The Facts: Immigration Info and Stats

The Migration Information Source serves as a good starting point for immigration research, providing statistics in abundance on everything from historical trends to stats on asylum seekers to detailed data on the foreign-born population in the United States. MIS is a project of the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-ideological think tank devoted to studying migration trends around the world.

From there, you'll find links to all sorts of interesting items, like this report on the erroneous predictions that NAFTA would reduce illegal immigration. MIS has done quite a bit of research into Mexico-U.S. migration, which tends to be one of the biggest issues in immigration debates in the United States these days. One of the links leads to a paper stressing the importance of bilateral immigration reform (as opposed to the United States trying to stem the flow of illegal immigrants all by itself.)

It's also worth visiting the Migration Dialogue, a project of the University of California-Davis. Its collection of articles on immigration includes a thought-provoking piece by Richard Rothstein, originally published in a 1993 issue of Dissent. (Rothstein expresses a point of view, but the article is chock full of facts.)

Financial services firm Bear Stearns put together this report on illegal immigration -- a report often quoted by those supporting a serious crackdown. The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals' report on the difficulty undocumented Latinos have in becoming home owners is also intriguing, if only because it makes one wonder how anybody could possibly be surprised that illegal immigrants would have a tough time getting a mortgage.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement -- a pro-immigration advocacy organization -- offers information on immigrant voters. From the Federation for American Immigration Reform -- an organization that advocates dramatically reducing immigration into the United States (legal and illegal alike) -- comes state-by-state data on legal and illegal immigrants.

The American Resistance, a very anti-immigration group, provides this collection of laws relating to immigration. Immigration and border policies can also be researched at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services site, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement site and the Customs and Border Protection site. (Seeing them all together, those names do make the agencies seem a bit redundant. Their tasks, however, are pretty distinct.)

So gather your background information -- we'll bite into the meat of the issue tomorrow morning.

By Emily Messner |  March 21, 2006; 4:43 PM ET  | Category:  Facts
Previous: A Note About The Debate | Next: Should We Build a Wall at the Border?


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One thing I'd love for you to comment on is the Post's pro-illegal immigration bias. I hope you won't insult us (or yourself) by denying it, but rather that you'll explain it to us.

It seems to me that the tone is set by editorial board member Ruth Marcus, who I'll assume lives far, far away from any significant numbers of illegal aliens (Bethesda's my guess!). I'd hazard a guess that her kids don't go to schools that have been dragged down by massive numbers of illegals, and I'm sure there's no day laborer site bringing down the value of her home. Still, it's nice that she feels confident enough to lecture Herndon, Manassas, and any other town that's actually affected by mass illegal immigration on what the moral course of action is.

Anyway, it's this kind of NIMBY, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do hypocrisy at the Post I'd ask you to address tomorrow.

Posted by: DC Dude | March 21, 2006 05:20 PM

That's what I'd like to read about too, since ever since WP bought that Latino outlet the tone about race and immigration has changed -- gone to "either/or" mentality.

The tone of that Xenophobia thread really was one-sided to label legit disagreement as being a racist (although racism exists, the major bone of contention with this is the ILLEGALS come here for economic gain, then send most back home, take even skilled labor jobs away, then demand the services of citizens as a right -- and all ILLEGALLY). That's enough to get even Liberals upset.

When governors look at their budgets each year and see the budget being swallowed up by ILLEGALS, they have to do something. If they cut social services to meet the budget, the citizens are denied their due. That's wrong. If you're born an American, went to school in America, and work in America you have first dibs on services. If and only when citizens have no need of the services for the year that ILLEGALS can get services -- and that's out of charity.

I draw the line when ILLEGALS demand equal access to healthcare and education, when our own citizens are being shut out. If Germany and France can have a national first policy (didn't you pro-immigration folks know that? Natives get first choice on jobs), then the USA can have one then, too.


Posted by: SandyK | March 21, 2006 06:33 PM

In 2030, we are projected to go from 300 million to 363 million with the same rate of illegal immigration, but no family reunification (what the NYC Jews and Teddy Kennedy pushed into the 1965 Immigration Reform Act). And 420 million by 2050.

With amnesty that triggers full chain migration of illegal's relatives here under the "family reunification "moral obligation to our newest citizens to be surrounded by family and favorite villagers as they bring in THEIR relatives - America could have 510 billion people by 2050.

In 1750 China had 225 million people. 520 million by 1950. 1.307 billion according to the latest Chinese census (2005). Despite losing over 225 million in famine, floods and 100 million in war and revolution since 1750.

In 1900, the population of India, including Pakistan and Bangladesh, was 238 million. Now the net is 1.402 billion when the fast breeding Muslim splitoff nations are added.

By 2050, the world will have 9.7 billion. Some 6 billion of which would love to get into the US or the few other nations prosperous and with enough resources still to go around....Or Demanding to be let in as "oppressed refugees seeking FREEDOM".

Not being Malthusian, just spelling out the facts.

All kinds of projections can be made of the environmental, economic, & societal effects of illegal immigration and fast-breeding newcomers making America a proto-China where people are seen as just too many unfortunate numbers...It looks reasonable to project though that if nothing changes, the America of 2050 will be less Western, loose much of our agricultural and wildlife sanctuary land to sprawl, have a lower standard of living. Wealth, such as it is will not be able to sustain the lifestyle and resource use of 400 million middle class people, so wealth will follow socialist redistribution or be further concentrated into the hands of a small Owner Class.

And certain groups will lose clout. The current Muslim entrance and post-immigration supercharged breeding rates mean that anti-Israel Muslim voters will outnumber Jews in America 6 to one and severely compromise America backing Israel...if the demographics and oil shortages don't end Israel itself in the next 50 years.

