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HildaSolis
(Department of Labor)
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis takes Labor Day as an opportunity to stress the need for immigration reform, which is also labor and economic reform:
Too often, immigrants work in an underground economy—earning unfair wages, suffering unsafe conditions and hiding from authorities. This is not only wrong, but economically self-defeating. For generations, immigrants have helped to bring prosperity to America through entrepreneurial spirit and sweat equity. Given their economic potential, why would anyone want to shut off the tap of foreign- born talent? Why force willing wage earners—and potential taxpayers—into the shadows with no path to legal citizenship?

I’m perplexed by the questions—because the answers seem so obvious. Yet the current U.S. immigration system does exactly these things.

We educate foreign-born workers at a faster rate than any other country. But our outdated immigration system often sends them packing, only to create billion-dollar companies in countries that compete against us.

Our flawed immigration system also threatens the country’s agriculture industry. Growers that can’t find field labor end up shutting down—or turning to undocumented workers.

I’ve heard the arguments: Immigrants take jobs away from native-born workers. They depress wages. Both claims are false. In fact, every immigrant farm worker supports three additional jobs—often in better-paying sectors. In high-skilled industries, the impact is even greater—with each immigrant worker creating five additional jobs. As for pay, studies show that native workers earn higher wages in areas with higher immigration.

If the status quo persists, America stands to miss enormous opportunities to accelerate our recovery.

Immigrants are yet another group that the right wants us to turn against, to keep working people from seeing that their interests—native-born and immigrant, working-class and middle-class, union and non-union—are shared in this high-inequality economy. Making the connection between immigration reform and the economy clear on Labor Day is an elegant move by Solis.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 12:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  She should resign as Labor Secretary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampwiz, ban nock

    Her job is to represent the interests of American Citizens.  When illegals are allowed into the workplace, compensation and worker safety sinks.

    •  You've got that ass-backwards. (10+ / 0-)

      Businesses hire undocumented workers to avoid paying living wages and complying with OSHA.

      Btw, your use of "illegals" is pretty vile.

      The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

      by Orange County Liberal on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 01:00:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why vile? (5+ / 0-)

        It's not inaccurate.

        And, gosh,

        When illegals are allowed into the workplace, compensation and worker safety sinks.

        is in complete agreement with your statement.

        Sounds like you two could sing in harmony if you could live with people using accurate word choices that are not the ones you prefer.

        The truth is that we have created a strange sort of "illegal" with regard to immigrant workers -- one akin to cops who ignore broken tail-lights on "suspicious" cars so they will always have a legal reason to stop them.

        We hurt American workers AND we hurt illegal immigrants by creating a sort of "untouchable" caste of people who are afraid to pursue their legal rights, all for the benefit of businesses who don't care who they screw on the way to a few more greenbacks.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:16:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  None of which (4+ / 0-)

          is the illegal immigrant's fault.

          So for this guy to go on talking like these downtrodden people are "the other" here to TAKE ERR JERBS shifts the blame onto them, where it doesn't belong. They are a symptom, not a cause.

          •  Then what is their fault? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Hockeyray

            From what I've observed, illegal immigrants are people like anyone else -- which means that there are opportunists in that group as well, willing to take advantage of bad situations.  But too many liberals treat them like innocent children, pure as the fallen snow, turning a blind eye to any culpability.  

            •  Um, I don't know what you're asking... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Orange County Liberal

              You'll have to be more specific.

              Illegal immigrants don't just take err jerbs to dick with us... they risk life and limb to flee abject poverty brought on by external forces beyond their control. If you want to call that opportunism, I'd say that makes a very sizable portion of immigrants throughout history "opportunists."

              •  You seem to imply (0+ / 0-)

                That the jobs just kind of fall into illegal immigrants' laps.  That certainly illegal immigrants do nothing to take advantage of a bad situation, even though it comes at others' expense,  That would suggest that illegal immigrants have a sense of awareness and agency, even culpability.  But too many liberals are invested in seeing them as pure, innocent victims ("He didn't knows his papers were forged!  He didn't know that he'd stolen someone else's Social Security number!") that they would never allow themselves to view illegal immigrants in those terms.

                Yes, many people take advantage of opportunities.  Many destitute people sell drugs on the street.  Just because it's an opportunity for a better life, does that make it okay?

                •  Well um they do sort of fall into their laps (0+ / 0-)

                  because they work under the table for less money... hence the whole "big businesses hiring them/avoiding OHSA" thing.

                  As for all that other garbage, I implied nothing of the sort and I'll thank you to stop putting words in my mouth. Nowhere did I say anything about being OK with illegal immigrants forging documents and/or stealing identities. And I'll further add in response to your comment below that I don't turn a blind eye to other crimes illegal immigrants may or may not commit.

                  You are conflating my opinion that illegal immigrants should be absolved of the "crime" of coming here because they have little choice, with a strawman argument that we "liberals" think that they should also be absolved of all the other crimes they may commit, which is obviously bogus.

                  •  I'm glad you're willing (0+ / 0-)

                    To admit that much (re: the forgeries and theft).  Too many liberal sites never even mention them, and users will attack you for mentioning them.  In some cases, liberal posters go to ridiculous lengths to absolve illegal immigrants of any culpability -- "But he's from a small village!  How could he possibly know that he carries forged papers despite the fact that he has been living in the U.S. for 15 years?".

                    And yes, even if you go through hardship to get a job, you are still culpable of breaking the law and taking a job that would have gone to a citizen or legal resident.  Even if it's not the same as carjacking, it is still knowingly doing something wrong.  I don't buy that they had no choice, either: if we're talking about Mexico, it is a pretty wealthy country.  If they put pressure on their government, maybe they could get more of the wealth to flow their way.  If we're talking about Central American countries, they could go to Mexico -- which, ironically, has very strict border enforcement when it comes to people coming in.

                    •  um, in what universe is Mexico a wealthy country? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Eric0125

                      Surely you jest.

                    •  this is a lie.... (0+ / 0-)
                      But too many liberals treat them like innocent children, pure as the fallen snow, turning a blind eye to any culpability.
                      put up one link to such treatment, you can't because it's a fucking rightwing lie about we "liberals" you and your ilk seem to hate so much. Everyone that I know involved in the imigration dispute does so with their eyes wide open and with full knowledge that there are all types of immigrants, good and bad.

                      From there you go on to parrot the other wingnut bullshit but since you begin with a obvious lie and an attack on liberal thinking, people can tell where you're coming from without bothering to refute all your other mistakes. Repetitions of rightwing propaganda does not make them true, quite the opposite.

                      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                      by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:25:07 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  See my other response to you (0+ / 0-)

                        If you care so much about not jumping to conclusions.  And please send me a link showing someone on a liberal site (a front pager, not a rank and file user) actually being critical of illegal immigration.

                        •  you said there are many liberals who (0+ / 0-)

                          disagree with me and the other liberals you seek to insult. You claim to know them so why ask for a cite? Try to get your bullshit straight. The fact is that all liberal supporters of immigration reform, ALL, know that there are good and bad among immigrants. We know they're people just as well as you do but rightwing propagandists use your type of language to tar all thinking people with a broad brush. You seem to have glommed onto their liberal hating meme and swallowed it whole. Liberal positons are derived by clear thinking people who have examined the problem and come to a conclusion. Like the one Ms Solis has come to which is clear and true.

                          If you want some ignorant group-think go read what's being said on rightwing blogs, they will all sound just like you in both their criticism of liberals and immigration. They, like you, blame the victims of NAFTA and serve the oligarchs like good little soldiers.

                          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                          by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:37:10 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your post (0+ / 0-)
                            you said there are many liberals who disagree with me and the other liberals you seek to insult. You claim to know them so why ask for a cite?

                            I was referring to liberals that I know personally.  Good Democrats who knock on doors and make phone calls during elections, who believe in gay equality, strong labor unions, universal health care, clean environment, and are pro-choice.  They also care about raising people out of poverty, but uncritical acceptance of illegal immigration bothers them, because it isn't just about poverty -- so much of it is about hypocrisy and opportunism and looking the other way while laws are broken.

                            On the other hand, I've never, not once, read something by a liberal blogger that was critical of illegal immigration, mentioned a crime committed by an illegal immigrant, or in any way bothered to suggest that illegal immigrants are anything less than noble, upright, and hard-working.*  If you want examples, you can see them in the comments here.  It's not their fault they broke the law to take a job that might otherwise have gone to a citizen/legal resident.  The corporations were just handing jobs to them; NAFTA stole their livelihood; Americans take too many drugs; Americans have too many guns.  They are just victims.  

                            When you talk about them that way, you reduce them to children.  While some people who cross the border are children, most are adults fully capable of choosing their path, and they could have chosen to make it work in their home country.  They knew what they were doing when they came here, and who would pay the price for their choices.

                            * Actually, I think There is No Spoon at Hullabaloo once wrote a post that suggested maybe white male blue collar workers were right to be resentful of Democrats for championing the cause of illegal immigrants, but he got crucified in the comments.

                            If you want some ignorant group-think go read what's being said on rightwing blogs,

                            Dude, I never go to right-wing blogs.  But on the subject of illegal immigration, I see a lot of group think here.

            •  Stupid strawman (0+ / 0-)

              When illegal immigrants steal cars and rape women, there's no mob of liberals protesting that they are innocent and shouldn't be arrested/deported.

              When they come to the country illegally, a misdemeanor, there's a little more wiggle room in the hearts of liberals. Surely it's less destructive to our country than even trivial white-collar offenses and regulatory skirting by corporations.

              "Only idiots believe the earth is getting warmer. Besides, they've proven it's only getting warmer because of sunspots."

              by Carnet on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:56:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  First of all (0+ / 1-)
                Recommended by:
                Hidden by:
                cacamp

                You never HEAR liberals talk about rapes, car theft, and other crimes, even though some illegal immigrants do commit them.  And please spare me the "But illegal immigrant crime is so much lower" or "But Americans commit them, too!". The point is that the crime rate would be lower if people not legally permitted to be in the country were not in the country committing them.

                I don't think I've ever seen a liberal website or post criticizing an illegal immigrant for committing crime.  Because they just don't commit crimes, right?  They're all just poor honest hardworking folks, every last one.  And certainly none of them possess any of the questionable morality that would make someone take a job that would go to a citizen, knowing that they are depriving that citizen and his/her family of the wages.  Nope, illegal immigrants are just pure and sweet as newborn fawns, only needing a wise American liberal to guide them through the mean, corrupting streets of the U.S.A.

                •  continuing the lies and hating liberals. trolling? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  cdreid

                  I don't know why a dumbass far right propagandist would care to post on a liberal blog but I can tell you that most people here will read your first lie about "liberals" and ignore the rest of your bullshit as no more truthful than Rush or Beck.

                  Nope, illegal immigrants are just pure and sweet as newborn fawns, only needing a wise American liberal to guide them through the mean, corrupting streets of the U.S.A.
                  fuck you

                  America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                  by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:30:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nice try (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ban nock

                    Please do a check before you abuse your HR status.  I'm a longtime user, TU, and a liberal myself.  I was just distinguishing those liberals who seem to defend illegal immigrants at all costs from those who don't (and there are many liberals who oppose illegal immigration).  

                    But I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you didn't try to counter my opinion with an actual argument.  

                    •  fuck that, your hate is obvious (0+ / 0-)

                      you made more than one post with liberal hating diatribes that parrot rightwing bullshit lies. It doesn't matter how long you've been here, with that attitude you belong on redstate. In fact you use wingnut "liberal baiting" to take the place of actual reasoning. Go back and take out the liberal hating portions of your comments and you'll see how empty they are of anything that could be called reasoning if you don't believe me.

                      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                      by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:17:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So does yours (0+ / 0-)

                        If you can't handle liberals having a variety of thought, including being critical of illegal immigration and uncritical liberal acceptance of illegal immigration, then you might as well throw in your lot with Edflugan and other people who think it would be really neat to primary Obama and have a President Perry, because maybe then Democrats would learn how to be pure.

                        •  wierd answer, not to say dumb (0+ / 0-)

                          damn, first you take the teabagger side and spew liberal haating bullshit then you come with this nonesense. Be critical as you want fool, I took exception to your hate speech not the fact that you're so wrong about immigration, comprende?

