Friday, March 14, 2008

What the ??

The disconnects in this story are so bad that I can't even think of a coherent title for the story. But here's how it goes:

Last April, that, is almost one entire year ago, a young man was murdered, shot, in San Francisco's Tenderloin. Call him The Victim. On information from another young man, whom we will call The Witness, a third young man, The Suspect, was thrown in jail and charged; The Witness claimed that The Suspect was the shooter and that he, The Witness, had watched the whole thing. Oh, goody, an eyewitness. The court finally scheduled a preliminary hearing yesterday for the case; The Suspect has been in jail this entire time.

The Suspect, however, is now out of jail and free for the foreseeable future; the prosecutors had to drop the case. They had to drop the case because - wait for it - The Witness was deported to Honduras, from whence he came, in December. He was convicted on drug charges in November; and since he was now a felon as well as an illegal immigrant, the authorities handed him over to ICE, who sent him back to enrich the community in Honduras.

My first impulse is to ask whether the federal and local law enforcement communities do not talk to each other, except that it's so obvious on the face of it that they don't. On consideration, though, I can't really argue with ICE deporting The Witness; he was illegal in at least two positions. But: wasn't it the same court who turned The Witness over for deportation, who was eventually going to hear the case in which he was the only eyewitness??

Wouldn't it have been possible to leave The Witness here, in jail, until he could testify in the murder trial??

Does the right hand talk to the left hand, or even acknowledge that it exists??

5 comments:

  1. Well, Honduras deserves him.

    I'll be current.

    Now the immigrant lobby has hoisted up a flabby old Mexican domestic in order to sue her employers in HIllsborough for "abusing" her by calling her names and making her work 14 hours a day. Oh my.

    This is the same lobby that wants us to lie down for illegal immigration because we depend so vitally on the cheap labor which these scofflaws provide.

    You can't have it both ways, or maybe they think they can. Can't get in?--jump the border. Get a job that pays real wages in a luxury home?--sue the bastards for unfair labor standards. Get a settlement, and pay a lawyer to make citizenship, then import 27 relatives on visitors' visas.

    And the media eats it up.

    Am I surprised?

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  2. Boggart6:42 AM

    No, Peter doesn't speak to Paul, anymore than Patricia speaks to Priscilla. We're human, and that statement encompasses ill-logic, intentional and unintention blindness, and a general sprinkling of stupidity.

    A local, small, nearby city, for the last two years, has been requiring proof of residency to attend their public schools. The locals were tired of over crowded schools with stretched thin tax money due to the suspected large number of children who crossed the border every day to avail themselves of a free education. (Totally free as their parents didn't pay taxes.)The number of elementary school aged children in the district dropped by well over 300.

    Now, the school district has budget problems, due to the amount of money spent on administering the school district. Oh, my are the locals upset. Seems the state money those underage border crossing students represented is now missed. So, some of those who actually work with in the schools, teachers, aids, groundspeople, are being laid off. Lay off some of the top heavy district administrative staff? Cut salaries for that same top heavy staff? Of course not, if they are gone who would run the district? Besides, they are the ones making the decisions. Why would they share in any financial belt tightening?

    So we get to read all the details in the local newspaper. Now California is budget cutting. That means even less money for K-12. I expect the howls of pain from that particular border city to continue to fill our local paper. I do not expect to see any sane, sensible approach to the problem.

    I guess I've disconnected as well.

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  3. Boggart:

    Doubtless, there will be inconsistencies and unexpected disconnects in the chaos caused by this overwhelming influx of illegals into the U.S.

    The root problem is that Mexico is an outlaw third world nation, ruled by de facto criminals at the behest of gangster upper classes. Welcome to Central America. But we can't tell the Mexicans, or anyone else in any other country on earth, what they're supposed to do about unemployment, poverty, crime, environmental degradation, etc., etc., etc.

    Americans, generally--and Calilfornian, specifically--must have the right to make the best of what we have, that over which we have jurisdiction. To claim that we have "no right" to control out borders, our schools, our health care institutions, our welfare departments, and our environment IN OUR OWN INTEREST, is to deny every democratic privilege and right which sovereignty entitles us to. The Japanese and Germans and New Zealanders discovered this--or realized it--three generations back. If we want California to be habitable 50-100 years from now, we need to:

    1) reduce its population--or at least stop its growth;

    2) stop the wholesale exploitation of resources and land.

    Our economy may become sluggish, our GDP may decline, but, bottom line, we may still have a liveable place.

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  4. In actual fact, Curtis, the "flabby old Mexican domestic" seems to have been a U.S. citizen. Her English may be imperfect but she was naturalized; I found this quote in the second article in the Chronicle, the one dated 3/14, which was somewhat expanded:

    "New immigrants and undocumented workers are more often exploited, she said, but even workers like Serralta, a U.S. citizen, can feel trapped in a bad job."

