Americans Oppose Illegal Immigration

Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that 76% of American voters believe that illegal immigration is bad for the country.  That is a substantial majority (and it makes you wonder about the other 24%).

When breaking that number down by partisan affiliation, it’s not surprising that 90% of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is bad.  What is somewhat surprising is that 63% of Democrats believe that illegal immigration is bad.  That suggests that opposing illegal immigration and border control continue to be winning issues.

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SubscribeStar Saturday: ICE Raids a Good Start

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

The sweeping ICE raids announced some time ago finally seem to be bearing fruit.  The big news earlier this week was of the raids of multiple food processing plants in Mississippi, resulting in 680 detainees—the biggest haul since 2008.

It’s a start—a good one—but it’s only that.  President Trump argues that the raids will act as a deterrent to future illegal immigration.  I think he’s correct—to an extent.

The larger question, though, is how effective of a deterrent will this raid be?

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

Phone it in Friday II: Boris, Bond, and Borders

It’s been a brutal workweek for yours portly.  “Brutal” is perhaps a bit of an overstatement, but it’s been busy, with a lot of late nights and early mornings.  Fortunately, I’ve been a painting dynamo, and all those music lessons and extra work are reaping dividends.

My planned post summarizing and analyzing the introduction to Richard Weaver‘s seminal Ideas Have Consequences, then, is going to wait until Monday, when I have a bit more mental energy to spare.  My students in History of Conservative Thought are writing an essay about the introduction to that book for their final class session, which is Tuesday.  It’s a dense read for high school students, so that post will help break down some of the main ideas for them.

Instead, this evening’s posts will be a rare “Phone if in Friday” featuring some pieces that crossed my transom today.  Enjoy!

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Lazy Sunday XVIII: SubscribeStar Posts

For the past few weeks I’ve been pushing my SubscribeStar page more regularly, as readers have no-doubt noticed.  I’ve picked up one subscriber; naturally, I hope more will sign up!

Here’s the pitch:  I post a new, original essay exclusively to my SubscribeStar page every Saturday.  I also made #MAGAWeek2019 a SubscribeStar exclusive—that’s four posts about people or ideas that made America great (this year’s listJohn Adams, Alexander Hamilton, President Trump’s Independence Day Speech, and fast food).  For just $1/month, you get access to these essays.

To put that in perspective:  I’ll probably buy a pizza today for $12.  That’s what a one-year subscription to my SubscribeStar page will cost.  That’s at least fifty-two (52) original pieces, not including bonus content and current and future #MAGAWeek posts.

Even if you can’t read them on the Saturday they’re released, they will always be there!  And with new content every week, your subscription gains value with each post.  Right now there are ten SubscribeStar exclusive posts, including the #MAGAWeek2019 ones, and that number will continue to grow.

I’ll also post additional special content from time-to-time, in the vein of the #MAGAWeek2019 posts.  The long-contemplated Portly Politico Podcast, should it ever launch, will also be exclusive to SubscribeStar.

With all that said, this week’s edition of Lazy Sunday is dedicated to looking at the great SubscribeStar Saturday posts that are already on the site (excluding the #MAGAWeek2019 posts, which were the subject of last week’s Lazy Sunday).

  • The Portly Politico Summer Reading List 2019” – The long-awaited successor to “The Portly Politico Summer Reading List 2016,” this list of recommended summer reads will give you plenty of conservative brain food to feed your mind and your soul.  I give detailed reviews of my four recommendations.
  • Asserting Conservatism” – This essay argues for defining conservatism in positive—that is, on its own—terms, rather than as merely against the Left.  Standing athwart history, shouting “STOP” was a necessary step in the Buckleyite days of old-school National Review, when international Communism threatened to infiltrate and topple our institutions.  Culture Marxists have accomplished what Soviet Marxists could not, and it’s time to push back, not merely stem the tide.  Doing so will require a vigorous articulation and defense of conservatism—and a willingness to fight against Leftists.
  • Christians Protect Other Faiths” – Christianity gets a bad shake, considering it built Western civilization (with an alley-oop from ancient Greece, Rome, and Israel).  The tolerance Christianity teaches is a boon to believers of other faiths, as Christ teaches conversion through persuasion, and the basic dignity of all people, Jew and Gentile.
  • Immigration and Drugs” – This piece pulls from a couple of posts at VDARE.com, which linked illegal immigration from south of the United States border to the opioid crisis.  One solution from the author:  bomb the poppy fields in Mexico, not just Afghanistan.
  • Mid-Atlantic Musings” – During #MAGAWeek2019, I was in New Jersey.  This post is a reflection of my visit (spoiler alert:  I very much enjoyed it).  It also details my one-day trip to Coney Island, which is basically Myrtle Beach in Brooklyn.
  • The Real Color of Environmentalism is Red, Not Green” – Yesterday’s post, in which I compare Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s ludicrous Green New Deal to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s original New Deal.  Both rely on excessive federal and executive power, and the Green will ruin the economy and our nation just the way the original one did.

