It also expands the ambit and opportunities for criminality in the United States. A 2012 poll found that 28 percent of U.S.-born Latinos agree with the statement, “I am less likely to contact police officers if I have been a victim of a crime for fear they will ask me or other people I know about our immigration status.” That’s perfectly natural to feel, but it’s not a problem that can be solved by continuing to relax enforcement of our laws. It was the lack of enforcement that created a situation in which nearly a third of American-born Latinos are so socially embedded with those who have no legal status that they are less likely to call on officers of the law.
The Biden administration’s unwillingness to enforce our immigration laws at the border is now such an accepted fact that the human-smuggling operations are scaling up. Del Rio’s Mayor Bruno Lozano explained to the Washington Post that many of the migrants are arriving on what seems to be a fleet of buses acquired for the business of transferring people to the United States. It’s a fleet that can move thousands of people in a week, but which is unknown to transportation authorities in Mexico.
There is a real humanitarian impulse that informs progressives in their desire to just let migrants in, and to allow them to make their own way. But in the real world, American citizenship is a repository of promises, rights, and duties that makes living in America not just possible but safer and tolerable. Progressives who ignore this fact in the hope that it would relieve them from the moral burden of enforcing the law at our borders are exposing thousands of people to danger, exploitation, and squalor. It’s not benign neglect, just neglect.