Cal Thomas: End immigration to mend it | TribLIVE.com
Featured Commentary

Cal Thomas: End immigration to mend it

Cal Thomas
1452605_web1_border-2d4f7bfe-524e-11e9-88a1-ed346f0ec94f
Migrants gather in a makeshift detention center in El Paso, Texas, in March.

For safety reasons, fire marshals control the number of people who can occupy a building at any one time. We’ve seen what happens when crowds get too large and a fire breaks out, causing panic and often death. So why not control the crowd illegally entering America?

We control water so that it won’t overflow a bathtub or sink, causing damage requiring expensive repairs, so why not shut off the flow of those illegally entering at the border?

Pick your own analogy, but the U.S. immigration system is worse than broken. It can be fixed, but politicians from both parties refuse to do it. The immediate and long-term damage inflicted on our country as a result of this neglect will be severe.

President Trump has the power to shut off the flow of immigration until those who have entered the country illegally can be accounted for, those without proper documentation can be deported and the ones here legally become U.S. citizens.

The president has the authority under 8 USC1182. The law includes categories of persons “ineligible” to enter the United States. A key section relates to those entering the country illegally whose only motivation is to find a job and make money. The following is taken directly from the law:

“In general, any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that (1) there are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, qualified … (and) (2) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed.”

During the administrations of Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge, immigration was reduced to a trickle. After leaving office, Coolidge wrote in a Dec. 13, 1930, newspaper column that most immigrants had come to demonstrate loyalty to America, but they must come “slowly” and avoid “city colonies while spreading across the country.” He then explained why, which ought to resonate today: “We have certain standards of life that we believe are best for us. We do not ask other nations to discard theirs, but we do wish to preserve ours. … We reflect on no one in wanting immigrants who will be assimilated into our ways of thinking and living.”

When Coolidge was president, a 2% quota was established for immigrants entering the U.S. After July 1, 1927, the 2% rule was replaced with an overall annual cap of 150,000 immigrants. Quotas were set according to “national origins” as listed in the 1920 census. It wasn’t until the 1960s that the floodgates were opened and what some call an “invasion” began. It has only gotten worse as anyone with a TV set or who lives along the border can plainly see.

Yes, the quota system discriminated in favor of “preferred” nationalities. The website u-s-history.com confirms its intent: “The clear aim of this law was to restrict the entry of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, while welcoming relatively large numbers of newcomers from Britain, Ireland and Northern Europe.”

If Congress continues to fail in its responsibility to protect our borders — Republicans because they and their U.S. Chamber of Commerce supporters want cheap labor and Democrats because they see potential votes — then Trump should follow the example of two of his predecessors and the law to shut off the human tidal wave until we can deal with those already here.

Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.