The ride-hailing company Lyft, apparently deciding that it needs to reinforce its progressive bona fides, is out with slick copy announcing that it plans to provide $150,000 in ride credits to 50 immigration/refugee groups around the country. Portland-based Unite Oregon will be the Lyft credit recipient in Oregon.
“As part of our Lyft Relief Rides program, we have provided each organization with Lyft credit to help with their transportation needs, including but not limited to, getting immigrants and refugees to legal/court appointments,” Lyft announced on July 10, 2019.
The company claims it is “Taking a stand for immigrant rights,” but the tagline for the campaign, “America is an idea, not a geography”, is sophistry that undermines the country’s legitimate efforts to enforce immigration law.
The Democratic candidates for their party’s presidential nomination may be advocating policies that are almost the equivalent of open borders, but the fact is, America is both an idea AND a geography, and Americans want that geography protected and immigration laws enforced.
Businesses have been trying to position themselves as good corporate citizens for years in order to bring about a more favorable operating environment, but earlier efforts focused on neutral moves like raising public awareness of such things as charitable contributions, employee volunteerism and hiring veterans.
Lyft’s move is just the latest example of companies more willing to take public stands on truly controversial issues in order to raise their public profile… and sell more products.
In this case, though, it is naïve in the extreme for an American corporation to proselytize in a kind of hippy-dippy, enlightened way that borders have no place in international relations in the modern world in order to position itself as “woke.”.
All recent presidents have taken the position that protection of U.S. borders is essential.
“All Americans, not only in the states most heavily affected but in every place in this country, are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country,” which is why “our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders,” President Bill Clinton said in his 1995 State of the Union address.
“That is our direct message to the families in Central America: Do not send your children to the borders,” President Obama said in a 2014 interview with ABC News. The U.S. Border Patrol, he said, should be able to “stem the flow of illegal crossings and speed the return of those who do cross over … Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws, and I believe that they must be held accountable.”
It’s true that most Americans oppose deporting all the immigrants in the U.S. illegally, but, according to Gallup, about 75 percent want an increase in border patrols to stop the flow of more undocumented immigrants.
They do NOT want an immigration free-for-all based on the concept that “America is an idea, not a geography.”