Every once in awhile, something comes along that leaves a political veteran like me lost for words. New Haven (Connecticut) Mayor John DeStafano said recently that he wants illegal immigrants to be able to vote in local elections. Mayor DeStafano, a Democrat, claims that illegals pay taxes, albeit indirectly, through rent and send their children to public schools, so, therefore, they should be entitled to vote. He also claims that this would lead to a more "engaged community". His spokesperson, Elizabeth Blanton, claims that her boss's proposal is "nothing new". She claimed there were several states with similar legislation, but this would only apply to New Haven. Ms. Blanton added that they believed that every adult should be able to “vote in local elections that affect their families and futures”. By implication that would include unregistered adults, open primaries, and those who’ve lost their right to vote for judicial reasons does it not? Even the governor, Dannel Malloy (D) said he was "particularly comfortable" with the suggestion.
One can't help but wonder if the good Mayor was serious or just trying to get his name in the news. No one objects to new immigrants voting. We want new immigrants to participate in the political process. That's part of being an American. In fact, we would dearly love for more people take part in the political process. Maybe we would have fewer crooks and kooks in office. But, we're not talking about new immigrants here are we? We are talking about individuals who, for one reason or another, decided to ignore our laws and tried to jump ahead of thousands who are following the rules. Why, should they be rewarded for breaking the law? The fact is they shouldn't.
First, not only should they not be allowed to vote, they should not be receiving any taxpayer assistance or services, and that includes public job assistance, unemployment, or "free" education for their children, including private translators, which by the way, costs US Taxpayers millions of dollars. As it is, every single taxpayer in the United States pays in some fashion for illegal workers, and that number is in the billions of dollars.
The reality is that there are an estimated 12 million illegals in this country. Rounding them up and shipping them home (again, on our dime) without a practical and enforceable immigration policy is a waste of our time and money. Our so-called "leaders" in Washington as well as in our state capitals and city halls, have chosen for some unfathomable reason to ignore what people like you and I have been saying for years. Perhaps they think we'll forget come election time. Maybe they think they're immune to public opinion. Frankly, I don't know.
What I do know, however, is that we must secure our border even if that means stationing US troops there with instructions to turn illegals back by force if necessary. Simultaneously, we need to erect barriers along the border. We then need to determine which illegal immigrants are here for the purpose of employment only and which ones are here to establish residence. Not all want to be here permanently. Many are simply day workers looking to send money back home to support their families. They are the easiest to deal with. For that, we need a two-prong program.
For individuals here just for the money, its' a simple matter of their employer obtaining a temporary worker permit. The permit could be in the form of a personal ID card complete with a photo, thumb print, home address, name and address of their sponsor/employer. As long as they remain employed; their ID is kept current, there should be no problem. Perhaps the United Farm Workers (UFW) could create a specific union for non-resident migrant workers. This could assist them with such things as transportation, housing and healthcare.
Because they're non-resident, a reduced employment tax could apply to cover healthcare and education for their children. However, each immigrant would be mandated to take English language classes. This would be a win-win for everybody. Farms and other businesses that depend on cheap labor would have their employees while the employer wouldn't have to worry about fines and being shut down. Union rolls would increase as would union dues. Local, state, and federal tax burdens would be reduced since taxes would be withheld. As long as their employment cards are current, they have no fear of deportation.
For those who want to stay here, a similar program could be impended. They would still have to apply for Citizenship in the usual fashion (no one should expect preferential treatment just because they were successful in breaking the law for who knows how many years). However, a program of this type would allow the illegal resident to remain in the country while awaiting a decision on their application. In addition to English languages classes, they would also take Civics classes which include American history and culture. It also provides a mechanism to legally pay taxes. It eliminates the fear of deportation and, again, employers won't have to worry about fines and/or closures. In both cases, individuals would periodically report to an agency like ICE to confirm their status. However, there should a clear and specific caveat.
Failure to comply with the two-prong program would result in serious penalties for employers (as an example, a $10,000 fine for each illegal employed and suspension of their business license for 90 days for the first offense). After that, jail time for the employer---owner(s) and whoever did the hiring up to, and closure of the business for 30 days to one year. For illegals, 30 days jail time followed by deportation. For the second offense, additional jail time and loss of opportunity to participate in the program for one year. After that, jail and suspension time would be increased. Children would be sent to the nearest legal relative either in the US or in their native country. The Constitution should be amended to require that at least one parent must be a US Citizen, thus eliminating “anchor babies”. Harsh I know, but the penalty has to be strong enough to strongly compel participation.
It's not a perfect solution, but it's a workable one, and right now, that's what we need. If you agree, I urge to send this article to your Senator, Congressman, Governor, and the media.
For more on the story, check out this article:
DoD Double Speak
As long as we have a front roll seat at the theater of the absurd, here’s something else I came across I thought you might find interesting. The Department of Defense has decided to reclassify the murders at Ft. Hood Texas by Major Nadal Hasan, a former Army psychiatrist (and now, apparently a patient too). Instead of referring to the event which lead to the deaths of 13 people plus wounding dozens more as a “massacre”, the DoD in its infinite bureaucratic wisdom has decided the event will be known as a case of “workplace violence”. Apparently the DoD is concerned about the opinion of terrorist groups such as al Qaeda. According to Army’s PR department, if the bad guys can claim a propaganda victory over the murder of US personnel on a US base by an Islamic extremist, it only enhances their image in the Arab World. Using this sort of logic, what would the DoD had called the Holocaust? Population Reengineering?
I suppose there’s some logic to their argument. However, to me, murder is murder regardless of who did it or their reasons. Changing our behavior or language to appease the enemy is still a victory in their eyes. The truth is that Nadal Hasan was a mentally ill man who was susceptible to the rants of another insane individual. That doesn’t excuse him, nor does it excuse the Army who ignored all the classic warning signs. The DoD would do better to emphasis the lunacy of Hasan and his actions and all those who follow similar paths of those who hijacked and distorted an otherwise peaceful religion.
Here’s the link to the article:
Republican Presidential Candidates Stance on Illegal Immigration
Lastly, if you’ve been following the Republican Presidential Candidate debates, and wondered what their positions were toward illegal immigration, check out this article from NumbersUSA. It’s a nice succinct piece outlining each candidate’s stance: