American Elephants


The House Finds Eric Holder in Contempt of Congress. by The Elephant's Child

In a 255-67 vote, the House placed Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena, in the Fast and Furious inquiry.

Seventeen Democrats ignored party lines and voted with Republicans to find the Attorney General in contempt of Congress. 108 Democrats didn’t cast votes to protest the fact that the House GOP was holding the vote.The Department of Justice is not expected to enforce the criminal contempt measure. But less than an hour later, the House passed a separate resolution allowing Issa’s Congressional Oversight Committee  to pursue civil court action against Holder.

The Congressional Black Caucus and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) staged a walkout during the vote as Democrats charged the GOP with staging a witch hunt against Holder that demeans the lower chamber.The Congressional Oversight Committee is concerned with uncovering just who is responsible for an operation that unlawfully sent nearly 2000 guns across the border to Mexican drug cartels where they were responsible for killing Border agent Brian Terry and ICE agent Jaime Zapata and something over 300 murdered Mexican nationals. That is an awful lot of dead bodies, for which the United States is apparently responsible, and the Democrats want to call attempting to find out who authorized it a “witch hunt?’

If the drug wars just across the border weren’t killing so many people, it might well have been called an “international incident.” It is against the law to invoke “executive privilege” to cover up wrongdoing, but the President has invoked executive privilege which is usually used to protect conversations between a president and advisers.



The President is Pandering… Again. by The Elephant's Child

On Friday, President Obama announced “new actions my administration will take to mend our nation’s immigration policy, to make it more fair, more efficient, and more just — specifically for certain young people sometimes called ‘Dreamers.’

These are young people who study in our schools, they play in our neighborhoods, they’re friends with our kids, they pledge allegiance to our flag.  They are Americans in their heart, in their minds, in every single way but one:  on paper.  They were brought to this country by their parents — sometimes even as infants — and often have no idea that they’re undocumented until they apply for a job or a driver’s license, or a college scholarship. …

That’s what gave rise to the DREAM Act.  It says that if your parents brought you here as a child, if you’ve been here for five years, and you’re willing to go to college or serve in our military, you can one day earn your citizenship.  And I have said time and time and time again to Congress that, send me the DREAM Act, put it on my desk, and I will sign it right away.”

Well, nasty Republicans wouldn’t sign it. They have this strange idea that the laws should be obeyed, that if the laws need to be changed, then they should be changed. But if you start offering exceptions to the law, the law becomes meaningless. The President continued:

Now, let’s be clear — this is not amnesty, this is not immunity. This is not a path to citizenship. It’s not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure that lets us focus our resources wisely while giving a degree of relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people. It is —

Q    (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  — the right thing to do.

The videos of the event at You Tube all say “heckler Neil Munro.” The president was clearly irritated, but Mr. Munro was not heckling, but asking a question. The media was horrified that anyone would interrupt the President, but his speeches are regularly interrupted. The dreadful Cleveland speech was interrupted three times with comments from the audience, noted in the transcript. Often the interruption will be “We Love You.” which I assume is a plant. The president always responds “I love you back”.

When he says “Let me be clear,” watch out. These ‘children’ are up to the age of 30. There are an estimated 800,000 of them competing for jobs with American citizens who are also just graduating. Today, the evangelicals, Catholic bishops and Focus on the Family, chimed in to say it is the right thing to do. They claimed to have studied the problem, but didn’t mention having studied the law.

However, I  happened upon this “Interactive Map: The Untapped Electoral Power of Latinos and Citizens-in-Waiting.  They are “eligible but unregistered Latino voters” who “could run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions,” at the Center for American Progress, dated on June 12,  before the President’s announcement. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

Democrats are not always so obvious with their pandering to special interest groups.

Mitt Romney did not fall into the trap laid for him by the Democrats. He said these young people need a long term solution, not some temporary thing, and they deserved a serious solution. Yes. Our immigration laws need attention and revision.



