Before the sanctuary cities vote took place as mentioned in the previous post, someone sent an e-mail to Rep. Kalin stating, "I am writing to let you know that I have signed the Immigration Enforcement Petition. Cities that implement sanctuary policies that prevent police officers from enforcing immigration laws should lose their state funding. I object to having my hard-earned tax dollars go to fund programs for people who are in our country illegally."
Rep. Kalin responded to his constituent:
"Thanks for your email supporting Minnesota Majority's Immigration Enforcement Petition. I read Governor Pawlenty's immigration initiatives with interest.
Because immigration is an issue of international proportion, I have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress in Congress. Although they considered several proposals over the past few years, no comprehensive legislation has been enacted to bring about significant immigration reform. It is extremely awkward for state legislatures to try to resolve issues that are best dealt with by Congress - especially in light of our need to fix our roads and bridges, enact health care reform, and stimulate Minnesota's economy.
I spend a lot of time working with local law enforcement. They are stretched thinner than any time in recent history. They currently have the power and right to investigate immigration issues as a part of a criminal investigation, and law enforcement agencies routinely cooperate with federal officials when this action is warranted. Congress needs to provide the resources for federal agents to focus on enforcing the existing immigration laws and rules; otherwise, diverting police resources will result in other public safety needs going unmet, or in increased local and state taxes to cover these needs.
Just one example: the State Patrol currently does not have enough resources to adequately patrol I-35 in Chisago County and MN-65 and MN-95, especially during the weekend nights. I-35 has the highest growth rate of fatal accidents, but our Sheriffs don't have the money to fully staff these patrols on their own, even with a nearly 10% increase in our county levy.
State agencies already are currently using extensive verification processes to ensure that public dollars are used responsibly. Minnesota's Department of Human Services works closely with the federal U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office to verify a non-citizen's immigration status so that public benefits are only provided to those who meet rigid eligibility guidelines, including regarding citizenship. Minnesota law already stipulates that undocumented individuals are not eligible for assistance through General Assistance, MFIP, Supplemental Aid, Food Support, MinnesotaCare, General Assistance Medical Care, or Group Residential Housing.
While a cost-benefit analysis of immigration is a very difficult undertaking, I do think it is worthwhile to note that the Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor released a report in 2006 highlighting economic research that concluded that, overall, non-immigrants are better off economically due to immigration. The report also reiterates that any comprehensive look at the cost of immigration should also account for the economic activity that results.
I agree with this statement in the original petition: "Employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." As you may know, I am taking a lead role in reforming MnDOT's design-buld [sic] contracting - used in the 35W bridge contract - to ensure that Minnesota's law favors Minnesota companies and Minnesota workers who play by the rules and follow the law. I feel the same way about companies that knowingly skirt the law because they are too cheap to pay Minnesota workers what they deserve. In some instances, modern-day slave ships are smuggling workers across the Mexican border in airtight semi-trailers, with no food or water for days in 120+ degree temperatures inside the trailer. Unsurprisingly, people are being killed in these conditions.
I look forward to reviewing all legislative proposals dealing with immigration, including our human trafficking laws, identity theft penalties, and fines for employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.
I appreciate your input very much. Happy New Year, and my best wishes to you and your family."
Kalin wrote a whole lot of verbiage and never once came close to dealing with the sanctuary cities issue that was addressed by his constituent.
What does state highway patrol on the interstate system have to do with Minneapolis and St. Paul ordinances that prevent their police officers from asking someone about their citizenship status? Nothing!
In his sixth paragraph, Kalin can’t even identify us as citizens. He calls us "non-immigrants." So for him, the immigrants define the natives rather than the citizens defining the immigrants, whether legal or illegal. This guy has it backwards!
And who cares if we are allegedly better off economically because of immigrants? That is not the issue. The issue is criminal aliens. He calls them "undocumented individuals."
Notice too that he proposes the immigration system is broken and needs "reform." That sounds great, but he doesn’t tell us what he has in mind for "reform." It’s just feel good language to fluff his message that doesn’t have any solutions in it.
It looks like Kalin’s response was drawn from some DFL canned talking points that he could pull out of a data bank created to answer constituents who make annoying comments.