Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quick Hitters on Illegal Immigration

First of all, the Korean recommends everyone to read this remarkable story from Jose Antonio Vargas about how he found success in America even as an illegal immigrant. The article is long, but very much worth the read. Some highlights:

- Vargas' mother sent him away from the Philippines to his grandparents when he was 12 -- Vargas has never met his mother since. He came to America with forged documents. He did not realize his illegal status until he was 16, when he applied for his driver's license.

- He nearly did not go to college because he was not able to apply for financial aid. He managed to attend San Francisco State based on a scholarship that did not ask about citizenship status.

- Vargas is gay, which means he cannot marry into a citizenship.

- Vargas shared a Pulitzer Prize while working for the Washington Post.

Skimming through the comments to the article, however, the Korean noticed a few recurring themes of ignorance about illegal immigration. Here are some answers to illuminate those darkened minds.

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"I am unemployed, and that's because illegal immigrants like Vargas take American jobs."

Because you can win a Pulitzer Prize if Jose Vargas didn't steal one from you? Vargas is better at his job than 95 percent of Americans are at theirs. He won his job over others fair and square. In fact, the game was rigged against Vargas, but he still won the game.

Even if we were speaking on the low-paying and volatile jobs that illegal immigrants generally take, have you considered, you know, studying hard during school so that you won't have to take those jobs? Or working harder than the guy next to you at your job? Surely, you are not saying you are in a worse position to compete with an illegal immigrant, who is faced with language barrier, cultural gap, poverty and constant persecution from immigration authorities? Even with all that, illegal immigrants apparently find jobs. What's your excuse?

Seriously, what entitles you to a job? Don't you generally belong to the political party that does not believe in giving free handouts to people?

(More after the jump)

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"We are a nation of laws. Illegal immigrants broke the law. They are criminals."

My ass. You know what else is the law in America? Speed limits. And every day on the Korean's evening commute, he sees hundreds of law-breaking. And no one, including the police, gives a shit unless the violation is particularly egregious. Oh noes, the social fabric of America, undone every time someone does 56 in a 55!

(And for fuck's sake, not everyone who breaks the law is a criminal. You are a criminal only if you break the criminal law. Being undocumented in America is a civil offense. If you can't make this most basic distinction in the law, you really should not be talking about the law at all.)

People have this stupid idea that the law is this sacrosanct edifice and even the smallest offense cannot be tolerated when it suits their purpose, only to go on and commit all kinds of small violations of the law whenever convenient for them. The Korean used to prosecute misdemeanors, and you will be shocked to know what ordinary things in life comes with significant prison time. (Example: it is a misdemeanor to use gas-powered leaf blower in Santa Monica County. Violations are punishable up to six months in prison.) If we unflinchingly and mercilessly enforced all the laws on the book, our lives will be a living hell. That's not what being a nation of laws is about.

Enforcement of the law has to be flexible enough to comport with the reality. The reality is that illegal immigrants come to America to work and find a better life. They generally cause no harm, except to those who somehow lose out in the job market to them -- and that is the kind of harm we want to encourage in a capitalistic society. Again, we don't want to be a society of hand-outs.

-EDIT 6/23/2011- One commenter said:
Under 8 USC 1325, illegal immigration is punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months for the initial offense. ... "It is a federal crime to illegally enter this country and such offense may be subject to Imprisonment." This is not a crime similar to receiving a fine for speeding.
The Korean would recommend reading the actual language of the law very carefully and cite the actual language. 8 U.S.C. 1325 says:
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
Did you notice what 8 U.S.C. 1325 actually punishes? The law criminalizes illegal entry, not being undocumented. Then you might ask: "How can an immigrant be illegal without committing illegal entry?" -- and reveal to the world once again that you don't know a whole lot about illegal immigration. Nearly half of illegal immigrants in America committed no illegal entry. How? They overstayed their visa, which was legitimate at the time of entry. So, for example, you can have a valid tourist visa to enter the country. Six months later, the visa expires, and you don't leave. You, at this point, are an illegal immigrant, but you did not violate 8 U.S.C. 1325. Therefore, you are not a criminal.

