Beyond the Cusp

February 1, 2014

Immigration Reform and the Republican Surrender

One item which the Congress will be pressed to address this term is immigration reform and the fate of twenty-million illegal immigrants at the very least (though official tallies try to minimize the problem claiming only twelve-million illegals currently living in the United States). The problem has been slowly growing in both complexity and severity ever since it was presumably solved during the Administration of President Reagan. The immigration reform legislation passed back in the 1980s gave blanket amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States and called for securing the border sufficiently that the problem of illegal immigration would never again plague Congress and the American people. As the demands to close the border were delayed and were to be addressed in the near future after the amnesty was awarded, the Congress once again took the path of least resistance and did nothing thus leading to the situation existing today. There were calls in immigration legislation passed since the start of the millennium which called for the building of a fence in most of the known high traffic areas where the majority of crossings of illegals take place. Somewhere between the passing of the legislation and the building of the fence as a barrier the fence was magically transformed into a virtual fence secured by drones and watchtowers instead of any actual physical barrier. For reasons that may be obvious, this virtual fence was virtually useless in preventing illegal immigrants from crossing the southern border of the United States. So, what does the future hold in addressing the illegal immigration problem once again facing the nation and the Federal Government?

 

If memory serves me correctly, which would be a first, the current debate over immigration reform began in the last two years of President George W. Bush’s second term and went unresolved for the ensuing almost seven years with much posturing, pontificating, laying out of demands and discussions of various solutions with the biggest debate over amnesty being the main sticking point making reaching any agreement virtually impossible. Where much of the mainstream media coverage of the amnesty-no amnesty debate circled around how the Democrat politicians were presenting a humane and acceptable position which would grant the illegal immigrants currently living in the United States a path to citizenship which was reasonable and protected the rights of all concerned while the evil Republican politicians were insisting on the maximalist position calling for every last illegal immigrant to be held for deportation without any regard or concern for the possibility of extenuating circumstances. Of course the Democrats were warm and cuddly while the Republicans were harsh and hardened. Well, the Republicans have finally been worn down as we are now informed that they are willing to accept some form of a path to citizenship as long as there are defined requirements that those seeking to remain and become American citizens will need to pass a background check, learn to speak English, pay some reasonable fine, pay all of their unpaid taxes and learn about the governance of the United States as is required of immigrants who take the legal route. So, where will this apparent willingness by the Republicans to meet the Democrats half way lead?

 

The result will likely result in legislation which will sound reserved and containing some reasonably strict requirements and limits on illegal immigrants being allowed to attain United States citizenship as the Republicans claim they will insist upon while the actual application will closely resemble a free ticket to unquestioned amnesty after everything is codified and put into action by the bureaucrats from INS (Immigrations and Naturalization Service) have fleshed out the system. The Republican surrender in calling for a strict pathway to citizenship in place of blanket deportations is their belief that by bowing to the Democrats what they claim is halfway, they will satisfy their base and still be able to appeal to and reach Hispanic voters, a growing number of voters across the United States. Of course the reality is that by surrendering once again on immigration reform, the Republicans will fail to woo Hispanic voters other than those who were already in their camp and also fail utterly in satisfying their base which has increasingly shown signs of being completely fed-up with the spinelessness of the Republicans in Washington. This is simply another instance of the Republicans misreading the will of their base and the likely voting tendencies of the strictly Democrat Hispanic voters, which is far from all Hispanic voters as a fair number of Hispanic voters actually vote for real conservatives and will likely be just as angered by the collapse by the Republicans as the rest of the base will turn out to be.

 

The erosion and near complete collapse of the Republicans in Congress is just another card in the house of cards they are building believing that it will appear sufficiently conservative to their base while not appearing so conservative as to lose their imagined conservative leaning Independents and Democrats, the same Democrats which voted for Reagan. Where the Republicans have gone off the tracks is believing that if they just take positions slightly to the right of the Democrats that they will gather in the votes of those Democrat voters who tend to be center of the road voters who do not invest much time in watching politics and can be swayed to vote Republican if only the Republicans can appear almost as soft and cuddly as the Democrats. The fault in their reasoning is simple, most of those they are aiming to sway simply vote Democrat because that is what they have done all their lives. If the Republicans desire to gain voters then they are going to have to stand for something on their own merits and not simply say we stand for almost the same things as the Democrats except we are more reasonable. Why would any voters who normally vote for any Democrat candidate suddenly change and vote for a Republican who claims to be Democrat-Lite, the almost as liberal choice. The truth is they will not be won over and the base will increasingly stay home as more and more of them are refusing to vote for evil, especially the lesser of two evils, and have decided they will only go out and vote if they have somebody to vote for and not just to vote against the worse candidate. This is the secret appeal of the so-called Tea Party candidates is they actually present themselves as having positions they believe in and are willing to stand and defend those values and not cave at the slightest hint that the wind is blowing in a different direction. When the Republicans, or whomever replaces them if they continue on their self-destructive path they are following, finally figure out that there are a good forty percent of conservative and libertarian voters who are thirsting for a real solid and independent candidate who will stand on their two feet and take a stand, a principled stand, and will not be persuaded or become jaded by the culture in Washington where all too often even the principled fall from grace, these voters will return to the polls as their need for a candidate they can in good conscience support will be worthy of receiving their votes at last. The only people who are going to take the United States in a different direction and possibly save her from the apocalypse which is rapidly coming her way is if principled believers in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and who understand and fully support the core beliefs stated in the Declaration of Independence make their case and take the lead and guide the United States back from the brink. We can only hope it is not already too late as the road back is already going to be painful and difficult but that will turn out to be preferable to the results of continuing on the current path which those well versed in history can already see the end results. They are not pretty and there are examples of the coming results of current policies and one need look no further than Greece for an example.

 

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

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