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From the mouths of babes…

March 25, 2011 2 comments

Official Seal of the Government of the United ...

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Let me start with a basic statement of facts.

  • I favor legal immigration and I favor increasing the number of people allowed to legally immigrate into the US.
  • Immigration must be managed in a way that brings people based on their ability assimilate and be productive citizens.
  • I am unalterably opposed to illegal immigrants, from whatever their home country.
  • I favor laws, at the state level if necessary, that makes housing, employment and education as close to impossible as we can make it.  I favor the use of e-Verify or a similar system to validate the right of every individual to housing, employment and education and I favor harsh penalties aimed at employers, landlords/property managers and school administrators who allow illegal aliens to live, work or attend school.
  • I favor an interpretation of the concept of “birthright citizenship” that grants US citizenship to children born of parents who are legal immigrants to the US and disallows citizenship to the children of illegal aliens.

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Immigration laws that work…


Illegal immigration is a huge drain on the US.

It’s a direct assault on out culture – “Press Two for English”. It’s a direct assault on our heritage, the concept of the US being a melting pot where immigrants seeking freedom can assimilate into our culture, “Out of Many, One”, the famous quote from the Great Seal of the United States that Al Gore got exactly backwards. And illegal immigration is an assault on our financial stability and resources.  According to the Center for Immigration Studies, states with the biggest budget problems also have the biggest “immigrant financial” problems, specifically California and Arizona.  In fact, the cost if illegal aliens is about equal to the budget deficits in most financially strapped states
Read more…

Immigration Laws That Work

February 27, 2011 4 comments

Mexican Invasion

The Mexican Invasion

I live in Phoenix, Arizona.  We have a problem here with illegal immigration and because the Feds steadfastly refuse to even try to seal our border with Mexico we’ve take some steps internally to address the problem.  We wrote about the problem at 908 Straight St! in December.  The bottom line is that in states with the biggest budgetary problems – California and Arizona being numbers one and two when you look at deficit as a percentage of total budget – the cost of the Mexican invasion just happens to equal the state budget deficit.

Here in Arizona, and in Virgina – the story highlighted in December – and now in New Mexico, Republicans are doing things at the state level that are reducing the immigration cost.  Unfortunately for some, we’re reducing our cost by exporting it, along with the illegal aliens driving the cost, to states that are more illegal friendly.  My guess is that they won’t be so friendly for long given that the states do not have the ability to print money and are beginning to make, in the words of those who created the problem, “draconian cuts”.  Here’s a quick update of some stuff that works.

From the 908SS! December article about Prince William County, they cracked down on illegals and they fled to the surrounding region or somewhere, but they left PWC.  The result was striking:

Every area of PWC has made reductions and, as of today, the county has cut more than $140 million from the cost of government, and is employing the lowest number of full-time government workers in the D.C. region. Indeed, residents of the county pay tax bills nearly 30% lower than in neighboring counties.

The business community has responded, PWC is now the number one job growth county in Virginia and the D.C. region and number two in terms of job growth on the East Coast.

In addition, the article notes a 32% drop in violent crime.

Here in Phoenix, we have another example.  We are cutting the amount of money going to K-12 from the State.  An article in the Arizona Republic rightly notes that there are a laundry list of reason for the reductions when you look at individual school districts, but let’s look at one specific district, the Alhambra Elementary School District.

[the Alhambra District] is 70 percent Latino, has lost 1,000 students, 6.5 percent of its enrollment, since 2007. Superintendent Karen Williams doesn’t blame the recession. She blames a 2007 state law that permits fining businesses for hiring illegal immigrants and the subsequent rancorous debate over immigration around the state. Williams says many parents moved out of Arizona.

It’s an interesting article and there are some specifically non-immigration things that the Alhambra district is doing that you’ll find interesting.

Bottom line, once again, crack down on illegal immigration and illegals will run like cockroaches exposed to the light.

