Illegal Immigration Not An Ethnic Issue

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The dirty little secret of the pro-illegal immigration advocates is their cause has nothing to do with ethnic or racial fairness. As the recent voting in Arizona demonstrated, Hispanics are just as likely to support anti-illegal immigration measures as voters in other ethnic groups:

All four of Arizona's anti-illegal immigration propositions passed by wide margins - and, perhaps surprisingly, several surveys showed that between 40 percent and 50 percent of Hispanics voted for them...

In several different surveys, pollsters found that many Hispanics in Arizona continued a trend of voting in favor of antiillegal immigration measures.

Rod Fernandez, 44, said he voted for all four of the anti-illegal immigration propositions partly because he deals every day with the headaches of illegal immigration.

He said his livelihood has been hurt by day laborers across the street from his job at Karl's Custom in Mesa.

"They'll all pile into the truck looking for work," he said. "Recently, a couple of customers said they were afraid to come here, or they won't leave their car overnight."

Fernandez said the issue is not about race, but about playing by the rules.

"I'm not against Hispanics from Mexico," he said. "I'm against them coming out here and getting all the benefits I have that I'm entitled to because I'm a taxpayer."

Bruce Merrill, a pollster at Arizona State University, said roughly 40 percent of Hispanics statewide voted for Proposition 300, which prevents illegal immigrants from receiving some public benefits. Merrill said the breakdown of Hispanic votes was nearly identical two years ago when roughly 40 percent of Hispanic voters also helped pass Proposition 200, which required voters to show proper ID at the polls.

In another study, the Pew Hispanic Center found that about 48 percent of Hispanic voters backed a measure that designated English as Arizona's official language, while 41 percent voted to re-elect Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who made illegal immigration a central campaign issue.

Read the whole article. Even though the reporter tries valiantly to find a silver lining for the pro-illegal forces, she does not quite succeed.

So why do the immigration liberals take their stand? Many are simply confused, as I suggested in an earlier post. They may be, without thinking it through, reflexively against any position expressed by 'conservatives'. (Even though half the 'right-wingers' in their pantheon of evil agree 100 percent with their stand on illegal aliens. Funny, that.)

Other liberals, like their conservative counterparts, just want the future hypothetical votes, damn everything else.

Still other liberals, like their conservative counterparts, seek financial gain from the influx of illegal aliens: the conservatives, through cheap laber; the liberals, through increased support for activist organizations and causes.

The amazing irony - which has not yet received a fraction of the publicity and public discussion it deserves - is that the immigration liberals still hold up the "ethnicity" card as the essential factor in the debate. This puts them at least two steps behind reality. (Note: If you fall too many steps behind reality, you become irrelevant.)

The other irony and dirty little secret is that the immigration liberals - like other liberals, I might add - have for several years managed to hide behind the Bigotry! banner. They don't need to explain their position in any rational way as long as they can shout 'Bigotry!' at all who oppose them.

Until recently, YOU ARE A BIGOT; YOU ARE A RACIST; YOU ARE A HOMOPHOBE; etc. etc. has served as a fairly effective debating tactic. Many people, when hit by their first bigot-bomb, turn tail and run, muttering denials and genuflecting to the liberal intelligentsia.

That is going to change, in my opinion. There will arise a widespread cultural awareness that the charge of 'bigotry' in all the familiar formulations is simply a smokescreen for someone who is either disingenuous or just does not really know what they are talking about, and must toss this last rock before scampering from the debate.

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zimzo said:

It's odd then that Hispanics are turning away from the Republican party in droves as the party becomes increasingly anti-immigrant, which is exactly what happened in California when Pete Wilson made immigration a major issue (I guess one rule of being a Republican is to continue to repeat the errors of the past):

It's almost endearing how Republicans seem to believe that if they get black commentaters like Armstrong Williams or Thomas Sowell to attack blacks or women like Ann Coulter to attack women or any number of other minority pundits such as Michelle Malkin or Dinesh D'Souza to flak for their policies that it somehow immunizes them against charges that they are anti-minority despite their policies.

People are not stupid and when they see conservatives continually supporting policies that are anti-gay or anti-black or anti-Hispanic or anti-immigrant, no matter what reasons they give for supporting those policies, a pattern begins to emerge. The reason the idea that George Allen is a racist stuck is that people began to see a pattern there.

I know you would love to live in a world where the words "racist" and "homophobe" don't exist. I guess the difference between the two of us is that I would like to live in a world where racism and homophobia themselves don't exist.