And again, remember the main point here -- the point is that enforcement of the law (criminal law or otherwise) must comport with the reality. If you want the Korean to give an example of a criminal law (not speed limit) that is constantly broken by ordinary American citizens, he can give dozens of them. Here's a good one -- eating anything on Washington D.C. subway is a crime. John Roberts, now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and then a judge of the D.C. Circuit Court, ruled that a 12-year-old girl who ate one French fry on the subway nonetheless committed a crime. The little girl was handcuffed, taken to the police station, searched and interrogated for hours before she was released to her mother. Is this really the kind of society you want to live in?

People who scream "It's a crime! It's a crime!" are completely missing the point. At the end of the day, "criminal" and "civil" laws are legal terms of art. A tax evasion can be prosecuted either on a criminal or civil basis. The form of the prosecution does not change the wrongfulness of the tax evasion. Same goes with illegal immigration -- calling it a crime or a civil offense changes nothing. What matters is the inherent wrongfulness, and there is nothing wrong with wanting a better life and working to get it.

"Illegal immigrants steal from America in the form of welfare, education and healthcare."

Here is a newsflash for dumbasses who keep making this argument: illegal immigrants pay taxes just like everyone else, as long as they have a job and/or own property. In fact, they pay more taxes on a net basis than American citizens in the same situation because they cannot receive Social Security or Unemployment benefits like citizens do. Illegal immigrants are not stealing your tax dollars -- you are stealing from theirs.

"Vargas should have found a way to make his status legal."

How? If you ever were found to have been in America while being undocumented, you cannot enter America again for ten years.  In fact, even if Vargas was straight, he could not have even married into a citizenship. He would have been deported and would be banned from entering America for ten years, regardless of having a citizen spouse. That is the kind of system we have in America now -- no matter how awesome you turn out to be while growing up in the American society, we cast them away.

"Philippines is not that bad. Vargas should go back and wait in line like everyone else."

The punishment is not living in the Philippines. The punishment is being taken away from everything you ever knew -- your friends, your property you gathered in America, your American identity that you fostered during your life in America. Again, you are taken away from all that for over ten years, because it is only after ten years you can even begin to apply for a visa, which may as well take another five years. One of the most fundamental principles of the Constitution is that the punishment should fit the crime. You do not get your hand cut off for stealing like in the medieval times, and you should not get your life taken away for looking for a better life and beating out other people in a legitimate competition.

"I waited my turn as a legal immigrant. Why couldn't Vargas?"

Because, at age 12, Vargas should have confronted his mother at the airport and refused to get on the plane? Look, good for you if you waited in line. The Korean Family immigrated legally also, and the process for us was hardly pain-free. The Korean Father was duped by a fraudulent immigration lawyer and lost a huge chunk of money, and our status was in real jeopardy for a few years before it was resolved. But our difficulty was not any worse than the difficulty suffered by Vargas, or any other illegal immigrant. Immigration opponents have this stupid idea that life as an illegal immigrant in America is like having a free-flowing spigot of money in your kitchen. Puh-leeze. Vargas more than paid his price -- he had to live in the shadows all this time, and he made something out of himself despite all the obstacles. And now you want to have America wait for more than a decade to have back its Pulitzer-winning journalist? What sense does that make?

For all the controversy about America's immigration laws, not one person comes out to say the current system is just fine and everything is hunky-dory. For such laws, the American tradition always has been civil disobedience, all the way from Henry David Thoreau to Martin Luther King Jr. This current immigration system is unjust, arbitrary and un-American. It punishes and rewards people for the accident of their birth. It is not a huge merit to follow such a law, and not a huge sin to disregard it.

"I can't just move to Korea when I feel like and become a Korean citizen. Why can illegal immigrants to the same with America?"

Good news: you can! To obtain Korean citizenship, you only need to legally live in Korea for five years, for the most part. And to live legally in Korea for five years, all you need is a job or a spouse who is a Korean citizen. (Remember, Korea is one of the richest countries in Asia -- there are plenty of people who want to come to Korea for better lives also.) More importantly, Korea does not have the ridiculous 10-year ban for being undocumented, and also has periodic amnesty and programs to assist illegal immigrants to leave Korea without paying a fine.

