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Friday, June 18, 2004

The Eureka Reporter... Governments Fail

The Eureka Reporter... Real News by Real People

6/17/04 Governments Fail To
Enforce Own Laws
by Leo Sears
To quote that great thinker, Pogo, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Once upon a time we were a nation with respect for law and order, and rules were meant to be obeyed – or so I was brought up to believe.

We have degenerated to the point that local governments pass laws that ignore state and federal law, states pass laws that ignore federal law, and they all fail to enforce their own laws.

Proposition 1053, on the November California ballot, would guarantee public benefits to illegal aliens, and the only question remaining before issuing California driver’s licenses to illegal aliens seems to be whether the licenses will identify them as illegal. Both are in contravention of federal immigration law.

As I understand federal law, any person(s), business, organization or government commits a federal felony if they:
• assist aliens whom they should reasonably know are illegal or who lack employment authorization,
• encourage those aliens to remain in the U.S, by transporting, sheltering or assisting them to obtain employment, or
• knowingly assist illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

The penalty for felony harboring is a fine and imprisonment for up to five years, and consecutive prison sentences for each alien harbored.

Will California (or the other 17 states with similar laws) be held accountable for the millions of felonies being committed by assisting (harboring) those they know to be illegal?

It’s an interesting question. My research seems to indicate that private persons can file for civil injunction and treble damage, under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, against enterprises that violate alien harboring statutes. Is anyone willing to step to the plate?

There are more than three million eligible people who have been waiting up to 17 years to immigrate legally. The present lack of immigration enforcement makes a mockery of these people who adhere to the law.

We should have as little law as possible, and what we do have should either be enforced or repealed. We have become a nation of scofflaws, with the worst being those who are responsible for making and enforcing our laws.

It is imperative that our federal immigration laws be enforced to ensure that people who enter illegally or overstay their lawful status cannot obtain employment. Turning off the magnet of jobs (and entitlements) is the only way to stem the tide of illegal aliens that has risen to an estimated nine to 11 million, and is putting ever-increasing strains on our economy.

The National Academy of Sciences found that the taxes paid by immigrants do not cover the cost of services received by them. The taxpayers are footing huge costs so that large companies can profit by employing immigrants in low-wage positions.

The many businesses that are eager to hire cheap, compliant labor serve as an irresistible attraction to the ever-increasing flow of illegal immigrants who are willing to work at substandard wages and working conditions. The result is depressing the wages for all workers.

As noted by the U.S. Council of Economic Advisors, the effect of immigration on low-skilled Americans is profound and widens the gap between rich and poor. The nation’s fiscal well-being and the health of our labor market are in jeopardy.

We cannot provide high-quality education, health care and retirement security for our own people if we continue to bring in endless numbers of poor, unskilled immigrants. The net annual drain on the economy is estimated to be between $67 and $87 billion a year.

Runaway illegal immigration (currently increasing at an estimated 500,000 annually) also has a dramatic impact on population growth that is overwhelming communities across the country with crowded school classrooms, shortages in affordable housing and straining precious natural resources like water, energy, open space and forestland.

If the 1053 Public Benefits Eligibility measure passes in November, we truly “will have met the enemy …” It would guarantee public benefits (education, housing, welfare, health care, and all other categories of state and local assistance) to illegal aliens that have paid any (one penny) of local, state or federal taxes. The state legislative analyst and state director of finance estimate additional state and local costs of several billion dollars a year.

It should be no surprise that current immigration policy is hurting our economy. We are importing poverty at great cost to our citizens.

The only rational solution is clear – illegal aliens must be denied employment, public assistance benefits, public education, public housing or any other taxpayer-funded benefit.

As long as we reward illegal immigrants they will continue to come – our economy will continue to bleed – and we will have only ourselves to blame.

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