Welcome to Open Borders Fantasy Land!

The open borders lobby consistently relies on disingenuous arguments to advance its agenda. Chief among those fallacious claims is the notion that enforcing U.S. immigration law somehow constitutes a “human rights” violation. And the Huffington Post has published yet another puff-piece by an American immigration attorney feigning righteous indignation at the “civil liberties abuses” allegedly suffered by illegal aliens.

Titled “The Republicans Reclaim America by Cleansing it of All Noncitizens” it was authored by Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of “Latino Justice,” at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund (PRLDEF). And it is filled with legal mischaracterizations so egregious, they read like 1950s era Soviet anti-American propaganda.

Mr. Cartagena begins by claiming that President Trump is trading American values (particularly due process of law) in order to “cleanse” the country of illegal aliens. Apart from the outrageously offensive implication that the current administration is a white supremacist organization bent on ethnic cleansing, he’s just plain wrong. The Trump administration hasn’t suggested, in any way, that it wishes to see aliens deprived of due process. In fact, it is patently obvious that Team Trump sees fair and open deportation proceedings as one way of vindicating its claims about the deleterious effects of criminal aliens and uncontrolled mass migration by job seekers.

Cartagena follows up with the absurd claim that the president is attempting to create a “police state that will make Latinos, Asians, and Africans disappear just on suspicion of probable cause.”  How exactly will this happen? A Federal District Court in California – whose holdings are only supposed to be applicable within the district over which it has jurisdiction – unilaterally flouted 150 years of precedent and blocked the implementation of the Trump immigration/national security Executive Order. That seems more like a state that is overly sensitive to minority rights than it does a police state where people disappear.

And what exactly is “suspicion of probable cause”? By definition, probable cause is a form of suspicion. It is the reasonable belief, by a law enforcement officer, that a violation of law has been committed. The Trump administration hasn’t changed the applicable laws, or legal standards, pursuant to which illegal aliens may be arrested (nor does it have any authority do that). The mere fact that President Obama abdicated his constitutional duty, under the “necessary and proper” clause, to enforce immigration law doesn’t render it a civil rights violation when President Trump fulfills that duty.

The absurdity continues: “Get ready in a few years’ time for an American landscape with virtually no one to pick crops, chop livestock, construct homes at minimum wage, landscape, nanny or work the kitchens of our finest restaurants.” This is a man who gets paid to advocate on behalf of aliens and the extent of his hopes for new arrivals is mass amnesty and condemnation to the lowest rung of the economic ladder?  His arguments begin to sound less like any reasonable plea for “Latino justice” and more like a request for an endless supply of illegal aliens who Mr. Cartagena can profit from defending.

In 1918 U.S. Senator Hiram Warren Johnson is purported to have said, “The first casualty of war is truth.” Once upon a time in America, integrity and honesty were values treasured by the practicing bar. But in the current war on immigration enforcement, ethnic grievance lawyers are more than willing to kill the truth whenever it conflicts with their political agenda. Welcome to open borders fantasy land!


About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    Paying below minimum wage doesn’t hurt illegals. That “legal” money usually goes back to their country. They can afford to do this because they get free housing, food, education, any of the things citizens have to pay for. I know a woman who has lived here illegally for years and has built two houses – in Mexico – one for her “retirement” and one for her mother. She complained about how hard it was to choose tile, flooring, etc. without actually being there, but was afraid to go “home” because she may not be able to get back into the States.

  2. avatar
    Barbara Griffith on

    The U.S. tax payer has no obligation to allow anyone from Mexico or any other country to waltz in and demand that they can stay and that includes these refugee organizations that pocket at least 300,000 to 500,000 in fees a year for settling refugees in our country. These are taxpayer dollars that pays these crooks. We are under no obligation to relieve Mexico of its responsibility for its own people that it has encouraged for decades to sneak across our Southern border work illegally and send twenty four billion dollars to Mexico each year while the taxpayer foots the billions of tax dollars that it cost us each year to medicate, school, feed and house half of Mexico’s population.

    • avatar

      That’s correct. This is a business for the refugee organizations. They bring them in, pay their expenses for several months and then dump them on the taxpayers. A large percentage collect welfare of various sorts for many years. Maine is the proof of that. Somalis did not go to a cold weather state for the brisk air. It’s because Maine at the time had very generous benefits, which they have cut back since, to the usual claims of “discrimination”.

  3. avatar
    Not Politically Correct on

    I don’t see why they should even be allowed “due process” if they’re not citizens. Aren’t such things as this for citizens and legal immigrants only??

  4. avatar

    Typical of a Meks, Juan Cartagena would like everyone to believe he has it right. He does, but ONLY if he’s speaking to the illegals that he earns his living off the backs of. He spouts big, promises much, but in the face of Law he falls flat on his Hispanic lies. It has been such as he that have promoted illegal dreams and made sure he delayed their departures as long as possible.
    Now that he’s faced with people who will actually ENFORCE EXISTING LAWS he screams all the louder.
    It might be a good idea to take him to a place, such as Turkey or Pakistan and force him to cross THEIR border illegally. Problem solved because he’d likely simply be ‘disappeared’.
    Now THERE is a plan I can get behind.

