President Trump Defines Border Crisis, But Doesn’t Arbitrarily Act to End It — Yet
President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the White House Tuesday night and explained the conditions and circumstances that contribute to what he calls a "crisis on the border:" drugs, human trafficking, criminal incursion into the U.S. -- not to mention the human suffering of those traveling hundreds and thousands of miles in hopes of sneaking into the American Dream and the suffering of Americans who have lost family members to criminal illegal alien activity.
The president says he promised to stop it and he intends to do that, but he wants America's help in reaching out to Congress and demanding they pass a spending bill that includes money for greater border security, including a steel barrier.
The Democratic response offered little hope of progress. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer say the president is "obsessed" with a wall, saying he was holding America hostage and appealing to fear and not fact. Democrats claim there is no crisis, and while they say they want greater border security, they say a wall is ineffective and immoral.
In past illegal immigration debates, most of the high-profile Democrats -- including Obama, both Clintons, Pelosi, Schumer and others -- favored a wall, fencing and securing the border.
In 2008 the New York Times printed an article outlining the Democrat Party platform, including the Democrats position on illegal immigration:
Require those “living here illegally but otherwise playing by the rule” to “get right with the law.” Support a system that requires undocumented immigrants who are in good standing to pay a fine, pay taxes, learn English, and go to the back of the line for the opportunity to become citizens.
Increase the number of immigration visas for family members of people living here and for immigrants who meet the demand for jobs that employers cannot fill, as long as appropriate labor market protections and standards are in place.
Crack down on employers who hire undocumented immigrants. Establish an employer verification system that is “accurate, fair to legal workers, safeguards people’s privacy, and cannot be used to discriminate against workers.”
BORDER AND PORT SECURITY
Support additional personnel, infrastructure, and technology on the border and at ports of entry. Increase the number Customs and Border Protection agents and equip them with “better technology and real-time intelligence.”
No path to legalization. “We oppose amnesty. The rule of law suffers if government policies encourage or reward illegal activity.” Deny federal funds to “sanctuary cities” for illegal immigrants.
Encourage legal immigrants to learn English and “foster legally present immigrants’ integration into American life to advance respect for the rule of law and a common American identity." Oppose granting refugee status "on the basis of lifestyle or other non-political factors.” Update the H-1B guest-worker visa program “to reflect our need for more leaders in science and technology.”
Authorize an internet-based system that verifies the employment authorization and identity of employees and enact a "phased in requirement" that employers use the system.
BORDER AND PORT SECURITY
Give border patrol agents “the tools and resources they need to protect our sovereignty.” Complete the border fence quickly and securing the borders. Employ “complementary strategies” to secure the ports of entry.
Did you read that? No amnesty, no sanctuary cities, learn English, back of the line, crack down on employers, move toward merit-based immigration and "support additional personnel, INFRASTRUCTURE and technology on the border" and "complete the border fence quickly and securing the borders."
What happened to all that? That's the DEMOCRAT platform! What changed? Simple: politics. Trump got elected. And thus anything Trump is for, the Democrats MUST oppose. It's a game, not governance. It's the quintessential example of Washington swamp behavior, and it's a national disgrace.
The president has invited congressional leaders back to the White House on Wednesday to talk again, so based on what he heard we'll start the day with high hopes and low expectations.
But if it's a game to be played, the president has upped the ante with his bully pulpit Oval Office address. So if there is no progress from the conversation, can we expect some kind of additional executive action? Stay tuned.