So, there you have it!  There’s a lot of great material, with more coming every Saturday.  Please consider subscribing to my SubscribeStar page for just $1 (or more!) per month to gain access to these and other essays.

Happy (and Lazy!) Sunday!

–TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Deportemal II: Trump Vows Mass Deportations

On Monday, President Trump announced the deportation of millions of illegal aliens beginning “next week,” vowing that ICE agents would remove such aliens “as fast as they come in.”

Here are the two pertinent tweets from the president:

Critics and supporters alike are asking for details on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement will process the millions here illegally.  As I write this post, I’ve just listened to part of Ben Shapiro’s podcast on the announcement; he argues that a surgical, case-by-case approach is preferable, as some illegal aliens possess skills we would want in the United States.

While I appreciate Shapiro’s measured response, I can’t agree.  As I wrote in “Deportemal,” the time for half-measures has passed.  A lengthy review process of the millions of illegal aliens—which could be anywhere from 11 to 33 million (PDF; that document shows an illegal population of 12 million as of 2015), and maybe higher (that no one can know for sure is a major part of the problem)—would bog down for years, if not decades.  Another visa process ladled on top of inherent law-breaking will merely exacerbate the problem.

Consider:  our current catch-and-release system—migrants show up to one court date, get a temporary visa and orders to report back to court, then disappear into the countryside, never darkening an immigration court again—already gives migrants an easy in.  Essentially, touching American soil is like tagging home base:  once you’re here, you’re in.

Now, imagine adding an individual review process to that.  First, you’d have to assume good-faith on the part of illegals in the country.  They have virtually no incentive to come to another hearing.  Yes, they have the opportunity to be absolved of their illegal status (I’m assuming that’s what Shapiro is proposing), but if they think they don’t, they’ll avoid the process.

Second, a whole cottage-industry of gaming the individual amnesty system will emerge.  Lawyers skilled in the ins-and-outs of this fresh bureaucratic hell will profit at the expense of their countrymen and poor illegals.  Appeals—and you know with the federal government there would be a lengthy appeals process—would linger on for months, even years, further adding to the administrative load of ICE and our courts.

If we were dealing with a few thousand people, we could demonstrate some mercy and approach this issue with a lighter touch.  Unfortunately, we’ve failed to enforce our border laws for so long that we’ve allowed this crisis to metastasize, to the detriment of American citizens and potential immigrants alike.

Republicans squandered a golden opportunity to make some real strides on immigration reform during the 2017-2019 congressional session.  President Trump has moved mountains since then via constitutional executive orders and international diplomacy, particularly his threat of slapping hefty, incremental tariffs on Mexico.  Increased enforcement of Mexico‘s southern border has, according to Shapiro, already eased the number of arrests on the American border.

In the wake of President Trump’s massive 2020 reelection campaign launch last night in Orlando, Florida, it is imperative for immigration patriots to run (and win!) in 2020, and for Americans to support Trump’s reelection.  It’s our best hope to resolve this crisis, to the benefit of Americans and the world.

For more of my writing on immigration, check out “Lazy Sunday XIII: Immigration.”

Consider supporting the blog at my SubscribeStar page.  $1/mo. gets you exclusive access to new posts every Saturday.

Lazy Sunday XIII: Immigration

I’ve really been beating the drum about immigration lately, so today’s Lazy Sunday should come as no surprise.  Illegal immigration is a major crisis facing the United States and Europe, and it’s one we ignore at our peril.

Indeed, even legal immigration presents a problem if left unregulated.  Massive amounts of immigration leads easily to ethnic cloistering; if left unchecked, entire neighborhoods or cities can become unrecognizable.

An essential component of conservative nationalism is that a nation is made up of a people.  In the old European conception, that manifests itself as the nation-state:  a group of people sharing a common lineage or shared blood.  Sometimes that identity is self-consciously constructed, but it still stems from the notion that a certain people and a certain land make up the nation.

The American conception of nationalism is only slightly different:  the American people don’t have to share the same patrimony, but they do have to share similar values.  Those values are Anglo-Saxon in origin, but they can (and must) be adopted by anyone.

