Weekly Quote

From Twitter and BorowitzReport:

We should hire illegal immigrants to cut the budget since it's a job no Americans want to do.

Budgets Groan: Immigration Law Continues to Hurt, Not Help

Florida residents are upset that they are having to live near an immigration detention center.

Detention Center As more and more victimless crimes are invented by our government, more and more people are being sent to prisons. Immigration law is no exception to this rule, and housing those in violation of it has become yet another expensive, government-created problem.

We find it ironic and pitiful that as our country struggles with debt and Republicans claim to be so concerned with taming it, the government deems it prudent to spend all kinds of money to run detention centers for "criminals" whose only "crime" is wanting to work in the US. Surely, the money could be better spent paying down the debt, and the people in the detention centers would be better off as productive, tax-paying members of society!

To top it off, even conservatives are against the project! In a position reminiscent of when RFK Jr. fought against wind turbines being installed and spoiling his pristine view of Cape Cod, the conservatives themselves seem to be taking a "not in my backyard" view:

For nearly a decade leaders of Southwest Ranches have kept their scheme hushed from residents, now the project will become federal government's largest immigrant detention center. The town would have to pay $150,000 each year to keep the prison, but officials say the town would turn a profit by getting 4 percent of what U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pays the company operating the prison to hold inmates there.

Many residents finally caught wind of the idea this year, when the immigration agency announced a tentative deal, and they're angry. They've held protests at public meetings, contemplated whether to recall the mayor before his March election and whether to amend the town charter to make it easier to fire the city attorney pushing the deal.

The objection over the prison has created an odd set of allies among the town's affluent residents, many of whom are wary of illegal immigrants, and longtime activists who fight for immigrants, legal or not.

Poor babies!

While a detention center is an unsightly blemish on any community, you reap what you sow. If you do not want ugly detention centers popping up all over the place, then perhaps you ought to rethink your support of current immigration law.

Update: AL Law Violates Fair Housing Act

Here is an update from USA Today to a post from last week about how Alabama's new immigration law is preventing manufactured homeowners from obtaining a permit the state requires:

Some portions of Alabama's law, known as HB 56 and described by supporters and critics as the harshest state immigration law in the country, were already blocked by a federal judge. On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson took an additional step by ordering the state to stop denying manufactured home registration permits to people who couldn't prove their U.S. citizenship.

The law forbids illegal immigrants from conducting any business transactions with the state. State officials had interpreted that to mean illegal immigrants couldn't get a yearly permit for their manufactured homes ahead of a Nov. 30 deadline and were also barred from getting a different permit that would allow them to move their manufactured homes on public roads.

Hopefully, the courts will succeed in getting this rights-violating law overturned in its entirety one day!

Immigration No Longer a Voter Issue?

So says the Arizona Republic:

Heading into the 2012 election season, illegal immigration is no longer the red-hot political issue it was just a few years ago.Ugly Pearce

This month's recall of Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce shows the subject has peaked, according to some analysts.

Pearce rode voter concern over illegal immigration to national prominence by championing enforcement-only measures to crack down on undocumented immigrants in Arizona. Those measures were emulated by elected officials around the country.

But his steadfast devotion to immigration enforcement was not enough to keep him in power, in part because illegal immigration is down significantly, border security has improved and voters have moved on to more pressing issues, analysts say.

Russell Pearce has a long track record of being a dubious human being in general. It is entirely possibly that his own personal record of misconduct, poor ability to express himself and many questionable associates did him in as much as anything else; however, here at MoE we would like to think that the vast majority of people who are decent but not politically motivated realized what a scumbag of a human being they had on the public payroll and what a bad idea these immigration laws are, and removed him for that reason.

Elections, especially local ones, are often carried by loud, obnoxious minorities pushing their pet issue. We can only hope that is the case in Arizona with Pearce, and that we see a backlash as the voting public at large rejects these excesses.

