The Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, spent some time this past weekend meeting with illegal immigrants and telling them that enforcement of the existing US immigration laws is un-American.
Oh, yes she did:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently told a group of both legal and illegal immigrants and their families that enforcement of existing immigration laws, as currently practiced, is “un-American.”
The speaker, condemning raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, referred to the immigrants she was addressing as “very, very patriotic.”
“Who in this country would not want to change a policy of kicking in doors in the middle of the night and sending a parent away from their families?” Pelosi told a mostly Hispanic gathering at St. Anthony’s Church in San Francisco.
“It must be stopped….What value system is that? I think it’s un-American. I think it’s un-American.”
No, it’s the illegals coming here in full knowledge that they’re breaking our laws that are un-American. It’s the Speaker of the House publicly slandering an entire agency’s worth of law enforcement professionals by calling them un-American for doing the job specified by Congress that’s un-American.
Pelosi’s actions are indefensible. Her oath – her oath – to uphold and defend the Constitution demands that she support the professionals hired by the government to enforce the laws she and her fellow representatives have passed. If Pelosi is so outraged by the laws passed by Congress then she should submit a bill to change them, not cut the legs out from under ICE and join in slamming them. She owes ICE and the American people an apology for talking like that to people who are, by definition, not American citizens.
Elections have consequences, folks. Pelosi is happy to advocate not obeying the law in public to people who are not owed a damned thing in this country. What other laws is she willing to just dismiss and diss? Her word, her oaths, are clearly meaningless. She should be cut loose and someone who actually has the best interested of this country at heart put in her place.
The two Border Patrol agents were, in my view, doing their jobs when they intercepted a Mexican national engaged in smuggling drugs into the United States. They stopped him and, as he was trying to make a run for it, they shot him. In the ass. Literally. For this, they were tried and convicted then sentenced to prison terms of 11 and 12 years. The whole case was ludicrous, in my opinion, and I think they should have been given medals. Their only mistake in my book was failing to eliminate the little bastard who was not only violating the borders of a sovereign nation but trafficking in a controlled substance to boot.
Today, President Bush commuted the sentences of both men. Their jail terms will end on March 30. That’s still too long, to me, but it was a move that was long overdue. I thank President Bush for doing the right thing.
As part of a strong immigrations policy, we need to be able to control the flow of incoming foreigners such that people who have violated our laws before don’t get back in to do it again. This has long been one of the pillars of my own immigrations reform suggestions since a firm control of the border is the only thing that makes any other reform work. I am glad to see the Department of Justice putting forward a plan to take DNA samples from people arrested for immigrations violations.
A Mexican national arraigned last month in San Diego on 11 charges in a rape case is now a poster boy for a new Department of Justice policy requiring federal officials to take DNA samples from those arrested on immigration violations.
Before being charged with rape, suspect Carlos Ceron Salazar was deported nine times from the United States. Had the new DOJ policy been in place, federal officials say many victims could have been spared.
“In the past, we have had a limited authority to take DNA samples,” said Elisebeth Cook, an attorney in the Office of Legal Policy at the Justice Department. “It’s critical while we have the opportunity to take the sample.”
While they’re at it, they should take the full brace of biometric data, too: fingerprints, palm and face scans, and retina scan. All of that should be kept in the IDENT database used by DHS already.
The word from the transition team for Obama is that Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is his choice for Secretary of Homeland Security.
Gov. Napolitano, whose handling of immigration issues brought her praise from fellow governors, was an early supporter and campaigner for Obama’s presidential campaign and was reported to be on a short list of people to fill cabinet posts in the new administration.
Napolitano’s stance on illegal immigration is what brought her to my attention a few years ago.
Among the nation’s top Democrats, Napolitano has developed some of the toughest policies against illegal immigration. She was one of the first major politicians to call for deployment of the National Guard along the border and declared a state of emergency in her state’s counties nearest Mexico. She has aggressively pursued smugglers in Arizona. In February, she joined with Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. (R) to outline a plan for immigration reform that called for more funding for border security, more visas for foreign workers and no blanket amnesty for illegal immigrants.
She’s also a true defender of 2nd Amendment rights. This is Napolitano in 2002:
Q: What is your position on the second amendment?
A: The right to bear arms is enumerated in the Constitution, and is therefore fundamental to the liberty interests of all Americans. I believe elected officials have a duty to ensure that these interests are not abridged. My position on the 2nd Amendment is simple: existing laws related to firearms and their possession are a sufficient framework by which to ensure the safety of all Arizonans. Rather than focusing on new legislation, we must first be vigilant in our enforcement of the laws that are on the books. We must step up outreach and education efforts to ensure that gun safety is at the top the agenda, and work together to mitigate tragic accidents that result from unsupervised firearm use by children. Parents talking to their children about gun safety and practicing gun safety in front of them will accomplish this goal, new legislation will not.
