The Border & the Rule of Law

We have a border and illegal immigration crisis. Some want to reframe it as a humanitarian crisis. It has become that, but only because of the greater crisis that faces us—the breakdown of the rule of law. Unfortunately, this breakdown is being propagated at the top. When the chief executive authority in a country doesn’t take the country’s laws seriously, we have a crisis:

Lttle Dutch Boy

President Obama says all the right words about Congress needing to act, but that’s just an act itself. Given the option, I’m sure he would prefer to rule unilaterally without any Congress to get in his way:

Congress Widget

Of course, when he does act unilaterally, as he has done and as he is now threatening to do with the illegal immigration issue, he’s reverting to the threat he uttered weeks ago:

Have a Pen

Why be bothered by a silly old document written more than 200 years ago? Why worry about overstepping boundaries set up by men who had studied the mechanics of government for many years? Besides, who’s going to stop him? With the Senate in his pocket—at least temporarily—and a disdain for the rule of law, he is free to do whatever he desires. He doesn’t really need to worry about impeachment, since there won’t ever be 2/3 of senators who will go along with it, no matter what reasonable arguments are put forward:

Completely Incompetent

Well, actually, a president can be impeached for complete incompetence. There just aren’t enough votes for it presently.

What’s going to happen with the border? I predict Obama will act unilaterally to provide amnesty to millions, the rule of law will become a joke on this issue, and the chaos will only increase. Our temporal salvation lies in enough citizens becoming aware and concerned about this drift. In November, we’ll find out how many have awakened from their slumber.

Common Sense at the Border

Do we have a border crisis or is the current state of affairs at our southern border just what the Obama administration wants? Perhaps illegal immigrants can be excused for being confused about our policy. We don’t exactly make it clear, do we?

Mixed Messages

Protecting our border is a federal responsibility, but when the federal government doesn’t do its job, it’s understandable that states have to shoulder the burden instead. That’s why Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has now ordered a thousand National Guardsmen to the border. Does he deserve the criticism he receives for doing so, or should that criticism instead be directed toward those who are looking the other way?

Washington, DC, can sometimes be another world where politicians live in luxury penthouses and only occasionally get out to see what’s happening where the peons live. Harry Reid is a prime example. He actually stated publicly, on the record, that the border is secure. That’s when you know for sure a politician resides on some other planet:

Border Is Secure

As a history professor, it’s not too difficult to imagine how Harry Reid would have responded during the War of 1812 when the British invaded and burned Washington:


Lest we forget, there are good reasons for not having a porous border. It’s not a matter of being hardhearted toward those who might like to live in the U.S. Rather, it’s a combination of respect for the rule of law—which will disintegrate if we allow it to be violated so easily—and concern for national security. Keep in mind there are some out there who love the access we give them and who would use it to their advantage:

Wide Open

All of that seems to be lost on the presumed Leader of the Free World who spends most of his time on other activities:

Cancel Fundraiser

One could say he deserves what he gets, but, unfortunately, the rest of us will suffer along with him. Securing the border is no more extremist than securing one’s own home from intruders. It used to be called common sense.

Border Insecurity

The most prominent story in the past week has been the influx of children from Central America coming over our border for the express purpose of being apprehended and then resettled somewhere in the U.S (although, if the truth be known, some of those children are gang members and nearly 50% of the detainees are adults). They know that will be the result for most of them since we are not doing anything to stop the illegal immigration flow and our humanitarian impulses will ensure they are taken care of.

Why the influx now? It’s a direct outgrowth of the administration’s policy of inviting everyone to come without penalty. Rules for immigration? Oh, those can be ignored. Why bother with the rule of law? It’s what our Chief Executive does every day. Concerns about terrorism with an uncontrolled border? Overblown, of course. We are the problem; there would be no Muslim extremists if we didn’t harbor such suspicions about them. Overwhelming the system? No sweat. We’ll just spend more money we don’t have. Everyone come. Oh, and our border has never been more secure. At least, that’s the line we’re supposed to believe:

Never More Secure

Of course, President Obama is right on top of the situation. His first action was to stop in Colorado and play some pool:

Your Shot

Those photo ops were engineered to show that he gets out to meet ordinary people, like the governor of Colorado. It was also a great way to ignore what’s happening at the border and punt to the Republicans, who obviously are the real culprits here. His next stop was Texas where there actually is a border with Mexico. I think he’s aware of that. Yet when Gov. Perry of Texas asked him to please go to the border to see what’s occurring, he demurred. That would just be a photo op, you know, and he’s not into those:

Photo Ops

He did lower himself to meet with the governor for a few minutes, but Perry came away unconvinced that the president really cares about the problem:


After all, his real reason for being in Texas in the first place was to go to some fundraisers. Priorities.

