Category Archives: Immigration

Immigration – Assimilate

immigration

I have in-laws in Brooklyn.  I love going to visit.  In my travels I have met a friend of the family there on the street.  She’s great.  Yet every time I see her, every time, she wistfully asks me if the cost of living in North Carolina is as low as she hears it to be.

I always say yes.

Finally, one time I just couldn’t control myself.  See, the friend is a full on democrat.  So, as I answered in the affirmative, I added on.  I said, “The reason we enjoy such quality of life is that we don’t vote democrat.  We don’t impose expensive taxes and regulations, fees and zoning laws.  We are freer than you are.”

Enter Gloria Alverez:

Where The Syrian Refugee

Syrian Refugee

Much discussion, emotion and hand wringing is due the issue of the refugee fleeing  home due to the war in that nation.

The question is – “What do we do with these people?”

There is only one answer – “Let them in.”

There can only be one answer that America can offer when the world is confused and is searching for the way forward.  When people everywhere don’t know what to do, when they doubt themselves and others and are in a desperate search for the noble, the honorable and the compassion – they always, whether they like it or not, look to America as the beacon that shows them the way.  That shines through the storm clouds and leads them to safe harbor?

And why is this the case, always the case?

Because it is who we are.

Period.

It is normal and easy to be afraid; the desire to close the gate and lock the door is common, understandable.  But we are UNcommon.  Ours is not the easy way – our way has always been fraught with peril and dangers.  And we have always, ALWAYS demonstrated the strength of our will and our way.  It is why people who are afraid come here – it is why the world immigrates to America and not the other way around.

Now, can we take steps to be more safe than less?  Sure.  Should states have rights in who they let in?  I think so.  Are there methods that we can employ to make this easier?  Absolutely.

If we are afraid of the militant – we can require that any refugee be part of an intact family.  We can accept mother, father and children.  It could be said that the most at risk Syrians are the widows and the orphans – the families who have lost their men due to the conflict.  Certainly the widow and her orphaned children can be accommodated?

Further – we know that we can’t take ALL the refugees fleeing Syria.  There are very real concerns that an immigrant population may grow to a size that makes assimilation next to impossible.  It has been forever a unique American experience that anyone can become American.  The corollary to this phenomenon is that there is an implicit expectation that the immigrant make every effort to hustle that process along as fast as she can.  So we take those that we are able and pray for those remaining outside our door.

But we take those that we can.  Because, to fail in this regard is to walk away from the very thing that makes us great.

Truly great.

I am reminded of the charge of the gentle craft that brings me comfort monthly:

Remember that, around this alter, you have promised to befriend and relieve every brother who shall need your assistance.  You have promised, in the most friendly manner, to remind him of his errors and aid a reformation.  These generous principles are to extend further.  Every human being has claim upon your kind offices.

Do good unto all.

Is Voter Fraud An Issue

Election Fraud

As a follow up to my last post, I have thought it would be important to point out that the Republicans might have a point when it comes to the illegal immigrant and their desire to vote.

Namely, do they?  Do immigrants, not yet citizens, vote?

Yes:

How many non-citizens participate in U.S. elections? More than 14 percent of non-citizens in both the 2008 and 2010 samples indicated that they were registered to vote. Furthermore, some of these non-citizens voted. Our best guess, based upon extrapolations from the portion of the sample with a verified vote, is that 6.4 percent of non-citizens voted in 2008 and 2.2 percent of non-citizens voted in 2010.

So, 14% of non-citizens REGISTERED to vote and 6.4% voted in 2008 and 2.2% voted in 2010.  That sounds like a lot, but is it?

Because non-citizens tended to favor Democrats (Obama won more than 80 percent of the votes of non-citizens in the 2008 CCES sample), we find that this participation was large enough to plausibly account for Democratic victories in a few close elections. Non-citizen votes could have given Senate Democrats the pivotal 60th vote needed to overcome filibusters in order to pass health-care reform and other Obama administration priorities in the 111th Congress. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) won election in 2008 with a victory margin of 312 votes. Votes cast by just 0.65 percent of Minnesota non-citizens could account for this margin. It is also possible that non-citizen votes were responsible for Obama’s 2008 victory in North Carolina. Obama won the state by 14,177 votes, so a turnout by 5.1 percent of North Carolina’s adult non-citizens would have provided this victory margin.

Yup – again, it is a lot.  And further, may have given Franken his seat as well as Obama North Carolina.

Why Republicans Are Exercised About Voter ID

Immigration

Contrary to popular Democratic shoe banging, Republicans are not passing voter ID laws to restrict poor and minority voters from voting.  Republicans are passing voter ID laws because Democrats want illegal aliens to vote – and those people vote for Democrats:

Are voters ready to let illegal immigrants vote? A sizable number, including most Democrats, are.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that one-out-of-three Likely U.S. Voters (35%) now believes that illegal immigrants should be allowed to vote if they can prove they live in this country and pay taxes. Sixty percent (60%) disagree, while five percent (5%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Democrats think tax-paying illegal immigrants should have the right to vote. Twenty-one percent (21%) of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major political party agree.

Note – this is not LEGAL immigrants, still not citizens mind you, but ILLEGAL immigrants.

Democrats want to extend this right only because illegal immigrants vote Democratic.

 

Bernie Sanders And Economics

Bernie Sanders

There is no doubt that Bernie Sanders is not alone when it comes to inconsistencies in his world view.  But he’s such an interesting character, at least he honestly identifies as socialist, that it’s impossible not to find humor in his policies.

Bernie feels that certain economic laws apply to conditions while believing, seemingly randomly, that others don’t.

For example, Sanders feels that open trade agreements move work over seas; the idea being that corporations will flow where the less expensive labor exists.  A concept that I whole heatedly agree with – YEAH Bernie!  On the other hand Mr. Sanders does NOT feel that raising the minimum wage will have much the same impact on marginally skilled workers – BOO Bernie!

All this came to mind when I discovered Mr. Sanders’ objection to open borders:

“What they are talking about is completely opening up the border,” Sanders responded. “That was the question. Should we have a completely open border so that anyone can come in the United States of America? If that were to happen, which I strongly disagree with, there is no question in my mind that that would substantially lower wages in this country.”

Good for Bernie.  He’s right, of course, that allowing unskilled workers in from our neighbors to the south to bid on and compete for jobs will reduce the rate at which employers will need to pay.  Further, it will erode the most marginal, the less educated and least skilled, workers.  So yeah, he’s right – and I’m surprised.

Further, Mr. Sanders continues and is able to point out exactly who those folks might be:

“When you have 36-percent of Hispanic kids in this country who can’t find jobs and you bring a lot of unskilled workers in the country what do you think happens to that 36-percent of kids of today who are unemployed? 51% of African-American kids [are unemployed],” Sanders said.

“I frankly do not believe we should be bringing in significant numbers of unskilled workers to compete with those kids,” Sanders made clear.

In addition to pointing out that Bernie is right, I would also like to point out two other facts.  One – Bernie is supporting an unpopular position because he cares about the folks most in need.  He gets the fact that it won’t be high tech jobs impacted.  Two – Bernie is supporting a position because he CARES about the people most likely to be impacted.  This is a very similar situation that conservatives find themselves in when we offer support for lower taxes, reduced government dependency programs and oppose the minimum wage.

Wherein Pino Fixes Immigration

Immigration

Much attention to immigration in the last few weeks – heck, years.  All, or most, stemming from the flow of folks south of the American border.

For years, I have remained a staunch supporter of much more liberal immigration policies.  For example, my goto exercise has been this:

Me [to a conservative friend] – Close your eyes and describe ‘the perfect American’.

Friend – Hard working, God fearing, loves family.

Me – You just described every Mexican I know!

Further, I have implored people to justify a restriction on immigration.  Again, for sake of illustration, I would rather have a guy that has what it takes to risk EVERYTHING, and the GET HERE, to live in the absolute glory that is America than the typical citizen who just mails it in.

Every and any day!

Since then, however, I have tempered that due in large part to the importance of assimilation.  While I fully support allowing as many people as possible to enjoy the unequaled prosperity America offers, we need to be able to handle the challenges that excessive immigration poses.

All that being said, here is my solution to immigration to America:

– Make coming here legal.

The End.

Wanna live in Mexico, get your mail in Mexico and send your kids to Mexican schools but work in America?  Cool.   Sign up and go for it!

Wanna temporarily live in America while working a job [or three] to save money for later?  Cool.  Sign up and go for it!

Be aware – you are still a citizen of country of origin and are not eligible for the rights afforded to American Citizens.  You may drive but not vote.  No unemployment or insurance.  Hospital visit?  On your own.

Now – wanna move to America and BECOME AMERICAN?  Awesome, join the club and enjoy all the benefits afforded to citizens!  Sign up and go for it!

Oh yeah, the process for ‘signing up’ should be as difficult as obtaining a cell phone contract.

America’s Immigration Policy

ImmigrationIt has become clear that the United States’ immigration policy is busted.  My thoughts below.

There are two bedrock principles that absolutely need to be made clear.  These beliefs are a priori to the conversation of immigration in general and the immigrant in specific.

I – Laws

America is a nation founded on laws.  These laws need to be enforced.  When the law has served its purpose and no longer is applicable – that law needs to be changed.

II – We Are a Nation of Immigrants

America is Exceptional.  Not only are we a nation that tolerates immigrants we are a nation that cherishes immigrants.

With that said it is critical that we acknowledge the need for national borders and rules for passage across them.  Here are my reasons why an individual could cross into America:

  1. Citizenship – If an individual wishes to become a citizen of The United States of America she should be allowed to enter and begin that process.
  2. Resident – If an individual wishes to live and work in America but not become a citizen he should be allowed to enter and live his life.
  3. Foreign Worker – If an individual wishes to live in her home nation but work in America she should be allowed to enter and work.
  4. Student – If an individual wishes to attend an institution of higher learning he should be allowed to enter and go to school.
  5. Refuge – If an individual wishes to seek safe haven until she can return to her native country she should be allowed to enter.

In each of the above examples, the initial process should be extraordinarily clear, straightforward and easy.  Basically consisting of validation that the individual is not:

  • Wanted for a crime in his home country
  • On a Terror Watch list
  • Carrying an infectious disease

Satisfy that and come on in!

 

 

Obama Deportatiion Record

ImmigrationPresident Obama Deporting Record Number Of Aliens

The current administration likes to point out that they are strong on immigration enforcement:

Immigration officials announced last week that President Obama has deported more than 1.9 million people since first taking office, more than any other previous administration.

Sounds tough, right?  Nearly 2,000,000 people “gone”.  More than even Bush.

True?

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The Immigration Debate

Immigration

At some point the focus of the nation will return to the immigration debate here in America.  And when it does, I’ll continue to be confused.  For the life of me, I don’t understand the positions of each side of the debate.

So, here are my questions:

  1. Why is the current debate limited to those people here illegally?
  2. Why, in general, do we limit immigration at all?
  3. If we do limit immigration, why do we limit it in so many stages?
    1. Green Card
    2. Student Visa
    3. Citizenship
  4. How are the numbers decided on?

Personally, we have TONS of room here, not only for anyone that wants to live here in America but literally, every one in the world:

the-worlds-population-concentrated-small

We have the room.

So LET THEM IN!

The Republican Opposition To Immigration Reform

Immigration

I’m not entirely clear on either side of the debate, but most especially with the republican argument.  Best I can tell, the idea is that granting amnesty to existing aliens is bad.  I don’t know why republicans think that’s a bad idea, but I know why I think it is.  And that reason is that I know, am friends with, a number of foreign nationals that are on a multi-year waiting list to obtain a simple green card.  THEY want permanent resident status and to eventually become a citizen.  These guys are paying taxes, buying homes and even contributing to social security.  All with no assurance that they will be allowed to remain here in the States.

I think I’m pretty libertarian in my thinking that while borders are important, they should be made to cross as easily as possible.  A simple check for legal status in native country, terrorist watch list and potentially dangerous disease.

Other than that, I’m for letting anyone and everyone in.

But this insistence on “no amnesty”…what does that mean?  Do republicans feel that the folks already here, with families often 2 generations deep, cannot become a citizen ever?  Or until they return home to their native country and apply?  Is THAT what we really want?  Is that good for the nation?

I don’t think it is.  And I’d bet that most folks would agree with me, even the republicans.  So why this insistence on no-amnesty if they can’t even articulate what that means and why they support the position?

I don’t know.