Saturday, June 15, 2013

Amnesty Defined

Last Wednesday Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) resurrected the old semantics argument regarding Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  The basis of his statement is the real meaning of the word AMNESTY.

This is an important talking point of those who want to pass this reform bill.  They got out the word that they need to control the narrative.  The public is against an “amnesty plan.”  But if you can get them thinking it is something else, they are more open-minded about it.

So, Paul Ryan (who has a reputation of being a budgetary conservative) said this last Wednesday:  “Earned legalization is not amnesty. I will debate anybody who tries to suggest that these ideas that are moving through Congress are amnesty. They’re not. Amnesty is wiping the slate clean and not paying any penalty for having done something wrong. Nobody’s suggesting that that takes place.”

Way back on July 16, 2001, Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary for George W. Bush, was attempting to define amnesty in a White House press conference.  The exchange went like this:
“Question:   Go back -- what is the distinction on that?  I mean, because that is a point of confusion I think for many of us.  If the President is against an amnesty program, but one of the options is to regularize status, which would eventually allow people to qualify for citizenship, isn't that an amnesty?

“MR. FLEISCHER:  No, amnesty is an automatic granting, as opposed to a formalized process that everybody who comes to the United States, in accordance with the laws, has to go through.  It's a very lengthy process and it's very different.”

Source link:

So, the problematic nature of the definition has been around for quite some time.  If we take the Ryan/Bush definition of the word “Amnesty,” we must conclude the following in the definition:
  • Wiping the slate clean.
  • Not paying any penalty.
  • Automatic granting.
  • No formalized process.

Now, here are a couple of dictionary definitions:
an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offenses

Origin: late 16th century: via Latin from Greek amnēstia 'forgetfulness’

the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals

Law. an act of forgiveness for past offenses, esp. to a class of persons as a whole.

politics & government.  a decision by a government to forgive people who have committed particular illegal acts or crimes, and not to punish them: [C] The state has declared an amnesty for individuals who pay their outstanding back taxes.

It is interesting to note that politicians regularly create tax amnesty programs where people come forward and pay their back taxes, but the penalties, fees and jail time are waived.  Surely Paul Ryan is aware of how these amnesty programs work.

In protecting the precious narrative Ryan has made himself look foolish.  He reminds me of the child who lies through parsing of words to avoid punishment.  “I did not hit my sister,” he declares.  A closer examination of events is that he swung at her with a book and the book hit her.

Such tactics are not reserved for children.  Bill Clinton, in his finest courtroom manor, taught us the varied meanings of the word, “is.”

The GOP Platform of 2012 clearly illustrates that Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are on the wrong side of this issue:
“In this country, the rule of law guarantees equal treatment to every individual, including more than one million immigrants to whom we grant permanent residence every year. That is why we oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it. Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking”

Perhaps these advocates of some sort of legalization program ought to ponder the above statement for its meaning and the warning it gives about the future.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Another One Gets Away

The case of Heriberto Estrada-Morales

First contact: December 8, 2008.  Arrest record number 08-12-1532.  He was arrested by the Elgin Illinois Police Department for driving with a suspended license.  At that time ICE identified him as being in the country illegally but did nothing about it.

Second contact:  January 9, 2009.  Arrest record number 09-01-1263.  He was arrested for driving without a license by EPD.  ICE once again identifies him  as an illegal alien, subject to deportation.  Once again, he was not picked up and detained by Immigration.

Then we lose track of Heriberto for a time.  Probably the police had contact with him but they stopped sharing the information with us…until March 6, 2011 when he went ballistic on us.

Here's the street in question:

 And the house before it was hit:

And after:

There were jokes around town of him being a pilot in the Mexican Air Force.

This is one of Elgin’s old money neighborhoods.  Lots of large homes on large lots.
The house, which was for sale at the time, was finally repaired structurally and sold.  I believe it went for $325K.

We’ve lost track of Heriberto.  Some say he died in the hospital.  There was no follow-up coverage of the case in the press.

What we DO KNOW is that he was known to local police and Immigration but wasn't detained and deported before he wiped out a house, leaving the financial liability (and his emergency care costs) to others.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rewarding Bad Behavior

One of the key points against any amnesty plan is that it is bad policy to reward someone for not obeying the law.

The GOP 2012 Plaform puts it this way: “…we oppose any form of amnesty for those who, by intentionally violating the law, disadvantage those who have obeyed it. Granting amnesty only rewards and encourages more law breaking.”

But let me take a different approach.  It involves bad behavior, but not on the part of the illegal aliens themselves.  I’m talking about systemically ignoring the law that is taking place by our politicians.  It is their bad behavior I wish to address.

