Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
May 24, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.

Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.

Czeslaw Milosz: A Life

Truthdig Bazaar
Lords of the Land

Lords of the Land

By Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar
$ 19.77

more items

Email this item Print this item

Legalize the ‘Illegals’

Posted on Mar 28, 2006
Mexican Border Fence

A Mexican flag is displayed as a huge crowd protests immigration reform in front of Los Angeles City Hall, Monday, March 27. Students across the country walked out of classes to demonstrate against the proposed changes.

By Robert Scheer

There is no immigration crisis—other than the one created by a small but vocal stripe of opportunist politicians, media demagogues and freelance xenophobes. So it has always been throughout the history of this country when anti-immigrant hysteria periodically reigns during ebbs in our national sense of security and vision.

The script is as old as the Mayflower: A false alarm is sounded that the values, wages and safety of the current roster of credentialed Americans are jeopardized by the “flood” or “tidal wave” or “river” sneaking across our porous borders—be they Irish, Chinese, Jewish, Russian, Mexican or even the freed slaves seeking to earn an honest living in Northern cities after the Civil War. Any and all manner of societal problems are laid on these scapegoats, and the same simplistic solution is offered: Find and deport them, and don’t let any more in.

Luckily, although it sometimes takes years or even decades, saner voices eventually prevail, acknowledging that the continued influx of immigrants has fueled America’s astonishing economic and cultural rise ever since the original natives were bum-rushed off their turf. Immigration laws are liberalized, compromises are reached, amnesties are offered, and the Immigration and Naturalization Service bureaucracy grinds on.

Having intermittently covered this issue for the Los Angeles Times over 30 years, I can well recall the peaks of panic in which we reporters were dispatched to the border and out into the fields to witness the arrest of people desperate to find work—only to be embarrassed by the hunted eyes and clutched crosses of the enemy discovered.

Such frenzied attention was inevitably followed by a lull in which most Americans were quite happy to eat the food harvested by those same harassed and abused workers as well as to entrust the “illegals” with the care of American homes and children. On no other issue is there such an extreme disconnect between attitudes and actions.


Square, Site wide
When Wal-Mart was busted for hiring undocumented workers, did anybody boycott the company? Of course not; consumers value price and aren’t concerned, for the most part, about how a company accomplishes cheapness. If, however, people do really care about keeping all jobs open to American citizens, then there is only one effective strategy: Level the playing field by enforcing labor laws.

Some 2 million immigrant workers now earn less than the minimum wage, and millions more work without the occupational safety, workers’ compensation, overtime pay and other protections that legal status offers. Consequently, when the president says that immigrants perform work that legal residents are unwilling to do, he may be right—but we don’t know. The only way to test that hypothesis is to bring this black market labor pool above ground.

That approach has been tried in California with some success. Jos Millan, who until this year ran such an enforcement program as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s labor commissioner and before that for Republican Gov. Pete Wilson, told me that legalization of undocumented workers is essential to improving the situation for everybody.

“I am in favor of anything that brings these workers out of the shadows and into the sunlight; it’s very easy to exploit a population when they’re afraid,” Millan told me Monday. “We would be a better country if we recognized the fact that there are 10 million undocumented workers in our midst, and we would be better off if they were granted the benefits and responsibilities of a legal existence.”

Xenophobia today is no more warranted than it has been in the past. The number of claimed “illegal aliens” as a percentage of the population is clearly absorbable by the job market, as our low unemployment rate demonstrates. Yet, the Republican Party and the Congress it dominates are currently teetering between driving undocumented workers further underground and taking a saner compromise approach.

The former, a draconian bill already passed by the House of Representatives, would legalize witch hunts of undocumented workers, by reclassifying them as felons; their employers would be subject to a year or more in prison and punitive fines, as would even church and nonprofit organization members that offer succor to them.

Because employers are not trained to play cop, they will simply be driven to discriminate against job applicants based on “foreignness” determined by ethnicity or accent. The more reasonable alternative, co-authored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and embraced as the heart of the proposal adopted by the Judiciary Committee on Monday, shuns the criminalization of the undocumented, instead offering paths—albeit long, arduous and uncertain ones—to legal status for undocumented workers already here.

This is a moment of truth for America. It is time to acknowledge that we need the immigrant workers as much as they need us, and to begin to treat them with the respect they deserve.

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.

Join the conversation

Load Comments

By Geoffrey Day, April 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We need to get rid of all the illegals. They cost us more than the war in Iraq, and kill over twice as many Americans yearly than the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq.

There’s only one surefire way to get rid of them. Explained here:

Report this

By Adam, February 15, 2008 at 11:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Maybe, just maybe, if Texas, New Mexico, California and Florida (am I missing some other state?) had not been taken over by force from the Mexicans and Spaniards by the United States of America the US immigration controversy wouldn’t be an issue now. On top of that many illegal aliens pay their income tax which, by the way and as far as I know, they never try get a refund out of it for fear of being deported.

Some American Indians are commenting on the fact that illegal aliens are coming here to work, and not just work but work in the jobs nobody wants, not to kill or take over their land like it happened to their ancestors when the English came here with no social security, green card, visa or any other permit, just their brute force. Are you able to see the difference between the two kinds of illegal immigrants??????? I hope you do.

Report this

By anon, September 4, 2007 at 11:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have never needed illegal immigrants and never will. This nation, the United States of America, is a nation of LAW. Illegals are a liability not an asset. They cost American tax payers way more than they are worth. They are in our government run and paid for schools. Meaning tax payer funded schools. They get free medical care, free for them but not American tax payers. Someone has to pay for all they get for free. The tax payers pay for it. Since they do not pay taxes they get it for free. They are rewarded for breaking our laws, or to make your feel better the laws of the United States of America. Illegal aliens are a huge burden to all tax paying American citizens. An unwelcomed and un-necessary financial burden!

Report this

By Peter Pan, May 1, 2007 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whomever wrote “This is a labor issue”, right on.

Gotta love the idiots who want to define what an “AMERICAN” is..  and go on about “MY COUNTRY”, etc., as if they owned it and only English has ever been spoken here.  Christ.  Get some history books and read about Texas. California. New Mexico. HAWAII for crying out loud.  Alaska. And the 4 million AMERICANS from PUERTO RICO.  Next time you hear someone not speaking “English” (in quotes because true English is from England), think twice before your going ‘oh, nope, thats’ not American!’.

Report this

By wackoliberal, March 16, 2007 at 3:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s kill a 3 birds with one taco. Make all the deadbeats on welfare work at the jobs illegals now do and use the money the gov. saves to help develop more opportunities in Mexico and Central America. Of course we’ll have to have some kind of legal program for Mexicans to pick our crops because there’s no way farmer Jones is going to be able to trust some yankee ex welfarista to pick fast enough before the crops rot on the tree.

Report this

By Bobadi, March 15, 2007 at 5:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Your website says that;
“At a local QFC, Red Delicious apples go for about 99 cents a pound. Of that, only about 7 cents represents the cost of labor, said Tom Schotzko, a recently retired extension economist at Washington State University. The rest represents the grower’s other expenses, warehousing and shipping fees, and the retailer’s markup.”
But what it doesn’t say is how much more it would cost to fill those fields with workers who refuse slave 7 cent wages, or any of the other slave labor costs getting it to consumer. What are the steps in making apple pie from those apples? preparing it, (food industry factories) packaging it, (package factories) labeling it,(lable factories) (after delivering it with “legal” people) heating it, (kitchen staff)(and after serving it with “legal” people) bussing the dish it came in, cleaning the dish it came in, at night the cleaning crew arrives to clean the restaurant it was served in, and the grease trap crew works the drains it stuffed up.
Go figure all of these costs and tell us how much more a pie will cost us, let alone everything else we touch.

Report this

By guitarsandmore, March 10, 2007 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this is not spam.  These are facts I have researched.

More than 7 million illegal immigrants are working in America but only about 3.4% are agriculture workers.  Here is my reference:

Most of the illegals are not here to pick the crops.  As pointed out in the article below there are fruits and vegetables rotting on the trees and in the fields because not enough workers can be found.  So what are the 7 million illegal immigrants doing in America then?

About 30% of the illegal aliens are on welfare.  See reference here:

Contractors are telling me that illegals are being used to build houses and do all kinds of work skilled Union American Citizens used to do.  The fact that there are crops rotting in the fields, and millions of illegals in the United States proves that they are not here to pick crops.  We only need about 300,000 people to pick crops.  The rest of them are here to take away other jobs or to go on welfare or to cause trouble in gangs.

Report this

By guitarsandmore, March 10, 2007 at 9:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

More than 7 million illegal immigrants are working in America but only about 3.4% are agriculture workers.  Here is my reference:

Most of the illegals are not here to pick the crops.  As pointed out in the article below there are fruits and vegetables rotting on the trees and in the fields because not enough workers can be found.  So what are the 7 million illegal immigrants doing in America then?

About 30% of the illegal aliens are on welfare.  See reference here:

Contractors are telling me that illegals are being used to build houses and do all kinds of work skilled Union American Citizens used to do.  The fact that there are crops rotting in the fields, and millions of illegals in the United States proves that they are not here to pick crops.  We only need about 300,000 people to pick crops.  The rest of them are here to take away other jobs or to go on welfare or to cause trouble in gangs.

Report this

By Ilze Choi, March 10, 2007 at 5:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To 57657:

Do not count of Lou Dobbs to inform you about Mexico’s history.  He has made himself into a millionaire through his new role as hate mongerer against Hispanics.  Read Mexico’s history for yourself and you would not blame the average Mexican people for the problems of their country.  Moreover, you are misinformed about the Clovis Point.  There has been no conclusion made about who made the Clovis Points.  The people that the Europeans found on our shores when they discovered America were not their fellow Europeans.  And if you want to go back that far anyways, why not go back to humanity’s origin in Africa?

Report this

By Deb from In., March 9, 2007 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You people have got to be kidding! Take a look at why the immigrants leave Mexico, a GOOD look and you will see what this country will look like in 50 years No middle class we could not go about it any better than we are doing. Watch Lou Dobbs, read their (Mexico’s) history and our’s. You must all be stuck in Left wing Liberal Limbo. And for your imformation, there was a spearpoint found that greatly predates any (native American) artifact found in this country, called Clovis spearpoint found in Carson Va. which matched those from Europe, So that also strongly suggest that Europeans were here first. You people really need to read up!

