by Jefferson Pinto
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series on U.S. Immigration Policy. For additional background see Part I, Issue#27, Page 9 – Putting the Science back into Political Science
Issue 28, July/Aug sp 2010: Yeah we’ve got a big problem, but the fix isn’t simple. It’s important to weed out the rationalizations and the whining to arrive at a good strategy and an effective solution.
Doll or Action Figure
What’s in a Name? When Mattel first introduced the GI Joe “doll” in the 60s, they knew no boy would want to play with a doll. They called the GI Joe an “action figure.” In its' day, it was marketing genus. In reality, it doesn’t matter what you call it; boys and girls liked playing with little plastic versions of people that were fun and reflected something they then aspired to become.
The same is not true of illegal aliens. Let’s stop the marketing spin. I quote an e-mail I saw the other day, “Calling an illegal alien an undocumented immigrant is like calling a drug dealer an unlicensed pharmacist” as in let’s change the name and then it’s “OK.” That’s sort of like decriminalizing stealing by calling a thief an “exempted permanent borrower.” Nice try, but it’s still not “OK.”
Being the beneficiary of fortuitous circumstances, I was born in this country to U.S. citizens. U.S. citizenship was bestowed upon me as a birth right. My great grandfather entered this country legally from Italy, but was undocumented. They called him a WOP because he came With Out Papers.
It didn’t matter what you called it or if there were a few missing documents. Today, it does matter that illegal immigration is against the spirit, the letter, and intent of the laws of this country. Changing the wording of the behavior name doesn’t change the behavior, the rights, or the consequences. Let’s not dilute the issue with new and creative wording. The word illegal is both accurate and concise. If you are on U.S. soil without permission, you are behaving illegally, as you are illegally here.
No More Amnesty for Governmental Derelict of Duties
So our federal government wants to grant amnesty again? What are our leaders thinking? Or are they? President Obama said SB 1070 was, “misguided”. It looks like “Obama Almighty” just pressed the “Yes to All” button again. (It didn’t work for Bruce Almighty, either.) Sorry Mr. President, but your response was completely “unguided.”
Didn’t you take the oath of office to uphold the laws of the United States? This sort of begs the question: Why would the federal government balk at the states helping to enforce federal laws without federal funding? Something doesn’t smell right. Jefferson senses a hidden agenda. Have any of the previous legislation or enforcement efforts worked? You be the judge. There are somewhere between 12 and 20 million illegal immigrants in the United States today (between 4.5 and 6.5 percent). That means, as you walk down the street, one in every 16 to 20 people is an illegal immigrant. I suspect some states have a higher than average concentration of illegals.
Side Affects May Include
Like many pharmaceuticals peddled on TV, illegal immigration has many unwanted side affects. Thirty-five percent of inmates in federal prisons are illegal immigrants. Twenty percent of inmates in Arizona prisons are illegal immigrants. In the last few years, Eighty percent of Arizona’s law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty were killed by illegal immigrants. The U.S. taxpayer is footing both the financial and devastating human toll.
If you have election promises that lasts for more than four hours, please contact a political psychiatrist.
Illegal Immigrants Rights
Illegal immigrants do have human rights. However, they may not enroll in our schools and mooch from other government services intended for citizens or invited guests. However, illegal immigrants ought to have access to emergency medicine. As soon as they are well enough, it’s time to go home. Along with basic human rights comes basic respect and courtesy (which doesn’t include the opportunity to stay). I don’t advocate defacing humans with disparaging names, wether they are here legally or not.
Why Do They Come?
Many who come here illegally, pay a lot of money for transportation, and walk, run, or swim a long and dangerous journey. It appears all the cost, struggle, and risk is not a deterrent for many that choose to enter this country illegally. I don’t fully understand the life they are escaping but can only imagine it is horrible. However, that does not entitle them to take from the United States. They need to be politely and expeditiously returned to their country of origin. Then they can exert the same cost, struggle and risk to reform their own country.
The Car Pool Is Full
If I’ve got a car that holds four and I’ve got two kids, I don’t really mind giving the neighbor kid a ride to school since I’m already going there. But, when I have a third child, I’m going to politely ask the neighbor to find another form of transportation to school so I can fit my own children in the car and get them all to school. Our government run schools are overcrowded and turning out poorly educated graduates. For our public universities, illegal immigrants pay the lower in-state tuition fee while U.S. citizens from other states pay the higher out of state rate. That’s not working for me. How about you?
I had the opportunity to be in Sacramento on the first of May and watched the illegal immigration protesters march past the Governor’s mansion. I saw signs that said, “Racism Hurts Democracy.” Racism may hurt Democracy, but not as much as ignorance. This is a republic, a land of laws, (not necessarily all good ones), not a land based on the opinion of the (illegal) masses.
The good side is that our country guarantees the right of Free Speech. Unfortunately, the speech doesn’t necessarily have to be true, or based in fact.
I’ve seen a few posters bearing swastikas that call Arizonans ‘Nazi Racists.’ Folks, saying no and removing trespassers isn’t racist. For that matter it’s not discrimination either. Calling for a boycott against everyone and everything in the state of Arizona is the very discrimination and extortion, you are protesting against in the first place. Duh! There is one thing worse than ignorance – articulated ignorance.
