Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My Foray Into The Illegal Immigration Fray

I haven't talked about illegal immigration, on this blog, for a couple of good reasons. Here's why.

  • Those who do enter this country illegally, do so from locations other than Utah. I'm dedicated to keeping this blog local. (Some would say 'extremely' dedicated.)
  • The federal government should be primarily tasked with framing immigration laws, although they do provide funds to local governments to help enforce those laws. I don't address the federal government much here.
Discussions, on this blog, that might result from raising the subject of illegal immigration would quickly descend into realms that I do not wish to traverse. Namely, how to solve it. Let me express my view on this in brief. Just know that I don't want to discuss borders in comments, for reasons listed above, so if you ask my opinion I'm going to want to email you my response. Here it is. I believe a solution ultimately rests on the shoulders of the federal government. I don't think states should "carve out" exceptions to federal law, but are allowed to append to the federal laws where it applies on a local level.

One area which the states carry most of the burden is in solving identity theft.

I will discuss identity theft here, because it is directly a local issue. Identity theft has not been associated with the subject of illegal immigration in the media, but then again, identity theft has not been fully addressed by this state. The link between foreign nationals and identity theft is real, however. A recent raid across several states, of Swift facilities, was done to alleviate rampant identity theft that had taken place. ICE reported 1,282 arrests of foreign nationals. Were each of these arrests to represent one stolen identity, then the problem of identity theft would be bad enough, however, many of these arrests represent multiple identities stolen. This is not simply a problem of stolen bread, but of stolen livelihoods. Families that have been victimized by identity theft are not just lacking in their food stores, but often much more.

ICE has been criticized as "sinister" for framing this as an identity theft issue when the workers should have been deported as illegals only. I can't say that I blame the Feds, though. If they crack down on illegals for immigration offenses only, they would be seen as profilers, and racist. At least with the identity theft charge, they have an indisputable reason to proceed. Indisputable because the stealing of social security numbers, either by plain invention, or more advanced methods is a serious offense!

Or, has the government got a reason to prosecute illegal immigrants for identity theft? These days the government can't enforce the law on identity theft, without public outrage, unless a pedophile, or a drug cartel, is the culprit. Which brings me full circle to the borders which, topically, I'm dancing around. Are drug mules and pedophiles the only people crossing our borders? Absolutely not! This means of course that we shouldn't paint with too broad a stroke and label all foreign nationals as such. It also means that we ought to identify all victims, and all criminals as they are. It seems to me that the wave of illegal immigration is bringing something else on the tide. This "red tide" pollutes everything that it touches including those who work here without permission.

With that background I support Karen Morgan's bill (HB0320) which would go after the federal government for costs incurred to the state by illegal immigration. Also, Morgan's bill (HB0131) that gives stiff penalties to those who commit document fraud to establish a legal status. I support Christopher Herrod's bill (HB0437) to restrict how government benefits are given.

One more thing. Some supporters of these bills may indeed be bigots, zealots, or both. I can't let other peoples weaknesses get in the way of a good idea. I can't judge on that basis, and neither should you.

Hat tip: Deseret News (Focus on Victims of Illegal Immigration)


Jeremy said...

This post is very diplomatic but also thoughtful. I disagree with you a bit but have to give you props for your effective explanation of your reasoning.

I know this isn't a debate for this blog but I really do think we should make it easier to get into this country legally. Liberalizing current restrictions on legal immigration would go far to solve the identity theft and criminal issues you mentioned. It would also make it much easier to keep track of who is in our country, when they got here and where they are from.

Tyler Farrer said...

Interesting. How do you disagree?