Posts Tagged immigration

Immigration Focus Misses the Problem


Donald Trump’s comments on illegal immigrants have ignited the latest firestorm to engulf the herd of candidates seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.  But by continuing to focus on illegal immigration the debate misses a much larger problem: the sad state of America’s relationship with our neighbor to the south.

Two wars and instability in the mid-east, Russian aggression, and Chinese economic warfare have pushed U.S.-Mexican relations to the foreign policy back burner.  David Shirk, a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington, D.C. summed it up well saying: “I think the challenge, the problem is that Mexico is actually quite important to the United States, but (President Barack) Obama is so embattled on so many fronts that he hasn’t been able to give Mexico the bandwidth that it deserves . . .”

U.S. – Mexican relations have been fraught with difficulty and conflict for centuries.  President James K. Polk, out of a sense of Manifest Destiny, fought the Mexican-American War which ended in 1848 with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo establishing the Rio Grande as the border between U.S. and Mexico and giving the United States what is now the American southwest.

It’s hard to tell whether or not Mexico still harbors a grudge against losing nearly one-third of its territory centuries ago, but the current state of relations between the two nations is hardly what one would expect given our close economic ties. That bond was strengthened by enactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement during the Clinton Administration making the United States Mexico’s top trading partner.

Census data shows that since 1980 Mexicans have been the largest immigrant group into the United States.  From 1990-2010 more than 7.5 million immigrants, many illegal, have poured over the border into this country.  Some have moved on, to Canada, Spain and even Guatemala, but most have stayed.

The scope of the problem is clear, but upon even casual reflection so too are the causes.  The Mexican economy is in the dumpster and the nation is riddled by internal conflict between the government and drug cartels, and among the drug cartels themselves.  Add in a healthy dose of government corruption and it is clear the Mexican state is dysfunctional leading many citizens to give up hope and move north in search of a better life.

Problems begin with the government itself.  “Corruption and weakness in Mexico’s judicial and police sectors have largely allowed the drug trade to flourish,” concluded a report by the Council on Foreign Relations.  And flourish it has; 90% of the illegal drugs entering the United States originate or arrive via Mexico.  Mexico is the prime source of marijuana and methamphetamines sold in the U.S.  This trade comes at a significant cost, as more than 60,000 Mexicans have died in domestic drug-related violence since 2006.

U.S. – Mexican relations hit a low point last year when the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto allowed U.S. Marine reservist Sgt. Andrew Tahmoressi to languish in a Mexican prison for 214 days after he inadvertently wandered over the border.  The irony of Mexico holding one American who crossed the border while millions of Mexicans cross into the U.S. unfettered was not lost on many.

With its economy in shambles, corruption rampant and the drug trade pervasive immigration to the United States, legal and illegal, has continued at a brisk pace slowing only during the Great Recession when U.S. job opportunities also dried up. As the U.S. slowly recovers from that recession, the pace of immigration is also likely to accelerate.

All the while the American political establishment continues to fixate on the symptom rather than the cause of the problem.  Unless and until Mexico can get its own affairs in order, immigrants will continue to stream north.  Mexicans would be less likely to leave family and cultural ties behind to face an uncertain fate in the United States if they were safe, secure and had economic opportunities in their homeland.

Much of this, unfortunately, is outside the ability of the United States to fix.  Massive corruption and political instability are matters which Mexico must address internally. But U.S. foreign policy must focus more intently on our southern neighbor to quash the drug trade and to foster a more robust Mexican economy.  By so doing we will stop addressing symptoms and begin to cure the cause of the immigration problem.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address islhenry@lincolninstitute.org)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on Lincoln Radio Journal: Tom Wolf…Promise V Performance


Radio Program Schedule for the week of May 23, 2015 – May 29, 2015

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • David Taylor hosts a Capitol Watch roundtable discussion on Governor Tom Wolf: campaign promise vs. performance in office with Matthew Brouillette of the Commonwealth Foundation and Neal Lesher from the PA Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business
  • Lowman Henry has a Town Hall Commentary on the state’s business leaders rejecting Governor Wolf’s tax plans

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with Stanley Renshon of the Center for Immigration Studies about stopping President Obama’s executive orders on illegal immigration
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on key 2016 U.S. Senate races
  • Eric Boehm and Mark Lagerkvist have a Watchdog Radio Report on New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s lavish spending at NFL football games
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal Commentary on seven brothers from one family who fought in World War II

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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Huddled Masses


The flood of illegal immigrants crossing America’s southern border has become a crisis.  Those arriving are not “undocumented” or “refugees,” what is occurring is a blatant disregard for the immigration policies of the United States, however flawed those policies may be.  We are not dealing with immigrants “yearning to breathe free,” rather this is Mexico and the countries of central America dumping their economically dispossessed, gangs and criminals on our doorstep.

