Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Legal Immigration: Myth Buster

Oh, there have been so many myths about immigration tossed around lately it's almost enough to make me puke. In this post I will allay many of them.

1.  Conservative Republicans are anti-immigrant.  False.  What we are opposed to is illegal immigration. We believe it is important to follow the rule of law. Crossing the border legally is following the rule of law.  Crossing the border illegally is not following the rule of law.  Letting illegal immigrants stay in this country, and receive entitlements paid for by citizens and meant to be for citizens is not following the rule of law.  Providing amnesty (official pardons) to those who came into our country illegally is not following the rule of law. If you do not follow the rule of law, what you have in anarchy.

2.  Putting a moratorium on legal immigration during times of war is unconstitutional.  False.  Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslim immigrants into the U.S., and the republican establishment, democrats, and the media just about went crazy. They called Trumps idea anywhere from "controversial," "racist," "un-American," "un-constitutional," "fascist," and simply "crazy."  None of these are true.  Pat Buchanan answers this call best in his column "Establishment Unhinged." He wrote:
The Constitution protects freedom of religion for U.S. citizens. But citizens of foreign lands have no constitutional right to migrate. And federal law gives a president broad powers in deciding who comes and who does not, especially in wartime. In 1924, Congress restricted immigration from Asia, reduced the numbers coming from southern and Central Europe, and produced a 40-year moratorium on most immigration into the United States. Its authors and President Coolidge wanted ours to remain a nation whose primary religious and ethnic ties were to Europe, not Africa or Asia. Under FDR, Truman and JFK, this was the law of the land. Did this represent 40 years of fascism?
2.  Closing our borders is un-American. False. Calvin Coolidge signed a law in 1924 closing our borders to immigrants. This was done because there was a massive influx of immigration, and coming in among these immigrants were anarchist terrorists. Perhaps the best example came on September 14, 1901, in Buffalo, New York, when William McKinley was assassinated by Leon Czolgosz (which ironically gave us our first progressive president). Czolgosz was an anarchist terrorist who had immigrated from Europe. Between then and 1924 there were various bombings committed by anarchists from Europe within our borders. Names of other socialist-anarchist-terrorists from Europe were Ferdinando Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzett. They were both tried, convicted, and executed for acts of domestic terrorism. In order to curb the trend, Congress and President Coolidge decided to close the borders in 1924. They stayed closed until Lyndon signed a bill reopening them in 1965. (For the record, progressives at the time claimed that Sacco and Vanzett were wrongly accused.)

3.  Illegal immigration is not an economics issue, as republicans say.  False.  Immigration, whether legal or illegal, IS an economics issue.  Immigrants have an impact on American supply and demand for jobs.  As the supply of workers for a specific job increases, the wages employers need to pay decreases. So not only are illegal immigrants taking jobs that Americans are willing to do, they are driving down the wages and salaries these jobs pay, thus rendering them about useless for Americans seeking employment. This in turn drives up the unemployment rates.  The total unemployment in the U.S. right now is about 40 percent if you include those seeking work and those who have given up. This is much higher than the 25 percent unemployment rate of 1933.  Of course those no longer seeking work are not seen in soup lines, and that's because they are living off welfare programs. So, as you can see, illegal immigration is too an economic issue.  It is for this reason it is important to secure the border and enforce immigration laws already on the books.

4.  It is bigoted, racist, and un-American to close our borders.  False.  As noted above, it has been done before to defend and protect the American people. The number one role of government is to provide for the security of the American people. If people live in fear of leaving their homes, they will stay in their homes and stop spending money.  If this happens, the economy will tank.  This is one of the reasons Coolidge signed a bill closing the borders in 1924. It is absolutely not un-American to do what is needed to protect and defend the American people.

5.  A religious test for refugees goes against everything America stands for. False. As a matter of fact, it is statutory (required by law) and we have always screened for religion. We have to. The reason is because, when refugees say they are fleeing their country due to religious persecution, we have to ask them what religion they are. They have to tell us, because that's the only way we can validate their story. We can prove that there is, say, religious persecution going on in Syria. What we cannot prove is that every person claiming to be fleeing Syria due to religious persecution is telling the truth. So we have to verify their stories. In order to do this, we have to ask them their religion. It is the law. We also need to make sure they are actually refugees, and not members of some terrorist organization. This is common sense. The people who say we cannot ask immigrants where they are from or what religion they practice are the ones who are not well informed. 

 6.  It is not compassionate to close our borders. False. It's compassionate to help out refugees, and it's compassionate to keep our borders open to legal immigration to allow aliens an opportunity to experience American Exceptionalism.  What is often not considered here is compassion for American men and women who can't find a decent paying job because illegal immigrants are flooding the market and driving down wages. What is often not considered here is compassion for citizens and their families who are victims of crimes committed by illegal aliens. What is often not considered here is compassion for tax payers who are forced to pay for entitlement programs meant to help Americans hard on their luck only to see this money going to support immigrants here illegally. What is often not considered here is compassion for the immigrants who take the legal path to citizenship only to see those who came here illegally shown more compassion. What is often not considered here is compassion for Americans who don't feel safe and secure. What is often not considered is compassion for traditional Americans who feel they are strangers in their own country

7.  We cannot let one group in at the expense of another. False. We can and we have done so in the past. You do not let people into your country who pose a threat. For instance, if we are at war with the people of one country, you don't let people from that country into our country. As a matter of fact, FDR closed the borders to Japanese, German, and Italian aliens. While he has allowed Syrian Refugees into America, TheHill.com reported in January of 2015 that Obama refused to allow Christian Refugees into this country.  While he plans to allow 10,000 Syrian Refugees into this country over the next  year, there are no Christian Refugees that will be allowed in.  Let me add to this. Passed by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Democrat President, was The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (number eight US Code 1182, inadmissible aliens).  It reads:
"Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by president. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, the president may, by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate."
The law was first used in 1979 by Democrat President Jimmy Carter.  He used the law to prevent Iranians from entering the United States during the Hostage Crisis.  He also made Iranian students already here check in, and if they did not have appropriate papers he deported them.  And this was not done in secret either, as Carter announced to the world he was doing this on national television.

The very first US immigration law was the Chinese Exclusionary Act of 1882. Then there was the Anarchist Exclusion Act of 1903. So it is not un-American, nor racist, nor irrational, to prevent a group of people who might pose a threat to national security from entering our country.  As a matter of fact, it's the smart thing to do.

8.  We can properly vet refugees.  False. How can we do this when we can't even find illegal immigrants in our own country. How can we do that when we don't even know who is coming into our country illegally.  How can we do that if, as democrats say, we cannot ask them what their religion is.  How do we know they are really religious or political refugees if we cannot ask them where they are from and what religion they are? The answer is you can't. There is no database listing who is a refugee, so you have to ask them where they are from and what religion they practice.  In fact, as noted above, it's statutory. 

Conclusion.  The truth is, we have been at war with Muslim extremists since the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and every president since has downplayed the issue. Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all avoided the issue of immigration. They have down played it out of fear that they might be seen as no compassionate or racist or bigoted.  The result is a border that is so porous we have no idea who is crossing it. The practice of continuing to allow porous borders is suicide.  It would be like living in an impoverished neighborhood with a high rate of gang violence and keeping your doors unlocked and windows open.  Why would we continue to let people into our country at such a dangerous time as this?