Immigration Archives

The "I" Word

From an e-mail from Sojourners, with the subject “Tell the Associated Press to stop using the ‘I’ word”:

Dear Doug,

Too often the media is part of the problem when it comes to changing the national debate on immigration. Following the standards set by the Associated Press Stylebook, journalists label undocumented immigrants as “illegal.” This dehumanizing term robs people of their dignity and prejudices readers against the needs and concerns of our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Why stop there? We’re calling people who break other laws the same thing, and worse! “Criminals”, “Offenders”, “Perpetrators”! These dehumanizing terms rob those people of their dignity, too.

Right?

But then there’s, you know, the truth. People who break laws are doing something illegal, by definition. But for some reason, Sojourners would like to change the language for a specific type of law-breaker; those who break our immigration laws.

As Proverbs 15:1 reminds us, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Ending the use of this controversial word by the media would create a more compassionate and accurate conversation about immigration. It is a small change that could make a huge difference. You can help make that happen.

The truth will set you free, folks. And it will also allow us to have a reasonable discussion about the problem of illegal undocumented immigrants. If we can’t even agree on what you call someone who has broken the law, we can’t have an honest, compassionate, and, above all, accurate conversation.

    "Consider This!" Podcast Episode 4

    In the latest episode of my new podcast project, I give my first look at what the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare(tm)) means. If you think there are places where government should just butt out of, you are not going to like what this bill let’s the government do.

    A comment on a Facebook question posted by La Shawn Barber gives us a new perspective on how to deal with illegal immigrants.

    You know those machines where you take the next number to be waited on? The government has one. It’s costs $19 million. Every year. Really.

    And you know all those human interest stories that the media keep running to tell us that we really need ObamaCare? Do they compare to the 130,000 elderly patients in Britain that die every year so that costs can be kept down or beds can be freed up? Yup, 130,000. Every year. Really.

    Click here for show notes, and ways to listen to the podcast; through iTunes, another podcatcher, or right on the web page. It’s politics in 10 minutes or less (8 minutes and 40 seconds, this time).

      Thoughts on Today’s Supreme Court Rulings

      Just the higher-profile ones.

      The Arizona Immigration Law: The court struck down 3 of the 4 provisions, and upheld the portion that requires police to check the immigratio status of someone they think is here illegally. However…

      The court struck down these provisions: requiring all immigrants to obtain or carry immigration registration papers, making it a state criminal offense for an illegal immigrant to seek work or hold a job and allowing police to arrest suspected illegal immigrants without warrants.

      Governor Jan Brewer is trying to put the best face on it, by saying:

      “Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is a victory for the rule of law. It is also a victory for the 10th Amendment and all Americans who believe in the inherent right and responsibility of states to defend their citizens,” Gov. Brewer said in a statement. “After more than two years of legal challenges, the heart of SB 1070 can now be implemented in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.”

      This, however, isn’t necessarily the end of the road for legal challenges of this particular provision, and the Justices said as much. So the governor is really trying to do damage control.

      I understand that we don’t necessarily want 50 different standards on immigration to this country, but the federal government, in picking and choosing what laws it will enforce, forces states to do the job that the people’s representatives said the Fed ought to be doing. Arizona may have overstepped its constitutional authority somewhat, but I expect (I hope) that this will get the people to start electing a federal government that will indeed enforce the laws that are passed.

      No automatic life without parole for juveniles: This does not mean that life without parole entirely; only that states cannot impose that penalty automatically for certain crimes. The liberal justices said it was "cruel and unusual", the conservatives ones said, "Neither the text of the Constitution or our precedent prohibits legislatures from requiring that juvenile murderers be sentenced to life without parole." Tough call. Constitutionally, can see both sides, but in practice, it does seem that life for a minor without the possibility of parole is very harsh. But since the ruling does allow it for individual cases, I can get behind it.

      Rejects corporate spending limits: This was basically a reaffirmation of the Citizens United case from 2010, but saying that it applies to the states as well. Corporations have interests in how elections go, and should be allowed to contribute to issue-oriented campaigns. Restricting speech, especially political speech, is a slippery slope away from government accountability. Money is a corrupting influence in Washington, no doubt, but that’s mostly what politicians can do with taxpayer money. Political speech, should it be restricted by Washington, could make it more corrupt, since it would then get to decide what others say about them. The solution to bad speech is more good speech, not curtailing all speech.

       

      Coming Thursday, the big ObamaCare ruling. Expect a frenzy around 10am Eastern Time on Thursday.

        Defending the Indefensible

        That’s what Byron York thinks is the job of the Obama administration’s solicitor general, Donald Verrilli. First it was ObamaCare, now it’s the Arizona illegal immigrant laws. John Hinderaker notes some of the disconnects that Mr. Verrilli is desperately trying to connect.