Everything You Wanted to Know About Immigration and the Border Wars by The Elephant's Child

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.



This is What is Happening on the Arizona Border Today: by The Elephant's Child

The Pima County Medical Examiner says that from January 1 to July 15, the office has handled the bodies of 134 illegal immigrants, up from 93 at the same time last year, and 102 in 2008.  Heat is  above-average and unrelenting  in southern Arizona this month, and tighter border security pushes immigrants to more remote, rugged and dangerous terrain. Immigrant deaths are soaring in July.

The Border Patrol says the agency rescued nearly 1,300 people last fiscal year.  There are aid stations for immigrants manned by humanitarian groups, and 20 Border Patrol rescue beacons in remote areas of the desert that immigrants can activate if they need help.

It is incredibly crass for the Mexican President to come to Washington D.C. and insult Arizona for attempting to enforce federal immigration laws.  If it were not for corruption in Mexico and uncontrolled lawlessness south of the border, there would not be an illegal immigration problem on the border. For our federal government to refuse to enforce the law is disgraceful.



Arizona Law Working by American Elephant
June 10, 2010, 3:28 pm
Filed under: News, Politics | Tags: ,

Illegal immigrants fleeing state.



Liberalism at Work by American Elephant
June 9, 2010, 11:29 am
Filed under: Liberalism, Politics | Tags: , , ,

Liberals boycott Arizona — illegal immigrants hardest hit.

First rule of liberalism: whatever liberals touch they destroy. Second rule of liberalism: for every liberal intention there is a grossly unequal and catastrophically opposite  reaction.

Now, it’s probably not correct to say that illegal immigrants will be the hardest hit, but they will be hit hard. When there are no hotel beds to make, the people hired to make them get fired.



President Obama Sends 1,200 National Guard troops to Border, but They Are Not to Enforce Immigration Laws. by The Elephant's Child

— President George W. Bush  sent 6,000 National Guard troops to the border as a temporary measure, while the numbers of the border patrol were being built up.  His administration significantly increased the number of border patrol agents by 20,000, and then removed the troops.

— Janet Napolitano, former Arizona Governor and now Secretary of Homeland Security, says the Southern Border is secure. But that’s what she claimed when she was Governor too.

— A team of Justice Department attorneys has written a recommendation challenging the Arizona immigration  law.  The draft claims Arizona exceeded its authority, or there might be abuses based on race, but no formal recommendation has been sent to the White House.  If the administration eventually does sponsor a challenge to the Arizona law, the president’s move to send 1,200 National Guardsmen to the Arizona border does begin to look like a bit of political theater.

— The Mexican embassy released a statement on the Guard deployment: “Additionally, the Government of Mexico expects that National Guard personnel will strengthen US operations in the fight against transnational organized crime that operates on both sides of our common border and that it will not, in accordance to its legal obligations, conduct activities directly linked to the enforcement of immigration laws.

— The administration has clarified the role of the 1,200 National Guard troops it is sending to the Arizona border.  They will not be enforcing immigration laws.  “US National Guard troops being sent to the Mexican border will be used to stem the flow of guns and drugs across the frontier and not to enforce US immigration laws, the State Department said Wednesday.”

— State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said “We have explained the president’s announcement to the government of Mexico, and they fully understand the rationale behind it.” … “The extra troops would be used to free up civilians engaged in support functions so that law enforcement personnel can be increased along the 2,999 mile-long border.”

Let’s see, we have immigration laws, but Mexico doesn’t like them, so we won’t enforce them.  Russia doesn’t like the anti-missile defense against Iran that we arranged to deploy in Eastern Europe, so we canceled that.  Russia said it would agree to some mild sanctions on Iran, but they didn’t like the restrictions on their sales of missiles and weapons to Iran, so we said go ahead and sell them.  South Korea is incensed at North Korea’s torpedoing their ship and killing over 40 South Korean personnel, but we’re not willing to throw our weight around.

Do you think that there is a pattern here?




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