Immigration: Wedge Issue, Not a Wage Issue

Debater Derek hit the nail on the head on Tuesday with this comment: "Given that the Karlrovian wedge issue of the last election was gay marriage, I wonder whether it will be illegal immigration this election?" It seemed like a good possibility; after reading today's front-page story in the Post, it seems all but certain that this will indeed be the "wedge issue." As Derek notes, it could be especially dangerous to the Democrats, pitting those who want compassion and eventual integration for illegal immigrants in the United States against the unions (and many others) who fear they'll lose jobs to foreigners willing to do the job for lower pay.

Indeed, Debater Arminda alluded to how little the $5.15 an hour really is -- and when workers are being paid under the table, employers can flout minimum wage laws, too. That said, Debater Mike Brooks notes that the construction-type jobs that many day laborers pick up pay $8 to $10 or more an hour. He laments, however, that wages were higher a few years ago.

This brings up a key argument against immigrant workers (be they "guests" or illegal residents) -- the contention that they bring down wages for everybody else. Debater EWoods wanted to know why I didn't address this earlier. In part, it's because it doesn't make sense to try to address every issue all at once. (We'd tire ourselves out!) More importantly though, I have been convinced that while it is possible that immigrant labor depresses wages, it is equally possible that it does not.

What convinced me? Read this thoroughly researched op-ed by Sebastian Mallaby, a master of translating the often confounding statements of economists into language accessible to the rest of us.

Right up top, he debunks the dumb arguments on both sides. Example: Do immigrants do work Americans won't do? Mallaby answers, "Mexicans mow all the lawns in Southern California, but it doesn't follow that largely immigrant-free suburbs in Pennsylvania are choked with waist-high grass."

The meat of the piece, though, is his finding that two methodologically sound studies produce very different results: one shows a negative impact on wages; the other, negligible impact. In the end, Mallaby concludes that the wages question cannot reliably be answered, and therefore should not be given much weight in the immigration debate.

He's a persuasive guy. It simply does not make sense to base an argument on a "fact" that is far from proven.

By Emily Messner |  March 24, 2006; 4:31 PM ET  | Category:  National Politics
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Some of the issues raised in the Mallaby article are addressed here:

http://www.npg.org/forum_series/imm_jobs&wages.htm

Posted by: Will | March 24, 2006 05:01 PM

Harvard's George Borjas has already convincingly shown that immigrants depress wages for native workers. He explained:

"Immigration is not evenly balanced across groups of workers that have the same education but differ
in their work experience, and the nature of the supply imbalance changes over time. This paper
develops a new approach for estimating the labor market impact of immigration by exploiting this
variation in supply shifts across education-experience groups. I assume that similarly educated
workers with different levels of experience participate in a national labor market and are not perfect
substitutes. The analysis indicates that immigration lowers the wage of competing workers: a 10
percent increase in supply reduces wages by 3 to 4 percent."

Full study is here:

http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~GBorjas/Papers/w9755.pdf

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 24, 2006 06:04 PM

The Mallaby piece isn't that great. He says:

"This academic debate is not conclusive. Borjas argues that Card's method is flawed because an influx of immigrants into one city drives U.S.-born workers to move elsewhere, so the downward pressure on wages can be captured only in nationwide numbers. This may be right for college graduates, who operate in a national labor market. But Card may have the upper hand when it comes to understanding low-wage workers. His latest paper shows that cities with high rates of unskilled immigration have reported no offsetting shrinkage in the number of native-born laborers."

However, that seems like apples and oranges. Card merely found that an influx of low-skilled immigrant workers didn't drive native-born workers with similar skills to move away. But he didn't assess the impact on their wages, which is what we were supposedly talking about.

In other words, and contra Mallaby, Card has not rebutted Borjas's claim that immigrants cause native-born wages to decline.

Sorry, Emily, another bad call.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 24, 2006 06:11 PM

Emily wrote on the way out the door Friday:
"Debater Derek hit the nail on the head on Tuesday with this comment: "Given that the Karlrovian wedge issue of the last election was gay marriage, I wonder whether it will be illegal immigration this election?"

What is the wedge issue supposed to wedge between? Both reps and dems are split on this issue and the reasons are many within each party. This is a true issue that has few political fault lines. It will be an election issue but both parties will tread carefully on it. You may ask why, if it isn't a wedge issue is it being brought up? Well, I believe the American people have finally had it. Dubai running our ports and 12 million illegals in the US just causes more than a few people to wonder why our laws are not being enforced and where this government, dems and reps alike, are taking us. In other words, Americans are mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more. And those up for election know it.

Posted by: Sully | March 24, 2006 06:24 PM

It will be a wedge issue alright. But not one that Rove wants or needs. It will pit the money class who bankrolls the Republican party most days against the working and slightly xenophobic class who supports the Republican party on election day. Just look at the solution proposed by Bush vs the one wanted by the like of Tancredo. Guest worker for the already here vs let's deport all of them now.

As for union jobs if there are any left those are not the type that can be filled by undocumented workers.

The Catholic Church is already on record against the House Republican bill and that's why Hillary started talking about criminalizing the Good Samaran. The LA Cardinal raised that point in his NYT piece first.

This will be a wedge issue for Republicans mainly. It will be fascinating to see which wing of the party wins out.

The Democrats don't need to do a darn thing if they don't want to. Just be nice and Christian like and wait for the Latino votes come election day.

Posted by: Borg | March 24, 2006 06:43 PM

Borg says: "The Democrats don't need to do a darn thing if they don't want to. Just be nice and Christian like and wait for the Latino votes come election day."

This comment reflects two fallacies. First, that the Latino vote is of any significance. In fact, it is tiny.

Second, that American voters of Latin origin prefer candidates who support illegal aliens. There is simply no evidence for this. Pew did a poll and found that immigration wasn't even in the top 10 issues for American Latinos. Even if it were somewhat important, no one has shown that American Latinos are one-issue voters, as this comment presumes.

The time has come in this debate to start dispensing with the truisms, and getting instead to the truth.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 24, 2006 10:17 PM

A CHALLENGE TO EMILY:

Emily, I challenge you to write about the following.

1. Does a majority of the American people want a guest worker program and/or amnesty for illegal aliens;
2. If not, do you believe that such a program should be enacted anyway;
3. If so, why do you think it is appropriate to override the voters' preferences on this particular issue.

The problem with this debate is that the pro-immigration side controls the media, so they have tilted the debate in the following direction: presuming that a guest worker program/amnesty/more immigration are all self-evidently good, and requiring the advocates for a more restrictive case to begin on the defensive.

It is my opinion that the presumption shoudl run in the opposite direction. The presumption ought to be AGAINST illegal immigration, a guest worker plan, amnesty, etc. Supporters of such radical 'solutions' ought to have the burden on them to prove that their ideas are anything other than ridiculous.

So how 'bout it, Emily? Take the Pepsi challenge on this one?

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 24, 2006 10:43 PM

The time has come in this debate to start dispensing with the truisms, and getting instead to the truth.

Posted by: Virginia Dare | Mar 24, 2006 10:17:24 PM


It is a truism until the Republicans overreach as they usually do, then it becomes truth. California used to be a toss up, maybe even Republican leaning state until Pete Wilson pandered to the base and sponsored anti immigrant (i.e. anti Mexican) referendums. The Democrats haven't lost an election there since (except for Arnold which was an anomaly, but he's since has his butt kicked hard.)

But I was wrong. The Democrats don't need to do a darn thing except to point out that the Republicans have been in charge of all three branches of the govt for more than five years now during which time the ilegal immigration problem has exploded. And it's GWB's job to protect the border and enforce the laws. They can point out that as usual GWB only enforces laws he wants to and ignore laws he does not like, i.e. immigration, environmental, warrantless domestic spying ones. They can also point out that GWB is more concerned with protecting Iraq's border than with Arizona's, or New Mexico's, or even Texas's border. Then they can maybe point out that GWB can't protect Iraq's border worth a damn either.

Lack of respect for US laws, misplaced priority, and a question of competency. What's more do the Dems need?

Posted by: Borg | March 25, 2006 12:48 AM

by playing a game.

I don't care who you are I prefer the truth as _you_ see it and then a dialogue back and forth...


I don't know if most of you remember the Ross Perot, Clinton and someone else debate but what was interesting to me was that whenever someone came up with a point that made since, Clinton used it...

I could care less about his marital issues, if there are any


But what I could see about him was that he wasn't following a script, if someone said something correct he would use it....


didn't matter who said it or why, if he could see it working he used it...


that's a lot different than playing to a crowd as a way of getting elected, trying to find the right platform that the American people would embrace.....screw that....how about telling people who you are?


that's what I would like, I'm tired of these good ole boys coming in and stealing the company blind, and creating the kind of atmosphere where no one knows what the truth is, and care little for it...if it doesn't get them what they want.


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

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

.

Posted by: what the dems need is an issue that doesn't reflect an attempt to control | March 25, 2006 02:22 AM

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: Stephen Mallaby....is a theorist, a reader of books. | March 25, 2006 02:37 AM

Borg wrote:
"Lack of respect for US laws, misplaced priority, and a question of competency. What's more do the Dems need?"

Clear policies of their own.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 25, 2006 03:43 AM


I used to be able to make a living as a carpenter, now it'd be impossible. That's not good.

Bush and other advocates of non-citizen labor are constantly harping about illigals 'doing the jobs no one wants to do', but the fact is they never ask the people who lose jobs to these people if they wanted the lost jobs or not. Instead we get witless pap and sound bites that pander to a pro-buisness and anti-citizen agenda.

It'd be nice if being an American citizen meant something other than getting the short end of the labor stick, but seeing as the government is bought and paid for by big buisness lobbyists, AKA "special interests", it is quite unlikely that anything will substantialy change in the status quo.

Posted by: Gentry | March 25, 2006 03:48 AM

What shoddy research. I can't believe (nevermind I can since science has a tendency of pushing pop ideas as facts -- read up on the lastest debunking of the String theory, for an example), that these guys will try to pass off LEGAL --get it-- LEGAL immigration patterns to conclude their facts.

ILLEGALS are faceless to these academic exercises. They don't show up on the lists, like homeless folks.

This bait and switch reporting really sucks, as it tries to paint a rosier picture when the facts don't match up to reality.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 05:23 AM

Borgie wrote:
===========================================
The Democrats don't need to do a darn thing except to point out that the Republicans have been in charge of all three branches of the govt for more than five years now during which time the ilegal immigration problem has exploded. And it's GWB's job to protect the border and enforce the laws. They can point out that as usual GWB only enforces laws he wants to and ignore laws he does not like, i.e. immigration, environmental, warrantless domestic spying ones.
===========================================

That's why the Dems will lose again. Such sheer politicking isn't palatable to the moderate majority.

Rove and company have a way to not only appeal to their base, but to independents (swing voters). This issue could have otherwise Democratic voters voting for Republicans, because when it becomes an issue of being able to eat; send kids to school; have access to healthcare and not getting robbed on property taxes, folks don't vote on idealogy, they vote to survive.

So, again, if the Dems try to come off as some saviour, they're going to alienate that precious moderate majority so much, they can forget 49/50% of the vote in national elections (no matter how they try to stack the public opinion polls -- like getting their bases to vote on those online polls <-- which TV love to tout, but fail to claim it's unscientific polling).

Scams, scams, scams.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 05:31 AM

And before I forget: this isn't a wedge issue, Emily. This has been brewing for years. It just ignited, since the whole terrorism deal, and our borders are wide open to terrorists.

Can't ignore the illegals crossing over while protecting the borders, thus it became an issue as efforts were being made to shore them up.

And folks in the regions where illegals are plenty (along with the crime, also), it was tinderbox ready to ignite.

It's interest, how this debate is being so framed. If it's not junk science (on numbers that don't really exist), it's trying to persuade folks it's just a fad. That's even worse, Emily, because it isn't a fad, it's a deep seated problem for those who have to WORK for a living -- not work in glass houses and worrying about what opera house to attend on Saturday night.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 06:11 AM

Oh, Emily, how about importing this mindset from Mexico too?

http://members.aol.com/ncmdr/summary.html#index

Wedge issue? No, it's protecting American rights and not turning it into a third world cesspool.

There's a lot not said to not rock the boat, but if you seek, you will find (if you're willing to look).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 06:38 AM

Add insult to injury, how about the Mexican government helping to close business that employs 4,000 workers (guess where they go for work, too)?

http://newsfromrussia.com/accidents/2005/11/18/67936.html

It's not that Mexico can take care of their own, it's Mexico's leaders don't want the peasants to get any power -- especially land ownership to contest their power. But folks aren't following the native disputes as it's way across the border (where it can be hidden in these debates).

