Rep. David Davis is a man of his word.
Back in February, Davis told a gathering of constituents he would call upon federal and state immigration and Homeland Security agents to meet with local police in early March to work out a plan.
According to the Times-News Davis hosted the meeting in Morristown last Friday. In attendance at his round-table discussion were officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and representatives from local law enforcement agencies.
During the meeting, Davis stated: “There are more illegals in Hamblen County than anywhere else in the world, not just Tennessee or America. A person who came here illegally 20 years ago started an employment agency. He had billboards south of the (Mexican) border saying ‘If you want to make it in America, come to Morristown, Tenn.’ Now there are generations of people putting a burden on the education system, health system and corrections system. People here aren’t racist, but they are concerned about the rule of law.”
Joe Powell has already pointed out Davis may not have been entirely truthful about the numbers he offered.
Not surprising. Since Davis announced his decision to seek re-election, exaggerated statements and misleading numbers seem to be the norm as he crusades through the District, discussing the economy, evil Democrats, immigration and the SAVE Act, which he co-sponsored back in November. Adding insult to injury, he has, on occasion, used Scripture to support his views.
(Granted I am no theologian, but I’ve read the Bible. I am fairly certain there’s nothing in there about deporting Mexicans, buying goods manufactured in the USA or how the Democrats are at fault for painful prices at the pump – or how they’re probably to blame for those excruciatingly annoying Additech machines at all Murphy’s and Kroger’s gas stations too.)
You are not, however, likely to hear him echo his November 2007 statement – in which he favored providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country rather than deporting them. Quite frankly, I disapprove. Davis is exploiting the fears of area voters to gain their support: and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why he feels the need to do this.
He is one of the most conservative Republicans to have served the First District: and he has a solid voting record to back this up. He is a friend to small business. He opposes big government. He listens to his constituents and has a strong base of supporters. And though he rarely represents me, his thinking seems to be in line with the majority here.
(Of course, the majority now foams at the mouth over the increased presence of brown people and have speculated that Hamblen County may be the strategic headquarters for the Reconquista.)
So, why encourage this?
Abraham Lincoln said: “Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.” Well, I want to know the truth.
Davis has been in office for two years, during which time we dropped the ball on immigration reform. So, why now? Why are we suddenly holding round-table discussions and schmoozing the TFIRE folks? Are these undocumented immigrants placing an increased burden on the education system, health system and corrections system this year – as opposed to a smaller burden in previous years… this year being coincidentally a year Davis is trying to get re-elected in a district of folks who are anti-immigrant – no not anti-illegal, just anti-immigrant entirely.
Also, in these discussion on immigration, has Davis mentioned, at any time, the positive impact undocumented workers have on the state and national economy? Has he brought up those issues we’ll need to address after we crack-down on undocumented workers – such as potential labor shortages, increased cost of goods? I am not saying those things aren’t necessary in the long run: I’m just pointing out that ridding the country of immigrants isn’t going to make us an instant utopia. So, are we prepared for this?
He failed to mention all that, huh?
(In fact, as an example of how perverse politics have gotten – several Tennessee lawmakers recently opted to toss out the Comptroller’s report on Illegal Immigration in Tennessee and go with the FAIR report instead. After all, FAIR statistics support what we prefer to believe – and no, it doesn’t matter if the group was classified by the Southern Law Poverty Center as a hate group. I mean – they’re probably one of those new and improved unbiased hate groups, right?)
Folks, contrary to what many of you think, I am not a proponent for open borders. I agree border security is synonymous with national security. I also believe our immigration system needs reform. I support holding employers accountable for hiring undocumented workers – mostly because our laws are designed for exploitation.
And I’d like to think I am an average voter.
Average voters do not lean so far to the left or right that we can no longer see the path of reason. We tend to think if both sides had an honest conversation about immigration reform, we could eliminate fears and myths, perpetuated for political gain, and focus our attention on what needs to be fixed. We are not sold on the notion that we can improve our country with concrete barriers, barbed wire, interment camps detention centers, or insane stop-gap state-level measures – such as legislation intended to starve out undocumented masses. (Go read to see how political asshattery has been elevated to an art form.)
As far as Davis’ SAVE Act, it’s a solid start toward an enforcement bill — but here’s the problem. It is only an enforcement bill. The bill doesn’t offer any solutions for the millions of people here. And I think, if you want to repair the broken system, we should give not only the “people movers” but the “paper pushers” a prominent seat at the table.
I cannot help but wonder if Davis is willing to do this?
I also have some questions about the bill. Such as, can the employment identification system handle a rapid expansion? I’m asking because our business is already signed up for E-Verify: and so far all I get beyond the Main Menu is a blank screen.
Also, in regards to Davis’ legislation to refund local departments for training under an expansion of the 287(g) program: he issued a press release stating:
“The Federal Government needs to provide training on what to do when illegal aliens break another law.
A great concern I have encountered all over the First District from law enforcement is what is done when an illegal alien is apprehended breaking the law”
“This legislation allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to reimburse state and local law enforcement agencies that participate in the voluntary 287 (g) program for the costs of sending personnel to training, including backfill costs.
Local law enforcement agents do not engage in “sweeps” or “raids” of immigrant communities under this authority…”
This is not entirely true, is it? The courts have agreed that state and local police can enforce any federal law, unless Congress has specifically forbidden enforcement of a particular law. Since Congress has not forbidden the states from enforcing federal immigration laws—both criminal and civil—state and local police have the inherent authority to enforce them.
So the fact is local agencies could perform raids or sweeps – whether this is in the immediate plan or not. Right?
My next concerns is this: does Davis truly believe his own campaign speak: illegal is illegal? Does he make any distinction between violations of criminal law and civil law? (By the way, for those who didn’t know, entering the country illegally is not a violation of criminal law – unless there are additional circumstances, such as you’ve previously been convicted of a crime or you attempted to enter with your underpants stuffed full of locoweed. However, the mere act of stepping from Point A to Point B without the proper documentation: well, its just not criminal. That’s all.)
But if Davis believes that going from Point A to Point B constitutes a heinous crime: if re-elected, how likely would he be to compromise? I mean if we build his damn fence and allow iffy interdepartmental sharing of personal information for a system, which will likely require all US citizen to prove on a monthly basis we are… well documented, would he be willing to address the needs of those folks who’ve been working and living in our country for 5 years or more or those trapped in the systems massive backlog?
These are my questions. I think the answers are important.
After all, David Davis is a man of his word…
Unfortunately, I suspect the more he talks… the less I will like those words.