January 31, 2013 by theaveragejoel
This week the Commerce Department released a report showing that the nation’s economy literally shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. By year’s end, Gross Domestic Product output fell to (-.1%) — far below the (1.1%) of growth that was actually projected.
While economists on both sides of the partisan coin agree that a (1.1%) prediction was still anemic – borderline “recession” even – nobody can deny that this shrinkage was akin to wading your political junk through the Arctic Ocean in January: Not only was it completely emasculating, but it now poses an even stiffer challenge to reinvigorating an already impotent economy.
But, hey – what the hell? Why bother with such petty things, when we can saturate the American conscience with ethical debates on (today’s hot new topic) immigration reform?
Yes, as the month-long gun control controversy seems to be running out of bullets (for now) our jaundiced media – puppet-mastered by the anointed President Obama – is now playing “fluff girl” with the immigration question that went decidedly limp during the Divider In Chief’s first term. In short: It’s “anything but the economy.”
Which should come as no surprise to any of us: During Obama’s recent inaugural address, he hammered on “Collectivism” — calling for a strengthening of entitlements, an engorging of environmental policy and profound promotions of gay rights, gun control and yes, immigration reform. And while he finally came out of the Progressive Socialism closet — HE SAID NOT ONE WORD ABOUT THE ECONOMY.
This is not to say that the subject of real immigration reform is not vital to erecting the flaccid state of socioeconomics in this country. But what Obama (along with the dubious “Gang of Eight” in Congress) is proposing is nothing short of putting a condom on with a huge hole in it – call it the “cart before the Trojan horse,” if you will.
On Tuesday, President Obama flew over 9 hours to make a 20-minute speech at Del Sol High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. During this rather eloquent waste of time and taxpayer dollars (the trip cost $1.6 million) the president outlined his vision for — what he called – “common sense, comprehensive immigration reform.”
Never mind that he gave this speech at one of the worst performing high schools in the country: The school’s 2011 Accountability Report states that only 27% of students are above proficient in Reading; only 9% are above proficient in Math – and a mere 1% are above proficient in Writing. And never mind that, according to the same report, the school has a 53% drop out rate. What’s important, of course, is that 58% of the school’s population is Hispanic – and this is about immigration — not education, remember?
Obama’s “landmark” revelation included a broad four-step plan reminiscent of the strategy implemented by President Reagan in 1986 (okay – it’s exactly the same): Strengthen border security; punish employers for hiring illegal immigrants; amnesty for the millions already here and streamlining the legal immigration process.
It sounds nice, I know. But the fact of the matter is, we have had a 400% increase in the illegal immigrant population since 1986. Our hospitals, schools, jails, prisons and entitlement programs are all over crowded, over worked, under staffed and under funded. The American tax burden is higher than ever – and it’s still not enough. To put it bluntly: America’s socioeconomic infrastructure is about to implode.
Obviously this approach didn’t work in 1986 – and The Average Joel maintains that it won’t work now. For the sake of enlightenment, let’s take a closer look at what potentially lies ahead. Then we will proceed with a “real” proposal – one that you will likely NEVER hear pitched in D.C.
And by the way — this may be an appropriate time to get some lube – this is gonna hurt a bit:
Though legislation has yet to be written, the White House web site contains a “FACT SHEET” defining some of the details of the president’s proposal. Some of the “highlights” are – like everything flowing from the Beltway Barackracy – honeycombed with hypocrisy, redundancy and fiscal fallacy:
- STRENGTHEN BORDER SECURITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE. “The President’s proposal strengthens and improves infrastructure…and supports the use of technologies (drones) to secure land and maritime borders.”
- If the President wanted to strengthen the border, why did he authorize the closure of 9 border patrol stations across 4 states in July 2012?
- And drones?? Really? We’re supposed to believe that drone surveillance will protect our border from nameless immigrants – when 9 hours of live drone feed did NOTHING to protect a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans in Benghazi??
- COMBAT TRANSNATIONAL CRIME: “The President’s proposal [is] dedicated to combating transnational criminal organizations that traffic drugs, weapons and money…across the borders.”
