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Hateful anti-immigrant crusader Tom Tancredo is exploring a presidential bid.
With the desert heat still stifling well after dark, an air conditioner whisks an arctic breeze through the cavernous convention center. On stage, the keynote speaker addresses a Memorial Day gathering of activists called Unite to Fight Against Illegal Immigration, his voice rising and falling as he fires up the crowd.

He warns darkly of the "Balkanization" of the United States from mass immigration and the dire threat of the "cult of multiculturalism." But the tide is turning, he tells his audience, and they are on the winning side.

From the dim amphitheater, someone yells out, "Tancredo for president!" Several fans wait just offstage to nab an autograph or snap a picture.

Congress' most vociferous critic of current immigration policy, Colorado's Tom Tancredo, is in an ebullient mood, and there isn't much these days that can spoil it.

No longer quite a pariah, he's still held at arm's length by many in the Republican Party. He has never had a major piece of legislation dealing with immigration passed - nor does he ever expect to.

But his laserlike focus on a single issue - and a roiling anger around the issue among the conservative rank and file - also has earned him a national profile virtually unrivaled among Colorado's congressional delegation [...]

With most analysts betting that immigration will play a major role in the 2008 presidential election, the Littleton lawmaker and his staff are ramping up to ride the wave.

Immigration WILL be a big issue in the coming years. And there's a way to approach the issue that doesn't include frothing at the mouth. Those undocumented workers are horribly abused in this country -- they are corporate America's source of cheap, exploitable labor. And that's not even considering their harrowing border crossings.

And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes), that perception must be dealt with lest Democrats be on the losing end of yet another issue. Given the pressures workers face from outsourcing, downsizing, and the Wal-Martization of the economy (low-paying, no-benefit jobs), it's far too easy to demonize undocumented workers as the source of those troubles. And the GOP won't hesitate to do so.

Illegal immigration isn't something to cheer. But we can't ignore it, and we can't cede the issue to hate-mongers like Tancredo.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 10:26 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Dems (4.00)
    should go after the companies that hire Illegal Immigrants, the Walmarts, etc.  (The same companies who donate a bunch of cash into the GOP campaign coffers)

    Then lets see tough the GOP rhetoric is after that.

    Damn it feels good to be a Gangsta

    by EMKennedyLucio on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 10:30:02 PM PDT

    •  My take (3.40)
      is that border control and documentation of immigrants needs to be significantly tightened, for a number of reasons including security.

      There are those who say that we depend upon illegal immigration to fill jobs that many Americans won't do. There are others who say that illegal immigration enables companies to pay unacceptably low wages.

      In either case, if more immigration than is currently permitted is necessary (and it is!), then it should be done by raising the legal immigration quotas, not by accepting and defending the status quo.

      •  More whining from the Immigration Studies crowd (3.00)
        I am so sick and tired of the Immigration Studies crowd periodically trotting out their political fetishes and forcing the entire Democratic Party to bend to their extremist wishes.  Look, we are not a single-issue party.  There are many good anti-immigrant Democrats that could be elected if only we could shut down the pro-immigrant wack jobs that are trying to take over the party
        •  Please - (3.44)
          It's hard enough being a pro border-control liberal without being labled "anti-immigrantion".  I am very much PRO immigration.  I am also extremely ANTI-Illegal immigration.  I sympathize with what they (the illegals) are trying to do.  I understand why they do what they do.  I also know that the penalties for hiring them are nothing more than wrist-slaps - operating expenses, if you will.  That being said...they are still breaking the law.  Apologists for them cry about their hardships, about how dangerous breaking the law and sneaking through the desert to get here is, about how (sob!) they're so...so..(sniff)abused  by those who illegally employ them.  "Oh, theyre just doing jobs Americans won't take....", say their enablers.  Well, offer $16 to $20 bucks an hour to pick strawberries and I bet you find that there are plenty of Americans willing to do the job.  We just won't do it for the pittance that illegal employers pay their illegal workforce.  That is the effect of ILLEGAL immigration.  And anyone who thinks that illegal immigration doesn't depress wages should take a good hard look at the meat packing industry.  It used to be decent blue-collar work.  So many illegals came in willing to work for almost nothing that it no longer pays enough to support a family.  
          To put it simply, I like people from other countries, including Mexican people.  I like learning about other cultures.  I respect the bravery that moving to a completely different society must take.  But I have NO respect for law-breakers, liars, and cheats who think they have a right to shove ahead of those who are following the rules, who deal with the paperwork, and who honestly want to be a part of American society.  That takes patience, respect for the law and a willingness to assimilate.  THOSE are the kind of people we want to welcome with open arms, no matter what their country of origin. Yes, even the ones from Mexico.

          It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

          by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:01:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the big question- and answers (3.00)
            This is not a matter of being racist, or anti immigrant, as many would like to lie and frame it. This comes down to one simple question- why can't those who want to move to America go through the proper channels to get immigration papers?

            If future Americans went through immigration and had their papers, they would be far less likely to be exploited and abused. Simply put, you fly by night, you get what happens in the night.
            I lived in LA and had a woman who helped me take care of my house, frome Central America. She had her papers, and talked to me about how she felt like an American, because she had entered this country legally, and had no reason to hide or feel shame.
            So, before this so called anti -immigration arguement proceeds one step further, answer that question? Why can't those who want to become Americans start off on the right foot by entering this country legally?

            •  They don't want to bother with legal channels (3.66)
              Because they are not true immigrants. They do not wish to become part of our society, such as it is. They come for one purpose only, to make some money to send or take home. It is a very different sort of immigration we are experiencing now before. It strains local economies which are hard-hit enough by federal policies.

              I am a liberal democrat against illegal immigration, and not ashamed to say so. I am against any policy that has as its purpose "cheap labor." Cheap labor is bad for everyone. A race to the bottom. When people are not paid enough for a day's work to live decently, that does not benefit our society as a whole, it only benefits the already-wealthy business owners.

              •  language (2.66)
                Bingo.

                Lack of integration can also fuel prejudice and hatred - since there is an absence of participation and communication.

                •  yabut-- (3.50)
                  This has always been a problem.  

                  It's why Italians and eastern Europeans got such crap (suddenly elevating the immigrant status of the Irish, etc.)-- they moved into their own neighborhoods, kept their languages, cooked their own foods, and sent money home to their families.

                  Shampoo, rinse, repeat.  Who is on the bottom is what changes.   We have always been cruel to immigrants.  Now there are fewer ways to get here legally and times are crappy so it's in the forefront again.

                  •  personal (none)
                    Well to answer that I can only give the immigrant experience of my family.

                    My great grandfather was a legal immigrant from Italy (went through Ellis Island).  He lived on a block in Brooklyn that had many european nationalities.  He had to learn english to get a good job, although spoke italian in the home.  My family bought into being American, language, culture and all.  Not to say that we gave up having pasta for christmas or other traditions.  

                    Maybe that's not the average looking at the big picture, but I think that's a good standard to hold those who come into any country.

                    And the benefit of having immigrants that buy into the society at large is that it reduces the "excuse" to persecute the Other.

                    •  may be so-- (none)
                      And I'm sure your family saw it that way.  I'm sure that there were also planty of Anglo Americans who complained about how that neighbohood smelled (crazy food!) and sounded (all those languages!  and that music!).

                      What I take issue in, though, is what you say here: And the benefit of having immigrants that buy into the society at large is that it reduces the "excuse" to persecute the Other.

                      Asking people to conform so that they won't be persecuted is kind of sick.  Here's an example: If those gays would start acting straight, they wouldn't harassed so much.

              •  what's so bad (none)
                with cheap labor?

                restrictions on the free flow of labor inhibit free trade and, let's face it, these people are coming to the United States for the simple fact their economy isn't producing the goods. Borders, legality, and rags on a pole mean relatively little to people fleeing poverty and desperation. Make them all legal, allow anyone in, make becoming legal cheap and easy, enforce US labor laws.

                Build a wall, they'll still find a way to get here. You might as well command the sea to go out, that's how effective restricting illegal immigration is and will continue to be.

                Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                by Benito on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:48:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Cheap labor (4.00)
                  Allowing the free movement of labor is one thing, but right now we're using it as a bludgeon against lower income Americans.

                  It's certainly true that no American wants to mow Orange County lawns for $3 an hour and no benefits. It doesn't follow that, if we had enforcement of labor standards for everyone in this country, that no Americans would be willing to mow lawns for a living wage.

                  That, fundamentally, is the problem with illegal immigration, and the huge, black-market, easily exploitable labor market it creates.

                  •  Just an aside -- and maybe (none)
                    not pertinent -- but the fine Mexican workers here who work on lawns make more than $3 an hour -- I have paid $30 an hour for two workers -- they did good work - I had the money - win-win.  but what happens when they are undercut by those who may work for $3 an hour?  

                    Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                    by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:13:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Two points (none)
                      One, the current system is so geared towards exploitation that it's almost like it was designed in. You can't blame the immigrants who are just trying to make a living. The responsibility to end a current system that is cruel and inhumane has to be ours. That's true even if the other side can use rhetoric about how it's better to work for $3 an hour here than to work for $2 an hour back home.

                      Two, that's what laws are for: to prevent unscrupulous employers from undercutting responsible employers to that extent. That's why we need to provide a minimum living wage to everyone who works in this country, immigrant or not.

                      •  But we're not talking about corporation (4.00)
                        employers here -- we're talking about homeowners -- many of them older women like myself who need help with gardening.  If one offers services at a much cheaper rate -- wouldn't it be likely that many of these people would choose these workers.  I know this company and I trust them - so it's to my benefit to use them less but pay the higher price.

                        As to your other points -- yes, of course, I agree.

                        Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                        by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:00:24 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  That's true, (none)
                          but it's not individual home-owners who are driving this phenemenon. It was probably a bad idea to pick mowing lawns as my example, because the same trend is going on in construction, and farming, and software development, and nursing, and well, almost any field you can imagine.

                          No one is suggesting that people need to pay the neighborhood kid a "living wage" to shovel your snow in the winter, but when it comes to temp agencies and such, we definitely need to draw the line between legitimate competition on wages and exploitation.

                          Where to draw that line is a matter of debate, of course, but I think almost all of us agree that it needs to be drawn much higher than it is right now.

                          •  Yes of course -- (none)
                            but this company is run by two Mexican brothers who have been here for about 10 years - and I'd rather give them my business than individuals undercutting them.  They are a success story -- so no "mowing lawns" (though they are really talented landscapers) is not a good example.  

                            As far as minimum wage -- this transcends the immigration issue -- But as I said earlier - we need to look at the IMF and World Bank as well.

                            Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                            by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:21:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We don't disagree. (none)
                            I don't think we're disagreeing on anything at this point. Certainly, the company you're using is paying its workers a fair and honorable wage. That's how the system is supposed to work.

                            If another business wants to undercut their wages instead of competing on quality, that's their right, but there is a minimum below which that undercutting becomes illegal. My only point is that minimum can't be one thing for immigrants, another for illegal immigrants, and yet another for Americans. A fair labor market requires that everyone play by the same rules, or otherwise it becomes a race to the bottom.  I want that minimum set at the American level, not at the (current default) illegal immigrant level.

                          •  Amen (none)

                            Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                            by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:54:38 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Then those homeowners (none)
                          and you are breaking the law. Hire a neighborhood kid.  
                      •  yes we can (2.00)
                        blame the ILLEGAL immigrant who is just trying to make a living.  If they came legally they would be covered by our labor laws and the "cruel and inhuman" system of labor exploitation would collapse.  By coming here, they negate the very laws you cite.  It's not like there isn't a legal avenue for them to come here.  As a matter of fact, there're several ways.  But noooooo! These illegals, they choose to cut corners.  They choose to cheat against those seeking legal status. And they choose to use and benefit from an illegal enterprise.
                        It works both ways...if unscrupulous employers didn't hire the illegals, they wouldn't come.  If they didn't come, there wouldn't be any black-market labor for the abusive employer to exploit.  
                        I can blame the illegal immigrant for not coming here the right way, the legal way.  At the same time I can also blame those who incite the desperate and poor into disregarding the law for a few bucks of profit.
                        But the bottom line is, they came here knowing it was illegal and they were breaking the law. They also knew that they would continue breaking laws in regard to employment, identification, and public safety.
                        At what point do you think our laws should be disregarded?

                        It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                        by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:23:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Private and public morality. (4.00)
                          "The law forbids rich and poor alike from begging for food and sleeping under bridges."

                          I can't honesty criticize, from the confines of a comfortable office, the guy who crosses a desert with nothing but the clothes on his back in order to provide for his family.

                          I'm also not convinced that the combination of a broken immigration system and a complete lack of enforcement isn't designed to encourage illegal immigration.

                          As a matter of private morality, of course the illegals deserve the blame for breaking the law. How much you blame them will depend on where you draw the line between obedience to the law and the right to exist, and the right to exist in comfort, and many other factors. But as a matter of public policy, the blame rests entirely on the employers who exploit and encourage that law-breaking.

                          •  I disagree (none)
                            with you on that.  I think that each group, the illegal immigrant as well as the illegal employer, is equally culpable.  It's immaterial whether the transgression is matter of personal morality or public policy.  Wrong is wrong.

                            Be that as it may, the highest percentage of illegal aliens come from democratic countries.  Why aren't they holding their own elected leaders responsible for their inability to feed themselves or their families?  Where does their own governments responsibility begin and end? And why does it seem as if these offending governments are being rewarded with free-trade agreements?  

                            It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                            by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:05:24 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree that wrong is wrong. (4.00)
                            But there are different degrees of wrong, and more importantly, culpability doesn't translate into policy. Policy has to be about what is effective, as well as about what is right. Punishing illegal immigrants is not going to be any more effective than going after drug users instead of dealers.

                            Your other point is absolutely correct, though.

                            The world cannot continue indefinitely to be half poor and half rich. And the only long-term solution to potentially destabilizing mass immigration is to have responisble government in the Third World that works for the poor in those countries. We need to raise the Third World up to our level, not use "the free market" to equalize everything at a level that will be much lower than what we have now.

                          •  now (none)
                            that we agree on.  :^)

                            It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                            by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:24:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Legal immigration is not generally possible (none)
                          If they came legally they would be covered by our labor laws and the "cruel and inhuman" system of labor exploitation would collapse.

                          Why do all of you who are completely ignorant of the subject keep making idiotic remarks like this?  Why don't you try to sponsor someone who wants to immigrate here and get some real world experience in this subject, then come back.  Otherwise, you look like a fool making completely unrealistic statements like this.  What kind of an idiot do you think illegal immigrants are that they are willing to risk death by walking barefoot through the desert or being stuck in a truck with 50 other people and no ventilation when according to assholes like you, all they have to do is fill out a form and next week they'll be a citizen and can now take care of their families.  Seriously, you are completely out of touch with reality on this issue.

                          •  Where (none)
                            did you see me say it was easy to immigrate legally?  Where did you see me opine that migrating illegally wasn't dangerous?  You read what you want to read Boz and insulting me isn't gonna change the fact that they are BREAKING THE LAW!!!
                            Just because they're willing to go through all the dangers of illegal immigration doesn't mean that what they're doing is right.  If I wanted to make a bunch of money fast I could stand out on the street and sell crack.  It'd be dangerous.  It'd be illegal.  But according to your criteria, that would just mean that those anti-drug crusaders are out of touch, and just don't understand how desperately I need the money.  But, no.  Like the naturalized Americans living all over the country who went through the years-long pain in the ass that is legal immigration, I respect the law.  Even when I disagree with it.  
                            So shut yer pie-hole and try not to look like any bigger fool than you already do.

                            It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                            by eunichorn on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 03:42:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                  •  The question is (none)
                    who gets our sympathy? The guy working for, say, $15 an hour or the unemployed guy willing to do it for $10 or $5?

                    Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

                    by Benito on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:23:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  My answer is (3.50)
                      No one should have to (or be allowed to) work for $5 an hour. Every employer in our country should be required to play by the rules, and pay their employees at least the minimum wage. That's be true whether the employees are immigrants or Americans.

                      We need to remain open and welcoming to those who come here from around the world; we need to fulfil our mission as a city on a hill. But we also can't support a race to the bottom in which a source of cheap, exploitable labor is used to cut the bottom out from underneath our economy and social safety net.

                    •  Sympathy? I look for (none)
                      competence and trustworthiness.  When I was younger, my young cousins did lots of work around the neighborhood and made good bucks.  That seems to be a thing of the past.  But I need to trust the people working around my house -- that's paramount.  I'll pay for that.  

                      Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                      by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:03:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  That's crap! (3.66)
                We severely limit the number of Mexicans and Central Americans who can come here legally.  If you are a poor mexican, you will wait years and years to get papers to come here legally, if ever.  We should increase that number, and we would see much more legal immigration.
              •  Legal vs illegal (4.00)
                Other posters make this point, umm.. more forcefully, but the answer is that legal immigration is not easy. Take the example of, say, an average Indian who "immigrates" (the quotes because we are talking about both people who come as a "temporary alien worker" and those who become a "resident alien") to the US - this may come as a surprise to some of you, but the work visa (H1-B) is granted to the employer and not the employee. These days, for obious reasons (economy, security etc) most employers are unwilling to go through the trouble of processing an H1-B for someone sitting in India. Even if they do, the application has to show that this worker has the right credentials - e.g., a Master's degree, a Ph. D., whatever. So, please be aware that the average Indian immigrant you see does *not* represent an average Indian. If the Indian border were close to the US, I bet things will be different. So, let us be careful here. Kos, as usual, makes a very perceptive post. This is a dicey issue and we should not allow ourselves to be framed by the opposition.
                •  The Right Credentials (none)
                  Thought I would pass this along.

                  Even if they do, the application has to show that this worker has the right credentials - e.g., a Master's degree, a Ph. D., whatever

                  From the USCIS H-1B Frequently Asked Questions

                  A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.

                  There is no definition for the term equivalent.

                  If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:01:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  More Of The Right Credentials (none)
                  From Rep. Lamar Smith in July 10, 2000 Roll Call.

                  Temporary high-tech visas account for 100,000 foreign workers each year. Legal immigration averages close to 1 million entrants annually. One-third - about three times as many people as are admitted on high-tech visas - lack even a high school diploma. Yet 90 percent of all future jobs will require more than a high school education.

                  I need to add here that I have yet to find any hard numbers to back Smith's claim here. There is the anecdotal evidence from the various H1B sites, but I discount much of that, 'cause there is no evidence as to whether the person got in or not.

                  If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:07:07 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Knock it off folks (4.00)
                Please review the ratings system! Azureblue, cuttlefish and a few others are being being pummeled in the ratings because they are arguing a view some disagree with. Ratings on Kos is about the "quality" of how an argument is presented, not whether you agree with it or not. If you disagree with these  Kossites, reply to them and say so - don't give them a low rating just because you don't like their position. The same crap happened during the Pie Fights and it stinks.
                •  Also works in reverse (none)
                  I've been in discussions with people who make very elementary points in a rash manner but they get some wonderful ratings. I can only guess that someone happened to AGREE with their point of view.

                  I fear the urge to reward opinions that match one's own is too great for human beings on this blog to resist...

                  The positive ratings for agreement don't matter me as much as the negative ones for disagreement though, so I agree with you on this.

                  I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                  by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:04:00 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What quality is there in that? (none)
                  Seriously, the type of comments that you are protecting have no quality whatsoever.  The length of their post is no indication of quality.  They obviously know absolutely nothing about the topic, so they are just wasting database space, our time spent reading them, and the anger we would get composing a response.

                  If it would help, let me put it to you in another way.  If we handled child sexual abuse in the same way, it would be like those people are saying, "Well, if they don't want to be abused, then they should, simply go find some parents who will not rape them.  They shouldn't waste our tax money on taking the cases to court or flooding our adoption system.  There are plenty of non-raped kids who need homes and we should help them out because they don't have the extra emotional baggage that adopting parents shouldn't have to deal with."

                  If you are so "open-minded" that you view idiocy as being worthy in any way, then I'll have to remember to ask you for "4" ratings whenever I say stupid things.

            •  Ignorant (1.64)
              This comes down to one simple question- why can't those who want to move to America go through the proper channels to get immigration papers?

              It is obvious that you know as much about immigration as you are a successful alchemist.  They don't come here legally because IT'S FUCKING IMPOSSIBLE FOR THEM TO COME HERE LEGALLY.  If you don't even understand the beginning of the problem, why the fuck are you on a thread about this?  Go do some research, talk to immigrants, especially illegals, then come back and talk to us.

              •  Nasty (2.50)
                rude, specious, and uncalled for.

                Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:52:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, absolutely (3.50)
                  warranted and accurate, and an excellent, passionate response to some ignorant, idiotic tripe.

                  Having personally dealt with incredibly annoying, nearly impossible, expensive, time-consuming and enraging legal immigration issues (my wife is a green card holder) that took years, multiple visits and interviews and tax documents from myself and my parents (because my current job is not a US-based job)...

                  Let me tell you that the comment that provoked the above response was completely moronic.

                  The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

                  by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:42:08 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Wrong (none)
                  In your ivory tower, I doubt you've ever had to deal with the U.S. immigration system.  It is a frustrating, cruel, and unfair system that is based on xenophobia, oppression, destroying families, and sometimes lives.  A completely idiotic statement like, "Why don't they just come here legally?" is a slap in the face to all those who have tried to come here legally, who have tried to push for reform for the immigration system, and especially a slap in the face to those who have lost their lives or suffered as a result of how bad our immigration system is.

                  So no, it was not uncalled for.  People like you who know absolutely nothing about the topic are uncalled for.

              •  If this is the tone Liberals espouse (none)
                during the elections -- I'd say we will probably lose.

                Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:17:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I don't care as much about elections (none)
                  as I care about doing what is right and just.  Sometimes doing the right thing angers a lot of people, but I am accountable to myself and my morality than I am to helping get wishy washy people like John Kerry elected.
                  •  Well, I want to get (none)
                    these guys out.  And John kerry may not have turned out to be a wishy-washy president.  We don't know that, do we?  I'd say if we don't win - we'll be in even worse trouble than we are now -- And that's mighty big trouble!

                    Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                    by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:00:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I agree with you somewhat (none)
                      I agree with you wholeheartedly with getting rid of the neocons running our country right now.  I also think that John Kerry would have turned out to be a much better president in four months than Bush was in his first four years.

                      However, what I do not want to do is concede some of the things I believe in or swear allegiance to a political party that does not have my best interests at heart.  The Democrats are better than the Republicans, but unless Dean and others will be able to reform the party, they will never truly represent me.  Sure, I am abrasive and make people angry, but I feel that I actually know what I'm talking about on the subjects that I am most passionate about and I also feel that I am correct.  On the topic of immigration, my personal experience has dictated much of my opinion, however my research in economics has affected my views as well.  I have a personal stake in the immigration debate, so I will debate it vigorously.  Unfortunately, both the Republicans and the Democrats are anti-immigrant, even if both claim the opposite.  Nobody represents me or the others that share my views on this topic, so all that I can do is be frustrated and occasionally tell people why I am frustrated.  It's pretty difficult to stand in opposition to the media, our culture, and both political parties on this subject.

                      •  The Brettan Woods institutions (none)
                        have much to do with the poverty in Mexico and South America.  Not in and of themselves but how they have handled loan/trade situations.  If you study economics, you've read Joseph Stiglitz whom you may think mild but the reforms he writes about are necessary. These people would not leave their countries if they had a chance at a better life there -- and the maquiladoras are a disgrace  -- as are the free zones in the Caribbean.    

                        Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

                        by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:13:21 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  Going down the thread troll rating everyone with (3.80)
                whom you disagree is not the way things are supposed to work around here boz

                Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

                by LionelEHutz on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:46:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So True, Even If Sad (4.00)
                  I'm smarting from my first "1".  TheBoz gave it to me.

                  It's not so much being troll-rated that bothers me.  It's not getting a reasonable explanation that irks me.

                  I attribute it to the product of a closed mind.  It helps me deal with it.  :/

                  •  get over it (none)
                    and the sooner the better.

                    Here's what you gotta do:

                    Always expect the possibility to get troll-rated on Daily Kos for anything you say -- ANYTHING!

                    Even if it's the most eloquent, intelligent, ground-breaking thesis you've ever written.

                    Why? Because you can please some of the people some of the time...

                    you know the rest.

                    Lower your expectations on how other human beings should respond/behave and you will live a much happier life!  I've only recently been learning this philosophy myself and it is doing wonders for my blood pressure =)

                    I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                    by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:50:51 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Which comment? (none)
                    I troll-rated everything that was either 1) racist, 2) xenophobic, 3) insulting, and possibly for a few other reasons.  If it was something reasonable but I disagreed with, I rated it a 2.  If it was ok, I rated it a 3, and if it was good I rated it a 4.
                    •  If you are rating something... (none)
                      ...a 2 because it is reasonable but you disagree with it, you are engaging, IMO, in rating abuse. A 2 is for comments that don't add much to the conversation. A reasonable post that you happen to disagree with is adding to the conversation, and you should debate it if you feel the need, not downrate it.
                •  They probably shouldn't be here (none)
                  Hating poor people isn't exactly a "liberal" trait.  I disagree with neonazis, and if one posted a 6,000 word story complete with scientific sources about how the genocide in Darfur is beneficial to the U.S., I'd trollrate them too.  It's not a difference of opinion when the other person is so wrong that they are offensive and a slap in the face to people who have suffered.
            •  Not that familiar with US immigration? (3.50)
              The legal channels that exist for people without higher education are quite limited.

              What so many Americans miss is that if immigration laws were the same as they are now  when our parents and grandparents came here, many of us wouldn't be here.  Many of the channels simply don't exist.

              •  when my (3.66)
                great grandparents came here the country was completely different.  For one thing, there's a lot less open space now.  We now school all children at taxpayer expense.  We ensure emergency medical care is available, at taxpayer expense.  We have zoning laws, labor laws, identity cards (drivers liscense & social security).  Societies change and laws change.  Using examples from the 19th century to illustrate the difficulties of 21st century immigrants is completely disingenuous.  I suppose I could as easily say that if yesterdays Europe had todays laws and rights, my kinfolk probably wouldn't have wanted to immigrate.  

                It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:42:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Again-- (none)
                  Do some reading on immigration laws.  You'll be surprised.

                  My dad came her in 1954.  20th century.  Under regulations that don't exist anymore.

                  Open space?  Have you been to much of the middle of the country?  We're not done growing yet.

                  What do zoning laws and labor laws have to do with this?  

                  The question is, are we willing to accept more law-abiding, tax-paying citizens?  Your answer is no.  Mine is yes.

                  •  you mistake me, sir. (none)
                    Yes, I would like to see us accept more law-abiding, tax-paying citizens.  ILLEGAL immigrants are not such people.  Legal immigrants are and I don't see anyone in this thread arguing that LEGAL immigration should be stifled.  I dare say that most of us who are pro-border control would even support plans to increase the number of available visas.  Your attempt to make me appear anti-immigration is transparent and uncalled for.

                    As for zoning and labor laws...these were just illustrations of the changes that have come about since my grandparents migrated around abouts 1890.  19th century.  

                    The needs of society have changed.  In the 19th century (when my family immigrated here) there were NO labor laws for illegal immigrants to break.  
                    You were allowed to build anything pretty much anywhere you wanted, as long as you owned the land.  You try that now and they'll fine you within an inch of your life and perhaps even lock you up in the pokey.  So even land use laws (zoning) have changed.  My point was that it is understandable that immigration laws have toughened.  Pretty much every section of law has been amended and altered since Great Gran and Big Pa came here.  That neither diminishes their personal challenges in assimilating nor excuses the actions of those who would break todays laws merely because they're inconvenient and too much trouble to obey.

                    It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                    by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:12:32 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The needs of society have changed. (none)
                      But we're not toalking about today versus the 19th century, we're talking today versus fifty years ago.

                      Part of the illegal immigration problem stems from the fact that legal avenues are so restricted-- in comparison, even, to fifty years ago.

                      There was nothing "transparent or uncalled for" in estimation that you are anti-immigration.  You hadn't made it clear in your post that you wish to change immigration laws to increase avenues of legal immigration at the same time as creating more effective border security.

                      And don't call me sir-- esp. with that icky sarcastic tone.

                      •  So when you said (none)
                        "when our parents and grandparents came here..." what you really meant was "when qwertys' parents came here..." and weren't refering to anyone who's immigration history was older than 50 years?  Sorry, guess I should've known your family history before I replied.

                        And when I posted up-thread -

                        It's hard enough being a pro border-control liberal without being labled "anti-immigration".

                        and
                        That being said...they are still breaking the law....To put it simply, I like people from other countries, including Mexican people.  I like learning about other cultures.  I respect the bravery that moving to a completely different society must take.  But I have NO respect for law-breakers, liars, and cheats who think they have a right to shove ahead of those who are following the rules, who deal with the paperwork, and who honestly want to be a part of American society.  That takes patience, respect for the law and a willingness to assimilate.  THOSE are the kind of people we want to welcome with open arms, no matter what their country of origin.

                        there wasn't a single clue that I may not be that nasty, xenophobic racist you imply that I am?  
                        As for tone, I'll use whatever tone I please when forced to defend myself from scurrilous innuendo...SIR.

                        It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                        by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:53:29 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You're over reacting in a big way. (none)
                          The whole willingness to assimilate thing, though-- totally xenophobic, possibly racist.

                          And I'm woman, asshat.  So keep your "sir" and you nasty tone to your nasty self.

                          •  oooooh! (none)
                            good comeback....Calling me an asshat...Wow!  That sure shut me up!

                            This bit started out merely as an observation that laws are expected to change as societal needs change.  You are the one who started assigning opinions to me in regard to immigration, and when I defend myself you say I'm over reacting....um..okay.  

                            It's still upsetting for some people to know that the hippies were the ones telling the truth about Vietnam and trying to help America. - Anonymous

                            by eunichorn on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:26:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Cheap Labor hurts... (none)
            One of the issues that needs to be addressed is the cheap labor argument and who is impacted by it.

