Los Angeles?? Speak English in America!!

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An addendum of sorts to my essay on immigration and the welfare state today–though an L.A. resident, I was out of town during the big immigration street rallies. Gathering a half million to the streets of downtown L.A. is an impressive achievement–ask any of its struggling merchants. Some white progressives saw it marking one of those moments in L.A. history, as discussed in an interesting cover story in Los Angeles's CityBeat, in which our tortured, torn city is confronted vividly with the deep divisions that continue to deeply divide us–an Oscar-winner of a theme to be sure.

But the fact that it came as a surprise to White LA that the efforts of a bunch of radio stations we didn't listen to and some lefty unions we aren't members of got a half million to fill our streets is not a sign of some cancer in the Angeleno body politic.

Rather, it's a sign of the general overall civic and political peace of our city–white L.A. does not tend to feel waves of ominous resentment and fear from Latino L.A., even if in many ways those two realms segregate themselves, including in media. The elections of Antonio Villaraigosa and Loretta Sanchez to mayor of L.A. and congresswoman from the OC is all part of the same phenomenon–a quiet phenomenon of people of different languages and native lands living together, mostly peacefully though occasionally slightly chaotically, the eternal shifting of America's ethnic makeup and political power (though Latinos' share of voting Californians is still a lot lower than its share of Californians) that has been happening ever since the Germans, and later the Irish, and Italians, began upsetting and destroying America's vital and constituitive ethnic balance.

And they did, no question about it, in the process creating the ruined America that today's nativists are striving to protect.

The recent huge street demonstrations, in many southwest cities, the Los Angeles school district's 25-40,000 strong walkout, next week's planned repeat of the national pro-immigrant turnout on April 10–do represent a powerful new moment in our immigration debate. The only next step in flexing their influence for Southwest immigrants would be re-enacting the message of the pro-immigration dramedy A Day Without A Mexican and letting us see exactly how well we'll cope with paying others for all the jobs they are stealing from us. Despite another OC congressman, Dana Rohrabacher's, casual "let the prisoners pick the fruit" comment (I'd be amused to hear the former libertarian folk-singing hippie troubadour set that one to music), it is highly unlikely most Americans will still be thrilled to have put their casual ressentiment where their dinner bills are.

NEXT: Post Yenta Makes Stalkerazzi Look Like a Class of Ed Murrows

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  1. struggling merchants? it seems to me that the stores along broadway in downtown los angeles do quite well, particularly on the weekends. and they cater to a largely latino customer base.

    and the general strike, “day without a mexican”-style, is scheduled for may 1.

  2. Speak English, and put your pants on one leg at a time.
    Reminds me of a recent New Yorker cartoon.
    Two tycoons were in the rear seat of a limo.
    One tycoon said, “I have my pants put on one let at a time.”

  3. As a denizen of the South Bay, I agree that our relationship with fellow Latino Angelinos is, by and large, one of peace and good will. …but issues linger. Did you get a whiff of this bit, Mr. Doherty?

  4. Well, I’m a bit troubled that they’re holding it on May 1, but…

  5. Oscar winner?

    The two best L.A. movies I have seen are L.A. Confidential and the horribly underrated Mulholland Falls.

  6. About that whole “let the prisoners pick the fruit” thing: does it not seem like a ridiculous potential conflict of interest to start basing our economic and caloric safety on having a large prison population? I can imagine all kinds of undesirable relationships developing between big brother, police, prisons, and industry. Of course, they won’t pick on the powerful — they’ll only nab those without the political clout to put an end to the practice.

    You’d think that right now, when D.C. politicians are all trying to keep away from corruption scandals, that politicians would know better than to propose that the “justice” system get in bed with private industry. Well — unfortunately — I suppose this shows just how steeped in a culture of corruption some politicians can be, that they don’t even realize how dangerous a policy it is to “let the prisoners pick the fruit.”

    geez

  7. and the general strike, “day without a mexican”-style, is scheduled for may 1.

    Sh! No one expects the Hispanic indisposition!

  8. … our chief weapon is surprise …

  9. … surprise and fear …

  10. Our two main weapons —

  11. Ken Shultz:

    We’re your “fellow Latino Angelinos” unless you’re a Latino, idiot.

  12. Ken Shultz:

    We’re not your “fellow Latino Angelinos” unless you’re a Latino, idiot.

  13. Got me a little confused on what you mean there, Julio.

  14. Douglas — I think some idiot forgot to put a crucial “not” in his sentence. Also, he made the assumption that anyone with the last name of “Schultz” can’t be a Latino — an assumption that also might be idiotic.

    Julio — consider that a person’s parents and grandparents might have the following names, yielding a child with the last name of Schultz who is nevertheless three-quarters or more Latino.

    Maria Hernandez and Roberto Coronado marry and have a daughter, Vittoria Coronado. Meanwhile, Marisa Valdez and Kurt Schultz have a son, Hector Schultz.

    Later, Vittorio Coronado and Hector Schultz marry and have a son, Kenneth Schultz.

    Claro?

  15. To illustrate “A Day Without A Mexican”, perhaps all illegal Mexicans in LA should also boycott the emergency room, public shools, subsidized public transit system, etc.

  16. Stevo-

    Chinga tu madre, claro?

  17. Ich esse gerne Sauerkraut und tanze gerne Polka! Und meine Braut heisst Edeltraud und denkt genau wie ich!

    Heute gehoert uns Los Angeles, und morgen die ganze Welt! (oder wenigstens Schatzi on Main)

  18. yeah yeah Juilo. We’ll get to his mom, but we’re busy with your mom and sister and some rented mule.

    Santa Ana:
    Deine Gewalt ist nur ein stummer Schrei nach Liebe…

  19. To illustrate “A Day Without A Mexican”, perhaps all illegal Mexicans in LA should also boycott the emergency room, public shools, subsidized public transit system, etc.

    Only the ones whose employers don’t pay payroll taxes should. Then again, if the boss isn’t paying proper payroll taxes, whose fault is that really?

  20. About the second wave of demonstrations:
    I guess the organizers are pissed that the first wave didn’t get everyone pissed off enough at the spectacle of illegal immigrants making demands and throwing their weight around for the senate to vote for building a wall.

    Try harder guys! Maybe you can get more pictures of upside american flags on the blogs this time around.

  21. Good luck getting Latinos, especially immigrants, to go on strike. Immigrants have a lower unemployment rate than people born in the US. And if a Latino did go on strike, no doubt there would be a day laborer willing to take his place.

    “Hey, Senor, that lazy guy Roberto didn’t show up today. You hire me, I do the job twice as fast for half the pay! Es bueno?”

  22. About the second wave of demonstrations:
    I guess the organizers are pissed that the first wave didn’t get everyone pissed off enough at the spectacle of illegal immigrants making demands and throwing their weight around for the senate to vote for building a wall.

    Try harder guys! Maybe you can get more pictures of upside american flags on the blogs this time around.

    Despite the hype, not that many Americans got upset about the Mexican flags, the ones that did were already nativists to begin with or cvnts trying to get ratings like Lou Dobbs.

    The Senate failed on the immigration bill and that most likely means we’ll see the status quo for the next few years on immigration. I’d like to see illegal immigrants granted amnesty and given a work permit or whatever, but the status quo is much better than what would have come out of the Senate-House conference.

    Besides this immigration debate is largely fictional; drummed up by Republicans looking not to get drubbed in November because of the defeat in Iraq. Our economy is humming, there aren’t any hispanic-white racial tensions of any measure and 90% of americans don’t give a passing thought about illegal immigrants unlessed their pressed on the matter by politicians or pollsters.

  23. “white L.A. does not tend to feel waves of ominous resentment and fear from Latino L.A., even if in many ways those two realms segregate themselves, including in media.”

    Right, this is a point that pundits and “community leaders” don’t seem to understand, but which is obvious to the “common people” — Whites by and large don’t consider Hispanics to be a distinct racial group. To the extent antipathy exists, it relates primarily to language/culture issues and has more in common with aversion to past waves of White immigrants than the White-Black racial divide.

  24. I second what the Informed Observer observed.

  25. Whites by and large don’t consider Hispanics to be a distinct racial group. To the extent antipathy exists, it relates primarily to language/culture issues”

    True, but I think an even better reason is that they are just poor. (unless you consider being poor a cultural aspect).

    Many of the nieghboorhoods in Los Angeles that were once decent middle class areas are now overrun with poor illegal immigrants. Those neighborhoods have gone to shit. Those americans that live there, either white or hispanic or whatever bear a cost a that does not get calculated in economic studies. I understand that illegal Mexicans are very hard working and are just trying to make a better life. But so am I. Unfortunately for them, I was here first. Should I put their good before mine? Is it so wrong of me to want an immigration policy that controls the amount of poor people we absorb so that my neighboorhood does not turn into a second world country?

  26. Trying to restrict the free flow of people and the free operation of markets has never produced any long term prosperity.

    My Italian ancestors have a lot in common with today’s Mexican immigrants: Poor, uneducated, they spoke a language derived from Latin, they had a dark Mediterranean complexion, they were Catholics in a country dominated by Protestants, they were fleeing a poor and corrupt homeland, their only career prospects were in manual labor, and they lived in neighborhoods plagued by violent ethnic gangs operating in a black market for recreational drugs. (“Mr. Sicilia, you have a beautiful wife and children. If you want them to stay that way you won’t ask any questions about what we store in your basement. Capisce?”)

    The only difference between my ancestors and today’s Latino immigrants, aside from speaking a slightly different language, is that the barriers to entry weren’t as high, so my ancestors could come here and work without much fear of the law. And they could therefore assimilate more easily.

    If my ancestors had been banned from coming they still would have come here. They wouldn’t have let silly things like laws keep them from working multiple jobs and saving money to buy property (isn’t that the libertarian way?). The same is true for today’s Mexican immigrants.

    One thing to keep in mind is that in California you can find a lot of fully assimilated people with Hispanic surnames, no accent, and good professional jobs. Hispanics assimilate just like anybody else, even if it takes a little longer when they are required by law to work under the table. The problem is that with a continual flow of new immigrants, Americans have a continual flow of poor immigrants to look down upon. This allows people to make unfair extrapolations and develop unjustified biases against Hispanics.

