Illegal immigration is a problem in South Dakota.
Doug Schmitt, former chief of police of Huron, lost his job because he testified about the problem in the legislature.
The police chief in Huron is on administrative leave after making controversial comments to a state senate committee.
Doug Schmitt was testifying in favor of a bill Monday morning that would make it a state crime to hire illegal immigrants. He told lawmakers he knew of employers in the area who had knowingly hired illegal workers.
Soon after he resigned. However that is not the end….
There’s a movement in Huron to recall the city’s mayor.
Some people think he made the former chief of police Doug Schmitt resign after he testified in favor of a bill cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants. They placed him on administrative leave last month and he later resigned.
There’s a group of people saying Schmitt had his right to freedom of speech violated when the city took the action it did. So they’re now trying to gather nearly 1300 signatures needed to call a vote to remove Mayor Dave McGirr from office.
and that attempt failed (from July 5)
An effort to recall Huron Mayor Dave McGirr has ended because petition circulators didn’t collect enough valid signatures.
City Finance Officer Paullyn Carey reported that 344 signatures were declared invalid, dropping the number of valid ones to 1,128 – 139 short of the number needed to prompt a recall election.
Many questions still remain about the entire incident. (I hope to cover some of them in future postings)
The prosecution of a man who could face the death penalty if convicted of killing a South Dakota teenager might be complicated by his Mexican citizenship.
Authorities say 21-year-old Alexander Salgado was working illegally in the U.S. when 16-year-old Jasmine Guevara of Mitchell was killed.
The federal government steadfastly refuses to properly address the situation. In light of federal inaction the states have an obligation to act, if for no other reason then to protect it citizens from an unknown threat.
Following the lead of Arizona, Nebraska, Georgia, and others several bills were introduced in the legislature this past session, most notably HB 1198 and SB 156. Both of these bills were flawed, and shouldn’t of passed in their ‘final’ form. That is part of the purpose of committees is to amend, modify and make the the bill perfect before passing. The commitees failed to properly address the situation. There are several legislators who plan to put forth new bills this next session.
We want to make sure that the bill we pass doesn’t have unintended consequences, like throwing nuns or Red Cross workers in prison for providing humanitarian aid.
There are some who believe that having businesses ‘import’ workers, can be good for the economy. Because the workers that are imported will work for less, and do work that other people just don’t want to do, thus keeping the businesses operating.
From Lee Schoenbeck:
I am still waiting to hear who you(Stace Nelson) and (Rep.)Manny think are going to power our substantial dairy industry in South Daktoa. My kids and your kids, my neighbors and your neighbors, are not the ones who want to work in the dairies ? long hours and a permanent stench you can?t scrub off ? to keep the industry working. There are thousands of jobs in this state dependant on people that aren?t supposed to be here.
that was answered by Spencer:
Unfortunately, growing up in Veblen, I witnessed firsthand what increased dependence on an imported workforce ultimately leads to. When the Veblen dairy started, a sizeable majority of the workers were locals. The pay was not great, but it was good enough to attract people to Veblen to work there. Over the years the dairy increased its employment of immigrants. Immigrants were packed into homes throughout town. Rundown trailer homes were brought in to make room for more families. The dairy eventually became solely fixated on ways of getting the cheapest work force possible regardless of the consequences. Presently, over 90 percent of the employees of the dairy are immigrants. Veblen produces close to 15 percent of the milk in South Dakota. The workforce associated with the dairy has become an exclusive class of workers separated in almost every imaginable way from the local population only further alienating the dairy from the very people who founded it. Currently, immigrant workers are being moved into apartments adjacent to the dairies making the positions almost exclusively tolerable to only foreign-born migrant workers desperate enough to work there.
I see three major problems here.
- I don’t have a problem with immigration itself, our nation was built on immigrants. I in no way hold a grudge against someone looking for a better life for themselves and their family. We have a way to enter our nation, a way so we can keep criminals out If we open our boarders and let anyone and everyone in, yes have lots of cheap labor. What else are we letting in, drug dealers, thieves, rapists, murderers?
- With all these ‘new’ people, they will put more demand on our already strained social support systems. There are times we provide medical services, food, shelter to non-citizens all the while veterans go homeless, hungry, and denied medical care they need. We should be taking care of our heroes, long before we try to take care of everyone else’s ‘cast-offs.’
- Our economy takes a beating. One of the things our economy needs to keep going is to have people spend money, locally. Migrant workers (legal or illegal) will spend what they must for food and shelter, however, the bulk of their pay gets sent back to support their family. We need a few more of those dollars to stay right here, and be spent on things here.
Getting back to Lee Schoenbeck idea that illegal immigrants do jobs that many Americans won’t do unless there is a whole lot more $$$ involved. Lee may have touched on a social ill that there is no quick fix for. We have to learn to live within our own personal means. When I quit/lost my job for a year, I fully understood that the next position would be less glamorous, and for less pay. There seems to be this feeling within our country that everyone should have a great job, with great pay. I had to start at the bottom of the totem pole and work my way up. If I can do it, then anyone can. Work in a dairy, walking beans, working in a hog barn, or even digging ditches is great charter building experiences, from what I have seen recently many of our ‘leaders’ need to spend a couple of week on a dairy farm.
Whatever bill comes out of the legislature that deals with the illegal immigration problem, if I am to support it must:
- Focus on the employers. Illegal immigrants come here looking for jobs. We need to take that away from them, at the same time make these jobs available to Americans.
- It has to have some real teeth. Make the punishment so severe that any caught hiring an illegal immigrant could face bankruptcy or worse. I have no qualm charging these employers with treason.
- When all is said and done, illegal immigrants are human beings, and they should be treated as such. They should be treated with basic respect. They did what they felt they had to do what they did to ensure their family survives. Many of them faced a horrible journey to get here. We shouldn’t make that any worse. They should not be loaded into cattle cars and shipped across the country. They should be provided with the basics, then sent back to their home country at their cost.
We need to get a handle on this immigration problem quickly. I truely fear what may happen if we don’t.