Showing posts with label SB1070. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SB1070. Show all posts

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Rattling Around in an Ivory Tower: Supreme Court's 2012 Decisions


Over the course of one week, we witnessed what may have been the most significant events in recent US history. On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court ruled against the American People by declaring the Arizona's enforcement of existing federal law was "unconstitutional" by a 5 to 3 decision.

As most of you should know, Arizona's SB1070 codified existing federal laws (laws already on the books). These laws, largely unenforced by the federal government, were given "teeth" by the Arizona Legislature. The Federal Government's position was that a state, any state, could not interfere with immigration , and that Arizona had overstepped its legal boundaries. That was the federal government's domain. Somehow, the Supreme Court wasn't paying attention.

First off, existing federal laws allows a state the right to strengthen a federal law. It may not, in any way, take away from or undermine a federal law. So, how does taking various laws already on the books, pulling them together, and not just enforcing those laws, but actually to or enhancing those laws, in any way violate the US Constitution?

In its decision, the high court ruled against Arizona and the American People on three of the four issues it was asked to consider. Ironically, the one issue it left intact was the ability of the police to ask for documentation proving immigration status. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the opinion for the court, and cited it's decision on this point was unanimous. Individuals may not be stopped solely on the suspension of their immigration status however. Police must demonstrate "probable cause", which is a catch all phrase when police officers really don't have anything to go except suspicion of some crime (like driving under the influence). Currently, five other states --- Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Utah, and South Carolina ---have adopted some portion of Arizona's SB 1070 law.

Immediately after the Court's decision was announced, the Obama Administration took the highly unusual step of announcing a suspension of federal funds and agreements related to the enforcement of immigration laws. Additionally, a directive was issued, ordering federal authorities to ignore any requests for assistance from Arizonian police departments on illegal immigration matters. Additionally, the Office of Homeland Security has been order to cease detaining non-criminal related illegal immigrants and focus on those with criminal records (yes, I realized that's an oxymoron). Previously, Obama bypassed Congress and issued an executive order allow children of illegal immigrants currently in school or serving in the US military, an exemption whereby they may remain in America and apply for citizenship. The move, which clearly political, was designed to boost Obama's standing among Hispanics, are expected to the key targeted minority group in his reelection bid.

Obamacare Passes

The other decision was of course, Obamacare. In what can only be considered a huge surprise by everyone, the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 to allow the controversial law to stand. Perhaps the biggest shocker of all was Justice Roberts' endorsement of the bill, Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, however, may have set the stage for the bill's eventual repeal.

In writing the majority opinion, Roberts redefined the bill as a tax; a tax based on a penalty. The bill requires every individual (I don't know if that includes illegal immigrants) to purchase insurance or face a financial penalty, aka a tax. Apparently, as written, the bill was based on the Commerce Clause. On that basis, the prevailing opinion of the High Court was that it didn't not meet the necessary Constitutional requirements. However, as penalty or tax, it could be considered Constitutional under Congress' near unlimited taxing authority.

Furthermore, the recasting the healthcare bill has also puts Obama into an untenable political position. Obama has been adamant that his healthcare bill was not, in any shape , form, or fashion, a tax. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Court's ruling seems to make it appear that Obama either didn't understand his own bill or that he was lying when he claimed it wasn't a tax. There are a few things the American People won't stand. One is an outright lie and the other is a tax, especially one that is sneakily being applied.

Opponents have vowed, as they always do, to repeal the bill (which, under the Court's interpretation of the bill as a tax, Congress can do given its taxing authority), provided, of course, Obama is defeated in November and they, the conservatives, are reelected. Personally, I would their reelection contingent on the bill being repealed now...not later. Think of it as an election incentive.

Meanwhile, attention will turn to how the bill be implemented and who pays for what. At present, however, the bill requires everyone to apply and be accepted without restrictions, financial or otherwise, for any current or preexisting conditions. Currently, there is a wavier on certain preexisting conditions or a waiting period under most policies. The bill, in effect, penalizes those who are healthy by requiring their premiums to increase to absorb those who are not. This subsidized insurance creates a new taxpayer based entitlement, as if taxpayers can seriously afford it. What, in reality we will see will be an increased gap between the rich and everyone else and the continued shrinkage of the Middle Class (America is now, essentially, a two tier social structure with a small but very rich ruling oligarchy and a large pool of poor and working poor).

In addition, the bill puts restrictions on the availability of coverage. It limits who can and will be covered, as determined by age, gender, and race. It also prevents the individual from going "outside" of the system and agree to pay more for certain procedures (ever read the book or see the movie "Soyent Green by any chance?). Now you and I both know that the super rich will be exempt. They always are. They will find ways to get what they need when they need it, even (and especially) if it means leaving the country for treatments. Congress and their families are, naturally, excluded from the bill they believe is so good for us.

Another issue to consider is that how the bill was written and interpreted by the Supreme Court opens the possibility of a new class of bills which include within them undisclosed penalties or taxes. For instance, failure to keep your weight within certain guidelines could carry a financial penalty. Since doctors will now, in effect, be government subcontractors, they may be required to report "unhealthy" behavior to government "health police", who, in turn, has access a tax.
Since stores increasingly monitor our purchases in an effort to anticipate and manipulate our buying patterns, they may be required to turn that data over to the government for review to see if what we're buying is "acceptable". Farfetched? Certainly the technology is easily doable, and the opening could be through pharmacies, which are already federally regulated, and let's not forget that stores accept federal food stamps.

Just a reminder , with the Fourth of July approaching, that the American Revolution was started over taxes. Just saying.


Court Rejects Corporate Spending Limits

Lastly, in what was overlooked by just about everyone, the Supreme Court reaffirmed an earlier 2010 decision to allow corporations to spend what they want on elections, while the voters ---you and I --- remain capped, and all this under the heading of "money equals free speech" as Kentucky's Senator Mitch McConnell (R) has stated. In short, an artificial entity like a corporation has more 1st Amendment rights than individuals because it has more money.