    If Italy were in such bad shape that people were still fleeing to America in droves, many Americans would regard Italians the way that they regard Hispanics. They’d call for stricter immigration enforcement (cuz, you know, who ever heard of Italians finding ways around the law?) and wonder why Italians have a hard time assimilating.

    And they’d conveniently ignore people like me. I’m a Ph.D. scientist, I’m published, I’ve worked in the finest research institutes and taught at elite institutions. And I’m descended from the same sort of people that today’s nativists look down upon.

    OK, enough ranting. I just get fed up when I see scorn heaped upon people who are no different from my ancestors. My ancestors didn’t ruin this country and neither are the Mexicans.

  27. “I’m a Ph.D. scientist, I’m published, I’ve worked in the finest research institutes and taught at elite institutions.”

    Yes but do you honestly think you would feel the same if you were just a regular school teacher that had to live in a middle class area of Los Angeles, that is full of these noble illegal immigrants? They destroy neighboorhoods.

    Of course the illegals will assimilate. Yes, in the long run the mexicans will be just like all the other immigrants. They will be americans. I don’t live in the long run. I exist now, and bear the costs at this moment.

    Ask yourself, would you want them moving to your street? Hell, I’d more than happy absorbing the entire country of mexico to give those people a better life… if only they’d all go to phoenix and not my city.

    But that wouldn’t that make me a hypocrite wouldn’t it?

  28. Well, I’m a bit troubled that they’re holding it on May 1, but…

    I know, man. Jesus Chrysler, they should have had it on May 5. Then they could have counted on solidarity with the Anglo community.

  29. harold-

    There are two big problems here:

    1) Assimilation is hindered by the fact that there are laws against them being here. If they could live without fear of the law, they could assimilate more easily, find better jobs (and make more money and hence not crowd so many people into a hosue), and they’d probably be more willing to cooperate with law enforcement to crack down on crime.

    So let’s stop driving people underground.

    2) As long as drugs are illegal, street gangs will have easy sources of money and the bad apples will cause disproportionate damage.

    Now, you can say that pushing for drug reform is a lost cause, but it’s no more foolish than thinking we can secure more than a thousand miles of border and keep determined people from coming here. As long as there are opportunities to make money here they WILL come, no matter what we do to stop them. I’d rather fight for the noble lost cause of drug reform than for the ignoble lost cause of trying to keep them out. Trying to keep them out won’t work no matter what we do, and it will only hinder assimilation.

  30. OK, enough ranting. I just get fed up when I see scorn heaped upon people who are no different from my ancestors. My ancestors didn’t ruin this country and neither are the Mexicans.

    Really? I’d point out that most of the political reforms that libertarians find most odious came hot on the heels of the massive influx of immigrants post 1890, when presummably your ancestors (and mine too, btw) came over. Which isn’t surprising – limited government has always been primarily an Anglo-Saxon taste, Europeans never felt the need to implement a Magna Carta.

    I get a kick out of hearing libertarians waxing prolix about the virtues of immigration, while carping about the actual consequences of it.

    So – were our ancestors really that much of an asset to this country, or is that simply a case of the winners getting to write the history books? Seems to me that from a libertarian perspective, the political culture of the US has taken a big step backwards since their arrival.

  31. Thow-row, I hear you. My parents were not prejudiced against much but they sure didn’t much like Italians. Came from growing up in St Paul near Swede Hollow which was crammed with Italian immigrants. A dangerous place where neither was allowed to go after dark.

    Moi? Oh, I love Italians, man. The wine, the food, the wine, the food, the women, the wine. Oh and the wine. I think I was Italian in a past life.

    We had a few ethnic (Mexican not Italian) enclaves like that out here when I was a kid. Crow Village was one. The Mexicans threw beer bottles at our cars and called our Mexican friends Coconuts (Geet the Fuck outta Crow–thud, splat, shatter).

    Now they throw bullets instead. Not in Crow though (or Tortilla Flats), because none of the old homies live there any more. Too expensive and middle class. Besides, prison, drugs, gang fights, and the Hells Angels took their toll. Everybody else moved onward and upward.

    The only valid complaint that immigrant bashers have IMO is the social services angle. If I were king, illegals wouldn’t get social services. But, then again, neither would anyone else 🙂

    I’ve taken the libertarian pledge!

    Let ’em starve in the streets got dam it

  32. Trying to restrict the free flow of people and the free operation of markets has never produced any long term prosperity.

    The market for illegal labor is hardly “free”. Californians are currently being forced to pay $12 billion to build schools – just in the LAUSD – for a largely immigrant population, of which a large part are illegal aliens from Mexico or the children of same.

    In any case, here’s a question for everyone. I’ve asked this before, and as can be expected I didn’t get any serious responses, but let’s try again.

    Let’s say we needed to deport a million illegal aliens over the next six months. Once again: let’s say we absolutely need to do that.

    Please develop a plan detailing exactly how we would do that, and providing for contingencies.

  33. TWC, I couldn’t figure out what you meant about doing the demonstrations on May 5 instead of May 1. Then it was like a cartoon light bulb over my head. Sure.

    Cinco de Mayo

  34. Unfortunately for them, I was here first.

    Stunning for both its candor and ugliness.

    You were where first? Did you mean on some piece of property that you own? Great, I’m sure you won’t have any problem excluding them from it. But you don’t have any moral right to exclude anyone from anywhere you don’t own.

    I’ve never understood how someone can attach any moral weight to the argument “I was lucky, you weren’t – too bad, sucks for you.” Of course most people who do subscribe to that morally bankrupt notion are not so forthright; perhaps I should give him credit for honesty, however disgusting the thought may be.

    When Cartman said, “Out of my way, I’m an American!” I thought it was meant to be a parody of those embarrassing displays of unearned nationalistic entitlement, yet this guy has apparently adopted it as his credo.

  35. In any case, here’s a question for everyone. I’ve asked this before, and as can be expected I didn’t get any serious responses, but let’s try again.

    Let’s say we needed to deport a million illegal aliens over the next six months. Once again: let’s say we absolutely need to do that.

    Please develop a plan detailing exactly how we would do that, and providing for contingencies.

    I honestly can’t think of any feasible way of doing that. I therefore have to conclude that it would probably be a very bad idea to even try.

    And if your concern is that illegal aliens don’t pay taxes, maybe that’s an argument in favor of regularizing their status and letting them into more formal employment arrangements.

  36. I get a kick out of hearing libertarians waxing prolix about the virtues of immigration, while carping about the actual consequences of it.

    I think that’s called having, you know, principles. When you stand up for what’s morally right even if the consequences are not to your liking.

    Having said that, I think his argument about the consequences is dubious at best. Nevertheless, even if we grant him that, arguendo, consequentialist arguments do not trump morality.

  37. “I honestly can’t think of any feasible way of doing that. I therefore have to conclude that it would probably be a very bad idea to even try.”

    Well let’s see. In the build up to the Iraq we moved over one hundred thousand troops plus civilian support combined with millions of tons of hardware in less then a year. It’s not close to an impossible task. The question is if we want to do it.

    The easiest way to do it I think would be to build a better wall along the border and crack down on illegal hiring practices. It may take a decade but it would certainly clear out a lot of people and work to keep more from immigrating illegally.

    As for the need for illegals in our economy let’s look at the numbers. ~300 million people in the US, ~ 10 million illegals. so Illegals make up 3.33 percent of the population. I really don’t think 3.33 percent of our population is required to support the other 96 percent.

    I think it would be an educational experience for people to get out of the cities. Guess who’s you will see washing your dishes, digging ditches etc.
    hint it’s not Hispanics.

  38. And if your concern is that illegal aliens don’t pay taxes, maybe that’s an argument in favor of regularizing their status and letting them into more formal employment arrangements.

    Just go after employers who don’t pay payroll tax. Get those taxes plus fines from the employers. Use the fines to fund the enforcement efforts. That is the fair thing to do.

  39. Well let’s see. In the build up to the Iraq we moved over one hundred thousand troops plus civilian support combined with millions of tons of hardware in less then a year. It’s not close to an impossible task. The question is if we want to do it.

    We moved a hundred thousand volunteers. That’s a little different.

    If we can’t keep drugs out of the country, what makes you think we can keep people out?

    And I like everything that Brian Courts said. If you don’t want a Mexican (or anybody else) on your property don’t let him onto your property. But don’t tell a restaurant manager whom he can hire to wash dishes.

  40. By the way- my Grandfather was from Portugal. he was short, dark eyed and swarthy. Manually hauled flour sacks for 30+ years. I started my working career washing dishes at 12. Since then done just about every job that apparently Americans don’t want to do. Oh and I live in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. I love it when I get called whitey and have “go home yuppie” spray painted on my house.

  41. “We moved a hundred thousand volunteers. That’s a little different.”

    Yes it’s different. When are any two endeavors ever the exactly same? You can certainly use tools information from similar undertakings and apply them.

  42. According to page 1 of the business section in yesterday’s Washington Post, immigrants have a lower unemployment rate than people born in the US. My guess is that the unemployment rate among illegals is even lower than the unemployment rate among legal immigrants or naturalized citizens. We’ll probably never know for sure, since illegals try to avoid attention for the most part. But I’ll bet good money that whatever partial data we can get will support that hypothesis, for the simple reason that illegals can’t rely on welfare or even unemployment as a safety net.

    The people who come here work harder than the people who are born here, and they are no different from the people who came here in the past. I can think of no argument for keeping them out, other than the fact that some Americans find dark skin to be icky. And I can think of no practical way to keep them out either.

    The only question is whether we want them to come legally or illegally. Given the pathologies associated with driving activity underground, I’ll take the open approach any day.

  43. TLB, there is some social cost today for illegals that didn’t exist say fifty years ago. But there is a hell of lot more social cost to us taxpayers that comes from all those American Citizens feeding at the trough than any dang refugees from Columbian drug wars.

    Would you feel differently if immigrants were denied all social services until they gained legal citizenship?

    Didn’t think so.

  44. “I can think of no argument for keeping them out, other than the fact that some Americans find dark skin to be icky.”

    I think the burden in the debate is on the people from another country who demand a say in ours.

    As for skin color. I think it’s more that some Americans find the culture to be icky- these immigrants are essentially hicks. We’ve already got plenty of those myself included.

