Who’s In Charge of America?
Special to FreeRepublic
John Armor (Congressman Billybob)
Posted on 07/27/2007
by Congressman Billybob
This is a simple question. Everyone should know the answer. It goes to the heart of the American experiment in self-government. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that “just” government rests on “the consent of the governed.” The Constitution put that in writing, in law. But recently, two federal judges have decided that they should run America, not the people.
Federal judges are, of course, not elected and serve for life. The idea that they should decide public issues rather than officials elected for that purpose is an attack on the basis of American government. And yet it happens. Cases in point: Hazleton, Pennsylvania, and Framers Branch, Texas.
In both cities, with the overwhelming support of their citizens, the Mayor and City Councils passed ordinances to discourage local landlords from renting to illegal aliens, and local businesses from hiring illegal aliens. Neither city took on the role of determining who was illegal. Instead, both cities (in different ways) accepted federal definitions of who was an illegal alien.
The federal judge who ruled against Hazleton wrote that local ordinances like this are "preempted by federal law." This is a false conclusion, since the ordinances merely accepted and used the existing federal definitions of who is an illegal alien.
The judge sought to salvage himself from reversal by adding dicta, saying that even if the City's ordinances were not preempted, they violated "the constitutional rights" that the plaintiffs' have "whether they were legal residents or not." This is flatly contrary to prior decisions of the Supreme Court.
The driving force behind the appeal of this case, and an appeal of a similar decision by another federal judge against ordinances of Farmers Branch, Texas, will be future harm to American citizens who live in those towns. There will be more rapes, robberies, assaults and murders of citizens by illegal aliens.
There will be more injuries, damage and deaths from illegal aliens driving without licenses, without insurance, and sometimes while drunk. The citizens of those, and other towns, which are being overwhelmed by illegal aliens, will rightfully blame this death and destruction on the federal judges who have, so far, stripped the local governments of the power to protect their own citizens. And, protecting the citizens is the first duty of all elected officials, everywhere.
In the meantime, the same dynamic will play out in New Haven, Conn. That City started this week issuing special City IDs to illegal aliens, there. These and all other "sanctuary cities" will attract even more illegal aliens. The deaths, injuries and damage, and health, welfare and education costs, inflicted by illegal aliens in these cities should and will be blamed on those local officials.
The death rate of Americans from all illegal activities of illegal aliens has consistently been higher than the death rate of Americans in Iraq and all other places around the globe where American servicemen and women "go in harm's way." Local media, who report on local matters, are beginning to catch up with this deadly reality. All Americans are in harms’ way, not just the military.
This is not a civics test in the 11th grade asking “Who’s in charge of America?” These are real decisions, by real judges, which will lead to real deaths of real citizens. These two decisions by arrogant federal judges should be reversed on appeal.
Furthermore, people who are concerned about the cost and damages from illegal aliens should push the candidates for President to answer two questions:
“Who’s in charge of America?” And – “Would you appoint federal judges who would steal the right of self-government from cities, states, and the Congress of the United States?”
For more than two decades I have preached the doctrine, like a voice crying in the wilderness, that the judicial appointments of a President may be more important than anything else that he or she does. That’s because judges last for life, whereas Presidents are gone in eight years, maximum. Now, citizens of the US are beginning to see the point. Ever since the Kelo case (where the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that government can take your house to give your property to another private owner), citizens have been outraged about Court arrogance, and Court disregard of the Constitution.
The Hazleton and Framers Branch court decisions are two more examples of such anti-constitutional thinking. All candidates for President should be asked whether they approve of these decisions. That’s a quick way to assess whether they think citizens and elected officials, or unelected judges, should be in charge in America.
About the Author: John Armor practiced in the US Supreme Court for 33 years. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu He lives in the 11th District of North Carolina.
More on John Armor:
About the man: from the Smoky Mountain News
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Who’s In Charge of America?
Monday, July 30, 2007
Ok, I admit it. I can't follow this...LOL
So, God is NOT dead, He just has a few issues to work out?
And He was last seen in Africa? I really am confused.
Each time I try to read this story, I end up saying, "The world is really quite mad, you know."
Colorado Springs Church Undergoes Legal Battle
Legal Spotlight - POSTED: 2007/07/29
The Gothic Revival tower of Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish stands as a monument to staid tradition - but this sanctuary has turned into a battleground.
Rebellious parishioners left the American Episcopal Church this spring, protesting its acceptance of gay unions and other departures from orthodoxy, to join a Nigerian Anglican diocese.
Now, the congregation is locked in a legal battle with the Colorado Diocese over ownership of the church, valued at $17 million. The congregation also is trying to keep its conservative priest of 20 years, the Rev. Don Armstrong, in his pulpit, despite allegations of theft and fraud.
Tuesday, an Episcopal ecclesiastical court will weigh charges against Armstrong, who is accused by the diocese of stealing or misusing more than $500,000. The battle for Grace Church is part of a global theological conflict within the worldwide 77-million-member Anglican Communion.
Liberal church members are pitted against conservative Anglicans in Africa, Asia and South America. In Colorado, 14 congregations have moved to affiliate with African-led dioceses rather than the Episcopal Diocese in Denver.
Active membership in the American Episcopal Church has been in decline for four decades, hitting 2.3 million in 2004, according to church reports. Active membership in Colorado that year was about 33,000.
"The crisis of the Episcopal Church, the fault lines that run through that, run right through Grace Church," said Alan Crippen, a spokesman for St. Stephen's breakaway congregation.
"The Episcopal Church is dying," Crippen said. "It's dying in the United States. It's dying in Colorado. It's a denomination that's lost its relevance by accommodating the culture."
The split in the Anglican community widened in 2003 when the American church consecrated New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson, who is openly gay.
This past February, leaders of the worldwide Anglican Communion gave U.S. and Canadian churches an ultimatum: Stop blessing same-sex unions and consecrating openly gay bishops by Sept. 30 or face being asked to leave the Anglican Communion.
St. Stephen's Parish's breaking point came the night of March 26, hours after Armstrong had been charged by the diocese.
Nine of 10 church vestry members, the parish's lay leaders, voted to secede from the diocese and an American church they saw drifting left - away from Scripture and toward secular humanism.
"The people around that table believed the bishop was trying to destroy this parish," Crippen said. Bishop Robert O'Neill, an outspoken liberal, had placed Armstrong on leave in the midst of the 2006 Christmas holidays. Although forbidden to have contact with parishioners, Armstrong defied the ban. On the night of the vestry vote, Armstrong sent an e-mail to the senior warden, Jon Wroblewsi, saying of O'Neill: "He has no army and no keys and no authority - possession is nine-tenths of the law - and I have the microphone."
By Palm Sunday, Armstrong and parishioners had changed the church's locks. About 250 exiled parishioners still loyal to the diocese had to worship at a borrowed church a few blocks away. Some 450 to 550 Armstrong followers held Grace Church.
"It was a big shock," said Tim Fuller, vestry member in the exiled parish. "This was done without consultation with the parish."
Before the split, Grace's rolls stood at about 2,000. Average Sunday attendance had been about 800 people, about the size of the congregation of St. John's Cathedral in Denver.
The diocese froze some parish bank accounts, Crippen said. Breakaway parishioners filed a lawsuit on Good Friday asking the court to determine ownership of the parish's real and personal property.
