Guest Workers: Importing Poverty?

Happy Monday to you all -- especially happy, that is, because our local dream team is on its way to the Final Four! I've been holding this in for the last couple weeks, but now it's definitely time to let loose:

GO MASON!!!


Ahem. With that out of my system (for the moment), we'll pick up where we left off Friday afternoon, on the subject of guest workers.

Econo-columnist Robert Samuelson opposes a guest worker program because "we'd be importing poverty." He notes that the number of Hispanics in poverty in the United States has increased 162 percent since 1980. Just to keep that number in perspective, though, the total Hispanic population in the United States has seen an overall increase of 177 percent since 1980, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

In Sunday's Washington Post, Tamar Jacoby agrees that a temporary worker program won't work because it lacks any incentive for them to return home. Instead of trying to keep them out entirely, Jacoby argues, a plan that offers a path to citizenship would be far more successful.

A related question is whether immigrants -- and in particular, illegal immigrants -- pay enough in taxes to make up for the services they use. Remember, they pay not only sales taxes, but often Social Security taxes and income taxes as well.

The Center for Immigration Studies, which pushes for reduced immigration to the United States, doesn't like that the U.S. government provides illegal immigrants with identification numbers to use in order to file taxes. Some get tax credits to which they are not legally entitled, but that is a problem of enforcement; anyone who believes illegal immigrants ought to pay their fair share of taxes should support the government's attempt to give them a way to do so.

The late Julian Simon presented data that suggested illegal immigrants pay somewhat more than their share in taxes as compared to services used, at least as of the pamphlet's publication in 1995. Simon's data may be a few years out of date, but then, so is the 1992 paper by Donald Huddle that Debater Will suggests reading in response to my last post. Most of its sources are from the 1970s and 1980s; that said, if its conclusions are correct, it is likely that the negative effects would have increased over the years as immigration continued unabated.

I've got to go get ready for work. We'll look at a strange claim Huddle makes in his paper and we'll get into the subject of assimilation -- ready, Debater Borg? -- later today.

In the meantime, what do you think of Samuelson's argument that a guest worker program would simply legitimize illegal immigration? What about the idea that such a program would be "importing poverty"?

By Emily Messner |  March 27, 2006; 4:57 AM ET  | Category:  National Politics
Previous: Immigration: Wedge Issue, Not a Wage Issue | Next: Patriotic Assimilation (Go Patriots!)

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Emily wrote:
===========================================
A related question is whether immigrants -- and in particular, illegal immigrants -- pay enough in taxes to make up for the services they use. Remember, they pay not only sales taxes, but often Social Security taxes and income taxes as well.
===========================================

HOW????

Through stealing SSN# and using fake ones??

Emily. STOP. Think!! How can illegals get legit SSN#??!!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 08:47 AM

I would like to know where Mr. Simon got his facts from. Here in Florida Illegals are so prevalent that I don't think that they even bother with enforcement unless a mojor crime has been comited by an Illegal. As I stated Friday, my son's principal was hit and killed by a truckload of illegals. A majority of illegals start their working lives, at least here in Florida at these work today get paid today, or by congragating in an area known by everyone as a place to pick up people (mostly illegals) for day labor. The people who pick them up usually run some kind of construction crews or landscaping business. These people aren't big construction firms, but sub-contractors. They usually try to pick up the same people for a couple of days to make sure theey are going to be dependable. They usually have a legal to run the crews, because he can speak both english and spanish. The guys who are doing the sub-contracting pay their workers in cash mainly because they don't have any ID to be able to cash regular paychecks. The illegals can't open a bank account because they don't have a social security number and a state issued ID like a drivers license. The illegals here in Florida don't bother with a drivers license or car insurance, they just drive, figuring they will take their chances that they won't get caught as was the case with my son's principal.

Because state law doesn't exclude them from applying for social services, and food stamps, and because the childhood mortality rate is so high where they come from they breed like cockroaches. A majority of them can't read or speak any english, the state has to hire interpreters and print every application form in 2 languages, the state enrolls their kids in "Headstart" or some other disadvantaged kids program. They are picked up and dropped off at their door. They get free meals, and medical care. The kids that are old enough to attend school are enrolled in public school. These kids also get free meals and extra staff are needed because these kids can't speak english either. Because they have no paystubs and are paid in cash there is no way for the government to document how much money they make. Their wages are not reported nor is any tax taken out of their pay so this way they are approved for every type of benefit the government has. The mothers and kids up to age five get WIC also. Every agencey has to hire either translators or someone who is bi-lingual there by elliminating some americans for jobs because they don't speak spanish. They learn that if they go to the hospital emergancy room they don't have to pay for medical treatment. The crime rate in areas that have a high concentration of illegals is higher than in the surrounding areas, so extra police need to be hired also they need to speak spanish. How much does all this cost anyway? Who do you think pays for all these services that these illegals receive? Because there is only so much money allocated for these programs who do you think gets left out? The citizens and people who are legally in this country that is who!!!!! I can't figure out how Mr. Simon can even say with a straight face that the illegals pay more than what they use in services.

Posted by: Lab Rat | March 27, 2006 08:51 AM

Easiest solution to all this mess is require only native born citizens of citizen parents (those who arrived here legally) can have first dibs on any job. Those jobs not taken, can be offered to non citizen -- LEGAL -- immigrants. With a disclaimer that they most make enough income to pay for health insurance and living quarters per individual (not 10 people to one apartment).

That forces them to either assimiliate (oh, yes, Emily, waiting on that piece) or can't afford to stay in this country, out you go.

The issues that will curb is the drain on socio-services, drain on a native tongue, drain on trade jobs going to law breakers (which illegals are -- they broke the law to come here without permission).

The USA will NOT become a Balkan state, and it will NOT become a center for poverty by importing the world's poor.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 09:00 AM

If the current administration, and arguably past administrations, cannot enforce the existing immigration laws how will new laws be enforced any better. The problem is not the need for new laws, the problem is lack of enforcement of existing laws.

One has to ask why the enforcement has not been there and has allowed 12 million to cross our borders and stay here, and unbelievably paying taxes, which I always though meant the IRS knew who you were.

Enforcement is not happening because businesses do not want it to happen. They enjoy the cheap labor. And let me say this again and again, there is no issue of who will do the jobs that "nobody wants". Those jobs were done by American citizens in the past and will be done by American citizens in the future. But businesses would rather use illegals because they are cheaper. The thought of having to pay real wages to citizens to harvest crops or mow lawns must be driving businesses up the wall.

As for importing poverty, I disagree. What we are importing are the best people, people willing to take risks and work hard just to get here. When they do they work hard. However, since they will work for much less than Americans they depress the wages of legal immigrants and Americans. And this is the problem. There are no jobs that Americans do not want, there are only jobs that businesses do not want to pay the wages Americans will demand, so they want to hire illegals to pay less. That is illegal and the laws should be enforced on the businesses that knowingly hire illegals. If they had been enforced we would not be having this discussion.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 09:18 AM

I've long thought Mexico should be the Southern United States (South America as a name is already taken). It's to theirs and our advantage. If there were no jobs here and if Americans never vacationed in Mexico it would be different. Immigation as an issue is a misnomer for a labor & real estate imbalance that can be resolved for everyone's gain.

Posted by: tucker | March 27, 2006 09:50 AM

SandyK, you ask about illegal immigrants paying taxes and getting identification numbers. My suggestion: read and ye shall find.

Emily wrote in paragraphs 4 and 5 (I know, I know, a long way down):

[I haven't quoted par. 4 because for some reason my web browser won't let me select it and I can't be screwed re-typing it]

"The Center for Immigration Studies, which pushes for reduced immigration to the United States, doesn't like that the U.S. government provides illegal immigrants with identification numbers to use in order to file taxes. Some get tax credits to which they are not legally entitled, but that is a problem of enforcement; anyone who believes illegal immigrants ought to pay their fair share of taxes should support the government's attempt to give them a way to do so."

Happy to help.

Derek.

GO GEORGE MASON PATRIOTS!!!

Posted by: Derek | March 27, 2006 10:04 AM

Congrats to George Mason!

Now to immigration. In today's NY Times, Paul Krugman of all people (he's a very liberal economist) argues the following:

1. Illegal immigrants drive down wages for US citizens;
2. Americans would do the jobs that illegals are often hired to do, if wages were better;
3. Illegal immigrants use more services than they pay in taxes; and
4. A guest worker plan is designed to provide endless cheap labor to corporate employers, and would not benefit average Americans.

Krugman's point is that supporters of illegal immigrants need to accept these facts and work to build arguments that acknowledge them rather than deny them.

Emily?

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 10:30 AM

Emily also cites to Tamar Jacoby's WaPo piece that ran yesterday. Jacoby says:

"But among those who recognize the necessity of a continued flow of immigrants to do dirty, unskilled jobs that educated Americans increasingly no longer want to do, the mantra goes unquestioned: What's needed is a guest worker program to deliver this labor in a timely, efficient way."

Nice, huh? Jacoby notes that "educated" Americans don't want to do "dirty, unskilled jobs".

What about Americans without a good education? There are tens of millions of such Americans, and they have the highest unemployment rate of all US citizens.

What about viewing a job as a noble and good thing, rather than "dirty"?

Jacoby's arrogance is nothing to admire, Emily.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 10:34 AM

Emily asks:

"In the meantime, what do you think of Samuelson's argument that a guest worker program would simply legitimize illegal immigration? What about the idea that such a program would be "importing poverty"?"

You know, if you would like to be a bit cutting edge on this topic, Emily, you could address the following:

How can a 'guest worker' plan that assumes immigrants will return to their home countries function properly if we continue to confer birthright citizenship on the children of anyone physically present in the United States?

In other words, will we really require 'guest workers' to go home (if not, they aren't really 'guests') when they have U.S. citizen children? This is a component of the 'guest worker' idea that NO ONE has addressed with any seriousness.

Now is your chance, Emily. Carpe diem.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 10:38 AM

Emily:
"A related question is whether immigrants -- and in particular, illegal immigrants -- pay enough in taxes to make up for the services they use. Remember, they pay not only sales taxes, but often Social Security taxes and income taxes as well."

From a link you posted earlier: http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecentersf134 1996 estimates the cost of Illegals, after taxes paid, to be 24 billion dollars.

"Some get tax credits to which they are not legally entitled, but that is a problem of enforcement; anyone who believes illegal immigrants ought to pay their fair share of taxes should support the government's attempt to give them a way to do so."

Incorrect. I don't think illegal immigrants ought to pay their fair share of taxes since their "fair share" is zero. Their presence in the country is a violation of American law. If the government is going to take the effort to enforce a tax burden on Illegal immigrants, I would suggest that their time is better spent enforcing the actual laws preventing illegals from entering this country or from getting jobs illegally.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 10:43 AM

Derek,

But they DON'T file for it. They avoid any government agency, as they know they could be deported. So what they do is get illegally obtained REAL SSN# or use fake ones. That way they can get around the green card issue as well.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 10:56 AM

Virginia Dare wrote:
===========================================
What about Americans without a good education? There are tens of millions of such Americans, and they have the highest unemployment rate of all US citizens.

What about viewing a job as a noble and good thing, rather than "dirty"?

Jacoby's arrogance is nothing to admire, Emily.
===========================================

So true.

When I was working at McDonald's (while still in high school), it wasn't comforting to see college graduates literally flipping burgers. That turned me off of college all together, even more so with their snotty attitude, that if they have some piece of paper they're entitled to a better job -- while I still had to train managers to do their job without a HS diploma. :mad: Worse, they refuse to work (depending on severance and/or unemployment benefits) until they could find a job that pays equal or more than their previous one.

Welfare queens and rich SOBs have a lot in common.

Blue collared workers don't care if it's scrubbing bins, digging ditches or building servers. It's honest pay, and they can take their skills anywhere, as well, and work!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 11:06 AM

Any discussion of "guest worker" programs assumes it as a reasonable compromise on the issue of illegal immigration. The problem is, the guest worker program solution requires untenable assumptions to make work.

First and foremost it assumes that the program is enforceable. Since we have fairly voluminous evidence that the United States government is either unwilling or incapable to enforce current laws, I'm not willing to trust them on the guest worker program. A sign of good faith, say, reasonable attempts to enforce current law might sway me towards the program. Until such time I cannot support it.

