Once again the British media covers American problems better than the American media does. This Daily Mail piece interviews ranchers on the border in Texas. Warning: It’s not pretty.
Archive for the ‘Immigration’ Category.
So why do we treat them worse?
I am actively involved in animal rescue. Over the course of my life I have rescued scores of animals, finding them forever homes when I could or keeping them as pets. The shelters are full of animals, most of which are facing death. Their crime? Having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I do what I can. I spay and neuter everything I get my hands on, provide them health care and a loving home until I find the right place for them, and treat them with the love and respect that Chance has denied them. I have more pets than most people would consider reasonable and my limit has been reached. What is that limit? My ability to provide love and attention to each one. I know I’m at that limit because I have a young beagle who needs more love and attention than I can provide. I do my best, but the truth is she needs a home where she can be someone’s special girl.
I can’t rescue them all. I don’t rush down to the county “kill” shelter, throw open the cages, open the doors and let all the animals run free even though they are facing certain death staying where they are.
I also don’t force people to take care of pets they don’t want. I believe that one solution to the pet overpopulation problem is for more animal lovers to responsibly take on more animals, but I don’t demand they do so nor do I expect the government to intervene and force them to.
See where I’m going with this?
I have lived abroad and seen true poverty, so I am very sympathetic to those who are coming illegally into our country. I recognize that most of them are innocent men, women and children stuck in a cage facing death back home. Their crime? Having been born in the wrong place at the wrong time. There are others who aren’t so innocent, as wild and untamed as the feral cats who plague our city parks.
Unlike pets the solution is not to spay and neuter them of course, and we can’t save them all – a fact that immigrant advocates seem to forget. What do we do?
Instead of dumping them on people who don’t want them, how about having them live with those who do. Everyone fighting for the immigrants to stay should open their homes to them just as I have the strays that cross my path. Help them take care of themselves here, learn English and find jobs to eventually become citizens instead of forcing them into shelters run by the government in neighborhoods where they are not wanted.
But the fact must be faced. We can’t save them all. America is not big enough; we have our own black, Hispanic, and white underclasses needing jobs and health care. What do we do?
Ultimately we will need to do some “Yankee Imperialism” to build countries in Central America that aren’t failed states run by goons on the payrolls of narcotics traffickers. That will require a lot of work on our part as a people who must learn that not all cultures are equal – that some are indeed better than others – but in the meantime those demanding the illegal immigrants stay should be opening up their homes and their own wallets, just as people who rescue animals do.
These are people. They deserve to be treated better than dogs. The sooner the immigration advocates realize this the better.
Because Evidently Smart People Have Gotten Really Stupid About the Subject
Imagine you arrive at work one morning to find a group of people standing around your desk or workstation. You notice similar groups standing around the desks of your colleagues. Everyone is perplexed. Finally your boss arrives and explains, “These are your potential replacements.” She points to one, “See Miguel here? He’s actually a harder worker than you are and is willing to work for half of what I pay you. Sure his English isn’t the best, but Rosetta Stone Spanish is half-price on Amazon right now, Eso es mucho, ¿eh Miguel?” Miguel nods vigorously.
“The only thing holding me back from hiring him is immigration reform,” she says, “But since both parties are committed, I guess it’s only a matter of time…” She walks away, then says over her shoulder, “Oh, and until it’s passed you might want to remember Miguel and his amigos when you come to my office for your next evaluation.”
We like to believe we are indispensable in our jobs, that the company cannot run without us. The truth is that unless you work for yourself your company CAN run without you, and in many cases may do so better. The only reason you have a job is that the company you work for gains more from your labor than the cost of employing you. So if it pays you $20 an hour, it expects to make at least that back through your labor. If it doesn’t you won’t have a job for long because the company will go out of business. Say it makes a 25% return on your employment, netting the firm $5 an hour after paying you your wage. Would it pass up an opportunity to pay less for your position, say turning that 25% return into a 100% return by paying $12.50 an hour?
