Tuesday, November 23, 2004

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION--FRIEND OR FOE?

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HON. THOMAS G. TANCREDO

of Colorado

in the house of representatives

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mr. TANCREDO. Mr. Speaker, a friend of mine recently sent me an essay
that his granddaughter drafted for her college English composition
course on the issue of illegal immigration. I was thoroughly impressed
upon reading the article, written by a Ms. Karen Berg--so much so that
I have decided to insert it into the Congressional Record so that other
members might be able to review it. I would encourage them all to do
so, Mr. Speaker, as it appears to me that this 19-year-old woman has a
better grasp of this issue than many people--including opinion leaders
on the subject--that I have met.

Illegal Immigration--Friend or Foe?

America, since its inception, has been viewed as a land of
opportunity for those driven to find freedom from tyrannical
rule, as well as those seeking to expand their wealth and
influence. Today, little has changed with these motivations
but much has changed in regard to the population,
infrastructure, and perception regarding the management of
U.S. borders. This is a new era, where immigration control
needs to be orchestrated more effectively than at any other
time in America's history due to diminishing resources,
threats of terrorism, and the socio-economic imbalance that
can result from unregulated influx. In regard to the later,
it is believed that the immense and continuing immigration
from Mexico is the single most immediate and most serious
challenge to America's national identity. Therefore, the
question arises; what are the true economic, social, and
resultant political impacts of immigration, and in particular
the unique issues and problems posed by contemporary Hispanic
immigration.
When Vicente Fox was elected Mexican President, he ended
the Institutional Revolutionary Party's, or PRI's, seventy-
one year monopoly on executive power, thereby elevating hope
for economic development (Wall 3). Fox promised Mexicans an
employment boost, as well as the eventual opening of the
U.S.-Mexican border. However, if employment opportunities
increased, then the need for migration would decrease (Wall
3). In 1994, the United States, Canada, and Mexico
implemented NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement.
NAFTA promised hundreds of thousands of new high-wage jobs,
an increase in living standards, improved environmental
conditions in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and
transformation of Mexico from a poor developing country
into a booming new market for U.S. exports (The Mexican
Economy, Agriculture and Environment 1). Mexicans were
promised that NAFTA would increase trade and investment
inflows which would in return create better jobs, raise
wages, and lift millions out of poverty (The Mexican
Economy, Agriculture and Environment 2). Although NAFTA
did stimulate trade, economic growth did not materialize.
Fox had promised a 7 percent per year economic growth, but
two and a half years after his inauguration, growth
averaged less than 1 percent (Faux 2). From there, NAFTA
concentrated economic growth along Mexico's northern
border by opening factories called maquiladoras, which
processed and assembled goods for the booming U.S.
consumer market, thereby doubling Mexican employment (Faux
3). But after the U.S. economy slowed down in 2000,
employment in maquiladoras decreased (Faux 3). Since then,
hope that NAFTA would enable Mexican prosperity had
vanished. Therefore, Mexican workers who could not support
themselves in Mexico turned to the United States for
greater opportunities. Currently, Fox is trying to
convince U.S. President, George W. Bush, to ``liberalize
migration, create guest-worker programs, and provide
migrants with civil rights and social benefits'' in order
to encourage Mexican immigration to the U.S. (Faux 4).
Debate over Mexican illegal immigration to the United
States consists of two opposing sides. Supporters of illegal
immigration believe it is not fair to prohibit immigrants
from entering the United States, since the U.S. was founded
by immigrants. Second, illegal immigrants take the low-paying
jobs other Americans are not willing to take. They help the
American economy because the amount of skilled and unskilled
workers created by high levels of immigration contributes to
the nation's prosperity (Masci 1). Alan Greenspan,
Federal Reserve Chairman, states, ``As we are creating an
ever more complex, sophisticated, accelerating economy,
the necessity to have the ability to bring in . . . people
from abroad to keep it functioning in the most effective
manner increasingly strikes me as [sound] policy'' (Masci
