by Brian Lonergan
For the anti-borders Left, one of its most successful tactics has been to boil the frog slowly. Abetted by policymakers and the press, the movement has slowly but steadily altered our language, culture, and government policy toward the bleak destination of a borderless, lawless America. Most Americans, focused largely on paying their bills and raising their kids, have barely noticed the changes.
Say . . . is it getting warmer in here?
As a matter of fact, yes. The Biden Administration is increasing the temperature with its reported plans to issue identification cards to illegal aliens who are awaiting final decisions in their asylum and deportation cases. The rationale for the new program is cloaked predictably in faux compassion for “victims” of previous government policies. In reality, it’s another step toward transforming the country into something that few Americans would ever support if given the opportunity to vote. The frog is starting to cook.
White House apparatchiks can cite with wonky, swamp-dwelling acumen all the reasons why ID cards for illegals make sense. Recipients could use the cards to more easily access public services, including food stamps, healthcare, and transportation. Proponents also argue that ID cards would allow for easier communication between illegal aliens and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) until the court process plays out.
Here’s how the frog gets boiled. Those hearing this argument may be so transfixed by supposed humanitarian concerns that they never ask the obvious: Why are we allowing people in the country illegally to remain at all, let alone facilitating their stay with privileges and taxpayer-funded benefits?
It is a well-established law of human nature that you increase whatever behavior you tolerate or incentivize. Nowhere can this be seen better than in the irrefutable cause-and-effect of the George Soros-backed district attorneys currently pillaging many of our largest cities. They sent a loud and clear signal that theft and violent crime would not only be tolerated, but actuated. Many jurisdictions have eliminated cash bail and will no longer prosecute theft of property below a certain dollar amount.
The result has been lawlessness on a scale most people have never seen before. The frequency of brazen daytime thefts of retail stores has added “smash-and-grab” to our national lexicon. Old West-style train robberies in California are now a regular occurrence. Even the most ardent Trotskyites in the media can no longer hide or spin this phenomenon.
The same principle applies to the immigration crisis. It is bad enough that the Biden Administration has surrendered operational control of the border. Now it is further incentivizing lawlessness by making it easier for those here illegally to get the same benefits as others who would comply with our immigration laws. Are these actions likely to result in more or fewer foreign nationals trying to enter America illegally?
The “ICE Secure Docket Card Program,” as it is called, is also the latest maneuver to utterly gut and repurpose ICE to the satisfaction of the anti-borders movement. Once vilified by the movement as the modern-day Gestapo, the agency is morphing into the welcoming committee for noncitizens whose first act in our country is to violate its laws.
This is consistent with an administration that has stopped family detentions, focused arrests almost exclusively on those with criminal records, and increasingly pushed for alternatives to detention.
The official justification for all of these moves is to ease the backlog of immigration cases, but it is ultimately prescribing weak medicine to treat the symptoms while neglecting the root of the problem. By treating widespread illegal entry as a fait accompli, instead of doing the hard work to prevent such entries in the first place, the White House is laying the groundwork for our immigration problems to worsen, not improve.
If any good has come from the last 18 months, it may be that the appalling amount of lawlessness and tolerance for it by our elected officials has awakened the public to the staggering costs of faculty lounge-inspired social engineering. The Left’s boil-the-frog-slowly strategy for immigration cannot be allowed to succeed. Fighting the small battles as they arise is necessary and preferable to fixing the generational problems concessions inevitably create.
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Brian Lonergan is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and director of communications at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.