This is an oversimplification of course. Many employees don’t make their firms any money at all. If you are in infrastructure, whether a middle manager or an IT developer, you are only employed until your company figures out how to get rid of your position. Somewhere within your company someone is trying to figure out how to do away with your job in the name of “streamlining” or “efficiency.” It’s no different to what you do at home when you look at your bills and try to figure out how to make your money go farther. Your position is an expense, and right now it’s necessary, but it won’t be forever of course. And in the meantime your firm will do whatever it can to maximize profits while minimizing costs, and your salary or wage is a cost that it will work very hard to minimize.
The Labor Market is no different than any market. The price of anything on the market is determined by its supply and demand. If the supply is plentiful, it’s price will be relatively cheap. As it becomes rarer, the price rises. For those of us who have grown up in free(ish) market economies we take this fact for granted for everything from gasoline to gold. But for some reason when it comes to jobs we get stupid about it.
In a free market whenever there’s a shortage of something, whether it’s pork bellies or Playstations, the price skyrockets. For the past 15 years high tech firms have been complaining about labor shortages in the STEM fields, and call for increased numbers of H-1B and J visas to fill the supposed shortage. If this were true we would expect that the salaries for such jobs would be sky-high.
The Chronicle for Higher Education investigated the STEM field labor shortage claims and concluded the STEM labor shortage is a myth. Salaries in these fields have been stagnant and in many cases, in decline. So why do so many people believe the myth? “The claims about STEM shortages come from employers, along with their lobbyists and trade associations, claims Michael Teitelbaum, who a fellow in science policy at Harvard University and a senior advisor at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.”
There is no labor shortage, just a shortage of labor willing to work for the wages set by companies. Companies want to pay their employees less, and the only way to do that in a free(ish) market economy is to boost the potential supply of its workforce. Why wouldn’t it support immigration reform if it meant more aspirants for your job? This potential pool of applicants allows it to find a cheaper replacement for you or at the very least keeps you from asking for a raise.
Why Unions Support Immigration Reform
Today’s unions aren’t your
father’s grandfather’s unions. Back in the day unions raised wages and working conditions for their members because they controlled the supply of labor either directly, by determining whether their members worked, or indirectly by making crossing a picket line dangerous to one’s health. They also fiercely resisted immigration, viewing immigrants as increasing the labor supply and driving down wages for their members.
Today’s unions are pale shadows of their former selves, representing only a sliver of the non-government workforce. Because they can no longer control the supply of labor in most industries, it only makes sense for them to focus on the low paying service industries where they can still exercise some control. These industries happen to employ the most illegal immigrants, so starting a decade or so ago, the unions gave up their resistance to immigration and embraced it. Now unions like the SEIU see each illegal immigrant from Honduras or Mexico as a dues paying member. Since the minimum wage provides a floor to wages, the unions no longer have to worry about decreasing labor supply to boost wages; they’ll just push for a higher minimum wage, and that’s exactly what the unions have done. The primary weapon of unions is no longer a picket line, but the cash desperately needed by politicians to win elections.
By expanding their rank and file with immigrants, the unions then have the cash to provide to politicians who can then raise the minimum wage to boost the salaries of its members. From the perspective of the rank and file, the union leadership and the politicians who receive their cash, everybody wins. The only losers are the middle class consumers who pay more for goods and services provided by unionized companies as well as pay the higher taxes required to support the large cheap labor pool, and the constituents of the politicians who are in the pockets of the unions.
Why Liberals Support Immigration Reform
Let’s face it, these immigrants aren’t coming from places where Ayn Rand and Adam Smith are cultural icons. They are coming from collectivist societies where Che Guevara is more than an image on a t-shirt, used to living under strong states, albeit ones with failed policies bad enough to drive them to risk everything to cross our border. The teeming masses awaken the natural impulse within liberals to help, and that help in the liberal’s mind can only come through a strong, all-encompassing State. Liberals also don’t like borders, viewing nationalism as a scourge that will eventually disappear along with such barbarities as the Plague and GMO food. Modern liberals are by nature trans-nationalists, and nothing is more trans-national than a bunch of brown people who have suffered under the neo-colonial policies of the Western Powers flooding into the USA. Each Mexican or Honduran represents a chicken of past colonial aggression coming home to the United States to roost.