1). Greenspan reasons that immigrant's work ethic and
motivation make them the cornerstones of America's
economic prosperity. Finally, illegal immigrants provide
cheap labor to employers, thereby lowering the cost of
goods and services.
Opponents of Mexican illegal immigration believe that even
though the United States was founded by immigrants,
immigration of the past is not the same as it is today.
First, Mexican immigrants are not here legally. Second, most
Mexicans do not take the dangerous journey across the border
to become American citizens, but rather to help provide for
their families in Mexico. Also unlike former immigrants,
Mexican illegal immigrants are able to remain in contact with
their home localities because of the close proximity of the
two countries (Huntington 2). Opponents of illegal
immigration also believe the United States doesn't need a
million illegal immigrants each year to ensure a strong
economy. The majority of illegal immigrants are not well
educated entrepreneurs, but rather, ``poorly educated people
who take low-skilled jobs for little money,'' says Dan Stein,
executive director for the Federation for American Immigrant
Reform (Masci 1). Illegal immigration opponents also reject
the argument that illegal immigrants are willing to do the
jobs that most Americans wouldn't do. In parts of the country
where there are small amounts of immigrants, low wage jobs
are filled by native born residents (Masci 1).
After analyzing the history, causes, and contrasting sides
of illegal immigration, one might wonder if Mexican illegal
immigration hurts the United States. The conclusion made,
from extensive research in specific areas, is Mexican illegal
immigration is a detriment to the United States. But, the
reasons why illegal immigration hurts the United States
still need to be addressed.
First, many discussions of immigration fails to take into
account the attitude towards immigration in the sending
countries. For example, the Mexican media and political elite
portray the United States negatively, and therefore
dissention between the two countries in regards to
immigration is amplified. Second, manipulation of American
politics might occur through Mexican immigrants that become
influential in American government. Third, if the United
States continues to allow illegal immigrants to take
advantage of government provided benefits in states like
California, there is a possibility the entire country will
have similar economic misfortunes in the future. Finally,
since Mexican illegal immigrants have monopolized specific
areas of employment, Americans have difficulty pursuing and
acquiring those jobs--especially with the prospect of guest-
worker programs which would intensify their monopoly.
In Mexico, the media and political elite pay close
attention to illegal immigration to the United States, and
have created a one-sided, unfavorable portrayal of the United
States. The United States' attempts to control their borders
are presented as ``racist, xenophobic, and anti Mexican''
(Wall 1). Mexican citizens even blame the U.S. for the deaths
of illegal aliens who die crossing the border, and Mexican
politicians have called the U.S. border a ``slaughterhouse,
or modern Nazi zone'' (Wall 1). In Mexico, all political
parties support immigration to the United States, amnesty,
and government benefits for Mexicans in the United States,
regardless of migratory status (Wall 2). Common slogans
Mexicans use to justify illegal immigration are: ``Mexican
illegal aliens are not criminals, they only do the work the
gringos won't do,'' and ``they are obliged to cross the
border'' (Wall 2). Because the Mexican media and political
elite portray illegal immigration to the United States in
this manner, dissension between the two countries is
amplified.
Throughout history, Mexican-Americans had always been
viewed as an embarrassment. They were a sign of Mexico's
economic failure, or ``exiles who had thrown in the towel''
(Castaneda 2). The last president of the PRI, Ernesto
Zedillo, declared that, ``we will not tolerate foreign forces
dictating laws to Mexicans,'' referring to Mexican immigrants
in the United States (Wall 3). However, towards the end of
the PRI's reign, Mexican-Americans became a sign of
opportunity--an opportunity for the Mexican government to
gain influence in the United States over migration policy,
and therefore keep the gates open for continued immigration
(Wall 3).
After Vicente Fox was elected, he stressed a greater
importance associated with Mexican immigration to the United
States. His intentions are not only to govern Mexicans
resident in the United States, but also American citizens of
Mexican ancestry (Wall 3). In essence, Fox intends to
manipulate American politics through Mexican immigrants that
become influential in the American government. Thereby,
naturalized American

