AWCheney’s Forum On Immigration

A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY?

By way of introduction, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a statesman, and I aspire to be neither; I am an average American citizen who grew up on a Kansas farm, managed to get through college and retired as an Air Force Officer. Seventeen years later, I retired again, this time from a major Defense Contractor here in the Washington DC area. So, with that, it’s clear – I have no special credentials, I’m just the typical American citizen. However, I am convinced that our government is failing us and we must act, and we must act now.

As citizens and voters in a representative democracy, we have a responsibility to become informed of issues which face our country. Rarely will we find a candidate who represents our every view, and thus we must make compromises, and when the time comes, we have the responsibility to vote for those candidates whom we believe will best represent our views in the conduct of official government business. One hundred Senators, 435 Representatives, one President and nine Supreme Court Justices. Those 545 human beings represent you and they represent me. But do they really? Do they truly represent us or do they rely upon an ego-based infusion of super-human intelligence resulting from victory on election day to represent this country?

Some of us send our Congressmen E-Mails, letters, and even call them on the phone to express our views, but when was the last time that a seated politician came to your door, called you on the phone, or sent you a survey to ascertain your view on a particular issue pending in the House or the Senate? Their campaign workers call, asking for money, but to ask for your opinion and advice on issues? Rarely. I always thought our politicians were supposed to work for us and by that, I mean, represent us, ascertain and represent the major opinion. I don’t need them to wave as convertible-chauffered celebrities during the 4th of July parade nor do I need them to show up at a community improvement work-day for a glad-hand photo-op in a business suit. No, I don’t want them to be reclusive either, but I see them as workers, not as movie star or the athlete-like celebrities. The ego trip associated with political success often leads to the conviction that by virtue of being theirs, their vote on issues is automatically the best for us commoners. If they do not know the view of their constituents, how can they represent their constituents? They don’t, they represent their own view.

There is no single issue facing our country where the failure of politicians to learn and represent is more glaring than in the area of immigration and the enforcement of our federal immigration laws.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 is a prime example; it included a number of provisions concerning reporting, proof of residency, and payment of back taxes and fines that could never have been enforced, not even to mention being funded. Yet this piece of legislation was crafted by a few “experts” and presented as “here’s what’s best for America.” In response, millions of American citizens spoke up in horror and to the embarrassment of a few, the issue was tabled. But is the issue of amnesty for the 12 – 20 million illegal aliens in this country dead? Absolutely not! Is that what the American people want? No it’s not, and the sad part is that our Representatives and Senators know that full well…but for personal agendas, THEY do. Wait, I didn’t think that was how it was supposed to work.

Don’t misunderstand, I don’t expect our elected officials to seek opinion on every issue or even many issues, certainly not. However, the issue of excusing 12 – 20 million of those who entered this country in violation of federal law is no small issue. I believe that the vast majority of the American people do NOT want amnesty for illegal aliens. If that is true, there should be no amnesty – end of story. At least, this is one issue of such magnitude that it warrants a measure of the American will. If that measure were taken however, “it wouldn’t sit well in Peoria,” oops, Washington.

The issue of amnesty for illegal aliens is certainly not the only issue in which the federal government “represents” without knowing the will of those whom they theoretically represent. A case in point is the 24 June US Customs and Immigration Enforcement letter to the Mayor of Herndon, in which Jim Pendergraph, Executive Director, Office of State and Local Coordination, said that ICE must target “…serious criminal aliens and aliens of lesser offenses on a case-by-basis. ICE emphasized that removal proceedings would be initiated for illegal aliens processed under 287(g), but not all processed illegal aliens would be necessarily detained. The determining factor would be the available ICE resources.”

So, due to the success of the 287(g) program in identifying criminal illegal aliens within PWC and local municipalities, ICE has insufficient resources to accept them for deportation as originally agreed in the MOA. Henceforth, ICE will accept for deportation only those arrested and detained for having committed the most heinous crimes. Illegal aliens arrested for less serious crimes will presumably be released back into society following completion of their jail/prison term. Our elected congressional leaders fund pork-barrel projects at the drop of a hat, but can’t find the money to deport illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes in this country. Is that the kind of funding priority you supported when asked your view? I think not, in that we weren’t even asked.

