There James Doti goes again in his Orange County Register article titled A Void of Values Among GOP Candidates. I have great respect for Mr. Doti as President of Chapman University. In just a short time Chapman has become a leading American university in no small part thanks to Mr. Doti’s leadership. But as usual, I vehemently disagree with his positions on immigration, which in my view are unfortunately just as thoughtless as they are wrong. I find it hard to believe a man of such education consistently takes such illogical and ill-considered positions on illegal immigration.
Now to begin, I am not a Trump supporter. I support Ted Cruz. Nonetheless, while I disagree with many of Trump’s antics, I do believe he loves America deeply and that his rise is a response by the Republican base against elected Republicans who cower at every bad word they are called, and who campaign on conservative values but when they get to Washington curiously end up moving forward the fundamental transforming of America by Obama and his fellow Democrats. Republican voters, in a word, feel woefully betrayed by their elected leaders.
To Mr. Doti’s article, and the tasteless, completely false cartoon above it stating that Trump is scapegoating the Mexican people, there is hardly a game of “one-upmanship” with respect to the 11 million illegal immigrants living in America. He notes how illegal immigrants that come here to live, work, and play “have not become naturalized citizens” and further that “illegal” only connotes that they entered our nation “without permission.” It’s hard for me to fathom someone as learned as Mr. Doti having such a simplistic and simple-minded notion that people who have broken the law gives them the right to citizenship, and that anyone who has the mind to can just show up in America “without permission.” Shall we just roll out the red carpet for any and all comers without qualification? We are a sovereign nation that has laws, and if these people want to become citizens, then they can apply for citizenship in the same manner as the millions of people from Mexico and Central America who have come here legally and are still waiting in line. Why do these people deserve less than those who break our laws to come here?
Mr. Doti goes on to accuse Trump of violating the welcoming message of Lady Liberty, yet Trump has done nothing of the sort. Trump has not stated, expressly or implied, that he does not welcome legal immigrants to America. In fact, he has stated he is open to illegal immigrants leaving and subsequently returning through legal means. The wall he proposes is to keep out people who would come here illegally, which includes those who would commit crimes or terrorist acts. And second to that would be to put in place a working legal immigration system. So Mr. Doti is putting words in the mouth of Trump that he hasn’t said. Again, it’s very hard for me to believe a university president could be so careless with his words.
I want to now answer Mr. Doti’s specific questions at the end of his article, which are so easily answered they’re hardly worth asking. First, I think all of the Republican candidates have their respective strengths and weaknesses. I personally think Cruz best represents the party’s values of liberty, equality under the law, personal responsibility, small government, and strong national defense. While I don’t agree with Trump’s view of deportation of illegal immigrants, it is hardly radical, racist, or unwelcoming. The word “illegal” means something and if you are here illegally, you do have human rights, but you have absolutely no claim to either citizenship or acceptance into our society. As to Mr. Doti’s question of a “new birth of freedom for our 11 million fellow Americans”, I couldn’t be more insulted by such a notion. Illegal immigrants are not “fellow Americans.” They have every opportunity and right to use the legal process to become Americans. It is, in my view, an affront to our legal system that Mr. Doti would use such language and I deeply question his commitment to law and order in America. His view is simply unconscionable.
Mr. Doti’s next question asks which candidate has a vision for our nation based on “kindness and inclusivity” rather than “meanness and exclusivity.” Because a candidate believes in upholding our country’s immigration laws does not make that candidate “mean and exclusive,” so Mr. Doti’s view is no different than what I would expect from a Democrat. All of the candidates are welcoming to legal immigrants, and with respect to exclusivity, it is clear you can’t “include” anyone and everyone who would come to America because there are literally seven billion people on the planet. You have to exclude someone. And for any given illegal immigrant that would have instead used the legal immigration system, they would have been afforded the same opportunity to be included as anyone who has afforded themselves of the legal immigration system. To his last question about coming home to the Party of Lincoln, all are welcome to apply legally who would pledge their allegiance to America. It is a privilege, and not a right, and if you violate our country’s laws you should not expect to be rewarded for it no matter how long you have been here.