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10.05.17 - Our founders' solutions for illegal immigration
Summary: Chuck Norris writes on American border enforcement and illegal immigration.
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With his thick Austrian accent, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger quipped in his commencement address at Emory University last week, "I was also going to give a graduation speech in Arizona this weekend. But with my accent, I was afraid they would try to deport me."
It seems that the whole country is taking sides in the battle over the border in Arizona. Yet it truly remains the tip of the iceberg of our immigration troubles. Spurred on by the national debate, at least 10 other states are now seeking to enact tougher illegal immigration laws.
Now, more than ever, we must protect our borders and sovereignty by providing genuine solutions to the dangers of American boundary fluidity. With estimates showing that by 2060 America will add 167 million people (37 million immigrants today will multiply into 105 million then), it is imperative for us to do more to solve this crisis. Now is the time to beat the doors of change and save the boundaries and future of America.
The federal government has miserably failed to produce a viable solution to the illegal immigrant crisis. Amnesty is not the answer. And immigration laws aren't effective if we continue to dodge or ignore them. Furthermore, globalization efforts have only confused security matters, further endangering our borders as well as our national identity – our sovereignty. And the question that keeps coming to my mind is: How is it that we can secure borders in the Middle East, but we can't secure our own?
From America's birth, our founders struggled, too, with international enemies and border troubles, from the sea of Tripoli to the Western frontier. While welcoming the poor, downtrodden and persecuted from every country, they also had to protect the sacred soil they called home from unwanted intruders.
According to the Declaration of Independence, "obstructing the Laws for the Naturalization of Foreigners" was one of the objections leveled against Britain that warranted the American colonists' secession. Yet even the founders themselves believed that a total open-door policy for immigrants would only lead to complete community and cultural chaos.
Under the Articles of Confederation (our "first constitution"), each state possessed the authority over naturalization. Such diversity, however, led the founders at the Constitutional Convention to shift the power of naturalization to the federal government. The Constitution therefore reads in Article I, Section 8, that Congress shall have the authority to "establish a uniform rule of naturalization."
We discuss and debate new ways to resolve the social crisis we call illegal immigration, but our founders again pointed the way more than 200 years ago. Like enrolling in an Ivy League school, they considered and promoted American citizenship as a high honor. James Madison shared the collective sentiment back then when he stated, "I do not wish that any man should acquire the privilege, but such as would be a real addition to the wealth or strength of the United States." Hence, they processed applicants and selected only the ones that contributed to the building up and advancement of their grand experiment called America.
America's founders were also concerned with properly assimilating immigrants so that their presence would be positive upon the culture. George Washington wrote, "By an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, laws: in a word soon become one people." Thomas Jefferson, hailed as one of the most inclusive among the founders, worried that some immigrants would leave more restrictive governments and not be able to handle American freedoms, leading to cultural corruption and "an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and tender it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass." And Alexander Hamilton insisted that "the safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on the love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family."
Therefore, our founders enforced four basic requirements for "enrollment and acceptance" into American citizenry that we still utilize (at least in policy) to this day but desperately need to enforce. The Heritage Foundation summarizes:
Key criteria for citizenship of the Naturalization Act of 1795 remain part of American law. These include 1) five years of (lawful) residence within the United States; 2) a good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States; 3) the taking of a formal oath to support the Constitution and to renounce any foreign allegiance; and 4) the renunciation of any hereditary titles.
Just think if such immigration tenets were taught in schools like Live Oak High School in Northern California, where kids are confused about allegiances to flags and countries. And just think if the federal government actually enforced such tenets! Arizona (and now 10 other states following suit) wouldn't even need to go out on a limb and create their own immigration law, as states did prior to our Constitution. If we held citizenship in the same high esteem as our founders, and simply enforced the laws we already have, we wouldn't be in this illegal immigration pickle today.