Mexicans leave their country, because their leaders aren't leaders. Their hacks milking the system. And to give them money to upgrade their country is like paying off warlords.

Sad thing is, Mexico is going to face a serious problem with their birthrate in the next few decades. And they'll be pressing at our borders for relief. What do you pro-immigration types want? Have them literally invade our country by sheer population alone?

What a freaking timebomb ready to go off. The "perfect storm" is consumer confidence falls drastically, a recession hits, and there is no more cushy jobs for citizens.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 06:48 AM

This is a wedge issue, but it is infinitely more dangerous for the Republicans than the Democrats. Essentially Bush has lost control of his party over this issue. Most of them would like some draconian border security and criminalisation legislation like that already passed in the house. Bush and a minority of business minded Republicans realise that a host of small and big business's rely on this pool of cheap labor. This has the potential to make the Mier and ports squabbles look like minor arguments. And if they get on the wrong side of the argument to destroy GOP appeal to Hispanics.

Posted by: John | March 25, 2006 08:13 AM

I live on disability -- that would be a little over $700 a month. My food stamps were cut last year. I qualify for fuel assistance, but never receive it, even though my electric bill last month was $500. I qualify for housing assistance, guess why I never get any. I am now expected to pay $10 a month per medication from the county health department. I qualify for just about everything out there, but I don't get most of it. Why?
I was told because those with children go to the front of the line and those without have to wait until their needs are met. This includes the families of illegal aliens because "we can't punish the children."
In other words, the social benefits of American citizens, many of whom have paid taxes for years, are cut or denied so that illegal aliens can receive government benefits in a country where they do not belong. That's right?

Posted by: Luthien | March 25, 2006 08:22 AM

Labor, like consumer products, responds to the market: An abundant supply depresses price, or in this case, wages. It is no accident that the period when the middle class experienced the greatest level of economic progress occurred between 1947 and 1973 while immigration to the US was still relatively low by current standards. Nor is it any surprise that the middle class has experienced economic decline in more recent years after decades of heavy immigration. The economic decline would have been even worse except for the rise of the two-income family as more women entered the work force.

Bipartisan agreements to drastically increase immigration levels have had a huge impact on the economic welfare of the American middle class. In a recent study, George Borjas, the Harvard economist and Cuban immigrant, concluded that immigration from 1980 to 2000 added significant numbers to the workforce and decreased wages of the typical US worker by 3.7%. The wages of US workers who did not complete high school were decreased by 7.4%. The wages of US college graduates were decreased by 3.6%. In most cases, this decrease in wages was sharpest for workers with between 11 and 25 years of work experience - just when they were likely to be raising and educating their families. Since acquiring a college education is usually a person's best ticket to a comfortable middle class life, this statistic is particularly troubling, not just for the workers themselves but for their children, who could use financial help from their families for further education.

Posted by: D Flinchum | March 25, 2006 08:23 AM

Actually the Dems support it. The issue is without party when it starts your own way of life.

BTW...Illegal Immigration and Public Health

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters64bf

===========================================
"The pork tapeworm, which thrives in Latin America and Mexico, is showing up along the U.S. border, threatening to ravage victims with symptoms ranging from seizures to death. ... The same [Mexican] underclass has migrated north to find jobs on the border, bringing the parasite and the sickness--cysticercosis--its eggs can cause[.] Cysts that form around the larvae usually lodge in the brain and destroy tissue, causing hallucinations, speech and vision problems, severe headaches, strokes, epileptic seizures, and in rare cases death."2

The problem, however, is not confined to the border region, as illegal immigrants have rapidly spread across the country into many new economic sectors such as food processing, construction, and hospitality services.
===========================================

Forget Bird Flu (it'll probably not kill as many from pneumonia each year), but the above can kill thousands, and infect many more.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 08:45 AM

Luthian wrote:
===========================================
I qualify for fuel assistance, but never receive it, even though my electric bill last month was $500.
===========================================

You have to live within your means. Like turning off the central heating and using heaters when it gets cold (our power bill is barely $100/mon due to it). You'll also have to budget on food -- I don't remember the last time I went to a nice restuarant (year ago maybe?). I don't go out to those $10 movie nights, and I don't charge $500 on a credit card every week, either. My splurge is this computer/books, but nothing else. I own just 2 pairs of shoes as well, sensible shoes that'll last 5 years. Same goes for clothing.

If folks have to hear about the suffering of some poor illegals, they should see how thoses citizens with limited means truly live. It's amazing how the internet shows the gulf so well, considering the capital required to get online and stay online. Academics love to talk about the poor, but come the end of school, they're driving their late model car to their own economically segregated neighborhoods and shutting the door on reality.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 08:58 AM

Wedge issue? Hardly. It's a socio-economic issue that effects every American...

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecentersffec

===========================================
The more than $10.1 billion in costs incurred by California taxpayers is composed of outlays in the following areas:

Education. Based on estimates of the illegal immigrant population in California and documented costs of K-12 schooling, Californians spend approximately $7.7 billion annually on education for illegal immigrant children and for their U.S.-born siblings. Nearly 15 percent of the K-12 public school students in California are children of illegal aliens.


Health care. Uncompensated medical outlays for health care provided to the state's illegal alien population amount to about $1.4 billion a year.

Incarceration. The cost of incarcerating illegal aliens in California's prisons and jails amounts to about $1.4 billion a year (not including related law enforcement and judicial expenditures or the monetary costs of the crimes that led to their incarceration).
===========================================

How about looking up those stats, Emily?

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 09:21 AM

Let's talk political stragedy. How neither party addresses the generational problem of low employment, esteem, educational level of our own natives (the Black and Native American communities).

Here's something referring to the Black sentiment on this issue:

===========================================
The Harvest Institute also documents the impact of illegal immigration on Black Americans. ''Dr. Claud Anderson, president of The Harvest Institute, a Black research and education organization, announced that The Harvest Institute does not support President Bush's recently proposed amnesty for illegal immigrant aliens and has released an Information Alert (available at www.harvestinstitute.org). Dr. Anderson said, ''Despite the stance of many civil rights groups, immigration's impact on native Blacks and their communities is disproportionate, direct and devastating. Blacks are losing faith because the government continues a pattern of bestowing the rights that should first go to native Blacks to immigrants from foreign countries. Native Blacks are ignored and patronized with symbolic and ceremonial actions by both political parties. The issue of immigration is roiling within Black communities and has become...divisive.''
===========================================

[Which is why locally Black ministers helped a Republican mayor get elected -- they grew tired of a Democratic promise that never arrives -- and it's not called a collection plate]

More info about the Harvest Institute's stance on ILLEGAL immigration (Emily did you know it's based in your back yard?)...

http://www.harvestinstitute.org/alerts.htm

Excerpt for Dems (no Republican Uncle Tom here):
===========================================
Dr. Anderson has a broad and varied base of experiences spanning education, business, federal and state politics and successful social reform. During integration, he served as State Coordinator of Education for Governor Reubin Askew of Florida. While serving in that capacity, he founded the State Action Council, a coalition of Black leaders for political action in Florida. Dr. Anderson, appointed by former President Jimmy Carter, served as Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce where he headed the Coastal Plains Regional Commission and funded and directed economic development activities for governors in the Southeastern states. One of the first Blacks to own a radio station in Florida, Dr. Anderson owned radio station WOWD-FM in Tallahassee. He also served as executive director of two economic development corporations for the city of Miami. As special assistant to the 1988 Democratic Convention, he awarded 37% of the contracts to Blacks, a record that has not been reached or broken.
===========================================

And check the date. If this is a wedge issue, it took 2 years to hit the WP's radar. It's more likely it's "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" approach to the race issue. Black Democrats have taken so much for granted as block voters (and Republicans love to punish).

For shame.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 09:41 AM

That's why the Dems will lose again. Such sheer politicking isn't palatable to the moderate majority.

Rove and company have a way to not only appeal to their base, but to independents (swing voters)....

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | Mar 25, 2006 5:31:51 AM


Sandy my favorite system administrator,

Did you read what you write first? In one paragraph you accuse the Democrats of "sheer politicking". In the next paragraph you say "Rove and company have a way to not only appeal to their base, but to independents". What does "have a way to appeal to" mean if not "sheer politicking"? Rove's statesmanship? One point off for inconsistency in reasoning.

As for Rove demagoguing this issue you can forget it. Bush, Rove's boss, or maybe it's the other way around, IS the one pushing the "guest worker" program against his base. Rove is scared to death of offending the Latino votes period. Another point off for misstating facts.

And poor George one day he may have to really order his AG, Alberto, to start prosecuting the Mexicans and send them back to where they belong. Or maybe not. Congress can pass whatever laws it wants. George is the one who decides which law applies to him and his administration and which not. So it won't matter much.

You are perfekta for system administration work. It's the on site, all hand, type of work that would be hard to export to Bangalore. Until maybe those computer genius, here or in India, work out the self administering, self correcting systems that is.

And remember to flopflip the flasm flism router to re-reverse its setting. And remember also the collective always has a place for drones like yourself.

Borg,
Resistance IS Futile

Posted by: Borg | March 25, 2006 09:49 AM

Well, I'm certainly no economist, but it seems to me that widespread employment of illegal immigrants would necessarily depress wages. I mean, say we take employers at their word when they claim that they need to hire illegal immigrants because there is work no one else will do at the wages these jobs currently pay. Now let's also assume that through vigorous enforcement of stiff penalties levied against these employers it's possible to put a stop to the practice of hiring illegal immigrants. Put in that situation, what choice would these businesses have but to pay higher wages to fill those positions?

Posted by: ChrisB | March 25, 2006 09:49 AM

This is all very interesting but, I go back to my original point: walls, landmines, more border guards, wild-eyed minutement armed with rifles and six guns, amnesty for illegals, uber-nationalistic isolationism--none of this will make any difference as long as the conditions that are driving these mass migrations of the poor remain unaddressed. And the bottom line for that analysis is that neoconservatives have little appetite for the sort of global investment required to elevate opportunities in the Third World that would mitigate those conditions.

I find in this country a surprising lack of willingness to think beyond wildly oversimplified racial stereotyping and partisan political positioning.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 25, 2006 09:51 AM

It should also be mentioned that a significant percentage of money earned by illegals is sent out of the country. Thus, the economic benefit of a lower wage for a given job is not fully realized. Even if wages rose as legal citizens started doing these jobs that they supposedly won't doo, the earned income would stay in the local and national economy and this increased economic benefit might more than compensate for the higher wages paid.

Posted by: JohnS | March 25, 2006 09:56 AM

One other point I would make here is that Americans can no longer afford to think of themselves as some unique exception to all other nations in the world. We are no longer the self sufficient nation-state that we were in our agrarian youth.

As I have said before, we are an aging superpower. But the entire concept of superpower is becoming more and more irrelevant. There are now over 6 billion people on this planet. We represent only a small portion of that mass of people. Resources, investments and people are moving around on this planet at an ever accellerating pace.

We can no longer afford to see ourselves in the simplistic nationalist terms of the past. Otherwise, we are going to be passed by in the accellerated trek into this new global era. We can't ignore conditions in the rest of the world. The impoverished conditions in other parts of the globe while a tiny fraction of the population of the earth hogs up the an inordinate share of the wealth produced, presents us with an untenable problem that cannot long endure.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 25, 2006 10:02 AM

Isn't enough, how about trying to intimitate one of my state's senators: >:(

http://www.11alive.com/specials/local/politics/politics_article.aspx?storyid=77664

===========================================
The story itself was run-of-the-mill. But it was the picture of his house, and the map showing exactly how to get there that was the problem.

"To take a picture of my house, and to put a map on the front of the paper to try and intimidate me to stop this is beyond any responsible journalism," said Rogers.

Even Rogers' political opponents in the Senate agree, the article was over the line.

"In my case, I've certainly been the subject of many, many serious threats. So when Senator Rogers felt some sensitivity about having his home published on a website, I responded. I agreed with him," said Senator Sam Zamarripa (D-Atlanta)

Zamarippa has asked the publisher to pull the article.
===========================================

What are they going to do next riot? Turn Atlanta into the next South Central? These illegals come here expecting everything that they don't deserve, and like spoiled kids, they scream and whine about unfairness. Tell that to the native born they took jobs from. They're taking higher paying factory jobs in the State, jobs that are scarce (and where locals would travel 10/20 miles to goto work a day).

