Immigration Information

| | Comments (36) | TrackBacks (0)

statue-liberty.jpg

I spent some time in the ol' stacks today, and found some nice stuff. They don't have everything on google, yet. I came across this book published in 1913 called, "The Immigrant Invasion" (sound familiar?) and spent some time thumbing through it. Some have argued on this blog that immigrants in the past were somehow different from the modern ones. Even if that is the case, the arguments used against them haven't changed too much. Check this out:

"That this competition of the Slavs and Italians, which has forced the English-speaking races and the native workers out of the anthracite mines, is operating to-day with equally significant results in every one of our important industries, is a fact to be observed on all sides.

Even better than observations are the convincing facts of an official investigation conducted by the Commission on Immigration of the State of new York... The results of the extended inquiries of the commission show, for illustration, that in the manufacture of cuffs and collars, the Irish are being supplanted by Poles and Armenians; in that of woolens, worsted, and underwear, the Irish and English by Poles and Italian.

...Let us glance at some of the social consequences ...the mass of poverty, want, and vice that accumulates in every large manufacturing center is dumped on the charity of our churches and the hospitality of our poorhouses. We see the dreary dwellings of the earners of scanty wages..."

There's more, but I'm not typing out anymore of it right now. An edition of Migration and Development from 1994 had an article by John R. Fraser which dealt with "the limits of sanctions against employers," attempts to fine employers under Reagan and Bush I are discussed, and the conclusion is that these have been ineffective for a number of reasons:

"A long-term approach to combating illegal immigration must include mor effective but humane border control, better inforcement of labor standards in the workplace and a sustained commitment to greater social equality and economic development in immigrant sending areas.

...Better enforcement of labor and immigration laws in the workplace will serve more to regulate the flows of illegal workers within the US labor markets (ie across the boundaries between transitional and more mainstream employment opportunities) than across US borders.

...employer sanctions could have several negative effects: i) that sanctions would impose additional administrative costs on employers… ii) that sanctions could result in additional employment discrimination iii) that counterfeit and fraudulent documents to circumvent sanctions could proliferate."

The idea is that these sanctions have a larger effect on the type of jobs immigrants work, rather than whether or not they stay in the country. When these measures have been adopted in the past, the results were a surge in counterfeit documents (from both immigrants and employers) combined with a reluctance among employers to hire any Hispanic workers for fear that they could be illegal.

I also came across some more blog-friendly electronic resources:


This is an article by Hernando De Soto
, who's thing is property rights as the key to development in Latin America.


"Illegal Employers"
discusses the issue of employers and undocumented workers. The idea is that it's important to enforce fair labor standards.

These are three articles dealing the different aspects of the impact of free trade and neoliberal reform on Latin American economies:

MARCH OF FOLLY: U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY AFTER NAFTA


Mexican group labels Fox's agricultural policy a failure.

and of course,


Dumping without Borders: How US Agricultural Policies are Destroying the Livelihoods of Mexican Corn Farmers

So Chavez was just reelected. If the people prefer socialism to capitalism, it's because the perception in much of Latin America is that capitalism has failed miserably in fostering development and creating jobs. I think this move we're seeing in Latin America toward populist, socialist politicians can be seen as a rejection of the failed neoliberal economic policies which the US and other OECD countries have pushed on South America. These same policies have played a major role in the creation of the large-scale migration of Mexican workers into the US.

Our leaders need to be working on bi-lateral efforts to create jobs and economic growth in Mexico and Latin America. We need to send the message that we're committed to working together to find a fair and workable solution. Building a wall would send just the opposite message.

0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Immigration Information.

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://novatownhall.com/mt/mt-tb.cgi/787

36 Comments

Here, here! Except for your concluding sentence I must say this is a fine round up of useful information. Great work once again, General. Thank you.

Counterfeit documentation is the order of the day. Certainly the impetus to require the appropriate paperwork has resulted in an explosion of illegitimate paperwork.

And OF COURSE sanctions could impose negative impacts on employers.

And there needs to be more regulation of the labor market. That's the whole point.

But step back from the assertion that the current situation was "imposed" on Mexico and Latin America, ok? Mexico has certainly been complicit - I don't know about the rest of L.A. Mexico has a highly stratified society and without a doubt some are doing well under the current arrangement. The Mexican government was not force-fed NAFTA, from what I've read.

