I took an interest in border politics in 2005 — about the time that Sens. Ted Kennedy and John McCain introduced their first immigration “reform” bill, the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act.

It had occurred to me — along with millions of other Americans — that if you don’t have a border, you don’t have a country. The problem was that when you looked at the legislation being proposed, you wished you didn’t have a Congress.

The main security component of the McCain-Kennedy bill was authorizing the secretary of homeland security to “establish a Border Security Advisory Committee.” Yikes! That must have scared potential border crossers! “Run for your lives! The committee is coming!”

As for the “orderly” immigration component of the bill, it basically created a new “non-immigrant status” for the millions of illegal aliens already here, and then provided a “mechanism” for subsequent adjustment of status — in other words, amnesty.

I wrote two columns in 2005 about how cases involving illegal aliens were on an upward spiral in the federal court system in Montana, and noted that, “The U.S. bureaucracy is being clogged up with foreign nationals who are taking advantage of our generosity. It’s not just the court system where we are spending billions of dollars on illegal aliens. It’s also the education system, the welfare system — you name it.”

Anticipating the fight of the last decade, I wrote, “Please don’t be cowed by the people who try to make you feel like a racist or xenophobe because you are worried about illegal immigration. It is your obligation to defend your country, and defense should begin at the borders.”

Of course, technically, it is really the obligation of the president and Congress to protect us, but they haven’t been doing it, so that’s where We the People had to step back in to give our “leaders” some remedial training in such matters as sovereignty, responsibility and the Constitution.

When McCain, Kennedy, their allies in Congress and President George W. Bush came back with their Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 and their Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007, the people were ready for them. The new Tea Party was born, and threw the unwanted freight of “immigration reform” overboard just like Sam Adams and his rough-and-ready followers had thrown chests of tea into Boston Harbor in 1773.

The question, of course, was how long could the people hold out against the moneyed interests of the global corporatocracy and maintain the sovereignty of the United States? Again, in 2013, the “Gang of Eight” tried to give the American public the bum’s rush with the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. McCain was joined by Republican Sens. Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio — and four token Democrats (because any four Democrats chosen at random would do) in this effort to convince America that immigration surrender was inevitable.

Frankly, considering the weakness of the Romney-McCain-Graham wing of the Republican Party, it is surprising that the 2013 bill was stopped, and to many of us it did indeed seem that “amnesty” was inevitable for the same reason that “health-care reform” was inevitable — because most of the time Democrats play to win and Republicans just play dead.

Truly, if any Republican other than Donald Trump were running for president now, you can be confident that the Republicans in Congress would have already rolled over and given in to the “humanitarian” solution (read “surrender”) proposed by McCain and Kennedy 11 years ago.

It was Trump alone who changed the debate, who promised to stand with the American people, and who did not cower before the left-wing media’s efforts to paint him and other Republicans as evil, vicious and small-minded. He said he would do what was right, not what was convenient, and he stuck with it. He stuck with the American people against the interests of foreign workers, refugees, illegal immigrants and anyone else.

He spoke up for all the people Hillary Clinton calls “deplorables” — the Americans who have been marginalized, as I wrote in 2005, by Clinton and others “who try to make you feel like a racist or xenophobe because you are worried about illegal immigration.”

What is truly deplorable is the insouciant dismissal of American interests and principles by Clinton, Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and other establishment politicians who either don’t understand what is at stake in the immigration debate, or don’t care. Congressional Republicans have not been much better. For some reason they would rather be “pals” of illegal immigrants than “protectors” of America’s citizens.

And as I wrote in 2005, “If this continues, you don’t have to be a statistical wiz to figure out that our way of life itself will eventually collapse.”

Why? Because Americans have been afraid to assert themselves. They were taught by generations of politically correct teachers and, yes, politicians, to believe that America is racist, rotten and irredeemable — that it is, in Clinton’s ill-chosen word, “deplorable.”

But then Donald Trump came along. Smartly, he understood that importing millions of people with foreign values, with foreign loyalties, with foreign languages — and with no interest in assimilating into our American culture — could harm us just as much as importing the Zika virus would. He didn’t cow to the haters who belittled him and the people who supported him. Instead, he spoke out even louder.

He spoke for those whose children had been killed by illegal immigrants. He spoke for those who pledge allegiance to the flag and the country for which it stands. He spoke for those who never take a knee to surrender their American values and who proudly stand for the national anthem. He spoke for those who love America unconditionally — warts and all — and want to make America not just great again, but greater than ever before.

He spoke out in favor of exactly what Ted Kennedy and John McCain said they were for in 2005: A secure America and orderly immigration!

What could be wrong with that?


(c)2016 the Daily Inter Lake (Kalispell, Mont.)

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