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UPDATE 2: Here are some pertinent videos that were just released on YouTube:

UPDATE:You can listen to Sen. Kennedy respond to your questions on Evoca.

Cross posted at Blue Mass Group

There are those who think that the problem of immigration can easily be solved by walls on our borders and strict law enforcement in our country. I wish they could have joined me last Sunday afternoon at St. James Church in New Bedford. I saw first-hand the pain and suffering of the families and community ripped apart by the recent enforcement raid by the Department of Homeland Security.

The reality of illegal immigration is anything but simple and the solutions are difficult. The Department of Homeland Security was ready with hundreds of officers to subdue a group of frightened workers, but they were totally unprepared to deal with the aftermath of their raid. DHS knew that it would be detaining young parents, and yet it had no effective plan to identify and help the children who would be left alone. The photographs of bewildered, desperate, crying children brought home the full horror of the government raid distinguished by its callousness.

The resulting situation has been described as a "humanitarian crisis" by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and the raid has received national attention.

Community activists scrambled to locate the children, offer infant-care tips to parents unfamiliar with warming a formula or changing a diaper. One baby who was breast-feeding had to be hospitalized for dehydration because her mother remained in detention. Child-care arrangements had to be made for at least 35 children.

No statistic or government report could have made clearer the need for immigration reform.

Gridlock in the last Congress stalled bipartisan efforts to solve the nations immigration crisis. But we will try again soon. The challenge is to combine increased enforcement  and tougher penalties on employers who hire the undocumented  with a way for the millions of undocumented workers already here to earn citizenship by working hard and paying taxes.

The fact is, immigration is about more than numbers. The story of Lilo Mancia, whose wife remains in custody, after the New Bedford raid, is common but something we are rarely able to see.

Without her, I am dead," said Lilo, breaking into tears. His boys are suffering, too. "They ask for her," he said. Jeffery, who has an ear infection, cried in his father"s arms. His brother kept running around the church basement with his new friend, a green Incredible Hulk doll.

We must find a better solution to our immigration crisis than raids that rip families apart.

I look forward to hearing from you about this post, as well as my recent op-ed article in the Boston Herald.

My staff members will be available to answer some of your questions in the comments. I will also monitor your questions, and personally respond to some of your questions tomorrow.

Photo of Lilo Mancia provided courtesy of the photographer.

Originally posted to Senator Edward M Kennedy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:24 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  When will we stop using strong arm tactics (45+ / 0-)

    and human rights abuses to 'stop' illegal immigration?

    It is frustrating to watch the barbaric 'round-ups' that the INS uses for enforcement. So my only question is when will we change - or can we?

    Sanity will be restored as soon as I find the back up tapes!

    by SallyCat on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:27:46 AM PDT

    •  Oppression here, oppression there... (17+ / 0-)

      Oppression, it seems, is everywhere.

      Heard BBC reporting this am that Sudan is being held up for "crimes against humanity" for the abuse and torture of people in Darfur...

      Sounded so much like our own administration. Or that of Israel toward the Palestinians...

      We, (the United States Government, not the People!) have used the barbarian's methods in Central and South America - pushing weapons, assassinations and war. Then we throw our hands up in horror at the flood of people fleeing the hardships that our policies have engendered.

      Ditto Iraq.

      I would say something larger is needed, Senator Kennedy (my very own neighbor). Something that addresses our being behind (and in front and under and over) the distress of peoples in other countries. If we could get back to assistance and away from barbarism and militarism... some permanent solutions might be found.

      Do not back down on this NeoConArtist bunch of criminals... it is democracy or fascism - there is no in-between.


      If you dance with the devil, then you haven't got a clue; 'Cause you think you'll change the devil, but the devil changes you. - illyia

      by illyia on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:58:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  How can we lose sight (7+ / 0-)

      of the children?

      "False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil." Plato

      by JPete on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:33:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "they were totally unprepared (13+ / 0-)

      to deal with the aftermath...."

      Geez, who would have thought? Oh: 9/11, Iraq, Katrina, Plame outing, privatizing war, privatizing Walter Reed, purging prosecuters.

      Granted, these guys have gotten away with a ton of shit that in a just world they wouldn't have gotten away with, but do they really live in fantasyland so completely that they believe that the actions of others have consequences, while their own somehow float immaculate and free of such earthly shackles?

      The Massachussetts raid is another example of the soulless and mindless blundering of this "compassionate" maladministration. The sooner we are rid of them, or the sooner they are stopped in their tracks, the better off we'll all be.

      "Only war makes it possible to mobilize all of today's technical resources while maintaining the property system." Walter Benjamin

      by psnyder on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:23:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I commend your courage (41+ / 0-)

    In taking the more difficult stand.  By their very nature, as non-voters, it is much easier for a politician to work against illegal immigrants.

    They're a constituency that can win you few votes.  As such, any stand for justice for them cannot be anything but heartfelt.

  •  We can do better on so (15+ / 0-)

    many fronts, in so many ways.  

    "One way or another, this darkness got to give"

    by wozzle on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:28:33 AM PDT

  •  thanks Senator Kennedy (19+ / 0-)

    I agree, it can be handled much better. But if this administration has shown us anything, it's that they fail to plan for contingencies. It's 'full steam ahead' for whatever meets their main objective, damn the consequences.
    Thanks for your leadership on this issue.

    "You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on." --George W. Bush

    by rioduran on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:29:21 AM PDT

  •  Senator Kennedy, (27+ / 0-)

    You never fail to inspire me.

    "If there were a Pulitzer Prize for blogging, then Firedoglake would win it in a walk."~David Ehrenstein

    by Caldonia on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:29:40 AM PDT

  •  please continue (18+ / 0-)

    putting a real, human face on this issue. As long as Americans remember this is a situation that touches people just like them, we will be able to find out way through the hatred and finger-pointing.

  •  Still the most thoughtful position (30+ / 0-)

    I've heard on immigration is from this interview I conducted in 2004 with failed Congressional candidate Paul Babbitt.  Babbitt really hit the nail on the had as far as I'm concerned:

    Babbitt: Well, we have an economy that attracts Central, South Americans and Mexicans into this economy. And I'm speaking primarily of tourism and the agricultural industry. And as long as those industries are attracting low-wage earners, we should have programs and policies that treat them as invitees, which they are. It is my judgment that they should have the benefit of this society and the things that we offer: health care, education, and the like. They should be treated as equals while they're in this country. Now, it's a different matter if there's a criminal element; certainly law enforcement should be brought in to the picture then, if there is a concern about law enforcement. But by and large -- well, that's just it; they're our invitees, we should treat them as our guests, and treat them fairly and equitably before the law. You know, as they say, we're all immigrants; and we shouldn't fear those inviations when we put them out; we should encourage fair treatment and equality.

    It's too bad Babbitt isn't in Congress today to respond to the issue himself -- his position was intelligent, commonsensical, and eminently reasonable.

  •  There is something fundamentally rotten (24+ / 0-)

    with the entire INS/DHS as an institution.  It is the only bureaucracy that can rival the Bureau of Indian Affairs for callous incompetence.

    •  I agree with the incompetence charge. (12+ / 0-)

      But as an immigration lawyer, I want to point out that the incompetence is not necessarily in the administration of the immigration laws, but in the unfettered exercise of discretion by the administration.

      It is unfortunate that the immigration laws give the administration very broad discretion. In the past, momentous court decisions have exposed persistent and insidious abuse of this discretion and helped provide for adequate due process in immigration proceedings and interpretations. But the recent changes to immigration law have cut off most judicial review. This has led to extremely harsh and unjust results.

      As a specific case in point, witness the recent elimination of Habeas Corpus review for non-citizens, even those not even remotely connected to any terroristic or crimal conduct. This flies in the face of our notions of fairness. As a second example, in 1995 former AG Reno promulgated a regulation stating that a category of people permitted by law to apply for a benefit would be denied the benefit as a matter of discretion without regard to any facts. Just last week, 9 years later, in the face of an impending overwhelming defeat in the courts, the DOJ reversed this regulation and  DOJ and DHS will now consider applications on a case by case basis, a move that will require a reason for any denial.

      As Congress contemplates immigration reform, it also needs to consider our values as a nation. It needs to provide for review of discretionary descisions, at least for the purpose of ensuring that discretion is not abused, and it needs to reverse its recent adventure into gulagism and restore Habeas Corpus in all of its glory.

      The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions. James Russell Lowell

      by Serendipity on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:29:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Making immigration courts independent (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        javelina, Serendipity, Geekesque

        instead of part of DOJ, would be an excellent start.

        The DHS prosecutors in immigration cases used to work for the Justice Department before DHS was created.  Although this supposedly creates "independence," the reality is that adjudicator, prosecutor, and (typically) expert witness were all once part of the same executive branch department--Justice.

        For real unfettered discretion, check out the "two or more" definition of "terrorist organization" at INA 1182(a)(3)(B).  DOJ/DHS believes this has infinite retroactivity.  Nice to know we can reclassify people who were active in the African National Congress, Irgun, anti-Castro or anti-Saddam movements, or the WWII French Resistance decades ago as "terrorists" today and throw them out of the country.  The definition is apolitical and does not mandate that one be a threat to U.S. national security.  Just one more lovely benefit of the Patriot Act.

    •  Another bad idea by Joe Lieberman (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina, madgranny

      was the Homeland Security boondoggle.  It was always a creepy name and now it's living up to its facist roots.

      "Whatever is calculated to advance the condition of the honest, struggling laboring man, I am for that thing." Abraham Lincoln

      by MontanaMaven on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:58:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Senator. (17+ / 0-)

    I support your work in helping these families.  My ancestors came from Ireland to Massachusetts to work in the textile factories in Lowell, and I really feel for the new immigrants.  I think they deserve the same chance we got.

    And if I want to hold the Irish flag this Saturday, I'm going to do so--Lou Dobbs and Bill O'Reilly be damned!  

    •  Exactly (9+ / 0-)

      The notion that "rounding up" undocumented immigrants will solve the problem is sheer folly.  NPR noted yesterday that at this rate it will take hundreds of years to detain/deport all 12 million undocumented immigrants.

      Detain the employers, now that will be a catalyst for action!

      •  Detain the employers (10+ / 0-)

        and shut down the business. The ENTIRE business. I don't care WHAT it is. If it's a WalMart, close the damn place until all the employees are checked. If it's a factory, it's closed until the INS says it can reopen.

        Give those who were working there the means to go home (if they want) or help in figuring out the legal morass of the INS (if they want to stay). Many of them have been here for years, they have legal/citizen spouses/children. It's completely inhumane to send them to a place they don't even know anymore and break up their family.

        That would stop the problem REAL fast.

        And give more visas for those working in agriculture, at least. It's hard, backbreaking work, and IMHO anybody who's willing to do it deserves the chance to be here legally.

        •  Oops... Consequences? (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          MH in PA, DBunn, wa ma, la urracca, netguyct

          Let's say we get tough on employers, and lets say it works beyond all expectations.
          The result... roughly 12 million or so folks in the country with no means of support. There is no way their home countries could assimilate them all at once. There is not enough work in this country for them at a living wage, legal style.
          It is amazing what people might do to feed a starving child.
          So we would be forced into supporting these folks indefinately or watching crime rates skyrocket as they do what any parent would under similar circumstances... steal to feed their hungry kids.

          Want to try again?

          TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

          by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:40:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So, what would you do with the immigrants, then? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            la urracca
            •  First, keep the number from growing (0+ / 0-)

              by enforcing current immigration laws and closing the border to all undocumented traffic.

              Then and only then...
              Create an amnesty program for current undocumented immigrants allowing the first, say 50%, (in the range of 25% - 90%)into a probationary citizenship or permanent resident program.
              Conditions of the program would be determined to make the program as easy to bear on the citizens and legal residents as possible, as the cost will be largely on their shoulders.
              For example, immigrants would have to:
              remain employed, stay out of criminal trouble, learn to communicate in English, and avoid contact with any "illegal" immigrants in country.
              When the allowable percentage is reached, weeding out anyone who is "undesirable", criminals, etc., rigorously round up the rest and deport them back to their COA, locating them will be easy with the help of the law-abiding "legal" immigrants in the program.
              Obvoiusly preference will be given and allowances made for families. Those with criminal backgrounds would be given much more scrutiny.
              This is not complete, but it is a start.

              TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

              by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:11:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, you would deport six million. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                And where would you find the policemen and the judges and the officers just to handle these people? And how would you convince the "legals" that you created under this plan to rat on the ones that did not make the threshhold?

                •  Six million, 1 million, None... (0+ / 0-)

                  Whatever threshold was established as to what we can absorb vs. the number that should not be allowed to stay fro any reason.
                  50% is just a working number for sake of argument...
                  Call it 1% or 99%, depending on circumstance.

                  As far as "ratting" the others out?
                  Simple, make it a condition of the program. If they cover for illegals, they go too.
                  Like I said earlier, it is amazing what people will do to keep their kids fed.

                  And of course, anyone not liking the terms gets a free ride home.

                  TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

                  by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:30:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Then, that would create a climate of fear. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    It would violate the Equal Protection Clause because these people would live under constant fear of being ratted on and deported. People are entitled to the same rights under our justice system whether they are citizens or not. And it would create a dangerous precedent to treat one group of people one way and treat another group of people who have done the same things another way.

                    I'm all for the deportation of people who come here for the purpose of committing other crimes. But if we can't create a threshhold of people who otherwise work hard and play by the rules, then we might as well shut down the Constitution. If people came here illegally but otherwise worked hard and play by the rules, they should get more lenient treatment. People who come here for the purpose of committing other crimes should go.

                    And you failed to answer my question about where the prosecutors, policemen, and judges would come from that would prosecute these six million people.

                    •  Good point, but... (0+ / 0-)

                      They would be under probation.
                      Lots of people are under probation, and that hardly violates the EPC.
                      Remember, by definition, they are criminals, they broke federal law in coming to this country. Why should they be any different than any other criminal on probation.

                      Living in this country is not anyone's right, unless you were born here. Exeptions are made for some that follow the rules.

                      And, yeah, I did answer your question...
                      The 6 million number is an artificial number thrown out for purposes of introducing the concept, whether or not that is a workable number is immaterial.
                      If that number was 1 do you think we could find the personnel? Of course we could... That would of course be taken into consideration in establishing the threshold in the first place.

                      TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

                      by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:00:11 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Everybody should be treated equally. (0+ / 0-)

                        If they otherwise played by the rules, then we should treat them with a more lenient standard than if they broke other laws while they were here. You're right -- exceptions should be made for people who play by the rules. If someone overstayed their visa, but they have otherwise been law-abiding, then we should not deport them, because they would be an asset to the country, not a liability. Now, they should still suffer consequences as a result of their coming here illegally. Such as probation, for instance.

                •  Or perhaps six million people to camps (4+ / 0-)

                  The gates of these camps could say, "Work makes free" or something like these anti-immigrant folks would like.

              •  Re: Securing the border (9+ / 0-)

                This is Todd from Senator Kennedy's office:

                As Tom Ridge recently wrote "trying to gain operational control of the borders is impossible unless our enhanced enforcement efforts are coupled with a robust Temporary Guest Worker program and a means to entice those now working illegally out of the shadows into some type of legal status."  

                For example, Border enforcement increased dramatically from 1990 to 2004. The budget for the Border Patrol has increased from $263 million in 1990 to $1.6 billion today – a six-fold increase. During this period, between 480,000 and 660,000 undocumented immigrants entered the U.S. each year.

                •  Tom Ridge? (0+ / 0-)

                  Since when do we take his word for anything?

                  I'm kind of surprised. We certainly took issue with just about everything else he did...

                  I think just about a weeks Iraq War bill would cover the operation, don't you?

                  We have the resources, between real-time sat imagery, to unmanned survelliance drones, to make an easy job of it, if we will just expend the resources... and I don't see how we can afford not to...

                  I greatly appreciate your response, and thanks for your and the Senator's efforts on this issue as well as the other issues facing the country.

                  TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

                  by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:38:42 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I'm starting to believe that increased border (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theboz, mataliandy, mmacdDE

                  enforcement, along with the changes to the Mexican economy brought about by Nafta, are what got us into our current illegal immigration situation.

                  When I was working in Southern California restaurants in the early 90's, my co-workers would work part of the year and then return to Mexico.  It was kind of funny, because they would often hire their own replacement.  By that I mean they would get their cousin or someone to work in their place for the months that they were gone, and then when they came back, the cousin would go back home.  These were young guys, mostly single. If they had a wife and family, the family stayed in Mexico.  Illegal immigrants don't do that anymore because it is too expensive and dangerous to cross the border.  They come here and they stay here.

                  This probably sounds crazy, but I'm frustrated that there doesn't seem to be a good solution to the "problem" of illegal immigration.  I'm starting to think the only workable solution is to decrease border enforcement. It will save a lot of money and maybe even lower the number of illegal immigrants here at any given time (or at least the illegal immigrants who aren't working, such as children). And how much more can we save by not building the fence and not proceeding with the Boeing surveillance plan?  Also, we can stop spending to build up the ICE ranks and stop paying CCA to run all these prisons all over the country. Save more by not spending the billions it will cost for a bureaucracy to administer either a guest worker program or an amnesty process.

                  Spend that money on economic development in Mexico.

                  (Of course, I realize this would probably be impossible to sell politically.)

                  BTW, my husband has been a Border Patrol Agent since 1992.

                  •  Ding ding ding (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wa ma

                    We have a winner!!

                    For the people living close to the border, they just want to WORK here. They don't necessarily want to LIVE here, and they don't necessarily want to bring their families here. Some might, but for the most part, they just want to make some money and GO HOME.

                    But we won't let them. We make it so hard for them to go home after they work a while, that they stay, because they're afraid they won't be able to get back to their job.

                  •  Imagine 1.6 billion in the Mexican economy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    wa ma

                    How many Mexican jobs could be created for 1.6 billion dollars per year?

                    It could give a $266 micro-loan to every single one of the 6 million immigrants that seem to be so much of a concern.

                    Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

                    by mataliandy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:14:16 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Current immigration laws are broken. (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theboz, coigue, Duke1676, BobOak, jimijam

                Too many people focus on the guest worker and legalization provisions of CIR but ignore the fact that current laws do not address the real needs of US families and employers.

                Not to take away from the guest worker and legalization debate, the real debate is how can we develop an immigration policy that is responsive to our needs as a nation. I suspect that the vast number of employers violating the unauthorized employment laws (as well as the vast number of unauthorized workers) would have much preferred a legal system that  would have allowed them to meet their needs. A legal system, I might add, that would have incorporated criteria to prevent exploitation while protecting US workers and guaranteed that employment related tax obligations were met.

                To me, comprehensive immigration reform starts with overhauling our current policy. And while doing so, we also address fixing the humanitarian and scoflaw consequences that the current policy's failures have brougt into existence.

                As long as we keep putting the cart before the horse, we are doomed to treating our immigration policy nuances as a wedge issue.

                The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions. James Russell Lowell

                by Serendipity on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:01:09 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm sorry, (0+ / 0-)

                  but "meeting their needs" by breaking the law is essentially no different than stealing hubcaps to buy crack.

                  There are other avenues for businesses to meet their needs... it may be more expensive but that's the cost of doing business legally.

                  If the cost of goods go up across the board because everyone is playing by the rules there is no problem. Companies have no problem going legit once they know their competition has done the same.

                  You know, abolition of slavery had the same economic effect of the agricultural south... but I don't think anyone these days would be apologists for slavery on those same grounds used to justify illegal immigration...

                  TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

                  by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:12:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So tell me (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theboz, coigue

                    Where in the current law can you point me to provisions that meet what you say:

                    There are other avenues for businesses to meet their needs... it may be more expensive but that's the cost of doing business legally.

                    Look at what I said - our current policy is broken and needs to be fixed. My comment in no way justified any unlawful conduct. But it did address the need to look at our policy carefully.

                    Before you challenge my assertiong that the current system is non-rsponsive, I challenge you to show me a legal mechanism by which an employer may bring in an unskilled worker, whether temporarily or permanently.

                    Did you know that permanent immigration limits unskilled workers to 5000 a year presently from around the world? And that this number includes the family of the worker, so that as a practical matter, only 1500 workers can enter legally as immigrants. Did you know that when the visa numbers become available on October 1st for FY2008's 1500, they will be available only to employers who started the legal process prior to October 1, 2001? Did you know that over 500,000 legal applications for the preliminary step are pending - the vast majority of them still undecided after 5 years.

                    The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions. James Russell Lowell

                    by Serendipity on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:26:20 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is still an abundant labor pool (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      sockpuppet, Quequeg

                      available legally already. It's here, but not in use because they require a living wage. The illegal worker will take what they can get.

                      It's like the whole minimum wage thing... legislation is  totally unnecessary. Supply and Demand would set a minimum wage precisely where it should be.
                      Except, of course, for the equilibrium shattering dynamic of illegal labor.

                      Of course the system is not as good as it needs to be... like everything it is too freaking complicated. The larger the legislation is, the more loopholes are built in to it.

                      If we decide that we don't want to pay someone $25 an hour to dig ditches, we learn to do without ditches.
                      Of course there will be a painful adjustment period involved here, but that will have to happen in any case at some point. Entire industries will have to adapt, some products will no longer be viable some recategorized as luxuries. But it leads to a sustainable economy.

                      Correlary Import/export laws will have to be changed to enforce fair trade practices between countries, so we can remain afloat thru the transition.

                      Big deal, right? Yep. But it leads to a real solution. Increasing the labor pool everytime someone needs an unfair advantage in their business, leads to collapse.
                      And don'yt kid yourself, more businesses use illegal labor out of greed than actual necessity.

                      TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

                      by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:42:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Crack vs Food (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Hmmm... your analogy seems to imply that eating is as immoral as taking drugs.

                    Beware the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.

                    by mataliandy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:15:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  it's the only way (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SallyCat, dotdot

          As far as I am concerned, this raid should have

          • closed down the plant until all employees had been documented as legal
          • and automatically cancelled its government contracts for, oh, maybe five years.
          • immediately identified humanitarian issues involved with the illegal employees - they should have arrived at the plant with an army of social workers tasked with seeing what the family issues would be and resolving them
          • charge the employer with the expenses of getting people back to their countries of origin WITH their kids and families and belongings

          Only if the employer expects to suffer substantially is the illegal use of non-authorized workers going to stop.  

        •  run into a wall (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          la urracca

          what if the business provides equipment to our troops?
          then shutting down the business is at odds with supporting our troops.
          your thoughts?

      •  BS (0+ / 0-)

        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

        by Bobjack23 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:25:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. Enforce the law. (19+ / 0-)

      I used to credential people from other countries who came to work at a medical school. We bent over backwards to be sure the university was following the law. Bush says that's too much paperwork for the big corporations (i.e., they don't want to cut into their profits to assure they're acting legally). Just another lie for money, and people are irrelevant.

      Pelosi '07! - bejammin075

      by cotterperson on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:37:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  For about the past 15 years... (7+ / 0-)

        or so... I've worked in a variety of small and large organizations, including a private school, a couple of public schools, a summer camp, a ski area, and an office. EVERY one of them required me to provide the proper documentation to prove that I was a legal citizen, a legal worker. Every one of those businesses managed to follow the law, usually without having the computers, secretaries, and personnel departments, etc. that large corporations tend to have.

        I agree it's a crock of lies when Bush cries for the poor corporations who can't afford to follow the laws like the rest of us do! But what else can we expect from someone who is apparently unable to tell the truth?

    •  Has the govt contract been rescinded? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, la urracca

      Seems so hypocritical if it hasn't been.

      Other things about this I've been pondering:

      Which came first - the govt contract which put pressure on the employer to find cheap labor in order to make money on it, or was the cheap labor already in place which enabled the employer to bid so low as to win the contract?

      And is it hypocritical of conservatives who deride people who are here illegally and yet want to take advantage of how cheaply they can employ them? Or are there two different camps on that - one camp being those who are against illegal immigration and thus would never employ someone here illegally, and the other being those who prefer don't ask, don't tell because they can exploit the illegal immigrant?

      Thank you for your service Senator Kennedy. You make me very proud to be a Massachusettsian.

    •  Prosecuting the employers means little when they (12+ / 0-)

      know (a) they will have a low bond set and be released fairly quickly (as in the New Bedford raid) and (b) they will likely never be prosecuted because of difficulties in proving employer knowledge. But here's a suggestion: condition the arrested employer's release on bond with the employer's posting an additional bond or securiity sufficient to provide emergency housing and food for the employees pending determination of their status. I think this would go a lot farther in deterring rampant employer abuse of the system. As it is now, few significant employers have any real disincentive.

      •  I like this... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, la urracca


        The employer needs to be able to check that docs are good in some way.  Birth certificate seems least invasive, though there would need to be some funding for the local bureaus to handle calls.  Have the employee sign something allowing the employer to contact the bureau directly to get a certified copy of their birth certificate.  Would need a similar set up with the federal agency for non-native citizens and legal workers.

        Once the docs are verified good the person would be employable.

        Company doesn't check the docs?  Gets caught with illegal workers?  How about a new "resettlment" charge on top of current fines?  Say, $50K to be given to the displaced worker when they get off the plane in their home country.  They should be able to start a nice life with that.

        You are then creating an incentive for illegals to turn in their employer for hiring them.  Knowing that I think employers would be really, really careful who they hire, and that if that person might not be legal they would be sure to pay them enough that the $50K wouldn't be a big enough enticement for the employee to rat them out to the Feds.

        •  Problem with this is the charge is assessed (0+ / 0-)

          months or years after the bust, and if then, it has to be part of some adjudication of the employer's culpability, i.e., an actual prosecution. The beauty of imposing a condition of bail is that it happens immediately, it doesn't require an adjudication of guilt, just the same probable cause that is sufficient to warrant a criminal charge against the employer. That means the penalty then becomes almost automatic. If you know your bond is going to be a couple 100K or you stay in jail until your trial, you might start checking those documents. A problem with this, of course, is that the constitution imposes some limits on what can be accomplished by way of bail requirements. But I bet that problem can be circumvented.  

