Facts not fiction in immigration debate

By: Linda Chavez

As someone who has long supported a major overhaul of our immigration laws, I’m sorry to say that President Obama’s call this week for new legislation will only make matters worse. With unemployment hovering at almost 10 percent, the country is in no mood to increase the number of legal immigrants or temporary workers in the U.S. And short of doing so, we cannot fully solve the vexing problem of illegal immigration. But an open and honest debate on immigration is difficult with so much disinformation on the issue circulating.

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, for example, made the outrageous claim recently that “we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now becoming drug mules. They’re coming across our borders in huge numbers.” But the facts don’t bear her out. So let’s examine some of the facts:

Illegal immigration is down, not up. Since mid-decade, illegal immigration at the Mexican border has declined drastically. Border apprehensions — one of the most consistent and accurate measures of illegal traffic — are at a 35-year low, down 54 percent since 2005. The peak period of illegal immigration — 1995-2000 — coincided with a major expansion in the U.S. economy, with jobs plentiful. Indeed, the 2008 recession and slow recovery have been as big a factor as beefed-up border security in drastically reducing illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration has not led to an increase in crime, nationally or in the communities in which large numbers of illegal immigrants reside. The popular perception that illegal immigration equals increased crime is one of the most persistent reasons many fear that illegal immigration is causing untold hardship to Americans. But the facts don’t bear out the fears. Crime in the U.S. has been declining consistently over the last two decades, even while illegal immigration was increasing.

According to the latest FBI Uniform Crime Reports, overall crime declined nationally for the 16th straight year, with violent crime down 5.5 percent in 2009 And the figures for Arizona — ground zero in the immigration debate and the state that experiences the largest influx of illegal immigrants into the U.S. — show that violent crime has been falling steadily and is lower now than at any point since 1972. In Phoenix, violent crime declined by about 10 percent.

Half of the 10 lowest-crime big cities in the U.S. are in Border States: El Paso, San Jose, Austin, San Diego, and Los Angeles; and two others, New York and Denver, are home to large illegal immigrant populations as well. The crime statistics for El Paso are perhaps the most surprising. The city is the second-safest big city in America, according to FBI data, with a population that is 82 percent Hispanic, including nearly 30 percent who are immigrants, many of them illegal. What’s more, El Paso sits just across the river from one of the most dangerous places on the planet, Ciudad Juarez. The drug-cartel crime that has driven murders in Juarez to make it the murder capital of the world — an appalling 242 in May alone — has not spilled over onto the streets of El Paso, however.

The U.S. Border Patrol has more resources than ever, and patrolling the Mexican Border is far safer than most law enforcement jobs. There are now more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents, making the agency the largest law enforcement contingent in the federal government. According to a Customs and Border Protection study obtained by the Associated Press through a Freedom of Information filing, violent attacks against Border Patrol agents declined in 2009, and attacks against agents are far lower per capita than those against police officers and sheriffs, 3 percent compared to 11 percent, with the attacks against border agents consisting mostly of rock-throwing while gun and knife attacks were the predominant assaults against police.

These facts don’t justify ignoring illegal immigration or pretending that there aren’t costs associated with it. Every nation has the right — and obligation — to protect its borders. We must secure the U.S. border, but pretending that illegal immigration is fueling a crime wave or is at historic highs is just plain wrong.

Obama’s unprecedented arrogance

By: David Limbaugh

President Obama’s administration grows more arrogant, cavalier and fundamentally dishonest every day. Just in the past few days, we’ve seen a number of troubling examples. Frankly, sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

In a speech in Wisconsin, Obama was bragging about how wonderful the terrible economy is. You’ll recall that during both of President George W. Bush’s terms, Democrats, including Obama, castigated him for destroying the economy, despite the existence of empirically verifiable robust growth during some seven of those eight years.

Now that Obama has been in office for a year and a half and his economy is failing by all objective measures, he and his Democrats demand, once again, that we ignore the empirical evidence in front of our faces and bow down to them in reverent gratitude for ensuring that things are not worse than they are.

Everyone knows Obama promised — he was hardly tentative about his prediction — that if the nation followed him over the cliff with his harebrained “stimulus” scheme, unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. When unemployment soared above 10 percent, he insisted we be patient to allow his plan to work. Now that it stubbornly remains in the high 9s, he tells us that if he hadn’t implemented his stimulus bill, the economy would be much worse (12 or 13 or 15 percent), so we not only are forbidden from criticizing him for this disaster but also must genuflect because only three of the four wheels of the economy are teetering over the edge of the cliff.

He said, “There may be some roads that not only were repaired but also were … linked up to create a new industrial park that would facilitate long-term economic development beyond this immediate crisis.”

Can you imagine the reaction of the liberal media had a Republican president uttered such gibberish? There “may be some roads”? How’s that for a non-statement? That were linked up to a new industrial park to facilitate long-term growth? How about some facts here, Mr. Intellectual? Then again, how can you blame him for citing nebulous “facts” and failed economic theory when neither the real facts nor the economic evidence substantiates his claims.

He also said that every economist who’s looked at it has said that the recovery did its job. Would someone please get this man a link to The Heritage Foundation’s website or any other credible conservative think tank or economist? Time and time again, Heritage scholars have not only argued but also demonstrated why Obama’s economic policies don’t work in theory and haven’t worked in practice. As noted many times before, they have not helped avert a crisis, but have exacerbated already bleak conditions. Sure, all economists agree with him, just as all Americans agree with his socialistic policies.

