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!
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!
High emotions and tight security surround a hearing on an Arizona-style immigration bill underway at the Statehouse.
Security was tighter than normal Wednesday, with some new limitations
on where the public can go. That’s because the author of the
immigration bill, Carmel Senator Mike Delph, recently received an e-mail
that threatened his family.
The immigration debate drew an overflow crowd to the Senate chamber
and a committee meeting where Senator Delph, a Republican, wants the
state of Indiana to send a message.
“Today we say no more to illegal immigration and we say we really mean it,” he said.
Among those who back the effort are veterans who say it’s a matter of homeland security.
“The vulnerability of this country to acts of terrorism because of
our porous borders and lack of enforcement of immigration laws has most
Americans concerned and rightfully so,” said Steve Short of the American
But hours before and a floor below, Attorney General Greg Zoeller was
among those who signed a compact urging Congress to address
immigration. The Indiana Compact is supported by religious leaders and
the message is that states should stay out of the debate.
“Let’s not let the frustration that many people are feeling lead our
legislature to bad law,” said Catholic Archbishop Daniel Buechlein.
“Let us not be driven by fear but by pride, not by rancor but by reason,” said Rabbi Dennis Sasso.
The bill under consideration would give police new powers to stop and
identify illegal immigrants and would also create new penalties for
employers who knowingly hire them.
“We also need to consider the fact that the goal of foreign workers
is to take the money they earn and send it out of the United States of
America,” said former INS agent Mike Cutler.
Supporters are expected to win this round and likely more. One factor
that could affect the outcome: State police say the new immigration law
would be expensive to enforce and the state has no money to spare.
Copyright 2011 WISH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Related To Story
Senate Panel Backs Arizona-Like Immigration Reform
Senate Committee To Consider Controversial Bill
Senate’s labor committee voted 7-1 Wednesday night to advance the
proposal, which opponents attacked as opening the door for legitimizing
Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis said
he supports the measure because legislators have an obligation to uphold
the laws that are in place and protect the state’s residents.
bill includes a requirement similar to Arizona’s that stipulates law
enforcement personnel verify the immigration status of people who are
arrested, if there’s reason to suspect they are in the country
The proposal also includes subpoena power for
prosecutors trying to determine if businesses are employing illegal
immigrants, along with a requirement that all government documents and
communications be in English, unless trumped by federal law.
Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage voted against the bill, saying it goes to
“ridiculous lengths” and that it’s a “bazillion lawsuits waiting to
“I think it will increase racial profiling across the
state,” said Cynthia Perez, who opposes the bill. “I don’t think it’s
going to solve any of the immigration issues that we have, not just here
in Indiana, but across the USA.”
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said Wednesday that he’s concerned about the implications of an Arizona-style law.
I understand the significant problems and deep frustration felt by our
sister states, we must be realistic about the costs of the state
superimposing itself onto a federal enforcement responsibility when the
methods for doing so might be constitutionally suspect or fiscally
impractical,” Zoeller said in a news release. “I urge all legislators to
consider carefully the appropriate role in our federal system of
The bill now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration of its financial costs.
- January 18, 2011: Arizona-Like Immigration Bill In Works At Statehouse
Copyright 2011 by TheIndyChannel.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or
Article published Feb 10, 2011
Immigration bill advances
State attorney general won’t support measure.
By KEVIN ALLEN
Tribune Staff Writer
INDIANAPOLIS — An Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration is moving forward in the Indiana General Assembly.
listening to more than four hours of testimony Wednesday, the Senate
Committee on Pensions and Labor voted 8-1 in favor of a bill that would
require police officers who stop people for violating a law or ordinance
to ask them for proof they are here legally if there is “reasonable
suspicion” to believe otherwise.
It would also require state and
local governments to use only English for correspondence, and have the
Indiana Office of Management and Budget send Congress a bill for the
state’s estimated costs from illegal immigration.
The measure, Senate Bill 590, now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Mike Delph, R-Carmel, told the committee Wednesday that S.B. 590 “is an
attempt to put teeth into existing laws to say the citizens of Indiana
welcome legal immigration but adamantly reject illegal immigration.”One
point where everyone agreed Wednesday is that the federal government has
to address problems with the nation’s immigration policies and
Some believe S.B. 590 could be part of the solution
and spur action on the federal level. Others say it would be an
expensive and ineffective measure that could lead to racial profiling
and deter talented immigrants from coming to Indiana.
