by Alan Bedenko (@BuffaloPundit) - posted 7:31 am, July 30, 2014
On Tuesday, western New York’s most unintentionally hilarious congressional candidate left her mic’s windscreen at home, and held a press conference near the Peace Bridge to draw attention to things she’s largely made up about America’s southern border.
The entire unseemly episode can be summed up in this Tweet, which is an actual thing put out by an actual candidate for Congress, whom the county’s Republican committee has actually endorsed:
— Kathy Weppner (@KWeppner) July 29, 2014
Again – to clarify - Kathy Weppner is not someone on the nativist fascist fringe of American right wing anti-immigrant agitation polity. She is in the mainstream of contemporary Republican “thought”.
Here’s a picture that Weppner posted to Facebook and Twitter, showing one reporter – poor Mike Desmond from WBFO had to tread through this manure – and the optics are as stupid as the underlying message. The Peace Bridge has nothing to do with the problem on the southern border, and the influx of Central American tweens isn’t affecting western New York (here’s my article on the subject from a few weeks ago).
If you go to the article that Weppner tweeted, it’s from something called the “Daily Signal”. Never heard of it. It’s apparently the ultra-right wing Heritage Foundation’s “Komsomolskaya Pravda” – the official organ of a powerful PAC and so-called “think tank”. It’s one big right-wing hissy fit, set down in pixels.
Nevertheless, if you read the article, it merely says that Guatemala argues that more American investment and aid would help to stem the country’s economic and social crises, and refugees would be less inclined to go North. A reasonable counterargument would be to point out the concomitant Central American political corruption and graft that renders such aid unhelpful. But there’s no ultimatum there – there is no Guatemalan threat to send more quote-unquote “infected poors” to the US if we don’t pony up $2BN. It takes a special type of horrible reading comprehension to read this article and reach the infected-poors-ultimatum conclusion.
Here are the words that she strung together and shat from her mouth:
Seventy percent of our border agents have been pulled off our borders and reassigned to do paperwork processing. We know this because a border patrol agent is speaking out.
She actually cited a source – “Fox Nation” via Sean Hannity, which is neither news nor legitimate. There’s absolutely no data or objective evidence to support the allegation, but this ostensibly serious candidate takes it on face value because Fox/Hannity.
If the breakdown in the rule of law has created societies that are dangerous, and has caused parents throughout Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to send their juveniles away, we should take note of this. We should not become a lawless country.
What does this even mean? What does she mean by “take note of this”? Why the pivot to the “lawless country” crack?
Of particular importance is the rise of gangs in these lawless countries which bring kidnapping, extortion, human trafficking, drugs and gun violence to every community as their societies break down.
I’m starting to think that she is referring to the influx of Central American tween refugees will cause a breakdown in the US, and render it “lawless”.
In 2012 there were 20,000 gang members in El Salvador, 12,000 in Honduras, and 22,000 in Guatemala. According to the FBI in 2011 the United States had 1.4 million gang members. That was three years ago. So we have far more gang members in the United States than all of these countries combined. Why are we perceived to be a safer nation? We follow laws. Our country follows laws. Our police officers enforce laws. When police officers don’t obey the laws they are usually investigated and charged and tried and put in jail.
What we are doing now is lawless and if we continue down this path we will have a society that, over time, will begin to look exactly like these other countries. We have immigration laws. The President has decided not to follow them.
El Salvador has 6.3 million residents. Guatemala has 15.4 million. Honduras has 8 million residents. The United States, by contrast, has 317 million people. These Central American countries are also significantly smaller in area, suffer crippling poverty with non-existent social services, and a history of corruption, dysfunction, and terrible infrastructure. The ways in which these poor countries are different from ours are many – to break it down for even a Weppner, they’re the third world, the US is the first world.
Weppner is saying that accepting refugee children from these three countries will make the US become a third world corrupt backwater like them. That’s astonishing – look how little faith she has in the American system, and in our country’s 300+ year experience absorbing immigrants from all around the world.
We have a Constitution that tells us how laws are supposed to be made and a President that puts his hand on a Bible and swears an oath to uphold our laws. Our President is breaking that oath and our Congress is letting him. Our Congress is the body that has standing to stop the President from doing what he is doing on immigration. Selective enforcement of our laws is not allowed in our Constitution.
