Spitzer on the Rocks

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Speaking at the Center on Law and Security at NYU Law School last Friday, New York State Governor Spitzer announced the endorsement from Richard Clarke for his plan to start providing illegal aliens with driver’s licenses from. Spitzer’s last minute decision to ask NYU to play host was likely because the Center’s Executive Director, Karen Greenberg served as co-chair to Spitzer’s Homeland Security transition committee. Given the year Spitzer has had, he needs all the friends and support he can find.
Spitzer does not seem fazed that 70% of New York State voters reject his proposal. He has the support of most Democrats in the NY State Assembly but faces harsh criticism and opposition from the majority of Republicans in the Assembly. This week the State Senate passed a vote (39-17) that would overturn Spitzer’s policy.
Spitzer has asked Democrats and Republicans to “set aside the demagoguery surrounding the national immigration debate and pragmatically evaluate this important policy for its impact on the safety and security of New Yorkers.” But Spitzer must surely recognize that immigration is one of the most divisive political issues and intrinsically tied to security. Why would he think it necessary to announce endorsements of the plan so publicly when he knows that the majority of people are already so opposed to it?


In fact, in 2003 former Governor Pataki instituted the very requirement Spitzer is trying to eliminate (the DMV requirement that applicants prove their immigration status). In contrast to Spitzer, Pataki implemented his change with no public announcement. Granted Pataki’s plan had nothing to do with immigration, it was merely a way to track Social Security numbers for the purpose of improving the collection of child support payments. It’s still hard to believe Spitzer couldn’t he have thought of a better way to document illegal immigrants. Under Spitzer’s plan, the DMV estimates 300,000 to 600,000 unlicensed residents would be eligible to apply for licenses. That’s a lot of new drivers on the streets of New York.
I am not anti-immigration but do think Spitzer, as a former Attorney General should be advocating how to facilitate and give rights to legal immigrants not putting illegal immigrants behind the wheels of cars. And what about New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to get more cars off the road in an effort to decrease congestion and pollution? There must be a better and more secure way of tracking illegal immigrants than giving them licenses (and the mobility) to then get in a car and disappear to who knows where. And not to mention, will all of these new drivers really be eligible for car insurance?
Yes, from a law enforcement perspective allowing more people to register for driver’s licenses provides a better way to track and identify people who otherwise become lost in the system. Even Hillary Clinton, who was avoiding comment on the controversial and highly political issue, was recently quoted:

I know exactly what Governor Spitzer’s trying to do and it makes a lot of sense, because he’s trying to get people out of the shadows. He’s trying to say, “O.K., come forward and we will give you this license.” But without federal policy in effect, people will come forward and they could get picked up by I.C.E. tomorrow.

This debate is moving outside Albany and into the national arena and has the potential to become a federal issue. But is the federal government really ready to take it on? The question for Spitzer is why now and why so publicly? Is it just a Hail Mary pass at taking on security? Or is the timing of the release aimed at distracting the people of New York and the rest of the country from Spitzer’s own staff who can’t seem to stay out of trouble? It will be interesting to see this all play out and how others (New York officials, presidential candidates and even international figures) might begin to weigh in on the issue. Despite his endorsements in high places, it doesn’t look like the train carrying Spitzer’s plan is moving too quickly (licensed conductor or not).
–Jennifer Buntman

Comments

31 comments on “Spitzer on the Rocks

  1. whskyjack says:

    note above , IRS , social security,
    then google
    do you know how to google?
    silly, lazy, pendejo.
    jack

    Reply

  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Interesting that Whiskey Jack’s assertions come completely devoid of links, sources, or proof of credibility.
    He simply says so, and voila, it is so.

