Interview with Darrell Castle, Constitution Party Presidential Nominee

by Peter B. Gemma, writer
dc-ustpm-001 Darrel Castle, a U.S. Marine Vietnam veteran, earned a Juris Doctorate from Memphis State University in 1979. Castle opened his own law firm in Memphis in 1984, and has concentrated his practice in the areas of bankruptcy and personal injury.

 A former Chairman of the Tennessee Constitution Party, he served as a Vice Chairman of the national party and was the running mate of Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate.  

In 1998, Mr. Castle and wife Joan founded the Mia’s Children Foundation, a Christian mission in Romania aiding homeless Gypsy children.

Peter B. Gemma: Thanks much for taking time to answer some questions. At what point in your life did you say to yourself, “I’ve got to get involved.” How did that lead up to your decision to run for president?

Darrell Castle: I got started working in the political system in 1992 when I was introduced to Howard Phillips and I was able to join Howard in helping to form and found the Constitution Party. I’ve served in the Constitution Party for almost 25 years and have held many different positions including as the 2008 Vice Presidential candidate. The members of the Party drafted me as their candidate this year.

Why am I running? I believe that the entire system of law and justice is under attack as well as the rule of law itself. This is a very dangerous time for America – we can continue to reject our foundation or we can pull back from the brink. All we have to lose is everything.

Gemma: You have stated that, “two of the first things on my agenda would be getting the United States out of the United Nations and ending the Federal Reserve.” Why those issues? How would you go about accomplishing this?

Castle: I want to see the United States as a free and independent nation once again. Membership in the United Nations is incompatible with that goal because its very nature is one of control by bureaucrats unaccountable to the American people. UN Membership is incompatible with the American way of life too – with a Constitutional Republic and the foundational principles that have made this the greatest country offering the most freedom and the most prosperity to the most people in history. Instead, the United Nations is about population control, control of economies through what it calls climate change, control of nations through Agenda 21 sustainable development policies.

I would have to end our membership through education of Congress and the American people and through withholding of funds and non-participation.

As far as the Federal Reserve, it has controlled the American monetary system for 103 years. Its initial stated goals were protection of the dollar’s value and full employment, but both are abject failures with the dollar having lost 98 percent of its value. The Fed has flooded the world with credit and debt to the point where the inevitable fall is going to be terrible. The Fed’s credit expansion explains much of the mischief engaged in by the United States government in the last few years. Unlimited budgets do that to people. Right now, the Fed is engaged in destroying the futures of retirees and other savers with zero and soon to be negative interest rates. That destruction will create more and more dependent people.

Ending it would require the same concerted effort as for the UN, but what a glorious way to spend the next four years.

Gemma: You have been quoted as saying the U.S. will have a much lower standard of living 25 years from now.  Why?

Castle: How could a nation with almost 20 trillion dollars of current debt not have a lower standard of living in 25 years? The debt is growing daily and within 25 years will have interest payments that’ll eat most or all of the budget. That’s just the on-budget debt and it doesn’t include the more that 100 trillion dollars in mandates like Social Security, Medicare, etc. This debt is un-payable and dealing with it is going to reduce our standard of living, so no one will deal with it until it is much worse.

If that were all, it would be plenty but it gets worse – changing demographics indicate a rapidly aging population with fewer and fewer young workers to support them. We have aborted too many and indebted too many and that will have to be atoned for.

One more thing: foreign entanglements will continue to require higher and higher defense expenditures so the situation will get worse at least that’s the way I see it.

Gemma: Part of your platform is opposition to something called Agenda 21. What is that, and why do you oppose it?

Castle: Agenda 21 is a United Nations initiative that is built on the premise that man is destroying the earth and so human economic activity must be greatly reduced. In effect, it is civilization in reverse or the “de-industrial revolution.”

I oppose it because the number one priority of Agenda 21 is climate change policy – they believe that human economic activity is causing the climate to change with catastrophic results for mankind. Also, they fear over-population and think killing off the earth’s population can reverse it. And they believe in the destruction of the free market because it is evil, corrupt, and only serves the rich nations – they want to enact a world socialist system.

And two more critical issues come to mind: first, cheap energy is their enemy because it allows prosperity and expanding human activity across all economic classes. In other words, it is uplifting the masses. Finally, they advocate world-controlled education such as common core. They want to propagandize the children of the world to believe all the nonsense I just mentioned so they can be good workers on the global plantation.

