We're Under the Valle Microscope!

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It took a ridiculously long time, but we have finally arrived:

laura_valle_1.jpg

We got Laura Valle's undivided attention:


In a brief interview, Valle said she left La Voz for personal reasons and to become more "politically active" in light of the county's tougher stance on illegal immigration.


"I'm going to keep tabs on Help Save Loudoun," she said, referring to a group that supports local governments enforcing immigration laws.

In response, Help Save Loudoun spokesman Joseph Budzinski said: "I salute Laura for everything she has done and I can't think of a better person to keep a close eye on Help Save Loudoun."


Notwithstanding the fact we all could have avoided so very much unpleasantness if Ms. Valle had simply made this decision a couple weeks earlier, I am pleased to welcome her to the realm of free and open debate.


All snarkiness aside, I think we got off on the wrong foot with Laura because she took a cursory overview of the playing field and decided Help Save Loudoun was her enemy - without spending one single second finding out what Help Save Loudoun actually was. As happens so often in cultural disputes, the La Voz folks imputed their worst fears onto their presumed opponents, and before you knew it we were all blood-enemies without having learned a thing about those on the other side.

Laura seems particularly mixed up about the relationship between Help Save Loudoun and tbe initiatives that have moved through the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors' proceedings since July. There is an evident lack of historical knowledge.

It might surprise her to learn the only formal proposals that Help Save Loudoun has brought to the Board have been 1) support for county government participation in the ICE 287(g) training program and 2) a crackdown on illegal hiring.

Does Laura actually have a problem with either of these proposals? If so, I'd love to hear the rationale.

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22 Comments

Laura V said:

Well - now I have arrived! This is going to be long as I'll be gone all day and only have a few minutes to respond. I am flattered by all this attention,and pleased you picked a more flattering picture than the Post did.


Joe- I don't believe I have any enemies in this world. Do you consider all of those that disagree with you and/or your group to be enemies? I don't. Your group is obviously outspoken against illegal immigrants, are they therefore your enemies? Well, given that many in your group believe that this issue has civil war potential, I guess the answer may be yes.

As for the proposals, I think the 287-G program is just fine, depending on the specific MOA. There is a lot of wiggle room there. I have had your proposal for months now, so I am not unfamiliar with Help Save Loudoun (please give me more credit than that). I am opposed to field deputies attempting to ascertain status prior to an arrest. I think that it should be limited to a function of the jail. Of course I think that an undocumented immigrant who has a commited a serious crime should be deported. Who doesn't? Further, given the rate of reentry of previously deported illegal immigrants, I think the greater focus should be on border enforcement, investigating coyotes, international gangs, etc.

As for the crackdown on illegal hiring, it is not that I am opposed to it, I just know that there is so very little that a local government can do, and certainly nothing with teeth, that I think it is a complete waste of time. You might better say that I am opposed to Loudoun County being on the recieving end of a law suit, which is exactly what would happen if measures were taken as far as HSL would like to take them. Anything less has no substance, and so again, seems like a waste of time given the mulitude of issues/responsibilites of our local government. I also feel that HSL demontrates a fundamental lack of understanding of the issue, by thinking that the real problem is with illegal hiring practices. You assume that most employers who hire undocumented workers do so knowingly and pay under the table. You are wrong. As long as the employer obtains the proper verification, and he/she believes them to be authentic, then the employer has not violated the law. Until employers have access to a solid tool (with less than a 10% margin of error) to verify the documents, it is unreasonable to to expect any more. I am sure you know about the federal judges ruling on SS no match letters. Asking employeers to certify that they have not hired illegal aliens is fine, but it does not address any real problem. Having a County staff person audit files is a HUGE waste of taxpayer funding because they will have no more ability to verify authenticity than the employeer, and no legal ability to do anything other than deny a county contract, certainly no enforcement. I can gaurauntee that the companies that have contracts with the county have complete employee files that include a ss# and a all other equired forms of verification. Are thay all legitimate? Perhaps not, but now we are back to where we started. I am a fiscal conservative you know. I don't like to see government grow and taxpayer funding wasted.

