The View From 1776

Immigration Bill Postmortem

Robert Stapler’s take on the now apparently dead immigration bill.

The Flaunting of Power: An Open Letter to My Elected ? Representatives?

Do you feel your elected representatives represent just about anyone but you?? Do you hear an echo when you call up or write them to object; an echo that grossly distorts your message and flings it back horribly crippled?? Recently, and like many of you, I sent a terse message to my federal Senators and Congressmen clearly and emphatically stating my objections to their proposed Senate Bill S-1348.? It went something like this:

No to Senate Bill S-1348

No to amnesty or anything resembling amnesty for illegal-aliens

No to allowing illegal-aliens continued access to social services, welfare entitlements, and other citizen benefits

No to granting illegal-aliens any form of legal status; including driver?s licenses and social security numbers

No to further encouragements that result in the flouting of our laws and sovereignty

Close our border with Mexico now, without strings or granting any path to permanence

Pretty clear where I stand, huh?? Now, go to the end of this piece and read the response I got from one Senator and one Congressman.? I bet you got fed the same kind of weaseling mush.

As you can see from both legislator?s form-letters, they choose to lecture those of us who dare instruct them on what they see as bad ideas and ?false dichotomies?.? Congressman Cummings? response was a bit more, shall we say, politic, yet both have voting records (see here and here ) that make clear they do not stand with or for those they represent.?

Well, Senator Ben, dichotomy this!? I am perfectly aware of the legislation the Senate tried to pass and wants to resurrect.? It was shelved because we, the people, do not want it and made a great fuss to get it dropped.? Now, the President, Senate, and Congress are colluding to bring it back despite our wishes to the contrary.? No doubt the language will be changed to make it more palatable, but the substance will remain ?how do we keep the illegal-aliens here and keep the American people off balance?.

Where you say ?Americans want the President and Congress to come together to enact a comprehensive, workable, and enforceable system for immigration and border security ??, is flat wrong.? We don?t care whether you ?come together? or one party takes the lead.? Americans want the President and Congress to stop fooling around pretending we need more laws and just enforce those laws we have for this purpose.? Just stop the invasion.

When you invoke ?the American people?, it is clear you mean only those Americans you (Congress, Senate and President) have persuaded to support you; and include a large number who are not citizens.? What you really mean is this is what you, business, special interests, the media, and some elites want.? The vast majority of citizens are against this; including Republicans, Democrats, third-parties, and independents.? We are not against aliens and do not hate them for wanting to come here.? But, we will speak out to protect ourselves from lawless marauders and those who encourage them.

We do not need or want government providing a ?path to citizenship? tailor-made for bypassing the normal process of coming to this country through legal channels, entering only when granted permission, making a positive contribution, assimilating American culture, honoring liberal-republican principles, and ultimately assuring us they mean to be of us and not out to subvert or displace us.?? We are not unreasonable in wanting to screen the flow of new immigrants: their numbers, self-reliance, potential for assimilation, compliance with our laws and standards of conduct, and a desire to become good citizens.? No country can sustain an invasion of this size that does not subvert the host culture.?? Already we worry our culture is damaged beyond repair.? There is already a path to citizenship, but it requires applicants enter legally, obey our laws, and respect our sovereignty.? I would not give or hold out promises to people who willfully break laws and thumb their noses the way these do.? That is not the way to reestablish order, it only encourages greater disorder.? Whether or not we can or have the will to send them back is yet to be seen, but that is no reason to reward lawlessness and abuse.

People keep saying we can?t send 12-million illegal-aliens packing.? Yet no one has articulated a sufficient reason against it.? At least, not one the American people are buying.? For that matter, I have not heard a single reason given ? not one; only that it can?t be done.?? It has been done before, even by the U.S. government.? It has and can be done without being inhumane.? Yes, they will suffer some loss of income and lifestyle, but it was not an income or lifestyle to which they were entitled to begin with.? Nor will they be persecuted when they return to their country of origin.? If anything, they can count themselves lucky not being required to pay back an income and opportunity they purloined from more deserving aliens patiently waiting their turn.

I see no reason for ?bringing illegal-aliens out of the shadows? as Cardin proposes.? They are in the shadows precisely because they do not belong here.? As such, ?the shadows? is the proper place for them; and I would have them further marginalized until they choose to leave.

I agree with Cardin?s seeming objection to ?forgiving? illegal-aliens their trespass, but he goes on to set up a false dichotomy of his own by applying an internal granting of pardons applicable to citizens to what are invaders of our soil.? Never in the history of the world has there been a proposition of ?forgiving? a territorial invasion prior to either a) defeating the invaders and sending them packing or b) surrendering to them as conquerors.? Call it by any other name, it smells as foul.?

Forgiveness and granting a path to citizenship, even with penalties attached is amnesty and a travesty.? The penalties he proposes have, in any case, no teeth in them.? Illegal-aliens will have no reason to pay the penalties imposed; and, we can be certain, those too will soon be ?forgiven? and forgotten. His proposals still grant them a legal recognition and access to benefits they don?t deserve and, effectively, burden citizens and deprive those who come through proper channels.? The lesson that will be reinforced is that U.S. laws are so much paper without substance.? Supposing this could work is nonsense.?? Worse, it has been tried and proved self-defeating.

