Rick Perry’s Immigration Surrender

More Insincerity?

Let me start by saying that I know a little about immigration.  My wife is an immigrant, and even married to a soldier, the hoops through which we were forced to leap and the fees we paid seemed outlandish as we prepared to move to Texas from Germany.  It was simply another brief hardship we happily faced together in our young marriage.  After I left the Army, we concluded that Texas would make a great home, and it was here in Texas where we came face-to-face with our national crisis in illegal immigration.  In the time we’ve lived here, what we have learned is that both parties tend to ignore the problem and downplay enforcement.   On the Democrat side, there is a tendency to see illegals as more votes, since Democrats aren’t picky if even the dead vote, so non-citizens voting isn’t really a problem in their view.  Some Republicans turn a blind eye for another reason, and it’s simply this:  Illegals are frequently paid in cash, under-the-table, and for jobs in agriculture and construction, they thereby hold down the cost of labor.  This increases profits on any job, and it’s on this basis that many otherwise law-and-order conservatives refuse to rock the boat or challenge the status quo.

This has been true with Democrats and Republicans in the White House, and in charge of Congress.  It’s been true whether Texas had a Republican or Democrat governor and legislature.  Nothing seems to make much difference, and many Texans in either party are in a hurry to sweep the issue under the carpet.  As Texas has grown and its illegal immigrant population has ballooned, is it also true that our economy here has continued along better than most, in part due to our competitive advantage with other states.  Part of that competitive advantage owes to illegal immigrants.  Rick Perry enjoys pointing out how many jobs have been created during his tenure as governor, but the truth is that many of them are low-skilled, low-wage jobs, and many of those are filled by illegals with stolen social security numbers.  Everything has a cost in the real world, and while you may gain an advantage one area, somewhere, somehow, the cost are being borne by somebody.

Let me state plainly that I don’t blame anybody born elsewhere who concludes that their best bet for prosperity lies here in the United States, particularly when measured against the conditions of their home countries.  I understand, because I’ve been abroad to places where I wouldn’t have wanted to raise my child, or build much of anything, because freedom is so sparse and opportunity is so rare.   Let none misunderstand what I’m saying to be some sort of anti-immigrant bias.  Often, I think immigrants more readily appreciate the opportunities this country represents more thoroughly than some fair number who were lucky to have been born here.  It was certainly true of my mother’s grandparents.  For them, America was the greatest opportunity they had dared ever to imagine, and they set out to make the most of it.

With this in mind, let me state it quite bluntly:  You cannot build a nation that provides such freedom and opportunity without defending the rule of law on which these precious commodities had been based.  This means that we must require people to enter legally, and to obtain legal documentation to work.  Who can claim that it’s too much to ask?  If a nation is defined by geographical boundaries, and a common base of governance and law, who can argue that it may be maintained by ignoring its laws or its geographical boundaries?

My first personal experience with illegal immigration consisted of rescuing a young Mexican fellow who had been treed by a neighbor’s young bull.  Clinging to the trunk of an old Live Oak, standing on a stout limb some ten feet from the ground, he was in this predicament because he had wandered into our secluded property, and when he saw our dogs, he flung himself over the barbed-wire fence that separated our property from our neighbor’s pasture.  Landing in that pasture, the young bull came to investigate the barking dogs, and upon spying the young man, gave chase, with the poor fellow seeking refuge in the tree.  I managed to move the bull away, long enough to get the terrified young man down, which was difficult because he understood almost no English.  Once down, I led him to the gate and tried to discover what he had been doing there.

Another neighbor, having spied the goings-on, had called our local constable who was a fluent Spanish-speaker.  The constable arrived, and asked him a question, and all I could make out was that he’d asked for a green card.  The young man lowered his head, and shook it signaling “no,” and the constable loaded him in his car, and thanked me for rescuing the young man from his predicament before departing.  He explained that the young man was working his way north, looking for work, staying off the highway where he might be picked up by law enforcement.  I couldn’t help but feel bad for him.  He looked to be no older than 18 or 19, and he surely had experienced hard times well before he walked into my yard and then leaped from the frying pan into the fire.  My dogs might have scared him, but the young bull would have hurt him.  All this, he risked for work.  Being in Central Texas, if he had walked any part of the distance from Mexico, he’d been on foot a long while.  The term “economic refugee” played in my mind, and I knew what it must mean to people who come here from Mexico and elsewhere.

The next experience we had with illegal immigrants came when we had an occasion to go to the emergency room.  An incident with a bucking horse resulted in a trip to the ER, where Mrs. America was diagnosed with a broken hand.  While we were in the waiting area, a broken hand being relatively lower priority, we encountered a number of illegal immigrants who were there for everything from early labor to children with fever, to more serious conditions.  In short, the place was swamped with them.  You might wonder how I could know their status, but it’s really as simple as this: The lady who was checking us in and verifying financial responsibility took my wife’s insurance card, and said “Praise the Lord! A paying customer!”  Naive as I was in those days, I asked her what she meant, and as she shoved forms in front of me to complete, she explained that most of the people in the crowded waiting area were people who would never pay.  I commented on the fact that it seemed terribly busy for a Tuesday evening, and she remarked that this was turning out to be a slow day.  I asked her bluntly: “If they’re not paying, who does?”  She laughed at me and said: “Dear boy, that’s Medicaid. Most of them are illegals, and we’ll wind up filing for payments from the State. It’s called Indigent Care.”

As I returned to where my wife was seated, cradling her hand, I pondered what all of this must cost us each year.  As I looked around the room at the scale of the problem, I became dizzy with the implications.  My education had only just begun.  Next came the schools.  This is where I learned that in my daughter’s classroom would be children who were receiving an education for which we all pay, but whose parents don’t pay any taxes beyond those unavoidable ones on sales.  Slowly but surely, this all began to add up to something, and then one day, years later, I saw two people walking across my back horse pasture.  I wondered what they might be doing, when one of them inadvertently made contact with one of the electrical strands.  There was an eruption of cursing in Spanish, and I walked out to see who they were and what they were doing.  Like the young fellow of more than a decade before, these two didn’t speak much English.  They seemed harmless enough, but they asked me if I had any work.  “Work” was approximately the extent of their English.  I told them I hadn’t, but I could see they had been walking many miles.

What I realized as they left my property and onto the next was that they probably would avoid detection, and so large is the problem that even a law-and-order conservative like me had no particular concern about it, and had shrugged at the futility of it all, simply returning to the task at hand.  I too had become thoroughly desensitized to it.  Of course, if you live for any time in Texas, particularly in rural areas, you become accustomed to all this as an ordinary part of life, and therein lies a serious problem:  We’ve become accustomed to law-breaking on a wide scale, and no politician here or in Washington seems the least bit interested in addressing it.  Their answer seems to be to simply legalize the former illegality.

Rick Perry is just one more in a long parade of politicians who have done little – virtually nothing really – to discourage all of this, and the problem is that so long as we shut up and pay, that’s how it’s going to be.  Don’t misunderstand: I don’t blame only Rick Perry, not by a long-shot, but the truth is that every time somebody in our legislature has raised a ruckus and offered a bill on the subject, Perry has been there to shoot it down.  More, he’s been happy to sign things into law that effectively act as encouragement, and I can’t endorse any part of that, including the bill that gave in-state tuition rates to the children of illegals.  I realize that politicians also feel stuck between a rock and a hard place on this issue, but after all, for whom do they work?  The answer to this question may contain the key to a larger  universe of issues in which our government is intransigent in the face of our demands.  In too many cases, the answer may well be that they’re not working for us, but for other interests upon whom they rely in order to maintain their power, and as a result, we pay, often in more ways than one.

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7 Responses to Rick Perry’s Immigration Surrender

  1. stevebayrd says:

    Mark, you may be the only one that can head off a train I see in the distance. I enjoy your pieces at C4P and do all I can to support Sarah. But I see a looming issue that both GOP elites and Dems may use to undermine her once she announces: Why did Sarah endorse Perry for governor if he was a crony capitalist and all the other negatives? I've mentioned this to both C4P and O4P but none havedistance. I enjoy your pieces at C4P and do all I can to support Sarah. But I see a looming issue that both GOP elites and Dems may use to undermine her once she announces addressed it yet. Hopefully her staff has got an answer in the can. Perhaps only a Texas person can answer this and defuse the coming attack.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Steve, I think it's very simple. Outwardly, to the rest of the world, Perry carries himself off as a conservative, but in the background, behind the scenes, Perry conducts himself like just one more moderate, pro-amnesty, pro-big-government establishment Republican. A lot of people think they know Rick Perry, and then the truth pops up, and then suddenly all the nonsense goes away. It's entirely possible that Palin(along with many others) gathered one impression about Perry to later discover he wasn't all he had been cracked up to be. For years here in Texas, while he was Lt. Governor, many people had the impression that he was more conservative than Bush, but then when he became governor, not all was so peachy. You also need to remember that most of the worst of it has gotten little coverage outside Texas until now. To me, it's easy to understand. I have fairly politically-engaged siblings who live in other states, who suffered from the same mis-impressions of Perry… Perry has gone to great lengths to cultivate the image of a Texas conservative. Inside Texas, most folks have learned that it's mostly hype.

