“Seal the Border”: Immigration Reform and Border Security by David Clarke Jr. CPAC 2018


Sheriff David Clarke Jr., the former elected sheriff from Milwaukee county, WI, gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference expressing the importance of the rule of law and the need to strengthen border security. Sheriff Clarke has been under fire for not only his tough stance on immigration, but, his involvement in police brutality, and making racially charged comments towards the Black community. The city of Milwaukee is the county seat of the county; the city has been ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America, and still is above the national average for violent crime. Milwaukee is also the second poorest city in the United States with a population over 500,000. The only city worse is Detroit. 

Clarke’s main point was that the United States needs to follow the rule of law instead of perverting government agencies moving unilaterally. Clarke was very pleased by President Trump’s removal of DACA as an executive order. Clarke cited that the constitution says: “The congress has authority to make rules regarding naturalization”. Clarke believes President Obama acted outside of the constitution setting a precedent for a stronger executive role than intended by the founding fathers. 

Clarke spoke about operation Fast and Furious, a decision by the Obama administration to try to track Mexican drug cartel activity by allowing straw purchasers to bring 2,000 weapons across the border and into the hands of dangerous criminals. The idea was to try to track who was moving up the ranks in the cartels. However, the ATF never tried to track the weapons until they were used as weapons for murder. The weapons given to the straw purchasers led to the death of one U.S. border patrol agent, 300 Mexicans, including the brother of the former attorney general of the Mexican state of Chihuahua, and an Islamic terror attack in Texas. Clarke was disgusted that no federal employee or group of people have faced charges for the death of an American service man who perished in the line of duty; a man killed by weapons his government gave to ruthless killers. 

Clarke also called for the end of sanctuary cities and states. Clarke sees this political decision by bodies of local government as a violation of the sovereignty of the United States. Clarke’s solution to illegal immigration, and the crimes committed by illegal foreign nationals, is a sealed southern border. Specifically, Clarke calls for a wall, dismissing fences, drone use, or any other method. Clarke’s solution to illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the United States is an effective deportation system. Clarke castigated the catch and release system that is currently implemented in policy. Clarke spoke about several illegal immigrants that had been deported 40 or more times. 

Sheriff Clarke was one of many speakers who proposed changing immigration and border security policies at CPAC, including David Bier, a policy analyst with the Cato institute. Bier layed out statistical research that immigrants statistically have lower crime rates that native-born Americans. This reflects the growing differences within the conservative movement regarding immigration, and how to reform and improve the process.