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PINE BLUFFS - Of all the serious problems changing the face of the United State of America for the worse during the past twenty years, illegal immigration is the most serious.
Perhaps no other predicament has had such a deleterious effect on the United States, and indeed, much of the Western World than illegal immigration. It’s a known fact that in the United States “big business” to steal a phrase from the Democrats, is driving this problem; if there were no jobs available, Mexicans and others would not be pouring across our southern border.
However, jobs are not the only issue. Equally important is the fact that many communities, usually run by liberals, offer welfare benefits and even driver licenses to illegals. Also adding to the problem are those illegals who come into the United States and then have babies. Are those children citizens of the United States? Article II, Section 1 of our Constitution talks about the requirement that natural born citizens are eligible for the offices of president and vice-president. It goes no further.
It’s my position that all illegal aliens presently in this country should be rounded up, arrested, and deported. That applies equally to Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Asians, and Muslims, and any children born to them while here.
Whether we’re talking about drug smuggling, illegal immigration, or the terrorist threat, securing America’s borders is vital to our national security. Is anyone paying attention? Well, former President George W. Bush, during his second term in office was. Between 2004 and 2008, enormous strides to secure the southern border were made by the Bush Administration. Were it not for that, the Obama Administration would have a far tougher job protecting America’s borders.
To get specific, the Bush Administration accomplished the following:
• increased the number of Border Patrol agents from 11,000 to 17,500;
• added substantial fencing and other tactical infrastructure at the border with Mexico;
• rolled out and fine-tuned the first deployment of SBI net, a program initiated in 2006 as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Border Initiative (SBI) that aided in the apprehension of almost 4,000 people attempting to cross the border
• increased the number and use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS);
• launched the ports of entry (POE) modernization project;
• added 108 new radiation portal monitors at Ports of Entry, bringing the number to 1,127;
• began the long-term development of the Coast Guard’s Integrated Deepwater System Program intended to re-capitalize Coast Guard equipment.
These steps amounted to substantial progress, resulting in better control of roughly 757 miles (though admittedly not the entire length) of the southern border, the apprehension of 1,040,000 people attempting to cross the border illegally at or between the points of entry, and the processing of 396.7 million pedestrians and 122 million vehicles through the points of entry in fiscal year 2008. Mr. Bush’s achievements established a solid foundation; one which President Obama and his team could have used to build continuing border security enforcement. Have they done so?
The first full year of Barack Hussein Obama’s Administration has provided a glimpse of how President Obama plans to tackle this challenge. The picture does not bode well for the security of the United States.
Do you believe that the United States can continue to absorb an unlimited number of immigrants without adversely affecting the economic and social fabric of our nation? A majority of Americans say “no.” President Obama says, “yes.”
Are you worried that the amnesties and other programs proposed by Barack Hussein Obama and members of Congress will encourage even more illegal immigration? A majority of Americans say “yes.” President Obama says, “no.”
Do you think that more or fewer immigrants should be allowed into America annually? A majority of Americans say “fewer.” President Obama says, “more.”
Are you concerned about the open borders that allow drugs, diseases and criminals – not to mention possible terrorists - to enter the United States? A majority of Americans say “yes”. President Obama says, “no.”
Despite the wishes and preferences of the vast majority of Americans, there’s a nonsensical push underway by President Obama to further loosen immigration laws. He, along with House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), have characterized immigration law enforcement by ICE officers as “terrorism,” and under Obama appointee, Janet Napolitano, workplace raids against businesses employing illegals have been halted. It seems that the Obama Administration either does not understand the size and scope of the problem, or it does not care, or it wants to further weaken America by allowing the continuation of problems like these:
· The use of English as the United States’ primary language is being measurably eroded through the growing acceptance of non-English languages in official capacities – such as driver license testing, voter ballots, and citizenship ceremonies now offered in various languages. The latest frustration: Spanish translations inserted into various sites on the Internet. Steps should be taken to slow down – and even bring to an end - this trend toward multi-lingualism by making English the official language of the United States.
