Julissa Arce was an illegal alien. She says so in the piece she recently wrote for NBC news, criticizing Texas’ pro-immigration-enforcement SB-4. Despite not having any right to be present in the United States, Ms. Arce was charged in-state tuition at a Texas university and received a scholarship. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, she also scored a highly paid job at Goldman Sachs by using a fake Social Security number and fake green card.
Eventually, she exploited a provision in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that allows people who entered the United States lawfully, but overstayed their visas, to obtain a green card when they marry a U.S. citizen. She subsequently became a U.S. citizen. Now, having repeatedly violated the INA in ways that should have barred her adjustment of status and her naturalization, she’s being lauded by the mainstream media as an expert commentator on U.S. immigration policy.
CNBC appears particularly fond of the type of nonsense that Ms. Arce peddles. In a February 2017 piece, she states, “The fact is, for most undocumented immigrants there is no application they can fill out, process they can go through, not even a fine they can pay to start the process of becoming U.S. citizens.” O for shame! The United States doesn’t want to reward illegal aliens for breaking our laws. That’s what legal luminaries, policy wonks and behavioral economists call deterrence.
Ms. Arce’s criticism of SB-4 isn’t any more illuminating. It parrots the standard American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) line that local police involvement in immigration enforcement will lead to a police state. And it employs the usual “politically correct” catch-phrases and buzzwords. She writes, “SB4 is essentially a ‘show me your papers’ law that is set to create an environment for racial profiling.”
Of course, Ms. Arce seems totally incapable of appreciating how her own story simply confirms the mind-numbing idiocy of her assertions. If she was “profiled” by anyone it has been as the “up-and-coming dreamer kid,” rather than any negative stereotype associated with illegal aliens. And, despite her ongoing and unrepentant disrespect for the laws of the United States, the racist, jackbooted thugs whom she claims to fear never appeared. She’s now a citizen. Being an illegal alien didn’t hold her back, it made her a celebrity. Julissa Arce hit the jackpot and lived an American dream that most native-born Americans never achieve.
And that’s exactly what is so disconcerting about the current immigration debate. Too often, it seems to focus on the immigrants and their needs. It almost never focuses on the citizens of the United States and what immigration should accomplish for them. Maybe it’s time the media and government started paying attention to what Americans want from immigration – and not what immigrants want from America.