Opposing illegal immigration - without 'hate'?

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This continues a discussion that developed a few days ago; to get the context please go read this post and the thread of comments.

Bottom line: The commenter, Zimzo, makes a case that 'the rhetoric of anti-immigration groups does share characteristics with the the rhetoric of racist groups' and also implies there is more to it than rhetoric. He says it's really a matter of narrow-minded thinking. Hate.

He discounts my contention that illegal immigration has a negative effect on American communities and questions the factual basis of my argument. He goes on to say my arguments - and by extension those of anyone else who opposes illegal immigration - derive from a Republican effort to distract attention from the Iraq war.

If anyone is so inclined, it would be nice to get some input in Comments on the following topics brought up in this thread:

  • Is it possible to be 'anti-illegal' and not be racist? Don't Help Save Herndon, the Minutemen and others use the same language as the white supremecists?
  • Is the 'Reconquista' ideology something we should even pay attention to?
  • Is this whole idea of overcrowded houses, zoning violations, and degraded schools a reality, or is it just a myth? Does anyone have any evidence?
  • Those people on the border who express 'extremist' views about illegal immigrants who may be criminals: Are they crazy?
  • The numbers of people coming across our southern border are negligable, right? Just the occasional peasant family seeking a better life?
  • Any comments on other topics brought up in the messages below?
I'm going to print his entire comment, with responses from me, and I hope some of our readers with thoughts on this topic will weigh in. Zimzo states the pro-illegal case clearly and eloquently, and therefore I think his essay is a worthy object for discussion with regard to this very important issue.

Please click on the link below to read the rest.

Again, please go read this post and the thread of comments for the full background.


Sorry, Joe, but I don't agree to disagree. Fine if you want to believe the Southern Poverty Law Center is not credible, but do you deny the quotes are real?

No

The sad fact is that much of the rhetoric of anti-immigration groups does share characteristics with the the rhetoric of racist groups.

I know. This is one of the biggest problems we face: How to publicly oppose illegal immigration and not be branded as racists or as a 'hate group.' Help Save Herndon (and the Minutemen) are absolutely scrupulous about not allowing yahoos and racists into their respective folds - because we are not racists and our concern has nothing to do with ethnicity! But opposing illegal immigration by definition means being pitted against a 'group' - the group being people who are in the U.S. illegally - and whenever you oppose a 'group' you set yourself up to be labeled as prejudiced.

In this instance the label is patent nonsense because opposition to lawbreakers would fit no reasonable person's definition of 'prejudice.' But it's an easy issue to demagogue, I'll grant you.

An observation: The charge of 'bigotry' sure does fly easily from the left side of the aisle, on a number of issues.


The Aztlan canard is promoted mostly by white supremacist hate groups such as VDARE, not by pro-immigration groups, which you even admit.

No, I didn't 'admit' any such things. I didn't say the Aztlan ideology or the Mexica movement are 'canards', nor do I know to what extent they are 'promoted' by white supremecists groups (unless, you mean, that I am a white supremecist group), nor do I know who VDARE is. If anyone else knows about VDARE, please feel free to comment.

(And as far as characterizing VDARE as a hate group, let's just say that not only is there ample evidence for it, but I also happen to have known anti-immigration immigrant Peter Brimelow and we had some very interesting and quite shocking conversations about his belief that white people are intellectually superior to other races.)

Ok, although I've never heard of the guy, if that's true you can rest assured I'll not be a member of the Peter Brimelow fan club. Thanks for the heads up.

What's worse, you even admit these beliefs represent a very tiny minority...

No, dude, I sure do NOT 'admit' that. I said 'I know we've been through this and I did stipulate the Aztlan bunch may be a tiny, vocal minority.' That's because visitor Stay Puft and I have been debating this issue and I admitted I don't know the actual demographics of how many illegal immigrants subscribe to the Aztlan or Mexica ideologies. It may be a tiny minority, I must admit. The ideology may have no real-world significance. I don't have any statistical research to prove otherwise.

I also haven't seen any research AT ALL claiming it's not a widespread ideology.

If you want to know my personal belief, I'll tell you right now: I think ideology tends to precede, outrun and outlive it adherants. If you want that unpacked, let me know. The short explanation is that ideas persist via cultural artifacts such as the printed word, cultural narratives and artistic images. I think ideology can be very powerful, so I think the reconquista ideas are pretty important.

But I admit I'm not all-knowing, so I proffer it may be a tiny minority at this time.


...but you "think their ideas should be widely publicized over and over just so American citizens will be perhaps overly alert."

Yes, exactly, for the reasons given above. Sorry I did not provide those reasons in the original message.

You admit "doing this stokes the flames of discontent."

No, my esteemed Master of Obfuscation, I certainly did not 'admit' that. Give me a break.

I said - with regard to my posting the information about Aztlan and Mexica - "You can say my doing this stokes the flames of discontent. I realize this and do have second thoughts about it..."

'You can say...' is not the same as 'I hereby declare', FYI.

I don't think I'm stoking any flames. I think I'm publicizing information that I want my fellow citizens to be aware of. I think the ideology represents a problem and I want people to know about it, just like if I heard there was a tornado warning I'd tell all my neighbors.

The phrase you took out of context was a hypothetical I offered in the spirit of acknowledging possible objections.

My point was: I appreciate that one of the objections to circulating any information at all about illegal immigration - whether ideological statements or facts and figures - is that doing so can be construed as stoking discontent. I tried to succinctly yet honestly convey my decision-making process, the result of which is I think it's better to circulate the information. So that's why I reprinted the person's comment.

