After the Elections: Now the Real Work for We the People Begins!

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By Michael W. Cutler

Mike is a Senior Fellow with CAPS and retired INS Senior Special Agent. During his 30-year career with the INS he rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the DEA and for 10 years was assigned, as an INS Senior Special Agent, to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force. He has testified at numerous hearings conducted by committees and subcommittees of the House and Senate and provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

He hosts "The Michael Cutler Hour" on USA Talk Radio Fridays at 7 p.m. (EST) and is frequently interviewed by broadcast media on various aspects of immigration issues, especially the nexus to national security.

The writer's views are his own.

November 9, 2010
Last Tuesday the voices of the citizens of our nation were heard as the voters went to the polls and cast their ballots that were reflective of their concerns and frustration.  Once again the majority of Americans voted for "Change" but clearly not the change that was promised by Barack Obama when he ran for office and won the election just two years ago. Many pundits said that the economy was the prime mover behind the outcome of the election that swept the Democrat Party out of the majority in the House of Representatives and gave control of the House of Representatives, the "People's House" to the Republican Party.  The election also saw the Democrat Party retain control of the Senate but by a much narrower margin.  (Of course only about one third of the senate seats were decided this election and it has to be presumed that if all of the senate seats had been contested in this election, then the Republicans would have captured the majority of that body as well.) There is no doubt that the economy was of greatest importance to the voters and, indeed, all Americans.  The economy is almost always a primary concern of the citizens of our country.  When Bill Clinton first ran for the office of the President, newspapers reported that signs were posted in his campaign headquarters that simply stated, "It’s the economy, stupid!" Today the economy is an area of great concern for all Americans.  The national unemployment rate is reported to be just under 10 percent.  In some states the unemployment rate is nearly double that.  These numbers are not all that accurate either.  The numbers fail to count those American workers who have lost their unemployment or have stopped looking for work.  Those numbers fail to report on Americans who are working but are "underemployed" and are now settling for far smaller paychecks- often working on more than one job to try to "make ends meet." College educations are becoming more elusive for American children as their parents lose their jobs and other expenses take priorities in family budgets.  Meanwhile our political leaders talk a good talk about making our educational system overcome failings that all too often fail to effectively educate American students. What has not been noted in most of the reports about the outcome of the election held just one week ago is the impact that failures on the immigration system have had on our nation and our citizens. This past year the Obama Administration embarked on an incredible journey.  It sent the Department of Justice on what I believe, and apparently so many other people believe, was a "fool's errand."  The Justice Department brought a lawsuit against the State of Arizona for daring to pass an immigration law (S.B. 1070) that mirrored several provisions of the federal immigration laws--primarily in the area of requiring aliens to carry proof of "alien registration" in an apparent act to discourage illegal aliens from coming to Arizona. Clearly the Obama Administration has no interest in discouraging illegal immigration and the measured efforts of the desperate governor and the members of the legislature of that beleaguered state to combat the increasing violence and other detrimental effects of having massive numbers of illegal aliens including members of the highly violent Mexican drug cartels from rampaging through the border into Arizona and killing innocent victims such as rancher Rob Krenz and committing an average of one kidnapping and/or home invasion just in Phoenix, Arizona each and every day. Indeed, it could certainly be argued that every time the President or members of the United States Congress stood up and declared themselves to be in favor of placing illegal aliens on a "pathway to United States citizenship" that these statements greatly encouraged desperate aliens to charge our nation's borders and ignore and, indeed, violate a list of immigration-related laws throughout the United States. Certainly the image of members of the United States Congress giving Mexican President Felipe Calderon a standing ovation when he spoke out against the state of Arizona did not help those politicians with their constituents.  I would remind you that President Calderon looks upon his own citizens as the most valuable export his country has.  His country sends the United States more illegal aliens than any other country and when President Calderon was campaigning for his election, he actually came to the United States to persuade his citizens living illegally in our country to vote for him. A couple of months ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton boasted how she had sent a report to the United Nations touting how the federal government was suing the state of Arizona to attempt to block that state from enforcing its immigration law.  She claimed that the lawsuit was evidence that the United States was addressing human rights concerns in the United States. I was invited to appear on Fox & Friends shortly after this ludicrous report was sent to the United Nations and when I was asked about it, I simply said that the members of the U.S. Congress who thought that Mr. Calderon was entitled to a standing ovation would probably think that someone who put cheese on a mousetrap was simply trying to feed hungry mice. Additionally, efforts were mounted by some politicians, predominantly those of the Democratic Party to enact the DREAM Act.  