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Di Leo: Border Politics and the Risk to Our Nation



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By John F. Di Leo - 

There is an effort being waged – by politicians, media, and pop culture figures – to convince Americans that we should feel sorry for the illegal aliens on our southern border.

Now, in one way, this is unnecessary, because we already do.   As individuals, American are famously generous and compassionate; American citizens give more to charities, both at home and abroad, than the citizens of any other country. If anything, the effort is offensive, because it gives the impression that we don’t already feel sorry for them, when we most certainly do. We don’t need to be convinced to shed tears.

But looking at it another way, the effort is malicious, because it is trying to steer our country – our government – to make destructive policy decisions based on emotional tricks. Media coverage portrays the so-called asylum-seekers and gate-crashing migrants as innocent victims, when in fact they consciously chose to travel to our border, in full knowledge that it was illegal, often coached, and even funded, by international organizations and foreign governments, with the specific purpose of undermining our country’s economic, cultural and political stability.


There are already some 330 million or so people in the United States, about 30 million of them – ten percent – illegally here already. We all know how much damage the presence of these illegals (even decent ones, even nice ones, even well-intentioned ones) does to our country, from the costs to the welfare state, to the criminal justice system, to our unskilled and low-skilled labor force… This is already an immense challenge, and we need to find some common ground in solving it.

By contrast, there are some seven billion people on this earth. Outside of perhaps the ten percent of most countries’ populations who are successful and happy where they are, ninety percent of the rest of the world would like to leave their homes for greener pastures if they could.

The United States is the greenest pasture on earth, and everyone knows it.

What does that mean? Only this: if we were to truly open our borders, and let everyone come here who wants to, we would have six billion people taking advantage of the invitation.

This would of course be unsustainable.

We – the people, the voters, those affected by the ongoing invasion (for yes, it is an invasion, of sorts) – must consider what these numbers mean to our country, in the big picture. These hundreds of thousands of illegal arrivals per year (it is estimated that this flood has reached a million per year, some years) affect almost every aspect of American life, for good or ill.

On the one hand, yes, new arrivals bring different music, different cuisine, perhaps art and culture that our nation lacked previously. These contributions could be good or bad, depending.  It's certainly not all negative; nobody would make such a claim.

But on the other hand, there are certain absolute – and severe – negatives as well. For example:

  • Some percentage of these newcomers are criminals, either in an organized fashion (as members of drug cartels, street gangs or even terror cells) or in an unorganized fashion (as common thieves, rapists, and muggers, flooding our cities, “working alone.”)
  • Some percentage of these newcomers cannot afford to pay for themselves, so they will add to the already unbearable burden of our Social Security system, our general federal, state, and local welfare nets, and our private charities, all of which are terribly stretched already.
  • Some percentage of these newcomers are willing and hard workers, who compete with American citizens and legal immigrants for often-scarce jobs in almost every industry, from agricultural to manufacturing, from service to hospitality. Every new arrival who is willing to work for less reduces the wages of those already here.
  • Unlike the first waves of immigrants to the United States in the late 18th and early 19th century, most immigrants since then (yes, even from Europe) have arrived without a proper understanding of the political philosophy that underpins the American system. If and when they eventually become legal immigrants, if and when they someday gain citizenship, they will be voters, despite having been raised in a different system, with – most likely – a complete misunderstanding of how the American system was meant to work. Without a full appreciation of the concept of Constitutionally-limited government – the Freedom Philosophy of our Founding Fathers – whenever an election day rolls around, no immigrant can be anything but a drag on the American electorate.

We therefore must retain and better secure our borders, and find a better way of enforcing our immigration laws… and of reducing the numbers that seek to overwhelm this country.

Most likely, the majority of these newcomers do not mean ill for our nation. Most likely, they don’t realize what a drag their numbers are on our welfare state and our health care system. Most likely, they don’t realize that by competing for jobs at lower rates, they bring down the standard of living of us all. These aren’t economists; these poor individual, just hoping for a better life, can’t be expected to realize the impact.

But the United States is the greatest country on God’s green earth for a reason; it’s a special combination of geography and people and talents and history, and a system, devised magnificently by the most brilliant generation that ever lived… a system that is undermined, perhaps even doomed, by this endless onslaught.

This isn’t about prejudice (we’d say the same if uneducated Scots and Irish were arriving in these numbers)… and it isn’t about a lack of compassion (we’d love to help them – and we do help them – when they stay in their home countries. Our free trade agreements, our participation in the UN, the World Bank, and the WTO are all in place specifically to help the home countries of these poor people so they don’t feel the need to move elsewhere.

But the truth must be stated, as our healthcare system crumbles under a burden of patients who can’t pay their own way… as property values plummet as ghettos spread and crime increases… as the electorate is ever-more made up of people who think elections are for one interest group robbing another, of people who don’t respect the limitless prosperity offered only by limited government.

Uncontrolled immigration is killing the goose that laid the golden egg. It may already be too late, but no matter what, we need to try to somehow save this City on a Hill.

Copyright 2019 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicagoland-based trade compliance professional, writer and actor. His columns are regularly found in Illinois Review.

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