Immigration Uncertainty  

by John Donnelly…….

Presidents Obama, Bush, Clinton and Reagan had 32 (thirty-two) years to competently address the “disastrous debacle” that has devolved into our nation’s present immigration policy. All of these politicians with their extravagantly paid consultants, advisers and experts specializing in the field of immigration law; failed miserably.

Thousands of elected members to congress, along with their extensive and excessively compensated staffers, sat idly by as the immigration crisis worsened; exacerbating the pain and suffering of millions seeking safety, food and shelter for their children and loved ones. The same reasons why my family immigrated to America. My great, great grand uncles were hung to death by their British overlord for stealing a fish from his lake to feed their families. The Irish people were made slaves and starved to death in their own country by the British Crown. Formation of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) was in response to the barbarity and murder perpetrated upon innocent Irish children and families by the British.

Clawing their way to escape the brutality of English rule, they were greeted by their newfound American countrymen with signs declaring: “No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs”. And of course the standard bearer of welcomes: “No Irish Need Apply”.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay has delivered distinguished and courageous service to the citizens of Monroe County for over 30 years. Throughout his tenure as Sheriff I’ve met with him and discussed the delicate issues of Race, Bias, and Equality under the Law. He’s never shied away from these types of conversations, welcoming Pastors from locations where these issues are relevant to meet with him, as they voiced their concerns.

On the firing line of life, where the rubber meets the road, Sheriff Ramsay’s integrity, impartiality and commitment to “equal justice under the law”; are firmly established and intact. All of the African-American and Hispanic-American families I work with voted for and support him. They’ve reached out and welcomed Rick into their homes, sharing comfortably with him their experiences and the situations they face.

Sheriff Ramsay has had “no part” in creating the charade that masquerades as our immigration policy. Rather than taking a hard stance on this issue, as legal interpretations and understandings continue to shift; his measured and deliberative approach calls upon his deputies to use “discretion” when interacting with individuals whose legal status may be in question.

“Discretion” is an emphatic trust in your deputies to behave appropriately and legally when enforcing the law. How can “discretion” be denied the officers that are ordered into harm’s way, while protecting the public they serve. If discretion is not entrusted to these “officers of the law”, they must be taken off the street and put at a desk job,  where they can be closely monitored and supervised during their shifts, for fear that they may behave imperfectly.

There are compelling and distinct differences when it comes to interpreting and reacting to the flaws embodied in our present immigration laws and policies.

Naja and Arnaud Girard in their “Blue Paper” have brilliantly detailed their concerns, with reason and legal standing as a backdrop. They’ve intelligently proffered their beliefs identifying what they assess to be inappropriate conduct and possible violations of the law, based on videos depicting Sheriffs’ Deputies detaining and questioning individuals during a traffic stop, when the individuals involved appear to be undocumented aliens.

Confusion in Key West seems to exist between the city’s police force and county law-enforcement, when it comes to the handling of undocumented aliens. Is there only “one way” that “officers of the law” must address this issue. I find that hard to believe, as our immigration policy as it stands, is riddled with flaws, uncertainties and a variety of interpretations and understandings, as to the “standard operating procedure” to be followed when engaging such individuals.

Sheriff Ramsay has “articulated his policy” when it comes to detaining a person whose legal status has yet to be determined. It has been identified as the use of  “Deputy Discretion”.

On 6/19/17 more than (40) undocumented MS-13 gang members were arrested in a suburb of New York City. The motto of MS-13 is: “Mata, roba, viola, controla” (Kill, steal, rape, control). According to the FBI and Treasury Department more than 10,000 of these ruthless murderers have slipped into our country undetected via our porous borders.

Any person of conscience is troubled by the suffering of another. Particularly, when in their eyes the cause of their discomfort may be “unnecessary and disproportionally dispensed”. I know many children and families that have been destroyed because of misinterpretations of the law, and the subsequent mistaken actions taken by Homeland Security. Vague, ambiguous and contradictory statements by those responsible for setting our immigration policies continue to be enunciated. I’ve not witnessed such ineptitude and incompetence by our government, in a very long time. Could it be by design?

Some members of my family are living in fear, as they scurry about trying to protect a hard working and law-abiding father of (5) from arrest and deportation.  Everything costs money for this beautiful, yet fiscally insolvent family, as they seek answers and direction in protecting the head of their household from imprisonment. They’ve received contradictory counsel and paradoxical advice, as they search for a way to bring themselves into agreement with whatever interpretations, processes or enforcement directives are required by Homeland Security; today.