  45. I realize this is to a certain extent like asking tough questions in a 2nd grade class, but let’s try again:

    Let’s say you absolutely, positively, without a doubt, had to deport 1,000,000 illegal aliens in six months.

    How exactly would you do that?

    And – this is the important part – what are your contingency plans?

    Bonus question! What is it normally called when a country is unable to eject foreign citizens that it has every lawful right to eject?

  46. Just go after employers who don’t pay payroll tax. Get those taxes plus fines from the employers. Use the fines to fund the enforcement efforts. That is the fair thing to do.

    So let’s see, essentially you want to take money from poor immigrants and use it to help “enforce” upon them an even greater poverty. Further, they are to be subjected to this treatment simply because they were unfortunate enough to be born on the other side of an imaginary line from you. Sounds fair to me…

    The fair thing to do is end the enforcement efforts, change the laws to eliminate special privileges due to accidents of birth and simply to treat all human beings the same.

  47. thoreau,

    Do you know physicist Anthony Rizzi by chance?
    I know he’s done stuff at LIGO here in Louisiana, and he’s supposedly did some work that got him an award for solving ine of Einstein’s problems, and he was working in I think New Jersey before moving down here…

    Of course, I don’t think you think to highly of his recent decision to open an institute promoting Intelligent Design, or the fact that his uber-Catholicism even makes my strict Catholic parents look loke free-wheeling, atheistic libertines…he is a very opinionated man.

    Just wondering…

  48. “Welcome to California, Now Go Home”

    In case your too young to remember, that was a popular bumber sticker in early ’80s, when I first moved to California. The slogan was not directed at Latino immigrants. This was a protest by native Californians against the waves of high-tech workers that had been invading the Silicon Valley from other states.

    Just thought I’d throw that in here for those who are preoccupied by the supposed racist motive of the anti-immigration crowd.

  49. I think the burden in the debate is on the people from another country who demand a say in ours.

    No, I’d say the burden in the debate is on you to explain why you should have any say in who I, or anyone else, choose to associate with?

  50. Here’s some more info from his site:
    http://www.iapweb.org/director.htm

  51. It amuses me that Europeans are upset because their immigrants live on welfare benefits and laze around all day, and in America people are upset because the immigrants work too cheaply and too hard.

    – Josh

  52. “No, I’d say the burden in the debate is on you to explain why you should have any say in who I, or anyone else, choose to associate with?”

    When did I say you shouldn’t be able to associate with who you like?

    This is a question of who gets to decide how the country is run, who gets government funds etc. Citizens or non-citizens.

  53. Just thought I’d throw that in here for those who are preoccupied by the supposed racist motive of the anti-immigration crowd.

    Well ok, though I’m not sure what difference it makes if the real motivation is ultimately racist or protectionist or xenophobia or just a false sense of entitlement due to some imagined birthright. With immigration the motive could be any or all of those taken together but in any event it is unjustified and ignoble.

  54. When did I say you shouldn’t be able to associate with who you like?

    Well, how about here:

    The easiest way to do it I think would be to build a better wall along the border and crack down on illegal hiring practices.

    I think building a wall and having it “illegal” for me to hire, or otherwise transact with, people unlucky enough to be on the wrong side of that wall qualifies.

  55. Deporting illegals, if you choose to do so if very easy. Let the market work. Put a $1,000 price on every illegals head. If a local police department aprehends an illegal, have the INS come out and pick him up and write that police department a check for a $1,000. Someone works a plant that employs 25 illegals, have a hot line that person can call and when their tip results in the deportation of 25 illegals, write the tipster a check for $25K. This would prevent people from hiring illegals because their legal employess would inevietably rat them out for the reward money. You also give the reward to any illegals who rat out other illegals. If you are an illegal and you turn in other illegals and you are not a criminal, you get a green card and $1,000 a head for everyone you ratted out. If there are 11 million illegals at $1,000 a head, that is 11 billion plus transporation. Even assuming that you would have to deport some of them more than once I can’t see it costing more than 20 billion dollars, which sounds like a lot until you consider that the bdget is over two trillion dollars. That would clean out every illegal in this country within a year.

    Don’t say it is not possible to deport them all. That doesn’t make it a good idea, but it is absolutely possible.

  56. Let the market work. Put a $1,000 price on every illegals head.

    That’s letting the market work!? Stealing money from me to give to someone who would, for a few bucks, rat out another human who is trying to earn a living just like you? What kind of sick fucking plan is that? Nothing like seeing the baser instincts of man fueled by a little bounty money eh? Oh and it sure would be nice to have the police abandoning that difficult, dangerous and time-consuming work of apprehending violent criminals to chase the windfall profits from rounding up some poor farm workers. After all, the idea of paying off the cops has worked so well in the War on Drugs.

    That doesn’t make it a good idea, but it is absolutely possible.

    Ok… sure, it is possible… good point.

  57. Brian,

    Forfeitures have worked great in terms of giving the police incentives to go after drugs. Now, there is an endless supply of drugs so didn’t stop the drug problem. There is not an endless supply of illegal immigrants and unlike drugs, you don’t consume them. To do an employer any good, they have to stay there and work. You can’t run a business when your workers are rounded up every few weeks after someone rats them out to the INS for the reward and you of course are fined to death for hiring them. These kinds of incentives would work much better than they do in the drug war. Further, because the reward system would make it impossible to hire an illegal for any length of time people would be forced to stop hiring illegals. Once that happened, the illegals would stop coming because they couldn’t get work here. Unlike the drug war, this kind of enfocement would actually dry up demand.

    As far as appealing to people’s base instincts, yeah so what? We offer rewards and reward criminals who rat out other criminals all the time. These people have broken the law and we ought to enforce the law or just get rid of the law and let anyone in the country. It is totally unfair and unjust that mexicans get to come to this country because they can walk and break the law, but Africans and Asians don’t because they live far away. We should either let everyone in, or close the borders and have a liberal visa policy but give everyone in the world a fair chance at coming here or just open the borders and let everyone in. What we should not do is have a law and then never enforce it. A law is the law and if it is there it should be enforced. I see nothing consitutionally wrong with offering rewards. Why not do it?

  58. If consequences aren’t an appropriate yardstick of morality, what the hell is?

    So how would that idea have applied to claims that slavery was wrong when countered by all the arguments that freeing the slaves would have disastrous consequences for the economy, particularly through the influx of freed slaves in the north hurting poor workers who stood to lose their jobs? Was that a valid concern in prolonging slavery or was slavery simply immoral? Or perhaps you can distinguish that line of thinking from those that argued the elimination of Jim Crow laws would have terrible consequences on southern culture?

    I guess at some level you could take view that everything is a consequentialist argument. Then I would answer that there must be a hierarchy of consequences and those consequences that are the denial of even the most basic human rights because of an accident of birth take precedence over the (real or imagined) consequences of recognizing those rights.

    We all have to have some moral philosophy from which all judgments of good or bad logically flow (however incomplete it must necessarily be). I would simply suggest that any moral philosophy that affords less rights to one than another simply by birth, that arbitrarily denies two consenting individuals the basic right of association, again simply by birth, or that leads to consequences such as these, is unworthy of any connection to the fundamental concept of freedom.

  59. Pig Mannix,

    The idea that we can huge third world immigration and not change are poliical culture is laughable. You are totally right about that. You have to understnad though, most people in this country have never really been anywhere. They have never seen what the rest of the world is like. They live fat and happy in this country we have and assume that everyone is just like us. They are not of course and many countries and societies are much different that ours. People have completely different outlooks and think about things differently than we do and don’t necessarily value the same things. Mostly the rest of the world is collective and tribal in their thinking versus individualistic like most of America is. Community and family mean a lot more than freedom to most of the people in the world. If folks come here and do not assimlate and maintain their collective outlook, we will still have a democracy but it won’t look like it does now and will not be very attractive to the libertarians who desparately want open borders.

  60. Pig,

    My favorite are the people who get on here and rave about the “religious fundementalists” in this country. They wouldn’t know a religous fundementalist if it came up and bit them on the ass. Going to church camp and objecting to pornography and gay marriage and trying to convert everyone, while making for pretty boring or outright strange people does make religous fundementalists. But I guess if you have no clue what it is really like in a places like the Balkins or the Middle-East or Southeast Asia that really do have religous fundementalists, its easy not to realize how tame this country is and how lucky we really are. But, I guess if we open the borders and let the real fundementalists in, if nothing else, it will give folks an education.

  61. I’m not sure what difference it makes if the real motivation is ultimately racist or protectionist or xenophobia…

    I suspect the real motivation behind anti-immigration is the fear of change. All people fear change to some extent. This fear is not necessarily irrational, nor is it deserving of any one of those labels.

    It is no longer possible to drive to an almost empty Los Angeles County beach on a Saturday afternoon and go swimming or surfing with an intoxicating sense of freedom. Traffic, parking, police, and crowds have turned this activity into a major buzzkill for anyone who remembers the way it used to be.

    I’ll be back with a quote from William Faulker after I can I find one that won’t crash Reason’s web server.

  62. ventifact-

    …does it not seem like a ridiculous potential conflict of interest to start basing our economic and caloric safety on having a large prison population?

    You have got to be kidding!

    As if America’s “caloric safety” would ever be dependent on “fruits and vegetables”…

    Haven’t you heard of “corn syrup”? :o)

  63. fletch-

    Good point. I find it truly remarkable how much of our food and drink is made of corn these days. Good ol’ subsidies, I guess…

  64. JK mentioned the Welcome to California, Now Go Home bumper stickers. Reminded me of similar, anti-immigrant bumper stickers that used to be seen around the OC (back when it was just Orange County).

    Last American Out of Westminster (sometimes Garden Grove) Bring the Flag

    That was a response to the huge influx of Vietnamese and Koreans from LA and I suspect a strong racial component as well.

  65. Thoreau –

    You are absolutely right about the effect of illegal drugs. The crime associated with illegal drugs has really had a horrible effect on the mexican communities here and in there own country. I would much rather our nations focus be on that than illegal immigration.

    Brian Courts –

    “Stunning for both its candor and ugliness”

    and “morally bankrupt”

    Save it for your letters to congress. Please pray for my black heart.