Cardin next made the point we need laws that can be enforced.? The laws we have are enforceable if we have the will to enforce them.? The way to fix it is to enforce laws we have, not enact more laws with no better chance of enforcement.? If he really meant to do something positive, he?d support funding of the border security measures President Bush promised us last Spring and insist they be implemented, pressure the executive branch and state governments to identify, roundup and deport criminals and absconders, enforce the laws against hiring illegal-aliens, increase the funding for processing and deporting criminal aliens, beef up our border patrols and authorize the use of armed force to meet force, stop punishing border agents for doing their job, disallow chain immigration, end the visa lottery, evict aliens who overstay with no possibility of renewal, make access to benefits conditional on proof of citizenship or valid legal residence, and end the automatic granting of citizenship to anchor babies (there should be a process for applying for each baby?s conditional citizenship that takes into account the situation of the parents, how they got here, and desirability of having the child and family as permanent residents).?? More than anything else, seal our border with Mexico.

What would work best is denying illegal-aliens the means to stay here so that they go home of their own free-will.? Failing that, roundup as many as we can and send them home.? The rest will get the message.? Regardless, any who behave as criminals or are disruptive ought to be deported immediately.

And, please, stop calling them ?undocumented workers?, ?temporary workers?, ?immigrant workers? and other such euphemisms meant to obscure this issue.


Robert W. Stapler (aka, your boss)

From: Senator Ben Cardin - Do not reply to this message []
?Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 3:17 PM
?To: Stapler, Robert W.
?Subject: Re: Illegal Immigration

Dear Mr. Stapler:
Thank you for contacting me regarding comprehensive immigration reform.
Today, the nation is faced with an immigration and border security system that has serious flaws. Americans want the President and Congress to come together to enact a comprehensive, workable, and enforceable system for immigration and border security. The government must require that our laws are obeyed.
I reject the false dichotomy in the immigration debate between two choices that are unwise and impractical. One is to give all illegal aliens amnesty, which would be the forgiveness of an offense without penalty. Second is to deport the estimated 12 million illegal aliens out of the United States.
For two weeks in May and June the United States Senate debated a comprehensive immigration reform bill. The Senate voted on over two dozen amendments but failed to reach a final resolution on the bill.
Should the immigration bill be brought back to the Senate floor, I will use several principles to analyze the amendments and the legislation that are brought forward for debate and votes in the Senate.
First, we must restore the rule of law and enhance security at our borders. The government must immediately hire new border patrol officers and end the policy of “catch and release” which quickly turns detained illegal immigrants free. The government should require the use of a biometric entry-exit screening system for all land borders, so that we have an accurate record of who is entering and leaving the United States. The government should create a “smart” enforcement regime which will produce more efficient inspections and screenings, and allow us to target and tailor our limited resources to combat illegal smuggling of people and contraband. Congress should require “triggers” and benchmarks be met in the area of border security before probationary visas are issued and a new temporary worker program go into effect.
Second, the government must enforce the law. We must improve our interior enforcement of our immigration laws by the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) bureau. We should toughen penalties for criminal aliens, gang violence, and passport, visa, and immigration document fraud. Congress must also insist that America’s employers follow the law and play by the rules when hiring and paying any immigrant workers. The government can begin to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into the country by making it harder to hire them. Employers should be required to electronically verify the identity and status of all new hires, and eventually of all current employees.
Third, our immigration system must reflect the American values of hard work and family. Immigration law should promote family reunification for legal immigrants who have patiently waited in line for visas, green cards, legal permanent resident status, and citizenship. Legal immigrants must remain at the front of the line, and undocumented workers and illegal aliens must go to the back of the line. We must reform our temporary visa program to meet the needs of the American economy while guaranteeing fair wage rates and labor protection for temporary workers. Temporary workers should have a limited stay in the United States, and U.S. employers must be required to advertise the job in the United States at a competitive wage rate before hiring a temporary worker.
Fourth, we must bring the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants out of the shadows in order to establish the rule of law. Congress should reject giving amnesty to undocumented immigrants, and it should also reject the suggestion to deport all undocumented immigrants out of the country. Only a comprehensive immigration reform approach can begin to solve this pressing problem. Congress should enact a bill that gives temporary legal status - but not citizenship or legal permanent resident status - to undocumented workers who come forward, acknowledge they broke the law, pay a fine, and undergo a criminal background check. During this probationary status illegal immigrants would not be entitled to social services government benefits. Before applying for a green card, undocumented workers should have to wait in line behind those who applied lawfully complete certain English requirements, and meet additional criteria for employment in the United States.
I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate on the comprehensive immigration reform bill to address this critical issue for the American people.

From: Congressman Elijah Cummings []
?Sent: Monday, June 18, 2007 9:08 AM
?To: Stapler, Robert W.
?Subject: Re: WriteRep Responses

Dear Robert:
Thank you for contacting me regarding immigration policy in the United States.? I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue.
I am committed to an immigration policy that welcomes legal immigrants, the source of much of our nation’s diversity, energy and economic success. Although it is essential that we enforce existing immigration laws, it is also important that those willing to work hard and follow the rules be afforded the opportunity to call themselves Americans. As we continue our leadership role in the world, it is important that we remain the land of opportunity.
The terrorist attacks of September 11th and recent plots against Fort Dix , New Jersey , and JFK Airport have exposed serious problems in our system of immigration . It is absolutely crucial that we secure our borders and better monitor the flow of people and goods into the country. Additionally, I recognize the need to address security problems that are created by illegal immigration, including drug and human smuggling. However, with more than 12 million people here illegally, enforcement alone will not solve the problem. “Amnesty” is not a solution, but the combination of strong border security, reasonable financial penalties, and a path to legal residency will allow us to regain our territorial sovereignty.
As you may know, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, S. 1348, is being considered in the Senate. The House of Representatives has yet to consider any immigration reform legislation in the 110th Congress. Rest assured that I will work for the passage of reform that balances the needs of our industries with national security and upholds the principles reflected in our nation’s immigrant history. Please know that I will keep your views in mind as we debate these issues.
Again, thank you for sharing your views with me. If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office.

??Elijah E. Cummings
?Member of Congress