                          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                          by cacamp on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 09:29:20 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Get it through your head (0+ / 0-)

                            This is not the "teabagger side" -- a lot of rank and file liberals (as opposed to liberal bloggers on prominent liberal websites) do not support unchecked illegal immigration.  I was expressing my general frustration with the fact (and it is a fact) that you never see liberal websites prominently discussing the failings of illegal immigration unless it's casting the illegal immigrants as victims, as opposed to participants in a corrupt and costly system.  You have done nothing to dissuade me of this view.  Again, if you want "purity" of thought, go join Edflugan and the firebaggers.

                          •  teabagger lies prove nothing (0+ / 0-)

                            you can repeat the 'bagger lies about liberals all day but it won't make them true. Liberal bloggers all, ALL, know that immigrants come in all discriptions, good and bad. Your first lie about liberal thinking only means you don't know shit about the issue so you use teabagger tactics to bolster a nothing argument. I don't need to join anyone nor to disuade you about anything to point out your liberal bashing hate and its similarity to the vilest teabaggers and racists on the far right. You lay down with them and now you're surprised you got up with fleas.

                            America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                            by cacamp on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 03:43:25 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Firebagger lies also prove nothing (0+ / 0-)

                            You can call me a teabagger all day, no matter how big a lie, but if you do, I'll call you a firebagger.  Because that's what firebaggers do: they treat everyone who deviates from their brand of ultra-liberal orthodoxy like Republicans.  And ironically, they end up doing the work of the teabaggers: alienating people who are generally on their side.  Great job so far.

                          •  No, you continue to lie (0+ / 0-)

                            about some mythical "liberals" you and your teabag friends hate on. So go ahead and call names and call attention to your fucking teabagger lies about why so many liberals want a humane comprehensive form of immigration reform.

                            Of course everyone knows "firebagger" as an insult from you is very revealing about your lack of knowledge about liberal politics but also revealing about your adherance to the false and stupid teabagger line of lies. Just remember how your stupidity got you into this mess so badly you have to call pitiful names and tell ignorant lies in order to assuage your hurt feelings about being exposed for what you are.

                            But now I've stopped being amused at exposing you so go ahead and call some final names and do some final "liberal hating" before you slink back to redstate. You've been excused. bye

                            America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

                            by cacamp on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:50:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Keep lying (0+ / 0-)

                            You can scream all day that I'm a teabagger, but that doesn't make it true.

                            You can scream that your broad-brush painting (the same thing you accuse me of doing) doesn't represent the same sort of purity mindset as the firebaggers, but that also doesn't make it true.  Learn to accept that liberals and even progressives think differently from you.

                •  Crimes are committed every day (0+ / 0-)

                  Man, fuck your strawman crap. Just because something's not talked about doesn't mean it's endorsed.

                  Cars are stolen every day. Women are raped every day. The issue of crime in general is something we talk about all the time. You don't see liberals making posts about individual crimes because they're not the kind of national issue that warrant an internet post. If you want to learn about individual crimes check your local newspaper because that's as far up as it's going to go.

                  When you're talking about massive numbers of crimes it doesn't matter if some percentage of them involve a guy with an expired visa or a guy who was brought here when he was six months old. It has nothing to do with the overarching issues of rape or theft or what-have-you.

                  Jose raping Maria is a tragedy but it's not a national issue. When our private defense contractors ban their female employees from filing lawsuits about the gangrape that regularly goes on, that is a national issue that warrants discussion on a blog like dkos.

                  "Only idiots believe the earth is getting warmer. Besides, they've proven it's only getting warmer because of sunspots."

                  by Carnet on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:22:49 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Never said it was, but they ARE here to take (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cdreid, brn2bwild, swampwiz

            jobs.  

            That's why they come.

            Pointing fingers at employers -- and it is 100% appropriate to do so -- doesn't change that fact.

            The lack of sensible and properly enforced immigration policies hurts everybody involved, except for the employers who exploit illegal immigrants.

            Like most things economic, demand, not supply, does the driving.  Put a heavy thumb on employers, and the flow will slow.  

            That might, however, come under the category of "Be careful what you wish for."  We're not talking about a stream of layabouts. We're talking about people coming to work and make better lives for themselves and their families.  That tends to be a good thing -- at least when done on the level.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:12:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the most deliciously ironic part of the (0+ / 0-)

              whole debate is that all of these arguments---every single one of them without exception, word for word--was flung at the wave of immigrants in the 1910's and 1920's.  "They take our jobs !!!!"  "They won't assimilate !!!" "Boo hoo hoo !!!!"

              And the best part of all----------->half the people who make these arguments today had ancestors back then who heard the very same identical arguments directed at THEM.

              •  It's always been the case, but doesn't change the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                brn2bwild

                need for rational immigration policy -- that includes, like other nations, border control.

                I guess I'm on both sides of that --

                Part of me is Irish, and the Irish were not exactly welcome.
                Part of me is Cherokee, and they were here before just about everybody else.

                We really need to admit that illegal in the case of immigrants has not meant the same thing it does for most other things.  So long as we looked the other way while people employed illegal immigrants we were really giving all those folks a big wink and saying "I'm just kidding about all that legal stuff".

                LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                by dinotrac on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:13:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, nobody is advocating that the gates be (0+ / 0-)

                  opened and everyone allowed to stroll in and stay. Even the EU with its open internal borders doesn't do that---the Swedish waitresses I met in Oslo couldn't stay forever.

                  But the fact remains that there are already millions of "illegals" already here, and unless we're going to deport them or shoot them, we need to find a way to let them stay without being a permanently super-exploited labor pool. And that means they are no longer "illegal".

                  And the fact also remains that as long as they need jobs and we have jobs, they'll come here to get the jobs.  There's simply no way to stop that. If we really want to keep them on their side of the border, then we need to insure there are jobs there for them. But we don't want to do that. So they will just keep coming here for jobs.  (shrug)

                  •  Sounds like you're advocating it. (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cdreid, brn2bwild, ban nock
                    And the fact also remains that as long as they need jobs and we have jobs, they'll come here to get the jobs.  There's simply no way to stop that.

                    There is a way to stop that, and it's to make jobs unavailable.  We haven't had the political will to do that.

                    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                    by dinotrac on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:53:42 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  then you need to reread. (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't create reality, I only describe it.

                      There is simply no way to make the jobs "unavailable". There simply is no impenetrable fence.  Hell, immigrants from Central America get here and they don't even share a border--how do you plan on fencing them out?

                      Ironic, anyway, that for one-tenth the cost of the, uh, impenetrable Berlin Wall you want to build, we can just GIVE THEM FUCKING JOBS IN MEXICO so they don't HAVE to cross the border.

                      But, as you put it, there's no political will to do that.

                      •  I only describe it. Sure. (0+ / 0-)

                        You describe the reality as you wish it to be.
                        And, while you're at it, you exercise your own Walt Disney fantasies:

                        the, uh, impenetrable Berlin Wall you want to build,

                        That comes strictly from your own prejudice and a mighty belief in your own omniscience.  I have never said anything about building a fence, wall, or even well-maintained hedgrerow.

                        The way to stem opportunity is to make it risky and expensive for employers to hire illegal aliens.

                        As to giving Mexican workers jobs, you should be talking to the Mexican government. At the moment, in case your little world is a bit too insulated to notice, millions of Americans (including legal immigrants) are out of work.  That should be the first concern of our government.

                        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                        by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 04:19:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  well, if you think I'm a NAFTA supporter . . . (0+ / 0-)

                          then there's no point talking with you.  (shrug)

                          If I were describing reality as I want it to be, every corporation on the planet would have been socialized decades ago and would now be owned by the public, and WTO/NAFTA wouldn't even exist. And every unemployed person on the planet---Mexican, American, Somalian, whatever--would be getting whatever they needed through a robust worldwide social safety net paid for by the revenue from those socialized corporations.

                          •  btw, if you don't want a wall to keep the forners (0+ / 0-)

                            out, how do you plan on . . . well . . . keeping them out?

                            Ask them politely?

                          •  Um....Really, really short memory. (0+ / 0-)

                            Hint -- demand, employers, etc.

                            People generally do things for a reason, and people don't uproot their lives for the heck of it.  People come to the US for opportunities -- and -- if you were following the news over the last year -- a number of people have gone back to Mexico as a result of opportunities drying up in our current economic stagnation.

                            Clamp down on employers who exploit illegal immigrants for profit.  Make it risky and expensive to do so.
                            Slowing the demand will slow the flow and make border patrol a much easier proposition.

                            That does leave a major problem:

                            As a nation, we should WANT immigrants who come here willing and able to work.  It's a good thing.  Our immigration laws need to make that possible without creating an exploited worker caste.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:58:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  alas, I'm talking with half a dozen different (0+ / 0-)

                            people here, all of whom have their own reasons why we shouldn't let brown people into the country.  My apologies if I have my anti-immigration people mixed up.

                            But if your problem with immigrants is that the bosses give them "our" jobs because they work for less, then I only have two questions:

                            1. what would be wrong with solving the problem by raising their wages to match ours, thereby destroying everyone's economic incentive towards illegal immigrants

                            and

                            2. if the rich-fuck bosses are using the powerless immigrants as weapons against us, then against whom would our anger and actions be most usefully directed---at the powerless tools, or at the people using them?

                          •  Isn't that more or less what I'm saying? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            brn2bwild

                            1.  The biggest problem is people coming and living and working outside of the normal constraints  and protections.

                            It was one of the big stories -- though I don't know if it was also one of the widely reported stories --of the Katrina cleanup.  Lots of immigrants going to New Orleans to do roofing, carpentry, electrical work and lots of them getting ripped off by contractors because, well, they could.

                            Would there be any need to control the flow of immigrants if everybody is playing by the same rules?

                            Beats me.  Sure seems like the right place to start.  We can't exactly reach down into every poor village in Mexico to keep people from wanting better lives.  We CAN pay more attention to making sure that employers in our own country follow the law.

                            2.  That's a big Duh!.  I can't get mad at people trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.  Doesn't mean I don't want the border patrolled or that I'm unwilling to deport them, but I understand the desire.

                            If the opportunities here are really that great -- especially when so many locals are out of work -- then something is very very wrong.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 08:35:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  then here's the only thing I think we disagree on: (0+ / 0-)
                             Doesn't mean I don't want the border patrolled

                            No one is advocating that.

                            or that I'm unwilling to deport them,

                            From a purely practical point of view, this is simply impossible.  We simply will not round up and deport over one million people.  Ever.  It may make all the lawnorder types get hard-ons (and no, I'm not saying you are a lawnorder type), but it simply will not ever happen. For reasons of pure practicality. Quite aside from all the political and economic reasons why it won't ever happen.

                            I'll conclude by simply saying again that the only way to really prevent people coming from Mexico to "take our jobs" is to insure that they have jobs in Mexico and don't need "ours".

                            But of course we don't want to do that, since we as a nation simply don't care what happens to people outside the US. So they will continue to come here whether we like it or not, and despite anything we try to do to stop them.  (shrug)

                          •  No, we can't deport everybody. (0+ / 0-)

                            And the mass of people in the country now are the result of a "wink wink" kind of illegal.  Kind of like those old laws that say you can't hitch your elephant by the horse trough and things like that.

                            We really need a way to deal fairly with them and to admit that we were setting an expectation by looking the other way while they established lives in our country.

                            In a sane immigration setting, hopefully one that we will have some day, enforcement -- including deportation -- is not merely acceptable, but required.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 11:02:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  but then NAFTA comes in . . . . (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dinotrac

                            NAFTA arranged things so that jobs could cross the borders freely.  And a necessary part of that is workers moving freely across the border to follow the jobs. Part of the reason why immigration laws went unenforced is because NAFTA more or less invalidated them. Whether one likes NAFTA or not (I don't), it is there, it's not going away, and it is still in effect---and what it does is turn North America into essentially one large integrated economy, in which national borders are economically irrelevant.

                            In essence, under NAFTA, the national borders in North America are supposed to be treated just like the national borders within the EU--people are supposed to be able to move freely from job to job, anywhere within the economic union.

                            That, after all, was the promise made to Mexico in order to gain its cooperation and acceptance of NAFTA. And Mexico has every moral and legal right to insist that the rest of North America do what it said it would do--even if the maquiladora sector went bust, China became our new low-wage haven, and we prefer to pretend NAFTA no longer exists insofar as Mexico goes.

