The Feds Won’t Enforce Their Laws and Neither Can You

July 29, 2010

“Against a backdrop of rampant illegal immigration, escalating drug and human trafficking crimes, and serious public safety concerns, the Arizona Legislature enacted a set of statutes and statutory amendments in the form of Senate Bill 1070…The Court by no means disregards Arizona’s interests in controlling illegal immigration and addressing the concurrent problems with crime including the trafficking of humans, drugs, guns, and money. Even though Arizona’s interests may be consistent with those of the federal government, it is not in the public interest for Arizona to enforce preempted laws… The Court therefore finds that preserving the status quo through a preliminary injunction is less harmful than allowing state laws that are likely preempted by federal law to be enforced.”

Judge Susan Bolton
United States District Court for the District of Arizona

Praise the Lord. Apparently even God is on the side of the illegals.

The Court has spoken and, as expected, cites precedent (i.e., the errors of previous judges) and the supremacy of federal law over state law. So, once again, the will of the people is pre-empted by claims that federal law trumps state law.

According to Ms. Bolton, most of the Arizona law cannot be enforced, even though the Arizona law says about the same thing as the federal law. Underlying her reasoning is the understanding that the federal government already has laws in place allowing federal officers to determine the citizenship of suspected illegal aliens and to take appropriate action when they determine that immigration laws have been broken. According to Ms. Bolton, only the feds have the right to make and enforce immigration laws.

There’s only one problem: the federal government consistently has demonstrated a reluctance fully to enforce federal immigration laws. Once illegals manage to enter the country they are unlikely to be subject to federal enforcement of immigration laws unless they are arrested for violating some other federal law. About the only exception is when someone is caught up in a raid on an employer suspected of hiring illegals.

The State of Arizona is powerless to enforce federal immigration laws. “Against a backdrop of rampant illegal immigration, escalating drug and human trafficking crimes, and serious public safety concerns” (Judge Bolton’s words) Arizona’s only recourse is to enact and enforce its own immigration laws. This, the State of Arizona has every right to do. First, because the feds are not doing their jobs and, second, because the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution protect the rights of the states and their citizens to make and enforce law:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Amendment IX

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Amendment X

Ms. Bolton and her clerks spent a lot of time culling the law libraries for precedents when all they need have done is read the Constitution. This is yet another example of the Courts ignoring the Constitution and reaching for any excuse to ratify their pre-conceived notions of what America ought to be.

By Ms. Bolton’s reasoning, the federal government can prevent the states from passing almost any law by simply passing a federal law and then not enforcing it.

You can read the full text of Ms. Bolton’s decision at http://www.azcentral.com/ic/pdf/0729sb1070-bolton-ruling.pdf

Advertisements

Tax Amnesty for Illegal Aliens?

July 13, 2010

This story needs to be understood by every citizen taxpayer. Illegal aliens already in this country will destroy our economy if action is not taken soon. The congress and recent presidents have avoided this issue because they realize that there is no palatable solution to this problem. Citizen taxpayers need to know how much amnesty for illegals would cost them. Like it or not, deportation is the only solution. No one in congress has yet had the courage to say so.

Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) are pushing an “immigration reform” bill that has President Obama’s support (see Obama Wants Amnesty for 11 Million Illegal Immigrants).

There’s a problem with this bill and with almost any conceivable form of immigration reform: back taxes.

American citizens may be willing to overlook the past sins of illegal aliens in so far as they have made free use of our public schools, hospitals and health care system, and myriad welfare programs. But most of these illegal immigrants, whether they took advantage of the public treasury or not, have not paid into the treasury. How could they? With no, or phony, social security numbers they could not file tax returns without exposing themselves. “Besides,” many surely reasoned, “why should I pay taxes if they don’t know I’m here?”

Back taxes are going to be a deal breaker for almost any form of amnesty for illegal aliens.

Among the provisions of the Schumer/Graham/Obama proposal are “paying fines and back taxes.” For most illegals this is going to prove impossible unless the federal and state governments cut them special deals on back taxes.