Additionally, hard core Leftists believe the Marxist interpretation of Capitalism that inequality deepens as wealth follows its natural tendency to accumulate with the upper class, and that it’s the job of the State to confiscate that wealth and redistribute it to the lower classes. Marx himself viewed this as an untenable state of affairs that would eventually lead to communism and the concept of wealth would disappear and vegan unicorns would frolic in a low-carbon world. Until that time the State would tax the bejeezus out of the wealthy and hand it over to the poor in welfare payments. More poor immigrants require more taxes from the wealthy, helping make that Communist Paradise one-step closer to reality.
Of course all liberals aren’t steeped in liberation ideology and the politics of identity. To Democrats each immigrant is a potential Democratic voter. Immigrants traditionally vote Democrat at least for a generation or two until they assimilate. Pew Research finds 31% of illegal immigrants self-identify with the Democratic Party vs. 4% for the Republican Party. Converting those illegal immigrants into voters has the potential to make the Democratic Party the majority party in the US and consign the Republican Party to History’s wastebasket. Given the potential payoff Democrats would be stupid not to support immigration reform, and for all its faults the Democratic Party has never been known for its stupidity.
The Stupid Party of American Politics
And why is the GOP establishment keen on immigration reform? Because the Republican Party is the Stupid Party in American politics. The GOP’s Big Business/Big Government wing is determined to push through reform in order to provide its corporate base with the cheap labor it demands even if it means the party’s suicide. While the libertarian/populist/small government wing of the party fights back in primaries, showing its power in Eric Cantor’s primary loss, the GOP establishment believes that it must pass immigration reform to continue receiving support from its corporate patrons and to counter the Democrats charge of racism. It pins its hopes on the social conservatism of the Hispanic community, that the community will see what swell, non-racist guys the party is and will switch party affiliation. This has about as much chance of happening as Joe Biden winning the presidency in 2016.
So there you have it. Hopefully this article adds some clarity to the issue. Where your opinion falls should reflect whether you compete with immigrants for your job or not. If you don’t, then you should favor their arrival. But if you do, you should think twice about supporting immigration reform you racist.
In 2003 after being forced to train his own replacement on an H-1B visa, Scott Kirwin made the cover of Wired Magazine and founded the IT Professionals Association of America and worked for 3 years to counter the myth of the high-tech labor shortage. In 2006 he threw up his hands and quit, having received little support from IT professionals and lots of badly written though amusing threats from Indian workers.
Allison Pearson writing for the Daily Telegraph lays out the end result of political correctness run amok in her piece, Are We All Racists Now. She starts with a conversation between her children, her mother and herself when her kids call her mother “racist” for using the term “negro spiritual.”
“Grandma is not racist…“Heinrich Himmler is a racist. Grandma, not so much.”
“Who’s Henry Himmer?”
“Heinrich HIMMLER was a foul, Jew-exterminating, Nazi fiend whom your grandmother’s parents and their whole generation fought a world war to defeat in order that she could sit here 70 years later and be called racist by her sanctimonious and ungrateful grandchildren. Anyone for crumble?”
She then takes on the rising tide of the European Right which makes me wonder whether Great Britain’s experience be the future of America’s.
As shell-shocked politicians from the main parties struggle to discern the causes of Ukip’s deafening electoral success, here’s a tip: look in the mirror, chaps! It is politicians, not the British people, who are to blame for a resurgence in racism; politicians who have ignored public opinion and created the conditions in which resentments fester and grow. Specifically, though not exclusively, it is New Labour who welcomed workers from the new, accession countries of the EU at a time when countries such as France and Germany wisely exercised their right to keep them out for another seven years. According to Jack Straw, this was a “spectacular” error. And Jack should know, because he was Home Secretary at the time. The plan of Tony Blair’s government, as laid bare by Andrew Neather, then a Blair speechwriter, was to banish that old, hideously white, retrograde England and usher in a new, vibrant, multicultural country which, rather conveniently, would vote Labour. Mr Blair now works in international conflict resolution, having stored up enough conflict in his homeland to keep future generations busy for centuries.
America appears to be on the cusp of granting millions citizenship. The government is scrambling to care for tens of thousands of children crossing illegally into the US apparently in the hope of being granted citizenship. Pearson suggests that the elites in Europe have lost touch with the common people, and that the common people are beginning to revolt. And the Democrats and their Republican allies aren’t ready for it.
