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Punch Drunk (Immigrant) Love

Daniel J. Kelley 30 March 2009 27 Comments

Giggling and smirking, President Obama is cautiously working towards granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants (“undocumented workers“ if you prefer the politically correct term). If Congress will not authorize amnesty on a de jure basis quickly, Obama is prepared to allow a de facto amnesty to occur by simply ignoring the existing immigration laws. Maybe Obama’s Kenyan aunt and uncle who have been living in the country illegally will be naturalized too. Who knows?

The chief obstacle to controlling illegal immigration in the United States is an almost complete absence of meaningful interior enforcement. Once unauthorized aliens penetrate those areas controlled by the Border Patrol, they are usually home free. Efforts to curb the tide of illegal immigration are under attack from appointees of President Barack Obama, such as Janet Ann Napolitano, and congressional Democrats. The minimal progress made in terms of enforcement under the previous administration is being undone.

Throughout the campaign, the Democrats neatly sidestepped the immigration issue or spoke in veiled whispers. When Napolitano’s nomination for the position of Director of Homeland Security was announced, the incoming administration touted her credentials as a no nonsense governor of a border state who was tough on illegal immigration and border security. One day after Obama’s inauguration, Napolitano was hurriedly confirmed by the US Senate without debate. So much for scrutinizing appointees.

Calling Napolitano “tough” on immigration is akin to chanting the party slogans from George Orwell’s visionary novel, “1984,” which proclaimed “War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength.” What an absolute crock! Napolitano routinely opposed legislation aimed at stemming the influx of illegal aliens into Arizona from Mexico. She vetoed several bills meant to restrict such immigration. On those rare occasions when Napolitano reluctantly supported the enactment of tougher laws relating to illegals, it occurred only because her feet were held to the fire by angry Arizonans and Republican state legislators. Napolitano, who represented Anita Hill during the divisive confirmation hearings related to the appointment of Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court, talked tough on immigration as a gubernatorial candidate when it was election time, but backed down once the polls closed and she was safely in office.

Since assuming her new federal position , Napolitano has frustrated law enforcement activities conducted by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Napolitano has opposed employment place raids that routinely have resulted in hundreds of bona fide arrests. Additionally, Napolitano has criticized agents who seek to arrest illegal aliens who are en route to their jobs in the morning hours. For all practical purposes, pleasing the new director has caused ICE agents to suspend several major operations, including  canceling some planned raids that required the expenditure of tens of thousands of dollars in preliminary investigative field work. Agents can continue to make individual arrests on a one at a time basis, but no more large scale operations will be authorized. For every alien apprehended, a thousand others evade arrest.

In a recent appearance on Capitol Hill, Napolitano told a disbelieving panel of Senate committee members that no additional funds would be necessary to curb violence along the border and that matters were under control. Even a number of centrist Senators were shocked at Napolitano’s complete indifference to the violent narcotic smuggling war that has been raging on both sides of the Rio Grande.

Napolitano’s stance has effectively crippled enforcement activities. If ICE agents heed the director’s admonition their efforts may be reduced to detaining only those aliens who voluntarily surrender themselves  and ask to be deported. This was once a commonplace practice immediately before Christmas when many illegal aliens were looking forward to returning home for the holidays with free transportation provided courtesy of the American taxpayers. Other than that ICE agents may detain those that they happen to stumble across accidentally. Recently, Mark Curran, the Sheriff of Lake County, Illinois, who routinely cooperates with immigration authorities, estimated that twenty percent of the jail population in Waukegan is comprised of criminal aliens who entered the USA illegally. Given the ill advised sanctuary policies of Chicago and Cook County, similar statistics on aliens in custody are not readily available.

Napolitano’s new policy correlates to the absurdly lax positions of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Reid has been attempting to dismantle the “E-Verify” program that has provided employers a convenient and effective method of verifying the work eligibility of prospective employees. Pelosi, “the San Francisco Threat,” not to be confused with Rice-A-Roni, “the San Francisco Treat,” declared that enforcing immigration laws was “un-American” and praised illegal aliens as being “very, very patriotic.” Pelosi, who is scarier than Bela Lugosi, in terms of her shrill partisan rhetoric, has been joined on the amnesty campaign trail by Chicago’s own US Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-4th).

