Editorial Opinion
February 24, 2017

Modern media a set-up for protest and rent-a-riot

by Bob Hoig, Publisher
Midlands Business Journal

As President Trump decries fake news, he can easily find agreement on a larger phenomenon of the time — the rent a protestor.

These are part of the ragtag cell phone mobs always ready for hostile gathering.

Easy to spot are the influx of critics waving signs, placards and manifestos prepared ahead of time for whatever occasion.

One former Berlin resident showed up at a Trump rally in Florida this week, inveighing against walls.

She offered the “Berlin Wall” as a stand-in for communist oppression through the 1960s until the late 1980s fall of the Soviet Union.

The woman said she witnessed East Germans and others killed and wounded trying to flee to freedom in the West. And now, she said in a radio interview with Rush Limbaugh, she fears the Trump Administration is setting up a situation in reverse — a reference to the proposed wall separating the U.S. and Mexico.

But is the comparison valid? This writer thinks not. Limbaugh suggested the German wall was put in place by the late Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev to keep captive people from escaping oppression.

In contrast, Trump’s Mexican border wall helps ensure the integrity of the United States by restricting entry to vetted legal immigrants. The issue is who comes in, not who is allowed to leave.

John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations puts it nicely: A nation without borders is not a nation.

America allows in about a million legal immigrants per year, far more than any other nation, says Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. The breakdown according to the Dept. of Homeland Security is about 45 percent new arrivals and 55 percent of people already in the U.S. whose status was upgraded to permanent.

American agriculture needs migrant workers to shore up seasonal demands in coastal states such as California, Florida, in the south and the heartland. Easy to monitor guest worker visas have solved this issue before and can again.

A tougher challenge comes with refugees. Many want to come here from war zones where verifiable documentation is not available or bogus.

One of President Trump’s suggestions on the campaign trail was good. Deep vetting before allowing foreigners into the country is always a good idea.

Especially so in times of war.

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