Report this

By Ilze Choi, December 2, 2006 at 9:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To #6041

Through the Monroe Doctrine and its implementation, the US has supported regimes south of our border that, in effect, held the poor under slave conditions.  As just one example, look at the history of Guatemala and the US role in maintaining a horrible condition of life for the poor, especially the Mayan people.  And, unbelievably, the US is still at it.  Why the demonization of every
leftist politician or leader in Latin America whose first priority is to redress the horrible inequality of land ownership, opportunities, health, etc.  And why is the US resuming military training of the Latin Americn military?  Against whom?
If we want to control other countries in our hemisphere then we are responsible for the consequences.  Moreover, outsourcing and companies moving off shore have done more harm to the American worker than the immigrants.  They are made the scapegoat and some attack them for reasons other than “protecting American workers.”  Where were these protectors when US firms were moving jobs overseas?

Report this

By Ilze Choi, December 1, 2006 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


You are right that the US should be far more concerned about terrorists in our midst than with people who will risk their lives for their loved ones.  I believe that “national security” has been used as a cover for pure racism and hostility towards Latinos.  Now all types of people with their own agenda can come out and feel free to act out on their prejudices.  The prejudice against Mexicans is an age old one.
I know you are not a heartless person but you should know what the Guatemalan people have suffered thanks to the United States.  They should not be trapped in the hell that their country still is and Mexico is their only way out.

Report this

By guitarsandmore, December 1, 2006 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think they are all making $90,000 now base plus bonus and commission.

Report this

By Sandra Rodriguez, December 1, 2006 at 1:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)



Report this

By Michael Weaver-Robbins, December 1, 2006 at 1:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To: Guitarsandmore

Yeah Guitarsandmore…but are they paying him or her $80K like they did you? I bet not.

Report this

By Warren Greer, November 30, 2006 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The last time I earned $80,000, I had to work two years making missiles for the very cold-war a-holes who sent your job overseas, SUCKER.  There never was a communist threat, but there WAS a smoke screen behind which the U.S.A. was manipulated into becoming something very close to what we had offered our lives to defeat in WWII.  Huey Long sure had it right about the fascists coming on “ the guise of 100% Americanism!”
Now they want to define what an “American” is, speaks, works, and believes.  The so-called
“democracy” that whoosh bush has spawned in Iraq should teach us that without an educated, (NOT brainwashed), electorate, democracy is nothing more than a play toy for demagogues.  But, of course, you knew that.

Report this

By Guitarsandmore, November 30, 2006 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The last $80,000 per year job I had is now being done by an immigrant from Pakistan who has several degrees.

Report this

By Ilze Choi, November 30, 2006 at 8:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

My response to comment #40230:

I disagree with you suggestion to seal off the border between Guatemala and Mexico.  That would be heartless.  The poor of Guatemala, mostly the Mayan people, are no better off today than when President Arbenz introduced his much needed reforms in the late 1940’s.  At that time, Guatemala was literally a banana republic which meant that the land and people belonged to American owned fruit companies that paid no taxes to Guatemala, trapped the the Indian population into forced servitude through a permanent debt and, through US help prevented any change to a colonial system.  For all practical purposes, all Guatemalans may as well have been US citizens.  The CIA stepped in to restore the horrible status quo by overthrowing the Arbenz government and when the people took up arms to resist, they were branded communist and that gave an excuse for the US to fund and support a vicious military to crush the rebels.  Ironically, while we take pride in our American Revolution, our government has snuffed them out in Latin America.  Tragically, for all the genocidal butchery against the poor in Guatemala, their condition remains much the same today.  Land reform is dead, they continue to be ruled by origarchs and the violence of the civil war survives the peace accord.  The US is responsible for this and every Guatemalan who wants to flee their country has a right to US citizenship because, as with many other Latin American countries, the poor have been ruled by the US indirectly anyways.  Had the US respected the sovereignty of the Arbenz government back in the 1950’s there is a good chance that Guatemala would be a decent place to live for all, not just for the European descended elite.  By the way, if anyone reads this, look at the proposals of the so called leftists, such as Ecuador’s Correa and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, for example, you would have to agree with their reforms.  Ominously, I read in USA Today (Now. 10-12 issue) that the US military has resumed training the Latin American military due to the trend to the left there.  Against whom is the Latin American military trained for?  The poor who have no other recourse but to block roads or make demands to be heard?  The racist and heartless policies of the United States make it the Evil Empire of the West.  How disheartening!  Don’t hate the immigrants, whether they come across Mexico’s borders or Guatemala’s borders, hate the policy of colonialism that still live in Latin America with US support.

Report this

By Sandra Rodriguez, November 30, 2006 at 2:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Report this

By B Garcia, October 17, 2006 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It never fails to amaze me when I read people’s posts, how badly informed they are. People say regular “americans” would do field work? Not even if they were well paid, I know, I have dual citizenship and I picked for 3 years in California. Everyone said I was crazy for this was not a job for me. I made good money. It was very hard work (what isn’t). Yet there is still this division of “their jobs” and “our jobs” and the questions of “what do you mean there are jobs americans won’t do?” Many jobs are not even considered by white or black americans (fyi: everyone on this continent is an american so this term is used erroneously). Has no one seen the massive exodus of people towards the cities leaving the land unmanned? Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and other states give free land just so people would move back AND THEY DON’T. States are inviting Mexicans to their areas just so they can have population once again, if you don’t believe me, search for free land and you’ll see. Other people also think that illegals are using all the services and draining our money. NOT TRUE, they contribute or should I say, their money is taken more than they are given by our government(to the tune of 6 billion). Try and get unemployment without documentation, get welfare or medical aid, go get a driver’s license anywhere but California….illegals pay premium prices for everything because they can’t complain, they are misstreated. You think no one is in Mexico illegaly? Mexico is full of illegals (americans, canadians, europeans and all else), the retired move down there, drive up prices on everything and treat locals like slaves there too but they live like royalty, plus they can afford to live on their pensions and social security (which they can’t in the US, plus the weather and area are beautiful), so many gays are moving to Mexico because people are not so judgemental there and are infecting people with AIDS. Americans move to Mexico but complain when everyone doesn’t speak english and everything isn’t like the US, how’s that for a change? How do I know? I’m a Chef and I live in Mexico.

Report this

By Barrie Johnson, August 10, 2006 at 5:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illegals to mow our lawns? remember when our kids or the neighbors kids did it. it gave them an opportunity to learn work ethics and money handling. Illegals send what spare money they get back to their home country, they do not pay taxes, they overload our infrastructure, our schools, medical systems, social services. they are destroying wages and benefits of the American working class jobs. get your facts straight, Krystal, before you start babbling.

Report this

By Krystal, August 9, 2006 at 6:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey..I don’t know why people complain about Mexicans that are illegal or all other illegal people. These people are justlike me and you, there looking for a job, a chance to live the American dream, without them our economy wouldn’t be the same. So why don’t you all stop complaining and face the facts if Illegals weren’t willing to mow ur law and you did want to do it you would have to pay an American doble to do it.

Report this

By John Konop, August 9, 2006 at 11:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The truth is we have both parties selling us out on this issue.

The Dems want the votes and the support of the unions. The unions want the members(illegal immigrants) ,while the rank file see wages going down and jobs moving overseas.

The Republicans want cheap labor for multi-national corporation that give money to both sides.

Andrew Young and the Clinton’s are just as big friends of Walmart as some Republicans.

Report this

By Barrie Johnson, August 9, 2006 at 3:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is so annoying to hear Bush talking about jobs Americans won’t do. Did these jobs suddenly pop into existence with the advent of illegal aliens? These are jobs Americans have been doing for decades at decent wages. With illegals pouring into the country desperate for a job at any wage, those job wages dropped precipitously to levels Americans won’t accept. Why pay an American $10/hr when you can get an illegal to do it for $5/hr?  Think Ashley, before you regurgitate Bush vomit.

Report this

By Joan, August 7, 2006 at 12:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bob: I disagree with you about this.
The Hispanics are not well assimilated and they are committing much violent crime,illegitimacy and failure to obtain education. They do not share Western values and often engage in anti social and anti American behavior please, let us not be naive. We need Western values from immigrants who love our country and educate themselves.

Report this

By Thomas Lee Trevino, May 23, 2006 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To Think as Bush:          He must make money because he and close friends profit threw the rasing of cattle and the processing plants that promote illegals just as the horse plants that slaughter our american horses for the foreigners which profit 41 million and kept the money there and payed no income tax nor tarriff tax on there exports.Cargi and other plants make millions thus contributing to bush’s circus world. Todays illegal here is just a new slavery and to legalize illegals is a slap in the face. They should not be allowed for SSS nor goverment goodies nor paid college educations when many have to work 2 jobs to get ahead.

Report this

By Dennis, April 30, 2006 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

illegals are nothing more than a drain on the economy!

Report this

By Angela, April 11, 2006 at 2:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Secure American borders and Stop Illegal Immigration.

Friends, please look over the petition that I have started for this issue. American needs your help, do not let Congress pass a bill that will give millions of illegal Aliens amnesty and their citizenship without working for it……………….

please help America

Report this

By Hans, April 10, 2006 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Ver musten haven lavensraum!” that is German for we need living space. All these dirty people need to be deported from the Motherland.

Report this

By rabblerowzer, April 6, 2006 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Plutocratic Fascism

Plutocratic Fascism has deep roots in America. By any definition, the Confederacy was a Plutocratic Fascist regime based on racism. From the very beginning of our Republic, the Rabid Right, backed and financed by the plutocracy, has fought against equal rights; early on only property owners were allowed to vote, women weren’t allowed to vote, indentured servants, and blacks weren’t allowed to vote.

The Rabid Right has consistently blocked social progressivism; child labor laws, minimum wage, social security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schools, civil rights, labor unions, OSHA, pollution laws, anything having to do with the common good, they cunningly labeled as socialism.

Socialism, the enemy of Plutocratic Fascism.

Which form of government comes closest to Christian values: fascism, plutocracy, or socialism?

Report this

By Mao Tzu, April 5, 2006 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A labor issue A class issue. Capitalism is all about increasing profits by screwing working people.

Bush and his apologists talk about jobs americans won’t do, but it’s really wages americans won’t work for, if a buisness owner can increase profits by reducing wages they will. It’s as old as capitalism itself. If they can take it further and reduce our affinity towards others of our class by making us hate each other based on national origin all the better.

Importing cheap labor is just the other side of the coin from exporting lower paying jobs to countries that pay lower wages. Or as they say outsourcing. Just like union busting.

All working people need to get together and demand better livable wages for work.

Somewhere I read some drivel about importing people who don’t know “our” culture, hogwash, many western states were a part of Mexico and Spain for a lot longer than they’ve been a part of the US. Los Angeles, Arizona, Nevada, California, Colorado, Tejas, all Spanish words. Where I live if you don’t have an understanding of Latin culture you’re out to lunch.

Report this

By Hilding Lindquist, April 4, 2006 at 9:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illegal immigration is a labor issue, folks!

Businesses use illegal immigrants to drive down the share given to workers out of the wealth created by the use of their labor in the business.