As such, ethnic cloistering subverts the assimilation process, placing fundamentally alien populations in the midst of natives.  That’s a recipe for conflict, as it undermines social and national cohesion.

“Nationalism” doesn’t have to be a dirty word.  There’s nothing inherently wrong with a group of people wanting to have their own nation.  No America should feel like a thoughtcriminal because he wants to protect his country from unregulated foreign invasion.

Some food for thought for your Sunday morning.

  • Open Borders is the Real Moral Crisis” – One of my first posts on immigration (and last week’s TBT feature), the context for this piece was the child separation policy and the faux outrage about it (notice how you never hear about this anymore?).  When I wrote this piece, this issue was red-hot, and I anticipated all sorts of social justice whinging.  Now that the political usefulness of child props is waning, it’s interesting to read it with fresh eyes.  My basic argument is unchanged, though:  we wouldn’t be dealing with child separation and the like if it we simply enforced the law.
  • The Facts on the Border Crisis” – This piece looked at the history of Texas Republic and the oft-forgotten Mexican War.  Texas was a major province of Mexico.  After gaining independence from Spain, the young Mexican government invited white American yanquis to settle the territory if they converted to Catholicism.  When the Mexican government attempted to abolish slavery, the American settlers—many of whom came from the Deep South with their slaves in tow—balked, demanding to keep their slaves.  When General Santa Anna attempted to enforce the Mexican constitution, the Texans rebelled.

    The point:  large, marginally-assimilated foreigners dominant in one geographic area is a recipe for disaster.  Now, Mexico is doing to the Southwest what Americans did to Texas in the nineteenth century—they even call it the Reconquista.

  • Somali Shenanigans” – Case in point:  the resettlement of Somali refugees and immigrants into Minneapolis has completely transformed the demographic makeup of a large neighborhood in the city.  That’s also changed the politics of the State’s Democrat-Farm-Labor Party, which now caters to this largely unassimilable contingent.  Indeed, they’ve now elected Ilhan Omar to Congress, a woman who allegedly married her brotherallegedly married her brother to commit immigration fraud.
  • Immigration by the Numbers” – This post details the costs, social and economic, of immigration, focusing primarily on the huge amount of American dollars sent to foreign nations as “remittances.”  Remittances are funds earned in the United States and wired back to family members in an immigrant’s home country.  It’s a massive business, accounting for $148 billion in total, with $30.02 billion going to Mexico (China also gets a pretty penny).  That’s American wealth draining off to support other countries.
  • Deportemal” – Rounding out this week’s Lazy Sunday is a little post about the lawlessness that stems from illegal immigration.  The attitude of illegals is excessively cavalier:  in addition to existing in a state of persistent illegality, they leverage their “shadow” status to avoid real penalties for petty crimes.  The frustration for legal citizens is palpable:  we’re held to a rigid legal standard, while authorities turn a blind or helpless eye to illegal activity from illegal aliens who feel entitled to breaking the law because their home countries suck.

Illegal immigration is a frustrating assault on the lives of American citizens and the rule of law.  Rather than indulge such wide-scale lawlessness, we should robustly and aggressively prosecute and deport illegals upon apprehension for any offense, from the smallest jaywalking misdemeanor to child rape and murder.  If you’re caught and you’re illegal, you’re going back!

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Patriots Fill Gap in Border Wall

As the federal government struggles to fulfill its basic duties, private citizens are increasingly taking matters into their own hands.  I wrote awhile ago about the GoFundMe page to fund the border wall.  That project is still underway, but seems to have stalled well short of its goal of raising $1 billion.

But there is hope.  The organization connected to that fundraising project, We Build the Wall, constructed a half-mile of wall along a notorious gap on the New Mexico border.

A half-mile is precious little along a border hundreds of miles in length, but it is something.  Further, the specific half-mile section the wall protects is a heavily-crossed gap in existing border fencing.  From The Daily Wire:

The half-mile segment of border wall, the group says, closes a gap frequently used to smuggle both people and drugs. [Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach added that on a “typical night” around 100 migrants and $100,000 worth of illegal narcotics passed through the half-mile hole.

The Trump Administration was working on a plan to construct around 234 miles of steel fencing, effectively sealing off the southern border with a “border wall,” but attempts to secure funding for the project have stalled. Congress refused to agree to any funding for the border wall beyond the $1.6 billion promised in the 2018 budget, and President Donald Trump’s “national emergency” declaration — which would have detoured funding to the border wall from other Army Corps of Engineers projects — was halted by a judge pending ongoing litigation.

