From the Kevin Costner movie “Field of Dreams” comes the often-misquoted sentence: “Build it, and they will come.” But the words that the spirit spoke to Costner’s character Ray Kinsella were: “If you build it, he will come.” The reference is to a baseball field Ray is encouraged to build to bring his deceased father back to his Iowa cornfield.
The movie came to mind when I studied the new immigration legislation proposed by Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), along with Texas’ U.S. Representatives, Democrat Henry Cuellar and Republican Tony Gonzales. The “Bipartisan Borders Solution Act” would authorize building at least four new regional processing centers along the border and expedite illegal aliens’ asylum claims. Build those centers and “they [the migrants] will come,” in far greater numbers than they already have. In March, Customs and Border Protection arrested or detained more than 170,000 illegal immigrants, reportedly the highest monthly total since 2006.
The proposed legislation is the 100 percent wrong approach to the border disaster. More centers and speedier processing will encourage, not discourage, endless migrant surges. The much-needed congressional action is to return the migrants safely and humanely to their home countries.
Although the media hailed the proposal as a rare bipartisan, bicameral immigration agreement, a close look at its backers – Cornyn, Sinema, Cuellar and Gonzales – indicates that while they may represent different parties, three of the four are enthusiastic expansionists.
During his career, Cornyn, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s senior member, has compiled a mixed immigration voting record, and is a longtime DREAM Act and increased employment-based visas supporter. While in the House, Sinema, elected to the Senate in 2020, voted against ending chain migration, against reducing asylum fraud and opposed strengthening border enforcement. Her then-House colleague Cuellar compiled a mixed to poor career immigration voting record and has just recently been willing to speak out about the disastrous effect the Biden administration’s border neglect has on his Rio Grande and Laredo districts’ residents. Only 20-year U.S. Navy veteran Gonzales has amassed a patriotic immigration record.
Predictably, the Chamber of Commerce, which has never met a pro-immigration bill it didn’t applaud, is all in on the Cornyn-Sinema package. A Chamber representative said that immigration reform is “desperately needed.” But the bill on the table, which Sinema hopes to discuss soon with Senate Majority Whip and Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin, is the diametric opposite to reform and is better described as a strong incentive that will draw more migrants north. As mounting evidence proves, anything short of promptly returning migrants home deepens the crisis.
Recently, at least 150 unaccompanied minors ages 7-12 arrived in Erie, Pa., 1,800 miles from McAllen. The Erie Times reported that six children will be assigned to each room in the 648-capacity Pennsylvania International Academy. Six to a room allows ample space to house the hundreds more unaccompanied children winding their way north. The academy is among numerous nationwide sites that provide temporary shelter for unaccompanied asylum seekers.
In the meantime, becoming clearer with each passing day is that the Biden administration has no intention of acting in the nation’s best interests by ending the border catastrophe. Biden’s immigration czar, Vice President Kamala Harris, has been nowhere near the border, even though analysts project that 1 million illegal aliens will enter the U.S. in 2021, many if not most of them trafficked.
Harris has, however, journeyed to Plymouth, N.H., 2,300 miles from the border. The immigration czar’s two-fold New Hampshire mission was to tout Biden’s $2 trillion “infrastructure” bill and to campaign for 2022 Senate incumbent Maggie Hassan who, not coincidentally, has a well-established open borders congressional voting record.
From the instant illegal aliens enter the U.S., whether unaccompanied minors or adults, taxpayers will subsidize every cent of their residency. Today, that means funding transportation to their shelters and paying for food, clothing and health care. Eventually, taxpayers will foot the bill for K-12 education and other affirmative benefits. Biden is dismissive of the financial burden he’s forced onto taxpayers, brazen disregard since polling shows that only 29 percent of Americans and a mere 27 percent of Hispanic Americans approve of the president’s border policies.
For Biden, his czar Harris and the rest of his administration, the status quo at the border is fine with them – at least until they can figure out how to open the border to thousands more illegal immigrants.