Saturday, August 24, 2019
Some Thoughts on Illegal Immigration and What We Can Do to Stop It
Many wanted to escape the stifling economic conditions which condemned an individual to whatever their economic and social class status happened to be with little hope for improvement (the only ones whose financial status seemed to improved was those who were already wealthy and have the political, social, religious, and financial connections). The "New World" as it was called offered an opportunity to start over for those willing to work...work hard...and suffer the incredible hardships it took.
Along the same lines, others came to this country to escape their past, whatever that was. Some were convicted criminals; felons or those convicted of minor crimes such as theft (especially of food to feed themselves or their family) or in some cases, prostitution or similar crimes . There were those trying to escape crushing debt or other obligations typically forced on them by the social circumstances.
There were many who willingly sold themselves...or their children... into a form of limited slavery called indentured servitude. There were those of financial means more than willing to take advantage of the poverty of others to work long hours, seven days a week over years on end in exchange for payment of the passage to this New World and the promise of some reward at the end of their service; often a piece of land and/or some form of payment. However, the trip, working conditions, and lack of health care was often so arduous that many died long before the tenure ended.
As an aside, occasionally these individuals would find their servitude altered. Instead of, for instance, working seven years, their owner would work them eight or nine years without them knowing. It also occurred that individuals and their families were actually enslaved (as happened to some of my ancestors who came from Germany to avoid religious persecution. They intended to settle in modern Maryland but ended up in Virginia where they, and the community which came with them, were sold).
However, as America it developed, more domestic laws evolved which reflected the ideals of the colonists and less of their imperial masters across the pond. Following the American Revolution, laws were quickly developed which restricted immigration along with establishing the sovereignty of this new nation, including its borders, and why not? Every nation has laws designed to protect its citizens and its sovereignty.
Over the seceding decades and centuries, these laws changed as our boundaries expanded---rightly or wrongly---and the nation set about establishing its own unique national identity. Some of the laws concerning immigration were contradictory; some were outright racist in the legitimate use of the term. For instance, at one point the Chinese were encouraged to come (they were seen as a cheap source of manual labor). Then, their immigration was strictly prohibited. The same was true of the Irish (along with the Scots and Welsh). At other times, while the laws allowed immigration of certain groups, they were ostracized by some of those already here. These "Know-Nothings" aimed their wrath at Germans from the East, Italians, Poles, Jews, Catholics, Russians, among others.
Eventually, they came to be accepted, but not without hardship; often severe, suffered at the hands of those who rejected them. One of the chief reasons for their rejection was the belief that they could never become "true Americans". This helped to inspire as sense of desperation among the new arrivals to become more "American" than the Americans living here.
These immigrants prided themselves on becoming Americans. Many were all to glad to leave their past behind. Those who didn't speak English tried to learn what they could before leaving or on the way over as well as learn as much as they could about their new homeland (small classes were held aboard ship which also helped pass the time). It wasn't uncommon for them to encourage their children to become fluent in English and adapt to their new homeland. A few even went as far as to change their names or religions. They worked hard difficult jobs to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.
There are those who, today, would call President Roosevelt a "racist" for that statement, but then again they would be trying to judge our 26th President by their standard of today. In his day, his remark was the sentiment of just about every American, be they newly arrived or having deep roots in this country. But something began to change. It's hard to pinpoint when or how it occurred. I suspect it was after World War I. Returning troops had been exposed to European traditions and culture, and for many, it was eye opening. It created a real sense of "American Exceptionalism". They had come to believe that that the "American Experiment" as it has been called was truly a success.
At some point, perhaps during the 1950's and 60's. we began trying to impose our values---political and economic---on other nations. We had come to expect that everyone wanted to be just like us, and if not, we had the military and economic might to impose ourselves on whomever and wherever we wanted.
We thought nothing about overthrowing governments who refused to cooperate with us. Worse, we even helped install brutal military juntas or corrupt political dictators in order to ensure their cooperation, not to mention unfettered access to their national resources and assets. We did it in places like Cuba, Paraguay, Argentine, Vietnam, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Panama, Laos, Mexico, Iran, among many---many--- others. Is it any wonder we became known as the "Ugly Americans" to most of the world?
