The Mexicans Are Coming! The Mexicans Are Coming!

Hyping the immigration crisis in America's whitest states

Missouri Governor Matt Blunt is damn tired of this “unnatural influx” of people “who openly flout the laws.” Last year he expressed his displeasure by sending the Missouri national guard to patrol the Mexican border. Now he is at work transforming the state’s police officers into immigration enforcers, directing them to send the undocumented to detention centers.

Missouri, geographically adept Americans will have noted, is not a border state. Nor is it a gateway state, or a state known for it's profusion of Hispanic culture. In 2005, 2.7 percent of Missourians were of Hispanic or Latino origin, less than a fifth of the national average. The state grew more slowly than the rest of the country between April 2000 and July 2006, and little of that sluggish growth was attributable to immigration. Relatively few Mexicans looking for a new life are looking in Jefferson City.

Gov. Blunt is determined to hype mass immigration as a state issue, and he is not alone in his desire to preempt the migrant menace. Forty-one states enacted 171 immigration bills between January and June, and over 1,000 were proposed. As of mid-March, 104 cities and counties had considered or adopted ordinances concerning undocumented workers. But the number of bills seeking to address demographic change is less interesting than where they are coming from. And where they are coming from seems to have little to do with where the vast majority of immigrants are going.

San Diego State University Sociologist Jill Esbenshade has studied the glut of local anti-illegal immigrant ordinances in detail. In a report to be published by the Immigration Policy Center in September, Esbenshade finds that almost 80 percent of the localities where ordinances have been discussed had below the national average of Latino population share in 2000.

Take Oologah, Oklahoma, birthplace of Will Rogers and a town fearful enough to ban employers from hiring undocumented workers last year. In 2000, when the last census taken, Oologah was a town of 883 residents. One percent of those residents were of Latino or Hispanic origin—9 people. The population has since grown, but no one is claiming Oologah has an immigration problem. Talking to The Oklahoman, Oologah Mayor Jerry Holland complained about “unlawful workers taking jobs away from us,” though, the paper noted, those workers don’t seem to be showing much interest in transplanting to Oologah.

Oologah’s ordinance, which invites residents to file complaints against businesses that employ undocumented workers, is one of three types of local ordinances aped from county to county. English-only laws are also popular, as are laws prohibiting landlords from renting to undocumented immigrants. Many of these laws are probably unconstitutional, not all have passed, some have been struck down, and most are unenforceable. Efficacy aside, they have much to say about the distribution of anti-immigration momentum, and how little that momentum correlates with actual immigration.

“It’s not the number of Latino and foreign born that are creating the public perception of crisis,” says Esbenshade, “it’s the increase.” Ordinances, she finds, are correlated with rapid recent increase in relatively small Latino and foreign born populations. As immigrants move beyond traditional gateway cities, like Los Angeles and New York, they're pushing into whiter climes. Big city dwellers may have an expectation of demographic dynamism, an expectation not shared in places like Tulsa, Oklahoma and Hazelton, Pennsylvania. Esbenshade’s study didn’t include state laws, but her findings may help explain why West Virginia, whose population is less than 1 percent Hispanic/Latino, is cracking down at the same time California, at 35 percent, is extending public benefits to migrant workers.

The Califonia/ West Virginia split may seem a livable compromise, as isolated communities ban immigrants not exactly jonesing to locate in backwaters anyway. The reality is more complicated. Ordinances like those banning landlords from renting to illegal immigrants have the potential to victimize entire Hispanic populations, since it’s difficult to know whether documentation is fraudulent, and thus difficult to know whether you are breaking the law any time you rent a basement to someone not obviously American. In the towns where these ordinances are taking effect, these populations tend to be small and thus vulnerable. An English-only policy going into effect in Virginia’s Culpeper County, notes the Immigration Policy Center's Walter Ewing, seems to be targeted at a Latino population of 3,000.

Meanwhile, Missouri’s newly deputized immigration enforcers have claimed the right to detain even immigrants who would not otherwise be arrested. As Gov. Blunt fills the state's detention centers, he might ponder the last time the state experienced an “unnatural influx” of migrants. In the first half of the 20th century, another politically unpopular group—Southern blacks—flooded into Missouri, bringing culture and identity, barbeque and blues. School kids learn to call that the “Great Migration”; politicians refer to today’s “immigration crisis.”