They need to go. I don't want once cent of $250,000,000 in States revenues to pay for criminals to rob state residents a job (which they are, since they violated the Law).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 10:10 AM

How about doing your job as a reporter and actually investigate some of the businesses that use illegal immigrants and ask the American workers how their wages have been impacted?

As I happen to know several roofers, I can attest that their wages have been cut by about 20%. Both of them were getting 18.00 to 20.00 an hour in the mid 90's. Now they are lucky if they can find a job at all and are getting 12.00 to 14.00 an hour, usually part time work.

Democrats really have problems with this one. They like to pretend that they are concerned with the Americans workers and are environmentalists, yet all of their policies are anti-worker and anti-environment.

They expect the American public to subsidize business by paying their employees medical bills, educating their children, providing social services to them while the businesses rack up profits at the expense of the American workers salary.

Just ask yourself how much more the environment would be improved if we reduced the population by 15 million.

Posted by: SteveF | March 25, 2006 10:19 AM

In the current political environment, immigration only gets to be wedge issue if some third-party figure rises to prominence, and can make the issue cut by threatening to draw votes away from one major party more than the other.

As with so many other issues, Dems and Reps are two sides of the same coin, and do not offer any creative or solid analysis complete with answers.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 25, 2006 10:21 AM

"Lack of respect for US laws, misplaced priority, and a question of competency. What's more do the Dems need?"

Clear policies of their own.

Posted by: Cayambe | Mar 25, 2006 3:43:32 AM | Permalink


OK let's talk policy. Let me pretend to be Howard Dean.

1. Iraq. The only clear good policy is not to invade in the first place which Dean advocated almost alone by himself. The second clearest and 'goodest' policy is to have followed the Powell's doctrine of overwhelming force. It's obvious these won't work now. Bush's policy is to keep pushing on committing more and more resources (borrowed resources!) and sacrificing more and more lives. Murtha's is to walk out now or very soon. Neither one is very good. The only one left - muddying on for a while and some gradual withdrawing or until some defining event that will force everybody's hand. Let anyone out there who thinks they know best offer a clear good policy on Iraq. There is NONE now.


2. Immigration. The Dems will ultimately push the guest worker program as the better of two evils. Bush on the other hand may be forced to back away from that and accept the "kick them all out" solution. Which he won't enforce anyway. Then in 2008 we will see the Dems running flipflop ad as payback.


3. Budget/trade deficits. May be too late now. We, or more accurately the American people, have become the pawn of our own free trade, globalization, let the best country win policy. The free flow of capital in the world is unstoppable now. The ruling class will win no matter what.


4. Whatever policy you believe in, w/o the will or competency to carry it out the policy is meaningless. Sell 1990's Clinton peace and prosperity competent goverment vs neocon crony and corrupt Bush govt. In short what the Dems need is NOT another set of policies but some leaders who will stand up and be prepared to duke it out with the rovish demagogues.

Or maybe the Reps need to stand up and take back their own party also. How about that for discussion? The party of small goverment, respect for the laws, we ain't in the nation building bizness, yes? And maybe veto one or two of those spending bills? No?

Posted by: Borg | March 25, 2006 10:21 AM

Borgie wrote:
===========================================
You are perfekta for system administration work. It's the on site, all hand, type of work that would be hard to export to Bangalore. Until maybe those computer genius, here or in India, work out the self administering, self correcting systems that is.
===========================================

I build them and service them. My next venture is building a high performance cluster (and the headache to config it). But I like challenges, like posting to you, Borgie. :D

Servicing computers can't be outsourced, Borgie. Can't wait 3 weeks for repairs (way too much revenue lost), ya know? Businesses have 24hrs or less resolution on equipment failure. Why there's a booming market for service techs (and I mean higher than the A+s).

Rack it up, baby!

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 10:23 AM

I don't have anything against illegals, they're just poor slobs like the rest of us trying to make their way however they can. But the employers who hire them should be ashamed of themselves. I mean, free market absolutists are always carping about how terrible it is to artificially manipulate the economy by way of progressive tax structures or entitlement programs; but what is blatantly, persistently breaking the law to avoid paying your workers a decent living wage but market manipulation?

Posted by: | March 25, 2006 10:24 AM

I truly would like someone to explain to me why I heard the following quote from the demonstrations in Phoenix yesterday.. a protester said "these illegal aliens are not hurting anyone...they haven't done anything wrong." I cannot believe what I heard, that "they haven't done anything wrong." Haven't done anything wrong? What happened to the part about being in the country illegally? This is leftist hypocracy at its zenith. The following represent my views of protection under the Constitution as a citizen of the United States...

1) I have the absolute right to expect my government to arrest and expell any person that sets foot on the territory of the United States without permission to be here.

2) I have the absolute right to expect my government not to expend taxpayer funds to benifit illegal aliens in any other capacity other than thier care and wellbeing during the process of transport back to thier nation of origin.

3) I have the absolute right to expect my government will ensure that only U.S. citizens exercise the right to participate in elections by any means necessary to protect the integrity of the polling process, including the requirement that the voter produce proof of U.S. citizenship.

4) I have the absolute right to expect that my government will defend the borders of this nation from illegal entry by any means necessary.

5) I have the absolute right to expect that the protections and privlidges as a citizen documented in the Constitution of the United States apply only to legal citizens of this nation and to those legally allowed visitors within the borders of the United States.

It is that simple. I invite any and all readers to explain to me in a civil and respectful tone why they think I do not have these rights, and illegals have the right to become a burden on me. This is another in a series of attacks on this nation just as vicious and potentially devastating as terrorism. The agenda of the immagrants rights groups is driven by foriegn governments who are propped up by the funds sent back by illegals.

If a leftist can explain to me why I am a racist because I want to defend my rights, why I am "anti immagration" because I want my local authorities to enforce the laws I voted to have enacted, and why I am REQUIRED to support criminals in my country, please talk to me. I desperately want to understand this issue and why I am considered "hateful" because I want those who wish to come here to complete that process legally. Why am I the criminal for wanting my rights protected?

Posted by: Jim Hill | March 25, 2006 10:30 AM

The trouble, Jim, is that your anger is misplaced. Desperate, hungry, uneducated illegals only cross the border in the first place because "respectable" American business owners, probably seemingly upstanding citizens right in your own community, are eager to provide them with a job knowing full well that they are breaking the law by doing so. All so they can increase their profit margin by not paying the American workers you say you care the kind of wages someone could actually live on.

Posted by: ChrisB | March 25, 2006 10:40 AM

Chris, your point is well taken and I do wholeheartedly agree that some poor folk are looking for a better life and some Americans are more than happy to oblige. However I have firsthand knowledge that your pay and profit margin point is off the mark. I used to work as a supervisor at Home Depot in Frederick, Maryland and although I cannot say that some of these crews were composed of illegals because I did not ask them directly, I do know that 1) The contractors don't ask (plausable deniability), 2) They are paid anywhere from $100-$150, tax free a day by house builders, and this is the most interesting point, 3) They are the only available labor pool that has the skills to work with such material as drywall, bricklaying, stucco, paint, roofing and concrete. Americans just don't have the brick and mortar trade skills anymore to support the industry. I am told that these people aren't being hired because they are cheaper, it's because they are the only ones who have the skills. That being said, if they are illegal, the contractors who hire them should be fined or jailed and the illegals should be deported. Once that is done, the supply-demand equation of the labor pool will level itself through market forces. And, by the way, seeking a higher profit, just like skateboarding, is not a crime!

Thanks for your response.

Posted by: Jim Hill | March 25, 2006 10:58 AM

By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press Writer 45 minutes ago

WASHINGTON -
President Bush, bracing for more street protests and a Senate showdown on immigration reform, called Saturday for legislation that does not force America to choose between being a welcoming society and a lawful one.


"America is a nation of immigrants, and we're also a nation of laws," Bush said in his weekly radio address about the emotional immigration issue that has driven a wedge in his party.

Bush sides with business leaders who want legislation to let some immigrants stay in the country and work for a set period of time. Others, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, say national security concerns should drive immigration reform.

Posted by: | March 25, 2006 10:59 AM

ChrisB has hit the nail on the head. I keep marveling at what passes for conservatives these days. A community that valued obeying the law has sold its soul to the neocons, to whom making a profit is the highest law.

Posted by: wiccan | March 25, 2006 11:00 AM

If a leftist can explain to me why I am a racist because I want to defend my rights, why I am "anti immagration" because I want my local authorities to enforce the laws I voted to have enacted, and why I am REQUIRED to support criminals in my country, please talk to me. I desperately want to understand this issue and why I am considered "hateful" because I want those who wish to come here to complete that process legally. Why am I the criminal for wanting my rights protected?

Posted by: Jim Hill | Mar 25, 2006 10:30:40 AM

You calling your man George a leftist?

"Bush sides with business leaders who want legislation to let some immigrants stay in the country and work for a set period of time."

Posted by: | March 25, 2006 11:03 AM

Nothing wrong with trying to make a buck, unless you break the law to do it. But I realize its a multifaceted problem and even well-meaning managers, contractors, etc. are faced with tough choices sometimes. I just feel like this is a side of the immigration issue that gets short shrift all too often.

Posted by: ChrisB | March 25, 2006 11:10 AM

Funny... I just don't understand why liberals debate points this way. He did not have the onions to leave his real name. I have no problem with the W's guest worker program. See my Home Depot statement above. But just take a walk around Herndon, VA, and wonder why a place such as that has a gang problem. MS-13 signage all over the place, to which the libeerals response is "Oh, we feel sorry for them so we will build them a place to hang out..." Good idea.. Get them to accumulate in one place, identify the known gang members, inquire about thier status and arrest and deport the illegals. Then repeat the process.

Posted by: Jim Hill | March 25, 2006 11:13 AM

Chris, thanks. I think we have met common ground. This is just one point to a problem that has no easy answer. And in that case, one has to submit the difficult answer because a difficult and painful answer to this problem is much better for both of us than no answer at all

Posted by: Jim Hill | March 25, 2006 11:17 AM

Posted by: Borg

"Congress can pass whatever laws it wants. George is the one who decides which law applies to him and his administration and which not. So it won't matter much.
Borg,
Resistance IS Futile"

Your 100% correct. The administration is currently not enforcing the immigration laws. Primarily for two reasons, Hispanic votes and small businesses. What legislation congress passes, the current administration will opt or opt not to enforce the laws.

GWB has wagered his presidential legacy on the Iraq War and the war on terror and all of his resources will be focused on his legacy. Although it seems to reason if there are currently approximately 12 million undetected entries by illegal aliens into the United States to all major cities and towns, it would not be that difficult for a small army of well financed terrorists to enter or already entered. There won't be any changes on enforcement of immigration laws till Jan. 2009 or a domestic terrorist attack strongly linked to the lack of enforcement of illegal immigration laws occurring before the end of GWB's term.

The Democrats don't need to have a plan for any issue until just before the elections. Why give Rove a chance to distract attention away from critical issues that are causing the current administration to freefall in the polls. The Republican Party has worked for over a decade to take control of all three braches of the federal government, let them be judged on performance or lack of performance on election day.

Posted by: Jamal | March 25, 2006 11:36 AM

This discussion is on two parallel tracks which don't seem to ever meet. One is about the short-term national political fallout of the immigration issue. The second is about the cultural and economic consequences -- especially long-term -- of illegal immigration. They're not the same. But these two tracks must eventually come together. How to avoid the train wreck is what we should be concerned about.

Posted by: bebopper | March 25, 2006 12:10 PM

This country was formed because people were tired of a central government running their lives and keeping their population masses in poverty ie. the ruling class vs. the general population. Also this country was built off the sweat and ideals of people trying to get away from this type of oppression. These immigrants came to this country via legal means. They learned the language, took their citizenship tests, and went to work making a better life for themselves and their famlies. They didn't sent a majority of their income back to the country of origination. These were the legal immigrants, what most all of or ancestors were. They obeyed the laws of this country.

