Immigration and the Presidential Debates — The burning question on voters’ minds

Every day brings America closer to the next presidential election. Every day also brings us closer to the debates in which candidates for America’s highest elected office will be questioned about their goals and visions for the future of our nation.

So many important questions that will need to be answered. Where will the moderators begin?

If the moderators are thoughtful and honest, they will begin by asking questions about that most important topic that plays a vital role in all of the other challenges and threats facing America and Americans today. That singular topic is immigration.

While it is rarely if ever discussed in the mainstream media, immigration is arguably the most impactful component of each and every one of the most important challenges and threats facing America and Americans today.

Those challenges include national security and the war on terror, public safety and crime, the economy, the survival of the middle class and unemployment. Those challenges also include public health and healthcare, education, the environment and the critical infrastructure of our towns and cities.

Immigration has been of extreme importance for a very long time but has been all but ignored until very recently. Had it not been for Donald Trump’s statements about immigration, the issue of criminal aliens and the lack of border security, it is quite likely that immigration would still be off limits in the discussions. Trump’s statements and the tragic and senseless death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco by a criminal alien who had been convicted of seven felonies and deported on 5 previous occasions, pushed immigration into the national consciousness and rattled the cages of the leaders of both political parties who had hoped that no one would raise the issue.

Additionally, the great majority of news organizations had been assiduously ignoring immigration, but has lately found it impossible to not provide coverage about immigration and the issues of “sanctuary cities” and the violence perpetrated by criminal aliens.

Trump’s emergence on the national stage — unfettered by the need to raise campaign contributions and making the decision to be his own man and speak his own mind — continues to resonate with many Americans even as politicians from both parties continue to rely on pollsters to tell them what to say and what not to say. They surround themselves with a small army of advisors and “handlers” and try to operate and speak within the confines of what my good friend and Congressional Representative Lou Barletta accurately refers to as “the box.” Not surprisingly, Trump is connecting with many Americans in a way that the other politicians are not because he operates outside the confines of that “box.” The impact this is having is clear.

Most politicians are expressing greater anger and frustration over Trump’s candor than they are over criminal aliens murdering innocent Americans. Many politicians are also more focused on Trump than they are on the administration that has created anarchy in the immigration system — a system that should serve as America’s first line and last line of defense against international terrorists and transnational criminals.

For decades politicians from both political parties have impugned hardworking Americans by claiming that “immigrants do the work Americans won’t do.” This has become the virtual mantra for both parties. Ask yourself if there are, in fact, any jobs that Americans won’t do?

Even as you read this article American workers are trudging off to work boarding commercial fishing vessels where they engage in the most dangerous job in America. They are trudging off to work in coal mines, heading for constructions sites to build towering office buildings, stores and houses. They are racing to put out dangerous fires threatening the lives and property of total strangers. Our American law enforcement officers on the local, state and federal level are chasing down dangerous armed felons, putting their lives on the line as a matter of routine.

Hardworking Americans who still embody the “can do” spirit that built our country are ready, willing and able to do dangerous, filthy and backbreaking work (and do it better and more productively than anyone else) are being insulted by politicians who were purportedly elected to represent them. What an outrageous betrayal.

Even as you read this, American soldiers, all of whom are volunteers, are engaging in violent combat in some of the most inhospitable hellish conditions imaginable. They see their fellow soldiers suffering grievous injuries or being killed before their very eyes, yet, as the appropriate term says, they continue to soldier on.

We are also being told that Americans lack the education and, apparently, the intelligence to take the high-tech STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) jobs even as Silicon Valley and many other employers fire thousands of American workers who have been working in these careers for many years — yet petition the federal government for more H-1B visas to bring in foreign workers to take these very same jobs.

My June 18, 2015 commentary for FrontPage Magazine, “Theft By Deception: The Immigration Con Game,” included this excerpt:

Today increasing numbers of “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals are being laid off and replaced by foreign workers from India and elsewhere. The only thing “exceptional” about these foreign workers is that they will work for exceptionally low wages under exceptionally adverse conditions.

Work helps to define us. Work provides dignity, a sense of purpose, opportunities and income. Virtually every college student who attends college does so with the hope/expectation of a brighter future through a career made possible by acquiring a higher level of education.

When young Americans opt to attend colleges they put off working for years. Upon graduation from those institutions of higher learning, where they invested years of their lives studying conscientiously, they find themselves encumbered by massive debts in the form of student loans. All too often they find that they cannot get jobs in their chosen fields of study, including those who took degrees in the STEM disciplines. For these victims of the crime, their share of the “American Dream” and indeed their futures, have been stolen, their time and money wasted.

Understandably, foreign workers send as much of their earnings back to their families in their home countries whether they are illegal alien day laborers or high-tech workers who were admitted into the United States with H-1B or other such visas which enable them to legally work in the United States. That money provides an important revenue stream to those foreign families and their countries. For Mexico, for example, remittances are believed to represent the second largest source of revenue.

Last year the United States lost well over 125 billion dollars in remittances — money electronically transferred out of the United States by such foreign workers. Money also moves in covert ways as well.

Last year India was the recipient of the greatest amount of remittances any country on this planet received, more than 70 billion dollars. This money was wired home by their workers who are employed in countries around the world- although it is the United States that each year loses the greatest amount of money.

A PhD in economics is not needed to understand that as more Americans are replaced by more foreign workers who will send ever increasing amounts of money out of our economy that the U.S. economy will suffer. When middle class families drop below the poverty line as American workers lose their jobs, they lose their disposable incomes. They stop being tax-payers and become increasingly dependent on costly economic safety net programs. This jacks up our national debt and also hurts the economies of cities and states across the United States. This is completely unsustainable.

Undoubtedly the nation’s struggling economy will be important to the debates because America’s economy is linked to national security as well as not only the well-being of America but for millions of Americans. The middle class is getting hammered as family wages stagnate or even decline. Record numbers of American families now live below the poverty line.

Any politician who claims to oppose Sanctuary Cities but supports in-state tuition for illegal aliens is lying. In-state tuition for illegal aliens creates a powerful and costly magnet that incentivizes and rewards illegal immigration.

Undoubtedly the politicians who are advocates for in-state tuition for illegal aliens will insist that once educated these illegal aliens should be granted Green Cards that will enable them to compete, on an equal standing, with desperate American workers and American students who need good jobs.

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