Recently in Immigration Category
This is an off-the-top-of-the-head report based on my observations of tonight's results, meaning, no links or final stats. Here's a very general Post report.
Here is the Post's running results page.
Our two Republican Loudoun supervisors who took the strongest positions on local immigration enforcement, who stuck their necks out the furthest and also took the most heat for it - Lori Waters and Eugene Delgaudio - won.
They are also the supervisors in whose districts Help Save Loudoun PAC had the heaviest coverage with the lit drop project. In Sterling and Ashburn, the citizens spoke.
The rest of the Republican board candidates, if the numbers hold, got their asses handed to them.
Not a great year to have an "R" next to your name.
I think the growth issue and general Republican fatigue were major obstacles for these candidates to overcome.
In the Sheriff's race, Steve Simpson won reelection, which shows the undeniable problem posed when the party departs from its candidates. Greg Ahlemann won the nomination in June, and a powerful segment of the party swiftly went to work for the losing candidate who ran as an independent. Three months after the Convention, the party did run a full page newspaper ad supporting Greg Ahlemann and Lori Waters - the candidates beset by newly "Independent" challengers. It might have been helpful if the party had acted sooner. A united Republican party could have produced a victorious Republican Sheriff.
Patricia Phillips lost the Senate race, apparently by about 5,000 votes - a significant margin. Patricia did not run on the immigration enforcement issue in the general election - the issue which won her the primary. I am going to suggest running to the middle on this issue was not a winning strategy.
I think these two races provided an opportunity for Northern Virginia residents to demonstrate their desire for more local immigration enforcement. There were a number of issues in play, however, with both of these contests. The Sheriff race, in particular, evolved into a rabbit's warren of side issues. Greg Ahlemann truly had a mountain to climb to win this election.
Delegate Bob Marshall and Senator-elect Jill Holtzman Vogel won their races, and these were two of the top immigration enforcement candidates for the next session in Richmond. These are two more huge victories.
I don't have results on any of the other Richmond contests.
It appears the GOP lost the Virginia Senate, which is not a great development. On the other hand, the GOP-controlled Virginia Senate in 2007 managed to kill almost every good immigration-enforcement focused bill that passed the House of Delegates last session. So, it's not entirely evident how the next Senate could necessarily be worse with the Dems controlling.
More to come.
So what's going to happen tomorrow?
WTOP reports that, based on absentee ballots, tomorrow's turnout is not going to set any records.
The crummy weather we are having will undoubtedly not help the situation, especially with just the third early-dark evening of the year and morning and evening temperatures that will approach freezing out here in the hinterlands of Loudoun. Election Day will also be "Welcome to Winter Day." It will be tempting to get home from work and stay home.
Based on the weather, and the fact that so many of the issues in the various races are ones which make most voters' eyes glaze over, I think there could be a really low turnout on Loudoun. On the face of it, I think this scenario benefits the Democrats because there will likely be an even mix of political activists from both sides voting, plus the obligatory sprinkling of actual citizens - and this year, I think the latter will break Dem.
LI has a nice prediction thread going, I recommend you check it out.
I don't have a feel for any of the other Supervisor races, but I think Eugene Delgaudio is going to win Sterling District in a landslide. After this is all over, I will share some scans of the direct mail pieces his campaign has sent out. Pretty effective stuff.
I think the Sheriff and 33rd District Senate races will be the most telling. The wild card is the illegal immigration issue, and whether it motivates a sufficient number of citizens - especially in the voter-rich Broad Run and Dulles districts.
If not for the latest iteration of the local GOP weenie wing, Greg Ahlemann would have clear sailing to election as our next Sheriff. Unfortunately, former Republican Steve Simpson decided to play spoiler and make that victory a wee bit harder to attain, and make a Democrat Sheriff that much more likelier.
My personal preference - no surprise - is that all voters pay close attention to the immigration enforcement issue, and vote up or down on that one alone. Lots of other questions can be discussed and hashed out after we've ascertained whether we will still have a country or not.
If the issue has been solidly framed in the sphere of public opinion, that certain candidates are for and others against local immigration enforcement measures, I think the HSL-PAC "ticket" will achieve 90% success and particularly Greg Ahlemann will be our next Sheriff. However, this is by no means assured, because the immigration enforcement message has primarily been expounded on the Web and in various blogs, which are to the votership as a whole as Joe's Home Brew is to Budweiser.
If the turnout is ridiculously low, all bets are off. The only non-aligned people who bother to vote may indeed be those who care about immigration enforcement. The HSL-PAC lit drop campaign, which reached 30,000+ households, might bring an extra 3,000 voters to the polls countywide. It could make the difference.
If you want to help end the illegal immigration crisis in this country, a place to start is with tomorrow's Virginia elections.
Help Save Loudoun PAC's "Immigration Enforcement Ticket" focuses on a number of northern Virginia races in which voters have a clear choice between candidates with very difference conceptions of local and state governments' role in immigration enforcement.
Those who are in favor of a strong local and state role will help put us on the road to fixing the problem. Those not in favor of such a role will help ensure the problem is never solved.
You can download a copy of the "Ticket" here - and please circulate it to everyone you know in Loudoun, Fairfax, Fauquier and Prince William Counties who may have the opportunity to vote for one of these candidates.
To read the educational flyer from Help Save Loudoun PAC which has been hand-delivered to many thousands of households in Loudoun County over the past five days, click here.
I don't know whether a single lit drop to a portion of this county's residences can make a difference in such a geographically massive area, but rest assured more voters now understand how to solve this problem than did a week ago.
Please pass along the above links to every voter you know and encourage them to VOTE TOMORROW, NOV. 6.
The Centreville Citizens Coalition is a brand new civic group formed to address the illegal alien problem in that area, which has become especially notorious at the library - a de facto day labor center for illegal workers. Please contact the Coalition if you are concerned and want to find like-minded people committed to solving such problems.
Referred by Blog Fu.
Mukit Hossain, Gerry Connolly and Mahdi Bray speak about illegal immigration at a Muslim political event in Reston in August, 2007.
Actually, they don't really talk about illegal immigration, but rather they invoke fearful straw men and proceed to condemn them: Opposition to illegal immigration is "intolerance;" anybody who is not "white" will be "profiled" and "targeted"; it's "open season" on EVERYBODY.
Not the most helpful messages, to be sure. But they are worth listening to to get an idea why there is so much confusion about an issue that, at its core, is relatively simple. Luckily, most legal residents of Virginia are now far beyond being susceptible to this sort of rhetoric.
Over 50 politicians from across the political spectrum spoke before the Muslim audience. Most of the speeches were fairly tame and uncontroversial. Senate Candidate Patricia Phillips was one of the few who stated clearly her position on the rule of law with respect to illegal immigration.
Patricia actually may have been the ONLY candidate who spoke in favor of immigration enforcement - I have not had a chance to review my notes. But I do recall an attendee whispered to me "man, this woman has more stones than most of the guy-politicians here."
Here is the link to hear Patricia's address:
What is not to like about this man?
Eugene Delgaudio, Sterling District Supervisor, has stood by the legal residents of Loudoun County and is one of our few advocates for immigration enforcement on the Board of Supervisors. He stood by the residents of Herndon during the 2005 imbroglio over the day labor center and ensuing, mildly resonant 2006 elections.
He is the hardest working supervisor in Loudoun County, overseeing the Sterling District from dawn till dusk till dawn. The many residents on his e-mail list get constant updates on everything from crimes, to emergency situations, to store openings, to volunteer opportunities.
He is, frankly, beloved by the Sterling residents. Countless residents have saved his letters of congratulations and thanks - for making the honor roll, or for displaying the American flag. They know that nobody else, not even as nice a lady as Jeanne West, would cheerfully put in the time and energy that Eugene Delgaudio contributes day after day, year in and year out, advocating for this district. He has a personal connection with so many members of the Sterling community and the residents of Loudoun County.
He personally championed the immigration enforcement resolution the Loudoun Supervisors eventually approved unanimously in July - at a time when the media were excoriating any politician who dared to breathe a word about local immigration enforcement.
Small wonder all of Eugene Delgaudio's public events draw huge audiences.
Some people disapprove of his irreverent style: Oh yes, he appears to enjoy his job too much - that I will grant. But in the effort to bring a common sense approach to local government it sometimes becomes necessary to laugh certain things off. Or rather, to laugh a LOT of things off - and this is a way he particularly connects with his constituents. We all know the way the government uses our tax dollars is often ridiculous. It is refreshing to have a Supervisor such as Eugene Delgaudio who is not afraid to say when that is the case.
Our newly emancipated friend Laura stopped in with an interesting comment in this thread, which began as follows:
I know for a fact that the last two times I hired American stonemasons neither one lasted more than a week. The first showed up at 10 am for two days, then he asked me for an advance to help him buy a car because his was broken down. Fired!
The second was an awesome stonemason but he worked a week and then ended up in jail for domestic assault. Fired!
No other Americans have applied for the job.
To which I made the following reply:
Laura, you are a hard one to decipher. Substitute any another nationality for "American" above and you have the precise formulation to get yourself publicly excoriated if not thrown in jail. In fact, I have a studiedly politically incorrect friend who just the other day made a similar observation regarding the quality of plumbing work performed by persons who might have been patrons of your former organization. But I am old school that way, and I have absolutely no problem with either my friend's generalization or yours. Because sometimes stating the truth is politically incorrect, I lean towards the truth anyway.
I am sure you would gladly allow similar blanket observations with regard to Mexicans, for instance.
And if I read you correctly, you are making the exact same type of argument guys in contracting and other trades make regarding their competitors who hire illegally.
So you seem to be a kindred spirit with some people on the "other side" of the debate from you, - except your proposed solution to illegal immigration is to simply apply a semantic trick: change the world "illegal" to "legal" for all those who have cut in line? ("comprehensive immigration reform")
You must have gotten to know SOME people who are following the legal pathway to U.S. citizenship or employment status, right? Do you honestly think it's fair to allow people who break the rules to be simply given the privileges that others have to work for? Because comprehensive immigration reform, in every form it's been proposed so far, makes those who follow the rules look like chumps.
And here is a good question that Jack used to trip Zimzo up with back in the day: Do you believe the U.S. has the right to set any limits whatsoever on how many people come into the country? If so, take the limit, the line of demarcation you consider fair - how many people are allowed in - and tell me: What do YOU say to the next million people trying to get in? What do YOU say if they just sneak in?
I would love to hear your thoughts on that question.
Help Save Loudoun is pleased to present Starletta Hairston, former councilwoman of Beaufort County, South Carolina, and Rich Kelsey, a local attorney, author and expert on illegal immigration who has been following the issue since 1994.
October 25, 2007, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Founders Hall, Ashburn Volunteer Fire Rescue Department
20688 Ashburn Road
Ashburn, VA 20147
The overall topic will be "Illegal Hiring and Illegal Migration" - how to address the root cause of illegal immigration into the U.S.
Ms. Hairston will discuss the evolution of Beaufort County's Lawful Employment Ordinance, one of the very few examples of local legislation aimed at immigration enforcement that has a) been passed, and b) avoided successful legal challenge. Help Save Loudoun has encouraged the Loudoun County Board to pass a similar measure (and has urged our lawmakers in Richmond to pass enabling legislation if needed).
Mr. Kelsey will discuss several topics, including the legal and legislative ramifications of local and state level immigration enforcement.
There will be ample time for audience question and answers. Often this is the most valuable portion of the program, where audience members can gain a great deal of information in a short period of time.
For example, some people, such as our good friend Zimzo, argue that the damage caused by illegal hiring is a myth, and that no American worker or American business owner has ever been damaged by companies hiring unauthorized workers. Others disagree with Zimzo. Who is correct? Come to the meeting and find out.
....On second thought, don't come to the meeting to find THAT out because I can tell you right now, Zimzo is dead wrong and everyone who has not been DEAD for the past five years should know it.
The only one who gets to make that absurd statement is Zimzo, and the only reason I would permit him to show up and make it is because I would have a bucket of water ready to pour over his head.
But feel free to show up and ask any other types of questions.
(Just kidding. We allow ANY questions and never even bring a bucket to these meetings.)
Although the vote was an extremely positive result, here are the ugly details about how some prominent senators voted. Notably, the top Democratic candidates for president, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, once again demonstrated their pro-amnesty position.
Also, we saw some key Republican defections. A friend writes the following:
Senator Sam Brownback - a lost cause
Barely days after dropping out of the presidential race Senator Sam Brownback showed his true colors and voted AYE for the Amnesty. He never fooled many of us. Hopefully from this day on no one else will be fooled by this open borders/amnesty advocate. This duplicitous Senator should simply be ignored from now on. He is not to be trusted.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison - needs severe chastising
Senator Kay Baily Hutchison voted AYE as well - on this AMNESTY bill that had NO enforcement provisions whatsoever. Even the very flawed so called "comprehensive amnesty bill" defeated this past summer had some enforcement provisions. This bill had none. Senator Hutchison showed that she cares more about illegal aliens than she does about her own constituents and the law abiding citizens of the United States. Senator Hutchison is not however a lost cause. She does however, need to be reminded who voted for her and whom she is supposed to serve. She needs severe chastising by the people of Texas.
Further evidence we need to take a close look at candidates demonstrating radical changes of heart on illegal immigration - both of these went through some gyrations over the past two years on the previous amnesty measures. This also brings to mind that quisling-like fellow ...
The Nightmare Act has failed a cloture vote, 52-44!
Harry Reid is trying to push through the "DREAM" act in S 2205 while he thinks no one is looking.
This is a bad, bad bill. See the reasons below. Main reason, it is a front-door amnesty which will lead to immediate reward for illegal behavior while millions are waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally! It is an outrage. Because of chain migration it will result in a new flood of under-educated and unskilled immigrants when social services at every level of government are unable to provide adequate benefits to existing citizens.
We just received word that a group of U.S. senators' staffers are right now in a meeting with a contingent of illegal aliens pleading their case.
We also heard that the phone calls are largely against the "DREAM" act. Let's keep that momentum going!
CALL YOUR SENATORS NOW: Ask them to commit to voting "no" on cloture tomorrow on S 2205 in order to keep it from coming up for a vote in the full Senate.
DC Office of Senator John Warner
Midlothian Office of Sen. John Warner
D.C. Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach, VA
- S. 2205 would do what all amnesties do -- entice millions more people to become illegal aliens here. The word across the world would be that immigration crime pays.
- The DREAM Act amnesty doesn't just offer U.S. citizenship to illegal alien teenagers, it also provides amnesty to the parents of most of them. Once the amnestied teens become citizens they can obtain an amnesty for their parents.
- Plus, anybody who can claim to be under the age of 30 can also make a claim to have arrived before the age of 16 and make a move for the amnesty (plus all of their relaties through chain migration).
- S. 2205 provides for no extra enforcement to help ensure that families around the world don't risk their teenagers' lives by forcing them to enter the U.S. illegally across the deserts. Passage of this amnesty likely would increase deaths of illegal aliens in the desert as more and more people attempt to get into the country in preparation for the next amnesty.
- Many of the advocacy groups pushing the DREAM Act amnesty openly say it is intended as a way to break the barrier and then to push for several more amnesties and rewards for illegal aliens.
- Many of these teenagers weren't brought to the United States illegally by their parents. Rather, many of them came on their own and found illegal shelter with legal immigrants who were from their country. Passing this amnesty will encourage millions more families to consider forcing their young teenagers into dangerous journeys to America to become illegal aliens and hope to get similar rewards.
- If there is a compelling story for giving amnesty to any of these high school students, it should be told only after the rule of law has been restored, including a fully functioning entry/exit system at the border and mandatory verification of all new hires by all businesses, governments and non-profits.
The Washington Post, god bless 'em, has this marvelous knack for unintentionally putting the dime on people it actually intends to cast in a hagiographical light.
You may recall the priceless case last year when the Post relayed the purportedly heart-warming, inspiring tale of an illegal-alien-boarding-house magnate named Jorge Morales.
Now we have this story, about which it's hard to know where to begin. I encourage everyone to go read it. Here is a highlight:
But a slowdown in the construction industry has forced Ventura to cut his workforce to 15 people. Meanwhile, his plan to buy a new house and offset some of the mortgage by renting some of the rooms backfired after county residents called for a crackdown on overcrowding.
I mean, the nerve of those county residents...
This is exactly why we need to ramp up the crackdown at the local level. As many legal residents suspect, there are people who have no intention of following the current rules for what you can and can't do in a neighborhood. Therefore, we need to add more and more teeth to the regulations until they have the desired effect of forcing acceptance of the rule that you are NOT ALLOWED to run boarding houses in our neighborhoods.
The Loudoun County supervisors REALLY should have gotten some ordinances passed this month.
The whole point is to send the message that this is not the place to be if you are here illegally or hiring illegally. It is as simple as that. The "foot dragging five" (those not endorsed by HSL-PAC) caused this board to miss a great opportunity to follow Prince William County's lead.
Washington Times Washington Post reports that the Prince William County laws against illegal immigrants is having the desired effect. Illegal immigrants are "self-deporting," and moving to jurisdictions that cater to them, such as Maryland.
We've addressed this matter innumerable times since March, but as the election approaches and the next General Assembly as well, it seems worthwhile to post some reminders.
Twelve House bills dealing with illegal immigration, most of which passed by overwhelming - if not veto-proof - majorities in the General Assembly, were killed in Senate committees this past session.
If you want to research bills yourself, you can of course go to the GA Web Site and type in the bill number or search by representative.
This is why a number of us were saying, after the session had ended, that this Senate needs to be burned down and replaced. It looks like we did not succeed in getting rid of Ken Stolle - but who knows, maybe he has seen the light. It certainly means we need to dump some career politician types and replace them with people committed to implementing immigration enforcement measures in our state.
More to come.
Normally, I would have just left this as a comment (here).
As setup, the discussion was about illegal immigration, but something touching on education (Laura had mentioned teaching and pay; I don't know if she knew I am a teacher, but I felt a couple of things about teaching were worth mentioning.)
Joe thought it worthy of posting as an entry and asked I do so. Here it is:
I do apply that same rubric to all labor. What is really difficult is when companies can outsource the labor to a different country (for example, software) which allows lower wages to be used, it is very difficult for those in that industry to compete. Doing the same with other industries would also mean that meaningful wages would have to be paid, but not as long as illegal immigrants are filling the positions.
Now something that will probably take you back a little. I think illegal immigration should be fought at every level of government, but as I teacher, I sometimes know when a student is in the class as a child of a legal immigrant, and when they are in the class as a child of an illegal immigrant -- and I am bound not to reveal that information by privacy in education laws. I've also worked in a district that was nearly pure naturalized citizens -- people that have lived in the country, who's parents lived here, and grandparents lived here (sometimes for many generations). Guess which district has more respectful children: Loudoun -- by far. People that are immigrants (legal or otherwise) have seen first hand how good the education is here for their children, and they demand respect of those that teach. Go somewhere that the parents have always seen good education, and there isn't necessarily the same level of respect.
That said, I still believe the laws should be enforced.
How rich. Employers of illegal aliens attempt to convince business reporters that they cannot function without the cheap labor.
We have heard this sob story before: Work will not get done and, oh my, fruit will rot on the vines. This Post reporter, at least, attempts to answer the obvious questions.
Local and state enforcement of hiring laws causes illegal aliens to leave and legal workers to earn better wages:
"They will not stay here if they know they will get no taxpayer subsidy, and they will not stay here if they know if they ever come into contact with one of our fine law enforcement officers, they will stay in custody until they are physically deported."
Hispanic business groups, citing school enrollment losses and church parish figures, say the laws, which start going into effect later this year, have caused as many as 25,000 undocumented workers to flee the state in recent months. The loss is being decried by the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association.
"In major metro areas we are seeing people leave based on the perception that things are going to get bad for them and that this state doesn't want them here," said Mike Means, executive vice president of the association. "Now we're looking at a labor shortage. I've got builders who are being forced to slow down jobs because they don't have the crews. And it's not like these people are going back to Mexico. They're going to Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, anywhere where the laws aren't against them."
Means said that while construction wages haven't yet gone up in Oklahoma, they are likely to do so if the shortage worsens. Advocates of such laws say that is precisely how strict regulations on illegal immigration can help American workers -- by forcing wages higher. But construction industry leaders counter that a wage increase in Oklahoma, where builders are already paying $15 to $20 an hour for labor in a state with low unemployment, would lead to a net loss of jobs as some businesses are forced to close, particularly if other states allow less stringent hiring practices.
Of course, SOME companies would eventually do the construction work in Oklahoma, being as how you have to be there to do the building. These companies would obey the law. And if no states "allow less stringent hiring practices" then we would be back to the rule of law everywhere. What a concept.
It took a ridiculously long time, but we have finally arrived:
In a brief interview, Valle said she left La Voz for personal reasons and to become more "politically active" in light of the county's tougher stance on illegal immigration.
"I'm going to keep tabs on Help Save Loudoun," she said, referring to a group that supports local governments enforcing immigration laws.
In response, Help Save Loudoun spokesman Joseph Budzinski said: "I salute Laura for everything she has done and I can't think of a better person to keep a close eye on Help Save Loudoun."
Notwithstanding the fact we all could have avoided so very much unpleasantness if Ms. Valle had simply made this decision a couple weeks earlier, I am pleased to welcome her to the realm of free and open debate.
All snarkiness aside, I think we got off on the wrong foot with Laura because she took a cursory overview of the playing field and decided Help Save Loudoun was her enemy - without spending one single second finding out what Help Save Loudoun actually was. As happens so often in cultural disputes, the La Voz folks imputed their worst fears onto their presumed opponents, and before you knew it we were all blood-enemies without having learned a thing about those on the other side.
Laura seems particularly mixed up about the relationship between Help Save Loudoun and tbe initiatives that have moved through the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' proceedings since July. There is an evident lack of historical knowledge.
It might surprise her to learn the only formal proposals that Help Save Loudoun has brought to the Board have been 1) support for county government participation in the ICE 287(g) training program and 2) a crackdown on illegal hiring.
Does Laura actually have a problem with either of these proposals? If so, I'd love to hear the rationale.
As hinted at here last month, there appears to have been a bit of back room treachery going on among a clique of local Republicans for the purpose of getting Steve Simpson re-elected as sheriff, after Mr. Simpson got clobbered at the Republican Convention in June and took about four hours to break his pledge to support the party nominee.
The chicanery seems to have included a really pitiable whispering campaign which a semi-prominent local Republican even attempted to disseminate here but which has gone absolutely nowhere - especially now that the superior candidate, Greg Ahlemann, has decided to confront all the allegations directly (more here).
Tough luck for the weasels: Greg Ahlemann is no shrinking violet.
Now comes the revelation via a leaked e-mail exchange - just posted by Loudoun Insider - that some prominent GOPers may have basically leaned on the Ahlemann campaign to shut up about the activities of Simpson supporters within the party. So rather then being thrown out on their arses, the turncoats were permitted to stay, and - if the e-mails are genuine - they counterattacked.
No one I've spoken with has confirmed the e-mail messages are for real, although the lack of response suggests to me they are. Read them for yourself and you'll see they have the semblance of authenticity.
What this means is some people supposedly in the party are really not going to make it easy for the party nominee, Greg Ahlemann, to win this election. What this says about the party is, in my opinion, not much, but then, I have a REALLY cynical view of human nature. There is no reason to think the natural snakiness inhabiting the human race as a whole would not also inhabit the Loudoun County Republican Committee in precisely the same proportions.
More significant is what this episode portends for the public perception of Steve Simpson.
My take on Mr. Simpson from the beginning, since I began following the illegal immigration issue last year and the campaign at the beginning of this year, is he is a decent guy, a little on the feckless side, who happens to have so interest whatsoever in doing anything proactive about discouraging illegal aliens from coming to this area. In Mr. Simpson's words, it's a federal issue, end of story. Until Greg Ahlemann stepped onto the scene in February, Mr. Simpson's entire stated philosophy on the issue was a litany of excuses for why his department will NEVER do anything more than it was currently doing. (You can read the Sheriff's take on the issue, and some of the flack he took from locals, during the February townhall meeting here and here; a little more citizen flack here.)
Mr. Simpson's response to citizens' complaints has been, in essence, you really have nothing to complain about because things are getting better, and in any case there is nothing I can do about it.
Naturally, this approach has not endeared the sitting sheriff to many local residents, and the current controversy will sully his reputation even further while providing quite a bit of motivation to those who want him out of office. QUITE a bit of motivation, I would guess.
I can imagine that local activists who might be getting a bit weary of the campaign season, which has been going on for nearly a year, might get a fresh blast of energy if messages begin circulating to the effect "Hey look at this outrage! Are we going to let them get away with this? Do you need any MORE reasons to work to get Greg Ahlemann elected?" Getting Steve Simpson out of there, while also knocking his supporters down a few pegs, could provide the inspiration to take a few more hours off of work, get up a little earlier on a Saturday, knock on a few more doors.
In a low-turnout election, a few more motivated people three weeks out could make a difference, if such messages were to circulate. Hypothetically.
Our buddies at Equality Loudoun just conducted a fascinating, in-depth interview with Loudoun County Sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, no holds barred and no punches pulled. As I've said before, Mr. Ahlemann is at his best in one on one personal interaction. His forthrightness is what won him an improbable landslide victory at the June Republican Convention, and the same quality shines here. Thanks to the EV guys for the detailed and undoubtedly laborious transcription.
Go read it now! If you are not very familiar with Mr. Ahlemann, this discussion will definitely help fill in some of the gaps.
And so all I’m talking about doing is a program that the federal government has already said, hey, local jurisdictions, you can use this in your own community to help deal with, you know, the criminal aspect of it. They don’t give us the authority to go in businesses and check IDs and deport people, because they’re not going to take those people. That’s not our job, and that takes away from what we as law enforcement officers need to be doing, which is dealing with crime and the criminal element. Probably the biggest thing that a group like La Voz could get out, and different community groups, is to get this information out, that having the ICE program here is not going to target people who are here illegally who have not committed crimes. We will not have the authority to deport you, to separate you from your family - obviously there will be a deterrent value, there will be a lot of people who will say, Loudoun is hard on it, so maybe I’m not going to go there to drink, maybe if I live in Centreville I’m not going to come down to Pepe’s and drink, and if I get caught drinking and driving I might be deported, so you can’t put a price tag on that.
For Immediate Release October 10, 2007
Contact: Ahlemann For Sheriff Campaign Office
571.223.7661 (telephone)Greg Ahlemann on Illegal Immigration, Religion and His Tattoo
Leesburg, VA - Republican Nominee for Loudoun County Sheriff, Greg Ahlemann, is planning to discuss his stance on illegal immigration, the role of religion in his life as well as his much talked about tattoo in a press conference with the media.
The press conference will be held on Monday, October 15, 2007 at 10:00 AM at the Loudoun County Government Center Courtyard located at 1 Harrison Street SE, Leesburg, Virginia.# # # #
For more information, contact the Ahlemann For Sheriff campaign office at 571.223.7661 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the web site at www.AhlemannForSheriff.com.
Besides being the only candidate in the Loudoun County race for sheriff to have the slightest appreciation for the importance of local immigration enforcement measures, Greg Ahlemann has the added advantage of being disarmingly personable and straightforward - so much so that he can unflinchingly state his views and beliefs in front of any type of audience and the audience invariably ends up liking him.
He has been the target of a whispering campaign, and this press conference is the perfect avenue to address it.
My recommendation: Be there Monday morning at 10:00 am.
Accomplishing swiftly what Prince William and Loudoun Counties have not yet been able to pull off, and which the town of Herndon is on the brink of, the city of Chesapeake, Virginia has just passed the most far-reaching legislation in the state to limit illegal hiring practices.
The City Council voted 6-2 Tuesday to adopt an ordinance requiring city contractors and vendors to certify that they are not hiring illegal immigrants.
Officials say they think Chesapeake is the first city in Virginia to support an ordinance like this, although other cities also are taking steps to regulate what has largely been a federal issue.
"It makes companies think twice about hiring illegal aliens," Councilwoman Patricia Willis said. "It puts them on notice that somebody is looking..."
Edge was approached by a group of citizens calling themselves Help Save Hampton Roads. Members of the group say they have met with city leaders in Norfolk and Virginia Beach and have redoubled their efforts after a Virginia Beach crash that killed two teenage girls. An illegal immigrant named Alfredo Ramos was charged.
"It's against the law for them to be here, and we know they're here," said group member Pam Gordon of Chesapeake. "We hope this is going to be the door-opener for Norfolk and Virginia Beach."
Congratulations to the folks in Help Save Hampton Roads! While all the media has been focused on the efforts in Northern Virginia, these guys have quietly moved the ball further down the field than anyone could have expected.
And thanks from the entire state to the forward-thinking City Council members of Chesapeake, who have now demonstrated it is possible to get something like this done in a short time. It is fully within the authority of a municipality to set conditions for businesses operating with their jurisdiction. This is the first, most effective step that every local government should have already taken to reverse the illegal migration trend.
Maybe some Chesapeake Council members could come up here and give a few lessons lessons to our local government officials.
A PAC has been formed to help end illegal hiring and illegal migration into the communities of Northern Virginia. Visit the Help Save Loudoun PAC Web Site for more information on how to assist in this effort:
Help Save Loudoun PAC was formed on behalf of the legal residents of Virginia, with the goal of ending illegal hiring here and illegal migration into our area. We want to elect public officials who will work to address these problems by implementing local and state immigration law enforcement measures and increase restrictions on hiring unauthorized workers.
Over the past seven years, because of corrupt business practices and neglect by our public officials, eastern Loudoun and western Fairfax counties became a landing zone for illegal aliens seeking work. This resulted in a "win-win-lose" situation, in that the employers benefited from cheap labor, the unauthorized workers found work, and American blue-collar workers and subcontractors saw their wages drop and opportunities disappear.
Yes, the federal government is to blame for failing to secure our borders and enforce existing laws against illegal hiring. At Help Save Loudoun PAC, however, we believe the solution to the problem must begin at the local and state levels. When local communities act, those at higher levels of government will eventually follow.
We have seen examples already where just the threat of increased enforcement has resulted in a reversal of illegal migration. Within the past year, several states and local communities - including Herndon, Virginia - have passed measures aimed at discouraging illegal hiring, with the result that illegal aliens have begun to depart.
Some of our public officials and candidates for office seem to grasp this principle but many do not.
Polls indicate that over 80% of legal residents of the United States support an "enforcement-first" approach to immigration reform. Help Save Loudoun PAC provides an avenue for promoting people to public office who are dedicated to implementing enforcement at the ground level rather than waiting for the feds to act.
Your contribution to Help Save Loudoun PAC will help in this effort.
The only question is: Which direction is the Loudoun Times-Mirror rotting from, bottom up or top down?
When I got slimed recently by the area's widest-circulation local newspaper, I took it in stride because in my view "integrity" and "journalism" go together about like "prudent judgement" and "puppy." Editor Paul Smith saw fit to print in prominent position a letter with the headline "Shame On Mr. Budzinski," in which the "shame" derived from a deliberate misreading of a disingenuous quote by a reporter who put the word "political" in my mouth - in a front page story in the Loudoun Times-Mirror. Although he posted my rebuttal on the paper's Web site, Mr. Smith did not publish my 300-word response in the print edition which reaches a much larger audience.
The latest offense by the LTM is an order of magnitude more serious: In a story about this week's Sheriff candidates' debate, the LTM printed a slander transcending bias or ethical lapse and treading awfully close to criminal.
On page A5 in Wednesday's print edition, reporter Jana Renn writes:
While Ahlemann tended to criticize the Latino and Hispanic population of eastern Loudoun, George contended that crime exists in every race and culture.
The sentence was since removed from the online version of the story, but the damage has most certainly been done as the paper gets into the hands of tens of thousand of readers this week.
Why do I characterize this as an offense? Primarily because, of all the candidates, Greg Ahlemann is the only one who said nothing about any culture or ethnic group.
You can listen to the entire debate here, but I have transcribed the relevant portions below.
Here is what Mr. Ahlemann said:
Question 3: During the recent debate on illegal immigration in Loudoun, some elected officials and residents have portrayed parts of eastern Loudoun, especially Sterling Park, as being run down and unsafe. Oftentimes these issues have been attributed to illegal immigrants. Do you think this is a fair portrayal of Sterling Park and, if so, what can the Sheriff's department do to improve the quality of life in this community?
Ahlemann: It's a good question and it is the issue in this race. And I don't know that we can quantify and really put a number on the amount of problems that are caused by illegal immigrants. Clearly, as the federal government themselves has stated, I think 12 million illegal immigrants, some people say 20 million. That's quite a large gap, so I don't expect Loudoun County Sheriff's Office or anybody in Loudoun County to have the intelligence to tell us how many are here. Clearly, we've seen a move and change - I've seen it firsthand from working on the streets of Sterling Park since 1997 in how the demographics have changed. I know that many of the people who I arrested initially who had no identification, couldn't speak any English, I'm just gonna guess that they might have been here illegally because at the time we chose not to participate in ICE. Those people lived in Herndon at the time. Now many of those same people live in Sterling. So I think there is a correlation between the two. Trying to say that crime statistics have gone down, you know, seeing that written on a piece of paper doesn't really make the single mother feel much safer as she goes out to buy groceries late at night and there's a lot of people hanging out at different bars or at Pepe's, where we have continuous problems. A place like that clearly needs attention from the Sheriff's Office and probably needs to be shut down.
Pepe's is an establishment notorious in Sterling for the amount of violence and police activity it manages to host - and the police activity is a fraction of what most residents THINK it should hosting. It is six doors down from the local Safeway. Everyone in Sterling who is not a gang member thinks Pepe's needs to be shut down and the fact it has not been is an anomaly much like the Enron scandal was an anomaly. There are many Latino businesses in the shopping complex: Singling out Pepe's demonstrates not a speck of ethnocentrism and any reporter who thinks it does should be working a different beat.
Here are Steve Simpson's and Mike George's answers to the same question:
Simpson: I do think it's wrong to assume, like some people do, that everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic is first of all illegal and second of all a gang member, because that's just not true. From our gang unit, the people we deal with, only one in about 20 people we deal with that are in gangs are illegal. So we have to be very careful when we start pointing fingers and saying, making those comments that some people are very quick to make in a campaign. I think there are some issues with Sterling Park. I've been with the Sheriff's Office for 20 years. I think a lot of the issues we see as some of these communities deteriorate are things I've brought to the Board's attention and they're already aware of, and we've talked about this and had a dialogue about housing issues, occupancy issues, zoning issues, those kinds of things. When you have 15 or 20 people living in a house, eight or ten cars parked all over the yard, that's not a law enforcement issue, that's not a Sheriff's Office issue. I can't knock on the door and ask for identification to see who's living there and are they here legally or not. That's not something I can do legally. But zoning officials, housing officials, ordinances that deal with those kinds of things, those are the kinds of things that play out in communities. And with our community policing office we deal with quality of life issues in community policing. That's a program I started when I first took office 12 years ago and we have it throughout the county. Those are the kind of things, working with the county resources, working with the Sheriff's Office in community policing to try to address some of these quality of life issues, that's how you solve those kinds of problems. You don't lock everybody up and everybody doesn't need to go to jail. That's not what it's all about. It's looking at it from a multi-pronged approach with all of us working together to deal with that issue.
George: I agree with Sheriff Simpson when he says we can't look at a certain culture and say they're gang members. I've worked Asian crimes, I've worked Nigerian crimes, I've worked Russian mafia crimes. There's crime in every culture and every race, and we need to be specific about what we're looking at. The crime, if it goes up, is one thing. We need to target crime, we don't need to target a culture.
Setting up a straw man and knocking it down is a classic feature of dishonest argument. It is a technique widely employed in the illegal immigration debate. Greg Ahlemann never mentions any ethnic group, but his opponents do so and go on to accuse him in not-so-veiled manner of "targeting" a culture.
The story by Ms. Renn also said about Mr. Ahlemann:
He said that 4,000 students in Sterling schools do not speak English in their homes, and that while he can't say all 4,000 of them are illegal, 100 of them may be...He later tried to clarify that he was using the numbers as examples and they may not be totally accurate.
Here is what was actually said when Purcellville Gazette publisher Ben Weber had this exchange with Mr. Ahlemann:
Question 4: In light of the recent opening of the new jail facility here in Loudoun County, how do you propose working with the Board of Supervisors and with the areas outside the area, such as Frederick County, in dealing with the overcrowding and housing that we most likely will have in light of the increased gang activity that will likely be taking place?
Ahlemann: ...Speaking with Warren Guerin just a couple weeks ago, of the School Board in Sterling, he said at some schools in Sterling, 64% English is not the language spoken in the home. Four thousand students are in English as a Second Language as part of their curriculum. Four thousand: almost 10% of our students. Am I going to sit up here and say that all those people are illegal immigrants? Certainly not. But could 100 of them be illegal immigrants that shouldn't be in this county? One hundred of them would be $1.4 million taxpayers' savings. There's what we spend to house the inmates. There's no vision, either at the Board of Supervisors level or the Sheriff's level, to resolve these kinds of problems. And that's what I bring, is a new perspective on dealing with things like this. You cut out the criminal element, you deter some of these illegal immigrants from coming here, guess what: You don't have to provide school for them and you save $1.4 million just with 100.
Follow up by questioner Ben Weber: You talked about 4,000 students, you talked to Warren Guerin, you made the assumption, it seemed to me, and please correct me if I'm wrong, that perhaps this large percentage of people that speak a different language - that's part of the reason why we're having this criminal element. I think that's somewhat of a stretch, and please correct me if I'm wrong.
Ahlemann: I'm sorry you perceived that, but I think the point is there's 4,000 - almost 10% of our students - that speak a language that is not English as the first language, that we're educating. And Warren Guerin basically stated at that meeting I was at ...
Weber interrupts: What did that have to do with the jail issue?
Ahlemann: I think it has a lot to do with it ...
Weber interrupts: If I speak Farsi, from Iran, then I'm a potential problem?
Ahlemann: I'm not saying that. There is a correlation between the two. If you're going to look at solving the problems as isolated, and not connecting some of these things together, then we're doing law enforcement the same way we did 30 years ago and we need to look at things in a new light and a new way of dealing with things.
Mr. Ahlemann makes the logical case that increased ICE participation could result in the departure of illegal aliens from this area, and if they were students, or parents of students, in our public schools the county would save $14,000 a year for every one that left and there would be less people in the jail. This is a simple, obvious point that most citizens of Loudoun would immediately comprehend but is, nevertheless, opaque to Ben Weber. And again, Mr. Weber, not Mr. Ahlemann, is the one who brings up a specific culture.
But as to the "4,000": It might have been a little helpful if the reporter had taken into consideration the fact that Mr. Ahlemann was referring to an event covered and quoted - in the Loudoun Times-Mirror:
"In the school system, we do not verify immigration status," Geurin said. His comments elicited a round of applause from the several hundred people in attendance.
He also urged the parents of the school system's immigrant students to take English as a Second Language, or ESL, classes. Of immigrant students, he said about 4,000 in Loudoun took these classes last school year.
That Mr. Ahlemann "later tried to clarify" the numbers is barely true, in the sense he stated clearly in a later exchange that he pulled the "100" figure out of the air to make a point about the potential cost savings. But the printed article leads one to believe he "tried to clarify" about the 4,000 students, when that figure came from a public official on the school board and was quoted in the same newspaper.
The bottom line is the Loudoun Times-Mirror grossly distorted the facts to paint Mr. Ahlemann as a fool and a bigot, when in fact he was completely forthright about the numbers he was quoting and he was the only candidate not to discuss any ethnic group. Why not call out Steve Simpson for the "everyone who's in Sterling that's Hispanic" quote? Who ever said that, besides Steve Simpson?
If the Loudoun Times-Mirror was worth the plastic baggie it's delivered in, THAT'S the statement the reporter would have called into question.
I had a great interview with Loudoun Force. Clearly, this issue stirs emotions on both sides. Loudoun Force and I have different beliefs on how to deal with the illegal immigration problem, as I probably disagree with them on social issues as well. From a former deputy's perspective who worked 5 years in Sterling Park, the community has gotten significantly worse. My former co-workers and members of the gang unit who have seen it change would agree.
Statistics can be manipulated to show about whatever you want. For example, people might look at the # of traffic tickets given out last year compared to five years ago and say "statistics show there are more violations now". When in fact, we have more traffic deputies writing tickets now than we did five years ago. The focus on the traffic division is to write 100 tickets a month now (per motorcycle officer). In fact, in fiscal year 2006, I wrote @ 1,200 tickets, probably the most in the entire department, but my evaluation from my supervisor said I needed to "write more tickets". Huh? So use these statistics with a grain of salt. The statistics written on a piece of paper don't help the citizens feel safer.
If Mr. Simpson believed that crime and these issues were getting better as his statistics show why did he reverse his stance on the ICE issue after 2 and 1/2 years of saying we don't need it? I have stated my intentions with the ICE program. There are those like National Council of La Raza, La Voz and others who disagree with it. I don't expect their vote, but I will gladly speak with them. This is why we have elections. I am giving the citizens a choice, a new direction, in dealing with this.
On a separate note, I was wondering if Jonathan was going to correct or update the factual information about me on his website? Google my name. As far as I know unless Jonathan or the poster is anti-semitic they could put at least an update to that post. I believe Loudoun Force could verify that if needed also.
I say this because I have seen past statements from David and/or Jonathan criticizing candidates for not "updating information they know is false". I just wondered if that works both ways?
Again, if people disagree with me on my patriotism or religious views and choose not to vote for me because of them, that is your choice. Unlike many politicians (which I have seen enough of already from both sides of the aisle), I embrace who am I am and what I believe. I respect that quality in others, even when I disagree with them.
Truly a stand up guy - just what we need in a Sheriff, in my opinion.
Ok, joke's over: This is what I really meant to say.
...I do not blame Mr. Weintraub for his confusion about the illegal migration conundrum, and I truly thank him for making it public, because it is a crazy situation.
But I really had you going for a while there, Jonathan and David, didn't I?
UPDATE: The letter that initiated the discussion has fallen off the Times-Mirror front page, so here is the link again for those who have not read it. There is a fascinating discussion going on in the comments.
UPDATE: Read my accompanying letter at the Loudoun Times-Mirror Web site here. Read David Weintraub's "assuming readers have a very short memory" response here. Compare the facts in the latter column, printed Sept 24, with the article below.
The recent behavior of David and Jonathan Weintraub, prominent Democratic activists from Lovettsville, illustrates how clinging tenaciously to a position you know is wrong can get you a little unhinged. (They are also bloggers.)
The Weintraubs are liberal, pro-illegal alien advocates .... a formulation which, I sincerely believe, most Americans are soon going to recognize as a contradiction in terms. "Construction company owner" pro-illegal alien advocates, or "poultry processing magnate" pro-illegal alien advocates each make perfectly good sense. But "liberals" advocating to redirect funds from disadvantaged Americans and reduce wages for American workers makes absolutely no sense.
Staggering under the burden of this predicament, David Weintraub lashed out in a letter to the Loudoun Times-Mirror, and Jonathan chimed in with a comment, with plucky, yet ultimately feeble, attempts to shift public attention from their plight.