The 1986 amnesty plan was accompanied by a stern warning that strong enforcement was necessary to prevent another round of illegal immigration.  Heck, even the 1981 report prepared by Jimmy Carter’s own commission warned that we would need to plan to arrest, detain and deport illegal aliens or the problem would return.

In fact, if you study the commissions on immigration over the years they are sickening in their similarity.  They all call for the same thing – enforcement.   The key elements that are repeated over and over again are:
·                   Border security
·                   Visa enforcement
·                   Employment documentation
·                   Abuse of benefits
·                   Unfair labor competition
·                   Deportation (until it became a dirty word around the year 2000)

What has happened is that Congress has failed to adequately fund immigration enforcement and the White House has failed to enforce the laws on the books.  Please do not interpret this as a criticism of the current Congress and Executive Branch alone.  Surely those in power are to blame.  But this problem has persisted since the last amnesty plan in 1986 so it includes both parties.

The last serious enforcement bill passed was in the House in 2005.  It was HB4437.  The Senate failed to respond and it died at the end of that year.

The Washington politicians have not been passive participants in this non-enforcement problem.  They have been active in defunding the fence as well as various interior enforcement programs.  Worse, they have regularly promoted lawlessness in campaigns and speeches calling for amnesty.

Sooooo…this “bad behavior” really belongs to our rulers.  Granting legalization rewards their cowardice over the years and lets them off the hook for decades of non-enforcement.

No amnesty for the ruling class.  The time has come to enforce the law.

Monday, May 20, 2013

How Extreme NON-Enforcement Really Is

The Strange Case of Valentin Sierra-Martinez
Here is a timeline of a famous illegal alien:
April 26, 2008
He was arrested in Elgin, Illinois for Failure to Appear/Driving with License Revoked.  When they ran his information through the Homeland Security computer (Law Enforcement Support Center , Williston, VT) they got a hit.  At that time Immigration (ICE) was notified by the Elgin Police.The answer came back from ICE that he was not in the United States legally but he is not picked up for deportation. 
EPD report # 07-111276

June 27, 2008
He was arrested again, this time the charge was Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance.  Again, Elgin Police use the LESC system and Immigration is contacted. The same answer came back from ICE.  He is here illegally.  He is not picked up for deportation.
EPD report # 08-061774

July 14, 2008
ICE does a sweep of known gang members in the Chicago Area under their Community Shield program.  Mr. Valentin is one of the 49 people they pick up.

August 6, 2008
ICE in Washington DC issues a press release about the 49 arrestees and specifically names Mr. Valentin as the 10,000th person arrested under the Community Shield program.  They give us an insight into his criminal history with the following statement: Arrested July 14 in Elgin, Ill., Sierra-Martinez is an illegal alien from Mexico with prior criminal convictions for residential burglary, domestic battery, possessing drug paraphernalia, and knowingly damaging property. He remains in ICE custody pending deportation to Mexico. 

Perfect.  This gangbanger is on his way OUT of the United States.
But wait; there’s more.  A year later he appears in the local police blotter.
Police Report
Courier News (of Chicago Sun-Times fame)
September 29, 2009
• False report: Valentine S. Martinez, of 383 Division St., Elgin, was arrested Monday on a felony charge of disorderly conduct after he allegedly filed a false police report. Martinez on June 15 told police that his car had been stolen, a police spokesman said. On Sept. 23, according to police, Martinez's missing car was recovered in Hanover Park. Martinez then admitted he had sold the car to another man, a report said. Apparently, the car buyer had only partially paid for the vehicle, so Martinez reported the vehicle stolen, authorities said. Martinez's bail was set at $10,000. He is to appear in court Oct. 13.

Another account by another local newspaper:
Fox Valley police blotter  
 Daily Herald 
Staff Report
Published: 9/29/2009 12:04 AM
• Valentin S. Martinez, 21, of the 300 block of Division Street, Elgin, was charged with felony disorderly conduct Sunday. The charge alleges that in June he filed a police report falsely claiming his 1998 Mercury Grand Marquis had been stolen. Martinez's bail was set at $10,000 and his next court date is Oct. 13 at the Kane County Judicial Center. He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty.

The same name shows up in the police blotter in Elgin, Illinois.  The age is the same.  This is the SAME GUY who was the 10,000th customer in the ICE Community Shield program.

But this time he’s the victim.  As it turns out he sold a car to someone who promised to make payments.  When he stopped making payments, Valentin turned to the police and reported it stolen.