It must seem like old times for “Little Louie,” a former taxi driver promoted as a candidate for elective office by the late Harold Washington, as he spearheaded the drive to produce hordes of  instant Democrats in the months leading up to the 1996 election. Buried in the investigative reports compiled by David Schippers, the Chief Investigative Counsel for the House of Representatives during the impeachment trial of former President William J. Clinton, is a damning expose of the orchestrated efforts of the Clinton administration to expedite of the processing of citizenship applications in order to register thousands of the newly minted citizens as likely Democratic voters prior to the 1996 presidential election. Former Vice President Gore pressured the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) to process more and more applications, even if that meant foregoing routine criminal background checks of the applicants. So many fraudulent applications were rushed through due to political pressure, that the INS had to revoke the citizenship of numerous criminal felons who had been approved for naturalization in error.

In Illinois, the Democratic sponsored farce culminated in a massive swearing in ceremony in Chicago. Since thousands of immigrants had been hustled through the process so rapidly, there was no public meeting place large enough to assemble those approved for a series of swearing in ceremonies. Luis Gutierrez prevailed upon the aged Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, then a senior US District Court Judge, to preside over a citizenship ceremony that was unprecedented in terms of its size. Marovitz, a former state senator, who had been an occasional criminal defense attorney for the Chicago mob, was appointed to the US District Court in September of 1963 by President John F. Kennedy. Marovitz had been heartily endorsed for the federal judiciary by his long time friend and former state senate colleague, Mayor Richard J. Daley.

In the summer of 1996, under a sweltering hot sun, the ninety-one year old Marovitz administered the citizenship oath en masse to a capacity crowd at Soldier Field. The solemnity of the occasion was rendered meaningless as the rowdy crowd behaved in a manner more befitting steerage passengers pushing forward to reach the last lifeboat being lowered from the RMS Titanic. In the months following the ceremony, hundreds of criminal aliens were identified and their citizenship papers were revoked retroactively.

The agency, ICE, formerly known as the Immigration and Naturalization Service, was renamed and reorganized under the previous administration of George W. Bush. Citizenship and naturalization services were properly separated from the law enforcement division of the former agency that sought to apprehend and deport criminal aliens. These rational bureaucratic reforms helped streamline a divided agency that had long been at internal odds with itself. Citizenship services staffers and law enforcement personnel were no longer interfering with each other while reporting to the same director. Creating two distinct agencies with separate missions and directors has been a success.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Obama’s supposed counterpart, supported rigid enforcement of immigration laws during the Great Depression. Years ago, it was unheard of for legal immigrants to be unemployed as economic deportation was a threat to indigent aliens who were unable to support themselves without public assistance. I know many first generation citizens, many of whom were employed in the building trades, who never refused work opportunities while their citizenship applications were pending. Now, elderly persons can emigrate to the USA, under family reunification programs, and apply for Social Security benefits even if they have never worked a single day in America.

In a time of economic uncertainty, Obama has abandoned FDR’s law enforcement model and seems content to let millions of poorly educated, low skilled workers into the country. Once these persons are given the option of applying for citizenship following an Obama amnesty, the good folks at ACORN can assist them with enrolling in public assistance programs and, more importantly, registering for voting purposes. Creating a new class of dependent voters is likely to assure a Democratic majority for years to come as public aid recipients will be expected to express their gratitude by casting ballots for their welfare state benefactors.

No wonder, Obama can laugh without hesitation. Hard times for middle America may mean electoral prosperity for Obama and his political allies who favor open borders and unrestricted immigration.


Daniel J. Kelley is a contributor to “The Chicago Daily Observer.”  He is also the recipient of a writing award from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Immigrant Research


  • Pat Hickey said:

    Dan, You are consistentltly thoughtful and entertaining, but this one is your best yet. Your exposure of Napolitano, a Progresive Hack at best, is one for the books!