As towns hundreds of miles from any international border continue to impose unconstitutional restrictions on foreigners who haven’t arrived, it’s worth asking whose definition of crisis we’re going to accept. Let’s hope it’s not Oologah’s.

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  • ||

    from the brown planet mexia

  • ||

    I too have wondered why the loudest brouhaha on this issue seems to eminate from the landlocked states. Good job.

  • ||

    When I lived in Kansas City, Mo, about 15 years ago, there was a restaurant that touted its Mexican food as being "made by real Mexicans." The KC version of Mexican food really, really sucked, as I recall.

    Here in Friendswood, TX, where the average home price is between $250K and $350K, City Hall was terrified of an influx of non-English speakers and considered banning them and the firms that employ them, at the same time the new police station was being built by.....non-English speakers and the firms that employ them.

  • ||

    Here in Rolla, MO (Home of the Miners of UMR, name to be changed to MUST next Jan) the finest dining to be had is at Panera Bread. We have two authentic Mexican Restaurants all the staff appear to be Mexican (waiters speak only broken English) as do half the customers on any given day. Out at the WalMart, I can't tell the Mexicans from the Local Hicks, so I don't know what the percentage of population is. It seems higher than in Michigan.

  • Trollaphile||

    What is the point of this article? It sounds like the author is whining because places like Missouri (where I am) or Pennsylvania are trying to deal with the situation BEFORE it becomes a problem for them.

  • ||

    Having spent a year in Missouri, I would gladly swap 10 million of its white and black natives for the same number of Mexicans. Could only improve things.

    Missouri's Favorite Son? Harry Truman. Next Favorite Son? Jesse James. Gotta mean something.....

  • ||

    Warren,

    I've been to Rolla exactly once and had lunch at one of those Mexican places. Good food at a great price. However, I needed to hit the ATM and the NY plastic I was carrying was rejected at two (both!!) banks.

    So is MUST Missouri University of Science and Technology?

  • ||

    What is the point of this article? It sounds like the author is whining because places like Missouri (where I am) or Pennsylvania are trying to deal with the situation BEFORE it becomes a problem for them.

    They're addressing a problem that doesn't really exist, and it's not because these local governments have suddenly become forward-looking. More likely, local politicians are simply looking to cash in on anti-immigrant hysteria. This is problematic for at least two reasons: (1) phony anti-immigration measures waste government (taxpayer) money; (2) non-illegal immigrants or native born hispanics often bear the brunt of anti-illegal-immigrant animus and poorly crafted anti-illegal-immigrant laws.

  • ||

    I would bet the author lives in an ALL white community! As far away from the "minorities" as physically possible!

    Meanwhile, Joe/Jane Schmoe is tarred and feathered as a "racist" for simply seeking the same!

    If thats NOT elitism, then what is?

    ILLEGAL ALIENS are CRIMINALS, by definition! They should be subject to CITIZENS ARREST...then citizens groups like the Minutemen can round up ALL the illegals!

    It may sound harsh, but if I had my way,I would institute the DEATH PENALTY for illegal aliens...and then we would just KILL them!

    I'm from Texas...so please don't lecture me on MEXICANS!

  • Trollaphile||

    I don't want see hispanics get mistreated because of these laws, but once you get a signicant population of illegal immagrants it's too late to do anything. If the state of California decided it wanted to get rid of all the illegals it would have no way to make that happen.

  • ||

    John Wayne,

    I have lived in Texas most of my life, from Houston to San Antonio to deep East Texas. I would gladly welcome "Mexicans" to our state to replace many of the web-footed whiteys I have encountered in the Piney Woods.

  • Episiarch||

    The Duke is still alive and hates Mexicans...who knew?

  • ||

    How Eisenhower solved illegal border crossings from
    Mexico

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0706/p09s01-coop.html

    Why can't we just have Operation Wetback 2?

    We need the DEATH PENALTY for illegal aliens! Lets
    just KILL THEM...ALL!

    That would solve the problem!

    If we get lucky, it would even spark a WAR with
    mexico, which is what we need to REALLY sort this mess
    out!