So I don't think HSL has throughly researched the issue. I also don't believe that you have done a sound cost/benefit ratio analysis.

Lets, see, the La Voz folks. Can you name one other La Voz folk? Do you realize that my board for the most part has no idea who Help Save Loudoun is? No wonder I didn't post under my name. Look at how you interpret things. Joe, I think it could be more appropriately said that you did not take the time to learn about La Voz. The ONLY position that La Voz -as an organization- has taken on any of this is that it supported the Resolution. SUPPORTED THE RESOLUTION. That because the resolution called for a study period. And I would like to know how you precieve this to be a "cultural dispute". What's up with that?

Lets, see, well to wrap up, at one point I actually thought you were a really fair and extremely intelligent person Joe. I was delighted by the prospect of being able to engage in debate with you. Now I know that you are intelligent, but certainly not fair, and capable of lowering yourself to sad depths to achieve your goals. The turning point for me was your pathetic selection of my old blog entry to completely misrepresent what I had written. I still believe that SOME members of Help Save Loudoun are bigots and homophobe too, clearly. I don't think that describes the whole collective group. I am also diametrically opposed to the positions of SOME members of Help Save Loudoun, but I am able to make a distinction between thsoe positions and the broader group, even though Greg Stone posting as Help Save Loudoun makes it tough to make that distinction sometimes. The icing on the cake was when you tried to suggest that La Voz of Loudoun was in any way shape or form associated with La Voz de Atzlan, a group I had never heard of until Ron Maxwell brought them up in his dramatic,op-ed of epic proportions in the LTM. That was just pathetic.

That's about it. Cheers!

Laura, I can see why you would be upset with me and some of our members after having to give up your position with La Voz. I suppose the plan was you could say whatever you wanted and we would all just keep quiet. Sorry that did not work out for you.

I appreciate your comments on illegal hiring, and am pleased to be able to inform you there have been some significant developments since you last looked into the matter, which appears to have been several years ago. I suggest you look into the cases of Beaufort County, SC, Anne Arundel County, MD, Georgia, Arizona and Oklahoma. Thus far none of these jurisdictions are being sued.

The key is the legislation must be based on what the jurisdiction has the authority to do. 1) The US code explicitly states that hiring unauthorized workers is illegal. 2) States and localities have the authority to set conditions for companies doing business within their jurisdictions.

The successful ordinances thus far have been based on these two facts. The ones that went further, such as Hazleton's, have been proved susceptible to legal challenge as is now the case in Hazleton.

Of course, ANYTHING is susceptible to legal challenge if some knuckleheads decide to initiate a lawsuit as they appear to be poised to do in Prince William county. I could sue you for saying mean things about our group. I could sue Loudoun County for not participating in 287g. Doesn't mean I'd win, but I could do it. There is no reason anyone should back down from doing something they think is right because of the threat of a lawsuit.

You care correct in that there is a stay on the one employment enforcement program at the federal level because of the judge in San Francisco. You are telling me you think that is going to be permanent? I would respectfully disagree, and I believe the world does not come to a halt because of one judge's concerns.

The bottom line is, there are many directions from which this problem must be addressed and every enforcement measure we can institute at every level of government is another step toward ending the problem. I think there is a great deal the state of Virginia can accomplish in the upcoming session now that we have the experiences of three other states to follow.

And on a final note: You have a nice knack for launching into extended self-defense essays as you have done here, but you have a tendency to forget stuff you've said in the past. Like at the meeting at Ida Lee Park when you told the anecdote about the large local employer who said their workforce, several thousand strong, was 50% illegal.

Guess that particular employer actually DOES know which of his employees are not supposed to be here, huh?

So your disingenuous argument that employers do not know whether their workers are legal, "As long as the employer obtains the proper verification, and he/she believes them to be authentic, then the employer has not violated the law" really needs to be shot down. A whole lot of people believe quite a few employers have a very good idea which of their employees are authorized to work, but are willing to break the rules to make money. There is in truth a lot that can be done at the state and local levels, and that will continue to be our focus.

