April 11, 2008

Is This Hostile Talk Radio? (Un Pueblo Unido Redux)

Justin Katz

Latino Public Radio Chairman Pablo Rodriguez offers his own version of "un pueblo unido no mas sera vencido" (emphasis added):

I want to believe the governor when he says he is not anti-immigrant. However, his concept of the immigrant community stands in stark contrast to the realities of families and relationships. Thousands of small businesses and jobs are created by the growth of immigrant communities. More than two in three children in undocumented households are citizens by virtue of birth, and unless we change the Constitution they have every right of citizenship, and anything that threatens the stability of their family is a threat to their health. This inseparable nexus of undocumented parents with citizen children is at the heart of what constitutes the immigrant community as one body, regardless of immigration status. A threat to one is a threat to all.

Rodriguez goes on to insist that "business and the economy will suffer irreparable harm if Latinos vote with their feet and abandon the state," and I suppose it must be admitted that businesses will have to increase employee compensation in order to induce citizens and legal residents to take jobs that currently offer artificially low remuneration. Perhaps the state could use the hundreds of millions of dollars it will save in services currently provided to illegal immigrants to improve the horrid business climate of the state in order to counterbalance the lost wages of exploitation.

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I ahve great respect for doctors-I literally owe my life to some good doctors-as far as I know ,Pablo Rodriguez makes his living performing abortions-it's legal-I am not disputing that-but he is not healing anyone if that is all he does.I wonder what he thinks about himself when he's trying to fall asleep.I know that I am often plagued by things I did that I shouldn't have,but I never terminated an innocent life.Legality of an act is not ever the whole story.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 11, 2008 4:44 PM

Our good friend Pablo Rodriguez wouldn't happen to be the infamous mutilator of babies Doc Pablo Rodriquez now would it? Poor Doc is worried if the illegals go away his opportunities to dismember will diminish. Evil!

Posted by: Tim at April 11, 2008 5:07 PM

As a leading abortionist (though I'm not sure if he still "practices" his craft), he's probably done more to "control" the Latino population of Rhode Island than anyone else alive, so his predictable diatribe takes on a whole new level of "who gives a rat's right rump." If some people cannot make the distinction between legal immigrants, and those who just decide to camp out here on our dime, then feel free to leave -- there's certainly no Berlin Wall keeping you in. That being said, I don't believe that Dr. Rodriguez's views are in anyway representative of most Latinos in Rhode Island, especially those who went through the process of becoming U.S. citizens.

Much of the debate always seem to come down to the argument "illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans won't do." However, people using that as an excuse never seem to finish the thought as to what its really all about. It's more like "illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans won't do ... at the low wages some dishonest employers are willing to pay." I'm willing to pay more for strawberries in order to ensure a safer country. Yes, some prices will go up, when some employers are forced to pay market wages. The problem with illegal immigration is that it artificially distorts free market forces, thereby depressing wages for citizens and legal residents, especially for those on the low end of the income ladder. Therefore, I support e-verify and other mechanisms to ensure that employers hire legal workers, whether they be citizens, or [legal] resident aliens.

I'm sorry, but if you're not here legally, you are not a resident or an immigrant -- you're simply trespassing. Therefore, you are not welcome anymore than some guy who decides to camp out in my kitchen while I'm on vacation, so you should not expect hospitality, nor should we be expected by anyone else to provide it. If some people cannot handle that, Massachusetts is a short bus or car ride away. Rhode Islanders have had enough subsiding people -- whether they be illegals, or the companies that enable their exploitation -- when we can't even balance our state budget.

Posted by: Will at April 11, 2008 5:09 PM

"...unless we change the Constitution they have every right of citizenship..."

I'd like that changed. Retroactively.

Posted by: Greg at April 11, 2008 5:16 PM

The Constitution never said anything about granting citizenship to children of illegals who were born in this country. The Supreme Court, as it is prone to do from time to time -- grossly misinterpreted the plain meaning of the 14th Amendment.

This explains the problem pretty well:

"The 14th Amendment was added to the Constitution as part of the post-Civil War reforms aimed at addressing injustices to African Americans. It states that "all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States" and was crafted so that state governments could never deny citizenship to blacks born in the United States. But at the time, the United States had no immigration policy, and thus the authors saw no need to state that explicitly.

The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was intended to exclude from automatic citizenship American-born persons whose allegiance to the United States was not complete. In the case of illegal aliens who are temporarily or unlawfully in the United States, because their native country has a claim of allegiance on the child, the completeness of the allegiance to the United States is impaired and logically precludes automatic citizenship."

Posted by: Will at April 11, 2008 5:26 PM

Yes - a Constitutional Ammendment is in order - The Citizen Lineage Ammendment - Citizenship shall only be granted to children born to EXISTING LEGAL US CITIZENS (not residents - CITIZENS.) You can spin it anyway you want Mr Rodriguez, what you are advocating is a free pass for those who have blatantly ignored our immigration laws, some of whom have sucked off the public dole and taken resources away from the true AMERICANS who have emmigrated here LEGALLY. The System may be broken but it's all we got - continuing to turn a blind eye to the significant negative economic impact that illegal immigrants have on our economy is NOT the answer. I feel for people who's families are living in fear because they are not here legally - but THEY chose to come here illegally.

