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Rat Patrol

Rep. Curry Todd remarked during a Fiscal Review Committee presentation this week at Legislative Plaza that the idea of government-funded care for pregnant women who cannot prove they have United States government permission to be in this country struck him as not unlike inviting a rat infestation.

The Collierville Republican made the comments after asking CoverKids program managers whether the state checks the citizenship status of care recipients.

Todd specifically wanted to know if program administrators demanded “proof that you are here legally before you can get assistance.”

Asked if he meant children, Todd replied, “not the children, I am talking about the adults.”

A CoverKids program administrator  responded that CoverKids doesn’t provide medical coverage to pregnant women, but it does offer “unborn coverage.”

“According to the federal government, we cannot ask for immigration documents, or verify that information, because we are providing coverage to the unborn — the unborn child will be classified as a U.S. citizen,” she said.

Todd was also told, “Under the guidance that was provided to states, under the previous administration, there is a technical guidance letter that states that for covering the unborn child, we are not permitted to determine citizenship, because the child, once born, is a U.S. citizen.”

Rep. Todd responded: “Well, they can go out there like rats and multiply, then, I guess.”

The meeting in its entirety can be viewed here.

11 replies on “Rat Patrol”

Rep. Curry Todd should be censured and apologize to our entire state.

It is a disgrace to our great state and our nation that there are enough people who feel Rep. Curry Todd represents the very best thinking of his district. It’s this verbatim, dehumanizing language that preceded history’s unforgivable atrocities.

Rep. Todd, on this day we honor the sacrifices of men and women serving our nation in war. On this day, you should apologize to them for trivializing their sacrifice with your disgraceful choice of words. Tennessee is way better than that, and we deserve representatives who can live up to our much better values.

Rep. Todd drags the horrors of the 20th Century into this millennium. Her choice of language clearly demonstrates the slippery slope we are engaging on as a political party, my party, the GOP, and as a nation when we deliberately chose to demonize an entire category of human beings.

Several very important points seem to get lost intentionally in the fallacious debate over illegal immigration.

As a law enforcement officer, sworn to protect the Constitution of the United States with his life, and the grandson of a WWII veteran the following points never escape me:

1) There are three ways to be an illegal immigrant. One is to overstay a non-immigrant visa. This is a CIVIL violation of federal statutes, not a criminal one. A civil violation can be likened to a parking violation for which no imprisonment can be incurred, where the only penalty that can be imposed is a monetary fine. The second way to be an illegal immigrant in the United States is to enter the country “without inspection”, sneaking over the border if you will. This is a MISDEMEANOR under federal law. It is also punishable by a civil fine. Illegally entering the country does not become a felony until and unless you are lying to an immigration officer or committing fraud to do so, which would be the third way of becoming an illegal immigrant.

Here is the federal statute for the skeptical minds:

8 U.S.C. 1325

(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection; misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who
(1) enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers, or
(2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers, or
(3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to enter) the United States at a time or place other than as designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil penalty of—
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under this subsection.
Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be imposed.

This convincingly demonstrate that an entire cohort of politicians pandering to a misinformed electorate with bigoted tendencies are trying to paint individuals guilty of an offense that belongs to the realm of parking tickets as the greatest criminals of all times, as threat to our nation. This is such small potatoes in the legal realm that those fines are almost never pursued, as it would cost the federal government much more to prosecute those infractions in federal court than the amount that can be collected. Furthermore, what are you going to obtain from a migrant picked up in the desert with little more than their clothes on their back?

The entire legal philosophy of punishment for criminal offenses in the United States is based on the principle of proportionality. That is, the more serious the crime, the more serious the punishment. Keeping that in mind, how serious is a crime only punishable by a small fine?? Should people guilty of such a violation be demonized and severely punished?? If so, watch out, feed that meter, watch your speed or your driving privileges will be revoked for life, you will be separated from your children, family and friends, you will lose your job, house and possessions, to be sent to a place where you don’t want to be. How well would that go over? Soon, the entire adult population of the U.S., me included, would banish ourselves from our own land… How much sense does that really make?

Don’t get me wrong, I completely and thoroughly support the removal of criminal aliens, illegal or not, from the U.S. Most immigrants I’ve ever met, illegal or not, also support that. Remember that immigrants are usually the first victims of criminal immigrants.

2) The second point that never escapes me is that reality and immigration law are on two parallel tracks, like the two rails that make up a train track, which NEVER meet.