Why would anyone oppose all that?

Gemma: The Constitution Party platform states, “We are opposed to the flat-rate tax, national sales tax, and value added tax proposals that are being promoted as an improvement to the current tax system.” Granted you advocate a government greatly reduced in size and scope, but where will federal revenues come from instead of these tax reform proposals?

Castle: I have proposed a taxing system whereby taxes would be apportioned to the states as the census dictates. If my state of Tennessee had two percent of the nation’s population, for example, it would be liable for two percent of the budget. It would be incumbent upon the representatives from Tennessee to help hold down Federal spending. The Federal Government would be encouraged to spend less not more. The states would be empowered and Washington would be dis-empowered. Washington’s hold over the states would be broken and the states would be sovereign again – Washington would have to ask the states for money. States would be free to collect their revenue as they see fit. Alaska might tax its natural resources and Florida might tax tourism. In Nevada, it would obviously be gambling. Since people could keep their income the economy would explode with growth.

Gemma: Are press reports of you favoring decriminalizing marijuana accurate?

Castle: I favor the de-criminalization of marijuana as both a liberty and a moral issue. It is immoral in my view to take people’s liberty because they possess this substance. This would free the police, the police budgets, and create much space in our prisons.

Gemma: Why are you in favor of granting convicted felons the right to vote?

Castle: I favor examining the crimes for which a person is convicted before depriving him of the voting privilege for life. We have thousands of crimes on our books and not all of them are harmful enough to end voting privileges.

Gemma: You’ve stated that, “I would not be in favor of granting asylum to those here illegally but neither would I deport them wholesale.” Also, you agree with Donald Trump’s idea of banning all Muslims from emigrating to the U.S. What are the specifics of your position on illegal immigration?

Castle: We should secure our borders by any means necessary then examine who gets into this country by way of immigration. We can’t continue to have completely open borders and a stable country at the same time so we must know who is coming in. I do not favor asylum for those here illegally nor do I favor a path to citizenship. Welfare or entitlement programs, if you choose to call them that, should be strictly for American citizens. I have said that I would nor deport wholesale but I would not hesitate individually if the need arose.

For now it seems we have reached our capacity to absorb the Muslim population of the Middle East. I read that between one and two percent of the population of Somalia now lives in America.

Gemma: On July 2nd, you were quoted at, as saying, “Libertarians should support me because I am more Libertarian than the two candidates of that Party,” but later you stated, “I’ve never said I was more Libertarian than Gary Johnson.” Will you clarify that?

Castle: People often quote me as saying that I am more Libertarian than Gary Johnson but it was not me who said that. My supporters listen to my interviews, draw conclusions, and create memes, and sometimes these memes are attributed to me. However, I will say that some of Mr. Johnson’s positions especially the one concerning religious freedom are not in keeping with traditional Libertarian thought. If I wanted to be a completely Libertarian person I would join that party instead of the Constitution Party.

Gemma: In response to the Supreme Court ruling on same sex marriage, the Constitution Party released a statement equating the opinion to the Dred Scott slavery decision. Is that your position? Also, you have said that you are opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage because “marriage with any definition other than the Biblical standard” is unacceptable. Isn’t that imposing one religious standard on all U.S. citizens?

Castle: I’m afraid you may have misunderstood me. I am unfamiliar with any comparison of same sex marriage and the Dred Scott case. I have often compared the holding in that case to the Supreme Court’s holding that unborn babies are not “persons” and therefore do not qualify for Fifth Amendment protection.

As for same sex marriage, I have said that I do not believe in it or that it even exists. If I were President and two members of the same sex came to me and said we’re married and here’s a priest, a minister, and a civil magistrate who will attest to that, I would say you are not married because God defines marriage quite clearly in his holy word and you do not meet that definition. However, as President it is irrelevant to me because your relationship is none of my business. It is an abuse of political power to require people to buy a license from the government for permission to engage in whatever relationship they choose. Since there would be no governmental financial advantage to this relationship it is not a governmental concern.

Gemma: The Constitution Party asserts in its platform that obscenity laws must be “vigorously enforced” because, “local, state, and federal governments [should] uphold our First Amendment right to free speech.” Using the free speech as a basis for limiting or banning the use of pornography seems contradictory. Is there a religious factor involved in that stance?

