Wednesday, April 26, 2006

It's Not Like They're Common Criminals - Ya, riiiight...

How often do we hear this line of (screwed up) reasoning regarding the 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country: “Let the ones who are already here stay. Don’t deport them. It’s not like they’re common criminals. Don’t treat them like criminals.” Even our President believes this! (Click the title for his true feelings.)

Oh no? Then what are they? Law abiding citizens?

Will the average American citizen be let off of the hook for committing these comparable “petty offences”? (don’t dare call them crimes)

  • Document forgery
  • Driving without a license
  • Breaking and entering
  • Criminal trespass
  • No work permit
  • Income tax evasion
    …and dozens more – you get the point

And this doesn't begin to touch on the other “offences” that these poor, innocent, “immigrants”, just trying to make a buck, commit. Come to think of it, if they are willing to commit all the above offences, what level of conscience or propriety would get in the way of their lovable, petty crime wave expanding to even greener pastures. See the links, below:

Hey, let’s treat American citizens with the same lack of regard for our laws and legal system as some are proposing to apply to illegal aliens. That should prove interesting! Yes, Mr. President, just treat the well-meaning illegals like you would average Jo Citizen.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Sustainability - Alien To Our Immigration Policy

In my planning profession, we have a concept called "sustainability." Growth needs to be "sustainable" to be healthy growth. Otherwise, growth more closely resembles a rampant cancer, eventually killing its host. Successful communities plan and manage their growth to avoid this condition. Some communities may be desperate for "growth at any price" or promote "growth for growth's sake" as their highest priority. This kind of growth is not sustainable - its benefits are short-lived. In the long run, severe economic and social problems are assured.

Our immigration policies and lack of enforcement of our immigration laws result in the same cancerous, out-of-control growth. We have the short-terms benefits of cheaper labor...but at what longer term cost.

Looking back to the pre-depression years of the 1920's, this nation also had liberal immigration policies to facilitatae cheap labor. Then came the great depression, and the years following when we suffered through national unemployment rates of 20 to 30%. There was a backlash not only against non-citizens, but against recent legal immigrants. Many hundreds of thousands were deported back to Mexico as a reaction to the unemployment rate of US citizens. The rate of immigration was not sustainable through the inevitable ups and downs of our economy. Citizens required their government to take the painful action of massive deportation to correct our previous unsustainable actions. That "repatriation" program was not an act of an ill-intentioned or evil government. It was a mandate from the American people!

This graph shows the number of new immigrants in the period from 1900 to 2005. Note the peak in the period 1910 to 1920. The came the depression in the 30's. I wonder what role the unsustainable numbers of immigrants might have had in precipitating our "great depression?". The numbers declined in the following decades. But we didn't learn our lesson as the numbers of immigrants begins it's cancerous rise in the 70's to the present at an increasing rate.

This link provides the current numbers of new illegal immigrants entering this nation each year: 3.7 million. This is far, far from sustainable immigration growth, even if they were legal, which they are not. Those who promote legalizing this number of existing illegal aliens are looking for disaster! The "bleeding hearts" who insist on opening our borders and ignore reasonable immigration limits are clueless to the disaster they our courting via their unsustainable policies. Even if the majority of illegals wanted to be assimilated (which they don't) current numbers do not allow for assimilation. We will end up, not with a melting pot, but with a balkinization that will perpetuate social conflict for generations to come. That does not translate to sustainability.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Immigration and the Catholic Church

This links to a letter from a Bishop of a Catholic archdiocese in the Florida Panhandle. The Bishop urges his parishioners not to be concerned about immigration law. The Bishop is a great and well-respected man in his field. I believe his error is in being out of his field in this letter. I quote his letter below and provide my reaction to a number of his erroneous, patronizing, condescending, or otherwise outrageous remarks in [brackets] in blue:

"My Dear Friends in Christ,

We celebrate today the resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ who laid down his life out of love and compassion for the human family. As followers of Christ, who are called to build a world based on justice and love, [read on to see his convoluted use of the word "justice"] I call to your attention today the plight of the immigrants in our midst. [The immigrants don't have the plight; the illegal aliens do. The Bishop fails to recognize this essential difference. A thief has a "plight", the honest person does not. The Bishop needs to get histerminologyy correct before he can realize that he is proposing to reward bad behavior.]

Today in our country and our state [Florida], we are facing the reality of some 11-12 million people living in our country without proper legal status. ["without proper legal status" is a softball phrase for "illegal aliens disrespecting and ignoring the laws of this nation."] Many people of good will analyze this situation merely from a legalistic ethic [meaning "we are too law abiding for our own good"] if people do not have legal status they should not be here. [This is true, isn't it? Why is he having difficulty understanding this simple concept?]

