Showing posts with label Border security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Border security. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Illegal Immigration is Declining Despite Trump's 'Humanitarian Crisis' Hysteria

Sources: Department of Homeland Security: Office of Immigration Statistics, Pew Research Center, Border Patrol: Total Illegal Alien Apprehensions By Fiscal Year, Employer Fined $96 million for hiring illegal aliens



What Trump was missing in this 8 minute rant was context. Illegal immigration has been declining over the past decade and is at a historic low, but you'd never know that listening to Trump's propaganda about it being a 'national emergency' and his millions of mindless followers. According to DHS, there are around 12 million illegal aliens residing in the U.S., which might seem like a lot and enough to declare a national emergency, but the vast majority of illegal aliens are not new arrivals. 80% of illegal aliens (about 9.6 million) have been here since at least the W. Bush admin when illegal immigration peaked at 470,000 people per year before rapidly dropping off during and after the recession. Not surprisingly, the Bush administration also had the highest number of illegal alien apprehensions in this millennium and was topped only by the Clinton administration in the 90's. There were 3.38 million illegal alien apprehensions between 2004 and 2006 alone. In 2001, the first year of the Bush admin, there were over 1.2 million illegal alien apprehensions. However, this pales in comparison to illegal alien apprehensions in the 1990's, under the Bush Sr. and Clinton administrations, when there were over a million apprehensions every year except 1994 when apprehensions briefly dipped to 979,000 before rising back to 1.27 million in 1995. Illegal alien apprehensions dropped under 500,000 during the Obama administration and has not come close to the 1990's and early 2000's numbers since then. In 2017, Trump's first year, there were about 300,000 illegal alien apprehensions. The number of illegal aliens in the labor force has similarly declined from a peak of 8.2 million or 5.4% of the labor force in 2007 to 7.8 million or 4.8% of the labor force since the end of the Obama Admin in 2016.

If Trump is so concerned about illegal immigration, why not remove the incentive to illegally immigrant here? If you'll notice, illegal immigration follows economic trends, rising during boom periods and falling during downturns. Illegal immigration is inextricably linked to the economy, so why not penalize employers who hire illegal aliens and make e-verify, or some other system for checking work authorization, mandatory for all employers? Illegal aliens are less than 5% of the work force, but constitute 24% of agricultural workers, 24% of maids or house cleaning workers and 15% of construction workers and contractors; that should give you a rough idea of where to look first. I'm sure landscaping and lawn care also have a disproportionate percentage of illegal aliens compared to the national average; any industry where people can work under the table is going to be ripe with illegal aliens. This approach would be far more effective than any border barriers. Businesses are much more receptive to laws than illegal aliens. The story of a tree-trimming company, Asplundh, being fined $96 million for hiring illegal aliens and having one their mid-level executives sentenced to prison illustrates the possible disincentives that could be introduced to ensure U.S. companies only hire U.S. citizens, lawful residents, or foreign nationals with work visas.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Build Border Wall Only On Federal and State Land

Source: CATO Institute, USA Today, Geography of Border Wall, Reuters, Business Insider, Texas Tribune, ProPublica

However much Trump and his supporters might want the border wall to be a continuous physical barrier their fantasy will inevitably run into logistical and constitutional problems that will make it a piece meal wall at best. A continuous border wall would be feasible if the entire stretch of the southern border was nothing but flat desert land but it's not. The southern border includes mountain ranges like the Jacumba Mountains, bluffs and canyons like the Rio Grande Canyons, lakes like Lake Amistad, and Peninsular U.S. cities like Los Ebanos, which is enveloped on three sides by the Rio Grande river, that would be cut off from the rest of the country by a continuous border wall and did I mention a certain river that would erode any border wall every time it floods its banks. Of course, geography isn't the only problem for a continuous border wall. Two-thirds of the land along the southern border, mostly in Texas,is owned by private landowners, Indian tribes, and state governments. If we assume the Army Core can easily obtain permission from states, especially Texas, that still leaves unwilling private landowners and tribal governments who are almost unanimous in their unwillingness to allow a border wall.

Since the government shutdown, Trump has contemplated declaring a national emergency so he could mobilize U.S. troops and use the DOD budget to build the border wall. He has even floated the insane idea of using executive power to take private land, which is on par with something a third world dictator would do, like Trump's friend Mohammed Bone Saw. In all seriousness, what Trump may be referring to is a declaration of taking, a legal tool established during the great depression to expedite public works projects. This allows the Army Corps or any other federal agency to take possession of private land on the same day that it files a declaration of taking without having to worry about negotiating a price with the private landowner.

During construction of border fencing authorized by the 2006 Secure Fence Act, about 360 private landowners refused to voluntarily sell their land to the federal government, resulting in hundreds of condemnation suits some of which took several years to settle. Many landowners were ripped off in the process receiving either no compensation or compensation that was less than the actual land value that was taken from them.

An investigation by ProPublica and the Texas Tribune shows that Homeland Security cut unfair real estate deals, secretly waived legal safeguards for property owners, and ultimately abused the government’s extraordinary power to take land from private citizens.