  •  Thanks for addressing the issues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rick, boofdah

    I don't necessarily agree with all of your points, but at least you are working to get things in the open.

    But one thing is for sure... until we can secure our borders and prevent any new undocumented aliens into the country, we can not solve any of the issues.
    Raising the quality of life and lowering the hurdles for undocumented workers will only serve to convince others to enter the country illegally as well.

    Do you have a plan for the borders?
    I fear that without that as a start, all of your solutions will come to naught.

    TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

    by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:30:51 AM PDT

    •  The borders are not the problem, just the symptom (28+ / 0-)

      The problem is an economic problem in Mexico and Latin America and an employer problem here in the U.S.  If there were no jobs here for them or better jobs in Mexico, there would be no border problem.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - MLK,Jr.

      by Embee on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:42:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I wish I could recommend this a zillion times (14+ / 0-)

        Most people don't want to leave their home. They really don't. It means leaving everything they know, people they love, their entire way of life. It's NOT EASY.

        People leave when they can't see any other option - and don't see any future for their children. Give them options, give them a future, and THEY WILL STAY HOME.

        It's not rocket science. People don't risk their lives crossing a desert on a whim. They do it because they're DESPERATE. Solve the desperation, you'll solve the immigration problem.

        •  So it's ok then (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rohan, sockpuppet, BobOak, rainmanjr, madgranny

          To allow Mexicans (and Canadians, I guess) to avail themselves of this option and not anyone else by virtue of a common border?
          Why not open the doors to all the countries of South America, and Africa, and Asia?
          What the fuck is the difference?
          As to "closed borders"... most countries have them. But somehow, we are not supposed to... The laws we have on the books are sufficient to the task if we only enforced them. Laws are funny that way.
          Know what? Mexico's southern borders are closed too.
          Whaddya think of that?

          TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

          by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:27:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think (0+ / 0-)

            Mexico & the US should have refugee policies much more like Canada's.

          •  The borders have existed only for less than 200 (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mataliandy, Misty Fowler

            years. Previous to that, Native Americans freely migrated from south to north and vise verse. People go where they can have a better life. Good luck with those borders.

            We fight from a position of weakness.

            by mattes on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:51:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Not just Mexicans (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Just read a story about a Christian Iraqi, several of whose family members had been tortured to death by our "friends" and "allies" in Iraq, who, after failing to get a response from embassies in several countries, traveled to Mexico to try to get into the U.S. via that route.

            Personally, I think it's our moral duty, as the people who unleashed Bush on the world, twice, and continue to harbor tens of millions of self-confessed Republicans, to accept as many immigrants as possible. It's the least we can do, even if it involves MASSIVE increases in taxes, to begin to make up for all the unspeakable things we have done the past six years, to other peoples as well as to our planet.

            •  I would agree completely if only (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              matt n nyc, rainmanjr

              we could trade republicans for immigrants...
              After all, if their way is so superior, wouldn't the other countries benifit from their presence?

              Massive increases in taxes?

              How about we make it elective, like a charity? That way those who feel the need to feel guilty can have a way to penance so they can forget all about it... and more well-adjusted among the rest of us can keep what we work hard for.

              My taxes are way too high as it is...

              TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

              by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:18:12 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

            building walls is the answer!!  Hell illegals come by sea too so lets put fences on every mile of shoreline!!! Good thing I live in my nice safe gated community.

        •  Land mines would work too,,, (0+ / 0-)

          But I would hardly suggest it as a solution.

          Solve the desperation?... Vague much?

          Do you have something a little more concrete... and maybe actually remotely even actionable?

          TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

          by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:49:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We can't solve our own economic problems (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, BobOak, rainmanjr, madgranny

        so now we are responsible for Latin America as well?
        What about Africa? Eurasia? Where do you draw the line.
        We need to get our own house cleaned out or we will not be in any position to help anyone else.

        TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

        by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:30:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We cause economic hardship in Latin America (7+ / 0-)

          We are responsible for overthrowing legitimate democratically-elected governments for U.S. corporations to benefit, and by negotiating treaties like NAFTA that devastate the economies of the other nations involved.  So yes, we are very clearly responsible.

          •  If I am not mistaken (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BobOak, rainmanjr

            NAFTA went over pretty big in LA did it not?
            And it has pretty much sucked for us here in the US...
            Who is really responsible here?

            TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

            by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:22:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ummm... (6+ / 0-)

              If the U.S. government promised them good jobs, then reneged on those promises and instead drove their wages down, who is to blame?  The one with all the money and power, or the one who is just trying to get by?

              Additionally, NAFTA is just part of the problem, and is not even the worst that we have done to Latin America.  Have you ever heard of Guatemala and what we did there?  Honduras?  El Salvador?  Etc.  The list goes on.  I highly suggest you read up on your nation's history, in particular our military activities in Latin America.

              •  The list doesn't stop there (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BobOak, Quequeg

                LA has lotsa company, and the list gets huge when you consider the effects that other industrialized have had on the lesser developed.

                Where is their responsibility?
                Surely you would agree that the US is not alone in this, correct?

                So why are we singled out for solving the problem?

                The history of this planet (modern history, anyway) is filled with examples. I don't see anyone else carrying their share of the burden, either.

                We just cannot support the entire planet. If we try, and we fail, everyone gets screwed.

                TFYQA - think For Yourself, Question Authority

                by Niniane on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:45:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  We are the worst violator (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Surely you would agree that the US is not alone in this, correct?

                  So why are we singled out for solving the problem?

                  We have caused the most damage in the region, although you are correct that other nations and the E.U. have some blame too.  Additionally, as the most powerful nation, we have more responsibility to help too.  Part of it is cleaning up our own mess, and part of it is doing what is right based on our status.

                  •  Their own Govt.'s have hurt a bit. (0+ / 0-)

                    We have caused the most damage in the region, although you are correct that other nations and the E.U. have some blame too

                    The corrupt Mexican Govt. has done the most damage over the longest period of time.  Sure, American business are taking advantage of the workforce but that was done with the full knowledge of V. Fox and those before him.  Will Calderone (forgive spellings) do better?  Don't hold your breath (unless you're swimming the Rio Grande).
                    Dictators of L.A. have also contributed a great deal to the suffering of their own populations.  Did Ray-Guns help with his Contra Freedom Fighters fiasco? Certainly not.  But the rebellion had begun before we got there, if I remember correctly, because of a rotten Government.  As I state below, we will support a rebellion (against such Govt.), probably, but can't have them simply running away to our house.        

                    "Certain individuals aren't sticking to the plan." - Warren Zevon

                    by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 07:43:43 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  NAFTA may suck, but (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mataliandy, BobOak

              We run larger trade deficits with China and Japan; with whom we do not have free trade agreements.

              Nobody ever mentions our trade deficit with Canada?  Or Germany?  I guess it's OK to run trade deficits with people with phosphorescent skin.

              Spain, Portugal & Greece had economies that boomed after they started free trade with Germany, Britain and France.

              Spain, Portugal & Greece got big subsidies from the EU but Mexico has billions each year being Orlandi Valuta'ed back.

              •  Free Trade is labor arbitrage (0+ / 0-)

                NAFTA was merely the groundbreaker for the WTO and GATT and entry of China into the WTO...

                American workers have been losing jobs, job security, job opportunities and economic ground ever since...

                The massive offshoring of what were once, American jobs really is the issue. Race and ethnicity isn't at issue here.

                The issue is one of unlimited corporate greed finally free to exploit workers across the world without political interference. That's what the WTO has institutionalised.

                Lost your job to free trade, outsourcing or non-immigrant visa workers yet?

                by Info Tech Guy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 07:19:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  I never did get how the Ticos escaped (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Certainly, Costa Rica is poor and for 99% of Ticos, life would be better here.

            But Costa Rica, I am pretty sure or maybe it's Panama; sends the fewest immigrants per capita to the US.

            Could not Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala et al adopt Costa Rica's economic policies?

            It's been a couple of decades since we installed a dictator in Central America.  A couple decades after we firebombed Germany, they were importing guest workers from Turkey.

        •  That's just it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          For many industries-illegal labor is a makeshift solution to OUR economic problems. If that issue is not addressed, there will be no solution.

        •  What do you mean we cant solve our economic prblms (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          We have the strongest economy in the world.  I would hardly consider our economy problematic.  It's certainly not perfect but its the closest anyone in the world has ever come!

          Let's talk about equality.  Is it fair that we are sitting on a pile of gold while peoples in Africa fight for food?

          Nu uh.

          •  When it's our fault, no. When theirs, yes. (0+ / 0-)

            If our F.P. is the cause of their starvation, or economic problems, then it's not fair and we have an obligation to them.  If it's just because their Govt. is so corrupt that the middle class is decimated, and good jobs are hard to come by, then it's not our problem.  It's theirs.  Have meetings, work out some plans, get likeminded thinkers together in groups and throw a Revolution.  We'd undoubtadly support you.  We did it. Lebanon did it.  Napal did it.  Why can't Mexico?
            If they're gonna risk their lives, anyway, then do it for their own people.  Don't run away, cause us all kinds of trouble, and go back when your wealthy enough to retire. That's not fair.  To US.

            "Certain individuals aren't sticking to the plan." - Warren Zevon

            by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 07:08:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Err (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              theboz, Duke1676

              I appreciate your idealism, but until you and other like minded people are in charge of the government, there is no support for revoluntionary movements in Central and South America, let alone Mexico. America paid for the dirty war in the late sixties and seventies in Mexico, for example.

              •  You kidding? A progressive Mexico? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                We'd literally kill for something like that.  I was born in 1959 but don't remember a war in Mexico.  I'll look it up.  But this was a long time ago, by invasion standards, and things have changed.  Our security is a bigger issue and well paying American jobs are getting harder to come by.  It would be a large help to us if Mexico got it's act together and began building a better society for it's citizens.  The disappointment of V. Fox, I think, proved the final straw for many who believed Mexico's Presidents might accomplish that.  I think there'd now be lots of support for such an effort.  If nothing else, we'd quietly support it for the pressure it would have to build on the elected Government.    

                "Certain individuals aren't sticking to the plan." - Warren Zevon

                by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:05:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Better jobs in Mexico (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattes, BobOak

        that was the idea of NAFTA. At least that is how it was sold to some of us.

        Yet now it is sacrilege for a person who calls themself progressive, to admit having supported NAFTA, or still supporting the basic idea of NAFTA.

        Go figure.

        (yes, I know that the labor and environmental provisions were poor, but there were supposedly side agreements - that either were not passed or not enforced.)

      •  Penalizing the corporations that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        make slaves of illegal immigrant workers and in the process lower wages of citizens must be a key portion of any bill. And it must be followed up with enforcement. I heard that the Chamber of Commerce helped you draft your upcoming bill, Senator. If this is true, I'm very disappointed and highly leery of it.

    •  Just remember as you dream of "closed borders" (10+ / 0-)

      that if they can keep people out, they can surely keep people in too.

      Turning this country into some sort of fortress is not necessarily a good thing for American citizens in the long run.

      •  'closed borders' ridiculous on its face... (5+ / 0-)

        As amply demonstrated by Stephen Colbert in his commencement speech at Knox College in Galesburg IL, last June (transcript courtesy of AlterNet):

        So we must build walls. A wall obviously across the entire southern border. That's the answer. That may not be enough -- maybe a moat in front of it, or a fire-pit. Maybe a flaming moat, filled with fire-proof crocodiles. And we should probably wall off the northern border as well. Keep those Canadians with their socialized medicine and their skunky beer out. And because immigrants can swim, we'll probably want to wall off the coasts as well. And while we're at it, we need to put up a dome, in case they have catapults. And we'll punch some holes in it so we can breathe. Breathe free. It's time for illegal immigrants to go -- right after they finish building those walls.

        (heh. breath free. I didn't recall that little masterpiece of snarkitude.)

        As long as the incentives for poor, desperate South Americans are strong enough that they risk life-threatening conditions in an attempt to enter this country - often multiple times - this issue will not go away. A little bitty wall won't "solve"  anything.

        You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Irish Proverb

        by Turbonerd on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:32:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Human Migration (11+ / 0-)

    is a Human Rights issue.  Our immigration laws should understand that.

    Thank you, Senator!

    by aaraujo on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:30:56 AM PDT

  •  Thank you (6+ / 0-)

    for your tirelessness, Senator.

    This is entirely unfair; once upon a time, we were all immigrants.

    (-7.75, -7.69) No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up - Lily Tomlin

    by john07801 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:31:13 AM PDT

  •  Totally with you on this one Senator (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OLinda, SallyCat, boofdah, la urracca

    but in this line --- brought home the full honor  --- do you mean honor or horror?

    Take any of the folks supporting such efforts aside and ask them to imagine their grandparents being treated the same way when they first migrated to the US, and I suspect you'd help them see the horror of this human rights abuse.

  •  Immigration Must Be Regulated (12+ / 0-)

    Immigration must be regulated in the interests of U.S. citizens and legal aliens first before the welfare of illegal aliens is considered.

    This two things are, of course, not mutually exclusionary.

    However, your responsibilities as Senator are to citizens of this country and to those foreign nationals who lawfully reside here.

    You must protect our interests first.

    Now, INS raids like this one seem like a "tough on crime" publicity stunt that had unintended consequences.  A small-scale raid of this kind does very little to address the problem of illegal immigration and the hiring of illegal labor.  My guess is that it was done to satisfy the nativist longings of part of the Republican base.

    Immigration reform and immigration regulation are big issues, certainly.

    But in handling them, I call upon you to consider your responsibility first to those of us who are your constituents and citizens of this country, or who are legal foreign residents, before you consider the interests of unlawful workers and the employers who hire them.

    I recommended your comment. And then I un-recommended it.

    by bink on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:31:44 AM PDT

    •  publicity stunts vs real restricted immigration (8+ / 0-)

      Which we need here. The U.S. has an over-supply of low-wage, low-skill employees. This is decimating the wages and opportunities of the American working poor.

      The Bush administration is interested in occasional 'get tough' publicity stunts but is completely in line with the needs of the large corporations and their desire for the lowest possible wages and the worst possible environment for unionization.

      If you want to see what God thinks of money, look at the people He gives a lot of it to. - Dorothy Parker

      by planyourday on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:45:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Restrictions on immigration are the slavery of (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, coigue, old wobbly, la urracca

      our day.

      A hundred years from now, if we somehow survive this century and keep civilization intact, people will probably view immigration laws the way we now view laws permitting slavery and are coming to view laws that prohibit people from marrying other people of the same sex.

      •  wrong (9+ / 0-)

        Controls on immigration and borders, domestic labor markets are the only thing right now stopping being treated like slavery.

        The two things that would make it not so are a wage tariff, or all national economies (PPP) suddenly became equal and a global union.

        But we have neither and there is no way that will happen in the next 50 years.

        We do not even have labor rights, environmental rights in trade agreements so obtaining a wage tariff globally is impossible.

        If you give multinational corporations control over domestic immigration policies you will have the ultimate slave market, controlled by corporation

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:12:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you living in your home state? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          matt n nyc, theboz, BR Janet, wa ma

          If not, you're an internal immigrant. Even if you are, chances are a huge percentage of people on this site benefit from the ability to move to places like Boston from places like Alabama, even though Alabama has much lower wages and much weaker environmental laws and social welfare programs than Massachusetts.

          Back in the 1770s, England wouldn't have let you move to one county to another seeking work.

          The Soviet Union and China would have caused problems if you tried to move from the country to the city in the 1970s or 1980s.

          I think it's clear, in hindsight, that all of those restrictions caused a lot more misery than they prevented.

          If we want to control population-related problems, the solution is to chase the wingnuts out of office and promote strong family planning programs and economic development programs throughout to world, not to keep people from living where they want to live.

          •  not the same thing as open border (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            opinionated, sockpuppet

            Just go to any other nation and you will see the difference, they all have controlled immigration polices.

            Yes, the long terms answer is to raise up the middle classes in other nations.
            But, that is not what is happening.

            People were sold a bill of Goods that NAFTA would do this, it has had the opposite effect...they people were lied to again, claiming the China PNTR would do this, nope, the majority of people live in abject poverty and a few has managed to get rich...

            Now they want to trade people via the WTO, GATS mode 4....

            reforms, protections, wage tariffs, worker rights, right to organization, labor representation in the WTO, no way...
            they won't do it...
            and this is why this issue is being presented "inside out"...this is not the way to raise up middle classes
            it's a great way to destroy what is left of the United States middle class.


            by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:05:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure it is (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ayoosilver, mataliandy, wa ma

              I live in Houston, where very frequently I hear people complaining about the "immigrants" that came here from New Orleans, bringing gangs, raising the crime rate, taking our tax dollars for social services, etc.  There is literally no difference in the complaints about Katrina victims and undocumented immigrants.  It's all based on blame the victim mentalities, which you support.

          •  So open all borders in the world? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            opinionated, sockpuppet, BobOak

            But don't we, as citizens, have a right to know who is actually entering our country?

            Also, here's another issue no one is addressing here. There is nothing magical about the soil the US is on that makes it prosperous, its our society and our government systems that do that. Mexico could do just as well, if they cleaned their own house first. But why should they do that when its easier to send your poor to the North and stay afloat with the billions in remittances sent home by illegal immigrants every year?

            •  Open all borders (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wa ma

              We opened them up until 1923, and we ended up with a pretty nice country.

              Just about any of us with a college degree who speak a little French can move to Canada, and Canada is still a very nice country.

              Australia let in a bunch of criminals (actually, I think a bunch of criminals were shipped over there involuntarily) and ended up with a really nice country.

              Anyhow, I don't really mind if we adopt whatever people tracking system we used in 1900, along with updated versions of the disease and criminal exclusion rules in place back then, but the current system just keeps out people from India, China and Latin America who aren't young enough and clever enough to game the system.

              Almost any resident of a developed country who plans carefully and figures out how to get a taxpayer ID number and open a bank account here in advance can move here and live very comfortably.

              And, seriously, the government does absolutely nothing practical now to track people who are here legally. If you're here legally, and you forget about whether your tourist visa waiver deadline is up, the government won't even send you a post card to warn you. The cable company and the phone company keep way better track of people than the immigration people do.

              •  The numbers have changed... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                There's a reason why what worked in the past won't work today.

                In 1923, there were 1.86 billion people in the world.
                Now its over 6 billion.

                If you open all borders, you will literally flood the USA, Canada, and Europe with people, mostly refugees. And third world nations would have less incentive to stabilize their populations with that kind of safety valve. The eventual result? Look at Bangladesh as an example of what happens then. Its forests are 100% gone!

                Plus, between 1923 and 1968, the US had sort of a "time out" to assimilate their large wave of immigrants. I feel that we are sorely in need of such a "time out" right now.

        •  You have an important opinion (0+ / 0-)

          I disagree with you on this issue, but I'm not going to keep putting in responses because:

          • You're into this issue way more than I am. Point for point, you can probably beat me, just because you're a great, gungho advocate for your point of view, and I'm a dilletante advocate for mine. Along the lines of, I know someone out there could probably beat you at chess, but it's absolutely not me.
          • I want to get my point of view out there from time to time, just so that someone knows people have my point of view, but I don't want to change your mind. If you strongly hold your point of view, good for you.
          • Obviously, a lot of people agree with you, and it's important that, no matter what actually happens with policy in the real world, someone argue your position. Even if we as a society end up relaxing immigration restrictions, we have to do so while addressing all of your concerns. Immigration policy changes that ignore labor, environmental and cultural issues will, obviously, fail. I think someone could make a good case, for example, that, even though ending slavery right was obviously the right thing for Lincoln to do, the way slavery was eliminated created a lot of easily avoidable social problems. Maybe eliminating slavery would have worked out better if abolitionists had taken well-intentioned critics' arguments more seriously.
    •  Sen Kennedy, please read Samuelson's article ... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, Rohan, sockpuppet, BobOak

      The Hard Truth of Immigration

      ""No society has a boundless capacity to accept newcomers, especially when many of them are poor or unskilled workers.""

      At least temporary restrictions on H1B visas and a shoring up of borders coupled with deportations of illegals already in US jails and prosecution of US companies hiring illegals will go a long way to bringing back the US economy.  Flame away.

    •  Offshoring Everything Protects Me? (5+ / 0-)

      This country has been hemorrhaging jobs for decades and the best we can come up with is to focus on immigration reform?  Shit, at least they spend the money they earn here on food and housing.

      Meanwhile, every single item I buy is made in China, resulting in our entire money supply leaving the country as quickly as it is earned and when bought on credit, bleeding overseas even quicker than it's earned.

      We've been sold down the river and the dog and pony show is trumping up animosity towards immigrants in a methodology eerily similar to the way Germany dehumanized the Jews.

  •  PLease edit (see below) (5+ / 0-)

    crying children brought home the full honor of government raid distinguished by its callousness.

    I think you meant "horror."

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -E.Burke Women, Get It Now: HPV Test

    by ezdidit on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:32:00 AM PDT

  •  No easy solution (7+ / 0-)

    I don't think anyone has a satisfactory answer to what is and has been going on with immigration, specifically from Latin America, for the last 40 years.

    I'm from Brownsville Texas, a region 98 percent Hispanic (I was in the minority).  I also served in Peace Corps in Honduras, where I knew good people who risked their lives, spent life savings paying coyotes to take them across the border so they could make enough to send back to families with no apparent viable means of support locally.

    It seems to me not so wrong to ask people to use legal channels to immigrate.  It also seems like we might up our allowed percentages from economically developing nations, provided they have a plan for work or an employer is requesting workers that don't exist.

    Good luck to us.

    •  guest workers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      They don't reform the existing programs!

      H-1B is notorious and there is legislation, Pascrell, DeLauro that sits ignored.  

      Even the "labeled every reduced immigration group a hate group" questionable credibility SPLC released a stunning report on the abuses of guest workers (the lower wage guest workers) yesterday.

      They know this, so why they they constantly write legislation (Kennedy included and now the spearhead) that is by and for the Corporate Cheap Labor lobby?

      Nope, they don't even consider reforming these NIVs first to stop the labor arbitrage and abuses...

      I often think the only group getting any worker protections is the AILA (immigration attorneys) where this specialty area has become quite lucrative.

      by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:43:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Free Trade (16+ / 0-)

    If the Trade agreements like Nafta and Cafta didn't Shafta the American workers there would be enough good jobs in this country at decent wages and fewer people angry about immigrants legal or not working to move our economy. All those trade agreements have to be reworked or abandoned to make sure that global corporations do not run to the countries who have the flimsiest worker protection laws and low to no anti-pollution regulations.

    Forget the Alamo.

    by OHdog on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:34:09 AM PDT

  •  I've never understood this xenophobia that (20+ / 0-)

    surrounds our immigration policy. It would seem more productive and cost beneficial to find a place for these people within our society than to expend so many of our resources chasing, incarcerating, criminalizing them. The vast majority of these immigrants come here to earn a living, to help families living in marginal circumstances in dirt poor countries. They work long, hard hours at difficult jobs to better their lives.  Aren't these some of the traditional American values?

    •  They're competing for scarce jobs with (9+ / 0-)

      U.S. workers and legal immigrants.

      If you want to see what God thinks of money, look at the people He gives a lot of it to. - Dorothy Parker

      by planyourday on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:46:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How many Americans (6+ / 0-)

        want to pick vegetables in the hot Californian sun for $2 an hour?

        It's a larger problem in that our economy has become dependent on illegal immigrants to work for less than the minimum wage, which in turn keeps the prices of goods and services down. The immigrants have no legal recourse to complain to, and so it continues.

        How many Americans want to do such jobs? Nail drywall in July in Arizona for $10 an hour?

        •  My builder bro pays his guys $25 - $30/hour (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theboz, NearlyNormal, kath25, ilex, planyourday

          To frame and nail drywall in San Diego county. He admits most/many are illegal...most are very long term employees. He says he doesn't look for undocumented workers but that's how it works out.    

          I asked why the contractors need him, why not just go directly to Mexican framing companies. He says it will happen soon and he's OK competing with Mexican firms.

          > 518,000 American children are in foster care. Got any bandwidth?

          by kck on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:15:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  $25-$30/hr for "Jobs Americans won't do" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Info Tech Guy, BobOak, bufford

            "My builder bro pays his guys $25 - $30/hour to frame and nail drywall in San Diego county. He admits most/many are illegal...most are very long term employees. He says he doesn't look for undocumented workers but that's how it works out."    

            This ethic makes me feel sad and discouraged.

            I am a "builder bro", a residential remodeling contractor in a region with a rising rapid influx of illegal immigrant labor/crews competing for the legitimate work the locally established trades people are crying to be able to do.  $25-$30/hr to frame and nail drywall is about a reasonable going rate in some parts of California.   I'm not clear on why your "bro" needs to hire illegals from across the border to do this work.   Many Americans would love a chance to do it at that money.

            Unless, perhaps, he also doesn't want to have to pay employment taxes and workers comp with those the legitimate established subcontractors do...

            The problem in our area is that we have a finite scope of work in our local economy.   Always has been a reasonable flow of suburban growth and development, new construction and remodeling.  Our long-time established trades flourished in a middle to upper-middle-class prosperity.

            But in the past five years or so, the rapid influx of illegal immigrants has flooded the construction labor market, causing wages to stagnate or drop, and to cause increased competition for the "finite" scope of work.   Homeowners and developers discovered they can now hire illegal immigrant crews to do the construction trades work on their projects at often half the price of what the market was even a mere five years ago.  So they are by-passing the legitimate contractors/subcontractors who play by the rules to exploit the cheap-labor option.