The environmentalists, mostly liberals, have avoided the issue of illegal immigration and attendent environmental degradation or collapse like a Third Rail. But it's real and scary: Loss of arable land, water shortages, transportation gridlock in a system designed for only 250 million Americans, anarchy in 20-30 million people Mega-Cities.

By 2100, there could be a billion Americans - most living the lifestyle of the poorer Mexicans of today.

We can still control our destiny to avoid that, but ending mass immigration and keeping the 6 billion wanting in - out - is an unavoidable necessity.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 21, 2006 10:58 PM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"Only Jamal and a few that refuse to post under a "handle" bother to read your dreck, and sadly, Jamal is stupid."

Che, has a right to post as long as he follows Emily's instructions. I'm amazed you haven't been reprimanded for your racial euphemisms, that I have found personally insulting, terms such as "mammies" for black women or "chillins" for black men.
"Terming those who object to immigration racist, and topping that by terming me saying immigration is killing the chances of any black in the underclass to advance "racist" in it's own right."
If you look at my post there was no plural used only singular, being you. If you're so concerned about blacks not having jobs then see to it some are hired to jobs where you work, that is how you can help out.
"The facts are young black male unemployment is exploding. They are being methodically displaced from "first rung" jobs by illegals. Anyone who lives out West can see it. Blacks sitting idle as Mexicans replace them in industry after industry for less pay. The black crime rate is staggering and getting worse."
If you're so concerned about blacks not having jobs then see to it some are hired to jobs where you work, that is how you can help out.
"Before our eyes we see the Katrina rebuilding, and a lesson on how mass illegal immigration is warping American society. Illegals are being mass-bused in. Contractors preferentially hiring illegals over local blacks. Blacks that helped build NOLA and much of the coastal infastructure. The only black jobs, from friends I know there and contractors writing me, appear to be black females in officious-acting minor government bureaucratic jobs dealing with the rebuilding and social services positions."
Funny in the Katrina debate you posted the following, see the permalink:
Posted by: Chris Ford
"It is hard-working Americans from other sectors of society and even hard-working illegal aliens that are living hard in bad conditions, doing the needed dirty work and the heavy lifting. Many of those Mexicans who are making a 100 bucks a day while a feckless underclass family sits in Holiday Inn waiting on their new double-wide and locale for their new subsidies - those Mexicans and hard-working Americans from elsewhere.....You can excuse the parasites and say they can't work if they are "tendin' to they chillun' and another on the way from some Texas hotel encounter" or "too drug dependent to work or too long a rap sheet" but they are still, bottom line, parasites.."
Posted by: Chris Ford
"Now in America we have parasitic women with 4 out of wedlock kids and no man to pitch in in an emergency and we are told that is the "government's job" to take care of her ever need. We have people building in flood plains or below sea level that think they are entitled to "be made whole again" by the taxpayers when a totally predictable storm screws up their lifestyle choices and possessions.....and who expect responsible people to make up for their personal shortcomings by paying for more "bennies" and more state and local Gov't which if it screws up, passes the buck to the Federal Gov't."

If you're so concerned about blacks not having jobs then see to it that some are hired to jobs where you work, that is how you can help out.
"To poor dumb Jamal, the truth is racist..."

My concern with illegal immigration is economics, yours is racial. I have seen you comment repeatedly in previous debates using racial euphemisms such as "mammies" "chillins", etc... And now I find you trying play the role of a "liberal lefty" defending the black community. Anyone who has seen your postings from prior to hurricane Katrina, knows you have nothing but disdain for the black community.
I'll be perfectly blunt about your postings on this subject, it appears your trying your best to pit blacks against Mexicans. If you want to help a black male, then hire some or shut up.

Posted by: Jamal | March 21, 2006 11:36 PM

Jamal, try as you might to play the race card, it is soooo 70s! The only places PC still really rules is in Government employment, government schools, and universities. The rest of us have moved on and ridicule the whole PC movement and buffoons like Jesse Jackson, Norm Mineta, and Ward Churchill.

The pathologies and dysfunctions of the black underclass are obvious and were for a long time undiscussable as matters worsened.

With the tidal wave of illegals sweeping in, they end up essentially wrecking the economic opportunity of the black underclass. Anyone can look at the history of black unemployment and readily see from the financial numbers and numbers employed that young black males are being displaced from entry-level and semi-skilled blue collar jobs to Mexicans that both work cheaper and work harder - and just as importantly absent the dysfunctions that all to many underclass black males manifest in the workplace.

"If you're so concerned about blacks not having jobs then see to it some are hired to jobs where you work, that is how you can help out."

Are you crazy? Not when there are cheaper and harder-working Mexicans and other illegals to hire instead!

Not until the flow of illegal immigrants ends or fines are carried out will just about any employer think of giving black males from the underclass a chance...not when 3 undocumented workers wait begging for the job and hiring and firing is risk-free if one undocumented dude doesn't cut just pick the next in line at Home Depot after dropping the 1st off.

Jamal continues to rant in PC self-righteous mode:

"I'll be perfectly blunt about your postings on this subject, it appears your trying your best to pit blacks against Mexicans. If you want to help a black male, then hire some or shut up."

Since you are stupid, Jamal, best you yourself shut up so people won't get how dumb you are from a single paragraph.

This is not about pitting blacks against Mexicans, white against blacks - or wahtever racial war you wish this was all about.