In a five to four decision, the justices struck down a 1912 Montana law which limited how much money corporations were allowed to contribute to a political campaign. The court previously said that corporations and labor unions could give as much as they wanted to, provided the money was independent of the campaign's fundraising efforts.
In what can be only described as a "bubble headed" comment, Justices Anthony Kennedy stated that he didn't believe the unlimited spending gave rise to, or the appearance of corruption" to political campaigns. Yeah, right. Frankly, following this "money equals rights" logic, I am a little surprised someone hasn't considered introducing legislation allowing corporations to vote, and since they have more money, they get more votes! But, then again, why bother? After all, who needs to vote when you already own the game and its players?





Supreme Court Upholds Core of SB1070
http://www.fairus.org/legislative-updates/fair-legislative-update-june-26-2012?utm_source=iContact&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=FAIR%20Legislative%20Update%20&utm_content=FAIR+Legislative+Update+6-26-2012#1


Supreme Court Healthcare Decision
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/supreme-court-health-care-decision_n_1585131.html?flv=1


Court rejects corporate spending limits.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Supreme Court Hears Arizona's SB 1070

Illegal immigration is back in the news with the Supreme Court reviewing the constitutionality of Arizona's SB 1070. The law, which passed in April of 2010, really isn't controversial. All it did was take existing but scattered federal laws, codified them, and added teeth to enforce them. Had the federal government done this to begin with, there would have been no need for Arizona's law, which has been copied by five other states.

Obama instructed Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the Department of Justice, to challenge the law. The DOJ alleged that Arizona overstepped its authority by attempting to usurp the federal government's sole authority to create laws pertaining to immigration. Obama had questioned the law, saying it was a threat to our "basic notions of fairness", which, ironically, is what most Americans thought of Obama's bailout of Wall Street and those most responsible for the general economic collapse to begin with. As an aside, Mexico asked to join in the complaint against Arizona, which the Obama Administration granted. A first for a foreign government to be allowed by the United States' Department of Justice to be allowed to participate in a lawsuit against a sovereign state. The lower court largely found in favor of Arizona, therefore, the DOJ decided to waste more of your money by pursing this all the way to the Supreme Court.

So far, things aren't looking so good for Holder and Company. Several of the Justices have expressed dismay at the DOJ's efforts, and apparently at least one or two have indicated to DOJ's attorneys that this borders on a frivolous action. Even Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the most liberal member of the High Court and a Hispanic, said the DOJ's case was not "selling very well". Of course, the real reason for the lawsuit in the first place was the Obama Administration's to attempt to curry favor with the Hispanic population while, at the same time, provide underpaid and overworked (and often abused) workers for unscrupulous employers. Unfortunately, since these individuals are in the country illegally, they have little if any recourse.

I expect closing arguments shortly and a rather quick decision by the court with little dissention from its members. Arizona did not attempt to create new immigration law as alleged by Obama, Holder, and the DOJ. Rather, it was the failure of the federal government over at least two administrations, to take affirmative steps to end illegal immigration. One could even argue that the federal government abrogated its authority by its failure to act. As a result, Arizona and several other states, including Utah, Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, and South Carolina simply made use of existing federal laws. Assuming the Supreme Court agrees, look for more states to take similar actions.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Illegal Immigration Issues/State of America

South Carolina moved ahead with signing of one of America's toughest anti-illegal immigration bills. Modeled on Arizona's SB 1070, the bill was signed into law by South Carolina's Governor Nikki Haley. The bill, which passed the State House of Representatives by a margin of 69 to 43, requires employers to use the federal E-Verify database to confirm the legal residencies of all new employees. Employers are given a one year "grace" period to implement the program. Failure to do so results in escalating penalties cumulating their business's license being revoked.

Meanwhile, US District Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. has been busy undermining Georgia's anti-illegal legislation, HB 87. The judge has suspended sections 7 and 8, allowing police officers to inquire into a suspect's legal status when stopped for "probable cause" such as suspicion of committing a criminal act, and prohibiting someone from knowingly transporting and/or harboring an illegal immigrant. However, one section of the bill will be allowed to stand.

Individuals convicted of using false identification (and I assume that includes the use of stolen social securities numbers) could face up to 15 years as a guest of Georgia's infamous penal system and a fine of $250,000 (that would be in US dollars not pesos in case you're curious). Meanwhile, sections 7 and 8 are on appeal by Georgia's Attorney General Sam Olens. Look for a slightly modified version of the two sections to be implemented.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration continues efforts to circumvent existing national laws and overwhelming opinion of America by declaring that illegal immigrants enrolled in a "education center", which I assume could be almost anything from a continuing adult education class to college, may not be deported. I guess the president is striving for a better educated class of illegal aliens. Some states are now awarding in-state tuition to illegal aliens who enroll in their colleges or universities, and in case you're wondering, yes, they may apply for and obtain taxpayer based grants and loans. Who says crime doesn't pay? In addition, illegal immigrants living with relatives currently serving in the US military are also currently exempt for deportation. No word from the White House on how closely they must be related.

So, what's moral of today's story? Don't come here illegally and use a stolen ID to get a job. Simply enroll in a local college and get a free education or find some relatives who came here legally and who has a cousin is serving in the military and simply move in. Better yet, do both!

Real Estate 101: Location, Location, Location

What the best places to live if you're coming here illegally? According to a Fox News story by Bob Dane, the top five "sanctuary states" in America are California, Maryland, Washington State, Illinois, and Connecticut. According to Dane, California take in 1/4 of all illegal immigrants. Native Californians pay a staggering $2438.00 in extra taxes per resident for that "honor". No wonder people and businesses are leaving California in droves and the state is bankrupt. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Sacramento impose fines on businesses and individuals moving out in order to build up their coffers.

Next up is Montgomery County Maryland where residents voted in their own version of the so-called "Dream Act". Look for those local officials to start hitting up the state for more money as residents learn the true costs of their generosity. Chicago and Cook County is the biggest haven in Illinois while New Haven is the top spot in Connecticut.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/06/29/illegal-aliens-guide-to-top-five-best-places-to-live-in-america/#content

State of America

Meanwhile the economy continues to tank. Recent unemployment numbers are dismal as employers hold back on hiring despite increasing profit levels and stocks of inventory. The "official" unemployment rate sits at 9.2%, which translates to over 14 million souls looking to put food on the table and a roof over their heads. That number masks an even greater number; the number of individuals who are underemployed (working part time but seeking a full time job and well as overqualified individuals employed in jobs beneath their skills and/or education), as well as those who have simply stopped looking. That "unofficial" number is just over 20% of Americans.