Chronic deviations, executive orders and the emergence of new immigration rules, legal status requirements and eligibility criterion; have placed an enormous strain on  some extraordinary individuals, who just like so many others fled starvation, enslavement and murder, for a better way of life.

The real crime is that our government via its presidents, congressional leaders and bureaucrats; created a convoluted and confusing legal environment by choosing not to enforce our immigration laws. Through their inaction, a welcoming signal was given to those desperately seeking relief from adverse circumstances. These illegal/undocumented aliens were given hope and encouraged to enter our country via the negligent actions of our government.

Now, after generations of working and building this nation, are these children and families to be discarded as trash. Shall they be deposited into internment camps or prisons? Or, shall their families be torn apart, as selected members are forcibly removed and returned to the hell-holes from whence they came?

Perhaps it’s fitting for the federal authorities responsible for creating this mess to suffer punitive consequences for their negligence and malfeasance. Maybe they can be rounded up and exploited before being sent to prison.

Sheriff Ramsay is not where the problem lies. He cannot undo the 32 years of federal  indifference and carelessness, which constitutes our dubious and erratic stance on immigration.

A lot of harm, injury and killing has been inflicted upon innocent American citizens by illegal/undocumented aliens. The undocumented immigrant population has also been maligned, mistreated and abused. Besides those profiting from an illegal underground, there aren’t any winners.

Forming an authentic delegation of solutions oriented individuals, capable of concisely presenting their formulas for success, as it relates to developing a humane and enforceable immigration policy; might afford a starting point for creating a meaningful instrument of reform. Upon construction of this document I would be willing to fly to DC and present the finished product to President Trump and General Kelley. I’m certain they would welcome our effort to advance a solution, before the toxicity of our immigration policies metastasizes into a fatal malady, forever extinguishing the “Dream that was once America”.

Meanwhile, until a structurally sound and consistently applied immigration law is developed and made available at the federal level; perhaps there’s room for an accommodation or addendum to be appropriated, when detaining and questioning an individual about their legal status. Maybe a protocol of sorts, which safeguards and protects the “constitutional rights” of both deputy and detainee. With his fingers on the pulse of Monroe County, I’m certain Sheriff Ramsay is honed in on all the nuances correlated with illegal and undocumented immigration. His credibility, judgment and integrity thus far have been beyond reproach.

Hitherto, the individuals portrayed in “The Blue Paper” have all been sympathetic characters. I would not want a young baby faced MS-13 gang member that’s a rapist and murderer released from custody, because he played cutesy with law-enforcement. Drawing a line between securing a real threat to the community and releasing an innocuous undocumented person; is a difficult and dangerous task, riddled with  unintended consequences.

Sheriff Rick Ramsay and “The Blue Paper” Editors Naja & Arnaud Girard are extraordinarily skilled and gifted professionals. Rarely have I been privileged to be in the company of accomplished individuals, possessing such magnitude and magnanimity. People of their “Caliber” are few and far between.

Working and pulling together for the benefit of each other, our community and nation; are objectives within reach. They can be secured, accomplished and built upon.

“We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” Benjamin Franklin, just before signing the Declaration of Independence, 1776.

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13 thoughts on “Immigration Uncertainty  

  1. John, great essay on an extremely complex issue. You are correct when you point out the lack of leadership in our federal government on immigration policy. The buck has been passed consistently. However in light of current events, buck passing is preferable to the unleashing of what appears to be open season on brown people arbitrarily “enforced” by overzealous white nationalist cops.

    Like their civilian brethren of the same ilk, they feel empowered to disregard their victim’s humanity, which is the historic path to violence and abuse. This legitimization of human rights violations and tacit approval of violence and intimidation has come down from the highest levels of our federal government.

    This vile subculture of fearful white nationalists and racist ideologues have oozed out of the swamp they were hiding in and have been empowered. This isn’t new, but in our culture of 24 hour cable news and reality TV, history is simply ignored or reconstituted to fit the ideologue’s agenda.

  2. There is only one way to get rid of illegals and while it sounds harsh we must count on local police to do the job by questioning anyone they have question about and deport all that have no proof of being legal. Why would anyone not carry I D ?

  3. Alex,

    I’ve learned so much from you during the years. Our experiences together although brief, have been invaluable. Your spirit, gentle guidance and loving direction aided me on my journey of Self-Realization. Your actions and the manner you live your life speaks volumes. The kindness and generosity that you extended to me and my guests will be forever remembered.