Bizarrely, both Weintraubs denounced certain local people by stating outright lies about things these people allegedly said or did at recent events - without even bothering to check whether there was a reviewable record of what actually occurred. As it turns out, there is. And while it will bring me great pain to lay out all of these facts and corrections, I feel compelled to do so as a service to the Weintraubs, in order to help them take the first difficult steps back toward intellectual coherence.
A Shameful Start
David got the ball rolling with the letter, modestly titled "Shame on Mr. Budzinski".
First of all, shame on Mr. Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, for trying to claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity. Mr. Budzinski knowingly made this misrepresentation.
Now, this is a direct assertion that I said a specific thing, made even more unambiguous by the second sentence, that I did so "knowingly." Presuming to know what I know, David probably should have gone the extra yard and hazard a guess about what I might do, which is to fact-check him.
David is referring to a public statement I made about two weeks earlier about Laura Valle and the organization for which she serves as executive director, La Voz of Loudoun. Ms. Valle had been featured in several recent media reports about opposition to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors' July 17 resolution on immigration enforcement.
Two of the reports linked Ms. Valle with Mukit Hossain, executive director of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, with the Post article stating the two of them would be "rallying" people to attend the Board's next meeting.
My statement was made during an interview with reporter Jason Jacks in a front page story of the August 24 edition of ... the Loudoun-Times Mirror. Since it is the same newspaper, it's not a stretch to think someone might go back and read it. But apparently David's zeal overcame his reason, and he left himself a tad exposed. Because it has an online edition, we can see exactly what was in Mr. Jacks' August 24 report:
What's more, Joseph Budzinski, spokesman for Help Save Loudoun, a group that thinks local governments should enforce immigration laws, said he questioned the public money because La Voz's interim executive director, Laura Valle, has been acting like a political "activist" of late rather than the head of a nonprofit.
"It appears to me that some of what La Voz does goes beyond that of a 501(c)3 [nonprofit]," he said. "I think there are some questions to be answered about this. ... It came as a surprise to me to learn how much money they get from Loudoun..."
Note the word "activist" is in quotes, indicating something I said, but the word "political" is not. I have requested the editors of the Times-Mirror ask Mr. Jacks to check his record of our conversation, because I am pretty sure I did not use the word "political." My primary reason for questioning La Voz' funding was because I thought Ms. Valle seemed to be providing services for and advocating for illegal aliens, and against the citizens of Loudoun County - which is fine for her to do, but not with public funding.
But let's assume Mr. Jacks used the word "political" in his question and I responded without a correction, or let's even assume I used the word somewhere in my reply: What I said is that because of how Ms. Valle has been "acting" and what "appears" to be going on, I thought the question needed to be asked whether La Voz should be receiving public funding - asking this question was the action by Board member Eugene Delgaudio that I was being asked to comment on. Affirming there is a "question" is not the same as to "knowingly" "claim that La Voz is engaging in improper political activity." This is a deliberate misrepresentation.
But wait, there's more. Shortly afterward, Mr. Jacks quotes Ms. Valle:
With respect to political activism, she said La Voz "is pretty light" compared to other immigrant groups ...
Ms. Valle here admits that La Voz does engage in political activism. So in the article David Weintraub used as evidence for my "misrepresentation" - the only person who makes a "claim" that La Voz engages in political activity is ... the executive director of La Voz.
David Weintraub apparently lives in a world where people can say all sorts of crazy nonsense and no one ever asks for citations or bothers to check the record. It is my mission to deliver David from that world.
A Note About Laura Valle
In case you are wondering why anyone would give a rat's patoutie about public funding for this nonprofit organization called La Voz, some background:
Though I had met Ms. Valle once, briefly, after television interviews in Leesburg, my first extended introduction to her occurred when I read a provocative July 23 column on the Times-Mirror Web site (which I encourage everyone to read), in which she compared "so called anti-illegal immigrant activists around the country" to Adolph Hitler. The only "ranting and raving" party named by Ms. Valle in the column was Help Save Loudoun, the local citizens' group for which I am a spokesman. Help Save Loudoun is the only such group mentioned by name in Ms. Valle's column.
Ms. Valle wrote that Help Save Loudoun's members
....will preface their outrageous statements by saying that this 'is a nation of immigrants' or that 'my Grandmother came from Italy', etc. They say these things to counter the accusations that they are bigoted, discriminatory, or anti-immigrant.
After labeling Help Save Loudoun as "anti-immigrant" and putting the above phrases into our mouths, Ms. Valle proceeded to launch into a breathtaking display of obfuscation, invoking further caricatures to say that people who are concerned about overcrowded houses are "making an assumption about a person based on the color of their skin or the language they speak."
Then, from her sheltered aerie out in Lucketts (in western Loudoun County), Ms. Valle delivered a tidy slap in the face to the residents of Sterling and those of our neighboring state:
Do these people not realize that if every undocumented person in this county were deported they would still have overcrowded houses with unregistered cars parked in the drives, they would still see people peeing outside (on a side note - I most recently observed that behavior on a private golf course when a golfer had had too much to drink, apparently could not make it to the restroom in time, and instead used a tree). When all the illegals are gone and their neighborhood has still not returned to what it once was, well, what issue will they hide behind then? And if overcrowded, run down houses with cars parked on the lawns are an indication of an 'infestation of illegals' then I am afraid we might have to check the papers of a significant percentage of West Virginia's residents!
The above paragraph perfectly represents the sanctimonious perspective of the elite illegal alien advocates. It is no surprise that the Weintraubs, hailing from Lovettsville, display a natural kinship with Ms. Valle's sneering appraisal of the citizens of eastern Loudoun County who simply want the rules in their neighborhoods enforced. How unsurprising to learn Ms. Valle deems her experience at the golf course in any way proportional to what so many residents of Sterling have to deal with from the house next door.
Memo to the Weintraubs and Ms. Valle: The reason the tide has turned in America is because millions of us who live in regular neighborhoods now have firsthand experience with the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into our communities. We do not have the benefit of a ten mile cushion of farmland between our homes and the new suburban reality. Many of us do not even play golf.
After reading her column, a number of people had the distinct impression that Ms. Valle was unfairly targeting Help Save Loudoun, which had prided itself on NEVER ranting and raving nor making broad statements about illegal immigrants. Our primary focus of action, in fact, was on illegal employers. Many of our members took exception to her broadside, which seemed disingenuous, and were surprised to learn she was taxpayer funded.
Shortly after this column appeared and she was featured as spearheading the rallies against the Board, it came to light that Ms. Valle's organization receives over $25,000 in annual funding from Loudoun County taxpayers.
On August 15, La Voz held a public meeting in Leesburg to discuss illegal immigration. Ms. Valle stated the following in response to the question: Does La Voz use taxpayer money to provide services to illegal aliens?
How do you deny somebody the opportunity to learn English, or to help their children that are in the schools - we don't have the capacity, I don't think we have the will, and I don't think it's in anyone's interests to do so.
In other words: Yes.
The final exhibit in our discussion of La Voz is an extremely revealing letter by Ms. Valle printed in the September 4 edition of the Times-Mirror.
Ms. Valle takes a moment to explain how her organization got its name:
The name La Voz (The Voice) was chosen in 2002 by a group of concerned citizens during a community meeting. We have always hoped that it would communicate the message that we are an organization that cares for immigrants.
Why would she bother to spell this out? She had to because she got called on it.
The name La Voz' leaders decided on matches that of another organization which was already prominent in 2002 and, along with the Mexica Movement, is one of the most notorious ideological entities engaged in the illegal migration debate: La Voz de Aztlan.
La Voz de Aztlan exemplifies everything that the most shrill, apocalyptic and paranoid anti-illegal advocates might warn you about, and then some. La Voz (de Aztlan) celebrates anchor babies and unabashedly promotes the reconquista of the southwest U.S., proclaiming Los Angeles the "Capital of Aztlan."
This La Voz also gleefully promotes the agendas of America's enemies. The death of NFL player-turned-soldier Pat Tillman draws snide remarks; the beheading of journalist Nick Berg is portrayed as taking place in Abu Ghraib prison; Osama bin Laden is viewed as the modern Pancho Villa; and, in case there was any doubt about La Voz' sympathies, their Web site even reprints the infamous blood libel against the Jews, Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
La Voz (de Aztlan) takes a benign view of Nazi Germany:
This acceptance of the jew history of Germany would be laughable when one studies the true dogma of the Third Reich. Consequences of internalizing jew lies and acting on them, as we Aztecas, like others, have had led to a misinformed and erroneous view of Nazi Germany. If the jewish depiction of Nazi Germany was true, Hitler would not have supported Francisco Franco in Spain, Mussolini in Italy or have aligned himself with Emporer Hirohito's Dai Nippon (Great Japan). Himmler's Waffen SS was the most perfectly multinational combat organization in the war. Arab civilians prospered more under the Axis than British/jewish occupation. We must be careful not to accept as fact the lies which are published and broadcast about Nazi Germany. We must remember at all times that the jew media censors what gets aired and printed and what most people read, see or hear has been censored to assure it conforms to the zionist agenda.
In sum, La Voz de Aztlan is the type of odious organization that any reasonable American would run away from as fast as our feet could carry us. To the contrary, La Voz of Loudoun adopted their name. This would be akin to the founders of Help Save Loudoun deciding to name our organization the "Ku Klux Kaptains."
Ms. Valle's letter goes on to note
... a bullâ€™s-eye painted squarely on our backs. For what? For helping people. It has been a challenge to navigate through the minefield that is this issue, all the while trying to keep my own opinions and emotions at a healthy distance. It has been a tremendous learning experience, and though I have stumbled along the way, I am proud of my work and the work of the Board of La Voz of Loudoun....
The Board of Directors, volunteer members, and paid staff of La Voz of Loudoun wants it known that we will continue to stay on the high ground. We hope that others will join us there.
Let's all be clear about this: La Voz (of Loudoun) only got a "bulls eye" on their back because they compared Loudoun citizens asking for better law enforcement to Nazis. Claiming "the high ground" in the debate is a pitiful attempt to deflect attention from what Ms. Valle has actually said and done. She admits her "stumble." Good. But this is misdirection, plain and simple, unartfully employed and completely transparent.
The reasons some people might have questions about public funding for La Voz (of Loudoun) have nothing to do with alleged improper "political" activity, but with the organization's aiding and abetting of illegal migration and working against the interests of Loudoun County's citizens.
Crazy Over Greg Ahlemann
The Weintraubs' unstable ground gets even shakier when they discuss Greg Ahlemann, the Republican candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff. Democrats and
turncoat Republicans Independents are noticeably freaked out by the Greg Ahlemann candidacy. Ahlemann is such an excellent public speaker and exemplary individual, and has such a compelling vision for the Sheriff's Office that the other two candidates pale in comparison. This has supporters of the trailing candidates very, very scared. Their only resort is to disinformation.
Unfortunately, that pesky public record stands in their way.
David Weintraub's letter continues:
He was present at the Sterling informational forum that Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio refused to attend, and he knows that the only person there who had to be reprimanded for political campaigning of any kind was Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun sheriff.
And Jonathan said this in the comments:
Joe Budzinski lied about my community on his Nova Town Hall blog and collaborated with the local anti-gay industry.
Now we see the most transparent political stunts, like sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann politicizing a La Voz forum and then testifying to the BoS that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized.
[As to the first sentence, I would say simply: Prove it, Jonathan. My statements about your "community" and my collaboration with said "industry" should be easy enough to cite if such evidence exists. Of course, the way you've framed it, just about any statement could be presented as about a "community" or "industry."]
Let's turn first to the newspaper report:
During questions and answers, Republican Loudoun sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann, a former Loudoun deputy, said police can detain someone for something as simple as "running a red light" if they are not carrying identification.
He also recounted an incident of an illegal immigrant from Sterling who last year hit and killed a Herndon man with his car. The driver, Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, had been cited by police at least a dozen times for traffic violations before the incident.
"I support the 287(g) program," Ahlemann said.
After Ahlemann's comments, Christ the Redeemer's Father C. Donald Howard reminded Ahlemann that the meeting was not a political forum and asked him not to speak again.
This confirms that Mr. Ahlemann was reprimanded, although the evidence of his "campaigning" or "politicizing" is quite absent.
As luck would have it, I have audio recordings of everything Mr. Ahlemann said after he introduced himself.
After one of the panelists had talked about the 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training program for local law enforcement, during the questions and answer session, Mr. Ahlemann raised his hand and was handed the microphone. He said "My name is Greg Ahlemann and I am running for Loudoun County sheriff" and he proceeded to provide the following information about 287(g). The first recording begins with the interpreter translating Mr. Ahlemann's first words which were before I got out my recorder:
Shortly thereafter, an audience member was called on, and had a question for Mr. Ahlemann, which he answered as follows:
At this point the priest stood up and said Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to talk. They went back to Q & A, and the next question was for Mr. Ahlemann. When the interpreter explained that Mr. Ahlemann was no longer allowed to answer questions, three or four other hands that had been raised went down and there was an audible sigh of disappointment from the audience.
When the event was over, Mr. Ahlemann was surrounded by a crowd of at least 10 audience members, and he spent 15 solid minutes speaking with them.
After listening to the recordings, which are raw audio captures of the event, you will see that Mr. Ahlemann did not do ANY campaigning. The only reason he was "reprimanded" is the priest did not want him speaking - despite the fact that the audience clearly wanted him to talk more. Mr. Ahlemann had direct knowledge of things the people wanted to know. School board member Warren Guerin - who is also a candidate for office - was allowed to speak without reprimand.
But hey, maybe I doctored the audio. Anyone who was at the August 26 event can listen to the recordings and, if truthful, will tell you that is exactly what was said. But maybe it's a conspiracy. Well, we do have another test.
Jonathan Weintraub claims Ahlemann testified about La Voz "that their funding should be cut because their forum was politicized" to the Loudoun County Supervisors on September 4.
WHOOPS! Wouldn't you know it, but there also happens to be a very public record, which is totally incontrovertible, of exactly what Mr. Ahlemann said in that forum. It turns out the Loudoun government has this newfangled thing called a "webcast" on the Internet.
Go to the Loudoun County video archive on this page. Scroll down to the "Board of Supervisors' Business Meeting" of Sep 4, 2007, and click on "Watch."
On the right side of the page, scroll down till you can see item #III, "Public Comment" and click on the link This will skip you ahead in the recording. Then grab the little bar under the video window on the left side of the page and move it as close as you can to 54:38. There you will get to hear and watch Greg Ahlemann's speech verbatim.
For your convenience, in case you cannot watch it, I have transcribed Mr. Ahlemann's September 4 speech below:
My name is Greg Ahlemann. I reside in Leesburg. I appreciate the opportunity to come before you today to speak. I will say that some politicians and power players within politics don't care for me very much, because I'm very outspoken about what I believe. I also believe that's what elections are for. That's one of the reasons why I'm here today.
I'm quite concerned with the fact that we can use county tax dollars to provide services for illegal immigrants, who are in this country illegally, and reward contracts and donations to groups like La Voz who provide services for illegal immigrants when we can't afford to pay our deputies and our teachers enough to live in this community.
I look at the deputies at the back of the room, the deputies in the lobby that are here today. I venture to say that many of the new deputies that come to work for the Sheriff's Office don't live in Loudoun County. Some of them don't even live in the state of Virginia. We can't afford to get them shift differential.
But for people that are in this country illegally we can take our tax dollars and provide services for them. While we neglect the people whose very lives our deputies are paid to protect. It seems like a problem to me.
Our deputies are not members of our communities, many of them. Their kids don't go to our schools. Their not part of our neighborhoods because they can't afford to live here, all while we're sending tax dollars to fund illegal immigrants. Is this really what we think is best for our county and for our communities?
I've spoke to you before about contracts. And I've read just briefly what the attorney had to say about the contracts here. I can tell you, car washes and things like that, we're going to have studies and these things are going to go on long past the election. We could have studies on this for years.
I could tell you, personally, if elected sheriff, I'm not gonna need a study to tell me that our deputies can wash their own vehicles until the Board of Supervisors can decide whether or not we will pay for illegal immigrants if they're working there and send our tax dollars there. I will take a stand on that.
Unfortunately, since January of 2004, when the Department of Homeland Security contacted the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to invite them to participate in the ICE program, nothing's been done about it. It took until May 1 of this year when I sat in this room and listened as the Sheriff's Office talked about how they were gonna look into the ICE program. During that time, there have been accidents, there have been people killed, like the gentleman that was in Herndon who was killed by someone that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office had in their custody.
How long do we need to have studies to enforce the law? These things are no brainers. And I also wonder how sincere are our elected officials about really doing something about this. The programs that you guys will decide, and our elected officials will decide on, will only be as effective as the sincerity of those enforcing it.
There is, to put it mildly, substantial evidence against the Weintraubs. Without putting too fine a point on it: Their claims are blatant deceits.
Greg Ahlemann did not say a single word about cutting funding for La Voz "because their forum was politicized."
The Weintraubs are lying. The evidence proves it.
Pro-illegal migration "liberals" are in an untenable situation because they have pitted themselves against lower- and middle-class Americans who should be their natural constituency. For a number of years they have employed terms like "compassion" and "civil rights" to justify illegal employment practices without any thought to the other people who might be deserving of compassion, namely their fellow citizens, nor the historical population of citizens who truly have been victims of civil rights abuses, such as African Americans.
The common definition of a progressive activist does not include "facilitator of corporate corruption," but we are living in an unusual time, an ellipsis in American political history. Major social and economic structural changes have occurred during the past two decades, and the political end result is still a long way off. At the moment, we live in an environment of contradictions.
Country club Republicans and self-proclaimed "liberal" elites, who do not live in the communities most affected by illegal migration, are lined up with bad-citizen business owners to encourage the influx of unskilled workers from other countries.
This corrupt elite has a definite constituency among profiteers and illegal migrants, but is solidly opposed to the best interests of most of the legal residents. What is happening in American today is, the citizens have begun to push back.
When illegal migration was only a trickle, the impact was minimal and localized. Today, the effects are broad-based. The local situation serves as an instructive example.
Over the past few years, legal residents of Sterling could be excused for becoming cynical after assuming the county government would take action on businesses hiring under the table, commercial vehicles on their streets, businesses run from homes, single-family houses turned into multi-family residences, drivers without operators licenses or proper insurance, and an assortment of other infractions for which citizens felt they would be held liable but for which illegal migrants seemed to enjoy a lower level of scrutiny and enforcement.
To protect the illegal employment establishment, government agencies seemed to have a policy of looking the other way on infractions by illegal aliens. The general approach has appeared to be: The feds won't take them, and we do not know what to do with them, so we will just let them go.
Now that so many communities have been affected by the influx, legal residents are demanding a different approach. When the problems were largely confined within Sterling Park, the rest of Loudoun County's residents had the luxury of viewing illegal immigration as a theoretical matter. Today, the problem is recognized almost everywhere east of Rt. 15.
For many of us in this county and this country, the problem is right next door. Citizens have seen their livelihoods impacted by corrupt employers who game the system, their local governments' budgets strained by increased demand for social services, and their neighborhoods blighted by unenforced local regulations because authorities are inclined to look the other way.
This is where Help Save Loudoun comes in. We are the advocates for legal immigrants and legal residents. We believe the illegal migration problem is directly rooted in corrupt business practices, and the only way we are going to turn the corner on this problem is by enforcing the law on employers who hire illegal aliens.
We believe that solving this problem must begin at the local level. Just as local police are permitted to catch bank robbers for the federal crime of robbing banks, local governments can take specific steps toward enforcing immigration laws. We also believe that our local and state governments can end the don't ask/don't tell policy toward crimes committed by illegal aliens.
We believe our local government officials have wide discretion to ensure the safety and security of our communities, and they need to exercise it.
If our local, state and federal governments would simply do what they are supposed to do, the majority of illegal aliens would leave - self-deport - and companies would be forced to become good citizens and do what it takes to hire and house legal workers (hey, guys, check out the eastern regions of North Carolina - bet you could find some laborers there), and people like the Weintraubs would have an unambiguous calling to work for the betterment of our least fortunate citizens, remember how to tell the truth, and go back to being classical liberals again.
Bill knows more about the illegal migration issue than just about anyone you'll ever meet, and he can reel off data, legislative information and history as easily as breathing. He is an eloquent speaker on issues related to illegal immigration and frequently a guest on radio talk shows around the country.
A regular in the halls of Congress, he spent a great deal of time in Richmond during our 2007 session monitoring the action, inaction and downright treachery of our elected representatives. He created this handy report on the Senate fate of important immigration enforcement bills passed by the House.
I strongly recommend making Buck's Blog one of your regular reading stations. Almost no one knows about it yet but there is a wealth of material there and it is well worth your time.
Please pay a visit and let's help get Bill's blogging career going with some comments!
(As always, there is an open invitation to the other candidates for sheriff to submit their own posts, and I will also put them on the front page and edit only for punctuation, about which I am frighteningly zealous.)
Thanks!!! to Ron Maxwell, Redskins hero Dexter Manley, who hung out and signed autographs, and a multitude of local luminaries who showed up.
I counted over 120 attendees throughout the evening. Not bad for a Tuesday night when "Back To School" night appearances provided substantial competition for candidates.
Attendees included Treasurer Roger Zurn, Commissioner of Revenue Bob Wertz, Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman, Senate candidate Patricia Phillips, LCRC Chairman Paul Protic, and former Delegate Dick Black.
I was particularly gratified to finally meet my countryman Jeff Wolinski, and perpetual gadfly, the bulletproof one, Dean Settle. We did not have much time together, but I can tell the three of us could be trouble.
Ron Maxwell's speech traversed the illegal alien issue from A to Z, from the symptoms to the cause. He illuminated the problems citizens have experienced and the corporate interests that foster the influx.
Greg Ahlemann is the sheriff candidate who proposed FULL participation in the ICE 287(g) program, as well as putting a full court press on the Board of Supervisors to implement strict enforcement on zoning and businesses. Sheriff Simpson followed by parroting Ahlemann's proposals with a "me too" response, but Ahlemann set the agenda.
At the local level, everything depends on the WILL of our local officials to enforce the law, because there are innumerable escape clauses for those who do not wish to do so. As an example, Loudoun County receives $59.00 per night in compensation for federal prisoners held in our jail. Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, receives $109.00 per night. As the Mecklenburg County PR person told us, the only reason for the better payoff is they demanded it.
What else are the citizens of Loudoun County not getting, because our elected officials do not have the will to ask for anything better?
Most importantly, electing Greg Ahlemann will put the guy in office who truly believes in immigration law enforcement. Both current Sheriff Steve Simpson and Democratic candidate Mike George are exemplars of the non-enforcement approach. We can all see where that has gotten us.
Following are portions of Ron Maxwell's speech. If you want to understand what is happening with the illegal immigration problem in America today, I strongly recommend you read all of Mr. Maxwell's remarks.
UPDATE: My bad: Board of Supervisors candidate Geary Higgins was in attendance for most of the evening. (In fact he was the ONLY supervisor candidate in attendance. Too bad for the rest of them, they really missed something). I spoke to him and shook his hand so I really should have included him on the luminaries list above. Hey, the first draft of history often includes major omissions ...
The Sunday Washington Post was just full of interesting articles. You have the Dems playing the "word" game where there are no more "earmarks" on their bills. They change the name to something else and say that "....it is perfectly legal". Anybody that shows me a work-around and tells me that it is perfectly legal is skirting the rules. Earmark is earmark. The word carries a bad tone associated with "pork", "special interest" and the like. What that means is spending YOUR money wastefully. What the Dems do with proficiency (as well as some out-of-step Republicans). Let's just say that those people associated with the left are at it again!
The GOP is wanting to pander to the Hispanics and can't understand why no Republican candidates other than John McCain are willing to show up with the Democratic candidates for a forum tonight in Miami on Hispanic issues. I wonder if they are talking about foreign policy? Otherwise, why would a candidate single out an ethnic group? Special favors? I thought the object was to tell Americans (U.S.) what their positions were to help all? Does this smack of "special interest" also?
Al Gore is going to support one of the Dem candidates...any except the Clintons. Do you think that Hilly is better off because of this? I certainly have my own opinion.
And Mark (I'm the best Governor of Virginia in your lifetime) Warner is in a quandary as to which position to run for. If he chooses U.S. senator, he will be assessed with the other Democratic candidates (and he doesn't stomach that well). Does this say something? He wants to be governor of Virginia again and thinks that his record will landslide him right in. The governor who took a deficet and turned it into a surplus....with a tax increase! Heck, anybody can do that. The Dems are NOTORIOUS for that mindset. Kaine't wanted to save that surplus for a rainy day and increase taxes (and has) more. What is that surplus of our money for? I sure could use it. I forgot. The government under liberal thinking needs ALL your money so that it can manage your life since you are too inept to be able to do that yourself. Government for all. Viva Lenin!
I need more coffee so I can work the crossword.
There will be a FANTASTIC event on the evening of Tuesday, September 11, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, at Bunker Sports Cafe at 510 East Market Street in Leesburg.
Director Ron Maxwell, of "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals" fame, will be the special guest speaker at a fundraiser for Sheriff candidate Greg Ahlemann. Also present will be Washington Redskins legend Dexter Manley!
Mr. Maxwell is one of the most cogent and compelling historical writers in America. His films are masterpieces, classics in the depiction of American history.
This is a rare opportunity to meet an inspirational artist/intellectual while at the same time supporting a Sheriff candidate who will be one of the key pieces in the effort to take back our nation one community at a time.
Be sure and be there! This will be a memorable evening. I have heard Mr. Maxwell speak before and I can assure you it will be well worth your time.
Getting Dexter Manley's autograph is just icing on the cake.
Following are some excellent columns by Mr. Maxwell which you should read to get a sense of what is in store on Tuesday night.
Spread the word!
[Pardon me if this is old news to some of you, but it's new to me and falls in the "What fresh hell is this?" category so I am going to write about it.]
My introduction to local politics of any type occurred in early 2006, soon after we moved here, when I joined the Loudoun County Republican Committee. A central topic of my first two meetings was a bunch of people trying to gain membership in the LCRC, some of whom were considered personae non grata by some members of the committee because these applicants had worked for or supported an Independent or Democratic candidate running against a Republican candidate in local elections years before.
Having been informed that to work against the party's candidates is a major no-no, and enjoying retribution and lifelong grudges as much as the next guy, I cheerfully voted with the majority to keep these scofflaws out of the LCRC.
Fast forward to June 9 of this year: Greg Ahlemann defeated Steve Simpson for the Republican nomination for Sheriff. Obliterated, actually, because Ahlemann defeated the incumbent Simpson by more than a 2-1 margin at the Loudoun County Republican Convention. Ahlemann was the victor fair and square and undisputed nominee of the party.
All participants in the Convention had been required to sign a "pledge" to support the Republican candidates in the November election. This, I can tell you, was a bit of a pain because in signing up delegates for the Convention many of us encountered citizens who had serious moral qualms about whether they could honestly support all local Republicans on the ballot in November. It was rumored there might be an additional pledge required - and perhaps videotaped - as delegates showed up to register at the Convention. This did not occur but the general sense we first-timers had was: We were on our honor to support the winners from the Convention.
After the votes were tallied, the losers were given the opportunity to make a motion to nominate by acclamation their respective victorious opponents, and Sheriff Simpson came to the podium to call for the nomination of Greg Ahlemann.
Then, in less time than it takes to read The Art of War, Simpson reversed himself, broke the pledge, and announced he was going to run for Sheriff as an Independent. This is pretty serious business because Simpson had appropriated some of Ahlemann's key campaign positions related to illegal immigration, and splitting the Republican vote created a very real possibility of handing the election to the Democratic challenger.
Soon after this, it came to light that a prominent member of the LCRC, Dale Polen Myers, assisted Simpson in gathering signatures for his application to the state election board to be placed on the November ballot.
At one of the next LCRC meetings - which I missed because of the press of Help Save Loudoun business - a petition was apparently circulated to have Ms. Polen Myers removed from the committee. This seems, to me, a perfectly logical step, and it seems strange that a petition would even be required. But as the Connection newspaper reports, the petition failed. (Link found at Too Conservative).
1) A bunch of people come to mind who really ought to consider re-applying for admission to the LCRC, now that the standards have been relaxed.
2) I REALLY wish the true meaning of "pledge" had been explained earlier in the year, because it would have made the delegate sign-up process so much easier. ("Oh, you needn't worry about that, Mrs. Smith. Allow me to cross out the word 'pledge' and write 'joke' in its place.")
3) I have to try not to miss any more meetings, because I would have loved to hear the rationales for not bouncing Ms. Polen Myers out.
As most everyone who reads this blog knows, I am a big Greg Ahlemann supporter, because he is light years ahead of the other two candidates for Sheriff on addressing the illegal alien problem in Loudoun County. He understands the problem, he has a broad plan for fixing the problem which includes telling the Board of Supervisors what they need to do to fix it (which will get massive citizen support), and he is truly a stand-up guy who has been running with a consistent message since the campaign began. Greg Ahlemann is someone the citizens of Loudoun will be able to trust.
Since he is not only a great person and great candidate but also the Republican nominee, I would expect the party leadership to get behind him.
Now comes apparent evidence that, in addition to Ms. Polen Myers, a few other key Loudoun Republicans may be opposing Mr. Ahlemann. I'm not going to name any names just now, but there is an important event Tuesday night - a fundraiser for Greg Ahlemann featuring film director Ron Maxwell - which provides a singular opportunity for the LCRC leadership to show up en masse to support Ahlemann's candidacy.
Those who, in a moment of weakness, might have toyed with the idea of following Ms. Polen Myers, have a great opportunity for redemption, to rethink their positions and make a public showing of support for Greg Ahlemann. Show up Tuesday night, guys, and give us some photo ops and statements of support for the Republican nominee for Sheriff.
And, uh, after our sitting Sheriff and a major Republican power broker abandoned theirs, please try to convince us the pledge is not a total joke.
The Tuesday, September 4 meeting of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors was supposed to be a wild public affair, but the circus never made it to town.
The authorities were well-prepared. Several officers each from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office and Leesburg Police Department were posted around the government building - seven or eight more than you'd see at a typical Tuesday morning meeting. The entire area fronting Loudoun Avenue was blocked off with yellow tape, apparently to ensure the crowds filed through a narrow corridor where several law enforcement personnel were on gatekeeper duty. Parking meters all the way down Harrison Street up to Tuscarora Mill were bagged to keep the street clear.
Everything hinted at the expectation of busloads of attendees pouring in.
And the expectation was not without reason.
After the Loudoun Board unanimously passed an immigration enforcement resolution on July 17, leaders of two local advocacy groups opposing the resolution essentially admitted they were caught flat-footed, and they promised a vigorous response at the September 4 meeting.
Both Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee, and Laura Valle, Executive Director of La Voz of Loudoun, told reporters they were going to bring large numbers of people to the hearing:
Two of the groups leading the charge against the board's efforts are La Voz of Loudoun, a Hispanic outreach and advocacy nonprofit organization, and the Cascades-based Virginian Muslim Political Action Committee...
Hossain's group and La Voz are rallying supporters to attend the Loudoun supervisors' Sept. 4 meeting. At that meeting, the board is expected to hear from county staff members about which services can be cut off to people without legal status and what the financial effect on the county might be.
More from the Connection:
VALLEâ€™S LA VOZ and other groups opposed to the possibility of restricted county services said that they are focusing on educating residents and those with questions about the realities of illegal immigration.
"The goal is not to say they are right or wrong to want to do something," Valle said. "But we want the Loudoun citizens to be involved in this."
Mukit Hossain, president of the Virginia Muslim Political Action Committee, said he is also concerned with making Loudoun residents civically engaged. Hossain, along with other immigrant groups, recently formed the American Dream Alliance, which will work on voter registration and campaigns that support the immigrant community.
"These sort of issues should be dealt with in the ballot box," Hossain said. "I think if you can create activity leading up to the November election, I think we can alleviate the situation."
As it turned out, there were no crowds opposing the resolution, and the audience for the hearing consisted overwhelmingly of immigration enforcement supporters, including at least 10 people wearing "Ahlemann for Sheriff" T-shirts. (Speaking in support of immigration enforcement were Mr. Ahlemann himself and Senate candidate Patricia Phillips).
Although Ms. Valle attended the hearing she did not speak during the public comment portion, and only two of the 14 or 15 people who testified on the issue spoke in opposition to the proposed immigration enforcement measures - and neither of the two seemed to be part of any coordinated opposition.
Whatever the reason, the reversal is a notable shift in tactics from a month ago.
UPDATE - Laura Valle of La Voz responds:
I told no reporter at no time that we (La Voz) was going to try and get a large show at the Board meeting. Our effort to get people involved was the August 16 Panel presentation and the August 26 community meeting. Over 300 people showed up to those meetings. Those are some good numbers.
I did not speak at the Board meeting in part because I was very confident that there would be no action with out further review.
Also, the media misreported when they stated that La Voz is leading the charge against the Board. I am sure you are aware that the media does not always get it right. We have repeatedly stated that we support the Board's effort to look into the issue.
Also I was contacted by Ricardo Juarez (Mexicans Without Borders) in late July at which time I told him that La Voz would not support protests, boycotts, etc. La Voz actually deserves some credit that Loudoun has not experienced what Prince William has over the past few weeks. We have been very outspoken against extremes. We held a meeting at the Sterliing Community Center to get input from the community about what La Voz could/should do in reaction and though we recieved a lot of suggestions to protest and coordinate with other regional groups, we did not pursue any of them as they contradict the stated purpose of our organization which is to integrate and to unite the community.
And no- La Voz has nothing to do with La Voz de Atzlan. (I still have no idea what that is). That's getting old. There are dozens of organizations that use the name La Voz, most of which are Spanish language newspapers, and we are not affiliated with any of them. Please refer to my op ed in the LTM for more on that.
As for the next Board meeting, I am encouraging people to come and speak, but I do not care what they say. 15 people was a pathetic turnout on an issue of such importance.
I cannot speak for Mukit Hossain as I have only met him once but after following all the links it appears he expects people to act at the polls and not during Board meetings.
So Joe, if you are going to continue to write about La Voz at least take the time to get it right, and don't belive everything you read in the media unless it is a direct quote,a nd even those can be taken out of context. I would think as a conservative you would be more sceptical of the media, in particular the Washington Post.
There is no coordinated opposition in Loudoun County that I am aware of. There need not be. The suggested actions brought forth have raised enough questions and concerns all by themselves, as the County Board acknowleged on Tuesday.
No further information yet - this was sent from the press conference which is still taking place.
This provides closure of a sort for everyone who has been asking for the past year, since the new town council took office, "Why haven't they shut that thing down yet?"
UPDATE: Regarding the question of how the town will avoid getting back into the same situation it was in before, with an informal day labor site at the corner of Elden St. and Alabama Ave., Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Herndon reports "The Town will be working with businesses to help them enforce no trespassing."
This isn't the old familiar immigration we grew up with, the relatively small populations from Eastern Europe, from the Mediterranean, from Japan, from Ireland -- those ancestors of ours who couldn't wait to learn English, who within a generation became more American than Americans, who grabbed hold of the Stars and Stripes and never let go. Sure, our ancestors taught us second languages and, indeed, we celebrate our heritage in the privacy of our homes and among our ethnic and cultural and religious sub-groups. Itâ€™s great that we do, but we don't march in angry protest with Irish, Italian or Israeli flags.
What we are witnessing today, what our elites are allowing to happen, indeed abetting, is a burgeoning separatist movement, largely though not exclusively confined to the Southwest.
Ron Maxwell brings a historical perspective to the current illegal alien issue which deserves a careful reading - read it here.
Adolph Hitler was quoted as saying "I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few." That seems to be the strategy adopted by some so called anti-illegal immigrant activists around the country...
Many of the folks who support this action, and some of those that are members of groups such as Help Save Loudoun, will emphatically state that they are not anti-immigrant...
"State they are not anti-immigrant" is, you should know, not generally meant as a positive formulation. But we deal with it.
In the same issue of the paper, Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio questions whether La Voz should be receiving taxpayer funds. On a personal note, I'm fine with La Voz, to the extent my Hitleresque tendencies don't poison the relationship.
UPDATE: La Voz' Director tells her story at Too Conservative.
UDATE II: Read The Second Mexican War by Lawrence Auster. An excerpt:
Consider Mexican Foreign Minister Jorge CastaÃ±edaâ€™s non-negotiable demandsâ€”â€œItâ€™s the whole enchilada or nothingâ€â€”that he issued in a speech in Phoenix, Arizona in 2001. America, said CastaÃ±eda (as recounted by Allan Wall), â€œhad to legalize all Mexican illegal aliens, loosen its already lax border enforcement, establish a guest worker program (during an economic downturn) and exempt Mexican immigrants from U.S. visa quotas!â€ He also demanded that Mexicans living in the U.S. receive health care and in-state college tuition. As CastaÃ±eda summed it up in Tijuana a few days later, â€œWe must obtain the greatest number of rights for the greatest number of Mexicans [i.e. in the U.S.] in the shortest time possible.â€ What this adds up to, comments Wall, is basically â€œthe complete surrender of U.S. sovereignty over immigration policy.â€ And why not? As CastaÃ±eda had written in The Atlantic in 1995: â€œSome Americans ... dislike immigration, but there is very little they can do about it.â€
As we already noted in the comments to this post, foreign-born inmates account for a disproportionate percentage of our jail population. We did not know at the time, however, what percentage of those were legally in the United States and which were not. Now we have a better idea.
This article in the Washington Times tells us that unlawful aliens make up 6-10% of the inmates. 86% of the unlawful aliens in Virginia jails are Hispanic.
2003 numbers (see the earlier post) showed only that 10% of the inmates were foreign born. Now we see that the majority are also here illegally. This should not be surprising, since those who take the time and trouble to immigrate legally have already demonstrated, by their taking the time and trouble, that they are hard-working and law-abiding people, while those who have come here illegally have shown a willingness to break the law to get what they want.
It appears one of those individuals you would not want at the top of your party, is now going to be right there at the top of our party.
This, of course, fits a pattern within the GOP.
Reminder: It is telephone book season throughout Northern Virginia - they showed up in recent weeks and they are littering our curbs and office building foyers. I have at least 70 pounds of phone books in my office doorway, for instance.
If you are still getting solicitations with postage-paid reply cards or envelopes from the national Republican Party, the Republican Party of Virginia, the Republican Senatorial Committee, the George W. Bush Cheerleader Society, or whatever, you have a perfect avenue for protest: Send 'em a phone book or three, COD. They will need them.
Support individual candidates, while defunding the party.
The party needs a slap in the face.
UPDATE: Good guy Shaun Kenney, who bears the heavy burden of a paycheck with the word "Republican" on it, seeks to clarify that the Republican Party of Virginia should not be lumped in with the others I mentioned and therefore does not deserve any C.O.D. telephone books as the others most certainly do:
In defense of little ol' RPV, it is a grassroots organization -- meaning that it doesn't take policy positions unless explicitly authorized to do so by the State Central Committee, nor does it automatically endorse incumbents as the RNC does.
In short, RPV operates as the collected voice of the grassroots in Virginia. Please don't send phonebooks.
I'll buy that .... for now.
It's a rare occasion we can match consumerism with civic duty, but now is one of those times.
For the next week, these bozos are attempting to impose a boycott on Prince William County businesses that adhere to the rule of law. The effort is a reaction to the immigration enforcement resolution passed by the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
Here is more information on the boycott and the group responsible, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.
Here is today's Washington Post story about the "strong, but divisive" frontman of the group, Ricardo Juarez.
Juarez -- who refuses to disclose his residency status -- calls these policies "a new apartheid" and "racist." And in a move Juarez's critics say is typical of his overheated rhetoric, radical politics and strong-arm style, the businesses in the county subject to the boycott will be those lacking green placards provided by Mexicans Without Borders. Hispanic-owned or not, any business without one will be shunned.
And here is a running list of businesses displaying the pro-illegal placards.
So the next six days are an ideal time to spend money in Prince William County - it is worth the short drive. Also, as it turns out, Mexicanos Sin Fronteras is targeting businesses in Manassas and Manassas Park, which have not passed any type of immigration enforcement resolutions. Go figure. The bottom line is this group is attempting to use strong arm tactics to force businesses to profess defiance of U.S. immigration laws. We need to reward businesses that resist the pressure.
For the next six days, go to Prince William and Manassas to shop. Here is a map of the relevant areas.
If you don't want to navigate through all those links, let's make it simple:
Do your major shopping at Potomac Mills. Whether for back-to-school, end-of-summer, or any other milestone you wish to concoct, Potomac Mills is one of the best and largest shopping areas in the country. Just head down I-95, or take 123, or any number of other routes. Patronize the stores without the green placards.
Or, go out a short distance on I-66 and take either 234 business or, a few miles further, the exit for 29 west. They've got supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, used car lots - everything you might need on a daily basis. You can buy all sorts of stuff out there.
Or, drive south on 28 past Centreville into Manassas. It's a pleasant ride ... in some respects ... and in any case there are plenty of places to grab a cold brewski once you finally arrive.
If you are driving south on 95, wait to buy gas until you cross the Occoquan.
The important thing is: internalize the map, and make every effort to adjust your itinerary and come up with excuses to go a little bit out of your way and drop some buckage on businesses that have not caved in to Mexicanos Sin Fronteras.
For my own part, I have a trip south which will afford numerous opportunities to spend money along I-95, and I will also load up on canned goods, blank DVD disks, and cases of certain fermented essentials at one of the supermarkets on 234. Walmart's here and here might also be good places to stock up on cases of sporting goods-related items from Winchester and Remington.
Go shopping, friends, it is your duty as citizens.
An acquaintance spent some time visiting with the Loudoun County Zoning Department yesterday and learned the following:
During inspections of overcrowded housing complaints, if the inhabitants profess to having no identification, and claim to be either A) "extended family" or B) in a Bible study, the Zoning Department inspectors automatically give everyone a pass and cease the investigation. Case closed.
There's some food for thought there, especially regarding how the excuses are being coordinated. These certainly seem to be very common stories, both from anecdotal and press reports. Might there be agencies or NGO's facilitating illegal behavior?
The neighboring town of Herndon, population 24,000, has three times as many inspectors as Loudoun County, population 200,000. In the past, I have stated this is a problem and Loudoun needs to have many more inspectors.
In light of the current revelation, I wonder if Loudoun's Zoning Department might actually deserve to be cut back further. Who needs 'em?
In a related story, someone I know just filed a report to the Sheriff's Office on a house nearby for residents who were switching license plates among cars. A deputy came to the reporting citizen's house during daylight hours and knocked on the door to "discuss" the supposedly anonymous complaint. The citizen said they definitely did not want to publicly discuss the complaint.
The deputy then walked across the street to the allegedly offending residence. The complainant watched through the window as the deputy knocked on the offender's door, and when it was answered the deputy pointed back at the complainant's house.
More on the Sheriff's Office here. It seems like everyone on Sterling Park has stories like these.
Hey, ever wonder why Sterling residents are so reticent about filing zoning or other complaints?
Between Zoning and the Sheriff's Office, the Loudoun County government has done a remarkable job elevating official indifference to an art form - a drive around Sterling Park illustrates this fact quite impressively.
In my view, these and other instances demonstrate why we need a change in mindset among the Loudoun County Supervisors - with Eugene Delgaudio and Mick Staton as good indicators of how the entire Board should be focused - and a change in leadership in the Sheriff's Office, with Greg Ahlemann as the man for the suit.
