The battle for the 14th Amendment

For as long as our constitution has been around, certain members of our community and their hired guns in Washington have tried to change our immigration laws in an effort to “keep our country white.” The 14th amendment has been under attack since it’s inception during the civil war.

This infographic helps to demonstrate the effects on such an attack.

14th Amendment2

Is Obama like Lincoln?

Is Obama similar to Abe Lincoln?

lincoln-obama

If Obama comes out with an executive order to help a marginalized and highly oppressed portion of our society gain legal status to live in the US, then, yes, he will be.

On January 1, 1863 Abraham Lincoln issued an executive order to free Slaves in Confederate held lands. It did not free all the slaves.  This executive order was issued without Congress voting on it, and gave slaves the right to create their own destinies, free from the fear that they could be captured and returned to previous owners.

The people who wanted the white man to always have dominion over the inferior black man, were very hateful and vocal about their anger over this issue. So much so that Lincoln would later be killed by one such person.

This is very similar to what Obama will be introducing in the next few days. His executive order is expected to give some 5 million undocumented immigrants (not all of them) permission to live within our borders without fear of being captured and sent back to their former country.

Let us also not forget that Abe Lincoln was a Republican, which should make the loud, hateful Republicans pause, but of course, it does not. Anything that Barack Obama wants, these guys want the opposite–even if it’s in their own best interest. Their hate can  be read in every immigration article’s comment section online.

So let’s hope our  Conservative lawmakers and their supporters don’t get their panties in a bunch over what will inevitably be another step in our country’s racial evolution. History truly does repeat itself. This has already happened, and it is happening again.

Get over it.

An American Iron Curtain

We are creating an American Iron Curtain

US Mexico border fence with barbed wire

When I was a boy growing up in the sixties and seventies, the only places we got our news was radio, TV & the newspaper. Being young, I wasn’t much on reading because I was having a difficult time learning the language. English is not the easiest language in the world to learn. Some of the rules still don’t make much sense, so, as a kid, I mainly just stuck with TV, and even then I wasn’t much interested in the news. Grown-up TV was scary.

The John F. Kennedy assassination, then the Bobby Kennedy assasination, Martin Luther King & Malcolm X murdered too, the Vietnam war, Watergate, the civil rights riots, the Black Painters.

And that was just in this country.

The news coming out of Russia was even scarier. People who disagreed with the government disappeared, the KGB was out to get everyone, The Gulag or forced labor and torture camps sounded like hell on earth,  their highly censored media, and severely restricted travel and career paths. Our freedoms were as countless as the stars at night and you could thank heaven for growing up in this wonderful country.

For a long time (all throughout the Cold War) it seemed as if our whole national identity revolved around how superior we were to the Soviet Union, the number 2 world power at the time. We compared ourselves to Russia in almost everything: who had the most gold medals in the olympics, the first man in space, the first satellite in orbit, the first man on the moon, the most nuclear weapons. . . and of course, we compared our cultures; we had freedom– they didn’t.

In America, you could go anywhere you wish, freely, and without restriction.  In the USSR,  you needed travel papers before leaving your state, or entering another. In the USSR if you were born into a farmer’s family, you would grow up to be a farmer too. In America you could grow up to be whatever you wanted to be.

In America our society thrived on diversity. We imported some of the best minds from around the globe and became a super power because of it. In the USSR their lack of diversity, and their rigid control of everything, kept growth, innovation, and prosperity to a minimum.

berlinwall

In the USSR there were very scary structures like the Berlin wall, that symbolized their leader’s fear of freedom and transparency.

This wall served two physical purposes:

  1. To keep their own people in,
  2. To keep meddling westerners and their ideas out.

The wall had social, emotional, psychological and philosophical effects on those living on both sides of the border too. Families were separated, many people were unable to return to their jobs or their homes, and the desire to leave grew more intense for those who found themselves trapped within.

In the USA we can come and go as we see fit. The world is our playground.

iron-curtain-europeIn the sixties and seventies we were told, in school and in the news, that people trying to get in or out through the Berlin wall were shot and killed by guards in towers. They had bright search lights to find people trying to get in or out in the dark of night. The images we were shown were cold and loveless and this wall, as well as all the other walls set up to segregate the west from the USSR, were given a cold and loveless name, “The Iron Curtain.” Just the sound of it coming out of the TV was enough to create nightmares in your dark and silent room at night. This was definitely something we would never do to our people.  This wall was evil, and so were the controlling ideologies behind it.