"Our leaders need to be working on bi-lateral efforts to create jobs and economic growth in Mexico and Latin America."

This is the entire crux of the matter. As our Attorney General said at a public meeting in August, "I want to see more democracy in Mexico so they want to stay there."

The U.S. needs to help our neighbors to the south fix their governments.

But here's where the "wall" comes in, and I mean it both literally and figuratively, in the sense that imposing state sanctions on employers who hire illegal aliens will help localities keep the latter from settling there, and a wall on the border itself will make it less likely that people will get across:

An anecdote: At one of the public hearings in Herndon before the May election a town official said regarding proposed restrictions on hiring illegal aliens, "But if we do that, where do you expect them to go?"

The response was, "We don't care!"

This was not a bunch of rednecks. This was a bunch of regular citizens accustomed to living in a very multi-cultural community who decided they simply did not want any more boarding houses in their neighborhoods. They didn't want scores of migrant workers on streetcorners any more.

That's where the grassroots support of an "Enforcement First" reform comes from. Yeah, NAFTA is a mess, and trade is a mess, and the Mexican political culture is a total mess, and the Mexican economic structure is a mess - - but if you are saying all those problems have to be solved before we can do anything about local problems then we have a difference of opinion.

Neighborhood blight can be fixed at the local level. Rules for business licenses can be enforced at the local level. All of the problems with zoning, houses turned into boarding houses, can be addressed simply by enforcing laws already on the books.

And, yeah, putting up a big ass frickin' wall on the border with Mexico will likely curtail the thousands of people who are streaming across each day and adding to the problems that people experience in their neighborhoods up here.

The transformation of our area is not just poor workers trudging north looking for jobs. It is largely enterprising small business people, many operating under the table without business licenses, scooping up subcontracting jobs because they can thereby WAY underbid legitimate companies, and keep all of their equipment in their yards and on neighborhood streets - eliminating the need to purchase office or industrial park space.

Miles of formerly neighborhood streets here have become industrial parks as a direct result of lax enforcement of statutes on the books.

Therefore while we theorists have to focus on the big picture, you can be sure there will be plenty of people working on the micro situation. How do we keep Sterling Park from becoming a neighborhood quality of life disaster?

"Amnesty" has a bad ring to it because the 1986 reform claimed at most 3 million illegal aliens would become American citizens. Now we know that there are somewhere between 13 million and 20 million illegal aliens here now. Extrapolating from the current Senate Amnsety plan in S2611, there could be over 60 million more in the U.S. when all is said and done.

Why? Because the announcement of "Amnesty" is like a starter's gun for more to try and enter the U.S., and also because more and more family members of those pardoned here will come across.

As I noted in an earlier post, this is a slap in the face for all those who have been trying to immigrate through legal channels.

More importantly, it will swell welfare rolls. Poor, uneducated immigrants, when legalized, will comprise a huge increase in welfare recipients.

They did not have that in 1913.

So amnesty before enforcement will only guarantee that the local problem will get worse. That is why enforcement must come first.

kevin said:

Joe - "And, yeah, putting up a big ass frickin' wall on the border with Mexico will likely curtail the thousands of people who are streaming across each day and adding to the problems that people experience in their neighborhoods up here."

Please provide numbers/documentation for the "thousands of people each day".

more later. . .

kevin said:

Also, "Miles of formerly neighborhood streets here have become industrial parks as a direct result of lax enforcement of statutes on the books."

How long exactly have you lived in NOVA??

zimzo said:

Joe, you keep mentioning immigrants being welfare recipients. Not only are illegal immigrants ineligible for Federal assistance, immigrants who have been in this country less than five years are also inelgible. After that various other restrictions apply including a time limit on how long they can receive benefits.

Jack said:

I'd also like to point out that to some extend the illegals are propping up our "Socialist Security System."

That said, there is a problem of a citizen's SSN being used by illegals. The citizen may get in trouble with the Infernal Revenue Service for not reporting the income of the illegal. However, in recompense, the citizen should be entitled to the Socialist Security benefits derived from the illegal use of his SSN.