Another observation: In American society people can be reticent to speak out for fear of making waves, a cultural taboo to some extent. Add to this the fact that skilled rhetoricians can nail you to the wall if you speak out against a politically protected group of so-called 'victims' and there is a powerful disincentive to saying anything about conflicts like the current one over illegal immigration.

It's like saying, "I hear there's a tornado coming, but I don't want to ruin the block party in case I'm wrong."


I'm not sure if I am more shocked that you would stoop to using the tactics of scapegoating or that you would admit to your dishonest rhetoric so baldly. You know very well that characterizing an entire group of people by the conduct of a small number of individuals belonging to a group is one of the tactics used by scapegoaters throughout history. Even your choice of imagery--stoking flames--is stunningly evocative of rhetoric and tactics historically used by extremist groups. I can't believe that you really believe such tactics add to rational discourse.

Guess this belonged with your previous sentence, as I just addressed it. Sorry. I sure did not stoop to the 'tactics of scapegoating.' You conveyed my point either carelessly or dishonestly.

You say you agree with most of the quotes I provided. Which ones specifically?

I probably should have said 'sympathize with' because I might not have a factual basis for judging some of them. I wrote that quickly. But I'll go down the list with you...

Do you believe China has sent soldiers to our Southern border (you don't honestly believe this do you)?

I admit I will believe the worst about the Mexican military. I don't have the impression they've been strong supporters of the United States, ever. Ditto about the Chinese. So the very idea does not exactly make my head spin. The original quote was Chris Simcox saying he saw Chinese military across our southern border: I don't know, obviously, but my initial reaction is to nod in appreciation for the tip. If you know this to be demonstrably nutso, please provide facts.

Do you believe we should use nuclear weapons there?

No. OBVIOUSLY. But I understand what the person was saying and I think it was rhetorical. If it wasn't rhetorical, I disagree with it.

Things are different for the people who live down there. I get the impression you believe the influx from Mexico is a trickle of poor families individually creeping across the river to find a better life. The reality I've heard about is it's a torrent. Thousands every night just coming through the Cochise area of Arizona. Thousands of square miles of land ruined for agriculture because of the foot traffic. I'll dig out some more data on this point if we don't get any comments to flesh it out. I think the 'nuke 'em' sentiment reflected the frustration of someone trying to convey the magnitude of the problem.

But, for the record: Joe says, Don't nuke the Arizona-Mexican border.


Do you think Mexicans are "barbarians."?

No. But I believe the person quoted was speaking of "illegal immigrants" and the reality in the Southwest is there has been an increase in crime. Crime personally experienced makes extremists of us all.

Do you "hate hyphenated Americas"?

Trick question. Treasuring one's heritage is one thing. I wouldn't sic the FBI on the local Croation-American club. Refusing to assimilate is another. I think people who seek to stay in America permanently and refuse to become fully "American" should not be allowed to stay here.

Do you think all Middle Easterners are likely members of terrorist cells?

I think the quote said "should be treated as likely members..." That's slightly different.

Depending on the context, of course the answer to that would be "yes." For example, if law enforcement had a tip about possible terrorist activity, Middle Easterners would be a logical place to start. Also, if you keep driving due east, you will end up in the Atlantic Ocean.


Do you think we should bomb Telemundo?

No. But then, I haven't seen any of their programming. I do think we should keep a real close eye on Oxygen.

Do you think illegal immigrants want to kill you in your families? Do you think illegal immigrants "are here to commit auto theft, burglary, rape, robbery and murder"? Which of these ideas do you subscribe to?

See the point about personal experience of crime, above. Maybe we'll get some input in the comments. I do sympathize with the statement based on what I've heard from people who live down there.

Joseph Turner is executive director of the San Bernardino-based Save Our State, an anti-immigration organization.

Ok.

"Having illegal immigrants over for tea..." Could you be any more patronizing and contemptuous? No, Joe, I do not have illegal immigrants over for tea. That would be so... Republican. I actually live, work and socialize with quite a few illegal immigrants and I know about their lives quite intimately.

I think my point was pretty clear: You said "Do you know any illegal immigrants personally" and I said it's not a matter of whether I know them, it's a matter of what the effects are in my local community. I mentioned overcrowding, zoning violations, and taxpayer-funded programs for illegal immigrants. Methinks you are trying to skirt the issue.

I also speak fluent Spanish (thanks to a few Spanish teachers whom you seem to believe should be second-class citizens but that's another topic for another time).

So you were taught by teachers who were in the U.S. illegally? In that case, no: They should not be any type of citizens. In fact, I don't believe in ANY second class citizens. Either you are here legally, in which case you should get treated like everyone else, or you are here illegally.

(Psst. Zimzo. Read that last sentence again. That's actually the whole point. If you forget everything else I write but remember that, we'll be on the same page.)


You see that's the thing. It's easy to characterize people as animals or savages when you don't really know anything about them personally.

I imagine it is. Duly noted. Next time I am about to characterize anyone as 'animal' or 'savage' I shall be sure to play a round of tetherball with them first.

("Twenty people living in a house"! Oh really. How many households would you say Joe or is this another example of those "flames of discontent" you would prefer to stoke).

Zimzo, my man, you may have just hit pay-dirt here. I think this is the first substantive question you have asked in this entire message.

The effect on the local community is not anecdotal, my friend. THAT'S why the Herndon government got voted out of office last month. THAT'S why immigration is going to be a key - if not THE key - issue in the elections of the next two years.