Blog Khan counted 100 participants at tonight's initial meeting of Help Save Fairfax. That's pretty impressive for a meeting arranged with minimal advance notice in a county whose government has given advance notice that little is planned by public officials to address the local effects of illegal immigration.
Numerous elected officials and candidates were in attendance.
Among them was Virginia Senator Ken Cuccinelli (right), currently the strongest advocate citizens have in the state Senate on the issue of illegal immigration.
Representatives of each of the state's "Help Save ... " groups participated in the program. Above are Greg Letiecq (Blog Khan), (left) president of Help Save Manassas, and masters of ceremony Phil Jones and Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Virginia/Help Save Herndon. I spoke on behalf of Help Save Loudoun.
Delegate Tim Hugo
Springfield Supervisor Candidate Pat Herrity
Virginia 33rd District Senate Candidate Patricia Phillips (left) and Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio
(Also present and conversing with the attendees was Fairfax County Supervisor Candidate Gary Baise - picture to follow in a later post).
The presentation and discussions covered many aspects of the illegal alien problem, including the bad things that cause citizens to take notice, the good things citizens have been able to accomplish to help solve the problem locally, Virginia Senator Ken Stolle (without whom no such discussion would be complete), and other items that will be elucidated at a later date.
More than anything, the evening featured extended opportunities for citizens and would-be elected officials to share ideas and concerns. This type of cross-pollination has been a hallmark of Help Save Loudoun's activities and has resulted in some significant political accomplishments. Although in our membership we are non-partisan, so far the only candidates we've gotten the time of day from have been Republicans (and some Republicans have blown us off entirely).
This is somewhat curious and amusing, because our membership composition continues to be pretty bipartisan, but the power-brokers who will talk to us are largely of one party. Don't the Democratic candidates realize they are missing the boat? No, they do not.
We also had a few interlopers, filming, taking notes and photos, seeking intelligence.
Memo: Here's your intelligence, guys: Calling us racists will not slow us down.
And as the venerable Nelson says on the Simpsons, Haaaa Haa!
No time for the usually trenchant level of analytical reporting tonight, because I am a busy, busy man. Tonight all you get are some pictures.
First, from the historic events in neighboring Herndon, Virginia earlier this week:
Citizens gather prior to Tuesday's Herndon Town Council hearings on the future of the Herndon day labor site. The Council voted to require the next operator of the site to verify that all who use it for ad hoc employment are legally permitted to work in the U.S.
Aubrey Stokes of Help Save Herndon speaks with a Fox News reporter.
Senate candidate Patricia Phillips with members of Help Save Loudoun and Help Save Herndon.
Washington Examiner reporter interviews local citizens.
Next, at an event held tonight by La Voz of Loudoun, designed to distinguish facts from fiction in the immigration debate.
There was a GREAT question asked which I do not have time to transcribe right now, but which essentially linked NOVA TownHall, Help Save Loudoun, candidates Greg Ahlemann and Patricial Phillips, and even Tom Tancredo, for goodness sakes, into a nefarious web of conspiracy. It was absolutely friggin' inspiring. Just magnificent. All I need now is to get my picture posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center and I can die content.
(By the way, if you care about immigration enforcement, please go right now to the Web sites of all three of those candidates and give them some money. Right Now!! No dawdling!)
Finally, also at the La Voz event, the man Loudoun Insider has deemed worthy of a man-crush, Potomac Supervisor candidate Ken Mikeman (left) with our good buddy Jonathan of Equality Loudoun. Mikeman is pretty nice looking, I must say, but I have spoken with the man and Zoolander he ain't.
There were a couple radio interviews this week:
This one was on PBS station KCRW. (My part is the second half, about 15 minutes in, but the first part is worth listening to).
In what I'm sure is pure disinformation meant to dampen my overwhelming zeal, the Washington Post blog is spinning that I was not the first choice for the one interview, but was only selected because some public officials supposedly turned it down. In reality, I'm quite certain that the public officials were only considered because of my legendary busy schedule, and everyone was quite delighted that I was, in fact, available after all.
If you listen to either of those, I am certain you will agree that my tactic of never interrupting my counterpart, and allowing them to speak for two or three times as long as I speak, will, in the end, prove to be the most effective approach. It's all about winning the war, baby, winning the war.
The Herndon Town Council voted last night to require that the next operator of the day labor center established by the previous council check the legal working status of those who seek employment at the site.
This vote represents a sort of closing-the-circle on the events of May, 2006, in which the citizens of Herndon established the town as America's Bunker Hill in the current struggle.
Under the new Council, Herndon has led the way on several additional initiatives designed to end the influx of illegal aliens, including becoming the first municipality to send police officers for immigration enforcement training earlier this year.
By Bob Rudine
The Herndon Town Council decided tonight that the Herndon official day labor site will have to check the legal status of the laborers who use the site. In a 6 to 1 vote after two evenings of citizen comment a resolution was passed which sets the stage for a new operator of the site.
The current operator is Project Hope and Harmony (PH&H) aka Reston Interfaith, with funding provided by Fairfax County and a site provided by the Town of Herndon. Herndon also has an anti-solicitation ordinance which prohibits employers from hiring Day Laborers anywhere else within the town. This ordinance has been upheld in a court challenge based on the existence of the formal day labor site.
The Town Council is seeking a site operator who will validate the legal status of the day laborers' right to work within the United States. Several request for proposals have gone out and they currently have one bidder on the contract. Due to the length of time it is taking to find a qualified operator, the town had to consider an extension for PH&H to operate the site until a new operator who will verify legal status can take over.
The resolution to extend the special exception has two sets of conditions governing the operation of the site. The first (Operator A) is for the continued use by PH&H until a new operator can take over. The second (Operator B) defines the conditions for the new operator. Several changes were requested by PH&H and were incorporated into the special exception including extended hours and an expansion in the number of day laborers the site is allow to have on site.
A third option is available to the council which would eliminate the site altogether if the extension is not approved. This option is not being considered since the anti-solicitation ordinance would be overturned allowing the day laborers to return to the informal day labor sites within the town.
Several amendments were offered during the council deliberations. Two amendments were discussed which would allow charitable donations to be distributed at the site for PH&H. The first would allow all charitable donations to be distributed at the site. The second would allow for food donations only to be distributed. Both amendments failed.
Harlon Reece, the only current councilmen who voted to establish the current day labor site offered an amendment to delete all reference to Operator B from the resolution. This would, in effect, eliminate the immigration status checking altogether and allow the site to operate unchanged in its current configuration. His amendment did not receive a second vote required to proceed and died.
In passing the resolution the Council explained that their oath of office required them to uphold the law and that the law could not be applied selectively. The Mayor said that the town would do anything necessary to ensure the citizens that the day laborers would not return to the streets of Herndon. Reston Interfaith was thanked for their service to the community and the town promised to work with them in their other projects within the community.
During the public testimony, 50 people spoke on the Special Exception which allowed the day labor site to operate. I think it fair to say that everyone there believed that the challenges faced by the Town are caused by the absolute failure of the federal government to enforce immigration law. The issue of what the town can and cannot do is still being debated.
The supporters of the current site claim that the current site operator provides the best solution for the town by removing the day laborers from the streets of Herndon. They are still gathering all around town, and have been since the formal site opened, due to a lack of employers using the formal site. Photos of the 7-11 at Elden and Alabama and other informal sites in Northern Virginia were shown to support their claim. Photos were shown which clearly show day laborers congregating in and around the former informal site. The reality is that street solicitation was curtailed by vigorous enforcement by the Herndon Police of the anti-solicitation law after it was upheld in court.
The supporters of Operator B with legal status checking of day laborers support the notion that current site supports illegal aliens and the town would be better off without the site. The town councilâ€™s approach was supported by most of these speakers, recognizing the importance of the anti-solicitation enforcement program to the town. Clearly they believe that this is the best compromise available at this time. One speaker requested that the Town consider adoption of an alternative version of the anti-solicitation law used by some localities which does not require a formal site in order to withstand legal challenge. The notion that the day labor site is a temporary solution was mentioned by several of the speakers including one recommendation to eliminate the annual renewal provisions in the special exception. Residents, from the adjacent county of Loudoun, expressed their concerns regarding the possibility of day laborers establishing an informal site just inside their county if this plan were adopted.
Several residents requested that the council not renew the extension which would close the site outright.
Law suits against the town were expressed or implied by some of the speakers against the anti-solicitation ordinance and Operator B if the current plans were implemented.
Other issues discussed by the speakers included the use of the site as a location to distribute charitable contributions of food and clothes which is the current practice. Crime statics were presented showing the percentage of crimes committed by Hispanics was increasing when compared with non-Hispanics. Since the police do not collect data regarding legal status of criminals, the extent and impact of illegal aliens on crime is still subject to some conjecture and debate. Overcrowded housing was also mentioned by some speakers even though the extension does not address this issue specifically.
In related news, the pro-illegal national Republican Party has firmly established itself as the entity we cannot defund quickly enough. IF you are still receiving solicitations from the Republican Party, AND you still have any telephone books left in your house, you know what to do.
Bricks will suffice in a pinch.
Today's Post has a feature story on the situation in Sterling that is pretty good ... for the Post. Which is a significant qualification.
But in truth Sandhya, the reporter, is one of the better ones on the issue of the illegal alien problem and if the media as a whole covered the issue in as balanced a manner as she does Americans would have a much better understanding of what is really happening.
In the story, a few residents were interviewed along with some activists from the pro-illegal side. I recommend everyone read it because it gives a partial picture of the local situation.
The article reflects a bit of naivete, repeating zoning department reports that overcrowding inspections often "found Bible study groups." Conversations with locals familiar with zoning violation reporting could have revealed how extraordinarily common such Bible study sessions are claimed to be taking place in houses full of migrant workers. The conversations would have been punctuated with guffaws.
Also, the identification of one gentleman as "a remodeling contractor" would have been slightly more accurate if he were labeled a "former remodeling contractor who was driven out of the business some years ago by corrupt competitors using illegal workers." I happen to know he next tried to build a livelihood as a landscaping contractor - with a similar final result.
But the point that jumped out at me was the sheriff's office report that "only one in 20 gang members in the county is in the country illegally, and most are U.S. citizens." The sheriff himself made this point at a Help Save Loudoun meeting earlier this year, contradicting a report at another meeting in which deputies in the Loudoun Gang Intelligence Unit told our audience that the gang population is largely composed of illegals, and the growth in gang activity parallels the influx of illegal aliens into the area.
The story also repeats Sheriff Steve Simpson's statement from a debate a few months ago in which he told a questioner asking what he would say to Sterling Park residents who felt their neighborhood was becoming less safe, that "the crime rate is going down." In several public events where Sterling residents asked what he intended to do about the increasing problems in the community, I heard the sheriff tell constituents, we are doing everything we can. In effect, he has promised that things are only going to get worse, despite the fact that citizens had laid out a number of initiatives he could pursue to make Loudoun County less hospitable to criminal aliens - and no one had ruled out demanding the Board of Supervisors allocate more funds to do so.
This is known as the "tin ear" approach to dealing with one's consituents, and explains in large part why the sheriff was demolished by his Republican convention opponent, Greg Ahlemann, in a major upset, by a margin of over 2-1.
Well, I have just received a copy of an open letter to Sheriff Simpson, in reaction to the Post article, sent by one of his Sterling constituents to the Board of Supervisors. The letter helps fill in some of the holes in the article:
Dear Sheriff Simpson,
I can't tell you how relieved I am to read in today's Washington Post front page article about Sterling that "only one in 20 gang members in the county is in the country illegally, and most are U.S. citizens."
So the next time my neighbors are assaulted while strolling on the sidewalk, shot at through the walls of their home while they sleep, dodging bullets in the parking lot of the Sterling Safeway, or reporting another theft from their garages, I'll remind them that statistically, their safety is being threatened by fellow citizens, not illegal aliens.
I'll comfort them by quoting your assurances that increasing crime in Sterling is merely "a widespread perception" unsupported by data, and that we're probably overreacting to "a few high-profile shootings and gang-related incidents."
Maybe that information might have stopped my neighbor from moving out of Sterling this summer if he knew that the gang members who bullied his daughter at the middle school last spring are here legally. Now that the Post has widely publicized this important distinction, maybe my neighbors can put their unsold houses back on the market and try for an expensive second time to sell and move away.
I, for one, will feel a deeper sense of pride when I spend yet another Saturday morning picking up hundreds of empty and shattered beer bottles from the corners of my neighborhood streets, knowing that most of this litter was probably created by good old U.S. citizens.
Thanks for your clearly heartfelt concern for the citizens of eastern Loudoun.
As a side note, we don't tend to see much of Sheriff Simpson, at public events, here in Sterling. My guess is this end of the county has been written off in his campaign strategy, such as it is.
The Washington Post is reporting that Loudoun County Supervisors Steve Snow (R-Dulles) and Scott York (I- At Large) have said that if the neighboring town of Herndon finds a new operator for its controversial day labor center who will ensure that all those served are legal workers, Loudoun County may set up its own day labor center.
This is going to cause a firestorm of a controversy in Loudoun County, but it is important to point out the issue is not clear-cut.
It is widely acknowledged that Herndon's day labor center, operated by an entity called "Project Hope and Harmony" - which is really just a committee of the local non-profit Reston Interfaith - serves primarily illegal aliens. It came into existence largely because for several years a 7-11 store at the intersection of Alabama Avenue and Elden Street had served as an informal, ad hoc hiring site which was very disruptive to the surrounding community.
The Herndon day labor center was opened in December, 2005, by the town government, against the wishes of the majority of the town's citizens.
Several months later, the citizens voted the mayor and most of the town council members out of office, with great fanfare.
After several months in office, the new town council passed an "anti-solicitation" ordinance to restrict freelance hiring on the town's streets. When the ordinance was challenged, a judge ruled the ordinance was lawful - as long as the town had an alternative for those who wished to seek employment and employees.
Ironically, the day labor center became the legal prerequisite for the anti-solicitation law.
Herndon is now seeking bids from organizations to run the day labor center when Project Hope and Harmony's contract (actually a "special exception") runs out in September. It is generally assumed the town would like to find an operator for the center who will take one additional, important step: check the legal status of all prospective workers - something Project Hope and Harmony will not do.
If such an operator is found, one might logically conclude that many of the illegal aliens currently served by the Herndon day labor center will go to the adjoining Loudoun County community of Sterling to seek work.
Within 50 yards of the Herndon day labor center is another 7-11 on Sterling Road (Rt. 606) which is already the site of some hiring solicitation activity. It appears that Loudoun Supervisors Snow and York are considering the necessity of passing an anti-solicitation law similar to Herndon's, on the assumption the illegal hiring will simply move across the street and into other areas of Loudoun County if the Herndon center becomes inhospitable to illegals.
In order for such an ordinance to pass judicial muster in Loudoun County, the supervisors apparently wish to duplicate Herndon's model of having an established day labor center which can serve as the designated, legally approved location for ad hoc hiring.
It seems inconceivable that Supervisors York and Snow would have any intention of establishing a workers' center which did not ensure all those served were legally allowed to work in the U.S. Loudoun's supervisors have, after all, been in close contact with the Herndon government to discuss the issue.
Setting up a day labor center for illegal aliens in Loudoun County would not only be a massive affront to the citizens of Sterling, it would be political suicide for any Loudoun County official who signed on to such a plan.
Assuming the Loudoun supervisors are not complete fools, but instead merely wish to replicate the end result Herndon is seeking - a day labor center that only serves legal workers - it seems appropriate that Loudoun County should pay close attention to the current RFP process in Herndon to find a new operator for the Herndon day labor center.
Longtime local resident Butch Baughan is forming a non-profit organization and is one of the applicants to run the Herndon day labor center, under the concept of a vocational education and job-pairing service for all citizens of the area. Butch can speak very eloquently about the need for job training and mentoring for disadvantaged citizens, having spent much of his career as a high school vocational teacher.
Perhaps the new operator of the Herndon workers' center could be considered to run a Loudoun County center as well?
The Republican members of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors took a stand we should all be grateful for when they sponsored the strong immigration enforcement resolution on July 17.
Thanks to Mick Staton, Eugene Delgaudio, Bruce Tulloch, Steve Snow, Jim Clem and Lori Waters for sponsoring the resolution.
The resolution ended up passing 9-0, with the Board's Democrat and two Independents joining the Republican majority.
This action followed the Loudoun County Republican Convention - well over a thousand people - unanimously passing its Resolution In Support Of Legal Immigration on June 9. That resolution has not gotten nearly the publicity it deserves, because with it the largest political convention ever held in Loudoun County delivered an extremely strong statement for immigration enforcement at all levels of government.
In Loudoun County, at least, the GOP is standing up for the citizens.
Now, as the Virginia political season ramps up, those battling for the seats up for election in November are speaking out further on this issue. Here are some statements delivered this week by our pro-enforcement candidates for office:
1) "As supervisor ... I would take action against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants," and "partner with Immigration and Customs Enforcement so that our Sheriff's Office is authorized to enforce federal immigration laws ... shut down document mills that illegally produce phony identification, and enforce zoning ordinances to prevent the overcrowding of homes."
2) "The main 'service' an illegal immigrant comes to Loudoun for is a job ... I oppose illegal immigration and want to see effective measures to fight it. That's why I want to see an end to the employment of illegal aliens in Loudoun."
3) "The most important power localities may possess is the ability to penalize employers who knowingly employ undocumented workers. The local response to the problem might just lie in penalizing the Americans who are breaking the law."
4) "Put simply, illegal is illegal. Our first priority must be to deport any illegal immigrant who commits a crime and shut down the document mills ... We must crack down on businesses that lure illegal immigrants to our community ... People come here because there is work and money to be found. This situation is not fair to honest businesses that hire legal employees and must compete with unscrupulous businesses, which hire illegal immigrants for low wages."
(See if you can guess which local conservative made each statement - answers are below the fold)
Trying to find out how much money the local public school system spends on English as a Second Language instruction is like pulling teeth - from a mako shark. For whatever reason, they really don't make this data easy to locate.
I've recently gotten the following pages from the Loudoun County Public Schools FY08 Appropriated Budget which detail actual expenditures on ESL from 2004-2006 and budgeted amounts for FY07 and FY08. The first image shows the FY08 increases and the second the budget detail for all years.
The data is interesting to review both for the change in expenditures over that span and also how the amounts compare to other portions of the overall Loudoun County budget.
First, though: The following chart, from details of the Washington Area Boards of Education budgets, shows the change in ESL participation in the area school systems from 1999-2006. (Click the image for the Excel spreadsheet).
"When we have legal taxpayers struggling to keep medical insurance, I don't think this is too much to ask."
"I don't feel like there is anything wrong with legal immigration," said Hoke. "But if they want to come here illegally and use our services that are paid for by taxpayers, I have a problem with that."
Hoke would also like to see policies put in place to fine employers hiring illegal immigrants.
Page County has seen an increase in the number of immigrants in the last several years. Over the last two years, Page County Public Schools had to hire staff to educate students that do not speak English.
"We have to allow them medical services and to go to school," said Hoke, "but if we wouldn't allow this to happen maybe they would stay in their own country. When we have legal taxpayers struggling to keep medical insurance, I don't think this is too much to ask."
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."...
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.
Actually, Mayor Lou Barletta has already made clear the effort won't stop at Circuit Court, either.
Fred Thompson just brought Spencer Abraham, former senator and Energy Secretary, onto his campaign team.
Spencer Abraham is, to put it mildly, an open borders guy
A good friend, who has been advocating for immigration enforcement since the 1980s, writes:
For years we were at war with Spencer Abraham. Worse than Ted Kennedy. He virtually killed any chance that the Senate would deal with legal immigration in 1996. He was a steady feature in the ANCIR newsletter back in those days. FAIR and Numbers launched an ad campaign against Abraham that caught him at a bad moment in the summer before his re-election. He was forced to drain his election coffers defending himself and he never recovered. FAIR and Numbers took a lot of heat for this (in 2000 people didn't care much about immigration) but it was enough to get Debbie Stabenow elected.
If the rumor that Abraham will be the campaign manager turns out to be true, Fred Thompson will not be the next president of the United States.
U.S. District Judge James Munley is supposed to issue his decision on Hazleton, PA's Illegal Immigration Relief Act in the next few hours.
HSM members just found out their meeting was going to draw opponents, but apparently the police chief was already aware of it.
I wonder what exactly a protest at another group's meeting is supposed to accomplish besides demonstrating a surplus of free time. It seems like their energies might be better directed at the decision makers in Prince William County.
Members and supporters of HSM are encouraged to show up for tonight's meeting, to counterbalance the sideshow and also get a first-hand look at the pro-illegal movement's tactics.
UPDATE: More at Blog Khan.
[Following is a guest editorial by the most excellent Nan Matthis of American Daughter]
North American Union
by Nancy Matthis at ADMC.
It's almost a done deal. While most patriotic Americans have been preoccupied this summer with the invasion of illegal aliens across our southern border with Mexico, President Bush has been quietly finalizing plans with Stephen Harper and Felipe Calderon to eradicate our national sovereignty. They'll wrap it up on August 20 at a meeting in Montebello, Quebec.
Soon the United States will be subsumed into a North American Union, just as the nations in Europe have been gobbled up by the European Union. Boundaries will melt away and our dollar will be replaced with the amero, giving the "globalistas" an opportunity to get rid of that pesky phrase In God we trust which reminds us of our rapidly vanishing heritage.
Judging from reports we receive from our friends across the pond, this is not a good thing for nations with successful economies. What it does is bring all the participants into the same business climate, a sort of socialism at the national level -- an advantage for the less robust nations and a huge disadvantage for the vibrant economies.
One of the worst results of such a union is the migration of people within the union that results. In the European Union, for example, poor Romanians are pouring into the United Kingdom and dumping themselves onto the overburdened social services system. Currently in the United States, illegal immigration across our southern border is overtaxing our schools, hospitals, law enforcement and welfare systems. Within the North American Union, the fiscal penalties to our citizens would be greatly multiplied, and it would be legal.
As this calamity bears down on us, the mainstream media are strangely silent. One has to look to Canada to find anyone sounding the alarm. We want to call our readers' attention to this copyrighted article by Global Research. We excerpt a portion here under the principle of "fair use" but we urge everyone to visit their website and read all of it:
...extiende su bienvenida a trabajadores undocumentados.
New Haven, Connecticut has set up an extremely generous new program for illegal aliens, providing many of the benefits of citizenship. To assist in this effort, ALIPAC is conducting a major national campaign to encourage all illegal aliens from everywhere in the U.S. to move to New Haven, Connecticut.
It is supposed to be a fine city, so I say we all get on board and dedicate a little time to furthering this effort.
Print off several copies of this flyer, then run, do not walk, to your local grocery store bulletin board, etc.
Pretty powerful stuff worth listening to till the end. I am sure we will be seeing a lot more of this in the coming months. The sheer number of illegals being brought across the southern border is shifting public perception of the issue, across party lines.
I was reading Tom Rust's website trying to find out why this man (the ex-mayor of Herndondo whose watch allowed the significant increase of illegals in the town) would initiate such ridiculous and prejudice fines on the drivers of Virginia. On his site was most recently asked questions as to why only Virginians? The response was...constitutionality...working on ways....unfortunately...
Yes, I believe that it is unfortunate that the thinking is that stiffer fines on Virginia drivers will help fill the transportation coffiers of our area. This under the guise of "reducing drunk and reckless driving". In reality, it is a sham for non-enforcement of all driving code laws. Much of this comes from the areas police forces and lack of monies for additional officers or the courts being overworked and understaffed. I have heard this arguement for years.
Craig Hudgins, Independent candidate for Virginia Senate (challenging incumbent Ken Stolle), will be the guest on Bearing Drift's podcast tonight at 7:00 pm. Clicking on the graphic at that link should allow you to listen.
To call in with questions: (718) 664-9599
You could also probably leave questions in the comments section to that post.
Ken Stolle helped kill quite a few immigration-enforcement bills which passed the House of Delegates with veto-proof majorities in the recent session.
For this reason alone, it is worth your time to hear what Craig Hudgins has to say.
[This is a guest editorial from American Daughter]
Local Action, Outside Interference
by Nancy Matthis at ADMC
Prince William County in Virginia is one of the more distant suburbs of the metropolitan Washington, DC area. It used to be an idyllic setting, and residents who worked downtown were willing to endure the longer commute in return for the privilege of raising their families in delightful and safe surroundings.
But recently, the county has been overrun with an illegal immigrant population estimated at about 40,000 out of a total population of about 350,000. Put differently, over 11% of the county's residents do not belong. The hard-working, tax-paying young families who do have the right to live there are supporting illegal aliens at a ratio of roughly 31 to 4.
The quality of life is deteriorating around the legitimate homeowners who have invested their future in the county. Multiple families violate the zoning ordinances to jam into "boarding houses" in single-family residential areas. Schools, hospitals and social services are burdened with non-English-speaking aliens. Public spaces are plagued with crime, including murder. There is a growing MS-13 gang problem.
Recently, the citizens of Prince William County took action to reclaim their American way of life. In a public effort that enjoyed overwhelming local support, the County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to crack down on illegal immigration.
A powerful national organization is attempting to intimidate the citizens from exercising local sovereignty. The Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, based in New York City, promised a lawsuit. Their threat, made before the Board of Supervisors voted, was reported on Lou Dobbs Tonight:
FOSTER MAEL, SENIOR ATTORNEY, PUERTO RICAN LEGAL DEFENSE & EDUCATION FUND: We think that the County should be on notice that what they are doing will have serious legal consequences for the County so they can't say, oh, we're surprised. Because, yes, we do think it violates federal law. And so we think they should be aware of that before they make the final decisions as to how theyâ€™re going to proceed here....
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The involvement of PRLDF ... is not surprising. Theyâ€™ve acted to prevent several local communities from enacting similar ordinances, mostly notably Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Their involvement is usually seen as legally and financially intimidating ...
So the County, in this case Prince William, is left with a choice - spend millions on social services or spend the money on lawyers defending its ordinances.
The American Civil Liberties Union is waiting and watching, according to this report in the Christian Science Monitor:
More communities use local police to enforce US immigration law Prince William County in Virginia is one of a growing number of counties and cities making their own immigration reforms. By Zoe Tillman
.... when political leaders in Prince William County saw national reform legislation falter last month in the Senate, they approved their own immigration-reform resolution that, among other things, would give local police a shot at enforcement.
To that end, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on July 10 to allow county police officers the authority to check the citizenship status of anyone they've stopped or arrested whom they have "probable cause" to believe is in the US illegally. The county board has yet to define "probable cause," but board chairman Corey Stewart says it may be based on whether a person has a driver's license.
The county "has reached a boiling point," says Mr. Stewart. An influx of illegal immigrants over the past four years has led to overcrowded houses and schools, overstretched public services, and a rising problem with gangs, he says....
So far, the ACLU of Virginia has no plans to challenge Prince William County's resolution. That could change, says executive director Kent Willis, after its details become clear.
It's like Texas picante sauce made in New York City.
Pr. WILLIAM SLAYING Police Charge 3 With Murder in Beating
Three men have been charged with murder in the beating death of a 21-year-old Manassas man who was last seen alive running from a mob of men, Prince William County police said yesterday....
Arrested were Marvin A. Rodriguez-Barrera, 19, of the 3500 block of Coxcomb Mews in Dale City; Salvador M. Elias-Miranda, 25, of the same address; and Elias I. Quinteros-Soriano, 29, of the 7800 block of Meadow Ct. in Manassas. They are being held without bond.
Pr. William Passes Resolution Targeting Illegal Immigration Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Prince William County supervisors voted unanimously last night to approve a resolution that targets illegal immigrants by attempting to curb their access to public services and increasing immigration enforcement by local police....
The largest board meeting crowd in 20 years showed up for the vote at the county government complex, turning Prince William into a microcosm of a debate playing out in communities across the country in the wake of Congress's failure to reform immigration laws....
A group has appropriated the Help Save .... name, by forming "Help Save Virginia Beach," without apparently bothering to take on one bit of the concept - which at very least would entail understanding what the REAL local problems are in relation to the illegal alien issue, and having compassion for the victims.
This sort of thing is inevitable in the scenario of A) widespread public discontent, and B) nearly all the advocates on "our" side being volunteers. We are so busy playing catch up trying to deal with our own community issues it is hard to coordinate anything with anyone else, much less take a proactive stance on separating the wheat from the chaff.
It's pretty amazing our Northern VA "loose alliance" of Help Save Herndon, Help Save Manassas and Help Save Loudoun have been so relatively successful in building public support and accomplishing things in such a short time.
As evidenced by the meeting last night, without some degree of thoughtful oversight any group forming to deal with the illegal alien problem can easily revert to losing focus and flailing about. It's a shame this should happen in Virginia Beach because they really have had some serious problems down there. Let's hope at some point someone steps up to form an effective citizens' advocacy group in the area.
UPDATE: More coverage at VB Dems.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted 9-0 in favor of a resolution which states the Board's opposition to illegal immigration into the county, and directs county staff to investigate the extent to which illegal aliens use county services, and how much this costs the taxpayers.
The resolution goes one step further than that passed in Manassas last week. Supervisor Jim Burton had initially offered a substitute motion to delay consideration of the resolution so it could be examined further, including into how a provision might be added to find ways to punish employers who hire illegal workers. The substitute was defeated, but Supervisors Scott York and Lori Waters drafted an amendment to the resolution instructing the staff and attorney to also investigate means to crack down on employers who game the system.
The resolution also included a provision that "strongly encouraged" the Sheriff's Office to enter into a 287(g) Immigration and Customs Enforcement training agreement with the Department of Homeland Security - however, it was revealed almost as an aside that the Sheriff's Office had already sent the request to ICE in the past several days.
The supervisors were, to a person, statesmanlike in their reasoning for supporting the resolution. (We hope to have transcripts of some of the remarks along with the text of the resolution here later tonight).
The investigations by county staff will involve all of the areas where services are provided to illegal aliens - and I believe the reports regarding the amounts spent on ESOL instruction alone will be of great interest to the citizens of the county.
Because of the valuable information which will now be brought to daylight and especially the clear support for proactive immigration enforcement across the ideological divides usually attributed to this Board, this vote represents a watershed moment in Loudoun County history.
Congratulations to all of the Supervisors - they each deserve thanks and praise from every citizen of the county.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to interject into today's agenda consideration of the "Resolution Reaffirming County Policy With Respect To Compliance With Federal Law And Issue Directives Incident To Such Reaffirmation To Loudoun County Staff."
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, one of the resolution's six sponsors, held a press conference this morning prior to the session in which he stated "we need help" and rattled off a list of ways illegal aliens are unjustifiably being subsidized by Loudoun County taxpayers.
(He did not expand the explanation to include the corporations, and foreign government officials and oligarchs also being subsidized by county taxpayers, but that is a discussion for another day).
The Board voted unanimously this morning to send a letter to the town of Herndon and Fairfax County expressing (to paraphrase) this Board's opposition to the continued operation of the Herndon Day Labor Center as a service for illegal aliens. Text of the letter should be available tomorrow.
Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann, Leesburg Council Member Ken Reid, and I spoke in favor of the Resolution.
Because the letter to Herndon passed unanimously and the Resolution already has six sponsors, I'm cautiously optimistic the latter will pass by a large margin if not unanimously.
The sponsors of the Resolution which will be considered in the next hour are: Mick Staton, Eugene Delgaudio, Bruce Tulloch, Steve Snow, Jim Clem and Lori Waters.
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will likely see a resolution similar to that passed in Prince William County last week interjected into tomorrow's Board meeting agenda.
The gist of the resolution will be to emphasize that taxpayer-funded government benefits not mandated otherwise by federal law should be restricted to legal residents of the county.
Vice Chair and Potomac District Supervisor Bruce Tulloch said the resolution will affirm that the beneficiaries of local government benefits should be the citizens who paid for the benefits.
It is not exactly a controversial stand for the Board to take, because the citizens of Loudoun should support the proposal by a wide margin, and I expect the resolution to pass by a wide margin. Thanks to Supervisors Tulloch, Delgaudio and Staton for introducing this proposal.
The government and society in Mexico is corrupt from the cop on the beat up to their leading official in the War on Drugs and members of the Mexican legislature. It is the migrant economy that keeps a lid on the unrest in Mexico and allows the kleptocracy to continue. Mexicans outside of the capital have to pay more for potable water, electricity and gasoline than we in the USA do. Considering the income levels, this is not only an unsustainable situation, but gouging of the poor.
Without the cash flow from the north, Mexico might see some unrest leading to reform. Currently, the status quo is enforced by our policy with respect to migrant labor. If we wish to see a reduction in corruption in Mexico and here, then we must have a policy that changes the status quo. Securing our borders would upset this status quo.
"Who else is going to pave the roads here?" Adrian asked, cracking up with laughter. "An American? Ha!"
Thanks to LI and Jay for highlighting today's Post article - which I bet has smoke coming out of ears throughout the state ... from the heads of Virginia government agencies and Latino-advocacy organizations alike.
The resolution's effect on Hispanic communities has stretched well beyond Prince William.
"They're talking about this in Jefferson County, in Clarke, all the way to West Virginia," Adrian Escobar said in Spanish, sipping from a Big Gulp cup outside a pupusa kiosk on Route 1. He and his brother Antonio dashed across the border from Mexico nearly 15 years ago and have been in the United States illegally since. They live in Winchester and make $17 an hour as flagmen for a Virginia Department of Transportation subcontractor.
The Escobar brothers shrugged at all the fretting they'd been hearing from other Hispanics last week, including workers who commute to Prince William to do its grunt work. "Who else is going to pave the roads here?" Adrian asked, cracking up with laughter. "An American? Ha!"
Antonio said he wasn't fazed. "If you're afraid, they'll just intimidate you more," he said. Besides, he added, the brothers have a plan in case Prince William police and immigration officials send them home for a "free vacation" to their father's farm in Guanajuato.
"We'll be right back here in a month," Antonio said
Someone probably should have given Adrian the memo about how the "jobs Americans won't do" line is supposed to be delivered, and how the May 2006 in-your-face attitude worked out for the pro-illegal movement.
Now, how does everyone feel about getting some tough ordinances about legal hiring and ICE participation passed here in Loudoun?
I thought so.
It does seem like Judicial Watch might take an interest in this fascinating Commonwealth of Virginia policy on subcontractors.
Stay tuned for more details on the Free Vacations Program.
I just got this from a friend....
Recently large demonstrations have taken place across the country protesting the fact that Congress is finally addressing the issue of illegal immigration.
Certain people are angry that the US might protect its own borders, might make it harder to sneak into this country and, once here, to stay indefinitely.
Let me see if I correctly understand the thinking behind these protests. Let's say I break into your house. Let's say that when you discover me in your house, you insist that I leave.
But I say, "I've made all the beds and washed the dishes and did the laundry and swept the floors. I've done all the things you don't like to do. I'm hard-working and honest except for when I broke into your house).
According to the protesters:
"You are required to let me stay in your house. You are required to add me to your family's insurance plan. You are required to educate my kids. You are required to provide other benefits to me and to my family (my husband will do all of your yard work because he is also hard-working and honest, except for that breaking in part).
"If you try to call the police or force me out, I will call my friends who will picket your house carrying signs that proclaim my RIGHT to be there.
"It's only fair, after all, because you have a nicer house than I do, and I'm just trying to better myself. I'm a hard-working and honest, person, except for well, you know, I did break into your house. And what a deal it is for me!!!
"I live in your house, contributing only a fraction of the cost of my keep, and there is nothing you can do about it without being accused of cold, uncaring, selfish, prejudiced, and bigoted behavior.
"Oh yeah, I DEMAND that you learn MY LANGUAGE so you can communicate with me."
Sounds like the tightening of border security is working! You know how you can tell? Just count the dead bodies!
This is the video the pro-illegal alien advocates don't want you to see.
Because of the state's tough immigration enforcement law that just went into effect July 1, illegal aliens in Georgia are leaving in droves - some returning to Mexico, some going to other states.
If we in Virginia can take action at the local and state level to convince the illegals that this may not be the ideal place to come to, more will return to Mexico or other home countries, and thus will begin the process of advocating for reforms there. Which is what should have been happening in the first place and which the corrupt people running those countries are extremely grateful not to have had to deal with.
The following should be required viewing for every current or prospective office holder at every level of government.
Pr. William Passes Resolution Targeting Illegal Immigration
As we can see from today's headline in the Washington Post, local communities are compelled to do the work the Federal Government is not doing and will not do - the defense of America and the protection of its citizens.
Virginia is in the process of regaining its sovereignty and the rule of law, city by city, county by county. Local and county sheriffs who will not enforce existing law and state legislators who seek to add to the tax burden of law abiding citizens by providing unending financial support to illegal aliens are being voted out of office. A passel of RINOs was just defeated in Republican primaries across the state. More will fall in the upcoming general election.
Citizens of the Old Dominion state are reclaiming their land, their culture, their language and their society. Virginia, as the entire country, was settled over the centuries through lawful, regulated and legal immigration. Virginians are coming together and saying with an increasing conviction and determination - "If you got here illegally - keep moving!"
The Department of Homeland Security is guilty of a dangerous dereliction of duty. Apart from a few well publicized raids in the weeks preceding the recently defeated Bush-Kennedy amnesty bill (after which most of those apprehended were set free), it has done virtually nothing about interior enforcement of our immigration laws. By the arrest, conviction and imprisonment of agents Ramos and Compean, the U.S. Border Patrol, under-manned and under-funded, has been sent a chilling message by the Bush controlled district attorney in Texas. That message, "Look the other way." Because that is the official policy of this administration, Look the Other Way!
The citizens of Virginia, proud descendants and heirs to Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, James Monroe, John Marshall, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are not looking the other way!
Intransigent and unresponsive government officials, elected and unelected, who are somehow under the impression that they can lord it over the free citizens of Virginia as if they were inheritors of the divine right of kings are in for a rude awakening. The next thing they will face is a tax revolt.
The billions of dollars being spent on servicing the illegal alien population is collected from and paid by the American taxpayer. If local governments at the city and county and state level refuse to obey the law, if local and county sheriffs and police chiefs refuse to enforce the law on the illegal alien population - then Virginians may simply decide to withhold the payment of taxes to these government entities. If they complain about not having enough jail cells or of not having enough officers to detain the illegals in our community, let's see if they can round up the tens of thousands of citizens who will refuse to pay any more taxes. Will they confiscate their property, will they fine them, will they cart them away in hand-cuffs and take them away to prison?
These politicians and so-called public servants need a wake-up call - they are supposed to be serving the interests of the American citizens who elected them, not non-citizen, alien populations from foreign countries who broke the law to get here and who brazenly continue to break the law every day by working here illegally. These politicians were not elected to keep raising the taxes of Virginia citizens to pander to the interests of foreign intruders. They were not elected to bankrupt their neighbors, overwhelm their school systems and put impossible pressures on their medical systems.
Virginia politicians have a very short time to do the right thing by their constituents and fellow citizens. If not, they will soon face exactly the same thing the British Monarchy faced in 1775 - a tax revolt. Virginians are not meek sheep to be led incrementally to their own slaughter. They are a free people with free will who are standing up for their birthright and their liberty!
The supervisors of Prince William County could and should have stuck to their guns by supporting the original proposals by John T. Stirrup Jr. In any case, they took courageous, commendable and long overdue action in the ordinances they passed. It's a start. Other communities will follow their lead. There is hope for Virginia - we are not yet a conquered people!
Ronald F. Maxwell
What about a tax revolt in every jurisdiction where public officials do not follow the will of the citizens on this issue? The influx of illegal aliens, over the past five years - since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 2001 - is forcing our hand.
The Prince William County Board of Supervisors has passed John Stirrup's immigration enforcement resolution unanimously!
Some notes from a friend on the scene:
- There is a massive demonstration going on right now outside the government building, what appears to be a huge crowd of illegal aliens and their advocates. Many are holding signs, written in English, saying things like "America is a migrant country" and "We just want to feed our families." There is a big pile of English-language signs on the ground, apparently brought by the organizers. From the phone conversation I could hear loud chanting and yelling in Spanish.
- During the hearing, the board chair had asked there be no booing, hissing or clapping. A large crowd of illegal aliens had come into the anteroom - packed all the way up the staircases and along the balcony - who did not understand and proceeded to boo, hiss and cheer throughout the hearing, until a Latino reporter went out and explained to them in Spanish they were not supposed to be doing that.
- One person testifying in support of the resolution nodded toward the crowd of illegals outside and said something to the effect: "Look outside at the other room: That is where we are headed, to become a third world country."
- One of the two Democrats on the board said he took exception to reports in the press that the two of them were against the resolution, and said "I have always been against illegal immigration and would support deporting them back to their own countries."
- There were a couple last minute revisions to the resolution, made so it did not make any legislative changes which would have required a longer period before the resolution could have been voted on. One of the changes was to remove the "writ of mandamus" provision which would challenge existing U.S. law.
- A board member indicated the County had considered including a provision to deny free education to the children of illegal aliens - a direct challenge to the 1982 Supreme Court decision in Plyler v Doe, that all children have a constitutional right to a public education. The board member said the time is ripe to challenge this narrowly-decided case and that Prince William County would be inclined to do this in the future.
- A board member also stated this resolution should serve as a wake up call to surrounding jurisdictions to follow suit.
UPDATE: The illegals appeared to have been bused in (I wonder if they were paid). Here's who most likely provided the signs they were carrying:
Teresita Jacinto, of the Woodbridge Workers Committee, which works with day laborers in the county, helped organize the large contingent of Latinos who showed up at the meeting.
Observation: I bet no one had to bus in the people supporting the resolution.
In just about an hour the Prince William County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on Supervisor John Stirrup's resolution which instructs law enforcement and basically ALL government agencies to begin enforcing existing state and federal laws immediately - on pain of "writ of mandamus to compel any non-cooperating agency to comply with such reporting laws."
The local police chief has already gotten the message.
The resolution will likely be voted on during the 2:00 pm meeting. Whether it passes or not, it will set in motion a series of similar efforts elsewhere in the state.
Check back for updates.
UPDATE: 1:45 pm. A friend got one of the last seats in the Board chamber and said the anteroom is filling up with people in folding chairs. The parking lot is packed. At least one film/news crew is present. There are no actual protests going on, but reportedly a group of what appear to be migrant workers under a tree outside the building and a number of "concerned Hispanics" inside. The latter could be anyone, of course, but my friend's take is they are there to oppose the resolution.
UPDATE II: I hear Help Save Manassas was signing up a boatload of new members before the hearing.
UPDATE III: Ted reports:
I listened to a lot of it and it sounded like the pro-illegals had slightly more speakers.
They of course resorted to calling proponents of the resolution racists; saying that proponents wanted to recreate apartheid South Africa; this is an "un-Godlike" resolution; anyone who votes for this should be ashamed; migrant workers were the ones who built this country over the last 100 years because they were the only ones who would do the dirty work etc.
As usual, no facts accompanied by the typical rants we get from our friends on the Left.
While Eileen at VB Dems has discovered some supposed nefariousness with our Attorney General's immigration enforcement initiatives (and rediscovered her special love for Ken Stolle in the process), today's RTD contains this reassuring column from Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling:
While Congress fails to act, states are forced to do what we can to address the issue on the state level. While the primary responsibility for immigration rests with the federal government, there are things we can do in Virginia to help address this problem.
