Immigration

Getting Serious About "Getting Serious"

Why immigration hawks can never get enough

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I want to call la migra on my neighbors.

It's not just that I hate the other tenants in my building, or that I want to see some upfront constituent service from noted blackface authority Julie L. Myers, director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It's not only that I think I might get better treatment from my prick landlord if several units in the building were forcibly emptied. I'm not even sure how well calling in a raid from ICE would work: I have good reason to believe that the only family in the building I like is out of status.

It's just nice to share the popular feeling of being personally burdened by the invasion across our southern border. My fellow supporters of unrestricted immigration, who spend all their time being chauffeured between undocumented-nanny-cleaned mansions and illegal-janitor-tended Ivory Towers, forget the degree to which immigration-restriction pressure is driven by a feeling of injustice, in particular by suspicions of condescension and neglect from aloof authorities. That people in power refuse to get serious about illegal immigration is the essential premise of all immigration foment. That feeling gels in a sense that even when public officials do get serious about illegal immigration, they're really winking at the audience. And public officials don't do a whole lot to correct that impression.

Here's Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff giving a recent assessment of his efforts to seal the U.S.-Mexico border: "To me, the most important thing we're doing at the border is showing the American people that if we make a judgment that we need to do something and we promise to do it, we'll do it."

If you're passionate about stopping illegal entry into the United States, it's hard not to see that statement as a condescension: Chertoff's stated concern isn't catching illegal immigrants at the border; it's showing the American people that he wants to catch illegal immigrants at the border.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) specializes in the language of convincing voters and understanding their concerns. If, as is statistically likely, you augment your opposition to immigration with opposition to free trade, these clumsy attempts to validate your feelings can seem insultingly false: Who is able to believe Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) really opposes NAFTA when she's swilling down Canadian whiskey?

Sure, you could argue that restrictionists deserve no better. After all, when you go to a doctor for an imaginary malady, you should expect to be treated with a placebo.

But not all the complaints are as petty as my beef with my neighbors. In Los Angeles, the March murder of 17-year-old high school football star Jamiel Shaw has opened an off-topic but revealing controversy over a Los Angeles Police Department rule governing how officers are supposed to deal with illegal immigrants.

Pedro Espinoza, Shaw's accused killer, is an illegal immigrant who was released from county jail shortly before the murder, despite procedures that were supposed to have him referred to federal authorities and (presumably) deported. For various reasons (among them, that Espinoza was arrested by Culver City cops), the case doesn't bear on the LAPD's "Special Order 40," which was promulgated in 1979 by then-chief Daryl Gates and advises cops not to initiate inquiries about immigration status in most cases. But that hasn't stopped a fiery debate on the rule. That debate isn't strictly logic-based, but it expresses a general sense that local authorities don't want to bring any power to bear on crooks who flout their indifference to the laws of the land—and a detailed look at procedures suggests there is some validity in that view.

LAPD Chief William Bratton may be the most politically astute cop on the planet, but with his accurate, dismissive comments about the controversy, he's playing into the hawks' sense that nobody takes their concerns seriously. If you're that way inclined, you can draw a pretty compelling picture of a city where officialdom fiddles while illegals murder Stanford-hopeful athletes, slaughter interesting filmmakers, and ethnically cleanse the local black population. That kind of argument by anecdote is always cheap, but in this case it has a special piquancy. It's in the nature of all immigration to create concentrated costs and distributed benefits, and if you're the person who got beaten up by pandilleros or sent home from an overcrowded emergency room, you enjoy extra credibility on this issue.

Some immigration hawks really are driven by an honest sense of law and order, and fear of crime is particularly susceptible to anecdotal support (except when crime-rate statistics overwhelmingly argue against that fear, which, in L.A., they don't). It's an interesting paradox. Nearly all trends are going the way the restrictionists want. Some researchers say that border crossings peaked back in 2000. In any case, the current economy stinks, dampening the attraction of the U.S. for prospective border jumpers. Tougher enforcement has made the border quieter, while even professional immigration hawks applaud the superior "tone" of a nation with fewer migrants. In L.A., it's likely that Special Order 40 will be modified, possibly in ways that would allow cops to use gang members' illegal immigration status against them.