Schrameyer, executive director of Goshen-based Citizens for Immigration
Law Enforcement, framed the issue in terms of unemployment in Elkhart
County. He said the county has 10,000 out-of-work residents but also a
large group of illegal immigrants who have jobs.
“Over the years,
we’ve enacted legislation against drunk drivers, drug dealers and
users, and cigarette smokers but continue to overlook the elephant in
the room: illegal aliens,” Schrameyer told the committee. “Employers
have found it far too easy to hire illegal workers, which not only
drives down wages to improve their bottom line but it takes unfair
advantage of this minority group.”Goshen Police Chief Wade Branson said
S.B. 590 would amount to an unfunded mandate, because police departments
would have to hire more bilingual officers and train officers on the
complexities of immigration laws. He also fears it would scare some
Latinos from helping police solve crimes.
“At the street level,
we must be trusted in order to get good information to solve local
crimes,” Branson testified. “If undocumented residents fear detention
and deportation, it will be impossible for us to adequately do the job
we do now. Crimes will go unreported, and unreported crimes can’t be
Members of veterans groups and Mike Cutler, a retired
Immigration and Naturalization Service agent, urged the committee to
approve the bill from the standpoint that it will help protect the
nation from terrorists. Robert Najmulski, a field representative with
the Federation for American Immigration Reform, testified that illegal
immigration costs Indiana more than $600 million annually, according to
Representatives of business groups and farmers
said they don’t condone hiring illegal immigrants, but they spoke
against S.B. 590 because of potentially burdensome regulations
associated with it and the possibility that it will prevent legal
immigrants from coming to Indiana.
Indiana Attorney General Greg
Zoeller said earlier Wednesday that he is not endorsing S.B. 590.”While I
understand the significant problems and deep frustration felt by our
sister states,” Zoeller said in a statement, “we must be realistic about
the costs of the state superimposing itself onto a federal enforcement
responsibility when the methods for doing so might be constitutionally
suspect or fiscally impractical.”
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, was the only committee member who voted against S.B. 590 on Wednesday.
Staff writer Kevin Allen:
for Hearing on Indiana State Senate Bill 0590
W. Cutler, Senior Special Agent, INS (Ret.)
I greatly appreciate the opportunity to
address this hearing today. I have traveled from my home state of
New York to Indiana to offer my support to Senate Bill 0590 proposed
by Indiana State Senator Mike Delph. I traveled this far to be here
today because I feel so strongly about that bill that is being
considered by this legislative body.
You may be surprised to know that I am
not a political conservative by anyone’s definition- in fact, I have
be registered as a Democrat ever since I cast my very first ballot in
an election more than four decades ago.
To my thinking, the issue of border
security and the effective enforcement of our nation’s immigration
laws is not a Democrat issue or a Republican issue. This is not
about Left or Right but rather about right or wrong.
Simply stated, a country without secure
borders can no more stand than can a house without walls.
I am a lifelong resident of the City of
New York- a city that is arguably the most diverse city in our nation
if not the world. I love the diversity of my fellow New Yorkers. I
am the son of an immigrant and certainly have no issue with lawful
immigration provided that the process by which immigration is handled
has real integrity. The problem is that today our nation’s borders
are extremely porous and the immigration system itself, lacks even a
shred of integrity. These failures subject our nation and our
citizens to a multitude of problems. These failures impact
everything from national security, criminal justice and community
safety to the economy, the environment, healthcare and education.
As a New Yorker, the ashes from the
conflagration at “Ground Zero” landed on my neighborhood. Those
ashes landed on my home and my family and me. Those ashes, in part,
contained the remains of some of my neighbors.
I lost both of my parents to cancer
when I was a college student. I will never forget them, I like to
say that I am still standing on their shoulders.
