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Tuesday, December 18 , 2018, 6:16 am | Fair 44º


Randy Alcorn: With Immigration, Sometimes Law Is Not Justice

The decision by President Donald Trump to overturn the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which protected from deportation of children brought into this country illegally, has ignited rage and apprehension as well as praise and relief.

There is no doubt about where much of the media stand on illegal immigration. Hardly a day passes that Americans aren’t presented with another anecdotal story, caked with compassion and oozing with emotion, about the plight of illegal immigrants living under the looming threat of deportation.

The grinding frequency of these stories is more like a public relations campaign than straight, impartial reporting. Obviously, the media are trying to convince Americans of something, but what exactly — continued lax enforcement of immigration law, another round of amnesty, open borders?

In spite of all the emotive stories, research and polling data continue to find that the majority of Americans oppose illegal immigration and support enforcing immigration restrictions. Concerns over illegal immigration significantly helped propel Trump to the White House.

For some Americans, the concern is over the changing ethnic/cultural complexion of American society. For others there are personal economic concerns that blame lower wages and fewer jobs on too much immigration.

For me, however, it is a simple matter of numbers, no matter where the immigrants come from.

Human overpopulation is a real and increasing threat to all life everywhere on this planet.

Over the past 70 years the population of the United States nearly doubled to more than 300 million, most of the increase occurring over recent decades and due primarily to immigration and the prolific procreation of immigrants.

America is currently the third most populous nation on earth, behind China and India, and, because of immigration, the only advanced nation procreating at Third-World rates.

There are billions of desperately poor people in the world who would love to emigrate to the United States — tens of millions of them just south of our border. How many do we take in before we collapse under the onslaught? There is no longer a vast American frontier for the world’s huddled masses to settle.

America’s immigration problem is of its own making. For decades now, the forces of greed have been allowed to exploit low-cost immigrant labor, especially illegal immigrant labor. And, for various reasons, some Americans have accepted illegal immigration.

The most glaring example of this is the sanctuary movement whereby cities and even states effectively harbor illegal immigrants from deportation by refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement.

Illegal immigration enablers seem to ignore or reject that the United States is a nation defined by borders and unified by adherence to law, an overriding culture and a common language.

There are valid reasons for immigration laws. They are established to prevent overwhelming influxes of foreign populations, and to screen out undesirable persons, e.g. criminals, terrorists, the diseased.

While these laws do not exempt from deportation those people brought here illegally as children, aka the Dreamers, sometimes what is law is not justice.

If justice is defined as the moral principle determining just conduct, fair dealing and equitable treatment, the Dreamers should not be deported.

They are not responsible for coming here illegally. Their parents are, and so, too, are the forces of greed that have enticed and exploited illegal immigration. So, too, are the corrupt and incompetent politicians who have allowed negligent and desultory enforcement of immigration laws.

It has become a convenient cliché to condemn the nation’s immigration system as broken rather than poorly enforced. Nevertheless, there are reforms that would significantly mitigate illegal immigration and improve the legal immigration system.

The first would be to require all employers to use the E-verify database to ascertain the legal status of all applicants and, initially, of current employees. There would need to be sufficiently severe fines to ensure compliance.

The second would be to scrap chain migration and the visa lottery and adopt the point evaluation system that Canada, Australia and New Zealand use to determine which applicants are the most qualified to benefit their new nation.

The third would be to repeal birthright citizenship laws that automatically give U.S. citizenship to anyone breeching the womb within U.S borders, regardless of whether the parents are U.S. citizens. The United States is one of only two developed nations that allow this anachronistic folly.

These foolish birthright laws underlie the ongoing practice by foreign nationals to enter the United States in order to give birth, thus making their babies U.S. citizens. The parents take the babies back to their home countries where they are raised.

When the kids are ready for college, they can return to America and attend American universities as U.S. citizens. At 21 years old, they can apply for family reunification and a Green Card for their parents and siblings that allow them permanent U.S. residency.

How irrational and unjust is this? A person born in America of Chinese citizens and raised in China is legally American, while a person born in Mexico of Mexican citizens but raised in America is not. Which person is more American?

Wisdom and justice sometimes means making sensible exceptions to general rules. The Dreamers are Americans in every way except by law. They should be given permanent visas and allowed to apply for U.S. citizenship.

I doubt that many of them would struggle to pass the naturalization test.

— Randy Alcorn is a Santa Barbara political observer. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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