The previous time it took to find a job was five weeks. Now it six months. If you're over 45 years old, that number jumps to 52 weeks! For those in the their 50's (like yours truly), some economists are predicting that they may never find work again. Welcome to the new reality of the new economy. Employers added on 18,000 jobs nationally while economists called for a bare minimum of 105,000 with an ideal job growth number of 225,000. Folks, that's just not going to cut it.

The Obama Administration has tried the discredited practice of blaming the prior administration, but that's not going to work. After six months, the current condition of the economy belongs to whomever is in office. Meanwhile, Congress keeps mouthing about how they feel our pain. Really? How about giving up their salary for the average number of weeks one of their constituents is unemployed? Maybe that would help them feel our pain. Maybe forgo those gym privileges we pay for.

Globally, Europe is teetering thanks to the financial mismanagement of Greece's government. Things aren't much better in Pacific Rim with Japan trying to cope with its recent disaster and the regional bad boy, North Korea, on the edge of economic collapse and contemplating war just to keep things afloat (Pyongyang has long played military blackmail with West in order to prop up it's economy. They recently closed all universities and sent the students to the fields to work, partly for economic reasons and partly to stave off a possible student led revolt). Events in the Middle East continued to make themselves felt at the gas pumps. Finally, the looming US debt crisis. Republicans want no tax increases (especially for the rich and big business) while the Democrats are calling for tax increases on everyone except the poor. Both sides claim to speak for America and that it won't blink first. To me, the only winner here are those wealthy special interests groups and their corresponding industries like banks and oil companies. The loser? Who else but the American Taxpayers.

All this brings me to something I've been thinking about for awhile now. Is America the same democratic Republic our Founding Father created? It seems that dream died a long time ago. Today, we are a Corporate Republic, or Capitalist Democracy if you prefer. The end result is the same. We are less longer citizen and more consumer. We've become little more than economic serfs. Employees are seen as necessary liabilities. We live and die by our credit rating. Our government, irrespective of which political party currently dominates, serves as the front man for global corporations who respects no laws except the law of profit. Governments are there to maintain order and keep the people in check.

The reformers we elected are suffocated under the weight of internal party machinery; their energies and passions diffused with endless committee and subcommittee meetings, leaving no time to carry out the reforms they promised. The bulwark of worker rights, the once proudly independent unions are now treated like second class participants and the cash cow for the Democrat Party. Rather than support the best candidate to defend working men and women, union leadership limit their support largely to Democrat candidates while the rank and file look to their own economic self interests. The public's distain for the both parties, and the political process could explain, in part, the drop in union membership to a historic low; only 7.2% in the private sector and 36.2% in the public sector (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/22/business/22union.html?_r=1).

As an ardent supporter of unions (and a member), I find these numbers deplorable. We need to move beyond partisan politics. Our problems are much too serious and the stakes for you and I are much too high. We need term limits, serious campaign finance reform, and an independent union movement.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Weinergate; Not So Sweet Home Alabama

Weinergate. It couldn't get any better for a political junkie. The story is an old one; as old as civilization. A middle aged man seduced by power, surrounded by "yes men", believing that the rules of society simply doesn't apply to him trying to impress chicks. There have been countless examples down history, but don't think men are the only ones guilty bad behavior. Women too have been just as guilty. It always seems to be someone in a position of perceived authority, be lawyers, judges, business leaders, politicians, clergy, or teachers.

Here we have a successful New York Congressman with great future; an attractive wife (who is allegedly expecting again)and kids. Same old song with a different singer. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) at first denied the risqué pictures, sent out over his cell phone was "hacked' by some political rival. As the evidence began to amount and the lie became indefensible, Weiner fessed up and is now taking a brief leave of absence from Congress to see "counseling" and "treatment". Oh, so stupid behavior is now something clinically treatable? Only if Richard Nixon knew that following Watergate, or Bill Clinton after Monica. However, he is steadfastly clinging to his office (besmirched though it may be) in hopes of some other more interesting story comes along and bumps him from the headlines. A few reports claim that he is so far into debt, he can't quit. He needs our money. In his head, he's thinks that he can weather the storm just a little longer, it will be alright. Meanwhile, he hides.

Americans are a forgiving people. We can forgive most anything...except a lie. We've seen all before. Politicians, like clergy, community leaders, sport figures and educators are held apart from society. These are the people we look up to. They inspire us. When they mess up, it's there for all to see thanks to 24/7/365 a day media coverage from hundreds of sources. While Weiner has apologized, I wonder about the sincerity of it. The fact that he initially denied what was obvious comes as no surprise. Most of us deny the truth until we're forced to confess. That's human nature. That he's now seeking "treatment" is not surprising either. It's partial an attempt to demonstrate his remorse, and partly to buy time in the hopes that the fury will pass over and he'll be able to resume living his life as before. Perhaps more cautiously this time.

People are attracted to power. It's considered to be the ultimate aphrodisiac. Individuals with power come to believed they not above the law, but that, somehow the law and/or society's morality simply doesn't apply to them. If Weiner was sincere, he would have made his apologies and then promptly resigned. The fact that he hasn't indicates to me that he really doesn't believe he's done anything wrong. The apology was perfunctory and as soon as another story comes along, everything will be right in his world again.

The Democratic Party's leadership has condemned his actions. His fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle have condemned his behavior. Various local leaders in his home district have condemned his actions. If he is unwilling to resign voluntarily, then it will be necessary for his constituents to organize a petition to recall Wenier and schedule a special election as soon as possible that the business of government can resume.

Years ago, a number of television shows featured the loveable ole drunk as comic relief. Those days are long gone. We, as a society, no longer find alcoholic behavior funny nor are we willing to tolerate it. The same public distain of indecent sexual behavior applies too, be it a priest sexually abusing little boys; a minister having an affair or hiring hooker; a business person making sexual overtones to a fellow employee; a teacher and a student; or, as in this case, another politician on a power trip.

