Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 21, 2018
A sovereign nation, being just that, has the right, nay, the responsibility to protect its citizenry, its borders, its language, its culture, its history, and most assuredly, its future.
President Donald Trump understands this. “As you know, I am willing to send our military to defend our southern border; all because of the illegal immigration onslaught brought on by the Democrats because they refuse to change the laws,” said Trump in these words and similar statements for days since the caravan-army of people from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has begun its march to the United States.
Now, before all the liberal progressives get all weepy-eyed over the prospect of mothers and children separated from one another, consider the following. No one is forcing these people to take such a life-threatening trek through Central America. They, for the most part, are admitting taking this trek for economic opportunities and not the religious persecution that beset the Jews of Europe during World War II, who were summarily refused entry during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt. (They were sent back to Europe to be slaughtered in the concentration camps by the Nazis.) Also, look carefully - the majority of these invaders - and that’s what they are - people attempting to gain access to the United States without permission - are able bodied males ages 18-30. These are the people who should be at home attempting to make their native land a better place for their own people.
Are there problems in the aforementioned Central American countries? Yes, there are, and it is the responsibility of their people to fix those problems, just as Americans attempt to fix the problems faced at home in the United States. It’s one thing to be empathetic and even have compassion for these folks, but the United States simply cannot house seven-plus billion people from around the globe.
Should the United States admit the millions of suffering Venezuelans? (By the way, all you supporters of socialism, live in that country before declaring your support for such a way of life.) How about the North Koreans? Angolans? Cubans? Chinese? Sudanese? Iranians? Saudis? How about we fix the plight of the AMERICAN Indians first. I’m an American patriot, but face facts, this country sure did a number on the First Americans.
If life is so horrible for the people in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, why are so many of this invading caravan carrying flags of their native countries? If they have Guatemalan pride, great - stay there and make Guatemala a nation of which to be proud. People so desperate to sneak into the United States at the cost of being sent back, contained in a holding cell, denied companionship with their children, must really want to become Americans. But do they? Consider the wide range of demands these criminal invaders make upon slithering across the border - free medical coverage, free education, food stamps, demands of Americans to speak their language - mostly Spanish, even driver’s licences. Also consider that among the invaders no doubt include members of the vicious gang of animals, MS-13. Yet another reason ICE must remain the vital agency it is.
This invasion is nothing new - there are more than 20 million illegal aliens in the United States - don’t believe the government that is willing to admit there are around 12 million. The amnesty granted during the Reagan administration was a colossal failure - three million during the 1980s, and that did not stem the tide as the carrot was granted but the stick never came. It seems the United States has still, three decades and millions of illegals later, not learned its lesson.
The illegals today are so brazen as to announce they are here illegally, knowing there is little punishment that will befall them. They take seats in American public schools, beds in American hospitals, jobs in American restaurants, food stamps meant for struggling American citizens, with little desire to learn English, or follow the rule of law. Where is the demand for proof of legal residency or citizenship when applying for benefits or jobs? President Trump is mostly correct when blaming the Democrats. The Democrats want instant citizenship and voting rights bestowed upon these illegals as if that is some right they have. No, they have no rights - they are criminals simply by stepping on to American soil. The Republicans are complicit as well as they see illegals as a source of cheap labor benefiting businesses in the United States.
As for complicity, that large independent sovereign nation sandwiched between the United States and Central America is most definitely complicit - yes, Mexico. Just dealing with this current caravan of invaders, why Mexico isn’t forcing them back south of their own border is disconcerting. Perhaps the weaker the United States becomes, will make it even easier for Mexico to complete their own invasion of this country, and this is not hyperbole. Does anyone think that the illegals swarming the southern border are the best and brightest Mexico has to offer?
Consider the Mariel Boatlift invasion of Cubans in 1980 - many incarcerated until Fidel Castro opened prison gates - thousands of whom willing to risk their lives traversing the 90-some miles from Cuba to Florida. In less than half a year roughly 125,000 Cubans managed to reach shore. If they could reach land, they could seek asylum, if not, they could be sent back. Once again, were these the best and brightest Castro willingly released?