We can require the governor to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) to allow state and local law-enforcement agencies to enforce civil immigration laws. This would enable our state and local police to arrest and detain illegals when they encounter them, rather than releasing them.
We can make sure that illegals in Virginia are not receiving the benefits of citizenship. While we have already acted to take most of these benefits away, we still allow the children of illegal immigrants living in Virginia to pay in-state tuition at our colleges and universities. That should be stopped.
And finally, we can pass our own laws holding Virginia employers accountable for knowingly hiring illegal workers or knowingly failing to confirm their immigration status prior to hiring them.
Read all of that. Local and state legislation will be the next major front in the culture war during the next several months.
But Arizona's is the one all of our state legislators should be looking at. I'll link to the final bill once it is posted. For now -
Now that the beast is seemingly dead, the tar has been allowed to cool and the pitchforks hung back neatly in the barn, many are ruminating: What next?
Notorious illegal alien Elvira Arellano is threatening immediate, widespread transgression of U.S. immigration law.
(In related news, notorious duck Chester L. Mallard is threatening to land in a river and paddle around, occasionally quacking.)
La Raza Newspaper's Blog reports:
Arellano, who has remained in a Northwest Side church since August 15 to avoid an order of deportation, said this would be the deadline the government will have to "revive and pass a comprehensive immigration reform."
Otherwise, pro-immigrant organizers will begin a campaign "aimed at bringing this government and this economy to a halt."
La Raza, in case you were wondering, is a major proponent of "comprehensive" immigration reform - of the pathway-to-citizenship variety - and also strongly opposes allowing local jurisdictions to enforce federal immigration law and file illegal aliens in the National Crime Information Center database.
La Raza is notably better funded than groups on the pro-enforcement side of the issue, and enjoys some pretty sweet financial support from a number of companies you might have heard of before:
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR) recognizes those corporations that have invested in NCLR's long-term strategic efforts with multiyear, multimillion-dollar commitments, including NCLR's Empowering An American Community Campaign.
The Allstate Corporation
Bank of America
The Coca-Cola Company
Ford Motor Company
General Motors Corporation
The PMI Group, Inc.
State Farm Insurance Companies
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
(Interesting and true side note: Just yesterday I was considering trading my Explorer for a Hyundai. This must be fate.)
For more details, check out La Raza's 990 return from 2005: Page 30 is an eye-opener.
And whereas everyone I know involved with this issue is a volunteer, squeezing in time between work and personal life to advocate to the public and local and federal officials, those La Raza folks are doing really well - I mean, some major buckage. Check out pages 7 and 23.
Anyways, despite all the money and corporate and U.S. government funding on her side, I think Senora Arellano is misreading the tea leaves.
I think this type of thing is far more likely to be the kind of next immediate action you will see happening around our nation:
Below is a comment from reader Jenny Perry, a self-described liberal Democrat who understands that facilitating the influx of illegal aliens into this nation is a crime against American workers and all citizens.
The entire debate over illegal immigration has been conducted in a national fog. The recent dispute over an outrageously bad Senate bill which none of the senators supporting it had apparently read was a perfect example of this: It granted immediate legal status to tens of millions of illegal aliens - yet some senators on both sides of the aisle continued to speak of "triggers" which supposedly would have required stepped-up enforcement before any legalization could take place. The CSPAN video archive of Senate testimony the week of May 21 should serve as evidence to have many senators charged with incompetance, if not treason.
We are going to proceed to cut through the fog from this point forward. Allow me to slap you in the face, "liberals" and "conservatives," and point out the labels have become worn and useless. The illegal alien problem has brought this confusion to the forefront. There is nothing "conservative" or "liberal" about supporting corporate profiteers and corrupt public officials who are benefiting from an influx of illegal workers and subsidizing oligarchs in Mexico and Latin America.
Take a moment to read this letter, and then take a moment to think about the fact that our ideological categories are in need of an overhaul.
I am a liberal democrat, my entire family are liberal democrats. We live in the state of RI, a very liberal dem state, however, the majority of my fellow liberal dems are against amnesty (omg, yes I said amnesty and I say illegal alien too).
We recognize that it is an attempt to pit one group of poor people against another, by the US Chamber of Commerce.. to use them as the final nail in the coffin of the American wage standard and workplace protections. We recognize that our schools, our hospitals, are overburdened. Social welfare programs and Social Security and Medicare are being drained dry by the illegal alien hordes that have come here.
We recognize that our job base is declining ever more rapidly every year, and that we have a serious, long term, un and under employment problem in the US. We do not have anything even approaching "full employment", in fact, the 4.75% unemployment numbers are a lie. We know that once someone falls off the unemployment rolls after 26 weeks, they slip between the cracks. Too many others are fighting desperately to keep their heads afloat, working three or more part time minimum wage jobs. They have less time to raise their children as well, which doesn't help deal with the problems that brings about.
What I see are democratic senators and representatives who have bought into this globalization scheme, and are turning a blind eye towards it's attempt to base it on third world standards.
Here is the full text of the magnificent speech given Thursday night by Ron Maxwell at the Jackson Miller campaign kick off.
Maxwell wrote and directed Gettysburg and Gods and Generals, two films which are not only important works of art but also invaluable historical documents for anyone who lives in this region - or in any region - and has an interest in the evolution of this nation.
He also penned an open letter to President Bush last year, originally published in the Washington Times, which was one of the prime wake-up calls to me about the illegal immigration problem.
(Interesting thought: That April, 2006, letter turned out to be politically prophetic. How different things would have been for this president if he had not chosen to ignore it.)
This one is worth reading twice over. Thanks to Mr. Maxwell for permission to reprint it here.
"The Promise of Home"
I sometimes think that the world is divided into two kinds of people; those who live in three dimensions and those who live in one. Those who live in three dimensions live simultaneously in the past, in the present, and in the future. And when you live in three dimensions at the same time, you realize, as Edmund Burke once said, that those of us who live in the present, at any given time, are the trustees of the past, during our lifetime, to hand it over to the next generation, so that the dead and the unborn are as much a part of life as we are in the minuscule amount of years we have to inhabit this earth.
When we are aware of the past, it means we respect the past, respect our parents, our grandparents, our great grandparents, and the generations all the way back to the beginning of recorded history. It means we read with exhilaration, the historical works of Thucydides, or the artistic works of Aristophanes and Sophocles, reaching back over the millennia - which informs us, which makes us who and what we are, and which enlivens us and which broadens our small world into a world of infinite space, an infinite space of thinking, of contemplation, and of realizing our kinship with the many generations that have gone before us.
It means as well that we cherish the place where we grew up and we regard, as you may recall from the opening credits of Gods and Generals, astronomy; as belonging to that little lot of stars that we see hanging over our backyards every night; if we are fortunate enough to live in a place that is not dulled by light pollution all night long. It means that we cherish that homeland, that home place, where we first realized there was such a thing as trees and grass and wilderness and wildlife, open sky. We all started off our lives in a place. We are connected to those places; we are rooted to those places. They are what make us who we are. It is what we call home.
As the paper of record reports, the death of the amnesty bill represented the will of the American people:
The justifiably furious reaction of the American public, which deluged senators with telephone calls, e-mails and faxes, forced the Senate to reverse itself yesterday and send the amnesty bill crashing to defeat - a potentially fatal blow. It was a devastating setback for the Bush administration and its Democratic Party allies, in particular Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Ted Kennedy.
In addition to being an extraordinary substantive triumph for the American people, it was a huge victory for the conservative movement. Talkers such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and many others played an indispensable role in making available the research by the Heritage Foundation and NumbersUSA and analysis from editorial pages such as this one to tens of millions of Americans in a very short period of time. But ironically, by demonstrating in a powerful way its ability to reach and educate the public about the specific problems with the bill, talk radio has also made liberal politicians like Sen. Dianne Feinstein even more determined to revive the so-called Fairness Doctrine (the equal-time policy enforced by the Federal Communications Commission until it was eliminated in 1987 at the urging of President Reagan) in an effort to take away the one part of the mass media that conservatives dominate. On the final vote, virtually the entire conservative movement lined up against the bill. On the losing side were the leading Democratic presidential contenders â€” Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - and the Bush administration, vividly demonstrating the political gap between the president and the conservative movement.
On Tuesday - just 48 hours before the legislative coalition supporting the bill crumbled - the bill appeared to have been given a new lease on life. Despite the abysmal poll ratings of the president and Congress, and the fact that barely one-quarter of the American public favored the bill, 64 senators (four more than needed) voted for cloture. This permitted Mr. Reid with White House support to bring the bill to the floor, together with a carefully selected group of amendments that amnesty advocates believed either 1) were unlikely to pass; or 2) if passed would not change the pro-amnesty thrust of the bill in a significant way; and 3) if necessary, could be stripped out of the legislation in conference.
Yet just 48 hours later, the amnesty coalition collapsed, and the 64 Senate supporters became just 46. What happened? As we noted above, talk radio proved that in modern times, it is indispensable for conservative political success. Much of the credit should also go to the bipartisan lobbying organization NumbersUSA, a powerful advocate for strengthening border security, which made it clear to members of Congress that they weren't buying the phony games some lawmakers wanted to play: proposing tough-sounding amendments that stood little chance of becoming law, while voting for cloture - and in effect for amnesty. The 18 senators who switched from supporting amnesty on Tuesday to opposing it yesterday are Democrats Jeff Bingaman, Sherrod Brown, Tom Harkin, Ben Nelson, Mark Pryor and Jim Webb; and Republicans Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Richard Burr, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Pete Domenici, John Ensign, Mitch McConnell, Lisa Murkowski, Ted Stevens, George Voinovich and John Warner.
A point I'd like to make is that the whole "talk radio" element might be overplayed. I never listen to any talk radio at all, and I think a lot of people are in the same boat. I think a lot of the information about the amnesty bill was circulated via the Web and e-mail.
What is significant about this is that Web and e-mail communications fall into the realm of "news" rather than "rabble rousing" which is the mainstream media framing of talk radio.
Really, in the end, the defeat of the amnesty bill was simply the result of wider distribution of information. Wire services delivered all the facts - we did not need Sean Hannity - and that is why the amnesty bill failed.
Over at Too Conservative I got into another argument with Jonathan in which the initial problem was my own bad behavior - which is par for the course for all who know me - but has I think been distilled down to a disagreement over how the illegal immigration issue should be framed.
I'm going to re-post my entire response here with some additions, which I believe falls within the parameters of fair use.
Jonathan, ok point taken: This appears to be my M.O. so let's just say I get to impugn your motivations one or at most two times per message and I allow you to impugn mine twice that number of times, and we should get on famously.
Your argument, and the argument of the article you've linked to, has merit. For anyone considering the illegal immigration issue from a macro standpoint the whole picture must be taken into account. I, for instance, think NAFTA has been a disaster. U.S. companies are selling corn in Mexico cheaper than Mexicans can grow it, so Mexicans are having to come to the U.S. to work. See this excellent post by Stay Puft for a host of links on this topic.
Most importantly, I don't think any intelligent or compassionate person can delve into the issue without delving into the problems with the political institutions of Mexico and Latin America. And, boy, are there problems!
Does anyone actually believe the solution to such problems lies in mass migration? It is not like the migrants are all moving from desert wastelands. They are migrating from countries - Mexico being a stellar example - that should be completely self sufficient. Mexico's corruption, oligarchy and basic mismanagement go back hundreds of years. Bear in mind she won her independence within a generation of our nation doing so.
Considering natural resources and tourism alone, these countries producing the largest numbers of migrants should all be standing on their own two feet. Instead, they have a small, very wealthy and powerful ruling class and an ocean of serfs - a situation that has obtained since before the Spaniards arrived, incidentally, and in which the Spaniards simply filled the appropriate slots with their own folks.
I was lucky enough to attend a very impressive fundraising event in Manassas tonight for Virginia Delegate Jackson Miller, an amazing individual who in his first year in the House emerged as a leader on the immigration reform issue and sponsored legislation that passed the House (before dying in Senate committees).BVBL reports the crowd surpassed 200. Delegate Scott Lingamfelter (left) gave a rousing introduction.
I can tell you I was among the many who were blown away by the keynote speech by film director Ron Maxwell (Gettysburg, Gods and Generals).successful defeat of S. 1639 in the U.S. Senate earlier in the day, and the hope this offers that Americans have now risen up to take back their country one community at a time from the "masters of the universe" - business elites who live only for the present, and who are exploiting cheap labor from south of the border and destroying communities on both sides of the Rio Grande.
The American people are a generous people, but they are not dupes and they are not fools. They have moved from skepticism to mistrust to outrage. Where is our national leadership? Who is defending America and our way of life? Not just in Iraq or Afghanistan. Who is defending it here, in our own homes and our own communities?
It is a healthy feeling of self-survival the American people are feeling, in which they are finally turning to political action and imposing on their elected officials - who sometimes forget who elected them and whom they are supposed to serve. Americans intuitively understand that what's at stake here is nothing less than the survival of our country.
We must ask: Who is profiting from the importation of this cheap labor? Who is it that wants to exploit these poor, third world people? Who is encouraging young men and women to leave their children and their parents behind? Who is causing the division of these families, the millions of broken families and separated loved ones. Who is profiting from their exploitation, only then to pontificate - after the fact, after the damage has been done to the fabric of these communities, after the emotional damage to real life people - that all they really want to do is reunify those families, but not, of course, in their native countries, but here in the United States of America.
Why here? Why not in their countries of origin? So that the present-tensers can then legally import millions more of their relatives through chain migration so that they can be exploited as well. So they can put more American citizens out of work, replacing high-priced American workers with those who will do the work that they, the 300 million citizens of the United States are told over and over again by their own president that they really do not want to do.
As if America, all it's great cities and farms and railroads and highways and skyscrapers and navies and air forces and bridges, all its universities, all its industrial might and its space program were built by Mexicans, Hondurans and Guatemalans.
What rhetorical mischief. What political chicanery. What a colossal con game perpetrated on the American people and on our neighbors to the south.
Maxwell's address was a cry for humane efforts to fix the problems in communities north and south of the border.
If we want "comprehesive" immigration reform, that is how it has to happen.
There are a number of extremely important public offices that will be decided in the November, 2007 elections, and Jackson Miller is among the key ones. He needs your support if you are concerned about solving the illegal alien problem in Virginia.
A few of the other good soldiers in this fight were present at tonight's event, including Delegate Bob Marshall, Delegate Jeff Frederick, Senate Candidate Bob Fitzsimmonds, Loudoun County Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann and Senator Ken Cuccinelli.
UPDATE: Here is the full text of Ron Maxwell's speech.
I'm not 100% sure that ANYTHING new needs to be done to deal with illegal aliens in the U.S., beyond the executive branch of our government enforcing existing laws - which, when you look them over, are not too shabby, albeit so utterly unrelated to the actual reality we inhabit they almost seem as though they belong to another country, possibly on another planet.
But if anything was to be done right now, in the spirit of striking while the iron is hot, it ought to be something exactly like this:
United States House of Representatives
Immigration Reform Caucus
Rep. Brian Bilbray (CA-50), Chairman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Kurt Bardella
June 28, 2007
WITH KENNEDY-BUSH AMNESTY DEFEATED, BILBRAY CALLS ON CONGRESS TO TAKE ACTION NOW TO ADDRESS ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Brian Bilbray (R-CA), Chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus, released the following statement regarding the defeat of the Kennedy-Bush amnesty bill this morning. The Senate fell short of garnering the 60 votes needed to end debate and move ahead with final passage of the bill. The motion failed 46-53.
"Once again, Americans across our nation took it upon themselves to call Senators and Members of Congress asking them to vote against this flawed bill. Because of their perseverance - this bill is dead. It is important that this defeat not signal the end of our efforts to address illegal immigration but rather represent a new opportunity for Congress to take immediate action and pass legislation that will increase penalties on employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, implement a working employer verification system and secure our border."
While the corks are popping and confetti and silly string still hang in the air, let us sneak a glance gamely ahead at the next stage: Local action. Time to ramp it up.
The senators listed below the fold all voted for cloture on S. 1639, which would have allowed the bill to go forward.
There are some fairly prominent names on this list. Good. Some nice fat targets.
UPDATE: And let the gloating begin.
... who voted against cloture on S. 1639.
Here is the tally. Go see whether your senator was a good guy or a bad guy.
Here are the Web forms you can use to send a thank you to your senators who voted against cloture. (Maybe via e-mail would be nice - to give their phones a rest).
Click here to send a thank you to Senator Jim Webb.
Click here to send a thank you to Senator John Warner.
I just got an e-mail notifying that as of 10:20 am this morning the Senate Sargeant at Arms has "closed down the phone lines" because of the volume of calls. I did not know that could happen, but if it did this is the issue that would do it.
UPDATE: There is now confirmation of this on Drudge.
Nice work, everyone.
John Hawkins has a source inside the Senate.
Then on Wednesday morning, the bill was out on the internet and bloggers started picking it apart and that morning around 10 AM, Reid pulled the bill so it could be re-drafted because he said there were mistakes in it. They spent almost the whole morning drafting it and when they re-released it, it was 400 pages long. That means that it's likely when the vote occurs tomorrow, not a single senator voting on the bill will have had an opportunity to actually read it. Reid's response to complaints about that has basically been, "Trust me." My source told me that the general response to that from the anti-amnesty senators has been something akin to, "Yeah, right."
Read all of that, it is sure to boost your cynicism to unprecedented levels.
I have to say, despite how unbelievably asinine our Republican 'leaders' are, the Democrats manage to go them one better every step of the way.
Last year the Republicans presided over the passing of S. 2611, likely one of the worst pieces of legislation ever devised anywhere. How do the Democrats surpass that one? By pushing through a piece of phantom legislation that is not even written yet and which - obviously - no one has even read.
I just had a private conference with Not Larry Sabato and Black Velvet Bruce Li; and although the meeting was supposed to be completely off the record, I feel morally compelled to share the entire content with all of you right now.
Blogging ethics allow this.
Let's put it this way: The discussion ended with NLS head honcho Ben Tribbett screaming at me "I will bust you down to COPPER, Budzinski, I will bust your sorry little blog down to freakin' zinc!"
"Get out of town, you crazy bald man" I yelled back, "Zinc isn't even a metal!"
Well, it turns out we were BOTH partially right and partially wrong in that exchange, but who's to quibble over minor details. The important thing is that Don Ben is laying the heavy hand of blog dominance on my back, and I don't intend to submit without a fight.
We've had our run-ins with the Don before, as many of you will recall.
In this instance, the sticking point was illegal immigration. Namely, are those of us talking the talk walking the walk?
Jim Webb, as of late tonight, is reported leaning "yes" on cloture and "no" on the final bill.
Which would be about as weasely as it gets. Yes on cloture lets the Grand Swindle pass in the Senate while a no on the bill supposedly gets the senator off the hook for supporting it.
No dice, Jim. "Yes" on cloture is "yes" on amnesty. Such a vote would be remembered.
Contact Senator Webb here if you want to help him make the right decision on this.
Senator Voinovich's cluelessness should serve as a reassuring reminder that our Republican "leaders'" proclivity to destroy the country via instant amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens is the result of ignorance more than malice. So we have that going for us.
....just an interesting factoid, for anyone who doesn't fully appreciate the fact our federal government is, primarily, slime.
One has to wonder whether it would even be legal for the Senate to pass a bill that is not yet completely written, much less understood. I believe there would be legal justification for arguing that every senator who votes for such a bill should be sent to prison.
Keep calling. Here are the numbers. Scroll down if you have forgotten what to say.
Courtesty of Hot Air - Campaign 2008 kicks off with "Muchas Gracias, Senor Graham":
In light of today's vote to move ahead with legislation to destroy America, I'd like to offer the public service of identifying available domain names which some of you may find useful.
All of the URLs below are available as of this moment. I personally prefer to reserve domain names at GoDaddy, but leave it to each of you to use the management tool of your choice.
The easiest move is to go to GoDaddy and reserve the domain there; it takes about 2 minutes.
Grab 'em while the grabbin' is good. But most importantly - USE 'EM!
What the hell is wrong with you? Why? Why would you vote to let this travesty of a bill go forward? Do you really think you're going to get away with the Kerry-esque, "I voted against it -- after I voted for it"?
Are you so in the pockets of the Mexican lobby that you will so ignore your constituents?
You're pro-illegal immigration, pro-abortion, and pro-gun control. Why don't you stop lying to the people of Virginia and switch to the Democrat Party?
In the words of one more famous than you: "Yes, you're despicable, and... and picable... and... and you're definitely, definitely despicable. How a person can get so despicable in one lifetime is beyond me. It isn't as though I haven't met a lot of people. Goodness knows it isn't that. It isn't just that... it isn't... it's... it's despicable." -Daffy Duck, Rabbit Fire (1951)
...with at least one Senator comatose. What the Hell is wrong with these people? Did they ALL have strokes?
Start calling, and do not stop until the vote is over, which is supposed to be around noon. Here are the numbers.
Well, it is late at night, the cows are lowing, and our U.S. senators have all presumably hit the hay. The treasonous bastards.
If you try to call the pro-amnesty hotline, chances are you will not get through. I think this means we have done our jobs tonight.
That's toobad, though, because it would be entertaining to be able to abuse your senator over why he or she is in the process of selling off the United States. But the voice mailboxes are now all full.
Here is what to keep in mind: The U.S. Senate is currently at war with the American people, and the senators believe they have the upper hand.
The Senate is poised to pass a bill which will punish Americans and people who have applied via legal means to become Americans. The Senate bill 1639 amnesty for illegal aliens will bankrupt social security, our kids and grandkids, and local governments, and will toss every applicant for U.S. citizenship who has applied for citizenship since May 1, 2005, to the back of the line behind tens of millions of lawbreakers. Every illegal alien who applies will receive legal status within 24 hours, regardless of criminal history or willingness to play by the rules.
Our government intends to replace us - or dilute us - with a more compliant class of voters.
If the Senate allows this bill to go forward tomorrow morning, the upshot will not be merely the end of the Republican party and destruction of the political careers of all those who vote for cloture - it will be setting the stage for insurrection.
They can turn off their phones and fax machines, but they will not be able to squelch the will of the people.
If cloture on S 1639 passes tomorrow morning this won't be simply a matter of electoral 'payback'. This will be war.
As Ace says, you've ------ed us over for the last time.
I wrote and send the following to all the fence sitters in the Republican party. No point in sending to a Democrat Senator. S.1639 is going to kill the Republican party.
As a Republican I am writing to you to let you know sir that this is one bill that will kill the party. Passage of this bill will drive the Republican base out of the party. Picture the Democrat Party without Labor, NAACP or the netroots; would it be viable?
Vote no for cloture. A yes vote with a â€˜no-voteâ€™ against the bill, S.1639, later will not fool anyone. You will be committing political suicide. The Democrats won't vote for you and the money from big business will not get the base to come to the polls. We, your base, shall not forget.
This bill is the previous immigration bill with a new number. The American people made their displeasure known then. Do you really think we forgot?
Rewarding lawbreaking is against the principals of the Republican Party. This bill rewards the millions of illegal aliens. We shall not forget.
This bill, especially during the time of war will cripple our ability to deal with terrorist who come here under the guise of immigration. This bill will therefore cripple the common defense. We, the republican base, shall never forget this.
We will organize. We will defeat you in the primary, or, if necessary stay home and let a Democrat take your spot. Because, if you vote for this bill, you are worse than a Democrat, you have violated the public trust. A trust, we the Republican base have given you. We shall not forget.
John Q. Citizen
I figure some staffer might actually read some of the inflow. Who knows? Anyway, I prefer it to some of the other faxes-templates I have seen. Each senator can be contacted through the web. Email maybe a better path than clogged phone and fax lines.
Only about 2 hours left:
Special focus should be on Bond, Burr, Cochran, Hatch, Nelson (of Nebraska), Webb. - all these have given hints they are not planning to vote for the bill S 1639 unless it is substantially changed, and will not commit to voting against cloture. BUT THEY DO NOT SEEM TO REALIZE THE AMENDMENT PROCESS IS A SHAM. The only important vote is on cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: When the offices close tonight, start using those fax numbers!! Then please start calling again tomorrow morning prior to the approx. 11:30 am vote on cloture on the motion to proceed.
UPDATE II: Whoa! Here is something you can do tonight to stave off the frustration and rage: Make some calls to the Pro-Amnesty Hotline. Follow the simple instructions to bypass the recording and go to your senator's in box. Let him or her know how much you appreciate the fact they have an "Amnestia, Si!" hotline set up.
The latest word is we need six senators from this list I posted this morning to either vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed on S. 1639 tomorrow morning, or miss the vote, or simply vote "present."
That means we have about five hours before the offices close to make a point to six senators. Use that list and tell them what you think!
Points to bear in mind:
- If any senator is saying they want to go through the process of discussing the upcoming amendments, they need to be told THIS IS A SHAM. Kennedy and Lott have already indicated anything they do not like will be stripped out in conference. The entire amendment "debate" is an exercise in obfuscation. The outcome is rigged and predetermined.
"THIS BILL STARTED IN A BACKROOM AND IT WILL BE ENDING IN A BACKROOM."
- This bill has already been debated in late May and early June and it died. This is where it should be left. Even bringing it back up is a vote for the bill.
- Your vote on final passage is meaningless politically - it only takes a simple majority to pass the bill, which is likely to occur. The only way to kill the bill is with your vote against cloture on the motion to proceed tomorrow morning. If you have any inclination to vote for cloture and against the bill that would be highly deceitful because it will very likely result in the bill getting passed.
(See this post for explanation of the "clay pigeon" tactic which will make it harder to defeat the bill if cloture is invoked on the motion to proceed tomorrow.)
- The bottom line is this bill promises a host of enforcement provisions which go into effect after the tens of millions of illegal aliens will have been legalized through the instant "probationary" Z-visa program. AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY PROVEN FOR SEVEN YEARS IT HAS NO INCLINATION TO ENFORCE EXISTING IMMIGRATION LAWS, SO ALL OF THESE PROMISED ENFORCEMENT MEASURES ARE ILLUSIONS, VAPORWARE. Let them show they can enforce existing laws, and build the fence that was promised last year, and then maybe "enforcement" could be used as a bargaining chip.
As this morning's Washington Post reports, over 1,100 immigration bills were introduced in state legislators this year, double the number from 2006. The reason? Our federal government has failed in its responsibility to enforce the laws. As we reported recently, the current bill under consideration in the Senate would nullify all local enforcement efforts (and hand a nice fat bonus to corrupt employers).
So the feds are not only NOT doing their job, but they are trying to make it impossible for localities to get their own houses in order.
Your Monday morning assignment: Kill S. 1639!
This post contains contact information - office locations, phone and (where available) fax numbers - for a group of senators who have been identified as on the fence on the cloture vote on proceeding with S 1639. The information is all below the fold.
Thanks to Ace for the list of "wobbly" senators. I went ahead and added John Warner in since many of you are in Virginia and should be contacting him. Ace reports we need 3/4 of these to vote against cloture.
You will find the local offices are a great way to get through when the DC lines are jammed, especially for faxing.
The vote on cloture on the motion to proceed will likely take place Tuesday, late morning, so today and tomorrow morning - the next 24 hours - are the prime time for working the phones and faxes.
To recap: We need to send the message to these senators that "a vote for cloture is a vote for amnesty," so we want them to either vote NO on cloture, or simply fail to vote on Tuesday. If cloture passes, the bill will move forward and will likely pass the Senate for the reasons explained here.
Voting for cloture, and later voting against the bill (after the bill has been determined to have enough votes to pass) will offer no cover because we voters understand that any senator voting for cloture is voting for amnesty.
Click the following link for a complete listing of contact information for all the "on the fence" senators, and PLEASE start contacting them. Also, pass this information to everyone you know who is concerned about stopping this disastrous legislation before it goes any further.
Go read about the BIG "sanctuary" problem down in PWC over at Blog Fu (and most importantly in the comments).
Read about some episodes in Loudoun County here and here - thankfully, these are of far less import than rape and murder. But the entire trend is a troubling one and, like Blog Fu, I know of innumerable anecdotal local incidents involving crimes by illegal aliens for which there is insufficient documentation to report.
Help Save Manassas is reportedly going to be taking the sanctuary issue up with the Board of Supervisors - every Prince William County and Manassas citizen should be involved and supporting those efforts.
UPDATE: Further evidence of special treatment of the "undocumented" revealed at Not Larry Sabato. As a side note: I recall reading a recent commentary somewhere that pointed out the "undocumented" are not undocumented nor living in the shadows. Through underground channels they can easily obtain sufficient documentation for banking, getting credit cards, buying and registering a car, renting or buying a domicile, attending public schools and getting free medical treatment at the local emergency room. The only sense in which they are "undocumented" is by the lack of presence on U.S. and local government tax rolls - which is not such a bad deal when you think about it.
UPDATE II: More here.
One of the groups to which I belong, the IEEE, has for many years pushed grass roots efforts to help the plight of U.S. engineers (with a little bit of schizophrenia, as they also have "international" in the name, and have explicit ties to helping engineers world wide). It should come as no surprise that they publish books on how to influence the legislative branch. The one way that works best is to visit in person. You have to visit your representatives, but that has more effect than any other method. I am going to Washington in two weeks if I can get an appointment. The immigration issue is worth it.
I'm not sure were I saw this first, but the message is clear. This clip on YouTube is of a lawyers conference and shows how to get around the spirit of the law not do what is right, and hire foreign workers even though you know there are qualified American workers. The most damning quote: "Our goal here is NOT to find an interested and qualified U.S. worker."
The Honorable John Warner
United States Senate
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
June 21, 2007
Dear Senator Warner,
As a constituent and candidate for public office, I am writing to express my concern over S.1639, better known as the Immigration Reform Bill. As a former Loudoun County Deputy Sheriff, I have seen first hand the influx of illegal immigrants into our County. Along with this increase, I have witnessed the gang problems, crime and residential overcrowding that have resulted.
On June 9th, 2007, I received the Republican nomination for Sheriff of Loudoun County. This was decided by the voters at the largest county convention in the history of Virginia. Unseating a three term incumbent from within the Party was due, in large part, to my stance against illegal immigration. I have expressed my desire for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office to participate in the ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement- 287g) program and the voters have responded.
As you know, this bill would provide amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants and effectively make the ICE program obsolete. Federal and local law enforcement have been losing the battle against illegal immigration and I believe passage of this bill would hinder what little enforcement is available.
Securing our borders and deporting criminal illegal aliens is not an issue tied to one political party or the other. I believe, as my supporters do, passage of this bill would have adverse consequences for our County, our Commonwealth and our Country. I urge you to vote against this or any impending bills that would provide amnesty for those that would attempt to enter this country illegally.
Republican Nominee - Sheriff of Loudoun County, VA
Thank you, Greg! And thanks to Mick Staton for getting the ball rolling.
It would be nice to see whole lot more of our Loudoun County officials do the same between now and Tuesday morning when the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed with S. 1639. Tell our senators to either skip the vote, vote "present" or vote NO on cloture. A yes vote on cloture is a vote for amnesty. Contact info for Warner is here, for Webb is here.
In case you have been one of the many people getting busy signals when attempting phone and fax contact with Senator John Warner's Washington, DC office, below the fold are all his other offices. Generally you can get through immediately to any of them.
Sending faxes throughout the weekend and up until Tuesday morning would not be a bad thing to do.
Go do all of them right now! It won't take ten minutes.
When you return, please click here for contact information and talking points to carry you through Tuesday when there will likely be a vote on cloture on the motion to proceed with S 1639.
You want to ensure that both of your senators vote NO on cloture on the motion to proceed - or else vote "present" or else simply find something else to do while the vote occurs. We just need to avoid "yes" votes on cloture on the motion to proceed at all costs.
This bill cannot be permitted to go forward. It will will provide instant amnesty - within 24 hours of applying - to tens of millions of lawbreakers, with only the promise of future law enforcement.
It will serve as an open invitation to tens of millions more to stream across our southern border rather than stay home and work for political and economic reform in their own countries.
It will import and eventually legalize a vast underclass which will destroy whatever is left of our Social Security system and create a catastrophic tax burden on our children and grandchildren.
If you are so inclined, make it a point to contact Virginia's junior senator, Jim Webb. He was elected partially on the basis of having a mind of his own and being "one of us." If he is one of us, he has to see what a complete mess S 1639 is, although as a rookie he is undoubtedly under tremendous pressure to follow the GOP leadership off the cliff. He won a historic Senate race: Now let's all tell him we will stand behind him for taking a historic stand against legislation that threatens to destroy this country.
Contact information for Senator Jim Webb at all of his offices is below the fold.
A living symbol of George W. Bush's effort to erase the U.S. southern border, former Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos is wasting away in solitary confinement in a federal correctional facility:
A congressional aide who visited Ignacio Ramos in prison said the convicted Border Patrol agent appeared emaciated, losing more than 30 pounds in solitary confinement.
Ramos, who is appealing his 11-year sentence for the non-lethal shooting of a Mexican drug smuggler, has been in a "special housing unit" since he was beaten by inmates in February at the medium-security Federal Correctional Complex in Yazoo City, Miss., said Tara Setmayer, spokeswoman for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.
"He was very happy to see me, but, overall, he was very emotional," Setmayer told WND. "He is demoralized. Languishing in solitary for 135 days takes its toll on anyone."
The men who bloodied Ramos with kicks from steel-toed boots are in the same unit, Setmayer said.
More on the Bush administration's war on the Border Patrol here, here and here.
Bottom line: Senator, please oppose the Grand Swindle!
Supervisor Mick Staton attended the Help Save Loudoun meeting Monday night, along with a number of other local dignitaries and candidates, and spent some quality time conversing with Loudoun County citizens.
Mick Staton announced the letter he has sent to our one possibly reasonably U.S. Senator, Jim Webb. This is an extremely intelligent act by Supervisor Staton, one which should be duplicated by all of our elected local officials statewide.
It is a slap to the face to every citizen of every community who has to deal with the day to day problems that illegal immigrants bring. Finally, it is a slap to the face of local officials, like myself, who are plagued by the problems created by illegal immigration, but are not even permitted to enforce existing immigration laws due to 'lack of jurisdiction.'
I urge you to vote against this fatally flawed legislation...
Bravo to Mick for initiating this. Let's hope all of our other local officials will follow suit.
Over 85% of those arrested under Operation Predator are foreign nationals - committing the unspeakable acts Americans just won't do:
Just four years after the Department of Homeland Security launched Operation Predator, an initiative aimed at those who sexually exploit children, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that its arrests had topped 10,000.
"Operation Predator is a great example of how our transnational partnerships and wide-ranging legal authorities can work to protect children," said Julie L. Myers, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for ICE. "In the course of this highly successful operation, ICE has investigated and arrested people who tried to use the anonymity of the web, foreign travel or their roles as trusted members of the community to hide their crimes. Nothing makes us prouder than eliminating from our communities those who take advantage of children."
More than 8,600 of those arrested as part of the operation have been non-citizen sex offenders whose crimes make them removable from the United States. As of today, more than 5,500 have been removed from the United States.
Next, I would propose, should be Operation Shut The Gates.
Protesters hit Lott's Jackson, MS offices:
Several dozen people attended a protest outside of Lott's Jackson office Thursday to "voice our frustration, disappointment and not understanding of why Sen. Trent Lott is pushing the Kennedy-Kyl bill," said rally organizer Rodney Hunt, president of the Mississippi Federation for Immigration Reform and Enforcement...
"If he sees legislation that harms the United States, it's his duty to kill it," Hunt said, adding Congress and recent presidents have a poor record of providing the money needed for stricter immigration requirements. "We do not have a guarantee that we'll ever have any enforcement."
Meanwhile, Lott says regarding the phone calls, take a hike, but bring it on:
"I've had my phones jammed for three weeks. Yesterday I had three people answering them continuously all day," Lott said. "To think that you're going to intimidate a senator or any senator into voting one way or the other by gorging your phones with phone calls - most of whom don't even know where Gulfport, Mississippi, is - is not an effective tactic. But it's their right to do that."
I think maybe a two-by-six, about 12 feet long, upon which the senator could ride out of town, would be a more effective tactic.
Labor is waking up to the fact that illegal immigration is a crime against American workers. Hispanic advocates say the Senate bill does not go far enough.
We'll take our allies wherever we can find them:
"This takes a problem we have and, instead of solving it, makes it worse," said Richard L. Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO. He said the temporary-worker program that the bill sets up would hurt U.S. workers by providing a source of cheap labor that would depress Americans' wages...
The Hispanic groups said there is no reason to change the current system, which favors family reunification, and said there is no clamor for the point system.
"It's important for us to be able to walk away from a bad bill, and that's what we're asking Congress to do," said Brent A. Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.
...and a crackdown on employers.
Some highlights from a nationwide poll conducted Monday night:
National Immigration Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
Conducted June 18, 2007 by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC
2* Roughly 95% of illegal immigration occurs at our southern border. Should securing this border be accomplished before trying to legalize unlawful aliens and before creating a guest worker program, or should they all be attempted at the same time?
62% Before legalization or guest worker programs are begun
27% All should be attempted at the same time
11% Not sure
8* Should employers who repeatedly and knowingly employ illegal aliens be subject to jail time in addition to stiff fines?
7% Not sure
13* Would you support mandatory, tamper-proof ID cards for all non-citizens seeking to work in the United States?
6% Not sure
14* If an illegal alien entered the US prior to 2007, should we offer them permanent legal resident status if they pay $5,000, pass a thorough background check and agree they will not be able to become a US citizen?
17% Not sure
15* If an illegal alien becomes a legal US resident, should their relatives in the home country get preferential treatment if they apply for US residency?
10% Not sure
Watch out, fat cats.
...for refusing to yield to the Pro-Amnesty "Masters of Disaster"! (New ad from Eagle Forum).
Why does our government put up with this? It's time for the Army to take up the defense of our borders.
The clay pigeon cometh.
I've heard the first "motion to proceed" on what will likely be a REVISED COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL will take place later this week.
S 1348 is being rewritten as we speak.
Bottom line: The new bill will be introduced with a "clay pigeon" of amendments:
Under the tentative plan, Reid as early as Friday would launch his target - an amendment encompassing all 22 proposals - and shoot it into its component pieces. The Senate would then vote on ending debate on the immigration measure, which would take 60 votes and limit discussion of the bill to 30 more hours. After that interval, all 22 amendments would have to be voted on, with little opportunity for foes to interfere.
This is apparently hard to fight.
What this means is, at the outset of renewed debate there will be a motion to vote for cloture (shut off debate) on the motion to proceed. We need to fight that initial vote for cloture because once the new bill is moving forward in the Senate it will be hard to stop.
Two points grassroots opponents of the Grand Swindle need to continue to hammer on:
1). A vote for cloture on the FIRST motion to proceed is a vote for amnesty!
2). Senators who vote for cloture with the hope they can escape responsibility by later voting against the bill will not be let off the hook by voters this time: We understand that backroom negotiations on amendments and what will occur in committee will result in Senate passage and we will hold responsible any senator who votes for cloture.
Here is contact information for senators who need to be contacted:
No major surprise here:
It's immigration, an issue with a lot more life in it than the controversial bill recently put on the Senate's back burner, maybe permanently, maybe temporarily, in the face of mostly Republican opposition. Opponents say it offers amnesty for 12 million illegals; proponents, with justification, say it does no such thing, but who's reading the bill?
Top idea of the month: Whoever throws in against Lindsay Graham in a primary will immediately become the largest Internet fundraiser of all time
A letter from the Costa Mesa, CA city council to President Bush:
Dear President Bush:On behalf of the Costa Mesa City Council, I wish to convey our position on illegal immigration. We feel it is vital that local governments such as ours communicate our concerns in this area. Our community suffers significant social, civil and law enforcement impacts, which appear to be the result of unfettered illegal immigration.
Promoting the deeply flawed SB 1348 is an affront to all law-abiding Americans. Passage of such legislation would be a disaster for our community and nation. We strongly oppose amnesty by any other name; just making something legal does not set things right, and will not address the impacts Americans suffer.
Since December 2006, we have had an Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agent assigned to work in our city jail. In the last six months, an astounding 262 arrestees have been flagged as probable illegal aliens from points around the globe who will be subject to deportation after their jail time is served. This demonstrates at a local level that existing laws can work if they are applied.
The immigration system is not "broken," the only thing that is broken is the will to uphold the law. Your administration's lack of will to meet its obligations regarding immigration enforcement is disrespectful toward all American citizens and legal immigrants.
Please uphold the existing federal immigration laws. Please provide all federal, state and local agencies the necessary resources and training to assist where they can. Federal funding is also needed to reimburse local governments' social, civil, and incarceration costs of illegal immigration.
Mr. President, we are weary of the massive local impacts of unfettered illegal immigration. We do not want amnesty for tens of millions of illegal aliens; we do want strong enforcement of our existing immigration laws.
Allan R. Mansoor
This follows on my post earlier in the week about how the Grand Swindle will overturn all local enforcement efforts:
Ragnar notes business executives look around at what the grassroots are beginning to demand from local and state officials and they are shaking in their Bostonians:
If you're an employer who's been skirting the law for years with a wink and a nod, this change in the winds has to be keeping you up at night--with good reason. Some CEOs looking at public opinion polls and knowing their employment rolls haven't been even close to right with God, have to be dealing with some serious heartburn at the thought of angry villagers at the corporate gates demanding massive fines and/or a few years in federal pound-me-in-the-*ss prison.
If the employers can just get across the line on this, they've significantly reduced their exposure. This Amnesty Bill represents a sort of "get out of jail free" card for these executives.
This seems plausible. We need to make sure this message gets out loud and clear the next few days. It is surprising there are not more Democratic politicians getting on board with the pro-enforcement efforts so far.
Senators Jim Demint, David Vitter and especially JEFF SESSIONS have been heroically performing the duty of a lifetime as the three key opponents to the Grand Swindle, and they deserve our sincere thanks.
If you have been making phone calls and sending faxes to scold all of those who are leaning toward supporting the treasonous legislation, perhaps you might enjoy a change of pace with a positive call or two?
The men could use any words of support and encouragement to stop the progress of this insane legislation. The more info Americans get about this bill, the more of them will be outraged it is even being discussed.
These three senators deserve a pat on the back and support for putting on the brakes and allowing more time for word to get out about what exactly is being rammed through the Senate under a veil of secrecy about the actual contents (the bill is not even in final form yet!).
Contact information for the "Hero trio" is below the fold.
You could not make this stuff up.
Well now the Grand Swindle is supposedly back on track because - brace yourself - the president has now promised ... actual money to pay for the fence!!
Oh yeah, this is rich. And I mean Alice-in-Wonderland rich, 1984-rich.
Not only that, but the money will also pay for ... enforcement of immigration laws!
Which, incidentally, are already on the books, but why quibble over technicalities.
Not only that, but the money which is suddenly needed to do what was supposed to already be getting done will come from ... funds raised by this new legislation. As in, after millions of lawbreakers have received their "probationary" Z-visas and millions of would-be legal immigrants who were dumb enough to get in line after May 1, 2005 are pushed to the back of the line behind all the lawbreakers.