The reason that these labels work is not because they end debate but because they recall a whole history of discrimination that you would like to avoid. For example, when I said your anti-immigrant rhetoric recalled racist rhetoric of the past, I did not get up and walk away from the discussion. You challenged me to prove it and I did. I gave you a number of examples of how the rhetoric against immigrants today is no different from racist nativist rhetoric of the past--and just as false. You then tried to moce the goalposts and claim that the situation is "different" today. It's you who really wants to end the debate and not have a light shine on the weakness of your arguments which will reveal the real agenda behind these anti-immigrant and anti-gay crusades.

If you go back and look at any racist movements of the past, from the Nativists and Know-Nothings to the Nazis you see common patterns that are disturbing and that you really should be forced to acknowledge.

Bigots from the past have tried to demonize and dehumanize their victims in a number of ways. they compare them to animals. They claim that they "breed" in greater numbers than the majority population. They claim they spread disease in greater numbers. They say they are more prone to committing crimes. They say they wreak economic devastation and take jobs away from the majority population. They make fun of their culture and values. They say they represent a threat to property values. They say they are threats to children.

All of these elements in one way or another have been present in the anti-immigrant and anti-gay rhetoric from the right and much of it has appeared on this blog.

Yes, it's true that sometimes people resort to name-calling and hurl the words "racist" or "homophobe" indiscriminately. We have all certainly seen examples of that. But your attempts to render these words meaningless and ignore centuries of history behind is not going to obscure the fact that your crusade against immigrants has a very disturbing tone to it. It is not going to relinquish you from the responsibility of facing the human and economic devastation you seek to cause not just against immigrants but against small businessmen and anyone else associated with the draconian measures you support. And as many times as you claim your not homophobic, it skirts the question of why whenever the subject of homosexuality comes up, you automatically turn to the oldest attack used against gays that they are somehow a "threat" to children.

Instead of trying to police other people's rhetoric maybe you should look at your own rhetoric and why some people find it so disturbing.

Jack said:

"They claim that they "breed" in greater numbers than the majority population. They claim they spread disease in greater numbers. They say they are more prone to committing crimes. They say they wreak economic devastation and take jobs away from the majority population. They make fun of their culture and values. They say they represent a threat to property values. They say they are threats to children."

And if these accusations are true, is it still bigotry?

Robin said:

2 definitions for bigot. Both I find more than a little scary.

# A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own.

# Person extremely intolerant of others and irrespective of reasoning. The poor and welfare beneficiaries are often targets of bigots. When alive John Keats was dismised by critics as a "piss-a-bed Cockney scribbler", he is now considered one of the greatest poets who ever lived. Eugenics was a 19th and early 20th century movement aimed at purifying the human race by weeding out undesirable people. ...

Happy Camper (formerly SPMM) said:

Thank you, zimzo.

Joe, first of all, your statistics don't support your claim. You said that Hispanics are just as likely to vote for these proposals which passed in Arizona, then you quote that 40-50% of Hispanics voted for them. Typically, if a proposal gets 40-50% of the vote, it does not pass, as a majority of the vote is required. It would have been more accurate to say that Hispanics are slightly less likely to vote for these proposals (depending on what margins they passed by, maybe even "less likely" or "considerably less likely"?)

next, why with the wording?

"The dirty little secret of the pro-illegal immigration advocates..."

as if we all know this, and are trying our best to hide it. Untrue.

"They don't need to explain their position in any rational way as long as they can shout 'Bigotry!' at all who oppose them"

I don't believe this is true of anyone who posts here. It certainly isn't true of me. While emotions can run high when discussing this issue, I think we've all tried to explain our understandings of the situation in depth and detail.

My most recent comment on this is here:

Now, you seem to be suggesting that we're lying and trying to cover up our true motivations. So why even bother discussing anything in the first place if liberals are inherently incapable of honest discussion?

You list a number of possible "true motivations" for why people would not oppose undocumented migration, while at the same time refuting suggestions that opposition to it is motivated by xenophobia. but Jacks above comment is evidence that in fact it is. After you argued that the "anti-immigration" rhetoric is in no way based on an idea that Mexicans are somehow racially or ethnically inferior, Jack went and posted a comment which indicates that you're wrong.

I do not think the only reason to oppose undocumented immigration "bigotry". I don't think everyone who wants a solution to this situation is xenophobic (I think most people, liberal or conservative, want to find a solution). However, you have to admit that xenophobia plays a role in the attitutes of some who oppose this influx of people moving here from Mexico. In some sense, I understand what you're saying about the inappropriate use of the word "bigot." However, it would be a dangerous mistake to conclude that because the word has been misused, the phemonona no longer exists. Xenohpibia and racial prejudice is still present in our society. It's been pushed down, and is rarely as overt as it's been in past decades, but it is still there.