Another assumption is that Mexicans in Mexico will at all be compelled to adhere to the plan. Some 3 million Mexicans a year fail to adhere to the simpler proposal of simply staying home. It's foolish to think that these 3 million will suddenly conform to American law and wait their "guest worker" turn.

The far more intuitive and likely result is that as the United States legitimizes more immigrants through guest worker programs, the amount of illegals will increase. The more relaxed Americas immigration policy the more accessible it is to legals and illegals alike.

If you want to have a frank discussion about a guest worker program it will only be taken seriously if you coterminously propose a serious effort to enforce current immigration laws. I like the bit about forcing employers to validate the legal status of their employees, but question how seriously these measures will be enforced. Without reasonable enforcement these new measures are, like the old ones, so much window dressing.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 11:17 AM

It is absolutely WRONG that my 17 year old daughter - who works part time at a grocery store must bag groceries for an illegal immigrant, who bought those groceries on food stamps. Who pays for those food stamps??? My 17 year old daughter who pays her taxes. Again, she is now going to bag up those free groceries she bought for that immigrant but WON'T EVEN GET A THANK YOU BECUASE THAT PERSON DOESN'T SPEAK ENGLISH.

Posted by: Kathy | March 27, 2006 11:19 AM

The USA cannot continue to absorb the masses emanating from Mexico. During the next decade, millions will pour accross the border and stream north, bringing crime and disease, as they us up all the government resources and public services in the southern border states and eventually northern states.

Many politicians turn a blind eye to illegals and the border issue, since some are paid through campaign contributions and direct cash, from drug cartels, to look the other way to the catastrophe that is unfolding. All of the cocaine and other illegal drugs grown or made in South America, come right through the Mexican border,into the USA and poison our youth, making them weak physically and morally degenerate.

If the US government can spend 1 billion dollars a month on the war in Iraq, it can better spend the money to build an electrified wall, manned by the Army to keep out the illegal Mexicans. Also, many of the illegals streaming accross,are mid eastern professional terrorists, posing as Mexicans. Spanish is easy to learn. They are sleepers, waiting for orders. They don't need airplanes to blow things up, they are already among us. Thanks to politicians who are bought or have no guts to tackle the issue of illegal immigration, that will be the undoing of the USA and its culture, if it is not stopped.

Posted by: Edward M. | March 27, 2006 11:22 AM

SandyK, that was not your question. Re-read your original post and you'll find it was already answered in Emily's bit. Whether they file taxes or not was not part of your original question.

Derek.

Posted by: Derek | March 27, 2006 11:24 AM

Robert Samuelson opposes a guest worker program because it would import poverty? Just a couple weeks ago he was calling those who opposed the Dubai deal stupid. So he must be for the "guest owner program" instead? And that would make the rest of us richer? By being employed as dock workers loading and unloading cargo made by someone else?

When will we start outsourcing snotty nosed armchair economist/columnist jobs?

Posted by: Borg | March 27, 2006 11:24 AM

Granting anything to illegals is giving permission.
1 jobs here in the few manufacturing companies still available in michigan are almost all hispanic now... I worked in one place for 2 days and lost the position because i could not speak or understand spanish.

2. hispanics apply for and get all social services without any required paperwork,( my ex boss stated it is not our job to police them) drive without licenses.( unless they are in accidents no one seems to care) live 15 to 20 in apartments, 17 lived above me, plus new arrivals came daily showered slept and moved on with new ones coming in to replace them) all buy cars, because with little cost to themself as rent and food payers, they can afford to, and collect social security if entitled or not. ( how is that possible. ) no one will answer.
3. jobs that many of us would work, if we could get hired, even at minimum wage are no longer available when someone else will work for so much less money. this includes service jobs, must be bilingual, restraunts, hotels, lawn work construction , painting etc.
I know that here in michigan where we lost more manufacturing companies than anywhere in the country, that many of those workers thought they could find work and can't because it is no longer available as long as someone else will do it so much cheaper.

I myself have for the last 3 years gone for months looking, and only getting occasional temporary jobs, or minimum wage jobs, and having worked hard all my life find myself getting more and more upset that my right to work has been taken from me. AND that I don't qualify for the same services that ILLEGAL imigrants easily get.
i hate that i have become so upset about this issue. but my very livelyhood has been threatened, still is and it is not right for americans to stay silent and allow it to continue. we need to define the problem with the word ILLEGAL.

Posted by: northtosuperior | March 27, 2006 11:29 AM

Don't we already have a guest worker program? I'm in the computer industry and there are a lot of Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and others who are here, working, legally. They're not landscaping or painting, but work is work. I do not understand why one part of our immigration laws and programs work in one case but when it comes to those who broke the law to get here we seem to need some type of new law. Enforce the existing laws for crying out loud! "Guest workers" is just a way of saying amnesty. Its like treating squaters in an apartment complex as guests, hoping that when their guest status runs out they will go home. What a joke!

Illegals who came here to stay will only go home when they are arrested and deported. Making them guest workers is designed to satisfy Americans who right now are quite angry the government has let things get to this level. Hopefully Americans are smarter than that, but of course a majority elected Bush so my hopes are not so high...

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 11:42 AM

I'll completely agree with Sully's sentiment. You cannot have a reasonable discussion about "guest worker" programs until the border is secure and current laws are enforced. With 3 million people entering this country per year it is impractical to discuss how many we want or need to legitimize. Once we stem the flow of illegals we can make evaluative decisions, legislatively, on how many more workers we need. And we can give out those jobs fairly, to Mexicans, to Nicaraguans, to Malaysians.

We should not be tacitly allowing illegal immigrants to steal these jobs not just from Americans but from legitimate guest workers, guests in the sense that we invited them. The only thing we know about the illegal immigrants in this country is that they have already shown a willingness and capacity for breaking United States law.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 11:52 AM

I agree with Sully and Will. The problem we face is that many in the media and in politics have decided that it is "impractical" and/or "cruel" to cause current illegals to leave. Coupled with that is that our outdated 'birthright citizenship' interpretation of the Constitution provides many illegal aliens with 'anchor babies' to help them stay here.

We have to overcome the elite consensus that forcing illegal aliens to leave (either thru deportation or self-deportation (i.e., by denying them work)) is something that cannot happen.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 11:57 AM

Virginia wrote:
"We have to overcome the elite consensus that forcing illegal aliens to leave (either thru deportation or self-deportation (i.e., by denying them work)) is something that cannot happen."

Well, I agree except for the "elite" sentiment. I really do not think this is a rich/poor, republican/democrat issue and in many cases it is hard to define where people's stands on the issue are.

I do worry about the children of illegals since if all illegals were sent home many of their American children would probably go to. These children deserve more than the boot from America and I think a lot of illegals would leave more easily if something were done to support these American children whose parents would have to leave. These kids, some are in their 20s now, did not pick their parents and do not want to see them harmed. That is a reality that needs to be addressed and must be part of any new legislation that will effectively enforce illegal immigration laws for those crossing today and for those who have been here for years.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 12:37 PM

As I said yesterday, and this falls right in line with Sully and Will, until Americans are fed up enough with the coruption that is rampent in our government. Until our elected leaders can no longer be bought by big business, because we as Americans decide to clean house and demand that our lawmakers do our will and not line their pockets with soft cash from lobbyists. We as a nation need to let the lawmakers know that they are going to lose their jobs unless the start doing for us and not for Big Business or their special intrest groups that pad their campaign coffers or favorite charity (themselves). We need true transparency in government and honest elected officials. Until such time the phrase "A Government By The People And For The People" won't mean a damn thing!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: LabRat | March 27, 2006 12:42 PM

I posted this comment the other day about King George Bush. While giving a speech in India he said that he was proud that X number of jobs had been outsourced to India. I was shocked that not one lawmaker nor any in the mainstream media even mentioned the fact that he had said this. Our lawmakers have sold us out. They won't fund the Border Patrol with enough money or staff to protect our borders so the illegals can just about walk in as if they belong here, so they can take what few jobs are left because the lawmakers didn't impose penelties on companies who took their jobs overseas because they can pay slave wages and get away with it, or else outsource most of our technical jobs that don't need to be physically done here, out to India, just so the company executives can get multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses.

Posted by: Lab Rat | March 27, 2006 12:56 PM

Great study out of North Carolina on the economic impact of Hispanics in one State.

http://www.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/ki/reports/2006_HispanicStudy/

Suprisingly, Latinos have a positive economic impact in the State. And they only cost on average, $102 per person in taxes.

good work. highly researched.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 01:00 PM

Greydawg-

Don't give a damn if the illegals have a positive impact on the state's economy- they're having a distastrous effect on my sons' economy. How many blue-collar workers (the back-bone of the middle class and the USA) have lost their jobs to outsourcing and illegals? I'd like to see a study on that!

Posted by: wiccan | March 27, 2006 01:09 PM

Thanks for the study, Greydawg. Interesting that it's about "Hispanics", whether legal or illegal. No matter how they spin it, the important finding is this:

"Hispanics annually contribute about $756 million in taxes (direct and indirect) while costing the state budget about $817 million annually for K-12 education ($467 million), health care ($299 million) and corrections ($51 million) -- for a net cost to the state of about $61 million, or $102 per Hispanic resident."

In other words, the immigrants (legal and illegal) cost North Carolina more than they brought in. I am certain that if one just looked at the _illegal_ portion of that group, the costs are higher and the burden on citizens and legal residents higher.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 01:09 PM

In addition, the North Carolina study only looked at state costs. The _federal_ costs imposed by immigrants, especially the illegal ones, should also be factored in, since North Carolinians pay federal income tax as well as state income tax.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 01:11 PM

My son is an RN and works in California. He says illegals from all countries are about to wreck the health care industry. He predics hospitals will be forced to close because staffs are bound by laws to treat them.

Friends of mine took a vacation to Florida recently. They told me of illegals who were working for motels that couldn't beging to understand English. My frends said they'd never go back to Florida again.

Posted by: Donna Pariseau | March 27, 2006 01:11 PM

Virginia, you are reading the study wrong. Immigrants bring in benefits totallying 9 billion dollars a year. They cost the state $102 a person, which is about $61 million a year.

So the total benefit is 8.9 billion and change.

INCLUDING the loss in taxes. Additionally, most of us, as individuals, cost the government money in terms of taxes. Which is why Businesses pay higher taxes, because all of us, like it or not, cost more than we pay in.

I believe the study does break down the costs at federal and state levels. take a closer look.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 01:27 PM

Greydawg says: "Virginia, you are reading the study wrong. Immigrants bring in benefits totallying 9 billion dollars a year. They cost the state $102 a person, which is about $61 million a year.

So the total benefit is 8.9 billion and change."

It doesn't work that way, sorry. "Total benefit" is a loose term, but you don't just subtract 'economic impact' from 'tax burden.' The summary of the study put it this way:

""The net cost to the state budget must be seen in the broader context of the aggregate benefits Hispanics bring to the state's economy," researchers said. "Above and beyond their direct and indirect impacts on North Carolina business revenues, Hispanic workers contribute immensely to the state's economic output and cost competitiveness in a number of key industries."

For example, without Hispanic participation in the construction industry, economic output of this important sector would be significantly lower and annual labor costs nearly $1 billion higher."

In other words, quantifying the 'economic impact' is tricky. You also have to figure that while some jobs would not have been created, others would have been filled by Americans, likely at a higher wage.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 01:40 PM

By the way, this is likely the most important part of the North Carolina study:

"This study was supported by the North Carolina
Bankers Association (NCBA), in cooperation with the
Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh, North Carolina."

Mmm-hmmm.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 01:42 PM

Eh, who cares. GMU baby!!!

Posted by: | March 27, 2006 01:46 PM

NorthtoSuperior wrote:
===========================================
1 jobs here in the few manufacturing companies still available in michigan are almost all hispanic now... I worked in one place for 2 days and lost the position because i could not speak or understand spanish.
===========================================

Now that should be made a crime.

Those who refuse to assimilated really do need to go. We're not Mexico, and we're not going to be forced to adopt ways and means of a foreign country, just for some lazy home proud immigrants who think home is more important than the country that allowed them here in the first place. >:(

I bet if threatened with being thrown out of the country they'll learn English REAL quick!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 01:47 PM

Interesting point, Virginia. But don't we all (or most of us) end up costing the government money in terms of tax burden. I have some old data on this, but can't find it off hand.