I am all for whatever immigration can be sustained by our minimum wage and fair labor standards laws.

But when workers are afraid to report on-the-job injuries, withheld pay, use of child labor ... then we have to act ... that is if we want to be called civilized rather than simply support a new type slave-like exploitation of fellow human beings.

Thank god as the child of an immigrant I have my Swedish-American heritage to teach me right from wrong on labor issues.

Report this

By Tim, April 4, 2006 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To the author of comment #6282:
You should learn how to spell and punctuate before you accuse someone else of being “not intelligent.”

Report this

By Tim, April 4, 2006 at 7:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Many people who are anti-immigration either don’t understand, or don’t care to understand, the whole picture.  Under NAFTA, the United States sells corn to Mexico.  American corn growers are subsidized by the government.  Many Mexicans who come here to earn a living were farmers who can no longer make any money growing corn because of low priced imported corn.

Report this

By Ilze Choi, April 3, 2006 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The US has had a very involved relationship with Mexico and the other countries south of the border such as Chile, Guatemala, etc.
Therefore, the people from this part of the world merit special consideration.  The poverty that causes people to endure such hardships and risk of life to come here, is related to the Monroe Doctrine whereby the US decided it has the right to inervene if it does not like the leadership of a country.  Whether people voted in a better leader as in Guatemala and Chile or overthrew a governemtn that deserved being overthrown, the US would send in the CIA, train proxy armies and prolong vicious civil wars.
Those who call these unfortunated people “aliens” have not right to do so because our country has contributed to their poverty and hopelessness.  We are all part of the New World.

Shut the border down, build the Great Wall but then keep out of Latin America.  Let them decide what to do with their oil and other natural resources and quit demonizing their leaders who actually are trying to improve their lives.

Report this

By John Konop, April 3, 2006 at 6:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I would like to point out that Cesar Chavez testified before congress that immigration is a tool to drive wages down. The first Minuteman project was run by Manuel Chavez , Cesar brother. In 1969 MLK. successor Robert Abernathy, Walter Mondale demonstrated to block the boarders from illegal immigrants. My question are all of them racist ? Can we not have a rational conversation about issues about immigration and trade without racist,isolationist,wages are fine, jobs Americans will not do…?

Read and get the facts.

Report this

By der_Alte, April 3, 2006 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have worked side by side w/ Mexicans & travelled a small bit In Mexico. I live in a State which is proud of its anti-union policies and hasn’t raised the minimum wage in 5 yrs.So naturally, Latinos are fitting right in. But as for their poor educational skills, they seem to do fine laying brick, pouring cement and they work as hard as anyone I see in a crumby job. As for them bringing in disease, what would that be? like AIDS or TB? we get plenty of that from legal migrants. The long tunnel that was recently discovered in So. Cal. wasn’t to transport people, it was to move dope. We could do worse than get our own hse in order.

Report this

By Karen, April 2, 2006 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I heard Mexico has about a 40% unemployment rate.  Why?  Because of NAFTA/CAFTA and the fact that Mexican elites are not investing in their own country.  Mexico is natural resource rich—oil and minerals—there is no reason for the people to be so poor.  Look at Japan?  Japan has to import everything, but the Japanese government does not allow a huge income gap between rich and poor so the wealth does not accumulate at the top.  The governments of Mexico and the U.S. pander to their rich elites and pass laws that increase the income gap.

If we want to stop illegal immigration by people who can no longer find jobs even in maquilladoros (because corporations have discovered cheaper Chinese labor), then we need to insist on new economic and trade agreements; ones that this time require a level playing field.

The European Union requires countries seeking to join to first raise their standard of living; and the EU helps them do that.  The U.S. should do the same with the countries of Latin America (not all illegal immigrants are from Mexico—post-Reagan and his war on Nicaragua, people now come from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, etc.).

And, yes, the Repubs are using immigration as a way to get us to think about something other than Bush’s failure in Iraq.  Let’s show them we can multi-task and think about both flawed economic/trade policies and illegal wars!

Report this

By aviationh8r, April 1, 2006 at 9:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’d be willing to pay more for a head of lettuce if I knew an American citizen, rather than a criminal alien, was making a living.  Or we could put non-violent criminals in the fields.

Fining businesses that hire illegals $50,000 per immigrant would dry up the demand for low-wage employees as well.

Report this

By Julie Moran, April 1, 2006 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These illegals are the Majority from Mexico, not the good country’s. They are bringing disease and drugs. Their kids are not intellegent. Their parents haven’t a clue about anything. We are so over crowded in CA, they live 10 or more to a house. The lberals are ruining this country, when you own children will not be able to take a small job as a teen, blame all the Mexican’s and the Lib’s who allowed it. I am sick of seeing them everywhere, costing us, our schools are overrun, hospitals are closing and we can look forward to American looking very different in the next 20 yrs and it will not look good. The do not assimilate in to our society, They go in and take over complete towns and if you do not believe that then just take a look at CA, the land of the Liberals. You will see what your towns will look like. Be scared and do something about it right now, don’t believe the open border people or the people who try to tell you there isn’t a problem. I suggest you take a tour and find out for yourselves. America is going to rot and turn into a third world if we do not stop the invasion now. Our constitution states we can protect out borders from an invasion, what do you think Mexico has done to us. Speak up loud and clear and lets take back America and do it now!

Report this

By Joe, April 1, 2006 at 8:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“How could anyone think 12 million people, with an average 4th grade education, speaking no English, and with no understanding of this country’s culture or history, could possibly an asset to us? “

Whoever wrote this is absolutely right on. When my father came here from Europe, he did not speak English and had no understanding of this country’s culture or history, but at least he had a 6th grade education. Only 4th grade? A 4th grade immigrant in one on the way to draining our economy though dependence on social services. 6th grade should be a required minimum.

Report this

By joe scalise, April 1, 2006 at 8:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The handwriting is on the wall.  Our government is creating a peasant class and are trying to get us to assimilate. NAFTA was supposed to elevate the Mexican worker to near our standard of living so they could purchase our goods. The reverse has happened.  American wages went down while health care and retirements disappeared. Now they are forcing CAFTA on us.  Americans either rise up in protest or it’s all over.  I hope that at least we all get to take a siesta halfway through our work day.

Report this

By hglindquist, April 1, 2006 at 5:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The insanity here has reached Alice in Wonderland proportions ...

People who appear to be for the workers are saying we should allow a certain class of person to come and work for obscenely low wages under obscenely poor labor standards so businesses can reap obscenely high profits? (And because citizen workers won’t accept these conditions, it proves we have to have this new type of slavery.)

Am I missing something? Oh yes, and the solution is to criminalize this class of workers ... making them even more reluctant to come forward to report illegal treatment by their employers!

Have we gone stark raving mad?

You’re right, there is ANOTHER solution ... forget about what has happened, put the counter back to zero ... reward the illegals who are here and believe it won’t happen again. That IS the definition of insanity!!!

Report this

By SELMA, April 1, 2006 at 12:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Report this

By Tass, March 31, 2006 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Illegal immigration by its very nature is making a mockery of any immigration policy either in existence or in consideration.  If most of the immigrants in this country enter illegally and unaccountably, then no planning can possibly be successful and a significant element of policy would have been surrendered to unknown and uncontrollable forces.

Futhermore, there is little doubt that illegal immigrants depress wage levels of the poorest of Americans by taking low-skilled jobs. In addition, because their employers refuse to provide them with any benefits or education, the support of their social cost falls on existing citizens who have to pay for the infrastructure necessary.  Therefore, the purported benefits of their low wages is easily cancelled out by these costs.

In addition, any amnesty is simply not going to solve any problem.  After legalizing the present cohort of illegal immigrants, what is there to stop more millions of crossing the border?  Absolutely not.  This is insanity, this absolute resignation to a “phenomenon” that would have untold consequences. Who is in charge of this experiment???  Anybody???

Report this

By Ashley, March 31, 2006 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You all are making it seem like it is easy going and getting citizenship. It takes anyhwere from 2 to 4 years and about $3,000. Plus all these illegal aliens are doing the work that the WHITE people DON’T want to do. We want to sit behind the desk bossing the Mexicans around. That is bullshit, we are all equal just because you have a 9 digit social security number does not mean that you can boss them around like they are your little siblings. Someone in our family was once an illegal alien, but you don’t realize it because you are to busy bitching about the 11 million illegal aliens that are over here. But if they were not here, you would not be eating in resturants because they are the ones that cook, getting you yard work done, having the highways worked on, and need I go on. So get over that fact that they are taking jobs away from the Americans, they are just doing the jobs that you all don’t want to do…

Report this

By Bruce Small, March 31, 2006 at 8:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We spend billions and billions of dollars each year to keep students in school long enough to learn the basics and hopefully graduate.

Why? Because we know without a decent education they will be a drag on the economy and society.

How could anyone think 12 million people, with an average 4th grade education, speaking no English, and with no understanding of this country’s culture or history, could possibly an asset to us?

If they are an asset, maybe we should save the billions we spend on keeping students in school long enough to graduate.

Report this

By hglindquist, March 31, 2006 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can you hear me now?!

People working without the protection of fair labor standards and a say in the adoption of those standards is a form of slavery.

From Yahoo® News:
By Georgie Anne Geyer
Tuesday, March 28

“One of the best analysts of economics, Robert J. Samuelson, wrote this week in The Washington Post that the big corporations are having America ‘import poverty’ and lower wages so much that, of course, American workers ‘won’t take those jobs.’ ‘What we have now,’ he wrote, ‘and would with guest workers, is a conscious policy of creating poverty in the United States while relieving it in Mexico. ... To be sure, some Americans get cheap housecleaning ... But if more mowed their own lawns or did their own laundry, it wouldn’t be a tragedy.’ ”

Report this

By Suren, March 31, 2006 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Compassion and sympathy can help us cide towards providing an opportunity for the “illegals” to become “legal”. Having said that, I for one am surprised about the disregard for the actual “legals” to become immigrants.

I have heard many politicians talk about how this country has welcomed immigrants. USA largely does but some of their legal methods are greatly troublesome.

Some of us are on H1-B working our buts off (get paid decent enough, appreciate being here, be law-abiding citizens) and are looking forward towards Green Card or Citizenship just for that “flexibility” we lack in furthering our careers. I hope both bills for the legal get noticed in this comotion of making “illegals” legal.

To give you an example of how stupid the immigration legal rules are, please consider this scenario. A person with a green card marries someone who is not a US citizen and lives outside US. To bring his wife and live together in this country will take atleast 2 to 3 years. Talk about screwing up with family values and family immigration. It is just insanely stupid to trouble this individual this way.

I have heard many discussions/chances that this whole law might be punted because of this “illegal” to “legal” complication in an Election Year. I hope there are due considerations given to the “legals” here.

Report this

By Alg, March 31, 2006 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those who are afraid that immigrant workers-legal and illegal-take good jobs away from American citizens, I suggest those folks work out in the fields to harvest crops and do menial labor.  I did this back-breaking work as a teen-ager in the 1960’s in the summer with my father in sunny California.  This work certainly fueled my desire to graduate from high school and college.  Perhaps, if the growers, paid a living wage, more folks would try the work.  I worked 72 hour weeks without overtime or health benefits. Maybe WalMart and other corporate types ought to pay a living wage and real health benefits so that unemployed Americans can have a legitimate job.  With outsourcing and the closure of American plants, how much amnesty should the Federal government give to illegal immigrants?  Both political parties have to compromise to find a solution and the rhetoric from the GOP controlled House only creates more animosity and hatred.  It is easier to bash immigrants instead of dealing with Katrina, the energy crisis, the nation debt, Haliburton and Iraq.

Report this

By Liz Williams, March 31, 2006 at 4:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No immigration crisis ?  Mmmh.  Perhaps Mr. Scheer should puruse the latest INS Statistical Yearbook to see just how many legal immigrants have come into the country in the past 10 years and then add in the approximately 500,000 illegals per year.  This is a complicated issue and this is not 1850 during the industrial revolution when the country was crying out for additional labor.

I live in an high immigration urban area and don’t have anything against my non-US born neighbors legal or otherwise.  I don’t have a maid and my lawn guy is an 81 year old LEGAL immigrant. The pool of illegal immigrant labor in my city doesn’t lower my cost of living - in fact, our medical costs in the city are amongst the highest in the nation because of the high number of people in the city without health insurance.  Overall, the impact of illegal immigration in my city has dramatically increased the cost of living here, not decreased it - although our produce might be a little cheaper.

Let’s not put the present debate down to just hysteria.  There is a significant problem in terms of the numbers of illegals and it needs to be addressed.

Report this

By John, March 31, 2006 at 4:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Perhaps illegal immigration = the next social revolution?
Average American citizens make much, much more than the average Mexican citizen. What’s the big deal if we were to legalize the immigrants?
We needn’t have such a ridiculous wall as the Israelis, just to keep people out (as the Israelis actually—occasionally—face suicide bombings).

What would change if legalization were to come to pass? We would lose illegal immigrants and gain US citizens, and, as far as I can tell, there’s no downside to that.

I hate when people all of a sudden get uber-moralistic and judicial when it comes to talking about the declared sins(!) other people, the “but they’re ILLEGAL syndrome”).

Oh and I’ve lived in Texas my entire life, if that makes any difference.

Report this

By Marie, March 31, 2006 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So many immigrants come to the U.S for a better life. People have left there families behind just to come to the U.S.  T o find a job even though they get paid minimum wage. I guess it’s better than suffering or even dying right? Immigrants they’re all people just like you and I. I am a full time college student trying to be something in life, because without education you are nothing. Sometimes people need to think that this is not any ones country. It was founded by Native Americans, the blood of whom I carry. I am half Mexican half Native American although I don’t now much about my ancestors I know were I am from. What have we done to you why has this become a great deal why can’t we just be grateful that were all here alive and well. I would it call racism if people truly don’t care for others then who and what are we? Is this case all about money?????? Money isn’t everything. I am struggling so much. I am a full time student and I work 30 hrs a week. I know it’s not too bad but I am struggling. If I think I have it hard think of the people who work from 5am to 8pm 6-7 days a week when do they have time for their loved ones? How do you expect them to raise their kids without their support? If you have kids are you their supporting them? I hope so. People who are over worked do you think they are spending enough family time. It’s unfair do you like to see the suffering of others. If they leave what do you think will happen to them?  You think they rather be way from their family away from what they love? No they don’t.  But if they don’t come they’ll just end up dying, because money has become one of the largest necessities in life now. Instead they will probably try to come back probably die on their way over or sent to jail. But that’s okay you don’t care. These people need you as much as we need them so please think about your decisions. If not meet an immigrant let them speak just listen .............and you will know.

Report this

By Chabuka, March 31, 2006 at 11:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In 1986 Pres. Reagan gave four million illegal immigrants amnesty and the American people got about ten million more illegal immigrants..some trade. There is a difference between illegal and legal immigrants. Give them amnesty again and what they learn is…“we’ll just go to the states and hide out for another ten or fifteen years, and then Congress will again address the situation and we will receive amnesty again”...this is pure and simple a result of NAFTA and now Bush gives us CAFTA…another kick in the rear to the working class…the corporations pay less for labor…the labor market is flooded, and every one who wants to work (including American citizens will take less money, more work hours and no benefits…soon American workers will be as bad off as the illegal immigrants…the Mexican government is a Plutocracy..and the U.S. will soon have the same form of government….

Report this

By Bill Moore, March 31, 2006 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s stop the bickering!  Make Mexico a state.
Problem gone, tax base up. to quote the 80’s saying “win win”.

Report this

By Perry, March 30, 2006 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What part of illegal is it that you folks don’t understand?  Immigrant, aah, yes we are, and “legal” through the years it took to become so.  Now that our federal government (president, legislative, and court) has shirked its responsibility by blocking illegals from entry, these same jokers want to make something legal out of it.  Let me see now, the illegals number somewhere between 11 and 20 million.  If it’s that high, how does anybody know?.  They have received just about every social service available in this country for free or nearly so.  Free to whom and at what cost to whom? Hospitals close emergency rooms because nobody pays.  Where does that leave the legal immigrants—naturalized and naturally born here. We get socialized medical care now by default. Thousands of births in Northern Virginia alone from illegals.  Does that now and should it now make each birth a natural born citizen even though the birth was with an illegal immigrant?  I saw no, it doesn’t.  Where does it stop?  Oh, golly gee, says the Prez, let’s sign them all up under the “Guest Worker Program” then we know where everybody is.  They’ll all promise to return in a few years to be sent back home and process for legal entry that could take 4 or 5 years.  Yeas, right, that’ll work.    But that’s not amnesty, is it? 

And what do we do with all those other people waiting in line for legal entry into the country.  Tell them “hold off while we make some adjustments for our land-based neighbors south of the border.”

And now in Cancun, Mexico - President W. reassured Mexican President Vicente Fox he is committed to getting the U.S. Congress to approve broad immigration reforms, including a guest-worker program.  But it’s not amnesty, is it?  Bush ought to be listening to polls on this one.  W’s comment to reporters, “I’m confident we can get a bill done” as it goes before the Senate for debate and passage.  Oh, joy, what a great bunch of guys, and statesmen all.  Care to guess how that vote will turn out?

Legal, illegal, what’s the difference now?  Oh, perhaps you can tell by the flag they are flying and the one they are burning.  Patriots in that crowd of 1 million?  Now there was an opportunity to gather the lot (legal, illegal, natural born, whomever), ship them all across the border, and let them process to return.  Wow, 1 million at one time. 

I’ll close with this—- I don’t blame these people from crossing the border and taking the risks they take to get here. I’d do it too.  An offer of a stake (or should that be ‘steak and eggs’) for just making the crossing, and a small town giving those who make it a bus ticket to any place north.  And I have another offer.  You get here, we clothe you in a uniform, accept your voluntary enlistment you in the Army and ship you off to ... guess where?  Do your time, return here and you get moved to the front of the “legal” line.  Welcome to the U.S.

Report this

By Michael Weaver-Robbins, March 30, 2006 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In point of fact the premise that we need illegal immigrants renders any further words useless. Illegal immigration does neither the illegal immigrant nor the nation being invaded one bit of good.
These are some of the facts:
- The flood of illegal immigrants simply provides unscrupulous employers an inexhaustible supply of workers that they can exploit for yet more profits (oh…by the way, have you noticed falling or even stabilizing prices from the flood of low-wage immigrants? The short answer is NO!)
-These undocumented employees have no medical benefits so they flood our already broken medical delivery system with patients who cannot and do not intend to pay for services rendered. Who pays… patients with insurance and the already overtaxed taxpayer
-Public Housing is filled to the brim with these illegals. The program that used to be called Section 8 is so overwhelmed by these immigrants that most areas of the country are not taking any applications for the foreseeable future. Oh, and don’t give me the guff that illegals cannot get this housing. Bogus identification is available and is used.
-The jails and the prisons of this nation are steadily filling with illegals who came to the US to find the streets paved with gold and found that the streets are full of potholes and are they are not paved nor even patched with gold. Once the reality set in all too many illegals end up breaking laws and abusing drugs and alcohol. (DO NOT take my word for this. Check the statistics on the US prison/jail populations)
-Many illegals have also come to the US leaving wives and children in their native lands. While here in the US they seek and find companions and there are many illegitimate children born of these ‘relationships’ (once again…check the stats). Who pays these costs? What will happen to these children when the illegal returns (or is returned) to their native land?
This list of sad facts goes on and on…
Uncontrolled immigration serves no one’s long-term best interest. No nation on Earth can sustain the flood of immigrants that the US is now experiencing.
Furthermore, there is no reason for this invasion, yes, I wrote INVASION, to continue. These people, most of them good and decent people, come here for opportunity that really does not exist any more. Why is it that everyone on Earth that is unhappy with the situation in their own land thinks that the answer is to come to America? If the situation in their native land does not suit them they need to work right there to change their situation.
This is the simple truth…it is simply not possible for everyone on this planet to live in the United States of America. Not only is it not possible, it’s not even preferable for the immigrants nor for the U.S.
No my fellow Americans. Illegal immigration CAN and MUST be controlled. Mr. Scheer’s statement about the “influx” of immigrants will eventually be accepted and assimilated is disingenuous at best and plain stupid at worst. Mr. Scheer’s offer of southern California’s handling of immigration woes is laughable at best. Southern California is a maelstrom cultures claiming to live together so well. Is that why there is so much street violence there? Southern California is a de facto northern state of Mexico with a large Asian and Pacific-islander contingent. Witness the barrios versus the gated communities of the rich and bigoted.
I have ever been in favor of controlled and LEGAL immigration…and I still am.
When some say that it is impossible police the illegals and solve the border invasion crisis I politely say…BUNK! If we were not busy carrying on the idiotic and horrible war in Iraq we could retrain and use these folks to guard and secure OUR borders. After all, most of the troops in Iraq are National Guard and Reserves. They have no business in Iraq and they need to be brought home. Let me say right here that I support these wonderful young Americans who dutifully serve their country. I mourn those that have died and my heart goes out to their loved ones whose lives will never be the same. It is the half-witted Commander in Chief whose avarice and lies sent them to Iraq that I do not support.
Mr. Scheer, perhaps you and all of those who are among the higher paid persons of the United States ought to admit your lifestyle is supported by immigrant labor much more than the lifestyle of most Americans. Prices at Wal-mart are somewhat lower because they screw over their employees and the taxpayers who pay for the benefits that Wal-Mart won’t provide and because most of the products on the shelves come from China or Asia where the people who make them live on slave wages and work horribly long hours. The prices ARE NOT as low as they should be considering their employee’s wages and the wage earned by those who create most of Wal-mart’s wares.
Get over it folks. The corporate masters in America and their stockholders are the only ones who benefit from less-than-living wage employees.
It is true that many Americans have too much material things. It is also the truth that many, many Americans are struggling to house, feed, clothe, educate and provide medical/dental care for their children. All of this while undocumented aliens receive all of these things at the expense of tax payers. Oh…and save the old saw that immigrants are taxpayers. The taxes they pay (when not being payed off the books) are but a fraction of the cost of the benefits they receive and the costs of these benefits to this society.

