In love as in politics, timing is everything. Hardball politics is hastening a caravan of immigrants rumbling north toward the United States, on course to arrive sometime around Election Day, Nov. 6. The sight of thousands of illegals from Central America crashing the border could haunt voters as they step into the voting booth. Rather than propel the media-predicted flood of Democratic Party victories, it could have the opposite effect, reinforcing the growing feeling among Americans that they’re on the verge of losing their nation. Will Americans decide who crosses the border, or enable prospective immigrants to do it for them.
The stream of migrants, which begin its journey in Honduras last week, has swelled from an estimated 1,300 to as many as 4,000 as it crosses Guatemala. It’s comprised of men, women and children, all intent on crossing Mexico’s treacherous byways to cross the U.S. border in southern Texas or for those lucky enough to get a lift, the far-off crossing to Southern California. Mexican authorities are said to have reinforced its common boundary with Guatemala with 500 policemen, but Mexican law seems to be observed mainly in the breach.
It’s not the first immigrant wave, of course. During the spring, a smaller pulse of people arrived at the Texas border. Soon, a long-standing U.S. policy of detaining adults and housing children in separate facilities triggered a well-orchestrated uproar that forced President Trump to end the practice in June and simply admit all adults with children — related or not — and release them into the country with a plea to return for a court date. Democrats hooted, chalking it up as a winning strategy for defeating the president’s policy of America First.
The number of adult immigrants with children entering the United States has exploded. The U.S. Border Patrol reports the arrest of 16,658 persons in September, an 80 percent increase over July. Many immigrants claim to be driven to make the risky trip northward by desperate fear of rampant lawlessness of drug lords, and are not criminals but asylum-seekers.
Americans need bow to no one in demonstrating compassion for those in need. Indeed, they lead the world in opening their communities to the downtrodden. The number of residents who are foreign-born reached 44.5 million in 2017, or 13.7 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The United States has always been a nation of immigrants, but a nation of illegal immigrants, not so much.
The traditional Democratic Party that once endorsed border security has been hijacked by an extremist anti-Trump lobby determined to ape the skunk at the president’s garden party, thwarting his campaign pledge to build a barrier on the border. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a Harvard University audience last week that the wall is a “manhood issue” for the president and “it’s immoral, expensive, ineffective and not something people do between countries.” If she thinks that, it’s not clear where Mrs. Pelosi has been, with her head under a rock.
Democrats and their media accomplices are salivating at the prospect of springing a fresh border disaster on their Republican counterparts in the days leading up to the midterm congressional elections. Money can’t buy votes more surely than images of wailing babies in the arms of exhausted mothers pleading for a chance to crash the American dream.
For its part, The Washington Post writes that residents of Trump country — states such as West Virginia, Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Arizona — are politically uninterested and many are unlikely to bother voting this fall. Confidence in the president’s popularity, now growing again, bids now to undermine hopes for a sustainable blue wave.
Border security has been one of President Trump’s signature promises, and he tweets what many Americans are thinking as they watch news accounts of the advancing throng: “Hard to believe that with thousands of people from South of the Border, walking unimpeded toward our country in the form of large caravans, that there’s no support for legislation to enable effective support for laws to protect the country.”
His pledge to return to the right to decide who may and may not share their their country should be a winner. That’s what helped Donald Trump win the White House. Two years on, Gallup finds that Republican favorability outpolls Democratic favorability 45-44 percent to Gallup. As voters witness the immigrant caravan approach from the south and ponder the coming chaos of Democrats’ open-borders policies, they’re likely to conclude that Donald Trump has got it right.
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