattern or practice, or both, notwithstanding the provisions of any other Federal law relating to fine levels.

There is a Constitutional mandate to faithfully enforce laws.  Quoting from the Constitution, Article II Section 3:

...he [The President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”

For some reason, no president seems to take this mandate as more than a suggestion. But that is no reason that President Trump must follow suit.

With the dual justification of the statute and the Constitution, it is hard to imagine a successful court challenge to severe enforcement starting with sanctuary jurisdictions. A few well-timed raids should focus both the left and the RINOs on the cost of opposing /immigration reform. Of course nobody knows for sure, but I think public opinion would strongly support tough enforcement.

There is no need to figure out all the nuances of the option just outlined. Many companies would find themselves forced to pay Americans a competitive wage to replace the cheap illegal labor they have been relying on.  I don’t feel sorry for them, but their Democrat and RINO friends in Congress would surely feel their pain. Not only can we get the wall funded, but we can probably end chain migration and the visa lottery too in exchange for returning to the current lax enforcement policies.  For both reasons -- border security and sanctuaries -- the punishment fits the crime.

This is not an entirely new analysis. It is often pointed out that there is an informal alliance of the Left, Chamber of Commerce RINOs, and undocumented workers, up against true conservatives and lower skilled American workers. I particularly commend Lou Dobbs for coming early and often to this party. I don’t pretend to understand all the long term implications of draconian enforcement of current immigration laws. But, by using it more as a threat than as a reality. It might just scare the Democrats into backing down and accepting border security.  Notice that no new precedent would be set, so there is little reason to fear retaliation in the future.

One argument sure to be made is that this might alienate some RINOs from supporting Trump in 2020. I have news for anyone who is worried about that. They didn’t vote for him in 2016 and they won’t in 2020.

It is hard to imagine that any real conservatives would be upset. A fair question is why this same tactic could not be used as leverage in other issues?  I think the American people would see the fairness of it on issues pertaining to immigration, but maybe not so much for, say, health care. Anyway, it is not necessary to address that question now.

There are details to be worked out, but some version of this enforcement tactic would be easy to roll out quickly. Conservatives must realize that we are in the midst of a full out war with the left. If we lose this war, authoritarian socialism will soon be upon us, complete with an end to our precious Constitution. It is no time for half measures nor for summer soldiers and sunshine patriots.  Unite my fellow conservatives. You have nothing to lose but the socialist chains and gallows that await us in progressive America.

Graphic credit: Wikimedia

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