Issues & Insights

A National Emergency By Democrat Design

Few of today’s millennials, unfortunately, have ever seen the Cold War footage of those who risked their lives, braving bullets and barbed wire, to escape through the Iron Curtain to political and economic freedom. So no wonder they think America’s southern border, absent President Trump’s promised wall, is tough to cross.

As confirmed once again in spades by the latest news, what separates us from Mexico and all points beyond is barely a barrier at all. Some 775,000 illegal border crossings are projected to take place this year, a rate exceeding the Obama years, according to Princeton Policy Advisers researcher Steven Kopits.

It’s so bad, the President threatened to shut border entry points. Of course, he controversially declared a state of emergency over the border earlier this year, and it’s ludicrous to argue, as per the Democrats’ talking points, that an emergency is not exactly what it is.

As Trump stated in his announcement on Feb. 15, “The southern border is a major entry point for criminals, gang members, and illicit narcotics. The problem of large-scale unlawful migration through the southern border is long-standing, and despite the executive branch’s exercise of existing statutory authorities, the situation has worsened in certain respects in recent years.”

Every violent crime committed by an illegal alien, like the killing of a police officer last month near Seattle, is an outrage that would never have happened if this country had control of our borders. The red herring retorts about illegals only committing a fraction of the nation’s murders, etc., are zero solace to families of the victims of those homicides.

But the national tragedy is that the apparently perpetual illegal immigration crisis, in search of an ever-elusive solution, prevents the debate on legal immigration America vitally needs.

And topic one in that debate is immigration’s role, by design, to bring Democrats permanent political power ASAP.

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was supposed to, as President Reagan put it during the signing ceremony, “humanely regain control of our borders.” But that same day, then-New York City Congressman Chuck Schumer, now the Democrat leader in the U.S. Senate, was quoted in the Washington Post calling the 1986 law “a gamble…nobody’s certain it’s going to work…so if it doesn’t work we’ll have to go back to the drawing board.”

Many millions of illegal aliens later, it’s clearer than ever its half measures could never have worked. But as far as Democrats are concerned, it was never supposed to.

How did we get to today’s massive, undeniable immigration crisis? Via an incremental strategy by Democrats to gain permanent national political dominance.

It’s worth looking at some history:

The 1968 Democratic Party Platform said of the 1965 reform passed by a Congress and White House under the party’s full control, “A new Immigration Act removed the harsh injustice of the national origins quota system and opened our shores without discrimination to those who can contribute to the growth and strength of America.” When President Lyndon Johnson signed it, he promised, stunningly in retrospect, that it was “not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives…”

By 1972, the party, by then radicalized by McGovernites, only mentioned immigration in its platform in the context of re-establishing a U.S.-Mexico border commission to clean up “waterways flowing into Mexico, and conduct substantial programs to raise the economic level on both sides of the border.” Democrats were sure “This should remove the economic reasons which contribute to illegal immigration…in addition, language requirements for citizenship should be removed.”

In 1976, their platform was pushing “a provision in the immigration laws to facilitate acquisition of citizenship by Resident Aliens.”

By 1980, the platform was demanding an end to immigration agents’ “’neighborhood sweeps’ and stop and search procedures which are discriminatory or without probable cause.” Translation: don’t deport our goldmine of future votes.

Four years later, the Democrats’ platform featured now-familiar mantras on “family reunification” and “the discriminatory English-only pressure groups,” who were justifiably alarmed that immigrants were no longer assimilating.

But it was in 1996 that the Democrats’ long-term strategy came into the bright light. With President Bill Clinton expecting a close 1996 contest for re-election, an initiative called “Citizenship USA” fast-tracked swearings-in to manufacture as many new Democrat votes as possible. Immigration now took up many times more space in the party’s platform – over 1,000 words.

It said, “we deplore those who blame immigrants for economic and social problems” and declared, “We are proud that the President launched Citizenship USA to help eligible immigrants become United States citizens. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is streamlining procedures, cutting red tape, and using new technology to make it easier for legal immigrants to accept the responsibilities of citizenship and truly call America their home.”

A decade after the 1986 immigration law, it was obvious to all that it had failed. “We cannot tolerate illegal immigration and we must stop it,” the platform stated. “In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed. The border was under-patrolled, and what patrols there were, were under-equipped. Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.” The platform then falsely claimed Bill Clinton, in less than four years, had fixed it all.

Much of it read like a Donald Trump campaign missive, with the caveat: “We deplore those who use the need to stop illegal immigration as a pretext for discrimination.” No Democrat today would ever repeat anything contained in the immigration enforcement section of their own 1996 platform.

Today, our borders still might as well not exist. But we not only must regain control over them and recognize we’ve had an emergency on our hands for decades. We must also envision and enact a sane legal immigration policy as we permanently stop illegal immigration.

The Democratic Party is becoming ever more radicalized, illustrated by the rise of explicit, impatient socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who shocked and disturbed her own party when she unseated a high-ranking member of the Democrats’ House leadership in her primary election last year.

Americans must ask themselves: Is this a good time for the whole country to become California-ized, so that, like there, conservative Republicans can never be elected to the most powerful offices again?

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Thomas McArdle

Tom McArdle @MacArdghail, longtime Senior Writer for Investor's Business Daily, was a White House Speechwriter for President George W. Bush, National Political Reporter for Washington political columnists Rowland Evans and Robert Novak, Managing Editor of Human Events, and has worked as a writer for CNN and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. His work has appeared in National Review, the American Spectator, The Hill, the Washington Examiner, Newsmax, and the National Catholic Register. He has appeared on Fox News and numerous talk radio programs. He is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, M. Stanton Evans' National Journalism Center in Washington, Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx, and at 17 was one of Curtis Sliwa's original "Magnificent 13" Guardian Angels.

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