Our public leaders need to be reminded, and reminded often, that they have no power of office except that which we loan them. The moment they violate our trust should be the moment their term in office comes to an end.



Not So Sweet Home Alabama

Alabama just out did Arizona in passing the toughest anti-illegal bill in the country. On Thursday, the Alabama legislator passed HB 56, which mirrors Arizona's SB 1070, but goes further by requiring since it covers education as well as voting, employment, and law enforcement. Employers must now utilize E-Verify to confirm that an individual's name matches up with the social security number. Law enforcement officers may check to verify the immigration of status of a person stopped for violation or if the officer has reason to suspect that the individual is there illegally. Individuals may also be fined for knowingly providing transportation to an illegal resident. The bill will require education officials to confirm the immigration status of their students. Finally, HB 56, authored by Mickey Hammon (R), denies any "sanctuary" status by state or local agencies and as well as by individuals or organizations such as churches.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Supreme Court Upholds SB1070: Americans Win One

For months now, I’ve told you in this blog that Obama’s attempt to overturn Arizona’s SB 1072 anti-illegal immigration law would fail. Well, it has. In a majority decision, the US Supreme Court voted 5 to 3 on Thursday, May 25, 2011, that the Obama Administration was on the wrong side of this issue. Arizona’s Attorney General is moving forward to appeal a lower court’s decision barring the law from taking effect. The lawsuit was filed by the US Justice Administration, and was joined by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). You may recall that the USJA also allowed the Mexican Government to participate a party in the lawsuit; a first ever, to my knowledge, that a foreign government was allowed to participate in a lawsuit brought by the US federal government against a sovereign US state.

What the US Justice Administration didn’t seem to understand was that SB 1072 simply pulled together existing federal laws into one all encompassing bill and added additional teeth to it. Eric Holder, who heads up the US Justice Administration, alleged in their complaint, filed at the behest of the Obama Administrative, that only the federal government can establish or dictate immigration policy. While true, Arizona wasn’t seeking to “establish” its own immigration policy. It merely codified existing, but unenforced federal laws.

You see, this was an attempt to confuse the argument by the Justice Administration to convince the high court that the Arizona governor and legislature had in some way gone “rogue” the way it did the liberal media outlets in order to intimidate over states to back off their efforts to curtail illegal immigration. As it turned out, Holder and Company was successful in only pulling the robe over just three of the Justice’s eyes, namely Stephen Breyer, Ruth Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor. Of course, while they never had a chance with the America People, but the federal government seems less concerned these days with the interests of the average American and more focused on special interest groups. The decision opens the door for other states to move forward with their own versions of SB1070. The law will go a long way in preventing businesses from hiring illegal aliens as well as curtailing attempts to hide or provide assistance to illegals in Arizona.

The law also upheld the use of E-Verify by companies. E-Verify allows a business to ensure that the social security number match the name of individual. While it doesn’t “punish” businesses that don’t use E-Verify, they do lose the ability to cite not using E-Verify as a defense when they unknowingly hire someone here illegally.

The next big fight and I mean “big” fight will likely be Obama’s second attempt to find a way toward some form of amnesty for the estimated 13 million illegals currently living in the US (you can also bet that he won’t call it “amnesty” after his last thumping). Part of that fight will, no doubt, include an amendment to make basic English (read, write, and spoken)required for all immigrants, and to make Enlgish our "offical" national language.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/26/high-court-sustains-ariz-employer-sanctions-law/

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Illegal Immigration: What's the Latest?

As regular readers of AO know, I take a particular interest in illegal immigration. I see it as a national security as well as an economic threat to this country. In additional to the estimated 12 million illegal residents now in this country they are an untold number of individuals from nations hostile to the US. ICE agents have repeatedly found money and paraphernalia from countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and the like. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said that 663 individuals from countries with know terrorist ties were arrested in 2010. It’s only a matter of time before one or more of these groups make good on their threats of killing Americans. Of course Congress, Homeland Security, and the President will condemn the act and there will be the usual investigations and condemnations, but by then it will be too late. There will be dead Americans.

The American People have, for over well over a decade, demanded loudly and repeatedly for government to solve the border crisis; not ‘band-aid” it over and not ignored it. Former president Bush promised a wall. We never got it. It was only partially funded and all but dropped. Border Patrol agents are understaffed, under funded, and often under orders not to engage. Gangs control whole sections of US territory along the border. Our own government even put up warning signs for US citizens to stay out. According to Texas Congressman John Culberson, an illegal alien crossing the border had an 84% chance of not being prosecuted.

The report went on to say that of the 447,731 illegals apprehended by US Customs last year (2010), 73, 263 (or 16.4%) were actually prosecuted. Along the Tucson area, where the majority of arrests occurred, the percentage was even worse, with only 14.5%. If you were going to commit a crime and had an 84% chance of success, with little in the way of punishment, what would you do? Congressman Culberson added that enforcement was so lax, that many of those arrested were held only a few hours and “had a chance to home for dinner”.

Of course, the Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, claims that our southern border has never been more secured! Perhaps she’s thinking about the days of Poncho Villa or the Mexican-American War! Seriously, however, Secretary Napolitano is actually distorting the number the way politicians and bureaucrats often do. In claiming the southern border secure, Napolitano is only looking at instances of arrest and prosecution, which accounts for about 15% of the total rather than all those arrested. Furthermore, Napolitano admitted the DHS “deferred” action on 900 cases in 2010.

Did you that more people along a Mexico-Texas border town were killed in 2010 than in the war in Afghanistan? Ciudad Juarez Mexico, which just across the Rio Grande from El Paso Texas had more deaths, all related to its losing drug war with local drug cartels, than the entire country of Afghanistan. There 3,111 individuals murdered compared to 2421 civilian deaths in the war against the Taliban. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is moving ahead with its lawsuit against the State of Arizona over SB 1070, which, as you’ll recall, did little more the codify under state statute the various laws which now exist at the federal law and added more “teeth”. The Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, alleges in his complaint, that regulating US borders is a federal matter.

