Why the Right Shifted on Immigration

And how Tancredoism took over

As a rule, the Republicans campaigning for president sound more like they are running for sheriff of Yuma County. In this race, the acceptable lines on illegal immigration are hard, harder and hardest. It's rare to hear someone call for policies that include "love and compassion," as John McCain did in Sunday's Univision debate.

Compassion for illegal immigrants? Is he kidding?

In reality, McCain is truer to GOP tradition than Mike Huckabee, who says, "I will take our country back for those who belong here," or Rudy Giuliani, who says foreigners should have to carry cards with biometric identifiers, or Mitt Romney, who insists Huckabee and Giuliani are not nearly tough enough. For evidence that the party has undergone a major change, look no further than the party's greatest hero, Ronald Reagan.

Reagan didn't so much accept immigrants as smother them with kisses. When he announced his presidential candidacy in 1979, he called for closer ties with Mexico and Canada: "It is time we stopped thinking of our nearest neighbors as foreigners." As president, he said providence had deliberately placed the United States "between the two great oceans, to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world."

In 1977, Reagan expressed doubt about the "illegal alien fuss" and suggested that such foreigners were "doing work our own people won't do." In 1986, he signed the immigration reform bill that conservatives now revile as "amnesty."

Clearly the party has undergone a transformation since his day. The question is why. It's not just that we have an estimated 12 million foreigners here illegally—the 1984 GOP platform estimated there were 12 million then. Their economic impact hasn't changed: They still mostly take unpleasant, low-wage jobs. The gripe that they don't speak English and don't assimilate has been around a long time.

But a quarter century ago, the issue was seen through a different lens. What really changed the party faithful's attitude toward illegal immigrants was something seemingly unrelated: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

Back then, we were in an ideological as well as a military competition with communism. And for any argument offered by the other side, we always had a decisive rejoinder: Why is it that in communist countries, people risk their lives to leave, and in free nations, people risk their lives to come?

There were plenty of examples—Chinese fleeing to Taiwan in 1949, East Germans dodging bullets to get to West Berlin, Cubans and Vietnamese taking to the ocean in rickety boats in search of refuge. What they all affirmed was the superiority of our system. We stood as a beacon of liberty, and millions of oppressed people were drawn to our light.

In that context, Mexicans and other immigrants, legal or not, further confirmed the superiority of democracy, individual liberty and free markets. Even if we had some reservations about their arrival, we took it as a compliment that they were willing to go to such lengths to reach our soil.

But in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down, and in due course, both the Soviet empire and the Soviet Union expired. Those events soon altered the general perception of foreign newcomers. Instead of an endorsement of our way of life, illegal immigrants (and even legal ones) were increasingly seen as a threat to it.

In the 1980s, Republicans rarely made a big deal out of the issue. But in 1992, one Republican did—Pat Buchanan, in his effort to unseat incumbent President George Bush. Two years later, the Republican governor of California, Pete Wilson, successfully pushed a ballot initiative to deny public benefits to illegal immigrants.

By 1996, the GOP's national platform declared, "Illegal immigration has reached crisis proportions ... (and) burdens taxpayers, strains public services, takes jobs, and increases crime." In 2000, George W. Bush sounded more moderate. But today, it's clear the party's center of gravity on the issue has shifted, probably for good. Without the backdrop of the Cold War, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free no longer have the same romantic appeal.

A quarter century ago, we saw that many foreigners were willing to do almost anything to join a free and prosperous society where they could make a better life for their children, and Republicans took pride in saying: We want you on our side. Today, they have a different message: So what?

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  • ||

    Maybe it has something to do with the explosion in entitlement spending as well, something Reagan accepted as necessary back then to bring the Democrat Congress aboard, but unacceptable today.

  • Elemenope||

    I very much doubt the majority of Republicans were thinking about "entitlement expenses" when they decided that their country was not to be shared with *more* funny sounding brown people.

    I think Steve actually makes a good point: the x-factor is the US is not competing with some "evil empire" for the moral high-ground anymore, and so we feel free to be pricks on our own time, something we weren't once able to afford.

  • Dave Woycechowsky||

    Good article.

  • ||

    Interesting hypothesis, but I have a different one.

    I think the GOP shift on immigration came with the evangelicalization of the GOP. South of the border immigrants my be right on abortion, but jebus still hates em. What with their brown skin and that gobbledygook they speak, I'm sure we'll here calls for dropping bombs and using enhanced interrogation techniques by super Tuesday.

  • ||

    Warren, didn't Reagan court the Evangelical South? Why would you think that evangelicals would find the message more acceptable in 1984 than today?

  • ||

    Warren: pretty much the exact opposite. Evangelical churches are often the most open to immigrants.

  • ||

    Yeah, evangelicals really aren't the problem here...it's the rednecks, yokels, hillbillies and trailer trash that generally talk about folks speakin' funny and takin' their jerbs.

    Unfortunately, there's a whole, whole lot of them, and not just in the South.

  • ||

    Unfortunately, there's a whole, whole lot of them, and not just in the South.

    And they aren't all white.

  • shecky||

    The rednecks, yokels and hillbillies are the ones who made up a significant portion of the Republican base since I've been around. Yes, thay also encompass the Evangelicals.

    The problem with the Republicans is, in the increasingly heated rhetoric, they've pared down the base increasingly to exclude nearly everyone else.

  • ||

    The GOP immigrant-hatin' is all an act, at least in the upper levels of the Republican hierarchy. It ensures that continued presence of a frightened, docile and easily exploitable immigrant wage-slave army, and by keeping the white proletariat in a state of permanent paranoia and rage it prevents any form of working class solidarity. It is a profitable arrangement for the large corporate interests.

    In other words, libertarians should all send their love to Tancredo.

  • ||

    it's the rednecks, yokels, hillbillies and trailer trash that generally talk about folks speakin' funny and takin' their jerbs.

    I thought the Dems were the party of the underclass, you know, standing up for the little man against the powers that be? Its no secret that Corporate America wants lax immigration, after all, so it can hire cheaper workers.

  • ||

    Its no secret that Corporate America wants lax immigration, after all, so it can hire cheaper workers.

    R C Dean,

    Ever had a lawn service? Ever eaten US grown produce? Would youlike to pay more? Just askin'.

  • ||

    This phenomenon baffles me. Chapman's hypothesis may not be broad enough. With increasing wealth and an increasingly globalized economy, the always thin unifying ideological rhetoric needed to change. The ideology is a post hoc outgrowth of pandering to the interests of the base - it is not something more substantial than those interests.

    This is a ground-up set of wants by an older population who don't like change as much as they did when they were younger. The demand for making boomers comfortable that they won't have to change until they die is out there to be met by some enterprising political party.

  • ||

    So ALL Republicans who are against illegal immigration must be due to their racism against brown people, right? I mean, there must be NO other reason. And you know this how? Because of the Republicans you've been around.

    There are other reasons, you know. Such as a concern with overburdened entitlement spending on schools, emergency rooms and other social services and the social problems that come with a lack of language assimilation, than whether they're brown people or not.

    We need to reform our immigration system. But accusing Republicans who wish to do so by closing our borders first of racial motives does nothing but poison the debate. Unless that's what you really want to do.

  • ||

    Those Reagan quotes really serve to highlight how dramatically this country has moved to the right in the past three decades.

    Republican support for torture, prison camps, and imprisonment without a trial are other examples of the end of the Cold War causing Republicans to lose their moral bearings. Once upon a time, they denounced those things, too, and held out our rejection of such things as evidence of the superiority of our system compared to the Soviets'.

  • shecky||


    I thought the Dems were the party of the underclass, you know, standing up for the little man against the powers that be?


    That may have been true in the '30s, by by the time of Reagan, the conservative culture war had moved those whites clearly to the right. Particularly in the South.

    I do know Corporate American Me wants lax immigration so I can hire cheaper workers.

  • ||

    I thought the Dems were the party of the underclass, you know, standing up for the little man against the powers that be?

    We are. That's why we want to take your boot off the immigrants' necks. That's why every political faction in the Democratic coalition, from the civil rights groups to the unions to the feminists to the peace protesters, supports granting legal status to paperwork-deprived America-joiners.

    Its no secret that Corporate America wants lax immigration, after all, so it can hire cheaper workers.

    Well, "corporate America" is a broad term. Silicon Valley isn't Minute Maid, which isn't a construction company. But to speak in general terms, Big Business wants lax immigration ENFORCEMENT, so there will be lots of immigrant laborers, while having harsh immigration LAWS, so those workers will be more docile and subordinate.

  • ||

    Its no secret that Corporate America wants lax immigration, after all, so it can hire cheaper workers.

    The vast majority of the illegals I see, in a town that sits throwing distance away from Farmingville (you may have heard of the movie), are not working for Corporate America. They are doing manual labor in the service industry for predominately owner-operator businesses such as contractors, farmers, motel operators, and restaurants.

  • ||

    Maybe it has something to do with the explosion in entitlement spending as well, something Reagan accepted as necessary back then to bring the Democrat Congress aboard, but unacceptable today.

    I was going to comment on how it relates to entitlement spending, but I was thinking it had more to do with "compassionate conservatism," oddly. Since republicans have been increasingly accepting of the welfare state, and in some cases even avidly supported it (Medicare, primarily), I think they are more resentful of welfare programs benefitting illegals now that they don't seem them as much as something that should be gotten rid of anyway.

  • Rhywun||

    So ALL Republicans who are against illegal immigration must be due to their racism against brown people, right?

