Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Two good Senators

By Fidel "Butch" Montoya

I read with interest the “framework” on immigration reform submitted by New York Senator Charles Schumer and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham. Once again, I thought my hopes for true immigration reform were about to become a reality.

We have seen other hopeful pieces of federal legislation that had been proposed in the past, only to read in the details that little were being proposed in terms of how the legislation would affect the undocumented masses. There was plenty in the past pieces of legislation on how to do everything except deal humanely with the people most affected by the legislation. The framework provided by these two good senators is no different.

Again we have little in terms of federal legislation trying to be passed on as “comprehensive immigration reform.” While both senators agree “our immigration system is badly broken,” they also expressed their “belief that America’s security and economic well-being depend on enacting sensible immigration policies.”

Sounds a lot like the same ole, same ole baloney from the past.

So now, both senators are only proposing “draft framework for action on immigration,” not even a full proposal, much less anything to propose to the Congress. Even President Obama agreed that the Schumer/Graham proposal was a good idea, probably because it didn’t commit him to anything.

You will notice that Senator Schumer, the real chief of the “guidelines,” and the “draft framework for action on immigration,” really has nothing to propose at all. It is the same old “secure the borders and make sure we supply enough low paying jobs to the economy.” Nothing in their guidelines to address the injustice and job robbery we have committed against undocumented immigrants in the past.

In essence here is their plan. “Our plan has four pillars: requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here.”

Do you see anything new here? The “biometric Social Security card” proposal is nothing more than a national ID card pipe dream. The Homeland Security Department has tried different ways to impose a national ID card on Americans. Now they think they have a way around our strong objections to a national ID card.

A “biometric Social Security card” has nothing to do with immigration reform, only as a means by which the Federal Government can track workers.. Much like the question recently sent to you by the Census Bureau asking if you own or rent your home. Whose business is that in the Federal Government?? How does that relate to “the count required every ten years by the government?”

We have heard so much good news on how the E-Verify Employee tracking system is working. Wrong, we have heard how the E-Very employee tracking system has not been very reliable and how hard working individuals are being denied good employment because some federal tracking plan is not very reliable or can actually track who should or should not be working in country. Now we are going to be given a “new biometric Social Security card” that is going to be one of the pillars for comprehensive reform.

The two good senators also expect that “fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement” will be key in their immigration proposal. That doesn’t sound very original either.

What these two senators are proposing is ridiculous and only means increasing ICE type enforcement in our country. “Interior enforcement?” What does that mean? It sounds like they are going to continue to separate and destroy families by increased detention and deportations and do it legally under a new comprehensive immigration law.

Our government already detains over 34,000 undocumented immigrants in detentions every single day. Our government continues to contract with private prison vendors to build and manage these jails we have built claiming they will provide us security and safety by eliminating the criminal elements associated with illegal immigration

The Obama Administration in its first year has already deported more than 120,000 fathers, mothers, and children than the Bush Administration did in it last year in power. And now our good senators want tougher “interior enforcement”? Is that something you really want? Do you really think all the people in immigration detention are the bad criminals ICE says they are?

I am not so sure I like the way the two good senators propose fixing the border issues. After spending billions of dollars on a border fence that only covers about half of the 2000 mile border with Mexico, our two good senators want to continue to pour billions more on border security. They propose, “We would bolster recent efforts to secure our borders by increasing the Border Patrol's staffing and funding for infrastructure and technology. More personnel would be deployed to the border immediately to fill gaps in apprehension capabilities.”

Where have these two good senators been for the last ten years? The Bush Administration added thousands of Border Patrol agents to the border. He even assigned thousands of National Guard troops to the border, along with his hundreds of volunteer border vigilantes who stood guard on the border. Now these two good senators feel the billions spent on the Bush border wall was a waste of money and we need to spend more money on border security that only bleeds more illicit drugs and gang violence into our country?

Even I know the tactical strategy for fighting the drug war along our southern border with Mexico should be different than trying to run down undocumented immigrants who come here for a better job. We are facing two different entry strategies – one with good consequences, and the other that has created a violent war zone between Mexico and the United States over illicit drugs.

Applying the same amount of federal dollars “securing our border” should have different distinct strategies trying to prevent the hard working immigrant from crossing the border, and preventing the Mexican cartels from delivering billions of dollars in drugs to the American consumer. Maybe better interior enforcement of selling illicit drugs and human trafficking would solve a big part of the criminal element the two good senators want to capture?

I wonder if the two good senators have ever heard of the “system of supply and demand.” The only reason these drug cartels are killing innocent men, women, and children is for the right to export illicit drugs to the American consumer. Yes indeed, the user who lives in the belt way, the high end condos and apartments, the rich neighborhoods, and who have the billions to spend on drug related trips away from reality?

While I may partly agree with the zero tolerance strategy to capture, detain, and deport criminals, we have seen how this policy has not worked very well under the Obama Administration. In fact, interior enforcement is stronger today than under President Bush. It is just good politicking to be for “zero tolerance.”

