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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > N. Carolina House Republican wannabe illustrates what’s wrong with Republican rationale on immigration enforcement

N. Carolina House Republican wannabe illustrates what’s wrong with Republican rationale on immigration enforcement

LatinaLista — BJ Lawson is a Republican congressional candidate running for North Carolina’s Fourth District. He looks like a nice guy. Successful. Educated. Entrepreneur. Husband. Father.

North Carolina Republican congressional candidate BJ Lawson
When I found out that Lawson had linked to a Latina Lista (LL) post, I was curious. Given the fact that this North Carolina transplant is aspiring to join the ranks of the now infamous “House Republicans” — a suit-wearing DC gang unto themselves, I shuddered at how he might be using a LL post.
Yet when I found the link on his site, the context of the paragraph wasn’t any different than what I was advocating in my post. Then he shifted gears and began to sound like a House Republican already.
The piece left me a little confused and I can’t help but think that maybe Lawson is too.

Economic pressures aside, we should not behave like a police state with raids to round people up at gunpoint. Such publicity stunts are only designed to intimidate and give the impression of enforcement, when the underlying incentives to enter illegally haven’t changed. We must not split up families, deport children, or deport parents and leave children behind. Let’s not take a problem created by our governments, and punish innocent children as a result.

The above quote is from Lawson’s site under Immigration issues. His link to Latina Lista was to a post I had written regarding the deportation of children by themselves back to their native countries, even after they had found their parents in the United States.
From this paragraph, it would seem Lawson and Latina Lista are on the same page – figuratively speaking. At least, it sure sounds like it to me.
Yet, it’s the following paragraph that underscores the dilemma for Lawson.

As your Congressman, I will work to stop unconstitutional federal mandates that require states provide social services to undocumented aliens, eliminate welfare-state incentives, and physically secure the border. I will not support amnesty for illegal aliens.

On the one hand, he doesn’t believe in deporting children but he won’t support “amnesty for illegal aliens” either. Considering that these children are undocumented, what is he suggesting happen to them? Be held in detention centers all their lives?
Lawson is on the right track about not punishing “innocent children” but where he gets confused, along with other Republicans, is trying to separate children from their parents. For example, while it’s already been shown that undocumented immigrants don’t take advantage of social services in those states that have mandated preventive measures to ensure that they don’t, Lawson proposes the same thing.
Theoretically though, wouldn’t that be the same as punishing innocent children?
This contradiction in Lawson’s thinking is both admirable, because he can appreciate the impact of current enforcement measures on the delicate psyche of children and frustrating. Because in following Republican rationale on how to treat undocumented immigrants, the human factor is conveniently ignored.
Maybe that’s why none of his Republican House peers like to touch the subject of the children.
Because when that happens, the justification on how to treat the undocumented is seen for what it is — punishing innocent children too.

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Comment(7)

  • Avatar
    BJ Lawson
    October 7, 2008 at 8:31 pm

    Marisa — These are difficult issues that affect people’s lives on both sides of the debate.
    I’ve expanded on my previous thoughts here:
    http://www.lawsonforcongress.com/issues/immigration/
    … to attempt to resolve the conflict between a rational, sustainable, and just immigration policy and the issue of amnesty.
    There are no easy answers, and these issues will only become more acute given the economic pressures we’re facing.
    Local social services will be severely taxed, and unless we transition to a renewed appreciation for sustainable economic growth in self-sufficient communities, we will tend towards increasing polarization in our communities.
    My ultimate hope is that getting our federal government to respect individual liberties instead of corporate interests will get us out of the business of one-sided trade and tariff policies that hurt other countries’ economies, thus increasing economic opportunities and decreasing the incentive for mass immigration.
    The march towards global corporatism has not been kind to anyone.
    BJ

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    October 8, 2008 at 12:11 am

    Marisa,
    Your link to Lawson’s post from LL said,
    Error 404
    The page you requested was not found.
    Did you make a mistake or did he remove it. If you have a copy Please post it.
    Thank You

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    October 8, 2008 at 2:16 am

