by Dr. Carol M. Swain
Congressional Democrats often claim their open-borders immigration policy is “compassionate” — but their so-called compassion doesn’t extend to American citizens or legal permanent residents. In fact, the Democrats’ compassion is calculated and strategic — anything but sincere.
The immigration situation gets worse every year. It has become a crisis that is undeniable. Senator Lindsey Graham recently announced that border officials are now predicting the arrival of more than one million illegal aliens to the U.S. this year, based on the surge of apprehensions in March.
“Just met with Acting [ICE] Director Ron Vitiello,” Graham tweeted. “If March numbers hold, we are on track for 1.2 million illegal immigrants coming into the country in 2019.”
The immigration crisis is reminiscent of a 1960s ploy concocted by Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. Their underhanded aim was to change the welfare system in America by overwhelming “the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”
A similar tactic is underway now. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan says, “The surge numbers are just overwhelming the entire system.” Likewise, Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security Secretary under former President Obama, acknowledged that, “By anyone’s definition, by any measure, right now we have a crisis at our southern border.”
Indeed, the number of illegal immigrants expected to enter the U.S. this year alone is almost as many as the 1.5 million refugees that Germany has taken in since 2015. Despite widespread popular support for the initial decision to allow such a large number of refugees, German society has struggled to integrate the new arrivals, and this has created political and cultural instability in the country. In addition, the refugees are costing German taxpayers an estimated $30 billion per year.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, each illegal immigrant represents a lifetime net fiscal cost of $82,191 to U.S. taxpayers. Based on this estimate, the addition of 1.2 million illegal immigrants expected to cross the border this year will drain about $98.6 billion from the public coffers.
Unfortunately, our lawmakers on either side of the political aisle are not equally concerned with the cost and impact on American citizens. Even in the face of a massive humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border, Democrats continue to play partisan games while obstructing any meaningful efforts to secure the border. With straight faces, they disingenuously claim to support border security while actively working to undermine existing protections.
Democrats reluctantly and begrudgingly gave President Trump a tiny fraction of his requested budget for a border wall, while insisting on cutting funds for desperately needed detention beds. Democrats know that without resources for additional beds to house the influx of illegal aliens, enforcement agencies are forced to release potentially-dangerous criminals into American communities.
One Democrat presidential candidate is at least being honest about his open-borders agenda, though. Long-shot candidate Julian Castro wants to eliminate criminal penalties for illegal immigration and end the practice of detaining illegal aliens altogether. This would be a policy that would effectively open the border to anyone who wishes to cross it.
It strikes me that the Cloward and Piven strategy of overwhelming the bureaucracy to create a collapse is working like clockwork when it comes to the immigration crisis. It is increasingly clear that Democrat lawmakers have no real concern about quality-of-life issues affecting American citizens or others already lawfully in the United States.
What motivates Democrats is not compassion. What motivates them is power and perceived partisan interests. We the People need to wake up and respond to the real threat to our national security—Democrats who pursue selfish agendas.
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Dr. Carol Swain is a former professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University. She is the editor of Debating Immigration: Second Edition, 2018, and is a candidate for Mayor of Nashville.