Actually, it is allowed, up to a point. But here, the President and Congress are enforcing the law that requires that refugees from non-border countries be detained and processed through our court system to ensure that they are not victims of human trafficking. This is the law, and it’s being enforced.
The gang Los Zetes [sic] is now migrant smuggling as part of its day to day operations. Coyotes will promise three attempts to smuggle family members with families taking mortgages out on their homes to pay for it. When the coyotes fail they gain the deeds to the homes either themselves or for the criminal enterprise they work for. This leaves families and children homeless in their countries. Minors are abandoned on their journey or thrown off moving trains when they cannot pay increased demands. Many girls are raped and abused.
Horrible. But what’s your point? Also, is anyone as astonished as I with the 6th grade book report prose?
We have heard much about the unaccompanied minors. In 2013 90% were teenagers and in 2014, in the first 8 months 84% were also. My grandfather was 16 when he got on the boat in Cork, Ireland by himself and came to the United States. Legally.
I don’t know what year her grandfather came to this country, but if it was before the mid-1960s, it’s ridiculous to compare today’s immigration laws to prior years.
Of the 51,000 unaccompanied minors 88% have already left HHS custody and are no longer tracked and free to roam our country. How will we know if they go to school? How will we know if they are immunized before they are sitting next to our children?
This is just sheer racism and rank ignorance.
In 2014 55,000 entire family units have come here illegally and there is still five more months left this year.
Now the white house has requested emergency funds and Congress may vote on that before recess. The problem is that emergency funds must meet criteria. We have laws. They must be used for sudden, unforseen and temporary problems. We have known about this problem since 2012 when non governmental agencies and church organizations began reporting this. Texas Governor Rick Perry wrote to President Obama reporting a 90% increase in minors arriving in Texas in 2012. We have had two years to address this and have done nothing. In 2012 the White House negotiated for temporary housing at Lackland Air Force Base but did nothing to stem the tide. This is obviously not unforeseen, sudden or temporary.
What would she have us do differently?
Each person coming here illegally will get taxpayer funded lawyers and have hearings with immigration judges appointed by the President and paid for by us.
“We have laws.”
Seventy-one percent of households headed by illegal immigrants receive at least one welfare program. 57% of all immigrant families receive at least one welfare program. How will we afford this?
They receive an entire welfare program?! Weppner cites an anti-immigrant group for this statistic. You guessed it – it’s bullshit. From this list:
MYTH #3: The nation spends billions of dollars on welfare for undocumented immigrants.
FACTS: To the contrary, undocumented immigrants are not eligible to receive any “welfare” benefits and even legal immigrants are severely restricted in the benefits they can receive.
As the Congressional Research Service points out in a 2007 report, undocumented immigrants, who comprise nearly one-third of all immigrants in the country, are not eligible to receive public “welfare” benefits — ever.
Legal permanent residents (LPRs) must pay into the Social Security and Medicare systems for approximately 10 years
before they are eligible to receive benefits when they retire. In most cases, LPRs can not receive SSI, which is available only to U.S. citizens, and are not eligible for means-tested public benefits until 5 years after receiving their green cards.
A 2007 analysis of welfare data by researchers at the Urban Institute reveals that less than 1 percent of households headed by undocumented immigrants receive cash assistance for needy families, compared to 5 percent of households headed by native-born U.S. citizens.
A 2007 analysis of U.S. Census data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities makes clear that it is the U.S.-born, U.S.-citizen children of undocumented immigrants who are eligible for programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program
(SCHIP). The analysis found that, between 1995 and 2005, the share of low-income, non- citizen immigrant children (either undocumented or legally present) who received Medicaid or SCHIP dropped from 36 percent to 30 percent.
They will all be qualified for Obamacare through a loophole that Brian Higgins voted for in HR 3962.
This Obama economy is contracting. Despite what you read in your newspaper, employment participation is at an all time low at 62.8 %. Unemployment rates may appear to be lower but it is because people have dropped out of the workforce and no longer plan on working. If we do not get Americans working again we will not be able to pay the interest on our debt of over 17 trillion dollars. Last year our Federal Government needed to borrow 680 billion dollars to pay bills and it continues to spend. How will we pay for all of these new welfare recipients?