This excerpt brings up another important point:  the consistent obstruction from Democrats and activist judges of President Trump’s America First agenda.  Even with the declaration of a national emergency, the president has been blocked from making substantial progress on the border wall.

Of course, Republicans passed up a golden opportunity to act on the border wall in 2017 or 2018.  Voters need to send a strong message to candidates in both parties that getting control of the border is important.  Tax cuts and economic growth are wonderful, but for American citizens to benefit, we need strong border security, including a robust deportation system.

I’m encouraged to see private citizens banding together to solve their problems when the government won’t—few things are more American.  Nevertheless, it’s the federal government’s constitutional responsibility to protect our national sovereignty.  It shouldn’t slough off that responsibility and hope that good-willed patriots will pick up the slack.

TBT: Open Borders is the Real Moral Crisis

I’ve been writing quite a bit about immigration lately, as it’s the major issue facing the West today.  Our leaders’ inabilities to address the crisis of immigration suggests their ineffectiveness—and, perhaps, their callous indifference to the damage unrestricted and illegal immigration wreak.

President Trump rose to national prominence and won the presidency campaigning on fixing illegal immigration.  His efforts so far have been a mixed bag, as duplicitous, progressive judges overreach from their elitist perches and block Trump’s efforts at reform.

It seems a distant memory now, but all the faux-outrage from the Left just a year ago was about the “child separation” business at the border.  One still reads some echoes of those melodramatic headlines, but the underlying problem has gone unaddressed.

In fact, it’s gotten worse:  immigrants now realize that if they cross the border with a minor child, they can be swept into the interior of the country.  Once an illegal immigrant is in the nation, it’s incredibly difficult to get him out again.

It’s a sad testament that President Trump and Congress have been unable to accomplish more on this front.  As such, it’s shame that this week’s TBT still sounds all-too-familiar.

Here is “Open Borders is the Real Moral Crisis“:

I typically avoid wading into fashionable-for-the-moment moral crusades, but the hysteria over children being separated from their parents at the border is ludicrous, and demonstrates the typical “facts over feelings” emotionalism that mars our immigration debate.  That feel-goodism is why we’re even in this mess—if it can be characterized as such—in the first place.

Because I’ll be deemed a monster—“Won’t somebody please think of the children!“—for not unequivocally denouncing this Clinton-era policy, I’ll issue the usual, tedious disclaimers:  yes, it’s all very tragic; yes, it could be handled better; yes, I would have been terrified to be separated from my parents at such a young age; etc.

Now that the genuflecting to popular pieties is out of the way, let me get to my point:  this entire situation would be a non-issue if we had simply enforced our immigration lawsconsistently for the past thirty years.  President Trump isn’t the villain here (if anything, Congress is—they can take immediate action to change the policy or come up with some alternative—but I don’t even think they’re wrong this time); rather, the villains are all those who—in the vague name of “humanity” and “human rights”—ignored illegal immigration (or, worse, actively condoned it).

Sadly, it is an issue.  But what else are we to do?  Years of non-enforcement have sent the implicit but clear message to potential illegal immigrants that we don’t take our own borders (and, by extension, our national sovereignty and rule of law) seriously, and that if you’re sympathetic enough, you’ll get to skip the line.  Folks come up from Mexico and Central America fully expecting that, after some brief official unpleasantness, they can dissolve into the vastness of the United States and begin sending remittances back to their relatives—who may then pull up stakes and come.

Further, sneaking into the country illegally is a crime, and the United States has every right to enforce its laws, including those pertaining to immigration.  Mexico, similarly, has that right—and uses it unabashedly to police its own border (or to let Central American migrants waltz through on their way to the Estados Unidos).  Naturally, the punishment for breaking laws is often detainment, and the kiddies don’t join dad in his cell.

To give a common example:  what happens to the children of, say, an American heroin dealer when he’s arrested and sentenced to ten years in a drug bust?  His children—if they have no relatives willing or able to take them in—go into the foster care system.  It’s tragic, it’s terrible, but it’s part of the price of committing a felony.  No one wants it to happen, but it’s a consequence of one’s actions.  This reason is why crime is so detrimental to society at large, even beyond the immediate victims.

Unfortunately, a combination of winking at immigration enforcement (“eh, come on—you won’t get deported”), feel-good bullcrap (as my Mom would call it), and Emma Lazarus Syndrome(trademarked to The Portly Politico, 2018) have contributed to the current nightmare situation.  Now that an administration is in office that actually enforces the duly legislated law of the land—and at a point at which the problem has ballooned to epic proportions due to past lax enforcement—the problem is far thornier and more consumed with emotional and moral peril.

