Amnesty for some but not all?
Amnesty, as defined by Webster’s is: the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals. The synonyms for amnesty are: absolution, pardon, forgiveness, remission, and remittal. The antonyms are: penalty, punishment, retribution.
According to Webster’s definition, the actions of President Obama qualify as amnesty. In effect, he pardoned a large group of individuals who disobeyed our laws regardless of their unfortunate circumstances. Why did he do this now? And what role did Republicans play in this debacle?
The President gives amnesty…
Last week on behalf of this administration, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced immunity from deportation for illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States before they turned 16 and who are younger than 30 (and other criteria). If they have committed no additional crimes since they entered this country, they can apply for a two-year work permit that they can renew indefinitely, and they will be allowed to enjoy most of the rights and privileges this nation offers. This population is estimated at 800,000 people. I believe this is a gross underestimate.
Why did the President do this and why now? Many political observers believe this was purely a political and calculated move to keep the Latino vote leaning toward the Obama camp. In politics a campaign has supporters who are identified as a strong base or a weak base. The Latino vote is a soft base and a “liquid” population. The Latino vote went to Bush and four years later went to Obama. Since earlier this year the administration had a change of policy in favor of the gay community, the Latino vote has seriously been considering Romney. By appeasing the gay community, some believe the administration risked losing the Latino and African-American communities, who had voted to preserve traditional marriage.
…and Republicans miss their chance
Putting aside the constitutionality and the means of implementing the President’s decision, this move was bold, brilliant and purely political. The President took advantage of a political opportunity and the Republicans once again missed the chance to fix a broken system, gain the support of liquid community, and possibly win the White House and Senate. Some of the Republicans remind me of the scenario of a man looking for the ideal job that pays $30 an hour and is not willing to settle for a good job that pays $25 an hour. Because he is holding out for an ideal job, he ends up with nothing. The same scenario is applicable here.
The Republicans have been waiting for an ideal immigration reform plan and thus have achieved nothing. In my travels across the state of New Jersey in my campaign for U.S. Senate, I have spoken to many good people who want our government to implement our current laws. Everyone agrees that we need to secure our borders; we also need to remove all criminal illegal aliens. The only area of dispute is what we do with the remaining 15 million illegals. Some on the left want to give them amnesty and allow them to freely join American society. On the other side of the political spectrum, some want to deport all illegals. Somewhere between the two extremes is a solution that both sides can agree on. How long are we going to be like the fool who is looking for and will only settle for the ideal plan and end up with nothing?
How to solve the problem
As a conservative, I want to see our laws enforced for we are a nation of laws. As a problem solver, I want to see a solution to this debacle. I have authored and copyrighted a plan that deals with the 15 million illegals and their children. My plan would not only fix the mess we are in but also the people who stand to benefit from it would pay for it.
It is not amnesty, which pardons large groups of people. Conversely, it imposes a penalty and requires retribution for breaking our laws in the form of a substantial fine that can be paid over a ten-year period. The President’s plan imposes no penalty and ignores the larger group of aliens that entered this country illegally.
While I agree with the President that a humane course of action should be taken regarding children who are being victimized by their parent’s crime, I do not believe that absolution should be given without any penalty. Of course we would like to provide a way for the children of illegals to come out of the shadows but we must do it in a way that makes sense. People who break our laws can be deported, can serve time in prison, can be assigned community service, or can pay a fine. Imposing a fine for breaking our laws seems the most practical solution in this particular circumstance – and all illegal aliens should pay such a fine, with a more severe fine for those who came here as adults. To Read the Qarmout Immigration Reform Plan, please follow this link.
Unfortunately, this President has shown time and again that he will not hesitate to break our laws to suit his own agenda. But if we are to remain a Constitutional Republic, we cannot tolerate this type of blatant disregard. By granting amnesty, our President, who took and oath to uphold and protect our Constitution, is undermining this country and our Rule of Law. Should he succeed, there is a good chance he may be re-elected but the country he will be ruling over will be one of anarchy and chaos.
