The Immigration Mess
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
President Trump is receiving plenty of flak for closing down immigration possibilities for refugees from several Muslim-dominated nations. One federal judge has ordered a hold on the president’s executive order, but little has yet to be done about our country’s relatively wide open borders and loose immigration policies.The immigration problem didn’t start last year, or five or ten years ago. It’s been a virtual national suicide pact for decades. Very few Americans today know anything about the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. Authored by two Democrats, Nevada’s Senator Pat McCarran and Pennsylvania’s Congressman Francis Walter, their measure established quotas based on ethnicity of those seeking to enter the U.S.
The Act stipulated that if ten percent of the U.S. population were of Italian ancestry, then ten percent of legal immigrants could be from Italy. Similar quotas were set for Irish, German, British, and Polish immigrants, as well as other nationalities. The goal was to maintain the culture of our nation, a foundation built by the Europeans who started coming here, even before the 1776 breakaway from England. And McCarran-Walter set the number to be accepted per year at 270,000.
After the Act won easy passage in Congress, President Truman vetoed it. A mere two days later, Congress overrode his veto – with plenty of support from Democratic congressmen – and the Act became law and was immediately targeted by domestic Communists and Leftists. But in 1965, liberals led by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) succeeded in overturning America’s immigration policy. No one seems willing to talk about the underlying motive of Kennedy and his Democrat cronies: Flood the nation with immigrants who will vote Democrats into office.
It didn’t take long for massive numbers to begin flooding into the U.S. By 1986, President Reagan signed a bill granting amnesty to 2.7 million illegal immigrants. He said the problem was now solved, an utterly ridiculous claim. It grew worse. And soon, the arrivals weren’t just poor Mexicans looking for a job. The outmanned Border Patrol created a category of entrants known as OTMs – Other Than Mexicans. And the cost of feeding, housing, educating, and providing medical care for millions became an enormous burden.
With today’s flood of refugees fleeing the war-torn nations of the Middle East and parts of Africa, the U.S. is being asked (told?) by the UN to accept more immigrants. Will any be terrorists? Answers to that have never been satisfactorily answered. So Mr. Trump moved: No immigration from countries where terrorists might be among the refugees. And, for that, he has been severely castigated.
Looking back, we recall that the 9/11/01 hijackers came from the Middle East, almost all from Saudi Arabia, a country not on Trump’s list. The brothers who set off their bombs at the Boston Marathon came from the Middle East. It’s true that the killers in San Bernardino, Fort Hood, and Orlando were legal residents of the U.S. But others who have tried to create mayhem came from countries noted by Mr. Trump – the Muslim who tried to set off a shoe bomb on a commercial airliner being a good example.
The Trump order called for a 90-day ban on immigration from Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen plus an indefinite ban on entrants from Syria. Bleeding heart liberals and hardcore leftists have protested vigorously. But there exists a mounting number of Americans whose relatives, friends, co-workers, and others have been killed by radical Islamists in what might be termed “normal” (not terrorist) ways. This number is sure to grow.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright now insists that President Trump’s edict is “a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values.” She likely has never heard of the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act. She would be horrified to know that its authors were members of her Democrat Party. Her response to the Trump plan would open America’s borders to anyone. Thank goodness she’s a “former” Secretary of State.
Maintaining the flawed immigration policies that Mr. Trump tried to address in a relatively small way is dead wrong. Some new policy has to be created. We hope Mr. Trump succeeds in protecting our nation and its culture before both are no longer recognizable.
Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and President. Mr. McManus has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs and is also author of a number of educational DVDs and books. Now President Emeritus, he continues his involvement with the Society through public speaking and writing for this blog, the JBS Bulletin, and The New American.
Open Border Costs Angela Merkel
by JBS President Emeritus John F. McManus
Over the past year, more than one million refugees have descended on Germany. Many German citizens have expressed sharp discontent over their government’s open border policy. One result is a serious slippage of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s popularity.The holder of the nation’s highest office for the past 11 years, Merkel now knows of the stinging rebukes dealt to her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in recent local elections. Asked about the CDU’s losses and the loss of her personal political clout, she accepted blame for the influx of foreigners, but her message features only regret that the people disagree with what she has allowed. She has done next to nothing to reverse the policy that has permitted so many refugees to descend on the German nation.
In remarks after meeting with CDU leaders in the wake of two significant political party setbacks, she stated, “If I could, I would turn back the time by many, many years to better prepare myself and the whole German government for the situation that reached us unprepared in late summer 2015. Nobody, including myself, wants a repeat of this situation.” How far back she would like to turn wasn’t made clear. But before the collapse of Communism in Europe 25 years ago, she held a post in the East German Communist government. Is a return to communist-style rule what she wants? When the Iron Curtain came down, she and many other Communist functionaries throughout Eastern Europe abandoned the “communist” label and, overnight, announced they were now “socialists.”
