|Pretending Immigration Isn’t an Issue|
|The Republican National Committee’s mail-order fundraisers often contain a comprehensive multiple-choice survey so that prospective donors can give their opinions on topics of national importance. One issue, however, is conspicuously missing from the list: border security/immigration.
The omission isn’t an oversight; it’s a deliberate policy. The National Republican Congressional Committee has been advising its candidates not to mention this issue in their speeches or campaign literature.
This policy is in spite of the fact that House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) gave Republicans the opportunity to seize the high ground on this issue when he addressed the radical leftwing Hispanic group, the National Council of La Raza, in Miami on July 22. He announced a Democratic Party plan to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. Nothing is more unpopular with the voters than amnesty (which Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) called “sheer lunacy”). If the powers that be in the Republican Party don’t realize this, they are out of touch with the grass roots.
The shyness of the Republican Party and the Bush Administration about immigration explains why they manifest a deafening silence about Rep. George Gekas’s (R-PA) bill (H.R. 5013) called Securing America’s Future through Enforcement Reform (SAFER). It’s completely in accord with public opinion polls showing that the big majority of the American people want government to reduce the number of legal immigrants, to stop the irresponsible issuance of visas, to deport illegal aliens, and to use U.S. troops to guard our borders (instead of the borders of Eastern Europe).
Title I, called Securing the Border, would increase the number of INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) investigators and enforcement personnel, lengthen criminal sentences for alien smuggling, beef up the Border Patrol, and use U.S. military troops until the Border Patrol reaches full strength. It would stop granting visas in countries that refuse to cooperate in combating alien smuggling.
Title II, called Screening Aliens Seeking Admission, would tighten up the visa program in order to reduce the risk of aliens using fraudulent passports, require in-person interviews before issuing all visas, and bar any alien who is a member of a terrorist group or supports terrorism. Most people don’t understand why this isn’t already the law.
Title III, called Tracking Aliens Present in the United States, would establish a comprehensive entry-exit control system with registration and fingerprinting (which INS has promised for years but never implemented). At least 40% of illegal aliens (including several 9/11 terrorists) are visa overstayers.
Title IV, called Removing Alien Terrorists, Criminals, and Human Rights Violators, would authorize INS to deport any alien who was inadmissible in the first place or who we have grounds to believe may be a terrorist. This title would reverse several court decisions that accord unreasonable “rights” to terrorists claiming asylum, and would prevent the courts from releasing criminal aliens into the community.
Title V, called Enhancing Enforcement of the Immigration and Nationality Act in the Interior, would protect Social Security cards against counterfeiting and fraudulent use. This title would increase the number of INS investigators, as repeatedly requested by INS, and double the number of INS detention beds.
Title VI would eliminate excessive review and dilatory and abusive tactics by aliens in deportation proceedings. It would also exclude aliens who knowingly make a false asylum application.
Title VII would clean up the problem of voting by illegal aliens. It would require verification of citizenship for voters and applicants. Voting by illegal aliens and by persons who don’t speak English was a major reason why good Congressmen such as Bob Dornan and Jim Rogan were defeated.
Title VIII, called Reforming Legal Immigration, would repeal the infamous Diversity Immigrant Program which admits 50,000 immigrants a year, mostly from the Third World including countries that sponsor terrorism, and which helped the Fourth of July LAX murderer win U.S. residency. It would reform the abuses in the refugee program and in the extended-family visa program. It would reduce the number of legal immigrants by 20%, which would still leave immigration nearly double the traditional level. INS is unable to cope with its current backlog of five million applications.
Rep. Gekas, chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee, will start hearings on his bill in September. He should then add one more section to require INS to screen out aliens with diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, Chagas disease, intestinal parasites, and tuberculosis. The BBC reported that the current epidemic of West Nile virus (a central African disease) was probably brought to America for the first time three years ago by an imported exotic bird. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 16,000 foreign birds passed unscreened for West Nile virus through JFK airport in 1999. Where are the environmentalists when we need them?
From Florida to California, illegal aliens show up at hospital emergency rooms and the costs are passed along to paying patients and to local taxpayers. The American Hospital Association estimates that the costs of bad-debt and charity care run into the billions.
A Martin County, Florida, hospital has spent $900,000 (with no end in sight) caring for a Guatemalan illegal who appeared at the emergency room two years ago with a brain injury after an automobile accident. He has no money and no family, but somehow he has a lawyer who has successfully prevented deportation to Guatemala. A Jamaican illegal spent 17 months under care at the same hospital. After he ran up a bill of $500,000, he was finally sent home to Jamaica. St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach treats one or two illegals a week and Delray Medical Center about 75 a month. Hospitals are required to provide care to anyone who shows up with a life-threatening condition.
Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) has persuaded the General Accounting Office to study the financial costs that illegal aliens impose on hospitals. He says “we need to remedy this problem before we can no longer afford to take care of Americans.”
Many Arizona hospitals have to treat automobile accident victims of dangerous driving by what are called “people smugglers.” Two Tucson hospitals were stuck with treating a half dozen illegal aliens who were injured in a nighttime crash of their car traveling on the highway at 100 miles an hour.
A San Antonio hospital treated victims suffering from dehydration after up to 70 men, women and children were discovered by police in a tractor-trailer rig at a truck stop. Another tractor-trailer rig loaded with 40 illegal aliens, two of them dead from suffocation, was found in July in Dallas.
The Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, California, has been caring for a comatose Mexican illegal ever since he got drunk and was struck by a car in May. He can’t pay for the care, of course, but his lawyer is fighting his deportation to a Tijuana hospital.
San Diego hospitals had to face the burden of caring for 31 accident victims (not counting the seven who were killed) when a van carrying illegals from Mexico and Brazil crashed going the wrong way on an interstate at night with its headlights turned off.
Some aliens look upon an automobile accident as their entry ticket into the United States. They get treated at an American hospital and then may be released into no one’s custody, and no one has any figures on the numbers.
Last year the taxpayers who finance Medicaid paid the hospital bill for 6,000 illegal aliens to have their babies in Colorado. This totaled $30 million, an average of $5,000 per baby. Those 6,000 births to illegal aliens are 40% of the births Medicaid paid for in Colorado. Those 6,000 babies immediately became U.S. citizens and qualified for all Medicaid services at a cost that is not even tabulated.
To get immediate care, the illegal only has to say she is “undocumented.” Pregnant American mothers can’t avoid their birth-of-a-baby expenses so easily. Denver Health is asking taxpayers to approve a bond issue to pay for a bigger obstetrics unit. The present unit was built for 1,85% births a year but last year it handled 3,500.
This Colorado information was reported by Al Knight of the Denver Post editorial board. He concluded with a fascinating comment: “There are many groups and interests that for one reason or another don’t want this information to be available or to be discussed.”
He didn’t identify the “groups and interests.” Who they are would be a good question to ask your Member of Congress, along with why Congress isn’t doing its duty to protect Americans from the influx of illegal aliens.
The Centers for Disease Control recently announced the deaths of the first American victims of Chagas disease. Chagas disease is caused by a parasite that is spread when a so-called “kissing bug” bites a human and then defecates while it feeds. The feces contain the parasite, which can enter the human either when the bitten person scratches the bite or from eating contaminated uncooked food. Chagas infection can lead to various disorders such as obstruction of the colon or esophagus, and is often fatal if untreated.
The Chagas disease in the United States has been traced to a Central American immigrant. More than 16 million people are infected with the parasite in Central America, and health officials estimate that 100,000 Latin American residents in the United States now carry the parasite.
Immigration officials are supposed to screen out immigrants who are carrying diseases, but of course there is no health screening for illegal aliens, who are coming into our country by the hundreds of thousands every year.
Tuberculosis, which had been on the way to eradication in the United States, is now rising rapidly because of immigration. In California, the state health department reports that 75% of all TB patients were born outside the United States.
When are the American people going to wake up to the diseases, followed by the costs to our health care system, that result from the massive numbers of aliens coming into the United States at the present time, especially from Third World countries?
Instead of dealing with these existing health-care burdens, some members of Congress are trying to hit the taxpayers with even more costs for illegal aliens. They are trying to make illegal aliens eligible for in-state tuition rates at publicly funded colleges and universities.
Texas, California and New York are already subsidizing these aliens who have broken our laws while discriminating against students in lawful, taxpaying families from the other 49 states. A student from Arizona, for example, pays four times as much to attend the University of California as an illegal alien.
Now we hear there is another way aliens are able to remain in our country. They sneak over our borders illegally, or illegally overstay their visas, and then become legal by exploiting a now-expired loophole known as 245(i), the section in a 1994 federal law that allows an illegal alien to apply for a green card, stay permanently in the United States, and subsequently apply for citizenship.
This amnesty loophole allowed aliens who broke our laws to pay a $1,000 fine and go to the head of the line in front of prospective immigrants who complied with our laws. U.S. law states that aliens must apply in their own countries to get permission to immigrate to the United States.
A million of these loophole aliens have become legal residents since the law was passed. In 2000, these loophole aliens were 28.3% of new legal residents, in 1999 they were 25.4%, and in 1998 they were 29.4%.
Loophole 245(i) expired in April 2001, but the open-borders lobby led by Senator Ted Kennedy has been hard at work to get it renewed. With the active support of the Bush Administration plus scheduling chicanery by the House leadership, renewal passed the House by one vote on March 12.
