Register Guns, not Immigrants
The recent bombings at the Boston marathon finishing line once again reminded Americans of their vulnerability to terrorist acts. Fresh in the collective public awareness is also the issue of gun violence.
Congress is at the same time wrestling with immigration reform. It is very interesting to note that while background checks are considered the major method to control gun violence, with regard to immigration Democrats have very aggressively fought the existing Federal background checks required for persons entering the U.S. How they handle immigrants on the one hand, and gun owners on the other, reveals some interesting contrasts in their approaches.
As I have noted here before, Democrats are the major sponsors of illegal immigration. Those who wish to downplay the fact that illegal immigration is a violation of the 1996 Immigration Act prefer to call the immigrants "undocumented." Democrats in states such as California, Illinois, and New York have gone a further step and worked very hard to establish themselves as sanctuaries for the undocumented. Then, once these immigrants are in the U.S., they remedy the "undocumented" status of these immigrants by providing them with the "matricula consular" card.
For example, the Cook County, Illinois, board of commissioners passed a law making the matricula consular card, which does not have background checks, a valid form of I.D. The Chairman of that Committee is John Daley, the brother of Bill Daley who served as Obama's Chief of Staff. The president knows of these I.D. issues and has the authority to stop them.
At the same time Democrats have made the matricula consular card available to immigrants, they have aggressively fought any moves to "document" these persons through official channels. For example, they fight Voter I.D. laws, national I.Ds., and efforts to restrict the decennial Census count to citizens. All of these actions have one goal in common: they are efforts crafted to ensure that Democrats stay in control of their "documentation." The topic of how government documents are used as a tool of political control of social groups deserves further attention.
But when it comes to background checks for legal gun purchases Democrats give as the major reason the idea that we need to stop gun violence. However, a close look at gun violence and crime reveals that illegal immigrants, whom Democrats insist do not need background checks, are committing violent crimes in great numbers.
In 2011 the General Accountability Office (GAO) published a report called "Criminal Alien Statistics." This report listed the types of crimes for which illegal aliens were actually convicted from 2001 to 2009. Those who wish to prevent bombings such as occurred at the Boston marathon should note that from 2001 to 2009 the DOJ convicted 68 illegal aliens of terrorism related acts. These included actions related to the bombing of public places. (P. 25) In this time period the DOJ convicted an additional 9 illegal aliens who had links to international terrorism. (P.26). Illegal aliens were 17% of the total inmate population convicted as a result of terrorism-related investigations. These terrorists were able to enter the country unhindered due to the lack of background checks performed upon illegal immigrants.
Seventy-three percent of all criminal aliens incarcerated came from Mexico and four other Central American countries. Persons born in these countries are the ones most likely to illegally enter the U.S. through the southern border.
And with regard to murder, the crime Democrats use as the rationale for passing strict background checks, the report found that in 2008 in the five states of New York, Texas, Arizona, Florida and California there were 6,300 illegal alien inmates convicted of homicide. An additional 1,550 were convicted of weapons violations. The homicide rate for illegal aliens was particularly high in New York State were 27% of all person convicted for homicide were illegal aliens. This suggests that if the background checks required by the normal process of legal immigration were conducted, the great majority of these 6,300 homicides would have been prevented. These background checks are already mandated by Federal law yet Democrats are primarily responsible for ignoring them.
Since 1985 New York, along with Illinois, has been a sanctuary state for illegal immigration. Its sanctuary policy was first declared in 1985 but in 2003 Mayor Bloomberg issued an Executive Order (Executive Order 41, Sept. 17, 2003) which protects illegal immigrants by stating that their citizenship status (and lack of background checks) is a matter of personal "privacy" and City officials and police have no right to ask immigrants questions regarding their citizenship status. Mayor Bloomberg has no legal authority to address the issue of immigration, which the Constitution gives exclusively to Congress. In fact Mayor Bloomberg is committing a Federal crime.
All of these mayoral sanctuary declarations are invitations to anarchy, and the homicides in New York State committed by illegal immigrants are a tragic reminder of what happens when Federal law is not just ignored but actively scoffed. Once in the U.S., those who are "undocumented" have a very difficult time obtaining a good paying, legal job. For this reason illegal immigration causes poverty and crime. Bloomberg's EO 41 was issued to enable them to collect city benefits without background checks.
The ICE union had a "no confidence" vote against John Morton for supporting amnesty for criminal aliens. The ICE union president protested that ICE officers would be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities and that this policy would allow weapons to enter the centers. The policy that enables weapon ownership in these centers is in stark contrast to the president's recent speeches against gun violence.
The great majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic and their gang membership has been on the increase. The Pew Hispanic Center reported that native-born Latinos [Hispanics] are twice as likely as the foreign born to belong to a gang or have a weapon. This indicates that as new generations of Hispanics are born in the U.S. their rate of gang membership and weapon use goes up, a tragedy that could be avoided if they had to undergo background checks before entering the country.
It will be interesting to see if Democrats suddenly get background check fever and insist on background checks for illegal immigrants to receive Federal benefits, enroll children in school, receive free health care at taxpayer expense, and vote with a valid voter I.D. card. These would be welcomed if they were included in an immigration reform bill.
Since illegal immigrants do not need to pass a background check to enter the country, they would not have the documents to pass a gun ownership background check. So the Democrats have created a class of illegal gun owners. Given the attitude of Democratic mayors and Congress toward illegal immigration, should a strict background check requirement become Federal law it may only be a matter of time before illegal immigrants are given a "pathway" to lawful gun ownership.