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View Diary: The Progressive Answer to Illegal Immigration: DEVELOP MEXICO - Update: Begin w/90 "micro-regions"! (245 comments)

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  •  There is a win-win here, though... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serrano

    Illegal immigrants use services that they can't pay for (not that they wouldn't if they could), draining tax dollars that could be spent on American citizens.

    Illegal immigrants also want to be able to move freely, like all other human beings; because they are here now does not mean they do not want to return to what they perceive to be their home.

    What could be better than finding a way to encourage illegal immigrants to pay for services while they are here -- possibly even helping with national debt and Social Security -- while allowing them to go home as desired with any savings they accrue?

    As I see it, the real problem for Americans is expenditures on solutions that don't work; the monies you'd like to see spent on healthcare are going to be spent on a wall that will not solve the underlying problem. The Berlin Wall, the Great Wall, pick any other massive wall and watch how people still got around it; we'd still have illegal immigrants getting in and using services.  One of the problems we have is a screwed up process for handling these immigrants; an overwhelming number want to be legal, but the system is backed up, only processing applications from 2001 even now.  Why aren't we spending a more effective amount of money on processing?

    And why aren't we demanding that businesses toe the line and hire legals only, so that income taxes are not siphoned off in the form of profit margins?

    We could use flexible amounts of labor as situations dictate; frankly, Katrina could have been a wonderful opportunity to bring in folks to work on rebuilding the Gulf and get residents lives' back in order fast, but we don't have the kind of selfless, intelligent leaders we need to see win-win scenarios.  In their minds only one group should win and it's not you, me or immigrants legal or otherwise.

    •  Because They're 'Illegal', (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rayne, wa ma

      it was just reported this week that Latinos were not only grossly underpaid in NOLA, but also were afforded no health or safety protections, like masks!!!

      •  The work Americans won't do (1+ / 0-)
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        MamasGun

        That's the perfect example that counters the Repugs' nasty slam about the necessity of "illegal" immigrants to "do the work Americans won't do".

        Americans refuse to be paid less money than it takes to actually get to the job site and home with both arms and legs intact.  Only people who are being held hostage by economic and political circumstances will be willing to risk life and limb to do dangerous scut work.

        Why we could not work out rapid flexible scale up of a safely deployed legal immigrant workforce when our own workforce can't respond quickly enough is beyond me.  It would have been a win-win all around.

    •  Sincere question (0+ / 0-)

      What direct services other than healthcare are illegal immigrants using and not paying for?

      •  Not that this is a bad thing (0+ / 0-)

        Lots of parents bring their kids with them, then their kids go to school here.

        Better than sitting around at home.

        Also, I don't think that they keep real accurate membership statistics but at least a few guys in the Mara Salvatrucha did not wait around until their papers came through before they came here.

      •  Think infrastructure (0+ / 0-)

        If they are using any public transit, roads, water and sewer, public safety, then they are consumers of services.  They don't consume as much as the average citizen does, but then they also don't earn as much.  Any taxes leveraged on their income should be proportional.

        •  And they pay (0+ / 0-)

          sales tax, gas tax, property tax, etc. Many pay SS and payroll taxes through fake IDs.

        •  Thanks for the reply...another sincere question (0+ / 0-)

          Also wondering, don't most lower income workers pay little to no income tax, even if they're not here illegally?

          •  Yes and no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wa ma

            If they file a return they may get all their federal income tax back if they earn below a certain amount.

            But if any money was withheld, who got the benefit of the interest on the monies withheld until these monies were returned?

            It's a form of income tax, just not large -- but aggregated, it's substantial.

            And I won't even go into the issue of state or local income taxes, where low income folks may not get off lightly.

            The other hidden issue that noone discusses is the beneficiaries of the low cost labor; let's pick the millionaire living in the walled gardens of his development in Florida, for instance.  He has more than enough $$ to afford good help, but he'll weasel out by paying condo fees along with the rest of his fellow development members.  The condo development manager weasels out lower costs to maintain the properties paying cash or using contractors that hire illegals; the condo management pockets a nice profit, the condo members can spend the monies they didn't spend on maintenance on their luxury golf membership (some places have annual fees of $25K a year or much more).

            Cry me a river; what are these people NOT paying for?  It's right there.

            •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

              An illegal immigrant is not likely to file an income tax return so wouldn't they potentially be paying more taxes toward infrastructure than a non-illegal immigrant in the same job.

              •  Fake SSN's and no returns (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wa ma

                Yup.  You've got that right.  Even legal immigrants at the low end of the spectrum get screwed, though.

                And the analogy of the walled garden resident?  Absolutely true; unfortunately know more than my share of these folks.

                Can you imagine owning a condo worth 6+ million, with contents valued at more than 3x that amount, and turning a blind-eye on illegal immigrants cutting the grass?  And this isn't but one of 6 residences this walled garden resident owns.  Ugh.  Utterly immoral.

        •  In terms of paying for these types (0+ / 0-)

          of infrastructure, it doesn't seem to me that they're "not paying" in a way that is different than myself.  When I ride a bus the driver doesn't let me on unless I pay the fare.  I'm assuming he wouldn't let an illegal immigrant on the bus unless he or she also paid.  I don't pay a direct fee to drive on the roads, unless they are a toll road and then I pay the toll just like I'm guessing an illegal immigrant does.  We have a well and a septic tank, but before we lived here, a water and sewer bill arrived every month in the mail.  I'm sure illegal immigrants pay that bill directly or through rent.  As far as public safety is concerned, I don't have to cut a check to the cops or firefighters when they show up at my door, illegal immigrants don't either.
          I know you weren't attacking illegal immigrants, so I hope it doesn't seem like I'm attacking back.  It's just I get frustrated that it seems we buy into this idea that illegal immigrants are such a drain on government and the economy.  I realize that the abundance of cheap labor has played a role in driving down wages, but the illegal immigrants themselves aren't running the system that's allowed that to happen.  I just get annoyed that the illegal immigrants have become so demonized and scapegoated (not saying you were doing that) as the cause of all our economic and social ills and we on the left don't do enough to say that is wrong.

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