The AG is right…sort of. Arizona isn’t attempting to establish foreign policy. They are simply incorporating existing federal law at the state level. Furthermore, while states may not weaken a federal law, they may strengthen a federal law, which is what Arizona has done. Arizona’s Governor, Janet Walker publicly stated that the State carefully studied the issue from every point possible, and even requested legal opinion from the US Attorney General’s office. Who will prevail? Hard to say. Certainly legal opinion rests with Arizona (and several other states that are looking at imposing similar laws). However, the Obama Administration is pushing hard to keep these illegal immigrants in American (the current running joke is that Obama is wanting to discourage the use of the name “illegal immigrants” and start calling them what they are, “undocumented Democrats”).

President Obama, speaking with Hispanic reporter, recently said that illegals had nothing to worry about if they were doing “all the right things”, which included a job, staying out of trouble, and I assume, keeping a low profile. Wouldn’t “doing all the right” mean obeying US law? Anyway, I digress. Obama was simply making it clear that his administration intended to drag its feet, delay, and otherwise impede any efforts to halt the flow of illegal immigrants into this country, what at what cost?

Well, with the federal government’s version of proctology exam upon us, that is, Tax Day---April 15. Let’s look for a moment at what Obama’s efforts to protect illegal immigrants actually cost you and me. According to the Federation of American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the tax burden for welfare, estimated welfare care, and education exceeds $100 billion per year. That breaks down to $1000.00 per taxpayer per year (and no, you can’t claim them as a dependent). Of those who do pay into the system, for every $5.00 in services they take, they pay in an estimate $1.00. I’m no accountant, but I do know a thing or two about economics, and I can tell you those numbers don’t work for long (see: http://www.youtube.com/user/fairfederation#p/u/4/H8lLU7XjcWc).

Meanwhile, while states are working to stop illegal immigrants, other states have given the green light to illegal residents. Both Washington State and New Mexico remain easy places for illegal to get a driver’s license. In both states, recent bills were passed to allow illegal immigrants to apply for drivers licenses. One can only assume that the driver’s test was not in English either. In Maryland, the State Legislature voted to provide in-state tuition to illegal aliens. The bill, which passed 27-20, allows illegal aliens to attempt Maryland colleges at a reduced rate, saving them (or is it Maryland taxpayers?) $10,000 per year in tuition. US residents from neighboring states, however, were not afforded the same privilege.

According to a recent article, Lana Reed, a former social service case worker, testified before the Kansas legislature’s House Judiciary Committee, that case workers were required by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services policies to ignore fraudulent documentation by immigrants, and thus, in effect, facilitate fraud against Kansas taxpayers. Finally, Utah passed three laws that, among other things, granted amnesty to “guest workers” as well as concluded an agreement between Utah and Mexico to provide businesses to migrant workers ( (HB 116 and HB 466). Funny, isn’t that a foreign policy issue? Wonder when US Attorney General Holder intends on filing a lawsuit against Utah for butting into a federal matter? (see: http://www.fairus.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=23944&security=1601&news_iv_ctrl=1721#4).

Lastly, do you remember the outcry from the Left (especially the media) over the deportation of 4 year old? The child, a girl named “Emily”, whose parents are illegal aliens, refused to accept custody from DHS agents after her grandfather, who was accompanying her on a flight to New York, was detained on an immigration charge.
Spokesman Lloyd Easterling said "CBP strives to reunite children who are citizens with their parents. If the parents decide not to take custody of their children, the CBP works with other agencies to guard the security and the well-being of these children. That includes handing them over to other families”.

Easterling added that, “In this case, Emily's parents were offered the opportunity to pick her up, but they decided to have her return to Guatemala with her grandfather”. I wonder why the media didn’t report this part of the story. Just asking.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Illegal Immigration and Kentucky: HB 321 and SB 6

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but the Kentucky House of Representatives actually thought out of the box for a change. On February 3rd, the House Committee on Labor and Industry passed HB 321, otherwise known as the E-Verify Bill, by a margin of 93 to 3 (the three nays were John Bell (D-23), Kelly Flood (D-75), and Mary Lou Marzian (D-34). The bill will now move to the Senate for approval (http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/10RS/HB321.htm).

The bill’s aim is to curtail illegal immigration by eliminating its principal cause, employment. If the bill becomes law, contractors would face a five year ban from government contracts, and includes contractors who deal with local school districts. The bill’s lead sponsor is Bob Damron, a Democrat representing House District 39.

There are 14 other states that have similar legislation designed to eliminate employment of illegal immigrants while another 17 are either considering E-Verify or strengthening existing legislation. However, in rural states such as Kentucky, the main source of employment is in agriculture. Outlying counties such as Anderson, Warren, Barren, Fayette, Garrad, and Scott are the hardest hit by the costs of illegal immigration. Democrat Greg Stumbo (D-95) is considering introducing a bill that applies E-Verify to all employers in Kentucky, which would obviously make more sense (http://www.numbersusa.com/content/learn/illegal-immigration/map-states-mandatory-e-verify-laws.html). Stumbo is also the Speaker of the House.

As for the Arizona like SB1070, Kentucky Senate Bill 6, which would give police and other law enforcement authorities the power to question and detain individuals suspected of being the country illegally, is going nowhere. Senate Bill 6, which was introduced by State Senator John Schickel (R-11), came under a barrage of protests lead by the liberal leaning Jobs for Justice, as well as numerous churches, Labor unions and pro-amnesty groups. While supporters of the bill were present, the media, as expected, gave primary coverage to the bill’s opponents. However, from what I was able to find out, the Anti forces, anticipating Senate Bill 6, were out in front with their organizational efforts while the supporters of the bill were lagging far behind as if they expected to be given a fair hearing. I wonder what they were thinking?

According to a poll published by Pure Politics on March 2, 2011, support for the House Bill (the E-Verify bill) was 64% while support for Senate Bill 6 was only 25% with 12% giving no response or didn’t care (http://mycn2.com/politics/immigration-cn2-poll).

