Fire-Setters: Last Straw to a Failed Immigration Policy?

Originally published at

Several news stories the week before Thanksgiving underscored the perception that America’s present approach to immigration policy is not working. "There has been no significant movement toward federal immigration reform since a bipartisan effort died in 2007...." Today, immigration is a battleground for legislation at the state level, and is gaining traction as a major issue in the 2012 presidential campaign.

On November 22, Americans learned, for example, that at least 40 percent of human-caused wildfires along the Arizona and Mexico border between 2006 and 2010 were set by illegal “fence-crashers”. Worse “of the 422 human-caused fires [during that period], just 77 were investigated, and of those 30 were found to have been ignited by illegal border crosses.” The Washington Times article went on to explain that illegal immigration is making firefighters’ jobs harder because they are under attack. U.S. firefighters have to worry “about their own safety” and hold back on some methods, such as “firefighting activities at night and … the use of aerial firefighting methods,” according to a 60-page report by the Government Accounting Office.

The same day, readers learned from a report by the Washington Times’ Jerry Seper, that armed illegals are stalking border patrols, resulting in the death of Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry, a former U.S. Marine, just north of the Arizona-Mexico border, who was shot in the back, piercing his aorta. Five Mexicans were found to be “patrolling” our side of the border in that incident which targeted four of our Border Patrol agents. This sort of thing has become par for the course in a stepped-up effort by Mexican drug-smugglers to carve out a route and establish bases of operations from which to operate in America.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department is suing states like Utah, Arizona, Alabama and South Carolina that try to respond to illegal-immigrant crises with state-specific policies, complaining that “the federal government [is] not doing the job.” Embattled Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., in an Associated Press report, stated that “[a] patchwork of immigration laws is not the answer and will only create further problems,” meaning that, according to Washington Times reporter Jerry Seper, state-specific immigration policies create “immigration enforcement measures that interfere with the priorities and practices of the federal government.” What are those “priorities”? Apparently to leave in place the status quo so as not to create tensions in countries from which most immigrants — illegal and legal — come.

The level of immigration is unprecedented. Not only that, but many of the newcomers are from the Third World, not from Europe as in the past. The crisis is not only a matter of illegal thugs entering our borders. The 2000 Census registered approximately 881,300 people born in Africa, who immigrated to the U.S. between 1990 and 2000, many of them asylum-seekers. In the ten years since that census was taken, many of these asylum-seekers have turned out to be jihadists. For example, a Somali jihadist arrested in 2009 at a Dutch center for asylum seekers has appeared in U.S. court for recruiting for al-Shabaab.

Still others simply do not assimilate into America, even when social services work hard with families, especially children, to introduce such concepts as a functioning doorknob, a flush toilet, and other trivia that the developed world takes for granted. The culture is so enormously different that Somalis, for example, have a hard time making friends, finding jobs, and succeeding in school, even where the racial makeup of the area they have moved to is not dissimilar.

According to Refugee Resettlement Watch, the U.S. has admitted 83,991 Somali Shariah-supporting immigrants to the U.S. in just 25 years. More than half, 43,682, have come since September 11, 2001. It was pointed out in a blog following this news, for example, that: “African culture has different ideas of what family is. There is a lot less distinction than in America. If your parents ran away from genocide with someone and since, you have lived right near them in camp, growing up with their kids etc., it is very likely that you are indeed family, just not in the same definitional sense that Americans would consider ‘…by blood or marriage’.”

This has caused some U.S. towns and cities to face one cultural shift after another. Take, for instance, Postville, Iowa, where “scores of Somali immigrants are taking jobs at the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant, [actually] replacing Hispanic workers arrested in a huge immigration raid and forcing a remote Iowa town to make [a second] cultural shift. … Federal agents arrested 389 people, the largest raid of its kind in the United States, mostly Guatemalans and Mexicans who had established roots and become part of the community.” In an eyebrow-raising piece in 2008 Henry C. Jackson of The Associated Press wrote:

Before the May 12 raid at Agriprocessors, hundreds of Mexican and Guatemalan immigrants maintained a vibrant community in Postville, a largely white community of 2,200 people in northeast Iowa. Now the stoops and haunts once occupied by Hispanics are being filled by about 150 Somali men. [For example,] Aydurus Farah, a 21-year-old who immigrated from Somalia in 2004, set out for work in meatpacking plants to make money for his family back home in Somalia. He planned to begin work at Agriprocessors this week, drawn from Minneapolis to Postville by the promised wages.