        Justice Sotomayor was commenting here on an extraordinary aspect of the Obama administration’s position, to the effect that it is OK if individual Arizona law enforcement officers decide to cooperate with federal immigration authorities, but if the state directs them all to cooperate, it is somehow unconstitutional. The Obama administration literally argued that for a state to engage in “systematic cooperation” with the federal government on immigration is unlawful. We can’t blame Mr. Verrilli for his inability to sell that bizarre argument. We do blame Barack Obama and Eric Holder for trying to assert it.

        Of course, what is going on here is that the Obama administration doesn’t want to enforce the immigration laws that Congress has enacted. The essence of its position in the Arizona case is that the federal government has the right to decide not to enforce the law, and if it so decides, then no state has the power, under the Constitution, to do anything that would tend to enforce those federal laws. So if the Obama administration decides that it will gain political advantage by ignoring federal laws against illegal immigration, states like Arizona just have to take the consequences without complaining.

        Mr. Verrilli has to twist himself in knots to try to defend the indefensible; a government that chooses which laws to enforce and which to ignore, and which want to force states to tow their particular line. The states will have none of that, and this case will determine whether the federal government can, indeed, actually legislate by ignoring laws it doesn’t like.

          Friday…er, Tuesday Link Wrap-up

          I’ve been on something of a sabbatical with regards to blogging and news-reading in general. I have, however, saved some links during that time, so here’s a bunch of them.

          If even the Dutch have fallen out of love with windmills (by which I mean, they can’t afford to keep subsidizing them), you gotta’ wonder.

          Right after Alabama’s illegal immigration law kicked in, unemployment dropped in a big way. Yeah, those jobs you keep saying Americans won’t do? Turns out they just might.

          Spain has apparently had enough with the failed policies of socialists. They voted them in to appease terrorists back in 2004 following the Madrid bombings. But since then, Spain has been tanking economically along with the rest of Europe, and what seemed like a good idea at the time has now been revealed to be a huge mistake. This past weekend, conservatives won a landslide victory.

          Iranian Christian pastor update: "Yousef (also spelled Youcef) Nadarkhani, sentenced to death a year ago after a court of appeals in Rasht, Iran, found him guilty of leaving Islam in September 2010, is in deteriorating health, according to a member of Nadarkhani’s denomination, the Church of Iran, who requested anonymity. "

          "Who would Jesus protest?" According to Jimmie Bise, working from the New Testament, He wouldn’t be protesting government. He’d be changing hearts, one individual at a time.

          Iran with nuclear weapons capability. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, but I’m certain many on the Left will be shocked, unfortunately.

          And finally, the oldest social network is new again. (Click for a larger version.)

            Friday Link Wrap-up

            When you politicize health care, you get government-style efficiency. "NHS budget squeeze to blame for longer waiting times, say doctors."  And for those already in hospitals, doctors are having to prescribe water to make sure the elderly stay hydrated.

            If the liberals are to be believed, poverty causes crime. And yet, in this tough economic time, the FBI reports a 5.5% drop in violent crime.

            In economic news, Democrats are dead set against voting for any 2011 budget. There’s been a lot of hoopla surrounding the "repayment" of the General Motors loan from the auto bailout, except that it’s just a lot of smoke and mirrors. Indeed, GM has a sweetheart tax deal that is saving it $14 billion, not to mention another $14 billion is being lost in general on those bailouts.

            The Obama economic "recovery" turned 2 years old in May. Upwards of a trillion dollars spent, for what? The number of people with jobs hasn’t changed, unemployment is far worse than they said it would be if we did nothing, median incomes are down, housing prices are down 10%, and I don’t need to tell you about gas prices. If George W. Bush were President, you just know he’d be personally blamed for this, but Obama gets a pass.

            Canada, by the way, has been leading the US out of this mire by reducing debt and spending, even with a socialized medicine albatross around its neck.

            Immigrants are turning to that "racist" Tea Party.

            When we elected Obama, that was when "the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal", right? So why does he not get slammed for not signing the updated Kyoto Protocol? Bush got criticized for it, even though it was Clinton who originally didn’t sign it. Nah, couldn’t be the double-standard, liberal media.

            When you make entitlements untouchable, you risk hurting those you purport to be concerned about because economic collapse hurts us all, including and especially the poor. The idea that it couldn’t happen here is severely myopic.

            And finally, "smart" diplomacy". (Click for a larger version.)

              Friday Link Wrap-Up

              I may start doing this more often.  I collect links during the week, some I comment on here, and some just languish in Google Bookmarks.  Normally I’m going to save it all until the end of the week, but this installment will be a bit longer than others since I’ve got some aging links here that really want to see the light of day.  So here they are, usually, but not always, in reverse chronological order:

              Coattails?  What coattails?  "Some Democrats on the campaign trail have hit upon a winning campaign tactic: Run against President Obama and his agenda — especially the health care overhaul."

              Seeking asylum in the US for … homeschooling persecution?  "A German Christian family received asylum in Tennessee after being severely penalized for illegally homeschooling their children in Germany."  I’ve covered this particular situation before; here, here, here, here, here and here.