Laura said:

Joe- I was the Interim ED of La Voz. The plan when I started was for me to work about 6 months, and I actually stayed longer. I know the media focused on the political aspect of my leaving. They didn't mention the primary reason which is that my family is uninsured and therefore I needed to leave to find a full time w/benefits. I guess that wasn't as exciting. Please don't take credit for my departure. Stick to the things that you actually know about.

As for an extened self defense, well, you asked for my opinion didn't you?

On the employer issue, what I said was there was a local company with ss no match letters in the files of approx 50% of the workforce. That does not mean that the company knows that 50% is illegal. Pay attention to the details, they make a difference as far as law is concerned.
BTW, that company starts its laborers at $10 and hour and pays its carpenters no less that $17 and up to $25, hardly slave labor.

Again, it's not that I think that there isn't a lot local gov can do, its just that I think that much of it is absolutely meaningless and will have no significant impact on the problem.

So have you done cost/benefit analysis? That would include your multifacted approach. Or is that what Allheman was referring to when he came up with the savings from the LCPS to fund jails? Or maybe it was the infamous Delgaudio calculation of $20,000/year in savings from jail costs? Don't get me wrong, I am not a fan of over eager lawsuits, but if we can anticipate that they will come we should consider that cost to defend against them, anything else would be irresponsible from a cold hard business perspective.

As for the SF judge, it was a suspension, we'll have to see where that goes. At the very least it is an attempt to address the issue at a federal level.


As an example "Anne Arundel County, the latest Washington area jurisdiction to take a new and public position against illegal immigration, has announced that businesses with county contracts will be required to sign affidavits attesting that they do not employ workers who are in the country illegally." WA PO

My point, again, is that it is much ado about nothing. No teeth Joe, no teeth.

The Frederick County approach is more my style.
Here is a good quote from one of the R's there, "We have a dysfunctional immigration policy at the national level," said Commissioner David P. Gray (R), who introduced the resolutions. "That's Congress's fault. It's the executive's fault. . . . Right now, it's such a hodgepodge that it's putting people at each other's throats unnecessarily, and that's just a sad, sad thing."

When you do your cost/benefit analysis take into account the intangables, like the people at each other's throat. You could treat it as a side itme, like NPOs traet in-kind donations and volunteer hours.

Ah, so you approve the Frederick County "approach" which is to do nothing. How surprising.

Laura said:

No, the Frederick County approach is to redirect the focus to the federal government, where it belongs.

Yeah, that's what I just said.

G Stone said:

Laura is OK as long as all that is passed is hot air.

Laura, This is about our local or regional efforts to create an enviroment in which illegals begin to self deport themselves from our communities. These efforts will work. We just need to convince those in positions to enforce or create public policy to do so.

I am going to start a marketing campaign directed towards illegals, informing them how great things are in Montgomery and Prince Georges County Maryland. These jurisdictions can't seem to get enough illegals. I think Loudoun county should be good neighbors and direct our illegals to a better life in Maryland.
After all according to the political leadership in Maryland they are far more enlightened than we are here in Virginia. I could not agree more .
Therefore it is important that we allow our compassion to shine and direct all illegals to Maryland in order that they enjoy the quality of life they so richly deserve.

Can I rely on you and those at LaVoz to help me get this important message to the illegal community ?

