America is uniting for immigrants

Labor unions, women’s movements, muslims and more are marching together to stand with their immigrant friends and relatives to show support against an antagonistic President who has recently enacted an unjust travel ban, ended Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” program and has just begun a push to build his oppressive and highly un-neighborly Wall.

The president seems to be trying very hard to disassociate America from so many of the people that make up this country one has to imagine what country he thinks he is the president of.

And the people of this nation are rising up against his idea of what makes America Great.

If you look at the makeup of people who are uniting against him, one thing is going to be certain; making America great will mean getting a new president.

Todd Schulte on mass deportations

Unknown-1A great article on what mass deportations would do to our country by Todd Shulte, the president of FWD.US, an immigration reform advocacy group. This article goes into some good statistics and helps to visualize what Donald Trump’s immigration policy would really do to our country and the people who live in it.

It’s one thing to say something provocative and get lots of people’s attention. It’s another thing to actually do what you’re talking about, and if Trump does get elected and he actually tries to mass deport 11.5 million people, this will not be a pretty place to live.

I also suspect that foreign investment in this country would plummet. Who would want to build factories or buy companies in a country that treats foreigners with such disdain?

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

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.

Jon Stewart- Immigration Hero

Jon Stewart puts the child immigrant crisis into perspective like only a comedian can. Too bad our politicians don’t understand the problem half as well.

 

California State Trust Act- making our communities safer

The California Trust Act that Gov Jerry Brown signed into effect in May 2013 is having a very positive response from law enforcement.

Monterey County Sheriff Scott Miller and Salinas police Chief Kelly McMillin are stating publicly their intention to opt out of any detentions and arrests based solely on a person’s immigration status, whether known or unknown.

So why would such high ranking law enforcement officers take such a stand? For many reasons:

  • It makes our jails less crowded.
  • It makes the judges calendars less crowded, affording them to take more time and consideration when reviewing cases, reducing errors in sentencing due to rapid pace hearings.
  • It enables law enforcement to focus on solving crimes rather than assisting ICE in doing their jobs.
  • It helps immigrants trust law enforcement, not having to fear getting deported just for reporting a crime.
  • Increases in crime reporting reduces actual crime numbers by letting would-be criminals they are not just going to be given a blank check to do whatever they want without fear of justice.
  • It keeps more bad guys off the street by apprehending more criminals instead of undocumented immigrants.
  • IT makes our neighborhoods safer.

When all is said and done, having law enforcement focusing on law enforcement instead of spending much of their time on immigration enforcement, helps our communities where we really need it.

