By Newt Gingrich
The caravan from Central America that has grown from 3,000 to 4,000 people in the last few days is an attempted invasion and an attack on the United States.
This assertion will almost certainly be denounced by the usual sources as being hateful or offensive, but it is long past time we stop letting the Left prevent us from using words which clearly communicate reality.
The fact is: Thousands of people have openly stated their intention to break American law and invade our country. Other people, some of them Americans, are funding this deliberate effort to invade America.
If you think “invade” is too strong a word, watch this video of the caravan tearing down fences separating Guatemala and Mexico while waving the Honduran flag (the country these people no doubt plan to claim asylum from). How is this not an invasion?
We cannot allow ourselves to be intimidated by the heart-wrenching pictures and misleading words the left-wing media will doubtlessly manufacture if this caravan arrives at our border.
We also must reclaim our narrative from the Left. We cannot allow them to demonize us and distort what we stand for and what we are trying to do.
Let me be clear about where I stand.
I strongly favor legal immigration. I am happy that America remains the most welcoming country in the world for legal immigrants. According to Pew Research, in 2015 there were a little more than 30 million legal immigrants in the country. This is higher than the population of Texas – our second most populous state. I think this is a great thing that makes America stronger. It is simply a lie to say I oppose immigration.
Furthermore, I have worked very hard to get sound, responsible immigration reform for decades.
In October 1986, I voted for the Simpson-Mazzoli Immigration Reform Act, which granted amnesty to about 3 million people (originally estimated to be 300,000). I voted for the bill in return for two commitments: to control the border and to establish a guest worker program. Similarly, President Reagan wrote in his diary that he would reluctantly sign the bill, because as he wrote: “It’s high time we regained control of our borders and [Simpson’s] bill will do this.”
The harsh lesson of 1986 was that liberals took the amnesty for 3 million illegal immigrants and then broke their word on controlling the border and creating an effective guest worker program.
Finally, on a personal level, I spent much of my childhood living in foreign countries (my dad spent 27 years in the infantry, and I now live part time in Rome, Italy).
I outline my record to make clear that I don’t fit any of the nasty stereotypes with which the Left smears those who threaten them (see “the Kavanaugh effect”). And neither do the vast majority of Americans who want a functional immigration system that reflects American values.
The very idea that thousands of people believe (or are being told) they have a right to invade America and demand that we take care of them tells you how sick the system has become.
The time to draw the line and fight for an honest immigration and border control policy is now.
The caravan is the perfect symbol of the arrogance – the organized effort to destroy the rule of law – and the contempt for the American system which the Left exhibits every day.
We have been so conditioned by a half-century of political correctness doctrine (developed and sustained by the liberal news media, college professors, and left-wing politicians) that we have forgotten how to tell the truth about illegal immigration.
The truth is: It has substantially increased the risk for Americans.
MS-13, the vicious El Salvadoran gang, killed 17 people on Long Island in a 17-month period in 2016. The gang has an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 members in the United States. Fentanyl and opioids also come across the uncontrolled southern border. Last year, more than 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses – more than the number killed during the eight years of the Vietnam War. There is a substantial safety impact of uncontrolled borders and the routine breaking of the law by illegal immigrants.
If America is to survive, we must win some key arguments about facts and prove that much of what left-wing politicians say – and what the liberal news media reports – is simply wrong.
If America is to survive, we must heed George Orwell’s warning in his great essay Politics and the English Language – that “political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.” Nothing could more accurately characterize the Left’s speech about political correctness and their unending effort to shut down language that exposes the hypocrisy and falsehood of their members’ positions – especially when it comes to their animus toward American sovereignty and defending the border.
As I wrote in my New York Times best seller Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback, the liberal media has actively participated in creating propaganda designed to manufacture sympathy for the lawbreakers and delegitimize those who would defend American sovereignty and the rule of law.
When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says to Harvard Kennedy School students that Democrats are for controlling our borders, she is simply lying. When she goes on to say, “we do need to guard our borders, and we do need to have immigration reform,” you have to wonder how stupid she thinks we are.
There is no evidence of any Democrat-backed program that would be effective in controlling illegal immigration. They oppose the wall in any form. They would hobble or abolish ICE. They favor so-called sanctuary cities and states in order to shield illegal immigrants from the legal immigration process. Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced an open borders bill, which every Democratic Senate incumbent has cosponsored. The national vice chair of the Democratic Party campaigns in a t-shirt which says in Spanish “I don’t believe in borders.” Democrats only ever favor complicated, impossible-to-implement legal systems, which create opportunities for people to enter and stay in America illegally.
Not only do Democrats oppose controlling the border and stopping illegal immigration, they welcome illegal immigrants as an offset to legal American voters.
Consider what Pelosi said in El Paso to immigration rights activists: “We believe that we will have leverage when we win in November. And why is that important? Because it gives leverage to every family” who came to America illegally.
Stacey Abrams, a Democratic candidate for governor in Georgia, is even clearer in her commitment to illegal immigrants. In a recent speech, she said the blue wave is comprised of “those who are documented and undocumented.” There could not be a clearer indication of the Democrats’ belief that illegal immigrants are an integral part of their coalition.
The San Francisco Democrats have even adopted a new regulation to allow illegal immigrants to vote in city elections.
The caravan invasion is a useful starting point to insist on an honest debate about our future as a country.
Every Democrat should be forced to answer these six questions before the election:
1. Do you think 4,000 or more people should be allowed to invade the United States whenever they want to, and, if so, how big and how frequent do you think the next caravans will be?
2. Who do you think is paying for these efforts to undermine American sovereignty, break American laws, and impose foreign will on the United States?
3. When you are told it is only a small number of people in this first caravan, how do you respond to the fact that we already have an estimated illegal population of 1.8 million Central Americans, 650,000 South Americans, and 425,000 immigrants from the Caribbean. Does that change the scale of the problem? If caravans are accepted the numbers will grow dramatically in a very short period.
4. When you learn that the Gallup World Poll estimates that 29 percent of people in Latin America and the Caribbean (that would be about 197 million people) want to migrate – and 29 percent of those people (about 57 million) want to come to the United States, does this change your concern about controlling the border?
5. When you learn that beyond our hemisphere, the Gallup World Poll estimates that millions more would come to the United States if they could, does that increase your interest in controlling the border?
6. If you do not think this caravan should be allowed to illegally enter the United States as an invasion of our sovereign border, what would you do to stop them?
If Democrats really wanted to control the border, how do we have an estimated 11 million-plus illegal immigrants currently in the United States – and a system that can be gamed so easily that people have continued to brazenly and openly break the law?
This caravan attack is the right place to draw the line and say, “no more.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is right. Congress should come back and pass the laws that would enable Americans to re-establish the rule of law at the border and protect our country with dignity and authority.
President Trump is right. Stop the caravan now.
If you want to defend America, let your House member and Senators know how you feel.