By tradition, the political season begins after Labor Day, but in a year where most other tradition has been turned in its ear, both sides have jumped the gun.
Democrats and Republicans are running attack commercials, either on TV or online, and the Joe Biden camp has just finished a [potentially offending word] pow wow with the Bernie Sanders bros to craft a 110-page outline of their aspirations, across a broad front.
I’ve decided to examine their ideas on immigration inasmuch as I have been reporting on illegal immigration for about 15 years and can read between the lines. Of course, this is a “report” of “recommendations” written by a “task force” that “may” be sewn into the Democratic National Platform, which is a road map of where they want to go. It has the official weight of a wasp.
In brief, it is not as radical as the ideas presented during the campaign by Vermont’s most popular Brooklyn socialist, Bernie Sanders. Its main focus is to undo most of what President Donald J. Trump did.
The immigration report leans heavily on the usual boilerplate of immigration being good for America, which most Americans believe.
It is silent on immigrants who arrive here without documents.
There is good mixed with the bad and “good” and “bad” is my opinion, based on law.
Why are borders important? Because they are one way in which nations define themselves, and are required for statehood. Every nation has borders and each defines who may enter legally and who may become citizens.
After throwing a few expected rocks at Trump’s policy for being callous, cruel and reckless, the task force report turns to maybe the least important immigration issue, but the one that electrifies Trump:
They will rescind the “national emergency” Trump authored to be able to grab some military funds for the wall, which the report describes as “unnecessary, wasteful, and ineffective.”
Biden then will knock down travel bans that disproportionately affect Muslims and Africans. No big whoop.
The Democrats will expand protections for some 700,000 Dreamers, brought here as children by their undocumented parents. A large majority of Americans agree with that, but the passage embraces “the parents of American citizen children to keep families together.”
In other words, amnesty, no punishment for having broken U.S. law.
Back to the report.
Democrats would expand refugee and asylum seekers, mentioning those fleeing gang and domestic violence, plus LGBTQ+ people. No numbers mentioned, but clearly we can’t accept everyone who wants to come here, which Gallup estimated at 147 million. That is not sustainable. The report is silent on who controls the intake.
The report seems to believe “systemic racism” controls our immigration practices, despite the reality that some 90% of immigrants are nonwhite (see chart). The racist claim is a lie. The numbers prove it.
Now we get to the mischief. Dems want a “roadmap to citizenship for the millions of undocumented workers” here now, fast-tracking those involved in essential services.
Sounds good, but lacking mention of any penalty.
Not even small punishments, as were promised by President Barack Obama, who said [potentially offensive word] illegals would have to take steps to get themselves right with their new country, and citizenship would have to be earned.
In person, Biden goes further. If elected, there would be a 100-day moratorium on deportations and there would be no deportations after that, except for those who committed felonies here.
No deportations is Open Borders. It means if you get here, even illegally, you get to stay.
Supporting that narrative is the report’s pledge to end workplace raids. Translation: We won’t harass people who are working illegally and taking jobs from Americans. We will not enforce the law. Also no raids in the community, schools, churches, health care facilities, benefits offices (in case you thought they got no benefits) and DMV offices. Plainly, the Dems don’t demand to eliminate ICE, they will simply tie it to a chair.
Continuing with the report, Democrats believe “family unity should be a guiding principle for our immigration policy.” Reuniting children and parents, sure. But will this be stretched to include grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins?
This is opposed to skills-based immigration, by which people with talents we need are given preference.
During the great immigration wave of 100 years ago, it was family based and the millions who arrived here were put to work at unskilled factory jobs. We have little need for the unskilled today.
Almost as an afterthought, the task force mentions “awarding visas for permanent, employment-based immigration in a way that is responsive to labor market needs.”
The report closes with a pledge to address the “root causes of migration,” poverty and social injustice, including climate change, in home countries.
The false assumption is we can fix those problems there, when we can’t even fix them here.
The verdict: Biden’s plan is to the right of Bernie Sanders and far to the left of Barack Obama.