· According to recent estimates, immigrants - legal and illegal - cost taxpayers as much as $87 billion a year. The size and scope of this current level of immigration is an intolerable burden on American taxpayers, which must be stopped.
· Households supported by illegal aliens receive an annual $2.5 billion in Medicaid benefits each year, as well as $1.9 billion in programs such as food stamps and free school lunches. This level of tax-financed support should trouble every thinking citizen.
· Bilingual programs currently consume over $3 billion a year of public education dollars - even though bilingual education has been proven to be an ineffective way to teach English.
· Approximately 1 million legal and huge numbers of illegal immigrants are coming to our country annually, at a time when the unemployment rate for Americans is hovering at around 10%. That’s more than 15 million who are unemployed. Some studies indicate that we can absorb only about 300,000 per year in total without causing a dramatic impact and structural changes on population levels and economic and social institutions.
· Between May 1990 and April 2009, authorities detected 104 tunnels used to smuggle contraband items and people from Mexico to the United States. Of those 104 tunnels detected over 19 years, roughly 92 were discovered after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack. As Customs and Border Patrol agents have secured more and more of the border, smugglers have moved to water routes or dug pathways under the border. Of the 92 tunnels exposed after 9/11, 69 of them (66 percent) were detected over the last four years
· Migrants use public services, health care facilities, and schools while paying few of the taxes that support these public sector activities—at a very high price tag.
· Overall, households headed by immigrants without a high school diploma (or low-skill immigrant households) received an average of $30,160 per household in direct benefits, means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services in FY 2004. That figure is much higher five years later.
In October 2008, writer Deborah Simmons did a study of the effect of illegal immigration on just one American community – Phoenix, AZ. Here are some quotes from her article, “Illegals vs. American taxpayers,” printed on Friday, October 10, 2008. A careful reading reveals that the campaigns of Senator John McCain and Senator Barrack Hussein Obama were much on her mind:
“More than a few pundits and commentators have called the Oct. 7 debate between Sen. John McCain and Sen Barrack Obama a snoozer because the two candidates didn't go at each other. Whether you concur or not with their assessment, one thing is certain, the candidates are not being grilled on the issue of illegal immigration and its inextricable link to our economic well-being and our national security.
“Exhibit A is a violent snapshot from Mr. McCain's home county, Maricopa County, Ariz. It unveils, in brutally honest facts and candid law-enforcement comments, what happens when sanctuary and amnesty policies tied the hands of law enforcers in Phoenix.
“Phoenix police reported more than 350 extortion-related kidnappings in 2007 and the city is now known as America's "kidnap capital." A special unit trying to arrest the problem is also grappling with something dubbed "virtual kidnapping," whereby a criminal claims it has kidnapped a relative, friend or associate of another criminal and threatens physical harm if that other criminal fails to pay a ransom. The ransoms range from $50,000 to $1 million. ‘Phoenix is ground zero for illegal narcotics and illegal human smuggling in the United States,’ Phoenix Detective Phil Roberts says. ‘There's a lot of illegal cash out there in the valley, and a lot of people want to get their hands on it.’
“Even the innocent are being snatched off the streets. A 14-year-old girl standing in front of the home of a known drug dealer was mistaken as the dealer's daughter by armed abductors. Blessedly she was released. Other victims have not been as fortunate.
“Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times OPERATION STREAMLINE: Detained illegal immigrants in Texas last month relocated to a housing unit where they will await court hearings and eventual deportation. Illegals and other parts of the black market enterprise known as human trafficking often use what is called a ‘drop house.’ Arizona authorities raided once such house just this week and found 11 illegals and six traffickers. ‘[T]he illegal immigrants told police that they were held against their will and some were beaten, kicked and struck with pistols because their family members couldn't come up with ransom money,’ the East Valley Tribune reported on Oct. 8.
“Kidnappings aren't Phoenix and Maricopa's only crime problem tied to illegals. ‘Illegal immigrants account for one-third of drug convictions, 85 percent of criminal impersonation or fake ID convictions, 44 percent of forgery convictions and 20 percent of felony DUI convictions. Nearly 20 percent of all convicted criminals in Maricopa County are illegal aliens and 21 percent of jail inmates are in the country illegally,’ said Judicial Watch's Corruption Chronicles Blog. The site goes on to report that in Arizona alone: Illegals are responsible for 13 percent of stolen autos, 11 percent of murders and 10 percent of sex crimes.
“How does this affect Main Street? It is estimated that every violent crime costs Joe Six Pack and Harriett Homeowner $20,000. When the economy was in better shape, Americans were in better shape to look the other way — our elected leaders trying to earn their keep inside the Beltway certainly did. While Main Streeters were telling the occupants of the Capitol to reject amnesty legislation, John McCain reached across the aisle to his Democratic friend Ted Kennedy on comprehensive immigration reform.
“Consider this: Officer Nick Erfle was doing what we witness our officers doing every day, when, about a year ago, he and his partner approached three jaywalkers. One man drew a gun and mortally shot Officer Erfle in the face and then carjacked and kidnapped the driver. Police killed the gunman in a standoff. And guess what? The gunman was an illegal alien who had a felony record, had been deported in 2006 but managed to re-enter the country.
“Phoenix, of course, isn't the only city where illegals are committing abductions, dealing drugs and killing our law enforcers, or even committing such misdemeanors as jaywalking, graffiti, urinating in public, etc. They and American-born citizens are doing that and more all across America.
What's also criminal, though, is that neither Mr. McCain nor Mr. Obama is talking about it — and their campaigns can't hide behind, "Well, the economy is just too important." Indeed, while the economy has been the No. 1 issue on Americans' minds all year, the campaigns didn't even pay attention until Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said the sky was falling.
“Well, long before Mr. Paulson clued us in, Americans were begging for tougher immigration enforcement — and just like Washington waited too late to "fix" the financial markets, so, too, is Washington playing footsies with illegal aliens.
“It's easy to figure out how much taxpayers spend per month on each $20,000 violent crime that is committed in Any City, USA. That's frightening enough. What's even more spooky is that while officers are losing their lives preventing crime, officers are also using valuable hours trying to save the lives of criminals who have been kidnapped by other criminals.
“The costs of illegal immigration are hidden no longer. Obama and McCain should be challenged accordingly.”
“Spooky” is a mild way of putting it. A shameful example of misguided liberal policies might sum it up more accurately. The effect upon the citizens of Phoenix, once a retirement haven for many, has been to create a city under siege, where people, young an old, are afraid to move around freely. But have liberals learned any lessons? Not so we can notice.
One good sign: according to Americans for Immigration Control, Inc., a private non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c) 4 tax exempt organization headquartered in Merrifield, VA, for the first time since the “open border” immigration changes of the 1960’s, there’s a serious debate on regaining control of our borders and restoring immigration levels to historic and successful norms. But it has not progressed very far.
Here are my suggestions:
· As stated above, all illegal aliens presently in this country should be rounded up, arrested, and deported. That applies equally to Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Asians, and Muslims, and any children born to them while here.
· A temporary immigration moratorium should be enacted which would cease all immigration for a period of 5 years to give the current legal immigrant population time to assimilate, unemployed Americans the chance to find jobs, and the Customs and Border Patrol the opportunity to regain control over our borders.
· If no moratorium is enacted, Congress should change the open border concept and should strive to substantially lower the number of legal immigrants and eliminate completely the number of illegals who cross our borders annually.
Anthony J. Sacco, a writer, licensed private investigator, author of two novels; The China Connection, and Little Sister Lost, and a biography, Echoes in the Wind, holds degrees from Loyola College of Maryland and the University of Maryland Law School. His articles have appeared in the Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, Voices for the Unborn, the Catholic Review, WREN Magazine and the Wyoming Catholic Register. E-mail him at AnthonyjSacco@hotmail.com and visit his blog at AnthonyjSaccosr.townhall.com. His work is also available at Triond, an Internet Magazine.