John McCain, an immigration hawk. Who knew? Mr. McCain, the highest-profile Republican of the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight” that came up with amnesty as the solution to the immigration crisis — and it truly is a crisis — is finally taking a hard line against President Obama for his encouraging the tidal wave of illegal aliens swamping the southwestern border.
“There has to be a halt to this,” Mr. McCain thundered Sunday on CNN. “That’s what we want, and the best way to do that is for planeloads of these young people to be returning to their country of origin and their families.”
Of more than 57,000 children who have arrived at the border since October, only 1,254 had been sent home, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.
Thousands more are on the way. Just last week, Mexico and its southern neighbor, Guatemala, agreed at a meeting of presidents in Mexico to make it easier for Central Americans to transit through Mexico en route to the U.S. and its collapsing border. Just about everybody south of the border wants to come to America.
That’s more than just an in-your-face affront to U.S. sovereignty. It’s dangerous. “In comparison to other global threats,” Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly told Defense One, a publication of The National Journal. “[It’s] the near-collapse of societies in the hemisphere with the associated drug and [illegal alien] flow are frequently viewed to be of low importance. Many argue these threats are not existential and do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”
Rather than deport the illegals, Mr. Obama has ordered them spread around the country, often with neither the knowledge nor consent of state and local officials. Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska said Tuesday he learned after the fact that 200 unaccompanied illegal-alien children were placed in his state. “Why are they conducting a secret operation, essentially, transporting them all over the country,” an indignant Mr. Heineman told Fox News on Tuesday. ” … and the federal government won’t tell us what’s going on.”
The Department of Health and Human Services planned to relocate other illegal-alien children to an Army Reserve Center in Westminster, Md., near Baltimore, but the scheme was scuttled after Rep. Andy Harris heard about it. “Should this administration attempt to put them in Carroll County,” Mr. Harris, a Republican, said to radio station WBAL Monday. “I will use every tool at my disposal through the appropriations process to stop this.”
Even the No. 2 Democrat in the House is fed up. “We have an immediate humanitarian crisis that confronts this country,” Rep. Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland says. “We also have a crisis in terms of, this country cannot continue to absorb, nor should it, a limitless number of people who … want to cross our border.”
When amnesty advocates on both sides of the aisle, like Messrs. Hoyer and McCain, are upset, Mr. Obama should realize that whatever it is he’s trying to accomplish (and we think we know what it is), it’s not going to work.