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March 2013

Book Review - Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution

The following book review is a special for BlackFive readers provided by Elise Cooper. You can read all of our reviews by clicking on the Books category on the far right sidebar.

9781476713458_p0_v3_s260x420Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) whose state is known for its diverse cultures has brilliantly weighed in on the immigration issue in his new book, Immigration Wars: Forging An American Solution. Jeb Bush and his co-author Clint Bolick contend in their book that there must be immigration reform. Their arguments consist of an analysis and solutions, combining immigration reform with securing the border.

Because America’s population expansion has been declining over the years the authors assert that America’s future will be dependent on making sure it has a large immigrant population as was the case in the 1920’s and after World War II. For the first time the US will compete with other countries for immigrant workers and their skills. Because of this they believe that there must be a complete reform of legal immigration and want to prioritize skill-based immigration over extended family reunification. Former Governor Bush told blackfive.net, “We need to grow our population with young, aspiring people that embrace our ideals and create value for all of us. One of the means to do this is to transform our immigration system from stem to stern.”

What he proposes in the book is a path to legal status, stating, "It is absolutely vital to the integrity of our immigration system that actions have consequences -- in this case, that those who violated the law can remain but cannot obtain the cherished fruits of citizenship…To do otherwise would signal once again that people who circumvent the system can still obtain the full benefits of American citizenship." Although some argue that this is self-deportation he commented directly that it is allowing those who broke the rule of law to come out of the shadows, remain in the US legally as long as they learn English, pay a fine, live a life of dignity, and embrace American values. Anyone who supports the rule of law and has fought to defend America’s constitutional ideas should think this fair. The reader can take the words “the cherished fruits of citizenship,” and see precedence from the Bible when Moses was allowed to view the Promised Land but not enter it.

The Bush plan allows for those who have come to America to have legal permanent status. He states in the book, "Over a period of time, they can have a legalized status that allows them to live a life of dignity, but not necessarily a path to citizenship, so as to not create incentives for future people that aspire to come to our country to do so illegally when they could come legally."

Also, a part of the plan as expressed in the book is the recognition that those who have come illegally need to pay a fine or do community service. He explained this to BlackFive.net, “These specifics that are required for someone obtaining legalized status should be tempered by practical reality. If you make the fine so large it becomes so punitive that people cannot afford it, that won’t work. Also, if you have no consequences that is not appropriate. The rule of law must be respected. We need to find a middle ground, the need to pay some compensation with a balance on the amount in order to get the maximum participation.” He thinks this is extremely important and to back up this point uses the PEW Research Center statistic, that only 40% of those eligible to apply for citizenship in 1987 did so.

What he proposes in the book is a guest worker program combined with a strong revamped e-verify system and a guest worker ID card using biometrics. He also wants to limit extended family reunification to spouses and minor children, in favor of skill-based immigration, noting, “We need a guest worker program, a legal immigration system that is less costly and more efficient, and an e-verify system when all combined would be deterrents against illegal immigration. I am hoping that this plan will allow more folks to come to our country to pursue their dreams.”

As former Governor Bush summarized to blackfive.net, “President Bush in 2007 had an immigration plan that passed the House and for a brief moment had 60 votes in the Senate. Today, I think people want to get it resolved for political purposes, economic purposes, and for justice purposes. The best way to prevent illegal immigration is to make sure that we have a fair and workable legal immigration system. Unfortunately the current immigration system is neither. ”

Although there are many plans currently being considered people should read Immigration Wars because the solutions offered are pragmatic, realistic, and reasonable. The authors address and identify many of the urgent issues and how to resolve them. This book is a must for those who feel that there is a need to reform the immigration system, dealing with both the legal and illegal issues.

Phtoto: Waiting for Daddy

Two little girls dance with anticipation as they wait for a welcoming home ceremony to begin on Fort Steward, Ga., March, 7, 2013. Fifty soldiers, assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, returned home after being deployed for more than six months in Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Richard Wrigley

Photo: Ten Years Later...One of B5's Favorite Photos

capt.dv11511171658.iraq_dv115.jpg US Army soldiers take rest during patrol in Baghdad suburb, Monday Nov. 17, 2003. U.S. forces have reacted to the increasing attacks in which dozens of Americans and their allies have died by mounting a massive show of force in central and northern Iraq. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban).

The AP editors and the photog didn't realize the gesture from the paratrooper until it went viral.

God Bless the Airborne!

