Good news abounds lately for America. Jobs numbers continue to soar and, per a new CNN poll, Americans have grown more confident in the direction of the country than at any time in a decade. Not surprisingly, President Trump’s job approval ratings also are on the rise, particularly among independents. In spite of these successes – or perhaps because of them – the president’s critics continue to direct the most extreme possible language at him, invective that reached full-scale apoplexy regarding our country’s border policies.
The lawful separation of children from illegal immigrants who cross our border without permission has elicited a cacophony of wildly hyperbolic condemnations, and not only from the rabidly anti-Trump quarters of the left and the mainstream media. Former first lady Laura Bush wrote that border enforcement is “cruel” and “immoral” and reminiscent of World War II Japanese internment camps. Never mind the misery that her husband’s administration brought to innocent children in far-flung war zones.
Speaking of those wars, George W. Bush’s CIA director, Michael Hayden, took the criticism of U.S. law enforcement to a whole new level, tweeting out a picture of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp with the text: “Other governments have separated mothers and children.” This illogical and offensive comparison fails on every level and it insults the memory of those slain in those horror chambers, and the few who survived. Hayden should apologize to the heroic troops of the “Greatest Generation” who fought and died to extinguish the evil Nazi regime that created those camps. What kind of American scorns the brave men and women of Homeland Security by equating them with the fascist monsters of the SS?
In point of fact, the Nazis’ conduct was the opposite of America’s today. The Third Reich declared that German citizens who happened to be Jewish were no longer citizens (and not even human). In contrast, the United States seeks to protect our citizens, of any faith, color or ethnicity, by controlling our border, just as parents protect their family by locking their doors at night. Regarding borders, Hayden should realize that the Axis powers transgressed borders across the world in violent conquest, while we simply seek to maintain our lawful demarcation.
While such deranged rhetoric is singularly unhelpful, as a country of immigrants with a big heart, we should pursue the smartest policies to deter such unlawful criminal entries that compel family separation. The most obvious measure is to fulfill the central promise of Donald Trump’s 2016 election and build the wall, thus creating controlled entry points. At such checkpoints anyone can already request asylum and avoid family separation if their claim has merit. The vast majority of recent asylum applicants travel from Central America all the way through Mexico to the U.S. border, rather than requesting asylum in nearby Mexico, which suggests that these are really economic migrants rather than people fleeing targeted governmental persecution in their homeland.
Regarding asylum, a sensible reform that Congress should consider would be allowing non-Americans to apply in their home countries via embassies and consulates instead of only on U.S. soil. But the idea pushed by Trump critics that any adult who breaks into our country with children in tow (who may not even by theirs) should be allowed into the country without any charges being filed against them actually endangers children all the more by effectively making them “tickets” to gain U.S. entry.
Far from anti-immigrant, the United States remains an incredibly hospitable country to newcomers. With just 4 percent of world’s population, America boasts one-fifth of the total number of global immigrants. These new Americans bring us cultural vibrancy and economic vigor. We owe those many legal immigrants a just system of border control.
We are not Nazis. Controlling who enters our country is not racist, mean-spirited, or xenophobic. After decades of permitting a dangerous and porous border, we have a man in the White House showing what real leadership looks like. This administration is merely demanding that we address the border crisis with smarts as well as compassion. As Trump has shown on so many issues, his first priority will not be to please the borderless predilections of the globalist Davos elites, but rather the safety and prosperity of the American citizens he serves.