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Mr. Qarmout, it’s gratifying to see that there are people out there who consider themselves conservative, while having the sense to realize that progress often requires solutions that move in the right direction even if compromise is required.
The irony that this would make you a “wimp” in the opinion of your former campaign manager is not lost, but you’re correct – if the Republicans had been able to compromise and put out a plan along the line of what Marco Rubio was working on, they’d be able to show themselves capable of solutions instead of just obstruction. Another opportunity missed.
I read you plan, and it has a lot going for it. It’s impractical to try and deport around 20 million individuals, and these people provide a significant source of labor to critical sectors like agriculture, where crops are rotting in the fields because there aren’t enough citizens willing or able to take the jobs.
I also like the simplicity of the registration process, and the fact that it allows enough rights (like driving) to maintain employment while withholding others, like voting. The penalty provision also makes sense – $10,000 is significant enough to be meaningful, but not so high that it can’t be collected over the 10-year waiting period.
It also has the parents paying the penalties for their children, because the decision to circumvent immigration laws lies with the adults, not the children whose decision was made for them. I agree with Obama on this one – a child born here, raised here and educated in our culture is really an American from their own perspective, and they should not be punished for prior actions beyond their control if their own choice entering adulthood is to be law-abiding, productive U.S. citizens.
I’m still not certain that it’s ever going to be practical to secure the borders enough to be a cost-effective deterrent to illegal immigration. That’s just a government contractor’s dream, and the actual price-per-foot is probably too high for any person to take seriously. Better to enact laws providing a path as you suggest, setting a 1-year registration window, and then passing laws to apply VERY high penalties, including jail time, to anyone hiring people not registered. Cut off the draw, and you cut off the motivation to evade the law.
Yes, I agree. Amnesty when granted should come with a price. It’s not fair for the ones who have and are still legally waiting in line.
Those who also suggest that deportation and this and that cannot be enacted by the massive US gov’t who can tax and spend to the max, have their heads in the sands. These same people conveniently forget the WWII years when America rose to world-wide prominence in so short of time.
Nathan M. Bickel
I don’t think that people who are against mass deportation have their “heads in the sand”, but are instead thinking about the problem clearly and realistically.
The U.S. absolutely has the means to round up non-citizens en masse and deport them, but where’s the actual long-term benefit in that?
– If you don’t remove the incentives to return, people will continue to try to come here outside the legal system and take their chances with deportation for as long as they can. Deportation would be like bailing a leaky boat without ever fixing the boat itself.
-Locking the borders down tight enough to make stealth entry impossible would make thousands of miles of the U.S. border look like the Berlin Wall in reverse. I doubt that kind of symbolism is what this country wants to project to the world. It also sends as mixed message to the world about double-standards when we still allow any Cuban who can float over here automatic asylum so they can have a better life than where they came from.
-It would make the rest of the country turn into Maricopa County, AZ, where “driving while Hispanic” earns you an extra level of interrogation from the police regardless of the actual infraction, and like the old Soviet states, you better “have your papers” on you when stopped. Unless it’s done to every person every time, it’s a violation of equal treatment under the law since being Hispanic is about race, not behavior. If it’s done to everyone, then the Fourth Amendment becomes a joke.
– It takes millions of workers out of the labor pool who are doing jobs that most U.S. citizens currently don’t want to do. Giving the people willing to do this work a path to legitimacy and collecting taxes as they do is better for both free-market economics and the debt. In Georgia, for example, immigration crackdowns are costing the farm economy there about $391 million and the lack of citizens willing to do the work is forcing some farmers to negotiate with the state to use prison labor instead of losing crops.
The world isn’t black and white, Pastor, and people who address serious problems realistically shouldn’t be mocked for it.
