In an op-ed for The New York Times on Monday, immigration activist Daniel Denvir argued that instead of compromising with the White House on border security, Democrats should wholly embrace the “open-borders” label and begin tearing down existing barriers. Denvir insisted that American voters “want more open borders” and that Democrats will win the political battle over immigration if they go all the way to the left and hand our country’s sovereignty to the world.
From the op-ed:
Democrats should follow their voters, who increasingly want more open borders, and reframe the immigration debate by rejecting the very notion that the border needs more “security” and making it clear that the real problem is the denial of migrants’ rights. The time has come for the Democratic Party to push for concrete policies to make the border more open.
The border must be demilitarized, which would include demolishing the already-existing wall and dramatically downsizing the Border Patrol. Criminal sanctions on illegal entry and re-entry must be repealed. Opportunities for legal immigration, particularly from Mexico and Central America, must be expanded. The right to asylum must be honored. And citizenship for those who reside here must be a stand-alone cause, unencumbered by compromises that are not only distasteful but also politically ineffectual — and that today would provoke opposition from the nativist right and the grass-roots left. If Democrats stick to the center on immigration, they will find themselves fighting on two fronts. A fight against Republicans, with the left at their back, will be far easier to win — and a more noble victory.
Denvir does a fine job pointing out polls that show Democratic Party voters moving further to the left on the issue of immigration, but even the polls he cites hardly denote a party-wide consensus. There are still plenty of left-wing voters who want to stop illegal immigration. Denvir says little to nothing about what Republican voters want, and it’s obvious why: There is almost no support whatsoever among either Republicans or independents when it comes to opening up the borders to illegal immigrants.
If the Democratic Party does not realize this – if they continue heading down this road towards open borders and immigration decriminalization – they will surely find themselves catering only to a relatively small, rabid base of anti-American progressives. That base is large enough to maintain power in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but it’s not enough to win control of Congress or the White House. It’s certainly not enough to bring those Obama/Trump voters in the Midwest back into the fold.
But hey, if Pelosi and friends want to head down that road and turn their party into an obsolete relic of the past, we’re all for it. They are certainly on their way.