Archive for the ‘Immigration’ category

Fightin’ Words

May 25, 2007

Today’s conservatives can argue for immigration restrictions if they so choose. But they should not claim the mantle of Reagan in doing so.”

The Government Gives, Thus, The Government Can Take

May 10, 2007

This bothers me:

Members of a House committee Wednesday appeared to be leaning toward passage of a bill that would allow law enforcement officials in Alabama to seize the property of illegal aliens. . . .

The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Micky Hammon, R-Decatur, is modeled on laws allowing police to seize the property of drug dealers. The legislation allows law enforcement to seize from illegal immigrants any property not needed for “basic living necessities,” but gives law enforcement agencies broad scope in determining what is and isn’t necessary.

The bill is HB290:

Property of a person present in this state who is in violation of the immigration laws of the United States, except property needed for the basic living necessities of the person as determined by the local law enforcement agency, acquired by the person directly or indirectly while in violation of the immigration laws of the United States shall be subject to forfeiture . . . .

I hate forfeiture laws. They give the state the power to summarily seize your property without having to so much as get a warrant prior to the seizure. And then when the judicial proceedings do occur, they’re governed by the rules of civil procedure. That means: 1) the state gets to take your property if it can prove that it’s more likely than not that it is subject to forfeiture; forget about beyond a reasonable doubt; 2) you have no right to an attorney; 3) you have no right to confront the witnesses against you. Oh, and then the agency that took the property gets to keep it and do with it whatever it wants. The whole process is a huge incentive for abuses. So I am never going to be in favor of expanding them.

This particular one is extrordinarily bad. It gives the state unbridled discretion to take any kind of property. Yeah, it throws in language about basic living necessities, but the cops get to make that decision. This is asking for abuse.

But more than the potential for abuse and the inherent unfairness of forfeiture laws, something else bothers me about this bill.  

I really don’t care about illegal immigration. It does not bother me one bit if someone wants to enter this country without first stopping fill out the proper paperwork. It does not bother me one bit if that same person refuses to ever learn English, enjoy apple pie, or watch Nascar. Still, I understand the arguments that illegals ought not receive Government services. If they don’t pay the bureaucratic costs – becoming citizens, paying all the same taxes I do, etc – than I can understand denying them the bureaucratic benefits.

Forfeiture of property, though, is different. In contrast to welfare payments, property ownership is supposed to be a natural right. That is, something that a person can do simply because they are a person. Property ownership is not something the government gives us. It is an inherent right no different than the right to free peach or the right to freedom of religion. Hence, it exists whether or not the person is a citizen of whatever country he happens to find himself in.

This bill, though, treats property rights like welfare privileges. That is, it treats property “rights” as something the government provides and the government can take away. That scares me. The results of this type of thinking are ugly.

So even if illegal immigrants are a real problem, letting the government assert this kind of power is a cure worse than the disease.

Now That’s A Resolution

April 27, 2007

Maybe this one would have an easier time than did the slavery apology:

The devil is sticking his pitchfork into the nation’s immigration politics.

At least that’s what one of Utah County’s Republican delegates thinks.

Don Larsen, a district chairman, has submitted a resolution equating illegal immigration to “Satan’s plan to destroy the U.S. by stealth invasion” for debate at Saturday’s Utah County Republican Party Convention.

Referring to a plan by the devil for a “New World Order … as predicted in the Scriptures,” the resolution calls for the Utah County Republican Party to support “closing the national borders to illegal immigration to prevent the destruction of the U.S. by stealth invasion.”

Concurring Opinions has already made the obvious joke about the resolution coming too late to keep Satan out of Utah:

Brigham Young University students stood and showered Vice President Dick Cheney with applause after his 15-minute speech that encouraged them to approach life with flexibility, persistence and gratitude.

In related news:

Immigration issues are fueling a rise of hate groups in the United States, with their numbers increasing 40 percent in six years, according to statistics released Thursday by the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery.

Gosh, I can’t imagine why people would react irrationally and violently to the problem of illegals, what with responsible and intelligent people like the Republican from Utah out there offering sage leadership on the issue.

But hey, look at this:

Alabama has 22 reported hate groups, the lowest of surrounding states, Potok said. California, with 63, and Texas with 55, have the highest numbers of reported hate groups in the country.

Hah. Those pot-smokin, free-lovin, Muhrica-hatin hippes are three times as hateful as we are. Sweet Home Alabama, baby!

This is my favorite part:

One of the most popular groups in the country, Council of Conservative Citizens, denounces its label as a hate group, said Gordon Lee Baum, a spokesman for the organization, which has active chapters in 28 states, including five in Alabama.

