This morning’s Richmond Times-Dispatch has Republican frontrunner Ed Gillespie out ahead of the furor over Trump’s immigration restrictions:
“When you factor out all the misinformation and media hysteria, it’s clear that a temporary pause on refugee resettlement is a rational step to secure our homeland and keep Americans safe, but it should accommodate those green card holders who pose no security threat returning from travel outside the United States,” Gillespie said in a written statement.
David French over at National Review Online has a tremendous overview, and despite the confusion over whether green card holders can be denied at ports of entry, not only does the executive order never ban green card holders from entering the United States (as in, no where in the EO does it even mention green card holders), but Trump would be specifically prohibited from doing so under the 1952 INA.
So where is the hysteria coming from? And doesn’t it feel a bit… oh, I dunno… orchestrated to all of the sudden have thousands of folks mystically arrive at various points across the country?
Ah yes… flash mobs of hysteria.
Of course, everyone is on pins and needles trying to figure out what Trump intends to do vis a vis immigration. The plight of Syrian Christians remains a concern, one that is extremely difficult to sort out on the ground. Just moments after Canadian PM Justin Trudeau condemned President Trump’s actions regarding refugees, Quebec City was hit with a terrorist attack that claimed the lives of six — perpetrated by two Syrian refugees and targeted at a mosque.
It will perhaps be difficult for liberals to understand that there are some who do not want to live in the secular order they have built. Such is the world.
Yet what is more difficult to understand is the impulse on the right to over-correct with regards to immigration. That somehow, by trading just a few more of our civil liberties, the appeasement will suffice and we will magically trade freedom for safety.
Americans didn’t used to believe that, anyhow. So we vacillate between the twin positions of “build a wall!” from the nationalist right and “open borders!” from the estranged left — two positions that no thinking person truly holds. Americans don’t build walls — we tear them down. Simultaneously, we are a nation of laws — laws that must be enforced when violated… not designed to punish lawbreakers and not codify good behavior. A wall is merely a physical manifestation of the latter; something conservatives instinctively hold against every leftist nanny state push to order what we eat, drink, or smoke.
One is still shocked that the antithesis of “Americans don’t build walls; we tear them down” is the immediate implication that you are for open borders. That’s the PC of the right at play — a charge designed to shut down thought. What most Americans are in favor of is an immigration policy that respects the rule of law, allows the best and brightest to come here and become Americans, provides a safe haven for refugees, and lives up to our virtues as a free people.
If the thesis is “build a wall!” and the antithesis is “open borders!” then the sensible synthesis should be “enforce the laws” — the balance between tyranny and license being liberty… not shortsighted and reactionary politics that argued do something! before rationally considering at what cost we are trading our freedoms… even if at the price of temporary security.
Fr. James Martin S.J. scribbled a wonderful piece that is worth about three minutes of your time to scan… before the writing itself invites you into a ten-minute reflection:
These measures, which mean the rejection of the stranger, the rejection of the person in need, the rejection of those who suffer, are manifestly un-Christian and utterly contrary to the Gospel. Indeed, last year, Pope Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian. This is not the Gospel….”
But if you still don’t want to listen to Pope Francis, then listen to Pope John Paul II, St. John Paul II, who wrote dozens of times about refugees and migrants. “Seek to help our brother and sister refugees in every possible way by providing a welcome…Show them an open mind and a warm heart,” he said. And as if predicting our current situation, he said, “It is necessary to guard against the rise of new forms of racism or xenophobic behavior, which attempt to make these brothers and sisters of ours scapegoats for what may be difficult local situations.”
Taylor Marshall offers his thoughts as well, contrasting how St. Thomas Aquinas would have treated Muslims in the 13th century vs. how we are to consider refugees writ large today:
Have no doubt that Thomas Aquinas would have stated that Christian nations should receive Christian refugees but refuse Muslim refugees for the sake of national justice and the common good. The Muslim’s official declaration of faith denies natural law (eg, polygamy), religious liberty (eg, Sharia), and implicitly Muhammad’s doctrine and example of political violence.
We Christians should be generous with humanitarian aid toward Muslims and all people. We should send money and resources to those who have been dispossessed. We should be loving and generous with Muslims. Kindness brings about conversion and understanding. We should also try to topple the Islamic State and eradicate terrorism in our lands and in the Islamic lands.
That smacks of General “Mad Dog” Mattis’ old line “I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f–ck with me, I’ll kill you all” when Marshall discusses Samaritans vs. Maccabeeans. One would (politely) suggest to Marshall that the Maccabees were pushed against the wall…
…and for all the double meaning implied in that, I am quite certain it is not we who are pushed up against any wall, metaphorical or actualized. The Samaritan response is the correct response of a free, Christian people.
Wandering back to Gillespie and the hysteria that has wrapped itself around this issue, it is yet another reason to demonstrate that the Democrats are not just in disarray… but in absolute panic.
Something to consider on the opposition bench though. As Northam continues to rest on his laurels, Perriello’s messaging (and his presence at Dulles Airport — with the protesters) seems to be much more in sync with the progressive main street:
“I think the key for the Democratic Party is to show to a very powerful and dynamic coalition that we are hearing them and connecting to their issues,” said former Representative Tom Perriello, who made a surprise entry into the Virginia governor’s race after Mr. Trump’s election and drove to Dulles International Airport from Richmond, Va., on Saturday to join the protests.
One doesn’t quite see Northam heading up a “dynamic coalition” anytime soon.