In terms of the money spent on schools, roads, and everything else, our tax burden is relatively low. Aren't most normal american's "subsidized" by companies and wealthier people who pay taxes?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 01:47 PM

Virginia Dare wrote:
===========================================
By the way, this is likely the most important part of the North Carolina study:

"This study was supported by the North Carolina
Bankers Association (NCBA), in cooperation with the
Consulate of Mexico in Raleigh, North Carolina."

Mmm-hmmm.
===========================================

Good catch, good catch.

So it's now stuffing the ballot box with PR straight from Mexico. Talking about bias.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 01:49 PM

Greydawg says: "But don't we all (or most of us) end up costing the government money in terms of tax burden."

I don't think that's true if you just look at social services. Overall, we sure do, since we are running a deficit at the federal level.

While the N.C. study is interesting, I am afraid that it just muddies the waters on the immigration debate, because the study points out that 55% of North Carolina Hispanics are legal residents or citizens, while the other 45% are illegal aliens. For all we know, the economic benefits and low social costs are concentrated in the citizen/legal resident portion of that population.

WIthout separating them out, it doesn't help to tell us what impact _illegal_ immigration is having on the state.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 01:51 PM

The NC study also says this. I wonder why it wasn't in the Executive Summary?

"On the other hand, it has been shown that Hispanic
immigrants often depress wage levels of non-Hispanics,
especially in lower-wage, labor-intensive sectors. Given the
downward pressure less-educated Hispanics place on wages
in these sectors, not everyone in North Carolina benefits
from the influx of Hispanic workers."

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 01:56 PM

As I understand it, the supply and demand factors are the basis any economy, which is merely an umbrella-word to describe, analyze, and comment what happens in the relationship between these two factors. If a new product appears which is useful to a market and the price and quality are attractive, a demand will shortly follow, and if the demand is great, more supply will follow. There is no shortage of comment as to the difficulty, even impossibility, of preventing the commerce of a popular product. Prohibition is our classic example; other prohibited substances,for which there is great demand and sufficient supply, will probably become examples in the future. Debate, condemnation, controls, danger: these are all relatively accademic verbalizing which little reaches into reality, the thing-in-itself, the man-on-the-street and his purchase-and-consumption. The Latin immigrant worker is here because he has "product" to supply -- his work -- which he offers at the right price, with good quality, and he sells it because there is a demand for that product. Commerce will continue, as it always and everywhere has, despite fences and walls and minutemen and laws, because there is both great supply and great demand. Let the debate continue, for debate is another product which enjoys both supply and demand. But it is not really reality, not that man out there doing that job and getting that pay for it.

Posted by: johndennis | March 27, 2006 01:58 PM

"The Latin immigrant worker is here because he has "product" to supply -- his work -- which he offers at the right price, with good quality, and he sells it because there is a demand for that product. Commerce will continue, as it always and everywhere has, despite fences and walls and minutemen and laws, because there is both great supply and great demand."

I object to viewing workers as commodities. That kind of thinking is what has gotten us into this mess -- Big Businesses' incessant search for cheaper and cheaper labor.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 02:00 PM

Virginia:
"I object to viewing workers as commodities. That kind of thinking is what has gotten us into this mess"

If by this mess, you mean the U.S. economy, I completely agree. When my italian (and german and scottish) ancestors came over in the early 1900's, they were viewed as a cheaper labor source for big business. A commodity to be sold on the open market. This is not a new phenomenon.

I know. I know. But these immigrants are "illegal". We can't "control" them. The fact is, it wasn't "illegal" to cross the border, build a house and start working until 1924. After the first two big immigration waves hit the U.S.

Rather than blaming the immigrants, why don't we face the real economic reasons that immigrants are attracted to this country and create a strong policy response . Discouraging undocumented immigration by making it easier for immigrants to receive documentation and harder (and more painful) for businesses to hire illegal immigrants?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 02:09 PM

johndennis wrote:
"The Latin immigrant worker is here because he has "product" to supply -- his work -- which he offers at the right price, with good quality, and he sells it because there is a demand for that product."

Now I would phrase that differently for illegal immigrants:

"The Latin illegal immigrant worker is here because he has broken American laws to enter this country. He has an illegal "product" to supply -- his illegal work -- which he offers at noncompetitive prices due to his illegal status, with good quality, and he sells it because there is an illegal demand for that product."

johndennis, if you are going to place illegal immigrant work in the catagory of a commodity, then it is an illegal commodity to offer and consume. Lets remember that when an illegal works in this country, two people are commiting a crime, the illegal and his employer just as a pusher and drug user are each comitting a crime. And harm is done to the American and legal immigrant worker and wages are depressed.

If a business cannot compete without illegals, they should suffer the fate of all businesses that cannot compete legally and fold. A business that hires illegals and competes with honest businesses causes harm to everyone including those honest businesses. Its time to level the playing field by enforcing existing laws against businesses hiring illegal immigrants.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 02:21 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"Rather than blaming the immigrants, why don't we face the real economic reasons that immigrants are attracted to this country and create a strong policy response . Discouraging undocumented immigration by making it easier for immigrants to receive documentation and harder (and more painful) for businesses to hire illegal immigrants?"

I think that's what we are all saying with respect to the laws (enforce them) and policy (make it work). However you want to ignore those that knowingly broke American laws to come here as though there is no harm done. That is simply not true. Wages are depressed, housing costs in some areas go up, healthcare costs go up, schools overcrowding, etc, etc,etc...
Illegal immigration is not a victimless crime anymore than shoplifting is. Its a crime with cumulative harm and that is why laws exist. The fact that they are not enforced does not make it any less illegal than you driving 100mph and not getting caught makes driving 100mph less illegal.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 02:28 PM

Greydawg-

"Discouraging undocumented immigration by making it easier for immigrants to receive documentation and harder (and more painful) for businesses to hire illegal immigrants?"

How can we have an honest, legislative debate about how many legal immigrants we need when 3 million undocumented Mexicans decide each year the more prescient matter of how many immigrants we are going to get.

I completely agree that we need to do more to punish businesses who hire illegals. This seems to be a matter virtually everyone here agrees on. Polling suggests that the vast majority of Americans also agree. One has to wonder why, in a Democratic country, the will of the vast majority of a country fails to be imposed.

It is quite fishy.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 02:30 PM

Greydawg you make a good point. If you look back when your ancestors came to this country it was at a time during the industrial revolution. Big business did take advantage of cheap labor, BUT this was also the time of labor unions and the busting of the sweat shop mentality. This was when the start of modern labor practices in this country developed and labor laws started for the protection of the worker. This country was able to absorb the influx of immigrants and assimilate them into a robust economy. America had thee manufacturing jobs to support the influx of immigrants, now it has neither the manufacturing jobs nor the means to support a major innflux of immigrants without displacing the local workforce with cheap slave labor. The only ones to benifit are the illegals who will work for deflated wages because of their living conditions and the businesses that hire them illegally so they can inflate their profit margins.

Posted by: Lab Rat | March 27, 2006 02:33 PM

Will wrote:
"One has to wonder why, in a Democratic country, the will of the vast majority of a country fails to be imposed...It is quite fishy"

Not fishy at all. You assume we are a democratic country. There in lies the flaw of your logic. We are closer to a plutocracy, which dictionary.com defines as "a government or state in which the wealthy rule".

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 02:33 PM

Sully:

I agree with you, that we should enforce laws against businesses. Unfortunately, businesses have a big "out". That they can't verify whether someone is using a real social security number or not.

There is currently no system in place where a business can call (or fax or email) to verify a SSN. A business collects all the SSNs, pays taxes on the hours worked and send the information to the IRS. If the IRS chooses to audit a business, then the business is "caught". The workers lose their job, but their is no penalty for the business because they thought they had a legitimate SSN.

Unforunately, the laws in place are un-enforceable. So we need new laws, and a new system in place.

But no business will accept these changes unless it comes with a guest worker program, because they know they will loose a significant portion of their labor force.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 02:34 PM

Will, that is what I've been trying to get everyone to see. We need to let the lawmakers know that until they start doing the will of the american people that they are going to get their butts booted out of their cushy jobs. That the american people aren't going to stand anymore of their catering to special intrests just so they can get their re-election coffers filled and their pockets lined by soft money.

Posted by: Lab Rat | March 27, 2006 02:39 PM

Greydawg says: "But no business will accept these changes unless it comes with a guest worker program, because they know they will loose a significant portion of their labor force."

I agree with much of your sentiment on this issue - we do need a better system, adn we do need to enforce it. But in the end, business will have to accept whatever changes the Congress decrees. If that means they lose some of their immigrant labor force, they will have to respond by raising wages to attract American workers. Business will always adapt, or go under.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 02:39 PM

Lab Rat, you are so funny :-)

I wish I was less of a cynic. But I fear that all of us (on either side of the immigration debate) are pawns in a much larger game with HUGE amounts of money at stake. (If immigrants can bring 9 billion dollars to one state in one year, what do they do nationwide??)

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 02:42 PM

This is really a not button issue and one that is not easily solved. Senator Feinstein, participating in a Senate committee meeting this morning on the issue of illegal immigration said that she had volunteers post help wanted signs in employment offices in this state which were aimed at everyone but illegal immigrants and got not one reply. Amazing to me because I always assumed that the "nobody else will do the work" was a ruse. She also said that Calif. grows about 90% of the food stuffs in this country and without the labor to work the fields etc. not only would the economy of Calif. suffer, the entire nation would suffer. As I said this is a very complicated issue.

Posted by: felicity smith | March 27, 2006 02:47 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"But no business will accept these changes unless it comes with a guest worker program, because they know they will loose a significant portion of their labor force".

Their illegal labor force. I find it very hard to believe the loss of the illegals could not be made up with American or legal immigrant labor. And if they have hired so many illegals that they cannot function without them, one must wonder how that happened.

Also, the IRS sends out mismatched social security information to businesses, so if an illegal makes up a SS# or you made a typo on your job forms (e.g., w-2), the IRS notifies the business which can then choose to ignore the information or act on it to determine why this person is not who the SS# he gave says he is. Businesses have many ways to determine the legal status of a worker. It is no excuse in most cases.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 02:47 PM

Virginia did you see the article on the front page of today's post?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/26/AR2006032601058.html

Year after year, Professional Grounds Inc. runs a help-wanted ad to find landscapers and groundskeepers. Starting wage: $7.74 per hour.

In a good year, three people call. Most years, no one does.

So the Springfield company relies on imported labor -- seasonal guest workers allowed to immigrate under the federal guest-worker program...

"I don't think it's a wage situation. It's the type of work and the nature of the work. It's hard, backbreaking work," said Trimmer.

End quote.

Trimmer states that he could double the wage, and still no one would apply. I think it is important to acknowledge that some (though not all) of these jobs are jobs that many people don't want. No amount of wage increases is going to bring in many american workers.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 02:50 PM

Greydawg, I did see that article. The employer says:

"Occasionally, company President Bill Trimmer asks himself: If I doubled wages, would native-born Americans apply? He thinks he knows the answer."

He _thinks_ he knows the answer!?! Well, why doesn't he try raising the wages so he can _definitively_ know the answer? That's because he wants to pay less than $8 an hour. He can only get away with paying such low wages because there are illegal aliens to take the jobs. Remove them, he'll have to raise wages, and Americans will return to the jobs (after all, they did them before there were massive numbers of illegals).

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 02:53 PM

felicity wrote:
"Senator Feinstein, participating in a Senate committee meeting this morning on the issue of illegal immigration said that she had volunteers post help wanted signs in employment offices in this state which were aimed at everyone but illegal immigrants and got not one reply."

What salary was being offered?

One has to wonder how we Americans ever became the greatest breadbasket on earth without the millions of illegals our politicians and businesses say we "need" today. If the salary is right, Americans will fill the jobs. What Feinstein has shown is that the American worker will not do the work at the wages paid to illegal immigrants. This is just an example of how illegals depress the wage base, which is just fine with businesses and apparently Feinstein.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 02:56 PM

Right on, Sully. As the NC study quoted above says:

"It has been shown that Hispanic
immigrants often depress wage levels of non-Hispanics,
especially in lower-wage, labor-intensive sectors. Given the
downward pressure less-educated Hispanics place on wages
in these sectors, not everyone in North Carolina benefits
from the influx of Hispanic workers."

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 02:59 PM

Virginia:

Later in the article they speak to the President of a construction company in the area. According to most available sources, about 50% of employment in construction is illegal immigrants. The average wage has one up from $15 to about $20 since 1999. And still they can't find any non-immigrants to apply. They even offer a thousand dollar bonus to any employee who brings in a qualified applicant.