    We should make WAR on mexico! Bombing
    mexico and unleashing BIOLOGICAL warfare on the
    wetbacks would reduce their numbers to levels that no
    longer threaten us.

    WETBACKS GOTTA GO...ALL OF EM...PERIOD!

    NO AMNESTY!

    What if wetbacks were subject to CITIZENS ARREST? What
    if free fire zones were declared on wetbacks?

    LAND MINES + SNIPERS will keep the beaners on their
    side of the river!

    Whats it gonna take? CIVIL WAR 2?

    LOCK AND LOAD!

    NO AMNESTY DAMMIT!

    Just KILL the illegals...ALL of em!

  • Rhywun||

    Wow, did it just get stupid in here?

  • ||

    Wow, did it just get stupid in here?

    Really stupid. But at least we've finally found someone who makes LonEwAckO look sane.

  • Trollaphile||

    I think John Wayne is out trolling me.

  • ||

    Doesn't Kerry Howley live in DC? Yep, can't get much whiter than that.

  • ||

    Kevin,

    Wait, what?

  • IWO||

    when we faught the JAPS--we were heroes
    NOW if we fight the WETBACKS--u r RACISM
    THIS IS WAR____AND WE HAVE NO LEADERS

  • ||

    Missouri, geographically adept Americans will have noted, is not a border state. Nor is it a gateway state...

    Not a gateway state? Then they should just admit it and move the Gateway Arch to Nogales.

  • T||

    web-footed whiteys I have encountered in the Piney Woods

    Gee, Tom, you've been to some of the same places I have. Nothing like leaving a rig site, going into the nearest grocery store to grab some food, and finding half the inbreds in the grocery store aren't wearing shoes. There's some places in East Texas that would be improved by adding a few Mexicans. Widening the gene pool around there can only help.

  • ||

    So, John Wayne, are you just trolling, or do you actually believe all that rubbish?

  • shecky||

    Wow, did it just get stupid in here?

    I'd say it's a surge of stupid.

  • ||

    I'd say it's a surge of stupid.


    We should know in six months.

  • ||

    Lost:

    It was a sarcastic reference to John Wayne's accusation that Kerry must live in an all-white community, seeing how she doesn't want to bomb the Mexicans and all.

  • ||

    It was a sarcastic reference to John Wayne's accusation that Kerry must live in an all-white community, seeing how she doesn't want to bomb the Mexicans and all.


    I wouldn't want anyone bombing Mexicans if I lived next door to them, either. Smart bombs are pretty accurate, but it's not a risk I would be willing to take.

  • ||

    I would bet the author lives in an ALL white community!

    That would be an exceedingly ill-advised bet.

  • ||

    Remember, ILLEGAL doesn't mean a sick bird! You tell these LIEberals, John Wayne! Send all the MESSicans home with a free .45 caliber souvenir!

  • ||

    Let's calm down. The passion that people bring to the immigration debate often crosses the line into irrationality. I've my opinions, you've yours. The positive effects of immigration, both legal and illegal, are either ignored or denied by some in the debate. Similarly, the negative consequences of our current immigration policy (if you can call it that) are glossed over by others. I would rather a discusion of the pros and cons of various proposals are discused than some of what I see posted here. You know who you are.

  • ||

    One positive benefit to illegal immigration:

    When they institute that National ID, at least I can get a fake from los hombres at work, and for relatively little dinero.

  • TLB||

    Why doesn't Reason just rename itself CorporatismMonthly and get it over with? Or, perhaps, "Giving Some of Our Miniscule Credibility to Yet Another Far-Left Group Weekly".

    A question:

    Since the last three MexicanPresidents have all claimed that the MexicanNation extends beyond their borders and includes those in the U.S., isn't ImmigrationFromMexico in fact territorial expansion?

    What word do we call those who support another country expanding their territory into one's (putative) country?

  • ||

    Since the last three MexicanPresidents have all claimed that the MexicanNation extends beyond their borders and includes those in the U.S., isn't ImmigrationFromMexico in fact territorial expansion?

    What word do we call those who support another country expanding their territory into one's (putative) country?


    Looks like someone caught Glenn Beck this morning.

    Why don't you just post a link to the show's transcript and save the Reason server a little space...

