Thinking about “the wall”

Nancy Pelosi is playing a dangerous game.  Let’s look at the facts.

When Donald Trump was still a candidate for the US Presidency, one of his cornerstone promises was to “build the wall.”  He was running against Hillary Clinton, who’s popularity among Democrats was so high it was almost sacrosanct.  Even Bernie Sanders couldn’t beat her.  But she lost the general election to Donald Trump.  Those facts are not disputed.

But, now, Nancy Pelosi had decided to make the obstruction of “the wall” a pillar of her service as the reinstated Speaker of the House of Representatives.  She needs to realize that she runs the risk of so strongly galvanizing Trump’s support base that she will guarantee his re-election in 2020.  I don’t say this to attempt to change her mind (because I harbor no delusions that my word has so much weight) but because I want to be fully understood when I say the following.

While I believe that Pelosi is delusional in thinking that blocking the wall will help the Democratic Party, I do not believe that she is wrong about why she is blocking it.  Building the wall will not do anything to prevent illegal immigration.

Why do I say that?  It is VERY simple.  Even if the wall is built, it will do nothing about any of the reasons WHY people choose to illegally enter the United States.

There are 3 main reasons why someone would illegally enter the US. In no specific order, they enter the US for jobs, citizenship, or entitlements.

As it stands now, an immigrant who illegally enters the US for a job can make a better living working the same job as a US citizen, while taking only half the wages the citizen needs to earn.  An illegal immigrant pays no taxes, gets free health care, and (as I have witnessed myself) they will often live with 3-5 families in one home, while avoiding getting a driver’s license, car insurance, or other things US Citizens need to survive.  That does NOT stop them from driving cars on our streets, or using our health care system – they just don’t pay for any of it.  We pick up the difference by paying more for our insurance, licenses, and basic needs.

Citizenship – another reason that someone would illegally enter the US is if a woman is pregnant and wants her child to be a US citizen.  The whole world knows that the US is one of the few remaining sovereign nations that grants unrestricted Birthright Citizenship.  While it was once fairly common among developed nations, it is now seen as anachronistic, a throwback to a time that is no longer relevant.  Most G-8 countries do not use this system anymore.  The US does, which is why more people than ever are turning to the US, looking to fulfill their dreams for their children’s future successes.  There is only one way to do anything about this – end the practice.  We only need a minor change to make a major difference.  Just require that all future Birthright Citizens have at least one parent who is already a US Citizen, and this will no longer be a draw for illegal immigration.

Entitlements – free welfare, medical care, and even government subsidized smart phones go a long way to encourage people to believe that they can live a better life in the US than they could in their own home country.  As the law is currently written, no hospital can legally refuse to treat any patient purely on the grounds that they can’t afford to pay for emergency care. Plus, any married man working an “under the table” job, which is illegal,  has a wife who qualifies to apply for welfare benefits on the grounds that her family has no income.  The welfare agencies are not only not required to verify citizenship status, they are actively PREVENTED from doing so by Federal mandates.  Once again, the fix for this is simple.  Start requiring ALL welfare agencies to verify LEGAL US residency, every 6 months, and this will no longer support those who are here only to take advantage of our generosity and altruism.

Best of all – those are all changes that cost almost nothing.  We don’t need a $50 Billion dollar wall to stop illegal immigration.  We just need to end the reasons why citizens of other countries would want to enter our country illegally.  Leave the current LEGAL entry system alone – people who are willing to follow our rules to legally enter the US should always be welcome.

And, let’s not forget, Donald Trump is a businessman.  He’s intimately familiar with “the Art Of the Deal” – he even had a book written in his name on that very subject.  So, if Pelosi were to go back to the negotiation table with Donald, and offer full support for ALL 3 of these suggestions, we might see an immediate end to the debate about the wall AND our illegal immigration problem.

Advertisements

Why we need limited birth citizenship…

Please read and share “Chinese Maternity Tourists and the Business of Being Born American” by Susan Berfield, who takes readers “Inside the Homeland Security crackdown on deluxe services helping Chinese women have American babies.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-13/chinese-maternity-tourists-and-the-business-of-being-born-american

Excerpts:

  • “He and her husband paid USA Happy Baby $50,000 to have an American son. If they had to, she says, they’d have paid more.”
  • “When the kids turn 21 they can petition for green cards for their parents, too.”
  • “Although it’s legal to travel to the U.S. to give birth, it’s illegal to lie about the purpose of a visit — or coach someone to do so.”
  • “Homeland Security and the IRS have been investigating the growing business of ‘birth tourism,’ which operates in a legal gray area, since last June. The industry is totally unregulated and mostly hidden.”
  • “The Center for Immigration Studies, an American organization that advocates limiting the scope of the 14th Amendment, estimates there could have been as many as 36,000 birth tourists from around the world in 2012.”
  • “In China, there’s nothing secret about birth tourism. It’s just another way to help a child get ahead. A hit 2013 movie, Finding Mr. Right, told the story of a woman who goes to America to give birth. That same year, 68 percent of people surveyed by Internet provider Tencent said they would want their child to be born in the States ‘if opportunity allows.’ The maternity services maintain blogs and a steady patter of self-promotion. USA Happy Baby featured an ad with a baby lying on an American flag; Dong, the owner, regularly posted pictures of smiling customers, their newborns, and their U.S. passports. ‘The moms must be missing the time at our maternity center. It was real fun. Everything was taken care of. You lived like a “queen,”‘ read a post on social media by another service, called Enchong.”
  • “There’s already a new phrase in use among potential birth tourists: cheng shi qian, or ‘honest visa application.’ Zhai encourages this. She also recommends entering the U.S. through a city other than Los Angeles. ‘Las Vegas is really easy because everyone goes there to gamble, no matter if you’re a senior or pregnant,’ she says. ‘If you cannot cross the border, we cannot make money.'”
  • “All the maternity centers boast of their success helping customers get visas and pass through customs. Zhai says that of Enchong’s 600 clients in 2014, no more than four were turned away at U.S. airports. The centers promise that in California there is no pollution, noise, or crowd — something that can’t be bought in China. They offer trips to Disneyland and SeaWorld; You Win, one of the services under scrutiny, took a group of husbands to a shooting range.
  • “According to an affidavit filed by HSI, the agent in China was told by a You Win ‘trainer’ to apply for a U.S. visa with someone who travels regularly and wouldn’t raise suspicions about the purpose of the visit. If she didn’t know anybody, the trainer would supply someone for $9,600. ‘If the story is convincing and she is good-looking, then the success rate will be pretty high when she goes for the visa interview,’ the trainer said. Concocting the story was included in the price. The undercover HSI agent got her visa and made plans to fly to the U.S. Sometime after that, Chen told his client that he might make as much as $2 million in 2014.”

