Thursday, June 15, 2006

Undermining the Law

Victor David Hanson makes an excellent point about the gradual undermining of US law by unchecked illegal immigration. If people can choose the laws they wish to respect, and law makers and police the laws they wish to enforce, then the concept of "rule of law" is itself diminished.

The alien from Mexico chooses which American laws he finds convenient. He wants our border police to leave him alone -- until he becomes lost in the desert or is attacked by robbers.

The employer expects trespassing laws to be enforced to keep vagrants off his premises, but then assumes that the same vigilant police will ignore the illegal status of his cheap labor force.

And does the city council that orders its policemen not to turn over arrested illegal aliens to the border patrol similarly allow townspeople to ignore their municipal tax bills?

When thousands operate cars without state-mandated licenses and car insurance, why should other drivers bother to purchase them? If police pull over motorists and do not verify the legal status of aliens, why do they check for outstanding arrest warrants of citizens?

Ignoring the law is not only hypocritical and anarchical; it also creates cynicism. Recently, I listened to friends relate that the government had indicted some Indian immigrants on charges of arranging bogus marriages to gain citizenship. My friends half-jokingly wondered why the culprits hadn't simply flown to Mexico and tried to sneak across the border!

Much self-serving lip service is paid to "the rule of law," but it is in fact one of the great intellectual acheivements of mankind. And, as Hanson points out, it is one of the major cultural differences between the Anglo-Saxon descended US and Spanish/Indian-descended Central and South America:

Nevertheless, what distinguishes the U.S. from nations in the Middle East, Africa and, yes, Mexico is the sanctity of our legal system. The terrain of Mexico may be indistinguishable from the landscape across the border in the U.S. But when it comes to the law, there is a grand canyon between us.

Only on one side of the border is title to private property sacrosanct, are police held accountable and is banking conducted transparently. Public hiring in America is based on civil service law, and judges are autonomous. And the American public has a legal right to investigate and even sue its government. That maze of legality helps to explain everything from why the water is safer to drink in San Diego than in Tijuana to why a worker makes $12 an hour in Fresno but less than $1 in Oaxaca.

Yet once we as a nation choose to ignore our keystone laws of sovereignty and citizenship, the entire edifice of a once unimpeachable legal system will collapse. Ironically, we would then become no different from those nations whose citizens are now fleeing to our own shores to escape the wages of lawlessness.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the legacy that millions of illegal immigrants from Mexico are bringing to the US, a disrespect for the law and the authority that flows from it. The failure of American lawmakers to enforce American laws - mostly for corrupt political reasons - undermines both their authority and the stability and legitimacy of the nation as a whole.

The Hagel-Martinez Amnesty

The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has taken a comprehensive look at the "guest worker" and "path to citizenship" plans under the US Senate's Hagel-Martinez bill, which enjoys the full and vocal support of President Bush. The impact of Hagel-Martinez, according to CIS, would be devastating for the US. Nor can there be any doubt that the intent behind Hagel-Martinez (and President Bush's desire) is the granting of amnesty to millions of Latino illegal immigrants who willfully violated American law and sovereignty.

Based on the outcomes of the last amnesty in 1986, we expect that nearly 10 million illegal aliens will receive amnesty under the Hagel-Martinez bill. That is, they will legalize and eventually apply for permanent residence and be eligible for citizenship. As in 1986, we also expect that one-fourth (2.6 million) will get amnesty fraudulently. The bill will also allow an estimated 4.5 million family members of illegal aliens to join their legalized relatives, for a total of 14.4 million beneficiaries. These estimates do not include the very large increases in future legal immigration in the bill.

Based on the 1986 amnesty, we estimate that slightly over 70 percent (7.4 million) of the 10.2 million illegals eligible for the three amnesties in Hagel-Martinez will come forward and receive amnesty legitimately. That is, they will gain legal status allowing them to live and work in the United States and eventually apply for permanent residence and then citizenship.

In addition to the 7.4 million expected to receive amnesty legitimately, we estimate that, as in 1986, there will be one fraudulent amnesty awarded for every three legitimate ones. This means that nearly 2.6 million additional illegals will legalize fraudulently, for a total of 9.9 million.

In addition to the amnesty beneficiaries, the bill will allow an estimated 4.5 million family members currently living aboard to join their newly legalized relatives for a total of 14.4 million people who will benefit from the bill’s amnesty provisions.

Our assumption that the share of illegals who come forward will be similar to the share in 1986 may be too low because, unlike the last legalization, illegals now know that amnesties are real and not a ruse by the government to deport them. Moreover, because the border is now more difficult to cross illegally, legalization is a more attractive option.