I hope some locals will jump in here with the data, I certainly will be gathering some. This will be a separate post. You REALLY don't know what time it is, compadre.

Man, you have no idea.


It wouldn't be difficult to characterize anti-immigration forces as a bunch of ignorant racist crackers, too, but I don't believe that.

Thanks. It would be easy to characterize pro-immigration forces as a bunch of treasonous weasels, but I don't believe that. I believe most of 'em are just dreadfully misinformed.

As far as my invocation of Iraq, you don't find it more than coincidental that this issue and other hot-button issues like gay marriage and flag-burning are being raised just as the war in Iraq is going south. You don't think that linking this issue to terrorism is bogus?

Err, just go back to the drawing board on that one, ok? Take this as a piece of incontravertible intel from deep within the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy: There's no there there. We ain't NEARLY that well coordinated. The issues you delineated, in fact, represent different constituencies. And Iraq ain't anywhere in the equation. Seriously, dude, it's the sad truth. Track George W. Bush's changing positions on the immigration issue over the next few months: Trust me, it'll be a much more worthwhile and enjoyable use of your time.

How many terrorists can you document as coming across our southern border?

I don't have any numbers. How many can you document as NOT coming across? Depending on what your point is, I still think it's a potential problem.

In fact there have been cases of terrorists coming across our northern border. Why then is the focus on Mexico? What is the difference between Mexico and Canada? I wonder. And why is this suddenly such a big crisis now?

Yes, terrorists coming from Canada is a serious potential problem. Ideally we should have two really, really long fences, one north and one south. I'd never downplay the importance of security on our northern border.

There are thousands of illegal immigrants coming across our southern border every day. THAT'S why the focus is on Mexico. The difference is, Canadians seem content to stay in Canada, and if they come here, they do not undermine wages and draw social benefits. On the whole. Also, tomorrow evening, the sun will set in the west.


I live in an area where there are far more illegal immigrants than Herndon...

As a percentage of the total population? I doubt it, amigo. But, let's stipulate you're correct. Maybe you're in Nogales or Brownsville? In any case, take my word for it, we'd give you a run for your money. You don't vote out the mayor and entire city council based on a whim and a rumor.

...and it is not considered a problem here. Perhaps it is actually because there are so few immigrants relatively speaking there that it is not perceived as a problem.

I think the relative percentage is the key thing, right?

Let me be clear. I am not saying you are a racist. I am saying that your rhetoric and tactics are similar to those used by racists in the past and I think you really should be careful about that because it doesn't do your arguments any good.

I agree our statements can be easily linked to those of the idiots. Similar topics, similar facts, similar phraseology in fact. It's a big minus for us. If we didn't think illegal immigration was a clear and present danger, we'd certainly be tempted to just be quiet. Our lives would be much easier. In the short term.

And what do you actually propose to do besides build a big fence?

Whoa, let's not gloss over that one, ok hombre? We really DO want to build a big fence. Big. Fence. Get that sumbitch up.

Are you going to deport the illegal immigrants that are here already? How?

Fence first. Then we'll discuss the other.

Your complete and total lack of compassion for illegal immigrants and gays gives me the impression that you haven't really bothered to try to see things from their point of view and that you lack even a modicum of Christian compassion. It's really hard for me to believe that you feel OK with that. Perhaps you need to listen a bit more to people who do not echo your views and have a different life experience from you. It certainly couldn't hurt.

Yeah, y'know, I've been hearing that all my life. On account of being so mean and lacking compassion my entire life. Because, in the end, everything I believe and commit my time to is selfish, hateful, wasteful, destructive, and contrary to every social norm and religious tenet. Did I say "hateful?" Well, if I didn't, please add "hateful" to the list.

I want people to have to obey laws, and this makes me a 'hater.' I don't just mean the illegal immigrants, mind you, but also the employers and the government officials. So, yes, I'm a hater, a bigot, against the illegal immigrant, against the opportunistic business owner and against the spineless elected official. For the record, can someone fill me in on the precise terminology and respective interest groups for the latter two? I need to know who to watch out for. Because, believe me, I do hate 'em.

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23 Comments

Moderate 5-19 said:

I think everyone (to include myself) have gotten off the point in this issue. No doubt there are some minute men who could probably be tarred with the term ‘racist". But as there are also many who are in favor of giving illegal immigrant’s rights that legal citizen have who are also “racist” and believe their mission is to literally take back this country because they believe to be theirs. Their will always be some in any group that are extremist and pushing their own (usually negative and harmful) agenda.

But let’s attempt to lower the rhetoric, name calling and inflammatory pictures and just try to look at this issue logically. The FACT is that just being in this county illegally is breaking the law and that in and of itself should not be tolerated. The FACT is that illegal’s in the Country do not (usually) have health insurance thus when they show up in the emergency room we all pay for their care. The FACT is that it does cost more to educate ESL students then non ESL students. The FACT in that many illegal’s come across the boarder for the sole purpose of giving birth in the hopes that their children (who are now legal citizens) will act as an “umbilical cord” to this Country. The FACT is that employers hire illegal’s because they can pay them thousands less then Americans, thus driving down American wages. The FACT is that illegal’s do not have taxes taken out of their pay. The FACT is that money sent from illegals back to Mexico is Mexico’s main income stream thus President Fox has no incentive to stop illegal crossing on that side of the boarder. The FACT is that unsecured boarders make for a less secure Country. The FACT is that people die every week trying to cross the boarder and that in and of itself should be reason enough to stop illegal crossings. And in my opinion President Bush’s plan for illegal immigration is amnesty and ultimately hurts America.

