Jose Antonio Vargas – it’s time to Grow Up.

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Jul 122011

July 12, 2011

Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who recently resigned his position after admitting he was an illegal immigrant and had been hiding the fact since he was 16-years-old, sent me an email today.   In his email he asked me to sign a petition.

He said, “More than 6,000 … from all over the country have joined me in calling for a new national conversation on immigration — and I’m bringing all of their voices with me when I go on the Colbert Report… Would you add your name now, so I have a huge number to announce on the show?”

He said that three weeks ago, he had “published an exposé in the New York Times” about his life story: coming to this country as a boy, learning English, and embracing America.

He says that he quit his job because he was tired of remaining silent and now wants to “strike up a more civil, inclusive debate about immigration.”

Does he really? Does having a more “civil” debate honestly mean being open to what I have to say and considering it?

Jose Antonio Vargas –  No, you can not add my name to your list of supporters. But I do agree that we need a national conversation on immigration – an honest one.

You say your story is “the tale of a hard-working immigrant who defines the American dream: achieving success against great odds, working hard, and even earning a Pulitzer Prize” for reporting.  You go on, “Still, despite everything I’ve achieved, the law still says I am not technically an American. I am undocumented.”

But I say your story is one of a series of liberal, dishonest mentors assisting you in hiding from the laws of this country – rather than doing the right thing and help you become legally documented.

You ask Americans: “What would you do if you found out at age 16 that you didn’t have the right papers?” and say that as a journalist, your job is to ask questions that spark conversation.

Here is my answer. I would do just as I did in Canada when the visa’s for my entire family ran out and we were denied new visa’s in Calgary. We left the country and did not re-enter until we had valid visa’s again.

This is the kind of honesty that my mother taught me, and it is what I – a widow – taught my nine children to do.

Yes, I had children who cried about leaving the college campus we had been living on for five years. My youngest daughter, age ten, curled up in a ball on her bed and wept. My husband – her father – had died of cancer only a year earlier. The campus had been a place of stability, love and safety during a very difficult time of their lives, and now I, a widow with little resources and no home in the states, had to pack them up and leave with no promise that we would be able to come back.

But the law in Canada is just as valid as in the United States. We had no right to be there after our visa’s ran out. I taught my children to obey the law, and then I taught them to be strong, not fear, and take the proper steps to become documented again.

That is what the “mentors” that “helped you” avoid the law should have done for you. Are you open to that part of the “conversation?”

The next time our visa’s ran out, in 2007, we accepted it and moved back to the States.  Five of my children enrolled in a U.S. public school for the first time.  All missed their friends back in Alberta

You are no longer 16. It’s time to man-up.

Mayor Villaraigosa; Who are the Racists?

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May 272010

Dear Sir;
While I respect the concern you have regarding racial profiling, I believe that the Law Enforcement Officers of Arizona are professionals.

Many of us in the north are appalled that our southern neighbors have been forced by the federal government to live with violent drug runners racing through their property.  I can’t imagine how frightening that must be.  The fact that a rancher was murdered last month while minding his business, driving on his own land, doesn’t seem to bother the White House at all.

What is our federal government there for, if not to organize and protect our borders?

Sir, the only ones that I see making this a racial issue are the ones that are calling Arizonans racist.

Yes, the law was written because Latinos from Mexico – impoverished families as well as gang members and drug runners – have been illegally crossing the border in greater and greater numbers and with that much hurt has come to Arizona.

But Arizona law enforcement personnel are not idiots. They aren’t the racist rednecks various mayors and pandering politicians from the left have accused them of being.  They are, believe it or not, trained professionals.  I suspect that most have arrested criminals of every persuasion in the past and they expect to do so in the future. While jerks exist in any and every group, (including among White House Staffers) I doubt Arizona policemen intend to eyeball only Latinos for suspicious activity and arrest, and let everyone else go on about their crimes.

The first job of the Police officer, according to SB 1070, is to be about fighting crime and catching law breakers.  That is the number one thing that the Police are supposed to be looking for. Illegal presence in the United States is a secondary factor, and deporting law breakers because they are here illegally is simply common sense.

If a neighbor kid comes into my house and steals something off my dresser…no matter what his heritage is, I’m gonna kick him out and tell him not to come back. (I’ve done the “forgive – let’s talk about this” route before. Forget it.)

Further, it is extremely short sighted to act as if the need for a secure border and strict laws is only about Latinos.