  • TLB||

    When they institute that National ID

    If that happens, "libertarians" will be partly to blame. By supporting anarchy - something that the vast majority of Americans don't want - they're encouraging someone (like Ruuuudy) to come in and fix the problem. It's a common trick; the only question is whether that's the actual goal of those "libertarians" or whether they're just useful idiots for those who want to establish such an ID.

  • TLB||

    Looks like someone caught Glenn Beck this morning.

    No, looks like someone who's posted literally thousands of entries about this issue over the past five years.

  • ||

    The claims I have seen from Mexican presidents clearly refer to Mexicans as a people, not as a territory.

    I am sorry that that simple misunderstanding has led you so far astray, Lonewacko.

  • Trollaphile||

    There a growing people, they need "beathing room"

  • Trollaphile||

    "breathing room", did it again.

  • ||

    Quoting census data when talking about illegal immigrants is ridiculous. Why would an illegal immigrant take the time to answer the census forms?

  • ||

    No, looks like someone who's posted literally thousands of entries about this issue over the past five years.

    And has yet to get his facts straight (but don't you dare call him a racist)...

  • Hypnotoad||

    I would like a bathing room.

  • TLB||

    MikeP says: The claims I have seen from Mexican presidents clearly refer to Mexicans as a people, not as a territory.

    Is this guy joking?

  • ||

    Sadly Mexico will not save themselves,and keep exporting their own "webfoots" north,And yes the author is an elitist who doesnt have a problem with proto slave wage "people" he probably never sees or has to deal with

  • ||

    Yeah, Lonewacko, a Mexican president who says something to the effect of, "You will always be Mexicans even if you move to the United States," is actually proposing Lebensraum, not catering to voters who are worried about their loved ones living so far from home.

    Like I said, I'm sorry that you have misconstrued the meaning over all these years...

  • edna||

    ever been hit up by a mexican panhandler?

    me neither.


    these are intelligent, resourceful people who work hard, are family oriented, sacrifice for their kids, and make damn good food when the locals will tolerate it. their kids speak english and their grandkids will only speak english. as far as i'm concerned, we need more.

    and yes, i live in a community where there is a large mexican immigrant population.

  • GILMORE||

    crap

    my theory that pre-emptory fake idiots (e.g. John Wayne) discourage real idiots (e.g. LoneWacko & TheMexicanConspiracy) from posting has just shown its ass.

    i guess when it gets dumb enough, the real idiots have nothing to lose at that point.

    i think the fake idiots maybe need to be more apparent.

  • ||

    i think the fake idiots maybe need to be more apparent.


    Yeah, John Wayne is a bit too subtle to be trolling on this issue.

  • Brian Sorgatz||

    The perfect music to read Howley's article by? "China Grove" by the Doobie Brothers, of course.

  • jkii||

    "Hyping the immigration crisis in America's whitest states"

    FWIW, Missouri is ranked number 19 in blackness and number 20 in whiteness.

    I got these stats here:

    http://factfinder.census.gov

    This data would indicate the Missouri falls toward median in terms of whitenesses and blacknesses. In term of brownesses (hispanicness?), Missouri is ranked 22.

  • ||

    "You will always be Mexicans even if you move to the United States", yep just the same as the USA (you are always American even if you move to ______).

    Except Uncle Sam also demands you file your taxes, too, wherever you live, so long as you live. And then estate taxes too.

    Governments will be governments. When we deal with the immigrants it is the people we should be talking about, not the vapid government they left behind. It's not like the undocumented are listening to secret signals sent from whichever elite poobah is currently the figurehead in the DF. He's playing to the stay at home gallery anyway.

  • ||

    All Mexicans are not Illegal Aliens
    But,Most Illegal Aliens in the USA are Mexican!

    Illegal Aliens are not Illegal because of Race!

  • ||

    Is it coincidental that folks like Rush Bimbo, Sean Hannity and Glen Beck have thrived in a medium whose audience need not know how to read?

  • Quiet Desperation||

    >>> I've my opinions, you've yours.

    Except that's not the case. There's a move afoot to depict anyone not fighting for wide open borders as racist.