    Yes it is unfortunate for the mexicans that I was here first. I am hispanic btw. It’s not only unfortunate for the mexicans but I believe it unfortunate for everyone in the world that does not get to enjoy this great country, even with it’s many faults.

    Mexicans come here because they want a better life. Are you saying I MUST put aside my self interest (to have a safe neighboorhood) so that someone from another country can attempt to make his life better? Are you saying I am evil or racist for not being an altruist? Sure it’s a nice thing to allow mexicans to come to this country and have a chance at a better life. But we can’t let them all in much more than we can let all the africans in, or the iranians. We have right to argue about how it’s done.

    “I’ve never understood how someone can attach any moral weight to the argument “I was lucky, you weren’t – too bad, sucks for you.””

    So if I win the lotto, can I rightfully claim the money as mine? Or is open season on the assets of the “lucky” cause they have no “moral right”

    “you don’t have any moral right to exclude anyone from anywhere you don’t own.”-

    Americans have a right to exclude those of other countries from coming here. You can argue you don’t like the exercise of that right… but it’s a right. Sorry.

    And if you are so easily offended you really shouldn’t be watching south park. Or are you counting the dirty words per minute for one of your “focus on the family” studies.

    Ah, I guess it all doesn’t matter anyways. Cuz if we fuck up this country, we all have a “right” to go anywhere we want. I am going to Canada. How about you guys?

  66. This fear is not necessarily irrational, nor is it deserving of any one of those labels.

    Perhaps not, but that is why I included in my list a false sense of entitlement due to some imagined birthright. which does pretty much capture what you’re describing. And we shouldn’t give into that fear or sense of entitlement simply because it is common. I’ve seen it here (Oregon) myself – aimed particularly at your ex-Californians throughout the ’90s when we saw a large influx of them; “Californication” as the joke went.

    It is no longer possible to drive to an almost empty Los Angeles County beach on a Saturday afternoon and go swimming or surfing with an intoxicating sense of freedom. Traffic, parking, police, and crowds have turned this activity into a major buzzkill for anyone who remembers the way it used to be.

    Yes, I’m sure, but if California is so attractive that lots of people want to live there and go to the beach, then of course there is going to be crowds and traffic. That is the price of living somewhere that many other people want to live as well.

    But I was talking about the motivation of those who would try to exclude others, not simply complain about them. Someone only has a right to exclude others from what he owns, not the general area in which he lives simply because other people irritate him. If he wants a quiet un-crowded beach to enjoy he should buy one. But, he shouldn’t tell me he has an ownership interest in California in general that gives him some greater right to enjoy it than me, should I decide to move there. I simply have no sympathy for any of that kind of whining, whatever label we apply to the motivation.

  67. I realize this is to a certain extent like asking tough questions in a 2nd grade class, but let’s try again:

    Let’s say you absolutely, positively, without a doubt, had to deport 1,000,000 illegal aliens in six months.

    How exactly would you do that?

    I’m sure we could all come up with plans. The question is why? Its not going to happen, nor should it. Nor could one lay out even the outlines of a realistic plan within the confines of H&R. Since you seem to be the adult amoung all us 2nd graders, why don’t you tell us the answer there teach?

    Also I haven’t seen any mention in this debate that illegal immigrants pay lots of taxes. Sales tax being the most obvious and if they are using fake papers to get work they are paying into Social Security for benefits they are never going to see.

    Not that I’m going to see them either, but I got a better chance than them.

  68. So if I win the lotto, can I rightfully claim the money as mine? Or is open season on the assets of the “lucky” cause they have no “moral right”

    Totally flawed analogy, but nice try. I already said you have the right to exclude others from your property which lottery winnings most certainly are. But you do not own this country – certainly not the farm that the actual owner wishes to hire help for. You do not have the moral right to tell him and another person that they cannot in fact associate with each other as they choose simply because you deem one of them unworthy of such a fundamental right due to the place of his birth.

  69. Pinheaded Authoritorian Lawyer-type (That Hispanic Guy In The Baseball Hat )-

    Only the ones whose employers don’t pay payroll taxes should. Then again, if the boss isn’t paying proper payroll taxes, whose fault is that really?

    The boss.

    But, why the particular emphasis on “payroll” taxes?

    Do you think that the current (sales, income and property) tax rates on “people earning under $25k/yr”(90% of illegals) is sufficient to provide their share of funding for emergency rooms, public schools, welfare/ADC, police and fire services, and public transit?

    If not… please indicate who are you going to take this money from?

  70. Nice attempt to slightly change the arguement. I wasn’t attacking your assertion that I can keep people off my private property. I agree with that. But you tried to claim I could not obtain a right to something by luck.

    Let me repeat what you said:

    “I’ve never understood how someone can attach any moral weight to the argument “I was lucky, you weren’t – too bad, sucks for you.””

    By being american, I have a right to be involved in the decision making process (voting) which affects our immigration policy. That was by luck of being born in America. So you say there is no moral weight to that?

  71. Americans have a right to exclude those of other countries from coming here. You can argue you don’t like the exercise of that right… but it’s a right. Sorry.

    Again, nice try, but that’s begging the question.

    I shouldn?t have to explain this concept but apparently I do. You can’t simply assert the answer to fundamental question being debated (i.e. should Americans have the right to exclude others based on what amounts to an accident of birth?). That is what I am arguing against! You could just as easily have asserted in 1850 that Americans in the south have the right to own slaves against an abolitionist’s arguments – but so what? ?Yeah, I know you don?t think we should own slaves, but it?s a right. Sorry.? Yeah, that makes sense. Yes it is technically true that right now Americans do have the “right” to exclude others and in 1850 a plantation owner had the right to own another human being in a legalistic sense – but certainly not in a moral sense, which is, and was, the issue at hand.

    And if you are so easily offended you really shouldn’t be watching south park. Or are you counting the dirty words per minute for one of your “focus on the family” studies.

    Where was I easily offended? I simply called your statement what it was ? ugly, but I wasn?t offended by it. Maybe you need to read a bit more carefully. But I guess it was pretty funny – made even more so by the fact that those “Focus on the Family” types are aligned with your stance on immigration, not mine. Nice try though…

  72. ventifact-

    Good point. I find it truly remarkable how much of our food and drink is made of corn these days. Good ol’ subsidies, I guess…

    I wasn’t even thinking of the subsidies!!!

    It was just half “snarking” on the enormity(pun intended) of America’s “fat problem” and half on “Dave W.’s” (email: farces@usa.net) obsession w/ corn syrup…

  73. Perhaps not, but that is why I included in my list a false sense of entitlement due to some imagined birthright.

    OK, but lets examine that birthright thing a bit more carefully. Did your parents bring you into this world by accident? I don’t think so. Did they pay specific attention to you and your need to grow to maturity while paying less attention to the same needs of other children, the world over? I think the answer is ‘yes’.

    Now here’s today’s essay question: Did you deserve that special attention ? If not, what are you imagining ?

  74. Now here’s today’s essay question: Did you deserve that special attention ? If not, what are you imagining ?

    Huh? Sorry but I really don’t follow you here.

    I was talking about the imagined birthright that says because one was born in some area that he has a greater claim to decide who else gets to live, work and generally enjoy life in that general area, outside of his actual ownership of property.

  75. Did your parents bring you into this world by accident? I don’t think so.

    Well, actually, yes they did. 🙂

  76. bc:

    I was talking about the imagined birthright that says because one was born in some area

    That would be the area right outside your mother’s womb.

  77. bc:

    I was talking about the imagined birthright that says because one was born in some area

    That would be the area right outside your mother’s womb.

  78. Brian –

    “You can’t simply assert the answer to fundamental question being debated (i.e. should Americans have the right to exclude others based on what amounts to an accident of birth?).”

    It’s true I took as a given our right to exclude people from our country. But we were not debating this fundamental question (the existence of this right). If thats what you want to assert, then feel free, and let us all debate that.

    This was about how natives of Los Angeles feel about all the mexicans coming in. Then you chimed in about the “ugliness” of my comments when I claimed to want to put my interest before the mexicans because I was here first. It was also about the motivations behind our immigration policy, not whether or not we could even have one.
    Oh ya, we also talked about obtaining a right by birth or luck… but not about the existence of that right. Maybe your talking about your claim:

    “But you don’t have any moral right to exclude anyone from anywhere you don’t own.”

    I never argued with that. I alone do not.

    And anyone can scroll up and read your orginal response to me. It’s obvious you were deeply saddened by my mean-spirited and thoughtless remarks. Or something like that.

  79. thoreau–

    And if your concern is that illegal aliens don’t pay taxes, maybe that’s an argument in favor of regularizing their status and letting them into more formal employment arrangements.

    But, then they’ll be “Americans”… and we all know there are ‘jobs Americans won’t do’!

    How many more illegals will we need?

  80. Give it up Fletch, Thoreau honstly believes that people’s freedom of movement trumps a nation’s soverignty. Further, he beleives that governments should have open borders even if doing so damages the citizens who are already there. It is a principled position if nothing else. I suspect, however, that the America we are left with after having the open borders Thoreau supports would not be much to his liking.

  81. How many more illegals will we need?

    I dunno for sure but I think Kiplinger pegged that number at millions more than we have now. Speaking from a strictly pragmatic point of view the US has a significant labor shortage and it is forecast to grow dramatically as the boomer generation toddles off to day dream about the old days of dope, braless chicks, and we shall overcome.

  82. Do you think that the current (sales, income and property) tax rates on “people earning under $25k/yr”(90% of illegals) is sufficient to provide their share of funding for emergency rooms, public schools, welfare/ADC, police and fire services, and public transit?

    If not… please indicate who are you going to take this money from?

    Does anyone making under $25k per year pay taxes that equal what they take from the state in services — citizen or no? I’m not arguing for the welfare state, I’d like to see less of it. I just don’t see why in the government services we do provide that poor white trash are more entitled to government services than illegal aliens just cause they were born in the US.
    (I make under $25k per year and classify my upbringing as white trash btw).

  83. Most the Mexicans coming here are socially conservative, practicing catholics. Why don’t social conservatives want more of their own in this country.

