Trump highlights illegal immigration

(Daily Record, The (Wooster, OH))

WASHINGTON — I think Americans are being a little unfair to Donald Trump. Oh sure, he brags tiresomely about his money and his women, and he couldn’t tell a Mexican from a San Blas Islander if his life depended upon it. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he’s never hired a public relations firm because he surely would drive its officers to the loony pen.

Yet, “The Donald” — or The Emperor, Napoleon, Master of all the Horizons, or any other favored nicknames — is, at this particular moment, second in the polls among Republican candidates for president of the United States of America, a position he doubtless feels is not quite high enough for him.

Anything he can’t buy with money — and, as he continuously tells us, he has lots and lots and LOTS of it — he doesn’t really value. (If only we could get him to passionately invest in mistreated animals, a cure for cancer or finding a way to keep inner-city American boys from traveling to Syria and enlisting with ISIS!) Come to think of it, Trump is the perfect example of the old saying about the man who knew the price of everything, but the value of nothing.

So, why do I think we’re being unfair to this purely American creation? Because, by his own words, he has single-handedly brought home to the American people the No. 1 domestic problem we face: illegal immigration. Not just immigration, as so many are misquoting him these days, but ILLEGAL immigration.

Before this, Americans approached illegal immigration from one of two mentalities. The first, the sentimentalists, insist that we must welcome into our open arms any and all men and women who demand our help. It is the “right thing to do,” and these people show little concern for what free-form immigration does to the country.

The sentimentalists, oddly enough, often unite with the second group, the commercial users and manipulators who want illegals for cheap labor. These generally include the big farmers in the Southwest who can’t get Americans to do the back-breaking work in the fields. Systematically bringing in laborers and paying them fairly just seems to be too much of a problem to these businessmen.

Beyond those two major groups, you find the politicians who use illegal immigration (and, often enough, legal immigration) for their political purposes. And then there is the group, myself included, that believes illegal immigration at present levels (there are approximately 11 million illegal or undocumented aliens already IN the country today, not to mention those still coming) presage a potentially disastrous future for America.

We hate the vulgarity of Donald Trump and his disgusting, self- serving insults to Mexicans and whomever else. That is the exact opposite of what we believe in. But we might pause, as a nation, to ask ourselves exactly WHY it has taken a big-mouth with lots of money to awaken America to a problem many were afraid to talk about.

The concept of the nation-state did not just “happen” one night when humanity’s best thinkers got together over drinks. The nation- state is the result of patient and important reforms, dating from the Renaissance and the Reformation, that provide a way to ensure the protection by the state of its citizens, who would in turn commit themselves to defending the state.

My own favorite definition of citizenship is “voluntary allegiance.” One pledges, in Jefferson’s words, one’s life, one’s fortune and one’s sacred honor to his or her country.

Illegal immigration involves none of this, although individual men and women who come illegally certainly have feelings for America and what it means. But the problem is that, no matter how good a person the illegal alien is, that person can never rise above the broader reality that illegal immigration corrupts everyone and everything it touches.

The “coyotes” who bring the poorest illegals to America, often killing or abandoning them, are the scum of the earth. The illegals are likely to arrive so traumatized by their trip to the border that many will never come out of it. The drug cartels in Mexico are known to be deeply involved with the illegals. This surely does not mean, as The Donald spews out, that all Mexicans are bad; it means Americans simply have to fear and face the drug cartels.

Thus, I believe that Donald Trump has done us a great favor. Despite his nasty tongue, he has called national attention to ILLEGAL immigration. Americans have known of the problems for decades; perhaps now we will act.

Georgie Anne Geyer has been a foreign correspondent and commentator on international affairs for more than 40 years. She can be reached

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