Thursday, May 20, 2010

Maryland's intrepid state Delegate Pat McDonough has announced a plan to deal with illegal immigration in Maryland similar to the law recently passed in Arizona. He will introduce this bill in the next legislative session. Maryland's Montgomery County Gazette issued a predictably critical assessment of the plan, saying McDonough, "never let political reality stand in the way of his crusades," and declared his proposal dead on arrival before it has even been introduced.

The Gazette response, typical of leftist news media everywhere, displays in microcosm the arrogant myopia that is driving newsrags out of business across this nation. Who in God's green earth do these people think they are? When and how can any problem be addressed if every controversial proposal is attacked and written off before it is even aired? This is precisely the kind of attitude that gave rise to the Tea Party movement and it is causing a seachange in national politics. The Gazette should take note. Trouble is, liberals are so smug and self-righteous, they can't see reality even when it is dangled in front of their noses.

Unfortunately, it is the rest of us who pay for their self-serving, destructive polices, and we are frankly fed up. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer deserves credit for braving the denizens of political correctness to enact the Arizona bill. She has set off a chain reaction that has already seen similar legislation proposed in at least nine other states.

Before they start criticizing the Arizona law, which mirrors federal law -- not that such irony would ever stop them --  Obama and the Democrats should read the sixteen page bill. Or maybe they should learn why it is the federal government's failure that prompted passage of the law in the first place. The Montgomery County Gazette got exactly one sentence correct in their diatribe against McDonough when they said, "The federal government basically has abdicated its would-be, should-be role."

Of course they immediately negated any hope of intellectual redemption by reverting to form and advocating for Congress's latest try at an amnesty bill.

Oh yes, the Democrats and maybe one or two really stupid Republicans are proposing immigration "reform" like they did in 2007. But as in 2007, it is nothing more than an amnesty bill, and we already know from the 1986 law, that amnesty doesn't work. It didn't work then and it won't now.

But that fact is irrelevant to Democrats, because it is not designed to work. It is designed, like practically everything else that Democrats do, to undermine the rule of law and overwhelm federal, state and local crimefighting, health and welfare budgets according to the Cloward-Piven Strategy of Manufactured Crisis, while securing more reliable voting blocs. This last is an especially high priority for the Obama administration and Congress this year because they are going to need every vote they can get to keep power, and they know it.

The Los Angeles Times, which seems to be coming somewhat to its senses lately (it correctly recognized Senator Barbara Boxer as not having "adequate intellectual firepower" for the job) had the decency to allow Dan Stein of the Federation for American Immigration Reform to make the case for the Arizona law in an OpEd. But that the Gazette, or the Baltimore Sun for that matter, should be so open to first amendment expression. To wit:

  • [Arizona] state taxpayers spend more than $2 billion a year on education and healthcare for illegal immigrants and their children

  • kidnappings in Phoenix are at an all-time high

  • criminal drug and illegal smuggling is epidemic

  • Arizonans have endured decades of federal neglect of immigration enforcement

  • killing last month of rancher Robert Krentz -- police suspect by an illegal immigrant -- is only the latest graphic example of widespread lawlessness on the border

The left deliberately raises the strawman argument of "racism" and "racial profiling" to distract from these critical realities. Arizona's problems are being replicated all over the country as a flood of illegal immigrants, including criminals, terrorists and gangs bring with them violence, diseases once thought to be eradicated, like tuberculosis and leprosy, and overwhelming burdens to our welfare system, the courts and medical facilities.

A  2006 report from the Dallas Morning News spotlights just one of these issues. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act of 1986 requires hospitals to accept pregnant women in need of emergency help, and imposes a $50,000 fine for violations, so no hospital can turn down illegals. But Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas goes further, offering free prenatal care to pregnant mothers.

Not surprisingly, Parkland gets the lion's share of indigent and illegal immigrant mothers. Some of its statistics are eye-popping. For example, a 2006 patient survey indicated that 70 percent of mothers who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of that year were illegal immigrants. In 2004, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies.

Yet Parkland is proud of its service to the community and is not troubled by the high cost. As Parland's CEO said, "We are the safety net hospital for Dallas County, and these folks are residents of our county." Nice sentiment, but as always, the wise bet is to follow the money. Parkland earned a profit of $7.9 million in obstetrics that year - a hefty 10 percent return! Nice work if you can get it.

So who pays for this cadillac care to indegents and illegals, many of whom are taking advantage of the services to have anchor babies? According to the News article, about $44 million came from state and federal Medicaid funds while Dallas County taxpayers shelled out $31.3 million.

Once again, the taxpayer is on the hook so why should the hospital care?

Like the Arizona law, Del. McDonough's proposal would give law enforcement the teeth it needs to tackle this problem. And in Maryland, thanks to the Democrats' sanctuary state policies, the problem is immense. According to a report by the Federation for American Immigration Reform:

  • There are currently about 250,000 illegal immigrants in the State of Maryland.

  • Illegal immigrants cost Marylanders $1.4 billion per year in education, medical care and incarceration. This represents 70 percent of Maryland's current $2 billion budget deficit.

  • Between 2002 and 2008, the foreign-born population in Maryland grew by 34.6 percent. Meanwhile, the number of students requiring english instruction has grown a whopping 93.7 percent!

  • Marylanders spend more than $966 million annually on education for an estimated 80,800 children of illegal aliens.

  • nearly $250 million additional is spent on providing special English instruction to an estimated 35,000 children of illegal aliens.

  • Almost 10 percent of public school children in Maryland have illegal immigrant parents.

  • These costs would be considerably higher if other cost areas such as assistance programs for needy families or welfare benefits for American workers displaced by illegal alien workers or resulting from depressed wages were included in the calculation.

It is high time someone proposed doing something about Maryland's illegal immigration problem, and we are absolutely certain the Democrats won't. So we say, "Hooray for Pat McDonough!" Given the high proportion of mindless leftists living in Maryland, he may well be tilting at windmills, but the worm is turning, and if someone doesn't act nothing will happen.