Immigration Questions for the Presidential Candidates
Published on January 21st, 2012
When I travel around the United States to participate in debates and panel discussions, or appear on various radio and television programs, I find that many people agree with me on the need for immigration effective law enforcement. Many become truly frustrated and then ask me what they can do to make the politicians accountable. They tell me how it seems that no matter what happens our leaders never seem to do what is necessary to secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws. During the conversations I have had, these folks also lament about the many other areas in which politicians manage to say one thing and do something else.
The problem is that when politicians appear in public, they all have the same goal, to appeal to the broadest audience possible to garner the most campaign contributions and, ultimately, the most votes that they can because the purpose for their public appearances is to drum up support from their constituents and those who would back their political campaigns.
We have all seen politicians in action and we almost always are amazed by how so many of them are “artful dodgers” when they make statements and especially when they respond to questions. It has been said that attempting to pin down a political candidate is as difficult as attempting to nail Jell-O to the wall!
These politicians are fearful that if they take a firm stand on one side of a controversial issue that they will alienate those who oppose that position and lose their campaign contributions and their votes. As a consequence they have learned how to speak volumes and say nothing!
It has been said that you can often judge a person's intelligence more by the questions he (she) asks than the answers he provides.
Questions are absolutely essential in so many areas of endeavor. In fact, some time ago I remember reading about the value of our nation's space program- in particular the value of the various space probes that NASA and the JPL as well as other organizations have sent hurtling throughout the solar system. The most coveted return on the investment of money, talent and efforts of the scientists, engineers and technicians to construct, launch and operate those probes was the questions that those exploratory probes provided the scientists who received the information transmitted back to the earth.
Knowledge empowers folks, in all areas of endeavor, to ask the right questions. Think about how a high-powered (and high priced) trial attorney earns his (her) paycheck by knowing how to ask those insightful questions of a witness in court to advance his client's cause.
This past week I was provided with a truly unique opportunity and honor- I was invited to address the Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. As I prepared for this event I spent quite some time considering how I could empower the audience that I would address. Clearly those in the audience were highly motivated! I would not have to spend much time convincing them to “get involved!”
Many politicians, and others, have attempted to minimize the importance of the Tea Party- I think that there is some real trepidation on the part of politicians from both parties who are concerned that the frustrations that gave rise to the creation to the various Tea Party groups will make it impossible to conduct business as usual. I am not a “Tea Partier” and I don't always agree with positions that some members take- but I have often made the point that “Democracy is not a not a spectator sport!”
These folks are certainly not spectators- and I appreciate and laud their activism!
Therefore during my address I decided to provide a brief overview about the many ways that immigration impacts our nation and then I compiled four defining questions that I thought could help to force a candidate to define himself. The questions do not provide much “wiggle room” and are not the sort of vague questions that are often asked.
We have all heard questions about immigration that provide that sort of opportunity for artful dodging. Some of those questions ask, “Would you secure the border?” “Do you favor sending the military to the border?” “Will you provide illegal aliens with amnesty?”
The experienced candidates can plow these sorts of questions with confident alacrity. You can imagine how easily they can say that they would certainly send the National Guard to the border, build a fence and not provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. They could actually follow through on every one of these “promises” and nothing would change!
National Guardsman can be assigned to the border and told to answer telephones, maintain Border Patrol vehicles and do other non-enforcement work and no matter how many such Guardsman head to the border, nothing will change!
Building a fence won't make that much of a difference if there are gaps in the fences that are built and if there are a lack of Border Patrol agents to stop those who manage to scale the fence or go around the fences. Even putting more agents “out there” won't matter if these agents are intimidated by the administration by having agents prosecuted at every opportunity. (This should not be construed to mean that agents who engage in nonfeasance, misfeasance or malfeasance should not be punished- it means that agents acting in good faith need to be supported by the agency that places them in “harm's way!”)
Today the administration and the open borders anarchists insist that because arrests are down along the border that fewer illegal aliens are running our borders and therefore this means that there are fewer illegal aliens present in the United States. I have countered this argument on a number of occasions, including during one of one of my recent appearances on Neil Cavuto's excellent program on Fox Business, that “Trying to determine the number of illegal aliens who are present in the United States by reviewing arrest statistics is comparable to taking attendance by asking those who are not present to raise their hands!”
As for the “Amnesty question,” all that a politician has to do is explain why by fining illegal aliens or demanding that they learn English that giving them lawful status is not really an “amnesty!” (Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder!)
I think you see the problems to be found with many of the questions that the politicians are asked- therefore I have formulated my list of questions that I would urge you to forward to as many of your friends as possible and suggest that if they have an opportunity to attend a town hall meeting where a candidate appears that effective questions will either provide that candidate with an opportunity to provide clear evidence that he is willing to do what is necessary or make it clear that he cannot be counted on to take the vital steps.
Here are the questions that need to be answered by the candidates:
- If elected President, what would you do with the outrageous lawsuits filed by the Justice Department to block states from enforcing their own immigration laws that parallel the federal immigration statutes?
- What would you do to make certain that Americans are given priority for jobs rather than foreign workers? Would you seek to expand the H-1B visa program that enables high-tech workers to enter the United States to take highly desirable jobs, often displacing American workers, or crack down on the fraud that permeates that program and implement a training program to help Americans take those jobs if there is a shortage of highly skilled workers?
- Would you be willing to hire more ICE enforcement personnel to help liberate jobs and combat the growing threat of transnational gangs and members of drug cartels? (There are currently about 7,000 special agents at ICE and more than half of engaged in enforcing Customs laws while the TSA reportedly has more than 60,000 employees.) If you are willing to increase the number of ICE agents assigned to specifically enforce the immigration laws, how many such agents would you hire and assign to the enforcement those immigration laws?
- Would you be willing to cut funding for law enforcement for so-called “sanctuary cities” that obstruct and thwart the enforcement of our nation's vital immigration laws? Would you consider having the Justice Department prosecute local officials who, for example, would not honor detainers lodged by ICE agents against aliens being held in prisons?
The political campaigns are the equivalent of a job interview for those who seek elected office. Today it is the office of the Presidency is on the line and We the People must resolve to do the best job of interviewing the man who will likely be our next President!