    Apparently, because if they were serious about reducing the problems that occur with illegal immigration they'd be calling for fixing the legal immigration backlog and increasing the limits. Instead they're calling for a border fence that will never work let alone get built.

  • Elemenope||

    Both parties have gone somewhere right of completely retarded on immigration, legal or otherwise. It's because the frame of the argument has everyone's wires crossed.

    "But, they're PEOPLE!" This would normally be a liberal argument for the downtrodden, and yet the indigenous poor (and I don't mean Natives, although they too are fucked) hold a tighter grip on their consciousness. And J sub D is right, it ain't just white folk who are racist on this one...poor black workers care about as much as poor white workers about the human prospects of the "huddled masses". No, Joe, labor unions and ppor northerners do not rightly give a damn for illegal Mexican immigrants, nor will their political masters spend any political capital to defend them. Look how lightning fast Hillary folded on the eminently reasonable license proposal.

    On the other hand, GOP arguments towards free markets and cheap labor and normally couldn't care that immigrants are people pre se are smacking up against the nationalist fervor that has accompanied the War, as the last refuge of argument (i.e. emotional or nostalgic appeal) for failed foreign policies. They're people alright, but they're alien anti-assimilationist foreigners who are "tekkin 'r jebs!" as South Park roughly put it.

    Unsurprisingly, the ONLY politicians who have made an ounce of sense on immigration in the past few decades (Reagan, McCain, and yes, even GWB) all come from states whose labor economy functions because of the presence of large numbers of immigrants, legal or otherwise.

    And, Dean, the democratic party, just like the GOP, is the party of whatever district the local manifestation of those parties wants them to be. I swear, if someone can point out the similarity between Zell Miller and Barack Obama (or for that matter the similarity between Lincoln Chafee and Jim Inhofe) I will eat my non-existent hat. And none of them are, consistently, the party of "the little guy" no matter how many of the several ways that can be taken to mean.

  • ||

    Michael,

    Every study that has ever looked at the issue has found that immigrants are a net plus for our fiscal situation. They consume fewer services than native-born Americans and pay more taxes than the benefits they consume. Not to mention the overall increase in GDP per capita - and therefore tax revenues - that their contributions to the economy produce.

  • ||

    "I thought the Dems were the party of the underclass, you know, standing up for the little man against the powers that be?"

    That only applies to northern union guys and minority groups. Don't you remember Howard Dean wondering how the Dems could woo back the 'necks?

  • ||

    So ALL Republicans who are against illegal immigration must be due to their racism against brown people, right?

    Of course not. I've heard cogent, prejudice free arguments for limiting immigration and reducing immigrants access to social programs.

    NO Republicans who are against illegal immigration could be due to their racism against brown people, right?

    Back at ya, Michael.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    If you go to www.afl-cio.org and click on the Immigration link, you can find their Q&A on the issue.

    Here ya go.

    Q: What Is the AFL-CIO's Immigration Policy?
    A: The union movement's policy is to treat all workers as workers, and therefore build worker
    solidarity to combat exploitation and raise standards for all.
    Throughout the history of our country, immigrants have played an important role in building
    our nation and its democratic institutions. Immigrants also have played a vital role in building
    the union movement. The AFL-CIO's immigration policy recognizes the important contributions
    foreign-born workers make to our economy and to our community, and it welcomes immigrant
    workers into our movement.
    The trade union movement was built by immigrants. Irish ironworkers and German bricklayers-
    just to name a few-established working standards for all trades across the nation. From the
    birth of America's union movement, immigrant laborers have used all means available to fi ght for
    workers' rights. It is more important than ever that we stand alongside our immigrant brothers
    and sisters at a time when workers are under attack from corporate forces on all fronts.
    We know from our long experience that employers try to destroy worker solidarity by attempting
    to divide workers along race, gender, and in the last decade, immigration status. The U.S.
    Chamber of Commerce's recent campaign to deny millions of workers the freedom to form unions
    by dividing them into "supervisors" and "non-supervisors" is the most recent example of this
    well-established union-busting tool of dividing workers into different "classes."
    Q: Does the AFL-CIO Support Reform of our Immigration Laws?
    A: Yes. Overhaul of our immigration system is long overdue. The current system is a blueprint for
    exploitation of workers-both native-born and foreign-and is feeding a multimillion-dollar
    criminal enterprise at the U.S.-Mexico border.
    We believe America must have an immigration system that protects all workers within our
    borders, and at the same time guarantees the safety of our nation without compromising our
    fundamental civil rights and civil liberties.
    Q&As
    on
    AFL-CIO's Immigration Policy
    AFL-CIO 1
    Q: What Is the Cause of Illegal Immigration?
    A: Globalization and the failure of the U.S. government to enforce workplace laws are pushing
    workers from their home countries and pulling them into the United States. Failed development
    policies and trade agreements have destroyed the economies of developing nations and forced
    workers to migrate in search of jobs. NAFTA, for example, destroyed the agricultural economy in
    Mexico. Millions of agricultural workers have lost their livelihoods and moved into Mexican urban
    areas to compete for jobs. This has lowered wages in urban centers and displaced workers who
    now have moved north, looking for work.
    At the same time, lax enforcement of labor laws created an incentive for corporations to recruit
    and hire workers who came to the United States from Mexico without authorization to work-the
    undocumented. Because those workers are often unable to exercise their workplace rights,
    corporations have created an entire class of workers-numbering in the millions-who are forced
    to labor in substandard conditions. The only way to remove the economic incentive to exploit
    workers-and thus diminish illegal immigration-is to ensure that all workers have full labor
    rights.
    Q: How Do Employers Benefi t from Illegal Immigration?
    A: Employers and contractors who rely on undocumented workers often are able to avoid abiding
    by U.S. workplace laws, gaining a substantial economic advantage over employers who play by
    the rules. In the construction industry, contractors often misclassify undocumented workers as
    "independent contractors" to avoid their responsibility to carry workers' compensation insurance,
    pay required state and federal employment taxes and skirt various other legal requirements.
    The National Employment Law Project estimates that employers and contractors who regularly
    misclassify workers as "independent contractors" have a 30 percent competitive advantage over
    those who operate lawfully.
    The U.S. Supreme Court handed employers yet another economic incentive to recruit and
    employ undocumented workers in its 2002 decision in the Hoffman Plastics Compounds v.
    NLRB case. The court ruled that undocumented workers are not entitled to back pay, the only
    monetary remedy available under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). In other words, an
    employer who illegally fi res an undocumented worker during an organizing campaign faces no
    out-of-pocket cost for that illegal action. Unfortunately, courts have extended that rule to other
    employment laws, including workers' compensation laws. In a perverse example, one state court
    determined that a contractor whose negligence on a construction site caused a worker to become
    incapacitated was not required to compensate the worker for lost earnings at the rate he was
    earning in New York but rather at the rate he would have been earning in Mexico. Essentially,
    employers and contractors now are able to import the workplace standards of developing
    countries into the United States.
    2 AFL-CIO
    Q: Don't Undocumented Workers Benefi t from Being in the United States Illegally?
    A: In our view, illegal immigration is driven by economic incentives that allow employers to exploit a
    certain class of workers-currently, undocumented workers. Illegal immigration benefi ts no one
    except employers who want to operate at the margin and need an exploitable workforce to do so.
    Blaming workers for their own exploitation serves only to move the spotlight away from improper
    corporate behavior by focusing it on the workers.
    Q: How Should the Immigration Laws Be Changed?
    A: The current immigration system provides no protections for either native- or foreign-born
    workers. Corporations have the best of all worlds right now: They are able to use the broken
    immigration laws to recruit and import undocumented workers and at the same time avoid their
    obligations to abide by U.S. labor and employment laws. The result is that corporations have
    been able to create a secondary class of workers in our nation numbering in the millions-the
    "undocumented," whose inability to meaningfully exercise their labor rights has allowed
    employers to lower working standards for all workers.
    Immigration law reform has to make protection of workers its main priority. That means
    reform must satisfy fi ve interrelated principles: (1) It has to provide a mechanism for currently
    undocumented workers to be able to exercise their labor rights, which means it must provide a
    real path to legalization; (2) It must require the government to enforce labor and employment
    laws vigorously in order to remove the employers' incentive to recruit and employ undocumented
    workers; (3) It must reject the creation of temporary worker programs (also known as "guest
    worker" programs) that harm workers; (4) It must guarantee that new foreign workers will be
    able to fully exercise their labor rights; (5) It must preserve social protections and guarantee civil
    rights and civil liberties to all.
    Q: Why Does the AFL-CIO Oppose Guest Worker Programs?
    A: Guest worker programs allow corporations to turn permanent jobs into temporary jobs staffed
    by foreign workers who often are unable to exercise their labor rights. Under any guest worker
    program, a corporation has the ability to import foreign workers who remain under an employer's
    control, not only for their livelihood, but also for their legal immigration status. Workers are
    unlikely to complain about substandard working conditions because if they do they could lose
    their jobs and face deportation.
    Guest worker programs also transform the fundamental nature of U.S. society. We are a nation
    of citizens, not guests. Workers who are imported into the United States only for their labor, and
    only temporarily, have no incentive to invest in their communities, to buy homes or to engage in
    the long-term struggle for good jobs, health care or pensions. Guest worker programs essentially
    create a second class of citizens who remain marginalized with no voice in our democracy.
    AFL-CIO 3
    Q: Why Does the AFL-CIO Support 'Legalization'?
    A: The current immigration system operates entirely to benefi t corporate interests. We recognize that
    the law-breakers are the employers and contractors who have been freely employing undocumented
    workers to maximize their profi ts at the expense of established U.S. workplace standards. We
    recognize that the current system has allowed contractors and employers to create an underclass of
    workers who number in the tens of millions and whom they can exploit for economic gain. We also
    know these workers don't labor in isolation; they work right alongside U.S. citizen workers. We know
    the anti-worker corporate argument that immigrants are doing the work U.S. workers won't do is
    false. The overwhelming majority of jobs in all industries across the economy-more than 80 percent
    in construction and more than 86 percent in the service industry-are being done by U.S. citizens and
    legal immigrant workers. Yet, there is overwhelming evidence that in industries that rely on immigrant
    labor, employers and contractors use immigrant labor to undermine wages and working conditions.
    The only way to remedy that is to ensure all workers have full labor rights. We must fi ght to bring all
    currently undocumented workers who are already working in our industries and on the jobs we are
    trying to organize to the same level as other workers. And the only way to do that is to legalize the
    existing undocumented workforce. Otherwise, we continue to supply employers and contractors with
    a steady supply of exploitable workers.


