In my last post, I wrote about the final rule that will finally, after almost 22 years, implement and replace the settlement agreement in Flores v. Reno, and (if appropriately funded by Congress) end the humanitarian disaster at the Southwest border. In that post, I cited extensively the "Final Emergency Interim Report" from the Bipartisan CBP Families and Children Care Panel. Before anyone, in Congress or the media, offers his or her "opinion" about that final rule, they must (not "should," not "can," not "hey, it would be a good idea if you") read that report. Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers should slather it all over their briefs, and any judge who opines over the legality of that rule should respond to the findings therein in any decision. Private attorneys who file lawsuits in connection with that regulation should be forced to respond to those findings.
I’ve been a judge, and I know that judges keep busy dockets (although most Article III judges do not keep one as busy as mine or any other immigration judge, as any immigration judge would tell you with respect to their own respective dockets, plus they have dedicated clerks). I’ve been a DOJ attorney, and know that they must sift through voluminous records in making their case. I am a pundit, and know that in the Internet age, I am bombarded with reports and figures.
Objective facts are hard to come by when the subject is immigration. They’re there, but all too often "experts" and lawmakers pick and choose which facts they like, and which they don’t. And, as I often tell reporters, "What you think when it comes to immigration largely depends on what you think of Donald Trump." Even if the policy was followed by Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, LBJ, JFK, Ike, or even FDR, it somehow takes on a different gloss, a different interpretation, a different meaning if anyone in the employ of the current administration does it.
I studied philosophy under the Jesuits, and came through the process wondering whether there are "objective facts" at all. In the case of the disaster at the border, its causes and effects, there are. They are laid out in the "Final Emergency Interim Report" from the Bipartisan CBP Families and Children Care Panel. Even if the title is a bit of a contradiction in terms (how can anything be both "interim" and "final"), read the report and you’ll understand. It is 40 pages long, but the first 16 tell the story (you can read the rest just to confirm what I say).
I’m surprised at how often I get the question: "Wait, when was that issued?" How such a significant document on a critical national issue dropped into the pond that is the body politic without making much of a ripple is puzzling, at best.
The late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.), who was flexible, and honest enough intellectually to have worked for LBJ and Nixon, purportedly stated: "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Whether he said it or not, it is a basic human truth.
Have your opinion, but for the sake of our national sovereignty, our border security, and the fate of migrants themselves, read the report.
Andrew “Art” Arthur serves as Resident Fellow in Law and Policy for the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, DC-based research institute that examines the impact of immigration on American society.
Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by the Center for Immigration Studies.