Harboring fugitives

There was a discussion about immigration yesterday, or more precisely the harboring of fugitives. Because that is what it is. If someone has broken the law, they are a criminal. Until they are brought to justice, they are a fugitive. The gentleman today was speaking about how unjust it is to bring fugitives to justice.

We can use whatever terms we wish, and just like the toilet scrubber who believes they should be paid as much as the CEO, a criminal who is insulted by being called “illegal” is living in a fantasy. In my mind it would be best to start these conversation with “We are going to provide you with the same treatment your government would provide to me were I to overstay my welcome in your country”. If you are required to have documents which prove you have the right to be here, and you don’t have those documents, you have no right to be here.

But no, they say. You need us.

We really don’t. We don’t need eleven million people making up their own minds about what is and is not legal.  We abolished slavery one hundred and fifty years ago, but with a class of workers who dare not identify themselves to the Internal Revenue Service, slavery is once again a temptation for some people. The list of people who have been caught keeping slaves is populated mostly by Democrats, who had never wanted to get rid of slavery in the first place, but Republicans may just have enough sense to clean up before they make it to Washington. Here in lovely Princeton New Jersey, police have been instructed on how to not enforce the laws, because we wouldn’t want to leave a lawn without a cheap manicure, or distress a family by forcing them to seek a housekeeper or nanny who was trustworthy enough to have followed the immigration laws. Losing slave labor might cut into the boating budget.

Without slaves, we might have to hire Americans, and they would want to be paid minimum wage, and we would have to extend to them the protection of our labor laws. That could be expensive.

Which was, in effect, the argument put forward this morning. The cost involved in enforcing laws. In this case we were given the example of a man from Guatemala who had lived illegally in America for twenty two years. He was married and had children. He had a catering business (no information on how he managed to operate without legal tax documentation). And then the big bad immigration police scooped him up and deported him. “They didn’t even allow him to pack a bag and retrieve his favorite watch”.

He was shipped back to Guatemala, at an expense in time and resources of $12,500. Sounds like a deal. But wait, that’s not all it cost us, because if the polo club is going to have to go without sandwiches, you need to realize how much this will cost you. Not only did we have to pay for law enforcement officers, facilities, and passage to Guatemala, now you are stuck with supporting this criminal’s family. They’ve been left with nothing and are on public assistance now. They’ve lost their home, and now the American taxpayer has to support them because the family breadwinner was deported. Were you to apply the same story to another person it would be a tragedy, but this wasn’t another person, this was a criminal who was finally captured. I see no tears shed for murderers or drug smugglers who had their personal lives destroyed by being brought to justice. We used to say “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”. At least Tony Soprano hid money in the bird feeder to help his family were he ever arrested.

A woman spoke up with her situation. She identified herself as “undocumented” but claimed she wasn’t a criminal. She acknowledged the programs that have been put in place to assist immigrants in obtaining legal status, but stated she chose not to participate in them for fear once she was identified, were she unable to achieve citizenship she would be deported.

Just a moment while all the gun owners who are called paranoid because they fear registering their guns might result in those guns being confiscated laugh at the irony. She came all this way to live under a government she doesn’t trust.

She went on to say how much America needed cheap labor.

Just a moment while those McDonald’s workers demanding $15.00 per hour storm the podium. She came all this way to take one of those minimum wage jobs.

She spoke about her rights and the life she had built in America. Illegally. I couldn’t help but remember the kid arrested with a gram of cocaine complaining he had been punished enough with jail and fines so he should be given his drugs back.

You can call illegal immigrants “dreamers”, invoking the quest for the American dream, but that dream has been fulfilled for the generations of those who came to this country legally. If your dream is to start by violating immigration laws, you do not have the “American Dream”, your dream is of unearned benefits, a lifestyle you saw on television and assumed was reality.

If by odd chance you actually care about the welfare of an illegal immigrant, send them home. The DREAM act was designed to collect taxes from people who have little chance of ever obtaining citizenship (estimated length of time to citizenship after illegal entry, thirteen to twenty years; length of time for immigrants with legal entry, five to seven years). It applies to young people who will pay taxes and purchase health insurance, not to older people who might be relying on government assistance. It is a cold-hearted cynical approach to people who won’t realize they have been lied to until the liars are long out of office.

Allowing illegal aliens to infiltrate our society is more expensive than we acknowledge. The undermining of our faith in law enforcement is only the beginning. But if it can’t be measured in dollars, more importantly your dollars, you’re not likely to be upset. So you’re willing to “help out” the poor immigrant by paying him less than you would an American. Is that really help? Is looking the other way when an employer exploits illegal aliens helping the millions of Americans who depend on government assistance because they can’t find a job? Let’s not even go into the people who are not looking to enjoy our lifestyle, but rather destroy it. Terrorists love countries with lax immigration enforcement.