                            To anyone who wants to talk about American sovereignty or national borders, I can only point out that the US, just like Mexico and Canada, gave up those things when it formed the NAFTA union. Like it or not.

                          •  Don't get me started on NAFTA --- (0+ / 0-)

                            I always thought Ross Perot had it exactly right: That NAFTA would create a giant sucking sound of jobs leaving the country.

                            However, please note that NAFTA -- like the EU -- does not forbid the requirement of passports, visas, and assorted requisite legalities.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 12:19:48 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  true (0+ / 0-)

                            NAFTA's effects were not hard to predict. The corporados of course knew what would happen too---they just didn't care, as long as they made a bundle from it.

                            As for passports etc, they seemed pretty minimal to me. When I travelled from England to Norway, even as a non-EU, all I got was a cursory passport stamp. I didn't even need a visitor card or customs form--unlike my return to the US where I needed practically everything except a note from my mom.

                            I did also note that probably half of the waitresses I met in Norway were Swedish or Danish citizens who had come temporarily for jobs. In chatting with them, I got the impression that no one was very excited about it, and the process was easy as dirt. And a friend of mine who organizes a nonprofit aid group for Romanians who move to Norway explained that the immigration procedures are pretty relaxed. For the most part, Europeans just don't get as excited about immigrants as we do (though there is of course a racist nativist fringe in England and Norway, just as there is everywhere, I suppose.)

                            (As an aside, most of the schools in Scandinavia require English as a subject, so lots of people in Norway were excited for the opportunity to try out their grade-school English on me.)

                          •  Active imagination AND a short memory... (0+ / 0-)

                            I never said anything about NAFTA, but, ahem, you wrote this:

                            Ironic, anyway, that for one-tenth the cost of the, uh, impenetrable Berlin Wall you want to build, we can just GIVE THEM FUCKING JOBS IN MEXICO so they don't HAVE to cross the border.

                            Seems like you have trouble keeping up with yourself, not talking to me.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:52:30 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  thanks for not answering my question (0+ / 0-)

                            How did you plan on keeping all those Mexicans on their side of the border.

                          •  Reading. It's fundamental. (0+ / 0-)

                            If you tried that, you would know the answer to your question.

                            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

                            by dinotrac on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:59:31 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Sounds good to me (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brn2bwild, cdreid

          We are going to replace workers making $10 to $15 per hour and who are afraid of pursuing their legal rites lest they be fired with workers making $7.50 an hour and who won't pursue their legal rights lest they be replaced by a new crop of undocumented workers.

          But the food in the lunch room will be a lot better during pot lucks.

        •  The correct term is Unauthorized (0+ / 0-)

          uless you want to call jaywalkers illegal.

          Don't squander your youth. You never can buy it back.

          by fredlonsdale on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:20:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  They took r jobs! Der d der! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itzik shpitzik

      I hear they have extra DittoHead Bischuits at Free Republic for the holiday.

      Better hurry!

      •  alas, it wasn't very long ago that the unions were (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JC from IA, buckybadger1988

        echoing this very sentiment. When the Dubya Administration proposed a law that would provide a "pathway to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants (remember that?) only three American labor unions (the SEUI, the Farm Workers, and Unite Now) supported it--the rest all opposed it on the idiotic grounds that "they're taking our jobs !!!!!!"

        In a global economy, economic nationalism always leads to disaster.

        •  economic nationalism always leads to disaster?? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brn2bwild

          Even with a 9+% "national" unemployment rate, which would be documented even higher if those not looking for work or part-timers holding full time positions were counted?  Really?

        •  Let's see.. we give everyone citizenship.. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brn2bwild

          and the employers have a choice: re-hire the newly minted citizens who now cost a lot more money because of payroll tax and unemployment insurance and workmans' comp and overtime, or let those new citizens join the burgeoning ranks of the unemployed, and instead hire unauthorized workers that can be exploited and profited off of far more lucratively (which was the whole reason for hiring the first set of unauthorized workers). Hmmmm...

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:03:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  unless of course the new unauthorized workers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            buckybadger1988

            have jobs in Mexico and don't need to come here.

            Which do you think would be more cost-effective at keeping people in Mexico------a Berlin Wall from Baja to the Gulf of Mexico and a small army to patrol it, or building some Ford factories in Mexico so they have jobs.

            Remember that NAFTA thingie . . . . ?

            •  They can build their own factories (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              brn2bwild, dfe

              ..because we need ours for our own workers.

              No, we don't need a Berlin wall. We need to stop implementing policies that hurt labor in Mexico (like dumping subsidized grain on their markets) and we need to stop supporting aristocratic oligarchic regimes. We need to use our leverage as a superpower to pressure them to invest in their own workers and their own people, instead of exporting their "inconvenient" poor and having them send home remittances to support unjust, anti-labor regimes.

              If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

              by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:53:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well your sense of humanity is underwhelming (0+ / 0-)

                But, as I noted earlier, thanks to NAFTA we are a three-way partnership now.  That means it's not "their" workers or jobs--it's ours too.

                Me, I think it's pretty funny that you bitch and moan and gripe and complain about all the forners coming here, when the simplest way to stop them would be to HELP them---which you don't want to do because they're forners.

                (sigh)

                •  I said no such thing. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  brn2bwild

                  The "furner" thing is your projection, your strawman.

                  We help people by getting out of their way, and ceasing to support colonial and corporatist foreign regimes.

                  The people of Chile did fine under Allende, until we killed him and instituted Pinochet. People in 3rd World countries are not stupid, they are oppressed by regimes that hold all the wealth in a few hands. There's a lot we can do about that, but we have to have a global idea of worker justice, as you've said.

                  Pretty much all of my family's Christmas money was sent to the Heifer Project. I have done Peace Corps and Service Civil International work since I was a kid. I've worked and marched with the poor in 3rd world countries and in this one.

                  I never said I didn't want to help workers across borders. Where did I say that? It's just that I don't believe NAFTA is helpful. I don't believe neoliberalism is helpful. I don't believe hiring people under "scab" conditions is helpful. I don't have a problem with people moving across borders. You and I are pretty much on the same page.

                  If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                  by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:16:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You're preaching (0+ / 0-)

              bluedog right wing economic bullshit Lenny????

              Nafta was a DISASTER as the very report commissioned by the law clearly showed. Well.. for the american worker anyway. For the megacorps and mexican oligarchy it was a frigging gold mine.

              A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

              by cdreid on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:23:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  You seem to believe that is clever (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild

        and thus use it in lieu of the facts and logic you dont have to back your argument up.

        The simple fact is the base laws of economics as well as every economic study ever done makes the facts extremely clear. Illegal immigration is used to force american wages down. And a hell of a lot of upper and upper-middle class so-called "progressives" have NO problem with it because a: it doesnt affect them. b: It Benefits them as they hire those workers. c: theres a cultural or racial element (see: markos).

        And yes quite a few short sighted fools here do openly advocate open borders and the race to the bottom that the corporations are having waking wet dreams over.

        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

        by cdreid on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 09:21:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is of course a rather simple solution to (0+ / 0-)

          this:

          The simple fact is the base laws of economics as well as every economic study ever done makes the facts extremely clear. Illegal immigration is used to force american wages down.

          Organize them so their wages are the same as ours.

          And yes quite a few short sighted fools here do openly advocate open borders and the race to the bottom that the corporations are having waking wet dreams over.

          Alas, reality is what it is---we have open borders, and we will never be able to seal them.  Whether we like it or not.

          •  We've closed them before (0+ / 0-)

            We can do the same now by simply a: enforcing the law on employers and b: enforcing the laws.

            Fining every employer who hires illegal aliens one year of wages minimum for each illegal alien employed would do the job. A law requiring full enforcement a payout of 1% of the fine to anyone who reported the illegal hiring would get the ball rolling.

            The solution isnt even complicated or secret. It simply isnt desired either by the right wing nuts or the so-called progressives who seem to lose the ability to think when it comes to immigration.

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Thu Sep 08, 2011 at 04:05:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Pretending they're not there has worked so well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JC from IA, itzik shpitzik

      Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

      by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:32:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  alas, this whole "Merkans First!!!" idea is what (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bush Bites

      led to the collapse of the labor movement in the first place, as UAW and USWA unions workers with their, uh, partners in management to "protect" themselves from the "forners".

      In a world of multinational corporations who span the globe and move freely across borders at will, management no longer has any country--and neither do workers.

      •  Be funny if unions started trying to unionize... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JC from IA

        ...undocumented workers instead complaining about them and not getting anywhere.

        Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

        by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:45:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that was precisely the argument made by the SEIU (0+ / 0-)

          The SEIU pointed out quite sensibly that since the undocumented workers were already here and were not going to simply vanish into thin air, the best thing we can do is ORGANIZE THEM, so they don't become a permanent pool of super-exploited workers.

          Alas, American unions are, like most other Americans I suppose, still in love with the idea of "Merka First", and still treat anyone with brown skin as an enemy.

          Because, ya know, anti-forner sentiment worked so well for the UAW and Steelworkers Union . . . .

          •  They Will Be Replaced by New Undocumented workers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cdreid, brn2bwild

            Undocumented workers have jobs because their employer wishes to save money. When one group of workers become documented, as we saw happen the last time amnesty was offered a new crop of undocumented workers will emerge to fill the hole they left behind. It is a never-ending problem. Undocumented workers take the jobs of recent immigrants with working papers, who in turn take the jobs from the unskilled permanent residents and citizen. As long as corporations are able to save money by hiring the desperate, there will always be a new crop of even more desperate people. If you organized the current crop of undocumented workers they would soon be replaced by those willing to work for less in crappier conditions.

      •  I guess we have no black, brown or red 'Merkans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild

        ???

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:09:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Merkans First fails whether the Merkans are (0+ / 0-)

          white, brown, red, pink, purple or striped.  

          Just ask the UAW and USWA (what's left of them) how anti-forner campaigns worked out for them.

          •  Well, yes and no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brn2bwild, dfe

            We have to support regional worker justice. If things get shitty here (which they increasingly are), we can't just flee to Sweden, get a job under the table there and send the cash home to our starving families so they're content enough that they won't rise up and fight the corporatists. Doing that will destroy what makes Sweden a success and implement the seeds of their failure. It will also prolong the suffering here long-term.

            100 years ago, union workers fought and died to get worker justice, which led to the middle class and made the US a place where people wanted to come and work. We may have to do it again.

            Workers need to do the same thing in their home countries, and we need to help them, at the worker-to-worker level, and also by pressuring our own government to stop supporting economic fascists.

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:30:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but here's the problem with "Merka First" . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rhetoricus
              If things get shitty here (which they increasingly are), we can't just flee to Sweden

              The corporations CAN.  They can flee anywhere on the planet, any time they want, and nobody can stop them.

              And they will always go where the wages are lowest.

              We call that "whipsawing".  And there is only one effective way to prevent whipsawing---organize the workers EVERYWHERE.  Just as Mexican workers won't come here if they're paid the same in Mexico, the corporados won't move to Mexico if the workers there are paid the same as workers here.

              We call that "solidarity".

              The very idea that labor unions can be limited to jsut one country, is an outdated outmoded concept that only drags us down.  Multinational corporations have operations all over the world. It does no good at all for us to organize a union here when literally half the workers in the company live in another country and aren't in the same union. That is a recipe for disaster--as the UAW found out to its cost. If we try to organize solely within one country, the entire company will simply pack up and move elsewhere.

              The companies are no longer nation-based--they are global, and have no country.  We must match them. We simply must give up the entire idea of nation-based unions, and move to global company-based unions, in which all of a corporation's workers are in the same union, whether they happen to be located in Tennessee or Tibet or Timbuktu--and we need to make sure that the worker in Tibet who does a particular job is paid exactly the same as a worker in Tennessee or Timbuktu who does the same job. One company, one union, one wage scale for everybody.

              It's the ONLY way to beat international whipsawing and defang the entire "free trade" framework.

              It used to be that "workers of all countries unite!" was just an idealistic political slogan. Now, it has become our only survival strategy.

