CHALLENGE
THE PREMISE

DOMESTIC POLICY

CONGRESS

IMMIGRATION

COMMENTARY

Who is America's
best Senator?


Wisconsin's
RON JOHNSON!

And here's why!


Senate


Will Harry Reid hang
on as Senate Majority
Leader in 2014?
Photo from foxnews.com
It is looking like it
might slip away.

It's going to be close…
Keep an eye on our
election coverage!

House


Can John Boehner keep
his raucous caucus in
the driver's in 2014?
oxnews.com
Probably, but only if he
avoids unforced errors
like a bruising brawl on
immigration.

Keep an eye on our
election coverage. There
will surely be lots of
twists and turns.

1. OBAMA POISONS IMMIGRATION REFORM

The immigration debate is a uniquely divisive issue in America. It has always been divisive, perhaps as much today as ever. Each attempt at reform seems to end in failure with both sides unhappy with the outcome.

And so it is today. But it gets worse. Not only is the issue divisive, but the laws are complex, and the execution of those laws is inefficient and ineffective, as we have come to expect from so many other apparatuses of the federal government. Exacerbating the problem still more, we have over fifteen million people illegally present in America. Both people who have entered America illegally, as well as a substantial proportion who have entered legally but have remained past the expiration of their visas.

No one questions that we need some type of immigration reform. We need the laws simplified to improve administration, and modernized to meet the needs of the 21st century. And, most vexing, we need a solution for the 15 million people (give or take) who are here illegally. That is the issue that stalls all attempts to reform immigration.

The last time a major immigration reform was passed was 1986. This legislation was intended to provide a permanent solution so that we would not again need to struggle with unapproved individuals migrating to this country. But it was a failure. At the time there were over 3 million people illegally present, many of whom were granted a form of amnesty. Now, we have 15 million illegal aliens in this country who have flouted our laws in order to be here.

When people break laws, they should suffer the consequences. Why should our immigration law be any different? Why, instead of imposing consequences, would we allow people to retain the objectives of their crime? We don’t we allow bank robbers to keep their loot. In fact, assets are routinely seized as part of federal law enforcement. As a matter of policy, we don’t allow people who break the law to retain the benefits gained by their lawlessness. If we did, we would only be incentivizing lawlessness.

For Americans who believe in the rule of law, this lawlessness is simply untenable. For people who have entered the country legally and earned their citizenship, it’s indefensible. To both, it's unfathomable - Why are do some Americans want to give an entire class of criminals a free pass? Why do some of us want to pretend that certain important national security laws do not exist?

Unfortunately, to overcome the crimes of those illegally here, our President has undertaken his own lawless endeavor by issuing an executive order allowing illegals to stay. His executive orders are unconstitutional – they contravene federal law and usurp authority from Congress in the process. Indeed, Obama, now fancying himself a dictator or some such thing, said “I have changed the law”, as if he has any constitutional right or power in our system to change laws.

When a President ignores laws, and indeed, attempts to unilaterally change the law, the prospects for much-needed reform fall by the wayside. President Obama has done a great disservice to this country by his executive orders. How can Congress pass reform when the President is so clearly willing to execute and enforce it in a way clearly not intended. In fact, what is the point of passing any law if the President can just do as he chooses? President Obama is undermining our very system of government.

President Obama is a vain man who now seems corrupted by the powers that he does have, to believe that he has powers that he does not. His executive orders on immigration may turn out to be one of the most miserable ideas a President has ever had. We expect both sides to fight for and against it all the way to the Supreme Court. And we hope the Supreme Court delivers the Obama Administration yet another of the crushing 9-0 defeats it so completely deserves. God help America if the Supreme Court upholds Obama’s own lawlessness.

__________________________
2. BORDER SECURITY: THE IMMIGRATION REFORM "RESET BUTTON"

How do we proceed with Immigration Reform when we can’t trust our Presidents to execute and enforce the laws passed by Congress? The failure is empirically evident, or else we wouldn’t have 15 million people here illegally present. Fifteen million equals failure. This and previous Administrations have earned our distrust.

