Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Immigration Reform Meets Doublespeak

The Gang of Eight Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill is a prime example of what George Orwell called Doublespeak, the political practice of masking the real meaning of words in an effort to deceive the people.

Let’s take the word “sovereignty” for example.  Here’s the definition:


1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state.

2. Royal rank, authority, or power.

3. Complete independence and self-government.

4. A territory existing as an independent state.

Note that the word suggests an independent nation with borders and self-rule over its own affairs, not manipulated by the wishes of outsiders.

Now, in the preface to the Gang of Eight bill they freely use the term “sovereignty,” suggesting that it enhances our independence over foreign desires.  Here’s what it says:

“The passage of this Act recognizes that the primary tenets of its success depend on securing the sovereignty of the United States of America and establishing a coherent and just system for integrating those who seek to join American society.

“All parts of this Act are premised on the right and need of the United States to achieve these goals, and to protect its borders and maintain its sovereignty.”  (page 7-9 of the bill)

But when you read the bill you will quickly realize that it does just the opposite of securing our sovereignty.  The bill proposes giving legal recognition to people who have sought to disregard our laws and violate our borders.  It rewards trespassers whose first encounter with the United States was to enter illegally.  To make matters worse, they break the law every day they go to work, knowing that they have no authorization to work here.

The bill seeks to ignore the fact that they are unlawfully present and disregard their lawbreaking as they worked here.

We already have borders and immigration laws that, if enforced, would demonstrate our sovereignty. 

What has caused our sovereignty to erode is the long line of apologists who defend the illegal aliens and seek amnesty.  Such behavior by politicians and preachers is shameful.  Now they seek to legalize the very people who have weakened our sovereignty.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Immigration “Reform” and Unintended Consequences

Congress is once again tackling the topic of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, this time attempting to pass the Gang of Eight proposal aka SR744.

In 1936 a Harvard professor by the name of Robert Merton wrote a paper about unintended consequences and how they come about when making public policy.  Based upon Merton’s outline, I shall explain why this bill is bad public policy and will produce negative unintended consequences.

First, identifying the wrong problem.  Merton says that sometimes we are so blinded by politics that we address the wrong problem altogether.  The problems Washington addresses are:
  • Our immigration system is “broken.” 
  • We have 11 million people “living in the shadows.” 
  • There are a million de facto citizens who came here as children and have no papers to advance in society. 
  • We are separating families.
In a moment of candor, they might even tell you that they would like to tap into this potential voter pool.  Surely the political analysts have crunched some numbers.

May I suggest than the real problems relative to having millions of illegal aliens are these:
  • Depressed wages and benefits.
  • Unemployment of low-skilled workers (mostly minorities and teens).
  • Unemployment of scientists, engineers and IT professionals.
  • Excess population.
  • Stressed school districts and social services.
  • Fraud and ID Theft.
  • Loss of tax revenue.

The real problem here is that we have failed to enforce the law for decades now.  We have not deported people whom we knew were here illegally.  They have not self-deported because we have made excuses for them and defended their presence at the highest levels.

This is an interesting phenomenon.  Traditionally when there is a rash of disobedience to a specific law the answer has been more enforcement.  For example, if there is a problem of people speeding in a school zone, they set up a speed trap to catch and/or deter speeders in the area.  If there is a gang problem in town, they bring in extra officers and form a gang task force. 

Second, bad data.  Good public policy requires solid numbers.  In this immigration debate, those solid numbers are hard to come by.  The assumption made by Washington is that there are 11 million illegal aliens.  It used to be 12 million but the poor economy has reduced it to 11 million.

But some sources tell us that there may be 20 million, or even 38 million.  This is not an easy number to come by.

It would appear that they don’t WANT to know the real number.  A few states and other groups have tried to determine the costs of illegal aliens in schools, social services, prisons and jails, local communities…only to be told by Washington that those numbers are “wrong.”  Well, let’s see the official number then.  They don’t exist.

Indeed, true numbers are nearly impossible because you are trying to measure people who don’t want to be counted.  Part of the enforcement problem is that we have not done a good job of following up on ID theft problems.

People can live for years with a fake social security number.  They can buy cars, even houses.  They can get jobs.  And at the government level (school districts, social service agencies, marriage license bureau…) they don’t bother to check.  Although databases such as E-Verify and SAVE exist, they are not mandatory.

