Stop and reflect for a moment on the irony of ironies in the once-again mushrooming border invasion. The America that mothers and fathers in Central America are sending their children to join no longer exists.

Some smart trial lawyer will someday file a class-action lawsuit on their behalf claiming the American government misrepresented the opportunities available to immigrants, lawful and unlawful alike.

Instead of reparations, the immigrants’ lawyers will seek punitive damages, and rightly so. They were promised the America of George Gershwin and Normal Rockwell, and instead they got Salvador Dali: Everything is melting before their eyes.

Fleeing crime and violence in Guatemala? Better not go to Chicago, Detroit or New York. Afraid your child will be lured into a criminal gang? Don’t send them to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas or Miami. Do you want that child to avoid illegal drugs? He should stay away from all of the above places.

Parents of the teenager fleeing Guatemala probably do not know that the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world for young males, children in poverty and out-of-wedlock birth rates that are soaring, crumbling infrastructure, declining education standards, an avaricious business regulatory regime, an official war on cheap energy, an overextended military and an entertainment culture that celebrates promiscuity and pornography.

What about freedom from corruption, which is rampant in Mexico and Central America? According to the International Freedom Index compiled annually by The Heritage Foundation, ranking nations on a dozen dimensions of personal and financial freedom, over the last 20 years on freedom from corruption the United States has fallen from a score of 90 to 72 – below 20 other nations. Our overall ranking has fallen to 12th – behind 11 nations including Hong Kong, Canada, Denmark, Estonia and Chile. In the rankings for almost every dimension of freedom, the U.S. is headed in the wrong direction.

Concerned about the impact of illegal aliens on the United States? Don’t miss Tom Tancredo’s book, “In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security” — and with your purchase get a free copy of “Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders”!

Any El Salvadoran teenager sneaking into the United States is probably expecting to find work at the minimum wage, and that is acceptable to his family in the short term. But they are unaware that his future job opportunities will be hindered by continuing illegal immigration, which is designed to permanently suppress wages for all low-skilled workers. Moreover, eventually gaining legal status will not be an escape from that problem: Every study of wage growth by the Pew Hispanic Center shows the wages of legal Hispanics are affected by competition from illegal labor.

According to conventional wisdom, the current surge in border crossings is due to a new wave of violence and crime in Central American countries. This is transparent nonsense because political violence and crime is nothing new to those countries. There are two new conditions that have led to this surge, one genuinely new and one a hoax that points to the certain disappointment that awaits these new arrivals.

It is true that the American government is now throwing out a new and well-publicized welcome mat in the form of President Obama’s refusal to deport any illegal alien but the worst violent criminals – and even then, only if their country of origin will take them back, which often times they will not.

But even now, as serious as that problem is, that lack of fear of deportation takes second place in motivation to the universal allure of America as the land of opportunity, a reputation we earned over the past two centuries. The migrants fleeing oppression and poverty worldwide are blithely unaware that the “American Dream” is becoming a mere historical artifact.

The “American Dream” is in danger of becoming history’s cruelest example of consumer fraud, a fraud for the American middle class and large portions of the working class, including minorities.

Is America still the “Land of Opportunity”? Well, not so much. America is starting to resemble the rest of the world, the world the migrants are fleeing.

The cruelest irony of the sad picture is this: This cultural and economic transformation is happening not by accident but by design, and the design comes from the ideology motivating the people most actively promoting the mass immigration, the American left.

To the American left, open borders are the international and functional equivalent to the “reparations” we supposedly owe to the descendants of former slaves. No, I am not making this up, this is what they believe, and it is what students are taught in American universities.

The prevailing view and conventional wisdom among American progressives, who are now our governing class, is that since the whole world was victimized by American and European colonialism and imperialism, we are responsible for the relative poverty of other nations, especially our neighbors south of the border. We exploited them, so now we have to rescue them by accepting untold millions of “economic refugees.” Inevitably, over time, perhaps one or two generations, open borders will produce a homogenous culture and hemispheric unified economy.

If the migrants who risk robbery, rape and death on the trek to the southwest border understood the path America is on, most would likely choose to stay home. Why bother?

Media wishing to interview Tom Tancredo, please contact [email protected].

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