Self-proclaimed “sanctuary city” Martha’s Vineyard, one of the richest and whitest communities in the country, has turned out to be not much of a sanctuary for the illegal aliens they claim to care so much about. Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis sent 50 Venezuelan illegal aliens to the tony enclave, reasoning that if its citizens are serious about their compassion for migrants and their love of diversity, they’d jump at the chance to prove it by actually spending some money on them.
Instead, the town-fathers and citizens whined about the strain on their resources and the disorder caused by unvetted illegal aliens swarming their town. Then there’s the hysteria over relocating illegal border-crossers, something Biden’s Feds have been doing for months––an estimated 10,000 just to New York.
Martha’s Vineyard’s complaints are also particularly shameless, claiming a “housing crisis” in a community with thousands of empty rooms. Meanwhile, documentary film maker Ken Burns by implication called De Santis Hitler, and Hillary Clinton directly called him a “human trafficker.” Barack Obama, who frequently lectures “bitter clingers” about their xenophobia towards “people who are not like them,” owns a huge, 29-acre estate in Martha’s Vineyard that could easily accommodate all 50 Venezuelans.
Instead, the mayor called in the National Guard to ship all those “diverse” victims of callous Republicans to a military base on Cape Cod, an act of NIMBY Pharasism. Then the rich denizens of Martha’s Vineyard started a GoFundMe fundraiser to panhandle ordinary Americans for money to handle this “humanitarian crisis” that’s already been resolved simply by kicking the migrants out of town. The proceeds, however, will not go to the expelled migrants, but to “building up a reserve to assist situations like this in the future.”
But like most of the virtue-signaling Left, this playground of the economic elite has exposed itself as full of posers unwilling to actually do anything about their vaunted “principles”––a long tradition among Western leftists. The result is a morally preening political rhetoric that worsens problems like uncontrolled illegal immigration by proscribing obvious common-sense solutions such as upgrading border security, including building a wall; keeping those claiming asylum in Mexico; and Title 42, which allowed for increased expulsions.
These are just a few of Donald Trump’s policies that substantially reduced illegal border-crossings that under the Biden administration have swelled to 4.9 million, according to FAIR. Currently the rate of illegal entries in El Paso has been 1300 a day, while Yuma, Arizona this year has seen its population of about 100,000 more than double to 250,000. Texas border-town Del Rio has had 15,000 enter in just one day. Those numbers are a real “humanitarian crisis.”
There are many reasons for the bipartisan de facto open-borders policy. The Democrats’ decades-long dream of creating a “permanent majority” coalition of college-educated whites and minorities requires letting in more and more migrants, legal or not, to increase the number of dependents on government largesse. Meanwhile corporate plutocrats want lax immigration protocols in order to stock the pool of cheap labor.
This dangerous policy comes cheap for both cohorts, since the impact of millions of illegal aliens will not be felt by the cognitive and economic elites who promote unfettered immigration. Their posh communities don’t have to deal with the drug and sex trafficking, overdoses, crime, and daily disorder. That fact is what makes the relocation programs of border-state governors like DeSantis, Arizona’s Doug Ducey, and Texas’s Greg Abbot so politically brilliant–-now “sanctuary” mayors and governors and their citizens can experience first-hand the costs of their lofty principles they’ve been flaunting on the cheap. Then maybe they’ll start rethinking their disastrous immigration policies.
But the hypocrisy of the Left and progressives is nothing new. It goes back to the beginning of Marxism. Karl Marx came from the upper-middle class, and his financier and collaborator Friedrich Engels was the scion of a wealthy Prussian textiles industrialist. Over the years the promoters and leadership of leftist movements have been mainly middle-class and affluent, like today’s cognitive elite “woke,” “parlor pinks” and “limousine liberals” who espouse the principles that they can afford and that fit their upscale life-styles, making them superior to Middle America’s hoi polloi.
The biggest insult, though, of this hypocrisy is the fundamental ignorance that underlies it. I learned this from the experience of growing up in an environment exactly the opposite of Martha’s Vineyard. About 80% of the people living around our ranch were so-called “people of color,” mostly ethnic Mexicans, the vast majority legal. Most were working class or poor, including the white Dust Bowl migrants––the vast majority of whom showed no signs of enjoying “white privilege.”
It wasn’t until I got to UCLA and started interacting with mostly white, mostly affluent professors and students that I started questioning my callow leftism. Some of them talked a lot about racism and bigotry, or waxed lyrical about the poor. Of course, I never met one who had actually lived among minorities, especially the poor or working class of any ethnicity. All they had were leftist clichés and Dickensian melodramas. And all they knew about Mexicans was that they were noble farmworkers abused by corporate agriculture, forced to slave away on land stolen from their ancestors by greedy gringos. As for illegal aliens, they parroted activist lies like “We didn’t cross the border, the border crossed us.”
So too today, the champions of open borders and sanctuary cities are massively ignorant about the conditions in communities swamped by unvetted migrants, let alone the complex diversity of every ethnicity. They talk, like D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, about a “growing humanitarian crisis” as if it were something new rather than a problem that border-states have been dealing with for decades.
Or they just slander as “xenophobic” and “racist” the mostly working-class people, including Mexican-Americans, blacks, and Asians as well as whites, who have to live with the crime and disorder. And because of that ignorance, they support policies that make things worse for everybody else except the cognitive elites of all ethnicities who congregate in tony enclaves where the only Latinos they know, apart from fellow credentialed elites, make their beds and mow their lawns.
Finally, the issue is not immigration per se, as the open-borders people claim with their Emma Lazarus clichés like “we’re all immigrants.” This tactic serves to deflect from the real problem: our broken immigration system that needs reforming. Most of us know that given our declining birth-rates, we need immigrants. What we don’t need is the indiscriminate influxes that include criminals, drug-traffickers, deadbeats, and terrorists.
This means first securing the border, as Donald Trump had made a good start at doing. Asylum claimants must be kept in Mexico while their claims are adjudicated. Instead of hiring legions of IRS auditors, that money should go to hiring more border-patrol agents. “Family unification” policies should stop. And most important, the vetting process must not just sift out the unwanted, but identify those who can contribute to the well-being and success of this country.
One silver lining of this mess is the growing number of Latinos who are breaking away from the Democrat plantation. This shift reflects the assimilation that is happening despite the illiberal identity politics that permeates our culture, especially in schools and universities. I know this because I’ve watched it happen over my 44 years of teaching in a Latino-majority university. Whether it’s rate of intermarriage, tastes in fashion, and now political preferences, students of Latino heritage are not as culturally distinct as they were when I was growing up.
The 2013 bipartisan “Gang of Eight” Republican champions of a “path to citizenship,” then, were not entirely wrong about the conservative inclinations of Latinos. The problem was they never came up with specifics about how to sort them out from criminals and deadbeats. Lax standards for illegals who were on the path to citizenship, such a allowing offenses like DUIs or other misdemeanors, didn’t bespeak a serious effort to thoroughly vet preconditions for citizenship.
We need to get serious about immigration, which means specific reforms and ending blue-state nullification policies like sanctuary cities, as well as not letting corporate interests override national interests and security. For now, border-state governors like Ron De Santis and Greg Abbot have done the country a great service by exposing the hypocrisy of open-borders Democrats, as well as giving their constituents some first-hand experience of the dangers and disorder of an unfettered immigration they haven’t had to experience first-hand.