At some point you have to acknowledge that there just isn't anyone to fill these jobs.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:00 PM

This is not a debate about necessary immigrant labor. We cannot have that debate, as Americans, because the decision on how many illegal immigrants we get a year is made for us by Mexicans.

Until such time that this steady flow of undocumented, illegal immigrants is addressed, there is no reasonable debate on how many do we need.

Any claim that illegal immigrants are necessary for the United States Economy to function ignores that there are plenty of healthy economies the world over that do not depend directly or indirectly on the labors of 12 million Latin Americans.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 03:00 PM

Good blog -- nice to see people listening and thinking!!

Today I heard some interesting economic arguments on TV at lunch.

Supposedly, we should be exporting capital to Mexico instead of importing labor. While this may smack of 'exporting jobs', since Mexico is a direct potential market for our products, we are missing out on some serious economic growth potential by not investing more in Mexico, and exploiting the cheap labor at the source. A very provocative argument, if you think about it.

Also, the levels of illegal immigration simply cannot continue, regardless of whether we legislate or barricade. The question is really, do we want to manage with good results, or do we want to let the labor market spin out of control to the lowest common denominator.

BTW, while I agree that healthy competition (on a legal playing field) brings improvements for consumers, there are many signs in various markets that price-based competition alone is actually ruining our society and leaving us with fewer options on the whole. I believe this is an underlying cause of our immigration issues, too much aggressive cost-cutting on labor.

Posted by: AgentG | March 27, 2006 03:00 PM

I am with Paul Krugman on this -- once we accept the fact that many employers encourage illegals by paying them under the table, and knowingly because of this pay them cheaper than required by law.
I think we should go after the employers and would with our existing laws if someone would only enforce them.
How many cabinet members did we see rejected because they had "hired" help that weren't citizens of the U.S. -- that is all before GW started making quiet changes to the nomination process -- are the ones fighting for reform the correct people in these cases.
I believe that illegal workers who contribute to their community should be offered the opportunity of becoming citizens. Their children are in our schools, they visit our hospitals; use social services, etc. Let them officially contribute their tax dollars towards this and let their employers (especially the employers! do the same.

Posted by: | March 27, 2006 03:01 PM

Will, interesting comment about other economies. But you are forgetting an important piece of the puzzle. Unemployment.

Unemployment is currently 4.8% this is down from 5.4% two years ago. I will defer to other more enlightened individuals on the details of "effective full employment" but without a planned economy or falsified statistics, it would be almost impossible for the unemployment rate to get much lower in the U.S.

So if we remove 10 million people from the labor market, who is going to fill these jobs?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:05 PM

Greydawg:

The Post article says: "Construction wages in the Washington area have risen from an average of $15.86 in 1999 to $17.19 in 2004, according to the bureau. McMahon estimated that construction wages these days are even higher -- roughly $20 an hour, plus health care."

That's not really a dramatic increase. From 1999 to 2006, it appears that Washington-area construction wages rose by an annual rate of about 3 to 4 percent. That's in keeping with inflation. At the same time, the cost of living in the Washington area, especially housing, rose much more dramatically.

In other words, the construction employers are trying to make it look like they raised wages but still can't find workers. In reality, the wages, versus cost of living, actually fell behind. That's why they can't find Americans to do the job.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:06 PM

Virginia:

What is a fair wage for swinging a hammer?

Right now I have two degrees and make 11 dollars an hour as an intern. And I manage to live in the washington area. I even have a car payment.

$20 plus benefits sounds pretty good.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:07 PM

Greydawg says:

"What is a fair wage for swinging a hammer?

Right now I have two degrees and make 11 dollars an hour as an intern. And I manage to live in the washington area. I even have a car payment.

$20 plus benefits sounds pretty good. "

Then you should take the job, and the $1,000 signing bonus.

Seriously, a lot of 'blue-collar' jobs pay wages that would make lower-level white collar workers feel jealous. Ever seen the wages earned by longshoremen? (six figures).

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:10 PM

And by the way, a 'fair wage for swinging a hammer' is whatever the market will bear. The issue is, should that labor market be national (i.e., American workers) or international (i.e., everyone in the world competing for the same jobs here in the United States)?

My vote is for 'national,' because I prefer my fellow citizens over foreigners.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:18 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"The average wage has one up from $15 to about $20 since 1999. And still they can't find any non-immigrants to apply. ... At some point you have to acknowledge that there just isn't anyone to fill these jobs."

Look, its your classic supply and demand. If a construction company wants to fill the jobs they will have to pay more to get legal and American workers. To say there is no one to do the job is silly. It ignores that anyone will work for $50/hour (that's $100K/year) in almost any job. It ignores the fact that illegals are everywhere waiting to work at below normal wages. Businesses are tempted, the fines if caught are low, and the profits high. I find it hard to believe they could not find legal workers at $20/hour unless they were looking for experienced legal labor that would require $30/hour.

If real legislation gets passed and enforced, and companies that have been hiring illegals have to stop and use legal labor, many will fold or be costed out of the market, and that is just fine. I'm against illegal labor and for honest businesses.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 03:20 PM

Question:


Emily started out this chat asking whether or not a guest worker program would import poverty. It is hard to deny that guest workers are poorer than current U.S. residents, but does anyone know of any good aggregate data to compare poverty levels of immigrants over time?

That is: would a modern cohort of guest workers be substantially poorer than my ancestors were when they came to the U.S.? My guess is no, but I am not sure. Anyone know of any data like this?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:21 PM


Guest Worker statutes are like Civil Unions. They are palliative methods that seem reasonable but are really ways to legalize discrimination and enforce second-class-citizenhood.

"Jobs that americans won't do" is another red herring. Maybe we should raise the minimum wage and stop telling our children that anything other than being a lawyer is beneath them. Shoveling Sh** never hurt me, nor did cleaning toilets. As a matter of fact, I think that knowing how to clean the toilet is a good skill. Maybe a few more of us should learn enough spanish to read the instructions on the vacuum cleaner and get back to work!!

Posted by: jim preston | March 27, 2006 03:22 PM

Will:

your comment brought a thought to mind. Because it is true, that it seems hard to believe they could find no one willing to work for twenty dollars an hour.

Maybe they should have clarified and said that they need someone who will work for $20, show up on time, stay late, and come to work everyday.

I suspect that most people in the U.S. who exhibit the above characteristics associated with responsibility either a) command a higher wage because they have moved up in their fields or b) have a college degree or higher and don't need to take a twenty dollars an hour construction job.

Is it possible that immigrants, even undocumented immigrants are simply better candidates for these jobs?

witness:
1) they demand less wages
2) they are, on average, more educated than most of their fellow countrymen
3) they have already shown a lot of initiative to get here
4) they have strong incentives to work hard and not miss work (no unemployment/welfare)

Is it possible that they are better candidates for the job? and the low wages just seal the deal? Are there any employers out there who would like to comment on this?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:28 PM

Greydawg:

I don't know if the data you seek could possibly exist, because relative poverty would be different for each era. Someone who is 'poor' in America today would have been pretty well off, in comparison with other people, in, say, 1800.

This might interest you:

http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/cacounts/CC_505KRCC.pdf

It tracks literacy, poverty, etc., across immigrant generations in California. Shows that on the whole, subsequent generations become less more and more conversant in English. However, Latino immmigrants fare the worst (i.e., they fall behind immigrants from other groups in the second and third generations).

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:32 PM

I think that employers lie.


I think that they lie as a matter of habit.


I think that they will tell you what they want you to believe to make sure that they get what they want.


not all of them, but let me ask you, if you're making more money because you get to pocket most of what you charge a residential customer for word done by your illegals as-if they were citizens would you want to give it up?


probably not.


what most employers don't see is that the United States used to be a better country to live in for the masses...


most people used to feel safe here, as-if there were always going to be a better tomorrow...


where'd that go?


people stopped thinking about the "big picture."


the big picture is that, _everyone's_ important


but take AA, or drug rehab


you have to stop the cycle to get the patient well


you have to train and reeducate...


perhaps you need to reeducate the employers...


We've sunk so low, that's it's back to survival of the fittest...


an old rule of therapy is this, if the therapist is sick, the clients don't get well

the therapist has to be in good shape, emotionally, physically and financially


even if you want the world to be a better place for everyone, _you_ have to be in good shape for that to happen...


and sometimes _you_ need to say to someone, you're _addicted_


and I'd have to say that the employers are addicted to short term profits and can't see what their investment in that addiction is doing to the country...


plain and simple...


.

.

.

Posted by: you know what? | March 27, 2006 03:33 PM

Greydawg says:

"they are, on average, more educated than most of their fellow countrymen."

Where do you get this? In some agricultural settings in California, the immigrant workers from Mexico are so uneducated that they don't even speak Spanish, let alone English (they speak native languages from the southernmost part of Mexico).

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:34 PM

I don't see why not: you would just back track our current poverty line and backwards adjust for inflation, and compare it with wages for immigrants. It wouldn't be the best data, but it might present an interesting picture.

It would also complement existing data that shows that current average levels of immigration are not substantially different from that of the two previous waves of immigration.

If Immigrants in previous generations were shown to be just as poor as current immigrants it would go a long way towards proving that most of the current "controversy" is about playing on peoples fears and piting neighbors against each other (from Bush's speech today)

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:38 PM

in the United States...


they aren't going away.


you keep eating that food that's not good for you, you _will_ have a heart attack...


I've already outlined plans for dealing with marginalized citizens, do that.


you can't keep shoving the infected finger back into your pocket, you need to heal it or it _will_ infect the body...


best people for the job?


we've already got them.

highly motivated workers, let them change their own countries...will they do that if they're here?


no, we will become the same countries that they left behind...


okay mr mencia, what are you thinking? eh pendejo?

.

Posted by: the other thing about marginalized workers that are already | March 27, 2006 03:39 PM

As a friend of LEGAL immigrants, I can tell you the average cost of getting the paperwork processed is at least 1,000 dollars... with no guarantee of acceptance. The legal paperwork involves medical exams, and so forth. The paperwork can take months or years to process.

So the illegal immigrant phemenomon really ticks me off... it's not just "native citizens" getting a hit, it's the people who try and play by the rules and become true citizens too.

Somebody above made a big fuss about legal immigrants... let's focus on the real issue-- illegal immigrants. I think people who hire them are the bigger criminals. I was introduced to some illegal immigrants working in a restaurant. They literally live in near slavery, living 12 to a house, yes, working 12 hour days. They do it because they want to make money for their families back home.

Bush's "guest worker programs" is like the amnesty his father did. I know of somebody who was illegal and became a citizen thanks to that amnesty. He votes solid republican. The Republican party bought themselves some illegal votes with that amnesty, pure and simple. I wonder how many Al-Qaedas they made US citizens then.

Upon reading the description of illegal immigration and its impact upon an already burdened infrastructure in Florida, I am dismayed.

I was going to think Bush had it right with the guest worker program until I read that he is extending it ONLY to people already here illegally. Hah. Those people aren't leaving. For real justice, they should go back home and stand in line with everybody else for visas, go through the paperwork and identification.

Mexico has a significant immigration problem of its own-- lots of gutamaleans sneaking across the border to Mexico enroute to the USA. I am very worried about the breach to national security.

I thought NAFTA was a mistake because it did not require mexico to install a minimum wage law, and it did not require Mexico to increase its immigration security. It was intended as a gimme for cheap labor, but what goes around comes around. Thanks to epidemic poverty, immigration and weak government, so many american businessmen have been kidnapped for ransom in Mexico City nobody's doing business there.
Jobs go to India because they at least speak English and nobody kidnaps the rich there like in Mexico.

I favor making every provably mexican-born citizen born to US or Mexican parents after 2005 an US citizen, with the provision they cannot claim their citizenship until age 18 and become of voting age. "provably" means that all births must be registered with the US consulate.

Then after 2028 we can pass laws affecting all US citizens whether aboard or within US limits, including that they are bound by US laws if caught committing a crime, no possibility of extradition to Mexico.

It'll practically annex Mexico to the US. Since we're going to have them come over here anyway, might as well make it on OUR terms.

Posted by: BUSH is a Twit | March 27, 2006 03:41 PM

I don't think it would, Greydawg. The current debate is over illegal immigration. Whether we are importing poverty is a social, but not legal, reason to be against illegal immigration.