Third, the imperious immediacy of interest.  This means a rush to do something; anything to meet the immediate political need.  The Gang of Eight had hoped to get this thing passed within 48 hours of its introduction.  And they would have succeeded if not for a few brave Congressmen who insisted on some review and debate.  Here they crafted this plan behind closed doors with input only from pro-amnesty people they had selected, pitched its unknown contents on the Sunday talk shows, and expected passage without peer review.

And this effort is a fulfillment of Obama’s promise to the Latino voters that he would deliver “Reform” within the first year of the new term.

But rushed policy is bad policy.  There is a far greater risk of unintended consequences when something is not fully reviewed, analyzed and debated.   “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it,”…is not a way to run government.  (I might add that we are finding all sorts of unintended consequences in Obamacare.)

Fourth, creating the wrong solution.  We should know by now that any sort of legalization will only lead to another round of people sneaking into the country.  That’s the lesson from the 1986 amnesty plan.  You have to develop the political will to deport people simply because they are here illegally.  We’ve never been able to do that.

Government is far better at saying YES than telling people NO.  You don’t get many votes by cracking down on people. 

Even if they seal the border they haven’t fixed the visa problem.  US-VISIT is not an enforcement program.  All it does is give government credit for those who have left the country.  We would still need to find, process, detain and deport those people living here on expired visas.

Another red herring here is whether or not the plan offers citizenship.  The citizenship debate is meaningless.  These illegal aliens don’t want to naturalize.  Even their legal brothers and sisters don’t want to become citizens.  Fewer than 25% of Mexican green card holders become citizens.  They retain their Mexican citizenship and are content to have a green card so they can work and send money home.  Only the politicians want them to become citizens so they can vote.

Fifth, poor execution of the plan.  Surely if there is any area where enforcement implementation was not carried out it would be immigration laws.  Over 30% of all foreign-born people living in the United States are here illegally.  In fact, both Bush and Obama have chosen not to enforce significant parts of immigration law.  By fiat, Obama has called for new immigration hearings for 300,000 deportable aliens.  He also created his own DREAM Act without so much as a Congressional vote.

The Supreme Court has made it nearly impossible to prosecute someone for aggravated identity theft.

Just last week Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano told a Congressional hearing that her agency sets the enforcement priorities regardless of what the law says.  In other words, since you cannot afford to do it all, you choose the laws you will enforce.

So, on all counts the proposed immigration reform bill is a disaster in public policy just waiting to happen.  It is fraught with errors and unintended consequences.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

An Unfamiliar Term

A million people in the Boston area were locked in their homes on Friday under orders from the "authorities."
These Federal/State/Local law enforcement people were looking for a 19-year-old boy who blew up the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

On Thursday night police had a gun battle with the boy and his brother.  And pipe bombs were thrown at police as these young terrorists tried to escape.  The older boy, age 26, died Thursday night.  (If we are to believe these incomplete accounts, he died when he was run over by his brother.)

So, the "authorities" shut down the buses and trains, closed the schools, and strongly suggesting that businesses close for the day.

And their plan worked.  Boston was a ghost town Friday.

The instruction to the public was to "Shelter in Place."    The term had been used in the past for things liked chemical spills and leaks.  If there were an ammonia cloud in the neighborhood, people would turn off the furnace fan, gather in a small room in the house, and close off the gap at the bottom of the door.

But the terrorist application is to stay in your home with the doors locked and do not open for anyone but a uniformed police officer.

"Shelter in Place," belongs in the Newspeak dictionary.  It's a fancy term for "cower in fear" or "hunker down."  My what they won't do to protect their precious narrative.

The Boston Connection

The Gang of Eight is worried that the Boston Bombing will make it impossible to pass their amnesty bill.  And comment boards around the country are crying foul.  They say that these two bombers were here LEGALLY and that Congress should disregard what happened in Boston when considering their bill.

But it has nothing to do with the immigration status of the two terrorists and everything to do with Homeland Security.

We are expected to believe that Homeland Security is doing a great job.  It isn’t.

We are expected to believe that Homeland Security can screen and vet 11 million applicants for amnesty.  They can’t.

Narrative Shaping

In the days between the detonation of the bombs at The Boston Marathon and the identification of the suspects the news agencies engaged in speculation that exposed the worst in journalism; and confirming the bias of which they are accused.

In subtle, and not so subtle ways, they were hoping for another Timothy McVeigh.  A Unibomber would not do.  And certainly not a foreigner.  A Mormon would be fine, but no Muslims.