The onus is now on the Administration to earn and regain the trust of the American people and its elected representatives in Congress. Any immigration reform must start with border security. And not just as some ethereal concept, but a substantive ongoing process.

1. First, there need to be improved administrative tools to ensure that legal entrants to America who are without some type of permanent resident status can be tracked and ultimately located and returned to their home country should they overstay their welcome. Border security is not about the Rio Grande or the Sonoran Desert, it is about “Border Security”.

2. There need to be improved physical barriers preventing illegal entrants. That would include a far more rigorous presence on the southern border, but consideration needs to be given to the northern border and ports of entry as well so that a “border fence” doesn’t become a Maginot Line.

3. The federal government must refocus its will on finding and deporting those here illegally. And not use “prosecutorial discretion” as an excuse to fall asleep on the job.

4. Federal law supersedes state law and the federal government must impose its will on the states and insist that they stop sheltering illegals. People who break the law must be confronted with the consequences of their illegal activity. Rule of law is a prerequisite for a civil society, and the states must return to the moral high ground of obeying the law.

5. There must be a system of regular, recurring audits of our processes and controls, along with recommendations for improvement, to ensure that the growth in the illegal population is limited if not eliminated. In the autumn of every odd year (to make it less political) a detailed independent audit must be publicly released and presented to Congress. The report must include a review of the previous audit and suggestions for improving the audit. There must be included in the report an attempt to quanitfy within reasonable bounds the annual changes in the illegally present population during the past six years (covering the current and prior two audit periods). This audit would be alternatingly conducted by private firms (for example, consulting or public accounting) and government agencies (for example, CBO, IG or GAO), and not by the same firm or agency more than once every four audits.

6. Finally, the administration must be held accountable for failure, as the Constitution puts it, to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed". Public trust in government cannot be improved without accountability. There must be accountability under Article 2, Section 3, Clause 5 of the Constitution. As a suggestion for discussion purposes, we could propose the following performance standards:

Annual change in illegal population:
Change of <= + 50,000: Official commendaton of Administration from Congress
+ 50,001 to + 100,000: No Action
+ 100,001 to + 250,000: Congress required to hold AG and SHS in Contempt
+ 250,001 to + 500,000: Required Resignation of AG and SHS
Change of > + 500,000: Congress required to Impeach President

By putting in place a system that assures the public that our government can effectively and efficiently execute and enforce border security then we can move forward with a solution for those who are illegally present.

__________________________
3. MOVING FORWARD ON REFORM


THE PLAGUE OF DEBT

Current debt burden: $
Debt added by Obama - and he's not done!: $
Debt when Obama took office: $10,626,877,048,913
Debt added by Bush: $4,898,960,624,649
Debt when Bush took office: $5,727,916,424,264

QUESTION - Who made the following statement?

"The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion for the first 42 presidents - #43 added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic."

ANSWER - That would be Senator Barack H. Obama, speaking of President George W. Bush, In Iowa on July 3, 2008. Yes, a sitting US Senator had the insolence to question the patriotism of a sitting US President.

Yet, Obama is adding to our debt burden at twice the rate Bush did. If, as Obama insinuated, a President's patriotism can be denigrated by the extent to which they have added to the debt, then Barack H. Obama is only half the patriot that George W. Bush is.

Yet, on February 18, 2015 in New York City, when Rudy Giuliani called Obama's patriotism into question, he was excoriated by Obama's liberal media. There's that double standard again - Obama can call out other Presidents' patriotism, but his own patriotism cannot be questioned, not even by the same measure he calls out others.

So, who's unpatriotic now?

"My own mouth condemns me, and not Rudy Giuliani; and my own lips testify against me."
- Job 15:6, paraphrased (NIV)










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