Sunday, April 29, 2012

Some Clarity on Selective Enforcement

I’ve commented before about the disarray our politicians have created in the simple checks-and-balances process.  The President is creating laws, Congress is hold hearings and the Courts are changing the original intent of the legislation.  What a mess.

One of the ways a President changes the law is to use his limited funds to enforce certain laws he likes while ignoring others because of a lack of resources.  Every President in my adult life has done this in one form or another.

Most government agencies are governed by rules rather than legislation.  OSHA and the EPA are prime examples.  A left-leaning President will likely put forth stronger enforcement efforts against business than a rightie.

When it comes to immigration, GWB’s efforts are instructive.  For much of his tenure Bush Jr. ignored enforcement legislation.  In fact, Bill Clinton carried out more worksite raids than Bush…until 2006.  At that point Bush realized that his amnesty plan wasn’t going anywhere in Washington without a show of enforcement.  Only then did you see serious fence building, border patrolling and worksite raiding.

Obama did not take the hint and started looking the other way.  He immediately ended worksite raids, thus sending the message that working illegally in the USA was OK with the Executive Branch.

He dismantled the 287(g) program and Secure Communities a couple of years later in the name of civil rights.

He effectively halted the creation of detention beds (a key component of enforcement) by insisting on turning them into dorm rooms rather than jail cells.  The message here: Unlawful presence is no big deal and illegal aliens should not be treated as though they were…well…illegal.

He cooked the books on deportation statistics by cranking up Bill Clinton’s Port Court program and including arrests at the border in the deportation tally.

Obama’s coup de grace was his cancellation of about 300,000 legitimate deportation orders, calling for a reevaluation of all of them.  This was a fiat, a procedural order.  He had no Congressional authority to do that.

To that point, selective enforcement by the Executive Branch, IRLI sends a court brief to Utah.  They are crying foul.  The Obama administration cannot dictate priorities to the states, especially when the legislation calls for action.

Follow the link to a good read about a President trying to erase existing law for his own political gain.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Political Landscape

Living in Illinois is like being trapped in Dante’s Inferno.

We’ve got all the main characters in spades, all set in the Dark Wood of Error.

See if you can pick out these cast members:
  • The Opportunists
  • The Virtuous Pagans
  • Gluttons, Hoarders and Wasters
  • The Violent Against (fill in the blank)
  • The Panderers
  • The Flatterers
  • The Seducers
  • The Simoniacs
  • The Grafters
  • The Hypocrites
  • The Thieves
  • The Sowers of Discord
  • The Falsifiers
  • Compound Fraud

No wonder it seems like we’re living in Hell.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Trayvon in context

Obama grabbed the spotlight when he declared, “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon.”

It’s seems ironic that Obama wouldn’t say that about victims in his own political hometown.

I’m not surprised, since making noise about mostly black-on-black, mostly gang-related and overwhelmingly deliberate killing in Chicago on a regular basis would be political suicide.  After all, these are Obama’s core constituents and he cannot be critical about them.

Any such, “If I had a son…” comments would be an indictment of both the Daley Machine and Hillary’s village mentality.  The Democrat way of raising children simply doesn’t work.

Below is a sampling of recent headlines in Michelle Robinson Obama’s hometown and the place Barack made his political fortune:

Chicago Tribune, April 14, 2012
10 shot, 3 dead, on South and West sides

Chicago Tribune, April 12, 2012
Chicago homicides soar in first quarter of 2012
“Homicides in Chicago soared by 60 percent in the first three months of 2012, continuing a troublesome trend that began late last year. Nonfatal shootings also rose sharply in the first quarter, Police Department statistics show.”

Chicago Tribune, April 7, 2012
1 killed, 3 wounded in Saturday afternoon shootings

Chicago Tribune, April 6, 2012
5 people shot Friday night, Saturday morning across city

Chicago Tribune, April 1, 2012
1 dead, 8 wounded in overnight shootings

Chicago Tribune, March 25, 2012
1 killed in Northwest Side shooting

Chicago Tribune, March 18, 2012
5 dead, 12 wounded in attacks across Chicago

Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2012
16 shot, 1 dead, in overnight violence

Methinks the President acted stupidly to make comments in the case…but it is an election year.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Obama's Immigration Report Card

On the 2008 campaign trail Obama promised to tackle Comprehensive Immigration Reform during his first year in office.  It maked sense.  He had Pelosi and Reed in his pocket.

