Archive for the ‘Illegal Immigration’ Category

Things that make you go "hmmm…"

April 14, 2008

Democrats in Oklahoma are decrying the growing disparity between the richest and the poorest families in the nation, and especially in Oklahoma. They are citing a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, which reports that nationally,

For very high-income families — the richest 5 percent — income growth since the late 1990s has been especially dramatic, and much faster than among the
poorest fifth of families

and in Oklahoma,

The richest 20 percent of families have average incomes 7.3 times as large as the poorest 20 percent of families.

The purpose of the Center, of course, is not to accurately report the status of the nationa or state-level economic conditions, but instead:

The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget and tax policies and to help ensure that the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates. We also develop policy options to alleviate poverty.

So what has caused the growth in recent years of this “inequality” between the rich and the poor? Could it be that the United States has been importing poor people for the past two decades by the millions? Actually, yes, as the Center unwittingly addresses the problem issue it has raised, on the “About Us” page:

Part of the Center’s work on means-tested programs involves seeking to improve the access of low-income legal immigrants to these programs, both by expanding eligibility and by removing barriers that prevent already-eligible immigrants from obtaining benefits. The Center is relied on as a source of analysis and innovative policy options by a variety of organizations that work on immigrant issues, as well as by federal and state policymakers.

Hmmm….

Vince Orza, on Immigrants "Without Papers"

April 8, 2008

Vince Orza, the Dean of the Meinders School of Business at OCU, and who recently sold his restaurant business, Eateries, which, “operates and franchises about 60 Garfield’s Restaurant & Pub locations in nearly 20 states…[and Garcia’s Mexican Restaurants in Arizona and five other states and a Pepperoni Grill restaurant in Oklahoma,” talks to the Flashpoint team about the need for illegal immigrants to keep coming to America to do the jobs Americans don’t want to do.

He draws a parallel between his own Italian grandparents, along with other immigrant communities like the Vietnamese who often came here as refugees, without papers, and the current migrants coming here illegally from Mexico. While he does acknowlege that the opponents of illegal immigration have a point, in that these illegal immigrants are receiving health benefits not afforded to the 47 million Americans who also don’t have insurance (or the previous immigrant groups in the country), he does not address the issue in this video that previous immigrant groups did not set up territorial consulates inside the U.S., or promote reconquista-type campaigns.

See Vince on the first two episodes of Flashpoint by clicking here or on the image below.

Photobucket

Will HB 1804 Drive away "Foreign-Born Workers?"

March 31, 2008

According to a study commissioned by the Oklahoma Bankers Association, Oklahoma’s immigration reform bill, HB 1804, could have the unintended consequence of driving away legal immigrants, which they are referring to as “foreign-born workers.”

The study, as reported by The Oklahoman, indicated:

Oklahoma’s tough anti-illegal immigration law could slash the state’s economic output by $1.8 billion in the measure’s first year as it drives away thousands of foreign-born workers.

According to the study’s authors, there is only “anecdotal evidence” that legal immigrants might be leaving the state, but that did not stop the Oklahoma Banker’s Association from publishing the study.

In reality, there is actually no evidence that even the illegal workers are leaving the state in substantial numbers, and, as OKPNS has previously reported, even many of those who did leave appear to be coming back, due to lack of enforcement of the the law.

Mexican "Mobile Consul" Rolls through Tulsa this Week

March 27, 2008

Andrés Chao, who is the consul at the Mexican Consulate in Little Rock, AR, extablished in 2007 at the invitation of Gov. Mike Huckabee. Tulsa, Oklahoma is in the official “jurisdiction” of this Mexican consulate, so Chao was in the city this week, “to meet with Mayor Kathy Taylor, Police Chief Ron Palmer, and other city officials. While Chao has already visited Tulsa several times since it was opened the Mexican consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas, Chao told The Week in the South that this will be their first ‘official visit’ with the leaders of the city,” according to the Spanish-Language periodical, La Semana del Sur. The magazine conducted a phone interview with the Consul on March 14th, and quoted Chao as saying (Translated by Google from Spanish):

This will be the first time that I will meet with the mayor and police chief. I want to know because Tulsa is part jurisdiction of this consulate. I would like to talk to them about the situation of the Mexican immigrant community… and to open channels of communication. This will be my first official visit to the mayor and the chief of police.

