Wading Into The Immigration Issue.

Immigrants seated in the Main Hall of Ellis Island circa 1902

Immigration has been in the forefront of the headlines lately and after protests on the issue on Saturday and the virtue signaling of people on the issue, we thought we’d try to wade in and help to correct some of the false narrative and actually have a discussion about what is happening including the separation of children from their parents.

First, some numbers:

– U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehends over 1,100 people a day crossing the border illegally. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refuses entry to 7 known or suspected terrorists every day, 50 every week, and 2,500 every year.

– DHS has seen a 300 percent increase in unaccompanied alien children (UACs) in the last eight months of 2017 – and a 600 percent increase in family units.

– In Fiscal Year 2017, Border Patrol saw a 73 percent increase in assaults on officers along the Southwest border.

– Thousands of aliens illegally re-enter the United States each year, with approximately 15,700 sentenced for illegal reentry in fiscal year 2016. This does not even include the many thousands more who evade detection, or those who are not charged with illegal reentry as part of a plea agreement.

– The backlog of cases in our immigrations courts is approximately 675,000 cases.

Clearly the system for legal and illegal immigration is strained past the point of breaking.

Yet those who are screaming and protesting about separating children from parents may not understand the history of why this occurs.

Back in the 1980’s, the US immigration policy was similar to that of today. You could enter the country legally through entry ports, or you could enter illegally and if caught, you were detained. When an adults were caught entering illegally, the entire family was taken to a detention center which was much like a jail. If the children were separated from their parents, (and they were) the children were taken to facilities that were, shall we say, not pleasant. There was no health care for the children, nothing for them do, the facilities were not monitored for health and safety violations, etc. The children were basically being warehoused while their parents or accompanying adult’s immigration case worked through the system.

During that time, a Hollywood actor who was employing an Salvadorian woman here in the US illegally as his housekeeper sought legal help when the daughter of the housekeeper was picked up by INS officials trying to get into the country illegally. The young girl was put into prison with other people alleged to have crossed the border illegally and even then, the length of time to get to a judge was rather long. The lawyer who handled the case sued in a case called Flores v. Reno. The result of that case is called the “Flores Settlement.”

It is that settlement that guides the handling of minors when the accompany adult or adults are taken into custody by immigration officials.

Florida Today: “165 Immigrants In Brevard Have ICE Court Cases.”

From the FloridaToday:

The government has started court proceedings to deport more than 165 immigrants living in Brevard County, according to data compiled by a Syracuse University organization that tracks federal agencies.

The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) data show that three out of every four counties in the U.S. have residents with pending deportation cases in U.S. Immigration Courts. Although most counties had fewer than 24 residents with pending immigration cases, 10 percent had 200 or more residents with pending cases.

“We were focusing on the (legal) representation issue and wanted to look at how many cases were pending,” said Professor Susan Long, co-director of TRAC. “We were shocked at the geography and distribution, that is was as widely distributed.”

We aren’t sure why anyone should be “shocked” at the number of cases nor the geographical distribution of those cases. If one assumes that people are going to move into communities and neighborhoods where people of similar national backgrounds reside, all the distribution shows is what many Americans have claimed: America is a land that welcomes immigrants who enter into the country legally. Counties aren’t putting up barriers to legal immigrants. The country wants a diverse population in terms of ethnic heritage, but a commonality in thought on the guiding principles on which the country was founded and has prospered.

What the article doesn’t talk about is that the illegal immigrants that are “caught” seldom have to have a case brought against them. They are mostly released by the Federal government with an admonition to get “legal” or “leave.” A second contact with immigration authorities will start a case against you.

Unless, of course there is more to the story.

It May Not Be Enough.

Immigration-Fraud-ROHOne of the issues that is sure to remain at the top of political discussions through the 2016 elections and beyond is that of immigration.

Our position has remained fairly consistent on immigration in that we are against illegal immigrants in the country. In addition, if an individual or company knowingly hires an illegal immigrant, they too should pay a price for aiding an illegal action.

With that in mind, we were gobsmacked by an article on Courthouse describing the alleged actions of Raul Oropeza Lopez, 47, and his wife Ana Maria Oropeza, 41, both of Delano, California.

In a complaint put forth by prosecutors, the government lays out accusations of a scheme that netted Lopez and Oropeza over $1.8 million dollars over from 2008 through 2014.