[[Page E2018]]

citizens' political power could possibly be diluted,
resulting in more favorable immigration and trade regulations
for Mexico.
The state of California is already on its way to
bankruptcy, and the inability to control illegal immigration
is doing more than ``some damage'' to the state's weakening
budget (Coleman 1). More than half of the Mexican
undocumented workers do not have taxes withheld from their
wages, and are able to take advantage of expensive taxpayer-
supported government benefits (Izumi 1). The result of this
has escalated economic troubles in California creating a
``welfare and healthcare state'' benefiting non-Californians
(Coleman 1). According to the Auditor General, Mexican
illegal immigration costs California taxpayers $3 billion
annually (Izumi 2). This cost estimate includes benefits like
education, health-care, social services, and criminal
justice.
If the United States allows this situation to propagate to
other states, the entire country will likely have similar
economic misfortunes as California. Evidence of this is
already beginning to show. Harvard Professor George Borjas
claims illegal immigration costs American taxpayers $133
billion annually just in wage depression and job loss
(Wooldridge 1).
Mexican illegal immigrants have monopolized jobs that don't
require skilled labor--through acceptance of low wages and
ethnic camaraderie--preventing unemployed Americans from
pursuing and acquiring those jobs. Even though U.S. employers
hire illegal immigrants for reduced wages, the average
American wage still exceeds the average Mexican wage by a
factor of ten--thereby creating an incentive for Mexicans to
find jobs in the U.S. (``Wages and Poverty'' 1). Also,
communities of legal immigrants create immigration networks
for illegal immigrants so they can conveniently enter the
United States, and find jobs and housing easily (``Illegal
Immigration'' 1). These combined factors result in a
situation where job competition prevents Americans from
obtaining jobs that don't require skilled labor.
However, this monopoly could be intensified if the Bush
administration follows through with the implementation of
guest-worker programs. Under these programs, illegal
immigrants would be granted a three-year renewable permit
allowing them legal rights to work in the United States
(Eccleston 2). Guest-worker programs were proposed in
response to Vicente Fox's request for legalizing Mexican
immigrants in the United States, and the assumed shortage of
unskilled workers--especially in agriculture (Briggs 2).
However, Mark Krikorian of The Washington Post, believes
guest-worker programs cause severe social and economic
problems for the U.S., as well as pose a threat to America's
agricultural competitiveness. ``By artificially inflating the
supply of labor, the government's interference in the
labor market keeps wages low, resulting in slowed
mechanization, and stagnating productivity in fruit and
vegetable production'' (1). Two reasons why guest-worker
programs intensify the monopoly illegal immigrants have on
low paying-employment opportunities are: they increase the
amount of illegal immigrants to the United States because
many of the participants elect to stay in the U.S., and
more illegal immigrants are encouraged to come in the hope
that amnesty programs will be enacted again in the future
(Briggs 2).
Throughout time, legal and illegal immigrants have crossed
America's border in search of opportunity. Recently, however,
Mexican illegal immigrants are migrating to the United States
in increasingly larger numbers in order to take advantage of
the opportunities America has to offer. The economic, social,
and political results of illegal immigration--in particular,
the unique issues and problems posed by contemporary Hispanic
immigration--are detrimental to the United States.


WORKS CITED

Briggs, Vernon and Lawrence Harrison. ``Immigration
Policies Affect Unemployment.'' Pittsburgh Tribune--Review.
28 Mar 2004. 3 May 2004. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/
tribune-review/opinion/columnists/guests/s_186510.html.
Castaneda, Jorge. ``Both Nations Need to Vault Immigration
Hurdles.'' Los Angeles Times. 7 Apr 2004. 1 May 2004. http://
www.newsday.com/news/opinion/
nyvpcas073743956apr07,0,5700657,print.stor
?coll=nyviewpoints-headlines.
Coleman, Noelle C. ``Illegal Abomination.'' American Daily.
16 Aug 2003. 28 Apr 2004. http://www.americandaily.com/item/
1997.
Eccleston, Roy. ``Bush visa `ploy' to win Latino voters.''
The Australian. 9 Jan 2004. 1 Mar 2004. http://0-web.lexis-
nexis.com.library.lib.asu.edu/universe/printdoc.
Faux, Jeff. ``How NAFTA failed Mexico.'' The American
Prospect. 1 July 2003. 27 Apr 2004. http://www.prospect.org/
print/V14/7/faux-j.html.
Huntington, Samuel P. ``The Hispanic Challenge.'' Foreign
Policy. Mar/Apr 2004. 3 May 2004. http://foreignpolicy.com/
story/cms.php?story_id=2495.
``Illegal Immigration.'' Center for Immigration Studies. 2
May 2004. http://www.cis.org/topics/illegalimmigration.html.
Izumi, Lance, and Alan Nelson. ``How California Can Lead
the Way Against Immigration.'' 20 Oct 1992. 27 Apr 2004.
http://adnetsolfp2.adnetsol.com/ssl_claremont/gsp/gsp18.html.
Krikorian, Mark. ``More Guest Workers? Not What We Should
Pick.'' The Washington Post. 25 Feb 2001. 3 May 2004. http://
www.cis.org/articles/2001msk02-25-01.html.
Masci, David. ``Debate Over Immigration.'' The CQ
Researcher Online. 14 July 2000. 1 Mar 2004. http://0-
library.cgpress.com.library.asu.edu:80/cqresearcher.
``The Mexican Economy, Agriculture and Environment.'' The
Ten Year Track Record of the North American Free Trade
Agreement. 8 Apr 2004. http://www.citizen.org/documents/
NAFTA-10-mexico.pdf.
Wall, Allan. ``Undue Influence--the Government of Mexico
and U.S. Immigration Policies.'' The Social Contract. Winter
2002. 23 Apr 2004. http://www.thesocialcontract.com/cgi-bin/
showarticle.pl?articlelD=1122&terms=.
Wooldridge, Frosty. ``Illegal Immigration Costs to American
Citizens.'' MichNews.com. 5 Dec 2003. 3 May 2004. http://
www.michnews.com/artman/publish/article-1879.shtml.