An alert went out this week for someone from Somalia – not a Latino – that is/was attempting to cross the southern Border to commit terrorism.  It has also been known for quite awhile that Al-Qaeda has been recruiting Caucasians in Britain to commit terrorist acts.  In 2008, a Scotland paper wrote,

“As many as 1,500 white Britons are believed to have converted to Islam for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK.”

In Israel, terrorists are now coming in every shape, size, gender, and color.

So let’s get real.  The War on Drugs isn’t our only border concern; there is also a War on Terror.  We can’t play games with our border, no matter who feels offended and pouts.  This is about crime, not race.  Any time anyone crosses the border to stay in the United States without permission, it is a crime.

Every state needs to adopt an Arizona type law.  Why should I be afraid of it?   The police already always ask for my ID every time they stop me for speeding.  I also already carry the kids’ birth certificates in a binder because we go to Canada frequently.  I even keep their shot records, our car’s registration, and other documents in it because it’s so convenient.  When we were students there, I kept the visas in the same binder.  And I have NEVER been offended when a Canadian officer has asked to see my documents at the border – it’s their right.

The only ones that should be upset by it are those that are here illegally. (So, Obama, why are you upset?)

Arizona has every right to protect its citizens.  Everyone that has seriously read SB 1070 has been forced to realize that it is definitely constitutional.  Even Eric Holder and his crew haven’t been able to justify a reason to fight it.  That’s why they are sitting on it, claiming that they are going to go slowly in order to mull it over.  As near as many of us can tell, they are sitting on it until the law takes effect in the hopes of catching an Arizona police officer attempting to use it to commit a crime.

I don’t understand how they think that will help their argument against the SB 1070, though.  People commit crimes. That’s why we have laws.  Laws that are thought out and well written don’t cause crime, they address them.  And SB 1070 is a law written – apparently very well – to address and deal with crime being committed by people of every heritage, size, and contortion, even if the impetus was about Mexican citizens.

I certainly pray that the federal government, in their present silliness, doesn’t attempt to set up an entrapment, and that Arizona is left alone to work out the law as they need to.

Now, Honorable Mayor Villaraigosa, as far as your boycott is concerned, according to the CATO institute,

“Preventing such interstate discrimination was, of course, one of the original purposes of the Constitution and, specifically, its Commerce Clause (which grants Congress the power to regulate interstate commerce).”

It’s one thing for an entity to suggest individual citizens boycott an offending entity. It’s another thing when a government passes a law forcing a Boycott of interstate commerce.  Your boycott, sir, is what is unconstitutional.

So – as much as I love driving Highway 1, visiting the Pier, Universal Studios, relatives in Santa Monica, the Sequoia forest to the north, and much more…I will NOT visit LA or California at all until California officials grow up and cease their foolish attack on Arizona.

By the way – at one point, the Canadian government turned down out request to extend our visas.  We had apparently filled out our paperwork wrong.  Although we disagreed with their assertion, We did not protest or demand an imagined right to stay.  We left, as we were told.  We camped in Glacier Park and returned to the border to do the paperwork again.  This time the visas were granted.  Yes, it cost me another $1200, but we did it and it was legal.  Although we are a multi-racial family, we never accused Canadian officials of racism.  Canada has the right to govern its borders, and so do “we” in the US.

Please remember, Mayor Villaraigosa, as well as President Obama; it’s “We the People” that run this country.  Not a political party, and not a self-important person.

Obama, trying to beat McCain to punch, sends 1,200 troops to…to sit at desks

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May 262010

So…after again behaving with arrogance during a private meeting with Senate Republicans yesterday, and giving them the impression that he wasn’t interested in sending troops to help secure our southern border, President Obama waltzed out of the room and immediately announced that he’s sending up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the border as well and $500 million for “enhanced border protection and law enforcement.”

He hadn’t said a word to the Republicans, even though they had been discussing this very thing with him. In fact, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) said that he and Sen, McCain (R-AZ) had told Obama that McCain was introducing an amendment that very day that would send 6,000 National Guard troops to the border and would be paid for with unspent stimulus money.

”Sen. McCain spoke to it…and then I stood up. One of the things I said was we were going to the floor in a few minutes to request additional money for sending troops to the border. But that was the end of the conversation.”

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), who described the meeting as “testy,” said the president

wasn’t embracing” the call to secure the bordersbefore pressing forward with a comprehensive immigration policy overhaul.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) put it a little more bluntly:

“The more he talked, the more he got upset. He needs to take a valium before he comes in and talks to Republicans and just calm down, and don’t take anything so seriously. If you disagree with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re attacking their motives — and he takes it that way and tends then to lecture and then gets upset.”

