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The other day, I offered a "new" Democratic immigration proposal, which may be summarized by the following quote:

We need to outlaw employment discrimination as it relates to illegal immigrants. . . .  You see, a NAFTA refugee is over a barrel -- just the way the cheap labor conservatives want it.  You can pay him less than minimum wage, deny him overtime pay, deny him any benefits, keep him from joining a union or participating in an organization effort, and generally exploit him nine ways to Sunday.  Why?  How is he going to complain about it?  

This proposal generated some useful discussion, providing me with an opportunity to elaborate a little bit on the meta-topic of how you go about crafting an effective position.  The points raised in that discussion serve as excellent examples of the pitfalls of crafting a position -- especially since the topic of immigration is a particularly dangerous minefield in the upcoming elections. Below the fold, I sort out the various arguments, in order to elaborate on the kind of strategic and tactical thinking that must go into creating a viable position.

Let's start with the simple and obvious progressive position -- which in this case, also happens to be Dubya's position.  Shergold summarizes it as follows:

Amnesty is what distinguishes liberal from conservative solutions to illegal immigrant, and it is the perspective that demonstrates our progressive-liberal values, something we have been afraid to assert in this climate of self-interest perpetuated by right wing conservatives.

In that thread, I did not overtly disagree with Shergold for a very simple reason.  Strictly looking at the policy, I don't necessarily disagree.  Amnesty solves a really big problem. It eliminates the "outlaw" status of NAFTA refugees -- note the framing, instead of "illegal immigrants."  That outlaw status is what makes them fit subjects for rank exploitation.  In other words, their status as outlaws is what drives their competition -- assuming that such exists -- with American workers.  "Illegals" work cheaper, because they have no way to complain about violations of laws designed to protect them.  When they're no longer outlaws, that downward pressure on their wages and living standards is removed -- restoring competitive balance with American workers.  

Take note that "amnesty" has at least some theoretical appeal for American blue collar workers.  "They're taking your job, precisely because their 'illegal' status forces them to accept substandard wages -- outcompeting you."  The problem is that xenophobia has already sunk in, such that the shock of even hearing the word "amnesty" guarantees you'll never get heard.  One reaon for this is because the economic argument -- "taking our jobs" -- is just part of the picture.  A major part of this discussion is a not-too-subtle appeal to bigotry -- which is the whole reason the issue has been raised.  

It's another Republican boogieman serving, as always, the Republican cheap labor agenda.  Gin up some fear of "furriners," who -- horror of horrors -- speak Spanish, and use that fear to keep those NAFTA refugees more easily exploitable.  In this way, blue collar xenophobia is used to keep the very conditions in place that drive the economic competition.  The proof that this is precisely the game being played lies in the Bush adminstration's dismal record of actually enforcing existing law regarding employment of undocumented immigrants.  In two words, they don't.  

A Republican strategist once did us all the great service of explaining the boogieman strategy.  Lee Atwater is supposed to have observed that elections are decided by the 20% of the electorate "who think that wrestling is real."  The year he said that, 1988, we were presented with Willie Horton.  Two years later, Jesse Helms won reelection using his "angry hands" commercial, where some white guy "needed that job, but they had to give it to a minority."  The domonization of Clinton started in 1992, and has continued nonstop to this day.  Today's boogiemen -- "terrists," "immy-grants," and "homos" -- are just the latest examples of the parade of masked villains to cross the wrestling ring of US electoral politics.  

So listen up.  There is no shortage of "wrestling is real" voters, out there, and these rightwing bastards are going to continue to do what works.  They have no shame.  They have no conscience.  They want the power, and they will use villains straight out professional wrestling to get it.  Period.  They can't be bargained with, they can't be reasoned with, they can't be shamed, and they can't be moved by appeals to their "better angels."  You've got to beat them -- which means you've got to figure out how to stop them from turning YOU into one of those masked villains.

If you advocate "amnesty" -- I don't care how good an idea it is -- you are playing right into their hands.  Period.  Say "amnesty" and you LOSE.  It's that simple.  Busby said "amnesty," and she lost.  Her race was a preview of things to come.  The immigration issue is "masked villain" politics, which is why it was THE issue Bilbray won using.  THEY ARE GOING TO DO IT, AGAIN.  If you don't want to wake up November 7 saying, "I just can't believe we lost" -- like we did in 2004, and 2002, and 2000 -- you'd best start figuring out how to defeat the "wrestling is real" strategy.  Because until you figure out how to defeat it, you will continue to face it.  Period.  

At this point, we need to plumb the depths of "anti-immigration" hysteria, and the way Republicans are exploiting it.  First of all, learn rule one of elective politics.  What YOU think doesn't mean JACK SHIT.  Stop being a consumer of opinion.  What counts is what a majority of voters think -- most of whom don't share your values, your priorities, or your belief system.  You absolutely must start imagining how things look to PEOPLE WHO DON'T THINK LIKE YOU.  Sure, everybody should think just like you.  But they don't.  And they're not going to start.  Ever.  Get over it.  

While we're at it, learn about the existence of a really neat pheonomenon that makes being effective a whole lot easier.  You see, there is this thing called "time."  Things change over time -- especially with agents working to change them.  So while everybody doesn't think like you, over time, a few might be persuaded to move your way.  They're not going to do it all at once, overnight, but over a few years -- with a concerted, well designed campaign -- you might reach the point where you can take a more straightforward approach to your issues.  We're not there yet.  By a mile. Get over it.  

Meanwhile, there is THIS YEAR.  Which means that you have to persuade the voters in THIS ELECTION.  You don't get to run against the voters you want.  You have to deal with the one's you have -- and lot of the voters you have include a lot of bigotted xenophobes who think that wrestling is real.  As of this moment, the Republican party has cornered the market on those folks -- as they have going all the way back to 1988.  That's why we lose.  You don't have to win all of those folks over.  You just have to peel away enough of them, to give you a majority.  You don't have to come up with your own "masked villain" -- though it doesn't hurt, if you can find a genuine villain, like say, "cheap labor conservatives."  All you have to do is dilute the impact of THEIR masked villain.  

Here's how you do that.  The goal -- simple to describe, harder to implement -- is to shift the blame for the problem back to the cheap labor conservatives, where it belongs.  Dave925, for example, suggests that "enforce the law" be item one on the agenda.  As I said, this administration doesn't enforce it -- imposing no sanction on employers who hire NAFTA refugees.  The hypocrisy is obvious.  No "amnesty" for NAFTA refugees, but what amounts to amnesty for their employers.  Why?  So their employers can exploit them -- at the expense of both American and immigrants workers.  It's standard issue "have it both ways" politics.  

