Beyond the Cusp

April 26, 2013

The Untouchable Side to Illegal Immigration

Whether you call it amnesty, path to citizenship, legal registration process or other more involved description masking the true legal approach to illegal immigration, eventually deportation must be a part of the solution. Would I desire that every single person who can be technically described as an illegal immigrant be deported? Even in a perfect world that would be heartless solution to a very small percentage of what we now euphemistically call undocumented workers, paperless immigrants, extra-legal refugee or any other reference carefully crafted to avoid any mention of lawlessness. The case of an immigrant who was brought into the United States illegally at an age under ten and has spent as much as twenty years going to school who has a pliable skill and solid employment record or has sufficient grades proving their intent to live a productive life, for these exceptional cases we should find an inventive way of allowing them to remain as they have been raised pretty much as an American. But as far as the vast majority of illegal immigrants who are found in the United States should be deported and maybe, if they have no criminal record other than their illegal entry into the country, allowed to automatically begin the regular process to immigrate and be placed at the back of the line and allowed to go through the system in order to legally enter the United States. Should anything else be done regarding immigration? I believe most who have studied the immigration problems have agreed that the current system is extremely broken. We should definitely revamp and modernize our immigration processes and make the whole system more user-friendly and efficient. The stories of people going through decades of paperwork, interviews and other bureaucratic intricacies and requirements are completely unacceptable. There has to be a better way, a more efficient process, especially in the modern age of computers. The other side of any upgrading to the immigration system is to initiate a responsive system which can adapt to and shift in the nation’s needs or requirements for which immigrants can be chosen as a solution. It would only be logical to tailor the people we bring into the country with areas where the country has a need for additional workers immediately. We might also want to return to the previous idea of immigrants being required to have a sponsor or group of sponsors who will be responsible for aiding the new immigrant in their adjustments and making their way on the path to citizenship. The intent of immigration is to facilitate an orderly manner for integrating people into the fabric of the society as seamlessly and orderly as we are able.

The one statement that is used ad-nauseum which is really an insult and completely violates all sense of fairness is that we cannot deport these illegal immigrants as that would be unfair and impossible to accomplish. It is always pointed out that should we even claim to intend to deport these people that they will simply go further underground and become impossible to root out and we would not be capable of deporting all of them even under the best of conditions. The fact that it might be difficult to attempt to find and deport the vast majority of illegal immigrants who are deemed undesirable to offer a path to legalization or even citizenship, is not a valid argument under any consideration. An analogous claim would be that the police are unable to catch every person who exceeds the speed limit, then the police should simply ignore anybody they witness speeding. The same comparison holds for every single crime on the books such as murder, theft, armed robbery, or even acts of terrorism. The public would never accept the authorities to ignore terrorist acts so why should they accept such an approach to illegal immigration? Often the first step to perpetrating an act of terrorism is preceded by an act of illegal immigration. Even if the government simply required that whenever the police interact with people in the performance of executing their charge that they check their citizenship and for any noncitizen they run a full check on their immigration status and hold until deported any person found to be here illegally, whether they entered illegally or simply have remained beyond their visa limitations or otherwise are violating their visa requirements. The government cannot claim that they did not find a fair number of illegal immigrants simply through traffic stops for speeding or other motor vehicle violations, not to mention those who were arrested for more serious criminal offenses.

Another action which must be taken immediately is to disallow any State, County, City, Township, or other defined district from the practice of harboring illegal immigrants declaring themselves as sanctuary zones. Such designated places where Federal laws concerning individuals crossing the nation’s borders are disregarded and left unenforced are a breakdown of Constitutional law, particularly the Fourteenth Amendment. The concept of equal enforcement under the law enumerated within the Fourteenth Amendment is a double bladed sword in that it not only means that all people are entitled to equal rights and protections under the law but also they are required to fulfill equal obedience and face equal enforcement under the law. Your and my citizenship becomes meaningless when illegal immigrants are treated as equal to a citizen, and this is a compromise which should enrage the average citizen, especially those who are legal immigrants and went through what is a painstakingly drawn-out form-filled undertaking in order to be considered equal as citizens. What greater insult could any nation commit to those who played by the rules than to allow those who flaunted the rules and took a completely illegal shortcut and are granted equal rights, treatment and status as those who suffered the entire legal processes.

