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Works and Days

An Immigration Morality Tale

February 9th, 2014 - 6:01 pm

“The 17-year-old girl, whose name was not released”

A number of questions arise. How do we know the girl is “17”? As the story goes on to show, she has lied about not giving birth, and lied about her child being dead upon birth. Why should we assume that she was truthful about her age, especially given the common knowledge that being 17 and not 18 offers some legal advantage? Or does she have an ID, and if so, how exactly would one who arrived in Madera three days earlier, without either Spanish or English, have one that is recognized as authentic and can be so verified?

It has long been American journalist practice, with support from the legislature and courts, that the privacy of those under 18 charged with most crimes trumps disclosure of their identity. I’m not sure that is any longer wise.

One, today’s 17 year old is far more mature and our society far more conditioned to that maturity than was true decades ago. Second, the well-meaning practice of shielding juveniles has often had the unintended effect of shielding those arrested from the full focus of their peers. In ancient times, we called this a “shame” culture (yes, it can be excessive, as we know from Hesiod to Nathaniel Hawthorne) in contrast with our present “guilt” culture. But the point of identification was not so much gratuitously to shame or to deter a suspect, by apprising all citizens that committing felonies is serious business, and that being of age to commit violence de facto translates into being of age to be identified as such.

Surely we should consider lowering the age of disclosure to 16, given the epidemic of violence committed by those between 16 and 18. At some point allegations that someone took a defenseless newborn and proceed to have her/him “wrapped in plastic and stuffed in a bathroom cabinet” should outweigh the thought that a 17 year old is not an adult. (See postscript below.)

“The girl denied giving birth …”

Bringing an unwanted child into the world, perhaps alone, is, of course, a tragic circumstance for any mother, but often even more tragic — and dangerous — for the newborn. Unfortunately this may not have been the first untruth the suspect offered — given that she likely entered the United States under untruthful circumstances. Yet it surely was the most consequential, given that her mendacity made the critical discovery of the newborn infant (e.g., “it took doctors and deputies hours to learn where she lived”) all that more difficult. We are told only that the baby was not stillborn, but allegedly murdered after birth; whether the baby was still alive when the suspect visited the emergency room, and delayed investigating officials, we were not told and probably will never know.

“She speaks Mixteco Bajo, a dialect spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico”

I think anyone who has resided for long in hinterlands of the Central Valley understands this disconnect. There are literally tens of thousands of Mexican nationals without legal residence in California who either do not speak Spanish or speak it poorly, and sadly do not read it at all. It was about twenty years ago when I noted occasionally that at the local bank, a few customers made marks in lieu of signatures, or at local grocery stores the Spanish-speaking check-out personnel were not able to understand their customers.

Rural motorists who run out of gas, suffer car trouble, get lost, want to throw out furniture and garbage, drive intoxicated and run off the road into nearby vineyards (often incurring thousands of uncompensated dollars in damages to vines), want a place to pull over and sleep, are casing the place, or are stealing something, etc., are too numerous to count. But I would say the more common benign instances as well as the rarer criminal ones occur on average at least once every two months at my place. After 35 years, I can offer a fair, if not low-ball, estimate of well over 200 such instances of having complete strangers showing up, almost always at night. I would also guess that about 40 of these visitors/intruders/criminals over the last 35 years did not speak English or Spanish, but an indigenous language of Mexico, and could not read either.

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Top Rated Comments   
As he often does, VDH has zeroed in on a key weapon of the culture war: the media's skill at concealing aspects of a story that threaten the leftist narrative. As he points out, the story has been entirely stripped of it's meaning, which is that the US is a uniquely humane society, which, at it's roots, is largely blind to origins, class or ethnicity; and which goes out of it's way to protect innocent life, incurring great costs in the process. And that few large scale societies today, or in all of recorded history have internalized such an ethos. Further, that illegal immigration entails cascades of hidden social and financial costs which are not apparent on the surface; but which, in the aggregate are enough to disintegrate society. And finally, that current laws exacerbate rather than mitigate these costs.

Gaining control of the media, along with control of academia and the Democratic party, has been the left's main goal in the culture war because these are the vehicles they require for their second wave of attacks, which are aimed at Christianity, the family and the capitalist ethos. Without these (or at least the values that animate and sustain them), a Constitutional Republic based on the sovereignty of the individual cannot survive. Open borders, rolling back the 2nd Amendment, and the social aspects of Obamacare represent third wave attacks. But we already know all of this...

