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02 May 2010


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"There is no reason that a legal 'guest worker' program can not be worked out that would provide the labor and protect all involved." PL

That won't happen because it would have to pass the U.S. Congress. The people who favor the AZ law are not interested in comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level.

It's much easier to demagogue the issue from both sides of the aisle. The Republicans get to look like tough law and order types and the Democrats get to sign up more Latino voters for future elections. There is
no political will to do anyting reasonable or workable.

Nancy K

Col Lang, I agree with you I don't think that citizenship should be granted just because a child is born here, I believe 1 or more parents should be legal citizens. If that were the case there would be no problem in allowing children to return to country of origen with their parents. As it is now the children are taken into custody if their parents are sent back and if there are no relatives that are legal the children can be placed in foster care or adopted, which the state pays for.
I am not being hard hearted either. I'm just describing how it is.

Roy G

Tyler, I respect your postings about conditions on the border, because you live there, and I don't. However, it seems like you're not giving others that same respect, by posting non-facts; it is the MLB Players Union that wants to boycott the All-Star Game. Your other cryptic remark about San Francisco indicates to me that perhaps your information is second-hand, from less than reliable sources. Also, what is relevant about what a Puerto Rican and a Columbian think about US immigration policy? Should we care because they are celebrities?

To the point at hand, yes, it is obvious that a real solution needs to be hammered out, however, the problem is political, and the simplistic fixes are practically infeasible; how long was the Maginot Line, how much time and money did the French spend planning it, and where did the threat ultimately materialize?

I think Adam has made a very good point--while this is a genuinely tough issue, how many of its proponents are acting in bad faith, and demagoguing the issue? There is a pretty big overlap between legitimate illegal immigrant concerns, and wacko birtherism. Would you agree that illegal immigration has very little to do with 'We speak English here?' To me, a successful immigration reform movement needs to decouple itself from the true believers who are rallying around that last phrase.

Count me as cynical, because, as serious a problem as it is, it's just a political football, and everybody wants to score a touchdown these days, but nobody wants to block and tackle for the team.

Patrick Lang


And who is not "demagoguing" the issue? pl



I will look around and see if I can't find those stats that you asked for. I believe Tucson Sector accounts for over half of all apprehensions in the Border Patrol. This sort of flies in the face of those who claim Operation:Gatekeeper was a failure. More fences and more agents apparently do put a dent in illegal immigration.

Adam, Roy G,

I will post something tomorrow or so. Sleep has been lacking and my focus isn't what it should be. Watch this space!

Clifford Kiracofe


1. There was an amnesty granted in the Simpson-Mazzoli Bill in 1986 and it affected several million illegal aliens then present in the US. It was argued at the time that this would be a single one-time only amnesty never to happen again. Opponents argued that it would establish a precedent for more such amnesty legislation in the future and would reward those who broke our laws.

During the floor fight over the bill in the US Senate, an amendment was offered to strip the amnesty provision out. It garned only about 20 votes as I recall. I was the one who drafted that amendment, among others which were introduced. Those procedings are of course recorded in the Congressional Record.

2. This is from a pro-amnesty website today:

" The proposed immigration amnesty would benefit the 12 to 20 million undocumented aliens (illegal immigrants) currently living in the United States. An amnesty for illegal aliens forgives their acts of illegal immigration and implicitly forgives other related illegal acts such as driving and working with false documents. The result of an amnesty is that large numbers of foreigners who illegally gained entry into the United States are rewarded with legal status (Green Card) for breaking immigration laws.

The United States has granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants through different amnesty and laws. Before the first amnesty in 1986, amnesty was only given on a case by cases basis. Amnesty was never given to a large group of individuals. The first (and supposedly one-time only) amnesty in 1986 gave about 2.8 million illegal immigrations the opportunity to change their status through the Immigration."

3. You might wish to consider the "Aztlan" movement:

"The concept of Aztlán as the place of origin of the pre-Columbian Mexican civilization has become a symbol for various Mexican nationalist and indigenous movements.

The name Aztlán was first taken up by a group of Chicano independence activists led by Oscar Zeta Acosta during the Chicano movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They used the name Aztlán to refer to the lands of Northern Mexico that were annexed by the United States as a result of the Mexican-American War. Combined with the claim of some historical linguists and anthropologists that the original homeland of the Aztecan peoples was located in the southwestern United States, Aztlán, in this sense, became a symbol for mestizo activists who believe they have a legal and primordial right to the land. In order to exercise this right, some members of the Chicano movement propose that a new nation be created, a Republica del Norte.[7]

Groups who have used the name Aztlán in this manner include Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, "Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán"), and the Nation of Aztlán (NOA).