America cannot afford uncontrolled immigration from ANY country and neither should it have to.

Report this

By L.J. Manley, March 30, 2006 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I guess I’m missing something here. As far as my family and I are concerned, immigrants are welcome as long as they come here legally. How come that seems to be too much to ask? This country was founded by immigrants, no one I know denies that, but to have someone come here, work and get payed under the table then to send it to another country without paying the taxes and such that we pay is not what America is about! Why are there so few who get this?

Report this

By Gerald Augustinus, March 30, 2006 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, who knew? I find myself agreeing with Robert Scheer and George Will on the same topic!

If I were to advise Republicans, I’d say…don’t piss off the Latino population, you’re already seen as a party of angry “Get off my lawn!” white guys

If I were to advise Democrats, I’d say - if you don’t want them drive down wages, give them legality and a union membership!

My take, which stems from being a Catholic, can be found here:

Report this

By ron hansing, March 30, 2006 at 12:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I want to thank the Republican Congress, whose hubris, will destroy them eventually. Because of them, one million marched in LA, Right on. I loved it. Reminded me of the sixties… for once.

Report this

By chip thornton, March 30, 2006 at 10:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, I hope the multiculturalists are happy. Visions of thousands of people who aren’t even Americans protesting in the streets, burning US flags, raising Mexican ones, ah, the fruits of their labors realized!

Scheer needs to know that as a country, we don’t “need” these parasites at all, and they deserve respect when and if they learn the American ropes. This country is not a dumping ground for every clown who decides he wants all the hard won benefits this country offers, without doing what it takes to earn them.

Xenophobic? Cal it what you want, people, but I have no desire to see the United States turned into a third world version of the old Yugoslavia.

Chip Thornton

Report this

By Ryan, March 30, 2006 at 10:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am unemployed and reading this makes me angry. 

Lets go down to these protests with a line of busses, load them up, deport them all. 

America needs more jobs, lets arrest all of these immigrants.

Report this

By ritzl, March 30, 2006 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Normally I agree with Mr. Scheer, but I have to say that unless he is willing to work for half or a third of his salary, he should adopt a more enlightened view of this issue.

I used to believe that these illegal immigrants filled jobs that Citizens won’t fill until I had occaision to go to a large construction site.  90% of the labor was non-english speaking Mexican nationals. 

They were working jobs that, up till this tidal wave of illegality began, used to be Coveted by Citizens as decent paying honest work.  Now the wages are half to a third what they would be if 11,000,000 “supply siders” had remained on the other side of our southern border.

Make no mistake, this debate is NOT about rights nor fairness nor compassion.  It is about elites getting that new sunroom for $5,000, instead of $10,000, and not caring who pays the difference.

Not everyone is college bound, and believe me, that is no insult.

I find it useful to adopt the fortune cookie game to this debate.  Everytime you hear someone say why we should put up with this nightmare for the middle class, add “in order to keep wages low!” to the end of the sentence.  It seems to help make sense of otherwise incomprehensible statements.

Report this

By Carl, March 30, 2006 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wake the “F” up !!!!!!!!!!!!

You and your grandparents were aliens at one time or another!!!!!!!!!!

Unless you’re a Native American YOUR ancestors came here from somewhere else.

You, we, I are all the byproducts of immigration!

Report this

By Dee, March 30, 2006 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you to some people who actually get the point that these people actually broke the law by sneaking in, overstaying their visas, working without authorization, etc. 

The only people who benefit from NAFTA or any trade agreements, are the same people who benefit from people being here illegally.  BIG BUSINESS. 

If you want to be here, learn the language, go through the correct procedures to immigrate here, in other words wait your turn like the other millions of people. 

I see this issue up close in my line of work, it is sickening to see people take advantage of us, having kids here at our expense, my sister lost her job and could not get medicaid, but a woman from venezuela just comes in right before the baby is due and gets on medicaid because she wants her kid to be american.  We have the right to protect our borders and we decide who should stay. 

The way to stop all of this is simple, punish the companies who hire illegals.  People are coming because they know they can work even without any papers.  Corporate American greed is killing this country.  We are about to implode.

Report this

By Kenneth D. Brown, March 30, 2006 at 2:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A few points;
1) Since people here illegally keep a low profile, what dependable data is there on their actual numbers? If none, then we really don’t know the percentage of foereign born in this country. A century ago we had no quotas and anyone who could get here could stay. We needed their labor. The situation today is almost the opposite. 
2) The minimum wage remains low precisely because of the surplus of unskilled, undocumented workers. There is no need to raise the minimum wage when it’s so easy to find cheap undocumented labor. 
3)A law that punishes immigrants, and those that provide humanitarian assistance, but exempts people who hire them, is unjust. In fact the lion’s share of enforcement should focus on the employers. Building trades, restaurant chains, janitorial companies, even Wal-Mart, all exploit those here illegally, to the detriment of our own citizens.
4)The union movement here has been practically gutted by the same political forces that now promote amnesty (again) and guest worker programs. Those workers who can be unionized will soon find themselves competing with the next wave of illegal immigrants for low wage jobs.

Report this

By Gary Myrick, March 30, 2006 at 1:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Republicans are once again trying to have their cake and poison ours, too. Since slavery is currently illegal in the U.S., they’ve come up with the next-best thing.

Consider their hackneyed talking point, “The illegal immigrants are taking the jobs Americans don’t want”.  Well, OF COURSE they “don’t want” low-paying, crappy jobs that discard all of our labor laws. However, remember the Dust Bowl, the Depression, “The Grapes of Wrath”? Folks were going all over the place, desperate for ANY work. Would those jobs be there next time? Try not having a job at all and see how particular anyone is.

If we truly wish to discourage illegal immigrants, we could always STOP HIRING THEM. They would not come if there was no reason to do so. But then, it would be harder for the Republicans to drive wages down, to discard the minimum wage, to bust unions, etc., etc. This is all a typical dream-come-true for Republicans. They can USE illegal immigrants to help them drive down wages, disempower the rest of the workforce and take a giant stride toward their goal of creating a world of the hyper-rich and their desperately poor, powerless underlings - all while folks like Bush pretend to be magnanimous toward these people.

Doesn’t anybody realize that this a classic Rovian strategy at work?

1. Have some “bad cop” pit bull toss a sop to the right by advocating felonizing illegal immigrants and building a Berlin wall along the border.

2. Have ” good cop” Bush pretend to be magnanimous by proposing a “guest-worker” program, in hopes of cultivating the burgeoning Hispanic vote.

Result: lower wages, busted unions, endless work hours, no benefits for ALL Americans.

AND…It’s making everyone forget about Iraq, isn’t it?

Report this

By anonymous, March 30, 2006 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here we go again with this immigrant bashing.  How come no mention of NAFTA driving Mexican farmers northward by the millions, as their livlihood is wiped out by cheaper subsidized (by the U.S. govt.) corporate agro-business products.  It’s amazing to me how easy it is for this right wing government to divert our attention from what’s really ailing this land.  Did immigrants have anything to do with GM’s cutting l00,000 workers a couple of weeks ago,  with the Iraq war that’s already killed more than 2300 of our best and brightest,  with this lousy Medicare rx bill that’s driving our elders batty, trying to work through its whys and wherefores.  And what about the biggest job eliminator of them all - outsourcing.  What’s the immigrant connection there?    Seems we fall for it every time.    Why is that?  Maybe it has something to do with our unwillingness to face up to the fact that the powers that be don’t give a flying turd about any of us..  When they’re in trouble,  what do they do?  They look for a scapegoat.  Why not?  It works every time!  What do we do about it?  Dump capitalism, that’s what.  How we gonna do that?  Check-out “Realizing Hope, Life beyond Capitalism” by Michael Albert, Zed books (just released).  Enough of this xenophobia and racism.  It’s time to change the world.  Lucky us!

Report this

By Chas, March 29, 2006 at 11:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

While one is sensitive to the reality of life across the border and the impact of the collusion of monetary programs, namely IMF and World Bank, restructuring, etc. and corrupt Mexican politicians that drive Mexicans to the border in ever increasing numbers; one is also sensitive to the reality of the worker demand v. available worker ratio that puts workers in a more or less advantageous bargaining position as regards wages and benefits here in the U.S..
The undermining of worker leverage began 25 years ago when Reagan won office and began his full court press against organized labor when flight controllers struck. Even Cesar Chavez recognized this as he struggled to unite and organize farm workers. History tells us that he had no problem pointing out those here illegally. That is the final reality of 11 million additional workers here in the USofA.
What capitalists have long recognized is the efficacy of wedge politics and I would assert that the reality that we now face is the outcome of a long term end game that has first provided a source of cheap labor over time and now is focused as a wedge to solidify the base that keeps them in office and co-opting the undecided who will be moved by images of Mexican flags and cries of land taken and so on in demonstration against the draconian legislation enacted by the House. The focus is 2006.
Now they have gotten the attention of the politician prostitutes who protect their power and who now work to establish and codify the dichotomy. With draconian solution on the one side and appeasement colored as human right on the other.
There is only one solution and that is to put responsibility where responsibility lies; on the back of the employer who hires and pays withholding appropriate taxes and those who pay cash.
When harsh penalties are finally meted out to those who are in the end responsible for this situation, the situation will begin to change. If there is no job what reason is there to be here! Reject appeasement, protect the American worker!

Report this

By RepubAnon, March 29, 2006 at 10:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s not use the “elite” code-word for “liberals” in this discussion.  WalMart used illegals for their janitorial staff (via a plausibly deniable sub-contractor) - and the folks running WalMart are as Republican as they come.  The big battle here is between the CEO-Republicans and the KKK-Republicans.

There are no easy answers to this one. Make agricultural work pay enough to barely live on, and the US will import more food (ie “outsource” agricultural jobs.)  They can’t outsource janitorial service yet, but they may soon automate it.