Here is a link to a great illustration of that:

It is virtually impossible for an unskilled worker to legally immigrate to the United States unless that worker is married to a U.S. Citizen, a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) or is the minor, unmarried son or daughter or the parent of an adult U.S. Citizen. People do not come here risking life and limb to clean your toilets, mow your lawns, build your schools/homes/churches/office buildings and yes, prisons and even immigration detention centers, wipe your kids bottoms and cook your food for the fun of it. If it were possible to show up at a U.S. embassy, fill out a form and get granted permission to come to the U.S. legally, people would do just that.

Even skilled workers, such as scientists, mathematicians, physicists, medical doctors etc. face a byzantine immigration system to legally immigrate to the U.S. thus depriving our nation of needed talent. Only internationally renowned researchers, artists and executives have a relatively easy path to legal residency in the U.S. The stringent requirements to meet that standard are so high than very few individuals take advantage of it. Why do we work so hard to make it difficult for skilled people to come here? Free enterprise and capitalism thrive on new talent. Why keep it out? Why push these people into the hands of our competitors?? Why lead large companies such as Microsoft to establish R&D centers in places such as Canada to avoid the broken immigration system of the U.S.? Large agricultural concerns have stopped growing tomatoes in California, Florida and other states to grow them in….you guessed it, Sinaloa Mexico. Thanks to NAFTA, those can be then imported into the U.S. with virtually no tariffs. What a great accomplishment! Land lays fallow, not generating revenue, jobs in agriculture, production, packing, distributing, transporting are lost in the U.S. to be sent to Mexico, where the workers are, because there were not enough people to pick the darn things here. This is the kind of progress we want?? Think about that when you see produce in your neighborhood supermarket that could be grown in the U.S. but is now imported from Mexico or Central America.

I am not advocating that we accept anyone who wants to come here, but having a more realistic process would surely help alleviate some of the pressure on our Southern Border.

3) The third point that never escapes me is that I don’t want my kids to aspire to a career in unskilled, backbreaking labor. I don’t want my daughter to want to clean other people’s toilets, I don’t want to see my son going from state to state picking crops, or working in a processing plant, just like you honestly don’t want that for your kids.

So until we can figure out a way to have machines or androids do that for us, we will need unskilled workers. For as long as these jobs will be available, people who have no hope will come to take them. That’s the basic premise of capitalism. Supply and demand.

For good laughs, check this Carlos Mencia sketch out:

And for as long as there is no realistic process for workers to come from abroad legally to perform those tasks, we will have large scale illegal immigration. Simple as that. The proof is in the pudding. Since the collapse of the U.S. economy, the number of EWIs (Entered Without Inspection) has diminished greatly on the Southern border. Why? Many of the jobs these would be illegal immigrants were hoping to find in the U.S. have evaporated at the same rate my – and yours- 401 (k) money has. Check out this fact sheet published by the Border Patrol. You will see that the apprehensions of illegals on the Southern Border have plummeted to levels not seen since the 1970’s.

4) The fourth point that burns my mind every time I hear politicians speak is, that the real threat to our county is power hungry arrogant politicians who promise the world and deliver nothing. Politicians who do not have the best interest of our nation at heart, politicians who have forgotten what ethics, courage and patriotism mean.

Politicians who promise you more security while cutting back public safety budgets, while closing fire houses, while pushing statistics and numbers to measure law enforcement effectiveness on the local level, politicians at the federal level who clamor their outrage about illegals, about high taxes, about deficits but ride the gravy train themselves, peddling influences with lobbyists of all stripes and colors while they play with OUR TAX DOLLARS, to buy military hardware from crooked contractors, to pass legislation favorable to corporations who in turn con you of your hard earned money. Invariably, those same politicians seem to find lucrative positions on these same corporations’ boards once their shelf life in Congress is over.

That’s where the real threat lies, not with the guy mowing the lawn across the way or the cleaning lady wiping the toilets in your office building at night or the guy washing the dishes at your favorite Friday evening hang out. Politicians like Rep. Todd who play on peoples fears to get elected then turn around and stab their constituency in the back while spitting on the Constitution and its tenets as intended by our founding fathers.

President Eisenhower, a great patriot, predicted just that. For a flashback to what a real politician looked like see this:

Here is the video:

Here is the text:

5) The fifth point we should always remember, especially on November the 11th, is that an entire generation of Americans made the ultimate sacrifice to fight a regime that called a particular category of fellow human beings “ratten” or rats…

Wake up America, take the REAL trash out, let’s roll and hold politician accountable.

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