Illegal Immigration and Demagoguery

Illegal Immigration and Demagoguery

© David Burton 2018


     America is what it is because of immigrants. I am an American because my father was an immigrant and all four of my grandparents were immigrants. My wife and her parents came to America in the same way – they entered as legal immigrants! In my wife’s case, her family had to take a detour through South America because our immigration laws wouldn’t allow them to enter directly from pre-World War II Europe. For them, illegal entry was not considered. In the 1930’s, her parents left Europe to escape the then-growing threat posed by Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. It wasn’t until 1948, that they were allowed to enter this country - legally. Today, we are still largely a land of immigrants – new, old, legal and illegal.

     The issue of immigration has become a festering cesspool of hatred, vilification, distortions of the truth, and the height of demagoguery! “Just when you think the relentless vilification of Donald Trump by his unhinged critics has reached the bottom of the ethical barrel, we’re dismayed by the realization they can reach a lot lower still.
      - - -
     “{These bitter Trump opponents have now charged him with being} heartless, as in oblivious to the gut-wrenching scenes of sobbing children who’ve been separated from their parents along our porous border with Mexico.
     “It’s a knowingly vile accusation, shamelessly distorting what’s really taking place down there, but we all know that’s the game Trump’s critics are playing: They’ll throw everything they can at our 45th president, then see what sticks.
     “But this is truly despicable.
     "An anguished child is painful to behold. We all know that. There’s nothing partisan about it.
     “Tears always flow when a kid’s world is turned upside down, whatever the reason. . . . Maybe Dad’s in uniform, heading off to war. Maybe he’s in handcuffs, heading off to prison. Maybe he’s holding a suitcase, having washed his hands of Mom. . . . Whatever the scenario, our hearts ache for kids caught up in painful situations over which they have no control.
      - - -
     “But since the earliest days of this republic we’ve also identified ourselves as ‘a nation of laws, not men.’ . . . That’s not complicated, and there’s nothing hateful about it. . . . Immigration is an integral component of America’s history, but it’s always been an orderly process.
     “The world . . . should not be welcome to just barge through our doors, especially now with concerns over admitting criminal, subversive elements.
     “Only an agenda-driven demagogue would trash Trump for reaffirming there’s a traditional, accepted way of coming to America to breathe free air and pursue a dream.
      - - -
     “Those weeping kids whose plights weigh heavily on our hearts are, truth be told, {largely} offspring of parents who placed them in those situations by brazenly thumbing their noses at our laws. [Emphasis mine]
     “That’s bad enough. But now those kids are also being exploited as political pawns by Trump critics who’d have you believe the president couldn’t care less about a traumatized child. . . . That’s inaccurate, indecent, and even by their shallow standards, it’s exceedingly vicious.” (Ref. 1)

     A little factual information seems in order concerning all the rhetoric and emotion being expended on the illegal immigration problem. “Federal law requires that children crossing the border between Mexico and the United States be placed in detainment facilities to be processed into foster programs. Though President Trump throttled up the program to separate parents from children, and reversed this policy last week, Presidents Bush and Obama were already placing children in these camps. The law requires that the children, many of them actually arriving without parents, be interviewed to ensure they are not being abused or trafficked into the United States.
     “The American media, overwhelmingly sympathetic to progressive causes, ignored reports of awful abuse of these children during the Obama years. In fact, when reports trickled out of serious abuse, reporters pushed the stories until they realized it all happened in the Obama years. . . . Trump, doing what Obama did, was somehow now a Nazi, though Obama was not . . .” (Ref. 2)

     Who truly is actually responsible for the alien children who have been separated from their detained illegal alien parents? In truth, there are many that can be blamed, including President Bill Clinton, the Illegal alien parents, the courts, as well as the immigration policies foolishly created by the Obama administration. And what about President Trump and his administration? Donald Trump and his administration are simply doing what it is constitutionally charged with doing—enforcing the law. Admittedly, the outward appearance of their actions and their public relations leave much to be desired. To put it mildly, their PR has not been well thought out, but then again, the media has not acted in a totally unbiased or truthful manner either!

     In an attempt to counteract all the bad publicity of the immigration fiasco, the president issued an executive order that directs the Department of Homeland Security to keep illegal alien families together “to the extent permitted by law.” Ah, that is the crux of the problem: the extent to which the government authorities are permitted to keep families together while they await removal proceedings.

