The question about illegal immigrants that people should be asking

Joe Biden, whose sole virtue seems to be the fact that, just occasionally, he opens his mouth and offers a clear insight into the Obama administration, had this to say about illegal immigrants:

You know, 11 million people live in the shadows. I believe they’re already American citizens. These people are just waiting, waiting for a chance to contribute fully. And by that standard, 11 million undocumented aliens are already Americans, in my view.

In response to which one of my friends asked the obvious follow-up question: “If 11 million undocumented migrants are already American why do they all wave Mexican flags around?

You mean like this, from a rally in Los Angeles?

mexican-flag-flying-above-upside-down-american-flag

Or this, from a rally in San Francisco?

Mexican flag at immigration rally

Or this, again from Los Angeles?

Immigration rally with Mexican flag in LA

Yup, clearly already American citizens. After all, it’s the American citizens who won’t even stand for their own flag.

Wednesday afternoon quick hits (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesIt’s raining!!!  In California, that’s cause for celebration.  Rain in Marin doesn’t mean it’s raining elsewhere, but it certainly matters to use Marin-ites — we have our own reservoir system, so we’re wholly dependent on local rainfall.  Ironically, the rain is slowing down our major yard renovation, and we have to get that renovation down before April 1, when rationing kicks in (and rationing will happen unless we get enormous amounts of rain).  Sigh.  To ever silver lining, there seems to be a cloud.

***

Since I’m on the subject of weather, here’s a two-fer about the grand hoax that is climate change. The first, from American Thinker, provides compelling evidence that every single carbon centered computer model about the climate has proven to be wrong. Not just sort of wrong, mind you, but absolutely, completely, super-duper wrong. Climate theorists are now blaming volcanoes for the warming failure, but they’ll blame anything, won’t they? If you have a non-falsifiable doctrine, you can always blame external forces for your doctrine’s inevitable failure.

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I’ve also got three great articles about Israel. The first looks as all the wonderful things going on in Israel despite the world’s efforts to squash that tiny, brilliant nation. The second looks at the grotesque hypocrisy that sees gay rights advocates champion Palestinians at the expense of Israel. The third looks as the fact that Israel stands poised to save Syrians, the rest of the Middle East, and perhaps the whole world, from the unfathomable danger of a nuclear Syria.

***

Traditionally in America, a state attorney general is sworn to uphold the laws of the state. After all, if the AG doesn’t do that, what’s his purpose? He’s there to represent and ensure the stability, reliability, and credibility of the law.  If he doesn’t carry out that task, he just becomes another functionary in a banana republic. And that banana republic status is precisely what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder dreams of, for he has instructed state AG’s to ignore any law that supports traditional marriage.

***

I’ve written here frequently about the lunacy that is the modern American college or university. This is a subject that exercises me a great deal because I have two children heading towards college in the next few years. As many Americans do, I’m deeply offended by the cost of college, especially the cost of the once prestigious liberal arts colleges back East. It’s insane to spend or borrow $250,000 so that your child can move into your basement and become a barista. In a changing world, colleges have actually changed in the wrong direction.  They’ve turned away entirely from educating young people to become useful and productive citizens.

What colleges have done, instead, is train youngsters to become lunatics, which is my second reason for being upset about modern American higher education. Last week, Bruce Bawer warned about a lunatic Leftist at Harvard. This week, Chicks on the Right warns about a whole cadre of potentially violent lunatic Leftists as Dartmouth. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this collection of young people expensively unmoored from reality comes from deep within the fever swamps of the gay rights movement.

I’ll say here what I always say: I believe that the government should stay out of people’s bedrooms. I believe that gay people should be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, etc. I believe that the heart loves where it will. But let’s get real here: These loony-toonz aren’t about gay rights.  They are about using the gay agenda as a wedge issue to destroy America as a free-market, individual-centered society, and to replace it with a hard-core centralized government and a socialized economy. I wonder if these “idealists” have any inkling that, when/if they’ve finally achieved their agenda they’ll meet the same fate that leading-edge revolutionaries always experience, whether in 18th Century France, or Russia, or China:  The new statist government identifies them as troublemakers and kills them first.

