As one of the founders of the Independence Institute in the 1980s, now led by an old friend, Jon Caldara, it’s gratifying to be continuing my involvement with a regular opinion column at Complete Colorado. Before that, I wrote a column in the Denver Post for 25 years (as a token conservative) and the Rocky Mountain News for another 10 years. I was also a subscriber to the Post for 50 years from my first days in Colorado. I finally dumped my Post subscription last year as have many others. Just as the flagrant left-wing bias of the New York Times has made it unreadable for those who aren’t die-hard progressives, the Post has succumbed to the same failing as its quality and credibility have eroded.
The Denver Gazette is a long overdue right-leaning alternative for conservatives and moderates. Its news pages are especially attentive to Denver and Colorado matters and offer more balance than the Post. Gazette editorials and opinion pages are reliably conservative (Jon writes there, too) but also feature a number of nationally-syndicated columnists on the left, like Ruben Navarrette who describes himself as “the most widely read Latino columnist in the country” and writes from that perspective and bias. In one of his recent columns, he advocated for more permissive and expansive Latino immigration. And he’s very supportive of illegal immigrants.
With typical liberal condescension, Navarrette declared that “Conservatives on talk radio (are) a mostly White cohort that is dependably wrong when discussing refugees and immigrants.” He was gleeful about “the United States march(ing) toward its destiny of becoming a majority non-White country by 2040.” (Isn’t that anti-white racism?) He also argued that “the whole point of America” is to be “a safe haven” for those who “come as refugees fleeing violence or economic migrants looking for a square deal.” Adding, “It says so right there in the brochure.”
No, that isn’t the “whole point of America.” Since the Constitution makes no such claim, I presume the “brochure” Navarrette has in mind is the inscription on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty which welcomes all the world’s tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. But that ‘s never been official U.S. government policy. Those exact words were from a poem by Emma Lazarus, a progressive New York socialite, anti-poverty activist and advocate for Russian Jews seeking immigration to the U.S. The statue was a gift to America from France in 1886 after our first centennial honoring the Declaration of Independence and American Democracy. Years later, in 1903, a fund-raising campaign by N.Y. writers and artists added a pedestal to the statue that included the Lazarus inscription, voicing her personal opinion and crusade.
The U.S. has historically imposed limits and restrictions on immigration. In the 19th century, as America expanded westward–building railroads and infrastructure–the nation had a great need for physical laborers, who were welcomed as immigrants on the condition that they support themselves. Federal public assistance programs of the kind we have today didn’t exist, nor did the spiraling national debt those programs are now driving. In the 21st century, open borders for countless needy immigrants and a welfare state are fiscally incompatible.
The point of America as codified by our founders in the Constitution was mostly about independence, individual liberty, limited government and private enterprise; the economic dimension of liberty. The Bill of Rights restricts government infringement on the people’s freedom of speech, religion, the press, assembly, the right to bear arms and other fundamental rights. But those freedoms aren’t absolute. They’re implicitly limited by four vital words: Up to a point. Freedom of speech and the press doesn’t countenance libel, slander or incitement to riot. Freedom of religion doesn’t allow human sacrifice. Freedom of assembly doesn’t condone trespassing.
“Up to a point” also applies to immigration. I’m not a nativist or a xenophobe, and I don’t oppose legal immigration. But I do oppose illegal immigration as do all sovereign countries — including Mexico. The world’s impoverished and oppressed masses may yearn to come to America but it’s neither our obligation nor within our means to take them all in.
Progressives claim that “multiculturalism” makes us a better country. Perhaps, but, again, only up to a point. A tidal wave of immigration in the absence of assimilation would overwhelm our culture and lead to divisiveness and tribalism. Understandably, the French have resisted the Americanization of their culture. I’ve visited more than 50 foreign countries. Some cultures are charming, intriguing and admirable, but not all. Sharia Law of Muslim fundamentalists is an affront to the constitutional rights of American women. I much prefer our culture to China’s totalitarian dictatorship. In fact, I prefer our culture to any other.
Don’t be fooled by progressive propaganda. Democrats see open borders and multiculturalism as their route to a permanent electoral majority from ever-grateful migrants and their progeny. That’s what it’s all about.
Longtime KOA radio talk host and columnist for the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News Mike Rosen now writes for CompleteColorado.com.
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