May 17th, 2022


Truth Trumps Politics --- or at Least It Should

Laura Hollis

By Laura Hollis

Published July 13, 2015

"The Donald" has the chattering classes up in arms with his comments about illegal immigration across the border with Mexico. From misquoting him, to characterizing his statements as "racist" (last time I checked, "Mexican" wasn't a race), to refuting statements he never made, this has been a textbook example of media obfuscation and trumped-up (sorry — couldn't resist) outrage intended to score political points, obscure facts and silence legitimate concerns.

Contrary to a "refutation" published by the Washington Post, Donald Trump never said that Mexicans were more likely to commit crimes — or even that illegal immigrants generally were more likely to commit crimes (ignoring for the moment that illegal entry into this country is a crime). What he said was that some illegal immigrants from Mexico (and other countries) are committing crimes, and that we are not doing what we should to prevent it.

Like it or not, Trump is correct. Our immigration laws are routinely ignored by federal, state and even some local governments (such as those that characterize themselves as "sanctuary cities,"), allowing people who wish to exploit those gaps in the law to do so.

But, facts be damned, here came the sanctions. Univision cancelled the Miss Universe pageant, Macy's dropped the Trump line of clothing, and now the PGA has pulled its events from courses owned by Trump. This is the typical sanctimonious Hollywood/social media/corporate dogpile, and it cows most into meek submission, spewing profuse apologies and self-abasement.

That's not Trump's style.

Inconveniently for his detractors, headlines drove home Trump's point with the senseless murder of Kathryn Steinle on July 1, allegedly shot by Francisco Sanchez, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who had been deported five times, convicted of earlier crimes seven times, and who had returned to San Francisco because it was, as he said, a "sanctuary city." Thereafter, other stories emerged of other brutal crimes committed by illegals, some of whom had also been deported ineffectively multiple times, returning again to attack, rape or kill.

Americans can expect little help from the government. The Obama administration has made no secret of its disdain for immigration law enforcement. Border Patrol agents have been threatened with "consequences" if they enforce the law. President Obama has also tried to do an end-run around Congress, writing executive orders to grant blanket amnesty — efforts that have been struck down by both a United States District Court and a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

If our current political leadership is worthless in this regard, aspirants are no better. Presidential candidate and political demagogue Hillary Clinton weighed in, calling Trump's comments "disappointing," demonizing Republicans, and saying, "We are not going to deport 11 or 12 million people."

The "mass deportation" threat is a straw man. No one is seriously suggesting deporting that many otherwise law-abiding people. But Americans should be able to insist that the admissions process screen out criminals and gang members (yes, even when they are "unaccompanied minors"), and that tens of thousands who commit crimes here do get deported, instead of being released back into the public as the Obama administration has done.

More importantly, the deportation sleight-of-hand deflects attention from the more pressing question that Americans are serious about: how to stop the ongoing flood of people across the border.

If Americans are cynical, it's no wonder. In 1987, under President Ronald Reagan's administration, Congress granted amnesty to over three million illegal immigrants, and the American people were promised a secure border in return. That, of course, never happened. Now there is four times that number pressing for amnesty. Politicians and the media do not want to move the conversation away from amnesty, because that would mean discussing how to keep 12 million illegal immigrants in 2015 from becoming (if past is precedent) 35-50 million illegal immigrants in the next 30 years.

This is not merely an issue of criminal justice. It is a public health issue. It is a national security issue. And it is an issue of fiscal responsibility. With nearly 100 million Americans out of the work force, how can we possibly provide for our own citizens, much less take in millions of impoverished people from Central and South America?

Why should Americans have to tolerate this? Why should we suffer baseless accusations of racism or xenophobia simply for insisting that those admitted to our country follow our laws, and that our government take steps to protect us for a change?

If America's elites don't understand why Trump continues to poll well, here's a hint: The public is tired of politicians who pull their punches because they're afraid of being slaughtered by the media. Politicians may not want to touch these issues, but Americans are keenly aware of them, nevertheless. Trump has touched a nerve. And a significant number of Americans admire his chutzpah, if nothing else.

Donald Trump may not be a viable presidential candidate. But he has proven to be able to bring issues out into the open in ways that those more interested in courting favor from the Pravda press refuse to. The public is listening to Trump because our political "leaders" are not listening to us.

And that's the truth.

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Laura Hirschfeld Hollis is on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame, where she teaches courses in business law and entrepreneurship. She has received numerous awards for her teaching, research, community service and contributions to entrepreneurship education.