The 245(i) amnesty is being aggressively promoted by powerful politicians of both parties, including Congressman Dick Gephardt and Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), plus powerful newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal. On May 14, President George W. Bush said, “I wanted a temporary extension of 245(i). . . . I intend to work with Congress to see if we can’t get that done here pretty quick.”
The open-borders lobby is trying to claim that 245(i) is not amnesty, but the writer Michelle Malkin emphatically proved this claim false. If 245(i) is reinstated, illegal aliens would be allowed to pay a $1000 fee and immediately apply for legal permanent residency. The fine print on the INS website reveals that 245(i) amnesty would include the following types of people: (1) those who illegally overstayed their visas such as 3 of the 9/11 hijackers, (2) those who entered the U.S. illegally such as the New York subway bombing conspirators, (3) those who worked in the U.S. illegally, such as several of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, (4) those who failed to maintain their lawful visa status such as two of the 9/11 hijackers, (5) those who entered under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program, such as the shoe-bomber and the alleged 20th 9/11 hijacker, and (6) those who entered illegally as foreign crewmen such as the fugitive Pakistanis who jumped ship in Norfolk this spring and then disappeared.
The definition of amnesty is a general pardon for offenses against the government, and the purpose of the 245(i) loophole is to pardon illegal aliens for their offense in violating our immigration laws and to allow them to benefit by that violation. Section 245(i) is not designed to address the problems of aliens whose cases have been snarled in the INS bureaucracy. They are taken care of by Section 245(a).
Amnesty of any kind including 245(i) is not only unfair; it is a very dangerous idea. Tell your Congressman that all amnesty should be rejected.
Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) says that, since 1996, there have been 118 incursions onto American soil — 61 of them by Mexican military and 57 by Mexican police. In 90% of the cases, the incursions appeared intentional, and 60% of the time the Mexicans were armed. These Mexican army troops and police officers may have been escorting illegal drugs across the border, and they may have been escorting illegal aliens.
In an incident on May 17, one of our Border agents was patrolling when he saw three Mexican soldiers in a military vehicle in Arizona five miles north of our southern border. The rear car window of the U.S. agent was shattered by a gunshot fired from the direction of the Mexicans. In another Arizona incident on August 9, U.S. Ranger Kris Eggle was shot to death by a Mexican drug smuggler.
Are we going to put up with this? Foreign troops crossing our border and shooting at Americans would normally be considered an act of war. Bill O’Reilly is correct in saying that we should use U.S. troops on the border to intercept illegal aliens and illegal drugs.
Those who naively think that Mexico’s president Vicente Fox is our friend should read a speech he delivered in Madrid, Spain on May 16. Fox used typical globalist lingo about “a new International System” and about putting “human rights, democracy, gender, and the environment” “above national sovereignty.” When he says “above national sovereignty,” that just another way of promoting his open-borders policies.
Vicente Fox went on to demand “the regularization of the migratory situation of our [4 million] fellow Mexicans in the United States.” In other words, Fox is demanding amnesty for the Mexicans he has encouraged to enter the United States illegally. The Mexican-born population in the United States has grown from 800,000 in 1970 to nearly 9 million today.
Rep. Tancredo reminds us also about the big increase in OTMs (Other Than Mexicans), especially Middle Eastern and Chinese men crossing our southern border.
When the INS mailed to a Florida flight school approvals of student visas for hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, six months after they died in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, President Bush said he was angry. The inspector general of the Justice Department reported in May that at least two of the hijackers should have been denied visas because they were on a watch list of suspected terrorists.
INS’s response to this embarrassment was to reassign several mid-level INS bureaucrats, leaving the open-borders senior officials in tighter control than ever. This gives new meaning to the cliché about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. INS chief James Ziglar, a Bush appointee, has no will to tackle the illegal-alien scandal. He told a Tucson audience that “it’s not practical or reasonable to think that you’re going to be able to round them all up and send them home.” He is a libertarian who believes in open borders. Ziglar announced he will be leaving INS, but not until the end of the year.
President Bush said in his State of the Union Address: “Thousands of dangerous killers, schooled in the methods of murder, often supported by outlaw regimes, are now spread throughout the world like ticking time bombs, set to go off without warning.” Why hasn’t anybody been fired for letting some of these characters into the United States, and then for failing to track them?
Why is there no effort in Washington to make our borders secure and to close the loopholes? According to Rep. Tom Tancredo, there are several reasons: the Democrats think the Mexicans will vote Democratic, and the establishment and multinational Republicans want the cheap labor of both immigrants and illegals.
The watchword of the Bush Administration’s education reform is accountability. To receive federal funds, everyone in education must be accountable: teachers, students and schools. But whatever happened to accountability when it comes to border security and the admission of aliens to the United States?