I would think and hope that such an attitude would see to it that the kind of abuses that Mayor Nagin of New Orleans ordered in the aftermath of Katrina would never occur again. Perhaps DHS doesn’t have authority over local police forces but she can damn sure keep any DHS assets from participating. I’m sure more commentary will be coming to light about the Governor in the next few days and some of that will likely be very illuminating. For the time being, I’ll count this as a positive and keep watching.
A Honduran man who had been deported twice before was sentenced in DC for the murder of a man in 2007. Hernan Melendez beat Andres Benitez to death with a baseball bat back then. He was tried and found guilty this past May and came up for sentencing this week. The sentence? He got 20 years in prison.
What the story is pretty light on details with is the question of 1) why this man was deported before and 2) whether he was an illegal entry into the US. I know we can make an assumption that he was – which raises the question of how he managed to get back in to the US twice before committing murder. But it also raises the question of why these questions weren’t even addressed in the story. I mean, they’re fairly obvious and, yet, they go unremarked. Why? What’s going through the reporter’s head that he doesn’t ask these questions? Or, if he did, what’s up with the editor that he clearly feels they weren’t germane to the story?
The US Citizenship and Immigrantion Services agency (USCIS), has released their update to the citizen test they issue to immigrants applying for citizenship. There are 100 questions (PDF format) in the test but a given applicant will receive 10 questions taken from that 100. They must answer 6 of the 10 given in order to pass. Fox News reported on the test and gave the 10 questions they received from USCIS to several people they picked at random in Times Square in New York City. Their survey sought to answer the question of how well natural-born US citizens would score on the test.
Here’s the list of questions:
1. What does the Constitution do?
2. What do we call the first 10 amendments to the Constitution?
3. Name one branch or part of the government.
4. We elect a U.S. representative for how many years?
5. How many justices are on the Supreme Court?
6. How old do citizens have to be to vote for President?
7. When is the last day you can send in federal income tax forms?
8. There were 13 original states. Name three.
9. Who was president during World War I?
10. Name one U.S. territory.
Now, perhaps it’s my interest in politics and the nuts-and-bolts of our nation that made this set of questions laughably easy for me. But I’ve still got the nagging sensation that all of this should be common knowledge and easily answered by anyone walking the street. (Yes, I did get all 10 correct and it took far less than 60 seconds to get through them.) Fox’s sample in Times Square didn’t fare as well. Of the 10 people they picked, 8 were US citizens, 1 was a naturalized citizen, and 1 was a Brit hoping to become a citizen. The naturalized citizen got 8 of 10 correct. The British national managed to get 6 of 10 correct, not stellar but it was a passing grade. Of the 8 citizens they quizzed, 3 got 9 of 10 correct and 4 got 8 of 10 correct. One got 5 of 10, a failing grade. That man lamented his fading knowledge of history as the problem but if you take a look at the 10 questions, only 2 are really history questions – numbers 8 and 9. All the rest are questions on matters applicable to citizens in the here and now. It’s not a matter of springing a pop quiz on someone regarding something they studied in 5th grade 35 years ago. These are matters that affect citizens right now and every day.
The most commonly missed question appears to have been #5, asking how many Justices are on the Supreme Court. That’s amazing, considering the Court’s cases and decisions in the last couple of years. 5 of the 10 people asked that question by Fox got it wrong with answers ranging from 7 to 12 Justices.
So, before you read on, how did you do? Print off a copy of those questions and ask your fellow employees and family members, just as a conversation. See how many they miss and what they’re missing. It might be interesting. Post your results in the comments, if you like, and we’ll see how the numbers stack up.
1. Sets up the government, Defines the government, Protects basic rights of Americans. (I’ll accept “limits the power of government” which is what that answer should have been .)
2. The Bill of Rights
3. Legislative, Executive, Judicial. The apparent official answers also include Congress, the President, and the courts.
4. 2 years
5. 9, including the Chief Justice. (You can give honorary bonus points for naming them!)
6. 18. (Most common screw-up by the 10 people in the Fox story: saying it was 21.)
7. April 15. (One US citizen got this wrong!)
8. New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia.
9. Woodrow Wilson.
10. Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, Guam
The “Scheduled Departure” program implemented a few weeks ago and which drew little participation is being scrapped, considered a dismal failure. In the 3 week life of the pilot program, a grand total of eight ( 8 ) people decided to take ICE up on their offer. Best line of the story?
“Quite frankly, I think this proves the only method that works is enforcement,” Jim Hayes, acting director of ICE’s detention and removal operations, told The Associated Press on Thursday.
