Desmond McGrath
An open letter to the "Gang of Eight" on immigration reform
By Desmond McGrath
March 10, 2013

John McCain (R-AZ.),
Chuck Schumer (D-NY),
Lindsey Graham (R-SC),
Dick Durbin (D-IL.),
Marco Rubio (R-FL.),
Bob Menendez (D-NJ.),
Jeff Flake (R-AZ.),
Michael Bennet (D-CO.)

Re: An open letter to the "Gang of Eight" on Immigration Reform.

Dear Honorable Sirs:

I write this letter with a great deal of trepidation, as with every passing day these United States of America seem to be spiraling downward and backward into an autocratic monarchical throwback to the mad days of George the III or towards a dictatorship of Orwellian proportions, where legitimate debate and genuine criticism are tortured and exterminated in the coliseums of the mainstream media. On that basis I fear that I may suffer repercussions due to this letter and somehow be prevented from staying here in the USA and becoming a Citizen. None the less, the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of rights of this great and only true experiment in liberty the world has ever known, makes no declaratory distinction between the unalienable rights of a citizen versus a non-citizen, but rather established rules whereby duration and class of citizenship are mandatory prerequisites for the privilege of holding certain offices within the republic at the consent of the governed. What I have to say as a Newfoundland born resident of the USA in defense of the Constitution is as lawful and legitimate as anything that Nevis born Alexander Hamilton may have written or said during the foundation of this great country or during his influential role as primary advisor to the Republic's first President, George Washington.

I take great offence to the executive order authorizing DACA, the deportation-relief program that was presented by President Barack Obama to illegal immigrants eligible for the "Dream Act." I should note that before the recent "Catch and Release," 55% of those illegals facing deportation were being held for criminal offences. I am aghast and shocked at this recent release of thousands of criminal and law-breaking illegals from holding cells instead of deportation. Is this but another "Virus and Antidote being concocted in the same laboratory" to increase crime and violent activity on the streets like "Operation Fast and Furious" as some form of Revolutionary Parliamentarianism to call for stricter gun control or provide more funding for the civilian security force the president called for? The likelihood is very high, given that both the recent release of thousands of criminal and unlawful persons onto main street America and operation "Fast and Furious" have a very common underlying symptom, that nobody knows who is responsible! Then again nobody, just a video clip that no one had seen, was responsible for Benghazi and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens, Diplomat Steve Smith and Navy Seals Glen Doherty & Tyrone Woods.

As a person who wants to become an American Citizen I feel personally discriminated against on the basis of age, race, country of origin and as such put to the back of the bus in no less a malicious manner than Rosa Parks was. In August 2013, I have to make my yearly pilgrimage back to Canada to petition for a TN visa for another year of working and living legally in the USA. It has been 10 years this past October since I came to the US on a legal visa and made Louisiana my home state. I have a legal Louisiana driver's license and a single legal US social security number plus pay proper taxes to the US Federal Government and the State of Louisiana, in addition to Social Security payments. In 1986, I graduated with an honors Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Montana Tech, again under a legal student visa, after previously completing two specialized technical diplomas in Canada, representing a total of 8 years of postsecondary education. While I am using the term legal here out of context, it is purely in contradistinction to the word illegal used to describe the immigrant community currently wishing to take advantage of what in my opinion was an unconstitutional overreach of executive authority (deportation relief), some of whom have the gall to protest that "illegal" is a racist word but these are not "Undocumented Workers"!

Perhaps this lunacy can be best summed up by the recent statement of Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) "I hope no one uses the term 'illegal immigrants' here today," Conyers said. "Our citizens are not – " he said, breaking off to correct himself. "Our, the people in this country are not illegal. They are out of status. They are new Americans that are immigrants, and I think that we can forge a path to citizenship that will be able to pass muster."

When I petition for my TN (Temporary under NAFTA) Visa I need three things
  1. An original letter from the company for whom I am to be working for that year stating in great detail, my position, duties, remuneration and how the company, country and state are to benefit from my skillset

  2. A valid and current passport.

  3. My original engineering degree from Montana Tech. Fortunately Montana Tech in their wisdom presented my Degree 26 years ago in leather bound 6" x 8" fold open case that is tailor made for this purpose.
There is one thing that I must not have and that is "immigration intent." Simply put, every year that I petition for another TN visa I am acknowledging my non-immigration intent by agreeing to leave the country on or before the expiry date on the I-94 form associated with my Petition for TN Status Appendix 1603.D.1. This I have done dutifully every year, this one will be no exception.

While on the surface this may seem simple enough, there is a fatal catch 22 in the process; I cannot apply for permanent residency (green card) as a path to citizenship while here in the USA, because the moment that I should apply for a change of status to permanent residency I show immigration intent. Once the change of status is applied for and even if I still have a valid TN visa, should I leave the country on any business or personal matter, I would be turned back at the border on my return. Similarly should I not leave the country and my TN visa expires before my change of status is adjudicated or approved, I would no longer be able to lawfully work in the country and should the change of status be rejected for whatever reason, all future attempts to gain a new TN work visa would be deemed invalid due to the fact that I had previously displayed immigration intent.

