April 26th, 2007

Retroactive Illegality

Some of you may have seen this letter circulating the internet already, but I received it yesterday for the first time. The letter, be it real or fictitious, makes an excellent point. We are giving away handouts to illegal immigrants at an alarming rate, depleting the reserves of resources intended for our own citizens.

Perhaps some on Capitol Hill need to learn a simple lesson regarding illegal immigrants: they are illegal! They are breaking the law. They are not to be aided and abetted in their usurpation of our resources. They are not to receive amnesty. They are illegal.

Given the fact that illegal immigrants are provided for and supported in astoundingly immoral ways, perhaps the idea in the following letter is worth exploring. It might just be more lucrative to renounce U.S. citizenship and become an illegal leech dependent on government handouts and freebies.

The Honorable Tom Harkin
731 Hart Senate Office Building
Phone (202) 224 -3254
Washington DC, 20510

Dear Senator Harkin,

As a native Iowan and excellent customer of the Internal Revenue Service, I am writing to ask for your assistance. I have contacted the Department of Homeland Security in an effort to determine the process for becoming an illegal alien and they referred me to you.

My primary reason for wishing to change my status from U.S. Citizen to illegal alien, stems from the bill which was recently passed by the Senate and for which you voted. If my understanding of this bill’s provisions is accurate, as an illegal alien who has been in the United States for five years, all I need to do to become a citizen is to pay a $2,000 fine and income taxes for three of the last five years. I know a good deal when I see one and I am anxious to get the process started before everyone figures it out.

Simply put, those of us who have been here legally have had to pay taxes every year so I’m excited about the prospect of avoiding two years of taxes in return for paying a $2,000 fine. Is there any way that I can apply to be illegal retroactively? This would yield an excellent result for me and my family because we paid heavy taxes in 2004 and 2005.

Additionally, as an illegal alien I could begin using the local emergency room as my primary health care provider. Once I have stopped paying premiums for medical insurance, my accountant figures I could save almost $10,000 a year.

Another benefit in gaining illegal status would be that my daughter would receive preferential treatment relative to her law school applications, as well as “in-state” tuition rates for many colleges throughout the United States for my son.

Lastly, I understand that illegal status would relieve me of the burden of renewing my driver’s license and making those burdensome car insurance premiums. This is very important to me given that I still have college age children driving my car.

If you would provide me with an outline of the process to become illegal (retroactively if possible) and copies of the necessary forms, I would be most appreciative.

Thank you for your assistance.

Your Loyal Constituent,
Donald Ruppert
Burlington, IA

14 Responses to “Retroactive Illegality”

  1. Naiah
    April 26, 2007 at 8:09 am #

    I checked Snopes.com, but couldn’t find it on there. So, I submitted it to them. If/when I hear back, I’ll update you.

    As for the issue at hand, I just don’t know how I feel. Call me a bleeding heart liberal, but you trace anyone’s roots in America far enough back, and we’re all (Native Americans excepted) the children of immigrants. So, at what point is it ‘fair’ to draw a line and say “WE are Americans; YOU are not.” Is it just a matter of encouraging them to legally follow the immigration process in your eyes?

    Also, America is an amazing country, with great possibilities for everyone, and when you have people who have little or nothing where they are, that can seem very tempting. So, people do what it takes to get here. From what I understand, coming here illegally from many countries is a wait of years and years, even over a decade. That can be a long time to wait for a better life.

    Do we make it easier at the doorstep to become legal, and avoid all the social security fraud?

    What’s the solution?

  2. Kelly Winterton
    April 26, 2007 at 8:58 am #

    The immigration problem as we now know it is blowback from our own policies. President Benson in his book on agriculture while he was secretary of agriculture for USA, describes how we would be sorry for all the price supports government gives to farmers.

    You see, Mexico used to be not only self-sufficient in growing enough corn for their own consumption, but they also grew enough corn to export to other countries. Many Mexicans derived a livelihood by growing corn.

    Farming corn has fixed costs, such as seed, fertilizer, watering, weeding, harvesting, etc. These costs translate to about $5 per bushel. It costs a Mexican farmer approximately the same to produce a bushel of corn as it costs an American farmer.

    Enter the US government which gives price supports to American farmers who raise corn. When this government grant money is given to farmers, their cost of raising corn goes down to $3 per bushel. This price support keeps the farmer from going on welfare and declaring bankruptcy, and also makes American corn cheaper and more competitive on the world’s trade market.

    Now Mexicans can buy their corn for $3 per bushel, or they can grow it themselves for $5 per bushel. (They can now buy US corn cheaper than grow it themselves.) Because of U.S. price supports, thousands of Mexican farmers and laborers are now out of work, because the market for Mexican corn has disappeared. These unemployed Mexicans now need work and end up farming in the corn fields in USA.

    Corn is only one example of many, a result of blowback that President Benson warned us about way back in the 50s.

    Now we falsely think the solution is to build some wall, or to deport them back to Mexico, or to give them amnesty, OR DO SOMETHING EVEN STUPIDER, LIKE THE SPP!!! (google it.)

    I say the real solution is not even being discussed at all by Congress or the US citizen. The solution can only come by fixing our stupid trade and labor laws, and reigning in those huge multi-national corporations like Monsanto and ArcherDanielsMidland. (This will never happen under current government’s complicity with these multi-national corporations.)

    Please dear reader, investigate the SPP and see if you agree with the direction our country is headed regarding illegal immigration.

    And for extra credit, study up a little bit on Genetically Modified crops!! If you want a real taste of what’s going on, I submit to you this link: http://www.spingola.com/Paraguay.htm

  3. Connor
    April 26, 2007 at 9:10 am #


    …you trace anyone’s roots in America far enough back, and we’re all (Native Americans excepted) the children of immigrants.

    Ron Paul comments:

    We’re often reminded that America is a nation of immigrants, implying that we’re coldhearted to restrict immigration in any way. But the new Americans reaching our shores in the late 1800s and early 1900s were legal immigrants. In many cases they had no chance of returning home again. They maintained their various ethnic and cultural identities, but they also learned English and embraced their new nationality.

    Today, the overwhelming majority of Americans – including immigrants – want immigration reduced, not expanded. The economic, cultural, and political situation was very different 100 years ago.

    Is it just a matter of encouraging them to legally follow the immigration process in your eyes?

    Yes. Following the law is a good thing. I love people of other cultures and welcome them to our country, so long as they follow the law. Encouraging and permitting the breaking of the law is certainly not to be tolerated, regardless of the intentions or circumstances. Contrary what some might suggest, laws are not made to be broken.

    …when you have people who have little or nothing where they are, that can seem very tempting. So, people do what it takes to get here.

    No doubt. Having served an LDS mission in a third world nation comprised largely of destitute people, I was able to witness the disparity and inequality between God’s children. So yes, they come to America “mohado” (illegally) to find a job where they can earn far more money than they could in their own country.

    Does that justify breaking the law? Of course not. One might argue that I need a bigger house. Am I justified in breaking into one? If I need a vehicle to transport my family, am I justified in stealing one? To be certain, there are plenty of individuals whose needs are great and circumstances dire. That does not justify the breaking of established law.

    Ron Paul continues:

    We must reject amnesty for illegal immigrants in any form. We cannot continue to reward lawbreakers and expect things to get better. If we reward millions who came here illegally, surely millions more will follow suit. Ten years from now we will be in the same position, with a whole new generation of lawbreakers seeking amnesty.

    The drain on the system is catastrophic at its current stage, and will only get worse as more and more illegals flood our country and take advantage of handouts. It can’t last forever, and the resulting consequences will not be quite damaging for the average American.

    Do we make it easier at the doorstep to become legal, and avoid all the social security fraud?

    I’m perfectly content to support changing the immigration system and speeding up the process, but one must be willing to show that they are able and willing to support themselves in this country with employment and self-sufficiency, as well as an allegiance to American and willingness to learn English, rather than jumping into the mixing pot simply to become another leech and take advantage of our socialist welfare programs.

    What’s the solution?

    It’d be a nice start. Imagine that—our government would actually be upholding and enforcing the law! 🙂

  4. Connor
    April 26, 2007 at 9:14 am #


    The solution can only come by fixing our stupid trade and labor laws, and reigning in those huge multi-national corporations like Monsanto and ArcherDanielsMidland.

    I agree that the more permanent solution must be a fiscal one. Our trade and labor laws have done quite a bit of harm and stifled competition through government subsidies, grants, and handouts.

    However, the borders are bleeding and need a band-aid and pressure applied. Once the temporary fix is in place, we can work to administer long term medicine. A strong wall on the border with actual border security is the temporary, immediate solution we need. Once the influx has stopped, then we must work to remove the illegals currently in our country and fix the policies and programs that encourage such behavior and lawlessness.

  5. Jim Cobabe
    April 26, 2007 at 11:00 am #

    Connor, the legalistic term for a retroactive law is “nunc pro tunc”. Since our “laws” consist largely of virtual fictions that we more-or-less agree to abide by, it is no great difficulty for jurists to adjudicate slight modifications to history.

  6. Doc
    April 26, 2007 at 1:58 pm #

    “Given the fact that illegal immigrants are provided for and supported in astoundingly immoral ways”

    But master, when we saw thee naked and not clothed thee or an hungered and refused to feed thee, or sick or in prison and not visited thee, We were only being astoundingly moral.