Our estimate of 2.6 million fraudulent amnesty recipients, based on the 1986 amnesty, may be too low as well because the false-document industry is now more developed. Moreover, the overworked immigration bureaucracy already has a severe fraud problem according the Government Accountability Office. As its workload mushrooms with amnesty, fraud will become even more difficult to detect.

Of the 14.4 million illegals and their family members who will receive amnesty, we estimate that 13.5 million will eventually become permanent residents, which means they can stay as along as they wish and apply for citizenship. The rest can be expected to die or return home before becoming permanent residents.

The above estimates do not include the bill’s very large increases in future legal immigration, which is expected to double or triple from one million a year under current law.

CIS makes clear - as the Heritage Foundation did last month - that the Hagel-Martinez bill would put into motion the most dramatic demographic alteration of the US since Ted Kennedy's 1965 immigration reform, which opened US borders to immigrants from every portion of the Third World, while slowly choking off European immigration. Hagel-Martinez's aim is both dramatic and deliberate - to radically increase the Latino population in the US at the expense of all other ethnic groups. The impact will be increased ethnic competition (especially between already mariginalized groups, especially blacks), ethnic and cultural balkanization and an increase in crime and racial strife. Worse, it will further undermine any possibility of assimilating Latino immigrants already living in the US by so increasing the numbers of those immigrants that the need for assimilation will decline. Why should Latino immigrants bother to learn English if they can live in large communities of their co-ethnics, served by Spanish-media and Spanish speaking government agencies? The more Spanish speakers there are, the less pressure will exist for Spanish-speakers to learn English.

The Hagel-Martinez bill is the most far-reaching immigration bill ever conceived by Congress. In addition to the amnesty provisions of the bill, it dramatically increases green cards in the future and changes immigration law in numerous other ways. This Backgrounder focuses only on the size and scope of the three amnesty categories in the legislation. We estimate that if the bill becames law, almost 10 million illegal aliens will legalize, 2.6 million of whom will do so fraudulently. In addition, nearly 4.5 million family members of illegal immigrants currently living abroad will be allowed to join their newly legalized relatives for a total of 14.4 million people who will benefit from the bill’s amnesty provisions. We also estimate that, of the 14.4 million who gain legal status, some 13.5 million will eventually be awarded Lawful Permanent Residence (LPR), which means they can stay in the country as along as they wish and apply for citizenship.

Hagel-Martinez represents a disaster for the US and must be stopped. Contact your Congress person and demand that the US House quash any bill that grants amnesty. Demand border enforcement and the defense of US law and sovereignty.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Homeland Security?

After spending hundreds of billlions of dollars on Homeland Security, it's enough to a taxpayer cry...

The Department of Homeland Security allowed a man to enter its headquarters last week using a fake Matricula Consular card as identification, despite federal rules that say the Mexican-issued card is not valid ID at government buildings.

Bruce DeCell, a retired New York City police officer, used his phony card -- which lists his place of birth as "Tijuana, B.C." and his address as "123 Fraud Blvd." on an incorrectly spelled "Staton Island, N.Y." -- to enter the building Wednesday for a meeting with DHS officials.

Mr. DeCell said he has had the card for four years and has used it again and again to board airliners and enter government buildings, without being turned down once. But he said he was surprised that DHS, the agency in charge of determining secure IDs, accepted it.

"Obviously, it's not working," Mr. DeCell said.

And it gets worse...

In addition to being a forgery obtained for him from a street vendor in California, Mr. DeCell's card was modeled on an older version, which the Mexican government publicly acknowledges is not a secure document. The Mexican government says the old-style cards "are no longer valid."

Is anyone really surprised? A president who can't properly identify the source of the terrorism that plagues the world (Islam), refuses to defend American borders, and who apparently has constructed his domestic policies to benefit the Mexican government (as opposed to the American people), could produce nothing less asinine.

But not to worry...

Jarrod Agen, a spokesman for DHS, said the department shouldn't have allowed the ID to be used for entry to its headquarters.

"DHS is following up on these allegations and will take necessary actions to ensure there is not another occurrence of this type," he said.

Now, doesn't that make you feel better?

Derbyshire on Iraq

Fresh from a scathing review of National Review colleague Ramesh Ponnuru's latest book, John Derbyshire appears ready to further rattle the cages at NR by apologizing for his support of the war in Iraq. Derbyshire says he supported the war for both visceral and practical reasons, but that the dismal and faulty attempts at nation-building have cost the US so much, in blood, treasure and strategic position, that any value the US acheived by destroying Saddam's regime has been lost.

