- - Monday, May 20, 2019

When the winds of change begin to blow, it’s hard to predict where the consequences will settle. The migrant masses congregating at the borders have gone airborne, threatening to overfly President Trump and his proposal for orderly immigration that preserves national sovereignty. The immigration chaos is undeniably a crisis, and the government’s idea for spreading the chaos by air threatens to make the crisis impossible to contain.

President Trump presented a blueprint at the Rose Garden last week for resolving the crisis that has reduced the border to a mere speed bump for the masses clamoring to get in. “Our proposal is pro-American, pro-immigrant, and pro-worker,” Mr. Trump said. “It’s just common sense. It will help all of our people, including millions of devoted immigrants, to achieve the American Dream.”

But rarely had the Rose Garden audience dispersed before news broke that the U.S. Border Patrol would begin flying Central American migrants by the hundreds three times a week from overwhelmed checkpoints in south Texas to San Diego for processing. Immigration officials are looking for a private contractor to take 225,000 migrant asylum-seekers to other sites by both ground and air over the next five years. Overcrowding at border crossings means releasing a thousand arriving migrants every day. Most of them, not being stupid, never show up for their immigration hearing.

Backers of open borders have used newspapers, radio, television at the source to encourage poor migrants to head north in search of a better life. Sympathetic U.S. judges have hampered efforts to apply cautionary brakes to the surge, which threatens to empty South America. Is the president’s attempt to control immigration, arriving at a rate of 100,000 and more a month, too little and too late? We can only hope not.

The Trump proposal means, first, to restore security at the southern border by putting into place the means to scan all arrivals at ports of entry, which in the past Democrats have backed, too. The president’s Build America Visa program would change the current system of entry, based primarily on family connections — a chain migration system in which approved persons can hold the door open for a wide range of relatives (and sometimes those posing as relatives). Instead, a new point system would be based on merit in which factors such as age, education, job offers and English skills would determine eligibility.

Currently, 66 percent of applicants are admitted on the basis of family ties, and only 12 percent are merit-based. The Trump proposal would shift those proportions to 33 percent family ties and 57 percent merit-based. Another 10 percent would be admitted for humanitarian reasons. The current visa lottery system, which arbitrarily grants entry to persons from friend and foe nations alike, would be abolished.

Democrats have seized upon the fact that the president’s proposal does not address the unresolved status of the “Dreamers,” 800,000 persons brought to the United States by their parents. That omission, added to the party’s Trump resistance campaign, makes the blueprint, in the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “dead on arrival.”

For Mrs. Pelosi, any criteria proposed by the president for granting admission to the United States are inherently suspicious. “The word that they use, ‘merit,’ is really a condescending word,” she says. “Are they saying family is without merit?” Only the donkey party would make “merit” a dirty word. Democrats who regard uncontrolled immigration as their key to a permanent lock on control of Congress, offers little beyond pabulum to resolve the border crisis. “Democrats are fighting for every immigrant who feels threatened by Donald Trump’s election,” reads the argle-bargle in the party platform. “We will not stand by and watch families be torn apart.”

At a time when science can calculate the weight of every element in the known universe, down to the tiniest atom, official Washington cannot come up with an accurate number of illegal immigrants residing within the nation’s borders. Ignorance poses as bliss. Figures in the 11 million to 12 million range have been bandied about for a decade despite tens of thousands arriving monthly, and no sign of anyone demanding to go home. Common sense says the actual figure is far greater.

In a diverse nation of 325 million, many will chafe at the president’s “America first” philosophy. Harder to reckon is why Democrats choose to place the well-being of their fellow Americans last. Charity freely given is an act of generosity. Charity taken without permission is theft. These are not the huddled masses Americans have generously shared their homeland with for generations. Americans need make no apology for resisting the tsunami arriving by land, sea and now air. Bringing order to immigration chaos will assure a better future for citizens and immigrants alike.

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