- - Monday, July 9, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Illegal immigration is corrupting the rule of law and American democracy.

Encouraged by Democrats in Congress, public officials in California and elsewhere declare sanctuary cities and refuse to honor the supremacy of federal law. Progressive judges seize on border enforcement to arrogate congressional authority and presidential powers.

Academics, jurists and journalists hypocritically paint President Trump a racist when President Obama often did many of the same things but with different emphasis. For example, Mr. Obama stepped up deportations whereas Mr. Trump imposes stricter border enforcement.

Substantial credit for Donald Trump’s ascent was attributed to the adverse consequences of globalization for America’s heartland. In particular, factories shuttered, livelihoods destroyed and despair turned to opioid addiction by the onslaught of imports from China, Mexico and elsewhere.

And the flood of immigrants — illegal and those with few skills or little English who win entry through the diversity lottery or family unification visas — who gravitate to communities with low rents and easy access to welfare benefits, and tax public school resources and drive down wages for semi-skilled native Americans.

Economics counts but if Americans only voted their pocketbooks, why are Democrats and in particular feminists so eager to get rid of a Republican Congress and president that has just delivered the first booming prosperity in two decades.

Culture counts more than the intelligentsia — who live in prosperous cities where highly educated immigrants mix easily with native born professionals — will admit.

To them, Middle Americans who voted for Mr. Trump are hopeless rubes.

They are too imperious to understand that for working Americans the language spoken on Main Street, engaging with neighbors sharing common traditions and values about how society should be organized are an important anchor to the winds of technological and economic change that roil every generation.

International law — which has been distorted by left-leaning autocratic NGOs — requires that stable Western societies admit genuine refugees from threats of violence and persecution no matter the consequences. This is often cast as a human right — like security of person — but rights have limits — we can’t carry automatic weapons to fend off criminals.

Defining such limits is always a matter of tortuous judgment, but those should certainly include circumstances where the flood of immigrants threatens the integrity of societies offering refuge and the security of the native population. That is what is happening in Europe and America.

Since 2015, Germany has admitted more than 1.4 million asylum seekers — many are ultimately determined not to qualify for permanent status on the basis of persecution or violence yet are not deported. Overall, recent economic and political refugees now constitute 2 percent of its population.

Those are not evenly spread — some towns are so overrun with immigrants as to be unrecognizable. Thousands lacking rudimentary German and basic skills to work even in an economy with low unemployment, loiter in parks and railway stations, most live off public dole and thank German generosity by committing 14 percent of the crimes.

German women have been screaming — just like Donald Trump — about threats of violence for several years.

Germany’s problem is much the same as ours. Nations further south — Italy, Austria and others — admit economic refugees and asylum seekers and fail to contain them within their borders. Then migrants move north to Germany’s generous social welfare system.

Mexico lets Central American immigrants bedeviling U.S. immigration authorities pass through its territory to the U.S. border — and offers them asylum. However, they want America — its rich social benefits and the shelter of Democratic politicians and left-leaning churches who wish to cultivate voters and congregants.

Some say they don’t assimilate — actually they may be assimilating us — and for Nancy Pelosi and company, they have become a Frankenstein.

In New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley — a member of the Democratic leadership and strong candidate to become speaker of the House — in a once white working-class but now majority-Hispanic district.

Although born in the United States of Puerto Rican heritage, she espouses Latin American values antithetical to those necessary to sustain America as a prosperous and free society.

Socialism has wreaked havoc on one economy and democracy after another in Latin America, because it breeds corruption and requires an authoritarian state. When politicians can get elected by espousing an ideology whose consequences would destroy liberty, we are absorbing more immigrants than we can acculturate.

• Peter Morici is an economist and business professor at the University of Maryland, and a national columnist.


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