The Democrats see the demographics of the immigrants and become positively giddy. These immigrants aren’t coming from libertarian meccas like Switzerland. They are coming from collectivist societies where they were taken care of by the government so they’re expected to vote Democrat, although if that worked so well, why are they leaving? Big labor sees more dues paying members in the few remaining private sector unions. The GOP supporters are in the pockets of big business. They see the world in purely supply and demand terms. By boosting the supply of workers the cost of labor will go down, which is just peachy for businesses that employ lots of low-skilled labor in the food processing, service and manufacturing industries.
Because of the demographics in my area, I tend to associate with some very decent people from humble circumstances. These people will be directly impacted by the immigrants. They will compete directly with them for jobs and will have to suffer lower wages as a result of the increased supply of labor. At the same time their taxes will go up to pay for the increased services consumed by the newcomers. Now imagine a situation where America was flooded by lawyers, businessmen and wealthy immigrants. The price of attorneys and salaries of company leaders would tumble, while at the same time the costs of beach homes in the Outer Banks and prime properties in the Hamptons and Cape Cod would skyrocket. One wonders whether the elites would brand themselves as “racist” for questioning the flood of immigrants as those on the Right here and in Europe have been.
Such a wave of high-skilled, wealthy immigrants isn’t possible. The door has always been open for those, and there simply is fewer of those than there are low-skilled and unskilled poor people in the world. But it would be nice if the elites experienced life as an ordinary citizen or even TRIED to imagine life. I suppose it’s much easier to turn them into non-entities, vaporizing them in a flash from their thoughts with the term “racist.”
As a parent of a teenager and an intellectual who somehow managed to avoid Academia, I’ve followed the higher education bubble stories carefully. Glenn Reynolds has written and linked extensively on the subject, and Virginia Postrel places the blame on federal student aid. While I completely agree with Reynolds that the trades have gotten ignored in favor of college and university educations, I’ve noticed that he and others working to improve the image of the trades in the minds of young people are ignoring one important issue: the impact of illegal immigration on blue collar jobs.
Having moved to the rural South I have spent the past two years renovating our home. This task has put me into contact with numerous plumbers, electricians, carpenters, roofers, and handymen. All of them have been born and raised here, and none of them would recommend the trades to young people interested in making a living because of illegal immigration. I wrote about my early experiences with talking to these men here.
They are especially bitter when it comes to illegal immigration. Mexicans have flooded into North Carolina and driven down wages for skilled and semi-skilled workers. They are constantly underbid by contractors employing illegals at a fraction of the going hourly rate.
These men face the competition of teams of illegals everyday. They are locked out of larger jobs that hire a single contractor employing teams of illegals instead of American citizen subcontractors. When skilled Mexican tradesmen are paid minimum wage (or less), it’s difficult for those who hire sheetrock hangers and carpenters at the going rate ($15-$25/hr in these parts by my estimate) to compete. The success of these illegal teams has led to their usage on ever smaller jobs, the meat and potatoes of general contractors, leaving only the smallest jobs for the local contractors to compete against each other for. These usually have low margins and being small are difficult to make a living doing when traveling and buying supplies is included.
Long time readers will know that although conservative and free market oriented, I am no Ayn Rand disciple. The older I become the more I suspect that, as Neal Stephenson predicted in the cyberpunk classic Snow Crash, globalization has smeared things out into a worldwide layer of “what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider prosperity.” With New Economy industries employing fewer workers than the factory jobs they replace, those with college degrees are finding themselves without job security. Companies are offshoring everything they can, and it is only a matter of time before automation begins to nibble away at the creative jobs previously considered “safe” from either of these forces. It isn’t clear what jobs will replace them.
In a prior incarnation I actively fought offshoring and labor dumping by the government through its policies of lax immigration designed to flood the domestic market with cheap labor. I learned that the government uses technical visas like the H-1b and J-2 to allow skilled foreigners to lower the cost of labor and price out domestic white collar workers. Because these workers are compensated in part by the prospect of working in America – and in the case of the H-1b, with the potential reward of a green card three to seven years after their arrival – they could be paid a lower salary than equivalently skilled American workers. In effect the H-1b visa holders are subsidized by the American government: they receive a salary plus a visa that doesn’t cost the government anything but which they accept in lieu of cash. Their employers get cheaper labor that boosts their bottom-lines and grants them the flexibility of underbidding firms that only employ citizens or green card holders. This forces competing firms to either hire foreign labor or go out of business.
