Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently criticized President Joe Biden’s policy on illegal immigration, saying, “You can’t square wanting open borders for illegal aliens but then also restricting U.S. citizens from basically traveling around the country as they see fit, and I think the American people see the hypocrisy in that.”
Andrew Arthur, a resident fellow in law and policy for the Center for Immigration Studies, said:
“A further economic downturn could imperil the prospects for the bill. The unemployment rate in Dec. 2020 was 6.7 percent, and more than 56 million working-age Americans were not in the labor force. Tens of thousands of businesses have closed permanently as a result of the pandemic. Popular support for legalizing millions of people unlawfully present and allowing them compete with those currently in the legal workforce may not be that strong and would likely fall if the economy does not reverse itself or if it gets worse.”
Offering a pathway to citizenship for 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants sends the wrong message to those who are considering coming into the United States illegally. Furthermore, as Arthur said, it would bring more competition for jobs during a time of unemployment.
Biden has signed multiple executive orders dealing with illegal immigration. One of those orders instructs the State Department, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security to review guidelines and policies put in place during the Trump administration in order to promote “integration and inclusion.”
Biden uses fair language, but beneath this language of “inclusion” is an obfuscation of his role as the executive to enforce the law.
For instance, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said:
“We want to put in place an immigration process here that can, that is humane, that is moral, that considers applications for refugees, applications for people to come into this country at the border in a way that treats people as human beings.”
The professedly noble aspirations underlie political opportunism by Democratic politicians, who would like to see newly made citizens line up to vote Democrat in upcoming elections. It ignores the law that these immigrants came illegally and do not deserve residency, much less citizenship.
As Mike Howell and Lora Ries write for The Heritage Foundation: “[S]carce resources would be directed away from current Americans and toward amnestied immigrants. This means it would be open season on the buffet of federal government welfare programs, as well as the continued strain on America’s job availability, education budgets, health care costs, and public safety resources.
“Americans are directly affected by immigration policy in many important aspects of our lives — jobs, the economy, education, health care, crime, and national security.
“Americans and lawful immigrants want our immigration laws enforced and our borders secured.”
Immigration is a hot-button issue, but legalizing 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants would both be unjust and set a dangerous precedent.
A humane and just immigration policy would make sure we know exactly who is coming into the United States, not offer citizenship to those who have knowingly disobeyed our laws.
There is indeed a healthy role for immigration in the United States — skilled workers from other countries who bring large benefits to our country. Those who are skilled in math and science should especially be welcome.
Our country should continue to be a beacon welcoming immigrants from around the world. However, safety demands that we screen all legal immigrants — and bar those who would come here to this city upon a hill illegally.
As Sen. Robert F. Kennedy said, “Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.”
It’s time to embrace legal immigration but work to strengthen our defenses against those who would come here illegally. A wall with Mexico, as former president Donald Trump envisioned, would strike a tremendous blow against illegal immigration.
DeSantis is wise to point out the double standard of treatment between U.S. citizens and illegal immigrants.
Let us hope that immigration is legal and safe. It is foolish to put illegal immigrants on the path to citizenship as Biden wants.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.