So today in America, immigration is a big issue. Which side of the arguement do you think those who indeed are racist/xenophobic/bigoted fall on? As a fairly level-headed member of THAT side of the issue, it's all the more critial that you recognize that bigotry in fact does still exist in America, because the folks working with you to oppose "illegal immigration" are at a higher risk of being bigots (You support "racial profiling" as a tool to fight terrorists, this is the same thing; political view profiling to help identify bigots). You have to understand that what I'm saying isn't an attempt to hide behind the word, and it's important that You, and others on your side of the issue, recognize that bigotry does play a role in the anti-immigrant movement. It's not the only motivation, it's probably not the largest motivation, but it is there, hidden somewhere below the surface.

Jack said:

Call it xenophobia if you like, but LEGAL immigrants assimilate, and illegal ones generally do not.

My motivations are not necessarily Joe's.

Zimzo, or "tangent man" since you go off on so many, or maybe "kaleidescope man" since your mental universe seems to contain a whirling plethora of magically connected events and personages whose interconnectedness is not evident to most human minds, or possibly "sanctimony man" because you have got the scolding Church Lady thing down like nobody I've ever known.

Anyway, I've said over and over the GOP is not so great on immigration, also that Bush should be impeached over it. Not sure how that ends up as your lead argument. I don't represent the GOP nor they me.

There are innumerable difference between the early 1900s and today, and I think you know full well what they are. For one, America SHUT THE GATES for something like two generations. For another, those who came to American during our first two hundred years very largely came to become Americans - leaving the old country behind. I've shown many times here that that is NOT characteristic of many current "immigrants". And not for nefarious reasons, either. They are just here for money and make no bones about the fact they will never consider themselves Americans. I linked to evidence of this in a post some time back. (Sorry but I'm in the middle of something so no link finding). In the Loudoun Times, they ran a front page story about illegal families who are teaching their SECOND GENERATION, born here, that they are really citizens of another country.

Another difference is the welfare state. In 1900 the government did not do much. Today, it does a lot, so immigrants can come here and collect benefits for a long time. There are many overall costs to society from this state of affairs, not mention the hospitals closing.

I think the easy access via communication and travel is another factor that allows immigrants to come here and not become "American." The home country is actually not far away.

Stay Puft, I don't think of you as anything but misled and was not thinking of you when I used the category immigration liberals, to be honest. We've had good discussions on this and I understand where you are coming from. I just need to spend some quality time getting your head straight on a few things.

Jack, good point and I'd add my motivations are not necessarily H.E.s or anyone elses.

Including, uh, Dinesh D'Souza's or Pete Wilson's - sheesh (walks away shaking head)...

Happy Camper (formerly SPMM) said:

oh, they just want to make money. How UnAmerican!

everyone has different motives for their stance on the issue. That was my point; you cannot pretend that xenophobia isn't a factor. Of course some people taking a hard line on the issue are old-fashioned bigots. Like I said, that doesn't mean everyone is, but it's there.

By the same token, I'm sure some calculating politicians on both sides have considered the implications of these immigrants on future elections. Does that mean anyone who doesn't buy the alarmist anti-immigrant POV is being disingenuous? PAH!

What's your solution, anyway? Until recently, yous guys loved throwing this question at 'liberals' regarding Iraq, now it's your turn. What? Build a wall? If we took the money it would cost to build a wall and used it to invest in the Mexican economy we'd create jobs so people wouldn't have to sneak across the border, and make money off the dividends to boot! What else? Crack down on employers? For what? So undocumented immigrants all become unemployed and go home? Most of them were unemployed at home to begin with, that's why they come here. What good will come of 13,000,000 more unemployed people living in the US? Do you think that will magically lead to economic growth and job creation? Do you think that will help reduce crime?

You guys prefer spouting anti-immigrant rhetoric to searching for a viably solution. Rather than thinking about workable solutions, you just feed off each other, in the process loosing all sight of the actual problems which have created the situation. Sure, you're experts on the effects, but somewhat less concerned about the causes. You prefer fantasy cure-alls to attempting to tackle the root of the problem, and when someone tries to point this out to you, you're quick response is to call them misled.

really? I don't feel "led" one way or the other. at the risk of sounding cliche, I've tried to look at all points of view and draw my own conclusions. on the other hand, the sources supporting the anti-immigrant stance are typically as conservative as they come. There are no pundits or public officials saying the same things I've said about immigration, nor am I drooling over neo-nazi bombshells spouting insane nonsense on right-wing cable news shows. who's misled?

