Top Leaderboard, Site wide
November 23, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!

DIG DIRECTOR

Marc Cooper
Marc Cooper has reported on international and domestic American politics for dozens of publications, and is Senior Fellow for Border Justice at USC Annenberg?s Institute for Justice and Journalism. He is the author of several books, including a memoir about his time as translator for Chile's...








 

The Great Immigration Debate: Getting Beyond Denial

UPDATE:

This Thursday (March 16), mostly under the media radar, the U.S. Senate inched closer to what some observers call a turning point in long-delayed comprehensive immigration reform.

Just when it looked as if all efforts were on the verge of collapse, the Senate Judiciary Committee apparently agreed on proposals that would offer the 12 million undocumented workers and their families living in the U.S. the possibility of earning permanent residence and citizenship.

Senators present at Thursday’s meeting have told the media that there is now a voting majority to back the so-called McCain-Kennedy measures, which are, without question, the most enlightened of all pending immigration proposals.

Republicans have been bitterly divided over this issue and until Thursday’s meeting it appeared that the close-the-border “restrictionists” had the upper hand.

They still might. The Senate Judiciary Committee will not formally vote on Thursday’s agreement until after a week-long recess. And, if passed, it will then come before the full Senate for approval. If the measures get that far they still would have to be reconciled with a draconian bill last December by the House that omits all guest worker and legalization plans.

Further complicating matters, Republican Sen. Bill Frist proposed a completely new bill on Thursday, March 16, that does not include a “guest worker” provision—which many conservatives consider amnesty for undocumented workers. This late entry by Frist caught both Democrats and Republicans by surprise, and although it is likely to fall by the wayside, it will nevertheless probably remain the fallback position for the more conservative members of Congress when the debate reaches the full floor.

However, assuming some version of the McCain-Kennedy bill survives both houses, the most important aspect of the Judiciary Committee’s apparent agreement is that it, at least, acknowledges the existence of this hidden and growing immigrant workforce and the need to legalize it. 

Here’s my report, filed a few days ago, on the full background to this debate: 

Police in Southern California’s Orange County recently raided a day labor center and hauled off a number of immigrant workers in order to have their legal status checked. In Texas, sheriffs are banding together to guard the U.S.-Mexico border, doing an end run around the Border Patrol.

In Arizona, the Democratic governor is dispatching more National Guard units to the state’s southern border to offer “support” to the Border Patrol. In Washington, D.C., the Republican-controlled House has passed a draconian measure calling for the construction of a 700-mile, triple-wall fence at the border. Meanwhile, in Chicago, a hastily organized pro-immigrant rally burgeoned into a street demonstration of 100,000 or more.

Indeed, elbowing aside more high-profile issues such as the war in Iraq, the NSA spying scandal and the Abramoff corruption swamp, illegal immigration and proposed comprehensive immigration reform have finally floated to the top of the national legislative agenda.

Without much public notice, for the first time in 20 years the U.S. Senate this month is finally debating legislation that could radically change the ways our country deals with immigrants and enforces the laws on the border for decades to come. It’s a moment that reform advocates—from big business to big labor, from church groups to civil liberties organizations—have long been been fighting for. The Senate leadership has given the Judiciary Committee until March 27 to present a bill to be voted on by the whole body. Once approved, that measure would be reconciled with the House measure passed last December and move to the president’s desk for his signature.

But just as the Senate finally begins its historic considerations, there’s a sense of foreboding creeping in among reform advocates. As the debate heats ups it seems permeated and distorted by a number of prevailing myths that threaten to derail any forward and much-need movement.

Dig last updated on Mar. 14, 2006


More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

 
Border Patrol Immigration
Earl Cryer/Corbis

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Truthdig Bazaar
Suggested
Reading List

Pinochet and Me

Pinochet and Me

By Marc Cooper

- - -
Truthdig Bazaar
Truthdig Bazaar
 
 
 

Advertisement


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, January 12, 2011 at 10:45 pm Link to this comment

What immigration problem. Just another way to waste
your tax money. The wall was built by Mexicans, When
Gen. Grant attacked Mexico He used Mexican mule
packers,1846, what immigration problem, The Irish,
immigrants for 100 years, fought all the wars, now
Blacks and His-panics get their turn to fight in the
front lines. Dream plan is to put you non white
immigrants first in line for military front line
duty. Send Jobs overseas no employment for Students,
poor young people so economic draft, Police TSA,
employment to grope, rape and radiate or Military
Rape radiate but at least they got better hash and
heroin, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Yes all our,
YOUTH HIGHER THAN A KITE! Drone babies, remote
control killers, America the proud and the brave, not
no more America scared of its own shadow, Only the
shadow knows what evil lurkes in America. A dead nine
year old, dead children by Drone killings, child
soldiers in Africa, aided, Sorry by Obama, if all
this is confusing, rely on Karma what you do to
others you do to yourself. And yet Christian killers
every where look at Catholic Mexico highest murder
capital, strictest gun laws, Christians cutting heads
off. Muslims are not the only violent religion.
Ministers, Senators screaming to lynch Julian wiki
leaks Assange.

Report this

By call me roy, May 16, 2010 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

California to become America’s first failed state?
Their unemployment is at 12 percent, and government staff workers are being paid with IOUs. None other than Professor Kevin Starr, University of Southern California, State Librarian Emeritus, one of California’s greatest historians, pronounced that “We are on the verge of becoming a failed state because we can’t agree on anything.” The California Senate has been in Democratic hands since 1970, and likewise, the Assembly — The reason California may be our first failed state is because the Democratic recipe for success in California is the same as in every other liberal state — more spending —– particularly on social programs and public employee sector benefits. Spending is the public policy that gets Democrats re-elected. (Their state budget went from $56 billion in 1998 to an eye popping $131 billion in 2009.) What nobody on the left is willing to admit is that blue states are in meltdown. Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Illinois (Obamaland), Pennsylvania, Oregon and, of course, California, are in debtors prison. High levels of taxation, a love affair with regulations — the more the merrier — and the unremitting expansion of public sector employment have made public sector unions a political powerhouse. It’s hard to imagine that the debates in the primary elections will not focus on job creation in the private sector, and stemming the tide of businesses and high-income residents fleeing the state. So will California’s elections move them right of center as we saw with Europe’s large social democracies, or will their fascination for Obama-like left-leaning economic policies remain intact — no jobs, increased spending and bigger government. Lastly, Los Angeles voted to Arizona boycott over immigration law. Who cares? Many states are now looking at passing the same law. LA and San Francisco have just hurt there on own economy’s which according to all the top economists won’t last long anyway. This is bad news, who wants to be like California Not Arizona. Many experts agree that after the November elections the Democrats will lose the Congress and Obama’s rating will drop 20% to the lowest ever recorded for any US President.

Report this

By call me roy, May 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

The immigration bill being proposed by Democrats includes a provision for what is being a called a “biometric Social Security card.” Democrats claim it is not the same thing as a national ID card and can be used only for employment purposes. The cards will be used to crack down on employers and be fraud-resistant. “These cards will be fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear resistant, and machine-readable social security cards containing a photograph and an electronically coded micro-processing chip which possesses a unique biometric identifier for the authorized card-bearer,” reads the bill summary. The bill would also increase border security and create a pathway to citizenship for law-abiding persons in the country without documentation. Illegal immigrants who wish to remain in this country would have to admit they had broken the law, pay back taxes and fees, and pass a criminal background check to qualify for legal residency after eight years.
I am not surprised to hear this, it should be apparent to anyone that this was coming down the pike. I do have a couple questions about future process steps concerning these developments? When the “Anointed One” decides to start bar-coding everyone, will we get to decide if the mark is on our hand or forehead? Allot of people will prefer the hand, (especially women of course), unless your a porn actress or something along those lines. Also, my wife was wondering if the Biometric Squad will be getting fashion advice from Hollyweird or the New York City crowd, we are both agree that the Biometric Squad will be getting uniforms similar to the SS uniforms in Germany in WW2. With big letters abreviating “Biometric Squad.” So shall we start calling them the BS? What do you guys think?

Report this

By call me roy, May 16, 2010 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

Dear President Obama:
I’m planning to move my family and extended family into Mexico for my health, and I would like to ask you to assist me. We’re planning to simply walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico , and we’ll need your help to make a few arrangements. We plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I’m sure they handle those things the same way you do here. So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Calderon, that I’m on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:

1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
3. Please print all Mexican Government forms in English.
4. I want my grand-kids to be taught Spanish by English-speaking (bi-lingual) teachers.
5. Tell their schools they need to include classes on American culture and history.
6. I want my grand-kids to see the American flag on one of the flag poles at their school.
7. Please plan to feed my grand-kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver’s license so I can get easy access to government services.
9. I do plan to get a car and drive in Mexico , but I don’t plan to purchase car insurance, and I probably won’t make any special effort to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from their president to leave me alone, please be sure that every patrol car has at least one English-speaking officer.
11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag from my housetop, put U S. flag decals on my car, and have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, or have any labor or tax laws enforced on any business I may start.
13. Please have the president tell all the Mexican people to be extremely nice and never say critical things about me or my family, or about the strain we might place on their economy.
14. I want to receive free food stamps.
15. Naturally, I’ll expect free rent subsidies.
16. I’ll need income tax credits so that although I don’t pay Mexican taxes, I’ll receive money from the government.
17. Please arrange it so that the Mexican Government pays $4,500.00 to help me buy a new car.
18. Oh yes, I almost forgot, please enroll me free into the Mexican Social Security program so that I’ll get a monthly income in retirement.
I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all his people who walk over to the U.S. from Mexico . I am sure that President Calderon won’t mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.
Thank you so much for your kind help.

Report this

By call me roy, May 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

Your friendly neighborhood bank, can I help you?
Customer: Yes, I want to cancel my account. I don’t want to do business
with you any longer.
The Bank: Why?
Customer: You’re giving credit to illegal immigrants and I don’t think
it’s right. I’m taking my business elsewhere.
The Bank: Well, Mr. Customer, we don’t want to see you do that, but we
can’tstop you. I’ll help you close the account. What is your account number?
Customer: (gives account number)
The Bank: For security purposes and for your protection, can you please
give me the last four digits of your social security number?
Customer: No?
The Bank: Mr. Customer, I need to verify your information, but in order
to helpyou, I’ll need verification of who you are..
Customer: Why should I give you my social security number? The reason
I’m closing my account is that your bank is issuing credit cards to illegal
immigrants who don’t have social security numbers. You are targeting that audience and
want their business. Let’s say I’m an illegal immigrant and you’ve given me a
credit card. I have a question about it and call for assistance. You wouldn’t
be asking me for a Social Security number, would you?
The Bank: No sir, I wouldn’t.
Customer: Why not?
The Bank: Because you would have pressed ‘2’ to speak in Spanish. We
don’t ask for that information when calling in on the Spanish line.

Report this

By Skruff, March 22, 2010 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What part of “illegal” is not clear? 

Kick them all out..

Report this

By Mike Scott, March 21, 2010 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amnesty & eventual citizenship for low-skilled illegal immigrants will significantly increase welfare costs and poverty, while continuing to exacerbate the unemployment miseries of vulnerable unskilled American citizens. Our jobless rate won’t drop below 9% by the end of 2011. Amnestied illegal immigrants with low educational & skill levels are likely to become huge fiscal drains on other taxpayers. Half of all adult illegal immigrants in the U.S. have less than a high school education, most are unskilled, and therefore don’t earn enough money to pay enough taxes to cover the government benefits they receive. Amnesty would eventually make them eligible for the full array of welfare and medical benefits offered by local, state and federal governments. Once these individuals become citizens, the net addi¬tional costs to the federal government of benefits for these individuals will be mega $ billions annually.

It’s still an unknown, whether ideological whiffs of charlatanry & narcissism are enough to sustain the pathology that walking distance to our borders & tribal Chauvinism are justifications for ignoring this nation’s immigration laws.

Report this

By Locust, November 16, 2007 at 11:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Lets face it, neither side on the immigration debate will compromise with the other,  states and cities will continue to pass anti-pro illegal immigration laws, the majority of the states 41, will pass anti-illegal alien laws, many cities in illegal alien sanctuary states like CA, are also passing laws that will restrict illegal alien movement and housing, illegal aliens won’t go home, they will migrate to already collapsing sanctuary cities and those areas will continue to see an exodus of Americans and the tax base with them.  In the end this separation will lead to conflict, it has in the past and will continue to do so in the future, war and genocide mark the timeline of history for all people, Hispanic slaughter of Americans and American slaughter of Hispanics is coming, all I have to say is for us Americans, buy guns and ammo you will need them!

Report this

By Stuart Wetzler, August 6, 2007 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment

I have read your editorials on Assimilation, Immigration and can understand your Zest for creating a North America, that is neutral, and receptive to all aliens.  Reality wise, North America does not need to import the Attitudes that are prevalent from the South Americas.

I understand that immediately you will attempt to label me as a irrational anti-immigrant force, who is trying to rain on your parade.  Unfortunately, the latest journalistic practice in America appears to be: “Finding some kind of label to attach to a person, in order to reduce their contribution to debate.” 

“Technological progress, is like an Axe in the hands of the pathological criminal.” is a bit of wisdom spoken by Albert Einstein, “unless you can be trusted in small matters, you cannot be trusted in large matters.” …

A summation of my facts and knowledge on Immigration, and the current problems associated with immigration, from the South American attitude.  350 people were killed in Brazil, because the people who committed the crime, did not believe the police or the courts will arrest and prosecute the criminal.  The Attitude of Mr. Castro, Mr. Chavez, the lack of respect for any nations laws about crossing the United States Border, without being a resident.  Period. Nothing accounts for the 4000 illegal immigrants in Federal Prison for crimes against the citizens of America.  Not to mention the drug cartels and the kidnappings of South American citizens for ransom, the multiple driving offenses and violations by illegal immigrants, because they are not authorized drivers.  Fifty percent of the South American women are acceptably beaten by their Spouse or significant other (SOSO)  (Reality wise America has enough wife beaters, rather than adding to the Technological Progress that has brought us to this debate.)

