Saturday, August 29, 2015

Deporting Illegal Immigrants: A Simple Task

Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has been talking about deporting illegal immigrants and having them reenter the correct way. Trump, also wants to find some way to eliminate anchor babies – babies born to women crossing the border simply to have an American born child so both can remain legally in the country. Because of these statements, we have heard all kinds of rhetoric from opponents, like, “He wants to deport American citizen children.”

No one wants to, or will, strip citizenship from children born in this country, and will especially not deport those children. But with proper government action, the parents can be deported. Those parents can choose to leave their children in the USA with relatives, or they can return with the parents to their native country.

An indisputable fact is, it's illegal to enter this country outside of proper means. Estimates of illegal immigrants range from 14 million to 30 million. No matter the number, it's a problem. We cannot allow this problem to go unchecked. We have a divided Congress that refuses to solve the problem. We have had a series of presidents who refuse to enforce the law.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan, signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. The law granted amnesty to nearly 3 million illegal immigrants, yet was largely considered unsuccessful because the strict sanctions on employers were stripped from the bill for passage. This set up the problem we have today. Every candidate running for president, except for Trump, wants to give illegal immigrants legal status and/or pathway to citizenship. These solutions only give potential illegal immigrants incentives to invade our borders.

These people shouldn't be forgiven for serious crimes, the least of which, is entering the country illegally. For any immigrant, legal or illegal, they must have a green card or a TIN—Tax Identification Number—to work. In order to obtain a TIN, a person must submit a Social Security number. Because the IRS decided not to check validity of Social Security numbers submitted, illegals use numbers from the deceased or stolen from citizens. These crimes must be punished and these people should never have legal status in this country. Some want to forgive these crimes because they are seen as acts of desperation. Sometimes robbing a bank or convenience store is an act of desperation, but they go to jail.

Some present illegal immigration as a moral problem. They tell us how those people are poor and come to this country for a better way of life. This is a Mexican, Colombian, and Honduras problem, not an American problem. We have 45 million Americans living below the poverty line. Those people should come first. Jobs should go to the 93 million Americans out of work, not those who believe certain American laws shouldn’t apply because they simply seek a better life.

Opponents of immigration and border control shout out hyperbolic rhetoric such as, “Do you want government agents busting down doors of homes to arrest and deport undocumented Americans?” This is silly nonsense. Deportation would be slow and methodical. First we check every Social Security number sent in to obtain a TIN in order to verify it belongs to the requesting person. Every time someone applies for a job, the employer must verify the person is a citizen. If the employer is caught intentionally hiring an illegal immigrant, they will receive jail time. If during a traffic stop or any detainment, the officer has suspicions that the person might be here illegally, they check the person in their database and the e-verify system.

I could go on about the cost of illegal immigration, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is equal enforcement of the law. We find city and federal officials who ignore the law because, in their circle of friends, doing anything to an illegal immigrant is frowned upon.

We have corporations that care nothing for the immigration law if it benefits them. I worked for a fortune 500 corporation that hired a lot of immigrants, all legal as best as I could observe. I did learn a lot from those employees about the system in which they lived. It seems, many came to this country on work visas to plant trees. Some seem to have come through dubious means. I had semi-truck drivers tell me how they were told to drive and park a short distance from the border. When they left the border, their trailers would be packed with people who had come across the border. How and when they obtained their green cards, it's impossible to determine. It's believed the company somehow arranged the papers needed for them to legally work. I also learned that some likely came from an identity shop in Charlotte, N.C, where they could buy fake green cards and new identities.

Most of those I spoke with had no intention of ever becoming a citizen of the United States. Most, if not all, sent a large portion of their paycheck to relatives still living in their native country. In order to save money, they would have as many as 14 people living in a small rented mobile home. They would rent several mobile homes, but obtain power and running water for only one. In that one trailer they would bathe. They broke numerous health and safety regulations, but rarely did anyone intervene. This was a small southern town where the corporation held power over local and state officials.

Although the corporate office and manufacturing plants were located in South Carolina, the parking lot was filled with cars displaying North Carolina, license plates. All the drivers had North Carolina drivers license, despite living in South Carolina. During that period, to obtain a South Carolina drivers license, or to register vehicles, there were strict identification laws. During that time, North Carolina had lax laws in that area.

The company was in the process of installing dual language exit and safety signs. On more than one occasion, I was asked by a native Spanish speaking employee what those signs said. I became friends with one of the translators. She came to America after marrying a serviceman in Panama. Because she sat in on all communications with these employees, she learned that many never had more than basic education.

At this time, I also learned of racism. No, not American racist, but Hispanic racists. There seemed to be a lot of problems between dark and white skin Hispanics. There were class problems as well. A friend was telling me one day how he was a school teacher in Honduras. An immigrant at another table asked where he lived in Honduras. My friend told him and the other guy scowled and said, “Oh, you are where the rich people live.” My friend was thought to be rich despite having made the long journey himself to help sustain his family. I learned that this so-called rich area of Honduras had frequent power outages.

Most of the people I came in contact with would be better labeled as migrant workers because they had no desire to become an American citizen. Most of these workers would someday return to their homelands. Despite that, I found most spoke at least a little English because they had studied before coming to this country. They often spoke better English than some born in this country who claim Spanish as their first language.

There are a lot of good people coming to America for the right reasons. The visa system seems to be broken. There have been some improvements, but I still hear horror stories of Americans that can't bring their new spouses home. We find people spending thousands of dollars trying to bring spouses to this country. We must make every effort to fix the system, but we can't forgive lawbreakers.

If you are wondering why there is no mention of a wall, it's because if we do all the other things, there is little need for more wall than we have now. I see no end in sight because politicians don't have the will to do anything about these problems. This is why Donald Trump could become president.

After writing this piece, I discovered this information concerning anchor babies and their parents.


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