So today my wife and I travel to Elizabeth New Jersey, so she can be fingerprinted (again) to be sure she’s the same person she was when she applied for her green card, as she follows the path to citizenship that my ancestors followed in the past, and almost seven hundred thousand followed just last year. It’s not that difficult to play by the rules.

immigration-flowchart

The path to citizenship

It’s not easy, if it was easy everyone would do it. It’s a hassle, it’s time consuming, but when it is completed you get to be an American. And if you think rednecks and conservatives are the only folks who dislike illegal immigration, ask a legal immigrant about it. That’s why most employees at Immigration are immigrants. They’re not letting anyone sneak through.

 

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4 comments on “Harboring fugitives

  1. MIke R says:

    An extremely well-reasoned writing. The media plays the emotional part immigration all the time, as do politicians. Laws are laws. Whether or not I believe in having laws concerning citizenship, if I am not a respecter of the law in one area, I will be hard pressed to see it reliably applied in other areas. Illegals have a grey market in SoCal, all in cash and no taxes paid other then tolls and when they have to buy something from a legitimate merchant. We educate their children and grant those that were born here citizenship. Having lived in California for enough years in an extremely diverse neighborhood I have learned which cultures produce immigrants that do amazingly well. It doesn’t include Mexicans and most of Central America. Almost any asian, eastern or otherwise, as long as they are not radical muslims coming to change American. If we define success as the immigrant himself going to work and raising 1st generation children that achieve high levels of education, technical skills, or business acumen, is would be Armenians. Laotians. Vietnamese. Lebanese, non-Muslim. Russian. Ukranian. Indians. Koreans. Chinese, Indonesion . .. oh, heck, just about any asian country. I will point out that many of these bring skills in avoiding taxation and gaining government benefits in a manner that is shady, at best. I am not saying that there are not exceptions among those from Mexico and Central America and I recognize that much is a product of nation without much of a middle class, a few rich, a lot of poor, very little opportunity to improve one’s life. Mexico missed the Renaissance, literally. Men are often rudely macho to the point of narcissism. That said, they are hard-working people and their willingness to work for a little cash under the table is displacing American workers. We are no longer a manufacturing economy. Agriculture is being mechanized. There can be only so many lawn care people and hotel maids, and citizens should have first shot at those jobs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lieve Cash says:

    I have a lot of sympathy for people who deserve it, but when it comes to giving away legal rights to illegal immigrants – I just can’t understand it. I was nearly kicked out of the country when my visa expired (and my then-husband refused to renew it). It didn’t matter that my two children lived here, and that I had lived here (legally) for 4 years. I was lucky to find someone who believed in me and sponsored me, and got me a working visa (together with a creative immigration lawyer friend). You can only renew a working visa so many times, and again, I was lucky to find Blake (or he found me, we’re still not clear how that worked!) and I got a green card via marriage. After nearly 10 years in the US, I have now applied for citizenship.

    It’s been a long road, stressful and expensive. That is why it really gets on my nerves when I read how the Princeton police claims they are not here to implement federal (immigration) law but to protect the community, legal or illegal. I understand that everyone has human rights and those should not be abused, whether you’re legal or illegal – but other than that… if you’re illegal, you should not expect equal rights, or to be paid minimum wage for example. The employers who shut their eyes and take advantage of this cheap labor, should be fined so that they don’t create & perpetuate 21st century slavery.

    I know it’s not so clear cut, especially second generation immigrants who have grown up here, and consider this their home. But they can always apply for visa, green card and citizenship. That road exists. So much legal aid is available (often free), multicultural & advocacy groups, just google, you will be amazed. When I was first trying to get a visa, I approached a local attorney who was very active in immigration groups, but he told me he ‘could not help me’. I still see his name mentioned in every local meeting, newspaper article as a spokesperson. Why could he not help me? At the risk of not being PC, I was white, European, educated – not your stereotypical helpless token immigrant, and definitely not good to get more exposure in the press. I’ll stop here before I get more cynical.At least I am slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I am grateful to every single helping hand that reached out to me, every encouraging word and the patience shown when I was going on AGAIN about my legal status.

    Anyone who has immigration issues and would like advise, you can always reach me here. Just don’t expect any short cuts. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. John says:

    How about you put yourself in their position. They only come here illegally for money and to support their families but they’re criminals because they would rather live than die. America is supposed to be a better country thean this. Land of the free my ass

    Like

    • kblakecash says:

      Put myself in their place? You mean what would happen if I was in their country illegally? I would not be treated with a fraction of the dignity America treats illegal aliens in their country, we both know that. I have to carry my passport with me in foreign countries, and if I overstay my visa I can be jailed and deported.

      The rationale for breaking a law is certainly something to be considered. Stealing a loaf of bread to feed a family is one thing, but moving into a house you don’t own is not quite the same.

      It is not “free” in the sense we’re giving it away. It is free because of the freedoms expressed to its legal citizens. There are plenty of programs in place to assist immigrants in becoming citizens legally, but this is not a free posada.

      Like

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