Monday, October 29, 2007

Darn Right, Mark Allen is a Republican

Darn Right, Mark Allen is a Republican
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 29, 2007

Oh the horrors, the stigma – Delegate candidate Mark Allen has been “outed” as a Republican. What will the neighbors say?

Advertisements in this and other publications have dubbed Mr. Allen as a stealth Republican – hiding his party affiliation in the hopes of fooling voters in Virginia’s 45th legislative district.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Mark Allen, a 30-plus year Alexandria resident with his own business in the city is a Republican who knows and understands what Alexandrians go through to work hard, earn a living, pay taxes, send his children to school and even have a personal grapple with the city school system regarding special needs students.

At no time during this campaign, that I have witnessed, has Mr. Allen shied away from the GOP label. Mr. Allen has stood proudly with US Senator John Warner (R) and announced that he is the Republican candidate at numerous events – even in mixed company!

Mark Allen is a candidate of substance and is not just about a label. He has supporters and contributors from both sides of the aisle – people supporting him for his name’s sake, not necessarily his party’s name.

The Democrats, however, want to play party politics because that is all they have on which to hang their hats. Vote for me, I’m a Democrat is their mantra. Never mind that the current Democratic delegate has one of the lowest ratings as a supporter of business in the commonwealth.

Look around the commonwealth – most candidates are not identified by party on their signs or literature. Of 18 party affiliated candidates running for office in Alexandria and Fairfax County, only three – two Republican and one Democrat advertised their party on their signs. Candidates know the voters are tired of partisan politics and are interested in the character of the candidate.

However, if we’re going to play party politics, it would be nice to have a seat at the table with the election of Mark Allen joining the majority party in the legislature when important decisions are made. The voters of the 45th district deserve that much.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Read the 10th Amendment, Deputize Local Authority

Read the 10th Amendment, Deputize Local Authority
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 14, 2007

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” – Amendment X, United States Constitution, ratified December 15, 1791

In response to Toni M. Andrews’ letter “Takes exception to view on immigration,” (Alexandria Times October 11, 2007) I thank her for asserting that I have “supporters.” However, I must respond to her laissez faire attitude regarding illegals. (I use the term “illegals” upon the request of a friend who agrees with me on virtually nothing, save for this polarizing issue as she remarked that immigrants are here legally, but illegals are simply breaking the law.)

Ms. Andrews questions whether those “persons beating the anti-immigrant drum [are] truly motivated simply to enforce residency laws, or is there instead a desire to remove people who speak different languages and come from different cultures?”

Let me make one thing perfectly clear, as an active member of the Jewish community, I resent any implication that I would summarily “remove people who speak different languages and come from different cultures.” No, no, that shtick was executed to a tee by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who during World War II turned back boat loads of European Jews attempting to escape Hitler’s Holocaust only to be returned to certain death.

I’ve been beating this drum consistently for years and stand by my principles. Unfortunately, Ms. Andrews and her “supporters,” to borrow her phrase, have taken such a laissez faire stance of “they’re here, so just deal with it.” It is just that irresponsible attitude that has allowed such unchecked invasion by illegals to continue.

This laissez faire attitude is akin to returning home from work one night, finding the house broken into, an invader sitting on the couch watching television, and you, the legal owner, who has worked hard to afford that home, couch and television, then offering this miscreant snacks and a beverage. Once you have satisfied this criminal’s hunger and thirst, you, the legal homeowner, allow him to live with you while you support him. Supporters of illegals seem to be missing basic common sense here.

I don’t begrudge people a better life – my ancestors believed likewise as they arrived, legally, at Ellis Island. However, people with those desires must work legally through the system. This nation welcomes people who wish to work hard, learn English – increasing a person’s marketability, invest in America and not send their money back to their home countries to which they often claim allegiance.

Ms. Andrews does make an excellent point in that “the federal government has failed to control the influx of immigrants into our nation and adequately protect and secure our borders.” That is absolutely correct. Whether the government has pandered to the business community that hires illegals to keep costs and wages down, or has pandered to the Spanish-speaking community for votes, the government, on both sides of the aisle continues to allow the invasion.

Based upon Ms. Andrews’ correct assertion, the federal government, in accordance with the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, should provide local law enforcement not just the authority, but the training to enforce immigration laws. Instead of sending so much money to Washington, DC via our taxes, more should be withheld so that city and county authorities have the capability to enforce immigration laws.

And let’s not forget the issue of national security. In this age of the shrinking globe, thanks to technology and the ongoing war on terror, all persons wishing to enter the United States should be screened with absolute diligence.

In addition, the federal government has the obligation to build the border fence presidential candidates and US representatives Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Tom Tancredo (R-CO) have called for repeatedly. Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution requires that “the United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion…”

If the federal government would focus upon their legal responsibilities instead of social engineering, income redistribution and illegal pork-barrel spending, this country could easily afford to secure its borders as is legally required.

As for the resolution passed by the Alexandria City Council on October 9, Councilman Ludwig Gaines said “this is not a sanctuary resolution. …It is simply a restatement of the policy we have had in place for more than a decade.”