There is another reason for not granting the vast majority of illegal immigrants a path to legal status and that is the future treatment of illegal immigrants and the likelihood that such opportunists will do what it takes to gain entrance by other than legal means. When the United States first granted amnesty to the vast majority of illegal immigrants during the 1980s with a guarantee that tighter enforcement of the borders would be enacted subsequent to the granting citizenship a funny thing happened, the enforcement was never enacted and the border remained a sieve. That amnesty granted instant path to citizenship for approximately 2.7 million illegal immigrants. By granting amnesty the United States set a precedent of taking the easiest way to enforcing immigration law, namely ignoring it. This precedent was not lost on the millions who desired to become American citizens or at least gain some form of legal status to remain in the United States but felt they would be unable to gain such legally or simply had no desire to obey the laws of the country in which they desired to live. Thanks to the lack of dedication to the law or to their promises, the Congress did nothing in the follow-up to the amnesty legislation with even the slightest action towards closing the border. The truth is that in many ways the borders of the United States are less secure today than they had been before the 1986 amnesty legislation. The proof of this is the fact that there are now an estimated 9 to 11 million illegal immigrants with some estimates reaching past 20 million illegal immigrants. The border security has mostly remained the same as the tunnels and methods of infiltration have dramatically increased in capabilities and sophistication. There have been some minor improvements and half-measures with some minor local improvements which are mostly credited to the individual states’ efforts.

The Congress is once again discussing what they euphemistically call Comprehensive Immigrations Reform. If history is to be trusted as insight, they may as well call what they are discussing Comprehensive Blind Eye Solution Avoidance Amnesty Program. There does exist one item about immigration reform which makes it unique from everything else in Washington; it is bipartisan in that both the Democrat and Republican Parties are equally to blame as neither actually desires to prevent the influx of illegal immigrants, though for very different reasons. The Democrats see the illegal immigrants as future Democrat voters while the Republicans see the illegal immigrants as inexpensive and even sub-minimum wage workers. Both parties are showing a lack of respect for the individual immigrants as they both see them as faceless masses they can take advantage of with little regard for their humanity. It is probably the fact that these people are allowed to live at the fringes of our society and are only viewed as statistical objects which can be utilized to fulfill certain objectives without any concern for their actual wellbeing. Such attitudes are dehumanizing and should disgust any righteous person who holds their fellow humans as precious in their own way. Even if it is only so that all people who enter and live in the United States are legal, thus holding complete and guaranteed Constitutional rights and are equal before the law, granting all a status worthy of respect and equality while not forcing people to live in the margins with meager means and no recourse against mistreatment due to illegal status; that is a sufficient and noble enough a reason for proper and comprehensive immigrations reform. This can only be accomplished by making the border closed so tight that we will detect ants crossing in real time and also have the ability and staffing to intercept any smuggling of people or contraband with near 100% efficiency and effectiveness. It honestly is a matter of human rights and respect for all humanity that demands the border be enforced and all immigrants are legal.

Beyond the Cusp

February 24, 2012

Santorum, a Different Kind of Candidate

The one item I read and heard the most about from the Arizona Republican Debate was Rick Santorum making the worst possible mistake any candidate could make, admission of fallibility. Personally, I thought Rick Santorum admitting that his vote for George W. Bush’s signature legislation, No Child Left Behind, due to the reasoning that party loyalty sometimes forces one to make poor choices. Rick Santorum admitted that given his own views he would have voted against the No Child Left Behind legislation but when your own party’s President requests you support what he regards as one of the pillars of his Presidency, you vote with the President and bite the bullet this one time. But almost all those who decide right and wrong, also known as the mainstream press, claimed Mr. Santorum had made a cardinal mistake. These are the same wonderful deciders of political fates who have time and again stated how if some politician had just come out and admitted to making an error, a misjudgment, a poor choice and simply apologized, then they could have avoided recriminations galore before finally admitting their wrongdoing. Now, when a candidate finally does exactly this, they claim he has made the worst case scenario in judgment possible and may have ruined any hope he had of winning. I really wish they would make up their mind and have a consistent opinion and not simply take the opposing side of every choice simply to appear all-knowing and wise.