Deals on back taxes for illegal aliens seeking amnesty are not going to sit well with citizens. Although the IRS occasionally makes concessions to taxpayers in order to get something out of them, citizen taxpayers know that these arrangements still are onerous. And they also know you can’t get out from under taxes owed to the IRS by declaring bankruptcy. Citizen taxpayers are going to be livid if the federal government and IRS allow non-taxpaying illegals to get out from under the tax liabilities that would be demanded from citizens.

Marco’s Dilemma. Let’s take a look at Marco, an illegal alien who entered the United States 20 years ago at the age of 25. Like almost half of our illegal aliens, Marco initially entered the country legally on a visa. He became an illegal alien when he overstayed his visa.

Marco entered the US at JFK airport in New York. After a month in the US, he liked what he saw and decided to stay. He moved to Chicago, where he had relatives from the Old Country. He took his relatives’ advice and set himself up as a self-employed handyman doing painting, gardening, light repairs, etc. For $10 an hour in 1990 he gave his customers good value and managed to work almost all the time. He made $20,000.

We’ll keep this simple and presume because of his relatively low income, Marco owed no income tax. In fact, although Marco’s income increased (at the rate of 3% per year) to $35,000 in 2009 we’ll assume he would never have owed income tax for any year had he actually filed tax returns.

If he had filed tax returns Marco would have found that he did owe self-employment tax (Social Security and Medicare). Marco’s self-employment tax would have applied to every dollar he earned before deductions and exemptions. For 1990, Marco owed $3060 in self-employment taxes. For tax year 2009, self-employment taxes were $5366.

Marco files for illegal alien amnesty under, say, the Schumer/Graham bill that provides for “fines and back taxes.” He goes to the IRS to see just how much he owes.

“Well,” says the friendly revenuer, “you owe us self-employment taxes for the past 20 years (see column C). You also owe a penalty for failure to file. That’s another 25% of the tax due and on top of that, you owe us a penalty for failure to pay taxes due. That’s another ½ of 1% for each month (totaled in column F). And then, of course, you owe us interest of about 5% on all of your back taxes and penalties (column H). The way we figure it, Marco you owe us $478,873 in back taxes, penalties, and interest (column I).”

“But, but I, uh,…”

“Don’t interrupt me pal. There’s more. For each year you failed to file a return, we can fine you up to $25,000, or sentence you to one year in prison. And this is just for being negligent. If we can show that you did not file a return in an effort to evade taxes, we can pursue felony charges, including a fine up to $100,000 or a maximum of 5 years in jail for each year. There is a six-year statute of limitations for filing criminal charges based on failing to file a tax return, so you wouldn’t be looking at more than another $600,000 in fines and 30 years in jail. But, there is no statute of limitations on how long we can demand payment or taxes owed on non-filed returns. ”

“Well, I uh,…”

“Tell you what, Marco. We’re nice guys here at the IRS. We promise not to throw you in jail if you just pay the fines, penalties, back taxes and interest. Let’s not quibble about small change. We’ll just call it a million even, huh?”

Your dilemma. If you want “immigration reform” and you’re willing to accept the Obama/Schumer/Graham proposal do you really think the government is going to ask illegals to “pay fines and back taxes?” Sure, the government can ask, but there’s very little blood to be squeezed out of these turnips.

Marco’s case is not meant to represent the situation of every illegal immigrant but it does illustrate the kind of problems that amnesty would engender. There are potentially 8 million cases similar to Marco’s (some of the 11 million illegals are children for whom taxes are not yet an issue), each with its own complications and nuances. The cost of investigating and adjudicating each of these cases would be enormous and resolution would take decades.

