Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, made a series of arrests and removals of illegal immigrants in at least six states. David Marin, director of enforcement and removal operations for ICE in Los Angeles, said the raids were “routine”:
We made 161 arrests, and of those 161, 151 of those had prior criminal convictions. ... The majority of them were felons and those felons which had prior convictions included sex offenses, domestic violence, assault, robbery and weapons violations, just to name a few.
ICE arrested “criminal aliens and other individuals who are in violation of our nation's immigration laws.” Illegal immigrants and their advocates are outraged that a federal agency charged with enforcing U.S. immigration laws was enforcing the law.
Foreign nationals and their enablers took to the streets and Twitter and demanded #NoBanNoWallNoRaids. Perpetually aggrieved Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez said:
The goal of such policies is to inject fear into immigrant communities, frighten families and children, and drive immigrants farther underground. It damages public safety and the fabric of American communities while putting a burden on local social services and the foster-care system.
Hmmm? I thought they were “undocumented and unafraid.”
Democrats’ sanctuary policy stands in stark contrast to that of wannabe First Dude, former President Bill Clinton. In his 1995 State of the Union address, Clinton promised to put America first:
All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected, but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country. The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants. The public services they use impose burdens on our taxpayers. That's why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders more by hiring a record number of new border guards, by deporting twice as many criminal aliens as ever before, by cracking down on illegal hiring, by barring welfare benefits to illegal aliens.
In the budget I will present to you we will try to do more to speed the deportation of illegal aliens who are arrested for crimes, to better identify illegal aliens in the workplace as recommended by the commission headed by former Congresswoman Barbara Jordan.
We are a nation of immigrants. But we are also a nation of laws. It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years, and we must do more to stop it.
Fast forward to today, Democrats say whether you got here by sneaking across the border or overstaying your visa, you’re welcome to stay.
Josh Barro, a senior editor for Business Insider, recently wrote:
You don't need to be a nationalist to understand that voters will expect policies to be made in their interest.
You can even think of this as identity politics, as applied to the whole electorate. How can something be identity politics if it applies to the whole electorate? Well, the whole American electorate has a shared identity characteristic: They are all American citizens.
Yet on immigration, Democrats have somehow ended up with policies premised heavily on their benefits to non-citizens, and therefore with an identity politics aimed at people who aren't eligible to vote.
In other words, they are doing identity politics badly, and will have to do it better — and rethink their ideas to put more of a focus on American citizens' interests — to beat Trump on immigration.
Until Democrats put Americans first, they will stay in the political wilderness banging their heads against a brick wall.