I have received several emails concerning my recent post, “Arizona: The New Battlefield for States Rights”. Most are complimentary, some are not. All of the emails have a couple of similar questions, 1) How did we get into this mess? 2) How do we get out of this mess?
Wow! Talk about being put on the spot. But, I have always said, “Don’t just complain. Try to come up with a solution”. So I am going to attempt to explain where we are, how we got here and offer some solutions to get out of the proverbial pickle barrel.
Please remember, I’m a nobody, in a small Southern city. I’m short, bald and in my second half century of life. I only have a BS degree (some say I’m actually full of it), and just recently got on Facebook. I’m just a common, simple man who is struggling to understand what is happening to our country.
While I am going to try my best not to be an alarmist, I am going to call things the way I see it. Whether you agree or not is of no concern. I just want you to think. I want you to form your own opinions and possible solutions to our problems. I just made my first assumption. I assumed you think we have problems.
I am calling this discussion “Invasion USA”. Yes, there was a movie some years ago by the same name which starred Chuck Norris. I’m using this title because I believe we are being invaded.
All I ask of you is to read with an open mind, share your opinions and perhaps offer some constructive ideas. I ask you to comment because we may just get some conversation going that will spur more interest and possible solutions. So, here we go.
What Is Happening To Our Country?
Whether you want to admit it, or not, the United States of America is under attack. We are being invaded from foreign forces and we are letting it happen. Not only are we letting it happen, we are encouraging the attacks. There are several battle fronts in the invasion of our country.
The horde of “illegal aliens” entering and living in this country is only one of many fronts to the invasion. It is estimated that 12-20 million illegal aliens are residing in the US at any given time. Obviously, it is hard to determine an exact number because they are illegal and don’t want to be counted. Census 2010 made a joke of this when they asked all illegal aliens to participate in the current census campaign. “Hey, count me. I’m an illegal invader.”
Most of the illegals come to this country for the same reasons we cherish being Americans. They want the opportunity to have a decent life. The illegals want gainful employment. The illegals want to live a in safe environment. The majority of illegals are seeking nothing more than to provide for their families. The difference, they are here illegally, they are taking jobs from citizens and those aliens that are here legally. On the darker side, many illegals are fleeing their country to escape criminal charges. Many illegals are involved in drug and human trafficking and other illegal activities. Let’s not forget that many illegals have been and are potential terrorist.
We are also being invaded by nonviolent armies. These invaders are the countries that are involved in unfair trading and buyers of American property and companies. These countries include many that hold the largest amount of our nation’s debt.
According to the US Treasury (as of April 2010), Mainland China holds over $900 billion in US Treasury Securities. Oil Exporters hold another $239 billion and Russia holds $$113 billion. What may surprise you is that our neighbor to the south, Mexico, holds over $33 billion of US Treasury Securities. In total, foreign countries hold almost $4 Trillion of the highest rated debt in America, US Treasury Securities.
Not only are we handing over our country in the form of debt, we are loosing the trade war. In 2009 (the most recent statistics available), the US trade deficit with China was a whopping $227 billion. Unfair trade policies, manipulation of the Yuan (China’s currency), and unfair labor practices greatly contribute to this invasion.
The USA is also under attack by home grown invaders. Many of these people do not realize they are doing more harm than good. Some, I fear, know exactly what they are doing.
I am all in favor of the capitalism and the free market system. You will not find a more staunch supporter of the free enterprise system. However, corporate and union greed has contributed to our trade situation. Americans want cheap (affordable) products. We have to face facts, these products are being manufactured overseas. Don’t believe me. I challenge you to go to any department store and randomly pick up 12 items. How many are “Made in America”?
Other American contributors to the invasion, those who employ illegal aliens. Falling into this category are those that let people employ illegal aliens, our own government. Companies would not continue to hire illegals if there were sufficient penalties and if the penalties are enforced. Our government is complicit when they ask illegals to report companies that do not pay them fair wages. Are you telling me it’s illegal to pay illegals illegal wages? And what is the idea behind not getting our borders secured? For decades our border States have asked Washington for help in controlling the illegal alien invasion. What have they done. Not much. A few miles of fence. A few more Border Patrol Officers and a bunch of talking. The Feds have decided to sue the State of Arizona for wanting to protect it’s own borders (since the Feds won’t do it). President Obama did “promise”. again, to send in 524 National Guardsmen to assist is surveillance and to repair 22 miles of fence. And let’s not forget the signs that have been posted warning Americans not to travel in certain parts of America because of the danger that exist from illegals and the drug cartels. Job well done! I’m sure everyone feels more secure.