    Please, tell us more about how labor unions and ppor northerners do not rightly give a damn for illegal Mexican immigrants, nor will their political masters spend any political capital to defend them.

  • ||

    I know, Elemenope and lots of others, that your libertarian ideology tells you that labor unions just HAVE TO have nativist, protectionist policies towards immigration.

    That's because your libertarian ideology is pretty much useless at understanding labor issues.

  • Kolohe||

    The demand for making boomers comfortable that they won't have to change until they die is out there to be met by some enterprising political party.

    Perot in '92 built his campaign on this very brand identity. If Perot himself wasn't a taco short of a combo plate (and his reform party successors even worse), I think it would have been a sustainable political movement.

  • ||

    I'm sorry, but I don't buy that unions support granting legal status to illegal immigrants as an act of caring for the immigrants. If they do support this, I wager it's because they think it will protect their own jobs against cheaper labor. It's more of a "they're not playing fair" mentality than a "they should be paid more" mentality.

  • ||

    Which one should I do now, Elemenope?

    UNITE-HERE?

    SEIU?

    AFSCME?

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    I don't really care what their motives are. Do you think there is any organized political group, including small-government conservatives or libertarians, whose motives are wholly altruistic and clear of any taint of self-interest?

  • ||

    The new GOP immigration position is nothing but politics. Since the underclass is the most harmed by cheap labor, there is an opportunity to get some democrats to stay home, or even vote Republican. While I despise the rhetoric, if it works, great for us. Notice how the media tries to frame the issue as a Republican issue only? They are scared shitless that the debate will break out on the Democratic side. Blacks are pissed, and although Idoubt anything can break the Dems hold on them, the GOP is making a run at them anyway.

  • iowan||

    The common thread for many, many people is that all their problems are the result of "other" people. Given a sterotypical white, sub-urban, middle class Republican, the "others" that cause problems include, but are not necessarily limited to, non-whites, non-christians, lower classes, communists, gays, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    Once the evil empire collapsed, the republicans split into two overlapping groups where one group worries about "others" that are morally inferior while the other group worries about "others" that are economically inferior. Brown people from south of the border tend to ring bells for both of those groups.

  • ||

    James Ard,

    Black voters, in the aggregate, may not like immigration, but they like brown-people-bashing even less.

  • ||

    Which one should I do now, Elemenope?

    UNITE-HERE?

    SEIU?

    AFSCME?



    Do the Wobblies! Do the Wobblies!

  • ||

  • ||

    It is not just the religious GOP - it is the donkeys too!!!! All of them...

    Many of them are racists..
    Many of them are, worse, religious..
    Many of them are statists who do not like getting richer via free markets...
    Many of them just despise the Statue of Liberty..
    Many of them are just OLD and BORING and hate everybody including themselves!!!

  • ||

    I don't really care what their motives are. Do you think there is any organized political group, including small-government conservatives or libertarians, whose motives are wholly altruistic and clear of any taint of self-interest?

    No. However, I think it's an important distinction to draw between the unions (officially), and the members of those unions. The AFL-CIO as an organization doesn't vote and therefore doesn't have motives for how it votes. I thought this discussion was about shifts in mentalities that lead to anti-illegal immigrant rhetoric, not about the official positions of unions.

  • ||

    Brown people bashing is what the left calls it, but that doesn't really make us bigots.

  • Elemenope||

    Joe --

    I'm sorry that its *me* who has to tell you this, but written platforms and statements of principle are all so much smoke if it isn't backed up by some...action. When it came down to political will, democrats (and their union allies) tuck tails on practical immigration issues with equal speed to their cross-the-aisle compatriots. And the fact that they blame "globalization" instead of the immigrants themselves for wanting to be in Amerika is fairly disingenuous.

    I grew up (and am still in) a family whose dominant ideology is a half-hearted hop from socialism. My uncle is a union organizer. I know the culture and the values (and even share a few of them), and so it is certainly not "libertarian ideology" that leads me to the conclusions I hold about the priorities of northern Democrats and Labor.

    So please, Joe, post the platforms and issue papers of all the other unions who won't raise a finger for these people when it counts.

  • ||

    Reinmoose,

    I don't question that there are nativists who belong to unions, and other Democratic groups.

    But there don't seem to be enough of them to influence either their unions or their party to adopt nativist stances towards immigration.

  • ||

    Aging boomers are the cause of all ills. We've come to a place where the most likely voters are Abe Simpson and Hank's dad from King of the Hill.

  • Big Nanny||

    "If they do support this, I wager it's because they think it will protect their own jobs against cheaper labor."

    Whats wrong with that? They are looking out for themselves, like anyone would.

  • Elemenope||

    Do the wobblies!

    LOL @ de stijl. You know, I was just doing some research on World War I and started re-reading about ol' Eugene V. Debs. Now, there was a guy who gave a shit.

  • ||

    James Ard,

    It is indeed possible to argue for immigration restrictions without resorting to brown-people-bashing, but it seems to be a pretty rare phenomenon.

    The most prominent anti-immigrant personality I can think of Pat Buchanan, he of "Latin Americans can't carry western culture." Second would be Lou Dobbs, he of dirty, diseased immigrant scares.

  • ||

    Brown people bashing is what the left calls it, but that doesn't really make us bigots.

    We were bigots way before that. :-}

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    I'm sorry that its *me* who has to tell you this, but written platforms and statements of principle are all so much smoke if it isn't backed up by some...action.

    You mean like the unions devoting large amounts of their lobbying efforts to support immigration reform? Or the near-unaniminity for providing a path to citizenship among Democrats in Congress?

    That's a cute haughty tone you adopted. Not a bad way to save face when the facts are as solidly against you as they are here.

  • ||

    I don't think Boortz, Limbaugh and Hannity are bigots, Buchanan and Dobbs, probably so.

  • iowan||

    Ron Paul better be worth it.

    I had to say the rosary ten times after I filled out my new voter registration card and checked the "republican" box.

  • ||

    I don't know if any of them are bigots. OK, Pat Buchanan is almost certainly a bigot.

    But they play them on teevee.

  • ||

    There's got to be some middle ground between:

    "Get those brown, non-English speaking spawn of Satan out of our pristine, lily-white holy country of Jesus!"

    and

    "Everyone who doesn't want a border as easy to access and penetrate as Brianna Banks' vagina is an ignorant, inbred xenophobic hayseed racist."

    Please? (And please forgive hyperbole and possible strawmen...I'm not saying anybody actually has exactly those positions. Well, maybe a few people).

  • ||

    I like Iowan's take. Go read the forums on azstarnet.net - the Tucson newspapers. A sensible discussion on immigration has turned into blind hatred, bitterness, and anti-anything-not-white-American. Expanding on Iowan's "blame others" approach, what's changed over the years since Reagan is that we now have to be constantly upgrading our skills to stay competitive in a global economy. It was way easier to accept immigrants when we had jobs for life with big companies. In other words people are lazy, want protectionist/anti-immigrant policies, and hope we can turn the clock back a couple of decades. This, even though, as a whole, we are better off than ever.

  • iowan||

    Brianna Banks

    I must be totally old and out of touch, because I have no idea who that is . . . and I am probably better off not knowing ;-)

  • ||

    That's because your libertarian ideology is pretty much useless at understanding labor issues.

    joe, a rational immigration policy would be a godsend to organized labor. I'm actually pro-union with reservations, but still pro-union. The fact that illegal immgrants are at a negotiating disadvantage IRT wages and working conditions is pretty much undeniable. I doubt that a sane immigration policy, including, "guest workers", would lead to big labor's penetration of the landscaping and migrant farm worker labor markets. It it would certainly help the AFL-CIO in construction, meatpacking and other industries that hold costs down by employing illegal immigrants. Prices for these services would go up, I'm sure.

    So what. Legitimizing these workers, who are coming here with or without a border fence, is the moral and libertarian thing to do. I'm not an open borders guy, but the immigration system in this country needs comprehensive reform.

    I'm not a closed shop guy either, but unions have done much to be lauded for the average worker. You and I could argue details forever, but on basic premises with these issue, we probably have a lot of common ground.

    IMHO, free markets do NOT preclude collective bargaining. Freedom of association and all that jazz.

  • ||

    I really get pissed when northern types accuse southern republicans of being racists. Growing up in Hartford and St.Louis, I can tell you that racism isn't just a southern thing.

