It was 173 years ago this week when one man triggered a massive wave of humanity. On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall found gold at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. News of the discovery brought approximately 300,000 people from around the U.S. and abroad to California, motivated by hopes of making their fortune. Arguably, the California gold rush was one of the most significant events to shape American history during the first half of the 19th century.
On Jan. 20, 2021, one man is again triggering a massive humanity wave. This one, however, comes not in search of gold nuggets but a different kind of gold – illegal immigrants seeking U.S. residency as they hope to make their fortunes here after Joe Biden unlocks the gates that have held them back for the past four years. One day, future historians will assess the influx of illegal immigration’s impact, for at least the next four years, upon the first half of 21st century America. It is doubtful that assessment will be a positive one.
President Donald Trump, via regulations and construction of a partially completed wall, successfully curbed both legal and illegal immigration. The curb was timely. Coronavirus had created concerns about infected illegals gaining entry to the country and about state financial support for illegals due to a normally bustling U.S. economy tanking under the stress of lockdowns.
But, as Biden takes office, a migrant wave from Latin America rushes to crash across our southern borders. With a still-struggling economy and an enormous debt heightened by recent stimulus payouts, Biden will have American taxpayers take on the additional financial burden of welcoming this mass of humanity into our country.
Experts tell us, since illegal immigrants in the U.S. receive government benefits, the cost to taxpayers is in the billions of dollars. Federal benefits supposedly are off-limits to illegal immigrants but, in practice, many are not. For example, many undocumented workers receive subsidized housing. Children receive free education, with most qualifying for English lessons and free school meals. A 2017 Federation for American Immigration Reform study determined illegal immigrants are a net consumer of taxpayer benefits worth more than $100 billion per year – while the income benefit they generate our Treasury is miniscule. With all the other social programs Democrats talk about implementing, we need to query how much more we can bear.
Mexico, which has called up extra police and military forces to stop caravans heading north from Guatemala to cross through their country to the U.S. as per its agreement with Trump, recognizes halting the caravans will only be temporary as they await word from Biden – the new marshal in town – to release them. Meanwhile, Biden will be granting legal status, via an eight-year path, to 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S., providing a shorter pathway to citizenship for them. Hispanic immigrants from socialist countries worry how far left Biden will take their new country.
In 2017, Trump signed a presidential order establishing travel bans into the U.S. for citizens of seven Muslim-majority nations – a list to which he added seven more countries in 2020. At a Nov. 4, 2018, conference, Egypt’s President al-Sisi responded to a question from a member of the audience, appearing to be made up of mixed Arab nationalities, about why Western countries shut their borders to them. Sisi gave a very honest and rational reply – one Biden would do well to consider as he takes on the immigration issue and lifting of travel bans, not only concerning nations to our south but Muslim nations as well:
“Every country has the right to protect its people and their interests. It must generally respect human rights in a framework that preserves its national interests. Instead of asking me why countries (in the West) close their gates to us, you should ask yourself why the people of … (numerous Arab countries) … don’t take better care of their own country. Why have they been killing each other …? … We fight amongst ourselves in our own countries, and then we expect countries that work day and night to achieve progress, to protect their people and to maintain a certain standard of living for them. … We demand that they let us in so we can have part of their (success), after we have been fighting amongst ourselves in our own countries. Of course (they say) no.
“I’m not for them or against them, but I am trying to be fair in the way I look at this issue. We should be criticizing ourselves. Are we protecting our countries – yes or no? Are you upset with the leaders of Germany, England, Italy or any other European country for closing their borders in order to protect the achievements of many long years? Do you expect them to open their doors so we can go there, demanding to keep our own culture? We demand to keep our culture, which could be very different from the work ethic in those other countries. You demand to go there with your culture which you consider to be non-negotiable. You say: ‘This is how we are and you must accept us (because of) human rights.’ No.
“By the way, if you go to another country as a guest, you must completely abide by its laws, customs, traditions and culture. You must abide by them completely. If you are not willing to do this, don’t go. Don’t expect them to open the door for you so you can go into their country and cause trouble. No. You’ve been fighting amongst yourselves for 40 years, yet you expect the West to open their doors for you? No. If you want to solve the problem, you should solve it in your own countries. That’s why I’m telling Egyptians they should take better care of their country.”
For over two centuries, America has been recognized globally as the land of liberty. Courtesy of the words memorialized on our Statue of Liberty, we tell the world we will take in “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe. …” But there comes a point in time when continuing to do so breaks America’s collective bank of reserves, both financial and spiritual, to continue doing so. As we fight a seemingly endless pandemic and encourage illegals to enter, we deny our own citizens the full security they rightly deserve. We need to recognize that break point is now here.
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