     The U. S. Supreme Court has upheld the Immigration and Naturalization Service regulation that provides for the release of minors only to their parents, close relatives, or legal guardians. But, in 1997, the Clinton administration entered into a settlement agreement in federal court in California that allows the Immigration and Naturalization Service to detain unaccompanied minors for only “20 days before releasing them to the Department of Health and Human Services which places the minors in foster or shelter situations until they locate a sponsor.” The settlement agreement has been interpreted by the federal court to apply to “both minors who are accompanied and unaccompanied by their parents.” In other words, it is the Clinton administration settlement agreement that doesn’t allow juvenile aliens to stay with their parents who have been detained for unlawful entry into the country.

     What the Trump bashers won’t point out to their dumb witted followers is that, if those unlawful parents would simply agree to return to their home countries, they would be immediately reunited with their children. Unquestionably, those who come here illegally are themselves primarily to blame for their children being assigned to foster care or to another family member or sponsor who may be in the country – not Donald Trump, not any members of his administration, and not the government agencies obligated to enforce the laws of this country!

     The recent executive order signed by President Donald Trump directs his attorney general to file a request with the federal court in the settlement case to modify the settlement agreement to allow the government “to detain alien families together throughout the pendency of criminal proceedings for improper entry or any removal or other immigration proceedings.”

     The real objective of the administration’s critics propaganda war is to force the Trump administration to terminate its zero-tolerance policy of prosecuting all adult aliens for illegal entry, stop all detentions, and return to the “catch and release” policies of the prior administration. What they are shooting for is unlimited and unhindered entry of any and all foreigners into the United States. Is that really what most Americans want?

     Note that the phrase “Catch and release” means a policy of giving illegal aliens a court date and then releasing them, a practice which enables many of them to disappear into the vast interior of this country, i.e., become “undocumented aliens”. Such a policy has proven to be an unworkable disaster.

     After 9/11 the number of aliens who failed to show up for their immigration hearings reached 58% in 2005 and 2006. Over the past two decades, 37% of all illegal aliens released pending an immigration hearing fled and never showed up for trial.

     The Obama administration provided a huge incentive for illegal aliens to smuggle children across the border, since a child acted as a get-out-of-jail-free card for avoiding detention and prosecution for the adult accompanying the child. This policy encouraged smugglers to place children into the hands of adult strangers so they could pose as families and be released from immigration custody after crossing the border, creating still another safety issue for these children. The Obama administration maintained a policy of reuniting children with their illegal alien parents in the U.S. who had paid human traffickers to smuggle the children into he U.S. and of taking no action against the parents.

     Let’s remember that if an alien follows the law by presenting himself at a port of entry with his family and claiming asylum, then his claim will be reviewed and his family will stay together. It’s only when aliens are caught illegally crossing the border and then claiming asylum that they have put themselves into the situation of being prosecuted for illegal entry. They are then separated from their children because of the Clinton-era settlement. Also, let’s not forget that for many asylum seekers, their reason for coming to the U.S. is more about economics than asylum.

     Another fact: Our justice system doesn’t refuse to arrest, prosecute, and jail citizens when they break the law because they happen to have children. Here in the United States, more than 20,000 children were placed in foster care in 2016 because of “Parent Incarceration.” These parents were not asylum seekers, the great majority were U.S. citizens who broke the law. None of those protesting against the Trump administration seem concerned that 10 times more American children than the 2,000 alien children they are so concerned about were separated from their parents in 2016 because of violations of the law by their parents.

     In summary, it is almost always regrettable when children are separated from their parents. But those who cross the U.S. border illegally have committed a crime, and one of the consequences of being arrested and detained is, unfortunately, that their children cannot stay with them. And, it is not President Trump who is responsible for this![3]

     “To everyone who loves this country: Don’t get played by the haters spinning lies about the border ‘crisis.’ Legitimate seekers of asylum go to one of the 48 legal ports of entry bordering Mexico — from California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. That’s one every 41.43 miles. If someone can make a 1,500-mile-plus trek to the U.S. border, they can certainly hit one of these numerous locations. [Emphasis mine] Ask yourself why they do not.
     “Criminals don’t seek the legitimate entry points because they know they have no legal way to enter the U.S. They trample our borders in between with the help of coyotes, using children — often not their own — as pawns to do it. America and its border officers are helping children in many, many cases by rescuing them from the treacherous hands of these adults. [Emphasis mine]
     “There are a lot of lies being spun by craven pols and pundits who are insulated from the consequences that come from broken borders and the assault on law and order that inevitably results. . . .
     “. . . According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there were 408,870 apprehensions at the southwest border in fiscal year 2017 {under President Trump}. That’s close to the number apprehended in fiscal year 2013 {under President Obama}. However, the crossings of individuals went down while the number of family units went up by a staggering 520 percent in the space of those four years.
     “Why? Because America has a soft spot for families. And illegal migrants and the coyotes they employ are exploiting that to our undoing. [Emphasis mine]
      - - -
     Now to {some of} the lies:

     “Lie No. 1. Adults with children crossing the border are all families. While it may look that way, especially on TV, . . . it’s most often not the case. . . . Reporters report what people tell them, and pundits can make things up. {There are numerous} migrant children who ended up in foster care because adults ditched them at the border or along the way. Adults with children could be a family, or they could be traffickers using unrelated children to cross the border illegally, knowing naive Americans will assume the best and the irresponsible press will follow suit. [Emphasis mine]
     “And for those who are true parents? The separation lies squarely on their shoulders, not America’s. Go to a legitimate port of entry or stay home. [Emphasis mine] That is the message that we need to send in order to maintain any kind of sovereignty. Otherwise, chaos will rule.
     “Lie No. 2. It is not a crime to cross the border illegally. Yes. It. Is. It carries a six-month jail sentence. Previously, those in favor of illegal immigration would refuse to admit this fact. Now, some admit it, but they’ve modified their talking point to, ‘Well, it’s a misdemeanor.’ Yeah, and beating your wife is a misdemeanor in some states. Doesn’t make the perpetrator a good guy. This minimization of crime is galling and needs to stop. [Emphasis mine]
     “Lie No. 3. All of these migrants are asylum seekers. Don’t you believe it. Judicial statistics show that courts denied 90 percent of the cases presented by unrepresented asylum seekers, and denied 48 percent of represented ones. . . . {A multitude of} asylum applicants {have been} caught . . . in outright lies, including holding fake passports, marriages, birth certificates, et al. Very few people who are truly persecuted by their government ever make it to the U.S. They more often are murdered [Emphasis mine] . . .” (Ref. 4)

     "Congressional Democrats are flocking to the border, investigating conditions in immigrant detention centers and denouncing President Trump. [Emphasis mine]” (Ref. 5) Photo-ops for politicians are not to be missed. Neither is the opportunity to vilify President Trump.

     The Democratic politicians, their liberal supporters and the Trump haters are making the immigration conundrum an exercise in the gross distortion of the facts, as well spinning outright fabrications. The supposedly unbiased media screams that detained children are being held in “cages” rather than the more factual identification of the holding sites as “fenced in detention areas”. Democratic politicians and candidates flock to border areas to exploit the problem and to seize on issue of separation of children from parents for political gain. The fact that the underlying matter is that of “illegal” entry into the United States is ignored in the stampede to magnify the problem and to denigrate those who are object of the extremists’ ire. People don’t seem to understand - or don’t care - that the world illegal in the term “illegal immigrants” means unlawful or criminal! And they prefer to ignore the fact here in the United States, persons who commit illegal acts are subject to arrest, detention and prosecution – and yes – even separation from their families and children! Some reporters and many of the demagogues have complained about not being allowed to take their cameras into the children’s holding areas. They conveniently ignore the well-established principle of not photographing minors without the consent of their parents.

     Illegal immigration is grossly unfair to those who have legally applied to emigrate to America. The concern for the illegal immigrants of those Democrats and various other demagogues with their own agendas who are rushing to our southern borders in order to denounce President Trump is highly suspect. More than likely, many have little sympathy for the detained would-be border jumpers and their children and are exploiting them for their own personal agendas.

     It is clear that many of those rushing to excoriate President Trump over his handling of the “immigration crisis” have both lost their common sense and their ability to distinguish fact from fiction. Abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, by starving it of cash is now coming into vogue.

     In Miami, Florida, “Three of the five Democrats in a contested primary to replace retiring Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are in favor of abolishing the nation's immigration enforcement agency, a rallying cry of the far left that has gained rapid mainstream attention in recent weeks because of the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents when they cross the border illegally.
      - - -
     “. . . four Democrats in Congress became the first elected officials in Washington to call for abolishing ICE. {A Wisconsin representative said} he plans to introduce legislation that would defund the agency, which has powers to conduct immigration checks within 100 miles of the border or coastline, a zone that includes the entire state of Florida.
      - - -
     “{For the} two well-funded candidates seeking to {win} the Democratic primary, talk about abolishing ICE provides a way to differentiate themselves from an opponent with better name recognition and a way to sway far left-leaning voters in the primary.” (Ref. 6) Again, what we have here are Democratic politicians exploiting the illegal immigration issue for their personal political gain. Do they really have any concern about the people caught attempting to cross our borders illegally?