Famous Immigrant of the Week

Today we shine the spotlight on actress and philanthropist Audrey Hepburn. audrey-hepburn From biography.com:

[Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston] was born on May 4, 1929, in Brussels, Belgium. A talented performer, Audrey Hepburn was known for her beauty, elegance, and grace. Often imitated, she remains one of Hollywood's greatest style icons. A native of Brussels, Hepburn spent part of her youth in England at a boarding school there. During much of World War II, she studied at the Arnhem Conservatory in The Netherlands. After the Nazis invaded the country, Hepburn and her mother struggled to survive. She reportedly helped the resistance movement by delivering messages, according to an article in The New York Times.

Audrey came to the US in the early 1950s and went on to a successful Broadway and Hollywood career, starring in such classics as My Fair Lady, Gigi, Sabrina and Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Here's one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, the embassy ball from My Fair Lady:

The New Yorker's Thanksgiving Cover

From Cover Story: The Promised Land:

New Yorker Cover 112211

Alabama Law Violates Fair Housing Act and the Constitution

From this Gadsden Times article:

A new federal lawsuit was filed Friday challenging a section of Alabama’s immigration law that civil rights groups say makes itMobile-Home-Park1 impossible for those who can’t prove U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status to legally keep their manufactured homes.

They are challenging a section of the law that prohibits most contracts where one party is an illegal immigrant.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say that provision is being used by state revenue officials to keep illegal immigrants from paying an annual registration fee and obtaining a decal that by law must be displayed on manufactured homes. State law requires the registration to be renewed by Nov. 30.

This part of the law, like so many others, is a blatant violation of individual rights.  Is America not "the land of the free"?  Free men should be allowed to trade amongst and enter into contracts with each other, so long as they are not violating the rights of anyone else.  Neither these immigrants nor the manufactured home seller is violating anyone's rights by buying and selling the home, and their business should not be interfered with by anyone, much less the very government that is entrusted to protect their right to do business with each other!

Weekly Quote

Authorities, [Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook] said, should be "stapling a visa to every high-tech diploma" [given to foreign students.]

You can read the rest of The Telegraph article here.

Mercedes-Benz Exec Arrested in Alabama

Why are we not surprised?  From AJC and the Associated Press:

A German manager with Mercedes-Benz is free after being arrested for not having a driver’s license with him under Alabama’s new law targeting illegal immigrants, authorities said Friday, in an otherwise routine case that drew the attention of Gov. Robert Bentley.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson [said] an officer stopped a rental vehicle for not having a tag Wednesday night and asked the driver for his license. The man only had a German identification card, so he was arrested and taken to police headquarters, Anderson said.

The 46-year-old executive was charged with violating the immigration law for not having proper identification, but he was released after an associate retrieved his passport, visa and German driver’s license from the hotel where he was staying, Anderson said.

And from The Local (a German news site):

Mercedes-Benz has built cars at a plant near Tuscaloosa since 1993 and in 2000 invested $600 million (€445 million) in an expansion of the facility. According to the company, the plant provides more than 22,000 jobs and is Alabama’s largest exporter, sending $1 billion (€743 million) in exports throughout the world.

What a great way for the state of Alabama to thank this visiting German and his company for bringing prosperity and jobs to Alabama and the United States!  Remember when we said that these laws won't just drive out hard working immigrants but also pointlessly harass citizens and those who are here legally?  The chickens are coming home to roost!

Personal Note About Posting

After miscarrying earlier this year, I'm happy to announce that I'm pregnant again!  Santiago and I are very excited and very much looking forward to having1st ultrasound jpeg our first child.  

With all that's going on, including not feeling all that great right now, I'm finding I have less time to blog these days, so my apologies for not posting at least once per weekday.  I'm hoping to get a bit more help from Santiago and others going forward, so if you or anyone you know would like to submit a story or idea for Mother of Exiles, please email it to motheroexiles[at]gmail.com.

Famous Immigrant of the Week

Poor Hungarian, Andrew S. Grove, came to the United States in 1956 at the age of 20. He went on to become one of the founders and CEO of Intel Corporation. From Wikipedia:

Intel Corporation is an American multinational semiconductor chip  maker corporation headquartered in Santa Clara, California, United intel-insideStates and the world's largest semiconductor chip maker, based on revenue.[4] It is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers.