***

My sister lives in Oregon, a state that has as its primary goal the creation of happiness. We’ve talked before about the fact that a state can impose “happiness” only if it first has the right to define “happiness.”  The reality, is that there’s only a slender likelihood that the state bureaucrat’s idea of what constitutes “happiness” is the same as your idea.  Moreover, if not everyone is happy — and no one can ever be — the situation is ripe for constant revolution. Still, Oregon tries. The libertarians on the Eastern side are constantly besieged by the statists on the Western, coastal side, who have turned Oregon into one of the most heavily regulated, and least economically successful, states in America. (For more on happiness, at a deep, philosophical level, rather than at a pop-culture, “everything is free” level, check out Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.)

***

And finally, knowledge that I gleaned in my youth catches up with the present. I’ve written before about my years at Berkeley, when I socialized with ultra-Leftist professors who lived in lavish houses in the Berkeley hillside, all of which seemed to be tended by Hispanic maids and Japanese gardeners. These effete, armchair revolutionaries enjoyed their Marxism because they lived on the straining back of the servant class.

That was a long time ago, but one modern-day Leftist has finally admitted that, yes, needing servants is precisely why the Leftist idle rich are so gung-ho about illegal immigrants:

As a friend of mine said after watching that, “If a conservative of any stripe were to insinuate undocumented workers were all gardeners, landscapers, and hotel workers the race card would have been played before he could even finish the sentence.”

Government agents must avert their eyes from potential Islamic terrorists

The-9.11-terrorists

The surprisingly Muslim 9/11 terrorists.

If America survives long enough for historians to write books about this period in her history, surely Eric Holder’s recent directive (issued in response to pressure from Democrats), holding that federal agents may not consider Islam as a factor in terrorism or Latinos as the most likely illegal immigrants will surely rank as Exhibit A in the decline of a once great nation:

The Justice Department will significantly expand its definition of racial profiling to prohibit federal agents from considering religion, national origin, gender and sexual orientation in their investigations, a government official said Wednesday.

The move addresses a decade of criticism from civil rights groups that say federal authorities have in particular singled out Muslims in counterterrorism investigations and Latinos for immigration investigations.

The Bush administration banned profiling in 2003, but with two caveats: It did not apply to national security cases, and it covered only race, not religion, ancestry or other factors.

I agree completely that not all Muslims are terrorists, just as only an idiot would claim that the only illegal immigrants are Hispanics.  To focus only on those two groups, without reference to any other potential terrorists or illegal immigrants is foolhardy.  (Although I’m unclear about the whole illegal immigrant thing anyway, considering that Obama is already violating the law — without Republican push-back — by refusing to enforce immigration laws.)  Still, one would have to be equally idiotic to pretend that the vast majority of terrorist attacks don’t involve Muslims and that the greatest number of illegal immigrants don’t come from South of the Border.

UC Berkeley student government announces that the phrase “illegal immigrant” is banned *UPDATED*

One wonders how many of the jubilant Berkeley students who bought into 1964's Free Speech Movement would be shocked by today's censorship.  My guess is "none."  It was always about Leftist re-education.

One wonders how many of those neatly attired and jubilant Berkeley students who bought into 1964′s Free Speech Movement would be shocked by today’s censorship. My guess is “none.” It was always about Leftist re-education.

The People’s Republic of Berkeley or, as it’s more commonly known, the University of California, Berkeley, has stayed true to its core Orwellian Leftism by banning language. Today’s targeted “bad thinking” is the phrase “illegal immigrant.” According to the censors occupying Berkeley’s student government, that phrase is “racially charged,” “dehumanizes” people, and contributes to “punitive and discriminatory actions aimed primarily at immigrants and communities of color.” Apparently the truth hurts.

The resolution, of course, carried with the usual Soviet style unanimity: 18 voted “yes” to censor thought and language, while one student abstained. (More on that single abstention later.)

Actually, the ultra-Left Berkeley was late to the party on this one, but that’s only because the University of California in Los Angeles has a much higher population of illegal immigrant students. That’s almost certainly why UCLA passed a similar resolution in August, while Berzerkley didn’t get around to it until November.

