Every time I enter a store or my local bank, I am greeted by signs in Spanish. If I go to my local hardware store, every isle is labeled in Spanish. It is a resume enhancement if you seek a job and speak Spanish, other languages, not so much. “A house divided cannot stand” and neither does a nation without a common language.
Bill Clinton made it easy for illegal immigrants to take up shop in our country, vote, and work illegally by signing Executive Order 13166, “Access to Services for Persons with Limited English” on August 11, 2000.
The order was designed “to improve access to federally conducted and federally assisted programs and activities for persons who, as a result of national origin, are limited in their English proficiency (LEP).” Was the order intended for legal immigrants? Perhaps the intentions were to help the old who could not learn English although they may have tried. The order assured that the recipients of federal financial assistance with limited English proficiency (LEP) could not be discriminated against.
All health care providers had to comply with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin,” if they received federal funds. They had to provide translators to patients with LEP at no cost to the patients. President George W. Bush reaffirmed this order on October 26, 2001.
As a legal immigrant myself, I learned English and had every intention of assimilating into American society, learn about its history, culture, traditions, respect its flag, the national anthem, and its leadership. Is English hard to learn? It depends on the willingness, determination, and the age of the learner. If you have no intention to learn and reject it outright, yes, it is very hard. Is it harder to learn than other languages? As a speaker of several European languages, I can answer easily, no.
What are we going to do with 12 million illegal aliens who are now in the country, may or may not speak English, may or may not be willing to assimilate into our American society, and may or may not accept our American values and culture?
We know that the Democrat Party wants to give everyone blanket amnesty because those in the 12 million pool of illegal immigrants who are of voting age will become immediate Democrats. If they are Hispanic, they consider government a huge source of financial success and survival in spite of the fact that they lead conservative, family-oriented lives.
Republicans, until recently, were against amnesty. President Reagan amnestied a couple of million illegals in 1986, with the Congressional bi-partisan promise of border enforcement which never came. Republicans were disillusioned – few illegal aliens who were amnestied voted Republican, and brought with them an even greater wave of illegal immigration. President Reagan regretted his decision.
What is the Republican Party’s stance on immigration now? If we are to judge by CPAC 2013, the panel discussion on immigration policy was quite telling. The topic was, “Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy.” The title begs the question, which families are respected, the illegal aliens’ families or the families of the hard-working Americans who pay the bill for all the welfare benefits and programs afforded to illegal aliens?
Phyllis Schlafly, the founder of Eagle Forum, said at CPAC 2013, “We do not need so many people on welfare” and “we do not need comprehensive immigration reform, a code word for amnesty.”
The moderator of the forum on immigration, Helen Aguirre Ferre, host of “Zona politica, “a self-described Hispanic American, introduced the discussion as a “topic that has divided the country unnecessarily.” The “undocumented” as she calls illegal aliens, “go to the same churches, shop at the same places, our children go to the same schools, we go to the same hospitals, it’s a deeply personal issue.”
Dr. Whit Ayres, President of North Star Opinion Research, pointed out that we are losing the battle against European-style secular socialism and in order to stop the tide we need more allies, like the hard- working, church-going, family-oriented illegal aliens. The gentleman next to me in the press pool shouted, “LEGALLY.”
“Every single month for the next 20 years, 50,000 Hispanic youngsters will become eligible to vote,” Dr. Ayres said, Hispanics will be the predominant population in the United States, and there is nothing we can do about it, change is coming. “If we want to have a center-right coalition, we have to reach out aggressively to Hispanic Americans.” We need a different tone and a different message, Dr. Ayres said.
Since Hispanics are going to take over the country in the future numerically, let’s give amnesty to 12 million more Hispanics who will vote Democrat in perpetuity. Of course, we cannot just be Americans, we have to follow the lead of the Democrat Party that divided America long time ago into ethnic and race groups in order to better divide us, control the message, control us, and retain power over the welfare of the people.
Dan Garza, Executive Director, LIBRE Initiative, said, “American rugged individualism is what kept America prosperous for 300 years.” My family became part of the American dream because they assimilated into the United States. America needs the work force in order to compete in a global economy. We need a path to citizenship. We need a bi-partisan compromise that helps the American economy. We need our hard-working people to come out of the shadows.”
In spite of the fact that illegals have affected wages and salaries, Garza believes that our economy has become dependent on illegal cheap labor. “The best antidote to illegal immigration is smart immigration policy that unites employers with illegals who are crime-free.”
Helen Krieble, founder and president of The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, discussed the core principles of conservatism and how they related to immigration:
- limited government and lower taxes (we can govern ourselves)
- free markets based on supply and demand
- a vital private sector (we are free to succeed or fail without government intervention)
- the rule of law with limited federal government
- secure borders and sovereignty
- all men are created equal and should be treated equally under the law
- no special deal for special groups
- a moral and humane solution to our issues
Any immigration plan should be based on our conservative core values and our borders should be secured.