To-days journalist, try to pull some (accredited) study or another out of the internet or their newspapers group archives, and attempt to support their justification for their position, but this position is abundantly clear:  Lexington, Nebraska opened a meat packing plant in which the Population went to 10,000 people of which 3,000 are from the South Americas.  The number of free or reduced price school lunches increased from 4% to 73%.  The average jail population increased from 13 people per night to 40-80 per night, requiring a new jail to be built and an expansion of courtrooms.  http://www.mexicoretirementguide.com/mexican_immigration_regulations.htm 
http://portal.sre.gob.mx/was_eng/index.php?option=displaypage&Itemid=53&op=page&SubMenuMexican; Citizenship?
Acquiring Mexican Citizenship is an involved process, and it is not easy to do. As a minimum, you must have been living in Mexico for 5 years (2 years under special circumstances) and have resident status.  http://www.mexperience.com/liveandwork/immigration.htm  Yet your articles condemn the United States peoples desire to have all aliens meet US Citizenship requirements
Purchase of real estate in Mexico by non-Mexicans
Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution bars foreigners from buying real estate in what is called the “restricted zone” (sixty one miles from the international border and thirty one miles from the seacoast). Outside this area, aliens can purchase real estate property but must agree before the Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretariat to be treated, for all intents and purposes, as Mexican nationals and abstain from invoking the protection of their country of origin with respect to that property. If the covenant is breached, all rights to such property will revert to Mexico .
We only ask that Mexico respect our laws.

Report this

By Tom Smith, June 19, 2007 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The answer to the problem of illegal aliens is so simple it is a crying shame.  Fine employers who hire the illegals and they will stop coming over the boarder!  Fine them heavily for each illegal alien they hire.  We all know they are here for the money and we let them keep coming for their cheap labor.  It is like children with a cookiejar.  Take out all the cookies and they will stop coming for one.  The politicians want to dance all around the issue because they want the Hispanic vote and we will stand around and let them spend billions of our dollars when we know it will not solve the problem.  Solve the simple problem and spend the billions of dollars on more important issues like the healthcare crisis in this country.

Report this

By Tom Smith, June 19, 2007 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The answer to the problem of illegal aliens is so simple it is a crying shame.  Fine employers who hire the illegals and they will stop coming over the boarder!  Fine them heavily for each illegal alien they hire.  We all know they are here for the money and we let them keep coming for their cheap labor.  It is like children with a cookiejar.  Take out all the cookies and they will stop coming for one.  The politicians want to dance all around the issue because they want the Hispanic vote and we will stand around and let them spend billions of our dollars when we know it will not solve the problem.  Solve the simple problem and spend the billions of dollars on more important issues like the healthcare crisis in this country.

Report this

By Secular, June 15, 2007 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment

Tom Tancredo for president!

Report this

By Skruff, May 16, 2007 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

70283 by inelson on 5/16 at 6:29 am

“Give these people a breakand give them there citazenship let them pay taxes and start the legal American life. WE have much bigger fish to fry like: Healthcare, the economy”

I’m sick of this debate too.  I’m not a racist because I want people to play by the rules.  How is letting illegals jump the line, and obtain citizenship before people waiting for years, fair?

AND ask Californians what illegal immigration is doing to legal taxpaying citizens there.  Helthcare costs are up by (some estimates) 30% due to treating illegal immigrants who are not elligable for federal assistance.

Report this

By inelson, May 16, 2007 at 7:29 am Link to this comment

Ya know I so sick of this debate, because it’s really a non-debate. I am the product of immigrants. My family came through Ellis Island in the eraly 1900’s,in fact my grandmothers name is inscribed on the monument. This country owes it roots to immigration from all over the world. Why should immigrant from Central America be any different and people have been in this country for years from Mexico doing jobs we didn’t want to do any more for pay we wouldn’t work for. Give these people a breakand give them there citazenship let them pay taxes and start the legal American life. WE have much bigger fish to fry like: Healthcare, the economy, foreign affairs, Iraq war, an insane president and the corporate raping of America. Let’s put our energy into that not to these individuals who are trying start a new life in America. This is all smoke and mirrors covering the real problems at hand.

Report this

By Skruff, April 12, 2007 at 9:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

#63482 by Scott on 4/11 at 11:28 pm
(Truthdig Guest)

“Mexicans have an ancestral right to California, Texas, New Mexico and Nevada; fully one fifth of continental U.S. was wrested from Mexico under military threat.”

and the Normans from the Saxons, and the Saxons from the Gauls, and the Prussians from the Poles, Cechs, and the Russians from the Swedes, and the Ottomans from the Arabs, and the English from the Turks and the whole shooting match to and from Rome, Mongolia, and The Norse.

SFW?

We own it now, and unless we wish to be swept up in the dust-bin of history with the rest, we better get a check on stuff.

BTW names of towns do not seem to prove “ownership” or even prior ownership.  In some cases the folks crossing border5s to settle brought the old names with them.  Here in Maine we have Sweden, New Sweden, New Britain, Calais, Mexico, China Denmark,  New Holland, Norway, Poland, Manchester, Derry, and Moscow.

While some of these towns were settled by the nationality designated by the name, others just defaulted to names fimilar to citizens who could not get their tongues around the “native” names… even some of them are left here as Machias, Quoddy, and Katadin. 

But I digress Russia, settled by Swedes still bares the mark of that conquest. Thae name “Russia” comes from the Rus’ a group of Varangians who lived on the other side of the Baltic Sea, in Scandinavia By your logic the folks who own Russia?

Report this

By Scott, April 12, 2007 at 12:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1.  Mexicans have an ancestral right to California, Texas, New Mexico and Nevada; fully one fifth of continental U.S. was wrested from Mexico under military threat.  Do Jews not have a similar rationale for displacing Palestinians from present day Israel?

2.  Does it not strike people that there are mostly Spanish names in the above States and their cities? WHO PUSHED WHOM OUT WITHOUT ASKING THEM? Hint—it was Spanish until some land-grabbing expansionist pioneers claimed that might was right.  Nevada=Snowed, Nuevo Mexico=Ex-Mexico,  San Francisco=St. Francis, Los Angeles=Angels, San Diego=St. Dean, Sacramento=Sacrament, Santa Barbara=St. Barbara, Las Vegas=Stars, San Bernadino=St. Bernard…

3.  In short, there is little questionable legal claim to the lands “appropriated” from Mexico as they were transferred under duress and certainly, no moral highground in claiming that “they are taking” from “native born”.

4.  NAFTA is an unbalanced union allowing free flow of only three of the four mechanisms of capitalism: Free flow of 1) Goods, 2) Services and 3) Capital BUT NOT 4) Labor/People.  That means that jobs will necessarily lead to an exodus to a lower cost/more efficient location and PEOPLE CAN’T FOLLOW THE JOBS.  The European Union, after 50 years has the recipe right i.e. Free flow of Goods, Services, Capital AND Labor/People and even then, due to their cultural/language diversity, there is limited flow of Labor.

Report this

By Born & Raised U.S. Citizen, January 14, 2007 at 6:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illegal immigration would come to an end if U.S. employers would be made by the U.S. GOVERNMENT to stop hiring illegals by enforcing tough immigration laws. A one million dollar fine per illegal hired and 5 yrs of imprisonment would stop it cold.
The only reason Mexicans or Asians come here is to make money to support their large families.
They do not flee from their countries because of persecution but poverty.
Much of the money earned here goes back to their native countries to support their families.
Those countries don’t mind this going on because they get billions of U.S. dollars coming into their economy so these families can buy food, clothing, housing, cars, televisions, etc, in their countries.
On the other hand, the U.S. is allowing this mass immigration because companies here want cheap labor so that they can increase their profits.
The U.S. government is lobbied by these businesses to not make laws that will restrict this cheap labor from coming into the country.
That is why you now have the U.S. Congress and the President looking to sign laws which will give amnesty to the 10,000,000 illegals in this country.
The U.S. citizen gets screwed here. These U.S. companies no longer want U.S. citizens to work for them because they don’t want to pay them the minimum wage, health benefits or deal with the labor unions that would be required by law.
It is the U.S. taxpayer who picks up the costs for medical, school, housing and social services these illegals need to live here.
These illegals of couse do not pay taxes and also some commit crimes that the police have a hard time catching because they have no documentation or use false identification, such as social security numbers and names of dead U.S. citizens which they obtain on the blackmarket.
The U.S. worker will become an endangered species if this is allowed to go on.
Bottom line, the U.S. worker is in serious trouble of losing or not getting a job and keeping up the standard of living they are used to.
Bottom line, businesses are controlling U.S. immigration policy and the holy buck is its god.
Good luck my fellow U.S. CITIZENS, we will need it !

Report this

By Skruff, January 12, 2007 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #47207 by desertrat on 1/12 at 11:34 am says:

“....the U.S. population is aging… and white people is having less and less children. The economy needs workers and the locally grown boys and girls are not enouhg to provide for it, so there is a DEMAND for an alien workforce… Western Europe and Japan are facing the same problem, they need more young workers ....”

allowing that the above may be true (although I think not, Ford, The New York Times, and Disney just laid off a bunch of workers) it is a sitiation that the government has encouraged. 

If workers are needed to do the scut work, first show me that there is no physically able,person recieving a welfare check… Then, maybe I’ll listen to this argument.…

Giving folks a check for sitting on their ass, then complaining about lack of workers is just plain silly!!

Report this

By desertrat, January 12, 2007 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The real thing is that the U.S. population is aging… and white people is having less and less children. The economy needs workers and the locally grown boys and girls are not enouhg to provide for it, so there is a DEMAND for an alien workforce… Western Europe and Japan are facing the same problem, they need more young workers but they don’t like the ones that they money can afford…

Report this

By Mark, January 11, 2007 at 11:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I refuse to bend to the RACIST BS that the Hispanic population (legal or otherwise) wants to use to cloud this debate. I refuse the listen to our government, who slaps the hand of those that employed the illegals initially- to gain a cheap dollar, and let the situation avalanche into what they now see is an immovable mountain. THEY DID IT, and we Americans are now powerless to fix it- stymied by a court of jesters playing powergames in a castle in Washington, under a King we call MONEY.

I have lost my faith, people, and you will too.

America, as we know it, WILL change. And it will change soon. Water in the Southwest is in short supply NOW. Global warming and man’s footprint on the Earth is an issue NOW. Is America smoking a crack pipe? There are bigger issues here than labor. Bigger than money. Lady Liberty’s arms are tired, and her teats are dry.

We HAVE to secure the border. Its not a matter of race. Its not even really a matter of RIGHT or WRONG. Its a matter of FACT or we will face our end via Civil War pt 2, or when we foolishly populate this land until it screams for utter mercy.

The threat is real. Wake up America, because the men of power have lulled you to sleep.

Report this

By Skruff, December 15, 2006 at 7:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding Comment #42235 by Frank Goodman, Sr.  on 12/14 at 4:44 pm


Horse poop!

We have already evolved to a society governed by laws rather than a society ruled by physical strength.

That may or may not be the best outcome, but it is our current reality.

I have no prejudice against poor, I worked with street children in these “united” states for many years, I do think we owe our own people (no matter their color or origions) first…. if there is anything left, we can decide at that point how to divide same.

Report this

By Frank Goodman, Sr., December 14, 2006 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hello,

Fellow Earthlings: Rather than a border problem, we have a mental block. The Earth was populated by one or more migrations out of Africa some 50,000,000 years ago. There are no real borders except those embraced by the sea and by other barriers difficult to cross. It is much easier to cross the barrier of prejudice than to cross the Himalayas or the Pacific ocean. Mankind has populated the planet. The final barrier of space without oxygen or drinkable water is still keeping us here on spaceship Earth.

Population adjustment has already begun. People die of starvation regularly where production and economy cannot feed the population growth. In order for the next explosion of evolution of the human race there must be pressure on the population so that the fittest can actually survive. Some of those survivors may well be black, native American, and undesirables from the squalor of poverty worldwide. Tactics of survival precede strategies of success.

Most of the comments here dwell on ‘illegality’ of border crossing. It is one where the ‘haves’ fear the ‘have nots’ and wish to keep them out by law and order. Mexicans are mostly blends of native aboriginal stock with Hispanic conquerors. They are neither Hispanic nor aboriginal. But they are human like the rest of us lily white European sunburn freaks.

I propose a world without borders. Where people can come and go anywhere on Earth without passports or visas. Let us homogenize the human race, humanize Homo sapiens, and then colonize space. Let us launch our seed to distant planets in new worlds now unknown.

Let us get together in cooperation rather than apart in competition and pride of our own insignificance. Time to end apartheid in all its forms. Out of the crucible of togetherness will come the future of mankind. Truth is God.

Report this

By Jack Clegg, November 17, 2006 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The unrelenting illegal immigration of Latinos into the U.S. is changing the face of America.  The pending facelift will render America unrecognizable in the very near future.  In the very, very near future, Latinos will be the largest minority in the U.S.  In the foreseeable future, they could easily be the “majority”.  Then we can become a third world society like Mexico or Columbia.  Already in some of our states this has happened.  The clouds are gathering and our goverment ignores it.

Report this

By Harry H Snyder III, November 16, 2006 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marc Cooper tells us the only “enlightened” position is McCain-Kennedy.

We’re so “enlightened” that we welcome 12 million (sic) folks into the US as permenant citizens, remembering that the first act these people committed on our soil was to break our laws.

Reminds me of Carter’s position on Cuba’s refugees.

The “enlightened” position is to use the resources of the wealthiest economy in the world to help our neighbor make their country more livable.

Any other position ensures we will have several billion folks crossing our borders from places that make Mexico look like heaven!

Piss on the folks who would sell us out for a cheap toaster!

Report this

By PCSAVA, October 23, 2006 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We should treat Mexican illegals the same way Mexico treats it’s illegals from Mexico’s southern border. With jail. Period. End of story. How hypocritical of Mexico to expect the US to grant amnesty to 12 million lawbreakers, when Mexico simply jails the illegals that enter Mexico from their south. Not to mention the robbing and raping of them. Hello? Do the research.