Ted said:

Zimzo,
We all know how efficient the state and federal welfare bureacracies are now, don't we? Just because someone is "ineligible" doesn't mean they're not getting it.
My wife works in the healthcare profession and every day she sees immigrants, legal and illegal, who had documents waiting for them when they showed up that show them as eligible for MEDICAID, WIC, and everything else.
Whether they are from Iran or Honduras, the immigrant communities have the system pegged and know exactly how to work it.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Joe,

I suggest that Latin America has been pressured into adopting certain policies because, in many ways it has. OECD countries, through the IMF and WB, have 'encouraged' the adoption of certain policies, and whether or not countries get loans is dependant of whether or not they comply with these 'guidelines.' In many ways, leaders of less developed countries have their hands tied.

Also, we can pressure countries due to the unequal size of our economy. Big economies do a lot more in trade than small ones, right? So if we enter into trade negotiations with a country, and say 5% of our trade is with that country, whereas, 70% of their trade is with us, we can bring a lot more pressure to bare on that country that it can on us. : )

But to what extent poorer countries have their hands tied when it comes to adopting economic policies is kind of on the periphery of the point I'm trying to make. The point is that this is an international issue, and needs to be dealt with as such. Any organization that wishes to see a solution to this immigration issue needs to be thinking on the international level.

of course we CAN respond at the local level. ...we CAN shoot ourselves in the foot. Because of the scope and complexity of the situation, if advocacy groups focus their efforts on the leaves instead of the roots, we're not going to see the problems resolved, only changed.

The first article, from which I posted excerpts above, points out that sanctions on employers don't reduce the employment of immigrants, only the types of jobs they have access to.

If we lobby for policies that force undocumented workers into the most informal and transitory jobs, and chase them from community to community saying, "we don't care where you go but you can't stay here!", can we complain when they don't fully integrate with the larger society?

now I'm going to compare your post to the 1913 book, just for fun:

1913:

"...Let us glance at some of the social consequences ...the mass of poverty, want, and vice that accumulates in every large manufacturing center is dumped on the charity of our churches and the hospitality of our poorhouses. We see the dreary dwellings of the earners of scanty wages..."

2006:

"they simply did not want any more boarding houses in their neighborhoods. They didn't want scores of migrant workers on streetcorners any more."

"More importantly, it will swell welfare rolls. Poor, uneducated immigrants, when legalized, will comprise a huge increase in welfare recipients."

It's all the same! "Immigrants take our jobs" "immigrants mess up our neighborhoods" "immigrants come here looking for handouts"
People say that past immigration was good, "they built America," while the present immigration is bad. The fact is there's always been a segment of the population saying the present immigration is bad, (and usually for all the same reasons). in 90 years, they'll be saying,

"while the immigration of Mexicans at the turn of the century greatly contributed to the transformation of the American economy, this current wave of immigration from Country X is going to be the end of the American way of life! They're taking our jobs, changing our culture, and free-loading off the system!"

kevin said:

I know this is not a good argument but the fact is the majority of individuals on welfare are white US citizens. Now pick apart as you see fit.

This is a test comment, first of several. The new era dawns ...

zimzo said:

OK, so I'm giving this commenting thing a go. Here's an interesting article called "Do Immigrants Make Us Safer?" You'll probably just dismiss because it appeared in the New York Times Magazine instead of World Net Daily but I think you should take a look at it (you have to register to see it):
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/03/magazine/03wwln_idealab.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Here are a few excerpts:

"Do immigrants make the U.S. more crime-ridden and dangerous?...In fact, according to evidence cropping up in various places, the opposite may be the case. Ramiro Martinez Jr., a professor of criminal justice at Florida International University, has sifted through homicide records in border cities like San Diego and El Paso, both heavily populated by Mexican immigrants, both places where violent crime has fallen significantly in recent years. “Almost without exception,” he told me, “I’ve discovered that the homicide rate for Hispanics was lower than for other groups, even though their poverty rate was very high, if not the highest, in these metropolitan areas.” He found the same thing in the Haitian neighborhoods of Miami. In his book “New York Murder Mystery,” the criminologist Andrew Karmen examined the trend in New York City and likewise found that the “disproportionately youthful, male and poor immigrants” who arrived during the 1980s and 1990s “were surprisingly law-abiding” and that their settlement into once-decaying neighborhoods helped “put a brake on spiraling crime rates.”...

Mexicans in Chicago, his study found, are more likely to be married than either blacks or whites. “The family dynamic is very noticeable here,” Sampson remarked as we passed a girl with long braided hair clutching her mother’s hand. Her father followed a few steps behind. Sampson does not believe family structure explains everything: the data showed that in immigrant neighborhoods, even individuals who are not in married households are 15 percent less likely to engage in crime. Yet neither did he discount its significance.

