By Dr. Thomas Patterson |
Nobody seems to know what to do about our illegal immigration crisis. Somehow, no other nation in the world seems helpless to control unlimited, illegal immigration. Democrats alternately claim it is being handled, and that it is the fault of uncooperative Republicans, who in turn can only agree that “something” must be done.
It’s time for a Great Reset, to rethink the basics of how we treat illegal immigration. Here’s an idea: Follow The Law. Just Say No.
It starts with refuting the notion that noncitizens, who have followed none of our rules for legal entry, have a natural right to come here anyway, and we have a corresponding duty to oblige them. Like all other nations, we have no such moral burden.
We make an effort to prevent entry for some. But most immigrants, when they reach American soil, are meekly processed through and provided food, shelter, and transportation into our country, as if that doesn’t incentivize their coming.
Among other obfuscations, open border advocates claim our immigration laws need a complete overhaul to mitigate our ongoing catastrophe. Nobody ever specifies exactly what those new laws are.
Reforms initiated by Democrats when Biden took office included eliminating the Remain in Mexico policy, and anything else with the taint of Trump about them. Predictably, conditions at the border worsened. The only “solution” Democrats have any interest in is amnesty, which is no solution at all.
We have adequate laws in place. Illegal immigration is already illegal. We just need to execute those laws.
Today, the operating principle of our immigration policy is sanctioned asylum fraud. Instead of a good faith effort to legally control our borders, illegal immigrants are coached to state “I am in fear,” and we pretend to believe them.
But accepting the same lie millions of times is simple abuse of asylum. Asylum, unlike illegal immigration, is a compassionate process administered internationally to provide safe harbor to individuals suffering persecution, or a credible fear of persecution, due to one of five specific causes: race, religion, nationality, social group, or political standing.
Persons claiming asylum have their cases heard in court. If they prevail, they are granted “indefinite” asylum with the tacit understanding that the asylum lasts until the threat is removed.
That’s a far cry from the daily mobs at our border, who, understandably, for economic reasons, would rather live in the U.S. than in their home country. It would be wonderful if we could save every person in the world living in poverty by bringing them here, but that’s not the way it works in our world of corrupt socialist autocracies.
But we can, and are, making our own country less safe and free, less fit to be a beacon of liberty under law to others.
In spite of the fact that only a minuscule percentage of the millions of asylum claims made at the border are ever substantiated, border patrol agents are instructed to continue to process them as potential claims with a deferred court hearing and release into the U.S.
Although the asylum status claims at the border are transparently bogus, the scofflaws rarely face consequences for failure to appear at their subsequent hearing. They will eventually be offered amnesty, then citizenship, then registration as a Democrat, if all works as planned.
There’s a better way, simple and legal. We should require all asylum claims to be made in their home country. Refugee processing centers could be established in the common countries of origin, where applicants would have their status determined. Unaccompanied minors at the border would be sent home.
This would greatly benefit legitimate asylum seekers. They could be assured of their status before beginning the journey to safety. The rest could be politely turned away at the border as the law requires. Word would quickly spread that the rules have changed. The crowds at the border would soon dissipate.
Americans are beginning to appreciate the stress unlimited migration places on our education, medical, and judicial systems. Barring a major course correction, it is bound to get much worse.
But we can end the misery if we just have the will to do so. Follow The Law. What a concept!
Dr. Thomas Patterson, former Chairman of the Goldwater Institute, is a retired emergency physician. He served as an Arizona State senator for 10 years in the 1990s, and as Majority Leader from 93-96. He is the author of Arizona’s original charter schools bill.