Harry Reid is a despicable human being

There was a tragic accident today at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada:

A deadly explosion at a military ammunition storage facility in Nevada during a training exercise Monday prompted the U.S. Marine Corps to issue a blanket suspension of 60-millimeter mortars and associated tubes pending a review of the accident.

Seven U.S. Marines were killed and several others were wounded Monday when a mortar exploded prematurely inside is firing tube during mountain training exercises at Hawthorne Army Depot in Nevada. It's unclear what caused the malfunction.

The accident prompted the Marine Corps to immediately halt use of some mortar shells until an investigation can determine its safety.

And who immediately went to the floor of the Senate to politicize it?  See the title:

This explosion had nothing to do with sequester. And while we may agree that sequester is not good for our military, it is a despicable act to use the death of those 7 Marines as a basis for arguing a political point. The Marine Corps was unusually blunt in it's condemnation of Reid's actions:

NBC’s Pentagon correspondent Jim Miklaszewski reported that Marine Corps officials took serious issue with Reid’s implication that the explosion was a result of sequester cuts, and said that was not the reason for the accident. One official went so far as to say Reid was doing “nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines.” They told Miklaszewski that the live-fire training exercise was planned well in advance and would not have taken place if they felt the Marines were at risk because of the cuts.

Ammunition like 60mm mortar rounds are normally manufactured well in advance of its use ... in fact it can literally be years before it is fired (I fired '60s era 81mm rounds at Ft. Bragg in the '70s). This wasn't a sequestration problem, this was a defect somewhere in the round or lot of rounds that apparently caused the premature detonation.

For the the Majority Leader in the Senate  to use the tragic death of these 7 Marines to make a political point  shows you how ill served we are by the cretins who govern us. Too bad there's not hot tar and feathers immediately available. I doubt I'd have any trouble recruiting a bunch of Marines to help ride Reid out of town on a rail with the appropriate plumage attached.

In the meantime, all of us here at Blackfive offer out sincerest condonlences to the families of the 7 fine Marines we lost in today's horrific accident.  Our prayers are with you all.


10 Years Later

Over at Ranger Up's Rhino Den, they are posting pieces about the 8.5 years we spent in Iraq - 8.5 years of lost lives, tens of thousands of wounds, victories, losses, controversies...

...Throughout this past decade, I’ve had the honor of watching numerous Americans train and deploy, train and deploy, come home, go to school, find a job, start a family, etc. The brutal atmosphere of Iraq that birthed these friendships has carried into the private sector where these now aging men live in the peace they so deserve—never forgetting that time in their life that was consumed by violence. And, in addition, many of them continue to serve...

Go check it out.

Photo: Medevac Pre-Flight

Hires_130313-A-BO697-024dU.S. Army Pfc. Laci Lognion, right, inventories her medical equipment while U.S. Army Capt. Ivonne Cartagena, center, adjusts medical items during a pre-flight exercise on Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, March 13, 2013. Lognion, a flight paramedic, and Cartagena, a critical care nurse, are assigned to the 101st Airborne Division's Company C, 2nd Battalion, 149th General Support Aviation Brigade, 1st Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown

Murph The Protector

My friend Scott Mactavish of Mactavish Pictures has a feature-length documentary coming out that might be of interest to you:

Scott, along with author Gary Williams, the Chris Irwin Band, Kill Cliff sports revovery drink, MadJac Music, and Southern Screen & Graphics have teamed up on this project to tell Murph's story to the widest possible audience.  Regal Theatres has joined the effort, and the movie will open in select Regal Theatres on 22 March. 


who notes that Scott is also up to something else, but that is a post for another day.

An Internet Meme You Should Meet

Well, Blackfive is out of the office, but someone has to sleep on the office floor after early celebrations staff the duty post.  Since I got the detail, I thought I would introduce you to someone you should know. 

The image is one of several that have become iconic.  Many of them were shot by the talented Oleg Volk, and start with her as a very young girl. 

Well, she is now 15 (so down boys!) and I would point out that she not only knows modern and ancient weapons, but also a fair bit of hand-to-hand and will whip your rears in almost any music competition too.  Fair warning, she's also Mad Mike's daughter. 

If you want to know a bit more about what it's like to be an internet meme sensation, and more, go here and read what I think is her first interview.  I can tell you that it is a true pleasure to know her, and to have loaned her duct tape for an impromptu art project (and learned to ask why she wants something in the process).  Go read a nice interview with a smart and talented young lady.