National Borders and the Value of America as a City On a Hill
Presented at the program “Stop Open Borders: Say No to Poverty, Crime, and Tyranny” on July 29, 2020, hosted by the Gray Republican Committee. A video of my presentation is listed here.
Aug 3, 2020
I start with a question—a dilemma that does indeed have an answer.
How can good-hearted, ethical, moral people make the suggestion to “stop open borders”? The first few words of John 3:16 are: “For God so loved the world.” With imagination, one can sense that God looks down at the world and sees all human beings, of every color, race, creed, and nationality, as sacred individuals born with the light of God dwelling in their hearts.
How then can borders be supported? Are we not all brothers and sisters under one God? When I was twenty-five, I stood at the border of Mexico, with my fingers stretched through the chain-link fence that separated God’s children, and said to myself that I wanted to tear the border down.
This is the transcendent religious view of the human family that has presented Christians and other loving individuals with a tremendous dilemma that has now been hijacked by the Marxist Left as a weapon against America. When I use the term “the Left,” I am not referring to classical, freedom-loving liberals. I’m talking about the leftists who were fostered by the Jacobins of 1789 and fed by Marx and Lenin, and who had no problem at all with the bloodshed of guillotines and the mass murders of over a hundred and fifty million people in the twentieth century.
Those dangerous and destructive leftists are alive and well in America today, and work within universities, the media, Hollywood, Big Tech, corporate boardrooms, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa. Their influence is substantial at all levels of the Democratic Party.
The Left is diabolically clever and uses love and conscience and guilt as instruments to sway people to their cause. They are master manipulators and propagandists and have been so effective in their work over the last sixty years that the Left now owns the cultural and political narrative. Conservatives are almost always on the defensive, constantly accused of being hateful and bigoted and ungenerous by a Left that uses the word “love” as punctuation between calls to actions that can only be described as hateful and totalitarian. They call for “No more hate” as they burn buildings to the ground.
Freedom-loving liberals and conservatives must reclaim the narrative from the Left and clearly occupy the moral high ground. Joe Biden’s web page on immigration contains a good example of moral dishonesty and Leftist accusation in the text that states:
How can anyone who believes in love ignore the tragic photo of the El Salvadoran national Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his two-year-old daughter Valeria? They drowned on Monday, June 24, 2019, at the edge of the Rio Grande near the bridge between Matamoros, Mexico, and Brownsville, Texas.2 Their deaths were tragic and unnecessary.
It was not, however, the fault of anyone in the United States, in spite of Joe Biden’s specious propaganda. Their deaths were unnecessary because the father was trying to bring his family across the border illegally and sadly died with his daughter in the attempt. If he had followed the law, they might not be in America today, but they would probably be alive.
The Left knows that people of conscience cannot ignore these tragedies and use that reality to push an agenda that has nothing to do with compassion for the reported victims.
Let’s examine the agenda of the Left and the Democratic Party leaders who are pushing for open borders. For those who doubt that the Left is calling for open borders, I refer to the “New Way Forward Act” that was introduced by Democratic Illinois Representative Jesús García in December 2019, with forty-three co-sponsors. In the words of Matthew Tragesser from the Federation for American Immigration Reform:
The Left is fond of Orwellian Newspeak and might say, “But no! We’re not for open borders. We just want to help the downtrodden.” Their policies and laws might not use the term “open borders,” but when legislation “decriminalizes illegal entry,” it becomes clear to the hordes of illegal aliens waiting in the wings that the borders of the United States are open to all.
The Left speaks about love and compassion for all the people who are so desperate to enter the United States. They state that the border wall is evil and illegal aliens, whom they describe as “undocumented immigrants,” have every right to live and work in America, and if you don’t agree with that, well then, you’re a hater and a bigot, and most likely a white, conservative Christian, which explains it all.
But, here’s a thought experiment: imagine that most of the illegal aliens who have poured across our border over the last decade or so had clearly articulated their support for Republicans and, most recently, for Donald Trump. Would the Democratic Party be pushing for open borders and voting rights for undocumented immigrants? Of course not. This scenario does not have to be proven. It’s simply common sense. This one fact reveals the hypocrisy of the open borders advocates.
Let’s do a second thought experiment: if most of those illegal aliens had gone through approved checkpoints, followed the law, studied English, passed the U.S. Citizenship Test, and demonstrated support for Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum, would most conservatives have had a problem with their entry into the United States? Of course not! Legal immigration of responsible human beings who believed in the founding freedoms of America has helped make America great, for two-hundred and forty-four years.
In today’s America, the vast majority of our citizens do not care about the race, nationality, or color of legal immigrants. What matters is what those immigrants believe and whether or not they support the standards of freedom which have made America the land of the free and a beacon of hope for millions and millions of people across the world.
