As the incomparable Thomas Sowell put it: “Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed in terms of how to help people who break them.”
Yet, most of this discussion only happens among the political chattering classes, which seem to have agreed that helping people who wish to break immigration laws is the only sensible and moral thing to do.
As of this writing (Tuesday morning, July 3), no less than two Democrat senators and eight members of the House caucus are calling for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, all because a fake news story eventually metastasized into outrage among the left over how illegal immigrant families were being separated.
This, by the way, doesn’t count the most vocal opponent of ICE and the media’s newest darling: Former bartender and avowed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s been on and on about piffle like this:
We will fight, we will vote, and we will run until hate is dismantled.
Vote today and help us mobilize. AFTER VOTING, NYC #MuslimBan protests start at 6pm.
2 NYC Congressional candidates today support #AbolishICE“AFTER VOTING, NYC #MuslimBan protests start at 6pm.” Pie and punch to be served.
And that’s not all. The two senators who want to get rid of ICE are both potential 2020 presidential candidates — Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
“ICE has become a cruel deportation force. This agency has carried out the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy, including separating children and parents. People are coming to the United States seeking asylum and a better life for their families – and President Trump is slamming the door on them,” Gillibrand wrote in a Facebook post.
“Congress needs to abolish ICE, and we need to start over, separating the criminal justice and immigration roles. Together, we can build a better system that is humane, just and recognizes that immigration adds to America’s strength and security.”
Meanwhile, Warren wrote that President Donald Trump’s “deeply immoral actions have made it obvious that we need to rebuild our immigration system from top to bottom, starting by replacing ICE with something that reflects our values.”
With all of these politicians rushing to abolish ICE and open up our borders, one would think that actual Americans believe that immigration law is too strict. Politicians, like pigs, don’t care where or what they eat, so long as they’re fed. The problem is that, just like the 2016 presidential election, they’re waiting at the wrong trough.
According to a new Harvard-Harris survey conducted by former Clinton strategist and pollster Mark Penn, 70 percent of Americans and a majority of both parties believe we ought to have stricter immigration laws and 64 percent believe “that people who make it across our border illegally” ought to be sent home.
But that’s just angry Caucasians defending their white supremacy, right? Well, not precisely. Fifty-one percent of Hispanics and 53 percent of blacks also said they favored stricter immigration laws.
It also made little difference if illegal immigrants brought their kids in with them.
According to Washington Examiner columnist Byron York, the poll asked respondents, “Do you think that parents with children who make it across our border illegally should be allowed to stay in the country or sent home?”
“The presence of children made little difference in the result: 61 percent (81 percent of Republicans, 40 percent of Democrats, and 66 percent of independents) said they should be sent home, while 39 percent said they should be allowed to stay,” York wrote.
“The vast majority — 88 percent — opposed separating illegal immigrant families while they are in the U.S., and they blamed the Trump administration for the policy,” York continued. “On the other hand, 55 percent (76 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of Democrats, and 55 percent of independents) said illegal immigrant families should be held in custody ‘until a judge reviews their case’ — essentially the new Trump family detention policy.
“The end result was that a substantial majority said illegal border crossers, and the children they brought, should be returned to their home countries. To that end, 80 percent (84 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of Democrats, and 78 percent of independents) favored hiring more immigration judges ‘to process people in custody faster.’”
Simple poll question: ‘Do you think we need stricter or looser enforcement of our immigration laws?’ 70% say stricter, 30% say looser. (Of majority, 92% of Rs, 51% of Ds, 69% of Inds.) http://ow.ly/RsQV30kKrh0
Mind you, this is a Harvard poll taken by a former Clinton pollster. We’re not talking the Cato Institute here. Even Penn admitted that Americans “want people who cross the border illegally to be turned around and returned home efficiently.”
So, this is going to be accomplished by abolishing ICE? Of course not. This is what happens when the discussion over immigration laws only happens among the political chattering classes and only in a reductionist fashion.
To liberals, the only way to stop families from being split up after they’re taken into custody is to eliminate the department that takes illegal immigrants into custody in the first place. The logic may be absent, but there’s a certain visceral appeal and that’s all that matters.
Penn, however, doesn’t acknowledge the most damning element of his poll for Democrats: A vast majority of Americans don’t just think we should be enforcing the law as written, they think the law as written isn’t strict enough. They’re willing to hire more judges to process cases quicker, and not to keep more people in America.
The question wasn’t asked, but the subtext is there: They’d probably be in favor of hiring more ICE agents and expending more resources on curbing illegal immigration.
They don’t believe that these are unjust laws. If anything, they don’t think the Trump administration is tolerating too little, but too much. And it doesn’t matter whether they’re white, black or Hispanic: Every group believes our laws on illegal immigration need to be enforced.
By the time that you read this, there’s a good chance there will be even more Democrats in Congress calling for the ICE’s dissolution. And Donald Trump and the GOP will be loving every defector from the cold, hard facts of political reality.
That fact alone ought to be enough to prompt the Democrats to reconsider discussing immigration laws in terms of how to help people who break them. It won’t, though.
And that goes a long way to explaining the Democrats’ recent electoral woes, and why this November is unlikely to bring about as much of a change in that department as they seem to believe it will.