To the belief that immigrants do work that Americans won’t, I still don’t believe that to be true. I believe Americans will not and should not do those jobs for the pay employers pay illegals, but that does not mean the jobs won’t get done. Americans have done those jobs in the past and we have no proof that if paid a fair and living wage Americans wont do them in the today.

Thanks, M. It took me a lot more words to say less than you did.

Robert said:

To me, the problem is that the charge of "racism" gets into people's motives. We ought to concern ourselves with the merits of policy, rather than attempting to play armchair psychologist.

Robert, how true, that's a very useful distinction.

It's also a great idea for a new rights movement. Possible names:

Hands Off Our Motives!

Our Motives, Our Selves

My Motives: None Of YOUR Business

I was at a left-wing gathering recently and conservatives' motives was one of the main topics of discussion. "They want to legislate away our freedoms." "They want to treat women as chattel."

And, of course, the word "bigotry" came up about a 500 times.

SinCerely said:

I hardly see the objection of illegal immigration laws that are on the table as HATE.

Immigrants are more than welcome in America. Illegal immigrants are not, nor should they be. With the hundreds of thousands of folks trying to get into our country, nobody should have an exception to the policy of acceptance as it stands now.

I am anti to the proposed legislation now on the table. But every day when I enter work I have to
deal with hundreds of immigrants. I am never rude. Unless of course they demand service above anyone else. Trust me that happens a lot.

What I am against is these invaders being given rights that Americans have to wait years to receive. Not to mention those on the waiting list to enter this country.

If anyone would take my stand as being a HATE crime. Hate is what they would get, with a good smack in the face.

Don't come into my house and demand to sleep in my bed simply because you want to be here.

zimzo said:

I'm sure you would all be very happy if you could divorce your rhetoric from its implications, if we didn't bother exploring the messy motives behind what you say about immigration. I bet you would prefer if we only spoke of cold, hard facts instead of forced you to look at the personal ramifications of what you say and how it actually impacts on the lives of real people. No matter, of course, that even many of your "FACTS" are wrong or misleading--for example, invoking the myth of "anchor babies" (could we have some evidence for the phenomenon of immigrants rushing here to give birth to anchor babies, please?), that they are a preponderate health care cost (when, in fact, the 40 million Americans who don't have health insurance make a far bigger impact), that they drive down American wages (again, statistics show the effect is negligable), or that they don't pay taxes (in fact, many do--the IRS has issued more than 6.8 million tax payer ID numbers since 1996--and anecdotally, virtually all of the illegal immigrants I know do, to avoid a big tax bill for the day when they hope to become American citizens). Clearly, it worries you that you may be called out on your bedfellows and that is why you cry out that immigrant advocates are "playing the race card" and other such rhetorical devices.

Joe, first of all, let me thank you for actually taking what I have to say seriously. I think we can debate these issues without rancor and name-calling while being very frank about where we stand.

I think your use of the Aztlan myth was careless and needlessly inflammatory. I believe the whole thing originates with a 1968 pamphlet issued by a radical Chicano group and is hardly relevant to today's debate. I think you should be a lot more careful when you throw verbal gasoline on the fire. I know that you know that your statement that "ideology tends to precede, outrun and outlive it adherants" is your way of backing off with as much grace as you can muster. I will not stand in your way. Ditto your lame defenses of the extremist quotes I cited, although I agree we should be suspicious of Oxygen (see, we already agree about something).

More generally, why is this being turned into such a big issue now? It's not the most important security issue. Our ports remain unsecured, efforts to safeguard nuclear and chemical plants have been blocked by lobbyists and their minions in Congress, Osama Bin Laden remains on the loose, the War in Iraq has been a recruiting boon for future terrorists, our allies don't want to cooperate with us, ourr intelligence agencies are in a shambles, and yet suddenly immigration from Mexico is being cited as the most important security problem. Of course, it makes no difference that the 9/11 hijackers flew here and that other potential terrorists have been stopped at our Canadian blorder. Clearly, this "threat" is being manufactured to distract us from the real issues and to lend credence to an immigration battle that is being fought for other reasons.

My point about knowing some illegal immigrants, which you continue to dismiss with strained sarcasm, is that you don't have any statistics you can cite to back up your claims and you have done little research on the issue. For the most part you just repeat claims you've heard without verifying them and rely on your own second-hand anecdotal evidence (I think we can file the 20-in-a-house myth with Reagan's Welfare Queen). And while I'm sorry if you have been forced to hear more mariachi music than you would prefer and if your Mexican restaurants have suddenly become a little more authentic than Chi-Chi's was, I'm afraid that is just the price you are going to have to pay for living in a country that is not homogenous. For hundreds of years immigrants' children have learned English better than they have and assimilated more quickly. ESL classes cost a little money but so do remedial classes for American kids who are functionally illiterate because they play video games and watch TV all day. Big deal. Personally, I think it would be great to have a few kids in this country who actually speak at least one language and maybe two. The sad fact is that the impact immigrants have on the abominable state of health care and education in this country is minuscule and yet many on the right prefer to focus on their purported impact in order to avoid talking about real necessary reforms.

As far as the whole idea of assimilation goes, assimilated to what? Frankly, I feel much more comfortable in my pluralistic, open-minded immigrant-filled community than I would in many of the nearly all-white, conservative enclaves of the U.S. I'm not really sure I want to assimilate myself.