Point by point:
Okay, Here’s a point-for point reply:
1) The incentives to return are primarily the chance for jobs, a better quality of life, and opportunities for their children. After all, you don’t see a lot of U.S. residents looking to migrate to Mexico, even in this recession. If you have facts that show most illegal immigrants are here on welfare, post them. My response to your point #4 below will show that these people comprise a key part of our economy whether you want to acknowledge it or not, and I’ll provide the links.
2) I’d agree that patrols are more effective than any kind of physical fencing, which is just a boondoggle. My point was not that we should leave our borders unpatrolled, but that there’s something un-American about having the borders look like a DMZ. The U.S.-Canada border isn’t like this, so instead of physically battling the human spirit seeking a better life, find ways to make the legal pursuit of that dream more attractive than an illegal one.
3) I’ve never referred to the citizens of Maricopa County in the terms you use above, and it’s a poor form of debate to put words in my mouth and then attack them. My “beef” is with Arpaio, period.
The Federal case against Arpaio’s department provided multiple examples of U.S. citizens being treated under the assumption that they were illegals, with that treatment based on criteria that fail reasonable tests for probable cause. It also provides numerous examples of racist attitudes being tolerated in the MSCO.
As for you comment that the citizens of Maricopa County like things just the way they are, let’s look at the ethnic breakdown of the county as recently as 2007:
66% of the population is White,
25% are Hispanic,
3.7% are Black,
2.5% are Native Americans,
and 11.9% self-describe as “Other”.
So is it a surprise to anyone that the 3/4 of the county’s population who aren’t Hispanic have no problem re-electing a sheriff who targets Hispanics out of proportion to anyone else? What you call “probable cause” is heavily based on race, and the problems Hispanic citizens face there aren’t even going to register as a problem for non-Hispanics.
4) My point about labor is not a non-sequitur, as a few seconds on Google would show if you had bothered to look. I’ll save you the trouble:
Farm labor shortages may cost Georgia economy $391 million:
link to ajc.com
Georgia Criminals Sub For Immigrant Farm Workers:
link to bloomberg.com
Studies/surveys confirm Georgia farm labor losses, with farmers complaining of immigration legislation:
link to southeastfarmpress.com
Georgia’s Immigration Law Backfires:
link to forbes.com
Perhaps you should discuss the issue with your friend Mr. Qarmout – he seems to be much better informed.
Nevertheless, you have a cognitive dissonance between:
Now by your logic, the citizens of Maricopa County are either:
Or maybe you’re just plain wrong about Joe Arpaio.
What say you?
What I’d say is that I have no actual basis in fact to explain why, since I don’t live there and dont see things as a local would. Then again, neither do you so it seems pretty silly for two outsiders to talk as if we speak for them.
If I were to guess, though, here are some observations:
Maricopa is a conservative part of a conservative state, so trending Republican may be the norm.
It’s close enough to the border with Mexico that they feel the impact of illegal immigration acutely. This likely favors someone pledging to be tough on illegal immigration, and tolerant of tactics other states would object to.
Three out of four residents are NOT hispanic, so one doesnt have to be racist to be ignorant to what its like to be a hispanic there, since they arent being profiled. Indifference isn’t racism.
Arpaio promotes himself well and on a national level – anyone running against him is going up against “America’s Toughest Sheriff”, and branding matters.
I could come up with more, but your argument is that being repeatedly elected makes him a good sheriff, and my response is that this is an irrelevant comparison.
But now you’ve just argued that his voters are ignorant, and that he can lead them easily by laying along a lot of Madison Avenue-ism. And you even manage to imply that they are wrong to fear illegal aliens.
If you actually read the words I used above, Terry, rather than reading into them what you want to see, it’ll be apparent that I said no such things.
When you decide to address my actual statements with any objections you have, I’ll be glad to respond.
I was addressing more than your statements.
I was addressing their implications. I always address implications. I address what logically and necessarily follows from statements.
Now let’s review:
You don’t like Joe Arpaio.