I have written about this insane bit of legislative detritus before, but to sum up the anger this proposed legislation generated among ever so many Americans, consider that while it was portrayed as a bill designed to help "young immigrants" (the DREAM Act was an acronym for the  Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act), according to the House version of the bill, aliens would be eligible to apply for inclusion in this program up until their 35th birthday and the Senate bill had no age limit at all.  Furthermore both versions had waiver provisions that would enable the government to waive any disqualifying factor if it was deemed to further human rights and/or family unity!  Aliens who were able to gain lawful status under the aegis of this ill-conceived program would have been able to petition for family members regardless of their ages.  This would mean that an alien who benefited from the DREAM Act would have been legally eligible to petition for their parents and for their siblings and their spouses and children regardless of how old these family members were. The DREAM Act would have made college educations more affordable for these aliens.  The problem is that not only would the DREAM Act have created a massive amnesty program for perhaps millions of illegal aliens and their families, but it would have cut college costs for illegal aliens who would have gained legal status under this bill.  Colleges would have had to make up the loss of revenue by raising tuition for all students--especially American students who are also finding a college education to be increasingly out of reach. I came to refer to the DREAM Act as the "Nightmare Act" and so did, apparently, many of our fellow citizens.  What was so disturbing about the DREAM Act was the way it was falsely presented and marketed--obviously playing on the emotions and benevolence of the citizens of our nation.  Apparently the proponents of this legislative betrayal saw in the kindness of our citizens, weakness. Another component of the economic crisis confronting our nation today is the fact that no effort is really being made to secure our nation's borders against the entry of illegal aliens whose goal is to gain a job and send as much money back to their family members in their home countries.  Certainly such illegal aliens are acting in their own best interests, but not in the best interests of our nation or our citizens.  Money that is removed from our economy does our nation absolutely no good. It is analogous to confronting a serious drought and turning on the tap of the bathtub but neglecting to shut the drain.  A person who would foolishly do this might turn on the water, take care of a couple of quick errands and return to the bathroom a short time later hoping to jump into a full tub but returning to the bathroom only to find that all of the precious water has gone down the drain and therefore not able to take a bath! In the name of "Economic Stimulus" our nation has mortgaged the financial future of our nation.  Our nation has mortgaged the financial futures of our children and their children to pump money into the economy to stimulate growth and jobs.  However, by not preventing illegal aliens from taking those jobs, Americans do not benefit from the jobs that may be available and the money that Americans and lawful immigrants might spend in the United States and invest in the United States is not remaining in the United States but is being swept down the drain of remittances and other means of transferring those precious dollars out of our nation's economy into the economy of other nations; nations who send our nation their citizens hoping to reap the money their citizens will send home. Lawful foreign workers under the H-1B program and other such "temporary" worker programs similarly displace American and resident alien workers in so-called "high-tech" industries and lower wages for Americans who spent the time, the money and the effort in acquiring college educations.  These foreign workers also pour American dollars into those economic drains removing still more money from the American economy. Estimates of the magnitude of the money being wired or otherwise sent out of our economy by foreign workers range from one hundred to two hundred billion dollars each year. Today these issues are now gaining the attention of ever more Americans who are witnessing their neighbors and their fellow workers losing their jobs and are concerned that if they have not, as yet, lost their own jobs, the day that they too may find themselves on the unemployment line may be rapidly approaching. Several years ago, a cell phone company ran a series of commercials showing a bespectacled man walking around various places making calls on his cell phone asking, "Can you hear me now?" Today it is clear that the politicians who might be asked that same question would say that they have certainly heard the voices of the voters.  Some of those politicians are contemplating the unemployment line for themselves while others are thrilled to have been re-elected or elected for the very first time. We the People must not make the same mistakes we have made before.  Voting is an important responsibility for the citizens of our nation.  But good citizenship does not end in the voting booth but only begins there!  Now We the People must establish a solid relationship with those who have been elected to represent the citizens of our nation on all levels of government. When we go out to dinner, we are generally very specific about the food we want to eat and the way we want it prepared.  We need to be no less specific in expressing our concerns and desires in dealing with our elected representatives.  Widespread apathy demonstrated by far too many of our fellow citizens over the last several decades have been a major factor in the failures of our elected representatives to actually represent us, We the People.  Clearly we have the attention of the politicians and now we need to make certain that they do indeed, hear from us as a matter of routine.
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