Texas alone will spend 12 million dollars a month on its’ [sic] National Guard effort to try to secure its’ [sic] borders.
We must decide whether we are going to be a country of laws. If we have no borders then we are not a country.
A rote regurgitation of fascistic nativist anti-immigrant rhetoric, and let’s throw in a bunch of other nonsense into the stew of words. I’m surprised #Benghazi didn’t make a guest appearance.
Our Constitution gives Congress the duty in section 8 of our Constitution to “Provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions.” If you watch the nightly news, you know that there is an invasion going on in our country. A mass migration that we are not ready for and will have devastating effects on our country.
We don’t have a militia anymore. We have a standing army and National Guard. This is not an invasion, because it’s not a foreign army attacking the United States. It’s frightened, poor kids looking for a job and a better life. Just like Weppner’s grandfather.
Brian Higgins is on the wrong side of this issue. He has voted against funding for a border fence in HR 60-61, and HR 26-38. Mr. Higgins has voted in favor of sanctuary cities in House Amendment 294, and other sanctuary policies in House Amendment 288 to HR 28-62. He voted for the e-verify system and then voted against an amendment to fund the e-verify system so employers could ensure they are hiring people who are legally in our country, HR 54-41. Mr. Higgins voted against the amendment to require implementation of the entry exit system, HR 44-37, and voted against authorizing the use of military to assist in border functions in HR 1815 . He voted for amnesty in HR 24-14. All of these votes have setup [sic] the problems we face today. This is not even a complete list.
Right. It’s Brian Higgins’ fault that three third-world countries are awful and kids are trying to escape them.
If violence in your home country is the deciding factor in whether this president allows you to freely come across our border illegally, without consequence, then we need to send a message to every Christian living in a Muslim country to come on ahead, because they are being slaughtered as we speak. How does one group win the Obama lottery of immigration and another does not? What about the violence in our inner cities that continues to be ignored? What about our children here in Buffalo who are being gunned down in our streets?
Well, actually, if a Christian from the Middle East can get on a plane and arrive in this country and seek refugee status, they’re welcome to do so. In fact, anyone who can establish that they’re the victim of religious or political persecution is welcome to apply for refugee status. It’s even easier in Canada, and they have free medical. So, yeah.
I wonder what Weppner’s glorious solution to inner city violence is?
The latest insanity is that we will have a program that will cost 47 million dollars over the next two years, and we will go to Honduras and process juveniles there to give them refugee status and transport them to this country. This status allows them to go on public assistance immediately. This doesn’t even make sense in a country that cannot meet its’ [sic] bills.
If that program is successful we will expand it to the other two countries. So the President , as a policy, will bring the illegal immigrants here under his orders. He is breaking his oath of office.
Doesn’t it make sense to pre-process refugee claims at our consulates abroad, rather than burden the Border Patrol with this? Doesn’t it make sense to issue refugee visas to people who qualify for that status before they get to this country, rather than spending millions to detain and process them in our courts, after the fact?
We are in a very dangerous time in the history of our country and sitting back and hoping the next two years go by quickly is not going to cut it.
As Americans we need to have laws that keep America strong and safe and free.
We need to have secure borders. We need more processing staff so our border patrol agents can do their jobs. We need to process people quickly that are coming across our borders illegally so they can be returned to their home countries where they can fill out the paperwork to apply for legal entry into the United States. We need to decide on a number. Currently it is around a million immigrants that legally enter our country each year. If we decide on two million we must require self-sufficiency from those immigrants so that we are not adding to the burden of the American taxpayer. We need to treat all humanely while they are briefly here.
God Bless you,
God Bless Western New York
And God bless the United States of America.
May she be a beacon of freedom and strength for all the world to see.
Except for you “infected” brown “poors”. You all can just stay home and die, for all she cares.
By the way, since this is a 2 year-old issue, what did Kathy Weppner have to say about the Central American kids seeking refugee status back in 2012 on her WBEN radio show?
I’ll bet there was a lot of this, though:
UPDATE: WELCOME, WONKETTE READERS!