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The next ‘House of Cards’? Political insider pens Capitol Hill novel
By Jennifer Harper - The Washington Times - Monday, August 11, 2014
An eager young guy goes to work for a member of Congress, falls wildly in love with a staffer from the opposing party and discovers an illegal human smuggling cartel along the Southern border that’s got A-list Capital Hill protection.
Investigation and mystery ensues, hardball politics erupts and things get odd and dangerous in the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol, circa 1985. A John Grisham novel? No, it’s a Roger Fleming novel, and it’s got a potential “House of Cards”-style series written all over it.
An insider’s insider, author Mr. Fleming is an attorney, a former congressional legislative counsel and an appointee in the George H.W. Bush administration who’s frequented those very hallowed halls, not to mention the local eateries and watering holes. It is one of the few novels out there which includes footnotes citing the Pew Research Center and congressional transcripts.
“The book is an historical lesson about Capitol Hill, and illustrates how Republicans were so often outmaneuvered by Democrats there in the 1980s – including on the Immigration Act of 1986 which resulted in full amnesty but no border security,” Mr. Fleming tells The Washington Times.
Although fictional, the storyline is tethered to reality by dozens of endnotes including this prescient quote from a committee report on the House immigration bill in 1986: ‘We strongly believe that legislation without – border control will only encourage millions of new immigrants to come into this country illegally and require another amnesty program in the future.’ Has the lesson been learned?” the author asks.
What We’ve Learned From Our Open Border
Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Roger Fleming
George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Talk of comprehensive immigration reform alarms close observers today because it was deemed “reform” once before, but wasn’t. That 1986 immigration law gave amnesty to millions of immigrants but included no border security.
Not much has changed since then. Last year’s Senate bill, S. 744, specifies a path to citizenship, but does not in fact require the border be secured. Many are demanding border security as a prerequisite today because last time they politely argued for it, and lost. It was called ‘triggered amnesty’ in 1986, and although included in the Republican-controlled Senate bill, was denied a vote in the Democratic-controlled House. It would have delayed amnesty until a Presidential Commission certified the border was secure; but it was not part of the legislation ultimately sent to President Reagan for signature.
Here America stands twenty-eight years later with an open border and eleven million additional undocumented immigrants due to a government policy that fails to stop illegal entrants but spends millions on a bureaucratic maze to legally deport them. Our border policy entices people to enter surreptitiously, and then labels them illegal once they’re here. Today, due to a political standoff, it seems we face the Hobson’s choice of once again supporting legislation that does not require border security, or abiding executive orders to grant de facto amnesty to millions.
If the border were secured — by a combination of high-tech fencing, aerial surveillance, and manpower as required — there’d be no more labeling of people in America as illegals. They’d either be here legally or working their way toward legal status. If the world knew our border was secure, there would be little incentive to try to cross it; the human- and drug-smuggling cartels would suffer for it; and fewer would die in vain seeking illegal entry. This summer Americans saw a snapshot of what has been happening on the border for decades – and they’re not forgetting it. Border security, despite best efforts, is not considered a racist term; and common sense members from both parties must step up and do what is right by citizens on both sides.
Comprehensive reform could happen if our politicians would allow it, but mistakes of the past cannot be repeated. If the border is required to be secured before a pathway to legal status is allowed, then everyone involved would be incentivized to get it done. This time around the border must be secured so that, for people everywhere, the crumbling line along the Rio Grande might actually remain a demarcation between the chaos below it and the safe haven above it.
TRUMP HAS HIT A NERVE
By Jennifer Harper - The Washington Times - Monday, August 18, 2015
“Why do so many Americans respond positively to Donald Trump’s immigration plan? Most Americans believe everyone should have to play by the same rules — not a different set depending upon which border one illegally crosses. And not a different set for those who respect our immigration laws and one for those who don’t,” policy analyst and author Roger Fleming advises Inside the Beltway
“Why do Americans react viscerally to rampant illegal immigration and Trump’s strong stand against it? It’s different than most other federal government failures. Few expect our federal bureaucracy to ever clean up the corruption and mismanagement of our bloated welfare system or the never-ending fraud in our Medicare system. But the continued diminution of our most basic right as an American, the right to be an American, seems an insult too fundamental to our most patriotic values to be ignored,” Mr. Fleming continues.
“Failure to secure our border — and the games played by Democrats and Republicans with legislation falsely claiming to secure our country — is beyond federal ineptness. It is a failure of our leaders’ most fundamental duties. Donald Trump recognizes that, and he’s willing to make that security and patriotic pride a keystone of his campaign. Americans like leaders whose priorities are not complicated,” he concludes.