Monday, June 24, 2019


Tough words softened by gentle deeds are preferable to gentle words trampled by rough and reckless action. President Trump vows to begin deporting illegal immigrants by the millions, a campaign promise that helped elect him and may well do so again. He didn’t invent the chaos on the border, but he is the first president to try to do something about it. The nation yearns for an equitable immigration system that enables the orderly entry of foreign nationals without infringing the rights of law-abiding Americans. There’s nothing in the president’s words or deeds that dash that wish.

Mr. Trump announced on Twitter last week that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would begin sending home migrants who have received and ignored final deportation orders: “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States. They will be removed as fast as they come in.”

With the hours ticking down prior to the ICE operation, the president tweeted a reprieve: “At the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks to see if the Democrats and Republicans can get together and work out a solution to the Asylum and Loophole problems at the Southern Border. If not, Deportations start!”

It was classic Trump — designed to get anti-Trumpers off their ample bottoms and up in arms. More inclined to resist than resolve, however, that they will change the chaos that enables migrants towing children free entry to the United States is doubtful.

In New York state, which is moving close to granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants, state Attorney General Letitia James lashed out at ICE’s “family op”: “This is an immoral and unconscionable act by a president and an administration hellbent on dividing our country, and, as New York’s top law-enforcement officer, I can assure New Yorkers we will do everything in our power to fight back against these inhumane policies.”

“Inhumane” and its antithesis are inexact terms whose real-world applications invite reasonable people to disagree. The job of the state’s top law enforcement officer, however, is fairly precise, to administer the law and leave philosophical musings at the sophomore smoker.

ICE is performing its duties in accordance with the law that New York and other de facto alien havens are hesitant or unwilling to enforce. More than 2,000 families have been designated for the first phase of removal from cities that include Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami and Houston. If “millions” are to face deportation in accordance with the president’s order, agents will need the wisdom of Solomon to avoid a repeat of parent-child separations that provoked such anger last year. The problem is with devious adults who rent children as props to gain preferred immigration status as a family unit.

Mr. Trump’s effectiveness at reversing the flow of illegal migrants has been hampered by open-borders partisans controlling city and state governments. President Obama averaged deporting 350,000 deportations every year during his two terms in office, and Mr. Trump has yet to reach 300,000 deportations in a year. The president sometimes uses harsh language, but harsh action? Hardly.

U.S. jurisprudence rests on the foundation of human compassion, balancing respect for the rights of law-abiding citizens to live unmolested, with an appreciation of the rights of wrongdoers to be judged and punished, if punishment is necessary, with fairness and justice. That parity has been turned upside down by the breakdown on the border. The United States spends $116 billion annually, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, for welfare, education, health care and law enforcement of millions of uninvited “guests.”

No price tag can be hung, however, on the grief suffered by families of the 4,000 persons killed by illegals during the past two years. The statistic cited by the illegal-alien lobby that the foreign-born take lives less frequently than U.S. citizens is no defense of tragedy. Every victim would be alive were it not for his encounter with someone who had no right being here.

The president has given Congress another chance to craft a system for orderly immigration that doesn’t plunder the rights of the law-abiding. If there’s no progress over the next two weeks to cure the chaos, the only remaining solution, as Barack Obama learned, is deportation. There seemed to be a little progress over the weekend, when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reluctantly agreed to granting humanitarian assistance to families waiting at the border for food, shelter, clothing, medical care and legal assistance. But she could not resist taking a swing at the president, whom Democrats now blame for the chaos that only weeks ago said did not exist. Who says Washington doesn’t work?

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