Trump will keep America safe by blocking migrant caravan at border | USA Today (op-ed)

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Members of the Arizona National Guard in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 9, 2018 (Photo: Caitlin O’Hara/AFP/Getty Images).

Trump will stop the caravan, defend our border, keep out criminals, and protect America. Democrats want to abolish ICE and keep a weak asylum system.

Source: Trump will keep America safe by blocking migrant caravan at border

“Another ‘caravan’ of several thousand illegal aliens is marching towards our southern border, and the Democrats want to lay out the welcome mat…

“These Central American caravaners make it very clear that they want to enter the United States, and they don’t really care what the people of the United States have to say about it. Singing their national anthems and carrying their national flags, the would-be invaders scoff at the notion that immigration laws apply to them.”

Precisely so. I will be honest, here: I would be a lot more inclined to welcome these people if they were waving American flags and singing “God Bless America.” But they are not. This is a clear challenge to our borders, to our territorial integrity, and therefore, to our national sovereignty. They are, in fact, invaders.

I would also be more inclined to welcome them if they were more clearly refugees and asylum-seekers. But despite the presence of a few (token?) women and children among them, pictures and video make clear that the vast majority of them are young men of military age. Not surprising, perhaps, as this is the group most likely to have the physical stamina to endure a march of several hundred miles; but the fact remains.

In this they are more than a little reminiscent of the horde of “Syrian refugees” storming the borders of Europe beginning in 2015, despite a majority of them being of sub-Saharan African extraction – their only connection with Syria being that they, perhaps, passed through it on their way to the Mediterranean.

On the subject of passing through: another way this “caravan” is reminiscent of the invasion of Europe is that they have passed through safe countries on their way to another they liked better. Mexico (admittedly under pressure from the U.S.) has made very generous offers to these people, but although some have taken Mexico up on them, a majority seems determined to press on to make a point, and a spectacle, of crashing the U.S. border.

Let us be very clear:

Those who pass through one safe country on their way to another are no longer refugees or asylum-seekers, but simply migrants, who no country is under any legal or moral obligation to accept; and any group which uses violent means – such as crashing the Guatemalan and Mexican border fences – to move from one country to another are no longer simply migrants, but invaders.

Am I saying that this is a military invasion? No. As another article points out, “the majority [are] people who had been considering migration for a long time and now saw an opportunity to head north with added safety in numbers and without having to pay a coyote, which can cost as much as $7,000.” It is not an invasion in the literal, military sense of the term; but that does not therefore make it benign, or something to be ignored or accommodated.

I hasten to add that I am not without sympathy for the people of Honduras, who have a rough row to hoe: “about two-thirds of the population lives in poverty and the total number increased by roughly six percent in 2017; 80 percent of workers earn below the minimum wage of a few hundred dollars per month. On top of this, Honduras ranks among the most violent countries on the planet. Fewer than one in 10 crimes is ever solved. And then there’s the drought…”

But as I have pointed out elsewhere, the United States is not the leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the rainbow; we are not the “land of milk and honey.” Whatever it may say on the base of the Statue of Liberty, we cannot forever be forever taking in other nations’ tired and poor, their huddled masses yearning to be free; and especially not when so many of our own people are in poverty, many of them homeless, others out of work and dependent on public assistance, or working but desperately under-employed.

Even if we wanted to be world’s faerie godmother, we simply cannot do it; it is not possible. Ideals are wonderful things, and I am much in favor of them; but when ideals clash with reality, sooner or later, reality wins. Nonetheless, a lot of our present immigration law is grounded more in ideals than reality – or perhaps, to be more fair, on an outdated reality in which we had more resources than population, and plenty of room to spare. To return to the linked USA Today op-ed,

“Caravaners know that if they simply claim to fear persecution in their home country, they stand a very good chance of being allowed to enter the United States with no proof. Once in, it could be years, if ever, before they have to defend that claim in an immigration hearing, let alone face deportation.

“This cynical exploitation of our generous asylum laws is deliberately enabled by Democrats and open borders groups.”

In direct and marked contrast,

“With Trump’s full support, Sessions is making clear that asylum is for people who are being persecuted for their ‘race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion’ — not anyone whose home country is less prosperous or more dangerous than America.”

