Border security first, then talk about immigration reform. Why is that so hard? Nothing President Obama says, either in rhetoric at the pool table or in budget requests, mentions border security as a priority — in fact he’s barely used the words.
We have a crisis: both of impact on innocent children and of national sovereignty. As the pithy and usually insightful Peggy Noonan says:
There seem only two groups that view the situation with appropriate alarm.
One is the children themselves, dragged through deserts to be deposited here. To them, everything is a swirl of lights, color and clamor, and shouting and clanking. A reporter touring a detainment center in Texas noted a blank, lost look among some of the younger children. Every mother knows what that suggests. Children who cry and wail anticipate comfort: That’s why they’re crying, to alert those who care for them that something is wrong. But little children who are blank, withdrawn, who don’t show or at some point know what they’re feeling—those children are in trouble.
The other group feeling a proper alarm is normal Americans, who are seeing all this on TV and who judge they are witnessing a level of lawlessness that has terrible implications for the country.
Indeed, the President throws words about, without saying anything; and others wring their hands, but do nothing. There is a simple analogy to this problem.
The boat has a leak. It is filling with water. We have two choices: talk about how to get rid of the water, how to repair the boat once it’s dried out, consider whether to repaint it while we’re at it; or we can first plug the leak before the boat sinks.
The boat is filling. We’d best plug the leak. Border security has to be job one. Conflating the real crisis of the lack of border security with the need for immigration reform is intellectually dishonest. It makes no sense whatsoever to attempt any degree of “immigration reform” before securing the border. The argument about how to do immigration reform can be had after the boat leak is plugged and the boat is still above water.
It is not dispassionate to stop the flow of these children (by the way, they’re not refugees) not matter how horrific their home conditions. The problems they have left are not new. Cartels in Honduras predate by decades the notion of the big cartels in Mexico. It’s cruel to lure them here — as the Obama administration has done — with no possibility of taking care of all of them. Whether they continue coming or not, there is no manner of so-called immigration reform that can deal with the sheer numbers of children.
Estimates are that 90,000 children per year can be expected. Let’s assume that they can be cared for at $120 per day1. That amounts to $3.9 Billion annually. That’s with a “B” — beyond even our abilities.
It is not a far stretch to say that the President and the democrat majority in the Senate are ignoring border security to blackmail the rest of Congress into reacting in the face of homeless and endangered children and thus capitulate in some sort of immigration “reform.”
It is not disingenuous to suggest that this ploy is for political gain in generating legions of new democrat-leaning voters. Why else is this human crisis being allowed to continue when the size of it can be almost immediately curtailed. Otherwise, what we have is simply anarchy, a vacuum of authority and the resulting abandonment of the sovereignty of the United States.
Border security is job one.
Noonan, Peggy. “Peggy Noonan: The Crisis on the Border – WSJ.” The Wall Street Journal – Breaking News, Business, Financial and Economic News, World News & Video – Wall Street Journal – Wsj.com. The Wall Street Journal online, 11 July 2014. Web. 13 July 2014. http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-crisis-on-the-border-1405029753
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- A figure commensurate with the cost of residential treatment facility care of foster children in Texas, an analogous situation. ↩