Immigrants are scapegoated because in places like Herndon they stick out and they have no constuency. Because so people vote in this country, it's easy for a few activists to make them the issue. As I said, where I live we enjoy the improvement in the ethnic restaurants and actually see immigrants as part of the community. I know you don't want to be perceived as scapegoating outsiders but it's hard not to see it that way.

My Spanish teachers were not illegal immigrants, they were unmarried and forbidden from marrying their partners, but as I said, that's a topic for another day.

On the whole "Fence first" issue, setting aside it's efficacy and symblic meaning of a huge wall on our border, why is it that so many conservatives are reluctant to solve the entire problem of immigration simultaneously? I submit that it is because you really don't want to talk about the issue of immigrants who are already here because your preferred plan (mass deportation, c.f. various attempts throughout history with regard to Jews) is unworkable and distasteful. You also resist the logical alternative, amnesty (I'm not afraid afraid to use that word) because of this exaggerated sense you have that you don't want to reward lawbreakers. Well, you know, a lot of laws are broken in this country with far worse consequences. Speeding causes more deaths that illegal immigration but I don't hear you agitating about that. And you're the first people to defend lawbreakers in the Bush Administration. I suspect that this frightening rash of lawbraking is not really your main concern.

And so we are left where we started. Why this issue? Why now? Why only a concern for certain immigrants? Why a lack of concern for the human dimension of the problem? Why a resistence to certain emotions like compassion while giving in to others like anger? Why are you now so agitated by this issue that you are willing to act irrationally against your own best interests economically and politically? If it's not about hatred and bigotry and ignorance, what is it about? Please enlighten me.

stay puft marshmallow man said:

A good source of information about the impact of undocumented workers can be found at Pew Hispanic:

http://pewhispanic.org/

I think Pew is generally seen as fair and non-biased.

a bunch of links to(pro)immigration-related information can be found here:

http://umich4437.wikispaces.com/Resources


as far as laws go, I can't get over the "Minuteman" logic that, "what they're doing is illegal, so we're going to stop them." That's pretty good, considering that their namesake, the original Minutemen, were all guilty of high treason against the King. what the hell?

see, the O.M. understood that laws were man made and could be unjust. they had those "unalienable rights" which applied to who? "all US citizens and those in the country legally" ? Nope, all men, created equally, etc.

or is "Natural Law" only relevant in the gay marriage debate?

M 5-19,

You're on the main page.

SinCerely,

Thanks for the frank, first-hand perspective.

Stay Puft,

You're tweaking me a bit with your argument, I'd expect no less, but the links are interesting. I appreciate them and definitely will check them out tomorrow. I'm goin to unpack all my things and sit before it gets too late.

Zimzo,

WHAT? WHAT IS THAT?

My goodness, man, you've responded by ignoring the main points in my response to you.

Have you by any chance been spending time in Ann Arbor this weekend because what you just wrote seems like it's right out of Stay Puft's playbook for Let's Explode Joe Budzinski's Head. I.e. say a bunch of crap that totally sidesteps the main arguments and throw a bunch of nonsense out there to obscure the discussion, and thereby get Joe to bang his head on the table until Joe can no longer respond.

(Stay Puft, you stay out of this now, because I'm in Sterling, biatch, and I can only handle one of these illusionists at a time!)

So much of this is nonsense it won't only require a new post for me to respond: It will require an untangling like cleaning up an old fishing reel.

"I think we can file the 20-in-a-house myth with Reagan's Welfare Queen"

Are you nuts? Which member of the Zimzo family are you anyway: Snorty, Sleepy, Toby, Marcus, Sneezy, Flimmy, Dropsy, Paulsy, Frodo, Cheney, Spanky or Alfalfa?

Look, Zimzo, you have been thoughtful. I freely admit that and I appreciate it in a big way because so much of the current political dialogue is ranting and throwing soup at each other.

That being said, your response to MY response to you is more like a cloud of confetti than a position paper.

On the one hand it's gratifying because I think, "Ok, they really have no good response."

On the other hand, I wish you'd answer my points as directly as I answered yours because then we'd be in a real discussion.

Well, this will go on. It will likely take a couple days for me to unravel your argument sufficiently to highlight the actual points of disagreement between us.

But I'm on to you, Zimzo. I think you know it.

No2daylabor said:

Zimzo uses the same old pro-illegal alien attack and label everyone as a racist. This approach is old and laughable and not very creative. Zimzo is truly an amateur when it comes to using the bigot and racist argument.

Zimzo uses the La Raza, Casa De Maryland, and LULAC mantra to attack with the "Racist" paint brush and then tries to blend facts with fiction. An illegal alien is not an immigrant.

Since we are dealing with "fact", who in HelpSaveHerndon is "racist" Zimzo? You spend a lot of energy defending criminals yet spend little or no time try to understand why Americans simply choose not to live in a society that does not respect the law.

When you get a break from blogging try walking the W&O trail and see the illegal immigrants living out of cars and in the woods. You may also want to open your eyes and visit the Herndon court on Wednesday at 9:30. Witness for yourself what illegal aliens bring to your community. Not racist just fact.

HelpSaveHerndon is comprised of informed citizens who have spent the time and energy to understand the issues. We have been active in the legislative process and have been extremely effective in local politics. We are also successful in getting laws passed. One recent success was the passage of two bills recently signed by Tim Kaine which prohibits non-citizens from voting. Their names have been scrubbed from voter lists. Zimzo could view this as a racist act but we Virginians want Virginians to vote not illegal aliens.

http://www.cis.org/topics/illegalimmigration.html.

No2DayLabor,

THANK YOU! It's a relief to hear from someone else in the local community. I get the impression this Zimzo person is writing from a secluded cottage in some place like Iceland. Or Mars.