Let’s take a look at our neighboring state, New Mexico.  The good folks of New Mexico elected a Republican Governor last November.  She also happens to be Hispanic.

(Reuters) – The nation’s first female Hispanic governor has angered many Latinos with a proposal to repeal a New Mexico state law allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.

Newly-elected Governor Susana Martinez, a Republican who ran on a promise to get tough on illegal immigration, this week added fuel to the fire by using leftover campaign funds to pay for a radio ad urging support for her repeal efforts.

Needless to say, the Left is going bonkers. I mean hey, this woman doesn’t know her place. Just who does she think she is? I think they’ll find out and I also think they won’t like the answer. Heh.

I’m hoping the next shot fired across the bow in illegals floating into our country – note: OUR country – will be a combined effort by Republican States Attorneys General going after voter fraud. Kansas new Secretary of State, who happens to be the same guy who wrote Arizona’s SB1070, has vowed to pass tough voter fraud laws in Kansas. Those can be used as a model for other states just like SB1070 is being modeled in about a dozen other states today.

The bottom line of all this is that there are a wide variety of things that states can do, and do without challenge even from the Obama Justice Department, that will have a major impact on the cost of illegal aliens in their states. True, we’re exporting the problem across state lines to places like California, but tough. If you want ’em you can have ’em and I’m willing to charter a bus to transport ’em to LA and San Francisco. Our goal should be to make our states a hospitable and welcoming place for legal immigrants and we should view illegal aliens with the same disdain we view child molesters.

Moving in the right direction on immigration.

December 28, 2010 1 comment

Rep Smith and Rep King you’re doing the Lord’s work!

Politico has a great article that I think shows that Washington Republicans may be about to get something right.  And they’re going to address a serious problem and actually do something that will make the problem less of a problem.  In addition, it will establish that criminal behavior is criminal behavior and should be treated as such.

To digress just a tad, I am a great believer in a couple of things.  The first is winning by incrementalism.  In other words, when attacking a big issue you’re not likely to get a clear win in one felled swoop.  You usually can, however, pick off a bunch of low hanging fruit that, if done right will build a solid foundation for moving toward other wins on the issue and you will also build credibility as you move ahead one win at a time.  The second thing is directly related to the subject of this post, illegal immigration.  I was – and am – opposed to SB1070 here in Arizona.  I’ll support it because it’s passed the Legislature, been signed by the Governor and is currently being adjudicated through the Courts now, and I hope Arizona wins.  I do believe there was a simpler and much less controversial way to achieve the same result – making life difficult for illegal aliens to they’ll go elsewhere.  Don’t go after them directly, go after the people who employ them illegally, go after those who provide them housing, go after those who provide them government benefits.  Take away jobs, housing and the “safety net” and you don’t much have to worry about THEM.  They’ll go elsewhere.  Do it nationally, they might even go home.  Or to Canada.  Either works for me.

OK, that said, Representative Smith made my day with this…

After weeks of speculation that he would pursue a scorched-earth immigration agenda, Smith detailed his to-do list for the first time in an interview with POLITICO — and it’s an early but important signal that the new House Republican majority plans to attack the issue of immigration through the prism of jobs, rather than red meat for the base.

Smith’s first two hearings will focus on expanding E-Verify, a voluntary electronic system for checking the immigration status of workers that President Barack Obama supports and scrutinizing the administration’s record on worksite enforcement.

“They are what I call 70 percent issues — 70 percent or more of the American people support those efforts,” Smith said. “I think they are popular across the board, and I think they will be appreciated by all American workers regardless of their ethnicity or background or anything else.”

And exactly right you are Rep. Smith. This will be enforcement that works and you’ll also have the opportunity to make sure that the Administration actually enforces new laws in this area, although to be fair, Obama’s Administration is doing more on workplace enforcement than his predecessor, and doing a pretty good job at it.