Lopez worked as a contractor for an employment agency for workers in the “grape country” of California. Lopez would fraudulently obtain Social Security numbers and employment ID’s from people who were legally allowed to work in the United States, but were out of the country. In some cases, the information was “loaned” in return for favors granted to the individual. In other cases, it is alleged that Lopez simply stole the ID’s of people without their knowledge.

The workers Lopez hired were then sent out into the workplace and fields for all intents and purposes looking as if they were legal workers.

At the end of the growing seasons, the workers were sent on their merry way while Lopez and Oropeza filed unemployment claims with the government for the workers who were illegally employed to begin with. Lopez and his wife had the money sent to different locations, post office boxes, etc., which they they collected and pocketed themselves. They also set up fake bank accounts using the names and information of the “employees” which allowed them to control the checks mailed from California’s Unemployment Division. When California went to electronic funds transfers to pay unemployment benefits, the feds say Lopez and Oropeza withdrew the money from the accounts via an ATM and then deposited the money in their own accounts.

The complaint states the result:

The Immigration Mess.

ICE-Chain-Link-Fence-ROHOur buddy William Teach over at the Pirate’s Cove has a post highlighting an article by the Washington Post focusing on immigration courts.

The Post article is clearly a piece designed to garner sympathy for those caught being in the country illegally, as well as the moral weight on judges who decide their cases.

Judge Lawrence Burman sat quietly in front of the chaos, adjusting his reading glasses and sifting through a stack of files on his bench. He had 26 cases listed on his morning docket in Arlington Immigration Court — 26 decisions to make before lunchtime about the complicated future of undocumented immigrants in the United States.


In Burman’s courtroom, the urgent number on this January morning was smaller but just as daunting. He had an average of seven minutes per case.

To us, seven minutes doesn’t seem like a great deal of time to either present a case if you are prosecuting or defend a client.

At the same time, Teach says in his post that it shouldn’t even take that long:

That’s probably about 5 more than is really needed. “Are you in the United States illegally? Yes? Goodbye”.

There is merit to Teach’s position. It should be easy for a person to show that they are in the country legally.

In the case the Post article highlights, a man was arrested for DUI and was found to be here illegally from El Salvador since the year 2000.

[Mario Iraheta] had crossed into the United States illegally in 2000, and Maria had followed a year later. He worked in construction; she walked two miles each evening to wash dishes at IHOP for $8 an hour. They paid taxes, joined a church and raised three kids, now 19, 15 and 9.

It almost sounds like the American dream except for the fact that each and every day Iraheta and his wife were breaking the law. It is the illegal basis of their lives here in the US that upset many people. The life Irahata was leading illegally also infuriates the roughly 4 million people that are waiting to becomes US citizens in a legal manner.

The result is that many people call for the deportation of all illegal immigrants. While “Deport them all! No Amnesty!” makes a great sound bite, we are not sure that it is practical. The numbers just don’t work out as far as we can determine.

Strange Opinion Piece On Immigration.

Immigration-ROH According to the New York Times, Carlos Puig “is a columnist for the Mexican newspaper Milenio and the anchor of the television show En 15.”

The New York Times published an op-ed piece by Puig on June 26, 2013 that simply boggles the mind.

Puig argues that the US should not ramp up or increase border security or immigration enforcement because of the damage done by returning illegal aliens from the US to Mexico. Puig states the damage he is concerned with is that to Mexico – not the United States.

But this latest [Immigration and Border Security] plan will only put more stress on Mexican border towns that already bear the brunt of unexpected and, often, unwanted waves of returnees from the United States.

Since 2008, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) has increased deportations of illegal aliens under a policy to maximize “the removal of those who pose the greatest threat to public safety or national security.” The agency says it has sent back close to 410,000 individuals from the United States in the 2012 fiscal year, almost 55 percent of them — 225,390 people — convicted criminal aliens. That’s almost double the number of criminals deported in 2008 — and, the agency says, “the largest number of criminal aliens removed in agency history.”

At this point it almost seems as if Puig is arguing that the US should bear the total responsibility for Mexican citizens to come into the US illegally, commit a crime, be convicted of a crime, and then returned to Mexico rather than Mexico being responsible for the illegal and criminal actions of their own citizens.