This is a humanitarian crisis, with reports of the bodies of small children washing up on the shores of the Rio Grande.  It is a law enforcement crisis as drug cartel “coyotes” transport illegals across the border for money.  It is a political crisis as leaders of both parties have been unable to come together to develop a coherent immigration policy.  It is a foreign policy crisis as Mexico detains one U.S. Marine who accidentally wandered into their territory while sending tens of thousands across our borders and suffering no ill consequence.  It is a constitutional crisis as our president refuses to perform his sworn duties and enforce the immigration laws passed by congress.

The degree of President Obama’s arrogance on this matter was on full display last week as he played pool and drank beer during a visit to Texas rather than tour the border and holding facilities.  Imagine the uproar if President Bush had gone to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and instead of delivering a substantial address while standing in front of the St. Louis Cathedral he had gone off for some Beignets at Café du Monde?

Media reports would have us believe that those flooding across the U.S. border with Mexico are small children looking for a better life in the United States. They are often referred to as “dreamers,” an effort to slap lipstick on the immigration crisis pig.  While some are small children, the fact is criminals, drug dealers, and those sick with infectious diseases are also arriving in the current wave.  And how does it benefit those who are small children to separate them from parents and send them into camps filled with miscreants and disease?

The preponderance of the blame for this situation lays with the president and his administration whose refusal to establish effective border security and whose political pronouncements telegraphed an open border policy to Mexico and its southern neighbors.  Administration spokesmen engage in Orwellian double speak, a frequent dialect in this White House, claiming the borders are more secure than ever.  Really?  So the most secure border ever has resulted in a wave of illegal immigrants that have so overwhelmed the system more border control agents are attending to basic human needs than providing security?

Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said no good crisis should ever go to waste. By that he meant a crisis gives the president the opportunity to take actions he might not otherwise be able to take.  That is why the Obama Administration has allowed the current immigration crisis to occur.  It was predictable and encouraged and designed to help the president achieve his personal political goal of letting tens of thousands of new immigrants – who will become dependent on the government services his party champions, and ultimately voters for future progressive regimes.

Against the backdrop of this harsh reality Republicans and responsible Democrats in congress must act quickly to change current law allowing those who have crossed the border to be sent back immediately.  The current process is unenforceable, unrealistic and partially to blame for triggering the crisis now unfolding.  Then, steps must be taken – including the deployment of troops – to seal off the nation’s southern border.  And finally, congressional leaders must come together to craft a reasonable and enforceable immigration policy going forward.

A nation is not truly a nation if it cannot control its own borders.  The time has come for us to regain control of ours.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal.  His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.

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This Week on American Radio Journal: Lou Barletta Talks Immigration


Radio Program Schedule for the week of July 12, 2014 – July 18, 2014

This week on American Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry talks with U.S. Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA) about the immigration crisis on our southern border
  • Andy Roth of the Club for Growth has the Real Story on congressional efforts to get more money for the Highway Trust Fund
  • Eric Boehm talks with Travis Perry of Kansas Watchdog for a Watchdog Radio Report on local codes enforcement gone wrong
  • Dr. Paul Kengor from the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College has an American Radio Journal commentary on Hillary Clinton’s move to the Left

This week on Lincoln Radio Journal:

  • Lowman Henry gets details of a new statewide poll on internet sales taxes from Andrew Moylan of the R Street Institute
  • Fritz Heinemann of Economic Pennsylvania is in the Community Benefit Spotlight
  • Anna McCauslin of Americans for Prosperity-PA has a Lincoln Radio Journal commentary on the Export-Import Bank
  • Lowman Henry has a tribute to the late Richard M. Scaife

Visit the program web sites for more information about air times. There, you can also stream live or listen to past programs!

http://www.lincolnradiojournal.com

http://www.americanradiojournal.com

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