Thursday, July 29, 2010

Undocumented Workers?

Okay, the Arizona partial TRO has prompted this posting. I have not read nor yet found the entire opinion of the Court. The TRO was in fact not for the entirety of the statute and crucially in my opinion upheld one key aspect of the Arizona law. This was a prohibition on communities that establish so called "sanctuaries" for illegal aliens. Some in last three decades have included El Salvadoreans who fled a civil war largely caused by US policies in Central American internal relationships. In only one instance has the US actually given federal sanctuary to the refugee population of a nation-state-CUBA.

Why is this so important?  Just after graduation from college in 1964 I had the good fortune to spend most of the summer before entering law school in Europe. Total expenditure under $800 including Icelandic Airlines ticket. That trip went from JFK to Gander, Newfoundland, to Iceland to Shannon Airport, Ireland to an airbase in Scotland to Brussels. Well a long trip on the Super Constellation with all four propellers thankfully turning. A wild trip after the attendants distribute free booze they had "captured" at Gander.

I traveled that summer with two twin brothers, one a classmate/roommate from Lehigh and his fraternal twin a graduate of STANFORD. A wealthy aunt had funded the use of a SIMCA rental and gas for the summer. I was allowed to tag along. We visited Amsterdam on part of that GRAND TOUR. Stayed in a woman's Christian temperance hotel/hostel very clean very very cheap. No booze allowed and no women allowed. During the visit to that city, I insisted that we find and visit the house where ANNE FRANK had hidden during most of WWII with her family. I had read the Diary and they had not. Not sure if the movie had yet been made but maybe. At any-rate in those days there were no lines, no shrine like worshipers, just a house.

When we went into that house and looked around and saw the false wall, I began crying, and of course was asked why by my traveling companions? Little did I know I would be visiting Dachau in the fall of 1968. Another story. At any rate the more I read the more I realize how much more the US could have done to save many Jewish refugees both before, during, and after WWII. But ANNE FRANK crystallizes the immense loss of that talented people from the face of the earth forever. Even now while there might not be collective guilt, the occurrence of the HOLOCAUST shadows US today an the UN Treaty on Genocide is a must read for all.

Okay so what does that have to do with a primarily FEMA blog? Well at the end of the Carter Presidency the Mariel Boat-lift occurred as Castro decided to let a large outflow of Cubans flee to the US. Why has never been quite determined. An interesting statistic IMO and unknown to most Americans is that well over 80% of Cubans would be considered black in the US based on custom and ethnicity with that awful test of the old south still pervasive. One drop of black blood and you announce that fact and many consider you black. Is President Obama black or white? My guess if he marries a white woman, no Presidency ever. And a truly black President not for another hundred years. Racism is open and blatant still in the US. My point about the Cubans is more simple. Of all the refugees that have fled Cuba since Castro's takeover in 1959 over 80% are white. Note also the Mariel boatlift also included over 25,000 Haitians.

After the Mariel Boatlift, another strange episode for the newly created FEMA, for once I tried to help that underfunded and understaffed and poorly resourced agency through the back door. I followed the Judiciary Committees activities rather closely as the senior litigator for FEMA for almost a decade. When those Committees came around to INS [Immigration and Naturalization Service] which was part of DOJ until becoming part of DHS in 2003 I followed events closely. Having several staff friends on those committees I backdoor-ed some language making DOJ accountable for MASS IMMIGRATION EMERGENCIES by statute. FEMA had already and still had the ignominy of being accused of having secretly built camps for immigrants. Eventually a plan called "Distant Shore" was created and a formal mass immigration annex was written and scheduled for incorporation into the FEDERAL RESPONSE PLAN as I retired in October 1999. That never happened apparently and now most of the INS functions are part of DHS. So I understand there is a new plan and hoping all in DHS understand that a MASS IMMIGRATION EMERGENCY could well be around the corner. Washington now realizes it will not be Cubans once Castro has died because of many factors. Although all Cubans know life in the US would be an improvement but only if you have supportive relatives or connections. And as we tighten the border with Mexico we continue to propel forwards the likelihood of another Mexican Revolution with perhaps 20 million people migrating north for food, jobs, safety and security.

I have seen the plan name for the new MASS IMMIGRATION EMERGENCY PLAN but have not read it. When I stumble on it will post.

Good luck DHS if a mass migration occurs! Prompted by politics or natural hazards.