Our two good senators are trying to sell this “new enforcement strategy” under the guise of a new proposal on immigration reform. Here is what they propose, as a way of securing “our interior.” “Other steps include expanding domestic enforcement to better apprehend and deport those who commit crimes and completing an entry-exit system that tracks people who enter the United States on legal visas and reports those who overstay their visas to law enforcement databases.”

Did you know that over 50% of the undocumented immigrants in our country over stay their legal visa? It is not the scene ICE likes to paint. ICE likes to portray their job as tracking down hundreds of thousands crossing the border every day and thus the need for more Border Patrol agents, more high tech surveillance, and miles more of a fence proven to be inadequate for the job.

Most of the people who fall into the category of “illegal alien,” and “overstay their visas” are good people who want a new life here. They are not criminals as the two good senators would have you believe. We all are for “a zero-tolerance policy for gang members, smugglers, terrorists and those who commit other felonies after coming here illegally.” The problem is the agencies involved in enforcement cannot tell the difference between “gang member, smugglers, and terrorists who commit other felonies after coming here illegally.”

You have heard the expression, “Well, they all look alike.” So under that false premise, ICE fills the detention centers with “criminals,” in other words, just using a criminal and racial profiling kit to detain and deport hundreds of good fathers, mothers, and families under a zero tolerance that does not allow for questioning who ICE may have in their jails. I would challenge you to see what the “criminal profile” looks like in your local ICE and privately contracted detention center.

If they intend is to track down people who overstay their legal visas, and create a new “entry-exit system that tracks people who enter the United States on legal visas and reports those who overstay their visas to law enforcement databases,” then look out for the need for more privately controlled detention centers that have forgotten the United States Constitution is still the law of the land.

Then look for more enforcement raids at the homes of people who have overstayed their visas. Look for local enforcement to bemoan the fact that they must now stop, detain, and report to ICE any good hard working individual because they may have overstayed their visas.

Please stop and consider for a moment. More momentum being built by the “framework or guidelines” for immigration control by these two good senators is only going to create a more suspicious and hate filled political environment in our country. Now everyone will be suspect….and trust me, this will only give law enforcement a free rein on racial profiling.

Their proposal to create a new process for allowing low income workers, I mean temporary workers, into the country, means a “new Bracero problem, I mean program.” We have seen how manufacturing, farming, and the service industry have treated temporary workers. By providing a new process for allowing these low income workers in the country, will that include protections against abuse, robbery, housing, and assurances of a living wage? Or does this new process just mean more of the same?

Read the incentive for doing a good job, “Our framework would facilitate this desired circular migration by allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can show they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position; allowing more lower-skilled immigrants to come here when our economy is creating jobs and fewer in a recession; and permitting workers who have succeeded in the workplace, and contributed to their communities over many years, the chance to earn a green card .”

I must admit I find it humorous that the two good senators would propose a “tough but fair path forward” for the 11 million undocumented immigrants still in our country. They are quick to show that 1 million have left the country in the last year, but can’t conduct an American census without first overspending more than 14 million dollars so far (and still don’t have a reliable count).

The undocumented immigrants would have to admit they are criminals for crossing the border. They would have to pay back taxes, which I thought millions were already doing, and still not being able to apply for medical or social needs?

They would have to perform hundreds of hours of community service, or just another way to allow them to continue to work for free or low end wages.

But wait; here is what really shows me these two good senators have no grasp of reality. They propose, “These people would be required to pass background checks and be proficient in English before going to the back of the line of prospective immigrants to earn the opportunity to work toward lawful permanent residence.”

They must pass a background check, after spending years in the United States doing whatever was necessary to destroy any documents or evidence they were living in the shadows of America illegally.

Must be proficient in English? Does that mean being able to say, “Wait a minute? I worked 56 hours this week, and you owe me for 56 hours of work?” “Or you promised to pay me $12 an hour to do this work, now you want to pay me $8 because you think I will not report you to the authorities? Or probably the most classic question being asked today, “What do you mean you are not going to pay me for the work I did for you because you know I am undocumented immigrant?”

If the two good senators added up all the work not paid or underpaid to today’s hard working undocumented workers, they would be adding to their framework proposal for repayment to undocumented immigrants for work well done, not more community service or more in “back taxes.”

I trust our Latino Evangelical leaders will not fall in the false trap of “immigration is at hand.” It is not, if we are to follow the two good senators “framework for immigration reform.”

As far as I am concerned, the proof is in the details. I have seen no reason to celebrate a proposed guideline for reform, one from a New York Senator, and the other from a Republican Senator. Show me the money should be our cry. Show me the details.

