Mercury News: “Stephen Colbert, Zoe Lofgren turn Congress into comedy club”

Hi Gang:

Many years ago a favorite Friday night program provided its viewers with a rundown on the events of the week. That show was known as “That Was the Week That Was.” It was often referred to as “TW3” using the initials of the show, much the same way that the contemporary “Saturday Night Live” is widely recognized as “SNL.”

TW3 was an entertaining program that provided the audience with real news but with a twist. The show opened with the very attractive female vocalist, Nancy Ames, who sang the theme song that began “That was the week that was…” She then interjected the headlines of the week into the lyrics of that song.

I can only imagine what Nancy Ames would be singing this week in the wake of the double barrel events concerning immigration on Capitol Hill.

First we had the misleadingly named “DREAM Act” voted down with members of the Senate understanding the wishes of their constituents.

Yesterday the House Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing on agricultural workers and provided evidence that, as I have all too often noted, Congress should be called “The Fools on the Hill!”

The theme song for yesterday’s hearing could have been “Send in the Clowns!”

Incredibly Zoe Lofgren, the Chairperson of the Immigration Subcommittee thought it appropriate to invite Stephen Colbert to provide testimony about the issue of farm workers in the United States!

Of course, it is possible that Ms Lofgren was simply following the lead of the President of the United States.

Of course, as the Yiddish expression states, “When a fish goes bad, its smells from the head!”

I have provided you with a link to a commercial that appears on YouTube and was prepared by Governor Brewer. Here is that link:

In that brief video click, the President of the United States makes it clear that he believes that the efforts of the leaders of the state of Arizona to attempt to do the job the federal government adamantly refuses to do is a punch line in a sick joke. His contempt for efforts at problem solving demonstrated by Governor Brewer and the state legislature are contemptible and disturbing on many levels. Besides providing a peek into his mindset about immigration- he has, it must be presumed, in that brief “joke” destroyed any remaining shreds of morale at the various component agencies at the DHS that are involved with the enforcement and administration of the immigration laws.

Could you imagine a Congressional hearing that involves issues of national security and community safety calling a comedian to testify? Yesterday they did! You cannot make this stuff up!

I have provided you with a couple of news reports [click here for 1] [click here for 2] about the appearance of Mr. Colbert on Capitol Hill yesterday.

If you wonder how the issue of alien farm workers relates to national security and community safety- I urge you to continue reading my commentary.

As an INS special agent I encountered a significant number of aliens who had been granted H visas to perform farm work. Most of the aliens I encountered had come to the United States from Jamaica and were supposed to work in Florida in orange groves but either worked for a very short period of time or failed to ever show up for their jobs in Florida but headed to New York. Besides failing to do the work on the farms that the farm owners expected these aliens to do, these individuals came to my attention because they had become involved in various serious crimes. Most often we found that they were involved in the drug trade and had also become involved in gun running and committing crimes of violence.

Time and again we have seen where the process by which visas are issued to aliens provide the bad guys to enter our country- these include criminals as well as terrorists. It is virtually “common knowledge” that once an alien enters our country on a visa and then either fails to depart or abide by the terms of their admission into the United States, such as farm workers who fail to perform the work that their visas required them to do, the odds of getting caught by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is between slim and none!

I was recently interviewed by Casey Wian, a CNN journalist who has been covering the immigration issue for many years. Casey has interviewed me a number of times over the past several years so that I could provide my perspectives on various aspects of the immigration crisis confronting our nation. He most recently interviewed me about a week ago and the story aired on Memorial Day.

Here is a link to the video of the segment in which I briefly appear:

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/05/31/am.wian.border.patrol.cnn?iref=allsearch

The focus of this story, as you will see when you go to that link, is the issue of illegal aliens whose presence in our country is not attributable to their having run our nation’s borders but rather because although they were admitted via the inspections process, they either overstayed their temporary visas or otherwise violated the terms of their admission into the United States.

Casey makes it clear that the efforts to locate and apprehend aliens who entered the United States through ports of entry are all but nonexistent. He noted that while the Border Patrol has about 20,000 agents, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has fewer than half the manpower that the Border Parol has and that many of these agents are not even working to enforce the immigration laws but rather are focused on the enforcement of customs laws.

Furthermore, Casey noted that fewer than 300 special agents at ICE are assigned to seeking to locate and apprehend aliens who overstay their authorized period of admission or otherwise violate the terms of their admission into the United States. Think about it- fewer than 300 special agents seeking to locate millions of illegal aliens!
This is obviously a serious issue, so serious in the mind of our elected representatives that a comic was called upon to offer his expertise!
On May 11, 2006 I testified before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the Committee on International Relations on the topic:

“VISA OVERSTAYS: CAN WE BAR THE TERRORIST DOOR?”