     In any event, let me get it straight: Because some children have been separated from their parents, who are being detained after crossing our border illegally, a number of liberal, left-leaning activists and headline-grabbing politicians want to defund – read that that as eliminate – ICE, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency.

     According to Wikipedia, ICE is a law enforcement agency of the Federal government of the United States under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). ICE has two primary components: Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO). ICE is charged with the investigation and enforcement of over 400 federal statutes within the United States and maintains attachés at major U.S. diplomatic missions overseas.

     U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was formed pursuant to the Homeland Security Act of 2002, following the events of September 11, 2001. With the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security, the functions and jurisdictions of several border and revenue enforcement agencies were combined and consolidated into U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Consequently, ICE is the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security, and the second largest contributor to the nation's Joint Terrorism Task Force.

     So these unthinking idiots want to eliminate the agency that “is charged with the investigation and enforcement of over 400 federal statutes within the United States” and which is “the second largest contributor to the nation's Joint Terrorism Task Force.” simply because they have separated some children from their parents who have broken United States law!

     And then there are the blind sheep being led around by the demagogues and opportunists. These compliant dupes rally, they march, they protest, they rant and they rave - and for what? Do they really want to throw open the borders of the United States to anyone, friend or foe? Do they really think that the policy of the United States is to rip poor innocent children from their loving parents and send them forever to concentration camps surrounded with electrified barbed wire fences? Have Americans really become that stupid or they blinded by their hatred of Donald Trump?

     Eliminating ICE because of the imagined grief of these bleeding heart liberals and political opportunists is no different than getting rid a community’s police department because they arrested and convicted a criminal and put that criminal’s children in a foster home while that criminal served out his/her sentence in jail. Talk about stupidity and insanity! Those screaming to defund ICE need to understand what’s meant by the common expressions, “Throwing out the baby with the bathwater!” and “Cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face!

     Consider what one incarcerated mother wrote: “I’m an American citizen that broke the law. My kids were placed in a foster care facility till I get out. This happens to Americans every day yet liberals don’t say a word. But if you are an illegal they find this appalling.” [Emphasis mine] and “What about all the US children in foster care separated from their parents because of the heroin epidemic!” There is also the argument that the left is only concerned with getting more 3rd world country illegals’ votes. Open borders ensure millions of future Democratic votes. [7]

     What the gullible followers of those who want to eliminate ICE need to know is that: " The majority of illegal immigrants arrested by ICE have prior criminal convictions [Emphasis mine], according to the data collected by the nonpartisan organization Pew Research. That's right, 74 percent of apprehended illegal immigrants in 2017 had criminal records. [Emphasis mine] That's who Democratic officials want to welcome into your neighborhood should they get their way in annihilating ICE.
     "{Also, these obedient stooges should note that} many crashing U.S. borders are narcotics dealers . . . Then there are the ultraviolent MS-13 gangs, sex traffickers, rapists and other deangerous thugs.
     "{Remember} that Congress is responsible for enacting the laws that ICE follows {and not Donald Trump or his administration}.
     "But none of this you'll hear CNN, MSNBC or other left-wing media outlets.
      - - -
     "They don't tell gullible voters that the majority of ICE arrests have rap sheets. (Ref. 8)

     Another aspect of the illegal immigration debate is the fact that many supposed “asylum seekers” are actually not seeking asylum from fear of harm or death. They are seeking to enter this country for economic reasons – they want to better their lives and those of their children. An admirable goal, but America’s laws require that such seekers of economic opportunity wait their turn in line, the same as my grandparents and millions of other legal immigrants have done for the past 2-1/2 centuries. Cutting in line is unacceptable and unfair to those who have followed the rules and are awaiting their turn for a chance at the American dream.

     Admittedly, President Trump’s actions in enforcing the laws that separate families at the border were incompetently planned and executed, clumsily explained and, so far, have been somewhat ineptly reversed. That does not mean that we should open our borders to anyone desiring entry and that our duly enacted laws should be ignored.