 

Now, let us look a little deeper and into rick Santorum’s past and see if this is a fatal flaw of his, this telling the truth. As it turns out, it actually is a chink in his armor (am I allowed to use this phrase still?). One of the other shortcomings listed in the mainstream press critique on Santorum is the fact that after serving two terms as a Senator for Pennsylvania he lost his bid for reelection. What they refuse to inform us about is why and how he lost. Oh, they give you the wide percentage and refer to it as if it was the worst loss in political history, they must have forgotten a few Presidential races like McGovern, Dole and others, but never bother to say why he lost a seat he had won easily before. It was very simple; he refused to compromise on his principles and stuck to his guns even knowing it made his winning reelection highly difficult if not impossible. And what were these principles he refused to sacrifice, or at least lie about and deceive the public? Rick Santorum stuck to his support of President Bush’s efforts in Iraq and called for the United States to do more to prevent either North Korea or Iran from becoming nuclear armed nations. He was adamant that stopping Iran from attaining nuclear weapon status should be paramount and at the top of the agenda for the United States. I wonder why they refuse to inform the public that these were the issues that Rick Santorum once before stood by when doing so was difficult and ended up costing him an election. The reason the press hides this is simple; the word is integrity, something Rick Santorum has an abundance of.

 

There is another issue that has been utilized to club Rick Santorum ceaselessly, and that is pork. Let’s get the one defender against pork spending out of the way right up front. Everybody will jump up and claim that Ron Paul is virtually a saint who crusades against pork barrel spending in shining armor astride of a white stallion. Well, here is the dirty little secret; despite voting against even pork for his own district, how do you think such spending got into some of the most popular and necessary legislation for Ron Paul to vote against pork even for his own district? Yep, Ron Paul attaches riders to legislation he is assured will pass sending pork spending to his district and records show he is among the most guilty of this practice. Then, after inserting the pork spending he votes against the bill and proudly proclaims that despite this legislation being so wonderful and having pork spending for his own district, Ron Paul, the ever-on-the-job watchdog of the Constitution, destroyer of pork, defender of the tax payers has once again valiantly, but unsuccessfully, attempted with his Nay vote to slay the pork monster.

 

But the most disingenuous part of the debate was Mitt Romney taking the high road and accusing Rick Santorum of pork barrel spending. What Mitt Romney would like us all to believe is that he only requested pork spending for the Olympics and for his state of Massachusetts while Governor was because it was his noble duty to request Federal funding for the most pure of reasons while any pork spending procured for Pennsylvania by Rick Santorum, being merely a Senator and not a holy state’s Governor, was mucking in the mire of stealing funding for his home state from the Federal coffers. So, in the world according to Mitt, a Governor pushing for and receiving Federal monies for his state is a noble pursuit and part of the job description and to be lauded while a Senator representing his State and pushing for the same exact funding for his state is the lowest of actions and discredits the holder of political power to abuse that power thusly. Governors are allowed to represent their State and procure funding for same while Senators representing their State and procuring the same funding are scurrilous. Sorry Mr. Romney, but that is the same act and is actually considered part of the job for both Senators and Governors as both positions are representatives of their State and are to pursue the best favors they are able to win for their State. The only real difference between a Senator and a Governor is States have one Governor and two Senators and the Governor goes to Washington solely to win pork while the Senator also accomplishes other work while in Washington. Rick Santorum was doing the exact same as Romney when it came to finding favorable funding for their home States and either both were accomplishing their tasks which are vital to their work and function in their respective offices or both were scoundrels, but there is no difference when either received funding for projects within their home States.

 

Finally, I want to add the reason I support Rick Santorum and had told friends back when he lost the Senate in 2006 that I still held out hope he would one day become President of the United States. In Rick Santorum we have a rare breed of human, one that has honor and holds the truth paramount, even when holding to the truth is painful and counterproductive. Rick Santorum is that rare man who as a politician will actually state that he does not know the answer to every problem and that on some things he will need to look into them and gain knowledge rather than just blow smoke and hope to hide behind a barrage of words. I find it noble and so very refreshing to have a man of character and integrity who I can trust means what he says and says what he means. So often in politics you hear people bemoaning the fact that they are all scoundrels and that you cannot trust a single one of them. Not Rick Santorum, he actually holds the truth above his pursuit of position. Rick Santorum will follow through on that which he promises and will treat the Presidency of the United States with honor and dignity. Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change? If I had to pick a fault with Rick Santorum it would be that despite his efforts to live and act humbly, you can tell he is a proud man who worries more about his reputation and honor than his position. To be honest, I supported Rick Santorum for the position of President since when I first took a look at him after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and heard his response and saw a man who would not back away from defending the United States or her people. I saw a man of deep convictions who was also reliable and somebody I would be honored to have as a friend. Who knows, maybe someday I will meet him and that could become a reality, though it is doubtful. I fully support and pray that Rick Santorum will win the nomination and then the Presidency as America needs a man of his character in these perilous and needful times.