Musician Charlie Daniels put it well, when he wrote, "I don't blame anybody in the world for wanting to come to the United States of America, as it is a truly wonderful place. But when the first thing you do when you set foot on American soil is illegal, it is flat-out wrong, and I don't care how many lala-land left heads come out of the woodwork and start trying to give me sensitivity lessons. I don't need sensitivity lessons. In fact, I don't have anything against Mexicans. I just have something against criminals, and anybody who comes into this country illegally is a criminal. If you don't believe it, try coming into America from a foreign country without a passport and see how far you get."
Watching U.S. members of the House, Senate and the president's Cabinet in a joint session of Congress stand and applaud Mexican President Felipe Calderon's slam of Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, I thought, what a despicable act of disloyalty to one of their own states and a ludicrous leadership move to boot, especially when 71 percent of Arizonans agree with its new immigration law.
President Calderon, how can you possibly criticize the state of Arizona about its newly passed immigration law, when Mexico's immigration law states:
1) Immigrants can't be an economic burden.
2) Immigrants must be healthy.
3) Immigrants must have no criminal record.
4) Immigrants must show a birth certificate.
5) Immigrants must provide their own health care.
6) Government can ban foreigners due to race.
7) Illegal entry is a felony (resulting in jail time).
8) Illegal immigrants can receive no government assistance of any kind.
9) Illegal immigrants' children may not attend public schools.
10) Document fraud is subject to fine/jail.
11) Incarceration and deportation of illegals occurs without due process or a trial.
12) A Mexican who marries a foreigner with the goal of helping the foreigner live in the country is subject to up to five years in prison.
13) Federal, local and municipal police must enforce immigration laws, including checking "papers" of suspected illegals.
President Calderon, your speech in Washington, D.C., in front of our U.S. Congress sounded very hypocritical to me, to say the least! And it was very disappointing to see our Congress stand up and applaud your condemnation of Arizona's new law.
Last week, in Part 1 of this immigration series, I mentioned how it seems like the whole country is taking sides in the battle over the border in Arizona. I was wrong. It's the whole world! Yet it truly remains the tip of the iceberg of our immigration troubles, in light of the feds failure to enforce any immigration laws and how 17 other states are now cracking down on illegals and seeking to enact tougher immigration laws.
In Part 1, I also began to show how America's founders dealt responsibly and forcefully with immigration law. I concluded by outlining key criteria for citizenship from the Naturalization Act of 1795, which remain part of American law. These include:
1) five years of (lawful) residence within the United States; 2) a "good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States"; 3) the taking of a formal oath to support the Constitution and to renounce any foreign allegiance; and 4) the renunciation of any hereditary titles.
In order for us to regain control of the chaotic mess and national disunity posed by illegals and press on to achieve the success our forefathers had in immigration, I believe we must apply those four criteria to our naturalization process in a more practical way. Here are my streamlined recommendations to attain those goals.
I agree with Newt Gingrich, not only in his new book, "To Save America," but also his online list of 10 or so excellent suggestions for curbing the flows of illegal immigration, like stopping their government aid and closing safe harbors in sanctuary cities. However, I respectfully disagree with Newt on this one point: "Workers who came here illegally but have a good work relationship and community ties (including family), should have first opportunity to get the new temporary worker visas, but instead of paying penalties, they should be required to go home and get the visa at home."
We can argue ad nauseam over the need for more than 12 million illegals to go home, but we all know at this point that will never happen. The technicalities and costs of that many illegal aliens (and their families) to be tracked down, rounded up and deported is so staggering and impractical that its mere mention borders on absurd. (I will give my solution to illegal immigration at the end of this article.)
We must provide a better and more practical solution that doesn't cost our country billions in deportation costs and economic losses. I believe our founders provided us with a better process to graft them in as citizens and not lose the economic flow some provide for our country. Let me explain.
First, Congress must stop the flow of illegal immigration by putting up a viable border fence and reinforcing it by whatever means necessary. Then it must refocus the streams of immigration.
