Reader Mail

Not in the Mood

Brandon Crocker is urged to self-deport and not even dream about amnesty. A special Reader Mail section.

6.1.06

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NOT AN INCH
Re: Brandon Crocker's Room for Compromise?:

Brandon Crocker is full of it, a crock. There is no job Americans won't do. But there are plenty of jobs Americans won't do for slave wages and no benefits.

Since the founding of the United States there has always been a faction in this country that has tried to make America more like Europe. But the simple fact is that the U.S. is the anti-Europe. Always has been, always will be.

All we need to do is look at Europe's colossal failure with guest worker programs, and do the opposite. That's the American way.

This whole guest worker charade is simply a way for companies to avoid paying a fair wage for labor, so that management can pocket more profits. In a true free market economy, an employer facing a labor shortage has two options: 1) he can raise wages to attract workers, or 2) he can innovate. Importing low wage foreigners depresses wages and stifles innovation. And that is profoundly un-American.

The American people won't stand for anything short of enforcing the law and sealing the border. It's that simple.
-- Scott Collier
Edinburg, Texas

"Despite the extremism displayed by Tancredo, however, there are signs of hope."

Excuse me? "Extremism" because someone has the guts to stand up and state the truth? Every illegal in this country is violating federal law and should be treated as such. I for one prefer the House idea of making them all felons and handled accordingly. I understand the House has just caved on this idea and trashed it. I knew they would. "...signs of hope"? For whom? Those like Crocker that don't understand the concept of the word "illegal"? Today's Democrat Party has been taken over by the "Hate-America-First Left." It appears their ideology is creeping into conservative thought also. If his is a conservative viewpoint, God help us all!
-- Karl Weber
Hixson, Tennessee

Let me simplify the entire immigration problem for all, including Mr. Crocker. The answer is simply enforcement of current laws regarding immigration in this country. After all, all of the brouhaha is over "illegal" immigration and immigrants. So, simply enforce the law.

Historically, every time this country has attempted to address the problem of illegal immigration, it has included some way for illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. to stay. In every case, the result has been increased illegal immigration. The same thing will happen this time if historical trends are followed. And let me point out one glaring fact concerning the present number of illegal aliens living in this country; the estimate is between 11 and 20 million, with 11-12 million being the lower end of the spectrum.

Immigration control must take three phases. First, increased enforcement concerning illegal border crossing. Second, increased interior enforcement of immigration laws primarily aimed at employers. Third, revamping and streamlining the issuance of visas, and other entry permits, and increasing the convenience for applicants for citizenship within the U.S.

Simple, isn't it? The other arguments in favor of a convoluted reform scheme are rather far fetched. First, 10 to 20 million unskilled workers are not going to disappear across the border overnight. They will leave over the space of several years as interior enforcement of current laws will proceed slowly. After all, there are only some 200 ICE agents currently assigned to interior enforcement. This will allow time for U.S. citizens and documented immigrants to fill the vacancies. Second, If there is a cabal of people who are hindering the enforcement of existing laws, then they are themselves, along with those enforcement agents being influenced to ignore violations of the law, in criminal violation of existing laws and should be charged.

For my part, I have absolutely no doubt that the Congress will do what it does so well, namely screw every thing up royally. There is nothing to be gained by radically changing existing immigration laws and policy and everything to lose.
-- Michael Tobias
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

So Mr. Crocker thinks that crossing the border ILLEGALLY is okay? How about we extend the same "amnesty" to all Americans for such other laws the illegals have broken -- tax evasion, identity theft, falsifying documents, and, often, welfare fraud. And how about we all get to pay income tax 3 out 5 years? And we get to set our income level on good faith like the illegal aliens! Hell, I'll kick in two grand for that!

Nothing can ever work without tough border enforcement FIRST.
-- unsigned

Mr. Crocker, I must respectfully ask, that in the interest of fairness that you be deported. Do you really think the Senate version is viable? Consider:

1. "The goal is to get working illegals to come forward so that we can document who they are and where they are and process them into a controlled system, and then concentrate on getting rid of the rest." How does this work when it will be possible that as documentation all it will take to step forward to document yourself is an affidavit from a friend. That's not validation that opening one's self for fraud.

2. "...how a guest worker program could enhance the likelihood of better border, and interior, enforcement, largely by helping to break apart the coalition of agricultural, business, and political interests that has proven such an effective lobby against such enforcement in the past...." Explain to me, sir, how a continued extension of the U.S. AGJobs program with Blue Card provisions works in Americans' favor? The holder of a Blue Card can only be discharged by just cause not at will which is better than more Americans have. Not only that but the provisions continue even after that person leaves the ag sector for another job elsewhere. And the legal protections extended are at tax payers' expense.

3. "But even under the opponents' worst-case scenario in which we end up with a guest worker program that is largely ignored, is that any worse than the status quo?" Yes. Because today if an employer is caught with illegals it is clear that they broke the law. Under the proposed provisions the employer could take the "I encouraged them but the employee refused with a wink and a nod" defense. That inserts ambiguity into the prosecution of illegal employers.

4. "... will not be irreparably breeched if a maid working the past three years at a hotel in San Jose successfully uses forged documents to allow her to apply for the guest worker program without having to travel to San Ysidro." Sir, that is the case for how she got the job in the first place -- using forged documents. Illegals are not undocumented aliens; they are misdocumented aliens. All you are doing is encouraging behavior that is clearly already implanted in the illegal subculture.

5. "...Even so, in many parts of the country the labor market for agricultural workers and some construction trades is very tight. And the number of Americans looking for work for more than 26 consecutive weeks is a mere 1.4 million. ..." Disingenuous at best. First the 26 weeks moniker. There at that few number of Americans because none are having to wait the full 26 weeks to find employment. The number out of work is much higher. The construction industry is tight right now because of Katrina and a hot real estate market. And the "woe is me" ag sector using cheap labor as a cover not to do the capital investments to automate their picking operations. Or are you Sir suggesting that we should go back to using Mexicans to pick cotton that that sector of the industry abandoned in the '40s for cotton combines?

Mr. Crocker, I have a few for you to answer as to the equity of the proposed bill. Do you consider it equitable that:

* An illegal will be able to skate on two years of five on their tax obligations if they have any? Most native Americans would jump at that chance.

* That under the Dream Act that a child of an illegal may qualify for in state tuition at the institution of their choice that is barred a native?

* That the country needs more ditch diggers than programmers, scientists and doctors?

* That given that a family of four must earn $42k a year to start paying the first bit of federal tax, that the likelihood is that every immigrant coming here will be a tax burden not a tax payer. And that there has not been one scintilla of debate to date on the billions in additional EIC and WIC payouts that will ensue?

But I will be fair. If the country needs a guest worker program it should be very simple:

1) One must have a willing employer vouching to hire and employer has signed the BCIS form I-134 Affidavit of Support for the worker.

2) That the applicant apply in person at the nearest American consulate with the required paperwork.

3) That said work permit is valid for three years.

4) Social assurance payments will be made in the alien's country of origin at the same rate and kind as if residing in that country.

5) The applicant has waived right of extradition and paid a requisite fee for the cost to deport himself back to point of origin including travel costs.

You do that and the illegals already here will self deport. Otherwise they get overwhelmed by the legal guest workers coming here to displace them. It is a self solving issue at that point.

But Mr. Crocker, please, you need to get off the pedestal and read the Senate bill. It is trash.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

Pandering to wetbacks, eh?

Your whole screed looking for some sort of limp-wristed compromise between the crap the Senate is trying to foist off on those who elected them and the law as it already stands is for want of a better description, "TOTAL CRAP." Yes, Tancredo is correct in labeling the minuscule fines and five year plan as amnesty and it's a real leap of delusional nonsense to see it as anything but amnesty.

Gosh! For a minute there I was wondering if I was reading something from the New York Times opinion page.
-- Russ Harris
Overland, Missouri

I would call you the one who is EXTREME!! Your position is obviously that we Should REWARD illegal Behavior!! To justify unbridled, uncontrolled illegal immigration, Which you are; of Illiterate, Illegal, Welfare Recipients can not be DEFENDED!