The magazine also states, “Chao also plans to schedule future ‘mobile consul’ events in Tulsa to offer in-person help to those who can not travel to Little Rock.”

It is not clear at this time how Mexican citizens are able to travel to Tulsa, which is ten hours from the Mexican border, but not to Little Rock, AR, which is four hours from Tulsa.

VDare blogger, and Oklahoma City native, Allan Wall reported last year, when the consulate was being built:

Oklahoma does not (yet) have a Mexican consulate/illegal immigration encouragement station. But Chao is consul in the nearby state of Arkansas, in the new Little Rock consulate So, being next door to the Sooner State, he can still do some damage. [El Nacional July 5, 2007–México abre nuevo consulado en EU]

Now, here’s the 65-thousand-peso question: If cities in Oklahoma have now come under the “jurisdiction” of a foreign government, why are we having to struggle through language translators to get information about it? Shouldn’t this be all over the English-language press, as well?

(Hat-Tip, Voice of Tulsa)

More information about the Mexican Consulte in Arkansas on WorldNetDaily.

Federal Fine for hiring Illegals Increases by up to $5,000

March 27, 2008

Devona Walker, of NewsOK.com is reporting today:

The federal government has increased fines for hiring illegal immigrants by as much as $5,000, effective today, as part of an effort to ramp up worksite immigration enforcement, but some say the nominal increase isn’t likely to change how some companies do business.

NewsOK is quoting Muzaffar Chisti, director of the Migration Policy Institute’s New York office at New York University, who is skeptical that this change will make a big difference:

It’s not clear to me that this will put a huge dent in the practice of hiring illegal workers. This will be nothing more than the cost of doing business. It will not be a determining factor. But if they start imposing criminal fees and employers start getting jail terms then you will see a dent.

Larger companies, as a rule, have more choices in picking employees than smaller companies. If the employers start going to prison, they will eventually say, ‘It’s not worth it, let’s just pay a dollar or two more to get U.S. workers.’

People have good reason to be skeptical that this is nothing more than symbolic language to make it appear as if they are getting serious on (illegal) immigration.

Toughly-written legislation in Oklahoma, such as HB 1804, has not produced the illegal immigration mass-exodus “shock and awe” that some had expected. It is unclear whether the new legislation at the federal level will have an impact, either.

Tom Price Wants to Show Oklahomans "A Better Way"

March 6, 2008

We said that after maps for millionaires passes, the anti 1804 forces (chambers of commerce) would spring to life, and they have.

OKPNS also reported that the U.S. and State Chambers were suing to repeal HB 1804, Oklahoma’s immigration reform bill.

Tom Price, of Chesapeake Energy, according to The Oklahoman, “is forming a nonprofit group called A Better Way Oklahoma to more humanely and responsibly address the state’s immigration woes. As part of that process, the group will conduct town hall meetings throughout the state to assess citizen input and concerns.”

The McCarville Report writes:

A group calling itself “A Better Way Oklahoma” appears ready to launch an all-out attack on the state’s new immigration law that began life as Rep. Randy Terrill’s House Bill 1804.

Word of the group’s formation came today in an interview in The Oklahoman in which Tom Price Jr., senior vice president of corporate development for Chesapeake Energy, discusses the new law. The thrust of the article is that Leadership Oklahoma City alumni invited Terrill and others to a Wednesday debate on the bill, but none “were able to participate.”

[…]

Price said the group will sponsor town hall meetings across the state to “assess citizen input and concerns.”

According to The Oklahoman:

Price said there’s an expected exodus of 250,000 Hispanics from Oklahoma in the coming years as a result of HB 1804. He said as he started to understand broader economic implications, he brought those concerns to several state legislators who supported the bill. He said he was told not to worry about the bill because “we didn’t allocate any enforcement dollars.”