Genuine leadership is lacking if one compares the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with one of his predecessors:

Tear Down This Wall

Not exactly a Reagan moment.

What people need to realize is that the reason Obama is not invested in a solution to the problem is that he doesn’t see it as a problem. This is precisely what he wants to happen. He seeks complete amnesty for all illegals; in fact, he disdains the term. All, in his view, have a right to be here. In fact, I strongly suspect that if he had his way, the only ones being deported would be people like me. He doesn’t like criticism.

So don’t waste time worrying about when he’s going to change policy and take this seriously. It will never happen. Our only recourse is through the courts and through the elections of 2014 and 2016. Hopefully, there will be something left to salvage.

Immigration & Honest Deliberation

I’ve held back on writing about the immigration debate going on right now in Congress. There are a number of reasons why I’ve been reluctant to engage the topic until now, but it really comes down to the desire to hear as much as possible from both sides before saying anything publicly. Once a comment is made, it’s hard to pull it back; I strive to never have to regret what I write in these blogs.

The need for some kind of immigration reform is pretty much acknowledged on both ends of this polarizing debate. The fact that we have more than 11 million illegals living in the country has to be dealt with somehow. I understand the desire of so many to escape their situations where they came from, and that the US seems to be a beacon to them, holding the promise of something better. That’s why America has been an immigrant magnet throughout much of its history.

I kept hoping this debate would be illuminating; it’s turned out to be anything but that. Frankly, I’m distressed by the rhetoric on both sides. Those in favor of the current comprehensive bill before the Senate have accused those who oppose it of being anti-immigrant or even racist. That last charge is always the last resort of the demagogue. Well, for some, it’s the first resort; they wrongly presume it never gets old.

Those who line up against the proposed bill say it simply repeats the mistake of the 1986 act that promised real border security but never delivered. They then accuse the proponents on the Republican side of kowtowing to the Hispanic vote. Senators like Lindsey Graham have provided fodder for that accusation with his comments on how Republicans will become a permanent minority if they don’t support this bill. Political pandering is as old as politics itself, but statements such as those make this appear to be wholly political rather than for the good of the nation. Opponents also warn that there are other voters out there as well:

Voter Never Forgets

What I desire is a solution that ensures the border is not a sieve while simultaneously treating immigrants with compassion. Does compassion, though, mean those who crossed over illegally should have a promise of citizenship? Why do those who favor the bill hold out citizenship as the endgame? Why are illegal immigrants, in effect, being rewarded for breaking the law in the first place? I’m not saying we should deport them; what I’m saying is there should not be what has been termed “a path to citizenship” for those who showed no respect for the law. No one is owed citizenship. It’s not a natural right.

Let’s go back to what the Founders had to say about immigration. What we find is actually rather surprising. They said little about it, comparatively. For most of the first century of American government under the Constitution, there were no immigration laws. Why not? Because all the emphasis was on citizenship, which is where the Founders put their emphasis. Immigrants were welcome, but the road to becoming a citizen had rules. One had to follow those rules and show respect for the laws to be part of this society. And the nature of those immigrants was such that they sought to fit into the already-existing culture. Oh, and they didn’t get any government benefits: no free healthcare; no free education; no welfare of any kind. They were on their own to fail or succeed based on their personal character.

We have since introduced monetary incentives to cross the border illegally. A veritable treasure house awaits. We also now have the threat of international/Muslim terrorism, which can take advantage of a leaky border:

 One Reason

We’re told by those in favor of the current bill that it effectively secures the border. Opponents disagree; they say it is amnesty first, with a promise of border security eventually—that the bill is all rhetoric and no action—that we’ve been down this road before. From what I’ve been reading, I would have to say their point is well taken.

What’s wrong with securing our borders first? Why not have a “results-oriented” bill that documents a 90% effectiveness in sealing that border before dealing with the rest of the problem? Without a secure border, the problem continues and grows larger. Why try to do everything in one monstrous bill? Why not break this into stages?

What we are witnessing this week is Obamacare revisited. Remember when Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass Obamacare to find out what’s in it? This huge immigration reform bill, along with a supposed border security amendment, is almost the same size as Obamacare. Harry Reid is attempting to rush it through the Senate this week, not allowing senators to fully digest it first. Real debate over the particulars—which includes a lot of pork, apparently—is not allowed. Vote first, find out what you voted for afterwards.

Even if I could support this current bill, I could never support the way in which it is being rammed through. It’s unconscionable.

No bill becomes a law without the consent of both houses of Congress. Once the Senate circus is over, the House will have its chance to show the country that honest deliberation is not dead.