Report this

By PROUD OF MY HERITAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, September 21, 2006 at 8:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think if all of us so called Americans knew our History,YOU would know not only did we all originate from IMMIGRANTS. Also the land called Texas, etc were stolen away from Mexicans and land were taking away from Indians. So if you had any intelligence in you, you all would not be sitting on the computer making ignorant comments! Why don’t you go and do a family tree and see where you and your ancestors came from. I am a American citizen by birth, and I don’t see the problem with immigrants coming here for a better life. “Liberty and Justice for ALL”. and I am so tired of hearing people whine about immigrants taking jobs, if you spent less time on the computer and more time on trying to find a job, there would be no jobs to take.RIGHT

Report this

By pablo, August 30, 2006 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If people from Canada came here and bought houses next to yours for twice the asking price and your property valuations doubled and your taxes doubled then you’d want them out of here, also.  Immigration from the north can be just as economically disasterous as from the south. 
A 290-year-old Native American tribal chief was just asked what he would do differently this time around.  His reply:  Tighter immigration policy

Report this

By Spinoza, August 28, 2006 at 11:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

-There really is no upper limit to human stupidity, is there?——

I can’t think of any.

Must say there are a lot of good, well reasoned posts here but also many losers.

Suggestion, do that which if done universally would be universally good.

Must say the most humane and sensible thing to do is to improve the economies of all of the economies south of the border, especially the status of woman.

Report this

By Dennis Hill, June 12, 2006 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m against illegal immigration because it is illegal. da If we don’t enforce our laws we will eventually be no better than Mexico.  There should be a law to prosecute the people that hire illegal immigrants and it should be enforced with either jail time or a very large fine.

Report this

By al shields, May 27, 2006 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #10265 by George on 5/24 at 2:46 pm.. he wrote:
“End the underground economy and get these business owners to start paying American citizens decent wages for a day’s work.”

I can agree with this easily IF we also keep on buying the higher-to-be-priced goods rather than importing them from China or Mexico.

Report this

By Sterghe S., May 27, 2006 at 8:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Question: Why does someone leave their home and extended (or even immediate) family to walk perhaps thousands of miles—braving armed bandits and border patrols, suffering hunger, assault, rape, and perhaps death—in order to enter a country whose inhabitants speak an unfamiliar language and who often oppose the presence of such immigrants with incredibly strong emotion?

Response: It’s better than the alternative.

If we truly want to reduce illegal immigration, why not practice a little “preemptive peace” as a cheaper option than fencing and arming our borders?

Never mind whether it’s our responsibility to take care of the rest of the world or not. I’m not speaking about ethics or morality or right or wrong at the moment. It’s simply less expensive for us to act to reduce extreme poverty and its effects among our neighbors than it is for us to try to keep their most desperate refugees from entering our country.

I’ve worked with immigrants, both legal and illegal, in the United States. If we aren’t talking about the highly skilled professionals brought in through legal channels by big corporations to perform specific functions, but are instead talking about the vast numbers of impoverished people who prompt the current debate, then some generalizations are possible. Among these is the simple fact that these people would never have come here if their and their families’ situations had been tenable at home.

If we want to reduce the problems related to the flood of impoverished immigrants entering the US, let’s talk about agricultural subsidy reform and the ways in which we can allow farmers in other countries to feed their own people while earning a modest living. Let’s talk about requiring US employers to provide living wages and safe working conditions to their workers, regardless of which nations claim sovereignty over the factories’ soils. Let’s talk about paying for a little food, clean drinking water, medicine, and education—acceptably limiting the budget for such things to the amount previously spent to deter illegal immigration by force.

Let’s talk about the hard work of seeking and recognizing the causes of our challenges, so that we can address them directly, rather than bickering about how to patch over the symptoms.

Report this

By saul2006, May 25, 2006 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Until the idiots that run the Catholic Church change their NO BIRTH control policy there will be no solution to this problem.
In the meantime maybe sending the bills to the Vatican would financially bankrupt an already morally and ethically bankrupt demagoguery

Report this

By George, May 24, 2006 at 2:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is time to start arresting business owners who hire illegal aliens. Fine them too. End the underground economy and get these business owners to start paying American citizens decent wages for a day’s work. Send those who are here illegally home, and let them get in line to enter the country like all the other law-abiding would-be immigrants. No more special treatment for those who sneak across the border.

Report this

By Matt Miller, May 22, 2006 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This whole arguement over immigration just illustrates the lack of intelligence in our government. If the current situation is considered a problem, then why look at the immigrants as the cause? The cause is the businesses who, in violation of Federal Law, continue to hire and employ undocumented aliens. If this practice were stopped - or if the current laws were enforced - there would not be “carrot” of jobs to entice illegal immigrants.

Report this

By roger holstein, May 20, 2006 at 7:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The most interesting ideas I get are the ones sent to me by friends, through accompanying emails attachments that I am urged to read. It goes without saying that I read everything I get. Often, instead of making the intended point on me that the sender desired it has just the opposite effect.

First let me assure you that many, if not most of the alleged original ideas that float about on the Internet are frauds. First the people’s names that are used for these mailing have nothing to do with the emails most of the time. Their names were simply used because they are media icons of some sorts and the names seem to give additional credence to the piece.

For instance I received this morning an alleged copy of a letter written by Ben Stein. The man is represented to have said, “Next confession: I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish”! This is said as if the comments that follow relating to him not having any problems with Santa Claus, by a Jew would be the ultimate proof that Christianity is the absolute truth on earth.

He quotes “A woman by the name of Anne Graham gave an extremely “PROFOUND” and “INSIGHTFUL” response. She said, “I believe God is deeply saddened by this just as we are, but for years we’ve been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives.”

HOW STUPID TO SAY SUCH A THING, IF GOD IS TO BE SADDENED I TRUST THAT HE WOULD BE MUCH MORE SADDENED BY THE 12 MILLION PEOPLE, CHRISTIANS AND JEWS WHO PERISHING IN THE GERMAN EXTERMINATION CHAMBERS. AND INSTEAD OF SEATING BY THE SIDELINE HE SHOULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS THING FROM HAPPENING! ISN’T HE THE ALL MIGHTY??????

INDEED THE SOONER WE GET RID OF RELIGION IN GOVERNMENT THE SOONER SANITY WILL BE ESTABLISHED TO THIS EARTH AND EVEN MAYBE ALL WARS WILL FINALLY SUBSIDE!

The Ann Graham continues her rambling with, “And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?” THAT IS THE MOST BACKWARD AND PRIMITIVE STATEMENT ANY ONE COUL HAVE UTTERED.

GOD is no gentleman, never was, never will be! GOD is God, he just is! He is not catholic, Mormon, Christian, Jewish, Islamic or anything like that! GOD just IS!

Continuing Graham’s comments “Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school; the Bible says thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said “OK.”

BUT THIS LADY SEEMS TO FORGET TO MENTION THAT THE “CHRISTIANS” ARE MOST BLOODTHIRSTY PEOPLE AND THEY ACTUALLY ENJOY KILLING. THEY SEEM TO CARE NOTHING THAT ABOUT 100,000 PEOPLE WHO HAVE PERISHED IN IRAQ! OF COURSE, AS MOST OF THESE PEOPLE ARE CONCERNED (BECAUSE ULTIMATELLY MANY CHRISTIANS ARE SECRETLY RACIST) ONLY AMERICAN LIVES COUNT!

Another HOT subject and email I received today relates to the illegal immigrants. While I realize the subject is complex and worthy of attention, lets look at some of the facts. ALL AMERICANS ARE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS. AS far as I know the Indians never gave the white man permission to steal their territories, did they? No immigration papers were ever issued to your ancestors from the rightful owners of this land.

A subject that follows closely the immigrant’s story is, English being the official language of this country; thus every one should speak it! NONSENSE I SAY! We should all speak American Indian since this is the original language of the land. Besides there was a time in the US history that there were as many Germans as there were English people here. They even had to debate in congress, which they would adopt as official, English or German. English won by a NARROW margin.

I have to admit that the Latin population occasionally gets on my nerves in Miami by not wanting or being able to answer me in English, here in America! But there is no law – and there should be none – that English must be spoken if people don’t want to. No one is going to ever prevent MOI from speaking French any time I so desire to my wife in public and I absolutely don’t care what anyone is thinking about that.

Most people who decry this situation the loudest are ignorant people who know only one language and that, often just barely. You go to Paris France in the middle of the summer and you can hear all the tourists yacking away in English! Shouldn’t these same “sensitive people” who so ardently criticize other people speaking different languages in this country be all speaking French in France?

Or are Americans simply above all these mundane considerations because lets remember clearly at all times that America can NEVER be wrong!

For those of you who like to forward message, forward mine as well, make my day, PLEASE!

RGH

Report this

By Alvin, May 13, 2006 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thought on US immigration policy (better version than the one I posted an hour ago)

1) The least nebulous and most convincing of all of the immigration arguments are those that based on the assertions that a) the USA is over-populated right now or b) that it is not over-populated right now.

2) The second most convincing arguments are those that are based on cultural diversity (pro or con), growing the economy, bringing in skilled workers, keeping wages low (the real engine behind much of recent US policy), currying favor with ethnic voting blocks, or wanting to help or not help a particular ethnic group.

3) The least convincing arguments are the emotional ones such as my grandmother was an immigrant, we owe it to somebody due to history, their conditions, we are a nation of immigrants, you are a bigot if you oppose immigration, etc.

I believe that the USA is over-populated right now, so I support decreasing both legal and illegal immigration. For me, this argument trumps all others and thus there is no need for me to make any other argument in support of my views. I respectfully disagree with anyone who says the USA is not over-populated.

For the sake of discussion, let’s look at the other pro-immigration arguments mentioned above.
The cultural diversity argument. This one is good if you really believe it and really do not believe that the USA is over-populated.
Growing the economy. This argument is good if you do not believe that the US is over-populated right now, and are not disturbed by increased environmental degradation, urban sprawl, etc.
Bringing in skilled workers. This argument is good if their numbers are not too high. It should be remembered, however, that there are ethical problems with this argument as it contributes to the “brain-drain” of skilled workers from other nations in need of them.
Keeping wages low. This argument is bad because it harms American workers while allowing other countries (especially Mexico) to “let off steam” by removing exploited workers to the USA.
Currying favor with ethnic voting blocks. This argument is fundamentally selfish, racist, or ethno-centric.
Wanting to help or not help a particular ethnic group. This argument is also fundamentally selfish, racist, or ethno-centric.
My grandmother (etc.) was an immigrant. This argument is weak, based on emotion, self-centered, and logically fallacious as it takes a part to be the whole.
We owe it to somebody due to history. This argument is weak as it is based on emotion, a single interpretation of history, and implies a debt that can never be repaid.
We owe it to somebody due to rough conditions in their countries. This argument is also weak as it is based on emotion, has no end in sight, and is one of the worst ways to help other nations improve their conditions because it only delays political justice in their home states.
We are a nation of immigrants. This argument is weak because it is vague, emotional, based on a non sequitur, true of all nations, and has no end.
You are a bigot if you oppose more immigration. This is pure nonsense.

Report this

By Alvin, May 13, 2006 at 8:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1) The least nebulous and most convincing of all of the immigration arguments are those that based on the assertions that a) the USA is over-populated right now or b) that it is not over-populated right now.

2) The second most convincing arguments are those that are based on cultural diversity (pro or con), bringing in skilled workers, keeping wages low (the real engine behind much of recent US policy), currying favor with ethnic voting blocks, or wanting to help or not help a particular ethnic group.

3) The least convincing arguments are the emotional ones such as my grandmother was an immigrant, we owe it to somebody due to history, their conditions, we are a nation of immigrants, you are a bigot if you oppose immigration, etc.

I believe that the USA is over-populated right now, so I support decreasing both legal and illegal immigration. For me, this argument trumps all others and thus there is no need for me to make any other argument in support of my views. I respectfully disagree with anyone who says the USA is not over-populated.

For the sake of discussion, let’s look at the other pro-immigration arguments mentioned above.
The cultural diversity argument. This one is good if you really believe it and really do not believe that the USA is over-populated.
Bringing in skilled workers. This argument is good if their numbers are not too high. It should be remembered, however, that there are ethical problems with this argument as it contributes to the “brain-drain” of skilled workers from other nations in need of them.
Keeping wages low. This argument is bad because it harms American workers while allowing other countries (especially Mexico) to “let off steam” by removing exploited workers to the USA.
Currying favor with ethnic voting blocks. This argument is fundamentally selfish, racist, or ethno-centric.
Wanting to help or not help a particular ethnic group. This argument is also fundamentally selfish, racist, or ethno-centric.
My grandmother (etc.) was an immigrant. This argument is weak, based on emotion, self-centered, and logically fallacious as it takes a part to be the whole.
We owe it to somebody due to history. This argument is weak as it is based on emotion, a single interpretation of history, and implies a debt that can never be repaid.
We owe it to somebody due to rough conditions in their countries. This argument is also weak as it is based on emotion, has no end in sight, and is one of the worst ways to help other nations improve their conditions because it only delays political justice in their home states.
We are a nation of immigrants. This argument is weak because it is vague, emotional, based on a non sequitur, true of all nations, and has no end.
You are a bigot if you oppose more immigration. This is pure nonsense.

Report this

By Paracelsus, May 12, 2006 at 11:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marc Cooper is one of those foundation liberals.
Marc Cooper has been co-opted.
http://stream.paranode.com/imc/portland/images/2005/05/318106.gif
In fact I would be sceptical of the whole “The Nation” enterprise as they are very willing to call Bush a liar and a crook on the Iraqi War fiasco, but they could never countenance the Bush administration supporting a conspiracy that would bring down the WTC by controlled demolition(http://www.st911.org). As to the the Nations backers, they do have connections to Big Oil- http://questionsquestions.net/feldman/nation_bigoil.html. I would like to see if Truthdig has the belly to contemplate such things. As to the immigration issue, the MacArther Foundation, the same one that funds the Nation, also funds La Raza! http://www.nclr.org/section/about/funding/ Being that Marc Cooper and his colleagues depend on MacArthur grants, can we trust the indepence of their judgements? If you were to browse the list of La Raza’s funders, you would see the cream of America’s foundations supporting NCLR. There is something goofy about the Walton family and the AFL-CIO giving money to a group that is all about increasing without limit the supply of Latino laborers in the USA. Why does unrestricted immigration have such liberal bone fides? Why does Marc Cooper feel so comfortable keeping company with such champions of liberalism as The Coors Brewing Company??

