Lessons from the Last Amnesty

Problems with the 1986 IRCA Legalization Program

WASHINGTON (Jan. 5, 2010) - The Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress have announced they will try to pass an amnesty for illegal aliens this year. Only the House version of their bill has so far been introduced: H.R. 4321. The Senate companion bill will be sponsored by Sen. Charles Schumer, who, while in the House, was a key player in passing the last big amnesty, the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA).

Lawmakers would be remiss if they did not examine the implementation of the IRCA amnesty, and consider its cautionary lessons. To assist that process, the Center for Immigration Studies has published a report that details the dysfunctional inner workings of the legalization program. "A Bailout for Illegal Immigrants? Lessons from the Implementation of the 1986 IRCA Amnesty" was prepared by Center Fellow and longtime immigration researcher David North (, who spent nearly two years (funded by the Ford Foundation and a federal agency) examining the IRCA amnesty as it was being implemented.

Among the report's conclusions:
The agency running the program, the old Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), far from being the tough law-enforcement agency the immigrants' advocates feared, turned out to be a typical governmental agency with a strong case of client-itis, one that usually said "yes" to its applicants.

Operating without many useful precedents, INS created a new and questionable decision-making process that severely hampered the detection of fraud.

A great deal of money intended for the legalization program was diverted to other government programs.

As a result, there was a tremendous amount of fraud, largely ignored by INS. A subsequent Center for Immigration Studies estimate, based on population estimates, found that fully one-quarter of those granted legal status had secured that status through fraud.

Mark Krikorian | E-mail

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They really do not get it!

Instead of appealing to the broad gamut of district voters, CCUSD chooses to rely on its friends and affiliates to try to pass any meaningful ballot question. And they have good friends including, among others Greg Smith Steve Hart and Robert Ledger (sic). After the election, CCUSD superintendent Burdick publicly heaped praise on these three: "Greg Smith ... was an incredible resource for us in getting articles into the newspaper. Especially the editorial page and had many meetings with Steve Hart with Robert Ledger (sic) who is the editor." Who is Robert Ledger (sic)? Mr. Leger is the opinion page editor and part of the management group publishing the Scottsdale Republic (circulation 35,000+ vs. 44,000+ circulation for Sonoran News).

Has Robert Leger and the Scottsdale Republic/Arizona Republic supported the CCUSD's K-3 override and overides in general? Massively! These newspapers devoted 651 column inches of articles, editorials, guest editorials and letters to the editor supporting this and other overrides. Add another 43 column inches of advertisement supporting the CCUSD override (undoubtedly negotiated at a favorable rate) in the Scottsdale Republic and the total approaches nearly 700 column inches. Compare this large figure with the 53 column inches provided to override opponents by this newspaper group - over a 13 to 1 ratio.

District voters opposing the CCUSD's K-3 override were not as fortunate to get their guest editorials and letters to the editor published, despite repeated attempts, in that newspaper and the several weeklies serving the school district. The Foothills Focus carried about 68 column inches, all supporting the K-3 override, while the City Sun-Times carried about 13 column inches favoring the override. The total column inches of all three newspaper was 775 while, as above, only 53 column inches were opposed to the override – about a 15 to 1 ratio.

Yet, on election day, district taxpayers rejected the CCUSD K-3 override by a higher margin than the last override attempt in November 2008. Let's see: a 15 to 1 advantage in newspaper coverage favoring passage of the K-3 override; organization of the political action committee and expenditure of over $10,000 in contributions for campaign signs, buttons T-shirts and fund raisers; and support of the Cave Creek SOS "advocacy" group; and still the voters rejected the CCUSD override. Could it be that the district taxpayers do not trust the CCUSD (and the claim, "It's for the children"), in light of such recent proposals as swimming pools, 5,000 lap tops, a $75 million high school, and the $51,000 interest being paid monthly on unused 2006 bonds?

Despite this decisive rejection at the polls, override proponents then demonstrated near the offices of Sonoran News, claiming that "both sides of a story" should be published. District taxpayers have yet to see these same individuals demonstrating before the offices of Robert Leger, and the Scottsdale Republic, for their reluctance to also publish "both sides of a story." Or, are these proponents merely paying "lip service" to their professed fairness doctrine?