My mom legally immigrated to the United
States as a teenage girl who lived in a rooming house and worked in
an umbrella factory for $3.00 per week in the 1920’s. It is
fortunate she came here because most of her family including her
mother, for whom I was named, were killed in the Holocaust. My dad
was born in Brooklyn to immigrant parents who came here from Romania
a year or two before he was born. He was a plumber and he will
always be my biggest hero. He and his buddies in the construction
trades built this nation. They embodied the “Can Do” spirit.
For them there was no challenge too great. There was no job that was
too dangerous, too filthy or too backbreaking. Today’s construction
workers and other blue collar workers are no different.
When people look down their noses at
hard working blue collar Americans and tell you that illegal aliens
will do the work Americans won’t do, they are leaving out something
really important- that illegal aliens will work for substandard wages
under conditions that are often so substandard as to be illegal.
Time and time again, studies have
hammered home the same essential point- there are no workers on the
face of this planet who are more conscientious or productive than
American workers. There is no job an American won’t do for a fair
wage and decent working conditions- and do it better than anyone
I believe that my professional
background makes me uniquely qualified to provide my opinions on
Senator Delph’s bill. I spent approximately 30 years as an officer
of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and took
the “scenic tour.” I began my career with the INS in October
1971 when I entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to
John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. During the
four years I served as an Immigration Inspector, I was detailed for
one year as an adjudications officer to the unit that adjudicated
applications for the conferring of resident alien status upon aliens
who were married to United States citizens or resident aliens.
I remained in that position for
approximately four years when, in 1975, I became a Criminal
Investigator / Special Agent of the INS in New York. I subsequently
rotated through all of the squads within the investigations branch
and, in 1988, was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID)
of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration). I was the first INS
special agent to be given this assignment. In 1991 I was promoted to
the position of Senior Special Agent and assigned to the Organized
Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) where I remained for the
balance of my career with the INS.
Throughout my career, I worked closely
with members of the NYPD and other local police departments as well
as with members of the New York State Police, the Port Authority
Police, members of nearly every federal law enforcement agencies and
members of law enforcement organizations from Canada, Israel, Japan
I have testified before more than a
dozen Congressional hearings; most recently I was invited to provide
testimony at a hearing conducted just last week, before the House
Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement in Washington,
D.C. on the topic of Worksite Enforcement.
I provided testimony to the
Presidential Commission on the Terrorist Attacks of September 11,
2001. I have provided testimony at various state legislative
hearings in New York, Texas, Maryland and even here, previously in
Indiana. I also provided a declaration in support of the Arizona
Immigration Law, SB 1070.
Finally, I have provided expert witness
testimony at a number of federal trials where immigration law was at
The enforcement of our nation’s
immigration laws is essential because of the widespread impact that
immigration has on our nation. While there are those who will state
that immigration is solely the responsibility of the federal
government, indeed only the federal government is empowered to set
immigration policies, the enforcement of immigration laws that are on
the books can and must be carried out by local as well as federal
officials. Former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neal is remembered for
famously remarking that “All politics is local.” In point of
fact, all law enforcement is also local. When aliens run our
nation’s borders or otherwise gain entry to our nation and then
commit crimes in our country, those crimes are committed in cities
and towns within the United States from coast to coast and border to
border. All too often those crimes have an immediate severe impact
on the residents of those towns and cities.
It is important to note that our
immigration laws are blind as to the color, ethnicity, religion or
other such factors of the people who are subject to those laws. The
only distinction immigration laws do make is to distinguish citizens
of our country from those who are not citizens. Under the
immigration laws, non-citizens are referred to by a term that
advocates for open borders would just as soon strike from our
language- that term is “Alien.” There is nothing derogatory
about that term and, in fact, it is important to note the official
definition of the term “alien” as noted in the Immigration and
Nationality Act. Under that body of laws, an alien is simply defined
as being any person who is not a citizen or national of the United
States. I defy anyone to tell me how that definition insults or
denigrates anyone. Virtually every other country on this planet uses
a comparable term to describe foreign nationals who are found within
As I have noted when I have testified
before Congressional hearings and other venues, when aliens
circumvent the inspections process, there is no way of knowing if
such aliens are desperate for a job, something that in and of itself
represents a violation of our nation’s immigration laws, or if that
person has something far more sinister in mind.