The resolution is a beautiful example of Orwellian speech. It leads with pure academese nonsense: “The ‘I’ word is legally inaccurate since being out of status is a civil rather than criminal infraction.” You’ll note that the “I” word (and we’re not sure whether the “I” word is “illegal” or “immigrant”) is now so tainted that I t’s been elevated to the status of the infamous “N” word. (For those of you too young to remember the OJ Simpson trial, or those who just dislike censorship, the “N” word is “nigger.” It’s a nasty, mean-spirited word, but nobody has ever dropped dead spontaneously from hearing or reading it.)

That nonsense phrase is just a warm-up for the Orwellian language changes the students propose:

“No human being is illegal. ‘Foreign nationals,’ ‘undocumented immigrants,’ ‘immigrants without papers’ and ‘immigrants seeking status’ are examples of terms we can use that do not dehumanize people.

You can use all the metaphors you like, dear little UC Berkeley soviets, but the fact remains that, to the extent these people are in America in an undocumented way without papers, it’s because they broke the law by sneaking over the border like thieves in the nights. In other words, adjectively, they’re immigrants who are here illegally, which makes them – yes, wait for it — ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

The problem, of course, isn’t the words. It’s the behavior. You can dress mutton up as lamb, but it’s still mutton. And someone who sneaked over the border in violation of our nation’s laws is still illegal no matter how frilly the words you drape around that person.

Of course, the commissars at Berkeley can’t just stop with a stupid resolution. What’s Soviet-style censorship and shaming without communist-style re-education? To that end, the resolution also calls for administrators and faculty to attend an “UndocuAlly training workshop.”

Considering that greater than 90% of Berkeley’s administrators and faculty members are the ones who trained these junior Leftists, it’s actually funny to hear the students demand that their mentors need re-education. Of course, that’s the way it happened in China too, when the younger generation decided that the elders who ushered in Communism showed inadequate fervor in their commitment to the monster they had created. It was these radicalized students who ushered in Mao’s “Great Leap Forward,” complete with 50-70 million dead Chinese citizens – all of whom no doubt starved to death joyfully thanks to their contribution to the great communist cause.

As for the sole abstention, it’s worth noting that he’s probably ready for re-education too. Student senator Solomon Nwoche agrees in principle with the resolution, but thought it was a waste of time. That shows practical intelligence. His real sin, though, was in his sneaking respect for freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas. He was disappointed, he said, that, when a single person tried to speak out against the resolution, the student senators laughed at him or, even more disgustingly, turned their backs to him.

(A slightly modified version of this post first appeared at Mr. Conservative.)

UPDATE:  I should add here that I agree that America’s immigration laws are dreadful.  Having said that, it’s up to America to change her laws, not for illegal immigrants to change them by ignoring them.  (Well, in theory that’s the case.  In fact, the Obama administration is also changing them by ignoring them.)  We also should start putting pressure on Mexico.  Immigrants come here illegally because Mexico is so shamefully corrupt and poorly run that a country rich in resources, but natural and human, is mired in poverty, and because Mexico charges its citizens such heinous amounts to allow them to leave the country legally that poor are stymied both by America’s laws and by Mexico’s.  A fix is a good thing; disrespect for our country’s borders and laws is a disastrous thing, going to the sovereign integrity of our nation and her citizens.

Unions ask “How dare an employer comply with the law?”

Kudos to Mi Pueblo, a grocery store that caters to Hispanic shoppers, for abiding by federal law.  At least, I give it kudos.  The Unions are fighting mad:

The Bay Area’s biggest Latino grocery chain is trying to avert a threatened boycott after it began checking the immigration status of all its new hires through a federal work-verification program.

“This is a decision that doesn’t come easily,” said spokeswoman Perla Rodriguez of the 21-store Mi Pueblo Foods chain. “The immigrant community, that’s the core of who we are.”

The company joined the E-Verify network a few weeks ago at the recommendation of the Department of Homeland Security, which uses the database to inform companies if their prospective employees are living and working in the country legally, Rodriguez said.

[snip]

A union that has been trying to organize the chain’s 3,300 workers is planning to protest Thursday morning outside the company’s original San Jose store and also threatening a customer boycott.

“I don’t see what the benefit is to them, as an employer or a PR-type thing,” to check the immigration status of the mostly Latino workforce, said spokesman Mike Henneberry of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5. “It’s voluntary. They don’t have to do it.”