  • ||

    joe,

    You forgot John Gibson of the "brown people have bigger families, so us white have to have more kids" fame.

    While I know that not all illegal immigration opponent are racists or anti-immigration, I have yet to find a writer that is anti-illegal immigration that isn't also for reducing total immigration, especially for non-Western Europeans. Differing culture is the new secret code word for brown.

  • ||

    James,

    Boston is the most racist city I've been to.

    And Rush "bone in your nose" Limbaugh is a bigot.

  • Space Monkey||

    I think its much simpler.

    Before there was almost no Hispanic immigration to the South. Starting in the early 1990's states like Georgie and North Carolina that had little experience with immigration started to have to deal with a Hispanic influx that was alien to their white/black dichotomy.

    Unlike in California where Okies had no further interest in harvesting fruits, there were plenty of poor Southerners content with construction or lawncare and suddenly felt threatened.

    Starting in the 1990's immigration was no longer associated with big cities like New York, LA, but medium and small cities in Iowa and South Carolina that were culturally unprepared to deal with migrants of another color.

    Here in NC, in the big cities people are quite tolerant of immigrants, but when I worked at a factory out in one of the exurbs (where many of teh Hispanics had settled due to low real estate prices), the resentment against immigrants was palpable.

  • ||

    edcoast,

    In other words people are lazy, want protectionist/anti-immigrant policies, and hope we can turn the clock back a couple of decades.

    But that's really not what the issue polls say. People want to give a path to citizenship to the undocumented immigrants by about 60%. They reject the idea of mass deportations by similar numbers.

    There is a very loud, motivated minority that is nativist and supports a Tancredo-ish immigration policy, and it's easy to think that their numbers are greater than they actually are. I was very surprised by the issue polls on immigration that have come out over the last couple of years.

    Take heart!

  • ||

    Not to mention the approved bigotry against southerners. Connecticut school kids were just as quick to call me a hick as a Jena kid would use the n-word.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Maybe it's because this is the only major issue in which every republican is in agreement (including ron paul and now Rudy) so its seen as source of unity?

  • ||

    I too am for unions, but not for government-aided unions. Labor contracts should be strictly between the employer and the employees (or groups of employees). Once the publicly-paid unions (school teachers associations, civil service workers, etc.) are out sponsoring radio ads for positions held by specific candidates because they'll raise their pay and protect their jobs (or against...because they won't), we have a problem.

  • Elemenope||

    What was that Rage Against the Machine lyric:

    "Your friendship is a fog, that disappears when the wind redirects you..."

    No, joe, I'm sorry but most unions do not walk the walk on immigration reform. Their leaders often don't talk the talk, and their *members*, as someone else pointed out, certainly don't vote the vote. Eliot Spitzer suggests we give illegal immigrants licenses so that people who are on the road anyway can get qualified to operate motor vehicles *and* become easier to track. Joe, just how many unions released publicly supportive statements? How many democratic presidential candidates supported it? That's what I thought.

    Unions, in this context, only want to liberalize immigration in *a few areas* where they feel they might make headway in boosting sagging membership. Their "anti-globalization" rhetoric dovetails nicely with a protectionist stance towards industry and labor markets, which they have pushed for since they began existing (as they *should*...after all, that's what the members are paying the dues for).

    Totally OT: I've noticed, just among my friends, that most of the people who appreciate Rage Against the Machine (lyrically as well as musically) are very conservative and tend to vote Republican. Is that irony? Masochism? Who can speak to this?

    Back on topic, re: Democrats in Congress -- yeah, Democrats in Congress are also full-throatedly endorsing an end to the Iraq War. How's that working out for policy progress on Iraq? People can stand and even vote for many things, but in power politics, the things that get passed are the things that people spend precious influence and political capital one. What they spend that truly costs them in order to achieve legislative passage and policy change is what is the one real measure of what a politician cares about and where his/her priorities truly lie. Immigration (like the Iraq War) just doesn't seem to be high on the list of congressional dems' priorities....

  • ||

    I agree with J sub D, who agrees with the unions, who largely agree with the libertarians on immigration reform.

    I also agree with James Ard - there are plenty o' racists in the north. What's different is that there are a LOT more anti-racists here - people for whom opposition to racism is a prominent element of their beliefs.

    When you concern yourself withh housing issues in a northern city, it's not terribly difficult to find reactionary attitudes about minorities and poor people.

  • ||

    It's simply a numbers game. When there were 1 million illegals nobody really cared. Then those 1 million became 3 million when amnesty was granted. Now there are 10-20 million. And those 10-20 million require a great deal of tax support. Like it or not but unskilled under-educated labor isn't all that useful and, consequently, doesn't command much in the way of compensation. They can fill some entry level jobs but may never gain the skills necessary to advance. They are better off than they were but we may be worse off than we were.

    Nice try on the bigotry though.

  • ||

    When you concern yourself withh housing issues in a northern city, it's not terribly difficult to find reactionary attitudes about minorities and poor people.

    Guess what the most segregated large metropolitan area in the US is. Hint, it's well north of the Mason-Dixon line and was an important stop on the undreground railroad.

  • iowan||

    And those 10-20 million require a great deal of tax support.

    Prove it.

  • ||

    Like it or not but unskilled under-educated labor isn't all that useful...

    News Flash - unskilled under-educated labor frees up time for skilled, educated people. That seems pretty useful to me.

    ...doesn't command much in the way of compensation.

    As it has always been and always will be.

  • iowan||

    At a minimum, proof includes a link to a reputable website with an economic analysis of the total tax production and consumption of illegal immigrants.

  • ||

    Feelings, Elemonope, nothing more than feelings.

    I'm sorry, you're wrong on the facts here. Unions were among the biggest supporters - with their money and their lobbying efforts - for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, and for stripping the odious "guest worker" elements, and making sure those workers had the full spectrum of rights.

    Your absurd cherry-picking about Spitzers bad idea just highlights how far you have to stretch to make your point. A state's policy on drivers licenses, one that has all sorts of drawbacks and wouldn't even be necessary if the unions' stated policies were adopted - THAT'S what you're hanging your hat on here? Not, you know, actual immigration reform. Not the legal status of current residents. Not the rights future immigrants would have - oh, no, we can't draw any conclusions from the millions of dollars and man hours they've spent on those issues! No, drivers' licenses in New York - that's how we can REALLY understand where they're coming from.

    Sure. Whatever.

    I still get union newsletters mailed to my house from my time as a union officer, and you are quite simply factually incorrect. Pro-immigrant immigration reform is one of their top issues.

    As for the priority Democrats in Congress give to immigration reform, the comprehensive immigration reform bill was pushed by Democrats, despite the expected backlash from conservatives accusing them of - what else? - being anti-American. They continued to support it, even when it meant swallowing the odious guest worker provisions, in order to get the reforms they wanted past.

    Democrats publically arguing for, and substantively supporting, a position that gives their opponents fodder to attack them on ground they like, while making significant concessions in order to get the bill passed: those are not the actions of people posing for political gain, but of people making a serious effort to accomplish something.

  • Space Monkey||

    jeez... I should have been more clear.

    I was stating the South as an example of an area that had little experience with immigration until the 1990's.

    Similarly in Pennsylvania, immigrants still live in large numbers in Philadelphia, but as you approach the old mill towns of NE Pennsylvania like Allentown, Scranton, etc, where many Hispanics have settled because of the affordable land prices compared to NYC, you get the policies of Hazleton, PA with their punitive illegal immigrant ordinances.

    In Iowa its bad because of the pork processing plants in the country that use lots of immigrant labor. When those same immigrants staff a warehouse in Long Beach, it does not become a political issue.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    That would depend on how you define segregated.

    There is one area of Memphis that was built with blocks of large houses with a lane/alley running mid-block. Each big house had a rear access from the alley. The owners built servants' quarters, sheds, an outbuildings on the alley. In many cases, these buildings were subsequently split off as their own single-family homes.

    So now there is block after block that has rich white people living in the big houses on the main streets, and poor black families living in the little houses on the alleys. And yet, if you look at the census data, it reports a very high level of "integration" on those blocks. Which I suppose there is, in a sense.

    Point: it's tough to compare very different cities.

  • ||

    Re: Dems vs. Repubs on this issue

    You can't tell anything about the Dems right now. You don't know what people are really going to do, which panders will hold sway, until they actually hold power in such a way that everyone sees what their policies are when they have something to lose.

    It has to do with accountability. If accountability is muddy, and especially if accountability is the other team's issue, people on your side can say or do whatever they want.

    Further confusing the issue at the moment is everyone looking to appeal only to their base and in the context of Iraq that can be pinned pretty well on the GOP. When appealing to their base, the Dems can say quite a bit at the moment without fear that actually delivering will hang on them like a noose.

  • Space Monkey||

    Basically it reflects the geographical diversification of immigrants outside the inner cities of the coasts and border states and into the suburbs, exurbs, rural areas, and states unfamilar with immigrants.

  • ||

    j sub D,

    You through me with the Underground Railroad tie-in. That's an element of Milwaukee's history I was unaware of.

    Are they still doing vouchers there?

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Now there are 10-20 million. And those 10-20 million require a great deal of tax support.


    What tax support? I keep asking this question, but I can't figure out what services illegals are getting for free. They aren't elligible for medicaid or medicare, so that's out. No welfare, either. They may send their kids to schools if they have any, and drive on the roads, but they also pay the property, sales and gasoline taxes that support those institutions. Hell, if they have a fake social security number, they're even paying into a social security system they can't draw on.