The illegals benifit one group of people. That is the business owners. This is the group that has the greatest access to the lawmakers of this country as they are the ones with the greatest amount of disposible capitol in which to donate to the candidate that will pass laws favorable to them. The bigger the business and therefore the greater amount of expendable capitol to donate to there politician of choice, the more laws that are passed to increase that business owners capitol. The best example of that is the Republican party's "K Street" lobbying efforts which has just come to light by the indictment of one Jack Abrahmoff. Don't get me wrong I'm not just blaming the Republicans of this, as both parties indulge in this handout of millions of dollars of free cash, but the Republican Party is the party for "Big Business", and Big Business is what is helped most by the major influx of illegal immigrants. If you listen to the retoric that these major corporations spit out, they are the ones claiming that they need these illegals because they can't find American workers to do the jobs they have. Does anyone know why they can't find Americans to do those jobs? Because these companies want legal slavery, that's why. They don't want to pay a wage that is fair to what that job entails. Here is a the reason spelled out. Say the job is a particulary nasty, dirty job that to hire an american to do it would cost an employer $15.00 an hour. They can hire an illegal for minimum wage or less, say $5.00 an hour under the table. That employer just put $10.00 an hour in his pocket. Then because the illegal is doing it under the table he doesn't have to pay into social security, unemployment, health insurance, federal and state taxes, nor does he pay workers compensation, because the worker is an illegal, he knows that the illegal won't turn him in for fear of being deported. So instead of hiring an american which overall would cost him close to $25.00 an hour. By hiring an illegal, he just pocketed $20.00 an hour in pure profit. Out of that profit he uses part of that to fund his favorite lawmakers campaign or favorite charity.

Most don't go into politics to serve the average people of this country, they go into it to line their pockets with the millions in free money the "special intrest groups" hand out to get laws passed to benifit their causes. The bigger these groups are and the more expendible capitol they posess the more influence they can buy. Just let me say that not all lobbying and special intrest groups are bad, some lobby for medical funding trying to find cures for disease, the poor or homeless etc.

I hate to say it but this country has gone to hell. The political system is in need of serious reform, the electoral college has outlived it's usefullness as it was created back when voting was done by paper ballots and it took weeks if not months for the election results to be counted. We now live in the electronic age where everything is instantanious. We need to go to a system where our leaders are elected by popular vote. This would solve the problem of candidates concentrating their campaigning in selected states to give them the majority to win an election, instead of bringing their message to the masses. With families trying to concentrating on their daily lives and their survival, they aren't getting involved in the political process. Compounding the political parties and the members of these parties striving for more and more power and control of this country the have become nothing more than groups that take their message and put spin after spin on themselves to make their agenda look good for the general population by using faulty ststistics, at best partial truths if not out and out lies, and smearing their political opponents. Because the general population is so wrapped up in their own lives, trying to survive day by day they don't devote the time needed to research what is thrown at them by the politicians, and weigh the pro's and con's of what they are being told. In the end they end up beleiving everything that they hear either on the television news or what comes out of the people they voted for's mouths whether it is the truth or just another bold faced lie. If you don't beleive me look at how many people still beleive that Iraq was somehow connected to the "Twin Towers" incident of 9/11.

Since we have had a one party government run by the pro Big Business, Pro wealthy Republicans, we have gotten into a $400 Billion yes that is B war, by borrowing the money to pay for it, passing the bill off to our kids and grandkids. The wealthiest Americans have enjoyed huge tax cuts, the republicans passed what they tried to pass off as a major benifit to seniors, Medicare Part D, but was a major give away to the pharmacutical companies, gave major tax breaks and environmental consessions to the major oil companies, have doubled the debt ceiling since Bush came into office, have tried to dismantle Social Security, have continuelly cut funding for major social programs from the people who can least afford to have these programs cut, cut money for education making it so that only the wealthy can afford to send their kids to college, therefore increasing the seperation of the classes and perpetuating the dumbing of America.

The Illegal immigration problem is just one small part of what has gone wrong with this country which has been brought upon us by "Big Business" and the money the wheel. The political parties have become just another arm of Big business. I was suprised the other day when Bush gave a speech in India where he praised the outsourcing of thousands of American jobs to India, but what suprised me more that no one mentioned this. How can someone who took an oath to serve and protect this country get away with a statement like this and not suffer reprocussions and that americans didn't demand for his resignation on the spot. I hope you see my point that this country is owned and run by Big Business and it continually buys the people who are supposed to be representing the american people and our best interests. Illegal immigrants are just a small cog in this big gear, and until the American People demand sweeping reforms in the way our government is run and that corporate money is eliminated from our political process. Demand transparency in influence peddling, and a higher moral standard of our elected officials. That we as Americans will no longer tolerate special privliges to wealthiest while taking away from the remainder, or the giving away of our jobs, our security, or our country, for corporate profits or to make the rich wealthier. That as an American citizwen we are all equal, and that in one way or another, we will take back the control of our government.

Does the phrase "By The People For The People" ring a bell?

Posted by: Lab Rat | March 25, 2006 12:51 PM

The problem goes back at its source to Clinton and NAFTA, and some very wrong assumptions about outcomes from this so-called agreement.

Don't we remember how NAFTA was supposed to alleviate immigration pressures? Instead, it dislocated domestic agricultural workers in Mexico, narrowing down their choices for survival to actions such as illegal immigration.

After all this experience, we still do not have a fundamentally correct analysis of the problem put forward for public debate.

If anything positive should come out of the Latino demonstrations and commentary presently in the media blender, maybe we could get to a clearer understanding of root causes and then talk about those. If one listens to the Latinos, NAFTA miscalculated, and so ought to be readdressed.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 25, 2006 01:44 PM

"3) They are the only available labor pool that has the skills to work with such material as drywall, bricklaying, stucco, paint, roofing and concrete. Americans just don't have the brick and mortar trade skills anymore to support the industry." Jim Hill

I live in a house in SW Virginia that was built in 2003 with all US citizen construction workers. Most of the work mentioned above was done by 20-something young men with no college education working under the supervision of experienced construction workers. They got valuable experience that 20-something US citizens in NoVA are not getting because it's cheaper to hire illegal immigrants.

Right after we moved into the house, we discovered a small problem with the plumbing. The plumber came over, cut into the ceiling, fixed the problem in about 20 minutes, and then fixed and painted the ceiling so expertly that I couldn't tell where he'd cut the hole. I complimented him on the job and he said that he hadn't always been a plumber. He'd started at the bottom and learned construction from the ground up. Now he is a skilled craftsman, owns his own business, and is doing well.

The unemployment figures do not take into account underemployment, part-time workers, and folks who have given up looking for full time work and are now odd-jobbing it. The EMPLOYMENT rate for young men is the lowest it has been in decades. I refuse to believe that construction is a job that no US workers will do.

Posted by: D Flinchum | March 25, 2006 01:53 PM

NAFTA needs to be reviewed.

Reviewing how outsourcing has affected job security in the United States should be a part of that process...


It would also do well to discuss treating Multinationals that don't manufacture a product in the US as _foreign competition_


There should be no 3rd World standards _reset_, reinserted into the citizens everyday life...we have enough resources to be independent, for the most part....I'm not talking about "isolationism" I'm talking about how easy it would be to correct some issues, because WE ARE NOT DEPENDENT ON OTHER COUNTRIES FOR NATURAL RESOURCES, UNLESS WE CHOOSE TO BE!


We have enough in the United States that anyone should be able to enjoy being alive and having a job and if they're not capable of working, being supported, and not at a substandard level.

By European standards we're kneedeep in wealth, and yet we have no national healthcare for the basics.

.

Posted by: In any project you have to revist the results occaisionally.. | March 25, 2006 01:59 PM

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......

Posted by: we need to address the lives and concerns of | March 25, 2006 02:03 PM

While I may not be as angry as Jim, I understand his frustrations. Our public infrastructure (schools, hospitals, etc.) are overwhelmed. I would support a more lenient immigration policy if it seemed that there was meaningfull assimilation into larger American society. However, in my opinion, that is not occurring. I was watching some clips of the immigrations rallies, and saw countless Mexican flags. That is absolutely the wrong thing to do to get Americans to feel sorry for you. I feel that if the situation were reversed, and a lot of poor, uneducated Americans were trying to get into Mexico, Mexico would've closed its borders in a heartbeat.
There, I've gotten some of the venting out of my system.

Posted by: DC Texan | March 25, 2006 03:25 PM

Jaxas:

"One other point I would make here is that Americans can no longer afford to think of themselves as some unique exception to all other nations in the world. We are no longer the self sufficient nation-state that we were in our agrarian youth."

Why not? We are, and can continue to think so, if our will exists. Of course we must import resources, which we do. The US does not necessarily need open borders for trade (in the context of allowing ILLEGALS to reside here).

"As I have said before, we are an aging superpower."

Yeah? Everything ages.

"But the entire concept of superpower is becoming more and more irrelevant. There are now over 6 billion people on this planet. We represent only a small portion of that mass of people."

What? No it's not irrelevant. Why are people clamoring to get in here? Isn't this is what the debate is all about. Your statement is a good indicator of our greatness!

"Resources, investments and people are moving around on this planet at an ever accellerating pace."

What does legal movement have to do with ILLEGAL movement? We should, however, continue let most of the high tech guys in because:

1) most of them stay and positively contribute to our society, and
2) they take up the slack of lazy domestics that will not pursue their fields.

"We can no longer afford to see ourselves in the simplistic nationalist terms of the past. Otherwise, we are going to be passed by in the accellerated trek into this new global era. We can't ignore conditions in the rest of the world. The impoverished conditions in other parts of the globe while a tiny fraction of the population of the earth hogs up the an inordinate share of the wealth produced, presents us with an untenable problem that cannot long endure."

We can ignore whomever the we choose. If they are of no financial or strategic interest to us, why bother. I'm not saying we should not help out with humanitarian aid in times of crisis, but the US should never get deeply involved with other the financial burdens of others, unless to gain some substantial benefit. I think you watched too much Star Trek in the 60's.

Finally, we are the 500-pound gorilla of the "global era." As a result, everyone hates us (and I could give a damn). What are you trying to say, we should maintain "open borders?" If so, that would be the silliest thing I've seen posted here. Most of the illegals here in DC are not "Mexicans." Rather, they originate from several Central American countries and break our laws getting in. How do most arrive on our soil? I'd bet by land through Mexico, as I doubt many are flying or boating in.

Build the freakin wall, landmine the border, and/or use surveillance aircraft. Also, enforce existing laws. Do whatever it takes, but do it now to protect what we have now, and to preserve it for our children's children. The Wild West era is over. We don't need masses of people to populate large unpopulated areas.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 25, 2006 03:31 PM

RE: Immigration: Wedge Issue, Not a Wage Issue

Par for your course- your observations and the studies you semi-draw your semi-conclusions from are flawed, oblivious to factors that affect real people.
When citizens such as myself were young decades ago (from a working class family), we could get a job mowing lawns, washing dishes, emptying bed pans in hospitals, flipping burgers etc for a modest but significant wage to earn money to help our parents or save for college and better ourselves and family, contribute to the raising up of folks in our society you and people like Bush are so fond of espousing. Not any more, that chain is dead.

Typically, your elitist under pinning's are showing. After all- how bad can it really be right? You're comfortable at your pseudo (non-productive) job. What do you feel?

Posted by: Norvel | March 25, 2006 03:34 PM

DC Texan writes:

". . . countless Mexican flags. That is absolutely the wrong thing to do to get Americans to feel sorry for you."
___________

Looks like an incipient occupation force to me, proudly showing their colors. If it keeps up, even WP will need to move further north.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 25, 2006 04:27 PM

Posted by: Borg | Mar 25, 2006 10:21:45 AM
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
OK let's talk policy. Let me pretend to be Howard Dean.

1. Iraq. The only clear good policy is not to invade in the first place which Dean advocated almost alone by himself.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You don't have to pretend with me. I supported Mr. Dean's position at the time and agreed with his reasoning in getting there. He was not entirely alone. Brent Scowcroft (clearly), Senators Hagel and Lugar (somewhat less clearly) argued against the tide as well. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party believed Rove when he said how much he welcomed the prospect of facing Howard Dean in the fall, so they gave him sure winner be-medalled VN vet Kerry; you know, the windsurfer who voted against it before he voted for it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Bush's policy is to keep pushing on committing more and more resources (borrowed resources!) and sacrificing more and more lives. Murtha's is to walk out now or very soon. Neither one is very good. The only one left - muddying on for a while and some gradual withdrawing or until some defining event that will force everybody's hand.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I don't agree. Murtha's policy is the policy we should follow because it would drive the politics in Iraq instead of the current policy that provides a cocoon for them to eternally continue muddling. I'm not willing to leave our military forces hostage to Iraqi politics.
It should not be a question of if we are going to leave, but when.

2. Immigration. I would wish the Democrats would uniformly support Reid's position which seems to be:
a. Get control of the border to include meaningful employer sanctions.
b. Create a path for the current illegal population to get assimilated
c. Provide a controlled form of temporary labor where it is in our global interest to do so.