Immigration Reform

One of the hot button topics in politics these days is “immigration reform”.  The truly sad thing is, even those who talk about it fail to define what it is they are talking about before attempting to say whether or not they agree with you about it.  This is a crucial point, for, if we start with immigration law as it currently exists (not as it is currently enforced) – there are two directions you can go that both count as “reform”.  One path would, at the most extreme, grant instant citizenship to everyone currently within the US borders.  The other path, also at the most extreme, would be to declare open season on anyone who can’t produce papers that verify legal residency and allow them to be shot in the street.  Both ideas are “immigration reform”.  Also, IMHO, both ideas are wrong.

That is not to say that we don’t need to make some changes, we just need to be careful what changes we make.   For some perspective, when Ronald Reagan was confronted about illegal immigration back in 1986, the consensus was to grant an amnesty so that everyone here would be legal, and supposedly that would fix everything.  The official estimates at the time said we had approximately 2 million people here illegally.  They got the amnesty – and suddenly 2 million swelled to 2.5 million, and some estimates now say we may have granted amnesty to upwards of 10 million.  Twenty years later, the debate began raging again, with the complication that in 2006 our economy went into the toilet as the housing bubble burst and the investment banks collapsed.  How many illegals did we have then?  The official estimate at the time was 10 million – but now some official sources are admitting it may be OVER 20 million.

If we work only with the original estimates (2 million in 1986, 10 million now) we see a 5x increase after the amnesty.  If we apply that ONLY to the original estimates, and try to project what will happen in the future, we can safely predict that what happened before will happen again.  If we give 10 million illegal visitors an amnesty now, in 20 years we will have to deal with AT LEAST another 50 Million.  50 million is approximately 1/6th of our current legal national population.

We can not afford to grant an amnesty while legal residents and citizens who need meaningful full-time jobs do not have them.  Fortunately, we do not need to grant an amnesty – nor do we need the huge expenditures of mass deportations, either.  All that we need to do is make our society so toxic to undocumented residents and illegal workers that they chose to leave because they are convinced that they are better off somewhere else.  I have a 5-step plan for making this happen.

1.  Anchor babies – this is the hardest part of my plan, because it would require one of two things to happen.  Either we would need for the SCOTUS to rule that the 14th Amendment is not absolute, and does not apply to children born to non-citizen parents, or we need another Constitutional Amendment.  Either way, what we need to do is limit birthright citizenship to only children who have AT LEAST one parent who is already a citizen.  Where they are born would be less important than the fact of one parent being a citizen – because we can’t hold it against the kid if they have 2 parents who are citizens – serving at the US Embassy in France at the time the child is born.  As another part of this step, we need to make absolutely certain that no one (not even the newborn babies) gets citizenship for illegally entering the country.  There is one thing every parent instinctively knows – if you reward bad behavior, you WILL get more bad behavior.

2. Mandate e-Verify for all employers nationally, no exemptions for anyone or any type of work.

3. No entitlements for anyone not legally here.  That applies to housing, welfare, health care, food stamps, WIC – anything that is a national entitlement program.  Not only would someone who can’t prove legal residency be prevented from using these programs themselves, but they would be blocked from using them on behalf of any dependents.

4. No free jail-time. Deport all illegal aliens convicted of any crime automatically, then see if they can get the courts to overturn their deportation.  In several of our south-western states more than 80% of the long-term prison populations are illegally inside the US.  These are felons who were convicted of crimes like breaking and entering, armed robbery, assault, rape, and murder.  The problem is – we’re supporting them.  It’s the ultimate entitlement program!  All they have to do is cross the border illegally, walk up to a bar and start a vicious fight, and when the cops show up, surrender – and they get 10 years of free room and board, with free health care that is better than our veterans get!  Some prisons even give free cable TV and access to fitness rooms to work out.

5. Fine all employers caught using “undocumented workers” $10k/worker/offense, and use the fines to finance the deportations.  Let me spell out how this would work:  If the INS raids a restaurant and finds 5 illegal workers there, that is a $50,000 fine.  Most restaurants I’ve worked in made less than $2,000 per day, and have to pay rent, utilities and buy food supplies out of that before they look at payroll.  One $50,000 fine is more than their total profit for an entire fiscal quarter.  Expand that to a factory – where one INS raid might catch 200 illegal workers in it’s net.  That’s a $2 Million fine – per incident.  All of those illegal workers would be processed by fingerprinting, DNA sampling, a photograph taken, (all of that information would be permanently stored in a national database tied directly into the E-Verify system) and then automatic deportation.