To all Americans apoplectic about Donald Trump, one certainty surrounds his campaign: if the federal government put the rights of citizens above those of illegal immigrants and enforced our immigration laws over the past three decades, his campaign might never have gained momentum.
Trump first entered the contest railing against our mindless immigration policies. Though he used crass terms to describe the issue, he said what a lot of Americans believed. Obviously, the system is out of control: criminal illegal aliens are released into society only to commit more crimes, the flood of job-killing legal immigration continues and, 15 years after 9-11, the borders are still porous.
The state of our immigration policies is a national disgrace and too many Americans still don’t get it. Until Trump came along, liberal guilt and effective smear tactics from the open-borders crowd stifled debate and cowed Americans who are outraged with business-as-usual.
Immigration is now at the forefront of the election, as it should be. Of course, the Obama administration cannot take the full blame for angering Americans, though they have done everything possible to subvert enforcement of the country’s immigration laws by promoting sanctuary cities and handcuffing Border Patrol agents, among a long list of other lenient policies.
The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted amnesty to about 3 million aliens (and also promised increased border security and meaningful deterrents to employing illegal aliens) encouraged people from around the world to flout our laws. And despite grand promises from politicians, subsequent legislation under Republican and Democrat administrations did little to secure the border and control illegal immigration.
Since that time, as Republicans kowtow to business interests that seek cheap labor and Democrats cater to the ethnic lobbies, voter indignation has festered. Then along came Trump, who spun the issue into political gold.
In an age when our culture becomes more vapid by the day, of course Trump’s celebrity status gave him an edge. Being an outsider also helped, because many Americans are fed up with inside-the-Beltway politics. But, there’s no denying that ringing the immigration alarm bolstered his candidacy and galvanized voters. For this, the political parties can only blame themselves.