Increased controls are needed to make complex systems work. It is therefore possible for these control mechanisms to fall into the hands of those who are more interested in power than they are in people. And given human nature, it is a near certainty that over time, this will come to pass. The left (along with its financial backers) has gotten itself into a position where it feels that it can make a play at seizing permanent control of these mechanisms. That is to say, to permanently sever the levers of control from the electoral process. Assuming we foil their efforts over the next decade or so, how do we guard against this natural tendency?

The answer (which the Framers implicitly grasped) is to avoid creating permanent structures and institutions, since over time, these will simply become hierarchical control mechanisms, rather than responsive (and accountable) institutions. Term limits as proposed by Mark Levin would be a good start, but impermanence should become a feature of all government agencies, not just of elected offices. Any federal institution or agency should have a built-in shelf life, to accomplish specific tasks within specified time-frames. After which it should be dissolved an reconstituted from scratch (using the experiences of the previous incarnations as guidelines of what to do and not to do), with new personnel, new contracts and even new premises. Yes, such an approach would entail greater costs and complications, it may even result in a loss of performance during transitions, but the net effect would be to keep government fresh, responsive, accountable, innovative and more immune to systemic corruption.

The other crucial remedy is to teach our kids to recognize how the media manipulates them. The various forms of propaganda today are becoming so sophisticated that there is a real risk that a majority of citizens will be so submerged in the left's diseased worldview, or so dependent on government systems (and therefore the media narratives that justify them) that democracy will simply be unable to function. Yet it is relatively easy to teach kids when someone is trying to influence them through emotional appeals or leaps of logic, or when entertainment is subtly reflecting political ideology. And it is even easier to show that when governments begin to employ these methods in a sustained, coordinated and unchallenged fashion, there is trouble ahead.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Crimmigration is not merely border crashing to commit theft of services, although that is a blight on the host country's society.

It is a virus transported from the "dumping" country, that cares not one whit that its occupants feel the need to abandon the homeland in hoardes.

Crimmigration steals resources from the host country's citizenry...who are forced to pay against their will and to their detriment...as services are stretched so thin, that the citizenry cannot afford proper educational tools and services for themselves, timely and attentive healthcare for themselves, police and security protections for themselves...as the attention required to "service" the invaders siphons off the finite resources.

The crimmigration hiding hoardes bring in children or breed while here, to either wrap in plastic or allow to roam the streets like feral creatures looking for a way to survive, in permanent fear of discovery. The cling to each other in packs. That, for teenage hormonal/testosterone driven ferals...needs an outlet.

Gangs, drugs, sex, money, ...crimmigration is not immune, but rather, is a Petri dish for growing a crimmigration culture, a superbug, resistant to the law and order mores of the host's natural defenses.

This is not the pretty picture of freshly scrubbed college graduates in nursing uniforms that the Dreamers love to portray.

You can't sell the reality, so sell the false narrative. Babies wrapped in plastic is a tough commercial, even for Sally Struthers high pitched wails.

Crimmigration won't sell. So, we don't get the truth from our government. They shout at us, like Jack Nicholson as the Gitmo Colonel. "You can't handle the truth!"

They really believe that about us. And, the citizen...is not the master of his domain, he is an interference on the road to One World Communism. Get out of the way. Crimmigration is more important than you are.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Deciding to major in sociology instead of engineering is a really bad decision. Killing a helpless baby is cold blooded murder.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (82)
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Since Mexico is proud that it offers socialized medicine to its citizens, send the bill to Mexico. It is right that the young woman received emergency help in the USA and that she will be given help to defend herself in court. It is also right that Mexico, and other countries that rely on the USA to relieve the pressure of the often inhumane treatment and lack of economic opportunity their citizens receive at home, should be paying the USA for the services and benefits used before deportation. Travel to Mexico and you will find some very wealthy people running the place and exploiting the poorer citizens. Time for the ruling classes south of the border to pay up for the benefits provided by the USA taxpayers to the illegal and disenfranchised.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Anyone on this board think they could come close to the content-based critical analysis that Dr. Hanson has laid out?

I come from a tradition of critical thinking and, folks, you have just been
schooled in it. This is why cognitive awareness, language, disciplined thinking, philosophy and an understanding of the necessity of proper values matters.

