There is an old saw that goes; there is your side, my side, and the truth is in the middle. The liberal perspective advocates a humanitarian view, finding a way to feed, house, and clothe people fleeing inevitable death by gang violence, drought, and starvation. The more conservative view is that cruelty will dissuade people from escaping violence and death if we lock up children, chase down families on horseback, and drop them off in “sanctuary cities” in freezing weather. Neither view is working, and coming to an agreement that the truth lies somewhere in the middle has been the victim of tribal ideology.

Believe it or not, this has not always been true…

In 2005 the late Senator(s) John McCain (R-AZ) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA) introduced The Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (S. 1033). Conservatives immediately lined up against it, bemoaning it as an amnesty bill. Proposals like agreeing to allow employers to hire temporary visa workers—no doubt at lower wages, were lauded, but a compromise like allowing undocumented immigrants who had contributed to the economy and fined 1,500 dollars for staying were rejected. “ That is a bad idea. It is, in effect, an amnesty—which undercuts the rule of law by rewarding those who have acted wrongly and will only encourage further illegal entry,” wrote the Heritage Foundation.

Conservatives advised that people be returned without “prejudice or advantage” and be allowed to reapply on their return. The illogic of thinking that people who traveled, literally, thousands of miles—in some cases, would not return if they survived, adding to the already colossal backlog, is flawed thinking. Maybe not surviving a second trek was a part of the conservative plan? The humanitarian idea of Democrats, albeit moral, is also flawed. Most of the proposals by Democrats deemphasize enforcement, which has led to the false mantra of Democrats being for open borders. As much as one might hate political gamesmanship, it has to be played for progress. Amid his waffling on the original bill he co-authored, McCain said that 90 percent border security compliance is necessary before any compromises with Democrats. “I think it’s going to have to [come first],” McCain said of border security…

In 2013 McCain returned to the roots of his bill with Senator Kennedy, but it was too late. His party was inexorably moving in the direction of xenophobic prejudice, which overshadowed any legitimate concerns about border security. With McCain and Marco Rubio, two of the original GOP comprehensive immigration supporters careening around like a Minnesota Fats bank shot, tribalism—based on presidential positioning was set in stone. Donald Trump mounted the stampeding steed of prejudice in the Republican party and rode it into the White House. Since his descent down the escalator, Hispanics have been called murderers, rapists, breeders, animals, and invaders, despite having a statistically lower crime rate than people born in America.

Numbers and stats are useless when being cruel for the approval of one’s base wins votes, and pandering to another keeps them. Eventually, both the Democrats and Republicans, at some point, have to concede the other’s concerns and stop punishing the real victims, the people traveling thousands of miles to live and raise their children in safety. Who, reasonably, can be against that?  

Happy New Year; Continue to Vote for Change            

  • December 28, 2022