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The Korean previously gave his preferred immigration plan here. Short version -- eliminate entitlement; make EVERYONE in America earn his/her citizenship, not just immigrants. The Korean knows that is a wishful pipe dream. But there are sensible plans, which should not be terribly controversial, that can be readily implemented. One of them is the DREAM Act, which would allow undocumented college graduates who were brought to America in their childhood to gain citizenship. If you seriously believe that illegal immigration cannot be tolerated because of the social cost imposed upon America, fine. But there is no conceivable reason why America to cast off America-raised youths who managed to make it to college. People like Jose Vargas deserve to live in America, which is more than the Korean can say for a lot of American citizens.

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  1. Good comments overall. I do have a quibble with your point about only having to live in Korea for five years to be naturalized. I have a friend who went to the immigration office to enquire about the process earlier this week. He speaks fluent Korean, works at a prestigious Korean company, has the necessary funds in his bank account and has not caused any trouble with the law. He hails from Europe but has lived continuously in Korea for six years on an E7 visa. However, he has been informed that the five year requirement is not as straightforward as the law seems to imply after a quick read. In reality you must be on the EXACT same visa for five years. This means that if you are on a work visa, you must have the same job at the same company for five years before you can apply. In practice this limits naturalization to foreign investors on D8 visas, foreign nationals who are married to Koreans and ethnic Koreans on F2 visas.

  2. Well put, and the road to a Green Card is incredibly complex, difficult and doesn't always reward those who can add the most skills and/or hard work to U.S. society.

    See the: Immigration Flowchart

  3. TK, you should run for public office. I would move to your district just to vote for you. Oh, but don't run for President. Your work ethic and sharp mind do not make up for the fact that you were not lucky enough to be born in the best country in the world. ; )

  4. but, but they turk ar jerbs!
    (south park montage of rednecks)

  5. Under 8USC1825 illegal immigration is punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months for the initial offense. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of the judge,but the civil fine does not negate the criminal sanctions or the nature of the offense.
    It is a federal crime to illegally enter this country and such offense may be subject to Imprisonment. This is not a crime similar to receiving a fine for speeding. A lawyer should certainly be aware of the law and not misrepresent the fact

  6. Correction: 8 USC 1325

  7. While I share your outrage at the current dysfunction of the US immigration system and your sympathies for Vargas' specific case. However, I do have a few quibbles about your attempt to paint illegal immigration as being harmless.

    Regarding employment, the main issue I see with illegal immigrants is that they depress wages for the general workforce, particularly the unskilled. Simply by increasing the labor pool, wages are driven down as more people compete for the same set of work. The problem has never been that illegals take jobs from Americans, but illegal immigrants drive down the wages of jobs so low that the poorest of this country would have to make greater sacrifices in quality of life to keep themselves fed. As a child of immigrants, I sympathize with the plight of illegals; from my own anecdotal evidence, they clearly work harder than many American citizens driven in large part because of the desperate poverty or extreme situations they're escaping. Yet to simply tell the poorest and most vulnerable of citizens and legal immigrants to just suck it up and work harder for less because they have to compete against illegal immigrants doesn't seem right either.

    I would also point out that your Korea analogy is flawed. Korea is much more difficult to get into than the United States by basic geography and therefore doesn't face the same sort of immigration problem that the United States does. More importantly though, the Korean process is not analogous to the illegal immigrant issue as it requires you to begin the citizenship process as a legal working immigrant or married to a Korean citizen. Based on what you stated, if one were to go into Korea as an illegal laborer, it seems they would still have difficulty getting citizenship (though at least they would be treated better when booted from the country).

    I would be the first to readily agree that the US immigration system is completely broken, and I have sympathy not just for Vargas but for a lot of other illegal immigrant children who have carved out lives for themselves despite their status. However, to say that a complete free flow of people into the United States is harmless is too simplistic.