    I don't actually think that makes a difference; it's illegal for employers to treat employees like that, even if the employees are illegal immigrants.

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  5. The advocates for the domestic were all Immigrant Activist groups. La Raza, etc. The primary defining purpose of these groups is to facilitate a vast migration of peoples from Central and South America into North America. They have vowed to use virtually every weapon available, including civil suits, both test cases and class actions; they advocate the legalization of every aspect of immigrant presence, including free schooling, welfare, employment, (free) legal representation, voting, etc. They want "open borders" and unrestricted annual quotas; and they regard illegal border crossings as a justifiable pressure valve for hardships in the mother country.

    Much is made of the immigrants' great contribution to American life through taxes and work, but in actuality most of the money paid to illegals is in cash. In point of fact, most of the non-agricultural jobs taken by illegals used to be done by Americans. Our hotel-motel industry and low-level manufacturing jobs are now mostly taken by illegals. The construction trades (and the unions which represent them) including carpenters, roofers, pavers, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc., have been decimated by the influx of illegal, cheap ("street-corner") labor pools. Our schools, already overburdened with bulging enrollments and shrinking budgets, now must deal with large numbers of students who can't speak English, many of whom coagulate into gangs and vicious cliques.

    If the domestic in question is a citizen, she's entitled to the same protections which any citizen has. We don't hear much about exploitation of citizen home workers, because it's not newsworthy. But the woman in question is being used as a test case to foreground her Central American identity, and to emphasize her case as an example of the immigrant plight. The lobbies want not only full amnesty and forgiveness, but additional rights and protections not even available to citizens.

    The immigrant rights groups know that the best way to push their agenda is to try a citizen case. When Americans saw the demonstrators in Los Angeles carrying the Mexican flag, they got angry. Who believes you could carry a foreign flag in a demonstration in any other country of the world, and make demands on foreign sovereignties?

    Americans don't owe Mexico a duty. We have no obligation to relinquish what prosperity and security still remain to us, in the interests of a selfish, corrupt Central American nation. The worst part about confronting the immigration debate is being accused--unfairly, I feel--of inhumanity, or selfishness, or racism, or class contempt, whatever.

    America is a nation of immigrants, and no one--perhaps not even the Amer-Indians--can claim any aboriginal status that trumps other considerations. But this is not 1800, or 1900, or even 1950. The North American Continent is already relatively crowded, and is no longer in need of cheap labor or more bodies to fill up an empty landscape. Our immigration policies have begun to reflect this fact.

    Advocates of sensible immigration policy emphasize the need to set standards: New immigrants should be educated, healthy, politically neutral, and be willing to abide by (swear by) our laws and speak (or quickly learn to speak) English. Certain exceptional situations are recognized, i.e., refugees, political dissidents, etc. On the whole, our present immigration policy is an acknowledgment that America can no longer serve as the "promised land" for the rest of the world's poor, frustrated, suffering masses.

    The "growth paradigm", so fond to economists, inevitably leads to overcrowding, exploitation of land and resources, and ultimately a degradation of all aspects of life. How far are Americans willing to go down the path of rapid population growth accompanied by an isostatic fluctuation of capital around the globe? Are we willing to let Los Angeles, once a beautiful city, become Mexico City? Are we willing to tolerate vast slum suburbs and wholesale environmental degradation, in order to accommodate the huddled masses of the Third World? And, once having done so, will we look nostalgically back on the good old days?

    What really bugs me about the Hillsborough maid is the cynical way her plight is being used as propaganda. Here's a woman who'd be more than lucky to get paid half of what she can get here, and who'd certainly have fewer privileges, rights and perks than she would in Central America. Despite this, her handlers are using her to chastise America for "persecuting" illegals.

    It's the same miserable situation in Silicon Valley. American universities and colleges turn out rafts of qualified computer programmers each year, but many can't find work. Why? The dot-com corporations--all with the consent and blessing of Congress and our immigration laws--refuse to hire them, seeking cheap Indian and Chinese and Indonesian and Filipino immigrant "engineers" instead. Then these same corporations complain about a "lack of suitable" qualified American citizen applicants, and whine about the need for more tech visas.

    Americans are told to get lots of education, to prepare themselves for the coming high-tech work world, one in which America will lead the way with entrepreneurial panache. But the plain fact is that American prosperity was built upon the factory system, and domestic reinvestment in production. It won't matter how many young people have bachelor and master degrees, because there won't be any jobs for them. Whereas the middle class in America once worked in secure, long-term careers in manufacturing, that base is now GONE. Sent overseas.

    Maybe our government could send a little "foreign aid" to Michigan, maybe encourage some metal and glass parts industries? Maybe we could start up some wood products factories in Washington State, instead of sending all our lumber to Japan and China to be sold back to us as finished wood products?

    If Obama advocated that, I'd consider voting for him.

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