US Immigration Reform Plan A

US Immigration Plan A

Currently we are playing a waiting game with a group of congressmen who are referred to as the “Gang of Eight.” They have already missed President Obama’s immigration reform bill deadline, so it’s anybody’s guess as to when to expect their proposed version of the bill. The Democrats want to tell America they are close to a consensus on the bill–but, as usual, the Republicans are putting the brakes on that happy announcement.   Did we really expect congress to produce an immigration bill on time, considering they led us into a government shutdown?   I have come to the realization that the immigration reform bill–or anything else that’s important to America–cannot be left up to congress to take care of. The whole reason we are in such a state of distress right now is the direct result of the dysfunctional attitudes congress has been displaying for decades. If they were capable of creating and passing competent and workable immigration legislation by now, they would have, and should have–many years ago. It’s time for us to step up to the plate and do for them what they are failing to do for us. We need to tell them what we want, or risk having them put together a luke-warm bill, crippled by the ultra-conservatives who’d really prefer there not be a new immigration law at all. For too long, the Republicans have had an “angry father” view of our immigration system, taking out their anger on the “disobedient children.” Unfortunately, this ignores their responsibility in creating and maintaining an immigration structure that promotes this type of behavior. They are really behaving more like a “deadbeat dad,” skipping out on their responsibilities and making the family fend for itself. The situation we’re in right now is the direct result of them not taking care of their responsibility of ensuring America has laws and systems to give it’s citizens what they need. Companies need access to a rich pool of labor to remain competitive, and US citizens want to enjoy a lifestyle that is among the richest in the world. Our “legislators” have been effectively absent for decades and we have been left to fend for ourselves. We need to force congress to get off their duffs and get the job done, or we should elect someone else who will. What we need is a nurturing parent attitude towards this situation, much like the “single mother” our deadbeat dad created. This type of attitude would say, “okay, me and the kids have been kicked to the curb, what do I need to do to get back to having a normal American life for me and the kids?” for US immigration reform, this would mean: how can we get the labor we need by attracting and retaining the best people from around the world?  This is why America, out of all the countries of the world, has achieved world leadership in just a few hundred years. Even before we were a country, people came here to seek their fortunes. They came here, worked hard, and helped shape this country into what it is today: the land of opportunity. I heard on the radio the other day, a conservative politician who claimed America got to where it is today because of it’s “Christian ethics.” I listened to that, and while it sounded good, it also sounded hollow. Name a European country that doesn’t use Christian ethics? Why didn’t they become the leaders of the free world? Because they weren’t as receptive to immigrants as we always have been. Our immigrants saw the opportunities we had to offer them and made something of themselves, and in the process, made us great as a nation. Other countries were working overtime trying to limit the amounts of immigrants they “granted access” to. We were the country of opportunity. We prospered because of it. Going back to the “deadbeat dad” model, conservatives would like to continue punishing the very people who are doing the best they can, given the limitations they are presented with. Many American families have immigrant members, so that means punishing a great many Americans too. Many of us are children and grandchildren of immigrants. Deporting our fathers, mothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, because we were doing the best we could in their absence of leadership, is inexcusable.  If a missing parent were to suddenly show up again after a long absence, would we want to be punished and lectured by them for not doing things the way they think they should be done? On top of all this faulty logic rests this fact: immigrants are not the cause of our disfunction.  It is our laws that are inadequate for our needs. They cannot fix our problem. We are the only ones who can change our system and make it manageable for everyone to succeed. Why put the onus on dealing with our immigration problem solely at their feet? And when we punish them, we punish millions Americans too. This is not an immigrant problem. This is an American legislation problem. We have let our laws become so out of date that people have found other ways to make their lives more manageable.   Have you ever been stopped at a light that was stuck on red? You don’t sit and wait for a repairman to fix it. You wait a reasonable amount of time to ensure it’s just not “slow,” then you procede with caution and get on with your life. Should you receive a ticket for that? Pay a fine? Go to traffic school? Go to jail?   I have put forth five basic ingredients we need in order to protect our country, prop up our economy, and cultivate and protect the wealth of immigrants that want so desperately to receive a piece of the American dream. For any immigration plan to work, it needs to satisfy some basic requirements. I began with a much larger list of pie in the sky things I thought would be great to put into a new immigration bill. Then I began discarding anything that did not have a major negative impact on the plan after being removed. If the plan didn’t suffer after removing an idea, that idea didn’t need to remain in the plan. It may have been nice, but it wasn’t necessary. The remaining ingredients I have found to be necessary for the legislation to correct the problems, encourage participation, and not need immediate repair legislation. (We all know how long it could take to create that.)

The result is what I call, “Plan A.”

We need just five guiding principals for our future immigration legislation to have a profound and positive affect on our nation. Any future immigration bill we come up with needs to be:

  1. Inexpensive
  2. Easy
  3. Accurate
  4. Actionable
  5. Taxable

These are but guiding principals, and from here we can fill in the specifics with input from anyone else who feels that congress, if left alone, is bound to create a bigger mess than there already is right now.  If you think I missed an essential ingredient, or if you think some of the things I listed aren’t necessary, then says so in the comments.  I won’t be the only person reading them, looking for public opinion, either. Congress will need this in order to stand firm on items that are really necessary, when the conservative Republicans try to push back and cripple the bill, so if you could, email them a copy of this so we can be certain they have all seen it. There will be little excuse for crafting a crummy bill if they have at least seen this. I will be watching the threads too, and if it looks like some good ideas are gaining some momentum, I will include them and update the plan, so if this is important to you, subscribe to this blog so you can be kept abreast of any changes, and any of the other posts on this topic that are soon to follow.  I will need more than just great numbers to alter items in this plan–I’ll need better ideas. I don’t think just one person can come up with something so important all by themselves. This is something we should do together. Regarding comment trolls; if all you can do is complain, save it for your shrink. This plan is intended to get us to talk about how to craft a workable, functional immigration reform bill that will not need major restructuring immediately after it’s enacted, or worse, take us a step or two backwards in our evolution as a society. Let me briefly describe why these items are on this plan, and then in subsequent articles I’ll dive deeper into the particulars of each, so we can begin having an intelligent conversation and come to a consensus of what we actually need from Congress. As you’ll see below, this affects us all, so we need to make sure it affects us positively, not negatively.

Good for US

Good for THEM

Principals for good immigration reform:
X X Inexpensive
X X Easy
X Accurate
X X Actionable
X Taxable

As you can see by the above table, this list benefits the United States more than the immigrant, and so it should. No nation should feel it was placed on this planet to care for all the world’s people. If some people wish to come here and live, they should contribute more to our society than they take out, just like most of us do ourselves.

There is a saying amongst lawyers and negotiators, “a contract is only as strong as the person who is least willing to abide by it.”

If the new legislation were only about doing good things for one of us–the immigrant, or America–it would fail immediately. Why go through all this work if it will ultimately get us nothing?  Any new legislation must benefit the immigrant well in order to attract and retain great people, just as wage and benefits policies attract and retain good employees.

In brief:

Our new immigration policy should be inexpensive to ensure 100% participation. It should also be self-supporting. We shouldn’t have to shoulder much, if any, of the costs with setting up and maintaining this program.  There are a host of other places we could put our money to good use. Our immigration policy should also be easy to participate in, and easy to manage. The more complex the process–the more mistakes find their way into the product.  There should also be plenty of offices to process applicants so there is no 10-20-30 year backlog like the one that exists for many visas today. Accuracy will make this legislation reliable, and therefore highly actionable. This needs to be well architected so the data we receive from the immigrants identifies them one-hundred percent, and allows us to use this data to ensure the best of the immigrants are received, and the worst are returned, or never admitted in the first place. Our security rests on the reliability that if someone leaves the country, they cannot return under a different identity and get away with it. Actionable means we can do things with the data and information we obtain from our immigrants. We can ensure compliance and take decisive actions against persons not willing to abide by the simple and inexpensive rules they must follow in order to receive some of the keys to the kingdom we will offer them to do so. It will also protect the immigrant against people and organizations who wish to take advantage of them. Currently they are under-represented and suffer from many forms of abuse. If we protect the immigrants, they should be grateful, willing, and downright thankful to participate in this simple and highly affordable program. It will be to all our best interests for this to succeed. Taxable is a great way for this program to pay for itself. This should be above and beyond what citizens are required to pay. This money should be earmarked to be used solely for the set-up and maintenance of the immigration program, and any special services or programs they might require.   Some of the conservatives in the audience will notice there is no mention of border security in this bill. There are two very sound reasons for this:   1)   The border is more secure now than at any time in our history. More resources, money and manpower have been shifted to the border than during any other time in our history. As a result of our extensive efforts to stop people at the border, we are apprehending a record low level of  people not seen since 1971.  People crying about securing the border before working on any new immigration bill are really just stalling. No border in the history of the world has ever been 100% secure, and our border with Mexico has never been more secure than it is right now. 2)   When you focus on compliance and making it easy and financially accessible and ultimately highly beneficial for everyone to participate, the need for prevention will be greatly reduced. As compliance passes 80% the need for our current border forces will be reduced, and the remaining force’s day to day activities will shift to rounding up drug runners and criminals, as all those who have nothing to hide will rather do things the easy, inexpensive, legal way. Catching fewer people should be easier than trying to stem the tide of a million immigrants a year, so our border security should even increase, while we reduce our expenses and shift our resources where they will be needed most.   If we begin here, we can begin to create a program that is good for the both the US, and the immigrant, is weighted more towards benefiting us, can be easily (relatively speaking) setup and maintained, won’t cost us anything, and quite possibly help us monetize and protect a resource of income, spending, and taxes, as well as protect and nourish a great part of our communities and culture.  With the emerging markets producing vastly more competition around the world, we could use all the help we can get. Immigrants of all kinds are needed to keep us leading the world in engineering, innovation, economy, and quality of life.