Clash over motives
The breakaway group contends that it can better care for the property and that the diocese probably can't afford to keep Grace Church, Crippen said.
It costs $20,000 a month to run the church, he estimates. Programs and salaries aside, maintenance and utilities run about $8,000 monthly.
"That is a specious argument. You make that argument when the law is not on your side," said Lawrence Hitt II, chancellor of the diocese.
The parishioners can leave the Episcopal Church - but they can't take Grace Church with them, Hitt said. The exit, he added, appears to be motivated less by theology and more by a desire to salvage Armstrong's ministerial career.
By late May, parishioners remaining at Grace with Armstrong had ratified the church vestry decision to join the African mission by a vote of 342 to 28.
The group chose to align themselves with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, CANA, a mission of the 17-million-member Nigerian Anglican Church.
The Diocese of Nigeria, the largest, after Great Britain, of Anglican Communion's 38 provinces, holds itself out as a safe harbor for conservative congregations estranged from North American dioceses. CANA, founded in 2005, now includes 37 churches in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
Another African group - the 7-year-old Anglican Mission in the Americas - with oversight from Rwanda's Anglican province, claims affiliation with 116 congregations in North America, including 13 in Colorado, from Cortez to Broomfield.
Altogether, at least 200 of 7,200 Episcopal congregations in North America have aligned themselves with overseas provinces.
"Within the Episcopal Church, there is a lack of ability to draw clear boundaries ... regarding what is true and faithful to what God has revealed," said associate pastor Rob Paris of the Wellspring Anglican Church in Englewood, which is affiliated with the Rwanda mission.
Among the questions of orthodoxy, the congregations have split on how literally to interpret Scripture, whether Jesus' resurrection was a physical fact or a spiritual symbol, and whether the Bible forbids homosexuality.
Whatever the reason for churches leaving, the Colorado diocese said the legal precedent in this state is very clear since the 1986 Colorado Supreme Court decision Bishop and Diocese of Colorado vs. Mote. When a faction within an Episcopal parish seeks to secede from the Episcopal Church, the property of the parish is held in trust by the local church for the general church and may not be taken by the seceding faction.
A hearing on the Grace dispute is set for October in district court in El Paso County.
"We love the building, but it's not an idol for us. It's a home, a heritage, but at the end of the day, the church is not a building," Crippen said. "It's the people." If the diocese gets the building, Crippen predicts, it likely will have to sell it. Hitt said there is no basis to that claim.
Still, Crippen worries that Grace Church could suffer the same fate as the former St. Mark's at 12th Avenue and Lincoln Street in Denver, where a congregation seceded a decade ago over ordination of women priests.
"It's a nightclub now," he said. "There are some who fear that might be our destiny."
Nightclub, Schmightclub - as long as you're on the road to recovery. Or something.
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Posted by No Apology at 11:13 PM
Interview with Mayor Barletta of Hazleton, Pennsylvania
JULY 27, 2007
GLENN BECK PROGRAM
GLENN: With talent on loan from Johnny Sutton. Hello, you sick twisted freak. Welcome to the program. I'm glad you're here. My name is Glenn Beck. Saw a disturbing story today from Hazleton, Pennsylvania. U.S. judge last night struck down as unconstitutional a local law designed to crack down on illegal immigration, dealing a blow to similar laws passed by dozens of towns and cities across the country. This is from U.S. District Judge James Munley. He says the City of Hazleton, 100 miles north of Philadelphia, not allowed to implement a law for businesses that hired illegal immigrants and penalized landlords who rent rooms to them. Federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinances.
Well, this makes sense. Of course enforcing laws would be unconstitutional in this country. We go to Mayor Barletta who is the mayor of Hazleton who has been under an extraordinary amount of pressure here in the last year. Did this in a re-election year, if I'm not mistaken, Mayor, and honestly this thing could have gone either direction for you.
Louis Barletta, Mayor of Hazleton
MAYOR BARLETTA: That's true, but I saw a problem here in my city and realized that the federal government wasn't doing anything about it and I needed to take action.
GLENN: So you're not surprised by this judge? You knew you were going to lose to this judge?
MAYOR BARLETTA: There was no question. We were disappointed but not surprised. He gave indications during the course of the trial that we were not going to be successful in his court. For example, many of the plaintiffs who were suing us went by the name of John and Jane Doe because they were illegal aliens and they asked the judge if he would protect their identity, which he did. We were not allowed to ask who they were or where they lived. They then went back to the judge and asked if they did not have to show up for the trial because they were concerned they would be deported, and he granted that. So we never saw the people who were suing us.
MAYOR BARLETTA: So this is no surprise to us.
GLENN: Don't you have a right to face your accuser? I mean, isn't that part of our law again that they need to stand there?
MAYOR BARLETTA: We petitioned the judge to appeal that decision of his, and he denied our right to appeal that portion. So obviously when we go on and appeal to the third circuit court in Philadelphia now, that will be, you know, part of the -- our objection to his decision is he granted a right to illegal aliens that an American citizen would not have. We cannot, as an American citizen, walk into a federal court and have our identities protected and not --
GLENN: Wait, wait. But wait a minute. Not just have our identities protected but our identities protected, not even show up because we're afraid we will face the consequences of doing something illegal.
MAYOR BARLETTA: And a federal judge has granted that. And, you know, he made the claim that by removing illegal aliens, we will effect foreign alliances.
GLENN: That's not his job.
MAYOR BARLETTA: That we should have contacted foreign countries to ask them if it's okay to remove illegal aliens.
GLENN: He did not say that. Wait, wait, wait, wait. He did not say that.
MAYOR BARLETTA: I was asked during the trial when I was on the stand if I had called President Calderon to tell him about this ordinance before we passed it. And in the judge's decision he said, by removing illegal aliens, we will effect foreign alliances.
GLENN: Let me tell you something. Anybody who said Mex-Ameri-Canada, that I was crazy for Mex-Ameri-Canada, here it is. We are now asking permission if we can enforce our own laws here? What was your response to him?
MAYOR BARLETTA: I laughed. I thought the joke was a lighter moment in the trial, but the ACLU attorney was serious and obviously the judge agreed because he felt that we should have checked with other countries before we passed this law.
The judge also made the claim that the federal government wants some illegal aliens to remain in the country, that the government wants a balance, by closing off the border but allowing some illegal aliens in the interior. Now, I don't know what law in this country of America said that we want illegal aliens to remain in the interior of the country, and this judge obviously was imposing his own views, and we need --
GLENN: No. You know what? Honestly, Mayor, I believe he's right. I believe he's absolutely right. Did he give any reason for it? But so far he's right, that he has, I believe, our federal government's perspective on what the illegal immigration issue really is, and that is we'll effect Canada, we'll effect Mexico and we're not going to do that because it will be bad for our relationship with them and it will be bad for business. So we're not going to do these things. We're not going to enforce our own laws. And the last point of, we want a balance, but we do want these illegal aliens in here, I would love to know what his reasoning is, but I can tell you that I believe a lot of it is because of those two things that he just pointed out.
MAYOR BARLETTA: Well, he did give his reason is for the economics benefits.
GLENN: There you go.