Oh, here’s a suggestion. When you don’t have anything more productive to do, contact Senator Webb, Senator Warner or Representative Tom Davis, and explain to them your dismay with federal action on border security and the enforcement of federal immigration law. You’ll be amazed….as if being either an immigrant or the progeny of immigrants yourself, you just might not understand, they’ll first tutor you of how important immigration has been to the history and development of our country, conveniently forgetting the “illegal” part. Then, they’ll blame anything you perceive to be a failure of government on “the other guy.” Right on!!

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July 31, 2008 6:29 pm - Posted by | Op-Ed | , , , ,

19 Comments »

  1. “who entered this country in violation of federal law is no small issue.”

    Then make it more than a civil offense. Don’t allow them to bank, own property, have US Citizen children, work, etc… But thus far we have been extremely permissive and have actively chosen not to enforce. In fact, if it weren’t for 9/11, I don’t believe we would be so serious about enforcement today. But we have to realize that we have nobody but ourselves to blame; faulting the illegal immigrant who simply strives to a better existence is following human nature. We on the other hand have been complacent in permitting and condoning the behavior.

    If we believe that enforcement and attrition work then tell me why haven’t we been doing it for the past 20 years?

    Comment by AntiBVBL.net | August 3, 2008 10:32 am | Reply

  2. Come on, Anti….read the post before commenting. You totally missed or ignored freedom’s point! The point of his post was NOT to fault the law breaker seeking whatever, the point was that those we elect to office don’t heed the will of the American people. I suppose the reason is cheap labor and that block of voters who want to be taken care of in a socialistic state.

    Comment by noNAU4me | August 3, 2008 12:00 pm | Reply

  3. If you believe this is an ‘enforcemnt only’ problem then blame rests solely on ‘the law breaker’. My point has been and continues to be that the feds knew these people were here, they weren’t hiding in the closet, they have been in plain sight. And, so you readily agree that both sides of the aisle have had their reasons for keeping these people here. So, if the Republicans have wanted them for the ‘cheap labor’ and the Democrats believe they will become part of their ‘voting block’, it only reinforces my point that we(the US government) have been permissive.

    Comment by AntiBVBL.net | August 3, 2008 4:41 pm | Reply

  4. “So, if the Republicans have wanted them for the ‘cheap labor’ and the Democrats believe they will become part of their ‘voting block’, it only reinforces my point that we(the US government) have been permissive.”

    THAT, AntiBVBL, is exactly the point that freedom was making…our elected representatives have absolutely no desire to solve the problem of “open borders” and are only offering weak excuses which have no bearing on the issue when pressed. In fact, all of you are essentially on the same page.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 5, 2008 3:24 am | Reply

  5. Absolutely, AWC….but my point is even broader, actually. Is the will of most American citizens being represented by our elected leaders? I think not, otherwise the border would already be secured and deportation of alien criminals would be a no-brainer. Oh, and btw, the issue of border security and non-enforcement of federal immigration law is only one of many such issues.

    Elect ’em and they’ll take care of us…afterall, by virtue of their election they MUST know what’s best for us, huh? Pshaaaaaaaaw!!

    Comment by freedom | August 5, 2008 8:24 am | Reply

  6. In my mind, the feds are/were the gatekeepers, either they willfully allowed these people in or not. I suppose we are in agreement it was ‘allowed’, however you argue that it was not the will of the people that permitted this to happen but rather inept politicians. For me this is the equivalent of a dysfunctional family where a father & mother are in disagreement and the children are the children suffer.

    Comment by AntiBVBL.net | August 5, 2008 10:26 pm | Reply

  7. Anti says, “…you argue that it was not the will of the people that permitted this to happen but rather inept politicians.”

    Well, I contend that not just a few, but the vast majority of the American people want the border secured and our laws enforced. Yet, our elected leaders have not made that happen. Have you been asked your view on the issue? If not, they don’t even KNOW your view, much less support it. …and don’t feel alone, they don’t know or implement my view either.

    This is not rocket science…and I didn’t intend to raise an obtuse subject here, but simply enough, “Is it the responsibility of our elected leaders to represent the will of the American people or is it their responsibility to ignore the American people and do what they think our will ‘should be,’ e.g., not secure the border and not enforce our immigration laws”?? That is the question, and I believe their responsibility to be the former.

    BTW, I certainly wouldn’t describe our politicians as “inept” — for the most part, they’re way too experienced professionals…and they’re very skilled at what they do. The problem is that way too few (if any) represent the will of their constituents, and that’s the scarey part.