Moving on, in the past few days, we’ve also heard from former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams, who has confirmed — from the belly of the beast — our worst suspicions about Obama and Eric Holder’s Justice Department’s dismissing a slam-dunk case for voter intimidation against New Black Panther Party members for racial reasons. This is an egregious trampling on the rule of law, an outrage that would subject any Republican president to charges of high crimes and misdemeanors, a scandal of the first order for which this administration isn’t even bothering to develop “plausible deniability.”

Next, we read about Obama’s reaction to Sen. Lamar Alexander’s reasonable suggestion that any energy discussion between the president and a “bipartisan” group of senators should include a focus on the oil spill and BP. Obama said, “That’s just your talking point,” and flat-out refused to discuss the subject. Is he king or what?

Finally, we’ve also witnessed this week another outburst from that paragon of smugness, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, whom I criticized earlier for mocking members of the press corps for their legitimate questions in lieu of attempting to answer them in good faith.

This time, this little smarmy nerd-thug mocked Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona for claiming Obama told him in a private meeting he would not secure our borders because it would disincentivize Republicans from supporting his effort to pass “comprehensive immigration reform” (read: amnesty). Gibbs accused Kyl of changing his story and basically arguing with himself on the matter, even though Kyl has not retreated an iota from the only relevant assertion: that Obama made the statement in question. Watch the video in which Gibbs clearly intends to create the false impression Kyl had vacillated on his charge (http://freedomslighthouse.net/2010/06/30/robert-gibbs-mocks-gop-sen-jon-kyl-in-answer-about-border-conversation-with-obama-video), and tell me with a straight face we’re not dealing with an entirely unprecedented level of arrogance in this White House.

Assimilation and the Founding Fathers

By: Michelle Malkin

In his immigration speech on Thursday, President Obama heralded America as a “nation of immigrants” defined not by blood or birth, but by “fidelity to the shared values that we all hold so dear.” If only it were so. Left-wing academics and activists spurned assimilation as a common goal long ago. Their fidelity lies with bilingualism (a euphemism for native language maintenance over English-first instruction), identity politics, ethnic militancy and a borderless continent.

Obama blames “politics” for the intractable immigration debate. Whose politics? The amnesty mob has taken to ambushing congressional offices this week to scream at lawmakers to choose “reform” (giving a blanket path to citizenship to millions of illegal aliens) or “racism” (their description of any and every legislative measure to stiffen sanctions for and deter the acts of border-jumping, visa-overstaying and deportation-evading).

Is there no middle ground for all sides to agree that clearing naturalization application backlogs should take priority over expanding illegal alien benefits, or that tracking and deporting violent illegal alien criminals should take precedence over handing out driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, or that streamlining the employee citizenship verification process for businesses (E-verify) and fixing outdated visa tracking databases should come before indiscriminately expanding temporary visa and guest worker programs?

Must every response to even the most modest of immigration enforcement measures be “RAAAAACIST”?

Further, as I’ve noted many times over the years when debating both Democrats and Republicans who fall back on empty phrases to justify putting the amnesty cart before the enforcement horse, we are not a “nation of immigrants.” This is both a factual error and a warm-and-fuzzy non sequitur. Eighty-five percent of the residents currently in the United States were born here. Yes, we are almost all descendants of immigrants. But we are not a “nation of immigrants.” (And the politically correct president certainly wouldn’t argue that Native American Indians, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians and descendants of black slaves “immigrated” here in any common sense of the word, would he?)

Even if we were a “nation of immigrants,” it does not explain why we should be against sensible immigration control. The Founding Fathers were emphatically insistent on protecting the country against indiscriminate mass immigration. They insisted on assimilation as a pre-condition, not an afterthought. Historian John Fonte assembled their wisdom, and it bears repeating this Independence Day weekend:

George Washington, in a letter to John Adams, stated that immigrants should be absorbed into American life so that “by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, laws: in a word soon become one people.”

In a 1790 speech to Congress on the naturalization of immigrants, James Madison stated that America should welcome the immigrant who could assimilate, but exclude the immigrant who could not readily “incorporate himself into our society.”

Alexander Hamilton wrote in 1802: “The safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of the citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on that love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education and family.”

Hamilton further warned that “The United States have already felt the evils of incorporating a large number of foreigners into their national mass; by promoting in different classes different predilections in favor of particular foreign nations, and antipathies against others, it has served very much to divide the community and to distract our councils. It has been often likely to compromise the interests of our own country in favor of another. The permanent effect of such a policy will be, that in times of great public danger there will be always a numerous body of men, of whom there may be just grounds of distrust; the suspicion alone will weaken the strength of the nation, but their force may be actually employed in assisting an invader.”

The survival of the American republic, Hamilton maintained, depends upon “the preservation of a national spirit and a national character.” “To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens the moment they put foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty.”

As pro-amnesty extremists moan that “we didn’t cross the borders, the borders crossed us” and illegal alien marchers haul foreign flags above Old Glory, President Obama pretends that the “common national sentiment” our Founding Fathers embraced still binds us all together. Many of us still have faith in a strong, sovereign America — the unhyphenated, the law-abiding, the gratitude-filled sons and daughters and grandchildren of legal immigrants for whom such distinctions still matter. But it’s no thanks to the assimilation saboteurs who put “one world” over “one nation under God.”