Immigration, Title 42, the Supreme Court, and Congress
There is a problem on our Southern border. The number of people in the world who want to enter this land of freedom and opportunity is almost unlimited. Those from Central America can, usually with great difficulty and risk, travel by bus, truck, or just walk to the border.
|'South of the border, down Mexico way' (old song lyric)|
Asylum Seekers: The United States has always admitted immigrants who claim that they are seeking asylum from oppression or danger in their native countries. Traditionally they are admitted and a court procedure follows before a judge to see if their claim is a valid one. Right now, it is easy for immigrants to claim they have valid reasons to seek asylum here, considering the corrupt governments and rampant crime in their native lands. And their numbers have been overwhelming. It would take many years, even decades, for the court procedures required of asylum seekers now waiting within the United States, and poised at the border waiting to enter, to take place. And the immigrants from Central America have been joined by many from the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia and parts of Europe. Once in Mexico, they get to the border and wait to get in line.
Big Numbers: How many such immigrants can the United States welcome, creating and augmenting the humanitarian crisis now present on both sides of our Southern border? 100,000? A million? Five million? Everyone else in the world who recognizes that there is more freedom and opportunity here than wherever they now are and can come up with a reason to seek asylum? 100 million?
Solutions: Obviously, we need an overhaul of our immigration procedures and an increase in the financing of the border patrol, immigration processors, judges, and ways to feed, shelter, and care for those who are admitted, usually without resources, often accompanied by children, whose needs are often more immediate. But money alone will not solve the problem.
Solutions must not be left to the beleaguered States, cities and towns sitting on the border in California, Arizona, New Mexico and especially Texas, places which bear the brunt of this crisis on a daily basis. These are the places where these immigrants enter the country. Democrats and Republicans must work together toward a solution. Without one, it serves as an issue around which right-wing politicians, with no serious interest finding a solution to this problem, can rally. The absence of a bi-partisan approach to immigration reform guarantees one result - - - no solution!
Title 42: During the defeated former president’s administration, something called Title 42 was used to limit this immigration, a rule designed to keep potential carriers of the Covid virus out of the country. Title 42 is now scheduled to expire and there has been much litigation both in favor of and against postponing its expiry, especially since Covid is more or less under control in the country and no longer a reason to keep immigrants out. Clearly, it is a way to achieve that, but it is obviously a misapplication of Title 42’s intent. Thus far, with no solution in sight to replace it, President Biden had let it remain in force.
SCOTUS Involvement: The Supreme Court has just ruled (5 to 4, with Justice Gorsuch joining the ‘liberal’ minority as a dissenter) to let Title 42 temporarily remain in force, but of course, for the wrong reason, since Covid is no longer the justification for using it. Further pleadings before the Supreme Court are scheduled for February and a decision by June is anticipated. By then, Democrats and Republicans in Congress ought to come up with a solution, which unfortunately, I foresee will have to include some kind of limitation on the number of immigrants seeking asylum who are admitted. Even for those seeking asylum, the ‘Golden Door’ cannot remain wide open forever.
Democrats will have to come up with more ideas than just spending more money on immigration procedures, judges, border control personnel and caring for immigrants. As I’ve pointed out, money alone is not the solution. Republicans must cease opposing all realistic efforts at immigration reform, and end their talk about building walls, both figurative and literal. Both must come up with something that works, not only for immigrants, for the States mentioned above, but for the entire country. Time is short.
A Supreme Court decision that leaves people on both sides of the immigration debate dissatisfied is probably going to be announced in June. I cannot see their continuing to accept the risk of Covid as the basis for restricting immigration. But I cannot see their opening the doors to millions of immigrants claiming, truly or not, that they are seeking asylum either. That’s why it would be better for Congress to come up with a solution before then.
Congress cannot leave what amounts to lawmaking to the Supreme Court! It would be wrong in regard to immigration, just as it has been wrong in regard to gun violence and abortion. There has to be compromise, and that must take place in Congress, and to some extent in State legislatures as well.
(In a forthcoming blog posting, I will discuss some ideas as to what such a compromise will involve.)
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Cryptocurrency - (or why you should save your old Monopoly games!)
I have never been a fan of cryptocurrencies. Explanations of how they work are incomprehensible to me. But it seems to me, from the outside, that it goes something like this:
Let’s assume that there were laws passed forbidding the further manufacturing of Monopoly games, but allowing those already in existence, even those unsold in stores, to remain undisturbed. And suppose that someone decided that the paper money used in Monopoly games could be used like real money. Scarce things like precious metals or diamonds have value only because of their scarcity.
