by Victor Davis Hanson
The U.S.-Mexican border is essentially wide open.
Why? Because there is a general expectation in Mexico and Latin America that American immigration law is unenforced. Or it is so bizarre that simple illegal entry almost always ensures temporary legal residence, pending an asylum hearing.
A scheduled asylum hearing, in turn, is seen by border crossers as a mere formality to be ignored. The popular perception on the border, then, is to stick one foot illegally onto U.S. soil, and, presto, win permanent residence for you and any family members who wish to follow.
In an age of 500 sanctuary city and county jurisdictions, few illegal aliens believe they will ever be deported permanently, even if they have been apprehended committing serious crimes. There is also a general perception among would-be illegal entrants that prominent Democrats and progressives welcome their massive influxes as useful and will do their best to ensure illegal immigration continues unabated.
There is also the assumption that the greater the chaos at the border, the less likely Congress will take bipartisan action to end it. After all, 2020 is an election year and progressives are in no mood to hand Trump the semblance of a legislative victory. This fact is also known to would-be border crossers.
Illegal alien families sense that they are vital to progressive agendas of fundamentally transforming the country by importing first-generation, loyal constituents – a sentiment that is slowly replacing the prior idea of mostly young men coming to work off the books. In an increasingly tribal America, they expect on arrival to be recalibrated instantly from Mexican nationals without any experience of America into “Latinos” and “Hispanics” with historical grievances against the majority population of United States, to be remedied by reparatory hiring and admission, and facilitated by ethnic operatives.
Some polls in the past have suggested that a third of Mexico’s population would immigrate to the United States if possible. The percentages of would-be immigrants from Central America are likely to be even higher. In theory, 50 million could cross the border in the next two decades, which poses the question: what are the theoretical limits on illegal immigration?