By Nancy Smith
As a Republican, I should just sit back smugly and watch. If the Democrats want to keep moving hard left on immigration, I should just keep my mouth shut and let them get on with it.
But if you know me at all, you know I don’t keep my mouth shut. So here it is:
Immigration — that one issue on its own — will give the White House to Donald Trump in 2020.
I’ve seen it coming. But why I bring it up now was the release Friday of the latest political nonsense from the blue camp, “Child Separations by the Trump Administration,” a staff report prepared for and requested by Democrat Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. It talks about the Homestead migrant shelter and the whole of the shelter program in what are supposed to be jaw-dropping numbers: 55 children (gasp!) of 2,000 at Homestead, taken from their parents to be housed there. (The remainder arrived in the country unaccompanied.)
This is exactly the kind of report people are beginning to get wise to.
“Child Separations … etc.” deals in numbers. Isolated factoids.
People are smart enough to realize that every one of these 55 kids has a story. He/she is in the shelter for a reason. Maybe there was only a father, maybe the child had been abused on the trip North, maybe one or both of the parents committed a crime, maybe a parent was sick and proximity endangered the child’s health. The report doesn’t explain the cases.
This is artless political drivel. It isn’t even clever. All it does is USE these children to fire up a campaign against Donald Trump.
It’s the same as hearing attorneys who visited the facility proffer their opinions in sound bytes, with no details to back them up — talking about these “poor abused children” who cry themselves to sleep, who have to walk single-file to class and to the cafeteria, who complain about the food. Voters are finally asking for the whole story. What kind of food are these kids forced to eat? Why is structured discipline like walking in single-file bad for children living together in an overcrowded environment? And crying? Are they crying because of something that happened to them IN the facility? Or because of life experiences we can’t possibly know?
Somewhere down the line, Cummings’ report is going to backfire on him, mark my words.
Immigration as a loser-issue for Democrats first hit me in March, when the House majority pushed through H.R. 1, the “For the People Act of 2019.” Cute name. But at a time when the voters say immigration is the most important issue facing the nation, political observers are saying bill actually loosens restrictions on voting by illegal aliens. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (theoretically) may prohibit noncitizens from voting in federal elections, but H.R.1 tells them yes, you can vote in local contests like school board elections. Under the Democratic libs, voting in America as a privilege only for American citizens is inching toward life support.
Then came the second round of the Miami candidate debates.
Every candidate on the stage that second night endorsed government-funded health care, even for people who came to this country illegally.
There wasn’t a lot of discussion about increasing detentions — as happened under the previous Democratic administration — or increasing funding for border security. In this area, the Democratic candidates could have staked out ground where they disagree with Trump about building a wall, but agree more needs to be done to improve border security. That has been a common position of Democratic candidates in the past, but it wasn’t on display during the debates.
After that — for me, anyway — came the poll from Harvard–Harris which found 80 percent of voters say local authorities should have to comply with the law by reporting to federal agents the illegal immigrants they come into contact with. Oops. Today’s Left loves their sanctuary cities. Meanwhile, much of America, it appears, does not.
Hundreds of cities across the nation — many with Democratic mayors or city councils — are refusing to report illegals to the feds. Increasingly unpopular.
Conservative news site BPR points out that Obama’s top Homeland Security official recently made the point in a Washington Post oped expressing his disagreement over the Democratic presidential candidates “indicating at the recent Democratic debates that they would support the decriminalization of border crossings.” It calls for “some straight talk on immigration.” (My apologies: I can’t successfully link the oped because of its pay wall.)
Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson wrote, “We cannot, as some Democratic candidates for president now propose, publicly embrace a policy to not deport those who enter or remain in this country illegally unless they commit a crime.
“This is tantamount to a public declaration (repeated and amplified by smugglers in Central America) that our borders are effectively open to all,” he wrote, adding that “we cannot formally decriminalize unauthorized entry into this country.”
Nevertheless, some mainstream media are giving immigration extremists the no-borders cover they’re looking for. Have a look at the Huffington Post’s “16 Reasons Why Opening Our Borders Makes More Sense Than Militarizing Them.”
After the Miami debate, former Vice President Joe Biden set himself apart from the field when he clarified that, although he appeared to be in agreement with decriminalizing border crossings, he actually wants to see it kept a federal offense. But wait. In a foreign policy speech Thursday in New York City, he flipped. Biden declared, “I respect no borders, and cannot be contained by any walls.”
This isn’t our father’s Democratic Party, folks. Moderates have been purged, conservative Democrats are nonexistent, and the party’s leaders seem intent on turning it into a party of hard socialism as quickly as possible. Bottom line is, the immigration issue — even more than the blues’ shameful antipathy for the Second Amendment — is bringing that reality home to the voters.
Nancy Smith is the editor of Sunshine State News. She started her career at the Daily Mirror and The Observer in London before spending 28 years at The Stuart News/Port St. Lucie News as managing editor and associate editor. She was president of the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors in the mid-1990s. Reach her by email here, or follow her on twitter at @NancyLBSmith.