Omar says detaining illegal aliens is ‘un-American,’ but can she name a country that doesn’t?

Omar says detaining illegal aliens is ‘un-American,’ but can she name a country that doesn’t?
Detainees in 'cages' (Image: Department of Homeland Security)

As part of her latest call to defund U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for doing its job, Rep. Ilhan Omar has asserted that detaining illegal aliens is “un-American.” The claim was made in a tweet that, typically for the Left, neglects to distinguish between aliens on a path to legal immigration and those here illegally, which is deceitful.

Not to be outdone, presidential hopeful Corey Booker (D-N.J.) over the weekend equated funding border enforcement to “rejecting Jewish refugees during the Holocaust.” Although he didn’t name names, Booker was referring to actions taken by then-President and perennial liberal hero Franklin D. Roosevelt, who refused entry to thousands of German Jews fleeing Hitler’s persecution. The reason for FDR’s heartless act? A single German spy tried to gain entrance to the U.S., masquerading as a Jew. Even though ISIS has attempted to infiltrate the U.S. via the southern border, Booker pooh-pooh’s Donald Trump’s legitimate concerns over security while ignoring Roosevelt’s.

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To Omar and Booker, I would offer this challenge: Name a country that doesn’t criminalize illegal border crossers. Put somewhat differently, is it “un-French” of France to make it harder to obtain asylum than ever? In 2018, the republic implemented a tough new immigration law that doubles the detention time (yes, detention) of families and unaccompanied minors. The law is so draconian that it was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights.

Illegal border crossers fare no better in Germany, where Federal Police proudly captured 38,000 illegals in 2018, or Australia, where some 1,000-odd asylum-seekers are being kept in offshore detention centers.

Or take Canada, which like the U.S., has been inundated with asylum claims and responded by cracking down. Some of the conditions are far worse than those here. Consider:

  • One third of immigration detainees are still held in prisons, including individuals with mental health conditions.
  • There is no maximum limit to the length of detention.
  • Children may be “housed” in detention facilities to prevent the separation of families.
  • Canada is one of only a handful of countries with a mandatory detention policy, which includes detention for up to 12 months with no judicial review.
  • Anti-terrorism provisions have been used to detain and deport foreign nationals on secret evidence.
Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."