And, it is unrealistic to believe that the government will recover the taxes due from illegals currently residing in the United States. Consider Marco’s situation. Even if the government waives all fines and penalties and asks Marco to square up his Social Security and Medicare, he can’t do it. Marco is now 45. He owes the government $136,101 in Social Security, Medicare taxes, and interest (column J). If he strikes a deal with the IRS (a deal they probably wouldn’t give a citizen taxpayer), he’s going to have to pay about $10,000 a year (at 5% interest) for the next 20 years to be paid up by the time he’s ready to retire. On top of this, he’ll also have to come up with another $5-6,000 a year to pay his current self-employment taxes. Do you think Marco can pay the IRS $16,000 a year on an income of $35-40,000?

Are you willing to forgive Marco’s past sins and foot the bill for his becoming a citizen? The Heritage Foundation estimates that just for retirement benefits, amnesty for illegal aliens would add $2.6 trillion to our already out-of-control debt. This amounts to about $26,500 for every citizen household in the country. Do you want your household to pay its ‘fair share?’ Do you want to saddle your children and grandchildren with this debt? And don’t forget, according to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal aliens already are costing us $113 billion per year, or about $1117 per household annually.

The alternatives. Faced with the above realities, I think we as a nation have three choices:

Do nothing. Maintain the status quo. Allow illegals to continue working in the underground economy, drawing, welfare benefits, and burdening our health care system. When the illegals reach old age, instead of drawing Social Security and Medicare, they will simply take advantage of our generosity and draw welfare and Medicaid. They’ll still cost us $2.6 trillion; the money will just come from different pots. If elderly indigent illegals file welfare claims a good deal of the financial burden will be transferred to the states and cities. Don’t put it past the federal government to do this. Congress can can make the federal balance sheet look better while bankrupting the states.

Tax forgiveness. Since most illegal immigrants will never be able to make good on their past tax obligations we can simply forgive all, or a significant portion, of the taxes they owe. This will never work because tax forgiveness would have to be granted to non-citizens to a degree that would never be offered to citizens. Tax forgiveness of any kind to illegal immigrants would bring our whole system of taxation to a state of collapse. Citizen taxpayers would simply stop paying taxes and demand the same treatment that was being given to illegals.

Deportation. It’s cruel, it’s heartless, it breaks up families, etc., but it is really our only alternative. If we don’t break up the families of illegals through deportation, we’ll break up the families of citizen taxpayers through economic ruin. In his July 1 speech Mr. Obama said, “Now, if the majority of Americans are skeptical of a blanket amnesty, they are also skeptical that it is possible to round up and deport 11 million people. They know it’s not possible. Such an effort would be logistically impossible and wildly expensive.” Wrong again, Barry. If it cost us the outrageous sum of $100,000 per illegal, to round them up and deport them the total cost to our economy would be $1.1 trillion, less than half what it would cost us if we let them stay.

Bottom line. Don’t let presidential or congressional smoke and mirrors divert your attention from the disastrous consequences illegal aliens pose to our economy. Got a better idea for dealing with the problem? I’d love to hear it.


Making Obama Do His Job

May 26, 2010

In April (Your Papers Please) I reported on an Arizona law that makes it a crime for immigrants to have no alien registration documents. Earlier this month, I reported that Albuquerque NM police (“Discrimination” in Albuquerque) would begin checking the immigrant status of every person arrested in that city.

Illegal immigrants chow down in Sheriff Joe Arapaio's Maricopa County Jail. Joe plans to deport them as soon as they've done their time for crimes committed while in Arizona.

Civil libertarians all over the country were having fits, claiming these enforcement actions discriminated unfairly against “people of color.”  I pointed out that I did not necessarily disagree with the civil liberties crowd, noting that these laws could well violate the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.

Nonetheless, I thought the new local laws were a great idea. Why? Because they were going to force the Obama administration to do its job—securing our nation’s porous borders against the influx of illegal immigrants.

Mission accomplished, at least in part. Today, the Obama administration announced that 1200 National Guard troops will be dispatched immediately to help secure the Southwestern border of the United States. Obama also is requesting $500 million for border protection and law enforcement; a lot of money, yes, but far less than illegal immigrants are costing us in our schools, hospitals, and prisons. Obama security adviser James Jones said the troops and money will be a “bridge to longer-term enhancements” on the Southwestern border.

