Understanding The Left on Immigration
The hardest part about communicating on immigration is understanding "open borders" proponents. Let's give it a try.
According to at least one major national public opinion survey - Harvard Harris CAPS - immigration has risen to the nation’s top concern. It helps when you separate the economic-related concerns, such as price increases/inflation and the economy and jobs, into two categories.
Still, concern over immigration has skyrocketed by 11 percent points in the Harvard Harris CAPS poll since November, eclipsing inflation at 37 percent.
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It is no secret why. Thanks to big “sanctuary city” mayors, especially New York City’s Eric Adams, it’s brought visibility to the flood of immigrants overflowing their ability to house and accommodate them. Besides Fox News’ Bill Melugin and a few others, the slumbering media corps has finally woken. That’s led more than a few local, state, and federal officials from the southern border to welcome them to the party.
But it most notably started with this caravan from Central America, an estimated 7,000 strong, making its way to the US border on October 22, 2018 - just before the US mid-term elections.
The Atlantic, a reliably leftist magazine, framed the illegal alien march this way:
On October 13, a group of hundreds of people gathered together to flee their impoverished home country of Honduras in a caravan headed toward the United States, seeking a better life for themselves and their families. That caravan quickly swelled to approximately 7,000 Central American immigrants as it passed north through Guatemala. As of today, most of these men, women, and children have just entered Mexico, yet they remain more than a thousand miles south of the U.S. border. President Donald Trump has called the approaching group a “national emergency,” vowed to cut tens of millions of dollars in aid to three Central American countries, and will possibly cancel a recent trade deal with Mexico if the caravan isn’t stopped before it reaches the U.S.
I remember watching coverage of the caravan that October evening and seeing this and other photos, many of them strongly suggesting that it wasn’t an organic movement of desperate people. It was well organized, even if it wasn’t portrayed that way by the usual media suspects, especially the Washington Post. This, along with the horrific treatment of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by partisans in the US Senate and elsewhere, enraged me.
After a bit of sleuthing, a dying art, it didn’t take long to discover that Pueblo Sin Fronteras - people without borders - organized such caravans and were behind this one. Part of a left-wing pro-immigrant advocacy network, they were aided and supported by several well-known “charitable” organizations, including “Freedom for Immigrants,” which partnered with the George Soros-funded Global Detention Project, focused on illegal immigrant advocacy, reports the Capitol Research Center’s “Influence Watch” website. But don’t take my word for it:
Pueblo Sin Fronteras organized the caravan in conjunction with the CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project. The CARA coalition consists of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, the American Immigration Council, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association, all groups advocating for legal status for illegal immigrants and expanded immigration overall. These organizations have been funded by a number of major left-of-center grantmaking foundations, including the Open Society Foundations, MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation of New York.
An admittedly imprecise - some say “incendiary” - tweet of mine went viral, causing quite the backlash that resulted in the Open Society Foundation issuing this tweet: “Neither our founder George Soros nor Open Society is involved in the migrant caravan. We have never funded nor directed people to migrate. We support humane approaches to immigration that respect the law and borders.”
That was, at best, deceptive and closer to a lie. Those of us challenging Open Society’s involvement were accused of being anti-semitic (the usual trope tossed at Soros critics, despite the fact he is an atheist) and worse. Much was made of an alleged pipe bomb to one of Soros’ homes (it never exploded) a day or two later. On Twitter, I was accused of being the pipe bomber, a racist, advancing “conspiracy theories,” a hater, and had my Christian faith challenged. Soros's allies pressured my employer to have me disciplined (it didn’t work, despite CNN coverage to the contrary).
I was barraged with media inquiries about other social posts. I was being doxed. I dumped my Twitter account and left social media for a while, hoping the mob would move along (they did). I found out who my friends were (both of them). After a successful career, I was preparing for my long-planned exodus and retiring like any other executive. A call to my employer would have confirmed that, but CNN.
Author and journalist Michelle Malkin, in her superbly well-documented book, “Open Borders, Inc.” describes in great detail how the Soros network provided indirect assistance to this caravan and other pro-immigration networks and organizations, including Sin Fronteras - Mexico, legal groups, and many other advocates.
And, of course, there’s a lot of money to be made in the immigration business.
Many Democrats were initially defensive about the caravan, which many thought might rebound to Donald Trump and the Republican’s benefit. Nope. Democrats won control of the US House that election by a narrow margin.
Since those dark days of 2018, I’ve tried to understand the “open borders” mindset of the Democratic Left. I don’t like writing about policy issues unless I understand both sides. Understanding the left here has been hard for me. After all, a country without borders isn't a country, and I never like to believe my policy and political opponents hate America that much. America is, and remains, the greatest engine for prosperity, freedom, human rights, and good worldwide.