    Power can be a corrupting force and influence. Absolute power, corrupts absolutely. Strong, firm leadership from competent, ethical and principled individuals is an unadulterated must; when it comes to governmental agencies possessing militarized weaponry and firepower, which have the authority to detain, arrest and kill; and unfortunately torture at times. We cannot afford to have timid political appointees, incompetent weaklings or those lacking courage at the helm.

    I’ve faced situations where I had to take firm and quick action against heavily armed US Marines under my command during combat operations. They were about to cross the lines of decency, when it came to Vietnamese civilians and prisoners of war. I don’t feel special nor better than the Men I served with. However, I had a duty to quickly put a stop to their “bad conduct”. A clear message was sent to everyone in the jungle hamlets, where the US Marines stood on the issue.

    I adopted the same approach to the young men and women I taught in my classroom. Given their particular situations, it worked effectively and we accomplished a great deal.

    Yes, there is always room for bias, discrimination and abuse, when carrying out one’s duties. Psychological screening and background checks of prospective employees, along with strong discipline, training and supervision; with a steady dose of quick and stern punitive consequences when necessary, are all components of an effective and well run organization/operation.

    This brings us (our nation & the world) to another foundational point of contention. We refuse or are not allowed, to actually educate our children with the fundamental details that comprise “the wisdom of the ages”. A scientific approach to expand and uplift the analytical capabilities of our students. Expanding their consciousness, reasoning and abilities to think and process information at elevated levels has been refuted by the powers that be. Until we adamantly move forward with schools that incorporate “how to live” curriculum’s, we will forever remain spinning our wheels. I made a humble attempt to advance such a program down here, with all sorts of attractive bells and whistles, and was shot down.

    Alex, if we’re ever able to advance a “new” and “symmetrical” educational system that brings out the inherent beauty, brilliance and potential of each student, via the curriculum’s I’ve suggested, we will have an awakening and renaissance that will bring a blessing upon the world. There will be innovative and inclusive ideologies that stimulate growth and development for all People of the World. Cable news will become a thing of the past, as it will have become a sorry reminder of the ignorance the blocked out the sunlight and stunted our growth.

    You know how conversation, dialog and movement can stimulate one’s thinking. Thanks for commenting and staying in touch. I sincerely appreciate your doing so.
    Perhaps if you have the time, you’ll be able to respond to my comment, with your take on what I’ve written. Again, thank you.

    With Love, Blessings & Respect

  4. Jiminkeywest,

    I appreciate your taking the time to read and comment on the article. Thank you.
    There is the “Law of unintended consequences” inherent in all actions. Harsh judgments, frustration and anger must be absent from one’s decision making process, if they want an effective and proper outcome.

    There are many ways to proceed with our handling of the “immigration problem”. It did not happen overnight nor did it occur in a vacuum. Certainly, you must see that our government and even ourselves, are partly responsible for this mess. We repeatedly elected the politicians who’ve have not delivered anything of substance on this issue for the last 32 years.

    Yes, if you’re an immigrant whose “legal status” is questionable; it would be advisable to be smart and not set yourself up to be absconded by the authorities via no license and the commission of any violations.

    However, our country gave the “green light” to these individuals and families to come here, as we advertised that we were not going to enforce our immigration laws.

    The “immigrant population” legal and/or otherwise has contributed enormously to the economic and cultural success of this nation.

    If we are now going to change and enforce the rules for them being here, wouldn’t a humane, decent, measured and constitutional approach be best; as we move forward?

    Blessings & Respect

  5. “I would be willing to fly to DC and present the finished product to President Trump and General Kelley.”

    John, if you know these guys and can do this, let me go with you and I’ll pay our way.

    Jim, thank you for logging in to the discussion. But please read Alex and John’s replies and address them.

    John, how much $$ does your “fiscally insolvent” family need? We’d like to help.

  6. Rick,

    Your generosity and benevolence are facts that saved lives and spared the forced removal of a war widow from her husband’s home. You’re a blessing to the individuals living in our extended communities and nation at large.

    Even through your challenges, you always managed to think and reach out to others who might be suffering. Kindness, compassion and magnanimity are the words that come to mind, as I address your gracious offer. Thank you.

    Yes, it would be an honor and privilege to present a viable “plan of action” with you to President Trump and General Kelly. As you know, before any presentation can be made it must be a “brilliant and magnificent document”, which finally confronts the complex realities of our “immigration debacle” in a comprehensive manner. An individual of your caliber and experience is certain to be an invaluable asset.

    We’ve placed our family members facing “immigration uncertainty” into positions to succeed, as they continue battling away against the bureaucratic inconsistencies, ambiguities and irregularities that make up “immigration law”. However, it appears that they are making progress and they are comforted by the advances they’ve made.