    Even someone like me, who simply says "I'm in favor of importing whatever workforce we need to keep the economy humming, but, you know, can we do it legally? If the legal immigration system is too slow, then effing FIX it" is branded as racist and intolerant.

    I'm sorry, but I see what happens to the illegal immigrants in the form of being on the edges of society, afraid to call the police when under threat, horrible wages and working conditions, and so on, and I have to question quite adamantly the real agenda of any self proclaimed "immigrant rights activist" whose stated POV seems to want to perpetuate this state of affairs.

    Oh, but *I'm* the racist one. OK. Whatever. Actually, I really just don't give a fuck anymore.

    That's why many people like me are just keeping our heads down, working hard, socking away the investments, and we're retiring overseas.

  • ||

    I have to question quite adamantly the real agenda of any self proclaimed "immigrant rights activist" whose stated POV seems to want to perpetuate this state of affairs.

    Just to clarify the preference ordering I place on this issue...

    Best case: Immigration law is good. All migration, travel, residence, and labor are prima facie legal. Immigration is prohibited only for legitimate specific cause against specific people.

    Middle case: Immigration law is bad, but the enforcement is lax. Illegal immigration is tolerated because not tolerating it would be a greater violation of the freedoms of the individual migrants and those they associate with.

    Worst case: Immigration law is bad, and it is strictly enforced. People's entry, residence, and labor in the US are prohibited entirely because they were born in a place whose quota is full.

    I definitely believe that the middle case is better than the worst case. It clearly is better for the people who choose to live under it. And it is better for the people of the US who do not have to live with or participate in the police state actions required to enforce such blatantly discriminatory law.

    In case you are not paying attention, the US is headed right now from the middle case to the worst case. The recent attempts aimed toward "importing whatever workforce we need to keep the economy humming, but, you know, can we do it legally? If the legal immigration system is too slow, then effing FIX it" were thwarted by demagogic anti-immigrant legislators pandering to a vocal anti-immigrant segment of their electorate.

  • ||

    I agree with MikeP, and so does thoreau.

  • ||

    ...someone like me, who simply says "I'm in favor of importing whatever workforce we need to keep the economy humming, but, you know, can we do it legally? If the legal immigration system is too slow, then effing FIX it" is branded as racist and intolerant.



    No, in fact, you wouldn't be. Not here, anyway.

    I think you have come pretty close to what many of us here think. "FIX[ing] it" is a fairly constant theme in my posts, for example.

    However, the fact is the system as it is is broken. The quotas are far to small and the processing times are much to slow.

    It does no good to complain about illegals. Not when it is damn near impossible to be anything but.

    Oh, and I agree with Jake Boone.

  • ||

    More Missouri irony...in early August state Representative Nathan Cooper (Republican, Cape Girardeau) plead guilty to immigration fraud. He helped trucking firms fake documents so they could hire illegals. (See http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/stories/2007/08/06/daily53.html) He did resign his seat and so will no longer serve on the Government Accountability committee.

  • ||

    IB,

    "...is branded as racist and intolerant."

    "No, in fact, you wouldn't be. Not here, anyway."

    BS
    I'll just assume you haven't been following immigration threads for the past two years.

    So far the debate has gone like this.

    Immigration concerns me...
    -so you're afraid of brown people.

    I'm concerned about our growing population...
    -more people equals larger economy, it's all good, no downside.

    I'm concerned about cultural changes...
    -so you're afraid of brown people.

    What are some circumstances under which mass immigration would have negative effects? Should we be proactive and craft laws to deal with these incredibly low probability effects?
    -silence.

    etc.

  • ||

    I think MikeP has been coasting on his rep for quite awhile now. He's been phoning it in lately.

  • ||

    You can tell? I'll have to resubscribe to broadband...

  • ||

    Why does Kerry Howley hate Missouri?

    I can't speak for the whole state, but as a point of information:

    I have been living among the suburbs of St. Louis, mostly in what have traditionally been white blue-collar neighborhoods. (Although my current one is partly Asian and prominently Indian and increasingly Hispanic.)

    For most of my life, residents of Hispanic descent were pretty rare around here.