I’ve concluded this: it’s all emotion, wrong-headed theology, and anti-Americanism at its worst. The people behind this open-borders mindset want to fix what’s wrong with America’s “whiteness” and past wrongs of immigration policies (“legacies of slavery and colonialism”) and enforcement by opening the borders to people who neither look nor act “like us.” Some selective quotes from open-border advocates:
“…in the Democrats’ liberal base, the mood toward the caravan is positively sympathetic. The caravan’s slogan, ‘People without borders,’ chimes with the rising sentiment among liberals that border enforcement is inherently illegitimate and usually racist, too.”
“I find it bizarre that so many people focus on the plight of the least well-off in rich societies, and yet ignore the issue of immigration. From my point of view, if you do not advocate open immigration, any claim to be concerned about social justice or the well being of the poor is mere pretense.” — Jason Brennan.
“Proponents of free market capitalism should embrace open borders in principle and practice. Corporations and goods now travel freely; why shouldn’t people? Besides, the U.S. government spends an ungodly amount of money on trying to keep people out of the country. Decriminalizing immigration would free up resources for law enforcement to focus on real crimes like human trafficking and drug smuggling.” — Robert Wells.
“Every visa officer today lives in fear that he will let in the next Mohammad Atta. As a result, he is probably keeping out the next Bill Gates.” — Fareed Zakaria
“Migration, for me, is where we really encounter the God of the Bible—the God of Abraham, of Exodus, of the great journey.” — Padre Flor Maria Rigoni
That last quote is rich. Let us consult John Zmirak, a Catholic who puts many of the faith-based tropes for open borders to shame.
You’re seeing it already: the attempt to snap Christians’ spines and render us invertebrates, to leash us via our heartstrings, to shame us into silence about the Biden regime’s lawlessness at the border.
As a Catholic, I’m used to this dreck. I’ve been inundated with open borders agitprop by professional Catholics for decades. Some of that, to be fair, was motivated by a perverse hatred for Western civilization and masochistic white guilt. But most of it was straight up self-interest, a craving for warm bodies in pews, and greed for gold.
My bishops made $3 billion helping with the human trafficking of immigrants into America — enough, dollar for dollar, to cover all the costs of settlements for the children whose rapes they enabled by hiding and shuffling pedophiles. Indeed, by this point the U.S. bishops conference is best described as an immigration pyramid scheme and a gay employment agency … with a Catholic problem.
Feel free to educate yourself on how to respond to the tropes being tossed your way. More Zmirak:
“This is the anarchy, cash grab, and political takeover being advocated by all those seemingly earnest, sweatily winsome, excruciatingly nuanced NPR-whispering Christians who post things like the following:
Would Jesus lay down razor wire that endangered helpless brown children? Wasn’t he more brown than white himself? Didn’t he say “Suffer the children to come unto me”?
The Bible says “Welcome the stranger,” not “Make America great again.”
Radical hospitality is key to the Gospel call, which is why Jesus dined with sinners.
Our loyalty is to the Church invisible, which has no borders or limits.
Real pro-lifers welcome migrants, not just the unborn.
“Each of these tired tropes is easy to answer, and we at The Stream have done so. Years ago. Just click on the links above to see patient, thoughtful responses to such lazy, undisciplined claims.”
I encourage you to spend time visiting each of these links. Arming yourself with the facts, particularly about the specious and incorrect claims to “superior” Christian morality made by open borders aficionados, is worth your time. Along with this.
A final note: I don’t know of a single American who not only doesn’t support legal immigration but isn’t the descendent of immigrants. America didn’t have much of an immigration law before the Civil War. We had a country to “settle.” Which now is bad because we displaced so many native Americans. Which is it?
Also, way too little time and attention is paid to the worst aspects of the migrants’ journey, from paying drug cartel-connected “coyotes” to rapes, torture, theft, and death. There is no word on how the Biden open-border policies enable much of that, along with a serious fentanyl crisis that kills more people every year than died during the Vietnam War.
No country is home to more foreign-born people than the United States. We are the world’s most generous country, and our legal immigration laws testify to that. I know of no one who opposes legal immigration. I recall attending a very moving citizenship ceremony at Mount Vernon in 2022, congratulating many of my new fellow citizens, some of whom were serving in the US military. All beamed with pride. It was moving.
I know immigration lawyers who have helped wonderful people with great values, a strong work ethic, and moving stories of personal persecution. God bless them.
But there is a right way and a wrong way. Do it right, wait your turn, and in the meantime, help your current country fix what ails them.
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