The city attorney explained to me why he was still here:
(From an e-mail dated September 29, 2009 11:11 PM)
Deputy Chief Beeter contacted ICE today about Mr. Martinez to inquire into his status. ICE advised Deputy Chief Beeter that a judge has now granted Mr. Martinez authorization to be in the country. ICE further advises that it will not be able to deport Martinez unless he commits a deportable offense which would include certain drug offenses or violent felonies.
William A. Cogley
Corporation Counsel
City of Elgin

So he was never deported.  And despite his rap sheet and convictions, he was not going to be deported without future felonious activities.  Some judge intervened and allowed him to stay.  His new status was never explained.

October 13, 2010
But he continued his life of crime.  He’s three years older but no wiser.  Here’s a mugshot of our guy, still in Elgin, Illinois, with a charge of “Prowler.”

At this point I can’t seem to find our boy.  This statute basically applies to intimidation or disturbing the peace.  It is generally a misdemeanor with some community service time.  Who knows?  He doesn’t appear in the IDOC inmate computer.  Maybe he’s moved on to another state.  Or maybe he’s living down the street.

What’s clear at this point is that government didn’t protect me from him given two easy opportunities (in handcuffs in the local jail).  Even with the ICE sweep of gangbangers he was turned loose by a judge.

His stunt of filing a police report to satisfy a car loan obviously didn’t have long-term consequences because he was out on the street in October of 2010.

What’s wrong with this picture?  And why should we believe Homeland Security and Marco Rubio this time around?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Obama's Management Style

A pattern is emerging here of a detached presidency that goes beyond the president himself to his cabinet as well.

Not only does Obama have deniability when it comes to critical activities, his cabinet members as well are in the dark.  It takes them days to get information from their rank-and-file employees.

Take for example:
  • Treasury and IRS harassment of conservative groups
  • Homeland Security and ICE detainee releases
  • Attorney General and, well, lots of things.  AP reporter phone records for example
  • State Department and embassy security
  • CIA and intelligence warnings

The pattern is the same for all; Obama didn’t know what was happening, the cabinet member didn’t know what was happening, and getting to the truth takes weeks and months to uncover.

No Drama Obama has created a culture in the White House of a cabinet that only brings him good news.  All the data is rosy.  No one wants to bring him a crisis.  It is all about making him look and feel good.

So, he wants 8% unemployment or lower, and his Labor Secretary gives it to him.  He wants record-setting deportation numbers and Napolitano obliges. That mentality rolls downhill to the department heads and the individual employees.  The whole system is geared to propaganda at all costs.

Such a system can only work when Obama’s people work around him.  You’ve got Valerie Jarrett (not subject to review or censure) who theoretically could be working with departments of government a couple of layers down.  She would know the real truth and do the actual work of the executive branch.  And the deniability of Obama and his cabinet would be intact.

But I’m not sure Obama is that smart.  Government could simply be on auto-pilot with bureaucrats doing what bureaucrats do best.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Amnesty Bedfellow Report

Senator Alan Simpson once claimed that the immigration issue brought about "the goofiest ideological bedfellow activity I've ever seen."

And although Simpson was talking about the congressional negotiations in the 1980s, things haven’t changed much.

You have Mark “Facebook” Zuckerberg with his faux conservative band of pals. includes:
  • Mark Zuckerberg (the public face of the group)
  • Joe Green (founder and president of the group)
  • Microsoft founder Bill Gates
  • Dropbox employees Drew Houston and Ruchi Sanghvi
  • LinkedIn CEO and founder Reid Hoffman
  • super-angel Ron Conway
  • venture capitalists Jim Breyer (of Accel Partners)
  • Matt Cohler (of Benchmark Capital)
  • John Doerr (of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers)
  • Chamath Palihapitiya (of The Social+Capital Partnership)
  • Steve Ballmer (CEO of Microsoft)
  • Brian Chesky (founder of Airbnb)
  • Chris Cox
  • Paul Graham (co-founder of Y Combinator)
  • Reed Hastings (CEO of Netflix)
  • Chad Hurley
  • Josh James
  • Max Levchin (former CTO of Paypal)
  • Joe Lonsdale (founder of Palantir and Addepar)
  • Andrew Mason (founder and CEO of Groupon)
  • Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo!)
  • Mary Meeker
  • Dave Morin (CEO of Path)
  • Mark Pincus
  • Keith Rabois
  • David Sacks
  • Eric Schmidt (executive chairman at Google Inc)
  • Brad Smith (Microsoft executive vice president of legal affairs)
  • Kevin Systrom (CEO of Instagram)
  • Padmasree Warrior (CTO of Cisco)
  • Fred Wilson (of Union Square Ventures)
  • Elon Musk (CEO of SpaceX and of Tesla Motors) was originally listed as a major contributor, but left the group in the wake of advertisements put out by supporting some political activities that conflicted with Musk's environmentalist priorities.
Source: Wikipedia, 5/12/13
This bunch looks more like the address book of David Plouffe than that of a group that calls itself Americans for a Conservative Direction.  They want you to believe they are conservative, but they aren’t.