Media outlets have become guardians of the narrative at all costs.  And if the truth doesn’t fit they will trim it here and there until it does.

Salon.com even hoped out loud that they were right-wing whites because they could be convicted without creating animosity toward and suspicion of global terrorist organization.  How nice of them.
Here are some of the comments and theories of the media, preserved:

NPR correspondent Dina Temple-Raston:
"The thinking, as we have been reporting, is that this is a domestic, extremist attack and officials are leaning that way largely because of the timing of the attack. April is a big month for anti-government and right-wing individuals. There's the Columbine anniversary, there's Hitler's birthday, there's the Oklahoma City bombing, the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco."

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen:
“I'm reminded of Oklahoma City, which was a bombing, which was initially treated as a gas explosion. First reports are often erroneous.
“Once the device -- if it is a device -- is found; what kind of explosives were used. So for instance, if it was hydrogen peroxide, this is a signature of al Qaeda. If it was more conventional explosives, which are much harder to get hold of now -- that might be some other kind of right-wing extremist. … We've also seen, for instance, right-wing groups  trying to attack the Martin Luther King parade in Oregon in 2010.”

MSNBC's Chris Matthews:
"…as a category, normally, domestic terrorists tend to be on the far right."

Luke Russert of NBC News:
“I was at Fenway Park with my dad during Waco which was on Patriots Day in 1993.  Speculating on possible link.(Twitter post)

Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times:
“…explosion is a reminder that ATF needs a director.  Shame on Senate Republicans for blocking the appointment.”  (another Tweet)

David Axelrod (Obama’s former PR chief):
 "I'm sure what was going through the president's mind is -- we really don't know who did this -- it was tax day"

“A senior U.S. counterterrorism investigator told CNN that pressure cooker bombs have also been a signature of extreme right-wing individuals in the United States who he said tend to revel in building homemade bombs.”

Esquire’s Charles P. Piers:
“I would caution folks jumping to conclusions about foreign terrorism to remember that this is the official Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts, celebrating the Battles at Lexington and Concord, and that the actual date (April 19) was of some significance to, among other people, Tim McVeigh, because he fancied himself a waterer of the tree of liberty and the like.”

Huffington Post’s Nida Kahn:
“We don't know anything yet of course, but it is tax day & my first thought was all these anti-gov groups, but who knows.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Super Bowl of Nations

I am copying this here for two reasons:
1) It's a great analogy
2) It is getting ZERO coverage from media

Dateline Washington DC
April 19, 2013
At a Thursday press conference, Bristol County, MA sheriff Tom Hodgson compared the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill to having no security or ticket process to get into the Super Bowl.

“The proposal that the Gang of Eight has put forward, and I do want to commend them for even at least seriously beginning the conversation about immigration reform, albeit far too short,” Hodgson said.

“What is happening here is we’re effectively allowing the Super Bowl to be played in a stadium where three quarters of the entrances to that stadium have no ticket-takers and no security to check people in,” he added. “So people wander into the game year after year after year, and finally after a period of time, it’s unstable."

"And if we’re able to do so, we’re going to allow them to become season-ticket holders," he explained. "But, ultimately, we still haven’t solved the problem because those gates still don’t have security.”

Hodgson made sure to point out that neither he nor his fellow speakers at the Thursday press conference were “anti-immigrant.”

“Not one person behind this podium is anti-immigrant,” Hodgson said. “All of us have ancestors who immigrated to this country. My father immigrated directly from the country of England, raised thirteen children and did it the right way.”

The trouble is that the enforcement side of the illegal alien problem is getting ZERO press coverage.  It is all focused on the Gang of Eight pitch.  And the Gang of Eight didn't allow the other side to even approach the throne.  Like congressional hearings over the years on the subject, we are only hearing what the chairman of the committee wants us to hear.

Let's hope this proposal fails just like all the rest.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Then and Now

Obama's push for amnesty has some similarities to that of George W. Bush.

First, both had an amnestia interruptus problem.  For Bush it was 9/11.  In fact, Presidente Fox was in the White House a week before 9/11 and both were talking about some sort of legalization program within months.  For obvious reasons, legalizing foreigners would not have been very popular after they discovered who flew the planes into the WTC and Pentagon.  And how they got into the country.

