Commentary: Whose Country Is It?

Commentary: Whose Country Is It?

America is rightly regarded as the land of the free and home of the brave. These are not clichés. We really are a beacon of hope and freedom for the rest of the world and every American ought to be able to unapologetically affirm that fact. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, when one considers the vast numbers of people from around the world who will do almost anything to cross our borders.

We have a young friend who is a border patrol agent working in the southwest. He tells us that he has observed three general categories of border intercepts. The first group includes desperate people who carry drugs for drug dealers, deliver them to the target and then are left to fend for themselves without food or water in the desert. Many of those people are left for dead. The border states’ deserts are littered with the bodies of men, women and children.

The second category includes extremely dangerous people directly involved in a vast international drug cartel. They are the masterminds who know all the routes and build the tunnels. They have extensive connections on the U.S. side who will ferry the drugs to our cities and towns.

The third and perhaps most difficult category to identify is people from all over the world — Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa — who simply want to live in the U.S. because they see it as their only hope. Up to now our government has devised no practical means of discerning which of these is friend or foe.

This young agent’s chilling description of the problem makes me wonder how any responsible government official can declare his or her state or city to be a “sanctuary.” For years, Texas, Arizona and California have assimilated large numbers of Mexicans into their culture.

Granted, many of these people arrived sans documentation. In California, the “Latino” population is said to be somewhere near 40 percent and even California doesn’t know how many are “legal.” Regardless, most Americans, and the new Administration, are willing to take a look at those who pay taxes, live peaceably, serve in the military and adapt to our ways. Safe to say, there is wide support for an amnesty process for those who want to make our country a better place.

But let’s return to the “sanctuary city” movement. In case you missed it, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, Baltimore and many other places where sanctuaries have been declared are places with extremely high crime rates. Adding to the problem by flouting federal and state laws and shielding criminals makes life far more difficult and scary for everyone. The poorest people in the inner cities ultimately bear the brunt of drugs, criminals and repeat offenders in their midst.

What bothers me about this situation is the selective, phony outrage that accompanies sanctuary declarations by liberal politicians. Rather than looking at the damage they are doing to their city or state, they shift the blame to those who disagree via the usual rhetorical flourishes: you’re racist, xenophobic, heartless. Yada yada.

Fortunately, these shopworn epithets have lost their sting. Americans are fed up with being divided and insulted. Contrary to what President Obama repeatedly proclaimed, we are not as a nation averse to “people with funny names or who don’t look like us.” What we look like as a nation is changing rapidly. Americans get it and it’s really OK. We only ask that those who come here respect all of our laws and love our country for the same reasons you and I do.