  8. Ms. Thrash, thank you, but politics is really not for the Korean. :)

    TW, the Korean put up an edit in the OP addressing your point.

    SJ, the Korean just does not see the harm in depressing wages for the general workforce -- that's called capitalism. We have minimum wages to set up a floor as to how much people should be paid so that they do not go starving, and even undocumented people qualify for that. The Korean himself worked on a pro bono case and sued a restaurant for paying lower than minimum wage to their undocumented delivery people. The restaurant was paying $1.40 an hour to them -- in Manhattan. Unbelievable.

    Also, the Korean is not making an analogy between U.S. and Korea at all. It is the immigration opponents who claim that no country in the world would take in immigrants like America does now, and the Korean is only providing a rebuttal.

  9. I would like to think (hope) that the cool heads in the government are looking at this issue in economic terms. Of course the complete stomping out of illegal immigrants would dramatically drive up wages for manual labor and make America even less competitive, maybe to a disastrous scale. On the other hand, giving complete amnesty to illegal immigrants will presumably invite greater influx of "illegal" immigrants, further depressing wages (which can be an issue even in a capitalistic society like America if severe and continuous) and bringing other economic issues (that outweigh the benefits), just from the fact that there would be more people in the U.S. There would be a sweet spot between these extremes, and it should be the politicians' goals to figure it out and hit it. It's just that the immigration policy would necessarily be implemented by individual-by-individual decisions based on immigration law, and given that the law should be applied to everyone fair and square, there is likely to be always a gap between a desired policy goal and the status quo.

    Guess I am trying to say that the rule of law and the principle of fairness are not the only factors in this debate - economic considerations surely are too.

  10. A lot of the comments to the Vargas story really are of ultimate concern to most of the posters. For that matter even if the law was set up so illegal immigrants would be criminals according TK’s argument, I doubt TK would really change his stance overarching stance on immigration. It’s all really just a corollary with respect to something deeper. In the end ideals of rule of law and fairness will take a back seat to real or perceived economic concerns.

    It is easy to come up with ideals if immigration is only in the abstract, but once problems occur it is a new game. I doubt a lot of people really care about the Army Corps of Engineers is of much concern to people generally living their lives. For firms and people that rely on the water they probably will try to lobby it to do this or that. On the other hand if you come to find out the situation at hand is that the river is going to smash the record by a number of feet, and your house is going to be in the path, I doubt you really care about fairness to the people and businesses downstream. Those people will probably be upset at the agency regardless of it being reasonable or not.

    The immigration issue is in some ways a variation of the globalization issue. For the most part on the aggregate, when everything is added up, globalization tends to be a benefit for both entities. Now the problem is when you go from the whole to localized parts. Some gain a lot of benefits others have losses. Those loses are not trivial problems, and could undermine a lot of positives and/or political stability.

    If you have a handful of people driving immigration to one area, yet will strain the infrastructure for the local area for everyone, likely there will be problems. Saying too bad, that’s capitalism will probably only aggravate the problem. Even if they say they like capitalism it really doesn’t matter. People are not going to take it to be a categorical imperative that they cannot have any discontinuity towards their idea.

    Also to add, like Vargas who might have parents only paying taxes, but they do have children here. I suppose if one lives in the US long enough undocumented, then that one may end up having a child. Maybe they do raise up like Vargas, but many do not.

    I suppose if it was all easy enough to say immigration is always bad and should be shut down or if immigration is always good let everyone person in the world immigrate here, it would really be easy to figure out. Unfortunately what is good overall and what is good in localized areas has a number of variables that can have positive and negative effects.