    I believe it is hard for anyone to understand how our southern border works, unless they have lived close to the border and seen the inner workings of what goes on there.
    They cant understand how immigration works either. It is confusing, to say the least.
    Mr Lawson stated, “as intelligence reports indicate that al-Qaeda as well as international gangs such as M.S. 13 have infiltrated the country without detection through our borders.”
    I wanted to address this because MS 13 aka Mara Salvatrucha gang, originated in Los Angeles. Wikipedia and FBI will confirm this.
    Mr Lawson also states, “I believe the answer is bolstered Border Patrol.”
    T.J. Bonner, who heads the National Border Patrol Council, the union that represents Border Patrol agents says, “Even without any new legislation this year, the Border Patrol is set to grow by more than half over the next six years.
    In addition to all of the other challenges Border Patrol agents face, there is growing evidence that more of them are falling prey to the temptations of bribery and corruption, even though only 1 out of 30 applicants to the force is accepted after a rigorous screening. Just this month, two Border Patrol supervisors pleaded guilty to accepting more than $186,000 in payoffs in exchange for releasing immigrant smugglers from federal custody.
    The truth is that there is so much money to be made in smuggling both drugs and people across our southern border that even the tripling of the size and budget of the Border Patrol in the past decade has done little to stem the flow.”
    “Border Patrol agents I spoke with were reluctant to be quoted on the record, but all agreed that a comprehensive solution that combines more and better border enforcement with a well-designed guest-worker program is necessary if real progress is going to be made. “We need to enforce employer sanctions at the same time we give employers a legal path to fill the jobs they must have workers for,” one agent told me. A retired agent points to the Bracero (“strong arms” in Spanish) guest-worker visa program, which until 1964 brought millions of Mexican workers north to work in the agriculture, construction and service industries.” http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110008697
    Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a biometric card identifying those who are eligible to work among other provisions is the only sure way to stop the flow of immigrants. Cut off the reason they come, invest in the infrastructure of their countries instead of flooding their countries with goods cutting off their jobs. Stop American Greed!
    Mr Lawson stated “Let’s not take a problem created by our governments, and punish innocent children as a result.”
    I would also add immigrants who have American families and have been allowed to set down roots in the U.S. Those here more than 3 years who can prove they have been employed, no criminal record, have American citizen spouses or children.
    Mr Lawson also states, “However, I do believe that amnesty for immigrants who entered illegally is disrespectful to those who have come here through legal channels,”
    A study reported by the Los Angeles Times shows,
    Most new legal immigrants were illegal at some point.
    They found 52 percent of new green card holders in California had lived in the country illegally before.
    When they looked at the country as a whole, researchers found a smaller but still significant percentage of permanent residents – 42 percent – have lived in the country illegally.
    Mr Lawson stated he believes people here illegally should be given the opportunity to obtain temporary status as a guest worker, but that a path to permanent residency or citizenship requires that they leave the country and reapply through a fair, sustainable, and streamlined process that is accessible to all.
    First there is no fair, sustainable, and streamlined process that is accessible to all. Second who would support and care for the millions of families with American children while their parents are off trying to fight the tangled web called USCIS that will bankrupt them in a nanosecond while they wait years and grow old and gray waiting for USCIS to do this job that doesent exist.
    Last he states,”It is important to remember that an essential part of addressing the immigration issue is the responsibility of foreign governments to institute good economic policies that provide opportunities for their citizens. While we cannot directly control corruption or economic opportunity in other countries, to the extent that our trade and agricultural policies damage other nations, we worsen the problem of illegal immigration.”
    I couldn’t agree more, the problem is I am as lost as to where he stands on immigration as you are. That is how politicians are they talk and talk alot but no one can understand what they say!
    That is one reason why I like Obama. I understand exacally what he is saying even if I dont always agree with everything he says.