            Well, for all the arguments that "these people are illegally flooding into our communities because they just want to make a good living and feed their families", what about those of us who were already here, living, raising our families, participating in our communities, paying taxes, being good middle-class Americans?   We are now being pushed down into a lower economic rung because the work opportunities are rapidly diminishing.   Too much cheap labor for the available market of work.

            My company is now out of work for the first time in the whole ten years we've been in business.   Usually by this time each year, we're booked all the way to next October/November with projects.   Most everyone in my construction/remodeling community had the same experience.  

            Now I'm starting to wonder about things like Medicaid and public assistance.  I can make it for several more months without work, but then I and my household are going to be on a similar standing as those illegal immigrants out by the roadside, waiting for someone to pick them up for a day's labor.

            No effing kidding.

            Anyone who keeps maintaining that the illegal immigrants flooding over our borders are needed to "do the work Americans won't do" is either willfully deluding themselves or has another agenda for propounding this propaganda against America's blue-collar Middle Class.

            •  I'm surprised communities are't more engaged. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I wasn't so much sad or discouraged as surprised and skeptical. I challenged him on it and he claimed that he doesn't seek illegals and that the wages for good reliable guys is very competitive. He's a pretty honest guy and the number 1 issue he's always complaining about is Workers Comp and Health Care Insurance which he provides everyone. He's a staunchly RW Republican and really doesn't claim that it's work other Americans won't do as much as don't do as well and in enough of supply. Commercial building has been booming here for decades with no end in sight.

              I can understand your concerns. I don't know about the building trades (that's why I always quiz the bro) but in corporate IT I do know that very few work as long and hard as the folks we imported from the East, Near East, and Middle East in programming and technology jobs. I know I get a lot of push back when I say that but that is my generalization supported by hundreds and hundreds of examples. Also, I never once turned an American down for a job to get a foreign applicant, advertised nationally, and paid them all the same range, benefits and relocation. Had nothing to do with money.

              The main common denominator I can find is a steady flow and/or a high volume people needed immediately, more so than skills.

              I agree that the impact of easy access to foreign labor is real significant. It removes the immediacy and weight of the need for companies and trades to work with cities and schools to nurture a labor supply. And in SoCal, Mexicans are really neighbors, more part of this culture and labor force here it seems than say the NorthEast or the South.

              I really hope things work out for you, sockpuppet.

              > 518,000 American children are in foster care. Got any bandwidth?

              by kck on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:31:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yeah, I'm sceptical (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BobOak, kck, Quequeg

                A RW Republican, you say?  I don't doubt your relative is a straight-shooter who tells you he "does the right thing" by his workers.   But I note he repeats that same old meme, "'s work other Americans won't do as much as don't do as well and in enough of supply."

                Maybe that's true down in SoCal, especially in San Diego so close to the border.   But where I live and have a livelihood, there are many who would give anything to have these jobs, these skills, and these opportunities.   Legal American citizens and immigrants, I'm talkin' about, in my experience.

                I hire labor through a contractors' labor pool service (who also do background checks, I insist on it).   It used to be that I had to request labor well in advance to have the positions filled when I needed them.   Now the labor services are calling me to see if I need anyone, since they have so many workers out of work in the trades now.

                No doubt I could get back into the game if I would also lower my prices (and standards) and take on the illegal labor and illegal trades crews.   Then I could be more competitive for bids around here now.   But I refuse.   I just can't help with this decimation of the blue-collar middle-class in my area.

                We do very high-end, high-quality remodeling projects.   Yes, I have seen some of the immigrant crews (suspected illegal labor) who have come in and done quality work quickly and efficiently.  Not hired by me, hired by the homeowners on my project/s, after I reluctantly concede the hiring to them (not in the contract that I have to allow this substitution of subcontractors).    I also hire legal immigrant subs as part of my regular remodeling team.    These legal-immigrant subs are also being hurt by the illegal influx into the construction market.

                I find that the more the market embraces the lower prices for the construction trades, the lower the prices are falling.   That is hurting the blue-collar middle class here in this country.   And I'm only speaking from experience with the construction industry.   I've read similar about the manufacturing jobs, as well as the high-tech industry.

                Some may call this "market-driven" forces, like "natural selection", but when you have people flooding illegally across our borders, flaunting our existing immigration laws, so that they can get for themselves what they can get, those of us here already be damned, I have little sympathy.   I can't go to their countries and do the same.  Not.

                Sure, there's a lot wrong with the current immigration system and with NAFTA/CAFTA, etc.   But everyone piling into one boat here in El Norte is only gonna sink this ship, too.   Stay home and work for change in your own country.  

                I say the same to everyone here who talks about fleeing from BushCo to expat somewhere else.  Stay and fight.  Your own country needs you.  All hands on deck.

              •  IT Jobs (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                "in corporate IT I do know that very few work as long and hard as the folks we imported from the East, Near East, and Middle East in programming and technology jobs."

                I find Americans use foreign workers as tools for labor arbitrage. They understate the work foreign workers perform, underpay them, violate the pitiful rgulations in place. Corporations forced tens of thousands of Americans out of IT moving the jobs offshore and now have the gall to claim "high tech worker shortages". Well, there are thousands of displaced American "techies" who are unable to even get interviews. After being out of IT for a time, HR departments treat these mostly older displaced workers like lepers. Some of the people working at Wal-Mart were once software engineers.

                Now, Bill Gates and others tour American colleges attempting to interest American students in computer science/information technology. What hypocrisy! Gates and other corporate outsourcers have poisoned the well for Americans! Why would people invest immense amounts of time and money in a field when corporations are making it damn clear that they prefer to use foreign workers offshore and even in the U.S.!!

                Yes, I have experienced offshore outsourcing and guest worker replacement "up close and personal". The lies that Gates tells are nothing close to reality.

                I wonder when elected Democrats will cease to do the will of corporate monopolists and the business lobbies they use to undermine real democracy in America?

                Lost your job to free trade, outsourcing or non-immigrant visa workers yet?

                by Info Tech Guy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 06:38:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It's not just a minimum wage issue (0+ / 0-)

            This affects the trades like crazy, even some of the semi-professional ones like electricians, plumbers .. it's killing what is left of our unions.

        •  $2/hr is an illegal wage in California. (5+ / 0-)

          Americans will do any job if they are given a legal wage. In American, we have homeless people pushing grocery carts around town collecting cans and bottles for pennies in redemption.  Your argument is a red herring.

        •  Approximately 4% (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, sockpuppet, BobOak

          How many Americans want to pick vegetables in the hot Californian sun for $2 an hour

          Of illegal immigrants work in any kind of agriculture, and 26% of the agricultural workforce is illegal immigrants - so clearly there are quite a few Americans who want to pick vegetables - and by the way, I don't think anybody is doing it for $2 an hour.

          How many Americans want to do such jobs? Nail drywall in July in Arizona for $10 an hour?

          Clearly you do not want to do this job, but it is the height of elitism to assume that merely because you find the job repugnant, everybody else does too.

          By the way that drywall job in Arizona - I suspect it paid $10 an hour ten years ago - what does that say about the memes that illegal immigrants raise wages, and that we have a shortage of low-wage low-skilled workers.

          <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:42:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Poppycock. Outsourced professionals in foreign (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        countries compete with U.S. workers for jobs. Most of these people are working the most menial of jobs that are nonetheless critical for the economy--digging ditches, working in sweatshops. Do they use services?  Yes. But if you start collecting taxes on their labor and incorporate them into the mainstream economy, they become no more a burden than any other low-wage worker.

      •  Nope, try again (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SallyCat, Eternal Hope, coigue

        Immigrants create more jobs than they take by becoming consumers as well as having a higher rate of creating new businesses than native-born Americans.  The scarcity of jobs meme is a myth.

        •  Nope, try again (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, sockpuppet, BobOak

          Large numbers of low-skill, low-wage immigrants pressures wages down. It makes it very hard to unionize low-wage, low-skill professions.

          Yes, an increase in numbers of people living here creates more jobs overall, but at rock-bottom wages.

          The Democratic Party should be about creating an economic environment where high-wage, secure jobs are an ever-increasing norm. The party's immigration policy pushes things in the opposite direction.

          If you want to see what God thinks of money, look at the people He gave a lot of it to. - Dorothy Parker

          by planyourday on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:26:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is why legalization is key (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Large numbers of low-skill, low-wage immigrants pressures wages down. It makes it very hard to unionize low-wage, low-skill professions.

            Undocumented immigrants are difficult to unionize (but not impossible) because of their immigration status and the constant threat of ICE raids.  If there were a path to legalization as Senator Kennedy is pushing for, then they could be unionized and you would see wages rebound.

            The Democratic Party should be about creating an economic environment where high-wage, secure jobs are an ever-increasing norm.

            This could easily be done by devaluating the dollar.  High wages are meaningless if you cause inflation.  The Democratic immigration policy is something well thought out, that pushes for living wages for everyone.

        •  Not always (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          opinionated, sockpuppet

          Plus, as a group, immigrants send a large amount of their money overseas, as opposed to Americans who spent almost all of it domestically.

          In any case, you also have the problem of dwindling resources. In the SW USA, fresh water is very much in shortage.  

      •  All Our Jobs Offshored (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BobOak, dotdot

        That's why the jobs are scarce, not because some immigrant is taking them but because of two decades of globalization eating away at the middle class like a cancer.  Now we get to blame the problem on the easy enemy of choice instead of facing the hard truth.

      •  NO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        THEY aren't.

        Employers are seeking them out.

        Stop with the scapegoating, and go after the real criminals here.

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope

      It would be interesting to see what the costs would be to accomodate v the cost to try to exterminate.  In addition, if people actually could see the data regarding the value of the work v compensation and the impact these workers actually make on our economics once you account for the real competition on wages, maybe they wouldn't be so scared.  Or maybe analyzing that data would reveal issues that could be isolated and the obvious solutions.  We make a lot of assumptions regarding the impact on workers in the U.S. without really knowing how competitive these jobs and wages are.  Many of the jobs are not jobs that anyone wants to do.  If we made it legal for them to be done by immigrant workers, then we could also do the accounting associated with accomodating these people.  As it stands, the legality issues cloud the cost/benefit and cause all types of assumptions that nobody really can validate.

    •  Xenophobia? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      opinionated, sockpuppet, BobOak

      Are you aware that the US takes in more immigrants (both legal and illegal) than any other nation in the world by far? (In some years, more than the rest of the world combined).

      Truth is, in spite of a few token raids like this, the ICE spends very little resources chasing down illegal immigrants.

      The US even has an "immigration lottery" (which was pushed by Sen Kennedy, btw). I don't believe any other nation has that. We are incredibly generous but is a finite limit at some point. The SW USA currently has a fresh water crisis, for example, driven by an increasing population. Its time for some other nations to extend the same generosity we do, including Mexico, which vigorously enforces its own immigration laws.

  •  Thank you Senator (7+ / 0-)

    For all you do, and thank you for posting here, please encourage your colleagues to do so also.
    I think we all agree that immigration reform needs to be comprehensive and not just a knee jerk. Are there any effrots underway to actually allow immigrants to speak to this issue and get their input? President Bush is currently trying to assure our friends south of the border that we are not the new evil empire, but that gigantic border fence is making it a hard sell. The plain fact is that immigration cannot be considered in a vacuum. It is part and parcel of our whole hemispheric foriegn policy, and to get a handle on what is undoubtedly a big problem here with rampant illeagal immigration, we need to have a more open discussion with our neighbors, and with our own immigrant population. Please make sure that we don't just pass some poorly thought out shallow attempt to fool the country into thnking the problem has been dealt with when it has only been swept under the rug once again.

  •  This is a national disgrace. (13+ / 0-)

    We are all the children of immigrants.  These are basically decent people who are guilty only of trying to earn a better life for themselves and their children.  We need to find a way to resolve this issue without tearing families apart and without putting the lives of breastfeeding infants at risk.

  •  Humane Solution for Both Immigrants and Citizens (6+ / 0-)

    is probably politically impossible.

    1. Almost everything about both illegal and legal immigration needs to be significantly revised to be more clear, easy to understand, and sensible for both the people involved and for national policy.
    1. We cannot deport double the population of Ireland!

    The standing population of undocumenteds needs to be put immediately on a path that is easy for them to follow to legal residency and onward to citizenship.

    Costs must be affordable for dirt-poor immigrants. Legal safety must be granted instantly.

    Otherwise they'll stay underground hurting the citizen economy and their own families.

    1. Employer sanctions against new undocumenteds. We must drastically reduce the flow. US wages are dropping, especially in the middle to lower classes where so many immigrants will work.
    1. Fair trade to our south so that we stop creating hungry masses needing to migrate.
    1. Better border control. But this can't be the primary solution, curtailing our demand and their incentives must take primacy.

    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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:36:17 AM PDT

    •  And anyone that doesn't take the path (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, BobOak

      at the time it is offered needs to know that
      the path will close, and they WILL BE DEPORTED.

      That is my opinion.

      I am fine with a solution that WORKS.

      But another amnesty / visa program with no
      stepped up enforcement puts us in the same place in 10 years.

      08 - Leaning Gore, Edwards, Clark, Kucinich, Obama
      -7.75 -6.05
      Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

      by rick on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:14:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you Senator, you're the greatest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattes, Ellicatt, la urracca

    I appreciate all you've done in the past few years to fight, sometimes all by yourself, those who would destroy our country and its institutions.

    "Control of the initiative is control of the battle. In the alley, at the poker table or in politics. One must raise." David Mamet

    by coral on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:38:45 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator Kennedy (8+ / 0-)

    I would have hoped that by this time, DHS would have recognized the effect it has on the children of those who are swept up in these types of raids.  

    I read your op-ed piece.  Unfortunately, I was not shocked to see that the employer was treated as "royalty", even to the point where he is allowed to go on a business trip to Puerto Rico.  To me, that shows where the priority lies with this administration's policies, (again, the employer triumphs over the employees).  

    Fellow Kosmates - go read the op-ed piece and rate it up.  When I first read it, it was rated at only two stars.  I did go to three; lets get it up to five!

  •  So glad to see you here. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    javelina, Ellicatt, la urracca

    Here is a previous diary.

    Raids for illegals leave children behind.

    I also think we need to know how the 2007 Budget is cutting into social programs.

    We fight from a position of weakness.

    by mattes on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:42:16 AM PDT

  •  Were you younger, Senator, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, mattes, la urracca, kath25

    I would have a different signature line.

    Al Gore should be president.

    by another American on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:43:37 AM PDT

  •  hearings & movement on single payer health care (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marykk, la urracca, planyourday

    Dear Senator:

    You have been a great advocate for universal health care over the years, and have backed single payer at times.

    Now that some form Universal Health Care seems to have come back on the national agenda, can you please use your position to help move this forward.

    I am thinking of course of Rep. Conyers HR-676 that can use Senate co-sponsor, or alternatively any of the other versions of Medicare for All (e.g., Rep Stark), such as also called for by the national AFL-CIO and hundreds of other labor and social service organizations.

    See also my signature line, prior diaries on subject, blogroll, etc.

    thank you sir.

  •  As someone who lives in Southern California (12+ / 0-)

    I feel strongly that something needs to be done about the immigration problem.  Our infrastructure cannot continue to absorb the numbers-that is true-but we can't lose sight of our humanity while solving the problem.  The immigrants are pawns to big business, but also a convenient target when the administration wants to show its "might" with sporadic cleansings. The DHS's shooting from the hip is unhelpful and unfair.

    Senator, thank you for your always thoughtful dialog.  I look forward to your timely action and guidance on this matter.  I will commit myself to actively supporting a solution that doesn't NOT allow businesses to repress and enslave the illegal immigrants or our own citizens with low wages and a hopeless future.

    •  Agreed. I cannot support any legislation (6+ / 0-)

      that does not guarantee basic protections for these workers.  A decent wage and health coverage is a must, or we're helping those whose only interest here is to exploit all their employees.

    •  This is a regional problem (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, wa ma, la urracca

      I think one big thing about this issue is that, in Southern California and parts of Texas, legal and illegal immigration seem to be causing some noticeable social problems. Regular people down there really care about immigration.

      In most other parts of the country, illegal immigration is an issue mainly in a few towns with problem "outdoor labor markets," and also among the kinds of wingnuts who get upset about all sorts of things.

      Anyhow: I think the restrictions on immigration are the main cause of the problems. If the government would stop the practice of keeping people from entering the country, and instead keep better track of the people who are here, then:

      • People would know they could go back home. Many "illegal" immigrants would go home immediately if they knew they could come back. Lots of people stay here even though they don't wan to simply because they're afraid of getting shut out.
      • All immigrants here would be legal, so you'd immediately eliminate the problem of off-the-books jobs and all sorts of predatory industries aimed at people without Social Security numbers.
      • Because all of the workers here would be legal, it would be a lot easier to enforce minimum wage laws and other labor laws.
      • We could press harder for international law changes that would make it easier for U.S. workers to work in places like India and Mexico.
      •  The key is in helping those countries (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, la urracca, ReEnergizer

        develop local jobs.  The immigrants who come to the US wouldn't do so if they had opportunities at home.  I worry about Mexico, especially with their major oil field running dry (production is way down) and with the US laws hampering their farmers.

        •  If people could move back and forth, they'd (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          la urracca

          develop Latin America the same way they now develop Texas.

          Even for people who have a legal right to go back and forth, customs and immigration create psychological barrier to going back and forth. I think it's obvious in Europe, for example, that making it easy to go from France to Germany is a great, important thing.

          Also: there are just tons and tons and tons of people from Kansas and Missouri in Texas and California. When was the last time you saw someone in Texas or California seriously call for expelling people from the Midwest?

          And I think you could make an argument that some parts of, say, Missouri are probably more impoverished and less developed than some wealthy parts of Mexico.

          •  I agree, mostly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            superscalar, BobOak

            That's right; we do need a program that identifies who is here, that they aren't criminals and that they are doing a job that a US citizen or immigrant that came in via conventional channels won't do.

            That way, lots of people would go back to The Country With The Best Beaches In The World And A Really Good Soccer League.

            But Mexico also has problems with corruption that drive away investors.

            Why would anyone, even an immigrant from Mexico, invest in a country where a PAN or PRI crook will shake you down for a Mordida every half hour?

          •  Deport the Californians! (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sockpuppet, BobOak, wa ma

            We here in Utah want to deport Californians.  They drive their SUV's too fast on black ice so they can get back to their McMansion before they get snowed on.

  •  Re-unification (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jeff Simpson, la urracca

    We've got economic integration, without social integration. Since the trade genie's not going back in the bottle, it's time to fully reunite N America, roughly on the model used to reintegrate E. and W. Germany.

    Democratic Candidate for US Senator, Wisconsin, in 2012

    by ben masel on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:44:54 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this diary, Senator. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, Ellicatt, la urracca, ilex, TomP

    As the son of an immigrant family, refugees after WWII, my parents had to wait in Battista's Cuba for Five Long Years, from '41 top '46!

    They waited their turn because we are the land of the free and the home of the brave, and they wanted in.

    What I really don't get is the conservative view that we should build a 50-foot high wall, when all that's needed to subvert that twist is a tunnel or a fifty-one foot ladder.  

    Then the other cheap labor, i.e., cheap labor conservative view confounds all sense when they talk of open borders, guest worker programs that allow people to settle in and work cheap for cash.

    We have enough laws in our Nation right now, but we have an illegitimate US AG who doesn't know laws from his backside.  


    And the bottom line solution to all this is a real generational effort to establish business & upgrade the standard of living in Mexico itself through laws that make sense to workers in this country and in Mexico & Central America.

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -E.Burke Women, Get It Now: HPV Test

    by ezdidit on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:45:14 AM PDT

    •  Personally, I look forward to real revolutionary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      la urracca

      change throughout the world starting in 2010, when Dems will have a veto-proof Senatorial majority!

      We need a sea change in our country that undercuts the entire illegitimate Bu$h regime, a force that lifts all boats against the tide of corporate kickbacks, pay-to-play schemes, corporate welfare laws and the ridiculous hubristic ideals of Neoconservatism.

      I would suggest that we begin, factotum-like, redrawing every single bill and piece of crappy hypocritical legislation that has been passed over the last six years, and just add, "NOT!"

      No Child Left Behind, indeed !

      And Universal Healthcare on the agenda NOW, not during the last year of Senator Clinton's second term.  Sink the DLC, please.

      The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. -E.Burke Women, Get It Now: HPV Test

      by ezdidit on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:55:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattes, Ellicatt, la urracca

    Senator Kennedy for this and all you have done for people in your career and life.

    I wish you had been nominated in 1980 -- we never would have had Reagan.  Thank you for sticking it out after that and staying in the Senate.  You have made a real difference for many with your life.

    Thanks also for coming to Tom Eagelton's funeral.

    "We don't need to redefine the Democratic Party; we need to reclaim the Democratic Party." John Edwards 2/22/07

    by TomP on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:45:31 AM PDT

  •  Thank you, Senator. there has to be a (5+ / 0-)

    humanitarian solution to this crisis. I appreciate all your work for us in the senate.

  •  Thank you, Senator (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, potownman, Ellicatt, wa ma, la urracca

    I hope that you can help the New Bedford families. This kind of action by Immigration is not going to solve any problems and is going to rip people to shreds.

    You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do. - Anne Lamott

    by javelina on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:47:17 AM PDT

  •  The ultimate solution to immigration (10+ / 0-)

    Is to encourage development in the nations from which people are emigrating.

    That's a long term task, but if we can help Mexico and Guatemala and the rest of Central America to rise to parity with the First World, the incentive to emigrate would only be as strong as it is between France and Germany and Britain.

    The challenge is not to exploit them as they rise.

    A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts of the case.

    by nightsweat on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:48:29 AM PDT

  •  I agree with finding a better solution (5+ / 0-)

    These families are being ripped apart because they are stuck in the middle. They left their country due to a poor economy and the hopes of doing better for themselves.

    Those that want these people detained and deported need to understand that the United States is not some island in this world. It is part of the world... what we do here has far reaching effects for better and for worse.

    I would like to say that our country needs to help and reach out and do everything it can to help wherever it can to make it more appealing for people to stay in their own country and go through the proper channels if they would like to live here.....

    But any issue dealing with the United States standing in the world is being colored by the war in Iraq and the current administration. The fact that it is draining so many resources from our country cannot be overlooked. This administration has made a point of policing the poor while rewarding the rich.

    I do not want to change the topic of the I will just repeat my earlier point...these people were caught in the middle of a poor home economy...and businesses here that profit from it.

    Thank you for posting here Senator.

    RUN AL RUN !!! -6.88,-6.92 Fox is a propaganda channel!!

    by jigsaw68 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:48:31 AM PDT

  •  Senator Kennedy... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, mattes, la urracca

    What are your views on the problems our troops are facing with reintegration/PTSD?

    I along with many others here at Daily Kos and ePluribus Media have been working hard on this issue since mid-2005. The product of that collective energy and advocacy for our troops come in the form of a book I have been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to write, Moving a Nation to Care: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and America's Returning Troops. It arrives in May.

    We are planning to make a big push on this issue in the short window of opportunity the book will make available to us. Will your office be interested in helping us in any way? It would be greatly appreciated, sir.

    Thank you for your tireless efforts on our behalf.

  •  What about the hardship on Americans? (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    baffled, Rohan, sockpuppet, BobOak, oibme, elliott

    Everything is out of control.  The country is FLOODED OUT with illegals and we haven't got a clue who they are.

    From medical facilities, to schools to roads to law enforcement.

    In case you haven't heard, citizens cannot keep up with inflation - and it starts with millions of people UNDERCUTTING OUR WAGES.

    In case you haven't heard, there are severe housing shortages in NYC.  

    It took weeks of hassle at motor vehicles in NYC to get a driver's license.  They would not accept any of my ids.  Finally, I had to go to city hall and get a marriage certificate.

    Send them back in a humane fashion, and allowed to return in controled numbers in an ORDERLY, legal manner.

    Americans have sacrificed too much.

    One of the main reasons this is not being dealt with is the Catholic Church wants to keep the floodgates open to Catholic voters, who will vote for Catholic agendas aka keeping women from having rights.

  •  Thanks Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, la urracca

    We need to attempt reform soon. We need to show people that there is a difference between The Republicans and the Democrats. Thanks.

  •  Senator... with all due respect (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, BobOak, oibme, elliott, ilex
    If you're going to talk about the immigration problem, you have to talk about it from both sides of the border.
    And do it in such a way that the entire country knows what is going on so that there are no more ignorant statements about how "easy" it is to deal with the problem.
    Is Mexico being honestly engaged in the crux of the problem? That they're own population is reaching a point where they can not support themselves? So they push for the idea of coming to the United States?
    Is there pressure to change their own policies so that they might find ways to help give their own populace the ability to live in their own country?
    I'm just wondering really. I'm not saying that we send them all 'home' or some silliness.
    But should the United States be the easy 'go to' for the Mexican government in regards to the 'unwashed' and 'unwanted'?

    If we have no freedom nor civil liberties, then what worth is our lives that we can not pursue living?

    by RElland on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:56:52 AM PDT

  •  How do you stop a historical migration? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kaye, potownman, la urracca

    You don't.  Much like the waves of various immigrants who preceded them, who also suffered from blind prejudice, they ultimately will prevail just as the Irish, the Hungarians, the Polish, and the Chinese have before.

    The hispanic migration currently underway is nothing less than the historic movements of past peoples, and our country has always benefitted from those who struggle against long odds to succeed here. We are as strong as the least among us, and we should be thankful that family is so important to these folks. They are willing to sacrifice themselves willingly to benefit future generations, which is a part of the American fabric, and if family values are really important to you, look no farther than the recent wave of immigrants.

  •  Thank you Senator Kennedy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    potownman, la urracca

    I recently moved to Massachusetts and couldn't be prouder that you are my Senator. Thanks for taking an interest in local events and not dissolving into the cespool in Washington.