Well, it doesn’t just seem that is what he is saying, it is what he is saying.

Indeed, the policy’s success translates into thousands of convicted murderers, sex offenders and drug dealers being sent back to their countries of origin, which means largely to Mexico. According to the latest figures from the U.S. government, about 450,000 Mexicans who committed crimes in the United States were returned home between 2008 and 2011. This is partly because in 2007 I.C.E. began implementing a program called Rapid REPAT, offering undocumented aliens convicted of criminal offenses early release in exchange for immediate repatriation.

Yeah, because we all know that the US, rather than Mexico or another country, should bear the costs and brunt of the actions of people here in the US illegally.

This would all be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that the Mexican immigration laws are more strict than those of the United States.

A Tale of Two States.

Lou Dobbs takes a few minutes to consider two similar, neighboring states – Virginia and Maryland.

The exodus from Maryland has been a discussion for many years. According to the Census Bureau, the City of Baltimore has lost 30,000 residents from 2000 to 2010. The city is now petitioning the Census Bureau to change the population numbers but the City and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake do not have an explanation for the “error.”

While we were aware how the census numbers fiscally impact a city, we didn’t realize how much of an impact:

If the city wins its challenge — in which it argues that census workers missed counting 15,635 housing units — it means Baltimore’s population has held steady since 2000, not dropped significantly. And that could mean the city would receive $87 million more in federal funding, city planning officials said.

However, Mayor Rawlings-Blake has a plan to increase the population.

Frederick County Maryland – Standing Up to Illegal Immigrants One Person at a Time.

Frederick County Maryland is not what one pictures when one thinks of being on the front lines of the illegal immigration issue.

But it is.

Frederick County is located northwest of Washington DC, and is home to Camp David, Fort Detrick and the Catoctin Mountain Park. Famous figures from the area include Frances Scott Key and Barbara Fritchie.

Frederick County has always complied with the Federal government and turned over illegal immigrants to the Feds upon arrest. This past March, that policy may have come back to bite them on the butt.

In March 18, 2011, 32-year-old Burger King Assistant Manager Jacinta “Patty” Ayala was shot to death. The mother of three was found dead in the restaurant. The police have now charged 21 year old Jose Reyes Mejia-Varela with her murder. Majia-Varela had been employed at the restaurant and the motive for the killing is unclear.

What is not unclear is Mejia-Varela was in the country illegally.

In fact, Mejia-Varela had previously been deported for a violent crime to El Salvador and had again returned to the United States illegally where he assumed a new identity.

It was after being laid off from Burger King he returned to the store where he allegedly shot and killed Ayala.

Understandably, the citizens of the county are upset.

Frederick County has a policy of verifying legal residents for those who work directly for the county or for sub-contractors of the county. In response to the Ayala killing and the subsequent arrest of a man who was here in the US illegally, the county is now looking to expand its illegal immigration policy with four new laws:

The Exchange.

It got nasty and personnel during the Republican debate on Tuesday, October 18, 2011.

What started out as a reasonably innocent question on health care for children in Texas turned into an all out war of words between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

Perry briefly answered the question and then took lined up a haymaker aimed right at Romney.

After that, it was on.

(The following is the transcript of the exchange between Romney and Perry. Our analysis continues below the fold and after the transcript.)

[DEBATE MODERATOR] COOPER: Governor Perry, in the last debate, Governor Romney pointed out that Texas has one of the highest rates of uninsured children in the country, over one million kids. You did not get an opportunity to respond to that. What do you say? How do you explain that?

PERRY: Well, we’ve got one of the finest health care systems in the world in Texas. As a matter of fact, the Houston, Texas, Medical Center, there’s more doctors and nurses that go to work there every morning than any other place in America. But the idea that you can’t have access to health care, some of the finest health care in the world — but we have a 1,200-mile border with Mexico, and the fact is we have a huge number of illegals that are coming into this country.

And they’re coming into this country because the federal government has failed to secure that border. But they’re coming here because there is a magnet. And the magnet is called jobs. And those people that hire illegals ought to be penalized.

And Mitt, you lose all of your standing, from my perspective, because you hired illegals in your home and you knew about it for a year. And the idea that you stand here before us and talk about that you’re strong on immigration is on its face the height of hypocrisy.


COOPER: Governor Romney?

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