            Lots of Americans are losing their pensions either through Enron type scandals or now the United Airlines pension plan divestiture scenario that is gaining steam.

            These are older Americans who have dated job skills reentering a marketplace where corporations won't hire many people over the age of 53 (an HR cut-off point) and they find themselves competing for those Walmart and MCDonalds jobs.

            Additionally, there have been a number of studies that now indicate that the groups most heavily impacted by illegal aliens are the black community and legal Hispanic citizens. The poor communities are getting hit heavily because many of the illegal immigrants have "no skills" or "low skills."

            •  True (none)
              "Additionally, there have been a number of studies that now indicate that the groups most heavily impacted by illegal aliens are the black community and legal Hispanic citizens. The poor communities are getting hit heavily because many of the illegal immigrants have "no skills" or "low skills."

              I worked with inner city youth for many years and the illegals came and took what few jobs were available.  Most of those youth didnt have transportation to leave the community to get jobs outside the community.  

      •  My take is that (4.00)
        the racist and classist restrictions on immigration, coupled with more stringent and far-reaching labor protection, minimum wage, and workforce unionization laws, coupled with destruction of ridiculous free trade laws that destroy economies, the environment, labor unity, and trade balances will fix the problem far mor surely and more quickly than immigration and border restrictions.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:55:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have to disagree (none)
          with you on some essential things.

          The cause of illegal immigration in the US is primarily not based in the US.  Mexico is, quite literally, appallingly corrupt.  The concept of "old money" is shockingly real in Mexico.  

          People leave South America and Mexico for many reasons, mostly because thier countries economic and political systems cannot possibly bear the load.  The US is a safety valve for their dysfunctional system.  If the governments of these countries had to deal with the true levels of povery, class divisions, and economic development something may actually happen which would benefit these nations.

          Free trade, generally, has helped Mexico.  Many manufacturing jobs that were once in the US shifted south very quickly.  The average income has continued to rise.  However, when Americans complain about the gap between rich and poor, it is on a whole different scale when compared to Mexico.  The concentration of wealth is so stunningly complete as to be abhorrent.  The concept of a large middle class is simply not real.

          Fundamentally, US immigration policy is not based on racism.  Nor is the problem fundamentally labor organization or lack of unions.  The problem is largely external to the US.  The source - the root of the problem - is not here.

          •  Your comment is appallingly lacking (none)
            in any sort of historical context, lacking any factual basis, and makes all sorts of sweeping (and untrue) generalizations that crumble at the first glance.

            People leave South America and Mexico for many reasons, mostly because thier countries economic and political systems cannot possibly bear the load.

            And why is that so? Could it have anything at all to do with more than a century of military, social, and economic interference with most, if not all the nations of S. Am., C.Am., and Mex.?

             The US is a safety valve for their dysfunctional system.  If the governments of these countries had to deal with the true levels of povery, class divisions, and economic development something may actually happen which would benefit these nations.

            The US ruling class is the primary beneficiary of the cheap labor and cheap products that provide super-profits...and has been for nearly 2 centuries. The S.Am., C.Am., and Mex. Ruling Classes are the secondary beneficiaries.

            Free trade, generally, has helped Mexico.

            Yeah, except for their massive pollution and environmental problems in the north, their massive currency crisis of a few years ago, and their massive problem with any number of economic, social and etc issues...all of which contribute to the continuing stream of people moving north - if free trade has helped Mexico, why, then are people still leaving Mexico?

            Fundamentally, US immigration policy is not based on racism.

            Fundamentally, that is an ignorant statement. Do more research.

            Nor is the problem fundamentally labor organization or lack of unions.

            Fundamentally, the decline of the Democratic Party, the loss of basic social services, liberties, rights, and etc, the gap between rich and poor, and a whole host of other problems....mirror and track the decline of Organized Labor in this nation.

            The problem is largely external to the US.  The source - the root of the problem - is not here.

            You are simply wrong. You need to read much more. Try Zinn, Lens, or any of a host of histories of the Americas.

            The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

            by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:22:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks! (none)
              Thanks for the reply.  I've read Zinn and something from most "alternative" histories.  

              I just do not find the argument persuassive that our current policy is based on racism.  It's much closer to protectionism/nationalism than otherwise, in my opinion.

              Generally, people do not come to be exploited like so many sheep.  That means, for so many illegals to crowd the country there is something creating an ample supply of illegal labor.  Primarily, this is because the origin points are cesspools with exactly zero opportunity.  

              I am not justifying past or present US policy towards any other nation, I am just presenting what is clear: people would rather leave their home nation and trek to the US for work than try to work in a land of zero opportunity, for example, Mexico.  The fact is and remains that the governments of Mexico and many S.American countries have not had to significantly deal with an unrested army of poor because much of that pressure is released into the US.  The illegals that have flooded our border in the past years are the people who would be agitating for change if not in the US working.  

              During the US labor movement, workers stayed and protested and organized and stuck throught it - but would anyone have done so if Canada offered pay that was 3-5 times better wages and far better conditions?  Who knows where we'd be if the early forefathers and mothers or labor packed up and emmigrated.

              That's where Mexio and S.America is.  The governments can continue to make corrupt deals - economically, militarily, and socially with all manner of nations including and especially the US because there is no demand for change.  

              And finally, regarding free trade.  There is little incentive for large scale labor violations in non-retail business.  A manufacturing company can offshore administration and management to the Caymans, build a factory in Mexico and ignore their beautiful - if not poetic - environmental laws, use cheap local labor, and export to the US and make a healthy if not fat margin.  Everything from power to materials to labor to everything is cheaper there.  Why risk the trouble of doing it illegally stateside?  You can do everything you want for cheap cross-border.

              My opinion is this is wrong.  But it is entirely seperate from the debate about immigration policy.  In a net sense, I think Mexico and other nations have benefitted in visible ways from free trade: the per capita income in Mexico for example has rapidily increased since NAFTA.

              Nationalist, yes.  Cynical, yes.  Racist?  No.  

              Right now, short of really closing the border, there is a huge interest in foreign workers coming legally or not into the US.  This demand exists soley because of the relatively poor economic conditions present in the origin countries.  Stopping illegal immigration depends wholly on stopping these conditions.  I am open to persuassion, but nothing you've presented contradicts these clear points.

              •  clarifications (none)
                Not all of South America is like Mexico.

                People from Latin America are racially diverse.

                You will find 70% + European descended majorities in countries like Uruguay and 80% + African descended majorities in others in the Caribbean and highly mestizo/native populations in places like Guatemala or Peru.

                The point is that please don't lump millions of people and multiple economic and cultural situations as if it's all just like the Mexican experience.

                Did you know that Mexico has the highest number of billionaires in the world?

                There is even discrimination in many Latin American countries against those darker skinned and african people and you will find that it has a lot to do with who ends up poor and ultimately immigrates to the United States leaving us with a skewed impression of what the typical latino/south american is like.

                Go visit the actual countries and you will see the difference.  Go visit Buenos Aires.

                I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:15:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Racketeering Laws (none)
      I've heard proposals to start using racketeering laws against employers of illegals.  It's an interesting idea.  

      If you take away the incentive (i.e. jobs), illegal immigration would slow to a trickle.  No need to militarize the southern border as the wingnuts suggest.

      •  Border (2.33)

        No need to militarize the southern border as the wingnuts suggest.

        Maybe, what's wrong with militarizing the southern border?

        •  b/c (none)
          You just know it end up a giant white elephant gift to defense contractors. It will be totally inefective in all respects except as a successfullw ay to funnel taxpayer money to billionaires.

          The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"

          by Love and Death on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:59:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Really? (2.66)
            It's worked damn well for the Israelies.

            The areas of the US southern border where security has been increased have shown a big drop in human trafficking.

            Where's your facts to back up this assertion?

            Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

            by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:44:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  big difference (none)
              Israelis = small border / small country

              US = huger border / big country

              Plus, Israel militarized its border for security reasons, we would be doing it for essentially economic reasons.

              Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

              by Benito on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:51:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Exactly (none)
                US = huge border/huge country.

                Huge resources at our disposal, easily enough to solve the problem, but lacking political will.

                Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:56:19 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, Israel is a great model (4.00)
                  :rolleyes:
                  I wanna be just like Israel.  

                  Am I allowed to shamelessly plug my little blog?

                  by ChuckLin on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:02:49 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Border security (none)
                    Did I say Israel should be our model? Each country has to find it's own solutions to securing its borders.

                    The issue was whether border security works. It does.

                    I wonder if you will roll your eyes when a terrorist (or more likely, several at once) with a backpack full of C4 comes across our unsecured borders, and blows up a bunch of people in a mall, bus, office, or all three? Think it can't happen? Think securing our borders won't reduce that possibility? That's the world we live in, and rolling your eyes won't change reality.

                    Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                    by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:25:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You're absurd (3.00)
                      First, you start off by saying how great Israel is at protecting it's border.  The reasoning?

                      I wonder if you will roll your eyes when a terrorist (or more likely, several at once) with a backpack full of C4 comes across our unsecured borders, and blows up a bunch of people in a mall, bus, office, or all three?

                      Are you saying that this does not happen in Israel, due to all their militarization?  It would be easier making a case linking militarization of the border to an increase in terrorism if you use Israel as a model.  They have more terrorism than just about any other nation in the world.

                      •  Try to read what I say (none)
                        not what you expect to hear. And leave your pet peaves about Israel out of it.

                        I'm not here to argue about the causes of terrorism in Israel or the US. I'm not here to advocate for or against any military policy or to discuss the Middle East. Mentioning Israel apparently sets off some kind of rant gene in certain people. Whatever.

                        We need to make our borders more secure for a lot of reasons. No one has made any serious arguments (other than expecting us to take it on faith) that increasing our border security would not greatly decrease illegal immigration and make us safer overall. It certainly has decreased illegal immigration into Israel (and made them safer than they would have been without it).

                        I probably shouldn't have mentioned the terrorism aspect of border security, and stuck to the effect on illegal immigration. My bad.

                        Talk amongst yourselves. I'm going to go have sex now outdoors in the fresh morning air.

                        Mornin' all.

                        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:58:03 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  Yes, you did. (none)
                      Border security is a sham, it doesn't work, it hasn't worked for Israel or any other nation and it won't work in the US...particularly because the same corporations that hire large numbers of undocumented immigrants as a means of driving down wages and costs are the corporations that would scream bloody murder if their supplies were shut off are the same corporations that would crater any politician who was actually serious about militarizing the border.

                      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

                      by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:57:37 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  No I didn't (none)
                        Bullshit. Don't put words in my mouth. I said border security has worked at reducing illegal immigration into Israel. Period. A fact that only a complete wanker would dispute. Go back and read it again.

                        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:01:42 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It didn't reduce suicide bombings, though (none)
                          so if security is paramount, perhaps we need more effective measures.

                          And name me five terrorist acts committed by folks coming in from Mexico and Central America in the past 10 years.

                          I seriously don't think it's a security issue.

                          It may be a law enforcement issue.  I'll grant you that.  But if so, roaming civilian militias aren't always the best solution to that either.

                    •  Israeli-style border security may work... (none)
                      ...but its worth noting that that isn't just a wall and armed guards, but airborne patrols on both sides of the border, intelligence presence on both sides of the border, and plenty of willingness to kill -- on both sides of the border -- to prevent unauthorized crossings; and, of course, putting the "border" wherever you feel like it rather than along any accepted border.

                      Which makes sense if you are in a state of war with the people on the other side of your barrier, and less so if you are not.

                •  Um... (none)
                  Are you hoping that political will would also be extended to secure the Canadian border?

                  Because I tell you what... if you're only concerned about the southern/mexican border because of "security threats" and "human trafficking", etc... surely you must also realize that we have a northern border also which poses threats to our security.

                  It will be like trying to plug a leak.  You block up the south and some of the problems and traffickers, terrorists, etc will just move north and try to go through there.  But yes, you will at least succeed in stopping many Mexicans from coming and ruining your life.  Congratulations, maybe your plan would work - just depends on what your goal is, doesn't it?

                  I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                  by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:23:50 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Don't set up a straw man (none)
                    I was addressing the issue of border security. Of course that applies to all borders.

                    I'm not against immigration, and frankly I think diluting the overwhelming European character of America will be good for our long-term health as a nation.

                    Can we please avoid any more straw man attacks on what is essentially a very simple point I'm trying to make? And that is, that border security is an important aspect of controlling illegal immigration. And it works; secure borders do greatly reduce illegal influx.

                    Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                    by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:34:01 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  speaking of straws (none)
                      Who in the world is attacking you?

                      I asked if you also have an interest in making the U.S. like Israel along the northern border also.

                      You have yet to answer this.

                      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:50:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Point taken (none)
                        sorry for getting defensive.

                        Secure all borders and ports.

                        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:10:50 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ok I agree (none)
                          The way things are right now along both borders... we are way too vulnerable.

                          It is actually pretty ridiculous that after 9/11 hardly nothing has changed.  Sure they really focused on the airline security but the crates keep coming into our ports uninspected and our borders are as porous as swiss cheese and our trains are sitting ducks even after what happened in Madrid.

                          I mean it's a miracle we have had relative calm.  George W Bush is one lucky idiot.  He got re-elected before anything else could go wrong and expose all these oversights.

                          I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                          by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:37:45 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (none)
              israel has a lot less border to protect. how long is the US/Mexico border?  Probably 2500-3000 miles?
        •  what aboot Canada? (none)
          It's probably easier to get across the northern border.

          "love your country always, love your government when it deserves it" - utah phillips

          by GoodJuan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:20:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, recently... (none)
          ...with the increased government personnel sent to the border to beef up security, the tide of immigration hasn't stopped, but we have had some big scandals of corruption among the agents involved, defrauding the government of money, and smuggling drugs across the border.

          So I'm not real confident that militarizing the border is going to work, even if it were a desirable solution in the abstract.

    •  well, yes (4.00)
      but the more important thing Walmart does is to illegally fire and intimidate workers who try to form labor unions.

      Democrats should insist on labor law being enforced!

      In fact, given America's tough on crime attitude, I think that corporate crime ought to face something analogous to the 3-strikes and yer' out laws.

      The first time Walmart violates labor law, the fine would be a few hundred thousand dollars, as it is today. The next time it violates a labor law, the fine should be doubled. And so on.

      1st violation = $135,000
      2nd violation = $270,000
      3rd violation = $540,000
      and so on...

      The 14th violation would cost a billion dollars. That's 11 more strikes than we're giving the common crooks.

      •  Good point... (none)
        That's actually a very good way to keep Walmart from hiring illegals.

        The moment a group decided to form up a Union... I'm quite certain Walmart would be very accomodating by calling the Immigration authorities for you.

        Nice sentiment, but it has little to do with the issue at hand.

        •  No it isn't! (none)
          Hiring illegals is also a violation of labor law (they have to have some kind of permission to work here), so they get fined for that too. Usually it's a couple of hundred thousand dollars with no admission of guilt or intent, the way our wimpy justice system works.

          It has everything to do with the issue at hand. The jobs being filled are only there because US corporations are permitted to violate the human rights of workers (the right to form a union is a human right, according to international law). They are getting away with crime, and their record of recidivism is worse than any serial killer's or repeat sex offender.

      •  One problem (none)
        That punishes big retailers unfairly (that is, if you own three thousand stores or whatever, you are going to have more violations than if you own just one).  Now, many people here enjoy bashing the big firms, but...
        •  If you have 3,000 stores... (none)
          ...you will have more money too. Seems to me its self-correcting. Further, the costs of equally effective training programs to reduce the frequency of violations per employee probably have economies of scale.
    •  target employers (3.90)
      absolutely.

      this accomplishes several things all at the same time.  first, we're reducing illegal immigration the realistic way - by targeting the demand.  if nobody were hiring undocumented workers, they wouldn't be coming here.  so there wouldn't be the deadly border crossings or any of the rest.

      second, we're making sure the jobs are available for american citizens or those who are here legally.

      third, we're looking out for the immigrants too, because we're going to nail these shady employers to the wall not just for hiring in violation of immigration law, but also for violating minimum wage and workplace safety laws.  so we're cutting out the exploitation.

      fourth, we tie this into our anti-corruption campaign.  we're the real party of law and order, you see.  the republicans talk tough, but when their friends and campaign contributors break the law, they look the other way.  and who suffers?  american workers and poor immigrants who are just trying to make a better life for their families.

      and finally - in our own political interest - this approach makes immigration a fantastic wedge issue to open new fault lines in the GOP.  the rank and file types, the working stiffs and blue-collar "reagan democrat" types are hot about immigration because they see it hurting their job prospects and driving down wages and working conditions.  the business-class republicans want to make sure any efforts to curb immigration don't actually have any effect on their supply of cheap and exploitable labor.  so they're all for deporting more people and tough-looking border measures that won't really stem the tide.  after all, that just helps increase the fear among their undocumented workforce, which means they have more latitude to exploit them and less likelihood that people will stand up for their rights.

      if you won't get serious about the employers, you're not serious about immigration.  that should be out mantra.  keep at it until the two sides in the GOP draw their long knives on each other.

      l'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers

      by zeke L on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (none)
        I tried to say the same thing below, but you said it MUCH better. Whenever we look at something the Repugs are trying to wedge us with, we need to ask ourselves, "What would Eliot Spitzer do?"

        He'd do what you just said.

        The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

        by movie buff on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:07:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  bit of a tightrope (none)
          we do have to be careful walking this line though, because the GOP is correct that this can be an issue that loses us votes among immigrants (especially the contested hispanic vote.)

          the way i see it we need to be clear that we are fighting for the rights of immigrants as well as the interests of american workers.  because yes, even illegal immigrants are entitled to minimum wage and OSHA protection.  it's the law!  and as soon as employers realize they can't weasel out of laws like that by hiring undocumented people, there's less downward pressure on employment conditions for citizens.

          the key is getting them to stand up.  fear of deportation buys a lot of silence. maybe we could have some protection for whistleblowers and their families.  turn in a shady employer, get a green card, something like that.

          l'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers

          by zeke L on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:18:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (none)
            being for respect for latinos would be good too. how about a deal where we shut down the border crossings  but give amnesty and citizenship to latinos already in place?
            •  Tried that one before.... (none)
              We did that under Reagan, and many of the illegals I know came here under the assumption we'd be doing it again.

              In California and Arizona nearly half the Latinos voted for the draconian laws cutting off funds for illegals. A lot of legal immigrants are furious; and the Latinos whose ancestors came here long ago are no happier than the Anglos, the Blacks, the Asians, or the American Indians about the subsidized low wage labor, the school deterioration, the hospital situation, etc.

              It's simplistic to blame the closure of hospitals on "greedy insurance companies." The reality is that many illegals don't have insurance - and many of those I've met whose jobs offer insurance take it only for the worker, and enroll the wife and kids "for free" in state programs, or just don't bother with it at all because "the ER is free." Most hospitals only receive about 3-4% over basic expenses (a friend of mine just finished a degree in Health Care Administration) and that 3-4% has to be set aside for unexpected expenses, new equipment, employee training, etc. What this has been causing all over the country is hospital closures, or non-profits being sold to profit hospital corporations who need not provide free care in many cases.

              Stand around and explain to the American worker how "selfish" he or she is to want to live better than a third world grade life. Explain from your gated community or country club how the working people need to learn to "share" and how they don't need cars - why, they can spend three hours a day going to and from work instead.

      •  Disagreement? (none)
        I think you may be a litle of kilter.  A major problem with illegal immigrants is that you don't know if they are legal or not.  I've hired people before, and determining someones status is not as easy as you might think.  If a person comes in with a birth certificate and a social security card and/or drivers license, that's it, you've filled your duty to ensure he/she is a legal worker.

        The illegals Wal-mart had trouble with worked for a third-party company contracted.  These companies are often set up as fronts, and are easily disbanded and reformed with the same set of workers a few days or weeks after discovering a problem.  Out of thousands of such employees, 100 were illegal, which shows to me anyways that they were not especially targetting illegals.

        Few businesses actively seek out illegals to hire.  It's not a good plan.  You can usually find comparable legal labor without the hassle.  

        Does this all sound reasonable to you, or am I off base?

        I am not disputing, by the way, anything specific you said, but the borders are going to be a problem even if everything you propose was taken up wholeheartedly.  Coming across and forging papers is not terribly hard.

        •  Wrong (none)
          Few businesses actively seek out illegals to hire.  It's not a good plan.  You can usually find comparable legal labor without the hassle.

          Few small business actively seek out illegal immigrants, but most big businesses do.  In fact, some even go as far as advertising in poverty striken countries to lure people here.  To say that they don't intentionally do it is very naieve.

          •  proof? (none)
            If you have some type of proof that a major American company actively and on an ongoing basis advertises to poor countries or specifically to minorities, than I am most interested to have that sent along.

            Small businesses clearly do not seek out illegals.  I am sure some large ones do, but, again, by and large, it's not happening.  The economy is slack, there is a surplus of legal labor available to work.  Targetting illegal labor to pay at the same rate as illegal workers makes no sense!

            •  Working on it (none)
              If you have some type of proof that a major American company actively and on an ongoing basis advertises to poor countries or specifically to minorities, than I am most interested to have that sent along.

              Here in Texas I've seen some ads in hispanic magazines to go to other states to work for Excel, Tyson, etc. but I can't use them as solid proof that they are targetting minorities to do dangerous jobs illegally.  However, when I get a chance to go back down to Mexico and can provide that as well as other evidence, I plan to write a lot about it and get it heard.  I've actually been in the process of compiling facts about immigration (including illegal immigration) and it's pretty alarming.  I need to get more physical evidence, but I've heard the stories of some illegal immigrants and the stuff that they went through both in their homelands and here is amazing, and they do seem to indicate that companies lure people to come here.  Nothing completely obvious in asking them to break the law, but if you were to go to a really poor area of El Salvador and say, "hey, we have a thousand jobs in my company in Idaho" the people are going to try to come here.  With the broken immigration system that we have, the only feasable way to do it is illegally.

              Also, the big companies are pretty openly wanting to hire people that are disadvantaged or at least ignorant of their rights as workers.  That is why fast food companies thrive on high school students, immigrants, retirees, and others that are not likely to form unions or demand that their safety and compensation be legal and fair.  In fact, I remember a McDonalds commercial a few years ago where they showed a person with Down's Syndrome taking orders.  While it was meant to be a nice thing where they presented themselves as doing a favor to a person who is mentally handicapped, I also saw how sinister it is.  They want to take advantage of the people who are going to be easiest to control.

    •  There's More Demonization from the Left... (4.00)
      than on the right on the subject of Illegal Immigration and there needs to be a reality check. In going over the postings on the thread there are a lot of really good thoughts and a few missing pieces of the puzzle.

      1. Illegals impact every kind of job. Kos is wrong... they don't just "pick grapes" they have depressed wages of construction workers, meat packers, and the H1-B visa abuses have hurt programmers. I was in Software Product Management in Sunnyvale and 50% of my team were underpaid H1-B visa holders. Companies underpay them by comparison to American counter parts and they can't say boo to them. They are also importing nurses and teachers too.

      2.    Lack of a Coherent Trade Policy. One poster said that if you deny Big Agro cheap labor then imported grapes will cost less and American growers will go out of business. True! But all of the countries exporting to us have lots of labor violations even according to the WTO rules, they are not enforced. Chinese textile dumping caused 150 American factories to shut down and a net job loss of 16,000 jobs and that is only one sector. "Free Trade" is a failed policy on close examination. Republicans and Democrats in Congress have both expressed exasperation with the Bush administration on their lack of a coherent trade policy. .

      3.    Out Stripping States Infrastructure. The state of Georgia did a study on this and it cost the state in excess of a Billion dollars a year to handle illegal immigrants. This included hospitals, education, housing, and incarceration of criminal elements. Some hospitals in Florida had over 90% of their patients were illegal immigrants and Medicaid picked up the bill. They use the ER as their primary access to health care and it has made hospital ER so unprofitable that there is a wave of hospitals that are closing their ER units. As Bush pushes the cuts in Medicaid and Medicare on to the states this further increases the problem.  Border states are the hardest hit with these causes. No matter how you feel about it politically... the revenue drain is a reality and impacts everyone. Health care was only the one I chose to focus on.

      •  Riiiiight... (none)
        so the folks responsible for low wages are....the people being essentially indentured via various methods including "legal" visa schemes and much worse.

        Just like the people responsible for poverty are...the poor!

        Free Trade is a joke. The free market is neither, and the only answer is fair trade and international labor standards.

        Show links and data, enough with apocryphal horror stories that sound like something out of a Rush Limbaugh rerun.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:00:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, but... (none)
          Quite clearly the people responsible for illegal immigration depressing wages is not the immigrants, but the companies hiring.  I think he has a good point.  

          However, any solution which addresses that problem is going to directly impact the illegal immigrants.  We're losing jobs to overseas manufacturing, but now we're losing wages to jobs which you can't move out of the country like construction, landscaping, farming and so forth.  That's a problem.

          It was my belief that NAFTA would result in aiding the Mexican economy such that people would no longer feel a compelling need to come to the states.  That doesn't seem to be happening, and instead we've had a tremendous increase in immigration.

        •  Reality Check (none)
          "Just like the people responsible for poverty are...the poor!"

          Like it or not the flood of illegal aliens has depressed wages and it is well documented. But the solution needs to be sanctions against employers and import restrictions on those countries who do not have proper labor standards there.

          We need to export our health and labor standards. If you don't do that the whole thing becomes a race to the bottom and everyone suffers.

          You're right about needing Fair Trade... "Free Trade is a bad joke and a lot of bankrupt American families know it... the hard way.

          The illegal aliens are being exploited by companies here and the Repubs support it except for those who are in border states where their constitients from both paties are going beserk over the impacts on their communities.

          I didn't go into it, but there are Central American gangs operating cross border operations. MI13 has been responsible for 250 murders in the Arizona area and lots of Hispanics support closing the borders because of it.

          As I said... there is more demonization from the left than the right on these issues. Its real easy to be supperficial and throw epithets than have a substantive conversation on this issue.

          •  Fearmongering, etcetera (none)
            I dunno, perhaps we'll have to disagree...

            first off, show us these "proofs" of depressed wages please.

            Economics kind of shows me that the market depresses wages, not illegals.  Don't you think companies want to make maximum profits?  Why is GM cutting 25,000 jobs over the next 900 days?

            I kind of adhere to a "statue of Liberty" type of America.  I guess I'm just a founding father's liberal in terms of multi-culturalism and truly believe the following:

            "Give me your tired, your poor,
            Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
            The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
            Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
            I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

            And regarding fearmongering, which I feel you are doing with your "gang" innuendos, I'll refer to a Franklin quote, paraphrased by me, "Republicans, Democrats, and American people who give up a bit of liberty for a little security...deserve neither."

            "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

            by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:13:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Like I said Cheap Epithets and labels hide facts (none)
              Trying to win an argument by slinging labels and spouting jingoistic political slogans is on a par with what the repubs do... you're a traitor or a commie and we're spreading freedom and democracy around the world.

              Such tactics don't further any real understanding of the problem or make any attempt to get to the truth or solutions.

              Now you asked about studies, there have been many so lets start with two of the most frequently cited:

              Center for Immigration Studies:
              Dr. George J. Borjas at Harvard (good Summary of impacts at head of article)
              http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/back504.html

              Dr. George J. Borjas study assesses the impact of illegal immigrants at 133 Billion annually in wage suppression.
              http://ksghome.harvard.edu/~GBorjas/Papers/QJE2003.pdf

              There are lots more but these are good for a start.

              •  Okay (none)
                but you're not making any headway because economically, we're headed down the wrong road.

                America has traditionally been the innovators, the inventors and the implementers.  From rural electrification to our space program, we've been way ahead of the curve.

                Now, we are falling far behind.  Examples like pulling out of Kyoto are idiotic economic policies.  Not only could we take care of the increasingly toxic environment, we could make all kinds of money on a new scientific market.

                But no!

                Not with the Talibaptists in control.  They want to return to the dark ages.  Leave it to the S. Koreans to clone an actual human being, you or I, per se.

                I still think you're missing the point.  Illegals are a rub of capitalism.  You seem to be seeing the tree but not the forest surrounding it...

                I took a look at your "proofs"...2 studies by the same guy?  Okay, if that's your definition of a "burden of proof"...

                "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

                by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:51:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Proof (none)
              first off, show us these "proofs" of depressed wages please

              Economics kind of shows me that the market depresses wages, not illegals.

              Exactly right. That same economics that says if you flood a labor market, or any market with supply, prices (wages) will drop until equilibrium is achieved. The problem being here that equilibrium is never achieved because, be it the various guest-worker visa programs, or illegal immigration, that supply continues to be artificially adjusted upwards.

              From the Pew Hispanic Center.

              Recently arrived Hispanic immigrants were a leading source of new workers to the economy but also among the principal recipients of wage cuts in 2004.

              "Despite strong demand for immigrant workers, their growing supply and concentration in certain occupations suggests that the newest arrivals are competing with each other in the labor market to their own detriment," said the report's author, Rakesh Kochhar, a senior research associate at the Center.

              In other words, new supply works for less than older supply, and wages are being depressed.

              Now, I have offered what I believe to be proof. Please offer up some proof of your own that wages are not depressed. If those of us on what you would call the 'immigrant bashing racist' side of the issue are bound by at least some degree of fact, should you and yours not be held to the same test?

              It always strikes me as weird that the open borders crowd goes around yelling 'show me proof', 'you have no proof', yet I have seen not one cite or link which supports the views of the open borders crowd in this, or any other immigration diary. It would seem in this diary, as in others, you believe your proof to be in some higher moral authority, and this is all you need to get by. Does this not remind of the far right?

              I kind of adhere to a "statue of Liberty" type of America

              Does this not also remind you of the far right? You may as well just ask those who don't agree with you in this diary, 'why do you hate America'.

              If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:39:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  On number one-- (none)
        Flint:

        H-1B visas require that the prevailing wage is paid (used to be 95% of the prevailing wage, now 100%).  They can't pay just anything to an H-1B visa holder.  In fact, in some companies (usually non-technical cos with technical staff) the prevailing wage requirement for H-1B visa holders keeps UP the wages.