3. Budget/trade deficits. Budget deficits are entirely within our own control. Actually pass a Constitutional Amendment putting a clamp on them. Quit tiptoeing around the rich on taxes. Get rid of the SS earnings limit so the rich (and corporations) don't have that free ride. Quit using tax policy to attempt to micro-manage social behavior and just simplify the code so people can actually do their own taxes without a computer. As for the trade deficit, there is not much you can do about it without finding a way to either put a clamp on imports at the expense of consumers or us becoming a whole lot more efficient in our cost structure. At the moment we are largely eating off our own capital.


Actually, I don't give a rats ass which party aligns itself on good and sensible policies, as long as one of them does, so I have someone to vote for instead of against. As for Dem leaders, I would be happy to vote for Dean next time around if I get the choice. Republicans are tougher because McCain, much as I like him, has a world view abroad I just cannot go with. So I'll wait and see if Hagel or someone new rises to the occasion. My worst nightmare is Hillary vs Frist. That is enough to drive one to suicidal thoughts.

Posted by: Cayambe | March 25, 2006 05:08 PM

"Get rid of the SS earnings limit so the rich (and corporations) don't have that free ride."

Cayambe, how is it a free ride when the absolute limit is reached and your maximum payment is calculated based on the limit?

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 25, 2006 05:22 PM

BTW, I forgot to add, I agree with your last thought regarding the upcoming election.

Posted by: | March 25, 2006 05:23 PM

Emily only gave a very limited perspective on what economists have determined on immigration. And Card's study is widely thought flawed because it credits - say - unemployed native roofers not magically disappearing locally when they are replaced by illegals - so Card holds their careers are unaffected...

A better place to look is the impact of H-1B "temporary" visas (until the anchor babies are spit out on US soil) targeting the very high tech, high value jobs that the Ruling Elites have said were the ANSWER for Americans displaced from menial jobs "no one wants to do".

The IT, computer, research scientist, engineering support industries suffered a 15% shrinkage from 2001 to 2003 while 2.4 million H1-B visas were issued. Displaced employees went to Congress, and CBO economists confirmed that wages shrunk in those industries, the prevailing wage paid to cheap imported labor was 25% less than natives, then natives pay diminished to "levelize" the competition. CBO noted that Americans were indeed "let go" more frequently than foreigners hired into many companies - particularly in the IT industry.

So shall we dispense with the following myths????

Myth #1 - The American worker can outproduce and outcompete any new foreign arrival willing to work for 50% less or more...so no American except those in "jobs no American wants" has to worry about losing jobs to cheap labor imported in by the Ruling Class.

Myth #2 - The Mantra "We Are All Immigrants" means that American citizens have no more rights to what OUR ancestors built (a prosperous, carefully built up nation with a high standard of living) than 6 billion people wanting in "to make the American Dream Theirs".

Myth #3 - Ignore the obvious. Just because wages have declined 7.5% for the bottom 20% of workers in America despite rising productivity and GNP means nothing about a harmful effect of massive legal and illegal immigration. Nor about the mass, rising unemployment of inner city blacks in any city where immigrants are pouring in.

Myth #4 - While certain workers may lose out, overall, consumers benefit from lower costs. That myth assumes that the cost savings from cheap labor and the profits are spread equally in society. In fact, the cost savings are siphoned to the Ruling Class and their consumerism rather than go in any proportional way to America's poor and working class. The lower costs definitely benefit the wealthy communities in America far removed from the social costs of mass immigration - school, free medical care, law enforcement - which are foisted on poorer communities the immigrants live in.

Myth #5 - Immigrants only take those low-paying jobs that Americans don't want - like truck drivers, medical doctors, carpenters, software engineers, nurses, pharmaceutical research scientist, civil engineers, electrician, mason, chefs, translators, clerks, tax preparing and accountancy..

With the attendent myth that jobs reserved for Americans are spelled out by law or internal culture:

The jobs Americans do want and are in fact restricted by law or internal statute for the most part to Americans are: (1) Ruling Class positions in investment banking, corporate management, the legal profession, university positions. (2) Protected government employee positions that serve the Ruling Class in their capacity as Gov't employees; (3) Security positions in the military or police needed to protect the Elites - though low status low IQ private security guards and lower enlisted's may be given to the "right sort" of immigrant.

******************

The CBO and FAIR cover the wage-lowering and job-imperiling impact of H1-B visas. Since they occur in a national market of skilled jobs, the impact is clear to see. The "Card" position that it is too hard to see the net national effect of low skilled jobs is easy once you realized that the blacks displaced by cheap foreign workers in Los Angeles or New Orleans have not "Gone on to take more exciting, better-paying high tech jobs" - they are sitting on their hopeless to ever get a good job again outside a government job - butts.

And the "Card" economist group ignores the local construction/buildings trade wage differential studies that show robust, well paid black and white employment in various construction, maintenance jobs "no American would do" in regions of the country where immigrant impact hasn't been felt yet....and in areas of high illegal or illegal mass immigration...a 30% reduction in wages and a displacing of white and black workers out of the trade analyzed.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 25, 2006 06:23 PM

"The EMPLOYMENT rate for young men is the lowest it has been in decades. I refuse to believe that construction is a job that no US workers will do." D. Flincham.

US workers are the best, not necessarily the most productive per dollar though (unions). It seems to me there are too many dogs in the immigration fight, all with a different fight. Mine is more black and white.

1.Stop the in-flow with very strict employer fines-then enforce them; in conjunction with erecting barriers in key areas (who cares if they die in the desert going around the? word will get out and they will stop trying).

2. Similar to the lame attempt to keep recruiters off of Harvard, the fed should with hold funds to all states and cities that are sancuaries (not hard to determine).
With this of course will be the arguement over juristiction coming only from the states-never the feds. The states help with plenty of other cases where federal laws are broken; they should not be allowed to pick and choose.

3. Dispell the totally false supposition that rounding up 12 million people is hard, or anywhere near impossible (this is a lie). 1991 we moved 225 thousand + troops into and out of Iraq. WWII 20 million served, Nam 2 million rotated through that country. We are quite good at logistics, I can give details if anyone cares.

The most difficult thing is getting Fox to accept the illegals. We would most likely have to shove them down his throat forcefully no doubt because that will be where the only Mexican government energy will be exerted; to thwart our efforts to deport. And of coursde there will be a littany of bleeding left wingers here to raise hell.

We will all have to mow our own lawns and eat out much less often, like when we were kids. I grew up with 4 other siblings and I can tell you with absolute certainty...That my family NEVER ate out in a restauraunt my whole childhood, we simply could not afford it, and my quality of life was fine by me.

Posted by: 11Bravo | March 25, 2006 06:48 PM

Johnny........"Cayambe, how is it a free ride when the absolute limit is reached and your maximum payment is calculated based on the limit?"

1. Yup, but if you are rich we gonna tax it again when you start getting it so you don't get to keep as much of it as us poorer folk.

2. When push comes to shove, the SS benefits will become progressive as income tax rates are with the same essential redistribution of wealth (more presicely, benefit)effect.

Meanwhile, at least the revenue goes into the "trust" fund (yeah, like we can "trust" our poor grandkids to pay it all back from their general taxes).

Posted by: Cayambe | March 25, 2006 07:03 PM

JimB wrote:
===========================================
Americans just don't have the brick and mortar trade skills anymore to support the industry.
===========================================

Yes they do. If you're on the bus and you see a mason come on with his tool box and 6ft level, you know they're hussling for a job. And my former neighbor is a drywall finisher. Neither were Hispanic. Both are natives, born and bred.

What makes me upset is the tech college doesn't have construction/masonary/millwright/carpentary/cabinetry classes here anymore. Only satellite schools in more rural areas. Masons and cabinet makers make serious money, because those are trades take a lifetime to master (which no 20 year-old illegal would have the skills).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 07:08 PM

"The meat of the piece, though, is his finding that two methodologically sound studies produce very different results: one shows a negative impact on wages; the other, negligible impact. "

It seems both studies conclude there is a negligible impact, and a negative; both are in the - column yet we are to believe the data is therefore undecided. Would a true statistician come to that conclusion-or just Mr. Mallaby- or you Ms. Messner?

I for one can think of no positive arguement for illegal immigration that has merit-anyone?

Posted by: | March 25, 2006 07:09 PM

I have not read very many articles on illegal immigration written by anyone. My information comes first hand. I do not want people to feel that they are hated or should not be allowed into the United States. I feel that they should be let in legally, though, and be made to follow the same laws that I am bound by. I work in the construction field as a framer. I do mostly residential work and am non-union. I personally have lost several jobs due to illegal immigrants. The argument that illegal workers do jobs that "regular americans" do not want to do is a total falsehood. Members of my families have lost jobs in construction, landscaping, lawn care and other similar occupations, not because they didn't want to do the job, but because they couldn't support their families on the wages illegal immigrants were willing to take. The United States is a capitalist economy with certain laws in place to protect the interest of the citizens living within its borders. If there are people who want to come into this country, let them come, only let them come by abiding by the law so that they will be entitled to that same protection. Entering the country illegally is just that, illegal. By allowing immigrants to enter the country illegally and stay with no recourse, the interest of law abiding citizens is no longer being protected.

Posted by: Christopher Howald | March 25, 2006 09:06 PM

Does anyone think, no matter how serious a problem this may be, that blaming immigrants for any of our social ills is maybe, ya know, MORONIC IRRESPONSIBLE SCAPEGOATING?!

It's the lazy parasitic upper-stratosphere class that let things degenerate to this point in the first place. Any group of people with a serious commitment to personal and collective responsibility would have been managing better all along.

I seem to recall an episode of the simpsons...

Posted by: Angry white man | March 25, 2006 09:12 PM

ps. i agree with chris howald principally. There are a host of things the US Gov't does to exacerbate this problem. Constantly making war - conventional and ideological police state war - is one of them.

Posted by: AWM | March 25, 2006 09:15 PM

Yes, part of the problem is folks excusing the ILLEGALS in staying, and draining this country's resources for this cheap labor.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 25, 2006 10:04 PM

if we can't afford to take care of the citizens that are here, we don't need any more, legal or illegal.

take back the country from those who pander to, "I'll give you money, if you get this deal through congress for me."

we have robber barons in charge of the economy.

we used to have the GNP of _all_ of Europe in _one_ United States company during the 70's GMC....made more money than all of Europe combined...

where'd that money go?

we have a mindset in the United States that we don't respond to changes, with the japanese getting market share in the early 70's even though they were better made, with less failure...we didn't change our production methods or the way we treated employees...

the US auto market was driven into the ground as US companies made a decision not to compete, not to retool, not to examine the design process, not to include workers in talks about how to improve operations...

just to keep using the company, without changing anything, bottom line was the deal...not operating for the future, just making as much as they could without investing....

now Toyota, Hyundai, Honda, and a few others run the market place

our corporations let thousands of jobs fly away, because they just wanted to make the most on their investment without insuring the future of the industry.

they are doing that now with oil, no preperation, a mere nod to changing methods that would actually address the changes needed.

we are a country a "waiting" until we're in "drama mode" happens before we do anything about it.

unchecked illegal immigration is one of those things.

the number of people that are known to be living below the poverty level has been increasing since boy george took office...

I don't care if he's a republican or a democrat....he's not in charge of anything except paying off family friends with favors.

it's pretty certain it created the terrorist threat in order to gain credibility to carry out his own agenda...

did we vote him that right?


.

Posted by: It's pretty simple | March 25, 2006 10:51 PM

Borg says: "California used to be a toss up, maybe even Republican leaning state until Pete Wilson pandered to the base and sponsored anti immigrant (i.e. anti Mexican) referendums. The Democrats haven't lost an election there since (except for Arnold which was an anomaly, but he's since has his butt kicked hard.)"

Recall that Pete Wilson _won_ his election after supporting Proposition 187. It's a myth that supporting 187 cost the Republicans. In fact, it solidified their support among whites, who were and remain the _voting_ majority in California and everywhere else in the United States. Supporing 187 is what got the Republicans the governor's mansion at that time. Running lame candidates after Wilson's term was finished is why the Republicans had lost Cali up to the point of Ah-nold's victory. After all, you can't lose an election to illegal aliens. As much as they whine, they still can't vote...

Posted by: Virginia Dare | March 25, 2006 10:59 PM

I'd have multiple _parallel plans in place simultaneously to correct immigration issues...


outsourcing.


corporate responsibility.


social services.


and reparation for war crimes commited by this congress and administration against this country.