    I thank you for taking time to read and thoughtfully reply to the article. Your decency, humanity and kind heart have made their marks upon the world.

    With Love, Blessings & Respect

  7. I am sure some deputies do misuse the badge and are racist but the simple fact is if they don’t help to deport them then they will never go away or get caught. As to the economy it will do just great without them. On an average we spend $500 a day when in KW and average per year is 10 to 15 K, so surely they can pay help a living wage. If you enter illegally then I count on Trump to deal with them. And yes voted for him.

    If you know of another method to deport them then please educate me on how. Yes it is far from humane but how else can we do it ?

    Perhaps send ICE to check out every bar and business. Bring about 10 full size bus to get the first batch. If you knowingly hire illegals you need prison time. I am not racist but have no use for illegals that steal jobs.

  8. Jiminkeywest,

    Thank you for continuing the discussion. As one of the valued members’ of “The Blue’s” contributors, your commentary assists in flushing out a more detailed conversation addressing the matter before us.

    Tens of thousands of jobs have been created by the entry of illegal/undocumented aliens into the United States. Throughout this nation state by state and of course the entire federal government; employment roles have significantly increased to process and address the waves of these illegal entrants into our country. American citizens from every walk of life have been employed and prospered from their presence. Not, just the businesses, families and corporations that exploit them.

    And then we come to another cold hard fact, many thousands of these illegal’s have thrived, flourished and succeeded in creating burgeoning businesses themselves; providing full employment for the very people that screamed for their arrest and deportation. In addition, thousands have gone on to become world renowned entrepreneurs, providing jobs and careers for some of the legal residents, who had once called for their removal.

    This is not fiction. I know these people. I frequent their homes and spend my money in their stores, businesses and shops. When I need excellent work performed on my home, vehicles or at the theater; I seek these individuals out; as their integrity, ethics, craftsmanship and work ethic are second to none.

    Most of these men and women came to me as children (escaped refugees) unable to speak English. As their teacher, I take great pride, joy and pleasure in their accomplishments.

    If we are to authentically address this issue, we must not overlook the facts. The character and ethical core of these men and women, for the most part, is one of courage, tenacity and honor. For those that want to cross the line and play dirty; they get a dose of “tough love”.

    Before we throw the babies out with the bath water, let’s utilize the gift of life they bring to the table. Their rugged individualism, brilliance, skill sets and extraordinary talents, which were required of them to survive, overcome and accomplish great things; are Lights to the World, providing Examples for our Youth and Citizens to Follow…
    Blessings & Respect<>Happy 4th…

  9. It is always welcome to hear all points of view. Gather that you think we should just let anyone into our country. That will only hurt the USA and help lower the wages. Are legal ways to go about it. So if you see it as no problem then you likely see no point in building a wall or arrest and deport illegals. I for one can .see that helping us but do respect it as your right.

  10. Jiminkeywest,

    Greetings… Thanks for your comments. You may be surprised to know that I’m in agreement with many elements contained within your response. However, I believe we can come at this problem from different angles and still arrive at a similar destination.

    I believe as President Trump and General Kelly have stated; the emphasis of Ice enforcement is on apprehending, arresting, imprisoning or deporting MS-13 gang members. To include all violent illegal/undocumented aliens.

    Let’s get the ball rolling and lighten up on law-abiding, hard working family men and women who’ve been paying taxes in this country for decades. Would you agree that this must be the priority…

    Trump and Kelly have publicly expressed this sentiment many times.

    Borders are very important. In this day and age, we must know who is entering our country, for what reason they are coming, what will they be doing while in the US and where will they be living. Documents supporting an accurate response to these types of questions are necessary.

    Securing all of our borders is a must. Whether with, or without a wall. Whatever authentically works best.

    “Wages” is a broad term, involving many, many factors; not just the presence of illegal/undocumented aliens.

    Let’s start off right. Clear, succinct, fair, humane and enforceable laws. Standards and policies that We as a Nation can be proud of. Laws, principles and a basis for making our judgments; based upon the tenets and beliefs identified in our Declaration of Independence and Constitution. It can be done…

    Thank you very much for your insights and perspectives. I sincerely appreciate them…

    Blessings & Respect

    1. We seem to be mostly in agreement with the open question of how and who arrest them, Would like to see a human method and trial. Can understand wanting to live here.Being born here and white has made my life easy. Rich parents were a help too. Many are not that lucky.

  11. What would be the result if next week 90% of the illegals were taken away ? I think wages would jump high fast and rents drop because of vacancies.

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