America's founders' advice to Biden on border crisis
If you haven’t heard, there are more than 18,000 unaccompanied minors in U.S. custody at the Mexican-U.S. border because of the open-door policy of the Biden administration, with an expectation of 1,000,000 more migrants to cross in 2021. That number, 18,000, is four times the amount of the Trump administration. According to Reuters, the increase is on pace to be the highest in 20 years.
In a previous column titled, “Cartels are the biggest winners when kids cross the southern border,” I explained how these young precious souls (especially girls) face perilous life-threatening dilemmas south of the border en route to America. Why? Cartels and other smugglers control and capitalize every aspect of those migrating, extorting finances from their families, trafficking them to sexual predators, and even using them as drug mules into the U.S. and worse. Many are sold into slavery and even killed to extract body parts to sell on black-market organ commerce.
I truly believe the 18,000 unaccompanied minors are just a small portion of those who make it. The others fell prey to the above traps because the Biden administration naively believes we are doing a good deed by “saving them” from their country’s hardships, not realizing we are truly feeding a huge majority of them into the jaws of cartels and other smugglers. An open door-immigration policy is the cheese for cartels’ and smugglers’ mousetraps.
My wife, Gena, and I believe as much as anyone in the words etched on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
However, those words don’t mean that we do so disorderly, dangerously and without legal protocol. Construction was started on the Statue of Liberty in 1875 in France. A hundred years before that, America’s founders drafted policy and procedures for those coming to our country that they, we and the Biden administration would be wise to reconsider, relearn and implement.
I’ve addressed these issues before, but they warrant repeating and expanding because our founders’ truths are timeless. Whether we are Democrat, Republican or Independent, we all should agree on them. (I have also detailed them even more at length in my New York Times bestseller, “Black Belt Patriotism.“)
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 (over 37 million immigrants today will multiply into 105 million then), it is imperative for us to do more to solve this crisis.
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 the Congress shall have the authority to “establish a uniform rule of naturalization.”
But 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 and the invasion of terrorists into our homeland have only confused security matters, increasingly endangering our borders as well as our national security and sovereignty.
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.
America’s founders were also concerned with properly assimilating immigrants so that their presence would be positive upon the culture. They expected them to maintain their ethnicity but adopt our culture and customs. They expected their patriotism to be for these United States.
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.”
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’ seceding. Yet, even the founders themselves believed that a total open-door policy for immigrants would lead to community and cultural chaos.
While we discuss and debate new ways to resolve the social and border crisis we call illegal immigration, our founders again pointed the way over 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 desired only immigrants that contributed to the building up and advancement of their grand experiment called America.
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 actually taught in schools like PS75, a public school in New York City, where a few years back kindergarten students took part in a class project in which the children were made to create an American flag with the flags of other 22 other nations superimposed over the stripes. Rather than catering to foreign allegiances, the students might actually learn something about American patriotism and exceptionalism.
And just think if the federal government actually enforced our founders’ immigration tenets? States wouldn’t need to use taxpayers monies to redraft or try to override federal immigration laws, or even need to go out on a limb and create their own immigration laws, 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.
Music legend and recently deceased 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. …”
With terrorists still encroaching on the U.S. and their tentacles still in all 50 states, according to the FBI, and MS-13 recruiting young migrants coming into our country from Central America, now is the time to secure our borders and save the future of America before they dissolve completely.
As the old adage goes, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always be where you’ve always been.”
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