        This was especially true after the bubble burst because wage surveys were not re-evaluated and pre-burst wages were required.

        •  Number 2 (none)
          What you say is true to a point on the short term... but advancement and raises didn't happen with the same regularity as their American counterparts and the green card issue was always held over them.
        •  Number 1 (none)
          After the bubble burst there were an estimated 70,000 unemployed programmers loose on the street, so why H1-B visas at all?

          There are a lot of people on this thread who lost jobs and couldn't find reemployment because of it.

          I watched one friend with a bachelors in computer science and a masters in electrical engineering, from Stanford and MIT, with ten years of industry experience... lose his house and get put on the street. His wife, with two newborns, might have some choice words for you.

          •  I think your blame is misplaced (none)
            it's the "markets" fault I think you are missing.  I mean, why should Americorporation (that is, any American company) pay guys 70,000 dollars a year when they can pay a foreign programmer 1/5th of that?

            This is why you should never vote Republican, though I'm not entirely convinced that Democrats (skull and bones, especially) aren't complicit sometimes.

            Trust me, it's only going to get worse.  I was in India last summer and went into some schools.  Their kids work much harder than American kids do.  Most areas are in such abject poverty that kids are serious about trying to get out.  I'm a teacher here in the states but just shake my head at the "thumb" tribe because I think they will have it worse than us, unfortunately.  Especially saddled with this:

            http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdpenny.htm

            "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

            by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:22:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think so... (none)
              My point was that there is a large pool of highly skilled labor native so why transplant with H1-B visas, which as one earlier commentator pointed out requires them the employer to adjust wages to local industry standards.

              As he put it "you are not free to pay an H1-B visa individual anything that you like.

              Also... I have transitioned to teaching in the last few years for both Academia (Asst. Prrofessor) and corporate training and much of it on the international circuit.

              What you say about the Indian and Asian students is true... they are highly motivated and usually the best students. Americans by contrast come up short in the motivation department. But there are plenty of Americans who do not come up short and excell who have been hard hit by companies and their policies.

    •  You have it exactly correct (none)
      The Democratic position should be huge fines for companies that hire illegal immigrants.  I thought that was the solution in Reagan's immigration reform, but it has never been enforced.
      •  What Reagan did do (none)
        that is different from the Neocons is that he mandated that if you want to sell cars here... build them here.

        The current repub movement has abandoned that and GM announced 28,000 job cuts by 2008 today. American labor is getting shafted big time.

  •  Bring him on (none)
    I hope the republicans nominate him. I hope America sees the true face of what the republican party has become: Truly scary hate-mongers. I hope he goes down to a well deserved crushing defeat. Diversity is what makes this nation great, and Tancredo is fighting a losing battle if he thinks he can homogenize the US.
    •  but as crazy as Tancredo (3.00)
      is, he has been very consistently anti-immigration---and also against offshoring and against work visa programs (H1-B). This is not a position taken by most pro-business Republicans because it cuts off cheap labor. So I don't see how Tancredo could get the nomination as a Republican.

      Would he have a chance in the primaries? Yes and that's the sad thing. He is one of the few politicians who have been talking about these issues. He goes way overboard---but nobody else wants to talk about these issues. So he would be popular with voters.

      But would the GOP let him have the nomination on an anti-immigrant/anti-cheap labor platform? I can't see how.

      •  You're probably right (none)
        but I've learned to never count on the sanity or decency of the republican party.
      •  Work Visa Programs (4.00)
        Not to support Tancredo, but he has a point on H1-B visas.  There is a lot of abuse of these H1-B programs by employers.  

        I live near the technology offices of a major investment bank in the NY area.  Almost the entire staff of the office are Indian immigrants on temporary visas.  From what I have heard, these immigrants are indentured servants to the IB, and can be sent back to India at the whim of the bank.  (If the bank fires them tomorrow, they have 30 days to leave the country or find another sponsor and finish the paperwork in time, which is impossible given INS delays.)

        So are they likely to complain about anything?  Of course not.  Likely to ask for overtime?  Or a raise?

        How can American workers compete with that?

        •  there has been a lot of discussion (4.00)
          here on dKos about the H1-B visa and offshoring. A lot of us are tech workers and have personal experience with losing jobs to people on visas---or know people who have.

          And it's pretty aggravating to realize that the only person in Congress who has always been against these visas is Tancredo. You'd think we'd have at least one ally who wasn't a raving nutcase. But we don't. All the other members of Congress are too busy signing up to join the India Caucus. It's quite depressing.

          •  Those Indian progammers... (3.50)
            ...are taking jobs Americans don't want to do.

            The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

            by expatjourno on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 02:12:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You would think that in a comment that short... (4.00)
              ...I could avoid making a typo.

              I really wish people would talk more about the effect of immigration on wages. It's no good to parrot conventional wisdom, as Kos idiotically does when he writes:

              And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes)...

              When will people stop saying this?

              Obviously, I mean obviously, there is a wage at which Americans would do these jobs. It's probably not a dollar an hour with no healthcare benefits. And, obviously, higher wages would, in part, be passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices (some of the difference would come out of corporate profits, depending on factors such as competition and elasticity of demand).

              The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

              by expatjourno on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 02:23:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Amen (4.00)
                And it does no good for kos or Santa or anyone else to try and slap a label of "hate-monger" on people who oppose illegal immigration. That's the same tired tactic the multiculturalists employed back in the 80s-90s and it completely backfired on the Democratic party. I understand that there are elements of society who oppose illegal immigration mainly because the ones coming over are mostly brown. But it isn't everyone by any means, and advocating enforcement of our immigration laws (even in a loud voice) does not make someone hateful or racist. Slinging cheap labels around is just an underhanded attempt to stifle honest debate about the burdens illegal immigration places on our middle and working classes.

                Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:52:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Slinging cheap labels... (2.25)
                  speak for yourself troglodyte.

                  The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

                  by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:01:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  the problem in this case (4.00)
                  is that Tancredo really does seem to be a racist nut. That's why I am so angry that he's got the only consistent position against work visa programs like H1-B.
                  •  I'd like to go on record as opposing... (none)
                    ...racist nuts.

                    It's frustrating that the only politicians who are taking a stand against illegal immigration are wingnuts and racists.

                    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

                    by expatjourno on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:36:49 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Xenophobia (2.33)
            All the other members of Congress are too busy signing up to join the India Caucus.

            Always nice to see the Republicans don't have a monopoly on racism.

            •  it's not about xenophobia (4.00)
              The India Caucus in the Senate exists because Indian offshoring companies give the Senators money to pass legislation to allow more jobs to be sent to India.  I know plenty of American citizens who were born in India who are as angry about this as are many other Americans.
          •  Xenophobia (none)
            All the other members of Congress are too busy signing up to join the India Caucus.

            Always nice to see the Republicans don't have a monopoly on racism.

          •  ugh, (none)
            Harsh, but-- if you lose a job to a person who requires an H-1B, they are likely just a better candidate for the job than you are.  It's annoying (to say the least) to deal with the paperwork required to employ foreign nationals -- and it's expensive.  Most cos (esp. right now) are LESS likley to take an H-1B holder-- too much work, too much money-- and have been settling for lesser candidates.  That's not good for the health of a company, on which much more than one job depends.
            •  actually H1-Bs (none)
              are like anybody else. There are some really good ones, some really bad ones and most are average. The advantage to companies is that they usually don't have to pay them much and if they don't like the work, they can fairly easily get rid of the person and get another one who is better.

              A lot of them are hired by the Indian offshoring/outsourcing companies. In those cases, they charge the corporations "consultant" wages---perhaps lower than what American consultants would make, but much higher than what the H1-B is making and the Indian companies pocket the difference. Talk about a scam.

            •  RE: ugh, (4.00)
              I had made a decision to stay out of this thread, but when statements like the following are made, I just can't. You obviously have very little experience with the history of the H1B program in this country, and with all respect, you are just talking out of your ass.

              Harsh, but-- if you lose a job to a person who requires an H-1B, they are likely just a better candidate for the job than you are

              Plainly speaking, this is bullshit. More often than not, the H1B is simply cheaper. Also, when a company brings in an employee to this country on an H1B, what they in effect get is an indentured servant i.e. an employee who is not only cheaper to begin with, but one who is guaranteed to remain cheaper throughout the life of the visa, as the employee has no rights to move to another job, therefore there is no pressure on the employer in terms of pay, benefits, etc.

              Most cos (esp. right now) are LESS likley to take an H-1B holder-- too much work, too much money-- and have been settling for lesser candidates

              Look at just three examples below. Red Lobster reached out to India to get three Restaurant Managers. By your logic this would not have made sense, yet they did it. These are just three of literally thousands of examples.

              2004 Sacremento H1B's

              GMRI, Inc. d/b/a Red Lobster    Restaurant Manager    5900 Lake Ellenor Drive    Orlando    FL    12/18/2003    Certified    40000    Roseville    I-03352-0860105    Anita    Gutel    Director of Staffing

              GMRI, Inc. d/b/a Red Lobster    Restaurant Manager    5900 Lake Ellenor Drive    Orlando    FL    10/01/2004    Certified    39000    Roseville    I-04133-1098573    Anita    Gutel    Director of Staffing

              GMRI, Inc. d/b/a Red Lobster    Restaurant Manager    5900 Lake Ellenor Drive    Orlando    FL    10/01/2004    Certified    39000    Roseville    I-04092-1026045    Anita     Gutel    Director of Staffing

              Spend some time with the list. You will find:

              Tax Associates, Web Developers, Interior Designers,
              Latino Community Service Managers, Staff Pharmacists
              at Longs Drug Stores, and Managers at Red Lobster
              Restaurants.

              And you are telling me that some company is going do all kinds of work, and spend all kinds of money (your words), all because they don't won't to settle for what would be an otherwise inferior Red Lobster Restaurant Manager ... Please.

              If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:06:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Comes With Experience (4.00)
                It would appear that hiring droves of HB1's is somewhat easier per person than hiring one. There are probably some economies of scale in the process. So, once a company has mastered the process they can probably churn out the whole setup quickly. One HB1 is a lot of work; 25 probably is not much more. Cost per hire decreases.

                I also do not believe there were no qualified residents for the Red Lobster positions.

                •  RE: Comes With Experience (none)
                  It would appear that hiring droves of HB1's is somewhat easier per person than hiring one. There are probably some economies of scale in the process

                  This is very true. I have seen LCA's (labor condition applications) with more than ninety people on listed on the same LCA.

                  If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:48:41 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Comes With Experience (none)
                    One solution would be to restrict the number of applications that any firm can submit in a month or quarter. Say, 1 per month maximum. That would get around the mass applications.

                    Outlawing importing of full time 'consultents' is another way.

                    And strictly enforcing the requirement that employers must advertise locally, interview locally and prove it would help. Beyond that the HB1 issue probably deserves a thread of its own.

                    I have lived next to some Indian HB1's. Very bright, hard working guys. Living 6 in a one bedroom apartment, provided by their employer. So, I sincerely doubt the prevailing wage is being enforced.

                •  there is no requirement with the H1-B (none)
                  to prove that no Americans were qualified to do the job.  There was such a requirement at one time but a few years back (2000, I think) the requirement was eliminated.
                  •  correct (none)
                    That's a requirement for Labor Certification.  For the Labor Conditions Application (required with the H-1B), they have to verify prevailing wage, that the hire isn't breaking a strike, that the wage has been posted publicly at the job site, etc.  

                    (The names being so similar often causes confusion.)

              •  All due respect, (none)
                But you are simply talking out of your ass.

                I've been working in the immigration field in one respect or another for ten years.  You seems to be pretty reactionary and it seems your anger has been stoked with limited information.

                We have a pharmacist shortage, were you not aware?

                An H-1B isn't cheaper.  Check out the prevailing wage rules.  Same benefits are required to be given to the H-1B visa holder.

                It would make sense to hire Indian managers at red Lobster if a company was thinking of opening branches in India and wanted to start with American-trained Inidan staff.

                It seems like your anger makes it impossible for you to step back and accept that maybe you don't relaly understand the process or can't look rationally at individual hiring decisions.

                •  Red Lobster Managers??? (none)
                  Who is really talking out their ass? Come on... a Red Lobster Manager??? I'm sure you're right it takes years of training to prepare for a job like that... after all the mathematics alone... God addition, subtraction... I'll bet they even have to do multiplication.

                  Sorry about the sarcasm I couldn't help myself. You are right with some specific professions like the Pharmacist that you cited. Nursing is another area because lots of them are burnt out and leaving the profession.

                  I think that you were over stating your case and trying to make a blanket statement that isn't universally true.

                  •  dude-- (none)
                    If Red Lobster want to open restaurants in India, it would make sense for them to train them here first.

                    But, nice to go slamming retail managers.  I'm sure it'll help increase interest in the field. /snark

                    •  RE: dude-- (none)
                      If Red Lobster want to open restaurants in India

                      I do not profess to be an expert on the Hindu diet i.e. what percentage are still strict vegetarians, as I understand it the percentage rises as one travels south in India. Red Lobster's opening restaurants in India? Interesting.

                      If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                      by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:52:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  RE: All due respect, (4.00)
                  I've been working in the immigration field

                  And I am an electrical engineer, working in that field. I guess that puts us at odds over this issue yes?

                  We have a pharmacist shortage, were you not aware?

                  And apparently a tax associate shortage, and a web developer shortage, and a Latino community service manager shortage, an interior designer shortage, etc.

                  Check out the prevailing wage rules

                  I understand the prevailing wage rules. Until 2004 the requirement was 95%. But prevailing wage for what job description? As a company, if I bring in a senior usability engineer, and on the LCA label that person a 'programmer', what am I required to pay that person?

                  Matloff on Prevailing Wage.

                  And this:

                  High-Tech Cheap Labor

                  Last October Susan deFife, CEO of womenConnect.com, testified to the Senate in support of raising the H-1B quota. She claimed that a desperate shortage of American applicants had forced her to hire a newly graduated H-1B. Yet a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) inquiry later showed that deFife was paying this person only $35,000 per year--when the national average for new computer science graduates was $45,000.

                  Ecutel CEO John Harrison testified on the House side last year, claiming a lack of applicants for computer programmer jobs. Yet a FOIA inquiry later showed that he too was paying many of his H-1Bs only $35,000.

                  Several university studies have shown that the H-1Bs tend to earn less than their U.S. citizen/permanent resident counterparts, with the gap being 20 percent or worse. The law requiring that H-1Bs be paid "prevailing wage" is riddled with loopholes.

                  As immigration attorney Joel Stewart notes, "Employers who favor aliens have an arsenal of legal means to reject all U.S. workers who apply." And though some employers do not cheat their H-1Bs relative to American programmers of the same age and background, they still save on salaries by hiring H-1Bs, whose median age is 28, instead of hiring more expensive Americans over age 40.

                  If I can find it I will post up an approved LCA for twenty-five 'programmers' at $5.25/hr. Some evidence of just how strong the prevailing wage rules are.

                  If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:28:35 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no-- (none)
                    It doesn't put us at odds.  You have no idea what I do.

                    And that article is horrible-- both of the companies, it seems, were breaking the law.  The laws weren't the problem.

                    Plus, "national average" is useless in discussing prevailing wage.  It's a local determination-- plenty of people in the suburbs of Buffalo make below the national average doing all kinds of things.

                    And the last para is poor, too.  The issue there is age discrminiation perhaps?  

                    •  from what I understand (none)
                      the work visa laws have fewer restrictions than in the past so it's harder for companies to break the laws.

                       But the main problem with the laws on work visas is that nobody even bothers to enforce the weak rules to begin with. So companies can bring in H1-Bs, flaunt the law and nobody does a damn thing about it. Sounds like another great scam to me.

                  •  Age descrimination (none)
                    good post on the H1-B visa stuff... the cheap foreign high-tech worker picture is consistent with what I saw as a mangement working for a fortune 100 company.

                    The age descrimination issue surfaces here as well and lots of folks with superior skills and expertise get passed over routinely because of it. Fifty-three is  a usual HR cut-off point for hires, although never stated except to those inside the department.

            •  You're kidding, right? (none)
              My husband was once told by a prospective employer that he could either accept half the salary stated in the ad, or they could get an H1-B at that cost.

              I haven't worked since the high tech crash; I'm not willing to work 70 hours a week for 45K. And a goodly number of H1-Bs are just plain incompetent, just like Americans.

              Another real issue is that H1-Bs from India's wealthiest families go back home and take corporate intelligence with them and set up firms there in direct competition. And enforcing laws about the theft of intellectual property across international lines doesn't work.

              Oh - and I'm not exactly lily-white either, so save your rants about racism for your ownself. I'm kind of off-white or light brown, however you wish to play it.

      •  You're right that (none)
        the GOP wouldn't nominate him. But I don't know about pushing nutjobs like him to run in a third party hoping for a Perot/Nader effect.

        When The Ten-Commandment Judge Moore was considering a run, a lot of us were excited thinking foolishly that his run would suck votes away from Bush and bingo. Magic bullet.

        No. Duh.

        The establishment candidate would simply distance himself in a statement, appear sane and moderate to the masses who don't pay attention, but turn around and deliver the keynote address at the graduation ceremony of The United College of Jesus Everwhere University, Colorado Springs.

        It might be a pickle.  Time will tell if we should triangulate this or defuse it.

        Once his insanity goes national, his implosion might be a good trap with which to get some seats in Colorado and Montana.

        Or pop his balloon now to get a good Dem candidate on the radar for midterms as a voice of reason.

      •  The Business Elites are a Minority (none)
        Most rank and file Republicans don't see it the way the big business Republicans do:  a source of cheap labor. The rank and file look at the alleged costs associated with undocumented workers (welfare, health care, etc.) and view all immigrants as a problem. We have to look at this as to what is best for Americans, make sure our borders are secure, and then let in as many immigrants as we really need, but not at the expense of lower and middle class Americans who, while perhaps not losing a job, find their wages depressed as a result of competition from immigrants.

        government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth...it's just on hiatus for a while

        by IronyAbounds on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:11:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Tancredo (none)
        is a nationalist/fascist. He's part of the Nazi wing of the Republican party.

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:53:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It won't happen. (none)
      It won't happen.
      They like their right-wing conservatives to have a smile and good hair.
    •  Not dismissing Tancredo so lightly (none)
      By the time the 2008 presidential election rolls around, working Americans will have endured years of stagnant or falling wages, ever increasing gas prices, more pension failures, bankruptcies, loss of healthcare, and more job losses. Add to this the possible end to the real estate bubble. Working Americans will be pissed off, worried, and just plain scared..

      Either a credible Democratic candidate will address their concerns, or, failing that, a demagogue like Tancredo will. Mainstream America could very well get behind a hate monger like Tancredo if he is the only candidate giving voice to their issues. And their anger. And their fears.

      •  Then it's up to us (none)
        to make sure we nominate a cantidate who will address the concerns of working americans.

        I guess when it comes down to it I'm an optimist. I have to belive that the american public will quash an obvious hatemonger like Trancredo, or we're really screwed.

      •  I don't dismiss Tancredo (none)
        Not at all. He would indeed be popular with voters. But I just can't see the GOP giving him the nomination for President. But I can see him as a Joe McCarthy-type demagogue.
    •  Careful (4.00)
      This is a potentially explosive issue, and it doesn't fall neatly into Republican-Democratic dichotomies.  And while the most visible anti-immigration forces are racist right-wingers, there are millions upon millions of Americans that are neither highly racist nor naturally right-wing that feel deeply disquieted, threatened not just economically but socially and culturally, by rising immigration, and particularly illegal immigration.  

      We need more than a policy response, because the fears immigration stir up don't operate on rational bases, nor are they immediately subject to, rational appeals.  Before we can talk to people about how to resolve the issue, we need to talk about why there are so many immigrants streaming into an America where our own economy is increasingly unstable.

      It's really late now, and I'm not up for the hunting around, but the labor wing of the anti-globalization movement has done some very interesting work in this area, and should be looked to with some respect for some of the best ways to turn this issue around.

      •  The environmental effect (4.00)
        We cannot take in all the oppressed and poor of the world.  We can work hard for political freedom, fair wages, safe working conditions, etc. in the rest of the world.  And help to sustain indigenous cultures in their place of origin.

        Anyone who understands and cares about the environment recognizes that the worldwide increase in population and the huge flow of migrants into this country are having and will have a profoundly negative effect on the environment.

  •  Really? (3.75)
    "And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes)..."

    (sorry, don't know how to do the orange box thing)

    Oh, I'm sure that Americans would pick grapes.  Just not for what undocumented works are willing to do it for.

    For some reason, the so-called "free market" and the "law of supply and demand" suddenly aren't spoken of when it comes to illegally undercutting the labor market.

    Pay people what it would take to attract legal workers, and Americans will do the job.  If employers aren't willing to pay that, then they should be put in jail for breaking the law.  Period.

    •  They won't go to jail (none)
      They just won't grow the grapes, instead opting to import them from abroad.  

      Politics is so much better when there's sex. - Louis XIV

      by goblue72 on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 10:44:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense (none)
        The only logical conclusion to this line of thinking is a race to the complete bottom of labor, environmental, every law that makes America worth living in.

        It is very expensive to ship produce over long distances. They will grow them locally as long as there is profit in doing so. Profit can be structurally assured through uniform enforcement of fair labor practices, wages, and so on.

        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:58:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  if american companies (none)
      paid their workers enough to be able to afford american-made products, i'm sure many more americans would buy american-made goods.

      and wal-mart would go broke.

      "Disassembling" is what we did to Iraq. To "dissemble" is to lie with the intent to deceive. - Jon Stewart, loosely quoted

      by dukeraoul on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 10:44:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wal-mart (none)
        may end up going broke....but I still know too many people who can afford not to shop there but they do it anyhow.  So it may take awhile, unfortunately.
      •  if american companies (none)
        no, this guy will never make it as a nominee but he's a great distraction candidate in that he can make wingers that don't froth as much look more moderate and acceptable. It also serves as a market test.

        I do know that I see a lot of immigrants shopping at the Wallmart I work near. I have no idea about the % of illegals but I would have to guess it's some. If this is the case, it seems like a win-win for Wallmart. Cheap labor on the back end of the supply chain and cheap products in the store make for a very cozy relationship.

      •  i dunno about that (none)
        I'm willing to bet most Americans would still buy whatever's cheapest.

        "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

        by Delirium on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:03:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo LeftyBoy (4.00)
      I do not see immigrants taking jobs from Americans (whoever that may mean) at wages Americans are willing to take. What I have seen is illegals brought in as union busters and scabs. When workers at Tyson's (this was in Arkansas) began to talk about a union to improve conditions and treatment, management suddenly began hiring large numbers of immigrants. And began a downward push on wages.

      This is an issue that liberals can not ignore. If illegal immigrants are used to press down US wages, which clearly seems to be the case, what are we to do? Say that opponents are racist or xenophobic or whatnot?

      It might also help if we looked at the effect of illegal immigrants on the countries from which they migrate. Were it not for the possibility of life in the US, people would demand reform at home. As it is, those disatisfied can just pack up and leave. Not necessarily a liberal solution.

      •  Couldn't Agree More (4.00)
        Illegal immigration is a weapon used by big business against the average working American.
      •  The liberal solution... (4.00)
        ...is to organize the immigrants, so that race, citizenship, language, and ethnicity aren't used to divide workers.

        That was the secret to the great union breakthrough of the 1930s. So sad to see we've forgotten such an elemental point 70 years later.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:02:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not possible (none)
          For one thing, labor prices go down with a large supply of cheap, imported labor. This is in large part what led to the immigration cut-offs in the 1920s.

          When enough people have hungry children, they will work for starvation wages and exhibit the solidarity of a bowl of grape jelly.

      •  that's exactly the problem (4.00)
        Illegal immigration is used to drive down wages. But nobody wants to talk about it.

        The Democrats don't want to talk about it lest they offend immigrant groups who have historically supported Democrats. The Republicans don't talk about it because they support cheap labor. And the only politicians who actually do talk about it are people like Tancredo who has some ideas that are beyond nuts.

        The Sierra Club labels anybody who questions the status quo about immigration "racist" because they don't want these people to be elected to their board.  Some of them are racists but some of them aren't.

        It seems to be another issue that is never going to be discussed honestly in this country. So we'll probably wind up with more draconian laws such as the ones enacted in Arizona----because a lot of people want something done and the politicians do nothing. And while I don't think that Tancredo will get a presidential nomination, he's probably going to be rousing the rabble for a good time to come---because there really is nobody else who's talking about this, except Lou Dobbs.

      •  Tyson isnt the only one of course (4.00)
        Carolina Turkeys, located in Mt.Olive NC, the largest turkey processing plant in the world not only hires only undocumented workers, it is said on good authority that they pick them up in locales within Texas and Arkansas in vans.
        They then transport them back to NC. When they arrive in NC, they are put up in company owned trailer parks consisting of 3-4 bedrooms, and their rent is convienently taken from their paychecks, approx, 150-200 a WEEK, for just one bedroom in these mobile homes.
        Ask the locals around the Goldsboro,NC area how easy it is to get hired if you aren't illegal. Because jobs are so scarce in that area, it is a huge issue. Why illegals? Because 'illegals' don't file workmans comp claims, or sue when they lose limbs in faulty machinery.
        In economically depressed areas such as North Carolina, where jobs are so scarce, the hiring of undocumented workers really has a major impact. However Americans can't blame the illegals for wanting to feed themselves and their families, the companies need to be exposed for transporting them here, and giving them the jobs to begin with.
        A person in Mexico doesn't just wake up one morning and decide to move to PoDunk, NC, no, he is recruited.
        Tyson Foods, Carolina Turkeys, Wal-Mart, Mt.Olive Pickle, Pilgrims Pride, and several others within the Southeast and Texas. Thats where undocumented workers are really taking competitive jobs, and this is just a small example.

        If citizens were aware of these flagrant violations, they would be up in arms. Someone needs to connect the dots for them so that they can see just how the 'Good 'Ol Boy network is screwing them to turn a profit.

        These blowhards running around with guns and ammo from Wal-Mart on the border, talking about illegals stealing American jobs, are the some of the biggest hipocrites out there today.

        •  Living Conditions (none)
          I also live in NC.. for a while in Eastern NC around the fields of tobacco and cotton and sweet potatos.  The living conditions of the farm workers is horrible.  The trailers and tar paper shacks. The outdoor toilets and showers. The huge corporate farmers are getting away with it because the workers have no place to go to complain. They bussed them to Wal-Mart on Sundays to do their shopping.

          Fear keeps them from making changes.  The humane society removes pets that live in conditions better than the workers.  We also have a big controversy brewing in NC.. should the children of illegal immigrants pay instate or out of state tuition, even if they have gone to high school for 4 years in the state?  I am so torn on the issue of immigration.  How to stem the illegal immigrants while helping the legal?  HB-1 visas and how they actually hurt the high tech industry (I work for now a Chinese company)? This issue is so complicated that it is hard to have just one view on the subject.

    •  Do people still think of (3.00)
      illegal immigrants and grape picking? How 1960's, It's been estimated that half the Mexican economy is based on subsistence labor in an "underground economy". (from the L.A. Times May 9th) "Why hasn't there been a social explosion in Mexico?" he (Obrador-Mayor) wrote in his recent book outlining his vision for fixing Mexico's employment and development woes. "The escape valve has been the informal economy, migration and drug trafficking. It's painful to admit it, but that's the reality."
      But business leaders complain that entire industries are being lost to pirates and off-the-books entrepreneurs. It's costing Mexico big-time in terms of lost tax revenue and formal-sector jobs. Mexico's urban areas are also feeling the heat from the explosion of ambulant vendors, pitting residents' quality of life against peddlers' need to scratch out a living.

      Failing even that tenuous foothold in Mexico's dysfunctional society, millions have come to the U.S. where a nascent black market for labor has taken root in places like So. California in jobs that go way beyond grape picking. Pick an occupation (and an employer looking to fatten his bottom line) and you'll find illegal immigrants.
      Until meaningful employer sanctions are in place, the "onshoring" will continue.....
      ( I know, I know..."I'm a rascist" blah blah blah )
      •  US safety valve (none)
        is what keeps corrupt Mexican elites in power. We should be using NAFTA as a cudgel to force Mexico to reform.

        Sponge Bob, Mandrake, Cartoons. That's how your hard-core islamahomocommienazis work.

        by Benito on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:56:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  yes! it's still agriculture! (none)
        this is not to say that undocumented workers don't work in lots of other sectors, especially construction, but the american agricultural sector is completely dependent on undocumented workers.  if the supply of these workers was cut off, we would see large swaths of the american countryside go idle.

        the slaugherhouses are all dependent on them.  cows, pigs, chickens.  americans won't work in these places, not because of the wages, which in many cases aren't that bad, but because of the conditions.  in my town the chicken plant pays HIGHER than the average wage in town, and the plant is all latino.

        i think too much is made of the wage issue in this discussion.  i don't think we could simply raise the wage, and then watch as native born americans stream into the country's slaughterhouses and fields.  it ain't going to happen.  only desperate people will harvest green beans in the hot georgia summer.

        "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

        by tmendoza on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:30:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course it's about the money (none)
          Yes, the working conditions are a factor, but ultimately it's all about the wages.

          Can't get legal workers to do a shitty job?  Offer 50 bucks an hour, and they will come.  Still not enough labor?  Must be a pretty nasty job.  Offer $100/hour, they'll come.

          This is simply the free-marketeers own logic about supply and demand, and letting the unfettered market sort things out.

          There is no job that a legal, American worker wouldn't take, if the pay was set high enough.  By definition, THAT'S how wages are supposed to be set.

          That's how it works for executives and others who are lucky enough (they would say, valuable and hard working enough) to be enjoying life at the top of the compensation scale.  The only real difference with the poor schlub who's cleaning the toilet or up to his armpits in chicken guts is that there's a wrench in the works when it comes to compensation at the other end of the scale.  The guy cleaning the toilet or up to his armpits in chicken guts works just as hard as the guy with the corner office on the top floor, but he has to compete with literally millions of other poor schlubs names Juan or Xian or Achmed who don't have the little nicities that come whe you are a legal worker.

