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Democrats: Open Borders 4-Evah

Future Democratic voters (Vic Hinterlang/Shutterstock)

Andrew Sullivan’s column today is excellent from top to bottom; his lead item — slamming the Democrats for being in a “bubble” on immigration — is the best. Excerpts:

Courts have also expanded asylum to include domestic violence, determining that women in abusive relationships are a “particular social group” and thereby qualify. In other words, every woman on the planet who has experienced domestic abuse can now come to America and claim asylum. Also everyone on the planet who doesn’t live in a stable, orderly, low-crime society. Literally billions of human beings now have the right to asylum in America. As climate change worsens, more will rush to claim it. All they have to do is show up.

Last month alone, 144,000 people were detained at the border making an asylum claim. This year, about a million Central Americans will have relocated to the U.S. on those grounds. To add to this, a big majority of the candidates in the Democratic debates also want to remove the grounds for detention at all, by repealing the 1929 law that made illegal entry a criminal offense and turning it into a civil one. And almost all of them said that if illegal immigrants do not commit a crime once they’re in the U.S., they should be allowed to become citizens.

How, I ask, is that not practically open borders? The answer I usually get is that all these millions will have to, at some point, go to court hearings and have their asylum cases adjudicated. The trouble with that argument is that only 44 percent actually turn up for their hearings; and those who do show up and whose claims nonetheless fail can simply walk out of the court and know they probably won’t be deported in the foreseeable future.


I can also note that most countries outside Western Europe have strict immigration control and feel no need to apologize for it. Are the Japanese and Chinese “white supremacists”? Please. Do they want to sustain their own culture and national identity? Sure. Is that now the equivalent of the KKK?

The Democrats’ good ideas need to be put in contact with this bigger question if they are to win wider support. In the U.S. in the 21st century, should anyone who enters without papers and doesn’t commit a crime be given a path to citizenship? Should all adversely affected by climate change be offered a path to citizenship if they make it to the border? Should every human living in violent, crime-ridden neighborhoods or countries be granted asylum in America? Is there any limiting principle at all?

I suspect that the Democrats’ new position — everyone in the world can become an American if they walk over the border and never commit a crime — is political suicide.

Read it all. 

Of course it’s political suicide!

Or is it? TAC’s Bob Merry says yes, the Dems are now an “open borders” party, but he also sounds a warning:

Opposition Republicans should resist the temptation to view this development as a sign that the Democrats are on a political suicide mission. The country remains unsettled, as it was at the beginning of the 2016 campaign, with large population segments believing America is slipping into progressive dysfunction. Further, millions of Americans have concluded that the nation’s ills are attributable largely to that man in the White House, President Donald Trump, despised by many as a man beneath the office he holds. For them the corrective is simple: expunge Trump.

And Democrats will enjoy an advantage this time around. They can make their case with words, whereas the incumbent president must make his case with action and performance. In the last presidential race, that advantage fell to Trump, and he exploited it effectively, helped along by President Barack Obama’s mildly unsuccessful second term and lingering systemic problems besetting the nation. If Trump can’t bring in a clearly successful first term, he won’t likely get a second one, and the New Democratic Party will take over.

My heart says that Sullivan is correct, but my head says, “Remember 2016, when you and all other Responsible Pundits thought that Trump was too extreme to be elected.” There is no doubt now that the Democratic Party is shockingly far to the left. If the Democrats win the White House, and take the Senate too, the floodgates of migration open, and the country is lost. The debates were enormously clarifying in that sense — and they helped Trump, because the best thing he has going for him (and maybe the only thing) is that for all his faults, he is not as ideologically crazy as the Democrats.

It’s worth remembering the candid speech former Tony Blair adviser Andrew Neather gave in 2009. Excerpts from the Telegraph‘s report:

The huge increases in migrants over the last decade were partly due to a politically motivated attempt by ministers to radically change the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”, according to Andrew Neather, a former adviser to Tony Blair, Jack Straw and David Blunkett.

He said Labour’s relaxation of controls was a deliberate plan to “open up the UK to mass migration” but that ministers were nervous and reluctant to discuss such a move publicly for fear it would alienate its “core working class vote”.

As a result, the public argument for immigration concentrated instead on the economic benefits and need for more migrants.

Critics said the revelations showed a “conspiracy” within Government to impose mass immigration for “cynical” political reasons.

Mr Neather was a speech writer who worked in Downing Street for Tony Blair and in the Home Office for Jack Straw and David Blunkett, in the early 2000s.


He wrote a major speech for Barbara Roche, the then immigration minister, in 2000, which was largely based on drafts of the report.

He said the final published version of the report promoted the labour market case for immigration but unpublished versions contained additional reasons, he said.

He wrote: “Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

“I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn’t its main purpose – to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.”

The “deliberate policy”, from late 2000 until “at least February last year”, when the new points based system was introduced, was to open up the UK to mass migration, he said.

Some 2.3 million migrants have been added to the population since then, according to Whitehall estimates quietly slipped out last month.

Read it all. 

As Douglas Murray ventured in his great book The Strange Death Of Europe:

The activities of Roche and a few others in the 1997 Labour government backs up the idea that theirs was a deliberate policy of social transformation: a culture war being waged against the British people using immigrants as some kind of battering ram.

If you read Murray’s book — and I hope you will — you will see that he tells the ugly truth about Conservative Party politicians as well. They were part of the same elite that did not try to stop any of this, despite what it stood to do to Britain.

Prior to this week’s Democratic presidential debates, if you had said the Democrats were trying to pull an Andrew Neather-like maneuver, I might have thought it an exaggeration. Not anymore. Like I said, the debates were clarifying. This is a culture war, and the Democratic Party is trying to bring in the mercenaries.


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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