    I never said half the things I said. - Yogi Berra

    by HairyTrueMan on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:58:11 AM PDT

  •  Any Politician... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, coigue, kaye, potownman, wa ma, la urracca

    ...who thinks that immigration reform should involve ripping children out of the arms of their parents has lost the right to talk about "family values."

    How many of our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents came here looking for a better life for their children? Why is it so easy for so many to turn a blind eye to the struggles of those who do so now?

    Thank you, Senator Kennedy, for taking a strong stand in this.

  •  Will there be immigration reform in '07? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, coigue, mattes, la urracca

    Or this an issue which will have to wait until after the '08 election?

  •  Why are you lawmakers (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    Rohan, BobOak
    Hidden by:
    renaissance grrrl, coigue

    at 180 degree odds with this country.

    For 8 years we have watched in horror as our land has been over-run by illegals (and among them, no doubt, terrorists.)

    We have no idea who is in this country right now.

    Your turning your back has forced citizens to take the law into their own hands, senator.

      •  I don't know enough about them (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if they are doing the job of border patrol, then of course.

        •  Actually: (6+ / 0-)

          Many of the same people who are Neo-Nazis are also Minutemen.

          And Much of the modern anti-immigrant movement is the work of a known white supremacist, John Tanton.

          We all agree that this is a problem. But that is beside the point. The point is that much of the modern anti-immigration movement is based on white supremacist ideology and is simply a way for white supremacists to mainstream hate.

          Yes, we need to pass laws that are fair to all people concerned. I am not convinced by the arguments of people who advocate for open borders. But neither would I advocate for an ideology that is little better than White Supremacy repackaged for modern consumption.

          •  I'm not a neo nazi (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sockpuppet, BobOak

            This is a country.  There are laws in place to protect its citizens.

            Our lawmakers are not enforcing these laws.

            Our country is becoming chaotic as a result.
            Life is becoming squalid. We are losing rights.

            Yes there are nazis.

            Yes, it is politically shrewd to cow decent people into silence by saying that if they try to protect citizens rights it means they are a nazi.

            It is shrewd of the Republicans who want to UNION BUST and KILL MINIMUM WAGE to equate people against this as NEO NAZIS.

            It is shrewd of the Catholic church that wants to put warm butts on in their abandoned pews to accuse people who are against the means as NEO NAZIS.

            •  This is a Democratic blog. (0+ / 0-)

              Nobody here wants to bust unions, kill the minimum wage, or put warm butts on abandoned church pews. Nobody is trying to take away citizens' rights. I'm not even claiming you're racist or xenophobic. All I'm saying is that although not all anti-immigrants are racists, there is some underlying ideology within the anti-immigrant movement that is racist.

          •  Question about the Minutemen (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theboz, Eternal Hope, BobOak

            How come you never see the Minutemen around O'Hare or Logan, checking to see if any of the phosphorescent visitors from Poland or Ireland are going to overstay their visas or work illegal on tourist visas?

            This is anecdotal information, but there are a lot of illegal immigrants from Asia (I used to work with some of them) and you never see the Minutemen hanging around LAX either.

            Just wondering.

            •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

              A post from you that I actually agree with.  In fact, I would say that your post exposes the racism of the neo-nazi Minutemen movement.  Neo-nazis don't hate asians as much as they do blacks, jews, or latinos.  This explains why they don't focus on the large number of undocumented asian immigrants.

              •  Call me Cotton Mather (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theboz, BobOak

                It's kind of like what Mark Twain said about the Puritans, "The Puritans were against bear baiting not because it brought suffering to the bear but because it brought pleasure to the Puritan."

                That's why I'm against unlimited immigration to the US.

                One of the primary beneficiaries of our current immigration system and many of the proposed immigration systems is Mexico's rich, white, corrupt, conservative and incompetent elite.  

                Rich, white Mexicans steal everything in sight and force mestizos and indigenas to emigrate yet the US is the racist country?

                •  My problem with your posts/views (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Eternal Hope, Utahrd

                  Not being from Mexico, and this site being about U.S. politics, I prefer to focus on what we do.  Mexico's corrupt ruling elite are certainly a huge part of the problem, but I put them in the same group as the Bush family and the corrupt ruling elite of this nation.  The Bush family has strong ties with the PRI part in Mexico, and Bush Sr. is still close friends with Carlos Salinas, the disgraced former-president of Mexico.  You can also make some ties of Bush and Salinas to some of the drug cartels as well.

                  So I totally get what you mean about corruption in Mexico, I just see it as we don't really have a say in the Mexican government, and that it is best to focus first on helping people who need immediate attention before we can focus on the bigger picture of how to enact change that would prevent undocumented immigration from being necessary.

    •  The Democratic party is not the party of the KKK (6+ / 0-)

      You have no right to speak for "this country", as polls show the majority of us want reform that does not involve fascism and hate, as you are advocating.

    •  Want the laws enforced? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobOak, mariachi mama

      Get the people who are making money off these people to STOP IT.

      The root cause of ALL OF THIS is GREED.

      Greed of Americans who willingly break the law to pay people under the table, Americans who should be locked up for their crimes of defrauding the rest of us, and creating a slave class to make money off of.

      I am sick to death of this scapegoating of 'brown people' as terrorists.

  •  Demand General Pace's Resignation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and I'll listen

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction. - Sam J. Ervin, Jr.

    by tiponeill on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:59:55 AM PDT

  •  The NYT said yesterday (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that CITIZENS cannot get medicaid because of all the ids required because of the flood of illegals.

    We are strangers in our own country.

    •  This is your third comment. We get it. (6+ / 0-)

      We fight from a position of weakness.

      by mattes on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:02:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  always wondered who those kids were at the beach (7+ / 0-)

      who spent all day building massive walls to protect their sand castles against the tide. The obvious futility of their task seemed to elude them. They has some kind of intrinsic faith that things would come out different if they just built a big enough wall.

      Now I know.

      •  Moreover, (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theboz, la urracca, Misty Fowler

        I've been wondering something to the effect of whether us "illegals" from the 1620's are any better than those of 2007.

        Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
        With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
        Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
        A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
        Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
        Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
        Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
        The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
        "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
        With silent lips. "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!"

        To announce...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

        by potownman on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:45:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Somebody ALWAYS trots out (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BobOak, Utahrd

          The New Colossus.

          Just be sure that when you advocate for returning to the immigration policies of 1883, that you also advocate for returning to the social policies of 1883

          • No federally funded and mandated education for immigrants
          • No WIC
          • No Medicare
          • No Medicaid
          • No School Lunch Programs
          • No ESL Programs
          • No Workman's Comp
          • No Child Labor Laws
          • No Social Security
          • Etc
          • Etc
          • Etc

          You want to preach 'Give me your tired, your poor,
          Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free' with your fallacious Appeal To Tradition - I'm fine with that - in your world I would not have to pay either federal or state income taxes, so you are also going to figure out a way to pay the piper for your poem.

          I suspect your task to find the money to fund your 1883 vision will be just about as hard as Senator Kennedy's will be finding the money to fund the EITC, Child Tax Credits, and Social Security credits for his newly minted Americans.

          <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:04:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dude, Chill. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            You don't know my world and I don't know yours.  It was simply some semi-expurgated musing.

            I don't disrespect that there are very difficult issues here.  I also know the manner in which the raid was carried out was very cruel and inappropriate.

            To announce...that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

            by potownman on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:39:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Senator, Please don't forget (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, sockpuppet, kaye, la urracca

    to stop the US from detaining and torturing people and keeping them from proper representation.

  •  It's a cruel government in so many ways (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, SallyCat, kaye, wa ma, la urracca

    Heartless, inhumane abuse of too many people, in countless arenas.

    Imprisoning children, sending wounded soldiers back into battle, dumping hospital patients onto the street in their johnnies.

    We're slogging through an utter nightmare. We need your leadership, Senator Kennedy, more than ever before.  

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:04:13 AM PDT

  •  What are you doing for American citizens? (6+ / 0-)

    Start with Katrina, then access to good public schools, then college for Americans.  Our government has failed our people.  American workers cannot compete with cheap labor abroad or at home.

  •  Your focus on illegal employment is correct (6+ / 0-)

    Thanks Senator for your integrity and willingness to focus on the root cause of the problem:   illegal employment for profit, and no enforcement of existing law.

    This is a country of immigrants and of laws.  We must uphold both.

    If illegal employers were prosecuted to the full extent of existing law for offering rock-bottom wage and benefit employment to undocumented or fake documented applicants we would not have an "illegal immigrant" problem.

    The reason they come is that they know they will have no problem finding work here.

    Ah! but prosecuting employers is not viable politically because they are the ones with the campaign contributions and lobbyists in congress - some would say!

    How do we overcome this?

  •  More concerned about a false flag attack (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    la urracca

    I'm more worried about Bush staging a false flag "terrorist" attack, either here in America or over in Israel, to blame Iran so he can start another war.

    Sound far fetched? Well, In 2005 Dick Cheney requested a war plan from Stratcom with THAT EXACT SCENARIO, and Bush is CURRENTLY placing the military assets to launch the war. He's almost done. All he needs now is the trigger.

    Interesting thing about that trigger. The timeline for the war WAS CHANGED. Originally, Bush was going to put this plan in motion in December when Congress was out of session. But then his military brass RESIGNED.

    Senator, if Bush can change the timeline on a war that has a terrorist attack as it's trigger, then WHOSE TIMELINE ARE THE TERRORISTS ON?

    I have reason to believe there are DIA and CIA assets who are aware of this scheme and that they are watching the president and Cheney. Needless to say, plotting a terrorist false flag IS TREASON, and the JCS would be authorized to immediately arrest the president and the vice president.

    Please use your contacts within the CIA, DIA, JCS, FBI AND NSA to put yourself in the loop. Someone in the Congress needs to be able to step up and tell the public what's going on immediately.

    Watch RICE. Watch Negroponte. Watch Hadley. Watch Abrams. Rhodes and other dirty tricksters like Ledeen, Ghorbanifar, Chalabi, et al, are not to be trusted. Question the motives of lobbyists for AIPAC. Larry Franklin was not just a spy for Israel, he was involved in the intelligence laundering related to Niger uranium claims.

  •  I am a Democrat and you are dead wrong (10+ / 0-)

    There are a lot of Democrats actually,
    we worked on campaigns, we helped you obtain control of congress who are outraged at you right now.

    You claim to be for workers, yet you have Bill Gates blatantly tell a pack of lies before congress!  

    There is no tech worker shortage.  There is no lack of skills in this country and H-1B, by your own congressional testimony is a notorious labor arbitrage vehicle.  It is also being used to facilitate offshore outsourcing and technology transfer.

    Yet, you, who claim to be for the workers, invite the most notorious Bill Gates to use a congressional hearing as a public relations vehicle and are selling workers down the river.

    Anybody reading this post should know I worked on campaigns, should know I am not a "troll".

    Here is the AFL-CIO blasting Bill Gates:

    This week Bill Gates told the U.S. Senate and America that he
    wants the U.S. to allow an "infinite number of H-1B visas." As
    tech workers we know that this program allows for displacing
    U.S. employees and is riddled with fraud and abuse.

    America's Labor Movement stood up for us by adding its voice in
    a letter to Sen. Kennedy letting him know that it opposes any
    increase the expansion of the H-1B visa program. The AFL-CIO
    rebutted with:

    On Wednesday, March 7, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health,
    Education, Labor, and Pensions has scheduled a hearing on
    "Strengthening American Competitiveness for the 21st Century"
    with only one witness, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. Gates
    regularly champions lifting the cap on H-1B visas, which permit
    Microsoft and other information technology firms to exploit
    foreign IT workers and depress U.S. wages and benefits. To hear
    only from him, and not from any affected U.S. worker, is to sell
    out democracy to a multi-billionaire.

    Let's continue to stand up and fight back against Bill Gates by
    sending a strong message to your elected representatives to stop
    the H-1B visa expansion. You also need to pass this message
    along to ten of your friends who work in the industry so they
    too can stand up and fight back.

    The AFL-CIO also worked tirelessly to get Democrats back into power and this is how you repay us all?  By selling us out to the Corporate Cheap Labor Lobby, including Bill Gates and the ITAA.

    by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:08:30 AM PDT

    •  I watched Bill Gates' testimony and I agree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobOak, madgranny, bufford

      ...with you. This man is no friend of the American worker.

      Change the course--change the Captain. Change the crew. But save the ship!

      by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:44:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is short-sighted.... (5+ / 0-)

      illegal immigrants do not harm our economy. The law needs to be reformed and the progressive labor movement should support it.

      •  The AFL-CIO is on Kennedy's side (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cacophonix, MH in PA

        According to the AFL-CIO's immigration policy document:

        Undocumented workers and their families make enormous contributions to their communities and workplaces and should be provided permanent legal status through a new legalization program;

        I encourage you to read the entire document, as it is very much in line with what Senator Kennedy is trying to do.  People like Boboak are not in the mainstream, and are delusional.

        •  false (0+ / 0-)

          no and they were not included in writing the legislation.  

          Why are you always factually incorrect and busy trying to troll rate opinions?

          by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:18:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Proof you are a liar (7+ / 2-)

            I quoted straight from the AFL-CIO's fucking website.  I've personally heard a representative of the AFL-CIO say before a lot of people that they supported the McCain-Kennedy bill.

            Further proof of your dishonesty is that I challenge you to show me one troll-rating that I've made on this diary.  I've made none.  I don't troll-rate people for simply being idiots or liars, but rather for being disruptive and unnecessarily insulting.  You always seem to just push the edge of that line without crossing it, even though you are pretty much always wrong.

            •  false (0+ / 0-)

              and I just posted the official letter, hence a troll rate for as usual, not bothering to read and try to claim I am something I am not.

              You were troll rated because you insult me, constantly, name call insult and falsely accuse.  

              If you bothered to pay any attention there was huge large for Webb in the primary, against Miller.  Miller was an ITAA president, a lobbyist for H-1Bs.  I guess you will ignore those AFL-CIO letters also or any of the AFL-CIO lobbyists on the hill on H-1Bs or other guest worker Visas too.


              by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:36:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's no hope for you (5+ / 2-)
                Recommended by:
                ayoosilver, coigue, vcmvo2, Duke1676, immigrant2008
                Hidden by:
                BobOak, Pete Rock

                and I just posted the official letter,

                I posted the official letter, and I didn't see anywhere that you did.  Of course, I don't have time to keep up with all of your posts on all threads.

                hence a troll rate for as usual, not bothering to read and try to claim I am something I am not.

                Further proof of your childishness and attempts to hide the truth.  Still, I won't retaliate, because it exposes who you really are, and your fascist tendencies.

                If you bothered to pay any attention there was huge large for Webb in the primary, against Miller.  Miller was an ITAA president, a lobbyist for H-1Bs.  I guess you will ignore those AFL-CIO letters also or any of the AFL-CIO lobbyists on the hill on H-1Bs or other guest worker Visas too.

                I wasn't talking specifically about H1-Bs, which are a completely different issue from undocumented immigrants.  Only white supremacists put those two together, which I think says quite a bit about your character.

                •  why troll rating a comment (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  superscalar, BobOak

                  Only white supremacists put those two together, which I think says quite a bit about your character.

                  this sort of nonesense or inflammatory speech deserves a troll rating.

                  Either you prove  so and so IS a supremacist, or you retract your comment.

                  Since the comment stands, you're welcome to the donut.

                  And don't go arguing you "don't have time" to make your points. You have time to make your charges.

                  That is a cowardly copout. If America was not having a meltdown in manufacturing and many service industries aided and abetted by many Democrats as well as Repub/Rethugs,we wouldn't be having this conversation about concern for illegal economic migrants who are among the exploited ones in this present fiasco.

                  This administration created 1.8 million Iraqi refugees, and 600,000 deaths. It doesn't care too much about a few broken families while it grandstands for publicity(by selected raids) that it is addressing "illegals".

                   Those stranded kids are fortunate the INS didn't simply shoot their way in and give the Rethugs a thrill like they are clamoring for.

                  credibility is not enhanced by persistence in counterproductive policies... The reinforcement of failure is a poor substitute for its correction

                  by Pete Rock on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:00:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  BOB OAK is AN IDIOT DON'T BELIEVE HIM! (2+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            BlueStateLiberal, immigrant2008
            Hidden by:
      •  i don't think so (0+ / 0-)

        and since when has the term "Progressive" been co-opted by the DLC?  I don't think so...the stats are in on what is going on here and you must be ignoring the majority of economists or trying to confused legal versus illegal and studies where a nation had unused resources and so on.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:27:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stop the ratings abuse (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theboz, ayoosilver, coigue

          Your tr's on theboz and now Alegre are being used for disagreement. They are not trolls. You are abusing the ratings system - please stop.

          Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. John F. Kennedy

          by vcmvo2 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:52:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  insults (0+ / 0-)

            look at the insults, they are intense, plus they are spreading misinformation.  That is a letter straight from the AFL-CIO on H-1B and they have issued many such public statements.

            But, look at the insults...I think calling a Democrat, a hard left Democrat at that, a racist white supremacist deserves it frankly.


            by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:54:45 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  FU! You can't TAKE LEGITIMATE criticism (3+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              theboz, BlueStateLiberal, immigrant2008
              Hidden by:
              •  BobOak IS NOT A DEMOCRAT (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theboz, BlueStateLiberal

                This guy is a Tancredo extremist right winger with GOP styled talking point.

                •  We're all Democrats (0+ / 0-)

                  We're all Dems, very active Dems.

                  Is Jon Tester, McCaskill, Jim Webb now not Dems?  How about Bill Pascrell, Rose DeLauro?

                  Peter DeFazio not a Democrat?

                  We're all Democrats, deal with it.


                  by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:35:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BobOak, BlueStateLiberal

                calling someone an idiot is not legitimate criticism unless you are in Kindergarden-actually, not even there

                •  Cu'z he is. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I have an argument with him before and now abuse his troll ratings so there you go.

                  •  Ha ha (0+ / 0-)

                    Okay. Fair enough.

                    I just hope you aren't intent on convincing anyone else with that argument.

                    •  Tancredo democrats? (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      theboz, coigue

                      LOL...Why dont these folks just join the GOP party??

                      We all know the the Democratic party are the one pushing for comprehensive immigration reform that would legalize 12 million people.

                      Last year, 41 out of 45 democratic senators, voted for s2611 whyle only 20 out of 55 GOP senators voted for it....So if you want mass deportation, then the democratic party is not for you.

                      I would gladly love to rid our party of anti-immigrant members like bobaok and superscaalar...we do not need you here...Go to redstate...go watch lou something but dont come here.

                      •  I don't know (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        about Bob, but I agree with you about superscalar: He called the Pew Hispanic center a pro-illegal immigration group and summarily dismissed every piece of data that comes from their funding.

                        Hard to change a closed mind, even with hard data.

                        He also said I was a "Bush-lover" for agreeing with him that we need to change the current laws, etc. He's definitely become more subtle lately though.

                        •  You will have to point this out to me (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          He called the Pew Hispanic center a pro-illegal immigration group and summarily dismissed every piece of data that comes from their funding

                          I don't believe that I wrote this.

                          Hard to change a closed mind, even with hard data,

                          What hard data would that be?

                          He also said I was a "Bush-lover" for agreeing with him that we need to change the current laws, etc.

                          Can you point this one out to me as well?

                          <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:27:24 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  It was in (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            a "duke" diary, I believe. Both instances occurred in the same diary. Maybe I was wrong about you. Would you accept findings from a study funded by the Pew Hispanic center if they showed data contrary to your current positions?

                          •  I have also seen comments since (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            where you throw out data you don't like in favor of an op-ed piece. (shrug).

                          •  I don't throw out data (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I have also seen comments since where you throw out data

                            I question results. There is a difference. It is not in my training to wholly 'throw out data'.

                            Beyond that, even if I did 'throw out data' what is the difference between that and somebody who doesn't even look at the data simply because they question the source of that data.

                            To say that I am the only one who is highly skeptical of the existing studies and data on illegal immigration I think would be mistaken here.

                            To begin with, many of those studies, on both sides, are based upon 2000 census data. I question the sources and methods of all of those studies, no matter who created them.

                            <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:06:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  If that is true, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            what do you base your very strong and rigid opinions upon?

                        •  boboak and superscalar (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          theboz, coigue

                          Boboak and superscalar are pure ignorant..In my opinion, they both sound the same to me.

                          If they want mass deportation, they should throw their support behind Tom Tancredo because they are wasting their time with the democratic candidate.
                          Tancredo is the only candidate that Boboak and superscalar could count on to get those Mexican out of here.

                          You're not going to find a Tancredo democrat running for president.

                          What's Obama stance on immigration?

                          What's Hillary's stanc on immigration?

                          What's edwards's stance on immigration?

                          Name me one democratic presidential candidate that supports boboak and superscalar stance on immigration????

                          They all supported s2611 and Obama gets plenty of support from what i've seen...I dont see democratic rank and file saying they wont vote for Obama or hillary because of their stance on immigration

                        •  By the by (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          Regarding my 'stance' on illegal immigration. It is here, it is two years old now, and it has not changed.

                          And by bringing immigrants out of the shadows so they can earn a fair day's pay for a fair day's work, we are protecting American workers' rights and wages, too

                          How, in fact, are they protecting American workers' rights and wages, too? Please name one thing in this bill which promotes American workers rights, or will increase American workers wages.

                          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.

                          Without real, enforced, sanctions on employers the cycle will not be broken. What drives illegal immigration is the same thing that drives the desire for H1B visas. Supply and demand - the cost of labor. When Kennedy, McCain et. al. start talking about massive fines and real enforcement of hiring laws, then I will begin to consider this bill to be something more than payback to immigration lawyers. But Kennedy and McCain won't talk about real employer enforment, they know this bill would have no chance with any such language attached. The way this bill is now worded everybody gets what they want, with the exception of the American worker, who, once again, gets screwed.

                          This is just a brief If immigrants have a way to come here and work legally, and enjoy the benefits of being in America openly, there's less incentive for them to take "under the table" jobs.  They'll need to be compensated more to make it worth the risk, and employers who do try to skirt the rules will be punished more harshly - "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."

                          This is just a brief on the new legislation; it does not include every detail on fines and enforcement.

                          To be honest, I'm not sure how you know what it does and does not do since it's not up on Thomas yet

                          With all respect, I do not need to know the exact language regarding changes in enforcement. The problem is not that the language does not exist to enforce the law, the problem is that current law is not enforced. What makes you think that changes to the language of the law will compel anyone to enforce law which already exists?

                          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

                          •  Investigations targeting employers of illegal immigrants fell more than 70 percent, from 7,637 in 1997 to 2,194 in 2003.

                          • Arrests on job sites fell from 17,554 in 1997 to 445 in 2003.

                          • Fines levied for immigration-law violations fell from 778 in 1997 to 124 in 2003.

                          • DHS collected only $2.6 million of $5.3 million in fines it levied on employers of illegal aliens in 2002. The agency was unable to collect a dime from nearly a quarter of those employers.

                          Now, all of this has occurred within the confines of the current 1986 IRCA law.

                          All employers are required to verify that each employee hired after 1988 is eligible to work in the United States. There are fines ranging from $250 to $10,000 for each unauthorized alien and a maximum 6-month prison sentence if violator demonstrates a persistent pattern of hiring unauthorized aliens.

                          Please tell me of one person from Tyson Foods who has been sent to jail for six months. Please tell me of one fine that ConAgra has had to pay for employing illegal aliens.

                          Again, when you state that This is just a brief on the new legislation; it does not include every detail on fines and enforcement.  To be honest, I'm not sure how you know what it does and does not do since it's not up on Thomas yet, I am telling you that I don't need to know. Changing the language of an enforcement provision does not mean anything if the law is not enforced.

                          Also, I asked Please name one thing in this bill which promotes American workers rights, or will increase American workers wages. You answer with If immigrants have a way to come here and work legally, and enjoy the benefits of being in America openly, there's less incentive for them to take "under the table" jobs. Your answer directs itself to how, seemingly, illegal aliens will benefit from this legislation. Your answer does not, however, respond to my question as to just how American workers will benefit.

                          Now, if you have not done so, I will invite you to actually go and read the enforcement provisions that were to be in S2611. I will also invite you to study whatever issues forth from the good Senator in the future in terms of immigration enforcement because it is my understanding that the enforcement provisions will be weakened beyond that in S2611.

                          In closing name me one time following the 1986 IRCA that the good Senator from Massachusetts got up on the floor of the Senate and pushed for the enforcement provisions of IRCA as forcefully as he pushed for amnesty provisions prior to IRCA.

                          <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:06:21 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Link is bad. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Actually, some of what you say I agree with. But your statement

                            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

                            suggests that you know what the result would be and I don't think you really do. 1986 is not now. 1986 is pre-NAFTA, etc. The world is hugely different.

                            And I don't care if bad laws are not enforced.

                            My position is this: We need to import labor. We need a thourough understanding of what type of labor we need, and what labor will compete with Americans. But in most cases, I prefer if we import labor at the bottom of the economic scale. They can work their way up through the generations, if companies gave training to Americans instead of spending money importing tech workers. I also think we need exceptions for broken families. But for the most part, there needs to be more reliable information to base policy upon. It is so political now.

                          •  Just checked it (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Link is bad

                            It seems to work for me.

                            My position is this: We need to import labor.

                            Why? I have yet to have a discussion with anyone here who says 'we need to import more low-skilled low-wage labor' and can then tell me why we need to do so.

                            Look - higher-paying higher-wage jobs are leaving this country at an every expanding pace. Please don't respond with 'well we need to create more higher paying jobs, because we are not doing that, and in that regard I would accuse you of putting the cart before the horse i.e. you want to import more labor that is the focus of competition and then create more higher paying jobs as to ameliorate that competition. With all respect this is as stupid as those who say 'we need to import more labor and then fight for unions.

