novatownhall blog

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Browsing Posts tagged illegal immigration

I encourage you all to visit the blog of my friend Nathanael Snow.

We were at the public meeting about the proposed day labor center in Centreville, Virginia.

Nathanael Snow is a rather intense liberal – which those of you who know me know, is how I like them. He made a bit of a name for himself tonight. I had a discussion with Nathan in which I explained the problems we experienced in Sterling from the boarding houses run by landlords renting to illegals, and Nathan asked me – “why don’t you just pay the landlords out of your own pocket so they do not have to rent to illegals?” My response to Nathan was:


I described the problems we had in Sterling with houses converted to industrial complexes.

I told Nathan why this was generally a bad thing. Here is the conversation we had:

Nathan Snow: “I don’t think anyone has a right to feel safe walking down their street.”
Joe Budzinski: “You’re an idiot.”

Here is Nathan at tonight’s public meeting in Centreville, Virginia.

Nathan Snow At Centreville Immigration Forum from Joe Budzinski on Vimeo.

Now Nathan said afterwards:

I made the statement, “I don’t think anyone has a right to feel safe walking down their own street.
First, everyone has a right to protection of person and property. SO, what I am not saying is that “no one has a right to be safe on their own street.” The key to my thought is “feel.”
What makes me feel safe may not be what makes you feel safe. Sam may feel safe knowing that his neighbor Bob owns a 12 gauge shotgun. Bob might not feel safe knowing Sam owns a Bazooka.
But where does the law begin?
How can we know what law should be?

Many people do not feel safe walking on the sidewalk in front of Centreville Library. But the actual number of incidents of physical harm are few and far between. Sure some men make cat-calls at women. That’s uncouth and rude and inappropriate. But it is not illegal.

FYI “Haymarket” in Fairfax County is akin to my friends from Ashburn and Lovettesville who would lecture us in Sterling about neighborhood quality of life issues. I hope Nathan sees the irony.

The controversy over local immigration enforcement efforts has moved to the Centreville portion of Fairfax County.

Things sure are a lot different from a couple years ago. Back then, our public meetings brought 100 people out, evenly divided. Today, there were over 200 people – maybe 300 – at Centre Ridge Elementary School and the audience was 5-1 in favor of enforcement. The speakers were 10-1.

Centreville Immigration Forum from Joe Budzinski on Vimeo.

This is a quick video summary of the night’s activities.

I think the public opinion tide is turning for the rule of law in northern Virginia.

UPDATE: Excellent summary of the meeting by Blog Fu.

This is a funny combination. Democrats pontificating on a Law they never read. How pathetic is that?

This almost as dumb as thinking there are 57 states.

As a lifelong liberal Democrat, it pains me deeply when unpleasant isolated events involving undocumented immigrants stir up the ire of documented U.S. citizens. Ultimately, I believe, we are all God’s children and we all have the right to live and earn a living wage wherever we so choose. These isolated events simply cast a pall over the budding environment for better multicultural understanding.

What is particularly troublesome is the apparent trend of federal and local law enforcement personnel to turn a blind eye to crimes committed by the undocumented, almost as if being undocumented provides a layer of protection from prosecution. This phenomenon has been noted frequently in our coverage of immigration issues at this blog. (Just keep scrolling and scrolling and reading back through the months).

Now comes news from Houston confirming our worst fears: There has been a widespread trend of non-enforcement of laws when the perpetrators have been in this country illegally. It appears that in an enormous number of cases, dangerous criminals are being released right back onto the street – with their undocumented status serving as a get out of jail free card.

The reason this concerns me so deeply is that, as a progressive, I have a high degree of respect for government institutions. This massive trend of non-enforcement will shake public confidence in those institutions. In fact, such a trend could definitely shake confidence to the extent that U.S. citizens might be inspired to outright rebellion and various forms of direct action. This, I fear, would be a major hindrance for our new president’s effort to implement his much-needed public policy agenda for our nation.

Let us hope there is a sea change in law enforcement throughout the U.S., so that the laws are enforced with at least equal determination on criminals who are undocumented. President-elect Obama would do well to take a strong stand for equality and fairness in the enforcement of our laws. Lighting a fire under ICE, for instance, will help build public faith in the new administration.

The Capital Area Alliance Against Illegal Immigration was formally introduced today (includes video of the news coverage). This is a coalition of ten organizations in Virginia, Maryland and DC. All of the main local groups advocating for immigration enforcement at the state and local levels have formed an executive committee to coordinate efforts.