          There is no question that undocumented workers depress wages, epecially at the bottom end of the scale.  The oft-repeated lie that they do jobs that legal workers simply won't do is complete nonsense.

          Now, there surely are other issues that play a big role in what's driving the current trends in illegal immigration and undocumented workers - it's a complex picture (and I agree that all of those need to be addressed) - but anyone who says that it's not about the wages is, in my view, not dealing with reality.

          Bottom line: if legal workers are not willing to do a job at the wages being offered, then the employer has two choices: offer more money (whatever level it takes, even if that seems outrageous), or get out of that business.  The option of paying just enough to get a Mexican to do the job is shameful.  Those who engage in that should go to jail.  Period.

          It's just business, Sonny.  Nothing personal.

          •  be realistic (none)
            no farmer can afford to pay $50 an hour for an apple  picker, unless of course american consumers are willing to pay $20 for a bag of apples.  neither are going to happen.

            the average farmworker in south georgia makes somewhere between $7-$12 an hour depending on their skill level and the ruthlessness of the planter.  i could see wages going up to $15 an hour, but a wage higher than that would drive farmers out of business.  we would just buy our green beans from latin america where wages are much lower.

            my point is that you will never be able to raise wages high enough (while still maintaining solvency as a farm) to get native born americans to work in the hot georgia sun all day, bent over picking beans, or watermelons or whatever.  

            i don't think this is true for many of the jobs that undocumented workers fill, but in some agricultural work there is no realistic wage increase that could pull native workers en masse into the labor market.

            of course people would work in the 100 degree humidiy of south georgia if farmers paid $50 or $100 as you suggest.  but your suggestion is irrelevent as a wage that high is not feasible.

            "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

            by tmendoza on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:27:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Realism (none)
              What I'm suggesting is simply that the so-called free market be allowed to work.  If apples end up costing $5 each because it requires paying people what the wage market demands, then that reflects their true cost.  This is simply applying republican economics to workers.  If apples are too expensive, tough - that's what they cost.

              I maintain that artificially depressing wages by allowing and encouraging unlimited undocumented workers is a distortion, and is in fact unrealistic.

              Why is it only unrealistic if someone advocates that wages be treated the same as any other component of an economy?  Fair is fair.  If the law of supply and demand is used to justify sending jobs overseas, cutting wages and benefits, surely it also applies to bidding up wages for the people picking fruit, slaughtering chickens or framing up 2 by 4s.

              I don't see how it is any different.  A business needs something - in this case, someone's labor. They either pay what the market demands, or they go do something else.  The only reason the market doesn't demand a living wage for these folks is because someone more desparate is willing to do it for less.

              •  i'm all about supply and demand (none)
                there is demand for cheap food in this country.  we have a supply of willing workers from lating america.

                people will never pay $5 for one apple (at current price levels).  if food cost that much people wouldn't be able to do anything besides eat.  it will never happen.

                we either continue to import workers who are willing to work at $10 an hour in grueling conditions, or we ship our farms oversees.  there is no other choice.

                farmers in the united states can not afford to pay a living wage by our standards.  if they did, food prices would go sky high in this country, and american produced crops would be priced out of the  marker by food from brazil, etc.

                so you have to decide which you like better.  little to no labor intensive farming in this country, or continued reliance on migrant labor.

                "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

                by tmendoza on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:39:51 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  How Much Is That Tomato in the Window? (none)
                  How Much Is That Tomato in the Window?: Retail Produce Prices Without Illegal Farmworkers. A study done by Iowa State University economists Wallace Huffman and Alan McCunn.

                  Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims June 15, 2000

                  There might be modest price increases. I say "might" because farmworker wages typically account for less than 10 percent of the retail cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, and even in the absence of a new guestworker program, there is no possibility that all illegal workers would disappear overnight; ending illegal employment, were we to make such a choice, would be a process not an event, permitting farmers some time to adjust. Even if the entire illegal agricultural workforce were somehow to magically disappear, the impact of supermarket prices would be extremely modest and short-lived: Research suggests that supermarket prices for fresh produce would rise about 6 percent during summer and fall (when imports are small and prices are lowest) for one or two years, before farmers adjusted to the new circumstances. In the winter and spring, the price rise would be even smaller, perhaps 4 percent for one or two years. (See "How Much Is That Tomato in the Window?: Retail Produce Prices Without Illegal Farmworkers, http://www.cis.org/huffman&.htm , by Iowa State University economists Wallace Huffman and Alan McCunn, Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder, February 1996.) Such price increases are less than the variation between supermarkets, and would in any case apply to only a very small portion of the nation's food bill.

                  Now there are those who will be standing by, chomping at the bit to post up "you are just a racist, because you post up racist stuff by Mark Krikorian and the CIS".

                  Wrong. I post Krikorian's testimony as to the findings of the study because this study, and many others, are no longer available from Iowa State's web site. There is at least one other university study on this same subject, but I have lost the link. The cost of produce, the cost of poultry, and the costs of many other items, are not in the processing, picking, whatever it is. The true costs are in the storage and transport, and in the fees charged by the various middlemen in the marketplace.

                  I would also note that the 'cheap burrito' crowd, that is to say the crowd here which loudly cry out '$14.99/pound for chicken' never post up any cites or links which support these claims.

                  If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:07:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Jobs Americans Won't Do? (3.78)
    Picking grapes is the obvious example of a "job that Americans won't do."

    But what about working construction?  Construction jobs used to be good-paying jobs 20 years ago.  Now, in many parts of the country, contractors rely very heavily upon illegal labor, and only "skilled" construction jobs like electrical or plumbing are held by legal residents at a living wage.

    Likewise with meat-packing.  Meat-packing used to be a middle income (albeit dirty) trade in the Midwest.  Now, it's been completely taken over by illegal labor.

    Illegal labor is depressing the wages of working-class Americans.  And, if we can't answer this problem, we shouldn't expect their votes.

    •  exactly (3.66)
      People will do most anything for sufficient money!  It's just that nobody but the most desperate wants to work themselves to death for a paltry wage.
      •  Agreed. Look at Sanitation Workers - (4.00)
        - are largely US citizens. The difference - living wages and respect. If Americans will pick up trash for a living, they'll do most anything, provided the pay is right. And respectability of the position? Raise the wages and respectability will follow. Again, look at Sanitation.
    •  the idea that (4.00)
      there are "jobs that Americans won't do" is a lie that has been stated as fact so often over the last 30-40 years that people think there actually are such jobs----when as you have pointed out, it's not the job, it's the salary that Americans find unacceptable.
    •  Our approach (4.00)
      should not be weak or wishy-washy. We already have way too many of those. Since the Republicans are vigorously focusing on the border itself - a naked appeal to xenophobia - we should just as vigorously focus on enforcing the law in regard to those contractors. I don't think anyone cares that much about the grape picking or bathroom mopping jobs, but the ones like you described - the ones that once paid American residents a living wage - should be what we focus on.

      We should argue that the Republicans won't be able to stop the inflow of illegal aliens any more than we can stop the inflow of drugs - BUT - if we force companies to obey immigration laws then we're getting at the source of the problem. The GOP would never do this because it would piss off their business wing that loved Bush's guest worker policy. And this is more of a natural fit for us than patrolling the border, which has sort of a scary-angry-redneck feel to it. It lets us accuse the Republicans of attacking the branches while we're going after the root.

      The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

      by movie buff on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:03:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly.. Focus on the Employer (3.50)
        Couldn't agree more.  By focusing upon the employer (rather than the illegal immigrant employee), you don't look like you are targeting the poor and weak.  And it exposes some of these "conservative" business owners (who also employ illegals) for the hypocrites that they are.
      •  Yep. And fines aren't enough. If ... (4.00)
        ...you really want to make a difference, roughly haul some of those employers away in handcuffs the way the new Migra - BICE - does with undocumented workers. And then fine them - and no more penny-ante stuff. Propose this kind of approach and you'll see some Republicans frothing at the mouth in ways that Tom Tancredo hasn't even dreamed of on his rantiest day.

        **

        Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

        Visit The Next Hurrah

        by Meteor Blades on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:48:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  How insulting (4.00)
        Thank you for the nasty comments about bathroom mopping. You might be surprised to learn that twenty years ago most of the janitors in this country were Americans, had permanent employment, and although wages were low, they were livable.

        Today most work for contracting firms as temporaries, are immigrants, often illegal, and do not receive a living wage. The American citizen, through transfer payments to the US born children of illegals, picks up the difference.

        Sorry, but illegal immigration is nothing but a big fat tax subsidy to business.

        •  Point taken (none)
          I was thinking more of that type of job in restaurants, etc., than janitor jobs in offices or schools. I guess I didn't phrase it well, but considering this:

          illegal immigration is nothing but a big fat tax subsidy to business.

          you're acting pretty touchy. That's a pretty offensive comment in itself. What I feel is needed here is a solution that's acceptable to the working class while not being punitive to those who crossed the desert looking for a better life. But based on some of your comments on this thread, you don't seem very interested in not being punitive.

          The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

          by movie buff on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:33:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  let's be real for a second (none)
            yes, illegal immigration is a boon to big business, but it also helps the average american in one way: it keeps food prices down.  farmers pay migrant workers low wages in the fields and slaughterhouses of this country.  it keeps food cheap.  which is good for poor americans.  legal and illegal.  hell, it's good for middle class americans.

            i'm not arguing for the status quo.  i just think you have to address the situation honestly, and that doesn't seem to be happening on this thread.

            "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

            by tmendoza on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:35:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Touchy? Spend a week in my neighborhood.... (none)
            Look - illegal immigration is a big fat subsidy to business. The working class people are taxed to supply the "child only" welfare support given only to children born here of illegal parents.

            Business doesn't pay the parents enough - so they collect TANSFA and special programs for their children.

            Another problem is the promotion of the use of Spanish - which is costing California a fortune in special educational expenses, while leaving the kids unprepared for actually speaking enough English to earn a decent living. At one of the local community colleges I have met literally dozens of bright children of legal immigrants who are unable to understand English well enough to attend the CC without major special review coursework to bring them up to speed, despite the fact that they have high school diplomas.

            This cuts both ways as the other people in the state move more and more to private and home schooling and tend to vote against school budgets. In the past two years I have watched people leave California because they are unable to deal with their children being taught in classes where Spanish is the main language used, with the violence, and with the drug dealers and the gangsters. Say what you want about people coming here for a "better life." The problem is that they are ruining the lives of the working people already here.

            As for restaurant jobs, in case you are unaware, some of those positions are highly sought since tips are shared with kitchen staff.

    •  "If we can't answer this problem... (3.50)
      ...we shouldn't expect their votes."

      Exactly. The Democratic party has screwed blue-collar workers almost as badly as the Republicans. What jobs we are not helping to send offshore with treaties like NAFTA, we are taking away by having a lax attitude towards the employment of illegal immigrants, or should I say, to avoid offending anyone's delicate sensibilities "undocumented workers."

      And when we had the White House and both houses of Congress, we didn't get healthcare passed.

      So why wouldn't a blue-collar worker vote for a candidate who, however hypocritical, at least pays lip service to his conservative moral values?

      Bill Clinton, this great big Democratic Party hero, is the poster boy for the kind of failed politics that will keep us in the minority forever: Send factory jobs to Mexico while having your dick sucked in the Oval Office by a junior employee for the hell of it and because infidelity and promiscuity are no big deal to you and not anyone else's business anyway.

      Bottom line: We let their jobs get taken away just as surely as any right-wing Republican businessman would and on top of that force our oh-so-sophisticated attitudes towards sex and marriage down their throats. That's adding insult to injury.

      And we don't deliver on healthcare when we have the chance. That's sheer incompetence. But let's run healthcare-fiasco Hillary for President.

      Can someone tell me what we have done for blue-collar workers lately, besides the earned income tax credit?

      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

      by expatjourno on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 02:55:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good points, except (none)
        please leave Clinton's dick out of it. I'm as bothered by you by the failure of the Democrats to deliver on their promises when they had the chance. But I couldn't give a rat's ass if the president privately fucked an armadillo bent over the Oval Office desk, as long as he does his job and fairly represents Democratic principles.

        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:01:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clinton's dick was important to a lot of voters (none)
          You couldn't give a rat's ass, I couldn't give a rat's ass, but a lot of people whose votes we need sure could. That was my point. I'm trying to say that we've sucked when it comes to delivering the goods economically and we've also...

          Uh, maybe I should put it another way. We've been insensitive to small town sensibilities.

          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

          by expatjourno on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:59:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is... (none)
            ...no evidence that Clinton's indiscretion affected any voters directly. The biggest effect they had is in making Democratic candidates ineffective because they mistakenly perceived a need to not run on the extremely popular Clinton record. This is particularly true of Clinton's Vice President.

            Lots of politicians treated American voters like idiots, and that was the problem, not American voters actually being idiots.

            •  Well, just got to disagree with you there (none)
              In addition to the effects and mistakes you cite -- and I agree with you completely about all of that -- I think the blowjobs hurt the image of the party. It's just one more instance of loose morals in the eyes of rural and small town voters. You combine that with abortions and Hollywood and opposing prayer in school and protecting flag-burners and we really don't look good. We look decadent.

              It's an incorrect perception, I hasten to say.

              The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

              by expatjourno on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:01:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  4: Excellent (none)
        The scale only goes up to four?  I want to rate this post at least 50.
  •  Not a problem (3.00)
    As much as immigration matters to rank-and-file Republicans, it's an electoral loser for them statewide or on a national scale. Look what the anti-immigration jihad did to Republicans in California. California voted Republican in every Presidential election between 1952 and 1988 with the exception of 1964 and 1976. Now they are the most solid of blue states. Why? Because more Hispanics vote in California than before, and Pete Wilson reminded them that Hispanics do not have a home in the Republican Party. With Hispanics flirting more and more with the Republican Party nationwide, a racist anti-immmigrant platform would drive them right back to the Democratic Party. They want to demagogue immigration (and it isn't just illegal immigration)? Bring it on.
    •  It's pure demagoguery (3.50)
      In American history, concern over immigration has almost always been demagoguery. That's probably because in and of itself immigration is harmless - it's only when American workers are already getting screwed do folks begin to think immigration is bad.

      We've gone round and round about this issue for the last 150 years. In the 1910s a solution was finally hatched, though it took until the '30s for it to really take root among workers: organize everyone - all workers, immigrants and native-born included.

      Concern about immigration is a wedge issue. Organize all workers, work for legislation that ensures a fair standard for all, and liberalize immigration law so as to eliminate the "illegal" category, and whatever problems exist around immigration are solved.

      Such is the liberal solution. Anything else is fundamentally conservative.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:05:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Eliminate the "Illegal" Category? (none)
        It sounds like you are suggesting unlimited immigration?

        There are several billion very poor people in the world.  I have little doubt that we would have a massive influx of poor, uneducated workers from developing countries if we simply "legalized" all immigration.

        Do we really want to turn Los Angeles into Lagos or San Salvador?

        •  Get a grip (3.25)
          LA already looks like that.

          Besides, the point is that the current immigration numbers - legal and illegal - prove that our immigration laws are flawed, because the demand for workers outstrips the legal quotas for them. Further, the immigration rules our country has are biased against unskilled labor, forcing such labor to come here illegally when they would much rather come legally.

          Also, if it's so easy to get into this country, why hasn't all of Lagos or San Salvador already come here? Fact is, just because the borders are more liberalized doesn't mean everyone will come here.

          The US had unrestricted immigration until 1917 (Chinese excepted). We did just fine - our problems then came from unregulated capitalism, not from immigration.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:11:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Make It Easier (none)
            Make it easier, and the whole USA will look like San Salvador or Lagos.  (And, by the way, Los Angeles and San Salvador are hardly comparable.)

            The difficulty of the journey across the desert is the one factor inhibiting even larger numbers of illegal immigrants from coming.

            •  That's pure speculation (4.00)
              And I'd prefer our arguments not be based on speculation.

              In any case, the solution to the problem - closed borders or open borders - is to ensure that all workers are paid well. Everywhere. US companies need to pay good wages and be forced to pay good wages. If companies can use wages to pit workers against each other, nothing good comes as a result. And I assure you that in the absence of immigrants, companies will find another way to pit Americans vs. Americans. They've been doing it for centuries.

              I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

              by eugene on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:15:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Pure Speculation (none)
                "And I assure you that in the absence of immigrants, companies will find another way to pit Americans vs. Americans."

                Sounds a little like the "pure speculation" we're trying to avoid. But I understand your sentiment, being somewhat of a natural cynic myself when it comes to human nature.

                Politics is the art of the possible. Do you really believe a policy of open borders and unlimited immigration (even combined with theoretical wage protections) is a political winner?

                Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:09:37 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nope, it's not a political winner... (none)
                  but it'd be a humanist winner...

                  Especially in light of our 462,000,000,000* dollar annual defense budget....

                  *Doesn't include Iraq war supplementals...

                  "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

                  by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:20:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  seriously? (none)
            Something 25 percent of the world's population lives on less than $1/ day. What percentage would want to come to the US with no immigration laws--?

            Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

            by markymarx on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:06:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Umm... (none)
              It would likely take time for most of those people to save up for a plane ticket....
              •  why save when you can borrow? (none)
                You really think it's impossible?  How about taking out a high-interest loan that can be paid back with current U.S. wages no time? Or taking the slow boat?  Or walking?

                Personally, I am for very liberal immigration policies, and would consider open borders at least in principle, but no point in fooling ourselves on the facts.  If just 5 percent of the people who earn less than a dollar a day wanted to come here (for example), the US population would skyrocket.  And if you earned less than a dollar a day, and your family lived in poverty, what would you want to do?  

                Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

                by markymarx on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:58:49 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A loan? (none)
                  You really think it's impossible?  How about taking out a high-interest loan that can be paid back with current U.S. wages no time?

                  Um, a loan from whom? With no current assets, no substantial income history, and -- given the competition -- no substantial probability of getting a job paying current US wages even if they get to the US, it sounds like the five idiots you might find with money to lend willing to lend it to people on this basis will soon be broke and the problem self-correcting.

                   

                  •  that UM... is pretty annoying (none)
                    Particularly when you're wrong. You need to read more.

                    First, immigration brokers do exactly this now-- except they faciliate illegal immigration.  It's similar to indentured servitude.  

                    Second, how do you think poor people get loans now?  Ever hear of Pawn Shops? Loan sharks?  How about payday loans?  

                    Third, there are all kinds of people willing to lend money in this big bad world.  And in some cases, if they don't get paid back, they force you to sell your organs.  Seriously.

                    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

                    by markymarx on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:07:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I read plenty... (none)
                      and I'm not wrong...

                      You need to read more.

                      And you need to think more, and read more critically.

                      First, immigration brokers do exactly this now-- except they faciliate illegal immigration.  It's similar to indentured servitude.

                      Yes, they do; but they rely on the fact of illegality to exploit the immigrants in illegal enterprises which generate the profit that pays back the loan. The immigrants are held in check by threats of physical violence and by the fear of discovery and deportation which prevents recourse to the police.

                      Without the immigration itself being illegal, this doesn't work.

                      Second, how do you think poor people get loans now?  Ever hear of Pawn Shops? Loan sharks?  How about payday loans?

                      Global "loan sharking to the extremely poor so they can immigrate to the US with a low probability of being able to repay" conspiracies are extremely unlikely, as even with incredibly high interest on those able to pay, and high compliance, they are likely to be money losing, and expose the criminals to too many different levels of risks of being caught for too little reward. There's easier and more reliable illegal ways to make money, like smuggling narcotics.

                      Payday loans charge high interest to people with current jobs for very short-term loans. Hardly relevant to this discussion, since the people involved do not have the jobs and are unlikely to get them.

                      Pawn shops accept valuable assets in return for loans against collateral kept in the custody of the lender that revert to the lender on default (I think, actually, the mechanism is usually a sale with a contractual right to buy back at a set price within a set time limit rather than a loan per se, but it amounts to the same thing). Since most of the worlds poorest poor that you suggest are going to try to stream into the United States are unlikely to have valuable assets to pawn to cover travel expenses, they, too, are largely irrelevant.

                      Third, there are all kinds of people willing to lend money in this big bad world.  And in some cases, if they don't get paid back, they force you to sell your organs.  Seriously.

                      As I recall, the total number of documented cases justifying that urban legend remains at zero.

                •  I dunno. (none)
                  I'm thinking that many of these people living on less than a $1 a day don't have access to the internet and won't likely find out right away when we change our laws, won't likely hop in a cab to the nearest bank for a loan....

                  Seriously.  Flow will increase, but not nearly like you think.

                  •  think about the gold rush (none)
                    There was no internet in 1849, but a lot of people made it to California...

                    Seriously, you're just being silly.

                    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho Marx

                    by markymarx on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:09:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  asdf (none)
          Um why aren't they all here now?  I thought they all came here in the 80's and had 10 babies and got on welfare...

          ...isn't that what Reagan said?

          The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"

          by Love and Death on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:15:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This is exactly why (none)
      we need to go after the companies who are hiring all the illegal immigrants. This would allow us to appear tough, reform-minded, moderate, and protective of the working class, without the racist overtures that turn off swing voters. We need to approach the problem directly, and accuse the Repugs of just making a lot of noise. We can turn this wedge around.

      The intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.

      by movie buff on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:18:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Immigrants will be blamed for... (4.00)
    the ills that corporate globalization has brought to the American Worker. When in reality electronic products assembled in Mexico have more rights at the border than most Mexicans.

    The Republicans need a big diversion from a honest debate over what they have done to the economy. They will choose racism and the threat of the "unwashed hordes" who are taking OUR jobs.

    People are mad their jobs have been shipped overseas but they can't afford to yell at the corporations who still give them crumbs. So America's workers will eagerly react to this racist prod. Always have. It's the Mexicans, it's the Gypsies, it's the Jews. Get themout and all our problems will be solved! It's the LePen & Haider strategy. It will backfire.

    This is a common theme in Europe over Turks. (Racism against Turks being the real reason the European Constitution died in France and the Morrocan threat in the Netherlands.)

    It will get very nasty. But remember, this crap was the end of Pete Wilson when he backed Prop 187 in California that would have denied hospital visits and schools to immagrant kids. Republicans could lose the Hispanic vote in the process.

    •  No. (none)
      The French voted against the constitution because they realized the British had out manouvred them for a decade--damaging their hopes for a Federal Europe. That is why the parties of the left splintered and pushed the numbers over the top.   It was high politcs.    The Dutch didn't reject the treaty because of a 'Morrocan threat'--Morroco? WTF?  the EU is was rejected  because Britain and France are not on the same page.
    •  Please stop (none)
      propagating that disproved nonsense that it was support of prop 187 that brought down Wilson.

      Prop 187 passed with a solid majority of the vote. It had wide popular support. Even a large percentage of Hispanics supported it.

      Wilson's opponent did not base his campaign on repealing Prop 187. Wilson lost for a combination of reasons.

      Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

      by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:14:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More than Prop 187 (none)
        It was about more than Prop 187. Pete Wilson made immigration - including stripping benefits of legal immigrants - a central plank in his governing platform. Prop 187 also came before the great GOP plunge. A combination of Hispanics who immigrated in the 1980s gaining voting rights, and continued vitriolic, racist rhetoric from the California GOP turned Hispanics into hardcore Democrats for a generation.
        •  I was there for that election (none)
          and all indications were that Wilson lost despite supporting Prop 187, not because of it. He was widely unpopular before the Prop was even put on the ballot. There was a lot of spin trying to make the election into a referendum on Wilson's opposition to providing state services to illegals, but it just wasn't the reason he lost. It just wasn't. His opponent didn't make a big deal of it, nor run on a platform of support for more services for illegals. The election just didn't play that way. They even did polls afterwards, and anger over Prop 187 was low on the list as a factor in the election. Some folks want to hold up that election as a warning of political suicide for anyone who opposes illegal immigration or providing vast social services to illegals, but it's just not the way things went down.

          Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

          by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:09:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm a little confused (none)
            Prop 187 was passed in November 1994.
            Pete Wilson, it's foremost booster, was re-elected in Nov. 1994. He served two terms and then retired. Am I misunderstanding something in your post?

            Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

            by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:56:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You have NO idea, none, of what you speaking of (none)
            You may have been in CA for that election, but your memory is poor or you are simply lying.  I worked for the Dem. party in CA that cycle and you are just plain wrong.

            First off Wilson won his election in 1994, riding the pro-187 wave.

            From the day he was down 17 points in the polls to Brown and endorsed 187 his numbers started to climb.  Focus group after focus group confirmed to us what common sense was telling us: people were angry about budget problems in the state and the easiest scapegoats, other than the Democratic Legislature and Willie Brown, were immigrants.  Do you honestly think Wilson spent millions of dollars on tv ads showing illegal border crossings if the issue was not effective?

            Exit poll after exit poll showed that those that supported Wilson, supported 187.

            Brown didn't run on a pro-immigrant platform, because she saw the polls like everyone else.  It would have been suicide and she would have LOST (not won like you think she did) even worse than she did.

            Your whole premise is based on your eggregious error that Wilson lost.

            "Some folks want to hold up that election as a warning of political suicide for anyone who opposes illegal immigration or providing vast social services to illegals, but it's just not the way things went down."

            You're right that it's just not the way things went down.  Wilson won because he hitched his wagon to 187.  His re-election was proof that you can run a anti-immigrant campaign and WIN in CA.  Just ask all of Wilson's old staff that now advise the current Gov.  There's a reason Arnie is complimenting the minutemen.

            Get your facts straight.
             

  •  dons flamesuit (3.50)
    There is NO immigration crisis.

    it's a ruse, a smokescreen to keep the impoverished classes fighting each other while the dominant order makes off with our wealth.

    The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"

    by Love and Death on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:04:40 PM PDT

    •  Yup (none)
      The numbers of immigrants coming to the US today isn't much different than it was during the late '90s. Yet it wasn't immigrants that caused the '90s boom to end, nor is it they who are preventing a recovery.

      It's nothing but smoke and mirrors.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:08:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, it's not. (3.33)
        I live in a border state.  Health care is being bankrupted here by people with no health insurance using publicly-funded emergency rooms as primary physicians.  The majority, though ny no means all of them, are illegals.

        Employers do use immigrants to drive down wages.  Real wages are falling steadily, and jobs that used to be middle-class are subsistence now.  This has been documented above by other people.

        The schools can't handle the burden either.  They are funded by property taxes here.  More people not paying property taxes = a state school system that will close this October barring drastic legislation.  Though with our wingnut Lege, that is a slim hope.

        Immigration laws are in place for good reasons.  A nation cannot continue growth with a constant influx of new people - it sets up a positive-feedback loop that begins to degrade.

        "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa

        by cclough on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:54:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  property tax question-- (none)
          How do poor illegals from Mexico effect property taxes?  Are you saying they are homeowners not paying taxes because they are illegal?
          •  Property taxes (none)
            I think the problem is a dramatic increase in the number of children attending school without increasing the property tax base.

            That property taxes are an extremely stupid way to fund schools is an entirely different problem from illegal immigration, of course.

            •  but-- (none)
              Property tax-based public education is awful, I agree.

              I thought maybe the poster meant what you said there, but it doesn't make sense.  Property tax is still being paid-- it's being paid by the landlord, is all.

              •  Property taxes (none)
                There is a connection, if somewhat tenuous, and I won't defend it too much. Property taxes work best in a city with high home ownerhsip and low income inequality. Large numbers of illegal immigrants are going to live in crowded, low-quality housing which is going to have a low property value.

                The school funding is going to be determined by something roughly comparable to "property value * tax levy / child". And the only way to can balance that equation when property values are low and the number of children is high is to increase the tax rate.

                That puts the squeeze on middle class home owners, who are also facing downward pressure on wages and income. It forces landlords to pay higher taxes and jack up the rent. The higher rents make it harder for young couples to save enough to jump from renting to owning. It also decouples the relationship between the people voting for property taxes and the people paying them. That's not good or sustainable in the long term either.

                •  agreed, pretty much-- (none)
                  But the issue is poverty, not legal status or lack thereof.  Poor people renting and poor people w/out legal status renting is really indistinguishable.
                  •  You're absolutely right. (none)
                    The true issue is poverty. But the immigration system we currently have encourages poverty, not just among the immigrants themselves, but among the working class Americans who have seen their chances at middle class stability vanish.
                    •  Exactly. (none)
                      The immigration system needs to be changed dramatically, as does the education system, the health care system, etc.  All of these broken systems, combined, are beating the hell out of the American people.
        •  You sure it's the immigrants? (none)
          Sure looks like the CEOS and businessmen that are the problem here...such as...

          Jeffrey C. Barbakow
          Tenet Healthcare
           $22,785 per hour, $116.4 million for 2002
           Doesn't include new stock options with potential value of $72.4 million
           Tenet's 2002 stock price change: 63.8

          Guy made more money this morning that I'll make in a year and a 1/2....

          http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2003-03-31-ceopay2_x.htm

          "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

          by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:00:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Crow. Yum. (none)
          There's nothing quite so much fun as reading a comment I posted the night before in a fit of my usual insomnia and realizing that my powers of reasoning were taking a bit of a nap.  I was reading a paper online somewhere about links between illegal immigration and the tax base and how it relates (not single-handedly causes, but relates) to things like the public-schools funding crisis in Texas.  I'll look it up and post some better-cogitated comments.  

          Thanks to raters for smacking where appropriate.  :)

          "There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life." Frank Zappa

          by cclough on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:53:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Now's who is using smoke and mirrors? (none)
        You know full well (or should) that it's the number of illegals in the country that affects living conditions, not the influx in any given year.

        And the number in country has grown hugely over what it was in the 90s.

        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:16:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not so sure (none)
          give me some proofs...remember, spending discretionary income is an extremely important factor that makes our economy strong.  

          Illegal immigrants have the most liquid assets, spending to help America's economy, though I grant that money does get sent back.

          I'd like to see some data on how living conditions are affected...  