                            So we have a work force that is increasingly being compressed in the job market. That is to say, those whose jobs are being offshored are almost exclusively replacing those jobs with jobs pay less and are less skilled than the jobs which they lost.

                            Now to be fair, as has been pointed out in the past, a lot of this is also due to technology - but the job is gone none the less.

                            So - you have an unemployment rate of about ten percent in the low-wage low-skilled job sectors, you have higher-skilled higher-wage workers increasingly competing for those jobs, you have fewer low-wage low-skilled jobs being created - and you are advocating for increasing the supply of labor into these job sectors.


                            if companies gave training to Americans instead of spending money importing tech workers

                            Why is it okay to rail against the importation of highly-skilled workers and offshoring of high skilled jobs, yet it is racist to rail against the importation of low-wage low-skilled workers when, in fact, if we are going to import any workers it would make sense from an economic standpoint to import the higher skilled workers over the lower skilled workers?

                            I guess my 'one step removed from white trash' roots are showing here. I have been poor. I have bussed tables at a restaurant. I have had  low-skilled jobs in manufacturing. Those jobs to me were just as important at that time as my college educated job is to me now.

                            1986 is pre-NAFTA, etc. The world is hugely different.

                            Yes, one of the differences is that we as a country, while we still manufacture goods and provide services, we manufacture much less and require many fewer people to do it. Sayin that is the 'world is hugely different' than it was in 1986 is not a point in your favor.

                            But for the most part, there needs to be more reliable information to base policy upon. It is so political now.

                            On this we agree.

                            <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:11:05 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that link works better. (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            mariachi mama

                            I have LOTS of discussions with people who say we need more low-skilled labor. I have seen many people here make the point that we need to meet labor needs including low-skilled labor. In my city we don't have a 10% unemployment. No one can find enough labor. That is why blanket statements are completely useless.

                            Why should we NOT import skilled labor? Because companies pay lots of money to import skilled labor, whereas once upon a time they invested in education, and lobbied congress to provide education towards a highly skilled workforce. The emphasis was on education. People came here for our schools then returned with skills. Now they return with money.

                            If we import unskilled labor to sectors where there is a shortage the education infrastructure will be there so that their children and OUR children as well can take those high quality jobs. Every large influx of people into the country has occurred at the bottom. THen we had opportunities for their children to do better for themselves by getting an education. Bringing in skilled workers allows them to skip that step, and takes away the American dream of a high paying job for someone else.

                            I guess my 'one step removed from white trash' roots are showing here. I have been poor. I have bussed tables at a restaurant. I have had  low-skilled jobs in manufacturing. Those jobs to me were just as important at that time as my college educated job is to me now.

                            I had those jobs too. Then I got an education. My poverty was temporary and I would NEVER PRESUME to know what it is like to depend on such a job to feed a family. I hope you don't either. But if someone does, I'd sure as hell hope that there are scholarships available for their kids to get those good tech jobs. A need in the tech industry creates an incentive for companies to invest in education of communities.

          •  It's typical (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ayoosilver, vcmvo2, BlueStateLiberal

            I wish I had more of an ability to ignore the trolls, but he baits me and others into argument.  However, I think it's best not to stoop to his level.  His ratings abuse exposes him for who he is, so I just let it be.  I get enough recommends that a few TR ratings from a childish person doesn't really hurt anything.  I appreciate you coming to my defense, but at this point you might just be feeding his urges.  I think he gets off on sowing discord.

            •  The very fact (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that you weren't retaliating with troll ratings is what motivated me to come to your defense. But I take your point about feeding his urges ;)

              Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. John F. Kennedy

              by vcmvo2 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 05:52:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  You are always wrong on this issue (6+ / 0-)

      I won't waste any more time today explaining why, but I can't let your comment sit here unopposed.  Your view is in the minority, and you are misinformed.

    •  Bob You Have a Long History on This And Other (9+ / 2-)

      sites in attacking anything related to immigrants.  How you can turn this discussion in to a rant about Gates in the face of what the INS did to those families noted in the Senators' diary is beyond me.

      Have you no compassion for those children?  For the children of other immigrants who are ripped apart from parents?

      If anyone's dead wrong here it's you.

    •  You're flailing at the wind (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobOak, madgranny

      Ted Kennedy doesn't care about "American Workers". Ted Kennedy cares about "America's Workers".

      Your going to have to bone up on your semantic distinctions. However, once Ted Kennedy is successful in blowing the H1B caps, I suspect that we will both have a lot more time to do these sorts of things.

      <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:08:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  H1B visas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BobOak, madgranny

      I agree with you on this one. If there is a shortage of Americans, let industry fund educations so that they can grow the skills here.

      •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coigue, madgranny

        Thank you.

        That is no joke, it's a multi-dimensional issues, involves trade, taxes, offshore outsourcing and also we need R&D initiatives, like DARPA, NASA but to make sure they train (this is graduate school, full bore), hire displaced Americans first.  There are many out there who are underemployed, unemployed who really are "top tier" talent, especially older STEM professionals.

        The thing no one gets is HR 4378, The Defend the American Dream Act of 2005 (in the 109th congress, Pascrell (D-NJ 8th) also protects H-1B Visa holders from abuse and labor's a win-win for all professionals.

        You would think people on here would get a clue...the ones introducing these bills are Democrats.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:32:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If the anti-immigration folks would be a bit moreaware of the racial and humanitarian issues---and on this site some are beginning to be so---the conversation would be much easier.

          •  no wiggle room (0+ / 0-)

            Well, I see the "racist xenophobe" argument masking the realities...

            Humanitarian issues for example, I've written about, especially in trade diaries...

            but as you can see, say one damn thing that isn't Open border" and they come out in force, troll rating and name calling.

            So, I think that shouldn't be encouraged for assuredly no true solution will be found as long as this goes on.

            I'm not aware of anyone in our group for example, who doesn't have social justice and economic equality as a major agenda item.  


            by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:45:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But dKos isn't in your group (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and I have seen blatant racism here. I have also seen people sticking to their opinions no matter how much data is thrown at them. Why? Aren't we the "reality-based" party? Data is king.

              •  check the dkos polls (0+ / 0-)

                Every time someone posts a diary with poll on anything related with this topic, it actually comes up with the majority responds as being conservative and the minority "open borders".   Everyone I have seen.

                Many from our group are "kossacks" and we worked on a series of "netroots endorsed" campaigns..which is also something magically ignored by this small group..

                I don't know what's wrong with this small group except to think we have been invaded by "open border" activists or possibly paid bloggers lobbying for the Corporate Cheap Labor lobby.


                by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:34:22 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  prove it (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  You said every poll taken on DKOS promoted restrictism?

                  You should link to those miningfull poll so we could all see...Im not talking about polls where just 30-40 people votes.

                  Kos needs to take a huge poll on the issue of immigration so we can see where kossak stands on immigration.

                  Boboak believe kossaks stace on immigration is mass deportation and no path to citizenship...I disagree...Kossak supports the path to citizenship.

                  •  oh bull (0+ / 0-)

                    You're posting BS again and it's ridiculous.

                    I'm saying every poll I have seen has not been for open borders or "comprehensive" and they also seem to like Lou Dobbs as a majority.

                    There is a huge difference between Democrats and any sort of "mass deportation" position on here, that's just an outrageous lie.

                    I never had any such position and do not have such a position on illegal immigration.

                    Our groups is pure labor economics, so we talk about trade, offshore outsourcing, budget deficits, economics generally and insourcing...
                    which is primarily NIVs (otherwise known as guest worker Visas).

                    Nice name calling that isn't even true.


                    by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:34:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  One question for you (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      What should be done with the 12 million illegal immigrants already living here?..some with kids that were born here?

                      They can only be 2 options.

                      It's either you create a system that will make them go throught a lot before gainning legal status, OR tell them to leave.

                      There's no third option, no, in between.

    •  Another thing: (0+ / 0-)

      Is it bad for the original countries if the US sucks out all the brain power. How are the countries supposed to get ahead?

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Well, the big global game plan is currently to trade people, via WTO, GATS mode 4...
        they have a false idea that people are mobile and are now claiming global migration, per the demands of corporations is a "win-win".  ok, so that means in order to eat, we will now be subject to move around the globe, leave family, friends, relocate internationally in another culture and most importantly, multinational corporations will not control domestic immigration policies.

        Like the reality or not, supply and demand is a huge factor in labor economics, which is labor supply, heavily affected by immigration policy and does affect wages and rights....

        Even worse, they really are not draining "brains" per say right now, they are draining "workers" on purpose.

        That's why they do not want any reforms, anything that gives workers more power, rights.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:40:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No there are draining brains.... (0+ / 0-)

          In S Africa, nurses go live in the US for better pay. Don't you think S Africa needs nurses? And as to the tech jobs.....they are talking about highly educated and functional people who are needed in their own countries.

          •  PPP differential (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            That's purchase power parity and there is no doubt that multinational corporations generally are playing different nation states and labor markets against each other...along with their capital gains and protections via trade agreements...

            the whole thing is seriously bad news for cultures working people on a global scale.

            Yes, it sucks out talent from another nation and on top of it, displaces an American due to the capability of hiring a "guest worker" at a much lower wage, in a nation-state where they are not citizens, thus have few rights.


            by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:48:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Also. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          We have raw material here. We need to educate Americans to work tech jobs. I am all for immigration reform, but I want it to meet the economic needs of all Americans in a real way. Here in Napa, we rely on skilled migrant vineyard workers. Actually they are well paid. Without them there would be no wine industry, no tourism, no restaurants, no real estate. THey actually create jobs here. Whereas I am not in the industry, I hear from winery friends over and over that they cannot find legal workers.

          So this is a long way of saying that we need to have a complete and thorough evaluation of our economic needs in many sectors. 5000 worker slots is laughable.  We have an aging population and need workers.

    •  How many prgramers are unionized? (0+ / 0-)

      Whatever, the ALF-CIO got it wrong on this one.  H-1B visa holders often begin with salaries of over $100,000, ya exploited, sure.  Besides I don't see to many programer unions out there.  

      "The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society." C. Wright Mills

      by HGM MA on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:22:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ~40-$50k (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That is just not in reality at all.

        The stats say H-1B Visa holders are paid an average of $18k  to $25k less than the corresponding American they displaced and Microsoft, only paid 3% of H-1Bs over 100k a yr.

        Starting salaries for STEM are not 100k/yr generally.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:24:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  H-1B stats are misleading (0+ / 0-)

          See my other recent comment.

          H-1B applications mention only what the employer has agreed to pay "at least". Actual salaries are a lot higher.

          I remember seeing the MS statistics you refer to. While it is true that only about 3% are paid above 100K, the median numbers were a lot higher than the ones being claimed in the comments in this diary.

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        H-1B visa holders often begin with salaries of over $100,000

        And they often begin with salaries much less than that.

        Characteristics of Specialty Occupation Workers (H-1B): October 2002 to September 2003

        The median salary was $52,000 for workers whose petitions were approved in fiscal year 2003.  For workers in computer-related occupations, the median salary was $60,000

        The important thing to take away from this is that the median is $52,000/$60,000.

        Supposedly the 'best and brightest' in the world, yet 50% of them have no more than a bachelors degree, and the median salary is $52,000.

        <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:38:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That data is misleading (0+ / 0-)

          The salary quoted on an H-1B application is usually lower than the actual salary.

          For example, when MS filed my H-1B application, it said that my salary would be "at least" $72000. My actual starting salary was about 25% higher.

          The reason for this is that DHS simply asks an employer to certify that the employee will be paid "at least" a certain salary. These numbers come from various state administrations across the country. The actual salary cannot be lower than this amount, but in fact depends on the market and is therefore almost always a lot higher.

          However, salaries on Green Card applications do not have this discrepancy. That is what should be used to find the real statistics on what H-1B salaries are, since most employment based GC applicants are on H-1Bs.

          I suspect that analysis of GC applications (specifically, of labor certification applications for the purpose of getting a Green Card) will show that the median salaries are about 20-30% higher than what you infer.

  •  Did you get assurances (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, wa ma, ImpeachKingBushII

    that there were procedures in place to deal with these issues....and from whom? How did they manage to botch this so badly? I understood from earlier news reports that you and the MA congressional delegation had been aware of the operation and had been reassured that all issues dealing with minors were in place. It is obvious that it wasn't so who is responsible and why is it still taking so long to resolve this issue?  Will you be holding any hearings or will there be investigations into this?  Are you aware of any similar such immigration raids/ stings around the country that were botched so badly? I want those who were responsible for screwing this up to be held accountable.

    I know that I am speaking just solely on the nature of this specific operation and that it is just a "tree" (branch) in regards to the bigger "forest" picture of immigration reform out there...but I'm sorry the way in which this operation was conducted and handled is just plain wrong!...We are suppose to and can do better than this!

  •  Thanks Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, la urracca

    I now live in Florida, but I was born in Boston and raised in Massachusetts, and I voted for you with pride when I lived there.  When my less than liberal friends use the name "Senator Kennedy" as some sort of exmaple of what's wrong with liberals, I tell them that I consider you among the best senators in the nation's history.  Usually the conversation then turns elsewhere. . .

    Anyway, enough sycophancy.  Immigration - as with most of the problems that divide the right and the left - is about our attitudes towards people.  It's not that we don't believe laws should exist or be enforced, it's about what we focus on.  As I suspect you do, I believe that one of government's primary roles is to take care of people who can't help themselves - or even won't help themselves.  It is not our job to sit in judgement, it's our job to recognize that when our neighbor or our countryman or our fellow citizen of the world is suffering, it is our responsibility and our government's responsibility to help.  

    And the approach to immigration needs to start from the same place.  What kind of attitude does it take to round up immigrants and not consider what to do with their infants and spouses?  Is it callousness?  Incompetence?  Or the same attitude that causes millions of Americans to say - even about legal immigrants - "I'm not prejudiced, but they shouldn't let 'em in unless they can speak the language."

    So thank-you Senator Kennedy, for your fight on this, and on health care, on Iraq, and on the myriad of other issues where the one common thread is that you focus on people first.  Keep fighting the good fight.

    "New World Orders" is the exciting new novel of global warming and conspiracy by Ed Parrot and Jason Derrig. Visit for more information.

    by eparrot on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:13:28 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, la urracca

    I don't know who first said it, but anyone whose name is not a gerund followed by the name of an animal owes their presence in this country to immigration. People go through hell to come here in search of a better life, and while we have to enforce the law, we ought to be able to do it humanely.

    "Listen, I'll be honest with you -- I love Jesus, but I drink a little." --Gladys Hardy

    by virgomusic on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:16:42 AM PDT

  •  Target illegal employers not immigrants. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eddie Haskell, BobOak, ilex

    "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

    by java4every1 on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:18:30 AM PDT

  •  Senator, Thank you (6+ / 0-)

    as an Irish American whose forbears had their families torn apart by famine, and arrived here as refugees, crawling down gangplanks with parsites and disease, only to be derided as "dirty" "criminal" and fit only for the work no one would do who could avoid it, I'm appalled when my fellow Americans presume to forget where they came from and willingly inflict on others that which was inflicted on their ancestors.

    Keep fighting the good fight. I take referred pride in your efforts.

    If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

    by marykk on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:21:35 AM PDT

  •  H1B Biotechnology (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobOak, madgranny
    Dear Senator Kennedy,

    I  completely sympathize with you stance on immigration regarding those already here.  But we must do something to stop this madness from continuing.  There are real consequences to this immigration, both legal and illegal, that are detrimental to other goals that we share.  Do you not think that this illegal immigration has not negatively impacted the wages and benefits of the construction worker and other blue collar industries?

    Do you not think that the profligate issuance of H1B visas coupled with "big medical science" has not adversely impacted the Ph. D. biological scientist both monetarily and to the point of never acheiving scientific independence?  It is to the point where very few young Americans will even enter these fields that are still very much part of the future economy!!  What about the computer engineer?  

    •  Protectionism will never be the answer... (3+ / 0-)

      It is the greed of most of the the wealthy and their corporations that are the real causes our employment troubles, not people willing to work for less. And you can't stop populations for growing and moving about in the long run. If we get legislation that forces the wealthy and their corporations to be fair, things will work out for the best, IMO.

      Change is inevitable, embrace it.

      by The House on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:27:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate Greed and Fairness. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The House
        Agreed.  However, which countries outside of Europe and Japan are fair to their workers in even the slightest, relative to the USA.  Mexico?  China?   We should seek to maintain and to improve the standards of living which we have, not simply ask the American worker to compete against third world economies.  In fact, we should use our economic clout to pressure those economies that are inherently corrrupt and at the same time help those that are inherently resource poor.

        Also, most of the issues of technology and H1B visas are fundamentally different than what we have in undocumented (illegal) blue collar immigrants.  About the only thing these issues share is the greed of people and corporations.  

        For instance, you would be amazed at the number of foreigners that are employed at our academic medical centers, in positions that have tremendous National Security implications.  The number of people from the Middle East and other hostile nations, especially prior to 911, in the vicinity of recombinant virology facilities simply blows the mind.  

  •  Fix the cause (6+ / 0-)

    One of the causes for the rise in immigration (especially from Mexico) is the policies that started with NAFTA.

    One of the most important had to do with the ability of the US to export corn to Mexico. This has had the effect of ruining the economic life of subsistence farmers. As they go broke they move to the cities and/or the US.

    I've made some charts from the available statistics which you can examine in this short essay of mine:

    Immigration "Facts" Debunked

    If we want to reduce the economic pressures on those in Latin America that are forcing them to migrate we need to discuss our own policy choices. The flow of people is the effect of the policies and not the cause of the problems.  

  •  Senator Kennedy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bruised toes, The House

    I thank God so much that your in the Senate fighting for all of us.

    "I have not yet begun to fight!" --John Paul Jones, Father of the United States Navy

    by Dave Montoya on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:23:21 AM PDT

  •  Frightened Americans... so sad! (5+ / 0-)

    It is a crying shame that Americans, who have so much, can be so afraid. There is so much fear in our every societal quarter -- immigration fears, health care fears, employment fears, sexuality fears, environmental fears. It is no wonder people are becoming more and more crazy and hateful, and rest assured (or not) violence will be on the rise.

    And all it would take to make it so that we could begin to set things would be for people to shore themselves up and decide to be unafraid not matter what. I did that a long time ago and it changed my life completely for the better. I still may become afraid once in a while, but it's almost always over something imminent threatening. And when that happens it is incumbent on me to do something to remove the danger. So I do that and things are alright again.

    Fear is the only real enemy. Ad it gets pretty sickening to see so many people speak and react out of fear so often. Cowards are so sad.

    Thank you Sen. Kennedy, especially for being so brave as to rise to all the challenges you have, and after all you've been through. You are a great example for all of us! Thanks!

    Change is inevitable, embrace it.

    by The House on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:23:34 AM PDT

  •  how to go after employers... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, BobOak, The House, cookeee57

    who use illegal immigrant workers as way to keep wages and benefits down, without winding up with system that has effect of discriminating against people who "look" like illegal immigrants?

    I am all for going after the employers, as the key to the "problem"... but needs to be done more cleverly and carefully than Corporatist Repugs. and DLC-types will allow.

  •  After watching your speeches on the FMW... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, Eternal Hope, la urracca

    ...I am more than eager and confident to see your presentation on this issue. Does America truly have a heart for these immigrants and their families? Their greatest crime appears to be a willingness to work for the same goals and aspirations for which we Americans strive. A bully divides families. A bully walks on the weak. I thought we were better than that.

    Change the course--change the Captain. Change the crew. But save the ship!

    by ImpeachKingBushII on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:25:12 AM PDT

  •  A shortage of empathy? (8+ / 0-)

    We have a young son. It does not take me much to imagine the utter despair he would endure if we were suddenly taken away from him.

    What I feel now in a terrible mix of sadness and rage. How can people do this? How can we allow this to happen?

    It really boils down to one thing. Unless enough of us can feel the pain of others we, or people in our names, will keep causing even more pain.


    Thanks Senator Kennedy for being a voice of conscience for this country. It desperately needs it.

    We are the ones we have been waiting for. -Alice Walker

    by nailmaker on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:26:08 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator (4+ / 0-)

    thank you for seeing the people behind the raids.  How does arresting these people make us safer?  It certainly does not save the taxpayers any money by putting an infant in the hospital for dehydration because they locked up his nursing mother. Or putting American citizen children in foster care because their hardworking, loving parents have been ripped from them.

    We must realize that these INS raids destroy families.  As you said, there must be a better way

  •  wheeee (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, coigue, dotdot, la urracca

    a country of immigriants that hates and fears immigrants! lets kick them all out and give the country back to the four nativie americians we have left!

    sorry it's so stoooopid I cant help it.

  •  Senator Kennedy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, coigue, Alegre, la urracca

    I do not recognize my country anymore, except for the fleeting glimpses I get from patriots like you who are working to keep our democracy alive and decent. Until this out of control administration is reined in all human rights are 'off the table'. I urge you and your colleagues to stop legitimizing and normalizing this administration and either remove them or rein them in.

    The treatment of immigrants is simply the one of the many assaults and crimes against humanity, that is being done in our name for our security. Who is willing to to step up and protect us from the real threat to humans worldwide? Why not congress, the constitution and laws provide the means, please use them!                  

  •  Thanks Senator (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When are people going to realize that these thuggish tactics make these people more  vulnerable to abuse?  Dangerous working conditions, theft, non-payment of wages, and worse go unreported, because the victims are terrified that their families will be ripped apart. Because these people are living in the shadows, nobody seems to notice them, either.

  •  The criminals are not the people DHS rounds up in (5+ / 0-)

    these raids.  The criminals are the executives who run the corporations who hire them at the expense of American workers or legal immigrants being paid a living wage for the same work.

    Send DHS to the headquarters of Tyson Foods and round up the CEO and a few board members.  Getting that one corporation out of the anti-union alien employment racket would remove more "illegal immigrants" (is there a more demeaning, inappropriate term they could use for these people?) than any 200 individual raids against the poor workers themselves.

    And why stop with Tyson?  Check out the oil fields of Texas, the packing plants of ConAgra, the apple and peach industry of Michigan, and of course any agribusiness in Georgia, Florida, California or almost anywhere.

    Illegal immigrants are not the problem.  Letting American and international corporations get a free ride on the backs of illegal immigrants working for scut wages is the problem.  Take 10,000 INS agents off the useless border patrols in the southwest and assign 1/10th that number to start tracking HR departments of the Fortune 500.  The criminals are in America's boardrooms, not plucking the bird or killing the cow you are having for dinner tonight.

  •  make a deal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OpherGopher, madgranny

    how hard is this?  Make a deal to give amnesty (except felons) to illegals with kids at the same time revoke automatic birthright citizenship for the future.

    But, if the parents are felons, well, we don't think highly of US citizens felons raising kids here either correct?  So, no, they should not get amnesty.

    by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:50:46 AM PDT

    •  Wouldn't repealing automatic birthright (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, BobOak

      citizens require a Constitutional amendment? Or the rewording of an existing one?

      •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

        You need a "super majority" to repeal the birth right citizenship and i dont see liberal democrats in the house going along with that.Certainly not the hispanic caucus.

        I dont see pelosi even taking this to the floor so it is a moot point to even discuss such issue.

        The only way Pelosi should consider taking this up is if she could lock up a compromise on immigrattion that legalize the 12 million illegal immigrants.

        If the Tancredo folks wants to end birth right citizenship, they would have to vote for the whole package.

        I'd do the same with the wall...If they want a wall, then vote for the entire package..dont allow them to get a vote on the 14th amendment alone...Make it part of a broader bill just to get supports for passage...Just like a bait...They would be very tempted to vote no on a bill that actually funds the wall and ends birthright citizenship.

        Even if the 14th amendment is repealed by congress, im sure someone would sue and take this case to the supreme court where the court didnt agree with repealing birthright citizenship before, therefore, if might be a lost cause anyway.

      •  yes (0+ / 0-)

        It's a major deal, but I think in this age of modern travel one that needs to be reconsidered because it's being abused.

        But, it would stop the concerns of breaking apart families if they make a deal like this and just ended the abuses of this on top of it, then this current mess wouldn't be such an issue.

        by BobOak on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:11:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's so easy to demonize the "illegals" (7+ / 0-)

    Illegal immigrants aren't even referred to as people - I've even seen that trend here at dKos which is supposed to be an enlightened community of progressive activists.

    If we can't get the message than I despair for the rest of our nation.  This isn't about lawbreakers - it's about families.  And many of those families include children who were born right here in the US and are citizens with the same rights you and I enjoy.

    Or at least they're supposed to enjoy the same rights.  Yet states are saying if they're the children of illegals, they don't have automatic access to medical care if they get sick or hurt.  I've even heard calls for their exclusion from public schools.

    I'm married to an immigrant. He has his greencard.  We have two beautiful children - both US citizens.  Yet if we were to lose track of the renewal deadlines for my husband's greencard and he somehow lost his status, our family would be ripped apart by our immigration laws.  We couldn't afford to hire lawyers (many immigrants can't) and my children would lose their father to deportation.  Either that or our entire family would be forced to leave our home and move away from the life we've built.  Three US citizens exiled because of a missed deadline.

    One of my ancestors helped to found this nation by signing the Dec. of Indep.  I'd hate to think what Josiah Bartlett would think if he saw what our nation has become - what we do to families and to the children of people who've come to our shores for a chance at a better life.

    I know I'm disgusted.

    Thank you Senator Kennedy, for your continued courage and determination to fight unjust laws and stand up for the less fortunate of our society.  Words can't express my admiration and respect for you, and for the staff who help you every day.

  •  Thanks, Sen. an economist (7+ / 0-)
    I believe we also need to debunk the argument that illegal immigrants are a negative drain on our economy. They are not...they provide services and productive work and actually create other jobs through their spending in the community. Food and service prices are lower from which we all benefit. And they often pay into social security with NO possibility of receiving benefits.