.and I'd have some redressment.

Posted by: If the United States were my project... | March 25, 2006 11:01 PM

Part of the Republican woes after Wilson took a stand was the Owner Class started throwing more money at pro-illegal labor Democrats than the Republicans. Agribiz, casinos, Jewish retail shop owners are putting their money to Democratic candidates joining the public service unions and Hollywood ideologues - giving California Dems a huge fundraising advantage.... The "national lesson" of that change in California fortunes is that Dubya - who is the ultimate corporate toady boy, places their agenda higher than even the GWOT or Iraq. Bush knows they want tax cuts for the wealthy, massive legal and illegal immigration to depress American citizen's wages to create less-taxed Owner Society profits --in return for those 100,000 dollar political contributions. And Bush delivers for his Favorit Fatcats wallets like no President since Warren Harding.

***********

The other thing in California is that the Democrats brilliantly managed to cast themselves as the "Open Borders, bring 'em on in!!" Party that then benefited from the pro-illegals constituency - while at the same time retaining unquestioning fealty from the people most damaged by illegal immigration - blacks.

Poor blacks. As they are growingly being shut out of manufacturing & service jobs on competiveness grounds, and even customer interface jobs like dispatchers in California because they "No Habla Espanol", they remain totally loyal tools of the pro-immigration fatcats of the California Democrat moneymen Base. As long as blacks are unquestioning Democrats, Democrats can give them the shaft every time while they woo Mexicans.

And you got to love "Head Negro" Jesse Jackson. One morning he is down on the Arizona border denouncing the Minutemen for trying to stop his "Chicano Brothers" crossing the Border to feed their starving families (Jesse is dated, he later used "Brown brothers" "Latino friends" after being told Chicano went out of fashion). Then that afternoon, self-annointed Spokesperson of All Black People and Democrat Shakedown Fatcat Rev. Jesse arrives by private jet in NOLA, to hold a press conference complaining contractors aren't hiring native black workers.

Posted by: Chris Ford | March 26, 2006 01:24 AM

What's changing their view is: illegals tend to be conservative, religious -- and at odds on things like abortion.

What Emily and political bosses are failing at, is a real sense of the problems. They rely on think tanks to give them the ideas. The same think tanks that are detached from the issue (and politically biased).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 26, 2006 01:40 AM

Virginia Dare wrote:

"After all, you can't lose an election to illegal aliens. As much as they whine, they still can't vote..."
_____________

And if they are made felons under the proposed federal law, then, in most states, they never will vote.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 26, 2006 07:19 AM

It's a wedge issue between corporatists and racists.

http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | March 26, 2006 09:06 AM

Oh, I hate the weekends on Emily's blog. Our spammer comes out to ply his trade while she's gone.

:sigh: :sigh:

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 26, 2006 10:11 AM

The issue of illegal immigration into America makes for one gigantic clash of cultures,s,s,s. One possible good thing, in terms of American political structures, is that it could be a catalyst to update the role of President.

The Office of President has enormous persistent pressures and complexities; and everyone of us has a great investment in seeing that it functions adequately and with vision. But the task is almost too great for any individual to consistently perform.

Recognizing human and institutional limits, we ought to be having a public dialogue about ways to simplify the job, yielding us more clear-headed and more publicly-accepted leadership on all issues and initiatives. It's apparently necessary and overdue. Over-empowering the Vice President might have been one unproven attempt to simplify by limiting, but it has been suspiciously looked upon. The extra chaos and shallow analysis generated by the 24/7 TV media is a particular detriment to deliberate and coherent resolutions of big issues such as immigration.

Perhaps illegal immigration is the issue that is just big and emotional enough (while fortunately having an implicit deadline for resolution of November 2006) to compel institutional changes of habit. We would see evidence of this when the Chief Executive adapts the role to better concentrate the incumbent's mind on practical and prompt solutions consistent with American values. Something seriously needs to be accomplished rather than the schizophrenic dashing between topics that is so typical of federal governance today. In that context, an historic opportunity presents itself now.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 26, 2006 10:23 AM

a few years ago.

It was painted by Hispanics, that were working for a painting contractor.

Do you think any jobs were lost?

Do you think that interior painting is a job that most Americans would find too dirty for them to do? I was on a time constraint, otherwise I would have done it myself.


Painting is a trade, one that could lead to owning and running a company. As could yard work, landscaping, or any one of a number of construction jobs, rehab, plastering, roofing. These are trades.

Where will your computer programmers work when their jobs go to Bangalore, Chuckie Cheeses? Service sector is the only job available to unskilled workers if the rest of the job market is flooded by illegals.

You need to understand something, not everyone wants to work two 30 hour a week jobs with no benefits...stop the insanity, begin to vote and create legislation that creates a good life for Americans and requires other countries to do the same for their people _or_ we don't do business with them....we are the largest consumer market in the world.


but we are losing our ability to buy as the money goes out of the citizens hands. Make sure that the middle class makes a comeback.

Posted by: I sold a house in Virgina | March 26, 2006 12:54 PM

Our immigration policy resembles the ineffective war on drugs. For decades we've spent billions of dollars on interdiction and law enforcement yet trafficking only increases. Similarly, the federal government continues to increase spending on border patrol and enforcement to no avail. I think we can all agree we haven't gotten our money's worth. In spite of our efforts, 11 million illegal immigrants currently live underneath our radar. Both the human and economic dimensions of this issue are complex. A new immigration policy that combines compassion with rational innovation is in order. Sadly, our political class appears incapable of rising above the passions, fears, and even greed of their respective constituencies.

Read, "Our Immigration Conundrum", in the Intrepid Liberal Journal.


http://www.intrepidliberaljournal.blogspot.com

Posted by: Intrepid Liberal Journal | March 26, 2006 09:36 PM

On the flip side Intrepid, imagine how much worse both illegal drug and immigration would be if the current measures weren't taken.

Posted by: | March 26, 2006 10:25 PM

federal prisons during the 0-Tolerance day, and he said and I quote that William Bennet's effort as drug czar was the most disastorous that he was aware of....the federal prisons were full of first-timers...people getting multiple years for weed..a couple of ounces things like that...


there was actually a decrease in effectiveness, in stopping drug flow during that time...


you really need to get this : intervention is the most effective method for dealing with this, but,

if it were my buck I'd be trying multiple things in multiple cities trying to address the situation by trying different things...pilot plans

I'd try to give cities a little choice under a single federal program, that monitored all of the situations, peer review with substance abuse counselors, law enforcement, education, I'd look at Amesterdam...Britain

I do know one thing, where there's no hope there's very little to do except animal kinda things...immediate gratification, 'cause tomorrow might not be here...that's the reason for intervention


it wouldn't work on one level, you'd have to do multiple things,

1. grade school - social skills, working with bullies, shyness, agressiveness
2. middle school - sexuality, discourse, dating, the difference between friendship and sex, the importance of partnering long-term
3. middle school and high school, I'd start teaching alphas to be leaders, I'd inagurate a program to redirect power-over mentalities to power-with, have them direct student groups, work as hall monitors, reward them with a jacket or some program...peer review by other students...


right now in the poorer neighbor hoods, it's rule by alphas, domination, and a constant battle for position...

this creates schism in social and neighborhood settings, safety is an issue and strutting pays off...

in poor neighborhoods, teaching people to get along by practicing in all levels of schools helps train children to think of achieving by working together rather than becoming
the rap star
the basket ball player
the drug pusher
the controller

4. high school, business language as the spoken language

5. bring back blue collar jobs to inner cities, union, benefits, home buyers..

I could go on, but there are real things that you can do besides

punish people...

if you want to punish someone arrest the president, cheyney, rumsfield and a few others for foisting an occupation of scarce resources on a trusting Americana public...

Posted by: actually, I was talking to a director of | March 26, 2006 11:34 PM

Regarding the Mexican factor of this issue, just a few points I believe are worth noting.

Mexicans were here (in the US), before the US was formed.

Geographically speaking, since Mexico is part of the Americas (just like the US), Mexico can also call itself, America. (The US does not have any exclusive right/s to the term America.) That would make Mexicans...Americans.

Sooner or later, we're going to need Mexico more than they need us. It's going to be hard to make nice with them, with a wall between us.

----------------------------------------

A felony? That's a bit much.

Will this law come to pass? Hey, we are living in a country where the majority was stupid enough to re-elect a moron. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)

("Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.")

----------------------------------------

I'm starting to believe that, sometimes, when something is illegal, it doesn't necessarily make it wrong.

Why don't we just illegalize everything, so we can all be criminals?

Maybe we should all start thinking like Global citizens, instead of US citizens.

Anyway, just my two cents.

Posted by: José | March 27, 2006 12:19 AM

Mexico is no more a part of the US than Bolivia, Canada or Chile. And I'll add that am of French Canadian decent, but don't like it when those Canadians come to our beaches and wear those bikini swim suits (I'm talking about the men!).

Posted by: | March 27, 2006 01:57 AM

HELLO AMERICA, WAS JUST READING THIS Article surrounding immigration particually the part of how imagrants bring down wages for american workers. this arguement has been used in th UK as well, the problem that i see with it is three fold: a) it is not the imagrants who are paying the low wages ! therefore american companies are taking advantage of both us workers and imagrants. b)why has your minmum wage not risin in nearly a decade. C) Is this a debate about immigration or is it a thinly vailed attempt to discriminate against people on the grounds of race ! i could be completly rong as i do not live in the states, and do not want to come across as a patronising brit, let me know what you think

Posted by: jake from the UK | March 27, 2006 06:12 AM

Its becoming increasingly clear that a smug, self-centered affluent class has determined that those who work "by the sweat of their brow" are not entitled to decent wages and benefits, that only degreed, white-collar "professionals" are entitled to the good life. The Wall Streeters and the bourgeois intelligentsia are so thoroughly corrupted that they starve Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") and Customs and Border Protection ("CBP"), the two government agencies with principal authority for enforcing not only immigration but customs laws, of the resources required to enforce both sets of law, in order to facilitate low cost services by illegal foreign workers and low cost goods produced by countries (especially China) that don't follow the rules. If our government is too corrupt to enforce the law, it is time for the folks to take direct action against these corrupt traitors. We must -- at the very minimum -- stigmatize, shun and boycott them as the parasites that they are.

Posted by: Mike Deal | March 27, 2006 09:41 AM

You amuse me to no end johnnyg. Has it not occurred to you that this "500 pound gorilla" you describe America as, has been held of, stymied, mired, bogged down, and nibbled away at through attrition over the past 3 years in a country our leaders themselves has described as a third rate pipsqueak. Tommy Franks described the Fedahyeen insurgents in Iraq as little more than a speedbump on the way to Baghdad. Having succeeded in running over that speedbump and successfully occupying Baghdad, now we find ourselves holed up in the so-called Green Zone with no plan whatsoever on how to get out.

It seems that this 500 pound gorilla is being nibbled to pieces by angy hungry rats.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 27, 2006 10:59 AM

Jose wrote:

"I's starting to believe that, sometimes, when something is illegal, it doesn't necessarily make it wrong.

Why don't we just illegalize everything, so we can all be criminals?

Maybe we should all start thinking like Global citizens, instead of US citizens."
___________

When long-established laws are torn down, in what order are other criminalizing norms and controls to be taken apart? Meth and concaine? Insider trading? Elected official corruption? Pedophilia?

America is a land of immigrants, true; but you know what: there's a reason we are here and they are there. It has to do with our investment in rule of law, freedom supported by the courage of its protectors, and not feeling directly responsible for the fate of every sorry soul that lives on hate and resentment over the fact that America's system has worked.

Global citizen you say -- people with that mindset need to vote with their feet and take their alien mental baggage to a better place where they will be less unhappy.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 27, 2006 11:04 AM

At any rate johnnyg, your chestthumping commentary about us being the big gorilla sound disturbingly familiar to the muscular rhetoric Bush uses when he is blithering awy before those masculine military audiences he so craves to impress.

If there is one psychological observation that has held true for me over the years it is that those who use such testosterone laden rhetoric, are most often the ones who are difficult to find when the shooting starts. Like Bush and Cheney, I suspect that your brawly courage is most often exhibited far from the front and is most at home in those cozy, safe gatherings where big talk is celebrated and honored more than actual courage on the battlefield.

Like your hero Limbaugh, war is a thing to be devoutly wished for assuming one has a handy medical or other type of deferment that keeps one far from where the dying is going on.

