Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Trump Gave the Body Politic an Immigration Enema



kunstler |  It’s only taken a week for President Trump to give the body politic an immigration enema. The aim, perhaps, was to flush out a set of bad ideas that Barack Obama had managed over eight years to instate as “normal.” Namely, that it’s unnecessary to enforce the immigration laws, or cruel and unusual to do so, or that national borders are a barbarous anachronism, or that federal laws are optional in certain self-selected jurisdictions.

But Trump’s staff sure fucked up the details carrying out his refugee and immigration ban, most particularly detaining people with green cards, and those already granted visas. The blunder provoked an impressive blowback of airport protests, and finally a stay from a federal judge, which muddied the legality of Trump’s executive order — all in all, a tactical stumble for Prez DT, who apparently omitted to consult with an array of government agencies and their lawyers before issuing the decree at close-of-business Friday. For the record, I’m down with the complaint that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Egypt, and Afghanistan were left off the no-come list, since those lands produce more radical Islamic maniacs than anywhere else.

The reader by now probably detects my ambivalent feelings in this bundle of issues and grievances, so let me try to clarify my basic positions: I think borders matter and they need to be protected. I think our immigration law enforcement under Obama has been deeply dishonest and damaging to our politics in ways that go far beyond the question of who gets to come here. I believe we are under no obligation to take in everybody and anybody who wants to move here. I believe we need an official time out from the high-volume immigration of recent decades. I believe we have good reasons to be picky about who we let in.

The most dishonest and damaging trope of recent years is the widely-accepted idea on the Left that illegal immigrants are merely “undocumented” — as if they were the hapless victims of some clerical error made by the government and therefore deserving of a pass. Language matters. The acceptance and repetition of this lie has in effect given permission to the Left to lie whenever it suits their purposes about all kinds of things, for instance the delusion that Russia stole the election from Hillary Clinton and that Radical Islam doesn’t pose a threat to western values (or even exist). And it is certainly true that they are assisted by legacy media giants such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and NPR. The Times, especially is keen to provoke a national crisis that might unseat Trump, by simply declaring it so in a three-column headline