You said that the reasons that Arpaio won, is that Maricopa County is Republican country, living in fear of illegal aliens, and 75 percent white, and that Joe Arpaio is a master self-brander.
All of it adds up to: the voters are a bunch of ignorant, complacent dupes who fall for Joe Arpaio’s Madison Avenue-ism. Why, you used the very word ignorant to describe those voters. Did. You. Not?!?
Now tell me again that I have twisted your words. I have done no such thing. I have inferred your true feelings from your words.
Well, that was a revealing exchange. Here I am treating this as a comment forum, where you say things and I comment on the actual things you say. In turn though, you get to decide what I’m “inferring”, and respond to a set of comments from me that have only taken place in your imagination.
Give me a break.
Let’s take a shot at reviewing my actual words versus what you inferred from them, and sort out the differences…
1) You don’t like Joe Arpaio.
That’s a good start. You’re 100% on target with this one.
2) You said that the reasons that Arpaio won, is that Maricopa County is Republican country, living in fear of illegal aliens, and 75 percent white, and that Joe Arpaio is a master self-brander.
Actually, the very first line in my comment was this:
“What I’d say is that I have no actual basis in fact to explain why, since I don’t live there and dont see things as a local would.”
I followed that up with some observations, which is where the “inferring” takes on a life of it’s own.
–I said that Maricopa County is Republican, so people there would likely vote for Arpaio as a Republican. Hardly controversial.
— However, I NEVER said that the residents there fear illegal immigrants. My exact words were “It’s close enough to the border with Mexico that they feel the impact of illegal immigration acutely. This likely favors someone pledging to be tough on illegal immigration, and tolerant of tactics other states would object to.” Actually, I was thinking about competition for jobs when I wrote that – “living in fear” was the sole product of your own imagination, and the transcript above makes that clear to anyone.
–Maricopa’s demographics are statistical facts, and by their own admission the MCSO looks for Hispanics when profiling suspected illegal immigrants from Mexico. Not Caucasians, nor Blacks, nor Asians. People who aren’t going to be profiled based on their race aren’t going to relate to the profiling policy in the same way as the target group. That means that the 75% of the residents who are non-Hispanic (only 66% are Caucasian – another reading error on your part) are not going to have the same viewpoint on these tactics as the minority. Since majority views affect elections, this is a legitimate factor to consider. You’ve “inferred” this to be an accusation of racism on my part, but I’ve actually stated no such thing.
–Yes, I stated that I believe that Arpaio promotes himself well, and that the “America’s Toughest Sheriff” branding is influential. All people running for public office define their brand to help them stand out with the voters – “Maverick”, “Common Sense Conservative”, “Constitutional Conservative”, “America’s Toughest Sheriff”, etc. None of that makes voters “complacent dupes who fall for Madison Avenue-ism”. Those were your words, and yours alone.
3) Why, you used the very word ignorant to describe those voters. Did. You. Not?!?
Yes, I used the word – now let’s look at the context:
“Three out of four residents are NOT hispanic, so one doesn’t have to be racist to be ignorant to what its like to be a Hispanic there, since they arent being profiled. Indifference isn’t racism.”
What I was stating was that when you’re not Hispanic, it’s understandable to be ignorant of what it’s like to be Hispanic, especially when it comes to being subject to racial profiling. You’ve twisted that to “infer” that I’m calling the non-Hispanic residents of Maricopa “ignorant” as a generic trait. That’s really pathetic on your part, and this time I’m not inferring it – I’m stating it.
You really seem to delight in typecasting people who disagree with you on certain issues, and “inferring” all kinds of imagined worldviews and mindsets on our part regardless of the actual things we say in these comment forums.
Tell you what, Terry. Since I live in Middlesex Country, NJ, I’m within a reasonable drive of most of the gatherings and events your colleagues host in the state. I’d be glad to arrange to meet in person at any one of these, and even engage in a cordial debate on a relevant topic to discuss it from a different perspective. It’d probably be a disappointment for you to find that I don’t “live down” to your preconceived stereotype, but the offer stands regardless. You have my email address, and can reach out to me anytime.