MAYOR BARLETTA: That it's all about money. He confirmed what I've been saying. This is about money. Those that support illegal aliens in this country, it's all about money. It's about profit. It's about people making money. You know what they don't talk about, you know, is, you know, when they talk about having compassion for those that are here illegally, how about the compassion for the American worker who lost their job because an illegal alien will come here and do it for less? How about those who can least afford to lose those jobs, the American workers who might be unskilled and uneducated? What happens to those people? How many of those are put out onto the sidewalks of our -- in our communities? You know, where's the compassion for the legal Americans? This is unbelievable that I have to stand and defend myself because I want to enforce the rule of law of this country?
GLENN: You know what? Mayor, I'm going the take it a different direction. I'm going to talk about compassion as well. What about the compassion of those who are expected to live here illegally doing jobs for an unlivable wage? They say the minimum wage is unlivable? How about the wage we're paying some of these illegal aliens? It is absolutely reprehensible. It is modern day slavery. Don't even start with me on compassion when we are enslaving people for profit.
MAYOR BARLETTA: That's true. They are being exploited, and I witness it in my community when I find 10, 15 people living in apartments that aren't fit for animals, yet alone people, human beings. And again it's about money. Landlords making money. And what does our ordinance do? It goes after the landlords. We're not doing anything to the illegal alien. The federal government will make that determination. We're going after the landlord because it is illegal to harbor illegal aliens. We're going after the business because it is illegal to hire illegal workers. You know, our law made sense. Unfortunately this country does not want to do anything about illegal immigration.
GLENN: No, that's not true, Mayor. Don't you -- don't misconstrue this. The country does want to do something about it.
MAYOR BARLETTA: You're right.
GLENN: Our government doesn't.
MAYOR BARLETTA: You're right.
GLENN: I've been reading a lot, a ton on the founding fathers here recently and, you know, they were very, very clear. The federal government should be the weakest part of our government. The local government should be the strongest because the closer you get to the people, the more it is in connection with the people and its will, and the people are speaking. That's why you're seeing communities like yours all the way across the country starting to step in and saying, okay, you know what; the government's not going to do it; we will.
MAYOR BARLETTA: That's true because we deal with it every single day.
MAYOR BARLETTA: When I face the community in my community, when I watch their tax dollars go toward people who are not paying taxes. You know, it's an interesting statistic. Our population here in Hazleton grew here by 50% but our earned income tax, which is our main source of revenue, remained the same. That is an incredible statistic. We're providing services for 50% more people that are living here but our earned income tax remained the same. What city, what small city with limited budgets could withstand that kind of drain on its resources? And that's how it affects the quality of life. You know, when I can no longer have a police officer patrolling playgrounds, you see gangs around place grounds. You see drug dealers around playgrounds. When senior citizens can't sit on their porch again, this is what small town America is about. When that's taken away from a community, what's left. And we're not going to stand for it. We're going to fight this, and I'll fight this all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to.
GLENN: What's your next step? How long before it goes into court again?
MAYOR BARLETTA: We have 30 days to appeal this decision, which we will, and then it will go to the third circuit court in Philadelphia where I believe this judge's opinions will be overturned. And then from there on to the Supreme Court. The ACLU has vowed to go the distance, as well as we have. We have created a website. It's called smalltowndefenders.com for anyone that wants to help us with this fight because the ACLU has put 25 lawyers on the case in hopes of bankrupting the city and hoping that we will roll over and back down, but I'm sure they know by now we're not backing down and we're not rolling over. So anyone that wants to help us, they could log onto that website.
GLENN: What is it again?
MAYOR BARLETTA: Smalltowndefenders.com.
GLENN: Who are you in league with? Are you in bed with big oil? No, I'm kidding. Who are you in league with? Who has stepped to the plate that is -- that's helping you? Any organizations?
MAYOR BARLETTA: Well, you know, I could tell you this. The United States Chamber of Commerce filed a brief against us, which was no surprise. We're being supported by average Americans. You know, we have received over $360,000 from people all across the country who have been sending us $5, $10. I'm getting money from veterans. I had one veteran send me $7. He said, Mayor, this is everything I have in my wallet. Don't stop fighting. You're fighting for all of us. You know, it's just average Americans who are hoping that Hazleton wins this battle. If Hazleton wins, cities across the country win and, you know, that's, I guess, the way this government was supposed to work but isn't. But, you know, we're not going to -- we're not going to roll over here.
GLENN: Mayor, we will talk again, my friend.
MAYOR BARLETTA: Okay. Thank you.
GLENN: Thank you very much. The name of the website again is smalltowndefenders.com. Thank you very much.
MAYOR BARLETTA: You're welcome.
GLENN: Thank you very much. Mayor Barletta of Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
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Sunday, July 29, 2007
Somebody let Michael Savage know he can breathe easy now. Heh. Not that he was really worried, but he was pissed, and for good reason. The FCC has a spotty record at best on preserving independent broadcasting freedom.
Jul 26, 2007
By JIM ABRAMS
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Federal Communications Commission has no intention of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine imposing a requirement of balanced coverage of issues on public airwaves, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said.
Martin, in a letter written this week to Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and made public Thursday, said the agency found no compelling reason to revisit its 1987 decision that enforcing the federal rule was not in the public interest.
Several Democratic lawmakers suggested that Congress take another look at the doctrine after conservative radio talk show hosts aggressively attacked an immigration reform bill when it was on the Senate floor, contributing to its defeat.
Pence and other Republicans in both the House and Senate countered by introducing legislation to bar the FCC from reinstating the rule.
Under the doctrine, first instituted in the late 1940s, broadcasters could lose their licenses if they failed to give free airtime to opposing sides on controversial issues. Martin, in his letter, said government regulation was not needed to ensure public access to a wide range of opinion. "Indeed, with the continued proliferation of additional sources of information and programming, including satellite broadcasting and the Internet, the need for the Fairness Doctrine has lessened even further since 1987," he wrote.
Pence, in a joint statement with Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., welcomed Martin's position but said Congress should still pass his legislation so that no future administration or FCC chairman could revive the doctrine without an act of Congress.
We commend the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission for his commitment to free and independent airwaves in America. Nevertheless it is imperative that Congress pass the Broadcaster Freedom Act to ensure that no future administration or FCC chairman have the power to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine without an act of Congress. Congress should heed the call of Chairman Martin and permanently reject the Fairness Doctrine by enacting the Broadcast Freedom Act into law.He has good reason to be concerned...
While FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has alleged he sees no reason to revisit the 1987 ruling, Congress, meanwhile, is sitting around looking very much like the 800-pound gorilla, wondering how they can make America even safer from the likes of social paragon Nicole Richie...
A recent decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals made the occasional f-bomb safe for network viewing, but some senators now want to ensure that even a single blue comment or image can be grounds for an FCC slapdown.
S. 1780, the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act, has just cleared the Senate Commerce Committee and is now on its way to the full Senate. The bill, only a few sentences long, makes it clear that the FCC has the ability to regulate even fleeting uses of indecent words and images.
The Second Circuit ruled earlier this year that such a policy change (the FCC formerly focused on material that "dwells" on indecent content) was "arbitrary and capricious." Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) then introduced the bill to give the FCC a good reason for its actions, and it found support from the two aging chairmen of the Senate Commerce Committee, Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens (R-AK).
