Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Ultimate Outsider

The Ultimate Outsider

Arizona’s outright demonstration of ignorance or complete disregard of justice may be the turning point for the silent majority to take a stand. Many proponents insist that passing a law that enables officers to stop, arrest , detain and deport anyone that they may feel looks “reasonably suspicious” of being undocumented will deter crime, provide security, fix the federal government’s inability to do its’ job, maintain the racial majority and stop the invasion of people who are going to destroy the nation. Even police officers know that these type of laws are wrong and insist that “[T]he risk of error is high, and already several localities have been subject to lawsuits over unlawful arrests and detentions, the use of racial profiling in enforcement, poor conditions of confinement, and other violations of law.http://www.policefoundation.org/pdf/strikingabalance/Role%20of%20Local%20Police.pdf

The fact is that by many measures, Arizona is safer since illegal immigrants began pouring into the state in the 1990s. Among many studies, the 2007 study by University of California, Irvine sociologist Rubén Rumbaut and Immigration Policy Center researcher Walter Ewing found that the incarceration rate for native-born men ages 18-39 (3.5%) was five times higher than the incarceration rate for immigrant men (0.7%) in 2000. The Pew Center and other major nonpartisan institutions report that crime has dropped all across the country since then, but the decrease has been as fast or faster in Arizona. The rate of property crimes in the state, for example, has plummeted 43% since 1995, compared with 30% nationwide. Immigrants tend to commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans and that is no surprise because you don’t leave your home and family behind, sell or borrow every penny you can to make the trek across horrifying and inhospitable places to commit a stupid crime and get thrown in jail and out of The Promised Land.

Nonetheless, authors of the new law against illegal immigration keep insisting on the need to fight crime as a key reason behind SB 1070, otherwise known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. A number of supporters of the Arizona law confound the issues and fill it up with political talk to keep voters confused. Many of them claim that its provisions would come into play only after a police officer had lawfully stopped an individual for another offense, even though the clear language of the law says otherwise. The fact is that under SB 1070, an officer need only have "lawful contact" with a person which can be something as innocent as passing them on the sidewalk and that alone will provide the officer the justification to demand the person produce papers and prove their lawful status in the United States. The only logic required is that the officers have a "reasonable suspicion" that the person is an unlawful alien based on the officer’s perception of reasonableness. Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), has publicly stated that "trained professionals" can identify undocumented workers just by looking at their clothes and even their shoes. Bilbray explained that "[t]hey will look at the kind of dress you wear, there is different type of attire, there is different type of -- right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes." I recommend that you go out and buy non-illegal looking clothing, dye your hair blonde or get some new shoes immediately so that you will not get apprehended on your way to work or the movies for looking suspicious.

The new law leaves a person subject to arrest without a warrant if an officer has probable cause to believe the person has committed an offense that makes them "removable from the United States." Never mind the fact that immigration laws are so complicated that even immigration officers , who do this every day, cannot determine a person’s removability without applying all possible exclusions, exceptions, waivers or versions of the law. The fact is, that determining exactly which offenses make someone "removable" is not an exact science and you must go through thousands of administrative rulings, hearings, cases, based on each individual’s circumstances to conclude removability. This is why Arizona should respect the doctrine of Preemption and insist on National Immigration Reform instead of subjecting its citizens to boycotts, lawsuits, and deeply negative ramifications.

Some insist that illegal is illegal and the laws should be followed. Need I remind you that the laws are instituted by people and thus are subject to being fallible and in need of revision, dismissal or repair? Even issues that may appear as cut and dried “illegal” are in fact the opposite. For example, the maxim explaining that there are two things in life you cannot escape from, being “death and taxes” is not true, it all depends on who you are. In the case of Singer v. U.S., 83 F.2d 358 (1936), the Seventh Circuit held that a U.S. citizen living in Chicago and working in Chicago as consul for Costa Rica and Nicaragua could exclude his 1921 to 1923 consular compensation, based on provisions in the 1852 Costa Rica and 1868 Nicaragua treaties covering consuls. In holding for the U.S. citizen, the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court ruling in favor of the IRS, after the IRS itself reversed its initial determination in favor of the U.S. citizen. The Seventh Circuit expressed some hesitation concerning its conclusion, arising in part from the fact that the treaties were negotiated well before the 1913 adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution authorizing the federal income tax. The Seventh Circuit further acknowledged that “there is the strong inclination to subject the taxpayer, a citizen and a resident of the United States, to the same treatment that he would be subjected to, if he were not getting his income in the United States in a foreign official capacity, or if he represented [another] country.” However, the court felt the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan agreements were dispositive in favor of the U.S. citizen consul. I think it was the multi-millionaire, Leona Helmsley who stated that only “the little people” pay taxes and I know that most immigrants are proud to pay their share and contribute to their country by choice.