    A law that is unenforceable should be changed. Please work to see that it is and let us know how to help.

    We just had a raid in N. Indiana which left many families and children stranded and traumatized...curiously no business owners were rounded up. Hmmmm....

    •  like (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wal-Mart is good for America by lowering prices of goods?

      Sorry but the majority of studies, throughout time, not uniquely focused on one picture in time, one region, all point to this effect.

      The Robber Barons and the Industrialists knew it, the slave owners knew it and our multinational corporations and businesses know it today.

      by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:59:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You see (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, BobOak

      Food and service prices are lower from which we all benefit.

      You need to connect up somehow with all of the participants in this diary who say that illegal immigation is the fault of all those 'evil cheap labor Republicans', because it would seem that you would justify illegal immigration for the exact same reasons as those 'evil cheap labor Republicans' i.e. low low prices.

      Talk amongst yourselves.

      And they often pay into social security with NO possibility of receiving benefits.

      While you're at it, ask Ted Kennedy if S2611 would not have credited illegal immigrants with all contributions which they may have made into the Social Security system, irrespective of whether the account to which the contribution was made was in fact theirs or not.

      While you're at it ask the Senator if any new legislation will in fact not do exactly the same thing.

      <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:23:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here is a wild idea Senator (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, sockpuppet, OpherGopher, davidseth

    Why don't you reform the US Embassy and Consulates in Mexico and make getting a work visa realistic. You, nor anyone else in Washington, can look me in the eyes and tell me it is realistic to get a work visa to enter the United States.

    If we had a real worker visa program, this would not be such an issue, but instead we rig the system against them in Mexico to loot them, YES LOOT THEM, at our Embassy and Consulates instead of trying to get immigration under control.

    You know it, other people in Washington know it, now do something about it instead of trotting out heart-string stories to soap box on.

  •  Thank you Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, sockpuppet, mattes

    for speaking up for the defenseless.

    This administration's best at thuggish cruel and cowboy tactics with no thought  nor care to the aftermath of their actions.

  •  the kids are one thing (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, OpherGopher, Pete Rock

    Kennedy's secret legislation is another.

    They can fix this problem in many ways and of course the children should not suffer, period.

    But, please don't let yet another Bush implementation gone awry somehow make you think Kennedy isn't going to introduce a bill that the US Chamber of Commerce, the ITAA and all of the other corporate cheap labor lobby advocates are going to love.  In fact, they wrote it and my understanding is they are busy writing it again.  Yes, lobbyists and special interests are busy trying to write US immigration policy.

    I'm sorry, I'm a Democrat and we cannot let wages, worker rights, job security, labor economics be further eroded by corporations manipulating immigration policy and hiding beyond their agenda by pulling on your heart strings.

    You can have a heart, humanity and compassion without endorsing this new nightmare.

    And Kennedy, why are you letting the US Chamber of Commerce, the AILA and open border advocates write legislation?  Where are the labor economists, the facts and the American people?

    by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 09:57:18 AM PDT

    •  We haven't seen the legislation yet. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, Duke1676, BobOak, Misty Fowler

      We'll know more when we see it. But I'm all for closing loopholes that allow employers to fire people that make $70,000 and then turn around and hire a legal immigrant for $40,000 to do the same job.

      •  HR 4378 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Supposedly I've heard there is some support (this is the H-1B loophole close from 109th) and other bills like Rose DeLauro (HR 3381) for the L-1 abuses...

        But, of course Kennedy isn't championing those bills, reintroducing them and using his strong arm political tactics to get those passed....nope.

        but from what I've heard Kennedy is keeping this closed, even to Democrats, there are corporate lobbyists writing it and

        the fact he had Bill Gates get his own personal love fest in the form of a congressional hearing, unchallenged by any GAO or congressional study or even BLS data showing he is lying...

        is bad news.

        Do you see, even the SPLC which to me is a clearing house to call everyone active on insourcing a "racist xenophobe" came out with a damning report on the abuses of other guest worker Visas holders.

        Nope, none of this is addressed.

        I don't know what's going on w/ Kennedy on this issue but on this one, he's a Corpocrat from everything I have seen.

        I'll write soon a BLS analysis of how that will wipe out US engineers (I have to run the stats) but you can imagine a specialized field allowing 300k plus unlimited college grads into the country for a field that has about $1M jobs and is also offshore outsourcing as fast as possible.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:14:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Funny thing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, BobOak
        That is the exact same thing that Crystal Patterson said almost two years ago.

        What we got was S2611, which, I don't know about you, but speaking for myself directly targets my profession and will, according to the CBO, do practically speaking nothing about current levels of illegal immigration.

        What do you think the good Senator is cooking up this time with the Chamber of Commerce, LULAC, La Raza, the AILA, et. al?

        <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:28:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  My husband is an immigrant (7+ / 0-)

      I think it's wrong to say that immigrants coming to this country are "stealing" jobs, when all of our forebears came in with the same complaints lodged at them at that time.  I may add that he came in originally on an H1B visa, and now he is a U.S. citizen who at least in '06 voted Democratic.

      •  labor arbitrage (0+ / 0-)

        That Visa can be used for legitimate purposes.

        If they would pass Pascrell, see how many Visas now open up because they cannot be used as a labor arbitrage vehicle, we might get somewhere.

        Pascrell (HR 4378, 109th) goes a long way in fixing the legal loopholes to labor arbitrage with this Visa.

        It's not the same thing, labor arbitrage does not equal that...
        if you husband came over legitimately then there was no American to take that job, but that is not how they are being used.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:16:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You make absolute statements (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          theboz, beachmom, coigue, MH in PA

          when they are only partial truths.

          It is true that some companies (especially Indian bodyshops) abuse the H-1B. However, there is a real shortage, as evidenced by my interviewing experience both at Microsoft and at my current employer.

          There is a shortage of smart people in this country who want to work at Microsoft, even though Microsoft offers close to six figure salaries (I should know; I was an H-1B earning almost six figures at MS) to smart people.

          Now, you may define "smart" a different way than I do. To me, smart is someone that can design simple algorithms, and code them up quickly and efficiently, in a one hour interview. I don't know what your definition of "smart" is, but I can tell you that there are very few, too few, Americans who can qualify on my definition of "smart".

          If I ran a company, I wouldn't hire those people. It's as simple as that. And I would want people who qualify as "smart" from wherever in the world I can find them. And if I can't get them over here, I would tell them what to do over there. It's as simple as that.

          BobOak, you and other restrictionists like you just don't get it. If companies can hire the right people here, those people (like me) come and buy houses, food, TVs, phones, computers, VCRs, DVD players, beds, couches, dining tables, coffee tables, dinner plates, cups, spoons, forks, knives, pans, skillets, soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, winter coats (especially winter coats - I grew up in a warm place :) ) ... in other words, I pay a whole lot of my salary back as consumption, not to mention federal, local and Social Security taxes. (Should mention - ever since I got married, that's been most of my salary going back in consumption, not just a whole lot ;-) )

          If companies can't hire the right people here, they have two options:

          1. Hire the wrong people here, and ultimately go out of business because they can't compete with the other companies in the rest of the world that do hire the right people; or ...
          1. Hire the right people there - in which case those people buy none of the stuff that the right people here would buy. That six figure salary goes out of the country. You can say bye bye to all that consumption, and to those taxes.

          Just start getting it, will ya?

          •  is "right" under the age of 26? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Somehow I doubt this.  The BLS stats show 93,000 lost IT jobs in just 2006 and Microsoft currently only has 22 positions Americans.  

            Concerning Microsoft in particular, another BusinessWeek article stated:
            "The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft received resumes from about 100,000 graduating students in 2004, screened 15,000 of them,
            interviewed 3,500, and hired 1,000."  Granted, not every is of high quality, but that screening will involve a phone screening where the
            employer grills the applicant about technical issues to ensure the person is of good quality before bringing them in for an interview.
            But you can see that Microsoft is not hurting for applicants.  And as to Gates' pointing to Microsoft's 3,000 openings, that's out of 76,000,
            about 4%.  ANY major company will have at least that percentage of openings at any give time, just due to normal attrition and the like; it certainly does NOT indicate a labor shortage.

            How many people did Microsoft hire over the age of 30?

            Are you saying not only are Americans not as "good" as H-1Bs or are you saying that only young people are smart?

            Which type of discrimination are you presenting here against Americans? Age or based on national origin?

            That is so false those Visas are known to facilitate offshore outsourcing and are constantly being presented as a negotiation of trade by India.

            Are you saying that Americans who graduated from the best universities in the world, say MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech, U. of Mich, U of Il, UC Berkeley, Purdue are magically not as well educated as someone who is a foreigner?  Or are you saying that those who are only foreigners who graduated from US universities are smart enough, even though the American might magically have a higher GPA and a better thesis and dissertation?

            Now as far as Microsoft hiring "smart people" I find that to be an absolute joke and yes I can say that because I am one of the "chosen ones".  A hazing ritual that anyone can study for and they do, asking questions right from undergrad (which of course older people don't remember, they are too busy innovating and making products), is an absurd metric.

            The evidence they do not hire the "best" is the fact they are not really innovating.  They innovate through acquisition!  Explain why most of the innovation is with other companies and Microsoft uses it's business muscle and practices to remain a monopoly.  Let us discuss Vista as the latest example.  

            Yet another example is most people who can truly engineer refuse to work at Microsoft.  They won't even accept their phone calls, same with Intel, HP and a few others.  Why?  Because they treat engineers like shit is the reason.  Few want to join the Borg.


            by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:16:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are wrong on many levels (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Somehow I doubt this.  The BLS stats show 93,000 lost IT jobs in just 2006 and Microsoft currently only has 22 positions Americans.  

              Someone who lost a job does not have an automatic right to the same job somewhere else. Companies don't fire the best people, they fire the worst. If you lost a job and can't get someone else to hire you for a similar job, find something you're actually good at.

              How many people did Microsoft hire over the age of 30?

              Are you saying not only are Americans not as "good" as H-1Bs or are you saying that only young people are smart?

              This is just a useless strawman. I never mentioned age. I mentioned ability and skill. If you want to invent arguments, go argue with someone else.

              Are you saying that Americans who graduated from the best universities in the world, say MIT, Stanford, Georgia Tech, U. of Mich, U of Il, UC Berkeley, Purdue are magically not as well educated as someone who is a foreigner?

              Nope. But neither is the reverse - that Americans are better than everyone else - magically true. There are smart people everywhere, and there are good universities everywhere (check out the Indian Institutes of Technology at some point). And just as a percentage of population, if a company hires the top 0.5% of people in the world, there will be more Indians and Chinese in the mix by dint of there being more Indians and Chinese in the first place, not because Indians and Chinese are smarter than Americans.

              It's a global economy man. Unless you want to force American companies to do business completely in the US, they are going to hire that top percentile, and that means they are going to hire plenty of Indians and Chinese.

              Consider the impact for one second of getting rid of the H-1B: do you think Microsoft will magically hire 3000 Americans? Or do you think MS will increase hiring in its Hyderabad and Beijing campuses?

              Offshoring really hasn't worked for companies yet because of logistical reasons. It is tough to coordinate a project, especially projects as big as the ones MS deals with, across continents and timezones. But force them into offshoring, and companies will find solutions for these logistical issues. Then you will really be out of a job, Bob.

              asking questions right from undergrad (which of course older people don't remember, they are too busy innovating and making products), is an absurd metric.

              You're applying for a job writing software, and you don't want to be asked about writing code? Very nice.

              Why?  Because they treat engineers like shit is the reason.

              Ummm yeah. High salaries, near the best benefits in the US, flexible time, friendly, casual work atmosphere ... sure sounds like they treat engineers like shit to me.

              •  that is outright false (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                They don't fire the worst, they fire the most expensive.

                I know this for a fact.  Discuss the numerous PhDs who were world leaders, we're talking about the people who invented next gen technology, patent portfolios 50 deep who were fired.

                Are you saying these people now suck?

                I now think you're not working in the field from such a statement.  There is no one in the field who doesn't know someone, had it happened to them, or witnessed the above and there was no correlation to being fired versus ability.



                by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:36:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am indeed working in the field (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  theboz, MH in PA

                  And I know no one like you suggest. And if a person with patent portfolios 50 deep is fired, they are clearly innovative and should explore starting their own company (this is the best advantage of being an American, and why I moved here in the first place).

                  But I'll assume you are right, and I am just inexperienced about this. I have already conceded that the H-1B is abused by unscrupulous parties. I will agree that reform is needed.

                  However, your agenda is far more radical. You want to get rid of the H-1B altogether. So I'll repeat my question from the last post:

                  Consider the impact for one second of getting rid of the H-1B: do you think Microsoft will magically hire 3000 Americans? Or do you think MS will increase hiring in its Hyderabad and Beijing campuses?

                  Please discuss.

                  •  no, false (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    I want the cap to remain the same and to enact
                    HR 4378, HR 3381, reform trade agreements and stop the incentives to privatization and offshore outsource jobs, plus a host of other things.

                    There is no study whatsoever on how many Visas would be opened up if they enacted this legislation or if they reduced some of the backlog.

                    HR 4378 does not end the program, it does much to curtail the legal loopholes to labor arbitrage.

                    And it's not an "either/or" position, in fact, offshore outsourcing, insourcing are precisely the same thing for the American who is out of a job and denied opportunity.  

                    I'm really not interested in arguing with someone denying the facts, which are rampant, including multiple GAO reports.

                    More evidence I question your claims.  STEM people use statistics and facts.  I don't see any in your claims, just arguments that are strongly argued even by Microsoft's real salaries (3% H-1Bs only make > 100k via green card applications).


                    by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:48:16 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Fine (0+ / 0-)

                      You don't want to debate, that's fine. I might even agree with HR 4378 (as I have already said).

                      But please be honest about your real motives. Your signature lists your website. Your website prominently links to Programmer's Guild/Rob Sanchez/any number of known restrictionists who want to abolish the H-1B. don't give me this crap about "oh, I only support 4378".

                      And frankly, unless you want to force American companies to do business only in the US, offshoring/insourcing is going to happen.

                      Ultimately the best people will come together to create the best technologies. These groups will include Americans, Indians, Chinese, Europeans, Mexicans, you name it ... whether or not this group will be based in the US, remains to be seen.

                      One thing is for sure - this group will not contain only Americans, just like it won't contain only Indians or Chinese or Mexicans or EU residents. And not every American who wants a software career is qualified to have one.

                      •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

                        There is no where in PG to abolish H-1B.  Rob Sanchez I'm not so sure, but I haven't seen that.

                        No, I don't wish to argue with someone not basing in fact.  And I find this comment that somehow our group has no US diversity or ethnic candidates absurd.

                        Just look at Sanchez's last name, for one (he is not in our group).

                        But, that's the game isn't it?  Anyone who points out labor arbitrage, discrimination or reduction of equal opportunity for Americans via US "immigration" policy magically turns into a racist.

                        It's pathetic frankly, that false name calling rant.


                        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:05:54 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  From PG website (0+ / 0-)

                          At (last statement of the essay, typically the conclusion that every essay builds up to ...)

                          These nonimmigrant visas are causing irreparable constitutional harm to Americans and should be suspended immediately.

                          And get that chip off your shoulder. I accused you of intending to abolish H-1Bs. At worst this means I think you are short sighted, and maybe not as smart as you think you are. But in no way is it an accusation of racism.

                          Perhaps you really do not intend to abolish H-1Bs. OK, I'll accept your statement at face value, although given the company you keep (Rob Sanchez, PG), that statement is highly suspect.

                          I went and looked briefly at 4378. At first glance, I did not find anything immediately disagreeable, but I'll look at it in more detail over the weekend when I have the time to go compare every patched section with the original in USC. I am also not a lawyer, so I'll try to look for legal analyses of the bill instead of trying to do one myself.

                          •  well (0+ / 0-)

                            It's a coalition of grassroots groups and there are dozens of them.

                            I am not aware of PG wanting to abolish the program completely and I talk to them often.

                            We certainly do not believe that there should not be an avenue for true talent (and this is the difference) to come to the US in any method possible.

                            I don't have a chip on my shoulder, I have the facts on my shoulder.  


                            by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:27:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Amend the website then (0+ / 0-)

                            I am not aware of PG wanting to abolish the program completely and I talk to them often.

                            Whatever PG really is, their website must reflect their aims. Since you talk to them often, I suggest you ask them to fix the website.

                          •  I did (0+ / 0-)

                            and according to their pres. this isn't even on there.  Notice the guy gives no link, but this is not their position.  


                            by BobOak on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 09:13:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  What? (0+ / 0-)

                            This is hilarious. Kim Berry does not know what's on his organization's website! I am tempted to say a few snarky things here, but I'll bite my toungue.

                            But thank you for following up on this. And snarks aside, I regret that we have a strong disagreement on this issue, but I hope we might agree on other things.

                          •  it is NOT on there website! n/t (0+ / 0-)


                            by BobOak on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 11:36:21 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I posted the link above (0+ / 0-)

                            and the text I quoted is right off the website.

                            "should be suspended" has a clear meaning to me.

                          •  suspended does not mean terminated (0+ / 0-)

                            You're taking something out of context...they are talking about suspending the program until there is reform.  

                            This is very lame, it's not my group and that's not there overall position, this is a real labor issue,
                            the stats are real, the GAO reports are real, the NRC studies are real...

                            get back to me with real statistics showing the GAO is lying.


                            by BobOak on Wed Mar 14, 2007 at 11:49:56 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  To me they're the same (0+ / 0-)

                            I'm an H-1B. To me, suspension of the visa (will it mean I can't renew it when it expires?) is the same as termination of the program.

          •  Literally speaking (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            houses, food, TVs, phones, computers, VCRs, DVD players, beds, couches, dining tables, coffee tables, dinner plates, cups, spoons, forks, knives, pans, skillets, soap, shampoo, conditioner, towels, winter coats

            I suspect that little more than the house was made in the US. Your statement is an analog of the famous Freidman 'Carrier Air Conditioner, Coca-Cola' argument.

            <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:32:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What is that argument, and how is it relevant? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I'm still buying this stuff here, and hundreds of people are getting paid here because I bought it here.

              It might of course be better if all this stuff were made in the US as well, but that's not crucial to my argument at all.

              •  getting paid what? (0+ / 0-)

                Do you think the United States should be nothing but Wal-mart workers, retails sales to "service" you and your "disposible income"?

                Those are not good career positions.


                by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:49:33 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They will be (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  If you continue to deny a global economy.

                  •  If we continue to speak in terms (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Of a Hobson's choice between the 'global economy' and 'protectionism' we will have little left to show.

                    Most of the rest of the members of that 'global economy' are themselves highly protectionist.

                    Take Japan as an example, a very protectionist economy, yet they have a trade surplus vis a vis the rest of the world.

                    Why is that?

                    <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:03:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Yup (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      theboz, DBunn

                      So is India in it's immigration policy - hence a common retort of out of job American Programmers.

                      But wouldn't you agree that the world is getting less protectionist, not more? Companies trying to hire in India now are finding it tough, meaning there's even a shortage in India! There will be pressure on India soon to start importing skilled people. I've never been to China so I can't say - but the same might be true in China as well.

                      I'm just flabbergasted by these claims of a surplus in software engineering. I interview a lot even for my current company and I see the same thing - the smart people we want to hire just aren't there. I now earn well over six figures and that's the level I'm interviewing people for. Nope, not enough people there.

                      Maybe I'm at the wrong level. Maybe there are jobs building websites, or writing shell scripts, or entering data into SQL databases that there is a surplus on, and sure, I see no reason why the US would need an Indian software engineer for jobs like that. So reform the H-1B. Increase the bar.

                      But I get turned off by people calling for abolishing the program, or pretending like they only want reform when that's really just the first step towards the former goal.

                      •  Maybe (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        sockpuppet, BobOak

                        But wouldn't you agree that the world is getting less protectionist, not more?

                        Quoting John Maynard Keynes 'In the long run we are all dead'.

                        Do you actually believe that the US can continue to act as the great middle class consumer to the rest of the world, or can act so until even a fraction of the 1.1 billion people of India move into the middle class so as to be able to afford whatever goods we may still produce at that point in time?

                        I'm just flabbergasted by these claims of a surplus in software engineering

                        I am flabbergasted by the claims of a drastic shortage. I am an electrical engineer, not an economist, but I was always taught that in a tight labor market - wages rise. Why is it that I (and everybody else I know) am making the same salary that I was making ten years ago?

                        As of 2003 37% (50% in 2002) of all H1B's went to India. 50% (56% in 2002) of all H1B's had a bachelor's degree or less, and 50% worked in IT. If that is not targetting a job sector, I don't know what is.

                        The same can be said of illegal immigration. Wages are stagnant for low-skilled low-wage workers, the unemployment rate in some of those job sectors is about ten percent - yet we are being told that we need a policy of massive cheap labor imports.

                        Two kinds of immigration

                        <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:28:41 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Electrical engineering != I.T. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          I am flabbergasted by the claims of a drastic shortage. I am an electrical engineer, not an economist, but I was always taught that in a tight labor market - wages rise. Why is it that I (and everybody else I know) am making the same salary that I was making ten years ago?

                          This does not hold true for programmers.  Ten years ago I was still going to college so I can't compare really, but I can tell you that my salary has climbed much higher over the past 8 years or so that I've been working in I.T.  The salaries out there now easily match what I was told of the .com boom for consultants, and as a person who went from consulting to accepting a full-time job, I can see how small the labour pool is in I.T.

                      •  You're right, you know (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        coigue, cacophonix

                        Companies trying to hire in India now are finding it tough, meaning there's even a shortage in India! There will be pressure on India soon to start importing skilled people. I've never been to China so I can't say - but the same might be true in China as well.

                        I do know people who have business in China, and yes, they do have a demand for skilled workers there.  I've also seen the tightening labour market in India becoming a new factor.

                        I'm just flabbergasted by these claims of a surplus in software engineering. I interview a lot even for my current company and I see the same thing - the smart people we want to hire just aren't there.

                        I second this.  There simply are not a surplus of programmers out there.  Sure, there are people with worthless degrees and people who learned COBOL back in 1973 or whatever, but trying to find a decent .NET developer or a decent Struts developer is like trying to find a needle in a haystack -- almost all you find are recent college graduates who read a book on the technology in their spare time or a liar.  Very few people are out there that can do the job, no matter how much money you offer.

                        In fact, I'm trying to find an expert on Oracle applications right now, to no avail.  We're talking decent money too, $150/hr for a consultant.  Nobody with any real knowledge has come forward.

                        I now earn well over six figures and that's the level I'm interviewing people for. Nope, not enough people there.

                        For myself, I haven't had to look for a job in years, and I still get cold calls and emails all the time.  The lowest rate I've seen for what I do offered to me is $120/hr, with rates approaching $200/hr right now.  Unfortunately my life is in a stage where I can't travel, so I can't take those high paying jobs, but there is clearly no surplus of I.T. workers in the U.S.

                        Maybe I'm at the wrong level. Maybe there are jobs building websites, or writing shell scripts, or entering data into SQL databases that there is a surplus on, and sure, I see no reason why the US would need an Indian software engineer for jobs like that.

                        Most places either have applications to take care of that, outsource it to small firms (note that I said outsource, not offshore), or simply find high school students who are interested in computer jobs that can do that work during the summer.  I think the problem that the H1B detractors seem to have is that it is difficult for an older person to stay a coder, because by the time they are in their upper 30's and above, they should be managing instead of doing grunt work, so they blame it on the H1B workers.  Then it's very difficult for someone to get an I.T. job other than working on a helpdesk after getting their undergrad degree, but that's because CIS degrees are worthless.  They also don't seem to understand that the market has shifted from one of companies having huge I.T. departments to one of outsourcing.  If these supposedly out of work coders truly wanted a job, they would do well to go into consulting.  In fact, they would do much better by making a lot more money and working in less stressful environments.  The only down-side is the travel involved and the lack of paid training.

              •  The now famous article (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Feanor, sockpuppet, BobOak, DBunn

                What is that argument, and how is it relevant?

                What Goes Around . . .

                Well, he answered patiently, "look around this office." All the computers are from Compaq. The basic software is from Microsoft. The phones are from Lucent. The air-conditioning is by Carrier, and even the bottled water is by Coke, because when it comes to drinking water in India, people want a trusted brand. On top of all this, says Mr. Nagarajan, 90 percent of the shares in 24/7 are owned by U.S. investors. This explains why, although the U.S. has lost some service jobs to India, total exports from U.S. companies to India have grown from $2.5 billion in 1990 to $4.1 billion in 2002. What goes around comes around, and also benefits Americans.

                What FRIEDMAN failed to realize when he made this pronouncement was that the only thing distinctly American about these products were the brand names. Even the Dasani bottle water was produced and bottled in India.

                As I remember Carrier had closed their last US manufacturing plant and moved offshore shortly before he wrote this article.

                <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:58:08 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ah I see (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Yeah, that's a valid argument. I can't think of a response right now.

                  Look, I understand where everyone is coming from, but I think we have a fundamental disagreement here. I apologize for getting testy with BobOak.

                  It's like the US had this enormous reservoir of wealth built up, and now the sluice gates that were holding that wealth in are being opened up. That reservoir is going to go down. I think this is inevitable.

                  Perhaps you think you can keep those sluice gates up forever, or at least wait until everyone else is at the same level. I just don't think that's possible anymore.

  •  It happened here in New Mexico, too... (7+ / 0-)

    Despite protests by the Mayor and many , many members of the community, there were similar raids here in New Mexico, with more planned.

    And although it did not make the national news, here, too, children were left schools, at the babysitters. Friends of mine in the Mexican community took in some of these children, some of whom were strangers to them. Dios los bendecirá.

    Besides the terror and confusion of the children, they are also exposed to danger...what if the entire family is seized, and a child returns home from school, alone...and no one is there??

    I am HORRIFIED and outraged by all of this...but most of all that innocent children should be trauamtized and put at risk like this!!