What it is about is that illegal immigration is not entirely benign. It benefits folks like me in the "Owner Class" while screwing the most vulnerable in society (like young black men) displaced from jobs by cheaper labor -- and screwing poorer counties that have to pay the medical, welfare, schooling, and law enforcement costs of illegals . While in nice suburbs like mine, the taxes remain low as the illegals trudge in on pickup trucks or buses to work in our community, where we zone so they can't easily settle into it. And cheap labor in those poorer counties transfers wealth to the richest Americans in posh communities in the form of corporate stock and dividends while poorer areas foot the illegal alien carrying costs.

That's the system. "Mammies" and "they chillun's" may not get how the wealthy get richer from mass illegal immigration system they foisted on America - but they are bright enough to know that somehow, they are being screwed by it and things won't get better for many in the underclass until illegal immigration stops. Because no employer is going to hire a native American with "problems" when they can hire a better illegal. (Unless you talk gov't folks hiring off quotas)

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 22, 2006 12:57 AM

Jamal wrote:
I'll be perfectly blunt about your postings on this subject, it appears your trying your best to pit blacks against Mexicans. If you want to help a black male, then hire some or shut up.

Each do that to themselves out in Texas. Read of the infighting in Dallas, for a example (especially the city council).

I don't agree with Chris Ford's racial language, but if Che and such can use this blog, so can he.

Otherwise this blog would be just another DU or KoS site, and equally intolerant to anything but their own partisan rhetoric.


Posted by: SandyK | March 22, 2006 05:17 AM

This debate is regulated by a combination of xenophobes who fear anyone that doesn't look like them and corporatists who want cheap labor. It's hard to see a sensible, human policy that also addresses security concerns ever emerging from this country today.

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | March 22, 2006 06:34 AM

Posted by: SandyK,

"I don't agree with Chris Ford's racial language, but if Che and such can use this blog, so can he."

Che was publicly censured, Ford never has been for his racial slurs. You don't agree with Che and you don't agree with Ford's racial slurs, but you continually single out Che.

I'm not the moderator here. But as I stated before when I see racial slurs, I'll address the commenter, I don't see anyone else doing it.

Posted by: Jamal | March 22, 2006 09:06 AM

Yeah the fearmongers and the old racists of the past have grown up. They've become polished and sophisticated.

They are against illegal immigrants 'cause they are concerned with black unemployment.

They are in Iraq 'cause they are concerned about the poor Iraqis oppressed by Saddam.

They passed the Medicare drug bill 'cause they are really truly concenred about the old folks.

They passed law in the mid of the night 'cause they are concerned about Terry Schivo's life.

And on and on...

Posted by: Borg | March 22, 2006 09:13 AM

Your topic is mixing the debate over illegal immmigration with legal immigration. I think you need to keep these topic clear. There is a huge difference. Few people I know are against legal immigration, including myself, but a majority of people, including myself, are against illegal immigration. I get upset when I hear politicians scolding people who are against illegal immigration by reminding many people that they are in America because an ancestor was an immigrant. But they never use the term "legal immigrant".

My ancestors came through Boston, legally, in 1840 from Ireland and settled in IL while others came through Ells Island in the early 1900s from Ireland and Norway. All were legal based on my family's geneology records.

I understand that illegals want a better life, don't we all, but it is no excuse to break the law anymore than jumping turnstiles at the subway is an excuse for getting to work cheaper.

Legal immigration helps America, illegal immigration hurts America by depressing wages and placing a burden on our social welfare systems including health care, schooling and other services. Please make the distinction and do not lump legal and illegal immigration together.

Posted by: Sully | March 22, 2006 09:20 AM

Chris Ford, you misjudge me. My commentary on Emily's previous postings on this subject did not have to do with the narrowpolitical debate such forums always attract. Rather, I was making a clinical judgement on how history tends to level out its own past insjustices in a poetic way.

I was making a point about the similar fears and reactions of the native inhabitants of this continent and other continents, other nations, island nations and various far flung locales on this globe where the indigenous peoples of those lands had their cultures displaced by the colonizing force of Europeans.

Now, as I stated in my previous post, it is those previously displaced peoples and cultures that are on the move and the white man is reacting in the same fearful way that his culture, his way of life, will be changed or displaced.

I was not making a moral judgement on the rightness or desirability of such outcomes--merely that they are a fact of history and nature and there is probabably very little we can do to change it.

Like many nationalists, you cannot imagine that your nation will someday be changed, displaced, taken over or simply die out because of the normal reasons cultures and civilizations die out. I am quite certain that the Sumerians, the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans never thought for a minute that their priviledged position of power and influence and empire would ever end.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 22, 2006 09:45 AM

America is an aging power. Its inability to protect its borders is a function of the fact that it has become too large and unweildy, is laden with the fat and wealth that attracts poor immigrants, and has too many competing interests that militate against any reasonable solution to the problem.

But, more than all of that, America is simply undergoing the same sort of historical mass movement of peoples that brought white Europeans to these and other shores in the past to establish their own culture and displace the culture of the original inhabitants of those lands.

It is a long term process but the demographics alone point to the inevitability that the Europe and America of the future will be dominated by the darker skinned peoples of the world.

History suggests that no barrier, no wall, no armed force can stop such mass movements of people. Only policies that change the fundamental reasons for such movements of peoples can even begin to make a difference and I don't see us or the countries of origin of these peoples moving in a direction that would suggest such enlightened cooperation.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 22, 2006 09:58 AM

"and the white man is reacting in the same fearful way that his culture, his way of life, will be changed or displaced."

I'm afraid I know a whole lot of people other than "whites" who are expressing growing concern over illegal immigration. As much as the media and the "intelligentsia" tries to play up the whole racial divide, people of all strips and colors who have come into this country and assimilated share in a common culture, way of life, etc. Not that its been a perfect ride but more so today than ever before.