Castle: Of course there’s a religious factor involved in that stance. There’s a religious factor in all laws carrying criminal sanctions. I am not in favor of the Federal Government stepping into this role. I favor limiting government to its delegated, enumerated Article 1 Section 8 powers. The other powers existing are to the states and the people. If the states want to sanction it then that should be their prerogative. I see a role in Federal prosecution of child pornography under the 5th and 14th Amendments. Child pornography should be severely sanctioned since it is akin to rape, or enslavement of those innocent and unable to defend themselves.

Gemma: You have said, “I fear for the future, because our country is under the judgment of God for the 60 million unborn babies we have allowed to be killed.” How will making abortion illegal turn this nation toward God?

Castle: God has said that if we humble ourselves, seek his face, and turn from our wicked ways he would hear our cry and heal our land. What could be more clear?

Gemma: How many state ballots will your name appear?

Castle: My name will appear on the ballot in 25 states. In addition, 21 other states have me registered as a write-in candidate. So, Americans in 46 states are able to vote for me. There is also a chance that we will get Nebraska and the District of Columbia which would bring us to 47 – plus D.C.

Gemma: Apparently West Virginia has removed your name from the ballot. Will you explain what’s going on there?

Castle: Yes, due to a West Virginia Supreme Court ruling, the state removed us from the ballot. We filed an emergency lawsuit – we won – and we are back on the ballot. Our victory even made front page in some of the West Virginia newspapers.

Gemma: Tell me about your running mate, Scott Bradley of Utah.

Castle: I have known Scott for at least 20 years and include him among my dearest friends. He is a well-known Constitutional expert and lectures around the country on the Constitution and other founding documents. I also consider him to be an expert in the Federal seizure of state lands especially in the West, and since I want to reverse those seizures I need him to help me do that. Scott is also of the highest character and a true gentleman.

Gemma: Finally, if you were addressing a conservative Republican, what would you say to get him to switch his vote from Trump to the Constitution Party? How would you convince a Libertarian Party supporter to vote for the Castle-Bradley ticket?

Castle: I would tell both the same thing. If you think government should be limited choose me. If you think we should have unlimited government any of the others will do. If you value life choose me, but if you don’t any of the others will do. If you favor constant foreign intervention any of the others will do but if you do not, choose me. If you want to be free to control your children’s education choose me, if you want the government to control it any of the others will do. If you want to keep all your income choose me but if you want to give large portions of it to the government any of the others will do.

Sheldon Adelson’s Spider Web – Where Special Interests Intersect with Immigration

7 August 2014 – by Peter B. Gemma, National Executive Committee Member

Sheldon Adelson is the 10th richest person in the world — some say the eighth, but why quibble about a few billion dollars. Undoubtedly, he’s among the one percent of the one percent of America’s political elites. The Center for Responsive Politics reports that during the 2012 elections, Adelson gave $20 million to Winning Our Future, the super PAC that promoted Newt Gingrich’s presidential bid, then poured $30 million into the Restore Our Future, one of the super PACs supporting former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. He also underwrote GOP operative Karl Rove’s political operation to the tune of $23 million. All told, Adelson and his wife invested $100 million in the 2012 campaign sweepstakes, more money for one election than anyone else in American history.

Read the rest of the article here

A Conservative Defense Budget Should be A Conservative Cause

A Conservative Defense Budget Should be A Conservative Cause

20 March 2014

– by Peter B. Gemma – National Executive Committee member –


Admiral Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asserts that the “most significant threat to our national security is our debt.”

The money we spend on weaponry — and the fingers that fire them — is staggering. For example, the 2012 Department of Defense budget (more than the annual defense budgets of the 10 next largest military spenders combined, including Russia and China) was almost 100 percent of the U.S. deficit that year.

Neo-con foreign policy is expensive — we are shooting a quarter million bullets for each dead Afghani and Iraqi insurgent — however those military excursions “only” cost Uncle Sam about $90 billion in 2013, and these war-making expenditures fall outside of Defense Department budget accounting.At first look, spending on defense and homeland security appears to be about 20 percent of the government’s budget, or about $552 billion in 2013. But wait, there’s more.

The Pentagon spends an additional $63 billion for the Veterans Administration, $35 billion for Homeland Security, and $10 billion for military construction. There’s also $14 billion for what’s called “international security assistance”— armaments and training the U.S. offers foreign governments — plus $2 billion for “peacekeeping operations,” tax dollars sent overseas to help fund military operations handled by international organizations and our allies.

