Hope and Irony in Our Border Battles
Almost a year before voting starts, we hear descriptions of the upcoming GOP presidential campaign as a “circus.” These depictions are at once trite, unavoidable and archaic, since the circus is now basically extinct. The one big-top element to it all is the dynamic of each candidate barking for attention on the supreme issue among Republican voters: illegal immigration and border security.
There’s President Donald Trump boisterously promising to “Finish the Wall.” Undoubtedly Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will tout his brilliant PR stunt of shipping illegals to sanctuary city Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Even RINO Governors Asa Hutchinson and Larry Hogan surely will hold their noses and pander to some degree to remain viable.
Yet while the performers change every four years, the program is stale, and we know it in advance. The circus, to use the tired metaphor at hand, will entertain us for a time. And then it will close as it seeks our votes for its compensation. We’ll leave the event with nothing changed except the subject. The border will remain open. GOP leaders and others will distract us, as they always do, by pointing towards some other issue that’s a lot less important but equally juicy—such as Hunter Biden’s laptop.
Defeated by the Elites
Let’s be honest and assess where things stand in the battle to secure our border. Patriots have been thoroughly routed. Worse, there’s no real likelihood of immediate improvement regardless of who wins the next elections (and by the way, GOP leaders cynically and constantly use the prospect of the next election as yet another distraction from their current behavior).
A brief overview of recent history tells the tragic story of a nation whose sovereignty has been shredded. For decades the federal government has consciously and callously left our borders essentially undefended. Elites and the institutions they dominate have shot down state efforts to step in and address this crisis. State-level efforts to curb illegal immigration began in earnest in 1994 with California’s passage of Prop 187. Next came ramped-up efforts by other states, led by Arizona, to solve the problem ignored by federal authorities. All of these state-centered efforts were gutted by the courts and sandbagged by the establishment.
Voters next tried electing President Trump in 2016, largely because he was the only GOP candidate to address the issue credibly. His cardinal campaign pledge was to “Build the Wall.” Yet once in office, his administration built almost none of it. This was mostly not his fault because Trump became—uncoincidentally—the victim of a distracting and exhausting political witch hunt which continues still.
How did we lose this most basic fight to determine who can enter our country? And is there any realistic hope of turning things around?
Much of the blame for the current state of affairs rightly goes to policy decisions made decades ago. The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act opened the floodgates, and the passage of the Simpson-Mazzoli Act amnesty in 1986 kept the flood coming. But that’s not really how we lost. Subsequent elections would have fixed the problem if bad politics were the only thing in play.
When “Illegal” Loses Its Meaning
What changed was the culture. That shift was preordained when, decades ago, GOP and conservative leaders surrendered higher education to a militant, anti-American Left without a fight.
Part of this creed learned from academic indoctrination was the premise that the borders to the nation must be flung open, and those who oppose this vision are racist.
When the institutions of higher education that are the gatekeepers for the most wealthy and prosperous among us are handed over to leftist barbarians at war with their own nation and heritage, terrible things are bound to happen. These anti-patriots stormed academia, silenced their critics, and churned out graduates who parroted the leftist rhetoric they were taught. These graduates eventually took over the nation’s power centers: the media, corporate boardrooms, the bureaucracy, Big Tech offices.
Part of this creed learned from academic indoctrination was the premise that the borders to the nation must be flung open, and those who oppose this vision are racist. That illegal immigration was also an outright financial boon to plutocrats simply sealed the deal. The new regime that took hold has blocked any meaningful political attempts to reverse the tide no matter how many times the people vote for them.
Even if we manage to elect a president and a Republican Congress—which, by the way, we did just a few years ago—illegal immigration is, well, no longer illegal, at least in many places.
Many blue jurisdictions have enacted official protections and benefits for illegal immigrants. There are at least 22 million illegal aliens in America, and probably many more—close to one out of ten people residing here. We now have more than 560 sanctuary cities in the United States, where defiance of federal immigration authorities is officially promulgated. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia grant in-state tuition to illegals attending their public institutions of higher learning. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia issue driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. These are open acts of embedded lawlessness that leftist mayors and governors have gotten away with because the ruling class wants it that way.
In stark contrast, when states and local jurisdictions try to fight illegal immigration, our elites, namely the courts, stop them. The one major state law addressing border security that’s been upheld by the judiciary is Arizona’s employer-sanctions law, which I helped write. It was an extremely effective tool for driving down illegal immigration. However, I was the only prosecutor to wield it. Other county attorneys saw what happened to me and found other things to do with their time; throughout Arizona’s 15 counties, nobody else ever has tried to enforce it.
So it is that the issue of illegal immigration has been reduced to red meat that GOP leaders toss to their political base to turn out the vote—and nothing more. Fox News runs visceral stories almost daily about illegal immigrants and the wrongs they commit, but too often serve up establishment commentators such as Karl Rove to facilitate the election of GOP regulars who take the coward’s way out.
Hope, Irony and the Future
The situation is dire and our sovereignty is truly in tatters. I’ll write of new ideas to secure our borders in the future—and to make sure Republican politicians start to keep their promises on this front.
For now, there is hope to be found in an ironic place.
This top Democrat strategist observes the Democratic Party is bleeding support among Hispanics.
For decades, the Democratic Party has championed illegal immigration out of both ideological fervor and a self-serving belief that these immigrants, once naturalized, will vote for Democrats. It turns out this assumption was not as solid as they thought.
The Democratic Left’s project of building a permanent majority has gone off the rails of late, largely because illegal immigrants who gain citizenship and their citizen-relatives have proven untethered to the Democratic Party. Years ago political scientist Ruy Texeira predicted an emerging Democratic majority composed of leftist-indoctrinated college graduates and racial minorities. Now he has backtracked from his projections. This top Democrat strategist observes the Democratic Party is bleeding support among Hispanics.
Texeira notes that “Democrats’ advantage among Hispanic voters declined nationwide by 16 points” from 2016 to 2020. Data from the 2022 election suggest to him the problem is “getting worse,” especially among non-college-educated Hispanics.
No less than Barack Obama believes he knows why. Following the 2020 election, when Trump’s support surged among Hispanics, Obama attacked those Hispanics for their alleged disloyalty. He concluded it was because many of these Hispanics were “evangelical,” and they wrongly allowed their “views on gay marriage or abortion” to shift them towards Republicans.
Of course, those of us who actually know these voters (or in my case are married to one) realize many are conservative on other issues as well. One is border security. Indeed, a Pew Research poll of the 2022 elections was highly revealing. The survey found that when asked which issues are “very important” to them, Republican and Republican-leaning Hispanic voters listed as their top three issues the economy, violent crime, and immigration.
As grim as things look now to those who treasure American sovereignty, our greatest hope for a secure border may well be the long game, and an ironic climax to Democrats’ open-border politics. Based on current voting trends, we may yet live to see the curious day when Hispanics, including former illegal immigrants and their children, vote to close the borders behind them, and in the process shock their patrons with their ingratitude.
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