The Church has always taught respect for the law [the Catholic Church in California obviously does not hold this basic Christian and American tenet - see this site: ] , and honors the sovereign right of countries to protect their borders, but the Church has also taught that we have a moral obligation to work to change unjust laws [I've asked him to explain what is unjust about our immigration laws, aside from the fact that they are not being enforced] and to have the faith to protect ourselves without closing our doors to the needy in our world. [There is a big difference between opening our doors to a limited number of "huddled masses yearning to be free" and a "thronging hoard of protesters demanding rights they have not earned and to which they are not entitled!"] In keeping with the teaching of the last judgment (Matthew 25:1-46), we judge the morality of a nationĂ‚’s laws by how they treat the least among us, including by whether or not we welcome the strangers among us. [True - but don't we have a right to distinguish between those who disregard our laws athosehos who respect them? Where is the "justice?"]

The current immigration system is profoundly broken, separates families and facilitates exploitation. [What's broken about our immigration system is the lack of enforcement! The "separation familiesies and exploitation" is caused by those who choose to enter this country illegally. Don't blame enforcement, Bishop. You seem to have things a bit backwards.]

The Church knows this from our daily pastoral experience. We minister to people defrauded or cheated by people who know the workers cannot complain to authorities. [Wow. Isn't it a rather universal fear of lawbreakers to complain to authorities?] We work with families where spouses are separated for as much as ten years, while they await the legal process to get a green card. We work with honors students who have lived here most of their lives but who have no future after high school, because they do not have proper documents. [This is what I appreciate about the clearly teaches the need for personal responsibility, obedience to laws, and the concept of consequences for our actions. Doesn't it seem right and just that those who tap dance around, flaunt, and ourright ignore the laws of a nation they have no right to be in that there may be some unpleasant consequences?] In the worst cases, we see the human trafficking that occurs when smugglers can make great profit doing what the law does not allow poor people to do easily: to migrate in order to help feed their families. [Would it be more just and fair if only wealthy illegals were smuggled in?] We know the fear, violence, and victimization that occur in a system in which legal avenues are not available for matching willing workers to willing employers for many of Florida's key industries. [Sounds like drug trafficking - if there is a willing seller and willing buyer, who cares what the law allows or prohibits! Hello - it's illegal! And yes, there is a reason for limits: It is destructive to our nation to have unassimilatable numbers of people from any nation.]

I ask all Catholics in our diocese to become informed about the moral imperative for just and
comprehensive immigration reform. [I would suggest the Bishop is uninformed. He needs American history and government lessons.] I urge all people of good will to put aside the myths and misinformation that keep us from hearing our brother and sister immigrants cries for justice. [Here is that misused "justice" word again. "Cries for justice" would mean deportation with a fine."] Please refer to the diocesan website at and click on the reference to immigration reform which examines economic, social and political and references the texts of Scripture and Catholic social teaching that call each of us to action.

I pray that you and your families will enjoy the blessings of Easter and I am grateful to you for
the opportunity to bring this to your kind attention.

Sincerely in Christ,
Most Reverend John H. Ricard, SSJ
Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee

My reply to the Bishop is provided below:

Bishop Picard:

I am writing in response to your letter concerning immigration reform. You asked us to become informed about "the moral imperative for just and comprehensive immigration reform." You referred to the "11-12 million people living in our country without proper legal status..." and urged "all people of goodwill to put aside the myths and misinformation that keeps us from hearing our brother and sister immigrants' cries for justice."

There are some crucial aspects of the illegal alien issue that are being confused or misrepresented in your letter and on your web site.

First, your reference to the word "justice" is confusing. "Justice." Isn't that a term of law? I haven't heard cries for justice" from illegal aliens. Justice means paying the consequences for breaking a law. If the illegal aliens were crying for justice they would be asking for the penalty of the laws they are breaking to be imposed on them and that would be deportation. I trust that is not what you meant. Consequently, what you are suggesting by the term justice in this context is misleading and confusing.

The major theme of your letter and the website is "Justice for Immigrants." This infers that our current immigration laws are unjust. On what basis do you make that claim? How are they unjust? Are you advocating ignoring or violating the law because you feel it is unjust? There are millions of other American citizens who believe these laws are just and necessary. And we have a two-hundred year old process in place for amending our laws if they need to be changed. We don't simply ignore and violate them! I was appalled to hear the Cardinal in California urge his Priests and Bishops to rebel against (disobey) any law that sought to bring order to our "out of control" immigration policies. That should make any Christian cringe!

