Ever since colonial times, our political leaders have always been careful to ensure that those immigrating to our land would be net contributors to our society. From the 1600s on, colonies passed laws barring entry of criminals, those with communicable diseases, and those likely to become a public charge. States continued this tradition after they became part of the federal union and when Congress started regulating immigration in 1875 and 1882 they followed suit on a national level.
Even during the open period of immigration towards the turn of the twentieth century, immigration officials carefully examined every immigrant and denied entry even to those with eye diseases, even if it meant splitting up an entire family. These laws and practices were rooted in the common sense principle that the first order of a government, vested with power by the consent of the governed, is to protect the sovereignty of the citizenry above other interests.
How far we have come from this bedrock principle. Our country is now flooded with the impoverished, criminal elements, and those bringing in diseases we eradicated long ago. Here are two disturbing stories that illustrate the point.
Obama’s HHS recently announced its intention to lift the ban on immigrants with STDs. Jon Feere of the Center for Immigration Studies explains the significance of this decision:
In his first year in office, President Obama lifted an entry ban on foreigners with HIV. In his final year in office he will lift the entry ban on three more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The president’s own Health and Human Services department says this guarantees more infections in the United States, proving once again that immigration is the defining issue for politicians like Obama. Increased immigration trumps all other concerns.
While tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis, and gonorrhea are still on the list of diseases that would render an immigrant-carrier inadmissible, it does us no good for all the illegal immigrants who are carrying these diseases but are not deported.
Now, you might be wondering how the people’s representatives have lost control over our sovereignty and how unelected bureaucrats can overturn long-standing law and tradition unilaterally. Yup, you guessed it: this began with a Republican president. On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law the United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act (H.R.5501/S.2731). Among the many pork provisions in this bill, Section 305 repealed a 1993 law (INA §212(a)(1)(A)(i)) categorically banning immigrants with HIV. By repealing that language, HHS was given full discretion to determine who is admissible and who is not. Now we are stewing in the Obama misery Republicans helped create in 2008.
New internal ICE figures posted by the Washington Examiner reveal that 88,000, or 60%, of all criminal aliens apprehended in the last fiscal year were released into our population. So after promising to focus on criminal aliens, Obama has suspended deportation for them as well, thanks to the green light given to him by liberal Republican senators like Marco Rubio. This is on top of the existing statistics prior to last fiscal year. Between the 179,027 criminal aliens ordered deported but still at large and the 194,791 convicted criminal aliens who have not yet been issued deportation orders, there are over 375,000 identified criminal aliens that have not been deported.
Who is looking out for the best interests of the American people? These stories are tailor-made for the presidential candidates to seize upon and promise a return to our traditional values on immigration. Any takers?
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.