Immigration Reform, 2nd District Style

Here’s a  quick diary for anyone who may be interested in learning what’s doin here in South Jersey, and just as importantly,  hopefully, I’ll  get an opinion or two on one national issue I (a possible survivor of the upcoming June primary for Assembly) might turn to good effect, locally.  

No announced candidates by the “legit” Democrats for the two seats, and one seat is actually open.  

State Senator Jim Whelan is being challenged by the very popular Vince Polistina, creating that Assembly vacancy; and the other incumbent, John Amodeo, is considered a lock.  There you have it, no Party favorites challenging them.  Into that vacuum (perhaps) steps yours truly- again.  Just like last year when I was main challenger to the Republican Congressman (who by the way is not such a nice guy).

Who am I? Gary Stein, a “born again” Democrat, who was a Republican infidel from about 1980 to early March, 2010; but  early on, was a proud Democrat who went door to door in High School campaigning for George McGovern.

Here’s the campaign issue, it’s one that everybody avoids, except me: immigration reform.  A little background if I may.  My wife and I had two illegal aliens from Mexico living with us for 5 wonderful years.  They’ve been home for 3 terrible years (if you don’t count the joy of being home with your families) because they’re back to making $10, working 10-12 hours per day.  I’ve been to Mexico a few times visiting, but that’s another story.  And just for the record, we open our house all the time.  Presently there’s an American living with us rent free.  He works digging ditches for a gas pipeline company, and he took up part time college at night since he moved in with us.  He’s doing very well at both.  His picture is on my web Home Page.

Back to the Big Idea. This is how I presented the immigration issue  as part of a press release for the Atlantic City Press  2 days ago.  Unfortunately, they prefer to wait till filing day before they’ll think of writing about me …..again.  

“South Jersey state office holders have made much news recently as each one drafts bills designed to specifically favor Atlantic City, while the rest of the weary state looks on and loses patience.  Mr. Amodeo’s brainchild is to eliminate the states cut of the AC room tax on Convention business between Oct. and March.  Last month, the Governor of NJ speaking in Washington D.C., talked about the need for “big ideas?” Our Assemblyman’s bill is  minor, and I believe a waste of political capital.   We can do better.

If I win the  Nov. election-  and I could, with the help of local Democratic organizations who are still reluctant to support me, I’ll propose in Trenton, a much bigger idea than the Assemblyman’s, and it would benefit all hospitality business’s  in the state, not just  those in AC.   More importantly, there’s a willing group of hard workers to pay for it; the undocumented residents in this state.  My bill  would offer drivers licenses and/or I.D., to undocumented adults, in exchange for their paying the state of NJ a $4000 penalty – over two years- providing the financial resources for an economic program/stimulus, making Sundays a sales tax holiday for restaurants and lodging- state wide- the entire year- not just  the  winter months, like Amodeo’s bill.  As gasoline hits $3.35 per gallon locally, and going higher, the benefits of this legislation would help offset the economic damage to New Jersey over the next several months and years. I’m betting my election, undocumented adults living in this state, would grab a fairly costly, but fair deal for them, benefiting an industry many of them already work in-  in exchange -for the de facto citizenship a  drivers license and/or state I.D., conveys. The revenue this would generate could be around one billion dollars, if you use the estimate that some 400,000  single and/or married illegals are living underground  in this state, and count married and single persons as one, for purposes of this tax.  

In order to prevent a mass migration by other “illegals” to N.J., my bill would also require, by necessity, clamping down hard on employers who hire anyone without valid identification (e-verify)- and mandate turning  workers, or anyone stopped by police without I.D.- over to Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE).  Whatever  public assistance programs are now available to anyone living illegally in this state, who are not working for various reasons, those programs should be subject to review along with this bill.  And certainly, at that point forward, no I.D. or benefits, whatsoever would be available to anyone coming into the state, without proper documentation stating they’re here in the United States, legally.

Besides providing much needed revenue and stimulus here in New Jersey, this bill, if it passed,  would also force the federal government to settle on a Federal Comprehensive Immigration solution themselves, or risk losing revenue to the other states, who’ll  follow suit with their own statewide fines (and drivers licenses) once they see NJ’s fair and very two sided approach.  This  fine (tax) by the way, is similar to  one the federal gov’t  talked about collecting several years ago, as a part of their proposed path towards citizenship, a “solution” which was very unpopular with conservative Americans because it  never mentioned potential deportations.  This “Jersey First” bill could  galvanize gridlocked Washington lawmakers who would now be faced with the responsibility of requiring Homeland Security to deport those persons legitimately turned over by New Jersey officials, or  declare once and for all that the Federal Government is unable to follow it’s own laws, including the requirement to protect our borders, actually know who it’s citizens are, and who’s here temporarily visiting or working.  Several days ago I became aware that Utah is proposing their own tax on undocumented residents, but Utah would not be nearly as generous as our plan which would offer permanent drivers licenses, and permanent I.D., not a temporary one.”

Blue Jersey, if it sounds ever so racist, it’s not.  What it might be, is the only way to make “comprehensive immigration reform” i.e., (amnesty) acceptable to ALL sides.  Any thoughts?

Comment (1)

  1. gary stein (Post author)

    snarky, bad punctuation, grammar etc. notwithstanding, what about the idea for making amnesty acceptable to everyone, including hard liners?  Well, maybe, excluding far right…  


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