          I think you are missing the corporation's view here.  The capitalist doesn't really want to be a capitalist; he'd rather be a monopolist and use every crutch and cheat to rake in the most $$$$.  I've seen it down to the level of the general contractor who I worked for in the 90's...

          That's where I see the fundamental problem.

          "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

          by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:44:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Uhhh... (none)
      There are now small towns all across the midwest which have had to open up immigration offices, because the meat packing plants have been bussing in illegals to work in their plants.  That's a new thing, just in the past 10 years.  It used to be illegal immigration from Mexico was just a problem in Texas or California, etc.  Now it's spreading like a plague all over the country.

      These packing plants.  They bring the guys in, they work about 2-3 years maybe and then something happens and they become crippled and can't work any more.  Guess who then pays for them?  Yep, you and me...

      Yeah, it's the companies who are doing the dirty deed... but any solution is going to hit the illegal immigrants.  Your living in a fantasy world if you think otherwise.

  •  In a truly progressive country (3.83)
    all work would have dignity and pay a living wage, and therefore there would not be any jobs "Americans wouldn't do"
  •  This is a wedge issue for the GOP (none)
    Perhaps one place to start to understand just how this isssue may blow up on their faces is the VDARE website.

    Here Tom Tancredo is a big hero and you'll find nuggets like this,

    Or when he turned to me animatedly and said "You must answer that" after Ed Koch huffed about my point, which opens Alien Nation, that the anti-racism obsession that made possible post-1965 immigration policy can be viewed as Hitler’s revenge on the nation that defeated him.

    VDARE (.com or .org) is a good example of the fast approaching future of immigration politics.

    Tancredo is their man.

    And he is Hispanic.

    Bizarre and very scary.

    Enjoy.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth.

    by Shockwave on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:09:00 PM PDT

    •  is he? (none)
      Actually I believe you are mistaken.

      Tancredo is not hispanic.  Might want to check if he is Italian instead.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:22:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tancredo turns out to be Austrian/Italian (none)
        I was wrong.  Tancredo seems to be an Italian version of an German word and the family name may have started in an Austro/Italian border town.

        Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth.

        by Shockwave on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:44:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It's not bizarre (none)
      that a Hispanic would advocate for enforcing immigration laws.

      Unless you believe that a person's views should conform to some defined notion of racial identity.

      Maybe he's witnessed first hand the effects of illegal immigration on legal, established Hispanic communities.

      I'm not defending the man because I know little about his motivations. But I won't join those who brand a Hispanic who speaks against illegal immigration as some sort of race traitor.

      It's like the far-left black "leaders" of the 70's and 80's who labeled an "Uncle Tom" any African American who suggested that blacks assimilate certain "white" values like valuing education, patriotism, etc.

      Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

      by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:23:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for making this point (none)
        And yea let's not forget that not all illegal immigrants are Hispanic.  There are many illegal immigrants from Canada (like almost 30% I think) and also many from Asia.

        And finally let's remember that all Hispanic VOTERS, and I stress the word VOTERS... are U.S. citizens and pay taxes and have the same concerns any other person living here does.

        I'm hispanic but I am not sure Tancredo is.  I thought he was of Italian background.

        I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

        by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:51:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What?! (none)
          Are you saying 30% of Canadians in the US are here illegally?  That's based on what, exactly?
          •  Um actually (none)
            No I didn't say that 30% of all Canadians were here illegally.  Of course not!

            But that 30% of the illegal immigrants coming to the United States crossed through the Canadian border.  They could be Chinese, they could be Canadians, they could be Irish...

            I am basing it on having read it in the past and discussing it in college as part of my sociology studies.  Sorry at the moment I'd have to google it to make sure it's exactly accurate as of today but hey you can do the same!

            Regardless of the number, we must make sure not to neglect the northern border because terrorists and drug traffickers and human traffickers can just as easily exploit it!

            I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

            by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:16:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You're a true piece of shit. (1.40)
        Go hide in your slimy hole, you racist piece of garbage.

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:45:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  IMHO a higher minimum wage is key. (none)
    Even the illegal immigrants will support it.

    Dailykos.com; an oasis of truth.

    by Shockwave on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:11:46 PM PDT

  •  Can't agree with you about jobs (3.70)
    And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes), that perception must be dealt with lest Democrats be on the losing end of yet another issue.

       I can only speak to what I see here in the Coachella Valley in SoCal. "Undocumented workers" AKA illegal immigrants are doing just about every job that involves physical labor , not just agriculture. They are heavily represented in the hotel/hospitality industry as housekeepers. They are working as roofers, masons, framers, painters, landscapers,garage door installers,  just about anything to do with home construction and/or maintenance.
       At one time you could make a living working construction here in the valley. No more. Wages and benefits have been declining even though California is in the midst of it's biggest building boom in history.
       As far as the hospitality industry, it's low wages and no benefits and no prospects. Contrast that with Los Angeles, where hotel workers are unionized and mouting a vigorous defense against givebacks.
       Come to one of our fast food places where you would expect to see lots of teenagers getting their first work experience . Not any more. Those teens have been replaced by "undocumented workers".
       So, I submit that the myth of the poor suffering illegal doing work that American citizens won't do is just that; a myth. Illegals are totally integrated into the American labor pool and in direct competition for jobs with legal citizens.
       Democrats and progressives need to start thinking and talking about immigation, both legal and illegal. We need to rethink some of our paternalistic images of the struggling farm worker and Caesar Chavez, and recognize the enormous changes that have happened to our non- skilled and semi-skilled work force over the past ten years. Otherwise, we forfeit the conversation to the racist Tancredos of the world.  

    Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

    by recentdemocrat on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:15:15 PM PDT

    •  The answer's in your comment (4.00)
      It's all about unions.

      Illegal immigrants have and will organize unions. But, if some workplace that is staffed by native-born workers refuses to unionize, and the next thing they see is management bringing in lower-wage workers, how many tears should I shed?

      The liberal, progressive answer to the immigration "problem" - unionization - is right in front of our faces. Why do so many people refuse to recognize it?

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:17:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  United Farm Workers (none)
         The last major victory they had was the when Chavez was still alive. Fifteen years with out a contract with some of the large growers in the Central Valley.  Or PictSweet mushrooms- eight years (or is it ten) and counting.
         So what does the UFW do? Have a strike? Hell no. Instead they send out letter after letter begging for contributions. They admit in their literature that any strike they might mount would be broken by an influx of non-union, undocumented workers. That's the United Farm Workers who have been trying to organize for thirty years or more. Not exactly a beacon of success.
          Talk about unionizing sounds good. Problem is you have a labor movement that has been fighting a rear-guard action since Reagan and the PATCO firings. An NLRB that is stacked against unions. Deep pocket employers and professional union -busting law firms. And the fact that traditionally the services sector has always been difficult to organize.
           Don't forget, unions didn't suddenly spring to life in the 30s. They had been around for 50 years or more ( Sam Gompers and the Knights of Labor and all that old half-forgotten stuff). You had a strong base to build on. That base isn't there any more. As manufacturing shrunk, so did organized labor.
           Last but not least, back in the 30's you did not have anywhere from 11 million to 20 million illegals. (Things are so out of whack we can't even get an estimate that rational people can agree on.) People who are afraid of any involvement  with  the authorities, coming from countries where all too often unions are part of the existing corrupt power structure are not exactly prime candidates to unionize. At best it will take decades. Unfortunately, that's time that I fear we don't have.

        Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

        by recentdemocrat on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:54:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unions (none)
        If illegals try to organize the employer has the perfect recourse: threaten deportation. That's why it never happens.

        And it sounds like you are suggesting that someone who comes here undocumented and illegally should then be entitled to the full benefit of unionization  (collective bargaining, health and pension, etc.).

        If that were so, what would be the motivation for anyone to play by the rules and wait in line to immigrate legally? Are you suggesting we scrap the entire system by elevating illegals to the same level as those who didn't break the law to get here?

        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:30:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (3.66)
      Give me your tired, your poor,
      Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
      The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
      Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
      I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

      I guess we should change that to read: "sorry lot full"

      The world will end not with a bang, but with a "Do'oh!"

      by Love and Death on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:19:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Was that 1880 or so (none)
        Back when we still had a very empty country? When the industrial revolution was clamoring for workers and new industries that didn't need an educated work force were springing up as fast as workers could be found? When we had so much empty land that the government was giving it away through such things like the Homestead Act?
           Times change. Needs change. Countries mature. What was a valid immigration policy 120 years ago probably could stand with a bit of updating.

        Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

        by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:13:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  updating to what? (none)
          We're richer than you and we like it that way, so stay out?  Doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

          "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

          by Delirium on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:07:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  What's the alternative? (2.50)
            Traffic gridlocked. Highways and streets crumbling under non-stop  relentless wear and tear. Cars that can't pass emissions inspection and that should have given up the ghost ten years ago  still pressed into service fouling the air we breathe. Insured drivers having to carry extra uninsured motorists coverage?
             Schools bursting at the seams despite successive multi-billion dollar  school construction bond issues. Not enough teachers. Hospitals closing emergency rooms because they can't afford to provide free care.
             Oops- that's what's happening right now in my little slice of America. Quoting Emma Lazarus as a justification for immigration, legal or otherwise, isn't an immigration policy.  

            Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

            by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:46:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Then move (none)
              Traffic gridlocked.

              Sounds like you should move to a smaller town then, or closer to work so you don't have to drive.  Traffic is gridlocked because of white middle class suburbanites, of whom I assume you are one.

              Highways and streets crumbling under non-stop  relentless wear and tear.

              Then stop the war in Iraq and let some of those billions of dollars go towards our infrastructures.  Also, take a bus or walk to work.

              Cars that can't pass emissions inspection and that should have given up the ghost ten years ago still pressed into service fouling the air we breathe.

              Then ask the cops to enforce the emissions laws.

              Insured drivers having to carry extra uninsured motorists coverage?

              Lobby the government to pass laws fining people for not having insurance and putting that money into a pool to pay for accidents by uninsured people.  In any case, I'd be willing to bet that most of these people are not immigrants.

              In fact, the theme that I see here is that you are selfishly wanting the road to yourself, even though everyone pays for them, and that you are also too much caught up in the typical suburbanite lifestyle of waste and excess that you would never dream of living anywhere near where you work, and would never take public transportation because you are not "one of the poor" or something.  I bet you don't even carpool most of the time.

              Schools bursting at the seams despite successive multi-billion dollar school construction bond issues.

              The school boards take that money for "administration" and what is left occasionally trickles down to the actual educational portion.  The school systems are corrupt, that is why they have no money.

              Not enough teachers.

              Who wants to get paid near poverty levels to teach "creationism" in a science class to a bunch of thugs that would want to shiv you as soon as you turn your back?  I know this is an exaggeration of the worst possible type of experience, but it is possible.

              Hospitals closing emergency rooms because they can't afford to provide free care.

              Could it be due to the fact that the medical insurance industry is ripping all of us off?  Yeah, it's horrible, and immigrants are sometimes the ones who need free healthcare (just like poor Americans), and a large number of people here do not have insurance because they can't afford it.  If your job doesn't pay for it (most do not), then you're stuck with footing the bill yourself, and the minimum I've found (I pay for my own insurance) is around $200 a month.  That adds up to $2,400 a year that would hit the poor people the hardest.  That price doesn't include kids or anyone with prior problems.  If you've so much as been to the hospital within the past seven years or sometimes more, you will pay extra.  If you have kids, you will pay extra.  Plus there's a pretty high deductible, which means if they do go to the hospital, they still have to pay another $2,000 or so up front.  American citizens can't even usually afford that kind of thing.

              Oops- that's what's happening right now in my little slice of America.

              Then move, or do things so you can stop whining.  The first set of problems is your fault because you want to drive, and it sounds like drive far on busy streets.  The second set of problems are a lot of problems dealing with corruption, and are occurring even where there are no illegal immigrants.  The two have very little link, if any.

              Quoting Emma Lazarus as a justification for immigration, legal or otherwise, isn't an immigration policy.

              Your selfishness is no reason to prevent good people from coming here either.

              •  *groan* (none)
                "Then move, or do things so you can stop whining.  The first set of problems is your fault because you want to drive..."

                Nice. No wonder we keep losing elections.

                Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

                by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:13:24 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  You're right. I'm selfish. (none)
                I don't want to participate in a race to the bottom. I don't want to live like I'm in a third world country. I daresay most Americans don't.
                   If your solutions are representative of  the Democratic party then we're going to be a minority party till we shrivel up and die.
                But thanks for taking the time to offer a competing point of view.

                Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

                by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:22:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  At least you admit it (none)
                  However, for the wrong reason.  Assuming you grew up in the U.S., most likely you have always had to take a car to go everywhere.  This is not a normal thing, and can be counted as part of the "vast right wing conspiracy" if you wish.  You should not NEED to drive that much.  I live in Houston (by choice, because I like a busy city), the traffic is horrible and it can be a pain.  However, I make sure to live close enough to work that driving can be easy, or I can possibly walk/ride a bike/take a bus.  I also ride with my wife most of the time when I drive and we try to consolidate the times we need to drive so that we can do everything in one trip rather than needing to congest the roads.

                  The fact is, the U.S. is mostly unpopulated and unused.  Travel to any European country and compare how much unused space they have to ours.  I can drive for hours and hours and not see habitation or buildings throughout most of the U.S., minus the coasts.  The fact that the few square miles you stay in is congested is simply bad planning on the part of your area.  If more people didn't want to live in congested areas, they could simply move to less congested areas, and repeat the process until the population of our country is uniformly spread out through all the unused space.

                  As far as living in a 3rd world country, the Irish immigrants years ago didn't turn the U.S. into a 3rd world country, but they actually improved things for the rest of us thanks to their hard work and passion for life.  They were hated by Americans who rationalized their hatred for many of the same reasons you do.  However, the xenophobes and racists were wrong.  The people coming from latin America are the same.  They come here to work hard, they generally live unoffensive and simple lives, and they contribute more to our country's well being than most of us on this site.  They do this, even though we have devestated their countries and trained terrorists who now run free in their borders, and we have ex-presidents who are good friends with ex-presidents of other countries who caused huge economic recessions.

                  My problem is not with you as a person and I am not meaning to attack you, but rather your views.  I think you have a very narrow world view and you do not see other people as being just as much human beings as yourself.  You also assume that because your limited knowledge is yours, it is more correct than those who have actually dealt with some of these things and who know others who have done more.  I don't think you are bad or anything like that, but I do think that you need to learn a little more about this topic as well as your own country.  Take a cross country driving trip.  Go talk to illegal immigrants and find out what they have to say.  Research the things our government has done (via Republicans) to devestate and control Latin America.  Read up on the kidnapping and torture classes our military taught Latin American terrorist groups at The School of the Americas, or Bush Sr.'s friendship with former Mexican president Salinas, as well as what Salinas did to ruin Mexico's economy.  Travel to the poorest areas of Mexico and look for advertisements and recruiters from companies like Tyson foods meant to lure people to come here illegally just to feed their kids.  The problems you complain about are real, but without the larger context, they appear foolish and have no direct correlation to immigrants but rather the rich and powerful in our own nation pitting unwitting folks like yourself against other people who are not rich or powerful.  If we are in a race to become a 3rd world country, it's because people like Bush and Cheney want it to happen.

                  •  Good comment boz (none)
                    I like the school of americas tie in...Really fits in this discussion and hints at the point that our supposed "free trade" agreements like CAFTA and NAFTA are just hegemony wrapped in pretty paper.

                    I guess I don't mind losing as much as some of you; I'd rather be right and lose than 'Right' and win.

                    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=diebold+president%2Bohio

                    I think that many Americans "project" on immigrants because they see more of a "Protestant" work ethic in illegals, perhaps.

                    And need I remind you that most of "US" are immigrants. Many, probably, ultimately, "illegal" in their heritage themselves.  I'm part Choctaw so I say this with some snark and also sadness, reflecting on that part of my lineage.  The 14th amendment didn't include Native Americans.....originally....anyways, I'm rambling.

                    Good post...

                    "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

                    by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:56:35 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Have you talked to any illegal lately? (none)
                    Well, I have, and they would laugh your sentiments right out of Dodge. So would anyone who lives in those "empty" areas.

                    The problem with "moving to someplace smaller" is it leads to things like the massive sprawl in Las Vegas and Phoenix and the rapidly declining aquifers near Reno and Spokane.

                    Despite your idealized view of most of the US as "empty", the reality is that most of the US is "empty" because it lacks basic things, primarily water. Take a long drive across the Western states; much of those states are chaparall, alkali flats, and high deserts. And those of us who live in those areas tend to do a lot of driving when the nearest supermarket is 30 miles away - as it is from my Nevada house. We tend to need those big V-8 trucks to haul our garbage 28 miles to the county dump over the passes - and I think you need to go and actually take a look at those alleged "empty" areas where you don't need a car. Not much in the way of jobs there, either. Can't work in the packing plant anymore - it's full of illegals. Ditto the feedlot. And also the town pump.

                    The reality is that despite all the blather about the environment, about the working class, the Dems can't get it together. It really looks silly from down here amongst the workers to hear people suggest "saving the environment" as a priority - and then encouraging massive population growth that leads to a greater need for resource consumption.

                    Your remarks are very idealistic, and not at all applicable to the real world. They are definitely the remarks of someone who hasn't lived outside a gated community in years.

                •  Here's what I don't get (none)
                  You say you don't want to live like you're in a third world country.

                  In all honesty, that's a reasonable concern to have but when I've travelled across the vast lands of the United States by car over the years... (over 30 states to be exact) I have never gotten this great sense of impending doom and opression and third-worldliness you speak of.

                  I would even say that over 80% of places I've ever visited in the USA do not resemble a thirld world nation whatsoever.  Others talk about overpopulation... but again I see tooons of open, beautiful land out there.

                  (I live in Los Angeles so I said OUT THERE, not here!)

                  I love this country.

                  I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

                  by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:01:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You live in LA (none)
                    I agree, there are tons of open spaces in the USA. Could it be that they're open for a reason? No jobs, no water, horrible weather?
                    As far as the US turning into a third world nation, that was a bit of hyperbole as it presently stands. But in some crowded spots (SoCal) we're edging closer every day. LA county has seen appx 130 emergency rooms close over the last decade (LA Times article talking about Drew King and healthcare. I don't have the link). The hospitals have the choice of going bankrupt by providing emergency medical care for anybody that walks through the doors or closing the ER and trying to keep the rest of the facility open.
                    One could argue that it is a dysfunctional health-care system and one would be absolutely correct. One could also argue that unrestricted illegal immigration has exacerbated a bad situation and made it much worse. That person would also be correct.

                       If you ever get out to the Coachella valley, I'd be glad to show you some of our more "third world" like neighborhoods. And no, I'm not talking about migrant agriculture workers. I'm talking Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, etc... But, living in LA you know what I'm talking about. Substandard housing, overcrowding, too many predatory businesses like liquor stores and pay-check loan sharks. Schools packed to the max, with temporary classrooms anywhere space can be found. Class sizes too large by half.
                       Are these the fault of the illegal immigrant? Absolutely not. But the illegals are adding an enormous strain to systems that were just barely getting by. It's hard to keep the lifeboat afloat when everybody wants to climb aboard. Sooner or later you're going to swamp the boat and everybody is going to be in the water.

                    Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

                    by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:44:00 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  this country really isn't crowded (none)
              The U.S. has one of the lowest population densities in the world.  We have a lot of space to expand into.

              Just for comparison, to reach France's population density, we'd have to grow to around 900 million people.  To reach the UK's, we'd have to grow to over 2.4 billion.

              "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

              by Delirium on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:19:52 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yep, 0 people per square mile... (none)
                in my county.  It's actually .4 but they round down....

                "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

                by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:57:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  True and false (none)
                But southeast England has a much higher carrying capacity than eastern Wyoming. The west simply doesn't have enough water to support populations at European or Japanese densities. And also, do we want to live in a crowded country? I rather like the open spaces, myself.
    •  Here Have a 4 (none)
      TheBoz is systematically rating the posts of everyone he disagrees in this thread with "1"s.

      Ratings abuse, anyone?

  •  behind anti-immigrant hater is an undoc. doing (4.00)
    their work:

    Rep. Tancredo a few years ago had a home theahter put in his Colorado house by a company that was later found to have hired undocumented aliens.  Rep. Tancredo only comment I recall, was the work was well done and cheap.

    As for exploring his presidential bid, like him spew his hate.  We all know that he will alway refer "Mexicans" as being illegal and should be a wake up call to those Latinos that voted for Bush that he lied to you too.

    Or maybe some should tell Rep. Tancredo about those undocumented soilders, from Mexico and Guatemala who died fighting for this country in Iraq.  Or the scores of Legal Residents fighting Bushes war in Iraq.

    •  Tancredo is still the rancid little ... (4.00)
      ...hypocrite I knew when he and I were dating roommates in Colorado 37 years ago. Then he was a dope-smoking, premarital sex-enjoying, civil rights-opposing, Vietnam War-backing chickenhawk. Now he is a grandfatherly anti-drug, moral rearmament, super-patriot. Another in a long line of GOP hypocrites.

      Someday, all the folks - left and right - who support free movement of capital, free movement of goods and free movement of services are going to have to deal with the contradiction of not supporting free movement of people.

      Until that day, I say, make anti-immigration laws retroactive to 1492.

      **

      Writing dialog George Lucas so terrible at is. --Yoda

      Visit The Next Hurrah

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:03:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hey, the guy has his niche (3.66)
    ...attacking brown-skinned foreigners always works.
     How many shootings will we have at the border this year?  

    When the Republicans stop lying about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them. --Adlai Stevenson

    by seesdifferent on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 11:21:44 PM PDT

  •  Gingrich on 'The Daily Show'? (none)
    that was my first thought. Heh.

    "You can't keep the Democrats out of the White House forever!" - Sideshow Bob

    •  Hmm dunno (4.00)
      Gingrich has never struck me as a hate-monger, racist type.  I say that as a latino who has kept a close eye on all these republican wackos that are obsessed with the topic of illegal immigration over the years.  I add Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, Tancredo, and Pete Wilson to that list.

      Gingrich was actually very much pro-statehood for Puerto Rico for example.  (I'm puerto rican)Although that doesn't really have much to do with illegal immigration because everyone born there is a U.S. citizen by birth but it does have a very diverse population that would be easy to fear and hate if you were a hate-mongering Republican xenophobe.

      Who knows what his motives are now but I just wanted to give my take on it.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:48:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gang-planking (4.00)
    I don't know when Trancredo's family arrived in this country. Occasionally I do research on the U. S. Census, and it is interesting to trace the name of persons Trancred-- (add on a variety of endings from none to -o, -e, -i through those enumerations that are publicly available in individual detail.

    Most of the Tancred- persons came here between 1910 and 1920. Here's one census indexing service's count of persons with those names by year (before 1850, the counts are for heads of households. From 1850 on, they are for individuals):

    • 1790 - 2
    • 1800 through 1840 - none counted (likely living in other households, not as heads of independent families)
    • 1850 - 4
    • 1860 - 6
    • 1870 - 7
    • 1880 - 29
    • 1890 - census destroyed
    • 1900 - 30
    • 1910 - 46
    • 1920 - 58
    • 1930 - 489

    The families came from Ireland, Italy, Canada, France, and Sweden (the sole Colorado Tancred listed in that state by 1930 speaks Swedish). Occupations range from none to servant, housekeeper, machinist, millworker, laborer, farm worker, and actor (the Head of the Swedish family). A quick perusal of some individual records suggests they aren't living high on the hog, either -next door to beggars, prostitutes, servants, laborers, mill workers. I doubt their descendants are living so modestly now.

    I'm reminded of the stray cats we've adopted. They are so eager to come in, and so loathe to welcome the next cat or kitten that comes by. It's like they say "I'm here, no more".

    That's happened too much in this country. [Not that many of us whose families didn't originate here had a genuine right to come and stay in the fashion that we did.]

    I find it slightly amusing and highly hypocritical to see U. S. Citizens harangue against immigrants, when that's what almost all of us are, directly or by ancestry.

  •  Reality check: people don't vote on immigration (3.50)
    Juat ask Pat Buchannan.

    No question everyone has a 'strong' opinion about immigration and loves to bullshit about how tough the US should be in this, but when it comes time to voting in national elections, it falls below education in terms of importance.

    The stark truth about immigration is that EVERYONE loves their cheap menial labor and when push comes to shove, they'd rather be able to pay the Mexican $50 to paint the side of their house than $1500 to some contractor.  We are all guilty of this.

    What's more, illegal aliens are not committing crimes in this country.  If they were, I'm sure it would elevate the political importance.  Until then, i would be very wary of this issue, and continue to let the xenophobic fascist fringe scare the monied interests out of the Republican coalition.  Lord knows the Chisters already have them half out the door.

    •  Pete Wilson (none)
        More than a few Californians will tell you Wilson got re-elected in 1994 because of his strong support for anti-immigrant prop 187. Don't know if that's true or not but it's accepted as conventional wisdom here in SoCal.
         As far as Buchanan, he did pretty well against Chimpy's father in '92 in the primaries, certainly well enough to throw the old man off his game. The public felt that times were bad. It's the economy, stupid didn't only apply to the Clinton team.
         In 1994, while the national economy was  out of recession times were still tough in California. We were still struggling with the effects of the 1991 recession and crippling defense cutbacks so times weren't nearly as bright as the rest of the country. Real estate had already begun to decline and things were still pretty bleak. That's my guess why anti-immigrant Wilson was able to run on the issue and win and yet two years later, when the national economy was really starting to participate in the Clinton prosperity, Buchanan couldn't gain any traction with his anti-immigrant appeal.

      Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

      by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:13:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh no (none)
        you're raining on their myth that it was Prop 187 that brought Wilson down.

        I've always wondered when this nonsense started cropping up as conventional wisdom? I think it was soon after the election, you started hearing certain "immigrant rights" groups (mostly groups advocating for more social services for illegal immigrants, and less enforcement of immigration laws) saying this was the case. Some media outlets started adopting that line, too. But anyone who lived in Cal, as I did during Wilson's last run, knows that his opponent did not make any big deal about Wilson's support for Prop 187, and certainly didn't run on a plank of more illegal immigration. If anything, Prop 187 helped a very unpopular Wilson stay in the political game for longer than he rightfully should have.

        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:41:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well my take (none)
      Some people get real worked up about immigration and illegal immigrants and even the racist Mexican-haters when they are engaged in a discussion about it or watching tv like Lou Dobbs but then later that day they go outside and get some fresh air, have a little sex, enjoy life and that primal urge of fearing foreigners subsides.

      LOL

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:42:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sex (none)
        I pretty much forget about everything when I'm having sex.

        If I could have sex 24/7, I wouldn't spend any time worrying about the issues of the day. I would just have sex all the time and life would be good.

        In fact, if I could have sex right now I wouldn't be here, writing this.

        That does it, I'm going to go have sex now. Preferably outdoors, in the fresh air.

        Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

        by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:42:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  latinos do vote on immigration (none)
      a north carolina poll that i saw recently showed that latinos in that state held immigration reform as their number one issue.  i think the same is true for many latinos around the country, especially chicanos.

      i think the key to the success of the democratic party over the next generation is to paint the republicans as the anti-latino party.  the civil rights movement of the 1960s created a generation of african-americans who were loyal to the democratic party (and rightly so; jfk, lbj and others fought for civil rights).

      the democratic party must do the same for latino americans.  fight for amnesty.  fight for immigrant rights.  force the republicans to show themselves as the racist immigrant-haters that they are.  

      "Rick Santorum is Latin for Man-on-Dog."

      by tmendoza on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:44:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  a dissenting voice (4.00)
    OK, I don't really know that much about Tancredo other than what I occasionally hear from him on various radio shows out here in SoCal.  All I know is that I haven't heard a racist thing from him yet.  I don't get that vibe on the couple of occasions I have heard him speak.  

    I really don't like the knee-jerk ways a lot of us Dems will label somebody as being racist when they point out problems with immigration.  Even if correct, this type of labeling does not win the argument with the average Joe.  Let's leave the labels behind and attack on the facts by themselves.

    That one guy aside, I really think that this is an issue that only the Democrats can properly solve.  If the old mantra "Only Nixon could go to China" is widely accepted as fact these days, I think that the Dems should push the line that "Only Democrats can solve our immigration problems."  'Cause Democrats can be trusted to find solutions that are based on protecting our economic system and opportunities rather than pure xenophobia.  Dems should be trusted to find real solutions and leave the language- and cultural-bashing behind.

    Also: I have never bought the idea that illegal immigrants do the jobs that Americans won't.  Fundamental economic theory tells us that if there's a job that large numbers of people aren't willing to do, then that job will pay a higher-than-expected wage.   Not a lot of us are willing to work construction jobs that would suspend us on beams 75+ stories in the air; those jobs pay more than regular construction gigs.  Relatively few people are willing to go to school for 8+ years, so MDs make a lot of dough.  Not many people are willing to do crime scene cleanups, so those guys get more $$ than regular janitors.  There are tons of examples of this type of wage disparity.  If you believe this to be generally true (as I do), then ask yourself: do those jobs that illegal immigrants take pay more or less than one would normally expect?

    One of these days I'll get around to posting a diary on comparisons of various approaches to immigration.  A few weeks ago Bill Gates called for the elimination of quotas for H1B visas.  If you read between the lines he was very close to making the same types of arguments about American programmers that others are making about construction, meat-packing, restaurant, and other medium- and low-wage jobs.

    The GOP is purposely killing wages in this country because they identify entirely with corporate senior management.  Plus, everybody knows it.  I truly believe that this is a tremendous opportunity for us Democrats to make long-term significant gains among white males.  

    •  Nicely put (none)
      'Cause Democrats can be trusted to find solutions that are based on protecting our economic system and opportunities rather than pure xenophobia.  Dems should be trusted to find real solutions and leave the language- and cultural-bashing behind.

         And I know just the person to put a human face on that solution. The new mayor of LA, Antonio Villaraigosa.

      Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

      by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:48:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Say what? (none)
      "Not a lot of us are willing to work construction jobs that would suspend us on beams 75+ stories in the air; those jobs pay more than regular construction gigs".

      We train people to do this work. Why are Americans so averse to working all of a sudden.

      I am proudest when I see African-Americans doing this dangerous work and other construction jobs.

      •  oh my (none)
        I am proudest when I see African-Americans doing this dangerous work and other construction jobs

        LOL, that's a classic patronizing statement right there.  I can almost hear John Kerry saying that at a speech and I love the guy but there's no reason to feel more proud that you see an African American doing something.  That's the kind of comment you make about seeing a cat who just managed to properly use a litter box, not a human being.

        I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

        by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:40:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not me (none)
        I am proudest when I see African-Americans doing this dangerous work and other construction jobs.

        I'm more happy for African-Americans who run their own successful business or in a rewarding career that gives them control of their own lives.  Having a "job" is not something to be proud of.  Being a success is.

        •  You know what (none)
          having a job is a successful endeavor.  Nothing wrong with construction work - or being a waiter - being a secretary - driving a bus - driving a taxi -- being a plumber - being an electrician.

          And if one were really a "success"  - would they be on this thread now?  

          Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

          by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:13:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Why not? (none)
            And if one were really a "success"  - would they be on this thread now?

            Being a success doesn't prevent someone from being on the web arguing or talking with others.  In fact, I'd say that we have to have a certain level of success to have the time to commit to participating in online communities.  We can be here instead of working hard just to scrape by.  I'd say that counts for something.

            Also, I didn't mean to insinuate that a job was a bad thing, but that I don't really consider it a form of success unless it is a good job for your situation.  My first job as a teenager was working for minimum wage at a grocery store.  That was a success for me at the time, but if I were to go from a well paid highly skilled consultant that I am now (I am not trying to brag, but just to make a point) to working the same job I had in high school, I would be a failure.  The job is not what would be horrible, but rather me going back to it.

            To make my point clear though, I don't think a job really has any value other than bringing food onto your table and shelter over your head.  If you want your job to be a real success, your goal should be independence, not to be at the whim of a corporation.  I personally have more respect for a guy who owns a modified RV that he sells hamburgers from for a living than I do for the CEO of McDonalds.  Why?  Because the CEO of McDonalds is still not in charge of his own life.  He has more control than the other employees of McDonalds, but unless you own your own business of some sort, you really are not independent or in control.  That is what I admire most and consider to be true success.

  •  here's how the Dems can win on the illegal issue (none)
    Fact- corporate American wants the labor
    Fact- 10 million are not going back
    Fact-they all basically commited a felony
    Fact-the Republicans will use the divide method
    Fact- the illegals obviously want to be here.
    so the Dems should propose this.... that ( with all the background stuff being in order of coarse- no crime, blah blah blah).. that the illegals register, be given SS #, and be processed into the system as legal aliens. In exhange for this, the group will pay a special " landing tax", or "fine" for coming across illegally and this is the punishment for entering the US illegally. You and I pay fines to the IRS if we are bad, so why not fine the illegals for their " trespass" in religious terms. Make it a monetary punishment,-perhaps it going towards the debt. Everyone could see the benefit.. the Christian right gets their jollies from the punishment aspect "you were bad so you must be punished"  the fiscals get some coin to go towards Americans debt (and the illegals get to contribute to help reduce it.. helping their new AMERICA- the patriot issue thrown in) the illegals get to stay, and though they may have to pay a fine, they at least will not worry about dortation and secret lives any more, the corporations are happy because the workers stay, and the people like the Congressman will not have an issue. The answer to the problem, like all problems, is the art of coming to the center. Its not a perfect solution by any means, but it would be something that everyone could accept because its a practical answer to a very diversive multifaceted issue.The Dems need to propose it and sell it, and they will win on the issue with it. Make the illegals pay a fine for being bad, and let them stay and get on with their lives.
  •  Grapes are Good for You (3.00)
    And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes), that perception must be dealt with lest Democrats be on the losing end of yet another issue.

    I completely disagree with that statement, but that doesn't put me in camp with Tancredo.  However, when I compare the number of Menial jobs available to my kid with the number of jobs I found waiting for me in the 70's, I cringe at the notion that Mexicans (face it, that is who we are talking about) aren't usurping our economy from the ground up.  They are.

    In New York, before the influx of illegal immigrants, there were plenty of menial jobs to be had.  I had to get a haircut, I had to get a job.  I mopped floors, I was a garbageman, I mowed lawns.

    It is an economic war, and the only person representing my side is the poor American.  Neither Dems nor the GOP support the notion that retaining these jobs for young Americans is a good idea (in practice, not words, which are cheap).

    The practice of hiring illegal immigrants fresh from Mexico is destroying America, and it gives a toehold for nutjobs like Pat Buchanan, Michael Savage, and now this guy.

    I would that the notion that "these guys do jobs even Blacks won't do" would be dispelled forever.  I broke my back over many a menial task in my youth, and Goddamn it if it didn't do me a world of good in the end!

    Let's try to not think like that.

    I'm not saying they aren't exploited by evil capitalists, I'm not saying that they are bad themselves, but no one seems to do shit about it, and I ascertain that in a Large part to this silly, backwards notion.

    These Jobs are a Major contribution to the involvement of our children in the American way of life.  It's how you get started.  Perhaps you didn't have to work like a dog when you were young, but I did.  I had a paper route when I was nine, and worked daily from that day until I got my Pell Grant.  Believe me, it makes for a well-rounded citizen.  Cleaning a few toilets is good for the soul, because it makes 'moving on up' all the more worthwhile.

    Please kos, don't perpetuate a false concept such as this.

  •  Don't just target employers (none)
    Those who want to target employers are only half right. Yes, it would stop illegal immigration, but the Mexican economy would implode and create massive instability and place all the attendant problems on our doorstep. The best solution I've heard was from Charles Bowden (author - Down by the River : Drugs, Money, Murder, and Family; Juarez: The Laboratory of our Future; and others) on Part V of a recent Marketplace program on Public Radio Int'l, "The Undocumented War" (http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/undocumented_war/).

    Bowden's solution was a Marshall Plan for Mexico, along with heavy, consistently enforced fines on employers. In the long run, it would cost less and be more stablizing to spend the money we've spent in Iraq making our neighbor to the south economically viable so its citizens could stay home and live with some measure of dignity.

    •  I agree (none)
      I was under the false assumption that NAFTA would solve. Little did I realize that the corporations would only build on the border for cheap labor. Never give a businessman an even break, make the tow stingent lines, othewise they only care for themeslves.
  •  Illegal immigrants, employment, and crime (3.50)
    Living in California as I do, I can assure those who do not work in the trades that illegals can - and do - take jobs Americans would gladly take.

    Illegals have become the main source of construction labor; and with their presence the construction unions have for all purposes died on the West Coast. While photographing job sites for a course, I could not photograph the low wage workers because almost all were illegal. No carpenters' or hod carriers unions here. The only Union workers in sight were the crane guys from the Ironworkers - and only because the law is very careful about who actually operates cranes on a construction site since they can knock down something a street or two over.

    Another problem is that many illegals who come here are not here for work; some were career criminals back home, and have come here to continue their crimes. And let us not forget that these criminals come from nations as diverse as the former Soviet Republics, China, Latin America and Africa.

    And - they vote. Early and often in some cases; we had a neighbor who proudly showed me his several voter registration cards - a number in the double digits. He felt no qualms about voting multiple times even though he wasn't a citizen and was here on "amnesty." "This isn't Mexico where they care about who votes. The US wants me to vote for programs to benefit immigrants." Not cool, and not the sort of thing that leads to people caring about, or believing in the validity of elections anymore.

    And then there is the hospital problem; hospitals all over the West are closing or in dire finances caused by illegals who not infrequently have horrible diseases unknown here - everything from leprosy among some of the Asians to drug resistant TB among the Latinos. It might sound melodramatic to someone who has not been directly impacted - but my entire office had to be tested for drug resistant TB due to a contact with an illegal.

    Illegals use the ER for every illness once they learn it exists - because they don't get the benefits provided the former union workers at their jobs. The ER, a very expensive hospital service, doesn't get paid, and hospitals fold or go private and for-profit as the only way to survive - and this cycle raise the prices for everyone, which is why insurance is outrageously expensive and why people without insurance can not afford to go to the hospital - unless, as in the case of illegals, the law forces the hospital to provide treatment.

    Then there is the crime situation - about 1/3 of the inmates in California prisons are foreign born. This is expensive, not only in terms of the Justice system, but in the impact on the communities they live in. My neighbors, starting with the legal Latino immigrants, began fleeing a few years ago when foreign criminals moved in. They were the first to leave, followed by most of the Whites and the US-born Latinos.

    It is very easy for those who live in lily White liberal enclaves to see those who are forced to live with Russian gangsters and illegal Latino smugglers as "racist." The reality is that we get sick and tired of sleeping with firearms by the bedside, and the Dems will continue to lose as long as they insist that the cure is to disarm us in order to ease the path for home invaders and criminals, and to destroy our Unions in the name of some bastard version of "tolerance."

    Do not confuse the reaction of the working people with unreasonable fear, panic, or racism.

    •  Testify! (3.00)
      Too much of the support (or lack of opposition) to illegal immigration on the left is for cynical reasons of power alone.

      They want the Hispanic vote. And they think going soft on illegal immigration is one way to get power and keep it by winning Latino voters.

      Then they lament losing the working and middle classes, and with them all levers of power.

      Here's a hint: you can't beat the Republicans by being more cynical than they are. Working and middle class lives, neighborhoods, and schools are being devastated by illegal immigration. This is reality. By going soft on illegal immigration, by perpetuating rationalizations like "they take jobs Americans don't want", Democrats are devastating the very lower and working classes they claim to represent.

      Real soldiers are dying in their Hummers, so that Republicans can play soldier in theirs

      by coldeye on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:49:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The buck stops here. (none)
        You can't beat the Republicans by being more cynical than they are.

        This should on the desk of every elected Democrat. We need to be the party of honest solutions, of real answers to complex problems. A country of 300 million people is way to big to be governed by soundbites and the cynical exploitation of divisions, racial and otherwise.

        Immigration and the global market is an extremely complicated system, and there's no way the response can be "it's completely good", or "it's completely bad", and it has to be approached as an issue of "what kind of country do we want to live in" and not as an issue of "what strategy will win us Arizona's electoral votes".

    •  Some truth no doubt... (4.00)
      Living in California as I do, I can assure those who do not work in the trades that illegals can - and do - take jobs Americans would gladly take.

      lived in LA?  

      Illegals have become the main source of construction labor; and with their presence the construction unions have for all purposes died on the West Coast.

      Prove cause and effect here.   Unions have declined absolutely all across the board...only Longshore have a strong union structure, one that produces a paradoxical uniform Republican vote btw.  Lou Dobbs even attacked them..See how that fcuker hates the unions and the un-unionized worker?

      While photographing job sites for a course, I could not photograph the low wage workers because almost all were illegal. No carpenters' or hod carriers unions here.

      You might want to see the legislative accomplishemt of Reagan, Dukmejian and Wilson  in the work place.  Were you there to photograph the workers or the site? hmmm...what was school project about? hmmm...

      The only Union workers in sight were the crane guys from the Ironworkers - and only because the law is very careful about who actually operates cranes on a construction site since they can knock down something a street or two over.

      Again check with work place regulations  passed by Republicans...dems tend to support unionization last time I checked.  In fact the dred power of the unions is supposed to be why you should vote Republican.  Why were you photographing a work site, was it really for a class?

      Another problem is that many illegals who come here are not here for work; some were career criminals back home, and have come here to continue their crimes. And let us not forget that these criminals come from nations as diverse as the former Soviet Republics, China, Latin America and Africa.

      Slack law enforcement...maybe homeland security isn't doing its job properly.

      And - they vote. Early and often in some cases; we had a neighbor who proudly showed me his several voter registration cards - a number in the double digits. He felt no qualms about voting multiple times even though he wasn't a citizen and was here on "amnesty." "This isn't Mexico where they care about who votes. The US wants me to vote for programs to benefit immigrants."

      er right...so he illegally voted what? Democrat? Shame on him--he should have voted Republican.9does he really exist?)  Your piece is just transparently an attack on the Democratic party now...

      Not cool, and not the sort of thing that leads to people caring about, or believing in the validity of elections anymore.

      Nice one.  Schwartzenegger, Bush,  Blackman, JEB,  et al engage in massive documented electoral abuse and/or fraud and you tell a story about your 'neighbour'.  Pull the other one it's got bells on.

      And then there is the hospital problem; hospitals all over the West are closing or in dire finances caused by illegals who not infrequently have horrible diseases unknown here

      Oh really? What numbers you got? Nothing....You got a case of the Okrents.

       everything from leprosy among some of the Asians to drug resistant TB among the Latinos. It might sound melodramatic to someone who has not been directly impacted - but my entire office had to be tested for drug resistant TB due to a contact with an illegal.

      ...it is melodrama, you entire piece is based on unverifiable anecdotal points.   did you really think TB would repond to anti-biotic treatment for ever? Superbugs are hardly confined to immigrants.  No cases of leprosy in the US before the dirty Chinaman brought it here? yeah right...are you an epideiologist?

      Illegals use the ER for every illness once they learn it exists - because they don't get the benefits provided the former union workers at their jobs.

      Stop voting Republican then. The dems will sort out the public health crisis, by properly funding health care!

      The ER, a very expensive hospital service, doesn't get paid, and hospitals fold or go private and for-profit as the only way to survive - and this cycle raise the prices for everyone, which is why insurance is outrageously expensive and why people without insurance can not afford to go to the hospital - unless, as in the case of illegals, the law forces the hospital to provide treatment.

      Dems would like to introduce an national health service...problem solved.  Now the illegals are responsible for high premiums are they?  God where do you get off?  jobs, crime, disease, premiums, it's the foreigners! Bwhahaha they invented these problems!

      Then there is the crime situation - about 1/3 of the inmates in California prisons are foreign born.

      How many of the residents of California are foreign born? How many inmates are black?  take a guess...  This is a Rush Limbaugh trope btw, I hope you know  that.  Maybe immigarnts should be better taken care of when they get here...ever thought of that?  Finally how many of these inmates were ever illegal immigrants?    INS deport illegals, they shove them back to were they come from.    This sentence is an attack on all immigration.  ALL IMMIGRATION, remember this Yakima chap he'll be back attacking the dems in the years to come.

      This is expensive, not only in terms of the Justice system, but in the impact on the communities they live in. My neighbors, starting with the legal Latino immigrants, began fleeing a few years ago when foreign criminals moved in. They were the first to leave, followed by most of the Whites and the US-born Latinos.

      Once the defence industry moved out the whites moved out. Once the blacks rioted more whites moved ou.,  Once the poor move in,  the artists start moving in, the yuppies start moving in this happens in every city and is not caused by immigration. That's what happens in cities.  It's called re-gentrification, and it has a down side. maybe you should run off too?  If you live in LA i'll buy your house....how much?

      It is very easy for those who live in lily White liberal enclaves to see those who are forced to live with Russian gangsters and illegal Latino smugglers as "racist."

      I've lived in rthe roughest parts of LA, Highland Park, K-Town and Echo Park and I think you are talking in racist terms.  I'm a lilly white Englishman/Angelino btw. What is a Latino smuggler anway?  I've yet to meet a Russian ganster, do they wear badges?  

      The reality is that we get sick and tired of sleeping with firearms by the bedside, and the Dems will continue to lose as long as they insist that the cure is to disarm us in order to ease the path for home invaders and criminals, and to destroy our Unions in the name of some bastard version of "tolerance."

      Well hidden but there you are. He's a Republican shill.  If you read through entire statement quickly it sounds reasonable, slow the process down and it clearly is an unsubstanciated and sophisicated propaganda piece.    This paragraph proves it.  As if the dems want to destroy unions.  What did you mean by our Unions anyway?  That was a bit wierd.   The text is all talking points.

      Do not confuse the reaction of the working people with unreasonable fear, panic, or racism.

      Given that you have not backed up you case with a single verifiable fact I conclude that you are a demgogue: attempting to spread fear and panic.  However I've lived in LA for a decade, moved there right after the riots, sat through the San Fernando quake, lived in Highland Park, Santa Monica, K-Town, Pasadena, Echo Park,  Mount Washington.  Had kids born at the Huntingdon Hospital,  worked some great jobs some manual stuff too and you know what--Half of the city has always been Latino mixed with a high proportion of immigrants!  Some of my in laws are hispanic tracing their roots back a couple of hundred years in the southwest. Most of the whites I've known have been refugees from 'repressive' mid western states!  Latinos tended to be excluded from better work by whites for decades and it is no surprise that you might be seeing them dominate certain industries now--there's even a Chicano mayor! How'd'you like that Yakima?    Given the population it is hardy surpising you would see a bunch of brown faces there doing all sorts of work lilly white kids would do in the Pennsylvanian McDonalds and Burger Kings,  Their kids need their first jobs too. Half the people there are and have always been Latino and have been historically unrepresented and underpayed in all sorts of occupations.  shock horror they also work.

      If  LA construction companys are a bunch of corrupt fux I don't know why this should mean the democrats are are at fault -- Contractor Con O'Creat probably voted  for Bush,  voted for Dole and Reagan...so I suspect did you.

      oh yes the Russian Mafia, ohhhh so high profile! mentioning them means your not a racist doesn't it?  Fifty years ago you wold have been a red baiter...so no dice.

      •  Give it up (none)
        Hey, guy, I'm not lily white, so keep it to yourself. My Mom's family has been working on Homeland Defense since 1492. B^)

        I'm glad you're a big tough white guy who has Latino in-laws; my cousin has had a Latino wife AND a Vietnamese wife; so I guess on "my best friends are" points I beat you. And the first people who left when the gangs moved in were the legal immigrants who advised the rest of us to do the same.

        I think the guy with all the registrations voted Democrat. Dogs register to vote in California - there was a big scandal in Contra Costa County over that. Why is this so unbelievable to you? There is no requirement to prove citizenship in order to register, and they don't ask for proof of identification at the polls.

        I divide my time between rural Nevada and a Bay Area town that is now notorious for gangs and crimes. And you can tell the Russian gangsters because they're the really ultraviolent ones - for an LA boy I guess you missed the machine gun smuggler who did the bakn robbery in full body armor with a partner while he was out on bail for smuggling machine guns, eh? That was a Russian gangster. Crime here is very ethnically balanced - we have the crazy Armenians, the rowdy Russians, and the mean Mexicans, along with our homegrown thugs. Unfortunately, the illegal criminals tend to flow back and forth across the border at will - and not just those who were originally from Mexico.

        Check out how many unserved warrants for homicide LA has since you're apparently in the area - and check out the immigration status of most of those being sought. And check out the stats in the California prisons.

  •  This issue needs reframing (4.00)
    We need to express this as a problem of businesses breaking the law and particpating in unfair competition.  It really doesn't matter if their hiring an "illegal" immigrant - they're breaking state and federal labor laws.  They are getting an illegal advantage over companies that play by the rules, they are violating the market.  We should also point out that none of the suppossed cost savings have anything to do with savings to the US consumer.  Do you think that someone who is unscrupulous enough to break labor laws is going to be so kind as to pass those savings on to the consumer? No way.  No one is served by these business practices, not illegal labor, legal labor, or the consumer, only the law breaking business.

    Take a look at construction.  Are costs (as billed) getting cheaper? No.  This is an area that is rife with "illegal workers".  Yet their suppossed low cost isn't doing the consumer any good, it's just lining the pockets of the illegal businesses.  

    If all businesses were playing by the rules, i.e. paying legal wages, taxes, benfits, and safe working conditions then the free market would benefit those businesses with the best mix of products, services and prices as it should.  This is supposed to be what Repugs love most - the free market.

    We need to change the focus of this issue to unfair business practices.  We need to demand legislation to increase punishment of companies who violate labor laws in general (again companies that hire illegals are usually breaking multiple laws beyond hiring illegals) and to step up enforcement of these laws.  We need to push this issue to make the neocons reveal their true motivations.  They want cheap illegal labor, they don't care where they get it.  If it will come here instead of shipping the job overseas all the better.

    This issue is a true opportunity to pull back the curtain on their agenda.  If they have to talk about businesses instead of workers then they can't play the race card as easily.  If they claim that taking illegal workers away from businesses would hurt US companies competeing with cheap foreign imports, they would have to get into the issues of why those imports are so cheap, and that is a very slippery slope.  Let's give them a push.

    •  some interesting ideas (none)
      but I can't help but take issue with anyone applying the term "race card" to this situation.

      Race does play a big part in the rhetoric you are seeing coming out of many anti-immigration proponents.  The whole topic of discussion is riddled with "code words" that we pretty much all know mean Brown and Mexican and Dirty and Foreign and "I hate spanish" etc etc.

      Just watch Lou Dobbs - he is a master at that kind of fear-mongering hyperbole.

      I'd love to see us all work through this serious problem without all the racial fear and misunderstanding.

      But I guess this always happens.  Whether it was the Irish or the Jews or the Turks or now the Mexicans.  The "new people" always have to endure the ignorance and prejudice.

      It's just so very sad

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:36:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Legal documentation (none)
    will be the only answer to the problem. The country is flooded with illegals now and is streaching our social programs to the max.

    We are also experiencing massive amouts of identy theft.

    The only answer is to have more documentation for legal residence.

    Maybe include school transcripts as a requirement. Require foot prints at birth and use as proof for documentation at a later age.

    Full hand prints and eye identification devices.

    Make it harder for the illegals.

    Also, I don't see how you can make it any more undesireable for employers to hire illegals, they just need to enforce existing laws. I hire migrant help but I get the required documentation. I don't know if it is fake.

    I have to provided W-2's to get the salary decucted from my taxable income, paying cash in a true business is stupid.

    •  W-2s (none)
      Sometime, after you send your W-3 and W-2s to Social Security, Social Security will send you a list of employees whose social security number doesn't match SSA's records. If they still work for you, it is up to you to ask them to get back to you with a corrected number. You cannot make any assumptions about their status as a documented worker, nor are you allowed to fire them for not having a valid SSN.

      What law is there to enforce against the business? How hard is it for an employer to hire illegals legally?

      Democrats: Giving you a government that works.

      by freelunch on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:48:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  bad numbers (none)
        I have been surprised at the low number of bad SSI cards I have hired. Only one and that was immediately corrected.

        They know I pay SSI and unemployment which means more chances of getting caught so illegal rate for me is almost non existant.

  •  Hate (none)
    Looks like the wingnuts (GOP) may have found another single issue that will trump every other really important issue and could carry the day with their rabid but ignorant followers, can full fledged fascism or dictatorship be far behind if America stays on this path to eventual destruction.
    Gee, wasn't democracy great!
    PEACE!
  •  Illegals and Jobs (2.50)
    The "They're taking our jobs" argument is crap.  People just use that line because they won't get called racist.  No one really cares about undocumented European workers.  Basically, it's brown-skinned people they want to get rid of, and the other arguments are just a smokescreen.  If it were really about Americans losing their jobs, immigration would be well controlled.  They are doing the jobs Americans don't really want to do.
    •  Repug talking points. (none)
      American youth want to work at McDonalds. Amerian construction firms want to work but can't bid low enough and still provide health care and insurance.

      I have an African-American neighbor who is struggling to keep her home cleaning service alive because she can't compete with illegal aliens. Hotels will sometimes hire only illegal aliens because Americans want a living wage.

      And where are undocumented European workers. I know you don't mean H1B visas.

      We say we support Unions but don't want to walk the talk IMO.

    •  Hey Steve, great points (none)
      I also love the other pseudo-racist code phrase that it's about "securing our borders from terrorist threats"

      Yea you know... we really hear a lot of uproar about those illegal Canadian immigrants and the need to secure the northern border don't we?  Did you guys know that a sizable amount of illegal immegrants are actually from Canada?  Like 30% if I remember correctly.

      Where is the fear about that?  Let's consider the fact we actually had an actual terrorist incident averted that eminated from Canada back during the Clinton presidency near Seattle.

      I totally agree that when I see people use words like "illegal problem" or the "illegals" I can't help but wonder what is going through the mind of those people as they utter the words.  I can bet you everything that it is NOT a blond haired German or Irish person.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:32:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They are taking trade jobs in Chicago (none)
      Polish, irish (the Europeans) and out southern neighbors.  It is a problem.  I don't know the answer but don't put your head in the sand.    In this area, developers are reaping the rewards -- republicans.

      Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

      by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:05:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well - wait -- one of the things we (none)
        can do is change certain policies that keep these people in poverty -- Look at the policies of the IMF.

        Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

        by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:06:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Where's Your Evidence? (2.00)
      They are doing the jobs Americans don't really want to do.

      Do you have any actual proof of this statement, i.e, a study of unemployed folks that confirms that they really don't want to do these jobs as a general matter? As I posted below, someone was doing these jobs before.   Look into who it was and why they stopped.  Also, do you know of anyone who has ever attempted to measure whether folks really feel differently about illegal immigration from Europe or Canada? I'd challenge you on that.  I don't think the average American even realizes that such a thing exists.  For one thing, the media never talks about it - never ever says "these folks are illegally here from Canada or "Europe.  But the average working person on the street does not know this because nobody makes an issue of it.  Thus, there is a default, racist, assumption that if you are white you are legally in the United States - a default assumption that reflects our country's hundreds of years of racist history and the fact that until comparatively recently, it was far far easier for Europeans and Canadians to immigrate legally (a situation that does not exist for folks from countries where the immigrants are largely of color).

      There is indeed racism inherent in arguments about illegal immigration - but not all of it is talked about.  From my perspective there is at least one type of racism that nobody talks about, or cares about.  That's true whether we're talking about Republicans or Democrats.  Because the population that is affected is invisible politically to both sides - until election time, that is (Malcolm where are you when we need you?).  That population? The unskilled worker population of African American descent.  You know that population, right? The one that starting with the Agricultural Adjustment Act began experiencing unemployment rates that were double white rates of unemployment? Well, from my perspective, it is clear that their cause has been thrown on the dustheap of polemic about illegal immigration on both sides of the political aisle.  I guess that's easy when you have a population that feels, quite appropriately, that it has a right to make some demands of their employers rather than suck it up like far too many illegal immigrants are willing to do, and would rather raise hell rather than work for slave wages (400 years of free labor from millions of people is quite enough, don't you think?).  Well, if you watch, and listen, you will find that those folks who hire illegal immigrants as a preference are clear that it is not just about money.  They also admit to preferring to hire illegal immigrants because they are "more appreciative", not "uppity", not "demanding" and "work harder") (what a fucking joke).  These are racist code words, make no mistake - just directed at a different population.  Illegal immigration makes it easier for exploitative racists to have their cake and eat it too.  A two-for-one racist bargain, as it were.

      To me, it is impossible to talk about this issue without talking about anti-Black racism and how it affects the unskilled labor force.  Yet the official party line, Republican and Democrat alike, is silence.  I probably would be more sanguine about it if I didn't also have to the hear the "they just want a better life" defense of illegal immigration - as if other native born don't also want a better life in the country that their ancestors' slave labor helped build.

    •  Actually... (none)
      Undocumented European workers is a problem out in Ski country.  Vail, Colorado, etc.

      Generally speaking Europeans don't come here as illegals because they've got a better welfare system back home... they'd be worse off here.  Except for joy riders.  That is middle class college students who want to spend a year or two skiing...

    •  Re: "they're taking our jobs" (none)
      It's obviously true that some of the people who say "they're taking our jobs" are racists who are talking in code. But the vast majority of people, especially those who post here, are not talking in some racist code. When they say "they're taking our jobs", it's because they think illegal immigrants are taking jobs that Americans used to do, and would want to do again if they were paid a decent wage for doing so. Many people have posted long and detailed arguments supporting this contention; they deserve better than to be called racist.

      It helps no one to call people who disagree with you racists, especially when you have no evidence.

    •  I already did (none)
      Look, dude. Get past it. I've already brought up illegals from Europe, particularly those from the former Soviet Union.

      BTW - are you aware of the international trade in slave labor? Here in the Bay Area they have had repeated busts of brothels staffed with sexual slaves from Asia. They are smuggled in with offers of jobs, and then forced to pay the coyotes by working as prostitutes.

      Yeah, I really think our open borders are a wonderful idea. I think about it everytime I pass the corner where a legal immigrant woman and her daughter were beaten to death with tree branches by gangsters. I think about it every time I talk with the irate legal immigrants in my neighborhood. I thought about it when someone painted the symbols of a gang of Mexican nationals on the sidewalks; and I thought about it when someone dumped a stolen car in my front yard, stolen from hardworking legal immigrants who live right down the street and trashed and abused.

  •  crusader indeed! What a writer! (3.50)
    Tancred was the name of the crusader who provoked Saladin into sacking Jerusalem. he attacked an Arab caravan and massacred the traders.  Anyone above thread pick up on this?  Btw we should be encouraging these nut balls to run.  Hopefully they Buchananize the Republican party in the next convention.
  •  This is what gets me about Dems (3.00)
    and illegal immigration.

    1.) still not convinced Americans will "pick their own grapes"; this is below us so we need illegal immigrants to handle the job. This attitiude is the same rationale that justifies oursourcing, loss of construction jobs for small minority American businesses and farms, service sector jobs, and many formerly Union jobs.

    2.) taking the middle road: not standing for anything substantive, yet critical. This leads to an inability to target corporations for hiring illegals.

    It's not immigration that's the problem, it's illegal immigration. We're allowing this to be a repug-only issue.

    •  agreed (none)
      that is to a point.  It's the Republicans that caused the problem.  Bush stirred it with his announcement about a guest worker program and his 'friend' Vicente Fox is encouraging Mexican citizens to come to the US.  Why doesnt Bush etc put pressure on Fox to make HIS country deal with the issues of unemployment and low wages in Mexico?

      "It's not immigration that's the problem, it's illegal immigration. We're allowing this to be a repug-only issue." I do agree that immigration isnt the problem but it's ILLEGAL immigration that is the issue.