  • Mike Wallens said:

    Excellent article. Other than the ballot box in 2010, Americans need to know of other ways that they can influence the political process. Napolitan is a dangerouse hack and it is becoming quite clear that the Obama administration wants to legalize millions of Latinos to solidify Democratic power for the forseeable future.

    Amnesty will be a catastrophe for the U.S.A. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I actually think it will be the end of the U.S.A.

  • Jimi said:

    Just ask Arizonans what they think: They love that Nappy has gone off the reservation and is in DC. Finally, they might just get that state in order after all the damage she did.

    The bottom line is this: This has nothing to do with immigrants, rights, opprotunities etc, it\\\’s just about the numbers. Democrats see illegal aliens as \\"undocumented Democrats\\", nothing more. If they are allowed to legalize the 20 million here, within 20 years another 80 million will legally enter under family re-unification laws, some of the dumbest laws we have.

    Then we will be a one party state, just like the places these so called immigrants come from. If you think it\\\’s a good thing having the House, Senate and presidency under one party rule, wait until it\\\’s permanent. Kiss America goodbye, we will be breaking into those empty countries that sent all their peasants to us just to get away.

  • Brittancus said:

    Illegal immigrants and their sobbing advocates can demonstrate in the streets, thats their right? But I hope ICE is on hand to start rounding up some of the millions of lawbreakers. But that will not happen under Homeland Security chief Nepolitano, as she was a pro-illegal alien Governor in Arizona. She also is probably genuflecting to mass employers. They see votes waiting this side of the undermanned borders and waiting for another open-day in Canada and Mexico. Not forgetting the unrelenting tide from every poor country in the world. Display these Senators names on every neon sign across the United States. These should be recorded and go down in history along with traitor Benedict Arnold. They are the ones who sold out American Workers by stamping out the federal E-Verify, to identify millions of ILLEGAL ALIENS IN THE WORKPLACE. With 10 million American jobless, these legislators left the door open for foreign labor. REMEMBER THEIR NAMES IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THEY REMOVED IT FROM THE STIMULUS/ OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL. Remove their names from the CAPITOL. THEY ARE ALREADY SECRETLY DEBATING–AMNESTY IT’S YOUR DOLLARS WHO PAY FOR THEIR SETTLEMENT HERE, NOT THE PREDATORY CONTRACTORS AND CORPORATE ASSIGNEES.

    Levin-Stabenow-Lincoln-Pryor-Menendez-Lautenberg-Merkley-Wyden-Nelson-Reed-Whitehouse-Reid-Warner and Lady Pelosi. Xavier Becerra, Luis Gutierrez, Jon Kyl, Jeff Flake could also used their influence. We need E.Verify as a permanent tool in immigration enforcement.

    Make your vote count and demand E-Verify in Washington. 202-224-3121 President Obama Switchboard: 202-456-1414/ The facts at JUDICIALWATCH, NUMBERSUSA, CAPSWEB.

  • Disgusted said:

    I understand the Dems need votes, but it is beyond me how a government can just turn the other cheeck when law breaking by illegals is rampant. It truly is sad when our gov\’t allows a certain segment of our non-citizen population to violate laws while the rest of us honest, law-abiding Americans are burdened in having to follow a multitude of laws! People may not have liked the ICE raids but there were effective and served their purpose – to catch illegals. Isn\’t that the job of ICE??? Those of us who are fed up with this need to use our voices when Obama decides to grant amnesty for millions of people who have no regard whatsoever for our laws. We defeated the amnesty in 2007 and I hope Americans and legal citizens will stand up for the rule of law in this country and make sure the Dems know we do not support an amnesty. Obama owes a big debt to the illegal lovers for their support in the election, so the games of politics continues. This is not change, its just the same old crap all over again.

