Unless you have been living off-grid in Antarctica for the last few years, it is safe to say you have heard about the immigration problems we are facing in this country. Now, for the sake of dialogue, I will take a neutral, middle-of-the-road perspective. Meaning, let us take all of the “build a wall” and “open borders” rhetoric and put it in our back pockets until we go into the streets to protest or flood social media with virtue-signaling memes. Bottom line, we need to look at this from a pure law-and-order point of reference.
8 U.S. Code Chapter 12 – Immigration and Nationality details the laws of the land with regard to immigration; the last time I checked, Congress, not the President through executive fiat, creates bills that the President signs into law. Executive Orders notwithstanding, Congress makes the laws by which we live. Stay with me for a moment. Now, there are 535 voting members of Congress (435 Representatives and 100 Senators), they represent the views and opinions of their respective constituents. What this means is that our laws, statistically speaking, reflect the will of the people as represented by the folks they voted into office – so long as they are constitutional. Currently, both the Executive and Legislative branches of government are Republican, which means they are currently leaning towards the right (conservative) versus left (progressive). Conservatism does not equate to Naziism, Fascism, or any other type of oligarchical “-ism”. It simply means our values are rooted in the constitution and the founding principles of our nation. The is key to understanding my argument.
So why is this important to understand and what does it have to do with immigration? Over the last year, there has been a great deal of political bruhaha concerning “illegal immigrants”, specifically the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Essentially, this is program wherein illegal immigrants can petition the government for U.S. Citizenship if they can prove they were brought here as a child, against their own volition, and have been actively contributing to the betterment of our society. It sounds reasonable, so why has this become such a politically polarized issue? There are two main reasons. Progressive Democrats sincerely believe “No Human Being is Illegal”, and they also believe in quasi human-gerrymandering as it pertains to bolstering the demographics of their political constituency. In a nutshell, Progressive Democrats believe they can gain more power by manipulating the playing field with non-US Citizen voters. Plain and simple.
They accomplish this through an emotional appeal to the human spirit wherein they use highly euphemistic politically correct language to refer to illegal immigrants as “dreamers.” When we remove all emotional language from the verbiage, we are left with two words from which we can establish a fundamental basis for an argument: 1). Illegal, and 2). Immigrant.
- Illegal: contrary to or forbidden by law; and
- Immigrant: a person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country.
By definition alone, as taken from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an illegal immigrant is a person who comes “illegally” to live permanently in a foreign country, such as the United States. Every country on the planet has strict rules as it relates to immigrants entering into their countries and becoming citizens. In fact, there are some countries that do not allow foreigners to become citizens, or they at least make it extremely difficult to be granted citizenship. What this means, every sovereign nation has laws that delineate the process for emigrating from another country and “legally” immigrating into their respective “sovereign country”. I understand the “open borders” arguments wherein Progressive Democrats believe there should be no borders in the world and we should all live under the collective rule of a “One-World Government”; however, even in that kind of communistic (read dystopian) global society, there would still be laws, statutes, rules, regulations, and procedures that would prevent complete and total anarchy, and there would still be classifications/categorizations of peoples in order to track human movement. In furtherance, one could argue that the mythical open borders dream would, in fact, be more restrictive in nature, or would simply fail once people begin to lose their national identities.
So now that we understand the actual definition of “illegal immigrant” and why it is important to have “laws” that prevent complete and utter anarchy, we can now discuss DACA.
While the merits of the DACA program can be argued in either direction, I am not interested in emotionally any appeal from the “left or the right”; I simply care about the current law and protecting the fundamental, constitutional architecture laid out by our founding fathers. Without their wisdom and foresight, we probably wouldn’t even be able to have this argument because we would probably be living under the control of a despotic regime that prohibits free speech and political discourse. Let that sink in for a minute. We enjoy our rights to complain about everything and petition for grievances under the law, yet the Progressive Left is continually trying to nullify the law in order to fit its political agenda. It is an obvious paradox of magnanimous self-contradictions to claim protection under the very constitution they are trying to usurp or nullify through the use of “social justice” snowflakes (*see ANTIFA).
The point is, we are a nation of laws; ergo, non-U.S. citizens must apply for citizenship in accordance with our laws. There is nothing more to argue at this point. In furtherance, President Trump, nor any Congressman, has waffled on this issue as far as I am concerned. President Trump simply stated that Barack Obama’s rule by executive fiat (2014 Executive Actions on Immigration) was not within the “constitutional authority” of the Executive Branch and that Congress (the Legislative Branch) needed to pass legislation he could sign. I simply can see no viable argument, legal or emotional, to challenge the constitution or checks-and-balances structure of our government, in this regard.