Illegal immigration impacts everyone.

Posted by: D. | March 22, 2006 10:01 AM

Jamal poked:
Che was publicly censured, Ford never has been for his racial slurs. You don't agree with Che and you don't agree with Ford's racial slurs, but you continually single out Che.

Chris got the hammer from Emily before for going overboard. Che got a couple warnings from Emily. I've addressed Chris on his tongue countless times (like when he uses "Jap"). So don't start lying to save face now.

Jamal provoked:
I'm not the moderator here. But as I stated before when I see racial slurs, I'll address the commenter, I don't see anyone else doing it.

Where were you when Chris uses "Jap"? Noticeably absent, huh?

Or is it because you're new and haven't read the archives to keep up.

RTFM, Jamal, before going around claiming others don't say anything to Chris -- we do.

Unlike Chris though, Che doesn't become a part of the Debate, but likes to spam. Chris actually debates, and he's the "other" side of the debate so much needed to be able to read ALL sides.

If you like censorship run to DU and KoS or Freepers or Hannity. Otherwise learn to be more tolerant of viewpoints that's different than your own. You may not like Chris' viewpoint, but he has his reasons to have that attitude, as you have yours, and I have mine. It's called: life experience.


Posted by: SandyK | March 22, 2006 10:07 AM

To paraphrase Toynbee - "Civilizations are not murdered, they commit suicide". Stasis, in terms of borders, demograhics, etc., is just an illusion. Its temporary. Liken it to a frozen river - its appears static and sturdy but all the while, the water continues to flow underneath. Same with countries and cultures. The question becomes, what do you do in order to maintain your culture, your identity, your way of life.

Illegal immigration is a problem, sure. But it can be controlled or at least regulated somewhat. Bigger issue is assimilation. earlier immigrants where encouraged/forced to assimilate into the broader american cultural landscape. The tendency in our modern PC era is to encourage the opposite. This leads to the development of a society within a society. civilizational suicide.

Just ask europe.

Posted by: D. | March 22, 2006 10:17 AM

Posted by: SandyK

"You may not like Chris' viewpoint, but he has his reasons to have that attitude"

I know the reason for his attitude, it's very apparent.

Posted by: Jamal | March 22, 2006 10:18 AM

My ancestors came through Boston, legally, in 1840 from Ireland and settled in IL while others came through Ells Island in the early 1900s from Ireland and Norway. All were legal based on my family's geneology records.

Posted by: Sully | Mar 22, 2006 9:20:34 AM | Permalink

You are sure of that? Did they go to the US embassy in Dublin - or maybe London at the time - and apply for an immigration visa? Or did they just sell everything and pile on a boat that showed up in Boston harbor a month later? You sure the Boston Brahmins welcomed the potato famine Irish with open arms back then?

It would be interesting to know about the legal aspect of 19 and early 20 century immigration. Emily you do the research.

Posted by: Borg | March 22, 2006 10:39 AM

You have quoted only one reliable source of information... the Migration Policy Institute. At least they have the guts to point out that there is not much information at all about illegal immigration. The rest of the so-called data sources that you have presented only have "spun data" and aren't worth the time.

The best way to reduce illegal immigration would be to make it reasonable to get a visa. The CIS (formerly INS) takes more than a decade to process an application for the type of job that illegal immigrants come for. Don't you think they would rather pay the hundred or so dollars to get a visa than the thousand or so and risking their lives to be here illegally?

Stop complaining that it's the mirror's fault that you look ugly and do something about the real problem. Best thing is, the real problem is within govt control.

Posted by: fr | March 22, 2006 10:42 AM

Anyone who has listened to Rush Limbaugh knows that he is always using the advance of white Europeans into this land and the ensuing development of the traditions of liberal democracy that arose out of the writings and opinions of the Great Enlightenment, know that his idea is that the Judaeo-Christian culture that developed here in America and has spread into Western Europe is superior to all others.

What Limbaugh fails to recognize is that it was not the ideas of liberal democracy that displaced the previous indigenous culture in this land. It was simply numbers. The numbers of white Europeans coming into the country--illegally by today's standards--literally overwhelmed the natives on this continent. Of course technology had something to do with it as well but the Indians soon proved themselves adept at using the same weapons technologies that the white man employed. They just didn't have the numbers.

That is what is likely to happen to us. The numbers will eventually overwhelm us. I am tempted to say that in a historical context, we have it coming. But that is a moral judgement not a clinical one.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 22, 2006 10:46 AM

In light of the fact that white folk have it "coming", I believe we should immediately surrender in Iraq.

Posted by: | March 22, 2006 10:55 AM

If the illegals are having rallys now to protect their so-called "rights" (I even saw one with a sign saying "We the people....") then that's great. Doesn't that make it easier to round them up and send them home? They are called illegal immigrants for a reason...they're here ILLEGALLY. In this country, don't we arrest people that do things that are illegal? If they want to be here, follow the rules or get out!

Posted by: B | March 22, 2006 10:58 AM

It was more than numbers, Jaxas. It was a civilational (if you can call it that) conflict at its core. Europeans brought with them a different political and economic model, differing methods of conducting warfare, of establishing infrastructure, etc., that overtime overwhelmed (subjugated, if you will) the indigenous peoples. This has played out over the centuries: Imperial China in the Orient, Persia in the mid-east, Rome in the western world, europe in just about everywhere.

I don't think illegal (or contemporary legal) immigration can be seen through that lens. Immigrants coming here, legally and illegally, do not come from, for the most part, a different civilizational model. The question becomes then, how well to we assimilate new arrivals? How best do we regulate who and how many come and how do we "americanize" them?