Many in the Chicano movement attribute poet Alurista for popularizing the term Aztlán in a poem presented during the Chicano Youth Liberation Conference in Denver, Colorado, in March 1969.[8]

Despite this, the idea of an Aztlan is opposed by the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic-American civil rights organization. The group has also stated that pro-Aztlan advocacy is outside the political mainstream of the modern Chicano movement.[9]"

From an anti-amnesty website:
"Under the euphuism 'Hispanic Homeland' and 'Nation of Aztlan,' activists from numerous organizations including Mexican American Legal Defense and La Raza (The Race) activists are attempting to annex large portions of SW United States to Mexico. "Republica del Norte," the Republic of the North, which would include the present U.S. states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, plus southern Colorado, along with several current Mexican states, is "an inevitability" says Charles Truxillo, professor, University of New Mexico. He further states the new "Hispanic Homeland" should be brought into being "by any means necessary."

The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA), and the National Immigration Forum (NIF) whose names imply grassroots organizations reflecting the will of American Hispanics, do not represent mainstream American Hispanic opinion. Rather, they speak only in their own best interests, favoring the mass immigration that gives them more constituents they can then profess to represent. Polls show that Hispanic-Americans, like all Americans, support stronger enforcement of our immigration laws.

A 'Hispanic Homeland' could be written off as the work of extremists were it not for wide-spread support by Mexicans. A June 2002 Zogby poll of Mexicans found that a substantial majority of Mexican citizens believe that southwestern America is rightfully the territory of Mexico and that Mexicans do not need the permission of the U.S. to enter. The poll, a people search of appropriate persons, found that 58 percent of Mexicans agree with the statement, "The territory of the United States' southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico." Zogby said 28 percent disagreed, while another 14 percent said they weren't sure."

Don Quijote

14 th Amendment of the US Constitution:

“ Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws

Short of amending the Constitution, the children of illegals born in the US are US Citizens...

Byron Raum

I regret, Sir, that I must still continue to disagree on this matter. I do not believe that we lack control of our own borders to any greater extent than we want to. By the same logic, it can be said that the US does not control its own territory because every single person with a driver's license exceeds the speed limit and therefore breaks the law. These people jumping the border are not an invasion. They are coming here to do my yard work.

Patrick Lang


Sophistic nonsense. If being a scofflaw amuses you, so be it. pl

Patrick Lang


Yes. Amend the constitution. pl


Unless we/they are willing to impose mandatory jail sentences on the owners (not managers) of businesses who hire illegals, we/they are not serious about curbing illegal immigration. Everything else (fences, changing the 14th amendment, etc.) is just hot air. And there is zero political will to lock up the owners of golf courses, construction companies, agribusinesses, you-name-it. Why? Because they are the core of the Republican Party. And the Democrats get a win/win every time they register a new voter with a Spanish surname.

Clifford Kiracofe


This would be great! Particularly great would be a data set of annualized arrests from say 1980 to the present. I have not looked at the immigration issue since the 1980s except for SST blog.

But at that time, myself and other US Senate staffers I worked with were in touch with Border Patrol and a range of law enforcement and other agencies and departments trying to get a handle on the situation.

I recall examing arrest data which I had requested for the early 1980s. We had it sector by sector, monthly, and then annualized as I recall. Using this data, we could see a real jump in the numbers from about 1982.

This jump coincided with the disintegration of the Mexican economy unleashed by Echevarria's socialist policies and also the then fast rising birth rate/demographic trend.

I was assigned to the legislation because I had a national security type background. Most staffers handling the issue were either lawyers (I know...) if more senior, or young twenty-something college grad staffers doing domestic and social issues.

Simpson was an arrogant whore in my view and 25 years has not changed that view. Rather it has confirmed it. As a matter of fact, what we opponents of the watered down and deeply flawed Simpson-Mazzoli legislation argued (and what is in the Congressional Record as the historical record to show it) has essentially come to pass...uncontrolled border, massive illegal migration to the US involving many millions, major demographic shift in the US, major related narcotics, crime and violence issues in the US and so on.

We went through ALL OF THIS in debate in 1986. There is NOTHING new in the current situation. Just examine the Congressional Record of that era.