It was something that should be stopped.

Growing up in the USA may have given me a slightly biased point of view regarding much of what we were told and shown, but many of the facts were quite visible; such as the Berlin Wall itself, its guard towers, search lights, and armed guards, barbed wire, dogs, minefields. A lot of thought, time, energy and money went into the creating and maintaining of this security system.

Today I find the news equally as disturbing as when I was a child. Millions of Americans are living nightmares that we are creating for ourselves. We are building a fence between our country and Mexico for many of the same reasons the Russians did in East Germany and all along the Soviet Union’s borders with NATO countries. Today we are deploying more than just armed border agents, some dogs and a big fence. We also have ground sensors, spotlights, double walls separated by many yards of open space, barbed wire, and even drones. There is talk of sending the National Guard to the border. The techniques of the past with the weapons of today.

We are spending more per year on border security than in any other single government agency. We aim to keep people out of our more prosperous nation and protect ourselves from the percieved negative influences of Mexico and beyond.

us-iron-curtain

We, too, are dividing families and communities that once moved freely back and forth from Mexico to the US and back again. Many migrant workers who used to come north during harvest season and go back home to Mexico when the harvesting is done, are now forced to either stay here in the US for fear of not being able to return to work when the picking seasons start up again, or stay in Mexico and search for new places to live and new means of sustaining the family.

Going back to the early sixties and seventies and the Berlin wall, even with all of the money and effort and labor that went into that fortification, it was far from 100% effective. It is said there were around 2,000 people who escaped through the wall. There were always people looking for ways to get something in, or smuggle something out. It is estimated that around 200 people were killed trying to escape.

So far, aside from the anonymous postings of hateful cowards, few people have publicly said they were in favor of shooting people trying to immigrate to the United States like they did in Germany and in various other countries in the Soviet bloc. “Joe the Plumber”  is a notable exception, and some so-called Patriots on the Mexico-American border. Herman Cain spoke of electrifying the border fence, but he quickly back-pedaled when called on it.

Someone should tell Joe, Herman, and all those “Patriot” nuts at the border that the Berlin wall has come down. It was viewed as a testament to the failure of Communism as well as the relentless attraction of Democracy, a sign that all men seek freedom and self-determination as a meaningful and important part of human nature that cannot be separated from us by any man made object.

President Ronald Reagan gave a speech shortly before the wall was taken down. He criticized the wall and pushed for its destruction. In that speech was a simple philosophy behind such idea:

“We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.”

6/12/87 President Ronald Reagan

That would also mean it would be analogous to say prohibiting human liberty would be anathema to world peace, too.

Are the anti-immigration reform people opposed to World Peace, because a good part of their platform doesn’t seem to support that idea very much.

The old Soviet Union is far from the only country that tried and failed to overly control it’s citizens. There are many other examples of a failed fortified stance against immigration/emigration.

Every day there are news reports of security breaches in the Israel-Gaza wall, the Egypt-Gaza wall, and once in a while someone infiltrates or escapes from North Korea.

No wall ever built has been 100% effective at keeping people in or out.

berlin-wall-soldier

The great wall of China, arguably the largest, longest living, and most expensive border security barrier ever built, failed to keep many invaders out. It is a living testament for the entire world that erecting barriers to keep people out of one area or another does not work, and it stands as proof positive that you can spend all the money you want and take centuries to build something, but you still won’t prevent the entry of people who are determined to get in. Not even the walls and moats surrounding relatively tiny pieces of real estate, such as castles and forts kept people out who were highly motivated to get in. We have tried for aeons to fence things off and keep people out or keep them in. Prisons have escapees. Alcatraz was hugely successful, having a strong current and  hundreds of yards of bay surrounding their fences and guard towers, yet a few people escaped from there too.

Even if we were to figure out how to build an Alcatraz like system all along the 2000 miles of border between the US and Mexico, and even if we had the money to build it, that is not the only access point that is vulnerable to people wanting in or out of our country. We have airports, shipping ports, thousands of miles of coastlands, as well as our border to the north with Canada, and our Hawaiian Islands as well as the thousands of Islands in and around our country. It would take generations of Americans working full-time and many trillions of tax dollars to fortify all of our access points. It would take untold billions of dollars to install security systems capable of monitoring every person’s movement, and billions to install devices on each citizen or visitor within our country to ensure they have a right to be here.