I just read that reply again: "Mariachi music"??

"ESL classes cost a little money but so do remedial classes for American kids who are functionally illiterate because they play video games and watch TV all day. Big deal."??

You know what this is like? It's like someone sitting in a cabin in Montana during hurricane season shooting off letters to the Miami Herald upbraiding Floridians for their lack of resolve in the face of adversity. "It's only wind, people! The 'danger' is a myth. Name one person you know personally who has been killed by one of these 'hurricanes.'"

I'm going to move your post up to the main page a little later. Much obliged.

Joe

stay puft marshmallow man said:

who's scruffy lookin'?

zimzo said:

I never said anyone was racist but it's funny how you guys keep saying you're not racists, and get so defensive about it, and then you fall right back onto racist rhetoric.

The language you use is not so subtly loaded. You characterize illegal immigrants as "criminals." Have you violated any laws, say, a drug law? Would that then justify my referring to you as a criminal? I guess it would according to you if you're going to be consistent about it. Were blacks who violated Jim Crow laws by sitting at lunch counters criminals? That's what they were called by racists not too long ago. Were fugitive slaves criminals? Just asking.

You write: "When you get a break from blogging try walking the W&O trail and see the illegal immigrants living out of cars and in the woods." It's intersting how you keep harping on how these immigrants live as if they would like to pack themselves 20 to a house or live out in the woods. Has it occurred to you that they might be poor. Are there no nonimmigrant poor people living in Virginia in squalid conditions? Is that because they like to live that way? And certainly preventing immigrants from getting jobs is going to be a big help. I have a solution for solving this problem. Let's give them amnesty and require that employers at least pay them a minimum wage. But that would be rewarding criminals. I wonder what rewards you're getting in spite of your criminal activities? Maybe someone should look into it.

Joe, I know you want to believe that I am some sort of Unabomber type living in a log cabin in the woods or that I'm simply missing a chromosome, but you know that's not true, and it really sticks in your craw.

Whoa there, Stay Puft, there's no "job Americans won't do" and that includes herding nerf. It just has to pay a living wage.

Zimzo,

Eh?

The only thing I think you're missing is a clue about reality. You're making these pronouncements about what is happening within the 10 square miles surrounding my house when obviously you don't know. It doesn't stick in my craw in the least, it's just odd.

You're the one who invoked "white supremecists", "hate groups" and "racists". That's going to bring responses, FYI.

There will be a bunch of data going up on the main page later today or tonight.

Ultimately, this issue won't be resolved via the keyboard, but rather at public events, through pressure or influence on current elected officials, in the local "letters to the editor" pages, discussion among local citizens, and finally at the ballot box. All of these efforts are underway.

Amy H. said:

OK, my two cents:

I live near a formal Day labor site that was created in Herndon, VA just 6 months ago even though Herndon citizens and surrounding communities said they do not want it created (The Herndon Mayor and most of the town council members who voted for the site have now been replaced-FYI).

Before the Day labor site was created, there were 4 overcrowded houses on my street alone. It started with one overcrowded home in 2001 and the issues and problems had increased to 4 homes by 2005. Even though neighbors and I were reporting all forms of overcrowding issues to zoning officials they had to follow zoning laws which gave the land lords time to shuffle the people who were living in the homes time to go to other overcrowded homes temporarly while zoning inspected the homes that were under observation.

Many neighbors, including myself have come home at night to strange men sitting on their porch funriture waiting for someone to let them into the house.

What has happened is that their previous residence was being inspected by zoning and the landlord had told the men to go to a different home for a week or two until zoning officials were saitified.

The men who were told to go live elsewhere for a few weeks, would sometimes make a mistake and forget the exact address they were supposed to go to and would end up waiting by the front or back doors at a nearby but incorrect residence.

I ask you: How would you like your wife, children or extended family to come home to strange men sitting on your front or back porch? Especially since some of the men were insistent enough that that was where they were supposed to be staying/living that residents called 911 and had to have the police removethe indivduals from their porperty?


If overcrowding is a myth why does Loudoun county, VA and Hendron, VA now have on their County and town payrolls over 12 people who handle overcrowding and zoning complaints alone?

Why does Tom Rust, a VA State Representative list Overcroding as a "growing problem" on his site: Link is http://www.tomrust.org/press_release.php?ID=23

The text of the press release on Tom Rust's site is as follows:

Overcrowding

For the past several years, residential overcrowding has been a growing problem across Northern Virginia. Skyrocketing housing costs have contributed to the growing demand for low-cost options. Unfortunately, many homeowners have begun using this to their advantage, effectively creating “boarding houses” where twenty or thirty people may be sleeping at one time.

In addition to the impacts on property values, aesthetics, and public infrastructure, residential overcrowding creates a genuine public safety hazard, especially to those living in overcrowded conditions. Several fatalities have been reported this year, both in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, due to fires in overcrowded homes. The illegal landlords who own these homes often fail to maintain smoke detectors and make little or no provision for the escape of their tenants. Two were killed in a recent fire in Bailey’s Crossroads, where fire officials reported nearly thirty people were living."


--------------------------
After the day labor site was installed in Herndon, VA in December 2005, my neighbors and I formed a lose knit neighborhood watch to track any increases or decreases in overcrowding and other zoning issues we reported to zoning.