When, in the 1980s, the Senate had searching hearings on the narcotics issue, we were accused of "Mexico bashing." Of course, the intell we were aware of but couldn't publicly reveal indicated a large number of Mexican officials and politicians were themselves involved in the drug trade. This included governors of states. Some of this I think did come out in open session hearings rather than in Executive Session. I believe I recall Customs Commissioner von Raab testified and publicly named some names, or gave indications, of high Mexican officials involved in the drug trade.

Basically, in the 1980s the "liberal-left" "politically correct" crowd dominated the debates on immigration and counternarcotics. OK, fine that was the politics here and that is our system. But then examine closely the history of the last 3 decades on these two issues and their impact in the US. Have we as a nation learned anything? Any hard lessons? Frankly, I don't think so as I haven't seem much evidence to this effect.

I am sorry Mexico is becoming a lawless failed state. I like Mexico, its people, culture, arts, music, architecture and so on. It is a fascinating country, beautiful, wealthy, and progressive in many ways. the fact is that the US and Mexico enjoyed excellent relations during and after WWII, for example. It was only in the 1980s when tensions arose from the illegal immigration and narcotics issues.

I speak Spanish (and Portuguese) and have traveled widely in Mexico and in South America. I look forward to some more travel in Mexico and I strongly support more cooperation between the US and Mexican governments to deal with our common challenges as "Good Neighbors."

Both our Presidents have their hands full with these contentious issues and I would like to see President Obama work even more closely with our Mexican friends to promote not only border security but also economic progress in both countries. There are many projects we could jointly do ranging from major energy projects to large scale water projects and so forth.

2. The issue of illegals hopping across the border to drop babies so as to obtain citizenship for them was raised in the Simpson-Mazzoli debates back in the 1980s. Also the issue of whether illegal aliens should have access to public education and to public health in the US despite their being illegals.

As I recall, the Supreme Court's perspective was that because Congress had not specifically legislated on certain areas, the court defaulted to the 14th and etc. Thus, if Congress would specifically legislate in some of these "grey areas" the Supreme Court could uphold such more restrictive legislation.

Perhaps our SST lawyers could help on this one.


Thanks for the enlightening info on Korbach. Maybe it's time to bring Lou Dobbs back so Kris Korbach can get some more airtime!

Open borders and legalizing all drugs are simply fantasies. They are good proposals to get an emotional response and stir things up.
We should face reality: racism is not going away. When that impulse is the driving force behind laws, you end up with democracies like Israel and South Africa. Do we need politicians and media that pander to emotions?
And if this AZ law is enforced during the November elections, who will benefit?

Allen Thomson

The Texas Department of Public Safety, bless its collective heart, publishes extensive yearly compilations of crime statistics:


If you look at the latest one, there's a chart on titled "Index Crimes in Texas 1994-2008" that shows how crimes of violence and theft varied over that span:

If I get inspired (don't count on it), I'll try to generate some numbers for the LRGV counties of Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy.

The Twisted Genius

Clifford Kiracofe,

I would be happy to see amnesty as a possible outcome of appearing before an immigration court, even a common outcome. I don't like the idea of blanket amnesty any more than I like the idea of blanket deportation. And thank you for all the background information.


the 14th Amendment was passed in part as a response to the pre-Civil War SCOTUS decision DRED SCOTT vs. SANDFORD where it was held that a Negro though freeborn could not be a citizen of the United States.

Dred_Scott_v._Sandford from Wikipedia


This debate is in part between people like you who have illegals work for them and people like me who live in neighborhoods with a large number of illegals. According to the local paper 80% of the Hipanics are illegal in my neighborhood. When I moved into my house 16 years ago the Hispanic population started to increase here and the families used the local park, played soccer and played with their children. I smiled and they smiled back. Then I noticed drug dealing, public intoxication, public urination and all types of bad behavior crowding out the gentle family atmosphere. They no longer smiled in return. My observations were confirmed by Hispanic Americans, one told me in no uncertain terms, "The Mexicans coming in now are scum." His anger was understandable coming from a young man whose family had left a successful farm in Mexico when he was a child because a local gang was extorting money from his father and threatening the whole family. He did not feel it was safe to go to the police. His family came to the U.S., became legal citizens, and now sees the same corrupt gangs following him here twenty years later.
You don't care what happens to my neighborhood and I don't care how much you pay for yardwork.

Our border policy is mostly beneficial to our corporate elite and Mexican elite. Cheap labor for us and a social safety valve for them.

Would finding 67 people packed in a U-Haul (from Nogales newspaper link above) constitute reasonable suspicion? If they are Hispanic is that racial profiling? The Az law has been ammended by discarding "solely" and race can not be a determining factor for suspicion.


