Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Election 2012, Latin America, Politics | Tags: Border Wars, Illegal Immigration, national security
The argument about legal and illegal immigration is usually heated and extremely confused. A very large percentage of Americans simply want immigration laws that are obeyed and enforced, and they don’t want drug suppliers or terrorists from Latin America entering the country illegally. We want people here on temporary visas to go home when their time is up. That doesn’t seem either too complicated or in any way unfair.
We prize the text on the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” in recognition of the fact that America is a nation of immigrants, and a lot of tired, poor immigrants have contributed greatly to our country. On the other hand, we want to welcome those who come with big brains and big bank accounts who want the freedom to create wonders. We are troubled when foreign students come to our universities to get advanced degrees in engineering and physics and then we send them home, even if they want to stay. And those who overstay their visas need to go home.
Any child born in the United States is a citizen, yet we have “tourists”who come here specifically to give birth to an American citizen. We are troubled by the idea that all of a citizen’s relatives may get a spot in line before others. The whole immigration thing is impossibly complicated, and enormously political.
Then add in cries of racism, prejudice and ethnic profiling directed at those who want legal limitations on immigration. Many feel empathy for illegal immigrants who have avoided questions about their legal status, settled here and paid taxes, and think they should be offered amnesty. Others see no end to the amnesty because there is a constant influx of illegal immigrants who settle and establish themselves. There are somewhere between 9 million and 11 million illegals here.
Democrats usually favor amnesty and even open borders because they believe that Hispanic immigrants are reliable Democrat voters, and obtaining power is always on the mind of a Democrat politician. Memos from the Department of Homeland Security’s highest ranks show that the Obama administration has tried to form a strategy to achieve amnesty for the illegal population without input from Congress.
The course decided upon seems to be “prosecutorial discretion” in an ICE memo of June 2011, that prevents the enforcement of immigration law, and is effectively worker authorization for much of the current illegal population. Federal lawyers are escalating their crackdown on tough immigration laws, and challenge state laws in court. The Justice Department has sued Arizona and Alabama, and gone after Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio. In January, the administration proposed new hardship rules to make it easier for illegals to apply for legal status if they have a spouse or parent already living here. The Washington Post says “Immigrant-rights groups call the move a “tremendous victory.” Others, who obeyed the rules and came to the country legally are deeply offended.
There are 20.7 million acres of federal land along the U.S.–Mexico border. There are also over 1,000 miles of federal land along the U.S.–Canada border. The number of illegals detained at the border has fallen in recent years— the promise of jobs is down, but there is an increase in violent criminals, drug smugglers and human traffickers. Reports of Iran-sponsored activity in Mexico are increasing.
You’ve got the Coronado National Forest, the Sonoran Desert National Monument, The Organ Pipe National Monument and the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge which is directly adjacent to the border. Oversight of one sort or another is provided by the U.S. Forest Service (Dept. of Agriculture) the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Park Service (NPS) — all Department of Interior Agencies. Then you have the Department of Homeland Security, which supervises customs, immigration and naturalization, transportation security, and — the U.S Border Patrol.
The previous paragraph exposes the problems. Who is in charge of what? Add to that the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, Greenpeace, Earthjustice, World Wildlife Fund and the Center for Biological Diversity. There are also ranchers who own private land and lease public lands along the border. There’s the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
For environmental groups, activities that assist in securing the border may do damage to healthy ecosystems. In other words, ecosystems trump security and American safety. DHS has given university researchers a grant of $771,000 to track jaguar wanderings. Since 1996, there have been confirmed sightings of five jaguars in Arizona and New Mexico. Whether these endangered animals are native to Arizona or only visiting from Mexico is unknown. This is a portion of the $6.8 million grant to Interior for environmental projects—to compensate for environmental damage done by illegals and border protection activities including the border fence.
H.R. 1505: The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act was introduced last April by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) to protect federal lands from being despoiled and to secure the borders. It would “prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action which would impede border security.” In other words, it gives the Border Patrol instead of federal land managers operational control over U.S. borders on public lands. It gives DHS authority over federal lands within 100 miles of the border, and authorization to waive any environmental policies that impede border security.
Turf battle. Enraged Greenies. A serious problem in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, for all the agencies, and for local law enforcement. Obama has directed that only those convicted of serious crimes will be deported. He pushed for the DREAM Act again in the SOTU speech. He has pressured staff to speed up and approve immigrant visa applications, even when fraud is suspected. He has cut back on Border Patrol personnel, and now there’s a new Illegal Alien Czar to make nice with illegals, Latino organizations, the “stakeholder community,” and to fail to remove those who might be potential voters. Andrew Lorenz-Strait is the nation’s first “public advocate” for the U.S. Customs and Enforcement Agency. Obama wants the Latino vote. And he intends to devise any way he can to get around Congress and do what he pleases.
The drug wars in Mexico are spilling over into Arizona. A woman shopping on a downtown street in El Paso a few days ago, was shot by bullets flying across the border from Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Bullets have struck a local high school, City Hall and the University of Texas at El Paso. El Paso is generally safe, but Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in the hemisphere.
Representative Bishop and his committee seem to have drawn up a sensible bill that tries to address the most urgent problems. The current situation is untenable, and the administration attempt to use it as a way to buy votes is shameful. When we do not control the border, that is just the beginning of the problems that result.
Filed under: Latin America, National Security, News the Media Doesn't Want You to Hear, Politics | Tags: Arizona-Sonora Border, Border Wars, Immigration Laws
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has said that she will sign Arizona’s new illegal immigrant law. Screams of “Racism,” “Unfair,” “Gestapo,” all the usual. Governor Brewer said “We in Arizona have been more than patient, waiting for Washington to act. Decades of inaction and misguided policy have created a dangerous and unacceptable situation.”
We do have immigration laws. They govern the rights of someone to enter our country. People who live or work on the border between Arizona and Mexico feel that they are living in a war zone. Rancher Robert Krentz was killed on his own property 35 miles outside the border town of Douglas, Arizona. The family has been ranching in southern Arizona since 1907. Krentz was gunned down on late March, by an illegal immigrant, while out on his ATV tending fences on the family’s 34,000 acre ranch.
Smuggling, drugs and illegal immigration have become huge problems on the border. Mexican drug cartels are literally at war. Not all illegals are Mexican, and the nature of illegal immigrants is no longer simply poor Mexicans searching for a better opportunity. The Arizona border gets the most illegals because of two sparsely monitored National Parks, but California gets the most border patrol agents.
Obama spoke out indignantly about “recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans,” before heading out for a short vacation. Basic notions of fairness? Beleaguered Arizonans simply want the immigration laws to be upheld.
Since the federal government chooses to ignore the law in hopes that more immigrants will vote Democrat, the issue of “fairness” seems a little disingenuous. What is it that sparks such outrage? Police are authorized to ask anyone for identification if there is reason to suspect that they are illegal. (Not including brown skin or Spanish language, ethnic profiling is not allowed). I suspect that the new Arizona law conforms with the much ignored federal immigration laws.