Democrats getting the politics of the caravan wrong

Thousands of illegal immigrants are streaming through Mexico headed toward our southern border, looking to make a mockery of our immigration laws and all Democrats can do is accuse Republicans of being hateful.

That charge of "racism" and "fearmongering" might play with the Democratic base. But I suspect even many Democratic voters are uneasy at the prospect of thousands of unknown, unvetted refugees, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants being allowed into the US to be released until the government gets through the hundreds of thousands of backlogged cases being heard by overworked immigration judges. Then, good luck if they show up for their court date.

Democrats just can't bring themselves to address what's on voters' minds.

Rich Lowry writing at Politico:

Rather than urging that the media ignore the caravan, Democrats would be better advised to lessen their vulnerability on immigration by not treating concerns over border security as inherently fake or hateful.

How hard would it be to say that this isn’t how people should enter the United States? That it’s an affront to immigrants who have scrupulously followed the rules? That the caravan should disperse and legitimate asylum-seekers try to get protection in Mexico, long before they reach the U.S. border?

Asked about Trump’s tone on the caravan, Senator Kamala Harris made it sound as though it’d be un-American to turn the migrants away: “We are a country that—our strength has always been that we are a tolerant country, that we are welcoming, in particular, to those who have fled harm.” She denounced “vilifying some group for the sake of fear-mongering and politics.”

Another typical response is to tsk-tsk worries about the border by citing a decline in illegal border-crossings since the 2000s. But this misses the point: Our laws and rules have conspired to render the southern border almost null and void for the category of migration that has been growing at the most rapid clip, families and minors from Central America.

What migrants in the caravan understand is that, as members of a family unit from Central America, if they set foot in the United States, they have a good chance of staying (hundreds of migrants from a 1,500-strong caravan earlier this year reportedly made it into the United States). The so-called Flores settlement, an anti-trafficking law affecting minors from noncontiguous countries, and lax asylum policies mean that migrants can surrender to border agents and probably get a bus ticket to somewhere in the interior of the country, pending proceedings for which they may never show up.

What does it mean to support "open borders"? It's more than supporting lax enforcement of our immigration laws and laws governing the status of refugees and asylum seekers. "Open borders" is the fundamental belief that the government has no moral imperative to act as any other sovereign nation on earth and protect itself from unwanted immigrants.

We tend to idolize and lionize immigrants in America, starting with the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. The Emma Lazurus poem, a paean to the millions who fled poverty in Europe to come to the US, is silent on the criminals, revolutionaries, rapists, murderers, and other undesirables who also passed by Lady Liberty on their way to Ellis Island. They, too, were the "wretched refuse" of Europe's overcrowded, filthy, unsanitary cities. Hardly ideal.

This doesn't mean we should halt immigration or turn our backs entirely on those fleeing extreme danger. We should be tolerant, but vigilant as well. This is something Democrats reject as "racist" - as if crime and terrorism were a social problem that white people are responsible for. 

The majority of Americans want our immigration laws enforced - some more vigorously than others. There is sympathy for illegals and a belief that most illegals do no commit crimes. All of this may be true, but that doesn't change the fact that the government has a duty and a sovereign right to protect us by allowing only those to immigrate to the US who do not pose a danger to citizens. It is impossible for government to fulfill that duty and for the US to exercise its soveriegn right of self defense if thousands of people show up at our borders and are allowed in with no guarantee that, if found to be an undesirable, they will ever leave.

Democrats don't understand this which why, politically speaking, the caravan is bad news for Democrats and good news for Republicans. 

Thousands of illegal immigrants are streaming through Mexico headed toward our southern border, looking to make a mockery of our immigration laws and all Democrats can do is accuse Republicans of being hateful.

That charge of "racism" and "fearmongering" might play with the Democratic base. But I suspect even many Democratic voters are uneasy at the prospect of thousands of unknown, unvetted refugees, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants being allowed into the US to be released until the government gets through the hundreds of thousands of backlogged cases being heard by overworked immigration judges. Then, good luck if they show up for their court date.

Democrats just can't bring themselves to address what's on voters' minds.

Rich Lowry writing at Politico:

Rather than urging that the media ignore the caravan, Democrats would be better advised to lessen their vulnerability on immigration by not treating concerns over border security as inherently fake or hateful.

How hard would it be to say that this isn’t how people should enter the United States? That it’s an affront to immigrants who have scrupulously followed the rules? That the caravan should disperse and legitimate asylum-seekers try to get protection in Mexico, long before they reach the U.S. border?

Asked about Trump’s tone on the caravan, Senator Kamala Harris made it sound as though it’d be un-American to turn the migrants away: “We are a country that—our strength has always been that we are a tolerant country, that we are welcoming, in particular, to those who have fled harm.” She denounced “vilifying some group for the sake of fear-mongering and politics.”

Another typical response is to tsk-tsk worries about the border by citing a decline in illegal border-crossings since the 2000s. But this misses the point: Our laws and rules have conspired to render the southern border almost null and void for the category of migration that has been growing at the most rapid clip, families and minors from Central America.

What migrants in the caravan understand is that, as members of a family unit from Central America, if they set foot in the United States, they have a good chance of staying (hundreds of migrants from a 1,500-strong caravan earlier this year reportedly made it into the United States). The so-called Flores settlement, an anti-trafficking law affecting minors from noncontiguous countries, and lax asylum policies mean that migrants can surrender to border agents and probably get a bus ticket to somewhere in the interior of the country, pending proceedings for which they may never show up.

What does it mean to support "open borders"? It's more than supporting lax enforcement of our immigration laws and laws governing the status of refugees and asylum seekers. "Open borders" is the fundamental belief that the government has no moral imperative to act as any other sovereign nation on earth and protect itself from unwanted immigrants.

We tend to idolize and lionize immigrants in America, starting with the inscription on the Statue of Liberty. The Emma Lazurus poem, a paean to the millions who fled poverty in Europe to come to the US, is silent on the criminals, revolutionaries, rapists, murderers, and other undesirables who also passed by Lady Liberty on their way to Ellis Island. They, too, were the "wretched refuse" of Europe's overcrowded, filthy, unsanitary cities. Hardly ideal.

This doesn't mean we should halt immigration or turn our backs entirely on those fleeing extreme danger. We should be tolerant, but vigilant as well. This is something Democrats reject as "racist" - as if crime and terrorism were a social problem that white people are responsible for. 

The majority of Americans want our immigration laws enforced - some more vigorously than others. There is sympathy for illegals and a belief that most illegals do no commit crimes. All of this may be true, but that doesn't change the fact that the government has a duty and a sovereign right to protect us by allowing only those to immigrate to the US who do not pose a danger to citizens. It is impossible for government to fulfill that duty and for the US to exercise its soveriegn right of self defense if thousands of people show up at our borders and are allowed in with no guarantee that, if found to be an undesirable, they will ever leave.

Democrats don't understand this which why, politically speaking, the caravan is bad news for Democrats and good news for Republicans.