I was debating about whether I had the energy after a long day at the office to attend this important field hearing on illegal immigration that my Assemblyman Chuck DeVore held in Tustin today. The short answer is that I rallied and now you guys who read Powder Blue Report are going to get the scoop about how it went.
I saw a lot of familiar faces on the panel and in the audience when I arrived. Chuck had a posse of Assembly Republicans on the panel that included Audra Strickland, Van Tran, and Bob Huff. The vultures in the open border press were there as well(illegalalienvision errr I mean Univision and a chick from NPR wearing birkenstocks...I would have never guessed that a NPR reporter would be wearing birkenstocks, LOL). The first person to testify was Dr. John Eastman of Chapman Law School. This is one really smart guy. I now know after hearing him in person why Hugh Hewitt refers to him as such on his radio show. Dr. Eastman laid out the constitutional issues surrounding immigration law and a few Supreme Court cases that govern them. He surprised me by saying that only part of Proposition 187 was struck down and that other provisions in the law are still standing. He said there is a provision in the law that lets lawsuits be brought forward for people and businesses that have been harmed by illegal immigration(I'm paraphrasing...hopefully Chuck will put out a press release of what Dr. Eastman was explaining).
The next person to testify was Capt. Tim Bord of the OC Sheriff Department. He cited some figures that left me shaking my head in disbelief. He said that out of the 63,000 or so people that were booked last year(2005) by the OCSD, 23% or 15,000 of them were illegal aliens! That's right 15,000 illegal aliens not only here illegally, but they're commiting heinous crimes on top of their original offense of coming here illegally. It's a two-fer I guess. The cost to incarcerate these illegals is $100 per day per inmate X 15,000...do the math, it's huge. The feds only reimbursed about $6 million for this cost. Most of these illegal alien crimals are also released back into society when they've done their time. They're not deported like you'd expect because they're not allowed to ask them about their status!
Moving along, the next person to testify was also the most powerful one. Bill Doddridge is the CEO of the Tustin Jewelry Exchange. Over the years his company had been inadvertently been hiring some illegal aliens. He told us of how the Social Security Administration started sending him nasty letters back in 2002 letting him know that 35-40 of his employees SSNs were not valid, but he wasn't to do anything about this that would be adverse to the illegal alien employee lest he be sued for discrimination by the Labor Dept! He's in a quandry because if he keeps the employees, he's liable for a $400 per person per day fine for knowingly hiring an illegal alien or if he fires the illegal aliens, he risks lawsuits for discrimination. What's an honest businessman to do? Bill finally decided to pay more wages and benefits to his legal employees and now he is at a competitive disadvantage because his competitors are still using illegal alien workers. It was a very moving story.
Next up was the fine Mayor of Costa Mesa, Allan Mansoor. Allan spoke about what he is doing in Costa Mesa on a local level to get violent illegal alien criminals off the streets. He has been a trailblazer IMO for showing how cities can enforce the immigration laws to get violent offenders off the streets. It's not about sweeps like the MECHA/LA Raza crowd would have us believe, although it would be nice if ICE started doing their job a lot more zealously.
It's getting late and I'm tired, but the next person to speak was Robert Ming from Laguna Niguel. Robert was one of the people trying to get a ballot initiative qualified that would mandate voters to provide identification at the polls. As we know, this is like sticking up a cross at a vampire to the Democrats. They'll have none of it because they need all the illegals as possible to keep them in power. Mr. Ming did mention though that this issue has bipartisan support. Some Democrats support it because they think they were robbed in Florida during the 2000 presidential election. We need this law in the worst way here in California. I hope they can get the necessary funding to get it off the ground next time.
After everyone was done testifying, Assemblyman DeVore read some comments from the people in the audience. We were supposed to write down some suggestions/ideas for legislation to address this problem. My comment was that we need to cut off welfare benefits and just enforce existing laws. It's not rocket science what needs to be done.