    Why don’t socially conservative americans reach out to the mexican and latin new immigrants legal or illegal and make a political base out of them rather than alienating them to the Democrats in the same way socially conservative churches very actively reachout to these folks and try to bring them away from the dark folds of catholicism and over the dark folds of Jevhovah’s Witness’s, mormons, 7th day adventists, holy rollers, etc.? Its stupid politically. You should be trying to deport San Francisco instead…

  84. I was in the Sinai a few years ago at the Israeli Egyptian border. The Egyptian side was just nasty, dirty desert. It was poor, like every Arab country I have been to, they didn’t get the concept of a garbage dumb and dumb their trash everywhere. You could look across the border to Israel and it was literally the land of milk and honey. Instead of desert, there were beautiful green fields, amazingly a crop dusting plane lazily flying over the fields. I stood on this hill looking over at Israel and my Egyptian interpreter told me how angry he was that the Isrealis had stolen the Arabs land. I didn’t say anything to be courteous, but I wanted to say, “If you guys would get off of your lazy, corrupt, dead asses and stop blaming the Israelis for everything, it would look just as good over here as it does over here. It is all the same fucking desert, the Israelis were just smart enough to irrigate and make something of the land and you were not.”

    This is what I feel like saying during the immigration debate. Mexico, if you have ever been there, is a beautiful country. Full of good farm land, great scenery, oil, minerals, god climate everything you could want in a country. By all rights Mexico ought to be richer than the U.S. and there ought to be an immigration problem going the other way. God knows if wasn’t for how the Mexicans have fucked it up, I would much rather live in many parts of Mexico than most parts of the U.S. The Mexicans refuse to fix their corrupt incompetent, banana republic an as a result the United States is supposed to absorb millions of poor and desperate who crown our cities, tax our social services and are fed a steady diet of La Raza propaganda about how this is really their country. Bullshit. Let the Mexicans fix their own country. The U.S. does not owe the world a living. Moreover, by trying to provide a living, we just make things worse in Mexico by letting the U.S. be a safety valve for their social problems.

  85. This was about how natives of Los Angeles feel about all the mexicans coming in. Then you chimed in about the “ugliness” of my comments when I claimed to want to put my interest before the mexicans because I was here first. It was also about the motivations behind our immigration policy, not whether or not we could even have one.
    Oh ya, we also talked about obtaining a right by birth or luck… but not about the existence of that right. Maybe your talking about your claim:

    I was born and raised in LA (Panorama City) and fled when I was 18 never to return, not cause of illegal immigration but horrible public school teachers like yourself. LA sucks green donkey dicks for hundreds of reasons, mexicans aren’t one of them. Armenians on the other hand… 😉

  86. Spur,

    If Mexicans are so fabulous for the United States, why is Mexico such a fucked up country? Who messed it up? It sure as hell wasn’t the United States or any Americans living now. Again, why can’t Mexicans just fix Mexico and stay home and then everyone would be happy?

  87. An American drug war doesn’t help Mexico. Bailing out Mexican financial collapse doesn’t help.

    Obviously Mexico’s government could do a lot more and should do a lot more. But the people screwing up Mexico are not immigrating to the US. The politiicans and the ruling class are mainly white, not the disempowered meztios and Indians that make up 99% of illegal Mexican immigration.

    Mexico also isn’t as fucked up as people make it out to be — 50 million people are above the poverty line (50 million below, I know), they have the highest per capita income in latin america and there are large swaths of the country I would gladly live in. It could be massively worse than it is — like the Congo or Nicaragua.

    The solution is to get those 50 million out of poverty. The US can be a guide in this as well as Mexican-Americans living in this country demanding more reform and proper privatization…

  88. Pig Mannix:
    Despite the current conventional wisdom that slavery was invented and practiced uniquely by the Southern United States, the fact is the institution had been a part of virtually every advanced civilization for thousands of years. Europe only beat us to eliminating it by several decades.

    Further, you’re pre-supposing that universal democratic suffrage is a pre-requisite for freedom.

    I never said any such thing. I said that members of a major ethnic group in this country are freer than they used to be. I never said that slavery was unique to this country, I just said that a large number of people gained considerable freedom during the time in which America supposedly went to hell in a handbasket. And I never said that my analysis was solely restricted to voting.

    John:
    You have to understnad though, most people in this country have never really been anywhere. They have never seen what the rest of the world is like. They live fat and happy in this country we have and assume that everyone is just like us.

    You’re right, I haven’t spent much time outside teh US. I don’t have to. I just have to meet the numerous immigrants who seem to have a hell of a lot in common with me and my family and want the same freedoms that we enjoy. And they work a hell of a lot harder than most of us.

    Thoreau honstly believes that people’s freedom of movement trumps a nation’s soverignty. Further, he beleives that governments should have open borders even if doing so damages the citizens who are already there.

    I never said that. Brian Courts does seem to be arguing that freedom of movement is the paramount issue here, but I haven’t argued that. Nor have I argued that the principle behind open borders matters more than damage done to the country. What I’ve argued is that the people that most immigration opponents fear are in fact quite harmless.

    Argue with me, not with the strawman that you wish I was.

    And I don’t advocate open borders per se. All I’ve said is that the average Mexican coming across the border is no different from my ancestors, and will in fact be a net asset to the US if the law doesn’t actively discourage his assimilation. That’s it. Agree or disagree, but don’t accuse me of saying things that I didn’t say.

    You are so close to joining Gunnels and Dave W. on the short list of people who aren’t worth responding to. So very, very close. If you’d like to cinch the deal, all you need to do is accuse joe of supporting Saddam again. That would probably do the trick.

    fletch:
    You cannot have “unregulated immigration” in any “welfare state”…

    The welfare state needs to go regardless of how many people live here. Meanwhile, it turns out that the unemployment rate for immigrants is lower than for people born in the US. As somebody else said in this thread, in Europe they complain about how lazy their immigrants are. Here, we complain that they work.

  89. Thow-row, it also turns out that hispanics avail themselves of the welfare apparatus at a lower rate than their numbers in the general populace.

  90. Here’s a short test for the Hispanophobes in our midst:

    1) How many Mexicans should we allow into this country each year?

    2) Was it a mistake to let in all those poor, uneducated, dark complexioned Mediterranean Catholics fleeing from the poverty and corruption of Italy and seeking work in manual labor or the service industry?

    3) If it was a mistake, what sort of measures would be appropriate for expelling Italians from this country?

    4) What sort of measures would you advocate for expelling Mexicans?

    5) If your answer to 4) is harsher than your answer to 3), please explain why.

    Extra credit: How many of your best friends are Mexican?

  91. Next Test: Economics

    The editors of The Economist (that notorious left-wing rag) have long argued that simply letting individuals go and work where ever they can find the highest wage would lead to a massive expansion of global economic output.

    1) Do you believe that any of this increased prosperity would trickle (up or down) to you?

    2) What do you think of Ronald Reagan?

    Extra credit: Define “cognitive dissonance.”

  92. Thoreau,

    We had a long thread the other day and you seemed to be argueing percisely that freedom of movement trumps sovereighnty. If you don’t beleive that, why do you have a problem with shutting down the border? If you don’t beleive that what do you beleive? Sorry to accuse you of something that you don’t beleive, but I really was under the impression that is what you thought. As I said, it is a perfectly principled position, I just don’t agree with it. I still think Joe is a supporter of Saddam and won’t take that one back until he admits the consequences of his position. As far as you go, I dind’t mean to imply your position on open borders as an insult, I really thought you think that way. As I said, what is your position if not that open borders trumps sovereignty?

  93. My position is that Mexican immigrants are, for the most part, no threat to America, and would in fact be a net asset.

    My position is that the border should in fact be heavily protected, but there should be easy ways for non-violent people to cross over and work.

    My position is that if we ended drug prohibition and made it easy for non-violent workers to cross the border, the only people trying to cross it would be dangerous people. Not only would that make the problem much more manageable in size and scope, it would also make smuggling far less profitable and hence reduce the overall skill level of smugglers. The end result is that it would be relatively easy to get most of the bad guys trying to cross the border. No, not all, no system is perfect, but we could probably catch more bad guys with more liberal policies on drugs and immigration.

    And I think it is an inevitable necessity to talk about drug reform and immigration reform in the same breath. Not because I want to get all philosophical and talk about the principle of self-ownership and all that, but because there are two big factors that fuel the market for smugglers. If you want to shut down the market for smugglers you have to tackle both of those factors. Otherwise, terrorists and other dangerous people will be able to blend in with the traffic of workers and drugs, and will be able to benefit from the experience and skills that smugglers have accumulated in moving workers and drugs across the border.

    So, basically, borders should be guarded against bad guys, but harmless people should be free to cross. Not only will we benefit from the good guys crossing, we will also make it harder for the bad guys to blend in.

  94. BTW, I am aware that I said earlier that shutting down the border is a practical impossibility. Keep in mind that it is much easier to control a situation when only a handful of people are inclined to break the rules. I have no illusion that liberal immigration policy will free up resources to the point where no terrorist can ever sneak in. But I am much more comfortable placing bets on behalf of the authorities if they authorities are given a task of a more manageable size.

  95. spur,

    Now what’s you’re problem with me? You easily offended too? I may be horrible, but I am no teacher. I just chose that as an example because I think that a teacher should be a decent middle class job. Something you don’t get rich on, but at least you don’t have to live in a place like panorama city (a city you know well).

    Have the illegals made that a better place? Do you think the residents of panorama city come home everday and thank god (from behind the bars on their windows) that lettuce is cheaper that it would be without the illegals? The residents of that city are a prime example of the costs of illegals and where those costs fall.

    Luckily I can afford to live somewhere else. I admit, I would not live in that area because of all the illegals.

    So should I be like a lot of the others here and say illegals are great for this country, while living in a nice middle class neighborhood.

    Do you think Brian courts has lives in area with illegals? Do you think he would? Hell no, but he would glady tell you that he can hire illegals and then house them right next to you. His right to association trumps yours of course.

    Thoreau asked a good question – How many of your best friends are Mexican?

    To be clear, we should distinguish between legal and illegal, mexican born and mexican descent. I know many of them all, and even have them in my family.

    Now, how many of you that support illegal immigration, actually live next to illegal immigrants?

