A compelling portrait of a real-life immigration mess....
Victor Davis Hanson offers a harrowing tale of the immense burdens oft unseen caused by illegal immigration. His account concerns a teen Hispanic illegal suspected of murdering her newborn and concealing same from the police. The case was complicated by a suspect both illiterate and speaking solely a regional dialect virtually unknown in the US of A. Complex social and health services were made available, with uncertain result. VDH summarizes:
...[I]llegal immigration, with its myriad of linguistic, cultural, and legal force-multipliers, makes it all the more difficult, expensive, and, in the end, utterly unsustainable.
Given the cultural, legal, and social collisions between those from Oaxaca state who arrive in California without legality, English, literacy or education, a near-bankrupt state is increasingly unable to provide social services for all its residents, permanent or transient. In philosophical terms, are conditions so wretched in Mexico, and so favorable in the United States, that pregnant teens risk crossing the border illegally, without money, literacy, or language facility? And if so, why do we not ask culpable Mexican officials why such an abyss exists in our present globalized world, and why is the U.S., so criticized by immigration activists, seen as so humane by immigrants themselves?
Finally, whatever the actual denouement to this case, the ethics of it are more than tragic, although certainly the murder of an innocent newborn is the most heinous of crimes. The suspect may well have determined to cross the border illegally in search of free medical attention or at least in expectation that a pregnant teenage Oaxacan resident is far better off in Madera than in Oaxaca. If the charges prove factual, she then committed a series of crimes, from murder to efforts after the fact to lie to officials to conceal that murder. My worry is also this: How many in-need U.S. citizens of Madera (and the majority would be Mexican-American given the city’s demography) rush to the emergency room with serious cases of strep throat, life-threatening infectious diseases, or sudden catastrophic illnesses, only to find “doctors” and “deputies” attending to a murder case by someone who speaks an unfathomable language who arrived just three days earlier and who is intent on not cooperating with officials? I fear throughout California — in a state with millions of illegal aliens, many with medical and linguistic challenges — that many U.S. citizens simply avoid emergency rooms because it has increasingly become not a source of prompt life-saving attention, but a more complex landscape of translation, investigation, and law enforcement.
The point of this disturbing story is simply this: We are told the victims are those who enter the United States illegally and without our language and customs. I grant that they may be victims sometimes, but the surrounding community is even more victimized by extending unsustainable social and state services to those who are often not cooperative and honest with them, often at the expense of citizens who are struggling in recessionary times to pay for it and in frustration will not use the services themselves that they need and must pay for. At some point, Americans must grasp that each time a foreign national chooses not to apply for legal entrance but simply breaks federal law and crosses the border, that is the beginning, not the end, of an entire chain of events that so often do not end well for anyone.
Which explains why it was wise that the GOP passed up 1,000-page comprehensive immigration reform in 2014. So long as Obama is president, the GOP faces a hyper-partisan who will selectively enforce the parts of any grand bargain he likes, whilst ignoring major promises made to the GOP. The GOP would in such event politically co-own--and be politically unable to credibly disown--the president's preferred policies.
Further, without a cohesive national culture to which immigrants can assimilate, what likely would transpire is disparate immigrant groups associating themselves with disparate domestic cultural groups. The result would be further entrenching a cultural "salad bowl" instead of fostering a cultural melting pot. The latter, put simply, requires a far more cohesive culture than defines American civic life today.
Bottom Line. For the remainder of Barack Obama's term the GOP must avoid grand bargains--even if it captures the Senate in 2016. With control of both houses in Congress (if the GOP loses its House majority it surely will remain a minority in the Senate), the GOP can enact legislation reflecting its priorities and invite the president to veto, thus defining both parties for the 2016 presidential campaign.
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