In an odd display of political theater, a Democratic congressman concocted a rather silly way to protest immigration legislation introduced by House Republicans. During a hearing, he suggested tearing down the Statue of Liberty because those mean and evil Republicans hate foreigners.
Maxwell Frost’s statement came during a hearing on Wednesday.
A House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on immigration discussed H.R.2, the House GOP’s Secure the Border Act, the comprehensive border security and immigration bill passed back in May. The bill would restrict the asylum process for people crossing the border and require resumed construction on the border wall.
The freshman congressman was one of many Democrats who attacked the bill, though he also produced a mock bill to remove the Statue of Liberty for Republicans to also pass.
“My colleagues from the other side of the aisle, let’s be honest with immigrants who deserve better than what you’re offering them. Don’t welcome immigrants if you plan to reject them. If you keep pushing your bigoted H.R. 2 bill, then also pass this bill. I’ve taken the liberty of drafting it for you,” Frost said, holding up the draft. “It removes the Statue of Liberty, our largest symbol that tells people to come here.”
“This is who you are, removing the fabric of America. So, I want to know which Republican, who supports and voted for H.R.2, will introduce this bill,” he continued. “If you’re gonna support H.R.2 and these bigoted measures, the least you can do is not be a d–n liar.”
The point of Frost’s mock bill is that the GOP’s proposed immigration law is somehow at odds with the values symbolized by the Statue of Liberty. This piece of performance art was intended to make an argument that simply does not hold even a thimble full of water. But it’s an argument many on the left make when protesting against any law that does not allow unfettered immigration.
The poem that appears on the statue reads:
Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
Somehow, this is supposed to indicate that anyone and everyone should be allowed to enter the United States willy-nilly. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Welcoming immigrants into the country does not mean disregarding safeguards to ensure that the people allowed in are not a threat to the public. It does not suggest, for example, that the United States is somehow obligated to take in individuals who have a history of violent crime in their home countries.
Contrary to what Frost’s ilk want us to believe, the Statue of Liberty is not a symbol of open borders. It symbolizes the American ideals of opportunity and freedom. It is not exactly a policy document, and the poem it displays appears nowhere in the U.S. Constitution.
However, it is worth noting that America’s current immigration system leaves much to be desired. Unfortunately, the federal government has shown that up until this point, it has been unable or unwilling to create a workable policy to ensure safety while being welcoming toward those who wish to enrich the nation.