              •  Preach it, my brother. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                brn2bwild

                As an organizational question, would you pay the worker what would support a living wage for the region (sort of like how wages in NYC and Nowhere, Kansas are slightly different), or would you have a more uniform wage that would rapidly equalize living conditions and standards everywhere?

                Let's  not forget environmental standards as well, so we're not the last generation to know what clean water and forests are.

                If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:53:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  same job, same pay--everywhere (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhetoricus

                  If a Ford worker in Detroit gets twenty bucks an hour to do a job, then a Ford worker in Shanghai or Juarez goddamn well better be getting the same twenty bucks an hour to do the same job.

                  Anything less means all the jobs will move where it's cheapest. The only way to stop that is make sure NOBODY is the cheapest.

                  And besides, people deserve the same pay for the same job.  Period.

                  •  I love it. (0+ / 0-)

                    Consumer activists can help bring this about too.

                    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                    by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 08:11:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  the Fair Trade Movement is made up of consumer (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      rhetoricus

                      groups, labor groups, environmental groups, workplace safety, product safety and purity, indigenous peoples--everyone who has an interest in protecting people from the effects of unfettered "free trade".

                      It will indeed take a huge global multifaceted organization like that to beat the multinational corporations and force our will into the WTO.

                      Fighting at the mere national level won't cut it anymore--the multinationals will simply squash us like a bug. They are global. We must be too.

              •  PS, do you know of an up-to-date website (0+ / 0-)

                for such a global organizing movement?

                If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:55:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  do a Google for "Fair Trade Movement" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  rhetoricus

                  The Fair Trade Movement is currently the most coherent opposition to "free trade".  It argues that if the WTO and free trade structure isn't going to go away (and it's not), then we should use it as our own weapon, by forcing the inclusion of Fair Trade standards (minimum wage, workplace safety, consumer product standards, environmental protections) into the WTO trade rules themselves, forcing every company that does business anywhere on the planet to abide by those rules.

                  There is, alas, no interest in any major unions towards an international labor movement. They're all besotted with economic nationalism, and it will lead to disaster for all of them (as it already has for the US).

                  But inevitably the union movement will be forced to become international whether they like it or not.  It's the only way they can effectively fight a multinational company. They'll have no choice.

  •  I wish Secretary Solis was still in the House. (0+ / 0-)

    I think she'd have a lot more to say about this Administration.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 01:01:35 PM PDT

  •  Yes, I think her remarks were particularly (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, itzik shpitzik

    pertinent.  Good for her!

  •  You know what takes jobs away from native born (7+ / 0-)

    workers?

    Corporations sending them overseas to those native born workers in other countries.

    Nice statement!

    Sarah Palin 2012!!! Prove the Mayans right...

    by funluvn1 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:09:55 PM PDT

  •  Ah well (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sockpuppet, brn2bwild, dfe

    We could have approached immigration reform in a way that didn't alienate the massive numbers of unemployed people who would be happy with any job.  But I guess that just wasn't in the cards.

    Politics is the art of changing what's possible.

    by happymisanthropy on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:17:23 PM PDT

  •  Just declare the border open and be done with it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, brn2bwild

    n/t

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:20:44 PM PDT

    •  Sounds good to me (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brn2bwild

      The only people left in Mexico will be a half dozen Gringo scuba instructors and timeshare salesmen and a couple of dozen Brazilian soccer players.

      •  should be noted that much of the border "problem" (0+ / 0-)

        is our own fault.  We were the ones who pushed NAFTA onto everyone by promising jobs jobs jobs in the maquiladora, thereby enticing lots of Mexicans to leave the densely-populated southern part of the country to enter the sparse northern part near the border---then pulled out all the factories and moved them to China, leaving lots of Mexicans in the middle of a desert with no jobs, no money, and no option but to go further north.

        If we really want people to stay in Mexico, we should do what we told them we'd do----make sure they have jobs in Mexico.

        •  Lots of Chilangos, Tapatios, etc (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brn2bwild

          Yes, some people do leave the northern border area to work in the US.

          But lots more people come here directly from further south.  

          Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are even further away from the US, don't have free trade with the US and lots of people from there move here.  So many Salvadorans live in the US that the US dollar is now the El Salvador's currency.

          NAFTA didn't destroy many jobs in Canada and probably created some.  But Canada does not have Mexico's institutionalized corruption.

          •  I was part of the "sanctuary" movement in 80's (0+ / 0-)

            (For those who are too young to remember, it was an underground railroad that illegally smuggled political refugees from the dictatorships in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and found refuge for them in the US). So I probably understand better than most how people can be smuggled from Central America to the US even without a shared border.

            That's one of the reasons why I long ago concluded that "sealing the Mexican border" is simply a waste of time, effort and money. Even if we built a Berlin Wall from Baja to the Gulf of Mexico, it won't keep people out. (shrug) It's a nice feel-good "solution", but alas it solves nothing at all.

            BTW, Costa Rica also uses the US dollar as currency--but in Costa Rica there are proportionately more Americans living there than there are Costa Ricans living here.

        •  Not to mention the drug war (0+ / 0-)

          Deliberately ruining a country is a bad way to get its people to stay there.

          "Only idiots believe the earth is getting warmer. Besides, they've proven it's only getting warmer because of sunspots."

          by Carnet on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:58:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  And the entire US will resemble Mexico (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Utahrd, PrahaPartizan, brn2bwild

        ..not in the wonderful cultural and ethnic senses, but in the vile corporatist oligarchical "all the money in a few hands" wealth disparity no-work, lots-of-suffering sense. Yay.

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:55:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  inevitably that is what will happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PrahaPartizan

      The global economy has already made national borders economically-irrelevant.  It won't be long before they become politically-irrelevant too.

      And of course most Americans have no idea at all that the US-Mexico border WAS completely open throughout the 1800's all the way to the 1940's, when FDR, fearing wartime sabotage, "secured" it. The Treaty of Hidalgo-Guadalupe, which ended the Mexican-American War, was interpreted by the US as allowing free movement of both sides across the border, allowing family members who had been separated by the newly-drawn border to visit each other.

      Indeed, from the 1940's to the 1960's, the US government had its own program, called "braceros", of bringing in Mexican workers every year to work the agricultural farmlands of the West.

      The whole idea of a closed border to prevent Mexicans entering the US, did not happen until the 1970's. Before then, the border with Mexico was essentially open (as it is still essentially open with Canada).

      And the country did not collapse.

      •  Can't side with ya on this one, Lenny (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild

        What you are saying was then....this is now.  Today is FAR different than yesterday, so to speak.  Please don't make me go through a bunch of explainations for that just so you can disagree with each one...okay?

        As I've said here already, I'm all about immigration reform...giving a modified path to citizenship to those here illegally currently.  But, I sense you would be just fine if we just opened our Southern boarder with only checkpoints to try to keep drugs and contraband from getting in.  No other country on earth has that kind of immigration policy and it is for a reason.  

        In my considered opinion, any kind of legitimate immigration reform (and we all know that term means Mexican immigration) must start with closing the boarders.  Past that, we can work with those that are here and have been contributors to our society and that want to be contributors to our country...accept our customs...become Americans.  

        Doubt you think along those lines, but, alas, I do.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:13:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  we had an open border with Mexico for 200 years (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PrahaPartizan

          It didn't kill us.

          We have an open border with Canada now.  It's not killing us -- although the Canadians are getting a wee bit upset with all the illegal Americans going there for jobs.

          •  I'm pretty sure we don't (0+ / 0-)

            Canada has a very tight immigration policy.  By definition, "open borders" means loose or no immigration restrictions.

            When I went to Canada for a vacation, I was stopped at the border and grilled about my plans and financial status.  I had to swear that I wasn't coming there for a job.  That doesn't sound like open borders to me.

            Strange how Canada with its tight border restrictions has jobs, and the U.S., with it's much looser restrictions, does not.

          •  For 200 years.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PrahaPartizan, brn2bwild

            corporations exploited the shit out of workers. Made children work 16 hours a day in mines and sweatshops. Employers make laborers work till they dropped, or were maimed or poisoned, or too old or sick to go on. Then they cut them loose with no pension, to die in the streets.

            That ended when workers organized and said "enough, you corporatist bastards." And they got laws passed to protect themselves, and got minimum wage and work safety and overtime laws and Medicare and Social Security.
            And the middle class was born, and the suffering went WAY down in this country.

            Until corporations figured out that they could offshore factories and onshore undocumented labor to get around all those labor-protection laws and union nonsense.

            Congrats, we're welcoming back the 18th and 19th centuries, once again, for which you are so nostalgic.

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:53:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  too funny (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PrahaPartizan

              Know why the corporations were able to break the unions with those forn workers?  Because the unions refused to ORGANIZE THE FOREIGNERS.

              Why? Because they were just as much in love with Merka First as you are, and it failed miserably.

              Me nostalgic for the corporados?  THAT's pretty goddamn funny. You have no idea who I am or what I've done. Hilarious.

  •  The ones working off the books.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itzik shpitzik

    ....don't pay into SS and Medicare either.

    That's dumb.

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:30:53 PM PDT

  •  Tax cuts? No AIDS funding? Arms to the contras? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild, itzik shpitzik

    It's very strange to see Kossacks advocating a policy that Ronald Reagan pursued with his 1986 amnesty.

  •  Often I'm the only legal worker on the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild, dfe, swampwiz

    construction site. I certainly don't blame my amigos for coming up to work and staying but I do blame people like secretary Solis for encouraging the practice.

    For construction workers turning a blind eye to people working who didn't legally enter the country costs many jobs. I know many like the cheap help with watching the kids and cleaning and mowing the lawn and stuff but there are real middle class jobs that have been lost and wages that have been depressed.

    We have high unemployment. Amongst many subsets of society unemployment is extremely high, African American young males, Native Americans. When both of those groups are making a sustainable livable wage we can think about it. No crops would go unpicked if people would pay a living wage.

    Secretary Solis should get a new job herself is she can't support American Workers.

    "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

    by ban nock on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:40:21 PM PDT

    •  Don't Blame Solis or Government (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itzik shpitzik, DamselleFly, Eric0125

      If undocumented people are being hired it is because owners and companies want it that way.  Why?  Because in this country everyone wants to maximize their profits and minimize their liabilities.  The best way to do that is to hire someone you can exploit.

      There is nothing stopping any employer from ensuring they hire only American citizens.  They don't need a federal or state law to do that.  But they don't - and they won't - because there is no downside to keeping things the way they are.

      The American people also speak out of two sides of their mouths.  They rail against the undocumented while they pocket the cheaper goods their exploited labor makes possible and eat the cheaper produce they pick from the fields.

      Who are the last ones to blame here?  The undocumented, in my opinion.  They are simply doing what people have done since the beginning of time - working to try and get by, provide for their families and avoid hardship.

      Despite these facts, the undocumented are painted as the prime enemies when people argue the issue.  The reason is simple - they are easy targets.  The bosses and companies can fight back, while Esteban and Maria can't defend themselves.

      The anti-immigrant and nativist movement is a movement of cowards.  They refuse to acknowledge this is a problem that as a country we not only created, but which the monied interests profit from.  They won't take on the big boys, so they spend all their time beating those at the bottom of the heap, a beating that is leavened with racial and ethnic bigotry.

      "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

      by FDRDemocrat on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:52:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, we're not cowards (0+ / 0-)

        We would have no problem with foreigners coming to visit or retire.  We do have a problem with them stealing our jobs (OK, maybe you don't call it stealing, but it is) and using our taxpayer funded welfare system (it is in part because of their use of the system that makes a lot of folks not like welfare spending, even for citizens.)

      •  You have a severe misunderstanding of how hiring (0+ / 0-)

        occurs in the construction industry, or who works there.

        First there are no undocumented people. Everyone always has an ID of some sort. The only problem is that all the IDs are Mexican or Central American. There are no undocumented, only illegals.

        Companies don't hire workers, subs do. That way the company is simply going with the best price, they leave the risk to subs. Subs seldom exploit in my experience, they hire anyone who walks through the door, can do the work. They don't care where you come from. Of course the pay is poverty.

        "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:35:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  why don't you blame your union for not organizing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      itzik shpitzik, bythesea

      them so they get everything you get for doing the same job you do?

      Or is it your opinion that brown-skinned forners "don't deserve" the same pay for the same job you do . . .