    Comment by freedom | August 6, 2008 8:15 am | Reply

  8. THAT, AntiBVBL, is exactly the point that freedom was making…our elected representatives have absolutely no desire to solve the problem of “open borders” and are only offering weak excuses which have no bearing on the issue when pressed. In fact, all of you are essentially on the same page.

    Is that not the position on most everything that politicians do or say? Stewart just complained that he bought ” a pig in a poke: from the General Assembly on Transportation. So we have some one leading the county that has no idea of what he is buying? At least for once he has told the truth and proved he has no idea of what is going on. Have you seen one politician offer a workable solution to Transportation? No all they do is whine and complain that it is someone else fault. No on in PWC electiced officials have any solution to transportation other then NO and someone else caused the problem. Our politicians care only about themselves and what they want not what is right or fair. the no growth people all want that the day after they moved in but not the day before.

    Comment by Bob Wills | August 6, 2008 9:32 pm | Reply

  9. Hi Bob from your number one fan 🙂 LOL

    AWCheney,

    I cannot take it anymore and posted this on antibvbl.net:

    “I just INVITE and ask that everyone take some time out and review/ visit Awcheney’s blog. She has done a great deal of research that really demands attention and RESPECT- Read and see if you can debate or learn something new/pieces of the puzzle 🙂

    https://scheney.wordpress.com/

    You have done so much RESEARCH and it is to be commended!!!!
    IF only people would take the TIME to research themselves or see what you have ALREADY outlined, I BELIEVE
    the debates would CHANGE 🙂

    Praising YOU for doing so and raising a glass to anyone who is brave to take the time out to do so 🙂
    Peace 🙂

    I have studied the issues you have covered for over a year and cannot discount ONE of them! Believe me, I am trying 😦

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 7, 2008 9:36 pm | Reply

  10. I posted on BVBL too…..

    “Johnson,

    “I hate elitists, too.”

    Who are the elitists? What do they do?

    I posted on anti and am asking the same here on bvbl, to take the TIME out and visit AWCheney’s blog and see if the debates change 🙂
    peace”

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 7, 2008 9:50 pm | Reply

  11. Thanks Red Dawn…I think I needed that. I’ve been wondering if people have been paying attention, and lately that is perhaps a part of the reason I have not posted a new research piece. It is a great deal of work and I haven’t felt up to it lately, and perhaps a bit discouraged. As a matter of fact, I’ve been sitting here at the computer all night trying to research several subjects that I am hoping will interest folks, and am hitting a wall…call it writer’s block. I’ve got to get back into the swing again!

    Comment by AWCheney | August 8, 2008 5:14 am | Reply

  12. Leaders are elected to lead, not follow. They should not continuously have polls to determine which direction they should take us, rather I would hope that they have a moral compass to guide them. And if they fail, that too is our failure, our responsibility. We have willfully allowed this to happen, the feds knew, they are the gatekeepers, it has been permitted and now we want to change it.

    In fact, I whole-heartedly believe were it not for 9/11 that the issue of illegal-immigration would not even be on our radar. The question now is do we retroactively enforce, how costly and painful is that process? Do we collectively have the will power to do this? And if we assume responsibility, what exactly are we willing to accept as our culpability in the creation of this situation?

    Comment by AntiBVBL.net | August 9, 2008 1:15 am | Reply

  13. AWC,

    “I’ve been wondering if people have been paying attention, and lately that is perhaps a part of the reason I have not posted a new research piece. It is a great deal of work and I haven’t felt up to it lately, and perhaps a bit discouraged.”

    I will just say keep doing what you are doing. To tell you the truth, I was shocked that YOU posted the topics that I have been very curious about on my own that I have been trying to discount.
    It all started when I got sick of seeing the same old debate/buzz words and repeating those same arguments while trying to use another ANALOGY.
    I then realized, that is was an endless debate in itself and wanted to know WHY, WHEN, WHAT was the beginning of all of this. MY very FIRST question was:Why have our borders not been secured?”
    Why now is this the topic? SO, I started to research behind the debates on the blogs (started with BVBL,and happy at the birth of antibvbl)

    The debates are still the same as I have not seen anyone try to go beyond WHY we are ALL having a debate and pitted against each other.