Local rebellions against the federal government, whether constitutional or not, are an encouraging sign. For too long the feds have pushed local governments around, doling out or withholding “federal money” based on whether local governments were bending to federal coercion. I put “federal money” in quotes in the last sentence because Washington has lost sight of the fact that all “federal money” is money they have raided from local taxpayers primarily through the federal income tax. It is the height of arrogance for the feds to take money from Springfield, LaCrosse, Cleveland, or Houston and then return it to these locations through “revenue sharing.”

Revenue sharing always has been thinly veiled coercion. Before President Nixon coined the phrase “revenue sharing,” the practice was commonly called extortion.

But I digress. It remains to be seen whether the troops and money requested by Obama are window dressing or will have a substantial impact on the problem. Either way, it is encouraging to see Arizona rubbing Obama’s nose in the problem. Anything that stems the flow of “unregistered Democrats” is, in my opinion, a step in the right direction.

Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden applaud Mexican President Felipe Calderon as he complains to Congress about Arizona's unilateral attempts to stop the flow of unregistered Democrats into the United States.

Speaking of illegal immigration and our “callous” behavior towards these poor folks, take a look at what Mexico does to illegal immigrants, most of whom are Central Americans passing through Mexico on their way to the US. According to USA Today:

  • Mexican police already have the power to check the ID’s of anyone, anytime
  • Mexican police engage in racial profiling and routinely harass Central Americans
  • Illegal immigrants caught in Mexico generally are robbed and beaten by Mexican police, then turned loose penniless
  • Mexican law calls for 6 to 12 years of prison for anyone aiding an illegal immigrant. This law was recently “amended” by the Mexican Supreme Court so that it applies only to persons who charge the immigrant for assistance. (How can the immigrant pay when the Mexican police already have taken his money)?

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress applauded Mexican President Felipe Calderon when he criticized the Arizona law on Capitol Hill last week.


“Discrimination” in Albuquerque

May 14, 2010

Back in April, we took a look (Your Papers, Please) at the controversial Arizona law empowering police to detain persons whose immigrant/citizenship status was in doubt.

Now Richard Berry, the new mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico has announced that the immigration/ citizenship status of every person arrested in that city will be checked while the arrestee is in the downtown holding tank. Berry has arranged for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers to be on duty 24/7 at the booking facility to check on arrestees’ citizenship prior to their being transported to the county lockup. Illegals whose crimes do not merit a trial and lengthy incarceration in New Mexico likely will be turned over to ICE, which should deport them to their native country, probably Old Mexico.

“If you find yourself in handcuffs at our processing center, you are going to get checked 100 percent of the time,” Mayor Berry said. “Regardless of nationality, your race, what language you speak.”

Oddly, this idea never occurred to the previous mayor of Albuquerque, Martin Chavez.

Naturally, the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is protesting this move as discriminatory, weighing more heavily on “Latinos” than on others who are arrested . LULAC spokesman Ralph Arellanes says that it should not be the city that is enforcing immigration laws, but rather the federal government. Ralph is missing the point:

  1. Sure, it is the federal government that should be enforcing the immigration laws but, as in Arizona, they’re not doing the job. Mayor Berry is simply assisting ICE in doing what they are supposed to do: deport illegal aliens.
  2. Will this immigration status check disproportionately affect “Latinos?” Of course. I’ve been in Albuquerque on several occasions and can tell you that there are very few illegal Ethiopians, Croatians, or Vietnamese in the city. Mayor Berry says that immigration/citizenship status of everyone arrested in Albuquerque will be checked, without exception. That’s hardly discriminatory, although I can guarantee you that 98% of the illegals identified will be from Mexico or Central America.
  3. Ralph forgets that the operative word in LULAC’s name is “Citizens.” Who does LULAC represent, citizens or anybody who happens to be “Latino” or “Hispanic” or whatever the hell criterion is used to differentiate between his constituency and the rest of people.
  4. LULAC is probably more discriminatory than the city of Albuquerque. It’s hard for me to imagine Ralph and the LULAC gang coming to the aid of a German who is in Albuquerque illegally.