There are additional expenditures that would make this accounting more comprehensive and complex, but this sub-total — $766 billion — is accurate enough to make my point.

Well, accurate may be a stretch. In 1995, the General Accountability Office (GAO), the federal budget independent investigative agency, estimated the Pentagon’s financial oversight to be at “high risk.” In 2000, the GAO found that nearly a third of the accounting entries in the Defense Department’s budget were untraceable. In 2009, the GAO said its auditors “have continued to report significant weaknesses in the department’s ability to provide timely, reliable, consistent, and accurate information for management analysis, decision-making, and reporting.” The next year, the GAO found that half of the Pentagon’s $366 billion in contract awards were never even completed.

And yes, the outrageous procurement fumbles, dubbed “golden hammers” in the ‘80s (the Pentagon was caught spending $485 for a hammer), continue without embarrassment:

  • Since 2004, the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan spent $370 million on spare parts for vehicles operated by the Afghan National Army, but it can’t account for $230 million worth of the components.
  • A defense contractor that made millions off the Iraq war, charged American taxpayers $4,500 for a circuit breaker that cost $183 at an appliance store, and $900 for a control switch that cost seven dollars.
  • The Pentagon spent a cool $100,000 for a 2011 workshop on interstellar space travel that included a session entitled, “Did Jesus die for Klingons too?” The session probed how Christian theology would apply in the event of the discovery of aliens.

Now the Obama administration is proposing some budget cuts for the military that include saving seven billion dollars over a 10-year period by a one percent reduction in cost-of-living adjustments for working-age military retirees. The House killed that measure by a lopsided 326-90 vote. (Incredibly, only 20 percent of the defense budget is actually spent on defense and security: almost all the rest goes to Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, housing, and other personnel benefits.)

So where were those liberal Democrats with the knee jerk reaction of opposing the GOP-Pentagon-Industrial complex? Well, not so fast. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) pleads, “Although Iraq is over (huh?), and the war in Afghanistan is winding down, we can’t allow Congress to dismantle the programs they created over the past 12 years.” Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) insists, “We have to make sure we evaluate what the cuts are to make sure they don’t make us weaker,” but he admits (probably looking over his shoulder at his District), “you also have to look at the jobs.”

Of course the very idea of reducing the Pentagon’s budget has neo-con Republicans running about with their hair on fire. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) sputtered, “Every American, Republican, Libertarian, vegetarian, Democrat – we all love the troops, but your Congress is expressing that love in a very strange way. How far have we fallen? Do we have no shame?”

In reality, politicians of both parties have funded tanks and aircraft the military doesn’t even want and fought against home turf base closings despite any strategic necessity. They have consistently approved bigger pay increases for service members than the government has requested.

The heart of the problem is transparency and accountability. Last December, Reuters News Service published investigative reporter Scot Paltrow’s series, “Unaccountable: the high cost of the Pentagon’s bad bookkeeping.” Paltrow wrote:

With its efforts to build reliable accounting systems in disarray, the Pentagon isn’t likely to meet a congressionally mandated 2017 deadline to be audit-ready. All other federal agencies are audited annually, in accordance with a 1990 law, and with rare exceptions, they pass every year. The Pentagon alone has never been audited, leaving roughly $8.5 trillion in taxpayer dollars unaccounted for since 1996, the first year it was supposed to be audited.

Last summer, a bill to force an audit of the Pentagon was introduced by Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV). It requires the Department of Defense to obtain a clean audit opinion in 2017 — if it fails, the agency that cuts the checks for the Pentagon would move to the Treasury Department. Coburn agreed with Admiral Mike Mullen when he noted, “Auditing the Pentagon is critically important not just because it is the law, but also because our ignorance of how we spend defense dollars undermines our national security.”

However, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) cautions, “They’ve been talking about having an audit for 30 years probably. They’ve now said it’s coming in 2017. And my guess is that in 2016 it’s going to be 2024, in 2023 they’ll tell us it’s going to be 2030. But I bet you if we said next year you’ve got to meet this sequester, maybe then all of a sudden they’ll say ‘Well why don’t we jettison some of the crap here we’re doing we don’t need?’ They’ll never do it unless their top line number is reduced.”

