By Tom DeWeese, President of the American Policy Center
One of the key arguments used by proponents of open borders is that America has always welcomed the downtrodden of the world to join us. Americans are a compassionate people with a strong sense of right and wrong. We believe it is our duty to help those who cannot help themselves. It’s how we celebrate our own birthright of freedom.
However, while Americans are happy to extend a helping hand they also don’t want to be taken for suckers. We are a nation – a proud one – with our own culture combined with a rule of law that has made us the envy of the world. It’s the very reason many want to come here. Our arms are open to share what we have – but we must also reserve the right to insist that we share on our terms.
The fact is, there are immigrants who come here legally. In addition, there are illegals who fight to get here for very good reasons, and they come with our blessings. Of course, there are “damned illegals” who come here in defiance, openly biting our extended hand of assistance. These are the ones who are wearing down our natural reaction for compassion. Americans must understand that all illegals are not the same. Not all come here for the same reason. Motive and purpose should be strong arguments in deciding who enters and who doesn’t. Laws, not political games, should decide. Consider the following:
In June of 1993, 286 people, mostly from China, boarded a rickety, rusty old ship named the Golden Venture to sail to the United States in a desperate attempt to escape the brutal Chinese communist regime. Their flight to freedom had taken most of them a year of running through steaming jungles, hiding from pursuing authorities, and surviving the cramped, stifling, tiny hold of the ship. Finally, as the ship got within 300 yards of the promised land – the shoreline a few miles from Manhattan — it hit a sand bar and ran aground, forcing the passengers to swim to shore in icy waters.
But as they stood on the shore in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the trouble for these scared, desperate, cold, hungry refugees had just begun. One might wonder which was worse — the tyranny they fled in China, or the brutally impersonal, tortuous manipulation of the American bureaucracy and the betrayal of an American president they were about to face.
24 of the Golden Venture’s passengers were women. Each of them tells a horrifying, yet inspirational story of their failed dash to freedom that rivals the legends of freedom fighters from throughout the ages. For each of them was running away to escape the quick, cold scalpel of the Chinese abortionists. You see, the women had broken Chinese law against multiple births. And so, with a death sentence over their head, they ran.
Dai Bo Mai was a tiny woman of 34, born in a remote farming village near Shanghai. She was guilty of having two children, a boy, 15, and a girl, 12. Multiple children are illegal in China, so the government fined her $3,000 and told her that she must be sterilized for having her daughter.
She ignored the order for sterilization until one day a gang of thugs captured and tied her and delivered Dai Bo Mai to a crude clinic for forced sterilization. There was no sanitation and she became infected. The resulting pain and infection prevented her from working in the fields. Because she could no longer work or have babies, her husband rejected her. She went back to the clinic and complained that they had ruined her life. They laughed and raised her fine to $10,000 and had her house destroyed.
Knowing she would never see her children or family again, Dai Bo Mai decided to flee to America by walking out of China, climbing across the mountains, and eventually boarding the Golden Venture.
Another woman, Qu Ai Yue came from the same primitive agrarian background. She had two children and became pregnant with a third. The government found out and forced her to have an abortion at six months. Then they told her she must be sterilized. Afraid of the operation, she and her husband ran to hide in the city.
Both she and her husband wanted to try to make it to America, but there was only money for one. He sent her on her way, across the mountains and through the mosquito-infested jungles of Burma. She almost died of disease along the way. In Thailand she spent three months in a small, crowded room waiting for a ship. Finally, she, too, boarded the Golden Venture.
After the ship ran aground, the passengers were rounded up by U.S. Immigration and detained in jails around the United States. Under the first Bush Administration, the United States had shown compassion for refugees of brutal Chinese “family planning” policy, offering asylum to such victims of Chinese tyranny.
But the Clinton Administration changed the policy. Two days into his Administration, Bill Clinton rescinded the Bush order. He wanted to make an example of these women in order to stop more from fleeing. Instead, INS agents were ordered to detain all of the passengers, rather than release them on bond, which had been the previous policy. Why? Politics. In 1996, even after the U.S. Congress passed a bill that would reinstate asylum for such women and grant those from the Golden Venture their freedom, Bill Clinton vetoed it. It’s embarrassing to the Chinese, you see. Clinton didn’t want to harm trade relations with such a respected member of the international community.
Clinton’s actions basically put a death sentence over the heads of the Golden Venture women, for to be sent back to China would surely have meant just that. As they waited in their cells, Bill Clinton awarded the Chinese government with “Most-Favored Nation” status.
The women waited in their cells for three long years, waiting, not knowing their fate. Finally, with pressure from caring Americans, President Clinton did parole 53 of the passengers, but they were given no legal status and 14 years later some remain in limbo, a kind of virtual cell, with no ability to travel, settle down or even see their families. But they are alive.