You can read the transcript of that hearing at: http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa27480.000/hfa27480_0f.htm

Immigration is anything but a laughing matter, except to politicians who clearly believe that immigration is a joke!

Then again, the way that our immigration laws are administered and enforced, they have made the United States the laughing stock of the world!

If the point to issuing visas to farm workers to provide workers for farms, then why is the system not policed? What benefit does a farm owner get from farm workers who receive visas and then fail to show up for their jobs? If we are to believe that these workers are necessary, then why doesn’t ICE police this system to make certain that aliens who are given visas to work on farms actually go to work on farms and not become involved in violations of law including serious criminal laws?

Others who fail to report to the farms for which they were supposed to work or leave after a few days or weeks and remain in the United States also go on to take other jobs in the United States that they are not authorized to do- thereby displacing American and resident alien workers. This is another problem that should not generate chuckles, considering the plight of so many of our citizens and lawful immigrants who are finding it increasingly difficult to find work, given the economic climate of our nation.

I suspect that if you asked John Morton, the head of ICE or Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Surrender what percentage of aliens who are admitted with H-2A visas to work on farms actually go to work on the farms they were supposed to work on, they would have no idea!

This is hardly a laughing matter.

It is time for the politicians in Washington to live up to their oaths of office!

It is unacceptable that the citizens of this nation be alienated by their own government especially where border security and the enforcement and administration of our nation’s immigration laws are concerned and the “leaders” in Washington believe they can be as contemptuous of the citizens of our nation as they clearly are!

A country without secure borders can no more stand than can a house without walls!

November 2nd cannot come fast enough!

We the People, throughout this nation must seek opportunities to make it clear to our political “representatives” that we understand their game plan and won’t tolerate it!.

I believe our nation’s is greatly benefited by the rich diversity of our people which is why I could never imagine living anywhere except New York City, arguably the most diverse city in our nation if not, in fact, the world. However, my idea of diversity most certainly does not include members of MS-13, the Mexican drug cartels and members of al-Qaeda!

If reading this makes it difficult for you to sleep now- perhaps you could do something worthwhile- perhaps you might spend a couple of your sleepless hours writing letters to your elected representatives this evening and remind them that Election Day is just months away!

We the People can add to the consternation of these politicians who are failing to live up to their oaths of office by contacting them and making it abundantly clear that election day is coming and they should think of election day as their personal “Day of Reckoning!”

Our government must live up to its obligation of protecting its own citizens and, indeed, all who are present in our country from the criminals and terrorists who would threaten our lives and the survival of our nation and our way of life. In the end, the government is actually those who are elected to act as our “leaders.” Those who fail to truly lead and look out for those they are supposed to represent, need to be sent packing this coming Election Day!

If our country is to survive and if our children and their children are to get their share of the “American Dream” the citizens of this nation must take their citizenship seriously!

We the People must be the best citizens we can be, citizens who are worthy of the gallantry demonstrated by our valiant men and women in the military, law enforcement and firefighters, who routinely go in harm’s way in defense of this nation and our citizens.

My goal in writing this and other commentaries is to point out our nations many failings before more victims pay the ultimate price for the incompetence and ineptitude of our government.

The first step in problem-solving is to first identify the problems and vulnerabilities and then devise strategies to overcome them.

Any politician who refuses to work to secure our borders and create an immigration system that has integrity is either corrupt or too dumb to keep his (her) job. Any politician, irrespective of party affiliation who favors Comprehensive Immigration Reform and the outrageous betrayal that this would represent given the national security implications that this program would have, should be shown the door at the next election!

If you find yourself to be in agreement with this commentary, I ask that you forward it to as many of your friends and family members as possible and encourage them to do the same. We need to create a “Bucket Brigade of Truth!”

In just 6 weeks each and every member of the House of Representatives is up for reelection and more than one third of the members of the United States Senate will have to face their constituents. They need to be reminded that they work for us, We the People!

However, the practice of good citizenship does not end in the voting booth, it only begins there.
The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

The collective failure of We the People to get involved in make our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians.I implore you to get involved!
If this situation concerns you or especially if it angers you, I ask you to call your Senators and Congressional “Representative. This is not only your right- it is your obligation!
All I ask is that you make it clear to our politicians that we are not as dumb as they hope we are!
We live in a perilous world and in a perilous era. The survival of our nation and the lives of our citizens hang in the balance.
This is neither a Conservative issue, nor is it a Liberal issue- simply stated, this is most certainly an AMERICAN issue!
You are either part of the solution or you are a part of the problem!
Democracy is not a spectator sport!
Lead, follow or get out of the way!

-michael cutler-

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