We’re on the brink of a social disaster like the “enclosure movement” in Britain starting arounf 1500.  Once the wool factories replaced hand looms, landowners found they could make more money using their land to raise sheep for wool than letting tenants farm.  So, the tenant farmers got thrown out of the communal farming areas (the ‘commons”).  Many starved, many got factory jobs.

Computers and cheap long-distance transportation and communication are creating a new enclosure movement. This time, low-skill workers are being thrown to the twin wolves of outsourcing and winking at employers hiring illegals.  Don’t scapegoat the illegals - ask yourself who’s making all the money from our black market work force / outsourcing?  Who boosts corporate bottom lines and CEO paychecks by hiring illegals here and 10 cent/day Vietnamese workers?  It isn’t Michael Moore, it is what George W Bush calls “his base.”

George W. Bush: What an impressive crowd: the haves, and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite, I call you my base.

Report this

By Marriea, March 29, 2006 at 10:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m a letter carrier.  When I started carrying mail many years ago, there were homes (apartment buildings) where there were some boxes with sometimes twenty names on the mailboxes.  Since handling the mail would take up to five-sometimes seven minutes to go through at that address, I decided to put all of the mail in the mail receptacle and any mail that didn’t belong, was always left for me the next day. Most days nothing was left.

I later found that there were sometimes as many as five families living in one unit, and that those people worked and lived in shifts.  So while someone was at work, someone else was sleeping and someone else was taking care of home.

About six or seven years later, those people, whom some I had met, moved because they were buying a three or four flat building.  I also noticed that these people didn’t drive fancy cars, just something to get around in, nor from the looks of things from my vantage point outside, there was no fancy furniture, but what they did have was durable and clean.  The TV sometimes had clothes hangers for antennas.

But somehow, those people managed years laters to accumulate enough collectively as a family unit to buy into the American dream.  They, I found out worked as dishwashers, waiter and waitresses, cleaning people, vendors selling ice cream and tacos, day laborers night laborers, ect.

I have to say I was kind of envious.  They had the tolerance and patience to stick it out to accomplish a common goal.

Whenever I hear about some Mexican or Latino (that’s mostly who our ire is directed against)
coming over here and taking our jobs, I have to look at the accusers incrediously.

Most Americans who have been born in this country would rather die than do the jobs that many immigrants do.  I know for a fact that they worked long hard hours for less than minimum wages. Many were paid under the table with no benefits in case someone got sick.

Isn’t is funny that we have the nerve to slam someone who would do jobs we can’t even get our unemployed poor to do because they feel those very jobs are beneath them.

We don’t want it, but don’t want them to have it neither.

And this rallying cry is being made by some of the very same people who strip all of the meat off the bones, then throw the bone out to the rest of us and holler that someone else is getting more bone than you, and instead of looking at the person who is taking what we have worked hard for, we, like the idiots we are, look at our neighbor instead of the politicians who we pay to represent us, but in the end only represent themselves and their cronies.

Now we are taking about putting up walls, I guess something like the Great Wall of China, to keep those dreaded people out of our country.  Just think of all the money that would be wasted to do that.  Keep them out from doing what??  Harvesting our crops, planting our seeds….for less than any American would ever dare work for.
I would like to see the day when American Joe Blow would put a sack on his back out in somebody’s field.

No, we need to challange those people who mesmerize us with TV ads talking points about what they have done for us. They haven’t done anything for you.  They are good at taking from you (us)and then pointing the finger at someone else while robbing us blind.  I understand they are now trying to figure out a way to give (vote) themselves a pay raise without us (the American Taxpayer) blowing a gasket.

AMERICA, it is long past time to take our collected butts to the polls and vote these suckers out of office who would instigate fighting among ourselves so they can take us to the cleaners even more. OK, we might put someone else who is a crook into office, but guess what, for US reps, they have two years to get something done or out they go.  Senators have six years.  And we have got to stop sending people to represent us who send millions of dollars on campaigns just to get us to vote for them.  These guys and gals makes about $200,000 a year, yet they will spend over $2 million sometimes $20 millions to get into office?  What am I missing here?  And what’s up with us that we end up voting for someone just because we saw their ads.
These people will get in their private planes and have private dinners at $1000.00 a whop for some chicken?  These people are not KINGS AND QUEENS.
We, the American public are their bosses, not the other way around.  Yet we stay at home and complain because we don’t have adequate health care, proper schools for our kids. unsafe infrastructure for our highways and bridges.  And Mr. King and Queens get to enjoy the fruits of OUR labor because they are keeping the immigrants away from jobs we don’t want in the first place.

I often wonder when we as a people are going to wake up.  When are we, the masses who clearly out number those who blatantly lie to us everyday with no remorse until they are caught. They are probably laughing theie heads off at us too.

And even then they swear that that wad of capital that they are holding in their hands AIN’T what we think it is.

We could learn from the immigrants.  They might be undereducated, but they have something we in this country is clearly lacking.  COMMON SENSE.

Report this

By steve, March 29, 2006 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Probably what is considered to be the worst and most dangerous job around is coal mining. While New Yorkers might think of the people from Appalachia as foreigners, the last time I checked they were still Americans. Kind of belies the statement that citizens won’t do dirty jobs.
A felony for trying to survive or improve your life—ridiculous—perhaps for employers or landlords who rent to illegals, but let’s not criminalise poverty.

Report this

By Freedom, March 29, 2006 at 7:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Last week, my local newspaper business section carried a story about a recent Fed Reserve research that found out:average income for two working married couple @$55,000.00;own a home worth $155,000.00;owe $96,000.00 on the house;own two cars;can not afford to pay down a $2,000.00 credit card; and have no savings.
The Fed Reserve was disturbed by these findings.Oh dha !
“When unions were really active,when we could expect grievances to be paid attention to,though often grudgingly"Post#6083 comment by Lola Vestal.
Lola has it right.Even though unions did not change their tactics with the times hence their demise,they were still good to have.Cheap labor is driving the wages down because of immigration issues.So as the standard of living.Americans need to wake up.
You know what’s funny,the Bush Admnistration can accuse Iran for not patrolling its borders to prevent insurgents from entering Iraq and yet Bush and Co can protect US borders to prevent illegal immigration.

Report this

By starislon, March 29, 2006 at 7:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it interesting that I can not remember 1/2 million people demonstrating in Los Angeles regarding the “immigration problem” before a person with a Hispanic name was elected mayor.

I was born in Los Angeles and my father a bonafide legal immigrant, was of a conservative nature, not prone to wearing his heart on his sleeve, or demonstrating for anything.

In those days, in the thirties and forties,
‘keeping a stiff upper lip’ was quite common, although my father’s feelings tended to escape his persona on occassion.

It was known that he had voted for FDR the first time around. But I believe this was a exception to his rule of always voting Republican.

I was not yet of school age when pictures of US troops were shown on the front page of the Los Angeles Examiner, rounding-up Japanese-Americans, some of whom wore strange looking robes, adorned with samurai swords.

I remember asking why they were taking those people “away,” and being told it was because they might be spies and we were at war.

My father endorsed “the wisdom of not rocking the boat” especially when the waters were agitating.

There were at least two reasons for this stance, one being he was not yet a citizen, and the second being he sold ads for W.R. Hearst and certainly didn’t think his career path would be greased by appearing to be either unpatriotic or unamerican.

Later, learning more family history, I was always puzzled by my father’s conservatisim.

His father, back in the Homeland, had attempted to organize his fellow workers in the stove foundry, into a Union, and consequently had learned that the established powers do not always need the business-end-of-a-sheriff to enforce the status quo, as a simple “downsizing” was generally sufficient to stabilize the situation.

In my grandfather’s particular case the prevailing wisdom proved incorrect as he was, in time, not only hired back, but successfully organizied the union, became the shop steward, and even caught for the company’s hard-ball team.

It would have amounted to a story with a happy ending if the metal dust from the foundry hadn’t blackened his lungs and stopped his breathing. 

My first recollection of immigration problems was the publicized controversy regarding a Chinese-American’s arrest for using scores of illegal
“wetbacks” to help him make money growing asparagus in the San Fernando Valley.

Shortly after this affair, new immigrant farm-labor legislation was passed, and it occurred to me that maybe this was all about people wanting to make lots of money.

I think it still is, and is in the same way as it’s always been, on the, and from the backs of the poor and disenfranchised.

I do not think the nation will fail through a more equitable distribution of wealth, I believe it will flourish. The rich have had their swing on the pendulum long enough and no amount of intelligent design has yet overcome the edicts of nature, in this instance being the gravity of the situation. It’s time.

Report this

By RON MARTINEZ, March 29, 2006 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree with the author of this article that immigration, and immigration policy as a whole is historically cyclable and arise when the economy is low and national security is on the rise as we have today.

The answer is too complex and multi-layered to ensure an easy fix in the regulations enforced by the former INS now called the Dept of Homeland Security (DHS).  But it is undisputable that the issue of illegal immigration is presented in the media as Latios who enter from our southern borders commonly known as Mexico.  In fact, the majority (52%) of illegal immigration come from white European foreigners who enter the USA from borders north or across Europe who over-stay their Visa and become “illegal”.

Do we read about this situation in our papers or news sources? Of course not because the framers of the issues presented to the American people is culturally and socially biased by those power corporate elite who possess the medium and therefore the message that come across to the American people.

Now that you know the facts, think logically and notice that ‘perceived’ problem of illegal Lationos as criminals and terrorists does not make sense when Terrorists like Terry Nichols and the Shoe Bomber where US Citizens and seriel killers in this country are exclusively white…If 500,000 Lations can protest non-violently in downtown Los Angeles against Rep. Sensenbrenner’s House Bill to declare them felons without a single arrest or even a broken window, what does that say about illegals (Latinos) being a criminal or security threat to Americans?

Our nation is a country of immigrants, and the Bush family would not have been rich and therefore sucessful in politics had it not been for the Mexican and Latino ‘raustabouts’ that worked their oilfields all day in the hot Texas sun.

On last point.  Think about a day in your life and include perhaps your family members…not a single day passes without the blood and tears of a Latino’s hard work is exemptlified in the salad and fruits you eat to the love and care your children or grandparents receive from the warmth of an illegal’s passion or concern.

Don’t allow the House Bill to become law and make illegals who you depend on to be declared felons…support the Kennedy-McCain Senate Bill to provide an opportiunity for hard working Latinos to come out of the shadows and earn a path toward becoming legal residents because God knows they have earned it.


Report this

By John m Sandoval, March 29, 2006 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The way it has been, for a century and a half - is the way it will continue to be!

