Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Immigration Puzzle

For years, I have watched the debate on attempts to develop a rational policy to encompass the problem of illegal immigration. Given the proposition that no politician votes for anything unless it meets the test of personal self interest, the proposed Senate proffered legislation would appear to violate this “Natural Law” of political behavior.

That this beleaguered President has been able to achieve, in the face of substantial opposition from legitimate legal citizens of the United States, agreement, uniting congressional forces which are otherwise locked in a political war missing only lethal weapons, is among the most puzzling of societal mysteries.

Far beyond this mystery is the genuine risk to national security, and to an end of an American culture which has evolved over the last quarter millennium. An contributor, Donna Poisl, has written a four part Article, titled Everyone will benefit from immigration reform. These writings frankly are very, very scary. Why? Because the naiveté demonstrated by the writer, is the same dangerous naiveté shown by people of goodwill and compassion as they join with special interest groups in advocating what amounts to total amnesty for illegal aliens.

What is even stranger is that the members of the House and the Senate who are trying to push through an Immigration Reform Act, are quite possibly committing political suicide, since the proposed legislation is in total opposition to the electorate. Look at some of the polls collected by FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform, as it mounts the battle against the currently proposed Act.

Here are the results of just one of several polls found on that site:

89% of Americans think illegal immigration into the U.S. is a problem (30% "extremely serious," 33% "very serious," and 26% "somewhat serious." (Time Magazine, Jan. 2006)

82% think that not enough is being done along the borders to keep illegal immigrants from crossing into the country. (Time Magazine, Mar. 2006)

68% feel that the number of immigrants who cross the border, whether legal or illegal is “too high”. (Polling Company, Sept. 2006)

62% oppose making it easier for illegal immigrants to become citizens of America. (Quinnipiac Univ., Feb. 2006)

Leaving aside the Hispanic and special interest groups spearheading the call for amnesty, there appear to be three elements being employed, all irrational and factually unsupported by those who support the Guest Worker element of the act.

1. Finding and deporting illegal aliens cannot be achieved: Poisl quotes George Bush asserting, “… the idea of finding and deporting all illegal immigrants might sound good, but it won't happen,” during a recent Arizona speech. It is unclear whether her personal view is that she agrees with Bush, or that she believes that he has made a personal determination not to enforce the laws of the United States.

As we have seen with the Iraq war, the last thing this President attends to is rational analysis of issues. It is he who has decided that adherence and enforcement of this country’s laws are simply a matter of his personal choice. From his intractable stubbornness in holding to his Iraq war prosecution against all evidence, despite universal advice to the contrary, to his disregard for and manipulation of NSA wiretap law, there is ample proof that this is a President responding only to his own inner voices, regardless of external reality.

2. The Guilt Trip: Poisl asserts, “Most people admit that we are all responsible: whether we hire the workers; buy what they produce; vote for the people who passed the laws that allowed it to get this far or if we didn’t vote at all. And since we are responsible for the problem, we should be responsible and try to fix it.

Sorry! I had nothing to do with allowing any illegal to enter this country, nor have I hired any, nor knowingly purchase any goods or services from any of these people. Nor did I vote for the incompetent President who actively thwarts enforcement of existing law – so please take your ridiculous guilt trip and dump it somewhere else.

3. Integrating illegals will economically benefit the United States: This assertion flies in the face of every economic and security study bearing on the subject, of which I am aware:

“The people who are against this should consider that legalizing these people will benefit the whole country; the military, Social Security, our economy, our future economy, education, even our national security.”

In an article by David Limbaugh, titled, ”The Immigration Debacle,” some estimated real costs of amnesty are projected:

“As reported in the Washington Times, the Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector calculates that during their lifetimes, they will likely receive "$2.5 trillion more in government services than they will pay in taxes." Among those benefits are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, public housing, subsidized college education and Social Security Disability Insurance. So those persisting in challenging the amnesty characterization should be reminded that many illegals will be receiving an enormous economic windfall to accompany their anemic wrist-slapping.”