Posted by: The Chorus at April 11, 2008 5:49 PM

But what is meant by "subject to the jurisdiction thereof?"

Presumably a person would need to be "subject to the jurisdiction" of the U.S. government in order to commence deportation proceedings against them.

Posted by: brassband at April 11, 2008 6:07 PM

Don't you just love fait accompli liberalism - they encourage people to commit unlawful and/or irresponsible acts, and then tell us that because it occurs we taxpayers should just "get over it" and "pay up."

Illegals come here and produce anchor babies, so now ALL of them should stay (as if we're telling them they can't take their children back to Mexico or Guatemala with them) ... and we're just supposed to get over it and pay up.

Thanks to Hollywood and permissiveness teenage girls get knocked up, and then keep producing bastards ... and we're supposed to get over it and pay up.


They made their bed so let them lie in it.


If there are consequences like having to take their kids back where they came from, or have to live in poverty with their bastards because they wouldn't keep their legs together, TOO BAD!

Finally, the last thing we need is some abortionist lecturing us about right and wrong ... that's like a pedophile lecturing us about proper child rearing practices.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at April 11, 2008 6:23 PM

>>Rhode Island’s economy could probably not withstand such an exodus. Talk-radio zealots and extremists will celebrate, but business and the economy will suffer irreparable harm if Latinos vote with their feet and abandon the state. Be careful what you wish.

Recall that about a year ago the union SEIU bankrolled "undocumented immigrant" demonstrations across the country.

During the lead-up to those they made representations that the one day sort-of strikes by illegals would show the U.S. how its economy was so dependent upon illegals' labor.

The economy hummed along just fine.

It is hard to conceive how our state economy would suffer by the exodus of people who on average, between education and "social services," consume tens of thousands a year each more in taxpayer-funded services than is their entire gross income / contribution to the state GDP.

Quite the opposite: relief from that burden will go a long way toward helping us dig out of the economic and public finance hole that we're in.

For the most part Latinos are wonderful people; and one can't help but sympathize with their sneaking into this country in an attempt to make a better life. Were I born in a Central American country I might be here as an illegal too.

But as they teach in law school, "tough cases make bad law." We can't as a state (or nation) make (or selectively ignore) law or public policy based upon heartstrings alone. This state just can't continue to afford to be a welfare magnet - not for citizens and legal immigrants, much less illegal immigrants.

To chime in on some others' comments, there is quite a bit of cognitive dissonance involved with an abortionist decrying the death of a child.

Posted by: Tom W at April 11, 2008 8:01 PM

" Citizenship shall only be granted to children born to EXISTING LEGAL US CITIZENS (not residents - CITIZENS.)

... what you are advocating is a free pass for those who have blatantly ignored our immigration laws"

Yes and yes. Among other things, the latter is disrespectful of those who came here in compliance with our laws.

Posted by: Monique at April 11, 2008 8:59 PM

From Pablo's Letter to Projo: "Talk-radio zealots and extremists will celebrate, but business and the economy will suffer irreparable harm if Latinos vote with their feet and abandon the state. Be careful what you wish."

Pablo...keep trying to fan the flames - nice rhetoric. If legal, law-abiding Latino Citizens decide to leave RI because we're enforcing the laws, so be it. Any CITIZEN (here legally) who supports "rights" for illegals is either a bleeding heart liberal or is jaded by personal connections with illegals. Lastly, I venture to say that a mass exodus of illegals would have a far more favorable impact on the economy than Pablo espouses.

Posted by: The Chorus at April 11, 2008 9:57 PM

My understanding of this executive order applies to anyone in the State of Rhode Island who raises the suspicion of being an illegal immigrant warranted or not no matter what your current legal immigration status is (only native native Indians are considered natural Americans) race or ethnicity you are lily white in color to jet black in color and any color in between including any natural speech, implied impediment, hearing loss, disability or manner of dress you might have that might raise suspicions.

Posted by: Ken at April 12, 2008 1:06 AM

Ken - law enforcement will only be checking legal status on those beign investigated for crimes - not those reporting crimes, assisting in criminal investigatins, etc. But get this...THEY ARE ALL CRIMINALS - by their very presence.

Posted by: The Chorus at April 12, 2008 7:38 AM

Ken, you're half right. It applies to everyone of the race Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

But it is not simply suspicion that triggers that aspect of the Executive Order. It's if one has other contact with law enforcement - getting pulled over for a traffic infraction or getting arrested for something. Also if one winds up at the ACI. As I understand, it's one more thing they look up, not a grounds in itself to stop someone.