In a nutshell; none of my 10 plus years of lawful employment and residency in the United States counts towards getting permanent residency (sometimes known as a greencard) or towards citizenship; while millions with an unknown duration of illegal immigration status, vague documentation (much of it fraudulently obtained) are having the red carpet rolled out permitting them to remain in the country via an executive order that is arguably far in excess of constitutionally granted executive authority.

The way I see things going, I would suggest that a significant portion of these will have some form of NCIS related documentation allowing them to stay in the country, despite their "illegal immigration intent" and eventually establish some form of residency or citizenship long before such an opportunity is ever provided to myself or other highly trained and skilled professionals with similar lawful work status in the United States. While working on a project in Hobbs, New Mexico this past year, I would pass a Latino establishment that advertised "Dream Act Forms" I also saw the lineups that resulted from the executive order in question. I am incensed and appalled at the politicizing of this issue.

Given the deluge of applicants and the limited resources of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, it will take years before this executive branch induced mess is cleared up. For example how are USCIS agents ever going to know how or when the 15 to 30 year old arrived in the country or how long they have actually been here, or their valid date of birth or even their true identity, or if they have committed serious crimes under other aliases?

Back in early March 2012, I had to drive from Louisiana to Eagle Pass Texas and the following day I crossed the international bridge across the Rio Grande into Piedras Negras, Mexico to visit a client who was having a problem during the refit of a huge power plant just south of there. This was just a few days before that border crossing was closed due to a gun battle. I was able to resolve the problem within a few hours and returned to come back across the international bridge during a period of high traffic congestion around 2:30 in the afternoon. While my driver was inching forward I looked just downstream and to my surprise there were 5 heads bobbing up and down in the chilly Rio Grande only about 300 yards downstream in plain view, while there were another two dozen plus waiting on the bank on the Mexican side overlooking the Eagle Pass Golf Course. I pulled out my small binoculars I keep in my laptop backpack and looked closer at what was transpiring and all of the individuals involved looked to fall within the 15 to 30 year old range currently being courted with amnesty.

While I looked, one of the heads disappeared and the 4 others were still treading water but getting closer and closer to the golf course on the U.S. side of the river. The Border Patrol showed up and got out of their vehicle and appeared to be shouting to the four visible in the water who eventually retreated back to the Mexican side to join the group waiting their turn. The border patrol eventually left and before I made our border checkpoint to renter the US, I saw, to my, surprise the missing person that ducked from sight under water appear out of some bushes behind a golf cart and nonchalantly meander around picking up some garbage like a grounds keeper before disappearing from my view. If this is happening in midafternoon just a short distance downstream from a busy border crossing how much of it is really going on?

Considering that the Unemployment rate in Mexico was 4.62% at the time and the U.S. Rate was 8.4%; were these individuals coming here to seek gainful employment, or seek benefits from a burgeoning welfare state? Have any of you watched Dennis Michael Lynch's They Come to America? , or read Marinka Peschmann's "Crime and Incompetence, Guide to America's Immigration Crises" ? I think it should be mandatory before you cobble up any form of legislation!

The mindless argument from many is that America needs more low skilled, low priced labor to compete with China. I cannot help but wonder who is really advising them on this matter, the Communist Chinese? Having lived and worked in Asia a number of times I know firsthand that China is not becoming a manufacturing and economic superpower because of the millions of low skilled laborers available at a moment's notice but rather because of the number of creative and driven engineers and highly trained technical personnel in positions of power from the corporate and manufacturing level to the halls of government. Likewise a farmer can be pulled from a field anywhere in China and brought into an industrial environment at a significantly higher level of literacy (verbal and written) in the national language than the average Mexican is in Spanish. Statistically Mexico has an 86% literacy rate (in Spanish) and a vanishingly small fraction of that in English. Antidotal reports suggest that the base literacy rate (in Spanish) of those who illegally enter the country across the US/Mexican border is significantly lower, let alone any proficiency in English.

It is my opinion that the Executive Branch has with the unconstitutional stroke of a pen, generated smoke and mirrors in an attempt to legitimize millions of low skilled marginally educated people (especially when you consider that for every so called innocent child in school there are one or two parents who brought them here and mark my words they will be grandfathered in at a future date under the compassion of family reunification) whose first act of defiance against the United States was to disrespect the rule of law and immigration protocol. Was this just a vote buying stunt?

With the same stroke of a pen the Executive Branch has also rewarded unlawful activity and destroyed the very principle of meritocracy that made this country the greatest and most successful the world has ever known. I also feel that the Executive Branch has also backstabbed the very black community who overwhelmingly voted them into office by relegating them further behind a burgeoning illegal immigrant population who will be taking jobs, lowering wages and lessening the black community's already abysmal employment opportunities, the unemployment rate thereof was 14% in March of 2012.