Is that it?  Of course not.  That's just the beginning.  That's the "first of all" statement, prefacing what follows.  That's where your Democratic talking head says to Chris Matthews, "well first of all Chris, I think we can start by enforcing the laws on the books.  Did you know the Bush administration has only brought two prosecutions against employers for hiring undocumented workers?"  The number is actually three, and you actually WANT to be corrected.  "Oh, I'm sorry, is it three," just highlights how small a number it is.

At this point, you need to start raising awareness of why the Republicans don't prosecute anyone, and at the same time oppose amnesty -- though you never allow the word "amnesty" to cross your lips.  They're profiting from the labor of NAFTA refugees, in part because those NAFTA refugees are in no position to complain about being taken advantage of.  Let's go back to our talking head.  "The thing people need to remember Chris, is that there are two victims when employers take unfair advantage of NAFTA refugees.  The first victim of course, are the American workers who can't compete with workers forced to work cheap because they are essentially 'outlaws.'"  Notice that the "first" victim is Americans.  "And of course, those NAFTA refugees themselves are denied basic protections like the minimum wage, overtime pay, and any sort of benefits."   Thus do we start to build a little solidarity between American blue collar workers and their Mexican brethren.  

Will that sense of solidarity be aroused in every blue collar American?  Probably not.  But we don't need them all.  We just need enough to counterbalance the "bigot vote."  This plants a seed, by the way, for your average blue collar American to soften his stance on "amnesty" -- which word we still aren't saying out loud.  It seems that being hardassed toward Mexicans, actually undercuts his own position in the job market.  And remember, the "hardassed" Republicans, are not terribly hardassed, when it comes to the employer who hires NAFTA refugees over Americans.  

Now that the table's set, announce your plan.  "Our plan Chris, solves both problems.  It takes the enforcement decision away from the Republicans in the White House, by creating a new category of discrimination in the EEOC.  By outlawing employment discrimination based on immigration status, we empower American workers themselves to enforce our basic workplace protections.  Both NAFTA refugees and American workers are empowered under these provisions to bring a complaint against any employer who takes unfair advantage of either."

Did I ever say the word "amnesty?"  Why no, I didn't.  Am I for it, or against it?  I don't believe I said.  One thing I'm definitely against is exploitation by unscrupulous employers -- which wins me votes from both immigrant voters, and their native fellow workers.  As for "amnesty," that can wait.  You see, once this framing sinks in -- employers are playing both sides against each other -- opposition to amnesty will soften.  Eventually, a Democratic President and/or Congress will be able to slip it through quietly -- if that's what they want to do.  

This is how you reseize the initiative.  We're not just complaining about their failures.  We're putting our own plan on the table.  That plan "protects American workers," and highlights the failure of the Republicans to protect them at the same time.  It pushes ammesty to the sidelines, but does so in such a way that we never actually oppose it.  Meanwhile it overtly gives something to NAFTA refugees short of actual "amnesty" -- throwing a bone to legal immigrant voters.  In short, it offers something to NAFTA refugees now, and leaves the door open for amnesty later.  

That my friends, is how you negotiate a minefield.  

Crossposted at Conceptual Guerilla's Strategy And Tactics.

Originally posted to Conceptual Guerilla on Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 04:27 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar. (8+ / 0-)

    And don't forget to recommend.  While you're at it, you might want to subscribe.  I put up something new every three or four days.

    •  The stats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dave925

      Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) points out the hypocrisy and lies of the Cheap Labor Conservatives regarding illegal immigration.
      Video (Windows)

      "The reality on Border security"

      1993 to 2000, on average, 642 new border patrol agents were added every year.
      Since 9/11, on average, 411 new border patrol agents added every year.

      Enforcement:

      1999-2004 work site immigration enforcement operations against companies were scaled back 99% by INS...merged into Homeland Security.(CIS)

      1999- 417 fines against companies for hiring illegal immigrants under Clinton admin.
      2004- 3 fines initiated under Bush*

      1995- 6,455 Immigration fraud cases completed under the Clinton administration.
      2004- 1,389 cases under the Bush misadmin.

      The Bush admin brags it caught and returned 6 million illegal immigrants in its first five years which is a drop from any five year period you pick in the Clinton Administration.-Wasserman Schultz (paraphrased-see vid.)

      She's bloody magnificent...almost makes living in Florida look appealing. ;)
      ~~~
      "30 Something" Working Group of which Wasserman Schultz is a member.
      Posters used in presentations. Budget/Debt/Deficit, Gas and Energy, etc. (PDF)

      *Year corrected (from 2005) in my original post

  •  Low wage workers attacking immigrants (3+ / 0-)

    always reminds me of the Jerry Springer Show when someone attacks the person that their spouse is cheating with.  We need to start training people to look at American companies that hire below wage the same way that they look at cheating spouses.

    A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.

    by Webster on Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 04:44:31 PM PDT

  •  find the worst 5 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Panda, Conceptual Guerilla

    corporate employers of illegal immigrants, publicize their criminal venality and frog march them. Show them in jumpsuits and behind bars.

    Thats how to get the Blue Collar vote back...at least in the eyes of this blue collarer!

    What Dem Governor can we get to do it?

    reality...is the result of war between two rival groups of Programmers

    by buhdydharma on Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 04:53:39 PM PDT

  •  There already is a law against (0+ / 0-)

    employment discrimination by national origin.

    Illegal aliens in the US all come from countries other than the US.

    We need to outlaw employment discrimination as it relates to illegal immigrants. . . .  You see, a NAFTA refugee is over a barrel -- just the way the cheap labor conservatives want it.  You can pay him less than minimum wage, deny him overtime pay, deny him any benefits, keep him from joining a union or participating in an organization effort, and generally exploit him nine ways to Sunday.

    How is he going to complain about it?

    Once he finds a new job, the injured party can complain about his old employer by hiring a lawyer or by making a phone call to the EEOC or by posting on their website.

    Most illegals can easily switch employers when they work in construction, agriculture, food service, landscaping, etc.

     

  •  My reply (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Conceptual Guerilla, Quequeg

    Just a couple of quick notes here CG.

    When they're no longer outlaws, that downward pressure on their wages and living standards is removed -- restoring competitive balance with American workers.

    I disagree, as this ignores the law of supply and demand. Whether one brings in an unending supply of cheap labor legally, or illegally, it is still cheap labor.

    One reaon for this is because the economic argument -- "taking our jobs"

    One of the most brilliant pieces of framing I have ever seen, precisely because the only people I know who have ever used the phrase have used it with contempt in mind, and are the exact same people who have never lost a job to cheap labor.

    They never really mean "taking our jobs", they mean "taking your jobs".