Something is indeed wrong with the system.
So what do we need to do?
It is very easy to identify the “invaders”. It is difficult to know just what to do about them, or is it?
Let’s take a look at our trade deficit/imbalance first. There was a time when the USA was without a doubt the #1 manufacturing and industrialized country on earth. Depending on who does the statistics we are clinging on to this title or just fell behind China. Personal and corporate greed, outsourcing, companies moving manufacturing facilities overseas and so on are greatly hurting our economy.
If we are to recover and once again become the great country of opportunity, we must remember what made us #1.
1) We must get back to “building things”. We can no longer allow our automobile manufacturers, the textile industries, the manufacturers of heavy equipment along with appliances and electronics to take their businesses overseas. We must create a climate that entices these companies to keep their manufacturing plants and employees in the US. I am a strong advocate of the free enterprise system and I believe the new Industrial Revolution must start with companies and unions realizing we are all in this war together. They must find ways to give “fair” compensation and benefits while keeping product pricing at a level that will make consumers buy American made products.
The federal government must let the system work. They must stop thinking that taxing business is the cure all for deficit spending. Instead of robbing business to fund every program imaginable, let’s first determine if the programs are viable and still warrant existence. How many millions, perhaps billions of tax dollars are going to outdated, non-constructive programs and agencies? It’s time for a complete and honest assessment of every agency, department, and social program to determine if they are needed and to what extent. If there is no justification for them, get rid of them.
It’s time to look at the wasteful spending by the feds. We have all heard of $150 hammers that can be purchased at any hardware store for $19.00. We have witnessed contractors getting paid for work not completed or not satisfactorily completed. We there are so many instances of waste by politicians and support staff in travel expenses. And the list can go on forever.
Whatever happened to the concept of a balanced budget? How many people do you know who can continually write checks on accounts that have no money. It seems that this should be illegal (for the common citizen it is).
2) I find it appalling there is new sitcom about an American manager taking over a telephone boiler room (customer service) location in India. How can anyone find this funny? I for one refuse to watch the show. I find it offensive and in bad taste. I’m sure all of the American workers who have lost their jobs find no humor in the show.
We must make our job market more competitive so we don’t have all of these jobs going overseas. Why is it that American companies can save so much money that it is cost effective to outsource jobs to such places as Germany, India, China, Japan, etc.?
3) We must increase exports. This will come naturally if we can just get competitive in the manufacturing sector. China is our largest customer of exports. They are hungry for the “green technologies” and environmental protection products that we produce. Almost every country on earth is interested in our high tech products. We must find a way to make these products available. WARNING: We must be careful with the so called “duo purpose” technologies. These are products that can be used for civilian and military purposes.
4) When dealing with China, we must insist that they stop artificially forcing the value of the yuan below that of the US dollar. This practice has a huge effect on our trade imbalance and the true costs of goods. We must enforce inspections of goods imported to the US. We must require the same standards for products produced overseas as we require from manufacturers at home.
I find it interesting that we do not trade with Cuba because on Human Rights issues, but we have this “need” to trade with China which has some major Human Rights issues.
5) We must cut our need, or gluttony, for foreign oil. Stop playing politics and get this done. Period!
It would be a fool to say any of the above issues will be cured without some pain and sacrifice by corporate America, the unions, the American work force, and local, state and federal governments. It takes a bigger fool to say nothing needs to be done or can’t be done. America and it’s people have always found a way…when they want to.
The alternative, we loose the war.
What to do about the illegal alien issue?
It should be understood that I am not opposed to immigration. Except for the 100% pure blood Native American, all of us have an immigrant heritage. Immigration is good for the people, it is good for America.