Answer: you are, of course. So so far we've progressed to "I'm right, you're wrong." but I really hoped we might be getting somewhere, so let me just ask 4 questions:

A. Can you admit that the problem is too complex to be solved with a big wall?

B. Can you explain how you think "cracking down on employers" wouldn't backfire and create larger problems?

C. What other solutions do you think might be workable?

D. Can we agree that, while many who oppose undocumented immigration are simply concerned citizens, some hold racist attitudes toward Mexicans?

Jack said:

A. We do admit that, which is why we propose a wall, cracking down on employers, cracking down on those who use Social Security Numbers illegally, deporting any illegal immigrants caught, AND increasing the legal limits for immigration. I also propose eliminating the minimum wage, so our workers can compete on an equal footing with the foreigners, whether they are here or in their own contries.

B. You're asking us to prove a negative, which cannot be done. I challenge you to prove that it WILL backfire.

C. See A.

D. Yes, but not everyone who opposes illegal immigration is racist. In fact, many who favor illegal immigration are racists. So throwing "racist" and "bigot" around does not help the conversation one bit.

Camper, context! I was talking about assimilation and the differences between today and 100 years ago that Zimzo keeps asking about.


"A. Can you admit that the problem is too complex to be solved with a big wall?"

Yes, of course. But the wall should be part of it.

"B. Can you explain how you think "cracking down on employers" wouldn't backfire and create larger problems?"

No, because I think it would gradually lead to self-deportation of non-citizens and more employment opportunities for American citizens at the lowest end of the economic ladder.

"C. What other solutions do you think might be workable?"

Build a wall; crack down on U.S. employers flouting the law; institute restrictions on immigration so the U.S. has control over the inflow; throw NAFTA under the bus or at least reform it so it no longer works to the disadvantage of Mexican farmers; put pressure on Mexico to reform internally, like getting some rule of law and widespread protection for private property; encourage micro-loans to Mexican farmers and entrepreneurs (by the way, you could say a lot of this is needed throughout Latin America, but let's start here); and yes, sure, U.S. government aid to Mexico - but there need to be reforms or it will be money down a rat hole.

"D. Can we agree that, while many who oppose undocumented immigration are simply concerned citizens, some hold racist attitudes toward Mexicans?"

Absolutely. I'm not denying the existence of racists. I'm just saying these kinds of words are so broadly applied in some circles they become meaningless.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Jack, if we removed the minimum wage, what difference does it make where the competition is? Whether it's in the US or Mexico, the effect would be that wages to US workers would drop. That usually leads to increases in crime and stuff.

we can't prove anything that hasn't happened, but we can explain our PsOV.

Joe, Thanks.

Do you think the effectiveness of this wall would justify it's cost?

There are restrictions on immigration now (otherwise people couldn't rationalize calling people "illegal immigrants," right?), They haven't been effective. What new restrictions do you have in mind?

of course, I appreciate the attention paid to improving the situation in Mexico. Why don't we hear more of this coming from the 'right' in this national conversation? can we change that?

Had Enough said:

More Polls Show Immigration Not Behind Hispanic Shift Away from GOP

"Exit polls suggest Latino voters deserted the Republican candidates at nearly twice the rate of non-Hispanic whites during this month's congressional elections, the Pew Hispanic Center said on Monday. But the conventional wisdom that Hispanics were turned off by the party's hard line on illegal immigration — and would deliver on the 'Today we march, tomorrow we vote' cry from the spring's protest marches — was not the decisive factor, some experts said," the Houston Chronicle reports "Dissatisfaction over the economy and job creation, the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's education policies proved more important to Hispanic voters than immigration issues, the William C. Velasquez Institute found in its exit polls of Latinos in Texas and seven other states that account for 82 percent of registered Latino voters. The Pew Hispanic Center examined exit polls conducted for national media organizations. The Velasquez Institute, a nonpartisan think tank studying Latino issues, released its findings last week."

Had Enough said:

Las Vegas Metro makes numerous day laborer arrests

There could have been more arrests. As many as fifty people show up on any given day looking for work. The Home Depot says that's not all the men do. Sometimes, according to Home Depot, they're seen fighting, drinking alcohol, and intimidating customers. That is, running up to a truck or jumping in it, thinking its occupants are offering work.

The Wal*Mart across the street says the laborers are stealing. Not inconspicuously, but simply picking up something and walking out with it.

Jack said:

"Jack, if we removed the minimum wage, what difference does it make where the competition is? Whether it's in the US or Mexico, the effect would be that wages to US workers would drop. That usually leads to increases in crime and stuff."

That's already happening. However, with minimum wage, our people are not allowed to compete, and so go unemployed. That usually leads to more crime than does low wages.

Puft, the cost of the wall is debatable - I've heard $3 billion and I've heard triple that - but considering it allows us to control our border it seems like a good investment.

