Is it just me or are all Democrats and pro-immigration Republicans reading from the same scripts these days? How many times have you heard variations on this hackneyed sentiment?
We’re a nation of immigrants, so we need to bring hard-working, tax paying immigrants who are fleeing violence out of the shadows and give them a path to citizenship.
The talking point I find most offensive is the “fleeing violence” bit. I have no problem with this characterization to describe a migrant who is coming here from an active war zone, like Syria, even if they have already spent time in other safe countries on their way here. But when I hear politicians from some of America’s most dangerous cities making blanket statements about migrants from Latin America settling in their cities to escape violence, it makes me want to throw heavy objects at the television set.
Take, for example, Zeke Cohen, a Baltimore city councilman, who recently likened ICE agents to Nazis. Cohen doubled down on this offensive characterization in an appearance on the Tucker Carlson show on Tuesday night. He compared (illegal) Central American immigrants, whom he claimed were “fleeing violence”, to his great-grandmother, whom he said fled Austria to escape the Holocaust.
Chicago-area Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Bill Foster also frequently use the “fleeing violence” talking point despite their city’s soaring homicide rate. I lived in Chicago three different times for a total of eight years, so I can attest to the fact that street crime and drug violence can be localized to specific parts of the city. But the irony is that recent immigrants tend to settle in these very tough neighborhoods — not just in Chicago, but in many other expensive big cities — because that’s what they can afford. A few more points regarding the “fleeing violence” talking point we hear so often:
Any politician, like Cohen, who compares the danger posed by street crime and drug violence in Latin American countries to the threat faced by Jews in Europe during the Holocaust should be impeached, if not tarred and feathered.
Just as there are (relatively) safe places in high-crime cities like Chicago and Baltimore, the same applies to high-crime countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Mexico. (Heck, I’ve interviewed travelers like Levison Woods, Kolja Spori, and Jeff Shea who think it’s safe to visit places like Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq.) Legions of foreign tourists visit these countries every year. Take Guatemala, for example. In a page about safety in this country, USA Today advises “Travelers to the marvelous land of the Maya, which lives in its own sense of time, usually have a pleasant and very safe trip.” The Moon Guide to Guatemala concludes that visitors have to come see “the mysteries of this magical land” for themselves. Not exactly a direct comparison to Auschwitz, is it?
If the level of violence in Latin American countries indeed justifies allowing citizens of these nations to break our laws to come here to find safety, why isn’t anyone on the Left proposing to add these countries to the Visa Waiver Program? If the threat they’re facing is so calamitous, shouldn’t we allow everyone from these countries to come here legally? Why simply reward those who have broken our laws with a “safe” place to live? Don’t we have a moral imperative to move the entire population of Central America here so they can all be safe?
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