  • Dee said:

    Blah Blah Blah,
    Your rxcist rhetoric goes on and on. You did not utter even one accurate statement. You have revealed yourself as being ignorant of the Immigration Laws and policies of our country.
    For over 100 years, we have had open policies towards all of our neighbors from the south. After slavery ended, they helped our Nation Building, from Agjobs to railroads to construction to meat packing to tech jobs, they have been here helping us build our nation.
    Over the last 8 years, especially after 9/11, the republican policies have not been to correct the immigration policies, rather to continue the status quo and to jail the workers to fill up the RNC crony owned private prisons costing US tax payers billions of dollars. That\\\’s what ICE Raids were all about.
    You do not understand anything that has occurred.
    You rely on your ignorant rhetoric to write your spew.
    You remind me of Forrest Gump. Stupid is as Stupid does.

    I doubt you could have an intelligent, open debate on this subject.
    I challenge you to have one.
    You are too afraid, little man, to speak Truth or Logic or History.

    All you do is spew the same ole rhetoric little man.

  • E. Fudd said:

    Wacist Whetowic? Wheah?

  • panola said:

    I find it hypocritical that Nancy supports arresting Mexican drug dealers coming across the border even though many/most will result in the breaking up of families when the dealer is detained but calls it Un-American when illegal aliens sneak into the country, steal our identities, take our jobs and leeches off our social services that we pay for. Which of the two criminals is worse, the drug dealer or the illegal alien? Correct… the illegal alien is by far the worse of the two.

  • Dee said:

    Hypocrital is when the most stringent anti immigration law in US history was approved in Arizona in early 2007 and to date, NOT ONE, NOT ONE employer has been jailed. Meanwhile Arpaio, his masked henchmen and ICE racial profile entire Latino neighborhoods incarcerating non felonious workers in RNC crony owned private prisons and arpaio\’s vermin and disease infested jails while he allows over 40,000 warrants of actual criminals go unserved.

  • John Powers said:

    Drat those immigrants coming in here and trying to “take our jobs”.

    Don’t they usually get paid for doing work? If other people would do jobs (and they won’t) why would anyone want to “take our jobs”? The going rate for day labor is around $15/hour in Chicago. Why won’t anyone else take those jobs?


  • Delaware Bob said:

    Very good article. May I add my two cents?

    I can’t say the ILLEGAL ALIENS are completely to blame for the shape of our economy, but they are a BIG part of the problem. The ILLEGAL ALIENS send BILLIONS upon BILLIONS out of this Country every year, money we will NEVER see again. Does this help our economy?

    How about the BILLIONS the American taxpayers fork out for the ILLEGAL ALIEN BABIES, the schooling of them, the medical care and the list goes on, and on, and on.

    How about the MILLIONS upon MILLIONS paid to jail ILLEGAL ALIENS for the crimes, then the cost to deport them. Does this help our economy?

    Then you have these activist groups, the Catholic Church and the ACLU that want AMNESTY for these ILLEGAL ALIENS. It would be absolute suicide for this Country if AMNESTY were granted to the 20 million or so ILLEGAL ALIENS. We have more and more people out of work everyday and they want to add another 20 million to this Country? I say, “NO”!

    If AMNESTY were ever granted to these 20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS, you can bet big money that 3 years from now, there would be ANOTHER 3-5 million ILLEGAL ALIENS demonstrating on our soil for AMNESTY.

    An end MUST come to this illegal immigration. The perfect tool we have so far is E-Verify. It MUST be used by ALL businesses and Government Social Services. EVERY employee must be checked! If they are illegal, they are to be dismissed!

    I believe it is time for all 50 States to pass a State law, like Arizona, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and a few others. It is time for these ILLEGAL ALIENS to go back to their home Country and get out of this Country. The problems they are causing will not go away until the ILLEGAL ALIENS are out of this Country. I think that is plain to see.

  • Dan Kelley said:

    The US Supreme Court deserves its share of the blame by fueling this crisis by ruling that the children of illegal immigrants are entitled to attend public schools. If not for this overwhelming influx, there would not be a demand for increased public school construction. With secure borders, public school districts would be closing school buildings, not building new ones. The teacher’s unions naturally prefer the current system since it continues to provide more grist for their failing schools by putting more children in their classrooms with no questions asked. The American taxpayer gets stuck with a bill that gets higher every year.