From Grove's faculty profile on the Stanford website:

Dr. Grove has written over 40 technical papers and several books, including Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices, as well as High Output Management and Only the Paranoid Survive. He has received a number of honorary degrees and other honors. He was named Time Magazine's "Man of the Year" in 1997, and received the IEEE 2000 Medal of Honor, and the 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Strategic Management Society. In 2004, he was named the Most Influential Business Person in the Last Twenty-Five Years by the Wharton School of Business and the Nightly Business Report.

He chaired the Campaign for UCSF which raised $1.6B, and has been active in cancer and neuroscience research through his private family foundation. His current interests also include energy policy.

You can read more about Andrew Grove in his biography, "Andy Grove: The Life and Times of An American."

Weekly Quote

Robert Bentley

"It's not a bad bill. It's just somewhat confusing and it's difficult to explain to people," [Alabama Governor Robert Bentley] said.

Capitalism and Immigration

Thanks to my friend Paul L. for linking me to the following awesome video of a Russian immigrant interviewing some Occupy Wall Street Protesters and defending capitalism.  Capitalism is the only socioeconomic system that can solve this country's economic crisis, and thus its perceived immigration problem. 

Breitbart.tv » Meet Former Soviet Citizen Who Confronted Occupy Wall Street Socialists

Number of Children in Foster Care Booms Due to Obama Administration's Deportations

My heart is broken and my stomach sickened by the very country I once loved so much, but after reading this Reason article about children being placed into Parents Deportedfoster care after their hard-working parents are deported, how else can I feel?

This is just one story of many from a startling new report issued by the Applied Research Center, which found that 46,000 parents of children born in the U.S. have been deported in the last six months, with many of them forced to leave their kids behind. Another 5,100 children of undocumented workers, an estimate that the ARC says is conservative, are currently in foster care and unlikely to see their deported parents again…

This is not America.  This is not the country that was founded on the principle of individual rights.  This is not the country that Thomas Jefferson wrote about so eloquently.  This is not a nation of justice and laws, but a nation of immoral laws and unfairness.  I'm ashamed, disturbed and saddened by the mess that is the US Government.  It is not a government of the people, by the people or for the people, and until it is, things will only get worse.

Famous Immigrant of the Week

Today we feature Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google.  Sergey immigrated to  the US with his family from Moscow in 1979 to escape Jewish persecution.  After receiving degrees in mathematics and computer science from University ofSergey Brin Maryland, he entered Stanford University where he met Google co-founder, Larry Page. 

From his biography.com page:

As a research project at Stanford University, Brin and Page created a search engine that listed results according to the popularity of the pages, after concluding that the most popular result would often be the most useful. They called the search engine Google after the mathematical term "Googol," which is a 1 followed by 100 zeros, to reflect their mission to organize the immense amount of information available on the Web.

Google is now a publicly traded company and likely the most recognizable brand name anywhere on the web.  Google also employs tens of thousands of people, once again proving that immigration is a net benefit to the United States and its economy.

Quick Hits - Government Black Markets in Everything

Once again, I find my queue filling with links about government-created black markets, bureaucracies gone bad and government officials gone wild.  Rather than create a blog post for each of these stories, I will list them here:

A former intelligence analyst for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement pleaded guilty to embezzling federal funds...

A Toronto rabbi who fled the U.S. five years ago is accused of being the ringleader of a massive immigration fraud mill in the United States…

The former chief of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in South Florida is out on bail awaiting trial on child pornography charges.

Immigration agent accused of pot smuggling in Arizona

Complaints about the St. Louis immigration office warrant investigation

Fake lawyers and notaries prey on immigrants

Russell Pearce Recalled in Arizona

Never before have two sad faces made me so happy.  From this FoxNews Latino Pearce Arpaio Arizonastory:
In an unprecedented recall election, Arizona's State Senator and Senate President Russell Pearce, conceded defeat Tuesday. The defeat was a stunning rebuke to the author of Arizona's controversial immigration law and could serve as a warning signal to politicians who have advocated hard-line policies on immigration.
We're no fan of Pearce (or his evil buddy, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio), as you may recall from our earlier posts about him and his white supremacist friends.  We consider this victory a wake up call to all the racist, rights-violating, anti-immigrant types out there who think they can take over America.  There are still plenty of Americans left who know what individual rights are, why we have them and why they must be defended by a moral government.  You should consider us your enemy rather than the helpless, hard working immigrants you rail against and throw into your prisons.  Come fight us head on.  We are not afraid of you.  We have truth, justice and moral principles on our side and we will never surrender to evil power-lusters like you.