Today, we face an invasion of our own. It comes mainly from the very countries which we helped to destabilized through our "interventions", be it military/CIA or economic. The "pollo" have come home to roost so to speak. The situation had been a slow, but steady increase since the 1950's, however, it wasn't until 1986, when President Ronald Reagan (R-CA) granted amnesty to the estimated 3 million illegal immigrants living in the country, that the surge began in earnest.
Nowadays, the actual number of illegal immigrants living in America is anybody's guess; best estimates put the number at somewhere between 10 and 30 million, and all them are expecting, even demanding, that they too be given amnesty. Even the leaders of various Latin America countries, such as Mexico, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Costa Rica publicly stated that the United States had "no right" to prohibit their entry or to secure our borders, which was amazing given their strict immigration laws.
When the State of Arizona attempted to help enforce current federal immigration laws, President Obama (D-IL) ordered his then Attorney General, Eric Holder, to sue the state for enforcing existing federal immigration laws! To make matters worse, he even allowed Mexico, a sovereign foreign countries, to join in the lawsuit; something no other president had not only never done, but would have never even considered! As an aside, Holder would later be involved in illegally selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels ("Operation Fast and Furious") which resulted in the deaths of US federal and Mexican law enforcement agents as well as civilians, and individuals were still being murdered with these weapons as recently as 2019.
Churches and religious institutions have also been active in promoting the violation of US immigration laws, using their religious status and influence to avoid typically searches and arrests. They've even been involved in actively providing shelter, evading arrest, finding permanent jobs, residence, and how to circumvent laws to obtain taxpayer based services. Even some universities (many the beneficiary of taxpayer dollars) have begun offering reduced tuition rates for illegal immigrants or their children.
However, this all pales to the fact many politicians, especially within the Democratic Party, have openly allowed their towns, cities, and even state to adopt a so-called "sanctuary" status, in clear and flagrant violation of US Federal Law (and even then, demanding more federal money to cover the costs!). Now, we have candidates running for president in the Democrat Primary promising amnesty for all illegal immigrants in this country and even for a open border policy. Can you imagine what that would do to the US economy (and especially US taxpayers)? At present, illegal immigrants already cost taxpayers approximately $130 billion dollars annually. I don't know about you, but I can't afford any more tax or rate increases!
Meanwhile, we debate about building a wall or the cost of the wall, or how humane the presence of a wall would be, or for that matter, whether enforcing our immigration or sovereignty laws, just like every other country on the planet, are. Perhaps another factor we overlook is that these individuals aren't coming here to become Americans; to adopt to our laws, language, or values.
Few, if any, are coming here because of political or religious persecution, at least according to the US State Department and Homeland Security. They are coming here solely for economic reasons ("economic migrants"), which the United Nations has stated is NOT a legitimate reason to request sanctuary. As an aside, the UN also states that immigrants must move to the next closest stable country, not trek the length of a continent to find a better paying job or to seek any form of sanctuary. I'm sure there are a small few exceptions along the hordes trying to gain entry, and if so, those should be weeded out as soon as possible.
The United States, while no longer the representative Republic we were intended to be (we're a corporate dominated Oligarchy in case you didn't get the memo) is still the country of choice for those seeking freedom and a chance to start over just like our ancestors did. Nevertheless, we are first a nation of laws, and like every other nation, we have not just the right but the duty to enforce those laws, especially when it comes to our sovereignty.
We welcome those who come here with the intent of bettering themselves and through their efforts, bettering this nation. All we ask is that you following the existing channels and laws for entering this country, learn the language of this nation---English--- respect the values and traditions of this country, and obey the laws of the land once here (ie: we are not and will never be a theocracy). This is nothing more or less what any other country would expect and demand. If you can't do that, you need to look elsewhere.
United States involvement in regime change in Latin America
United States involvement in regime change
The 2020 Democratic immigration debate, explained