Lastly,

The only thing I loathe more than censorship is hateful comments that contribute nothing to the conversation. The only comments that will be removed are the hateful, non-helpful ones, (trolls) and people who love to post the same comment over and over and over and over and over. . . Please remember, any jerk can complain, and most usually do, but only those who genuinely care about helping, will offer suggestions as to how to make something better. We need to hurry. Congress could surprise us and come up with something sooner than later. If that happens, the compromises that inevitably will find their way into the bill will likely cripple it, and hinder any future progress we might otherwise enjoy. So tell me, do you have confidence in our government to put forth a well thought out, truly beneficial and successful bill that will propel our country forward for years to come?   Join the conversation now, before we have to suffer through what congress manages to cobble together, for the next thirty years.

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Maybe We Should ALL Choose Self Deportation

Asking immigrants to accept self deportation after they arrive here without their greencard paperwork in order,  while we sit comfortably in our living rooms knowing we dodged that bullet, is highly hypocritical. How many of our fore-fathers had their paperwork secured and approved before arriving on our shores? Self deportation is a new term never before brought up in our vocabulary for a reason; only within the last fifty- years has there been a situation for such a term.

We are so backlogged with current greencard applications that we take forever getting them approved, and often lose paperwork, or ask for new paperwork because the original green card paperwork we asked for is now expired. Should we just tell our undocumented and under-documented immigrants, “that’s too bad” and ask them to accept self deportation because we are unable to handle the backlog for our current demand?

Speaking of legal and illegal immigration,  I wrote a series of articles on the language of hate. I like to keep abreast of new articles that are created by some of the more prominent hate groups parading as concerned American citizen organizations. Below is an example of the kinds of things they write about in order to enlist more followers. Obviously they are trolling the waters for the ignorant or misinformed. This sentence really jumped out at me:

 

“Legal immigration is people exchanging a culture of corruption for a culture that honors the rule of law.”

 

This is a definition of legal immigration that really defines the length to which these organizations try to stretch the truth in order to justify their message. Nowhere in that sentence is there any room for an honorable immigrant.

Are all other countries corrupt?

Is the US the only one that isn’t?

Remember Enron? Arthur Andersen? Goldman Sachs? Lehman Brothers? Countrywide Home loans? Freddie Mac? Yeah, we sure honor our rule of law– after we get caught. Until then we fly under the radar and pray we don’t go to jail. (Sound familiar?) The difference here is, and it’s a big one, the people accused of this hateful group’s crime are just coming here to better themselves by circumventing a policy that is out-dated, confusing and extremely lengthy. Immigrants are often faced with rejection due to documents needing to be re-submitted because of a confusing and lengthy application process. As for the Americans that destroyed our economy (twice) in recent years; they knew they were doing very bad things.

The blog post also carries this theme further:

“Illegal immigration is people bringing the culture of corruption of their home countries with them.”

So, if I understand these two sentences correctly, the process of filling out an application is all that’s needed to save someone from corruption vs bringing corruption with them. Nice.

Since we all are products of immigrants, is this a confession that their forefathers brought the corruption of their home countries with them as well? Maybe that explains where we got our corruption from. According to them we could not have manufactured any corruption on our own. Perhaps we should all go back to where our ancestors came from and leave this land as pristine and corruption-free as we found it. I’m sure the native Americans would appreciate it.