It would be hard to construct the analysis you seek because each era of immigration would also be different. From 1924 to 1965, it was very strictly controlled. From the end of the Civil War to 1924, it was very high (the "great wave") but all legal (Ellis Island was a review place where immigrants were checked -- many were sent back because of illness, etc.).

Current immigration levels, including illegal immigration, are higher than ever before.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:42 PM

Greydawg-

As to your examples:
1) Because they cannot report exploitive employment practices for fear of being deported. Or they need lower incomes because they violate housing laws by cramming 17 people into an apartment made for 2. Or because many of the mouths they have to feed live in Mexico, so they can send home lower wages to accomplish much more.
2) Not sure of the relevance here. Most construction workers are more educated then their fellow countrymen... why? Because they were educated in the United States? What is the issue at stake here?
3) And a willingness and capacity for breaking American laws. You might call this "initiative" whereas I identify it as "illegal".
4) Because they are exploited.

No one has disputed that illegal Mexicans are better candidates for jobs. They obviously are, just like 13 year old Malaysian kids are better candidates for soccer ball stitching jobs.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 03:43 PM

Illegals have got it made! How can I get tags for my car without paying for insurance? How can I get food stamps? How can I get free health care? I am going to name myself Hoolio Hobnoquez and cash in. Illegals do it, why can't I. First, I am going to retire from the Govt. where I have worked for 30 years.

Posted by: diddy | March 27, 2006 03:44 PM

As of 2000, 10.1% of Men in Mexico had a received a 12th grade education. 24.5% of mexican immigrants classified as "recent immigrants" had a 12th grade level of education. This is for both documented and undocumented immigrants.

The study concludes that " It is the moderately well educated, not the least educated who are most likely to emigrate from Mexico to the US."

This is from "International Migration, Self Selection and the Distribution of Wages: Evidence from Mexico and the United States." Journal of Political Economy. 2005. Volume 113. Issue 2.

Found at:
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/journal/issues/v113n2/113203/113203.web.pdf

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:46 PM

hey buddy,


pitting peasants against peasants is what you're advocating...


you really need to get it, there's a problem here.


and you're part of it.


your people need to change their home countries, not take over someone else's because you don't have the cajones to get the job done at home.

why can't the peasants change things at home, because they're too far removed? They don't have access to power? Where's your courage to make the world a better place? It doesn't exist in you? You want to come here and game us, and make your mindset predominat?

We're already fighting the president about that attitude....why do we need to fight you too?

I can play your game punk, but you need to get it, _your_ peasants are being played against _our_ peasants...


the reason, to make more _peasants_ and to remove what once made the United States great...a certain level of "I care about you," that we the people earned.


you want to have a bigger piece of the pie then effing deserve it....be honest, change your own country, don't try to steal someone elses...fight for reform in Mehico


If there is no _standard_ (of behavior) to point to and it's always okay because someone else did it first (sin) then what's the point? Make your country great too.........can't do that? Why not, democracy doesn't work if the landed control everything and the people got nothing?

you want that to happen here too right? fogeddaaboutit.....grow up, become honest and demand honesty!

Posted by: that's pitting not pitying... | March 27, 2006 03:47 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"Is it possible that immigrants, even undocumented immigrants are simply better candidates for these jobs?"

Maybe they are better qualified, but that is not the point. They are undocumented and therefore illegal. Do you feel you could illegally go to the Central African Republic and do whatever it is that you do because wages there are higher there and you are probably better qualified? Do you feel you have that right? When you are arrested and placed in jail would you wonder what law you broke? Would you explain it was just a matter of being better qualified and they would understand and let you out? What are you thinking?

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 03:47 PM

It's Julio, Diddy. Julio.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:48 PM

Personally, I think the US should send the Latin American governments a bill for their migrant workers' taxes. And until its paid, you round up the illegal immigrants, and you stick them in internment camps in the middle of nowhere with minimal provisions until their tax bills are paid. And you send their governments the bill for housing them as well.

This is nothing more or less than an invasion, do not be fooled because there are no weapons involved. The United States has been severely infiltrated by an illegal army that is occupying parts of its territory.

I have no problem with legitimate immigration, but if you want to end this, you start playing hardball with illegals. Strip them of Constitutional protection and make them miserable enough to leave on foot or in a casket.

Posted by: James Buchanan | March 27, 2006 03:50 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"The study concludes that " It is the moderately well educated, not the least educated who are most likely to emigrate from Mexico to the US."

Though I would agree that is likely the case what is your point? If Mexican doctors were jumping the border and working illegally do you think that is ok? If Mexican police or airline pilots were jumping the border and working in their trades illegally would that be ok? The intelligence of an illegal is no more important than the intelligence of a shoplifter or thief.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 03:52 PM

Sully:

I am simplying seeking an explanation for why these workers get hired. I don't like Illegal immigration, but I am not ready to put all of the blame on the worker for coming here to work harder. So if they are better qualified for the job, maybe we should find a legal way to get them here to make our economy more productive. That is what I am thinking.

Sorry about the pitting vs. pitying. I really can't spell.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:52 PM

Well, James Buchanan, you just gave Emily an insta-quote for her next entry. She loves to quote the most extreme anti-illegal-immigration folks, and ignore the more reasonable among us.

You say:

"I have no problem with legitimate immigration, but if you want to end this, you start playing hardball with illegals. Strip them of Constitutional protection and make them miserable enough to leave on foot or in a casket."

I see what you are saying, but I'm not convinced that over-the-top language really helps our side. And the thing about Constitutional protections is that, unlike statutory or common law, they can't be changed unless the Constitution itself is amended.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:55 PM

I think its very amusing seeing Conservatives becoming so "outraged" now that 12 MILLION illegal immigrants are now living in the U.S. What are they going to do? Send them all back to where they came from?

Whats going on in the last twenty or so years is that young people from south america got wind of the fact they could get into the U.S. illegally and stay here, mostly without impunity and they got the word back to their compadres and families to the point of what you have going on currently more of a "invasion" of immigrants and they are starting to take over major sections of cities and counties, especially in the South and midwest where they are making the "locals" feel really "uncomfortable" and they want Congress to cut off the flow. They dont want "these" people in their neighborhoods, churches or schools and lord help them if they start to date their daughters.

Sounds like we have a new caste system with the illegal immigrants occupying the lower levels of american society and subject to the same type of treatment
reserved those whom have traditionally occupied it.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 03:55 PM

Thanks Virginia. It is important to recognize that whoever is involved in this debate should do so in a reasonable manner if we ever want to come to a conclusion.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 03:57 PM

Greydawg says:

"I am simplying seeking an explanation for why these workers get hired. I don't like Illegal immigration, but I am not ready to put all of the blame on the worker for coming here to work harder."

The explanation is wages. Saying that they are willing to work for less than Americans isn't 'blaming' illegal aliens -- it's explaining their presence. It's not about 'working harder' (that's Bush administration propaganda), it's about wages wages wages.

Again, it boils down to this:

DO you want a national labor market, or a global one?

The global one means lower wages. The national one means more work at higher pay for US citizens. I think the choice is clear. Do you?

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 03:57 PM

actually be a citizen living within blue collar means...

regarless of what the caste system is going through,

you obviously are a part of it and standing up above it


looking down you patriarchial nose, so bite me.

.

Posted by: sounds like you mr hurt don't understand what it's like to | March 27, 2006 03:58 PM

chow time dog boy.

.

Posted by: what would your guru think? | March 27, 2006 03:59 PM

Cassini-

"Sounds like we have a new caste system with the illegal immigrants occupying the lower levels of american society and subject to the same type of treatment
reserved those whom have traditionally occupied it."

You can try and make this a class-warfare issue just like others have tried to make it a race issue. At its core it is neither. It is a legal issue about national sovereignty. Without exception each country in the world has enforced its borders to some degree. The impetus is on you to argue why the United States, which has the most generous legal immigration policy in the entire world, should make an exception of itself.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 04:01 PM

you've got a lot of fear on both sides that needs to be exposed...

you also need to be aware that these _illegals_ have fled rather than created a better life for themselves...


.

Posted by: I think the language is irrelevant.. | March 27, 2006 04:02 PM

Virginia:

Sort of. I know. typical, huh?

Because we already have a global labor market. A company can shift their entire operation overseas. they can set up call centers in India. They can make parts in four different countries and then ship them to the U.S. for assembly. All at some semblance of a global wage.

Why should we punish businesses that choose to stay in the U.S. and make them pay higher wages? In the interests of a (now very dated) 20th century nationalism? I don't buy it.

I would make a very different argument if we had high levels of unemployment and people starving on street corners. But our unemployment rate is about as low as it has ever been.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 04:02 PM

The New York Times ran a piece the other day about how high the unemployment rate is among African-American men. They often are not captured by unemployment statistics for several reasons. Point is, we aren't at full employment here. Besides, having a job with wages depressed by immigration isn't as good as having a job with higher wages.

It sounds like you are tip-toeing towards believing that the nation-state is an outdated concept. I don't believe that.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:04 PM

in that sense you're correct...


the blue bloods are saying that they don't have to adhere to the same standards of law that the middle class people do...

they're saying that they can advocate opening the borders to the peasant class of another country to destroy the peasant class of the home country because it doesn't matter they're all peasants...


they just don't know it...

and you're agreeing.

slavery is still legal in India, isn't it?


.

.

.

Posted by: caste system implies enforced by mores... | March 27, 2006 04:05 PM

And another thing -- the areas most impacted by illegal immigration, ie., agriculture, construction, etc., cannot be outsourced. So it sounds like you are comparing apples and oranges.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:05 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"I am simplying seeking an explanation for why these workers get hired."

They get hired because they will work for wages lower than a legal or American would work for, its that simple. If they are educated, then they work for less than an educated American would. Its not complicated.

Greydawg continues:
"I don't like Illegal immigration, but I am not ready to put all of the blame on the worker for coming here to work harder."

Well then who is to blame? Look, they know that entering the US is illegal and they could be arrested or at worse killed as many have in the deserts. Its not like these people have strolled outside their border unknowingly. You could blame companies that actively hire illegals too. Both the illegals and the companies that knowingly hire them hurt the labor market by flooding the market with low wage workers. Its against the law, they know it and they should face the consequences. Illegal immigrants are not innocent. If there are any victims here its legal immigrants, American workers and honest businesses.

When I heard the protests this weekend that working hard was an excuse for illegals staying in the USA I could only think what would happen if I strolled into China and tried to work illegally, start a family and claim that my working hard entitled me to live in China.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 04:06 PM

Will,

You should have thought about that long before 12 MILLION illegal immigrants got into the country. Like it or not, I dont see the U.S. deporting 12 MILLION people even if they are in the country illegally.

For you to sit there and say that this opposition to illegal immigrants is strictly based on legal precedent is pure bs. Race DOES play a big part in it, especially in the South and Midwest because the "locals" have never really lost their penchant for discriminatory actions against people that "dont look like themselves".

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:08 PM

are you as stupid as you write?


nationalism?


how about good engineering, how about talking about what is in front of you?


have you ever worked in a factory recently?


have you been back?


do you know that most factory jobs are held by TEMP workers now....no benefits, no reliable work, and firing for no-reason, with no recourse and no unemployment...


what are you thinking talking about?


just because you're educated doesn't mean you're current...jessssssssssssssssssssus.

.

Posted by: what are you? | March 27, 2006 04:09 PM

Cassini says:

"For you to sit there and say that this opposition to illegal immigrants is strictly based on legal precedent is pure bs. Race DOES play a big part in it..."

Cassini, you seem excessively comfortable assigning bad motives to other people, even in the absence of evidence to support your assertions.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:10 PM

Sully:

Actually, China has a lot of illegal immigration and people (in China) are pretty upset about it.

You know how Big Tobacco has had to pay million of dollars in damages because they say "our product is not for kids" but then they did everything they possibly could to get kids hooked on cigarettes?

Well immigration works the same way: It is "illegal" but you don't usually get caught, and you make a lot more money and you can provide for your family and someone is willing to hire you and you can even buy cars, houses and open a bank account. So it doesn't really feel that illegal.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 04:11 PM

you're ignoring your penchant for calling a cracker a cracker...


have you been to the south recently...


are you aware that all of the sources of incomes for the good ole boys have moved overseas to thailand, indonesia, and malaysia?