Meanwhile, other states such as New Mexico are moving ahead with their own versions of the Arizona’s SB 1070 to head off the problem before it becomes more a serious issue like it has in Arizona. With a poll approval of the bill of 85%, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed into law SB 152 which would allow law enforcement to question and detain individuals here illegally. It would not allow law enforcement officials to stop someone solely on immigration status (http://www.dailylobo.com/index.php/article/2011/02/legislator_immigration_law_reeks_of_arizona).

In Colorado, a bill allowing law enforcement officials to report suspected illegals to prosecutors has passed its first hurtle in the Colorado State House. The bill, HB 1088, was introduced by Republican Mark Barker. The bill would also force bail bondsmen to forfeit the bond if the individual is deported. According to Barker, who originally withdrew and then reintroduced the bill, he wanted to change the language of the bill from “probable cause” to “reasonable grounds” in order to avoid possible legal challenges when determining legal status. The bill will face another vote in the House before moving on to the Senate (http://denver.cbslocal.com/2011/02/24/colorado-house-oks-bill-to-report-illegal-immigrants/).

So, while other states move ahead with pro-active legislation, Kentucky continues to muddle along. Nevertheless, HB 321 is a good start. Hopefully Stumbo or someone else will step up to plate and put forward some more expansive legislation to do the job that SB 6 could have done.


From the Middle East to the Midwest


In case you haven’t noticed, gas prices are skyrocketing (and welcome back to earth by the way). Oil prices on the open market are setting near record highs at $104.00 a barrel. Truly black gold. To compound matters is the most of the oil producing countries are facing internal instability, which is a politically correct way of saying the people are tired of being on the short end of the oil stick. Most of these nations are ruled by autocratic royalty, principally installed there by their former colonialist masters like Great Britain and France. Others are ruled by maniacal tyrants under such misleading names as “People’s Republic” with titles like “President” or “Great Leader” living in worlds apart from their struggling citizens.

Remember the “liberation” of Kuwait? It was better known as the First Persian Gulf War or Operation Desert Storm, though Operation Desert Shield was aimed at removing Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Saddam Hussein invaded oil rich Kuwait under the pretext that it was in actuality a “disputed” province which properly belonged to the “people of Iraq”. In truth, Hussein wanted control of the oil fields and direct access of the Persian Gulf and shipping lanes. The Hitler-wannabe thought the West would do nothing due to the costs and time factor of mounting an invasion. He wasn’t concerned about his Arab neighbors. He had already cowered them (the Arab mindset seems to appreciate and respect force or at least its threat of it).

Anticipating Western (especially American) sensibilities, the royal Al-Sabah family of Kuwait promised political reform (especially for women and Christians, who would actually be allowed to practice their religion with a minimum of interference from the state authorities. Hussein, in what has to be one of the top three military blunders of all time (the other two being Napoleon’s and Hitler’s invasions of Russia), allowed Western troops almost six months of military buildup. Secondly, his generals planned a stagnated front war similar to the earlier war between Iraq and Iran.

Had Hussein agreed to maintain (or increase) oil production at current or lower prices, it’s doubtful there would have been any serious resistance to his occupation of Kuwait other than the usual empty rhetoric of the impotent United Nations. Given the proximity of his military forces to Saudi Arabia and the other regional oil producers, a little implied threat would have ensured their cooperation. The Kuwaiti royals would have found a comfortable exile in one of the neighboring capitals. Of course, that’s now a matter for War Colleges and historians to examine.

In the end, Hussein was militarily neutered and Kuwait was liberated. Of the new freedoms promised by the royal family, few have been implemented. Women were given the right to vote and participate in politics in 2005 by a narrow vote of 35 to 23. Freedom of religion for non-Moslems and freedom of speech are still sketchy. Such then was the first global resource war. There will be many to come, except these may pit Western nations against each other while facing another, mightier threat in the form of China and India.

Tunisia was the first to accomplish its revolution, followed by Egypt. Both countries had a minimum body count. The media seems to make big copy over 10 or 20 dead. Revolutions are bloody affairs. Those in power never willingly relinquish it. In revolutions and coups past, thousands dead were not unheard of. In a regional known for its brutal strongmen, individuals like Hosni Mubarak deserve some praise. He could have made things much worse. However, men like Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi are more typical.

Gadhafi came to power in the usual fashion, by military coup. Another Hitler admirer, he quickly allied himself to the more militant Mideastern factions. He was hosted (and protected) on numerous occasions various terrorists and terrorist organizations like Carlos “The Jackal” Ramirez who masterminded numerous terrorists operations during the 1970’s; Black September which was responsible for the Munich Massacres (which Carlos also had a hand in); Abdul Abbas, the hijacker of the Achilles Lauro; and of course, Yasser Arafat, who was head of the PLO. Gadhafi, anxious to try his hand at state supported murder, sponsored the downing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, resulting in the deaths of 270 individuals in 1988 and the earlier bombing of a discotheque in Berlin in 1986. Of course, all the while, he continued to drift further and further from reality and the brutality of regime only increase until it reached its present boiling point.

The Libyan dictator now faces uncertain domestic military support (he’s allegedly ordered the murder of some bomber pilots who refused to attack civilian populations). As a result, he has hired Algerian mercenary pilots and gunmen to kill his own people and destroy oil production. If he can’t have it, no one will I suppose.

So, what will be the outcome? Well, first, there’s no doubt that this psychopath’s days in power are limited. Pressure is on for the US or other nation to provide military support in the form of equipment and/or tactical intelligence. At present, the situation is at a stalemate with rebel forces controlling the Eastern part of the country where most of the oil wells are located. Even if Gadhafi survives, his reign will remain highly unstable. It will only be a matter of time before there is either another better organized attempt or Gadhafi is assassinated. Meanwhile, the pro-democracy revolution continues to spread across the Middle East into Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Oman, and Bahrain. It’s only a matter of time before it makes its way to Saudi Arabia and Iran. The more unstable the region becomes, the more you can expect to pay at the pump. Oil executives don’t need much of an excuse to bump up prices (and profits).