Here’s another one, called Partnership for a New American Economy.  (Boy, does that sound like a New World Order front group.)  Here are the main players:
  • Mark Hurd                   Chairman, CEO and President of Hewlett-Packard
  • Robert Iger                  President and CEO, Walt Disney Co.
  • J.W. Marriott, Jr.         Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.
  • Jim McNerney             Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing
  • Rupert Murdoch          Chairman, CEO and Founder of News Corporation
  • Julián Castro               Mayor of San Antonio
  • Michael Bloomberg    Mayor of New York City
  • Michael Nutter            Mayor of Philadelphia
  • Antonio Villaraigosa   Mayor of Los Angeles
Source: Wikipedia, 5/12/13

Those two groups alone mean there is all sorts of pro-amnesty money being thrown around for lobbying and media buys.

It just goes to show you that cheap labor is more important than sovereignty and that the same pressure is applied whether the job is a chambermaid or a computer programmer.  And it is proof positive that the elites have gone post-American all the way.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Obama's Deportation Record

The State of Utah is an interesting place.  Mostly Mormon.  Heavily conservative.  They're kinda quaint in the things they are proud of, like Mitt Romney and the Jazz.  Utahns bust their buttons over odd things sometimes and tend to think everything was invented by a Mormon.  Rumors abound about who IS a Mormon in films and politics.  Like I say, it’s kinda quaint.

But there are some serious rankings that Utah SHOULD be proud of.  Like these:
  • “Utah has the nation’s highest percentage of stroke patients who receive clot-busting drugs in the 'golden hour,' within 60 minutes of arriving at a hospital emergency room, shows an analysis by the American Stroke Association.”
  • “...Census estimates released Wednesday show 35.7 percent of U.S. babies in 2011 were born to unwed women, continuing an upward trend that started in the 1940s. Utah had the lowest-in-the-nation rate of just 14.7 percent.”
  • “The most generous state, according to the latest study, was Utah, where residents gave 10.6 percent of their discretionary income to charity, followed by Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.  The least generous was New Hampshire, at 2.5 percent, followed by Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

 Now for the bad news.  Utah is climbing in the area of immigration enforcement.  Actually, I don’t care about the ranking here, but rather the OTHER story buried within the story; proof that Obama is cooking the books on deportations.  Note the highlighted parts of the story below.

Utah now among top 10 states for immigration prosecutions
Courts » Utah is ranks 10th, far behind leaders Texas and Arizona.
By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
First Published May 10 2013 10:38 am • Last Updated May 10 2013 05:13 pm

Utah is among the top 10 states for immigration prosecutions for the first time ever, though its case count is a sliver of that in leading states Texas and Arizona.

Utah ranks 10th in immigration prosecutions with 135 cases filed in U.S. District Court for Utah during the first six months of fiscal year 2013, according to the report from the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. Utah ranked 13th a year ago.

The Southern District of Texas in Houston topped the list with 17,022 prosecutions, while the Western District of Texas in San Antonio ranked second with 13,379 prosecutions. Arizona, with 11,476, is listed third.

Those three courts have been at the top of the list for the past five years, according to the report, which is based on Justice Department data.

TRAC found that the lead charge in more than half the cases was "entry of an alien at improper time or place." The second most common violation was "reentry of a deported alien."

Nationwide, there have been 50,468 new immigration prosecutions filed so far. If filings continue at that pace, the total prosecutions for the year will top 100,000, a nearly 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection division accounted for 73 percent of the case referrals.

What that tells us is that Obama isn’t draining the swamp.  He’s not deporting the 11 million who are already here.  He’s calling himself The Great Deporter when he’s really counting the border captures.

The president of the ICE union, Chris Crane, reveals that Obama is making border captures, then converting them over to ICE arrests and deporting them right away.

So, the truth is that Obama’s deportation numbers are pathetically low when compared to past administrations.  Half of his numbers are an apples-to-oranges comparison and do nothing to relieve the problem in the interior.

In a candid moment to Hispanic journalists Obama admitted his scheme (for a political purpose, of course):
"The statistics are actually a little deceptive," Obama said last month during a discussion with Hispanic journalists. There has been "a much greater emphasis on criminals than non-criminals." And "with stronger border enforcement, we've been apprehending folks at the borders and sending them back. That is counted as a deportation even though they may have only been held for a day or 48 hours."

So, the next time someone tells you Obama has deported more illegal aliens than any previous president, keep in mind how he’s doing it.  His data is meaningless.