The Border Wall: Why John Oliver is Dead Wrong...
John Oliver recently ran a segment on all the things he hates about Trump's proposed border wall. You've probably seen this video floating around the internet lately as plenty of leftists have hopped on the anti-wall bandwagon and shared it into oblivion. Well, those people should feel super embarrassed. Because John Oliver is wrong.
Here is said video.
Nearly half of all the unauthorized migrants now living in the United States entered the country legally through a port of entry such as an airport or a border crossing point.
... So? That means we should just give up and let the other half in? Also, I'm certainly not Trump's number 1 fan, but even I can see that his plan isn't just about the wall. It's about tightening all border security. But also the wall. Because it's a hell of a lot harder to scale a giant wall or fence than just walking across nothingness. Just ask Israel or Hungary. Sure, it doesn't solve all the problems, but a giant blockade is a step in the right direction.
As for stopping drugs, walls and fences have not posed much of a challenge to cartels.
Basically: why build a wall when they're just going to do it anyways. Wait a second, is this John Oliver? The John Oliver who has repeatedly called for gun control as a way to end gun violence? The John Oliver? So he wants us to believe that arbitrary "bans" on selective firearms would keep criminals from committing violent crimes, but a wall wouldn't do anything to stop illegals. Right. If he's going to play up the "I'm skeptical because I'm reasonable" shtick, he should at least try to remain consistently skeptical. Not just when it's convenient for him.
But let's face it, for many people, efficacy is beside the point. This wall is about making us feel safer. And here is where the racism and xenophobia that we put aside at the top of this piece really needs to be brought back.
Protip: any time someone uses the word "xenophobia", you're in for a hefty dose of dumbassery.
While other politicians have supported barriers at the border, Donald Trump has been uncommonly clear about who we need to be protected from.
Wait, he's racist because he knows where illegal immigrants are entering illegally?
Cue clip of Trump stating Mexico isn't sending their prime citizens here illegally. Then, cue outrage. While some may be good people (barring the crime committed to enter illegally in the first place), many are bringing drugs and crime... Which is true. For instance, Texas alone deports at least 2,000 illegal sex offenders a year. What is the logic in continuing to waste resources on illegal immigrants when we can verifiably trace the genesis and stop them at the source, or in this case, the border?
But John Oliver, he doesn't see it that way.
He goes on to claim that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born. The publication that he sources this claim from is the Oxford Handbook of Criminological Theory. Unfortunately, the Oxford Handbook is unclear about whether it's taking into account immigrants with a legal status. Though the study which it's citing seems to, shall we say, illuminate the issue? The Handbook itself states: "To truly advance research on immigration and crime, critical data limitations must be overcome, including... further distinguishing between legal and illegal immigrant status in data." And again, it later reiterates: "official crime data do not distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants."
So how is that relevant? Nobody is arguing that the German engineer or the Scottish shopkeeper who immigrated here legally are a threat to American security. Which is the issue at hand here. So either John Oliver is a stupid person incapable of interpreting the most basic of research, or he deliberately lies by omission when he makes the claim that (illegal) immigrants cause minuscule amounts of crime. Even the Atlantic would dispute him.
Look, it isn't just about Trump or even the wall. When you toss out words like "racist" or "xenophobic" as a label for anybody pro-border, you patronize those who have a vested interest in national security. You know, like Hillary doesn't. People like John Oliver don't understand the real issue here. If he did, his segment would be on why (or why not) countries need borders. He could have dissected the idea itself. That would have at least been respectable. But no, instead, John attacked Trump's character as well as the character of anyone who supports him. All the while using cherry-picked data and cheap assertions to make his "analysis". At the end of the day, he made a misleading and manipulative argument while touting the left's favorite banner of moral superiority.
But what would I know? I'm just a racist. A racist with an immigrant mom. But she came here legally. So I guess she's racist too.