Perhaps the key to breaking the Defense Department’s hold on the U.S. treasury is just a matter of manipulating egos. There’s a story about Defense Secretary Neil McElroy warning Dwight Eisenhower that budget cuts would harm national security and the president replies, “If you go to any military installation in the world where the American flag is flying and tell the commander that Ike says he’ll give him a gold star for his shoulder if he cuts the budget, there’ll be such a rush to cut costs that you’ll have to get out of the way.” Short of that approach, those who believe in reducing the size, cost, and aggressiveness of government — conservatives — should be leading the charge when it comes to pruning the Pentagon‘s budget.


Peter B. Gemma has been published in a variety of venues including USA Today (where more than 100 of his commentaries have appeared), Military History, the, The Washington Examiner, and the

President Barack Obama, Meet President Dwight Eisenhower – How A 60-Year-Old Slippery Slope Led Into An Ocean of Illegal Aliens

President Barack Obama Meet President Dwight Eisenhower – How a 60-year-old slippery slope led into an ocean of illegal aliens

– 5 March 2014-

 – by Peter B. Gemma, National Executive Committee member –

PeterGemma2 Historians often speculate about “what ifs,” such as what if John Kennedy had lived, or what if Charles Dickens had dinner with Fyodor Dostoevsky, or what if the Confederacy had forced the North to the negotiating table. When thinking about “what happened to the American Dream,” it could be instructive to speculate about what if Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Barack Obama had a discussion and debate on the issue of open borders — how and why they should be closed.

The two men served their country about 60 years apart, only a span of two generations, but they handled the problems caused by illegal aliens very differently in style and substance.

The economy of 60 years ago is not what it is today. To keep the nation’s fiscal house in order — the country was downshifting from high gear in World War II arms spending, and faced a huge influx of returning veterans seeking jobs — President Eisenhower focused on creating a balanced federal budget. The government ran a small deficit in 1954 and 1955, then registered a surplus for each of the next two years. As the nation went into a recession in 1958 and 1959, Eisenhower allowed the federal deficit to grow because some of his advisors thought it would stimulate the economy. By 1960 however, he managed to return the federal budget to a surplus. Although Ike had critics on the right and the left, historian Robert Griffith summed up Eisenhower’s approach to the national economy as a desire to “fashion a new corporate economy that would avoid both the destructive disorder of unregulated capitalism and the threat to business autonomy posed by socialism.”1

In 2009, President Obama had to confront different economic challenges: he came into office facing a big deficit and unemployment rates of over 10 percent. Even before his inauguration, he lobbied Congress to pass an economic “stimulus” bill that became the top priority during his first month in office. Just two months after being sworn in to office, Obama signed into law the $787 billion plan that included spending for health care, infrastructure, education, and direct assistance to individuals. As part of its 2010 budget proposal, the Obama administration proposed additional spending measures in an attempt to stabilize the economy. There have been mixed judgments to date. The conservative Washington Times opined, “The era of big government returned with a vengeance.”2 Howard Gold, of the Wall Street Market Watch, commented, “The president made mistakes — I think he should have gone for more limited health care reform, simpler banking reform, and a stimulus that focused more on infrastructure…he helped avert the very worst, but could have done much better. So, for me, his final grade is C-. But definitely not an F.”3

In terms of economics and sociological issues, illegal immigration was and is a vital question that both presidents have dealt with.

On March 28, 1951, the New York Times observed, “The rise in illegal border-crossing by Mexican ‘wetbacks’ to a current rate of more than 1,000,000 cases a year has been accompanied by a curious relaxation in ethical standards extending all the way from the farmer-exploiters of this contraband labor to the highest levels of the Federal Government.”4

Two months later, the Los Angeles Times reported that 21,000 Mexican nationals had “flooded across Mexican border into California during April” and complained about the overworked, understaffed border patrolmen and “the endless wave of line jumpers, unprecedented in the nation’s history.” Just like today, the argument about jobs “Americans won’t do” was a justification used by one employer in the Times piece, while the authorities stressed the need to enforce the law to protect out-of- work veterans.