It Will Break up Our Family
When you make choices be prepared to live with the consequences. I hear the “If you deport me now, it will break up my family” rationalization often. Ok so what you are really saying is it’s ok to knowingly break the law and now you going to whine when it is enforced. If you sneak into the movie theater and you are caught, expect to be kicked out even if the movie has already started and you’ve already paid for a soda and popcorn.
Talk about Discrimination
Discrimination is a word of convenience for the whiners. It is horrifically discriminatory to let some immigrate illegally while other immigrants are required to follow all the rules. Say what? That’s sort of like the boss failing to penalize the perpetually late employee while other employees that are consistently punctual get docked. That doesn’t sound right to me. What’s wrong with this picture: “Liberty and justice for all – most everyone?” Nope, that IS discrimination. How does the left shoe feel on the right foot now?
The Big Picture: There are divergent opinions about how many people ought to be allowed into this country and the method of allowing them in or detecting and escorting violators out.
There always seems to be a rationalization to evade the basic ethical standard. Many of these arguments are “cherry picked” rare occurrences and are arguments of convenience that don’t apply to the whole. One school of thought is not to enforce existing or new laws if it means the removal of illegal immigrants. If the laws and procedures to gain legal entry are flawed let’s put the effort into fixing them, not bypassing them.
The Right Tool for the Right Job
The good news is: Most Americans seem to agree there are problems with immigration laws and the enforcement thereof. Where the opinions begin to diverge is when the discussion of corrective action commences.
There are a few areas that need to be addressed, wholistically: immigration policy, foreign policy and personal policy. In other words, use the right tool for the right job.
1) Immigration policy needs to address:
• How many may come into this country legally
• Criteria for immigration eligibility (criminal history, skills, health, etc.)
• The process to legally immigrate or legally work temporarily
• The tools and method to detect illegals and enforcement of violators
• Due to the structure of our government, laws need to be address at the federal, state, county, and local level Immigration policy is not the place to address the reasons so many people flock to the United States.
2) Foreign policy needs to be evaluated and modified to ensure:
• It does not encourage the exploitation of citizens of other countries. (Does our foreign policy (NAFTA) contribute to the poverty that entices folks to come to the United States?)
• It does not contribute to the political instability of other countries. (Does it encourage them to flee oppression or persecution, etc?)
• Incentives are in place to stabilize their country and respect the human rights of their citizens.
3) Personal policy is another place to deal with the human rights violations. Religion transcends international boundaries. Those sharing the same belief may act to “put your money where your creed is” without monkeying with immigration policy.
What is not going to work? File lawsuits and tie up the issue in the court system.
The Summary of the Lawsuit filed by the Justice Department, early July: Did you happen to get a glimpse of an online poll conducted by MSNBC.com and U.S. News and World Report? In July, Arizona began enforcing a new law that requires law enforcement officers to check someone’s immigration status if they have reason to suspect that he or she is in the country illegally. Do you think this is a good idea?
Ninety-six percent of about 3 million respondents said yes; four percent said no. Again, this is a republic, not a democracy, but who’s pulling the strings on the marionettes in the justice department?
Fix it List:
1) Invite leaders of other countries that complain about the United States immigration policy to self examine their country and determine why their citizens flee to the United States.
2) Modify the existing immigration laws to ease the cost and administrative burden of those applying for work visas, residency, or citizenship, etc.
3) Reinstate the e-verify program (or equivalent) that was required of Arizona employers to give them the tools to comply. Alternatively build a federal database that can “blindly” verify immigration status (For example, inquirer would get one of two responses Illegal or not illegal.)
4) Require all forms of government issued IDs to verify immigration status before renewing or issuing a new ID. (Legal visitors or guests ought to specify their legal status on the document.)
5) Impose strict penalties on employers who hire illegals or fail to verify immigration status.
6) Impose strict penalties on landlords who house illegal or fail to verify immigration status.
7) Prior to granting benefits, require verification of immigration status of all seeking government assistance including but no limited to:
• Government funded hospitals. Treat for emergencies then deport them.
• Welfare, food stamps etc.
• Publicly funded schools (for existing students an new students)
8) Require voting registrar to verify immigration status of all existing registered voters and verify all new applications. Verify ID at all voting locations.
9) Require verification of immigration status (and reporting of such transactions) prior to executing all transactions that wire money out of the United States and deny transactions of illegals.
10) Those born to illegals do not automatically become U.S. citizens.
11) Require all financial institutions to verify immigration status of all new account holders and deny transactions of illegals. (Checking savings, credit cards, loans etc.)
12) Require financial institutions to verify the immigration status of all existing accounts that don’t have a valid social security number on file. Require banks to report illegals to the federal government and close the account.
13) Require escrow companies to verify immigration status of buyers of residential real estate and report illegals.
14) Require the verification of all prepaid or cash services. (i.e. cell phones, prepaid debit/gift cards etc.) Deny illegals access to such services or products.
15) Require verification of immigration status of all incarcerated or involuntarily hospitalized. After sentence is fulfilled, transfer to federal immigration authorities.
16) Impose a financial penalty for those knowingly harboring/ housing or aiding illegals.
17) Impose progressive penalties for repeat illegal immigrants.
18) Use the penalties from above to fund enforcement.
- Jefferson Pinto
Jefferson Pinto is a retired CPA, and holds an MBA from one of the finer accredited universities in this country.
Original Article Source/LINK: VIEW, Issue 28, July/Aug sp 2010Part I Story/LINK: VIEW, June, 2010, Issue #27 Pg 9, Putting the Science back into Political Science - Immigration Part I