This past July, the New York Times ran an in-depth series by David Gonzales examining the impact on the country of massive levels of immigration, “Remade in America,” implying that America is remaking immigrants, both legal and illegal. But David Paulin, commenting on the Times series for American Thinker, writes that reading between the lines of Gonzales’ series, “just the opposite seems to be the case. The immigrants are remaking America!”

Even when U.S. immigration officials do round up illegal immigrants, as in Postville, Iowa, they wind up doing harm under present government “priorities.” Between non-assimilating asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa; Mexican drug cartels that easily bypass our “fence” and checkpoints, attacking U.S. property, patrols and ranchers in border states; Chinese technology spies armed with green cards and temporary visas; and Russian Mafia illegals who deal in human trafficking, drugs and prostitution, one has to ask if the time hasn’t come for a moratorium on all immigration. The United States is under attack from foreign enemies. Our leaders’ first priority is to protect and defend the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Instead, our surveillance society is on overdrive to “protect” us from domestic, “home-grown” enemies, harassing and detaining usually innocent Americans, while ignoring threats from abroad.

In 2005, former House Speaker and current presidential contender, Newt Gingrich, was accused of “engaging in fantasy” (along with congressional colleague Tom Tancredo [R-Colo.]) for suggesting that government conduct a massive police action to arrest, try and deport “undocumented workers” to get a handle on America's out-of-control immigration problem. That was around the same time that the Washington Times (among other news outlets) reported that a homosexual Mexican man with AIDS living in San Francisco was granted asylum by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, reversing an earlier ruling of deportation for overstaying his visa. Why? Because the man claimed he would face persecution for his illness and sexual orientation in Mexico. But at least the man was working. Where? As a waiter—as in food service—in a hotel! Since when does someone with a compromised immune system get a job working around food, and what happened to the prohibition against “applicants with communicable diseases”? Clearly, Newt Gingrich believes the public has forgotten about the events of 2005, including the London subway bombings of July 7 that killed 52 people and injured more than 770. He has now revised his position with a modified amnesty plan that leaves much of the status quo in place. Former Rep. Tancredo, meanwhile, remains committed.

Are there candidates with the political will to enforce sponsorship laws, which still appear to be on the books? A sponsor is defined as someone who is willing to accept legal responsibility for supporting an applicant for immigration and any family member with him/her. Government websites confirm that immigration can also be denied to applicants who, among other things:

  • Have a communicable disease (except in some medical treatment-related cases).
  • Have committed serious criminal act(s).
  • Are known terrorists, subversives, members of a totalitarian party, or former war criminals.
  • Have used illegal means to enter the U.S.

This is sensible and explicit. We need leaders of principle who will push for the immediate deportation of any immigrant, legal or otherwise, who commits a violent or drug-related crime, doesn’t learn English, or goes six months without a job, sponging off American citizens in an era of $15 trillion-dollar debt and financial crisis. We need to elect candidates who will enforce what is already on a government immigration website to prospective immigrants: “If you do not have a college degree or skills that are in demand … you must have a job offer with a U.S. company that is willing to sponsor you for a labor certification. This process takes many years to complete but leaves you with a green card.” While we are deporting the worst offenders, we need to re-think the whole concept of immigration, with a view to reinstating the concept of sponsorship and eliminating both entitlements and “haven cities” for illegals. We need a candidate with the boldness to take away the entitlements, require sponsors for all those seeking immigration (including asylum), and then do background checks on the sponsors.

Enforcement may take money, time and manpower, but we are already spending the money fighting wildfires, handing out entitlements to illegals that our own citizens often do without, and containing the health risks, hospital emergency room overcrowding and school problems created by waves of newcomers who often have no intention of assimilating or becoming self-sufficient. What is the point of fighting wars abroad and negotiating with questionable sources to contain terrorism if we don’t enforce the laws we have? If Congress’s commitment to sponsorship is deemed naïve, then perhaps America needs a new crop.