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Patriotism: The Last Refuge of an Illegal Immigrant Scoundrel

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Samuel Johnson, the witty grammarian, dictionary compiler, and literary critic could put down the worst offenses with lightning fast rapier wit.  One comes to mind in connection with the latest push for amnesty in Congress: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Meaning? Every man lacking moral fiber will justify his plunge to unseen depths of depravity by waving the flag of his nation: “I broke the law for the sake of my country!” The more subtle criminals—including ambitious politicians—will pull out the patriotism card to get elected or to explain away bad votes. In the final calculation, they push to give themselves a personal advantage, often at the expense of the very country which they claim to champion: “Look at all the flags on my website! Vote for me!”

How does this unpatriotic play for patriotism connect with illegal immigration? A lighter form of amnesty is floating around, this time from Congressman Jeff Denham (R-CA). His ENLIST Act (H.R. 60) seems like a common-sense proposal. If illegal aliens meet key requirements and serve in the United States military, they can receive legal status. Sounds good—at first. If men and women put their lives on the line for the United States, why not reward their self-sacrifice with citizenship?

Historical references are crucial to explain why this proposal should be court-martialed and sent to the firing squad. During the waning era of the Western Roman Empire, the Romans recruited mercenaries from Germanic and Gallic tribes to restore their armed ranks. The allegiance of these outsider-soldiers sided with the commanding officers, not the Roman Emperor and Empire. The same barbarians recruited for their adopted homeland would eventually turn on their own neighbors and nation. This threat of internal dissension and demise cannot be ignored or overlooked. Citizenship is about embracing values, not just defeating foreign invaders.

Despite these serious concerns, Congressman Denham (R-Turlock) has introduced this measure repeatedly, and now fellow California Congressman Darrell Issa (who’s giving conservatives more reasons not to support him in the upcoming election) has signed on. These and other Republicans (especially in California) are paying attention to Democratic talking points rather than fired-up Re-TRUMP-licans—who are fed up with amnesty and politicians who ignore the needs of American citizens.

Since these pro-illegal policies pushed by these politicians would endanger our country, why do they push this narrative? Why are these scoundrels in Washington targeting illegal alien veterans? They are banking on the idea that this small measure will temper criticism from angry constituents. In Santa Ana, California, a liberal sanctuary city right in the heart of conservative Orange County, California, Congressman Lou Correa hosted a town hall for illegal aliens (another one shut down by feckless liberals in the face of raging Trump supporters demanding the rule of law). Correa started off about the fear imposed on “immigrant” (read, illegal alien) communities. He then switched over to his upcoming visit to Tijuana to visit with deported veterans. They had green cards, but they broke the law (“They got into trouble,” according to Correa), and thus they were deported.

One woman attending Correa’s town hall denounced the illegal aliens whom Correa was championing. When he had mentioned their previous service in our military, her criticism dampened somewhat. Who’s going to speak against military service for the United States, right? These amnesty panderers think that mentioning the word “veteran” will excuse crimes of the past. Wrong, I say! Military service is not a Get Out of Jail Free card. Every veteran should be thanked for their service, but it doesn’t mean they can commit crimes or limit the rights of everyday citizens.

Many times this year alone, liberal veterans have tried to silence my criticism: ”Are you a veteran? Have you fought for this country?” My retort: “You fought for my right to speak.  Are you now undermining your own efforts by telling me that I cannot be here?”

Veterans who commit crimes should be tried, convicted and sentenced, just like the rest of us. They fought for the rule of law overseas, and they are called to abide by those standards here. Read up on Randy “Duke” Cunningham, a Republican congressman who once represented San Diego County. He was convicted of bribery and corruption charges in 2005. During the sentencing hearing, his defense attorney pled for clemency because of his military service. No deal, said the judge.

This “rule of law” thing seems to escape amnesty panderers like Correa, however. The illegals who served in our military should have never enrolled in the first place. They should not have been in our country! Let’s have true standards, please! Besides, if the ENLIST Act becomes law, EXPECT more illegals rushing into our country to enlist for legal status. No deal. It’s time to put aside the memes and patronizing half-measures of our politicians. They want to play the patriotism card to sell their constituents on partial amnesty, and I am having none of it. Once again, I will share with you the list of 200—yes, that many—cosponsors for Denham’s ENLIST Act.  Tell them “No Way.”

The next time your Congressman pushes this “Amnesty for illegal alien veterans” card, just give them a sample of Samuel Johnson’s wit: “Patriotism is the last resort of a politician … er, scoundrel!”

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