Report this

By bob, May 7, 2006 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have been up an down, around and around on this issue. For the life of me how come I have not heard in all the arguments for and against immigrants who’ve crossed our borders. Why is it no one seems to question the Mexican’s goverments obvious duplicity for the reasons why well over 12 million of its lawful citizen’s wanting to take it on the heel and toe, instead of staying at home and fighting for whats rightfully their’s? Why is it that they, meaning those elected and responsible for the welfare of their fellow countrymen and women in Mexico, have not spoken up and said why they allowed trade deals that were not in the best insterest of those most affected by them to go forth? Why the so-called leaders of the different organizations seeking to allow those who have came (and are still coming even while I write and will still be comming by the time you finish reading this)have not spoken out about this? I personally think Americans of all stripes on either side of this issue would not mind considering getting behind and supporting their cause if, those calling for changes in the law where to take two a prong approach too their activism. One, work to expose the real reasons why so many people would want to flee their native land, home of thier ancestors and culture, and illegally cross the border into another country. Work to educate and enlighten their fellow countrymen who have not left yet to take a stand against the economic injustices that spur them toward wanting to leave instead, of staying and working for change. Start by also demonstating outside of every Mexican consulate office here cross the country, demanding change as well for more favorable trade policies. least, as some may begin to suspect that possibly some of those organizing the protest here are in fact, as well agents of the Mexican goverment trying to avoid wanting to face the music concerning growing economic discontent at home. I can’t help but wonder why they seem to have been let off the hook; meaning, the Mexican goverment by the so-called leaders of the protests here and want to soley direct thier efforts and focus on the U.S goverment changing its laws here? I think this one of the underling reasons some, if not a great number of Americans have failed to get behind and support thier effort and cause. Not to mention the background issues like the layoffs by the big auto companies have done, the outsourcing of jobs, tax cuts for the least in need of them, at the expense of those who need them the most. What I am saying is that there already a lot of sacrifices Americans have been asked to accept as it is. Now, they are again being asked to accept having to compete here at home in the name of free trade with the rest of the worlds poor dying to get here to do so.

Report this

By Tim Bickford, May 6, 2006 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The pull is fiction created by the greedy.  Its purpose is to disarm the resistance from the middle class who are “WE THE PEOPLE”. 

The illegal imigration is just one more way to take the fight out of U.S..  The rising costs in health care, pharmacutical drugs, and energy costs.  Take a chunck out of the middle class.  Many have lost jobs and are working both parents 50-60 hours a week just to pay bills.  Others who use to work all year long find themselves only working 3-5 months a year.  Especially in construction where illegals are illegally working for substandard wages and eating up tax dollars on a number of programs designed to help legal citizens make it through hard times. 

Insurance premiums have gone up dramactically in the last two decades close to 300% for healthcare and a major reason for that is to cover unpaid costs to hospitals who provide healthcare for illegal workers and their families who have no insurance.

Much of our manufacturing has moved to central America.  The illegals should stay home form unions and raise their own wages.

We could increase legal immigration by 10% - 20% and yes buy more from our neighbors and less from China.  That might help, but we cannot condone illegal immigration.

Report this

By Ga, May 2, 2006 at 9:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“We are a nation of immigrants.” So say, so many. Except Native Americans.

So all of “US” are immigrants or children of immigrants. Yet, the “American Ideal” of “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” is dead. Perhaps a bit understandable given the ever increasing population rates meaning that population grows faster than cultures can adapt.

OUR ROOTS

But as American fight the latest immigration battle so many forget their own history. We have fought these battles before as “Our Country” grew from Western Europe (Spanish, English, French, Dutch, German and Portuguese) colonizers—the first true immigrants—all fighting to conquer land and control resources.

Then, as “Our Country” grew, more and more peoples immigrated. Polish and Irish. Cities grew and people were sectioned off from each other. Immigration controls began to be put into place and new battles were fought to limit immigrants.

All the while non-whites were horribly repressed.

Signs reading “Irish need not apply,” no longer can be seen in eastern cities, as the Irish became “white” and acceptable—along with others.

MIGRANT HISTORY

“Our Country” has had a large migrant worker population from Latin America for at least a century and a half. “They” have always been a part of the economies of the Americas. “They” have always been here.

AND NOW

Why, I ask you all, are you thinking that suddenly we have an “Illegal Immigration” problem?

Why, I ask you all, are you only now thinking about “Illegal Immigration”?

What was your thinking about “Illegal Immigration” last year? Five years ago? Ten?

Did anyone of you ever think of immigration issues ten years ago? Why now?

SOME FACTS

Sixty Percent of “Illegals” are overstays. I.e. They got here with a valid VISA and have stayed beyond their limit.

The 10-12 million “Illegals” did not just suddenly show up over the last few years.

All the “9/11 Terrorists” had valid VISAs and were not “Illegals”.

The U.S. Government controls the number of documents given to people to come into the U.S. from other countries.

The southern border dynamics have changed, concentrating the areas of crossings, giving those areas the appearance that more illegals are coming in. But the numbers of illegals has been steady for a long time, percentage wise.

The MSM has fired up the entire country and most everybody has fallen for it hook, line and sinker. Immigration began a “problem” only in the last few years by loud mouth scare tactics by supported by the MSM.

You have been duped.

Sure, we want more control of the borders. But let’s allow more immigrants to come in legally—i.e. give out more VISAs. Monitor the legal immigrants more closely. Enforce the current laws about corporate highering.

There is nothing to get upset about.

Report this

By Tom, May 2, 2006 at 1:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The illegal immigration issue has only one real problem:  Greedy Americans who hire illegals.  The illegal immigration issue has only one real problem:  Greedy Americans who hire illegals.

I don’t think it’s that simple.  In an efficient market, producers make a marginal profit over the costs of production.  If some factor lowers the cost of production, the efficient market take the prices down accordingly and the margin remains constant.  But any producer who doesn’t avail himself of the factor that lowered the cost of production can no longer compete and goes out of business.  In this case that factor is “the labor of illegal immigrants.”  I’ll grant, however, that producers in inefficient markets (i.e., big businesses) get a profit boost from that same factor.

There is a similar effect on the other end.  Families in Mexico that send say a son to the U.S. to work and send money back, have more money to spend on a place to live, which drives up the prices of living quarters in the region, which forces other families to send a son to the U.S.

IMHO the villians are the politicians who fail to fund and implement our immigration laws, and the constituencies (including religious organizations) who for whatever reasons encourage such behavior.

Report this

By L M Gachet, May 1, 2006 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My issue on this debate simply revolves around fairness.  There are around 6 billion people on this planet.  A significant amount of these people are impoverished and would dearly like to to immigrate to the US for the chance at a better life.  Up to 80% of the illegal immigrants in the US are from latin america.  Because they can easily cross a geographical border, they are entitled to “special” consideration over the millions that are separated by oceans or the millions that spent money and years enduring the long process of legal immigration?  Why would we reward those that “cut” to the front of the line?  Current polls show that most americans favor a guest worker program but I can’t believe that those same polls would support “special” consideration for those that have cheated our legal immigration system.  Nobody appreciates those that “cut” to the front of the line!  Should latin americans be treated more favorably than the congolese, bulgarians, cambodians or bangladeshis?

Report this

By Gary Hansen, May 1, 2006 at 11:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The illegal immigration issue has only one real problem:  Greedy Americans who hire illegals.  If businesses in search of labor would require a green card or the appropriate documentation to get a job, illegals would have nowhere to go except to enter the US legally, or return to Mexico.  Unfortunately, since there are many greedy people in this country who can make an extra buck on the backs of cheap illegal labor, I see no immediate solution. 
I have seen the enemy, and he is us.

Report this

By anon, April 30, 2006 at 1:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illegal immigration is hurting Mexican families in tragic, untold ways. 
Men leave wife and children behind, they come over here and have new children - meanwhile, even if they become legalized, their original family is irreparably damaged by absence of dad, and even if they too come to the US, they have to live with the fact that now dad has another relationship.

The main people who gain from illegals are businesses.  They get cheap labor, they get to expose workers to illegal hazardous conditions, and they volunteer the US taxpayers to pay the basic benefits for the workers and their dependents.

Don’t need to ship anyone back to Mexico.  Just catch illegal employers and stop providing state benefits.  Illegals will spontaneously return home to their families.

Report this

By Tom, April 27, 2006 at 10:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Let’s hope that out of this season of immigration debate we begin to move away from myths and toward reality.”

Marc Cooper believes that it is myth that borders can be enforced and reality that “You can only hold [a basketball under water] so long and then the pressure builds up and it pops up and bursts through somewhere else.”  He is obviously wrong on both counts.

Report this

By Social Democracy Now, April 25, 2006 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a tremendous amount of disinformation about immigration on the left, and plenty of evidence that leftwingers have been co-opted on this issue by the advocates of cheap labour capitalism.

For excellent articles on the negative impact of mass immigration in the U.S. (including keeping African-Americans down), see

http://www.cis.org/topics/wagesandpoverty.html
and
http://www.cis.org/topics/blackamericans.html

For the example of Greece, see my latest blog post, which goes into the subject in some detail:

http://www.blogigo.co.uk/socialdemocracynow/entry/56778

Report this

By Lewis, April 22, 2006 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

MEXICO,MEXICO,MEXICO This issue isn’t just Mexico how about the cubians that are crossing in boats to get here or the chinese getting on boats to get here or the philipino’s that are taking flights and hoping they dont get stopped at the airports. What about every individual who did it legally, paid the price tag and waited the years to get here. What you just tell them so sorry for the effort but thanks for the money! Reform is the way to go. If the process was streamlined and alot cheaper for those people in these poor countries Illegal immigration may not be a problem.
  My wife is a naturalized citizen. She was tring to get her sister over here but was told by ICE that the parents will have to come here first so they can petition for the siblings. To get the parents over here would cost about $85.00 dollars per petition plus the cost of the plane flight not to mention the cost obtaining all the paperwork that ICE will want on the parents end. Anyone that understand or have been to the Philippines know that keeping records was nonexistent 50 to 60 years ago so tring to find somebodys birth certificate is impossible. Without that you cannot process the paperwork so getting anybody over here does not happen. This is just for the philippines I can’t say anything for other country’s. With this in mind illegal immigration exsist. REFORM IS A MUST.
    True reform will be to reconize that not all countries keep records like we do, and not everyone has someone in the US to petition them. The cost of filing keeps rising, and to get naturalized takes more of the same paperwork and more money.
    Lets review a poor immigrant comes over here illegally and tries to make ends meet with what little pay he can come up with or try the legal way and find out that he does not have the money or resources to start the process. Keep in mind that $85.00 dollars equals to 4,388 philippine pesos, 998.4 mexican pesos. The processing fee may be less in the country the person is coming from but not much.   
    Question: Which route does he take?

Report this

By Tim Bickford, April 18, 2006 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Congress isn’t going to really do anything about illegal imigration.  We have laws now that are not enforced.  The Corporate sponsors of our supposed represenatives will only continue to pad their treasure chests as long as the Corporations continue to get what they want.

We get wild rhetoric from two polar opposites that only clouds the real issue.  The issue is that the Corporate sponsors of our represenatives have declared War on the American middle class.  They pay in order to extort an unfathomable amount of our tax money from our pockets and they always get what they want.

Our only recourse is to throw the bums out and to continue to throw them out until they stand up for the working men and women of the United States.  They need to learn that there is not enough money to keep them safe.

Report this

By Scott, April 16, 2006 at 7:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As long as corporations are allowed to cross the borders of the world in their pursuit of revenues real people should be allowed to as well.

To deny this would be akin to admitting that corporations deserve more rights than human beings.

Report this

By dannybill, April 15, 2006 at 8:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is there a database of companies known to employ undocumented workers?

Report this

By ETSpoon, April 15, 2006 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with Cassini. Illegal immigrants are this year’s “queers.” Another boogyman to rile the Republican base all through the summer and into Novemeber. I’m sure GOP strategists are counting on “angry whitemen” to keep Republcian incumbents in control of the US House and Senate.

Report this

By Cassini, April 14, 2006 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

People opposed to an amnesty program for illegal aliens are living in a dream world because most of what they propose simply ISNT going to happen realistically. get a grip will ya?

President Bush ISNT going to issue a Order to “round up” 12 million illegal aliens in the U.S. and deport them.


Congress ISNT going to pass a law that makes being in the U.S. illegally a felony.

Congress ISNT going to pass a law that makes assiting or hiring illegal aliens a felony.

12 million illegal aliens are NOT going to “volunterally” leave the U.S.

Congres ISNT going fund the building of a 700 mile wall or fence along the southern border.

Report this

By J. Treskon, April 14, 2006 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Adopt an alien (one, or a whole family)program
proposal would allow any number of immigrants into the U.S. and permit those at “odds” with the current system to put their money where their mouths are.
  Of course, adoption would be the only LEGAL vehicle for an alien wishing to enter the country.
    The adoptive party assumes ALL personal and finantial responsabitlties tied to the needs of their adopted immigrant individual or family.  This would begin with an immediate health checkup,housing, educational and employment needs for a five year period or until said immigrant passes an immigration test, and proves self sufficiency.

    Any illegal caught here thereafter without designated sponsorship would be subject to immidiate detention and deportation.
    This is nothing new…it’s been tried, and it will work. Our “problem” in this country is we keep trying to re-invent the wheel.
    And have everybody pick up the tab for other “wheel ideas”: square, triangular, etc…

Pass this thought on to your representatives.  It’s so simple, maybe even they’ll get it…

Reguards, J.T.

