Democrats’ Sanctuary Hypocrisy Shines Through

In just a couple of weeks, Democrat hypocrisy on immigration has gone from a steady flow to an overwhelming torrent. Their complete disregard even for their own policies when it comes to applying them to illegal immigration is remarkable. For no reason other than that it would require them to stop demagoguing Trump and instead start working with him, Democrats once again show that power trumps principle with a few recent examples.

Consider the response to the humanitarian crisis at the border—one that continues to grow apace, directly propelled by our weak asylum laws and lax border enforcement. Democrats scoff at claims by the Trump Administration and Customs and Border Enforcement about the activities of cartels and human smugglers at the border, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

A new report from the nonpartisan RAND Corporation found that smugglers and cartels earned as much as $2.3 billion from Central American migrants in 2017. Failure to address the crisis at the border is directly lining the pockets of, as the report dubs them, “transnational criminal enterprises” (TCOs).

As the report explains:

Drug-trafficking TCOs . . . control primary smuggling corridors into the United States and charge migrants a “tax” known as a piso, to pass through their territories. In addition, drug-trafficking TCOs may also coordinate some unlawful migrants’ border crossings to divert attention from other illicit activities, and recruit or coerce some to carry drugs.

That last finding is key. As Border Patrol resources continue to be diverted away from actually policing the border toward dealing with the massive influx of families and unaccompanied minors, cartels and smugglers are able to engage in cross-border mischief with almost no interference. Members of Congress who take the time to go to the border have seen it first-hand.

The human smuggling industry is also growing like gangbusters. The RAND report puts the take for all kinds of smuggling from $200 million to $2.3 billion in 2017. And the stories of sexual abuse—particularly of migrant women and girls—are well documented by leading left-wing outlets: the New York Times, Huffington Post, even Doctors Without Borders.

Yet not a peep is heard from the Left, the party that tells us they believe all women, and who supports a #MeToo movement that, by its own words, was founded to “help survivors of sexual violence, particularly Black women and girls, and other young women of color from low wealth communities.”

In other words, human smuggling, criminal violence, and sex trafficking matter—but only with regard to select victim groups. Because acknowledging that criminal activity is running rampant at the border means Democrats would have to stop protesting Trump and work with him to acknowledge and address the role our lax enforcement and weak asylum laws play in encouraging the victimization of these groups.

But this should not be a surprise, given that lip service is a Democratic specialty. Look no further than their response to a suggestion by the Trump administration to release detained immigrants into “sanctuary cities”—cities who intentionally disregard federal immigration enforcement law.

The Left howled at Trump’s suggestion, calling it “manufactured chaos” and as well as cynical and cruel. But, why? The president’s suggestion (which the White House has now disregarded as a policy option) is simply a logical extension of what Democrats have said for years that they want.

Over the last two years, the party has sought to limit the detention resources available to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and some have gone so far as to say the entire agency should be dismantled. Democrats are largely fine with a large number of illegal immigrants simply being able to live freely in the United States, without consequence.

In 2013, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) flatly stated Democrats’ “view of the law is that . . . if somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not a reason for deportation.” Former San Antonio mayor and presidential candidate Julián Castro has suggested that illegal border crossings be decriminalized entirely: “The truth is, immigrants seeking refuge in our country . . . shouldn’t be a criminal justice issue.” His fellow presidential contender, Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) has openly advocated tearing down existing border barriers.

That’s why liberal cities have fashioned themselves as “sanctuary” jurisdictions, after all. They see nothing wrong with the act of crossing the border illegally. In fact, illegal immigrants who live in College Park, Maryland, and San Francisco, can now vote in municipal and school board elections. California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, used his inaugural address in January to propose strengthening the state’s sanctuary law by making illegal immigrants eligible for the state’s version of Medicaid care until age 26.

So, why, then, were so many Democrats up in arms over Trump’s proposal to simply give them what they say they want? They’ve intentionally made their cities magnets for illegal immigrants, why shouldn’t they want the responsibility of supporting them?

Ironically, in “resisting” Trump, the singer Cher stumbled onto the point (and, also managed to highlight the hypocritical irony of the entire situation). “I understand helping struggling immigrants,” she tweeted, “but my city (Los Angeles) isn’t taking care of its own. What about the 50,000+ citizens who live on the streets. People who live below poverty line, and hungry? If my state can’t take care of its own (many are vets) how can it take care of more?”

Yes, Cher. Exactly. The country cannot encourage and then support the creation of a permanent underclass of illegal immigrants when our resources are already strained to the breaking point. It cannot be a shining example of justice while willfully ignoring the black market for human beings created in response to our border policies.

If the Left is consistent is anything, it is in their loudly telling the rest of us how to live while refusing to acknowledge the consequences of what they espouse or live up to their own principles.  

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About Rachel Bovard

Rachel Bovard is senior director of policy at the Conservative Partnership Institute and Senior Advisor to the Internet Accountability Project. Beginning in 2006, she served in both the House and Senate in various roles including as legislative director for Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and policy director for the Senate Steering Committee under the successive chairmanships of Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) and Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah), where she advised Committee members on strategy related to floor procedure and policy matters. In the House, she worked as senior legislative assistant to Congressman Donald Manzullo (R-Il.), and Congressman Ted Poe (R-Texas). She is the former director of policy services for the Heritage Foundation. Follow her on Twitter at @RachelBovard.

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