The news media of the Obama era have similar news stories: A Washington Times news report of January 29, 2013, was headlined: “Arrest numbers signal nine percent jump in illegal immigration in 2012;”5 on March 4, 2013, the federal government’s Homeland Security news service disclosed a “sharp increase in border crossings in 2012”;6 and then this item in the New York Times, September 23, 2013: “Number of Illegal Immigrants in U.S. May Be on Rise Again, Estimates Say.”7

During World War II, with so many Americans in the armed services, Mexicans illegally (and legally) entered the U.S. to take advantage of employment opportunities, especially as agricultural laborers. The federal government had actually created what was called the “Bracero” program (Spanish for “manual laborer”), which brought Mexicans into the United States to fill jobs that soldiers had left behind. Those foreign workers were in the U.S. legally, but Washington often looked the other way when companies illegally brought more cheap labor over the border. By 1945, there were some two million illegal aliens living in California, Arizona, and Texas. Such a massive underground workforce had a devastating impact on the wages of American workers and those returning war veterans looking for jobs.

John Dillin, writing for the Christian Science Monitor, tells this story:

The late Herbert Brownell Jr., Eisenhower’s first attorney general, said in an interview with this writer that the president had a sense of urgency about illegal immigration when he took office.

America ‘was faced with a breakdown in law enforcement on a very large scale,’ Mr. Brownell said. ‘When I say large scale, I mean hundreds of thousands were coming in from Mexico [every year] without restraint.’ Although an on-and-off guest-worker program for Mexicans was operating at the time, farmers and ranchers in the Southwest had become dependent on an additional low-cost, docile, illegal labor force of up to 3 million, mostly Mexican, laborers.8

In contrast, President Obama asserts that, “the idea that you’re going to deport 12 million people is ridiculous, that we’re not going to be devoting all our law enforcement resources to sending people back.”9

Then there is Obama Attorney General Eric Holder, who told the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, “Creating a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in this country is absolutely essential. The way we treat our friends and neighbors who are undocumented — by creating a mechanism for them to earn citizenship and move out of the shadows — transcends the issue of immigration status. This is a matter of civil and human rights.”10

Eisenhower, concerned about all the tangential issues due to the illegal alien invasion, including corruption that resulted from the profits of the underground labor market, took decisive action. First he cancelled the Bracero agreement and then appointed General Joseph “Jumpin’ Joe” Swing, who commanded the 11th Airborne Division during the campaign to liberate the Philippines in World War II, to head the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). However, like today, there was an open borders lobby at work: agribusiness and other employers of unskilled labor gained the favor of influential politicians, including Senators Lyndon Johnson of Texas and Nevada’s Pat McCarran, who fought against strong border enforcement. Today, the open borders lobby is more persuasive and pervasive: for example, the National Immigration Forum’s chairman is John Gay of the National Restaurant Association, and its board includes Craig Regelbrugge, representing the American Nursery and Landscape Association, and Randal K. Johnson of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Other amnesty advocates include GOP Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

General Swing’s close connections to President Eisenhower protected him — and the Border Patrol — from meddling by powerful political and corporate interests. With the close cooperation of the Eisenhower Justice Department, Swing launched what was called “Operation Wetback.”

With only 1,075 Border Patrol agents, supported by municipal, county, state, and the military, a comprehensive operation to identify and apprehend all illegal immigrants was undertaken. According to the Texas Historical Association, on the first day of the operation 4,800 illegal aliens were apprehended. The roundup of aliens began in California and Arizona, because there was less political resistance. Some 750 agents set a goal of 1,000 arrests a day, but in less than two weeks over 50,000 aliens were caught in the two states. Another 488,000 had fled the country.11

In comparison to Operation Wetback, the Obama Department of Homeland Security spends $4 billion annually deploying over 58,000 personnel with 16,875 vehicles, 269 aircraft, 300 watercraft, and 300 camera towers. It even uses aerial drones to enhance the scrutiny. In 2012, the Border Patrol apprehended about 357,000 people — a 78 percent drop since 2000. A February, 2013 GAO report12 found that just 44 percent of the border was under “operational control,” 37 percent was “monitored,” and the rest “low-level monitored.”

