Response to “This Has Got to Stop”

Although I usually disagree with the opinions expressed by Dr. Richard Fulton in his weekly columns, I suppress my inclination to respond. However, his column last week entitled “This Has Got to Stop” went too far. He apparently heard a different speech from what I heard when President Trump recently addressed the nation on the need for a barrier or wall at our southern border. 

If you missed Dr. Fulton’s column, he recites the history of various groups of people who have immigrated to the U.S. over our long history and who have encountered discrimination upon their arrival. Yes, unfortunately, they did; but whether Irish, Catholics, Jews, Italians, Poles or others, they came legally and eventually assimilated into our culture and prospered. Today, however, our country is in a much different situation than it was when the great waves of immigration occurred during the 1800s and early 1900s. Today border security is a major concern of the American people, a point Dr. Fulton fails to acknowledge. 

Border security used to be a major concern of Democrats as well. In 2006 Congress passed legislation to build 700 miles of border fencing with strong bipartisan support. It received 80 votes in the Senate, including those of Democrat Senators Obama, Clinton, Biden, and Schumer and many others who are still serving. In the House, 64 Democrats supported the bill. During her 2016 Presidential campaign, Mrs. Clinton was asked her view on border security. She said: “Well, look, I voted numerous times when I was a Senator to spend money to build a barrier to try to prevent illegal immigration from coming in, and I do think you have to control your border.” Today they are either hypocrites or they are bowing to the open-border, far-left wing of their party, or both.  In any event, Democrat support for a barrier has vanished; but, where a barrier has been built along the border, the data show it has been effective.

Rather than explain the Democrats about face on this issue, Dr. Fulton says that today the climate is “worse” than that experienced by previous immigrants because “this time it is the President of the United States leading the chorus of demonizing and fear mongering.” It also seems that he has gazed into the President’s heart. He tells us not to be mistaken because the President “is characterizing an entire category of people by his remarks, not just illegals.” That’s not what I heard or have been hearing. The case the President and conservatives in general consistently make is against illegal immigration while remaining supportive of legal immigration. Instead it is the left who demonize those of us in the President’s “chorus” who add our voices to his call for a barrier at the border by labeling him and us as racist or xenophobic.

He ends the column by saying the President is using “the oldest trick in the book of authoritarian leaders: blame the new guys, the vulnerable, the underrepresented.” President Trump may be a forceful executive, but as long as we have three branches of government, he is far from being an authoritarian. Yes; something has to stop, but it is not the President’s insistence on a southern barrier or his arguments in defense of that position. It is the hypocritical obstructionism by Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer. President Obama once famously told Republican leaders that elections have consequences. Whatever you may want to make of the recent Democrat gains in the House, it remains a fact that the President won the 2016 election in major part because of his promise of border security, and his recent gain of seats in the Senate was consistent with that. The $5.7 billion he is asking for is only .0998% of the total Federal budget of $4.4 trillion. That is a rounding error and not a reason to keep a part of the government closed. Cut the pork if necessary, but give the President the money so he can fulfill his promise, enhance our safety, and restore our sovereignty.  

 –– Joe Cornelison

Maryville