      •  Please don't put words in my mouth or make (0+ / 0-)

        assumptions of racism. I can't talk to you until you stop accusing me of being racist. I'll try to remember your username.

        "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:37:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for not answering my question (0+ / 0-)

          If the immigrants are taking your jobs because they're paid less, then why in the name of Mother Earth aren't you out there organizing a union to raise their wages to match yours?

          What happens to Boss's incentive to hire cheaper workers if the cheaper workers organize and are no longer cheaper?

    •  don't use Native Americans in your diatribes (0+ / 0-)

      we consider the brown people who are forced to come here to be our relatives and we welcome them. This country has plenty of wealth to absorb them and to give all working people here good jobs. We Indians know who is to blame for withholding what you call "middle class jobs" and it isn't our victimized relatives from the south. Secretary Solis is correct in what she says and we need many more like her in government.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:38:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  as I recall, there was a native nation that was (0+ / 0-)

        split directly in two by the new border after the Mexican-American War--and has been fighting with both governments over it ever since.

        •  more than one (0+ / 0-)

          right now the Papago are split by the fence and border patrols. Before the war on terror they came and went across the border and families lived on both sides without much problem. Now they are split in two creating both family and economic hardship. There are other tribes suffering the same thing too.

          Also a high percentage of immigrants are native people forced to leave their ancestral lands by NAFTA and other unfree trade policies. They would much rather live where their people have lived for many centuries. Those who blame immigrants for coming here are actually blaming the victims of the entire mess.

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:10:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If you wish to live in the same country as citizen (0+ / 0-)

        s of other countries go there or invite them to the rez. Until then we have laws.

        "Slip now and you'll fall the rest of your life" Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:38:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Probably an unpopular belief but.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild, swampwiz

    In my opinion, there cannot be a legitimate immigration reform process/measure/law in our country without first closing off the boarder.  

    I am absolutely on the side of everything that has been presented in favor of a "path to citizenship" for the illegal immigrants currently in our country.  But, if the boarder isn't closed off...if we don't come up with some way to stop the flow of illegal immigrants from coming into our country across our Southern boarder, any kind of true immigration reform process would be senseless....or just misnamed.  And, by misnamed I mean that without closing down the boarders, an immigration reform plan that would allow illegal immigrants a "modified" path to citizenship would mean that anyone coming across the boarder at any time would be entitled to this....and where does that leave the Asians or the Greeks or the Dominicans...etc.?  

    Close the boarder (and, no, I don't know how to accomplish that....but then, I am not PAID to enforce existing immigration laws).  Then, give those that are here our blessing and help them obtain citizenship and, with it, acceptance by the majority.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:44:06 PM PDT

    •  simply impossible (0+ / 0-)

      If jobs are free to cross the borders, then workers too must be free to cross the borders to follow the jobs.

      There is simply no earthly way to stop that.  Ever.

      If you want the Mexicans to stay on their side of the border, then the JOBS have to stay on their side of the border too.

      And nobody wants to do that---what we want instead is for jobless Mexicans to just stay there and starve quietly.

      They won't.  No matter how much we punish them.

      •  So, you're for an open boarder then? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild, swampwiz

        You would advocate no restrictions on Mexican citizens coming to America and living here at their own choosing with no means of limiting that immigration?  

        If so, where would we stop it?  Would it only be Mexicans or would that kind of immigration policy also say to the world that "you can come to America to find work, no need for any immigration documents or screening or means to control the flow" ?

        Where would that kind of policy lead us?  America is still one of the countries that people all around the world would like to immigrate into.  

        I understand much of what you say and I feel for the plight of our Southern boarder sisters and brothers.  But, we just cannot open ourselves up to mass immigration without restrictions.  You say it's not possible for us to stop these people coming here...and I believe that it's not possible for us to just readily accept everyone that wants to come.  

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:23:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  border nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          r2did2, splintersawry

          I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

          by DamselleFly on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:44:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  OOPS (0+ / 0-)

            Okay...now you all know I was always the first to sit down at spelling bees (is that spelled right?).

            - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

            by r2did2 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:54:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  This discussion goes into some really ugly areas (0+ / 0-)

          and anti-immigrant rhetoric is the LEAST of it. If you say that we cannot "accept everyone that wants to come", then you are saying that there are already too many people, and that some must suffer and starve so that others can live in comfort.

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:18:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  we had an open border for 200 years (0+ / 0-)

          It didn't kill us.

          But then, most anti-immigrant feeling in the US has nothing to do with "border security" or whatever--it comes solely down to the fact that lots of white Americans don't want non-white Americans in their country.

          I'm just not scared by brown people.  (shrug)

          •  I'm sure you don't include me in that (0+ / 0-)

            I've known you out here in cyberspace for a while now Lenny...it's not like you to insinuate someone is somehow racist just because you disagree with them.  

            So, I'll take your post here that I'm responding to as just something you're saying rhetorically and having nothing to do with me personally.

            - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

            by r2did2 on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:31:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you are quite correct (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              r2did2

              I am speaking to a generic "you", not to "you" you.

              If I were speaking to "you" you, there'd be no mistaking it.  ;)

              BTW, I have no problem whatever with anyone who disagrees with me.  It would be a boring-ass world if everyone thought the same way I did.  And anyway, as a lifelong commie living in the US, I long ago grew pretty accustomed to being the only one in the room who thinks the way I do.  :)

          •  Lots of unemployed brown citizens here. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brn2bwild, swampwiz

            And lots of unemployed black people. And lots of unemployed red people. Millions and millions, in fact. How do you feel about them? Especially those who aren't hired because they have rights, and are harder to exploit, and tougher to hire under-the-table than are unauthorized migrant workers. Or are they less brown, or less black, or less red, or somehow suffer less, than people who were born elsewhere?

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:32:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  "It didn't kill us." (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brn2bwild

            Actually, it killed a lot of people. At least, the complete lack of union organization and corporate exploitation killed a lot of people.

            Organization, and holding labor gains, is impossible with an endless stream of unauthorized workers coming across the border.

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:06:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I call bullshit. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, brn2bwild, dfe, swampwiz

    And using offshored labor "creates jobs," according to this same right-wing Friedmanist argument. I'm sorry, I'd like to see exactly where this speaker is getting her numbers. Migrant laborers are hired because they are exploitable, and because they undermine labor organizing. PERIOD. Disingenuously complaining about that fact, as though that's not the ENTIRE reason d'etre for  a noncitizen labor niche, is dishonest as hell.

    We can have compassion for migrant laborers for participating in this poisonous systemic, just like we have compassion for people who cross picket lines because they have a family to feed, but every time it happens, economic disparity in this country increases, and the rich get richer.

    Jobs are created by a thriving middle class with spending power, and migrant workers are not paid anywhere near middle class wages or benefits, and much of what is earned is sent back to home countries as remittances, NOT re-invested in this economy. Utilizing union-busting, under-the-table labor is destroying the middle class and it's destroying hard-fought labor gains.

    If these corporatists in Kum Bah Yah clothing want to be honest, they will force employers to hire non-citizen labor only under prevailing wage conditions, with special taxes equal what it costs to hire a citizen--that is, what it costs to pay unemployment insurance, overtime, workmans' comp, payroll taxes, etc all factored in.

    Once employers enjoy ABSOLUTELY NO cost advantage for hiring non-citizens (simply because of the fact that they are non-citizens), THEN they can say they are hiring non-citizen workers for their "talent." Until then, they are just peddling the worst of Reaganomics and Friedmanist anti-labor, wealth-disparity-enhancing corporatism in the name of international tolerance.

    If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

    by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:44:16 PM PDT

    •  It Should Start with the States (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckybadger1988, rhetoricus

      I would like to see the state stop trying to police who belongs here and who doesn't - which the Supreme Court has said repeatedly is something that only the Federal government can do - and instead focus on making sure the state is getting their cut of wages.

      Instead of rounding up undocumented workers, I think the state should start documenting them and force the employers to pay them the minimum wage plus all applicable taxes and fees, plus a special documentation fee for the state having to create a special system to monitor them. I don't think the state should worry who belongs in the state, but concentrate on making sure they collect the revenues for the government services they use. If we switch our thinking about the issue, I suspect we will soon be left with only a pool of Federally undocumented workers that the local economy actually requires and will weed out those whose only purpose is to drive down wages for everyone.

      •  no argument from me--so long as (0+ / 0-)

        those people who are paying to the state then get all the state benefits they would be paying for. Unemployment, etc.

        •  Directly or indirectly (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dfe

          People who use emergency services, schools, medical services, SNAP programs, use the roads, etc. (basically, anyone living here for awhile, even if they live elsewhere parts of the year) are obviously using the commons. A tax equivalent in cost to what citizens pay can help cover these expenses. However, some of the cost should be borne solely by the employer of course--Workmans' Comp, etc.

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 09:46:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You got it. (0+ / 0-)

        If employers did not enjoy a cost advantage for hiring non-citizens, and if all workers and employers paid the state, the problems associated with a broken immigration system would either massively shrink or go away entirely.

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:49:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fact: You're not going to stop illegal immigration (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itzik shpitzik, buckybadger1988

    Fact: you're not going to send the millions of illegal immigrants already here back to Mexico.

    So, the question is, how do you deal with it in a way that helps our economy and our government's fiscal position?

    Ideology is an excuse to ignore common sense.

    by Bush Bites on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 02:48:51 PM PDT

    •  Well, you could (0+ / 0-)

      Have the corporations that exploited them and profited off of them finance their repatriation and handsome retirement. Lots of US citizens retire in Mexico--it's a real nice place when you have the cash.

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:26:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wow. As a first generation son of LABOR MOVEMENT (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DamselleFly, cacamp, buckybadger1988

    ... Immigrants, I am finding the comments of some kossacks who self-identify as being labor really offensive and deeply so.

    Economic justice should have no borders. If we can implement reasonable immigration reform, then people who want to be Americans and work and pay taxes, should be welcomed, like my parents were, ten years before I was born here with full citizenship and an expectation that I would be one ( a citizen with something to contribute.)

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:07:15 PM PDT

    •  Shall we begin, perhaps, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob B, brn2bwild, dfe

      with welcoming the 4 million Iraqis whose homes and livelihoods we have destroyed? How about the hundreds of thousands of Afghanis and Pakistanis who have been displaced and injured by the wars we're waging against them? And perhaps the hundreds of thousands of Chinese families whose soil and water sources have been irreparably contaminated because of our e-waste? Can we include hundreds of thousands of Africans whose lives have been destroyed because our corporations want access to diamond mines, or cheap chocolate?

      And how shall we accommodate the needs of all of these very worthy people, until we can find jobs for them (which may be tough, because penniless folks have no spending power to generate demand), on top of finding jobs for the 25 million US citizens (many of whom are nonwhite or children of immigrants) who are currently unemployed because employers find it ever so much cheaper to offshore manufacturing?

      If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

      by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:22:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your rhetorical questions are not on the table. (0+ / 0-)

        They seem designed to cloud the issue that is on the table and has been unresolved for many years since before this recession, and designed to arouse resentment  of and prejudice against people who are actually working their butts off in this country every day.

        "So, am I right or what?"

        by itzik shpitzik on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:28:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  YOU put them on the table (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WillR, brn2bwild, dfe

          with this comment:

          Economic justice should have no borders. If we can implement reasonable immigration reform, then people who want to be Americans and work and pay taxes, should be welcomed, like my parents were, ten years before I was born here with full citizenship and an expectation that I would be one ( a citizen with something to contribute.)

          Or are our southern borders the only borders in your reality? I was simply asking you to take your policy suggestion to its logical conclusion. How do you imagine our refugee and immigration policies are determined? And do you realize how many people we turn down, who have a VERY legitimate argument for moving and working here? Do their lives not matter? Do you not think those people also would not be perfectly willing and able to work THEIR butts off? Do you think the 25 million US citizens out of work somehow don't or wouldn't work THEIR butts off?

          Do you really think what makes a noncitizen more appealing to an employer than a citizen of the same color and background is his "work ethic," and not the fact that he is eminently more exploitable?

          The unfortunate fact is that "work" is not valued in this country anymore, because it's so easy to come by globally, and corporations do not want to pay much for it. THAT is why we offshore, and that is why employers would prefer to hire noncitizen labor--because noncitizens who are afraid can be exploited. THAT is what divides the labor movement. If workers all cost the same to an employer, then you would see the niche for migrant labor vanish right quick.