Report this

By John Treskon, April 14, 2006 at 10:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting forum.
    My personal observations on the immigration issue (amongst others…)leads me to conclude the citizens on all sides of the political debate are in such finger pointing dissarray nothing will change.
    Our representatives in both houses know this,and probably even enjoy it in their own perverse way.  This was a big issue in 1986 after the last “amnesty” debacle,when all manner of assurrances (read “promises..”) were made and fundamental funding to keep them ignored.
    It’s a good trick on the part of our so-called reps. Skilled in the art of hand wringing, second hand smoke blowing, and bogus promise making-in addition to expert “spring break taking.” The real “concern” there is all about power and re-election folks.  Thats it!
    Bottom line is that the citizens in vast
majority want that boarder shut down NOW. Their response to this would be the same as a doctor treating his emergency patient for a bruise on his arm before stopping the severed feoral artery bleeding from the leg.
  Most of our representatives (on either side of this “debate”) act like their constituants out here are truly stupid, and suffer from attention deficite disorder.  From what I can see thus far, they appear right.
    Failure to keep an oath of office, and derelection of duty however are criminal (notice I didn’t use the term “boarderline”)offences for which us citizens are now paying in every aspect of daily life-from risk of disease, crime, and expense across the board.  Never mind loss of life on 9/11, try multiples of that since-directly due to congressional negligence on the matter of funding to secure the boarder.
    Time for us to get our act together folks because the rest of the world thinks we’re stuck on stupid on this one.

Reguards to all citizens, J. Treskon

Report this

By Lory Ruiz, April 14, 2006 at 6:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It seems very clear that there are many talking about reforms and about what should be done, but when in reality they aren’t even credible. How can anyone judge an immigrant without knowing their story or truly understanding the issues at heart. There are a multitude of resources available as to where to inform yourself but more than anything its a race and discrimination issue. I am an avid supporter of the Kennedy plan for immigration reform because it is the most feasible. Many are judging but more than anything it is out of ignorance, not education.

Report this

By Jack Dunn, April 13, 2006 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

NO Mexican is ever “illegal” in any of the territory STOLEN form Mexico.

Report this

By Alfred L. Anduze, MD, April 10, 2006 at 3:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Quit complaining about immigration and make the US stop causing it.  This is just another smole screen to take your minds off the illegal war in Iraq ( and elsewhere).  Corporate America rules!

Report this

By selfruled, April 9, 2006 at 7:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #5370 by Todd on 3/16 at 1:26 pm

HEY TODD, I JUST COULDN’T KEEP MYSELF FROM POSTING YOUR VERY SAME COMMENT WITH A FEW KEY CHANGES; JUST IMAGINE A MEXICAN IS TALKING OH! SAY, AROUND THE MIDDLE OF THE 19TH CENTURY…

Comment #5370 by Todd on 3/16 at 1:26 pm

“Your analysis is dreadfully incomplete without a consideration of the long term consequences of mass migration INTO TEXAS.  THAT is the primary concern of most opposed to liberalized COLONIZATION.  Are we setting ourselves up for war 10 TO 20 years from now?  Can TEXAN immigrants be successfully integrated into MEXICAN culture? 

Are we essentially allowing a colonization of our country by a neighboring state that may or may not be friendly down the road”?

YEP, THE MEXICAN MADE THAT MISTAKE MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS AGO AND IT COST THEM HALF THEIR COUNTRY… I REALLY DON’T SEE WHY SOME OF YOU ARE SO SURPRISED THAT THEY WOULD BE INTERESTED IN TAKING BACK WHAT WAS RIGHTFULLY THEIRS…

Report this

By Diana Wilson, April 9, 2006 at 3:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is more than “illegal aliens” coming across the border for a job and to support their families. Mexicans especially, believe the US’ land was stolen from them, and want it back. The truth is Mexico was a collection of “Indian” tribes,” who fought and killed each other over territory. And Mexico has been ruled by at least 7 different countries including Spain…

Historically, Mexicans have never had the right to vote until just recently in their history, and remain a country so corrupt and divided, that it is almost impossible for someone to make a decent living. Ergo, this is why Mexicans use the excuse that they want the successful “Norte” back to reacquire that which they never had, but in their delusions and excuses think they did.

Mexicans would like to be one a powerful race of people, ala “La Raza,” hence their organizational efforts to acquire by illegal immigration, and political de facto domination, two-thirds of the United States they think belongs to them. Its not going to happen.

Deep in our American psyche and “guts” we see Mexico, and its poverty, and corrupt politicians as something we do not want inside our borders. We have enough problems with home-grown corruption without adopting wholesale 12-20 million people.

It is “myth” to think that just because any illegal alien, or an immigrant can step across a border, and somehow magically lose the corrupt, disabling attitudes that destroyed their country in the first place.

It takes generations of educated and concerted vigilance to behave in a civilized, democracy…of which the US is constantly re-defining and is at times losing it’s way. Ergo, why would the US then acquire permanently some 12-20 million illegals who do not inherently have many clues about what the process of democracy is, as shown by the fact that Mexicans systematically wave the Mexican flag (and symbolically their values) inside the US’ borders.

Like it or not, all of the 12-20 million and their children need to be deported now. There are borders, or “barriers” around your home, your schools, the local store, and buildings to provide protection from those who wish to tresspass illegally, and do harm. Borders and barriers exist for a reason. The very fact that 12-20 million people would commit illegal acts and cross barriers and borders “illegally,” indicates a mind-set that no one’s borders, not their home, their school, or other barriers or “laws” are worth respecting.

Illegal aliens cross other barriers…they use illegal social security cards, acquire illegal tax refunds, in some states nearly 30% of the prison populations are illegal aliens. When one is “illegal” then nothing legal deserves respect.

Deport them all now. Now how to do this? Pay “bounty hunters” and “bail bond agents” $1000 a head to find and process them for their legal status, and deport them. Fine all employers $10,000 a day for hiring them. Mechanize agriculture as has Europe. Cut all funding off for illegal aliens and their children…including public education, public health services, and public welfare for “anchor” babies.

Note: Illegal aliens who birth “anchor” babies inside the US are paid more than $1000 per child. Many illegals have 1-3 children born in the USA for which they are then given $3000 a month, including food stamps, payments for utilities, transportation, training, and free medical care.

I conjecture that within 3 years there will be very few illegal aliens in this country. By the way, if I “illegally” entered Mexico, I would be immediately arrested, put in a filthy jail, and my family would have to pay thousands of dollars for my release and deportation.

Report this

By J T Burns, April 8, 2006 at 9:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

From The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

This was once the American Ideal.

Report this

By J T Burns, April 8, 2006 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

From The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus

This was once the American Ideal!

Report this

By Michael, April 8, 2006 at 9:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So, after all that verbiage, I still am not getting the part about myths and denial, except the sloganeering part of myths and denial.  Is that what it takes to be a Senior Fellow for Border Justice?
Or a finely-honed ability to name-call and hold opinions?    I did love the quote from the Resuaurant Assoc. head: it is like a thief justifying his thefts—But, I’d be poor if I didn’t steal!

Report this

By Pat Johnson, April 7, 2006 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We fought a bloody awful civil war over slavery once already.

Report this

By jmkoch, April 6, 2006 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Jobs that exist only because of illegal labor should not exist.  Americans should take care of their own underpaid and underemployed people before they import others.  And we can be helpful to our neighbors without having to abandon the meaning of citizenship.

Illegal immigration exists BECAUSE it is illegal.  Think about it.  All the penalties fall on the laborers, not their employers.  People without recourse to law and who fear deportation will work long hours for low wages, forget about insurance or benefits.  This drives down wages and eliminates need to comply with many regulations.  Illegals enable businesses and domestic employers to circumvent the 13th Ammendment.

A “guest worker” program leaves the situation nearly the same.  It removes the (largely hypothetical) hazard of penalties to the employer, while affording a labor pool indentured to the employer and still costs below domestic standards.  If registration is a hassle, employers can still recruit fresh illegals.

The status quo favors the “haves” the most, the illegals only marginally, the mass of citiziens little at all, and hurts the domestic poor.  It raises the numbers of poor competing for the same jobs and social benefits, setting the hurdle rate at whatever the most desperate person will accept.  It bankrupts local governments without the tax base to pay for services.  It also favors ethnic jealousies and ugly associated beliefs, such as that the solution is to arrest “those people.”

Manual and service wages are at record lows, in real terms.  They do not support a family, displace domestic labor, and consequently push down the market rate for retail and transportation sector wages.  US trucking firms now advertise “reclutamos choferes de carga pesada,” and a license issued anywhere in NAFTA will do. 

All this would be fine, were there a ladder out of poverty for the domestic workers (including Hispanics).  Three problems: 1) most absolute job growth through 2020 will be in the low skilled areas, 2) computers and offshoring reduce the white collar sector potential, and 3) not all people can aim to be options traders, NBA players, or eye surgeons.  There may be some “rags to riches” stories, but not enough.

There is a way to reduce persecution of “indocumentados”, reduce deaths and “coyote” traffic on the border, and raise wages both in Mexico and the USA.  First, have the IRS eliminate deductibility of wage expenses for employers whose worker IDs don’t match up against bona fide tax returns, or charge them a comensurate “schools and hospitals” tax.  Second, give “indocumentados” a “safe harbor” means to denounce employers who cheat, exploit, or endanger their workers.  Third, buy more goods from Mexico and fewer from China.  Why treat Communist, atheistic, Iran-friendly China any differently form Cuba?  Finally, build a fence.  It will cost less than the absurd sound barriers now built along the superhighways of wealthy suburbs.  It will also elminate deaths caused by the present incentive to cross the border in desolate areas.

The market for illegal labor would diminish.  Wages for manual, blue collar, and entry level jobs would rise.  Existing immigrants could penalize “patrones buitres,” get higher pay, and eventually apply for citizenship.  The US would import less poverty.  Maquila and agricultural jobs in Mexico would recover.  And Border Patrol could be replaced by a much smaller Border Rescue and Chapa-coyotes Squad.

These measures would be much less phoney, cruel, or hypocritical than the others being bandied in the House and Senate.

Report this

By D.H.Fabian, April 5, 2006 at 7:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The solution: Impose VERY substantial
fines on employers, not for hiring unregistered aliens, but for paying less than the legal minimum wage.  Enforce equal pay for equal work.  This would eliminate the incentive to exploit immigrant labor.

Report this

By Glenn Gannaway, April 5, 2006 at 8:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As is typical in what passes for “debate” in the United States, no one cares to mention who or what is actually driving the immigration “debate.” It’s not like your average citizens, save a few ranchers in New Mexico, have been taking to street-corner soapboxes demanding an immigration fix. This is similar to the run-up to the invasion of Iraq: to my recollection, there were no mass demonstrations of ordinary folks before March 2003 demanding that we “bomb Iraq now.” The debate was generated and largely confined to people in power.

Now, what’s driving the immigration “debate?” Why, power, obviously. Once we recognize this fact, we can go on to the question of why power wants an immigration debate now and what power will gain from its self-generated solution to the debate.

Americans need to start discovering something about the nature of power. If they were to do so, then we might see the beginnings of an authentic debate.

Report this

By Hilding Lindquist, April 5, 2006 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To repeat my mantra: illegal immigration is a labor issue.

Allowing a “class (ification)” of workers to work without the protection of our fair labor standards (laws) is creating a form of slavery. We all know what our response should be to employers who use this form of labor: these employers should be charged with their crimes. What are we thinking to allow this to happen in our nation of immigrants?

And in these times we need secure borders. What is so hard to understand about that? But I think the enforcement of our labor laws would do the most to secure our borders. Then we would know that those who are trying to sneak in, probably are the bad people. In my mind it’s kind of a “Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?” kind of question.

How we identify workers who are citizens and those who aren’t once inside our borders is part of the mix ... put the most important part is having our fair labor standards (laws) apply to ALL our workers. If fear of being deported allows employers to abuse their workers then we have to make some adjustments based on human rights ... you know, those inalienable rights given to ALL.

C’mon, folks, “we the people” rule ... look it up.

Report this

By Carlos, April 2, 2006 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illegal?  The point is they shouldn’t be illegal.  The LAW is wrong.  At one point it was illegal for slaves to escape from their masters, were we to condemn them for their lawlessness without examining the racism and evil of the law itself?

Open the borders now and I guarantee there will be no crisis, except the ones already being exacerbated by the billions of tax dollars going to an unecessary war in Iraq and all the tax breaks for the rich.  We ought to deport the executives at Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, and General Electric.

Report this

By joe scalise, April 2, 2006 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The bottom line to this whole debate is that illegal aliens are just that “illegal”. If we can rationalize illegal behavior at our borders then we can start rationalize a continuance of the same type of behavior within our country.
We must protect our borders against all illegal entry to protect our job market as well as our homeland against terrorism. We don’t need a great wall.  We need use to the military to secure our borders with the threat of lethal force. Once we stop the illegal wave and start a program of cleansing our country of illegals then we force Mexico to begin to level their own playing field.  America must start worrying about the legitamate American workforce and level our playing field. America is not the stewart of the world. Humanitarianism. like charity, begins at home.

Report this

By Benjamin Melançon, March 29, 2006 at 7:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marc left out, and only one comment mentioned, reducing the push/pull of poverty/marginal employment in the U.S. by reducing poverty in Mexico and elsewhere.

Another comment made the case that Mexico’s problem may be more inequality and corruption than a poor economy.  So step one in immigration reform is for the United States to stop propping up rightwing oligarchies and dictatorships (see Haiti), and constantly seeking to undermine any leftward (that is, beneficial to the poor majority) political movement whatsoever.

In Mexico that elite corruption is of course cross-border, so cracking down on Citibank’s involvement in the corruption (Citibank bought Banamex) would certainly help.  Of course, if U.S. politics reaches that point we’ll also finally be at the point where we could present a model of honest and open democracy.

