June 14, 2006


Spitting Into the Wind: When it comes to immigration, be careful what you wish for (HOLMAN W. JENKINS JR., June 14, 2006, Opinion Journal)

Fuss in Washington notwithstanding, there's an easy way to reduce illegal immigration. It doesn't involve building fences or spending hundreds of billions to create an intrusive bureaucracy to hunt down illegals one by one and deport them. Just introduce a fraud-proof national ID card with biometric information; make it illegal, with real penalties, for employers to hire anyone, citizen or immigrant, who doesn't have one.

Presto. Businesses would no longer be able to profess the impossibility of judging who's legal and who isn't. Most of the jobs illegal immigrants do would disappear, and many if not most of the immigrants would leave for the same reason they came--better opportunities elsewhere.

Before we go down this road, however, would we really like the consequences?

With 12 million illegals in the country, whole sectors of our economy exist only because of immigrant labor. Farms would shut down along with jobs for suppliers of seeds, packaging and ancillary services. Jobs for waiters, maƮtre d's and chefs would vanish, not just those of immigrant busboys, kitchen hands and cleaners. Some 1.2 million illegals are believed to work in construction. If the cost of home building goes up, demand goes down: Less wood is sold, fewer nails, fewer power tools, fewer pickup trucks. Contractors would make less profit; ergo, Harley-Davidson would sell fewer Road Kings with all the chrome and finery.

Armchair wonks say, "Enforce the law and damn the consequences." Every time the government does, however, a few of those couch warriors suddenly become vocal activists on the other side. It's their employer, their brother-in-law, their neighbor who finds himself facing criminal charges. It's their house that doesn't get finished. Don't be surprised if some of the latest politically inspired crackdowns end the same way. Blowback in the Cincinnati area is already growing against the arrest last month of four foremen for Fischer Homes, a well-liked local home builder.

Shouldn't we all imprison ourselves since we all, in effect, employ them?

Breaking the Skins (Susy Buchanan, June 5, 2006, Intelligence Report)

On March 24, 2003, neo-Nazi Skinhead leader Josh Fiedler sat regally on a sofa in the living room of his suburban Phoenix home.[...]

"Do I know you?" a confused Josh Fiedler asked, squinting into the face of the detective cuffing him in front of his home several months later.

"Yeah, you do, you moron," responded Matt Browning, a Mesa detective who spent 10 years off and on working Arizona's white power circles -- and two years in an intensive undercover period that broke two major murder cases. Overall, Browning's work has wreaked havoc on Arizona's Skinhead scene.

Fiedler's arrest came more than a year after he led a home invasion of a family whom he robbed of jewelry, guns and two pounds of marijuana. It was a typically brutal Skinhead affair -- a disabled child was duct-taped to a chair while Fiedler and a cohort ransacked the home. Fiedler wore a ski mask, but he forgot to cover up a telltale tattoo on his neck and a piercing between his eyes showed through the mask. When police working the case contacted Browning, he knew right away who the culprit was -- the tattoo and piercing removed all doubt. As a result, Fiedler was arrested, tried and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Browning's remarkable ability to insinuate himself into a particularly ugly and vicious segment of society has helped pull a number of suspected violent criminals off the street -- including eight accused murderers. His is an uncommon profession wrought with stress and danger. But Browning makes it look easy.

"There are very few detectives that take an interest in something, develop a passion for it and focus all their energy on it. Not many detectives are willing to invest the personal time," says Browning's sergeant Mike Ivey. "He's really a lightning rod for this stuff in this area." And a successful one at that. Out of the original 37 members and associates of Fiedler and his Skinhead crew that Browning collected intelligence on, 18 have been sentenced to prison, are in custody awaiting trial, or have been released after spending time in jail. [...]

Now a muscular 6-foot, 4-inches with giant hands and steel blue eyes he uses to punctuate his sentences, Browning grew up in Phoenix playing football in high school and dreaming of becoming a forest ranger or a cop. He joined the Mesa Police Department 15 years ago, and it was through his work on the gang squad that he began to take an interest in political extremists.