The inspections process as carried out
by inspectors of CBP (Customs and Border Protection) is supposed to
prevent the entry of aliens into our country whose presence would be
harmful to our nation and our citizens. You need only consider the
list of grounds that would render an alien excludible from the United
States. It includes aliens who suffer from dangerous communicable
diseases, aliens who suffer from serious mental illness and are prone
to violence, aliens who are convicted felons, aliens who engage in
human trafficking or drug smuggling, aliens who have committed war
crimes or have committed human rights violations, aliens who have
been previously deported from the United States and never received
authorization to return to the United States, aliens who are engaged
in espionage and aliens who are involved in terrorism.
This list is not all inclusive, but I
think you get the idea as to the nature of the aliens our immigration
laws deem excludible. In this perilous era in which the safety of
our citizens and the security of our nation is threatened by members
of transnational gangs and terrorist organizations- I can tell you
without equivocation, that our nation cannot protect itself or its
citizens unless our immigration laws are effectively enforced.
Concerns about our nation’s porous
borders are not just of concern to the traditional “border states.”
First of all, aliens who run our nation’s borders are generally not
seeking to set up shop near the border but head for the rest of our
country. Last year Janet Napolitano stated that more than 230 cities
have become infested by members of the Mexican drug cartels. There
are also other transnational gangs and criminal organizations from
virtually every other nation on our planet to be found in every one
of our nation’s 50 states. Additionally, it has been estimated that
some 40% of the illegal aliens who are illegally present in our
country did not run our nation’s borders but were admitted through a
port of entry and then either overstayed the period of time for which
they were admitted into the United States or otherwise violated their
terms of admission. Therefore it is important to note that any state
that has a seaport or international airport must also be considered a
In reviewing Senator Delph’s bill, it
is clear that the legislation parallels the federal immigration laws
and makes perfect sense for the people of Indiana.
Let me cite a couple of examples.
When a police officer interacts with
anyone in the course of his (her) official duties, the first order of
business is to as completely and accurately identify that person.
This is about the safety of the officer and about carrying out his
mission as completely as possible. For example, if a motorist is
observed committing a violation of motor vehicle law and the police
officer has decided to issue a summons, the concern has to be as to
whether or not the motorist is likely to appear in traffic court.
This is similar in nature to the way a judge conducts a bail hearing.
An individual who has no documentation to reliably establish his
identity may well provide a false name and a nonexistent address. In
such an instance, if the person is issue a summons in that false
name, it must be presumed that he will never appear in court.
Therefore it is a matter of commonsense and prudence to determine the
true identity of the person encountered by law enforcement and must
take immigration status into account.
The issue of immigration status must
also be taken into account by judges who are charged with setting
bail in criminal cases. There are only two components to a bail
hearing- danger to the community and risk of flight. Generally the
issue of danger to the community is established by the nature of the
crime the defendant is charged with. Risk of flight can be quite
nebulous. Often the defendant’s immigration record can provide
extremely insightful information. Consider the clarity that may be
provided to a judge officiating over a bail hearing if, for example,
the defendant is an illegal alien who has jumped immigration bonds in
the past, has previously provided multiple false identities and
nonexistent addresses. Certainly this sort of information can be
absolutely essential to providing critical information to a judge who
has to determine what bail, if any, should be set. This information
would only be available to the judge if local law enforcement takes
immigration status into account and follows up by contacting ICE
(Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
I know that those who oppose my
perspective will tell you that if local police enforce immigration
laws that community policing efforts will suffer. Allow me to lay
waste to that falsehood. As I noted when I first started speaking, I
spent most of my 26 years as an INS special agent working in close
cooperation with local police departments in New York. One of the
benefits they found in working with me was the fact that I could help
them gain the cooperation of aliens who were involved in criminal
activities and also help victims of crimes who were aliens by
offering them opportunities to become cooperators. There are various
visas that can be given to aliens who cooperate with law enforcement
that ultimately would enable them to remain in the United States
lawfully and, in some cases, even enable them to have their families
join them in the United States. This provides a unique and extremely
powerful incentive for aliens to cooperate with law enforcement.
