An immigration crisis on our southern border
July 13, 2014
I have a news flash for my friend and fellow columnist Bo Statham: The American people don't trust President Obama to keep his promises, and that's why so many of us oppose his "comprehensive immigration reform" proposal.
Bo wrote a column three days ago headlined "Just bring S. 744 to a vote," urging the Republican-dominated House of Representatives to pass the president's immigration reform plan (S. 744). But as Bo well knows, that's not going to happen with tens of thousands of destitute illegal immigrants, mostly Central American women and children, flowing into the U.S. across our porous southern border with Mexico. That's a real humanitarian and national security crisis which must be addressed immediately, but not by indirectly inviting millions more illegals to come to the Promised Land.
"Mr. Obama's border security program and actions … are stronger than those of any prior president," Bo Statham wrote. Those are obvious White House talking points that bear little resemblance to what's actually happening along our border with Mexico. Just turn on the nightly news to see how secure our border is. Even members of the president's own party are criticizing him for not visiting the border during a recent fund-raising visit to Texas.
Bo takes me to task for writing that President Obama "is pandering to Latino voters, has a wink-and-nod attitude toward border enforcement, and is guilty of selective border enforcement," but I stand by those assertions and add that Obama's Dream Act and kid-glove treatment of illegal children in his 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty are all contributing factors to the current flood of illegals that is overwhelming border states like Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. And further, Obama's "progressive" attorney general, Eric Holder, is always ready to sue states that try to help the Feds control our borders.
Unfortunately, my friend Bo sounds like an illegal immigration advocate when he urges the Feds to go easy on those who violate our immigration laws. A former Democratic congressman from Maryland, Michael Barnes, went even further when he proposed a pie-in-the-sky "Alliance for Progress" that promises Central Americans that we'll solve all of their problems with our tax dollars. Fortunately, that's never going to happen.
On the other hand, Dan Stein, president of the American Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), writes "the United States should use all diplomatic and economic resources at our disposal to . . . . stem the flow of illegal aliens to the U.S. (and) Congress must use its authority to force the president to enforce all immigration laws, not just the ones he likes." I agree with Stein.
I hasten to add, however, the Republicans don't come into this debate with clean hands either. President Reagan's 1986 blanket amnesty was a disaster that attracted millions of illegal immigrants to the U.S., and in 2008 President George W. Bush signed a law that treats illegals arriving from Central America differently than those coming from Mexico. Congress should nullify that law by amending it to require all illegal immigrants — no matter where they come from — be deported as soon as legally possible.
As a former U.S. embassy spokesman in Latin America, I know the best way to stop illegal immigration would be to load up several planes — preferably 747s with bucket seats — with illegal immigrants and fly them to Guatemala City, San Salvador and Tegucigalpa, Honduras with plenty of fanfare and lots of radio and TV coverage. That would send a loud and clear message that illegal immigrants are NOT welcome in the U.S.
Guy W. Farmer, a retired diplomat, writes frequently about immigration issues.