In other words, no time soon. Pretty sweet deal, huh?
We need to recall this entire government.
[UPDATE: For obvious reasons this post is going to get bumped back to the top of the page periodically until either S 1348 is defeated or we as a country turn out the lights, whichever comes first.]
President Bush said, "I'll see you at the bill signing."
Now is the time for all citizens to call their senators and the White House and tell them, "No means no!"
Everyone should already know these points by heart, but here they are again:
The Grand Swindle promises us a fence that was already supposed to have been built; it will allow massive fraud; it will cheat millions of people who have been waiting to immigrate by putting them in the back of the line behind tens of millions of lawbreakers; and worst of all, it grants instant amnesty to all who apply within 24 hours - no background checks of any kind required.
This legislation is treasonous and must be stopped permanently.
More information is available here.
Here are the numbers:
White House Switchboard: (202) 456-1414
White House Comments Line: (202) 456-1111
Sen. Webb (202) 224-4024
Sen. Warner (202) 224-2023
Ace says keep calling because the GOP now says it has enough senators to invoke cloture, and he has a bunch of good phone numbers, including a special hotline for non-citizens who want to call a senator in favor of amnesty.
If you can believe that.
Along the lines of my post from last night: John Hawkins has an important brief on what is really happening with the "comprehensive" immigration reform bill in the Senate. Click here to read it which I HIGHLY recommend.
I'm probably going to just outright steal the post and reprint it here next week - it is that important - but for now I encourage you to visit John's site if you are concerned about this issue.
How utterly ironic and, frankly, sick: John McCain is "guardedly optimistic":
...that we can get the bill to the floor of the Senate just before the fourth of July recess, and pass it through the United States Senate.
How utterly blatant an example of what Fredo Arias King identified as usurpation.
In a mind boggling exercise in governmental overreach, these idiots are attempting to shove down our throats a policy that will undermine our laws and livelihoods, despite massive public opposition - and they are planning to get it done just prior to the anniversary of our independence from the overreach that led to our emergence as a nation.
Ironic? You bet.
Comic? Only if you are on the delivering end rather than the receiving end.
If you are on the delivering end, it is a friggin' hoot what this bill would do to the typical American citizens....
You know, all of us retrogrades who cannot afford to live in gated communities and have to send our kids to the public schools. In other words: all of us chumps.
Bernard Bailyn identified the dominant ideological foundation of the American Revolution in the "radical" movement of 17th and 18th century England:
They insisted, at a time when the government was felt to be less oppressive than it had been for two hundred years, that it was necessarily - by it's very nature - hostile to human liberty and happiness; that, properly, it existed only on the tolerance of the people whose needs it served; and that it could be, and reasonably should be, dismissed - overthrown - if it attempted to exceed its proper jurisdiction.*
Dismissed and overthrown. Has a nice ring to it, does it not?
[*Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1967, p. 47]
The current "comprehensive immigration reform" swindle has an added feature that has been greatly underreported: It would nullify all local and state legislation aimed at curbing the negative effects of illegal aliens because - voila - they would all be "legal" within 24 hours.
As an e-mailer to Rich Lowry notes:
Far from simple being empty promises, this amnesty bill is actually a blatant attempt to head off any attempts at enforcement at all. After all, states and cities can't deny services or enforce laws against illegals if the government makes them all legal.
(Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the link).
Adios, everything you might be working on at the local or state level. S 1348 trumps all of it.
The bill does nothing to ensure local business licensing rules or zoning laws are enforced. It does nothing to crack down on employers who hire under the table. It does nothing to limit the influx across our southern border. It provides blanket amnesty, and opens the door for migrants to apply for state benefits, with the promise of enforcement sometime in the future.
The president and a substantial portion of the U.S. Senate have essentially declared war on the American people.
The "bill" currently under discussion is so utterly detrimental to the interests of most Americans that if more of them simply understood what it contains, there would be talk not so much of "voting them out" in 2008, but of descending on the White House and Capitol with tar and feathers right now.
Howard Fineman makes this interesting but not entirely accurate observation:
His timing was perfect, as in wrong, just as he was preparing to attend the Senate Republicans' weekly luncheon on the Hill. "I'll see you at the bill signing," he said, chestier than usual.
He might live to regret such playground bravado. If you are president, the only thing worse than issuing a public threat to your own party is failing to make it stick.
It really is quite extraordinary. Here he is, an unpopular leader fighting an unpopular war. His two-term presidency is clattering to a conclusion, besieged on all sides, taking hits on everything from his attorney general to his general incompetence. And so he decides to do what? Climb into the ring for an ultimate fighting bout with the base of the very Republicans who got him to the White House.
The fissure in the Republican Party over immigration is significant, and - by the way - it precedes George W. Bush. There are far more powerful forces than the U.S. president advocating cheap labor and open borders. But Bush has chosen to ignore the concerns of the regular citizens.
These are now everywhere disingenuously referred to as "the base" whether "Republican" or "conservative." In reality, the outrage is coming from Americans of every ideological stripe who are now seeing the negative effects of the illegal alien invasion in their own communities.
There is no doubt the president is on course to destroy the Republican Party, although not because of besmirching it over the illegal alien issue. Certainly, many Americans will realize that if not for a handful of Republican senators this bill would have passed the Senate weeks ago.
He is going to destroy the GOP by forcing the question of party loyalty and deepening internal fractures to the breaking point in the 2007 and especially 2008 elections. As blogger Ace of Spades has promised:
Every single one of you voting for this bill is looking into your political grave. There will be casualties; there will be a bloodbath...
You're done. You've radicalized the right into a Kos-like political vendetta machine, and we will not only cut our own throats in order to slice yours, we'll enjoy doing so.
Read all of that, by the way.
Beyond the party, what Bush is saying to mainstream Americans is "trust me, and follow me over the cliff" by allowing him to open the floodgates once and for all. He is not just picking a fight with the hard core of his party - he is picking a fight with the citizenry as a whole. Luckily, Americans are now inclined to view the "trust me" exhortation skeptically and more and more of them are realizing they, their kids and their grandchildren are under attack.
The time is ripe for patriotism of the kind that inspired the "revolutionaries" here 231 years ago, who were not trying to overturn a social system but rather fight off a pernicious threat being imposed on their existing social and cultural order from above.
Got the following in an email, I think it sums things up pretty well
Ever wonder what would happen if someone threw a Presidential Election and no one came??
Keep on pushing this misguided "Immigration Reform Bill" and you're going to keep pushing people like myself to give up on the Republican Party, which I've been a strong supporter of since 1980.
People like me who see many problems with the bill in its original form, in its present form and would prefer that a problem this size be addressed step by step vs trying to address every angle in one bill. We want the step by step approach to be applied so that the best of the best ideas can be considered, the Federal Gov't can demonstrate that it can handle the task, more debate can take place, so if maybe a loophole was discovered in one bill, it can be addressed in the next step/bill and the bill isn't so filled with loopholes that it become a raging success like the 1986 immigration bill has become.
Please relay to President Bush, John McCain, Lindsay Graham and those of their ilk, I'm not a nativist, bigot, racist, xenophobe and I don't appreciate that accusation. I am an American born citizen who has been living with the results of the bad immigration legislation over the last 20 years who will do whatever possible to prevent this bill from passing and having my children have to live with the results of poor immigration legislation that doesn't seem to effect them since they are so isolated from the citizenry.
John Q. Citizen
Our party is in need of some hard fought primaries. Those who support the kind of 'thinking' that goes into this current disaster of a bill need to be challenged and removed from the political arena. With the RINO put out to pasture a real Republican can then run. While Elephant hunting during the primaries can be considered risky, the current status quo is lethal to the party.
[The following message is from Greg Ahlemann, who - in a major upset - won the Republican nomination for Sheriff at yesterday's Loudoun County Republican Convention. More info on Mr. Ahlemann is available here.]
I want to publicly thank Roger Zurn for his support. I respect all of the constitutional officers and the exceptional work they have done and continue to do. I am honored to receive the Republican Party's nomination for Sheriff.
I would have hoped that Sheriff Simpson would have kept his word when he took the oath to support all the Republican Party's nominees, but I was not suprised as this had been discussed for some time within the Sheriff's Office. It is unfortunate that he described his tenure as Sheriff with words such as "honesty and integrity" when I and the other officers in the department saw this lack of sincerity on a regular basis.
I have been flooded with calls and emails from deputies who are excited about the change that will be taking place. Much like 4 years ago when three officers gave up their jobs with the Loudoun Sheriff's Office, I resigned in January of this year to give the deputies a leader who they believe in.
When I resigned, I knew it would be difficult to unseat a three term incumbent from within the party. I also knew that at the time, the constitutional officers were running as a team to fend off challengers. I understood the rules and the risk I was taking but believed it was the right thing to do for the department and the county. I was encouraged early on by one of the officers who ran last time, to "take Simpson to the convention" because of his belief that many citizens were ready for change as well. More than two thirds of the delegate vote, and I believe every district, chose "Ahlemann" for Sheriff.
Despite this clear message by the voters, Simpson has again reversed himself. I believe that Simpson should have given up his party affiliation prior to the convention if he was going to run as an Independent. Instead, he allowed many of his supporters, as well as mine, to spend hours waiting, to have their voices heard in this race, only to be told by him that he did not care by choosing to ignore their voice in the election process. I glady accept the Republican nomination and will continue to work hard to secure the win for our deputies, our party, and our county. I believe the citizens of Loudoun are ready for a Sheriff that is not a politician. I believe they want a Sheriff who gives his word and keeps it.
I also believe the residents of Loudoun want a Sheriff who will make tough decisions based on what is best for the community and not what is best politically. I am a conservative Republican but I believe the enforcement of our federal immigration laws is more important than party affiliation. For these reasons, I look forward to November when all the residents of Loudoun - Republican, Democrat and Independent - will choose their next Sheriff. I will work for and support all the Republican nominees, as I pledged I would do, but more importantly, I look forward to providing Loudoun with a Sheriff not a Politician.
I want to express my appreciation to Help Save Loudoun and Help Save Herndon for their dedication to bettering our communities.
Following is Greg Ahlemann's speech to the Loudoun County Republican Convention in June 9.
The Ahlemann's made major sacrifices to pull this off - and by sacrifices I mean money and time for a family not awash in either, and living for months under a big cloud of uncertainty about the future. To see the sheer exhileration and relief when the big announcement was made was pretty darn touching.
Loudoun County Republican Convention report:
Greg Ahlemann won by what someone overheard was a "huge" margin - though this is third-hand information so I can't vouch for it.
But from the response during the speeches, which was an order of magnitude louder than that for any of the other candidates, it sounds reasonable. The cheer for Ahlemann was a massive roar that caught me by surprise. This was a groundswell, an outpouring - whatever you want to call it - flowing directly from the overflowing reservior of frustration that has been building here, particularly over the illegal alien problem.
Listen to Greg Ahlemann's Convention speech here:
Sheriff Steve Simpson was the most immediate target of resident's ire, and though he probably did not help himself by his responses (or lack thereof) in certain cases, the Sheriff went down a little harder than he really deserved to. But candidates at every step up the hierarchy had better take note. This was just the first shot for 2007 (well, counting Patricia Phillips I guess this was the second) in Loudoun and Virginia as a whole.
In other races:
Geary Higgins beat Robert Bruton.
Mark Albright beat Ben Weber.
Gary Clemens beat Brian Withnell.
Eugene Delgaudio beat George Hidy.
And the biggest shocker of all: Lori Waters beat Jack Ryan.
Because of acclamation (we all agree on a candidate and leave the contest behind) none of the numbers are available (yet) except for Delgaudio beating Hidy 110-22 because of the lack of acclamation.
Don't ask me to explain any of that because I cannot.
Congrats to all the winners. They all deserve our support. The GOP has a strong slate going into the fall campaign.
All in all a pretty well-run affair. There were some hiccups but you have to hand it to the LCRC - it was really fairly smooth excepting a VERY long delay counting the votes. But better late than inaccurate.
(I am going to have some fun at Gary Clemens' expense in an upcoming post which I hope he will also see the humor in.)
The Ahlemann's ran a fantastic campaign. To overcome the odds against such a strong incumbent is hard to conceive of. The amount of support they managed to corral from throughout this really BIG county is amazing.
On a personal note, I almost crashed my car when I got the call that Patricia Phillips had won on May 19. This was right up there.
I am supporting Eugene Delgaudio for Sterling District Supervisor because he works extremely hard for the citizens of Sterling and is the only Supervisor to initiate any public policies to address the negative effects of the growing illegal alien population in our area. He has been a huge asset to our community.
Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio with Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis.
Supervisor Delgaudio literally works all hours for the residents. He has given his personal phone number and e-mail to pretty much the entire community. During snowstorms he rides around looking for areas the plows are most needed. During the gas leaks he was out late that night and sending e-mail updates until after midnight. When the state planned to leave the new Sterling Boulevard/Route 28 overpass closed for weeks if not months, Mr. Delgaudio was getting the message out to the press and citizens about how much time we were all wasting sitting through the traffic lights. He kept up the pressure until the new intersection was opened. He coordinates all sorts of volunteer projects throughout the year and has raised large sums of money for programs to benefit the community.
He led the Loudoun County side of the opposition to the Herndon Day Labor Center and publicly supported the candidates for town council and mayor who eventually swept most of the previous town government out of office. Supervisor Delgaudio has been a strong supporter of Help Save Herndon and Help Save Loudoun.
On the Board, he authored the overcrowding ordinance which reduced the number of people allowed to live in a home from ridiculous to merely surprisingly high levels - more work is needed here but legislation needs to be passed in Richmond to allow local jurisdictions to do more. He was pushing the Sheriff to pursue the ICE 287g training when all of the other Supervisors were still silent on the issue. As it stands, he is only one of nine so it has been a challenge to get the rest of the Board's attention about the illegal alien problem - although this seems to be changing in a big way in recent months.
To address the crisis caused by the negative effects of the influx of illegal aliens into Loudoun County, we need Eugene Delgaudio on the Board of Supervisors - and we need several other Board members to step up and take notice.
Some people have an issue with Eugene's personality, his tendency to joke around regarding issues which are supposedly too serious to kid about.
Personally, I think much of what our government does - at all levels - is so ridiculous the only attitude one SHOULD have to much of it is an attitude of irony. When the entreprise itself is insane, the guy laughing may be the only one who sees the truth.
When he sends out a pseudo-serious press release about a family of ducks saved from certain death at the local shopping plaza, I frankly welcome it.
And I think the vast majority of Sterling residents enjoy him as well.
I am voting for Eugene Delgaudio at the Convention because he is the best advocate the citizens of Sterling have to represent their interests at the county level. He has proven himself serious about addressing illegal immigration: We have a lot more to do, but Supervisor Delgaudio has gotten the job started even when he was the only one toiling away.
I have had numerous conversations with both Republican candidates, have watched two debates between the men and have read many newspapers articles and interviews in which they discuss their views. Greg Ahlemann demonstrates by far the best understanding of what is really happening in Loudoun County and what the citizens are dealing with.
Since the first time I heard him speak back in February, Mr. Ahlemann has been saying there is more the Sheriff's Office can do while the current Sheriff has been saying, essentially, "we are doing all we can."
Mr. Ahlemann has been saying the Sheriff's Office should participate in the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) training program under section 287g of the Immigration and Nationality Act, whereby local deputies can become authorized to enforce U.S. immigration law and gain access to databases that help identify criminal aliens. Herndon, Virginia is participating in the 287g program as are a growing number of jurisdictions throughout the U.S.
The illegal alien problem in Loudoun County cannot be laid solely at the Sheriff's feet. The roots of the problem are non-enforcement of business licensing rules, non-enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and certainly non-enforcement of zoning regulations (Herndon, a town of 23,000 has six zoning inspectors fluent in Spanish; Loudoun County, with a population of 220,000, has one.) These are all issues that need to be addressed, at least initially, at the Board of Supervisors' level.
Greg Ahlemann has also been saying from the beginning that the Sheriff must be an advocate to the Board of Supervisors, telling them that reducing gang crime and other problems caused by illegals will require the coordinated efforts of the entire government. I think we need a Sheriff who will be an advocate for the citizens' safety rather than one who will tell them nothing more can be done.
In a debate last month at Patrick Henry College, the question was asked: "What would you say to residents of Sterling Park who believe their neighborhood has become less safe in recent years?"
Sheriff Steve Simpson's response was: "The crime rate in Sterling has gone down."
In my view, this demonstrates the disconnect between our current Sheriff and the citizens of Loudoun County. All statistics aside, for those of us who live here, the deterioration of our neighborhoods is a real thing. Sterling definitely HAS become less safe in recent years, if safety can be measured in whether you can go to the Safeway after dark, or whether you can walk on your neighborhood streets. To tell us that the crime rate has decreased is no answer at all to the question but shows the Sheriff has no appreciation for the fact the problem exists. It certainly does not give reason to hope the problem will be solved.
Similarly, in a presentation to the Board of Supervisors early last month, Sheriff Simpson implied that Mr. Ahlemann has been using "fear" for political purposes and exaggerating the illegal alien problem. In fact, the citizens of Loudoun County have been outraged about the problem since long before Mr. Ahlemann was a blip on anyone's radar. I have attended meetings during the past year in which representatives of the Sheriff's Office have been barraged with questions and complaints from Sterling residents over what has happened in their neighborhoods. Greg Ahlemann is talking about this reality when he talks about the problems local citizens are facing.
Most importantly, Greg Ahlemann seems to best understand that the perception of the Sheriff's Office needs to change. As he noted in a speech in February, when he was growing up he knew the Herndon police were extremely strict about cracking down on speeders, so whenever he drove into Herndon he was careful to slow down. If the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office participates in 287g training and the Sheriff becomes an advocate to the Board about beginning to fix the illegal alien problem in Loudoun, it will help to build the public perception that Loudoun County is not the place to come if you are an illegal alien.
It is true that 287g will not solve all of our problems. But it will begin to solve the public perception problem. Even at the Board meeting when he changed positions several weeks ago and agreed to look into 287g, Sheriff Simpson actually spent most of the time talking about the reasons he did NOT want to get involved in 287g sooner and why it is NOT everything the citizens might expect. I have strong reservations about whether the Sheriff is actually committed to participating in the ICE training and I don't think he realizes that his Office actually can do a great deal toward fixing our problem simply by taking a more prominent public stance on the issue.
I recently spoke with Julia Rush, communications director for the Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Sheriff's Office. Mecklenburg was the first local jurisdiction to participate in 287g training and their Sheriff, Jim Pendergraph, has become a prominent advocate for the program. Ms. Rush told me that the program actually has paid for itself (one of Sheriff Simpson's reservations has been the cost). In part, this is because Mecklenburg County is reimbursed $109 per night for every federal prisoner it holds, which includes illegal aliens held under the 287g authority. Loudoun County is reimbursed only $55 per night. Ms. Rush said the reason Mecklenburg gets double the remimbursment is because their liaison to ICE demanded it and "camped out in their office" until it was provided.
In other words, the effectiveness of the ICE program depends on the will of the participating jurisdictions, on the seriousness with which the law enforcement agency views the illegal alien problem.
Loudoun County has been beset by a massive increase in illegal aliens over the past five years. We deserve a Sheriff's Office that is taking the lead and doing everything possible to deal with criminal aliens.
Greg Ahlemann has shown he truly understands the problem and that much more can be done. From his years as a deputy working the streets of Loudoun County, he saw firsthand the growing gang problem. He has spent many hours talking with residents about the crime, overcrowding, and unlicensed businesses that have changed Sterling for the worse and are now affecting the rest of Loudoun as more illegal aliens arrive and continue to settle further to the west. If you live in Landsdowne, Leesburg, Balls Bluff, Countryside, Ashburn or even Brambleton, you are on the verge of experiencing the same issues of increased crime and neighborhood blight if you are not seeing them already.
We need Greg Ahlemann for Sheriff because the time is now to address the illegal alien problem in Loudoun County.
I do have to add I do not think Sheriff Simpson has been a poor Sheriff or that he does not wish to solve the problem in Loudoun. As everyone who knows him realizes, he is a decent man. I think either of the Republican candidates is head and shoulders above the Democratic candidate - who said he was in favor of ICE training but enrolling more than one deputy would be "overkill." This is patently ridiculous; as Sheriff Simpson asked "would that deputy work 365 days a year?" and it shows the Democrat has no intention of really dealing with illegal immigration but is trying to make political hay off the issue. I will go to work enthusiastically for whichever Republican candidate for Sheriff wins the nomination at tomorrow's Convention.
I just think Greg Ahlemann has a better grasp of what needs to be done, and that he will do more to change the perception of our Sheriff's department into one which is, like Mecklenburg's, tough on addressing the negative effects of illegal immigration.
You can read about the Sheriff's decision to change course on 287g here.
Following on the incident of a few weeks ago, here is another example of what people in Sterling Park regard as the Sheriff's Office's hands-off approach to illegal aliens and lack of concern for Sterling residents.
A good friend of mine - who lives on a street where if the majority of residents are not illegal aliens, the actual count is probably not much less than half - saw this from her front porch. It happened the Saturday before last, May 26, at 10:30 pm.
She heard a great deal of noise outside and went to her front door to see what it was. Apparently because of a large party down the street, the street was lined with cars and cars were driving very fast up and down the street. Trash and empty beer bottles were strewn on various front yards.
Suddenly a group of about 10 men came running down the street yelling. When they had passed by her house, they dispersed into several front yards, and several of them could be seen urinating in the front and side yards of different houses.
My friend called the Sheriff's Office and reported a large, loud party that had spilled onto the street, rowdy behavior and obvious evidence of drinking and driving and open containers. The representative at the Sheriff's Office told her that deputies were already on the scene.
She then stepped out into her yard and saw that several houses down there were in fact two deputies sitting in their cruisers, with the engines running. She stood and watched for awhile and they never budged from their cars.
As she told me about it, she asked "What the hell are they doing there if they are not going to put a stop to the speeding cars and rowdy behavior?"
I would go one step further and ask: What does this tell us about how the illegal alien community perceives local law enforcement, when the sight of two deputies is no incentive to slow down or drive more cautiously, and when a group of men feel they have sufficient leeway to run right past two Sheriff's deputies and start peeing in the front yards a short distance away??
As our neighborhoods in eastern Loudoun decline, gang activity continues to spread, and more and more areas become "off limits" after dark and to women walking alone, there is a preception that the Sheriff's department has given up on us.
The longtime residents of Sterling Park - the few who still live there - gave up on this Sheriff's department long ago. I have attended numerous public meetings over the past year where frustrated residents of the Park absolutely lambasted representatives of the Sheriff's Office over what has happened in their neighborhoods. But the rest of Sterling and the rest of Loudoun are becoming equally affected by the huge influx of illegals and the hands-off policy of so many of our elected officials.
If you are elderly or a single woman living alone, you can be forgiven for thinking NO ONE is going to look out for your safety. Citizens and illegals alike can be forgiven if their instinctive reaction is "Oh, that's just the Loudoun Sheriff's department, they won't do anything" about the class of crimes which may not be headline material but make an enormous difference in the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
As we watch U.S. senators debate with straight faces an "immigration reform" bill which will grant immediate amnesty to tens of millions of illegals, citizens of this country have to wonder how such a bunch of traitors and ignoramuses have the authority to sell our country down the river. I will tell you how: Because we as citizens and voters have not paid enough attention to who we put in office at every level and we have not held them accountable when they do not act in the public's interest.
One way or another, the perception of the Loudoun Sheriff's Office - by legal residents AND illegal aliens - needs to change.
S 1348 is fatally flawed because it grants immediate amnesty to nearly anyone who applies through the 'Z-visa' program, it allows illegal aliens to jump in line ahead of millions of people who have applied for U.S. citizenship legally, and the "enforcement" provisions are totally bogus because of the simple fact that the fence we supposedly were going to get as a result of 2006 legislation does not yet exist.
Senator Harry Reid is trying to cut off debate and send this abortion of a bill - which has not even been written beyond draft form - to the full Senate for an up or down vote.
Call your senators and tell them to vote NO on cloture because of the reasons given above or any of these 20 good reasons to kill S 1348.
DC Office of Senator John Warner
Midlothian Office of Sen. John Warner
D.C. Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach Office of Sen. James Webb
Virginia Beach, VA
UPDATE: Cloture was voted down 61-34 a short time ago; supposedly it will be voted on again at 5:00 pm today. So don't stop calling, faxing, e-mailing, etc! Also, be sure to thank your senator if he or she voted against cloture in the earlier vote. Both Warner and Webb voted against cloture (see how your senator voted by clicking here).
Scenes from today's NumbersUSA "virtual rally" in Arlington. A few dozen volunteers showed up at the NumberUSA headquarters to join thousands of others who participated via telephone.
We spent a solid hour making calls and sending faxes. And blogging a wee bit.
Real time updated metrics on faxes going out throughout the U.S.
NumbersUSA's Caroline Espinosa and Rosemary Jenks participated on the call, along with their boss, Roy Beck and Congressman Tom Tancredo.
UPDATE: Yes that is Fox News' Major Garrett in the top photo. Also, Roy Beck announced that NumbersUSA's membeship has grown from something like 200,000 to 380,000 in the past few weeks since the Senate began considering the "reform" legislation.
There are petitions out there for one and all to sign, showing our 'leaders' in the Senate that we are opposed to open borders and amnesty.
I am asking all those who are against this bill to pass this information on. As you can imagine MSM is not reporting the existance of these petitions, so it is up to us.
I no longer consider him the head of my Republican PartyHow true. And how rarely one of our state legislators rises to the level of statesman.
Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli, one of the very few in office at any level that I trust, says what so many of us are thinking - and what so many who hold office are so reluctant to say.
Dear Fellow Republican:
My President Is Wrong. There's no other way to say it.
Like you, I believe that I am a loyal American, Virginian and Republican. As a general matter, I believe that most people view the President as the head of the Republican Party in America. It is not a formal position, but as the elected head of our nation, Presidents typically also function as the head of their respective political party. For much of his Presidency, President Bush has functioned as the head of the Republican Party.
Not any more.
President Bush began his Presidency somewhat inauspiciously by pushing and signing the largest increase in the role of the Federal Government in local education in history with the so-called 'No Child Left Behind' legislation. The President's partner in that enterprise was Senator Ted Kennedy.
More recently, the President has teamed up with Sen. Kennedy again. This time on immigration and the result may be much worse for America than their last partnership.
Given the clear message that had been coming from the Republican faithful on the issue of immigration, i.e., actually secure the border before doing anything else, it could only be said that the President has chosen to ignore us. At least, that is how I would have characterized it until he started attacking those of us that oppose his bill - and with shocking severity.
Not too long ago, the President declared that he would start 'pushing back' against opponents of his bill. This tells me that he wasn't merely ignoring his Republican base, he was thumbing his nose at us (or worse). Well Mr. President, as President you can certainly 'push harder' than I can, but I promise you that on this issue I will 'push back' too.
And I will not be alone.
Like the mythical "sky hook" older Boy Scouts would send young Webelows hunting for on their first camping trip, the "border fence" is a fantastical concept contained in the suicide-by-immigration bill now under consideration by the U.S. Senate.
One of the supposed "enforcement" provisions of the bill is construction of 370 miles of barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. A portion of this is supposed to be actual fence while some 180 miles will consist of "virtual" barriers such as video cameras and scarecrows. Good enough.
It was also a great idea last October, just prior to the elections, when the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which provided for over 700 miles of fence, was passed with great fanfare by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Only 11 miles of that fence has been built and already we have a new proposed law which shortens it by about 400 miles.
So in less than a year, the scoundrels have repackaged what they were already supposed to have delivered, and are trying to sell it to us all over again but only this time they are promising to deliver even less.
What does this say about how our elected officials respect the intelligence of the American people?
That we are collectively the BIGGEST MENTAL RETARDS TO EVER INHABIT A COUNTRY!
That our attention spans are so short we will not only let them get away with it, but will vote them back into office again.
You can just imagine the conversation five years from now when they want to make Spanish the official language of the Southwestern U.S.:
"Hey guys, what can we promise the suckers in return?"
"Let's promise them .... A FENCE!! TA Hah hah hah hah!!"
"We anticipate that many of those would remain in the United States illegally after their visas expire," CBO said of the guest-worker program, which would allow 200,000 new workers a year to rotate into the country.
And in a blow to President Bush's timetable, the CBO said the "triggers" -- setting up the verification system, deploying 20,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents to duty and constructing hundreds of miles of fencing and vehicle barriers -- won't be met until 2010...
"CBO estimates that those measures would reduce the net annual flow of unauthorized immigrants by one-quarter," the report said. Still, with estimates of hundreds of thousands to one million illegal aliens per year, CBO is assuming a large problem will remain.
Follow with me here, please: The amnesty would be overnight. I'm talking, this summer.
The enforcement "triggers" will not go into effect until 2010. Worse, as the past has shown us, there will in reality be no enforcement. And the CBO prediction, as in the past, will turn out to represent the low end estimate. The corruption of the incumbents is hastening the influx of illegals.
Yeah, a "large problem will remain." Such as, by 2009 the millions of imported voters will be able to change the face of America.
As Alexander Fraser Tytler said: "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury."
And not only that, they will be inclined to support the usurpers, the corrupt ones who are facilitating the social re-structuring.
In other words: That pension you have been saving? Fuhgeddaboudit. It will be taxed to provide for the less fortunate who have newly gained citizenship here.
Your grandchildren? They don't get the country you would bequeath to them. They get the country a hundred million or more settlers from Latin America decide on.
No one with a smidgen of actual information about USCIS should be under the illusion the agency could even begin to administer the "enforcement" related provisions of the proposed historic fraud.
The following is by one of the foremost experts on the issue, Kris Kobach:
The amnesty starts immediately - with the issuance of probationary Z visas.
And that qualifier means little: The probationary visa is nearly as good as the non-probationary one, giving the alien immediate lawful status, protection from deportation and work authorization the alien to work. He or she can exit and re-enter the country (with advance permission).
It will extremely hard for the government to prevent criminals and terrorists from getting these probationary visas. The bill allows the federal government only one business day to do a "background check" on each applicant.
The bill's authors seem ignorant of what this means in practice. The government has no single, readily searchable database of all the world's dangerous people. Much of the relevant information exists only on paper, while foreign governments are the source for other data.
NOR does the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have the resources to implement an amnesty on this scale. Consider a few numbers.
On top of the millions of illegals already in the country, we can expect a mass influx of millions of new illegals arriving to fraudulently apply for the amnesty. Fraud won't be hard: To show they were "actually" here before Jan. 1, the bill requires USCIS workers to accept any bank statement, pay stub, remittance receipt or similar record - all easily forgeable.
Repeat after me: There will be no enforcement.
There never could be because what is in the works is not "immigration reform" but elected officials establishing a permanent hold on power by importing a new class of voters. (Read that essay, by the way. I'm only going to remind you about five more times).
As research by Heritage's Robert Rector details, the purported "immigration reform" bill would cause a seismic economic shift in the U.S. over the next decade - for the simple reason that low skilled, uneducated people are expensive to have in your economy in the first place, and making millions more eligible for entitlement benefits makes the problem exponentially worse.
But that's not the financial pinch this post is about.
This post is about the tragic, tragic news the National Republican Party is seeing a drop off in fundraising because prior contributors object to the Republican leadership's treasonous policy of encouraging and forgiving illegal aliens. A lot of people have stopped giving to the RNC altogether, apparently.
This is, on one level, an impressive development. But on another level, I have to say there is something juvenile and futile about suddenly cutting off one's contributions to the Party.
If we want to really send a message to the traitors, we have to do more than reduce their revenues: We have to cause reverse cash flow. We have to subtract money, not simply refuse to add it.
This can be done in a number of ways, but as explained in this post, it can be as simple as taping a Republican Party business reply card to a phone book and bringing it to the Post Office counter. Wrap the phone book in some wrapping paper or a brown paper bag and tape the BRC on there and you are good to go - works every time.
Do this over and over and eventually we'll make an impact. When was the last time you used any of your phone books, anyway? And with all the people who are dropping off the RNC's membership roster, they surely need all the contact information they can get. I challenge each of our readers to ship at least 2 phone books COD to the Republican National Committee or the Republican Senatorial Committee.
The Paper of Record also reports that a short list of state Republican parties have seen increases in donations because of the leadership's excellent advocacy for an enforcement-only policy.
Alas, my state's Republican party does not appear on that good-guy list. No huge surprise there.
The massive fraud our government is in the process of committing will, if allowed to go forward, destroy our country.
That's in the long run. In the short term, it is going to make a bunch of people very, very angry. Chief among these will be anyone who has been trying to follow the legal steps toward American citizenship.
The "comprehensive immigration reform" bill would provide amnesty and a path to citizenship for anyone who was in the U.S. illegally as of Jan 1, 2007. The recipients of this are subject to one proviso, that they get in line for citizenship behind some of those already in line, according to section 602(a)(5):
BACK OF THE LINE- An alien may not adjust status to that of a lawful permanent resident under this section until 30 days after an immigrant visa becomes available for approved petitions filed under sections 201, 202, and 203 of the Act that were filed before May 1, 2005.
Note: "before May 1, 2005."
There are currently millions of people waiting for USCIS to process their applications for U.S. citizenship status. What the new legislation would do is allow the tens of millions of new "Z-visa" amnesty recipients to CUT IN LINE and get ahead of anyone who has filed an application for U.S. citizenship AFTER May 1, 2005.
What do we say to those who followed the rules and have now had their wait time extended indefinitely?
HA HA! Saps! Friggin' goodie-two shoes morons! What do we need you for anyway? Can you mow our lawns or clean our pools any better than these decent, hardworking, incredibly cost-effective people who don't complain and don't want to live anywhere near our gated communities? We think not.
The purported basis of "compromise" that yielded the Grand Swindle was a trade off of amnesty for enforcement. After certain enforcement "triggers" are in place, such as a border fence and enforcement of existing employment laws, then 12-20 million or more illegal aliens in the U.S. would be granted a "path to citizenship."
In reality, however, the very first clause of the very first paragraph of the draft bill provides for an "exception of the probationary benefits" which - if you scroll down to section 600 - will allow over 12 million illegal aliens to receive "Z" visas "by the end of the next business day" after they apply for the visa if their background checks and other tests have not been completed.
USCIS, the agency responsible for processing those applicants, with it's current workload is already an "agency mired in inefficiency."
So how they gonna administer tens of millions more?
HA HA! They're not - you IDIOT!!!
The entire "enforcement" portion of the deal is a sham: Section 601 erases it and makes it irrelevant. Within 24 hours anyone who applies gets benefits of citizenship and is immune from deportation.
With no border security or other enforcement provisions in effect, amnesty will be granted to tens of millions of illegal aliens and millions more will stream across our southern border - just like happened last time.
We'll cover the ramifications in future "Swindle" posts.
Read the relevant portions of section 601 below the fold:
Some clown is fulminating over at Blog Fu's place about state Senator Ken Cuccinelli, calling the senator weak on an issue that he is actually strongest on.
(The purveyor of this "black is white" argument is also bemoaning the fact Senator Cuccinelli will not return his phone calls. I can help you with that one: Senators don't waste their time on crazy people. The guy also supposedly runs an anti-Cuccinelli Web site, which I would advise also does not elevate that return call on the priority list.)
Senator Ken Cuccinelli has been one of the most important proponents of stricter immigration law enforcement at the state and local level in the entire nation. He has been involved with Help Save Herndon since soon after it was formed and has supported the group's work ever since. He was the highest-ranking local dignitary at the HSH victory celebration after they bounced the former town government out of office.Help Save Herndon member and Herndon Compass co-founder John Neil. (The Compass, the newspaper HSH started in order to get a fair hearing after the existing local press either ignored them or wrote them off as bigots, was a key factor in turning out the town council.)
As I mentioned the other day, some state lawmakers are taking proactive steps to ramp up immigration enforcement across the country and have formed an organization called State Legislators for Legal Immigration to further that effort. Along with Senator Jay O'Brien, Ken Cuccinelli is a founding member of SLLI from the state of Virginia.
UPDATE: The individual who made the false claims about the senator has retracted his complaints and has in fact fully reproduced this refutation, even the smackdown phrases. That's an act of intellectual honesty, which should be commended. So while we are in the mode of planting kisses on each others' cheeks, I'd like to ask WHY IN THE NAME OF GOD IS HE TRYING TO BRING DOWN ONE OF THE BEST ADVOCATES WE HAVE FOR FIXING THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IN OUR STATE???
After having been successfully "pwned" in the comments to this post - which is a palate-cleansing experience I recommend to all of you, incidentally - I have seen the error of my ways and intend to make up for it herewith. The lesson learned:
Crimes committed by illegal aliens are a huge problem, exacerbated by elected officials inclined to look the other way. (Hat tip - Zimzo).
We've already covered the tragic results of law enforcement laxity that allowed illegal alien repeat offenders in Northern Virginia (Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza) and Virginia Beach (Alfredo Ramos) to remain out on the streets long enough to get drunk again and kill innocent American citizens.
I would argue that the top public safety officer in a jurisdiction is the one who should step up and smash through that cover by instituting tougher measures at the local level.
Following are a plethora of recent cases you may not have heard about.
Bear in mind that under the provisions of the "immigration reform" legislation currently being debated in the U.S. Senate, all of the criminal illegals detailed below, and thousands like them from any nation, would receive Z visas within 24 hours after applying if USCIS is not able to complete their background checks within that time frame.
Miss USA's treatment by a Mexican audience last night should be another warning sign that the tens of millions our Congress is poised to grant overnight the benefits of citizenship will present a huge challenge to the assimilationist model that functioned at the beginning of the 20th century.
And to think the comparative trickle of Irish, Germans, Italians, Poles and others who arrived, eager to become Americans, between 1850 and 1925, did NOT come from countries which had received billions of dollars in aid from the U.S.
UPDATE: Watch this video on our national march toward suicide (only 3:48 min.) Smashing the melting pot, is more like it.
[UPDATE: This is going to get linked by another post so it will be helpful to address the discussion in the comments. A deputy wrote in to say technically the responding deputies in this instance might have been following proper procedures if the subjects were juveniles. If the deputy was present that night with the four local residents who watched the entire episode unfold from 30 feet away, I'd have appreciated his commentary. And I do appreciate his compulsion to stick up for his colleagues. As it stands, the only hard evidence we have is the direct evidence of what me and my neighbors watched happen, which is two wasted individuals were let go without even a wrist slap, were given back the keys to their car, and that they did in fact drive away within the next four hours - not enough time to have sobered up if there was any intention to even do so. In addition, the episode was treated like a joke. Therefore the strong perception remains that this was treated like a non-event, and if the subjects had been citizens it would have been treated differently. The fact that no one from the Sheriff's Office responded to this inquiry from four citizens who watched the incident take place right in front of their faces indicates at best utter disdain for local residents' concerns. Finally, if the deputies were following correct protocol, then the protocol is screwed up because it completely ignores public safety - which proves the original point of this post.]
Our society is on the brink of crisis because of the increasing disconnect between politicians and American citizens.
Last week we were treated to the spectacle of U.S. senators debating an "immigration reform" bill which, in the very first clause of its very first paragraph, provides for an "exception of the probationary benefits" which - if you scroll down to section 600 - will allow over 12 million illegal aliens to receive "Z" visas "by the end of the next business day" after they apply for the visa if their background checks and other tests have not been completed. As the Washington Post reported yesterday, USCIS, the agency responsible for processing those applicants, is already an "agency mired in inefficiency."
What happens when millions more applications are added to the workload? Instant benefits of citizenship for millions of illegal aliens who, among other bonuses, "may not be detained or deported" regardless of criminal offenses or other legal infractions.
Pretty surreal, huh? Well, it gets worse. You don't even have to dig far into the document to notice that one of the "enforcement" provisions is construction of 370 miles of fence on our Mexican border. Great idea, right?
It was also a great idea last October when the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which provided for over 700 miles of fence, was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Bush. Only 11 miles of that fence has been built and already we have a new proposed law which shortens it by about 400 miles.
What sort of fools do our elected officials take us for? Class A morons.
This disconnect - which might also be considered indifference, ineptitude ... or corruption - afflicts our government at every level.
Here in Loudoun County, Virginia, some citizens have said the Sheriff's Department is not adequately addressing the illegal alien problem. Deputies allegedly have said things like "Why don't you move out of the barrio" to Sterling Park residents complaining about misbehavior by migrant workers in their neighborhoods.
Sheriff Steve Simpson's change of heart on requesting Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) training for local deputies brought a skeptical response from Greg Ahlemann, his challenger for the Republican nomination. The question of the Sheriff's commitment to dealing with the issue has been a topic of lively debate in the campaign.
Earlier this month, an incident occurred in front of my house which, in a nutshell, depicts the truly frightening situation citizens face when their governing officials adopt a culture of indifference.
I wrote to the Sheriff's Media Information Officer on Monday, May 14 about what happened. He wrote to me:
I am forwarding your email to the appropriate command staff so I can get you more information on the incident. I will get back to you as soon as I can.
It has now been two full weeks and there has been no reply. This confirms, I believe, the conclusions I drew about the incident. I live in a typical suburban subdivision. Following is the message I sent to the Sheriff's Office:
Our commenter Had Enough sends the following:
As the memories of WWII, Korea and Viet Nam grow further away with time we lose perspective of the meaning even though we are currently at war.
Both of my grandfathers served in the military, one of them helped free the Jews in the concentration camps, he never spoke of his bravery and accomplishments during the war. I never asked him about it because I figured it must have been too painful. He kept a journal about the concentration camps documenting each camp, the people and included photos and information, I never saw it until after his death. He suffered a injury in WWII and as a disabled veteran he received a very small monthly check. After he died the government reduced that check to $19. a month for my grandmother, she didn't say anything she just stared at it.
Before he died he was concerned about his flag, military awards, medals, ribbons and other items that he collected from his time in the service and instructed my grandmother what to do with them upon his death. His concern was that they be given to someone who would cherish and preserve them.
Read this essay, then consider the current immigration debate - then say to yourself, "holy crap" as I did:
While Democratic legislators we spoke with welcomed the Latino vote, they seemed more interested in those immigrants and their offspring as a tool to increase the role of the government in society and the economy. Several of them tended to see Latin American immigrants and even Latino constituents as both more dependent on and accepting of active government programs and the political class guaranteeing those programs, a point they emphasized more than the voting per se. Moreover, they saw Latinos as more loyal and "dependable" in supporting a patron-client system and in building reliable patronage networks to circumvent the exigencies of political life as devised by the Founding Fathers and expected daily by the average American.
Republican lawmakers we spoke with knew that naturalized Latin American immigrants and their offspring vote mostly for the Democratic Party, but still most of them (all except five) were unambiguously in favor of amnesty and of continued mass immigration (at least from Mexico). This seemed paradoxical, and explaining their motivations was more challenging. However, while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and "teaching," they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them.
First, let me reiterate my position that immigration is good for America. The immigrants I have known in my life have been, without exception, hard-working, upstanding members of society. My wife's job is teaching English to immigrants. Her students regularly work at least one job, often two, and still spend several hours a day in English classes. There is no doubt in my mind that such people are good for the United States, and that we should significantly increase our immigration quotas.