America is a country founded upon ideas and principles of freedom that are transcendent and historic. Most Americans knew and believed in those ideas until relatively recently. Now, after decades of Leftist miseducation of our young, America’s Godly and noble goal of becoming a city upon a hill is in severe danger of being abandoned.
Let’s imagine for a moment that on November 3, 2020, Joe Biden wins the Presidency, partnered with a radical, Leftist Vice President who will quickly take over after Biden is deemed unfit for office. Imagine that the House and Senate are lost to leftist Democrats. Imagine what will happen.
In short order, the border wall will come down. The departments of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be weakened, defunded, and perhaps eliminated. Border patrol agents will no longer stop people crossing the border illegally. “Illegal aliens” will no longer be a valid description that one can use because all of those individuals will obtain U.S. driver’s licenses, health care, jobs, and legal status by default.
What will that do to our country? The borders will disappear and become lines on a map that have no consequence. Millions upon millions of foreign nationals from around the world will pour into America, day after day, week after week, year after year. Among them will be good-hearted fathers like Señor Martínez and his daughter Valeria. Among them will also be black-hearted cartel members who are inordinately fond of dismembering their victims. Among them will be Islamic jihadis, Chinese communists, sex-traffickers, and dozens of other types of bad actors who will clearly damage and try to destroy the American way of life.
It is unrealistic to believe that those millions of illegal immigrants will eagerly seek to study English, American history, and the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution. They will, however, very happily accept the public dole and largess of the Democratic Party. Most of them will become loyal Democrat voters for life.
With this new influx of voters, the power base of the Democratic Party will be secured, and socialism and economic collapse will be inevitable. Tyranny will sweep across the United States, and America will resemble Venezuela. As jobs disappear and the population starves, no one will want to immigrate to America anymore. Most people will want to leave, but where will they be able to go?
In this weakened state, the Chinese Communist military will be emboldened. Will an impotent America be able to defend its shores from their hostile advance? Probably not. Islamic Sharī‘ah law will also grow, spreading from enclaves across America. Since both orthodox Islam and Marxism are totalitarian, they will vie for ascendancy, and internecine conflicts in a declining America will cause even more destruction. America will be a truly terrible place to live.
If this seems grim, it’s because it is.
Now let’s step back and think about the verse “for God so loved the world” and consider what that means for America, freedom, and national borders.
Leftist activists are indoctrinating America’s youth that America has been and is irredeemably evil and racist—a country of negative value that has to burned to the ground and remade as a socialist, Marxist utopia. That view of America is a brutal lie that can be demonstrated as false by anyone with an accurate and objective view of history.
John Winthrop’s conviction in 1630 that their new American colony was “a city upon a hill” has been confirmed for centuries as people all over the world flocked to our shores for a better life. Even Democrat Presidents John F. Kennedy4 and Barack Obama5 quoted Winthrop’s phrase in their description of America.
The central truth of America is that it was and still is a beacon of hope for billions of people because it truly is exceptional. Its Constitutional freedoms, Bill of Rights, and system of checks and balances has made it an incredible place to live and prosper. Its original Christian ethics have made it a moral country that has been able to grow beyond its flaws and become the least racist country in the world.
Just imagine if America had failed and collapsed. How would history have changed? Would Hitler’s Nazis, the Soviet Union, and China be in control of the world? In many different ways, has America brought light to the world? I believe that an objective observer would say yes. I think that God would say yes as well, and be pleased with the grand and noble American experiment.
If we are to continue to be of value to the world, we must remain healthy as a country. Our national health is dependent upon many factors, the most important of which is our commonly shared belief in the value of the founding principles of America and the U.S. Constitution.
We have borders because we must maintain the well-being of our national home. We must ensure that the majority of our citizens continue to believe in Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum. Those beliefs will fall away if we open our borders to newcomers who don’t share or care about American values. Our ship of state will founder under the weight of those who are ignorant or hostile to the principles that have made America exceptional.
Even if all illegal immigrants loved American values and assimilated completely as admirable citizens, we must still guard against the collapse of our economy. How many new immigrants can we handle? Ten thousand? Ten million? A hundred million? More?
It is not selfish to protect the health of one’s home or one’s country as we seek to continue to love the world and serve citizens of other countries who are suffering. America will be able to give blessings to the world as long as America is healthy, prosperous, and free. We have served the world in that way for almost three hundred years.
We now have a choice: continue in our service, with love and wisdom and common sense, or allow the Left to turn America into a broken, ignorant, totalitarian, and impoverished country that is unable to help anyone. If that happens, no one, here or abroad, will benefit. That will be an historic tragedy for America and the world.
May God guide us and help us remain as a city upon a hill.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”