    Reply

  3. whskyjack says:

    “You are telling us that contractors attempt to illegally employ illegal aliens by legally fullfilling their employer obligations.”
    Not only did they do just that but as many as seven and a half million paid in to social security, according to ssn numbers.
    And the most amazing number comes from the IRS, they estimate that more than 6 million of them filed tax returns.
    that would be 75% of the illegal workers in this country filing a tax return, now those numbers even blew my mind.
    Mr piss Ant
    you have displayed an incredible ignorance of IRS tax proceedures and processes, and how construction contracting and hiring works. I’ve noticed that this is not unusual for you. Most of your posts show a tendency to work your mouth rather than your brain. As you prefer your ignorance I think this is my last post on this topic.
    Jack

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  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    BTW, idiot. Its not the 1099s that are fake, its the SS number, and the subcontracter’s name, that are fake.

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  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Whiskey jack, you are making an ass of yourself. You are telling us that contractors attempt to illegally employ illegal aliens by legally fullfilling their employer obligations.
    In short, and my apologies to ms. Buntman, but I think you’re a dissembling ignorant asshole, that is offering obvious crap, shot from the hip. Your motives escape me though. Perhaps you don’t have any. Maybe its just stupidity.

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  6. whskyjack says:

    Carol
    a problem with your idependent contractor idea, I can think of few things that would trip the IRS audit program than $100,000 worth of fake 1099s. No, since you have a tax number, better and safer to with hold the taxes. or eat them.

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  7. whskyjack says:

    Independent contractors are Independent contractors
    employees are employees, The IRS takes a dim view of those business owners who mix the two up. I’ve been in the residential construction business for 20 years. Those who try to make their employees into contractors seem to end up regretting it. One of the IRS definitions I learned to follow a long time ago If you treat them like employees then they are. A major difference in this business is the question of workmans comp insurance, if I carry my own insurance I’m my own man.BTW everytime I contract with a differant builder my insurance agent sends him my certificate of insurance.
    It ain’t as simple as some want to make out. The IRS knows how to squeeze the last penny out of you.They’ve got it rigged
    Jack

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  8. Carroll says:

    You know what jack?…I was willing to listen to your view…but this really is horseshit as POA says….
    “Its the process that gives you the number. If you had ever employed anyone, knew what a 1099 was or filled out a Schedule C, you would know it makes no difference if the money is under the table or above it, taxes are paid on it. If I pay someone cash off the books, I will pay the taxes. I can’t expense the wages on my Schedule C. The taxes I will pay on “off the book” wages will be even more than what the Illegal would pay, because I am in a higher bracket.”
    There is no “process” that gives us a number in what you are describing. A 1099 is for independent contractor workers who you don’t take taxes out on to begin with, they are responsbile for their own taxes. If an illegal contract worker doesn’t file a return and pay taxes…then they don’t pay taxes. And also most of the illegals are involved in independent contract work, a lot of it seasonal or part time in construction and farm and as subs of subs for corporations. You think the sub does an employee W-9 on these workers and quarterly reports and pays it’s share of fica and ss?..Hah. They treat them as independent contractors so the burden to pay taxes on is on the worker. And I have never known of or heard of a business that didn’t expense contract work. What?…you don’t expense the cost of contract workers? You just give that money away and eat the cost? What kind of business are you in? Furthermore if you make above the cutoff line on ss taxes whatever higher (income) taxes you may pay don’t go toward those programs. Your arguement is idiotic.

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  9. whskyjack says:

    “Geez, what horseshit.”
    You are the master of horseshit and from your follow up post, Nativist crap also.
    “Do you think we are idiots, WhiskeyJack?”
    Idiot is probably the mildest thought.
    “How about you link us to the stats that show us the percentage of illegals that pay taxes? Illegals, framing houses, are getting paid anywhere from $12.50 to $17.00 an hour in Southern California, UNDER THE TABLE. Do the math”
    Then add $3700 to the amount that illegals working construction contribute to the system.
    Its the process that gives you the number. If you had ever employed anyone, knew what a 1099 was or filled out a Schedule C, you would know it makes no difference if the money is under the table or above it, taxes are paid on it. If I pay someone cash off the books, I will pay the taxes. I can’t expense the wages on my Schedule C. The taxes I will pay on “off the book” wages will be even more than what the Illegal would pay, because I am in a higher bracket.
    Now lets look at your last post, very poor quality all the way around you obviously didn’t check out the links. I would guess you found the first thing on google that fit your prejudices and ran with it.
    Throw out #1. First Illegal immigrants don’t qualify for welfare and second the number provided was for legal immigrants.
    Most of the rest of your legitimate numbers(#2,#3,#4,#5,)come out lower than my estimates
    A good example is health care you quote $312/person where as I estimated $1500, based on health insurance prices.
    so when you add your numbers up they still have the illegal immigrant well in the black
    #6 is interesting. A GAO report to congress I ran across yesterday said that over 60% are immigration detainees and over 20% are for drugs. The first would mostly disappear if we had a sane immigration policy and the second is a different issue from the undocumented worker problem.
    The rest of the post points are nativist scaries that you should be ashamed to post even under a fake name.
    jack

    Reply

  10. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The links to the sources for the following can be found at…
    http://www.congress.org/congressorg/bio/userletter/?letter_id=1497345371
    1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year.
    2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.
    3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.
    4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English! The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states nearly $12 billion annually, and when the children born here to illegal aliens are added, the costs more than double to $28.6 billion.
    5. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.
    6. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens convicted of a felony AFTER entering the country illegally. The cost of incarceration of illegal aliens in state prisons has also risen rapidly.
    7. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.
    8. $200 Billion Dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.
    9. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US
    10. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border, and as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroine and marijuana, crossed into the U. S. from the Southern border.
    11. The National Policy Institute, “estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.”
    12. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION (tax free dollars) in remittances back to their countries of origin.
    13. “The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One Million Sex Crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States “. Twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens, according to statistics released by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. If those numbers are correct, it translates to 4,380 Americans murdered annually by illegal aliens.

    Reply

  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Geez, what horseshit. Do you think we are idiots, WhiskeyJack? How about you link us to the stats that show us the percentage of illegals that pay taxes? Illegals, framing houses, are getting paid anywhere from $12.50 to $17.00 an hour in Southern California, UNDER THE TABLE. Do the math.
    Stop lying to us.

    Reply

  12. whskyjack says:

    POA
    numbers for California
    Cost per illegal resident
    Education ——– $1875.00
    incarceration state and federal
    For all aliens legal and illegal —–$707.00
    Health care per bluecross for 30yrold male for bare bones coverage, (which is more than is provided to them now) —— $1500.00
    total——————————- $3785.00
    taxes paid on the $16,000 the average an illegal worker can earn around here, federal income & Fisa and est sales tax ———- $5120.00
    total – 1335
    And that throws the nativist crap you quoted in the trash bin.
    jack

    Reply

  13. JHM says:

    “Why would he think it necessary to announce endorsements of the plan so publicly when he knows that the majority of people are already so opposed to it”
    I dunno. Maybe because he believes in something and is willing to say so even if it isn’t in his immediate political interests to do so. Sometimes this kind of behavior is regarded as courageous leadership. “[P]ragmatically evaluate this important policy for its impact on the safety and security of New Yorkers.” Maybe he ought to warn us about how Mexicans all have leprosy instead.

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  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    WhiskyJack.
    Your comment is pure unadulterated horseshit.
    First, it would be very interesting to see the stats on how many illegals pay taxes. I know that in the trades, most are paid cash, under the table. Of course, it would be nigh on impossible to gather those stats, which makes your job of feeding us horseshit much easier.
    But, then again, you might want to check out the tremendous costs in health care, the prisons, etc. But I doubt it, for you are well aware that your comment is crap, and the last thing in the world you care about is using honesty to present your “argument”.

    Reply

  15. arthurdecco says:

    Fascinating exchange. Thank you all.

    Reply

  16. Carroll says:

    Let me mention something else that is weird about the way the refugees are brought in that my friend told me.
    One refugee fellow under her supervision complained that they didn’t get their checks or money on time. I think the money comes from the government to the ministry and then is given to the refugee or family. Anyway, evidently the money has to pass thru several stages before it actually gets to the refugee. So this guy is very mad and after he gets his check he tells the case worker supervisor and ministry he doesn’t want to stay in this area any more and has friends elsewhere and is leaving.
    This man has only been in the states for six months or so and now he has just disappeared. He left and the ministry has no idea where he went.
    I doubt that a Burma refugee wandering around somewhere is any terrier threat but this just illustrates what a total farce all this border security and terrier watch and etc. really is.

    Reply

  17. Carroll says:

    Posted by whskyjack at October 26, 2007 01:53 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Hey Jack, you can read this musing about looking at the immigration and refugee issue from a local level.
    And btw..I don’t think we can rely on any studies of the positive or negative effects except those done by the states most impacted themselves. My state did a huge study on illegals here and the figures were huge on the negative side. They looked at wages, tax revenues, expenditures on services for undocumented workers and the loss to the state was close a billion. I won’t give the exact amount cause I don’t remember the exact amount but you can probably look up the report under North Carolina.
    My thoughts on the immigration issue…on my local level.
    Back when a post on the Burma refugees was made here on TWN my local paper had a article on the ones that been settled in our area by the Christian Ministries, about 900 families. A young girl who goes to my gym, who I thought was social worker for the State, actually works for the Christian Ministries I found out. She is in charge of getting them into apartments and such and overseeeing their medical needs and etc.
    Anyway, several weeks ago she was talking about switiching jobs because she was so stressed out in her current job. She is on call almost 24/7 and so far has had four of the familes she is responsible for go to the emergency room for births and in one case a child fell down stairs and ended up having to be transported to Duke for a month’s stay due to brain injury. For some reason the major thing the refugees have learned is to call 911 for everything. So instead of calling her to take them to the hospital when babies are due they call 911 and get ambulence service which the agency then has to pay for which is driving her crazy and eating up her budget. There is some sort of system where there is one refugee who speaks english and is provided a car or van for transportation who is the contact person between her and the groups she is responsible for. But the english speaking one, no matter how many times she has been told, won’t cooperate and notify her of when one needs to go to the hospital and goes to the apartment of the family and calls 911 instead even when it isn’t an emergency and then follows in her van. She was also talking about how they had “maxed out” the accomodation and job market here for their refugees and were having a hard time finding them apartments and jobs. The major employer of a lot of past refugees settled here worked for a large manufactuer, but that company has recently laid off 20% of it’s employees. This company employs a lot of workers as part time or provisional (not permnent until after a year) I learned, so I guess they are the first to go in a lay off. I am guessing that the refugee workers there would be provisional also when first hired. I don’t know what the deal is after the refugees are hired then fired. Maybe they go to the unemployment office like the others or back to refugee agency that brought them in for support.
    Then we have Bill Richardson who said this recently:
    “While our laws say they cannot come here, our economy says they should,” Richardson said. “We need to be realistic. Our economy demands these workers, and it makes no sense to have them here illegally rather than legally.”
    * Which highlights the point that the US hasn’t for decades enforced it’s own laws. All our laws are immaterial if they interfer with corporate needs. Also telling is, that if that is the case, why haven’t the laws been changed instead of ignored? Now it is O.K. to just ignore any laws that are inconvient to politics or big biz? Don’t need to even bother to change them, just break them.
    So what is true? Do we need illegals or even more refugees for workers or not? If my city is “maxed out” job and shelter wise and the State is in the red in this sector how many other cities and states are maxed out?
    Immigration is one of those issues where people are torn between their head and their heart. My primary objection to the waves of illegals and amount of immigrants is what happens when we have a recession and a pull back in employment? If taxpayer resources like health care for non citizens are stretched even during good times what happens when we really have a down turn? Seems to me the taxpayers and legal citizens will take the hit as usual and be stuck with supporting all this as well as suffering the reduced services they have been paying for all this time while the companies and politicans who set up this cheap labor importation up won’t be affected at all.
    The people profiting from the worker influx won’t be the ones carrying the burden when things sour. They are making hay while the sun shines and the taxpayers will be left with their excesses when hard times hit.
    I don’t think any solution is going to found becuase the illegal issue is looked at by the politicans as a matter of cultivating large swaths of future immigrant niche voters by giving them citizenship at some point and adding to their party strenght as well as servicing their corp contributors who benefit from this.

    Reply

  18. whskyjack says:

    POA
    “But hey, you idiots that advocate for the continued porousness of our borders by deceptivelly making this a matter of race can redeem yourselves by simply writing us taxpayers a monthly check to reimburse us for the costs associated with illegal immigration”
    No problem, it’s a negative number, so pay up.
    They pay taxes and get almost no government benefits.
    The ignorance being spewed by both the right and the left wing nativists is amazing.
    BTW nobody has called anyone racist.
    Jack

    Reply

  19. Carroll says:

    Bob h is like the uber zionist activist I have seen on the net a thousand times.
    Their “threat” is that if we dem or former dem voters make a fuss over the Israeli fetish or the illegal immigration that the dems “will lose” their elections cause the hispanic and jewish voters won’t vote for them.
    Well hey…let the dem party have the israelis and the illegals. That is who they are pandering to anyway at the expense of whole country.
    Both parties are going to bite the dust eventually since neither of them represent Americans. Nothing here for americans folks…move on. Just stand by with brooms and shovels for the clean up and rebulding when it all implodes.

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  20. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “That there is so much xenophobic, jingoistic hatred of immigrants even in a Blue State like NY is the one thing that gives me pause about Democratic prospects everywhere in 2008.”
    Posted by bob h
    Calling people that are against illegal immigration “racists” is akin to calling people that are questining Israel’s influence on American foreign policy “anti-semitic”.
    Personally I believe you jackasses that use such tactics do so because it is the only way you can defend policies that are ridiculously indefensible. Speaking for myself, I can honestly say that I haven’t met many latinos on a personal level that I did not like. But illegal immigration is destroying the quality of life for many Americans, and makes a mockery of any efforts towards “homeland security”.
    But hey, you idiots that advocate for the continued porousness of our borders by deceptivelly making this a matter of race can redeem yourselves by simply writing us taxpayers a monthly check to reimburse us for the costs associated with illegal immigration. Its obvious these pieces of shit in the Federal Government have no intention of reimbursing us.

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  21. Kathleen says:

    What kind of documents does one have to submit in order to get a driver’s license? Wouldn’t applying for a license put an illegal worker in jeopardy of being caught? I got mine so long ago, I had to submit a birth certificate to make sure I was old enough to qualify for one.
    I don’t hate immigrants, legal or otheriwse, but I do think companies that hire illegal workers to keep wages and benefits depressed should be severely punished.
    And, I’m sick of having my liberties infringed upon by some fake terrorism obssession, hiding behind catching illegals, like that no-bid contract to Halliburton to build detention centers, ostensibly for illegals, but also in the fine print, for whomever Dopey and Darth say are “enemy combatants”. This is extremely dangerous stufffff for freedom lovers of the outspoken variety.

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  22. bob h says:

    That there is so much xenophobic, jingoistic hatred of immigrants even in a Blue State like NY is the one thing that gives me pause about Democratic prospects everywhere in 2008.

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  23. jhm says:

    Aside from the percentage of the newly eligible, who might apply for licenses, how many of those currently barred from receiving valid licenses do not drive already, with or without invalid documentation?

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  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Listening to my local radio stations on my commute to and from the current house I am doing, the traffic report, EVERY EVENING, includes at least two hit and run accidents. Considering I am in an area whose chief industry is agriculture, it is not unreasonable to assume these hit and runs are in all likelyhood the fruit of illegal immigration, and undocumented aliens fleeing accident scenes for fear of deportation. I have no doubt, licensed or not, an undocumented alien has pretty stiff reservations about remaining on an accident scene, awaiting the arrival of the authorities.
    If one wants to avoid accountability in today’s United States, you either have to be a scumsucking Washington politician, someone imnporting poisonous Chinese goods into our living rooms and kitchens, or someone that has snuck over our border illegally.
    Of course, no one wants to admit that our open borders make this criminal monkey George Bush’s “Global War on Terrorism” nothing more than a big expensive stage play, with no foundation in reality or common sense. You want terrorism? Take a stroll down mainstreet Pacoima at ten o’clock in the evening. Trust me, that guy shoving a Glock up your ass isn’t speaking Arabic, and he sure as hell didn’t fly into L.A. on United.

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  25. Carroll says:

    Givng illegals a legal driving license seems rather idiotic to me.
    Sort of like the program to give drug addicts clean needles.
    It’s not a cure for anything.
    Shoot yourself and then apply a bandage, get drunk then take a drink to cure your hangover ..and on and on it goes.
    Never a solution, never a cure, just more bandages and cocktails for the problem of not coming up with a solution…and on and on and ond it goes.

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  26. downtown says:

    What Jim said!
    We have the predictable outcries from the usual suspects about Spitzer’s plan. There are a few (white) Democrats from the Bronx who sided with the Republicans on this issue. The Latino community is now starting a targeted pushback against those sell-outs. Anyone familiar with NYC demographics will realize that no political office in the Bronx can be won without significant support of the Latino community.

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  27. Fred says:

    Will ALL of them get licenses, no, of course not. But it brings those that do get licenses into the system, in a way to push them towards citizenship and under the rules and laws of NY state.

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  28. Dave Huntsman says:

    I strongly concur with Jim: the issue is not undocumented migrants driving- many are doing that anyway, illegally. This brings drivers who already exist into the system, documents them (in that way, anyway) and probably will increase safety. Your commentary is not too well thought out, in my view.

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  29. Jim says:

    Ms. Buntman,
    Do you really think that 600,000 unlicensed residents will get a license and start driving? Do you really think illegal aliens are not already driving on the streets and highways? Perhaps it will find more uninsured motorists, fake SSA cards, result in more employment and income taxes being collected. Perhaps you should be more inquisitive about the positives that could come of this proposal. It doesn’t give illegal aliens any standing in the community.

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  30. Jim says:

    Ms. Buntman,
    Do you really think that 600,000 unlicensed residents will get a license and start driving? Do you really think illegal aliens are not already driving on the streets and highways? Perhaps it will find more uninsured motorists, fake SSA cards, result in more employment and income taxes being collected. Perhaps you should be more inquisitive about the positives that could come of this proposal. It doesn’t give illegal aliens any standing in the community.

    Reply

  31. Kathleen says:

    Meanwhile… back down that proverbial Rabbit Hole, things are looking curiouser and curiouser…
    It seems that while illegal migrant workers are being lured here, across our porrous borders, to work at businesses, knowingly hiring illegal workers, without apparant penalty, busting unions, and keeping minimum wages grossly depressed…..
    and soon Mexican and Canadain trucks can be barrelling on through……
    American citizens, with passports, are being routinely detained at the Mexican border, for hours, while their records are being checked, without any probable cause….
    and thanks to the Military Commissions Act, can actually be denied re-entry to their own country, if they happen to fit Busholini and Capt’n Ahab’s definition of a real “Moby”…
    and perhaps whisked off to some remote island to have the house specialty, enhanced interrogation, without being told the charges, having benefit of legal counsel and a speedy trial….
    I’d say, things are all ass-backwards….
    I know… it’s a runnnnn-on sentence, tsk, tsk…

    Reply

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