     YES, “Trump talks of immigrants in the crudest terms (they are infesting or invading), and portrays them as budding violent criminals. {But, in truth,} Illegal immigrants routinely violate the law to come, stay and work in the U.S., but the overwhelming majority simply want a job. [Emphasis mine]
    - - -
     “In signing his executive order reversing course on family separations last week, Trump flipped from representing a splinter view to associating his opposition with one. Family separations were unpopular — less than a third of people supported them. But even fewer people support so-called catch-and-release, permitting migrants to enter the country pending a court date. . .
     “. . .The public wants migrants to be treated humanely, but it doesn’t want them to walk into the country.
     “. . . The hot new cause on the left is calling for abolishing ICE. At a time when Democrats should be cognizant of their vulnerabilities on immigration, many of them consider U.S. immigration authorities the interlopers, rather than illegal aliens.
     “This {can be an} opening for Trump. He’s always benefited from his opponents going too far, in part under the pressure of his provocations. If he can make it clear that he wants to deal with migrants at the border decently but firmly, and that his opposition favors rules and limited detention space that effectively mandate catch-and-release, he’ll be in the stronger political position, again. On immigration, his advantage is the one thing that the public knows about him.” (Ref. 9) What this means is that all the irrational animosity and hostility stirred up over Trump’ actions on illegal immigration may prove to be self-defeating. Many in the middle of the political spectrum are horrified by the stupid behavior of Trump’s opponents and would rather put up with another four years of Trump than submit to the now-perceived tyranny of the left.

     And for those of you on the far-left who are in favor of abolishing the nation’s immigration enforcement agency, let me point out that the illegal immigration of MS-13 members and the resultant violence is fact not fiction - it is real and it is not a myth dreamed up by Donald Trump to back up his demand for a saner, tougher and more effective immigration policy. NOTE: "Following a multi-week trial in federal court in Boston, an MS-13 member was found guilty today of racketeering conspiracy involving murder. This is the government's 49th conviction in the case. {The} Defendant is {the} 16th person found resonsible for murder. Of the 16 individuals held accountable for murder, 15 were in the United States illegally. (Ref. 10) So, some 93% of the MS-13 gang members were here in America illegally. And this is just in Boston, which is not exactly a hot bed of illegal immigration. Add in what is going on in the rest of this country and then ask yourself: is Donald Trump wrong to insist on tighter border security; do we want to gut the enforcement agency that protects us by hunting down these illegal immigrant criminals?

     When we cut through all the demagoguery, the heated rhetoric and the irrational ballyhoo, everyone needs to remember that nearly everyone in America is an immigrant or a descendent of an immigrant. Many of us or our forefathers came to the United states to seek asylum and escape from the horrors of racism, religious or ethnic hatred, or tyrannical oppression. We have historically welcomed newcomers with open arms – newcomers who come here legally. Today, maybe more than ever, America needs the talents and enthusiasm of immigrants. America wants and needs immigrants – it does not want to, and must not, turn away legal aspirants of American citizenship. BUT, all thinking citizens of this country need to come to their senses and acknowledge that the entry process into America must be orderly and controlled, that there is a set of rules that must be followed, and that those who violate these rules need not apply for citizenship. Yes, maybe we need to take in more immigrants, and, yes, maybe we need to speed up the entry process, but we need a rational and realistic process that needs to be followed. Blind and irrational bleeding-heart passions only defeat the concept of a controlled, realistic and reasonable immigration process.


  1. Trump haters exploit crying kids, ignore immigration law, Joe Fitzgerald, Boston Herald, Page 9, 25 June 2018.
  2. Left playing a dangerous game, racking up victims, Erick Erickson, Boston Herald, Page 11, 25 June 2018.
  3. Immigration protests pose danger for Democrats, Rich Lowry, Boston Herald, Page 15, 28 June 2018.
  4. Illegal migrants exploit U.S. weaknesses, Marisa Defranco, Boston Herald, Page 11, 23 June 2018.
  5. On the border, Democrats decry confusion, Liz Goodwin, Boston Globe, Pages A1, A6, 25 June 2018.
  6. South Florida Democrats lurch left with call to abolish ICE, Alex Daugherty, Miami Herald, 26 June 2018.
  7. Barb- TRUMP ARMY !, Barb Muenchen
  8. Dems want to open the door to criminals, Adriana Cohen, Boston Herald, Page 2, 2 July 2018.
  9. Who’s Responsible for Separating Alien Kids From Their Parents? Many People, but Not Trump,
    Hans von Spakovsky, The Daily Signal, 21 June 2018.
  10. MS-13 MEMBERS CONVICTED IN MURDER, The Winthrop Sun Transcript, 3 July 2018.

  4 July 2018 {Article 328; Suggestions?_12}    
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