Your second point is a good one: The simple answer is increase the size of the border patrol, which is ridiculously undermanned. But this is where the overall enforcement comes in, which has nearly become nonexistent under Bush, and the key here is to crackdown on employers. Though some make it sound this is a draconian measure, it is not in the least. The businesses effected by this would be businesses that have had an unfair advantage - subcontractors getting more contracts, would be an apt description in my town - suddenly not having that advantage. Yeah the laborers would be out of work, but guys who play by the rules would be back IN work.

Under Bush, because of the bias toward unregulated labor, unrestricted immigration, and therefore unenforced federal laws, the laxness has trickled right down to the county level.

Why don't we hear more from the 'right' about fixing Mexico? Because, in truth, the 'right' does not really exist. It's just a blanket description meant to make it easier to deliniate a group of people who share certain views. But people are quirky and the closer you look at them the harder they are to pigeonhole. For this reason I am still optimistic about most of my fellow human beings.

Jack said:

What do you recommend we do, Puffy, send the Army down to Latin America and force all those coutries to abandon Socialism for Capitalism? Only by abandoning Socialism for Capitalism will those coutries be "fixed."

zimzo said:

So the right doesn't exist but the left does? Calling someone a bigot you have problems with, but using "liberal" as an epithet is OK?

Pretending you don't understand what I'm saying is not a good way to foster discussion. You know exactly what I mean but when you don't have answers your prefer to pretend you are confused. There is a clear pattern in your reaction to immigrants and gays. You tend to demonize those who are different from you, you seem unable or unwilling to see things from there point of view and you seem to lack compassion for what your proposals would do to their lives.

When you do have answers they tend to be simplistic ones. The truth is going after employers is not only going to affect a small amount of contractors. It's going to affect the vast majority of restaurant owners. It's going to affect factory owners, landscaping companies, janitorial service companies, farmers, families who use daycare, etc., etc. The truth is you have no idea what the economic effects will be. You also don't know how feasible a wall will be or how effective.

What you haven't made a case for is why all of this upheaval would be superior to granting amnesty to illegal immigrants and bringing them into the system. Why do you think that would be worse than what you propose? I don't think you have an answer for that.

Jack said:


I thought you were proud to be a liberal. Anyway, you demonize people by calling them bigots.

Now, if we grant amnesty to all these people, where would be the economic incentive to hire them? They would have to be paid as American citizens are paid. They would be subject to minimum wage and payroll taxes. Sounds like the same economic upheaval to me, but we have rewarded those who broke our laws. Furthermore, it would encourage further illegal immigration, because all those businesses that have to pay more for their legalized employees would be looking for more illegals to hire at lower rates.

Sorry, Zimzo, when exactly did I use liberal as an epithet?

I didn't say, besides, one cannot use the terms left and right. I only said in answer the the question the terms don't always make sense.

Making stuff up about what people have said is not the ideal way to foster discussion either, I submit. But we are pretty forgiving on that score around here, and therefore still willing to attempt discussion with you.

zimzo said:

On the very first post on this blog on which I commented, you discussed the possibility that liberalism is a mental disease:

In reference to a Supreme Court decision in perhaps your most infamous (and desperate) blog post title you compared liberals to terrorists.

Your post in this thread specualted that liberals are either confused or mandacious.

But the real reason you chose to focus on this one aspect of my comment is to avoid--once again--addressing the other issues I brought up. Usually, it seems, you resort to calling me a liar when you don't have an answer.

Ragging on liberals and using the word "liberal" as an epithet are, I grant you, similar. I do enjoy ragging on them from time to time.

I suppose I should become more like you and learn to look upon by fellow men and women with open mindedness and understanding, realizing each is unique and worthy of respect in their own way. More than anything, I should like for you to teach me in the ways of honest and forthright debate.

"The truth is going after employers is not only going to affect a small amount of contractors. It's going to affect the vast majority of restaurant owners. It's going to affect factory owners, landscaping companies, janitorial service companies, farmers, families who use daycare, etc., etc. The truth is you have no idea what the economic effects will be. You also don't know how feasible a wall will be or how effective."

The truth is, you don't either, and moreso, you don't CARE about the people whose livlihoods have been damaged by unscrupulous employers who are more than willing to allow wages to fall. Though I'm sure the factory owners value your support.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

here's my draft proposal ;^)

can I just point out that the guy who just got elected in Mexico would be considered far right in the US. He's opposed to gay marriage, abortion, and even contraception. In Mexico, everyone can be president! even you, Jack!

For all the talk about how our way of life is under threat because the people coming here are just so different from us, there's evidence that at lease a slight majority of Mexicans hold a lot of the same beliefs you do. This also has implications for the conventional wisdom that democrats want more immigrants because they want the vote.

i like your comments on the 'right.' That's why I always put 'right' in quotations.