Thanks for the accessible tour de force, Dr. Hanson.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The further suspicion is that she may have arrived while pregnant on the assumption that the U.S. would offer her medical treatment not available in a village of Oaxaca state."

maybe the just oaxaca girl doing what rich chinese do to get instant citizenship for their babies

http://world.time.com/2013/11/27/chinese-women-are-flocking-to-the-u-s-to-have-babies/
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny thing is, the same griping about Mexicans in America is done by Hong Kongers regarding mainland Chinese. Namely, they don't speak either local language, come to use resources, wreck the place, etc., etc.

Same old story: anywhere the Third or Second World intersects with the First has conflict.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Excellent job of laying out the known details and "reading between the lines". Yes, this is a tragedy on many levels, and you've identified a number of them.

One scenario I believe is quite probable is that this girl came here, illegally, with other family and was taken advantage of, perhaps by a horned coyote or other predator of similar ilk. Upon being found "with child", the girl suddenly became more of a liability than was bearable, and cast adrift, or perhaps sent to a place thought to be a refuge. Thus her landing "three days ago" in Madera. She could well have entered, illegally, of course, in a condition rather different than her recent one. Perhaps the "underground railroad" of protectors have been sheltering her for some time, moving her about as able. In some of these new immigrant circles, there is little interaction with "outside" folks... thus she could easily have spent most of a year here and never learned spanish or english.

The only cure, and the only one mandated by existing law, is for the Federal Government to begin PERFORMING their sworn duty to execute the existing laws of this republic... which include the immigration, smuggling, entrance, laws presently on the books. And those who favour refusing to enact any new immigration laws until the existing ones are enforced equally are correct in their thinking. The undeserved toll upon states like California is unacceptible. Of course CAlifornia's stupid voters (harsh, I know, yet accurate) continue to return politicians to their Marble Zoo to enact a network of laws working around the ones designed to keep such as this girl out. In a great sense, Californa beg for the abuse heaped upon them by circumstances sich as this. Many are "opting out" and leaving the state, taking with them their contributions to maintain the faiilng system.

So, thi girl will be tried, at great expense, and likely subsequently incarcerated, at far greater expsnse... both of those categories of expense coming after the not-so-great expense already laid out on her medical care, the investigation of her circumstances, and present "bed and board" where she remains in custody.

and all because that part of government tasked with keeping her kind from getting into precisely the predicament in which she is found are asleep on the job, at great public expense.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The basis for each nation state is, at base, force, and all of the fancy formal treaties and agreements (and informal ones as well) are usually written after the use or threat of force, and ratify the reality, the nation and boundaries that force has created.

A country cannot continue to exist if it is not willing to very clearly delineate its borders and to enforce them, to “defend its territory” with all the force that may be necessary, and to clearly state and enforce the criteria under which people within its borders are either citizens or are not; citizens getting a much higher level of protection and benefits than non-citizens, or there is no real distinction between the two.

From time immemorial every plot of land and country in the world—as it exists today—has been under the control of one group or the other as the result of an endless series of battles for control over its territory and resources, and the cycle of displacement of one group in temporary possession by another in equally temporary possession; some in possession only briefly, some--tougher, more vigilant, or more fortunate--in possession for hundreds or even thousands of years.

However far back you care to start keeping track as to which group of people were its “original” inhabitants, I think it fair to say that there is no piece of land or nation on the face of the planet that is still under the control of its ancient, “original,” supposedly indigenous inhabitants—for those original inhabitants, however far back you go, displaced, and have been or will be displaced by other, stronger, more warlike, more fortunate, or more crafty groups of people who were then, in turn, displaced by still stronger, more crafty, fortunate, or warlike people, and so on in an eternal cycle.

The point is that, unless you make a strong, concerted, and eternally vigilant effort to delineate, claim, over-watch, defend, and hold your territory, you can be sure that, eventually, someone else will try to take it from you--by force and/or by guile--and eventually some group will succeed.

But, you don’t have to make it easy for them.

Other than by purchase, the U.S. was created by just such a displacement and settlement process. And for decades now Mexico, loser, centuries ago, in the battles over territory with the expanding United States—is, by pushing and facilitating the displacement of its social, political, educational, medical, law enforcement, and economic pathologies and its usually poor and/or ill-educated, and often illiterate citizens northward across the border into the U.S. as illegal aliens--pursuing policies designed to compromise and to weaken the U.S., to slowly and incrementally, de facto, take over and control our land through this process of slow motion invasion, with the goal of reconquering territory it once claimed or ruled, of displacing the U.S. government and U.S. citizens—in whole or in part--in favor of Mexican control and sovereignty.