The group is apparently not convinced by U.S. Representative Dan Boren’s (D-OK) opinion that the legislation will be irrelevant after the presidential elections in November, or that the expected mass exodus simply isn’t happening.

Back in February, we hinted the Oklahoma press corps would largely ignore the story, and we were right. But little did we know that the state’s out-of-touch and ineffective business lobby would spring their double cross so soon after the vote.

Furthering the irony, United States Senator James Inhofe has been quoted in today’s McCarville Report gently telling the group, in essence, to pipe down. Poll after poll shows the public overwhelmingly approve of the measure, and even the misguided business group’s own internal polling shows no education campaign, regardless of the amount spent, will dissuade the voters from their position.

Why would business groups pursue an effort that will anger voters and ultimately fail? One insider says lobbyists and con men will make big bucks on the effort:

Price is just an employee. If he screws up, they can cut their losses. As usual lobbyists, lawyers and ‘public affairs specialists’ have talked these naive business leaders into dropping big bucks on this, which will end up in the con artists’ pocket. Con artists are just part of the landscape at the state capitol when it comes to anything dubbed ‘reform,’ such a ‘tort reform and ‘workers’ compensation reform.’

While the states’ leading newspapers continue to ignore the obvious, we’ll keep on following this explosive developing story.

Dan Boren Says OK Immigration Bill will be Irrelevant after November

March 6, 2008

OKPNS recently observed that HB 1804, aimed at penalizing employers and landlords that hire and rent to illegal aliens isn’t quite having the anticipated effect, because it is not being enforced.

Perhaps, as we suggested, it is because Oklahoma business owners have been intimidated by the threat of being sued at the Federal level for discrimination if they try to obey the law at the local level. Or, perhaps business owners have been listening to Dan Boren:

After the presidential election, I think we’re more likely to have federal legislation that will pre-empt a lot of what’s going on at the state and local level…I think we’re going to see some type of bill like [the one proposed by President Bush]. I think it’ll pass the House and Senate and be signed by the president…It’s going to be very contentious. I’d like to get this off the table as an issue so we can go forward.

And why not? There are three leading contenders for President of the United States now…two Democrats, and one who is technically a Republican who wants to be a Democrat.

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY):

I neither support illegal immigration nor the enactment of fruitless schemes that would penalize churches and hospitals for helping the truly needy. That will not fix the mess we are in.

Senator Barack Obama (D-IL):

Millions of undocumented immigrants live and work here without our knowing their identity or their background. We need to strike a workable bargain with them. They have to acknowledge that breaking our immigration laws was wrong. They must pay a penalty, and abide by all of our laws going forward. They must earn the right to stay over a 6-year period, and then they must wait another 5 years as legal permanent residents before they become citizens.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in the McCain-Kennedy Immigration Reform Bill of 2005:

A nonimmigrant alien…shall not be denied any right or any remedy under Federal, State, or local labor or employment law that would be applicable to a United States worker employed in a similar position with the employer because of the alien’s status as a nonimmigrant worker…An employer shall provide nonimmigrants issued a visa under this section with the same wages, benefits, and working conditions that are provided by the employer to United States workers similarly employed in the same occupation and the same place of employment.

Even Oklahoma’s Randy Terrill (R-Moore) who wrote OK HB 1804 is now saying that he won’t pursue the expansion of the immigration reform, because after the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed suit, questioning the constitutionality of the bill, support for expanding the reforms is weak in the Oklahoma legislature.

HB 1804 – Where’s the "Shock and Awe?"

February 28, 2008

Laws in Arizona and Oklahoma cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants are getting mixed reviews regarding their effectiveness. Since illegal immigrants are not registered anywhere as such, it is impossible to get accurate numbers, so estimates are done largely based on opinion.

Earlier this year, Sonora, Mexico and the Houston, TX area began appealing for relief, claiming that the influx of those fleeing legislation in both states was creating hardships for their welfare systems. The complaints from Mexico came only about two weeks after the Arizona legislation became effective, and Houston was complaining within less than three months.

