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It’s not easy to discuss immigration these days. Nuance is out. We’re pressured to pick a side — either you favor open borders, or you’re anti-immigrant, right?

Take it from me, the grandson of four immigrants to America, that kind of polarized, either/or mindset is nonsense.

Steven P. Bucci mug

Steven P. Bucci

I grew up nearly 60 years ago in a community in suburban New York City that was made up of nearly all immigrant-related families. There were Italians, Irish, Poles, East European Jews, and even a smattering of Hispanics and Africans.

Every one of them came to America legally. Many took a great deal of time and effort to do it, but they played by the rules. In fact, that’s what made America so different from pretty much every one of their respective “old countries” — namely, there were rules here, and they were followed.

Today, however, that principle has broken down. It’s even harder to get to America legally, and a huge number of people seem to have said, “The heck with the rules, we’re just going to America on our own terms.”

This has to stop.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s the activist group People Without Borders, or a family who wants a better life than is currently available to them in the “old country.”

The rampant and flagrant rule-breaking has to stop. And it appears that President Donald Trump is determined to do just that.

Sure, the same pundits who went crazy when he first proposed a wall on the southern border now rail against him for being a failure because he has not achieved that border wall (yet).

But beyond the political theater and tweets, when one considers what Trump has actually done, there is a surprise: The wall may not be there, but neither is the welcome mat to illegal immigrants that President Barack Obama had put out. That’s progress.

Mind you, the welcome mat for immigrants is certainly still out, but the one for illegal immigrants is gone.

The recent actions the administration has taken are transforming Trump’s campaign promises into policy. For example, the absurd “catch and release” policy that essentially forces law enforcement to ignore the breaking of federal immigration statutes? It has been cancelled.

If you get caught, you are no longer getting a hall pass to stay in America until you get a hearing you don’t attend.

Trump is also shoring up our overworked Border Patrol agents with National Guard troops at the border (as both of his predecessors did). This will both free up more agents to apprehend illegal immigrants, and provide them with better intelligence and surveillance, logistics, and overall coverage of the border.

In short, fewer people will be getting into the U.S. illegally, and everyone that is caught will go back.

The administration also is ramping up internal enforcement. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is going after the lawbreakers who already reside in the United States, starting with those who have (regularly) committed additional crimes against American citizens.

The pressure against the so-called “sanctuary” movement, which prohibits local or state law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE, is being increased.

This pressure is not just coming from the feds. Municipalities that are tired of putting illegal immigrants before citizens are rebelling against state governments like California’s. Mayors of sanctuary cities across the nation are being challenged in the same way.

Lastly, the president has slammed the door on a deal on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. He previously offered an enormously “wide” path to legal citizenship for more “Dreamers” than Congress had even requested, if Congress would only aid him in securing our border.

Congress said “no,” so now he has switched gears. The major motivation for young people to get here has been withdrawn. The political games are over. The Dreamers were sold out by those who claimed to support them.

Taken together, these steps by the president make it clear that the promise of the Statue of Liberty is still in place — but those who sought to pervert it into an open door to those who see no true investment in the collective American dream are wrong.

The welcome mat is there for legal immigrants. But for those trying to force their way in, the door is being shut.

Steven P. Bucci, a former Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official, is a visiting fellow in the Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

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(23) comments

new2Lax

Taking any border guards off the border makes the border less safe, adding more folks to guard the border must then make us more safe. Taking down the existing walls and fencing you can use the same analogy, taking wall down makes us less safe, where as building a bigger and higher wall will make us more safe. Wall works well in Israel and Southern California according to the numbers.

Climatehoax

Homey and the liberals never saw a law wanted obeyed, for example, obama releasing a thousand plus thugs early, besting up Trump supporters, beating up cops like Michael brown did, disobeying the immigration process, hiding killers in sanctuary cities, etc,etc. How about I burglarize homey house and say “ I don’t want to obey that law” William be allowed to go free? Why should illegals have it better than a citizen of our country? Liberals are soooooo stupid.

oldhomey

Well, Climate, nobody is nearly as smart as they might think they are, something that only geniuses seem to understand. But all things being relative, if liberals are stupid, your 9:38pm post proves you fall far short of their relative intelligence. But we already knew that to be true of anybody who would select the screen name that you have selected.

mocha1

Libs like old homey never can rebut any argument, so they just go to emotion, which is the world they live in. Facts are stubborn things and will always wilt an emotional response.

oldhomey

Stop it, mocha! Just STOP! You are making me too emotional with all your stupid clarity of thinking and confronting me with truth! How do you expect me to argue anything when you are so, so unfair! If you would quit holding me up to ridicule like this, I promise I will study carefully how you so skillfully integrate facts, true evidence and common sense into your peerless reasoning and exposition of reality. Why, a Tribune subscriber would do well to turn first to your comments on these strings before reading anything else in the paper, an exercise that would explode all the lies and deceit that the MSM tries to shovel in its pages. I am surprised that you are allowed to post here, because it threatens the entire foundation of the corrupt media.

mocha1

Old homey, typical lib, cannot present any arguments. Be cause do not have any arguments when faced with the truth.


new2Lax

Either you follow the laws on the books or you do not.