For Obama the problem was the economy.  You cannot sell amnesty when the headlines are screaming double-digit unemployment.  And his chief-of-staff, Rahm Emmanuel, was NOT a fan of amnesty.  For him, it is the third-rail of politics.

So, Obama's promise of amnesty in the first year didn't happen.  But when you compare Obama's amnesty push of 2013 with GWB's of 2006, some things are the same and some are different.

What's the same?
The crowds are back.  At least the photos of protesters show big crowds.  Bush had the same thing in April/May of 2006.  Hundreds of thousands turned out.  For Bush those crowds would dwindle.  They tried additional May Day parades but by the time Obama took office they were a footnote at best.

Additionally, Bush made speeches at Hispanic Prayer Breakfasts, the convention of the National Restaurant Association and meetings of Contractors/Home Builders to push for amnesty.  Obama has taken the same sort of approach to grab headlines and rally the troops.

Gang activity is back.  In 2007 it was Ted Kennedy and his Gang of 12.  Schumer has his Gang of Eight.

What's different this time around?

They are mastering the optics (or at least the MSM is doing a better job of cropping and framing).
There are still some Mexican flags in the streets, but more are sporting the red-white-and-blue.

And they are exploiting the children more this time.  More placards are cropping up with the "Stop separating families," theme.

And more of the cards are talking about citizenship.  That is a detail that has been pushed by the unions.  They don't want temporary work permits.  They want a path to citizenship.  I firmly believe this is a dream of the politicians more than the people themselves.  I say that because the Mexican naturalization rate has been (and still is) pathetically low.  It ranges in the 20-25% range.  Despite national drives, threats of fee increases, lowering the requirements, even grants to pay the application fee...Mexicans in particular don't care about becoming US Citizens.

This is a BIG issue for the politicians.  If they want to tap into this huge minority voting block they have to make them citizens first.  The Democrats are OK with this because they get the family vote, the anchor babies and the undetected voter fraud.  (If a guy has a valid Social Security number he is automatically registered through Motor Voter.  Nothing else is really required.  Don't get your undies in a bunch here; I'm not saying huge numbers of non-citizens vote.  I'm just saying they have the DOCUMENTS to be able to vote.)

Another difference this time around is the REAL unemployment rate.  In 2006 there were 22 million unemployed people competing with the garden variety illegal alien.  I would characterize them as 18-64 with a high school diploma or less.  In 2012 that number is 27.7 million.  The number of illegal aliens filling those jobs is around 8 million.  That number still doesn't get the attention it deserves, but more people are starting to figure it out.

Three members of the United States Commission on Civil Rights wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Marcie L, Fudge, letting her know in no uncertain terms that the illegal aliens were making it harder for minority citizens to get jobs.

Yet another way things are different this time is the approach by the White House.  Bush had two cabinet members on the Hill lobbying on his behalf for amnesty.  Chertoff and Gutierrez were both active with congress and the press.  Bush himself was floating plans and ideas in front of Ted Kennedy.  He'd send over plans he had worked up about fees, fines, enforcement triggers...

In other words, GWB was an active negotiator.

Obama is more aloof when it comes to policy.  Or at least he's letting others do the heavy lifting.  But Obama is a master at forming a parade.  He has been out recruiting for the cause.  Recently he hosted 13 religious leaders at the White House.  This resulted in a photo op and nice statements about compassion from these ministers.

He gave the Chavez award to the author of the Utah Compact, a model for state-level amnesty.

Note, Obama is telling us that CONSERVATIVES want amnesty.

Also joining the parade is a joint effort by The Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO.  (Talk about strange bedfellows!)

The parade also has a statement from the Attorneys General of 35 states pushing for amnesty.  And the usual collection of Police Chiefs from liberal cities.

The Obama ground game is better than the one GWB had going.

This time around we have the DREAMers who have "Come out."  I guess it worked for gays.  Obama has fallen short of his goal of getting these DREAM applicants to register and apply for the path.  He's got maybe 60% of the turnout he expected.  But those who are out make nice poster children for his cause.

Time will tell what the outcome will be this time.  Congress ignores the general public and continues to pander to special interests.  They don't care about their low approval rating which is below 10%.  All of them (from both parties) want a slice of the brown vote.

And the mid-terms are still a year away.  This is the amnesty silly season.  May Day parades.  Nice weather for protesting.  Obama needs to get this thing done before Labor Day 2013 or it won't happen.

Let's hope it doesn't happen.