Remember the Mariel Boatlift?

November 30, 2015


Please tell me if this is the situation that many of us fear: A well-meaning president opens our borders and allows in refugees fleeing persecution. The VAST majority of those refugees assimilate into our collective American culture and become full participating citizens. But, because little work was or could be done to weed out troublemakers within the refugee group, the areas that accepted them suddenly develop skyrocketing murder and other crime rates which damage the country as a whole.

This is not speculation. It happened. What I just described was the Mariel boatlift of 1980. It was one of the events prompting the cocaine wars in Miami in the 1980s, was inspiration for the movie “Scarface” (and, recently, “Cocaine Cowboys.” I was a post-production assistant on this film), and set the nation down a path of massive spending in money, time, and lives in an attempt to undo the damage caused when a criminal element was hidden among those who legitimately wanted a new life in the Land of the Free.

Apparently, we may not be learning from our mistakes.

Unless we have invented or developed a new way that I have not heard about when screening Syrian refugees for any sort of ISIS connection (soldiers, financiers, support systems, planners, etc), then I am not convinced that the president of the United States and governor of the state of Delaware – while their intentions are well-meaning – are making the right decision for our state and country. I know this because the rhetoric, politics, and situation seem undeniably
familiar.

Rep. Jeff Spiegelman
State Rep., Delaware's 11th District