We rarely watch political news talk shows in the evening. Even in the Washington, DC Metro Area amigos, you need to cut it off at some reasonable time every day. Yesterday was an exception. I caught a segment on the Bill O’Reilly show on immigration and the children situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. A former Clinton Administration political appointee and Fox News commentator, Kirsten Powers, was defending allowing hundreds of thousands of undocumented children to stay in the United States.
I understand the human right arguments that Powers, and others in the Left, are using to justify granting amnesty to what the law views as “illegal aliens.” But that dog does not hunt. The law already includes many exceptions that afford undocumented aliens the ability to legally stay in the United States so long as they fall into a protected class of people (i.e., politically persecuted, violence against women, violent crime, etc.). But that is never enough for the Left. They want more, even if U.S. national interests take a back seat to security.
The Left also enjoys abusing another legal canon to advance political goals: the best interests of the child doctrine. Legal experts who specialize in this area of the law tell me that it is an important legal tool used by courts and administrative agencies to make sure that children are properly looked after. Anyhow, Powers, even though she did not use those exact words, is advancing the fallacious argument that somehow it is in the best interest of the child to remain in the United States because the situation in the home country is so bad that any other outcome would shock the conscience.
Unless these kids are coming from Communist Cuba, or qualify to remain in the United States under one of several limited exceptions of the Immigration and Nationality Act and other laws, these kids at the border need to be returned to their families in their home countries and not be allowed to stay in the United States. While Yleem and I, as American born children of communist exiles can empathize with the plight of these young ones, the United States has to set limits for security and other policy reasons.
I’m surprised that Powers would be opposed to this; it was President Bill Clinton, a President who she served, that authorized the return of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez to Communist Cuba, to be with his father, because it was deemed to be in “the best interests of the child.” I wish O’Reilly would ask Powers if she supported the repatriation of Elian Gonzalez to Communist Cuba? If she did, then she should have no problem whatsoever returning children to family members to Mexico (a NAFTA trade partner), or any other democracy in Central America.
While Yleem and I disagree with Powers on just about all her political views, she’s usually focused and backs up her position. Unlike other Liberals on television, we’ll watch, not click on the remote, while she’s talking. On this one though, I’m not sure why she and others on the Left think this is a good idea. If you want to understand why the immigration system is broken, look no further than this debate. We have laws to deal with these things. Enforce them.
By the way, the Left has been at this game for decades. When I worked at the Republican National Committee in the mid-1990s, this issue was alive and well. Just about every time I did a radio or Spanish-language media interview on immigration, the exact same arguments would surface in one form or another.