Maybe I’m terribly hampered by an excess of logic, but I do not understand Union support for illegal workers.  Every illegal worker takes a job away from a legal American worker.  In addition, because so many legal workers are paid under the table, they also exert downward pressure on wages.  As an American union member, I would be hacked off that my union dues are being used to benefit people who come here illegally to take my job.

Watcher’s Council forum on illegal immigration

The Watcher asked “Do you consider Illegal migration to America a problem, and if so, what would you do about the estimated 11 million illegal aliens already here?”  Not only did some of the Council members have an opinion on this one (or, given all of our busy lives, manage to meet the deadline), a few special guests responded too.

Here’s what I had to say, but I very much urge you to read the other responses, most of which make mine look pretty shallow:

The problem isn’t the number of illegal aliens — or, at least, the main problem isn’t the number of illegal aliens. The problem arises when our federal government boldly countenances and supports illegal activity. Ours has always been a nation of laws. Laws provide reliability, stability, justice, and equal opportunities. This is the covenant between the people and the government as explained in the Declaration of Independence and made manifest in the Constitution. Betraying this trust bespeaks a fundamental failure in the relationship between our federal government, which is responsible for using the people’s representatives to enact the laws and the people’s executive to enforce them. The free flow of illegal aliens across the borders — regardless of whether they’re people searching for a better life for their families, helpless young children, or hardened criminals — is a gaping hole in the existential fabric of a constitutional democracy.

So yes, I do consider illegal migration to America to be a problem. As to what to do with the estimated 11 million illegal aliens already here, that’s a more vexing practical problem. Ethically, I’d like to deport all of them, but I know that’s almost impossible to do and (yes, even a conservative gets this) that doing so is a humane problem. I would draw an admittedly arbitrary bright line (because there are no non-arbitrary lines) in the sand and say that those who have been here more than five years will get a temporary green card and must immediately put themselves on the waiting list (no priority) to become a legal resident. Those staying under the green card would then have all the legal rights and responsibilities of any other green card residents — and no greater rights. Those who have been here less than five years would get deported, but without prejudice to put themselves on the waiting list.

As for that waiting list, if the U.S. really needs the cheap labor illegal immigrants provide, then the laws should be changed ASAP to admit more legal immigrants. If we’ve been lying about the necessity of cheap labor, we need to be honest about that with the American public. Incidentally, lowering taxes, especially employment taxes, might reveal that the only virtue of illegal labor has been the ability to pay illegal immigrants under the table.

When it comes to hard work, the illegal immigrant population is, for the most part, an admirable one. I hope I make it clear that my concern about illegal immigrants has to do with the integrity of the American social, economic, and political contract, and not with any animus towards those Hispanics who come here. As I’ve argued before, they’re reasonable to leave their often dysfunctional economies. I’ve also argued that, by countenancing illegal immigration, we immorally provide a safety valve to those dysfunctional, usually corrupt, countries from which they come.

Rich Southern California University Teaches Nascent Social Workers Class Warfare and Law-Breaking

I’ve got a new post up at PJ Tatler:

The University of Southern California (“USC”), an expensive private university in Los Angeles, used to rejoice in the nickname “University of Spoiled Children.”  I’m happy to report (my tone is dryly sarcastic as I write this) that the University is doing its best to ensure that the spoiled rich kids who walk through its luxuriously appointed halls don’t forget that they are, in fact, predators who must be taught to relate to poor people on Marxist terms.  At least, that’s the case with the kids who are attending USC’s graduate School of Social Work.

It turns out that being a social worker no longer involves simply ensuring that children in the most unstable communities or homes are safe; working to make sure that those same children can do well in school, so as to break free of the snare of poverty; and generally ensuring that poverty in America does not mean starvation, chronic homelessness, or physically abusive situations.  (And yes, I know that this is a very abbreviated description of what social workers do, but it does provide a baseline.)

Nowadays, being a social worker means, among other things, learning how to protect illegal immigrants from facing the consequences of the laws they’ve broken.  It also means being able to recognize the gradations of social, sexual, economic, genetic, gender, race, nationality, legal status, etc., differences amongst those don’t rank amongst the evil, white, rich members of the 1%.

I’m not kidding.

Read the rest here.