The issue at hand is not immigration per se, but illegal immigration, specifically whether we should legalize our current crop of illegal immigrants. There are a number of reasons I oppose legalization, but primarily it is an issue of fairness. Many people have been waiting many years to immigrate legally. Allowing those people currently in the United States illegally to stay would be unfair to those who have waited so long and obeyed our laws.
The current bill, S.1348, would indeed by an ex post facto law. The reason the U.S. Constitution forbids such laws is not only that someone could be penalized for an action that was legal when it was committed, but that people who get an advantage by breaking the law would not be rewarded for their lawbreaking at the expense of those obeying the law.
Since our President is 100 percent on board with granting blanket amnesty to illegal aliens, destroying the idea of American citizenship and basically selling our country down the river, where is the liberal pep rally?
Seems like George W. Bush would be a hero of the left. How's about a little intellectual consistency, boys?
Restating the obvious is usually considered tedious, but some NVTH visitors apparently require it, so here goes.
This is from Robert Rector's testimony before the House Subcommittee on Immigration the other day:
Looking at federal, state and local benefits combined, the average low skill immigrant household received $30,160 per household in direct benefits, means-tested benefits, education, and population-based services in FY 2004. By contrast, as Chart 2 shows, total federal, state, and local taxes paid by low-skill immigrant households came to $10,573 per household in 2004. The average fiscal deficit per low skill immigrant household was $19,588.
That's about a Toyota Corolla per year for every household, courtesy of American taxpayers. Multiply that by 10 or 20 million and you get an idea why the current "comprehensive" immigration legislation being debated in the Senate might not be such a good idea.
By way of comparison, when a Humvee runs over a squirrel the squirrel can be considered "comprehensively" defeated. This is what the U.S. government is proposing to do to the financial well-being of American citizens. If the amnesty goes through, in 20 years you might as well just hand over your pension and life's savings.
It is undeniable that economics is the primary driving force in illegal immigration. The economic opportunities here and the lack of such opportunities in Latin America provide the incentive for people to brave the desert in the hope of a better life. Thus, it is necessary for us evaluate the proposed solution (S.1348) in light of the economics of immigration, both legal and illegal.
It appears that someone is not happy with "Amnesty for All" bill.
Some one tell Sen Graham from SC to read this.
"David Beats Goliath!"
"The Giants Win The Pennant!"
"I Don't Believe What I Just Saw!"
Whatever is your best analogy, this is the time to employ it.
Just to recap, from a John Andrews supporter::
... radical anti-immigrant groups, including Help-Save-Loudoun.
Funny, but Mark Herring has never said such a thing. Of course, the Senator has been to several of our meetings.
Hiring illegal aliens forces down wages of entry-level Virginia workers, and gives an unfair competitive advantage to employers who violate our labor laws.
Furthermore, Patricia Phillips is the only candidate who has espoused a sound philosophy of governance: Decisions should be made as close as possible to the level of the citizens affected. The more local the control, the better.
Patricia has been a longtime activist on local issues, including the recent successful effort to pass the Virginia Marriage Amendment.
Finally, Patricia has proven herself in the line of fire: She has been willing to meet with large groups of local citizens and take their questions directly. She is not a professional politician, but rather a concerned citizen like most of the rest of us. We need more people like her in Richmond.
Her opponent seems like a very nice person, but Patricia is better on the issues as far as I can tell.
To vote for Patricia, please plan to go out Saturday, May 19, between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, to vote at one of the following locations:
- Loudoun County Residents: Stone Bridge High School, 43100 Hay Road, Ashburn, VA
- Fairfax County Residents: Rachel Carson Middle School, 13618 McLearen Road, Herndon, VA
This is the post you have all been waiting for.
First, some background: John Andrews, for whatever asinine reason, decided to follow up his impressive direct mail blitz from yesterday - which I believe was probably sufficient to give him a huge boost going into Saturday's election - with a "letter" today bemoaning "dirty tricks" from the Patricia Phillips campaign.
Apparently she sent out a piece that referred to Andrews, whose profession is "developer," as a "developer."
I was not going to delve into this one because frankly I don't see the political angle in it. "You actually take undeveloped land and develop it for uses such as habitation and commerce - well god DAMN you man, how do you live with yourself??!" Who gives a crap if John Andrews is a developer. It's not like he's an abortionist or runs a telemarketing firm.
Patricia Phillips also pointed out his contributions to a Democrat years ago, and somewhere on the Internet (I assume) was the suggestion he was "endorsed by a pro-gay group." No citations are provided for the latter, unfortunately.
But apparently whatever Ms. Phillips did struck John Andrews as a "smear campaign" and "shameful act of desperation."
He goes on: "Your vote will also send a message to Ms. Phillips that you're tired of her dirty tricks and the extremist interest groups who are running her campaign."
My first reaction to this was, "dirty tricks?" Patricia is the mom-next-door. Her campaign, as far as I can see, is being run by her and the nice 20-year old kid who is her campaign manager. They are running a political campaign conducted at the emotional pitch height of a church-retreat kickball tournament. You can make some arguments against Patricia Phillips as the next Virginia Senator, but any complaint along the lines of ethics quickly places the accuser in the "protesteth too much" category.
That "extremist interest groups" note DID get my attention, though. One of my e-mails about lit drops and letters, sent to the local Help Save ... people, got forwarded by an apparent mole to the Andrews campaign. Could it be .... ?
Yes, it could. Read below the fold for an absolutely FANTASTIC expression of Weenie Republicanism, the Republican philosophy which killed every anti-illegal-immigration bill that came out of the Virginia House of Delegates this year, and which was on full display today as "Republicans" conspired with Democrats in D.C. to sell out the American people. This e-mail was sent out by a John Andrews supporter, and exemplifies everything that is wrong with the Republican party and might just indicate the death knell of the GOP.
More on the question of why John Andrews would take what seemed to be a significant advantage in momentum and whittle it down by signing on with the Republican weenie wing. This is particularly sad because John, I firmly believe, is not a weenie. He's a decent fellow and seems right on most of the issues - although not as good, in my book, as Patricia Phillips, that's how the democratic process goes: You get to support the person you most agree with. After that, you support the person you NEXT most agree with.
The Andrews campaign sent out numerous direct mail pieces this week, one of which featured photos of John with Virginia Senator Jeannemarie Devolites Davis and U.S. Senator John Warner.
Ms. Devolites Davis established herself as part of the "part of the problem" segment of the Virginia GOP by siding with the majority in a Virginia Senate committee, aka "den of thieves," who killed an important House bill that would have helped ameliorate the negative effects of illegal aliens in this state.
HB 2937 would have closed a loophole that allows taxpayer funds to be provided to illegal aliens through non-profit organizations. It is already state law that illegal aliens are not eligible to receive most government benefits. Presumably Ms. Devolites Davis believes, along with Democratic Senator Mark Herring, that Virginia is so rolling in tax dough that we have no legal residents who might need that assistance. Following the beneficent logic of Mr. Herring and Ms. Devolites Davis, maybe we should just divert our entire budget to foreign aid.
Senator Warner voted for last year's Senate bill S. 2611, the "treasonous weasels bill," which would have dramatically increased immigration from south of the border and required the U.S. to consult with the Mexican government before constructing any type of border security. (Look at section 117). More here.
Oddly, John's newspaper ads state he is the "only" candidate in the 33rd district Senate race with a strong position on illegal immigration. Frankly, judging by the company he keeps and the substance of his statements, he has some work to do to back that up.
Below the fold is Patricia Phillips' latest statement on dealing with the illegal alien crisis in Northern Virginia.
Next installment: The most welcome hit piece ever, courtesy of a John Andrews supporter.
Oh, this is rich.
No, it is beyond rich, nearly in the realm of sinfully excessive. Bloggers should not be allowed hanging curveballs like the ones I received today. I have not lived that great a life so for the life of me I cannot discern why Providence would have deigned to reward me such a feast.
I had not planned to write much more about the Patricia Phillips - John Andrews battle for the Republican nomination for Virginia's 33rd district Senate seat. I think I covered the "debate" pretty even-handedly here. I've written a little about Patricia in the past and posted some photos.
I have been doing stuff like delivering flyers and writing letters for Patricia, as have some of the other locals I know. Patricia attended two HelpSaveLoudoun meetings and one HelpSaveHerndon meeting and a boatload of local political events, so she got a number of us on board with her.
John Andrews would not attend our events because he felt they would be stacked against him since I endorsed Patricia back in January. I tried to point out we do not hold debates in which my role as emcee would make a hair's bit of difference, but merely townhall meetings where the audience gets to ask the candidates any questions they want. Patricia did extremely well in these events. I think John would have done well also as he seems pretty quick on his feet.
Some of our members are Andrews supporters, and good for them. I encouraged them to support their chosen candidate.
Most of all, this appeared to be one of those cases where we had two good GOP candidates, and although I was committed to the one, I certainly would have supported whomever was the Republican choice to face Democrat Mark Herring in November. This was part of a letter to the editor I wrote last week, in fact.
The letter, which neither the Easterner nor Observer published, began:
I am voting for Patricia Phillips on May 19 because she has the most intelligent proposal for solving the illegal immigration problem in Loudoun County - although either of the Republican candidates for the 33rd district Senate seat would be an upgrade over incumbent Senator Mark Herring.
(The entire letter is below the fold)
Yesterday, the Andrews campaign had three separate direct mail pieces hit our boxes. Combined with the extensive newspaper advertising he had purchased, I had the feeling John had a significant advantage over the cash-poor Phillips campaign.
Today, I think "significant" may have been a stretch.
John Andrews has apparently thrown in with the weenie wing of the Republican party, and how symbolic it should occur on this infamous day of days.
More detail in the next post.
FIRST: Yes, as Blog Fu advises call your own two Senators right now and tell them rewarding illegal aliens with government benefits was a failure in 1986 and would be tenfold the disaster now. It was supposed to legalize at most 3 million aliens and brought 20 million more illegals. What will legalizing the 20 million bring?
The border is not secure; announcing a path to citizenship will bring millions more across as it did in the 1980s and 1990s.
SECOND: Send a word of support to each member of the "filibuster team" who, it appears, we are really going to need.
Sen. DeMint (R-SC)
While our national elected representatives are dickering over exactly how far to sell this country down the river with the amnesty bill under negotiation behind closed doors, local communities continue to push back.
The latest news from Hazelton, Pennsylvania suggests our national "leaders" had better consider their next steps very carefully.
Lou Barletta won a third term as mayor of Hazleton by thumping all comers in an historic election Tuesday.
Barletta hammered Republican challenger Dee Deakos 1,343 votes to 80 in what appears to be the biggest landslide in city history. By percentage, Barletta got 94.4 percent of the vote, while Deakos got 5.6 percent.
The shocker was Barletta's winning the Democratic nomination through his write-in campaign. He beat Mike Marsicano by a near 2-1 margin, 1,211 votes to 699, according to unofficial results. Again by percentage, Barletta got 63.4 percent of the vote to Marsicano's 36.6 percent...
The result - a write-in candidate in a sizable municipality winning a nomination in the opposite party - may be precedent setting...
"A national audience was paying attention to this race," Barletta said. "Combine this, with Farmer's Branch, Texas, when an IIRA copycat was approved on referendum ... and that should send a message to Congress."
Go here to support Hazelton's fight to control illegal immigration in the city. They are the front line in a war that affects all Americans.
Go here to contact Congress and tell your representatives to kill the illegal alien amnesty bill.
Go here for model IIRA legislation you can bring to your own local elected officials.
America's next president, Duncan Hunter, was in Tysons Corner tonight, where he spoke on the three key themes of his presidential campaign: National defense, securing the U.S. border, and fixing America's trade mess to ensure the "arsenal of democracy."
Youthful presidential candidate Duncan Hunter (left) takes a moment to
chat with an elderly Virginia man
The specific topics in tonight's speech (which you can listen to below the fold) were completing our missile defense program, building the border fence which has already been authorized by legislative action, and undoing the bad trade deals which have led to massive offshoring of manufacturing production and unfair advantages for other countries such as China.
Congressman Hunter's clear, specific policy proposals are a refreshing contrast to the mishmash of ideas voiced by most of his opponents. Listening to him talk, one gets the impression this is a leader and statesman rather than a politician.
This is a guy we can get behind, folks. Give a listen.
The latest victim: Matthew Watson, 20, of Ellicott City, Md.
It appears an illegal alien named Never Leopoldo Navarro-Montoya got wasted, got in his truck and smashed into the back of a Jeep Mr. Watson was riding in. Mr. Watson was killed; Mr. Navarro-Montoya was found several hours later lying on the side of the road.
Mr. Navarro-Montoya was driving without a license and "undocumented" according to the Baltimore Sun, and is the second such case in the Maryland suburbs in the past six months:
In November, Eduardo Raul Morales-Soriano, a Laurel landscaper from Mexico, was charged with vehicular homicide and drunken driving in a Thanksgiving night crash at Routes 175 and 108 that killed a Columbia Marine home on leave and his date from Montgomery County.
Actually, Mr. Navarro-Montoya was "documented," but his documents happened to be forged or stolen:
Police said Mr. Navarro-Montoya produced a permanent resident card and a Social Security card bearing his name. He told a Prince George's County police officer that the documents were fake and purchased in Texas. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) confirmed that Mr. Navarro-Montoya was an illegal alien from Mexico, according to the charging documents.
Eventually, the U.S. must institute a biometric ID card which will be required of every worker in order to be employed. The logical place to start would be to replace the Social Security card since it is integrally tied to employment. The only question is when this will happen.
Addressing the illegal alien problem as a public safety issue (background info here), U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-VA) introduced the Empowering Our Local Communities Act. Here is the press release:
Legislation increases funding for federal-state-local partnerships to identify and remove illegal aliens in U.S. judicial system
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representative Thelma Drake (R-Va.) today introduced legislation strengthening our nation's immigration laws by providing local communities with additional resources to identify and remove illegal aliens. The Empowering Our Local Communities Act authorizes an increase of $35 million over FY 2007 levels for an existing program that encourages partnerships between the federal government and state and local law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it makes it a criminal offense to be in the United States illegally and toughens national DUI laws for those unlawfully present in the United States.
"Recently our community received a grim reminder of the effects that our nation's broken immigration policy can have on society," said Rep. Drake. "We've seen how lethal the results can be when that failed policy intersects with the epidemic of drunk driving. Local agencies are being overwhelmed to the point that illegal aliens can become habitual offenders before their status is ever discovered."
"Solving our nation's growing immigration crisis is going to require a commitment from every level of government. This legislation emphasizes the need for working partnerships aimed at preventing offenders from falling through the gaps."
Expanding the 287(g) Program
The theme of the 2007 Loudoun County Sheriff's race can be distilled down to the two I's: Illegals and Integrity.
Over the next four weeks you are going to hear a lot more on both of these, and if tonight was any indication, the number one issue to be played out in the press and at the Loudoun County Republican Convention next month will be illegal immigration.
Loudoun Sheriff Steve Simpson and challenger Greg Ahlemann faced off tonight at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcelville. This was a substantive debate between two articulate and sincere men seeking the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff.
Full audio of the debate is available below the fold.
This was a singular event in Loudoun politics, if you ask me. Two men whose job description as Sheriff would not hinge on political debating skills put on a marvelous public discussion. There was lots of back-and-forth right from the beginning, opportunities to respond to one another on the fly. This was NOT a series of canned responses.
Take some time to listen and you will find it well worth the time - highly educational about important issues and revealing about the candidates themselves.
Suprisingly, this debate was more in-depth and interactive than last week's meeting between state Senate candidates Patricia Phillips and John Andrews - also hosted by the PHC Republicans.
Unlike the prospective Senators, the Sheriff candidates did NOT require all questions to be pre-screened by the campaigns - throwing out all those deemed too controversial or difficult - and did not forbid recording, "videography" or "flash photography."
So I got a full recording which everyone can now listen to, and I can assure the citizens of Loudoun their next Sheriff can withstand flash bulbs. (And I say "next Sheriff" because Democratic candidate Mike George made a statement to the press so dumb last week that he should be ruled out of contention right now. Listen to the audio for that.)
Maybe it is that the PHC kids are learning from experience - or at least UNlearning the dopey restrictions implemented for the Senate debate. In any case, the PHC debate management team will provide a fantastic resource for local political races going forward.
(And lest there be any question, BOTH of the PHC debates were far superior to - I mean light years above - the bogus Republican presidential "debate" put on by the infants at MSNBC.)
From tonight's discussion, we can assume Loudoun County delegates to the Republican Convention will have a fairly clear-cut choice between an incumbent Sheriff arguing his department is on the right track, and a challenger saying residents demand a change in direction.
I encourage all Loudoun County delegates to listen to the debate and draw your own conclusions.
'"I can't speak for white people, but that's crazy," said Adoma Adjei-Brenyah, a Columbia University student with college-educated parents from Ghana.'
The entire article by CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer is reprinted below. It was published 4/30/07:
By melding blue-collar Democrats' horror at what is happening to their lives and livelihoods as a result of illegal immigration with grass roots Republicans' frustration with the country club wing of their party, Lou Dobbs could in one fell stroke accomplish a paradigm-shifting, party-switching, stickin'-it-to-the-man revolution in American politics with much greater chance of succeeding than the third-party option. Lots of erstwhile Republicans are thinking about the latter, while lots of Democrats must be wishing their party had a modicum of sincere concern for working class Americans.
The Lou Dobbs wing of the Democratic party? An actual loyal opposition? A "Help Save The U.S." caucus which would give the enforcement-first Republicans a rubric to run under and a bipartisan rallying point?
Oh, brother: Build it and they will come. People would take second mortgages on their homes to help Lou pull this off. Any Republicans who hitched their wagons to this star would sail into office.
"Lou Dobbs - Help Save The US:" Talk about a stick in the eye to Pelosi, Reid, Kennedy, Rove, Bush, McCain et. al. Reinvent the Democratic party and give distraught Republicans an alternative.
We are honored to have Greg Ahlemann, candidate for Loudoun County Sheriff, take time to visit NOVA TownHall Blog with the following response to yesterday's decision by Sheriff Steve Simpson to pursue ICE training for Loudoun deputies.
I am personally pleased that the Sheriff has accepted this program. After taking a beating in the press for weeks over his stance, he has responded with what our County has needed for some time.
However, the Sheriff's explanation for changing his mind was that now ICE will "pay for the tranportation of inmates" so he does not have to pay 2 deputies overtime, is very weak. The Joseph Passarelli tragedy alone makes this excuse unacceptable. I won't bore you with quote after quote the Sheriff has made over the last several months as to why he would not take on ICE training, but his most recent point is that "zoning" is the way to deal with it.
While I consider myself to be a fiscal conservative, I have no problem with explaining to the Board of Supervisors or the citizens of Loudoun County that when I'm elected Sheriff I have exceeded my budget for the jail because we arrested too many illegal immigrants who are guilty of violent crimes in Loudoun County.
Is this not the job of the Sheriff's office. Protect the innocent and enforce the law. I have yet to meet anyone who has told me they would prefer to save $10 a year on their property taxes by allowing violent offenders to go free because the Sheriff did not want to pay for the overtime. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of this program will only be as successful as the sincerity of the Sheriff enforcing it.
Thanks to Mr. Ahlemann for visiting and his effort all year to keep the ICE training issue a priority. This is a program HelpSaveLoudoun has been pushing for since last summer and we appreciate everyone willing to help bring it to fruition in Loudoun County.
NOVA TownHall extends an open invitation to Sheriff Simpson to respond and will likewise print any message from him here on the front page.
Announcing "the presentation's probably going to be a little different than I had planned" Loudoun County Sheriff Steve Simpson today informed the board of supervisors that new conditions and reimbursements allowed by the federal Bureau of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have convinced him that his department should seek a memorandum of understanding for Loudoun County deputies to receive immigration enforcement training under the federal 287g program.
Simpson said he had looked into the ICE training last year after it was brought to the board's attention. In his early meetings with the ICE officials "they had said a number of different things the program could and could not do" for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department, which led Simpson to believe the 287g program would not augment the department's current working relationship with ICE, would be expensive and would, in fact, make it more difficult to get the feds to pick up detainees.
Simpson said several days ago he was discussing the program with one of the ICE agents assigned to the Loudoun County gang unit, and the agent said "you should give it another look" because of a change in personnel and policies at the bureau. After talking to a new ICE contact, Simpson learned the bureau would now guarantee all detainees would be picked up within 72 hours and would reimburse local jurisdictions for expenses incurred to transport prisoners. (Holding more federal detainees often requires the department to incur overtime expenses transporting local detainees to other jurisdictions.)
Therefore, Simpson told the board, if ICE will guarantee "in writing" what he was told on the phone, he would quickly seek to enter into an agreement to have gang intelligence unit and Adult Detention Center deputies receive the ICE training.
Over the past two weeks and up until just a few days ago, Simpson and Greg Ahlemann, challenger for the Republican nomination for Sheriff, have engaged in a debate in the local press (also here) over whether the 287g program is needed in the department.
Ahlemann has maintained that as a matter of community safety the program is a "no brainer," and said contacting ICE would be his first order of business his first day in office if elected.
Simpson had maintained the ICE training would not be an improvement.
(More from Simpson and Ahlemann here.)
Ahlemann questioned Simpson's explanation that new policies at ICE are responsible for the change, saying "the federal government is not going to change their ICE agreement for Loudoun County." Noting that Simpson's testimony today echoed statements Ahlemann has made in the press recently, Ahlemann characterized the Sheriff's change of heart as a "flip flop" for political purposes in response to the growing publicity of the issue in their campaign and that this week is a politically significant time period. (Last week, the Loudoun County Republican Committee reissued its Call for the June 9 convention, re-opening a one-week window - this week - for the candidates to sign up new delegates.)
Simpson responded that "if it was political I would have done this months ago...I met with [ICE} and the initial responses I got from them were not where we needed to go."
This just came in. On Thursday, May 3, at 8:00 pm, there will be a televised Republican presidential candidates debate and the Duncan Hunter campaign is encouraging "house parties" throughout the country to a) watch the debate, b) build support for Duncan Hunter, and c) participate in a conference call with Congressman Hunter afterwards.
I have materials you can use to help spread the word and contact information for the Hunter campaign people so you can sign on as a host. Contact me via a comment here and I can forward you that information. And if you want to attend a local (Northern VA) get together next Thursday, I can give you directions.
The rest of this post is lifted directly from an e-mail I received from someone in contact with the Hunter campaign.
As most of you know, if we cannot elect a rule-of-law-enforcement candidate in 2008, we will have lost the battle against illegal immigration and, in all likelihood, our country as we have known it. As most of you also know, there are only two 2008 presidential candidates among all candidates from both parties we can trust on the illegal immigration issue -- Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo. For the time being, or until the dust settles a bit, we should do as much as we can to boost both of their candidacies.
We have been asked by Duncan Hunter's campaign staff to put together "Debate Watching Parties" (DWPs) for the May 3rd Republican Primary Debate. As I understand it, the objectives of the DWPs are to generate additional momentum for candidate Hunter's campaign and campaign contributions, as well as to identify potential workers for his campaign.
Hosting or attending a DWP provides a good initial opportunity to support the Duncan Hunter campaign for President. We don't need to look at this as an elaborate work exercise. Rather, this can, and should be a fun exercise. Personally, I plan to invite a few friends and family members over for drinks and snacks and to discuss the debate. The schedule for the evening is as follows:
--8:00 PM (EST)to 9:30 Republican Primary Candidates Debate.
--10:00 PM to approximately 10:30 Q & A Conference Calls from attendees of DWPs to Duncan Hunter.
--10:00 to 10:08 Duncan Hunter comments on the debate results.
--10:08 to 10:30 Duncan Hunter takes call-in questions from attendees of Debate Parties across the Country.
Duncan Hunter has been a strong supporter of immigration reform for many years--since long before most of us realized illegal immigration was a serious problem. He played a pivotal role in the funding and construction of the 12-mile-long border fence in the San Diego area well before September 11. With his strong support nearly 50 more miles have been constructed. More recently, he put together one of the most sweeping (one must avoid the word "comprehensive") immigration reform bills ever -- HR 4313: the True Enforcement and Border Security Act of 2005.
With so much riding on the 2008 presidential election, we must do all we can to help build momentum for Duncan Hunter's campaign.
Wow. Eileen at VB Dems just hosted a fantastic live blog with our Delegate Tom Rust, who provided interesting, thorough responses to tough questions. He also taught me a few things about some of the legislative initiatives we followed here during the last session.
It will only take 5-10 minutes to read the whole thing; go check it out.
More Tom Rust info available here.
Contrary to the Post's report, this is not just "an organization in Georgia" but one led by D.A. King who has been in front of the immigration issue for years. Also, there were at least 800 people present during the first hour, not the 400 reported. The crowd had thinned to about half by the time it was over, though.
They brought together an amazing assortment of speakers - very much a unique experience to be able to listen to so many in such a short time period.
We'll have plenty of audio highlights up in the next 24 hours so stop back by.
...here comes the little guy:
Republican Congressman Tom Tancredo, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, received a big financial boost for his presidential campaign from his home state, but also took in tens of thousands of dollars from Texas and California, according to federal election records...
Seventy-five percent of Tancredo's contributions were under $200, indicating a strong grassroots effort. The campaign is not legally required to itemize those donors but said the average contribution was $61...
Tancredo's fundraising pales in comparison with the top-tier candidates, many of whom have amassed more than $20 million. But he did outraise seven other contenders from both parties, including fellow Republican Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor. Tancredo is also financially running neck and neck with Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.
By the way, speaking of Huckabee, here is Jeremy Lott's excellent article from a couple weeks ago about the real office Huckabee is running for. Check it out.
TOPIC: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATIONA Public Townhall Meeting with Patricia Phillips, Candidate For Virginia Senate
Monday, April 16, 7:00 pm
At Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls, VA
In this year's session, the VA Senate killed every important immigration reform bill passed by the VA House of Delegates.
The Candidates' Forum meetings allow you to make your views known to the people who seek to represent you next year.
Meet the candidate, learn where she stands, and tell her what you think about this important local issue!
(Patricia is running for the Republican nomination for the 33rd District Senate Seat. The primary will be held on May 19, 2007, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. More details available here.)
Tonight, Senator Ken Stolle of Virginia Beach held a public meeting in which many questions from the audience focused on issues related to illegal aliens in the state.
The senator is a fantastic public speaker with a seemingly lock-tight constituency in the district. No wonder he is never opposed.
Questioners asked about bills passed by the House of Delegates which were quashed by Stolle's Courts and Justice Committee. The discussion had an element of heightened intensity because of the two girls who were killed in Virginia Beach recently by an illegal alien who had skated on drunk driving and other charges.
You may need to play with the volume because Stolle was amplified and the audience was not.
There will be no editorial commentary for now, although I will say that listening to this back and forth provides an insight into the man whose committee shut the door on six or eight bills addressing illegal immigration passed by the Virginia House of Delegates.
The number of good immigration-related bills passed by the House this year was unprecedented, and the Courts and Justice Committee's dispatching of every single one that came before it was equally unprecedented.
One might expect Senator Stolle to have been a bit defensive.
He articulates the classic argument that no one can do anything about illegal immigration until the federal government does something first.
Grassroots activists on the local level believe the exact opposite, that the federal government will not do anything until local jurisdictions take the lead.
If you want to understand why the state of Virginia has such an increasing problem with illegal aliens despite all of the legislation proposed to fix the problem, spend an hour listening to Ken Stolle talk about it.
Many others, especially those in his home district of Virginia Beach, might reasonably say, too little too late, senator.
Where was the senator a month ago on this issue? Merely killing a boatload of legislation meant to address this very problem.
Here is a report from the 2007 session of Virginia's General Assembly:
"We feel there are so many of these bills and they are so outrageous because they are designed to hurt people," said Nancy Lyall, legal coordinator for Mexicans Without Borders, one of a dozen groups sponsoring the protests.
The protesters may find a sympathetic response from the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.
Late Wednesday, the committee voted to table a key piece of legislation being championed by conservatives, including Attorney General Robert F. McConnell (R), to require state and local police to work with federal authorities in tracking down and detaining illegal immigrants.
Sen. Kenneth W. Stolle (R-Virginia Beach), the chairman, said the committee decided not to act because several police departments opposed the measure. Col. David M. Rohrer, Fairfax County police chief, testified that he worries that Latinos would be afraid to report crimes or cooperate with police if the bill was approved, Stolle said.
"Law enforcement officers are not equipped to do civil immigration law," Stolle said.
No study has ever shown that immigration enforcement activities by local officers depress the reporting of crime in immigrant communities, whereas we don't even need studies to show that the failure of local and state authorities to remove illegal aliens from the community has resulted in tragedy after tragedy.
(And the above only encompass the drunk-driver-illegal-alien segment of the crime problem. The segment comprised by the illegal alien MS-13 and 18th Street Gang members in this town is a story for another day).
While, certainly, anyone with a heart must celebrate the "sympathetic response" the pro-illegal alien lobby received from Virginia's Senate Courts of Justice Committee this year, maybe we can reserve a token sprinkle of sympathy for the legal residents who are being victimized.
With regard to Ken Stolle and the "Stolle" wing of the Virginia GOP: Does anybody in this state's Republican Party happen to have their brain turned on?
UPDATE: I just heard from someone in the Virginia Beach area who related that Stolle is considered wrong on a decent sized list of issues but is also completely bulletproof, that neither the Republicans nor Democrats will challenge him as long as he wants to keep the seat.
That's too bad. It's almost enough to make one cynical about politics.
Reminder: In the past session of the Virginia General Assembly, the House of Delegates passed over 10 pieces of legislation dealing with immigration enforcement of various types. Nearly all of these proposed laws were passed by the House with veto-proof majorities, meaning even if Governor Tim Kaine continued to oppose any crackdown on illegal aliens, the laws would have passed.
All 10 were killed in committee by the Virginia Senate.
Here is a report on the various House bills sent to the Senate (report as of late Feb - never bothered to do a final update since everything was quashed.)
Congrats to Greg and Mike for a successful public meeting of Help Save Manassas tonight. There were a total of about 100 attendees, 40 of whom became members of the organization. Subtracting out of town visitors, a few press people and a few spies, there were at least 80 local residents who showed up because they are concerned about the effects of illegal immigration in Manassas and Prince William County.
Tonight was strictly organizational - a hurdle we in HelpSaveHerndon and HelpSaveLoudoun managed to sidestep by remaining disorganized. Or should I say unorganized. In any case there is no formal relationship between us and this new group but we wish them the best.
Getting 100 people to come out on a Tuesday to your kick off is no small achievement.
UPDATE: Blog Fu notes that a majority of the attendees did in fact sign on for membership:
Actually, all told I think there are over sixty membership applications in my stack. Also, the bylaws adopted tonight officially affiliate Help Save Manassas with the Help Save Virginia network. That formal organizational relationship is coming very soon, as the members have voted to institute one.
Sixty in one meeting is a phenomenal accomplishment, bringing HSM right out of the gate with a huge base for a community organization. If Help Save Manassas can do even an anemic "member-get-a-member" campaign over the next month - growing the membership by a third - they will be a major voice in the immigration debate. The Prince William County Supervisors ought to take notice.
The American Council for Immigration Reform Web site is now up and running, with a ton of useful information.
The much-publicized tragedy of immigration enforcement is at least equaled by the tragedies of non-enforcement. Addressing the latter, U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey has just introduced H.R. 1355, the Scott Gardner Act, to
close loopholes that allow illegal immigrants to remain in the U.S. after being convicted of drunk driving. The proposal is named in memory of a North Carolina man who was killed by an illegal immigrant drunk driver with five prior DWI charges.
North Carolina has been particularly affected by phenomenon. As the News and Observer reports, immigrants and their advocates note a variety of reasons Hispanic men are responsible for an inordinate number of drunk driving incidents:
When Eliseo Hernandez came to the United States 30 years ago, he thought he drove better after a few beers. Driving drunk had been normal back in Mexico, he said. But Hernandez, 54, learned of its perils firsthand. He quit the practice after falling asleep at the wheel and hitting a tree 18 years ago...
In 2005, there were 37 alcohol-related crashes caused by Hispanic drivers for every 10,000 Hispanics in the state, according to the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. That is more than three times the rate of alcohol-related crashes among non-Hispanics...
Last month, a Johnston County father and son died in a fiery crash authorities say was caused by Luciano Tellez, 31, an illegal immigrant from Mexico. Dwane Braswell, 35, and his son Jerry, 9, were riding in a tractor-trailer cab on N.C. 210 in the Cleveland community of Johnston County when Tellez struck the tractor and rolled it into a ditch, where it caught fire.
Empty beer cans were found in Tellez' car, but authorities say it is impossible to know whether he was drunk.
It was the latest in a string of such accidents caused by Hispanic men. In February in Salisbury, a woman who was eight months pregnant and her unborn child were killed. In October, it was two college students and a high school boy. In January 2006, a man from El Salvador killed a Hillsborough woman in a head-on crash and fled, leaving an injured passenger in his own car...
Bobby Dunn, who counsels Spanish-speaking DWI convicts in Johnston and Wilson counties, said his clients are often young men far from home with money in their pockets for the first time. Many were too poor to have cars in Mexico, so they have little experience behind the wheel.
They also see drinking as a way of showing their manhood.
"The magic number is 12," Dunn said, or "un doce" in Spanish. "If you can drink 12 beers, you're a man."
There are a variety of possible solutions. As the article details, education among the Hispanic community is an important starting point. The elephant in the room during the debate, however, is non-enforcement of existing U.S. immigration law by the federal government. H.R. 1355 represents an important step toward forcing the feds and local law enforcement to end the practice of overlooking immigration status when illegal aliens are convicted of crimes.
To all of our friends on the local scene who are battling on the illegal immigration issue, I have some good news.
There is reason for hope. The reason is Duncan Hunter.
One candidate who has formally announced that he is running for president is serious about border security and enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. This candidate is not only serious - he is viable.
Duncan Hunter spoke to a group of Virginia grassroots activists in Virginia last night.
He explained how the existing fence on the U.S. border near San Diego has greatly reduced crime in that local area. He also explained how his bill to extend the fence for over 800 miles in key sections of the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas - a bill approved by the U.S. House and Senate and signed by President Bush - will make a huge dent in smuggling, illegal immigration and other criminal activity coming across from Mexico.
This is the time to focus on the upcoming Presidential election, and we have a real live candidate to support for President in 2008.
Duncan Hunter can win.
You can learn more about Duncan Hunter here.
Here's what I like most about Congressman Duncan Hunter: Tom Tancredo has had kind words for him, and Hunter talks in depth about three key issues which should be central to the current political debate.
Last night, Herndon Mayor Steve DeBenedittis and the Town Council - including Harlon Reece, the sole holdover from the former (ousted) council - unanimously approved the MOA with ICE that will allow up to 7 Herndon Police Department officers to soon begin 287g training.
As a Herndon resident notes:
The mayor and Town Council have provided HPD with another tool to assist them in their efforts to prevent another tragedy like the hit and run murder of Joseph Passarelli.
This places Herndon once again at the forefront of municipalities in the U.S. actively asserting local control over the effects of the influx of illegal aliens.
Read Blog Fu's coverage (and the comments) for the full story of last night's Council meeting.
This is not only significant for western Fairfax County, it is highly significant for Sterling Park in eastern Loudoun because we are right on the doorstep of the Herndon day labor center and whatever problems Herndon is experiencing are mirrored in our communities.
But beyond that, this major public policy development will impact areas north and south of Herndon. Loudoun County, Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park and Culpeper are all in the midst of the same conflict, and public officials in all these areas will be called on to consider taking the same measures.
Mayor Lou Barletta testified today.
Despite the increase in population, he said, the city's income tax revenues have remained flat, leading him to conclude that a significant percentage are "either not working or working and not reporting income."
The mayor became indignant when ACLU lawyer Witold "Vic" Walczak pointed out that illegal immigrants eat in restaurants, buy groceries and gas, purchase houses, and engage in other consumer spending that benefits city businesses and city government through sales taxes.
"So do other people who commit crimes," Barletta replied. "Do I condone illegal behavior because they buy gas or eat in someone's restaurant? I'm not one who believes that's OK."
How can you help the city of Hazleton? Send money!
Lozano et al. v. City of Hazleton kicked off yesterday in Scranton, Pennsylvania, with the ACLU arguing the plaintiffs' case against the city and an attorney for the city noting there's something slightly bassackwards about the trial itself:
Unlike a criminal case where evidence goes to the question of "Did he do it," Kobach said this case asks the judge to interpret whether the act is constitutional.
Because the restraining order kept the act from being enforced so far, testimony from business owners and landlords who claim injury is premature, in Kobach's opinion.
But, hey, judges, lawyers and advocacy organization execs have to put bread on the table just like everyone else.
Koback also questioned whether any of the plaintiffs has legal standing, and the city's lead attorney seems to have done an effective job discrediting some of the initial plaintiffs' witnesses:
Jose Lechuga testified that he had to close his grocery store and restaurant after the ordinances were passed because he lost clientele.
On cross-examination, Mahoney referred to Lechugaâ€™s 2005 income tax returns, pointing out that Lechugaâ€™s store was losing money in 2005. He also had Lechuga admit that he had not made a mortgage payment for a year by the time the ordinances were passed.
Also during cross was this interesting exchange with plaintiffs' witness Agapito Lopez:
While cross-examining Lopez, the city's lead attorney Henry "Hank" Mahoney named business such as Michael's Taxi and Crystal Barbecue that Latinos opened since the ordinance passed. Owners invited Barletta to their grand openings, Mahoney said.
During cross-examination, Lopez said he believes nations have the right to control their borders and deport people but thinks the United States government should deal with immigration, not small cities all over the country.
"Do you believe an illegal immigrant has the right to work in the city of Hazleton?" Mahoney asked.
"No," replied Lopez, a veteran of the U.S. Army, who said one of his five children is an immigration agent in Chicago.
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta has not yet taken the stand, but we have had a sneak preview of his rationale for advocating the Illegal Immigration Relief Act in Hazleton.
The suit brought against the city has caused Hazleton to incur immense legal fees, which you can help offset by sending money.
Hazleton is attempting to do the job the Bush administration just won't do, which is look after its citizens and enforce the law. As such, the city is taking the lead on behalf of every municipality and county in the U.S. which might one day presume to control crime and costs within its boundaries. As Hazleton goes, so go the rest of us, so send that money if you haven't already.
Call the Capitol Switchboard
Background: Word is out the GOP leadership of both the House and Senate are prepared to back the Bush administration's comprehensive immigration reform bill which provides for definite amnesty for the 12 million plus illegal aliens in the U.S. along with some possible enforcement provisions. The reason to be extremely skeptical about the latter is the Bush administration has shown almost zero commitment to any type of enforcement - and besides, without a complete overhaul of USCIS, which cannot even keep track of the comings and goings of current visitors, tracking compliance with any new rules by millions of people is a pipe dream.
They may talk about enforcement, just like they may talk about reforming social security. But amnesty: THAT they can pull off in a heartbeat.
Call your representative or senator today and tell them you oppose amnesty and demand the border be secured and enforcement of existing U.S. immigration law be implemented before there is any discussion of rewarding those who have broken the rules.
Call early and often. 202-224-3121
Here are some additional talking points courtesy of NumbersUSA:
Anything that provides extra greencards to allow illegal aliens now here to remain permanently in the U.S. is an amnesty.
There is no urgency to deal with the 12 million illegal aliens already here.
They are damaging American workers and communities, so it is important to be using enforcement to cause them to go home over time. If it takes awhile that is far better than giving them legal status and qualifying them for extra taxpayer benefits while thrusting them permanently on the American people.
ATTRITION THROUGH ENFORCEMENT works. More and more reports are arising in other countries that the moderate increase in enforcement here is deterring a lot of people from trying to come here illegally.
Here is some background on the current amnesty bill.
Here is the fax center to quickly send a fax opposing the amnesty scheme.
Here is a reminder about what happened to American workers who thought they would gain much-needed employment from the Hurricane Katrina cleanup, but were sent packing after the illegal workers arrived.
CALL AND WRITE TODAY!!
Police spent $17,000 in overtime after the murder of Derek Kichline on May 10, 2006. Illegal immigrants were arrested in the case, which hasn't come to trial, and approximately one-third of the overtime budget is spent on crimes involving illegal immigrants, the brief says.
At least 47 crimes have been committed by illegal immigrants since the spring of 2006, and one-third of those arrested in the city for drug-related crimes in 2005 were illegal immigrants, the brief says.
Immigration caused the cost of teaching English as a second language in the Hazleton Area School District to increase from next to nothing in 2000 to $1.145 million last year, the brief says.
At Hazleton General Hospital, the brief says, patients wait for hours at the emergency room, and every visit by illegal immigrants costs $1,500 to $2,000.
The trial beginning in Scranton tomorrow is only the first step for this particular case, however. Key plaintiff's, who are illegal immigrants, have been permitted to remain anonymous. In addition to a robust smack in the face to Hazleton taxpayers, this ruling by the judge likely will contribute to the stack of reasons this case is going higher.
On a related note, Virginia localities are attempting to determine the costs:
Culpeper's study is not yet complete, but officials in Prince William County found in a study released in January that their agencies spent more than $3 million last year on public services for illegal aliens.
We need to see data for Loudoun.
Georgie Anne Geyer: Amnesty and citizenship? It's bad-idea deja vu all over again.
Interesting point: With the 1986 amnesty, which was to solve the problem forever, only one-third of those granted the "precious" privilege of American citizenship deemed it worth taking. Two-thirds did not apply for it. The explanation is actually a healthy one: Most illegals come here to work, make money and go home, not to become Americans.
But the U.S. Congress, led by the eternal Teddy and supported by a White House desperate for a victory -- somewhere -- seems to want to continue with the "Balkanization" of America.
In Massachusetts: Illegals taking more and more jobs:
"It's blatant and it's everywhere," he said. "It's happening in prevailing wage jobs and it's happening in state projects. It's happening all over the place."
John O'Connor, a senior organizer with the carpenter's union, said the employment situation in Massachusetts has been so changed by illegal labor that it is even becoming impossible for high school students to find such traditional part-time positions as bus boys, landscapers or painters.
And it's not just a problem of the immigrants undercutting high wages by working cheap, he said.
"They're taking the lower-wage jobs from Americans who work in lower-wage jobs."
(That story is worth reading if only for the take by Barney Frank ... maybe the message will get through, eventually, to the Democrats).
Meanwhile, the national Republican Party steadfastly holds to its policy of national suicide:
In his previous bill, "We had so many penalties and what not on these people, by the way, and trying not to make it amnesty, and it still got called amnesty. So this time around I'm going to be a little lighter on the sentences and try to just say call it what you will. We've got 12 million people, we've got a broken-down system, we've just got to find a way to come to some sensible outcome."
Spokesman Ken Lundberg said Martinez didn't mean the sentences would be lighter, but that he would talk less about the punitive aspects of the bill.
This is at least a mildly refreshing bit of honesty from the national GOP.
As a side note, anyone who has sent money to the national GOP in the past several months or intends to do so in the future should report immediately to the nearest medical facility to have their head extracted from their ass. If you select an emergency room, obviously, be sure to set aside sufficient time.
I happen to know someone who is now attempting to gain citizenship legally, who likely will not qualify for the "grandfather" clause in the upcoming Senate amnesty bill. You want to talk about the GOP alienating a huge bloc of potential future voters? It's not the illegals of Latino descent they should be worried about, it's all those who played by the rules over the past 20 years.