    GRACIAS, Senator, for speaking out courageously, yet again!

  •  Thank you, Senator (6+ / 0-)

    This is an awful, awful story.  Unfortunately, anti-immigrant fever is running rampant, and not just in media outlets.  I have spoken with neighbors and acquaintenances in my area here in Virginia Beach who are so hateful against undocumented workers that I frankly don't know how to react.  But people should be on notice that this is where hate always ends up -- oppressing the hated and causing incredible suffering.

  •  Senator Kennedy (6+ / 0-)

    you are attempting to "treat the sympton" not to cure the disease...allowing 20 million illegal immigrants amnesty is a sympton of a badly written free trade agreement...NAFTA is the problem...corporate farming is the problem...these immigrants can not compete with the lower cost of mass produce, produced in this country by the corporation farming..and American citizens cannot compete or survive on a few dollars a day in the work illegals amnesty will only encourage more racial hatred...take care of your own people first....stop corporation rule and facism..give the workers back what has been taken from them in the last thirty years by the GOP corporate interests..bring back the right to organize and bargain labor....
    How can I feel sorry for illegal immigrants "ripped apart" by raids...when my own family...(many generations of natural born American citizens) are being ripped apart, living in Shelters, cars or on the streets, while we do not make a living wage, can not make adjustments for inflation..(have you seen the price of gas, heating, clothing?) why are the Senators, House and just about every one else in government so much more concerned about Israel, Old Mexico's...citizens, and so totally uncaring about the their own citizens in their own country..what about the 19 year olds who are dying at a rate of about a 100 a Iraq..what is wrong with you..have you become desensitized to your own people...or do you just not get out in the real America anymore?

    •  The disease is greed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mariachi mama

      Greedy Americans that will gladly enslave people who are powerless and desperate.

      Greedy Americans that knowingly break the law by winking and nudging requirements to know who you are hiring.

      Greedy people, in all walks of life. Those that hire nannies, painters, drivers at 'discount cut rate' because the going rate other working class Americans need to get paid to survive is just too damn high.

      It's easy to blame the desperate people who come here to work, to survive. Your anger at them is misdirected.

      It's not the ones that 'took your jobs', it's the ones that hired them to take your jobs who have made things the way they are today.

  •  To the VERY Honorable Senator Edward M. Kennedy (7+ / 0-)

    Many years ago, as a very ignorant 19 year old I heckled you at an event at Bridgewater State College.  I won't repeat what I said.  I'm sorry to say you heard it then and once was more than enough.   It was a personal insult, not political statement.  The memory still brings me shame.

    It would be easy to blame my behavior on my conservative Republican family, but that would be a lie.  My parents would be ashamed and embarrassed of my behavior.  They, like most Americans regardless of politics, smiled with you at times of family celebration and cried with you during the dark times.  One of my earliest memories is my Republican mother's tears in November 1963.  They may be Republicans, but they are decent people and taught me better.

    Many years have past since my ugly statement to you at Bridgewater.  I have studied, listened and learned a great deal since then and tried to be a good citizen and have always tried to something back to my country.    

    Since my awakening in my early twenties you have made me proud to be a liberal Democrat and a son of Massachusetts.  I can't undo what I said all those years ago, but no one with in my ear shot can make a crack about you or any other Kennedy family member (except Arnold - sorry!) without having me right in their face.  

    I hope Senator, that you will remain in the Senate for years to come.  I think you are already being recognized as one of the greatest Senators in American history.  I hope you wil also become the longest serving Senator in history as well.

    Please accept Sir, my very best wishes for joy and happiness in your personal life and my admiration and respect for your professional life.   Thank you Senator Kennedy, for your service to our country.  You make me proud to be an American.

    formerly of Braintree Massachusetts

    Patriotic, flag waving, radical centrist Howard Dean Democrat. Until we stand on principle and lose our fear of defeat we will never win.

    by rusrivman on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:09:59 AM PDT

    •  I really hope he sees this comment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and I wish I could do more than rec it, somehow.

      The diary itself and this whole comment thread makes me very emotional in various ways, some sad, some angry, but your comment was the only one that made me really happy.  Coming forth to make something right from so long ago.  :)

    •  do me a favor .. (0+ / 0-)

      bottle whatever it was that you drank to become "one of us" and go sprinkle some over at Redstate and freeperville.

      Nice post, nice sentiment.

      Goodness gracious, after reading that, I feel hopeful now .. {don't ever do that again}


  •  Pathway to citizenship? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rohan, sockpuppet, OpherGopher, elliott

    I'm gratified to see that you are considering going after the companies that employ illegals. This offers a common sense practical market based solution that republicans will find it difficult to counter with legitimate arguments. However, I am conerned about the notion of rewarding illegals with a pathway to citizenship.

    While I recognize they are hard working people who only want to support their families, they are in point of fact criminals in this country. In violation or our immigration laws and our soverignty. As the spouse of a legal immigrant, I know firsthand the monumental difficulty of of obtaining citizenship for those who not only work hard but also respect the laws. It took us nearly 8 years to get through this process as we slowly wended our way through red tape, indifference, verbal abuse, and beaurocratic incompetency on the part of INS officials.

    By affording the illegals a pathway to citizenship, it cheapens our own efforts at respecting the laws of this nation. It offends the sacrifices we had to make in order to do the right thing. It forces me to ask the question, why did we bother to obey the laws and endure 8 years of difficult procedure. We could simply have waited for congress to grant us citizenship.

    •  Then: (0+ / 0-)

      We need to make it easy to get here legally. I know that there is a lot of resentment among people who got here legally for people who did not. But the way to solve this problem is not through mass deportation because where would we find the police and the courts and the judges to properly process them all? And how would we properly account for children who were born in this country and who are thus citizens? And how would we manage this in a way that does not split up families?

      Go after the people who contributed to this problem -- the illegal employers. Don't take out your jealousies and resentments on people who had the choice of either coming here or starving.

      •  It is easily managed (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sockpuppet, elliott

        by some sort of residency program. I for one do not object in any way to allowing them a pathway towards residency. But citizenship is something that should be reserved for those who are willing to respect the laws of the nation to which they wish to emmigrate.

        Clearly if an immigrants first action is to violate the laws of their new country, they ought not to be rewarded with citizenship.

        Additionally, their reasons for coming here are in my view irrelevent. There are litterally billions of people on this planet who could face starvation. It is up to their home nations to deal with that. We can not absorb them all.

        Citizenship should not be awarded simply by accident of proximity.

        •  But it already is. (0+ / 0-)

          Citizenship should not be awarded simply by accident of proximity.

          People who are born here, even to illegal immigrants, are considered US citizens under the law of this land.

          But even if they broke the law, nobody is entitled to have their rights taken away. They should still have the right to effective representation. I'm all for people who came here illegally waiting longer for citizenship since as you point out, it is a privilege and not a right. But to simply make them legal residents would create a permanent underclass of people who are slapped with taxation without representation. And that would create the seeds for revolt against our own government.

          •  That's right (0+ / 0-)

            people who are BORN here are citizens. That right does not confer to anyone who suanters across our borders.

            But to simply make them legal residents would create a permanent underclass of people who are slapped with taxation without representation.

            That seems to be a reasonable price to pay for entering the country illegally. They should NEVER be eligible for citizenship if they chose to enter illegally. NEVER!

            It is the only leverage we would have against an allout flood of economic refugees from around the entire world. There are litterally billions of people who would love to live here as citizens. We could never absorb them all.

            •  But I don't support open borders. (0+ / 0-)

              The alternative to never giving them citizenship at all is not open borders at all. The alternative is making it more difficult for people to get citizenship if they were to cross the border illegally.

              Otherwise, you will be playing right into the hands of the Chamber of Commerce and all these other corporate welfare types who want to create a permanent underclass of people that they could exploit for cheap labor.

              And this remark:

              It is the only leverage we would have against an allout flood of economic refugees from around the entire world. There are litterally billions of people who would love to live here as citizens. We could never absorb them all.

              Sounds like Michelle Malkin's conspiracy theories. This is a Democratic blog, and we are not to spout conspiracy theories of any kind, let along Republican conspiracy theories. We had open borders back in the 1800's and that simply did not happen. You are talking about a situation that is simply not going to happen.

              •  Who do you think you are? (0+ / 0-)

                This is a Democratic blog, and we are not to spout conspiracy theories of any kind, let along Republican conspiracy theories.

                Who are you to tell me or anyone here what they can and can not express?

                It's got nothing to do with conspiracy of any kind. It is simple supply and demand. It's neither a republican nor democratic theory. It is a basic economic law.

                We had open borders back in the 1800's and that simply did not happen.

                You can't equate 21st century cirumtances with 19th century circumstances. At that time we as a nation were actively courting immigration. We had no welfare state, no labor unions, no public entitlements, no nafta, no "free trade", no corporate farms, so social security, very few megacoporations. All of which play into the current situation. We also had very sparsely populated neighbors, so there was not much impact due to immigration.

                And this is ridiculous.

                You are talking about a situation that is simply not going to happen?

                How can you predict with certainty what will or won't happen. You can not, neither can I. But we can both use reasonable economic and social theory to obtain a fairly good idea. I'm basic my suppositions on these theories, yours seems to be based on simple uniformed opinion.

                •  No, it is not supply and demand. (0+ / 0-)

                  That is something that you just pulled out of your ass straight from the pages of Michelle Malkin. Now, I don't support open borders because we need to employ the people that we have here first. But to claim that there is some gigantic invasion just waiting to happen is not basic economics, but conspiratorial reasoning that belongs on the pages of Malkin's website.

                  I'm just telling you what the rules of this site are. You can go and look them up on the FAQ. Your problem is with the site owner, who said that we are not to spout conspiracy theories of any kind here.

                  You're right that we should apply basic economic theory here and you're right that there are a lot of people who want to come here. And we can't just throw open borders without a plan to accomodate those who come here. What we need to do is get out of the Middle East, get off of foreign oil, and create solar and wind farms in every county of this country and alternative fuel plants in every town bigger than 10,000. That means ending the war in Iraq. Then, we build on that and create other jobs. Then, we will have the infrastructure necessary to employ everyone who is here now and everyone who wants to come here.

                  •  Hmm, I agree (0+ / 0-)

                    with almost 100% of what you are saying here.

                    What we need to do is get out of the Middle East, get off of foreign oil, and create solar and wind farms in every county of this country and alternative fuel plants in every town bigger than 10,000. That means ending the war in Iraq.

                    Hence my credentials as a good democrat, since you seem to be questioning that.

                    I only part ways with you on your interpretation of my reading of the economics of illegal immigration.

                    Perhaps I should clarify it for you this way. I am certainly not saying that the entire world or some huge portion of it will in fact flood our defacto open borders should we offer citizenship to every person who comes across.

                    Simply that, there is a huge pool of people who most certainly desire to reside here if they had the means to do it. Moreover, by granting easy citizenship, or even difficult but reasonably likely citizenship, the calculus is altered in such a way as to significantly reduce the potential barriers they now face.

                    Naturally, the numbers would increase, I believe dramatically.

                    So since you are not supporting open borders, what exactly are you saying? I think it's getting lost in the rhetoric here.

                    •  Allowing enough immigrants in to fill job demand. (0+ / 0-)

                      Along with family members and some refugees.

                      No immigration policy will work unless we enforce laws against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants. That is why the Bush administration is having the wrong focus -- they are rounding up illegal immigrants and then letting the people who knowingly hire them get off scot-free.

                      And no immigration policy will work unless we create the jobs and infrastructure to accomodate not only them, but accomodate US citizens who want jobs. There are millions of single mothers and people over 55 who want jobs but who can't find them. Those are the people most likely to not be hired.

                      In addition, many immigrants create their own jobs -- if they can prove that they want to come here for the purpose of creating jobs, then they are an asset to the country and not a liability. They should be allowed into the country as well.

                      •  Again I agree (0+ / 0-)

                        Especially with this:

                        No immigration policy will work unless we enforce laws against employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

                        In fact I'm quite passionate about this particular point.

                        Be careful though, this point is also being raised pretty vigorously by Tom Tancredo. I've just been called a wingnut because I admit that some republican points have merit. If they catch wind of the fact that you are agreeing with Tancredo you might be accused as well.

                        •  We're talking past each other to some extent. (0+ / 0-)

                          We agree on this issue more than we disagree. Our main point of disagreement seems to be whether or not to give those who are already here citizenship. I contend that we should -- provided that they have otherwise played by the rules and are an asset to this country. I also contend that there should still be consequences such as fines and probation.

                  •  GOP troll (0+ / 0-)

                    he uses GOP tyled talking point..

                    •  Oh Puleeeze! (0+ / 0-)

                      Sometimes even the GOP has a point. We on the left have no absolute monopoly on all issues.

                      Regarding this issue: GOP style or not, the fact is that there is a huge demand for visas to enter this country. If you spend one minute at an American embassy in any third world foreign country you will see that. Should we offer a ready supply, rest assured it will be met.

                      That is basic supply and demand.

                      •  Just admit it (0+ / 0-)

                        Just admit it, you're a wingnut GOP..there's nothing wrong in being a republican.

                        We have a lot of republican readers and you are definatly not alone...Just come out of the closet dude.

                        It's okay to let your views known in our progressive website eventhough we do not agree with your extremism.

                          •  i will fight for your rights (0+ / 0-)

                            I will fight for your rights and your freedom of speech no matter how discusting they sound.

                            Eventhough i do not agree with your mass deportation crazy talk, i want to let you know that i will go to war for wingnuts like you to speak your mind and not be shut down.

                          •  Who said anything about deportation? (0+ / 0-)

                            You need to read the whole thread before you go off half cocked friend. I said that I support a residency status. I'm absolutey against deportation, ripping families apart, jailing immigrants, all that crap.

                            I'd like to see the heavy hand of the law come down not on the immigrants but on the corporations who knowingly hire illegals. Especially those which take advantage of them and hold them in a sort of indentured servitude.

                            If that's wingnut to you, then so be it. I'll wear it proudly. But I think most reasoned people would say that's barely even right of leftist enough to classify as moderate.

    •  Why do you seek to hurt others? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eternal Hope, westsidegirlygirl

      As the spouse of a legal immigrant, I know firsthand the monumental difficulty of of obtaining citizenship for those who not only work hard but also respect the laws. It took us nearly 8 years to get through this process as we slowly wended our way through red tape, indifference, verbal abuse, and beaurocratic incompetency on the part of INS officials.

      Why would you want to force anyone through that?  After what you and your spouse have been through, you should identify more with those who aren't even lucky enough to be able to go through that process.

      Your spouse's situation was bad, and you should support Senator Kennedy's reforms in order to help all immigrants have a fair chance.

      •  I wouldn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        want to force anyone through that. But it DID give us an appreciation for the value of citizenship. To simply reward criminals with what we fought so hard to achieve is by no stretch of the imagination a fair solution. A temporary working status seems a reasonable compromise to me. Why would you want to cheapen the value of the sacrifices made by those of us who also worked hard and in addition actually played by the rules?

        •  My wife is a legal immigrant too (0+ / 0-)

          I guess seeing what we had to go through gave me a different perspective than you.  The way I see it, there should be a much easier, cheaper, and faster way to immigrate to the U.S.  I don't see it as "cheapening" the process to becoming a citizen.  I see it as being fair and in line with the U.S. Constitution.

          •  I see no difference (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            in our perspectives. I agree that the process should be easier. And I don't believe that making it easier in any way cheapens it. The whole process needs to be reformed.

            What cheapens it is granting citizenship to criminals. People who came here illegally have already shown that they are not willing to respect the laws of this nation. Both our wives had to take an oath to respect and even defend the constitution, and in addition to the oath, they had to prove through years of residency that they were indeed willing to do that.

            If the first act of an immigrant is to violate the laws of their "adopted" country, how can we reasonably expect them to be good stewards of it? It is counterintuitive.

            •  I don't see them as criminals (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              What cheapens it is granting citizenship to criminals. People who came here illegally have already shown that they are not willing to respect the laws of this nation. Both our wives had to take an oath to respect and even defend the constitution, and in addition to the oath, they had to prove through years of residency that they were indeed willing to do that.

              You view them as people who intentionally break severe laws.  I see them as poor people who have no other choice.  The law sees them as merely committing a minor misdemeanor.  In some states, this is on par with jaywalking.

              If the first act of an immigrant is to violate the laws of their "adopted" country, how can we reasonably expect them to be good stewards of it? It is counterintuitive.

              For those who are actual criminals, I would agree with you.  Murderers, rapists, gang members, etc. should not be allowed to immigrate here.  However, someone who simply comes here because they are poor and have to earn money to survive, I have no problem with.

              Look at it this way.  If your wife was sick and needed a $500,000 medical treatment and you had no insurance, would you commit a minor misdemeanor in order to get a job somewhere that would help you pay for it?  I would expect that most people put taking care of family above minor laws like those.

              •  It is NOT a minor misdemeanor (0+ / 0-)

                It's a federal criminal offense punishable by up to six months in prison. That is NOT comparable to jaywalking. The fact is, it is a criminal act.

                It's not really relevent how poor they are or what motivates them to come here. It's not up to the US to provide economic assistance to every poor person on Earth. We have enough desperately poor people as it is.

                •  offense punishable by up to 6 month? (0+ / 0-)

                  If you get caught here illegaly, you dont get jail time, so i dont know where you get this stuff about it being a criminal offense punishable  by up to 6 month in jail.

                  Maybe you meant crossing illegaly a second time?? i know that if you get deported then re enter illegaly, it's a felony...Livcing illegaly in the U.S is a misdemeanor...I may be wrong, but its a small crime comparable to any small crimes or speeding ticket

                  I think it is a misdemeanor and you dont get fine nor go to jail...You do get a notice to appear to court and if you cant prove hardship if you were to be deported, you just get deported.

  •  Sen. Kennedy thanks for focusing on this tragedy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It always seems to take a horrible incident to put faces to the victims of wrong-headed policies and abuse of power.

    This is an important issue, thank you for your efforts to help the victims and for keeping the story in the forefront.

  •  I agree that we need a better solution, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eternal Hope, wonmug

    this looks like a letter I would write to you. If you are writing it to us, what are we to do? Would  you have us lobby you and your collegues to come up with a better solution? You are the one in a position to initiate a change. We are already demonstrating (I was at a rally this Saturday), writing, blogging, yelling and screaming - why are YOU telling US we need a better solution?

    Or are you asking us what we want to see done?

    This is (mostly) a friendly audience to your position, but I would appreciate it a great deal if you would tell us specifically what you are going to do about it in terms of providing leadership on the issue.

    I would hate to think you were using this issue to drum up easy support on the backs of these detained workers. Please put your money where your mouth is and tell us what you are willing to do.

    I know your aides are reading this and I appreciate your coming here and providing the opportunity for us to answer and respond to your message. Please include your plans to take on the issue in future messages. That's all I want these days from Democrats. Sponsor some legislation, or if you can't, explain the political obstacles and what you ask from the public to overcome them. We're sophisticated, we know the score, and while we like seeing our views represented, please do more than grandstand.

  •  Couldn't agree more (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, SallyCat, sockpuppet, BobOak

    We must find a better solution to our immigration crisis than raids that rip families apart.

    Can we start with looking at what NAFTA, the WTO adn the IMF have really done to local farmers and economies in the nations to our south?

  •  sure, it's sad, but if they don't belong here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rohan, sockpuppet, BobOak

    then they don't belong here. I've said before that the solution to all of this is for the law to be enforced--employers who hire illegals should pay stiff pentalties and/or go to jail. You do that and the problem would be solved over night because Mexicans would not come here if they couldn't get a job. Why isn't it that simple?
    But don't get me wrong, if I were the president then I'd work with the Mexican government to make sure they develop an economy with lots of opportunity.

  •  Follow the rules (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rohan, sockpuppet, BobOak, elliott

    I live in Southern Cal. I have many fine friends from Mexico (legal and illegal)
    I am currently looking into retiring to Thailand and their Visa/residency options and it is very complicated but it is the proper and legal way of moving and living in a foreign country. Turn it around and see how many of these other countries would let you, a hard working American, live there. Some won't even give you a work permit.

    •  Ask your undocumented friends (0+ / 0-)

      If they are truly the working poor that came here from Mexico, ask them why they didn't come here legally.  Ask them how they would do so.

    •  Follow the rules? Start with the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, BobOak

      employers who knowingly break the law, just to make more money for themselves.

      That would be a great place to start.

      American employers who are defrauding the rest of us by propping up their businesses, or saving a few bucks  with undocumented labor. In some cases, not paying taxes, in others depressing the local labor market for trades as they hire below customary wage levels.

      If there were no undocumented jobs to be had, because people in the United States followed the LAW, what would happen then, I wonder.

      Think your fine friends would be travelling here to work for non-existant jobs?

  •  A "final solution" is what many would like... (7+ / 0-)

    ...for the "problem" of undocumented immigrants.

    Mass deportations of Hispanics have been tried before;

    It was 1931. The administration of President Herbert Hoover backed a policy that would repatriate hundreds of thousands of Mexican Americans, more than half of them United States citizens.

    Amid the economic desperation of the Depression, Latino families were viewed as taking jobs and government benefits from "real Americans." In Los Angeles County, a Citizens Committee for Coordination for Unemployment Relief urgently warned of 400,000 "deportable aliens," declaring: "We need their jobs for needy citizens."

    Up to 2 million people of Mexican ancestry were relocated to Mexico during the 1930s, even though as many as 1.2 million were born in the United States. In California, some 400,000 Latino United States citizens or legal residents were forced to leave.

    Yes it has happened before.

    Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

    At least one Senator cares.; an oasis of truth. -1.75 -7.23

    by Shockwave on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:31:43 AM PDT

  •  Marin county (home of Sen. Boxer) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, coigue, wa ma

    The illegal immigrants named on the warrants were arrested in houses and apartments - along with any others suspected of being in this country illegally. In San Rafael, those put in handcuffs and taken away apparently included a 7-year-old boy who is a U.S. citizen.

    Local activists have expressed outrage at what they viewed as unacceptably harsh tactics. ...

    The immigration raids have created a climate of fear in the Canal neighborhood. This is wrong. ...

    We simply don't think it was necessary to deliberately terrorize an entire neighborhood and disrupt the lives of so many Marin families to arrest a small number of people, including a small boy who happens to be an American citizen.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 10:34:15 AM PDT

  •  Thank you Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, coigue, Paul Goodman

    I am happen to be married to an immigrant, I am also a military servicemember who has served in Iraq and loves my country.

    I disagree with you on many points, but I realize I am unlikely to change your mind here. I have just two questions for you though:

    1. If guest worker legislation passes, how would raids like this be handled differently? Even if we legalize millions of immigrants, there will always be a good many that remain undocumented. What will you do with them? I guess my point here is that while this raid looks inhumane, how else are you going to deport people? Under "catch and release" they usually didn't bother to show up at their hearings.
    1. What will you do to avoid the disastrous consequences of the 1980s amnesty under President Reagan? I say "disastrous" because it was supposed to end the issue then, but instead illegal immigration greatly increased afterward. Spain recently has encountered the same problem; a couple years ago Zapatero's government gave a wide amnesty, now the amount of boat people arriving from Africa have dramatically increased (along with the numbers dying at sea). I fear that any guest worker program will be an invitation for even more people to risk their lives crossing our deserts to make it across the border.
  •  accept new level of 'citizenship' (0+ / 0-)

    I think that it is dreadful what these families have to endure. Is this really the ideal that the US wants to be known for? Our global image has suffered enough, let alone to treat human beings like this. What ever happened to America's basic compassion to humanity?
    I think that the current administration is trying to find an quick and easy solution to a problem that is very complex.
    We have citizens of the US. We have legal citizens of other countries with green cards. Couldn't we accept a new layer of 'citizenship' for these people with a blue card? Recognize them, recognize the invaluable contribution that they give to our economy and society, but let them know that their 'special' status doesn't allow them the benifits of legal tax paying American Citizens.
    I know that this is a simple and uneducated answer, and would probably create all kinds of problems, but there has to be a better solution to this than ripping families apart unhumanitarily.

  •  End the Iraq war. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, elliott

    Let's not get sidetracked.

    •  What about Iraqi refugees? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, sockpuppet, HeyMikey

      Congress voted for Bush's illegal war, so why isn't Congress doing more to help Iraqis wanting to escape the violence created by this illegal American occupation, come here to seek a better life?  Can you say hypocrisy, Senator?

      Assad’s desperate flight from Iraq began on foot....Finally, after paying smugglers to get him on flights to Spain, Brazil, Guatemala and Mexico, he joined the crush of Spanish-speaking migrants on a bus ride to America’s doorstep.

      •  Iraqi refugees do need more support (0+ / 0-)

        See link

        Todd from Senator Kennedy's staff

        •  Sen. Kennedy: Please help the Mandaeans in Iraq! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mariachi mama

          Dear Sir,

          I know that you are working on the refugee situation in Iraq. I find it especially important that people from endangered religious groups, such as the Mandaeans, are allowed to immigrate to the USA. It is important that we stand up to our historical mission as a country and provide them a homeland in which they can prosper and practice their religion freely.

          I hope that you or one of your staff responds regarding your efforts on behalf of the Mandaeans.

          From the BBC:

          The Sabian Mandaeans - one of the oldest religious groups in the world - are facing extinction, according to its leaders.

          They claim that Islamic extremists in Iraq are trying to wipe them out through forced conversions, rape and murder.

          The Mandaeans are pacifists, followers of Adam, Noah and John the Baptist.

          They have lived in what is now Iraq since before Islam and Christianity.

          More than 80% have been forced to flee the country and now live as refugees in Syria and Jordan.

          Even there they do not feel safe - but they say western governments are unwilling to take them in.

  •  With respect, Senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elliott, madgranny

    while this incident was horrible, the fact of the matter is that we have a serious illegal immigration problem in this country, and the Democrats solution seems to be to do nothing about it.