Weekly Quote

"Surely, there are some (immigrants) that break the law," [Bill Schatzman, the Forsyth County, North Carolina, Republican sheriff] said. "But clearly, they're not the largest population in our jail, and they're not the largest population that goes through our court system. It would be my experience, based on facts, that this is a law-abiding community."

You can read up on the facts and the rest of what Sheriff Schatzman has to say here.

Quick Hits Regarding AL Immigration Law

There is so much immigration news coming out of Alabama, it's been difficult to blog about it all, so a few weeks ago I decided to compile a list of links to share in this one blog post, as follows:

Can't Deport Us All Decatur Utilities now prohibits illegal immigrants from obtaining electric, gas, water or sewer service.

Alabama’s tomato crop is rotting due to the mass exodus of immigrant workers following that state’s draconian new anti-immigrant law.

Fear of detention, families torn apart – Hispanics in Alabama are trapped in a unique half-life under punishing new immigrant laws.

Test fails to replace immigrant laborers with U.S. citizens in Alabama.

The weak economy has hurt business. But nothing has battered Discount Grocery and Variety worse than Alabama's newly enacted immigration law…

Few Americans take immigrants' jobs in Alabama, farmers say they will have to downsize or let crops die on the vine.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a lawsuit against a probate judge in Montgomery county for not letting a U.S. citizen and an undocumented immigrant obtain marriage license.

No US help on Alabama immigration law, Homeland secretary Janet Napolitano says.

Critics See ‘Chilling Effect’ in Alabama Immigration Law

U.S. Faces Severe Shortages of Farm Workers

Famous Immigrant of the Week

Oh no!  I just realized I missed posting the Famous Immigrant of the Week last Friday.  Better late than never! Xmas Card

Today, I wish to honor Louis Prang. I'd never heard of Prang before my search today, but I am thankful to him for selling the first Christmas cards in America.  Sending and  receiving Christmas cards each year is a tradition in our home, and I love the more recent tradition of people including "annual updates" with their Christmas cards.  I love hearing about kids, pets and summer vacations, as well as anything else going on with friends and family I may not get too see as often as I like.

From this About.com article:

Prang was born March 12, 1824 in Breslau, Silesia (then in Prussia, now Wroclaw, Poland). As a child, he apprenticed in his father's factory dyeing calico. At the age of 18, he traveled as a journeyman through Europe, studying dyeing and printing. During his travels, Prang became involved in revolutionary activities. With the Prussian government on his tail, he fled to the Boston, Massachusetts via Switzerland.

In 1856, Prang started a lithograph company with partner Julius Mayer. L. Prang & Co. In 1873, Prang created Christmas greeting cards for the popular English market. The following year, he expanded his greeting card offering and began selling the the first Christmas Cards in America.

In this age of electronic communications, it's quite pleasant to receive a colorful, fun card and a note from loved ones.  It's a tradition I hope continues for a long time.

Local Police Not Obligated to Hold Undocumented Immigrants Per DHS

According to this Huffington Post article:

Local law enforcement agencies are not required to hold undocumented immigrants at the request of the federal government, according to internal Department of Homeland Security documents obtained by a coalition of groups critical of the Secure Communities enforcement program.

The documents could provide ammunition for jurisdictions that no longer want to participate in Secure Communities, which allows federal immigration authorities to use fingerprints to scan those arrested by local law enforcement. They also support recent actions by Cook County, Ill., Santa Clara, Calif., and San Francisco, all of which decided this year to stop adhering to federal requests to hold undocumented immigrants who were either low-level offenders or were accused of felonies.

While I believe people who have committed real crimes (i.e. they have violated someone's individual rights) should be dealt with by law enforcement and the courts, it makes me very happy to see that local police may not be forced to comply with Secure Communities.  Secure Communities is government cronyism at its finest and needs to be abolished.  Deporting peaceful, productive people and separating them from their families, friends and employers is not good for anyone or the US economy.