If you dismiss the importance of assimilation it matters not a whit if you stop illegal immigration cold.

Posted by: D. | March 22, 2006 11:11 AM

Borg wrote:
"You are sure of that? Did they go to the US embassy in Dublin - or maybe London at the time - and apply for an immigration visa? Or did they just sell everything and pile on a boat that showed up in Boston harbor a month later? You sure the Boston Brahmins welcomed the potato famine Irish with open arms back then?"

No visa, probably piled on a boat to escape the famine. But the federal government did not even recognize it had the responsibility for immigration until 1875 and only in 1891 wrote the Imigration Act so visas did not exist in 1840. In 1840 imigration records were derived from a ship's passenger list. My sisters did the searching at the National Archives in DC. They found who we believe is my great great great grandfather in the Boston records. We're not absolutely sure it is him of course since there is no connecting info between that immigration record and his first known home in IL but combined with family lore, census data, etc, it matches up nicely so we're pretty sure its him.

Back then the Irish were hated. Sure the locals discriminated and many wanted to put the Irish back on boats to Ireland. But the question is whether his coming here was legal. Based on what we believe is his name on a immigration list obtained from a ship's passenger list, it was legal at the time.

Today we have much better control over who enters the country. Visas exist and we have many laws covering the many types of visas. The law no one in this blog is talking about is the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) which the government is not enforcing adequately. The question should be asked: Why is this law not enforced and instead we talk about walls, amnesty, etc... I believe the laws are not enforced to maintain a cheap labor pool for companies with jobs that cannot be exported to countries with cheap labor pools. It was interesting to read about the "Day Without an Immigrant" article, a strike basically by illegals to show how companies would grind to a halt without them. It didn't happen but should make one wonder what those jobs would be paying if the illegals were not holding those jobs.

Enforce IRCA and maybe, just maybe this problem will grow small. Its the executive's job and congress's to oversee. Neither is happening because companies, who get our leaders elected though their money, want it that way. Lobby reform should also help, but neither will happen until people make illegal immigration an issue for politicians to address out of fear of loosing an election.

Posted by: Sully | March 22, 2006 12:18 PM

Jamal I agree with you completely. I moved on since I got tired of Chris Ford's racist and white supremecist comments. I spoke up many times. I only drop by every once in a while but just as I would not invite Archie Bunker into my home I do not want to listen to one as a hobby. I see no benefit discoursing with a racist. All you do is feed Ford's need for negative attention and no one will truly deal with his hateful comments. Best to try somewhere else.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | March 22, 2006 12:29 PM

Borg provoked:
You are sure of that? Did they go to the US embassy in Dublin - or maybe London at the time - and apply for an immigration visa? Or did they just sell everything and pile on a boat that showed up in Boston harbor a month later? You sure the Boston Brahmins welcomed the potato famine Irish with open arms back then?

It would be interesting to know about the legal aspect of 19 and early 20 century immigration. Emily you do the research.

Both sides of my family came here legally. From the Swedish side (via Ellis Island), to my mom who even had to submit a 150year genealogical record, on top of the citizenship test -- which required learning English and the Constitution. Grandma (who spoke Swedish until she went to school, and then never spoke it again) spent over a year teaching my mom those requirements.

It PISSES me off that illegals can come here and get the same benefits as my great-grandparents and mom, who played by the rules. Let them submit a 150 year genealogical record; get a lifetime of shots; study day and night on a new language, customs, cooking, and learning the Constitution, meanwhile try to raise a family on top of it -- all legally and without welfare.

So don't push this, "you don't understand" crap. Some of us do, and some of us know what our families had to do to get a US citizenship -- legally.


Posted by: SandyK | March 22, 2006 12:34 PM

" In the first place, we should insist that
if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, they shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such person because of creed, birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the
person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American... There can be no divided allegiance here. Any person who says they are are an American, but something else also, isn't an
American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American Flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is to the American people. " Therodore Roosevelt 1907
And now our government is telling this is not true any more, so we as Americans should vote the S.O.B.s not only out of office but out of the country, and send them to the country they hold allegiance to. The sooner the better.

Posted by: Vic Bailey | March 22, 2006 12:55 PM

Looking back on a statement made at a time when many African Americans had no voting rights, women had no voting rights and discrimination was legal is not the type of statement Americans should consider valid and fit for the America of today.

Posted by: Sully | March 22, 2006 01:09 PM

The real question is, why is this subject debatable?

The popular mandate is very clear. It's the elites who are willing to make unlimited room for criminals, illiterates, and social parasites -- whomever they may displace.

Unlike 2004 when the issue was successfully buried, illegal immigration is finally on the national political agenda. Some brave Governors deserve some credit. Soon the massive weight of the 90% of Americans who clearly understand this issue can actually have a decisive influence.

Whatever the position of the media outlet, even WP, it's a huge plus to keep this issue burning until election time. But, you know, I predict it will be quickly withdrawn by the elites and their mouthpieces as soon as they smell complete defeat.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 22, 2006 02:18 PM

It is telling that neither Jamal or "Speak Out for Canadian Wussies About US Democracy" challenges my numbers.

The numbers for India, the US, and China were given by me for a reason. We are more numerous than India or China were scant generations ago and both of them suffered massive unrest and resource allocation issues from overpopulation - and have such problems today that China mandates birth control and abortion. Shall we voluntarily keep the illegal flood going and voluntarily accept the demographic inevitability of overpopulation, lower standards of living, and environmental destruction prevalent in China and India - hitting us too in less than 50 years??