In order for the sheer force of Niagara Falls to be harnessed into usable energy, it must be intentionally funneled through proper and restrictive channels. I believe the same must be done with immigration, or ultimately we will hand our sovereignty over to other nations on a populous platter.
No farmer irrigates his land by merely opening the floodgates of water. Rather water flow is restricted and guided for optimum productivity. That is how our forefathers used to handle immigration, before our present age of tolerance in which we fear saying "no" to any particular people or country. Congress needs to re-evaluate and change our virtual open-door policy toward worldwide immigration. It needs to be intentional and selective but fair in the flow of future immigration. It needs to turn off the spigots in certain areas and turn them on in others. We need to treat all people without prejudice, but we need not fear restricting temporary flows of certain people. We need to better manage the ebbs and flows (temporary openings, closings and restrictions) of immigration streams into our country.
And a proper management and regulation of those immigrant tides absolutely begins with immediately turning off the illegal flows at our borders. We can't deal with the flood in the orchards until we cap the floodwaters coming into them. And that means giving our Border Patrol the total resources it needs to get its job done, and even utilizing military personnel in particular hot crossing spots. If we can protect borders in the Middle East, we certainly can here as well, if we just quit messing around. In fact, only when we secure our borders can we properly deal with the illegals inside the borders; otherwise, the cat-and-mouse game will continue and grow.
Our forefathers increased and decreased the influx of peoples because America was building a melting pot and because certain ethnicities often brought with them certain securities and degrees of productivity. Today, with America having achieved that great diversity, of course we shouldn't regulate the flows of immigration based solely upon ethnicity. Rather, we should regulate them based upon societal needs for balance, stability and growth.
James Madison spoke for most founders as he gave the purpose for immigration, "Not merely to swell the catalogue of people. No, sir, it is to increase the wealth and strength of the community; and those who acquire the rights of citizenship, without adding to the strength or wealth of the community, are not the people we are in want of."
Such intentionality today in immigration influx could even serve as an additional aid to lift us from our economic recession. For example, if we want to grow particular areas of commerce or infrastructure, then let's do what academic higher institutions do: recruit the people who possess expertise in those areas. Moreover, let's actively seek those who would strengthen the weaknesses in our culture, and provide (at least in part) for their import and allowance into our country, until that particular, societal dry ground for which they came has been satiated or saturated. Then we move on to the next "dry ground" or need for immigrant influx.
In 1790, our founders required immigrants to live in the United States for two years before they could become citizens, to prove their productivity and contributions (including moral influences) in society. The Naturalization Act of 1795 extended the residency requirement for citizenship from two years to five years. I believe a combination of our founders' 1790 and 1795 naturalization recommendations would work to solve our illegal-alien problem and serve as a proper protocol for citizenship.
As I mentioned earlier, we can't properly deal with the illegals within our borders until we've stopped the flow of any more at our borders. Then, and only then, can we turn our attention to the millions already residing in our country. What I then propose for them is not amnesty in any package, but a one-time solution based upon the 1790-1795 immigration law that would separate the wheat from the chaff, straining out potentially productive and law-abiding citizens who will pay their fair share of taxes as citizens.
I would give illegal immigrants already here a three-month grace period to apply for a temporary worker's visa. If they failed to apply within that time frame, they would be considered fugitives and would be found and deported. Once they applied and qualified for a temporary worker's visa, these immigrants would be placed on a two-year probationary period (the original 1790 requirement of residency). At the completion of that time, and if they remained in good standing, they would be issued a permanent worker's visa. And, after an additional three years (completing the five-year residency requirement from the Naturalization Act of 1795), they would qualify to apply for U.S. citizenship.
During their two-year probationary period, it would be their responsibility to check in to assigned governing officials and prove their productivity and progress as a part of the American landscape. Criteria would, of course, be established by Congress (as the Constitution requires) but enforced by local probationary personnel from the departments of naturalization in a similar way that probation officers monitor people on probation. If immigrants don't "check in," and do not have a good reason for not doing so, they will be deported. If they are law-breakers, they will be deported. If they don't demonstrate a good moral standing and aren't productive members of their community, they will be deported.
