Guy W. Farmer: Time to truly enforce immigration law

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal

As we were celebrating Valentine’s Day Tuesday, the Reno Gazette-Journal was continuing its page one romance with illegal immigration and “open borders” advocates. Two examples: (1) the RGJ championed an illegal immigrant who had been deported twice and charged with drunk driving and (2) the paper published another one-sided, front-page article on desperate refugees from war-torn Muslim majority nations that harbor terrorists.

Of course there’s an element of truth to both of these stories. The RGJ’s illegal “hero” has American children — some would call them “anchor babies” — and many Middle Eastern immigrants are fine people with admirable family values. Nevertheless, it would be a terrible, even dangerous, mistake to ignore the downside of illegal immigration and open borders.

While I admire and respect the refugee resettlement work of Dr. Carina Black, director of the Northern Nevada International Center in Reno, the other side of that story is the Homeland Security and State departments must remain vigilant to prevent terrorists masquerading as refugees from entering our country, and that requires what President Trump refers to as “extreme vetting.”

I agree with nationally syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, who wrote Trump’s executive order halting immigration from seven mostly Muslim nations was “legal but stupid” because while the president has broad authority “to exclude the entry of aliens,” Trump’s moratorium “caused enormous disruption without making us any safer.”

This seems to be yet another example of sloppy White House staff work. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly fell on his sword and accepted responsibility for the botched moratorium rollout, but ultimate responsibility belongs to the inexperienced, headstrong occupant of the Oval Office. The rollout could have benefited from some professional public diplomacy, which I discussed in last Sunday’s column. Sometimes it isn’t what you say, it’s the way you say it.

Back to the core issue, illegal immigration and open borders advocates started yelling and screaming the moment Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers began to enforce our nation’s immigration laws, as Trump promised during his successful election campaign. ICE enforcement agents rounded up hundreds of illegal immigrants in more than a half dozen cities and states including Chicago (ex-President Obama’s adopted hometown) and neighboring California. ICE officials described the raids as “a routine enforcement surge” and said they had targeted criminal aliens — those convicted of felonies — and those who had ignored deportation orders.

Needless to say, the new administration’s enforcement surge was a sharp departure from President Obama’s “selective enforcement” of our immigration laws, which resulted in putting thousands of dangerous and/or violent criminals back on the streets of American cities. Trump ran against that soft on illegal immigration approach, and the open borders people need to face this new reality.

Like all other countries, the United States has a right to control its borders and we have no obligation to accept destitute, unskilled immigrants from other countries. Mexico, for example, shoves illegal immigrants from Central and South America back across its southern border with Guatemala when they attempt to enter Mexico on their way to the promised land to the north. As National Geographic noted a few years ago, “(Illegal) migrants face ruthless bandits and corrupt officials” when attempting to cross the Suchiate River into southern Mexico. So much for the “rights” of illegal immigrants in Mexico, which complains about how we treat illegals from that country. Can you say “double standard?”

President Trump should continue to enforce our immigration laws while paying attention to other campaign promises such as regulation and tax reforms, and health care transformation. And for God’s sake, stop that silly “tweeting!”

Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal’s senior political columnist.


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