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False Narratives: Failure to distinguish between the legal immigrant and the illegal alien

Calling Americans who Believe in the Rule of Law Xenophobic Nativists who Hate Immigrants


By —— Bio and Archives--August 9, 2018

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The False Narrative: Calling Americans who Believe in the Rule of Law Xenophobic Nativists who Hate Immigrants
A Rabbi in Virginia recently posted a sermon he had delivered on his congregation’s website. In the sermon he accused citizens of being xenophobic nativists, who hate immigrants. Those same citizens, who believe that we are a nation of laws, and that the 50,000 people who are illegally crossing our southern border every month are lawbreakers and should be denied entry to our country. 

“This is our challenge.  To accept that nativism is strong here in America,..To accept that people right now fear immigrants.  To recognize that many citizens in America want to… to block them or abuse them or even worse to attack them in order to keep them out.  We should not pretend that the fear and hatred will disappear.  A big swath of Americans will continue to desire a curse on the immigrants.”

He went on to state that there can be no debate on the subject of immigration and that Jews must and all Americans should embrace the people who are climbing over fences to sneak in the U.S.

“But Jews cannot take this path… the Torah is clearer on the issue of immigration than it is on any other issue… While Jews can debate almost any other issue—taxes, healthcare, gun violence—the Torah gives us no latitude to debate immigration… There is simply no room for debate on this one in our tradition.  We are obligated to care for the foreigner.  Period.”


He finished his sermon with a call for political activism in support of the Democratic Party open borders policy.

“As we work with our interfaith, social justice and governmental partners, we will discover opportunities for action and support of the immigrant community.  We may be going to protest outside the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, where Governor Northam just announced an investigation of claims of abuse of immigrant children.  We may seek entry to the detention center for unaccompanied minors in Alexandria to provide education or moral support.  We may be building a legal defense fund for families caught up in ICE raids.  We may be working with Fairfax County or FCPS to protect the data of immigrant families.  We may be working with immigrants who are already citizens to get out the vote, so that their voice can be heard in the election this fall.”


What is sad about all this is that this Rabbi is sincere in wanting to help immigrants. But he fails to distinguish between the legal immigrant and the illegal alien.  The United States is a nation of immigrants.  More non-indigenous languages are spoken here than in any other country on earth.  While there have been times when we were less welcoming than we should have been, such as when Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the Immigration Acts of 1971 and 1924, throughout our history Americans have been the world’s most accepting people when it comes to welcoming immigrants to our shores, assimilating them into American society and granting them all of the privileges and prerogatives of native born citizens.

The Rabbi and the Democratic Party politicians and supporters would have us do away with our southern border and adopt the EU’s policy of free movement

That hasn’t changed. Legal immigrants are still welcomed, but illegal ones not so much.  The Rabbi and the Democratic Party politicians and supporters would have us do away with our southern border and adopt the EU’s policy of free movement with the ability to live and work anywhere in Central and North America. They are appalled, shocked and angry that the Trump Administration is enforcing the current immigration laws.  But instead of trying to change them, they prefer to simply ignore them and cry foul when illegal aliens are detained as required by law.  They want to return to the unlawful catch and release policy of prior administrations, knowing that almost all of those who enter our country illegally and are released pending a court hearing simply disappear into the interior of the United States.

There is a big difference between the person who withdraws money from an ATM and the one who robs a bank, between the one who stands patiently in a queue and the one who jumps the line.  There are people who wait years to enter this country legally. They deserve to be welcomed. The ones who enter illegally, in spite of what the Rabbi and the Democratic Party thinks, do not deserve to be welcomed. They deserve to be deported.

Postscript: The Rabbi, Pastors who remind their flocks that Mary and Joseph were immigrants and other religious leaders who agree with him would probably respond by asking how we can be so heartless. Don’t we care about the children? The answer is of course we do, which is why we need to secure the border. When only two out of every ten children entering the United States illegally are accompanied by a parent or relative that means the other eight are in the care of a member of a drug cartel or human trafficker. If those children are allowed into the U.S. they will end up as drug mules, members of criminal gangs like MS-13 or sex slaves. An open borders policy doesn’t protect the children; it dooms them. 


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Al Kaltman -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Al Kaltman is a political science professor who teaches a leadership studies course at George Washington University.  He is the author of Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant.


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