Finally - and I don't know what made me think of this - the domain johnwarneryousuck.com is surprisingly available. Point of interest.
The bleeding edge of the illegal immigration problem in the U.S. is at the local level.
We'll have full coverage of the panel within a week or so; today we'll start with the mayor because Hazleton's date in court begins Monday and we will be tracking the proceedings here daily.
How can a city that is 2000 miles away from the nearest southern border have an illegal immigration problem? That's a question I ask myself often. And if you were the mayor, what would you do about it? Most importantly, what could you do about it?
I think it's important for me to give you a little background about what Hazleton is about so you'll be able to see the motivation I had to pass the Illegal Immigration Relief Act.
Hazleton is a small city of about 30,000 people that sits on top of a mountain in Pennsylvania. Its greatest asset is the quality of life that we enjoy. Many senior citizens enjoy sitting on the porch and children, myself in my own childhood, usually grow up on the playgrounds and traveling about the city without much fear.
It's a city that might average one murder every seven years, so you'll have a background on what Hazleton, Pennsylvania was like. I became mayor in the year 2000 at a time when the city was bankrupt. We had a $1.2 million deficit in only a $6 million budget. And that is important as to what motivated me to get to the point where I'm at.
Duncan Hunter is on the 2008 map. He woke up the Day 2 CPAC audience with a machine-gun like 20 minute address focused largely on the issues of our misbegotten trade policies, the war and illegal immigration. Did not try to do too much, and he did it very well.
Listen to Hunter's address here.
Mike Huckabee, who spoke about an hour later, was by contrast too cerebral and tried to cover too much, and consequently received a more subdued response. (Huckabee was not bad though. That coverage will come tonight).
March 1, 2007. Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo addresses crowd of young folks at an evening which was not on the agenda and appeared to be hosted by the Leadership Institute.
After having heard Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush in person during recent weeks, I will suggest that anyone saying Tancredo is "not presidential" either has not listened to Tancredo or has not listened to the other people often spoken of as having the right stuff.
Here's an excerpt:
This is so much more important than the argument over jobs, the argument over the costs of education, of helath care - all the rest of it. All those things are true and real problems we have with massive illegal immigration in the country. But beyond that, I'm telling you, there's something much more dangerous that we have to deal with, and it is an assault on the culture itself.
And it has nothing to do with race, ethnicity - that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about an assault on the idea of America. We are losing connection to that. And we are doing so for a lot of reasons. There is this cult of multiculturalism for one thing, that permeates our society.
It pushes us in directions that I think are dangerous. It separates us. It does nothing but continually draw us apart and divide us into camps and hyphenated Americans, and camps that are ethnically or linguistically separated - and we say, yeah that's good. We'll teach you in a language other than English. Yes, absolutely, keep your connections, your philosphical, your ethnic, your linguistic, your cultural - keep all your connections to the places you came from. Do not connect with America, after all what good is it to connect with America? Why would you want to do that? What do we offer you
This is the problem; this is the cult of multiculturalism, and that's what's happening here. It's not driven necessarily by immigration: It's exacerbated by it. It's exacerbated by millions of people coming here who do not want to be Americans. They come for the purpose of a variety of things, and certainly the economic opportunities that America affords them, and that is wonderful. That's why my grandparents came; that's what most people's parents or grandparents or great grandparents came for. Most of them came for that economic opportunity.
I do not fault them for that. But is it too much to ask, that along with that economic opportunity that this country affords you, that you accept something else: And that is the idea of being an American. That's it: American.
This is the battle we're fighting. As I said, it's more important than some of the other peripheral issues that we seem to get involved with and get in arguments about when we talk about immigration.
These are big issues; they are controversial. They're worthy, however, of your involvement; they're worthy of your commitment; because the country is worthy of it. What we're trying to say is worthy of it. It is western civilization that is at stake.
We are not simply a lot of people who happen to reside on the North American continent - which is what a lot of people want us to think of when we think about ourselves: It's just one big happy family that extends from Canada to Teira del Fuego.
No, it's not. Sandwiched in there is this place called America. And it's not the continent I'm talking about. It's the country. And there's something good, and unique, and different, and admirable, and worthy of saving. And it takes more than just the force of arms to do it. It takes the force of ideas.
By the way, there is a group of people coming over from Virginia for Tom's address this afternoon at 1:00 pm. IIf you are in the area, drop by the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
To understand the problem of illegal immigration at the local level - the only level that seems to have any real relevance currently - please scroll down in this post and take a moment to review the transcripts of the recent HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum meeting in Sterling, Virginia.
Click here for Part 1 of the February 19 meeting, for the candidates' statements. Scroll down for the latest.
[The next Candidates' Forum will take place at 7:00 pm, March 26, at the Loudoun County Senior Center at Cascades.]
Following is Part 2 of the February 19 Forum, in which we get a sense of local citizens' sentiment about this issue.
- "I happened to have a bunch of seventh and eighth graders in my car yesterday on my way to a ski trip and they were from a few different middle schools in the area, and the big joke was that Sterling Middle School is "SMS", and it's right in the name - "MS" central."
- "The unfortunate part is with gangs, they recruit younger and younger and the older gang members recruit the younger kids - and having kids in school myself I'm very concerned about the future of our schools."
- "As a parent or mentor, you should get involved and tell the school administration - they may not know."
- "They do not come here to become acculturated. They do not come here to become citizens. The main income for Mexico is the income that comes back from people who are working here illegally, and they send that money back home. They don't want to be acculturated. So what we have to do is cut off the funding."
- "I had deputies that I called to my house for noise, public urination: They told me two things. One, 'it's a cultural thing so you just have to understand.' Or, two, 'why don't you move out of the barrio?'"
- "Why don't you just drive through Sterling Park and start ticketing the vehicles that are parked on the streets? Why do we as citizens have to constantly call the Sheriff's department? Why don't they just drive through the Park and ticket them and tow them out?"
- "I know that if we take some of these people in who have not committed some type of major criminal offense, ICE isn't going to take them. What are we to do with them? I have absolutely nothing I can do with them."
- "For the most part, the Democrats want the cheap votes and the Republicans want the cheap labor."
- "We've got a community policing program that is just for show."
- "When fathers come over here they abandon their wives and children - they send back a check but it's causing huge problems in Latin America."
- "We try to make a difference here, then maybe we can make a difference with the chicken farmers in Mexico."
Complete transcript below the fold.
We had an informative and entertaining kick-off to the 2007 HelpSaveLoudoun Candidates' Forum series of townhall meetings on Monday, February 19 here in Sterling.
Our speakers were the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Supervisor, Catoctin District, and the two candidates for the Republican nomination for Sheriff.
February 19 HelpSaveLoudoun - HelpSaveHerndon Candidates' Forum
l to r: Candidates for Sheriff: Sheriff Steve Simpson and Greg Ahlemann; Local Yahoo; Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor: Geary Higgins, Robert Bruton
The supervisor candidates were very well informed, well spoken and exceedingly genteel. I'm certain we will be covering both of them a good bit more before the June 9 LCRC Convention.
The candidates for sheriff were likewise gentlemen, albeit with a bit more of the fireworks factor. This is not entirely surprising as the theme was "illegal immigration in Northern Virginia" and from the typical citizens' standpoint the law enforcement angle is the most problematic.
This will be the first in a two-part blog posting. We'll cover the candidates' remarks here first, and then later the interaction with local residents.
I think everyone in our area should take an interest in what the two candidates for Catoctin Supervisor, Robert Bruton and Geary Higgins, have to say. The GOP is offering up a couple of incredibly capable, decent men for this post.
I think EVERYONE - and I don't just mean Virginia residents - should pay close attention to what our two candidates for the GOP nomination for sheriff, Greg Ahlemann and current Sheriff Steve Simpson, have to say. They are debating the finer points of the ICE 287(g) program and, really, the whole approach to illegal aliens on the local level since the mid 1990s. Sterling Park is the cutting edge of this unfortunate situation, and these gentlemen are stating different perspectives from smack dab in the middle of it.
If you are anywhere in the U.S. and concerned about having your local law enforcement officers involved in 287(g), you ought to read the testimonies below. This is an issue I've done some reading on, and the discussion here is extraordinarily valuable for filling in the real-life blanks.
And - oh, yeah - if you want to get a sense of the differences between the candidates for the Republican nomination for Loudoun County Sheriff in 2007, the interchange that follows probably paints a pretty good picture.
UPDATE: The Forum was covered by the Easterner and I actually got to spend some time talking with one of the majordomos of Loudoun news, Editor Martin Casey - "just a reporter" he calls himself. Pretty cool.
Data collected by our neighboring town of Herndon appears to confirm that the growing population of illegal aliens in this area is resulting in an increase in certain crimes.
Anecdotally, longtime local residents have been saying that the increasing number of illegal aliens beginning about five years ago has resulted in a corresponding increase in crime and neighborhood blight. Loudoun County public safety officials have told me personally that there has been a direct relationship between the increase in illegal immigration and an increase in gang activity and violent crime.
Now, there seems to be hard data confirming the trend, according to this story in the local Compass newspaper.
The table shows that "Group A" crimes among Hispanics more than doubled over the 3-year period - from 102 arrests in 2002 to 236 arrests in 2004. Arrests among Hispanics in 2004 were more than double the number for non-Hispanics - 236 versus 98.
Left out of the Compass story is any discusson of whether the data allows for distinguishing between crimes committed by the legal vs illegal Hispanic populations. I suspect the assumption is, as reflected by both sides of the 2005 debate over the Herndon day labor center, that the largest share of Hispanic population increase in the town are illegal aliens. But this does need to be based in fact and it's something I will look into.
The story also notes that the Virginia State Police require that all jurisdictions collect this data so we will be asking our Loudoun County officials about this.
As we noted last night, the Virginia Senate is in the process of derailing proposed legislation intended to address the negative effects of illegal immigration in the state. A host of good bills were passed by the House of Delegates but the (also Republican-controlled) Senate is effectively depositing them one by one into the circular filing cabinet.
Not to fear, however. The current session in Richmond is merely a trial run for November 6, 2007, when Virginians will have the opportunity to throw the folks who vote for illegal immigration out on their collective ears if need be - and this includes the entire state legislature and many local offices.
HelpSaveLoudoun, among many others, is watching their list and checking it twice, to see who goes in the "naughty" column come November. Some elected officials are cementing their status as we speak by their votes in Richmond; others will make their case for yea or nay recommendations during public meetings such as the ones being held Feb 19, March 26 and April 16 in Sterling.
A piece of legislation still on the table will create a commission to investigate the fiscal impact of illegal aliens in the Commonwealth. Learn about it here and tell your Senator to support it if you think this information would be useful.
Burn the mofo down? Maybe we must ...
Senator Mark Herring at HelpSaveLoudoun meeting, August 15, 2006
This report from Blog Fu is surprising.
Delegate Jackson Miller's HB2937 which sought to ensure that taxpayer funds would not be used by organizations to provide services for illegal aliens was killed by the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee today in an 11-4 vote ...
What's really surprising to me is that Senator Herring from Loudoun County would have voted this way. His district is definitely under pressure from illegal aliens, and citizens groups such as Help Save Loudoun are forming and gaining strength. Herring just threw gasoline at the smouldering fire developing in Loudoun County on this issue, and has armed whoever his opponent will be with some tremendous political ammunition.
Here are a few points of interest about Senator Herring, a Virginia Democrat whom I, for one, was not quite willing to give up on:
The Effects of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION In Northern Virginia Communities:What our local and state officials should be doing to address these issues Four candidates: Meet them, learn where they stand, and tell them what you think. If you want to have an impact on public policy in our area, face to face contact with the people who intend to hold office is the best place to make a difference.
Candidates for Loudoun County Sheriff
Gregory J. Ahlemann
Stephen O. Simpson (current Sheriff)
Candidates for Catoctin Supervisor
Geary M. Higgins
Monday, February 19, 7:00 pm Loudoun County Senior Center - Cascades 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling, VA 20165
Future Candidates' Forum events will be held on March 26 and April 16.
In case you needed any further evidence of the futility of "Republican" governance, please read the following update on the case of the U.S. Border Patrol agents currently imprisoned for shooting a drug smuggler.
Long story short: Our government has a soft spot for criminals from south of the border. Scroll to the end for the money paragraph.
"Why" exactly? I don't know. I will bet it has something to do with cheap labor.
Are there any voices of reason in the U.S.? Well, yes there are - namely Tom Tancredo. Can he win the nomination for President? Who knows, but now is the time to be thinking about it and working for it.
If Tancredo cannot be the nominee: How's about a third party, folks? If not now, when?
Here is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality:
By Heidi Thiess
We are still closely watching the Border Patrol case, especially after last week's explosive news that the DHS had lied to Congressmen who were looking into the case. Close on the heels of that shocking revelation, we noted that US Attorney Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor in this case, has lied openly and repeatedly about this case to the media. In an effort to counter Sutton's lies, here is one of his favorite public statements about Border Patrol agents Ramos and Compean deconstructed:
[UPDATE - SEE THE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS POST. IT DOES WORK AND I RECOMMEND EVERYONE BEGIN DOING IT]
A point I have tried to make once or twice here is I have some occasional disagreements with the Republican National Committee, among others in the GOP.
I've been a pretty loyal Republican since 1986 when I was 25 - I certainly have not voted for a Democrat since that time - and I have been a financial contributor to the Party since I reached the point of bare financial solvency. About 11 years ago.
But these days ... weellllll ... perhaps I'm not the IDEAL Republican.
Case in point: I received the following fundraiser mailing today, and dang it all if I did not feel compelled to respond in a pointed manner (click to see the full story below the fold): There are four steps in all.
Step 1: Mailing received from the RNC:
The Virginia General Assembly "crossover" is today: The House gets the Senate's bills and vice versa.
Most significantly, a host of good bills addressing the negative effects the illegal alien population is having in the state have been passed by the House and now will be considered by the more problematic Senate. A few are going in the other direction.
If you believe the state should be doing more to solve the problems caused by illegal immigration here, the key thing to be done right now is CONTACT YOUR SENATOR. Find your Senator in the right hand side of this page. Send an e-mail, make a phone call, drop on in and talk to the folks in the office. Do all three if possible, but at least do one.
Tell your Senator you want him or her to support the following bills. They each attempt to improve the Commonwealth of Virginia's ability to control the problems imposed on citizens and legal residents by the growing illegal alien population in our communities.
If you are the cutting-and-pasting type, cut and paste whichever part of the list below you want to use. When you are done, go ahead and contact some other Senator. Maybe one from a nearby jurisdiction you moved from or might move into. Maybe just pick one 'cause you like their name. Then contact your Senator again in a day or two to see how everything's going.
But sound off and sound off repeatedly. There is a remaining window of literally days in which to make a difference on the legislative process and the laws that will be governing you and everyone else. Because Virginia is a "Dillon State" there are restrictions on what local governments can do in any given area until the state does something. And now is when the state might do something.
There's no guarantee Governor Kaine will sign every piece of legislation that comes to his desk - but he can't sign or veto the bills he does not receive. Also, every single Senator is up for election in less than 10 months. Here is a perfect opportunity to determine whether yours is worth voting for. Tell him or her what you think, and then watch how they vote.
Here is a quick list of relevant legislation to contact your Senator about. Below the fold is a status report and detail on each bill prepared by the excellent Bob Rudine of HelpSaveHerndon.
HB1618 Governor to enter into an agreement with ICE
HB1673 Immigration, Commission on; created, report
HB1921 Extortion; withholding immigration document
HB1970 Federal illegal alien status unlawful in Virginia; penalty
HB2336 Fraudulent use of birth certificates, etc.; penalty
HB2435 Immigrants; status in order to obtain domicile
HB2448 Every public body shall register with and participate in the Basic Pilot Program
HB2605 Illegal immigrants; document verification for employment of, penalty.
HB2622 Harboring illegal alien; penalty
HB2623 Tuition, in-state; illegal aliens not eligible therefore
HB2687 Unfair employment practices; discharging employees
HB2688 Workers' compensation; benefits paid to unauthorized aliens
HB2926 Immigration; powers of law-enforcement
HB2931 Cooperation with federal officials regarding immigration status
HB2937 Eligibility of certain aliens for state and local public benefits
HB3130 BPOL tax; refusal to grant and revocation of business licenses.
SB815 Human Anti-Trafficking Act
SB1045 Immigration; powers of law-enforcement officers
Take a moment to read through the bills - you can click through to the full text and amended versions if applicable. There are a handful of days in which to make a difference. Let's make the effort.
UPDATE: Bob just reported that ALL of the major bills we have been tracking have passed the House with sufficient votes for the House to withstand a veto.
Take a look below at the very impressive majorities most of these passed by. That says something about the general tenor of public opinion in the state - and I think also should give us hope a Democratic governor will not be deaf to the concerns.
In light of stories like this one:
Debate heats up over Social Security for illegal immigrants,
... this one:
Funding for 700-mile border fence falls short,
... and especially this one:
Border Patrol agent beaten up in prison,
... I thought it might be helpful to summarize popular sentiment toward the leadership of the Party of Mel Martinez.
Here is the short version, which some of you might find handy:
Ace links to a couple of reports that Rudy Giuliani might not be so bad after all, particularly on immigration. Hmm.
Romney is hard to pin down - listen to his speech and you'll see he's very personable and gives the impression of authenticity (which is the only way to do authenticity right), but does not have that much to say. If I had to give a one sentence impression after hearing him I'd say, "He's a good public speaker who has accomplished impressive things and sounds like a conservative."
Whereas what I'm looking for is the person who will make me say, "Where do I go to sign up to support this man?" Granted, not every speech will slay'em, but he does need to convey more than "conservative" and "electable".
The more I reflect on Jeb Bush's speech the less impressed I am with him. He practically sneered at the notion any decent human being with a brain would have concerns about illegal immigration. Keep him away from the White House, I say.
John McCain? HA!
Tancredo? Sure, absolutely .. but I don't know much about him as a candidate. Two people who do know him said he needs to kick up the charisma - which really just means projecting self-confidence - and give the impression of being better informed on a wider variety of issues. I guess we'll see.
So if Giuliani might be the one to help fix the immigration crisis, and he's not perfect on all the other issues, weeellllll ...
... To be perfectly honest, I think abortion is horrible and has resulted in what amounts to some kind of genocide or mass murder, but the best way to make it stop is via public education. People need to learn what abortion really is, and why they should want to keep their babies. Hell, they need to learn why they should want to have babies on purpose, but at very least they should be having them even if it's by accident.
Where this train of thought leads is to basic values and what life is about. Were we put on this Earth to dine out frequently, have fabulous vacations and raise pets - or to have families? Many people simply don't attribute much value to the latter. Also, what are kids: hindrances or blessings? Again, if you don't subscribe to the latter viewpoint, abortion will likely be part of your existential tool kit.
THAT'S the key issue if you ask me. Is it the government's job to fix that problem? I don't know, maybe they can do some things, but I can think of other institutions better suited and carrying a more compelling rationale. I mean, of course ...
CHURCHES. Where the hell are they? And I don't mean, in terms of "opposing" abortion. Many of them do that quite well. I mean in terms of evangelizing or at least educating about life and values.
Maybe it's no disgrace that secularism has prevailed in the battle over popular culture and Western mores. Maybe it's part of "God's plan." But I'll say this: If the goal is to assign blame for the number of abortions, divorces, and other such maladies of modern America, you can say the government has done mankind a disservice by doing too much, but you can also say the churches lost the battle for hearts and minds. Maybe there's a connection there, and maybe it's a chicken-or-egg deal.
So, I would certainly prefer a president who is against abortion and will appoint judges inclined to scoff at penumbras and emanations. But I'd rather have someone inclined to deal with specific, immediate problems like the influx of illegal aliens and the deep-seated corruption of our neighbor to the south, than a theologian-in-chief. Given the choice between an ostensible "socially conservative" country-club Republican and a hard-boiled realist who will do the things necessary to stop the invasion, I'll throw in with the one focused on the more immedate problem which it is DEFINITELY the government's duty to solve.
If Rudy really is serious about solving the illegal immigration problem, tacking right right now is a stroke of genius. Right now there are legions of erstwhile Republicans who have closed their pocketbooks to the GOP at every level, and yet not with any increased interest in supporting the Democrats. They are disgusted with our political "leaders" and I know a good number who in future elections are planning to vote with their butts by staying home and sitting on them.
If a guy were to rise up now, and say "I speak for you, and I have a good chance of being elected," the wallets will open up, people will ask "where do I sign up," and he could have $200 million in the bank before Halloween.
Newt Gingrich would survey the lay of the land circa September and say, "Damn, all the money's gone already, guess I'll just have to keep being the smart guy on TV."
Stroke of genius if it's for real.
Ragnar says, or implies, that Rudy is not so strong on the Second Amendment. That's too bad. That would be a dealbreaker for me before abortion would.
Following is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality. Another coffee-spewer from Heidi ...
I have to give huge kudos to Shawn Christopher Phillips, of the Wry & Coy Report, for compiling some of the least known and most misreported facts surrounding the case of the two Border Patrol Agents prosecuted for shooting a drug smuggler. Shawn has raised some very troubling questions surrounding the case - questions worth asking and investigating. He has also connected the dots in a way that the media has been unable (or unwilling) to do.
Shawn's original research material can be found at www.patgray.com here and here. I have supplemented the accounts with further information from my own research and from Pat Gray's radio show on KSEV, since he and his co-host, Edd Hendee have been investigating the anomalies surrounding this very muddled case.
I have taken the liberty of condensing Shawn's material from several posts to place it into a rough timeline of events as they occurred. As well, I wanted to include information about some of the major players in this case, from the drug smuggler himself all the way up to U.S. Congressmen and Senators.
The central perpetrator in this travesty of justice is the U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, who has old boy Texas connections from the judge overseeing the case all the way up to President George W. Bush. These connections, though not openly disclosed, have greatly impacted the case, as highly placed government officials look the other way while testimonies, evidence, and statements are manipulated behind the scenes.
From the contractors themselves:
Douglas E. Barnhart Inc., a California-based construction firm, estimated $2.6 million per mile, or roughly $2.3 billion. Alabama Metal Industries Corp. estimated the work would cost $2.5 million per mile, or about $2.1 billion.
The fence consists of two security fences with a road in between for Border Patrol vehicles. The Chain Link Fence Manufacturers Institute provided an estimate of $1.3 million per mile of heavy industrial chain-link fence that is 12 feet high with an 11-foot overhang, much like the backstop on a baseball diamond.
"If we had a secure border, you could pay for the entire border fence in one year with the money you save by not having to incarcerate these criminal aliens," Mr. Hunter said.
Added Mr. King, who was in the construction business before serving in Congress: "We are now paying $8 billion a year on the southern border as it is. That's $4 million per mile and we're not stopping anybody."
I like Duncan Hunter. I also like Tom Tancredo, and over the next year one of our chief tasks will be to get all of YOU to like these guys as well.
Even if it is a meaningless position, one question remains: We're supposed to care about this party ... why?
As a commenter at Hot Air notes, this is a BUSH appointment and probably says more about the leader than the party. But if they put this guy at the top no one who cares about immigration enforcement would ever send another red cent to any organization with "Republican" in its name. They'd have to, like, have NEW organizations with totally different names ... hmm, well maybe that is where we are headed.
This post and conversation were greatly in danger of being buried by my rantings about the finest television program the world will ever know, so I think it worthwhile to bring it back to the front page.
Here is my response:
You realize, of course, the Chinese were WAY ahead of us on the wall business ... I'm guessing if they had millions of people crossing over each year they'd simply mine the border (if they haven't done so already).
From my admittedly limited perspective I think the article is dead on.
Obviously, gauging the "mood" of a country or continent is a somewhat subjective undertaking: There is the risk of over generalizing. Having only really spent much time in, er, one of the areas discussed, it would be hugely presumptuous of me to contradict Moisi's observations about Europe, China or India.
But there are a couple observations we can make from our armchair of distant, exalted omniscience:
The local paper of record reports Christians are torn:
Evangelical Christians say the issue of illegal aliens in the United States often creates a conflict between their allegiance to the Gospels and their loyalty to the government.
"On one hand, they really want to minister to people, but on the other hand, [illegal aliens] have broken the law -- and that's a problem for people," said John Clifford Green, a senior fellow at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
I'm going to propose a third consideration for Christians: the people whose livlihood has been damaged by the influx of undocumented laborers and subsequent decreasing wages.
If you used to be able to sell a roofing job for $10,000 using legal workers, and a new subcontractor comes on the scene who can do the job for $5.000 using illegal workers, and you are thereby put out of the subcontracting business, you and your employees probably have a different perspective on the "Christian" attitude toward illegal immigration.
Christ, as far as I've read, did not command us to walk out to the street corner every Friday and hand over our week's earnings to the general public. He did not say, don't put bread on your kids' table, because you should be handing over your paycheck to others. He did not say, if a thief who is gaming the system uses an unfair advantage to keep your company from getting business, then verily your family should go hungry.
I don't remember which Gospel tells us that the carpenter who follows the government's rules by paying payroll taxes, insurance and benefits, deserves to be run out of business by those who don't.
If the "Christians," to the extent it makes any sense to speak of them as a bloc, are going to weigh in on this topic, they should take the time to learn about the world they are purporting to establish public policy for.
If you've got a distant-foreign violent moron leader getting chummy with other moron leaders who just happen to be situated along the Pan-American Highway, you might have a problem if you happen to live in the U.S.
Such ruminations evoke thoughts about the southern border.
I have spoken with two separate parents of children fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan who opined "we should bring them all home and put them on our southern border." I'm guessing plenty of Americans have had that exact same thought.
Here's my thought:
Why not bring most of our overseas-stationed troops home (ok, leave 135,000 in Iraq for a few more months), and put them on our southern border, and then SEND THEM ACROSS THE BORDER to make Mexico our 51st state, and then leave the necessary handful on the Mexico-Guatemala border and just worry about defending THAT one? It's one-third the size, for cryin' out loud. And although it's a mess, it's not as big a mess as the current U.S.-Mexico border.
Downside: Lot's of Mexicans go on U.S. welfare in the short term.
Upsides: The aforementioned millions of Mexicans get the chance to improve their lives. Replacing the Mexican government with an American state government will eliminate an incredibly corrupt institution once and for all. Consequently, Mexico's substantial natural resources could be developed in such a way that selling would not yield money down a rat hole as it does now.
I think there would be a huge amount of support from the revolutionaries and the biggest problem would be the handful of former plutocrats heading north. We could give THEM all soccer teams to run, and that would be the end of that.
Border patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean will not be getting any special consideration from the Bush administration.
President Bush's spokesman yesterday said the case of two U.S. Border Patrol agents who are seeking a pardon for having shot a fleeing suspected drug dealer has been mischaracterized and the agents violated regulations.
White House press secretary Tony Snow said there has been "a characterization that somehow the government is turning a blind eye toward the law in enforcing the law," but said the facts of the case show the two agents broke the law.
And Tony Snow, officially, jumps the shark.
The agents shot an illegal alien drug carrier in the butt when he fled in the process of trying to transport over 700 pounds of marijuana across the U.S. - Mexico border. The criminal was granted immunity by a U.S. court, and testified against the agents, who were determined to have infinged upon the criminal's rights.
The border patrol agents will be screwed for life, and the Republican party should consequently close up shop.
The Senator is an amazingly good man. Spend two minutes talking with him and I guarantee you will vote for him. Thank goodness we have guys like Ken Cuccinelli in public office.
It's always a treat to wade through the plethora of proposed legislation for one's state. Following is a current listing of proposed bills that have been introduced in the 2007 Virginia session related to illegal immigration. It's not a short list, which is a good thing.
UPDATE: BVBL has some important updates - I won't get them incorporated here until later on so go check him out.
UPDATE II: Welcome, Raising Kaine readers! It's nice to see your man Lowell has no close acquaintances who once earned their living in the landscaping, drywall, frame carpentry, roofing, or contracting occupations in Northern Virginia, and also that he has the keen acumen to appreciate bottom-dollar labor. Progressives really ARE the smart ones - and they're not nearly as liberal as most people might think!
You can still count on one hand the number of Virginia elected officials actually taking the lead on solving the state's illegal immigration problem, but at least now it takes all five digits.
This is the latest Guard the Borders Blogburst from Euphoric Reality. If Heidi is correct with this, it's a pretty big story.
UPDATE: The Washington Times editorializes no wonder the uniformed personnel we know are so angry.
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Mexican Gunmen Involved in Arizona Border Incident Actually Uniformed Mexican Force
by Heidi Thiess at Euphoric Reality
The excursion into U.S. territory last week by "Mexican gunmen" was not a chance confrontation between the Arizona National Guard and untrained illegal immigrants, but a deliberate "perimeter probe" by an infantry-trained, uniformed Mexican force, officials say.
Euphoric Reality has learned in exclusive interviews with high-ranking sources within both the Arizona National Guard and the U.S. Border Patrol that the incident the mainstream media calls a "standoff" was in reality a military-style operation, carried out by a unit of Mexican troops dressed in military uniforms, flak jackets, and armed with AK-47s in an apparent operation to probe the border defenses and test the limits of the National Guard troops. Using easily recognizable infantry movement tactics (such as arm and hand signals and flanking maneuvers), the Mexican unit deliberately moved in a military formation across the border from Mexico, where they were picked up by National Guard surveillance.
As the hostile force moved north over the next three hours, deeper into Arizona, National Guardsmen wearing night vision goggles were able to ascertain that the approaching gunmen were indeed uniformed (including PAGST helmets) and heavily armed. When the Mexican unit came within approximately 100 yards of the EIT site, the Guardsmen repositioned themselves in order to maintain surveillance and tactical advantage. They observed the Mexican unit sweep through the EIT site, and then rapidly withdrew back into Mexico. No shots were fired by either the Mexican gunmen or the Guardsmen. Border Patrol was on the scene within minutes of the Mexican unit's withdrawal.
The Guardsmen, through an Arizona Border Patrol official, confirmed that the incident appeared to be an intelligence-gathering exercise designed to ascertain what the National Guard's response would be to certain tactics. It is not an isolated incident, and many such probes have been reported by the Guardsmen assigned to the area. Though no shots were fired during this particular incident, shots have been fired near and in the vicinity of the soldiers at the EIT site in other situations, though not at the soldiers themselves. It is not clear from the uniforms if the Mexican soldiers were official Mexican federales or mercenaries hired by the drug cartels.
Since then, follow-on news reports have included statements from the Border Patrol that no shots were fired. This was confirmed today by Major Paul Aguirre, a Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the Arizona National Guard. Rumors have circulated that the Guardsmen were not armed, and thus unable to defend themselves - and that is not the case. Both Major Aguirre and Rob Daniels, a Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Arizona Border Patrol, state that all Guardsmen assigned to EITs are armed, specifically with M16s and sometimes a sidearm. As well, there have been some contradictory news reports that stated the gunmen came "within yards" of the Guardsmen, while other reports state that the gunmen were approximately 100 yards away. Mr. Daniels clarified that the gunmen came as close as 100 yards to the Guardsmen. He also stated that the Guardsmen did not "retreat" but tactically repositioned themselves to maintain surveillance of the group of armed men while simultaneously radioing for Border Patrol agents. He asserted that the Guardsmen had followed their protocols perfectly, and that their services were invaluable to the Border Patrol agents.
The Myth of Troops Bringing Law Enforcement to the Border
When the jobs dry up, they go home.
Hispanic immigration to the Washington region has always followed a seasonal pattern, as the winter puts a chill on outdoor labor and drives workers south. But with home sales and housing starts dropping after years of steady growth, many Hispanic workers -- legal and illegal -- say the good times are gone.
"The Hispanic population in Virginia has grown too much," said Guzm?n, echoing the sentiments of those who support tough immigration policies, "and that's closed off a lot of job opportunities."
Demographers who track migration patterns and embassy staff members say it's too soon to tell exactly how the housing construction decline has affected the region's Hispanic population. But stories of departing workers abound. Some workers say they're headed home; others, spurred by rumors of construction jobs, try their fortunes in the Carolinas, Georgia, New Orleans.
"It's a little better here, but not much," said Raul Amayas, 21, a Salvadoran immigrant reached by phone in Charlotte. Amayas left Manassas last month after losing his $400-a-week landscaping job. Now he's making $300 a week as a busboy at a Mexican restaurant. "It's hard here. Ugly," Amayas said.
Part one - cutting off the jobs - is indisputable. When employment opportunities for illegal aliens disappear - either because the work is no longer available to anyone, or it is no longer available to illegals because the government requires employers to adhere to existing regulations - the illegals will tend to return home. This will end the blatant unfairness the Bush administration has engendered giving free reign to employers using illegal workers.
Let us not forget, that NO ONE in the local Northern Virginia circle of debate is advocating for mass deportation of illegal aliens. Enforcement of existing laws is the chief emphasis.
When the unfair job opportunities disappear locally, so will the illegals, and legal workers will once again have the opportunity to work throughout northern VA.
Part two is fixing the problems the illegals face at home in Mexico and Latin America. This should be the object of a full court press by the United States government.
Robert Stacy McCain previews the central upcoming GOP grassroots battleground:
From the lofty heights of the Beltway power pyramid, politicians are sometimes able to look down and see the urban poor, whom the D.C. government's decades of generous welfare policies magnetically attracted to the capital. But what about the American worker? What about the ordinary Americans who have diplomas, rather than degrees? What about those hard-working people who have jobs, rather than "careers"?
Those people are invisible in Washington, at least so far as the Beltway's Republican elite are concerned. The GOP elite find it more pleasant to listen to the sneering snobs of the Wall Street Journal who - in reaction to a recent roundup of illegals at meatpacking plants - opined that "the nation's illegal immigration problem is ... primarily a labor shortage problem." Wall Street, it seems, is another vantage points from which it is impossible to see the American worker.
President Bush has made a habit of talking about illegal aliens who supposedly do "jobs Americans won't do." But when over a thousand illegals were arrested at Swift Co. plants, a curious thing happened: Americans showed up to apply for the resulting job openings.
There is no "labor shortage problem," and there is no such thing as "jobs Americans won't do," but there are apparently jobs that Republican elites in Washington won't do - such as protecting the nation's borders from millions of illegal invaders.
Read it all.
Stacy McCain has been one of our favorite big media folks since the publication of the outstanding Donkey Cons earlier this year. He has had to curtail blogging but his excellent writing continues apace.
The Joe Passarelli tragedy has got everyone's attention throughout this corner of NOVA. Joe's daughter-in-law visited NVTH and left this comment:
My husband Michael is the eldest of the three Passarelli boys. We have Joe's first grandson, 14 months old. I want to thank you all for joining the discussion! We are all hurt, angry, and determined to find some peace in our forever changed lives. I believe that this happened in our world for a reason, and I hope I can figure that out. Please keep the discussion alive.
Yes, we will keep the discussion alive here. On behalf of all of us at NVTH, as well as dozens of other local residents who have been discussing this for the past couple weeks, I offer our sincerest condolences.
All of this discussion is separate from the central tragedy that Joe lost his life and the family has to go on without him.
Joe's death has exposed a huge weakness in Virginia's public safety policies. The astounding leniency our laws and courts granted to an illegal alien will serve as a wake up call for people all over the state. There is something dreadfully wrong in Virginia that must be fixed.
Actually, I don't know that the discussion has even started, because local citizens are still trying to get their minds around what happened. An illegal immigrant, whose record of infractions would have brought severe penalties down on any American citizen, received lighter and lighter penalties up till the time he killed a local resident.
The illegal alien's rap sheet is garnering close scrutiny at this very moment, as the Virginia legislature prepares for the upcoming session. The case has revealed a startling policy of leniancy toward illegal aliens who commit crimes in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Citizens have been saying for years that there seems to be an unwritten "don't ask, don't tell" policy among local law enforcement personnel when it comes to illegal aliens involved in crimes. But this is not only a local police issue: It is a public policy issue for the entire state. Joe Passarelli's untimely death will be the impetus for a serious re-examination of Virginia's laws and policies.
Ashley, please stop by anytime. None of us have an iota of understanding what the family is going through, but from the outside perspective we will be talking about this and putting pressure on the people in offices that can make significant changes.
Also, I hope our readers will take a moment to consider donating to the fund that HelpSaveHerndon has set up for the Passarelli family. Joe was well under retirement age and has a kid about to enter college:
HelpSaveHerndon has set up a fund at Mercantile Potomac Bank to collect donations for the Passarelli family. Joseph Passarelli was killed by a hit and run driver at the intersection of Herndon Parkway and Ferndale Avenue. He is survived by his wife and 3 sons.
All proceeds of the fund will go directly to the family.
Checks may be mailed to the
Joseph Passarelli Memorial Fund c/o Mercantile Potomac Bank
783 Station Street Herndon , VA 20170
UPDATE: Welcome NY Times 'The Caucus' Blog readers! We don't get many city folk out here in possum gravy country, but we love it when we do. We also love our Rep. Virgil Goode, though I hope you will take a moment to read the full discussion that follows.
At the suggestion of our good buddy Zimzo, I have looked into remarks made by Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode in his recent letter touching on the Koran, religion and immigration, as well as Goode's follow-up statement.
I take exception to Goode's argument that the current state of affairs and the problem of rampant, nonsensical multiculturalism should be blamed on Bill Clinton. Clinton might have initiated the diversity in immigration program, but the Republicans had at least a short spell controlling the levers of power, did they not? They could have fixed it if they had a mind to.
Robert Spencer has a very informed take on this controversy (as tends to be the case with any question regarding Islam and the West):
Goode is not opposed to having "many more Muslims in the United States" out of "bigotry," as CAIR has predictably alleged, but because he is aware that Islam presents a challenge, as we have explained here so many times, to "the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America." He also seems to be aware, when he warns that "our resources" could be "swamped," that Muslim immigrants, including mujahedin, cheerfully live on the dole in Europe -- a situation that is nothing less than suicidal.
Spencer is truly one of the "voices crying in the wilderness" about the threats facing America and the West in general. I've read most of his books and I think he is mostly on point. He knows a lot more than I do about Islam, to be certain.
I also think, however, that it is indubitably the case that the public face of any ideological or cultural movement can appear scarier than it really is - particularly in the case of religion.
Ideologically - and mythologically - religions can be pretty fearsome. A great example is the horrorshow that Roman Catholicism was made out to be in England and America from, like, 1600 until about 40 years ago. I mean, from the Pope right on down to the priests and the scruffy Irish foot soldiers, Catholicism was painted as a menace, an institutional force bent on subverting democracy and taking over the world.
It didn't quite work out that way because, whatever the Vatican might have been planning or not planning, western civilization has a way of smoothing the rough edges of any ideology that purportedly seeks to contravene basic human liberties, respect for the individual, rule of law, beer commercials, and all of the other things that have made the United States the shining city on the hill. There is no reason to think Muslims won't come around in a generation or two and start watching NASCAR and football with the rest of us. (And I do NOT mean soccer.)
As to the question of whether one should be allowed to take an oath on the Koran rather than the Bible: Spencer points out the Koran permits lying. That's a good point, and the Koran appears to permit quite a few additional behaviors one would not hope to see in a courtroom. Whatever criticisms one may have of Christianity's New Testament, you must admit the world would have far fewer religiously-justified murders if everyone followed its rules.
That being said, why do we need a holy book for the swearing in ceremony of a public official anyway? Christians can say "our book is holiest and true" and Muslims may counter, "no OURS is so we want to swear on it."
But the point is, you need to raise your right hand and make a public pledge. If you are a little "off" maybe you want to raise your left hand - sure, we can have that argument. But the pledge is what's important, whether you follow God or Gaia or Reverend Bob Dobbs.
I think an immigration policy that is discriminatory based on the ideology of the applicant is a great idea. Assimilation is a numbers game: Over time, over generations, the host society will influence newcomers as long as the number of immigrants who detest the basic tenets of American culture is much smaller than the number of people already here. Their kids will grow up learning to love football, freedom of thought and fast cars, and will gradually shed their alien cultural baggage.
Whether you are pledging on a Koran or Bible does not seem like such a huge issue because really you are pledging to tell the truth or uphold the Constitution or whatnot, and it seems to me that should be the focus. If Muslims make the pledge and keep the pledge, the law is happy. If they don't, the law will rain down hellfire on them as it will on anyone who breaks such a public oath.
And as long as all their offspring have the opportunity to watch the Daytona 500 every February, I think in the long run everything is going to turn out all right for America.
I just saw Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza's rap sheet for the past few years and it contains 21 offenses throughout Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties. So the Passarelli family could cast a wide net if it wished to fix blame for Joseph's death.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Espinoza is the illegal immigrant who allegedly ran down Herndon resident Joseph Passarelli a few weeks ago while Passarelli was out walking his dog at 5:30 am. Espinoza allegedly dragged Passarelli 200 ft, and left the scene. Passarelli was in his early 50s with a kid in college and one in high school. More details here.
Let me summarize one interesting section: Driving without a valid operators license is supposed to be punished by increased fines in VA. Espinoza's last few offenses resulted in decreasing fines, beginning at $300 and ending at $75. Um, not to mention, he was not detained before he killed Joseph Passarelli.
Thank you, Fairfax County Government. Thank you, Loudoun County Government. Thank you, Prince William County Government. Thank you, State of Virginia. Thank you, United States Senate. Thank you, Mr. President of the United States.
May you all go to hell, Republicans and Democrats alike.
287(G) Training Could Have Prevented a Tragedy in Herndon
HERNDON, Va., Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a
statement issued by HelpSaveHerndon:
For Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, the prime suspect in the November hit and run killing of Joseph Passarelli of Herndon, run-ins with the law were a frequent occurrence.
Court records for the Counties of Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William show that Sibrian Espinoza had a combined total of 21 cases within the last 6 years within those jurisdictions. The charges ranged from driving without a valid operator license, 7 separate incidents, to a DWI conviction. Throw in a myriad of other traffic related offenses such as excessive speeding and failure to obey highway signs, add a trespassing charge whose adjudication was a deferred dismissal and you will have a more complete picture of the person suspected of killing Herndon citizen Joseph Passarelli.
What makes the actions of Sibrian Espinoza so egregious is that Sibrian Espinoza was deported before being brought to justice.
The Passarelli family must now endure what could be months of anguish before the killer of their beloved husband and father is brought to justice, if the government of El Salvador cooperates and allows him to be extradited.
More painful, is the fact that this death was one that could have been prevented had the necessary tools been in place for each of the police departments in the jurisdictions Sibrian Espinoza was charged with an infraction.
The time is now that each of the police departments in the northern Virginia area should work with ICE to be trained in accordance with the Section 287G of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This training would have enabled any of the police departments who brought any of the 21 charges against Sibrian Espinoza within the last 6 years to check immigration status, and begin the procedure to remove a repeat offender from the streets.
Had this occurred before that day in November, one more needless death would not have occurred.
The police departments in each of those jurisdictions are hardly to blame for this tragedy. They did the jobs they are charged with and admirably so.
Blame is shared equally by those jurisdictions that turn a blind eye to illegal immigration, our federal and state governments, and our court system.
Our federal government is not doing enough to stop illegal immigration at the source. Herndon and Fairfax County are both complicit with enabling people like Sibrian Espinoza to find the means to earn a living while flouting our immigration laws.