Still, I hear a lot of people talking about all the huge end-of-life-as-we-know-it problems created by undocumented immigration. These guys say things like, "we should deport them" "we should fine employers" "we should build a wall" I rarely hear people who claim to want a solution talking about economic development in Latin America.

also, I'm not so convinced a wall would do much of anything. I imagine it wouldn't take long before people would be going around, over, or under it.

As I said in the same post I linked to before:

the US and Mexico could work something out where Mexico was allowed to put tariffs on subsidized US imports, and part of the agreement would be that a portion of the revenue raised from tariffs would go to border security, and a portion to development of the economic infrastructure in Mexico. At the same time, tariffs would cause the price of US imports to rise, which would allow Mexican farmers to compete. This new Mexican president wants to work on developing Southern Mexico, which is the poorest part. We ought to use our energies to advocate working with him, not walling ourselves off.

zimzo said:

Oh but I do care, Joe. I just think granting amnesty to illegal immigrants who are here would be the best way to make sure these employers pay fair wages. Again, you have yet to tell us, why this would be worse than your plan of draconian law enforcement. I'm all ears, Joe.

You've got to have both, Ear Man.

There are thousands of folks from all countries who are in line for citizenship and having a devil of a time getting it. It is REALLY hard. It takes years, even if you are legitimately here, employed, married, contributing, whatever. The legal process is grueling.

In all your travels and walkabouts with immigrants, police, scholars, think tank big shots and bloggers, is it possible you don't know this? Becoming an American citizen through legal channels takes forever.

If you are capable of an honest answer, please give me your take on this.

I agree there will be some amnesty in some form. Some folks I run with in the anti-illegal movement believe we need a wall and a crackdown on employers, plus closing the gates, and then let everyone else stay and assimilate for 30 or 40 years before we open the gates again. I can't say I don't sympathize with that approach (though it poses major problems, which if you want me to expand on I will).

But what about the Canadian or British national who have been jumping through hoops for years to try and become legal?

Any honest answer would be greatly, and with much surprise, appreciated.

Jack said:

Zimzo says: "I just think granting amnesty to illegal immigrants who are here would be the best way to make sure these employers pay fair wages. Again, you have yet to tell us, why this would be worse than your plan of draconian law enforcement."

You are correct that granting amnesty would make employers pay their current employees higher wages (although I do not know what you mean by "fair") OR FIRE THOSE EMPLOYEES BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT WORTH THE EXTRA MONEY. That would encourage MORE illegal immigration to underbid the illegals who were just given amnesty. So how do you deal with THAT?

Jack said:


What subsidized U.S. products are putting Mexican manufacturers out of business?

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

"Becoming an American citizen through legal channels takes forever"

this is a problem. and we should have a more open policy in general. Part and parcel with being "the greatest country in the world" is that people are going to want to move here. Like I said before, I think we ought to look at this as an exercise in management, rather than control.

By trying to manage the situation (read: pathway to citizenship), I believe we can mitigate the negative effects, such as ethnic division and a fractured society. By inflexibly insisting on control of the situation, we set ourselves on the path to a fractured society (Jack will understand this because he's part taoist).

Just imagine the social effects of setting out on a campaign to export 13,000,000 people who are living and working here. That's a pretty massive forced exodus, and it just sounds ugly. It would be comparable to one of the darker episodes in American history: the Trail of Tears, only this time involving almost 1000 times as many people. ...and that's the best-case scenario. worst case would be some sort of violent resistance movement, I suppose.

but please expand on those "major problems" YOU talked about.

and now here it is; your moment of zen:

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Agriculture is heavily subsidized in the US. Mexican farmers have been driven out of business because under NAFTA, Mexico can't impost tariffs, and the consequence is that imported goods, corn in particular, can be sold in Mexico at below what it costs to produce them domestically (in Mexico).

so our tax dollars are used to prop up an outmoded agricultural sector, and this fact + NAFTA = we sell corn to Mexico at below the cost of production. No way for farmers in Mexico to compete, and where do unemployed Mexican farmers look for work? Amber waves of grain

Jack said:

So what you are saying is that, when Mexico imports corn from the U.S., they are getting it cheaper than if they produced it themselves. So we are helping to feed the Mexican people. This may be bad for some of the Mexican farmers, but it sounds good for the majority of Mexicans.

Forget the "exporting", Puft. No one I know is advocating that except in the case of criminals (an illegal runs into your car with his car - not such a heartbreaker if the illegal is deported, right? Or in the case of other crimes.)

