Monday, May 9, 2011

Arizona now accepting donations to complete border fence; Democrats call legislation 'symbolic'

Arizona lawmakers have launched their latest attack on illegal immigration: an online fundraising campaign to build more fencing along the state's border with Mexico.

State Sen. Steve Smith, sponsor of a new bill aimed at bankrolling the additional fence, said the goal is to use online donations and prison labor to build beefed-up border security.

Donors to the cause may even be given certificates declaring they helped build the wall, Smith told reporters last week.

"I think it’s going to be a really, really neat thing," he said.

Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill late last month allowing lawmakers to go through with the planned website where they will attempt to raise donations.

"If the website is up and there is an overwhelming response to what we've done and millions of dollars in this fund, I would see no reason why engineering or initial construction or finalized plans can't be accomplished," Smith told The Associated Press.

650 miles of fence already exists along America's border with Mexico, much of it in Arizona, a major gateway for illegal immigrants and drug trafficking. But that hasn't been enough for Arizona lawmakers -- including Sen. John McCain who in a 2010 interview about border control quipped part of the answer to securing Arizona was to "Complete the danged fence."

Brewer recently requested additional help from President Obama to secure the border.

The fence bill is just the latest legislation supported by Arizona Republicans in an effort to boost border security.

The state is already using public donations to support the legal defense of its controversial immigration legislation, SB1070, which requires immigrants carry registration papers. A federal judge issued an injunction on the enforcement of most of the controversial parts of that bill. Arizona has sought to reverse that decision in a federal appeals court.

Smith, a staunch anti-illegal immigration advocate, has often spoken out for increased funding for border protection, even as Arizona is mired in a budget crisis. While passionate about the issue, his numbers haven't always been accurate.

In a May 5th debate to send more money to the Pinal County Sheriff to increase border security, Smith claimed "half of the illegals that come through the country go through Arizona and 80 percent of those go through Pinal County."

The Arizona Republic reported those facts were dubious, at best. In 2009, 44.7% of illegal immigrants apprehended by border patrol were indeed in Arizona -- but since 90% of illegal immigrants are apprehended within five miles of the border and Pinal County is 70 miles from the border, Smith's 80% figure is doubtful.

Democrats called the legislation nothing more than “symbolic” in the April 18 debate.

"If we are here to pass symbolic legislation and not really address border security, SB1406 does the job. But people don't benefit from symbolic legislation," Democratic Rep. Catherine Miranda of Phoenix said.


Australia was wiser about immigration in the past

Arthur Calwell was leader of Australia's Federal parliamentary Labor party between 1960 and 1967

The horrors of World War II reduced Europe to a state of absolute chaos, with crushed, displaced people having lost everything as well as their homelands, being confronted by an implacable new foe - communist Russia. Australia's concern about post-war reconstruction and population growth was acted on by the country's most successful and patriotic immigration minister, Arthur Calwell, who, according to his detractors of the day, "became increasingly aware of the splendid human material to be found in the refugee camps".

Between 1947 and 1952, 181,700 refugee and displaced persons entered Australia through the International Refugee Organisation, which was formed in 1946 to deal with the European refugee crisis, but the stringent health requirements quite correctly set by Calwell led to him being attacked again by the usual suspects as using refugees as "grist for the labour mill".

Fast forward to the years of Al Grassby, Malcolm Fraser, Petro Georgiou and all the other multiculturalists who linked arms with their lefty mates in our schools, universities and parliaments and imposed their version of a Brave New World on the rest of us. Fraser invited Lebanese Muslims to Australia in 1976 and our first boatpeople from Vietnam arrived during his government. During the Howard years the number of African refugees increased and I am reminded again of Calwell who said that he "objected to the mass importation of people who will form 'black power' groups and menace the security of Australia when their numbers have grown sufficiently" and become "fiercely anti-white and fiercely anti one another. Do we want or need any of these people here? I am one red-blooded Australian who says no."

Australia's immigration and refugee policies are now one huge mess with boatpeople arrivals in recent years leading to our coastal borders being shot to pieces and the disasters at Christmas Island, Villawood and elsewhere testimony to a government that has no idea what to do next. Sweeping changes to our immigration and citizenship laws are urgently required but mention the word law and a lawyer will be standing at your shoulder. Teams of lawyers jostle with each other to get their snouts in the trough of legal aid monies constantly being topped up by hapless taxpayers as the courts are log-jammed with cases and appeals related to immigration and refugee matters.

Our slavish adherence to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees is a millstone dragging us down and compromises our sovereignty. This was demonstrated by the UN buying into the Villawood debacle by telling protesters that UN officials would talk to them if they came down off the roof.

All Australian governments have done the UN's bidding without question but the Japanese have taken a different route. Not ratifying the UN Convention until 1981, Japan has accepted just 508 refugees from the 7297 applications made since 1982. Maybe salving its conscience, Japan is the third-largest donor in the world to the UNHCR, which could explain why a rapacious UN looks the other way while Japan goes on ignoring refugees and keeping its borders secure.

There is no escaping the dreadful track record of the UN over recent decades - the WHO rorts and scams, the horrible "sex-for-food" scandal in Liberia, the ghastly Rwanda genocide followed by Srebrenica and the list goes on. When was the last time an Australian foreign minister took the UN on? Alexander Downer is on the UN payroll in Cyprus so what hope do ordinary Australians have? Look at the damage John Howard did when he gave Amanda Vanstone the keys to the Immigration Department and then rewarded her by inflicting her on the Italians!

An Abbott government must reconnect with ordinary Australians through hard-headed and strong government but it will need new blood at all levels to help it make the changes. The undergrad apparatchik politics of past years must be swept aside. We must redefine our ocean borders and police them rigorously and the UN must be told the Australian government and its people will decide who migrates here in future.

A recent report tells us that more than 60 per cent of our refugees have failed to get a job after five years and 83 per cent of those households now rely on welfare payments for income. The greatest unemployment rate was recorded among new arrivals from Iraq and Afghanistan with less than 10 per cent finding full-time work and 93.7 per cent of households sucking on the Centrelink teat. I know many people who are not white but who are fiercely proud Australians and we must all stand together. I wonder how many of our current crop of MPs have read Calwell's autobiography Calwell: Be Just and Fear Not.



  1. Was Whitlam responsible for stopping the 'White Australia Policy'?

  2. It was stopped by Harold Holt, Whitlam's conservative predecessor