Saturday, February 09, 2013

Illegal Immigration Rekindled

Obama's assault on the Conservative Right continues unabated. Already in disarray following the election, Obama's "do nothing" approach to the economy, resulting in increased taxes on the already cash strapped middle class, was followed by a full out attack on the 2nd Amendment under the guise of controlling "gun violence". The next prong was pushing for amnesty of the estimated 11 - 12 million illegal aliens in the States (some estimates put the number as high as 40 million).

The first phase of the "money for nothing" amnesty program was proposed by the so-called "Gang of Eight", a bipartisan committee comprised of Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), John McCain (R-AZ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Mike Bennet (D-CO), and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), all from states with heavy Hispanic populations. Their plan called for the immediate amnesty of illegal aliens now living in the US (and who knows how many more who will try to slip in before it takes affect) by registering with the federal government. They will have to pay a unspecified fine (what if they can't? Will it be waived?), pay back taxes (based on what? Employers will deny they every worked for them to avoid fines and/or public humiliation, and besides, it was mostly cash under the table). They will then have to undergo a criminal background check. Those that come back positive will allegedly not be able to go forward but there's most likely a good behavior or "don't-make-me-count-to-three" loophole to be built in. Meanwhile, they would remain eligible to draw from the public trough.

All this earns them a probationary status (can it be renewed? If so, for how long?). Meanwhile, they are to "go to back of the line" while awaiting reviewing of the applications; pass additional background checks such as employment history; pay any additional taxes just like any other immigrant (or citizen would), and finally, become proficient in English and civics. If they make it this far, they get the coveted "green card". Now, realistically, how many of you think 11 -12 million people are going to voluntarily do this? The final piece of their recommendation was strengthen the border regions to reduce further illegal crossing (that was supposed to happen decades ago as some of you may recall. Congress and the Presidents Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II ignored us instead). Common sense should tell you that there will be a mass influx prior to the implementation of this plan just like when happened when Reagan provided amnesty to the estimated 3 or so million illegal aliens in America in 1986. You will also likely see a further increase for "humanitarian" reasons, such as separation of families (what constitutes "family"? Cousins? Great uncles and aunts? Step or adopted families?).

Meanwhile, Obama has started a personal offensive to demand immediate legalization. Part of this has been the deliberate speaking Hispanic crowds, especially children and young adults; nothing plays better to the camera than children. Obama has already overstepped this executive authority by issuing a directive last year allowing children of illegal immigrants, who are working and/or currently enrolled (though not necessarily actively attending) school to remain in the US. This was in response to his previously failed "Dream Act". By issuing the directive, Obama bypassed Congress which has a Constitutional responsibility to set federal policy on immigration issues. Congress groused but did nothing as usual.

So, what's the end game here? Anyone who thinks Obama is pushing for amnesty of a huge segment of individuals purely out of compassion is either naive or shouldn't be allowed to have sharp instruments. The cold fact of the matter of matter is this is about economics. There are some 11 or 40 million illegal aliens now living and working in America (and let's not forget those here through "anchor babies"). Most of their income is off the books; cash under the table. By legalizing their presence, they provide billions of badly needed income tax to the government. Secondly, the increased population creates greater open competition for jobs. That drives wages down as more people compete for scarce jobs. Unions, notably the AFL-CIO and the Teamsters, have been duped into thinking it will improve their financial straits.

Since most of these individuals will be applying for low skill and often unionized jobs, unions are banking on an increase in member dues. However, many employers have moved away from hiring union members through "Right to Work" and "Employment at Will" laws. The only growth in recent decades to union membership has been in the public sector, which is now facing dramatic cut backs due to underfunded budgets, decreased tax bases, and unfunded pensions. Unions are hard pressed to provide job security to the members they already have. The end result for many of these workers may be paying out union dues from their already near poverty level wages for non-existed job security. Meanwhile, unions need to seriously re-evaluated their short and long term relevance.

Lastly, but no less importantly, many of these newly emancipated immigrants will see Obama as their "Lincoln". The result will be a mass influx in the rolls of the Democratic Party just a former slaves rushed to register as Republicans. The result could be a nearly insurmountable number of new Democratic voters (Democrats currently has a slight advantage of about 2% over Republicans; however, most Democrats tend to lean conservative on fiscal issues and more left on social issues. The largest political group, Independents, with 38% of registered voters, tend to lean conservative on most issues with some exceptions on social issues). In addition, this could throw states with large Hispanic populations but Republican controlled governments (either governorships and/or state legislatures) to the Democrats. By adding even 7 or 8 million new voters to their rolls, this could be a knockout punch for the GOP.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party has shown itself to be woefully inept when it comes to reaching out to Hispanics (a largely conservative population) to the point where they are even losing their traditional Cuban-American base. Women and other minorities, mostly blacks and Asians, have also shied away from the GOP in near record numbers. Even with Obama's largely anti-Israel stance, American Jews still embrace the Democratic Party along with the majority of young college age voters. In 10 years or less, Republicans could become as scarce as white elephants (had to throw that in).

Americans are a welcoming people. But they are also a people who love and respect the rule of law and fair play. When someone's first act is a violation of our laws; when they jump ahead of people following the rules; when they take from our system without contributing back into the system, it leaves a very bad and lingering taste on their mouths. One that will not go away any time soon regardless of what some piece of legislation or demagogue says. The best solution is permit a probationary status for illegal immigrants while their applications are processed behind those who are doing it legally so that they can start paying into the system they've been taking from. They need to accept that Americans speak English. Learning it and civics should be mandatory for anyone applying for a green card. Until then, don't accept excuses like "I don't speak or understand English".

Meanwhile, employers should be heavily fined, even shut down, for not complying to immigration laws. They are simply taking advantage of the lack of federal enforcement and backbone to avoid paying a living wage and providing a decent working environment; in short, subjecting a population to economic slavery. Finally, the border must be sealed. Now. Future violations must be severe and swift. Otherwise, our social net will continue to fail until no one can be provided for. Pressure needs to be brought to bear on governments who encourage their citizens to break US laws by sponsoring existing and new groups whose aim is social and economic reform. Only then will they get their act together or face political oblivion amid social, economic, and political chaos. A little realistic reform now might go a long way.

A Reagan Legacy: Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants

Gang of Eight Accelerates Immigration Reform Pace

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