  5. avatar

    It’s interesting to me that we only have the illegal Mexicans that are causing so much trouble when there are illegals of many different countries here that are not in the public eye.
    I only have antenna television stations and I tuned into one and came upon a government session in Ireland. It was a session deciding on a number of items. One item caught my interest. They were trying to decide what they would do when their people who are illegally in the United States would be deported back to Ireland. If and when they would be deported they needed to be able to get them employment and housing, etc.
    I then realized that there are more illegals here in the United States from many different countries. I don’t see any of them demanding “rights” that they don’t deserve because they are illegal. I wonder if these “other” illegals are pushing for the Mexican illegals to receive these rights and are backing them up so they will also be able to escape deportation. The Mexicans are in the limelight in this fight and are among those who are open in their demands, being violent, rapists, murderers, thieves and downright mooching off the taxpayer, while those from other countries are sitting in the background hoping they will profit from these efforts.
    I don’t care where any illegal comes from, they are still illegal and should be deported. They are here illegally no matter what color their skin is, no matter what language they speak, or how they came here. They are taking jobs from our citizens, taking benefits that they are not entitled to and destroying our economy. ILLEGAL IS ILLEGAL!! We have immigration laws and they should be adhered to. If one disobeys our immigration laws they have no respect for our justice system then they should, indeed, be deported.

  6. avatar

    The actual results
    of new deportation policies
    are just beginning to unfold.
    Existing immigration law does give the President
    broad latitude to deport any and all unauthorized foreign nationals.
    But as a practical matter,
    almost all foreigners now settled in the USA without permission
    will be given due process.
    They will be able to present their cases to an immigration judge.

    Current immigration law allows ‘expedited removal’
    for any unauthorized foreign national
    who has been living in the USA for less than two years.
    Previous administrations have not used this provision very often,
    but the new administration has now decided
    to take advantage of this existing provision of law.
    It will make deportation of some ‘recent’ unauthorized immigrants quicker and easier.
    Read more details about “expedited removal” here:

  7. avatar

    I too Did All the Jobs Americans Allegedly Don’t Do

    Had a landscaping business until age 18. Built houses at age 15-16. Picked strawberries at age 10. Baby sat at age 12. Sold cord wood until age 21.

    Hey….they took our youth’s employment from us.

    • avatar

      So you should be a millionaire by now if that was so good … How come you left it to become an engineer? .

      Let me put some light. Yes you picked up strawberries at ten Not to make a living….Be more realistic…

      I know landscapers in two years had a crew n in three bought two houses…..Etc etc etc

      And no way you have the physical capabilities to work like the Mexican s in a hit day or hard fir 15 hours straight.. many abused….Matt needs to Rachel the US n see our reality
      Just keeping you honest. …

      • avatar

        Rachel=travel…. Matt it is a fact the illegal s are u serious paid n their civil rights abused…..I have seen it myself …..

        That is a problem when people have an opinion without riding in facts like Senator Cotton….N O’Reilly straighten es him out .. .

      • avatar

        Peter, Do You Have a Degree in Anything?

        Are you like Bill Gates, a high school level billionaire that doesn’t have clue what an engineer does? But pretends he’s above an engineer….LOL

        If you had a brain and weren’t so GREEDY you’d realize our health care lacks the real education it needs….bioengineers butcher axing nurse and doctors numbers to drive down costs….we out sourced most of American bioengineering too. Guys like you are so unprofessional, brainless and so GREEDY.

        Ya can’t think out of your pig-headed box. Hire an engineer…LOL

  8. avatar

    I can remember when mowing neighbors’ lawns was a way for kids to make some extra money and high school kids worked at the local fast food restaurant.

    • avatar

      Absolutely. I mowed lawns as a kid and I still mow my own. Most of us do. It’s a lie Americans will not do this as a job. This guy also says we won’t have construction workers at “minimum wage” Uh, don’t liberals want fifteen bucks an hour for everyone. Talk about contradictions. I know guys who left construction because they can’t support a family like they used to be able to do.

      • avatar

        Yeah, there will never be higher wages for everyone as long as millions of lower wage workers are dumped on our country. It looks like open borders liberals really don’t care about increasing wages for American workers.

        • avatar

          I work and have since I was 11 years old and learned how to work picking beans. I have done all the jobs that they say Americans won’t do. My children also worked in fields they picked rocks off of farm land they built fences hauled hay and stacked it irrigated and cut brush. We cleaned out barns and shoveled snow, lit smudge pots and picked fruit They all grew up and became good hard working men.
          It has all changed now.Our current youth do not have the opportunity to work as previous generations did, Partly because society is worried that they may be abused and they just do not have work available. no wonder there is so much lawlessness and delinquents they have no chance to work for pay that they can use for their own needs so they become bored and lazy.
          While their parents hold down 2 or more jobs to make enough wages to support a family,and pay higher taxes to support the many that do not work.

        • avatar

          That is why it was so puzzling to hear Hillary yell ” I will fight for the middle class” on the campaign trial while she was seeking to have refugees from Syria located to the US, and wanting illegals to be granted amnesty. Translation: I will fight the middle class to give your jobs to noncitizens…

      • avatar

        I have done construction. No Mexican or other illegal works for minimum wage. Are you stupid? They damn well know our laws. Even if they work under the table they argue for prevailing wage. No illegal does any job an American won’t do. Even picking. They are slick & monopolize. Don’t buy the lies!

        • avatar

          Whether they work for absolute minimum wage or not, they bring down wages to the point that Americans cannot make the money they used to. I personally know many people who have worked in construction in the past and they cannot make the living they used to make. During the depths of the recession they told me they would go to job sites and there were foreign speaking individuals working and the companies were offering not much over minimum. I can believe them or your claims. It’s supply and demand.