With the increased instability in the Middle East, as well as the dwindling supplies (most oil producing nations have either reached or passed oil producing peak capacity. The US passed theirs in the 1970’s), coupled with the developing super-nations like China and India, as well as lesser third world countries, we can only expect demand to dramatically increase as we also must cope with climate change. We, and I mean America, has to get serious about finding alternatives to oil and gas. We will never totally replace either, but we can, and must, lessen our dependence on petroleum derived energy through solar, wind, hybrid, water, and nuclear power. Until that day comes, you better get used to the idea of $5.00 and higher prices at the pump.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Arizona Fights Back!

As most everyone knows by now, Obama’s Attorney General filed suit against the State of Arizona for passing SB1070; a law utilizing current federal statutes pertaining to illegal immigration and put into a format whereby these same pre-existing federal laws could be enforced at the state level. Under federal law, a State may not enact any law which is contrary to the federal law; however, they may enact a similar or more stringent law, which is what Arizona did with SB1070.

Well, here’s another little piece of trivia for you. Because the Federal government lacks a coherent policy, the majority of the costs to enforce these federal laws falls to the States, which are already cash strapped. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has taken the unusual step of countersuing the federal government for the costs incurred by Arizona’s taxpayers (like her or hate her, you have to admit that she has moxie). Just how much are we talking about here? How about $125 million. Now, granted, the Federal government reimbursed Arizona $10 million it paid upfront, but the state’s taxpayers got stuck with the rest of bill for jailing and maintaining illegals who regularly slip across the border due to the lack of federal action. You have to remember too that this is just one State along a largely unprotected border. Governor Brewer states in her countersuit that they are willing to forgive the cost in exchange for a comprehensive and enforceable policy. Frankly, I think they have a better chance of getting the money.

Why are States being forced to absorb these costs? In my opinion, it’s to overwhelm them in both terms of numbers (there are approximately 12 million illegals living in the US at the moment) and to force them to drop their opposition to illegal immigration in favor of providing other government services. By dumping the costs of incarcerating illegal immigrants onto the States, local and state governments are faced with the choice of spending dwindling tax dollars on protecting their citizens or maintaining basic services. If our Border States sudden drop the issue of enforcing immigration laws, Obama can declare the problem resolved and on to the subject of amnesty.

Speaking of amnesty, the folks in Washington are at it again. It seems like Obama wants to see those same 12 million illegal aliens put on the fast track to US citizenship, which would naturally in automatic voting rights. The result would be almost certainly a mass registration for the political party which acted as their partner in crime to circumvent our national sovereignty laws, and thus, create a defacto mono-political system in this country and chart a permanent course toward the far Left. Of course, we can’t put all the blame on the Democrats. There are some Republicans who would like to grant amnesty as well.

Their motive seems to be creating a huge pool of cheap labor. This, in turn, would drive down employment costs since this new pool of labor would be willing to work for less, and would likely waive any health or retirement benefit packages. In order to maintain compatibility, other employees would have to be willing to do likewise. This same group would also be less willing to join unions out of fear of losing their newly found jobs. Besides, amnesty will only encourage more to illegally cross the border, and the problem perpetuates itself as it did under President George II.

Crime and Punishment Delayed

Jose Oswaldo Reyes Alfaro, who is here illegally from El Salvador is finally going to be allowed a stay in the US. Alfaro was officially deported by the US State Department 10 years, but apparently decided it was only a “suggestion”, has been charged with murdering three people in Virginia on February 11, 2011.

Alfaro is believed to have brutally killed 37 year old William Ashcroft and 56 year old Brenda Ashcroft in his first attack. Later that same evening, he allegedly murdered 48 Julio Cesar Ullio. Also injured were a 77 year old woman; a 15 year old girl; and a 34 year old woman.

ICE Agents Shot Outside of Mexico City

Two of our nation’s law enforcement officers were apparently set up just 100 miles outside of Mexico City on February 16. The two Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers were ambushed in what is believed to be a drug cartel reprisal for US assisted intelligence provided to the Mexican government. The officers were traveling north on Highway 57 when they stopped at what they thought was a military checkpoint when they came under fire. One officer was killed and the other was severely wounded. Both officers were in a well known vehicle, a blue Suburban, used by the US Consulate’s office and were not armed in accordance to Mexican law. In short, the bad guys saw them coming…literally…unarmed, unescorted and in a well marked vehicle.

Justice Denied

Finally, in a case of inconceivable stupidity, an Arizona rancher has been order to pay $90,000 to illegal immigrates trespassing and trashing his property. Yelp, you read that right.

The US Ninth Court of Appeals has ordered Roger Barnett to pay $90,000 to 16 individuals illegally crossing across the Mexican-Arizonian border onto Mr. Barnett’s ranch. Mr. Barnett held the 16 illegals at gun point until the sheriff could arrive. So, what’s wrong with protecting your property? Ah, my friends read on.

Mr. Barnett was charged with holding the illegal interlopers at gun point “too long”. Seriously. Under Arizona law, you are allowed to “draw” on someone until such time as it is determined that the danger had passed. The men in the group allegedly asked to leave (apparently late for work) and be allowed to continue on their way. The women mostly cried. When the sheriff arrived, Mr. Barnett had already holstered his weapon, however, apparently the group of illegals were miffed that they were stopped. They then retained a public defender who sued Mr. Barnett.

Now, I want you to think about that for a moment. Barnett was protecting his property from, as far as he knew, drug dealers or smugglers, on his property; trashing his property; and then because they…the criminals were upset about being stopped, got a taxpayer paid lawyer and sued the guy protecting his property! What the…?

We have the right to protect ourselves, our family, and our property. We have the moral obligation to assist, if possible, in the prevention of a crime and to contact the appropriate authorities. All of this Mr. Barnett did. Folks, this is so wrong on so many levels.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Federal Judge Issues Injunction on Arizona’s SB1070/ Where Do We Go From Here?

The US Justice Department filed suit against the State of Arizona over SB1070. Now, a US district judge, Susan Bolton, has stripped several key parts of the bill while we wait on the lawsuit to begin. That should have come as no surprise to readers of AO. I’ve been telling you for weeks to expect something like this. Bolton, a Clinton appointee, issued a temporary injunction delaying a provision that would have required immigrants to carry documentation authorizing them to be in this country legally and to seek employment. Also her injunction banned the provision keeping illegal immigrants from seeking employment (aimed primarily as day workers). It also prevents police officers from making arrests of suspected illegals for crimes which could lead to the subsequent deportment without a warrant. So, I guess that helps out the criminal gangs for the time being. Thanks Susan.