If our Evangelical leadership does not stand up against this false pretense that immigration is at hand, and condemn the lies of this Administration and United States Representatives and Senators, they please don’t show up on the stage on Sunday, March 21st and claim immigration reform is at hand. Please don’t join the liars from the government. And yes, we will be watching and listening to your speeches. Be fair, but don't lie about immigration reform being at hand, because it is not!

You know what the facts are back home in the barrio, in the local Evangelical church, in the schools back home, or on the job situation. Reading the guidelines proposed by Senators Graham & Schumer, and supported by President Obama should be enough to call for the immigration reform train to stop right now.

We will not accept your piecemeal approach to comprehensive immigration reform. We do not accept your premise that our people are bad people and thus must pay fines, do community service, and deny their culture by making them stop using Spanish to become American citizens.

I suppose if we closed the southern border tight, and allowed immigrants seeking a better life to pass by the Statue of Liberty, they would be worthy to be American citizens. Then they too could say, “¡Gloria a Dios! Hemos llegado a la tierra donde fluyen leche y miel. Siento un inmenso orgullo y es un grab honor estar aquí. Me siento como un ciudadano estadounidense, muy orgulloso. Nuestro hogar está ahora en la tierra de la tranquilidad, la justicia y la paz.”

( "Glory to God, we have arrived to the land of milk and honey. I am so full of pride and honor to be here. I feel like an American citizen...so proud. We are home to a land of tranquility, justice, and peace." )

Butch Montoya


Brittanicus said...

The true estimate of foreign nationals in America is somewhere between 20 and 30 million? If AMNESTY is forced through the numbers will skyrocket, as countless numbers will be ready to bridge the border, just before President Obama signs the new reform. (with the females and kids this would amount to 40-50 million people) on welfare, in subsidized housing, food stamps, WIC, more teachers, covered by Medicaid and other payments. They will not be paying any taxes because of the EIC and Child Tax credits will reimburse them. The IRS does not follow up on this type of fraud? This is a cruel trick on every honest taxpayer is this first generation of newly legalized immigrants, could escalate with thousands bring in brothers, sisters, Mothers and Fathers. By the year 2040 the population of America could be unsustainable with limited resources, water shortages, highways crammed to capacity and a infrastructure that is falling apart.

THOSE INTERESTED-THE HISTORY CHANNEL IS ONCE AGAIN TELEVISING "The Crumbling of America." This Friday observe the depreciating bridges, dams, levees and 50 year old underground system of sewage in some areas. Our Survival is in peril, but they do not enforce immigration laws. In fact Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has cut the budget for the Border Patrol and other enforcement tools in the SAVE ACT and REAL ID Act. Yet the Congress keeps appropriating money to fight foreign wars or aid other countries. There is much more to learn-not- the propaganda given to us by the business world Learn so much more by surfing the Internet or go to NUMBERSUSA. Read about the corruption from both political parties at JUDICIAL WATCH. Don't hesitate in calling your Senator or Representative at 202-224-3121 In addition Don't forget to give your State assembly a piece of your mind.

Not copyrighted. TELL THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW--NO AMNESTY! It will entice Millions more to come for free government entitlements.

Brittanicus said...

No Amnesty, No Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). They keep repeating the--SAME TIRED NUMBER--but the US border Patrol in just the Tuscon sector, expressed, "Only one out of ten is caught." The Tucson sector Border Patrol union local 2544 on the number of illegal aliens in our nation: "There are currently 15 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country by many estimates, but the real numbers could be much higher and the numbers increase every day because our borders are not secure (NO MATTER WHAT THE POLITICIANS TELL YOU-DON'T BELIEVE THEM FOR ONE SECOND) Said a Spokesman for the Border Patrol. "Our illegal immigration numbers are based on an estimated twenty million illegal aliens having been present in our nation as of -JANUARY 1, 2004."almost four million people crossed our borders illegally 2002" end of quote. Other experts on the subject agree that illegal crossings have only increased since then. Please don't believe my numbers? Go to the US Census Bureau and read we could have a population of 438 million people by 2040, unless we halt this travesty for good?

Americans cannot afford 10 million more families. Foreign nationals are very knowledgeable at cheating the IRS and the US taxpayer. They can even get child credits for their children, either not in America or in some other country. Once those here receive appropriate green cards they can then sponsor immediate family member, including people with infirmities as long as they are financial sponsored. But this is a joke, because once here the law--IS NOT ENFORCED. They then become public charges. They can collect Supplementary Security income (SSI) and other benefits. The number can never be truly calculated? Even the US Census will be off the mark, because hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions will stay silent. Now the number of illegal immigrants who have no intention of renewing their entry visa, or have slipped past the Border Patrol (Canada and Mexico, South American countries and islands) must be deported.

We need professional and highly skilled workers, but not desperate uneducated, non-or semi-skilled. We have millions of Americans and legal residents in that category. Guest workers for farms and agriculture, but they must stay in that job until their visa expires. No options!.Then go home? California the SANCTUARY STATE, ARIZONA & NEW YORK have been bled dry.