When a city or town allows illegals to reside in and receive services from that jurisdiction and those illegals are not bothered “unless arrested for the commission of a violent offense,” as quoted from Alexandria City Manager Jim Hartmann’s September 14 memo, that locality is a sanctuary. And just because the resolution is business as usual, doesn’t make it right. Councilman Gaines’ statements are not mutually exclusive.

Both councilmen Rob Krupicka and Tim Lovain spun this issue like a ballerina on steroids. Councilman Krupicka said the Alexandria Fire Department would not check green cards before extinguishing fires. That’s great, because that is a property issue, not a residency issue.

As for Councilman Lovain, he said city officials would not consult the Department of Homeland Security before allowing a victim of domestic violence into a woman’s shelter. Good. I would hope law enforcement would lock up the reprobate who committed that act of violence.

Don’t spin this issue as something it is not. Let’s remember the telephone calls and e-mails you and the rest of the council received during the run up to passage of the aforementioned resolution also object to such business. They too believe in the greatness and generosity of the United States, but do not wish to be played for a sucker by people not willing to abide by the rules.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Welcoming Legal Immigration

Welcoming Legal Immigration
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
October 1, 2007

The esteemed City Council of Alexandria will be considering, on Tuesday, October 9, with no public input requested, a resolution thrust upon it by the city’s Human Rights Commission that will all but guarantee a safe haven for illegal immigrants and condemn Alexandria to the status of a “sanctuary city.”

As per a memo issued by City Manager Hartmann dated September 14, 2007, unless arrested for the commission of a violent offence, a suspect’s immigration status is not questioned.

Interpreting this portion of the city manager’s memo lets anyone who can get to Alexandria and not commit a violent act stay in this city, and, as a chart indicates, be eligible to attend the ACPS and receive other services for which taxpaying citizens and legal residents are shelling out their legally garnered wages.

Immigration is not a local government responsibility, as cited by Hartmann’s memo. This allows for local law enforcement, which granted, already has its hands full, to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the possibility that there are people in this city who do not have the legal right to be here.

The Human Rights Commission of Alexandria included in its resolution it expects the City Council to pass, a section “that the City and its various agencies will neither make inquiries nor report on the citizenship of those who seek the protection of its laws or use of its services except as required by law.” [sic]

That said, it is clear and obvious that the laws are antiquated and obsolete so as to encourage and allow those people who do not have a legal right to be in the United States, and therefore the Commonwealth of Virginia or the City of Alexandria, to take up refuge and milk the services cow as paid for by the taxpayer dollars of legal residents and citizens.

It is incumbent upon the federal government to amend any laws allowing state/commonwealth and local governments to turn the aforementioned blind eye and deaf ear and put them in the position to work with the federal government to ensure the safety of American citizens and legal residents via a system of inquiry and notification. After all, what part of “illegal” do people not understand?

The Human Rights Commission of Alexandria has, in part of its resolution, suggests “there exists in our region an escalating anger against the foreign-born and those perceived to be foreign-born.”

Truth be told, the anger is levied toward those persons who are taking up residence here illegally and more so toward the people who support these illegal acts. There is a fair amount of confidence that the majority of those people in the United States illegally have fled from unfortunate circumstances and seek a better life for themselves and their families as millions of immigrants who preceded them.

However, most of the millions of immigrants who arrived on the shores of this great nation during the last century, also escaping some form of tyranny, arrived legally, waited their turn and met certain qualifications. New immigrants were required to pass a physical examination, have the promise of employment and lived with a sponsoring relative. These new immigrants took pride in learning English and adopting their new chosen country’s customs.

What form of tyranny could trump that of the Holocaust? Yet, thanks to the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration, boatloads of Jewish immigrants attempting to escape the horrors of Nazi Germany were unceremoniously sent back to certain slaughter.

All too often new immigrants today expect that we learn their language, call us racist and xenophobes if we do not, and are quick to make demands of services that never even existed in previous decades. Again, what part of “illegal” do people not understand?

The United States welcomes people who play by the rules and wish to contribute to make society better. Anger and resentment is lobbied in the direction of those who wish to break the law and provide safe haven for those who have broken the law simply by their mere presence in this country.

This country is a nation of immigrants, but to expect people to enter this country legally also speaks to the issue of national security. Technology during the last century’s immigration zenith could not have put the United states in the harm that today’s technology can. It is imperative to take as many precautions as is necessary to protect the integrity of American sovereignty so that those wishing to join our society can do so in a safe and legal manner.

Whether from our northern border with Canada or our southern border with Mexico, security needs to be as tight as a drum. This will allow for the protection of all American citizens and legal residents. Citizens and legal residents who deserve equal protection under the law, who deserve seats within the Alexandria school system, who deserve the appropriate services for which they may be qualified, regardless of race or national origin.

The City Council of Alexandria should not pass this resolution put forth by the Alexandria Human Rights Commission. Instead it should urge the federal government to untie the hands of local law enforcement. Again, what part of “illegal” do people not understand?

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.