          I have never blamed migrant workers for this greed dynamic that rests with the employers, and the fact that you go there immediately in responding to me is like reflexively accusing people against the war of "hating the troops."

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:43:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You have made up a whole lot of stuff... (0+ / 0-)

            ...that I simply did not say nor do I think, and have misrepresented my quote. Iraquis and Mexicans are not in the same boat in terms of their job prospects, at home, or internationally. What you are saying is basically what was said, in another time, to keep Jews, Italians, Irish and many others, out.

            "So, am I right or what?"

            by itzik shpitzik on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:49:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apparently you are the one (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              brn2bwild, dfe

              ..who would keep some people out. "Job prospects?" Are you serious?

              Do you really think job prospects for Iraqis are better in Iraq than jobs prospects, say, for Mexicans in Mexico? Have you read what it's like for folks over there?

              Once here, do you really think Iraqis can't do carpentry work as well as (non-citizen) Latinos? Or drive a truck? Or clean a hotel? Or engineer a bridge? You think there are no expert but starving Chinese farmers who wouldn't be eminently hire-able here?

              Here's what I really would like to know about your notion of "job prospects," given the fact that we have 25 million very qualified but unemployed people in this country, many of whom are nonwhite and the children of immigrants.

              If I am an employer, and I was considering two brothers--one was born in El Paso, Texas but raised in Mexico, and the other was born in Mexico. They have the same background, same family, same talents, same English language facility, same number of people in their family who will starve if they can't find work. Who do you think I am going to hire, and why? There's a very predictable answer, I'm just wondering if you understand what it is, and the reason behind it.

              You also did not answer my question about how we would provide for all of the poor people who would like to come here and become US citizens, since the job market is so bad, and broke wallets don't generate demand. Or do you think only the people who manage to cross the southern border deserve or want to be here?

              If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

              by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:09:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once again, I didn't say that. You said I did. (0+ / 0-)

                We cannot fling open the doors. No one has proposed that and certainly not secretary Solis.

                We can have a rational immigration and guest worker policy that treats people fairly, and recognizes that immigrants often appreciate this country and are willing to contribute to it's welfare, a whole lot more than some people who were just born here by dumb luck.

                "So, am I right or what?"

                by itzik shpitzik on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:20:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Ok, this comment: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  brn2bwild
                  recognizes that immigrants often appreciate this country and are willing to contribute to it's welfare,  whole lot more than some people who were just born here by dumb luck

                  ..is divisive to labor, and assumes a lot. Americans don't love their country? Don't appreciate the opportunity to work? Aren't willing to serve? All those lazy-ass unemployed veterans? Those ungrateful children of immigrants who can't find work because they have laws that protect their wages and hours and work conditions and treatment? Seriously?

                  I have Swedish ancestry. If I crossed the Swedish border, obtained unauthorized labor under-the-table, and when caught, argued that I should be able to stay, because I work harder than they-all do, and appreciate their fair wage structure and universal healthcare and good public transit a lot more than the lazy damn Swedes who already live there, I wonder if that would work? Should it work?

                  Look, if you agree that we can't throw open the gates, then how DO we decide who gets to stay? And you're not willing to consider those who don't have the luxury of sharing a border with the US, but who have suffered much more directly because of us? Is that a compassion-based argument? If you agree we should draw the line, on what ethical basis are you drawing these lines?

                  Also, if we make all unauthorized workers into citizens, and I'm a profit-seeking employer, let's think. I can choose to re-hire a newly minted migrant citizen, who now has payroll taxes and unemployment insurance and workmans' comp and all these other fresh expenses and pesky "rights" attached to her. Or, I can hire an unauthorized immigrant, who I can scare and abuse and overwork and underpay. Who shall I choose? The new citizen, because she so appreciates the opportunity to contribute? Or shall I let her join the burgeoning ranks of the citizen unemployed, and hire someone I can really exploit and make money off of? (Which is the whole reason I hired the first person to begin with?)

                  If we make "guest worker" arrangements, fine, but how do we secure all the labor gains that US citizens fought and died for--those obnoxious costly provisions that employers hire noncitizens for the express purpose of getting around?

                  If we make noncitizen guest workers cost EXACTLY THE SAME to employers, meaning employers would enjoy NO automatic cost advantage to hiring a non-citizen (merely BECAUSE the worker is a non-citizen), then I could absolutely support this, because it would be an even playing field that did not reward corporations for exploiting people and undermining labor.

                  But realize: the demand for migrant or onshored labor would disappear. Pretty much completely. Except for the few special workers who were hired because of rare skill or talents that somehow could not be found among the 25 million unemployed who are already here.

                  If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

                  by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:50:36 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think you are half-right (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rhetoricus
                    If we make noncitizen guest workers cost EXACTLY THE SAME to employers, meaning employers would enjoy NO automatic cost advantage to hiring a non-citizen (merely BECAUSE the worker is a non-citizen), then I could absolutely support this, because it would be an even playing field that did not reward corporations for exploiting people and undermining labor.

                    Amen to this.

                    But realize: the demand for migrant or onshored labor would disappear. Pretty much completely. Except for the few special workers who were hired because of rare skill or talents that somehow could not be found among the 25 million unemployed who are already here.

                    I doubt this.  People come here because there are no jobs where they are.  That will remain true no matter what they get paid here.  So if we equalize the pay, the undocumented workers will still come here for jobs because this is where the jobs are---they'll just now be getting paid the same as everyone else for the same jobs.

                    As I said before, the ONLY way to keep the brown-skinned people on their side of the border (if that's what we want to accomplish) is to make sure there are JOBS for them on their side of the border so they'd have no reason to come here.

                    But of course we don't want to do that.  We just want them to stay on their side of the border and starve there quietly.

                    Alas for us, they simply will not do that.  They will do what any human would do----whatever it takes to stay alive. Whether we like it or not.

                •  A Lot Of People Believe That We Do (0+ / 0-)

                  We can have a rational immigration and guest worker policy that treats people fairly

                  In fact have a rational immigration policy. I am one of them, and I find that those who would suggest that we do not have a rational immigration policy in fact know either very little or nothing about how our current immigration policy works.

                  For instance, Mexico which represents the largest percentage of illegal immigrants in the U.S. has also dominated U.S. immigration policy for about two decades.

                  I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

                  by superscalar on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:44:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  does name "Ellis Island" ring any bells for you? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckybadger1988

        Any idea how many millions of people came through there?

        I'm quite willing to bet your ancestors were one of them.

        •  Ah, good. (0+ / 0-)

          Then you're another person who believes we should throw open the borders completely? Go ahead and let us know how you plan to accommodate all the people who would move here if we did that, especially since we already have 25 million unemployed, and no help for the poor already.

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:24:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  huh? (0+ / 0-)
            Then you're another person who believes we should throw open the borders completely

            How the hell do you get from A to B here . . . .?

            Go ahead and let us know how you plan to accommodate all the people who would move here if we did that, especially since we already have 25 million unemployed, and no help for the poor already.

            The same way the EU does it with its open internal borders.

            I met lots of Swedish waitresses in Norway.  They didn't appear to be ruining the country.

            Of course, they were white . . . .

            But let me ask YOU---given that people in Mexico don't have jobs, how do YOU propose we make them stay in Mexico?  And indeed what do you propose we do with the millions of Mexicans who are already here---shoot them? Deport them?  Round them up in detention camps?

            The only way to keep "them" on "their" side of the border is to make sure they have jobs there so they don't have to come here to get jobs.

            Your plan for accomplishing that is . . . what.

            Or do you simply expect that they will voluntarily stay on their jobless side of the border and starve quietly.

            Thanks to NAFTA, we are now an integrated economy. That means the lack of jobs there is not THEIR problem--it is BOTH OF OUR problems.

            Until we acknowledge that, there simply is no solution.

            •  I am no fan of NAFTA (0+ / 0-)

              It's destroyed our manufacturing base.

              You see a lot of Swedes in Norway, but not too many Africans. That's because the Swedes already have resources, and their existing spending power creates demand, which creates jobs. If you start out with no spending power because you're broke or poor, you can't generate demand, and you can't contribute to job creation.

              It's not about borders so much as haves and have-nots.

              You and I are on the same page about supporting just economic conditions in other nations, and pushing for policies that are friendly to labor in Third-World countries. Usually they have Third World conditions because a bunch of US corporations are hiring thugs who kill people who try to organize. Read "Confessions of a Economic Hitman."

              If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

              by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 07:06:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Does "slave ship" ring any bells for you? (0+ / 0-)

          And how are the employment prospects of the children of those ancestors, these days, would you say?

          If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

          by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:57:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  But that was a different time (0+ / 0-)

      We are in the time of the technological efficient and global economic system, in which there is and will be forever a dearth of jobs.  The alternative to stopping the inflow of laborers is to simply allow the wage level of the American worker to drop down to the global wage rate of the 3rd World.

      •  wrong (0+ / 0-)

        The alternative is to raise everyone's wages to the same level.

        Let the corporados choke on that.

        •  What You're Saying Is That We Should (0+ / 0-)

          Implement world wide socialism ... and you expect people to take you seriously.

          I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

          by superscalar on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 06:46:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the corporados have already implemented (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfe

            worldwide socialism. The most ironic thing about the 21st century mega-corporations is that they have accomplished nearly everything that the radical Socialist Party of the 1910’s wanted to do.

            The Socialist Party wanted to eliminate the private ownership of capital and replace it with collective ownership; today the corporations are not owned by individual proprietors, but by a collective body of shareholders. The Socialist Party wanted to remove ownership from management and introduce managers who held their position by election, rather than by ownership; today the corporations are run by professional managers who are hired by a board of directors that is elected by the shareholders. The Socialist Party wanted to eliminate economic competition and replace it with economic cooperation; today the corporations have become vast interconnected networks who own parts of each other through cooperative joint projects and multilateral ventures. The Socialist Party wanted to replace what they called the “anarchy of the marketplace” with planned economic production over long-term goals; today corporations try in every way to eliminate the shocks of market uncertainty by long-term planning. The Socialist Party wanted to eliminate national borders and replace them with internationalism; today the corporations have become multinational, have built up a global economic framework, and have made national boundaries economically irrelevant.

            In essence, the corporations have already socialized the entire process of production.

            Another utopian goal of the Socialist Party was “world government”, and once again, the corporations are today moving along the same path. The corporations have already built international economic structures—the WTO, IMF and the various free trade agreements--and these already have control over national economic policies and legal veto power over national laws.

            Along with the buildup of international economic power must inevitably follow the buildup of international political power. Just as the “nation” has become irrelevant economically and has been replaced by international economic structures, so too has the   “nation-state” become irrelevant politically, and will inevitably be replaced by international political structures—and the corporations have already begun that process.

            •  Assuming That All Of What You Say Is True (0+ / 0-)

              What you are suggesting is that we should all simply resign ourselves to helping the process along ... horse ... shit.

              I won't be coming home tonight, my generation will put it right - Genesis 9:3

              by superscalar on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:31:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  please don't presume to tell me "what I am saying" (0+ / 0-)

                I already know precisely what I am saying.

                I am the one saying it.

                Here's a tissue, wipe that froth off your chin. In case you didn't notice, the Cold War ended two decade ago, and your "better dead than red" speeches just make you look like a mouth-foaming Bircher buffoon.

                Do try and keep up.

              •  no need to "assume" (0+ / 0-)

                Anyone who's ever had a high school economics class should already know that corporations are owned by a collective group of shareholders who elect a board of directors to hire professional managers to run the company.  They'd already know about cross-ownership, joint ventures and holding companies, and they'd learn all about IMF and WTO.

                The fact that you apparently don't know any of this, speaks for itself.

                I suggest you stop getting your education through John Bircher tracts.

  •  More foreign workers = lower wages. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild, swampwiz

    The law of supply and demand is one of the few things that they teach in econ 101 that is actually true.

    •  nonsense. wages are not determined by (0+ / 0-)

      supply and demand.  Workers are not machines or lumps of raw material.  Wages are determined by how willing and able workers are to fight for higher wages.