As far as the courts are concerned, in the case of Sibrian Espinoza there were 7 charges for driving without an operator's license or driving on a suspended license from 2002 through 2006. There were 4 convictions for these charges and court records show that the fine for each occurrence decreased for each subsequent offense.
The message our court system and our elected officials are sending to criminals such as Sibrian Espinoza is loud and clear. It's now time that we ask our elected officials to change the message.
From what I have heard the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has prepared a legislative package for the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly which consists of exactly ZERO proposals regarding illegal immigration. Our hands are tied, and ever so shall they remain.
Hey guys and gals, thanks a lot. And congrats for having your collective fingers on the pulse of the electorate. Hope that works out well for each of you in November.
The death of Joseph Passarelli is a horrific tragedy that could have happened to anyone even without the influence of the Loudoun County government. Any one of us could get hit by a falling brick tomorrow.
But this incident hits home because it highlights exactly what so many local citizens have been saying - with deep frustration - to our local elected "leaders" for the past couple years: ENFORCE THE LAW.
It is an extraordinarily tragic manifestation of the rank incompetence of our local elected officials - at the county and state levels - on the issue of immigration enforcement.
It will be interesting to see how the Loudoun BOS responds to this, since the accused killer was a Sterling resident and had been let off several times by our own "public safety" department (Passarelli was killed about 400 yards from the Loudoun County line).
A notion discussed at a meeting of citizens tonight was "Fairfax wants to keep the problem bottled up in Herndon, and Loudoun wants to keep it tucked away in Sterling."
Well, when a guy dies, it ain't so tucked away anymore, "leaders".
Former employees are suing Swift and Co. for $23 million, alleging the meatpacking company conspired to keep wages down by hiring illegal immigrants.
The 18 former employees are legal residents who worked at a plant in Cactus, Texas, north of Amarillo. The plant was one of six facilities raided in a multistate federal sweep that led to the arrests of nearly 1,300 employees and temporarily halted Swift's operations.
"These plaintiffs are ... victims in a long-standing scheme by Swift to depress and artificially lower the wages of its workers by knowingly hiring illegal workers," said their attorney, Angel Reyes. "By lessening its labor costs and increasing its profits, Swift has severely damaged the potential earnings and livelihood of these hardworking men and women."
We've had a continuing controversy here about whether illegal aliens have anything whatsoever to do with local crime rates. Evidence from the streets suggests strongly they do.
Evidence has linked 28 year-old Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza to the car and as the driver, police say.
However, now Espinoza can't be located, because he was deported to El Salvador earlier this month, Herndon Police Chief Toussaint Summers says.
Espinoza - who was living in Sterling, Va. - was deported before police believed he had any connection to the case.
Joseph Passarelli was hit and dragged 200 feet in the crosswalk of Herndon Parkway and Ferndale Avenue while walking his dog around 5:45 a.m.
Another driver found him and Passarelli was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he later died.
Maybe we are not so crazy, here in Sterling, for caring about this issue.
Here's a report from Colorado:
As I learned of the immigration raids taking place throughout the country Tuesday, I wondered if one of those arrested was me.
Since 2001, someone has been using my name and Social Security number to gain employment as a seasonal worker.
In June 2004, I received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service, stating I owed more than $1,200 in taxes for "unreported income." The businesses that reported that I had been working for them included a pecan sorting facility in Deming, N.M., and several ConAgra facilities in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.
I was shocked and a little bit scared. How did someone get my name and Social Security number, and how was I going to fight the IRS so I didn't have to pay the taxes?
Turned out, it was more difficult than I expected.
An elected offical told me recently the majority of local crimes that seem to involve illegals do, in fact, involve illegals.
So where are our elected officials?
UPDATE: Aubrey Stokes of HelpSaveHerndon just sent the following letter to Delegate Tom Rust, who as far as I know is not yet sponsoring any legislation regarding illegal immigration for the upcoming session of the VA legislature:
The hit and run accident involving Joseph Passarelli was a tragedy that could have been prevented.
The suspect, Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza, had 21 brushes with the law in three jurisdictions in the past 6 years. He was convicted of driving without a license 4 times since 2002 (Charged 7 times with the offense). For each of the subsequent offenses the fine decreased. He was also convicted of driving while intoxicated in 2004. He received a fine and a suspended jail sentence. (I have the supporting data for the above if you would like a copy.)
What message are our courts sending?
Jose Santos Sibrian Espinoza was deported before he could be brought to justice. He should have been deported long before the fatal hit and run.
I believe cases like this bring to light the importance of having our police forces trained in accordance with Section 287(G) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
I also believe that legislation should be introduced to increase the fines and impose mandatory jail time for those convicted of driving on a suspended license or with no valid operator's license.
Would you be willing to sponsor legislation to that effect?
This week's Guard the Borders Blogburst was written by our good friend Nan of American Daughter.
It's especially noteworthy for NVTH readers because it references: 1) lettuce; 2) one of our posts on immigration, and; 3) one of our other posts by our other good friend the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. A great public debate among great thinkers with different views. I mean, it's like Russia, circa 1910. Or high school, circa 1979.
Disclaimer: I have not crunched Nan's numbers.
Today's Blogburst is also available as a Podcast.
The Price of Lettuce
By Nancy Matthis at American Daughter
Federal subsidies do not reduce the COST of food to the taxpayer. They increase it. Likewise, illegal immigration does not reduce the cost of food, or of any other goods and services, to the taxpayer. Illegal immigration also increases those costs.
In fact, illegal immigration increases the citizen's financial burden in exactly the same ways and using the same types of governmental mechanisms as the inefficient and ill-conceived government subsidy programs. Let's just look at the numbers. The available data points come from different years, so our results will not be specific for any single year, but will be representative of the general problem.
Note: This article responds to two comments made by liberals on earlier articles in our Illegal Immigration series.
- Joe Budzinski referenced our report on The Crider Case on Nova Townhall Blog. Over there, they play host to a token liberal, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Stay Puft took it upon himself to publish a response, We Can't Ignore Agriculture, featuring Critique of American Daughter.
"....farmers work on very tight profit margins. They can't pay more. If they paid higher rates, the cost of producing a crop would exceed its market value.
The only way to increase wages in these sorts of jobs would be to increase government subsidies even more (make tax payers pay for the wage increases), or let food prices shoot up (make consumers pay)
both of these options seem untenable. In the later case, the negative economic consequences could be more severe than anything brought on by the recent influx of immigrants....
We need this stuff, but in today's economy it isn't profitable without being propped up with tax dollars. Last year, we put over 16 billion dollars into these subsidies. "
- The Word-Drum took a shot at our friend Doyle, when he cross-posted our article Illegals Deadlier Than War On Terror on his weblog A Cool Change. As you can see, the fellow who left the comment cannot spell any better than he can do math.
"As a Vegitarian American (Democrat) I resent having to pay the kind of prices for lettuce that would occur if we did something about illegals. It's Bush's fault anyway."
Both of these fellows believe in the incorrect "manna from heaven" theory of government assistance. It is an item of religious faith with liberals that we will deconstruct in the following discussion.
Update -- It is likely that the second comment was meant as a joke. The sad fact is that most liberals are so divorced from reality that it sounded like an authentic liberal response. And we are pretty certain that the first commenter really believes in his logic. As our contributor [Bad Moon Rising] likes to say, "They walk among us. And they vote."
I just had a conversation with a high level Loudoun County law enforcement officer who helped shed some light on the current situation here and some possible solutions. This is an individual who has great familiarity with the evolving situation "on the ground" in Loudoun County over the past decade, and who has nothing to gain from exaggerating one way or the other, because in their opinion the change is all going to have to occur at the federal level. I don't completely agree with that, but I also don't expect an L.E. to be considering issues related to business licenses and zoning and such. Because this is someone who considers themself not really having a dog in HelpSaveLoudoun's local fight, though, I give this person's appraisal a very high degree of credibility.
On one aspect of the issue, their observation confirms what many of us who live here have been observing: Local crime has increased with the increase of the illegal alien population. On another aspect, I got some constructive criticism of one of our agenda items, namely the 287g program for Loudoun, and also I got some clarification on the number of illegal alien detainees at the adult detention center, which I will take to heart. There is more violent crime as a result of the increase in illegals here over the past few years, but they don't all get caught and the makeup of the jail population has not been greatly changed.
Here's the conversation:
What impact has the increase in illegal immigration had on crime in the county?
It's had an impact in terms of the stabbings, the violent crimes, the robberies and things. You don't always catch them all, but we do pretty good with getting them deported, turning them over to ICE if we catch them - we have a pretty good relationship with them.
I don't think it's been huge as far as the inmate population goes. Once they do their time with us ICE usually picks them up. If it's drunk in public and stuff like that ICE won't take them for that. The Feds need to do more, I think, on their side of things. But it's not a huge issue for us right now, from a jail perspective.
From a crime on the street perspective, it's a big deal.
What's the answer?
It's almost going to have to be federal issue, because just being here illegally is not enough to have anything done with you. We pick up a drunk in public or any number of other things, and unless they've committed a crime the Feds won't deal with them because they're so overloaded. Even in some cases when you deport somebody they're back here in 30 days. We just had a stabbing here in Leesburg, and one of the guys who was involved had been deported about 45 days prior. It's just a revolving door. We send them back, they come back here. Nothing happens to them over there. I don't know what the answer is, but it's trying to find a way to keep them out, or to make it more severe when they're caught.
Deporting is not that big a deal for some of them. For some of them it is, and they're afraid of that. But a lot of them who have been through the system, they know that somehow they're going to come back.
It's got to happen on the federal level, because our hands are tied. With this 287g - there's only so much we can do with that. We can't even do really what we're doing right now. Because the ultimate decision's up to the Feds, and if they don't want to take them they don't have to take them. I think the expectation about that program, for some people, is that once we do this we can just - if there are ten people standing in front of 7-11 who are here illegally we can just get them all out of here. It's not going to do all that. All it's going to do is, basically, what we currently do, but there are actually some more restrictions.
So we're better off without it because of the relationship we have with ICE now. If we have that (287g) agreement, the inmate we have automatically stays here because they don't have any place to put them. If (currently) it's a local inmate, after they've done their time with us, they're obligated to pick them up within 24-48 hours. If we have the agreement we have to house them. Yeah, they (ICE) will pay us, but it's a matter of space for us. So we'd like to have the training, but we don't know: If we have the agreement, it might hurt us. And if we don't do it the community's going to kill us, so I don't know - it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't...and just talking about illegal immigration can make it sound like now you're a Nazi.
Regarding that last note: I'm going to maintain this person's anonymity.
I'll also note that the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office is the best in the entire NOVA region - I am told - as far as working with ICE. Our public safety department in the county is doing more without 287g than they might be able to do with it. The argument that 287g would force Loudoun County to keep illegal detainees, while under the current arrangement ICE comes and takes them within 48 hours, is a pretty compelling one.
I imagine the fact that Dulles airport and innumerable government agencies and contractors are located in Loudoun County is one element that makes our jurisdiction a relatively high priority for the Feds, so maybe our Sheriff's Office is already getting what other departments would only get via 287g.
Now, go read BVBL right now for another perspective related to this issue. He's dug out an amazing instance of Virginia governmental political correctness subverting public safety.
Federal agents conducted a massive round up of illegal workers at Swift and Co. meat packing plants in six states Tuesday, causing substantial anger and consternation among illegal immigrants, their families and their advocacy groups. Among victims of identity theft, not so much:
One victim was a U.S. Border Patrol agent. Another was a woman whom the Internal Revenue Service accused of not paying taxes on $120,000 in earnings that were news to her.
Court documents released Tuesday showed how some victims had their identities stolen by workers who used them to get jobs at Swift & Co., a meatpacking plant in Greeley. Still other victims had no clue how Swift employees used their identities to find jobs, open credit accounts and even collect unemployment benefits...
It appears all the suspects rounded up in Greeley on Tuesday were Latino and were using identification belonging to legal U.S. residents with Latino surnames. Over the course of their nine-month investigation, authorities compared legitimate driver's license photos of victims to photos of the suspects and determined they weren't looking at the same person.
The niece of one identity-theft victim was overjoyed when told that a man suspected of stealing her uncle's ID had been arrested.
"Thank God," said Arlene Juarez of Bakersfield, Calif.
Arlene is the niece of Aaron Rey Juarez, who told authorities he had lost his wallet. Because of the ID theft, authorities have targeted Juarez for not paying child support - for children who aren't even his, Arlene Juarez said.
"He needs a whole new Social Security number," she said. "Every time they do a credit check, it's fraud this or fraud that."
Needless to say, the right-wing extremist media outlets are all over the story:
A day after federal agents netted 1,300 meat plant workers in the largest immigration sweep in U.S. history, federal officials pledged on Wednesday to continue a crackdown on illegal workers and identity theft...
Tuesday's sweep of meat plants in six states, which temporarily shut the Swift and Co. plants, was the culmination of "Operation Wagon Train," a 10-month investigation into alleged illegal aliens using fake documents, and in some cases documents belonging to real people, to get jobs.
Anti-illegal immigration activists should note the raids highlight a very real problem with the federal "Basic Pilot" program
"We believe that the genuine identities of possibly hundreds of US citizens are being stolen or hijacked by criminal organizations and sold to illegal aliens in order to gain unlawful employment in this country," said Julie Myers, ICE assistant secretary. She called it "a disturbing front in the war against illegal immigration..."
All of the arrests at the Swift plants Tuesday targeted illegal immigrants who held actual - not fake - Social Security numbers. Many businesses that make use of immigrant labor participate in a national test program for employers called Basic Pilot, an online system to verify employees' Social Security numbers.
"Basic Pilot" is held out by some as a critical step toward increased enforcement of employment regulations at the state and local levels. It is also a de facto part of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act (GA SB521), currently recognized as the strongest state legislation in the U.S. related to enforcement of legal employment. The Georgia act does not go into effect until July and one can surmise those charged with implementing it will be calling for a more secure federal program to be put into place.
As T.J. Bonner, president of the border patrol agents' association, said in May, the ultimate solution will likely involve a new version of the social security card with some type of biometric verification built in.
In this post we're going to cover a few issues related to the problem of illegal immigration in the U.S.
First is crime. Last week's Guard the Borders Blogburst homes in on the simple fact that some illegal aliens commit crimes in America, and more Americans have died as a result of illegal immigration than from the battle in Iraq:
... illegal aliens in the United States are more than fourteen times as lethal (14.48 actually) as a full scale armed conflict.
Some pro-immigration advocates attempt to twist the question by asking "So you think Hispanics are more likely to commit crimes than people of other ethncities?"
But that is not the question at all. The question is: Would those specific crimes have been committed if those specific illegal aliens were not in the U.S.? The clear answer to that question is - "no". If the perpetrator was not here, the crime would not have been committed.
The documentary, Cochise County, USA: Cries From the Border, depicts the real-life suffering that has been caused by the massive influx of illegal aliens across the Arizona-Mexico border. Stories include families who own land on the border, land which they can no longer use, and property which has been destroyed by the invaders. The point has nothing to do with the race of the invaders. The point is simply if the illegals were not coming across, these American citizens would not have been victimized.
(Anyone who wants to watch the documentary can let me know and I will lend them the DVD.)
Whether we are talking about destruction in the Tucson sector, or gang violence in Sterling, Virginia, the fact of the matter is the crimes identified in these cases are definitely being committed by illegal aliens. Maybe the criminals are a tiny segment of the whole. Maybe local citizens are committing more crimes - who cares? The issue at hand is people in the U.S. illegally who are committing crimes here.
If they did not have a safe landing area here, they would not be committing crimes here.
Next is the question of "numbers."
In my travails across the 'internets' I've come across some interesting links. The Urban Institute, a nonpartisan study group by Wiki standards (and actually by their own self-proclamation) did a report, of which a summary was "Posted to Web: June 30, 2000", entitled "Illegal Aliens in Federal, State, and Local Criminal Justice Systems" Quite interesting, in fact, though a little outdated. But then that makes this an interesting topic for debate:
The increase in prosecutions and convictions of illegal aliens appears to have significantly affected both the number and the estimated costs of incarcerating and supervising of defendants convicted in federal courts. Since a substantial share of the increase in illegal aliens convicted appears to be due to increased border enforcement, this increased burden on the federal criminal justice system can be seen as a secondary cost of such border enforcement. If border interdiction efforts successfully reduce attempted illegal entry, this negative impact on the federal criminal justice system may be short-term.
More below. . .
The dirty little secret of the pro-illegal immigration advocates is their cause has nothing to do with ethnic or racial fairness. As the recent voting in Arizona demonstrated, Hispanics are just as likely to support anti-illegal immigration measures as voters in other ethnic groups:
All four of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration propositions passed by wide margins - and, perhaps surprisingly, several surveys showed that between 40 percent and 50 percent of Hispanics voted for them...
In several different surveys, pollsters found that many Hispanics in Arizona continued a trend of voting in favor of antiillegal immigration measures.
Rod Fernandez, 44, said he voted for all four of the anti-illegal immigration propositions partly because he deals every day with the headaches of illegal immigration.
He said his livelihood has been hurt by day laborers across the street from his job at Karl's Custom in Mesa.
"They'll all pile into the truck looking for work," he said. "Recently, a couple of customers said they were afraid to come here, or they won't leave their car overnight."
Fernandez said the issue is not about race, but about playing by the rules.
"I'm not against Hispanics from Mexico," he said. "I'm against them coming out here and getting all the benefits I have that I'm entitled to because I'm a taxpayer."
This is from reader Had Enough, who I suspect is local, and who I know is seeing things first-hand:
When 80% of the invaders are from a specific source, it must be the main problem.
It makes no difference where you read or hear about the crimes with illegal aliens that 80% commit 95% of the crime.
And, let's not forget John Lee Malvo either. Now we are footing the bill for the rest of his life.
No matter who they are it does not matter - they are all illegal aliens and they are not supposed to be here to begin with.
I do not care where they come from, they need to go home.
I believe that the 4,500 or so Citizen families that lose a family member each year agree. If the laws had been enforced most likely those 4,500 people would still be alive.
No ivory tower proclamations are needed.
Another challenge to our liberal friends - this editorial at Free Republic:
A 2005 study appearing in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons found that 60 hospitals had closed in California alone between 1993 and 2003 as a direct result of illegal immigration. Under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1985, hospitals must treat the uninsured without reimbursement. Though the law was intended to guarantee that no emergency room would turn away a patient in crisis, it's led to illegals using ERs for their primary care. Those 60 hospitals had all reached a point where they were paid for less than half of the services they performed. The study also found 24 hospitals on the brink of bankruptcy.
Whose wages would Jesus decimate? In 1980, according to the Department of Labor, a meat packer could expect to make $19 an hour. Today the going wage is less than $10. Across the board, American wages are lowered by as much as $200 billion dollars by illegal aliens. The Left speaks a lot about the squeezed middle class, but these champions of the working man will line up to vote for amnesty in Congress in the new year.
How many false Social Security numbers would Jesus use? Arellano was going to be deported because she convicted of that exact crime. The immigration bill the Congress narrowly rejected this year even had provisions for paying out Social Security benefits to those who've stolen other people's numbers. Of course that only applies if they came over the border illegally; legal immigrants and native born citizens get to go to jail when they steal someone's identity.
Using a fake SSN is, I think, a felony.
I suppose, according to the logic of some of our commenters, that Americans who have had their identities stolen should be grateful for the opportunity to help the disadvantaged from other countries. Therefore, I issue this challenge: Pro-illegal liberals, please forward your social security numbers, names and places of birth, because we have illegal aliens in Northern Virginia who can really use that information, Also, if you are not local, send us your addresses or, at least, zip codes, so we can circulate the availability of your neighborhood as a sanctuary city. The more specific, the better.
If you are not willing to do these things, please keep your opinions about our efforts to bring Loudoun County under the rule of law to yourselves.
Ohio Jobs and Justice maintains a list of "sanctuary cities" in the U.S., which
instruct city employees not to notify the federal government of the presence of illegal aliens living in their communities. The policies also end the distinction between legal and illegal immigration -- so illegal aliens often benefit from city services too.
Fairfax County is on the list, albeit with a question mark.
From what I have heard anecdotally from people in Herndon who have to deal with the county, I'd say it's likely true but I'll try to find out more.
(Found via Free Republic).
This thread is getting too involved so it's time to bring it up to the front page. Our esteemed commenter Zimzo has managed to pin just about everything wrong with the world on my efforts to advocate against illegal immigration; although he has not yet blamed me for Iraq, although I think that is coming. World hunger, teen pregnancy, and steroids might show up on my debit sheet as well.
I extend an olive branch:
Zim, you're a freak, but I love ya. Wherever the hell that WND story fits in to the "discussion" we are having - and lord knows I sure didn't bring it in - I am truly flattered you see fit to grab outrages from all around the globe and hang them onto my tottering frame.
Psst! 4 Klansmen are setting up a roadblock outside Beckley, WV: There's got to be a Budzinski angle to that - go get'em, boy!
I don't know whether it's your tendency to grab half-quotes from what I've written, or lump me in with people who share my page in the telephone book, or simply make shit up out of thin air and then demand I rebut it, but there is something in your spirit I admire.
With a few men like you, I could bring down the whole corrupt apparatus of modern business and politics. I'd push out the press releases, and you could keep their spokespeople tied up in knots. You'd be my Rove, son, you'd be my Carville, you'd be my friggin' Che Guevara.
Meet me on the porch for a Captain and Coke sometime, if you have it in you. We might actually be able to get something done in this world.
I await your thoughtful reply.
Still more replies to this morning's immigration post.
Stay Puft weighs in with the following:
It isn't true that Mexicans are paid less for harvesting crops. Jobs like picking berries tend to be paid by the amount you pick, not what country you're a citizen of.
Any one of us can pick up our bushel basket and head over to the local berry patch. We don't because the compensation isn't worth the trouble. What's your "right price" for picking berries? Could a farmer pay everyone involved in a harvest that price and still keep the price of the berries low enough that people would buy them?
I always get a kick out of people saying "this country was founded on the rule of law" For one thing, people only say this when they're talking about immigration, and the fact is that this country began with a revolution fought by what we would today call an insurgency of illegal enemy combatants (the original minutemen)
I forgot the obligatory CIS-is-a-lousy-source-which-exists-to -distribute- Chris-Simcox's-essays-and-present- awards-to-Lou-Dobbs-under-a-guise-of- intellectual-honesty clause. so there it is.
Maybe agricultural products are not the clearest example of what I'm talking about ... but the simple fact remains: if producers paid more for each bushel or whatever, citizens could be attracted to do the work.
Thanks for the disclaimer, also. Everyone, be sure to read Gozer's more extensive reply here.
Loudoun Conservative has a further reply below the fold.
NVTH visitor Rudi says:
I believe that if the minimum wage were to be raised, there would be more people applying for the jobs at the lower end of the scale. Americans can't afford to work for such low pay. Immigrants make it work by supporting each other in the way of many people living in the same household. Stop the corporations and small businesses alike from paying these ridiculously low wages and we will see an upward trend. I myself am on unemployment right now and I have been looking for a job which will support my family of 5. It's not that I won't do the jobs the Mexicans won't do, it's that there is no way I can support my family on what they get paid. Make the pay equal to cost of living and the rest will follow.
You could be right; I've heard different opinions on what effect raising the minimum wage would have. It certainly could not hurt. The larger problem which needs to be solved in any case, however, is with employers who are able to hire illegal aliens without regard for any legislation or regulations.
Loudoun Conservative says:
This country was founded on the rule of law. When law does not rule, humans will be petty tyrants. The labor situation exemplifies this. When corporations ignore the law without consequence, everyone suffers. When corporations are forced to abide by the law, wages go up.
Rudi misses the point. If you remove VA's right to work laws and raise the minimum wage to "the cost of living." (whatever that is), more companies will take the risk of hiring illegals because there is an artificial wage "floor" and many people are willing to work for a price below that floor. If, instead, you enforce the current immigration laws, you reduce the number of people willing to work for next to nothing, while living 20 to an apartment and sending half their earnings south of the border. With those folks gone, as the Crider example demonstrates, companies have an incentive to raise their wages.
Forced unionization is bad for the economy. Artificial price floors and ceilings are bad for the economy. Republicans know that. But its time Republicans realized what Joe is pointing out. Feeding big business at the public trough is bad for the economy too. It's way past time to STOP looking the other way when big business breaks the law. Instead of a complicated tax structure with special breaks for favored industries, it's time to lower taxes for everyone. Let's remember what our economic engine is: the force of human creativity and potential. Let's unleash that force by lowering taxes on millions of potential entrepreuners and their future employees WHILE we enforce current immigration laws.
Remember that old supply / demand curve. A little graph actually does demonstrate how life works. We ignore it at our peril.
Well stated, LC.
Unlike what the Wall Street Journal would have us believe, there are no jobs that "Americans refuse to do." At the right price, we would all gladly pick strawberries. But employers who pay under-market wages to illegal Mexicans have no reason to raise wages to lure us. Stop illegal immigration and watch wages (and prices) rise.
Exactly - although the labor component is a fraction of the retail price of produce. You could double the cost of labor and the price of a pint of strawberries would go up less than 10%.
NVTH visitor Suburbanite says:
Joe, the reaction you received to papers about "workers" may not have been a cigar-chomping moneybags one at all.
There have been beaucoup union dollars in Loudoun since they set up a Loudoun PAC for the Kaine and Poisson campaigns.
There are now entrenched union dollars in NoVA politics, and I get something in my mailbox every week on the Fairfax border from Working America, the AFL/CIO PAC who "cares about working families".
Stay tuned for a challenge to VA's right to work status. The union dollars are going to flow hot and fast here in the interest of the continued "bluing" of VA.
Could be, but I don't think we were being perceived as union reps. Interesting point, though.
Ok, first Iâ€™d like to applaud and welcome this new-found concern among conservatives for the working poor. This is as interesting a twist as â€œliberals siding with big business.â€ At the macro level, the impact of immigration is less discernible, and itâ€™s likely that 6 years of a waffling economy has had a larger impact on low job growth and wage increases. However, immigrants from Latin America are largely unskilled laborers, so itâ€™s reasonable to assume that unskilled workers with US citizenship rights would be the first to feel the effects of these undocumented workers.
Having said that, we ought to keep in mind that adding people to an economy will also create jobs. Yes, we have millions more laborers in our economy because of immigration; we also have millions more consumers. For this reason, any suggestion that each job filled by an undocumented worker is one job less for domestic unskilled labor is based on an overly-simplistic application of â€œsupply-and-demand.â€
While studies of the economy have failed to establish a strong link between immigration and low wages to unskilled workers, anecdotal evidence that immigration is damaging our economy does exists. Yet all this seems to miss the point. I think â€˜liberalsâ€™ and â€˜conservativesâ€™ can agree that there is a problem. The trouble is that solutions proposed by conservative groups donâ€™t address the root of the problem. They seek a solution to the problem as it exists in their home town, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. â€œBuild a wallâ€ they say, â€œcrack down on businesses who hire them and landlords who rent to them!â€ What will these things accomplish? What benefits to our society will come from further marginalizing the 13 million people living and working among us who donâ€™t have citizenship rights?
The solution must involve the governments of Mexico and Latin America. NAFTA is a failed experiment. The Mexican economy was not ready for such strict free trade with the biggest economy in the world. While we prosper under NAFTA, we are literally driving people in Mexico out of work. NAFTA was originally meant to bring the cooperative model of the EU to North America, but it has instead become a model of regional hegemony.
So I think we all care about the working poor. The question is WHAT working poor? The working poor in our own community? Of course. But does that include undocumented working poor? What about the working poor in Mexico? Surely, being poor in the US is a life of luxury compared to the experience of poverty in Mexico. True, we are a sovereign nation with laws and etc., and so we are in no way obligated to concern ourselves with the destitution which exists beyond our borders (even if our policies contribute to its proliferation). But, since when is America a country of people who are only concerned with the well-being of others only to the degree that we are obligated to be? What in our Judeo-Christian heritage (which is so often touted here) allows us to rationalize this lack of concern? It seems odd that the same people who were so idealistic and optimistic about our ability to transform the Middle East into a modern, democratic and capitalist region are so quick to write off our own neighbors as a lost cause, and advocate walling ourselves off from them.
So yes, we should address this problem, by reevaluating our trade arrangements with Mexico, by investing in the Mexican economy, working with businesses as well as the Mexican government to address the disparities that exist between our two countries. On the home front, we need to accept that because of these disparities millions of people are now living their lives in this country who donâ€™t have the same rights as we do. Do we want them to be as marginalized as possible? To what end? The more we drive members of this community from working in legitimate jobs, the more we force them to live on the fringes of society, the more pressure they will feel to turn to lives of crime. This is true of any community, regardless of citizenship status.
At the same time, I believe we SHOULD crack down on employers. Any employer who is paying their employees less than the minimum wage should be subject to penalties. The minimum wage is just that, the MINIMUM. When multiple US citizens apply to a minimum wage job, they donâ€™t engage in a race-to-the-bottom bidding war. What employer would hire someone who said, â€œThey expects to be paid minimum wage, but Iâ€™ll work for a dollar less!â€ That would make the minimum wage meaningless. Regardless of who theyâ€™re hiring, employers should be made to observe the minimum wage!
So are â€˜liberalsâ€™ concerned with the working poor? Yes, albeit in a broader context. Do we want to see a solution to the problems which force people to choose between abject poverty and life in the margins, alienated and without rights? Yes, we want a REAL solution, not a wall, and not a set of policies which allow us to pretend that 13 million people donâ€™t deserve access to the American Dream! We also want cooperation with our neighbors, economic prosperity throughout the region, and recognition of the core American value that ALL people, not just US citizens, are equals!
Thatâ€™s all Iâ€™ve got.
The biggest myth in the entire debate over illegal immigration is that there is a labor shortage in the U.S. which illegal aliens, who will work for lower wages and less benefits then U.S. citizens, must fill. There is no labor shortage at the lowest end of the job market. Wages for the less educated and unskilled have fallen, in real terms, over the past three decades. Basic economics teaches us that prices fall when supply rises. There has been a surplus of less-educated workers in the U.S. for many years.
Here's the irony: In nearly every case, liberals and the mainstream media feign concern for the poorest among us - U.S. citizens who are left behind by the job market ...
... except in the cases where big business argues there is a labor shortage: In those cases, the liberals inexplicably line up to support business owners against the workers.
There was a news item a couple months ago about a Georgia town impacted by a crackdown on illegal workers in that state:
The poultry plant has limped along with half its normal workforce. Crider increased its starting wages by $1 an hour to help recruit new workers.
Stacie Bell, 23, started work canning chicken at Crider a week ago. She said the pay, $7.75 an hour, led her to leave her $5.60-an-hour job as a Wal-Mart cashier in nearby Statesboro. Still, Bell said she felt bad about the raids.
Interesting, right? When the illegals left, the company had to give citizens a better deal in order to get them to work there.
Well, here is the update. To our liberal commenters, I have just one question: WTF?
Felons on probation and homeless men have filled some of the poultry jobs left by illegal Mexican laborers deported in raids two months ago.
About 40 convicted felons from the Macon Diversion Center are bused in each day to work at the Crider Poultry plant in Stillmore â€” the focus of the raids.
Additionally, 16 men from the Garden City Rescue Mission in Augusta have come to work in the plant. Several from the mission have become shift leaders, said Lavond Reynolds, director of men's housing for the mission.
"Compared to the attrition rate [at the plant] in general, these guys have really stuck so far," Reynolds said. The mission might send another 15 soon ...
The Mexican population in Stillmore has plummeted since immigration officials first visited the Crider plant in May, town residents said. Immigration agents estimated that 700 workers were using fraudulent IDs. The company began checking documents and confronting employees. Many were fired and hundreds of illegal immigrants left town on their own throughout the summer.
Then, over Labor Day, federal agents rounded up and deported more than 125 illegal immigrants working at the Crider plant or living in Emanuel and surrounding counties.
That left Crider with a big labor gap, and finding workers to fill the jobs has been a challenge. Among the efforts and changes at the plant since the raids:
-The company outsourced 250 jobs in its raw deboning operation to Alabama.
-Some processing has slowed because of the downturn in the work force.
-Crider has turned to an outside company to hire about 100 workers to clean the plant each night.
-The company raised starting wages by about 40 cents and now offers attendance bonuses to new hires. Before, it took a year to be eligible for the extra pay. (Starting base pay is $6 an hour; most workers earn more through bonuses and overtime.)
-The company is spending more on hiring and training as turnover is high among new employees.
For instance, Crider advanced money to house the homeless men from the mission in trailers and to turn on their utilities. The company also pays to bus state probationers from Macon each day and is busing workers from surrounding communities ...
Pastor Ariel Rodriguez drives around Stillmore, explaining what happened to each of the Mexican families that used to live in trailers and apartments.
"The majority of people have gone to Kentucky," he said. They knew a priest who used to live in the area and followed him up there, Rodriguez said. Other residents have gone back to Mexico.
At least one local businessman said his business has gone up since the raids. The churn of new folks applying and working at Crider has brought new customers to Mighty Mike's Hot Stop gas station and convenience store in town.
"They come in here and shop," said manager Willie Gordon. "Our inside sales have gone up $3,000 per week since the raids."
It's been a mixture of new clientele. But Gordon, who is African-American, attributes a good part of the increase to more black workers coming into town. Gordon notes: "You gotta be legal now."
To my liberal friends, I say: Read that report again. Note how it reads like the reporter was sourcing a press release from the Crider corporation.
Then, tell me why it is even remotely logical for you to support the Crider corporation against the interests of poor and disadvantaged American citizens. (Many of these are African-American men).
Look at what is happening there. Illegal aliens were chased out of town, and the corporation is now forced to raises wages and benefits to attract legal workers. In order to fix their labor shortage, it sure looks like the company may need to increase wages and benefits a lot more. Disadvantaged Americans now have opportunities to become self-sufficient.
Again, WTF? What got me involved in this issue was learning that illegal immigration is not a victimless crime. I met people who could state how their lives and livelihoods had suffered. Wages fell, jobs disappeared, neighborhoods were sold out. Most of this occurred as a direct result of companies finding a way to pad their profits by ratcheting down their salary budgets. This all took place amid cheers by business owners, chambers of commerce, and traditional Republican supporters.
While giving out flyers for HelpSaveLoudoun at a Republican event recently - flyers noting that illegal immigration was bad for "American workers" - I watched a number of attendees crumple it up in disgust. The pro-business contingent has little sympathy for any advocacy for "workers," and I am accustomed to this response from that part of the GOP coalition.
But I wonder, where the hell are the Democrats?!
Frankly, I think many of them are grossly misinformed. They buy the line there is a shortage of workers hook, line and sinker, without stopping to ask why business owners are the only ones selling that particular line.
I'm willing to admit I've been wrong on things. I hope some of our liberal friends will be willing to admit they've been wrong on the effects of illegal immigration.
UPDATE: This is, I think, an important enough topic to be discussed on the main page, so I am going to elevate comments to new posts. To our amnesty guys and resident bloggers: Go ahead and start new posts if you want and just link back to this one. I think there is a realignment in the air. I'm willing to bend. Are you?
The whole immigration issue is complicated, granted. Problems exist in neighborhoods and supposedly they can only be solved by our fearless leaders in the federal government.
But we can stipulate a few basic requirements.
Americanization must occur. Immigrants must learn English and decide to become Americans. Otherwise, they are visitors, and guests are under a completely different category. If you don't consider yourselves Americans, or at least budding Americans, don't expect to be taken under America's wing.
You can't come to America and go on welfare. It makes no sense. We, who pay taxes, are trying to get people OFF welfare. Importing new welfare recipients is economic and cultural suicide. With millions of people coming across the US southern border every year we can be looking at one mother of a problem if the majority of the new arrivals are going on the dole.
You must be citizens. Otherwise, you will be paid under the table and current citizens will be at a huge disadvantage, whether the jobs be in retail, agriculture or whatever.
Employers who game the system by hiring illegal workers need to be punished. The punishment should be draconian because the impact on lower-skilled American citizens is severe.
Employment laws need to be upheld. How hard is this to understand?
Importing poverty is going to be an unmitigated disaster for those who are least able to deal with it.
Immigrants and their families now comprise one out of four poor Americans. Poor immigrants pay little in taxes and consume large levels of government services including medical care, welfare, and public education. The increase in poverty due to immigration can impose costs well beyond the immediate cost of current welfare beneÂfits for immigrants. By magnifying the public perception of poverty, immigration can create political leverage for new anti-poverty programs. Immigration-induced poverty can easily have spillover effects resulting in new governÂment entitlements for all poor Americans...
The U.S. offers enormous economic opportunities and societal benefits. Hundreds of millions more people would immigrate to the U.S. if they had the opportunity. Given this context, the U.S. must be selective in its immigration policy. Policymakers must ensure that the interaction of welfare and immigration does not expand the welfare-dependent population, thereby hindering rather than helping immigrants and imposing large costs on American society.
U.S. immigration policy should encourage high-skill immigration and strictly limit low-skill immigration. In genÂeral, government policy should limit immigration to those who will be net fiscal contributors, avoiding those who will increase poverty and impose new costs on overburdened U.S. taxpayers.
This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is a simple question of human rights. How much are we going to punish the American blue collar worker and the American taxpayer?
We have a president who is clueless about why migrant workers are a detriment to American workers, and a political party controlling both houses of Congress sympathetic to demands for unlimited illegal migration.
President Bush gave Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon an assurance in the Oval Office yesterday that he will push for a broad immigration bill that includes a new guest-worker program and citizenship rights for many illegal aliens...
The two men met face to face for the first time, ahead of Mr. Calderon's Dec. 1 inauguration. The meeting comes two weeks after Mr. Bush signed a bill authorizing nearly 700 miles of new fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Although he didn't criticize the fence in his remarks to reporters in the Oval Office, Mr. Calderon said at a later press conference attended by Mexican and Spanish-language press that he told Mr. Bush the fence is a mistake.
"I told him our opinion that [the wall] is a mistaken remedy because it doesn't resolve the problem," the president-elect said, speaking in Spanish. "But he explained that this remedy was in response to the concerns of the United States to have a secure border."
He and other Mexican officials have compared the fence -- which will be built in major smuggling corridors -- to the Berlin Wall...
Mexicans living in the United States -- legally and illegally -- will send home $24 billion in remittances this year, making it one of the nation's largest sources of income, along with oil sales.
Mr. Bush and outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox had pledged in 2001 to try to secure an immigration accord that would legalize Mexican illegal aliens, but those efforts stalled after the September 11 terrorist attacks boosted concerns over immigration and border security.
Congressional Republicans, in particular, have balked, arguing that allowing illegal aliens a path to citizenship amounts to an amnesty for bad behavior, and would encourage more illegal entry.
Um, isn't this the type of scenario that results in street marches? I think that's a hint of the next action item.
If this Washington Post story is even remotely accurate, I will send the following letter to our new House Speaker.
Dear Hon. Nancy Pelosi:
Please impeach President Bush. Our country deserves better. American blue-collar workers and our less-educated citizens are the primary victims of lawless immigration and opportunistic employers who profit by hiring under the table. I think you will agree that notions of "human rights" should stem, first, from respect for the citizens of this country.
If you are a conservative, the Republicans, as a party, are pretty disappointing, don't you agree? If you don't agree, please go back to bed and pull the covers over your head. It's nice under there.
The Republicans have had control of the U.S. government to a large degree since 1994 and the end result has been a very non-conservative state of affairs. The deficit has gone through the stratosphere and our southern border has become an international cause celebre. By way of definition, a 'cause celebre' tends to involve few U.S. border guards guarding the border.
So let's learn about an alternative.
A Brief History of the Constitution Party
In 1992, a coalition of independent state parties formed the U.S. Taxpayers Party. The U.S. Taxpayer's Party's goal was to limit the Federal Government to its constitutional boundaries and to restore civil government to the principles our country was founded upon. Some of the state affiliate parties have adopted the national party name, while others have adopted or retained a different name.
In 1992, the party's presidential candidate, Howard Phillips, was on the ballot in 21 states. In 1995, the party became the fifth political party to be formally recognized by the Federal Election Commission as a national political party. In 1996 the party achieved ballot access in 39 states, with Howard Phillips again as its presidential candidate.
On that topic of George W. Bush possibly working with a Democratic Congress to pass an amnesty for illegal aliens:
Hellstorm. Mark my words.
From the other room where the TV is on I just heard a comment on FoxNews to the effect that George W. Bush will have some enhanced hopes with a Democrat-controlled House, and one of those bright spots would be on the issue of immigration.
Specifically, George W. Bush might be able to demonstrate his ability to get things done by getting the "stalled" immigration reform legislation finally passed by a more cooperative Congress.
Well isn't that special. We'll have much more on this topic in the future. Makes you wonder about the Republicans.
If you are concerned about illegal immigration, be aware the U.S. Supreme Court is on the verge of the tipping point in favor of enforcement. Critical cases will be percolating up to that level, and the resolution thereof will determine the future of this nation. The Supreme Court is, ultimately, where the ACLU's effectiveness - now challenging Hazleton, PA - will be tested.
Federal Judge James Munley issued a temporary restraining order blocking Hazleton from enforcing both the Illegal Immigration Relief Act and the Landlords Tenant Registration Act Tuesday evening...
The action means neither tenants nor landlords have to register with the city, for now.
The injunction followed by one day a lawsuit that claims the immigration act is unconstitutional.
Private attorneys, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit on Monday.
Despite his many faults, President Bush has come through for conservatives big time with his two appointments to the Court. Rumors are swirling that one more seat - that of Justice John Paul Stevens - may be vacated in the next two years.
Normally, this news might be too ghoulish to repeat publicly. Nevertheless, with the election just days away, it is news that should be considered. It points out what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for the 20-year movement to recast the court with a constitutionalist majority. It would be a cruel twist indeed for conservatives to â€œteach Republicans a lessonâ€ next Tuesday, only to be taught a lesson themselves within months when new Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) leads a Democratic majority against the most important Supreme Court nominee in decades. Conservatives whose mantra is â€œno more Soutersâ€ should bear in mind Robert Borkâ€™s fate after the Senate changed from Republican to Democratic hands in 1986...
â€œThereâ€™s no worry on judges,â€ said Schumer. â€œAnd judges is the whole ball of wax.â€ Other supposedly centrist Democratic candidates including Harold Ford Jr. (Tenn.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Jim Webb (Va.) have refused to rule out filibusters against judicial nominees.
Even if the rumor turns out to be unfounded, it is worth repeating because it crystallizes the reality that there will soon be another high court vacancy. Senators elected next Tuesday to six year terms will, assuredly, vote on the confirmation of at least one new Supreme Court justice before their term is out.
Regardless of your feelings about the president or the GOP in general, if you are a conservative and/or concerned about the prospect of continued rampant illegal immigration into the U.S., be sure to vote for a Republican Senate candidate on Tuesday if you have the opportunity.
One more Bush appointment to the Supreme Court is in the best interests of this country, and a Republican-led Senate is the only way to ensure that will happen.
It was another rough and tumble, death-match, public discussion in Sterling Park, with over 70 citizens and public officials facing off over the predictably controversial proposal to place a new Sheriff's Office substation on the general location of a local elementa