  11. Immigration is the act of entering a country from one's native country for the purpose of residence. Travel to a country on a tourist Visa, or any other type of temporary non-permanent Visa issued or authorized by the controlling authority is not considered immigration. Illegality is an act committed contrary to or forbidden by law. A criminal is one who has committed a crime. Thus, illegally entering the USA for the purpose of residence is a criminal offense and the subject of the story is a criminal.
    One may declare that the penalty for first offense for illegally entering the country of up to six months imprisonment constitutes a misdemeanor crime but certainly the penalty for repeat offenses is a felony crime (up to two years imprisonment). I would assert that
    deportation and suspension of legal reentry for ten years constitutes a major penalty and therefore the initial crime is also classified as a felony, but this opinion is controversial.
    You obviously disagree with our immigration laws but that does not change the fact that illegal immigration is a crime and those who commit such acts are criminal. I support having laws regulating social behavior, as it is in our best interest. As with any other crime those who are caught may be subject to penalty, including speeders. Those who are not caught live to offend another day. The difference in our viewpoint in this regard is I consider illegal immigration a felony while you consider it a misdemeanor akin to violating the posted speed limit on our highways.

  12. TW,

    Thus, illegally entering the USA for the purpose of residence is a criminal offense and the subject of the story is a criminal.

    The law you just gave defines what illegal entry is. The relevant part is subsection (3): "attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact" Willfulness involves deliberate motive. Vargas had no such motive -- he had no idea if he was attempting to enter illegally. He is not a criminal.

    One may declare that the penalty for first offense for illegally entering the country of up to six months imprisonment constitutes a misdemeanor crime but certainly the penalty for repeat offenses is a felony crime (up to two years imprisonment). I would assert that deportation and suspension of legal reentry for ten years constitutes a major penalty and therefore the initial crime is also classified as a felony, but this opinion is controversial.

    It is not controversial; it is completely wrong. Definition of "felony" is any crime that comes with a penalty greater than 1 year in prison. So violation of 8 U.S.C. 1325 is a felony, without having to go through the crazy idea that deportation is a criminal penalty.

    You obviously disagree with our immigration laws but that does not change the fact that illegal immigration is a crime and those who commit such acts are criminal.

    Sure, and the hundreds of people who eat their breakfast in the Washington D.C. subway are criminals too. Do you want to arrest them all too? Is that the kind of society you want live in? In fact, give the Korean the city you live in, and he will tell you all the ordinary things you might do that will make you not just a criminal, but a felon.

  13. Section 1 and 2 applies to this case. The key language is the word "or."
    The only claim I advocated is that illegal immigration is a crime and those who commit such act are criminals, furthermore, I classify the crime as a felony which is more severe than your classification as a misdemeanor akin to one receiving a ticket for speeding.
    You have your opinion but the fact remains that illegal immigration is a crime and the perpetrators are criminals.
    I am perplexed as to why this fact bothers you.

  14. Correction: initial illegal entry into USA is not defined as an aggravated felony under federal law (8 USC 1101). I correct my misstated belief that it is a felony. Initial illegal entry into the USA for the purpose of immigration is a misdemeanor, however it is still classified as a crime and the offender is by definition a criminal.

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  16. TW, even if suppose illegal immigrates are criminals in ways that you choose to define, then what? The legal system regarding immigration is fundamentally dysfunctional. (Granted I have serious doubts it'll brought back into proper functioning anytime soon, due to all the different interest and distrust between the groups.)

    Much like if laws governing commerces are dysfunctional, black markets develop. Even if they are illegal, they do provide a vital function, even if they come with problems. Its not easy to dislodge them if they become a fundamental part of the system, even if decide to call them criminal markets.

    Back to immigration, you can call them criminals, but then what? Throw the baby out with the bath water?

  17. "Seriously, what entitles you to a job? Don't you generally belong to the political party that does not believe in giving free handouts to people?"

    What exactly did you expect? The ability to ignore cognitive dissonance is a trademark of the modern GOP.

  18. I am merely pointing out to the Korean that illegal immigration is an act forbidden by federal law and those who state such offenders are criminals are absolutely correct. Thus he should not denigrate those individuals for so stating because it is a factual statement. It bothers me when people distort fact in support of a position.
    I did not discuss my opinion regarding illegal immigration or the effectiveness of enforcement of the law by the federal government. Personally I do not favor any illegal action. If one dislikes a law he or she may work to change or remove it.
    Saying there should be no law or rules regulating immigration is very simplistic and without much thought. I will mention one benefit for regulating immigration - health concerns. Without screening immigrants for disease we leave ourselves open to contamination from serious infections. One purpose for screening immigrants is to identify and isolate carriers of disease so that our citizens may be protected.