Meanwhile, open-border advocates use examples like the Golden Venture as an excuse to open U.S. borders to all. In words oozing compassion they tell of poor people who just want to improve their lives at America’s trough of freedom. The G.W. Bush Administration demanded amnesty for more than 12 million who had dashed over the border, swelling our welfare rolls, flooding our schools and swamping our hospitals. Do these “migrants” as the politically-correct now call them, seek America’s freedom like the tortured souls of the Golden Venture?
Crimes committed by alien criminals, such as rape, murder, or drug distribution, cost U.S. taxpayers $1.6 billion in prison costs alone. The figure doesn’t include the cost of lost property, medical bills of the victims, time lost from work to recover, higher insurance costs, etc. Today, illegal aliens make up twenty-nine percent of the U.S. prison population – well over a million illegals filtered throughout the nation.
Latino gangs like Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS13) constitute most of the crime from the ranks of the illegals. They originated in El Salvador and today their U.S. leadership still comes from there. They steal cars and use them to run drugs over the border. They terrorize local citizens with violence. They are the chief source of drug sales for the cartels. And they are racists.
In Los Angeles, Mexican gangs declared “ethnic cleansing zones” in specific parts of the city. They kill whites and blacks. In New Jersey, MS13 gang members killed three college students — execution style.
But we are told these are extreme examples. There are respectable alien groups who seek to “work within the system” to promote their agenda. One of the most prominent Hispanic organizations pushing for “immigrant rights” is the National Council of La Raza – the Council of “the Race.” The mainstream media and many members of Congress treat La Raza as little more than a Hispanic Rotary Club. La Raza has received millions in federal government grants which it uses to fund “get out the vote” drives and lobbying efforts for open-border polices.
Behind its false front of respectability lies La Raza’s real agenda. La Raza organizes with “secondary” groups like the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan – or Chicano Student Movement of Astlan (MEChA.) MEChA seeks to carve a racist nation out of the American West. It opposes assimilation into American society and is the leader of the “Reconquista” or reconquest of our western states. La Raza’s slogan is “For La Raza to do, Fuera doi las Raza nada.” Translation: “For the Race everything. Outside the Race, nothing.”
While Americans are happy to share abundance and freedom with some of the world’s oppressed, this new invasion seeks to swamp us, changing our culture and our economy. This invasion is not necessarily driven by a great desire to live the American ideal, but rather a sinister goal by the Mexican government to expand its territory and allow American taxpayers to foot the bill for its failed economic policies.
You see, it’s not just the rantings of some radical elements among the Hispanic illegals. It is an orchestrated effort by the Mexican officials to flood our nation with their own people. Former Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo told a loudly cheering Chicago audience of La Raza in 1997, “I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders.” Carlos Gutierres, head of the Institute of Mexicans Abroad, said in 2005, “The Mexican nation goes beyond the borders of Mexico.”
Clearly this is a foreign national policy to invade the United States and change it forever, and our own government is aiding the effort in the name of free trade. This is not about compassion for the oppressed — and never has been.
Obviously, there is a difference in immigrants and their motivation for coming to our land of the free. Americans should never allow themselves to feel guilty for acting on their survival instincts that tell us to close the borders. This war over illegal immigration is not about racism or prejudice. It’s about values and the rule of law – American law.
Human beings are all different. Some take great pleasure in controlling others. Some readily accept the control and set about to mold their lives to fit the circumstances. But a few carry a flame in their hearts. As they pace their cages of tyranny and crash against its bars, a constant thought burns in their mind, “I want to be free.”
Americans have a natural passion for such souls. It’s who we are. And such passion has now become a tool for manipulation for those seeking to open America’s borders for political purposes. They know we want to stop suffering. Americans are proud to share our abundance. But there is a vast difference between compassion for the oppressed and being made a sucker.
Those who came here on the Golden Venture believed in the American dream of freedom. There is little doubt they would have been proud to have the opportunity to become American citizens and promote the ideals of individual liberty, free enterprise and limited government. Certainly, one who has lived through the horrors of the Communist Chinese experience knows the danger signs of the growth of an all powerful government.
But there is now another game of politics being played over the immigration issue. Just as Bill Clinton sought to appease the Chinese government by tossing back the women of the Golden Venture, today, the Bush Administration, sought to appease the Mexican government by letting it push hoards of illegals into our country for political purposes not supported by the fair-minded, generous American people. Obama crafted the tactic into a mighty anti-American weapon. Trump has taken massive steps to turn the policy around and protect American interests and sovereignty.
Americans should be proud of their willingness to help – and they should never lose it. But we must also realize that our generous nature to help those like the victims of the Golden Venture is being used against us to ultimately bring about our own destruction.
True American immigration policy demands that we close our borders to protect our way of life — and yet, still give us room to exercise our natural compassion for those who truly seek freedom on our shores.
Tom DeWeese, President of the American Policy Center, is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.
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Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS13)