Sunday, June 24, 2018
America's Achilles Heel: Stopping Illegal Immigration
Certainly there can be no denying that the Left has been on a bender of sorts since the election. it seems every news broadcast, every headline or lead story, and every talk radio or TV show starts and ends with some alleged wrong doing by the Trump Administration. They've even tried to tag the enforcement of immigration laws, which call for the temporary separation of children from their parents "Trump's Policy" when they know good an well that it has been in effect for decades.
I've even heard a few commentators point out the attempts to discredit Trump's White House via alleged bribery charges, Russian collusion, vote buying, and just about everything else you can think of allegation just simply hasn't stuck no matter how much the Left wishes it to. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's known criminal behavior has been completely ignored. Do you think that perhaps the two are connected somehow?
Just recently, the corporate media, still trumpeting its "anti-Trump" tune, has been claiming that these individuals were there to "seek asylum", which may...or may not be true. The reason I say that is that it's not logical that people would bring their families (including young children and teenagers) hundreds of miles just to illegally cross into the US and then, after being arrested by the Border Patrol, saying they intended to enter the US in order to seek amnesty. "Why" you ask? Because the US maintains consulates and embassies literally everywhere in the world. But since these individuals are coming from Latin America and Mexico, let's stay focused on them for the sake of argument.
Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, and all the rest in South America also have one US embassy each, which are all located in their respective country's capital city. So, again I ask---why could you tote your entire family hundreds, if not thousands of miles along dangerous roads full of all sorts of bad guys (especially those working for the drug cartel), illegally crossing borders and risking the loss of everything they have, including their lives, just to knowingly and willingly break US federal law to enter the US and ask for asylum when they simply just needed to go to their country's capital city and apply? Even initially, US officials will mail out the paperwork to get them started! Thus, I have to wonder if their actions make any logical sense? For me, the answer is clearly "no".
Of course, the next obvious question is why these individuals are seeking asylum in the first place? None of the countries south of the border are engaged in any ongoing military action. Each has a relatively stable government, at least as far as our State Department is concerned since the US doesn't officially provide aid to any "terrorist" or "terrorist sponsoring" state (of course, "terrorism" is in the eye of the beholder as we all well know), but let's look at that too for just a moment. Given that the majority of illegal immigrants come from Mexico, we'll start there.
If we look at the their economics, we find that most are doing ok; nothing to write home about (though sending money back home seems to be acceptable). As I said earlier, Argentina has perhaps the worse economy due to decades of pursing poor economic policies which has resulted in hyperinflation, severe unemployment, and, naturally, a lot of civil unrest. Nicaragua too has had some major economic troubles, especially since the death President Manuel Noriega. Brazil, on the other hand has done well economically, however, that prosperity hasn't been equally spread out. The ruling 3% or 4% elites have made a great deal of money off of the country's developing economy while the remaining majority live at or below poverty level.
About two decades ago, there was a brief attempt to change the social and economic face of Latin America through a reinterpretation of the Catholic/Christian message called "Liberation Theology" which provided a more "socialist" take. The message was highly popular among the poor, especially in underdeveloped rural portions of the various countries, especially sense it promoted social justice. The message was promulgated primarily by individual priests and lay leaders, who spread the message primarily by word of mouth as they ventured from village to village (the best known of these was Gustavo Gutierrez).
It wasn't long before the ruling elites and the Catholic Church officials clamped down hard on this modern day "heresy". Anyone promoting "Liberation Theology" face dismissal from their parish and even excommunication! Thus, it too was consigned to the "dustbin of history" as Trotsky once said of the opposing Mensheviks. What's of interest, however, is that out of this there seems to have developed movement to bring individuals from these poor South American countries to the United States regardless of whether they broke US immigration laws or not.
These groups, which tend to be liberal and religiously oriented, as well as highly organized. They tend to hide behind their traditional "untouchable" status to secretly transport, house, feed, and support these families. They are also actively engaged in helping these individuals navigate or actually circumvent US laws to obtain taxpayer based social services such as healthcare, housing, and even jobs through various programs and church based connections, and when necessary, to even evade immigration officials.
As we're now seeing, many of these kids are spilling the beans once they're interviewed separately by immigration agents, but that's not all of the story. In some cases, parents are legitimately sending their children north in order to link up with relatives already in the US. However, authorities from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have reported that, when contacted, these relatives often seen to vanish, leaving the kids abandoned, which creates a whole other problem---what to do with these children? At present, HHS officials are trying to place these kids with foster families while they continue to find either their actual families (who also don't want to be found for fear of prosecution) or an actual close relative willing to take the child.
Lastly, perhaps the worst offender in my opinion, are those who encourage these individuals to illegally enter the country with the promise of jobs. In reality, these are typically dirty, unclean, underpaid, unstable, and often unsafe jobs (obviously with no benefits). They are subject to whatever treatment the employer wants to dish out without recourse. What's worse, there's no one for these individuals to complain to. Some say these individuals will do the work US citizens won't, which is untrue. American's will work these jobs, but only if working conditions are improved and they're paid a realistic salary. No more paying pennies and pocketing dollars!
To reduce the supply, we must eliminate the demand. Any business or institution, including churches, aiding, employing, or assisting illegal immigrates should be subject to a substantial mandatory fine for the first offense; an increasing fine for the second offense including a 30 day suspension of their business license or tax exempt status along with a 30 day jail sentence (which includes the president/CEO and members of the board). For the third and additional offenses, a larger fine, permanent suspension of their business license or tax exempt status and up to one year in jail.
As mayors or governors who want to thumb their noses at federal laws, that's fine. However, they should also be willing to accept responsibility for their decisions and forego federal money to their state or community as well. You shouldn't be able to flip someone off with one hand and beg for money with the other. In short, we need to make it impossible and/or unprofitable to continue with this business as usual attitude and not expect consequences for their actions.
USAID: United States Agency for International Development