A Reno newspaper last Sunday published provocative columns about two controversial topics, immigration and federal control of vast tracts of land in Nevada and other western states.
The immigration column was written by nationally syndicated conservative columnist Michelle Malkin and the western lands column was authored by Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Let’s discuss immigration first.
Nationally syndicated conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote about immigration, arguing against President Obama’s claims that “restricting immigration in order to protect national security is ‘offensive and contrary to American values.’” Ms. Malkin countered that “America’s Founding Fathers ... would vehemently disagree.”
“Our Founders ... made it clear that the purpose of allowing foreigners into our fledgling nation was not to recruit millions of new voters or to secure permanent ruling majorities for their political parties,” she wrote. “It was to preserve, protect and enhance the republic they put their lives on the line to establish.”
It won’t surprise you to learn that I agree with Ms. Malkin. American citizenship is a privilege, not a right, and aspiring citizens who are unwilling to live by our laws and pledge allegiance to our flag aren’t welcome here. In other words, I believe in the “melting pot” assimilation theory of our Founding Fathers and reject immigrants who opt to live in non-English-speaking enclaves with their own laws and customs. All of us are Americans first, no matter where our ancestors came from.
My kids grew up in a bilingual household, but they’ve always been proud Americans. As Ms. Malkin wrote, “Unrestricted open borders are unwise, unsafe and un-American. A country that doesn’t value its own citizens and sovereignty first won’t endure as a country for long.” That’s why I’ll continue to oppose illegal immigration and open borders advocates, whoever they are. We want our next president to enforce our immigration laws.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee wrote about federal ownership and/or management of vast tracts of land in Nevada and other western states. “Washington is at war with the American people and common sense,” he asserted. “Washington has preserved federal land management practices that operate more like a feudalistic property arrangement from King Arthur’s era.
“Why does the federal government still own and manage 84 (more like 87) percent of Nevada, 66 percent of Utah, and 53 percent of Oregon?” he asked. Good question, Mike. What sense does this pattern of massive federal land ownership make in our republic, where the Constitution guarantees that all powers not specifically granted to the Feds, are reserved to 50 sovereign states?
Huckabee noted that “the American people ... have a constitutional right to equal protection and equal treatment under the law” and contrasted massive federal ownership of western lands with the eastern U.S., where the Feds own less than five percent of the land. The federal government owns less than 2 percent of the land in Massachusetts and less than one percent of New York state. How is this “equal treatment under the law” for western states like Nevada?
“We need to shift power back to state and local governments,” Huckabee concluded. “Let’s start by letting Nevadans control Nevada.” Wow! What a radical idea.
I hasten to add that I do not want states to take over national parks, national forests or other federal recreation areas. Instead, I favor negotiated turnovers of unproductive federal lands to the states, such as recent turnovers of Nevada lands negotiated between state officials and our congressional delega-tion, and the Feds. To his credit, Congressman Mark Amodei, a Carson City Republican, championed those negotiations. Thanks, Mark, and merry Christmas!
Guy W. Farmer, of Carson City, has been an adopted Nevadan since 1962.