On the other side, there are certain
provisions of federal law that provide extremely potent tools for law
enforcement to prosecute aliens engaged in criminal activities that
can only be brought to bear if immigration laws and the cooperation
of ICE can be secured. For example, an alien who was deported from
the United States and unlawfully reenters is facing a maximum of 2
years in jail if that alien has not felony convictions. However, an
alien who has felony convictions and has been deported faces a
maximum of 20 years in prison for the crime unlawful reentry. I am
proud to tell you that I had worked with then New York Senator Al
D’Amato in the early 1980’s to get that law enacted and it is a
powerful law enforcement tool.
There are other federal statutes that
can also be brought to bear against aliens involved in serious
The point is that in order for these
benefits to be realized, the immigration status of the individual has
to be determined by the law enforcement officers who encounter that
From the standpoint of discouraging the
employment of illegal aliens, it is important to note that the
prospect of securing unlawful employment is the magnet that draws the
majority of illegal aliens into the United States.
The folks who oppose the enforcement of
our nation’s immigration laws will tell you that those who favor the
enforcement of immigration laws are “anti-immigrant.” Nothing
could possibly be further from the truth. The reason that an
employer intentionally hires illegal aliens can be summed up by one
word, Greed. Illegal aliens are vulnerable to exploitation. This is
not conjecture on my part but something I observed up close and in
person when I was assigned to a squad that investigated companies
that hired illegal aliens. The exploitation was often so horrific
that it was impossible to go home and sleep on some evenings when I
went off duty.
The American Dream cannot be bought for
an $8.00 an hour job. Furthermore, I want to make something as clear
as I know how. Illegal aliens who are desperate for a job because of
their deplorable situation in their home countries are not our
enemies. However, when you consider how many American families are
losing their homes, when you consider that it has been estimated that
one fifth of all Americans now live below the poverty line and that
mortgage foreclosures are at an all time high, it is of extreme
importance that we, as a nation, seek to help our fellow Americans
employment to illegal aliens would take significant pressure off of
our nation’s porous borders and would also stanch the flow of tens of
billions of dollars of money wired or otherwise transmitted by
illegal aliens from the United States to their home countries adding
to our burgeoning national debt. This is money that is not spent in
the United States, money that is not invested in the United States
and money that is not earned by United States citizens and lawful
immigrants who are finding it increasingly difficult to support
themselves and their families given the economic hardship that ever
so many Americans are now facing today.
employer sanctions on the local level. As called for in SB 0590, to
augment the relatively meager efforts of the federal government is
essential, especially now.
about every politician talks about the need to create new jobs.
However, if new jobs are created but are then taken by illegal aliens
and not United States citizens or resident aliens, neither our
citizens nor our nation would benefit from those newly created jobs.
would also provide important national security/community safety
benefits. Terrorists and criminal aliens often seek employment as a
means of embedding themselves in a community. Terrorists and
criminals are often described by the jobs they held at the time that
they were arrested, jobs that provided them with money, camouflage
and mobility. As an INS Special Agent I often apprehended criminal
aliens on the jobs where they worked. These aliens had lengthy
conviction records and may well have been previously deported and
were working illegally at nondescript jobs that enabled them to hide
in plain sight.
their concerns about illegal aliens working at what are described as
being components of “critical infrastructure” such as airports,
nuclear power plants, and military bases.
voiced concerns about Mumbai-style attacks being carried out in the
United States that would target hotels or places where large numbers
of people congregate as well.
follow that critical infrastructure should also include food
how safe are our citizens, when you consider that there are many
thousands of illegal aliens working in our country in a variety of
venues, including food processing plants as well as restaurants and
hotels, where they may come into direct contact with the food we eat
and there is no way of knowing their true identities, or backgrounds,
local law enforcement often assists the federal government by
apprehending criminals wanted for committing federal crimes.
FBI’s Ten Most Wanted have, in fact, been apprehended by local cops
during the course of routine patrol.
enforcement assisting the federal government is a matter of routine
and is of great importance to the federal government as well as to
local communities and individual states. When you consider the true
importance of our nation’s immigration laws, you have to come to the
conclusion that SB 0590 provides a commonsense means for the state of
Indiana to help its residents and the United States all at the same
the law of the Hoosier State.
I look forward to your questions.