Doing the Jobs America Won't Do

Published on June 16th, 2011

In 2007, a trial was conducted in federal court that resulted from the lawsuit filed by the ACLU seeking to prevent the city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania from enforcing ordinances that would punish landlords who could be shown to have knowingly rented apartments to illegal aliens and would punish employers who knowingly hired illegal aliens. This past week the United States Supreme Court remanded the findings of the lower courts back to the appeals court to reconsider their findings that sided with the ACLU. This finding was consistent with the previous Supreme Court ruling that supported the Arizona law that would revoke business licenses of employers who intentionally hired illegal aliens. I was the final expert witness called at that trial in 2007. My testimony was, as you might expect, in support of the ordinances comprehended under the “Illegal Immigration Relief Act” that were intended to block the employment of illegal aliens in that small town in Pennsylvania and to also prevent illegal aliens from being able to rent housing in that town. While the battle is far from over, this decision should encourage all of us that local governments do have the right to provide for the well being of the folks who live in communities and cities across the nation from the multitude of problems created by the massive influx of illegal aliens whose willingness to work for substandard wages under illegally substandard conditions for unscrupulous employers causes United States citizens and lawful immigrants to lose their jobs. Furthermore, the massive influx of exploitable workers drives down wages and worsens working conditions for workers across our nation. It is also important to remember that illegal aliens whose true identities, backgrounds, intentions and potential affiliation with criminal and/or terrorist organizations are unknown and unknowable threaten national security and the safety of citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country. While advocates for open borders and a massive, sweeping amnesty program under the aegis of “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” and the “DREAM Act” may claim that enforcing immigration laws is “Anti-Immigrant,” nothing could be further from the truth. In my 30 years with the former INS, I found that all too often the victims of crimes committed by transnational criminals are, in fact, the members of the immigrant communities irrespective of where these immigrants may have come from. Criminal aliens tend to live and ply their “trades” in immigrant communities whose residents share their ethnicities and origins. This is as true for the Russian, Asian, Caribbean and European communities as it is for the Latin American communities. As I have often noted, “The difference between an immigrant and an illegal alien is comparable to the difference between a houseguest and a burglar.” In considering the dangers that illegal aliens pose to the safety and well being of our nation and our citizens, you need only consider the categories of aliens whose admission into the United States is supposed to be prevented by the inspection process. In reviewing the various categories of aliens who are supposed to be prevented from entering the United States, you will notice that the immigration laws make no mention of race, religion or ethnicity, but focus on aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable diseases, aliens who suffer mental illness and are prone to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who traffic in narcotics or human beings, aliens who are war criminals or who have committed human rights violations, are engaged in terrorism or in espionage. The list is far longer, and you can read all of the reasons that, under the law, aliens are supposed to be prevented from entering our country, or may be removed (deported) from our country. This section of law is designed to protect our nation and all those who are present in the United States. This section of law is no mere technicality, but is of extremely great importance and relevance to the security of our nation and the safety of our citizens and, in fact, to all people who live, work and visit our country. It is also important to remember another serious national security issue from aliens who run our nation’s borders. By evading the inspections process, there is no way for our government to know that these aliens are in our country. No record is made of their entry into our country. This not only creates a huge problem for national security, but creates another important problem for us all, as well. When an alien runs our nation’s borders he (she) is not fingerprinted as are all other aliens who enter the United States via the inspections process. This means that an alien who is arrested by local police or other law enforcement agencies may succeed in “getting over” and falsely claiming to be a United States citizen. This would enable such an individual, who should be deported from the United States upon completion of serving out a jail sentence after being convicted of committing a felony, to simply be turned loose on the street where he may commit more crimes. At the time of the trial, Hazleton’s Mayor Lou Barletta was determined to help his small town of some 25,000 residents combat a number of serious problems created by the sudden influx of illegal aliens, including a drastic rise in crimes involving firearms and narcotics. As a lifelong resident of Hazleton, he was shocked, as were his neighbors, that this previously peaceful, bucolic town had become the scene for dramatic increases in crime, much of it attributable to illegal aliens who belonged to violent gangs. He decided to act decisively, and provided true leadership to his city by pushing legislation that simply sought to take on the influx of illegal aliens. Mayor Barletta’s efforts and demonstration of clear leadership were so well received and appreciated by the residents of Hazleton that today he is no longer the mayor of Hazleton but is a member of the United States House of Representatives. His constituents sent him to Washington to continue his efforts to get Washington to do its job. I had the privilege of speaking with Lou Barletta this week when I called to congratulate him on the victory that the Supreme Court decision represents. We chatted for about 30 minutes, and he told me that, although he is a freshman member of Congress, he has already drafted a bill that would deny “Sanctuary Cities” federal subsidies. This bill is called the MASC Act (Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Act). Lou also has created an Immigration Reform Caucus for other freshman members of Congress. The Obama administration has gone so far as to sue the state of Arizona in an effort to prevent the leaders of that state, who responded to the vacuum of leadership created in Washington, from enacting immigration laws that parallel laws to be found within the federal immigration statutes. Yet, the same administration has taken absolutely no action against so-called “Sanctuary Cities” that openly announce that they will do nothing to assist the federal government in enforcing immigration laws, even opting out of the Secure Communities Program that is supposed to assist the federal government by alerting ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) about aliens who are convicted of committing felonies and who should be removed from the United States when they complete their jail sentences. Clearly, if the federal government wants to stop local and state governments from enacting and enforcing their own immigration laws, then the federal government must do the job that it should have been doing all along – secure our nation’s borders against illegal entry and enforce the federal immigration laws from within the interior of the United States.

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