Just when we thought the so-called debate about immigration couldn’t get more screwed up, we get another round.
Donald Trump provided the gotcha media with a confused statement on illegals, and then trying to take it back in the fashion of Jeb Bush with his Iraq War fandango.
Then a prince of the Church wades in accusing Trump of being a neo-Klu Klux Klaner. [Would it be uncharitable of us to suspect this, too, has something to do with the growing competition in Latin America between their traditional Church and the evangelicals?] In any case, the good father has overshot his critique since we don’t have any evidence that Trump, whatever else his sins, is a racist.
Then we get the more disheartening news involving the death of innocents at the hands of illegal Mexican immigrants with criminal records. Nothing could be more heart-rending than the most recent story of a couple and their daughter who stopped to help a roadside motorist only to be murdered. But then he was an illegal who had been here so long, ICE officials had given him a green card!
And so it goes …
It is unlikely that debate among the Republican aspirants coming up shortly will do much to clarify issues.
So may we add our few cents, restating the more than obvious basis on which any sensible eventual solution of the knotty immigration conundrum is to be found?
We don’t know how many illegal aliens are in the U.S. And we suspect that ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] doesn’t either. Have you noticed that suddenly the mainstream media has abandoned the 12 million figure for an 11 million estimate – a million here, and a million there, as someone has said, and you have a lot of illegals. Has anyone among our learned professional colleagues asked ICE where they get that figure?
More than a few years ago when the predecessor to ICE estimated the illegals at 5 million, we asked for an accounting procedure. We were told that it was based on examining the number of applications for visas from a particular country and then on-the-spot census takers. Our response was that we doubted if one of their young ladies with her clipboard wading into what was then called Spanish Harlem would know the difference between Puerto Ricans and other Caribbean Hispanics masquerading as Puerto Ricans who, of course, had U.S. citizenship
The reason we ask where the estimate comes from is that somewhere, again, pulled out of an old Christmas Eve sock, someone has said that 40% of the illegals are actually legal immigrants who have simply overstayed their visas. Were that the case, then we are probably talking about a much larger portion of illegals being non-Latino– with their economy in collapse again, for example, we suspect there may be more Irish overstaying as was the case in the past.
The beginning and end of this whole discussion has to be the simple proposition of closing the southern border and tightening up at immigration airports.
We don’t underestimate that problem. And that is why we say it is principle concern and should take all the energies of all those – calling all Congressmen – who sincerely want to deal with the problem. As Gov. Rick Perry has shown with the Texas National Guard, we know what is required to seal the border..
Once the borders are sealed against additional immigration – a big if for we know there are special interests, not the least the agro-industrial lobby, that wants a unskilled, cheap and dependent labor – we can proceed. Contrary to the fiction perpetrated on both sides of the aisle, our own Latino populations – who are the first victims of the illegal presence here – are not wedded to continued wideopen borders and their Texas votes have proved they are not for sale only on that issue.
But the beginning of any solution of the presence of whatever number of illegals is in the country, and other issues connected with it, lies first in closing the border.
Can we stick to that one goal for the moment please, and end this circus?