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Browsing Posts tagged immigration enforcement

Blog Fu has the key results of today’s 10th District Republican Convention:

Congratulations to Jo-Ann Chase, Kay Gunter and Howie Lind for being elected to the Republican State Central Committee for the 10th District of Virginia! This represents a pretty substantial victory for conservatives over the slate endorsed by 10th District Chairman Jim Rich, who was re-elected without opposition.

Go read all of that because Greg has some good commentary.

This was touted in a flyer widely distributed onsite as “the Conservative Slate that Jim Rich Does NOT Endorse!” I don’t know enough about the opponents to know who is really more conservative than anyone else, but I do know these three stated a commitment to keeping the issue of immigration enforcement a live one in the state party. Jo-Ann, I can tell you, is definitely a major voice on this issue in Northern Virginia and it is gratifying to see that she, Kay and Howie swept into the State Central Committee.

First Herndon re-elects its pro-enforcement town council, and now the 10th District follows suit. Not bad for an overall discouraging political year.

The Loudoun County delegation played a key role in sweeping these three into office. Loudoun had 170 representatives at the Convention, Fairfax County 230 – but our votes count for more because of the weighting. (Maybe someone will explain this in more detail, that’s all I know).

Back when the call for delegates was announced, I know that we had some extremely active people working the phones and various social networks, including the Help Save Loudoun crowd, Eugene Delgaudio’s list of supporters, and many who worked on the Greg Ahlemann campaign.

It showed. There was a huge contingent from Sterling and nearby areas of eastern Loudoun – a crowd of people, most of whom I have not seen since approximately the first week of November last year. And none of whom, I believe, has returned to the Loudoun County Republican Committee. I think the delegation to the 10th District Convention is actually about the same size as the entire current LCRC. Food for thought there.

I attended the community hearing Wednesday for residents of the Sterling area to give feedback to the Board of Supervisors, and overwhelmingly the issues local residents are most concerned about center on the illegal alien problem here. A prominent sentiment was that the county government has abandoned this community. I suggest we could extrapolate that sentiment to the fact that many, many of those who were previously involved in county politics feel betrayed by the LCRC. If the committee decides it will now be “issue-neutral” a lot of people who saw it as a vehicle for solving their neighborhood problems will not be motivated to participate.

When the call came out, I know a big message being circulated was “Ok, you are let down by the results of last November, and let down by the presidential campaign, but here is something you and everyone you know can do to help further the cause of immigration enforcement: Sign up as a delegate for these two Conventions.”

Not that everyone was motivated principally by the illegal migration issue, nor that the three elected all see that is their number one topic, but that’s the message we were circulating and I imagine those with other “conservative” causes were framing the Conventions the same way.

Oh, yes, I did say “Conventions, plural.

I think today’s result bodes well for Bob Marshall in his bid for the GOP nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John Warner. At least among the Help Save Loudoun PAC network, these two delegate assignments were being promoted as a package: Bob Marshall has been an exemplary legislator for immigration enforcement at the state and local levels in Virginia. He sought and obtained an opinion from Attorney General Bob McDonnell on HSL’s Honest Business initiative proposed to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors last year. He is not the typical politician, and I think the general feeling is “politics as usual” contributed to Sheriff Candidate Greg Ahlemann’s defeat last year. We and a slew of other local activists got a bunch of people to file as delegates.

Folks around here are willing to go to the mat to see Bob Marshall get a shot at the U.S. Senate. Although Jim Gilmore is heavily favored to get the Republican nomination, if this eastern Loudoun contingent shows up in Richmond it could get interesting.

Click here to contribute to Bob Marshall’s campaign.

Regardless of what happens in two weeks at the state Convention, the Republican Party of Virginia just got three solid advocates for the rule of law.

There is a thought-provoking debate on the current state of immigration enforcement, its political future and its effects at Center for Immigration Studies.

Participants are Mark Krikorian, of the Center for Immigration Studies, and UC San Diego professor and New America Foundation fellow Tomás Jiménez.