I infer. You imply. And you ought to be more careful what you say, and how you say it.
I weigh my words with the same exquisite care with which a nuclear weaponist weighs weapons-grade plutonium. You might try the same thing. You’re better at it than most people who joust with me in this comment space. That might be one reason why I hold you to a higher standard.
You correctly observed that Maricopa County lies on the US-Mexican border. You then allowed that the “impact” of illegal migration on Maricopa County might be disparate. Now any objective observer might say,
I’ll give you another item, besides raw demographics, that might figure into the MCSO’s tactical decision-making. The immigration movement does not limit itself to organizations that want only “to get better lives” for people trying to escape Mexico’s less-than-stellar economy. (Some have called Mexico a “failed state”. I think they exaggerate, but we both know that Mexican aliens commonly “remit” funds across the border. We also know that the Mexican government relies heavily on such “remittances.” Which is a crying shame for a country with its valuable natural resources, i.e., oil.)
Anyway: I give you the National Council of the Race (La Raza). Their motto translates thus:
Then there is the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA). And what do they want? To re-establish Montezuma’s empire to its original territorial extent. That means retro-ceding the American Southwest to Mexico.
So much for ideology. Now consider that several parts of southern Arizona are now no-go zones for “gringoes.” And what is a “gringo”? I am. I don’t know enough about you to know whether you are or not.
Now if you’re going to discourse about illegal entry into Arizona, you should know these things. I’m going to assume that you do. Anyone who pays as much attention to politics as we both do, should know these things. It’s our job to know, for different reasons: you, to prosecute Sheriff Joe Arpaio in this space; I, to defend him in this space and in my article space.
Now: you say that los gringos don’t know what it’s like to be a Hispanic. Well, I can guess. If you’re a member of La Raza or MEChA, you consider that you live in occupied and unredeemed territory. Naturally, you’re at war with los gringos, just as surely as the “Palestinians” in the West Bank are at war with the Yehudat. And in fact, the house organ of La Raza, titled La Voz de Aztlan (“The Aztec Voice”), devotes half its space to defense of the “Palestinian cause,” and uses some of the most virulently anti-Semitic (specifically, anti-Jewish) language that one is likely ever to find in a non-Middle-Eastern newspaper.
Well, then! Mightn’t a reasonable observer infer from that state of affairs that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office has a job that is a sight more dangerous than certain Washington, DC apologists for unlawful entrants might care to admit?
And—oh, yeahhh!—Maricopa County has its seat in the very city from which Operation Fast and Furious ran!
Do you think that maybe Eric Holder wants Joe Arpaio out of the way because the sheriff might know a teensy-weensy little bit too much for Holder’s comfort?
You’re quite correct about the “infer” versus “imply” distinction. Thanks for enlightening me on that.
Now, I’m also what you’re referring to as a gringo, in that I’m Caucasian. (Specifically, my ethnic heritage is a blend of European immigrants and a sliver of Native American tossed in for good measure).
My point about this above has been consistent – a non-Hispanic is not going to fully understand the experience of living under policies that racially profile Hispanics, just as the most empathetic white person would never fully understand what it was like to be a black person in the segregated Deep South prior to the 1960’s.
So you look to build a case that whites have good reason to fear illegal Hispanic immigrants in areas like Maricopa County, and use NCLR (La Raza) and MEChA to make your case.
Let’s start with NCLR. In this case, you might as well be telling white U.S. citizens to fear all Hispanics in this country, not just the illegal immigrants, since this is a U.S.-based group started by Hispanic citizens in Arizona in the 1960’s.