This nation did not impose an improper legal status on the illegal aliens. They imposed it on themselves as a result of the own actions. They chose to do what they did, and expended a great deal of energy doing it. It was no accident on their part. How does that make the citizens of this nation "unjust.?"

Second, as a grandson of four immigrants who came to this country legally and with an enthusiastic desire to obey the laws of the land and to assimilate into the culture of this nation, I take offense at lumping "illegal aliens" in the same category as "immigrants." The term "immigrant", by definition, presumes that they are legal and abide by all laws that establish their immigrant status. I sincerely caution you to not discount these distinctions. They are essential. Your web site and your letter disingenuously ignore the crucially important distinction between "illegal alien" (which the 11 to 12 million people are) and "immigrants", which the 11 to 12 million ARE NOT.

This distinction is no small matter. It is dangerous to trivialize the law, fostering disrespect for the law which ultimately brings anarchy and chaos. I take exception to being labeled "legalistic" just because I believe in respecting and obeying the law. And yes, I do expect others to obey the law. We are a nation of laws. Your article sounds as though you take the "rule of law", which is the basis of our successful self-governance in this nation, lightly. Please do not dismiss the importance of this aspect of our culture.

I reviewed your web site and could not find the scriptural references your letter mentioned. However, what I do remember from my own studies is that Jesus taught us to give to Caesar what is Caesar's and gave his life to fulfill the law. His disciples and Paul urged others to be obedient to their government and all its laws. I don't mean to emphasize one aspect of scripture over another - immigration policy is not a simple matter of law versus grace. But the law should not be dismissed as offhandedly as you appear to do.

And finally, there appears to be a world of difference between the attitudes of most of the illegal aliens and the immigrants of the previous 200 years. The facts appear to point out these differences, overall, and I know there are exceptions:

  • Illegal aliens are lawbreakers; the immigrants were law abiders
  • Illegal aliens are resisting assimilation; the immigrants desired assimilation
  • Illegal aliens are demanding the rights of citizenship; the immigrants earned the rights of citizenship
  • Illegal aliens are demanding that this nation adapt to their language; the immigrants learned English
  • Illegal aliens are overwhelming our social services infrastructure; immigrants contributed toward it
  • Illegal aliens are doing all the things that gain the disrespect of citizens (ignoring laws, demanding rights that they have not earned); immigrants worked hard to gain respect

Neither the church nor this nation should become the enabler and encourager of civil disobedience and presumptious demands that are widely being demonstrated by the illegal aliens and their sympathizers. Rewarding bad behavior is a bad idea. Our borders need to be respected through effective enforcement measures, both at the border and through appropriate disincentives for those employers who hire illegals. Only then will effective immigration reform have any impact. Perhaps the church could do more to provide resources and ethics training to the citizens of Mexico (the ethics part they sorely based on my understanding of the rampant corruption in Mexico), and English training in this country to facilitate assimilation.

We need immigration reform. But we cannot confuse "reform" with lack of enforcement, with "open borders" and with destabilizingly high immigration limits that make meaningful assimilation nearly impossible. As liberal as our nation has become with regard to tolerating just about anything, there remains a passion for equity and justice. If we are expected to abide by the laws of the land, we expect others to do the same. If our grandparents were expected to abide by the immigration laws of the land, we expect the illegal aliens to do the same. There is a visceral, righteous, and justified indignation when this does not happen.



The State of Georgia has taken the initiative - see this link:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Great "Immigration Facts and Action" Web Site

I've reviewed the content and sources of the "NumbersUSA" website. It appears well-reasoned, sound, and very pointedly concludes this nation is headed in a very wrong direction.

Please take a few moments to scan the site and learn of the coming changes in this nation's culture, economy, and quality of life. I don't have much to worry about. But my daughters and grandchildren certainly do!

A good summary analysis from this website follows:

"In Congress, there now is a serious debate about whether the nation should even try to enforce its immigration laws. The debate is between "national-community Americans" -- those who continue to believe in the idea of a separate, self-governed nation -- and those who have a "post-American" vision. The post-American vision is for (1) America's workers to be "allowed" to compete directly with every worker in the world who makes the effort to move to this country and for (2) the quality of life of a local community to be determined by global forces rather than by democratic self-determination."

This is a radical and depressing option - one that is 180 degrees opposed to what made this a great nation.