Some highlights:

Jiménez

“Attrition through enforcement” is made much more complicated by that fact that there are families involved. About 30% of all unauthorized families (1.96 million) contain children who are U.S. citizens. Should we count on these people to “self-deport” themselves and their U.S.-citizen children? It’s not likely to happen…

We have a free trade agreement with Mexico (NAFTA), which allows for the free movement of capital and goods. Yet we continue with a schizophrenic policy that fights the movement of labor that tends to follow capital and goods. It would make more sense to move our resources and energy from trying to restrict immigration to trying to manage it so that we maximize the benefits to all.

Krikorian

By starting to make it harder to employ illegal aliens, immigration enforcement is improving the prospects of all those who compete with illegals for work. This includes anyone marginal to the labor market: high school dropouts, of course, but also black and Latino men, teenagers in general, the elderly looking for part-time work, single moms who need flexible work hours, ex-convicts, recovering addicts and the physically and mentally disabled. Anyone whom employers might hesitate to hire — for whatever reasons, good or bad — starts to look better when the labor market is tighter. After all, the laws of supply and demand have not yet been repealed. We’ve seen evidence of this all over the country for some time now. Last month, the president of a steel company in Arizona, where the state government is cracking down on the employment of illegals, described how the new enforcement is forcing him to reach out to Americans and legal immigrants: “We’ve raised wages, competing for a diminishing supply (of workers). We’ve been on a campaign of quality improvement, training, scouring the waterfront, so to speak, for American vets, ex-offenders trying to find their way back into society.”

Jiménez

In a 2005 paper published in the Economic Journal, David Card from UC Berkeley finds that there is no relationship between the presence of low-skilled immigrants and the wages of low-skilled U.S.-born workers. Card concludes, “New evidence from the 2000 census reconfirms the main lesson of earlier studies: Although immigration has a strong effect on relative supplies of different skill groups, local labor market outcomes of low-skilled natives are not much affected by these relative supply shocks.” Translation: There is no evidence of competition between low-skilled immigrants and those who you assume compete with them.

Don’t take my word for it – go read it all.

As illegals continue to leave Arizona with the implementation of bipartisan immigration enforcement legislation passed last year, other states are taking note.

Legislators on both sides of the political aisle in Rhode Island are pushing for similar laws as the strain on state and local budgets becomes impossible to ignore:

“We need to start taking care of the people who are residents of the state of Rhode Island, who rightfully belong here, who come here, pay taxes, and support all these programs,” said state Senator Christopher B. Maselli, a Democrat and the great-grandson of Italian knife makers, who is cosponsoring the legislation that, among other things, would punish landlords and business owners who harbor illegal workers. “They’re sick and tired of having to support people who don’t come here the right way.”

Because a host of salient issues are in play in today’s political environment, election results are a trailing indicator of public opinion. In reality – that is, back where people live – conflicts continue apace.

Despite all of the ideological posturing, therefore, people are going to continue to get concerned about what is happening around them, and public officials are going to continue to respond. These responses at the local and state levels demonstrate clearly that illegal immigration is a mounting concern.

A comment by co-blogger ACTivist just reminded me this would be a good time to re-link to the landmark essay by Fredo Arias-King which explains the ideological basis for our government’s laissez-faire approach to illegal immigration, and which we should all read every couple months lest we forget what is happening here:

…while acknowledging that they may not now receive their votes, they believed that these immigrants are more malleable than the existing American: That with enough care, convincing, and “teaching,” they could be converted, be grateful, and become dependent on them. Republicans seemed to idealize the patron-client relation with Hispanics as much as their Democratic competitors did.

Now more than ever – with immigration enforcement being debated in the Virginia General Assembly and a central topic in the presidential election campaign – it is critical that the citizens have their eyes wide open as to why our elected officials act in such confounding ways with regard to this issue.

And before anyone objects that I’m overlooking the economic basis for the influx of illegal workers, let me assure you I understand the role that international trade policies such as NAFTA have played in this along with the political and economic corruption of Mexico and corruption in the business community here in the U.S. My contention is these types of economic factors will never be addressed as long as our elected officials see the importation of a new electorate as a good thing. Illegal immigration pays, in the form of well-financed lobbying factions, it provides ideological safe harbor for public figures looking to burnish their political correctness credentials, and it portends a bright future in terms of job security for the elected and bureaucratic classes – so what’s not to like? Take away the latter rationale and the other two could be more readily attacked and exposed, but the basic tendency toward self-preservation through usurpation among certain powerful public officials ensures the trend will continue. This is what we are up against.