” Immigrating babies”

Nothing confusing about immigrating babies.
Foreigners, are quite adept at tapping American resources. Their countries are dominated more than America, by the European Jewish Coalition, the World’s industrial monopoly. Corruption among Government officials, there and elsewhere (including here in America) renders foreigners subject to lessor humane health benefits. No socialist (or) communist, in his right mind’ will stay in his Communist country! Therefore; patriotism is not one of their virtues, and they say it blatantly - they simply don’t care about the 4th of July or any other, US American event. Having practically ruined their own country with this “couldn’t care less” attitude foreigners bring their babies here for the benefits (worked for and earned) by US American citizens. Being Communal & communistic by nature (whatever else they say!
They export from their country, their often illegitimate babies, by hurrying across the border - often, at the very last final minute. Their newborn, will gradually import, the entire family - when he matures as an established “native”  a US American, citizen. Further taxing US Citizens - overloading the US Social Security and “welfare roles.”
The United States of America stole half of the United States of Mexico, because America, wanted (at that time) more territory - to build more plantations, with more “slave labor” and acquire more wealth.
On his dying bed - President Andrew Jackson, begged General Sam Houston; quote! promise me, that you will not allow the “Texas territory” to become a state. unquote. While the United States of America wanted the territory, they did not want the territory’s population of Mexicans and Indians. The US Army, was (then) busy - trying to obliterate all American Indians (which knew no boundaries) because their “American Indian territory” extended, from the North Pole, to the South Pole. Moreover; The Indian populations, had wars of their own, enslaving other Indians, and stealing each others food, Women and children. Hostile then, as much as they are often, hostile now! They are “Historically” recorded as being passive, superstitious, emotional, irresponsible and immensely uncontrollable, people. Therefore; The United States of America, established the division of North and South America, at the “Rio Bravo” also known as the “Rio Grande” - ignoring the “Isthmus of Panama” - all countries above the Panama” are in “North America.”
Whether any one likes it or not, Mexico is in “North America” has never been part of “Latin America.” ( so Mexicans are not Latinos, from Latin America)
John M Sandoval
. . .

Report this

By charles, March 29, 2006 at 5:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Only california could produce such liberal elitsit trash as Bob Sheer.  Mr Sheer you need to go to the trenches , do some legitmate journalism , and revise your piece.

Viva la estados unidos.

Report this

By Trilby, March 29, 2006 at 5:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“if any of these people watch your kids, clean your toilets (including your Kotex!), trim your hedges, deliver your pizza or pick the oranges you had for breakfast.”

Well, maybe I have a piece of fruit once in a while, but I watch my own kids, trim my own hedges, and swab my own toilet. So why do I need a country full of impoverished illiterate illegals? Just asking…

Report this

By A. Singh, March 29, 2006 at 5:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Legalizing the illegals is a slap on the face to legal immigrants (still a non-immigrant) like me. I have been in the country for 11 years and my green card processing is still not complete. I have spent over 40000 dollars on INS and lawyer fees. I have never been out of status for a single day and have abided by every single INS requirement and law. Now if someone tells me that I could have just paid a $1000 fine and everything would be OK, why bother to have a legal immigration system. And, did I mention my wife and I have paid over 500000 dollars in federal taxes alone in last 5 years not including medicare/social security/state/county taxes.

Report this

By chairman_mao, March 29, 2006 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

allowing illegal immigrants to come and just give them legal status!what!what about our legal process of applying for citizenship.thats how you become a citizen and get the benefits that our social system offers..not by sneaking into the country and abusing our social system.doesnt seem to be too much focus on how the illegals abuse our government!!!!

Report this

By FlyLadyFan, March 29, 2006 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What is with this “jobs Americans won’t do” ??

Americans without college degrees, highschoolers in summer, other people with just limited ability to do more complex jobs will be happy to take these jobs—once they pay a wage that’s not exploitive because the employee is illegal.

Report this

By DownOnTheWorld, March 29, 2006 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How can anyone compare illegal immigration to slavery?  Are you freakn’ kidding me?  Please.  From my understanding slavery is state in which you are robbed of your freedom.  These people are not being robbed of their freedom.  Do they still not have a choice?  I believe they do, they have the freedom to choose if they want to come here and if they want to work here dirt cheap.  we’re not talking ownership here.  So please, don’t give me that shit. 

On the flip side though, I will say this, to reiterate some comments that have already been made in regards to the affect cheap labor has on middle-class, blue-collar Americans, it does and I have first hand knowledge of this.  My good friend is a mechanic for Fletcher-Jones, probably some of the highest paid mechanics out there.  He made an astonishing and grotesque $22,000.00 less in 2005 than he did in 2004!  That is a huge amount by any standard, I don’t care who you are.  He basically peaked out in 2004 with a steady decline in the years to come.  This is a direct result of the exploitation of illegals in our country by the comfort zone of cheap labor that more and more corporations are getting into.  More and more corporations are going this route, and why not?  I mean come on, more profit in the pocket, right?  What about my friend?  Where does that leave him?  It may not affect you in the industry you work, but in any labor intensive job it does, open your eyes.

And hearing the advocates of anti-immigration laws and the so called “liberal elitists”, whatever that means, speak over the years that illegal immigration is good for our economy…I don’t get it.  If the majority of the money is being sent back to families in Mexico rather than being spent here and pumped back into the economy, how does that benefit the economy?  Now I’m now economist by any mean but that just doesn’t make sense to me.

My views on certain issues would be labeled as more liberal than conservative and on others vice versa.  So I guess I would say I’m a centrist.  This issue is a prime example, I’m completely torn.

Criminalize the illegal aliens, no.

Criminalize the employers of illegal aliens, yes.

Change and enforce labor laws and everything else will work itself out, hopefully.

All I know is something needs to be done, I tolerate it living in Southern California because I have to, but it is definitely a problem.

Report this

By Bobadi, March 29, 2006 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Reply to Uncle Ernie #68:
Since there is apparently no working moderator on this thread, would you elaborate on your eloquent statement concerning my thoughts? Do you have a real rebuttal?

Report this

By Andrew Nowicki, March 29, 2006 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“The Tragedy of the Commons” by Garrett Hardin, 1968:

Report this

By Mildred Pina, March 29, 2006 at 1:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As Immigrant I like to point out that America has been formed from Immigrants from all over the world.  Our relatives or ancester made it a wonderful country where love and harmony lives.

Our leader as well are Immigrants decendents, they should keep in mind that there are good and bad ones all over the world, they can tell who are the ones that Love or dislike America.

We only like to go on with the Dream that keep America as strong as big.

Ms. Pina

Report this

By Jim Freeley (Local 300 NPMHU) Retired, March 29, 2006 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some problems really are impossible to resolve to everyone’s satisfaction. Once we get past the obvious bigots and those who are afraid of their own shadows, who see danger in everybody not born in this country, there still is a situation that most people feel is out of control. When the business loving Republicans are at odds with the nut job conservatives and the liberal Democrats are closer to Bush than they are to the moderates of their own party we might want to ask if the world is coming to an end.
1. Building our own version of the Berlin Wall is not the legacy we should leave our children. What are people thinking when they propose creating such a monstrosity?
2. The term Americans is purposely being misused by many people on all sides of the argument including Bush. Anyone born in North or South America is an American. When referring to US citizens why are so many reluctant to use that term? It is insulting to tell Canadians, Mexicans, Haitians etc that they are not Americans.
3. Unions bear some responsibility for not having tried to organize more widely and improving the wages and working conditions of many more workers than they have. I know that it has been said before but it still bears repeating. US citizens will perform any work that offers good wages, benefits and decent working conditions. 
4. All people are human beings, they all have human rights and this is recognized in the Declaration of Independence. (All men [should have said people]are created equal…they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights) I’m not writing anything that readers haven’t seen before, but the apocalypse is not upon us. Let us deal with the situation {not crisis} in a reasonable manner. Why all the panic?

Report this

By Sylvia Barksdale Morovitz, March 29, 2006 at 1:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey, I seem to remember the history books recording the fact that we were all aliens at one time.

As a nation of immigrants we came to America and stole the goddamned land from the Indians while old Christopher stood back and watched his crew trade broken pieces of blue glass to them for huge chunks of gold!  We went on to kill most of these savages, then rounded the rest up and put them on specified pieces of land where they could not interfere with our [beginning] of the destruction of their homeland.

Sure, there’s truoble with illegal youths all over the country, but no more trouble than we have with our lily white ones.  It’s for damn sure that poor Mexican youth have more of an excuse for their behavior than ours who’re taught the only value in life is the almighty buck.  Long gone is the notion of caring, sharing, respect for others and the planet.

The earth belongs to every entity that’s born into it.  There is no special place for any special species.  Old Georgie obviously needs another biggie to upset the nation and this is what he’s chosen.  Wonder if it ever crossed his tiny brain that if it weren’t for immigrants, he sure as hell wouldn’t be here?

Report this

By Warren R. Greer, March 29, 2006 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Farm labor is near-killing stoop labor.  I picked
peas and cotton as a school boy, and would never do it again for less than $50 per hour PLUS medical care.  Unless my family or I were starving.  Mexico has more natural riches than U.S. and poorer people.  The answer is a democratic non-exploitive union of the two countries, preserving the national character and customs of each, which would open the borders to each for mutual national benefit.  The owners of both countries would fight this like crazy, and ARE fighting anything which would threaten their
monopolies of exploitation.  Therein lies the rub!  All these phoney tears of sympathy and/or
national chauvinism just keep the natural allies
separated and in conflict with one another until
perceptions change.  Humane action will educate everyone as to the sources of the question, and, of course, venceremos!  Or as Pete Seeger said in “Talking Union,” an early rap song, “Take it easy—but TAKE it!”

Report this

By Forge, March 29, 2006 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regardless of the fortuitous political timing or the hotbuttons that are pushed for some of us- the issues are complicated but they are critically important and bear serious thought discussion and action.

Amongst others, illegal immigration variously affects, reflects, or effects: wages and standards of living within our nation, our system of laws, fairness, racism, human compassion, the American mythos, and the value of the individual - all are players. 

The economics underlying all the issues represent the closest to objective science that can be applied. 

Just a few of the consequences of illegal immigration include that:

It creates a separate class of disenfranchised, un- or undersubscribed ‘Americans’.  Consequences include a myriad of disadvantanges and these apply though differently to both groups - us and them.

Minimum wage laws trend toward irrelevant when the workforce is augmented by either disenfranchise -d or -able or unrepresented segment. 

Cost of goods is a crude abstraction at best when supported by labor whose true cost is not measured as consequent “cash” economies.  Market prices are convenient for some people and goods and for others irrelevant.

The purposes underlying laws regarding licensed trades in building and construction are undermined by undereducated labor.  Price also affects quality.

Legal immigration (along with many other “legal niceties”) is impugned and it’s worth diminished.

We seem to have an economic engine in our country that will support more participation, and so could welcome more workers.