The minimum wage is a backwards way to go about things, though.  Why do people work at insulting and dangerously low wages?  Because they have no money.  Modest global redistribution of wealth (4% a year, compared to the wealthy used to their millions growing by 15% or more) would probably completely eliminate the need for existing minimum wage laws.  The redistribution would go directly to people, not governments.  Even passing on to individual people worldwide the new fines assessing polluters the cost of their contributions to global warming would have a huge positive impact on their lives and the economy.  And because it would move money from rich regions (disproportionately polluting) to poor (disproportionately facing the costs of pollution) it would reduce the push for immigration.

To recap:

* Building walls and military-style surveillance that cause people to die: very bad.
* Creating a class of slave-like citizens with no rights: very bad for all of us, because that drives down conditions and wages for everyone.
* Reducing the “pull” by cracking down on employers: good.
* Reducing the “push” by adopting policies that are a matter of justice in any case: very good.

For rock-solid coverage of Mexico’s politics “from below and to the left” read the Narco News Bulletin (“reporting on the drug war and democracy from Latin America”).

Report this

By Mario Gallardo, March 29, 2006 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ok,.  please excuse my english.
I came from Mexico three years ago,i’m 24,my wife 23, and i have two little kids,one is a new born,both citizens.me and my wife are “illegal”.
I Came here because the situacion in Mexico is desastrous,I was studying Graphic Design but i couldn’t pay the scholarship, now i’ve been working from wendys to roofing trying to keep up the bad weather here,and here the situation is bad ,not as bad as down there but i got some things to say.

I love this country, it is not mine but since i was a child, i grew up with Metallica and the eagles,I watched MTV ,directv,learned english(poquito),and learned about the politic system of this country,it’s powerful, and compasionate,.
this country is so international that if you go to the most poor country on this world you will see T-shirts of new york.

The problem is that america wants to rule the world but wants to stay apart of it,just like it
did to the american native people,afro-americans,or whoever.,it is not possible to stay “pure”,especially when you are using that people to your advantage,soner or later you are going to mix .
America is a capitalist country ,“money ” is the most important thing for it’s goverment,with money it can do whatever it wants to do,the immigration problem is just a consecuence of it,being the most rich on the world ,it needs to depend in some kind of slavery,just like rome,or other ancient civilization,but it’s people, the white people, are just privileged,except those who are lost in some kind of vice,or are felons,ex-convicts, or simply not educated enough
the ones that are forced to work hard.
where i work ,(i’m an iron worker),it’s full of that kind of people hire, they fire,they just can’t wake up at 5.00 o’clock in the morning,or can’t pass a drug screening ,or are in jail,and those are the kind of peple that hate us the most.not the microsoft engineer,or the ups driver.
Im a hard working guy,and where i work nobody suspects i’m an illegal,and like me are thousands,who are your neighbors,maybe a friend of yours is ,and you don’t know it,it is not 12 million people, it’s more ,much more,we are part of this country legally or not,there is no way we could have gotten here legally anyways,mexico is banned from your residency lottery thing,so is not like we did it illegally because we wanted to,there are people that really needs a job,not like the people who just wants to live here for pleasure and can do it legally.
America is what it is in part because it’s immigrants,russians,japanesse,chinesse,mexicans, etc,,.all of this immigrants have helped on one way or another to make this the super nation it is today,and if america turns down the immigrant it will suffer,we will be asking from terrorism from all corners of the world.
Mexico economics was ruined because u.s wanted to,it has had great influence over it ,Mexico was in a great path until the PRI party (influenced by u.s goverment)stole the country,and burocrats,corupt people took the power,so don’t blame mexico on it, black ops,to convert it on a poor country ,politically and socially, just like south america,so america didn’t have a treat down the south to keep an eye for,.
we will have to re-think beyond a wall ,learn from the mistakes from others ,and think that the open trade , NAFTA,WTO, new world order (as the back of your 1 dollar bill says)it’s going TO REALLY BE A NEW ORLD ORDER,wheremaybe you are not gonna like it ,but we all going to see like it or not,Because the rich is richer than before and they are the ones runing this country and mexico too,and all the world ,they probably are hoping that we destroy each other so they don’t have to do it themselves.

Report this

By Roger, March 24, 2006 at 7:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Further restrictions on immigration will have many predictable and unpredictable consequences.  Among the predictable are increased agricultural prices for all, the impact of which will more severe as one goes down the income scale.  Another is that mechanization of agriculture, already going at a good pace, will be accelerated.  Both of the preceding will lead to more agricultural imports.

If the reason for restrictions is to provide more jobs for Americans, whatever slight short term gains there may be will disappear long term.  If the reason is to reduce Mexican immigration, a better policy would be to end agribusiness subsidies.  That would make farming in Mexico more competitive and provide more jobs south of the border, where agriculture is less mechanized.  Another would be to end the “war” on drugs which has a corrupting and de-stabilizing effect on the Mexican economy and on our own, as well.  To the extent that Mexico benefits, we all benefit.

Report this

By Jim Freeley (Local 300 NPMHU) Retired, March 19, 2006 at 8:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One of the better conversations I have seen about this highly volatile issue. A couple of points that should be further considered (some of which have already been briefly alluded to).
On the “fence” what would this do to us? Do we really want the history books to show a wall topped with barbed wire as our legacy? Shame on us!
A point that I have not yet seen fully developed, assuming the accuracy of 12 million undocumentable residents currently being here, and also assuming an unemployment rate similar to the one put out by the DOL (laying aside for this argument the question of their veracity}, there are 11,400,000 members of this population working. Are they all working off the books as day laborers as gardeners, construction workers etc? We talk about them being a drag on the economy, and if the small business owners who employ them don’t follow the law then who is to blame? I suspect that many of these workers are employed by larger organizations who withold at least Social Security taxes and disability insurance. I believe that the problem of them receiving more services than an area can supply, medical etc. is local rather than national. For example in the midwest their are many of these workers employed at meat packing plants. I would hazard a guess that these companies supply medical insurance and that the problem is not the same as in certain agricultural areas. can anyone comment? There is much more to say but these are my observations for today.

Report this

By raj, March 19, 2006 at 6:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Tom Grey - Liberty Dad on 3/15 at 3:03 am

Dems are so full of Bush-hate…

I do believe you are projecting too much.  I guess you didn’t hear what the Republicans were saying about Clinton in the 1990s. 

Hate?  You bet.

Report this

By Alan Limesand, March 18, 2006 at 11:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is in response to the Americanist. I worked as an immigration inspector from 1996-2000 and as an immigration adjudicator(reviewing legal residency and citizenship applications) from 2000-2002.

The U.S. government allowed legal residents(people with green cards) to sponsor their spouses to immigrate to the U.S. when I worked for the I.N.S. I assume they still do, since I am not aware of any new major immigration legislation being enacted since 1996.

People who have been sponsored by a legal resident spouse have to wait for a visa to become available before they are allowed to immigrate. How long the recipient has to wait depends on the nationality of the prospective immigrant because it varies per county.

If the legal resident becomes a U.S. citizen, there is a visa available immediately for the spouse to immigrate.

The claim that a legal resident cannot leave the U.S. for more than 6 months is simply not true. The legal resident can leave for up to a year without government approval. If the legal resident leaves for more than a year, the person is required to apply for a re-entry permit. With the re-entry permit, the immigrant is not supposed to leave the U.S. for more than two years.

It is true that when an immigrant applies for U.S. citizenship, he or she is supposed to have been in the U.S. for at least 50 percent of the time that he/she was a legal resident, but that is a reasonable requirement.

I did leave the I.N.S.(which no longer exists) almost 4 years ago, but I doubt if the rules regarding these issues have changed.

Report this

By George S. Semsel, March 18, 2006 at 3:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The problem is not illegal immigrants. The problem is that they are hired by legal residents. Instead of going after the immigrants, we should be going after those who hire them. They are the real problem.

Report this

By leftjab, March 18, 2006 at 11:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Look,
This is bigger than just illegal immigration,it’s not about a few people loosing their livelihood’s the browning of the U.S.. It is about the reality that hits a working person when they are laid off because Mexico or some other country has allowed Greedy,unethical money worshipping Companies to move plants and production to those places so they can work the people like slaves and then have the rest of the business community demand even more cheap labor from these same countries by allowing unchecked border crossings I guess so they can keep a closer eye on them and keep the rest of us looking over our shoulders.

We wouldn’t even be having this debate if border and immigration laws were enforced with real consequences to those that come here illegally and those that hire these folks.This will never happen in my lifetime but even the enablers of our present ruinous policies must also be punished. From the priests and lay people( I am a Catholic),of all stripes had to perform community service on those whose lives have been forever changed due to the importation of illegal workers maybe their blinders would come off.Where is the compassion for their own?The politicians are untouchable because once they leave office they go to work for the same businesses as lobbyists that they were in bed with to begin with.Mr. Cooper your attitude is like many of those whose careers or lively hoods remain immune to the same forces that sell our piece of the American Dream to the lowest bidder. That’s the kind of capitalism we have chosen you say? I don’t remember ANYONE ASKING ME OR ANY OTHER POOR WORKING SLOB IF YOUR VISION OF CAPITALISM IS THE VISION WE DREAM OF!.It is NOT RACISM TO WANT TO PROTECT HEARTH AND HOME NOR IS IT RACISM THAT DRIVES MOST OF US ON THE ISSUE OF IMIGRATION. Your forebears might have sneaked in illegally but I remember a place called Ellis Island that processed millions of refugees,from the effects of the potato famine to refugees of other calamaties.BUT! They had to meet certain criteria before being allowed in this country.I.E learning the english language,learning the system of government and it’s branches,forever pledge allegiance to our country and renounce theirs and being tested on their knowledge of our system. They also had to be decent,desease free, without criminal records etc.. None of this is present in our friends from across the border. The millions from Ellis Island were starving in their home country or oppressed in some way or another and came here to the U.S. LEGALLY!.One of the main points of this discussion that you smooth over or dismiss as racist.What arrogance!What a condescending knucklehead you are.Maybe if you will just DUMB DOWN YOUR MAIN POINTS WE IGNERTS MITE JIST GIT IT AND GIT WITH THE PROGRAMME.MORE POWER TO THE RICH! MAY THEY REIGN UNCHECKED FOREVER! MAY THEY CONSOLIDATE THEIR POWER AND INFLUENCE TO THE POINT THAT ALL THOSE LOOSE GUNS THAT MANY AMERICANS OWN ARE FINALLY TURNED ON THEIR TORMENTERS TILL THIS GOVERNMENT AND ITS INSTITUTIONS BECOME THE PROPERTY OF THE PEOPLE AND RIGHTLY OR WRONGLY CAN MAKE THE COLLECTIVE CHOICES THAT IMPACT OUR LIVES FOR A CHANGE AND NOT THE BOTTOM LINE OF BUSINESS.There is room in this country for most anyone that has something constructive to add to the general welfare of the U.S. and its many diverse peoples but, legions(and most would agree millions are legion)of unneeded workers that drive down wages and the standard of living to slave or indentured servitude wages is just not gonna fly.One more thing sir, most folks believe that fresh produce is good for you right?A couple pieces a day is fine. Well imagine someone expected to eat millions of pieces of fruit at one time or in a few years at the most.It would almost certainly kill the person and I believe the same analogy applies to countries.It has nothing to do with race, it is just common sense.I don’t see brokerage firms skimming to bottom of the barrel to fill their positions, why should the manufacturing,building crafts, you name it. Be forced to give up a good well trained highly motivated working class to the illegal with little or no skills? If you really believe in what you write then meet a Honduran or any other Latino at the border and give them your job and the jobs of those that feel as you do. Leave the rest of us the hell alone.All we want to do is live and not just survive.I guess that is just too much to ask.

Report this

By W. White, March 18, 2006 at 9:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A young man leaves his wife and children, and parents and friends and familiar surroundings, risks degrading treatment or worse, to work at a menial job in order to survive. To us citizens of the most moral nation on earth, sitting in church on a Sunday, the conditions compelling such a drastic move must be uncomfortable to contemplate. But what if, in addition, we ourselves are complicit in creating such conditions in the first place, should that not then be factored into the debate about illegal immigration from south of our border?

For a thoughtful answer, one needs look no further than Professor Howard Zinn’s recent article in Truthout.com. There, cleanly documented for our easy reading, Prof. Zinn lists the deliberate policies of multiple administrations in the past few decades, to subvert civil society, corrupt public officials, kill and torture, for the financial benefits of a small clique of powerful people. These include some of the most prominent names: Bush, Dulles, Cisneros (Univision).

As for the rest of us, we looked away as official Washington did its worse in our name, our most salient imagery of people from south of the border being provided by silent, sullen farm laborers, funny speaking gardeners, and Charleston Heston painted brown.

Report this

By dixychik, March 17, 2006 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

>>‘It’s obvious that this is a deeply emotional subject, a sort of “sleeper” issue always simmering just below the surface of national and local politics. And as I said at the top of my piece, it’s one weighted down with mythology, anger and resentment.’

Are you insane? Estimates are between 11 million and TWENTY MILLION illegals inside this country right now. Having babies. And more babies. If you do something ILLEGAL what happens? You get fined or jailed. Right now, if you wear an anti-bush t-shirt you can go to jail. The only thing that is weighted down is the drag on the economy and the hospitals and the schools and everything else thanks to MILLIONS of people who are BREAKING THE LAW and the employers who are BREAKING THE LAW by hiring them. They are working in new house construction in Kentucky ... not cleaning hotel toilets on the border. They are working tobacco farms and then moving on to the next place and nobody knows what they are, who they are, if they are dangerous, or what. I am a Democrat, and I say they need to GET OUT. Deport every last one of them and drop them on their president’s lawn and hand him the bill for their medical and educational expenses, as well as transportation back to their own country. Then bring the National Guard home (after all the NATIONAL Guard is supposed to guard the NATION, not Iraq), and put them on the border and dare them to step over it.