    Where are the freebies?

  • iowan||

    In Iowa its bad because of the pork processing plants in the country that use lots of immigrant labor.

    Let's see: Postville nearly had a meltdown due to the influx of orthodox jews to work in the kosher facility. But the news has been silent for years now, so I assume they survived.

    Waterloo had a huge influx of Bosnian refugees (muslim of course) which resulted in a lot of anxiety for a while, but again they seemed to have survived.

    Waterloo, and other places, have had a huge influx of hispanics to work the slaughter houses. Which is strange, because that used to be one of the big union industries here. The unions were busted during the 90's due to major economic upheaval. Now we have to import brown people to work in the new plants, because no native Iowans want the dirty, smelly jobs at 9 bucks an hour. But other than seeing spanish language billboards and seeing the occasional brown person in Walmart, in don't see alot of anxiety about this locally.

    So don't blame Iowa for the Republican animonsity to illegal immigration.

  • ||

    A few years ago, I was scraping by in the recession and landed a temporary job at a construction site where I was paid $8.63 an hour. A citizen of Mexico was also there, receiving thirteen dollars an hour, permanently employed for doing far less work.

    Maybe I'm a shiftless alcoholic and don't know about it, but my theory is that after you factored in the employee taxes that don't appear on my pay stub and the liability risk coverage for injury, harrassment, and illegal job termination, etc., as well as the government-mandated overhead requirements, my $8.63 an hour would be more like $17 an hour to the employer.

    BTW, after deducting the taxes that DID show up on my pay stub, my actual take-home pay was only $7 an hour, almost less than half of what the Citizen of Mexico was taking home under the table.

    The only reason I was hired at all for those three weeks had to do with their schedule and the fact that it was the hottest time of summer and they couldn't find Mexicans to do the jobs that Americans were willing to do for less pay.

    So if you wonder why some of us are 'nativists,' it's not because we're ignorant -- prior to the Bush Administration I was employed as an electrical engineer -- it's because we actually know something about how the job market is skewed against citizens of this country vs. Citizens of Mexico.

  • Elemenope||

    Joe --

    On at least one thing we may agree: the "Unions" are anything but monolithic, yes? On the whole, there have been some who have been more supportive and some who are less...

    I tend to include in the rubric of "Labor" the professional unions. e.g. Police unions, teacher's unions, et al. They in particular have been trenchantly against the reforms that have been proposed (for, I imagine, a variety of reasons up to and including they see no projected benefit). manufacturing and service unions have been more publicly supportive of the things you are talking about, but see below...

    I stand by the statement strongly, however, that politicians can be judged by what they ultimately produce, and not by what they proclaim. There is such a thing as nickel and diming a bill to death; perhaps initially many of the authors were interested in real reform (that i will grant easily!) but as soon as it became clear a. what it would cost them and b. how much would have to be eviscerated in order to pass a compromise, they walked away. My argument isn't that unions and democrats don't have this as one of their "issues", but rather it is not one of their issues that they *really*, when it comes down to the brass tacks, care enough to sacrifice for.

    In my view, sound-byte style, Democrats care about immigration reform the way that Republicans care about small government.

    The heavily democratic state of California has a virulently anti-immigration reform strain in its body politic that has carried politicians into office and passed some fairly odious referenda. Party principles disappear when the wind blows.

  • ||

    Joe S.: If you get hurt, you could receive disability payments, your mythological Mexican counterpart would not. You would receive credit for unemployment insurance, Mr. Mexico would not. You would be covered if you got injured on the job by Worker's Comp (this is a big one in construction), Mr. Mexican would not. You were receiving value in other forms. Sure, you'd probably like to just have the cash. But if you and the Mexican got injured in the same way, you'd thank your stars you were paying in.

  • ||

    Joe S.,

    If those Mexican workers had legal status, you would be on a level playing field with them. The employer would be paying the same taxes, comp, and whatnot on them, and they would be paying income taxes, over the table.

  • Space Monkey||

    Re: iowan

    I wish, but you can blame South Carolina and Iowa because in those two states, Republicans that are likely to vote in the primary list immigration as a higher concern than national respondents. That's why it features so prominently in the debates. It's mentioned in a New Yorker article:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/12/17/071217fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=2

    "Anti-immigrant passion also owes much to the disproportionate influence of a few small states in the nominating process. National polls show that, as an issue, immigration is far behind the Iraq war, terrorism, the economy, and health care as a concern to most Americans; a recent Pew poll shows that, nationally, only six per cent of voters offer immigration as the most important issue facing the country. But in Iowa and South Carolina, two of the three most important early states, it is a top concern for the Republicans who are most likely to vote. "It's the influx of illegals into places where they've never seen a Hispanic influence before," McCain told me. "You probably see more emotion in Iowa than you do in Arizona on this issue. I was in a town in Iowa, and twenty years ago there were no Hispanics in the town. Then a meatpacking facility was opened up. Now twenty per cent of their population is Hispanic. There were senior citizens there who were-'concerned' is not the word. They see this as an assault on their culture, what they view as an impact on what have been their traditions in Iowa, in the small towns in Iowa. So you get questions like 'Why do I have to punch 1 for English?' 'Why can't they speak English?' It's become larger than just the fact that we need to enforce our borders.""

    Even if it's not a big deal for most Iowans, or for any Iowans for that matter, many of the Republicans in the primary perceive it as a big deal for Iowans.

  • ||

    So don't blame Iowa for the Republican animonsity to illegal immigration.

    Umm.. while that's probably true as a greater whole, Tom Tancredo has polled at 6% in Iowa, and that's pretty much the only issue of his platform.

  • ||

    Elemenope,

    Congressional Democrats should not take the blame for the Republicans' killing the immigration bill. The Democrats stuck their necks out on that, taking heat from the right (pro-illegals!) and from the left (corporatist guest-worker laws!) in their efforts to get it passed.

  • ||

    Tom Tancredo has polled at 6% in Iowa, and that's pretty much the only issue of his platform.

    That's because all of the other Republicans - except McCain and Paul - have at least rhetorically adopted Tancredo's position.

    Nativist Iowan Republicans have plenty of good choices.

  • ||

    prior to the Bush Administration I was employed as an electrical engineer

    I'm sorry, did I miss the Bush Administration's War on Electrical Engineers or something?

    Joe S. - it sounds like the majority of your problem is with the government (safety regulations and taxes costing you so much of your potential take-home pay), not the Mexicans.

  • iowan||

    Gee space monkey I read that same article.

    First, Iowa did not choose to make Iowa important in the election process. The media makes Iowa important. I continue to be amazed that anyone outside Iowa cares about what we think.

    Second, while Iowans may get really "concerned" about things, the normal reaction is to sit and bitch at the local diner rather than actually take some sort of action that involves effort to change what concerns us. We don't form posses to patrol the interstates so we can turn illegals over to immigration.

    Finally, the social conservatives that wield undue influence in the caucuses are not going to choose based on immigration, there are far bigger moral crusades to be concerned with. Huckabee has not taken the lead in the polls based upon what has said or not said regarding immigration.

  • ||

    Iowa didn't set its caucus date to be the first?

  • ||

    You through me with the Underground Railroad tie-in. That's an element of Milwaukee's history I was unaware of.

    sixstring

    Well blow me down, I was referring to my own hometown, Detroit. A little googling shows Milwaukee. A little more googling and I come up with Detroit. Both conclusions were based on the 2000 census. It all depends on definitions, I guess. Milwaukee must be awfully extreme to rank up there with metro Detroit, the last US stop on the undergroud railroad for many.

  • ||

    The heavily democratic state of California has a virulently anti-immigration reform strain in its body politic that has carried politicians into office and passed some fairly odious referenda. Party principles disappear when the wind blows.

    California used to be far less Democratic dominated, until the Republicans burned the Hispanic bridge with their poorly executed anti-immigrant solutions.

  • ||

    Well blow me down, I was referring to my own hometown, Detroit.

    Heh, I just assumed you meant Boston. I'm sure they're all pretty close.

    In the south, racism (broadly defined) was about managing proximity. White and black people were important parts of each other's lives. That's why racism there looks like boss-worker relationships, or lord-peasant.

    In the north, racism was about maintaining separate lives. That's why racism up here looks more like gang wars.

  • ||

    Ugh! Re-reading my comment I used "through" instead of "threw". Don't tell Ma.

  • ||

    J sub D,

    I've never been to either Milwaukee or Detroit downtown, just used their airports on the way to SC Johnson and U of Michigan. Had a colleague with a Bonfire of the Vanities moment in Detroit -- took a wrong turn and realized it was a very wrong turn. This was in the mid-nineties. Has there been any change?

  • ||

    I think the shift in rhetoric is due in part to shifting political allegiances. A lot of the immigrants in Reagan's time were Vietnamese or Cuban refugees from communism, who had acquired a profound distaste for statism and thus embraced the Republican party, which at that time was less statist than it is now.

    But, now the polls show that immigrants and their children are somewhat more likely to vote Democratic, so in the short run it might seem like a good idea for Republicans to do whatever it takes to minimize those numbers, even if in the long run it turns out to be a Pyrrhic victory as they alienate a rapidly growing population of Latino voters.

    If suddenly the Latino immigrants became Republicans in droves because of a Chavez backlash or whatnot, the Republicans would transition into the open borders party and the Democrats would become the ones trying to wall off the Rio Grande.

  • iowan||

    Iowa didn't set its caucus date to be the first?