The question here, is whether the hardships endured by the welfare agencies were reactive or proactive – were they an actual result of sudden mass migration out of Arizona and Mexico? Or were they simply anticipating what New Jersey Rev. Miguel Rivera, a latino-rights activists refers to as “ethnic cleansing“?

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat and Gazette interviewed folks on both sides of the Oklahoma-Arkansas border, and reports that there may not quite be the “shock and awe” anticipated with OK HB 1804’s immigration reform becoming effective:

Along Arkansas’ western border, school districts report no influx of Hispanic students. In eastern Oklahoma, landlords, school administrators and builders said they see few, if any, signs of a large-scale migration.

“I was expecting a doomsday scenario,” said Paul Kane, chief executive of the Home Builders Association of Greater Tulsa. But the Nov. 1 effective date came and went with no contractors calling in to report a shortage of framers or roofers, he said.

“A lot of the hysteria was just that,” Kane concluded. “It was hysteria.” Rivaled only by Arizona for putting up a hard front against illegal immigration, Oklahoma has made it a felony to drive an illegal alien to work or to rent an apartment to an illegal alien….(more)

So, why hasn’t there been the anticipated change? What about the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants that were predicted to flee to surrounding states and Mexico in search of jobs and government aid?

Part of the problem may be that Oklahoma business owners have been intimidated by the threat of being sued at the Federal level for discrimination if they try to obey the law at the local level.

The Tulsa World reported on Monday:

Oklahoma’s immigration law was one of the first passed by a state and is viewed by some as the most stringent.

It already has drawn a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and local chambers in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, which are asking the court to bar the state from implementing provisions on verifying eligibility for workers and authorization status of independent contractors.

Those provisions, the lawsuit claims, place an unreasonable and unfair burden on Oklahoma businesses.

As the Democrat and Gazette concluded:

Observers say immigrants are staying because they realize that the get-tough law is only as tough as its enforcement…Police statewide have not adopted a proactive enforcement posture that includes making workplace raids. “Once they realized Oklahoma had not turned into a Gestapo state, they thought they would come on home,” [Paul Kane] said.

For his part, [Lonnie Vaughan of the anti-1804 group United Front Task Force] still is shuttling immigrants without driver’s licenses to the church where he is associate pastor. “Every time I get in the van, I’m committing a felony,” he said, convinced that some of the flock are in the country illegally. But he said he doesn’t believe, even in the state with America’s toughest immigration law, Oklahoma would bring a felony charge against a citizen for driving someone to church.

U.S. and State Chambers Suing to Repeal HB1804

February 19, 2008

From Carol, of Immigration Reform for Oklahoma Now (I.R.O.N.):

Folks, Oklahoma is on the MARCH! 12-20 states are looking to Oklahoma to lead in the fight against the illegal alien invasion…Local dues support State and National Chambers and should not fund lawsuits against its membership.

The U.S. Chamber, Plus the State, Tulsa, and OKC Chambers have declared war on Oklahoma Citizens:

  • Chambers filed lawsuit 2/1/08 against many of their own members
  • They seek repeal of the Immigration Bill – HB1804 to continue profiting from illegal workers – modern slavery – they want NO ID checks and unrestricted hiring practices
  • Their agendas promote out-sourcing of jobs for globalization – NAU
  • Is violating rule of law ‘okay’ if it increases profits?
  • Is income tax evasion by employers now part of the ‘art of making money’?

What Can YOU Do?

  • Voice your outrage and remove your Chamber membership
  • Demand this corrupt, immoral, greedy and inhumane leadership be removed
  • Demand your dues not be used for this lawsuit

Following is the contact information

U. S. Chamber of Commerce
Pres. Tom Donahue
202-659-6000
1615 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20062-2000
(Buy a supply of post cards to send)

President Richard Rush
405-235-3669

OKC Chamber of Commerce
Pres. Roy Williams
405-297-8900

Tulsa Metro Chamber
President Mike Neal
918-585-1201

ALSO joined Lawsuit:
Oklahoma Restaurant Assoc.
(405-942-8181)

Oklahoma Hotel and Lodging Assoc.
(405-942-6462)


To learn more, contact Carol, with I.R.O.N., 918-906-6027