How many more would you like to let in? TWENTY MILLION people sneaking around in the shadows is not a national security threat? Possibly the most insane law on the books is the one that makes anyone born on this soil to someone who is breaking the law an automatic citizen. They denied the people in New Orleans and other places in the Gulf trailers to live in, but somehow they accomodated illegals to take jobs that the people stranded all over the country WOULD have taken if they had a place to live. We have laws to become a legal citizen and limits on how many can immigrate legally each year. Legal citizens get arrested if they break the law, and yet thousands of illegals BREAKING THE LAW, some of whom have been here illegally for YEARS, brazenly get out in the streets and demand their RIGHTS???? Talk about delusional.

I used to be one of those who felt sorry for people risking their lives to come here to escape hardship, but I don’t have enough sympathy to go around anymore for TWENTY MILLION people breaking the law and pouring in through the borders like they are going to Disneyworld.

I want MY rights back, and I want my country back. And I am sick and tired of people defending this mass influx of people breaking the law so that mega-bucks corporations can hire slave labor and get out of paying benefits. Americans will take those jobs if they get a living wage and some benefits. And if the employers are punished for illegally hiring people who are breaking the law, they will have to pay a decent wage and give benefits and that’s just too bad. It breaks my heart that the CEOs will have to give up one of their vacation mansions.

Furthermore, if bush keeps cutting funds for education and outsourcing all the jobs, there will be a lot more legal citizens available for manual labor.

Report this

By perroazul del norte, March 17, 2006 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mexico is not a poor country. Most of the world’s people are far poorer than the Mexicans. There is, therefore, no reason to give special immigration preference to Mexico.
http://www.limitstogrowth.org/WEB-text/mexicoisrich.html
(...)
  Mexico has the second-highest highest Gross Domestic Product in Latin America, after being #1 for several years over second-place Brazil.

•  When measured in GDP per capita, Mexico ranks #1 as of 2005, ahead of Chile and Venezuela.

•  According to Forbes magazine, a substantial proportion of Latin American billionaires, 10 out of 26, were Mexican as of 2005.

•  Mexico raises less revenue through taxation than nearly any other Latin American country, just 12 percent which is one reason why the nation’s wealth is not better utilized. By comparison, the United States takes in 25-28 percent of its gross domestic profit in taxes. Even Brazil taxes itself at twice the Mexican rate.

•  Economist Gary Hufbauer of the Institute for International Economics has remarked, “It’s up to Mexico to solve its problem, and basically the wealthy classes do not want to tax themselves, period. While I’m not usually an advocate for larger government, Mexico is a country where public investment, done wisely, could pay huge dividends.”

(...)

•  Mexico’s economy is the world’s tenth largest.

•  When the ruling party needed a hefty sum for the 1994 election, Presidente Salinas leaned on a group of rich businessmen to write $25 million checks each at an infamous dinner party, where contributions totaled a staggering $750 million by evening’s end. Compare that with the measly $150 million campaign chest in spring 2004 that President Bush had accumulated after three years in office.

•  Freedom House notes the cost of corruption: “According a recent study by the Mexico chapter of Transparency International, some $2.3 billion-approximately 1 percent-of the country’s economic production goes to officials in bribes, with the poorest families paying nearly 14 percent of their income in bribes.”

•  Ricas y Famosas — Rich and Famous is a book of photos that takes a peek at the hidden world of the Mexican ultra-rich. Photographer Daniela Rossell used her membership in the exclusive club to reveal the decadent lifestyles of blonde women in gold lamé. It is a shocking view of the most extreme ostentatious wealth among great poverty.

•  Sure Things in Mexico: Death, Taxes and Evasion
According the recent rankings released from the IMD International, the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development placed Mexico at 56 out of 60 economies examined, largely because of a dearth of investment in everything from infrastructure to education. Due to its pathetic tax collection, Mexico cannot even buy schoolbooks or pay its police enough to live on, much less invest in its future.
(...)

Report this

By perroazul del norte, March 17, 2006 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“In 1992, about 1.2 million “deportable aliens” were “apprehended” along the southwestern border by the Border Patrol, according to the official statistics published by the Department of Homeland Security.  A dozen years and billions of dollars later, in 2004 a virtually identical number of illegal aliens were nabbed along the same border. In the intervening years, the number fluctuated from about 1.6 million to just under a million.”
Yeah, but if they are Mexicans they are simply sent back across the border and they try again the next day. If they are OTMs(Other than Mexicans) they have been, at least until very recently, released into the US with a meaningless piece of paper giving them an appointment date for a hearing- something they can safely ignore.

Report this

By RonRanft, March 17, 2006 at 11:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When I was a kid I lived on a farm. That was in the late 50’s early 60’s. Most of the permanent workers on the farm were white and all were citizens. The harvesting of crops, sorting, packing, all of those jobs were done my migrant workers. People who followed the crops around the country. They were mostly white and all of them were citizens. They drove fairly new cars and stayed in motels and seemed to make a fairly good living. With the introduction of the bracero program all of those people were rapidly replaced with Mexicans at a far cheaper wage.

Two years ago I did a project on a local farm and I was provided with a series of laborers, all illegals. They were expected to work 10 hour days at $7.25 and hour with no benefits. The farm owners did not pay for them because it is illegal to hire illegals. Instead, they contracted with a Labor company that provides workers. The owners of the company are illegals themselves or they are former illegals that became legal through the last amnesty and they know how to work the system. Many of the large agribusiness’s have farms on both sides of the border. They bring their workers from Mexico across into the US to work their farms here.

I know people who have applied to work in the fields, drive tractors, do irrigation. They were turned done. So this crap about illegals doing jobs that Americans won’t is just so much rhetoric, mostly framed on a racial basis. I saw the same thing happen in the construction business. Houses haven’t gotten cheaper for all the cheap labor. The construction is of poorer quality and the profit is greater.

The irony is that illegals came to this country for cheap wages. Then they started pushing to form unions because the wages they agreed to work for were to low. They formed the UFW. Now the UFW is fighting the increase in illegals because it is driving their wages down. All the while, citizens of the US are loosing their jobs, their cultures, and their vote is being maginalized because of all the new citizens that are made everytime there is another amnesty.

We have a process by which people can become citizens legally. This allowing illegals to come to this country from anywhere and destroy our way of life is absurd. I see that with the new debt ceiling increase that every American now owes the Government $30,000. Does that also include the illegals? Will they pay their fare share or will they run home when it is due?

Report this

By Marc Cooper, March 17, 2006 at 11:18 am Link to this comment

With all due respect, this previous comment is really absurd. Apart from the overwhelming anecdotal evidence, it is clear from every academic survey that Mexican immigrants assimilate with all of the same speed that your previous family has.

I am not among those who believe that one is rascist because one opposes illegal or even legal immigration. But I do believe the sentiments expressed below are blatantly racist.

Do you really think that the Italian, Irish, German, Swedish, and Slavic immigrants who came here last century did not form their own clubs, cultural associations etc? Have you ever been to as Knights of Columbus Hall?

Are you offended that today we are celebrating the very foreign and very Irish Saint Patrick’s Day? Is this not a blatant celebration of the customs and culture of an ethnic immigrant minority in the U.S.? And one based on drinking, no less!

Would you be equally sanguine about a national celebration of Cinco De Mayo in which everyone wore Mexican colors and drank green Corona? What’s the difference, except for skin color and language? Erin go Braugh! Viva Mexico!

Report this

By leftjab, March 17, 2006 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Cooper,
Once more I will do my best to explain the problem of the plague of low skilled,uneducated,passive,(on the surface)people with little or no allegiance to our country,way of life and our immigration laws etc…They are at best a nuisance and at worst a time bomb waiting to blow.I live in Texas which is a border state to Mexico.Our country decided awhile back to annex about a third or so of Mexico under the slimmest of pretexts.I have lived with,eaten and enjoyed the food,company of these folks and talked with those able to speak passable english, or a enterpreter about their concerns for years as I have a fascination for other cultures and peoples.I will tell you that when I reached a point to where they trusted me enough to voice my concerns about the lost jobs of Americans and whose country held their allegiance?, 90+ percent told me without reservation Mexico was the only coutry that they cared for when it came to economics,allegiance and had no real interest in citizenship other than the economic benefits it afforded them.They were in fact interested in our politics as they saw this as another tool to reclaim their territory and influence.They wanted children in this country because at the time they(the parents) could stay since citizenship for the child was automatic.When I told them that I sympathized with them needing a better life but that I must consider Americans first.That they might be deported if caught,back to Mexico.They laughed and told me that they were in Mexico{because Texas,California and the border states were stolen territory so, they felt like they were coming home.How are we to deal with that problem?Our country’s sin is not forgotten and deeply ingrained in the Mexican mind and culture.I was talking with a nice fellow that made these points which I believed to be nonsense at the time but have come back to haunt me.“you Gringos cannot keep us out, we will always find a way to get in. We’ll simply move back and reclaim what was taken from us without us firing a shot”.I invite you sir to visit any border state’s sizable city and the light bulb in your head will blaze!I hold no degree and only earned 18 college credit hrs.Even so I could see the writing on the wall and changed from construction plumbing to repair plumbing.They hadn’t made inroads into that yet as it involved testing and liscensing and a great deal of practical experience.ALL of the other trades were only plyed by Mexicans by that time, worked for a gringo boss.They then learned the trades,underbid the greedy or stupid boss and gave him or her the boot.The employers of the time just needed American plumbers to do the work.I worked at plumbing as a trade for 29 yrs.for one reason.The old timers told me that even during the great depression, their families did o.k. Money was tight but, folks did a lot of bartering.I.E. the butcher paid with meat etc.. and the plumbers survived and some thrived.I thought"if a trade can survive one of America’s worst times with tens of millions thrown out of work, well I’ll hitch my star to that wagon”. Wrong.Things went well for about the first 9 yrs and then waves of Mexicans began to cross over.At the time, Houston wasn’t half the size it is today.Work was plentiful for those years and there was even insurance at small companies.Again, I saw firsthand the early effects of the greed of the builders and contractors. What was essentially a American workforce of all colors but real natural born Texans and a few northerners got the job done and done quite well with living wages,health insurance and even a paid week of vacation a yr in a non union state.Then disaster hit.In as little as two yrs time I witnessed the systematic replacement of the concrete people,the painters,tilemen,land scapers, roofers,cabinet men,heavy machine operators,carpenters and the brick layers.The electricians and the plumbers felt more secure as we discussed the demise of jobs that paid well but not great. Enough to pay for a simple lifestyle that included an occasional movie and dinner with the wife,a used truck and a modest one bedroom apt+utilities.We even fished sometimes off the piers in Galveston and Freeport.This was circa 1976 or so.Why did these jobs that supported Americans have to go to the (illegal mexican immigrants).Now I used to blame the owners of the companies alone for this killing off of a large part of the lower middle class, but upon further reflection I feel that the Mexican government,our local(espescially our local government)the inspecters from all the trades for enabling this job grab.Now we as a country are expected to absorb untold millions more of some of the most desperate,primitives the other countries can hand off to us.Why do europeans with real skills,engineers,doctors,scientists etc… have to wait years for permission to come here and contribute to our country’s talent pool while these bottom of the barrel folks(no slur intended) be allowed to work and live here with impunity?It is time for a revolution in this country but not the touchy feely kind most bloggers seem to dream about.I’m talking mass protests across the country with all types of civil disobedience along the French or British or even the German model.The governments there fear the people not the other way around.I read somewhere that a famous American was quoted as saying"WHEN THE LAWS(GOVERNMENT) ARE UNJUST, THE ONLY PLACE FOR A JUST MAN IS PRISON.“IBELIEVE IT IS WAY PAST TIME TO MAN THE BARRACADES AND TAKE TO THE STREETS TO GET THE POINT ACROSS.AMERICANS ARE SICK AND TIRED OF BEING DESPOSED OF AND TREATED AS SLAVES TO CORPORATIONS AND THEIR BED PARTNERS.FAILING THAT, ALL THAT IS LEFT IS ARMED CONFLICT WITH OUR TORMENTORS.SAD BUT WHATS LEFT TO DO?LAY DOWN AND DIE SO SOME RICH PERSON OR COMPANY CAN HAVE EVEN MORE? WHEN DOES IT END? WE CONSIDER OURSELVES A MORAL GOD FEARING COUNTRY.BUNK! MONEY IS OUR GOD AND CAPITALISM IS OUR RELIGION.PURE AND SIMPLE!

Report this

By Gary Ogletree, March 17, 2006 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The first step is to secure the borders.  The Israelis have had proven success with their border fence against even more determined infiltration.  The second step is to offer legality to a highly selected group: English proficient, kids in school, health insured, no other criminal record, taxpaying, etc,. with a hefty fine.  Third, deport the rest, use the war on drugs personnel.  Fourth, fine employers in violation very heavily.  Fifth, allow only border state growers to contract Mexican seasonal workers provided they are liable for their return to Mexico.  It’s not rocket science, but it will cost money.  It will pay in the long run.  We can absorb a lot of Latin Americans short of the current invasion, and luckily for us they don’t come here demanding we kowtow to the Koran. As far as Mexico goes, their government has never, ever been a friend of the USA, and with the exception of a few like former Pres. Lazaro Cardenas, it has never been a friend of the Mexican people either.

Report this

By Patriot, March 17, 2006 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The founding fathers are probably turning over in their graves at the views of their descendants. Immigration is, and has always been, as American as apple pie. Those against immigration are really against America. Lets deport the rascals who oppose immigration to any country of their choice. If they don’t choose, lets dump them in the nearest ocean! Long live America! Long live liberty! Down with the anti-immigrationists!

Report this

By Pat, March 17, 2006 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marc leaves out many of the long term consequences of the “anything goes” nature of illegal immigration.  Yes, our grandparents were legal, but in addition to that, they assimilated because they had to to be accepted.  Now, we teach immigrants to preserve their native culture and language, which sets them apart from the mainstream and preserves even the negative aspects of their culture, leading to alienation and further self-segregation.  No one objects when the Chinese start their own PTA or the Latino kids fight the black kids in school, but isn’t that racism?  No one publishes a sob story in the newspaper when Latino and Asian gangs encroach on a previously peaceful neighborhood.  Not one politician mentions the cash economy, which drains the state of money needed to support these same immigrants and turns California into a great place for the rich—and the poor—but an expensive mess for the middle class, who are increasingly voting with their feet. http://www.edd.ca.gov/taxrep/txueoind.htm

Report this

By Immigration Reform, March 17, 2006 at 10:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We admit 1 million new citizens per year. Those who want to reduce illegal immigration might want to move that number of legal immigrants up or down, but no one is trying to “draw up the bridges”.

