Archive for Immigration

The Politics of the Border

Posted in Immigration, Politics with tags , , on June 23, 2010 by raingeg

I sure hope this doesn’t turn into one of those blogs that only talks about border issues. Its a problem, I know that, but its not the only problem. Politically speaking, its a problem for President Obama’s administration and the Democratic party in Arizona.

There is a part of me that wants to say that Arizona Governor Jan Brewer calculated this out and understood the political ramifications of the passage of SB 1070, some have speculated that that might be the case. Then there’s another part of me that has pretty much warmed up to the idea that it might have just been what it looks like, a state that could no longer sit on its hands and wait for federal action, with a hint of an attitude that says help us out or we’ll do it ourselves.

I hope that doesn’t give you the impression that I think the passage of SB 1070 will magically fix the border problem, it won’t. Its obviously going to take more than just SB 1070, its going to take real action from the federal government, but I’ve pointed out before what that action should look like. And it can’t be what President Obama calls “comprehensive” immigration reform.

But back to my original point. I’d like to bring your attention to two articles, one by Sean Miller at The Hill and another by Byron York in the Washington Examiner.

The first one brings to light to political ramifications for Arizona Democrats because of the lawsuit proposed by the Obama administration.

The Hill:

Arizona Democrats facing tough reelection races are distancing themselves from the Obama administration as it prepares to file a lawsuit against the state over its controversial immigration law.

Rep. Harry Mitchell (D-Ariz.) on Monday sent a sharply worded letter to President Barack Obama urging him not to sue.

“I believe your administration’s time, efforts and resources would be much better spent securing the border and fixing our broken immigration system,” the two-term congressman wrote in the letter.

“Arizonans are tired of the grandstanding, and tired of waiting for help from Washington. … [A] lawsuit won’t solve the problem. It won’t secure the border, and it won’t fix our broken immigration system.”

“Congresswoman Giffords wants more federal agents on the Arizona border, not federal lawyers in court arguing with state lawyers about a law that will do nothing to increase public safety in the communities she represents,” C.J. Karamargin, a spokesman for the congresswoman, told The Hill.

Kirkpatrick likewise said the administration should focus on border security.

“I am calling on the president and the attorney general to abandon preparations for a lawsuit against Arizona, and to recommit to finding a national solution to fixing this national problem,” the freshman lawmaker said in a statement released Monday. “The administration should focus on working with Arizona to put together a long-term strategy to secure our borders and reform our immigration policy.

… The time for talk is over, and the time for action is here.”

The three Democrats have also directed their energy to lifting the Arizona boycotts that various groups and local governments around the country have started.

So right now you are seeing Democrats at the state level pitted up against Democrats in the White House. As the article points out, “Another way the suit could be problematic for Arizona Democrats: It could make it more complicated for them to appear with Obama at a fundraiser or campaign with him in-state.”

I need to hurry, since I’m running out of time and I need to leave for work.

Now on to Byron York from the Washington Examiner. Last weekend Sen. Jon Kyl basically told us that President Obama, one-on-one meeting with Kyl, in a roundabout way told him he’s not going to act on the border. He doesn’t want to do anything until comprehensive immigration reform is on the table. Later on a spokesman for the White House came out and said Kyl was lying.

Byron York:

Now, in an interview with KVOI radio in Arizona, Kyl says his account of the Oval Office conversation is accurate.

“What I said occurred did occur,” Kyl said.

“One way you can verify the validity of what I said is that that’s exactly their position,” Kyl continued.

“Some spokesman down at the White House said no, that isn’t what happened at all, and then proceeded to say we need comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border.

That is their position, and all I was doing was explaining why, from a conversation with the president, why it appears that that’s their position.”

After Kyl’s radio interview, a Kyl spokesman sent a note emphasizing the senator’s point. “There were two people in that meeting and [spokesman] Dan Pfeiffer was not one of them,” spokesman Andrew Wilder said.

“The White House spokesman’s pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Kyl’s account.”

So this makes for interesting politics. You have Arizona Democrats distancing themselves from the White House and sounding almost like Republicans when it comes to action on the border. And you have the White House ready to sue Arizona and hurt the Democrats running for reelection in the state. Not to mention that if the White House continues on their current path it further validates Kyl’s claim that the President is not after anything but “comprehensive immigration reform.”

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Obama to Kyl: Won’t secure the border

Posted in Immigration, Politics with tags , , , , , on June 20, 2010 by raingeg

Arizona Senator Jon Kyl reveals President Obamas border plan at Tempe town hall.

Red State:

On June 18, 2010, Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl told the audience at a North Tempe Tea Party town hall meeting that during a private, one-on-one meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, the President told him, regarding securing the southern border with Mexico, “The problem is, . . . if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’” [Audible gasps were heard throughout the audience.] Sen. Kyl continued, “In other words, they’re holding it hostage. They don’t want to secure the border unless and until it is combined with ‘comprehensive immigration reform.’”

Sen. Kyl also said he reminded President Obama that the President and the Congress have an obligation, a duty, to secure the border.

And here’s the video from the town hall meeting.

HT: Red State and Memeorandum

A Tale of Two Governors: Jindal and the Spill & Brewer and Illegal Immigration

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 18, 2010 by raingeg

Here is a really quick tale of two Governors, in two sates, dealing with two very different problems, both asking the federal government for help, in an area where the federal government is actually needed.

Let me first preface what I am about to say with this brief statement about the role of the federal government. The federal government has a role to play in the United States, the problem is that it often over steps its bounds, becomes too bloated or is accomplishing a task that could easily be handled by the states, or already is to a degree handled by the states, creating redundancies in government, that make it more and more difficult to be about the peoples business. The oil spill is a perfect example of how the many levels of government bureaucracy get in the way of the peoples’ business and actually make the job more complicated than it needs to be.

On to story one, brought to us by none other than ABC News, from Louisiana, where Governor Bobby Jindal is having trouble connecting with the federal government.

ABC News:

Eight days ago, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered barges to begin vacuuming crude oil out of his state’s oil-soaked waters. Today, against the governor’s wishes, those barges sat idle, even as more oil flowed toward the Louisiana shore.

“It’s the most frustrating thing,” the Republican governor said today in Buras, La. “Literally, yesterday morning we found out that they were halting all of these barges.”

“The Coast Guard came and shut them down,” Jindal said. “You got men on the barges in the oil, and they have been told by the Coast Guard, ‘Cease and desist. Stop sucking up that oil.'”

A Coast Guard representative told ABC News today that it shares the same goal as the governor.

“We are all in this together. The enemy is the oil,” said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dan Lauer.

But the Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.

After Jindal strenuously made his case, the barges finally got the go-ahead today to return to the Gulf and get back to work, after more than 24 hours of sitting idle.

Is this really what we are worried about? I understand safety measures and such, but maybe someone can inform me as to why we are supposed to call the people who built the barge in order to see if its equip with fire extinguishers and life vests? And why does it take 24 hours to perform this task? You’d think that in this day and age, where I can get a hold of most people pretty much anytime, that it wouldn’t take 24 hours to accomplish this task. But that is what you get when you have a federal government that is to big.

On to story 2, brought to you by an Ecuadorian television station, NTN 24, our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and picked up by The Right Scoop blog.

Allow me to digress. Two weeks ago we all watched as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer met with President Barack Obama, to discuss the border and SB170. It was two weeks ago that the President told Gov. Brewer that he would tell her what he planned to do with the 1200 national guard troops that are to be deployed and more money for the border within the next couple of weeks. Per Gov. Brewer “I’ve heard absolutely nothing.”

Now back to the story. Here is the video from the Ecuadorian television show.

Capitol Media Services:

Gov. Jan Brewer lashed out at the president and his administration Thursday, saying they announced – in Ecuador – that the federal government will sue Arizona over the state’s new immigration law.

“That is just totally outrageous,” the governor said after being told of a televised interview Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did while traveling. She said there is no reason Arizonans should have to learn through a blog post of an interview she did with NTN-24.

Clinton, being interviewed, said Obama has spoken out against the law because he believes immigration policy should be determined by the federal government. That mirrors statements the president himself has made since Arizona adopted the law requiring police to check the immigration status of those they have stopped if there is “reasonable suspicion” they are not in this country legally.

It was what followed that was new.

“And the Justice Department, under his direction, will be bringing a lawsuit against the act,” Clinton said in the interview.