As the only white member of an otherwise all-Hispanic squad working Latino street gangs, Browning had grown tired of being the guy who got to stay with the car. In 1996, of his own volition, Browning began looking into violent white supremacists.

"Initially, I was interested in the freemen and constitutionalists [parts of the militia movement that peaked in the mid-1990s]," Browning recalls. "As I started working the militia angle, I found out that a lot of the militia groups had Klan ties. So I joined the Klan." It was surprisingly easy.

"You know that stupid little Klan passport, that card you get from [Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard] Thom Robb? That got me all over the place. People look at that and they don't question it."

Browning also joined a series of neo-Nazi groups: Aryan Nations, National Alliance, Volksfront, and the World Church of the Creator.

In 1997, he was transferred from gangs to Mesa's intelligence unit.

"When I became intel, I devoted almost all my time to working these guys. If there was a meeting, I'd be there. When the National Alliance started in Phoenix, I was their No. 4 guy, and it got to where they wanted me to run the East Valley chapter." Browning declined the invitation.

He used an alias and told his targets that he was a business owner infuriated because Hispanics had stolen all of his equipment. Neither his story nor his identity was questioned. Not once.

"At that time, they were so hard up for people they didn't check anything out," Browning says. "Now, I would probably backstop everything. Now, they are sending people to polygraph school to check the new people coming in."

Browning admits he made a few mistakes along the way, like the time he brought Mexican beer to a white-power barbecue. "I'd been born and raised in Arizona, so I was thinking I would just get a case of Corona. I even got the little limes. That was bad," he says, shaking his head with wry amusement. "They saw it and looked at me and I said, 'You know what? I'll be right back.' I went and bought some Heineken."

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 14, 2006 9:57 AM

The business of business should not be the enforcement of immigration policy, especially when the government abdicated its responsibility. There should be a presumption that anyone applying for a job is here legally but that unfortunately is not the case. Anybody out there really know how to tell a forged document from a real one?

Posted by: Rick T. at June 14, 2006 10:11 AM

Heineken? Not American, but I guess maybe it's "white," perhaps even Aryan. What about Bud? Oops, got rice in it. Too Asian. Man, this white power stuff is hard. Don't no what to drink.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at June 14, 2006 10:28 AM

He lost me at "fraud-proof". ID cards aren't a national defense, they're a national single-point-of-failure.

Posted by: Mike Earl at June 14, 2006 11:24 AM

Re the first article - already seeing stories about how immigration reform will mean all the local nice people (HS class valedictorian, local business leaders, etc) will be foreced to leave.

Posted by: AWW at June 14, 2006 11:30 AM

Closing down the fast food joints is bad?

Think of all the obesity it'll stop.

Posted by: Sandy P at June 14, 2006 12:44 PM

"Shouldn't we all imprison ourselves since we all, in effect, employ them?"

Engaging in a little more Second Way guilt tripping again, I see. (Besides, we should all be in prision for what "we" did to the Indians, the blacks, the Chinese, the Hawaiians, the Japanese, the Irish, the homosexuals, and the horse lovers, right?)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at June 14, 2006 3:39 PM


Exactly my point.

Posted by: oj at June 14, 2006 3:43 PM

You pose an interesting moral question.

There may be culpability for someone who consciously participates in illegal economic ativity. Furthermore, someone who counsels others to break to law incurs guilt.

Distinguish this from one who advocates changing the law, which he may do, as long as the law is to be obeyed until it may be changed.

Immigration law is by no means per se unreasonable or contrary to weightier moral considerations. That one deems it unwise does not mean it may be disregarded.

Posted by: Lou Gots at June 15, 2006 2:47 AM

No moral guilt accrues for violating an immoral law, just illegality.

Posted by: oj at June 15, 2006 7:28 AM
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