    Sorry, Connor, this just doesn’t pass the smell test for empty rhetoric.

    We can either fix the system to meet our real economic needs, or we can grind upon the face of the poor and multiply human suffering in the holy name of legality, or we can stay the current course where we do a lot of both. Choose you this day whom you will serve.

  7. Connor
    April 26, 2007 at 2:03 pm #

    Sorry, Connor, this just doesn’t pass the smell test for empty rhetoric.

    Doc, your word play on that scripture is misapplied, in my opinion. That scripture and the lesson surrounding it is teaching voluntary, personal assistance. Socialist robbery of the rich to give to the poor is definitely not what Christ had in mind. Using taxpayers’ money and essentially forcing them to help those less fortunate is not the way to go.

    Keep in mind, these people are here illegally. If you feel that we should render aid to all those less fortunate, you’d be opening up our coffers to the majority of the entire world. A line has to be drawn. That line is (or, well, should be) the legal citizenship status of those within our borders.

    Choose you this day whom you will serve.

    I serve a God that taught the golden rule and blessing others while not letting one hand know what the other was doing. God, to my knowledge, has neither condoned nor commanded socialist policies of wealth re-distribution to those who were expressly disobeying the law.

  8. James
    April 26, 2007 at 5:04 pm #

    I developed a great love for the latin people when I lived in Venezuela for two years. My personal feelings towards Venezuelans, Mexicans, or anyone else from another country have nothing to do with obeying the laws of our country. Because these people are here illegally, I pay more taxes, my healthcare is more expensive, my roads are crowded with unlicensed (not to mention uninsured) drivers, and my city has more crime. I could go on. When visiting the ER for a very urgent reason, i waited behind an UNINSURED ILLEGAL immigrant who cut his thumb! There I sat, a legal, health insurance paying citizen, in the ER waiting room in excrutiating pain while an illegal was taken care of before me. But they do the jobs we won’t do! Uh…I mowed the lawns of three neighbors on my street from age for four years to help save money for college!!! We WILL do those jobs. I didn’t even charge as much as the mexicans do who mow those lawns now.

  9. Carissa
    April 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm #


    I also think your charity comment is misapplied. Did Christ ever advocate forced charity? We should help people voluntarily, of our own free will, and with a loving heart. The opportunities for our own character growth are bypassed when laws force such things upon us. The giver is denied the blessings of giving his means freely and with heartfelt desire and love, and the receiver (in too many cases) does not feel gratitude for the gift, or an obligation/responsibility to work harder and be more self-reliant. Government programs are usually counterfeits of the Lord’s programs. David B. Haight said:

    “What has this monstrous thing called government welfare done to the people? Today we have second- and third-generation welfare recipients. Millions have learned how to live off the government. Children are growing up without knowing the value and the dignity of work. The government has succeeded in doing what the Church welfare program seeks to prevent.

    The Lord’s way is different from government programs. The Lord’s way emphasizes individual work and responsibility and encourages people to help themselves.” (The Stake Presiden’t Role in Welfare Services, Ensign Nov. 1978)

    By allowing those who break the law to receive countless benefits for doing so does not seem to encourage brotherly love, generosity, gratitude, hard work or responsibility among those on any side. It is not the Lord’s way of doing things.

    On the other hand, what is happening may have a role in fulfilling the prophecy about the “Lamanites blossoming as a rose on the mountains”. I don’t know too much about this topic, but the Lord has been known to work in mysterious ways, right?

    The Lamanites must rise again in dignity and strength to fully join their brethren and sisters of the household of God in carrying forth his work in preparation for that day when the Lord Jesus Christ will return to lead his people, when the millennium will be ushered in, when the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory and its lands be united and become one land. For the prophets have said, “The remnant of the house of Joseph shall be built upon this land; and it shall be a land of their inheritance; and they shall build up a holy city unto the Lord, like unto the Jerusalem of old; and they shall no more be confounded, until the end come when the earth shall pass away.” (Ether 13:8.) Spencer W. Kimball, “Our Paths Have Met Again,” Ensign, Dec 1975

  10. Doc
    April 28, 2007 at 12:56 pm #

    It sounds to me as if your beef is with the government, and you want your tax money back as it is “ill spent.” Fine. I just think one whold ponder the human suffering imposed by enacting this sudden mass application. You are talking about tearing apart families, deporting people likely far, far from any friends or family, when they have next to nothing. Frankly, anybody who claims illegal aliens are living high off the hog is deluding themselves. Yes, some of our taxes are going to medicaid. I’m a doctor and I can honestly say that illegals might as well be in Mexico for the poor quality of the care they get. Yes, its your money, yes, you supposedly are “forced” to pay it, if you aren’t cheating on your taxes. Frankly, It’s my money too. How about my taxes can go to help the poor and yours to corporate welfare, or local pork, or the Iraq war, or teaching creationism in National Parks, or whatever government program it is that you might actually support.

  11. Carissa
    April 28, 2007 at 2:44 pm #

    How about everyone’s tax money going to those government programs that are actually authorized by the consitution? Then we can each support whatever we choose to with the rest.

    Just because some of us don’t favor forced government charity does not mean we don’t want to help the poor. Brigham Young, a very charitable person, said
    (speaking of taxation for free government programs):

    “But in aiding and blessing the poor I do not believe in allowing my charities to go through the hands of a set of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves, and give one-tenth to the poor.” J of D 18

    I think that, rather than being emotionally swayed by each current event and basing our legislative decisions on that, we need to consider what actually is and isn’t the proper role of government in each situation. Yes, there is a great need for charity in our world. That does not mean government must take on this role. The church, and many other private organizations, do a much more efficient job without any force involved.

  12. Doc
    April 28, 2007 at 3:47 pm #

    Certainly you have a very defensible point. My biggest problem is casting the plight of the poor and the immigrant and helping them as “astoundingly immoral” just because we have immigration laws. It isn’t that I am against the rule of law, and we do have mechanism for change in law in democracy. It is just that casting your side of an essentially political debate is dangerous. Perfectly just and moral people will disagree on these issues. I take exception to the way Connor cast this. It essentially short circuits any debate or dissent, and that is a sure road to tyranny as any.

  13. Connor
    April 28, 2007 at 4:01 pm #


    Perhaps I can explain my statement further to give it additional weight on your mind.

    I said:

    …illegal immigrants are provided for and supported in astoundingly immoral ways…

    Satan’s plan is one of force. Whether in the premortal existence or here in our earthy probation, his method has always been to use force and coercion. Moral agency and free choice comes from God, not from him.

    And so, any plan that entails force comes from Satan. The Lord will never force us to do anything, especially something that is good under free-choice circumstances.

    Being forced to render assistance to others not only makes the giver bitter and less appreciative in some/most cases, but removes from that person the blessing of having voluntarily given of their means, sacrificing themselves for another. Instead, we sacrifice ourselves from a bloated government that determines how they would like to spend our money.

    So when I say that illegal immigrants are supported in immoral ways, I mean that we are forced to help them instead of doing so of our own accord, as we should and as some do. The same applies to welfare, social security, foreign aid. and any number of taxed, government-driven programs that intend to help others while only hurting both the giver and the receiver.

    I am reminded of the following quote by President McKay:

    I cannot help but think that there is a direct relationship between the present evil trends which I have above indicated, and the very marked tendency of the people of our country to pass on to the state the responsibility for their moral and economic welfare. This trend to a welfare state in which people look to and worship government more than their God, is certain to sap the individual ambitions and moral fiber of our youth unless they are warned and rewarned of the consequences. History, of course, is replete with the downfall of nations who, instead of assuming their own responsibility for their religious and economic welfare, mistakenly attempted to shift their individual responsibility to the government. (David O. McKay, via Quoty)

    President Benson likewise stated:

    When government presumes to demand more and more of the fruits of men’s labor through taxation, and reduces more and more its actual income by printing money and furthering debt, the wage earner is left with less and less to buy food, to provide housing, medical care, education, and private welfare. Individuals are then left without a choice, and must look to the state as benevolent supporter. When that happens, liberty is gone! (Ezra Taft Benson, via Quoty)

    So, to sum up, liberty and freedom are thrown out the window when the government demands our money (at the point of gun), forcing us to help another, be they legal or illegal. As I’ve previously mentioned, the fact that we’re giving out taxpayers’ money to illegals is even more immoral. In simpler words, it’s robbery.

  14. Carissa
    April 29, 2007 at 3:20 pm #

    If I were in a desperate situation and couldn’t afford to feed my kids, it would be immoral for me to rob my neighbor and use the money for groceries. Even if I did need the money more than my neighbor.

    It would likewise be immoral for someone else to do the robbing for me, even if they had good intentions. This is what essentially happens through government when programs are not authorized by the constitution, and yet we are compelled to fund them.

    I am happy to know that you sincerely care for the welfare and happiness of our neighbors. I do too and it bothers me to hear comments about them being less deserving just because they were born in another country or under less fortunate circumstances. All God’s children are precious in his eyes. I think the only thing Connor sees as immoral is the way this “help” is being given (forcefully taken from others), not the fact that they are being helped.

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