During a committee meeting, Stevens told his colleagues, "Radio and broadcast TV are still the way most Americans get their news and entertainment. And whether sitting in a car with your children or in front of the TV, the American public should be able to expect that they will not be barraged with unexpected indecency, whether it is through an image or a word."
The bill would still allow the FCC to consider single words and images in context, and it does not issue any guidance on whether any particular words or images are indecent. Still, we're pretty sure Nicole Ritchie's "Have you ever tried to get cow sh-- out of a Prada purse? It's not so f------ simple" was the sort of thing senators had in mind as being ripe for censorship.
Maybe so, but anyone listening to Nicole Richie should not be surprised when trash occasionally spills from her lips. Is this really the kind of "security" protection we need from Congress?
Will you sleep better tonight knowing our Congresspersons are working hard to keep celebrities from inadvertently "offending" little ears?
In other news...
Homeland Security bill heads to White House
July 28, 2007
BY JIM ABRAMS
WASHINGTON -- Congress sent President Bush legislation Friday to intensify anti-terror efforts in the United States, shifting money to high-risk states and cities and expanding screening of air and sea cargo to stave off future Sept. 11-style attacks.
The measure carries out major recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission. The bill, passed by the House 371-40, ranks among the top accomplishments of the six-month-old Democratic Congress. The Senate approved the measure late Thursday 85-8, and the White House said the president would sign the bill.
The bill elevates the importance of risk factors in determining which states and cities get federal
security funds -- that would mean more money for such cities as New York and Washington -- and also puts money into a new program to assure that security officials at every level can communicate with one another.
It would require screening of all cargo on passenger planes within three years and sets a five-year goal of scanning all container ships for nuclear devices before they leave foreign ports.
Senate Backs Amendment to Spend $3 Billion on Border Security Efforts
By Melanie Hunter
CNSNews.com Senior Editor
July 26, 2007
(CNSNews.com) - The Senate on Thursday approved an amendment devoting $3 billion to increase border security efforts as part of a $38 billion homeland security funding bill. It passed 89-1.
The amendment, offered by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), provides funding to build a 700-mile long fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, as called for in the Secure Fence Act. It also requires the federal government to establish and to demonstrate operational control over 100 percent of the land and maritime borders between the U.S. and Mexico.
"In the age of terrorism, regaining operational control of our nation's borders is a national security issue of the highest order," said Graham in a statement.
"There is no doubt we need better border security at our southern border including more boots on the ground, more miles of fencing, better technology which acts as a force multiplier, additional detention beds, and unmanned aerial vehicles," he said. "My amendment provides funding for these important and much-needed changes in federal policy."
The amendment provides to hire, train and deploy 23,000 Customs and Border Patrol agents. It seeks to permanently end the "catch and release" of illegal aliens by providing the resources necessary to detain up to 45,000 individuals a day.
The amendment also provides funding for 300 miles of vehicle barriers at the border, 105 ground-based radar and camera towers, and the deployment of four unmanned aerial vehicles at the border. In addition, it provides funds to cover the deportation of absconders and visa overstays.
President Bush earlier pledged to veto the homeland security bill, because it includes $2.3 billion more funding than he requested, but the White House said Bush may at least approve the funding for the border.
"To the extent Congress supports additional emergency funding, we want to work with them to make sure it is spent on the highest border security priorities," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said.
But even if the president vetoes the bill, Republicans predict the measure will have the votes to override the presidential veto.
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Friday, July 27, 2007
Two articles by Heather Mac Donald pretty much discount the "Hispanic family values" meme. Mac Donald brings her unique reporting skills to the largely ignored and denied fact of rising and rampant illegitimacy among blacks and Hispanics. For the Left, to the extent that they are aware of it at all, I suppose it's just another social phenomenon to view with occasional interest. Somebody'll fix it. Of course, the government will be expected to pamper these kids, and their kids. Who pays for it? Heh. Who do you think will pay for it? Not the rich elites, not when there is the working poor to strap with the burden of taxation.
If there is anything I have learned in the past year, it is this: We must take away from the government their ability to define and levy taxes on its citizen's wages of labor. Unless and until we curb the flow of money to the government, said government will continue growing in scope and power, effectively denying the people the right to self-government. We must wake up to the fact that the commonly-held view that our government will somehow act in our best interest is sadly delusional. Government will act in it's own best interest - interests which are largely incompatible with personal liberty and freedom.
Illegal Immigration's Family Breakdown
by Heather Mac Donald
Republican open-borders advocates tirelessly promote the myth that Hispanics will save the American family from the rising tide of illegitimacy and disintegration. None of these myth-makers has spent any time, it would appear, in the Los Angeles Unified School District, undoubtedly the most illegal alien-impacted school district in the county. “Most of the people I used to hang out with when I first came to the school have dropped out,” observed Jackie, a vivacious illegal alien from Guatemala, who is getting her GED at Belmont High School in Los Angeles’s overwhelmingly Hispanic, gang-ridden Rampart district. “Others got kicked out or got into drugs. Five graduated, and four home girls got pregnant.”Heather Mac Donald is a contributing editor at the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal, from which this article was adapted.
Jackie’s observations have been confirmed by every teen I have spoken to while researching teen pregnancy and out of wedlock child-bearing in Southern California. “This year was the worst for pregnancies,” said Liliana, an American-born senior at Manual Arts High School near downtown Los Angeles a while back. “A lot of girls get abortions; some drop out.” Are girls ashamed when they get pregnant? I wonder. “Not at all,” Liliana responds. Among Hispanic teens the stigma of single parenthood has vanished. I asked Jackie, the Guatemalan GED student at Belmont High, if her pregnant friends subsequently got married. She guffawed.
George, an 18-year-old of Salvadoran background who was kicked out of Manual Arts six months ago for a vicious fight, estimates that most girls at the school are having sex by age 16.
Social workers in Southern California are in despair over the epidemic of single parenting. Not only has illegitimacy become perfectly acceptable, they say, but so has the resort to welfare and social services to cope with it.
I spoke with an obstetrician at St. Joseph’s Hospital in the city of Orange, California, many of whose patients are Hispanic teenagers. A recent patient just had her second baby at age 17; the baby’s father is in jail. But what is “most alarming,” the doctor, herself Hispanic, says, is that the “teens’ parents view having babies outside of marriage as normal, too. A lot of the grandmothers are single as well; they never married, or they had successive partners. So the mom sends the message to her daughter that it’s okay to have children out of wedlock.”
One of the “Hispanic family values” that is thriving is the importance of having children early and often. “It’s considered almost a badge of honor for a young girl to have a baby,” says Peggy Schulze of Chrysalis House, an adoption agency in Fresno. (Fresno has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in California, typical of the state’s heavily Hispanic farm districts.) This preference for early child-bearing is not ideal in a modern economy.
Statistics bear these personal observations out. Hispanic women have the highest unmarried birthrate in the country -- over three times that of whites and Asians, and nearly one and a half times that of black women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women bore 92 children in 2003 (the latest year for which data exist), compared with 28 children for every 1,000 unmarried white women, 22 for every 1,000 unmarried Asian women, and 66 for every 1,000 unmarried black women. Forty-eight percent of all Hispanic births occur outside of marriage, compared with 24 percent of white births and 15 percent of Asian births. Only the percentage of black out-of-wedlock births -- 68% -- exceeds the Hispanic rate. But the black population is not going to triple over the next few decades.