    <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

    by superscalar on Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 06:03:40 PM PDT

    •  I've Said This Many Times (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sdhusky1

      on threads about excess immigration of cheap high tech workers. It threatens the economy because it threatens your job. The Latino border jumpers enrich our culture because they only threaten my job.

      For your economic argument: It doesn't help me much if millions of surplus workers are raised to minimum wage. Because it simply means the $10 - $15 an hour economic-ladder jobs will drop down to the minimum.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy....--ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 08:41:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen k

        When the bottom comes up, it pushes everybody else up.  Why?  Those a little higher up start bitching about making "minimum wage."  They start job shopping, etc.  Wages come up to reflect this hierarchical sense people have that they should be better compensated than shit shovellers.

        BTW, all this "job loss" and "inflation" crap with respect to rising wages is bullshit.  There is no economic data to support it.  For example, the minimum wage came up to 5.15 an hour in 1996.  Inflation stayed low, and unemployed continued DOWN to a low of 3.9% -- four years later.  The resulting labor shortage had burger flipping jobs paying 6.50 an hour where I lived, because they couldn't find enough people to fill them.  

        •  This makes the assumption (0+ / 0-)
          When the bottom comes up, it pushes everybody else up

          That there is still an 'up'.

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 07:42:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We CAN Win On This Issue! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave925, Panda

    If Dems just start to look as if they really WANT to, there's no reason to let the Republicans have this one.  They've already shot themselves in the foot, alienating  Latinos by the tens of thousands.  

    But you're right:  They need a viable alternative...and "We aren't the GOP" is not enough.

    When happiness is shared, it becomes multiplied; when sorrow is shared, it becomes divided.

    by Angel Of Mercy on Fri Jul 14, 2006 at 07:45:17 PM PDT

    •  Hahaha (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dugius

      "We aren't the GOP!"
      "We aren't the GOP!"
      Yup, you're right, not good enough.

      Thread drift: I got a money-begging letter via Kennedy's office with a little bumper sticker enclosed. I can't use it. It says:
      HAD ENOUGH?
      Vote Democrat in '06

      I'm touchy when it comes to language that's been reframed and debased by fucking Rove, et al. Vote DemocratIC might have worked for me. I'll have to stick with my "Impeach Bush/Cheney" sticker. I like the road rage incidents that make my life more colorful and rewarding. Heh heh.

    •  So agree with you (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats can win on this issue. We can solve the problem so that people actually come out ahead. Honestly, if we'd have worked on beginning the framing of the issue years ago (couldn't we see the storm coming when Minutemen hit the news?) we would have a much easier fight for public opinion now.

      A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government. -Edward Abbey

      by Rachel in Vista on Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 09:00:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Play Their Game (0+ / 0-)

    The illegal immigrant issue is dividing the Republicans, personally I see no problem, and if there was one I would side with Bush.  

    As an example of spinning, this is fine and good.  But illegal immigration isn’t our issue in my opinion and it’s hurting them.  Good I say.

  •  ridiculous (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, sdhusky1

    What you propose will ruin the controls over domestic labor markets.

    You cannot have unlimited supply of workers and expect wages to not fall through the roof.

    How about labor economics 101 here.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 09:07:10 PM PDT

    •  If only you took Econ 101 yourself (0+ / 0-)

      More workers = more consumers, and the simple law of supply and demand works in reverse where a supply of people making money means that these people need to spend money, which increases the job market at the same time.  It's really simple.  An increase in workers is good for the economy, providing the natural resources are there to provide for them, and guess what.  We do have enough natural resources here.

  •  interesting post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Conceptual Guerilla

    Can you explain the term NAFTA refugee? Never heard it before and want to be sure I understand correctly what you mean and why you use this term.

    Your example of how to never bring up the word amnesty is very informative. You had me curious where the idea was going.

    What I like is the nuanced look at the problem. It's not the Black and White either-or thinking the Republicans like to push. And it addresses one of the underlying causes: employers benefit from hiring illegal immigrants.

    For me this whole immigration issue is a pox on both houses. It's a complicated issue that can't be reduced to simple fences versus amnesty. Neither party is offering ideas I can support. Your idea is a nice step forward.

    Someone point DailyKos tech support to my hotlist bug reports

    by Dugius on Sat Jul 15, 2006 at 09:57:49 PM PDT

    •  You've never heard 'NAFTA Refugees' Because . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Panda, Dugius

      . . . I invented it.  Here's the money quote from that article.

      Mexican refugees aren't fleeing from communism. They're fleeing from capitalism. These NAFTA refugees are fleeing from precisely the "McKinley era" style capitalism Grover Norquist says he wants for us.

      Make no mistake, northern Mexico is a Grover Norquist wet dream. They do have a minimum wage, but it is ridiculously low. They have no unions to speak of. They have no unemployment compensation, no Social Security, no eight hour work day, and generally none of the protections American wage earners take for granted. Norquist calls our comparatively wage earner friendly economy "socialism," and looks forward to the day when we in America do business the same way our own American corporations already do business in Mexico.

      The result is millions of refugees from cowboy capitalism. Norquist, and Dubya, and Limbaugh, and all the rest of the cheap labor cons tell us that "less government" is the ticket to prosperity. They tell us that if we'll just dole out a few more tax breaks, and stop "pampering" our work force, we'll all be better off -- just like they are in Mexico.

      We don't need to speculate about what "the McKinley era" will look like, if we'll just return to it. They're doing it -- American corporations are doing it -- as we speak in Mexico. Mexican wage earners are "voting with their feet," just like the refugees from Eastern Europe did. Cheap labor conservatives saw that earlier migration as an indictment of a failed system. Funny how they fail to reach the same conclusion about their own Dickensian social vision -- the one you can see at work, just over the Rio Grande.

  •  I'll buy enforcement first. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sdhusky1

    NAFTA refugee makes no sense, isn't true, and insults everyone's intelligence.  They are illegal immigrants.   First, we are losing because of NAFTA - not Mexico so there is no need for Mexicans to flee NAFTA.  Reasons to flee lots of other things, but not NAFTA.  CAFTA might hurt Mexico, but that's another issue.

    Why all the machinations???  How about the simple truth?   We are a party of law.   If we don't like the law, then lets change the law; but we can't ignore it or reframe it away like Bush. Here is what we do:
    *Secure the borders best we can.  High tech fencing and increased guards (lord knows we need the jobs in this country).
    *Enforce the law, this means employers, landlords and illegals.  If you get caught, you are subject to the punishment of whatever law you broke.
    *Review immigration policy.  Modify it as necessary based on whatever criteria makes economic and humanitarian sense for this country.

    Simple, honest, and fair.  Quit the manipulation and lying.  People are pretty sick of it.

