by Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center, ©2021

(Jan. 7, 2021) — One of the key arguments used by proponents of open borders is that America has always welcomed the downtrodden of the world to join us. Americans are a compassionate people with a strong sense of right and wrong. We believe it is our duty to help those who cannot help themselves. It’s how we celebrate our own birthright of freedom.

However, while Americans are happy to extend a helping hand they also don’t want to be taken for suckers. We are a nation – a proud one – with our own culture combined with a rule of law that has made us the envy of the world. It’s the very reason many want to come here. Our arms are open to share what we have – but we must also reserve the right to insist that we share on our terms.

The fact is, there are immigrants who come here legally. In addition, there are illegals who fight to get here for very good reasons, and they come with our blessings. Of course, there are “damned illegals” who come here in defiance, openly biting our extended hand of assistance. These are the ones who are wearing down our natural reaction for compassion. Americans must understand that all illegals are not the same. Not all come here for the same reason. Motive and purpose should be strong arguments in deciding who enters and who doesn’t. Laws, not political games, should decide. Consider the following:

In June of 1993, 286 people, mostly from China, boarded a rickety, rusty old ship named the Golden Venture to sail to the United States in a desperate attempt to escape the brutal Chinese communist regime. Their flight to freedom had taken most of them a year of running through steaming jungles, hiding from pursuing authorities, and surviving the cramped, stifling, tiny hold of the ship. Finally, as the ship got within 300 yards of the promised land – the shoreline a few miles from Manhattan — it hit a sand bar and ran aground, forcing the passengers to swim to shore in icy waters.

But as they stood on the shore in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, the trouble for these scared, desperate, cold, hungry refugees had just begun. One might wonder which was worse — the tyranny they fled in China, or the brutally impersonal, tortuous manipulation of the American bureaucracy and the betrayal of an American president they were about to face.

24 of the Golden Venture’s passengers were women. Each of them tells a horrifying, yet inspirational story of their failed dash to freedom that rivals the legends of freedom fighters from throughout the ages. For each of them was running away to escape the quick, cold scalpel of the Chinese abortionists. You see, the women had broken Chinese law against multiple births. And so, with a death sentence over their head, they ran.

Dai Bo Mai was a tiny woman of 34, born in a remote farming village near Shanghai. She was guilty of having two children, a boy, 15, and a girl, 12. Multiple children are illegal in China, so the government fined her $3,000 and told her that she must be sterilized for having her daughter.

She ignored the order for sterilization until one day a gang of thugs captured and tied her and delivered Dai Bo Mai to a crude clinic for forced sterilization. There was no sanitation and she became infected. The resulting pain and infection prevented her from working in the fields. Because she could no longer work or have babies, her husband rejected her. She went back to the clinic and complained that they had ruined her life. They laughed and raised her fine to $10,000 and had her house destroyed.

Knowing she would never see her children or family again, Dai Bo Mai decided to flee to America by walking out of China, climbing across the mountains, and eventually boarding the Golden Venture.

Another woman, Qu Ai Yue came from the same primitive agrarian background. She had two children and became pregnant with a third. The government found out and forced her to have an abortion at six months. Then they told her she must be sterilized. Afraid of the operation, she and her husband ran to hide in the city.

Both she and her husband wanted to try to make it to America, but there was only money for one. He sent her on her way, across the mountains and through the mosquito-infested jungles of Burma. She almost died of disease along the way. In Thailand she spent three months in a small, crowded room waiting for a ship. Finally, she, too, boarded the Golden Venture.

After the ship ran aground, the passengers were rounded up by U.S. Immigration and detained in jails around the United States. Under the first Bush Administration, the United States had shown compassion for refugees of brutal Chinese “family planning” policy, offering asylum to such victims of Chinese tyranny.


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