Krieble proposed a red card work permit, the size of a credit card, with two paths:
- a path to work permit (does not need to be a federal responsibility but the business community’s responsibility)
- a path to citizenship
A guest worker permit must be market-driven, based on the laws of supply and demand. The unions cannot have input to decide how many workers a company needs to run its business successfully. The work permit is “job specific” and implemented by the private sector, employment agencies, driven by the profit motive.
Data bases established by employment agencies could be filled with job needs of employers and potential workers can post qualifications and the types of jobs they are seeking. Potential foreign workers are fingerprinted and photographed; the information goes to the national security data base and the terrorist watch list. If the foreign worker passes the search then a red card is issued within 48 hours for $5, containing the encrypted information embedded in a microchip.
The red card can be scanned by a machine that costs less than $100, with 99.9 percent accuracy that the person holding the red card is the person to whom it was issued. Foreign guest workers become legal workers and are treated equally to American workers, pay taxes, and are covered by workman’s compensation.
Fees must be paid on both sides of the employment process. Krieble believes that employers would hire Americans first in order to avoid paying fees for foreign guest workers. What if the wages offered to and accepted by foreign guest workers are lower?
“Undocumented workers” currently in the United States can go through the same process and prove that they have a job and no criminal record. “This process should be the cornerstone of any immigration plan.” She concludes that “sixty percent of people who come to work in the United States do not wish to be American citizens.” How many of the 40 percent who stay wish to become Americans who assimilate into our culture?
Jenny Korn, Executive Director, American Action Network, said, “the immigration system is broken at every level and we need to fix it.” She believes that immigration reform entails:
- Overhauling the legal system - “There is no line for immigrants to get in line.” It is disingenuous to say that there is no line for immigration – tell that to the legal immigrants who have been waiting for years to have their applications for visa or permanent residence heard. “The legal system turns away low skilled workers.” Could that be because we already have enough low skilled workers in this country?
- Temporary working program – “Undocumented people come to work; the “Braceros” program with Mexico was somewhat successful; thanks to President Obama’s horrible economy, we have net zero immigration right now.” Because they are afraid to go across the border back and forth, they stay here, bring their spouse and children, thus becoming permanent and behind the “shadows.” Where did I hear this terminology explained before, “undocumented workers,” behind the shadows?” Of course, it is the terminology invented by Democrats. So now, the GOP is Democrats light.
- Family reunification is important (it has always been)
- Secure the border (it is the law)
- Track our entry/exit system (people overstay their visas and nobody tracks them)
- Worker verification by employers (I have e-verify already in place)
- Earn legal status (“People should be able to come out of the shadows, register, pay back taxes, pay a fine, pass a background check, learn English, get a provisional visa, fix the legal system that we have, secure the border, and provide a tough but fair system for “undocumented” - getting not at the end of the line but in line.”) Did she not say that there is no line for immigration?
If there was anything more infuriating out of the entire forum, it was certainly this speech, throwing our legal system, our laws, and the anti-amnesty stance of most Americans under the bus in order to please the Hispanic voting block that will never vote Republican.
Raul Labrador, U.S. Representative from Idaho concluded the forum on illegal immigration. He believes that our prosperity is threatened because our immigration system is broken. With all due respect to the Congressman, our prosperity is threatened by our huge national debt, the quantitative easings that the Federal Reserve has been engaging in, the devaluing of the dollar, the out of control spending in Congress, the crony capitalism, the general gross mismanagement of the economy, continuing spending resolutions, and the lack of a budget for the past four years.
Jenny Korn lectured us that the harsh tone and rhetoric for the last years from a “few elected officials and a few groups have turned off Americans and immigrants of all backgrounds.”
I wonder why would conservatives suggest that we allow foreigners to cross our borders illegally, which is a crime, offer them a lavish welfare system, free medical care, free housing, WIC, free hospital care, free education for their children, in-state university tuition, Pell grants, and then turn around and reward them with amnesty for breaking our laws?
We are a nation of legal immigrants but we immigrated legally, jumped through many hoops, thousands went through weeks of quarantine at Ellis Island, and others waited patiently for years for visas, green cards, and naturalization papers.
Americans approve of legal immigration and would like to see our current immigration laws enforced and the border protected. There is no such thing as an “undocumented worker,” or “working in the shadows.” Everybody knows who the illegal immigrants are, where they congregate to get work, and they do have documents from their countries. Illegals are smart; they take advantage of our golden welfare system while Americans work like slaves to pay for it all, a redistribution of wealth sanctioned by our government.
We are subjecting the military to financial sequestration and furloughing civilians in order to have enough money for the military to operate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we have money to advertise food stamps in Mexico and the process to obtain them. We also have $250 million in financial aid to Egypt, a country that is run by the Muslim Brotherhood whose citizens chant “death to America” while burning our flag and attacking our citizens. We are so generous with those who want us harm and do not wish to assimilate into our culture, but are ungrateful recipients of our largesse, biting the hand that feeds them.
Note: The statements were quoted directly or indirectly from the immigration forum speeches and panel debate on March 14, 2013 at CPAC 2013.