Cassandra2

Thanks for coming out in support of the Special Prosecutor, Newt!

mocha1

Nice try homey, very aware of what think tanks are, but these ARE the think tanks of the left. Anything that is spewed on these outlets are taken as gospel as if they were from a well thought out “think tank”. Your comments prove my comments, the only thing we know so far about the Russian or as your think tanks call the impeachment investigation is the FBI and DOJ was dramatically pro Clinton, using her paid for dirt to launch the anti trump investigation, Stand by my comment on liberals being shooters. Not one NRA member. Only one is question is Charleston shooter who was more of a KKK guy. And KKK was created by Democrats so rest my case.

oldhomey

Well, with your 7:54am post, I rest my case. You don't have a clue.

mocha1

Libs prefer their info from alt left think tanks like Media Matters, CNN ,MSNBC, ABC,CBS,NBC. I love it when libs use the myth that Obama deported more illegals. Obama changed the definition of what is classified a deportation to inflate his numbers. But you libs should verify, but maybe not use the above alt left sources or your favorite, Occupy Democrats. Gotta love the myths libs believe as gospel, like illegals make this country stronger or a woman celebrating killing her baby makes women more powerful. And then you still wonder why Trump was elected and leftist not NRA members go on killing sprees.

oldhomey

mocha, I would suggest you at least check first what a think tank is as opposed to a media outlet before you try to make a comment. Yes, we still are wondering why Trump was elected, but the path seems pretty clear to him being removed. Your definition of killer leftists is exactly as accurate as your definition of think tanks.

Cassandra2

Mocha, it's not your ignorance that I find troubling, but your BELLIGERENT ignorance that you cling to like a second skin.

oldhomey

I wondered when I read the headline where they found this bozo. Then I saw his affiliation -- the radical right think tank, Heritage Foundation. Ahem. I wonder if he could produce the papers his ancestors had to produce at our borders in order to enter legally. I suspect they came when no such paperwork was necessary when you came here from Europe.

new2Lax

This guy has a right to be here, that's a huge issue, he came in legally as the US law requires. If there was no such law, there wouldn't be a problem, so get your party to get it changed, until then, deal with it, it's the law.

Cassandra2

The author cheers the deployment of National Guard troops even though there is no stated mission, no rules of engagement, no apparent budget, and no end in sight. Just another wingnut bent on defending Trump's actions no matter how ill-conceived.

Climatehoax

Trump’s policies have also helped people get a raise or bonus, allowed businesses to feel secure enough to expand, will stop us from being taken advantage of in unfair trade agreements, he actually backs the police unlike obama who started the attacks on police, Trump has done everything right.

kingman10

Hoaxer is quite comical in his everything or nothing approach to issues. Trump has done everything right? Nobody living or who has lived on this earth has done everything right. That just shows the limitations of hoaxers thinking which are quite severe. Trump policies have brought back trillion dollar annual deficits, part of the reason Ryan is leaving congress. This is unsustainable but nary a mention of it by the GOP hard right wingers. As far as immigration goes, the wall is a farce, with electronics and new technologies to survey more effectively the border at a fraction of the cost of a huge wall, #45 still wants to build it. The writer thinks people crossing the border illegally are doing so because they disrespect the USA. Actually it is because they are desperately poor and want a different life. but our laws now make it so only the rich can quickly and easily gain legal citizenship. #45's wife is a prime example of that.

johnnybragatti

Too funny!!!
Obama ,actually deported more illegals than any president in history.
So much for the welcome mat eh???
Bad news will get you everywhere.

Climatehoax

He also released more convicted criminals early from prison, than any other president also, that should make the populace feel safe, right?

Cassandra2

Scooter Libby. Joe Arpaio.

Climatehoax

Not near a thousand is it?

Cassandra2

The pint, my dear lunatic Hoaxer, is that Trump is pardoning convicted criminals as political payback.

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