    No one gave a shit about the Iowa caucuses until James Earl Carter came in second behind "undecided" in 1976.

    Now that everyone does care, why should we give that up. As it is, the "only" time the concerns of Iowans don't get swamped by the rest of the country is during the run up to the caucuses.

  • ||

    ...which gives you one more time than every other state except New Hampshire gets.

  • ||

    "Now that everyone does care, why should we give that up. As it is, the "only" time the concerns of Iowans don't get swamped by the rest of the country is during the run up to the caucuses."

    I blame you for the Farm Bill. If it weren't for the caucuses, nobody would have to promise an ear of corn in every pot. Every stinkin' year. Fie on you, Iowans!

  • ||

    I can attest that I have never seen busloads of politicians running for president come to my state (which is not Iowa or NH) to fellate me or my state's interest groups.

  • iowan||

    I blame you for the Farm Bill. If it weren't for the caucuses, nobody would have to promise an ear of corn in every pot. Every stinkin' year. Fie on you, Iowans!

    Yes, the farm bill is a travesty. But its not like we're a major driver in the military-industrial complex ;-)

  • iowan||

    Farm bill, hm, . . . hey look over there, brown people, yeah that's it, brown people streaming over the border.

  • ||

    """Such as a concern with overburdened entitlement spending on schools, emergency rooms and other social services and the social problems that come with a lack of language assimilation, than whether they're brown people or not"""

    But they love overburdened entitlement spending on schools, emergency rooms, and other social services when it's in Iraq.

    I just find it odd that they think it's ok to spend large amounts of money for people in another country but object when that amount of money is spent on Americans.

    My conclusion is that they just whine like babies when the money is not being spent their way.

    Illegal immigration is an issue that needs to be addressed, but you can't trust these self-serving boneheads (Congress) to do it right.

  • ||

    iowan, you want costs for illegal immigration? A few seconds with Google yields:

    Illegal Immigration Costs California Over Ten Billion Annually
    "In hosting America's largest population of illegal immigrants, California bears a huge cost to provide basic human services for this fast growing, low-income segment of its population. A new study from the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) examines the costs of education, health care and incarceration of illegal aliens, and concludes that the costs to Californians is $10.5 billion per year.

    Among the key finding of the report are that the state's already struggling K-12 education system spends approximately $7.7 billion a year to school the children of illegal aliens who now constitute 15 percent of the student body. Another $1.4 billion of the taxpayers' money goes toward providing health care to illegal aliens and their families, the same amount that is spent incarcerating illegal aliens criminals." http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/caillegals.htm

    What Does Illegal Immigration Cost?
    A new study tries to nail down an answer.

    "When George W. Bush visited the U.S. Border Patrol's Yuma Station Headquarters in Arizona Monday - for the second time in a year - his message on illegal immigration sounded a bit tougher than in the past. "Illegal immigration is a serious problem - you know it better than anybody," he told a group of border agents. "It puts pressure on the public schools and the hospitals, not only here in our border states, but states around the country. It drains the state and local budgets…Incarceration of criminals who are here illegally strains the Arizona budget. But there's a lot of other ways it strains the local and state budgets. It brings crime to our communities."

    Both have plenty of statistics to cite to make their case. But now a scholar at the Heritage Foundation, Robert Rector, has found a new and revealing way to get at the answer.

    Rector has just published a study, "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer," that is ostensibly not about immigration at all. He takes the most detailed look yet at the economics of the 17.7 million American households made up of people without a high-school degree.

    Rector found that in 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, low-skill households received an average of $32,138 per household...

    Against that, Rector found that low-skill households paid an average of $9,689 in taxes. ...

    In the final calculation, he found, the average low-skill household received $22,449 more in benefits than it paid in taxes - the $32,138 in benefits, excluding public goods, minus the $9,689 in taxes.

    From a purely money perspective, it's a powerful argument. At a cost of $22,449 per household per year - well, multiply that by an adult lifespan of 50 years and you have an average lifetime cost to the taxpayer of $1.1 million per unskilled worker. Increase that population with a wave of unskilled immigrants, and you're talking a lot of money." http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTUyZjY3NzExYjIxODU0NmVmYWE4MTAxNTZlOWJkNDk=


    How Much Do Illegal Aliens Cost U.S. Taxpayers?

    Education: Taxpayers are being forced to pay for the schooling of the children of illegal immigrants.
    Illegal immigrants who take low-paying jobs don't pay enough in taxes, if they pay at all, to reimburse taxpayers the $5,000-plus annually it takes to educate each of their children.

    The total K-12 school expenditure for illegal immigrants costs the states $7.4 billion annually-- enough to buy a computer for every junior high student nationwide.

    Emergency Health Care: Taxpayers are forced to provide emergency health care for illegal aliens and their children who do not have insurance.

    Emergency health care for illegal aliens along the southwestern border is already costing area hospitals $200 million a year, with perhaps another $100 million in extended care costs.

    Hospitals must provide emergency treatment to all who walk through the door, regardless of their citizenship status or ability to pay. In 2001, America 's hospitals provided nearly $21 billion in uncompensated health care services.

    Hospitals in California rank first in the country in expenditures for providing health care to illegal immigrants.

    The Center for Medicaid Services at the Dept. of Health and Human Services reported that for FY 2001, the health care costs for illegal immigrants in California were over $648 million. California paid 47 percent of these costs, or $304,785,368, for this mandate.

    Crime: Fifteen percent of California 's prison inmates are undocumented aliens, costing the state more than $500 million annually.

    Welfare and Government Assistance: Fraudulent Social Security cards, driver's licenses and birth certificates are being bought by thousands of illegal immigrants each year. These false documents are used by individuals to get millions of dollars worth of welfare, public housing and Social Security benefits." http://www.house.gov/garymiller/IllegalsCost2005.html

    Hidden cost of illegal immigration: ID theft

    "Thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of Americans are right now sharing their identities with immigrants and don't know it. It is the dirty little secret of the immigration issue: By not dealing directly with the undocumented worker situation, the U.S government is actually encouraging identity theft. In fact, one can argue that the origins of the identity theft epidemic can be traced to the immigration issue." http://redtape.msnbc.com/2006/03/hidden_cost_of_.html

    Google has many more, seek and ye shall find...

  • d||

    (No welfare)=(open borders). Welfare=(stay the fuck out). ERs and schools are expensive. Yes, public education for illegals *is* welfare. They don't save us enough money with cheap labor to justify $20,000+/year for all 27 of their children.

  • ||

    Hmm...when you calculate the fiscal impact of something, you need consider costs and...something else.

    Somebody help me out here. Costs and kidney beans? Costs and radial tires?

  • d||

    OK, so the $20K was a bit inflated, but you get the point. Kudos to the post by "Curly Smith" above.

  • Francine||

    I have heard plenty of left,right,libertarian friends express it this way: Why should they, as amercian citizens, who elect those representatives, who are in a very anti-washington and anti-coporate mood right now, care how those elected officals feel about citizens of mexico or any other nation other than their own.

    Their attitude can be summed up like this: "I voted for you to address my concerns, not to dismiss them and then go on camera to talk about the plight of Jorge who lived in Tijuana until 2 months ago." You are an elected representative of american citizens, the ones who vote, not of the mexican people.

    take that as you will.

  • d||

    Not following the post about radial tires. Too vague to be meaningful...just spit out what you are trying to say so that we can agree or disagree (with facts, such as
    "Curly" has done above).

  • ||

    Southern Strategy II: brown is the new black.

  • francine||

    within libertarianism, isn't this sort of a retread of the anarchist/minarchist debate? is pro-immigration an an-cap giving the finger toward the state and it's imiginary distinction of "citizen" or is it the state giving the finger to property owners and citizen/voters?

  • ||

    Southern Strategy II: brown is the new black.

    Actually this is SS III. SS II was gay is the new black.

  • francine||

    i guess that's wher i'm torn. Do i see it as the state impeding on the free market and natural migration(PRO-IMMIGRATION) or the state giving me more people to subsidize and more reasons to take from me in order to give to them(ANTI-IMMIGRATION)?

  • d||

    > Southern Strategy II: brown is the new black.
    >
    Again. Meaningless. Reason readers don't succumb to the same sorts of left-leaning guilt trips, just in case you missed that.

    BTW, I'm not southern. Just pissed (e.g.) that illegals have cheaper health coverage than me...and I pay a shit-load in taxes AND health care premiums (and don't really make all that much money either). I get called by the insurance company goons all the time "just to make sure" I'm not double insured (read: just to see whether they can avoid paying the bill -- e.g., if I don't respond in time). Do illegals get the same phone calls? ("Excuse me, Sen~or, do you have an insurance plan back in Guatemala?")

    Sure, I enjoy cheap Mexican food and cheap...wait I mow my own lawn. But what I don't enjoy is footing the bill for their kids to go to school, get preferential treatment in college admissions/scholarships and get treated for the sniffles at the ER. The fact that "they no-speaka-EEEngleesh" (a recent trip to CA gave me the chance to hear that for real) is just insult added to injury. And any immigrant who can't figure out how to work an ATM or that "enter"="entrada" is dumb enough not to care about. Fuck 'em.

  • d||

    > within libertarianism, isn't this sort of a retread of the anarchist/minarchist debate?

    "Libertarianism" never was synonymous with "anarchism". Libertarianism is about protecting fundamental liberties above all. Anarchism is about letting people fend for themselves (with or without fiercely guarded liberties). Apples and apricots.