  96. Now, how many of you that support illegal immigration, actually live next to illegal immigrants?

    I support making most illegal immigration legal, and I live in Denver, which is chock full of immigrants, including the woman across the alley from my back yard who greeted me with “Buenos dios” (had to ask her husband not to feed the pigeons bread crumbs in the alley cause it’s messy and bad for the pigeons, and he stopped doing it). It definitely don’t help none that a lot of them are illegal. A roommate got hs car bashed by one once, and the fella took off and the cops couldn’t find him among all the Spanish speaking folks who claimed they didn’t know him. No wonder, being caught involved in a fender bender would mean banishment from home and livelihood. It’s such a goddamn motherfucking misrepesentation to say we “support illegal immigration.” It’s those who want to maintain the status quo or increase penalties or make it harder for people just trying to improve their lot to cross the border who are supporting the illegality of the immigration. I’m okay with building a wall or increasing patrols. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the best use of governmental funds, but I’m okay with it. The Mexicans screaming that it’s an affront to them puzzle me. There’s always plenty of hypocrisy on any side of any issue. But I think all who want to come to work should have a legal avenue to do so. Let the quotas, if we have any at all, rise to match the demand!!

  97. We’re not your “fellow Latino Angelinos” unless you’re a Latino, idiot.

    Where the heck is Linguist?

    You know, in English, a firehouse is a type of house, and housefire is a type of fire. A Latino Angelino would be a type of Angelino. …Should I have said, “fellow Angelino Latino”?

    You know what? …screw you.

  98. Many of the nieghboorhoods in Los Angeles that were once decent middle class areas are now overrun with poor illegal immigrants. Those neighborhoods have gone to shit.

    Can you be specific? …Do you mean, like back in the ’40s or something?

    Downtown Los Angeles wouldn’t be anything without the immigrant Latino population. …From where I’m sittin’, they’ve seemed like a revitalizing force. …but, I’d consider some examples if you got ’em.

  99. Brian,

    Your posts, while being rather charming are also pretty naive, I see the .edu on your email but I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent much time studying sociology, darwin, or even basic economics.

    There IS a reason why we have immigration control in this country – it’s because we offer so very many expensive social benefits which are ultimately paid for by the legal residents of this country. Some people (including many politicians and their realted special interest groups) say – ok, “make em all legal” – but sadly, because of the welfare state in which we live if you were to legalize millions of “undocumented workers” odds are most are not going to be contributing enough to cover the cost of society’s benefits to start with.

    By the way, how do our brethren border countries like Canada or Mexico compare on the issue of immigration and foreign workers?

    Did you know that you cannot obtain a work VISA in Canada unless a resident of that country is not already available to do said job? Are you familiar with the restrictive nature of Mexico’s own policies for non-native foreigners?

    To be honest, you sound more like a bleeding heart liberal than an educated, realistic liberterian.

  100. Brian,

    Your posts, while being rather charming are also pretty naive, I see the .edu on your email but I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent much time studying sociology, darwin, or even basic economics.

    There IS a reason why we have immigration control in this country – it’s because we offer so very many expensive social benefits which are ultimately paid for by the legal residents of this country. Some people (including many politicians and their realted special interest groups) say – ok, “make em all legal” – but sadly, because of the welfare state in which we live if you were to legalize millions of “undocumented workers” odds are most are not going to be contributing enough to cover the cost of society’s benefits to start with.

    By the way, how do our brethren border countries like Canada or Mexico compare on the issue of immigration and foreign workers?

    Did you know that you cannot obtain a work VISA in Canada unless a resident of that country is not already available to do said job? Are you familiar with the restrictive nature of Mexico’s own policies for non-native foreigners?

    To be honest, you sound more like a bleeding heart liberal than an educated, realistic liberterian

  101. Brian,

    Your posts, while being rather charming are also pretty naive, I see the .edu on your email but I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent much time studying sociology, darwin, or even basic economics.

    There IS a reason why we have immigration control in this country – it’s because we offer so very many expensive social benefits which are ultimately paid for by the legal residents of this country. Some people (including many politicians and their realted special interest groups) say – ok, “make em all legal” – but sadly, because of the welfare state in which we live if you were to legalize millions of “undocumented workers” odds are most are not going to be contributing enough to cover the cost of society’s benefits to start with.

    By the way, how do our brethren border countries like Canada or Mexico compare on the issue of immigration and foreign workers?

    Did you know that you cannot obtain a work VISA in Canada unless a resident of that country is not already available to do said job? Are you familiar with the restrictive nature of Mexico’s own policies for non-native foreigners?

  102. Which isn’t surprising – limited government has always been primarily an Anglo-Saxon taste, Europeans never felt the need to implement a Magna Carta. I get a kick out of hearing libertarians waxing prolix about the virtues of immigration, while carping about the actual consequences of it.

    It seems to me that there were a lot of people coming from an Anglo-Saxon place, lookin’ for a place to get away from Anglo-Saxon government. …People who, maybe, just so happened to have a place to get away to. I’m not so sure the Irish, Germans, and Italians who came afterwards enjoyed much in the way of limited government before they got here either–and, culturally, do they make for great Americans or what?

    I’ve heard it persuasively argued that the English were limiting the power of their King even as the French were ceding more power to theirs, in part, as a function of geography–because England was on an island.

    Every King’s first priority was securing its borders from potential invaders. In France, the King had a huge army–not many natural barriers East of the Pyrenees, North of the Alps and West of the Urals–so he needed a big army. (Nobles obliged ’cause they’d likely get replaced by the cronies of a successfu foreign invader.) England, on the other hand, needed a strong navy to secure its borders. …and the thing about a Navy is, it’s not much use when addressing every King’s second priority–putting down internal dissent. Hence, on occasion, a confederation of nobles, et. al., could mount an effective offense against an English king but on the continent, an effective political uprising against the king was usually a huge mismatch.

    I’ve seen a lot of arguments for cultural superiority in my time, but I don’t remember ever seeing a really good one.

  103. Well ok, though I’m not sure what difference it makes if the real motivation is ultimately racist or protectionist or xenophobia or just a false sense of entitlement due to some imagined birthright. With immigration the motive could be any or all of those taken together but in any event it is unjustified and ignoble.

    Hear, Hear!

    Although, given recent demonstrations of immigrant assimilation problems in France and the Netherlands and elsewhere, it seems strange to purposely deny immigrants a clear path to citizenship. …unless the anti-immigrant people don’t want immigrants to assimilate into our society. In France and the Netherlands, the children of immigrants sometimes turn to radical Islam, where the disenfranchised children of my Mexican and Guatemalan, fellow Angelinos (Okay?) are more likely to join gangs and become a burden to society that way. In other words, it would seem that there’s an obvious and hefty price to pay for making it hard or impossible for immigrants and their children to assimilate, and those who oppose offering a clear path to citizenship seem to be more interested in discouraging assimilation than they are in preventing the problems they often cry about.

    …and as far as definitions go, I think that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about xenophobia.

  104. OK, I’ve been out the bars. But the issue still comes down to (minus the racial/ethnic cop out- my Grandfather was darker than yours- mine was as dark as they come 😉 ) `the ability to determine our own fate`. If it isn’t determined through legislation how are we to do it? Should the most poor have an automatic seat at the table? The Loudest? If so certainly our southern neighbors won’t be at the front of the line. Africa is full of people who need our gift of citizenship for example. As in my house so in my country- you’re a guest until re-classified, no cutting.

    My guess is that most of the people against limits on immigration on this board have never known a night without dinner. Many of us “Americans” have known severe hardship and still do. At 37 I’ve been paying into the government coffers for 25 years, please don’t tell me that people who come here to work (wow!) deserve the fruits of my efforts because they’re poor.

  105. Saying a group is destroying a neighborhood is silly. NY in the late 60s/early 70s had neighborods destroyed by immigrants, but the problem wasn’t the hard working ones but the ones on welfare who had no economic tie to the communiy and so didn’t care if they burned down their apartment building, along with the homes of hard working immigrants of whatever national source. While you might not like the changes going on (I didn’t) it’s still the natural evolution of an immigrant population into boring office working Americans.

    At least Hispanics come from the western tradition and have the same starting point on views of freedom and indiviual rights as most Amercians. We’re in a much better position in that regards than is Europe.

    If someone is so concerned about their neighborhood they should get a group together and buy the buildings in that neighborhood. If the landlords don’t mind who they are renting to then neither should the rentees.

    No one has a right to have things stay the same!

  106. Are you familiar with the restrictive nature of Mexico’s own policies for non-native foreigners?

    I am – Mexico has it’s own problem with illegal immigrants from their southern border, and they send the illegal immigrants back, usually after some mistreatment (robbery and beatings, from what I’ve been told – and seen: FWIW, a friend managed to get some video of his fellow Mexicans wielding machine guns and harassing people, including his party, near their sourthern border).

    Did you mean on some piece of property that you own?

    There’s no essential difference between private property rights and, say, national property rights:
    – both are artificial (yes, the rights to “life, liberty” and property are all artificial rights).
    – citizens can be said the “own” their national property, and they set policies regarding that property through their laws.

    Claiming that all artificial rights are suspect because some artificial rights (slavery) are bad is just silly.

    “I was lucky, you weren’t – too bad, sucks for you.”

    Arguments against that idea could be used either for or against immigration; IOW, it shouldn’t matter that Mexicans were lucky enough to be live in a country that shares a border with the U.S., making it easy for them to sneak in because the Chinese sneaking into the US have a much harder time of it – NO FAIR! Should something be done to make it easier for everyone else to sneak in? Or is the “fair” thing to make it harder for the Mexicans to get in?

    If anything, immigration laws minimize the “I’m lucky and you’re not” component.

  107. As far as illegal immigrants and emergency rooms:

    The emergency room is the clinic of last resort for the uninsured. There are a lot of service sector jobs that offer health benefits. Not all service sector jobs, and not always great benefits, but enough to keep people from using the ER for all their medical needs. My wife, for instance, works at a chain store and gets health insurance.

    Allowing them full access to the formal economy would probably channel a significant number of illegal immigrants away from the ER and into insurance plans. No, not all of them, but enough to make a dent.