In doing so, we need to recognize that every worker (and every enterprise - more to that story) that participates in our economy imposes to one degree and another their own burdens - healthcare, housing, education, in short infrastructure costs, that to which illegal immigration very likely adds at least some unaccountable cost burden.

It should also be recognized that, inappropriately fettered, businesses do not thrive and prices rise, while, conversely, businesses able to rely on an endless supply of cheap, have much less pressure to improve the technologies,processes and practices that represent human advances.

We must also consider that the more competition there is for jobs at a given wage, the more downward pressure there is on those wages, and eventually all wages, the very value of work.

And the list of effects can go on and on.

The point is, I feel, that as a nation a very large part of us recognizes the opportunity, the needs and the humanity in the issues involved.

There is no denying that many illegal immigrants are industrious souls, and that the larger part of all of us make good contributions to our well being.

We have a responsibility to integrate and manage the pressures that immigration imposes.  We must put in place systems and infrastructure to regulate immigration. 

Solutions are not easy, but they are required, and every effort must be made to keep them fair,  free of bias and effective.

Two things are necessary.  We can pay now or later, but as intimated, illegal immigration is not profitable or no cost.

The first need is that, to control the flow of people, and integrate them with respect into our sytem of rules and community, our borders must be secured. Perhaps a herculean task, but absolutely essential.  This has little to do with filtering - though criminals and contraband add to the expense we carry consequent our current neglect.

And the second, to shore up the damage done to respect for laws, underfunding/overburdening of infrastructure, lay claim to part of a largely undeterminable and unaccountable but undeniable economy and talent pool, is ANOTHER forgiveness program. 

People already here, who have entered this country illegally can be called on to demonstrate that they have a true interest in this nation’s well being and that they are not, in spite of what some may believe is their only capacity, here to pick the low hanging fruit and send it back to their families in need south of our borders. 

I have a niggling sense that some how it may be affrontive, but one way they could do this is to report and admit they commited a crime and, regardless of the compellingness of their circumstance pay a fine, and begin a patriation process subject to some fair guidelines.

Or we could just hope it all goes away, because many of those involved are different.  Again.

Report this

By Lola Vestal, March 29, 2006 at 12:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If only there were a few more honest, thoughtful voices in the public domain to educate the ignorant among us.  Bravo again, to you Robert Scheer—your points make me long for the days when unions were really active, when we could expect grievances to be paid attention to, though often grudgingly.  Will we ever awaken from this globalization nightmare?

Report this

By patricia cross, March 29, 2006 at 11:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)


Thee is a wondeful book, “ON BECOMING AN AMERICAN’
by ted Morgan.  He is a journalist whose name before naturalization wasn sanche de Gramont.  He is great researcher and writer and he spells ut the ebb and flow of America’s love/hate realtionship with immigrants.  It is a ust for you to read.  You will find info you never imagined.
Patricia Cross

Report this

By Hadley, March 29, 2006 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it interesting that Mr. Sheer writes that he’s been covering this issue for 30 years via the Los Angeles Times, and throws his hands up to any newer solution than what’s been the standard m.o. in this town.

Assuredly, it would seem that throughout all those years in L.A.,  Mr. Sheer would’ve noticed the downsizing, dumbing and deteriation of not only L.A.‘s infrastructure, but neighborhoods, education, emergency room facilities, increased grafitti, drug related murders, gangs taking over certain neighborhoods by intimidation (mad dogging) and downright disreguard for our laws.

Certainly he has noticed the trashing of our retail stores—garments on the floor & walked over. Certainly he would’ve noticed several families living in single-family homes with cars parked on unkept yards & pit bulls in backyards to intimidate neighbors of other nationalities. Certainly he has noticed the increase in want-ads preferring spanish speaking applicants over english.

The quality of life has so drastically deteriorated over the years in southern California, that many law abiding citizens have left the area, with their tax dollars - primarily in search of another state, or community where they can raise their children without fear or intimidation.

Since the expansion of Illegal Aliens all over our country, there are now fewer places to go that resemble pride in community and tolerence for non-hispanic citizens.

Bush says that the illegals take jobs Americans do not want. Of course, we have no idea what that means, as Bush is famous for sound-bites with no substance. The fact that illegals are willing to work in our fields to harvest our crops - this takes me back to the 80’s, when Farm Aid was in it’s infancy, trying to save the ‘family farms’ of this country. These pleas were ignored by the government, and family farms disentigrated before our eyes. Hard-working 3rd & 4th generation immigrants of this country lost their farms to huge corporate ‘farms’ - and I am sure the pay off was big in the ‘pork’ dept. in D.C.

I find it curious to hear the myth that now only illegal aliens are the ones who are willing to work on the farms…I am sure that all those families who lost their farms back in the 80’s would love to be back working on ‘their land’ - instead of now having their jobs outsourced for the cheapest bidder by yet another corporation-for the work they ‘retrained’ themselves for, only a few years ago.

Another myth is that Americans aren’t willing to pay more for their gardeners, maids, nannys, food & new home constructon. It’s getting to the point with the downsizing and dumbing of Amerian jobs - that no one will even be able to *consider* hiring an illegal for those luxuries-especially on the minimumal wage corporations want to pay.

One may want to consider what’s going to happen to all these so-called workers who are willing to do these jobs that Americans won’t do - when those jobs ‘dry up’ because no one can afford such luxuries? Collect unemployment? Collect bottles out of trash cans - it’s already happening.

It is true that the WTO is on a mission to downsize all wages worldwide to maintain the ‘return’ of investment for all international corporate cows.  Pretty soon, we will be a 3rd world ‘service’ country…immersed in plastic baby diapers in our ocean & streams.

If American taxpayers don’t wake up soon, all that we have treasured will be gone. If the illegals feel it’s their right to drive without drivers licenses which also means drive without insurance in Maywood, CA - what next? Sure, there’s a large majority who are here and love this country, and to them they are welcome.

The USA is a nation of laws, and that doesn’t mean that you can create your own *society of laws* within our government - this goes for the Illegal activists - and George W. Bush.

This issue goes across party lines. It is not a Democrat, Republican or Independent problem. It is an American crisis that is at the crossroads of our survival.

Report this

By Uncle Ernie, March 29, 2006 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gosh Bob I thought you had something other than shit for brains, guess I was wrong!

Report this

By Bobadi, March 29, 2006 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For those here who are still holding on to their cult styled nationalism:
A part of me wants to see you have your wish to place severe restrictions on employers of undocumented workers, and in doing so, watch the crumbling empire finally fall heavily to ruin. However a greater part of my preservative instinct shuns your callous disregard for reality. 
You and I both vote for undocumented workers with our own frugality, and would put out of business anyone who would try to run any dirty, dangerous, or depressing low wage, low tier job, who did not use these people. The employer has no other option but to obey us, the consumer. We are all involved in this, and if you thought about it, you would at least stop complaining, and possibly try to find a way to thank your “illegal” friends.
Everything our country has been built with and certainly stands on; is the backs of its depressed classes.
The US is a cult of pretension that holds most of us as members brainwashed to believe “the problem” is on the outside coming in, whereas the reality of our problem resides within each one of us.
This is how cults keep and hold their power, with each member becoming a part of the hive mentality seeing itself a blameless island of purity.
Luckily this US hive has a hierarchy that understands its system well, and will not allow its destruction regardless of the majority belief of its collective.
This is why I suspect such a draconian bill was presented, so to appease and identify with a large constituency, but primarily, and at the same time watch as it builds a tremendous opposition which would defeat it.

Report this

By DG, March 29, 2006 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There are many sides to this issue of illegal immigration, and through it all flows volumes of hypocrisy by nearly all of the diverse advocates. When and where can we find the silver bullet and come to some agreeable conclusions?

Report this

By Hal Summers, March 29, 2006 at 10:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We should make a deal with Mexico: for every Mexican we take into the US we should send one of our citizens to Mexico (on a completely voluntary basis, of course).  I think senior citizens would probably be best.  The warmer weather will be more tolerable for their aging bones, the new adventure will stimulate their minds, thus keeping them more alert, and drug prices are SO much cheaper there.  Just allow Americans to buy and OWN Mexican land and they’ll be moving there in droves.  Developers could build big retirement (55+) country clubs and everyone would be happy.  Who knows, maybe those moving south will even want to become citizens and help end Mexican politics notorious corruption through civic action.  It’s a win-win.

Move south, old man, move south!

Report this

By Illegal immigration news, March 29, 2006 at 10:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer:

You missed the real enemy then. It’s not the illegal aliens, it’s their employers and the corrupt politicians who look the other way.

You complain about abuse of illegal aliens, yet you end up supporting that abuse by not reporting on everything involved in this issue.

Massive emigration has devastated large parts of Mexico. It’s made them dependent on money sent from workers in the U.S. It’s entrenched the Mexican oligarchy. And, it’s helped prevent reforms in Mexico.

Why would anyone support that rather than paying a few extra pennies for lettuce?

And, illegal immigration has a devastating impact on the U.S. as well, and not just in the visible ways such as hospitals being forced to close.

Those companies that profit off illegal immigration then donate to politicians who then refuse to enforce our laws. That corruption threatens out entire political system.

There’s only one way to solve all these problems: simply enforce our immigration laws.

Anyone who does not support fully enforcing our immigration laws across the board enables illegal immigration, and that leads to the problems mentioned above.

[BTW: I left this comment last night at the HuffPost but it was deleted or never appeared.]

Report this

By John Earl, March 29, 2006 at 10:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the meat packing industry where illiegal immigrants are frequently employed there are catastrophic work-related injuries that often result in the employee being essentially dumped onto the street. Production lines have been sped up so that the conditions at meat packing plant are unsafe for the workers and unsafe for the consumers of contaminated meat. Other illegals can be easily bused in to replace the casulties of meat packing.

In my neighborhood when Comcast was installing fiber-optic lines I went over to the five men working on the lines to ask when the job would be completed. None could speak english. They were hispainics probably working for a sub-contractor.

I believe a lot of the work that immigrants perform could be done by workers who are citizens. But of course occupational safety and wage standards, as poor as they are, would have to be complied with.

Report this

By Alex, March 29, 2006 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bob, the people hurt most by today’s illegal immigrants are the illegal immigrants who arrived last month and last year. It’s much harder for them to demand higher pay or better working conditions, because they know there is an endless supply of fresh illegals who will gladly take whatever an employer is willing to pay. Open borders means a permanent underclass. That’s bad for the United States, and it’s worse for those whose labor and ambition we are exploiting.

Report this

By Anna Taylor, March 29, 2006 at 8:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

At least the Latino immigrants aren’t, as the Europeans did in the Americas, slaughtering the people who were living here when they came . . .

Report this

Page 1 of 2 pages  1 2 >

Right Top, Site wide - Care2
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide

Like Truthdig on Facebook