For far too long, Democrats have been able to frame their willful indifference to the tragedy unfolding on our southern border as “pro-immigrant.”
The corollary, always implied and often explicit, is that President Trump and anyone else opposed to illegal migration is “anti-immigrant” and even racist.
The entire premise is absurd. President Trump and the Republican Party have always supported immigration — they simply believe it should take place on America’s terms and for America’s benefit.
Today, that means emphasizing merit-based immigration — encouraging highly qualified foreign workers who are ready to contribute the most to the American economy and to take the steps necessary to come to our country legally, not through uncontrolled streams of Central America’s poorest citizens challenging our border enforcement system with bogus claims of asylum.
Supporting the latter is what Democrats mean by “pro-immigrant.” The results have been tragic and unsustainable, and to deny there is a crisis is no longer a tenable position. The law enforcement professionals who are all that stand between us and the complete disintegration of our borders are unequivocal: the crisis has pushed our system “beyond the breaking point.”
Even Barack Obama’s own Homeland Security Secretary, Jeh Johnson, acknowledged that “By anyone’s definition, by any measure, right now we have a crisis at our southern border.”
It would be bad enough if this were an oversight, but it’s not. This crisis was created intentionally by a Democrat Party that hopes unchecked illegal immigration will deliver election victories for liberal candidates.
The Democrats brought us to our current breaking point with years of outright refusal to meaningfully enforce immigration laws and incessant pandering to the mostly-white activists who think mass third-world migration is a moral imperative.
As the President correctly noted at his Grand Rapids rally March 28, left-wing political money has sent an army of immigration lawyers to teach “caravaners” and other faux asylum seekers the magic words they need to say to be allowed to disappear into our country.
The results are as predictable as they are tragic. Our legal asylum system has become an overloaded, unsustainable joke, and the news has filtered back to source countries, encouraging even more illegal immigration. Groups numbering in the dozens turned to hundreds, then thousands, and now tens of thousands of economic migrants seeking to invade our country.
To this day, the leaders of the Democratic Party remain adamantly opposed to border security and merit-based immigration. Presidential hopeful Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, for example, kicked off his campaign by declaring that mass immigration across the southern border by asylum seekers actually makes our communities safer.
Fortunately, and at long last, we have a President prepared to call the liberals’ bluff. Ridiculous accusations that the desire to end this crisis and institute an orderly immigration system on our own terms is “anti-immigrant” won’t cut it after the President’s enthusiastic endorsement of increased merit-based immigration at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February.
If Democrats continue to refuse, as they have throughout the Trump presidency, to support reasonable border security solutions and provide the funding and resources we need to secure the border and remove illegal aliens in a safe and orderly fashion, President Trump has made clear there is another route: cutting off aid to the source countries in the northern triangle of Central America, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, as well as possibly closing the border with Mexico entirely. This would force those countries, not us, to bear the consequences of the caravans until they are prepared to act as real partners to counter them.
All of the forces of the open-borders consensus — Democrats, immigration lawyers, liberal activists, and the mainstream media — will have to come to terms with the fact that merit-based immigration is the only way forward.
Democrats often accuse President Trump of being “anti-immigrant,” but it was their policies that created the humanitarian catastrophe we are now witnessing on the southern border.
Securing the border and introducing a merit-based immigration system is perhaps the most pro-immigrant approach we can take.
Jan Brewer is former Governor of Arizona