June 19, 2019

Immigration Crackdown

Editor's note: We couldn’t be more proud of one of our teammates, Isaac Rose-Berman, who penned his first op-ed this week in USA Today: “How college students can bridge American divides: 'Study abroad' in Alabama or New York.” Please give it a read, and share far and wide!

On Monday, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.” Twitter

On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted, “This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.” Twitter

See past issues

From the Left

The left opposes increased deportations but does not believe ICE is capable of carrying them out, and argues that the outrage against Ocasio-Cortez is obscuring the real issue.

“One of the first immigration actions Trump took as president was to eliminate a system of priorities President Barack Obama created for deportations. The system prioritized the deportation of people with serious criminal records or who otherwise posed a threat to public safety, and its creation was an acknowledgement by the Obama administration that it’s simply not possible to deport the 11 million people who live in the United States without proper legal documents…

“By all measures, a plan to deport ‘millions’ of people is an astounding exaggeration — even beginning to deport millions, as Trump pledged ICE would do, stretches the truth to a breaking point… ICE has deported an average of 90,000 people from the interior of the United States in recent years. The largest number of people ICE deported overall — from the interior as well as recent border crossers — was about 420,000 people in 2012.”
Maryam Saleh, The Intercept

“More to the point, perhaps, doing so would necessarily entail shattering large numbers of families, including ones well established over a decade or more of residency and whose children, born in this country, are citizens. As Mr. Trump and his administration discovered a year ago, Americans are rightly appalled at the sight of government agents wrenching apart parents and their children; they would likely react just as badly to a rerun involving their neighbors as they did to the original iteration, in which agents focused on families who had recently crossed the border.”
Editorial Board, Washington Post

“Trump tweeted about ‘the millions of illegal aliens… they will be removed as fast as they come in.’ This does not make sense. The asylum seekers at the border cannot be immediately removed because they have a legal right to apply for humanitarian relief… What we see here is a chief executive who is well aware of his vulnerability to a Democratic challenger, desperately trying to rile up his followers by bashing immigrants. After several years of draconian immigration policies and optics, including images of children separated from their families and kept in pens, it is unlikely to persuade voters in 2020.”
Raul A. Reyes, CNN

“Trump seems convinced that draconian immigration policy is good politics. But evidence is mounting that he’s wrong… a Fox News poll released this week indicates that Trump’s fixation on curtailing all forms of immigration isn’t resonating with voters. Half of American voters who responded to the poll said they think the Trump administration has gone too far with immigration enforcement — more than double the percentage who said they don’t think Trump has gone far enough… It’s unclear whether his announcement was meant as anything beyond an empty show of strength. But either way, the mere fact that Trump views using the power of the state against immigrants and their communities as a winning reelection strategy is a dark omen 15 months ahead of the next presidential election.”
Aaron Rupar, Vox

“The administration’s efforts at deterring asylum families through displays of toughness and force have failed spectacularly, because they are fleeing conditions at home that are also terrible. There is a legitimate policy dispute here — Trump wants to detain families for far longer, so they can’t evade hearings, while Democrats favor addressing root causes of migrations and reforms to humanely manage the influx — but one thing that’s inescapable is that toughness as deterrence has been unmasked as total folly.”
Greg Sargent, Washington Post

Regarding Ocasio-Cortez's comment, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) tweeted, “One of the lessons from the Holocaust is ‘Never Again’ - not only to mass murder, but also to the dehumanization of people, violations of basic rights, and assaults on our common morality. We fail to learn that lesson when we don’t callout such inhumanity right in front of us.”
Jerrold Nadler, Twitter

If you’re more upset @AOC called the camps at the border ‘concentration camps’ than you are about what has actually been happening there, you’re doing it wrong.”
Justin Kanew, Twitter

From the Right

The right generally supports increased deportations and condemns Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks.

From the Right

The right generally supports increased deportations and condemns Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks.

“If, as a Homeland Security adviser has explained, the targets of Trump’s deportation plans will be those illegal immigrants who have failed to show for their assigned court hearings, then Trump is morally, ethically, and legally justified in deporting them. The tut-tutting chorus might as well spare us their faux moral histrionics. The immigrants Trump is targeting are people who have broken American law not once but twice. First, they entered the country illegally, without papers. Second, when given a court hearing (where they could, for example, make bids for asylum or otherwise make a case for being allowed to stay), they again thumbed their noses at the legitimate authority of their generous hosts…