    ....although the future is unknown, it will not be unblogged. David D. Perlmutter

    by dkmich on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 04:33:22 AM PDT

    •  What manipulation and lying . . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . . are you talking about?

      My proposal is quite straightforward.

      1.  Enforce the existing law -- which I believe you said was your preference.
      1.  Expand the Civil Rights Act to include dicrimination on the basis of immigration status -- providing remedies for both exploited immigrants, and displaced American workers.

      That's it.  That's the whole plan, in a nutshell.  It's got "rule of law" written all over it -- especially as the "rule of law" relates to the American corporations who are breaking it.  

      Amnesty simply isn't discussed, because it isn't relevant to either of these proposals.

      Unless you consider it to be "manipulation and lying" to refuse to adopt Republican framing on this issue.

      As for "NAFTA refugees," I stand by that term.  NAFTA was actually sold to the American people as an ANTI-IMMIGRATION measure.  "Free trade," including specifically more "investment" in Mexico was supposed to level out the wage differential.  Oh, the investment happened alright.  But the wages didn't go up.  In fact, they've gone down slightly.  Thus, we have people from Mexico fleeing from the social darwinian hell world created by NAFTA.  Hence the term.

      •  They were in a Darwinian hell (0+ / 0-)

        before NAFTA.  You want to expand civili to include discrimination against non-citizens who don't even have a green card, which means they aren't allowed to even work in this country.  You are doing amnesty and just not using the word.  He isn't a garbage man.  He's a sanitation engineer.  Please. If we need to allow more legal immigration from Mexico, fine.  But we should not do immigration reform based on squatter's rights.  You stole it, so you get to keep it.  Sounds more like survival of the fittest to me and not rule of law.

        ....although the future is unknown, it will not be unblogged. David D. Perlmutter

        by dkmich on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 07:04:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does it matter whether the hell was pre-existing? (0+ / 0-)

          Call them "economic refugees," if it makes you feel better.

          As for your horror at extending civil rights protection to people here "illegally," I've got some bad news for you.  The US Supreme Court says -- in decisions going back a hundred years -- that basic civil rights and equal protection of the law are for all "persons" found within our borders, regardless of their immigration status.

          In fact, someone up the thread has already pointed out that these economic refugees ALREADY have cognizable discrimination claims, since the equal opportunity laws bar discrimination based on "national origin."

          So we could actually leave that out of this proposal, sincde it's already covered.  But wait, we'll add "collateral discrimination" for American workers who have been displaced as a newly recognized category of discrimination.  That gives blue collar Americans a venue to complain about "immigration discrimination" as it affects THEM?

          What do you think about that?

          •  Civil rights like Qitmo? (0+ / 0-)

            Look, they don't have civil right's protection under the law for employment claims.  If I refuse to hire you because you are illegal, you cannot file a civil rights claim that I discminated against you because you were Mexican or Japanese.  It isn't true.  I refused you because you do not have work papers.  If you have papers, and I refuse you because you are Mexican, now you have protection.    

            Let me make it clear that I love Mexico and plan to live there some of the year.   I am not a racist, bigot, or xenophobe.  Do I think we should allow more Mexicans into the US?   I don't know because I am not privy to the real facts on the issue.  I know if I want to go to Canada or Australia, I am required to meet qualifications which don't include poor, under educated, illiterate in English, and unskilled.   Having said that if we need more unskilled, then fine.  All most people want is a legal and common sense approach to immigration.  What makes sense "for the country".   And lets not forget the saps standing in line waiting to come into this country legally and not getting anywhere.  How is this fair to them?

            ....although the future is unknown, it will not be unblogged. David D. Perlmutter

            by dkmich on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 08:00:24 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  They don't have protection . . . (0+ / 0-)

              . . . for discrimination in HIRING.  But that isn't really the problem.  It's the OPPOSITE problem.  They are actually hired BECAUSE they are illegal -- a paid less, for the same reason.  Which brings the other aspects of discrimination into play, namely discrimination in wages, working conditions and benefits.  Once you are hired -- illegally -- you are entitled to the same pay and benefits as anybody else.

              Or at least you should be.  Why?  Because paying refugees less -- because they are outlaws -- is the very reason American workers are losing their jobs.  Get it?  Their status as "outlaws" is actually contributing to the problem viz a viz American workers.

              •  So now you want to protect their right to (0+ / 0-)

                break the law?  Look, we are going in circles. We just need to appreciate that we are both working against Bush.  

                ....although the future is unknown, it will not be unblogged. David D. Perlmutter

                by dkmich on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 09:15:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, we aren't 'working against Bush . . .' (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dkmich

                  He can't run again, and he's not on the ballot this year, in any event.  I'm working against the Republicans in Congress -- who are curiously "against Bush" on this particular issue.

                  As for "protecting their right to break the law," I am protecting their rights as employees.  The remedy for illegal entry is deportation, not exploitation.  Protecting them from exploitation -- until such time as they are discovered and deported -- is primarily intended to protect American workers from unfair competition.

                  I ask again if you understand that their outlaw status is actually driving their abiliy to undercut American workers?  Do you understand that?

                  •  Let me try again. (0+ / 0-)

                    I should have said Republicans instead of Bush in the context of the positions generally held by this party.

                    As for "protecting their right to break the law," I am protecting their rights as employees.  The remedy for illegal entry is deportation, not exploitation.  Protecting them from exploitation -- until such time as they are discovered and deported -- is primarily intended to protect American workers from unfair competition.

                    This would make sense, IF they were employees, which they are not because they are not allowed to work.  However, this may be your proposed remedy.

                    Outlaw status???  Lets reframe this.  I think drugs should be legal or at least not illegal, and I don't think drugs should involve the criminal justice system.  So in this way, legalizing drugs would change the dynamic.  To bring this to your issue, you are saying that if you give them "employee" protections under the law then they couldn't be "punished/exploited" by business.   I get that.  But the next point is:  If business hadn't of broken the law to hire them in the first place, then they wouldn't need "employee" protections under the law.  And if the employer broke the law in the first place, then what would keep them from breaking the new law in the second place.  If I'm a legal illegal who can still be deported, then the employer still holds the trump card.  I think the point is that we agree they should be exploited and that business is the one that should bear the brunt of the correction.  Are we closer?

                    ....although the future is unknown, it will not be unblogged. David D. Perlmutter

                    by dkmich on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 10:15:38 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  a few thoughts (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Conceptual Guerilla, phonegery

                Immigration, unlike Iraq or the economy, isn't a nationally burning issue according to the polls I've seen (even if it is for some border states). No reason to waste energy pre-'06 other than what CG suggests for defusing its potency against Dems by turning it around on the republicans. Let's not stir up the Republican base, unless its against their own party.