  19. The "why don't they do it legally" crowd must also face the fact that the current legal immigration system is completely dysfunctional (as in, it literally does not function). The legal immigration process is so convoluted, costly, arbitrary, and with staggeringly low success rate it might as well be a lottery at this point. (For a proportion of the applicants, it actually is a lottery system).

    So it's a hard sell for me when the argument becomes "They should do it the legal way". They can't do it the legal way. That's the problem.

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  21. edit...

    But even if you did have a proper functioning immigration system, you would still have people that would miss the cut and not be allowed in. So you could still have people who can't immigrate, and may nevertheless try to immigrate illegally.

  22. Not if we took everyone in, J Man.

  23. If we could take everyone in with no ill effects, we probably should just shut down all immigration down. They should just stay in their own country because they are causing it harm by leaving. If thats the case China's stupidest mistake was enacting the One Child policy.

    I would probably argue that one major problem China had during the Qing Dynasty was that its prosperity lead to an increase of population and the infrastructure could not keep up. There was the most powerful empire in the world that eventually ended up being the most dysfunctional a few centuries later.

    The thing I would argue is that infrastructure at one point in time can only effectively handle so much capacity. Even if you are the United States you are still constrained by this. I am not content with assuming whatever dynamic equilibrium of immigration that could be set will be safely met within this capacity. Thus I would argue immigration should be regulated.

  24. TW,

    I am merely pointing out to the Korean that illegal immigration is an act forbidden by federal law and those who state such offenders are criminals are absolutely correct. Thus he should not denigrate those individuals for so stating because it is a factual statement.

    Allow the Korean to make this clear one last time.

    Illegal entry is a crime. Illegal immigration is not always a crime. Illegal entry and illegal immigration are not the same things.

    If you can understand this very simple distinction, you really should stop talking about law and crime.

  25. I am not referring to individuals in receipt of a valid visa at the time of entry. I thought I clarified my position in a previous post. So, in that respect, those illegal immigrants are criminals. Just acknowledge it.

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  27. Too bad "the Korean" doesn't link to any of the stories of the illegals on death row (and those facing life sentences) that not only cost innocent lives, but also tons of taxpayer money keeping them fed and able to file countless appelas: "Pillay also cited a 2004 International Court of Justice ruling saying the U.S. must review and reconsider the cases of 51 Mexican nationals sentenced to death, including Leal's — but, she said, that never happened."

  28. I think you guys missed one thing. (I'm not sure if this applies to Mr. Vargas, though.)
    One has to fill out a form when you enter the USA. You have to state that you're not going to do anything illegal (incl. overstaying your visa). And sign a bunch of other dehumiliating bullshit. ("Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide?" is fun when dozens of your ancestors were killed and/or fled your country.)

    That form is now available in many languages, so if you can read and write, you are aware that you are entering illegally (with a tourist visa) if you plan to overstay/immigrate later. It might've been only available in English in the past, I'm not sure about that....

    Great blog by the way, not sure why I'm starting out here with this negative comment.

  29. Love how you call openly viable statistics as ignorance. I agree the people who use comments like "they took er jobs" as ignorance the theory behind the comment is validated by countless studies done to show the economic cause and effect of illegal immigrants. I mean the taxes alone that are not collected on immigrants causes problems to infrastructure and other cool stuff like after school sports. I rather see them documented and given h1 visas or something like that so we can track all the illegals that are here and still collect taxes on them. Also for that one story I can show you countless in which illegals are gang members enrolled in our schools systems teaching other poor people how to be dirt bags do to lack of the parenting most illegals offer to there kids.

  30. John from Daejeon,

    For every illegal immigrant on death row, the Korean can give two U.S. citizens who are also on death row. Why does the illegal immigrant inmate deserve more outrage?