    I challenge anyone to explain how the Eisenhower era program of deporting one million illegal aliens from Mexico each year squares with the claim that we had an open border policy with that nation for more than one hundred years.

  • Pat Hickey said:

    John Powers is right on! Mexican Americans and Mexican are the hardest working people in this country.

    Real immigrantion reform will honor their industry and their family ethic.

    Secure the borders – delete the radical tax sucking scams and provide a genuine path to citizenship that requires English and acceptance of broad American culture.

  • Ray Carney said:

    Actually both terms used in this story are politically correct. The \"non pc\" term would be illegal alien which is also the defination quoted by federal law.

  • Jose said:

    Dee said:
    “Hypocrital is when the most stringent anti immigration law in US history was approved in Arizona in early 2007 and to date, NOT ONE, NOT ONE employer has been jailed. Meanwhile Arpaio, his masked henchmen and ICE racial profile entire Latino neighborhoods incarcerating non felonious workers in RNC crony owned private prisons and arpaio\’s vermin and disease infested jails while he allows over 40,000 warrants of actual criminals go unserved.”
    Actually that law that you’re referring to in Arizona is an anti-ILLEGAL immigration law. Also, going into a neighborhood that is predominately one race in the search for lawbreakers is not racial profiling that neighborhood. Every neighborhood has lawbreakers in it. How do you expect law enforcement to catch these lawbreakers if they can’t go into a particular neighborhood simply because the majority of its residents are Hispanic or black? Most of the illegal aliens that Sheriff Arpaio arrests have committed felonies, including ID theft, document fraud, Social Security fraud, employment (I-9) fraud, and onspiracy to violate immigration laws, among others.

  • Alicia said:

    Wow, I am honestly sick and tired of reading the ignorance of people. I would say that this article was full of crap but I can’t because I didn’t even finish reading it…that’s how horrible it was. In regards to Obama letting immigrants take American jobs, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this before but I don’t mind repeating it to see if it somehow burns inside your ignorant little head.

    If Americans really wanted the jobs that undocumented workers have, they could easily get them. However, THEY CHOSE NOT TO! The opportunity is given to them and undocumented workers are just taking advantage of the fact that Americans CHOSE not have those jobs.

  • Keep it real said:


    You would be shocked to learn of the number of high paying jobs that undocumented workers hold. The fact that you think that all aliens are washing dishes or performing janitorial work demonstrates your ignorance.

    Americans would be happy to perform some of these jobs.

  • Larry said:

    HELP STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION…….MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: http://www.numbersusa.com/content/learn/about/what-numbersusa-is-all-about.html

  • Sylvia Sexton said:

    You are a cruel, cruel man Dan Kelley. Right, let\’s not mention the Irish are here illegally. I know several of them, but it\’s only the Mexicans right? You\’re such a fascist.

  • Dan Kelley said:

    I like to think of myself as something of a progressive.

    Interestingly enough, contrary to Sylvia’s complaint, the only nationality that I referenced in my column (the photograph accompanying the article was chosen by my editors) was Kenyan. I was referring to the unusual case involving the president’s paternal aunt. Her deportation has been been postponed due to a new hearing being allowed and a one year continuance of her hearing date being granted.

    Perhaps, since a significant number of illegal aliens enter the USA via the Southern border that region is an area of greater concern than some other border crossings, but my comments apply to all undocumented persons in the USA.

    According to Newsmax, the cost of illegal immigration to American taxpayers is $346 billion dollars annually (primarily for education and healthcare) and the cost is escalating.

  • John Powers said:


    I always question that education number. Aren’t most education costs borne by property taxes? How can anyone escape paying them (I’d like to know myself!)?

    Maybe Illinois is different than California, where prop tax is capped, but wouldn’t property taxes fix the issue right off?


  • Dan Kelley said:

    The number is a composite figure taken from a news report published last week.

    As far as I know, in most states property taxpayers support the schools to the greatest degree.

    For California, and several of the other states in the same region, more public schools have had to be built to provide classroom space for the immigrant children. If not for this influx, many school districts would not be building new schools and hiring new teachers. In some communities, certain school buildings would be shuttered due to declining enrollment.

