TBT: Remembering 1519

We’ve been back at school for one week now, and so far things seem to be going well, albeit very busy.  We’re slowly settling into a groove with our various safety protocols, and most of the schedule changes are solidified.  That should make for much smoother sailing going forward.

I’m mostly teaching music courses this year, but I still have a couple of sections of Honors US History.  That means it’s another year of telling the “grand narrative of American history.”  My main goal as a history teacher is to make sure students receive a balanced, analytical telling of our great nation’s history.  That means that while I point out the atrocities of, say, the Spanish conquistadors, I also discuss the wickedness of the Aztecs, who engaged in daily human sacrifices.  That the Spanish built a cathedral atop the old Aztec altar to their false gods is a fitting bit of divine judgment.

Of course, as an American I’m more interested in English colonization and settlement in British North America—what would become the United States—than I am in the vast empire of New Spain.  We should be getting into Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth Rock today or tomorrow, and I’m quite excited about that.  For me, that’s when the story really starts cooking.  Naturally, the clash of Spanish conquistadors and Aztec and Inca warriors is cool, but those first saplings of a free country stir my heart.

All that said, this week’s TBT looks back at those cool conquistadors.  Here is 3 September 2019’s “Remembering 1519“:

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Americans Oppose Illegal Immigration

Today’s Number of the Day from pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that 76% of American voters believe that illegal immigration is bad for the country.  That is a substantial majority (and it makes you wonder about the other 24%).

When breaking that number down by partisan affiliation, it’s not surprising that 90% of Republicans believe that illegal immigration is bad.  What is somewhat surprising is that 63% of Democrats believe that illegal immigration is bad.  That suggests that opposing illegal immigration and border control continue to be winning issues.

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Deportemal II: Trump Vows Mass Deportations

On Monday, President Trump announced the deportation of millions of illegal aliens beginning “next week,” vowing that ICE agents would remove such aliens “as fast as they come in.”

Here are the two pertinent tweets from the president:

Critics and supporters alike are asking for details on how Immigration and Customs Enforcement will process the millions here illegally.  As I write this post, I’ve just listened to part of Ben Shapiro’s podcast on the announcement; he argues that a surgical, case-by-case approach is preferable, as some illegal aliens possess skills we would want in the United States.

While I appreciate Shapiro’s measured response, I can’t agree.  As I wrote in “Deportemal,” the time for half-measures has passed.  A lengthy review process of the millions of illegal aliens—which could be anywhere from 11 to 33 million (PDF; that document shows an illegal population of 12 million as of 2015), and maybe higher (that no one can know for sure is a major part of the problem)—would bog down for years, if not decades.  Another visa process ladled on top of inherent law-breaking will merely exacerbate the problem.

Consider:  our current catch-and-release system—migrants show up to one court date, get a temporary visa and orders to report back to court, then disappear into the countryside, never darkening an immigration court again—already gives migrants an easy in.  Essentially, touching American soil is like tagging home base:  once you’re here, you’re in.

Now, imagine adding an individual review process to that.  First, you’d have to assume good-faith on the part of illegals in the country.  They have virtually no incentive to come to another hearing.  Yes, they have the opportunity to be absolved of their illegal status (I’m assuming that’s what Shapiro is proposing), but if they think they don’t, they’ll avoid the process.

Second, a whole cottage-industry of gaming the individual amnesty system will emerge.  Lawyers skilled in the ins-and-outs of this fresh bureaucratic hell will profit at the expense of their countrymen and poor illegals.  Appeals—and you know with the federal government there would be a lengthy appeals process—would linger on for months, even years, further adding to the administrative load of ICE and our courts.

If we were dealing with a few thousand people, we could demonstrate some mercy and approach this issue with a lighter touch.  Unfortunately, we’ve failed to enforce our border laws for so long that we’ve allowed this crisis to metastasize, to the detriment of American citizens and potential immigrants alike.