An email that’s making the rounds, relating one vet’s story *UPDATED*

UPDATE:  I’m reprinting here Baseballmaven’s comment:

This was sent to me also–researching on Snopes,  while the d’Lynn part wasn’t there; however, the part about the welfare recipient in Florida was there and turned out to be NOT TRUE..variations have been circulating since 2004. The original example actually came from Canada, and even there wasn’t validated. http://www.snopes.com/politics/immigration/refugees.asp Ironically, of course, sadly it rings true to us that a vet would be ill used compared to an illegal immigrant, especially under the current regime.

So, enjoy it for what it’s worth, but it’s not true.  It would be interesting, though, if someone would take the time to compare benefits for an illegal immigrant with four children, versus those for a disabled Vietnam Vet.  I don’t know what the result would be, but I’d like to see it.  It would clarify things to know the facts.

*************************

I can’t vouch for whether this is true or not.  That is, I don’t know if “d’Lynn” even exists, nor do I know if the facts related regarding the different treatment meted out to vets and illegals are true.  I checked on Snopes, and this email hasn’t been subject to any “urban legend” analysis.  I therefore pass this email on to you so that you can make your own judgment calls, based up0n your own knowledge of how the world works:

Vets Alert

image001

My name is d’Lynn – I’m a disabled Vietnam vet.., don’t look too bad for a beat-up old fart, do I? .., and that’s my ride.., she’s looking pretty good looking also.., especially when you consider that she’ll turn twenty this summer – that’s right .., it’s a 1990 with a 1990 sidecar.., I can’t ride a solo bike…, ergo – the sidecar rig. It’s my sole means of transportation – rain, or shine.., snow, or wind.., and this summer also marks a mile stone.., in both of our lives…, as I will finally be able to pay her off. 20 years old? What? Why did it take so long ? You weren’t paying attention, were you? It’s right at the beginning of this paragraph. I am a disabled vet.., which means I receive a veterans administration disability pension.., which also means; “I’m broke!” .., just one step ahead of being homeless every month.., and that’s not an idle statement.., or an: “oh., whoa is me” .., dire complaint. There is a point to this., so hang in there a minute, or two.., and read on.

There’s a 25 year old illegal immigrant women living in Florida ., with eight kids. Yes., eight “anchor babies”. .., and she receives just shy of $1,500 per month…, per kid…, plus, medical.., plus food stamps. Oh, wait.., I’ve been informed that I shouldn’t call them Food Stamps anymore – that’s not PC. It’s all called – ‘Social Assistance’.., now. You do the math on that yourself. I’d say that she was schooled early in how to make it in the system. 25 years old.., eight kids…, yep – she started early.

You can whip-out the calculator if you want.., but this women who never has paid a dime in taxes of any kind.., [ and still doesn't - she's 'illegal' - remember?] .., is here, in this country illegally.., paid not one cent in medical for all the ‘anchor babies’.., makes more in one month, legally, then I receive in over a year and half in disability payments…, and I can’t even get food stamps ! Oops – I mean.., Social Assistance.

Technically – I am eligible for ‘Social Assistance’.., I was told it would be a walk through – a gimme – being disabled., no problem.., and in the very next breath was also informed that under the law, the amount I received in ‘Social Assistance’., would be deducted from my disability pension.

Let’s say I take a great photograph. It was just luck., a one of a kind accidental – in the right place at the right time, shot. My local newspaper offers me fifty bucks to use the photo in a featured story. [ I live in a small town - fifty bucks is all they could afford.] I have to report that fifty dollars to the VA as earned income – which will immediately be deducted from my next months disability check. If I don’t report it, I am in violation of federal law., and technically they can stop my disability pension and prosecute me under a federal felony. Pretty cool, eh? For fifty bucks.

I see no point in dealing with two federal bureaucracies.., so I don’t bother. What’s the point ?

She’s here illegally – and with just one kid.., would make over twice what I receive per month. She…, has eight.., and she is not a stand-out case.., she is not alone. That’s the way the system works. Millions of illegal immigrants know this.., know how the system works.., and know how to use it. [ Haven't you seen the pamphlet? It's handed out all along our borders - "The Illegal Immigrants' Guide to Keeping America Just The Way It Is."].., and that’s just the way it works.