To the extent a strong family structure does play a role, it has left Sampson understandably mystified why the most strident opponents of immigration so often come from the right. Shouldn’t conservatives concerned about the breakdown of traditional values be celebrating these family-oriented newcomers? This is indeed what David Brooks argued not long ago in a column in The New York Times, gently chiding his fellow conservatives for reflexively assuming foreigners have had a corrosive impact on the nation’s moral fiber. “As immigration has surged, violent crime has fallen 57 percent,” Brooks noted in the column, which was titled “Immigrants to Be Proud Of.”

Before anyone rushes to conclude that crime would vanish from America’s cities if only more foreigners moved here, it is worth considering something else Sampson’s study uncovered. It is a finding as troubling as his basic thesis about immigrants is hopeful. Second-generation immigrants in Chicago were significantly more likely to commit crimes than their parents, it turns out, and those of the third generation more likely still.

Opponents of immigration frequently charge that Mexican immigrants threaten America’s national identity because of their failure to assimilate. A more reasonable concern might be the opposite of this: not that foreigners in low-income neighborhoods refuse to adopt the norms of the native culture but that their children and grandchildren do.

Looks like a good article, will read it tonight (this is really a test comment before I leave work)

kevin said:

test??

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

Well, I realize there was a lot of info in those posts. It you guys get a change, though, the articles "Illegal Employers" and "March of Folly" are worth a look.

I found all this stuff and was all excited to post it, but now I think those articles deserve their own threads. I'll probably use them as the basis of future posts.

The 'Fox' and 'Dumping' articles are wonderful, too. They say basically the same thing I've been saying from the get go...

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

what? no one wants to talk about immigration anymore? I thought immigration was the new abortion.

This is good stuff, Puft, on first read. I agree they deserve more probing discussion, each on their own perhaps.

I think De Soto is right and I hope the U.S. and Mexican governments are listening to this man.

I agree 100% with about half the Oxfam piece (I'm deeply cynical about the viability of U.S. "family farms." What they argue for seems akin to government- mandated neighborhood hardware stores in towns with a Home Depot.)

Massey's piece is pretty incoherant in parts (Mexican immigrants for the most part to not place a high value on U.S. social services; however 1990s state and federal initiatives to deny them such services resulted in a "rush toward U.S. citizenship." ??)

... but does have some good information. Both of the American Prospect articles, though old, are worth further discussion.

Now I'll go read Zimzo's stuff and then if time permits begin to cobble together some information of my own. Thanks.

Kevin, I've lived in No Va for a long, long time. I've been in my present area since 1994.

The "thousands" coming across daily have been indicated in regular news items frequently over the past year. I recall one where the reporter was standing on the border saying "you would not BELIEVE the number of people coming across here each night."

If I have time I can try and dig out some academic study or such, but I did not know this factoid was in dispute.

Zimzo, "welfare" was mispoken on my part. You are basically right on that score - welfare comes into play when they become citizens. What I meant was "social cost." Illegal aliens can get various benefits in different localities, and health care costs are subsidized via local and state tax support of hospitals.

I know we can argue about whether the alternative of turning illegals away from the emergency room is conscionable - that's not my point. I just meant to refer to the burden on taxpayers.

Puft, by the way the Massey article, FWIW, does suggest what I wrote some time ago that NAFTA was not exactly foisted on Mexico. See from the end of page 3 through the beginning of page 4.

Jack said:

Let's see whether I can post now.

Jack said:

Zimzo:

We've already gone over the Hispanic crime rate in another post. Let me reiterate. The Black murder rate is twice as high as the Hispanic murder rate. So as a city becomes more Hispanic and less Black, one can expect the murder rate to drop. However, the Hispanic murder rate is 4.5 times the non-Hispanic White murder rate, and is about twice as high as the murder rate for the general population.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

glad you figured out the typekey, jack. now...

oh come on! you're assuming the murder rate is tied to race, not socioeconomics? tell me, do hispanics and blacks have a genetic predisposition to violence, or do you think it's a cultural thing?

False choice, Puft. If there is a variation based on race it most certainly can be tied to socioeconomics, or maybe "cultural economics" would be a more accurate term.

If there is increased crime in a majority-Hispanic area, chances are the crime can be attributed to the fact it is a poor area. So you can say the Hispanic neighborhood has a higher crime rate without saying it is because the people are Hispanic.