 

My disclaimer: I am not a member of Rick Santorum’s campaign and seriously doubt such will ever be the case. My one run for office was enough of a view into the guts and slime of what passes for political electioneering in the United States. It actually amazes me that anybody would enter into such a viscous and demeaning environment as is our election process once they have seen it from the inside. Any man or woman willing to put themselves through such a wringer and retain their humanity and integrity is indeed a rare person to be praised. It is my honest contention that Rick Santorum is one such person. I just want to repeat, though I will continue to appear to campaign for Mr. Santorum, I hold no position nor plan to volunteer to work officially for his campaign despite doing what I am able to assist his efforts to win the Presidency of the United States independent of his campaign. Thank you for reading my thoughts on this subject.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

February 15, 2012

The Michigan Trick to Circumvent Proportional Representation of Delegates

After what many saw as disenfranchising voters in the winner take all Republican primaries during the 2008 Presidential elections, a request was made by the Republican National Committee that the individual states decide and, if there was no strong objection, commit to using such a proportional system for assigning delegates, at least for the 2012 Presidential primaries. The next two states scheduled for primary votes are Michigan and Arizona. Both states have taken a route which will do as much as possible to negate using a proportional system for assigning delegates. Arizona took the direct route by retaining its winner take all manner for assigning delegates. Guess we can call that the direct “No” route. Michigan, along with a number of other states, has taken a more surreptitious route in an attempt to get as close as possible to the same result.

 

Michigan has decided to use a system where they divide the state up by legislative districts. They then assign the delegates from each individual district on a winner take all criteria. This will lead to reserving a larger percentage of the delegates than the final vote count will show for the person who takes the lead in the state in the vast majority of cases. The states using this method have even agreed that this system will lead to results that more resemble the winner take all method and is a way of meeting the request of the RNC while maintaining their winner take all tradition. Let us look at a couple of examples including a couple that would actually make this system rob the overall winner of receiving the majority of the delegates.

 

Example 1: In this case we have three candidates who split the vote with Candidate One gaining 45% of the total vote, Candidate Two gaining 40% of the total vote, and Candidate Three getting a mere 15% of the votes. Let us assume the best Candidate Two managed to receive in any district was 41.3% while Candidate One took 41.6% and Candidate Three received the remaining 17.1% of the vote. With such results, Candidate One would receive all of the delegates which obviously does not even begin to closely resembling the proportionate delegate assignment proposed by the Republican National Committee.

 

Example 2: This case we have four candidates who split the vote 27%, 26%, 24%, and 23%. This state had two major cities and each represented two districts out of the total of twelve. The two main winners each took one of these cities with over 90% of the vote while the two lowest vote getting candidates split the rural votes in a tightly contested but virtual two man race with the other two getting a very small percentage. In the end count of delegates the two who appeared to win the state get two districts while the two who got the lesser totals would each receive four districts assuming they split the rural districts evenly. This also is not representative of the actual vote.

 

This last example may end up being very close to the Michigan results. For argument sake we will assume that though Ron Paul has polled well and Newt Gingrich has won in South Carolina that neither one garners a significant number of votes needed to win any district, as the polls predict. We can assume that Mitt Romney will very likely poll extremely well in the districts close to where he was born. He is also predicted to do well in Detroit and surrounding areas while Rick Santorum will very likely sweep the countryside, the rural lands and northern Michigan. In the end, I see Rick Santorum squeeze out a slight numerical victory over Mitt Romney in the total vote count. But due to winning the rural and small town vote by a fair but not overly impressive amount while losing the main population centers by a slightly larger share than his rural wins, Rick Santorum may likely walk away with a larger share of delegates than the vote would represent. Of course, I could be off and Mitt might take a clean sweep of his birth state winning even the most highly contested district over Santorum by a slight measure, but enough to take all the delegates. Either way, the delegate count in Michigan may not represent the vote count which will make for very interesting commentary by the spin doctors and talking heads. Me, well, this will probably be my only mention of this as once the delegates are assigned, the rest is hot air.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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