What?  What is wrong with Obama?  Maybe the Republicans weren’t questioning his motives, but I sure am. Why doesn’t he seem able to sit at a table with his opponents and behave with any kind of openness and sincerity?

The last time he has a real meeting with Republicans, he did the same thing.  He goes in, puts on an anemic show of bipartisanship, all the while arrogantly keeping Republicans at arms length – and making sure he doesn’t do anything that will give them any credit.  So insecure in his authority, he is loathe to give any appearance that he’s not totally in control. So he leaves the meeting intending to do only that which will prove to Americans that he’s the one on top.

Last time, after the health care ’summit’, he continued on with his own plans despite every good idea and point made by his opposition.  This time, it was “get to the people and announce a border guard surge before McCain gets to the Senate floor.”

His announcement came just as several Republican border security amendments, including McCain’s, were being introduced on the Senate floor. Amazing…

McCain, whose re-election depends on appearing firmly conservative, said from the floor that he appreciates Obama’s decision …but there needs to be more.

“I think it is a recognition of the violence on the border which has been really beyond description in some respects,” McCain said. “But it’s simply not enough.”

But will his “surge” do any good?

A White House official, who claimed Obama’s announcement was “part of his comprehensive plan to secure the southwest border,” has confirmed that the National Guard will “provide intelligence, surveillance,” “training capacity” and support for “reconnaissance” and “counter narcotics enforcement” until more Border Patrol officers can be hired. The additional funds are to improve security technology and increase the number of agents, investigators and prosecutors for the area.

Essentially, according to Sen. Jon Kyl, (R-AZ),

…”the 1,200 border patrol troops are, in effect, desk jobs…They aren’t boots on the ground at the border, they were not intended to be deployed to the border.  Rather they’ll be investigating, administrative support, maybe training. Now that’s all fine…but the real value of the National Guard is to be seen.”

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer gave a response that we hope Obama can learn from; she spoke with courtesy  regarding the deployment, even though he is an opponent and has mocked her, and even though it’s obvious the deployment is simply a political gesture. She applauded his plan as a ”very significant and important shift in the president’s immigration and border security policy.”

“I am pleased that President Obama has now, apparently, agreed that our nation must secure the border to address rampant border violence and illegal immigration without other pre-conditions, such as passage of ‘comprehensive immigration reform…I am anxious to hear of the details that have not yet been disclosed of where, how, and for how long additional forces will be deployed.  With the accountability of this election year, I am pleased and grateful that at long last there has been a partial response from the Obama administration to my demands that Washington do its job.”

But the CATO Institute had no trouble summing it up;

President Obama is deploying 1,200 National Guard troops to the border and requesting $500 million more for border security. With due respect to Arizona Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl, who want even more troops and money, this approach is neither here nor there. (And it echoes Obama’s split-the-baby decision on Afghanistan, not willing to go for a whole-hog escalation but also not willing to rethink the overall policy.) Half-measures won’t do it here, Mr. President (and Congress). If you lack the heart (or have too much of a brain) for a full wall-and-militarization of our southern border — and perhaps mass rounding up and deportation of 12 million people — it’s time for a fundamental reorganization of the immigration system.

U.S. immigration (non-)policy is nonsensical and unworkable. We’re beyond the point of perestroika; it’s time for regime change.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, (D-AZ), who, with others, had requested more border security after a rancher, Robert Krentz, was murdered in March by an illegal immigrant, kept her party face on and praised Obama for the deployment. She said that Arizona residents,

“… know that more boots on the ground means a safer and more secure border. Washington heard our message.”

Apparently no one told her that those boots won’t actually be on the ground.


Quotes from – May 25, 2010

Obama Blames Congress for Borders, but sat on it like Bush/Clinton

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May 192010

Obama, in yet another speech last Friday, failed to apologize for not having been any better than his predecessors in taking action to protect the border, and blamed Congress – who he had forced into a year long pre-occupation with health care – for failing to enact ‘comprehensive reform.’  He then made another ‘promise’ that if Congress continues to waste its time (pandering to his agenda) ”We will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.”

In Fact, it was Obama himself that said on April 28, 2010, that he didn’t want to force an immigration bill through Congress at this time. “We’ve gone though a very tough year and I’ve been working Congress very hard, so I know there may not be an appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue,” the president told reporters, although that sentiment hadn’t stopped him from pushing additional stimulus packages and sneaky legislation concerning student loans …and even Puerto Rican statehood.

