A Shining City upon a Hill, Besieged
Undoubtedly, one of the most crucial topics of American political discourse of the last decades is immigration policy. The last couple of election cycles were no exception. It has been one of the key issues raised during the 2016 presidential campaign, 2018 midterm elections, and now. With America heading into the 2020 presidential campaign, it remains a sticking point of the debate.
America, for numerous reasons, remains the most attractive immigration destination in the world. According to the Gallup poll, nearly 150 million people — or 4% of the world's adult population — would move to the U.S. if they could. That figure is larger than the next four most popular destinations combined. If everyone who wanted to move to the U.S. had his way, the country's total population would increase by almost 50%. The debate got dramatically heated up by the late 2018 border crisis, when Central American migrant caravans threatened to storm the American southern border.
As important as it is, it is also the most censored and hard-to-discuss issue, for it is nearly impossible to explicitly call things for what they are without being dubbed a racist, a fascist, or a white supremacist. God forbid citing the stone-cold data demonstrating that there are prosperous and poor, economically free and unfree, developed and undeveloped countries. Obviously (or is it not?), people in not-so-well-doing countries are striving to make it to the well-to-do ones — you will be labeled, shamed and smeared as a bigot and therefore excluded from a discussion. At the same time, without an objective evaluation of the given situation, we risk the life of our nation, with no exaggeration.
In contrast to President Trump, AKA the "biggest racist" who "tears families apart," all Democratic candidates unanimously support the idea of open borders. They may occasionally and rather vaguely refer to the importance of "border security," but, in fact, nobody of them truly endorses it, let alone is willing to fight for it.
Meticulous examination of the programs of the Democratic frontrunners reveals not a single policy proposal that would prevent any illegal entries to the U.S. Instead, they prefer generalized banalities like pointing out the need of addressing "the root causes of migration," as Joe Biden does. How, exactly, he plans to do that is not clarified — whether by pouring billions of dollars into the poor countries so their citizens would not want to depart from them (results may vary due to the level of corruption) or turning America into a destination anyone would like to go to. Perhaps those approaches are easily combined.
Similar to Biden, Elizabeth Warren calls for an "immigration system that works, that focuses on where the problems are." Surely, Ms. Warren does not admit that the problems are caused by the uncontrolled immigration, from the peaking crime and disease rates to the heavy burden on local and federal budgets that allow illegals to soak up the welfare benefits. It came as no surprise that all Democratic presidential wannabes root for a further support that would include medical coverage for "undocumented" "immigrants," as reflected in the first Democratic presidential primary debate.
Then, there is Kamala Harris, who compares U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement — an agency principally responsible for immigration enforcement, with additional responsibilities in countering transnational crime — to the Ku Klux Klan. How is she to stop an influx of the illegals?
Last but not least, America's most prominent socialist, Bernie Sanders, does not even nod to some "border security" cliché and urges to "develop a humane policy for those seeking asylum," practically eliminating the deportation and detention of illegal aliens altogether by "dismantling cruel and inhumane deportation programs and detention centers." In other words, everyone is welcome.
Being a legal immigrant from one of the emergent Eastern European countries, I am often asked how I can be against a liberal immigration policy. No kidding — I even was told once that "Trump hates you [immigrants]," at which I fired back: "Yeah, I hate the illegal ones as well." With the stubbornness of a mule, left-wingers keep failing to recognize an essential difference between the immigrants and the illegal aliens. They do not distinguish between those newcomers who undergo the lengthy and quiet complicated legal procedure of becoming a part of the American society and those who jump over the fence to take advantage of the generous social provisions.
The liberal arguments requiring us "being kind to each other" or that "love knows no boundaries" or that self-defense policies restricting inflow of refugees and illegal aliens are "immoral," as pretty as they sound, are purely emotional. Is it "kind" to allow criminals to cross the border and smuggle drugs that will be sold to American children? Is it "moral" to let illegals in to be nurtured with health care coverage, schooling, and housing subsidized by American taxpayers? Is there much "love" for the victims of murders and rapes committed by those who should not have been here in the first place? "But not all of them are criminals," the leftists reply, dismissing the very fact that crossing the border, bypassing the legal procedure, already makes them criminal.
So why is it so important to develop and consistently implement a sound immigration policy? Leftists like to remind us, pitiful deplorables, that America is a country of immigrants, as if it gives them carte blanche to eliminate national borders and admit everyone and anyone. America, as we know her today, has been built by immigrants, and it used to be a proverbial melting pot, when elements of the different cultures melted together around the cornerstone values of the Pilgrim/Puritan communities of America's first colonies. Their "Protestant ethics and a spirit of capitalism," as German philosopher and economist Max Weber brilliantly described as a fundamental idea of the modern Western civilization, built the most productive and largest economy in the world. This is the sole reason why she is so attractive. This is precisely why she needs to be guarded. We need to honestly admit that the excessive immigration without proper and meaningful integration of the newcomers — which requires a working proficiency in a local language, basic obedience to the law, and a resolution to become a productive part of society — is doomed to fail and inevitably results in a social fragmentation, where minorities get alienated and citizens grow resentful. Old-world Europe — including rich Scandinavian countries, Germany, and France, which the leftists so enthusiastically praise — has given us extensive empirical evidence of that. Let us not follow their road and keep putting Americans first in our own country.