As Americans celebrate the country’s 242nd birthday, clamoring left-wing progressives loudly and incessantly paint the republic as a very dark place.
The United States under President Donald Trump is routinely described as something out of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and in the grips of white supremacists, or — in less incendiary terms — “white nationalists.”
Trump himself is regularly compared to Adolf Hitler and called a Nazi. Liberals complain that Trump is “kidnapping” illegal immigrant children and throwing them in “cages.” Those “cages” — which actually are care facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) — have alternately been characterized as “internment camps,” “black sites” and “concentration camps.”
What’s more, activists on the Left contend that America is so thoroughly racist that individual acts of kindness and respect are insufficient to overcome “institutional racism,” innate bias and “white privilege.”
Ray Charles had a different view of America:
Not surprisingly, amid this portrait of a grossly authoritarian regime systematically oppressing the rights of minorities and immigrants, crime researcher Heather Mac Donald raises the obvious question: If all that is true then, why would anyone want to come here?
“American women live under a suffocating patriarchy. Rape culture flourishes in the United States. Toxic masculinity stunts the emotional and professional growth of American females. Sexual harassment and predation are ubiquitous in American workplaces … College campuses are maelstroms of sexual violence. Female students need safe spaces where they can escape abusive male power,” Mac Donald wrote in a June 14 essay in the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.
“Indeed, it should be a mystery to these committed progressives why any third-world resident would seek to enter the United States,” she wrote.
Mac Donald, the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, added, “Surely, a third-world person of color would be better off staying in his home country, where he is free from genocidal whiteness and the murderous legacy of Western civilization and Enlightenment values.”
But of course, the supposed curse of Trump has done little to dampen the enthusiasm of foreigners from nations around the globe from wanting to move to America. Waiting lists for relatives of newly minted Americans to legally immigrate remain years — and in some cases decades — long.
For the current fiscal year, nearly 14.7 million people applied to the diversity visa lottery for one of roughly 50,000 green cards awarded annually to citizens of countries with traditionally low levels of immigration to the United States. That topped the previous year, which also was more than the year prior to that.
Each year, applications from American companies seeking to bring in highly skilled guest workers under the H-2B program exceed the annual cap on the very first day. That has not changed since Trump became president.
Illegal immigration is rebounding as well, after a steep drop during Trump’s first year in office. The Trump administration tried to deter illegal immigrants by filing criminal charges against first-time illegal border crossers — even if it meant separating them from their children who were traveling with them.
There were some signs it was working. Buena Ventura Martin Godinez, reunited with her seven-year-old daughter after two months, told the Associated Press on Sunday, “I would advise people to find another country to seek refuge … because here the law is very tough.”
Despite such anecdotes, the data indicate that lots of illegal immigrants are still trying to come here. For fiscal year 2017, the number of illegal immigrants caught by U.S. Border Patrol near the Mexican border or deemed inadmissible at a border crossing station totaled 415,191 — a sharp decline from the previous year. But eight months into the current fiscal year, that number is 339,978, putting illegal immigration on a pace to exceed 500,000 once again.
The United States remains by the far the most popular destination for people who leave their home countries, according to the United Nations. The annual U.N. International Migration Report shows that the foreign-born population in the United States grew from 34.8 million in 2000 to 49.8 million in 2017, accounting for 19 percent of the world’s international migrants.
There is no sign of a reversal. Just as importantly, there are no signs of Americans fleeing to other nations in large numbers.
And it is not just actual immigrants. People around the world who have not made a move view the United States fondly as a potential new home. A Gallup poll taken in June of last year and republished this week found that an estimated 14 percent of the world’s population would like to move somewhere else.
The top choice? The United States. Gallup says that nearly 150 million people would like to immigrate to America.
A good measure of whether a country is tyrannical is whether people want to join it or leave it. Only a microscopic few were trying to get into Nazi Germany before World War II. While Trump wants a wall to keep people out, the Soviet Union and East Germany built one in Berlin to keep people in.
Amer Zahr, a professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, attempted Monday to explain the contradiction on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“This country, despite the policies of Trump, this country is still a great country to move to,” he said. “But Trump is trying to reverse that.”
Maybe the hysterical talk of eliminating rights is just politics.
Happy Fourth of July, America. Even Trump’s critics acknowledge it’s still a pretty good place to live.