      When the sitdown strikers won higher wages, the supply of their labor didn't change at all and neither did the demand for it.  The only thing that changed was the worker's attitudes.

      •  Wages are determined by the ability to organize. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild

        Ask yourself how people were able to obtain minimum wage to begin with. If it's just a free-for-all, where he who will work for the least under the shittiest conditions wins, we've just welcomed ourselves to the 19th Century and killed off what remained of the Middle Class.

        Hiring under the table, and having an endless stream of unauthorized workers makes organizing impossible. Thus the impact on wages.

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:21:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe people organize in these things called (0+ / 0-)

          "unions" to get better pay and conditions.

          The IWW made a career out of organizing immigrants into "unions".

          I can't think of any good reason why today's "unions" can't do the same thing----other than the fact that they don't care a rat's ass about non-white non-Americans, just like most Americans.

          After all, the Farm Workers Union did quite a good job of it. Of course their organizers were all brown.

          •  Well, Cesar Chavez said (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfe

            there's a problem with that plan:

            “When the farm workers strike and their strike is successful, the employers turn to Mexico and have unlimited, unrestricted use of illegal alien strikebreakers to break the strike… The employers use professional smugglers to recruit and transport human contraband across the Mexican border for the specific act of strikebreaking.”

            If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

            by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 06:19:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I see some excellent points (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    swampwiz

    Thankfully I see some commonsense points. Of course an NWO, globalist bank puppet wants more immigration. Forget about illegals what about the 100,000 plus who get green cards every month? That's why we keep seeing that factoid of needing 125,000 a month to keep pace with the "people entering the job market."

    And this hurts the African American, remember their ancestors were brought over in chains, more than any other group. Let's ask the Native American how massive immigration turned out.

    •  NWO ?????????????????? (0+ / 0-)

      Wow, I haven't heard that term in years--not even from the Bircher wackos. What about the black helicopters . . . . ?

      BTW, is "globalist bank puppet" still the militia-wingnut dog-whistle term for "Jewish"?

      •  NWO (0+ / 0-)

        The term NWO appears on the back of the one dollar Federal Reserve Note. Novus Ordo Seclorum in Latin. Almost every president uses the phrase including Obama as something we should embrache.

        Poppy Bush gave a long speech about the New World Order on September 11th 1991. A globalist bank puppet wouldn't be Jewish. I think you meant the globalist bankers themselves.

        Like any political movement the Birchers were formed to mix fact with fiction. The clasisc example of this now is Alex Jones. I would invite those who dismiss this stuff as conspiracy theory (even FDR admitted its truthfulness) to investigate it fully.

      •  "WTO" (0+ / 0-)

        ..would make the same point. Or is neo-liberalism all a nonsense conspiracy illusion too?

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:38:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tentacles (0+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          Hidden by:
          Garrett

          From what I have read and I invite others to elaborate the World Trade Organization and institutions like the United Nations basically were created by the "illuminati" (another famous term for them) to carry out their wishes.

          David Rockefeller flat out admitted that the press (in 1991) had cooperated by not shining light on their meetings and that we (the filthy rich) have a New World Order.

          George Washington worried that by 1798 they had infiltrated the country. He used the word illuminati.

          Thomas Jefferson loathed bankers and thought that if they printed our money (the constitution says only congress can) that they would ruin the nation. And of course I could go on and on. By now, we should be acclimated to the idea.

          •  "Illuminati"? BWAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA !!!!!!! (0+ / 0-)

            Where do the Jews fit in?

            (sigh)  What a fucking nutter.

            •  Jews? (0+ / 0-)

              If you have read about the royal families of Europe they don't have 'Jewish" blood. Of course life would be so much easier if I could believe that only coincidence explains why almost all of our presidents have had royal blood.

              Again this phrase has been mentioned by Joseph Biden, Robert Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev Et Cetera. I read articles on the WTO and you seem to be saying what I am hinting at. Anyhow this "nutter fucker" wishes you the best in your publishing endeavors.

            •  Again you don't refute (0+ / 0-)

              I have to see you tell me I am wrong so of course you resort sadly to name calling. If I was paranoid I would not post this data on a cite like this.

              Does the latin expressin NWO appear on the dollar bill-yes.

              Did Poppy Bush give about speech about the New World Order-yes.

              Have the Rockefellers mentioned it many times-yes. Please see the quote from one of them. In other words you are saying that David Rockefeller is insane because he admits to a conspiring to bring about a New World Order? Notice he calls it One World.

              “Some even believe we (the Rockefeller family) are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that's the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
               - David Rockefeller, Memoirs, page 405

        •  now THAT is pretty funny . . . . . . (0+ / 0-)

          I've written several hundred pages about the WTO. Take a gander here:

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

  •  Yes, immigrants made this country great... (0+ / 0-)

    ...blah, blah, blah.

    With 9.5% unemployment, downward pressure on wages, 1 out of every 4 Mexicans living in the U.S.  --  maybe we could take a break from being the Earth Mother for every poor person in the World?

    We have enough poor here already that we can't find work for.  Let's stabilize our economy first so we can afford the luxury of helping everybody else.

    •  maybe we can send our poor to Canada. (0+ / 0-)

      Not the white ones, of course.

      (snark)

      •  Hell, I'd go. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild

        In a second. I'd prefer Sweden, but at least in Canada I'm not going to die from not being able to afford insurance because I own my own business and have a pre-existing heart condition.

        But somehow I think they would not want to put me on their healthcare rolls and their welfare, just because I really, really want to work. Or let me work under-the-table in a way that undermines their workers' ability to organize. Selfish Canuk bastards, eh?

        If you can find money to kill people, you can find money to help people. --Tony Benn

        by rhetoricus on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:36:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  South Park (0+ / 0-)

    Like on many other subjects, South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker display their prescience on this issue in the season 8 episode Goobacks (where the ubiquitous "they took our jobs" meme first originated).

    Brown people from the future come to South Park through a Terminator-rules (read: one-way) time portal, looking for work because the future is so crappy. They start sucking up all the crappy menial jobs like the boys' driveway shoveling business, and cashiering at fast food joints. The townsfolk start rabble-rousing and come up with a plan to stop all the "Goobacks" from coming back from the future: getting gay in a big pile so that the future people won't be born. The plan doesn't work, however... and the plan that does eventually work is Stan's plan of making the world a better place, so the future people don't need to go back in time.

    Replace "the future" with "Mexico" and "getting gay in a big pile" with "closing the border/building a fence/deportation" and you have a pretty accurate representation of what's going on here in the real world.

    We keep trying to treat the symptoms instead of curing the disease. Shortsighted trade policies like NAFTA and BigAgra subsidies created the conditions that fostered this problem. Mexican factories all closed up and moved on to the next-cheapest labor market, while importing American crops is cheaper than domestically produced Mexican crops, putting Mexican farmers out of business.

    We need to take Stan's advice and see what we can do to make it so illegal immigrants no longer want or need to be illegal immigrants. For example, we could stop making American corn cheaper than dirt with subsidy money.

    •  as I noted above, if we really want to keep the (0+ / 0-)

      brown people on "their" side of the border, then we need to make sure they have JOBS on "their" side of the border. Then they won't need to come to "our" side of the border.

      But we don't want to do that.  What we REALLY want to do is keep the brown people on "their" side of the border and let them starve quietly over there.

      And for some oddball reason, we act all surprised when the brown people refuse to cooperate in that.

      •  Another inflamatory distortion... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        brn2bwild

        What you posit has nothing to do with keeping our economy healthy enough to at least take care of our own citizens.

        What is it that you are really trying to say?  That all (non-brown) people are racist because of the existence of a border?  

        What utter nonsense....

        •  what you say ignores the reality that we (0+ / 0-)

          no longer HAVE any national economy that takes care of its citizens.

          The corporados have no country.  They go wherever there's money to be made--and they welcome the cheap workers wherever there's money to be made.  That apple-pie American economy that you wave the flag about?  THEY are the ones shipping all "our" jobs to China and/or importing all the Mexicans to take "our" jobs.

          And you know what?  They don't give a flying fuck if good honest patriotic Merkans sleep in the streets because of it.

          So if you want to bitch and gripe at the people who REALLY are destroying the Merkan economy and putting our patriotic citizens in the streets, go to the rich section of town where all the CEOs and stockholders live.

          Wave the flag at them.  See if it helps.

          What is it that you are really trying to say?  That all (non-brown) people are racist because of the existence of a border?  

          (sigh) This isn't even worth a response.

          Don't be an ass.

    •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

      It sounds like people should work to make certain parts of the world, like Mexico, a better place.

      Do you know one of the reasons for the "Arab Spring"?  It used to be that young jobless people in Arab countries could emigrate to Europe to get a better life.  Then the European Union was established, and imposed immigration restrictions that made this much harder to do.  Without Europe as a safety valve, the young people of Egypt, etc. rose up against the dictators of their own countries.  We don't know what lies ahead for these countries, but how many would say that they were better off before?

      So in fact, it might be a really good thing if the U.S. stringently enforces it's immigration policy to stem the flow of illegal immigrants.  It might cause Mexicans who would otherwise go to the U.S. to push for reform there, creating a more equitable country that would, indeed, be a better place to live.

      •  Fostering a movement (0+ / 0-)

        in Mexico for more equitable treatment, and undercutting the need to emigrate from Mexico do not have to be mutually exclusive.

        Taking an inward look at ourselves has other benefits as well. In addition to helping restore the Mexican maize industry, removing subsidies for corn production would cut down on the ubiquity of high-fructose corn syrup in America and thus improve our own public health, and lower healthcare costs.

        •  Re: your first paragraph (0+ / 0-)

          I don't see how they are mutually exclusive.  You can support a mass movement for equality that will also put more investment into the lower classes that will create more jobs and give them little incentive to leave home.  It's better than just welcoming them across the border which their towns back home become depleted of young working-age people.

          •  that is what NAFTA was supposed to do (0+ / 0-)

            until we abandoned them.

            •  I think that NAFTA abandoned everyone (0+ / 0-)

              It seems as though American workers were harmed quite a bit by NAFTA as well.  So if we can't scrap it, we'll have to move on in spite of it.

              •  I view NAFTA the same way Palestinians view Israel (0+ / 0-)

                It's there, it ain't going away, and there's nothing I can do about it. Doesn't mean I like it.

                What we CAN do, though, is use NAFTA (and the WTO) as our own weapon, by forcing Fair Trade provisions into the NAFTA and WTO rules themselves. The G20+ bloc has already demonstrated that WTO can be fought to a standstill. I think we can beat it, and force the inclusion of worker rights, environmental protections, product safety, etc, whether they like it or not.  But it will never happen at the mere national level. The corporations are global--we must be too if we want any hope of fighting them.  The entire framework of nation-based organizing, is no longer useful.

                And that includes the entire "America First!" attitude.  It doesn't help us.  It DOES hurt us.

      •  I'm not so sure that having a nation explode (0+ / 0-)

        next door to us is a really well-thought-out idea . . . . . particularly given our long long long history of being on the wrong side of revolutions in Latin America--including Mexico. I think a revolution in Mexico might, uh, not stick to the agenda we'd like. (Which doesn't at all mean I would not be all in favor of it.)

        But one way or another, Mexico must attain a viable economy.  That is the only way to "solve" the immigration "problem".

        The theory was, of course, that NAFTA would do that--that the US and Canada would undertake to build Mexico's economy as part of the three-way partnership.  Alas, instead we pulled up stakes and left for China, and left Mexico holding the bag.

        Now we are paying the price for that.

        •  Would it necessarily explode? (0+ / 0-)

          It might just come about the way mass movements take place in the U.S.  Thousands in the street, day after day.  Sometimes that nets big results, sometimes it doesn't.  And if Mexicans elect someone more sympathetic to labor (Obrador?) as their next president, they might have someone more sympathetic and willing to enact change quickly.

  •  If companies are people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckybadger1988

    I would like to know when foreign companies were made citizens.

    If there are no borders for companies, why are there borders for people?

    We don't hear much complaint about Canadian immigrants.  Seems to me to be a racial issue.

    I fall down, I get up, I keep dancing.

    by DamselleFly on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 04:14:37 PM PDT

    •  indeed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DamselleFly, buckybadger1988

      If jobs are free to move across borders at will, then workers will move across borders too, to follow the jobs.