The major findings:
  • Homeland Security circumvented laws designed to help landowners receive fair compensation. The agency did not conduct formal appraisals of targeted parcels. Instead, it issued low-ball offers based on substandard estimates of property values.
  • Larger, wealthier property owners who could afford lawyers negotiated deals that, on average, tripled the opening bids from Homeland Security. Smaller and poorer landholders took whatever the government offered — or wrung out small increases in settlements.
  • The government conceded publicly that landowners without lawyers might wind up shortchanged, but did little to protect their interests.
  • The Justice Department bungled hundreds of condemnation cases. The agency took property without knowing the identity of the actual owners. It condemned land without researching facts as basic as property lines. Landholders spent tens of thousands of dollars to defend themselves from the government’s mistakes.
  • The government had to redo settlements with landowners after it realized it had failed to account for the valuable water rights associated with the properties, an oversight that added months to the compensation process.
  • On occasion, Homeland Security paid people for property they did not actually own. The agency did not attempt to recover the misdirected taxpayer funds, instead paying for land a second time once it determined the correct owners.
  • Nearly a decade later, scores of landowners remain tangled in lawsuits. The government has already taken their land and built the border fence. But it has not resolved claims for its value.

In theory the 5th amendment guarantees just compensation; in practice, just compensation is a function of how much money you have. As usual, landowners who could afford an attorney to litigate for years were able to get much higher offers for their land that reflected the actual selling price, while those who couldn't were ripped off and forced to settle for the first offer.

Retired teacher Juan Cavazos was offered $21,500 for a two-acre slice of his land. He settled for that, figuring he couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer.Rollins M. Koppel, a local attorney and banker, did not make the same mistake. A high-priced Texas law firm negotiated his offer from $233,000 to almost $5 million (21x the original offer) — the highest settlement in the Rio Grande Valley.

Of course, there are also landowners who have yet to be paid for their land, having to spend tens of thousands of dollars and several years in court to get a correct appraisal. This was the case for the Los Santos family, who almost had their land stolen outright when DHS paid their ranch hand instead of them.

The Loop family spent more than $100,000 to defend their farmland from repeated government mistakes about the size, shape and value of their property. The government built a fence across Robert De Los Santos’ family land but almost a decade later has yet to reach a settlement for it. Ranch hand Roberto Pedraza was accidentally paid $20,500 for land he did not even own.

It is also exceedingly difficult to a appraise land values when the government is the only possible buyer and there are very few sales to go by. DHS found a way to circumvent this problem by adding an exception to the Uniform Act, which was supposed to protect landowners from low ball offers, that allowed them to avoid conducting formal appraisals and price negotiations for land worthless than $50,000 before suing the owner.This allowed them to take 90% of the tracts they needed to build the Rio Grande Valley fence without formal appraisals. In place of formal appraisals, the Army Corps used, in some cases, non-certified appraisers, who were not required to abide by federal standards for pricing land, or find a legal description of the property, or determine the property lines or even find the legitimate owner, which in many cases resulted in payments to people who didn't own land. To make matters worse, the Army Core left gaps in the fencing, that are still there today, where they were supposed to install gates for farmers and ranchers to access the rest of their land, making the fence practically useless expect as a water barrier.




Unlike private citizens, tribal members are protected from these same thuggish tactics by their sovereign dependent status. For starters, Indian trust land cannot be taken through eminent domain. Trump would need a bill from congress with super majority approval in the Senate and the House, which given the Democratic majority in one and the slim Republican majority in the other, would take an act of God. Many tribes that live along the border such as the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the Tohono O’odham, whose ancestral lands occupy 62 miles of the southern border and extend into Mexico, have been vocal in their opposition to the border wall for the potential environmental and cultural damage it could cause. The Tohono O’odham tribe have the most to lose. A border wall would split their homeland in two and separate them from fellow tribal members in Mexico. They currently have low lying vehicle barriers with a gate in a middle that allows them access to their land on the other side of the border. The tribe also maintains watchtowers and helps CBP apprehend human smugglers and drug traffickers that attempt to cross their land. Given their isolation from any urban centers, a 30' wall would be completely pointless because its physically impossible for migrants to get their on foot; most would end up dying of dehydration or exposure in the desert.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Trump Admin Commences Land Grabbing For Border Wall


Source: Brownsville Family Loses 10 Acres of Land to Border Wall

“They had surveyors, engineers and if we didn’t consent to what they wanted to pay for the property, they hit us with the eminent domain, the eminent domain means that the government can pay whatever they want for the properties.”

Juan Cavazos is just one of many landowners who will lose control of his property for the preservation of our white nation. If the wall goes up he will lose access to 10 acres of his land, and since this part of his property has already been condemned the government can now pay him less in “just” compensation than the fair market value before the feds took over his land. Anyone familiar with how the government uses eminent domain knows that “just” fair market value compensation is utter bullshit. Usually they try to pay private landowners as little as possible, and unless that person can afford a good attorney they will usually get ripped off.

My views on the border wall have shifted over the last few months. I use to support the border wall and I was ok with eminent domain in certain situations.