In the past our citizens and our government--participants alike in the process of exploring, acquiring, settling, and battling to keep U.S. territory--would have very clearly recognized this dangerous situation for what it is. Then, taken steps to put a stop to and to turn this invasion back, by taking vigorous and uncompromising steps to very clearly delineate every foot of our border, to close, control, and to enforce that border--using whatever force was necessary, to vigorously try to block illegal aliens from entry and, if that failed, to detect, pursue, arrest, prosecute, and to speedily deport illegal aliens, and to make every effort to discourage such aliens from illegal entry into or staying in the U.S. by denying them each and every benefit of the law and citizenship.

Today, many people--no longer connected with or understanding our history, and very often heavily propagandized and indoctrinated by the Left, and thus contemptuous of that history or viewing it as a catalog of evil and injustice--either favor having no borders at all i.e. the “open borders” people, claim parts of the U.S. as land unfairly stolen from their group and thus rightfully theirs i.e. the Aztlan and La Raza people, favor allowing entry to our country and settlement in it by anyone—viewing this as their legitimate “human right” to do so and, then, there are some people are simply not really interested in this issue, and view it as of little concern to them.

Each and every one of these approaches are going to result in U.S. government and citizen’s gradual, incremental loss of control and sovereignty over increasing amounts of U.S. territory, to our increasing marginalization, until, at the extreme, we are pushed out in turn, are displaced, leaving others in possession of part or all of a United States that once was ours.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I hate to split hairs, but one who communicates between two individuals or entities in two or more languages is an interpreter. One who communicates meaning from a written document or other form of media is a translator.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree with you. I am a conservative and was a copy editor for many years. I now find myself deliberately pointing out such errors despite the seething and frothing comments it provokes, usually from fellow conservatives. I could care less what people do in their comments, but the initial essay or article is something else altogether. The same readers who give a thumbs up to articles about "falling standards" are the ones who leave the nastiest comments when usage errors by their favorite writers are pointed out. They take it personally, like an assault on their own masculinity. However, the sh*t would hit the fan if their favorite sports writer or gun expert made an error about stats or the gauge of a weapon. They couldn't restrain themselves from pointing out an error at that point. Here's the deal: you still split hairs, and I'll still nitpick. If a message is worth communicating, it is worth communicating correctly.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
" I could care less what people do in their comments"

Um, it should be, "I couldn't care less. . ."
I mean, if you're gonna get picky.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lots of gaps in the story; the Fresno Bee needs to go navel gazing. But it sure looks like this sad tale deals in microcosm with much of what-ails-us.

We can learn from Switzerland. Border crossings and ports of entry are effectively open to all, but any foreigner -- including a phoney 'resident' like this apparent serial liar/illiterate tourist -- must prove legal status (residence of the right kind) before receiving any gov't services outside emergency medical. Conviction of any significant crime means you're kicked out of the country automatically and without appeal. The argument is that Swiss laws are for the Swiss, not for outsiders, and foreigners who abuse the visitor privilege thereby forfeit all right to be in the country.

