The so-called border crisis doesn’t seem to be getting any better, fewer headlines maybe, but not measurably better. Our own Congressman Tom McClintock did what he could for the cause when he addressed his fellow representatives last week. Using the customary rhetoric and hyperbole about how it’s all the president’s fault, because he wants to give amnesty to everyone, and the people in Central America know it. We need to “secure our border” with whatever it takes because he (the president) has not done that; complete the border fence, call out the army and stop giving away all our hard-earned money to these “illegal immigrants” who are sucking us dry as if they were honored guests instead of criminals “seeking permisso.” (sic). Our representative in Washington concluded his remarks on the floor of the House of Representatives with:
“History is shouting its warning at us: nations that either cannot or will not defend their borders aren’t around very long. Let that not be the legacy of this administration and let it not be the epitaph of the American Republic.”
Belgium and Poland are two examples of the above. Quite obviously, they simply could not or would not defend their borders from Nazi Germany back in the day. Well, frankly neither could or would France, the Netherlands and several Eastern European countries, and look what happened to all of them. Clearly the little brown stormtroopers, thousands now but soon to be tens of millions, will vanquish us as easily as if we were 1939 Poland, Tom seems to be warning us.
They’re taking all our money and basically stealing jobs from deserving American families who are having a hard time because of things like “Obamacare.” (Tom didn’t say that this time, but we know it’s always in the back of his mind.) They’re overloading our hospitals, swamping our public services and schools and you name it, he said.
“The advocates of illegal immigration tell us we need comprehensive immigration reform, but what they really mean is extending some form of amnesty to those now illegally in our country. Yet it is precisely these promises of amnesty that are causing and encouraging the mass migration we now are seeing.” Earlier in his remarks Mr. McClintock said, “Until we fundamentally change that reality, (amnesty and all the free stuff they get) the mass incursion of our borders will continue and our nation’s sovereignty will slowly fade away.”
I’ve never heard anyone, certainly no one with political power, claim the title of “advocate of illegal immigration.” Who can he be talking about? The most liberal people I know are not advocates of illegal immigration. I’m one of them and I’m not an advocate of illegal immigration. Quite the contrary. Any comprehensive immigration reform, however, will have to address the issue of those who are already here as well as those who are on the way or soon will be.
While laying the bulk of blame squarely in the Oval Office, Tom apparently forgot to mention the fact that a significant piece of the current crisis stems from the 2008 law signed by George W. Bush. In short it requires the Border Patrol to treat children differently than adults. Reuben Navarette described it like this in a June 30th column:
“Children in the custody of U.S. immigration officials, some of whom are as young as 5, must be treated compassionately. They have to be placed in decent, temperature-controlled holding rooms with sanitary conditions and adequate toilet facilities, and given sufficient food and prescribed medicine. They’re not prisoners. They’re guests of this country, until an immigration judge says otherwise.”
Navarette also recommends that federal marshals or even National Guard troops be sent to the border to relieve Border Patrol personnel from non-critical duties like fixing their cars or catching up on paperwork which would allow them to get on with the business of treating these kids “compassionately.”
Tom also thinks the National Guard should be sent, in sufficient numbers, to “secure the border” because the president has dropped that particular ball. He doesn’t say how many or for how long or just how the sufficient numbers of soldiers would actually go about securing the border. Nor does he offer a suggested budget for such, but surely it would be like going to war. Think of Israel’s efforts to secure its borders which are a lot shorter than our nearly two thousand miles, and that’s just counting the part from California through Texas.
Unfortunately, Tom’s appeal goes to the lowest common denominator politically, people who are scared, people who are desperate or who think they are desperate or can be manipulated by people like Tom into believing themselves to be victims. These people need something or someone to blame for their miseries, real or perceived, and Tom is right there painting a big red bullseye on his targets. Our representative is on the wrong side of history on this issue and should be ashamed of himself.
Chris Daley is a weekly columnist for the Mountain Democrat.