                I do think CG is suggesting enforcement, and not amnesty. He's suggesting how to take the ball away from the Republicans on this. If the Dems push an "amnesty" agenda in reaction they'll 1) waste time better spent on Iraq and the Economy 2) motivate the Republican base and 3) turn off Dems opposed to amnesty.

                I'm opposed to amnesty, and agree some on the left act as if only racists, bigots, and so on are anti-amnesty. That's one of the reasons why I was curious where this diary was headed. I know people who are trying to get into this country legally and don't think line jumpers should be rewarded. I didn't feel like I was being bashed or manipulated in this diary: it suggest a way to find common ground and take it.

                There's 2 sides to the immigration issue: supply and demand. Let's leave the supply side (fences and amnesty) to the Republican circular firing line. Dems who take up the demand side (employers who benefit at the expense of all workers) can actually do some good by reducing the incentive for illegal immigration and for protecting American workers.

                On the practical side, I wonder if existing anti-discrimination laws would already work for the displaced American workers. Could people or unions start suing some of these employers of illegal immigrants (aka economic migrants) by saying they're being discriminated against because of national origin? e.g. "XYZ won't hire me because I'm American and they give discriminatory preference to hire ABC". You don't even have to address whether the foreign economic migrant is illegal or not.

                In my neck of the woods are large populations of illegal immigrants from former communist European countries. They come as tourists and never leave. It's just as much of a problem as people wading across the Rio.

                As I said previous comments, this issue is more complex than the parties make it. The Republicans are trying to use it with gay marriage etc to distract the electorate from their abysmal failures. I'm all for tactics that neutralize them or more.

                Someone point DailyKos tech support to my hotlist bug reports

                by Dugius on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 09:57:20 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

                  Somebody gets it.

                  BTW, bringing a test case under existing is a damn good idea.  Someone ought to pitch the idea to someone in a position to bring such an action.

                  •  Test case (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Dugius

                    I think I remember reading about the workers at a carpet factory in Geogia suing, somehow, based on illegal immigrants taking their jobs.  I'm sorry but I can't remember where tho.

                    I would hit hard at the need to "stop giving amnesty to the employers".  Always use amnesty only in terms of employers.  When asked about amnesty for the immigrants, do the politician slide and answer the question you want to answer, not the question that is asked, and reply that that is a separate issue, but the main thing is to stop giving amnesty to the employers who deliberately, knowingly break the law, simply to increase their own profits.  Point out that  the Republican administrtion has not, and will not call them on it. Could also mention the suspension of equatable wages for Bechtel for Hurricante Katrina work.  Then slide into  the restrictive rules the Department of Labor works under (1) and how these rules hamper enforcement.

                    1.  I'll see if I can find this.  If I stop to look it up, I know I will lose my train of thought, and never come back and post to this.

                     I cannot find an icon for spell check on this computer! If I'm wrong on any words, sorry.

                    •  I think it's this case (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Panda, Conceptual Guerilla, Dugius

                      If we are talking about the same case, the Mohawk Industries lawsuit.

                      <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                      by superscalar on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 04:19:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Great link. (0+ / 0-)

                        Bookmarked that baby, and clipped several good quotes.

                        It's a RICO suit -- Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations.  Apparently, the RICO statute was amended in 1996 to allow suits against such employers.  

                        How about that?  I'm ten years too late on this approach.

                        And the corporate employers are screaming bloody murder about being made into "law enforcement officers" -- even as they deny everything about undercutting wages.  

                        •  SCOTUS sent it back to appeals (0+ / 0-)

                          The linked-to Business Week article is very interesting. It shows the complexity of the immigration issue that involves trade, labor laws, economies in developing countries, xenophobia, identification, Americans addiction to lots of cheap goods, etc.  

                          One interesting thing is the threat to offshore the business if the business loses the argument on the RICO conspiracy. The offshoring threat may be real or not, but it scares people. The xenophobia offends fair minded people. Therein lies the PR danger for anyone using this tactic to enforce the laws against employers. They have to make sure it's seen as protecting all employees.

                          But see this

                          High court declines to rule in Mohawk carpet case

                          They sent it back to the Appeals court.

                          Someone point DailyKos tech support to my hotlist bug reports

                          by Dugius on Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 12:02:51 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't know how familiar you are with Civil RICO (0+ / 0-)

                          . . . but that article suggests some of the arcane details of RICO legislation.  Apparently, the Plaintiff's have run afoul of the "enterprise" requirements -- which, if I understand it, individual corporations don't qualify.  There is also some question about whether their lowered wages qualify as "direct" or "indirect" damages -- only the former being actionable.

                          So the case goes back to the COA for clarification on these points, "in light of" some recent case that clarifies these issues.  Sounds to me like SCOTUS decided to punt.  

                          In other words, Civil RICO is probably ill suited to address these issues.  IN any event, this particular cause of action is still in flux, providing an opportunity for legislation to "clarify" matters.

                          Here's how you do it.  You set up a brand new civil action patterned after RICO, but with none of those pitfalls.  For example, you specifically allow suit against single individuals, and you specifically allow "indirect" damages, as in my "collateral discrimination" concept.  Very important.  You limit claims for "immigration discrimination" to "lawful US residents."  This includes Latino citizens and resident aliens, but excludes illegals.  Thus, you give lawful resident Latino's a way to challenge being discriminated against because they look like they MIGHT BE illegal.

                          The result is that you would give employers a hopeless bureaucratic nightmare.  They can't discrimination on the basis of immigration status.  They can't discriminate on the basis of national origin.  They would have to scrupulously examine every applicant to make sure they weren't being caught on the "pillar" of hiring illegals, or the "post" of discriminating against a lawful resident who "looks" illegal.  

                          They will raise hell over this.  Good.  Makes corporate employers like Mohawk the "enemy" -- which is just what we want.  It also puts Republicans in a wedge between the working class folks they manipulate for votes, and the corporate interests they really cater to.

      •  I agree in part (0+ / 0-)

        NAFTA was sold in some small part as an anti-illegal immigration effort-part of the rising tide raising all boats meme. However, as soon as it was passed all the worker protections, and environmental safeguards were thrown out the window.

        We bigoted fools realize that corporations and its unholy alliance with government can't be trusted. Trust must first be earned. That is why the border and port security measures must come first. We all know will happens when "comprehensive" reform takes place. It happened before.

    •  I agree with you, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich

      although the diarist CG is obviously a bright fellow and wants dems to win (both big time positives!) I resent the notion that because I oppose illegal immigration I am secretly a bigoted, xenophobic, uneducated fool.

      For those of us who are negatively impacted by illegals the cognescenti just don't get it, and until the dems "get it" I believe we will lose in Nov and beyond.