Will Wreight | E-mail

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We are doing a survey

For fans who feel that Obama is losing support, we are doing a survey to get at probable cause and remedies. Ask yourself:

1. Obama’s White House advisors are seen now as a “problem.” Did you think his buddies and counsel were going to change when they got power over you?

2. Is Obama’s style of speaking (while his head is watching a tennis match) starting to bother you? Do you realize he has Al Gore’s problem saying more than four words without reading the script?

3. You don’t like Glenn Beck because he plays video clips of politicians’ own words that you say are lies?

4. You are committed to Obama but find that you are using the words, “But he is just the smartest man on the planet, and he means so well.” Do you realize that this sounds like the comment, “But he has a great personality!” … about the person who looks like a wart-hog.

5. Are you wondering now about Obama’s qualifications? Are you hanging on to a belief that a man who has roots in foreign lands, a pass in college, whose business savvy comes from Chicago fundraising for ACORN and personal gain, whose military skills came from organizing street marches has a clue about what he is doing to our country?

6. When you say you voted for Obama, are your friends looking at you as if you stepped in something really rank and tracked it into their house … to the frig for a cold one and now to the TV where you are watching “rassling” or the weather channel – for the music … all the while hoping unemployment benefits will be extended for life?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, you might consider asking for help.

John P. Brebner | Carefree

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Have no fear from wind of the rear

Dear friends, In regard to Mr. John P. Brebner’s concerns on “Flatulence” in your paper I wish to assure him and other readers that our new venture may soon have this methane gas danger under control.

Flaj-A-Cork is a diabolical sanitary device that is inserted into the rectum of protoplasmic developed organic biological matter to capture genetic waste.

This device is equipped with tubing to collect extruded feces that is recycled into combustible fuel for use in many ways from electrical power plant generation to replacing the butane tanks presently used in home barbeques.

Connected to this tubing is a vacuum canister device that collects flatulence, not only during the feces extrusion process, but also during the gastric interludes that lead up to this main event. The canisters are detachable and can be hooked into a vehicle, so equipped with a methane-burning engine or can be emptied into large storage tanks for redistribution.

Each unit is priced at $34.95 and comes with a three-year guarantee, facemask, rubber gloves and hip high rubber boots. There is a $26.95 per month charge to pay for the U.S. Government worker who will be collecting the used Flaj-A-Cork bags for recycling in the Obama/Gore Green Plant, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. 20500. As a farmer or cattle rancher you will be able to hire a U.S. Government worker to work in the fields all day gathering and reinserting new bags and canisters for recycling. This is called – “Give an illegal immigrant a job” – another Obama stimulus plan.

We at Flaj-A-Cork hope the wonderful people of Cave Creek have a magnificent New Year with good health and prosperity to all.

John R. Dickerson | CEO, Flaj-A-Cork | Scottsdale

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Rhetoric should have meaning – Language should have value

What then is meant by the phrase we are now hearing so often from the politico, "We have a moral obligation to pass this legislation?"

Morals must be based on some standard. Among the most frequent standards used as a basis for moral values are scripture, tradition, reason and experience.

Most of our government officials have totally rejected scripture. They have also rejected traditional values. When scrutinized, the legislation they are trying to pass does not hold to sound reason. And, when you compare the policies being put forth by those in power to the experience of history, you find that experience teaches that big government and total government control don’t produce anything good.

So, other than just being persuasive words, what value, what basis, do these so-called "moral obligations" have?

In recent decades, contrary to traditional values, we have been taught that when it comes to morals there are no absolutes. So why is the government that has propagated the educational system that teaches no absolutes telling us that we absolutely have a moral obligation to do what they are demanding?

Added to this reasoning without rationalization coming from our government, is the "duty" on our part to pay the bill for all their dictated moral obligations!

I guess my point is simple. Listening to our present leadership talk about moral obligations is about as logical as listening to Larry Flint and Hugh Hefner talk about chastity!

Steve Casey | Stonewall, Louisiana

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The simple truth

Dear Carefree Citizens: For years past mayors and councils have lived it up, spending Town funds freely. During that time, I constantly voted against large expenditures that could possibly create a financial vacuum in Carefree. As many of you are aware, I was ignored. Now, my concerns have become a reality. The simple truth is that we are spending more than we are bringing in. This is a situation that we cannot allow to continue.

