Has there been a subject lied about more for a longer time than immigration? Perhaps, but not many.
Republicans lie about it. Democrats lie about it until the proverbial cows come home — and then they lie about it some more.
You can start with the term “undocumented immigrants” — a piece of newspeak that would make Orwell blush. The dishonesty all flows from that, as it usually does when the English language is deliberately turned upside down.
There’s no such thing as undocumented immigrants or workers, as it is sometimes written, unless you mean actual U.S. citizens who have lost or had their IDs (Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, passports, etc.) stolen.
The people being referred to — welcome them or not — are “illegal aliens,” full stop, according to the law of the United States of America. If you don’t like that, change the law. Say you’re for open borders. It’s an honorable position, or was, even held by some libertarians at the Wall Street Journal years ago, not that Democrats are keen on being identified with libertarians.
But therein lies one of the Big Lies about immigration: that Democrats, liberals, progressives, whatever they want to call themselves this week, really want secure borders. It’s just the wall that bothers them.
What they want are votes and everyone, including them if they’re faintly honest, knows it.
The pretense is they care about the downtrodden. Give me your tired, your poor and all that. Again: yeah, right.
As one who lived in California for fifty, count ’em, fifty years, I knew scads of liberals — rich and not so rich, myself included — who at one time or another, almost always when they could get away with it, hired illegal aliens at bargain rates that left many real citizens unemployed.
Yes, some of those people — I hope I can include myself — dealt with those illegals well, respecting them, even helping them out at times, but many didn’t. They treated the illegals like coolies. (I could cite here some of the grandees of Hollywood. I saw it. It was frankly nauseating.) The hypocrisy meter is off the charts, but isn’t it always?
Not just African-Americans, but legal Hispanic-Americans (hate those hyphenate terms but I use them) were also hurt by this process. Activists — who tend to be uneducated, especially now — don’t realize it, but Chicano hero Cesar Chavez of United Farm Workers fame actively opposed illegal immigration in favor of those who were lawful citizens or green card holders.
Which leads me to the caravan, coming up now, largely from Honduras.
What are we to make of this? Are they funded by George Soros or his minions? Who knows, but whatever the case, these people are being exploited for political purposes. Their migration does no good for anybody, especially the migrants themselves who will have spent what little savings they have in search of a “better life” only, in most cases, to languish in holding pens for months before being sent home. If they’re lucky, they will slip away during the process to spend the rest of their lives in suspended animation living outside the law — scarcely a happy ending.
Meanwhile, if there are children involved, left-wing politicos and their press lackeys are all too eager to sponsor this tawdry enterprise in order, they hope, to embarrass Donald Trump. But the truth is they — the lefties — are themselves the child abusers, exploiting not just the immigrants but their kids for political gains.
You can just see them salivating, hoping against hope some ICE meany will separate a few children from their parents. Then they can pounce. Better would be if they could get a picture of a desperate kid crying for mama, even if it’s not really his mother or even anybody he’s met. Who knows and who cares?
Beyond this dumb show, and far more important in the long run, allowing the U.S. to be an eternal safety valve for Honduras — and other failed states — is the best way to assure those states remain failed. No one will be left to fix them. (That seems to be happening to Venezuela.)
Rather than providing this safety valve, we have a vested interest in the success of the Hondurases of the world, particularly, for our own good, when they are so close to our Southern border. Otherwise, the process will repeat forever. We’ll have caravans into the twenty-fifth century.
How we accomplish that is another question. It’s certainly not just financial, but requires some kind of cultural reformation as well.
Nevertheless we absolutely must start by finally closing the door as thoroughly as humanly possible on illegal immigration. Among other things, it would save an extraordinary amount of money that could be used for other purposes if this map published in December 2017 by the Washington Examiner is even close to accurate. It puts the cost of illegals at $89 billion nationally, $23 billion for California alone.
At the same time, a Yale study released last month revealed the unsurprising news that there were 22 million “undocumented immigrants” (of course that’s what they called them — it was Yale, after all) in the USA, rather than the 11 million we have been told ad nauseam for years. Who knows if the larger number — slightly more than the population of Florida — is even accurate?
Maybe, just maybe, if we’re extremely lucky, this caravan will backfire sufficiently with the public to be blamed for the Republicans holding the House. In that extraordinarily fortuitous case — it could take divine intervention — Congress should move swiftly on new immigration legislation overdue by decades. Of course, we’re a nation of immigrants — legal ones.
Roger L. Simon — co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media — is an author and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.