On March 6, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security on the subject of “The Way Forward on Border Security.” Some of our elected representatives asked helpful and insightful questions and offered useful information about the border crisis and our broken immigration system. Others preferred to ask “gotcha” questions, take swipes President Trump, offer misleading emotional claims, or simply lecture or even berate Secretary Nielsen. One such exemplar – although one representative of much of the left’s narrative on immigration – was Representative Al Green (D-Texas).
The congressman did not take the opportunity to ask the head of the DHS any questions (unlike, say, Rep. Lou Correa, a fellow Democrat from California, who asked many probing and intelligent questions). Nor did he seem particularly interested in anything Secretary Nielsen had to say or the details of the border crisis. Instead, Mr. Green chose to grandstand.
He began his moralizing sermon by reading Emma Lazarus’ famous poem, “The New Colossus” (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses…”.), which advocates of open borders frequently quote to rationalize the failure to secure the border. Then, Green unequivocally accused President Trump, Secretary Nielsen, and Americans supporting common-sense immigration reforms of racism and white supremacism. The real reason the administration and so many Americans believe there is a national emergency on the southern border, Green alleged, is that they fear that America has “exceeded” its “color quota.” In other words, immigration reformers are racist white supremacists concerned only with keeping out “people of color.”
The representative from Texas was apparently day-dreaming or napping when Secretary Nielsen (and several other members of Congress) laid out the numerous threats stemming from our failure to secure the border, including the potential of our system being overwhelmed, the record-breaking amounts of drugs flowing in, the numbers of migrants being raped or otherwise facing violence along their journey north, and the national security implications of an open border. Perhaps he simply does not follow the news very much.
It also seems that Rep. Green thinks that lighter-skinned aliens attempting to sneak into the country are somehow waved through and given a free pass by the Border Patrol. Any Border Patrol agent – including the approximately 51 percent of agents who happen to be Hispanic – could have quickly disabused Mr. Green of this delusion had he only bothered to speak to them.
In his quest to indict immigration reformers as racists, Congressman Green ignored the fact that minorities – especially African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other minorities – are among the biggest victims of unchecked illegal migration. This is one of the reasons why the late Civil Rights leader and a fellow Texas Democrat, Representative Barbara Jordan, vigorously championed bipartisan immigration reform in the spirit of the American national interest. This is something that our legislators should consider revisiting.