We recently celebrated a holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was the youngest person to ever receive a Nobel peace prize in 1964 after 10 long years of publically challenging the status quo on civil rights. To quote Dr. King "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Does not the fact that laws were and are continually broken by the illegal immigrant community indicate a less than desirable "Content of their Character"? I have attached my letter to the Ministers in Alabama who were challenging the Alabama immigration reform laws for more of my reasoning in that regards.

More importantly, if the illegal immigrant community are rewarded for their actions in violating United State's Law in coming to the country, and continually breaking other laws like gaining false employment , Fake ID's, fraudulent use of Social Security Numbers, working for Cash and failing to report income and pay taxes; what guarantee is there that they will not continue to break other laws once they are in the country under whatever form of amnesty and path to citizenship they have in the future?

When the NYPD got serious about cracking down on the rampant violent crime in the Subway system they chose a "Zero Tolerance" policy cracking down in those who evaded the initial fare. Many criminals were caught in the process and violent crimes plummeted; the theory that willful disregard for minor offences (refusing to pay for your ride or go through the legal immigration process) underpinned a general disregard for all laws lending credence to the ancient Latin Legal Maxim "falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus" It is not surprising that 21 percent of the population of U.S. prisons is classified as "noncitizens" from Mexico, Colombia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. About 5 percent is listed as "unknown."

While I recognize that the Executive Branch has, to use a corporate term, left you a "Poison Pill" by authorizing Ultra Vires defacto amnesty via deportation relief, to several million illegal immigrants in excess of his executive authority delegated from "We the people" (just before last election) after the "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act," went nowhere. It is my opinion that it was a deliberately crafted policy decision to bolster electoral success, and has left your "Gang of Eight" as the main stream media has labeled your efforts with Maoist overtones, a tough pill to swallow with regards to immigration reform.

The executive branch has no such Constitutional Authority as Article 1 Section 8 states that the Congress has the power to "Establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization" to quote "Hampton v. Mow Sun Wong, 426 U.S. 88 [1976]" It is also clear that the exclusive power of Congress to prescribe the terms and conditions of entry includes the power to regulate aliens in various ways once they are here. E. g., Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U. S. 52, 69-70 (1941). While I am not a constitutional lawyer, I do have a very deep understanding of the principles upon which this country was founded, have read all the Federalist Papers as well as the majority of the original legal and philosophical treatises upon which the founders drew wisdom and insight to create this great experiment in liberty.

America is not just at a crossroads of its existence as the greatest and only truly free country the world has ever known, but rather on the edge of a black hole of galactic proportions whose gravity of debt, Marxism and critical mass of governmental largess is at the tipping point above the eternal abyss. I have highlighted to you just one example of a needed immigration reform that affects thousands of highly skilled and trained Canadian professionals (Some like myself are contributing by employing increasing numbers of Americans in some major projects) who have lived and worked in in these United States of America for years and who are no further along the path to citizenship than they were when they first arrived, and I have seen nothing that addresses this issue in the press releases documenting your attempts at immigration reform or in the previous "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act,".

I was well aware of the Regan "Amnesty" of 1986, that being my graduation year from Montana Tech and President Regan was duped into signing into law that act on a solemn promise of tightening border security that was never honored by the Democratic and Republican Incumbents, during or since his administration . Similar to Ronald Regan, I was once a card carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada, but woke up to the oxymoron "I'm from the Government and I am here to help you." On that basis I fear that there is another motive at stake in the immigration reform process, enfranchisement of a Democratic voting block who thrive off governmental largesse and further trampling of the Constitution coupled with obtuse discrimination against highly trained and experienced professionals like myself who believe in the Constitutional fabric of this republic and would be more apt to vote for its preservation and grow its economy, should we be afforded the opportunity to become Citizens.

In closing I have highlighted to you a specific flaw in the current immigration process here in the USA that continues to bar several thousand Canadian Professionals from a path to citizenship despite a decade or more of Lawful Residency and contribution to these United States of America. Real Immigration Reform involves fixing this and other specific shortfalls in the lawful immigration process that affects professional immigrants like myself, not giving blanket amnesty and a path to citizenship to those who arrived in the country illegally with malice of forethought, while failing to secure the border !

I would appreciate a proper written reply from each of you in regards to this matter.

Yours Truly

J. Desmond McGrath BSc (honors) Petroleum Engineering.

Cc. Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA)
Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ)
Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
David Vitter (R-LA)

© Desmond McGrath


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Desmond McGrath

Desmond is a Petroleum Engineer by training with a BSc. (Honors) from Montana Tech as well as two technical diplomas in the area of Hydraulics, Instrumentation and Petroleum Technology... (more)


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