- Fast and Furious anyone? Apparently if your name is Barack Obama or Eric Holder, it’s perfectly OK to smuggle guns and money across the border to drug cartels – or for that matter F16s, tanks and missiles to our enemies in Egypt, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.
- DEPORTING CRIMINALS: “The President’s proposal expands enforcement efforts that target convicted criminals in federal or state correctional facilities, allowing us to remove them at the end of their sentences.”
- There are approximately 2 million criminals populating our jails and federal prisons. According to the Bureau of Justice (http://bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=11) roughly 30% are illegal immigrants. That comes to 600,000 illegals currently residing on taxpayer dime. At $45,000 per year per criminal – that’s a 27 BILLION DOLLAR DIME!! In other words – why are we waiting for them to finish their sentences? Get them the hell out of here NOW.
- CRACKING DOWN ON EMPLOYERS WHO HIRE UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS: “The President’s proposal provides tools for employers to ensure a legal workforce (eVerify). Mandatory eVerify will be phased in over 5 years.”
- First of all – this was already done in 1986 and reinforced with eVerify in 2006.
- Second — 5 YEARS?? But, Mr. President, you made it quite clear in your poignant, pricey speech that, “The time is now.” 5 years?? American taxpayers have been waiting for implementation of mandatory eVerify since 2006. And, by the way, those same taxpayers just provided you with 1.6 million reasons to honor your word on that trip to Drop Out High School in Vegas.
- CREATE A PROVISIONAL LEGAL STATUS: “Undocumented immigrants must come forward and register, pass criminal background and national security checks, and pay fees and penalties before they will be eligible for a provisional legal status. Individuals must wait until the existing legal immigration backlogs are cleared before getting in line to apply for lawful permanent residency.”
- In other words – Amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants that are already here. There are so many things wrong with this concept:
i. FIRST, this assumes that the 11 million will actually come forward. Let’s be honest – if they wanted to migrate here legally, they would have – we have a system in place for them to do so which already requires registration, background checks, taxes, fees, learning English and Civics. And it’s all right here (http://www.uscis.gov). Here’s a thought – what if they don’t come forward? Then what?
ii. SECOND, according to the Center for Immigration Studies, if illegal aliens were given amnesty and began to pay taxes and use government services, the annual net fiscal deficit would jump from $2,700 per household to $7,700 – for a total net deficit cost of $30 billion annually (that is, of course, on top of the estimated cost of “reform” implementation, which is $2.7 trillion). Though “provisional legalization” may increase average immigrant tax payments by up to 77%, it will not be enough to keep up with costs, which would rise by nearly 120% (Full report here: http://www.cis.org/High-Cost-of-Cheap-Labor#amnesty).
iii. LASTLY, while not letting illegal immigrants jump ahead of those who have been waiting patiently and legally for citizenship is a great talking point — virtually ANY plan that allows them to stay in the U.S. and work legally effectively gives them legal status those waiting abroad don’t have. But that’s okay – this isn’t about fairness – it’s about votes: For if those 11 million do come forward and register, they will receive a social security number. That will allow them to obtain a driver’s license – and while at the DMV, they must register to vote. How convenient. How do you think that will turn out in 2016?
- In other words – Amnesty for the 11 million illegal immigrants that are already here. There are so many things wrong with this concept:
- EARNED CITIZENSHIP FOR DREAMers: All I have to say about this is, for those of you who are unaware, the DREAM Act has been proposed to Congress, voted on, re-proposed, tweaked, voted on, etc. – no less than two dozen times since its introduction in 2001. IT HAS YET TO PASS CONGRESS AND IT HAS YET TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE PRESIDENT. Any legislative actions to enforce the DREAM act would be wholly unconstitutional. Period.