The sudden presence of one million refugees resulted in a crime wave that Germans aren’t forgetting. After a New Year’s Eve rampage in Cologne eight months ago, women who were attacked filed more than 650 criminal complaints. Almost all were aimed at newly arrived refugees. Hamburg saw 150 similar complaints. Attempts to cover up the attacks in Cologne led to the resignation of the police chief. Nearly half of the city’s refugees from northern Africa have engaged in criminal acts – mostly theft. Many threw away their passports so that their home country wouldn’t be known.
Here in the U.S., President Obama delivered his final speech before the UN General Assembly on September 20th. In it, he called for acceptance of more refugees. Paralleling the president’s urging aimed at the leaders of other nations, the White House announced a week earlier to accept 110,000 refugees in the coming year, especially those from war-torn countries of the Middle East. He also pledged to spend $3 billion for resettlement programs to use the funds for jobs and education for the new arrivals. Tugging at heartstrings customarily accompanies announcements about the need to accept more refugees. But no mention is made of the stern warning given by FBI Director Comey only a few months ago that his agency is completely unable to vet Middle Eastern refugees who come here.
Barack Obama will leave office in January 2017. Will his successor carry on his lax refugee policies, or will there be a change in the attitude of the next occupant of the White House? What has been happening in Germany ought to be on the minds of America’s voters this November. To help persuade U.S. voters when they go to the polling places, Mr. Obama stated: “I’ll see it as a personal insult to my legacy and the work we’ve done together if we fail to step up and make sure that Hillary takes my place in January.” That statement alone will likely sway many U.S. voters. Are you one of them?
Refugees: America Not Being Given the Whole Story
by JBS President John F. McManus
Not everyone is burying details surrounding the refugee crisis and the potential for terrorism. But there surely are some potentially dangerous ideas afloat.
First, President Obama wants to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees to America. Who decides whether someone is a legitimate refugee merely seeking safety and is not a potential mass murderer? The answer is the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Anyone from anywhere who seeks refugee status goes to a UN official who relies for his determination on a set of qualifications contained in the 1951 Refugee Convention. How many Americans know of this arrangement?Not only does UNHCR decide whether this or that individual meets the UN’s criteria, the world body then decides which country should accept them. Are some being directed by the UN to go to America? Will any be terrorists? No U.S. authority knows. As in so many other matters, the UN is the behind-the-scenes controller of the situation. Mr. Obama certainly is aware of this arrangement but he’s not telling us the whole story. Will thorough background checks be made on UN-designated refugees? No problem, says the President. But not everyone believes that either.
Among the needed perspective that some are trying to convey is Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.), the Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. A few days prior to the San Bernardino rampage where 14 were killed and 21 injured in what was clearly a terrorist attack, he stated on the MSNBC morning news show, “I am extremely concerned. What the President is telling us is not true.” King insisted that those who would check incoming refugees simply don’t have the capability of determining whether a refugee might be a terrorist. He wrote to both the President and House Speaker Ryan with a plea for terminating acceptance of Syrian refugees until there is “an effective vetting and monitoring process that insures our national security.” He based his concerns on classified briefings he and others in the Congress attended.
King is not alone. As recently as October 22nd, FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the Bureau is unable to vet the Syrians the President wants to welcome. He told lawmakers, “If someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity – or their interests – reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing show up because we have no record of them.”
What concerns Director Comey is the inability of his people to know of any terrorist inclinations in such persons as Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik who killed 14 and wounded 21 in San Bernardino. Neither of these two was on anyone’s watch list, including the FBI’s. Could a similarly inclined person escape detection by posing as a Syrian refugee? Of course!
Finally, another dangerous idea floating around is one of gun control. Immediately after the carnage in San Bernardino, the New York Times placed its editorial comment not on the Editorial Page but on Page One. This admittedly remarkable departure from normal hasn’t been done at the Times since 1920. Labeled “The Gun Epidemic,” the December 5th editorial called for more gun controls, meaning more cancellation of the God-given right to be armed.
Washington D.C. police chief Cathy Lanier had already registered a “politically incorrect” recommendation during her pre-San Bernardino appearance on the CBS 60 Minutes program. If faced with a gunman, she said it would be a good idea to have a gun to use against a terrorist or a crazed individual. She gave her advice as follows: “If you’re in a position to try and take the gunman down – to take the gunman out – it’s the best option for saving lives before the police get there.” While her rhetoric is to be commended, her record of approving concealed carry permits in DC appears to be lacking.
Mr. Obama’s position is totally wrong and the American people had better realize how wrong he is. Congressman King, FBI Director Comey, and DC Chief of Police Lanier should be applauded for making extremely good sense.
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Mr. McManus served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1950s and joined the staff of The John Birch Society in August 1966. He has served various roles for the organization including Field Coordinator, Director of Public Affairs, and now President. He remains the Society’s chief media representative throughout the nation and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs. Mr. McManus is also Publisher of The New American magazine and author of a number of educational DVDs and books.