Governor Tim Kaine said yesterday he would sign some of the immigration enforcement laws sponsored by Republican legislators in the Virginia General Assembly.

Some immigration-related bills sponsored by Republican Shenandoah Valley lawmakers may have the support of Gov. Timothy M. Kaine if they get through the General Assembly.

During a wide-ranging discussion on Monday in Harrisonburg, the Democratic governor said he could support immigration laws if they deal with people who commit crimes.

Specifically, the Governor indicated support for:

Sen. Mark Obenshain’s SB782

Provides that it is cause for disciplinary action by any regulatory board established pursuant to Title 54.1 against a regulant if such regulant has been convicted of a state or federal law prohibiting the employment of persons who are not legally eligible to be employed in the United States.

Del. Todd Gilbert’s HB929

Adds a presumption, subject to rebuttal, against admitting to bail any person who commits a felony or any violation of § 18.2-266(DUI) and is identified as being in the United States unlawfully and requires judicial officers prior to a bail hearing, to the extent feasible, to verify whether a person is a citizen or is otherwise lawfully present in the United States.

Granted, the Obenshain bill is the most significant and is limited by some major contingencies, but this is a start and indicates a modicum of intellectual honesty by our Democratic Governor.

Government sanction of illegal hiring practices is a slap in the face to Virginia’s blue collar workers, presumably key members of the Democratic constituency. The official policy of winking at DUI and other motor vehicle violations by illegals is blatantly unfair to legal residents of the commonwealth and needs to be ended. The Governor’s positive signals on these bills indicate he is truly taking a common sense approach to the illegal immigration problem in Virginia.

U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber has ruled that the City of Valley Park, Missouri’s “Illegal Immigration Relief Act” – which makes it illegal to knowingly hire unauthorized workers – does not preempt federal law.

A good overview of the decision is at ImmigrationProf Blog, and
here is a news report from the Examiner.

The city ordinance states:

It is unlawful for any business entity to knowingly recruit, hire for employment, or continue to employ, or to permit, dispatch, or instruct any person who is an unlawful worker to perform work in whole or in part within the City.

This ruling contradicts the earlier federal court opinion (in another district) against Hazleton, PA which is being appealed.

The lead attorney for both cities is Kris Kobach, who has just joined Mitt Romney’s team as advisor on border security and immigration reform issues.

In 2005, Kobach authored the definitive explanation of local and state law enforcement authority to enforce federal immigration law and the limits of federal preemption. (“Preemption” is the number one rationale given by local and state legislators seeking an excuse to ignore illegal immigration.)

The Valley Park decision represents a significant setback for the ACLU, MALDEF, and other pro-illegal organizations which have attempted to employ legal maneuvers to restrict local jurisdictions from enforcing immigration laws. The decision is a huge boost for states and municipalities which are considering or have passed laws against illegal hiring practices. Public officials and citizens groups advocating honest business practices have just received a shot in the arm and can be expected to redouble their efforts to pass such laws and ordinances in an ever widening number of jurisdictions.

It seems most people have no idea what can be done to reverse the illegal immigration trend. Simply informing our fellow legal residents about what these other jurisdictions have done – publicizing the content of these ordinances – will go a long way toward building public sentiment to crack down on illegal hiring practices.

Some of Virginia’s proposed immigration enforcement bills are moving through the House Rules Committee. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Jackson Miller’s HB 623 and Dave Albo’s HB 820 have been forwarded to the full House of Delegates.

No major surprises here, and it is good to see both bills passed unanimously in Rules.

It’s the the Senate side where things are stickier. The Times-Dispatch report also notes the many bills which have been forwarded to the Senate Courts of Justice Special Subcommittee on Immigration are basically still there, so presumably no great progress was made at today’s meeting.

The report does include a not especially promising quote from committee chair Richard Saslaw that “We’re not going to give local government one penny for jailing these people.” I don’t know anyone who is clamoring for money from Richmond – just give us a few good laws – but let’s hope that the “one penny” remark does not mean Saslaw is intending to be as intransigent as his predecessor as chair of the C of J committee.

UPDATE: Another report from Richmond – The Free Lance Star.

UPDATE II: Blog Fu reports there was indeed activity in the Senate committee, and it was not in the right direction …