Recent columns in the Times by local Democrats indicate the sharp differences between Republicans and Democrats on immigration.
The columns have several things in common. First, they use words such as “who are we,” “liberty,” “fleeing,” “removes children,” “hateful,” “heartbreaking,” “compassion,” “hope,” “separating families,” “concentration camp,” “inhumane,” “desperation,” “horror” and “welcoming immigrants.”
Second, they all address the plight of those leaving terrible conditions for a better life. Third, they all pull at the heartstrings of Americans who value the lives of children and who honor the sanctity of parenthood. Finally, none of the columnists used the words “illegal,” “undocumented” or “law.”
Republicans welcome legal immigrants. We all are concerned about the humanitarian conditions on the southern border. It is hard, though, to take seriously these comments when the Democrat House of Representatives refused to appropriate funds to remedy the conditions at the border until last week.
Not until July 3 did the Democrats get serious when Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Secretary under President Obama, proclaimed that decriminalizing illegal border crossings would be “tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders.”
Perhaps the lack of Democrat columns on border security is driven by the Democrat mantra that “no one is above the law.” This refrain has been used repeatedly during Trump’s presidency and was trotted out during the recent Democrat debates. It was regurgitated by most of the 24 Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during the Mueller hearing.
While 84% (Gallup) of Americans have a positive view of legal immigration, a 2018 Harvard-Harris poll determined that 76% of the population want secure borders. Rasmussen found that 47% of likely voters want more aggressive action to deport illegal immigrants while only 33% say the policy is too aggressive.
A recent Marist poll found that 27%, including 10% of Republicans and 45% of Democrats, support decriminalizing border crossings while 66%, including 87% Republicans and 47% Democrats, think it is a bad idea. The Democrat position, though, is that “no one is above the law” unless someone is an illegal immigrant.
The 2016 Democrat platform stated that “The Democratic Party supports legal immigration, with reasonable limits …” and “People should come to the United States with visas …”
Democrats now are the party of decriminalizing illegal border crossings, of welcoming undocumented aliens, of eliminating detention, and demanding the abolishment of Immigration and Customs Enforcement by Democrat presidential candidates and members of the House.
Those positions are not only contrary to the Democrat platform, but also contradict statements of past and present Democrat office holders.
In 2005 Sen. Obama said: “We simply cannot allow people to pour into the U.S. undocumented, undetected, unchecked, circumventing the people who are waiting patiently, diligently, lawfully to become immigrants in this country.”
In 2008 Speaker Pelosi said: “We do need to address the issue of immigration and the challenge we have of undocumented people in our country. We certainly do not want any more coming in.”
In 2009 Sen. Schumer said: “People who enter the United States without our permission are illegal aliens and illegal aliens should not be treated the same as people who enter the U.S. legally.”
In 2014 Former Secretary of State Clinton said: “I voted numerous times when I was a senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigrants from coming in and I do think you have to control your borders.”
Now we have an outcry over raids to deport illegal immigrants. Those released into the U.S. at the border are given dates to appear for a hearing. Ninety percent do not show up. Those targeted in the raids have had their day in court and have been ordered out of the country, but ignored the court order.
These people have defied our laws and are aided and abetted by Clinton, Pelosi, Schumer, presidential candidates, mayors and protesters.
Even in Kansas City there was outrage by those who believe it is unjust to deport someone who was twice deported but again returned illegally to our country. Democrat Rep. Cleaver blamed the president for ICE now detaining the illegal immigrant. Of course he did. “No one is above the law” unless someone is an illegal immigrant.
Rich Kiper is a Leavenworth Times columnist.