Many years ago, back when I was a student at Brooklyn College, a communications professor, whose words of wisdom still reverberate in my mind, stated, “You cannot sell a product, a service or a concept if you use more than ten words.”
Certainly an effective communicator needs to be able to boil down concepts into the simplest terms possible to effectively communicate a fundamental idea.
Advertising campaigns are constructed around pithy slogans that are short enough to fit on a bumper sticker. Most television and radio commercials adhere to this principle.
Politicians have come to understand this approach to marketing ideas, reducing campaigns to a series of slogans that are all but devoid of meaning but create emotional rallying cries. .
Slogans may capture a broad concept, but as the saying goes, “The devil is in the details.” Short phrases may create the illusion of focus but may, in reality, obfuscate the truth by being intentionally vague, superficial and deceptive.
Furthermore, politicians who aspire to become America’s next President are lining up, even as you read this, seeking to garner vital campaign contributions to fill their war chests.
It would be beyond naïve to believe that those who write the huge checks do not have specific expectations that will have to be met by any candidate who will accept those checks. On April 21, 2014, the Washington Times published a disconcerting article, the title of which says it all, “America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds.”
Here is the short and to the point contents of that report:
“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” the study found.
The study also found: “When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.”
In order to get the cash politicians know that they must do the bidding of those who write the checks, individuals and various special interest groups that often have goals that run in direct opposition to what the majority of Americans want.
This is where campaign slogans fit into the puzzle. Voters must be given promises by politicians that create illusions that all too often do not match reality.
We will examine some of these intentionally misleading slogans about immigration that have become accepted by many Americans.
First Secure Our Border
….. would fit nicely on a bumper sticker but is absurd and meaningless.
Somehow Americans have become convinced that the only component of the immigration system that needs to be fixed is to prevent illegal aliens from running our border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico.
This is a case of misdirection that any successful magician would be proud to have devised.
Don’t misunderstand — that dangerous border absolutely must be made secure. However, simply securing that border, while a vital objective, is hardly the all-encompassing solution to the myriad failures of our immigration system. Indeed, not one of the 19 terrorists who participated in the attacks of September 11, 2001 ran the U.S./Mexican border.
I have come to compare securing the southern border of the United States with a wing on an airplane: Without its wings an airplane most certainly will not fly, but a wing by itself goes absolutely nowhere.
On February 5, 2015 FrontPage Magazine posted my article, “The ‘Secure Our Border First Act’ Deception.”
Getting everyone’s attention focused on that border distracts them from considering the myriad other failures of the immigration system. The illusion that this slogan creates is that the only way that illegal aliens enter the United States is by running that border that involves just four of our fifty states.
I have written numerous articles about this lunacy. On July 7. 2014 FrontPage Magazine published my article, “Border Security and the Immigration Colander.”
In my analogy, the porous US/Mexican border is comparable to one of the many holes to be found in a colander. Indeed, our nation has 50 “border states.”
Those who have fallen for this erroneous claim about the southern U.S. border blithely ignore the fact that the border that separates the United States from Canada is nearly twice as long as that southern border. They ignore the fact that nearly all of the terrorists who have ever been arrested in the United States did not run the southern border but were admitted through international airports. They ignore the fact that the United States has tens of thousands of miles of coastline and that virtually every state has an international airport.
That phrase also creates the mistaken notion that a simple task is all that needs to be done before we initiate a massive program to provide millions of illegal aliens with lawful status, official identity documents and employment authorization.
To support this program politicians frequently say that “we cannot deport 11 million illegal aliens.” They then follow this up by saying that therefore we must deal with them by “getting them out of the shadows” (another one of those absurd phrases) by providing them with lawful status.
It is not likely that anyone would want that phrase about our inability to deport millions of illegal aliens on a bumper sticker because it sounds weak. It is also nonsensical. Most of our laws are enforced only a fraction of the time. As many illegal aliens as are present in the United States — and it is likely the number is a multiple of the 11 million frequently cited — there are many more American motorists who have cell phones than there are illegal aliens in the United States.
Many of these motorists are making phone calls while driving without using a “hands free” device and also engage in texting while driving. Yet we have never, ever heard a chief of police, mayor or governor say that because there are so many errant motorists who are violating the laws, we cannot do anything about it. What we are told in frequent public service commercials, is that police officers are on the prowl for any driver who would dare touch their phone while driving and that any driver who is caught will face serious consequences.