Posted by: Jaxas | March 27, 2006 11:07 AM

Spot on On the plantation, spot on.

We're not the Balkans, and we're certainly not Mexico. Those who parade around with Mexico's flag around them, need to be deported, as we don't need those cowards here (oh, yes, cowards because brass tacks time comes they'll flee like roaches back to "Mother Mexico" after the Raid is sprayed).

Boot all 12 million out, along with the other illegals http://usinfo.org/wf-archive/2000/001004/epf302.htm. Then have them apply for legal citizenship, just like every other legal immigrant has too. Not reward breaking our laws.

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 11:15 AM

I'd say that immigration effects different workers differently. That's why it's divisive because it just accelerates our own class wars because as while many people are not interested in mowing lawns, perhaps some people who decided not to pay attention in high school (for whatever reason) or didn't have a good experiance and failed out because of emotional trama as kids are irrational, found that those were the only jobs hiring.

Really though, we do have a lot of programs available to american workers and citizens, such as tuition grants for low income students and below interest loans (to get them better opportunities by equalizing them somewhat with the people around them.) If there weren't these programs I would have more sympathy for the "woe is me" arguments. We are pretty spoiled. It's not even difficult to get money for a graduate degree to go back to school for professionals if someone shows enough interest it's just on the private market instead so we have ALL sorts of programs, and probably even tax credits, to help people transition, even if it is hard.

The country could and probably should be better designed so that people don't feel they are living paycheck to paycheck and need as many services, and have the investments in place that they feel properly educated in grade school rather then using this as a means to discriminate against people who are largely less well off then all of us. I am all for checking people at the border, making them follow regulations and rules but figuring out how to let them come in legally as it's got to be more effective then letting them come in anyway and not having them follow our laws.

Posted by: Erica | March 27, 2006 12:47 PM

" Boot all 12 million out" is a xenophobic fantasy. Unfeasable. Sandy, are you into S&M by chance?

Posted by: Jake | March 27, 2006 01:12 PM

On the plantation wrote:

(Just a couple of key parts.)

"...there's a reason we are here and they are there. ..."

We're here because, long ago, some people (founding fathers, etc...), decided to go against their government's *laws*.

*****

... "It has to do with our investment in rule of law,...".

Actually, it had to do with criminal acts and broken promises (just ask Native American Indians). Investment in rules of laws didn't take place till after the fact, to pretty up history and to prevent against others coming in and doing to the US what had been done to Native Americans.

Posted by: Um... | March 27, 2006 01:18 PM

Jake wrote:
===========================================
" Boot all 12 million out" is a xenophobic fantasy. Unfeasable. Sandy, are you into S&M by chance?
===========================================

Are you since you asked? You know, the type that likes to get spanked?

Own3d!

Can be very feasible, and reality. Afterall it'll give us some training to move mass populations in an emergency (like another Category 5 hurricane in the Gulf, again).

SandyK

Posted by: SandyK | March 27, 2006 01:33 PM

it looks like me everywhere..

anyway, whose' said earlier about, oh excuse me that's Jose'

said earlier that we're all part of the same package, Mexico and the United States,


then why don't your people have the Cajones to make their own country act like the United States?


Is it because you're afraid of your police, druglords, leaders and corrupt system?


do you think that perhaps you're bringing some of that mindset with you?

that corruption is okay, what's the big woop?

maybe bush is getting it from gonzalez, eh?!


I doubt it...I'm sure he had it before gonzalez, he probably sold him a piece of it...


and they'd sell you a piece of the rock too as long as you promised to swallow...you did


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!


you can work yourselves up to being just as rich?


well richness also has something to do with integrity, honor and not taking advantage of someone or a situation, because you can.

not that the leaders of this country are displaying that attitude, but I've seen it written about and it is the focus of our founding....to some extent amongst some of our founders...

Posted by: oh my doodness...how will anyone know it's me.. | March 27, 2006 02:44 PM

Not a chance, Sandy, you crypto-fashist malodorous old cow. I horse-whip the XXI century Nazi scum like yourself, if you must knnow.

Posted by: Jake | March 27, 2006 02:49 PM

as an emergent quality,

true democracy only works if the citizens are informed and intelligent as well as have a certain degree of self honesty...


most of what I see are people trying to convince other people what is right based upon...

pointing out the "bad" parts of another persons view point...

the truth is this, you only get a better country by changing what is wrong, not by excusing it...


this is hard for most people to understand but try:

even an enlightened person, or a great athlete (tiger woods) has to keep practicing and clearing even after they have reached a zenith, peak


it is essential to stay present with the existing situation and face what isn't working and change it


what isn't working with outsourcing is that it removes jobs from American hands when it was American hands that built the companies that are sending the jobs overseas...


if we want to make the world a better place, we have to have some example of that better place and maintain it.

.

.

.

.

Posted by: look, there's ugliness on both sides... | March 27, 2006 02:52 PM

Doodness, have you been drinking?

Posted by: jake | March 27, 2006 02:54 PM

The part of the solution to immigration problem is carpet-bombing of Northern Mexico... Preemptive strike, you know. How the commander-in-chief & co. haven't thought of it yet is beyond me. As for 12 million illegal laborers already in the US?... How about special labor camps? With gas cameras.

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

Oops... Need to have some work done. Nice debate, Emily. Ciao.

Posted by: | March 27, 2006 03:24 PM

you know like "Oh my doodness, I tot I taught a pooty tat."


get it oh blind one, perhaps you need to go out and get some knackwurst eh?

Posted by: no that's tweety bird talk... | March 27, 2006 03:55 PM

The President was quoted by WP today as saying:

"Nobody benefits when the illegal immigrants live in the shadows of society . . ."

___________

Actually, a lot of employers operating in the shadows will be giving up a major part of their bargaining advantage, should presently illegal employees get clearance.

Coercive threats of exposing the illegal won't be leverage anymore. It follows that cheating by withholding pay or overtime will be dampened. Overall negotiating position of the workers will be improved once they are free to compete out in the open. Taxes with W-2s, and FICA contributions, will be expected as the norm.

This could spell the end of so-called cheap workers for the bottom feeders; which would be a form of partial justice for their urging legislators to cover over and perpetuate a broader systemic crime.

Posted by: On the plantation | March 27, 2006 04:18 PM

I can remember back during the time of the first Bush Administration that an employer could get into serious trouble with the IRS if he had hired a so-called "self-employed" worker who then failed to pay Social Security taxes. The employer was often forced to pay the taxes, a fine, and interest. This was done for anyone, illegal alien or not. The IRS already has the enforcement power to do this without any new legislation being passed, but the IRS largely stopped this kind of enforcement during the Clinton administration. This issue is like so many things- it can be handled by laws we already have if Congress will allow the Federal agencies to enforce laws already on the books without backstabbing them when they do so just because some campaign contributor of theirs is inconvenienced.

Posted by: George Robertson | March 27, 2006 04:43 PM

Jaxas, read Sebastian Mallaby's column.

Posted by: johnnyg in NE DC | March 27, 2006 06:50 PM

To those who believe the Democratic Party benefits from this issue, I would point out that a guest worker program will price low income blacks clear out of the labor market. And they know it. There is a growing suspicion that the Democratic Party has decided that blacks are old hat and is pushing them aside in favor of hispanics.

This issue, like free trade, divides both parties along class lines. There is a strong openning for a culturally conservative, economically nationalist William Jennings Bryan ish party on these issues. If one emerges, and it will if an open borders free trader is the Republican nominee, it could become the new majority party.

Posted by: Charles Warren | March 27, 2006 08:06 PM

Ok,
I'm tired of subsidizing big business profits and at the same time literially paying illegal immigrants to lower my pay.
That should be against the law! Because we as tax payers are slowly going bankrupt and at the same time subsidizing those putting us there. This is not fair and this is not free market forces. This is not capitolism based on a level playing ground. Why in the world would anyone pay their competition?

If I had a dime for everytime I've herd these illegals say "We just want to make better for our families" I'd be rich! What are our American families ..... chopped liver? Who doesn't want to make better for our families ...even Americans do you fools!

Our three member family is basicly paying for a four member family when you add up decreased wages and the billions tax payers are footing the bills for. When your property tax went up last year it was probley a direct effect of needing more money to pay for schools and ect due to the illegals. As we know the American population isn't growing at these kind of population booms we are seeing. I can't understand why people can't see this.

Basicly, your probley making 1978 wages again, I made more money when I was 20 years old with 2 years experience than I do now with 23 years experience. I have noticed that some people with 4 year degrees are making much less than 7-8 years ago, It must be the outsourcing too.

Over the last five years I've seen hundreds of polls on TV and online and I have never once seen a poll where at least 60% of the American people do not want these illegals here. YET, The politicians will hawkeye and quote every poll out there that has to do with anything else except illegal immigration. They refuse to acknowledge the American peoples will and they are going to ram it down our throats one way or another, I mean if nothing is done and it continues the way it is now, which is total and complete AMNISTY, what could be better for the illegals ... nothing! So, they pretty much aren't going to like anything that is proposed ... unless it is total Amnisty ...which is what we have now!

The dangers of globalism.
Its all about the special interest (the people with the big bucks), The billion dollars corporations run everything and we the people simpley can't compete as we are being shown with the illegal immigration issue before us FOR THE LAST 7 YEARS!
Just think about it, as another poster said earlier there are 6 billion people in the world. As a big corporation are you going to target the US (300 million) or the rest of the world (5.7 billion)? Where is the money to be made? You go for the bigger market. Which means you might have to sound Anti-American sometimes to get a sale. Which means you might have to be "PC" alot of times. Which means you might even have to side with other governments that you have spent millions or billions getting established in. Because the motto of business is ...we get it done no matter what. We can play nice guy, partner, talk out both sides of or mouths when we have to. You know ... salesmanship. Talk the junk and tow the line to get the sale. Just like GOOGLE. Even though alot of products we buy here are sold in other countries for less money than we pay, they can still make more money because of the shear numbers around the rest of the world. Now what if a big trillion dollar computer company has spent $3 Billion dollars in a country for manufacturing or what have you, then the US has a problem with that country, the problem country goes to the corporation and tells them to make a special spy computer or something or they will seize the $3 Billion dollar asset ... what will they do? Sure, they could just kill everyone and then take the asset but is that going to get them the special spy computer? No.
Or ... maybe the corporation would freely help to get brownie points and more sales to the bad government. As we seen with the oil for food scandle people can be bought and so can corporations. And everything is for sale.

One other really major factor in the illegal immigration issue is .... if we let these illegals become legal then that means they will be able to vote. Who are they going to vote in? Other illegals or mexican flag waving hispanics. Once they are in office then they start changing laws even more in favor of illegals and mexicans .... meaning even more and more
mexicans and hispanics coming here and your cost going up, up, up and your pay going down, down, down. Then suppose one day America gets in a bind or in a truffle with Mexico, who do you think the hispanics will side with? America or Mexico? Just like the Dick chaney Guard spy who was a foriegner and had a greater love of his home country than for America even though he was an American Citizen.

Ok, one more thing, as we have seen this week ... all the protesting done by the illegal immigrants in various cities,
why don't they do that in Mexico? Why are all you hispanics all up in our faces here but you won't do that in Mexico? Why do you run around like you own the place here but act so quiet in Mexico? Is it because in Mexico nobody will listen to your sob story? I'll agree ... Americans need to get a back bone .... put your wallet back there for support and don't pull it out anymore for taxes, schools, anything inflated by illegals. JUST SAY NO DAMIT!

If there is racism against hispanics in America now ... its all because the government has frustrated us and forced us to become hostile because of their unwillingness to do the will of the American People, We are just plain tired of paying 2 and 3 times for everything and at the same time the quality and quantity of what we are using is also going down.
GOD, Please send us a real leader to run this country in the best interest of the MAJORITY of the AMERICAN PEOPLE, not the corporations and politicians.

Chris J

Posted by: Chris J | March 28, 2006 01:07 AM

oh my doodness...how will anyone know it's me.. wrote:

"Is it because you're afraid of your police, druglords, leaders and corrupt system?"

Sounds like you're talking about the US.

LOL!!!

And,

Jake wrote:

"The part of the solution to immigration problem is carpet-bombing of Northern Mexico... Preemptive strike, you know."

Hey, all Bush has to do is claim Mexico has WMDs. Mexico has enough oil to make it worth his while.

Scary.

Posted by: Doh! | March 28, 2006 01:29 AM

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 12:21 PM

The following are three examples following the logic (or lack thereof) of our illegal immigration policies and applying it to other aspects of society.