 

History of the DREAM Act in two minutes

The Dream Act has been circulating in Congress for over a decade. It began on April 25, 2001 by Representative Luis Gutiérrez and was called the “Immigrant Children’s Educational Advancement and Dropout Prevention Act of 2001. It was a compromise to all the comprehensive immigration reform bills that failed to get through Congress in the decade and a half since Reagan’s landmark immigration reform bill in 1986. What President Reagan was able to pass through Congress was itself a small part of the comprehensive immigration reforms being batted around Congress during the previous two decades.

We have a long history in ignoring legislation for one of our largest economic engines.

In 2008, after failing several times to get the backing of Congress, 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 vote for.

This DREAM Act (v2.0) was then reintroduced to Congress, trimmed again by Republican lawmakers, making it more restrictive for who is eligible and excluding some of the benefits they would receive. The DREAM Act v2.0 still failed to pass a vote in 2009, even with a Republican co-author.

Back to the drawing board it went 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 (v3.0) would sail through Congress.

Wrong again. The Republicans, who were in the minority used filibusters twice, to overcome the majority Democratic vote. This means that no matter if the Republicans were the majority or the minority, they could effectively control the Senate.

The backers of the DREAM Act refused to let it die, and as the bill went through its most recent changes in 2011, it had been stripped of many of the benefits that had been designed to encourage the best and brightest of our undocumented citizens to stay and participate in making this country better and safer.

We all know this latest version of the DREAM Act (v 4.0) is still too generous for the Republicans to sign off on. It appears Conservative Republicans are proving to be the greatest obstacle to getting any bill through Congress that will legalize our currently undocumented citizens, and have been for half a century.

It should be noted that in 1798 the Republican party was among the first class of people to be purposely excluded in our first immigration laws. Apparently politics has a very short memory. The Republicans are trying to put the blame on President Obama for not having passed the DREAM Act when the Democrats were in the majority of the Senate. They would like you to forget all about their filibusters. It appears they already have.

The Republicans vs the DREAM Act

The Republicans have been trying to defeat The DREAM Act since it first started circulating Congress in 2001. This bill was created as a compromise to all the comprehensive immigration reform bills that failed to get through congress in the decades after President Reagan’s landmark immigration reform bill 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 the GOP 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 even after being able to amend the Dream Act and make it more restrictive, 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.

 

Wrong again. Just as the DREAM Act went through its last changes in 2011 and had been stripped of many of it’s benefits that had been 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 proving to be an increasingly negative obstacle.Their best effort for trying to evade the issue has been ” self deportation.”

 

Stopping President Obama from accomplishing anything in his first term appears to have become their primary objective. Most of the initiatives the President put forward have been stalled by the Republicans. The only DREAM Act the Republicans seem to have been 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 continue to vote it down and deny the Democrats (and Americans) another victory. And guess what? Along comes a Republican with a NEW idea!

 

He hasn’t said what it is, but his new DAYDREAM Act 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. (Those blasted Democrats are always getting in the way.)

 

But what about history repeating itself you may ask? 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– and some Republicans went though in order to appease the stalwart ultra-conservative 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. This way they will have an excuse to blame the Democrats for this stalemate.

 

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, I don’t think anything 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, in it’s latest version. 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 the DREAM Act is 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 to our immigration woes 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 Republicans and Democrats, then they are incompetent of doing so. 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 something for the President 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, but instead of having eleven years to get something done, they will have just one term, or the rest of their current term to get the job done. 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.

 

Mike J Quinn is an American citizen with a Multi-national family and has managed restaurants for over 25 years. Currently he is working to unify his family in the United States in an increasingly difficult and hostile environment. He is also the Author of “The Dishwasher’s Son” an upcoming novel about an American teenager and local Arizona Minuteman volunteer who gets accidentally deported along with his co-workers and must sneak back into his own country using the same methods he defends against with his Minuteman unit. Along the way he must learn to deal with the Mexican heritage he has denied his whole life.

 

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