Cannon towels, works out of China now, all of the great furniture factories of the south have closed operations and moved overseas...woods still cut here but it is tooled overseas and assembled in NYC by Temp workers...


the number of people living at the poverty level has increased,

you won't see that at the ashram, will you?

.

Posted by: you're a closet racist cassini... | March 27, 2006 04:12 PM

kid

s.

.

Posted by: are you afraid of me, or stuck on your own framing? | March 27, 2006 04:16 PM

Cassini-

"You should have thought about that long before 12 MILLION illegal immigrants got into the country. Like it or not, I dont see the U.S. deporting 12 MILLION people even if they are in the country illegally."

Why? If you adequately criminalized illegal immigrant employment practices we wouldn't need to deport 12 million people, they would self-deport as the jobs disappeared.

"Race DOES play a big part in it, especially in the South and Midwest because the "locals" have never really lost their penchant for discriminatory actions against people that "dont look like themselves"."

What would you know about this?

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 04:16 PM

So, you mean to tell me that all this pressure coming from the right wing conservatives on Prez Bush to DO SOMETHING ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is based on legal precedent? lmao..

GET REAL!!!

you telling me that the southern/midwestern "locals" would be satisfied if the "illegals" in their cities and counties were made "legal"?

GET REAL!!

No, I call em like I see em.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:18 PM

Cassini-

By the way, if you are going to "debate" that racism plays a part in this you don't get to assume your conclusion and then argue back to it. So race plays a factor because people in the south and midwest are racist... which is why race plays a factor in it. Are you a regionalist?

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 04:18 PM

Cassini wrote:
"Like it or not, I dont see the U.S. deporting 12 MILLION people even if they are in the country illegally."

If jobs are denied to them they will leave on their own. They only came here to get jobs they could not get in their home countries. If American jobs are out of reach, they will go home where they can get a lower paying job or better yet, get in line and enter legally.

And, by your logic, we should just accept car thieves because they are so many and are only doing what they do to make a living.

And please don't play the race card. If race was the most important issue you would be hearing about illegal AND legal immigration. Both are racially charged topics yet only illegal immigartion is a concern in this blog and in all of what I read elsewhere.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 04:19 PM

Cassini-

"you telling me that the southern/midwestern "locals" would be satisfied if the "illegals" in their cities and counties were made "legal"?"

Ronald Reagen did precisely that when he granted amnesty to Illegal Immigrants in 1986.

You are hysterically uninformed on this matter and I suggest you take your race-card elsewhere.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 04:19 PM

Will,

You live in a dream world. 12 million illegal immigrants are not going to self deport, even if a law was passed to stop hiring of them. Exactly who is going to
enforce that law? Get used to it buddy,
These folks are here to stay.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:23 PM

Can I deport 12 million of you instead?

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 04:25 PM

Greydawg wrote:
"Well immigration works the same way: It is "illegal" but you don't usually get caught, and you make a lot more money and you can provide for your family and someone is willing to hire you and you can even buy cars, houses and open a bank account. So it doesn't really feel that illegal."

Right, that is the biggest problem. The lack of enforcement in illegal immigration both for the immigrant and the employer is why we now have 12 million and counting.

It is no different that wondering why people would drive at 90 miles per hour through North Carolina only to drop to 60mph at the South Carolina border. The politicians in NC would not blame the high speeds on race, economics, people just wanting a better life, etc... Its time to enforce our immigration laws and fix the ones that need fixing.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 04:28 PM

Will,

This is 2006, not 1986..lmao

conditions have changed dramatically on this topic since that time.

I'm informed enough to know that Conservatives are hysterically granting amnesty in 2006 to illegal aliens. I'm also realistic enough to know that 12 MILLION illegal aliens are NOT goint to be deproted out of the U.S.

Oh i see calling you on the race card of conservatives opposition to illegal immigration is touching a nerve. Probably because you KNOW what I'm saying is TRUE.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:28 PM

correction:

Conservatives are hysterically against
granting anmensty.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:31 PM

you simply make it a felony to hire.


pretty simple, can you grasp it o great white intellectual?


.

Posted by: the illegals will leave if no one hires them... | March 27, 2006 04:31 PM

Cassini:

Not all conservatives are against amnesty, and not everyone against amnesty is a conservative.

Think about it.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:32 PM

Sully:

What is the economic impact of deporting 12 million workers? (forgetting for a second that this is impossible) Would this be good for the economy?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 04:33 PM

to you...


that you have a viewpoint that lacks clarity.


sure there are racists in America, the president depends on it, that's why he used homophobia, baby killing, gawd as an avenging force and other hate blessed idealogues to get elected...


however, there are no racists, or blue collar workers posting here..

they don't know this exists...


they're too busy working 2 x 30 hour a week jobs to make what they used to at one job before their company outsourced their jobs...


and you, are you having trouble finding in work in your profession...

ohmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

.

Posted by: no I think...it's true | March 27, 2006 04:35 PM

What a bizarre issue. Liberal Democrats fighting side by side with Bush and corporate America. And the black leadership coming to the same realization as conservative Republicans.

The problem is that there are all kinds of aspects of this issue that aren't being reported: the environmental impact, the impact on America's poor, the impact on education.

And as long as Bush and the liberals don't acknowledge these issues, things will only get worse.

Environment. The environmental issue is obvious. Illegal immigration is driving our population growth. Projections are that we will have something like 500 million people in this country in 50 years. Take out illegal immigrants and the higher birth rate and population growth is essentially flat.

Double the population and you double urban sprawl, eliminate habitat, and more than double drive times and gridlock.

The poor. It's simple supply and demand. If companies can always hire illegals for under minimum wage, if you have an almost limitless supply of illegals, then base wages in this country will never rise.

The knee-jerk cliche that illegal immigrants are doing the jobs American's won't do is simply mussy thinking. If you had a limited supply of labor, then employers would have to pay more for the jobs "people won't do."

But with scarce labor, the wage for that job rises enough that someone wants to do it. An American doesn't want to pick lettuce for $5 an hour. But pay him $10 and you will get his attention -- supply and demand.

Of course illegal immigration is what WalMart and corporate America wants. They don't care if poor American's are getting shafted. All they care about is keeping wages low. So they will do anything they can to have a ready supply of people willing to work for chicken-feed.

The same supply and demand holds true in our schools. If you have an unending supply of kids coming into our schools that doesn't speak English and a limited number of teachers, then the teacher's focus is diluted. The American kid's learning disability is overlooked because that teacher has so many kids who don't know English.

There's lots of good reasons we ought to control our borders like the rest of the world. And as American's we ought to be able to talk about these issues honestly. But too often people treat the other side like they are weird or bigoted or whatever. Denigrating the other side hurts us all.

Posted by: TimT | March 27, 2006 04:36 PM

Greydawg asks: "What is the economic impact of deporting 12 million workers? (forgetting for a second that this is impossible) Would this be good for the economy?"

Let me ask a question in response, Greydawg. Do you think that anything that hurts the economy is on that basis alone not worth doing? If so, I have to say that that's a very Marxist way of looking at the world (i.e., 'the economy's the thing').

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:37 PM

Cassini,
You seem to be associating the movement against ilegal immigration by a majority of Americans with the racist reasons of a minority of Americans (conservatives). What is your point? Are the majority of Americans who are not racist guilty by association?

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 04:38 PM

Viginia,

Then why has it become such a big issue among conservatives all of a sudden?

Why all the pressure on Prez Bush to do something about illegal immigrants.
This issue resonates with conservatives about the same as tax cuts, small govenment and loading the USSC with right wing ideologue judges.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:38 PM

TimT for President! (great post!).

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:38 PM

won't happen

greydawg...


so you need to think in terms of actuals

not hypotheticals.


if it did happen, they would search the labor market for the ones that were citizens that would do the job for a little more, because they had to fulfill their contracts...


it's called "market conditions"

that are adjusted to every day....


the sellers still act like morrocon rug merchants hawking you that they need the illegals....


no they just want their price.

.

Posted by: deporting 12 million people in one day.. | March 27, 2006 04:38 PM

Cassini:

Illegal immigration has been a big deal to a lot of people for a while now. The media just woke up to it because the US Senate is holding hearings on a new immigration bill. It's not 'all of a sudden' -- it's all of a sudden to the mainstream media.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:39 PM

Virginia:

Don't answer a question with a question. Answer the question.

To answer your question: (even though you won't answer mine) No. I think that doing something that hurts the economy, 12 million people who work pretty hard, and thousands of businesses who can't afford the new labor is a bad idea.

I would appreciate it if you would stick to the facts of the discussion instead of denigrating others' arguments by calling them communists or anti-americans.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 04:41 PM

Walmart is going to open in China...

what are the implications of Walmart and China joining hands across the water?


Is China going to become part of America?


If the government does what big money wants it to, and China has a lot of our debt vouchers...

will they cut a deal with Walmart, will Walmart be a backdoor to them?

.......................................

.o
+

Posted by: One thing to mention here is this.. | March 27, 2006 04:44 PM

Greydawg asks:
"What is the economic impact of deporting 12 million workers? (forgetting for a second that this is impossible) Would this be good for the economy?"

In a word, yes. Wages for many jobs held by illegals would increase. When I was a kid in the 60s I lived in a middle class neighborhood and we had painters, construction workers, lots of people doing blue collar jobs. Not any more. These blue collar jobs could be the wage generators they used to be once the illegals are gone. Americans will work hard for a good wage. The problem is illegals depress the wages so no American wants the job. And ask yourself if it would be worse than raising the price of a gallon of gasoline $1 as it has in the past year.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 04:45 PM

Greydawg writes:

"Virginia: Don't answer a question with a question. Answer the question. To answer your question: (even though you won't answer mine) No. I think that doing something that hurts the economy, 12 million people who work pretty hard, and thousands of businesses who can't afford the new labor is a bad idea. I would appreciate it if you would stick to the facts of the discussion instead of denigrating others' arguments by calling them communists or anti-americans."

Well, you asked Sully, so I was interposing a new question rather than answering on Sully's behalf.

You seem angry at the designation "Marxist". Rest assured that I did not mean "communist" or "anti-american" by that. By calling something Marxist, I mean that it is consistent with Marx's view that economic factors drive all other decisions. Many writers today are Marxist in that sense. Think about it -- it need not be a default position that economic factors are considered the most important in any given debate. Cultural issues, to use but one example, could easily take precedence. It's a question of priorities, and putting economics as the top priority is, well, Marxist. Not in a derogatory way, but philosophically.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:48 PM

Greydawg-

The day that child labor laws were enacted and reasonably enforced was the day that big business and, yes, the American economy took a hit.

The economy will survive with or without 12 million illegal Mexicans. The immediate impact I see is a dramatic increase in the price of certain kinds of goods. Once the American people suffer that price increase they can make an informed decision on how many immigrants they are willing to suffer.

As it stands we are not enabled to make that decision because 3 million illegal immigrants make it for us each year.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 04:48 PM

But Sully...

Who works those jobs? we don't have enough available labor. Our pop. is about 260 million, and lets say conservatively that 1/3 of those don't work (too young, too old, retired, on disability, in school, etc.) so we have 190 million people give our take able to work (I rounded up. I am also not good at math)

and we have 4.8 percent unemployment. so five percent of 190 million is 9.5 million. we are three million people short! Even with my very generous numbers. When our economy creates a million jobs Bush goes on TV. Imagine how bad it would look if one policy decision made three million jobs unfillable.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 04:51 PM

Make the world a better place, whereever you are,


don't leave the job to someone else...


this isn't just about illegals,


this is about the current government taking advantage of it's citizens _as_a_way_of_leading_


it needs to be addressed on multiple levels,

Mexico is a beautiful country, it has it's own set of advantages, perhaps not shared by it's peoples, but it needs to address it's own problems, and our government needs to address what it is doing to make the world

a worse place to live in than it was 30 years ago....


and I do think that some American leaders need to be sent to jail, you want to go to Jose'?

.

.

Posted by: you want the world to be a better place... | March 27, 2006 04:51 PM

Virginia,

I'm just being realistic. 12 million illegal immigrants are not going to be deported out of the U.S. because more than likely they would be replaced by 12 million MORE illegal aliens.

you know whats odd? In the area I live in a person could go to the local shopping mall and see maybe a 75% to 32% to 3% white/black/other ration on any normal weekend. Now that has been turned on its head. You see a 60% other majority and a 20%-20% split between blacks and whites.
Its really amazing.