Wet-Foot/Dry-Foot
If a Cuban refugee tries to come to America via boat and the US Coast Guard stops them while in route, they are sent back to Cuba. Yet if they are able to reach US soil (dry foot), they are allowed to stay in the US and apply for citizenship.

Following that logic, if a car thief is pulled over by the police during his getaway, he is arrested and sent to prison. Yet if the thief is able to make it to the chop shop before getting caught, no charges will be brought against him and he can even qualify for a tax deduction on the car!

Day Laborer Sites
Cities from Los Angeles to Herndon, VA have day laborers flocking to 7 Elevens and Home Depots in search of work, yet often harass women, urinate in public, and become public nuisances. Local officials have used taxpayers' money to build day laborer sites to keep them off the streets and facilitate their employment (even if it is illegal to hire illegal aliens).

Following that logic, if prostitution becomes a problem in Herndon, and ladies of the night flock to every major street corner, will the Mayor and town council build brothels to keep them off the streets?

Amnesty/Guest Worker Programs
The Senate and President are hammering out plans to grant over 12 million illegal aliens amnesty or a more PC term, guest worker program. They do jobs Americans don't want to, big business needs them, and we can't realistically deport all 12 million of them.

Following that logic, if the Senate wants to get tough on the drug problem in America, all known drug dealers already operating in the US will be granted amnesty, and allowed to continue to sell drugs so long as they get a drug dealer ID card. But that's it, we mean it! The next person that tries to sell drugs on our streets will be severely punished!

Mass illegal immigration is clearly the #1 threat to the future of the United States. More than terrorism, national debt, or hurricanes combined. Opposing mass illegal immigration is not being racist or anti-immigrant. Leaders from both parties in the Senate (when not calling each other names) are debating how much amnesty to grant the 12 million illegal aliens in the country. All these proposed bills will not only legalize 12 million people who broke our laws, but incentivize millions more to come here in hopes of a better life. We cannot afford to assume this burden any longer. Mass illegal immigration has cost the US more in the past five years than the Iraq war. The US population will double this century, solely because of mass illegal immigration.

We must demand from Congress: Enforcement first! No amnesty! No guest worker program!

http://stoptheinvasion.blogspot.com/

Posted by: VA Patriot | March 29, 2006 12:22 PM

Answers to VA Patriot's Pop Quiz

"1. In the past decade, which of the following countries have killed more Americans?"

USA

***

"2. Which has cost American taxpayers more over the past 5 years?"

The US government.

***

"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."

This question is incomplete and should include data regarding ROI (Return On Investment). I believe this is money well spent in the long run.

***

"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

Also, it will help prevent grapes selling for $20 per pound. Personally, I'd love to see white people working in the fields, picking grapes, etc... .

***

"5. President Bush and Congress were elected to serve:"

Big Business

Posted by: Answers | March 29, 2006 03:23 PM

Yes, VA Patriot, in Hendon, some Latinos who flock to 7 Elevens in search of work may "harass women, urinate in public, and become public nuisances." Just like in Mexico City some "culturally superior" US citiizens may produce child pornography. Look at it as a trade-off.
P.S. Hendon is a dump, anyway.

Posted by: Rodrigo Katz | March 29, 2006 04:35 PM

Does anybody have a list of the supposed millions of jobs no American citizen will do?

If illegal immigrants are granted legal status, do they also become Americans who won't do jobs Americans won't do? Why or why not?

Are people who enter this country unlawfully immigrants or invaders? How do we draw this distinction?

How do we determine entry eligibility for immigrants? Are applications from persons with criminal backgrounds not usually rejected? Does criminal entry ento this country not constitute a criminal background, and imply exclusion of persons willing to flout our laws by so entering?

How is it that illegal immigrants pay taxes when US government entities have no legal standing to collect taxes from them?

If US governmental entities have no standing to collect taxes from persons submitting monies based on fraudulent documentation, does the acceptance of such monies constitute theft and government corruption?

If employers fraudulently submit monies witheld from illegal workers to nonexistent tax accounts, where do such monies go?

If illegal workers make such a major positive contribution to the US economy, why are they incapable of being prosperous in their home countries? Why is it a better idea to abandon their homes and come to the US than to make their homeland prosperous?

Why are the arguments in favor of unlawful immigration so consistently inconsistent?

Posted by: Ken | March 29, 2006 07:36 PM

"How is it that illegal immigrants pay taxes when US government entities have no legal standing to collect taxes from them?"

No legal standing?.. When it comes to $$$ the government will grab it regardless whether you are illegal or not.

"If employers fraudulently submit monies witheld from illegal workers to nonexistent tax accounts, where do such monies go?"

To the state and Federal government, Ken. Illegals annually pay billions of $$ to social security without ever being able to get anything in return, which should suit U.S. citizens just fine.

You don't get out much, Ken, do you?

Posted by: Hugo | March 30, 2006 10:28 AM

Hugo, are you asserting that all taxation is unlawful, and that there is. therefore, no true obligation for anyone to pay?

Alternately, do you claim that, by criminally crossing the US border illegally, an "immigrant" automatically undertakes the same obligations and status as a citizen, and the implicit assertion that there is nothing unlawful about the act of unlawfully penetrating the US border?

Unless you make something like one of these two assertions, each of which I find insupportable, there is an important distinction between taxing of a legal resident who has voluntarily agreed to undertake the obligations of a US resident, along with that status, and a person who crosses the border unlawfully, without entering into any such agreement.

Contracts are among the most fundamental artifacts of the law. Without free and competent acceptance of an agreement, no agreement exists, and there is no basis for any party to benefit from a nonexistent agreement; therefore, as Ruben Navarro, among others, correctly asserts, any monies collected by the government from an illegal alien are collected through fraud.

The fact that you indulge in ad hominem fallacious attacks on me has no effect on the soundness of my argument, nor on the supporting facts.

If a person enters the US illegally, there is no agreement to pay US taxes, nor to abide by any other of this country's laws, and the government has no legal standing to collect taxes from such a person. In fact, the US government has no true right to take any action with regard to such a person other than to detain and deport.

One of the worst issues this situation creates is that it tempts the government to start making up the law as it goes along, which trends toward abolishing the rule of law altogether.

Posted by: Ken | March 30, 2006 02:46 PM

Hugo wrote:

"To the state and Federal government, Ken. Illegals annually pay billions of $$ to social security without ever being able to get anything in return, which should suit U.S. citizens just fine."

I guess that more than balances out VA Patriot's question/statement -

"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."

*And* the ROI (Return On Investment for money spent on education), factor is still in play, so the US is really coming out ahead on this deal.

Posted by: Well then... | March 30, 2006 02:46 PM

"there is an important distinction between taxing of a legal resident who has voluntarily agreed to undertake the obligations of a US resident, along with that status, and a person who crosses the border unlawfully, without entering into any such agreement."

From the government perspective there's no such distinction. To the IRS it's just a SSN, real or fake. Sure, IRS can figure out that SSN is false, which they do yet grab the money anyway. It's all about bottom line, yoo see.

"In fact, the US government has no true right to take any action with regard to such a person other than to detain and deport."

In theory. They can also keep one in detentation for months or years. It depends.

"as Ruben Navarro, among others, correctly asserts, any monies collected by the government from an illegal alien are collected through fraud."

Call it what you will for this is how it works.


The point is, illegals are good for buiness (big and small), the government and the public, excluding ignorant bigots whose sentiments are exploited by opportunistic politicians to meet their own ends.

"ad hominem fallacious attacks"... Ooops. Won't happen again, sir.

Posted by: Hugo | March 30, 2006 05:02 PM

"One of the worst issues this situation creates is that it tempts the government to start making up the law as it goes along, which trends toward abolishing the rule of law altogether."

The government has enough power to do whatever it thinks suits it best. The only law that matters is the law of power.

Posted by: Hugo | March 30, 2006 05:35 PM

I'm sorry to read what I already knew: that many people in this country, represented in this instance by Hugo, believe that there is no rule of law. I only beg you to consider the deep implications of this belief.

I believe that your perspective may indeed be a valid assessment of the facts at hand; if too many of us abandon belief in the principles on which the American dream is based, then the dream is dead. You're telling me that the history of the United States of America is at its end, and that this cycle of human civilization has begun its closing act.

Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely. I didn't make that up. History records that it was written more than a thousand years ago, and it is remembered to this day because history has proven it true frequently enough that the words are remembered even though the proofs keep being forgotten, generation after generation.

I appreciate that it is anachronistic and foolish to cling to the principles on which civilized societies are built. I understand that very many people, perhaps the vast majority, consider these principles and values the ravings of the hopelessly detached from present-day reality. I accept that you are, in the everyday world, probably right.

I also know that to accept your premise is to abandon all hope. Only if we stand up for these forlorn and unpopular ideas will there be civilization for another generation. When the end, any end, justifies whatever means power chooses to apply, then power is capricious, arbitrary, and, as you say, the only thing that matters. The only possible outcomes that proceed from what you say are despair, destruction, and the death of all hope.

I may be mad to do so, but I will cling to the dream of a civilized society to my dying breath. I will stand, I will speak, when the need is great I will fight, though I abhor battle.

I will do these things because, for me, this is the only possible way to live. I will do these things to sustain at least a dim flicker of hope for a better day. I will do these things so that, if I or the dream in my heart should somehow survive the end of this civilization, I can still hope that there will be a day when these great dreams might again come true.

I see the storm breaking, as you do. I know there will be no shelter, no enclave, no safety in the times that have now begun. Fool though I am, I will stand for what once was great, for what once was admired, for what once made my people, to some degree, a worthy example to others.

When a man dies, life goes on, little altered. When a dream dies, nothing can ever be the same. Consider well what you stand for, because in the end, that is what you will die for, and in your last moment, you will be either satisfied or sorrowful to know to what you gave your life.

Posted by: Ken | March 30, 2006 08:45 PM

I'm getting misty.

Hold me.

Posted by: Moved...NOT! | March 31, 2006 08:49 PM

The price of gas will always high as long as the oil companies keep the 179 oil refineries in mothballs. Saudi Arabia's been telling our goverment that no matter how much crude you get if you can't refine it you'll always have a shortage and high prices. Guess what the oil companies are doing?

Posted by: Ralph Dietlin | April 4, 2006 12:10 AM

I for one have seen and heard enough. Since when does Vicente Fox have the right to come to OUR country and speak to any of our lawmakers telling US what to do? I believe it is time for people to stop airing out in the blogs and start taking to the streets. Here in America thanks to our founding fathers and all of our brothers and sisters in the armed services we have the right to decent and we also have the right to protest. It's funny that to this point the majority of people I see taking full advantage of these rights are the illegal aliens! When are the citizens in this country going to get busy? Get out of the chairs and out from behind the computers stop being armchair activists and start protesting! I am currently working on an anti-immigration rally/protest that is planned in my city scheduled for June 10th. It's not the immigrants that come here legally and honestly that these rallies are against it's the millions of illegal aliens that have come here that need to be told finally by the American people to go back home, you've worn out your welcome! We need to plan rallies in every city on the map on the same day and let our congressmen and women understand that they are not speaking for the voters that put them in place! Many of the politicians in this country (be it democratic, republican, knee jerk and hard liners) are simply afraid of the negative backlash and being labeled as racists if they take too strong a stance for sending these plunderers back home. It is offensive and appalling that these lawbreakers are calling these rallies immigration rights rallies. Once again let me reiterate that I have no issue with immigrants that want to come here and accept our ways and love this country as much as we do. I welcome these people with open arms but these are not immigrants that we are talking about, they are illegal aliens that have come into our country and blatantly broken our laws and expect the people of the United States to swallow this!
It is my hopes and dreams that people will get angry enough and hold a nationwide protest from sea to shining sea on the same day and quadruple the number of people that showed up for the illegal's rights! We don't want to harm our American businesses because we know what has made this country what it is! Hard work and blood sweat and tears. Americans are industrious, hard working people. People of this beautiful country better wake up and smell the coffee. This country is under siege and in grave danger of being taken over by another country!
I hope and pray that my fellow countrymen come out and show our lawmakers that no matter what they may be considering regarding amending our laws to convenience these pillagers and realize that the majority of the people in this country adamantly disagree with what they are about to do. This country is OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE! THE LEGAL PEOPLE!
Saturday June 10th come out and show our American pride and let's finally show everyone our tenacity and dogged determination that we will not give up our country so easily!

Posted by: Tracih | May 25, 2006 05:17 PM

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