Once upon a time, common sense reigned supreme, even in our political system. Sure, politicians would argue over subsidies and entitlements and other fiscal issues. But before our body politic was hijacked by a cartel of special interests who worship the pagan gods of political correctness and selfish parochial desires, both progressives and conservatives had a sense of justice and fairness as it relates to illegal immigration.
On January 25, 1993, two CIA agents were shot and killed outside of the Langley headquarters by a Pakistani illegal alien. A month later, a group of Islamic terrorists, that included several illegal aliens, executed the first bombing attack on the World Trade Center. Even though these events were not prototypical of the predominant illegal immigration problems we experienced from the southern border, none other than Harry Reid wasted no time in demanding comprehensive enforcement against all illegal immigration.
Reid introduced a bill on Aug. 4, 1993, the Immigration Stabilization Act of 1993 (S.1351), which would have ended birthright citizenship (an idea he called “insane”), clamped down on asylum seekers (very pertinent to World Trade Center bombing), expanded deportation of criminal aliens, increased penalties on re-entries and visa fraud, and excluded all legal immigrants from admission who “cannot demonstrably support themselves without public or private assistance.”
In a press release unveiling the bill, Reid noted the following:
“Our borders have overflowed with illegal immigrants placing tremendous burdens on our criminal justice system, schools and social programs. The Immigration and Naturalization Service needs the ability to step up enforcement. “Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care and other benefits often without paying any taxes. “Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance. These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world.”
He added this Trumpesque line:
“Even worse, Americans have seen heinous crimes committed by individuals who are here illegally.”
Remember, this is at a time when the illegal alien population was just 3-4 million, and the fiscal and criminal cost incurred by this country was a fraction of what it is today.
On September 20, Reid delivered a riveting speech on the Senate floor covering every talking point Jeff Sessions, Steve King, and Donald Trump have ever mentioned – and then some. [Congressional Record, page s11999] His speech was prophetic and ahead of its time, warning of the ill effects of both illegal immigration and unbridled legal immigration on our criminal justice system, education, hospitals, welfare, and culture. Reid cited an observation from Bob Dole that “wherever he travels around the country, he is confronted with concern about the direction of the policy of immigration as it relates to the United States.” And Reid added, “these are not racist people who are raising this issue.”
Later in the year, Reid added an amendment to the 1993-94 crime bill, co-sponsored by such liberal luminaries as Sens. Bob Graham (D-FL) and Alan Simpson, (R-WY), that closed all sorts of loopholes dealing with criminal aliens and mandated more cooperation between local and federal law enforcement.
Fast-forward 22 years later, and the cost and danger to our society from illegal immigration are incalculable – far beyond Reid’s worst nightmares in 1993. We have experienced an endless slew of murders, rapes, and drunk driving incidents from an infinite flow of illegal immigrants, culminating with the two murders over the weekend. These murders are the direct result of not only the political disregard for immigration enforcement, but the official and relentless dismantling of interior enforcement and cooperation between state and local law enforcement.
Instead of Democrats and Republicans coming together to immediately address this national emergency, not a single GOP leader will fight against sanctuary cities and Obama’s abolishing of Secure Communities and the 287g program. In fact, John Boehner spent Independence Day overseas promoting more amnesty and the very policies that have encouraged this calamity in the first place. Harry Reid himself was forced to have an ideological sex change operation because of the special interests that have taken over his party.
Stand back and behold just how corrosive and destructive the cult of political correctness and special interests politics can be to the very existence of a nation and its sovereignty. It would probably take a PHD in math to calculate the cost of illegal immigration to this nation – both tangibly and intangibly – since Reid sounded a frenetic alarm 22 years ago. Yet, modern-day Republicans cannot even hold the ground held by the Democrat leader on immigration just one generation ago.
Instead of wetting their pants over Donald Trump, the short-sighted and capricious political class would be wise to study Harry Reid’s speech from 1993. A full transcript of the speech can be found here.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.