    However, this has changed in the past few years. Specifically, about a year or two ago we saw an influx of Mexicans who've come up to work in the construction and roofing industries. At least that's what I was told by the Mexican guys I met in the laundromat last year. (They wanted to know, "Hey, where do all the Mexicans around here hang out?" which at the time was a little bit like Miles Standish asking, "Where are all the white people around here?")

    Maybe a perceived "dramatic" increase (compared to what we had before) in Mexicans visible in some traditionally white neighborhoods is what some Missourians are reacting to, not our nearness to the border or actual overall statistics.

    I don't find immigrants threatening myself, but those who do might be reacting to actual, if anecdotal, observations.

  • ||

    Stevo,

    That's exactly what the Esbenshade study would predict. Localities enacting these ordinances have had sharp recent increases in immigrant populations, though the absolute numbers are relatively low. Missouri saw a dramatic increase in its foreign born population between 1990 and 2000, so it's not surprising that you've begun to encounter Mexicans in the suburbs.

  • ||

    Ah. I should have read the entire article more carefully. Especially paragraph 7.

  • John Rohan||

    from the article:

    Esbenshade finds that almost 80 percent of the localities where ordinances have been discussed had below the national average of Latino population share in 2000



    Has it even occured to you or anyone else that the reason is because it's very difficult to pass anti-illegal immigrant legislation in any district that's heavily hispanic??

    Meanwhile, Missouri's newly deputized immigration enforcers have claimed the right to detain even immigrants who would not otherwise be arrested


    And this is a problem how? Most of us see it as a good thing. The reason we got into this mess in the first place was specifically because law enforcement decided to look the other way for too long.

  • dbust1||

    In the first half of the 20th century, another politically unpopular group-Southern blacks-flooded into Missouri, bringing culture and identity, barbeque and blues. School kids learn to call that the "Great Migration"; politicians refer to today's "immigration crisis."

    First off, the above statement is grossly disingenuous. The southern blacks were Americans who, in almost every case, came to this county against their will.

    The efforts of "landlocked" states to implement very tough legislation are proactive in nature. WV doesn't want to even come close to a population of 35% Hispanic. And in places like Morristown, NJ the problem is very real. Dozens of cars with PA or NC license plates rolling around town driven by hispanics because it is easier to get a license in PA than in NJ because NJ requires PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP unlike PA. Proactive measures in "landlocked" states can actually help those states already in trouble. In case Jim Walsh hasn't been paying attention within the last 50 years, no state is truly "landlocked" since it is now possible to drive from one coast to the other in as little as two days. The Feds (read Bush administration) are not serious about dealing with illegal immigration and when the Fed isn't interested then the states have to stand up.

    Kerry Howley may not see a problem in many states but the day a hispanic family moves in next door, blares their chicano music until 3am, has dozens of "family" "visiting" for weeks at a time and causes her property to decrease in value because of the eyesore next door she'll be singing a very different tune.

  • ||

    dbust1,

    So I read your long middle paragraph, and I try to figure out exactly what the problem is that you are decrying. The best I can come up with is that the state of New Jersey is missing out on auto registration revenues because they are stupid enough to check citizenship for something as mundane as registering one's car.

    On the other hand, it is clear from your last paragraph that legal residency isn't as important as other attributes when discussing how unpleasant one's next door neighbor might be.

  • dbust1||

    MikeP

    In regards to your last comment, you caught me getting caught up in an unrequested role as devil's advocate. Guilty. In regards to my comments on NJ car registration, I used that example to show how relatively lax regulations in certain states can negate relatively strict regulations in others. And vehicle registration is not mundane, it can aid in determining who can and cannot legally operate a motor vehicle. Of course an illegal immigrant legally operating a motor vehicle may be an oxymoron I admit. It just shows the growing frustration of average citizens with a growing federaly ignored problem.

    Any one from Morristown or Newark want to weigh in?

  • ||

    Of course an illegal immigrant legally operating a motor vehicle may be an oxymoron I admit.

    Why? Why should only legal immigrants be allowed to drive? What is it about driving that requires having a visa from the US government?

  • dbust1||

    MikeP

    "....Why should only legal immigrants be allowed to drive?..."

    Because it's the law. If you don't like the law you can seek to change it, but until it's changed it should be enforced. Also, (devil's advocate again) holding a driver's license is not an Inalienable Right, it's a priviledge. But are you implying that denial of a license is actually restricting interstate travel in a free society? If so, it's an interesting arguement.