      Here is why border and port security matter, there has been an ongoing flood of illegal entry to our country for years and now we are in a post 9/11 world. Many of us see the problem this way:

      "Imagine walking into your kitchen and seeing the faucet running, the sink stopped up and water flooding the floor. The water is pooling on the floor but has not reached the rest of the house. What do you do?"

      The experts tell us that first we must study the issue, how much water is it really? is the water tainted? which sort of mop is best suited to the task of cleaning up the mess? And so on. Other experts say just let it go, the water will be absorbed or evaporate, if we just do nothing. Still others claim they don't even see what all the fuss is about, lets call the flooding by another name, that will really help because then the folks in the apartment beneath us won't mind as their home floods and their ceiling caves in.

      Me? Hey I would immediately shut off the tap. But what do I know.

      •  Yeah, I'm sick of the liberal 'party line' on (0+ / 0-)

        this issue, too.  Nothing is black and white.  We need to stop it, enforce it, reform it - and all in that order.

        ....although the future is unknown, it will not be unblogged. David D. Perlmutter

        by dkmich on Sun Jul 16, 2006 at 07:06:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Have you ever heard of the 'patriot militia's'? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz

        I don't know about you, but I think they fairly qualify as "bigoted, xenophobic, uneducated fools."  Surely you recognize that appealing to such folks is a part of the Republican playbook.  Or perhaps you deny that any such "bigoted, xenophobic, uneducated fools" exist here in America.

        Meanwhile, I'm sure you are aware of the large number of Hispanic voters, who traditionally vote for Democrats, and who tend to sympathize with NAFTA refugees -- as well they should.  Whether immigrants are fleeing the social darwinian effects of NAFTA, or the pre-existing social darwinism, they qualify as "refugees."  While we don't necessarily want unregulated immigration -- which would be the "free market" approach, by the way -- we ought to at least recognize the humanitarian aspect of this particular problem.

        Let me just put the questions to you, straight up.  Do you or do you not recognize the economic forces driving this migration?  What sort of "enforcement" do you envision that will be effective?  Do you really think that the "Berlin Wall on the Rio Grande" is the first step -- and who knows what expense?

        •  Yes I have heard of the Minutemen. (0+ / 0-)

          Are some of them racist etc? Yes. So what? There are bigots and fools etc everywhere-some even in the democratic party.

          What I object to is being painted with that brush, because we agree on border and port security. I found your diary needlessly hateful in that regard and one of my points is for us Dems to stop that crap. I'll take that vote from the Minutemen, but we ain't going to get it if we insult them and others who agree on this narrow issue.

          The Hispanic vote-at least here in CA is about evenly split on the issues of open borders and amnesty. Many Mexican/Latino Americans are just as negatively impacted as Black/White Americans by the strain on social services, and stagnant and declining wages.

          Regarding your straight up question. Of course I recognize the economic forces driving illegal immigration. The controlling policies of gov't and business pit the poor of other countries against the poor of our own. In this I choose to stand with my citizen neighbors. What I don't understand is why so many in the progressive movement have such knee jerk support for foreign nationals over our own countrymen. Or a sort of "treat em all equally" notion.

          Why is it that we routinely expect the poor and working classes to vote against their own economic interests? We accept that corporations and republicans donate money and vote with their pocketbooks-but somehow we expect the democratic base to do otherwise. Halliburton is protected with no bid contracts. Workers might like a little protection too.

          Concerning a fence/wall etc. Well I live in San Diego and we built a physical barrier and our crime rate dropped by over 50%. (Am I saying illegal immigrants are all career criminals-of course not). Here, where I live the tide has been slowed, so yes physical barriers do work. Frankly the attitude that they do not would seem to fly in the face of logic. Do you lock the doors to your home, your car? If so why?  

          As far as expense-estimates I have read are less than what we spend in one month in Iraq. In more remote areas physical barriers may be impracticable and more amenable to electronic surveillance and apprehension techniques. Money well spent in my book.

          •  You're concerned about fellow citizens? Good. (0+ / 0-)

            Regarding your straight up question. Of course I recognize the economic forces driving illegal immigration. The controlling policies of gov't and business pit the poor of other countries against the poor of our own. In this I choose to stand with my citizen neighbors. What I don't understand is why so many in the progressive movement have such knee jerk support for foreign nationals over our own countrymen. Or a sort of "treat em all equally" notion.

            Why is it that we routinely expect the poor and working classes to vote against their own economic interests? We accept that corporations and republicans donate money and vote with their pocketbooks-but somehow we expect the democratic base to do otherwise. Halliburton is protected with no bid contracts. Workers might like a little protection too.

            Well I am certainly happy to hear you sympathize with American workers -- as if I don't.  

            First of all, I'm sure you recognize that the plight of Mexican workers and American workers are RELATED.  Social darwinism in Mexico is driving immigration here, creating the problem one way.  But wait, I don't think you understand the other side of the problem.  Once they're here, their status as outlaws, makes them fit subjects for exploitation.  We're not just losing jobs to "immigrants," we're losing jobs to people who's very status as "illegal" drives their wages down.  Their status as outlaws, actually makes the problem WORSE.  Or maybe you can explain exactly how we are "protecting American workers" by making the outlaw status of refugees harder than it already is.

            My approach -- which explicitly avoids either "amnesty" or "open borders" -- gives both Mexican and American workers a venue to complain about the very exploitation the drives the problem.  What's wrong with that?

            Oh, and by the way, who are the employers on BOTH SIDES OF THE BORDER taking advantage of Mexican labor?  Why it's American corporations who ship jobs there, and then hire refugees here -- while their bought-and-paid-for Republican congressman bray about the "rule of law."  

            Are some of them racist etc? Yes. So what? There are bigots and fools etc everywhere-some even in the democratic party.

            What I object to is being painted with that brush, because we agree on border and port security. I found your diary needlessly hateful in that regard and one of my points is for us Dems to stop that crap. I'll take that vote from the Minutemen, but we ain't going to get it if we insult them and others who agree on this narrow issue.

            Actually, my intention is just the opposite.  You see, I don't want you tarred with that brush.  So here's what I'm going to do.

            You want more "border and port security" -- how did "port security" get into this, by the way -- fine.  Sign me on.

            Because you see, it isn't "either/or."  We can do border security AND remedy the unfair competition with American workers that is aggravated by the outlaw status of economic refugees.  We don't have to do amnesty, either.  We also don't have to wait around for the Bush administration to enforce the law -- what with their concern for the "rule of law" -- against American employers.  We can grant protection under our civil rights statutes for discrimination in pay and benefits on the basis of immigration status.  We grant this remedy to both refugees and American victims of "collateral discrimination" -- since they are BOTH victims.  