Col. Lang,


Nancy K

Hard hearted bastard that I am, I think we should stop granting citizenship to the children of illegal migrants.

How many countries give their citizenship as easily as we do?

American exceptionalism? Nonsense. pl

The principle of acquiring Citizenship "by blood or soil" pre dates the founding of the United States.

Any country that invalidates that principle is certain to create "Stateless persons" as well as leaving open the possibility of deliberately creating another underclass on the basis of birth.

The Supreme Court decided around 1993 that, as the babies had no say in the matter of where they were born, or where they were taken later, nor the immigration status of their parents, that it was only prudent, safe and equitable that the United States Of America claim them as it's own.

To put it another way, under the Constitution, the power to govern resides with the people. It was agreed by the Supreme Court that the idea of the Government arbitrarily making laws about who was, and was not, a citizen over and above what was written in the Constitution was self referential and absurd.

It is a little known fact that there are countless children with one American parent around the world who grew up being told that they had no claim to American citizenship. It is not publicised, but since 1994 a simple telephone call to their nearest American Embassy will change that.

Patrick Lang


Does Australia grant Australian citizenship at birth to illegals who happen to be on australian soil at the time of birth?

Damned few countries in Europe do so. pl

Allen Thomson

Are there any statistics of how many people in the US are citizens by virtue of being born of illegal alien mothers in the US? A longitudinal look (aka time series) would be more interesting.

I'd think a first cut could be gleaned from birth records in border counties, but have no notion how easy it is to obtain such.


Col. Lang:
"Does Australia grant Australian citizenship at birth to illegals who happen to be on australian soil at the time of birth?

Damned few countries in Europe do so. pl "

The children automatically get Australian citizenship if they remain here until their Tenth birthday.

Abandoned babies or children get it immediately and automatically.

Patrick Lang


Nevertheless, i think that you do not have the same kind of problem that we do. pl

Patrick Lang


On reflection that seems a reasonable compromise.

As things are now in the US, the automatic citizenship given to those born here i acting as a lure, because once a member of a family is born here, reunification of the family sets in as a legal tactic. pl

Sidney O. Smith III

Dr. Silverman

Just to complicate matters…

In 2007, a nephew was a junior in h.s. in Dalton Ga. One of his football teammates was a much liked black kid, Andre Johnson, who had everything going for him. Great parents. Good student.

One late spring day, after going swimming with some friends, this black kid was standing on a street corner outside a convenience store. A Hispanic gang member pulled out a handgun and shot Johnson in the chest. Prior to the murder, they had had no prior contact. Johnson had absolutely nothing to do with gangs.

The people of Dalton were simply devastated by this senseless tragedy. It actually may help if urban progressives read about a genuine outpouring of grief from the hinterlands -- a true example of racial transcendence during a time of suffering.


The murderer was not a US citizen.


This kind of tragedy is not an uncommon occurrence.

Proximate cause is a strange phenomena. But do you believe that the USG carries any of the burden for this young man’s death? Can you blame people who have suffered if they say something has to be done?

And it should be noted that after the murder of Johnson, his parents appealed for peace in “the potentially divisive situation”. Dalton has a large Hispanic population. My brother in law employs many “legals” and says they are great people. There are many success stories involving Hispanics in Dalton. But I think it is a great tribute to Dalton GA that despite all the suffering they endured from the loss of Johnson, the people were able to heal and move on with their lives.


Clifford Kiracofe

"the automatic citizenship given to those born here i acting as a lure, because once a member of a family is born here, reunification of the family sets in as a legal tactic."

This line of reasoning was advanced to no avail in the Simpson-Mazzoli bill debates in the mid 1980s.

Basically, the US is willingly acting as a sponge for the mass migration of millions of illegal aliens from Mexico. This mass migration, as I have noted before, benefits the Mexican oligarchy as a "safety valve" to move unemplyment and demographic pressures out of Mexico and thus out of Mexican politics.

I am not sure that it has registered quite yet with the average American that we are talking about a migration of tens of millions since the early 1980s. Ten, twenty, perhaps thirty million are numbers which might be realistic.

This mass migration has produced and will produce permanent irreversible demographic change in our country the long range consequences of which are not clear at best.

The radical alteration of our demographic which is underway and will be quite clearly felt by 2050 according to demographers is significant.

Personally, I will be quite dead by then. But I do wonder if our present Constitutional order can survive. It seems to me it won't and that this republic will become more politically like those south of the border. Last couple of centuries have been pretty rough and tumble down there...

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