You can also say accurately it is a "cultural thing" even if the root cause is lack of money and education.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

yeah, but I don't think what Jack said can be interpreted that way.

"The Black murder rate is twice as high as the Hispanic murder rate. So as a city becomes more Hispanic and less Black, one can expect the murder rate to drop."

Not, "as a city's average income increases..."
Unless the implication is that as area becomes more hispanic, it also becomes more affluent (an idea counter to the whole "immigration is an economic drain" argument), he's suggesting that crime and race are integrally connected, and that blacks are intrinsically more violent than hispanics, who are more violent than whites.

I think cultural economics could be used to explain this scenario, although I will desist speculating at this point because it's Jack's statement and Jack is going to need to explain himself, if he is so inclined.

If he is not so inclined, I may consider opening up a few "Amnesty" slots for a select group of spambots just to get some activity in here.

Jack said:

Actually, you completely miss my point. Those are murder VICTIMS, not perpetrators.

kevin said:

Seriously (curiously), you're saying those are the murder VICTIM rates? And that's based on the numbers you found. . .

Jack said:

Yes

kevin said:

Jack, I mean, I guess you don't have to say where you found them. You've certainly never "cooked the books" before so to speak. I'm not doubting them. . .well, I guess I am. It just serves to my benefit to be a skeptic because I've found that when I think I'm right, without taking the time to back it up, I'm usually wrong. And I find that when I'm wrong I tend to learn a lot. So, prove me wrong so I can learn, please. . .

Jack said:

Check the FBI crime reports. Then you have to go to other sources, such as California, to get a break-out of the Hispanic murder rate (about 9 per 100,000). Going back to the Census reports, you break out the Hispanic into Black Hispanic (10%) and White Hispanic(90%). Assuming the rate is the same for both, one can extract the non-Hispanic Black murder rate (18/100,000) and the non-Hispanic White murder rate (2/100,000).

There is another angle on the whole illegal immigrants and crime thing, y'know. Namely, crimes committed by illegal aliens would not have taken place if the illegal aliens were not here, regardless of ethnic or racial statistics.

kevin said:

Way to bring it back on topic, Joe. Can't you see we were doing just fine pointing out conservatives' underlying inherent racism? Now you've gone and ruined it, just when we had y'all. Now, back to "cultural economics". . .

Jack, you keep calling it murder rate but you said you were talking about the victim rate. I'm positive I'm ignorant of the point you're trying NOT to make so please, point out why you keep quoting murder rates.

Or, knowing I'm not mathematically minded in the least, I should say "I'm the most stupid person on earth, I think I need you to spell it out."

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:


I'm sure immigrants have been involved in rescuing kittens and saving children as well. but you wont see those stories, because the media only reports the bad news.

The crux of the problem is not that immigrants are bad. If you have lived in northern VA for the past 35 years you had better have resolved for yourself that immigrants are ok or you should have moved to the hills a long time ago. There is probably no more thoroughly and historically diverse part of America than the DC metropolitan area.

The problem arises with the newcomers who do not seem to want to become Americans. That's what we are dealing with here.

kevin said:

"If you have lived in northern VA for the past 35 years you had better have resolved for yourself that immigrants are ok or you should have moved to the hills a long time ago. There is probably no more thoroughly and historically diverse part of America than the DC metropolitan area."

I don't even live there anymore and I know this to be true.

Jack said:

Kevin:

Zimzo was citing articles that show that, as more Hispanics move into a city, the crime rate goes down. I was only pointing out that this was to be expected when a city goes from majority-Black to majority-Hispanic. My evidence was the murder (victim) rate. I used that as a proxy, because the robbery and rape victims are not broken down by race. (Such rates are always done by number of crimes, not the number of criminals. In murder, one crime equals one victim.)

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man said:

jack,

the whole thing just seems to lack common sense. it seems a little off to suggest that there's such a strong correlation between race and murder in a community with a growing population.

if you take a random sample of 100,000 hispanics, the case may be that 9 will be victims of murder. You'll also find that a higher precentage are living at the poverty level, a higher percentage without health insurence.

but that doesn't necessarily mean that if a community becomes more hispanic, the murder and poverty rates will rise. maybe they're moving to the community because a new factory just opened, which would have the effect of causing poverty among hispanics to drop. etc.

Leave a comment


Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Old Dominion Blog Alliance

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

ECOSYSTEM