            What do you say.  I give you your wall, you give me my employment discrimination remedy.  Have we got a deal?

            •  We may yet have a deal. (0+ / 0-)

              We are not far apart at all. Still here is the thing. This is one of the seminal issues in the upcoming elections. You asked how port security got into the discussion-well, for many Americans the issue is securing our borders and ports to guard against terrorist infiltration. Plus other more pedestrian terrorism like infiltration by sophisticated members of notoriously violent drug cartels, and other merely common criminals. I used to work for the San Diego Public Defender and believe me these are very real concerns.  

              For others it is a purely economic issue-loss of jobs, wages paid that were decent but are now depressed, schools over crowded, over burdened hospitals and emergency rooms, jails, etc.

              Then there are the social issues, influx of people who do not share our common language. Xenophobia? Ok but what is in it for them? By that I mean what net gain do potential voters recieve when they suddenly begin to feel like strangers in their own country. This resentment typically occurs in areas where the influx of people (foreigners if you like) is more rapid and more overwhelming than can be assimilated in an orderly fashion. Keep in mind that it is not the doctors, artists and engineers of other countries who are fleeing economic oppression. I can understand that, can you?

              Compound these issues with the failed policies of the past. We were told at the last attempt at "comprehensive reform" and the run ups to NAFTA and progeny that by golly we were going to do something this time. Guess what? We didn't. Instead we got more of the same, only increased exponentially.

              Frankly I don't trust any measures that do not put border and port security first. Without that threshold committment we only sweeten the deal for illegal immigrants. Give them even more incentive to leave their homelands. (BTW I agree with you that given half a chance most would elect to stay in their own country near their family and friends.)

              Your argument in favor of labor rights, no matter how thoughful, for "outlaws" is in this climate a very tough sell. We are in a situation which (at least in my view) requires a "cooling off period". And the best way to do that is to do the security issues first-borders (both of them) and ports. Down the road I have no problem with listening to various views on how best to deal with the problem-especially if that were to benefit workers and our own decent, hard working citizens.

              •  Let's go at it this way. (0+ / 0-)

                Border and port security may be easily subsumed under "anti-terrorism."  Something like, "Well, we certainly need to secure our borders and ports, if for no reason because of terrorists."  And that's that.  WE just take it away from the "immigration" issue, and put it somewhere else.  

                That just leaves you with what to do about those already here.  Deport them?  Good luck.  The Census Bureau estimates that there are 8.5 million illegals in the US.  Should we brand them as felons, the way Sensenbrenner's bill suggests?  That just drives them further underground -- and makes their exploitation all that much easier.  

                You want to know what the ultimate solution is?  Mind you, this isn't what any candidate ever says out loud, but the only practical solution is going to wind up being amnesty.  8.5 million people is more people than we have the resources to round up and deport.  You want border security -- what with the "terrorist threat" and all?  Fine.  Maybe we can stop adding to those already here.  But those who are here aren't going anywhere.

                As for the "tough sell" on labor rights, I don't see another option.  We can't take the Republican "anti-immigrant position" -- see comments down the thread.  We can't advocate "amnesty," for obvious reasons -- though, as I point out, we don't really have to.  That's where things are headed, all by themselves.  

                So what I propose is simply a "talking points" proposal like this one -- or hey, something else that does the same thing.  What I propose is something that gets people thinking about how harassment of illegals is counterproductive.  It feeds the very dynamics that contribute to "taking our jobs."

                And look what this proposal has done.  I've brought you around -- kind of -- to seeing the cheap labor dynamics of retaining the "outlaw" status of economic refugees.

                •  Well maybe not as close as I had hoped (0+ / 0-)

                  Look,  you are thoughtful, and we both agree that the average American is being royally screwed and our focus is this topic of illegal immigration.  I think we agree on that much so far.

                  But, your diary is dedicated to putting together a WINNING strategy on the issue. Please note I choose the words illegal immigration with a purpose. These are foreign nationals who are in our country in violation of our laws. [Full dislosure I have a pet peeve with those who "cunningly" discuss the issue as a mere immigration issue. It is not. That is a cheap trick designed to dismiss and patronize opposing views. Worthy of Rove in my opionion.]

                  Back to winning. I can already see the headlines were Dems to adopt the right of illegals to sue employers, can't you just see the headlines:

                  "Dems support illegals suing Americans"

                  "Dems urge trial lawyers to sue American employers for free health care for illegals"

                  etc, etc.  Those are just off the top of my head.

                  Please note I am not (at this point anyway) challenging your notion that extending rights to illegals would enhance the position of citizen workers.

                  I have enjoyed the discussion but I stick with my original thoughts-to win in Nov and beyond. I would much prefer us to run on something like this:

                  "Its OUR national security stupid! Secure OUR borders and OUR ports-the Republicans won't. WE WILL."

                  "Stop illegal immigration, protect America and American jobs. The Republicans have not, but we will"

                  And yes I know that may piss off some potential Latino voters, but in my opinion it will galvanize many more, maybe even as many as it angers. Not all illegals are even Latino.

                  Much easier to sell don't you think? BTW to show you just how cynical I truly am I agree that in the end amnesty will be the order of the day. Right or wrong what with anchor babies et. al. it is practical. But that is simply just another reason why we need to stop the flood, and exercise our soverign rights to determine our own future. Sort of like what we are supposedly providing Iraqi's.

                     

                  •  'Dems support illegals suing Americans' . . . (0+ / 0-)

                    . . . would definitely suck -- and is certainly not what I had in mind.

                    But check out that link up above about the Mohawk Industries suit.  It seems there is already a provision for a Civil RICO suit based on hiring "illegals."  Some working people in Calhoun, Georgia filed one -- engendering all sorts of defensive statements from the the company.  

                    Very interesting how it plays out.  

                    Meanwhile, I am off to work on the next "culture jam" idea on this subject.  I thought of it yesterday, and then this diary got "rescued," so here I am.

                    BTW, I thought you were a troll, at first.  But I've enjoyed this exchange.  [I enjoy exchanges with trolls, too, but for different reasons.]

      •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

        For those of us who are negatively impacted by illegals the cognescenti just don't get it

        I don't believe that you are affected by any undocumented immigrants.  Prove it, or shut the hell up.  What is more likely is that you are being negatively impacted by the Bush administration's idiotic economic policies that are ruining all of our lives, including the undocumented workers.

        Here is why border and port security matter, there has been an ongoing flood of illegal entry to our country for years and now we are in a post 9/11 world.

        What a cowardly, chickenshit Republican statement.  You should go wash your hands out with soap for typing that trash.  There is not nor has there ever been a flood, and 9/11 only changed the amount of cowardice people like you feel comfortable to display.  This country became a bunch of crybabies after 9/11, but I'm not going to have a part in being brainwashed like you are.