Yet the rhetoric about immigration remains as passionate and hysterical as ever. And so government officials respond to the hysteria, but since they know in their hearts that the immigration crisis is a solution in search of a problem, they do so with a vain, affected quality that reveals the very condescension restrictionists find so infuriating.

In the end, immigration hawks will never be happy because what they really want is somebody to say "I feel your pain"—and mean it.

Tim Cavanaugh is opinion Web editor at The Los Angeles Times.

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  1. No one takes their concerns seriously because the immigration crisis is largely about the now happening cultural shift.

  2. I was really hoping for a sequel to this but I guess everyone’s busy with the Yakov Smirnoff thread.

  3. So…central American gangs taking over Los Angeles are just figments of white hillbilly imaginations?

    ‘Cause I could’ve sworn that there are parts of LA and other cities that resemble Mogadishu.

  4. So…central American gangs taking over Los Angeles are just figments of white hillbilly imaginations?

    Legalize drugs, gambling, and prostitution and the gangs will cease to be a problem shortly.

  5. We don’t have enough poor brown people here to mow my lawn.

  6. Maybe — but that doesn’t change the racial nature of some of this gang warfare. It also doesn’t change the fact that those things, one day, will happen in Libertopia. But this is the present. And in the present and future, I am interested in knowing who is in the country and why they are here.

  7. Gangs are taking over LA? Really? Cause I’ll be
    vacationing there in May. Better brush up on my slang and gang signs.

  8. @ The Democratic Republican

    We are here to take your low-paying jobs and your women! Delicious, depraved white women!

    That, and, frankly, Mexico sucks.

  9. hahaha…in case some of you haven’t left suburbia in a while, there are these things called “inner cities” that in some places look like “war zones.”

    Naga: No, they’re not taking the whole city. Just the parts you won’t be visiting on your vacation.

  10. @UMH:

    That works for me. Just wanted to know. Be sure to bring some of the beautiful ladies from south of the border along.

  11. Dem Repub,

    Thank you, but I’m still gonna work on my street cred, might get stuck in a part where I’ll have to excape on foot. Also, most parts of New Orleans are a war zone and I get along just fine when I visit.

  12. Did you really just link to PrisonPlanet? Come on…

  13. Sure, you could argue that restrictionists deserve no better. After all, when you go to a doctor for an imaginary malady, you should expect to be treated with a placebo.

    Ooh. That’s a good one.
    I’m totally going to steal that.

  14. Libertarians need to be more serious on the immigration issue. I bet that few Reason-readers are working class folks without higher education who are pushed out of what could be family wage paying jobs b/c employers hire cheap illegal labor. Illegal labor drives down the wages and reduces the working condition for downscale American workers. If they don’t like working 12 hour days with poor benefits at minimum wage employers will find a Mexican, Salvadoran, or someone else who will.

  15. Since the mechanization of labor has an order of magnitude greater effect than immigration on pushing downscale American workers out of jobs, should libertarians get more serious on the automation issue too?

  16. I think general air of lawlessness that surrounds illegal immigrants bothers a lot of people. Not only do they enter the country illegally but they break labor laws, housing law and other laws such as auto liability.

    Texas has a long history of accepting illegals and probably has the lowest animosity towards illegals of any border state. Illegal immigrations has never been a major issue. Yet recently sentiment has been growing and I’ve noticed it among well educated liberal types who normally don’t evince such feelings. Mostly, I think it has to do with the feeling that illegals can break laws, even commit overt crimes and then escape responsibility by returning to Mexico. In one workgroup of a dozen individuals that I know, 3 suffered auto accidents in which the other driver was uninsured, spoke spanish and disappeared after the accident. Just about everyone regardless of income or education seem to know first hand of one or more stories such as these.

    I think a pervasive environment of general lawlessness is growing up around illegals as a result of an accumulation of such anecdotes. People don’t trust those they can’t hold responsible and illegals are looking more and more like that kind of people.

