Amid all the controversy and expected ongoing legal wrangling over Trump’s emergency declaration regarding illegal immigration, the administration should be using three key arguments to win the debate in the minds of the public and put the progressive Left (that is, Democrats) on the defensive in the argument. Leaving aside the back-and-forth debate about the definition or parameters of a “crisis,” the three arguments boil down to, in the short term, (1) national security, (2) drug smuggling and (3) drug smuggling.
As concerns national security, the nay-sayers will cite statistics that illegal immigration on the part of Mexicans is down or in decline. That much is true as CBP statistics indicate. Instead, the vast majority of today’s illegal immigrants at the southern border come from three other countries: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Unlike Mexico which has an improving economy and declining birth rate, these factors are not evident in these other countries. But, left unreported is the number of non-Hispanic illegal immigrants entering or attempting to enter the United States along the southern border. Although not numerous enough to capture headlines, immigrants from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East have been apprehended among the hordes of Hispanics at the border.
For example, the CBP reported the apprehension of 261 illegal immigrants from China at the southern border in 2017. That was up from 177 apprehensions of Chinese immigrants in 2016 and the numbers are expected to increase for 2018 when reported. Of course, we do not know how many such immigrants from China actually managed to elude border patrol agents. If a person from China can make their way to Mexico and illegally enter the country, there is nothing to stop an illegal immigrant from Africa or the Middle East from doing likewise. There have been reports, largely ignored by the mainstream media, of these efforts.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, DHS secretary Jeh Johnson had issued a memo to the department calling attention to illegal immigrants of special interest (i.e., potential terrorists) who were increasingly using illegal crossings at the southwest border to enter the country. The DHS under Johnson noted that the primary means of those from the Middle East illegally attempting entry to the United States were first going to Europe, then onto Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Mexico. Those from North Africa and East Africa were finding a “home” in Mexico City before making their way north.
It takes only one or two terrorists to get through undetected at the southern border for them to cause great harm in the United States. Therefore, it makes no difference if 99.99999% of illegal border crossings are people of Hispanic descent. It is that 0.00001% that justifies making sure our borders are safe, secure, and not penetrated by nefarious actors. Not to sound racist, but what is to stop a terrorist from discarding the head wrap and donning a sombrero to gain illegal entry into the country?
The second winning argument is the opioid crisis. Here, I have read every excuse in the book from the Left that this is not a good or valid reason for secure borders or an emergency declaration, although they repeatedly talk of an “opioid crisis.” For example, they note that most of the heroin entering this country comes from China and Turkey and through ports on container ships. Most of the world’s heroin is produced in Afghanistan. However, in 2014, 79% of all heroin seized at the southern border came from Mexico. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, most of the heroin sold and consumed in the United States is grown on poppy farms in Mexico. Overall, Mexico is responsible for just 6% of the international poppy crop, but 39% of the heroin sold in the United States comes from Mexican poppies. In 2017, the Border Patrol seized 953 pounds of heroin. All but 4 pounds was seized along the southwest border (the other 4 pounds came from Canada). In 2016, 440 pounds of fentanyl were seized and in 2017 that number rose to 984 pounds. And while 90% of the world’s fentanyl supply is manufactured in China, a good portion of it makes its way to Mexican drug cartels who then export it illegally into the United States along the Southwest border.
While the Democratic Party tries to portray the manufacturers of synthetic opioids like fentanyl as the product of some backwoods hillbillies in Appalachia, they are, when they even do it, the end of the chain in the distribution process. The DEA has identified three key cities for the illegal importation of fentanyl from Mexico: Los Angeles, Houston and Chicago, and from there throughout the United States. Further, the Democratic answer is more money not to interdiction along the Southwest border (because that would negate the non-crisis narrative to the border situation), but to other programs- some worthy, some not. If the Democrats are truly concerned about the opioid crisis, then holding their feet to the fire on this issue is a winning strategy.
National security and drug interdiction are two worthy justifications for Trump’s actions. But as worthy as they are, the one this writer finds most important involves human sex trafficking. A few months ago, Time magazine featured an article about a woman in Honduras who assisted illegal immigrants in their trek northward. Buried in the hero worship pablum was a sad revelation by this woman: once these people reach a certain area, the trek northward is taken over by others. It is common practice to give females, especially those age 12-35, a supply of the morning after pill to avoid pregnancy since the likelihood of rape at the hands of these “assistants” increases. We are talking about children as young as 12 having their innocence taken from them.
Statistics showed that in one short period of time 63,411 families were apprehended at the border and another 33,036 unaccompanied minors. Mexico is both a high source and destination country for sex trafficked females. As early as 2005, the State Department estimated that 70% of all sex trafficked women are trafficked from Mexico. About half of them are minors. Established corridors and patterns have shown those trafficked originate from south to north. Hence, they are most likely to be from southern Mexico, or further south in Central America- Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. The risk of being a sex trafficked female increases given their young age, the unaccompanied and undocumented status, and low education level of the victims.
It is truly galling that today’s feminist would align themselves with progressive, pro-open borders Democrats. Apparently, those who traversed great distances under difficult circumstances are just props, when they are even acknowledged. To declare it not a crisis or an emergency is ludicrous and a disservice to the “sisterhood.” Every left wing feminist should bow their heads in shame, but don’t expect it any time soon. They’re too busy defending the anti-Semites within their ranks to take up the cause of innocent females- women and children- being raped as the price to pay to enter the country illegally. Where is the #MeToo movement at the border?
Given all these facts, conservatives can win this argument if we adopt the tactics and optics of the Left. Appeals to esoteric arguments like “A nation without borders is not a nation,” although true, will not alone win the argument. The argument must be more visceral. Every mother who lost a family member at the hands of an illegal immigrant (a subject not mentioned, but no less important) must be celebrated. Every living victim of MS-13 and other illegal immigrant gang violence must be trotted out as a vivid illustration of the effects of open borders. Every child raped and defiled by human traffickers must be the face of the crisis. Every family decimated by synthetic opioids who find their way into this country by way of Mexico must be plastered across the country. Every person behind all those statistics that justify an emergency and a crisis at the border must be the face of the argument.