The NCLR motto is not what you claim it to be, and they do not support any right or movement for Mexico to reclaim U.S. lands. You’re passing on disinformation sourced from the internet, and here are the official NCLR statements on these falsehoods:
link to nclr.org
I also read up on MEChA and the controversy around it. Nowhere in their charter or goals do they advocate reclamation of U.S. territory – all references to “nation” are from a cultural perspective, not a legal/territorial one. It’s analogous to Native (North) Americans pledging to maintain their national identity in the face of a non-native government imposed on them (which is what the European settlement did, after all, no matter how great a nation was built afterward). MEChA represents the Native Central and South American perspective, and is not advocating any secession or takeover.
So your case that “gringos” should fear illegal immigrants from Mexico because of the imagined agendas of two U.S.-based Hispanic advocacy groups is pretty much a non-starter. More like using FUD to rally the base, actually.
And in current news, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors decided through a split vote to prohibit the use of donated funds to recoup the taxpayer cost for the trip to Hawaii that led to Arizona accepting President Obama’s legitimacy to be on the ballot.
The principal objection to this is that the Sheriff’s Office should not be run like a private detective agency, where anyone can divert the use of MCSO staff for purposes not directly serving the county as long as they’d be reimbursed later. It’s a sensible argument, since there was never any demonstrated need for “security”, which Arpaio claimed as the justification. This was a records-research trip to clerical and government offices, after all.
Yes, and they cut off the taxpayers’ noses to spite the taxpayers’ faces. The real objection is that two of the commissioners have had it in for Sheriff Arpaio since he took office, and are willing to stoop to this kind of dirty politicking, at taxpayers’ expense, just to make a point.
Maybe two of the commissioners have it in for Arpaio, maybe not.
Where’s your evidence that these two individuals “have had it in for Sheriff Arpaio since he took office”? Considering that Arpaio’s been in office since 1992, twenty years is a long time to be waiting to make a move.
Arpaio’s never revealed a justification for sending an armed deputy as an escort for a clerical task conducted between state government offices. “Security concerns” is about as vague as it gets, and for all the time he was in Hawaii, Maricopa County was one deputy short of the roster the citizens were paying to perform local law enforcement.
So are you against the reasoning that people shouldn’t be able to divert taxpayer resources for frivolous purposes on the promise to repay them later with private funds? Arpaio can’t demonstrate that there was any legitimate police reason for the deputy to travel, which is why he emphasized the pledge to have donations reimburse the county instead.
These two commissioners are drawing the line at Arpaio diverting law-enforcement resources for hire – do you agree with that or not?
Oh, and as far as people who “stoop to this kind of dirty politicking” go, Arpaio has more than the Feds to be concerned about:
link to tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com
link to tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com
loaning out taxpayer private
Now they had an opportunity. And in the process they put the taxpayers on the hook for something, when the sheriff had an alternative in place.
If you want an example of a taxpayer resource that gets diverted for a frivolous purpose without any reimbursement, I give you: Air Force One. Every time the putative President goes on one of those fund-raisers, the taxpayers are on the hook for that plane, the Secret Service escort, everything.
Arpaio did not “hire out” his deputy lightly. Someone offered to reimburse him when he had to do it. And those two commissioners said, “No, let the taxpayers stay on the hook, and then we’ll complain that he’s wasting taxpayers’ money.” Sweet.
“Someone offered to reimburse him when he had to do it.”
That’s just the point – he never “had” to do it. He’s never justified the need to take an armed deputy “off the beat” for this trip, and still refuses to do so. No one, including Arpaio, can show why armed security was needed for clerical research. This is not just about the money – it’s about the misuse of taxpayer resources that are supposed to be ensuring public safety. Saying “it’s okay if someone pays for it” just opens the door to more misuse.
ThisIt was just grandstanding with no real cause, and the county taxpayers were short one on-duty deputy for the duration.
As ever, that is a matter of opinion. I am sure that Sheriff Joe would say otherwise. And so, by the way, did two other county commissioners. If your position were the incontrovertibly logical one, then the resolution to refuse private reimbursement would have passed with a unanimous vote.