This also means that the “touchy” stuff like “birthright citizenship” won’t be talked about seriously. And that is fine with me because guess what. On January 5 a delegation from the Arizona Legislature will be in Washington talking about that very subject and they plan to enact legislation here in Arizona this year that will address it. Then the Department of Justice can take us to court again. Bottom line, birthright citizenship will get talked about a whole lot and when these subjects are discussed, the conservative opinion nearly always prevails with the American people. Remember SB1070? All the hyperventilating about it by community activists. Well, about 60% of the American people support it and wish their state would enact something similar. And there are, I think, seven states considering SB1070 type of legislation.

Mr. Smith in Washington has his strategy down pat and his tactics are solid. Remember, we’ve got a 9.8% unemployment rate, unless you count the folks who’ve stopped looking and then it’s about 17%. When asked about birthright citizenship, Smith said this…

“That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”
[…]
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which favors tighter restrictions on legal and illegal immigration, said Smith’s focus on E-Verify and worksite enforcement will do as much as anything else to bring order to the system.

“We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together.”

From a political standpoint, framing immigration as a jobs issue makes sense, Camarota said.

“Democrats have to essentially argue it is a good idea to leave those 7 million illegal immigrants in those jobs,” Camarota said. “It puts Democrats on the defensive.”

Got that? Good for the country. A positive step getting the unemployed back to work. Bad for Democrats. Sounds like heaven to me.

Give ’em hell Mr. Smith.

A slow news week in Arizona…

December 27, 2010 2 comments

Ready for Transplant

but some stuff worth highlighting anyway.

First of all, let’s remember that even the New York Times featured stories about Arizona cutting state health care funds for the poor so that poor people couldn’t get transplants. Well, apparently that’s been fixed.

Who says the state doesn’t have the money to fund transplants?

Someone has dug up some dollars to transplant dozens of rosebushes in preparation for Gov. Jan Brewer’s inauguration.

The shrubs, which normally grace the courtyard between the House and Senate buildings, have been transplanted to a temporary nursery so platforms can be built to accommodate the Jan. 3 event.

They’ll be returned to their spots in the courtyard after the inauguration. Apparently, rosebush transplants are not optional services when it comes to Capitol festivities.

OK. Well sorta.

===========================================================

Congress in Session

Now then, on to the serious stuff. Like the start of the Legislative New Year. We discussed this last week but there is some interesting information in this article that bears highlighting. First of all, as noted above Governor Brewer’s inauguration will be held on January 3. The interesting things follow (quoted from the linked article)…

  • The 50th Legislature begins at noon on Jan. 10 in the House chambers…
  • [Governor] Brewer will release her budget recommendations on Jan. 14.
  • Jan. 31 is the last day for Senate bills to be introduced without special permission.
  • Feb. 7 is the last day for House bills to be introduced without special permission.
  • March 12 is the last day for Senate committees to hear Senate bills and House committees to hear House bills. Appropriations committees get an extra week. All bills that do not receive hearings by this point are dead. [Bills that are heard by the deadline and passed by the House or Senate must be heard in the other chamber by April 9 or they are dead.]
  • April 19 is the 100th day of session. The Legislature typically tries to end its session by the 100th day.

Remember, Arizona faces a $2.25B budget hole that must be addressed and both the Governor and the Legislature have said “No Tax Increases”. The Legislature has until March 26 to put together a budget. Compare that exercise to the US Congress which still hasn’t passed a budget for the current fiscal year and probably won’t have one passed by the time Arizona’s budget is signed. Brewer will submit her budget on January 14, the House has 64 days to debate and pass the budget. I understand that the US budget is more complicated than Arizona’s, so what say to a constitutional amendment that gives Congress 90 days to pass a budget or shut down operations of the government – with the exception of the US Military and US Border Patrol (note: NOT TSA) for the full duration of the budget period (two years).

The really nifty thing is that the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn on April 19th, 100 days into the session. A 100 day legislative session. How about a 180 day legislative session for the US Congress? Think of the messes that would never happen if Congress was in session for 180 days every two years. Makes my heart pound.