Just make the businesses all play by the same rules. That's all. I hire guys legally and have to pay payroll taxes and benefits - you have to do the same.

Lots of other aspects of the situation will work themselves out if this simple aspect is preserved.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Just the criminals? I thought they were all criminals just for being here!

I think Jack advocated deportation in this very thread:

But what would happen if millions of people lost their jobs? Would they all just pack up, head to Mexico? (as if that's where people go when they need employment) What if this country is their home? for many undocumented immigrants, their lives and communities are here, their kids friends and schools are here. maybe the most recent arrivals would go home, or maybe they'd think, "I just got here, I'm going to try to make the best of it" I don't know...

damnit, Jack, the farmers can't compete. They're being driven out of work. Then they come here, often reluctantly, because they feel it's their best chance for finding work. Our economic policies have contributed to this problem, you can't have your cake and eat it too.

if you're so concerned with feeding Mexicans, let's sell them cheap corn AND let them work here!

Puft, ok let's just say this: A given locale, such as my Loudoun County, decides to enforce laws regarding business licenses. If you want to do business in this county, you are responsible for ensuring all of your subcontractors use legal workers.

Immediately, the contractors who use legal workers and pay the required payroll taxes are better able to get work.

They hire citizens; they pay taxes. The subcontractors who have relied on getting work via low bids go out of business or move on to another town. What's not to friggin' like.

Show me how this is inhumane.

Had Enough said:

Mexican bank chief talks immigrationIn Dallas, he says stricter U.S. policies could help his country

Unlike the current Mexican administration, Mr. Ortiz thinks tougher enforcement policies in the U.S. might help Mexico.

he says tougher enforcement measures, such as those being discussed in Congress, "would not be altogether bad. It would certainly be better over the long run.

Mr. Ortiz took over as Mexico's finance minister in December 1994, after a disastrous peso devaluation set off an economic crisis, sent Mexican inflation soaring and inspired a U.S.-led bailout to cover debt obligations

Jack said:


Everything I read says that OUR farmers are being driven out of work. Please provide some supporting documentation on your assertion.

zimzo said:

Joe: "There are thousands of folks from all countries who are in line for citizenship and having a devil of a time getting it. It is REALLY hard. It takes years, even if you are legitimately here, employed, married, contributing, whatever. The legal process is grueling."

Duh, Joe. That's one of the reasons people come here illegally, overstay their visas, etc. The entire system of immigration is designed to make it as difficult and unfair as possible. Quotas are small and unrealistic, people are forcibly separated from their families, waits are long, judges have the power to make nutty decisions with virtually no oversight. Of course, the system is broken, Joe. But you don't make it any better with your fulminating about building walls before we do anything else. Now suddenly you're conceding that you believe that amnesty will be part of any reform. That's the first time I've heard that from you. Has Reasonable Joe locked Crazy Joe back in the basement?

One of the problems with getting anything done in this country is that no dares to take a realistic look at our problems because the extremists shout them down. We have a broken health care system because every time someone wants to do something extremists shout "socialized medicine." The drug war is a failure but no one dares to do anything that could be denounced as "pro-drugs." Social Security is a "third rail" because the AARP and, yes, some on the left prefer to demagogue it. How can you find a solution to abortion when one side calls the other "baby killers" and the other side calls them misogynists? Until recently anyone who dared question how the war in Iraq was going was accused of hating America and wanting to cut and run (thank God, that at least is changing). And immigration reform has been sidetracked because of right-wing extremists screaming that reform would "reward lawbreakers," not to mention the unconscionable demonizing of illegal immigrants that spews forth.

Now suddenly you admit that amnesty might not be a bad thing after all? Well, welcome to the real world, I guess. Where have you been?

Jack said:


Joe said, "I agree there will be some amnesty in some form."

Why do you always twist people's words? Are you really so stupid that you take Joe's comment to mean he wants amnesty? It's like somone in New Orleans on Aug 28, 2005, saying, "I agree Katrina is going to hit us," and you claim that person WANTED Katrina to hit.

Stop being such a flaming idiot.

zimzo said:

Thanks for another enlightening contribution to the civil discourse, Jack.

Jack said:

You're welcome.

Jack, that was extremely well put. He really is an idiot, absolutely impossible to have a discussion with, and incredibly uncharitable. I'm guessing either he is one miserable son of a gun or just one of those people who enjoyed pulling the wings off flies.

My take is he really hates the idea of conservatives having any sort of platform, and that is why he is only here to throw bombs and a blizzard of non-sequitor questions at us to try and waste our time and piss us off. We've never, I don't think ever followed an argument to its conclusion with this bozo because if he gets backed into a corner he changes the subject, sends another storm of unrelated questions and accusations, or disappears.