Sure people have been bothered by this issue for some time but it's just gotten to the point of frustration and anger that nothing is being done about it and conservatives are telling Congress and Prez Bush to do something about it.

Posted by: Cassini | March 27, 2006 04:52 PM

I would say the impact would be greater there since those were higher paying jobs...


oh, that's right the states were in the red the last few years from lack of revenue...


greydawg, you're not wanting to hear the truth you're wanting to persuade that you're right...


you're hiring illegals...aren't you?

you don't want to have to hire _whiteboys_


you don't think they'll work for you.

.

Posted by: right, 3 million jobs...that's about how many are still unemployed in the computer industry... | March 27, 2006 04:54 PM

Greydawg writes:

"But Sully... Who works those jobs? we don't have enough available labor."

It has been noted by many economists that a labor shortage produces mechanical innovations that solve the shortage. In agriculture, for instance, when there aren't enough workers, the owners develop machines to do the work.

Because of illegal immigration, our agricultural sector is among the least mechanized in the Western world. We could change that, if there were the incentive to do so.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 04:58 PM

Sully, Will and Virginia Dare:

I think we agree on the following:

1) illegal immigration is bad
2) enforcement on workers should be tougher.
3) immigration is not bad. but an unchecked flow of immigration depresses wages
4) ultimately undocumented immigrants are not the problem, a system that encourages their continued migration is the problem.

I think we don't agree on the following:
1) We need immigrant workers to fill in gaps in the U.S. Labor Force
2) A guest worker program or expanded levels of immigration is a better way to meet this need than unchecked illegal immigration
3) Any response to the immigration problem in the U.S. will have to find an equitable way to deal with the 8-12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S.

Am I right? What do you suggest as alternatives to my three final points?

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:02 PM

get it?


you're redirecting away from yourself...


you don't want to look at yourself as part of the problem...perhaps all of the problem...


right?

.

Posted by: enforcement should focus on the hiring of illegals... | March 27, 2006 05:07 PM

Greydawg wrote concerning deporting 12 million illegals:
"Who works those jobs? we don't have enough available labor."

Sure we do. We just don't have the labor to do it at the depressed wages the illegals and companies that hire them have caused. As has been pointed out, child labor was discontinued rather abruptly and the economy took a hit and we survived.

So after the deportations you pay a painter $30/hour instead of the normal $20/hour or you buy strawberries at twice the price today. But you'll find some people who work at WalMart getting into painting, landscaping, construction and other jobs that will now pay affordable wages. Companies will take a hit and those with the most illegals will be hit the hardest which is as it should be. The legal labor is there and they will be happy to leave their minimum wage service jobs and move into construction and other trades Americans used to be proud to have once the depressed wages rise to a normal level.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 05:07 PM

Of all the comments on this blog, I have yet to hear anyone mention that they are prepared to a) pay the cost of increased border patrol and construction of "the wall" and b) prepared to pay for the increase in cost of clothes, food, housing, etc... that the employment of illegals makes affordable to all Americans. Are you willing to pay $12 per lbs for chicken or beef? Will you buy your child an $8 Happy Meal? Could you afford a new home if the price went up by twenty percent? Are you willing to dump your own trashcan at work, clean the toilets, or vaccum? If you are willing to sacrfice your own lifestyle to keep illegal immigrants out of this country, only then do you gave an argument.

Posted by: Bryan | March 27, 2006 05:08 PM

Greydawg writes:

"1) We need immigrant workers to fill in gaps in the U.S. Labor Force."

Yeah, I disagree with this. I think higher wages for American workers, coupled with mechanical innovation (especially in agriculture) could replace many of the immigrant workers we currently take on, in a way that would benefit the US economy and US society.

"2) A guest worker program or expanded levels of immigration is a better way to meet this need than unchecked illegal immigration"

I'm against both, and I don't agree that there's a 'need'. The guest worker program just wouldn't work, in my view, especially since no one will deal with birthright citizenship. A _true_ guest worker plan would be just that -- people would work here for a little while, then leave. It seems unrealistic to expect that to happen -- once they are here under Bush's proposal, they will stay.

"3) Any response to the immigration problem in the U.S. will have to find an equitable way to deal with the 8-12 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S."

My view is that enforcement of the ban against hiring illegals will cause many of them to self-deport. Coupled with a ban on non-essential social services, and the self-deportation could move along pretty quickly.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 05:08 PM

Bryan writes: "Of all the comments on this blog, I have yet to hear anyone mention that they are prepared to a) pay the cost of increased border patrol and construction of "the wall" and b) prepared to pay for the increase in cost of clothes, food, housing, etc... that the employment of illegals makes affordable to all Americans. Are you willing to pay $12 per lbs for chicken or beef? Will you buy your child an $8 Happy Meal? Could you afford a new home if the price went up by twenty percent? Are you willing to dump your own trashcan at work, clean the toilets, or vaccum? If you are willing to sacrfice your own lifestyle to keep illegal immigrants out of this country, only then do you gave an argument."

I am. So that means I do.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 05:09 PM

a felony offense, first time.

.

Posted by: enforcement should focus on the _hireing_ of illegals... | March 27, 2006 05:12 PM

should be sworn in when he testifies before Congress.


and that in refusing to do so, he was avoiding commiting perjury...


that being the case, he doesn't deserve to hold office.

he should be removed immediately.


thanks so much.

Posted by: I also think that the Attorney General... | March 27, 2006 05:14 PM

Greydawg,

I would agree except with the first #3. I would change it to "Legal immigration is not bad ..."

As for the second #1, #2 and #3, you are right, we disagree. For #3 my proposal for an equitable solution to those found to be here illegally is to deport them instead of jailing them, tell them that jail will be the price of coming back illegally, and they can leave with what they made in this country illegally. Any ordinary thief would jump at the proposal.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 05:17 PM

to chase down people that aren't registered...


this would also remove the incentive, amongst the monied for feeling fond of illegals, because they are so much easier to control than citizens...


why should we foster this attitude, make it a felony offense to hire, today!


thanks so much.

.

Posted by: it is much easier to prosecute and arrest for the hiring of illegals than... | March 27, 2006 05:17 PM

you need to remove their incentive for coming...


owners that are willing to harbor them as a way of saving money.


arrest those that hire and charge them with a felony, and the threat of losing their citizenship...

.

Posted by: three's no point to returning the illegals... | March 27, 2006 05:21 PM

How much of culture plays into this?

I am not playing the race card. We've been over that already. But most anti-immigrant activists are concerned that too many immigrants from another country are going to change the culture of the U.S. and they don't like that.

Obviously this is not a concern for me ( I'd eat at Pollo Rico before sitting down at most any restaurant) but I am interested to see whether there are cultural implications here for some of the anti-immigrant crowd. (or anti-undocumented immigrant crowd if you prefer).

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:22 PM

Bryan writes: "Of all the comments on this blog, I have yet to hear anyone mention that they are prepared to a) pay the cost of increased border patrol and construction of "the wall"

I am thoug I don;t think we need a wall if we have good enforcment at the jobsite.

Bryan continues:
"and b) prepared to pay for the increase in cost of clothes, food, housing, etc... that the employment of illegals makes affordable to all Americans."

You think that illegals depressing wages makes things affordable? Do you really think food costs will go up to the point where no one would be able to afford the food? Better study ECON 101. Illegals are making lower wages but not that low.

Bryan continues to spout:
"Are you willing to dump your own trashcan at work, clean the toilets, or vaccum? If you are willing to sacrfice your own lifestyle to keep illegal immigrants out of this country, only then do you gave an argument."

Those jobs where I work are performed by legal immigrants.

Ask yourself the same questions but consider the question is not about illegal immigrants but child labor. What would you be willing to do then?

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 05:24 PM

Greydawg:

I think the cultural argument is best stated in this piece:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2524

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 05:25 PM

what's with that?

how about answering that?


how would you feel about making it a felony conviction to hire, with no penalty to the illegal except to be deported?


is that a culture thing?


or are you just trying to avoid answering a direct question greydawgs..

eh pendeho?

.

Posted by: you're not addressing the fact that you want to hire illegals.. | March 27, 2006 05:27 PM

Good thing I'm fluent in Spanish!

I think Huntington's argument is a little overblown, and is little different from the threat people talked about when Irish, Jewish and Italian immigrants were "flooding" our borders. The biggest difference is that latino immigrants share similar cultural characteristics (of language and religion, principally) but they are certainly not all the same.

Also I think that assimilation is happening. Just look at the (rather bizarre) phenomenon of reggaeton, a mixture of carribean beats, hip hop and latin salsa with spanglish lyrics. Just like Italians came here and invented pizza, Mexicans showed up and invented tacos and burritos, we are seeing this new group of latino immigrants adopt and expand on popular expressions of U.S. culture.

Just check out the Washington Nationals Roster!

And if you like American steakhouses, just take a trip to Fogo De Chao in downtown DC, and I don't think you'll be too upset about THAT cultural innovation.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:33 PM

Greydawg:

Huntington's point is that there are too many immigrants from one place: Mexico. This seems like a reasonable understanding. We don't see that so much here in the DC area, but in California, Texas, etc., there are places that are basically extensions of Mexico. And unlike Irish, etc., from the past, due to modern travel, telecommunications, multiculturalism, etc., Mexicans in the USA can lead Mexican lives, and don't need to assimilate. This is a problem.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 05:35 PM

To you're not adressing:

1) I don't want to hire undocumented immigrants. I don't hire undocumented immigrants. I think businesses should be able to hire legal immigrants, and I think that should include an expanded H-1B visa program to add additional guest workers in certain economic areas.

2) Pendejo is spelled with a j. And it isn't a very flattering term.

We all have different views on this subject. Some of us can engage each others differences on an intelligent level and some cannot.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:37 PM

how would you feel about felony charges for hiring illegals..

and I know how to spell Pendejo juan...


culture is fine, how do you feel about returning to Cuba, eh?

.

Posted by: you still haven't answered the question... | March 27, 2006 05:37 PM

Virginia:

Yes and no. California may look primarily Mexican. But you and I both know that one of the biggest threats to everyone's culture is from El Salvador (via LA) in the form of MS-13 and it's offshoots.

This is a bizarre result of the ignorance of the U.S.'s immigration policy for the last twenty years and has little to do with Mexico.

I grew up in San Diego. I visit every year. It is very, very different from Mexico. Despite what anyone might tell you.

It is also important to remember that a lot of that Mexican culture in San Diego (like the Mission's, the historic districts and the food) is a result of CA being part of Mexico first.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:40 PM

Also grew up in Cali (Oceanside). So I'm reporting what I see, not what I've been told. The protests in LA last weekend said it all -- thousands of Mexican flags...

San Diego is a bit of an exception because it is well-off.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 27, 2006 05:43 PM

Still haven't answered:

I haven't answered because it is already illegal.

I advocated much earlier in this chat that we make it more illegal for employers to hire illegal workers because I believe it creates a bad situation for everyone and the current system is not sufficient.

I also think that we will need to do something with the immigrants currently living here and working with false papers so that we don't suffer an economic shock and lose a very active part of our economy.

Please pay attention to what is said in this chat, not just what you want to here.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:43 PM

and don't want to lose it.


that's what it sounds like.


you know, when someone is telling you one thing when it's really for another reason..


like the Iraq war, is it for democracy, or is it to make the presidents' friends reicher?


do you think I know how to spell?

.if you're one of the interenationals that likes to bend United States laws, then you don't want enforcement, and you want to keep this president, you might even have his ear...right?

.

Posted by: sounds like you have an investment.. | March 27, 2006 05:47 PM

Greydawg-

We do agree on 1-4. I think we also agree that we need some immigrant workers to fill gaps in the U.S. Labor Force. At the very least, I can accept it as a possibility. I am not arguing that we close our borders completely.

I agree with 2, but I'm not keen on a guest worker program. I think trying to have a discussion about a guest worker program before we actually stem the mass of illegals entering this country is silly. The discussion is backwards. Until you can account for the amount of people entering this country we cannot have a reasonable discussion about the "How many do we want..." That discussion necessarily is precluded by the "How many do we have..."

Completely disagree with 3. To account for them we send them home or give them enough incentives to go home on their own.

Posted by: Will | March 27, 2006 05:49 PM

I drove through Oceanside in October. I actually used to go there all the time because there was a cheap army-navy surplus store there.