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Hillary Eyeing Immigration as Top 2008 Issue

William's Note: This article from Newsmax should be sent to Karl Rove, President Bush and other Republican's who have decided vote whoring is more important than immigration control--just like the un-named republican in this story--my vote will go the same way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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More than any other leader of either political party, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has been focusing on the issue of immigration reform and border security - taking hard-line positions that appeal to frustrated Republicans in a move that could guarantee her enough red state support to win the White House in 2008.

On Wednesday, as the media descended on Little Rock to cover the opening of her husband's presidential library, Sen. Clinton criticized the Bush administration for not using advanced technology to improve border security.

"I don't think that we have protected our borders or our ports or provided our first responders with the resources they need, so we can do more and we can do better," Clinton told Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren.
To enhance border security, Clinton explained, "there's technology now available. There are some advanced radar systems. There are biometric and other kinds of identification systems that we've been very slow to deploy and unwilling to spend money on."

Unnoticed by the big media, Sen. Clinton has been cultivating the immigration issue since last year.

In a February 2003 interview that went unreported except by NewsMax, Clinton told WABC Radio's John Gambling, "I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants."

"Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country," the top Democrat warned. "And one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry and exit system so that if we're going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let's have a system that keeps track of them."

Taking a position far to the right of the Bush administration, Sen. Clinton said she would support "at least a visa ID, some kind of an entry and exit ID. And, you know, perhaps, although I'm not a big fan of it, we might have to move towards an ID system even for citizens."

The former first lady also railed against business owners who employ undocumented workers:

"People have to stop employing illegal immigrants," she told WABC. "I mean, come up to Westchester, go to Suffolk and Nassau counties, stand on the street corners in Brooklyn or the Bronx [and] you're going to see loads of people waiting to get picked up to go do yard work and construction work and domestic work."

And while President Bush continues to press for a guest-worker program - a move that pleases Mexican President Vicente Fox almost as much as it enrages most Republicans - Sen. Clinton has publicly chastised Canadian immigration officials for being too lax on border issues.

In December 2001, for instance, Clinton urged Canadian offiicals to "crack down on some of these false documents and illegals getting in."

A year later, she blasted Canada after reports indicated that al-Qaida terrorists had slipped into New York across the northern border.

Could a campaign that calls for a crackdown on illegal immigration be the political magic bullet that catapults the former first lady back into the White House?

One diehard Bush supporter, who says he can't stand the Clintons, told NewsMax, "If she ran on a platform of promising to do something about illegal immigration, hell, even I'd vote for her."


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Monday, November 22, 2004

Illegal Immigration is A National Security Issue

Border Crisis Becomes Homeland Security Concern
Lack Of Detention Space Leads To Detainee Release

HOUSTON -- A problem at the border could lead to a Homeland Security threat, the Local 2 Troubleshooters reported Wednesday. It is not about illegal immigration. It's about terrorism, the safety of our southern border and a lack of critical resources forcing the government to release people into our communities.

Every day, immigrants illegally run across our southern border unchecked. Homeland Security officials are not as concerned with the ones from Mexico as they are with the ones who may be hidden within other groups -- the ones our government refers to as OTMs, known as Other Than Mexicans, such as people from Central and South America, and countries like Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Nationwide, our government has lost track of 400,000 of these OTMs.

The problem is felt in almost every Texas border town.

In Del Rio, Tommy Vick spent the last 15 years on the banks of the Rio Grande where the water is barely ankle deep. Vick expects to see illegals using his backyard as a gateway to the U.S. What he did not expect to see was a man in his front yard asking for work.

"He appeared to be Anglo, but he had an accent. I was talking to him and he was Russian. He was from Russia," Vick said.

Val Verde County Sheriff D'Wayne Jernigan sees anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 OTMs released into his community every month.

"At a time when we're so concerned with terrorism in our country, we don't know who is coming into our country. We don't know. We don't know. We don't know who these people are," Jernigan said.

In Eagle Pass, so many OTMs are being released daily to roam the streets, border patrol officers call it "OTM alley."

"If Homeland Security is important, then this should stop immediately," said Pepe Aranda, Maverick County judge.

"They've got to be desperate. They don't have a job. They don't have any money. They put them out on the street. What are they going to do?" Vick said.

"They just fade into the populous -- New York City, Boston, San Antonio, Houston," Jernigan said.