      And there is no force on this planet that can stop that.

      Sooner or later we simply will have to face up to that reality. Borders are already economically irrelevant. And that inevitably makes them politically irrelevant too. Whether we like it or not.

    •  You don't hear much about Canadian immigrants (0+ / 0-)

      because there are virtually none.  Less than 6% of all illegal immigrants are Canadian.

      According to a Pew Hispanic Center report, in 2005, 56% of illegal immigrants were from Mexico; 22% were from other Latin American countries, primarily from Central America;[5] 13% were from Asia; 6% were from Europe and Canada; and 3% were from Africa and the rest of the world.[5]
  •  I don't blame undocumented immigants for coming (0+ / 0-)

    here. I comprehend their plight.  It's the fault of exploitative hirers taking advantage of their desperation that I want a stop to. If an operation can not exist using the legal work force then it should not exist at all.

    There is no flaw in our immigration system except that we do not enforce it in a rational way. I fully realize that if enforced, the status quo of the American diet would change to favor those foods easiest to harvest.

    The situation has long passed progressed from jobs Americans are reluctant to do. Look to a cleaning crew or meat cutting operation if you don't believe that.

    •  it makes no difference to the corporados at all (0+ / 0-)

      whether the jobs move outside the country to the cheap labor, or if the cheap labor comes from outside the country here to the jobs.

      They don't care either way.  (shrug)

      •  Except that (0+ / 0-)

        You can't move a cleaning crew cleaning inside the country to outside the country. That'd take a very long broom. And if Big Ag didn't grow things here, someone else would. I'm sure you could outsource the meat cutting, but I'm not sure that people would be keen on buying it.

        •  odd you should mention Big Ag---they are indeed (0+ / 0-)

          outsourcing.  China, Japan, several Middle Eastern countries, and yes, the US, all are buying up land all over the world.

          From my diary series on the history of multinational corporations:

          http://www.dailykos.com/...

          By 2000, however, the global agricultural sector was undergoing changes. In the 1990s, there was an international land grab, as agribusiness, supported by governments in Asia and the Middle East, began buying up cheap land in South America, Australia, central Asia and Africa. For the governments, this was seen as a way to increase the food supply for their own people (at the expense of the land-owning nation); for the corporations, it was an opportunity for easy money.

          China has played a particularly large role. Although China has 40% of the world’s farmers, it only has 9% of the world’s arable land—and Chinese farmers are further hampered by the relative lack of government investment in agriculture compared to the manufacturing sector that fuels the Chinese economy. In 2008, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture began considering deliberate plans to outsource China’s staple food production. In the past ten years, about 30 Chinese-backed companies have been buying up large tracts of land elsewhere, including Africa and Central Asia. Local farm-workers are hired to grow rice, maize, or soybeans on Chinese-owned land, and although some of the resulting foodstuffs are sold within the host nation, a large proportion of it is exported back to China.

          The Middle-Eastern countries are carrying out similar plans. They import virtually all of their food from Europe, and have seen the costs of imported food rise steadily. As desert nations, they have few agrarian resources of their own, but they have lots of oil money, and so are in the position to buy their own cheaper food production elsewhere. A number of Arab nations have formed the Gulf Cooperation Council, which offers money and oil in exchange for access to farmland in places like Sudan, Pakistan, southeast Asia, and the former central Asian Soviet republics.

          Japan and Korea are also attempting to solve their food difficulties by outsourcing production. Korea is able to grow much of its own rice, but imports 90% of all its other foodstuffs. In 2008, the South Korean government began facilitating the purchase of farmland in Mongolia, Russia, Sudan, and Argentina for production of food to be exported back to Korea.  Japan, meanwhile, strictly maintains its centuries-old tradition of family-owned small rice farms, and forbids large corporations from entering the industry. But as the native agrarian sector becomes more and more unable to meet Japan’s domestic needs, the Japanese government is aiding some of its large corporations, including Mitsubishi, Asahi, Mitsui, Sumimoto, Itochu and Marubeni, to purchase facilities abroad to produce for the Japanese market. In the past few years, Marubeni bought a number of grain-storage warehouses in the US, so it can purchase grain directly from US farmers and cut out the large agribusiness middle-men. The Japanese are particularly focusing on China, where they have purchased millions of acres of farmland. Asahi has obtained a portion of the Chinese dairy industry, and Itochu has a joint venture with the Chinese government to produce agricultural machinery and land acquisitions. Mitsui owns 40% of Multigrain SA, and used it to buy 100,000 hectares of farmland in Brazil for soybean production.

          In the wake of the 2007 financial collapse, many investors are turning to the international land market. Goldman-Sachs has invested heavily in the Chinese livestock industry, while the American financial giant BlackRock has set up a $200 million hedge fund specifically to invest in foreign agricultural resources. The fertile areas of the former Soviet Union have been particularly attractive. In the past few years, the Russian financial company Renaissance Capital, the Swedish companies Black Earth Farming and Alpcot-Agro, the American finance company Morgan Stanley, and the British company Landkom have all invested heavily in Ukrainian farmland. About ten percent of Ukraine’s entire arable land is now owned or contracted for by just 25 companies, nearly all of them foreign.

          In Vietnam, some 40 percent of the entire rice crop and 90 percent of the dairy industry is now carried out under contract with foreign companies; in Brazil, three-fourths of poultry production is done under foreign contract.

          In all of these cases, the host nation’s land and labor are used primarily to produce food and other agricultural products for the export market, usually to the contractor’s home nation. In some cases, the control is direct; the Chinese company DaChan, the second-largest producer of chickens in the world, has an exclusive contract to supply McDonalds, while Hortifruiti, the largest producer of fruits and vegetables in Central America, was recently bought by WalMart, which has been adding grocery sections to its “superstores”.

          And it is not just food production that has been spurring this international land grab—about one-fourth of the total increase in global agricultural production over the past 20 years is in biofuels. A large portion of the recently-acquired agrarian land is intended for soybeans, corn and sugar cane—not for human consumption, but for the production of biodiesels and biomass fuels.

          As a result, an entirely new generation of large agribusiness corporations are appearing which, while not yet able to topple the older giants like Nestle or Monsanto, are growing at rapid paces. These include the Brazilian company JBS and the Chinese company Shineway.

          The increasing domination of world agricultural production by supra-national corporations not only means the destruction of subsistence farming, the increased dependence of non-industrialized nations upon a monoculture export market, and the increased flow of food to profitable wealthy markets and decreased food for unprofitable poor nations—it symbolizes the rising power of a supra-national corporate financial and economic structure, outside of and above any national government.

  •  Que Viva Solis!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckybadger1988

    Damn it's nice to hear some common sense coming out of Washington D.C.

    Workers, including immigrants, provide jobs for other workers. We all work, produce and consume to the betterment of the nation.

    The leaches at the top seek to devide and conquor us by getting American workers to blame immigrant workers. Those who swallow their lies and propaganda are as misguided as the fucking teabaggers.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 05:44:50 PM PDT

  •  Personal Observation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild, swampwiz

    I am a big fan of Chipotle which recently had a little problem over their widespread practice of hiring people not legally eligible to work in the US. The result was they fired a whole lot of employees and replaced them with new employees. All of my local Chipotles (and since I live in OC there are a lot of local Chipotles) have gone through a striking transformation. They use to be staffed primarily with middle aged Mexican men with limited ability to communicate in English. They are now staffed with males and females in their early 20s who are native speakers of English. I have witnessed a similar transformation at other fast food places, like McDonalds and Colonel Sanders.

    I personally find it hard to believe that these new young American employees were not economically hurt when the corporate chains were able to hire undocumented workers and are not now benefiting from their new employer forced by the government to consider people in their demographic for jobs.

    There are some jobs that few Americans want, like seasonal farm work, and we really need to figure out a way to make sure that the non-citizens doing this work are documented so that they can receive pay and not be exposed to unsafe working conditions. However, during our current harsh economic times there are very few jobs located within large population centers that American citizens would not be willing to consider. It is a myth that American won't clean toilets  or flip burgers pushed by Corporations who don't want to pay a living wage for those kind of jobs.

    On the other end of the economic scale we still have documented workers taking potentially high-paying jobs away from skilled Americans. I have seen many local companies replace their entire IT staff with workers from India. I recently overheard an Indian IT worker at a client's site bragging about no American could afford to work for what Indians were working for because their agency paid for them to live far away in a much cheaper community 4 to an apartment and they were happy to just have enough money to send back to India where they expected to live very well one day. The notion that American's across the economic specturm are not being displaced and having their income driven down by a surplus of both documented and undocumented workers is pure hogwash.

    •  question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckybadger1988

      Were these new American workers paid the same as the old undocumented workers?

      And if they're being paid more, why the hell wasn't anyone fighting to raise the pay of the old undocumented workers to the same level?

      If the brown forners are taking your job because they get paid less, then the solution seems pretty simple to me---raise their fucking pay.

      •  Yes and No (0+ / 0-)

        I have some personal knowledge about this because my spouse use to be a Restaurant Manager that have quite a few illegal employees. The way it works is that the undocumented worker is paid "under the table" meaning in cash completely off the books. They tend to receive an hourly rate that is HIGHER then what a documented worker would get for the same positions. However this is actually cheaper for the employee because they don't have to pay SS, Medicare, Workman's Comp, Unemployment or any other local taxes and fees. The employer of course doesn't get any of those benefits but they also don't have to pay any taxes on their income so their take home pay is actually quite a bit higher then an American doing the same job. This last factoid is the dirty little secret nobody likes to talk about. Quite often the undocumented workers are taking home quite a bit more - sometimes double what a documented worker would make, which of course makes them a pretty happy worker.

        Where my spouse worked it was not uncommon to pay the dishwashers and food prep guys $500-$800 a week for 40-60 hours work and this was back in the mid to late 80's.  One of the assistant managers was actually an undocumented worker from Sweden and she took home a lot more money under the table then my husband did. In fact they wanted to pay him most of his wages under the table so they go give him more and he refused, insisting all of his wages be documented.

    •  Those fast food jobs are not that great. (0+ / 0-)
      •  Beats being unemployed! (0+ / 0-)
        •  so the solution to unemployment is simple----- (0+ / 0-)

          We can all work at McDonalds.

          Wonderful.

          Alas, the McDonald's near me isn't hiring---seems a bunch of laid-off teachers took all those jobs.

          Now what?

          •  No That is the Solution for Students (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brn2bwild

            It is also use to be a good entry level job for non-college bound students. I have several friends who got jobs with fast food chains in high school and ended up with well paying jobs as General Manager by the time they were in their mid 20's.

            Youth unemployment is through the roof, mostly because adult undocumented workers are taking the jobs high school and college kids once depended on. Now, not only is college tuition sky high but fewer students are able to get basic jobs to help pay for it.

    •  Question: What entity exposed the (0+ / 0-)

      "little problem" Chipotle's had? What or who brought it to the surface?

      IMO, there should be mandatory penalities on management and companies that regularly hire illegals.

      Teeth and verification standards are needed for enforcement.

      Punish the CEO's and the company itself, heavily.

      That wouldn't solve the problem, but it would make a big dent.

  •  Sorry, I'm not buying (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock, dfe

    A job held by a non-citizen (i.e., temporary foreign worker or illegal immigrant, or even a legal immigrant) is a job not held by a citizen.  The only way that this would not be the case is if the non-citizen were uniquely talented in such a way that absolutely no citizen could do the job.  

    As all the illegal immigrants are doing unskilled jobs, of course any citizen could do the job - and would do the job, if properly compensated (or is Secretary Solis saying that citizens should be content with too low paying jobs?)  And the higher skilled temporary foreign workers (i.e., H1B) are also stealing jobs away from employable Americans.  Perhaps a few years ago when there was a true shortage in nursing, and even IT, the case could be made for some H1B workers, but with unemployed ITers, nurses and teachers, the case can no longer be made.

    When Secretary Solis makes these statements, she is just parroting what Corporate America wants - a desperate native workforce that can be bullied into poor pay and working conditions.  But these statements are really right in line with the free trade meme, which unfortunately Obama has continued to support.

    There are a lot of Democratic voters who would switch to voting Republican in an instant if the Republican Party were to pivot away from  the Corporatocracy into a true populist party.

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