    But, yes, you make a good point anyway. The essential point is whether more immigration means our liberties will be further trampled on (in the form of higher taxes, PC language policies, wider spread socialised health care, etc.). _Sans_ a welfare state and any legal obligation on my part to give a fuck about immigrants, I'm pro immigration. Let them come, and we can be friends with the interesting, talented and personally driven among them.

  • ||

    Illegal Immigration Costs California Over Ten Billion Annually

    So that is something less than 0.6% of the 1.7 trillion dollar California GDP.

    Since the consensus estimate of the addition to national GDP due to illegal immigrants -- even after accounting for government provided services -- is around 1%, they more than pay for themselves.

    What Does Illegal Immigration Cost?

    Meanwhile, this dreadful study would find almost every American costing more than he pays in taxes. After all, redirection of money from haves to have nots is the whole point of most government expenditures.

    Of course, left entirely unaccounted for in such lame budget analyses is the producer surplus gained through the income of the low-skilled immigrant household. Also this doesn't count the higher productivity, income, and taxes of the higher skilled person who does not need to do the job the low-skilled immigrant is doing.

    It is that comparative advantage where most of economic gain of immigration resides. It is entirely uncounted in this analysis.

  • d||

    > So that is something less than 0.6% of the 1.7 trillion dollar California GDP.

    Most of which has nothing to do with any type of unskilled labor -- it's the movie/music industry. Come back with a better, more well-thought-out retort next time.

  • ||

    within libertarianism, isn't this sort of a retread of the anarchist/minarchist debate? is pro-immigration an an-cap giving the finger toward the state and it's imiginary distinction of "citizen" or is it the state giving the finger to property owners and citizen/voters?

    When the state tells an American he can't employ who he wants to employ or lease to who he wants to lease to, that is the state giving the finger to property owners.

    The debate here is between libertarians who believe that those inalienable individual rights that presumably form the very foundation of libertarian thought accrue to everyone regardless of where they happen to have been born or whether they accrue only to a government selected passel of the fortunate.

  • ||

    Most of which has nothing to do with any type of unskilled labor -- it's the movie/music industry.

    I don't follow your point. You want movie stars and musicians picking strawberries?

    Should they do it instead of their day jobs, or would you rather send them out at night under the lights?

  • some actual fucking data||

    http://www.cis.org/articles/2007/back1007.pdf

  • Francine||

    "Libertarianism is about protecting fundamental liberties above all." Okay, but doesn't that apply to the immigrants as well? The immigrants are generally leaving a poor market for a robust one and/or an area that infringes on their liberties greatly for one that does not. By placing further restrictions on them based on citizenship status with the state and language and job skills are we not impeding on their liberties in the name of state( ex: "you can't just walk over here to America, not without passing these tests and getting the government's permission)? basically you are saying that as an "american" you want the state to ensure that "mexicans" are not competing with you in the job market. opposing NAFTA is one thing, but putting gaurds/fence on the border during peace time and tracking who has papers and who doesn't internally is something else entirely, deporting mass numbers of people based on the legal status seems very police-statish.

  • iowan||

    Rector has just published a study, "The Fiscal Cost of Low-Skill Households to the U.S. Taxpayer," that is ostensibly not about immigration at all. He takes the most detailed look yet at the economics of the 17.7 million American households made up of people without a high-school degree.

    Rector found that in 2004, the most recent year for which figures are available, low-skill households received an average of $32,138 per household...


    BEHOLD THE MIGHT ELIPSIS . . . .

    Against that, Rector found that low-skill households paid an average of $9,689 in taxes. ...

    AND AGAIN . . .

    In the final calculation, he found, the average low-skill household received $22,449 more in benefits than it paid in taxes - the $32,138 in benefits, excluding public goods, minus the $9,689 in taxes.

    From a purely money perspective, it's a powerful argument. At a cost of $22,449 per household per year - well, multiply that by an adult lifespan of 50 years and you have an average lifetime cost to the taxpayer of $1.1 million per unskilled worker.


    I have seen these kinds of numbers before, and they don't pass the sniff test. A family has to have a gross income of around $100K to pay $30K in state income tax, federal income tax, and FICA. That excludes property taxes, gasoline taxes, sales taxes, etc.

    Without knowing what goes into the magic numbers provided by the author here, one cannot really deduce the gross income of a family that breaks even between taxes paid and services consumed. But one can infer that we are talking well into the middle classes.

    So yeah, the bottom half of the population of the US is a drag on the upper half. Duh!

    There are so many logical errors in this chunk of text (like an individual doesn't put the same burden on the system for an entire 50 years -- the individual's kids consume services until they are 18, then become producers themselves) that it just not possible to deal with them all.

  • iowan||

    I hand the torch over to MikeP.

  • Francine||

    "The debate here is between libertarians who believe that those inalienable individual rights that presumably form the very foundation of libertarian thought accrue to everyone regardless of where they happen to have been born or whether they accrue only to a government selected passel of the fortunate."

    exactly what i was just thinking, international libertarianism or libertarianism in one state.... trotskyism vs stalinism for freedom lovers, lol.

  • Francine||

    I think i'll take the immigrants side on this one.

    Any burdens the state want to put on me is a problem they have with the state, the reasons they give for doing so are secondary. Yes, immigrants are a drag on the welfare state and therefore on my paycheck, but it's not the immigrants fault it's the states. therefore fight the entitlements not those who are recieving the entitlement.

    besides, i hate talking about "immigrants" as if they were a vast homogenous group or army instead of individuals and families trying earn a living and fleeing other more oppressive states.

    As always the free market could deal with immigration, it's the state that's in trouble here, not me.

  • ||

    The debate here is between libertarians who believe that those inalienable individual rights that presumably form the very foundation of libertarian thought accrue to everyone regardless of where they happen to have been born or whether they accrue only to a government selected passel of the fortunate.

    Just so I'm clear - isn't this an argument for completely open borders, with no restrictions at all placed on who can be a resident (albeit not a citizen) of the United States?

  • Theodore Dawes||

    It's this simple: Democrats want 12 million new, mostly poor voters. In the interest of self-preservation, Republicans do not want them to have 12 million new voters.

  • ||

    Just so I'm clear - isn't this an argument for completely open borders, with no restrictions at all placed on who can be a resident (albeit not a citizen) of the United States?

    I would say that the US does have a compelling public interest to screen entrants to exclude terrorists, foreign agents, felons, carriers of contagion, and the like. The key requirement is that exclusion can only be for cause, not due to quota.

  • ||

    iowan, please stay. I don't want to be doing work an Iowan won't do.

  • iowan||

    iowan, please stay. I don't want to be doing work an Iowan won't do.

    I am afraid that I am headed out the door to go home and chop 2 inches of ice out of my drive way. I would gladly pay the white teenage boys down the street to do it, but they are too busy playing video games. And there aren't enough brown people to go around here in Iowa ;-)

    But here are my parting comments. The typical analysis that shows illegal immigrants are destroying America limit themselves to first-order effects, e.g. how much welfare do the consume.

    But immigrants work, so they produce products, which go into the economy, get sold, and cause a cascade of 2nd order, 3rd order, 4th order, etc economic effects. They also get paid and spend that money on products that someone else made which also causes a cascade of 2nd order, 3rd order, 4th order, etc economic effect.

    If there was truly an overall negative outcome from illegal immigration, then the jobs they take would dry up and the problem would be self-limiting.

  • d||

    > basically you are saying that as an "american" you want the state to ensure that "mexicans" are not competing with you in the job market.

    Read my post again. I said NOTHING about fair competition in the free market. All I'm saying is that, until the welfare state is whittled down to a little stub, immigration should be restricted heavily...so as not to give the Dixiecrats a reason to take more from us.

    I wholeheartedly WELCOME individuals with skill or drive to come over and "compete" with me. I CRAVE it. I have wet dreams about it.

    Sadly, that's not what is happening. How many highly-educated Germans, Irish, English, French, etc. are being granted permanent resident or guest worker status? Not many. How much does a university degree count in your favor as a potential immigrant? Ditteleesquat. The sad truth is that large corporate interests are pushing for a unskilled labor-skewed policy that they profit handsomely from and that we non-CEOs have to pay for.

  • d||

    Nor are highly-educated "Mexicans" given much preference in the immigration queue either, I might add.

  • d||

    > If there was truly an overall negative outcome from illegal immigration, then the jobs they take would dry up and the problem would be self-limiting.

    No. Unskilled labor is making a huge profit for the *companies that the workers work for*. It's the rest of us that are "drying up".

  • d||

    > Most of which has nothing to do with any type of unskilled labor -- it's the movie/music industry.

    >> I don't follow your point. You want movie stars and musicians picking strawberries?

    So your claim is that the $1.7 trillion CA economy is due to strawberry (and perhaps lettuce) farming?

    Bullshit. Farmers are addicted to subsidies. They're a net drag on any economy (and the cause of much of the excess inflation that hurts the middle class).

  • ||

    How many highly-educated Germans, Irish, English, French, etc. are being granted permanent resident or guest worker status? Not many.

    Solution: no visa quotas or arduous waiting periods.

    How much does a university degree count in your favor as a potential immigrant? Ditteleesquat.

    Solution: no limits on classes of visas.

    The sad truth is that large corporate interests are pushing for a unskilled labor-skewed policy that they profit handsomely from and that we non-CEOs have to pay for.

    Solution: free immigration policy independent of politically powerful influences.

    Nor are highly-educated "Mexicans" given much preference in the immigration queue either, I might add.