But like so many other promises, Obama didn't get it done.  But his critics suggest he didn't even try.
Not since the Carter days has a president come to Washington with such naivete about national politics.  Poor Barack expected it to be like Chicago where the GOP doesn't exist and money buys all the votes you need.  Not so in the White House.

Amnesty was a dirty word, given the lousy economy and the instant spotlight that shines on the issue whenever it comes up.  So Obama ignored the issue...for three years.
Now he faces the ballot box again.  So what does he do?  He returns to the Bill Clinton days for ideas.

Idea number one: Port Court.  Clinton had good success in his test of the idea, an idea that isn't bad.  You set up a court system that tags and bags illegals at the border and holds them for a day or two while a judge makes a ruling, almost always to send them back home.
(You would think that has been happening all along, but it hasn't.  Usually the illegal alien is simply spun around 180 degrees and sent walking back home.  No arrest.  No court.  Just turned back south-TBS.)

The advantage of Port Court is that you have a record on the fact that you sent them home and told them not to come back.  When they are caught again, the stakes are higher.  A couple of Port Court convictions and you are a felon, subject to hard prison time.

But Port Court never has the money or space to do that for very long.  What Clinton did was set it up in one area - San Diego - and run up some big numbers.

So Obama did the same thing, and admits that his high deportation numbers are inflated and misleading.  He told reporters in September of 2011: "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 all Obama has done is duplicate Bill Clinton's Port Court program to run up high numbers.
As I said before, Port Court is a great idea, but it needs to be wide-spread and permanent.  And we need to be willing to back up our threat of imprisonment whenever someone crosses the line after being sent home.

The other Clinton idea is a form of silent amnesty. 
Clinton's was 245i.  It went like this:
1) Prove that you came here illegally.
2) Prove that you got a job illegally.
3) Get a family member or and employer to sponsor you.

Well, Obama's amnesty program is what I call the Aunt Zeituni plan.  It goes like this:
1) Prove that you came here illegally.
2) Get caught and get a deportation order.
3) Ignore that order (which about 99% of them do).
4) (Optional: Get public housing and disability)
5) Get caught again.
6) Get the same judge to rescind your deportation order.

Yes, Obama has indeed instructed immigration officials to review 300,000 deportation orders and reverse them if the illegal alien is not a violent criminal.

So you see, he's just dusted off the Bill Clinton playbook rather than put forth an amnesty proposal of his own.

In the end it really doesn't matter.  The Latino activists and most ghetto minorities will vote for him regardless.  They are entitlement voters and will vote for the one most likely to give them a paycheck.  And that's always a Democrat.

Romney has pretty much come out against amnesty and can't backpedal.  (I may regret writing that.  Politicians always surprise me with their lack of integrity.)  So maybe Mitt will get 35-40% of the Latino vote unless he can shift their cause célèbre to something other than amnesty.  It's never been done before and so far his strategists haven't impressed me.

Florida belongs to the GOP this time based on three words: Medicare, Israel and Cubans.  Of all Latinos Cubans and the most conservative.  They really don't care about amnesty.  They care about our asylum policy.
The only thing Obama loses with his lack of immigration progress is Latino turnout.  They may not vote for Romney, but they sure will stay home.

Don't look for Mitt to say much about deportation or enforcement.  That'd be a negative.  (And that's why I dislike politicians.) 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Immigration Morality

I was reading a blog recently written by an obviously conservative Mormon opining about illegal aliens.  His position was that the Mormon Church was right to influence Utah politics regarding the Utah Compact and the state guest worker program because it was a moral issue.

It got me thinking about the many facets of morality that come into play here.

First, I think any discussion about illegal aliens and morality must begin with the poster child used in the discussion.  When advocates for amnesty make their pitch it isn’t long before they portray a man and his wife with children in tow crossing the desert in darkness.  They are fleeing a cruel existence in search of a better life.  All he wants to do is feed his children.

George W. Bush liked to portray them as good, Christian families.  His tag line was, “Family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande River.  If you're a mother and dad, and you got kids to feed, and you're making 50 cents and you see someone in Iowa making $50, and you care about those kids, you're coming.”
What a nice sentiment.  Unfortunately, the demographics he portrays simply aren’t there.

In June of 2005, Pew Hispanic Center issued a report about the characteristics of illegal aliens.  Only 17% of their families consisted of non-citizen children.  83% had no children at all when they came to the United States illegally.  The largest cohort was single men at 36% of all illegal alien families! 
That squares with the videos we see of young men crossing over the border with their backpacks.

