The New Privileged Class: Illegal Immigrants
The belief is widely held that those who are wealthy or possess great political power are above the law and do not have to respond to the legal constraints endured by the great masses of Americans. Those on the left who profess to support the poor and middle classes are quick to point out that the wealthy class can afford to have better access to the legal system. They can afford the best lawyers and rarely receive lengthy prison sentences.
The other social class that enjoys privilege is the political class. They too can often find themselves given better treatment by the court system. For example, the nephew of Chicago’s Mayor Daley II was involved in a fight outside a bar. A person he struck fell, hit his head, and died. While it appeared that the death was accidental, a Court trial was avoided for ten years because the Court somehow “lost” the Court file. So the Mayor’s nephew avoided prosecution. Eight years later the case was brought up again by a Chicago newspaper, and finally heard. Senator Ted Kennedy received only a slap on the wrist two month suspended sentence for the death of Mary Jo Kopechne, whom he left to asphyxiate in an Oldsmobile he drove into the water, reporting the accident to authorities the following day.
These are examples of how the families of the rich and famous are treated differently by the Justice system, a system that is supposed to be applied equally to everyone regardless of social status.
But amidst of all these examples, no one has had the chutzpah to state in public that all rich persons should be immune from prosecution, or that all the famous should be given immunity from state and federal laws. In other words, up to now it has been on a case-by-case basis that individuals enjoying high social or political status special treatment, not a general class of persons. It would appear that in America special class privilege can be exercised, but not explicitly declared.
But recently that has changed. Now, for the first time in American history, an entire class of persons, a class that numbers in the millions, has been given broad, de jure amnesty and immunity from both federal and state laws. In this class of people are those who have been characterized as the undocumented (i.e., illegal) immigrants.
They have been given two types of special consideration. President Obama recently announced that he will suspend deportations of those in violation of the 1996 Immigration law. That he has no authority to do so, and that the power to “establish an uniform rule of naturalization” resides exclusively with Congress, does not matter to the President, his political party, and much of the media.
The precedent for this class immunity has two roots. One is the enablement of illegal immigration by mayors and other government officials through their refusal to enforce federal, state, and local laws. This has been accompanied by some legislation that enables illegal immigrants to receive benefits, drive cars and even vote.
The second is the pro-integration and pro-diversity programs passed, mainly by those of the Democratic Party, to overcome the discrimination and racist attitudes of African-Americans who were subjected to the inhumane institution of slavery.
But overcoming negative attitudes caused by slavery and promoting a privileged legal status to a new minority group are two different things. But somehow, this has been sneaked by the American people, since it seems related. After all, Democrats have promoted Hispanics as another victimized group that is only here in the U.S. to do low paid jobs. So they have tried to identify Hispanics, many of who arrived comparatively recently, as oppressed as African-Americans. Lacking no legacy of slavery their purported burden is that they are low paid and doing undesirable jobs, a characterization Democrats have created and promoted.
This socio-political thinking has led to some curious attitudes toward both policies to facilitate education opportunities, such as the Dream Act, and the treatment of Hispanics compared to African-Americans. Recently a black resident of New York City died when he was wrestled to a concrete sidewalk while resisting arrest for selling untaxed black market cigarettes, avoiding New York City’s high taxes. Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio and his fellow Democratic Party members seem to have no qualms about allowing illegal immigrants to work for cash. They avoid paying income taxes, Social Security taxes, and other taxes. And their employers avoid paying into unemployment compensation and other taxes. No manager of a fast food hamburger joint has been wrestled to the ground for avoiding unemployment taxes for undocumented workers.
So President Obama’s executive action creating a special class of citizens who do not have to obey federal immigration law is not new, it is just the newest manifestation of a trend, consciously started by Democrats to grow their constituency of the poor dependent on government handouts. Since illegal immigrants mostly earn low wages, they are eligible to receive over two dozen federal, state, and local benefits. I have estimated that in Chicago these benefits amount to at least $80,000 per year, per family. The largest amounts go to education and block grants. This figure doesn’t include health care. The actual health care costs of illegal immigrants are not easily found. For the most part they are not tabulated.
The privileged status of illegal immigrants has been discussed for many years. Newspapers and TV stations have talked about illegal immigrants who were released by Judges after being convicted of multiple DUI counts. And the head of the Customs Enforcement officers union complained that the President is deporting illegal immigrants who have committed felonies, crimes that would put legal citizens into prison.
American voters have to decide whether or not they want their government to establish a privileged class of residents who live off of their taxes. As their property taxes go up, as fees on their cell phones, license plates, natural gas and electricity bills go up, they can think about the privileged few who have a lot of those expenses subsidized.
This is not due to an immigration law that is broken. That is as silly as the idea that if someone speeds, it proves the speed limit laws are broken. What it proves that is that Democratic Party of the U.S. continues to take steps that elevate illegal immigrants to a status above that of citizens. That America cannot afford this is shown by Obama’s huge expansion of the national debt and support of the financial system through quantitative easing. It is not a sign of what may come but proof of what is already here.