    In terms of healthcare, this is where the crisis in the emergency rooms originated. Those without health insurance crowded the ER waiting areas and waste valuable hospital resources, oftentimes for non-emergency visits. Emergency rooms cannot simply turn uninsured people away. It gets costly for an ER physician to treat patients with common colds. If illegal immigrants are subtracted from the equation, the number of medically uninsured persons in the USA drops by a significant percentage.

    Advocates of socialism and the welfare state, love unrestricted immigration.

    I am not opposed to legal immigration to the USA that is in our national interest. As a nation, we do not need masses of unskilled and illiterate persons.

  • Dan Kelley said:

    Another example of the “catch and release” techniques being employed by the Obama administration and its new Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano.


    Any wagers as to how many of these aliens will appear for future deportation hearings after being released from detention?

  • John Powers said:

    I will respectfully disagree with you Dan.

    I always want hard working people around. I am not all that concerned if they are immigrants or not, nor the level of their skills. I can give you a short list of (possibly) American Born Ivy Leaguers who have never done an honest day’s work in their lives, nor managed so much as a tenant’s gripe session who now want to run the Auto Industry, Banking, and Healthcare.

    The key question is, will immigrants be allowed use their own good sense to work, get paid, raise families etc, or will they be wards of the State?


  • Dan Kelley said:

    A few random observations:

    I am not opposed to immigrants, per se. No one can be opposed to people who are industrious and hardworking, but I would invite you to observe those persons lining up to enroll in public assistance programs in government offices housed in some of our public buildings.

    More importantly, hard working or not, we need to know exactly who is in our country. Would Governor Quinn need to propose a tax increase if all of those persons being paid under the table were made to report their earnings for tax purposes? There is a large underground economy in the USA. People who play by the rules, however, are repeatedly penalized by paying more on account of those people, and I include crooked employers in this category, who do not.

    Years ago, the immigration officials had greater authority and new arrivals were required to be economically self-sufficient. While that may seem unduly harsh, it was practical.

    My objection to the immigration policies of the Obama administration and the tepid law enforcement and border security measures utilized by his predecessors is that one might argue that we have no immigration policies at all. Many government agencies, federal, state and local, do not differentiate between citizens and noncitizens when administering programs. If you offer a free lunch with no strings attached, do not be surprised if such a program proves to be costly in the long run.

    For all of the debates occurring in the Congress and the state legislatures, the USA does not require a host of new laws on the subject of the status of illegal immigrants. What needs to happen is that the government needs to begin enforcing all of the existing laws that are already on the books (which is a simple legal positivist position, i.e. failing to enforce the law diminishes respect for the law and promotes scofflawism). For all of the cities, including Chicago, which refuse to cooperate with the Immigration and Custom Enforcement agency, threaten to suspend their federal bloc grants and compliance will be forthcoming.

    It boggles the mind to think if a criminal alien is in custody that Chicago and Cook County will not report the same facts to ICE. This requires a waste of federal police resources as ICE agents have to duplicate the work of the local police in identifying suspects.

    Lastly, at some point, one has to consider the urgent need for assimilation. If public school students can be left in bilingual classes for eight years, how are we helping these young people succeed? One of the highlights of the Coolidge presidency, one the passage of immigration laws designed to promote the assimilation and Americanization of the immigrant and first generation population. I am not so much concerned with children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance or saluting the flag as I am about motorists who can read road signs and obey traffic laws (no thanks to former Secretary of State George H. Ryan).

    Could the current multicultural, press #2 for English, generation fought and won World War Two and the Cold War without a common culture? I do not know. Austria-Hungary was a multicultural nation once. It added a new and unhappy word to our vocabularies: balkanization.

  • Dan Kelley said:

    Should have read: One of the highlights of the Coolidge presidency, was the passage of immigration laws designed to promote the assimilation and Americanization of the immigrant and first generation population.

    Assimilating immigrants permitted many to prosper and move from the ghetto and enter the middle class.

  • Sylvia Sexton said:

    Dan, since you consider yourself somewhat of a progressive we should go out for a drink.

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