The point is that the rules/laws are so obfuscated or unfair that they prevent ordinary people from following them in order to do things the legal way because legal to you is not the same for all, especially if you are not a member of the privileged class, have contacts, affidavits of support, etc. Another example is the U.S. refusal to pay reparations for conducting illegal war acts against Nicaragua, disobeying its own Congress and its laws. http://www.haguejusticeportal.net/eCache/DEF/6/245.html The laws need to be reviewed for fairness all the time.

Many blind followers of the political rhetoric fail to understand the background behind the immigration phenomenon. They insist that immigrants should stay in their own countries and fix their systems and not come to the U.S. They completely forget about the colonies and how Jamestown or Plymouth Rock and the whole United States came to be. The fact is that European settlers were forced by similar circumstances to leave their homes in search of their Promised Land just the same as Latin Americans and others are doing today in Arizona. If we follow the line of reasoning suggested, there would have been no colonies, no manifest destiny, and no usurpation of the lands of Native Americans who many times welcomed and helped them stay alive to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

Pilgrims had no freedom of religion, no political outlets, no freedom from taxation or oppression by the ruling classes. The same has been happening in the developing countries that find themselves in a position where they do not have enough foreign currency reserves to invest in growth as they may have spent them all on imports and debt repayments. They are then lent money by the World Bank to finance large development projects in the hope that such projects (such as extracting oil) will facilitate economic growth. The World Bank has significant connections with corporations (mainly in the US) who they contract for these lucrative projects. Whilst these corporations earn huge benefits from these contracts, the country in question finds itself with an additional debt burden, a loss of control over key natural resources or services and a loss of revenue from these resources which are repatriated abroad.http://www.stwr.org/imf-world-bank-trade/decommissioning-the-imf-world-bank-and-wto.html

The fact is that US Interventions in Latin America have made these countries subservient and have kept their populations far away from substantial progress. http://www2.truman.edu/~marc/resources/interventions.html Since 1823, U.S. armed forces have determined who rules and who doesn’t in Latin America. http://www.mindfully.org/Reform/2003/US-Interventions-1823.htm In Nicaragua, for example, we have even had an American, William Walker, from Tennessee who declared himself president. We have also had multiple puppet figures such as the Somozas, who ruled by force in order to safeguard American interests. But please, don’t get me wrong, Nicaraguans and most Latin Americans love United States people, culture, music, food and way of life. In fact, we highly encourage you to visit, invest and retire in our countries because you can create jobs and you can live a much better quality of life with your retirement funds there.

However, corporations have exploited natural resources and humans to produce cheap food for American Supermarkets. People don’t realize that the standard of living they are accustomed to in developed nations is largely because of the low wages and artificially manipulated trade agreements imposed on producing countries. Even the food supply in Latin America has become property of U.S. corporate giants. The land, equipment, market forces are all property of the big players. For example, genetically modified seeds have been in use for a number of years in developing countries and increasingly in newly industrializing countries such as Argentina, China and India. Their potential effects on food production have become highly controversial within the debate of benefits and risks of genetic engineering. On the one hand there are far-reaching expectations that genetic engineering will contribute to the security of food supply and economic development, on the other hand there are major fears of adverse effects on traditional methods of production and ways of life. http://www.tab-beim-bundestag.de/de/publikationen/berichte/index.html

Genetic seeds are engineered so they cannot be replanted the next season. These seeds need to be purchased every year and the typical Latin American farmer cannot afford them. Native versions of corn and other staples cannot compete in price or volume and the small farmer becomes extinct as so do his/her seeds. As a result most Latin Americans are forced to consider, at one time or another, whether to continue suffering from lack of opportunities, hunger and disease or try to make their way to the same Promised Land that Europeans colonized and re-named the United States of America. A place where all individuals are created equal unless Arizona Sheriff Arpaio and his posse decide you look suspicious and have no right to exist, at least, not in the land where his ancestors came and took by force to escape the oppression of their homelands.

Perhaps now, the silent majority will listen to what the Federal Reserve, the Congressional Budget Office and even Social Security have said about the need for immigrants to shore up Medicare and Social Security for the aging Baby Boomer Population. They know that people enter the country illegally, obtain Social Security cards from the black market, and get jobs. These folks get paid, and their earnings generate W-2s that go to the Social Security Administration’s "earnings suspense file." According to the best estimates of the Social Security Administration, the fund has kept track over the last 20 years of more than $300 billion in total earnings attributable to illegal immigrants. There are countless studies available that conclude a net benefit from immigrants to this nation, all you have to do is look.http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/stories/13379.html

Better yet, look at yourself as a person, as an individual who has at least as much right to exist as the millions of pets, who get much better treatment than “illegal aliens” do, and think: what if I would have been born on the other side of the line? What if it was me who was the ultimate outsider?