What a way to go through life. I'd feel sorry for the guy if he was not so annoying.

Jack said:

Joe, you forgot "...or calls his opponent 'homophobe,' 'misogynist,' 'racist,' or the catch-all 'bigot,' depending on the topic at hand."

Good catch, thanks. That's probably the chief Zimzoid trait.

zimzo said:

You really lost it, Joe. Apparently, you're not accustomed to having your shibboleths challenged.
You pretend to be open to discussion and then you insult people who point out the contradictions in what you say. One minute you want to have a drink with me and the next you are calling me an idiot.

I have plenty of other things to do and the only reason I am here at all is because I once had a great deal of respect for you.

Jack, I have no respect for, which is why I usually ignore him.

Just say the word, Joe, and I'm out of here.

Jack said:

You ignore me, Zimzo, because you have no good answers to my questions.

Let's try this one: What did Joe say that contradicted something he had previously said?

Zimzo, do not think I would take lightly calling someone an idiot, but your previous comment justified it, not to mention the fact that you have been throwing your own demonizing rhetoric around here in probably 90% of the messages you've written with the constant ominous insinuation about everyone's "motivations."

Also not to mention the conflating of issues and alliances. I admit I've reposted stuff people have written saying liberals are nuts and so forth, but it's been pretty rare, and also pretty infrequent that I've issued such generalizations myself. But from you there is the constant drumbeat that everything is tied together so every topic evokes every other. Immigration = marriage = life = economics = health care for us right wing bigots. That's just crazy.

I live in a frickin' majority-minority neighborhood, dude. I moved here on my own volition two years ago and was very familiar with the area when I did. I have no problem with other cultures or ethnicities. So your constant accusation that I'm some kind of cultural reactionary because of my stand on immigration is worthy of being periodically labeled what it is: idiotic.

Finally, I thought I had issued an invitation to a civil discussion in my previous comment to you, and you fire back with a rant about my "fulminating" and such. Do you HAVE conversations, or do you and your friends just stand there and shout at each other until everyone goes hoarse?

I vow not to call names if you agree to lighten up.


The problem is Zimzo is viewing things I've reposted from other people, allowed to be posted here, or allowed to be stated by some right winger anywhere in the world, as my own personal views. Therefore, I am chock full of contradictions, because in reality I don't agree with every single thing every other person "on the right" has said, and when I state my own views the "contradictions" become evident.

I admit I tend not to critique much of what I repost, but if I had time to do that I'd do more original writing than reposting anyway.

I've probably contradicted myself once in a while but those represent instances of learning, and I don't learn much.

kevin said:

Seriously, when I can afford my own place (somewhere around August) SPMM, Jack, Zimzo and Joe can all come up to bmore and I'll cook some dinner and I'll have brewed more beer and . . .

zimzo said:

Joe: "But from you there is the constant drumbeat that everything is tied together so every topic evokes every other."

Pardon me for accusing you of having a consistent world view.

By the way, I have never called you an idiot. I have never even called Jack an idiot. You have an unusual idea of what constitutes civil discourse. Go back and read what I wrote. There was nothing uncivil in what I said. There was no name-calling and no justification for your name-calling. Your vowing not to call me names if I vow to "lighten up" implies that there is an equivalency between my strong but civil rhetoric and your name calling that does not exist. You should not have to make a deals with your commenters that you will restrain yourself from calling them names if they in turn agree to do something. It should go without saying that you should not call someone an "idiot" and that you should apologize if you do so.

You know all the things you've said here, Zimzo. Rebuffing my attempt at civil debate was just the cherry on the sundae.

But, ok, I'm sorry for calling you an idiot if you're sorry for calling me Crazy Joe. Joe don't take well to being called crazy because sometimes he makes us do bad things.

zimzo said:

Apology accepted. I thought I was making a clear distinction between you and Crazy Joe but I apologize as well.

I'm glad you were making an attempt at serious debate but it doesn't erase some of the things you have said in the past. Believe it or not, I was not "rebuffing" your attempt at serious debate, merely offering healthy skepticism, which seemed to be well-founded since it didn't take much to make you pivot 180 degrees in the other direction.

Kevin, now that we're all slobbering on each other again - any time after Aug 12 or so works for me. If you brew the liquid refreshments I'll provide steaks and homemade guacamole. You planning to live anywhere near Fells Point or are you going out to the 'burbs?

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

I miss crazy joe.

kevin, do you happen to know if there's anywhere in baltimore where one can rent a marshmallow man costume?

If there's a Merchant Tire they might have one of those Michelin Man get ups. It's sort of Sloar-ish and could do in a pinch ...

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