As has happened with Arizona, all sorts of feel-good, guilt-ridden liberals will call for boycotts of Albuquerque or perhaps all of New Mexico (motto: Cleaner than Old Mexico). This year, I think I’ll vacation in New Mexico and Arizona. Sound like my kind of states.

University of Michigan students call for boycott of Arizona. Arizonans are quaking in their boots. BTW, nice rack.


Your Papers, Please

April 27, 2010

Arizona has long been a laboratory for anti-immigrant experimentation, and its demagogue leaders have become folk heroes for white supremacists throughout the United States.

Chris Newman
Legal Director
National Day Laborer Organizing Network

Poor Chris has his panties in a bunch because the state of Arizona has passed an immigration bill that makes it a crime for immigrants to have no alien registration documents. Undocumented aliens could be charged with trespassing just for being in Arizona. In fact, anyone without appropriate credentials could be charged under this law.

Obviously, this bill violates the Fourth Amendment (the right against unreasonable searches and seizures) and the Fourteenth Amendment (equal protection under the law). It is unconstitutional, racist, and will no doubt be overturned by some court, somewhere, pretty quickly.

I love this law, despite its obvious infringements on the basic rights of every US citizen who happens to wander through Arizona. It gives the police the Gestapo-like power to ask for “your papers, please.” It is racist since it is aimed specifically at illegal immigrants from Mexico, and it will be brown people whose papers are most likely to be demanded on the “reasonable suspicion” of an Arizona police officer.

So why do I like this hateful, unconstitutional, and discriminatory law? Because the state of Arizona is, in effect, saying to the United States, “Do your fucking job, or we’ll do it for you.” Oh look, someone far brighter than your humble correspondent even agrees:

If we continue to fail to act at the federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.

Barack Obama

Even though this law ought not to remain, it offers encouragement to advocates of liberty across the United States. Individual states and their citizens have become so outraged at the intrusiveness, ineptitude, and inactivity of the federal government that they are finally standing up for states rights and individual rights.

Arizona, don’t let the bastards wear you down.


What’s the Hurry, Barry?

November 7, 2009

It’s Saturday morning and Congress is already in a “rare weekend session…intended to remake” our entire health care system.

What’s the hurry, Barry? Did the Chinese bomb Taiwan? Have Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Russians embargoed all oil shipments to the West? Has CSI been cancelled?

Why does this law have to be passed tonight?

obamahurries

"Jeez, I Hope We Can Get this Health Care Law Passed before 'America's Most Wanted' Starts."

Simple, it’s 1990 pages long and you assholes want to stick it up our assholes before we have a chance to read it. I started reading it last night and passed out, not from exhaustion but from the sheer magnitude of this thing. I can’t tell you whether this law is a good idea or a bad idea but I can tell you that anytime someone tells you you’ve got to sign up right now, before this golden once-in-a-lifetime opportunity passes you by they’re playing you for a sucker. “Never mind the find print, sonny, just a few technicalities. Sign right here; your family will be glad you had the courage to do the right thing.”

Call your congressman and tell him to go home right now and crack open a great American lager. Even Ted Kennedy knew that Saturdays were for getting drunk, not “crafting legislation.”

If your congressman is so neurotic that he’s got to think about the welfare of his constituents even while Dallas is playing Philadelphia, have him brood over:

  • the highest unemployment in 26 years
  • civil disintegration in Iraq (dead Americans)
  • war in Afghanistan (more dead Americans)
  • our Luddite energy policies
  • illegal immigration
  • nuclear weapons in the hands of certified loonies
  • our abysmal education system
  • the coming hyper-inflation from government overspending
  • the death of the American middle class
  • and, oh yeah, if the game goes into OT, maybe health care

1990 Pages – Only “Two Small Parts” Remain for Debate

November 4, 2009

The press would give you the impression that all that remains to be hammered out in the 1,990-page health care bill are two “small parts of the legislation,” funding for abortions and funding for illegal immigrants.

