It’s not about eth­nic­ity; it’s about the law

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - David Lim­baugh

The al­most-stealth im­mi­gra­tion bill light-speed­ing its way through Congress rep­re­sents all that is wrong with pol­i­tics and an elit­ist po­lit­i­cal class that is too far re­moved from its con­stituen­cies.

There is so much wrong with this bill pro­ce­du­rally, and sub­stan­tively, that one can barely scratch the sur­face in a short col­umn, but I’ll re­ca­pit­u­late some of the most egre­gious con­cerns and share a few pet peeves.

First, we are bogged down in a se­man­tic de­bate over whether the bill con­sti­tutes “amnesty.” Open-borders apol­o­gists take um­brage at the term, say­ing the bill does not con­sti­tute amnesty be­cause il­le­gal im­mi­grants will be pun­ished, never mind how in­con­se­quen­tially.

But I would ar­gue that those in­sist­ing it is amnesty are, in a sense, un­der­stat­ing their case. In cer­tain re­spects it’s worse than amnesty. Not only will crim­i­nal vi­o­la­tors of the im­mi­gra­tion laws re­ceive a mere wrist-slap for their in­frac­tions; they will be re­warded for them.

Con­sider the treat­ment of those con­victed of other crimes — take steal­ing, for ex­am­ple. The con­vict not only faces crim­i­nal penal­ties; the law seeks to re­store him and his vic­tims to their sta­tus prior to the crime, to the ex­tent that’s prac­ti­ca­ble or pos­si­ble. The bank rob­ber is not al­lowed to re­tain the fruits of his crime. He must pay resti­tu­tion, if ap­pli­ca­ble, in addi- tion to what­ever fines or jail time to which he is sen­tenced.

By con­trast, mil­lions of il­le­gal im­mi­grants un­der the bill would not be sent back home but would be­come le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dents of this coun­try. By be­ing al­lowed to stay, they would be, in ef­fect, keep­ing the fruits of their crime. More im­por­tantly, many of them would be­come re­cip­i­ents of fed­eral gov­ern­ment largesse via a smor­gas­bord of en­ti­tle­ments.

As re­ported in the Wash­ing­ton Times, the Her­itage Foun­da­tion’s Robert Rec­tor cal­cu­lates that dur­ing their life­times, they will likely re­ceive “$2.5 tril­lion more in gov­ern­ment ser­vices than they will pay in taxes.” Among those ben­e­fits are So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care, Med­i­caid, SSI, pub­lic hous­ing, sub­si­dized col­lege ed­u­ca­tion and So­cial Se­cu­rity Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance. So those per­sist­ing in chal­leng­ing the amnesty char­ac­ter­i­za­tion should be re­minded that many il­le­gals will be re­ceiv­ing an enor­mous eco­nomic wind­fall to ac­com­pany their ane­mic wrist-slap­ping.

Sec­ond, many of the bill’s pro­po­nents have long re­sorted to ad­hominem as­saults on the oppo- nents, falsely por­tray­ing their valid, pru­dent, noble and pa­tri­otic op­po­si­tion as racist, na­tivist and ul­tra-re­stric­tion­ist.

But again, those who should have the bur­den of proof in this mat­ter (the pro­po­nents) have turned the ta­ble on the op­po­nents. How dare those who are pro­mot­ing leg­is­la­tion that would flout the rule of law, re­ward crim­i­nal be­hav­ior, un­der­mine our unique Amer­i­can cul­ture, balka­nize our so­ci­ety, di­lute our sense of na­tion­al­ism, make us more vul­ner­a­ble to at­tack from our global ter­ror­ist en­e­mies and co­erce a mas­sive re­dis­tri­bu­tion of re­sources from law­ful, tax­pay- ing Amer­i­can cit­i­zens, call those who fa­vor rea­son­able mea­sures to pre­serve what is worth pre­serv­ing about Amer­ica — which has noth­ing to do with race or eth­nic­ity, by the way — “racists”?

The mis­guided ar­ro­gance of those play­ing the race card to de­mo­nize open-borders op­po­nents is stag­ger­ing. Then again, in­flam­ing the pas­sions against your ad­ver­saries ob­vi­ates ad­dress­ing the is­sues fac­tu­ally.

I dare say that op­po­nents of the bill would be op­posed no mat­ter the eth­nic­ity or na­tion­al­ity of the wind­fall trans­fer­ees. It’s not about their eth­nic­ity; it’s not even pri­mar­ily about them. It’s about the rule of law, our na­tional se­cu­rity, the Amer­i­can cul­ture, the English lan­guage, na­tional unity dur­ing time of war, the con­sti­tu­tional rights of Amer­i­can cit­i­zens and the fis­cal con­cerns of Amer­i­can tax­pay­ers and their de­scen­dants.

It’s es­pe­cially shame­ful that many of the bill’s great­est sup­port­ers are mo­ti­vated by crass po­lit­i­cal con­cerns rather than the best in­ter­ests of the United States. If it were oth­er­wise, would they be so adamant about fast-track­ing this bill and draft­ing it in du­plic­i­tous terms? On that note, be aware that some ex­perts who have briefly stud­ied the bill’s fine print have noted that the bill’s so­called “trig­gers” — the events that must oc­cur as a sop to en­force­ment types be­fore the wrist­brush­ings and wind­falls kick in — are vir­tu­ally de­fined out of ex­is­tence in many cases by ex­cep­tions that swal­low the rule.

One sil­ver lin­ing in this un­for­tu­nate se­ries of events is that such cava­lier dis­plays of power by the elite gov­ern­ing class serve to cat­alyze pa­tri­ots in this na­tion and crys­tal­lize their think­ing about what is still right with Amer­ica and worth pre­serv­ing de­spite the high­hand­ed­ness and cal­lous­ness of those who mas­quer­ade as rep­re­sent­ing their in­ter­ests.

Just say “no” to this leg­is­la­tion.

David Lim­baugh, the brother of talk ra­dio host Rush Lim­baugh, is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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