Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, June 27, 2018
In the past, the wealthy and powerful contributed large sums for institutions, monuments, and buildings that would benefit their countrymen. Now, the Great and the Good fund programs to benefit foreigners. The CATO Institute, the well-known left-libertarian think tank, recently held an event on “Private Philanthropy and Immigrant Dreamers.” It was characterized by sentimentality and a complete indifference to American sovereignty and the rule of law. Its unspoken premise was that America has failed young illegal immigrants by not acting swiftly enough to make their lives more comfortable.
“Dreamers” is the media euphemism for illegal immigrants smuggled into the country as children and given temporary legal status through an amnesty program unilaterally declared by Barack Obama in 2012. The amnesty is known by its initials, DACA. President Donald Trump announced he would phase out the program, but also called on Congress to legislate a permanent amnesty for Dreamers. Thus far, Congress has not acted. Moderator David Bier said the CATO event was designed to show “what private citizens can do when government fails to act.”
The main speaker at the conference was Donald Graham, chairman of Graham Holdings Company, a conglomerate that owns companies in industries as diverse as energy, health care, and, most famously, media. It used to own the Washington Post and now owns Slate. Mr. Graham is also the co-founder of TheDream.us, which awards college scholarships to DACA beneficiaries (i.e., illegal aliens).
Though he served in the military and as a patrolman in the Washington Police Department, Mr. Graham is the son of famous Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham, and is thus a kind of American prince. He was born to the American power elite and has met some of the most important people in the world. (In a 2014 interview, he said Nelson Mandela was “near the top” of all the people he had ever met.)
Mr. Graham still came off as a naive, uninformed, and slightly goofy middle-class Middle American. He even pled ignorance on immigration.
I am not an immigration expert by any means; disgracefully for someone from Washington, D.C., I’m not even a lawyer. . . . If you asked me to pass some bill to resolve the immigration issue I’d give you the pen back. I’m not wise enough to do that. I got interested in this because I met some Dreamers.
Mr. Graham was clearly making an argument based on sentimentality and anecdote. Since he was speaking at the CATO Institute, Mr. Graham also referred to Milton Friedman, who, he said, “believed in letting people do what they want with their lives.” This simplistic view contrasts with what the great economist said in a 1988 interview with Peter Brimelow, in which he said there were cultural requirements for capitalism: “It’s a curious fact that capitalism developed and has really only come to fruition in the English-speaking world.” Friedman also said that “it’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”
This event entirely ignored the impact of mass Third World immigration on American culture, institutions and (this being the CATO Institute) the future of limited government. All we got was sentimentality. Mr. Graham appealed to the audience’s conscience, saying that “whatever else you believe about immigration, the treatment of the Dreamers isn’t right.” This is an assertion, not an argument.
Mr. Graham asked the audience to put itself in the position of Dreamers, most of whom he claimed grew up not knowing they were not Americans. He said their parents did not trust their children with the “secret” that they were illegals.
Yet the first Dreamer introduced at the event, one Sadhana Singh, came to the United States at age 13 when, as she put it, “my parents decided to immigrate.” As she admitted, “I knew of my status the entire time. It was not a secret to me, but I kept it from others. I was completely in the shadows.”
Mr. Graham pointed out that although Miss Singh grew up in Georgia, she was “barred by law from the University of Georgia.” “There are many other states where Dreamers are asked to pay out-of-state tuition,” he said, suggesting that this is wrong. “There are many states where they are asked to pay international tuition,” he said, failing to note that Dreamers are, by definition, citizens of another country.
Miss Singh said her illegal status made it hard to get into college, but she was able to get a job, “a regular nine-to-five.” It is, of course, against the law to hire an illegal immigrant, but she was able to hold this job for nearly a decade.
After DACA, Miss Singh’s life “changed 180 degrees.” “I met other Dreamers who were just like me, I met a whole community,” she said. “I felt my confidence come up.” To put it another way, she met an entire group of people who were present illegally because of the government’s refusal to enforce immigration law, and the new concession from the American government was a great encouragement to her.
Marisela Tobar told a similar story. She was brought here from El Salvador at age five, along with her older brother, age 11. She claims her “first lesson in school was that America was free, and you can do what you want.” Her father was a day laborer, and the family sometimes discussed whether they would move back to El Salvador if he were detained and deported. Once she became aware she was “undocumented,” Miss Tobar learned that many Americans were not happy about illegals: “I would hear very angry comments about it on the news, and they were angry at me being here.”
These Americans were unable to change government policy. Thanks to DACA, Miss Tobar is now a third grade teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland. The United States now has a non-citizen teaching in a county next to the capital.
Mr. Graham praised these two DACA recipients and emphasized the stiff requirements of the amnesty program. He said an applicant must give the Department of Homeland Security a list of all addresses where he and his family have lived. No one with a felony or serious misdemeanor is accepted. He did not explain how the same government that cannot secure its borders can check the accuracy of DACA applications.