In the last six months we have seen over a 100% (in December 2005, we were monitoring 4 houses, 6 months after the day labor site was installed there are now 8 active houses we are monitoring and routinely filing zoning complaints on) increase in overcrowding and other zoning complaints as contractors move out of Herndon into neighboring areas where taxes are less, there are no HOAs in many instances, and zoning issues are harder and take longer to enforce due to the size of the county, the limited number of people that are addressing zoning complaints, the rate at which the county is growing (Loudoun County, VA is the fastest growing county in the USA and has been for the past 3 years running), and the several loopholes in zoning laws that still exist.

Crime is also on the rise. This year alone I have already been awakened by a Loudoun county Sherriff's Deputy, at 5AM, who had to inform me that one of my car windows, along with all the other cars parked on that side of the street that night had been shot out. The sherriff's deputy stated that it was most likely done for fun by "local youths (read "wanna be" gang members trying to impress their friends)."

I personally do not feel it is racist to expect people to maintain their property and houses to Federal, state, and local county building codes and zoning standards since I also have to follow all Federal, state, and local laws. I would just like my neighbors to do the same.

I have long since given up caring what names people call me for my views. People who call me racist, unchristian, and all the other BS names they can muster have most likey never lost any sleep at night wondering if their child or family pet would be safe to play in the backyard unsupervised after reporting a neighbor for yet another zoning or overrowding violation.

Nor have they had to call the cops to get the strange men off their property who were found louging on their porch funriture waiting for someone to let them in since they have mistakenly gone to the wrong boarding house for the night.

I am personally done being compassionate since I have had to comabat, on a daily basis, overcrowding and other zoning issues, increased crime, rising taxes, and lower property values. I want Federal, state, and local laws enforced. Period.

People seem to forget that there are legal ways to get into this country and work. They also seem to forget that there are people who have waited patiently for over 20 years for the priviledge of immigrating to the US while others skip ahead of the legal line and and could not be bothered to do anything legally. Especially since there is nothing preventing them from simply entering the US and starting to work in the US "off the books."

America is already one of the most compassionate nations on immgration in the world. Even here in the US there has to be limits.

As far as immigration on the Federal level, I believe that the US should enforce the laws that already exist instead of trying to add more useless legislation that amounts to zero enforcement.

There would be no need for local officials to install day labor sites or think of creative ways to humanely combat overcrowding if employers were held accountable for the people they hire and found that it was no longer economically feasible to hire workers “under the table or off books.” If people who came here looking for work no longer were able to find "off the books" employment as easily as they can now, even temporarily, they will look for work elsewhere.

My input on the argument that Americans won’t do certain jobs anymore. All I have to say is this:

I have personally worked in some of the most menial and dirty jobs there are including cleaning black oil tanks on ships, sandblasting paint off ship hulls in ship yards, removing asbestos insulation off pipes and valves on old steam engines and boilers.

I have also cleaned toilets, cooked meals, and done every menial task they say Americans will no longer do.

Why did I do those jobs? Because, at the time, I could pay all my bills and have a little bit left over to buy a CD or go out to dinner at the end of the week. I was able to make a comfortable living on the wages I made. I doubt I could live on the wages companies are paying people now for the same jobs I used to do. Which is curious, since people keep mentioning a shortage of available workers, especially in the restaurant and hotel industries.

If that was REALLY the case then restaurant and hotel workers would be making more than minimum wage under the economic principle of supply versus demand.

Companies in America from the small contractor to the large corporations all want to keep wages and business costs low to improve their profit margins. Having an ever present cheap labor force is in their best interests and they will do almost anything to keep that cheap labor supply flowing....Including selling out fellow americans.

kevin said:

"I admit I will believe the worst about the Mexican military. I don't have the impression they've been strong supporters of the United States, ever. Ditto about the Chinese. So the very idea does not exactly make my head spin. The original quote was Chris Simcox saying he saw Chinese military across our southern border: I don't know, obviously, but my initial reaction is to nod in appreciation for the tip. If you know this to be demonstrably nutso, please provide facts."

With all due respect, this bit, aside from being laugh out loud funny, is not a good rebuttal. It's like the circular argument of "unless you can prove it's NOT true, it should be believed". Guess you would also believe it, or at least nod in approval at the tip, if I told you that Saddam has planted your next door neighbors in order to spy on your "freedom fighting" behavior. You can't prove it's not true so you had better believe it. . .actually, never mind, want to join me in a lucrative business deal? It'll just take a small initial investment.

Amy -

You are really on the front lines; thank you for the thoughtful and informative response.

Kevin -

It wasn't really my intention to provide a "rebuttal," it was one response out of many to a bunch of quotes. I just said what I thought after someone threw them at me.

If I ever throw a bunch of quotes at you and demand you either agree or disagree with them, I give you full license to respond however YOU want.

If you found it funny, stick around; I got a million more where that came from...

But on second thought, I have to ask: I'm funny how?

Funny like a clown? I amuse you? I'm here to effin' amuse you? What do you mean funny? How am I funny? What the F-- is so funny about me? Tell me what's funny!

...Boy, I've been waiting for YEARS to use that line.

Thanks.

stay puft marshmallow man said:

Amy-

It sounds like there's a problem in your community with a lack of low income housing and with landlords who are willing to ignore zoning laws. Why are you angry with the tenants? That's the definition of scapegoating. You say you have to fight against "zoning issues." How is deporting immigrants the solution? Or are the landlords illegal immigrants as well?

I'm assuming that those 20 people living in that house are doing some sort of work in the area, yet that is still the best housing they can afford. I'll also give you the benefit of the doubt that those 20 people are in the country illegally (although I doubt you really know that for sure), if they were removed, and all-american citizens were hired to replace them, they would also need to have affordable housing. Again, this seems to be your communities real problem, along with a willingness of landlords to capitalize on the situation.