  2. PalinSupporter2012 says:

    If you watch Palin on Greta a few days ago, you see where she is distancing herself from Perry. She says that "he seemed to be a maverick (basically where she supported him) but later something didn't seem quite right about the vaccinations and now we know why" (distancing herself gracefully).

    The same holds true with her endorsement of Bachmann. Each candidate has to rise or fall on their own record and merits. Bachmann is starting to fall based on those merits. The same holds true about Perry, the vetting is bringing things out to me and others. I also see now why it has been important for Palin to not announce yet. If she was a candidate now ALL of the focus would be on her and no one else would be vetted. Such issues as these from Perry would only be known to the people in Texas such as Mark.

    I think supporting them was the lesser of the two evils. If Bachmann had stayed out of race as well as Perry, neither would have to be going thru the vetting process and could keep their existing positions that required support in the first place.

    Personally, I think she knew these things all along and is letting each candidate vet the other. She has had here 3+ years of vetting already. It is their turn now if they want to play in the Presidential sandbox.

    • PalinSupporter2012 says:

      From an article at C4P

      "So, I think it’s pretty clear that Governor Palin may have preferred Perry over Kay Bailey-Hutchinson for Governor of Texas … but there is no indication whatsoever that she is positioning herself to endorse him for president. In fact … all the facts would seem to suggest just the opposite."
      http://conservatives4palin.com/2011/09/the-hills-

  3. Malinkaz says:

    I have been searching the internet for the source of your article about Perry and his views on immigration. I realize this is probably more true than not living in TX myself, but I don't see any mention of where this info came from or what else was included. We are pragmatists in TX. It is what it is. They are here and we have to deal with them, illegals. Are you suggesting we take 11 million people in one day and send them all back somewhere? Are you suggesting we build camps for them and house 11 million people? The cost would be staggering. I am not saying I have the answer. I do believe we need security on our borders but sometimes really rotten folks seem to get into Ame. from very bad places with legal documents too. The problem is very big and rather than attack him, suggest an answer.

    • MarkAmerica says:

      Malinkaz, Your conclusions are puzzling. There are two links in the article. More, your question about deporting 11 million illegals… Let me ask you: How many should be permitted to stay? All 11 million? What's the number? What's the cost to tax-payers annually per illegal immigrant? It's much more than $0.00. If you want to make a cost-benefit analysis out of this, fine, but then be prepared to compile the costs on both sides. And also, while I didn't suggest that we could deport 11 million people, (remembering that this was YOUR thesis,) since you don't wish to do so on the basis that it's impossible to do so, let me ask: How many is it possible to deport? Thanks! Mark

  4. Dave Francis says:

    ONE OF THE GREATEST BILLS EVER, AGAINST THE ILLEGAL ALIEN INVASION

    Never will there ever be another chance, to remove the contamination that has crept into Congress. Perhaps this is our final option to clean the rot from Washington and replace the aisles with honest TEA PARTY leaders. It's evident that the GOP doesn't want to lose their influence and their access to copious favors from H street lobbyists. It’s a similar agenda with Democrats and the hidden sleaze emanating from the Liberal extremists, who must be elected out. Furtherance, that main stream America must stay vigilant, against violations of our voting laws. ILLEGAL ALIENS DO VOTE AND HAVE DONE SO IN PREVIOUS ELECTIONS. THANKS TO ACORN AND ITS FRAUDULENT REGISTRATIONS, FOREIGNERS MAY HAVE POSSIBLY CHANGED CLOSE RACES IN OUR “CITIZENS ONLY” ELECTORATE.

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS NOT JUST A VIOLATION OF AMERICANS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS, BUT THEFT OF MILLIONS OF JOBS AND A VISIBLE DOWNGRADE OF OUR ECONOMY. REP. LAMAR SMITH IS ON RECORD THIS THURSDAY TO CHANGE THE LAWS AND MAKE E-VERIFY MANDATORY. THERE IS NOT ENOUGH ROOM IN MY COMMENTARY TO SPREAD THE WORD. BUT EVERYBODY APPLYING FOR ANY JOB WILL HAVE TO BE VERIFIED. NO MATTER IF YOU’RE BLACK, WHITE, HISPANIC OR ANY OTHER RACES; THIS WILL BE OF MASSIVE ADVANTAGE TO YOU AND YOUR JOB SEARCH IF YOU CAME TO AMERICA THROUGH THE FRONT DOOR. H.R. 2885 New Bill Number for Lamar Smith's "Legal Workforce Act" IS GOING TO THE FLOOR AND CAN SAVE YOUR JOB BY YOU CONTACTING YOUR REPRESENTATIVE THROUGH THE WASHINGTON DC SWITCHBOARD AT 202-224-3121. INSISTING YOUR SENATORS AND HOUSE VOTE FOR H.R. 2885.

    Go to the Heritage Foundation website, NumbersUSA or Judicial Watch and read for the dollar figures that should push you to vote. Discover information at American Patrol, the Liberals and Democrats want to keep concealed, of the daily criminal and illegal alien activities in local and national news media. If you believe in the “Rule of Law.” and citizens rights established in the US Constitution.
    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and major forces have attempted to get him to keep postponing the moving of H.R. 2885.

    DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT NUMBERSUSA, AMERICAN PATROL AND JUDICAL WATCH WOULD SIGN ON TO THE REP. LAMAR SMITH BILL H.R.2885, IF IT WASN’T BENEFICIAL TO AMERICAN WORKERS AND OUR FAILING ECONOMY? E-VERIFY IS TO EJECT ILLEGAL ALIENS FROM THE WORKPLACE, USING THE SOCIAL SECURITY VERIFYING SYSTEM. IF IT MEANT THE LOSE OF JOBS TO UNITED STATES, NATURALIZED CITIZENS AND GREEN CARD RECIPIENTS THOUSANDS OF PRO-SOVEREIGNTY GROUPS WOULD APPOSE THE BILL. NEVER WILL THE GOP ESTABLISHMENT OR DEMOCRATS SEAL OUR BORDER—JAMMED TIGHT, OR RELINQUISH ITS HOLD ON VOTES OR LOWER WAGE LABOR. ONLY THE TEA PARTY THAT IS A SPLINTER GROUP OF THE REPUBLICANS WILL ENFORCE ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION LAWS TO THE FULL EXTENT OF THE 1986 IMMIGRATION LAWS.
    I guess if you don’t mind subsidizing illegal aliens to the tune of $113 Billion dollars a year and climbing like a vine, then you will not bother calling your Lawmakers. Don’t leave this obnoxious issue for others to participate in, phone, fax your people in Washington or State Capitol.

    All stops will be ripped out, to ensure that—ONLY—A –TRUE–TEA PARTY politician gain control, in the House or Senate. Already the Republican power mongers are influencing debates by pushing Rick Perry, but he has bad karma on illegal immigration, that will forever be a prominent decider in the Presidential or any elections until our laws are strictly enforced. Mitt Romney has settled into a D-, as he hasn't convinced the millions of TEA PARTY membership of his record on immigration. Most others except Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain have the strong supporters of stopping the out-of-control occupancy of foreigners, who have steadily poured into this nation, with no true deterrent of any administration. ALWAYS REMEMBER THE TEA PARTY PEOPLE, ARE JUST THAT ORDINARY AMERICANS LIKE YOU. THEY ARE NOT ATTORNEY-POLITICIANS OR HARD CORE COMMUNIST INSPIRED LEFTIST.

    President Obama for a time has illustrated some strong enforcement, up to this latest period in the White House, but eventually being intimidated by the czars in his circle of far left wing influence. Today–in this dreary recession, when millions of workers throughout America are living on food stamps and limited unemployment benefits, Obama has decided to only to process heinous criminals, instead of following through with the law and deporting every alien who falls into the clutches of ICE. Millions of Americans stand on the edge of miserable poverty, but millions of foreign nationals have been hired by dirty business owners who refuse to follow the law. The 20 million plus population of foreign invaders began in 1986, which was the start of the government’s unceasing engineered encouragement of covertly finding ways to promote millions from pouring through undermanned border regions.

    IT’S AN OBVIOUS CONCLUSION THAT IF THEIR WAS ANY REAL INDUCEMENT TO ENFORCE IMMIGRATION LAWS, THE BORDERS WOULD BE SEALED SHUT AND UNLAWFUL ENTRY WOULD BE A FELONY? THE 1986 IMMIGRATION LAWS WAS A WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY, AS BUSINESSES WERE NEVER PUNISHED AND THE WHOLE THING WAS A TRAVESTY.

    THE 3.5 Million illegal aliens who received AMNESTY and poor processing (Much of what was tantamount to fraud, concluded with millions more slipping across the borders and flying in from foreign countries. America is now crippled with millions of originally Chain Migration recipients, who survive on welfare handouts? We must draw the line on desperate nationals from other lands, when 15.1 percentage of America lives in poverty. Every year we take in at least a million newcomers, who supposedly are highly skilled in numerous occupations? In truth many have mediocre job skills, that out or work Americans have the experience to do. This is about importing cheap labor and not top notch scientists, engineers, who should receive expedited visas. Thousands of the poorly skilled come here on fraudulent applications, drawn up by incorrigible corporations and their well-paid attorneys.