I think Mr. Hayes is correct. One angle on the story that I hadn’t given too much credit on was that this program was put in place simply to shut up the amnesty-now people who claim enforcement efforts disrupt families who would leave if only they were asked. “Immigrant rights” groups complained about the program, too, but that was because people who stepped forward could be barred from re-entry for as long as 10 years. Well, I hope they’re happy with it. Now, illegals can get barred from returning for life. They’re also hoping that the illegals’ refusal to step forward and comply with the law won’t “empower” ICE’s enforcement efforts to… well, enforce the law.
All of these so-called “rights groups” should be telling people to come here legally and then they won’t have to worry about the enforcement. But that’s not what they want. Read the story to see what Mr. Hayes thinks they want.
ICE agents set up a checkpoint at a service gate at the perimeter of Dulles International Airport yesterday morning and checked the ID of every worker entering. Their efforts resulted in the arrest of 42 illegals, most of whom where entering Dulles to work on construction projects currently in progress. Nicely done, ICE.
While getting 42 illegals into custody is a good thing, the story is a little vague on how those guys got clearance to be working on projects that are taking place in the secure zones of an international airport. Who were they working for? Did that contractor do the necessary checks before hiring these illegals and again before assigning them to work at a sensitive location? Did the illegals manage to produce documentation that got them past the work eligibility checks or did the companies knowingly hire illegals? These are questions I certainly hope ICE is pursuing and that the news agencies will ask and report upon.
For a moment, I thought Fox News was re-running a story about the Jose Medellin execution that took place a few days ago when I saw this story this morning. Heliberto Chi, an illegal from Honduras, shot and killed Amanda Paliotta at the store where Chi worked as a tailor. He then fled to California where he was arrested and extradited back to Texas.
The case was apparently rock-solid. The reason he was found and arrested in California was because his 18-year-old pregnant girlfriend got tired of him assaulting her and called the cops on him. She told the police he was wanted for murder in Texas. There was also a witness at the store who confirmed it. Short story: he’s guilty of murder and the circumstances called for the death penalty.
I pause to note, yet again, that if we had been taking border security seriously, Mr. Chi would not have been in Texas to commit the murder in the first place and Amanda Paliotta would likely still be alive today.
Chi’s lawyers popped up out of the woodwork with a defense theory that their client had been denied his – get this – treaty rights because no one advised him that he should seek counsel from the Honduran embassy. Sound familiar? For six years he ran the appeals process and never once mentioned his embassy. Suddenly 2 defendants in high-profile death-penalty cases that had nothing to do with one another make the same assertion at nearly the same time. In both cases, I’d like to point out the likely reason they didn’t think of their embassy for assistance (as I would if I got into legal trouble in Europe, as an example) was that they knew they were here illegally and didn’t expect their embassy to be of any help.
All of which is beside the point. The issue isn’t whether someone with a consulate ID badge showed up and told the defendant that he shouldn’t have killed someone. It’s that he killed someone. He didn’t kill them in a bar fight that went too far or in a self-defense action. He walked back into the store where he worked, claimed that he’d forgotten his wallet, and then pulled out a gun and shot that woman. He’d have done the same to the other employee that was there if the police hadn’t been coming and forced him to run for it.
Of course, Chi’s legal team is trying to paint a different picture. That team includes this execrable piece of work, supposedly a representative of our academia’s finest:
Terry O’Rourke, a lawyer on Chi’s legal team who teaches international law at Houston’s University of St. Thomas, said he was saddened Texas was violating international law to execute Chi.
“It takes you back to a very ugly time in history in Texas when we killed people because of the color of their skin and their poverty,” he said.
Perhaps it would, Professor, if either the color of Chi’s skin or his economic situation had had a damned thing to do with it. He was executed because he was guilty of the crime and that punishment is called for in the law. It would be nice if the supposedly educated membership of our universities’ faculties would deign to acknowledge this fact. But hey – why ruin a good narrative with facts, eh?
Here’s a quick primer for folks who aren’t residents or citizens of the US: if you don’t want to get executed in the United States don’t commit capital crimes in the United States. If you’re planning on coming here, obey our laws – including the immigrations laws – and you’ll be fine. Don’t do that and things could turn out very badly for you indeed.
ICE has implemented a new program called “Scheduled Departure” wherein illegals who have otherwise clean records and who have been ordered to leave the country may come forward and leave now without any jail time. Shockingly, few illegals have taken them up on the offer.
I understand why some would think this is a good idea. Part of the “problem” of deportation is the splitting up of families and this program gives control over that situation to the illegals. They don’t have to have a situation where one of their family members gets a plane ride to a foreign country instead of coming home at night. The problem with that thought is that the press coverage of ICE “cruelly ripping families apart” plays to the illegals’ advantage. They want the situation to be one where ICE agents have to take dividing families into account when deciding whether to kick someone out or not.
Virtually no one outside of ICE that the reporters for this story talked to considered this to be even close to a good deal. I would imagine this will be a failure when the 3-week program is complete.