No restrictions or travel bans whatsoever, the enlightened now insist.
A controversial executive order in January banning travel from Mideast countries linked to terrorism remains a political football in May.
For months, federal courts have conducted a hard-to-follow scrimmage, blocking orders when it’s pretty clear that the president has authority to do what Donald J. Trump has done. This week, a Virginia federal appeals court considered the latest version’s legal status.
The complaint, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, centers on candidate Trump’s anti-Muslim statements on the campaign trail. The Justice Department argues the ban is essential to national security. On May 15, the San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in a similar case brought by Hawaii.
The dispute is more than constitutional. Since January, unrestricted immigration has become a holy cause for liberals. For Trump antagonists, stoked by media and academic leaders, detesting the travel ban is an act of faith and piety.
In an open letter Massachusetts Institute of Technology president L. Rafael Reif called a travel ban:
a stunning violation of our deepest American values, the values of a nation of immigrants: fairness, equality, openness, generosity, courage. The Statue of Liberty is the “Mother of Exiles”; how can we slam the door on desperate refugees? Religious liberty is a founding American value; how can our government discriminate against people of any religion? In a nation made rich by immigrants, why would we signal to the world that we no longer welcome new talent? In a nation of laws, how can we reject students and others who have established legal rights to be here? And if we accept this injustice, where will it end? Which group will be singled out for suspicion tomorrow?
Now, no one’s more establishment than an MIT president. This is an ex cathedra progressive pronouncement. So let’s look at Reif’s propositions very carefully:
- a stunning violation of our deepest American values, the values of a nation of immigrants: fairness, equality, openness, generosity, courage.
Is a “nation of immigrants” our deepest American value? Are fairness, equality, openness, generosity, or courage, for that matter, immigrant values? Other American values seem as basic: limited government; a loyal opposition; due process and property rights; freedom of association and speech; civil — not military or royal — rule. A Nation of Immigrants was the title of a 1964 John F. Kennedy book. It’s now a cliché being used to squash nationalist sentiment.
- The Statue of Liberty is the “Mother of Exiles”
France gave the United States the Statue of Liberty (La Liberté éclairant le monde) in 1886, six years before Ellis Island opened. Mother of Exiles for the huddled masses and wretched refuse is Emma Lazarus’s appropriation in her poem, “The New Colossus.” The statue was not intended to be a symbol of immigration. Ellis Island fetishists have co-opted original intent. Since the 2016 election, the Statue of Liberty has become a “totem of the left, emerging as a sort of patron saint of the protest movements that have surged in opposition to Mr. Trump and his policies,” according to the New York Times.
- how can we slam the door on desperate refugees?
Poor things! Just think of the colorful Tsarnaev family from Chechnya, living up the road from MIT, strangers in a strange land, two crazy kids who fell through the cracks.
- In a nation made rich by immigrants, why would we signal to the world that we no longer welcome new talent?
Globalists claim immigrants provide added value and vitality, bringing new ideas into closed, fearful societies composed of aging citizens who want to protect their self-interests. But these claims are one-sided. For millions of established residents in the U.S. and Europe, uncontrolled immigration threatens safety, schools, livelihoods, and quality of life. Slums, crime, filth, and parasitism might be coming to a once tidy neighborhood near you.
- have established legal rights to be here
Like the Tsarnaevs, after their noble, uphill struggles with unfeeling immigration authorities and welfare agencies.
- where will it end? Which group will be singled out for suspicion tomorrow?
Ah yes, of course. It always ends with the midnight knock on the door. That’s where the globalist morality play ends. They have come for you. Let’s all have a good shiver, put on our pink pussy hats, and go hiss at Trump.
Reif was born in Venezuela in 1950 to Eastern European parents who emigrated to Venezuela before World War II. Educated as an electrical engineer at Stanford, he’s seen techno-globalism work like a dream in his own life. But does Reif really connect with U.S. political culture or past American ideals? Does he view himself instead as a herald of a new post-national order that only the deluded and reactionary — Barack Obama’s clingers and Hillary Clinton’s deplorables — would resist?
Low-cost lab and STEM support is of great interest to MIT, of course, but most immigrant labor is manual; it dominates America’s construction industries, assembly lines, agriculture, and more. Why this is so in the presence of large numbers of idle, native-born Americans remains unsettled.
On account of unwise immigration policies, U.S. has welcomed a lot of wretched refuse — some of it dangerous — along with the cheap workers. From Boston to Los Angeles, the undesirables are not hard to find, and they demonstrate daily their indifference to law, noise, hygiene, education, and civil behavior, handicapping an orderly, safe, enterprising nation.
The U.S. immigration system is badly broken. Employers and the welfare system make things worse. Controlling the flow and raising the quality of immigration is a vital U.S. concern. But it requires axiomatic belief in sovereignty and borders enforcement. As it stands, uncontrolled immigration makes the U.S. an available haven to be exploited or even injured.
Concerted efforts to take down Trump immigration policies are not over yet. For the left, closed borders are anathema; Islamophobia is the problem. The Trump travel ban cases, likely headed to the Supreme Court, indicate the degree to which the institutional left has joined arms to keep the immigration system broken, at the expense of established U.S. residents and national interest.
MIT President L. Rafael Reif in Davos, Switzerland (World Economic Forum/Creative Commons)