Americans deserve more substance in debates

Published on September 30th, 2016

Joe Guzzardi
September 30, 2017
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Days after the first presidential debate, Americans are still wondering why moderator Lester Holt didn’t ask more pertinent questions about issues that, according to the latest Rasmussen polling, have 67 percent of viewers convinced that the nation is on the wrong track.

Perhaps not surprisingly given the media’s aversion to covering immigration honestly, Holt never asked about it, border security or refugee resettlement even though those topics have, for at least 18 months, dominated the news. The San Bernardino, Orlando, and New York terrorist attacks made headlines while the incredible story that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which operates under the Department of Homeland Security, granted citizenship to 858 individuals with final deportation orders should bring DHS under intense scrutiny. A nationally televised debate with an estimated 100 million viewers is the perfect forum to delve into the candidates’ proposed solutions to DHS’ ineptitude, but nary a peep from Holt.

First, on the subject of immigration in general, the U.S. has admitted more immigrants in the last 25 years than during the entire 50-year Great Wave from the late 1800s to the early 1900s. The federal government issues more than 1 million green cards with work authorization to new permanent resident immigrants each year. Should the pattern continues, the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center calculates that the U.S. population will rise to 438 million in 2050 from today’s nearly 325 million, and 82 percent of the increase will come from immigrants and their American-born children who arrived and will arrive from 2005 to 2050. Those dramatic population increases will affect every aspect of Americans’ lives — education, health care, and urban sprawl. Holt had questions about the birther controversy, but not population growth.

Second, on border security, in recent weeks, the Associated Press reported that foreign nationals from as far away as China, Africa and Haiti have gathered at the Southwestern border. The migrants anticipate that, because of the Obama administration’s refusal to enforce immigration laws, they’ll be allowed to enter, and appeal for asylum. Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera has repeatedly declared that the border is less secure than at any time in history with “large stretches… extremely porous, unmanned,” and is a “recipe for disaster.” Yet the open border which threatens national security and American sovereignty went unmentioned during the debate — this may represent a low point in journalistic integrity.

Finally, no questions were asked about the highly unpopular refugee resettlement program, despite a documented link between terrorism and people admitted to the U.S. as refugees, and not withstanding a $19 trillion national debt, Obama has committed the U.S. to accepting 110,000 refugees during fiscal year 2017. The upwardly revised total represents a roughly 57 percent increase over FY 2015. Since the refugees are immediately welfare eligible, taxpayer dollars fund their resettlement.

Department of State data shows that as of August 9, 2016, the Obama Administration has admitted 61,232 predominantly Muslim refugees this fiscal year of whom 8,114 are from Syria, 7,322 from Iraq, 7,067 from Somalia, 2,838 from Iran, and 1,924 are from Afghanistan, all terrorist sponsoring nations that have vowed to destroy the U.S.

Obama has dismissed Americans’ common sense concerns while his administration expands its reckless and extreme policies. In the first debate, Holt also ignored Americans’ immigration related worries. The second and third debates must address immigration’s short and long-term consequences or the debates will be meaningless.

Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]. The views expressed are his own.

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