    I am just frustrated. I wish everyone would look further into the economy, immigration and the reason for such things as the Patriot Act, etc.(and HOW they are ALL connected)

    I am sick of the argument/EXCUSE of “the rule of law” and “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about”
    Bull sniff, I want to know if anyone sees that the very argument IS the (WARNING) of unintended consequence.

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 9, 2008 11:00 pm | Reply

  14. Red Dawn, I am sitting here at the computer at 2:30 in the morning still doing research, which is an unending process. My next post will be on NAFTA, which will lead into my most ambitious post to date: “The Illegal Alien Debate…How Did We Get To This Point?” (working title). I’m making no assumptions, so that research is going back to 1980 utilizing census data, immigration data, and economic data (among other resources) spanning nearly 4 decades.

    My theory is that there is a quantitative reason for the massive upsurge in illegal immigration which we have experienced in this last decade, and it’s not as simple as merely assuming it is the wage disparity (which has always existed), or the standard of living in this country (a disparity which has also always existed), or even the jobs created by the housing boom (of which we have had other such periods in our economic history), or any other rationale which has been offered…it’s just not that simple. The reasons behind the migration of MILLIONS of people crossing our border illegally in a, historically, very short period of time have got to be far more complex and, I’m convinced, a matter of design rather than serendipity.

    This is going to take awhile…so bear with me.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 10, 2008 2:59 am | Reply

  15. AWC,
    I back your theory.It is very complex and who is really paying attention when we have so many distractions 🙂 LOL
    I have time to wait for YOU to do the research as I trust it is thorough. I have self diagnosed A.D.D so, go for it. Your helping me :)LOL and others who I hope are reading

    Comment by Red Dawn | August 11, 2008 7:11 pm | Reply

  16. Immigration is regulated by the free market as it should be. Undocumented workers who come here, do so looking for work. If there was no work to be found, they wouldn’t come here.

    It’s just that simple. There is no grand conspiracy.

    This is how economies grow. You guys are looking for some grand conspiracy that doesn’t exist because you refuse to accept that undocumented workers might actually be legitimate immigrants.

    They are undocumented because that keeps them in a state of exploitation. Business and our govt wants to exploit these people. If our govt was just, they would have made it easy for these people to immigrate. Business interests are powerful, and they want to exploit these people.

    In my eyes they are simply immigrants who are too poor and desperate to defend themselves from exploitation. If these guys had PhD’s and lots of money, they would find the front door open. PhD’s usually won’t come here to work construction and live without rights.

    You guys keep railing about immigration law as if it was the Holy Grail. Our immigration law is a joke. It keeps a lot of bureaucrats employed with their non-jobs at ICE but that’s about it. They get paid with our tax dollars to damage our own economy. We pay them to keep out people who will strengthen our economy.

    [Deleted]

    [Editor’s Note: Comment is edited. This individual is in moderation after his second warning.]

    Comment by The Truth | August 14, 2008 12:49 am | Reply

  17. Unfortunately, there are those whose sole purpose for being here is to show disrespect and incite anger…as if it’s a hobby or a sport.

    I don’t know if they are “real people” nasty personalities, or if they are simply immature and seeking attention. Regardless, those people are to be pitied — their normal life must be totally unrewarding. 😦

    Comment by freedom | August 14, 2008 9:20 am | Reply

  18. Hey AWCheney,

    Look at freedom’s post above. It is a clear attack upon me. It is unprovoked as I never said a single thing to freedom.

    Now will you place freedom into moderation?

    Comment by Da Trufe | August 14, 2008 4:47 pm | Reply

  19. It happens Mackie, aka Da Trufe, aka The Truth, that this is freedom’s post, and he is well within his rights to criticize your behavior here on OUR blog, given the fact that you are the ONLY person who has, indeed, come on here to incite and cause problems and has thus earned moderation. It is obvious that you are far too immature to gain anything from what you might read here, so I suggest that you go somewhere else that might be more at your level.

    By the way, freedom was NOT attacking your opinions, he was merely criticizing your overall behavior (based on the fact that you are in moderation, and your comment required editing)…far more gently than I’m inclined. Therefore, he was not violating the rules…and all your comment served to do was confirm his criticism. A mature adult would, at the least, make an attempt to enter into the spirit of the discussion…and behave themselves. You will notice that I did not find it necessary to edit anything but the last sentence of that comment of yours. Try learning from your mistakes. That’s something else that adults do.

    Comment by AWCheney | August 14, 2008 5:44 pm | Reply


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