My previous posts supporting the border wall:

A Southern Border Wall Would Be Practical But Certainly Not A Panacea

President Trump Issues Executive Order To Build A Border Wall


I’ve come to realize that the arguments in favor of building a wall, especially from some libertarians, basically boil down to the ends justify the means and an appeal to tradition (i.e. we’ve always done it this way) two rationalizations that I usually vehemently condemn in other areas because I can see that that the long term effects are detrimental. These same rationalizations were used to justify some of the worst human cruelties in history. Similar arguments were made by the Eugenics movement in the early 20th century, not just in favor of immigration restrictions, but also anti-miscegenation laws, forced sterilization by court order and at its height state sanctioned ‘mercy killing’ of people deemed genetically unfit, all for the greater good of humanity. We can look down the road and see that the logical conclusion of these expediency justifications is a tyranny that none are safe from.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Faux Outrage Over Trump's 'Muslim Ban'

Since I am subscribed to a number left-wing civil society organizations ( e.g. HRW, Amnesty International, ACLU, ProPublica) and media outlets (e.g The Intercept and Global Research.ca) I have been bombarded with the righteous indignation of bleeding heart liberals for the past week. The objections run the gamut of standard leftist talking points about 'discrimination', 'hate', and 'racism.' The ACLU has gone so far as to claim that the 'Muslim ban' is an unconstitutional violation of the establishment clause, which I can assure you it is not. But first we need to recognize this particular executive order for what it is: a moratorium on immigration from seven predominately muslim countries, which include Syria (for obvious reasons), Iraq (same reasons), Iran (given its relations with Washington), Libya (for even more obvious reasons), Somalia (needs no elaboration), Yemen (obvious reasons ad nauseum), and Sudan (less obvious but similar circumstances). If you're privy to current events (a task that is fairly easy in this information age) you'll notice that 6/7 countries are embroiled in war and one of them has less than friendly relations with Washington. Not ALL muslims are barred from entering the U.S.; in fact, the vast majority of muslims are still allowed to immigrate here. Do bleeding heart liberals understand the categorical difference between SOME and ALL? Now, you could say that Trump's immigration moratorium was poorly devised because it fails to ban citizens of countries that have actually committed acts of terrorism on American soil such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan, but you cannot say that it is a dragnet 'muslim ban', which is factually incorrect.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The immigration moratorium on seven Near East countries is not only not a muslim ban, it's also not unconstitutional. The Bill of Rights was meant to protect WE THE PEOPlE  from despotic government, not foreigners. The logic is that since the U.S. was founded as a religiously diverse country, the government should not impose a particular religion on us or subsidize a particular religion. Providing federal grants to catholic schools is a clear violation of the establishment clause. The state of Texas funding faith initiatives is also a violation of the establishment clause. Temporarily banning citizens from a handful of muslim countries is not a violation of the establishment clause because they aren't U.S. citizens. It is not possible to have constitutional rights if you are not a U.S. citizen.

Here is a vlogger (Roaming Millennial) who I think does an excellent job explaining why the U.S. cannot accept immigrants and refugees from unstable, war torn countries.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

President Trump Issues Executive Order To Build A Border Wall

To all those who said it wouldn't happen it did. In an executive order pertaining to border security and immigration enforcement President Trump ordered:
Sec. 2. Policy. It is the policy of the executive branch to: 
(a) secure the southern border of the United States through the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism;
And by wall he doesn't mean a pedestrian fence or vehicle barrier, which constitutes most of the present 650 miles of barriers.
(e) "Wall" shall mean a contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier.
In a separate executive order also issued today, President Trump included a provision to withdraw federal grants from sanctuary cities e.g. just about everywhere in California, which by now, should just be ceded to Mexico and walled off as well.
(a) In furtherance of this policy, the Attorney General and the Secretary, in their discretion and to the extent consistent with law, shall ensure that jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary. The Secretary has the authority to designate, in his discretion and to the extent consistent with law, a jurisdiction as a sanctuary jurisdiction. The Attorney General shall take appropriate enforcement action against any entity that violates 8 U.S.C. 1373, or which has in effect a statute, policy, or practice that prevents or hinders the enforcement of Federal law.
Our immigration laws will finally be enforced. The cost of building this wall will be much less than the cost of illegal immigration in the long run. I doubt that someone will sell ladders just tall enough to reach over the wall as Goofus Johnson claimed or, as some more serious critics have claimed, that it will increase illegal immigration because tighter border security tends to lead to more illegal aliens living here. Even if this were true, it is contingent upon the fact that we still have a porous border.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A Southern Border Wall Would Be Practical But Certainly Not A Panacea

It is perhaps the only practical spending proposal Trump has come up with thus far, and one of the few issues where I concur with president Trump. The U.S. already has 650 miles of various barriers along the southern border and at least 350 miles of fencing as defined by section 102(b) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Furthermore, not everyone that comes here illegally does so out of 'an act of love.' A border wall would deter human traffickers, drug traffickers (except the CIA), and criminals fleeing whatever semblance of justice there is in Mexico. I don't think president Trump has a comprehensive immigration plan other than building a wall and deporting eleven million illegal aliens, which still remains to be seen. I doubt Mexico will pay for the wall so it would have to be built through deficit spending, which is inevitable anyway.