This is how America was built, and it is how it can be rebuilt again today – if we secure our borders, better regulate the influx of immigrants to meet and build up societal needs and offer a responsible path to citizenship for immigrants who are already working here and want to become productive American citizens.
There is one gigantic obstacle that stands before America and our immigration crisis. And, quite frankly, it is in my estimation an insurmountable roadblock that will inhibit any resolution that enforces current immigration law, especially as it pertains to illegal immigrants. That barrier is not a people, policy or protocol. It is our president.
I seriously doubt that our current commander in chief can lead our nation out of this immigration mess because of a single fundamental and philosophical difference he has with most Americans, previous administrations and even our founders. President Obama declared it in the Rose Garden two weeks ago in the presence of Mexico's President Felipe Calderon and an international television audience. And it seemed to escape the attention of most. It was one of the most un-American, unconstitutional and radical statements to date from Obama's presidency. He said, "In the 21st century we are not defined by our borders, but by our bond."
His statement reminded me of what I wrote in my new expanded paperback edition of "Black Belt Patriotism": "For better or worse, we have new leadership and a new direction for America. It's a kinder and gentler Washington, to whom the global war on terror has turned into an 'Overseas Contingency Operation.' It's a softer and relational Washington, with whom international bonds are more important than national borders and boundaries." Now we have more proof from the horse's mouth.
Obama's statement in the Rose Garden is not merely a stand against Arizona's or any other states' immigration enforcement laws. It is a stand against his presidential oath, our Constitution, our national identity, security and sovereignty. For the commander in chief to go limp on border rigidity, especially when the feds themselves have been reporting for years about escalating border troubles and recently warned of foreign "terrorists" breach of U.S. southern borders (including those coming from Afghanistan, Iran, Egypt, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Yemen), is for the White House itself to jeopardize our national security.
Just a week ago at West Point, the president declared, "We have to shape an international order that can meet the challenges of our generation." Our relatively young commander in chief gave new marching orders to a new generation and graduating class at the military academy, saying, "The international order we seek is one that can resolve the challenges of our times ... combating a changing climate and sustaining global growth; helping countries feed themselves and care for their sick; preventing conflict and healing its wounds." His language seems eerily reminiscent to the U.S. Navy's new contested recruiting slogan, "A global force for good." Is Obama leading our country or a global government? Unfortunately, he is proving himself to be far more than a socialist – rather he is a globalist, and that is even more dangerous to our national security and sovereignty.
The White House website confessed that Obama's new National Security Strategy released last Thursday is "a blueprint for pursuing the world that we seek by outlining a strategy to rebuild our foundations, promote a just and sustainable international order … and universal values." It plays down the threat of terror, trumps up (24 times) the threat of "climate change," calls for more "global leadership," "international cooperation" and "partnerships," and regards "American innovation as a foundation of American power" rather than military might. Does that sound like a national security strategy or the beginnings of an international global-governance manifesto?
Does anyone doubt that our president, as a Nobel peace laureate who believes he can negotiate with terrorists and dictators, has a global desire for international coalescence? Or should it not concern us that at the G20 conference this past year he also pushed world leaders even to reshape the global economy?
Still, Obama knows he is in the political border pickle of his life. And that coddling the Mexican president, doing nothing about border violence and remaining passive in the midst of escalating national debate on illegal immigration is a recipe for political disaster and Democrat re-election demise. So last Tuesday, the White House unexpectedly announced that Obama will deploy up to 1,200 National Guard troops to America's southwest boundary. What timing, after he has resisted repeated calls for weeks from border state lawmakers to deploy 6,000 military personnel.