Republicans squandered a golden opportunity to make some real strides on immigration reform during the 2017-2019 congressional session.  President Trump has moved mountains since then via constitutional executive orders and international diplomacy, particularly his threat of slapping hefty, incremental tariffs on Mexico.  Increased enforcement of Mexico‘s southern border has, according to Shapiro, already eased the number of arrests on the American border.

In the wake of President Trump’s massive 2020 reelection campaign launch last night in Orlando, Florida, it is imperative for immigration patriots to run (and win!) in 2020, and for Americans to support Trump’s reelection.  It’s our best hope to resolve this crisis, to the benefit of Americans and the world.

For more of my writing on immigration, check out “Lazy Sunday XIII: Immigration.”

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Deportemal

I have little patience for illegal immigrants.  Their illegality encourages ethnic cloistering.  Their very presence constitutes a persistent state of lawlessness, which seems to breed further criminality.

Then there’s the matter of the vast gulf between mainstream American culture and the virtually premodern peasant cultures from which most illegal migrants come.  Child rape is serious problem among men of certain Latin American cultures, as a recent piece from The Blaze demonstrates.  A twenty-year old illegal immigrant impregnated an eleven-year old.

You read the piece and you notice something:  the police already told this young man to leave the girl alone.  Why was he not shipped back to his homeland immediately?  Why was he allowed to stick around long enough to get this girl pregnant in his car near her school?

Yes, yes—why did the school let her slip away to have sex with a man nearly a decade her elder?  There’s blame to go around.  As for the parents, the girl’s father apparently wanted to beat the crap out of the illegal alien, understandably, but the police told him to cool it so he wouldn’t get himself in trouble.

That right there illustrates why average Americans are so frustrated with illegal immigration.  Law-abiding citizens are held to a stringent, inflexible standard.  Forget to claim $20 on your income taxes?  The IRS will spend thousands of dollars to get you.  Own land with “wetlands” on it?   You can’t grow anything on it, lest a non-existent frog die.  Want to camp on the beach?  Sorry, you can’t do that.

But if you’re here illegally, you get free medical care, no taxes, and an entire political party eager to grant you the franchise.  You can even sleep with minors, because, well, that’s just your rich, vibrant culture, and we wouldn’t want to burden you with our colonialist Western standards, would we?

Here’s how we rectify this situation:  deport every illegal immigrant the minute he or she runs afoul of the law, for the slightest offense.  If Pedro throws so much as a cigarette butt onto the side of the highway, send him back.

It would be shocking to you how much illegals get away with while here.  I once heard from an attorney about a client that was here illegally.  The client had received his second speeding ticket, as well as a $1000 tickets for driving without a license.  The attorney managed to get the officer to dismiss the $1000 ticket.  Good luck doing that if you’re a citizen.

My question was, “Why didn’t they deport this guy immediately?”  Look, speeding is probably one of the more benign offenses one can commit—that’s why it’s just a misdemeanor in most States—but it can result in injury or death.  That’s tragic enough when it’s a citizen behind the wheel.  But there’s an added element of injustice when the person driving shouldn’t be here in the first place.

Finally, the whole “living in the shadows” thing is rhetoric, pure and simple.  It conjures up images of old abuelas shivering in dark trailers, afraid to go outside lest an ICE agent apprehend them.  What it really means is that they can’t get a Social Security card and get sweet government bennies—they’re in the “shadow” of official existence.  I know some libertarians who would kill to be in that situation.

Rather than huddling up in the forgotten by-ways of America, illegals flaunt their status.  I’ve been to taquerias and been told that half of those present are likely illegal.  Most of them, to be sure, are harmless, and just looking for some opportunity.  But they’ve jumped the line, doing a real disservice to immigrants that go through the lengthy, expensive process the right way.  ICE could hit a couple of these joints in an afternoon and clear them out.

The solution to illegal immigration, like most answers in life, is simple but unpleasant:  deport ’em all.  Stop fooling around with detaining them in our prisons at our expense.  Ship them back—even if it takes multiple tries—and send the message to those still in Central America that their luck won’t be any better.