Bill Gates gave a talk a while back complaining about the unqualified applicants in this country, how bout we legally immigrate these people?? What a Remarkable, Unique Position to take, Immigrate those that can contribute to this country!!

DUH
-- Mike Oberling
Overland Park, Kansas

Which part of the words "illegal alien" does Brandon Crocker not understand?

They are not "guest workers," they are not "immigrants"; they are illegal aliens, period.

I am sick and tired of the euphemisms that Crocker and others use to refer to people who have spat upon our law, and now demand the benefits that they have absolutely no right to claim.

But oh, we cannot deport 12 million people. Huh? Who says? This country liberated millions of folks in two countries in less than 60 days. We have been to the moon and back. We have the cab ability and technology to do damn near anything. Yet we cannot seal the borders, and throw out illegals? Please.

Pick your poison, big business, big labor, some segment of our country wants to preserve a lower class full of cheap labor to the detriment of the middle class American tax payer.

I think its time the citizens of this country demanded enforcement, total enforcement of current law. We "don't need no stinking immigration bill." If we let the D.C. crowd ram through another "immigration bill," well, shame on us all.
-- Jim Karr
Blue Springs, Missouri

Sounds like this author should be writing for some liberal rag rather than The American Spectator. He's totally wrong about Tancredo!!
-- unsigned

What a crock! Mr. Crocker smears Rep. Tancredo because he wants existing law enforced and the border secured -- what an extreme idea. There is no room for compromise with the abomination that the senate passed. Kill it, behead it and burn it.

All we need to know about the "comprehensive solution" is that Ted Kennedy. Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid love it. Case closed.
-- Robert Gallagher
Cookeville, Tennessee

I for one hope we follow Tom Tancredo's plan. We all know that for years our government hasn't been serious about enforcement of our immigration law. Why should we accept the promise of future enforcement? We need to focus on an enforcement only bill. After that, if we need more immigrants, we should increase the numbers of legal immigrants allowed. Let's bring in highly skilled and educated immigrants into our country. Why should we have low skilled guest workers that eat up more in social services than they contribute to the economy? Many of these low skilled jobs would be done by Americans if the wages for them weren't decreased so much from the surplus of illegal immigrants. Need your bathroom cleaned, your lawn cut, your lettuce picked, and you're not willing to do it yourself? Well pay up, buddy. It just doesn't make sense that we will bring in a family to work for $6 an hour and then pay $8,000 a year in education per child not to mention the other costs of social services in this country. All we are doing is transferring the cost of low skilled employment from the employer to the taxpayer.
-- Sean Conness
The Colony, Texas

Nice article. The rub, in this debate over quest worker status and so called "earned" citizenship, is lack of respect for the Rule of Law. It leaves a very bad taste in my mouth to reward people who have deliberately and willfully broken our laws either to enter our country without visas or to stay here on expired visas.

A comprehensive solution cannot truly be comprehensive unless it includes prosecution with severe fines and/or jail time for all employers who hire illegal immigrants and deportation of any immigrants with fraudulent ids and paper work. No, I am not advocating actively pursuing all 11 million suspected illegal immigrants. I am advocating actively pursuing all employers who hire them. If we do this, the illegal immigrants will deport themselves. With that said, I strongly believe that as circumstance provides, when found, illegal immigrants need to be deported.

So if your compromise, is to first and foremost secure the boarders by all reasonable means possible, while actively pursing, prosecuting and giving severe fines and/or jail time to employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and then as a second step, setup a guest worker program for the millions of law abiding people currently following the process, waiting for the chance to live and work in the good ole' US of A, well I'm all for it, compromise, that is....
-- M.L. Gilbert
Bristow, Virginia

Crocker's a crock...off with his head.
-- William A. Mayer
Editor & Publisher, www.pipelinenews.org

Mr. Crocker's arguments are unsustainable due to the very point he espouses. There is no room for compromise on this issue. Why don't you media wonks get it?

Why must hardworking, tax-paying American citizens see our jobs stolen, our wages deflated, our welfare roles swollen, our emergency rooms crammed and our neighborhoods invaded, our property values deflated and our Social Security bankrupted quicker by a veritable horde of illegal who have absolutely no plans for assimilation but rather look upon our nation as only a carcass upon which to feast?

