The opinions expressed by writers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Cumberland Country Republican Committee.
Open-Borders Immigration Would Destroy American Sovereignty and Exceptionalism
This is the essay upon which my speech at the Gray Republicans' May 8, 2019 event on the Crisis of Immigration at the Southern Border was based.
May 15, 2019
The video of the speech based on this essay can be viewed here.
The immigration crisis at the Mexican border cannot be overstated. On March 28, 2019, former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen stated:
In the flurry of opinions about immigration, border walls, compassion for immigrants and their children, economics, and an influx of crime, there is a larger, more urgent, and civilization-changing crisis: the real probability that open-borders immigration would destroy American sovereignty and exceptionalism.
Open-borders advocates declare that America’s southern border with Mexico should be open to all. Farhad Manjoo wrote, in an opinion piece for The New York Times on January 16, 2019 titled “There’s Nothing Wrong With Open Borders: Why a brave Democrat should make the case for vastly expanding immigration”:
Manjoo refers to the immigration system’s “bottomless unfairness,” and uses false ad hominem attacks like “President Trump’s racist immigration rhetoric” and “the president’s xenophobic policies.” He writes:
Manjoo’s arguments couch unfettered immigration as an issue of compassion for those less fortunate who simply want to come to America to work and better themselves. Anyone opposing immigration becomes a racist, a xenophobe, and a cruel and selfish bigot. Shame on those xenophobes!
Thus, America’s sovereign rights to restrict open immigration become immoral, and border walls are immoral too, to use Nancy Pelosi’s term. But are immigration restrictions and border walls actually immoral? Let’s test that theory.
First, it must be said that if all the people in the world were saints, it would indeed make borders unnecessary. Religious people would describe that as the “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.” However much we might like to see that world of saints, it hasn’t arrived yet. Murderers, criminals, and selfish people still roam the planet.
So, although it’s truly important to be compassionate, one must also exercise wisdom when it comes to allowing just anyone to enter one’s country and one’s home.
To me, the crux of the immigration argument rests on the words “sovereignty,” “home,” and “exceptionalism.”
Do all of us have the sovereign right to manage our own home and restrict other humans from coming in without permission? If you don’t agree, can all those who do agree come over to your home tomorrow and camp out in your living room? If you say no to that, are you being hypocritical? If you say yes, then all I can respond with is: “Really? Hundreds of us can move in to your house, and yard, and living room?”
Peter Falkenberg Brown is a native of Portland. He's the Chairman of the Gray Republican Committee and is the Communications Director for the CCRC.