    1. Texas has a long history of accepting illegals and probably has the lowest animosity towards illegals of any border state.

      Texas even inserted a provision in the immigration laws until recently that specifically prohibit prosecuting businesses for hiring Mexicans.

      The US didn’t have an illegal problem until the Texas Provisio was eliminated.

  17. An entire thread on an article dealing with IllegalImmigration, and Lonewacko hasn’t shown up yet?

    I say, that boy’s almost as off his game as he is off his rocker.

  18. People don’t trust those they can’t hold responsible and illegals are looking more and more like that kind of people.

    More to the point, increasingly egregious government legislation and enforcement requires illegals to become more and more like that kind of people.

    The more laws placed explicitly against illegal immigrants, the more laws they will break. It’s not as though they are behaving any differently than before the new laws were passed. O, for a return to the days when no one cared whether a resident was legal or illegal until he — you know — actually did something wrong.

  19. Wow, a thread in which the open borders advocates are outnumbered. I’m impressed.

  20. I bet that few Reason-readers are working class folks without higher education who are pushed out of what could be family wage paying jobs b/c employers hire cheap illegal labor. Illegal labor drives down the wages and reduces the working condition for downscale American workers. If they don’t like working 12 hour days with poor benefits at minimum wage employers will find a Mexican, Salvadoran, or someone else who will.

    If Mexicans were not allowed to pick oranges for your orange juice, those jobs wouldn’t go to well-paid Americans – Because oranges picked by well-paid Americans would cost $100 a pound, and none of us would be able to afford oranges in that case.

    If Mexicans were not allowed to mow our laws, those jobs wouldn’t go to well-paid Americans, because I couldn’t afford to pay that sort of wage to have my lawn mowed – I would just do it myself.

    There are plenty of jobs that just aren’t viable if you have to pay a lot of money for labor. Either the jobs will be done by Mexicans, or they will be done by robots, or they won’t be done.

  21. Ideally they would be done by Mexican robots.

  22. Ideally they would be done by Mexican robots.

    Hecho en Mexico!

  23. DWA | April 23, 1888, 1:27pm | #

    If good white christian men don’t like working 12 hour days with poor benefits at minimum wage employers will find a Irish, Polack, Chink, or Negro who will.

  24. ..and I hit submit rather than preview. Crapped it up completely

  25. Mike P,

    More to the point, increasingly egregious government legislation and enforcement requires illegals to become more and more like that kind of people.

    That is true but a more fundamental problem arises from illegals not being wired into the identity system. A citizen has a concrete identity and another citizen can track them down and sue them if they do something that injures the other. With illegals, we really do not have that option.

    Like I said, mundane things like fender benders are becoming a political sore spot. It is increasingly common for people to have a wreck and find out that (1) the driver is uninsured (2) the license is fake, (3) the car isn’t registered or inspected and (4) the driver is in the wind and can’t be tracked down.

    Even without a surfeit of invasive laws we would still need to be able to identify one another and still hold people accountable for their actions.

  26. Even without a surfeit of invasive laws we would still need to be able to identify one another and still hold people accountable for their actions.

    Agreed.

    So why do proposals to offer drivers licenses regardless of residency status meet which such venomous opposition?

    1. Because it wouldn’t answer the remaining objections: lack of insurance, etc., legal recourse (sue-ability).

      And people infer that state-issued driver’s licenses for illegals would become a stepping-stone to also getting voter registration, benefits, etc. for illegals.

    2. Because it wouldn’t answer the remaining objections: lack of insurance, etc., legal recourse (sue-ability).

      And people infer that state-issued driver’s licenses for illegals would become a stepping-stone to also getting voter registration, benefits, etc. for illegals.

  27. in case some of you haven’t left suburbia in a while, there are these things called “inner cities” that in some places look like “war zones.”

    How patently absurd. I went from the “inner city” to an actual war zone, and they don’t even merit comparison.

    But you can feel free to snipe at us “insulated whites in the ‘burbs”, even though you’re talking out of your ass when you do so.