As if the unmarried Hispanic birthrate weren’t worrisome enough, it is increasing faster than among other groups. It jumped five percent from 2002 to 2003, whereas the rate for other unmarried women remained flat. Couple the high and increasing illegitimacy rate of Hispanics with their higher overall fertility rate, and you have a recipe for unstoppable family breakdown.
The rate of childbirth for Mexican teenagers, who come from by far the largest and fastest-growing immigrant population, greatly outstrips every other group. The Mexican teen birthrate is 93 births per every 1,000 girls, compared with 27 births for every 1,000 white girls, 17 births for every 1,000 Asian girls, and 65 births for every 1,000 black girls.
For a long time, conservatives have been uniquely willing to sound the alarm about the costs of illegitimacy. Children raised in single-parent homes, they have warned, are at far higher risk of school failure, juvenile delinquency, emotional problems, teen pregnancy, and poverty than children raised by married parents. Yet when it comes to Hispanics, open-borders advocates, fearless about decrying family break-down among blacks, suddenly go silent.
Ditto the other social problems that are showing up above all in the second and third generations of Hispanic immigrants. Hispanics have the highest school drop-out rate in the country -- a recipe for economic decline. In the Los Angeles Unified School District, which is 73% Hispanic, just 40% of Hispanic students graduate. Immigrant advocates have fiercely opposed in court a long-deferred California high school exit exam, which would require students to answer just over 50% of questions testing eighth-grade-level math and ninth-grade-level English. The California Research Bureau predicts that if the exam becomes a reality, Hispanic graduation rates would drop well below 30%.
Gang life is thriving in L.A.’s schools, and is spreading across the country with the migration of Hispanic immigrants. The incarceration rate of Mexican-Americans is 3.45 times higher than that of whites. Sociologists Alejandro Portes of Princeton and Rubén G. Rumbaut of the University of California, Irvine, followed the children of immigrants in San Diego and Miami from 1992 to 2003. A whopping 28% of Mexican-American males between the ages of 18 and 24 reported having been arrested since 1995, and 20% reported having been incarcerated -- a rate twice that of other immigrant groups. Anyone who speaks to Hispanic students in immigrant-saturated schools in Southern California will invariably hear the estimate that 50% of a student’s peers have ended up in gangs or other criminal activities.
These are the social facts about which open-borders conservatives never speak. If the current level of immigration flows continues, they will only get worse. more
Hispanic Family Values?
Heather Mac Donald
Runaway illegitimacy is creating a new U.S. underclass.
Unless the life chances of children raised by single mothers suddenly improve, the explosive growth of the U.S. Hispanic population over the next couple of decades does not bode well for American social stability. Hispanic immigrants bring near–Third World levels of fertility to America, coupled with what were once thought to be First World levels of illegitimacy. (In fact, family breakdown is higher in many Hispanic countries than here.) Nearly half of the children born to Hispanic mothers in the U.S. are born out of wedlock, a proportion that has been increasing rapidly with no signs of slowing down. Given what psychologists and sociologists now know about the much higher likelihood of social pathology among those who grow up in single-mother households, the Hispanic baby boom is certain to produce more juvenile delinquents, more school failure, more welfare use, and more teen pregnancy in the future.
The government social-services sector has already latched onto this new client base; as the Hispanic population expands, so will the demands for a larger welfare state. Since conservative open-borders advocates have yet to acknowledge the facts of Hispanic family breakdown, there is no way to know what their solution to it is. But they had better come up with one quickly, because the problem is here—and growing.
The dimensions of the Hispanic baby boom are startling. The Hispanic birthrate is twice as high as that of the rest of the American population. That high fertility rate—even more than unbounded levels of immigration—will fuel the rapid Hispanic population boom in the coming decades. By 2050, the Latino population will have tripled, the Census Bureau projects. One in four Americans will be Hispanic by mid-century, twice the current ratio. In states such as California and Texas, Hispanics will be in the clear majority. Nationally, whites will drop from near 70 percent of the total population in 2000 to just half by 2050. Hispanics will account for 46 percent of the nation’s added population over the next two decades, the Pew Hispanic Center reports.
But it’s the fertility surge among unwed Hispanics that should worry policymakers. Hispanic women have the highest unmarried birthrate in the country—over three times that of whites and Asians, and nearly one and a half times that of black women, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every 1,000 unmarried Hispanic women bore 92 children in 2003 (the latest year for which data exist), compared with 28 children for every 1,000 unmarried white women, 22 for every 1,000 unmarried Asian women, and 66 for every 1,000 unmarried black women. Forty-five percent of all Hispanic births occur outside of marriage, compared with 24 percent of white births and 15 percent of Asian births. Only the percentage of black out-of-wedlock births—68 percent—exceeds the Hispanic rate. But the black population is not going to triple over the next few decades.
As if the unmarried Hispanic birthrate weren’t worrisome enough, it is increasing faster than among other groups. It jumped 5 percent from 2002 to 2003, whereas the rate for other unmarried women remained flat. Couple the high and increasing illegitimacy rate of Hispanics with their higher overall fertility rate, and you have a recipe for unstoppable family breakdown. more
George W. Bush - "Family Values Don't Stop at the Rio Bravo". Apparently, neither does the inclination to have babies out of wedlock either.
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Thursday, July 26, 2007
IRS loses challenge to prove tax liability
Lawyer is acquitted after arguing income levy lacks legal foundation
Posted: July 26, 2007
By Bob Unruh
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
The Internal Revenue Service has lost a lawyer's challenge in front of a jury to prove a constitutional foundation for the nation's income tax, and the victorious attorney now is setting his sights higher.
"I think now people are beginning to realize that this has got to be the largest fraud, backed up by intimidation and extortion and by the sheer force of taking peoples property and hard-earned money without any lawful authorization whatsoever," lawyer Tom Cryer told WND just days after a jury in Louisiana acquitted him of two criminal tax counts.
And before you consign him to the legions of "tin foil hat brigades" who argue against paying taxes, and then want payment to explain how to do that, he addresses the issue up front. more
This is good. Again the IRS has been unable to state the statute for the power to tax personal income in front of a jury of his peers. The IRS is unable to provide the statute, because it doesn't exist. And it never has existed. He is not the first to be aquitted of all charges by a jury, but he is the latest, and whereas cases won previously were mainly to make the IRS cease and desist it's hounding of an individual "taxpayer" (I hate that term), Tom Cryer is on a mission.
This IRS tax fraud is part of "a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme" Judge Munley was referring to when he struck down the very reasonable Hazleton, Pa. town ordinance. Americans have been schemed for a long time now.
Cryer also argues:
"For example, the Constitution does not empower the federal government to regulate education, or employment, and agriculture, yet it does so."
We Americans must take back our government from the usurpers of power. The federal government has become a giant toad, eating everything in sight, including its young.
And speaking of taking back what the government has allowed the illegals to take from us, check out the 'Lone Protestor" over at Freedom Folks.
h/t to Consent of the Governed, which is a very good site to learn about homeschooling and other matters concerning education.
UPDATE - UPDATE
House votes for plan to free Ramos, Compean
Provision would prevent spending any funds to keep agents in prison
Posted: July 26, 2007
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Ramos and Compean
The House of Representatives has attached two amendments to spending bills intended to free Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean from prison and prohibit the Department of Transportation from spending any funds on the development of NAFTA Superhighways.
Several congressmen are discussing a third amendment, designed to shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working groups in the Department of Commerce, but as yet no sponsor has been finalized.
The House of Representatives has attached two amendments to spending bills intended to free Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean from prison and prohibit the Department of Transportation from spending any funds on the development of NAFTA Superhighways.
Several congressmen are discussing a third amendment, designed to shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America working groups in the Department of Commerce, but as yet no sponsor has been finalized.
Taken together these memos evidence a growing resistance in the House to open borders, prosecutions of law enforcement on the border, and the increasingly evident drive by the Bush administration to push North American integration.
In a separate move, Hunter successfully offered an amendment to H.R. 3074, the Transportation Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2008, prohibiting the use of federal funds for participating in working groups under the Security and Prosperity Partnership, including the creation of NAFTA Superhighways.
Hunter's amendment passed 362 to 63, with strong bipartisan support. And the House later approved H.R. 3074 by 268-153, with the Hunter amendment included.
"The proposed NAFTA Superhighway presents significant challenges to our nation's security, the safety of vehicle motorists, and will likely drive down wages for American workers," Hunter said in a press release. "Much like NAFTA, the superhighway is designed to serve the interests of our trading partners and will lead to neither security nor prosperity." more
Trackbacked to: Dumb Ox Daily News, Freedom Folks, Woman Honor Thyself, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, third world county, The Crazy Rants of Samantha Burns, Pirate's Cove, Stuck On Stupid, Cao's Blog, Leaning Straight Up, , and Conservative Cat, Blog @ MoreWhat.com, third world county, 123beta, Adam's Blog, Right Truth, Nuke's news and views, CommonSenseAmerica, and , thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thursday, 26 July 2007
By WADE MALCOLM
A federal judge has struck down the Illegal Immigration Relief Act, ruling Hazleton's proposed crackdown on landlords and employers doing business with illegal immigrants is unconstitutional.
In a 206-page opinion, U.S. District Judge James M. Munley stated, "Federal law prohibits Hazleton from enforcing any of the provisions of its ordinance" aimed at expelling illegal immigrants.
"Whatever frustrations ... the city of Hazleton may feel about the current state of federal immigration enforcement, the nature of the political system in the United States prohibits the city from enacting ordinances that disrupt a carefully drawn federal statutory scheme," Munley wrote.
"Schemes" are hatched by schemers.
The ruling comes about four months after a nine-day trial concluded in Scranton federal court and a little more than a year since city council passed the ordinance punishing businesses that hire and landlords who rent to illegal immigrants. A separate provision making English the official language was written into a different ordinance and dropped from the lawsuit.
A previous court order issued by Munley has put Hazleton's ordinance on hold since November. Today's decision is expected to be appealed to Third Circuit Court in Philadelphia.
Hundreds of the municipalities around the country - and at least two dozen in Northeastern Pennsylvania - have considered or enacted laws mimicking the Hazleton ordinance, believed to have been the first of its kind passed in the country.
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta proposed the ordinance in response to the high-profile May 10, 2006, murder of 29-year-old Derek Kichline, allegedly shot in the head by two illegal immigrants. But charges in the case were dropped earlier this month.
While many Hazleton residents applauded Barletta's stance, much of the city's large Latino population - estimated to be about 10,000 and growing - immediately reacted in protest, gathering on the steps of city hall the night the ordinance passed wearing shirts reading, "I'm Hispanic, not a criminal."
The American Civil Liberties Union and other advocacy groups challenged the ordinance in federal court on behalf of several residents and community groups, arguing it would lead to civil rights violations against Latinos and conflict with the federal government's sole authority to regulate immigration.
During the trial in March, Barletta, who was catapulted to nationally prominence when he proposed the ordinance in June 2006, testified that his city is besieged by gangs, graffiti and crime because of illegal immigrants. He acted for the good of all legal residents, he has said.
"I'm disappointed the judge didn't realize this city needs to defend itself," said Barletta, who had not yet seen Munley's opinion this afternoon but was about to meet with his legal team to "digest" the decision.
In his decision, Munley contended that all people must be protected regardless of their legality. The ordinance could harm legal residents of the community as well, he ruled.
"The genius of our Constitution is that it provides rights even to those who evoke the least sympathy from the general public," he wrote. "Hazleton, in its zeal to control the presence of a group deemed undesirable, violated the rights of such people, as well as others within the community."
As he has in the past, Barletta vowed again this afternoon to appeal the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"I'm not ready to lose," he said. "We're not only fighting for Hazleton. We are fighting for cities across the country."
For continuous updates on the ruling in the Hazleton illegal immigration case, check www.standardspeaker.com throughout the day.
Of course this was not unexpected. Now the real fight begins...see you in court, ACLU.
Munley, sympathy has nothing to do with this case, you weasel. A pox on you and your house.
- Back to our regular broadcast -
Illegal Immigration - States Step Up To The Plate
h/t Official Website of the United States Air Force
U.S.-MEXICO BORDER -- Cows look on benignly as 917th Civil Engineer Squadron Airmen use steel to build a fence along the border.
Border reform not a priority for Democrats
The Washington TimesThis is good news. Capitol Hill is coming down with a prolonged bout of constipation. Now, as local government across America begins to deal with the unwanted illegal aliens in their midst, the states will begin to weigh in, and set up state standards for denying benefits to them and begin cooperating with law enforcement to send 'em home.
By Stephen Dinan
July 25, 2007
Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, an architect of the Democratic campaign that regained control of the House last year, says his party will not attempt comprehensive immigration reform until at least the second term of a prospective Democratic president.
The congressman's statement was reported by a Hispanic activist and confirmed by Mr. Emanuel. "Congressman Rahm Emanuel said to me two weeks ago, there is no way this legislation is happening in the Democratic House, in the Democratic Senate, in the Democratic presidency, in the first term," Juan Salgado, board chairman of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, told the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) at its annual convention last weekend.
Order of business: Orderly deportation of illegal aliens who have convictions or drug connections, and who constitute a clear and present danger to US citizens. Next, reducing the numbers of illegals who have settled into drug-infested barrios across America will probably take state statutes dealing with recalcitrant employers to make sticking around unattractive.
Denying free medical care and free schools, along with harsh employer sanctions are key to this united effort to clean up America.
Grassroots mobilization to bolster local anti-illegal alien laws, similar to the rallying cry of the anti-Islam takeover groups, will go a long way toward inducing state legislators to make a similar stand. State legislators want to get re-elected, too, and once the grassroots movement gets legs of its own, the state legislators in many states will not risk getting thrown out on their bums. It will also be up to the people to throw out the city councils who declare themselves a "sanctuary city", as the citizens did in Herndon, Virginia in May, 2006, and the mayor in Hazelton, Pa. The states are already feeling pressured to put the kabosch on cities like New Haven, Conn. And they are coming though.
In September of 1996, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) added Section 287(g) to the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA). Section 287(g) gives eligible local law enforcement officers the opportunity to receive “cross-designation” training in illegal immigration enforcement techniques.Local politicians are already beginning to take advantage of the training and the cooperation with ICE which, though it may not be able to tackle illegal immigration alone, as it was intended to, with section 287(g)local law enforcement will have a tactic which is already in place, and has been in place for eleven years, thus standing the test of time. Section 287(g) already has legs of its own.
The politicians are not going to send the illegal aliens home without some compelling reason. All politicians have two priorities above all others: to get re-elected and stay in office. 12 - 20 million potential voters - who really knows? - but too many warm Hispanic bodies for Congress to risk offending with such drastic legislation. Until Americans learn to stand up, and demand action against illegal immigration, the federal politicians will sit tight. Especially a Democrat-controlled Congress.
I realize many Hispanics want immigration laws enforced for the same reason as any other US citizen. But Congress will not want to stop and do a reality-check within the Hispanic community (whatever that is). My point is, the last thing the politicians want is to create such a dividing line within Hispanics.
But though politicians renege on their duty to send 'em packing, they will be loathe to try to torpedo the move toward securing our border with Mexico. Such a move would have disastrous repercussions for those wanting to get re-elected. Then perhaps in a few years, order can be restored.
It will not easy, but America will come out stronger in the long run.
And the leftist judges, who have already assigned illegal immigrants, ipso facto, the status of victim hood, will work diligently to rule in their favor. Make no mistake - the leftist judges will have to be dealt with. And not just federal courts, either - state judges are also responsible for destroying America. But at least at the state level, our voices are being heard, as the next article confirms.
And let us not forget EOIR, which is convoluted "justice" at its worst.
States may take up immigration fight
Results could range from harsh penalties to 'sanctuary cities'
Saturday, June 30, 2007
By Dave Montgomery
WASHINGTON -- The collapse of congressional efforts to overhaul the nation's immigration laws is expected to dramatically accelerate an effort by state and local governments to take matters into their own hands to deal with the nation's 12 million illegal immigrants.
The result, advocates on both sides of the issue say, could be a patchwork of laws and ordinances with vastly different approaches -- ranging from measures that harshly penalize illegal immigrants and their employers to the spread of "sanctuary cities" that prohibit police from questioning suspects about their immigration status.
"There's going to be a barrage of local laws dealing with immigration policy," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a leading sponsor of a White House-backed immigration bill that stalled in the Senate this week. "In some areas of the country, it will be sanctuary. In other areas of the country, if you look at someone who looks illegal, you can lose your business license."
Senators voted 46-53 against a procedural motion Thursday to move toward a final vote on the bill, effectively killing -- at least for now -- a years-long push to repair what has long been assailed as a broken immigration system. The outcome dealt an embarrassing defeat to President Bush, who has made overhauling immigration law his top domestic priority.
Frustrated over what they perceive as federal foot-dragging, state and local governments already have been stepping up with remedies that range from punitive to protective, a trend that is almost certain to escalate in the void that Congress left.
"If Congress is going to abdicate its responsibilities, then states and cities are going to jump in," said John Gay, senior vice president of the National Restaurant Association and leader of a business coalition that backed the failed Senate bill. "One of the arguments for opposing state and local proposals is that Congress is addressing it. We don't have that anymore."
As of April, state legislators in all 50 states had introduced at least 1,169 bills and resolutions about immigration this year -- more than twice the number introduced last year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many fell by the wayside, but others made their way into law, underscoring the public's growing intolerance of federal inaction.
Oklahoma lawmakers recently enacted a law that cuts off illegal immigrants' access to driver's licenses and many government benefits. A 6-month-old Colorado law prevents employers from hiring illegal immigrants and requires them to affirm the legal status of employees.
Cities and towns also have gotten into the act. Farmers Branch, a Dallas suburb, drew national attention by enacting an ordinance that bans landlords from renting to illegal immigrants; the ban is being challenged in court. The town council of another Texas community -- Oak Point, northwest of Dallas -- narrowly approved a resolution declaring English the official language.
Other states and municipalities have displayed a more welcoming atmosphere. In the Cuban-American stronghold of South Florida, two cities and Miami-Dade County have embraced resolutions calling on the federal government to stop deporting undocumented immigrants.
Thirty-two cities and counties in 16 states -- including San Francisco, Austin, Texas, Houston and Seattle -- have adopted "sanctuary policies" protective of undocumented immigrants, according to the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress.
With congressional leaders predicting that there will be no federal action on immigration at least through the rest of Mr. Bush's presidency, conservative lawmakers in more than half the states are readying legislation to crack down on illegal immigration and enable local officers to enforce immigration laws.
A group called State Legislators for Legal Immigration announced its creation last month to form "a unified front" against employers who hire illegal immigrants, said its founder, Pennsylvania state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry. Legislators from 30 states have joined the organization and will introduce similar bills in an attempt to "shut off the economic faucet" -- employment -- that draws illegal immigrants to the United States, Metcalfe said.
The Texas legislature considered dozens of bills related to immigration during its recently ended session, but nearly all of them died. But Texas state Rep. Leo Berman, R-Tyler, who introduced legislation challenging the citizenship rights of children born in the United States to illegal immigrants, said he expected a more receptive mood when state lawmakers go back to work in January 2009. "I can assure you there will be a lot of legislation dealing with illegal aliens in Texas," Mr. Berman said.
Many state legislatures are out of session, but the business coalition's Mr. Gay expects immigration to emerge in "full force" when they get back to work. He said business groups were monitoring more than 100 bills that would affect business.
Kathleen Walker, a lawyer in El Paso, Texas, and president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said her organization was braced for a flood of punitive bills in what she called a "knee-jerk" reaction to the Senate's refusal to complete work on the immigration bill. She said the prevailing attitude among state lawmakers now was, "OK, they can't fix it. We will."
Trackbacked to:Wake Up America , Freedom Folks, Outside the Beltway, Perri Nelson's Website, The Random Yak, DeMediacratic Nation, Pirate's Cove, Stuck On Stupid, Webloggin, Leaning Straight Up, Azamatteroprinciple - A new blog dedicated to fighting pork barrel spending, and Conservative Thoughts, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.
h/t Michelle Malkin who broke this story this morning.
Go over to Michelle's to see the list of the spine-less...
Sept. 11 Security Bill to Include Protections for Citizens Who Report Suspicious Activity
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
WASHINGTON — After nearly a week of intense, behind-the-scenes wrangling, congressional negotiators late Tuesday agreed to include in the pending Sept. 11 security bill sweeping liability protections for citizens who report suspicious activity they fear might be linked to terrorism.
The provision is meant to address the so-called "Flying Imams" case, wherein six Muslim clerics sued passengers aboard a Northwest flight in March who reported them to authorities, leading to their detention. The clerics were cleared but their lawsuit, many lawmakers feared, would discourage future vigilance among the flying public.
• Get complete coverage in FOXNews.com's War on Terror Center.
The Sept. 11 bill is a top Democratic priority and Republicans fought hard to include the passenger immunity protection, creating common cause with Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman, chairman of the conference committee knitting together the House and Senate bills designed to implement unfulfilled security recommendations of the Sept. 11 commission.
The bill was expected to swiftly pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by President Bush.