A merit-based system must be employed, just as is done in Canada. That’s right - Canada - that nation the Hollywood progressives vow to move to after every election, but never actually do. Perhaps they attempted to do so, but Canada is smart enough to realize those Holly-weird-os don’t merit the approval.
As a sovereign nation, the United States has the right to determine who gains access to American soil and the American way of life. Those who have something to contribute to American culture and society and make America better today than it was yesterday. This migrant caravan has no right to gain entry into the United States - they are literally attempting to invade the United States. If they wish to become American so badly, there is a right and legal manner in which to do so. My maternal great-grandparents did so from Austria-Hungary. My paternal grandparents did so from Austria and Russia. My mother-in-law did so from Peru - and I was witness to her swearing-in ceremony at the courthouse in Indianapolis when she was given a special American flag - a flag she displays with pride. She couldn’t wait to vote - she was for Trump before I was for Trump. (By the way, Hillary, this man did not tell his wife and mother-in-law how to vote!)
Yes, the military most assuredly must be deployed to the border post haste. Closer investigations must be made as to the children crossing the border - human trafficking and sex trafficking is increasing as many people are crossing claiming the children to be theirs when, sadly, they are pawns to gain access to the United States then trafficked for a price. This criminal enterprise must be stopped, and denying access into the United States is one way to accomplish this. Disincentivizing these people is a start - ensure they are allowed nothing for being in the United States illegally. It may sound callous and heartless, but as a sovereign nation, it is the right of the United States to determine who is and who is not allowed entrance.
Deny financial aid to the countries complicit in this and future invasions. Congress must be called into emergency session to amend laws that require allowing so-called refugees into the country and granted a hearing in the courts. The courts are so backlogged with these cases it will be years before they are adjudicated. In the meanwhile, what is the policy? The failed catch and release. More than 90 percent of those with court dates fail to show up for their hearings. If that doesn’t indicate a failed system, then clearly math is not their strong subject, but that’s an issue for another column.
The immigration laws in the United States are so antiquated, their failings date back to the ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1868. Section 1 avers “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”
The purpose of Section 1 of the 14th Amendment was to confirm citizenship on freed blacks having suffered and endured the degradation of slavery. Today, that section of that amendment has been bastardized to suggest that lawbreakers have rights. The children of illegals are being granted citizenship by the very nature of having been born on American soil. Like fruit of the poisonous tree, when ill-gotten evidence is denied entry into a court trial, so too should the acts of illegals be denied when considering the citizenship of their children. The 14th Amendment must itself be amended.
Additionally, the military - all branches, should be deployed to the southern border to repel those seeking illegal entry into the United States. For those who believe such people have a legal right to invade our borders, how many would you like to house, employ, and financially support on your own - and not on the backs of the taxpayers?
An interesting irony comes to mind - The Ugly American - a novel published in 1958 by William Lederer (1912-2009), a US Naval Academy graduate. Spoiler alert: the book details failed American diplomacy in Southeast Asia. (Still worth the read.) In The Ugly American the Asians wanted to be left alone and not told how to live by the so-called all-knowing Americans who thought they knew what was best for these folks they deemed inferior because they lacked the desire to live as Americans. The irony is that in 2018, for the most part, the people fleeing from their downtrodden nations, to use a word Trump could have used instead of his chosen verbiage, want the American way of life and if they adopted it at home, their nations could improve. After all, a rising tide lifts all boats.
However, the despotic nature of these Central American and quite a few South American nations, precludes improvement save for violent overthrow of these so-called governments. While the United States cannot provide for the world, nor should it, if asked by people seeking to improve their lots in life in their own countries, there are enough people in the United States willing to see progress made overseas and lift those boats.
The Peace Corps, established in 1961 under the John F. Kennedy administration had three goals: “to help the peoples of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served, and to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.” Perhaps the Peace Corps with some extended muscle could help provide the wanting nations of the world their American dream at home - their El Salvadorian dream, Guatemalan dream, their Honduran dream, their Mexican dream - instead of invading the United States giving everyone a graven nightmare.
Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.