        Imagine walking into your kitchen and seeing the faucet running, the sink stopped up and water flooding the floor.

        Yes, because these aren't human beings that we've ruined their country and they are trying to go where they can find a way to put food in their kids mouths, we treat them as less than human beings and blame them for the fact that we are a failed democracy and we blame them for our economic failures when it's clear that it's the fault of Americans.

        Me? Hey I would immediately shut off the tap. But what do I know.

        Yes...what do you know.  From what I've read here, you know jack shit.  You are talking about stuff you know nothing about, and simply spouting off Republican propaganda to cover your own cowardice.

  •  Without 'amnesty' this is anti-immigrant (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz

    Your proposal to create a formal and easy way for americans to rat on illegal immigrant workers - with the inevitable consequence that they will be deported, whatever the impact on the hiring company - is very anti-immigrant. Illegal immigrants themselves will never make use of that process since they will be deported, so they will gain no protections. With every low-wage american worker doing double duty as an undercover enforcer, the lot of illegal workers would become much worse. This plan is something to appeal to hard-core anti-immigrants but will lose the votes of those sympathetic to immigrants.

    •  Oh well, that's easy to fix. (0+ / 0-)

      You grant very limited amnesty to anyone who has a pending claim, and also, anyone who prevails.  

      But I don't focus on that, for obvious reasons.

      •  Wouldn't really be 'amnesty' . . . (0+ / 0-)

        . . . for a pending claim.  More like a stay of enforcement, pending the outcome.  You would also have to require that the refugee prevail in his claim -- which isn't easy, by the way.  Otherwise you would have all manner of frivolous filings to take advantage of what would become nothing more than a loophole.

        •  So you would still be deported (0+ / 0-)

          Making a claim under this proposed scheme would still result in the illegal immigrant being deported then. Put yourself in the immigrant's shoes. Would you start a claim knowing that you would be deported in a few months once the claim has been processed? Or would you rather take the $3 an hour and give your kids the chance to grow up as citizens?
          Your primary idea of crafting some sort of compromise to take the sting out of the "amnesty" cry is one I can support. Unfortunately this specific idea is not a compromise, it is a pure enforcement proposal which offers nothing to immigrants.

          •  You would NOT be deported IF you prevailed. (0+ / 0-)

            But I acknowledge that immigrants will not be in any big hurry to take advantage of this provision.  

            But wait, why am I making this proposal?  You understand that this is never going to be implemented.  It's a "proposal as politics," and it is designed to educate people about the reality of the exploitation of "illegals," how that negatively impacts American workers, and who is profitting from this situation.

            That's all I'm trying to accomplish.  That's all you CAN accomplish.  The truth is that amnesty is just a matter of time.  There is no other practical way to solve the problem. You don't have to "advocate" amnesty.  All you have to do is wait.  Deporting 8.5 million people is a practical impossibility.  

            •  Fair enough (0+ / 0-)

              If this proposal is merely a political tactic, not intended to ever become actual policy, then I can't object too strongly. I know that republicans have had some success by making unworkable proposals, knowing that they will never be adopted. I don't know enough about electoral tactics to know whether this particular scheme would win more votes than it would lose so I will leave the debate to those more knowledgeable.

            •  amnesty = rewards for law breaking (0+ / 0-)

              It may be hard to deport 8.5 million people but they can still leave the same way they came: on their own.

              They come because they can get work. There is demand. If it's harder for them to find jobs because employers can't get away with hiring them for low wages they may decide to go home.

              Some illegal immigrants will always be part of the economy. That's inevitable so long as our economy is so much better than other economies. Or until the Republicans convince everyone to be tagged with RFID in order to .... oh... live (get a job, travel, open a bank account, enter the subway, etc.).

              I don't want to sound like I'm an anti-immigration person, because I'm not. I don't know what the best immigration policy should be but amnesty is a losing proposition for Dems to support.

              All I know for sure on this issue is that it's not right that some people go through the proper channels and wait years or decades to come to the US legally (if ever) while others just bypass the legal system by sneaking across the border or overstaying their visas. I know plenty of other people who think the same. If the Dems choose to engage the Republicans on it, instead of letting their xenophobes and corporate funders duke it out, they should steer clear of supply side amnesty.

              Someone point DailyKos tech support to my hotlist bug reports

              by Dugius on Mon Jul 17, 2006 at 12:30:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  BTW, their claim is against their employer . . . (0+ / 0-)

      . . . not the employees. You have to be "aggrieved" by such discrimination.  You can't just be some schmoe who "heard tell" about "immy-grants" working somewhere you have no connection to.

      And make no mistake, this will put heat on those employers.  At the very least, it will end discrimination in pay and benefits.

      OH, and if it is true, and many claim, that refugees are taking jobs Americans don't want, there will be no aggrieved American workers to complain.

      •  So it works as long as immigrants ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... stick to the worst of the worst jobs and don't try to rise above their station by taking jobs that real americans want. As soon as an immigrant takes a burger flipping job (= a good job in this context) any unemployed citizen who wants that job can claim unfair discrimination and get their rival deported, the company fined and maybe some compensation.
        Employers may suffer somewhat through higher costs but those who suffer most will be the illegal immigrants, as usual.

  •  Immigration = Jail for Blacks?: Lowenstein/Borgas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Conceptual Guerilla

    In Lowenstein's July 9, 2006 NYTimes article "The Immigration Equation"

    "Approximately 20 percent of black males without high-school diplomas are in jail. Indeed, according to Steven Raphael, a colleague of Card's at Berkeley, the correlation between wages and immigration is a lot weaker if you control for the fact that so many black men are in prison. But should you control for it? Borjas says he thinks not. It's pretty well established that as the reward for legal work diminishes, some people turn to crime. This is why people sold crack; the payoff was tremendous. Borjas has developed one of his graphs to show that the presence of immigrants is correlated with doing time, especially among African-Americans. Incarceration rates, he notes, rose sharply in the 70's, just as immigration did. He doesn't pretend that this is the whole explanation — only that there is a link. Card retorts: "The idea that the way to help the lot of African-Americans is to restrict Mexicans is ridiculous.""

    Of course Card's comeback is no comeback at all, whereas Borjas has data.

    It's perfectly plausible that so many blacks are in prison because of the indirect effects of unskilled immigration. So should we neglect this possibility. Maybe it won't happen. Just like Global Warming might not happen. Don't you think prudence should prevail? Enforcement only.

    •  Interesting. (0+ / 0-)

      And a new fly in the ointment.  

      Of course, finding out that illegal immigration has negative effects on blacks might convert some of those militia types.  They might wind up liking it.  [/snark]

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