    Solution: no immigration queue.

    What side of this debate are you on anyway?

  • ||

    So your claim is that the $1.7 trillion CA economy is due to strawberry (and perhaps lettuce) farming?

    No. I don't know how you read that.

    My claim is that if immigrants weren't picking strawberries (and perhaps lettuce), then no one would be. The immigrants' household income of $20,000 to $40,000 -- which nets society at least that much productive capacity, or he wouldn't be paid it -- would simply not exist. The economy of California would be poorer that $20,000 to $40,000.

    Farmers are addicted to subsidies. They're a net drag on any economy (and the cause of much of the excess inflation that hurts the middle class).

    Aside from cheap water, California farmers receive little by way of subsidy.

  • ||

    My claim is that if immigrants weren't picking strawberries (and perhaps lettuce), then no one would be.

    Ha! Don't count on it! Necessity is the mother of invention, and all that...

  • Liberal IT Worker||

    Fuckin' dotheads takin' our 'puter jobs!

    No more curry belly H1Bs!

  • ||

    I didn't think my point was terribly obscure, but ok.

    When you're talking about the fiscal impact of illegal immigrants, you have to look both at the cost of the services they consume and the additional revenues they produce (ie, the taxes they pay and the additional revenue from the economic growth their presence contributes to.

    BTW, agriculture is the largest industry in California, which does, as a matter of fact, have a great deal to do with unskilled labor.

  • d||

    >> Nor are highly-educated "Mexicans" given much
    >> preference in the immigration queue either, I might
    >> add.

    > Solution: no immigration queue.
    >
    > What side of this debate are you on anyway?

    Yeah. Sounds nice. But that'll never happen (nor should it, until most of the entitlement programs have been dismantled -- when hell freezes over and all).

    I take a conditional position: (1) if there is no (or nearly no) welfare state for gimme-gimmes to come across the border and take advantage of, then we will have a self-selected crop of hard-working immigrants who come here to escape oppression, work hard and earn a living, etc, etc. ... in short, to live the "American Dream". I'm all for that. That is: if (1) holds, then I want open borders (modulo screening for gross threats to public safety and health, etc.).

    Now, we already have many of these folks coming here, from "Mexico" even. But I contend that they are in the minority (just as the minority of current citizens are lazy gimme-gimmes and will vote for any entitlement program or ban on freedom if it makes their lives more comfortable for 5 min. or if it makes their clothes smell nicer after hitting the bars).

    (2) If we have any semblance of a welfare state, then I want to tilt the immigration policies so that they favor those with an education and no statistical indicators of a tendency to come here to make money, be a drain on the system and then leave.

    (2) is the only sensible position, given the current state of this country. And open-border-style immigration policies in this current state are tantamount to political suicide for freedom lovers. Mexico and its South American cohort are socialist hellholes, and we don't want to take up their slack at the moment.

    If we're ever going to get this country to even somewhat resemble what we want it to in terms of liberty and free market economics, then we need to attract more of a balance of immigrants right now (i.e., not an overwhelming landslide of poor, unskilled laborers and comparatively few college-educated folk).

    That's my position. Cold, pragmatic...maybe. But pretending that we live in a libertarian paradise, letting in any and all who want to come here, will eventually lead to less freedom and a shitty economy to boot.

    > BTW, agriculture is the largest industry in
    > California, which does, as a matter of fact, have a
    > great deal to do with unskilled labor.
    >
    Big deal. Saving $5 at the grocery store 30 times a year is peanuts compared to the taxes I have to pay for public education, unemployment and all that. And, somehow, I suspect that these farmers aren't paying their proportionate share of taxes (not that I favor a progressive tax, but still...).

    Besides, see PigManniX's post above. Cheap, unskilled-labor-free produce is just around the corner...

  • d||

    Erratum:

    -------------------------------------
    just as the minority of current citizens are lazy gimme-gimmes and will vote for any entitlement program or ban on freedom if it makes their lives more comfortable for 5 min. or if it makes their clothes smell nicer after hitting the bars).
    -------------------------------------

    Replace 'minority' with 'majority'.

  • qbs||

    ***But immigrants work, so they produce products, which
    go into the economy, get sold, and cause a cascade of
    2nd order, 3rd order, 4th order, etc economic effects.
    They also get paid and spend that money on products
    that someone else made which also causes a cascade of
    2nd order, 3rd order, 4th order, etc economic effect.***


    So can we adduce 2nd, 3rd and 4th order strains on the welfare state? For example, an immigrant family takes their kid to the ER, because he has a fever and the ER doesn't charge a co-pay or even ask for a Medicare card, right? That makes me wait an extra 20 min when, say, my daughter has a potentially semi-serious head injury (happened). That also makes me pay an extra, say, 10% in insurance co-pay and maybe an extra 2% in premiums. This is both to recoup the hospital's lost co-pay, as well as to recoup the extra burden on the health care system. Now the health care system is in crisis, people are getting inefficient health care and potentially dying due to extended wait times. Does that count? What about the new taxes to cope with extra health/education costs? Do those count? They're billed as being general-purpose, but we all know they go to the most at-risk (often foreign) children.

    What about translators/interpreters? Do they count? What about corporate linguists who have to implement the "toca aqui para Espan~ol" schemes? Do they count?
    Where does the "impact" on an economy end?

    Also, concerning some skepticism as to whether a low-income family would pay 9K in taxes, it is possible, since they pay sales, tobacco and excise taxes. Forgot about those, eh? Anyhow, there's no way an immigrant or low-income family with more than one kid will ever cover the burden they place on the economy. No way. A conservative estimate of the education and health care costs they would cause is $10K/kid. WAY more than they give back. Plus there's the crime aspect. How much do the extra cops in the Ghetto/Barrio cost? How much do the public defender's salaries run? How much is a judge's time worth? Get my drift?

    Perhaps it would be instructive to look at a country, such as the Netherlands, that has a nearly open-border immigration policy. The major metro areas there are overwhelmingly muslim, and the people there are speaking of taking the country "back" from the "infidels". Has this made their economy stronger? Have the immigrants given more than they have taken? I think not. That's the problem with open immigration w/o pure, free-market, non-welfare politics.

    And, Christ, Pim Voortuin was a gay, anti-multiculturalist! What the hell? Only in such a fucked up open-border-cum-socialism (or near-socialism, like Calif.) clash of cultures could such a bizarre thing arise. Better not to let too many unskilled immigrants in until we settle our domestic welfare situation (i.e. slash it to the bone).

  • ||

    If I were hosting a talk show these days and some dittohead asked for my position on the "immigration question," I'd tell them without hesitation...

    "I share Ronald Reagan's view on the subject..."

  • ||

    I say "It's simply a numbers game. When there were 1 million illegals nobody really cared. Then those 1 million became 3 million when amnesty was granted. Now there are 10-20 million. And those 10-20 million require a great deal of tax support."

    iowan says "I am afraid that I am headed out the door to go home and chop 2 inches of ice out of my drive way. I would gladly pay the white teenage boys down the street to do it, but they are too busy playing video games. And there aren't enough brown people to go around here in Iowa ;-)"

    and that, my friends, is emblematic of the illegal immigration divide. The enlightened free-thinkers, for whom illegal immigration is an academic esoteric exercise, are blind to the problems of uncontrolled immigration. Those of us who see the impact on daily basis as schools become more crowded, taxes rise, health centers close, crime rises and property values decline are merely bigoted malcontents who should embrace the flood of humanity.

    It's the same as the homeless "problem" in San Francisco. For those running the city while safely ensconced in their gated communities, it's "blessed are the homeless"; for those living with all the homeless crap (and other bodily fluids) it's not much blessing.

  • ||

    The article is missing something obvous: 9/11 gave the anti-immigration folks a new spin. All of a suddent the nation is into paranoia, and they point at the border and keep yelling how this is a security problem. It is a constant drumbeat despite the fact that all the actual terrorists made the obvious move of having legitimate visas. But for the past 3 years it has been clear you don't see any immigration discussion in Congress without the mantra of "we must control our borders!" used to beat up anyone who dares to be unpatriotic enough to suggest we might actually have a rational, functioning system to admit visitors and immigrants.

    Nothing else changed. The average fraction of rascists has probably declined. The number of people losing low paying jobs (that they had any interest in) has barely budged and mostly aren't voting. The miniscule costs of emergency care have not really added up to much. The children of illegal immigrants denied high school diplomas and denied access to higher ed have not been given relief. The number of undocumented in our country, as a percent of our population, is actually historically quite average.

    Nah, none of that changed. No what happened is that America got scared and got lead around by the nose, on this as with other issues, by those who suddenly saw a chance to advance their isolationism by wrapping it in a security blanket.

    Which of course is no security at all, just another of the many paranoid post 9/11 choices this country is making to reduce its power and influence much faster than ever had to happen.

  • David Manning||

    hmmmm.....I recall reading an article years ago that claimed the fall of the Berlin wall was a turning point in the fight to reform welfare "as we knew it". The same argument was provided, that the US no longer needed to "prove" that it was more compassionate than the now non-existent USSR, and led to the welfare reform act enacted by the repubs and clinton in the mid 90's...

  • S.A. Miller||

    I puzzle why Steve Chapman and others can't distinguish between anti-immigrant and anti-illegal immigrant.

  • ||

    I puzzle why I have never ever seen a proposal from someone who was anti-illegal immigrant that would allow for an increase in immigration.

  • قبلة الوداع||

    thank u

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