The reason for this pre-emptive strike if you will is to weaken the resolve of those who want secure borders (fat chance), and secondly, to allow additional time for the much weaker opposition, those who favor open borders, to gather strength, organized, and attempt to mount a media propaganda blitz. Indeed, the day the bill went into effect, we got an opportunity to see some of the groups who favor would support illegal immigration.

I admit to being impressed by the number of illegals immigrants who openly came out to protest with little or no fear of being arrested or even detained. Back in their home countries, illegals protesting like that would have been likely arrested and sent to one of their infamous federal prisons as “guests of the State”. It serves as a reminded to let you know just how serious this Administration is about illegal immigration.

Speaking at the American University in Washington, DC on July 1, 2010, Obama made it clear that there would be no discussion on illegal immigration enforcement with including amnesty for the estimated 20 million illegal aliens now living here. Of course, once some sort of deal if reached, if there is indeed a deal at some point, you can bet that number will dramatically increase as illegals make a “run for the border” to get in on deal. So why is Obama so adamant on amnesty for the predominately (but by no means exclusively) illegal Hispanic population now living here? Perhaps it’s his magnanimous nature (after all, he is the “messiah” right). Maybe it’s life imitating history, which leads us to our next article.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Obama has often said that the person he most admires from history is Abraham Lincoln. Since Lincoln freed the slaves, perhaps Obama sees his destiny as the second “Great Emancipator” by giving citizenship to the millions of illegals now living here. A modern Moses. Wow, that sure would be an ego trip wouldn’t it? It would definitely cement his legacy in the history books. Of course it wouldn’t hurt that, according to most estimates, the majority, 53%, of Hispanics lean politically to the Left, though only 35% of citizens of Hispanic origin have actually registered as Democrats. Of those, 67% of Hispanics, voted for Obama. Nevertheless, many pollsters believe that the overwhelming majority of illegal aliens would register Democrat. If that should happen, it would add approximately 70,000 more Democrats to the rolls, and that’s just the Hispanics. America’s third largest minority are Asians, whose population is quickly rising and may overtake Blacks as the second most populous group within the next 25 years, are also heavily Democratic.

According to Gallup, approximately 61% of Asians are either registered Democrat or lean Democrat. It that trend continues it would all but cinch the hold by the liberal Left on America. The Republican Party, and indeed conservatives could be all but shut out of political power on the national or even state and local levels. Even with the added support of the Tea Party Movement, it wouldn’t be enough. America would be hurled down the road to unhindered socialism. Sure, the Right could serve as the obligatory opposition voice (and may even win the periodic token victory), but our course as nation would be all but cast in stone.

But there is a potential bright spot for the Republican Party and conservative movement, but I have to warn you, it’s a lot like that medicine your mom gave you when you were a child and didn’t feel very good. It tasted like crap, but eventually you felt better (or at least you pretended you did so she’d stop forcing that nasty stuff down your throat…blaah). So, if you’re a Republican or Conservative, hold your nose and take a deep breath; here we go.

America is changing demographically and there’s nothing you can do about it. You either adapt and or you die. It happened to the dinosaurs. It happened to the Whigs, and it will happen to you. America is conservative, not as conservative as you think. Let’s take the issue of Hispanics and Asians mentioned above as an example. 61% of Asians are Democrat or Left leaning. Only 24% are registered or lean Republican/Conservative. 83% of Blacks are Democrats or lean Left. Breaking it down further, however, reveals another story.

Despite voter registration, Asians 46% of Asians are moderates, while 31% are liberal and the remaining 21% are conservative. Among Hispanics, we have a similar picture. 38% are moderates while 34% are conservative and 23% are liberal. Contrary to their registration, Blacks are only 24% liberal, with 29% calling themselves conservative and a whopping 43% moderate.

In terms of religion, Asians are the least most religious group with Blacks being the most. 54% of Asians said religion was important compared to 70% among Hispanics and 80% among Blacks (63% of Whites said religion was important). The vast majority of Hispanics, approximately 63%, belong to the more conservative Catholic Church, which obviously causes concern for the increasingly socialistic Democratic Party. Nevertheless, the Catholic Church, along with the majority of Protestant Churches (especially, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Methodist, Lutheran, and Baptist)are declining at an alarming rate, while Americans who identify themselves as not affiliated has dramatically increased (Wicca is now the fastest growing religion in America).

So, what’s all this mean to the conservative movement in general and the Republican Party specifically? Just this, and that’s most Americans aren’t particularly fans of either party. Americans are largely independent thinking and mostly moderate, albeit slightly right leaning. Americans have no patience with racial or religious intolerance or having someone else’s beliefs crammed down our throats. We values equality, fairness, and accountability—both for government and for corporate America. Americans are ok with diversity. Social issues like gay marriage, birth control or making abortions illegal across the board aren’t going to fly with most Americans who are more interested making their mortgage payment or paying their utility bills. We are a nation of immigrants, but we want our laws and borders respected. There are thousands waiting to come to America, but they’re following the law. Why should others be allowed to jump ahead of the line? America is a melting pot. We want newcomers to adapt to our culture and language, not the other way around. We overwhelmingly believe in God, but we don’t want someone telling us what god to believe in or how we have to worship that god.

Many of the moderates who would have appealed to a huge segment of these emerging demographics have been forced from the GOP by the single issue ultra conservatives and Religious Right. If the Republican Party recreates a moderate wing reflective of Teddy Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Nixon, or even George H Bush, by focusing on issues of concern to the average American like taxes, governmental and corporate accountability, it can reclaim its place as the party of the middle class and answer the challenge of the Democratic Party and rise in independents. If not, the only Republicans your grandchildren may ever see may be in a museum.



For more information regarding the statistics quoted above, please check out these sites:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/125579/asian-americans-lean-left-politically.aspx

http://www.gallup.com/poll/17404/where-hispanic-americans-stand-religion-politics.aspx

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_prac2.htm