Just some food for thought as the current round of the immigration debate unfolds -- with much of the Left seeking to cast the GOP's insistence on significant pro-border control measures as mean-spirited right-wing xenophobia. The truth is that the American people overwhelmingly support enhanced border security and stepped-up internal enforcement. And in the fairly recent past, even leading Democrats allowed themselves to sound like border hawks when the political moment called for it. First, here's Senator Hillary Clinton telling a New York radio audience in 2003 that she's "adamantly against illegal immigrants" and the people who employ them:
Not to be outdone, here is Senator Barack Obama talking tough on illegal immigration (he later sought to conflate illegal and legal immigration to suit his partisan ends), emphasizing the critical nature of American sovereignty and immigration laws, which he later weakened as president. Looking back at O's more recent body of work -- DAPA and preening social media posts come to mind -- this is somewhat extraordinary to watch:
"We are a generous and welcoming people here in the United States -- but those who enter the country illegally, and those who employ them disrespect the rule of law. They are showing disregard for those who are following the law. We simply cannot allow people to pour into the United States undetected, undocumented, unchecked, and circumventing the line of people who are waiting patiently and lawfully to become immigrants."
That clip has been floating around for awhile, but I'd never run across it until this week. Sure, Obama's tone and word choice is distinct from Trump's, but some of the key themes (and even the word "pour") sound rather Trumpian. As a DACA deal is hammered out, with both sides claiming meaningful progress and momentum, it's important to recall that every Senate Democrat in 2013 voted in favor of a bill that approximately doubled the number of border patrol agents, agreed to complete roughly 700 miles of a physical border along the southern border (covering virtually the same terrain that the Trump administration is emphasizing), and to end the "diversity lottery" for visas. By all means, address the DREAMer issue, but beef up border security, too. Amnesties incentivize more attempts at illegal crossings, and status quo isn't cutting it.