Even if all of the above assertions made by Poisl were, in fact, accurate, the dangers faced by our society override any or all of these justifications. To understand these dangers, we must wade into the thousand page document with which the Senate is wrestling. Title VI: Nonimmigrants in the United States, Previously in Unlawful Status.

In essence, key provisions of this Act allow almost everyone to acquire a “Z-Visa,” which once held gives the holder access to all services offered to a citizen with the sole exception of voting. This short summary makes that provision crystal clear:

· Creates a Z nonimmigrant visa program for illegal aliens and illegal aliens only. No one else is eligible.

· Probationary benefits, including work authorization, protection from removal, and a social security number are granted to illegal aliens immediately, based only on the submission of an application (with fingerprints) and a 24-hour wait on a background check.

· These probationary benefits are not subject to the trigger in Title I of the bill. Z nonimmigrant visas are valid for 4 years and may be renewed indefinitely.

· Numerous criminal provisions are waived for eligibility purposes. No medical exam is needed to get a Z visa.

· There is no English requirement to get a Z visa. A Z nonimmigrant must only demonstrate “an attempt to gain an understanding of the English language” upon the first renewal of a Z visa (i.e. after four years).

· State and local governments are required to assist illegal aliens in providing documentation to support a Z visa application in order to receive state impact assistance money.

· State impact money will be granted to states to provide services for non-citizens (see § 402(b) (p. 156-159)).

· Z nonimmigrants may apply for green cards and become citizens. While they must wait until some existing applications are processed, they are not required to wait in line behind those who have applied for green cards after May 1, 2005. Moreover, they get to live and work in the U.S. while they wait.

Literally, all that stands between the granting of a visa to any terrorist, drug dealer, violent criminal, or homicidal maniac, is a background check which must be completed within 24 hours of receipt of application. Presumably, under these provisions, Osama Bin Laden, could, with little difficulty, become a legal resident of this country, and freely access medical treatment for his various ailments, before he set off to attack on an American City!

The net result of this admissions policy is that of giving complete freedom to roughly six time the number of currently incarcerated violent prisoners currently imprisoned in the United States,

To become an LPR (Legal Permanent Resident), a Z-1 nonimmigrant must pay a $4,000 penalty (Z-2 and Z-3 aliens are only required to pay applicable fees).

Even if we were to somehow find a way of separating and deporting or containing the criminal element of all who will seek the Z-Visa, that does nothing to ameliorate the billions of dollars that has already been spent and will continue to grow in an accelerating spiral, if this legislation passes. A 2004 study by the Heritage Foundation demonstrates some of the governmental programs where expenditures will always exceed revenue from this unskilled and dependent population.

While these expenditures may ultimately be simply too large for most of us to grasp, there are three elements, directly experienced which result from the presence of these unwanted, unneeded, and uninvited additions to our population:

1. Public Education: Once having arrived, immigrants either bring existing or form new families. Inevitably, their progeny adds overwhelming numbers to the existing school infrastructure. Unlike previous immigrant populations, these children have little motivation to learn, are disruptive, and most importantly seek to require the schools to provide instruction in their native (predominantly Spanish) language, rather than being motivated to rapidly acquire skills in English. Resulting in overcrowded classrooms, the need for multilingual faculty, disruptive and aggressive behavior, the results for those students for whom the process was intended are nothing but bad.

2. Health Care: The next time you are stuck for hours waiting for emergency medical services, or the next time you find your medical insurance premiums have become more costly, you know who you have to blame. All over the country, emergency rooms are closing, medical practice is deteriorating and costs are rising – due largely to the uninsured illegal who demands free medical services.

I started these thoughts with a mystery – the presence of congressional willingness to, rather than attempt to limit the damage caused by the flood of illegal immigrants, become willing participants in increasing the damage they cause. While most may be greedy, power hungry, and self serving, the majority are far from stupid people. With a constituency dead set against the provisions of this bill, a President who has lost almost all support, there remains only the advocacy of corporate America to motivate passage.

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