              California, parts of which are boycotting Arizona for it’s new immigration law, which just enforce existing federal law, should take a look at it’s own lawbooks first.  They might find something familiar.

              The economic meltdown in Greece should be a wake-up call to politicians of both parties in the US.  Otherwise, it may turn out to be, rather, a coming attraction.

              ObamaCare(tm) is predicted to increase the crowding in our hospitals’ emergency rooms.  "Some Democrats agree with this assessment. Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) suspects the fallout that occurred in Massachusetts’ emergency rooms could happen nationwide after health reform kicks in."  But he still voted for this snake oil anyway.

              "Economic Woes Threaten Chavez’s Socialist Vision"  Only on NPR would this be news.  For the rest of this, it’s a redundancy.

              Comedy Central stands on the bedrock of free speech and will mock anyone, just as long as there’s no chance of getting beheaded for it.  "The show in development, "JC," is a half-hour about Christ wanting to escape the shadow of his "powerful but apathetic father" and live a regular life in New York."

              Green energy falling by the wayside in Europe.  Seems the massive subsidies for this alleged cost-saving energy are too much for governments going through financial troubles.  Should we (will we) take note?

                Political Cartoon: Your Papers, Please.

                From Chuck Asay (click for a larger version):

                Chuck Asay

                Just a bit of perspective before tossing around the "racist" or "Nazi" labels.

                  About That Arizona Immigration Law

                  PolitiFact does a fact check on this statement from George Will:

                  “What the Arizona law does is make a state crime out of something that already is a crime, a federal crime,” he said. “Now, the Arizona police — and I’ve spent time with the Phoenix Police Department — these are not bad people. These are professionals who are used to making the kind of difficult judgments. Suspicion of intoxicated driving, all kinds of judgments are constantly made by policemen. And I wouldn’t despair altogether their ability to do this in a professional way.”

                  PolitiFact went to legal scholars and found out that, indeed, this is the case.

                  The legal scholars we spoke with told us to take a close look at two key sections of Title 8 of the U.S. Code. Section 1304e requires that “every alien, eighteen years of age and over, shall at all times carry with him and have in his personal possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to him.” Those who fail to comply will be guilty of a misdemeanor and will be fined $100 and can be imprisoned up to 30 days.

                  Section 1306a says that, “Any alien required to apply for registration and to be fingerprinted in the United States who willfully fails or refuses to make such application or to be fingerprinted, and any parent or legal guardian required to apply for the registration of any alien who willfully fails or refuses to file application for the registration of such alien shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not to exceed $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

                  Indeed, section 3 of the new Arizona law makes it a state crime if immigrants are in violation of either of those codes.

                  So, when it comes to that section of the law — arguably the “meat” of the new law — “it’s very clear that in this respect, George Will is right,” said Paul Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University.

                  They ding Mr. Will on some misdemeanors that are also included in the Arizona bill, but overall, Will is correct.  And yet many liberals are overreacting and protesting or boycotting Arizona in response.  Some uninformed individuals are even boycotting New York over this.  Jim Wallis and the Sojourners are, unfortunately yet predictably, against this measure that simply allows Arizona to enforce the law that the feds won’t.

                  2 words:  Knee.  Jerk.

                    ChangeWatch: Immigration

                    Making promises that pander to a particular voting bloc is one thing.  Sitting in the Oval Office is, apparently, quite another.

                    After early pledges by President Obama that he would moderate the Bush administration’s tough policy on immigration enforcement, his administration is pursuing an aggressive strategy for an illegal-immigration crackdown that relies significantly on programs started by his predecessor.

                    A recent blitz of measures has antagonized immigrant groups and many of Mr. Obama’s Hispanic supporters, who have opened a national campaign against them, including small street protests in New York and Los Angeles last week.

                    The administration recently undertook audits of employee paperwork at hundreds of businesses, expanded a program to verify worker immigration status that has been widely criticized as flawed, bolstered a program of cooperation between federal and local law enforcement agencies, and rejected proposals for legally binding rules governing conditions in immigration detention centers.

                    “We are expanding enforcement, but I think in the right way,” Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary, said in an interview.

                    Translation: It’s the same policy but we’ve tweaked it just enough to give enough cover to still talk about the eeeevil Bush regime.  But even this has an ulterior motive.

                    Ms. Napolitano and other administration officials argue that no-nonsense immigration enforcement is necessary to persuade American voters to accept legislation that would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, a measure they say Mr. Obama still hopes to advance late this year or early next.

                    That approach brings Mr. Obama around to the position that his Republican rival, Senator John McCain of Arizona, espoused during last year’s presidential campaign, a stance Mr. Obama rejected then as too hard on Latino and immigrant communities. (Mr. McCain did not respond to requests for comment.) Now the enforcement strategy has opened a political rift with some immigrant advocacy and Hispanic groups whose voters were crucial to the Obama victory.

                    “Trust me, I’m on your side” is a mantra many have heard from Obama, only to be disappointed.  Ask anyone hoping for fiscal responsibility.

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