When then-candidate Donald Trump announced his presidential bid in 2016, he did so with a bang. Right out of the gate, he took on one of the deepest and long-simmering dysfunctions in our republic—illegal immigration.
Never one for subtlety when an opportunity for the dramatic presents itself, Trump used what some found to be incendiary rhetoric referencing Mexicans, drugs, rape, and criminality. Ever since, this important discussion is punctuated by the claim from the Left that “people can’t be illegal,” despite the fact that the term “illegal” refers only to immigration status which can, of course, be illegal. The point of that discussion-ending appeal to emotion is to insinuate that any human arguing against illegal immigration lacks compassion and that the Right rejects our shared and immigration-rich history, is therefore unpatriotic, and that any desire for secure borders is fundamentally based on racism.
This kind of idiocy serves only to anger all parties so that there is rarely any real scrutiny of the illegal immigration reality in this country. The issue is growing worse daily and we need to accept certain facts. First and foremost we must accept that illegal immigration is, in fact, illegal and that this is a problem. People who are not coming here through legal channels are breaking our laws. This is an exercise in the obvious. Our nation, like all nations, has a set of immigration laws that were designed to protect its citizenry from those who would not be additive to our society, might harm our citizens, or don’t demonstrate sufficient potential to be happy here among us.
America is a welcoming land, full of promise. One does not need to be the kind of entrepreneurial soul capable of founding an electric car company, or to serve in our military, or to become an expert in our history to come to America. But if one does come to this country, it is important that he loves it, understands what it represents, and does his best to make it better in whatever way God has made him able.
When an individual, regardless of the circumstances, breaks the immigration laws of this country, his immigrant status is illegal and he is an illegal alien. Calling it something other than illegal denigrates the value and importance of law in our society and, after all, one of the defining aspects of America that made it such a desirable destination for so many immigrants is our respect for the rule of law against the rule of men.