Both appear to be saying we are morally bound to honor their playing race cards in an effort to shut down debate. While ignoring the dire population projections for the USA if unfettered illegal immigration and "family reunification" continues.

Jaxas says its like when wealthy Euros brought their civilizational schemes to poorer, less sophisticated "brown" countries in reverse. Except it is not richer "brown peoples" colonizing us, bringing better civilization. It is that once the Euros left their own governmental models followed since independence haven't worked out well, and their overpopulated masses have outstripped the ability of their economies or environment to sustain them, so they are showing up on our doorstep now....and eager Owner Classes are hungry to exploit them at the expense of poor and middleclass American natives of all "racial sorts".

Sandy K continues her insistance that in the context of WWII a Nazi can be called a Nazi vs. a German, but a Jap may not be called a Jap but must be respected with the sobriquet "Noble Nipponese" or "Exalted member of the Japanese people". "Jap" is actually nicer than "Nazi", not to mention the nicknames Japanese in WWII "earned" in China, Indonesia, Korea, and the Philippines. Something like "rabid barbarian dogs that rape their own mothers" is close to the Chinese epitath..And, no, Emily did not upbraid me for calling WWII Germans and Japanese by the "Nazi and Jap" vernacular of the times and what historians use to this day in describing the forces in the fieldm atrocities, and political leaders of both of those malignant fascist, supremely racist movements of the age. (The Jap "Yamoto Superman" was if anything, even more extreme than the Nazi "Aryan superman")

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 22, 2006 03:51 PM

Sully wrote:

"Looking back on a statement made at a time when many African Americans had no voting rights, women had no voting rights and discrimination was legal is not the type of statement Americans should consider valid and fit for the America of today."


Well, yes. But remember that voting exclusion also included male persons who did not residences and owning real property (and those who did were presented with a poll tax), just as it excluded for around seven years (if I recall the period accurately) any male who did not go to the Provost and take an oath to renounce the rebellious states. Illiteracy and lack of some knowledge of the constitution were extra disqualifies, even in my voting lifetime.

Voting was once done almost entirely by the elites, profiled by various sophisticated means. In today's terms, it boils down to the same thing: one dollar, one vote.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 22, 2006 05:34 PM

edit correction: change the garble to "male persons who did not reside and own real property . . ."

Posted by: On the plantation | March 22, 2006 05:36 PM


I learnt something about US history from you today, so that was good. And the fact you can track family history back 150 years is quite fascinating. My point is people need to get less emotional and maybe less sanctimonious about this issue and look for a solution that works. US history is one long chapter of the in group trying to keep the not yet in, whom they consider inferior and undesirable, out. Nothing new there.

I agree the problem is not that we don't have enough laws already or that we need to build a wall, or as someone suggested mine the border (Jesus Christ, it's always these never serve a day in combat crowd that want to blow other people up. Let them watch up close what a land mine/IED can do to the human body and see what their reaction will be.)

As for why the problem suddenly seems to explode recently. Here's another possible reason: Iraq. Everybody in the world knows Bush is so bogged down with that problem he probably has no time, money, or energy left for anything else. The Mexicans are just taking advantage of the situation the same way everybody else in the world is, albeit in different arenas.

On the other hand with the boomers ready to collect on SS and private pensions disappearing fast, in a few years people will be wishing for massive expansion of the work force to help fund the next major financial crisis of this country.

Posted by: Borg | March 22, 2006 07:01 PM

Borg writes:

". . . boomers ready to collect on SS and private pensions disappearing fast, in a few years people will be wishing for massive expansion of the work force to help fund the next major financial crisis of this country."

Please help us lock in on that point. Approximately how many chicken pluckers or roofers does it take to "help fund" one native retiree? Of course, that is generously assuming that they simply work for wages paid and don't make other demands on social welfare.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 22, 2006 08:09 PM

Don't know about the chicken pluckers but those roofers can make a bundle. Been to hurricane ravaged florida lately? The SS issue will make this immigration one looks like small potato.

Hey who knows what the future brings? This whole immigration issue may be the equivalent of fighting the last war. By the time we are done with this debate and the wall gets built, maybe they won't be piling on to get into this country anymore. Maybe 'we' will join the lines at the Chinese or Indian embassies waiting for entry visa instead?

Posted by: Borg | March 22, 2006 08:58 PM

Yeah, Borgie they can make a lot of money, IF they're legal and paid taxes. They're day laborers, or use stolen/fake social security numbers.

No whines about identity thief, huh? Just wait until your credit is trashed, and some other bozo impersonates you. Try getting out of that hole smiling, "let's be sorry for these poor folks".

Once a Democrat is mugged, they'll turn into a Republican mighty quick, as the saying goes.


Posted by: SandyK | March 23, 2006 07:20 AM

All this one sided talk about the cost of illegal immigration is bs. You all talk about the downsides of cheap labor w/o talking about its upsides. Or have you republicans/capitalists forget your manstra about maximizing profits so employers can afford to expand their business and do more hiring. Or how low costs help keep inflation down and help you all afford a bigger house. Isn't that what pro business republicans use to beat up on unions? We just want to keep cost down so we can compete with the Chinese. Downsides for some have upsides for others. Fair and balanced remember?

And what the hell does illegal immigration has to do with identity theft? You think it's some dumb uneducated Mexican day laborers who run those rackets? You're sure it's not the well educated Russian Jew mafia who thru political connection get a free ride into this country? Talk about paranoia run amuck.

As for mugged democrats who turn into republicans mighty quick, those are often the dumb hick types from say Georgia who think they know every thing about the rest of the world while walking thru Central Park alone at night whistling Dixie at the top of their lung.

When was the last time you heard of some gal from NJ getting mugged?

