Fighting back against the anti-immigrant distortion


This Monday, I wrote an op/ed piece for the Baltimore Sun. The column, posted in Koulflo Memo, took a critical look at the criminal alien program.  The piece has drawn some critical response, which I don’t mind, expect and sometimes enjoy.  It is disturbing, however, to see responses dumb down and distort aspects of an important policy debate, and project silly personalized attacks.  For example, how to respond to such comments as

“More of the same from the lying fools who want open borders. LIES LIES and more LIES form the open border anarchicts groups.”

Really?

Of the emails and comments I received, even those who tread beyond bumper sticker cliches, almost all gloss over the realities of government policy that: places civil law offenders into a criminal law process; that unlawfully conflates federal and local law enforcement; that creates needless obstacles for local law enforcement to do their job, particularly in Latino and other high-immigrant communities; and that condones racial profiling.

The responses deal with none of these issues, but instead reduce the author’s argument to being pro-illegal alien; pro open borders; and btw, the author is “so stupid” as to not understand that as the term “illegal alien” infers, these people are criminals.

Consider a Letter to the Editor in today’s Sun which has nothing to do with the topic I wrote about, and which says

He implies that Illegal immigrants should be allowed to remain in our country, work in our businesses and eat up our taxpayer dollars with education for their children, hospital and doctor coverage paid by our tax dollars, and when caught they should not be sent back to their home country. What other country would allow illegal immigrants to do this?
I am sure that if the new health care bill is passed that he would want them to be included. What about our welfare and Social Security benefits? An illegal alien is a criminal by definition. Does he want them included also?

Again, my column about ICE ACCESS/ CAP had nothing to do with the issues raised by this letter to the editor. The column has to do with fair process, whether CAP treats immigrants fairly. I suggest that CAP does not treat immigrants fairly  and examine CAP’s shortcomings.

So, to my critics of immigrant rights, why not dispute the points raised; why not discuss and defend CAP? Let’s discuss CAP, or Secure Communities or one of the other of the 14 localized immigration enforcement measures under ICE ACCESS. It is a worthy debate. NO need to go after open borders here. Plenty of meat in CAP for us to bear our differences.

Other responses suggest I did not distinguish between legal immigrants and undocumented immigrants and that “illegal aliens” have no right to drive and were they pulled over, should be deported because they are “criminals.”

Indeed, some important points are raised here. 1) The CAP program, and secure communities and 287(g) make all foreigners– lawful and undocumented immigrants as well as tourists and temporary workers– susceptible to the whims of the arresting officers and criminal process.

Under CAP, any foreigner can be dragged into the criminal process and the removal process if 1) they have an immigration history– any infraction, however minor–  such as an expired visa, and 2) any previous exposure to the criminal justice process– however minor, expunged, or long ago.

Consider the case on one man, a lawful permanent resident, who read the article and said it resonated with his recent experiences. About 25 years ago, as a teenager, he was in receipt of am 8-track player (worth about $50) which, he says, a friend of his had stolen and then sold to him. This man was charged at the time but his record has long since been expunged. Now he finds himself in deportation proceedings, after leading a lawful existing into middle age.  Such are the sort of decent and law abiding folks who whose lives are being overturned by CAP and other draconian immigration programs.

Further, the issue of whether local police have the authority to arrest and then hold and turn somebody over to ICE ostensibly because the local police suspect that person’s immigration papers may not be in order, ought to raise a lot of red flags in immigrant communities as well as among local law enforcement.  The well documented result is that immigrant communities (lawful and unauthorized) become underserved by local police.  They can become havens for crime because of the disincentives now associated with calling local police.

The larger issues have to do with the unfortunate narrative that dumbs down a discussion about local law enforcement of federal immigration law to over simplified and dishonest questions about open/closed borders and whether unauthorized immigrants are criminals.

The issue of open borders has to do with larger and more abstract discussions about sovereignty. Opposing CAP has nothing to do with being for open borders. The narrative about “criminal aliens” or whether unauthorized immigrants are criminals is even more distressing because it has little to do with the realities of the law. We are dealing– for the most part– with civil laws, not criminal law.  The label of “criminal is misleading.” The suggestion that unauthorized immigrants = criminal aliens is even more distressing because it plays with our collective imagination.

Metaphors of criminality replace the rather benign civil offense of being in the country without authorization. It also ignores the realities of why most unauthorized immigrants come to this country, which is for a better life. It stigmatizes and dehumanizes human beings who lead basically lawful lives.

Any readers of this post jaywalk recently, or litter, or fail to stop completely at a stop sign? “illegal walkers? drivers?  perspective people, please!

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One response to “Fighting back against the anti-immigrant distortion

  1. Like any computer function it takes time to remove the bugs. Nationally known PC products have problems? Even the greatest programs have inconsistencies with new versions appearing as they are revised and upgraded. Same is with E-Verify that is undergoing a continuous revision. I make no excuses that I have bombarded the internet with my blogs. To keep the American people aware that the open border extremists, use there pressures to demonize or at the least compromise E-Verify. Unlike wealthy parasite corporate owners the shrinking middle class doesn’t have the resources to fight back against this incredible decades-long sedition. Those who wish to destroy E-Verify use are well financed by a huge compendium of organizations that have many reasons to remove it from immigration enforcement. It’s a repeat performance in announcing that the ordinary people who gain an advantage of making E-Verify as a permanent tool. Do not let these adverse organizations demoralize you. Already Homeland Security is working on the fraudulent ID glitch. Photo identification is being added, with other advanced tools.