  28. It is increasingly common for people to have a wreck and find out that (1) the driver is uninsured (2) the license is fake, (3) the car isn’t registered or inspected and (4) the driver is in the wind and can’t be tracked down.

    Do you have a link, study or traffic data to back this up, or is it just increasingly common for people to complain about what they heard third-hand from some idiot neighbor?

    The “I got creamed by an uninsured illegal” was “I got creamed by an uninsured welfare recipient (that is, black person” ten years ago. It’s the same old anecdote that’s designed to say “It could happen to YOU”.

  29. Like I said, mundane things like fender benders are becoming a political sore spot. It is increasingly common for people to have a wreck and find out that (1) the driver is uninsured (2) the license is fake, (3) the car isn’t registered or inspected and (4) the driver is in the wind and can’t be tracked down.

    Why is it any easier for an illegal alien to have fake ID and an uninsured unregistered car than a resident? Couldn’t a born-in-the-good-ol-U.S.A. ‘merican have fake ID and an uninsured unregistered car?

    I could see how this sort of thing could be a problem, but I don’t understand how this has anything to do with illegal immigrants?

    Isn’t this why most sensible places have no-fault insurance?

  30. Here’s an anecdote for you, Randian.
    I’ve been creamed, twice, by white male American rednecks. Neither had insurance. We need to do something about those fuckers.

  31. Ayn Randian,

    I don’t have any studies to cite. I was just making an anecdotal observation. If you think about it, however, how could possibly measure such a phenomena? You can measure collisions from uninsured drivers but if the drivers don’t have an identity or flee the scene how can you know if their illegal immigrants? I don’t think any states even track the immigration status of people involved in accidents.

    I was mostly just calling to attention a shift in attitude among people who previously didn’t notice illegal immigration. I’m talking about liberal people who previously evinced no such concerns. One of the people struck was hispanic. I think that when such people start talking about the downside to illegal immigration it serves as a potential bellwether for shifting attitudes.

  32. *I post here daily, but I feel it’s best to comment on this topic in anonymity.*

    As a roofing contractor, my entire labor force consists of illegal immigrants. I would like to dispel several false assumptions:

    1) Illegal Immigrants work for minimum wage.

    Far beyond true. In fact, I say the labor rate is more dictated by a free market than legal employment. They start at $9-$10 an hour, some as young as 17. I sure wish I was making $10 at 17. The foreman can make as much as $17-$18 per hour.

    This misconception comes from the idea that language barriers prevent the employees from discovering what people make. This notion is ridiculous. Immigrants live in communities with others of their nationality and language. They talk to each other, and know what the going rate for various jobs are.

    If I were to offer minimum wage to an applicant, he’d laugh in my face and walk across the street to the next guy.

    Remember, people managed to make decent livings long before the minimum wage. This has not changed simply because they opt out of the system.

    2) Hiring Mexicans because Americans won’t do the work.

    This is true. Mexicans look down on us (and about half the countries in South America) as lazy fuck-offs. But it does say something about our country, that people can turn down decent paying jobs simply because they don’t feel like doing it.

    3) Miserable Working Conditions

    Yes and no. This is due primarily to the sun in the south. If I could turn it on “low” I would.

    But aside from that, we provide water and ice, coolers, and just like any other job, ample paid break time and lunch time. We even provide dinner money and hotels for jobs that are out of town.

    Why you ask? Just like the wage, if we don’t provide this stuff, someone else will. It’s called a free market.

    4) Welfare Burden

    This one is relatively untrue and derives from a lack of cultural understanding. Now granted, there are some illegals who’ve figured out the system and gotten on welfare.

    But the vast majority do not. They are here to work to support a family back home, and most people in the Mexican community have too much pride to accept such handouts. That may sound like B.S. to some, but it’s true.

    But in all reality, as you all know, the anti-immigration lobby has no real case.

  33. Not really on topic, but my wife (under whose name we made our Ron Paul donations) just got a solicitation from something called “The Nationalist Newletter,” which seems to be just what you might imagine. I wonder where they got her name?

