Immigration and the Presidential Debates

The burning question on voters' minds.

Every day brings America closer to the next presidential election. Every day also brings us closer to the debates in which candidates for America's highest elected office will be questioned about their goals and visions for the future of our nation.

So many important questions that will need to be answered. Where will the moderators begin?

If the moderators are thoughtful and honest, they will begin by asking questions about that most important topic that plays a vital role in all of the other challenges and threats facing America and Americans today. That singular topic is immigration.

While it is rarely if ever discussed in the mainstream media, immigration is arguably the most impactful component of each and every one of the most important challenges and threats facing America and Americans today.

Those challenges include national security and the war on terror, public safety and crime, the economy, the survival of the middle class and unemployment. Those challenges also include public health and healthcare, education, the environment and the critical infrastructure of our towns and cities.

Immigration has been of extreme importance for a very long time but has been all but ignored until very recently. Had it not been for Donald Trump's statements about immigration, the issue of criminal aliens and the lack of border security, it is quite likely that immigration would still be off limits in the discussions. Trump's statements and the tragic and senseless death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by a criminal alien who had been convicted of seven felonies and deported on 5 previous occasions, pushed immigration into the national consciousness and rattled the cages of the leaders of both political parties who had hoped that no one would raise the issue.

Additionally, the great majority of news organizations had been assiduously ignoring immigration, but has lately found it impossible to not provide coverage about immigration and the issues of “sanctuary cities” and the violence perpetrated by criminal aliens.

Trump's emergence on the national stage -- unfettered by the need to raise campaign contributions and making the decision to be his own man and speak his own mind -- continues to resonate with many Americans even as politicians from both parties continue to rely on pollsters to tell them what to say and what not to say. They surround themselves with a small army of advisors and “handlers” and try to operate and speak within the confines of what my good friend and Congressional Representative Lou Barletta accurately refers to as “the box.” Not surprisingly, Trump is connecting with many Americans in a way that the other politicians are not because he operates outside the confines of that “box.” The impact this is having is clear.

Most politicians are expressing greater anger and frustration over Trump's candor than they are over criminal aliens murdering innocent Americans. Many politicians are also more focused on Trump than they are on the administration that has created anarchy in the immigration system -- a system that should serve as America's first line and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals.

For decades politicians from both political parties have impugned hardworking Americans by claiming that “immigrants do the work Americans won't do.” This has become the virtual mantra for both parties. Ask yourself if there are, in fact, any jobs that Americans won't do?

Even as you read this article American workers are trudging off to work boarding commercial fishing vessels where they engage in the most dangerous job in America. They are trudging off to work in coal mines, heading for constructions sites to build towering office buildings, stores and houses. They are racing to put out dangerous fires threatening the lives and property of total strangers. Our American law enforcement officers on the local, state and federal level are chasing down dangerous armed felons, putting their lives on the line as a matter of routine.

Hardworking Americans who still embody the “can do” spirit that built our country are ready, willing and able to do dangerous, filthy and backbreaking work (and do it better and more productively than anyone else) are being insulted by politicians who were purportedly elected to represent them. What an outrageous betrayal.

Even as you read this, American soldiers, all of whom are volunteers, are engaging in violent combat in some of the most inhospitable hellish conditions imaginable. They see their fellow soldiers suffering grievous injuries or being killed before their very eyes, yet, as the appropriate term says, they continue to soldier on.

We are also being told that Americans lack the education and, apparently, the intelligence to take the high-tech STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs even as Silicon Valley and many other employers fire thousands of American workers who have been working in these careers for many years -- yet petition the federal government for more H-1B visas to bring in foreign workers to take these very same jobs.

My June 18, 2015 commentary for FrontPage Magazine, “Theft By Deception: The Immigration Con Game,” included this excerpt:

Today increasing numbers of “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals are being laid off and replaced by foreign workers from India and elsewhere. The only thing “exceptional” about these foreign workers is that they will work for exceptionally low wages under exceptionally adverse conditions.

Work helps to define us. Work provides dignity, a sense of purpose, opportunities and income. Virtually every college student who attends college does so with the hope/expectation of a brighter future through a career made possible by acquiring a higher level of education.

When young Americans opt to attend colleges they put off working for years. Upon graduation from those institutions of higher learning, where they invested years of their lives studying conscientiously, they find themselves encumbered by massive debts in the form of student loans. All too often they find that they cannot get jobs in their chosen fields of study, including those who took degrees in the STEM disciplines. For these victims of the crime, their share of the “American Dream” and indeed their futures, have been stolen, their time and money wasted.