Posted by: Borg | March 23, 2006 09:22 AM

Let's not forget the irresponsible and over-the-top position staked out by the Washington Post, which, in 1999, honored me with the title: "LOSER OF THE WEEK" for "encouraging ethnic hatreds."

My offense?

My group, ProjectUSA, had erected billboards in NYC and elsewhere advertising (get this) Census Bureau data about immigration.

The dry facts, "Immigration is doubling U.S. population in your lifetime," for the fringe extremists calling the shots at the Washington Post in 1999, were enough to invite vicious public ridicule.

Here's a copy of the piece:

Posted by: Craig Nelsen | March 23, 2006 02:53 PM

Posted by: Chris Ford

"It is telling that neither Jamal or "Speak Out for Canadian Wussies About US Democracy" challenges my numbers.

Shall we voluntarily keep the illegal flood going and voluntarily accept the demographic inevitability of overpopulation, lower standards of living, and environmental destruction prevalent in China and India - hitting us too in less than 50 years??"

Christy Ford,

I brought over population into the debate as a contributing problem days before you. And now you claim I'm on the other side of the issue? You a bigger moron than I thought. Ford, you're the most stupid idiot of a liar there is. Now go ahead and put both your tiny size 6 feet in your huge size 12 mouth and shut up. You're a pathetic little man losing out in life. Your just mad, because your daughter has been with a "chillin". And just what did you do to get "upbraid"ed or should I say castrated?

Posted by: Jamal | March 23, 2006 11:35 PM

Chris Ford I do not respect you enough to challenge your numbers. You and your small minded racism deserve to be ignored as a person whose opinions have any value. You regularly demean those here with your name calling and racism. Your creepy insiduous behaviour should be mocked, and you should be banned. You are an ongoing hate crime. Jamal has every reason to be so angry because who would want to dialogue with such a repulsive person who reminds us how ugly the US was before integration. You are an ugly creepy man who should work out his hate in therapy instead of throwing insulting racist barbs at the rest of us.

Posted by: SpeakoutforDemocracy | March 24, 2006 11:13 AM

i have been reading a lot of blogs about illegal immigration but very little about ways to stem this rising tide. why not using existing laws that penalize the employers of these people. the amount of wages payed under the table, i suspect, is the main reason wages in this country have been going down in this country for the last twenty plus years. the phony reasons put out by bush and his cronies that americans wont do this type of work is hilarious if it wasnt so serious.

Posted by: bob perry | March 27, 2006 09:58 AM

People like Ford who shoot from the hip should be ignored.

Posted by: Tim | March 27, 2006 12:25 PM

Sometimes facts offer us amusing ironies demagogues never notice; sometimes demagogues offer us facts with implications they would rather we not notice. I'd like to thank Mr. Ruben Navarro, a San Diego commentator who pointed out recently that the United States has no legal standing to collect taxes from illegal immigrants. His intent was to imply that amnesty, unregulated borders, and the eventual outright surrender of the southern United States is the only viable option left to us, but he inadvertently points out that any claim that illegal immigrants contribute one thin dime of taxes to any US government or community, federal, state, or local, is utterly bogus.

Illegal immigration is criminal behavior.

No governmental entity has legal standing to collect ANY taxes or other monies from persons without legal standing to be within our borders. All monies that have been so collected are collected and held unlawfully, and any attempt to change the status of such monies retro-actively would be ex-post-facto law, and therefore unconstitutional anywhere within US borders.

Any and all work performed by illegal aliens, whether or not monies are (unlawfully) witheld from what they are paid for such work, places both the employer in violation of the same income tax laws that sent Al Capone to prison. The only way illegal immigrants can perform work in this country without compounding the crime of invading this country with the crime of tax evasion would be to work for nothing.

Every person who employs an illegal immigrant is a felon. This means that by employing illegal immigrants such persons repudiate their own citizenship, abandon the franchise, and belong in federal prisons as much as do counterfeiters, drug traffickers, other tax criminals, traitors, kidnappers, murderers, and terrorists. Those who routinely employ illegal immigrants as if this were an acceptable business practice are career felons.

Now, if illegal immigrants are hard-working, decent, respectable, and honest members of American society, why would they consent to be employed by career felons? Why would they accept for themselves the status of career criminals? Why, not least, should American citizens consider, for one minute, by any stretch of the imagination, the egregious notion that such unscrupulous, disrespectful, jaded, and demonstrably criminal persons are among those American citizens should welcome into our midst?

Illegal immigrants are defined by the act of invading this country as criminals, and deserve to be deported. They should then stand trial in their home country for acts of war against this country. They should be barred for life from even applying for passports in their home country, much more should they be barred from every being granted a visa to enter a country they have criminally invaded.

To those who have criminally invaded this land: GO HOME. You are the people who should NEVER be allowed to come here. You disrespect our laws and customs, you sacrifice your honor and dignity, you humiliate yourselves and dishonor yourselves, your home country, your traditions.

By invading this country as criminals, you sacrifice all legitimate hope of ever being anything but invaders, for yourselves and your children. You may succeed in permanently claiming a place here through corruption and subversion, but through success at that price, you destroy the very dream of a better life you claim to seek.

There is no honor in this, no justice, no peace, no hope. No good can come of it. Repent. Turn away from the false path, try to regain your honor, change your ways, your minds, and your hearts, for if you come here to take by dishonorable means what it is not rightful for you to have, you will contribute only to perfidy, and to the death of the American dream.

The dream is not dead, but it cannot be stolen and it cannot be taken by force. As always, hope lies with honor and virtue, found only on the straight path.