Will the children they legally spawn once across our border be agreeable to working at the artificially depressed wage level of their illegal sires? Of course not! Having been so carefully, and freely, indoctrinated by our public education system, they will be just as demanding of their leisure on the public dole as any of the lower classes now extant. All we are doing is importing more poverty. Why don't people like you see what damage this is doing to our nation?

That's right -- OUR nation. Not theirs! OURS!! Some things are not amenable to compromise. Some things you fight for. There is a right and a wrong here, Mr. Crocker and you are so damned wrong that if "wrong" were people you'd be China.
-- Bill T., USMC (Ret.)
Hampstead, Maryland

Please, get rid of Brandon Crocker. Amnesty is amnesty. Who does he think he is fooling when he talks about the U.S. economy needing illegals. He probably has not been to an emergency room lately, nor has he observed the hordes of off-duty or unemployed illegals walking the streets of our suburbs and cities.

His is the McCain argument that Americans won't do these jobs. Who did them ten years ago? The local landscaping entrepreneurs in my area used to actually do some work, aided by Americans (often teenagers out of school for the summer). Not any more. Up until 2-3 years ago, our garbage was picked up by what I perceived to be black Americans from a nearby urban area. Not any more.

My final question is what are these folks doing now?
-- James Sherlock

So Brandon Crocker believes there should be no punishment for illegal activity? Brandon, news flash. The entire U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is broken and 11 million illegal immigrants and the idiotic U.S. Senate are not going to fix it. What is it about illegal that you don't understand? Get out of the middle of the road, young man, or you're going to get run over.
-- Earl Wright
Clovis, California

Brandon Crocker's piece "Room for Compromise" echoes the White House insults of those who oppose the Senate legislative provisions creating a "path to citizenship" for illegal aliens currently within the borders of the United States. Mr. Crocker tears into Congressman Tancredo for calling the Senate legislation what a vast majority of Americans understand it to be -- amnesty. Now it may be true that the congressman and most Americans haven't whipped out their dictionaries and looked up the term, but "amnesty" is commonly understood to mean forgiveness of criminals for their criminal acts. Tancredo's use of the term seems spot-on in describing the Senate legislation and lacks accuracy only insofar as the word fails to convey the extent to which the Senate legislation actually REWARDS the aliens' criminality.

Build a fence. Shoot anyone who climbs over it or tunnels under it. Stop the invasion of my country.
-- Dave Mills
Rolla, Missouri

Brandon Crocker's article on the immigration debate, like much in the Senate bill, has an air of unreality. How can one trust that the federal government, so long unable and unwilling to enforce the laws we currently have, will become able and willing to enforce these various fines/steps/distinctions? It cannot keep a Salvadoran with no documentation from working at the Target down the street this week, but next week it will be able to apply a law to him basing his status on the length of time he has been here and offering him various social welfare payments as that residence comes to be of longer and longer standing? How can anyone believe this? I do not think that anyone sensible believes this. That is why "hardliners" like Rep. Tancredo call the Arlen Specter/Brandon Crocker approach "amnesty." None of the fine distinctions in the Senate bill will ever be enforced, even if they are enacted.
-- Prof. Kevin R. C. Gutzman
Department of History
Western Connecticut State University

What Crocker and the Senate are proposing is not compromise, but surrender. Tancredo proposes to enforce border security FIRST. It is my very strong belief that the vast majority of the conservative base agrees whole-heartedly with that stance. We were promised in 1986 that after we granted amnesty to three million illegals, we would get border enforcement. Well, the amnesty happened, but the enforcement did not. That disaster led us to the 12 million illegals we have now.

There may be any number of creative and compassionate solutions to the problem we now have with illegals who are here. But, any bill that does not FIRST enforce our borders is going to be met at the polls in November with a substantial voter backlash. I don't think the Washington elites have a real handle on how strongly the American public feels about this issue. They would do well to start paying attention.
-- Keith Kunzler
Arnold, Missouri

Gee!!! We might miss the chance to flood the country with even more ILLEGALS!!! Wow. Sign me up.
-- Mary E. Burke

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