Pavlich: Open border Democrats
For years Democrats have claimed they are for strong border security and immigration enforcement while also providing empathy for those who come to the United States illegally. After all, Sens. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) and a number of other Democrats voted for the Secure Fence Act in 2006. In fact, many complained the legislation wasn’t enough to properly secure the border with Mexico.
That empathy has turned into enabling and incentivizing as 2019 Democrats abandon any sense of sovereignty and border control.
Until now, Democrats have written off the accusation of supporting open borders as a Republican talking point. Now, it’s solidly in their platform and has been given on-the-record support by Democrats running for president.
“Immigrants seeking refuge in our country aren’t a threat to national security. Migration shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue. It’s time to end this draconian policy and return to treating immigration as a civil — not a criminal — issue,” Democratic presidential candidate and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro wrote in an April op-ed on Medium.
During the first Democratic debate in Miami, candidates who were asked directly if entering the United States without permission should be decriminalized, answered yes.
Since then, they’ve doubled down.
“I agree with Secretary Castro. We should not be criminalizing mamas and babies trying to flee violence at home or trying to build a better future. We must pass comprehensive immigration reform that is in line with our values, creates a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants including our Dreamers, and protects our borders,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) told HuffPost.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J) has taken things further and vowed — if elected — to essentially eliminate any kind of border detention through an executive order. His campaign released an 11-page policy document explaining the details.
“Today, Cory Booker is outlining executive actions he will take beginning on day one of his presidency to virtually eliminate immigration detention and put an end to the humanitarian crisis at the border and in detention centers across the country,” Booker’s campaign said. “Without waiting for Congress to act, Cory will stop the treatment of immigrants as criminals, close inhumane DHS facilities, end the use of for-profit detention facilities and end unnecessary barriers for refugees and those seeking asylum to virtually eliminate immigrant detention.”
Considering Democrats now believe any kind of detention is “inhumane,” under Booker’s plan all detention centers would be closed.
But this position is not only extreme, it’s unworkable. Don’t take President Trump’s word for it, but instead look to the experience of former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
“That is tantamount to declaring publicly that we have open borders,” The Washington Post reported Johnson said. “That is unworkable, unwise and does not have the support of a majority of American people or the Congress, and if we had such a policy, instead of 100,000 apprehensions a month, it will be multiples of that.”
During a recent interview at the Aspen Institute, Johnson also reminded Americans and the media that this crisis is not new and didn’t start under Trump.
“Chain link barriers, partitions, fences, cages, whatever you want to call them, were not invented on Jan. 20, 2017, OK?” Johnson said.
The crisis at the border continues to rage, which has led to overcrowded facilities and an extension of the illegal immigration court backlog. The answer isn’t to destroy American sovereignty and the rule of law by decriminalizing illegal entry, but rather to lift the bar on U.S. asylum laws fueling the crisis.
Again, don’t take what officials in the White House are saying, look to Trump’s critics for some facts on the issue.
“It pains me to say this but he [Trump] is right that the United States faces a crisis with its asylum system,” CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said recently on his show. “Since 2014, the flow of asylum-seekers in to the United States has skyrocketed. Last year, immigration courts received 162,000 asylum claims. A 240 percent increase since 2014. The result is a staggering backlog with more than 300,000 claims pending and the average immigration case has been pending on average for more than 700 days.”
“It’s also clear the rules surrounding asylum are vague, lax and being gamed,” he continued. “Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories, using identical phrases. Many simply use the system to enter the U.S. and then melt into the shadows or gain a work permit. Asylum is meant to be granted to a very small amount of people in extreme circumstances, not as a substitute for the process of immigration itself.”
The Trump administration is offering real, sustainable solutions to stopping the current crisis at the border. Democrats are looking to exacerbate the situation while derailing American sovereignty and security in the process.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.