Understandably, foreign workers send as much of their earnings back to their families in their home countries whether they are illegal alien day laborers or high-tech workers who were admitted into the United States with H-1B or other such visas which enable them to legally work in the United States. That money provides an important revenue stream to those foreign families and their countries. For Mexico, for example, remittances are believed to represent the second largest source of revenue.

Last year the United States lost well over 125 billion dollars in remittances -- money electronically transferred out of the United States by such foreign workers. Money also moves in covert ways as well.

Last year India was the recipient of the greatest amount of remittances any country on this planet received, more than 70 billion dollars. This money was wired home by their workers who are employed in countries around the world, although it is the United States that each year loses the greatest amount of money.

A PhD in economics is not needed to understand that as more Americans are replaced by more foreign workers who will send ever increasing amounts of money out of our economy that the U.S. economy will suffer. When middle class families drop below the poverty line as American workers lose their jobs, they lose their disposable incomes. They stop being tax-payers and become increasingly dependent on costly economic safety net programs. This jacks up our national debt and also hurts the economies of cities and states across the United States. This is completely unsustainable.

Undoubtedly the nation's struggling economy will be important to the debates because America's economy is linked to national security as well as not only the well-being of America but for millions of Americans. The middle class is getting hammered as family wages stagnate or even decline. Record numbers of American families now live below the poverty line.

Any politician who claims to oppose sanctuary cities but supports in-state tuition for illegal aliens is lying. In-state tuition for illegal aliens creates a powerful and costly magnet that incentivizes and rewards illegal immigration.

Undoubtedly the politicians who are advocates for in-state tuition for illegal aliens will insist that once educated these illegal aliens should be granted Green Cards that will enable them to compete, on an equal standing, with desperate American workers and American students who need good jobs.

National security is obviously of great importance as well. ISIS continues its violent rampage throughout the Middle East and is extending its tendrils into other parts of the world. Its leaders boast that they will attack Italy and other European countries. They have also made it clear that America is in their murderous cross-hairs.

The Summer 2015 edition of the quarterly journal, The Social Contract, just published my in-depth analysis of the nexus between immigration and national security and the threat of terrorism, “The 9/11 Commission Report and Immigration: An Assessment, Fourteen Years after the Attacks.”

My analysis for The Social Contract provides solid fact-based information and specific examples about the nexus between immigration and national security that have absolutely nothing to do with the U.S./Mexican border. In the report, I quoted the 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel:

Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.

In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.

Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.

Americans are rightfully concerned about crime. Not unlike our concerns about national security, crime can snuff out innocent lives in an instant and inflict harm to its victims and the family and friends of those victims. Even as children we are taught a two word phrase, “safety first.”

On June 27, 2015 CAPS (Californians for Population Stabilization) posted my article, “Heroin Epidemic: The Real Metric for Determining Border Security.”

The administration falsely claims our borders are secure, using false statistics about Border Patrol arrests. Those stats are less than worthless. The most reliable metric, as the title of my commentary notes, is the price and availability of heroin in the United States. Here is an excerpt from my article:

On June 20, 2014, an article in The Washington Post was headed, “As opioid deaths surge, a push to get antidote into hands of abusers’ friends and family.” That article contained a link to a March 10, 2014, article, “Holder calls deaths from heroin overdoses an ‘urgent and growing public health crisis.’” It is worth noting that Holder who at the time was the Attorney General frequently claimed the borders were secure. How then did the smugglers manage to get ever-increasing amounts of heroin across those supposedly “secure” borders?

News reports published on July 16, 2015, provide crystal clear evidence that our borders are little more than speed bumps to smugglers. EAGNews.org reported, “MA high schools stock overdose meds amid heroin epidemic,” while The Boston Globe reported, “Easton schools to carry drug that reverses opioid overdoses.”

Most violent crimes has a nexus to drug trade and drug use. True border security, including ports of entry at international airports, seaports and land borders, must all be addressed to prevent the entry of contraband as well prevent the entry of foreign nationals whose presence would be harmful to our nation and our citizens.

Proceeds from the drug trade flow into the coffers of terrorist organizations and Drug Trafficking Organizations that use this largess to corrupt governments around the world.

On June 16, 2015 Californians for Population Stabilization (CAPS) posted my article, “Immigration System Must Work for Best Interests of Americans.”

It is imperative that the title of my commentary serve as the mission statement for the next administration, for our Congress and, in fact, for our politicians and leaders on all levels of government.

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