    It is against dark forces who not only want the free movement of cheap labor settled in America, but they also want the US population to pay for corporate welfare it represents. Corporate welfare being that many of our politicians are complicit in, to keeping the borders open no matter what? If decades of administrations wanted to halt the unceasing invasion of illegal immigrants, why have they not made illegal entry a criminal offense? Why is it not a felony? Illegal immigration would never have grown on this massive scale that is negatively connected with job loss for Americans. Another quest why the preposterous lie that any woman who crosses the border with intent to have their baby here. That was originally meant for the emancipation of the civil war slaves. As yet hasn’t been rescinded, but distorted by the Liberal bench? Same with the 1986 Immigration Control and Reform Act that always faltered?

    WHY MAKE IT THE LAW OF THE LAND–IF IT’S NOT GOING TO BE FULLY ENFORCED? These are the questions demanding answers from every federal and state representative of the people at 202-224-3121? Have any of us considered, that the US taxpayer would possibly paying less taxes, if states like the SANCTUARY STATE OF CALIFORNIA, NEW YORK were not emptying our pockets with entitlement programs for illegal alien families? Take for instance the document you pass to the immigration/customs agent as a tourist, student or any other visitor. Why bother when there is no way to detect, who has left this nation or have just disappeared into the landscape? Most of the time, the airport staff, ferry, passenger forget to ask or don’t even care? You will only find these answers at NUMBERSUSA, JUDICIAL WATCH or by surfing the Internet?

    There is not enough room in this commentary to list the benefits to illegal aliens, including the child income tax reimbursement? Just ask Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich of Los Angeles, who according to him $50 million in welfare benefits (CALWORKS + Food Stamp’s) for the month of January 2010 alone. Yes! And that just the very tip of the financial iceberg, extracted from your income. Hundreds of pro-sovereignty groups will relay the information, of the billions of dollars given to illegal immigrant families. Now they want to further the outrage, by giving millions of illegal families a free ride to citizenship? Should a new amnesty past, what makes you think that future administrations will hold back the next tidal wave of people? How much more money do you think this Amnesty or following waves of illegal immigration will cost you?

    THINK! Can anybody offer a reason why they haven’t stationed the Nation Guard along the border, especially now with the incessant criminal drug war taking more lives of American citizens? The US Border Patrol has limited personnel and even the border Sheriff’s has limited deputies to keep the national line safe? Every day it gets worse and our government seem almost nonchalant to the battles raging on both sides. The National Guard should be armed and have the right to protect US citizens, who live along the border and terrorized by the criminal as well as illegal aliens crossing their land. My question how come we pour massive resources into Iraq and Afghanistan, when our border remains easy access to anybody?

    Returning to E-Verify will be shortly a 99.9 percent effective and we shouldn’t listen to Sen. Schumer, Sen. Graham, or others who are blemished, such as Sen. Reid, Majority speaker Reid, Sen. McCain, Dick Armey and a large obnoxious grab-bag of others.Many are now hesitating because they have been caught red-handed, as being the puppets of corporate welfare. Hearth Care reform could be distributed to millions of Americans, if only our legislators denied any government entitlements to (ANCHOR BABIES) with instant citizenship, who are the “Anchor” for the whole family to reside here. New legitimized immigrants could sponsor, millions of direct family members including those who are already medical patients? They will become the American taxpayer’s extra financial baggage.

    If you cannot see a silent conspiracy to keep importing desperately poor people, when we should instead demand from Washington only those of superior skills, who will not become a taxpayers extra mouth to feed. The real criminal is the business man, protected by corrupt Washington insiders, who refuse to fully fund such programs as REAL ID ACT, THE SAVE ACT, which contain E-Verify, the local police 287 (g) and the dwindling ICE raids. A 24 hour hot-line should be implemented for law abiding citizens to report irregularities in work and tax records, with perhaps a small reward. Just as the bridge to nowhere, the fence was compromised from the start of construction. Just as the federal government have ignored states, counties and cities that have proclaimed they are refuge for illegal aliens.

    Not only are they breaking government law, but as Los Angeles Order 40, has allowed criminal aliens to maim and kill innocent citizens. Even in the rural neighborhoods that once didn’t have to lock their doors, find they are no longer defended from foreign nationals who are now a large percentage of cell-block inmates. We have our own citizen habitual criminal population. Why are states like California spending money they don’t have on an expanding crime rate from illegal aliens? We can all bury our heads in the sand and listen to the repetitive lies of open border politicians, who have cheated their oath to protect the principles of the US Constitution? It is “THE PEOPLES” obligation and right, to stop this travesty of immigration laws?

    Like most ordinary Americans today, I have a mortgage up-in the air, car payment and feeding my family from my pensions. How much money does the IRS take from my family to educate foreign children, incarcerate their parents or all the other welfare programs that are intentionally hidden from US citizens and residents? This is not a multilingual nation; it is a nation under one flag that has flourished through many wars, downturns and the allowance of welcoming–LEGAL–immigration. We do not need millions of illegal immigrants brandishing foreign flags, demanding their rights to stay here in national rallies, when they violated our sovereign laws to begin with?

    GET THE MESSAGE OUT. Immediate news: Get ready for the 100.000 illegal immigrant rally to Washington this weekend. WHERE’S ICE?

    No Copyright. Copy & Paste Deliver freely to every law abiding citizen

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