The PJ Tatler

Why Not Set Up Refugee Kiosks in Honduras? Can We Consider Any Idea from Obama, McCain?

A plan to evaluate refugee status for Hondurans in Honduras currently makes the rounds in D.C. — apparently backed by some in the Obama administration, it resembles a recent bill from Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona. The idea is to protect people, especially youth and children, from a dangerous trek across coyote-infested lands.

No one knows the details of this plan to set up, in effect, refugee immigration kiosks in Honduras, and the White House says no decision has been made, but already there’s pushback. This raises the question: Do Republicans, conservatives and libertarians need to shoot it down immediately because…

1) It might increase immigration from Honduras, and

2) might spread to other countries, and/or

2) it’s backed by McCain and Obama?

After all, we’re talking about facilitating legal immigration, and this might keep potential immigrants from piling up in U.S. border towns, jeopardizing public health and straining social services.

Regardless of the eventual shape of this plan, it’s time for folks on the Right to take the moral high ground on immigration. Oddly enough, if we’re serious about that, we’ll find that the issue isn’t immigration at all.

I know that even in whispering this, I may run afoul of my friends who think that it is the tide of immigrants — some unwilling to assimilate — that’s destroying our country. They’re stealing American jobs, or bearing contagions, including radical Islam. Seal the border.

Before our knees jerk in opposition to the latest proposal, we need to ask: Will the tide stop anytime soon under any plan which can actually pass Congress, and be implemented efficaciously?

No. The tide will stop when America stops being the beacon of liberty. I contend that one who wishes to stem the tide of immigration, inadvertently wishes American demise.

The New Colossus, by Emma Lazarus

The challenge with so-called “unchecked immigration” is not that it floods our markets with cheap labor. After all, most of us would have no objection to flooding our markets with cheap smartphones, cheap air travel or cheap cable TV. (Ok, that last one exceeds imagination.)

It wonders me (as my Pa. Dutch ancestors would say) that some of the boldest free-marketeers can sound like collectivist, command-and-control central planners when it comes to the labor market. “Laissez-faire, but protect my industry,” they seem to say. We pay lip service to a nation built by immigrants, who have “borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day,” but then we talk as if they pose a threat to our GDP, rather than offer a boost.

The same addled thinking infected the healthcare-reform debate several years ago.

Recall the Obamacare advocates who spoke of the expense side of the ledger — as if the entire healthcare industry were a net drag on the economy — but ignored the revenue column, both in monetary and employment terms, as well as in relief of human suffering.

Immigrants can drain resources from government coffers, for sure, but that’s our fault for continuing to abide the undiscerning welfare state — a virtual monopoly that supplanted the bustling private charity market at the behest of craven progressives and the liberal churches.

How many people are accepted is critical, because refugees qualify for public assistance upon arrival in the United States.

The New York Times, U.S. Considering Refugee Status for Hondurans

As in so much else, we have allowed the Left to shift the conversation. We don’t have an immigration problem. We have a welfare-state problem. And in the welfare state, the main offense is not the expense but the indignity of human bondage — freemen shackled with chains of Orwellian “entitlement.”

When we hand out tax-funded “welfare benefits” to new immigrants we undercut the very message of America. That first government handout says, “Welcome to the land where an all-powerful State can take your property, at gunpoint or under threat of imprisonment, and give it to another man who did not labor for it.”

In addition, it tells the newcomer that in America, we don’t care for each other in personal ways through voluntary charity in family and community. We outsource love to remote-control bureaucrats who compel us to fund faux charity.

Only a sadistic monster, or a Leftist (forgive the redundancy), would want to subject another human to such indignity.

Nevertheless, most immigrants just want a place where they can work and secure property, free from the lawless predations of thugs, both within and outside of government. Properly welcomed, immigrants are natural allies of the Right.

In fact, it might not hurt to have a few more people around the neighborhood who understand the endgame of the rapacious State, because they recently fled one. They’re ideal new recruits for “the common sense resistance” to U.S. government predation.

Of course, good Republicans will say, “We don’t oppose immigrants, we support the law. Come here legally, and you’re welcome.”

So, then, what’s the objection to setting up a process, under law, so that potential immigrants don’t have to put themselves  “in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits…in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea” (to paraphrase the apostle Paul).

Resistance to making the immigration system more customer-friendly makes no sense within the context of Republican, conservative or libertarian philosophies. Neither do quotas.

How can we, who bask in hard-won prosperity on this God-kissed island of liberty, slam the “golden door” in the face of another drawn here by that torch “whose flame is the imprisoned lightning“?

Is Lady Liberty a tease, with a come-hither glance, but with whom you have no chance?

Even in our protestations that we back “legal immigration,” we suffer cognitive dissonance.

Our principles call for smaller government. We lament the hassle and expense of the mindless federal bureaucracy in other realms. Yet when it comes to immigration, we demand that people suffer the endless imposition, the timeless delay, the irrational expense and the petty tyranny of a bloated federal nightmare.

It’s as if we say: “If you want to join our fraternity, you have to endure our humiliating pledge process, and absurd initiation rite. Only then can you be assimilated into the brotherhood of the denigrated.”

Our welcome at the “golden door” seems designed to teach the prospective citizen that the government is all-powerful, and that you live and move and have your being, only with her permission.

Free markets, smaller Constitutional government, voluntary charity, the pursuit of happiness and love for our fellow humans provide the guide to creating a enthusiastic welcome for the tired, poor, homeless and tempest-tost huddled masses yearning to breathe free.

It’s about time that we stood for what we stand for.