He ended his blame of Congress by insulting the people of Arizona yet again, saying that the absence of a federal resolution opens the door to irresponsibility by “others,” ie “the recent efforts in Arizona, which threaten to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans.”

TODAY – in continued oblivion toward the thoughts, feelings and needs of his countrymen, President Obama stood with Mexican President Felipe Calderon to chastise Arizona for its new immigration law, insinuating that the Arizona police Force is racist, mean-spirited, …and not very bright.

Obama said the immigration law – which is simply an enforcement of Federal law and makes it a State crime to be in the U.S. illegally –  is a “misdirected expression of frustration over our broken immigration system.”  He failed again to mention why his White House has made no effort to address and fix the system.

However, he DID say,

“We’re examining any implications especially for civil rights because in the United States of America, no law abiding person — be they an American citizen, illegal immigrant, or a visitor or tourist from Mexico — should ever be subject to suspicion simply because of what they look like.”

So I guess you could say he’s doing something, although there is nothing in the law that says it has anything to do with what a person looks like.

You see, believe it or not, (bearing in mind there are always going to be loose cannons in any group) the Arizona police force is professional.  Most have lived in Arizona for a long time, lived with Latino neighbors all their lives, and some – hold on to your chairs – are even Latino themselves.  Further, they, like everyone else, know that an act of terrorism can come at the hand of anyone – any size, shape, gender or color.  They have been trained to watch everyone.  White people rob convenience stores, too.  They aren’t looking for illegals.  They are looking for crime, and when they find it, they are supposed to check the person’s ID.  This is something they do at every traffic stop with every person already.  Plain and simple.  They also all know that there are harsh ramifications if they mess with people without cause.  They all know the whole world is watching.  Does our President think they are idiots?

…Well, we already know he didn’t think too highly of the Cambridge police force.

Calderon, claiming that the Arizona law forces “our people to face discrimination,” doesn’t seem to think very highly of the Arizona police force, either.  He asked that the two countries work together to design an immigration policy that is more to his liking.  I’m sure Obama will accommodate him.

Calderon waxed poetic, saying;

“We can do so if we create a safer border — a border that will unite us instead of dividing us….We can do so with a community that will promote a dignified life in an orderly way for both our countries, who are some of them still living here in the shadows…If we are divided we cannot overcome these problems. We can only do this if we actually face our mutual problems.”

Calderon also waxed Self-Righteous, saying,

“My government cannot and will not remain indifferent when these kinds of policies go against human rights.”

Who is he kidding?  Did Obama think to ask the President of Mexico if he planned on doing the same thing with HIS southern border?  I wonder how the people of Panama and Guatemala feel about all this?

Right – this from Mexico. Up until 2008, illegal immigration was a criminal offense in Mexico. Anyone arrested in violation of Immigration law could be fined, imprisoned for up to two years and deported.  Which country has the record for going against Human Rights, Mr. President?  Officials in Mexico have been known to take bribes to keep suspects out of jail.

The law against illegal immigration in Mexico today is a civil violation, but just like Arizona, Police are “required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country before attending to any issues.”

The law requires the same – but the behavior of Law Enforcement is not the same. Mexico has been cited repeatedly by human rights groups for abusing or ignoring the abuse of migrants from Central America. Just a few weeks ago, Amnesty International issued a report stating illegal immigrants in Mexico are abused, raped and kidnapped.  Mexican police don’t do much to stop it.  Is this why President Calderón thinks Arizona police are crooked?  That may be his excuse, but what is our President Obama’s?  And why are Americans supposed to stomach hypocrisy from President Calderón?

Well, why has Obama expected us to swallow any of the hypocrisy that he’s dished out?

“Illegal immigration is down, not up,” Obama asserted, “And we will continue to do whatever is necessary to secure our shared border…Today I want every American to know my administration has devoted unprecedented resources in personnel and technology to securing our border.”

When did he do that?  Yesterday?

By the way,  the U.S. has given Mexico about $1.3 billion to fight the drug war.  This includes special equipment meant to help capture drug runners as well as protect Mexican police and judges. According to Washington Post Reporter, William Booth, the equipment included “Black Hawk helicopters, night-vision goggles and armored cars and trains.” Obama wants to give Mexico 310 million more in 2011.

Mexican President’s Hypocrisy