The reason that so many OTMs are disappearing from law enforcement's radar is because the U.S. does not have enough detention space to hold all of them while our government works out deportation arrangements, the station reported.

When OTMs are released because of a lack of bed space, they are issued what's called a "notice to appear." The two-page form tells the person to appear before an immigration judge on a "date to be set" at "a time to be set." But when you look at the line where it asks for an address and phone number, it can say, "failed to provide."

"I was appalled that we know so little about these people. And so little about how to locate them in the future," Jernigan said.

They are set free into our communities. Congressional reports show upwards of 90 percent of these people never show up for their court date and just disappear.

A Department of Justice report shows of all the immigrants from so-called terrorism nations who were caught and then released because of a lack of bed space, we have only been able to track down and deport 6 percent of them.

"Every individual that is encountered, whether it be by border patrol or whether it be by ICE, is going to be subjected to a variety of interviews and fingerprinted," said Luisa Aquino-Deason, with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department.

Not one of the agents-in-charge of customs and border patrol, or Immigrations and Customs Enforcement would answer Local 2's questions. When the Troubleshooters contacted the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, D.C., no one could answer their questions either. Instead, Local 2 was sent to Aquino-Deason, the public affairs officer.

"How do you know what they're here for when you have no idea where they're going or even how to get in touch with them?" Local 2's Robert Arnold asked.

"We go through a variety of lengths to ensure that the people that we release when we have a restriction on bed space is not someone who is going to be a very high risk to your community," Aquino-Deason said.

"It's impossible. It's impossible to interview all of them thoroughly, when you release them so quickly. It's impossible," Jernigan said.

But all those people are the ones the government knows about. There are plenty who cross our Texas border undetected.

In Cuidad Acuna, just across the border from Del Rio, you learn pretty quickly the people don't ask questions about the strangers who pass through their town, according to Arnold. That is except for two men Local 2 found sitting on a park bench. Their job is to sit on the park bench and wait for their cell phones to ring.

One of the men would not talk on camera, but told Local 2 that he has arranged deals to smuggle both Iraqis and Pakistanis because they pay the most.

The man who actually smuggles the people across the border agreed to talk on camera, as long as Local 2 agreed to not show his face.

He said he has smuggled people from Japan, Taiwan and Germany. But it's the ones he refers to as the "others" that make him nervous.

"I noticed they had some knowledge of the military, which made me nervous because I didn't know if I was crossing terrorists over. When we see those people, they're usually accompanied by South Americans. They come to us through another client. They've already paid another client that gets them through Central America to Mexico to the U.S. border," the man said.

"One of the most shocking things is just how porous the border is even after 9/11," said U.S. Rep. Jim Turner.

Turner is a Texas congressman who is on the House Select Committee for Homeland Security.

"It's hard to contend we're making America safe if we know the southern border is still open and can be used as an access point for al-Qaida operatives," Turner said.

"Buried within the thousands that are coming across, it would be so easy for the next terrorist to be hidden and strike our country totally unaware," Jernigan said.

"You have a choice. You can put up with it, live with it. You can stay here and you might get hurt, might have to hurt someone. We shouldn't have to live like that, not in the United States of America," Vick said.

The reason there is a shortage of detention space is because of unbalanced funding priorities, Local 2 reported. Money was spent to beef up the number of agents patrolling our borders. As a result, the number of OTMs arrested jumped 69 percent. Yet, almost no money has been spent to build new detention centers.

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Fear of Racial Profiling help Aid 9/11 Hijackers

FBI Author of Pre-9/11 Memo Talks to Paper

PHOENIX - The FBI agent who wrote a memo warning that terrorists were training at flight schools before the Sept. 11 attacks said concerns over racial profiling may have prevented officials from acting on his intelligence.

"If you look at the world prior to 9/11, we were prevented from doing certain things. We were victimized by our own restraints," Ken Williams told The Arizona Republic in his first interview since writing his now-famous memo in July 2001.

Williams' findings were based on investigations of Arizona aviation students tied to al-Qaida. At the time, he recommended the State Department coordinate with the FBI to provide information on flight students from Middle Eastern countries.

His memo was ignored by supervisors until after the attacks, but Williams said it was not a case of incompetence or malfeasance and he never blamed supervisors for the intelligence failure.

Even while writing his memo, Williams said, he never imagined that terrorists would fly a jumbo jet into a building. But on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Williams said he was galvanized by one thought: "Osama bin Laden. It couldn't be anyone else."

Williams said he is still following leads from his memo, but he refused to discuss specific findings.

Williams also said Americans have to reclaim the sense of unity they had three years ago to thwart another terrorist attack.

"They are going to try and hit us again," he said.

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