Once we started to look at what Rep. Maurice Hinchey has done to date in the 112th Congress, we became curious about HR 391. Why exactly has Rep. Hinchey decided to take on the plight of this one illegal alien? Is this worth the attention of a Congressman? Is this worthy of the time and tax dollars that it costs so far?
Emilio Maya is a businessman (he owns Café Tango in Saugerties, NY), volunteer firefighter and occasional translator for the local police department. He also happens to be an illegal alien, or in other words a criminal – unless you are on the far left which would make him an undocumanted worker. Maya entered the US in 1998 under the Visa Waiver Program. He was visiting family, and the program allowed him to do so without a visa for 90 days.
He remained in the country beyond the program’s initial 90 day limit. Emilio Maya was able to gain a visa from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) repeatedly, with the last being valid until April 2010. In the time that he was in the country he opened a business, married a legal immigrant from Belarus, Russia, had a child, and became entrenched in the community where he lived.
He was apprehended by fully armed immigration officials outside of his home back in 2009 in a scene that is described by Patricia Doxsey of the Daily Freeman that you would expect to see in a Sylvester Stallone movie more than on a street in Upstate New York. He was set to be deported after 20 days in a holding facility in Pennsylvania. His deportation was assured because Maya waived his rights to a review or appeal of an immigration officer’s determination of his admissibility and his right to contest any deportation action because of the terms of the Visa Waiver Program he signed over a decade earlier. ICE spokesman Michael Gilhooly reportedly said Maya was arrested for an “immigration violation”.
Stop. Did you notice 2 things. Emilio Maya willfully broke the law by staying in the country after the visa was over. Also what did Maya do to stay in the country? Both are important.
Emilio Maya is not the daydream of perfection that the Daily Freeman and others frame him as. He is foremost a criminal. A criminal that the Freeman states “dreams” of citizenship – but did nothing in reality to become a citizen, nor gain a long-term visa. Which means that he actively sought to evade a critical part of the law, making him a fugitive.
What makes this worse is the reported fact that Maya was able to stay in the US because he was an undercover informant for ICE. He gathered information about illegal activity of immigrants and ICE let him stay in the country. Why worse? Well after 7 years of being in the nation without seeking the means or showing desire to become a citizen, Maya worked with ICE to stay in the nation. Which means he had more than enough time to learn how badly he was violating the law, and to have had time to correct the situation.
What is part of the problem Maya had with ICE? ICE wanted Maya to provide information about guns and terrorism, Maya refused. Rep. Maurice Hinchey has stated,
“Emilio Maya is a small business owner who risked his life by going undercover to help stop illegal drug and gang activity that threatens our community. He deserves legal status as he was promised – not deportation. This one year stay is a step in the right direction, but I’m hopeful that a more permanent agreement will be reached.”
Now consider this. Emilio May is a criminal, that is a fact. Maya was a fugitive of the law for 7 years before he made a deal with ICE. Maya violated the terms of his deal, and under the rules of the Visa Waiver Program that he voluntarity signed, he can be deported without challenge.
IF Emilio May was a crack addict for several years, that was caught for a mugging, no one would feel special about him. IF as a criminal facing prosecution he decided to become a CI for the police, no one would care. IF, as a CI he violated the terms and was subsequently charged with the initial crime of mugging – would anyone care then? Would Rep. Maurice Hinchey step forward and say that the police couldn’t charge the criminal for the crime committed?
Emilio May may well be a great person. He may be a fantastic neighbor. He may have people signing petitions for him for years to come. But he is a criminal. A criminal that actively pursued his crime, and now wants to evade penalty. I’m sure Bernard Madoff wished for a friend in Rep. Hinchey like Maya has.
Given the far-left leanings of Rep. Maurice Hinchey, he may want to extend this Bill (HR 391) to all the illegal alien criminals, but the nation does not agree. There are laws in place, and cherry-picking who should be held to the law is a sure means to create chaos – if not also being somewhat biased.
Seperate of that, given the economic climate of the nation and the serious issues facing the US, is the plight of 1 well-liked criminal more important than the lives of constituents? Every minute and hour of time that Rep. Maurice Hinchey is spending on this criminal, is that much less time he has for the fate of the Health Care Reform, unemployment, the national deficit (increasing roughly $2 million per minute) and more.
Could the time spent on HR 391 been used to have a better understanding of H. Res. 9: Instructing certain committees to report legislation replacing the job-killing health care law, possibly leading Rep. Hinchey to vote outside of the Democrat Party line? Unlikely but if he read the Bill it could happen. Ok, never, but the point stands.
The conclusion comes down to this, as a constituent of Rep. Hinchey, we feel that our views are not being expressed by the Congressman. In aNew York Times/CBS News poll released in 2007, it found that 69% of American adults believe illegal immigrants should “be prosecuted and deported for being in the U.S. illegally”. In a June 2010 Quinnipiac University poll, 48% say they want their state to pass an Arizona-style immigration law. In a May 2010 NYTimes Poll 78% felt the Federal Government should do something about illegal immigration.
Perhaps most important is the Quinnipiac University July 2010 poll on New York State in which it said 58 percent of New York State voters believe immigration reform should focus on stricter enforcement of laws against illegal immigrants.
Rep. Hinchey, listen to the constituents, let criminals face the law. Let HR 391 get out of the way. Congress is not about your personal or Party views.
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