As any self-governing, self-sufficient adult understands, sometimes doing what is necessary is hard.  I do feel for these children who are stripped from their parents arms (although, it should be noted, usually for only a matter of hours), but who cares about my feelings?  We can have compassion for those who try to arrive here illegally, as well as their children, without attempting to take on all of their problems, and without sacrificing our national sovereignty and our laws in the process.

The United States is the most generous nation in the world—and the most prosperous—but we cannot take everyone in; to do so would not make everyone else better off, but would rather destroy what makes America the land of compassion, liberty, prosperity, and charity that it is.

***

For further reference, I recommend the following videos, the first from the brilliant Ben Shapiro, the second from Dilbert creator Scott Adams:

 

I’d also recommend this piece from National Review columnist Richard Lowry, which is quite good:  https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/illegal-immigration-enforcement-separating-kids-at-border/

And, finally, this piece from Conservative Review‘s Daniel Horowitz, which explains the true moral toll of illegal immigration—and misplaced compassion—very thoroughly:  https://www.conservativereview.com/news/the-immorality-of-the-open-borders-left/

Deportemal

I have little patience for illegal immigrants.  Their illegality encourages ethnic cloistering.  Their very presence constitutes a persistent state of lawlessness, which seems to breed further criminality.

Then there’s the matter of the vast gulf between mainstream American culture and the virtually premodern peasant cultures from which most illegal migrants come.  Child rape is serious problem among men of certain Latin American cultures, as a recent piece from The Blaze demonstrates.  A twenty-year old illegal immigrant impregnated an eleven-year old.

You read the piece and you notice something:  the police already told this young man to leave the girl alone.  Why was he not shipped back to his homeland immediately?  Why was he allowed to stick around long enough to get this girl pregnant in his car near her school?

Yes, yes—why did the school let her slip away to have sex with a man nearly a decade her elder?  There’s blame to go around.  As for the parents, the girl’s father apparently wanted to beat the crap out of the illegal alien, understandably, but the police told him to cool it so he wouldn’t get himself in trouble.

That right there illustrates why average Americans are so frustrated with illegal immigration.  Law-abiding citizens are held to a stringent, inflexible standard.  Forget to claim $20 on your income taxes?  The IRS will spend thousands of dollars to get you.  Own land with “wetlands” on it?   You can’t grow anything on it, lest a non-existent frog die.  Want to camp on the beach?  Sorry, you can’t do that.

But if you’re here illegally, you get free medical care, no taxes, and an entire political party eager to grant you the franchise.  You can even sleep with minors, because, well, that’s just your rich, vibrant culture, and we wouldn’t want to burden you with our colonialist Western standards, would we?

Here’s how we rectify this situation:  deport every illegal immigrant the minute he or she runs afoul of the law, for the slightest offense.  If Pedro throws so much as a cigarette butt onto the side of the highway, send him back.

It would be shocking to you how much illegals get away with while here.  I once heard from an attorney about a client that was here illegally.  The client had received his second speeding ticket, as well as a $1000 tickets for driving without a license.  The attorney managed to get the officer to dismiss the $1000 ticket.  Good luck doing that if you’re a citizen.

My question was, “Why didn’t they deport this guy immediately?”  Look, speeding is probably one of the more benign offenses one can commit—that’s why it’s just a misdemeanor in most States—but it can result in injury or death.  That’s tragic enough when it’s a citizen behind the wheel.  But there’s an added element of injustice when the person driving shouldn’t be here in the first place.

Finally, the whole “living in the shadows” thing is rhetoric, pure and simple.  It conjures up images of old abuelas shivering in dark trailers, afraid to go outside lest an ICE agent apprehend them.  What it really means is that they can’t get a Social Security card and get sweet government bennies—they’re in the “shadow” of official existence.  I know some libertarians who would kill to be in that situation.

Rather than huddling up in the forgotten by-ways of America, illegals flaunt their status.  I’ve been to taquerias and been told that half of those present are likely illegal.  Most of them, to be sure, are harmless, and just looking for some opportunity.  But they’ve jumped the line, doing a real disservice to immigrants that go through the lengthy, expensive process the right way.  ICE could hit a couple of these joints in an afternoon and clear them out.

The solution to illegal immigration, like most answers in life, is simple but unpleasant:  deport ’em all.  Stop fooling around with detaining them in our prisons at our expense.  Ship them back—even if it takes multiple tries—and send the message to those still in Central America that their luck won’t be any better.

America needs 100ccs of prescription-strength Deportemal, stat!