  31. For the one fact that you seem to gloss over: not all illegal immigrants are as wonderful as the one you profiled here in your story. I lost two people very close to me because of just one such individual that a certain pro-illegal immigration state decided not to ever prosecute for any of his previous 9 DWIs until the 10th one caused two deaths. He got nine years but was out in three.

    People ask me all the time why I've come (legally) across the world to South Korea. It's because not a day goes by that I don't think of my wife and son and what our lives would have been like back home had this, this, this...person not been in the U.S. illegally and allowed to break so many laws just because of political correctness run amok. This man's actions shook me to my core and destroyed not only my family, but nearly me in the end, and every day I see more in more of it happening along the border states (where I'm from) while those in states far away somehow (with their blinders on) claim to see only the good that immigrants coming here illegally bring. It's truly shocking to see just how many illegal immigrants have been deported for really serious crimes that just being in the U.S. illegally won't get them deported for that those to the West and Northeast refuse to acknowledge. It doesn't only happen to nobodies like me; even famous directors are killed by illegal aliens:

    I guess I shouldn't be too surprised though, her killer got only 25 years and will be out in half of that thanks to those pro-illegal alien states.

    I'm much too upset to go on, but I will leave you with this as I go and try and calm down: "The House of Suh," a documentary in which the actual crime has to be shot using white actors in this pc world of ours. They weren't here illegally, but it is a fascinating story that many can relate to.

  32. Tell you what, John. I am not changing my mind about immigration. I will continue to hold my position until the reality makes my position untenable.

    But you can go ahead and state your position any time I state mine on this blog, and I will leave you be. I am not the one to tell people how to grieve.

  33. Of all the topics you've covered in your blog, your ideal of immigration reform is the only one of which I wholeheartedly (and painfully) disagree, and it has made me want to write my first ever comment.

    One thing you keep mentioning is earning your citizenship with maintenance, or possibly one overall grand contribution that would set you up for life, such as the topic of this post. I’m not interested in debating criteria for either category because it doesn’t matter to me.

    But you seem enamored with capitalism at the same time.

    Here is my question: Wouldn't your method of maintaining citizenship be tantamount to forbidding inheritance?

    Could you possibly concede your idea of earning and maintaining citizenship rights is directly attributed to the cultural norms your parents brought with them and instilled in you? That citizenship rights are to be treated as any other form of income that must be earned versus inherited?

    And if you could possibly acknowledge that, then could you go one step further and say that those norms your parents have transplanted are in fact, Korean ideas of nationality shaped in part by policies such as compulsory military service?

    And if that's possible, is your idea not a direct contradiction to the ideals that brought your family to the U.S. to begin with?

    People not born into the land must forge their way into the land. That is how cultural identity is established. That is why you are who you are. Why you write this blog. Why you worked so hard. Why you continue to work so hard. That is your take on the pathway to ‘becoming an American’.

    But your children will not share this with you. They will have the identity of being American(s) only. They will not have to earn it because you, your parents, your grandparents and those before have already earned it for them. It’s theirs to keep. Not for anyone else to take or threaten to take.

    You can not force people to earn their right to stay on land that was already theirs by the blood and sweat of their ancestors. I should think the turmoil in the Middle East, Ireland, Tibet and countless civil wars have taught us all that much.

    PS) I friggen love your blog man. Seriously love it.

  34. poglvr,

    That is an interesting argument. If the Korean may simplify:

    (1) the Korean's immigration proposal = no inheritance of property

    (2) no inheritance of property = no inheritance of life's intangible values

    (3) Without inheritance of life's intangible values, the Korean will not be espousing his immigration proposal. Paradox occurs.

    (Feel free to correct any part if the Korean misrepresented your view.)

    In the Korean's estimation, Step (2) is a bridge too far. There is a difference between educating one's children with the values that are conducive to material success, and endowing an unearned material success by bequeathing them a ton of money.

    You are correct that the Korean Children will not have the same notion of "becoming American" as the Korean does -- if the immigration law stands the way it is. But they will develop the same notion if they have to earn their citizenship like immigrants, like their father.

    And thanks for the love. Much appreciated.


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