Cleverly and with their habitual dishonesty, liberals this spring have managed to turn the issue of mass immigration into issues of mass refugee and asylum seeking, thus altering the terms of debate entirely. Having failed to persuade the country that anyone who wants to immigrate to the United States should be allowed to do so, they are now insisting, in effect, that immigration itself is a form of asylum seeking from one evil or another, and that every would-be immigrant from the Third World is, rightly considered, a refugee from countries President described as “shit-holes”—a designation the left hysterically criticized at the time, but one which they now implicitly acknowledge was a fair and accurate description of places the United States has a supposed moral duty to rescue its unhappy citizens from.
Now that the left has succeeded in transforming, by rhetorical sleight-of-hand, mass immigration into mass asylum seeking, the need obviously arises for “comprehensive reform” of our asylum and refugee policies, as well as of our immigration laws. Just as we cannot accept everyone from around the world who would like to immigrate here, so we cannot accept everyone who wishes to claim refuge and asylum in America. Currently the thousands of people turning up at our borders claiming their “rights” to those things, and the American left which supports them, is subjecting the United States to collective moral blackmail. “Comprehensive asylum and refugee reform”—severe restriction—is the only clear way to end this outrage.
Chilton Williamson, Jr., was the senior editor for books for Chronicles since 1989, and was appointed as editor beginning June 1, 2015. He is the author of several books, including Mexico Way, The Education of Hector Villa, The Hundredth Meridian, The Immigration Mystique, The Conservative Bookshelf, and After Tocqueville: The Promise and Failure of Democracy. His latest book, Jerusalem, Jerusalem (Chronicles Press), released in 2017.