      •  Republicans are torn (none)
        There are Buchananites in both parties, but the Republicans have more who are anti-immigrant, but the Republicans also have a large number of pro-immigrant folks, often businessmen just being self, but not always.

        Democrats: Giving you a government that works.

        by freelunch on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:38:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes (none)
          Many legal immigrants do come to this country to start small businesses.

          I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

          by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:54:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the issue isnt immigration (none)
          it's illegal immigration and who does it serve?  It serves the corporate slugs who have the RNC in their backpockets.  Just look at what Home Depot is doing.  Do you think it's because they are benevolant?  
          •  The issues are conflated (none)
            We have illegal immigration in this country because

             - we have a quota on immigrants;
             - we have pent up demand for low skill labor; and
             - we make it easy to hire illegal immigrants.

            We have to fix all of it, or it won't be fixed.

            Democrats: Giving you a government that works.

            by freelunch on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:20:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The reason we have the issue (none)
              is because the laws are not being enforced and the borders arent protected.  Plain and simple.
            •  There is NO pent up demand for unskilled labor (none)
              When I attend the masjid there are always Brothers and Sisters looking for unskilled work who cannot find it. There are Brothers who live in the downtown masjid in San Jose because they have become homeless; those who cannot fast Ramadan make it a point to feed them as the duty for the fast.

              We can talk about racism on this alright - what I have seen is employers who would rather hire an illegal rather than the legal Black or Brown or White or Yellow, or Red, because the illegals are "more respectful" and are less likely to complain about working conditions, unionize, or do anything else that disrupts her day.

              The only pent up demand is for extremely low wage labor that is willing to accept unsafe conditions.

              •  Lowest Possible Price (none)
                I understand that businesses are eager to hire at the lowest possible price and that they will do it within the law or as close to the law as they think they can manage. Very simply, the way the law is currently written makes it legal to hire someone who provides fake documents. If there is not a much tougher rule about hiring documents, no other claimed reform will work.

                The number of people illegally employed in the US is substantially higher than the number of unskilled or semiskilled unemployed.

                Democrats: Giving you a government that works.

                by freelunch on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 05:29:11 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I have just read an (4.00)
    awful lot of ignorant tripe in response to a pretty reasonable post.

    1. Lots of illegals come because they can get work.

    2. Employers use illegals to bust unions and drive down wages.

    3. If the wages were higher, more people would be willing to do the work.

    4. The mainainence of the stringent immigration laws and the creation of a vast pool of undocumented, unprotected, essentially invisible indentured servants who can be reported and deported as soon as they start organizing is a creation of the corporate entities maintained and fostered by our government at the behest of those same corporations and sold using racism and class unconsiousness.

    5. Jingoistic, near-racist comments like many above not only fail to address the situation, but perpetuate it.

    6. Until aggressive, multi-faceted, stubborn unionizing drives that organize across race, class, and national divisions (cf Wobblies and CIO) are the order of the day, this problem will not be solved.

    7. Until some folks get their heads out of their nether orifices and stop playing into the hands of those who rule by fostering race, ethnic, nationalistic, and class divisions, we will never be able to address these problems in any kind of effective way.

    I say: Open Borders, Retroactive and Complete Amnesty, and One Big Union. Living Wages for all. And, moreover, stop fucking up other economies with stupid NAFTA and CAFTA and GATT and MAI, so that people do not get forced into economic migrations.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:59:17 AM PDT

    •  good list. (none)
      7.Until some folks get their heads out of their nether orifices and stop playing into the hands of those who rule by fostering race, ethnic, nationalistic, and class divisions, we will never be able to address these problems in any kind of effective way.

      yep, Americans are too fucking dumb to put cause and effect together. You want 50 cent grapes?  Then underpay people and exploit them? want  $10 K-Mart jeans then let the workers starve!  Motherfuckers.

       I especially liked the stuff about Mexicans taking construction jobs.  I lived in LA for years and  let me tell you,  a whole half of the city has always been Mexican!  The eastern half to be exact,  so if they got brown skin doesn't mean they ain't Americans through and through.  For decades these guys were excluded from work  so it's  hardly surprising they are a little more high profile now.   Once teh defence industries left town LA went back to normal.  

      Now immigration and border control.  Short term solutionin two parts:  

      1) Tough rhetoric from dems about controlling the border (look at Bliar)  most of it can just be hot air...protect american culture burp,  clean up the streets belch,  more porder patrols fart.

      2Tough on immigration & Tough on the causes of immigration--exploitative employers!  Stuff those motherfuckers hard.  Jam the law so far up their backsides it comes out their mouths. CONFISCATE their goddamn FACTORIES and FARMS.  Pauperize the Republican hypocrites.  

      •  Look -- (none)
        I made a comment about construction jobs being lost in Chicago.  And brown skin doesn't come into it.  Friends of mine have lost good jobs so that developers can bring in workers from Mexico, Central America - they house them and send them home when it's over.  Don't throw "brown skin" around if someone disagrees with you.  Therefore, no one can make any kind of a comment about  Mexican illegals because obviously we must be racist?

        Nobody is going to get pauperized but the working class/ Euro-Americans, Mexican-Americans, illegals -- not in this conservative climate.  Hell, we couldn't even win an election against this corrupt administration -- The Republican hypocrites are alive and well -- and will remain so - maybe with Hispanic support.

        Conservatives say "Silent Spring" is a dangerous book! Why do Conservatives Hate Birds?

        by xanthe on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:31:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly (none)
      I'd love to know how many of the people making ignorant posts in this thread are avid Lou Dobbs watchers. sigh.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:26:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh really? (none)
      "I say: Open Borders, Retroactive and Complete Amnesty, and One Big Union. Living Wages for all. And, moreover, stop fucking up other economies with stupid NAFTA and CAFTA and GATT and MAI, so that people do not get forced into economic migrations."

      And just how is it that WE are responsible for Mexico's ills?  And you left out the FTAA.  Just why do you think that Jeb Bush and the feds stopped ALL demonstrations about the FTAA?  Watch the film Miami Model and maybe this will be evident.  If Bush is such buddies with Vicente Fox why not pressure Fox to deal with Mexico's problems instead of encouraging his people to come to the US.   The racist xenophobe is Fox in my opinion.  Seems hes trying to encourage all of their lower income people to come here and for them to send monies back to Mexico.  Now isnt that just a real win win for Fox?

  •  Anyone that Rove hates (2.50)
    can't be all bad.  Tancredo is on Rove's sh**list.  And how may I ask is Tancredo a 'hate monger'?  Either we get our borders under control or we're done.  Tancredo is the only one in congress that has the guts to take this issue on.  When the vast majority of American's want something done about the illegal issue.  It's obvious that the people aren't being represented.  The fault for the illegal problem first lies in the lap of Bush, he caused it  when he made the announcement he was considering a guest worker program although it was already an issue but not as near the problem it is now, and secondly it lies in the lap of both Democrats and Republicans for not doing something.  
  •  Apparently, Biden is too............ (none)
    Where's the outrage?  I want an apology NOW.  I sent this to Reid and I mean it.

    Dear Senator Reid,

    I saw some reporter badgering you to apologize for calling Bush a liar.  While you stood your ground and had no intentions of letting him bully you, I wish you had said:  "I'll apologies for calling Bush a liar when he apologizes for being a liar."  

    In contrast, Stephanopolous set up and took down Biden as easy as shooting fish in a barrel last Sunday.   Biden insulted Gov. Dean, the DNC, ALL THEIR SUPPORTERS, and all for TWO freakin "Republican votes".  Was Biden born without balls and a brain or have the Republicans taken them and handed them back to him in a sack? Biden and Edwards together don't equal a small "pimple" on the backsides of you or Howard Dean.   The DLC'ers gave us Monica, NAFTA, Lieberman kissing Bush, Biden voting for bankruptcy bills, Hawaii voting to drill in Alaska; and all the while, they are simulataneously attacking and alienating the Democratic base.   You know the people who vote, fight, and finance them.....  If this is an example of Biden's cunning and brain, maybe he ought to think about running for dog catcher instead of President.  The same goes for Edwards, the empty Breck boy.  "My daddy worked in a mill".  "My daddy worked in a mill".   "My daddy worked in a mill".   "My daddy worked in a mill".  (Cue in the press - sighing and standing in admiration of his empty and smarmy tripe.)

    The reason I won't donate a nickel to the DNC is because I don't trust the likes of Biden, Clinton, and Lieberman and want to know who is running the Party.  IF the so called "moderates" (i.e. eunuchs) are running the show, I'm keeping my vote and my money.  Not only do they agree with Republicans and oppose and demean me and the Democratic base, they are salivating and envious of the Republican money train and can't wait to take it over. They want MBNA running the freakin country and writing our laws.  They want to sell their votes to the pharmaceuticals to make sure pot doesn't get made legal and stick us with all the GD bills.  I am sick of wimps, liars, and crooks selling their votes and and giving their sex organs priority over the best interests of the county, its middle class - and I don't give a damn if they are an R or a D.  I am sick of  the "alledged" journalists and media who can even say "Downing Street Memo".  (Move your lips, guys - go ahead say "Doooooowning Stttttttreet MMMMMemo".   If Deep Throat, Jesus, O'Neill and a smoking gun came forward today, they would simply run away - unless, of course, it involved oral sex and a cigar.  

    IF on the other hand we (liberals and proud of it) are taking are party and our country back, count me in.  I'm watching and waiting to see.  You and Gov. Dean need to speak louder because the Biden's, media and the rest of the whores are killing you.

  •  brother workers (3.00)
    these are our brothers and sisters of the working class.  we need to band together to protect against their exploitation and protect the interest of the gobal working class.

    from each according to his means, to each according to his needs

    by dummy on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:56:05 AM PDT

  •  Hmmm... (none)
    Your title should be a little more descriptive.  "GOP Hate Monger" doens't really narrow down the field does it?  I mean it could be almost any Republican.
  •  HE CAN'T (none)
    win with a name like that....LOL>
    It does not go down smooth like a bud light.
    LOL>
  •  ot - "supreme" court (none)
    in their zeal to fight the evil marijuana, the "supreme" court has made the constitution illegal under the commerce clause.
  •  Enforcement? (none)
    Employment enforcement is a joke. I can hire someone who appears not to be qualified to work in the United States, but I won't have any concern if that person shows me the identification required for the I-9. Sure, I may believe that the ID is a poor fake, but as an employer, I don't have any duty beyond filling out the I-9.

    Illegal immigration will go away when there are no incentives to have illegal immigrants here -- we will need to increase the legal immigration quota and make accommodation to those who are here without proper papers, then we can change the law to make it much more difficult to get employed without proper ID. That probably implies something that qualifies as a nation identification card.

    Democrats: Giving you a government that works.

    by freelunch on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:36:16 AM PDT

    •  fascism card (none)
      I'd prefer a solution that doesn't require Americans to submit to Big Brother.
      •  Proposal? (none)
        I'm not advocating a national ID card, but I'm not opposed to it either. I wish that every American had a passport -- maybe they would wander abroad once in a while and meet the rest of the world -- that would solve the problem. If you can offer a good alternative, I'm open to it.

        Democrats: Giving you a government that works.

        by freelunch on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:17:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Jobs that Americans won't do? (3.66)
    I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do

    -- you should add "at the wages undocumented workers are willing to accept" to that statement.

    To categorically say that Americans won't "pick grapes" no matter how much they are paid, without supporting data, is wrong.

    The problem is the employers, not the employees, and  prosecuting companies that violate labor and employment laws should be a high priority under any plan.  What that will do, however, is make a number of currently employed undocumented workers unemployable.  

    I guess then we'd see if Americans won't take those "grape picking" jobs.  

    Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

    by LionelEHutz on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 05:39:10 AM PDT

  •  More hypocrisy (none)
    Tancredo complains of Balkanization when he and his ilk are the only ones nurturing it with their hatred.  

    Am I allowed to shamelessly plug my little blog?

    by ChuckLin on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:01:37 AM PDT

  •  Dim bulbs and hidden agendas (none)
    Trancredo is a dim bulb racist and opportunist whose hate filled screeds are just a diversion from the real problems of workers rights and pay equity. . If there were a real crisis we'd be seeing vigorous prosecution of the EMPLOYERS of illegal immigrants. But we know that isn't going to happen. It's those selfsame employers who are financing the likes of Trancredo. All the blather about illegal immigration is just more right wing blame the victim as a ploy to further the roll back of civil rights and social justice.

    Susan in Montana

    •  Yep, it's a lot of racism sometimes (none)
      Look, I live in Los Angeles and sometimes I go to Home Depot ok...

      and there outside Home Depot I often see a line of what I assume are illegal immigrants (mostly mexican/central american) kind of hanging around waiting to see if anyone wants to hire them to do a little house work, landscaping, etc.  I am able to go into the store and get what I need and come back out and get in my car and go home... amazingly without my life being destroyed...

      Maybe it's because I am also latino and have compassion but I just don't get what the big deal is.  At the end of the day I just kinda shrug and say deal with it people!  Life will go on.  Be happy...

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:13:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kos should be deported! (3.00)
    I heard he is one of 'em illegals ruining California doing a job most Americans don't wanna do - blogging!

    Deport his ass - he's HURTING AMERICA!

    lmao

    /snark over.

    just kidding everyone... just kidding.  Quite frankly I think 90% of all the anti-immigration rhetoric is really all about hatred and fear of latinos and only latinos.  Especially Mexicans.  It is sad and shameful... and as a Puerto Rican who was lucky enough to be born a U.S. citizen I still feel the burden and the exclusionary type of sentiment living in the United States as a hispanic person.

    I am so tired of all the code words these Republicans (and even some Democrats) love to use when talking about all this:

    "Illegal ALIENS"
    OH SHIT WAR OF THE WORLDS IS COMING!  ALIENS!

    how about MULTICULTURALISTS?
    Wow? are those... people who realize we live in a world that is over 90% non-white? Deal with it.

    "Securing our borders?" Um no, they just mean Mexican border.  It's ok if those Canadians come on down with their hockey sticks though.  It's not like Al Qaeda terrorists can come across there... it's only the largest open border in the hemisphere....

    Lastly I just want to say:

    FUCK LOU DOBBS.  FUCK - LOU - DOBBS

    Really, someone needs to do something about his uncontrollable xenophobic rantings on his nightly show.  The guy is OBSESSED and needs a little fresh air.  He needs to be loved apparently.  Someone give him a hug.

    I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

    by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:07:05 AM PDT

  •  And yet Kos... (none)
    You yourself pointed out the success of doing this as a strategy.  Why not call him on the strategy itself?

    For those that were not there, Kos pointed out (and rightly so I believe) that one way to become very sucessful in Blogistan, is to get and issue and obsess over it.

    This is clearly what Tancredo has done.  Yet, Tancredo doesn't ever connect the dots between employers who hire undocumented workers not paying their share of the employer taxes and the workers not paying their share of payroll taxes, and the strain on public services experienced by the 2 million person flow of workers into this country, largely workers who do jobs no American would ever do.

    So part of the issue is managing Tancredo--but the other part of the issue is managing the issue itself by asking the right questions.

    •  Why not call him on the strategy? (none)
      Because Kos can't call him out on this strategy.

      Yet, Tancredo doesn't ever connect the dots between employers who hire undocumented workers

      Sure he does, and historically has done so. In the same article that Kos quoted Tancredo working to turn the tide

      He plans to tour several primary states, calling for militarization of the border and a crackdown on employers who hire illegal immigrants.

      Look, I don't agree with a lot of what Tancredo stands for, but I do not consider him a racist. In my view, some of his arguments against illegal immigration make a lot more sense than the arguments some of my Democrat brethren would make in support of illegal immigration e.g. 'I want my cheap burrito (or fruit, or nanny, etc.), and if there are no illegals, my burrito will cost more'. To my mind, this is the racist statment.

      Also, I have made the statement in Crystal Patterson's diary a Quick Guide to Kennedy- McCain Immigration Bill

      As I stated in my first comment, really research the net results of the 1986 immigration bill - really research what happened with the H1B visa. There can be only one conclusion as to what will, again, happen with respect to American workers' rights and wages with this new bill.

      Look, I am not against a full amnesty for all illegal aliens currently in this country. Do it. But at least go into the process with some intellectual honesty i.e., no illusions as to what the result will be. Kennedy can talk all he wants about American workers' rights and wages, we have the evidence as to what the result will be, because it was done in 1986, and has been perpetuated with 245(i). Our newly minted American citizens will be put out of work by new illegal aliens, just as they put out of work those whose jobs they took.

      If you read the enforcement portion of the Kennedy/McCain Immigration Bill

      Creates a new electronic work authorization system that will ultimately replace the paper-based, fraud-prone I-9 system, to be phased in gradually
      When operational, the system will be applied universally and cannot be used to discriminate against job applicants
      Individuals will have the right to review and correct their own records; data privacy protections are in place
      Immigration-related documents and US-VISIT will be upgraded to require biometric verification of travelers
      The Department of Labor will have new authority to conduct random audits of employers and ensure compliance with labor laws; also includes new worker protections and enhanced fines for illegal employment practices

      Wow, new authority to audit and enhanced fines, that'll do the trick. My response to Crystal's comments and these new enforcement provisions.

      If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 02:51:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "illegals" (2.14)
    I live in a Mexican barrio in Oceanside, California...the simple reason is it is CHEAP and at this moment the ONLY thing I can afford. (and I'm a single gringo woman with two dogs)

    That being said, I'm getting an education about Mexican nationals that are here illegally and it is NOT a pretty thing.

    This is a pretty large barrio and has been cleaned up over the past 5-8 years...meaning the gangs are 'in hiding'.

    These folks are mainly criminals, in their own countries and here...30 days after I moved in there was a 'sweep' by INS, DEA, etc., and they were only able to CATCH 38 (they were after several HUNDRED) Mexican Nationals, ALL were wanted for SERIOUS criminal activities (murder, rape, armed robbery, etc)...what happens to these not so nice folks?!?!?  They are deported...ALL of them are back here (within a block of me), with new fake i.ds, including Social Security cards, driver's licenses, etc.

    What needs to be done?!?!  

    We are supposedly 'fighting a war on terror' and our borders and ports are WIDE OPEN...wouldn't it behove America to shut the borders/ports ..NO one should be allowed in our country while our service people are getting killed fighting a war to protect us from 'terrorists'.

    Yet, the illegals STREAM through the borders....they cost us BILLIONS a year in the benefits they illegally get from our country.  HUD housing goes to illegals and not our own citizens...California is now trying to pass that ILLEGALS need health care paid for...WHAT!?!?!?!?!  These folks come into our country ILLEGALLY, they live here ILLEGALLY, they work here ILLEGALLY and we have tolerance WHY?!?!?!

    I talk to LEGAL immigrants daily and they are beyond pissed off by this.  You see they have to work as hard as we real US citizens and they don't get much in the way of special treatment. Many of the hispanics that came here LEGALLY are now getting ready to man the borders because they are PISSED...I say GOOD FOR THEM.  Our own government won't protect our borders as they play with their toys in foreign countries and forget about our own.

    But if you are ILLEGAL and have good FAKE I.D.'s, America will PAY you to attend schools, work, live, etc...

    Living in the barrio is teaching me alot.  These folks are SCARY...you don't ask THEM to turn down their music like you would normally...you call the POLICE and they send out a minimum of 3 SQUAD CARS with 2 cops in each because of their own FEAR of the danger in the barrio! They snub the police and everyone else and do as they please, they trash the neighborhoods, walk up and down the streets drinking and drugging...I've seen more drug trade in a block area then I have EVER seen in my life...where is our DEA?  Homeland security?  INS?  THEY AREN'T...they DON'T CARE...

    ONLY IN AMERICA!!!  I'll be starting a blog about life in the barrio...cheers.

    •  Bullshit. (3.50)
      More ignorant tripe.

      Strawmen, fake data, apocryphal stories with no backup and no sources, and racist, over-the-top classist, ridiculous overblown rhetorical fluorishes.

      Bullshit.

      The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

      by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:50:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  RE: Bullshit. (none)
        More ignorant tripe.
        Strawmen, fake data, apocryphal stories with no backup and no sources, and racist, over-the-top classist, ridiculous overblown rhetorical fluorishes.

        Pot - meet kettle.

        If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

        by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:26:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Please (3.00)
      Barbara, after reading of your experiences where you live.  I would kindly suggest to you moving from there if at all possible.  You seem very unhappy.  Try moving up north to the great Pacific Northwest.  It is affordable and you won't have to bother living near many brown, "SCARY" people ok.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:53:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Go back to freerepublic, troll (1.55)
      Seriously, you should leave this site and go buy some white robes and your highly flamable wooden crosses.  I guess since Timothy McVeigh was white, all white people are terrorists too, if your racist logic holds up.
    •  you know (none)
      reading this thread is quite interesting.  Seems as if the same thing is happening here as on other forums/blogs.  Brings to mind an old song:

      Which side?

    •  this is one of the most offensive, (4.00)
      racist, inflammatory pile of unsubstantiated anecdotal bullshit I've ever seen posted on dailykos.

      a fucking lunatic says crap like this: "...these folks are mainly criminals, in their own countries ...", calls for shutting down all the borders completely and she is not troll-rated out of this thread?

      This comment is a prime example of unproductive and trollish behavior. I lean toward troll, mainly because of this little gem: "....living in the barrio is teaching me alot.  These folks are SCARY..."  No ma'am. You and your hate-filled rantings are truly scary.

      When Americans think of a scary person in a black robe, they should be thinking of Darth Vader, not Republican choices for judges...Sen. Harry Reid

      by pacific city on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:52:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (none)
        I rarely agree with you pacific city, but this kind of comment gives me the chills.  The agent provacateur nature/element is what opens my eyes the most....

        "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

        by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:11:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you rarely agree with me? (none)
          huh. I don't remember ever having an exchange with you.

          When Americans think of a scary person in a black robe, they should be thinking of Darth Vader, not Republican choices for judges...Sen. Harry Reid

          by pacific city on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:37:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I try to keep quiet (none)
            you and I have different feelings about the military.  It's understandable...I lean pretty libertarian at times...

            I don't say much because I think it would be disrespectful of those around you in the service.

            "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

            by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:39:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  okay, (none)
              figured it was something like that. If you hate the idea of war but recognize the humanity of military folks and realize that serving in the military does not equal love of war, then you are alright in my book.

              When Americans think of a scary person in a black robe, they should be thinking of Darth Vader, not Republican choices for judges...Sen. Harry Reid

              by pacific city on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:47:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well thanks (none)
                I find your comments on the military can broaden my perspective.

                On that topic I'll try to show some decorum.

                Having some difficulty not being nasty to our friends here, though....

                "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

                by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:56:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Pacific City (none)
        You are totally uninformed as to illegals...not LEGAL immigrants, but ILLEGALS.

        Don't ever call me the disgusting names you did in you post, you are incredibly pathetic.

        I live where I MUST due to finances currently and am sharing MY experiences and knowledge.  I surely did NOT do it to be attacked by the likes of you.  I've lived in California and Arizona close to Mexico ALL of my adult life, I've seen the effects of ILLEGALS (brown, yellow, white) on these states.

        Why don't you catch a flight over to San Diego and I'll pick you up.  You can stay at my place and see some of this for yourself?  Get a grip...the ILLEGAL problem in this country is HUGE.  Come on out...any of you who think I'm blowing smoke or trolling (what the hell is trolling...?!?!)...I've got plenty of space on the floor where you can sleep...walk around the barrio, talk to these folks (but know Spanish), ask THEM, you'll get what alot of folks are saying here FIRST HAND then, go to the community colleges, ask them how it works for the ILLEGALS, talk to the police officers, ask THEM, go to the hospitals...you want PROOF, then get your sorry ass out here and research it yourself...or live it...don't call me shit names...you don't believe me, get your sorry ass out here and I'll take ya around and you can see, live and HEAR it for  yourself.

        Some people just need to be slapped hard upside the head and I'd do it to you...but I'd rather reach out and have you come on over!

        •  Que es su problema... (none)
          otra vez?

          "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

          by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:42:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  calm down... (none)
          you made your bed with your insane freaking vomit-fest of a comment. Maybe if you had made an effort to not sound like such an extremist and to put some supported facts in your statement, you would not be a troll. For example, where's the support for your assertion that most illegal Mexicans in your barrio are criminals in their country and here in the U.S.? You should be trolled for that statement alone...That belongs in freeper sites, not here. What a disgusting assertion that I can shoot down based on my own personal experience.

          As a matter of fact, I do know about immigrants--illegal and legal. My brother-in-law is from Mexico and many of his friends are illegal. They are good people trying to find a way to either stay here permanently or make some money before they return to Mexico. That is my narrow perspective from my tiny little neighborhood here in Portland, Oregon.

          You say that illegal immigration is a huge problem in this country, yet you only offer one tiny, narrow-minded, perspective into your own life and your own opinions on who and what these illegals are in your tiny neighborhood. You lack any empathy or understanding in your analysis, which tells me your mind was made up about "illegals" way before you moved to the barrio. Sorry, that ain't good enough to pass the smell test.

          And though you use ALL CAPS to emphasize your points, all you succeeded in doing is dig yourself further and further into your paranoid, xenophobic  loonyland. You want sympathy--poor gringo has to live with the dirty criminal mexicans in the barrio? Sorry, but you have only earned disdain.

          When Americans think of a scary person in a black robe, they should be thinking of Darth Vader, not Republican choices for judges...Sen. Harry Reid

          by pacific city on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 04:01:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm... have you ever lived in a gang run area? (none)
        I don't find her comments inflammatory at all. The first folks to leave my neighborhood were the legal Latino immigrants who advised me to do the same. The next out were the Latinos born here.

        It's pretty hard to miss the fact that many illegals were career criminals back home. The tattoos on the web between the finger and the thumb, the tears tattooed on the face to indicate the length of time spent in prison, etc., tend to be clear indicators.

        After a while you can sit on the corner and read the tattoos and know who has killed someone, who is the "heart" of the gang, who carries the weapons, who is a burglar, who is a car thief, and who is a drug dealer just by looking at the inked tattoos. I invite you all to come and visit me and I'll teach you how to do this.

        •  hey Yakima, (none)
          there are gangs everywhere, including in the whitest suburban areas. Yes, there are many gangs--hispanic, white, asian--in Portland, Oregon where I live. Don't fucking condescend to me by saying you'll "teach me" about gangs. You and Barbara both seem intent on teaching folks about criminals and gangsters and illegals.

          Was the original comment about gangs? No, it was about the xenophobic and racist assertion that all illegal immigrants from Mexico are criminals in their own country and in this country. Disgusting and still unsupported by either Barbara or you.

          So you have Mexican gangs in your area. Many members have prison tatoos. How do you know they are illegal aliens? Did you ask to see their green card? Do you think they could've got the tatoos here in prison in the USA?

          Sorry, you make far too many generalizations based on limited personal experience for me to lend any credence to your comments.

          When Americans think of a scary person in a black robe, they should be thinking of Darth Vader, not Republican choices for judges...Sen. Harry Reid

          by pacific city on Wed Jun 08, 2005 at 09:50:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Nobody's wrong if everybody's right. (none)
    Yes. Mexicans,(especially) are scape=goated and used and under-paid. (a few months ago a Mexican fellow was all over the news here because a frig or stove or something fell off his truck and a driver behind him was killed trying to avoid it.  The guy had just bought the appliance at Home Depot. Now anyone who's ever bought a big thing at Home Depot knows that their employees usually load and secure the stuff for you right?  Can you imagine that not being mentioned if this horrible accident had happened to a white appliance buyer?)

    Yes.  When I first slipped into the under-world of food service almost everyone "back-of-house" was black(in Atlanta GA, circa '83), and now almost everyone is Mexican.

    Yes.  If it wasn't for immigration the US demographics would look like Japan's and we would be in big trouble, ie, no young people.

    Yes.  Sanctimonious racist types play this card, along with the femi-nazi, tree-huggin', MSM Commie-lovin', Jesus-hatin' cards.

    Yes.  The Dems are knee-jerk reactionaries when it comes to nuance around this issue.

    Yes.  It's great to see people break into a great debate.

    Yes.  All those "happy" Mexicans I used to work with are getting older, wiser, and not so happy, under-pricing those black people(and white)who have vanished from the kitchens and dining rooms of Atlanta.

    I don't know the answer.  But it's nice to see all these questions.  Let's quit bashing Lou Dobbs and face reality.  Might get votes, no?

    ps.  If all the illegal Mexicans in Atlanta disappeared everybody would have to eat at home.  Maybe we should all wear big buttons when we eat out that say, "Thank you for doing without healthcare and subsidizing my meal"

    "yes dear...conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:29:42 AM PDT

  •  Dems are enablers/cowards.... (none)
    There.  Said it.  Feel better now.

    Check out Link TV's daily Middle East digest program, Mosaic.

    by shmooth on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:39:36 AM PDT

  •  Ahh, the Subject of Grapes (4.00)
    And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes). . .

    Last time I checked, the grape picking industry has existed as long as there have been grapevines.

    So who picked those grapes before undocumented immigrants took those jobs?

    Who worked in construction? In meatpacking? In housekeeping?  Gardening? Truck driving? Did these jobs simply not exist before the explosion of undocumented workers who entered the country after the 1986 amnesty?

    Do folks who buy into the "they take jobs that nobody else will" shibboleth in defense of illegal immigration really honestly believe that nobody ever did these jobs?

    I don't think so, myself.  What I do think is that there is a deliberate, studious avoidance of any discussion who used to do these jobs, before, why they stopped doing them, and what those workers are doing now.

    I don't think that silence is accidental.

    Now, Tom Tancredo is the ultimate in racist slimebucket.  I despise him.  Utterly.  I hope he gets run over by a coyote truck in the middle of the night and then is accidentally backed over.  As well as folks like the ignorant vigilantes who showed up down in Arizona.  For most of these folks it really is about hating brown people.

    But I can feel those things, genuinely and honestly, and still also be extremely angry at folks who insist that nobody gets hurt from the process of illegal immigration because "nobody will do these jobs"  Bullshit.  If you don't think it's bullshit, then go find the answer to these questions:  Who used to do these jobs, before? And why did they stop doing them?