  • Avatar
    Marisa Treviño
    October 8, 2008 at 8:49 am

    BJ — Thank you for responding to my post. I truly appreciate the time you took to address my concern and I find that a refreshing change from past experiences with Republican campaigns. I am heartened to see that you can see both sides of this issue. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to visit your local Latino community – not in an effort to campaign, though a good politician never misses that opportunity 🙂 – but to get to know the people and hear their stories. I am finding that too many Republican candidates across the country are acting like the Latino community doesn’t exist. From your response, you seem to be a Maverick in your own right. It’s your kind of broad vision that will help issues like immigration become the bipartisan issue it should be because way too many people are hurting, on top of what is happening in the economy. It’s in Washington’s hands to improve these conditions for these people — if enough in Congress choose to do so. I truly hope you don’t lose the empathy but I do have one piece of advice: lose the citations to NumbersUSA. There are a number of other credible and bipartisan sources that don’t distort or exaggerate the facts when talking about undocumented immigrants and illegal immigration. If you really want to be a new kind of Republican, seek those sources out and work with that information to arrive at the true picture of illegal immigration. Thank you again.

  • Avatar
    pmms972008
    October 8, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    Evelyn,
    “Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a biometric card identifying those who are eligible to work among other provisions is the only sure way to stop the flow of immigrants.”
    This is a complete nonstarter. This is America, not Nazi Germany: we do not force people to be subject to government agents asking for their papers in order for them to exercise basic freedoms. Biometric technology will allow the government to track people in their activities. Such an identification card can only serve as a precursor to the entire population carrying a national ID card, and if this comes to be, it will be the end of America as a free land.
    As for MS13, it may have originated in Los Angeles, but they are in fact an international organization. And intelligence reports have in fact indicated that they are smuggling members across the borders. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-01-05-gang-grows_x.htm)
    If you dismiss bolstering border patrol due to the corruptible nature of some border patrol agents, then perhaps we should eliminate or reduce local police forces across the country because some of them engage in corruption, by your line of reasoning.

  • Avatar
    pmms972008
    October 8, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Marissa,
    For one, federal mandates for provision of social services by states to immigrants who’ve come here illegally are indeed unconstitutional. They trespass on the 10th Amendment.
    Secondly, eliminating the federal mandates for provision of social services does not mean mandating that states don’t provide social services. This is completely up to the discretion of the respective states. Some states may decide to end social services, and others may decide to provide them or even expand them. It’s their decision.
    I would also add that this also implies that the federal government would not step in to eliminate “sanctuary cities” through restricting funding. The federal government should not be in the business of strong-arming state governments into fulfilling the agenda of national politicians. The Department of Transportation should not be in the business of using highway funding to coerce states into making the drinking age 21, as they do now. They shouldn’t use funding to furthermore coerce states into instituting the Real ID. And the Federal Government should not use funding to force “sanctuary cities” to end their policies.

  • Avatar
    Evelyn
    October 11, 2008 at 1:13 am

    pmms972008 :
    Evelyn,
    “Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a biometric card identifying those who are eligible to work among other provisions is the only sure way to stop the flow of immigrants.”
    This is a complete nonstarter. This is America, not Nazi Germany: we do not force people to be subject to government agents asking for their papers in order for them to exercise basic freedoms. Biometric technology will allow the government to track people in their activities. Such an identification card can only serve as a precursor to the entire population carrying a national ID card, and if this comes to be, it will be the end of America as a free land.
    E
    I agree with you 100%
    I am very, very, very well aware of this fact. I think it is a terrible one. However it is the only way the other side will accept CIR. We are told we have to ‘compromise,’ in order for a bill to pass.
    ~~~~~~~
    As for MS13, it may have originated in Los Angeles, but they are in fact an international organization. And intelligence reports have in fact indicated that they are smuggling members across the borders. (http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-01-05-gang-grows_x.htm)
    E
    His exact words were “M.S. 13 have infiltrated the country without detection.”
    That statement indicates that the Mara originated elsewhere. Many Americans are also under that impression. I corrected it.
    I am sure that the Mara have smuggled, shot people, sold drugs, and engaged in many more dispicable acts. They are a gang. That is what they do.
    They didnt originate elsewhere though, they are from here.
    ~~~~~~~
    If you dismiss bolstering border patrol due to the corruptible nature of some border patrol agents, then perhaps we should eliminate or reduce local police forces across the country because some of them engage in corruption, by your line of reasoning.
    E
    I dont dismiss anything. T. J. Bonner does and he is the expert. He says statistics show it hasent worked. I agree with him because of that.
    If something I am doing is not getting the job I want to do done. I try something else.

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