Drunk driving was similarly effectively attacked with sobriety checkpoints being established across the United States and coupled with massive advertising campaigns and amped up penalties for drivers caught driving drunk.
Yet, to this day, politicians from both sides of the political aisle insist that since we cannot deport millions of illegal aliens we need to provide them with lawful status and maybe even citizenship.
As for getting these aliens “out of the shadows” there is no provision in any legislation to hire the thousands of ICE agents that would be required to actually look for those hundreds of thousands of aliens who, knowing that they are the subject of active criminal warrants, would never voluntarily emerge from those shadows.
On September 17. 2014 Congressman Lou Barletta posted a press release with the title, “DHS Secretary Admits Pathway to Citizenship Checks Would Miss Terrorists” that included a link to the video of his questioning Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at a hearing about this issue. After some artful dodging, he eventually confirmed the fact that such aliens would not come forward.
As for the aliens who would come forward, the number of such aliens is so great that there would be no way to interview them in person or conduct field investigations to seek to uncover fraud in those applications. Here is what our officials will not be able to confirm:
1. The true names of these aliens.
2. The true nationalities of these aliens.
3. The possible affiliation that these aliens may have with criminal or terrorist organizations.
4. When, where or how they actually entered the United States.
Because there would be no way to verify this information, it would be pointless to require a specific date by which aliens would have had to have entered the United States to be eligible. Aliens, including criminals and terrorists whose fingerprints are not on file in the United States, would simply lie about their true names, their actual dates of entry and even, perhaps, their actual country of citizenship.
The 9/11 Commission Staff Report on Terrorist Travel detailed numerous examples of instances where terrorists made use of visa and immigration benefit fraud, including political asylum fraud to enter the United States and to also embed themselves in the United States.
Page 54 contained this excerpt under the title “3.2 Terrorist Travel Tactics by Plot.”
Here is an excerpt from that report that makes the above issues crystal clear:
Although there is evidence that some land and sea border entries (of terrorists) without inspection occurred, these conspirators mainly subverted the legal entry system by entering at airports.
In doing so, they relied on a wide variety of fraudulent documents, on aliases, and on government corruption. Because terrorist operations were not suicide missions in the early to mid-1990s, once in the United States terrorists and their supporters tried to get legal immigration status that would permit them to remain here, primarily by committing serial, or repeated, immigration fraud, by claiming political asylum, and by marrying Americans. Many of these tactics would remain largely unchanged and undetected throughout the 1990s and up to the 9/11 attack.
Thus, abuse of the immigration system and a lack of interior immigration enforcement were unwittingly working together to support terrorist activity. It would remain largely unknown, since no agency of the United States government analyzed terrorist travel patterns until after 9/11. This lack of attention meant that critical opportunities to disrupt terrorist travel and, therefore, deadly terrorist operations were missed.
That statement was so critical to the issue of national security and the efforts of the United States to thwart terrorist plots to carry out attacks inside the United States that I included it in my prepared testimony when, on March 10, 2005, I testified before a House Immigration Subcommittee hearing on the topic, “Interior Immigration Enforcement Resources.”
Make E-Verify Mandatory
…is yet another slogan that would fit on a bumper sticker, but by itself is all but worthless.
Laws that go unenforced do not matter. The lack of agents available to conduct investigations to identify employers who fail to abide by our already existing immigration laws, and the absence of integrity to the process by which millions of aliens easily game the immigration system to acquire employment authorization, make this requirement irrelevant.
Nevertheless, a campaigning politician demanding implementation of mandatory E-Verify will find his audience cheering enthusiastically and might seize the moment and further declare, “We are a nation of immigrants!”
In an effort to sound tough, politicians also frequently say that we should put illegal aliens to the “back of the line.” So now we have another potential slogan for a bumper sticker, “Put Illegal Aliens to the Back of the Line!” This slogan is no less bogus than the others we have considered.
Here are the questions that need to be asked: What line are these aliens going to be standing in and where would that line be? Would these aliens be sent back to their home countries or would they be permitted to remain in the United States? What could aliens who were waiting on the back of the line be able to do?