America needs 100ccs of prescription-strength Deportemal, stat!

Immigration by the Numbers

Yesterday I wrote about the dangers of inviting in large numbers of immigrants from a fundamentally alien culture into Western societies.  The Somali population of Minneapolis has created a veritable “Little Mogadishu” (consider paying homage to such a blighted place) in the heart of the Twin Cities, a neighborhood riddled with crime and terrorist recruitment.

Most immigration to the United States is not nearly so pernicious—unlike Europeans, Americans generally don’t have to worry about waves of unassimilable Muslims conquering entire swaths of our major cities—but while our immigrants are more assimilable than Europe’s, the sheer number of immigrants makes that assimilation more difficult.

As I wrote yesterday, the old friction of immigration is no longer there.  Families can instantly contact one another across oceans and time zones, and travel back home—or, more likely, travel to the new home in the West—is more affordable than ever.

Couple that ease of travel with our ludicrous interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, which allows foreign nationals to spit out “American” citizens if they can just cross the border when the contractions begin, and you have a recipe for invasion.

The family situation goes beyond the “anchor babies” phenomenon and the child migrant crisis.  Our immigration system prioritizes family members over skilled, English-speaking immigrants.  As Scott Rasmussen notes, nearly 750,000 immigrants annually enter the United States legally simply because they’re related to someone already here.  Immigrants can send for their spouses, children, and parents under this system—who then can bring over their spouses, children, and parents, creating the “chain migration” President Trump has decried.

The president is not alone.  According to Rasmussen, 75% of voters believe our immigration system should prioritize skilled immigrants, not family members.  That cuts across partisan lines (suggesting that immigration reform is a winning issue for electoral candidates).  And that 750,000 number reflects 66% of legal permanent residents admitted to the United States.

Remember, another key source of friction in immigration is that, in the old days, it could be years before an immigrant could bring his family over.  Indeed, some immigrants might never see them again.  It’s probably humane to allow Pedro to bring his wife and eighteen kids.  But his doddering parents?  His alcoholic uncle?  His son’s wife and kids? Where do we draw the line?

A further issue is that, with the ease of wire transfers, more and more wealth produced in the United States is sent back home.  Rasmussen reports that immigrants send a whopping $148 billion home.  That’s wealth produced working in the United States.

$30.02 billion of that $148 billion goes to Mexico.  When President Trump campaigned on Mexico paying for the wall, he didn’t mean the Mexican government would cut us a check.  Instead, he argued that the United States could tax these remittance payments to fund the border wall.

It’s an idea brilliant in its simplicity, and it shifts the costs of illegal immigration to the immigrants.  Want to pick our tomatoes at slave labor wages and send the money back home?  Fine, but you’re going to pay for the means by which we’ll prevent your mountain village from crossing over, too.

Immigration policy should benefit America and its citizens first.  I often hear the specious argument that “Americans won’t do certain jobs.”  Hogwash.  Big corporate farmers and Silicon Valley billionaires just want cheap fruit-pickers, coders, and nannies.  There are millions of working poor Americans who, for a living wage, could fill those jobs.  Alternatively, mechanization and automation could complete many of those roles.

The South went through the same issue with slavery:  wealthy Southern planters wanted cheap labor to grow cotton, and Northern textile mills were happy to pay a reduced rate for slave-produced cotton.  The losers were poor working folks and farmers.

Similarly, elites profit financially (and socially—they get to feel virtuous for employing Consuela to raise their kids) while wages for working men stagnate.

President Trump and Republicans in Congress should push again for the taxing of remittances, and a major push should begin to rid ourselves of “birthright citizenship,” a ludicrous misreading of the Fourteenth Amendment (which was intended to naturalize the former slaves and their progeny, not the children of foreign visitors who happened to give birth on American soil).

More importantly and immediately, we need to build the wall and deport any and all illegal immigrants.