Which brings up a very important question: What would a 100% secure America look like? Prison? East Germany? The Gaza strip? Israel? Would you want your children to grow up in a place like this? Would you want to live in even a colorful, sunshiny prison? Where would we vacation, on a beautiful sandy beach surrounded by high fences with concertina wire and armed guards in towers with spotlights at night?

If the old USSR isn’t a good enough reminder for us that isolation is a nation killer, we will surely follow in their footsteps, walling off our nation and isolating ourselves from much of the outside world, stifling innovation, killing our economy and relegating us to the land “formerly known as the USA.” We will have to watch as a new super power emerges to lead us into the 21st or 22nd century.

Is this the legacy we want to leave behind?

us-medico-border-barbed-wire

Do we want to be known as the generation that lead to the end of our status as the leader of the free world?

If you would like to prevent this from happening, please enter your email address and become a part of the movement that seeks to end this un-American ideal. Join me and the thousands of other people working to ensure we leave a healthy, vibrant country to our children and grandchildren. They will thank us for it.

 

Rick Perry– Immigration Zero

Texas Governor Rick Perry is sending the National Guard to help stop refugee children from reaching our borders.

So, let me get this straight, he’s using an army of 1000 National Guard troops to stop little children who are escaping drugs, gangs, exploitation and death, and sending them back to the horror they are escaping. And he’d like to rewrite a law that allows them to come here–a law approved and passed by a Republican president.

So this makes him a good person? How? What on earth could be going through is mind?

Would he like to stand there and slap every little kid in the face for even thinking about coming here and escaping death too?

How far can the Republican party sink?

And the Democrats. . .

Where are the screaming and energized politicians voicing their strong opposition, ridiculing them for such poor judgement? Silent too eh? With leaders like these, America is in a world of shit. What more can be said?

At least Nancy Pelocy has the cajones to stand up against this ugly threat.

Citizenship for Sale?

A Stanford professor is promoting the idea of selling citizenship for $50k.

Every year there are many thousands of people waiting for lady luck to approve their green card via the lottery system.

Very few of them win.

Some countries allow people to invest $50k or $100k or more, in order to become a citizen of that nation. They reason this system brings jobs and stimulates economic growth. We, in fact, have a similar visa program already, but this is for investors and business people.

What about just plain selling citizenship?

This is purported to help solve our undocumented immigrant problem by giving them an alternative to going back home and also helps expedite a currently overloaded backlog. It should also help bring in money to the government, possibly to help pay for this system.

The non-wealthy could pay over time. Kinda like an installment plan or credit card.

So, get the new “Visa” card. (and don’t leave home without it : )

Click here to see the video

So, how do you feel about this idea?

Jon Stewart- Immigration Reform Hero: sums up our immigration problem

Jon Stewart sums up our immigration problem in seven minutes.

Perhaps this is what it takes to get people to see the truth about the Republican platform and how disingenuous it really is:

keep it short and to the point.

Obama: GOP scapegoat of the year

 Obama has just been voted “Scapegoat of the Year.”

Or at least he should be.

What would you do if you gave a speech at your company, and then people started calling for your termination?

  • Reverse your statements? Too late; that would make you look like a liar.
  • Blame someone else in the room? That would also remove possible supporters from your side as well, and if you’re about to lose your job, you need all the friends you can get.
  • Take the heat and defend your position, enlightening your detractors with all the reason and forethought you put into your speech? Pretty risky, what if it didn’t work?
  • Distract everyone by focusing on something bigger?
  1.      The war on Terror, that always worked for Bush(s). Nope, Obama has that one under control; it’s always best not give your adversary cudos.
  2.      Obamacare? Nope, the nation has had it with us complaining about that, not to mention it probably wouldn’t be prudent to bring up the reason we closed the government down and took a beating in our approval ratings.
  3.      Abortion? No, that will just further anger women.
  4.      Social Security? Ditto, for the elderly.
  5.      Foodstamps? Nope, we just took some money away from that for our budget deal. Best to keep a low profile on that one.
  6.      Taxes? Again, best not bring up the current resentment towards our wealthy constituents.
  7.      Blame the immigrants? That usually works. . .
  8.      Blame the competition? Even better! It insults no one in the room and reinforces allegiances against a common adversary.