The case is the same with blue collar workers. Illegal immigrants come to the United States accept lower wages because they are receiving a government subsidy in the form of future citizenship. The likelihood of being found out or deported by the federal government is miniscule, especially at a time when the federal government is actively fighting efforts to tighten border controls and demands to increase arrests and deportations of illegal citizens. Again, this subsidy doesn’t cost the government anything, yet it provides a reward that is almost as good as cash to illegals who are paid under the table.
But there is a cost to this meddling by the federal government in the labor market: higher unemployment and the social costs that attend it such as increased criminality, alcohol and drug abuse, and the breakdown of the family. But these social costs don’t appear in the statistics – just as the illegal immigrants don’t either – and are ignored whenever talk turns to economics.
If white collar jobs are threatened by offshoring, the trades are threatened by illegal immigration and all jobs are threatened by automation, is the American worker and the economic system that is based on him or her doomed? Some believe that the changes over the next several decades could spell the end of work as we know it, as something that is viewed with dread and a sense of fatalistic duty changed into a system whereby each person pursues creative talents that will be in demand and that require imagination and perspective that computers and perhaps even foreigners won’t know how to do. One wag characterized it as everyone planning everyone else’s weddings – an updated and more positive prediction that we would all someday be slinging hamburgers to one another after manufacturing’s demise.
I’m not so sure. Perhaps such a future beckons, but in the meantime I would prefer that the government stop meddling in the labor market by increasing the porosity of America’s borders with the world. Sealing the border with Mexico would be a good place to start. A free market pool of labor is supposed to be a compromise between two competing forces: employers and employees. Labor dumping through lax immigration and “open border” policies undermine that compromise, allowing employers to dictate what they are willing to pay for a given skillset while being protected from a tight labor market by government policy. Employees have no redress other than to change jobs or if they are old enough, retire. If the government stopped interfering in the market to favor one side over the other, the domestic labor market would begin to function as a free market instead of an overly regulated, skewed one. If plumbers are in demand, their salaries will rise and people will start considering them (as Glenn Reynolds, Virginia Postrel and others suggest). Similarly, if java programmers are in demand, their salaries should rise to the point where colleges and IT bootcamps pump out java programmers to fill the demand. In both cases supply of workers would eventually overshoot demand (because companies by their very nature strive to become more efficient), and these salaries would stabilize and eventually decline.
Until that happens, white collar and blue collar workers, skilled and unskilled, educated and trained will have to always look over their shoulders afraid of the boss’s unexpected call for a personal meeting at the end of the day on Friday. Whether the boss’s collar is clean or dirty won’t matter as long as the government continues kicking up waves in the labor pool.
Update: The Financial Time reports on the difficulties employers have with finding skilled employees. This is a myth that is trotted out whenever employers want skilled workers but don’t want to pay what those skills demand. It also reflects laziness on the part of the employer. For example it begins quoting Drew Greenblatt from Marlin Steel Wire Products complaining about the inability to find three sheet metal setup operators for $80k in salary and overtime.
The article doesn’t say what the going rate is for sheet metal setup operators in the area. While $80k may sound like a reasonable salary to most people, Mr. Greenblatt obviously needs to pay more to fill the position. Either he is underpaying or the job is so esoteric and rare that no one does it so he will have to train someone. If the latter, why doesn’t he approach a sheet metal setup operator working for his competition and offer them a higher salary than they are making? That’s the way the free market is supposed to work.
The article offers support to this conclusion:
Without in-house training programmes, companies have often been left looking for staff with specific skills. “A generation ago, employers would hire and train employees. Now, they demand trained workers,” says Peter Cappelli, a professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton business school.
“The skills gap is largely a figment of companies’ imagination,” says Mr Cappelli. “They cannot find workers to do the very specific tasks they want done. That is different from not being able to find capable workers.”
CNN lost the last reason to watch the network today when Lou Dobbs resigned. Apparently Dobbs got tired of justifying his job while in the sights of various pro-illegal immigrant and Hispanic groups who had targeted him over his vocal opposition to illegal immigration.