While Obama did direct the Justice Department to review the law, the president previously said any decision whether to sue would be made by Attorney General Eric Holder.

The White House declined comment, referring calls to the Justice Department. Calls to that agency were not immediately returned.

The preceding stories were just two examples of how bad things are right now. There is a large communication breakdown between the states and the bloated federal government.

Eric Holder Hasn’t Read SB 1070

Posted in Immigration, Politics with tags , , , , , on May 13, 2010 by raingeg

Wow! What a shock, Attorney General Eric Holder hasn’t read Arizona’s SB 1070. Actually, this is not a shock at all. They don’t even read 2,000 page legislation that will take over a large portion of the economy and effect every citizen of the country, so why should they read a small bill out of Arizona?’

The Washington Times:

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., who has been critical of Arizona’s new immigration law, said Thursday he hasn’t yet read the law and is going by what he’s read in newspapers or seen on television.

He’s going by what the newspapers and television say? The bill is not that long, its 18 pages, about one one hundredth the size of the health insurance bill. In other words, you don’t need two days and two lawyers to see what it all means, as John Conyers famously stated.

This weekend Mr. Holder told NBC’s “Meet the Press” program that the Arizona law “has the possibility of leading to racial profiling.” He had earlier called the law’s passage “unfortunate,” and questioned whether the law was unconstitutional because it tried to assume powers that may be reserved for the federal government.

Rep. Ted Poe, who had questioned Mr. Holder about the law, wondered how he could have those opinions if he hadn’t yet read the legislation.

“It’s hard for me to understand how you would have concerns about something being unconstitutional if you haven’t even read the law,” the Texas Republican told the attorney general.

The Arizona law’s backers argue that it doesn’t go beyond what federal law already allows, and they say press reports have distorted the legislation. They point to provisions in the law that specifically rule out racial profiling as proof that it can be implemented without conflicting with civil rights.

But critics said giving police the power to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally is bound to lead to profiling.

Mr. Holder said he expects the Justice and Homeland Security departments will finish their review of the Arizona law soon.

This is the most important part of this post, so make sure you don’t miss it. The media is to blame for the problem that we have here. The critics backers that they mention in the article are right. When it comes to what the law really says and what the critics of the law say it says, the media does a bad job of presenting the facts in a way that rebuts what the critics are saying, or just straightens out what they are saying.

For example: “But critics said giving police the power to stop those they suspect are in the country illegally is bound to lead to profiling.”

Do you not understand, Washington Times, that police cannot, I repeat cannot, stop someone because they suspect that they are in the country illegally? Please help me understand why the following sentence wasn’t a direct quote from the bill that shows that police are required to have what is called a “lawful” encounter with the police, reference Article 8, Section B in the first sentence of SB 1070. The police can only ask the immigration status of a person that has already broken the law, not just anybody walking down the street. And if anyone would just take the time to do some investigative reporting and read HB 2162 they would find out that there is a whole list of types of identification that will suffice in the event that a person gets pulled over, one of which is a regular old Arizona drivers license.

The media is in the back pocket of the left and they are not going to give you a fair summary, or even a legitimate and accurate report of what the law really says. They are all pandering to the left on this one because they are all afraid of offending someone, even at the expense of looking stupid, they will do anything to be politically correct. In order to be politically correct it almost always means that one has to be intellectually dishonest and factually wrong when presenting the “facts.”

Hat tip: Memeorandum

Another Look at Arizona’s SB 1070

Posted in Immigration, Politics with tags , , on May 10, 2010 by raingeg

I’d like to address SB 1070 once again. Its getting to be a bit disappointing how much the left has distorted this piece of legislation. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve heard people say that a cop can now pull someone over because they look a certain way, or they believe they are in the country illegally. That is simply not true. This is leftist drivel, it is a lie.

I’ve quoted it before, and I will quote it again. (I underlined for emphasis)

 A. NO OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE MAY ADOPT A POLICY THAT LIMITS OR RESTRICTS THE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO LESS THAN THE FULL EXTENT PERMITTED BY FEDERAL LAW.

