The NYT on Chief of Staff John Kelly:
For all of the talk of Mr. Kelly as a moderating force and the so-called grown-up in the room, it turns out that he harbors strong feelings on patriotism, national security and immigration that mirror the hard-line views of his outspoken boss.
Strong feelings on patriotism, you say? In a White House Chief of Staff? National Security, too?

I can see people worrying about immigration. Kelly's DHS developed a hard-core strategy of proving to illegal immigrants that they could rely on no safe havens anywhere in America. You see stories like this one about a 10-year-old cerebral palsy patient that Border Patrol agents followed to the hospital, and then arrested as soon as she was released. Clearly the intent is to communicate that there will be no mercy for illegal immigrants, and that they have to fear showing up anywhere: the hospital, court, school, anywhere at all. The government can't deport 11 million people, or 20 million people, and it doesn't even know if the true figure is 11 or 20 million people. If it can make living in America sufficiently terrifying, however, it might convince them to leave on their own.

Those are the hardball tactics that I'd expect from a Marine assigned to enforcing immigration law given the exigent existing circumstances. We'll simply never get back to an enforceable state of affairs otherwise: the choice is between hardball tactics or accepting this mass illegal immigration as a fait accompli. A lot of people will nevertheless be put off by the hardball play, as most people prefer feeling generous and kind rather than cruel and merciless.

You can't properly damn Kelly for taking this tactic if you are also one of those who supported the Obama and Bush II era policies that made this the only choice on the table. If Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush had done their job to ensure that the laws were faithfully executed, we would not now be in a case in which the only options are "accept that the law has failed" and "restore effective enforcement by horror." That is of course what we'll hear, though, because the idea is supposed to be that the law itself was always wrong; not enforcing it was always right. Enforcing it emphatically in ways that scare people is even worse than enforcing it gently in ways that allow many people to slip through the cracks.

Still, for what it's worth, that's how we got here. Kelly's DHS is doing this because literally the only alternative is accepting the 11 or 20 (or 30 or 40) million people who came here illegally. He was hired to get a handle on this problem, and this approach is the only functional way left on the table. The people who made that reality bear a lot of the blame for the fact that this approach has been chosen by their successors.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

I have two sons adopted from Romania. I believe there is a practical number of immigrants the US can absorb every year, and we should work from that. Therefore, every illegal ultimately takes the place of a legal immigrant. If the number that we set is too low, so that we can actually absorb more illegals, then we should increase the number and decide who they shall be, rather than having that decided for us.

If the number we've announced is the right number, then we shouldn't take in any more, especially as it our own poor and minority citizens who are most affected.

This is an excellent example where kindness to one means cruelty to another.

Anonymous said...

The MSM ( and the educational establishment ) have memory-holed the expulsion of (mostly) Mexican illegals by Eisenhower, and the replacement of the illegals as farm laborers by identified and permitted on temporary work visas in the Bracero Program, which was ended by Truman. The program worked, and the farm workers went back to Mexico after the season.
John in Indy

MikeD said...

Something may be wrong with your timeline there, John. Truman served as President prior to Dwight Eisenhower. He couldn't end a program Ike started unless you contend Truman put on a JFK or LBJ (or Nixon, I suppose) suit and did it.

Texan99 said...

Arresting the young cerebral palsy patient reminds me of the Obama administration's uncompromising approach to budget crises: let the dangerous spending go on, then spend extra money barring people from previously free lookout points on highways. It's vicious theater.

But I, too, am shocked to learn that there are people in high positions in government with strong feelings about patriotism. I thought the public school system was supposed to have eliminated all that by now. Perhaps he was home-schooled.

Cassandra said...

I'm laughing my tuckus off at how quickly Kelly morphed from Savior of the Realm and Literally The Only Thing Standing Between We-The-Woke-People and the Trumpocalypse to being a dirty, rotten lying traitor who is secretly plotting a military coup.

Actually, I'm not laughing - it's most like crying.

douglas said...

Hmm, I had thought Ike started the Bracero program as well, but apparently it started under Truman (1942) and was mostly killed by Kennedy in 1964, finally fully killed a few years later.

Tangential fact- Cesar Chavez was strongly anti-illegal immigrant.

Cass, you could get whiplash trying to keep track of the left's positions, they change so quickly and drastically.

Matt said...

Hmm, I had thought Ike started the Bracero program as well, but apparently it started under Truman (1942) and was mostly killed by Kennedy in 1964, finally fully killed a few years later.

If the program was mostly killed by Kennedy, he definitely didn't do it in 1964...

Ymar Sakar said...

Is this going to stop US CW2?