Roberto Lovato, co-founder of Presente.org: “We are thrilled that Dobbs no longer has the legitimate platform from which to incite fear and hate.”
I suppose telling people to follow our laws in order to come here makes one “incite fear and hate” these days. Dobbs leaves while having one of the top rated shows on the network. No doubt the Hispanics celebrating his ouster will now tune in to make up for the viewers that Dobbs takes with him (anyone want to bet that he pops up on Fox within 6 months?) Of course since Hispanics don’t watch CNN to begin with, I wouldn’t bet that the network will see any bump in its ratings for appeasing these groups.
CNN has become a pale shadow of itself since the heady days of the Gulf War in August 1990. It’s a shame that the news organization that once prided itself on the quality of its news has become lost in a fog of political ideology and liberal slant that it doesn’t even know it is in. You would think that CNN would look at the success at Fox News and take a serious moral inventory of itself, but I guess it’s no surprise that the organization formed by Ted Turner would follow its founder off the deep end into moral relativist reporting under the guise of “objectivity”.
Applicants line up to fill jobs open after plant raid
LAUREL — Howard Industries found itself at the center of activity again Tuesday.
Hundreds of job applicants lined up, eager to take advantage of the sudden job openings at the plant located in Jones County, where the unemployment rate is 6.3 percent.
ICE agents on Monday seized 595 plant workers suspected of being in the country illegally. Several workers, who did not identify themselves, said Tuesday they were working and trying to keep the plant operational in the wake of the sudden loss of co-workers.
They said it was common knowledge many of their co-workers were suspected to be illegal.
It’s an idea that maddens Samantha Stevens, 18, of Heidelberg, who was among those who pulled up to Avenue A across from the plant’s entrance throughout the day. She said she has been unable to find a job since she graduated from Heidelberg High School in the spring and blames, in part, the willingness of companies to hire illegal workers.
“We were here first. It’s not fair for them to have a job,” she explained.
Hat-tip: Lawshawn Barber
Houston mayor Bill White bristles at the labeling of his city as ‘Sanctuary City’ – one that does not enforce federal immigration law at the local level. In 2006 the mayor said, ‘’‘Houston is not a sanctuary city. The biggest concern on something like this is somebody trying to confuse the voters.’ Nevertheless, since 1992 the Houston Police have followed a directive forbidding them from determining the immigration status of those they question or arrest. Even the Congressional Research Service lists the city formally as a ‘sanctuary city’ in its report, ‘CRS Report for Congress, Enforcing Immigration Law: The Role of State and Local Law Enforcement.’
For a young family of three in Houston, it’s an issue of semantics that no longer matters. On August 14, 2007 Juan Felix Salinas, 42, from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, was charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter in the deaths of Tenisha Williams, 26; her husband, S.J. Williams; and her son, Xavier Brown, 2. According to Houston Police, Salinas was speeding on Interstate 10 before he slammed into the back of the Williams’s vehicle. It burst into flame as bystanders tried unsuccessfully to free the trapped family. Salina’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit.
This isn’t the first time Houston has had trouble with its controversial policy. In January 2003 an illegal immigrant driving a trash truck ran over a six year old boy. He got out of the truck, pulled the boy out from under it, and then drove away. He later fled to Mexico where he remains at large. The year before Walter Alexander Sorto, an illegal from El Salvador abducted, raped and murdered two Houston women. Sorto had been picked up by police numerous times for traffic violations, and was on probation for robbery at the time of the murders. In October 2006 illegal immigrant Juan Quintero allegedly shot and killed Houston police officer Rodney Johnson.
While it is true that illegal immigrants are responsible for a lower proportion of murders than the general population, this fact obscures the even greater truth: all of these crimes were completely preventable had federal law been abided to at the local level as is mandated by the US Constitution. Had federal immigration authorities been alerted after Salinas’s first brush with the law, the Williams’s would still be alive. Had Sorto been deported or at the very least barred from probation due to the greater likelihood that his immigration status made him a flight risk, Maria Moreno Rangel and Roxana Aracelie Capulin would still be alive.
The names of the victims of these men belie yet another truth: this is not a racial issue but a legal one. The Williams’s were African-American, as was Officer Rodney Johnson and the three college students executed and a fourth left to die in a Newark schoolyard by Jose Carranza on August 4th. All of Sorto’s victims were Hispanic as was the six year old run over by a garbage truck.
Civic leaders have consciously adopted policies that extend protection to non-citizens in direct conflict with state and federal law. They have done this to curry favor with interest groups and business organizations that rely upon a flow of illegal immigrants for support and as a pool of cheap labor.
According to the Ohio Jobs Justice PAC (OJJPAC) which tracks them, there are currently 125 cities having sanctuary policies from Anchorage Alaska to Miami Florida. It is time that these leaders of these cities are held accountable for these policies. While the federal and state governments should do everything necessary to force these cities to abide by state and federal laws as mandated by the Constitution, it is ultimately left to the citizens of these cities to hold their leaders accountable for their decisions.
After all they are the ones who are paying for these naive and misguided policies with their lives.
Scott Kirwin is a writer living in Delaware.
The murder of three college students in Newark New Jersey Saturday August 4th proves that even in a society that has witnessed horrific acts of violence in its relatively brief history, we haven’t lost the capacity for being shocked. As the perpetrators are rounded up, the alleged ringleader appears to be Jose Carranza, aka Jose La Chira.
Carranza is an illegal immigrant from Peru who has been in trouble with the law in Newark before. He was indicted by grand juries in New Jersey twice this year — in April on aggravated assault and weapons charges; and in July on 31 counts which included aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13 years old and endangering the welfare of a child he had a duty to supervise.
In both incidents, Carranza was granted and posted bail – a rarity according to Alan L. Zegas, a noted New Jersey defense lawyer.
‘The level of risk of flight increases exponentially when a person is not a citizen of this country and has few, if any, roots here,’ Zegas said in an interview with Fox News.
After being granted bail, Carranza is alleged to have threatened the life of the five year old girl he raped as well as her parents. These threats did not result in his bail being revoked, nor was any efforts made into determining his immigration status as he awaited trial. Even now after his arrest in the triple homicide, the authorities involved in the case are playing down this aspect of the case. Thomas McTigue, assistant prosecutor handling the murder cases stated, ‘Our focus hasn’t been his immigration status.’
Perhaps the reason the Newark prosecutors focus was not on his immigration status was the fact Newark is a ‘Sanctuary City’ – where local officials do not enforce immigration laws. Newark New Jersey adopted ‘Sanctuary City’ policies earlier this year – prior to Carranza’s alleged crimes.
What exactly do these ‘Sanctuary City’ policies do? In a March 1, 2007 story by the north New Jersey newspaper, The Record, Paterson Councilman-at-large Rigo Rodriguez said, ‘The residents of this city must be able to go to the supermarket, ride in a car, walk down our streets, without fear that they will be arrested and not be able to go home that night,’ Rodriguez said. ‘Immigration officials need to deal with illegal immigrants at the border. Their failure to control that is why they end up in our cities.
‘Once they’re here, it shouldn’t be our job to deal with their immigration status,’ Rodriguez said. ‘Once they’re here, they’re members of our community and our role is to make them feel safe and comfortable here. They simply shouldn’t be harassed.’
In essence proponents of these policies like Councilman Rodriguez call for granting the same Fourth Amendment rights, ‘to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,’ to illegal immigrants as to citizens. Cities such as Newark New Jersey then become ‘safe zones’ where illegal immigrants can enjoy the benefits of US citizenship without bearing its costs or shouldering its responsibilities.
Was Carranza granted special treatment because the authorities believed he was an illegal immigrant? Was the Newark prosecution or the judge on his prior cases afraid to consider Carranza’s immigration status when granting bail for fear of causing a firestorm of controversy in the large Latino community?
And finally, how did an illegal immigrant from Peru have the money to post $200,000 worth of bond? Even at 10% someone would have had to come up with $20,000 – a sum that an illegal immigrant would be unlikely to have.
Three young American students are dead and another grievously wounded at the hands of a murderer and his motley crew. While ultimate responsibility lies with the killers, there can be no doubt that Newark’s justice system failed those kids that Saturday night in that New Jersey schoolyard.
Scott Kirwin is a freelance writer living in Delaware.