 B. FOR ANY LAWFUL CONTACT MADE BY A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY OF THIS STATE OR A COUNTY, CITY, TOWN OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THIS STATE WHERE REASONABLE SUSPICION EXISTS THAT THE PERSON IS AN ALIEN WHO IS UNLAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES, A REASONABLE ATTEMPT SHALL BE MADE, WHEN PRACTICABLE, TO DETERMINE THE IMMIGRATION STATUS OF THE PERSON. THE PERSON’S IMMIGRATION STATUS SHALL BE VERIFIED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PURSUANT TO 8 UNITED STATES CODE SECTION 1373(c).

There has to be what is called “lawful contact” and racial profiling is not lawful contact. You cannot pull someone over because they are Mexican or Latino, whatever term you wish to use. That is simply a lie. If you are speeding down the road and you get pulled over, the cop then has the ability to ask for your immigration status if there is a reason to ask. If you have a taillight out and a cop pulls you over, the cop can then ask for your immigration status if there is a reason to ask. In the original version of 1070 race could be a factor, but only after that “lawful contact” was made, it could not be the sole factor. Again, lawful contact comes after someone has committed a crime. And now with the addition of HB 2162 that isn’t even allowed. But you never hear anything about HB 2162 out of the media.

Please understand that this law does not go any farther than the federal law. This law is the law that is supposed to be enforced by the federal government, but sadly, is not. The outright lie that a cop can pull you over because you look like an illegal immigrant needs to stop. The other argument that this is somehow like Nazi Germany asking for “papers” needs to end. As outlined in HB 2162, a drivers license is a legitimate form identification.

Here’s a question that I haven’t heard. SB 1070 enforces federal law at the state level. Provided my previous statement is true, there are officers that the federal government gives the proper authority to to enforce our immigration laws. Why, if Arizona is taking advantage of the same law at the state level, has the federal law not been deemed racist?

Here’s what 8 United States Code Section 1373(c) says:

(a) In general
      Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local
    law, a Federal, State, or local government entity or official may
    not prohibit, or in any way restrict, any government entity or
    official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and
    Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or
    immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.
    (b) Additional authority of government entities
      Notwithstanding any other provision of Federal, State, or local
    law, no person or agency may prohibit, or in any way restrict, a
    Federal, State, or local government entity from doing any of the
    following with respect to information regarding the immigration
    status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual:
        (1) Sending such information to, or requesting or receiving
      such information from, the Immigration and Naturalization
      Service.
        (2) Maintaining such information.
        (3) Exchanging such information with any other Federal, State,
      or local government entity.
    (c) Obligation to respond to inquiries
      The Immigration and Naturalization Service shall respond to an
    inquiry by a Federal, State, or local government agency, seeking to
    verify or ascertain the citizenship or immigration status of any
    individual within the jurisdiction of the agency for any purpose
    authorized by law, by providing the requested verification or
    status information.

If Arizona’s new immigration bill is so racist, why is 8 United States Code Section 1373 not just as racist as SB 1070? I just don’t understand it.

The truth of the matter is that the federal government does not want to enforce our immigration laws. The truth is that “comprehensive,” the word so often used by our federal government with regard to just about any issue whether it be health care or illegal immigration, really means “all.” As Victor Davis Hanson says “’Comprehensive’ is a euphemism for amnesty.” He is exactly right.

I don’t favor amnesty, but I do favor legal immigration. I support finding the criminals (drug traffickers, human smugglers, gang members or anyone with an extensive crime record) within the population of the current illegal immigrants and deporting them. I support building a wall that separates Mexico from the United States, that stops the flow of illegal immigrants and keeps people out. I support making it easier to come into this country to find work and to raise a family legally. I support the death of stupid laws that do not make the former possible. I support getting people that have already waited in line into the country legally. Because I am a pragmatist and I recognize that deporting nearly 10 million people is virtually impossible, I support finding a way to help those who have already illegally arrived in this country. We need a system that forces them to pay for their crime of illegal entry, and allows them to stay in the country if they are willing to pay for their crime. I also support automatic citizenship for anyone that is willing to fight and die for our country.

That is not radical, racist or xenophobic. I want our country to continue to be a country of immigrants, but I want them to come here legally. I also want them to become Americans, not Mexican Americans or Chinese Americans. I want them to be one of us. I want to welcome them to this country, as my relatives were welcomed in 1910 and show them what freedom and liberty is in this great Republic.