Clearly, that label is inapplicable. Just listen to the good sense exhibited by the grand wizard leader of the CCC:

“That is ridiculous,” he said. “The Southern Poverty Law Center is in the business of finding hate groups and has made millions off of so-called outing right-wing groups.”

Baum said his members, who he says represent different races and religions, do have strong views about issues such as illegal immigration, Baum said.

“Not everyone is for this rampant runaway immigration,” he said. “Diversity is not our strength, it is our calamity, our downfall. That is a recipe for disaster. The Hispanics coming here have no intention of coming to the melting pot. They want a Mexico North. They want the Southwest to become nonwhite.”

Ethno-centric delusional rants, anyone? Here’s a suggestion, if the CCC wants to be considered as anything other than what they are – a bunch of sorry assed racist pieces of s**t – maybe they ought to find a better spokesman.

Nasty Immigrants Steal Votes, Jobs

April 5, 2007

Yesterday in the legislature:

A bill to make it a felony for illegal immigrants to attempt to vote touched off a heated debate in a House committee Wednesday before being approved.

As it is, illegals can’t vote, and would be turned away at the polls. But their mere presence at a polling location would so harmful to democracy that it really ought to be a felony for them to even show up. And they smell bad, too.

But that is not the only problem created by illegals:

[Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birmingham, who voted against making a felony for illegals to attempt to vote,] said rather than trying to punish the immigrants, legislators should try to penalize employers who hire them, particularly if they are helping the immigrants vote illegally.

“If employers are knowingly hiring illegal aliens, they should be the ones to be held accountable,” Todd said.

Yes they should. Because, as this video shows, the results of employing illegal immigrants are horrific indeed.

Hispanic Codes

March 12, 2007

Back in August I posted about Huntsville’s attempt to preserve and protect our white culture and heritage regulate illegal immigration:

[The proposed ordinance] would, among other things, deny business permits to any business that hires an illegal – whether knowingly or not; prohibit illegals from leasing or renting property; and fine anyone who rents to an illegal – whether knowingly or not -$500 a day. The council considered it last week, and decided to take some time to further study the issue.

As I explained here, Huntsville and several other cities around the country cut and pasted the ordinance – and the “factual findings” underlying it – from a sorry ass racist  p.o.s. grassroots organization in California.

Huntsville delayed a vote on the ordinance so they could “study” it further. Hazelton, Pennsylvania, though, adopted it. And starting today, they get to go to court to defend it.

I’m no immigration lawyer, but based on what little I know, I expect the City to lose. The feds have exclusive jurisdiction over immigration, and it is hard to see the ordinance as anything other than an attempt to regulate immigration. 

Of course, none of this directly impacts Huntsville. The ordinance is the same, but unless the Hazelton case goes to the Supreme Court, the result will not be binding down here. Still, federal courts like to walk in lock-step, so if Hazelton loses, I would be very surprised to see Huntsville adopt this ordinance.

Oh yeah, on a related note:

The Ku Klux Klan, which just a few years ago seemed static or even moribund compared to other white supremacist movements such as neo-Nazis, has experienced a surprising and troubling resurgence due to the successful exploitation of hot-button issues including immigration, gay marriage and urban crime. Klan groups have witnessed a surprising and troubling resurgence by exploiting fears of an immigration explosion, and the debate over immigration has in turned helped to fuel an increase in Klan activity, with new groups sprouting in parts of the country that have not seen much activity.


 

   

Jeff Sessions: Fence’s Fate Causes Flip Flop

January 5, 2007

Last July, Sessions was completely fine with the President signing bills into law while at the same time declaring that he won’t enforce parts of the law.

Oh, but now that Sessions thinks that a law near and dear to his own heart may be ignored by the President, well, Beauregard’s attitude has changed:

Plans to erect a 700-mile fence along the border with Mexico may be in jeopardy as the new Democratic majority in Congress considers immigration reforms that could eliminate funding for the project.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., was an early advocate for the fence, which was approved by Congress and President Bush. Sessions on Thursday said he was anticipating a challenge.

“I am worried about it. There could be attempts to undermine what we voted for,” Sessions said. . . .

 “I’m not going to accept this just being gutted by either new law or by the administration not following through on what the law would require.”

To summarize: It’s fine and dandy for the President to declare that he will ignore a law banning torture, but if the President refuses to spend funds marked for a useless fence, the gloves come off. 

As an aside, I’m hoping that if the fence fails, my idea will receive some consideration.