Carefree needs to deal with this financial crisis by making necessary changes to more conservative Town spending. For that reason, I believe that John Traynor would be an excellent addition to the Carefree Town Council. Not only has John consistently attended Council meetings, he has closely followed Carefree’s declining finances. His expertise in financial matters is desperately needed if Carefree is to survive our economic downturn.

Finance is only one of our once peaceful Carefree’s problems. The past two administrations have exhibited what I have to consider depraved indifference to citizen rights. Selective enforcement and preferential treatment are daily occurrences. Refusal to accept the most basic of American rights has even forced the Goldwater Institute to intervene in our citizens’ behalf. The amount of adverse publicity over this issue is appalling and most certainly embarrassing.

For all of our sakes, please vote for John Traynor in the upcoming election.

Councilman Bob Coady | Carefree

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Is this a winning platform?

I’m running for a director position on the board of my homeowners’ association. Please let me know if you think the following six planks are a winning platform.

Plank One: To save the planet from imagined man-caused global warming, house thermostats will be centrally set by the board of directors at 55 degrees in the winter and 85 degrees in the summer. Also, laundry will be hung on clotheslines in front yards to dry. These rules will not apply to the board of directors.

Note: My thanks to Al Gore for the above, especially for the idea of exempting myself and the rest of the board from our own rules.

Plank Two: To ensure that the HOA is up to date on worldwide best HOA practices, the directors will take expense-paid, first-class trips to homeowners’ associations in Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, and St. Thomas.

Note: My thanks to Congress for this idea.

Plank Three: The HOA newsletter will sympathize with the plight of spendthrifts, louts, and imbeciles while demonizing homeowners who are industrious, frugal, intelligent, and decent.

Note: My thanks to the New York Times.

Plank Four: In the interest of fairness and justice, those homeowners who can’t afford their HOA fees will have the fees paid by their neighbors through an extra assessment.

Preference will be given to spendthrifts, louts, and imbeciles, especially those who bought a house they couldn’t afford and otherwise have a lifestyle they can’t afford; who didn’t have enough sense to know that if they inserted A into B, something would appear like magic nine months later and would require a lot of care, money, and two grown-up parents; and who are so lacking in morals, ethics, scruples, and self-control that they see nothing wrong with electing a scumbag to take stuff on their behalf from their neighbors.

Note: My thanks to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, the rest of congressional Democrats, most congressional Republicans, and tens of millions of other Americans with EDD (ethical deficit disorder).

Plank Five: To hide the facts about the HOA’s finances from homeowners and tax authorities, the books will be cooked and tax liabilities won’t be reported.

Note: My thanks to Treasury Secretary Timmy Geithner.

Plank Six: If burglaries or other crimes happen on my watch, I’ll make a speech in an irritating staccato voice about the buck stopping here but won’t resign from office, will run for another term, and will keep blaming my predecessor for the failure of my policies, most of which will be copied from his policies.

Note: My thanks to President Obama.

I’ll package all of the planks in platitudes about hope and change, in dreamy logos, and with bald-faced lies about nonpartisanship and openness.

What do you think? Is this a winning platform?

Craig J. Cantoni | Scottsdale

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Win Afghanistan War

President Obama and many of his followers have dwelled on the past and attempted to blame George Bush for the country’s ills. The Obama Administration has been in charge for almost a year and should have made more progress towards solving our problems, especially with a Democratic controlled Congress since 2006. It is the easy way out to blame others for problems. Bush could have blamed Clinton for decimating our military, but he didn’t.

Bush was castigated for the Iraq war, but it was Rumsfeld who promoted the “shock and awe” war of taking Iraq with 125,000 troops (Rumsfeld originally requested 75,000 troops) when General Shinseki, the Army Chief of staff, said we needed 250,000 troops to subdue the Iraqi military and the countryside. The General was correct and the result was the military mess in Iraq. General Petraeus finally got enough troops into Iraq to do the job.

Now, President Obama has added 30,000 troops in Afghanistan to try to decimate the Taliban and al Qaeda. We are in Afghanistan and have to win the war or we risk the emboldenment and potential attacks of terrorists throughout the world.
I am pleased President Obama is showing some leadership.

Donald A. Moskowitz | Former AG2 & LT, U.S. Navy
Londonderry, New Hampshire

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