Laura,

While I can appreciate your desire to do only those things which are cost effective, I do not think that you are figuring into the mix the changes to the overall economy.
For instance, you cite the wages at an employer that are between $10 and $25 per hour. If the no SS match is at least an indicator of illegal employment (immigrant or not) then there is a significant discount the employer is seeing from having the supply of workers much higher than it would be otherwise. By the way, $10/hour is about $20,000 a year for full time employment. That is hardly enough to live in this area, and that presumes 40 hour/week, 50 weeks a year (most construction is not 50 weeks a year, but often is more than 40/week.
If such an employee were living in Loudoun, and had a child in the schools, then the cost to the county is well more than the tax benefit to the county. (Last time I checked, and it has been a while, the spend per child is well above $10,000 per child.) If enrollment in the schools could be reduced by even 100, the cost savings would be on the order of $1,000,000. Cost/benefit ratios can be twisted a lot of ways. I don't believe that should be the driving force for doing all that can be done though.
Even if it cost Loudoun money to reduce the presence of illegal aliens within the county, the county should do what is in its power to accomplish what is a worthy goal on its own merits. It costs a lot of money to the county to have law enforcement against any kind of crime. From a "cold hard business perspective" it doesn't pay to enforce nearly any laws. It isn't because it is good business to enforce laws that they are enforced, it is because it is the right thing to do. While federal law preempts state and local law, it does not preempt the state making laws that echo the spirit of federal laws, and certainly doesn't limit states and localities from enacting complimentary laws.
You say you believe that the focus of immigration enforcement should be at the federal level. I disagree. What really should happen is that the federal government should empower the states to aid in the enforcement of the federal law. The federal government makes robbery of a bank a crime, but states also have complimentary laws that makes any robbery a crime. While the federal government adds resources (the FBI) to local investigations, it does not preempt the state (and local police/sheriff) from catching the thief. There is no principle at stake which would make it improper for a state to enact complimentary legislation to make it a crime to be within the borders of the state illegally, and to define who may legally be within the borders of the state.
I'd rather have the local government working on finding those that are illegally within the state. It would be much more likely to succeed. New kid at school? New income tax payer? Show proof you are here legally. It would be much easier for a local law enforcement officer than trying to have enough federal agents to cover all the bases. Asking the federal government to know who is in the country and where is nearly impossible. If a person comes here on a visitors visa, and then disappears, that would be nearly impossible for the federal government to detect. It would be much easier for the local government to detect.
Ultimately, enforcing the laws of the land is what ought to be done. From a principle position, if we enforce one set of laws, but not another, that is hypocritical at best. For immigration, it is also a slap in the face to those that are here legally.

Dan said:

Laura,

"As an example Anne Arundel County... has announced that businesses with county contracts will be required to sign affidavits

My point, again, is that it is much ado about nothing. No teeth Joe, no teeth."

Do you know what the penalty is in MD for filing a false affidavit ? Perjury isn't it ? A punishable crime ?

There is much that can be done at the local level. Those that believe it is purely a federal issue have been drinking too much of the La Raza kool-aid. There is much case law to the contrary, particularly in the appeals courts (7th & 10th if you want to look it up). There are many communities across the nation that are turning things around. I am already noticing changes where I live, it is happening right now, right here in Loudoun.

Btw, I'm ok with your nom de plume of prince, princess, whatever. Can't use queen though as that belongs to Dale...

Take care.

Had Enough said:

Of course the Pro-Illegal groups want immigration enforcement taken care of on the federal level, because they are banking on the federal government doing what they have done for decades......NOTHING! They have told Illegals for years "if you can get over the border, no one can bother you."

Those days are history.

The Citizens of this country have had enough of the federal neglect, pandering and ignoring the laws for their big business interests and agendas at our expense.

It is time to put the Citizens of this country back to a full work week.

I heard someone in Las Vegas talking about new houses they looked at built by illegals. They couldn't find a plumb wall, level floor and the trim work edges did not line up. They said the house cried cheap labor, shoddy building and they were no longer interested for more reasons than one.

The party is over, we have had enough. Illegal Aliens have ignored our laws and disrespected our country too long. Take your foreign flags, anchor babies and head south with the ducks.

Laura V said:

Well, I am sure no one wants me to respond to all of this, but there are a couple of tidbits I can't resist.

1. Joe- is it necassary to have to pass the vision test to post here?

2.Greg Stone- I am no longer with La Voz. If you would like to contact them regarding an outreach effort visit their website. You know I half expect you to float about Loudoun County like a fairy because of the excessive amount of hot air you are carrying around.

3. Brain, you stumbled on to what to me is a very important issue. Go check out what most construction companies start a laborer with no experience at. Of course $10 is not enough to live on in LoCo, but it is well above minimum wage. Welcome to the world of Human Services in LoCo where the average med. income is something like $80 thou a year. A non-profit Case Manager earns between $24 and $30 thousand a year. Also not enough to live on in Loudoun County. What does a stratin teacher earn? What about school cafeteria staff? I encourage you to look into this further and attend the upcoming poverty simulation. My only point is that they are not getting any discount based on immigration status. I am not tryinmg to defend the prevailing wages.