Many Americans will find these words anachhronistic, these values obsolete and irrelevant. Many, even most, have forgotten how to dream, and with that loss, have lost also the ability to create, to build, to grow strong and wise. There is great heartbreak in the land of my birth, great corruption, and the light of liberty grows dim.

We welcome with open arms those who would come among us to create; some few of us, at least, still dream. Those of you who also dream, who truly hope to make life better, should affirm your hope by affirming your own dignity and honor.

If you would seek a better life here, you must choose: embrace the dream in honor and grace, or come as invaders who can only destroy. Which, to you, seems better?

Posted by: Ken | March 28, 2006 10:47 PM

Reading some of the various posts has led me to wonder what experiences many of the commenters have had with illegal immigration. But as I don't know each of you I can only offer up my own thoughts and experiences. As a grad student who spends much of my time focused on understanding social justice issues, I also have a number of concerns about immigration. Traveling to multiple countries and seeing various levels of poverty and need has definately made a huge impact on my thoughts. One thing that really strikes me is how much of a risk many illegal immigrants take to come to the United States. Whether they come by boat, sit in the back of a terribly hot truck with dozens of others, or travel by foot across desert regions, many immigrants journeys are dangerous and life threatening. Living in Texas, we hear about the immigrants who lose their lives in this trek.

Think about it.

People are willing to die to come to America. As Americans we are some of the most fortunate people on the planet. If you know where your next meal is coming from, have the opportunity to go to school and/or pursue a career where you can meet even the basic needs of your family then you are truly blessed. Unfortunately, as Americans we don't have a great understanding of true poverty and need. Do we have homeless people and children who are hungry? Yes. Do we need our social service systems to help Americans, yes. But even most of them have organizations and agencies that are willing and able to provide. I work in social services and in my experience there are people taking advantage of the system... but there are also MANY who are not, even those who are here legally are sometimes threatened with abusing the system and being deported. It seems that sometimes we use immigration as just another form of racism... it's just more politically and socially acceptable. But I wonder if a few generations from now, how our grandchildren will look back on our policies... will they think we were selfish and racist or will they see a people who no matter the cost were willing to give of themselves.
The Exec. Director of my agency recently mentioned to me that on his recent trip to Central American he asked a little boy what he had had for dinner. In earnest the child replied that it wasn't his night to eat... it was his sister's.

I don't have the answers to immigration... but I do wonder how much our thoughts would change and how much more gracious we would be if we realized how blessed we are as a nation. No wonder others want to come here, can you blame them for wanting a better life?

Posted by: Lyn | March 29, 2006 01:21 PM

Well if people in impoverished countries are worried about feeding thier children, quit breeding and protest the conditions in thier own countries.They come here and protest for rights that they don't deserve based on the FACT they are here ILLEGALLY. Legal immigration is availiable, remember! Of course why wait your turn, just cut to the front.You should visit some of the websites, aztlan etc. they want to see all people of European descent dead! Wake up! These people don't want to assimilate they want to assassinate!It is not RACIST to protect our borders!

Posted by: Don | April 16, 2006 03:28 PM

After reading some of the comments on this blog it just solidifies my thinking and position on this issue. Many of those commenting here still have no real clue of the social and economic impact immigration has on this country and lack sensitivity on this issue. The fact that "illegal" labor is necessary to keep this country's economy stable is a fact. Domestic corporations historical lack of cooperation in adhering to federal laws on the hiring of undocumented workers because of the benefit for the company is a fact. The federal government has ignored these tresspases for years and has welcomed undocumented workers by not punishing these corporations is a fact. Many of these same American companies have transplanted their factories to other countries in the so-called third-world because of an economic bottom-line is a fact. America's greed and avarice has only helped this "problem". How many of you are self-sufficient? Grow your own crops? Clean your own house? Take care of your own children? Probably not many, judging from your own comments. No matter what immigrants are here to stay. Get used to it or sit back and write and call your congressman/woman but that's about all you will be able to do because by continuing to simply live: by driving, eating and spending you are all contributing to this "overground/underground" economy and are therefore accomplices in it's growth. This is not exclusively your land, it never was and will never be. Remember that.

Posted by: WeWillNotLose | May 1, 2006 10:46 AM

Fact: 6 million US Citizens had their SSN used by an "undocumented worker" to skirt the employment reporting laws requiring an employer verify eligibility.

Fact: This identity theft has ruined most of that 6 million's opportunity for housing, employment, credit, and social services like unemployment.

Fact: If amnesty is granted, the perpetrators of these identity theft crimes will disappear and go unpunished, as will the millions of businesses that have given tacit support of this crime.

Fact: the Earnings Suspense Fund, which documents most of this crime, has grown to $500 Billion with monies from these criminals.

Fact: The SSA and the IRS do nothing to stop it. Fact: The FTC, who is tasked with gathering and reporting information on identity theft, has no enforcement power.

Fact: The FTC has no convictions for identity theft.

Fact: No law enforcement agency is allowed to refer to the Earnings Suspense fund to investigate possible fraud.

Fact: Unauthorized entry to the United States is a crime. Identity theft is a crime. Drug smuggling is a crime. Prostitution is a crime. Providing false documents is a crime. Working in the US without authorization is a crime. Allowing someone to work for you who is not authorized to work in the US is a crime.

Enforce the law. Fund ICE so they can do their jobs. Attack the "loopholes" and give no quarter. That and a wall on both borders, and we'll solve the immigration issue.

Posted by: Marc | May 4, 2006 09:44 AM

Permalink, I agree with you, but can you quote a source as to your facts?? I'd like to use it in a debate I'm working on here.

Posted by: Lazerus | May 12, 2006 05:33 AM

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