Officials need to connect the dots of illegal immigration

Marvin's Window

Marvin Robertson

Marvin Robertson

I looked out my window at the bright stars in the southwestern sky and connected the dots to see the Big Dipper. I followed the line from the dipper to the North Star.

It is amazing how clear the constellations become when the dots are connected between the individual stars. Notice how they then point so clearly to the identity of the North Star and help us find our direction.

After the 2001 terrorist attacks, investigations indicated that information gathered by the FBI, INS and intelligence agencies were not shared. Some think the attacks of 9-11 could have been stopped if the dots had been connected.

Yet, no one even considers the obvious dots that are related to homeland security, government costs, problems and costs of education, rising health costs, crime and employment issues all related to uncontrolled and illegal immigration.

California has an $8 billion budget shortfall, and the governor says $4 billion is from state costs attributable to illegal immigrants in the state.

Connect the dots.

Arizona ranks low in several pubic education categories. Dropout rates are high, especially in Hispanic and Native American populations. Many of the Hispanic dropouts are from families entering the country from Mexico illegally.

A high percentage of the working-age illegals coming from Mexico have much less than a high school education. Therefore, Arizona educational statistics show a population with fewer years of school and a worker population with skills best suited for lower-paying jobs.

Yet, Arizona complains about lower wages for working people and the need for a better-educated workforce.

Connect the dots.

Crime is rampant in Los Angeles and parts of other American cities. Gangs run drugs and control areas of LA. Parts of Phoenix are high-crime areas.

But local police are forbidden to ask about illegal status or to enforce any immigration laws. They can tell if I left an unpaid traffic ticket in Miami but cannot check the INS list for anything.

Mohammed Atta, leader of the terrorists that flew the airplanes into the twin towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania, was picked up on a traffic violation a few months before the attack. He was on an INS watch list and would have been kept if the police had access to the INS information.

This country protects illegals by isolating the INS information so state and local police do not assist with enforcement.

Connect the dots.

Phoenix, Tucson, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Portland, New York City and San Diego are among the cities where local law enforcement is forbidden to ask about immigration status or to enforce laws on immigration.

Imagine what would happen to crime enforcement if local and state police all across America were forbidden to enforce federal gun and drug laws, kidnapping and the transportation of contraband across state lines.

Connect the dots.

As many as 17 million illegals are in this country now, according to some estimates. It is difficult to get an accurate count when we don't have any way, or make any effort, to identify who they are. That is up from the estimated 10 million in 2000. They are now referred to by the INS as Mexican and OTMs (Other Than Mexican).

The illegals from Mexico send $17.5 billion dollars to relatives in Mexico each year. That is double what was sent in 2000 and more than Mexico gets in foreign trade dollars for all its exported oil. Mexico is the fifth largest oil producer in the world. It is a drain on the U.S. balance of payments.

Connect the dots.

We are told all these people pouring over the border are taking jobs Americans do not want. Yet, Phoenix papers report that housing is cheaper to build in Maricopa County because the illegals work for less when employed by local homebuilders. The same is true in service industries, landscaping, meat processing and janitoring.

The large janitorial union in LA supports making the illegals, members of their union, U.S. citizens because it would help the union defend their rights as workers.

Connect the dots.

A 1996 federal law provides for a $10,000 fine for each illegal hired by an employer in this country. The fines go up for repeat offenders. Jail time for employers is provided. Employers ignore the law and never check on the validity of fake documents because no one ever checks.

The validity of the social security card can be checked in minutes if the employer would use the computer.

You know how quickly the stream of illegals would disappear if employers found that law enforced.

Connect the dots.

Wages usually increase when workers are in short supply. Employers would prefer to import illegals at lower cost. Illegals don't complain on fear of being sent home. They are easy to exploit by employers, owners of housing, business owners and the police. We let them live in the shadows in exchange for cheap labor, and then we complain about sweatshops in Asia.

Connect the dots.

Hospitals in border states are going broke because they must provide medical care for millions of illegals. Uncle Sam does not pay the local governments the extra cost for medical, school, jail or social services provided to illegals.

Connect the dots.

Those are your tax dollars that support this "cheap" source of labor.

There are more dots and more issues, but I am running out of space.

I am also running out of patience with state and federal governments that refuse to face this major threat to our safety, security and way of life.

I join the Minutemen and the governor of California screaming for a solution.

Help. I am drowning in a sea of illegal immigrants.

Marvin Robertson writes a weekly column for the Miner.