Sunday, June 23, 2013

Immigration Bill Debacle

The "Gang of Eight" have crated and re-crafted the immigration bill full of goodies to gain votes but concentrating on debating those is the distraction the cobblers of this bill want us to focus on. When Minnesota faced a Constitutional Amendment on requiring a photo ID for voting, opponents debated from the stand point of an Amendment solving an problem that doesn't exist.

In 1986, Congress passed and President Reagan signed into law the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA). The IRCA required the following:

  • that employers to attest their employee's immigration status
  • made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit unauthorized immigrants
  • legalized certain seasonal agricultural illegal immigrants
  • legalized illegal immigrants who entered the United States before January 1, 1982 and had resided there continuously  with the penalty of fine, back taxes due, and admission of guilt. 
  • increased enforcement of U.S. border
The proposed "Gang of Eight" bill re-addresses each of these points above. Why? The unofficial number of illegal immigrants, I mean those living in the shadows, is 11 million. In Harold Holzer's book Lincoln President-Elect, Holzer (p 225) writes, "Even Americans opposed to slavery were anxious about what might happen to slaves - and to themselves - if the institution died. Full integration into free society, and with it, competition with white workers for low-paying menial jobs, was not yet a political option in the Republican mainstream." 

In April of this year, on NPR, host Celeste Headlee discussed the "Gang of Eight" immigration bill with Harold Holzer and Lesley Jordan - a food industry worker in Los Angeles.  The focus of the dialogue was the impact the immigration bill would have on the African-American community. 

Headlee asked, "Well, explain to me. Have you had any incidents that occurred in which you know for sure that an illegal immigrant, for example, either got a job that would've come to you otherwise or negatively affected your ability to get a job?"

Jordan responded, "Absolutely. Because in the food services, in the restaurant, you have the back of the house, which is the kitchen area. And those are Latinos working in the kitchen. And if you can't speak the language, then why would the chef  - why would the restaurant, why would they hire you? And that's been my experience. I don't speak Spanish. I don't feel that I should have to speak Spanish. But unfortunately I don't and I've been passed over for jobs because of it. And I know this for a fact"

The concern that Lesley Jordan echoes a concern that Holzer wrote in his book of Whites prior to Lincoln taking office. The only thing the new "Gang of Eight" bill will address is the expectation that all illegal immigrants will need to learn English otherwise the rest of the bill echos the 1986 legislation. It is that echo that concerns me and should concern the rest of America.

The problem with illegal immigration is not rooted in the vast number of illegal immigrants hiding in the shadows; rather it is the lack of resources given to the 1986 bill. Currently, Congress is in search of a solution to a problem that doesn't exist. By not existing, my meaning is that America never fully completed the decree of the 1986 legislation. Instead of reinventing reform law why not just fund the 1986 legislation and stop coming down on States, like Arizona, who want to assit the Federal government in enforcing the current law on the books. 

The issue of illegal immigration is not that reform is required; rather it is enforcement of current law and freeing up resources to build the wall along the Southern border.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Extended Patriot Act

2013 is shaping up to be an eye opener for Americans to the extent that our Federal Government and agencies have extended their look into our private lives. The IRS delay of approving Conservative and Jewish 501(c) applications while approving Liberal 501(c) groups in a timely manner - even on one instance back dating the approval several years. Over the last week, the UK newspapers broke several stories about the NSA, and other agencies, demanding phone records, email data, and internet activity of American citizens. The NSA, FBI, and CIA all claim all requests were legal and compliant under the recently extended and amended Patriot Act.

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, defended the use of a classified program known as PRISM last Thursday by claiming that "information collected under his program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of  Americans." Part of what Clapper claims is accurate that the information obtained can be extremely valuable to defending our borders and infrastructure from any manner of foreign attack. The trouble with Clapper's claim is the program is being used to survey Americans which violates one Due Process at a very minimum.

Granted the Founding Fathers didn't foresee the internet nor a global economy as we experience today; yet they were intelligent enough to put forth broad ideas that are applicable to evolutionary forces. Societies as they mature have become more and more reliant on technology - internet, tablets, and smartphones. With this reliance comes opportunity of abuse in the form of cyberattacks, unwarranted intrusion, or mining of information. No secret exists that Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, etc...track the pages we go to, words we search, friends we make, topics we discuss all in an effort to tailor our experience and drive revenues.

The trouble now is that Big Brother is mining this data for reasons that are not legit. The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution protects every American from illegal searches and seizures. As I stated above, the Founding Fathers didn't foresee the internet but the concept is applicable. Any American, as long as the use is legal, ought to be able to fire up the internet without fear that any branch or agency of the government is tracking their every move. Makes me wonder though, of the over 300 hits my blog posts get - how many are government agencies?

Rep. Maxine Waters stated earlier this year that, "The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life. That's going to be very, very powerful. That database will have information on every individual on ways that it's never been done before and whomever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. They're going to go down with the database and the concerns of those people because they can't get around it And he's been very smart. It's very powerful what he's leaving in place." When Rep. Waters first stated this most Americans, and the media, presumed that she was talking about a database of Democratic donors. Take this statement, combine it with the IRS scandal and the recent revelations of NSA and FBI mining of internet activity leads one to see that President Obama's database is much more than donors.

The dots are being connected and American's need to see them. Our Federal Government has grown too big and under the current administration has expanded the Patriot Act to the point of violating every American's 4th Amendment right. Unfortunately it took the UK Guardian to break the levee, leaving American media playing catch up. I agree that we need to ensure that cyberattacks and other illegal activity is combated on the internet but it needs to be done within the context of protecting our freedoms and obeying the law of the land. 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Axelrod gets it right!

A few weeks back I asked the question - What is the proper size of Government? Those that had challenged me to answer that question have been remarkably silent - Why might that be? On May 15th of this year David Axelrod, while on Morning Joe, is talking about the IRS scandal stated, "When you are President of the United States...part of being President there is so much beneath you that you cannot know because the government is so vast..."

Really! The President of the United States is the leader of our country. The one that is suppose to set the tone. Now I could go down the path that President Obama is the "smartest" President ever and all the rhetoric the Progressives have thrown out there about President Obama but I won't because it isn't germane to the topic at hand.

The fact that a Progressive finally admitted that the size of the Government is "so vast" that no one President cannot fully understand or be in the know of every detail of government is astounding. The IRS Scandal, which now appears to have over 60 agents involved, the AP/Fox New spying allegations, and the Benghazi cover up are just symptoms of a bigger problem. Soon we will have Obamacare that will be enforced by the IRS and is driving up insurance premiums.

Government is far too big! That mantra is not a battle cry for no government; rather it is the mantra for dialogue on the proper size and scope of government. In reading the Federalist Papers, again, it amazes me to the grasps of meaningful dialogue that our Founding Fathers painstakingly undertook to ensure that a repeat of the Continental Congress didn't take place while understanding that not all ills were able to be rectified to retain the Union. Since that point of the ratification of the United States Constitution, the concept of a limited Federal Government as eroding into the mammoth that David Axelrod is referring to when speaking on Morning Joe.

The downfall of any great society is the bureaucracy choke hold and the paranoia of the populous to curry favor with said bureaucracy. We approach that abyss. Recent scandal of the Obama administration are just a microcosm of the nature of the beast. Larger issues remain  - an example of that is the untamed animal known as the Federal Reserve. The Fed, as it is commonly referred to, is an un-elected body in charge of maintaining a secure and vibrant money supply that works inside of a star chamber. Soon we will have another un-elected board created out of the 7,000 plus page mega-bill known as Obamacare that will decide our future in regards to health care directives, procedures, coverage and, yes, penalties.

We have time to reverse this course and the river runs swift in the other direction, but it takes a collective voice unafraid of an IRS audit or retribution by the Government. Time is here for American's to reclaim the ideals of the Founding Fathers of a limited government, the opportunity to live free, and retain the government of the people for the people in tact. Attempt to think outside one's comfort zone and assess the scope and size of our current government. Our Founding Fathers risked far worse than being labeled a Tea Party, a Conservative, a Progressive, a Liberal, a Socialist to ensure that United States, as imperfect the start, would be a place that freedom reigned and Government played second fiddle.