  •  I live 60 miles from the border of Mexico (none)
    and here are my concerns;

    Current Border Patrol practices force illegal entrants to come through the desert and many die.  That is a human rights issue.

    Not just Mexicans come illegally across the border in AZ.  Artifacts found in the desert abandoned by the entrants include prayer rugs and Qurans.  A terrorist could enter the country simply by paying a coyote ( and making it across the desert).  They are probably already here.

    There are
    estimates

    of 1000-4000 people DAILY entering illegally across the AZ border.  

    Schools-Federal law guarantees education for all children.  And No Child Left Behind demands school accountability through testing in English.
    Schools with many English Language Learners
    will never meet the standards.

    There are lots of other issues regarding illegal immigration that others have discussed in the previous posts.

    I don't know the answer, but it is a problem.

    If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything-Mark Twain

    by Desert Rose on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:39:44 AM PDT

    •  One answer (none)
      is enforce the law that is presently ON the books.  Of course that isnt happening because Bush and the Democrats apparently dont represent the people of this country.  Bush wants the illegals here.  And for those who want to start pointing BS fingers saying I'm a xenophobe, my d-i-l is an immigrant.  A legal one who went through the proper legal channels to come to this country.  
      •  Enforce the laws presently on the books... (none)
        ...how, exactly? Sending more law enforcement to border areas for that purpose has resulted in little progress in "enforcement", but several corruption and law enforcement drug smuggling scandals.
    •  No Child Left Behind (none)
      is idiotic legislation.  As a teacher I can tell you what a steaming pile to make profit for testing companies it is.

      Your fearmongering gets nowhere with me.

      Ben Franklin said, "he who gives up a measure of liberty for some security deserves....neither."

      .......
      Cite the sources for the prayer rugs and qurans please.  I don't believe you.

      Speaking on terrorism.....

      I'm more scared of Christians that Muslims...you might think twice about guys like the following...they're everywhere in the states...and well armed....

      http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/crime/terrorists/eric-rudolph/

      "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

      by quartzite on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:28:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a teacher too (none)
        And you're right it is a boon to the testing companies.  It is also a stroke of luck for minority kids in underperforming schools.  For the first time shitty schools are being held accountable for every kids'learning. That's a good thing.

        On to the border.  Check these news sources.

        http://www.alternet.org/story/21774

        http://www.kvoa.com/global/story.asp?s=2545055&ClientType=Print

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150520,00.html

        www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/ Currents/Content?oid=oid%3A60078

        I don't like being called a liar, because I am not.

        As for religious zealots, any zealot is cause for fear, and if you believe I am fearmongering, cite your evidence.

        Now crawl back under your rock.

        If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything-Mark Twain

        by Desert Rose on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:02:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Fox? A local affiliate? (none)
          You're pulling my leg right?  That's your evidence?

          How about putting your weight into some real research, eh?  Don't link me to a few MSM links,  (Fox?  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?) that's ** to me.

          Maybe I'm the type of liberal that you hate; a multicultural one....

          As for "shitty schools being held accountable" as you say...hmmmmm

          You do know that the legislation was built on the "TEXAS MIRACLE" which was 3 years of testing in which the tests got easier, don't you?  And that a huge by-product of that is cheating?...

          http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0111/p01s03-ussc.html

          You do know that tons of Bush shills were paid a lot of money to promote it, don't you?

          Such as Armstrong Williams, paid 241,000 dollars to schill NCLB?  I don't know how much YOU get paid....but I can tell you my teacher's salary aint' even a sixth of that.

          For those who do not know, conservative columnist Armstrong Williams took payment from the Bush Administration with regards to helping promote the program No Child Left Behind. Williams was said to receive over 250 thousand dollars. According to him, he already believed in the program and was willing to promote it anyway. Regardless, it looks pretty bad, whether he agreed with the policy or not.

          http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=armstrong+williams%2Bshill

          Do you know that NCLB is tied to federal funding for projects like highways, and because of that many states like mine will slave to it, but a neighbor state of YOURS is opting out?

          http://www.washtimes.com/national/20050222-111910-7518r.htm

          I've got lots more reasons including yes, the military ones.  And bleepin' funding.

          Here's some other pages on why NCLB doesn't work.

          http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=nclb%2Bdoesn%27t+work

          "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

          by quartzite on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:18:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Further... (none)
          I do think it's fear-mongering to believe that qurans and prayer rugs are being thrown around the desert.  And to spread that rumor...

          For all I know, the Minutemen could have put them there...I wouldn't doubt it for a New York minute....

          "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

          by quartzite on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:37:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The Tucson Weekly link was bad (none)
        use this one http://www.tucsonweekly.com/gbase/currents/Content?oid=oid:60078
        This is our alternative weekly newspaper.

        If you tell the truth you don't have to remember anything-Mark Twain

        by Desert Rose on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:47:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  who are the balkanizers? (none)
    He warns darkly of the "Balkanization" of the United States from mass immigration and the dire threat of the "cult of multiculturalism." But the tide is turning, he tells his audience, and they are on the winning side.

    Funny, I always thought it was the ardent "states-right" supporters, the reddest of the red south, which posed the biggest threat of balkanisation within the US.

  •  Sinclair Lewis (none)
    I feel every day that the news is less news and more like somethign from a Sinclair Lewis novel.  Put the above scene into Elmer Gantry or Babbit and you wouldn't think it out of place.

    Is there gas in the car? Yes, there's gas in the car.

    by nightsweat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:51:39 AM PDT

  •  Disgusted (none)
    that some of the first comments here were basically endorsing what Tancredo's policy stands for, hate.

    There is a problem with illegal immigration, but closing the border and deportation are not the answers. A fucking wall that resembles Isreal's is DEFENITELY not the answer.  The answer is to hold corporate America accountable. Illegals are basically subsidizing a portion of the American way of life. If you didn't want them here [and replaced them with workers who would make a living wage] expect to see many items you pay for jump in price, including produce, housing, home care, etc. Buy organic, demand living wages, but do not promote your racism.

    America is the land of the free and whether you came through documented or undocumented. I welcome you. All of our ancestors were immigrants to this country, except for a few First American tribes.  Most that posted here, I would believe, don't know any illegals and some underlying racism is the reason.

    "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

    by House on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 06:54:19 AM PDT

    •  standards (none)
      Should we have any standards for citizenship?
      •  Good question (none)
        My standard for inclusion would be intent and possession, that is if they want to be an American and made it to America [Proper--as in actual land] whether by papers, raft or river, they get to be an American. I could and can not judge an exclusionary standard, because if their desire is the same pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, who am I to deny them of what I have. I have no right.

        "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

        by House on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:16:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK fair enough (none)
          But at what point do you say enough? 10 million undocumented immigrants? 20 million? 30 million? 300 million?
           You see where this is going. There a limit to what one country and its citizens can support.
          What that level is I don't know. But I can tell you here in SoCal, we are getting close to finding out. And unless we can have a serious discussion without fear of being called 'xenophobic' or 'racist' the problem ( and yes, it is a problem) will continue to fester until it explodes into some nasty SOLUTION  that hurts everyone.
             And as a resposible citizen you most certainly do have a right and a responsibility  to exercise your judgment. Your post would indicate you are in favor of unrestricted borders and free flow of people. If you make it here, great, you're a citizen.
            It's a noble sentiment and I admire your altruism. Me, as another poster took pains to note, I'm a little less altruistic and more ego-centric. How do we pay for all these new people? Who pays to build the schools, the subsidized medical care, the subsidized housing, the infrastructure necessary to support millions and millions  of newly arrived immigrant/citizens?
             I suspect that I'm hardly alone in this point of view. And until we Democrats, as a party, begin to offer discussion and solutions, we will continue to cede the issue to the extremes on both sides
             

          Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

          by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:56:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you give everyone who wants them... (none)
            ...documents once they are here, you have no undocumented immigrants.

            Now, if your real beef is with immigrants and not undocumented immigrants, then you should just say that.

            •  OK when do you stop giving everyone documents? (none)
              And no, I'm not against legal immigration. I was pretty sure my other posts made that clear. Apparently not. Sorry if I confused you.
               But I am curious. Would you concede that there is a point where this country simply can't afford  an open door policy? If so, where might that point be?
              Serious estimates range from 11 million to 20 million undocumented or illegal aliens presently in the US. If we gave them all amnesty and made them citizens tomorrow, should we then continue to welcome all and sundry? How many? Another 10 million people? 20 Million? 100 million?

              Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

              by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 11:15:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Personally, I don't support... (none)
                ...absolutely free immigration as practical, though I don't think quotas are the right way to restrict the volume of immigration. I think that anyone who has the requisite personal characteristics (i.e., restrictions as to criminality, etc., are okay) should be allowed to immigrate to the US without limits on numbers; quotas and lotteries could be imposed for "free" immigration with supernumerary immigrants charged a fee; illegals identified could be regularized (if eligible other than for the illegal immigration) by paying the usual fee plus a penalty.

                Completely open immigration -- on a reciprocal basis -- with select countries as part of trade agreements that also set common baseline labor and environmental standards would be a good addition, too.

          •  Ego-centric (none)
            hoarding of wealth is not possible in the globalization of the world. I am not a advocate of globalism, but it is happening.  And it is not sustainable.  And to scapegoat illegal immigration is not the answer.

            If the world were to live to American middle class standards, the world would need 6x the present resources. Didn't Friedman (though disagreeing with some points) say the world is flattening due to globalism? If so, the American middle class will continue to lose out (because we are above the mean/median), irregardless of whether we have a closed or a free and copious border.

            The sad fact is, I get to take advantage of illegals' work in America.  If I didn't, then I would be purchasing $9.99 bunches of strawberries, pay $300 for a day of child-care per child, pay $14.99/lb for chicken, $60 a plate Outback dinner, etc. Those prices, would give all the workers in the chain of consumerism a living wage, but I wouldn't be able to afford them anymore.

            As far as saying when enough is enough, maybe the status quo gets it done.  It deters enough from immigrating legally that only the desperate do it illegally. Some sort of reverse-physcology.

            "Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground?" -George Washington

            by House on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 10:54:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I can't agree with your premises (none)
              Friedman is a bit of a buffoon as far as I'm concerned. His track record as a prognosticator is pretty spotty.  Right now globalization is causing severe dislocations in our economy. The middle class is under seige. Granted.
                But to suggest that we are doomed to regress to the mean/median income of the world suggests a very bleak view of our prospects. Globalization, as presently practiced is beginning to be seen as not the panacea ushering in a world of plentiful but rather a particularly brutal form of Social Darwinism. As more and more people and countries come to that point of view, expect to see more enforceable regulated flows of capital and goods and people. Here in the US, we need to rethink some of our assumptions and prejudices. For all intents and purposes, we have lost the low wage/ low skill jobs. The entry level jobs that many immigrants took as a path up the ladder. In a rational economic system, then the lack of these jobs should have meant a severe curtailment in immigration. Just the opposite has happened. Why?
                 This diary has suggested some reasons. Employers anxious for cheap labor. A large and growing underground economy. A virtual absence of effective border control. The historic permeability of the border with seasonal ebbs and flows.
                Whatever the reasons, to allow unlimited immigration, legal and illegal, is the surest path to ensuring that we regress to that god-awful mean, whever it may be. More people for less jobs is a guaranteed way to get in  a race to the bottom. Overlay that with a social safety net that isn't meeting our current needs and we're standing on a powderkeg.
                If we instead had a coherent immigration system that allowed for skilled and unskilled labor alike we would all be much better off.We as a country, and especially as a party need to talk about this.
               Btw, I don't know what strawberries would cost without a supply of cheap agricultural workers but it wasn't that long ago when the meat packing  industry were paid a living wage. I haven't done the math but  $14.99 a lb for chicken, even in inflation adjusted dollars seem a tad large by several orders of magnitude.IMHO.

              Moderation, the noblest gift of heaven. - Euripedes

              by recentdemocrat on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 12:02:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What would likely happen (none)
                I haven't done the math but $14.99 a lb for chicken, even in inflation adjusted dollars seem a tad large by several orders of magnitude.IMHO.

                Not at all, considering the monopolization of our food items, and the things that are done to our food to make them cheaper to produce.  If you had to hire people legally to do those jobs, you would possibly have to 1) provide at least minimum wage, if not a living wage, 2) provide insurance, 3) slow production down, 4) provide safety via OSHA standards, etc. which would all serve to drive prices up.  Also, this would effect quite a few places that would multiply the costs.  For example, illegal immigrants planting the vegetables, others providing the water and nutrients, others picking the vegetables, others working in the warehouses that ship them, and a whole bunch of other things would all be factors.  I would be interested in seeing the costs involved in getting a strawberry from the very beginning of planting to being in my hand, because then we could probably make an accurate guess at how much the price would raise.  However, this would definitely raise the costs quite a bit.

                On the other hand, what is even more likely to happen in the event that we shut our borders to illegals and crack down on companies hiring them is that the corporate farms move overseas and set up shop elsewhere.  It would be much cheaper for them to do so if they had to, and it would mean even less jobs in the U.S. than when the illegals were here.

                You really have to think through the economic ramifications of this.  I personally would probably laugh if the borders were shut and all the immigrants (or even just the illegal ones) were kicked out.  Our immigration policy as it is now is already unfair, too restrictive, and ultimately damaging to our country.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  You will when the baby boomers are gone.  We'll be begging people to come here.  Or not, and we'll blame anti-American sentiment or some other B.S.  However, immigration are pretty much the only thing that can hold off the collapse of our "population bubble" of baby boomers.

  •  Man, o man (4.00)
    if this thread is anything resembling a common occurrence, there needs to be some serious delousing and troglodyte removal activity going on.

    Some folks need to get a fucking grip, some folks need to take a close look at the number of pretty obvious trolls and trogs, and some folks need to get gone.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:05:43 AM PDT

  •  Misconception: Tancredo is just another neocon (none)
    I realize it is easy to lump Tancredo in with the rest of the hatemongers, but actually there is no love lost between Tancredo and Bush. In fact, Tancredo HATES George Bush. Whatever you think about Tancredo and his tunnel vision on this one issue, he sees Bush for the hypocrite HE is on the issue, and calls him out regularly. Bush SAYS he cares about border security, but secretly WANTS illegal immigrants here to help keep wages down...

    So as insane as Tancredo might sound to us, his own party will keep him in check. He is no real threat to us. Let's keep our crosshairs on more dangerous people like Brownback or Frist... :)

    •  I will say this (4.00)
      I trust George Bush more than I would Tancredo on this issue.

      Some of Bush's policy is sincere I believe.  He has SOME degree of understanding and perhaps some compassion for Mexican immigrants.

      I just get that sense about him...

      I am a latino democrat who voted for John Kerry and I distrust Bush on just about everything else.  But on the whole immigration thing he has actually stood up to the likes of Tancredo who have literally stormed the oval office demanding he "get tough on the Mexicans" and Bush has refuted them over and over.  They wanted some language added to the RNC convention manifesto or whatever the hell they call it about this whole thing and Bush said no.

      Of course his motives are probably 90% economically-based to help his buddies in big business but hey if there's at least 10% of sincerity in his heart about this... I think he's well ahead of his fellow Republicans and nativists like Pat Buchanan.

      I guess what I'm saying boils down to this : It could be worse... we could be saying President Buchanan or President Tancredo right now.

      At that point I truly would seek to leave this country, lol.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:19:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I appreciate your point of view (none)
        But don't make the mistake of thinking that George Bush or anyone else in this administration are looking out for anyone except the super-rich and a select group of defense contractors.

        Tancredo is a hatemonger of the worst kind. But his message has never changed - you know where you stand with him. George Bush is one of those gutless political chameleons who would change his "opinion" in a split second if his big donors demanded it. A guy like that will throw his own mother under the bus if it will benefit him politically... Bush only thinks of those immigrants as canon fodder for industry. Disposable humans for corporations like WalMart and agriculture...

      •  Now isnt this interesting? (none)
        "I trust George Bush more than I would Tancredo on this issue."

        And quite telling.  Bush is sincere?  Now what is your agenda?

        •  Hmm, funny (none)
          Agenda? My agenda was HONESTY.  I honestly trust George Bush more than Tancredo on THIS issue.

          Oh no, is that blasphemy? I'm sorry.  Check out all the diaries I've written... notice they all stopped soon after Nov 2nd after my soul was crushed.

          Why? Because I was for Kerry despite trusting George Bush more than Tancredo on this issue!! Wow huh?  Why? Because I trusted John Kerry and democrats 100x more!!  Is that too nuanced for you?

          I will never trust Republicans as a party when it comes to minorities.

          And I am a minority.

          I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

          by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:22:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  His background (none)
    His name sounds kind of foreign. I'll bet his ancestors came here as immigrants. What a hypocrite.

    -- Mike Cohen - http://www.mcdevzone.com/

    by mike3k on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:24:51 AM PDT

    •  All our names are "foreign" to this land (none)
      Which is the irony in all this

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:27:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Nit (none)
        The depressing fact is that this is not true for everyone.

        Most of us of African-American descent have no idea what our names really were (but we know they were not "Jones" "Glover" "Williams" "Jefferson" "Washington" or "Smith", all very common surnames in the African-American community)  The vast majority of us have surnames that are European in origin, even though it is inarguable that vast majority of African-Americans do not trace their origin back to the European continent.

  •  Actually, in my experience illegal workers do (3.00)
    take construction jobs (framing; brick masonry; sheetrock work; painting) that would otherwise go to American citizens at a higher wage.  Illegal workers here take the pay they can get and live in deplorable conditions stuffed together ten or more in a 2-bedroom apt. where there are no ordinances against that sort of thing.  This is rather commonplace during this housing boom period.
  •  Here's the real issue (none)
    Republicans have been in power since 1995, when they took control of both houses of Congress.

    WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

    NADA.

    Tom Tancredo (and doesn't THAT name sound ethnic, eh?) has a lot of room to talk.  His party has been in power exclusively since 2000 and they've done diddly SQUAT.

    Illegal immigration is not a black and white issue.  There are illegals who have made incredible contributions to this country.  There are some who have been incredibly harmful.

    My own grandfather jumped ship at Ellis Island around the turn of the century.  There were thousands of WOPs (With Out Papers) in our major cities, even back then.  They had diseases or other problems that they thought would keep them from getting processed, so they snuck in illegally.

    This is not a new problem, although I do acknowledge that the numbers are higher than ever before.

    Then again, where were all of you in the 80's, when our nation's foreign policy was literally ripping the nations of Central America apart?  And how many American multinational corporations continue to stack the economic decks against these nations?

  •  anti-illegal immigration (3.50)
    Since when has the Democratic party been for illegal immigration?  I suppose some may have that view here, but the fact is that these people are here against the laws of this country.  It is offensive to those of us who take the time and effort to come here legally (and generally become Democrats) that anyone would assert some kind of moral equivalency between legal and illegal immigrants.

    A gaffe in Washington is when you tell the truth and people act surprised.

    by hotshotxi on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:46:41 AM PDT

    •  Nah (none)
      I think most people here at Daily Kos would tell you they are NOT for illegal immigration.

      On the flip side however I think if you were to ask Tancredo and many who agree with him to be honest... they would not really be for LEGAL immigration.

      Some have pointed out that the system for LEGAL immigration needs to be reformed in order to make it a FAVORABLE and PREFERABLE alternative for those seeking to come to the United States to choose the legal route.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 07:53:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with all that (none)
        I think it's a straw man argument that's put up by the Republicans.  Dems aren't in favor of illegal immigration.  Do we need to reform the immigration laws to encourage legal immigration?  Absolutely.  But I think the straw man Republican argument is that Dems are for illegal immigration because they don't care about the rules, and I think kos was alluding to that.

        A gaffe in Washington is when you tell the truth and people act surprised.

        by hotshotxi on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:57:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's Really About Legal Immingration (4.00)
    I agree with those who have posted that the Tom Tancredo's of the world are really about bashing all immigrants.  Let's face it - who is for illegal immigration?  I'm certainly not but I AM FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION!  After all unless you are a Native American, we are all descendants of immigrants and yesterday's and today's immigrants have helped make this country great.

    The Tom Tancredo's of the world are for no immigration - especially from non-white people. You can't say that publicly so instead they express their xenophobia through illegal immigrants.  

    I believe the Bill Murray's line from Stripe's sums this argument up best - "We're Americans.  Our ancestors were kicked out of every decent country in the world."

  •  There is a Certain Irony (3.00)
    In someone labeling a fairly well-thought out comment "Unproductive" while failing to advance any argument of their own discussing why such an argument is "unproductive."  In other words, diss of perspectives=productive; discussion of difficult yet still important perspectives = unproductive.  

    So thanks to "TheBoz" for proving yet again that it is virtually impossible to have a productive discussion of certain "hot button issues" here on DKos without being subjected to a litmus test (with the resultant "near troll" stealth ratings being levied at those with whom the defenders of the 'party line' on a given subject disagree).  

    •  Hey shanikka (none)
      Just stop caring what people rate you and then no one can stop you from speaking your mind.  Just my two cents.

      Don't let anyone deter you from giving your point of view.  Eventually your efforts will be rewarded and you will find that productive discussions emerge.

      I'd also like to add that it's pretty evident from reading this entire thread that there is no clear-cut party line on this particular issue.

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:20:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No One Ever Has (none)
        Stopped me personally from speaking my mind.  That's the Womanist in me.  

        But I wonder how many folks that are not like me have stopped speaking their mind in the "hard discussions" because of the increasing habit of ratings abuse on the site.  And whether those absent voices might help us develop a better sense of where we need to go, politically, if they were not censored because of the perception of disapproval.  

        •  Definitely (none)
          In the past I have hesitated to post my opinion or respond to someone because of exactly that.

          So you really have a good point.

          In fact... for many months after we lost the election I didn't feel like getting involved in discussions at all here because there was a lot of sadness and anger going around with very heated people!

          Lurking is a lot more peaceful but the courage to post and contribute is vital to help our party prosper

          I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

          by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:32:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Get over it (none)
      Ratings are completely unimportant as long as you do not get a zero.  They serve no purpose whatsoever except in the cases where the average is zero (actually, lower than one) because that hides the comment.  I think your comment was dumb and offensive, but it did not deserve to be hidden, so I gave it a 1.  Ratings 1 - 4 are meaningless, and the sooner you get over it the better for yourself.

      Also, whining about ratings probably does deserve a zero, because it's just childish.  I get a ton of 1 and zero ratings and I don't complain.  I would only be annoyed if my comments are given a zero and hidden.

  •  Irony is certainly in order here... (none)
    Your entire country is based on immigration so why don't you just go the whole hog and kick everyone except the indigenous tribes out?
  •  Point of disagreement? (4.00)
    And while I'm utterly unconvinced that those undocumented workers take any jobs Americans would do (like picking grapes),
    I think, actually, this may be a bit over simplistic in terms of meshing with reality.

    There was a time in this country when just plain immigrants - not illegal immigrants - did many of the manual labor jobs along with many Americans.  In Washington, for example, first and second generation Japaneese Americans produced much of the strawberries for the western portion of the country.  In Maine, potatoes were picked by children of farming families, and migrant workers from the south and west.

    Illegal immigration puts downward pressure on wages inappropriately for a whole host of jobs.  Nannies, household help, lawn care and landscaping, picking, sorting, factory work, retail help, clerks - all these are jobs that used to be solid middle-class careers.  Now, not so much.  When legal workers have to compete with illegal undocumented workers it's invariably a problem.  Instead of the $14/hr jobs, the huge number of interchange illegals has pushed this wage down, down, down, to where it's barely $6/hr.  Think of that difference.  A two-parent family with two children would be making 24,960 instead of 47,040.  From bordering on insolvency to solidly middle class.

    Americans will do hardwork for a decent middle class wage.  But the price pressure exerted by illegal immigration causes wages to fall below what you can support yourself and a family on.  Migrant life is hard, and to do it properly and with respect for yourself and family requires decent livable wages.

    Maybe I am missing something, but I think it's clear that illegal competition hurts legal workers in terms of wages.

  •  something from my MEChA days... (none)
  •  How do we get this guy to run!!! (none)
    as a third party candidate so he splits the "hate" vote and hands the presidency to the Dems?

    "I for one welcome our new insect overlords." - Kent Brockman

    by pawlr on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 08:47:30 AM PDT

    •  Good idea (none)
      Can you imagine him running with Zell Miller as his running mate?

      That would make for some great debates, all ending in dramatic duels to the death of course.

      How sweet would it be to see Tancredo going down on his knees and screaming: "Remember the Alamo!"

      His eyes would then close with sweet release as he ascends to heaven only to find that GOD is a black muslim and Jesus really was pronounced "Heh-zeus" all along, like a spanish name.  His worse nightmare! A mexican Jesus!  Crap!  And wait... he then realizes heaven is full of immigrants from all sorts of countries!!

      "Oh no," he says, "time for me to go to hell."

      I voted for John Kerry and all I got was this lousy sticker...

      by diplomatic on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:17:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  RE: How do we get this guy to run!!! (none)
      Tom Tancredo has said this:

      Washington (June 18) -- When my colleagues get a letter from a constituent who has been displaced by foreign workers, they should write back to them and say, 'It is the policy of this government to displace you, to move you into a lower economic income category, because we believe in cheap labor and we believe the politics of open borders helps our party."

      RedDan has said this:

      You're a true piece of shit. (1.50 / 4)

      Go hide in your slimy hole, you racist piece of garbage.

      pacific city rates this comment a four, so by extension it is RedDan who is the calm and logical voice here, Tom Tancredo is the one who is slinging hateful and unproductive vitriol around.

      If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 09:18:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Comparative Wages (none)
    As one who grew up in the San Joaquin Valley and always supported Mr.Chavez during his Delano wars, I would like to point out that the oft-repeated cliche about "undocumented" workers doing work Americans will not do is always expressed omitting the extremely relevant subsequent phrase, "for the wages being offered."  
    •  Agreed -- Kos is dead wrong on this. (none)
      Americans will do anything as long as there is a decent wage/benefit package offered. The work of this country got done before the relatively recent wave of illegal immigration, and it will after it ends (which it will if more of our legislators grow a spine). I would gladly pay five or ten cents more for a head of lettuce to know that the person who picked it can raise a family in America on what he/she makes. Nobody suffers more from illegal immigration than poor Americans -- except maybe the illegal immigrants themselves. The starvation wages paid for agricultural labor drags the payscale down for all low-income jobs, which is why the ranks of the working poor are growing.
  •  Here's my take on immigration (none)
    1. Increase the numbers of legal immigrants from each country.  Right now, the base number is something like 20,000 per country per year (not the exact figure, but it's really low).  That's fine for, say, Germany or Sweden, but for Mexico, that's insanely low.  Increase it to 100,000 or 200,000 or more per country per year.

    2. Eliminate or significantly reduce in size all or most guest worker programs.  That means both Mexican workers picking strawberries and Indian H1B programers.  The latter, Americans are willing and able.  The former-well, that's what the increase in #1 is for.  Basically, I want permanent residents who may become citizens eventually, not temps.

    3. Crack down on illegal immigrants currently in this country, as well as the employers that hirs them.  Crack down hard.  Families with American-born minor children is tricky, but beyond that, deport them en masse.  They will still qualify in #1, but they get to wait in line at our embassies abroad like everybody else who has chosen to not break the law.
  •  The problem of illegal immigration is real (none)
    Apologizing for the see-no-evil-hear-no-evil lax enforcement of immigration laws is fundamentally wrong.  Period.  It shows disrespect for the law and comes at a great cost as measured financially and otherwise.  I would ask those who defend, or would seek to legalize, all immigration, if any country ever has the right to restrict entry and citizenship under any circumstances.  

    It is a very messy, detailed policy process that results in the numbers of newcomers that are accepted by law each year. This process is influenced by several factors, constituencies, estimates and bargaining in a deliberative fashion in Congress.  The high priests who take it upon themselves to undo the results of that process by de facto non-enforcement and acceptance of Mexican Consulate IDs etc. are doing their country a disservice, plain and simple.  

    I would agree that the threat of "terrorism" as defined by Al Qaeda etc. is modest (but not to be discounted), but it is an undeniable reality that many illegals get caught up in criminal activity and even the most honest and otherwise lawful impose a cost via their usage of social benefits.  There is also the broader question of population/land usage etc. that distinguishes the flow of people from the flow of goods and services.  We can all assign different values and weights to these costs, and balance them differently against what we may believe to be benefits of mass immigration - again, not a black-white dichotomy, but rather a question of 300K, 700K, 1 mil, 2 mil annually.  But it's absurd, arrogant and extremely myopic to reject immigration restrictions as frivolous or illegitimate out of hand.  Again, I pose the question to those who differ, does any society have the right to restrict its membership?

    It's true that there is a significant issue of poverty in Mexico and elsewhere in the world, for a complex schmorgasbord of reasons.  Attacking such poverty is difficult, uncertain and hard, but tolerating illegal immigration to the U.S. should not be part of the approach.

    Oh, and I would finally add that one of my parents is an immigrant from Latin America.  Personally, I think that a 100% WASP redneck from rural America has every right to make the same points I have and be treated with full respect, but I mention my background anyway, as it seems to confer a certain expertise by some people and proves that I'm not a "racist".  I refer to the charge of racism that is used so promiscuously in our PC discourse by those who would paint every "ethnic" or minority as the perennial victim and which serves to obfuscate the real issue(s).

  •  i can never decide... (none)
    ...if i hate tom tancredo more or marilyn musgrave. what a puzzle...

    There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are terrorists of the mind. -- A. Bartlett Giamatti

    by FemiNazi on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 01:22:43 PM PDT

  •  Fox? A local affiliate? (none)
    You have got to be kidding.  

    Garbage to me...c'mon, throw some weight into the research...

    </rock>...

    Or maybe I should tell you to go back to Free Republic?...?

    "You can't awaken a man who pretends to be asleep."-Navajo saying.

    by quartzite on Thu Jun 09, 2005 at 01:00:13 PM PDT

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