    Also, immigrants tend to have quite a bit of entrepreneurial drive. If they could safely leave a paper trail of bank loans, contracts, tax forms, property deeds, and all the other paper work involved in running a business, I wonder how many illegals would create new businesses and elevate themselves (and their employees) to an income level where they would no longer leave a paper trail.

    The bottom line is that an illegal immigrant’s economic opportunities are artificially restricted by law. We’re talking about people who are willing to risk death by dehydration in the desert just so they can work 80 hours a week at manual labor. I refuse to believe that they wouldn’t advance significantly if they were allowed to participate fully in the economy. Oh, sure, some of them would remain as fruit pickers and janitors. But many of them would probably do a hell of a lot better than they’re currently doing.

    If you want to alleviate the pathologies of a poor underclass that’s scared to call the cops and unable to advance economically, the solution is not to drive them farther underground. The solution is to let them participate fully in American life, and watch how much they advance. People who are willing to risk death so they can work their asses off are generally the sort who will make great advances if given the freedom to do so.

  108. Thoreau-

    Sounds like romantic piffle to me. Sometimes the ones to make it are the ruthless one who are willing to kill as well as die. It’s only after a couple of generations that the families become respectable. Most of the hard-working stupid die poor.

  109. CORRECTION:

    I wonder how many illegals would create new businesses and elevate themselves (and their employees) to an income level where they would no longer leave a paper trail.

    should be

    I wonder how many illegals would create new businesses and elevate themselves (and their employees) to an income level where they would no longer need to rely on the ER.

    I made some changes to that paragraph while writing without changing the whole thing, so some stuff got switched around and put in the wrong place.

    Uri-

    I have no illusions that all of the illegals would turn into John Galt if given amnesty. The issue is whether enough of them would advance to relieve the strain on the system. My guess is yes.

  110. “So, basically, borders should be guarded against bad guys, but harmless people should be free to cross. Not only will we benefit from the good guys crossing, we will also make it harder for the bad guys to blend in.”

    I am in general very much in favor of letting people into our country who want to come and work hard and join society. However, the issue that I don’t see discussed in this illegal immigration debate is the following change in incentives. Suppose we allow some enormous number of immigrants to come legally to our country. Millions say. Enough that all those folks who came illegally before would now come legally. We would lose the selection process we currently have, in which the people who come are the ones who really want to come. The ones who are willing to risk their lives to come through the desert from Mexico, boat in on a makeshift raft from Haiti etc.

    Presumably the ones we really want.

    Consider an alternative proposal: We build this big wall that the anti-illegal immigration folks want. Put in all the minefields, barbed wire, machine gun emplacements, patrols with dogs etc. that that entails. But when someone finds a way in (and they will), lets make it easy for them to get documentation and go on with their lives.

  111. The alternative mechanism (with lots of legal spots) being selection by ability to go to a US Consulate and fill out paperwork.

  112. The market for illegal labor is hardly “free”. Californians are currently being forced to pay $12 billion to build schools – just in the LAUSD – for a largely immigrant population, of which a large part are illegal aliens from Mexico or the children of same.

    There is a reason those families are here now. In an earlier time before crossing the border got harder many Mexicans came alone and sent money home to their families. When they had saved enough they went home and built a nice house in their home village and maybe even opened a small business.

    With tougher border enforcement they cannot go home for family visits thus making it necessary to bring their families with them to avoid the pathologies that accompany large numbers of males in underground communities. (See also hobo camps during the depression).

    This phenomonom of immigrants working for a time to make money and going home has a long tradition in this country (and probably other rich countries as well, I expect).

    Some study (sorry no link, I heard about it years ago) showed that in some years 1880-1930 more Italians went back than came here. Overall, obviously there was a net inflow, but the fact is that the american way of life in foreign, even hostile, to foreigners and they really do prefer the old country.

    By the way, there were complaints in the late 19th century about how those damned foreigners wer coming here and swelling the relief rolls. The welfare state has a much longer history than most people realize. It’s just that for most of our nation’s history welfare was considered a State and local matter.

  113. Here’s a short test for the Hispanophobes in our midst:

    Hispanophobes? You aren’t making any assumptions there, are you?

    1) How many Mexicans should we allow into this country each year?

    As many as can be assimilated, whatever number that turns out to be. Unless the idea of establishing a Quebec on the Rio Grande sounds like a good idea to you. Yes, that will probably involve a formal aculturation process, which probably means government program, since the free market doesn’t seem to be handling it very well now.

    2) Was it a mistake to let in all those poor, uneducated, dark complexioned Mediterranean Catholics fleeing from the poverty and corruption of Italy and seeking work in manual labor or the service industry?

    Definitely.

    3) If it was a mistake, what sort of measures would be appropriate for expelling Italians from this country?

    Pass a law requiring the women to shave their legs and armpits.

    4) What sort of measures would you advocate for expelling Mexicans?

    Who said anything about kicking out the Mexicans? They can stay.

    5) If your answer to 4) is harsher than your answer to 3), please explain why.

    Mexicans aren’t posting silly surveys on Hit & Run.

    Seriously, I’m not in a hurry to kick anyone out. I’d prefer to work out some kind of an accommodation for the people who have already established themselves. Still, throwing open the border and yelling “Come on in! It’s Art Linkletter’s House Party!” is a period stupid idea.

    Extra credit: How many of your best friends are Mexican?

    2. Plus 2 more are married to Mexican women. Plus my brother-in-law and his family. Plus my boss. And his boss. Plus 2 ex-girlfriends (well, 2 1/2 actually).

    Now, how many of your best friends are Mexican?

    The editors of The Economist (that notorious left-wing rag) have long argued that simply letting individuals go and work where ever they can find the highest wage would lead to a massive expansion of global economic output.

    Yes, we can tell by the success of the Palastinian guest worker program in Israel, the Albanian guest worker program in Serbia, and the Moslem guest worker program in France.

    The problem with economic calculations is that they only consider individuals as economic actors. They invariably fail to consider them as social, cultural and political actors. It’s doubtful the Economist is factoring in the costs of riots and civil wars.

  114. In Kosovo, the Serbs haven’t been the majority in about 500 years. Yet, the Serb minority claims it to be their land and everyone knows the result. I don’t think that is likely to happen to the American Southwest, primarily because of intermarriage. Mexicans and whites have a high rate of intermarriage. That dillutes and assimilates immigrants and breaks down the us against them mentality and also is a sign that there isn’t much geniune conflict between the two groups. Shouldn’t the U.S. at least be conscious of the risk? Its not so much that I am anti-immigration. It is more that I am anti-immigration in huge numbers of one particular group accross a common border. Why not let some Indians or Europeans or Africans or Asians in for a while and shut down the border of Mexico? I know oa lot of well educated productive English speaking Europeans who would love to get a visa and get out of the tax hell that is the EU. All of the talk of “we need to help the poor” if fine enough, but why the poor from just one country? Since our economy can’t obsorb every poor person in the world, doesn’t that mean the U.S. has to make some choices about who gets in, rather than just opening the borders?

  115. Ken schultz,

    “Can you be specific? …Do you mean, like back in the ’40s or something?

    Downtown Los Angeles wouldn’t be anything without the immigrant Latino population. …From where I’m sittin’, they’ve seemed like a revitalizing force. …but, I’d consider some examples if you got ’em.”

    When I speak of Los Angeles I don’t just mean downtown. It may very well be that it was so bad there that illegals have made it better. What I am talking about is areas that were once middle class or even lower middle class and now are not. So let me mention just a few places in Los Angeles and the surrounding suburbs.

    Highland Park, El Sereno, Eagle rock, El Monte, Baldwin Park (just some areas that I frequent that come to mind), and we also mentioned panorama city a few posts up- those areas have been worsended by illegals. Obviously you will be able to pick out parts of the city that are OK, but in many parts you can drive through and say.. wow what happened to this place?? For Highland Park and El sereno you have to go a little farther back! Please don’t confuse illegals with just regular hispanics. These places have for as long as I can remember had a lot of hispanics, inlcluding me and my family.

    I think these places would be better if we had better control over who came over.

    My complaint is about too many poor people coming over all at once and with no say by those of us who already live here. I happen to like immigration, just give new immigrants a chance to get on their feet, before piling new and illegal ones on top of them.

    I believe the asian immigration was pretty orderly (cause it was obviously easier to control with that big ocean) and you don’t hear me complaining about Alhambra or Monterty Park.

  116. “Mexicans and whites have a high rate of intermarriage. That dillutes and assimilates immigrants and breaks down the us against them mentality and also is a sign that there isn’t much geniune conflict between the two groups”

    Hey that’s the history of my family, the family of most everyone I know, my future family.. and so on. That is so true for those of us who live in Los Angeles. It’s very important to point out that this isn’t about not liking mexicans or immigration. It’s just about an orderly intake of poor people.

    “All of the talk of “we need to help the poor” if fine enough, but why the poor from just one country? Since our economy can’t obsorb every poor person in the world, doesn’t that mean the U.S. has to make some choices about who gets in, rather than just opening the borders?”

    Yup, really that’s all it is about. We can’t help them all unfortunately.

  117. Mk4,

    “Did you know that you cannot obtain a work VISA in Canada unless a resident of that country is not already available to do said job?”

    Did you know that this is exactly how the US VISA system works ? Yup, the employer has to to submit proof of eligibility to the Labour Department & that’s just the begining. Contrary to all the urban myths propogated by anti-immigrant websites, US immigration policy is not an easy thng – you can’t just land here and apply for benefits & welfare.

  118. Was it a mistake to let in all those poor, uneducated, dark complexioned Mediterranean Catholics fleeing from the poverty and corruption of Italy and seeking work in manual labor or the service industry?

    No…only the ones named Tancredo.

    If it was a mistake, what sort of measures would be appropriate for expelling Italians from this country?

    “Start swimming, Tom…”

  119. I will throw in my small dose of sanity on this issue. We have an illegal alien problem; there really is no rational refutation to this statement.

    It ain’t about racism, except to those who are able only to see racism and nothing else. The illegal alien invasion problem is America’s problem, it is not the problem of the illegals who are invading, or the problem of the countries that are exporting their poor. Amnesty, and all these other half-assed schemes that our crooked politicians throw around won’t help.