Because of the limit on the amount of paper Monopoly money available in this scenario, it would by definition become scarce and that scarcity automatically would give the paper Monopoly money in the already existing games some value or worth, to the extent that some people might even accept it in payment for goods or services, or even investments. If need be, under some vaguely defined rules tied to the constantly changing value of such Monopoly money, the game’s manufacturer (Is it still Parker Brothers?) might resume limited production of the games, increasing the amount of paper Monopoly money in circulation but possibly decreasing its value.
But to travel the bridge, in either direction, between ‘real’ money and Monopoly money, however, an exchange platform would be needed for it, just as any of today’s cryptocurrencies must have one in order to intersect with the ‘real’ money world.
Example: ‘I have a lot of ‘real’ money. Please tell me where I can exchange some of it for the money from some of those scarce Monopoly games.’ (That was the business FTX was in, through a legitimate ‘real’ money brokerage trading company it owned.)
I believe that this is the basic scenario behind cryptocurrencies. I think it is something believed in by three kinds of people:
(1) those who have honestly lost faith in the United States government to stand behind its currency, (2) those whose financial dealings demand an environment that would not involve regulation by the Security and Exchange Commission, the Treasury Department, or the Federal Reserve Bank, and (3) those who see an opportunity in trading in cryptocurrencies, or in spinoffs from them, to get people to use real money to purchase them, ultimately fleecing such gullible and unsophisticated investors, unfortunately including supposedly knowledgeable Wall Street professionals.
The arrest of Sam Bankman-Fried who fits into one or both of the last two categories is reassuring. What is more frightening is the number of supposedly intelligent businesses and individuals who were dumb enough to associate themselves with his FTX crypto ‘exchange platform,’ even going so far as naming their stadiums, arenas and even Major League baseball umpires’ uniforms with the supposedly respectable FTX label, thinking it was really something more substantial than just a game played with the fake money from their kids’ Monopoly games.
Meanwhile, there has been an increase in the number of people on the streets of New York City offering passers-by the opportunity to purchase the Brooklyn Bridge. And I am sure there have been some takers because FTX is no longer available to them as an opportunity to make a quick buck.
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Sixteen Seconds at a Russian ATM
From ‘Daily Kos’: Scenes like this, at a Russian ATM, might lose support for Putin among Russians who already know they are losing their war in Ukraine and now realize their economy is collapsing as well. The video is only 16 seconds long, but it says a lot. To view it, JUST CLICK HERE or paste this on your browser line: https://twitter.com/wartranslated/status/1607705555757596672
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Something to Delete from Your Email
|Bread packaging sealers|
When you click on the site, besides making you the subject of more similar emails, you are told about the first remedy, city, or fact about water in some detail, true or otherwise, accompanied by a bunch of advertisements. Then you are asked to click to see the second one where the same thing happens, and successively, through all of them. If you stick with it, you probably will waste a couple of hours on that one email and learn nothing.
Another variation is about the many unexpected uses for common household items, such as the piece of plastic that comes with some loaves of bread to reseal its packaging. Now that is something everyone should be interested in! We all eat bread. That’s why you are led through about fifty uses, perhaps a hundred, I guess, each with a load of advertisements before you get to that particular unexpected use. If you ever get there, let me know because I never find out what that damn thing is useful for because after being directed to the second unexpected use, I delete the whole thing. And you should too.
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Three Items of Interest:
· Email Alerts: If you are NOT receiving emails from me alerting you each time there is a new posting on Jackspotpourri, just send me your email address and we’ll see that you do. And if you are forwarding a posting to someone, you might suggest that they do the same, so they will be similarly alerted.
You can pass those email addresses to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
· Paintings: Recently added to the blog is a feature showing one of my paintings. (Besides writing, I also paint with acrylics for recreation.) Right now, it features one of my recent paintings, but it will be periodically revised to show earlier ones as well. You can find it off to the right on your desktop or tablet.
Forwarding Postings: And of course, please forward this posting to anyone you think might benefit from reading it. The place to send them is: https://jackspotpourri.blogspot.com
Google Blogspot, the platform on which Jackspotpourri is prepared, has revised its forwarding abilities. If you click on the envelope with the arrow at the conclusion of every posting, (it looks like this: ), you will have the opportunity to list as many email addresses as you wish, along with a comment from you, each of which will receive a link to the full blog that you now are reading, with all of its bells and whistles. This is a great advance from the very basic format Google Blogspot originally provided when they forwarded something for you. It might take a few minutes longer for your message to be transmitted but this method of forwarding offers the advantage of being able to forward jackspotpourri to many addresses simultaneously. Try it.
Either way will work, sending them the link above or clicking on the envelope at the bottom of this posting.