Also, important is that those employees pay all payroll taxes and the company maintains workmen's comp, liability, etc. They also offer full benefits so they all have health insurance, profit sharing, etc.
Those are competetive wages and benefits. There is nothing that stops any skilled carpenter from working there. NOTHING. There are opportunities for foremen, engeneers assistants, etc where English is required. As a matter of fact they give preference to English speakers, at all levels. When that company works in DC, because of their labor laws, they are required to hire a certain amount of DC residents and guess what, in a city with such a high unemplyment rate they actually find it to be a challange to get workers. Now why is that? Why is it that given that they pay well for good workers and they require proof of legal status, 90% of their workforce is from Latin America, 70% from El Salvador alone?

4. Dan said "Do you know what the penalty is in MD for filing a false affidavit ? Perjury isn't it ? A punishable crime ?"
I think you missed the point dude. It is only purjury if they knowingly hired undocumented workers.

5. Had Enough said "I heard someone in Las Vegas talking about new houses they looked at built by illegals. They couldn't find a plumb wall, level floor and the trim work edges did not line up. They said the house cried cheap labor, shoddy building and they were no longer interested for more reasons than one."
Well, sounds like the market took care of that one. It behooves no business to deliver a shoddy product in the hopes of saving a buck. They will pay for it eventually.

Dan said:

Laura,

"I think you missed the point dude. It is only purjury if they knowingly hired undocumented workers."

You missed the point chick :). The criminal charge of perjury isn't as you say "No teeth". Perjury is perjury..

"As a matter of fact they give preference to English speakers"

What panet does this occur on ? This is certainly not the case in Loudoun..

Yes, many who work here can't afford to live here. This is also true for DC, Fairfax, Arlington, NY, Boston, Phil and their adjacent suburbs. This is a fact of life, just like paying taxes. Running down neighborhoods in eastern Loudoun is not going to fix that. Me, I think the solution for LoCo is more non-service sector jobs. As I mentioned in another thread, I am still waiting for you and David to go before the board advocating for more affordable housing in Central and Western Loudoun.

The example you raised, if requiring proof of legal status works in DC, why are you opposed to it here ? Is the DC company you are talking about La Raza ? That would easily explain the 90/70 numbers you mention. Like La Voz, I would not expect to find someone named Nguyen Ho or Lars Edilson working there.. But imo, here in Loudoun I think we should.. the struggles resulting from lawful immigration are not limited to Hispanics from Central America, are they ?

You seem like a bright lady, dump out the La Raza kool-aid, and free yourself from the bonds of empty rhetoric.

G Stone said:

Laura:
All hot air aside your position is you are for doing nothing. Period. You like many others have come to enjoy the status quo and for a myriad of different reasons are desperate to repel any local or regional efforts to illegal migration. You are stuck in your belief that it is only the federal government that can address this issue. In your world the feds have sole purvey and the rest of us should just shut and go away. A position that is rejected by an ever increasing number of Americans.

Whether your a leftist, for open borders, an apologist for greedy buisness intrests, a pro-union official trying to pump new blood into a dying institution or just a mis guided social engineer, illegal aliens have become an asset. Illegals have become a cottage industry in which none of you want to give up or abandon. For whatever the reasons, many of you have a vested intrest in making sure nothing changes. The fact that American taxpayers assist in the funding of this enterprise is all the more reason for you to defend it to the end.

Laura, as with illegal immigration, there are no perfect solutions to comment spam. We have to take the available measures to make it less likely the spam messages will end up here, and MT's new built in captcha is a godsend. I admit it is difficult to read. If anyone finds a better method, please let me know.

We tried registration here once and that was a disaster. No one could figure out how to use Typekey and people were reluctant to even try "signing in."

Laura,

My point is that supply and demand does work. If the supply of workers is cut in half for the company, the wages will go up.