Now, as a human being I can definitely understand the emotional appeal to not separate families, or send people back to a country with which they have no cultural or language ties, but that is an emotional argument. And, it is one with which I can empathize. Yes, empathize, not sympathize. Why? Because while serving my country in the military, I had to get visas for a myriad of countries in which I “worked” or “lived”. I understood the immigration laws and expectations of those nations, and I fully understood the consequences of violating those laws. So why should the United States be any different? If a law is broken, especially by a non-U.S. person, the individual should be subject to all punitive actions/measures within the confines of that specific law. When it comes to immigration, they should be deported back to their country of origin. This happens in other countries, so why can’t we enforce our own laws?
But that is not really the argument. The argument is what to do with minors born as U.S. citizens to immigrants who entered this country illegally, or minors that entered into this country illegally, with their parents, against their own volition. To that, I can simply revert back to my statement, “we are a nation of laws”, “the individual(s) should be subject to all punitive actions/measures within the confines of that specific law.” So, while I can agree, “no human being is illegal”, that does not negate the fact that their actions can be illegal, and they should be held accountable under the law.
However, I do see merit in offering, on a limited and case-by-case basis, an opportunity to have a pathway to obtain U.S. Citizenship. Of course, my support comes with stipulations.
- The individual must not have a criminal record of any kind;
- The individual must not have prior deportations;
- The individual must pay a fine for breaking the law;
- The individual must submit retrograded tax forms for the previous five (5) years and pay all back taxes owed;
- The individual must enter into military service, civil service, or conduct a minimum of 1500 hours of community service over a five-year period.
So how would this solve the problem with illegal immigrant minors? Easy, the aforementioned stipulations apply to the parents of the minors. As the minors came here against their own volition, the parents should be subject to the punitive actions/measures outlined above. If the parents cannot, or will not, adhere to these stipulations, then my humanity ends there. Follow the law, and deport them back to their countries of origin. There is no argument to be had.
But, that is not for the average citizen to decide; it is not even for the President to decide, immigration law is the responsibility of Congress, and they, as dully representatives of their constituents, bear the sole responsibility of fixing this problem. President Trump made a wise decision to operate within his Constitutional authority and not operate through executive fiat like former U.S. Presidents.
As for whether or not a person can be, “illegal”. No, they cannot. But when they break the law, no matter how minor or slight, they have committed a crime, which makes them a criminal in the eyes of the court. We are not saying “illegal immigrants” do not have the same inalienable rights as everyone else, we are simply saying that the U.S. Constitution applies to U.S. Citizens, so, if an immigrant does not have the proper documentation to be in this country, the U.S. Constitution does not apply to them. They need to return to their country and institute constitutional changes within their own government. Or, if that is too difficult, they can at least apply for U.S. Citizenship just like every other law-abiding immigrant. But they cannot break into our country and expect not to be treated like a criminal that broke the law. If that is the case, it would set a slippery slope in terms of precedence with regard to other criminals not wanting to be held accountable for breaking other U.S. laws, codes, or statutes.
I will end this with two salient points. 1). Congress, you have been weighed and measured, and you have been found wanting. Please do the job for which you were elected. 2). For all of the fair-weather MAGA supporters out there, we need “winter soldiers”, not “sunshine patriots”. Either support the rule of law or get out of the way for the constitutional conservatives that do not want to live under the reign of an oligarchical plutocracy.
For all that know me, I love my country and I am generally very understanding from a classic liberal perspective when it comes to any issue, which is why I understand the need for law-and-order if we are to maintain a society – and hopefully our national identity as well. Bottom line, if we cannot enforce the laws of our nation, then what is the point of being a free people or even having sovereignty for that matter?
 8 U.S. Code Chapter 12 – IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/8/chapter-12
 United States Congress. (2017, September 12). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Congress
 Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.uscis.gov/archive/consideration-deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-daca
 Illegal. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/illegal
 Immigrant. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/immigrant
 Countries that Do Not Allow Citizenship. (n.d.) Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.quora.com/Are-there-countries-that-do-not-allow-any-foreigners-to-apply-for-a-citizenship
 One world government. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/One_world_government
 Hanson, V. D. (2016, July 31). Why borders matter — and a borderless world is a fantasy. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-hanson-borders-20160731-snap-story.html
 Beinart, P. (2017, August 06). The Rise of the Violent Left. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/the-rise-of-the-violent-left/534192/
 Masters, J. (2016, June 23). The U.S. Supreme Court and Obama’s Immigration Actions. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/us-supreme-court-and-obamas-immigration-actions
 2014 Executive Actions on Immigration. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.uscis.gov/archive/2014-executive-actions-immigration
 Slattery, E. (2014, February 12). An Executive Unbound: The Obama Administration’s Unilateral Actions. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.heritage.org/the-constitution/report/executive-unbound-the-obama-administrations-unilateral-actions