  • ||

    I agree that holding a driver's license is not a right. It certainly doesn't compare with fundamental rights such as, say, the freedom to travel, live, and work where you choose regardless of your place of birth.

    But because of the importance of driving in this society and the impossibility of doing it on private roads, driving is more than a privilege. I would say it is an entitlement that should be denied only for legitimate cause. Not holding the right paperwork from the US government is not legitimate cause: It has no bearing whatsoever on one's ability to own or drive a motor vehicle.

  • dbust1||

    I agree. I can think of few instances where not holding the proper govt papers should be reason enough to impose restrictions on individual freedom. And you're right that driving is almost an absolute necessity today, but that just highlights how govt regulation and laws are so often behind the curve.

    But the law as it stands now may have something to do with the belief (however erroneous) that an illegal immigrant is more likely to not carry auto insurance. I've heard this assertion bandied about all too often, but I don't see how toughening license pre-requisites would solve the problem.

  • mishmash||

    The discussion should not be whether having a drivers license is a right, but under what circumstances should someone who is in the country illegally be allowed the privilege of having a drivers license at all? Answer = NONE.
    They are here illegally they should be allowed the privilege of going home and nothing more until they enter the country following the laws and requirements that other legal immigrants have followed for years. Other than avoiding trouble to stay here, what level of respect for our laws can an illegal immigrant have when the first thing they do to get here is break the law?

  • ||

    When all else fails, yell racism. The lawless illegals are giving it a good old college try but it just isn't true, and is falling flat.

    What you have is a rule of law problem. We have laws about immigration. You want to try and come into the USA, follow them. If you break the law and come illegally, you are a criminal. Easy.

    Our principle for the past 20 years for legal immigrataoin is family reunification. What these illegals are really saying, is, ignore the law, give us special treament, and too bad for all the other races and ethnic groups who are doing it legally. TAlk about racist!

    And yes it is possible to deport 20 million. President Eisenhower with 700 men in four months deported 1.5 million Mexicans. It just takes a real concern for our country and guts.

    In Arizona they passed a state law that if a company get caught twice hiring illegals, they are banned from the state. Already illegals are self deporting at the rate of 100 per day, and the law does not take effect until next year.

    If we take away all anchor babies, all benefits except emergency medical, and school, make it immpossible for them to work, or rent an apartment, or drive, or bank, or have phone account etc, they will leave all by themselves.

    The violent criminals may be harder to get ride of, but ICE works on that, and if need be we can use our military to do house to house sweeps.

    Americana are fed up with subsidizing illegal (22,000 per illegal per year)/ We are tired of the Hispanic illegals refusing to learn English or integrate into our society. The study done 10 years after the last amnesty confirmed this. Also a recent study quoted by Gov Schwarznegger shows that Hispanics are way behind in learning Enlish as compared to other immigrants arriving at the same time. He suggest the Latinos turn off their Spanish TV.. well you can imagine the howls!

    But the Dems are going to fight against protecting Americans tooth and nail, because they want the Hispanic voting block. It is interesting that half of Hispanic Americans who come here legallty are totally against the illegals.

    And business is going to fight it too. They want cheap labor.

    Even Rudy is for amnesty.

    (It is going to be a real battle.

  • ||

    Sure there are racist on both sides of this issue, but it is a matter of respect for the law and out of control illegal immigration. Rewards and legitimacy should not be rewarded for overstaying a visa or sneaking across the border.

  • pölitic||

    "I agree that holding a driver's license is not a right. It certainly doesn't compare with fundamental rights such as, say, the freedom to travel, live, and work where you choose regardless of your place of birth." MikeP

    It is a fundamental right to travel, live, and work wherever you like only if you deny any social contract and the freedom of a society to determine what rules and norms govern their own community. Do I have the right to live in your house and eat your food? The car wasn't produced out of thin air and travel doesn't exist within an inter-space wormhole, somebody had to construct and maintain the road, enforce the laws (unless driving 100mph drunk is a fundamental right), provide medical service to victims of accidents, and ensure a military/law enforcement entity is capable of protecting the road, gas station, and maybe your rear end from any intruders expression of their version of fundamental rights to your stuff.