Picking and Choosing Immigrants is Un-American

I love this letter that was written to the Financial Times.  Please click through and read it in its entirety, but here's an excerpt:

I am outraged whenever someone suggests that the US has too many immigrants of this or that description. What gives Mr. Wendt the right to decide which group of people can participate in the American dream?

Weekly Quote

“One has rights not by virtue of being an American, but by virtue of being human.” - Harry Binswanger

Decreasing Immigration is Bad for America

According to this article from The Christian Science Monitor, there are four reasons for the drop in migration from Border CrossingMexico:

1.) More enforcement on the US side - The Obama Administration's Secure Communities program and its record number of deportations, states like Alabama and Arizona passing "get tough" laws, and double the number of border patrol agents.

2.) The downturn in the US economy - Construction and manufacturing jobs are simply not available any longer.

3.) The improving Mexican economy - Most Mexicans would rather stay home, and with higher wages, better access to education and more jobs, many are finding that a more viable option.

4.) Crime in Mexico - Immigrants coming from beyond Mexico's southern border have been driven away by Mexico's high crime rate and the drug war that America pushes on the Mexican government.  This has led to high rates of murder, kidnapping, drug and human smuggling crimes.

So essentially, many Americans have gotten exactly what they've been asking for - far fewer Latino immigrants in America.  (It makes me wonder why they're still complaining!?)  But let's examine why each of these items could be bad for Americans.

1.) More enforcement on the US side - Secure communities and Obama's deportations are costing this country literally billions and billions of dollars at a time when our government is already bankrupt.  The vast majority of those being deported are simply here to work and make a better life for their families, so the fact that our government is wasting money on sending them back to their home countries is foolish at best and evil at worst.  Yes, we should jail or deport criminals who violate the rights of others, but deporting a productive mother of three children for a minor traffic violation is simply ridiculous.

2.) The downturn in the US economy - This obviously isn't good for anyone.  With unemployment rates in some US states at just under 10%, America is definitely in need of more companies such as Google, Dupont, Intel, Carnival Cruise Lines and others, all of which were founded by immigrants.  In addition, struggling US companies could really use an inexpensive labor pool to help them stay in business.  And finally, US farmers need people willing to do the back-breaking work of harvesting and planting crops.  Inexpensive products and services, lower food costs and jobs creation is definitely something that would be a benefit to all Americans and the people who migrate here.

3.) The improving Mexican economy - While the improving Mexican economy is good news for the entire global economy, the lack of immigrants from Mexico means that the affordable labor pool in America may be drying up.  That will lead to higher prices on the goods and services Americans have become spoiled to.  Of course, we wouldn't have to rely on affordable immigrant labor if our own government would butt out of the economy.  Minimum wage and other labor laws need to be repealed and businesses need to be free to manage their companies as they see fit.  This would lead to more American jobs, albeit with lower wages, but our cost of living would also decrease so we could live on the lower wages.  That being said, the government shows no signs of letting the free markets reign, so cutting off our cheap labor supply only signals more troubled economic times ahead for Americans.

4.) Crime in Mexico - Crime in Mexico is obviously bad for America, particularly land owners along the US' southern border.  It is not right for the property rights of Americans living along the border to be violated on a daily basis by human and drug smugglers; however, we need to put the blame for this problem where it rightfully lies, on the US Government.  The government has created black markets in both human and drug smuggling, which accounts for the vast majority of crime along our southern border.  Like Prohibition in the 20s and early 30s, when the government tries to legislate morality, all they successfully do is raise the crime rate and create criminals where there would otherwise be none.  The government's only proper function is the protection of individual rights and it should protect the rights of US citizens along the border by passing meaningful immigration reform and repealing drug laws.

The bottom line here, once again, is that America is hurting due to a lack of capitalism.  Capitalism, as Ayn Rand states, "is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned."  If men are left free to trade with each other voluntarily, as they see fit and act in accordance with their own best interests, you will see prosperity unlike any country, including America, has ever seen.  Once again, I strongly encourage everyone to read Capitalism the Unknown Ideal and educate yourself on the true meaning of real capitalism, not the mixed-economy, mixed-socialist mess our country now suffers from.