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Sunday, June 27, 2004

"Another Way to Keep Track of Illegal Immigrants: Call Wells Fargo" by Robert Klein�Engler

"Another Way to Keep Track of Illegal Immigrants: Call Wells Fargo" by Robert Klein�Engler


Another Way to Keep Track of Illegal Immigrants: Call Wells Fargo
Written by Robert Klein Engler
Sunday, June 27, 2004

CHICAGO--Americans sometimes ask how we can detain and then deport the illegal Mexicans that are overrunning our country when we do not know who they are or where they live. In fact, the Department of Homeland Security now may have at its disposal lists of illegal Mexican immigrants. All they have to do is get the will to use those lists and solve the problem of illegal immigration before it gets any worse.

There are at least two lists that can be used right now to arrest, detain and then deport illegal immigrants. In Illinois and some other states, tuition wavers are being granted to illegal immigrants enrolling in public colleges and universities. The Department of Homeland Security ought to request from school registrars the names of students receiving such tuition wavers, and then apprehend and deport those students and their families. This would be a simple solution to a law enforcement problem.

The second list that can be used to track down and deport illegal immigrants is the one being developed now by many banks that are engaged in money transfers to Mexico. Wells Fargo Bank can set the example. Pat Doyle, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports about these banks and money transfers in his article, ''Cash flow to Mexico is a focus for Fox (June 18, 2004).'' Doyle reports that while visiting the Midwest, President Fox of Mexico held a private meeting in the St. Paul Radisson Riverfront hotel with top executives from Wells Fargo, U. S. Bank, Citibank, and Bank of America.

According to Doyle, ''The meeting is expected to include discussions on ways to transfer money more efficiently.'' It is reported that bank officials say they expect to talk about matricula consular, also, an identity card issued by Mexican consulate offices that enable illegal immigrants to open savings or checking accounts for sending money back home. Wells Fargo was going to pay for a roving Mexican Consulate to help do this. Mexican nationals will be able to obtain a Mexican government-issued identification card and update their passports by using this roving Mexican Consulate.

An example of how this scheme by banks and illegal immigrants works is given in Doyle's article. He relates that ''a woman who calls herself Irma, has been cleaning in a high-rise building for more than a year and says she sends $150--nearly a third of her take-home pay--every two weeks to help support a child in Mexico. She and...a coworker, who called himself Manuel, estimated that about 60 percent of those cleaning buildings in downtown Minneapolis are living here illegally.''

Doyle continues, ''The Inter-American Development Bank reported that 32 percent of immigrants it surveyed were illegal. Furthermore, ''Wells Fargo has opened 400,000 accounts using matricula cards. Wells Fargo allows Mexicans to move as much as $3,000 per day from United States accounts to accounts in Mexico for $10.''

Sadly, no one asked Irma why she did not stay in Mexico and demand that Mexican President Fox create a job for her there. Nor did anyone ever ask President Fox if he would like to see Americans break Mexican laws the way he encourages Mexicans to break ours. By meeting with bankers in Minneapolis, Fox has shown himself to be a man without principles, who would rather ruin our country than repair his own.

It is outrageous that the Department of Homeland Security does nothing about the colleges, universities, banks, and employers who knowingly keep lists of illegal immigrants and offer them services. The Department of Homeland Security ought to demand the names on those accounts from Wells Fargo, detain those who are here illegally, and then deport them. Furthermore, Congress ought to stipulate that only legal residents in the United States can transfer money out of the country.

All those interested in solving the problem of illegal immigration should contact their public colleges and universities, and their banks to demand that the names of illegal immigrants be sent to the Department of Homeland Security, and that the government will enforce our immigration laws. Isn't it time, too, that Americans stop doing business at banks that transfer funds to Mexico from illegal immigrants in the United States?

If this blatant disregard for our immigration laws continues, then a high price will be paid. The highest price paid will be the growing disenchantment that average, hardworking Americans feel towards their government. When it comes to illegal immigrants, our government officials are bending the good will of Americans as they bend the law for Mexicans. When these officials bend so far that we reach the breaking point, there will be hell to pay.

About the Writer: Robert Klein Engler is an adjuct professor at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and a versatile writer of op-ed articles, poetry, and philosophy. His newest book, "A Winter of Words," is available from amazon.com.

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