    Security, services and infrastructure are only available when a group of people are able to work together, people work together best with a governing body of enforceable laws and expectations. Taxes are an efficient method for investing in the public commons. (by public I am mainly referring to people sanctioned by contributors, and by commons I mean something between the natural environment and human improvements.)

    Thus my argument is innocent migrants have a fundamental right to some route through another's territory, but if they reject social contracts I doubt they have built the social architecture necessary to produce the likes of cars, and can thus walk around town and hope for generosity if needed. And if the person was born in an unfriendly territory they can expect to be under extra scrutiny.

  • ||

    pölitic,

    You are very quick to conflate the individual and the social. Pretty much all your points require one to find an equivalence between the rights of a person and the rules of a society. This trend culminates with your summary...

    Thus my argument is innocent migrants have a fundamental right to some route through another's territory, but if they reject social contracts I doubt they have built the social architecture necessary to produce the likes of cars, and can thus walk around town and hope for generosity if needed.

    ...wherein individual innocent migrants suffer for the supposed sins of their collective.

  • ||

    What you have is a rule of law problem. We have laws about immigration. You want to try and come into the USA, follow them. If you break the law and come illegally, you are a criminal. Easy.

    I'm curious, Bettybb...

    Do you make a distinction between this "rule of law problem" and the "rule of law problem" with fugitive slaves? How about the "rule of law problem" regarding Jim Crow laws? How about laws prohibiting the consumption of drugs?

    If you do make a distinction, what is it, and why?

  • pölitic||

    "You are very quick to conflate the individual and the social. Pretty much all your points require one to find an equivalence between the rights of a person and the rules of a society."

    ...basically yes...are we in agreement OR are you suggesting that our associations do not matter?

    "...wherein individual innocent migrants suffer for the supposed sins of their collective."

    A collective can not be generous unless it first has some degree of prosperity. Prosperity requires effort and sacrifice, the migrant has a responsibility to rectify his own collectives' situation, OR convince the new community to allow him/her in, OR find a place to be self sufficient, OR cease to exist.

    "supposed sins"…I am not applying my moral judgment on that persons collective, but that migrant apparently felt a desire to leave it behind, maybe because the migrant rejects the prior collective OR the prior collective rejected the migrant OR they are adventurous. None of those reasons necessitate the new society welcome the migrant in.

  • ||

    are we in agreement OR are you suggesting that our associations do not matter?

    We are in complete disagreement. All collective presumptions and powers are entirely derivative from individual rights and cannot supersede or even equal them. Analogies between, for example, individual property and government dominion are frayed at best.

    But of course associations matter. But first order associations, such as the association between a worker deemed illegal by the ruling government and his employer, completely trump second order associations such as the "freedom" not to have an immigrant move in next door or drive the same roads.

    Prosperity requires effort and sacrifice, the migrant has a responsibility to rectify his own collectives' situation, OR convince the new community to allow him/her in, OR find a place to be self sufficient, OR cease to exist.

    How phenomenally odd. I would have thought that all that was required of the migrant was that he find individuals who would freely employ him, lease him a place to live, and otherwise trade and deal with him. Society has no more legitimate authority to deny him -- and the individuals he associates with -- those freedoms because of the place he was born than it does to deny them because of the color he was born.

  • ||

    The real John Wayne loved Mexicans so much he married one.

  • ||

    Minute dish out JUSTICE to an illegal alien invader!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2949377778015987899

    Whats it gonna take to finally ignite this powder keg?

  • ||

    "Murder" of Mexican migrant by Minutemen!

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2949377778015987899

    Whats it gonna take to finally ignite this powder keg?

  • ||

    These cowboys have a mob mentality, it is utterly ridiculous. When a town of 9 Hispanics is wasting taxpayer's money fighting illegal immigration, you have to wonder why the voters and taxpayers don't put a stop to this nonsense. Let the Federal government handle immigration issues, as it is a Constitutional matter, not the job of some prejudiced official.

  • ||

    Unconstitutional acts?

    Let's start protecting the borders from ANY illegal immigrants regardless of which borders they attempt to cross!

    WAKE UP AMERICA!

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