Friday, November 25, 2011

Illegal Immigration (Pt. I)

The most recent Republican presidential debate generated something of a kerfuffle when Newt Gingrich proposed a quasi-amnesty for illegal aliens. What he said reminded me of a pair of columns I wrote for the local paper a few years back.

The numbers are perhaps a little dated now, but I think the arguments are just as valid today as they were then. The piece I put up today addresses why we must stop illegal immigration, and tomorrow I'll talk about what I think we should do about the illegals who are already here:
Pennsylvania state legislators, responding to mounting evidence that the flood of illegal aliens across our southern border is putting a serious strain on our national well-being, have introduced a bill that would make Pennsylvania a less desirable destination for people who are here illegally.

To understand what motivates this legislation consider just a few points made by Pat Buchanan in his book State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America:
  • In 2005 there were 687 assaults on border agents, twice the figure for 2004.
  • In 2004 160,000 non-Mexicans were caught illegally crossing our border. Only 30,000 were returned.
  • Federal agents are required to release illegal immigrants if their home countries refuse to take them back.
  • In George Bush's first 4.5 years in office approximately 4 million people entered this country illegally.
  • Police in so-called "sanctuary cities" are prohibited from apprehending known illegal or criminal aliens. Gang members in L.A. who are in violation of deportation orders may not be arrested by police.
  • In L.A. 95% of all outstanding warrants for homicide, some 1200 to 1500, are for illegal aliens.
  • 66% of the 17,000 outstanding fugitive felony warrants in L.A. are for illegal aliens.
  • 12,000 of the 20,000 members of the 18th Street Gang in California are illegals.
  • Between 300,000 and 350,000 "anchor babies" are born to illegal aliens each year. These children, one in every ten babies born in the U.S., are automatically citizens and qualify for all benefits of citizenship.
  • Between 10% and 20% of all Mexican, Central American, and Caribbean peoples have moved to the U.S.
  • One in twelve illegals caught by the border patrol has a criminal record. It's estimated that 300,000 felons have crossed into the U.S. in the last five years.
  • Mara Salvatrucha, a gang responsible for numerous rapes, murders, mutilations and other crimes, has 8,000 to 10,000 members in 33 states. The illegal aliens in this gang are almost immune to police arrest and deportation because they operate in sanctuary cities. The gang is comprised primarily of El Salvadoran illegals.
  • Illegals are bringing diseases that had been virtually eradicated in the U.S. Malaria, polio, hepatitis, tuberculosis, leprosy, syphilis and other diseases are all skyrocketing in the southwest. From 1960 to 2000 there were only 900 reported cases of leprosy in the U.S. In the first three years of the 21st century there were 7000.
  • Since few illegals have health insurance and since hospitals are obligated to care for them, 84 California hospitals closed their doors between 1994 and 2003 because they could not afford to provide free medical care for the numerous illegals who needed it.
  • Immigrants in general, and illegals in particular, are depressing the wages of low-skilled Americans by almost 8% according to Paul Krugman of the NYT.
  • It's a myth that immigrants help the economy by paying taxes. The cost of schooling, health care, welfare, social security and prisons, plus the costs of pressure on resources like water, land, and power far exceed the revenue that immigrants, legal and illegal, contribute. The net cost to the taxpayer, imposed by immigrants, has been estimated at around $108 billion for 2006.
The above is but a fraction of the crisis Buchanan outlines in his book. Other sources estimate that as many as twelve Americans are murdered every day by illegal aliens. That's 1000 more dead each year than have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 9/11. Moreover, it's estimated that thirteen Americans are killed every day by DUI illegal aliens, and another study estimates that there are 240,000 illegal alien sex offenders in the U.S. who average four victims apiece.

I don't know how much of all this might be questioned by those more expert than I, but if only a tenth of it is accurate, we have an extremely grave problem on our hands. Unless our leadership in Washington is made to understand the peril, and commits itself to doing something to rectify it, our children and grandchildren are going to grow up in a very different country than we and our parents did.

There is no argument that justifies the fecklessness of both parties in Washington on this issue. Neither the argument based on compassion toward the poor nor the argument based upon economic necessity, nor the argument based upon the U.S. being a nation of immigrants justifies turning a blind eye to the economic and demographic convulsion building across North America.

President Bush signed a bill allocating $1.2 billion to erect 700 miles of high-tech fence, but construction has dawdled. Meanwhile, our state congressmen are to be commended for attempting to mitigate the consequences of the debacle being spawned by White House and Congressional indifference.


In the very cold Antarctic ice forms quickly on the water's surface, causing the remaining liquid water to become saltier. This brine is heavier than the water around it and thus sinks, but since it's so cold it causes the water around it to freeze which forms a briney icicle called a brinicle:
You can read more about the making of this video at The Blaze.

Stuxnet Redux

Debkafile raises the possibility that the recent missile explosion in Iran which killed some of their top scientists was in fact triggered by the Stuxnet virus that has infected their computer systems:
Exhaustive investigations into the deadly explosion last Saturday, Nov. 12 of the Sejil-2 ballistic missile at the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Alghadir base point increasingly to a technical fault originating in the computer system controlling the missile and not the missile itself. The head of Iran's ballistic missile program Maj. Gen. Hassan Moghaddam was among the 36 officers killed in the blast which rocked Tehran 46 kilometers away. (Tehran reported 17 deaths although 36 funerals took place.)

Since the disaster, experts have run tests on missiles of the same type as Sejil 2 and on their launching mechanisms. debkafile's military and Iranian sources disclose three pieces of information coming out of the early IRGC probe:

1. Maj. Gen. Moghaddam had gathered Iran's top missile experts around the Sejil 2 to show them a new type of warhead which could also carry a nuclear payload. No experiment was planned. The experts were shown the new device and asked for their comments.

2. Moghaddam presented the new warhead through a computer simulation attached to the missile. His presentation was watched on a big screen. The missile exploded upon an order from the computer.

The warhead blew first; the solid fuel in its engines next, thus explaining the two consecutive bangs across Tehran and the early impression of two explosions, the first more powerful than the second, occurring at the huge 52 sq. kilometer complex of Alghadir.

3. Because none of the missile experts survived and all the equipment and structures pulverized within a half-kilometer radius of the explosion, the investigators had no witnesses and hardly any physical evidence to work from.

Iranian intelligence heads entertain two initial theories to account for the sudden calamity: a) that Western intelligence service or the Israeli Mossad managed to plant a technician among the missile program's personnel and he signaled the computer to order the missile to explode; or b), a theory which they find more plausible, that the computer controlling the missile was infected with the Stuxnet virus which misdirected the missile into blowing without anyone present noticing anything amiss until it was too late.

It is the second theory which has got Iran's leaders really worried because it means that, in the middle of spiraling tension with the United States and Israel over their nuclear weapons program, their entire Shahab 3 and Sejil 2 ballistic missile arsenal is infected and out of commission until minute tests are completed.
If this last theory is true - that the missiles were detonated on a command from a computer virus - then as deadly as the explosion was it could actually be more of a setback for Iran's foes than for Iran. Whoever planted the code probably expected that it wouldn't trigger the missile explosion until Iran actually tried to use the weapons, producing a devastating series of explosions that would wipe out their entire arsenal at the critical moment when they tried to use it. Now that the Iranians have been alerted to check for the virus they may be able to clean it up without having lost their missile fleet.