  34. The USA a sovereign nation is facing a PERFECT STORM!

    The combination of Criminal Employers privatizing their profits while dumping the social costs on the nation at large and Etnocentric and Foreign National Interests urging on a continued Colonization and Creation of an Illegal Mexican Nation who “will think Mexico First” whose “Hearts are in Mexico” and whose President “Calderon,has Family here Illegally”, has created a Balkanization of the country ,”A Perfect Storm” and the biggest challenge to the Future of the USA!!

  35. Yeah, Oneif. I think that was one of the articles.

  36. Actually, Oneif, your version is funnier.

  37. Back in Gotham, Citizen Nothing says, “Not really on topic, but my wife (under whose name we made our Ron Paul donations) just got a solicitation from something called “The Nationalist Newletter,” which seems to be just what you might imagine. I wonder where they got her name?”

    I certainly hope RP didn’t sell his contributor list. I contributed $250 to RP. Luckily, I haven’t received anything like that — even via email.

    Then again, maybe the turds don’t have enough money to mail every supporter their newsletter. You think crayons are cheap, but in big enough quantities ….

  38. Bob K, maybe it’s just going out to four-figure contributers? (In my defense, I was probably high on goofballs at the time.)

  39. The combination of Criminal Employers privatizing their profits while dumping the social costs on the nation at large and Etnocentric and Foreign National Interests urging on a continued Colonization and Creation of an Illegal Mexican Nation who “will think Mexico First” whose “Hearts are in Mexico” and whose President “Calderon,has Family here Illegally”, has created a Balkanization of the country ,”A Perfect Storm” and the biggest challenge to the Future of the USA!!

    And if we keep letting these damn Irish and Italians and Catholic Germans into the good-ol-USA, by the year 1900 the U.S. is going to be nothing more than a puppet state for the Vatican!!

    That is why I am voting for the Know-Nothings in the next election.

  40. You say, “In the end, immigration hawks will never be happy because what they really want is somebody to say “I feel your pain”-and mean it.”

    By “Immigration Hawks” I assume you mean those concerned about the welfare and sovereignty of our Country. Concerned about the free medical, free schooling, and free money our government hands out at the cost to you and I , the American Taxpayer. I want nothing from others, let alone have them, “feel my pain”, they should already be feeling it. It affects each of us daily. Wait until your child can’t get into the best daycare or school because you make too much to get assistance, but it’s crawling with non-english speaking children, or go to a hospital and wait for hours upon hours as the illegal immigrants use it as a primary care office. I wish I was like you and not have been touched by the criminal hand that so easily takes from America. Maybe I would see your view.

    You say “Yet the rhetoric about immigration remains as passionate and hysterical as ever. And so government officials respond to the hysteria?”

    Two points, one the definition of rhetoric, “Rhetoric is the art of harnessing reason, emotions and authority, through language, with a view to persuade an audience and, by persuading, to convince this audience to act.” In that case, harnessing reason, through language, to convince the audience to act, is exactly what we are doing. Harnessing Reason. If you don’t see the mass act of illegal immigration as a problem, at least economically, then I don’t know what planet you’re on. Is it just illegal immigrants, no, the system is broke and it needs to be fixed and this leads to my second problem with your statement.

    “And so government officials respond?” With what?!? A fence? A fence does nothing. If they want to respond, they should stop the hand outs, stop the free services, stop the reason for them coming in droves, reform our welfare system, not only for illegals, but for the rest of this country that feels they are entitled to suck on the teet. If you illuminate the reason for them coming and reform the laws to actually address the problem, you will solve a large part of the problem.

    Why is it that free thinkers, or those who offer real solutions to real problems, are deemed crazy or, what did you call us again, Immigration Hawks, by MSM and MS publications such as Reason. If you want to throw around names, maybe you should call us “Abuse Hawks” because that’s what we’re calling attention to, the abuse in this country.

    Don’t damn me for trying, damn you for not trying at all.