And yes, there are a lot of Mexicans. But you didn't exactly have an unbiased sample last week. If you are going to have a Latino rights protest there will be more Mexicans than anything else.

I just don't see any impact on culture that I can quantify. By that I mean, traditional "american" cultural activities have not stopped, if anything they have become more popular because of all the immigrants enjoying them.

Posted by: Greydawg | March 27, 2006 05:49 PM

The Republican Party hopes to accomplish what it has always done in the past: Pretend to appease its right wing, while quietly doing nothing, in order to benefit its monied constituency. They'll huff and puff about building big fences, but the final legislation will be stripped of any penalties against the TRUE cause of the illegal immigration problem: Employers.

Posted by: Midwest Best | March 27, 2006 06:00 PM

that is the most cost effective, you could start right away with the bushes...


have them do mandatory jail time, check their ranches out!


do that...


no, just 'cause he snorts coke and hunts drunk?


he's law abiding, sure.
.

.

Posted by: yes, the cheapest solution is to have mandatory felony charges for hiring illegals... | March 27, 2006 06:04 PM

arrest even at the misdemeanor level.


apply it to the Congress, the president and his friends...


any infractions of United States laws are enforced against the congress, the president and this administration...

next time a building blows up, you want to make sure it's because of terrorists.

Posted by: I like the Guilliani solution... | March 27, 2006 06:38 PM

Until we see CEOs, CFOs, and other senior execs at firms employing illegals doing multi-year sentences at maximum-security prisons, none of this will change.

Or, we could wake up and use an education/skills-based immigration policy like Canada and Australia has, with bonus points for speaking English, and solve the whole problem.

My bet is on us doing nothing - because the only thing we can say about the House and White House is ... incompetent.

Posted by: Will in Seattle | March 27, 2006 06:38 PM

Tom Delay for violating his oath of office...


unless you're cowards?.

Posted by: you could start by impeaching and then arresting | March 27, 2006 06:40 PM

commit fraud, that you'll be arrested.


it would be a favor to George and his families if you quit _enabling_ them...


help them to find a cure for their inhumanity...today.

Posted by: you know if you, as a citizen, | March 27, 2006 06:48 PM

Well said Midwest Best!

I'd add that the democrats would plead compassion and talk about the rights of illegals to forestall any actions. In other words, the problem is on both sides of the isle, they simply have different explanations to explain their inaction to their bases.

Posted by: Sully | March 27, 2006 07:33 PM

graydawg wrote:
===========================================
Also I think that assimilation is happening. Just look at the (rather bizarre) phenomenon of reggaeton, a mixture of carribean beats, hip hop and latin salsa with spanglish lyrics.
===========================================

That's not assimilation, that's bastardization of a language (let alone a culture).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 09:31 PM

Sully summons up the "What About the Children"??? Argument:

"I do worry about the children of illegals since if all illegals were sent home many of their American children would probably go to."

Their children are only citizens under current statute which draws from the 14th Amendment - that all citizenship rewards accrue from being born here, even if that benefit is the fruit of a crime. The statute is being challenged because it will be difficult to deport any illegals that manage to spit out an "anchor baby" or two or 8. Many illegals regard their citizenship ceremony as an afterthought. They believe their real "citizenship", security and freedom from deportation rests with the first birth certificate stating one of their little ninas or ninos was Born in Estatos Unidos!

Sully: "These children deserve more than the boot from America and I think a lot of illegals would leave more easily if something were done to support these American children whose parents would have to leave."

The children are beneficiaries of criminal acts. In other areas of law, the fruits of crime conferred on to the criminals children may be removed as part of restitution to those harmed (just the schooling of an illegal's kid from 5 to 18 plus "free" medical care from birth to age 18 is estimated to cost American taxpayers from 145 to 180,000 dollars with certain "special" kids of illegals millions in burdening taxpayers. Many of those are encouraged to leave Mexico for free specialized care in the USA by Mexican hospitals and Gov't officials.

If the Fast Andy Fastow case at Enron is used as a comparison, moneys conned from Enron investors were put into a lavish lifestyle for the Fastow children, including vacation property in Israel in their name and educational trusts and "supplemental trusts". Other Fastow neices, nephews, and siblings were similarly rewarded. Despite the "punishing the children" claims, most of that was removed and put in a stockholder restitution fund as part of the (still overly generous) Leah and Andy Fastow plea deals. The children were "punished" as part of restoring those hurt.

We call that Justice.

No one wants to ask the children of illegals to reimburse the tens or hundreds of thousands in free schooling, welfare programs, and medical care they got - but it's fair to ask them to leave. As fair as American kids of a robber are forced to leave the colonial for a singlewide trailer when the criminal is held to account.

Sully - "These kids, some are in their 20s now, did not pick their parents and do not want to see them harmed."

Same can be said for kids who profited by having bank robber, stock scam, drug dealer, or other lawbreaker parents. They and the parents benefited from the crime, but should never be allowed to keep their criminal gains...

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 27, 2006 10:03 PM

illegal aliens,

listen closely, they send most of their money out of the country.

they don't pay for social security.

they use services.

they don't join unions.

we have _as_ _you_ _all_ _know_ a decreasing, for several years now, amount available for things like social services, education, healthcare_not_at_all


our economy doesn't work for the citizens anymore...it works for the corporations...


those living in poverty has been increasing not decreasing the last 5 years, and that is a fact....if those people have a chance to make a living at a wage that they can live at it won't be because you hired an illegal

we have less opportunity as a whole than we did 30 years ago as far as employment goes....


a Washington Post article a couple of days ago was talking about globalization and shipping 52 Million jobs to India as a probability...


the next step is selling everything to another country and eliminating services to citizens as a way of doing business...there have been more years of peasant, serf classes than otherwise in the world...


we _were_ unique, for a short time after WWII, but right now, the wealthy_of_all_nations are conspiring to take your country away from you and dissolve the middle class...demoting a good deal of you to peasants...unless you're a government worker.


they don't need illegal aliens that they can pay significantly less to do the same job as you.....there is no reason to be saying that we "need" illegals, unless you're an employer that has no feeling for the citizens, just your bottom line.

what we _need_ is some legislators that are willing to protect their citizens from faux leaders.

.

Posted by: the truth. | March 28, 2006 12:54 AM

being a citizen...


how's about helping your brothers out by realizing that sometimes being selfish is a good thing.


we need to address the lives and concerns of ordinary citizens as a basis for what business can and can not do.


we do need some review of how internationals have been able to move American jobs to other countries, without recompense, there was no plan to create alternative situations....plants closed, tools boxed up and shipped to other countries, pieces of the company redistruibuted......


I've been across the country, driving from coast to coast a couple of times in the last five years....


things are changing.


there aren't 10 pages of computer jobs in the newspaper anymore...


there aren't ten pages of jobs in most newspapers anymore...and good ole boys do sell firewood, mend things, do odd jobs when they're laid off, and it looks like they're laid off, downsized, outsourced and sold down the river...that's what it looks like to me...


all of the people in the United States are important, they all need to be employed, if they are employable

we as a nation do not take care of the citizens _right_ _now_


why do we need more people here that we can't take care of, as damaged as our social services have been by the changes that we haven't been addressing. Most of our states were on the verge of bankruptcy a few years ago....they haven't gotten more money, they've reduced or stopped services permanently as the way of coping with the situation

take care of that first.

get everyone employed, address issues that need to be addressed, stop outsourcing, stop illegals, fix the United States first before you give away what you don't have...


we don't even have an Economy that will support the occupation of Iraq and you want to invite more illegals in?

please.

.

Posted by: dear people that feel that being against illegal aliens in a time of decreasing benefits to | March 28, 2006 01:05 AM

Poverty is increasing all over America. It's the national policy of the republican party. No wonder the statistics go back to 1980 because 1981 is when Reagan began implementing the policy of rewarding the rich and punishing the poor. Nothing has changed since then.

Posted by: jbowen43 | March 28, 2006 12:00 PM

Pop Quiz:

1. In the past decade, which of the following countries have killed more Americans?
a. Iraq
b. Iran
c. North Korea
d. Mexico

2. Which has cost American taxpayers more over the past 5 years?
a. The Iraq War
b. The Net Cost of Illegal Immigration

3. If English as a Second Language (ESL) students cost 1.5 times the amount of an English speaking student and illegal immigrant mothers average 1.5 times the number of children of US citizens (3 vs 2), how much more will an illegal immigrant household cost the taxpayers to educate their children? Assume $10,000 annual cost per pupil.

4. If Congress and the President grant guest worker amnesty to 12 million illegal immigrants in the US, allowing them to "come out of the shadows" to "do jobs that Americans don't want to without fear of deportation" and be "on a path to citizenship," how will that impact illegal immigration in the future?
a. Decrease illegal immigration
b. Remain the Same (1.1 million annually)
c. Increase illegal immigration

5. President Bush and Congress were elected to serve:
a. The 121 million who voted in the 2004 elections
b. The 290 million US Citizens
c. The 12 million illegal aliens in the US

http://stoptheinvasion.blogspot.com/

Posted by: VA Patriot | March 29, 2006 12:20 PM

What's so wrong with Mexico, and why don't some of these hard-working honest Mexicans fix their own homeland? They're poor there, they say. Why? The land itself is harsh, but so was much of California, until people brought water to the desert. They can't feed their children, they say, so they come to harvest fruit in the Imperial desert in California.

We waste hundreds of billions trying to hold Iraq, to no clear purpose, but we do little or nothing to help Mexico bloom. More to the point, Mexicans to little or nothing to make Mexico bloom. They grow children, not food, and spend money that could feed their families making criminals rich. Maybe we could help, but the powers-that-be of Mexico don't want help.

In Mexico, the rich are obscenely profligate, yet they senselessly squander and pollute scarce water resources, destroying the means to support their own people. The single-party political system is entrenched, and protects its narrow petty interests through ruthless corruption. The general population is kept in poverty, knowingly, purposely, and without conscience. Even so, the President of the United States entertains the Mexican president as if he were an equal, even admirable.

We should not be having pleasant conversations with such a government. We should be publicly scolding them, we should hold them responsible for the poverty, the ignominy, and the agony of their people. We should be aware of the Mexican oligarchy as it is: a ruthless exploiter of its population, squanderer of its natural resources, and a callous tyranny.

For Mexicans, migration is not the answer, except that there is no other made available to them. The Mexican government is complicit in lawlessness, corruption, ruthless exploitation, and needless death, even murder. Why does the United States government stand silent observing this routine of atrocities, sipping tea with the leader among its perpetrators?

There is a compelling need to help the Mexican people, but this is not an excuse for disrespecting US law and criminally invading this country. As usual, the course of this debate narrows itself to the least significant of issues, as if the debaters perceive only their own immediate personal interests.

Mexico has great need of care, of hard work, of ingenuity. Mexico needs to be made the prosperous and abundant land it has the potential to be. It is a land that should be able to support its people, and that could be a worthy ally to the US, yet the entrenched oligarchy cares nothing for these goals, and Mexicans die of their leaders' callous neglect.

There is no honor, no dignity, in abandoning one's homeland and family to criminally invade another country. Those who come to visit a foreign land in peace, to visit or to do business, respect the laws and customs of the country they visit, and adapt to the language of that country.

Those who cross a border criminally, intent on establishing their own law, language, and customs in a foreign land, dismissing the laws and customs of that land are invaders, and come not in peace, but at war. The fact that the government of Mexico is responsible for motivating this behavior, and openly advocates the criminal invasion of the US by Mexicans proves that the EU of Mexico is at war with the USA, whether we acknowledge this or not.

The US has taken it upon itself to depose and replace the regime of lands far more distant, and with far less cause. If the Mexican government continues policies that drive its population north, that openly flout the sovereignty of the US, and that ruthlessly trample the human rights and well-being of its own people, regime change should be an option.

If Mexico chooses to be at war with the US, perhaps the US should respond in kind. Only a truly democratic and compassionate Mexican society can effectively partner with the US to achieve mutual benefit. If the current Mexican regime chooses not to be such a partner, perhaps regime change in Mexico is far more in the interests of the US then anything that could possibly happen in Iraq.

Posted by: Ken | March 30, 2006 12:11 AM

I don't give a rat's backside about other countrie's immigration polices. I want our borders secured and the illegal aliens escorted out of the United States. Enough of this political correctness garbage.

Posted by: Dick | March 31, 2006 04:58 PM

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