Observations of an Irishman: The Side of Immigration Nobody Is Talking About

The American people are once again being told they need amnesty, DACA and comprehensive immigration reform. Politicians, pundits and the mainstream media have joined together to show Americans only ONE side of this issue.

They show the side of the illegal immigrant, highlighting their “plight,” making it seem as if these immigrants only went to America because some evil person put a gun to their head and forced them to. They share a narrative about how every illegal immigrant is hard-working, honest, humble and only acts with the very best intentions. They seek to destroy any American who dares say some immigrants may be lazy or have bad intentions or even be guilty of committing horrific crimes (such as this, this and this).

They share videos of families who are crying and distraught when one of them is being deported. In this charade, the immigrants even have a special name and label --- they are called "dreamers," and only a monster would be against the dreamers or seek to deny their dream, right?

In this column, I am going to break down the narratives Americans hear every day, share the facts and highlight the human cost of amnesty.

International Law

Democrats tend to love the United Nations and are frequently heard quoting international law. Well, guess what one of the oldest international laws and norms is? It's state sovereignty, which is a nation's ability to control its own borders and what happens inside them. Legally, this means America can control who has the right to enter and stay within its borders.

America Is a Compassionate Nation, so We Should Show Compassion to Illegals

This is a line I hear from people on the left and right alike.

No one can deny the fact America is a compassionate, loving nation. Year after year, America is at the top of the list in terms of donating time and money. Look around the world and notice the millions today who have some version of freedom because of America --- look at those who were enslaved behind the iron curtain or how many Europeans (like me) would be speaking German if it was not for America. Look at the advancements in our everyday lives because of the ability of the American people to innovate and keep the fruits of their labor. Research any aspect of life and how they advanced and improved from the time of Christ to around 1800 and from 1800 until today.

Why has the world advanced more in 218 years than the prior 1800 years? The IDEA of America played a huge part in those advancements and the rest of the world has greatly benefited from them.

The question is not whether or not America should show compassion. The question is who should be the beneficiaries of that compassion.

Factually, America is a compassionate nation and God willing always will be. The question is not whether or not America should show compassion. The question is who should be the beneficiaries of that compassion --- those who broke the law or those who seek to do things the right way?

Illegal Immigrants Act Out of Love

This is easily one of the most infuriating lines. Those who are illegal in America at some point in time either did not care about America's laws, ignored the laws or simply did not think the honor and privilege of living in America was worth the time and effort involved. Perhaps they felt they were somehow more entitled than others to be in America. If this attitude is acting out of love, then how are those who are currently waiting in line to do things the right way acting? Maybe they are acting like fools because the American politicians and media completely ignored them.

America Needs Immigration Reform

I don’t say this lightly, but this is nothing but a flat-out LIE. America does not need immigration reform. America has every law it needs in law right now. America has laws of how immigrants can enter the country legally on many different levels, ranging from a guest, student, family, work and special talent visas. The laws are also very clear if you violate your visa terms, you can be deported and not allowed to enter America for up to ten years.

The Only Reform Needed Is the Political Will to Enforce the Laws on the Books

Sadly, America currently has a two-party system and both sides benefit politically from illegal immigration and amnesty --- the Democrats want new voters and the Republicans want cheap labor.

When you take a step back from the emotion of amnesty, you will understand the absurdity of what politicians are actually saying. They are saying we have all these laws on the books which we ignore and don’t enforce and the solution to this is for us to write new laws which we promise to enforce. What is stopping future politicians from ignoring laws they don’t like down the road?

Illegals Do Jobs Americans Won’t Do

Former President Bush last week said illegals do jobs Americans won’t, and that y'all should just say thank you and welcome. If there is one president who should get the importance of having legal immigration, a secure border and no illegal immigration, logic would dictate it would be the man who was President during the worst terrorist attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor.

Sadly, even President Bush does not seem to understand the difference between legal and illegal immigration. While there is merit to his claim of Americans not doing certain jobs, why not write new visa laws that make it quicker, easier and cheaper for workers to gain legal entry into America to do these jobs? America has a right to know exactly who is in its country and for how long.

Human Story

My Democrat friends love to talk about fairness and compassion and tug on your heart-strings. I want to share a short story with you to highlight the side of immigration very few will ever focus on.

I was extremely blessed as a young boy to travel from Ireland to America and visit extended family in early 90s. I was impressionable and I immediately fell in love with America, with the beautiful women, amazing accents, warm weather, different culture, food and different sports. From the first person I met, I have loved Americans and have wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. As I grew up into a man, I only had one dream and that was to have the honor, privilege and the legal ability to say I was an American.

The most likely way for someone like me to get stateside was through the visa lottery for which I have always applied. However, I always felt like a lottery was a weak way to gain entry and I wanted to earn my way stateside. So I started doing a lot of volunteer work. I have written for numerous publications, worked behind the scenes and I am currently blessed to have my own show on TheBlaze Radio. I have done speaking tours stateside during my vacations. I have done all of these for free, because I am desperate to serve this amazing nation, but also with the hope that maybe one day an employer would see me and my work and give me an opportunity.

Last February, my dream came true. An employer saw something in me and offered me a job. That employer was Glenn Beck. He offered me a job to work for him directly. I was going to live in the country I loved, live in the greatest state of the union --- Texas --- and work with one of my heroes. It was an amazing feeling. Sadly, it did not last.

After Glenn offered me a job, we met with lawyers and after answering questions, we found out I do not meet the visa requirement on both educational (do not have a college degree) or work experience grounds (I did not have any paid work experience doing the job Glenn offered).

Going Forward

Here are my choices:

1. I can admit my dream is dead, be forced to stay in a country I have nothing in common with, have no career prospects and struggle every day to put food on the table.

2. I can go against every principle I stand for and say America owes me (it does not) and go illegally and be called a “dreamer.”

3. I could go against what my faith teaches and marry someone just for a green card.

I refuse to abandon principles just because they hurt me personally.

I will admit I am struggling to accept my dream is dead and to accept my life in Ireland, but I refuse to abandon principles just because they hurt me personally. This is the choice I make, but there are millions in line who want to do things the right way --- do you think all of them will make that choice?

Most Important Question

The most important question around Amnesty and legal immigration has nothing to do with legal or illegal immigrants. It has to do with the American people, what type of country Americans want to live and what country they want to hand over to the next generation.

America is exceptional and different from every other nation in the world. I always believed that America was the country where if you did the right thing, followed the laws and worked hard you could have a bright future. Do Americans still believe that? Do they want to continue on that path? Do they want to hand that ideal over to their grandkids?

The case for amnesty will always be compelling, but it all boils down to one question --- does America reward those who broke the law regardless of their circumstances and intentions, or does it seek to show compassion and support to those who seek to follow America's laws and do the right thing?

The choice is yours.

Jonathon Dunne is an Irishman with a lifelong dream of becoming an American citizen. After waiting for over 13 years, Dunne received a job offer from Glenn Beck so he could achieve his dream, but unfortunately, he did not meet the requirements to apply for a visa. Unless laws change or Dunne decides to break the law (he won't), his American dream is dead. Despite this setback, he still loves America and seeks to be a positive influence on society by promoting the idea of America and God-given freedoms. While on a recent vacation, Dunne delivered sixteen presentations (for free) in eight different states across the U.S. During this time, he kept notes and we asked him to share some of his experiences. As you read the column below, imagine the words are being spoken in a thick, Irish accent. If you're having trouble imagining how that sounds, you can hear it for yourself by tuning into Dunne's free weekly podcast, "Freedom's Disciple," on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play and Stitcher.

As the nation soaks in the victory of the recent passing of the historic First Step Act, there are Congressmen who haven't stopped working to solve additional problems with the criminal justice system. Because while the Act was impactful, leading to the well-deserved early release of many incarcerated individuals, it didn't go far enough. That's why four Congressmen have joined forces to reintroduce the Justice Safety Valve Act—legislation that would grant judges judicial discretion when determining appropriate sentencing.

There's a real need for this legislation since it's no secret that lawmakers don't always get it right. They may pass laws with good intentions, but unintended consequences often prevail. For example, there was a time when the nation believed the best way to penalize lawbreakers was to be tough on crime, leading to sweeping mandatory minimum sentencing laws implemented both nationally and statewide.

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Only in recent years have governments learned that these sentences aren't good policy for the defendant or even the public. Mandatory minimum sentences are often overly harsh, don't act as a public deterrent for crime, and are extremely costly to taxpayers. These laws tie judges' hands, preventing them from using their knowledge and understanding of the law to make case relevant decisions.

Because legislation surrounding criminal law is often very touchy and difficult to change (especially on the federal level, where bills can take multiple years to pass) mandatory minimum sentences are far from being done away with—despite the data-driven discoveries of their downfalls. But in order to solve the problems inherent within all of the different laws imposing sentencing lengths, Congress needs to pass the Justice Safety Valve Act now. Ensuring its passing would allow judges to use discretion while sentencing, rather than forcing them to continue issuing indiscriminate sentences no matter the unique facts of the case.

Rather than take years to go back and try to fix every single mandatory minimum law that has been federally passed, moving this single piece of legislation forward is the best way to ensure judges can apply their judgment in every appropriate case.

When someone is facing numerous charges from a single incident, mandatory minimum sentencing laws stack atop one another, resulting in an extremely lengthy sentence that may not be just. Such high sentences may even be violations of an individual's eighth amendment rights, what with the imposition of cruel and unusual punishment. It's exactly what happened with Weldon Angelos.

In Salt Lake City in 2002, Weldon sold half a pound of marijuana to federal agents on two separate occasions. Unbeknownst to Weldon, the police had targeted him because they suspected he was a part of a gang and trafficking operation. They were oh-so-wrong. Weldon had never sold marijuana before and only did this time because he was pressured by the agents to find marijuana for them. He figured a couple lowkey sales could help out his family's financial situation. But Weldon was caught and sentenced to a mandatory 55 years in prison. This massive sentence is clearly unjust for a first time, non-violent crime, and even the Judge, Paul Cassell, agreed. Judge Cassell did everything he could to reduce the sentence, but, due to federal law, it wasn't much.

The nation is facing an over-criminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties.

In cases like Weldon's, a safety valve for discretionary power is much needed. Judges need the ability to issue sentences below the mandatory minimums, depending on mitigating factors such as mental health, provocation, or physical illness. That's what this new bill would allow for. Critics may argue that this gives judges too much power, but under the bill, judges must first make a finding on why it's necessary to sentence below the mandatory minimum. Then, they must write a clear statement explaining their decision.

Judges are unlikely to risk their careers to allow dangerous criminals an early release. If something happens after an offender is released early, the political pressure is back on the judge who issued the shorter sentence—and no one wants that kind of negative attention. In order to avoid risky situations like this, they'd use their discretion very cautiously, upholding the oath they took to promote justice in every case.

The nation is facing an overcriminalization problem that costs taxpayers millions and amounts to the foolish eradication of individual liberties. Mandatory minimums have exacerbated this problem, and it's time for that to stop. Congresswomen and men have the opportunity to help solve this looming problem by passing the Justice Safety Valve Act to untie the hands of judges and restore justice in individual sentences.

Molly Davis is a policy analyst at Libertas Institute, a free market think tank in Utah. She's a writer for Young Voices, and her work has previously appeared in The Hill, TownHall.com, and The Washington Examiner.

New gadget for couples in 'the mood' lets a button do the talking

Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash

Just in time for Valentine's Day, there's a new romantic gadget for couples that is sure to make sparks fly. For those with their minds in the gutter, I'm not talking about those kinds of gadgets. I'm talking about a brilliant new device for the home called "LoveSync."

This is real — it's a simple pair of buttons for busy, modern couples who have plenty of time for social media and Netflix, but can't quite squeeze in time to talk about their... uh... special relationship.

Here's how it works. Each partner has their own individual LoveSync button. Whenever the mood strikes one partner, all they have to do is press their own button. That sets their button aglow for a certain period of time. If, during that time window, their partner also presses their own button, then both buttons light up in a swirling green pattern to signal that love has "synced"...and it's go time.

According to the makers of LoveSync, this device will "Take the Luck out of Getting Lucky." It brings a whole new meaning to "pushing each other's buttons." It's an ideal gift to tell your significant other "I care," without actually having to care, or talk about icky things like feelings.

If you find your significant other is already on the couch binge-watching The Bachelor, no problem! You can conveniently slink back to your button and hold it in for four seconds to cancel the desire. No harm, no foul! Live to fight another day.

Have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children.

No word yet on whether LoveSync can also order wine, light candles or play Barry White. Maybe that's in the works for LoveSync 2.0.

Of course, LoveSync does have some pitfalls. Cats and toddlers love a good button. That'll be a fun conversation — "Honey, who keeps canceling my mood submissions?" And have fun explaining those buttons to inquiring children. "Yeah, kids, that button just controls the lawn sprinklers. No big deal."

If you've been dialing it in for years on Valentine's Day with flowers and those crappy boxes of chocolate, now you can literally dial it in. With a button.

Good luck with that.

The social power of 'Reddit' is helping teens of anti-vaxxers get vaccinated

Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Reddit certainly earns its motto as "the front page of the internet," with roughly 540 million visitors monthly, the third most-visited website in the U.S., sixth worldwide. Unlike Twitter and Facebook, Reddit is a largely anonymous platform. People's faces are masked, their names are disguised. Which makes their hidden humanity all the more impactful.

On Reddit, both news and serious information are threaded in among gifs of cats and posts about Call of Duty, but that doesn't make it any less important. For many people, Reddit signifies the town hall where news is passed along or stomped into obscurity.

It gives you a healthy read of our society as a whole.

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A recent Pew Poll found that Reddit leans left politically at a rate higher than the general public. Most users are young men, whose extensive internet use gives them a gatekeeping authority over what information should be considered important. From there, it spreads through the rest of the internet and helps shape public opinion.

So, it makes a lot of sense that Reddit has become a sort of makeshift safe place for children who grew up with parents who refused to give them vaccinations. Of course, Reddit also vehemently mocks the anti-vaccination folks, for better or for worse, often the latter, but that's a subject for another day.

The Daily Dot recently published an article on this strange intersection of ideology and nerd culture. "Desperate teens of anti-vaxxers are turning to Reddit for vaccination advice."

The article follows Ethan, whose parents are staunchly against vaccinations:

But Ethan is not his parents. When he turned 18, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He wasn't sure where else to begin, so he turned to Reddit.

Where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?" Ethan asked his fellow redditors in December. Ethan's post flooded with over 1,000 comments from users offering their encouragement and support, along with practical advice. "Good on you for getting your vaccinations," one user responded. "It's never too late and you're not only protecting yourself but those around you who truly can't get vaccinated.

Ethan told the Daily Dot that some redditors even offered to give him money via GoFundMe or PayPal if insurance didn't cover the shots. "People were really supportive, and that was really cool," he said. "I had the blessing of Reddit. They were supporting me on a decision my mom freaked out about." Ethan is not alone. "More and more teens are turning to places like Reddit to seek out information on where and how to get vaccinated, and if it's too late."

Whatever your opinion on vaccinations, there's a positive message to all of this. A human message. Hopeful. Proof that, in an increasingly caustic world, people can turn to one another in times of need.

Whatever your opinion on vaccinations, there's a positive message to all of this. A human message. Hopeful.

Now more than ever, that is crucial.

Given the social power of Reddit, it is often characterized as a tool for politicians or political movements. Throughout the forum, various political ideologies gather and organize like factions in some ideological war. A political thread on Reddit is like a Facebook comment section at its most hostile, arrogant or confident, but with no identities attached to the attacks, rants or opinions. When you find yourself riled into a debate, it's easy to wonder who's behind the replies, especially the more vicious ones.

People often characterize it as a hive-mind message board full of circlejerk memes and jokes about SpongeBob. This description isn't entirely wrong, but it is shallow and incomplete. At its core, Reddit is humane. Its users, for the most part, are compassionate. If it were an experiment on human nature, the results would be gratifying.