Note there's no need to commit massive resources in an attempt to secure thousands of miles of border. In the US, we'd need a law from Congress clearly defined to supersede or pre-empt all contradictory state and local regulation. Plus the resolution to run rotten judges out of town on a rail, or worse. The question, ultimately, is whether a 'whiff of grapeshot' would be enough to re-educate pompous dopes like Wise Latina and blustering bratty kids like La Raza. The status quo isn't acceptable.
Give 'em a chance to dust off grandpa's zoot suit and really walk the walk for the first time...
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I came to this country about 28 years ago, but I was one on many from my family that started to emigrate since the forties from Mexico. I have relatives in many states, but the majority live either in California or Illinois. We are nine brothers, and all but for two, we live here in America. When I read most of your articles about emigration, I just cannot relate to the horror stories, you always write about us. I am a church minister in East Los Angeles, for the last 25 years, my brother Rogelio, lives in Chicago, and he is a school principal, his wife (an emigrant too) is a school principal, all his children, they have four are either in college, or high school. My next brother Ricardo, is a school principal assistant, and he we recognized 3 years ago as one of the best school teachers in the state of New Mexico, his wife also is a teacher, and they travel the country helping school districts training teachers. My next brother Luis, he is a business owner, in Phoenix Arizona, and his wife is a school teacher. My next brother David, works with Verizon in Chicago, and last year he was promoted as a regional manager, because his store is one of top selling stores in the area, his wife is studying at school. My only sister, even though she went through a difficult divorce, she was able to finish her degree, and now as a school teacher. Besides my brothers and sister, I have a cousin that is working, designing the next Challenger generation for NASA. Also another cousin has worked for many years in Houston Texas, for the Challenger program in NASA too. Many of my uncles are business owners, highway patrol officers, another is working for the army training soldiers in linguistics, many have worked in the fields of San Joaquin Valley including myself, in the canneries in Modesto California, my grand paternal Father worked for 35 years in the same fields in Maricopa county in Phoenix Arizona, until the age of 70. It easy to target us a criminals, or to a menace to this country, but the reality is that this is my country too, and my children's country, and we are dedicating our lives for the betterment of this great Nation that has giving us many opportunities to succeed, and to make our dreams a reality.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who do you mean by 'us'? You sound like just another self-pitying precious CA teacher, and none too bright, which makes you exactly like many Americans from coast to coast. The synonym for 'anecdotal' is often 'narcissistic'.
Better to shut up and be thought an idiot....
If you don't know the rest, look it up.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
So you came to this country 28 years ago? The timing is suspiciously close to the 1986 Amnesty. Did you enter legally or illegally. If you entered illegally would you agree that it was wrong? Would you agree that it violated a nations sovereignty? Would you agree that YOU cheated the system, in turn disrespecting Americans?

"Horror stories you write about us?" Take off the "Woe, is me" La Raza glasses and realize that your people broke the law. They failed to earn their citizenship legitimately, failed to assimilate, fail to learn English, under cut Americans, stole social benefits, and used affirmative action against real Americans. Until it is admitted that America is better than Mexico because of "Gringo/Bolillo culture " and that your people cheated/stole their way into the country; you are being disingenuous.

By the way, I live in Los Angeles...East LA was once an Italian, Jewish, and Mexican melting-pot...Now its just an extension of Mexico, crime ridden and gang-infested.




41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I live in California. You mention that many of your family members are concentrated in California and have been immigrating to the United States since the forties. Between the forties and the eighties the level of illegal immigration to California from Mexico and Central America was a trickle. Since the eighties there has been a torrent of illegal immigration from those countries.

You also mention that many of your family members are public school teachers. California once had the premier public school system in the US. Now it ranks 47th out of 50.

California was once a paradise. Today it has the highest level of poverty in the country. The failure of the public school system is one of the reasons for the level of poverty in California. I don't think it's reasonable for you to expect admiration from anyone outside of your tribe.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know anybody who is against LEGAL immigration. We welcome those who want to work, contribute, and prosper. Our country benefits from that. And we're happy when you benefit too.
It's the illegals and those who come to use our social entitlement programs and those who work for the drug cartels that we have a problem with. And if you sneak into the country under dark of night, it's understandable that we would be suspicious. It's not a good beginning.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
If you and your family immigrated legally, I think the vast majority of Americans welcome you and respect you for following the law and respect your success. If you crossed the border illegally, I think you'll find the welcome and respect considerably reduced.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment


1st why can't we have universal translators along the order of C3PO so people cannot play the language barrier game

Skynet Is Here (And Stealing Your Jobs)
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-08/skynet-here-and-stealing-your-jobs

Second, if we can compute the optimal penalty for transmitting an STD, cannot the same statisticians or someone else compute the optimal penalty for illegally crossing the border so as to deter it?

Same goes about lying about one's age. Age can be medically determined. If they lie, slap them with a long jail sentence.

The Optimal Penalty for Sexually Transmitting HIV
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Age can be medically determined.

Tell me more. How accurate is this test? How expensive is it to administer? How widespread is availability?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The only thing missing from an otherwise excellent as usual column by VDH is a comparison of California -- no, strike that -- "Mexifornia" today to Roman Gaul or Spain in the 5th Century -- overrun with foreign invaders, crumbling infrastructure, and a government -- where it still exists -- that is increasingly irrelevant and unable to maintain the veneer of civilization.

It's axiomatic that "You can only equalize down." Our illegal cousins from the south may think that they are the latest embodiment of the American Dream, and too many "liberals" here want to fool themselves along the same line, but the despair-inducing reality is that they are equalizing Mexifornia into Oaxcaca, and eventually the rest of the USA will be equalized down into Mexifornia.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
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