Demos Urge Sweeping Immigration Reform
by Al Lears
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 22, 2010 — Comprehensive immigration reform is necessary to equalize income not only in America but in the entire world, President Obama's new immigration czar, S. Mai Ling said today.
Ling became the first Chinese-American czar when Obama tapped her Friday for the job. She said any immigration bill must include a pathway to citizenship for 10 to 20 million currently undocumented immigrants.
"I am dedicated to achieving President Obama's goal of solving the immigration problem," she said. "and that will solve several additional problems. For starters, comprehensive immigration reform will bring down the average yearly income of Americans, a goal I have shared with the President since Inauguration Day. That will bring America more in line with the rest of the world."
Ling said more improvements in achieving worldwide income parity will take place if an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy with concomitant income redistribution makes the country more attractive to immigrants.
"The administration is working hard to ensure that the day comes when all immigrants will enjoy the same salaries, medical care and educational opportunities as all U.S. citizens," he said.
Ling's chief assistant deputy, Sandy Bank, said prospective immigrants have been heartened by recent election reforms, citing the Supreme Court's recent decision to provide citizens with multiple votes to ensure that minorities are elected to office and with the policy of some city governments to allow non-citizens to vote.
Immigration reform is necessary to make U.S. elections fair, said Rep. Chris P. Bacon (D-Iowa), chairman of the Democratic caucus, Citizens for Reform of Immigrant Policy (CRAP).
"There's something wrong with our system when millions of our workers can't vote just because they don't have the right papers," Bacon said. "Republicans stole Congress and most state legislatures because in most states they won't let people vote without a drivers license or a voter registration card. Some enlightened states allow voting even if you have no papers, but now that Republicans run most of the states, the only way out of this mess is to give citizenship to undocumented immigrants."
Bacon, whose grandfather started Bacon Farms, the largest pork producer in Iowa, said polls paid for by his party show that most undocumented immigrants would vote for Democrats.
"Most immigrants have a basic sense of fairness," he said, "and they know it's not fair that some people have more income and benefits just because they have better-paying jobs."
Sen. Ritchie Mann (R-ND) said 45 states last year introduced 1,200 pieces of legislation over illegal immigration due to the abject failure of the Obama Administration to create a workable visa situation or to control our borders.
"Giving amnesty to illegal aliens will bring in more illegal aliens," he said. "Why would anyone want to go through the process of getting a visa when all they have to do is swim the Rio Grande to become a U.S. citizen?"
John Morton, President Obama's director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Saturday that laws requiring aliens to acquire visas before working in the U.S. are unconstitutional.
"I hereby prohibit ICE agents from enforcing immigration law except when undocumented workers are already in prison," he wrote in an intraoffice memo leaked to Skinnyreporter. "Exceptions will be made only when a person who entered the country illegally as a child has become a productive member of society and only if a high-profile newspaper or television show agrees to publicize the deportation."
If any of the four conservative justices of the U.S. Supreme Court retire or die during the next two years, laws against illegal immigration will be dealt a death blow, said Lou Zarr, a former clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
"The Supreme Court already has ruled unanimously that people can't be deported automatically for using illegal drugs, such as marijuana," he said. "If President Obama is able to replace one of the conservatives with an enlightened progressive, the court will rule 5-4 that immigrants cannot be deported for violating any minor law, including immigration law."
Current Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said a sweeping reform of immigration law has her full support as long as it includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens.
"We can't send 20 million people back to Mexico or South America any more than we can make geese fly north in the winter," she said. "We have never given ICE enough money to handle legal visa requests, and so I think we should just make everybody who is aleady here legal."
Immigrants Organized Union (IOU) President Cherry Pikkar said deporting more than the usual number of alien workers would harm an already damaged economy beyond repair.
"If it weren't for undocumented workers, employers would have to pay more for construction workers, farm workers and auto mechanics," she said. "They would have to pay enough to persuade American citizens to do those jobs because they won't work for peanuts. An undesirable consequence would be that unemployment would drop, and thousands of workers at state and federal unemployment offices would be laid off.
"Working Americans are a lot more selfish than our guest workers. Americans want to buy things with their money, not send it back to Mexico or Argentina. Things would be in chaos. Don't ever vote for somebody who wants to criminalize the violation of immigration law unless you're willing to spend a lot more than a dollar for a hamburger."
Realtor Shanda Lear, who specializes in luxury homes in the San Diego area, said a mass deportation would reduce home prices, which in turn could cause tax revenues to decline in many states, where property taxes are tied to home values.
"People should be careful about what they wish for," she said. "Who would want to go back to the old days when the average home was less than $100,000, and property tax was $1,000 or less?"
Mexican-American vascular surgeon Dr. Xavier Hart said that forcing illegal aliens to their home countries could force hospitals to cut back on emergency room staff.
"The federal government requires hospitals to provide for the emergency care of illegal aliens," he said, "and so instead of going to a regular doctor for things like colds and coughs, they go to the emergency room. With 20 million undocumented residents keeping our emergency rooms full, business is good for our nurses and doctors. We already have a bad enough unemployment problem without laying off medical workers, too."
Bettina Rez of the English as a Second Language Associated Executives (ESLAX) said thousands of school teachers would be laid off if the children of illegal aliens left the U.S.
"People keep voting to stop funding education for the children of undocumented migrants," she said. "They're just being selfish because they want to see their tax dollars to go to their own children. Fortunately, the courts keep overruling the majority, so we still have plenty of work trying to educate children who speak little to no English."
Quote of the Day
"They [Democrats] view massive immigration as a massive infusion of potential voters for the Democratic Party, and therefore will do nothing, absolutely nothing to stop that flow of legal or illegal entrance into the country." — Tom Tancredo