Statue Of Liberty To Huddled Masses: “Just Kidding”

October 6, 2006

On a plaque at the base of the Statue Of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

From Hugh McInish’s report about the recently concluded “Eagle Council XXXV, the Super Bowl of conservatism:”

[In a speech, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions] pointed out that 60 percent of the people in Nicaragua and 70 percent of those in Peru want to come to the United States. Obviously we cannot admit all.

He recommends that we consider a point system similar to that used in Canada, whereby an applicant will be given so many points for speaking English, so many according to his education and skills, and so on. Only the most qualified, those who would strengthened the country would be allowed entrance.

Three points here.

One, I guess we need to get rid of the plaque.

Two, notice he is not talking about illegals, he is talking about any immigrants.

Three, why are we supposed to directly apply to our country the Bible’s alleged prohibitions on abortion and homosexuality, but then hem and haw and talk about context and times changing when we get to the Bible’s commands to welcome and accept aliens?

Illegal Immigrants In The Bible

August 29, 2006

I know ridiculing the average ‘Letter to the Editor’ is like shooting fish in a barrel, but still I have to make fun of this one:

I must respond to Pastor Evans’ column, “Tactics hardly Christian.” He spent half of his column denying that he had a problem with The Conservative Christians of Alabama’s tactic of intimidating the Huntsville city council. After all, Jesus intimidated when cleansing the temple.

Evans later admitted that what he actually objects to is enforcing tougher immigration laws, but the proposed city ordinance is about illegal immigration. Evans thinks that Moses and Jesus would also object to such enforcement and he quoted some Scriptures in support. However those Scriptures do not support tolerating lawbreaking, such as illegal immigration.

It’s clear to me Jesus advocated obeying man’s laws while still honoring God. Evans also claimed that illegal immigrants wrote the Bible. Can Evans tell me which Biblical authors broke whose immigration laws?

Uhm, how about the methods employed by the biblical immigrants in Egypt:

And it came to pass, that at midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle.

And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.

And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the LORD, as ye have said.  

O.K. so that is not really the same thing. Moses and his people only killed innocent people in order to leave a country. Obviously, that is not the same thing as entering a country without the correct paperwork.

But what about immigrants killing people in order to conquer a country? I suppose the people of Jericho would have considered this unlawful:

So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city, both man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey, with the edge of the sword. 

Now, if that was what we had to fret about today, I might be a bit more excited about the whole illegal immigration problem. As things are, I’m not that concerned. The immigrants in the Bible killed men, woman, and children. The immigrants in B’ham cut my grass, put a roof on my house, and run some pretty good restaurants.

Update On Huntsville’s Plagiarism

August 16, 2006

I explained in the previous post that Huntsville cut and pasted its proposed anti-illegal immigration ordinance from Hazelton, Pennsylvania. 

It looks like Hazelton copied theirs from San Bernardino, California. The same ordinance has popped up in Florida.  Other areas are also considering it.

So far as I can tell, Joseph Turner, the head of a California group called Save our State is the original author.  They have a forum on the proposed ordinance here. Save our State also describes the purpose driving them and the ordinance:

Thomas Paine proclaimed, “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict the more glorious the triumph.”

Sadly, California is filled with these “sunshine patriots” who are weak and unwilling to wage battle against the Mexican racialists and the vast open borders lobby. Years of inculcation by the doctrines of political correctness have left you emasculated and impotent, silenced by the thunderous chants of “racist” and “bigot.” And there you stand and watch, paralyzed by fear, as your community is ravaged by the illegal alien invasion and turned into a Third World cesspool.  

You can get more information on Turner here, here and here.  

There is nothing wrong with one state or city adopting the same exact law as another state or city. It happens all the time. What bugs me about this ordinance is that it begins with a list of all the problems allegedly caused by illegal immigrants. I find it very hard to believe that cities in California, Alabama, Florida, and Pennsylvania are all having the exact same problem with illegal immigrants. Hence, I seriously doubt these factual “findings” are the result of empirical research into the problems faced by the cities. Rather, they are boilerplate prejudices.

The Save our State website only confirms that suspicion. There may be a problem with illegals, but are they really “ravaging” our country? Are they really turning the United States into a “third world cesspoool?” No one with any sense would say yes. The rhetoric is far in excess of any problems.

So why the excess? Maybe SoS is a bunch of racists. Or maybe they just don’t like life and need someone to blame. In that regard, read this article about the ordinance in San Bernardino. Especially telling is this:

Few cities have been battered as harshly by shifting policy and economic forces as this working-class suburb 60 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Despite being in one of the fastest-growing regions of the state, San Bernardino is long on problems — such as vanishing jobs, gang violence and poor schools — and desperately short on solutions.

