Tag Archives: illegal immigration

Patch of California cracks down on Illegal Immigrants – even they do much of the work in that area.

The NY Times on January 5, 2011: By Ian Lovett “Patch of California Cracks Down on Illegal Immigrants”

Why is this post relevant on a bankrutpcy attorney blog? Bankruptcy gives a chance to reflect on the past and on the future. No longer are creditors calling. There is time to think. There are no garnishments. One can breath again.

Here is what I ask people to think about: In every economic crisis, there is a human tendency to blame and seek out a group to single out as if not causing, at least contributing to the misery of the moment.

Undocumented central and south Americans have not caused the recession. Nor are they contributing to the prolongation of the recession, my my estimation.

Nevertheless, 50 miles east of Los Angeles, Murrieta, California, became the fifth Inland Empire city to require all businesses to check the legal status of new employees with E-Verify, an online federal government system designed to confirm employment eligibility. Business in Murrieta that do not comply, can lose their licenses.

Temecula, California also recently enacted similar legislation into its city code.

Unemployment is around 15% in Murrieta, and anglo locals complain that immigrants are inundating industries like fast food and construction, leaving citizens unable to find jobs. The county in which Temecula and Murrieta are located, Riverside County, have latino populations of about 40%.

In California, Latinos make up about 37% of the population.

The Republican state assemblyman who represents that portion of Riverside where Temecula and Murrieta are located does not support the mandatory use of all employers by E-Verify, noting that the loss of laborers could be an unwelcome economic shock: “A lot of industries here have run on illegal immigration…work is here and available, and that’s a magnet for illegal immigrants. But I would like to see a more comprehensive approach, which also involves securing our border, and dealing with people who are already here whether we like it or not.”

Riverside is also a large agricultural area. Many immigrants work in the backbreaking harvesting of food and processing of food industries.

During the “boom” years in the middle of the 2000’s the immigration complaints were not as loud – when we needed them to build and remodel our overpriced houses to try to flip.

If bankrutpcy is giving you a fresh start to think a bit…please try to think a bit broadly and equitably, is all that I ask.

“Anchor Babies” – Some higher thoughts.

With every recession or crisis seems to come increased anti-immigrant sentiment.

I have blogged my thoughts on being careful about such sentiments – examining why we would come to wish to exclude members of our community.

When times were booming, the anti-immigrant sentiment seemed lower…now it seems higher.

Here are some more thoughts from the August 21, 2010 edition of The Economist, page 24:

Only about a sixth of the countries in the world practice "birthright citizenship". The US adopted it originally to end slavery, making anyone born in the country "subject to the jurisidiction thereof". Sadly, this was also a clause also then meant to exclude sovereign Native-American tribes and is today still used to exempt the children of foreign diplomats from becoming American citizens.

By 1982, the US Supreme Court had ruled that people who entered illegally were still subject to the "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" language and standard. A recent Pew Hispanic Centre study found taht 8.0% of the births in America are to illegal immigrant parents.

The "Anchor Baby" syndrome may be a false alarm. ONly about 4,000 people per year escape deportation because they ahve children who are citizens; the foreign parents of Americans can only be considered for citizenship once their child turns 21.

Many wealthy Asian and Latin American women do have "Anchor Babies" – but do it legally with a Visa. A firm in China charges $14,750 for three month stays in America to give birth – but the mother has to arrange her own Visa – per the WAshington Post.

Changing the rules to exclude Anchor Babies could be difficult. It may require an amendment to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. A majority of two-thirds of the House and Senate must ratify a constitutional amendment along with three-quarters of the state legislatures.

Legislation by Congress to exclude from citizenship babies born to illegal immigrants would conflict with 1982 US Supreme Court precedent.

The anti-"Anchor Baby" provisions seem unlikely to go anywhere.

But this debate is potentially socially damaging. Do we want to futher talk about creating two classes of citizens?

Has anybody read Dr. Suess recently? Ever heard of the Star-Bellied Snitches?

Two “levels” of birth certificates?

The New York Times reported on January 5, 2011, of a growing movement that seeks that states will issue two different types of birth certificates.

If this movement gains sufficient steam to obtain amendments to state laws, then the states will grant a “Class A” birth certificate to children who have parents with legal residency papers or who are citizens.

A “Class B” certificate will be issued to children whose parents are both undocumented.

This would seem to be at odds to the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which grants citizenship to anyone born on American soil.

Gabriel J. Chin, a law professor at the University of Arizona is quoted in the NY Times as saying “This is political theater, not a serious effort to create a legal test….it strikes me as unwise, un-American and unconstitutional.

The 14th Amendment, adopted in 1868, was a repudiation of the Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling in the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision. The Dred Scott ruling held that people of african decent could never be citizens.

The US Supreme Court affirmed the 14th Amendment in 1898 in the case of US v. Wong Kim Ark, interpreting the citizenship provision to apply to a child born to Chinese immigrants.

Tea Party member (Arizona representative Duncan Hunter) said in the NY Times quote: “And we’re not being mean…we’re just saying it takes more than walking across the border to become an American citizen. It’s what’s in our souls.”

See NY Times, Wednesday, January 5, 2011, page A1, by Marc Lacey. “On Immigration, Birthright Fight in U.S. is Looming.”