The Rev. Larry Ort presented a heartfelt message about extending love to immigrants and assisting the poor and hungry of the world in his pastor’s column, “Love the immigrant?” (Register, 2-21-19). He concluded, however, with a puzzling political swipe at President Donald Trump and the millions of Americans supporting him: “Isn’t it ironic that those who would ‘Make America Great Again’ would stop the flow which has contributed so much to our greatness? Rather than demonstrate love, we now chose to rip families apart; in doing so, we engender even more hatred.”
If there is anything “ironic” in this matter, it is that a prominent clergyman would so willfully misrepresent the material facts and broader realities of U.S. immigration policy.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “Government Immigration Statistics” provides key details. Lawful permanent residents (LPRs) welcomed into the U.S. in 2017: 1,127,267. Persons naturalized in 2017: 707,265.
Immigrant orphans adopted by U.S. citizens – FY2017: 4,701. Immigrant refugees accepted into the U.S. during the first two quarters of FY2018: approximately 10,500.
The 2017 Census Bureau Report, “American Community Survey,” shows that as of July 2017, there were 44.5 million immigrants (legal and illegal) living in the U.S. – an increase of 800,000 versus 2016. DHS has previously estimated that “1.9 million immigrants are missed by the ACS, so the total number of immigrants in 2017 was likely 46.4 million.”
There were also “17.1 million U.S.-born minor children with an immigrant parent in 2017, for a total of 61.6 million immigrants and their children in the country – accounting for one in five U.S. residents.”
U.S. taxpayers, through foreign aid programs, IMF and World Bank loan programs, natural catastrophe emergency relief (State Department, U.S. military), and Christian-based charities, have been helping to provide a better life for millions of poor, hungry, and endangered people in their home countries for the better part of a century.
President Trump, and all of America, welcome immigrants into our country. Honest, hard-working, law-abiding immigrants who aspire to a better life and desire to make America a better country for all, are gladly received.
They are also vital contributors to the U.S. workforce.
America needs strengthened border defenses and tightened control over immigrant processing, however, to better protect our citizens from the cross-border entry of criminal elements.
Just over two months ago, Police Officer Ronil Singh of Newmont, California, was gunned down by illegal immigrant Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, on Dec 26, 2018, during a routine traffic stop. Arriaga, who had crossed over the Arizona border illegally over four years earlier was also a wanted man for prior offenses. Sheriff Adam Christianson noted that Arriaga, as a “repeat offender” should have been turned over to ICE, but was protected by local sanctuary city laws. Ronil Singh, 33, emigrated to the U.S. legally from Fiji and was a model immigrant whose life goal was to become a police officer. He died from “multiple gunshot wounds,” leaving behind a wife and 5-month old son. (Source: azcentral.com, 12-26-18; “A Tale of Two Immigrants,” foxnews.com, 1-6-19).
Most recently in North Carolina, six illegal immigrants with ties to a Mexican drug cartel were arrested for running a massive drug operation which “included transporting large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine across state lines – for instance, from Texas to Georgia and North Carolina” (foxnews.com, 2-17-19).
Immigrants are welcome, as President Trump has said many times, but we need to ensure that they are crossing our borders legally, to make America a better, stronger, and safer country – for the good of all.
Former U.S. Border Patrol head Mark Morgan, who served under the Obama Administration, is in “total agreement with President Trump’s border wall.” The current situation on our southern border, he states, is a “national security and humanitarian crisis” (foxnews.com, 1-26-19).
Rev. Ort’s critique of immigration policies that “rip families apart,” as he terms it, presents a second puzzling perspective, in light of the new ‘no-limits’ abortion laws moving forward in states like Vermont, Illinois, and New York. The Vermont House passed “H.57” on Feb 21, 2019, legalizing “any and all types of abortion at any stage of pregnancy, for any reason or no reason at all” (thefederalist.com, 2-23-19). Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s complete abortion freedom bill would “force health insurance providers to cover abortion, with no exceptions for churches or other religious organizations… and “remove any statute protecting the life of a child who is born alive as a result of a late-term abortion.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo bathed the One World Trade Center with pink lighting in January to celebrate passage of New York’s abortion-promoting “Reproductive Health Act.”
If U.S. immigration policies “rip families apart,” by temporarily separating children from their parents/guardians, then what term would Rev. Ort care to apply to the expanding abortion standards in the U.S. which permanently separate unborn children, to now include fully-formed babies at full-term, from the opportunity to live?
President Trump has condemned these abominations. Many others, who should be seriously alarmed, remain silent.