The reality is that the “line” these aliens would stand in would be inside the United States. It is the line for United States citizenship which is a line that many lawful immigrants don’t want to be in. While waiting in the “back of this line,” these aliens would be immediately entitled to work in the United States and send money back their families in their home countries.
Another point rarely discussed, is the fact that aliens who are granted employment authorization but who are not lawful immigrants are exempt from ObamaCare. An employer who hires such aliens would not have to decide whether or not to provide such aliens with healthcare or pay the $3,000 fine for failing to provide healthcare insurance. Each such employee would save his/her employer $3000 per year, further dis-incentivizing the hiring of American and/or lawful immigrant workers.
On November 28, 2014 I was a guest on Your World With Neil Cavuto and we did, in fact, discuss this very issue. Charles Payne guest-hosted for Neil. The topic of our conversation as noted on the Fox News website was, in fact,“ObamaCare incentivizing hiring of illegals? – Former INS agent Michael Cutler weighs in.”
We Are a Nation of Immigrants! …
This could certainly be a phrase printed on a bumper sticker! However, to provide a reality check, the difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.
When an audience is in “stampede mode” reason and reality are casualties that are lost in that moment of euphoria.
A politician seeing the opportunity to really fire up the crowd might then proclaim, “We need to ‘modernize’ our immigration system to make damned certain that America leads the world. We need to import many more of the world’s ‘best and brightest’ and make certain that when brilliant foreign students get their degrees that they don’t go back to their home countries where they will work for foreign companies, but that they stay in the United States and make America successful. We need to staple Green Cards on to the diplomas of foreign students.”
“Staple Green Cards onto the Diplomas Of Foreign Students” could certainly be a slogan for a bumper sticker, yet this is precisely the opposite of what our nation should do to address the massive levels of unemployment and underemployment of Americans. This will certainly not alleviate massive poverty among young American minorities who live lives of abject poverty and hopelessness and despair amid the squalor of inner cities and elsewhere in the United States, leading to vicious cycles of ever escalating violence and crime and death of young Americans, particularly within our minority communities.
Incredibly, many of these politicians are also quick to embrace the concept of “American Exceptionalism” yet insist that we need to import the world’s best and brightest. The only thing exceptional about foreign workers is that they are willing to work for exceptionally cheap wages under exceptionallyadverse conditions!
I addressed the issue of American workers in my article for the Winter, 2015 edition of The Social Contract, “Human Capital – America’s most fundamental and significant resource.”
By importing ever greater numbers of foreign students- there are now more than one million such students studying in the United States, with China sending us more students than any other country, American students are now facing unfair and outrageous competition that was intentionally imported. Meanwhile student loans represent the second greatest source of personal debt, only surpassed by home mortgages.
Everyone wants America to lead, right? Wouldn’t that phrase make a terrific bumper sticker. (Make certain to color that bumper sticker red, white and blue.) Uttering that emotional statement is likely to dupe an entire audience into cheering the destruction of the middle class and likely with it, the loss of their own jobs and their thin slices of the “American Dream.”
On March 24, 2015 Progressives For Immigration Reform (PFIR) posted my article, For All Too Many Americans “the American Dream” Is Now the “Impossible Dream.”
In the moment of euphoria carefully crafted by politicians who talk about America leading, what is being ignored is that increasingly American families are living below the poverty line often through no fault of their own. Why on earth are the citizens of our nation accepting the insults spewed by politicians who claim that Americans are too lazy to do the physically demanding jobs and too stupid to do the high tech jobs? How can America lead when the majority of Americans are getting hammered?
What is America? I would submit that more than mountains, forests, cities, rivers and lakes, that America is comprised of its citizens of every race, religion and ethnicity.
The late crooner Frank Sinatra had a far more eloquent way of making this point in his rendition of the beautiful song, “The House I Live In,” which begins with the question, “What is America to me?” and ends with the words, “especially the people, that’s America to me.”
The title of my January 23, 2015 article for Californians for Population Stabilization sums up the reality being ignored by all too many politicians who were ostensibly elected to represent the best interests of America and Americans, “For America to Do Well, Americans Must Do Well.”
SOURCE: Front Page Magazine
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About Michael Cutler
Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. For half of his career he was assigned to the Drug Task Force. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue. He hosts his radio show, “The Michael Cutler Hour,” on Friday evenings on BlogTalk Radio. His personal website is http://michaelcutler.net/.