Funny you ask what a starting teacher makes here in Loudoun -- I am such a teacher (by the way, a starting teacher in Loudoun makes $43,065). And while that is certainly not what I would call a living wage, it is a lot better than $10/hour. And yes, I could see the need to raise teacher salaries here in Loudoun (with 5 children, and $50,000 I would still qualify as "very low income" which seems a shame. For many teachers, it isn't a huge hardship -- we do get about 2 months in the summer in which temporary jobs can be done (I don't, but I've lived in my house for over 15 years--my mortgage is based on a much lower price house than what it would cost today).
I'll let you know though, supply/demand pricing does eventually work. Suppose the company you pointed out was forced to hire legal residents only -- and it was enforced locally -- what would the outcome be? First, it would put a huge dent in their workforce. If those with unmatched SS were only 50% illegal (which may be accurate, as some legal residents might be attempting to escape wage attachment that would occur if their identities were known) then the company would see a 25% drop in the workforce. They need 25% more workers -- how do they get them? Initially, they would attempt to hire them away from other companies. How? by offering higher wages than the other company offers. The wages for those workers rises, the job itself becomes more attractive. If the average wage for a carpenter goes up to $40 an hour, I know a lot of people that would work as carpenters.
The supply and demand system works all the time. The cost of housing would go up -- sure, but then the demand would decrease (a natural limit on the price of houses would limit demand eventually, though around here, where land is the reason housing is so expensive, I don't see labor as a significant cost to the house -- a townhouse in Leesburg selling for $300,000+ isn't because the labor for building it is $100,000 (the labor is probably on the order of 400 hours per home, I'll post a link for this at the end). Even at %50/hour, that is only $20,000 in on site labor costs. Which on a $300,000 house if the costs rise by another $25/hour, would only add $10,000 (cost rate for a worker is generally much higher than wages). Pay $50/hour for carpenters, and I bet a lot of people will be making decisions to become carpenters before people decide to stop buying houses.
------
Link to a site that contains an estimate of hour for building a house conventionally:
http://www.toolbase.org/ToolbaseResources/level4FAQ.aspx?ContentDetailID=1419&BucketID=2&CategoryID=15
This is most likely on the high side, as the site is endorsing a construction method to reduce labor costs (I used the higher estimate).

Laura said:

Brian, now we are getting somewhere. Don't have time to answer now, but I apprecaite your thoughtfullness and time. you've given me somthing to chew on, as opposed to the gagging that Greg's posts provoke. Just do me a favor, apply supply and demand to all industries, not just construction, that rely heavily on immigrant labor.

Greg - when the US 1st introduced regulations on immigration, which where limitations and controls, but then later limitations based on Country of Origin, then based on family preferences, and all of the other details in between, was that not social engineering?

Laura,

I do apply that same rubric to all labor. What is really difficult is when companies can outsource the labor to a different country (for example, software) which allows lower wages to be used, it is very difficult for those in that industry to compete. Doing the same with other industries would also mean that meaningful wages would have to be paid, but not as long as illegal immigrants are filling the positions.
Now something that will probably take you back a little. I think illegal immigration should be fought at every level of government, but as I teacher, I sometimes know when a student is in the class as a child of a legal immigrant, and when they are in the class as a child of an illegal immigrant -- and I am bound not to reveal that information by privacy in education laws. I've also worked in a district that was nearly pure naturalized citizens -- people that have lived in the country, who's parents lived here, and grandparents lived here (sometimes for many generations). Guess which district has more respectful children: Loudoun -- by far. People that are immigrants (legal or otherwise) have seen first hand how good the education is here for their children, and they demand respect of those that teach. Go somewhere that the parents have always seen good education, and there isn't necessarily the same level of respect.
That said, I still believe the laws should be enforced.

These are great points, Brian. They do not deserve to be buried in the comments. You should turn them into a new post, just cut and paste.

G.Stone said:

Laura;

Yes it is, and when used to determine who can and cannot enter a country in order to advance prosperity and insure a nations sovereignty that is a good thing. However, policy wonks most often leftists with use social engineereing to achieve political ends that are not in the countries best intrest. Please note that I said they are often leftists, liberals or as some call themselves progressives, but not always.