The idea that because we’re a “nation of immigrants” that we then need to keep admitting a large number of immigrants is a logical fallacy.

Illegal aliens do get various forms of social services. Whether one wants to call them “welfare” or not is really immaterial: the bottom line is that they get money from the state. Those services include free schooling, free health care, free roads, free libraries, and on and on. Some states even give illegal aliens a better deal on college tuition than our own citizens. How anti-American is that?

And, many agencies that disburse benefits do so without “asking about someone’s status”. One of those includes an L.A. County housing agency that gives out housing vouchers.

In other words, illegal aliens do indeed get “welfare”.

Report this

By mike, March 17, 2006 at 10:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A good article, but like most it fails to address the benefits of the status quo:
1) strong economy;
2) low unemployment;
3) younger, growing dynamic population.  This will be especially necessary to overcome the imbalance caused by elderly baby boomers.

The fact is that more Mexicans want to come (one poll said 40% = 40 million) than the US can easily absorb, so your suggestion that we only have channels for legal immigration (to what, 5 mil a year?) is simply a dream.  If hospitals and schools near the border need more resources, then give them more resources from the growing, successful economy.  Your assertion that the status quo “works for nobody” is simply wrong.  It limits immigration to more tolerable levels and keeps our economy going strong.

Report this

By Bob, March 17, 2006 at 7:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The pro-illegal immigration side maintains that many of us against illegal immigration are racist.

I maintain that those favoring illegal immigration and amnesty with the argument that “Americans won’t do that work” are the true racists.

The argument for cheap labor to keep the prices of our homes, clothing, and food down is the same argument once used to keep blacks in chains.  But the last time I looked, no one picks cotton by hand anymore.  Industry will adapt, just as it always has; technological solutions will come to the fore, and if not, wages will rise to compensate.

So what if a tomato costs 50% more?  Is it worth it if it’s causing a family to live in poverty just so I can enjoy the fruit of “cheap labor”.

The true racists here are those exploiting immigrant gain for (possible) political power and purely economic reasons.  Shameful!


PS - I’m not saying the answer is simple.  It will be a complex mixture of helping the Latin Americas increase their standard of living, border enforcement, and reformation of American labor practises.  But this abuse of illegals in the name of “they do jobs we don’t want” is wrong and has to stop.

Report this

By harald hardrada, March 17, 2006 at 6:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

mexicans were here before the great white man came—mexicans will still be here when the great white man has faded away—it’s not just a matter of borders being arbitrary: the very idea of nation states is losing ground as countries either fall apart or give up their sovereignty to join a higher order—not even israel, as regressively tribal as it is, will survive demographic reality

america has adopted israel as its role model: americans see israel’s wall as a final solution, when it’s just a desperate last gasp—unlike the spaniards, who interbred with the natives in latin america, the great white man interbred with blacks but sent native americans off to live on reservations—now it’s all coming back to bite the great white man as native american casinos sap his taxable revenues

to say that americans are better educated is absurd—the number of degrees handed out is growing but the quality is dropping—india & china each graduate more scientists & engineers per capita than america does—i posted that fact on another blog & somebody said india & china have more people—i guess he or she never learned the meaning of ‘per capita’, which proves the point

Report this

By Marc Cooper, March 17, 2006 at 1:19 am Link to this comment

Marc Cooper Replies:

It’s obvious that this is a deeply emotional subject, a sort of “sleeper” issue always simmering just below the surface of national and local politics. And as I said at the top of my piece, it’s one weighted down with mythology, anger and resentment.

Unfortunately, nothing new there. In times of economic uncertainty (and this is one of those times) there’s always a demand to draw up the bridges and bolt the doors. It tells us something about the human psyche that a country made up literally of immigrants can—when convenient—engage in mass amnesia. It’s a cliché. But it’s also a self-evident truth: who here is not the son or daughter of immigrants?

“Ah,” you say,“but my family came here legally.” Most probably so (But not always the case. My own Eastern European grandparents snuck in from Canada and were legalized two decades later in a 1930’s amnesty). All that tells is that our current laws have not caught up with our reality. And our reality has changed from grandpa’s days.

Two generations ago, about half of American men lacked a high school education. Today that number is down to about 10%. Fortunately, more Americans than ever before are going to college. Is there somebody here who is telling their kids in 2006: “Yes, Johnny remember to get good grades and finish school so you can get one of those jobs you dreamed about: busing dishes, chopping weeds, laying sod, washing cars, plucking chickens, slaughtering pigs or laying tar.”

Compared to fifty years ago, our birth rate is drastically down and life expectancy is way up. 
Our “native” workforce is older, better educated and more skilled than ever before.

Like it or not, our continued economic growth absorbs about a million-and-a-half immigrants per year because—in general terms—there is no other way to do it. A million of those immigrants get here legally. A half-million don’t. But they all work. And propaganda aside (and it is propaganda) illegal aliens do NOT qualify for welfare (even some legal resident green-card holders can no longer receive food stamps).

People are here working because our economy demands their labor.

Now, do some native-born Americans lose their jobs to lower-paid immigrants? Of course they do. Does a pool of immigrant labor put downward pressure on wages? I can’t imagine it doesn’t. But wages and jobs are also lost when American companies outsource their operations overseas.

It ain’t pretty. But it’s the nature of the capitalist system that we have adopted. Employers always look for the cheapest way of doing things.  We, who work, must simultaneously fight to improve our standing.  So along with immigration reform we also need serious protection for all workers: a much higher minimum wage; national health care coverage; extended unemployment benefits and serious worker re-training programs. Most importantly, expanded access to unionization. And to the degree that “illegals” unionize and raise wages and improve conditions, so much the better (we see this, fortunately, in Los Angeles where wages have risen because of the unionizations of tens of thousands of immigrant service workers).

Illegal immigration, then, cannot be solved in a vacuum. Fences and walls are objectionable primarily because –alone—they are going to fail just like they always have. The way you solve illegal immigration is by recognizing the real-life push and pull of labor markets; you legalize the immigration; you regulate it realistically; you move people in an orderly and stable fashion through Ports of Entry and not through the deserts and mountains; you bet that you enforce the law (and that does mean workplace enforcement and employment verification)

The alternatives are to persist in fantasies and to keep on bitching and moaning. The choice is yours. And remember that all those Spanish-speaking illegals you see out there in your communities are doing exactly the same thing that your grandpa did in his day.The only difference is that we are not willing to formally acknowledge the obvious.

Your responses?

Report this

By John Dunshee, March 16, 2006 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stopping illegal immigration is a no-brainer. $100,000.00 fine per violation for anyone hiring an illegal.

Hire Jose and Juan at Home Depot to fix your deck? Pay $200K.

Your boss hired six illegals? $600K.

Of course you might have to sell your house to pay the fine and your boss’s business might go bankrupt which would put you out of a job.

But you can bet the problem of illegal aliens would disappear overnight when the jobs dried up. No one would dare to hire an illegal. No jobs, no illegals.

Report this

By Illegal immigration news, March 16, 2006 at 9:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When it comes to immigration, Marc Cooper is like a broken clock that’s stuck on 25:78.

I have no idea why he keeps blogging about this issue and why Instapundit keeps linking to it. While it’s highly likely that Insty is just as clueless as Cooper, perhaps the plan is to give everyone yet another chance to show just how wrong Cooper is.

While we have increased border security, we haven’t done it enough.

And, border security is only part of the issue. We also need to do workplace and interior enforcement, but we do almost no workplace enforcement now.

So, when you read Cooper talking about “enforcement-only”, realize that he’s not telling you the whole truth.

And, those who support illegal immigration are partly and indirectly responsible for all those deaths.

The only way to stop the border deaths is to enforce our immigration laws, something that illegal immigration supporters like Cooper oppose.

Click my link or go to ImmRef.com to find out the truth about this issue.

Report this

By mike, March 16, 2006 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is no solution to the immigration problem because as long as a first world country borders a third world country those who are lacking will always attempt to go to where there are more opportunities.  If America was a third world country and Mexico was a first world country we would all be “illegally” immigrating there.  The wall would be a temporary obstacle, but the smugglers will always find a way around it.  If anything, the only concept that could have an effect is worker status verification.  If there was no access to jobs for illegals they would not come.  Those who hire illegals should be held more accountable then that may slow the number of people that are coming into the country.  I am a specialist is the Mexican-American community in Southern California, so I deal with many undocumented people everyday.  I believe that this issue should be addressed in a rational manner.  Mass deportations are not rational because how would we determine who stays and who goes.  The Republicans and conservatives choose to pick on the illegals because they cannot fight back, so they appeal to the nativist, hyper-patriotic feelings of the working class to promote their political agendas.

Report this

By leftjab, March 16, 2006 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Folks I live in a community(about 2 blocks) only 1.5 miles from the upper class.The bulk of the people that live in my area are not mexican but honduran and guatemalen and a smattering of other latin american countries in central america.The mexicans moved enmasse last year(for reasons unknown) Something is happening here that I haven’t seen brought up.The more time passes the further south the people that come here are from. Eventually we’ll be up to our ears in south americans. Before you cry bigot or whatever your favorite slur happens to be. Remember the old saying its so bad it couldn’t possibly get worse? Well wait awhile and when our already swamped educational,health,emergency services,welfare and policing collapse we will pay the piper for a relatively few greedy,unscrupulous,immoral,unpatriotic and maybe even souless creeeps.My wife has worked for her entire working life for less than $7.00hr. so don’t tell me that americans won’t work or don’t want to work.They may not want to, but most realize that something beats a blank. Even if the wage is unjust and is indentured servitude in disguise! As long as the government,military,big business,home builders and the much pitied small businesman pull the wool over the eyes of the majority of we the people, we will continue to decline until the world is far better off than we.By the way,2 yrs ago, we were surviving on $541.00 a month and made do with 9 boxes of rice a roni, some peanut butter and jelly for 19 days before becoming eligable for food stamps. I had forgotten just how painful hunger is.The others at the social services were getting living chits for apt,wic,food stamps and a monthly check.I’m not kidding. The lady was 5 ft from my worker and was all smiles.I don’t blame her.In addition the vast majority of those getting benefits were latino and african american.We almost starved to death. Now do you see why many AMERICANS are ticked off at the system? The illegals don’t even have to produce a i.d. or proof of anything and cannot be turned down on that basis.The MYTH that the pull to america is jobs we won’t do is just that a myth or a damnable lie.I am living proof that the major pull is a free starter kit that the rest of us have to earn with hard under paid work. I’m a plumber by trade and it is ruined. No one in their greedy little me,me,me minds hires plumbers anymore. The TEXAS legislature essentially put us out of business when they added another 5 or more subgroups to my trade.From apprentice to journeyman(3yrs) to master another yr or 2 and that was it . We did it all. Now for example we have men that are allowed to only clean sewers or pipe houses up to 2 stories etc… get the picture.I see this coming on nursing,ems,fire fighting and a host of others. WAKE UP! IT IS NOT JUST YOUR ASSES ON THE LINE IT IS YOUR FAMILY AND COMMUNITIES THAT WILL WHITHER AND PERISH.If you don’t believe my accounting of what is going on, visit your local social services centers and cast your eyes on the future.

Report this

By Anonymous Coward, March 16, 2006 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The U.S.-Mexican border has been “10 times deadlier to Mexican immigrants in the last 10 years than was the whole 28-year history of the Berlin Wall to East Germans,” Wayne Cornelius, director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC San Diego, told me. Over the history of the Berlin Wall, 287 people perished while trying to cross it. Since the Clinton administration implemented the current U.S. border strategy, as many as 3,500 Mexicans have died while trying to make the crossing.

And how many millions of East Germans successfully crossed the border in that time period?

Report this

By Al Jackson, March 16, 2006 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is a permanent solution to the problem of illegal Mexican immigration, but I doubt many people are ready to embrace it just yet…

Annex Mexico.

I don’t propose it as a panacea - frankly I think it would cause far more problems than it would solve in the short term - but it would certainly end the debate over what to do with illegals.

Report this

By C Panek, March 16, 2006 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I red the whole article. Well written, is full of half true, some lies and many omissions.
Let’s recall some facts. During Carter term we allowed about 8 million illegal’s to get
permanent residency under solemn promises that it will end illegal immigration forever.
No need to comment it. Since that, close to 800.000 to 900.000 illegals come to USA every year to stay for good. Very small percentage go back after few years. After last World War II
Mexico population was 15 million, now is approaching 100 million. Similar situation is everywhere down south up to Horn peninsula. Now we host more than 20 million illegal’s Pressure on our border will never end and is increasing daily. Big Business won’t allow to respect any law it doesn’t like. It never did. Politicians are salivating counting prospective, thankful voters. Some unions and Christian churches do the same counting on increase membership. And many crying heart do gooders all the time call to help poor human beings.
Results of systematic, intentional disregard for law in last 40 years is grim. Average real wage of non union worker is down to 30-35% from late sixties. Average family income is down to 40-45% in spite of increase of number of women working from 17 to70%
Recently, many additional “measures” sped up already rapid pauperization of American working class. There are many signs that people don’t have money. More and more of shit
is hitting the fan. Meantime oligarchy is reaping benefits of puppet government seating deeply
in it’s pocket. After WWII average CEO was making 35 time more than average worker. Pretty soon it will be 2000 times. The same goes for their butlers, politicians. And ever growing bureaucracy is getting its spoils too. RE taxes reaching slowly medieval banditry.
Is there any prospect for a relief? No. None whatsoever. Not until we reach Vietnamese scale of wages. It’s coming in 10-15 years for sure. Unless we recall one of our Founding Fathers
quip about “small revolution every 20 years is good”. I agree. But every 200 years seams absolutely necessary.
                  Kajur

Report this

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >


A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook