A voter trying to affect the course of government is a little like a pilot trying to affect the course of hand-to-hand combat with a 500-pound bomb. Just as there is simply no place in the battle that the pilot can strike without inflicting casualties on his own side, there is no candidate in a two-party election that any given voter can support without voting against some of his own beliefs at the same time.
For example, when given a choice between, on the one hand, a pro-abortion, protectionist, pro-civil liberties, race-baiting surrender monkey in favor of subsidized gay marriage for illegal alien pedophiles, and on the other hand, an anti-abortion, pro-free trade, tough-on-terror, donor-kissing corporate sycophant in favor of outsourcing all children to more competitive child rearing farms in Pakodeshindia … for whom does the gun-owning Irish Catholic union member from New York vote to advance his overall values in Washington? Or for that matter, for whom does anyone vote?
Like the pilot in our strained comparison, the voter can abort all action (stay home) or look down at the battlefield, pick out an area that seems more filled with the enemy than the friendlies and yell “bombs away!” (Vote for the lesser of two weasels.)
Whichever of the two weasels is judged to be least, he will immediately arrive in Washington with his weasels-in-arms and, because he won by 3 percentage points, claim a mandate for some issue that was ranked fifth in importance in exit polls.
This is what is happening right now on the issue of illegal immigration. When asked directly about the issue by pollsters, voters of all major ideologies consistently oppose its continued tolerance by government. Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike want it stopped. This result is much too clear and direct for many politicians and pundits to find useful, so instead an assemblage as diverse as George W. Bush, Robert Novak, Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi are claiming that voters in the last election demanded amnesty for illegal aliens.
A good deal of propaganda has been spun over the last two months in support of that notion, as Democrats prepare to move forward on legalizing 15 million to 30 million future clients of the welfare state; while the Bush wing of the GOP, by contrast, prepares to move forward on legalizing 15 million to 30 million current workers of the corporate state.
Any honest analysis of the election, however, shows that voters did not turn out Republicans in sympathy with La Raza and Tyson Foods. The election was a widespread expression of dissatisfaction with the GOP, triggered by Iraq, corruption, and spending. To the extent that illegal alien coddling was an issue, it was a secondary issue that hurt the GOP with a significant part of its natural base.
Such obvious political realities cannot be allowed to interfere, however, with the massing movement in Washington to “do something” on the issue of illegal immigration. Unfortunately, the “something” being contemplated—amnesty by any other name—will just make the problem worse. This means that the social problems and voter dissatisfaction surrounding the issue will continue to grow.
With the Democrats now in charge of Congress, the only actions being discussed are defunding border security measures (such as the 700 miles of fencing that were approved by the GOP-led Congress last year) and giving immigration criminals already in the country a “path to citizenship.” The theory behind this move is that if Congress just declares illegal aliens to be legal, people will think they have solved the problem.
In other words, the bipartisan open-borders lobby would have voters believe that the root cause of crime is law. After all, if there were no laws or limits, no one could violate them. Crime would be zero. So they propose to solve the illegal alien problem by simply attacking the fact that they are illegal. In this way, terrible anarchy will be replaced by a healthy lawlessness on the border. This will reduce future illegal crossings about as well as giving car thieves a “path to ownership” would reduce future car theft.
The historical proof of this is overwhelming. Giving immigration criminals a “path to citizenship” (a six syllable amnesty) will repeat the mistake that is the root cause of today’s problem—the 1986 amnesty (path to citizenship).
In 1986, a bipartisan consensus in Congress issued an amnesty (they were at least honest in naming it) for the 3 million illegal aliens then in America. Doing so was supposed to solve the problem by allowing immigration enforcement officials to forget about the huge backlog of international trespassers requiring deportation under the law, and focus instead on preventing new trespassers from entering. We would cut our losses and move on. Increased border security never came though and the illegal immigration floodgates then opened in earnest—ironically, because of the amnesty that was billed as a solution to the problem.
The problem worsened because the amnesty sent out a clear message to the world’s poor: just get to America and they will let you stay. You can sneak in, lie your way in, bribe your way in, force your way in, or beg your way in and its as good as getting a green card up front. America will let you stay, forgive your illegal entry, identity theft, tax evasion, Medicaid costs, lack of driver’s licenses and your off-the-books cash only jobs—and then make you a citizen and thank you for caring enough to lie and cheat your way into a better life here in the land of the free lunch.
The world heard the message of amnesty clearly; and it was only after we rang this dinner bell that illegal immigration grew into the chronic crisis it is today. A second amnesty will simply rebroadcast this same message and establish that our lunacy knows no limits.
Such a mistake will be a shame, since border crossings are down significantly for 2006—just as a result of the feeble efforts enacted during the last election year. After years of increases, apprehensions (an estimate of total crossings) are down 8.4% for the entire year, with the biggest decrease (41%) occurring for “other-than-Mexican” aliens (OTMs). These decreases began in mid-year immediately after the President, in an effort to assuage his critics, announced to the world that the policy of “catch and release” for OTMs would be ended and that 6,000 National Guardsmen would be sent to the border. The deployment of the Guardsmen received massive attention from the media in Central America.
The fact that these meager and half-hearted efforts—theater, really—were able to cause such a substantial decrease in illegal crossings shows that our real problem was not one of resources or “boots on the ground,” but one of telegraphing our intention to do nothing. The problem is solely one of public relations. The world’s underclass has perceived—correctly—that the U.S. government, at the behest of corrupt businesses and ethnic grievance pimps, wants them to come here illegally and will reward their efforts with citizenship. Who wouldn’t come? Statistics indicate that one-seventh of Mexico’s working-age population has already arrived.
Yell “free money” in a crowd and you can have every expectation of many happy takers. The same money can, however, be walked safely through the same crowd by an old man armed with nothing more than a security guard’s uniform—because the uniform communicates an intention to enforce law. That’s all the difference. Most of law enforcement is simply creating the belief that there will be enforcement.
The second coming of amnesty in the next Congress will, once again, do just the opposite. It will confirm in people’s minds that in the end, there will be no immigration law enforcement. Only a dedicated and well-publicized effort to restore law enforcement and punishment will correct the problem. And far from solving the problem, Congress and the President are about to make it worse.