It is not heartless to demand basic obedience to our laws — especially from people who claim they want to make this their home… One of the greatest strengths of this great nation is its strong rule of law. That strength depends upon laws enacted by delegates of the citizenry being enforced. If immigrants will not respect this rule of law, they have no business spending another day in this blessed land that the law protects.”
Quin Hillyer, Washington Examiner

“When I was the director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations under then-Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson during the Obama administration, we conducted an operation like the one President Trump is supporting now. ICE deportation officers arrested immigration fugitives – including families that had been ordered removed by a federal immigration judge, but who had ignored the orders… That operation resulted in an almost immediate decline in illegal border crossings, because we sent a strong message that we were a nation of laws and our legal system must have integrity…

“You might as well just open the border and let everyone who wants to enter the U.S. come in if deportation orders handed down by [a] judge are ignored not only by those ordered deported but by our law enforcement agencies. What do you think the border would look like then? And what dangers would we face?… The job of ICE employees, we should all remember, is to enforce the laws enacted by Congress. Congress has the power to change the immigration laws – ICE law enforcement officers do not. These dedicated officers do not deserve the criticism they are drawing for doing their jobs.”
Tom Homan, Fox News

“This is one of the reasons why Donald J. Trump slingshot to the top of the heap during the 2016 Republican primaries. It’s one of the reasons why he’s president of the United States right now. He promised to enforce the border and—shocker—deport people who shouldn’t be here. That’s not controversial. That’s the law.”
Matt Vespa, Townhall

Critics, however, argue that “our country is already dealing with a significant challenge at our southern border… We need more resources – not fewer – dedicated to managing the men, women, and children who are arriving daily, in order to ensure that they are able to pursue their asylum claims in a fair and efficient manner. If the president orders Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to move away from that critical mission in order to focus on the detention and deportation of people who are -- in the vast majority of cases -- not public safety threats, the humanitarian crisis will only worsen.”
Ali Noorani, Fox News

Regarding Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s comment, “The Trump administration doesn’t call [them] concentration camps for the same reasons the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations didn’t — they’re not concentration camps. With thousands of people flooding across the border, the US and Mexico both have to set up facilities to house them while their status gets adjudicated. Their presence in those facilities are necessarily temporary and ends when their cases are finally decided, at which point they’re either admitted or sent out of the country…

“This is not a situation in which citizens and residents of a country are being relocated en masse into detention facilities, as happened to the Japanese by FDR in World War II, where the term applies even with its historical baggage. It’s certainly not the situation created by actual fascists in the 1930s and 1940s.”
Ed Morrissey, Hot Air

“If a dozen drones or missiles can do the kind of damage to the world economy as did those fired on Saturday—shutting down about 6 percent of world oil production—imagine what a U.S.-Iran-Saudi war would do to the world economy. In recent decades, the U.S. has sold the Saudis hundreds of billions of dollars of military equipment. Did our weapons sales carry a guarantee that we will also come and fight alongside the kingdom if it gets into a war with its neighbors?… the nation does not want another war. How we avoid it, however, is becoming difficult to see. John Bolton may be gone from the West Wing, but his soul is marching on.”
Patrick Buchanan, The American Conservative

Others note, “I’d hate to be a Democratic member of Congress trying to convince Joe Sixpack that this is a whole new ballgame. The transcript shows Trump being Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky trying to ingratiate himself with the big dog by, for instance, mentioning that he stays at Trump hotels. Trump’s conversation is typically scattershot, wandering all over the field, leaving a reasonable listener puzzled about what the takeaways are supposed to be…

“I think Joe Sixpack’s response is going to be a hearty shrug. After all that has emerged about Trump so far, his approval rating is closely tracking Obama’s approval at the same point in his presidency. To get Mr. Sixpack’s attention you are going to have to do better than this.”
Kyle Smith, National Review

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“While running for president in 2000, George W. Bush derided ‘nation building’ and said American foreign policy should be ‘humble’ rather than ‘arrogant.’ As president, Bush brought us the disastrous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq… While running for president in 2007, Barack Obama rejected the idea that the president has the authority to wage war without congressional authorization whenever he thinks it is in the national interest… As president, Obama did that very thing in Libya… A few years before his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump said the U.S. should withdraw immediately from Afghanistan… As president, he sent more troops to Afghanistan…

“Three men with little or no foreign policy experience entered an office where they were surrounded by experts, and they quickly shed their initial skepticism of military intervention… we should worry about a president with little knowledge of the world whose military decisions are driven by anger or domestic political considerations. But it's not clear to me that such a president poses a bigger danger than the experts who have been disastrously wrong more times than we can count.”
Jacob Sullum, Reason

On the bright side...

Get troll-free political news.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.