Greg Letiecq of Save the Old Dominion, Help Save Manassas, and of course Blog Fu, heads up the Virginia delegation. Help Save Loudoun and a variety of other groups are participating. From the Fox News coverage:

Ten groups from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., announced Thursday they’re joining forces to fight illegal immigration in the region surrounding the nation’s capital.

The newly-formed Capital Area Alliance Against Illegal Immigration hopes to pool the resources and knowledge of member organizations to end what it calls “political and legislative support for illegal immigration” in the region.

“Crime, unfortunately, doesn’t know political boundaries too well,” said Greg Letiecq, executive director of Save the Old Dominion and leader of the Virginia branch of the Alliance.

Chuck Floyd, head of the organization’s Maryland arm, agreed.

“We’re going after them with this particular group and trying to coordinate policies in the region, because we find that Virginia, Maryland and D.C. are not on the same sheet of music when it comes to enforcing policies,” he said.

Floyd, Letiecq and Washington branch leader Bill Buchanan praised some of the Virginia General Assembly’s recent political moves, including passing bills that revoke the license of a business found hiring illegal immigrants and to deny bail to illegal immigrants.

As a result of the new “Legal Arizona Act” signed into law last year by that state’s Democratic governor – exactly the kind of law Virginia’s senators and Democratic governor could not deliver – the unthinkable is happening.

Mexico is being inundated with Mexicans:

The state legislator who sponsored the work bill, Representative Russell Pearce, says the law’s undeniably positive effects include smaller class sizes, shorter emergency room waits and an overall huge savings to taxpayers. The Republican congressman drafted the bill because studies revealed that illegal immigration cost Arizona taxpayers over $2 billion annually, not including the toll of crime and destruction.

It turns out that enough illegal immigrants have either fled the U.S. or been deported that officials in the Mexican state of Sonora, which shares an extensive border with Arizona, have complained that too many of their fellow countrymen have returned. They miss the remittances sent from the U.S. as well as smaller class sizes in local schools.

Mexican government officials knew Arizona’s tough employment verification law would become their worst nightmare, which explains why they tried blocking it. Earlier this year a delegation of nine legislators from Sonora toured Tucson and held a news conference to say that their beloved state cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools resulting from illegal Mexican workers returning home.

What an amazingly corrupt country Mexico is.

It goes without saying that allowing Mexico’s plutocrats and criminal public officials to continue to avoid their structural problems by foisting the costs of their huge underclass on the American people is unfair to us, and not so great for the migrants either. Most damningly, it allows them to put off reform for another day.

Meanwhile, 185 years after achieving independence from Spain they still have not figured out the whole “rule of law” thing. Their state controlled oil company, which should be capitalizing on massive oil fields under the Gulf of Mexico, continues to flounder because, among other things, they have not taken the initiative to figure out how to do deep water drilling. They are sitting on natural resources which would be the envy of many countries in the world. Yet they continue to go backwards.

They need a revolution down there, is what they need. And maybe more like the French one than the American one.

This is relevant to last night’s story and the ensuing discussion.

More than 37 million immigrants in the United States, both legal and illegal, cost the federal government more than $346 billion last year, twice as much as the nation’s fiscal deficit, according to a report released yesterday…

The report, which analyzed costs based on 15 separate federal agencies, estimated that the departmental impacts ranged from a high of $146 billion at the Treasury Department to a low of $300 million at the Defense Department.

The loss estimates, the report said, included $100 billion in federal taxes lost “from the reduction of native incomes caused by immigrant workers.”

Read it all.

Because the vast majority of legal immigrants into the U.S. are permitted on the basis of family reunification rather than any type of merit or needed skills, it is not surprising that on balance immigration imposes a large net cost on the legal residents of the country.

Immigrants consume much more in public services than they pay in taxes.

For some people, this fact (among others) justifies opposing all immigration. I disagree with that standpoint because I think legal immigrants have by definition taken the necessary steps to begin becoming contributing members of our society. They have taken ownership and can be expected to become progressively more self-sufficient with succeeding generations.

Generally speaking, illegal aliens, to the contrary, are only here for the money and have no interest in becoming Americans, and consequently don’t buy in to our rules and regulations. On top of that, they impose a significant cost as the study details. Take away these factors and we would not have a controversy over illegal immigration in this country.

UPDATE: The report is not available online yet but here is more coverage from CNN Money.