And so it should be.

There is more worth noting in this post, including an account of the clear and dramatic connection between illegal immigration, violent crime, and the importation of illegal drugs, “including tons of the deadly opioids that are fueling the worst drug overdose crisis in U.S. history.” This op-ed piece is by Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the exclusive labor representative of approximately 16,000 Border Patrol agents. He knows whereof he speaks. Read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest!

Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

3 thoughts on “Trump will keep America safe by blocking migrant caravan at border | USA Today (op-ed)”

  1. Well said, all. My problem is that once they are here, legal wrangling and such being left to those in positions to do so, is there a difference between how I should treat them as a citizen and as a member of the clergy, supposedly trying to show the love of Christ to all people? I absolutely agree with everything you said above – but there’s a part of me that’s going: If you can get a force like you’ve gotten here together, the majority of whom are able-bodied young men, why aren’t you changing the reality in your own country instead of coming here and trying to change ours? If your culture means enough to you to carry it with you on this caravan – doesn’t it mean enough to you to restore it in your own country?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Two good questions, neither of which have easy answers! But for what they’re worth, I’ll share my thoughts. With respect to the first, the solution I have arrived at for myself is to do my best to treat each person, regardless of origin, as a child of God, and therefore with maximum compassion and consideration – as an individual.

      This does not mean, of course, that individuals may not pose a threat, and therefore need to be dealt with in an appropriate manner; nor does it mean that they should automatically get the “bennies” they have come for, if they crossed the border illegally! Sometimes compassion takes the form of “tough love.” *wry smile* But it does mean that they should be dealt with, to the greatest extent possible, kindly, on a person-to-person basis.

      On the more abstract or collective level (and sometimes on the individual as well), I believe that our first priority is to our own: our own people, our own nation, and the well-being of both. I don’t think there’s anything in the Scriptures (or for us Anglicans, Tradition or Reason, either) that forbids or denies this. In fact, I think of Galatians 6:10, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

      But I think it goes back even further, to the Fifth Commandment: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12). I don’t think we can claim to be honoring our fathers and mothers, that our days may be long in the land which the Lord has given us, if we allow anybody and everybody who so desires to come barging in to the country our forebears built, looking for the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow, to the detriment of our own people, and our nation itself!

      I will try to find the piece I read a little while ago, pointing out that the word usually translated as “sojourner,” in the Old Testament, referred not to just anyone who happened to wander across the border, but to those who enjoyed official, legal status within those borders. The idea that anyone who gets in, no matter how, should be treated as a “sojourner” is an example of eisogesis – when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text – rather than exigesis, the process of drawing out the meaning from a text in accordance with the context and discoverable meaning of its author.

      In other words, it is trying to make the Scriptural texts fit a socio-political agenda. Which should not, perhaps, be surprising, considering that many of those making that argument sit lightly to Scriptural authority, to put it mildly – if they’re even Christians in the first place! But they’re perfectly willing to cherry-pick texts to prop up their ideological agendas…

      Now, with respect to your second point: that’s a question I’ve been raising for some time, both as regards the ongoing invasion of Europe, and now the “caravans” heading toward the U.S. border. If they put the same energy and enthusiasm into changing their own countries that they do trying to get into ours, how different the situation would be!

      And just as with the invaders of Europe, the would-be invaders in this hemisphere are primarily male, and appear to be mostly single, military-age young men. They are to all appearances healthy, well-fed, and well-dressed. Far from being down-trodden, haunted refugees in fear for their lives, they appear to be exuberant, even triumphalist, in their attitudes.

      Though there may be a few women and children among them, that they can whip out for photo-ops or use as human shields, they are (with perhaps a few exceptions) not exiles, not refugees, and not legitimate asylum-seekers; they are economic migrants and invaders, looking for (as I said above) the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and willing to do whatever it takes to grab it, and as some of them have admitted, seeking safety in numbers to do it.

      As you say, they’ve demonstrated that they have energy, enthusiasm, and determination: let them work to improve their own countries, not invade ours!

      And if they persist, we have a right to defend ourselves, and our borders.

      Like

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