Unlike the Eisenhower era, protecting the 1,954-mile Mexico-U.S. border, has now become more than an economic issue — it impacts America’s national security. In an August 13, 2013, op/ed in The Washington Times, Retired Admiral James Lyons, who was senior U.S. military representative to the United Nations, stated, “Fixing our porous borders is one of combating the threat of terrorism that America faces. In the various efforts to reform the U.S. immigration system, often overlooked in the debate is its impact on national security.”13

On May 21, 2013, Rebecca Gambler, director of Homeland Security and Justice for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), gave testimony before the House Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security and revealed that DHS identified 1,901 illegal overstays “of concern” in 2011. As of March 2013, 266 remain missing. The 1,901 cases were made a top priority for further investigation by DHS “because the subjects of the records could pose national security or public safety concerns.”14

Still, it seems there is no sense of urgency. In an interview with the Spanish broadcasting conglomerate Telemundo, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said many deportations were “totally unjustified” and that, “When most people are apprehended, they are deported. I don’t see any reason for these deportations.” Pelosi also stated, “I think that there is discretion in the law as to the implementation, enforcement of the legislation that is calling for these deportations.”15

In 2006, Congress passed a bill that called for a double-tier fence to be built along 700 miles of the border. But a year later, the U.S. Senate slipped language into a spending bill to water down that requirement, giving Homeland Security officials the leeway to determine how much and what type of fencing. As of early this year, the department had built just 36 miles of two-tier fencing, 316 miles of single-tier fence, and another 299 miles of vehicle barriers that still allow pedestrians to cross, but are meant to keep out smuggling vehicles. Commentator Charles Krauthammer explains the issue this way: “It’s not complicated. Build the damn fence.”16

The Obama Administration protection policies greatly differ from those of his predecessor of 60 years ago. For example, of the 188,382 criminal aliens deported in 2011, at least 86,699, or 46 percent, had been deported earlier and had illegally returned to the United States. (In 2011, Illegal re-entry became the most commonly recorded lead charge brought by federal prosecutors, accounting for nearly 47 percent of all criminal immigration prosecutions filed.)17 President Eisenhower’s initiatives were designed to ensure Mexicans caught in Operation Wetback were not released at the border, where they could easily re-enter the U.S. The Operation Wetback policy was to hire buses and trains to take illegal aliens deep within Mexico before being set free. Tens of thousands more were put aboard two hired ships which ferried the aliens to Vera Cruz, Mexico, more than 500 miles south.

Thanks to Operation Wetback, illegal immigration rates dropped 95 percent by the end of the 1950s.18 An INS report of 1955 stated, “The so-called ‘wetback’ problem no longer exists.… [T]his is no longer, as in the past, a problem in border control. The border has been secured.”19

The pugnacious columnist Pat Buchanan summed up the Eisenhower immigration policy this way:

During President Eisenhower’s first term, 60 years ago, the United States faced an invasion across its southern border. Illegal aliens had been coming since World War II. But, suddenly, the number was over one million. Crime was rising in Texas. The illegals were taking the jobs of U.S. farm workers … Eisenhower, who had tapped his nuclear hole card twice — first, to force the Chinese to agree to a truce in Korea, then to halt their shelling of the offshore islands in 1958 — was a no-nonsense president…as for the deportation of the Mexicans, they had broken in, they did not belong here, and they were going back. End of discussion.20

A Federation for American Immigration Reform publication, “President Obama’s Record of Dismantling Immigration Enforcement,” assesses the Obama Administration as having, “carried out a policy of de facto amnesty for millions of illegal aliens through executive policy decisions. Since taking office in 2009, [it] has systematically gutted effective immigration enforcement policies, moved aggressively against state and local governments that attempt to enforce immigration laws, and stretched the concept of ‘prosecutorial discretion’ to a point where it has rendered many immigration laws meaningless. Remarkably, the Administration has succeeded in doing all this with barely a peep of protest from Congress.” The white paper goes on to show:

The Administration’s intimidation of state and local governments determined to enforce federal immigration laws. President Obama has turned the Department of Justice into the Administration’s attack dog, filing lawsuits against states that pass their own immigration enforcement laws. When lawsuits fail, the Department’s Civil Rights division launches meritless investigations designed to harass local governments and officials who attempt to enforce the law.21

Any idea of a meeting between Presidents Obama and Eisenhower would have to be more than fictional: fantasy would be a better description. There would be no reason for such men of totally opposite worldviews to even try to mediate immigration policies — which is why one has to ask whatever happened to the American dream.



1. Andrew J. Dunar, America in the Fifties (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 2006)

2. “Obama’s economic collapse: Rosy scenarios defeated by grim reality,” July 29, 2011




















Peter B. Gemma, a contributing editor to The Social Contract, is an award-winning writer who has been published in a variety of venues including  USA Today (where more than 100 of his commentaries have appeared), Military History, the, and The Washington Examiner.