Build a Moral Wall — and Gate

Thursday's Editorial   —   Posted on November 29, 2018

Build a Moral Wall — and Gate

(by Terry Jeffrey, CNSNews) – The United States of America granted lawful permanent resident status to 1,127,167 immigrants in 2017, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

Over the past 30 years, we have given 30,311,416 immigrants that status.

They have come to this country — legally — from all over the Earth.

Of the 1,127,167 granted permanent resident status last year, 424,743 came from Asia; 413,650 came from other countries in North America; 118,824 from Africa; 84,335 from Europe; and 79,076 from South America.

There were 146,003 accepted into this country as refugees or granted asylum because they were persecuted in their homeland.

Can it be reasonably argued that the United States does not have a generous and open-hearted policy when it comes to admitting immigrants?

No.

Today, the Statue of Liberty is as symbolic of what America stands for as it has ever been.

According to Gallup, potential immigrants from around the world remain more attracted to America than any other nation.

“For the past decade, Gallup’s global studies have shown that the U.S., more so than any other country, has been the top desired destination for people who say they would like to move,” Gallup said in a Nov. 8 release.

“Three percent of the world’s adults — or nearly 160 million people — say they would like to move to the U.S.,” said Gallup.

It is a testimony to America’s greatness that we remain the world’s most attractive nation.

But it is also an obvious thing that we cannot admit all 160 million people who would immigrate here if they could.

So what is a just and rational way to decide who gets in?

Many in the Washington political establishment would grant a de facto preference to those who are willing to break the morally justified immigration and border laws of the United States.

Their approach to Honduras may provide a good example.

In a June 28, 2017 release, Gallup said 30 percent of Honduran adults wanted to move to the United States. The CIA World Factbook estimates that in 2017, there were 9,038,741 people in Honduras. If 30 percent of them were to immigrate to the United States, Hondurans alone would account for about 2,711,622 immigrants.

In fiscal 2017, according to the DHS, the United States granted permanent resident status to 11,387 Hondurans. Assuming 30 percent of Hondurans (2,711,622 people) would like to move to the United States, that means that for each of the 11,387 Hondurans we granted legal residency to in 2017, there were approximately 238 back in Honduras who would like that privilege, too.

Citing an official from an [open borders] group [organizing the caravans] called Pueblo Sin Fronteras [which means village without borders], The New York Times reported this week that four caravans “with as many as 10,000 total members, have set out for the United States.” According to the official, “the majority of the caravan members were from Honduras.”

Assuming, again, that 30 percent of Hondurans want to move to the United States, that means for each of the approximately 10,000 people in the caravans, there are about 271 people in Honduras who would like to move to America.

What is the difference between those in the caravans (whether from Honduras or elsewhere) and the aspiring American immigrants still in Honduras?  Certainly, many in the caravans are prepared to illegally enter the United States. Just as certainly, many in Honduras who would love to immigrate here would never break the law to do so.

  • Whom should the immigration policies of the United States prefer: the potential immigrant willing to break our just laws, or the potential immigrant who would never do so?
  • Which would-be immigrant benefits from an unenforced border? Which from a border ruled by law?

This week, …Fox News interviewed Rodney Scott, the chief Border Patrol agent for the San Diego sector, about the elements of the caravan that recently arrived there. Scott made a telling observation about the eight miles of new border wall that have been built there: They worked.

“I’d like to point out that not a single migrant climbed over the new border wall,” he said.

The United States has the engineering ability to build a simple structure along the border that illegal crossers cannot breach. Such a wall would stand as a deterrent to those tempted to illegally cross.

That would be morally superior to leaving the border without a wall and sending Border Patrol agents out to confront illegal crossers.

It would also be fairer to the millions of would-be immigrants in Honduras and elsewhere who would love to move to this land of liberty and would only come legally, through an open gate.

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.  Posted at cnsnews .com on November 28, 2018.  Reprinted here November 29, 2018 for educational purposes only. 

Questions

1. The purpose of an editorial/commentary is to explain, persuade, warn, criticize, entertain, praise or answer. What do you think is the purpose of Terry Jeffrey’s editorial? Explain your answer.

2. What is the main idea of this editorial?

3. a) Read the “Background” below the questions. Why do you think the Democrats in Congress who voted for the Secure Fence Act will not support its enforcement?
b) Why do you think Congressional Republicans, who had control of Congress, did not fund construction of the wall to enforce the Secure Fence Act law?

4. Re-read the last 3 paragraphs of Mr. Jeffrey’s commentary. Do you agree with his assertion? Explain your answer.


Read previous StudentNewsDaily posts on the border wall:


Background

Byron York at the Washington Examiner writes:

The Secure Fence Act (Public Law 109-367):

The act was passed by big, bipartisan majorities in 2006, receiving 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate.

The Secure Fence Act required the federal government to build reinforced fencing, at least two layers deep, along about 700 miles of the border. It specified areas in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas where fencing would be installed.

If the law had been followed, many vulnerable parts of the border would now be secured. But the very next year, 2007, after Democrats won control of the House and Senate, Congress amended the Secure Fence Act. The amendment said that “nothing in (the original legislation) shall require” the installation of fencing if the government determines that a fence is not the “most appropriate” way to secure the border.

That was that. No 700 miles of fence.

The story of the Secure Fence Act is a perfect example of why so many Americans distrust their government. In 2006, an election year, there was a bipartisan consensus to pass a law requiring the construction of a border fence. In 2007, after the election, there was a bipartisan consensus not to enforce it.

Still, Public Law 109-367 remains on the books. And it still calls for a border barrier.

What the president needs is money, and that has to come from Congress. Of course, Democrats won’t want to give it to him. But if President Trump called for an appropriation to fund the fence, he would at least have a new argument: Democrats have already voted for it. And not just illustrious Democratic former senators like Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton. Democrats in power now, too.

Sen. Charles Schumer, the minority leader, voted for the Secure Fence Act. Sen. Dianne Feinstein did, too. So did Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Sen. Sherrod Brown. (Brown voted for it when he was in the House.)

In the House, Reps. Bishop, Brown, Cooper, DeFazio, Kind, Lipinski, Lynch, Maloney, Pascrell, Peterson, Ruppersberger, Ryan and Smith all voted for the Secure Fence Act.

Obviously, the Democratic Party has moved far to the left on immigration in the last 12 years. Many, if not all, of those Democrats would now oppose what they once supported, especially if Donald Trump wanted it. So any fight on a border barrier would be uphill for the president.

But masses of migrants are pushing toward the border. And even when the caravans are gone, illegal crossing of the border is still common. There is a law on the books that could strengthen border security. [The president should enforce the law. Congress and the courts should not try to block him from doing so.]