There is elite support behind giving scholarships to illegal aliens. Mr. Graham mentioned two other founders of the program: Carlos Gutierrez and Henry R. Muñoz III. Mr. Graham tried to use these men as proof of the “bipartisan” nature of his scholarship program, since Mr. Muñoz is a fundraiser for the Democrat Party while Mr. Gutierrez was former Secretary of Commerce under President George W. Bush. Mr. Gutierrez hardly represents the Republican grassroots, however. Since leaving his post, he has headed a super-PAC called “Republicans for Immigration Reform” that opposes anti-immigration Republicans. Another founder is Amanda Bennett, a former Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with a long career from Bloomberg News to the Wall Street Journal. Her presence on the board of TheDream.us shows establishment media support for illegal immigration.
Mr. Graham recalled that he and his co-founders “sat around and said ‘let’s try to raise two million dollars in scholarships for Dreamers.’ ” The breakthrough came with a grant from the Gates Foundation, described by Mr. Graham as the “good housekeeping seal of approval” that paved the way for donations from other groups. Billionaire investor Bill Ackman, a major Democrat fundraiser, was also a backer. Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerburg and his wife Priscilla Chan, and Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, are also supporters. The post-American mindset is clearly taken for granted by the business elite, though Mr. Graham also claimed that he has a large number of small donors who give “$25 or less.”
In the question period, Miss Singh was asked what she would say to those who want DACA to end. She said she was in America physically before DACA, but “wasn’t able to take part.”After amnesty, she explained, “I could travel to a different state, I could drive a car, I could be legally employed, I could do these things without wondering if I could be deported.”
DACA was clearly good for illegals, but why should American citizens should support it? Many Americans do not want foreigners given a greater ability to “participate,” and this foreigner is already complaining on her Twitter feed about President Trump’s “racism.”
Explanation: Racism. https://t.co/xzYUvB8F8e
— Sadhana Singh (@sadh_singh) January 12, 2018
Miss Singh said later that she would “like to go into journalism,” so it appears that a permanent Dreamer amnesty would give us yet another non-white reporter lecturing us about “racism.”
Miss Tobar said she considered herself American, but had a strictly materialist view of national identity. She said “it’s about all these people, all of us, so different, that just want opportunities,” though she did add that American identity is also about “football on Sundays.” She said she wants “something permanent. . . . I don’t want to submit an application, waiting for results.”
Mr. Graham was optimistic: “We are pretty sure that in the long run this country will welcome all these people for all these reasons we’ve been discussing.” He said DACA must continue because otherwise illegals hired under temporary authorization like Miss Tabor will have to be fired. “There are hundreds of teachers with DACA,” he said. “There are nurses with DACA.”
Some Republicans accept this view of DACA. One self-described Republican at the event said she felt for the recipients: “You didn’t make this choice [illegal immigration] and so you shouldn’t be punished for it.” She encouraged DACA activists to pursue Republican support, a suggestion Mr. Graham enthusiastically endorsed. Mr. Graham cited Newt Gingrich, Jeb Bush, Rupert Murdoch and Grover Norquist as leading Republicans who support DACA.
President Trump may even be among them. After one question about the complexity of immigration laws, Mr. Graham handed the microphone to another Dreamer, Maria Gabriela “Gaby” Pacheco. Miss Pacheco said her family came to America on a visa but knew from the beginning “they wanted to stay here,” thus admitting they chose to overstay. Her family hired a lawyer to try to “start a process” and began struggling with the immigration bureaucracy. However, the most notable thing about her story was a visit to Donald Trump in 2013 to tell him about DACA. She said Mr. Trump was sympathetic and even offered to get one of his own lawyers to help her. It is surprising and significant that he was willing to get involved.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Graham said it was “crazy” that so many people in the country were not allowed to work legally before DACA. In fact, it is crazy that decades of failure by the federal government to carry out one of its primary duties has created this situation. Lawlessness begets lawlessness, and government negligence has created such a large constituency of illegals that some people feel bad about deporting them. If the law had been enforced from the beginning, this problem wouldn’t exist.
While children may not be responsible for the actions of their parents, I doubt any of the speakers at the event would favor legal action against adults who break immigration laws. Journalists are angrily writing about illegal alien parents being “separated” from their children, as if criminals being separated from their children is somehow new or unique.
The event at CATO clearly showed that America’s elites have left behind any conception of American national identity or even the rule of law. Instead, like the Dreamers on the panel, Mr. Graham and others who support his enterprise believe America is nothing more than an economy. American citizens are caught between a treasonous upper class and an invading lower class, both working against those Americans still naive enough to believe their government represents their interests. America’s leaders have moved on from American loyalty, and foreigners understand no one will stop them from taking what we created.