The BorderLine is a weekly Daily Signal feature examining everything from the unprecedented illegal immigration crisis at the border to immigration’s impact on cities and states throughout the land. We will also shed light on other critical border-related issues like human trafficking, drug smuggling, terrorism, and more.


In just three short years, President Joe Biden’s reckless policies have destroyed the integrity of our borders. But perhaps the worst thing he has done is to devalue legal immigration and United States residence—even citizenship—pricing it at a one-way ticket from Africa or Asia to Latin America, plus smugglers’ fees to the U.S. border.

By allowing unlimited foreign nationals to enter the country without a visa, Biden has incentivized mass illegal migration. In addition, U.S. states and cities, under a misguided “sanctuary” ideology, are compounding this folly by giving out free health care, housing, and other benefits that should be reserved for American citizens and legal residents.

When I came to America at age 7, I recited the Pledge of Allegiance every day in grade school. I learned the national anthem, U.S. history, and how the Constitution guarantees our free society. Even as a child, I knew that the United States was special because we were united not by race or land or history, but by adherence to an agreed upon set of values.

For generations, Americans have been willing to take up arms and to send their children to fight for those values against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

First-generation immigrants understand “what an extraordinary and enviable privilege it remains to be able to call yourself an American,” as recently-naturalized American Gerard Baker wrote in The Wall Street Journal. But Baker also said that “[i]n recent years, the far Left’s disparagement of their country has gone from a fringe pursuit to a disturbingly dominant orthodoxy, especially among the young.”

That leftist, globalist orthodoxy holds that our country isn’t special, or even good. They believe we are an oppressive, colonialist, capitalist imposition sitting on stolen land. In their view, the sins of history are to be laid at the feet of the United States. The far-left wants open borders because they believe we must make reparations to the “marginalized” global majority, not just through money, but by admitting everyone who wants to live here.

Self-hating leftists attribute such low value to being an American that they treat lawful immigration and U.S. citizenship with disdain. To that end, they are deliberately reducing the list of things that give permanent residency and citizenship value.

Helping Chinese nationals get U.S.-affiliated IDs in Saipan is a crime, but many U.S. states are giving out driver’s licenses irrespective of legal status. For example, Massachusetts is spending over $30 million of taxpayer money to help illegal aliens get driver’s licenses. Rhode Island state legislators allowed illegal aliens to get driver’s licenses in 2022 and are now pushing to allow anyone with that ID to vote. That would include illegal aliens and even foreign students, which would surely include pro-Hamas demonstrators at Brown University. Even Oklahoma is caving, although its version of driver’s license would at least indicate that the license holder was a nonresident.

When Minnesota voted to give driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, a Somali-born legal immigrant called it “absolutely outrageous,” adding, “I waited in the slums of Kenya for three years to be vetted medically and criminally, and after we got here, I waited five years to prove myself that I was going to be someone worthy … of citizenship.”

In Vermont, “noncitizens” are allowed to vote in town elections. For now, that means legal immigrants, but there is no reason why they can’t extend it to illegal aliens. In Washington, D.C., the City Council passed a law that allowed noncitizens—who again, include illegal aliens, foreign students, and even foreign diplomats who are immune from parking tickets and other local laws—to vote in district elections. New York City passed a similar law in 2021. Not surprisingly, the Washington bill was introduced by a council member so soft on crime that he is the subject of an unprecedented recall campaign.

New York state is setting aside thousands of jobs for illegal immigrant “asylum-seekers” with work authorizations; though many of them won’t even apply for asylum, others won’t complete the asylum process, and of those who do submit an asylum application, a majority will probably be denied.

In Liberty County, Texas’, Colony Ridge neighborhood, a whole new town has emerged where illegal aliens can easily buy houses, enriching developers while swamping local schools, police, and social services.

Health care is another freebie where illegals are treated like citizens and lawful permanent residents—or better. The federal government spent nearly $100 million on health care for illegal aliens at the border in fiscal year 2022, while over 400,000 American veterans wait in line for treatment. Deeply indebted Illinois started offering subsidized health care for illegal aliens in 2021. Costs ran out of control so quickly that the state had to cap enrollment, and services to needy Americans have suffered.

California has brought illegal aliens aged 19-50 into its Medi-Cal health care system. This means at least 700,000 more people who entered or remained in the U.S. illegally are eligible for free care. Illegal aliens have always been able to go to emergency rooms for free care, but in California, they’ll now be able to access sex changes at taxpayer expense, too.

In addition to the privilege to work and vote, free education and health care, and driver’s licenses, ever more basic rights of American citizens and legal residents are being stripped away to make way for illegal aliens.

New York City, having maxed out homeless shelters and rented hotels to house illegal aliens, then rented Floyd Bennett Field from the National Park Service for a tent camp. This swampy abandoned air strip was great for family recreation but a terrible place to house anyone, as locals warned at the time. Flooding was a particular risk. This week, the city evacuated 1,900 illegal aliens—sorry, “guests,” as New York calls them—from Floyd Bennett and commandeered an active Brooklyn high school to put them up.

What about the students? Well, they can Zoom school, right? We all know how well that worked out during COVID-19.

Biden continues to release staggering levels of illegal aliens at the border and let in hundreds of thousands more through bogus immigration parole programs. To accommodate the open-borders ideology underlying Biden’s policies, elected officials in many states are clearly willing to sacrifice the safety, money, public spaces, schools, and other rightful heritage of American citizens and legal residents.

Meanwhile, as our leftist leaders try to rewrite our history, trash our institutions, and tear down the statues of the men that built our country, patriotism still thrives in China, Russia, and Iran, despite their oppressive regimes—all nations that are committed to our destruction. Patriotism is also alive and well in our allies Israel, Poland, and Ukraine. In fact, loving your country and holding it to be superior to other countries is considered normal in most of the world.

The future of the United States—not simply our place at the apex of international power, but as a nation at all—hangs on these questions: Are we special, and are we willing to defend that? Is American citizenship something to be cherished if inherited and hard-earned if not? I still hope the answer to both is a resounding yes and that our people and our leaders start to act like it.

Read Other BorderLine Columns:

Nazi Name-Calling Is the Last Refuge of the Progressive

Chicago Mayor Lashes Out as Illegal Aliens Flood His Sanctuary City

Biden’s Border Chaos—Crime Soars as Punishment Vanishes

Is There Really a Link Between Climate Change and Mass Migration?

Biden Prefers to Put Your Safety at Risk and Play Recidivism Roulette With Criminal Aliens

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.