Response to illegal immigration sends wrong message

By Peter Nunez on May 7, 2015

U-T San Diego, May 7, 2015

Recent news reports describing the unfolding tragedy in the Mediterranean involving thousands of immigrants putting their lives at risk to reach the sanctuary of Europe are living proof of how badly the world is mismanaging immigration. Hundreds, if not thousands, of people drowning, and thousands being detained by the Italian Coast Guard, only to be released into the European Community after a brief detention by Italian authorities.

The Italian response, indeed the laughable response of the European Union to this continuing debacle, demonstrates that logic and practicality are no longer acceptable reasons for doing what has to be done. Unless the EU gets over its various mythologies about immigration, the current strategy is going to make a terrible situation worse and will lead to hundreds of thousands of Africans and Middle Easterners joining the flood tide heading toward Europe. There are over 7 billion people in the world, two-thirds of whom live in poverty. The world population increases by 80 million a year, almost all in the Third World. All of these folks would love to get to the First World by any means possible, regardless of the risk, and that's what we are seeing in the Mediterranean.

Among all the bad things about amnesties, the worst is that they encourage more illegal immigration. The only real temporary solution is immediate repatriation. Otherwise, every prospective immigrant knows that all they have to do is get on a boat or raft and call for help as soon as they reach international waters, and not only will they be "saved," they will accomplish their goal of reaching Europe and gaining some kind of legal status. Based on the apparent unwillingness of Italian and EU officials to properly identify these "migrants," all manner of problems are created down the road, terrorism being the most obvious but by no means the only potential consequence.

This is really an EU problem, which has always put the onus on Greece, Italy and Spain to "control" illegal immigration from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Balkans. Obviously, those three border countries cannot do it alone, either to prevent illegal entries or to absorb those that are apprehended. So the question now is which is the weakest in dealing with this problem – the EU or the Italians? One would hope that the EU would do the right thing, but until they do, the only hope is that Italy will face up to the challenge and take matters into its own hands, and let the EU, the U.N., the pope, and all the other naysayers and do-gooders shout all they want. For Italy, this is self-preservation.

Ultimately, the impact on all of Europe will be equally as devastating.

Sadly, here in the United States, the Obama administration is moving in the same direction; under the administration's "catch and release" policy, the Border Patrol is no longer permitted to "voluntarily return" most people caught crossing the border illegally. Many of them must be set up for formal deportation or removal hearings, which means they are soon released into the community because of a lack of detention space. Hundreds of thousands scheduled for deportation hearings never show, and add to the growing number of illegal aliens waiting patiently for the Obama amnesty to kick in. And the probable Democratic candidate for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton, has announced full support for citizenship for all illegal aliens in the U.S. So we see examples along our southern border of illegal aliens crossing, then turning themselves in to the Border Patrol, knowing that they will most likely be released into the county, never to be seen or heard from again (until the next amnesty).

When it comes to immigration policy, both in the EU and the U.S., political correctness and political advantage are the only guiding principles that govern immigration enforcement. There are no longer any rules or standards that apply; existing laws passed by Congress are ignored and/or violated by politicians for political advantage. There are no longer any rules, save what the president and his appointees at DHS and DOJ decide they want the rules to be, and no longer a willingness to face the harsh realities presented when millions of poor people around the world decide it's time to move to a better place. Immigration policy is no longer made by governments; it's made by desperate people in the slums, barrios and refugee camps, who could care less what the American and European people want. Both the EU and the Obama administration have sent the message and it has been received: if you come, you will be welcomed.