The fact is the deployment of up to 1,200 National Guard troops is a political appeasement, carefully crafted as a temporary noncombatant assignment restricted to providing only intelligence and training. You can also bet it's not a coincidence that the White House suddenly announced a $500 million supplement for border enhancement at the very same time that Senate Republicans began introducing several border security amendments to a $60 billion war spending bill. That Oval Office has amazing timing, doesn't it?!
Though I'm grateful that the White House was muscled into doing anything at this point, it should be leading in this crisis, not reacting for political gain. In the end, Obama's prescription last week for the border chaos is a clear indication that he doesn't regard the problem as dire or deteriorating. To the contrary, it is truly a Band-Aid on a national open wound (border) that is bleeding profusely.
Obama has more passion (in his own words) to "just plug the damn hole" of oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico than he does to stop the illegal immigrants and contraband that are gushing through the national screens we call U.S. borders. And he shared at his press conference last Thursday that he even activated a superfluous 1,400 National Guard troops in four states to manage the oil-leak crisis!
The question still stands: What hope do we have that the feds will finally secure our national borders when their primary leader is a globalist who espouses "In the 21st century we are not defined by our borders but by our bond"? Does anyone even believe it was a coincidence that Mexico's President Calderon visited the White House and addressed Congress and the American people during the very same time when Arizona's new immigration enforcement law was being debated across the nation?
I don't lay the blame for border liquidity at the feet of our dedicated border agents. But I do blame an overly bureaucratic federal government that still has not given agents the proper resources and permissions they need to get their job done. I also blame government for undermining national security by being more concerned with global commerce and relations than national sovereignty. It would rather please the international masses than enforce our own laws. Even the potential creation of a North American Union (with Canada and Mexico) and the so-called NAFTA Superhighways seems less and less conspiratorial and more and more reality-based as each year passes.
A breakdown of our borders is also being peddled via the anti-American globalism sentiment of most in Obama's cabinet. Quintessential appointees like Michael Posner, now assistant secretary of state, are leading the way. Posner recently expressed regret about Arizona's immigration law to some visiting Chinese delegates, calling it a "troubling trend in our society." If readers don't know, Posner is the founding executive director (1978-2006) and former president (2006-2009) of the international group Human Rights First, which was funded largely by billionaire leftist and globalist George Soros.
If the Obama administration so readily and publicly speaks against our republic to even Chinese delegates, and also continues to sell more and more of our nation to communist countries like China via our skyrocketing national debt, how much more difficult would it be to progressively and slowly replace the tenets of our Constitution with principles of the Communist Manifesto? Have we already started?
Unfortunately, there's little hope or security that any others in Obama's cabinet believe any different than he does about tight international bonds and loose national borders. For proof of that, we have to look no further than a few weeks ago at the congressional charade in which Vice President Biden, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Attorney General Eric Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, along with a majority of Democrats and even some Republicans, all gave Mexico's President Calderon a standing ovation for condemning Arizona's new immigration enforcement law. (At least we now clearly know who stands in the way of border enforcement and who we need to vote out of office to finally get border resolve.)
Some might have thought it conspiratorial for me to write in the first edition of "Black Belt Patriotism" before Obama was in office, "Let's ask ourselves, why is Congress not securing our borders? Could it be it has greater global goals that will ultimately dissolve this Union?" Now it doesn't seem so far-fetched, does it? Whether intentionally or not, the federal government has failed for decades to secure the borders. It is up to us to make sure it gets done, and that's only going to happen when we throw the global elitists out of Congress and Washington, and re-elect a new crew that will finally fulfill this critical mission of national security and identity. The march has already started. Let us continue to remind them all: We will remember in November.
One last time – consider the philosophical differences. What's more important: bonds or borders? Yours and especially your state and national leaders' answer to that question is among the most critical, because what we believe about our borders will determine the future of our country.
Will you believe and follow the philosophical precedent of globalists like President Obama, who said, "In the 21st century we are not defined by our borders, but by our bond."
Or will you join me and millions of other American citizens who believe and follow the definition offered by other leaders like President Ronald Reagan, who said, "A nation without borders is not a nation."
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