Posted by: Monique at April 12, 2008 7:41 AM

As I read the order, you can consider being an illegal alien much like a seatbelt violation. It ain't gonna get you pulled over, but once you are...well there you are.

Really the SP just has to look for mid-eighties Toyota sh$tboxes with more than four brown people crammed in them going 51 MPH or more on the highway. Profiling? You betcha.

Posted by: Greg at April 12, 2008 9:36 AM

Greg - doubt the SP would go out of the way to pull someone over based on the that profile. Local cops on the other hand...It is unfortunate (for anyone who's here legally who might feel harassed) but it's the price that must be paid for harboring members of your communities who flagrantly ignore US immigration laws.

Posted by: The Chorus at April 12, 2008 11:38 AM

The way I see it, the LEGAL immigrants had an opportunity to get onboard as Americans and rail against illegal immigration. They chose to harbor and hide it. Now those roosters have come home to roost. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

Posted by: Greg at April 12, 2008 1:42 PM


OK for the sake of legal argument, I’m visiting, from Hawaii, my father in RI driving a rental car. I make the standard RI change of lane (no signal light and no Cranston salute) on I-95 and a SP with a wild hair up his xxx decides to pull me over and cite me. But before he does, he asks me what my legal citizenship status is (deep Hawaii suntan) and can I prove my legal status.

So the question is with the governors executive order do we all have to start carrying around copies of our birth certificates or passport in our pockets just in case when entering the boundaries of RI you might be stopped for a traffic violation because it would make great tourism and national news fodder?

Posted by: Ken at April 12, 2008 8:27 PM

Here's a thought: let's ensure that only citizens and legal residents have drivers' licenses. That way, people from either group can be expected to carry proof of their legality while driving, and people who are just visiting the country would be expected to have passports anyway.

Sometimes I don't know how I come up with these completely unheard-of and innovative ideas!

Posted by: Justin Katz at April 12, 2008 9:10 PM

I noticed that Matt Jerzyk,law student,made the remark on rif that being illegally in the US is not a crime-this is true if one has overstayed or violated the terms of a visa.If one has entered without inspection it is a misdemeanor,8USC1325.This is about equivalent to criminal trespass and is almost never prosecuted.Re-Entry After Deportation,8USC1326 is a serious felony punishable by up to 20 years imprisonment.Most law students take only one or two criminal law courses and frequently none in immigration law.
In the real world,8USC1326 is usually only prosecuted if the alien has a criminal background,and I've only seen one defendant beat the charge.(He was later shot and incinerated in a drug dispute,so justice prevailed).

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 12, 2008 9:54 PM


The purpose of a driver’s license is to prove the person received instruction, studied materials and passed both a written and field test to the satisfaction of the issuing state agency thus being allowed to operate a motor vehicle on public roads.

Nothing in the current states motor vehicle databases confirms a person’s legal citizenship or immigration status.

Under the current laws, a person can refuse to produce his/her driver’s license to law enforcement, homeland security or anyone if it is being used as a form of identification only.

A driver’s license is only to be used as proof you can operate a motor vehicle.

Currently Homeland Security and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), is trying to force all states to change to a secure driver’s license called “Real ID” tied back to a central database on all US and non-US citizens which encompasses more information gathered on each individual than you care to imagine or know about. Current estimates of “Real ID” are over $11 billion in 5 years having a major impact on services to the public and impose unrealistic burdens on each state to comply. This is another unfunded program being pushed down to the states like "No Child Left Behind".

Posted by: Ken at April 12, 2008 11:45 PM

Ken, did you read Joseph Bernstein's Engaged Citizen post about "real profiling"?

A "deep Hawaiian tan" was never grounds for INS/ICE to question anyone about their status. Under the circumstances you described, you would also at a minimum have to pretend to speak no English for the cop to bring that up.

Posted by: Monique at April 13, 2008 7:43 AM


Yes I read Joseph Bernstein's Engaged Citizen post about "real profiling" and I am not talking about INS/ICE. I am talking about RI State Police and if you want to expand it out to all local RI police departments some of which have been cited for having a history of “racial profiling”.

As a matter of fact, I was stopped some years back (after returning from vacation) in Cumberland, RI by a local officer while driving to work and after he checked my driver’s license he indicated the reason why he stopped me was because I looked like a person from Central Falls. There was nothing wrong with my driving (under speed limit on a straight road with seat belt on) or car (state inspection sticker up to date).

Illegal immigrants or legal US citizen by birth or citizenship papers, everyone is now open to being stopped by law enforcement for whatever excuse the officer decides based on the governors signed executive order.

I also notice, the RI Police Chief Association is only endorsing one of the three sections of the governors signed executive order.

Posted by: Ken at April 13, 2008 6:36 PM

They endorsed the only point of the Executive Order which directly related to local law enforcement-the other two LE points related to the Dept.of Corrections and the Rhode Island State Police.
They were correct to stay out of the other issues.

Posted by: joe bernstein at April 13, 2008 10:36 PM
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