Also, your claim that illegal immigration drives down wages is interesting. I've heard other people say similar things. Are there any studies supporting this claim? Because the information I've seen shows that there is no negative impact on wages. For example, this (rather lengthy) report by an economist at UC Davis:

http://www.econ.ucdavis.edu/faculty/gperi/Papers/perott_aggregate_6.pdf

Why are you afraid? "Local Youths" doesn't mean illegal aliens.
Why do you think your pet could be in danger? Has Joe been telling you about the animal sacrifices preformed by the Cult of Aztlan?

kevin said:

Hey Joe, it's cool, man. I'm sorry for taking your point-counterpoint as a thoughtful debate, that was my bad. Thanks for inviting me to stick around for the laughs and seriously for offering me the opportunity to respond how I feel. Oh, and good "Funny like a clown" quote. You got good mileage out of it for as long as you've been waiting to use it.

One of the reasons I like to read here is because it provides such a different point of view than I'm exposed to typically. I think that one can become so entrenched in a culture/school of thought that it becomes easy to lose perspective. To venture out and be exposed to different ideas helps keep me from believing the "chinese military is at our border in Mexico"'s of my own circle. Take care.

Amy H. said:

This just happened on Monday near my home in Sterling. The "local youths" where at it again....

Loudoun Sheriff's Office Investigates Possible Gang-Related Mob Assault

The Sheriff's Office is investigating a possible gang-related mob
assault that occurred Monday afternoon near the Loudoun County and
Fairfax County line in Sterling.

Deputies responded to the area of East Holly Avenue and North Kennedy
Drive in Sterling for a report of a fight in progress. According to
several witnesses the victim, an 16-year-old Sterling boy, was assaulted
by six to eight males. The suspects were alleged to have flashed gang
signs when they fled the area in two vehicles, a silver Acura and a gold
Toyota.

The victim received minor injuries during the assault but declined
treatment at the scene.

Anyone with information about this assault is asked to contact
Investigator L. Cerniglia of the Sheriff's Office Gang Intelligence
Unit at 703-481-2523. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can contact
Loudoun Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

We haven't even gotten into the topic of gangs yet. That problem is growing througout the western Fairfax and Sterling area.

mike said:

In short, let's build this damn fence already! The next step must be to declare a national language. I am sick and tired of paying for an illegal immigrant's health insurance and education. It's about time to designate a somewhat permanent workers status where they pay the same (if not more) taxes as the normal American. They should be allowed to go through the necessary steps towards citizenship.

This should all be done ASAP. Fence first. Border security is an absolute priority. Then we can deal with those who are already here.

There is a growing hatred towards illegal (especially mexican) immigrants. This would change that. The morale in this country would drastically change, the economy would improve, and our security would be stengthened. I call on everyone to stop talking about this issue and do something about it. I have been in contact with my congressman for some time now.

Amy H. said:

Someone asked about numbers on taxes, etc. here is a recent article on the topic.

Foreign-born people living in the region are paying their fair share of taxes, but illegal aliens and those with temporary protected status aren't, according to a study released yesterday.


By Keyonna Summers
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Published June 6, 2006

In 1999, the year studied by the District-based Urban Institute, foreign-born households accounted for 17.7 percent of all taxes paid by area residents -- a figure nearly identical to their share of the total population in 2000, which was 17.4 percent.
But the average illegal alien household and those with temporary protected status paid less than 2 percent of the region's taxes, even though they made up more than 4 percent of households.

Illegal aliens "pay fewer taxes because they have lower incomes and because their compliance rate [voluntarily filing of income taxes by themselves or by employers] is somewhat lower than our other immigrant groups," said Michael Fix, vice president of the Migration Policy Institute. "And their incomes are lower in large part because many have low levels of education and limited English skills."

Randolph Capps, a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, estimates that about 55 percent of illegal aliens are paying into Social Security and Medicare by using fake Social Security numbers. The remaining 45 percent are not paying those taxes because their employers, who are not filing income taxes, are paying the illegals under the table, he said.
However, researchers yesterday said illegal aliens do contribute to state and local taxes -- such as sales tax on cigarettes and alcohol, auto taxes, property taxes and utility taxes -- which help pay for schools and hospitals.
But some observers said the study is flawed because it does not attempt to weigh tax payments against the cost of social services, education and other expenses linked to immigration.

Researchers in most cases lumped legal immigrants and illegal aliens into one category, failing to identify the specific effects that illegal aliens' tax contributions, or lack thereof, have on the region's economy, critics said.

Steven A. Camarota, research director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a District-based group that favors tougher immigration policies, wrote a study in 2004 that found illegal aliens cost the federal government $26.3 billion in services in 2002 but paid only $16 billion in taxes.

Illegal aliens that year created a net fiscal deficit of $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal alien household, he said. The costs reflected a burden on government services such as Medicaid, medical treatment for the uninsured, food-assistance programs, the federal prison and court systems, and federal aid to schools.

"It's not irrelevant, but it's kind of half the equation, really," said Mr. Camarota, who estimated that granting legal status to illegal aliens would allow unskilled workers who avoid taxes more access to public services, inflating the deficit to $29 billion.
Researchers yesterday said that relatively large populations of Asians, Middle Easterners and Europeans in the Washington area tend to earn more income, and by virtue, pay more in taxes than most native-born Americans, helping to offset the low tax payments of illegals and poor immigrants.

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