Readers, I have an American success story for you. Years ago, I visited Magadan, Russia, a former Joseph Stalin gulag. During my sojourn, “Sergey” was my interpreter. Sergey was an extremely bright lad of 17 who spoke impeccable English. His mother was an accomplished seamstress; his father a laborer whose hands were permanently contorted from a lifetime of shoveling coal at the city’s main power plant.
On the second day of my tour, while visiting “The Mask of Sorrow” — a memorial to those unjustly imprisoned — Sergey asked if I could help him immigrate to America. The sincerity in his request was as evident as that Siberian winter in February, which I envisioned as his powerful incentive to seek an alternative living arrangement.
I sponsored Sergey so he could obtain a student visa — he was admitted at the University where I taught. As part of the visa process, he was required to list a sponsor, prove that he or his sponsor had adequate resources so as to not be dependent on the American government, and show that he or his sponsor could cover any future medical needs.
Sergey moved in with my family and four years later, graduated with honors as the top student in his program. He then lived with my mother in Enumclaw until he obtained a job which allowed him to receive his green card. Sergey is now a United States citizen, working for the United States government, with a wife, two wonderful kids, a Range Rover and a nice home in the suburbs — the American Dream!
I share this true Horatio Alger story to illustrate that America’s immigration system works for those who are willing to abide by its rules. Our immigration system is generous, allowing more foreigners to enter, stay, work and seek a pathway to citizenship than any other nation. Some claim the system is broken, but it’s not broken merely because everyone who wants to come to America cannot. America is not the lifeboat for an entire drowning world.
Americans do not despise fair immigration practices nor do they detest immigrants.
The Americans I know are the product of an America which has developed in its people an innate sense of fairness. What Americans do categorically reject, however, is the conundrum created by an immigration system which allows migrants to obtain more rights and rewards by doing wrong then if they had simply done what’s right. Most Americans do not object to our immigration laws but instead, take offense to the manner in which our government operates our system in applying those laws. Incompetence has produced unfair, unjust, and simply wrong immigration results, has incentivized more illegal immigration and Americans are simply fed up.
For comparison, take Klaus from Moldovia. Klaus’ bucket list includes a visit to Cawker City, Kansas, to personally view the Worlds’ Largest Ball of Twine. He fills out the online visa application, DS-160, pays his fee, and is interviewed by a U.S. consulate official. During his interview, Klaus explains his Moldovian driver’s license has been suspended due to drunk-driving. His visa is denied. For Klaus, there’s no appeal or reimbursement of his application fee. For now, his bucket remains empty and at least for a time there is no twine in his future.
Now take, Sam, from El Salvador. Sam desires to live with Daniel, his brother, a resident of Washington state. Sam doesn’t bother with a visa. Instead, Sam pays a nighttime transit tour guide to help him navigate our southern border.
Successful in his crossing, Sam resides with Dan. He obtains a driver’s license by showing his Salvadorian I.D. and proof of residency and, like his brother Dan before him, obtains a fraudulent social security number in order to work. Sam obtains a job because the employer can accept at face value the validity of the false information Sam included on the IRS I-9 form.
Sam is on his way. If he is injured on the job, he is entitled to workman’s compensation. He has access to emergency medical care, as no medical facility receiving federal dollars may turn away any patient and no facility in Washington state may inquire as to Sam’s immigration status. Moreover, despite the assorted crimes he committed in crossing our southern border and working without legal right, Sam is entitled to due process of law before he may be removed. He now has access to our courts, can claim asylum, and may even receive free legal representation from one of the many non-governmental organizations funded in part by your federal tax dollars to plead his asylum case.
If you doubt the validity of the prior example — don’t, for in numerous legal consults I have encountered just such a scenario under similar situations.
So, are you not troubled by the fact that Sam received more rewards from our government by doing wrong than Klaus, who tried to do things right?
Illegal immigration should not be encouraged — a thought evidently lost on our government and it has not gone unnoticed by the world. Recently, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed that foreign nationals see President Joe Biden, “…As the migrant president” and as a result, “many feel they’re going to reach the United States.” Wow!
So just what is the status of illegal immigration under Biden?
Over two million confirmed illegal border crossings in 2021 and another 389,000 undetected “gotaways”.
Around 836,000 migrants were released into the United States since January 2021, a number larger than the entire population of the state of North Dakota. During March 2022, under his catch and release policy, Biden released more than 80,000 border crossers into the U.S. interior — a population larger than his hometown of Scranton, Pennyslvania.
This catch and release policy poses a real problem. According to its 2020 Enforcement Lifecycle Report, DHS notes that only 15 precent of migrants released under the policy will actually be deported, even after a court order of removal. In contrast, migrants detained in ICE custody will be successfully removed 98 percent of the time. One cannot remove what one cannot find and if that migrant resides in a sanctuary jurisdiction like Seattle, good luck and godspeed in trying to enforce the removal order.
This policy has gotten so out of hand that Federal Court Judge T. Kent Wetherell for the Northern District of Florida recently held that the Biden administration “has adopted and are implementing policies that contravene explicit mandates and restrictions in the immigration statutes and that the policies have effectively turned the southern border into little more than a speedbump for the hundreds of thousands of aliens who have flooded across the border into the country since January 2021…”
Moreover, despite this migrant wave, Biden further proposes removing Title 42 Public Health Authority Restrictions which currently allows for immediate removal of migrants caught at the border. If Biden is successful, it’s estimated another 18,000 illegal aliens could be released into the United States interior each and every day.
In addition to catch and release, your government provides migrants free cell phones and further proposes transferring doctors and nurses from the Veterans Healthcare System to the southern border to treat them. Last year alone, Americans subsidized medical care for migrants to the tune of $18.5 billion including more than $316 million in medical care for those actually detained in (ICE) custody.
Add to that amount the additional costs of free transportation, including flights to the hinterland. Free air travel and bussing has gotten so prevalent that sources within the DHS remark that they are acting as a “full service travel agency” for migrants — all thanks to Biden’s policies.
Is it any wonder why migrants would attempt the dangerous border crossing when our government provides free phones, travel, allows them to legally drive, access free medical care, and grants unimpeded freedom within the confines of America until their asylum case is heard which by the way may be years down the road due to the sheer number of such claims being brought?
Then again, as with our government, you too can ignore the fact that almost 90 percent of all asylum claims are denied because economic hardship is not grounds for asylum, but by then the proverbial cat is no longer in the bag. It’s a bit hard to enforce a removal order when ICE can no longer locate the party for whom the claim was brought.
All of this mass of humanity is not invisible. Congressman Tom McClintock recently asked DHS how packing classrooms with non-English speaking students, flooding emergency rooms with migrants demanding care, making it harder to deport criminal illegal aliens, and flooding the labor market with cheap foreign labor benefitted Americans.
The silence was deafening.
Some advocate for open borders. For those who believe that everyone has a right to enter America, why not do as I did and sponsor a foreign national? At least you will not be writing checks that the rest of America has to cash.