- But don’t take my word for it: There is currently a class action lawsuit, filed in October, 2012, wherein 10 ICE Immigration Enforcement Agents are suing Janet Napolitano (Homeland Security Secretary) Alejandro Mayorkas (Director of the USCIS) and John Morton (Director of ICE). The claim alleges in great detail the means through which the defendants have been forcing agents to comply with DREAM Act procedures, thus compelling them to violate current federal law, as well as sworn oaths to their current posts. A preliminary hearing has found the judge leaning in the favor of the agents. Depending on how this turns out – you may or may not hear about it in the media. (Here is the complete court document: https://www.numbersusa.com/content/files/ICEvNapolitanoFINAL.pdf)
- CUT RED TAPE FOR EMPLOYERS (this is the kicker): “The proposal also eliminates the backlog for employment-sponsored immigration by eliminating annual country caps and adding additional visas to the system.”
- ELIMINATING ANNUAL COUNTRY CAPS ON IMMIGRATION??? How in the world can we do any of the above if we open the floodgates?
There’s an old expression that goes, “The Devil is in the details.” Sure, Mr. president – that speech in Vegas was lovely. But after reading through your “FACT SHEET” (Here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/29/fact-sheet-fixing-our-broken-immigration-system-so-everyone-plays-rules) I could hardly fathom forking out another $1.6 million to hear it again. And while the brimstone of Hell is beginning to smolder on your website overview, I’m certain the Devil will be dancing the Disco Inferno in the fine print of your legislation.
The current state of socioeconomic affairs in America, in particular, related to immigration, is proof enough that none of these tired ideas are working. Ironically, it was Obama who criticized Romney during the presidential debates for “dusting off old ideas…and trying to take us backwards” – and now the former is doing just that.
But if we know that President Obama is now flamboyantly waiving the Progressive flag he so proudly hoisted during his second inauguration, then shouldn’t we demand some “progressive” thought from him?
In the meantime, The Average Joel has a proposal that is both “progressive” and “common sensical”:
(this is the part when you sit down)
- A MORATORIUM ON ALL NON-ESSENTIAL IMMIGRATION.
- Essential immigration would include refugees, those with current visas and those already in the process LEGALLY.
- Moratorium would last until we have sustained unemployment below 5% AND we have secured the borders and fully implemented eVerify.
- IMMEDIATELY DEPORT THE 600,000 ILLEGAL ALIENS WHO RESIDE IN OUR PRISONS AND JAILS.
- Implement a system wherein all illegal immigrants that get arrested get deported and face justice in their own country. If the crime is murder – Death Penalty — and they go to the front of the line.
- BOTH OF THESE THINGS WILL FREE UP TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO DEVOTE TO:
- Actually securing our border.
- Actually implementing eVerify.
- Actually improving the infrastructure and efficiency of our education, health care and penal systemsi. Said improvements would require creating jobs. And that would not suck.
- CREATE A RELIABLE ENTRY-EXIT SYSTEM TO ENSURE THAT THOSE HERE ON VISAS LEAVE WHEN THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO. You know – the same entry-exit system that Congress mandated in 1996 and five times since? Why has this not been done??
- **NO BRAINER ALERT** ENFORCE THE LAWS WE ALREADY HAVE IN PLACE.
1. We have a century of legislation built into our federal immigration policy, yet we have a president who is willing to sue a state for attempting to enforce them.
2. The flood of illegals — especially criminals – come here knowing that we can’t or won’t stop them. This ends when we actually prove that we mean business.
- TAKE THE DREAM ACT OFF THE TABLE UNTIL ALL OF THE ABOVE IS DONE.
Mr. President: I know this proposal may seem a bit “radical”. But you’re a radical guy – one who has reminded us 100 times that you like to think outside the box. If you are serious about immigration reform as a platform to stimulate the economy (as you suggested in your inaugural) then it’s time to consider a moratorium.
Of course I say this all under the (albeit misguided and HOPEful) assumption that you actually care about restoring the economy. I mean, common sense dictates that when the hole is too deep – you stop digging. But this isn’t about restoring the economy, is it?
No: It’s about restructuring the economy (remember that “fundamental change”?). And – oh yes – getting votes. And what better way to accomplish these agendas than by opening up the floodgates.