The issue is not about Mexican, Chinese, Canadian, Cuban, Russian or any other single nationality. The issue is illegal aliens.
The issue includes companies that employ illegal aliens, the money it is costing the American people in lost jobs, law enforcement, free medical and education services and a government that has let all of this happen and in some ways encourages it to continue.
Next to economic issues, many people feel the illegal alien problem is perhaps the largest single concern in America. Except for “Obamacare”, aka health care, no other issue is more emotional and divisive.
So what do we do?
The first step to fixing the illegal alien problem is controlling our borders. Folks, it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you have a leak in a bucket, you have to plug the hole. Why is so difficult to understand without control of our borders, there is no solution. All it takes is for someone to say “Just do it!” Our own federal government repeatedly states that it is their responsibility to control the borders. They are actually suing the State of Arizona because the state wants to protect itself since the federal government will not do their job. My only concern is why did the border states wait so long to act?
There needs to be an all out lock-down of our borders and all ports of entry. We can do this. We can, we must gain control of our borders. All it takes is for the government to decide they are are ready to do their job and “Just do it!”
Want to put people back to work? We need thousands of new border patrol officers, we need a strong “National Guard” to assist in border control, we need more police officers and we need highly trained people to use modern technology for surveillance and the list goes on.
Next to controlling our borders and ports of entry, enforcement of existing laws are absolutely the easiest and most practical way to fight the battle. Many feel if we just enforce laws which are already on the books, we could eliminate as much as 70% of the illegal alien problems. Without any chance of work and no where to live many potential illegals would never enter the country and many of those already in country would return home. A simple, but fair example: If you knew speeding laws were not going to be enforced, how often would you speed and how fast would you drive? If you knew that there was no tolerance (not even five miles per hour over the posted speed limit) would you slow down?
As bad as I hate to say it, with 12-20 million illegals in this country right now, we must figure out a way to have them sent home, or perhaps for some of them, put them on a path to gain citizenship or other “legal status”. It disgusts me to say the word amnesty, but I really don’t see how we can not consider some type of plan. It will be almost impossible to track down and send all 20 million illegals home. We must admit to ourselves that many of these people have been here for decades. Many lead productive lives and contribute to their communities and to this country. Many of the illegals have American spouses and American children. I would insist that all “normal investigations and protocol” involved in the “legal immigration” process be adhered to. This is a terrible pill to swallow;however, if we want to cure the illness, we may have to take our medicine.
What do I think about so-called “sanctuary cities”? Complicit participants in committing a criminal act! Treat them as such.
Instead of producing a two thousand page document, I will offer the following basic steps as an overall plan to get our illegal alien problem under control. Several of these ideas are not new, some are my own. None are being enforced now. It’s up to the federal AND state governments to work out the details and to get the job done:
1) Secure and control our borders and ports of entry using state and federal law enforcement agencies along with National Guard troops with the authority and equipment needed to do their job;
2) Enforce all existing laws;
3) Continue E-verify
4) Penalize all first time offender companies $10,000 per illegal alien employed, $25,000 for second offence, cancel their business licenses on third offense;
5) Require and encourage all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to enforce all immigration laws. (Repeated on purpose. They must get the point.)
6) Require and encourage all local and state law enforcement agencies to turn over all illegals with a criminal background to federal enforcement agencies (example: I.C.E.)
7) Require proof of citizenship or other legal status to obtain a drivers license;
8) Require proof of citizenship to obtain a voter registration card or any public assistance card;
8) No public assistance or social services for illegals that are not mandated by law;
9) The courts (judge) should not give bail to illegals who have committed a violent crime or “social crime” including but not limited to DUI, child and/or spousal abuse or neglect;
10) Prohibit property owners and landlords from renting or leasing property to illegals. Penalties to be the same as hiring an illegal;
11) Prohibit all federal and state fundings going to so-called “sanctuary cities” and organizations;
12) Hospitals, clinics and other caregivers receiving public funds should be prohibited from providing services except for life threatening illnesses and accidents. No elective services should be provided.
Twelve steps. Controversial. Not easy. Each a political mine field. Each with risks of their own.
To turn the tide of Invasion USA we must be willing to fight the battles. We must fight to win!