It doesn’t preclude the fact that those people begin having children once they get here.  The demographics reveal that the fertility rate of foreign-born jumps when they live in the United States.  For example, in Mexico the fertility rate is 2.4.  A Mexican woman living in the USA boosts that figure to 3.5.

So, the premise is all wrong.  They aren’t families fleeing the horrors of the third world.  They are young, single adults coming here to make money.  Worse, they are ill-prepared.  Few of them have adequate schooling or skills to contribute to society.  In essence, we are importing high school drop-outs.

And their behavior is not unpredictable.  A friend who is an LPR from Venezuela has worked alongside illegal aliens for 15 years.  He explains that the family men are hard workers.  They don’t want any trouble.  But the single guys are the worst.  They drink too much, goof off and have trouble showing up on Mondays.  But the meme is that they are all hard working family men who came here fore a better life and are diligently doing the work our own citizens will not.

With a clearer understanding of the people we are talking about, let us proceed by talking about the morality of fairness.  Surely we can agree that from the lofty view of religion they ought to speak out against the lack of fairness when they see it.  That’s the moral high ground, to demand the world that ought to be by exposing the inequities.

When an illegal alien goes to work in the United States he is typically young, unskilled, uneducated and working for less money than a person with the legal right to work here.  He is also less likely to have benefits and more likely to skirt the tax laws.

It is not disputed that this competition tends to lower wages and benefits for all workers.  Simply put, if an employer can get away with lower labor costs he will.

So, who are the victims in such a scenario?  The most vulnerable of our own.  They are the adults with little education and low skills who need a job.  And the notion that there are jobs Americans won’t do is hogwash.  The truth is Americans are doing those jobs every day.  The truth is more of them would do those jobs if the wages weren’t artificially depressed by illegal aliens in the workplace.

I might add that there isn’t a labor shortage.  Even before the recession of 2008 there were plenty of people who needed work.  According to the March 2007 US Census data there were 6.8 million illegal aliens working in the United States.  At the same time there were over 32 million Americans with low skill sets needing jobs.
So, where is the morality in that?  How can it possibly be considered the moral high ground to steal jobs from our own?  How can someone who has broken the law to come here and then entered our labor force through fraudulent means have any claim on decency?  And why would a church defend such a person, knowing that people who have broken no laws NEED those same jobs?

Further, why would a church endorse a program to legalize those same workers?  Would it not be ethical to ask those workers to step aside?  Would it not be right to demand that employers follow the law of the land?  Would it not be more ethical to put our own people to work?

While on the subject of fairness, it needs to be pointed out that our social safety net is stressed.  There simply is not enough to go around.  And yet, we are importing needy people through both legal and illegal means.

On the most blatant level, there are children being excluded from benefit programs because their identity has been stolen and used by aliens to work illegally in the United States.  An audit in Utah alone places that number at 50,000 children.

But even without the ID theft problem, there are finite resources at stake.  Schools, clinics and welfare offices are providing services to illegal aliens and their families.  How is that fair to those who need those resources but cannot get them because the demand is artificially high?

We would do well to remember that every time we say “yes” to someone here illegally, we are in effect saying “no” to a needy citizen.

The very existence of illegal aliens in our society makes all of us participants in this form of slavery.  And for what? …a $2 savings on a meal at a restaurant?  …or $5 less for a hotel room? …or a $300 discount on a new roof? … or a year of lawn care for $60 less?

Somehow that brand of morality rings hollow to me.

It is not morally correct to give away what does not belong to you.  To be sure, any church with a global mission sees itself as an international institution.  Despite their origins the Catholic Church is more than just the Italian Church, the Mormon Church is not the Utah Church, the Lutheran not the German Church…and so forth.

Notwithstanding the Biblical edict to “teach all nations” churches must abide by the laws of the land unless they take up swords and crusade their way across the borders.

The endorsement of amnesty by churches seeks to give away what is not theirs to give.  They may sponsor immigrants.  They may pay for their immigration paperwork.  But they may not give away sovereignty, for it does not belong to them.

Furthermore, the position taken by churches tends to foment anarchy as others are embolden by these institutional endorsements of unlawful presence. 

As the federal immigration commission of 1981 (SCIRP) reported: “The existence of a fugitive underground class is unhealthy for society as a whole and may contribute to ethnic tensions. In addition, widespread illegality erodes confidence in the law generally, and immigration law specifically, while being unfair to those who seek to immigrate legally.”

Parenthetically, when a group advocates transforming the lawless into law-abiding through edict, that does not settle the question.  It merely emboldens another wave to hunker down and wait for amnesty.