But Chas Kelley, a Republican city councilman and unabashed town booster, says there is one thing even more galling: He hears little English spoken in his supermarket checkout line and, worse, he says, the local Wal-Mart ads seem to turn their back on people like him, showing more Mexican than American flags. “They’re a business, and I understand that they’re after market share,” Kelley said of Wal-Mart, as he brandished a store advertisement showing a dark-haired family wearing Mexican soccer jerseys as they watch a televised soccer match between Latin American teams. “But at some point in time, when does it stop? When does it become my America?”

That is why Kelley, though proud that he lives on a melting pot of a street here, has become an enthusiastic supporter of what many regard as one of the most discriminatory, anti-illegal-immigrant proposals in the country.

In other words, the ordinances are not based on reasoned arguments about legitimate problems, but on strong feelings of nativism. I also like “my America.”  But I don’t want to use criminal laws to keep it the way I like it. I thought only the French did that.

Huntsville’s Proposed Immigration Ordinance

August 16, 2006

It would, among other things, deny business permits to any business that hires an illegal – whether knowingly or not; prohibit illegals from leasing or renting property; and fine anyone who rents to an illegal – whether knowingly or not -$500 a day. The council considered it last week, and decided to take some time to further study the issue.

The first question I want answered is where did this proposed ordinance originate? Is it the result of the Huntsville city council’s own independent research? Or did they cut and paste it from some anti-illegal immigrant web site? I ask that because Hazelton, Pennsylvania recently passed the exact same ordinance. Not just exactly the same in substance; exactly the same in language. Here is Huntsville’s. Here is Hazelton‘s.

You could look long and hard and not find two cities as different as Huntsville and Hazelton. Hazelton is a coal town. Huntsville makes space ships. The average Hazelton resident maybe has an eighth grade education. Huntsville probably has one of the best educated populations in the country. Huntsville is much bigger and wealthier than Hazelton. Not to mention one is in Pennsylvania and one is in Alabama.

Yet they are having the exact same problem with illegal immigrants and decided on the exact same solution. Both of them try to justify the restrictions by beginning with this statement of factual “findings:”

That illegal immigration leads to higher crime rates, contributes to overcrowded classrooms and failing schools, subjects our hospitals to fiscal hardship and legal residents to substandard quality of care, contributes to other burdens on public services, increasing their cost and diminishing their availability to lawful residents, and destroys our neighborhoods and diminishes our overall quality of life.  

Now, my question is whether these “findings” are the result of empirical research, or else fancied up intuitions and feelings based on personal anecdotes and news stories. Because these two cities are very different, yet the findings are the same, I seriously suspect the latter. Which is more likely: The city council in Huntsville, Alabama, and the city council in Hazelton, Pennsylvania each independently studied and researched the empirical impact of illegal immigrants on their two very different cities and came to the exact same conclusion? Or is there a third party going around the country peddling anti-immigrant ordinances, complete with a list of one size fits all prejudices?

Whatever the answer may be, Huntsville may want to wait until the lawsuit over the Hazelton ordinance is resolved before they enact their own. The ACLU and several other groups are suing Hazelton on behalf of people like this:

The groups filed the lawsuit on behalf of 11 Hazleton residents and business owners as well as three non-profits. Plaintiffs include a lifelong Pennsylvanian and U.S. citizen who moved with her husband to Hazleton and opened a small business using her family’s life savings. The business was doing well and the couple became foster parents intent on adopting. Since the passage of the ordinance her business has been cut in half and she can no longer pay the bills. The family has been verbally abused with anti-Latino epithets and is contemplating moving from the area.

Now I know the ACLU hates America/God/Apple Pie/Puppies, (even though they do things like fight to ensure church groups can feed the homeless) but that has nothing to do with the merits of this lawsuit, which sound pretty strong. The basic claim is that the Constitution gives the Federal government exclusive control over immigration. The ordinance, in effect, is an attempt to regulate immigration. The ordinance, therefore, infringes on an area of exclusive federal control and is unconstitutional.

The ACLU gave Hazelton every opportunity to avoid the suit. But Hazelton pushed forward. The result is probably going to be a huge financial cost for a city without much money to spare. Wasting money in order to to score political points; that sounds like the definition or irresponsible leadership. Maybe there ought to be an ordinance against that.

Thankfully, it sounds like Huntsville has a better lawyer than did Hazelton:

City Attorney Peter Joffrion told the City Council last week Watson’s ordinance, as introduced, has legal problems because of overriding federal laws on immigration.

Hopefully the city will follow his advice and thereby save themselves a lot of needless trouble and expense.


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