House Democrats, led by Mississippi's Bennie Thompson, sought changes in the immunity language but ultimately were overwhelmed by the Lieberman-GOP coalition on the conference committee. A joint statement on the inclusion of the John Doe Protections language for terrorism tipsters by House Republican Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security Peter King, R-N.Y., follows.
"This is a huge win — a hard-fought victory for House Republicans and, more importantly, for the American people," King said.
"In a post-9/11 reality, vigilance is essential to security. Despite the Democratic opposition to this important homeland security measure, I’m thrilled to announce that common sense has prevailed and heroic Americans who report suspicious activity will be protected from frivolous lawsuits. The American people were heard and our country is safer because of it."
Added Boehner: "I’m pleased that Democratic leaders finally decided to do the right thing and agreed with Republicans that we should be encouraging Americans to report potential terrorist activity to the proper authorities."
"This much-needed measure is critical in the effort to confront the significant threats posed by Al Qaeda and other terrorists and protect the American people. I want to thank Reps. King and [New Mexico Republican Steve] Pearce for their leadership on this issue and their efforts to make America safer."
Whew! Sanity prevails in the land of Moonbats.
trackbacked to: Michelle Malkin
Monday, July 23, 2007
I am posting this NYT opinion piece, not because I feel that the answer to "the illegal immigration problem" will be solved by the Social Security System monitoring and enforcing Social security ID numbers, but rather to point up a huge problem we have in government today. Which is that our government often ignores laws on the books, or finds a way to work around having to enforce them. It is a big problem, especially when the will to enforce a problem as vast as illegal immigrant workers simply isn't there.
The problem with this solution, and almost any solution deriving from federal surveillance of its own, is that the government cannot be trusted to police its own. It would simply break down in a morass of regulations, and enforcement remedies. Also, I am certain that politicians are drooling over how to get at that $586 billion (and growing daily) kitty. What are they planning to do with that money? It's a hefty sum by any measure.
I have always maintained (in my vast 9 month blogging tour of duty) that the key to stopping illegal immigration is to come down hard on employers. And I mean hard. Do I have a shred of confidence that the federal government would do it? Ha. Next question. ICE, like the National Guard patrolling our borders, was mainly for show, until town councils finally saw how to utilize section 287(g) to train their own local law enforcement to deal with illegal alien criminals. This measure will help, but falls way short of effective deportation proceedings.
What about States enforcing the laws? What is happening now is that enforcement - what there is of it - is happening on the local level of government. Because city and towns are being crushed with the weight of unchecked illegals, the will to do something is there, where it probably never will be on a federal level.
h/t Manhattan Institute for Policy Research
New York Times
Use Social Security to Seal the Border
By PETER D. SALINS
Published: July 3, 2007
Stony Brook, N.Y.
CONGRESS failed to pass an immigration reform bill last week largely because sponsors, including the president, could not convince the American people that the legislation would end illegal immigration. In the debate that preceded the collapse of the bill in the Senate, the rallying cry of opponents was “enforcement first.” Perhaps by taking the critics’ slogan seriously, President Bush can salvage a comprehensive immigration policy this year.
Supporters of immigration reform need to demonstrate that they are serious about stopping illegal immigration through stringent enforcement at work places. Keeping new illegal immigrants from being employed is far and away the best strategy for deterring them from entering the country, easily trumping border guards and fences.
Although the failed Senate bill included provisions for worksite enforcement, Congress actually doesn’t need to pass new legislation to achieve it. The Social Security Administration has for seven decades maintained a comprehensive employment database that can keep track of every single employee, legal or not, in the United States. The Social Security database, combined with laws already on the books, provides a way to catch unauthorized workers almost as soon as they are hired.
The Senate bill proposed nationwide expansion of something called the Employment Eligibility Verification System, which is now a pilot program of the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration. The idea was to create a database for an “instant background check,” similar to the database that gun dealers must consult before selling firearms to potential buyers. Any American employer, facing a job applicant, would be required to enter the applicant’s information into a new national electronic database. The employer would receive instant — or at least timely — verification that the job applicant was in the country legally.
Skeptics didn’t buy this plan for several reasons. Federal agencies, even in the wake of 9/11, have a poor track record in installing comprehensive new computer data systems. More important, numerous caveats buried in the bill would have let employers off the hook if Congress failed to authorize sufficient money for the new program. Even if that loophole were closed, the ambitious new employment enforcement database could easily be undermined by future Congresses faced with budget shortfalls, or merely the hostility of the coalition of immigrant advocates and employers that favor lax enforcement.
Political pressure from this coalition has for years prevented the government from deploying the enforcement system that is already in place. If it wanted to, here is how the Social Security Administration could run an employee verification system right now. Under current employment law, every legal permanent resident of the United States is required to have a Social Security number. Further, employers must register their employees’ status and Social Security numbers with the Social Security Administration and make contributions to the system on their behalf.
These two features together can serve as a dragnet for identifying all illegal workers. Companies or individuals employing illegal workers “off the books” are breaking the law, as are those that submit false or stolen Social Security numbers. Admittedly, tracking down workers with no documents is a daunting task, but that would also be true under the proposed system in the stalled immigration reform bill. But the vast majority of American workers — legal and illegal — are actually working “on the books.”
Their status does come to the attention of the Social Security Administration. Illegal immigrant workers can be identified by the government in several ways. Nearly 40 percent of them, or approximately 3.5 million, may have valid Social Security numbers but have overstayed their visas. Their identities can easily be established by matching Social Security Administration data against the visa expiration dates in the files of the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The other illegal immigrants working on the books have submitted fraudulent identification that, when logged by the government, shows up as being either non-existent or duplicative of existing Social Security accounts. When a fraudulent Social Security number is sent to Washington, the government deposits the accompanying money in an “earnings suspense file,” a kitty that by last October had grown to $586 billion.
The Social Security Administration does not, however, determine the reasons for the discrepancy (which could be a clerical error or a legitimate name change) or alert Homeland Security and the employer that something is amiss.
Social Security administrators assert, erroneously, that they are not permitted to aid immigration law enforcement or to share data with the Department of Homeland Security. The real reason for their reticence is their fear that more aggressive electronic enforcement might invite political outrage. In 2002, the Social Security Administration chose merely to inform employers of Social Security number discrepancies by sending 950,000 “mismatch” letters. That action so angered businesses and immigration advocates that a year later the modest bureaucratic effort was largely ended.
After last week’s legislative failure, it should be clear that the passage of immigration reform requires more enforcement of immigration law, not less. Given the country’s cynical approach to worksite enforcement until now, supporters of comprehensive immigration reform who claim they intend to curtail future illegal immigration need to make sure that, for once, all government agencies participating in worksite enforcement really have the resources, the will and the political support to give it teeth. By directing the Social Security Administration to use its database to enforce our existing immigration laws, President Bush can do this now without waiting for Congress to pass a bill.
If he does, then perhaps the United States will have truly entered a promising new era in immigration policy. If he doesn’t, we will be revisiting this contentious issue a decade from now, when we face a vastly larger illegal work force.
Peter D. Salins, professor of political science at the State University of New York, is the author of “Assimilation, American Style.”
- I wouldn't hold my breath.
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Posted by No Apology at 11:42 PM