Did you know that the federal government provides a ‘refugee’ in this country with a monthly ‘stipend’ of $1,890 – plus $580 a month in ‘Social Assistance’., ? That $2,470 a month. Tax free. That’s two and half times what I am allowed to receive as a disabled vet. And just what did they do to earn this? All’s you have to do is show up on our collective door step – raise you right hand and swear that you’re a refugee and bingo – receive $30,000 a year, tax free. That’s more then someone making $15 an hour., and they have to pay taxes to boot!

Now.., in defense of the Veterans Administration.., they are doing what they can – with what they’ve got. This is precious little compared to what they should have to get the job done. At least this country has a VA. It’s the Senate that keeps passing laws, rules and guidelines, cutting their budget.., denying requests for more staff, and computer systems to handle the massive work flow. Their hands are tied – by the very government that’s suppose to give them what they need to get the job done – by the government you voted into office. Don’t scream at the VA.., I have. It’s misguided anger.

The point to this story? Just why are you paying such high taxes to support this incredibly screwed-up government? Why !? .., and I am not proposing you stop paying your taxes. That’s wrong. There are good programs and reasons to pay your taxes and support our government.

What am I proposing? It’s quite simple. Vote.

The government.., our government.., is broken.., and we as the voters serve as the maintenance crew. We fix it.., by voting.

I will say that it ties in with something I heard on Sean Hannity today, to the effect that illegal immigrants serve a necessary function by providing “cheap” labor. As Sean’s correspondent pointed out, when one looks at all the government benefits that can be rained down upon a single illegal and his family, the cost to society far exceeds the “cheap” labor this non-taxpayer provides.

Illegal aliens destroy hospital for American poor

No matter how the NYT tries to spin it, the message is clear here:  the burden that illegal aliens created on the dialysis clinic [thanks, Quisp, for clarifying that for me] in a 117 year old charitable hospital serving Georgia’s poor, forced the hospital clinic to close.

With ObamaCare almost a done deal (gee, thanks Lincoln and Landrieu), just wait until the illegal aliens do it to the entire health care system, not just to one charity hospital.  As even the NYT is forced to admit, the illegal aliens sucking up costly treatments would not have gotten those same treatments in their home country.  One of the benefits of breaking the law in a sucker nation is that, rather than tossing you back where you came, we dump welfare on you to our own detriment.

I’ve got an idea.  How about if we start enforcing our immigration laws (with enforcement down, I just heard, by 50% under the Obama administration), and start figuring out ways for Mexico (and other failing Latin American countries) to become productive nations, instead of parasites on the American body politic and economic?  There is absolutely no reason why Latin American citizens cannot have functioning countries.  Wait, I’m wrong.  I can think of one reason:  we sit here like a giant, seductive safety valve, insulating them, not from their failures, but from the ability to improve.

From the “now I’ve seen everything” file

I get emails from Kayak.com, a travel site. The most recent email offers this cutting edge travel opportunity:

Immigration and border patrol seems to be at the top of every political conversation. At Parque Eco Alberto, you can go on a pretend ‘Night Border Crossing Experience.’ The parque is owned by the Hnahnu Indians in Hidalgo, about three hours from Mexico City. The $18, four-hour night hike starts with the Mexico National Anthem. Your ‘coyote’ guide, Pancho, pulls off his black ski mask while actors gather around to scare you senseless along the way. Run from border control agents; dodge hidden actors shooting (blanks) at you, and make your way through barbed-wire fences. Survivors are blindfolded, led across a rickety bridge, and then set free to run across the border to freedom!

Believe it or not, this is not a joke. It’s the real deal, ready-made for those who want to feel the illegal immigrant’s pain. As the New York Times explained this past weekend (and how could I have missed it?):

Organizers say they opened the park about two and a half years ago, with financing from the Mexican government, and began the caminata as a way to offer tourists a taste of life as an illegal immigrant. (Emphasis mine.)

The Hñahñus are people who know something about that life. Of the approximately 2,200 Hñahñus from this area, 700 live in Mexico and 1,500 live “on the other side” — mostly in Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada, where they install drywall, drive trucks or work on farms, residents say. Many of the tour guides here have crossed the real border several times.