Neither of these issues is small, particularly since the country seems to be divided just about down the middle on both matters. (It is worth noting that the country is divided down the middle on most things these days—this is the biggest reason we’re getting nothing done on nuclear security, terrorism, health care, energy policy, education, illegal immigration, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, taxes, or anything else that is of real concern to voters).

Abortion Funding

[picapp src=”3/b/0/5/Obama_Makes_Contentious_3342.jpg?adImageId=7121798&imageId=4812588″ width=”234″ height=”155″ /]

The cost of a first-trimester abortion is pretty cheap considering the cost of most medical procedures in the United States. Prices range from $90 to $1800, with the average about $430. Wait until the second trimester and costs double or triple—high, but still less than 5 grand.

Abortion probably is the worst possible means of birth control but for those whose situation is such that they seriously are considering an abortion it is arguably the best choice for them and for the rest of us. The produce of unwanted pregnancies have much higher than average chances of suffering everything from child abuse to criminal convictions. Nothing we’ve tried over the past 50 years has done much to ameliorate the the social and economic problems associated with unwanted children. Economically, abortion costs far less than 1% of what it would cost to raise the child to adulthood.

If the above calculus of birth vs. abortion upsets you, I apologize. If this is a religious or moral issue for you, fine. Get the members of your church together and from among them, raise the $250,000 or so that it’s going to cost to see each of these fetuses to adulthood. And you’d also better be prepared to find homes and good foster parents for them because the odds are their birth mothers are ill equipped to raise children and don’t really want them. Else, why would they have considered an abortion in the first place?

“Adoption Not Abortion” is is a hypocritical slogan of mammoth proportions. Think about it. The greatest opposition to abortion is from the Religious Right. The greatest opposition to government intervention in the lives of individuals also seems to come from the Religious Right. Yet the Religious Right has no qualms about trying to prohibit abortion at every turn and then expecting all taxpayers (rather than just those who believe in Magic and Hell) to suffer the social and economic consequences.

This current health care bill is one of the worst ideas to come out of Washington in years but, if they stick it down our throats, it had better cover abortions. Otherwise I would suggest that the mothers of these unwanted infants leave them on the doorstep of your local pentecostal churches. If you think abortion is a problem that must be solved lest our mortal souls fry in Hell, then make it YOUR duty to solve it.

Illegal Immigrants

erIt isn’t going to make much difference whether illegal immigrants are covered by this bill or not. In fact, we might actually SAVE MONEY by providing free health care to illegal immigrants. Why? Because most of them, if they really are ill, go to an emergency room. They know that they cannot be denied care and that the ER staff are prohibited by law from reporting them to the authorities.

Emergency room care is expensive to deliver but hospitals cannot deny it to anyone, regardless of citizenship or financial means. When a patient shows up with a complaint, the hospital is obligated to diagnose the patient and stabilize him. It probably would be a lot cheaper for a government-run health program to cover illegals by paying for a physician’s office visit and a prescription.

The real problem with illegal immigrants is not the cost of their health care. We all know that something has to be done about illegal immigration before it destroys ever larger portions of our country. But Obama and the Congress refuse to act until “we solve the critical issue of health care.” What they’re really doing is holding us taxpayers hostage, telling us that they won’t even talk about illegals until we go along with their health care proposals. Then they’ll “talk.”

The “talk” won’t result in much of anything except to ensure that illegal immigrants are counted in the 2010 census and that they are registered to vote in time for the fall Congressional elections. The only thing likely to change between now and next November is that Congress and the press will finally have the balls to refer to illegal immigrants as “Undocumented Democrats.”