And the icing on the Legislative Cake happens next week…

Senate President Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, Rep. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, and lawmakers from several other states are planning to gather in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 5 to reveal the details of legislation that proposes to change how children born to illegal immigrants are recognized by individual states. More than a dozen states are expected to propose the same bill this year.

If you think SB1070 created a firestorm, just wait about six months. A bunch of states passing legislation to limit “birthright citizenship”. The DoJ will busy as one armed paperhangers between the continuing saga of SB1070 and the probability that similar legislation will be introduced in several more states, Representative Darryl Issa holding hearings on only God knows what and birthright citizenship. It’s gonna be a really, really fun year.

Oh, and the picture is not a mistake.

Poor, poor California. Getting Scrooged!

December 27, 2010 1 comment

Census taker visits a family living in a carav...

Image via Wikipedia

Heh.

Today’s Washington Post has a plaintive article bemoaning the fate of the Golden State in the recent census.  As I’m sure you know, California has been experiencing some problems lately, and a bunch of them stem from – if you’re a California politician – a lack of money to fund the state, or if you’re normal human being, those problems stem from trying to centralize all of life’s decisions in California in the hallowed halls of Sacramento and spending two dollars for every one that you can get your hands on.  Any way you cut it though, California has become the bronze state and they can’t seem to find anybody to polish off the green stuff.

Now then, recall that we recently had a census.  The census is used to determine, among other things, the number of House seats you get and how big a cut of the federal pie you end up with from about $400B worth of federal spending programs.  So, it’s important to get it right.  Wherein lies the problem.  And specifically, the problem is those pesky undocumented workers who’ve migrated from poverty in Mexico to the sunny climes of freedom loving California so they can provide for their families.  Or, if you’re not a Leftist California politician (I know it’s redundant), the problem could be several million illegal aliens who’ve taken advantage of our unwillingness to protect our borders and poached their way into California to take advantage of what used to be a pretty good school system, free health care and a myriad of other benefits that California politicians make sure they get.  Pick one.

So, back to the whining in the WaPo.

LOS ANGELES – California officials estimate that the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count 1.5 million of the state’s residents, a discrepancy that, if true, could cost the state billions of dollars in federal aid over the next decade and perhaps an increase in its representation in Congress.
[…]
“It cuts away at our share of the $400 billion a year that the federal government doles out to states. It made it so for the first time California didn’t actually grow its congressional delegation, therefore we’re not going to have as strong a voice as we could have. It puts us at a disadvantage,” said state Assembly Speaker John Perez, a Los Angeles Democrat. “I’m looking seriously to see what happens in the post-count scenario, into every option for going to get the kind of adjustment that reflects our growth.”

Ahhh gee John. Sorry about that. Well, come to think of it I’m not at all sorry.

Now then, to the issues. There’s that growth thing. Growth? Dude! Haven’t you noticed that for the past lots of years Californians have been abandoning the Golden State in droves? Moving businesses out like crazy. Moving to places like Texas and Arizona. So, John, what about that growth? Where oh where could it come from? Oh yeah. Maybe from Mexico. And instead of the skilled workers and business owners that are abandoning your silly state in droves you’re getting unskilled landscapers and hotel maids who can’t speak English and cost you maybe $25B or $30B a year in medical and school costs and we won’t discuss increases in your crime rates, but you could refer to the piece we did on Virgina last week and how their violent crime rates dropped when they outlawed illegals. But anyway, back to your whining. Needless to say, your politicians have a plan.

“If there is evidence of an undercount, the city will strongly consider all options for us to receive our fair share of federal funding,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

California is home to large numbers of people least likely to participate in the census, including minorities, the young and low-income households. Ten of the top 50 “hard-to-count” counties in the nation are in California, and it has a large population of illegal immigrants, who are less likely to participate in the survey for fear that it would put them on the government’s radar.

A 2008 study found that the state had more than 5 million hard-to-count residents.

This year, the problem may have been compounded by the state spending significantly less on census outreach than it did a decade ago, though nonprofit organizations and private foundations tried to fill the gap.

“I don’t think any amount of outreach is going to fully eliminate the undercount, particularly in [historically undercounted] communities, some of which are very well represented in California’s population,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The organization and others tried to reassure Latino immigrants that participating in the census was “safe, important and simple. But the emphasis was on the first, the safety.”

Nice bed dude!

“[historically undercounted] communities”? Would that be a reference to illegal aliens who have no business being here in the first place. I think it would. And hey, I would also suggest that instead of using MALDEF and SEIU and various other anti-American elements of the Democratic Party (I know, redundant again) to count in those “communities” maybe they should have used the LA County Sheriff or volunteers from ICE. I’ll bet they could have gotten an exact count. Let’s see, there are 55 seats on a long haul, high capacity Greyhound bus. Fill the seats, count the number of buses as they cross the southern border to drop off their cargo and multiply by 55. Yeah, that will give you a good count.

Back to beating the bloggyhorse. If the State of California – or any of it’s legal jurisdictions – have the gall to actually sue the Feds to add bodies to their count so they can get help paying for the illegal aliens that they encourage to come and live illegally I hope that other states will counter sue and we can establish that the census should be for “legal” residents. Here in Arizona we’re working hard to make our state a very “illegal-alien-unfriendly” place. We’re tired of paying for them. We’d like to round them up and ship them back to their home country – and hint: THIS is not their home – but we can’t, that’s a federal job and they won’t do it. But gee, we can make it a hostile place if you’re not supposed to be in the country and you’ll want to move somewhere more friendly. Like California. So guys and gals, and since it is California we’re talking about, guys who used to be gals and gals who used to be guys, you made your bed. Lie in it. Hey, at least you’ll have cheap, non-English speaking help to make the darn thing when you need to get up and go collect your unemployment check.

Doing Immigration Right! We have an actual example.

December 21, 2010 7 comments

So the “DreamACT” – better known here as Nightmare on Main St – is, at least for the moment, dead. Now would be a good time to reflect on the so-called “immigration problem”.

Let’s start with some commonly accepted facts.

  • There are somewhere between 12MM and 20MM illegal aliens living in the US.
  • The Mexican border couldn’t be much more porous.
  • The current Administration could care less about actually enforcing immigration law.
  • Illegal aliens bring significant cost factors to local/state governments in health care, education and crime.

The Center for Immigration Studies has published a number of studies on the cost of illegal immigration. At the state level, for many states, California and Arizona especially, the cost of illegal aliens is equal to or greater than the state’s budget deficits.

In a new study, at the federal level they found this…

Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household.

Among the largest costs are Medicaid ($2.5 billion); treatment for the uninsured ($2.2 billion); food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches ($1.9 billion); the federal prison and court systems ($1.6 billion); and federal aid to schools ($1.4 billion).

On average, the costs that illegal households impose on federal coffers are less than half that of other households, but their tax payments are only one-fourth that of other households.

If illegal aliens were given amnesty and began to pay taxes and use services like households headed by legal immigrants with the same education levels, the estimated annual net fiscal deficit would increase from $2,700 per household to nearly $7,700, for a total net cost of $29 billion.

Those are just a few of the low-lights. The bottom line, in a time of severe economic recession with real – as in U6 – unemployment running at about 17%, and deficits running in the uncounted trillions of dollars, illegal aliens are a major contributor to the hardships being felt by American families.

And with respect to unemployment, the CIS study note the following:

The vast majority of illegals hold jobs.

There are between 12MM and 20MM illegal aliens in the US. Those jobs would make a huge dent in the unemployment statistics.

“OK, so what?” you say. Well, one place in the US has actually DONE something about illegal aliens. And, it’s not Arizona. They’re not even on the Mexican border. They’re close enough to Washington DC that you’d think maybe a legislator or two would have noticed what was happening. I’m talking about Prince William County in Virginia.

While many localities in America are facing budget shortfalls and mounting debt, one county in Virginia has escaped massive deficits and instead measurably reduced the overall size of government.

Prince William County (PWC) is the second largest county in Virginia and now the number-one job growth locality in the region – with one of the lowest tax burdens – a distinction the chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, Corey Stewart, contends is directly attributable to the disciplined implementation of conservative principles and a harsh crackdown on illegal immigration.

In 2007 the county adopted a very strict illegal immigration policy, which, according to a study by the University of Virginia and the Police Executive Research Forum has likely resulted in a 46.7% drop in aggravated assaults and a 32% drop in violent crime.

Stewart told The Daily Caller that one of the best cost cutters was the reduction in the number of illegal immigrants in the county.

“It gave us the ability to cut costs because the cost driver for the county is the school and we had such an influx of limited-English speaking students between 2002-2007 and those limited-English students are extra costly to the school system. That was the prime cost driver, the influx of those students,” Stewart said, citing the importance of being able to reduce the number of expensive English as a Second Language classes, which had increased over 250% in the previous five years.

Every area of PWC has made reductions and, as of today, the county has cut more than $140 million from the cost of government, and is employing the lowest number of full-time government workers in the D.C. region. Indeed, residents of the county pay tax bills nearly 30% lower than in neighboring counties.

The business community has responded, PWC is now the number one job growth county in Virginia and the D.C. region and number two in terms of job growth on the East Coast.

“It proves that when government gets off the backs of businesses and reduces the size of government, business will respond and create those jobs. It is not the job of government to create jobs. It is the job of government to get off out of the way,” Stewart said.

Oh, and a pretty significant drop in violent crime too. Gosh. I guess those “peaceful folks who are just looking for better times for their families” must have avoided Virginia like the plague.

Here’s the bottom line gentle reader. The “immigration lobby” has been lying through their teeth for decades. Illegal aliens are a major drain on our economy and a threat to the American Dream for those who are here legally, whether natural born citizens or legal immigrants. Aliens have taken jobs that could employ US citizens. They are using government welfare programs at both the federal and state levels at rates that are destroying our schools, our hospitals and our local governments.

It’s time we stopped the DreamACT kinds of foolishness and got serious. The US is being invaded by Mexico, and the invasion is every bit as real as if the Mexican Army had crossed the southern border with tanks and infantry. Actually, it’s worse. I would guess the Mexican Army would get rebuffed by the Nogales Police force. They certainly wouldn’t stand a chance against the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The real invasion is much more dangerous to our country because not only do most people not seem to care – at least it isn’t a high priority – many people, including the President and at least 55 members of the US Senate, seem to think we should give them amnesty and make them US Citizens. And then you folks in Kansas can find the same joy we know here in Arizona. If you’re going shopping, you better speak Spanish if you are going to need assistance in a store.

So, what to do? Here’s a short, and by no means inclusive list. It’s just a place to start.

  • Require an e-Verify report on every employee. Current as well as new hires.
  • Require an e-Verify report on every adult in order to rent housing.
  • Make it a felony to employ or rent to illegal aliens. Can’t be dropped to a misdemeanor, first time felony.
  • A small amount of real jail time for every business owners/managers who employ illegal aliens. Even one or two months per head will be fine.
  • Same penalties for realtors/landlords/leasing agents who rent to illegals.
  • Serious fines that cannot be discharged in BK and carry over to the owner/board of directors personally if the business can’t pay. $25,000 per head is a good number.

There are lots of other measures I’d like to see and will no doubt write about as time goes by. Things like no citizenship for children born to illegals for starters. Oh, and build a wall along the southern border and use the US military to secure it. If someone breaches the wall, shoot them on sight.

Folks, don’t kid yourselves. We’re at war with Mexico. Act accordingly and expect your government to do the same. And to the good folks in Prince William County, thank you for a great object lesson in making government work for it’s citizens.