Democrat activists and like minded lawmakers wanting soft border enforcement and liberal immigration laws in the hopes of importing thousands of illegals and through a series of public policies decisions turning them into voters is but one example.

American Unions pressuring law makers that the labor movement needs a new influx of members to re-populate its ranks so that they can continue to funnel money from dues to the Democrat party.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce using its influence and money to make sure those on Capitol Hill insure a steady supply of cheap labor in order to maintain high profit levels for its members.

Those in the immigrants rights industry such as LaRaza. These organizations have turned the illegal migrants into the new cash cows. These illegals having been elevated to the status of civil rights victims and in the minds of some and can now be defended and advocated for by an entire new cottage industry of advocacy groups.

It is either profits or power or both.


Dan said:

Greg -

You are absolutely correct, this is ALL about fighting for a teat on the illegal alien cash cow..

All this self-righteousness, and compassion coming from the other side is about the pocketbook.

Laura V. said:

Greg said - "Yes it is, and when used to determine who can and cannot enter a country in order to advance prosperity and ensure a nations sovereignty that is a good thing. However, policy wonks most often leftists with use social engineereing to achieve political ends that are not in the countries best intrest. Please note that I said they are often leftists, liberals or as some call themselves progressives, but not always."
OK, so Conservative social engineering is GOOD and Liberal social engineering is BAD. What brand of conservative social engineering do you favor Greg? Let me guess, it is the social conservative brand that seeks to legislate how we can and can't live our lives. I prefer the other kind that feels that the least gov. interfernce the better, and that includes dictating what a private landowner can and cannot do with his/her land.

"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce using its influence and money to make sure those on Capitol Hill insure a steady supply of cheap labor in order to maintain high profit levels for its members." So I certainly don't support unfair wages, but I don't understand why the US Chamber of Commerce would not want to encourage profit. Profit is part of capitalism. Profit is GOOD! Profit increases buying power and encourages economic growth. In my previous example I cited a company that pays what are currently competetive wages to what may be a significant number of undocumented immigrants. It cannot be considered "cheap" labor. I believe that this type of company is representative of most companies that rely on large percentages of immigrant labor in No.Va. I am still mulling over Brian's post as far as what would happen if there was a labor shortage and wages rose. If it happened in a short time span it would be devestating because it would slow down and in some cases halt production. In the long term, for the companies that could survive that, they may need to increase wages to attract workers but that is based on the premise that there actually is a significant number of unemployed workers who aren't working because the wages are too low. But, I suppose Joe thinks we can attract workers from other regions to take these jobs. Even so, without expanding on that idea, prices will rise if wages rise, and given that the wages I am referring to are relative to other sectors, for example a carpenter who makes $25/hour as compared to a teacher who make s $40,000. So wages would have to rise in all sectors right? So prices would rise across the board, profit margins would drop... Forgive me as I am thinking this through.

Some of you guys sound a bit like socialists, especially when you talk about the evil, greedy, elite.

Anyway, let me make myself clear on one thing. I do not support illegal immigration on any grounds, not moral, economic, political, nothing. I am against it. I think that those here should be allowed to adjust their status w/a pathway to citizenship, borders need to be controlled, and we need to allow for more opportunities for legal entry. I am sure we disagree.

Greg said "Democrat activists and like minded lawmakers wanting soft border enforcement and liberal immigration laws in the hopes of importing thousands of illegals and through a series of public policies decisions turning them into voters is but one example. "
If immigration laws are relaxed, i.e. greater opportunity for legal entry, than the immigrants would not be illegal and therefore no different than immigrants who have immigrated here over the centuries, right? Again, it would realy be returning immigration law to where it was pre-1900's when we had the smallest ratio of immigrants to native born.

Dan said:

Laura,

"I think that those here should be allowed to adjust their status w/a pathway to citizenship"

They currently do have a pathway to citizenship. They go home, apply for lawful entry, and wait in line, like everyone else..

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