Sound familiar?

That is the strategy Rep. Boehner used after he announced the GOP principles on immigration reform, and got a lot of flack. After their retreat in Maryland last week, many Republicans rejected the House leadership’s one-page “standards for immigration reform.” 

Others within the GOP said that, with trends going their way as midterm elections approach, it was a bad time to take on a number of contentious issues.

The conservative activist L. Brent Bozell called for the entire House Republican leadership to be replaced. His group, ForAmerica, blitzed the speaker’s office with thousands of phone calls to jam the lines and protest his stance on immigration this past wednesday.

Representative Raúl Labrador of Idaho, an early negotiator on the issue and now a fierce opponent, told the newspaper, The Hill, that an immigration push by Mr. Boehner this year “should cost him his speakership.”

So Boehner, thinking his goose is cooked, comes out a week after outlining the Republican principles for immigration reform and says:

“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,”

and he further stated,

“ it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

Good one!

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, commented further about the whole Republican organization:

“That caucus he has is really unusual,”

Mr. Reid said of House Republicans.

“They went down and did this salute to how good they were last week at their retreat. They outlined principles of immigration. I guess today they decided they have no principles as it relates to immigration.”

That’s what happens when the opposition doesn’t appreciate getting blamed for your B.S.

In the Nationwide Immigration argument, Where is Amnesty International?

 

Posted 11/21/11

 

A few weeks ago I joined Amnesty international in order to connect with the part of their organization that was dealing with the immigration issue in the United States. I didn’t find much. I had to really search their website to find even an article on the subject. I guess the treatment of illegal immigrants in the United States doesn’t quite rank up there with the personal freedom abuses in other countries.

 

But why is that? Aren’t the numbers good enough? The entire hispanic population of the states with the harshest laws, Gerogia; Alabama; Arizona; South Carolina; and Florida is greater than some other nation’s entire populationthat prominently display the support of Amnesty International. And the Show me your papers or get arrested laws they have recently pushed forward not only affects the hispanic population in their respective states, both legal and not, but as we’ve recently seen with the arrest of the Mercedez Benz executive, the harrassment affects anyone pulled over for any reason

 

Maybe it’s not enough of a social injustice cause? We have politicians getting removed from office for sponsoring bills that invade the freedoms of the people in our country, and others apologizing for their mistake of voting for it so they don’t get removed as well. We have many people referring to the infamous Jim Crow laws when talking about the abuses of a minority in this country. And once again the 16th Street Baptist Church, a famous civil rights symbol from the 1960’s is making the news as politicians meet there to discuss Alabama’s new immigration law. I think that makes a civil rights statement that pretty much everybody understands.

 

Many other organizations, both large and small have lent their voices to the cause of how immigrants are being treated in this country as well. The ACLU along with a coalition of HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS is challenging South Carolina’s immigration law and the National Immigration Law Center has produced a 30 page report accusing government officials of pressuring illegal immigrants to accept quick deportation by threatening long detention if they stayed to fight their case.

 

So I would just like to know what it takes for Amnesty International to put some muscle behind this issue?

Stop Using the “I” Word: People are not illegal

People may be short, tall, thin, heavy, broad, blonde, brunette, lazy, self-conscious, hard working, narrow minded. . . but they cannot be illegal. It is not illegal to exist. A person can do something illegal, but that does not make them illegal. Calling someone illegal is at best an outward sign of disrespect, and at worst, a sign of sheer ignorance.

We do not need to rob anyone of their human dignity. Those who do, are doing so only because they have none and they think that taking some away from someone else will bestow upon themselves the characteristics they so jealously covet.

The problem is the press often uses this label when talking about people who have entered the United States without passing inspection at a border or immigration checkpoint. This is called Entering Without Inspection or EWI. While this is a federal misdemeanor, it does not place upon that person a demeaning lable, nor does it mean that someone who has done this is going to be untrustworthy at everything else they do. That logic is tragically unintelligent. If it were so, then the entire human race is guilty of crimes and therefore none of us is trustworthy and all of us should spend the rest of our lives in some kind of prison or probation program. Obviously that is a silly proposition.

