This is a different kind of 4th of July holiday than we've had since at least the early '70s.
A growing number of Members of Congress -- and protesters in the streets -- are questioning the legitimacy of the United States of America remaining a true nation of self-determining people.
Two of the leading demands of the day are:
- to eliminate interior immigration enforcement through ICE
- to stop detaining most people who cross our borders illegally if they have children with them.
Tens of millions of people around the world could easily take advantage of those moves to enter the U.S. illegally and be almost guaranteed to remain here for life. It is difficult to see how we would be able to retain the key features -- and advantages -- of remaining a national community.
Although the rhetoric behind non-enforcement is centered on humanitarian concerns for citizens of other national communities who break the law to enter our country, little concern is shown for the people who would suffer most from non-enforcement of immigration laws -- the most vulnerable members of our own community.
It has been the development of national communities -- particularly self-determining ones -- that has given rise to the greatest protections of the weakest members of the human race. Our Fourth of July holiday is a celebration not only of our nationhood but of the protections our nationhood has afforded our weaker members.
Nationhood: the state of being an independent nation -- Merriam Webster
At its essence, immigration policy is about nationhood policy.
RECKLESS RHETORIC or INTENTIONAL DISMISSAL OF NATIONAL COMMUNITY?
I would be able to celebrate Independence Day with a lighter heart if I could believe that most of the people making these demands for ending most enforcment are being thoughtlessly reckless -- that they are acting on raw emotion without having thought through the logical consequences of their actions.
That hope about "reckless rhetoric" has restrained me as I've watched the deterioration of the immigration debate among politicians and the media the last decade.
I've said little publicly about my fear that the underlying but usually unspoken motivation driving the hard-core Immigration Expansionists on both the left and right is a questioning about whether nations have outlived their usefulness.
Some kind of line seems to have been crossed now that two of the five or six top favorites to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2020 have embraced the rhetoric.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have joined at least a half-dozen U.S. Representatives in calling for the abolition of our internal immigration enforcement agency.
They are joined by growing legions of lower-level officials, candidates, writers and a nationwide outbreak of grassroots protesters, making claims and demands for an end to nearly all immigration enforcement.
A few years ago, these demands would have been dismissed as a false caricature of our opponents.
In the Republican Party, we see this anti-nationhood ideology showing up among many of the so-called "moderates" in Congress who don't want businesses to have to recruit workers from among the 50 million jobless working-age Americans. This ideology seemed to drive about three dozen Republicans who narrowly killed the "Goodlatte bill" which closed major immigration enforcement loopholes.
BASIC OUTLINE OF DEMANDS MADE BY THE ANTI-ENFORCEMENT MOVEMENT
- Every person in the world who is suffering domestic abuse or surrounded by gang violence and who can make it into the United States should be given a chance at asylum, lifetime residency, a lifetime work permit and a pathway to become a voter in U.S. elections. (These are people in real need, but are we ready to entice the tens of millions of people in these circumstances to give their savings to drug cartels to smuggle them here?)
- Any illegal alien who has a baby born inside the U.S. (with the baby currently given U.S. citizenship) should not have to go back home because that would be "separating families"
- Anybody who comes to the U.S. on vacation should be able to overstay their visa and take U.S. jobs the rest of their lives -- as long as they don't commit a violent crime.
- Once citizens of other countries have lived illegally in the U.S. for several years, it is a violation of their civil rights to refuse them the ability to legally vote in U.S. elections and receive government benefits.
If these arguments are being made by a public official, a candidate or a writer whom you otherwise admire, please find ways to encourage them to think through the impossibility of agreeing to their demands and our remaining a nation that can provide order, justice and compassion for all members of the national community.
I notice that many Expansionist commentators and politicians are beginning to realize how radical the End-ICE protests are sounding to most Americans. They are cautioning voters to understand that the desire is NOT to end immigration enforcement. They say that ICE would have to be replaced by a new immigration enforcement agency with better values. But you will search in vain for any enforcement that these Expansionists specify for a new agency -- other than against convicted violent felons.
Keep in mind that we are not fighting for only our own national community. All peoples deserve to live in national communities that exist to serve their interests.
I don't believe I need to explain here why the totally free movement of labor without restrictions at national borders would be devastating to national communities everywhere.
Hopefully, this threat will soon subside. Right now, it is growing. Let's make sure all of our officials know that Independence Day means something dear to us -- NATIONHOOD -- and something we expect them to protect.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Tue, Jul 17th 2018 @ 2:20pm EDT