One reason I supported the initial attack, and the destruction of the Saddam regime, was that I hoped it would serve as an example, deliver a psychic shock to the whole region. It would have done, if we’d just rubbled the place then left. As it is, the shock value has all been frittered away. Far from being seen as a nation willing to act resolutely, a nation that knows how to punish our enemies, a nation that can smash one of those ramshackle Mideast despotisms with one blow from our mailed fist, a nation to be feared and respected, we are perceived as a soft and foolish nation, that squanders its victories and permits its mighty military power to be held to standoff by teenagers with homemade bombs—that lets crooks and bandits tie it down, Gulliver-like, with a thousand little threads of blackmail, trickery, lies, and petty violence.

Just ask yourself: Given that Iran is the real looming threat in that region, are we better placed now to deal with that threat than we would have been absent an Iraq war? If we could ask President Ahmadinejad whether he thinks we are better placed, what would his honest answer be?

We are not controlling events in Iraq. Events in Iraq are controlling us. We are the puppet; the street gangs of Baghdad and Basra are the puppet-masters, aided and abetted by an unsavory assortment of confidence men, bazaar traders, scheming clerics, ethnic front men, and Iranian agents. With all our wealth and power and idealism, we have submitted to become the plaything of a rabble, and a Middle Eastern rabble at that. Instead of rubbling, we have ourselves been rabbled. The lazy-minded evangelico-romanticism of George W. Bush, the bureaucratic will to power of Donald Rumsfeld, the avuncular condescension of Dick Cheney, and the reflexive military deference of Colin Powell combined to get us into a situation we never wanted to be in, a situation no self-respecting nation ought to be in, a situation we don’t know how to get out of. It’s not inconceivable that, with a run of sheer good luck, we might yet escape without too much egg on our faces, but it’s not likely. The place we are at is surely not a place anyone in 2003 wanted us to be at—not even Vic Davis Hanson.

Since the Iraq war was obviously a gross blunder, is it time for those of us who cheered on the war to offer some kind of apology? Here we are—we, the United States—in our fourth year of occupying that sinkhole, and it looks pretty much like the third year, or the second. Will the eighth year of our occupation, or our twelfth, look any better? I know people who will say yes, but I no longer know any who will say it with real conviction. It’s a tough thing, to admit you were wrong. It’s way tough if you’re a big-name pundit with a reputation to preserve. For those of us down at the bottom of the pundit pecking order, the stakes aren’t so high. I, at any rate, am willing to eat some crow and say: I wish I had never given any support to this fool war.

While Derbyshire's apology will doubtless not be echoed by too many of his NR compatriots, I suspect he is correct when he says many of them are secretly thinking the same thing. But Derbyshire rises far above anyone currently writing for NR when he explains, clearly and without any PC-offuscation, by "democratizing Iraq" must fail (as it has failed in East Timor, recently too):

So why am I eating crow? Because I think it was foolish of me to suppose that the administration would act with the punitive ruthlessness I hoped to see. The rubble-and-out approach was not one that this administration, or perhaps any administration in the present state of our culture, would be willing to pursue. The universalist dogmas that rule unchallenged in our media and educational institutions have fixed their grip on our foreign policy, too. When the Founders of our nation said “all men” they had in mind Christian Anglo-Saxon men. Our leaders, though, want to bring the whole world under the scope of those grand Lockeian principles.

Perhaps this will work, or perhaps it won’t. My belief is, and always has been, that it won’t. My fault was in not grasping the scale of the administration’s multiculturalist ambitions. (Of which, to be fair to them, they had given plenty of hints, and even one or two frank declarations of intent.) George W. Bush believes that, to borrow and adjust a line from the colonel in Full Metal Jacket: “Inside every Middle East Muslim there is an American trying to get out.” The effort to stabilize Iraq, and the reluctance to just leave the Iraqis to fight each other among the rubble, followed inevitably from that belief, which is, according to me, a false belief. I see all that now. I didn’t see it then. I am sorry.

Baghdad is not Minneapolis with palm trees. The people who live there are not Minnesotans. Their cultural and genetic legacy are not the same as the men who drafted the US constitution and whose descendants have successfully maintained it for more than two centuries. Assuming that Iraqis could be force-fed a societal template for which they are culturally and hereditarily discinlined is the cause of the present mess in Iraq, and is the folly of current US foreign and domestic policy.