If you hear or read someone using the term illegal when talking about a person or group of people, you should send them a note and let them know that nobody is illegal, actions are illegal, people are not. Request they refrain from this type of label or you will not

The GOP is Dreaming Act

 

The Dream Act has been in circulation in Congress since 2001. It was created as a compromise to all the comprehensive immigration reform bills that failed to get through congress in the decades after Regan’s landmark immigration reform bill that squeeked by in 1986. In 2008, after failing to get the backing of Congress several times, a Republican, Kay Bailey Hutchison, announced she would work with the authors of the Dream Act to add some language that would make it more palatable for Republicans to buy-off on.

 

This Dream  Act 2.0 was then re-introduced to congress. You would think this version would have been a slam dunk, as Republicans got to put their fingerprints all over it by making it more restrictive on who is eligible and excluding some of the benefits it bestowed upon those who qualified, but wouldn’t you know it? Even after being able to amend the Dream Act, and turn it into a more restrictive measure for keeping the best immigrants residing under the radar with us today, that still wasn’t good enough. The Dream Act v2.0 failed to pass a vote in 2009.

 

Back to the drawing board and Republicans got to water it down some more and make it even more exclusive by adding background checks, biometric data, specifying specific crimes that would make some candidates ineligible, and more. Surely this Dream Act would sail through Congress.

 

Nope. Just as the Dream Act went through its last changes in 2011 and had been stripped of many of it’s benefits that were designed to encourage the best and brightest of our undocumented citizens to stay and participate in making this country better and safer, the Republicans were getting crankier and more power-drunk.  Stopping President Obama from accomplishing anything in his first term appears to have been their primary objective. The only Dream Act the Republicans were working on was a one term Democratic President.

 

Now that the Republicans have watered down the Dream Act into something more likely to be called a Short Nap Act, they get to vote it down and deny the Democrats another Victory. And guess what? Along comes a Republican with a NEW idea!

 

He hasn’t said what it is, but his new Dream Act Lite will surely have what it takes to get Republican support in Congress. This time it will have one thing that the other three versions didn’t; a Republican author. (It was those blasted Democrats that kept getting in the way.)

But what about history repeating itself you may ask? Yep, I have been wondering too. I don’t think this version of the Daydream Act will pass either. Just think of all the years of effort and compromise the Democrats went though in order to appease the Republicans. Do you think the Democrats will vote for this version whenever it gets revealed?

 

Me neither, and I also think that’s just what the Republicans want. That way, they have an excuse to blame the Democrats for this stalemate.

 

This bill has been modified and tabled so many times it should be called the, “Nightmare on ‘C’  Street.”

 

The Dream Act as it stands right now has been crafted by both Democrats and Republicans. If that won’t help it pass through Congress, nothing will.

 

Some Republicans liken the latest, most stripped down version of the Dream Act as “back door amnesty.” I urge you to read the article below on the Dream Act and what it really says about the bill at is stands today. How could any sane person see this as a gift that will be used against us by masses of undeserving people? It is so restrictive and sets the bar so high for those to qualify, and STILL doesn’t guarantee anyone citizenship –just the opportunity to apply for it– AND only the best of the best will qualify.  Smart, ambitious, strong, sacrificing. Who wouldn’t want these fine young people to be a part of their nation? Yet this still is not good enough for our Republican Ultra-conservative Congressmen, who have forgotten they work for us. Somewhere along the way, these elected officials began to fill themselves with themselves and I don’t think there’s anything other than themselves they are capable of thinking about. If you were to ask Congress what was the best solution for the good of the country, do you think you would get a truthful reply? I don’t think they’ve even thought about it in that context.

 

After you read the article below, I urge you to let Congress know how you feel. I left a link to their contact info too. And let’s not forget about the House of Representatives.

 

Any logical person would come to the conclusion that if they can’t pass a law that has been eleven years in the making with help from both sides of the fence, then they are incompetent of doing so, and you know what happens to you or I when our bosses think we can no longer do our jobs? Yep, we get fired.

 

Congress, you are on notice.

 

Give  the President a decent immigration bill to sign or you will not be invited back, and the people who will be filling your current positions will know that the same fate will apply to them– with one major difference: instead of having eleven years to get something done, they will have just one term. We need people in our government who can play nicely with each other and help solve our nations problems. Jokers, posers and frauds need not apply.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DREAM_Act

http://www.dreamactivist.org/text-of-dream-act-legislation/

http://www.house.gov/representatives/

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm