In a recent Denver Post guest commentary, Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat governor wannabe, pandered to the Latino and progressive primary vote. His impassioned call for immigration reform echoed the usual misrepresentations, hyperbole, deceptive euphemisms and demagogic attacks on political opponents that Democrats have collectively scripted on this issue.
He describes the flood of migrants illegally crossing our border as “a human rights crisis, the product of an administration hostile to our values and at odds with our heritage.” Shrewdly, he didn’t actually use the word “illegal” anywhere in this screed, nor even the other devious euphemism, “undocumented,” and he fails to make any distinction between legal migrants and illegal ones.
Explaining how “profoundly personal” this issue is to him, Romanoff notes that he would not now be here if America hadn’t opened its doors to his mother and four grandparents. Come on Andy, your folks didn’t sneak across our southern border in the dead of night. They entered our country legally and, I’m told, they and you are descendants of Russian nobility, the famous Romanoff dynasty that ended with Tsar Nicholas II. It’s good that they came. My ancestors were immigrants too and, like yours, they came legally.
But there is no “human right” for foreigners to enter our country without our permission, and that also applies to tourists whom we welcome, temporarily. A prerogative, incidentally, applied by virtually every sovereign country. US Immigration laws have traditionally and justifiably regulated the number, origin and nature of those who seek admittance. This administration, as you falsely assert, is not hostile to our nation’s values or heritage on this matter. It just rejects your interpretation as did 63 million citizens who voted for Donald Trump, along with a majority of Americans who continue to tell pollsters they oppose illegal or unregulated immigration.
You mislead and over-generalize when you claim that “immigrants commit crimes at lower rates than native born-Americans…and contribute more in tax revenues than they consume in services.” Some do, some don’t. As individuals, it depends on where they came from and whether they entered our country legally or illegally. Immigrants with higher education and exceptional skills become net taxpayers. Others and their families lacking in those areas are likely to fall back on public assistance and be net tax-receivers even if they perform needed but lower-paying work.
You say that “our diversity makes us stronger.” That’s another facile generalization and true only up to a point. Overwhelming our culture with inordinate millions of new arrivals from a particular region promotes tribalism, which discourages assimilation and doesn’t make “us” stronger. Diversity of beliefs may make us stronger but, again, only up to a point. For instance, neo-Nazi beliefs, although protected by the First Amendment, don’t strengthen us, nor do the beliefs of certain radical Islamists that would shred our Constitution and relegate women to subordinate status and physical abuse under Sharia Law. This is divisive.
You completely ignore the vital issue of immigration limits. It’s one thing to invite a few hundred thousand or a million-a-year of the world’s “huddled masses” and refugees to come here. But it’s unreasonable and unaffordable to imagine we have a moral obligation to take in all who would come. Many of those who consider only their idealistic notion of “social justice” and compassion embrace “open borders,” even if they refuse to call it that. But ask for a numerical limit on immigration and you get silence or evasion. How about a billion?
You brand those who disagree with you as “anti-immigration.” We’re not anti-immigration. We’re just opposed to illegal, unregulated and unlimited immigration. That doesn’t make us racist or xenophobic ─ inflammatory terms glibly tossed around by illegal-immigration sympathizers and the liberal media. Our position is simply rational and realistic.
You condemn President Trump and Sen. Mitch McConnell as obstacles to comprehensive immigration reform. They’re not. Congressional Republicans have been more than willing to compromise with Democrats on immigration reform. After the Supreme Court voided DACA, Obama’s overreaching executive order awarding legal status to children brought here illegally by their parents, Republicans offered to formally legislate DACA in exchange for border security and funding of a wall. (The $5 billion cost of which is a pittance compared to almost $5 trillion [that’s $5 thousand billion] in annual federal spending.) Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrat majority have obstinately stonewalled compromise rather than give Trump a “victory” on his campaign promise.
As Colorado Democrats become increasingly radical on immigration and other issues, Romanoff is strategically moving with the political flow.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.