“The radical Left thinks” that viewing immigration from a pro-American standpoint is “selfish, as if we owe the world welfare.” In reality, if America doesn’t protect and secure her borders, “you really don’t have a nation,” former Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli told Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts during Roberts’ weekly podcast show.
Cuccinelli, a former Trump administration official, joined “The Kevin Roberts Show” to discuss the problems with the Left’s border control policies as well as remedies a conservative president could enact should one be elected in 2024. (The Daily Signal is the news and commentary outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“The radical Left does not care about poor people, [but] conservatives and rule-of-law policies protect poor people,” Cuccinelli told Roberts.
This is because conservatives understand that the immigration system of any country should serve the needs of that country and not the other way around. “American immigration should be for America,” he said.
However, the Left does not care about that. They do not believe in “American exceptionalism.” Instead, they want an open border because it will equalize America with other nations so that it is just like every other country, Cuccinelli said.
With the Biden administration’s lax border policies encouraging more illegal immigrants to cross our southern border, everyday Americans are becoming poorer because they are losing job opportunities to an increasing pool of applicants, he said. “This is not an accident; this is what they intend,” Cuccinelli told Roberts. The Left “undermines Americans who are already here and their opportunity to really make their American dream.”
This becomes frustrating for Americans who feel their citizenship is being “watered down” as they watch noncitizens exercise rights such as voting. The good news is, the former Homeland Security official said, “Securing the border for a president really willing to do it can be done.”
“Honestly, you just keep moving military folks down there till you close the border.”
According to Cuccinelli, closing the border does not mean stopping immigration entirely but creating a secure and orderly process “so that what is coming in is known to us.”
While this will certainly help secure the border, Cuccinelli said it will not stop all dangerous people from coming into the country. Every year, the U.S. has an immigration lottery where 50,000 people, “no matter … their background” receive green cards and are placed on the path to U.S. citizenship. There is no way of vetting these individuals, Cuccinelli said, making it possible for even terrorists to enter.
Cuccinelli said the lottery system “is the craziest thing” and should be abolished.
Instead of the U.S. collecting the information necessary to vet each individual who wants to become a citizen, these individuals should be providing evidence of who they are and why they should be considered for U.S. citizenship, the former deputy secretary told Roberts.
Another problem is that states need to start working to secure the southern border. Under the Constitution, states can defend themselves when “actually invaded,” according to Article I, Cuccinelli said:
At the very end of Article 1 of the Constitution in what’s called the compact clause, it lists things states may not do except with congressional permission. One of them, not surprisingly, is wage war. Makes sense, right? You want the whole country in on that.
But there is an exception to that: except when actually invaded. So, the American people believe that what’s happening at our border is an invasion. That’s not even a close call among the American people. When that happens, those states being invaded, the border states, have war powers. And what I and others have suggested is that they particularly use the prisoner of war power. We are not talking about tanks and planes and, you know, violence in Mexico; we are literally just talking about using war powers to utilize the constitutional authority to remove people who try to—or stop them in the first place—who try to cross the border illegally in between ports of entry.
Using such a power, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott could remove illegal aliens from his state, Cuccinelli stated. However, until recent weeks, Abbott has denied he has such authority.
Now, Texas and other states are starting to put up barbed wire and increase manpower at the border to slow down the number of illegal crossings, he said.
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