Clinton Removes The Mask—Goes Full Merkel On Immigration
VDARE.com Editor Peter Brimelow recently gave a talk entitled “It Will Only Take One Election”—The Trump Tsunami vs. Clinton’s Coming Merkel-Style Immigration Surge. That Hillary Clinton is indeed planning a Merkel-type surge has just been confirmed by her latest op-ed on the topic “Immigration needs reform, not Trump’s bigotry” [Arizona Republic, June 24, 2016]. Here, Clinton has removed the mask, not even pretending to care about the interests of Americans. Even for Democrats, this is a, an ominous, new development.
Until recently, most Democratic politicians at least feigned interest in border security and the interests of Americans when discussing immigration. Thus just three years ago, Barack Obama’s principles on immigration principles included “Continue to Strengthen Our Borders” and “Crackdown on Employers who Hire Undocumented Workers.” Obama even described Amnesty with euphemisms, claiming it meant “that everyone play by the same rules, including passing a background check, and paying taxes and a penalty”. [Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Organizing for America]
And that was nothing compared to Hillary Clinton a decade ago. The she said “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants” and “[p]eople have to stop employing illegal immigrants…I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx. You’re going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work.” [Hillary goes conservative on immigration, Washington Times, December 13, 2004].
Much of Clinton’s latest op-ed is open borders boilerplate. It opens with an anecdote about a seemingly sympathetic illegal alien family with an Anchor Baby afraid of her mother being deported. It uses cliches like “instead of building walls, we ought to be breaking down barriers” and “we have always been a nation of immigrants.” It accuses of Donald Trump of “scapegoat[ing],” “bigotry,” and “fear mongering.”
However, what is remarkable is what Clinton does not include. Beyond a short paragraph claiming that “immigration reform” a.k.a. Amnesty would help the economy, she does not make any claim about immigration even remotely benefiting Americans. Nor does she mention border security or enforcement once—not even to say that the border is already secure or that amnesty will enable the ICE to focus on the gang members and terrorists.
Typical Democratic platforms call for increased enforcement and border security tied to conditional amnesty and vague legal immigration reform. But Hillary Clinton’s three steps are–all of which she plans to do unilaterally—are:
- “Let’s focus on families.” Clinton makes clear this means reducing enforcement, specifically “ending large-scale raids, ending the practice of family detention and shutting down private detention facilities.”
- “Increase our focus on integration.” This, of course, does not mean ending bilingualism and cutting immigration to give those here a chance to assimilate. Rather she vows to create an “Office of Immigrant Affairs,” which she will no doubt staff with La Raza ethnic activists.
- “Help the 9 million people in our country who are currently eligible for naturalization become full citizens.” This means granting fee waivers and outreach to ensure the permanent residents who have not filed for citizenship, because “no one should miss out on the chance to be a citizen.”
Of course, anyone who is “currently eligible” for naturalization already has “the chance to be a citizen.” It’s just that these supposedly patriotic immigrants have no interest in becoming Americans: permanent residency status already gives them access to welfare and/or legal employment. It costs just $585-680 to apply for citizenship. Furthermore, there are (unfortunately) already fee waivers for those on welfare or 150% below the poverty line). Anyone who is too poor to afford this will be a further drain on our resources. Anyone who is unwilling to pay it does not value citizenship.
In addition, Clinton calls for “a path to full and equal citizenship.” Of particular note, she does not stipulate that criminals or terrorists should not get citizenship. (Serious crimes are a bar to citizenship, and terrorists can’t even be admitted to the US. )
Perhaps because she focused on her unilateral actions, Clinton did not mention legal immigration. (Some immigration attorneys suggested Obama could increase legal immigration through Executive Order, and the Obama administration hinted at this idea, but this proved to be even a political and/or legal bridge too far for the creative minds in the Obama Administration. [See Why We Can’t Wait: How President Obama Can Erase Immigrant Visa Backlogs with the Stroke of A Pen, by Gary Endelman and Cyrus Mehta, Immigration Daily, 2012; and W.H. meets big biz on immigration, by Anna Palmer, Politico, August 19, 2014]). However, Clinton has a long record of supporting massive increases in legal immigration.
Clinton’s Arizona Republic Op-ed is largely consistent with her campaign platform, which highlights that she will
- “Enact comprehensive immigration reform to create a pathway to citizenship, keep families together, and enable millions of workers to come out of the shadows.”
- “Defend President Obama’s executive actions to provide deportation relief for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents, and extend those actions to additional persons with sympathetic cases if Congress refuses to act.”
- “Promote naturalization and support immigrant integration.”
- “End family detention and close private immigrant detention centers.”
When Hillary Clinton began preparing for her first presidential run, the New York Times noted her conservative posturing on immigration led “Republicans to predict that she would position herself to the right of even President Bush on illegal immigration. The conservative commentator Tony Blankley called her remarks ‘Pat Buchanan-esque’” [The Evolution of Hillary Clinton, by Raymond Hernandez & Patrick Healy, July 13, 2005]
What a difference a decade makes. With Donald Trump’s hardline on immigration and Bernie defeated, Clinton could easily take relatively restrictionist positions on immigration without worrying about losing the La Raza crowd.
One thing is certain: the American people will finally get to choose between two competing visions on immigration this November.
Washington Watcher [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.