    What are your ideas for a better solution to the illegal immigrant crisis? And what is your position on the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP)?

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." -- Groucho Marx

    by rolandzebub on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:04:56 AM PDT

  •  Can legalizing 12,000,000 illegals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma

    and making them pay a FICA penalty and back taxes help support our Social Security Program? That could be ALOT of money.

    We fight from a position of weakness.

    by mattes on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:07:59 AM PDT

    •  ? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz, HeyMikey

      what makes you think they are not paying these taxes already?

      The CBO says that $6 to $7 billion is collected on SSI alone, never claimed from undocumented workers.

      •  I realize alot are paying taxes, but alot (0+ / 0-)

        are not. And if they want legal status, they could be asked to pay a penalty. I don't think the answer is to try to send them back.

        We fight from a position of weakness.

        by mattes on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:00:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Certainly a valid point (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shpilk, mattes

          However, I think the ones that do pay taxes already are going to be the higher paid ones, and those who do not pay taxes are not paid as well.  Meaning that the income tax for under the table work won't be that big of a boon to social security.  From what I've seen though, we can already thank our undocumented neighbors for keeping social security afloat right now.  Bush is certainly doing his part to destroy it.

  •  Senator, I support your effort (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, ayoosilver, mariachi mama, wa ma

    I live in San Diego County, where we are embroiled in some of the most obnoxious and outrageous anti-immigrant efforts in the country. My own hometown has been under siege by Minutemen and their affiliate groups. I have an acquaintance who ran for city council here, partly on a platform of respecting the basic human rights of everyone living in our town (legally or otherwise). She has since received death threats, been stalked, and had her home and property vandalized.

    I am far more frightened of anti-immigrant groups than I am of immigrants. We have got to find ways of addressing immigration problems without treating people inhumanely.

    My notion of democracy is that under it the weakest shall have the same opportunities as the strongest. -Gandhi

    by Rachel in Vista on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:08:45 AM PDT

  •  For about 15 years I've been working with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, elliott

    mainly illegal people, mostly from Mexico.

    I work in restaurants.

    First off I think we should all admit that these people mainly replaced black people in those jobs.  I know that cause I was there when it happened.

    All this was ok when we were going through that fake stock market bubble cause everyone was getting a better job than they used to have.

    But now, it's not so true.

    "Yes dear. Conspiracy theories really do come true." (tuck, tuck)

    by tribalecho on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:12:06 AM PDT

  •  Senator, historically the immigration "problem" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    becomes a domestic issue when employment gets tight in this country.  When we have economic booms, not only does no one care, but people are often happy that there is cheaper labor available to handle the work load.

    Immigration is an ECONOMIC issue.  Let's solve it the same way.  Improve the economy, render the problem moot.

    Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

    •  I assume, polecat, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      when you say economic you mean that of the lower and middle class. As Bush is happy to trumpet, the economy is good - for the wealthy.

      •  Since when are the RICH worried about immigration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Rarely are they competing for jobs or services.

        This is entirely about the lower and middle economic classes.

        And, the economy is crap.  Unless you're rich.

        Happy little moron, lucky little man. I wish I was a moron, my God, perhaps I am! -- Spike Milligan

        by polecat on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 08:32:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Stop the H1B Visas (5+ / 0-)

    They are decimating the tech market.

    There are MILLIONS of displaced tech workers in this country that have been shut out of the job market due to H1B Visas, and outsourcing.

    Corporations are massively manipulating the system.

    08 - Leaning Gore, Edwards, Clark, Kucinich, Obama
    -7.75 -6.05
    Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

    by rick on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:21:19 AM PDT

    •  Been laid off twice already (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, BobOak, Near Vanna

      I agree. Stop the H1B visas from taking more jobs away from American citizens.  

      Need to secure the borders before any talk of what to do with the multitude of illegal immigrants here.

      After the border is secure, then put a limit on how many can be brought into the country legally at one time. Remember the mess under Carter.  Then ship the others home.  

      We are desimating the economy of the US and the illegal workers are simply fattening the pockets of the CEOs and corporations.  This is sinful.  

      Prosecute the employers of illegals whether they "know" or not that their employees are legal and hit them where it hurts, their wallets! Right now, we have corporate welfare.  

    •  These are documented people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      and it really is a different issue.

      I agree that H1B visas are too readily given out, but what does it have to do with the Senator's posting?

      •  nothing (0+ / 0-)

        but we know Kennedy is completely ignoring workers, professionals and he posted on a blog, so we commented because it's so outrageous.  It has nothing to do with the topic of the diary, beyond being ignored and sold out.

        by BobOak on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:16:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for your work in this area (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobOak, madgranny

    I feel that one major part of the solution to this problem is equalization of pay and benefits for undocumented workers.

    The solution is really already in our hands.

    Enforce the laws that are being broken by the people who are hiring the undocumented workers.

    The illegal employment, taking economic advantage of people who do not have a voice, the abuse of the undocumented workers that are the real crimes here.

    If employers follow the law, pay competitive wages and offer appropriate benefits this whole situation gets turned on it's head.

    It's time to call out those employers who take advantage of undocumented workers: nannies, maids, drivers, crop pickers, painters, seamstresses, carpenters .. all of them.

    It's time to stop the manufacturing of an undocumented underclass, whose sole purpose is to cater to those who are too willing to break the law to avoid paying a fair wage.

    Let's enforce the laws on the books.

    •  It is my understanding that the more recent (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, wa ma

      ICE raids on employers were actually at the behest of the employers. Smithfield Hams is an example. The employees were attempting to unionize. I bet the company knew all along they were employing illegal immigrants and only cared and blew the whistle as a mean of shutting down union talk.

  •  Senator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, BobOak, bufford

    There is one unassailable reason that amnesty is not acceptable. In America, the first rule a kid learns on the playground is "No biting". The second rule is "no butting in line". These two rules are universal across America, and no matter how "bad" one feels for a "buttee", Americans just don’t put up with "butting in line".

    There is a line for entry into America. Those who go through the line are called "Immigrants" and we welcome them all with good will and open arms. Those who "butt in" are called "Illegal immigrants", and we just don’t, as a culture, put up with the way that they "snuck in".

    Unfortunately for them, "go home or go to the end of the line" is the only option our society offers. Even you cannot fight over 200 years of American culture, and shame on anyone who never learned those two rules by the age of 4.

    •  Inaccurate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      There is a line for entry into America. Those who go through the line are called "Immigrants" and we welcome them all with good will and open arms. Those who "butt in" are called "Illegal immigrants", and we just don’t, as a culture, put up with the way that they "snuck in".

      This is not factually accurate.  If anything, you could sort of compare it to the days the U.S. had blacks and whites facilities separated.  The "immigration line" is designed for people from Europe, wealthy people, and highly skilled workers only.  Aka, the "white people" line.  For everyone else, there is no line.

      So, to fit in with your example, we have a black kid, dying of thirst, with a "whites only" water fountain in front of him.  Then for the rest of what you said:

      Unfortunately for them, "go home or go to the end of the line" is the only option our society offers.

      All we pro-immigrant people are trying to do is let the little black boy into the "whites only" line.  Senator Kennedy's bill doesn't propose putting undocumented immigrants at the front of the "line" but rather gives them the right to be in the line at all.

  •  This is shameful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, shpilk, fatbob

    and there should be criminal charges against whomever was responsible for that infant being hospitalized.  That baby could have died!  We are not a civilized country, and are far off the trajectory to becoming one.  This should be front page news - no parent could read this without feeling horror.  I hope a public outcry will force them to stop such raids.

  •  Thank you senator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, coigue

    First of all senator, they are a few anti-immigrants members on our website, but i can reassure you that they are in the minority on this great progressive website

    The majority on Daily Kos are very pro-immigrants and support you and the democratic leadership push for comprehensive immigration reform.

    Most of those anti-immigrant kossak arent really kossak..They are drive-by trolls from ALIPAC,Minute-men website, fairus.or,numberUSA and other vicious anti-immigrants website.

    So, dont pay attention to those bigoted assholes.

    •  I wish that what you are saying were true, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      javelina, sockpuppet

      but I don't think it is.  As long as I've been around here (a whole two + years!  Like an eon!), immigration policy has been one of a small handful of absolutely intractable sticking points, like Israel/Palestine.  Sure, we may get the occasional right-wing troll, but many Real Kossacks support pretty strict policies that I find astoundingly heartless.  Nevertheless, I will find myself in agreement with the same people on many other issues.  Some arguments just don't break down neatly along party/ideological lines.

  •  Senator Kennedy (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, superscalar, BobOak, elliott

    I am willing to come to your office and explain the issue about the illegal aliens. Let me know, I am happy to enlighten you. I have to explain it almost every month to the local Mount Vernon District Democratic Committee here in Northern Virginia. I am just across the river from DC.

    This is not about compassion. It is about our nation and the survival of America. Nothing less!

    You and everyone who agrees with your ideas are wrong.

    In philosophy and debate classes you are taught if you buy into the other’s position’s first assumption then your entire argument is lost and can only lead you to agree with or prove the other’s position.

    If you step back and look at the affect on American workers and the entire American economy you will find the all the talking points that are put out by the business corporations and used by you to justify your position are a total lie.

    If you had a magic wand and made all the illegal aliens legal citizens nothing will change for them. What will change for America is that all local, state, and federal government agencies will fail. Government failure is the driving force of the GOP and the corporate supporters.

    All the talking points used by the "legalize the illegal aliens" are GOP talking points and are lies that covenant for the illegal aliens to use.

    My grandmother is from England. My last girlfriend is from Korea and is still not a U.S. citizen. My best friend is from Vietnam was a part of the "Boat People."

    As a high school student I worked with the Texas Mexicans (the term they used) that came up from Texas every year to work in central Illinois. These were very hard working people. The canning factory provided dirt floor chicken coups and old pig houses for their housing. It was horrible. So what has changed Senator? It has been 40 years and just what has changed?

    Bye the way Senator, None of these illegal aliens will work in the fields picking our food when they can go to the towns and cities and take our jobs. It is not that Americans won’t do the work. They can not compete with an illegal alien who is living in an apartment or home designed and zoned for one or two occupants who decide to turn them into community homes for 10 or 20 individuals. American can not work for the low wages. Americans pay more of their income for housing (one wage earner against 10 or 20 illegal aliens). The American costs for medical care, food, housing, rent, gas, taxes, in fact everything available to purchase is higher than it should be. The reason is that the Americans are being forced to compete with illegal aliens for all resources in the market. The illegal aliens are not contribution more to the American economy than they are costing all Americans. They are destroying our economy while the corporations are getting rich.

    How about you and me sit down over coffee and talk about it for an hour or so. If not I know a Rotary Club in Mt. Vernon area that would be very happy have us as guests some Wednesday night. They had Tom Davis over last year and he and I had a dialogue on this same issue. The Republicans of the club were on my side and not on his side.

    Hell, I have the time. I am unemployeed. I have a lot of time.

    Demand the Truth in America

    by EasyRider on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 11:55:54 AM PDT

    •  I forgot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sockpuppet, elliott

      During World War II the blacks migrated North for the jobs in the factories and left the poverty of the cotton and tobacco fields in South. Do you still think the illegal aliens will come North and work the fields? The farmers argument is a lie.

      Demand the Truth in America

      by EasyRider on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:01:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We need your leadership, Sir. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, wa ma

    Thank you so much. This issue brings out so much fear and prejudice, and not much in the way of understanding or compassion. I am so glad you are passionate about this issue, sir.

    My son goes to a Spanish-English dual immersion school in California. I have seen his classmates lose their parents for months because their visas were one way and they needed to go home to Mexico. It's heart-breaking. THe kids are citizens. This is a horrible way to treat these children, and they will grow up resenting their country.

    Yet even in my city, where we depend on skilled vinyard workers from Mexico, people feel free to express hate and prejudice and fear. People discuss protecting our culture and our language as if there isn't room for a mosaic.

    So we need your leadership here. I am extremely glad that you and the President are working on this. My community and many others like it depend on you.

  •  THANK YOU KENNEDY (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, coigue

    Senator, i would love to see you and Kos(the owner of dailykos) get together to push for comprehensive immigration reform with the help of the dailykos community.

    Kos can put the phone and fax number of specific Senators with direction on how to lobby those lawmakers by mentioning those raids that have splits thousands of families aparts.

    We really need to organize so that a proper immigration legislature comes out of congress this time around.

    The anti-immigrant website are better prepare and organized and usually floods their lawmakers with calls and faxes....We need to do the same to counter those guys.

    Please, someone needs to ask Kos for help on this issue.

  •  Ted, lead it, lead it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, coigue

    The Senate had the bill in hand last year. Go with it. Get it going. Get Reid and Pelosi on board. Act.

  •  Audio link (0+ / 0-)

    Excellent addition to the dialog. Thanks!

  •  Raids = Bad for business (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think that Kossacks are taking the wrong approach on this.

    Let's face it, most Americans do not care about poor, brown immigrants.

    But people (especially people who can write big checks to congressional campaigns and who don't want to take care of their own kids or cut their own lawns) do care about losing money or having to pay higher prices for things.

    Reforming immigration for humanitarian reasons will never be popular.

    Reforming immigration so we can have cheaper sirloin will probably be popular.

  •  Sen Kennedy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    My mother lives in Latin America.  She says that people there have given up on the USA and are emmigrating to Spain.  

    The Republic party won't have Hispanics to beat up on any more.  Nobody wants to come here anymore.  For what? to get shot & be low class?  

    I can't wait to see the Republic jerks bussing tables & picking strawberries.  Those jobs they were so envious of, when Latins stop coming here.

    War is outdated. Dalai Lama

    by x on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 12:51:24 PM PDT

  •  Humanitarian immigration reform (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, javelina, coigue

    Senator, what can we do to help?

    What is needed to make sure the bill gets throught?

    •  Action needed (6+ / 0-)

      This is Todd in Senator Kennedy's office.  Please speak out.  Write your Senators and Congressperson and let them know what you think.  Tell your friends to write as well.

      •  Make sure you don't call it that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coigue, BobOak, wa ma

        For a large chunk of the US electorate, "humanitarian" immigration reform would not be popular.

        Go ahead and Troll Rate me but generally speaking, we don't like dark people and we don't like people who don't speak English.

        Call it "Immigration reform that saves you money."  Call it "Immigration reform that makes Social Security solvent".  Call it "Immigration Reform that Gives You Cheaper Steaks".

        But "Humanitarian" immigration reform won't go over well.

        •  Good frame. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I like that.

          And I do find it ironic that most of the people in MY community that are very much anti immigration (of any non-European variety) are the very ones who are collecting SS and medicare benefits currently. I can't tell you haw often I've heard: Back in the day, Napa was working class- until the latinos and yuppies moved in and ruined it.

          That must have been pre-1970s, and they are still pissed at every taqueria they see.

        •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Call it "Immigration reform that makes Social Security solvent".

          Not only do I believe that what Ted Kennedy will pass off as 'immigration reform' will not only not make Social Security solvent, I believe that it will hasten its demise.

          <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:24:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Anecdotal evidence, to be sure (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            A few years back, the company that I worked for sent us a letter saying that we had to lay off a couple of our best workers.

            They had bought their social security numbers in Macarthur Park, it seems.

            But for the time that they were here, they sure were paying into social security and I don't think they ever got a refund if they went back to where they came from.

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

              That barring any totalization agreement, and on a short term basis, these people will be among those who do not receive any benefits from having paid into the Social Security system.

              But, by and large, these individuals have not been the focus of this discussion, and to be sure, when you are talking about 'immigration reform' you are specifically talking about people who have not left the country.

              Your point is germane none the less.

              <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 Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 03:12:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  If we don't want illegal immigrants, then (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, javelina, NYFM

    one must go after the companies first. THEY are the ones decimating unions, shuttling jobs overseas for slave wages, and reducing working conditions here so much that only those so poor and desperate will do them. they are not "jobs American's won't do." They are jobs that are ones Americans are unwilling to do because we refuse to be slave labor to a market that pays CEO's in the billions and treats everyone below them as worthless trash.
    We need to get back to a time in tis country when every person who wanted to work, work hard, play by the rules, and be an upstanding citizen was given, id given the chance. That is the promise of America.
    Not everyone wants to be rich like a CEO, or A Brittany Spears, or like a pro athlete. Some of us are content to let them have their fun, just not at our expense.
    There is something to be said for American competition, for American Ingenuity. And it doesn't mean stopping all the rules so you can be number one, it means being better, smarter, more creative, and coming out on to. That's the only fun in it. Just gouging your competition and using mafia-style tactics to do isn't fun. it takes a sick, twisted individual to enjoy that kind of competition.
    I believe in the promise of America. And the photo of the little girl in the Globe just broke my heart. How can YOU tell her, that the American Dream cannot be hers?

    "Keep raisin' hell!" - Molly Ivins

    by MA Liberal on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 01:00:05 PM PDT

  •  Structural problems require structural solutions (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, javelina, sockpuppet

    The New Bedford ICE raids are absolutely horrifying. My god, are we really willing to turn ourselves into monsters?

    The thing to understand about immigration is that the causes are structural and have built up over a long time.  This suggests that if we want to remedy the situation, we have to make structural changes, and we can't expect to "fix it" over night.

    Attempts to provide remedies without addressing the structural causes can only fail. Policies that focus only on deportation or building an Iron Curtain on our southern border are in this category.

    A few structural changes that would help:

    • Make those "jobs Americans won't do" into jobs Americans can afford to take. That means eliminating the underclass job category in this nation. Make the minimum wage a true living wage.
    • Create a legitimate national health care system, so American workers don't have to worry about not getting health care benefits in what are currently low-status jobs.
    • Reform international trade and economic policies so that national sovereignty, social needs, labor, and the environment in Third World countries come into a more reasonable balance with the perfect freedom of international capital.

    We could make the list longer, but that's a start. Clearly these goals will not be accomplished over night, as noted above. But if we don't take steps like these, we will not solve our "immigration problem".

  •  Even if a person (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, shpilk, javelina

    is breaking the law by being here illegally, they still deserve humane treatment. What is happening in this country to illegals is disgusting. Period.

  •  Thank you Senator... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for helping bring attention on the human suffering these raids and detentions create.

    I just relocated from Mass. to Illinois. We have a large immigrant population here, probably alot in my child's school.

    I don't pretend to have any policy solutions but please, whatever policies Congress authorizes must be child-and-family centered.  Whatever illegality a parent may have been involved in, their children committed no offense and have rights.  Could we develop a policy that incorporates the UN's Rights of Children?

    What we are doing is unconscionable!

  •  Why does it seem like DHS goons are brown shirts? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We are tilting ever closer towards fascism.

    Good work, Sen. Kennedy.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 02:31:32 PM PDT

  •  Senator, one question? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Last year, anti-immigrant GOP senators tried to crash S2611 by introducing dozens of poison pills amendment that would have bare millions of migrant from participating just for parking tickets or other misdemeanors.

    My question is,since the democratic party controlls the rules now, could we at least stop those lawmakers from putting those terrible amendments on the floor for a vote.

    One amendment that i didnt like was the kyl amendment which stated  that asylum seekers that were ordered deported by a judge but never left because of fear, wont be eligible to apply  and this terrible amendment made it throught.

    I would hope that we would be able to block those killer amendments.

  •  Senator Kennedy a question (0+ / 0-)

    Why are only the most defenseless people being persecuted by this administration? Oh and thankyou for being here. Bless you for always being there for us.

    *a hundred years from now, the future may be different because I was important in the life of a child*

    by bonesy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 04:13:57 PM PDT

    •  Illegals ARE being persecuted and exploited (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elliott, bonesy

      that is EXACTLY why they need to return to the home country, and come back in controlled numbers that we can HANDLE HUMANELY.

      They are treated like shit and no doubt blackmailed into overworking in rotten conditions to stay here.  it is SICKENING to think about.

  •  Thank you Senator Kennedy and staff (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, wa ma

    For taking the time out of your schedule to respond. I appreciate your answering questions here and also am grateful that I am fortunate to have You, Senator Kerry, and Representative Frank (I live in his MA-4 district) representing me in Washington.  

  •  Just wanted to stop by and say Hello (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to Senator Kennedy.  Thank you and greetings from Virginia !

  •  Immigration , Outsourcing and Worker Replacement (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    superscalar, BobOak, elliott, Pete Rock

    I am tremendously disappointed that business interests have succeeded in combining an expansion of so-called "guest worker" programs into bills allegedly designed to resolve the legal status of millions of aliens residing in the U.S. unlawfully.

    As a longtime activist involved in both anti-outsourcing and resistance to worker replacement programs I am utterly appalled that Sen. Kennedy and other Democrats are siding with multinational corporations against millions of American workers.

    The so-called "guest worker" programs touted by corporations and assorted rich CEOs (such as Bill Gates) are used to replace American white collar workers in the U.S. with an easily intimidated, imported low wage work force. Without these "non-immigrant visa" (mostly H-1b) guest workers, the task of offshore outsourcing millions of white collar jobs would have been much more difficult.  

    I note that Marcus Courtney of the CWA's "Washtech" has spoken out repeatedly against these programs which by their very nature are designed to serve the interests of corporations anxious to axe their American workforces. Dr. Norman Matloff, a registered Democrat, a professor of computer Science at UC Davis and an expert on the H-1b program has given testimony before Congress relating to how these programs drive down wages and are used to permanently replace American workers.

    I see in the actions of Sen. Kennedy a desire to satisfy the offshore outsourcing agenda of multinational corporations and a rejection of the most fundamental tenets of concern for American workers. This is where the rubber hits the road. Supporting Bill Gates' offshore outsourcing and worker replacement agenda is antithetical to democratic economic principles.

    I am and will remain a democratic populist. It is unfortunate that some elected members of the Democratic Party appear indifferent to corporate economic and political domination of our nation, economy and society.

    Lost your job to free trade, outsourcing or non-immigrant visa workers yet?

    by Info Tech Guy on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 05:36:57 PM PDT

  •  Foreign policy exercise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mariachi mama

    Senator Kennedy,

    Latin American leaders are deeply suspicious about raids that are timed to coincide with U.S. foreign policy initiatives in the region. Specific examples of threats regarding immigrant deportation include the last presidential election in El Salvador, when the U.S. embassy there warned of deportations and reduced family remittances if the leftist party was elected. In Guatemala, planeloads of handcuffed Guatemalans were prominently unloaded when the U.S. embassy wanted action on the Peace Accords.

    It seems unconscionable to use poor immigrants as pawns in a game of foreign policy chess. Can Congress, or any other independent U.S. body, confirm that the timing and visibility of the New Bedford raid was unrelated to President Bush's trip to Latin America, and specifically to his foreign policy objectives in Mexico and Guatemala?

    Thank you for your excellent diary.

  •  What about our rights? (0+ / 0-)

    We must enforce our nation’s immigration laws. But the raids in New Bedford and elsewhere are merely a stopgap solution that unfairly penalizes vulnerable workers in an already flawed system. Notwithstanding their important contribution to the U.S. economy, many of this country’s twelve million undocumented immigrants are horribly exploited by unscrupulous employers. In the weeks ahead, I will propose a comprehensive immigration reform bill that seeks to create an earned legalization program for undocumented workers who are already in the

       United States. It will also hold employers accountable for verifying the immigration status of the workers they hire in the future, and significantly increase penalties against employers who hire and exploit undocumented workers.

    Let me first say that I think our nation has been served well by you.  Your brothers would be very proud.
    As I see it, the problem is that we're not putting enough pain on employers and smugglers.  A Fed. law, equal to attempted murder, should be imposed upon smugglers.  That would help deflate their tires.  Employers of illegal aliens should pay stiff fines, as you mention, but also be subjected to jail terms after repeat offenses.  Possibly for conspiracy to endanger the lives of human beings.  We need to get tough, really tough, or this criminal action against America will continue.
    As for the immigrants, themselves, I believe their rights are few.  They have a right to decent human treatment (which wasn't the case in New Bedford).  They have a right to healthcare only if their life is in immediate danger.  I don't have Govt. healthcare, unless I'm destitute, so they shouldn't have it overly available, either.  Because of the problem with children born in the U.S. being citizens I would not break up these families.  I would strip the children of their citizenship (since it was begotten illegally) and deport the entire family.
    A citizenship program might be put into practice but I would support aggressively arresting aliens and continueing deportations well into the future.  You, the Govt., have allowed this flood over the past 20 years and removing them should be a priority (even if that takes over 20 years of effort).  They are not here for our interests and are a large cause of gang behavior, violence, dangerous drug supply, and infrastructure overload.  While I have sympathy for their economic plight, in home country, it's my belief they should take action by changing their Govt., not by running away to ours.  They are criminals and should be treated as such.
    In the 1920-1940's the immigrants largely came over by boat and were documented as they entered.  This is a big difference between then and now.  Many Americans, if paid enough and supplied with benefits, would do the job Illegals are doing for far less money.  Illegals are doing much of the construction work, for instance, in my city and that's a high demand job.  Many homeless Americans, and students, would rejoice at farm work if paid decently and given healthcare (another reason I support Single Payor Care).  This is proven historically in the Depression and Dust Bowl.  Any other needs would be filled by legal immigrants.  
    Thank you, however, for asking and sharing your thoughts.      

    "Certain individuals aren't sticking to the plan." - Warren Zevon

    by rainmanjr on Tue Mar 13, 2007 at 06:42:43 PM PDT

  •  rainbar (0+ / 0-)

    You cant strip the kids of their citizenship right..Are you a fool?

    First of all, all your yapping about enforcment-only is crazy talk..Tancredo has a blog so maybe you might want to sign up.

    Here, go there and send money to your good buddy tancredo...This is a progressive site and we support a centrist immigration policy that does enforcement whyle giving current illegal immigrants a chance to get right with the law and adjust their status.

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