    Here is the only solution that makes any sense to me: America must end the gravy train. Illegals should receive no publicly funded benefits, none, not schooling, not treatment in emergency rooms, no food stamps, nothing! After the “no-handouts” policy is in place, then the border ought to be opened. If they want to come to America and work, then they are welcome to come. Some will still come, but most will not if they don’t get schools, and food, and medicine. Of those who are already here (and there are many millions), some will leave.

  120. En menos de 25 a?os mas estadounidenses hablar?n
    espa?ol que ingl?s. Get used to it, gringos.

  121. Contrary to all the urban myths propogated by anti-immigrant websites, US immigration policy is not an easy thng – you can’t just land here and apply for benefits & welfare.

    No kidding.

    Only those who have ever dealt with INS (or whatever it is now) know what a byzantine monstrosity its bureaucracy is.

    You think the tax code is a doozy. Congress wrote the tax code, then they smoked some crack and the wrote the immigration laws.

    It’s no wonder people just walk in if they can. There’s no such thing as waiting patiently in line. If you are not a relative of a citizen or current legal resident you will wait for eternity before you’ll get in. Even if you are a family member the contortions you have to perform will leave you wondering if it’s worth it.

    Now, unless you want to spend an awful lot of time proving to various authority figures that you have a right to be here don’t be talking about some grand easy deportation scheme. Not all illegals have the decency to have dark skin and funny accents. And there are plenty of legals who do and don’t speak english.

    I met a Canadian who used to joke that his Puerto Rican friend got hassled all the time whereas he the Canadian of dubious status was given a free pass coz nobody saw anything strange about him.

  122. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least three major neighborhood commercial centers just in my city of 100,000 – Cupples Square, Branch/Middlesex, and Upper Merrimack Street, that would be dead – D-E-D dead – if it weren’t for the Cambodian immirgrants who’ve been coming here since the 80s. Immigrants don’t destroy neighborhoods – they move into neighborhoods that are going down the tubes, and they save them.

  123. Well I named a few neighborhoods in los angeles… which is the city in question. Anyone care to differ on real examples?

    Joe,

    You bring up a good point. Here in Los Angeles we have various asian communities that have been uplifted by asian immigration. So why the difference between those and the mexican ones. Well, could be two things. 1) asians are just better than mexicans 2) asian immigration was better controlled.

    I’m guessing it’s number 2.

  124. 2) asian immigration was better controlled.

    I’m guessing it’s number 2

    Clearly what we need are some central planners to control the flow of labor across borders. Cuz, you know, central planning has worked so well for other economic sectors.

    Of course, these planners will have to be very careful to match the labor supply with the demand for labor. They’ll need to collect lots of data from businesses, and probably institute some paperwork requirements to keep it working.

    If only there were some easier way to match up supply and demand….

    And for those who say that they’d be fine with open immigration if there were no welfare state, what about the fact that immigrants (including Latinos) tend to have lower unemployment and colect fewer public benefits than people born in the US? If your concern is the welfare state, then immigrants should be desirable.

  125. Thoreau, when your Italian ancestors came to the United States, the majority of the U.S. population was made up of natives descended from the British Colonists who invented the United States. That solid majority was the glue that held this country together. The immigrants were a minority. There is a difference between a colonist and an immigrant. Don’t believe me? Look these words up in any dictionary. There is also a big, fat difference between Italian Europeans and Central and South American Indians (we ain’t talking Spaniards when we say Hispanic). The Italians are descended from Romans, who invented the Republic. The American Indians have no history of republicanism or democracy, nor of English common law, protestantism, or anything equivalent to European history.

    When the immigrants become the majority of the United States, the United States will implode, because there is no unity among immigrants. Each ethnic group will look out for itself. The “dagos” will never join forces with the “spics.” I’m from New York. I know of which I speak.

  126. “They live fat and happy in this country we have and assume that everyone is just like us.”

    I don’t live fat and happy. And I know the rest of the world is nothing like us.

    Elites on either coast have never met the average American in “flyover” country and therefore assume all Americans are as fat and happy as they are.

  127. “Mexicans come here because they want a better life.”

    I want a better life too. Does that mean I get to break into a Beverly Hills mansion and make the owners responsible for me?

    A) Nobody has a right to a better life; b) you can’t force me to give you a better life; and c) the United States is about freedom, not a better life. Freedom means “you’re on your own,” which means a tougher life, not a better one.

    If Mexicans want a better life, they have to confront the tyrants in their own country. Running away to the United States will make it worse for everyone.

  128. It’s hard for a US citizen to immigrate to Canada, but not a Mexican.
    Canada just made a deal with Mexico to recruit 3 million Mexican laborers, who will have the option of recieving full Canadian citizenship after working there for 4 years.

  129. Why does Mexico do so poorly in the Olympics?

    Because all the Mexicans who can run, jump or swim are in the U.S.

  130. Thoreau, when your Italian ancestors came to the United States, the majority of the U.S. population was made up of natives descended from the British Colonists who invented the United States. That solid majority was the glue that held this country together.

    Would I be invoking Godwin if I said “Ein volk….”?

    There is also a big, fat difference between Italian Europeans and Central and South American Indians (we ain’t talking Spaniards when we say Hispanic). The Italians are descended from Romans, who invented the Republic.

    Oh, without question, 2000 years ago my ancestors were much, much, much more sophisticated than anybody else’s.

    But, you see, my more immediate ancestors didn’t read the Roman historians before coming here. They didn’t study the Senate debates. They didn’t read Latin poetry. No, they were poor peasants fleeing from a corrupt place. Their more immediate legacy was that of a country with a rather serious Mafia problem (a problem that persists to this day). And while my ancestors got out before WWI, their contemporaries were complicit in Mussolini’s rise to power.

    You can’t point to ancient Rome to justify letting my ancestors in.

    Also, lots of immigrants from rather illiberal places have done just fine once they get here. Immigrants from southeast Asia and Communist China seem to do pretty well for themselves. Their kids are doing better in school than dumb white kids. Middle Eastern immigrants are fairly successful and assimilated. Eastern Europeans have done fine. Latinos assimilate pretty well, it’s just that since more keep showing up we have lots of recent arrivals who aren’t yet fully assimilated, hence people draw the wrong conclusions.

    Go to a science lab some time. See all the people from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, and other illiberal places. Observe the deficit of Anglo-Saxons. And then tell me with a straight face that America needs an Anglo-Saxon majority.

  131. Thoreau:

    That’s a very eloquent a of immigrants. Mazal tov!

  132. Word accidentally left out– defense…defense of immigrants. Oy!

  133. Thanks, Uri.

    After today I’ll be out of town for a week and away from a computer for most of that time. The immigrant bashers can say what they like without this swarthy Catholic of Latin origin getting in their way.

  134. (Actually, I’m not very swarthy. My Italian grandfather married an Anglo-Saxon, whom he met while serving as an officer in the US Army. Their daughter married a half-German/half-Irish guy. And now here I am. See, swarthy Catholics of Latin heritage can assimilate just fine, and produce pale-skinned descendants who won’t offend your ethnic prejudices.)

  135. Julio – I thought NYC would be a majority spanish speaking city by the year 2000, now the middle aged spanish immigrants I work with lament that while some of their older children speak spanish, the younger ones do not and none of the kids write it.

    I don’t think the language will be a problem, because anyone who wants money and power in this country will learn English to get it.

  136. Loretta Sanchez had the foresight to “shift” herself (and her party affiliation) to a district where she could play up her ethnic heritage to win election in a district that her predecessor, B-1 Bob Dornan, had carpetbagged himself. And I am guessing that George Bush speaks Spanish as well as she does (or Villaraigosa for that matter). Opportunity sees no color!

  137. thoreau-

    Meanwhile, it turns out that the unemployment rate for immigrants is lower than for people born in the US.

    Please!

    Are “illegal immigrants” and “people born in the US” demographically similar?

    Of course not… You don’t see too many 3 yr olds or 90 yr olds walking across 40 miles of desert.

    While I can’t find the link, but I recently saw a figure estimating that only 7.2 million of the 11 million “illegals” here are currently employed(about 65%). I know it’s basically a “SWAG”(scientific wild-assed guess) *much like the study you reference*… but it’s a place to start.

    What % of “American males between 25-40” are currently employed?(this describes the vast majority of illegals- their children are likely “citizens”, the old people go home)

  138. fletch,

    See the following:
    http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=61
    http://pewhispanic.org/reports/report.php?ReportID=46

    When you restrict the demographic to males, age 18-to-64, illegal immigrants have higher employment rates than other immigrants and native-borns.

    Illegal immigrants in this age group are younger, though; they tend to fall more in the 18-to-45 category.

    42% of illegal immigrant adults are women, apparently.

  139. “Go to a science lab some time. See all the people from Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran, and other illiberal places. Observe the deficit of Anglo-Saxons. And then tell me with a straight face that America needs an Anglo-Saxon majority.”

    Who the hell founded the United States? Wrote the Constitution? Founded ivy-league schools? Were these multinational, multiethnic, multireligious accomplishments? And why on earth are these brilliant Asians and Middle Easterners wasting their time in our “inferior” schools? Wouldn’t they accomplish more in their own superior schools?

    Perhaps the Anglo-Saxon deficit in the science labs is due to interests other than science, such as law, history, literature, business, music, and art. Do these subjects not count? And what about all those Anglo-Saxons who have become farmers, plumbers, construction workers, policemen, firemen, soldiers, and the like? How long do you think these brilliant dark-skinned folks would survive without ’em?

    Please show me how one million Latins easily assimilate to one hundred Anglos. Better yet, since you enjoy the science lab, please show me how ten pounds of oil mixes with ten ounces of water.

  140. “See, swarthy Catholics of Latin heritage can assimilate just fine, and produce pale-skinned descendants who won’t offend your ethnic prejudices.”

    Those who want to. Did he or his contemporaries ever demand bilingual education? Did they demand that government offices and businesses hire bilingual employees? Did they demand that all signs be written in both English and Italian?

    Come pay us a visit here in Los Angeles. If you are a resident of Los Angeles and still believe Latinos want to assimilate, boy are you in serious denial…or completely sheltered…or hire Latinos and are afraid you’ll lose the cheap help, forcing you to give up your big house in the hills and your two Bimmers.

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