  41. I mean, obviously I was high on goofballs but I meant, oh well, you know what I meant.

  42. Rex Rhino, I think Tom Tancredo actually made that argument the other day. Well, he was talking about Latin American Catholics, but same deal.

  43. Bob Clark was killed by an illegal? No shit…

    Before I clicked the link I thought you were talking about Theo van Gogh.

  44. If they want to respond, they should stop the hand outs, stop the free services, stop the reason for them coming in droves, reform our welfare system, not only for illegals, but for the rest of this country that feels they are entitled to suck on the teet.

    I think you’ll find little disagreement here on these proposals. Note that a great deal of what you suggest was accomplished in the welfare reform of 1996. I would say the big piece of welfare reform remaining is to disqualify citizen children of immigrants from government services that their parents don’t qualify for.

    If you illuminate the reason for them coming and reform the laws to actually address the problem, you will solve a large part of the problem.

    And if they still come because, after all, they are not coming for welfare, but for jobs …then what?

  45. “Don’t damn me for trying, damn you for not trying at all.”

    Can we just damn you for being an idiot and leave it at that?

    And is there some unwritten rule that the nativists posting here have to capitalize some high proportion of their nouns? “Immigration Hawks”? “American Taxpayer”? “Criminal Employers”? “Foreign National Interests”? At least the ones on this thread are using their Space Bars, but the influence of LoneWacko is clearly more pervasive among the Stupid and Gullible than previous suspected.

  46. Thanks for continuing the discussion. Without it, there really is no hope for our country.

    “stop the reason for them coming in droves” and “If you illuminate the reason for them coming” was to imply jobs. America is to blame here folks, don’t get me wrong.

    If I was a Mexican and someone said don’t come over, but if you do we’ll give you a job, money, medical care, schooling, oh, and if you have a child here, we’ll call him/her an “anchor baby” and you can stay…but don’t come here.

    Are you kidding me? I understand why they come. Employers must be held accountable. If they hire an Illegal, they pay the punishment and it needs to be steep.

    So if there is no employment, no free services, no free schooling, what’s the reason for staying?

    Mike P. if as you say “welfare reform of 1996” accomplished much of what I had listed, then we need Welfare Reform 2008, because ’96 hasn’t seemed to work. I see it everyday, and don’t get me wrong, it’s not just illegal immigrants abusing the system, it’s everyone, but if I’m forced to choose between a citizen or a non-citizen, to take of, I’m going to choose one of our own.

    And to answer your question Virgil, “Can we just damn you for being an idiot and leave it at that?” Sure you can. That’s your right. While I’m on here discussing issues that affect us both, you’re on here calling me names.

    1. If I was a Mexican and someone said don’t come over, but if you do we’ll give you a job, money, medical care, schooling, oh, and if you have a child here, we’ll call him/her an “anchor baby” and you can stay…but don’t come here.

      Fact-checking the claims about ‘anchor babies’ and whether illegal immigrants ‘drop and leave’

      The child has to be 21 to sponsor their parents for citizenship… and you have to leave for 10 years before you can come back if you are here illegally.

  47. I want to watch “anonymous roofing contractor” kick “America First”‘s ass.

  48. “Wait until…the best daycare or school [is] crawling with non-english speaking children….”
    “I wish I was like you and not have been touched by the criminal hand that so easily takes from America.”
    “If you don’t see the mass act of illegal immigration as a problem, at least economically, then I don’t know what planet you’re on.”
    “Don’t damn me for trying, damn you for not trying at all.”

    Yeah, you’re sure trying hard to have a “discussion,” America First. Only your idea of a discussion involves shameless appeals to emotion, a condescending dismissal of those who disagree with you as completely detached from reality, and childish, dishonest bumper-sticker statements like “damn you for not trying.” Of course what’s completely missing from your “discussion” is the slightest acknowledgement of the benefits that come from immigration, including illegal immigration. But why have a fair, even-handed discussion when you can blather on about how you’ve been “touched by the criminal hand”?

    “…if I’m forced to choose between a citizen or a non-citizen, to take of, I’m going to choose one of our own.”

    You’re sure as hell not one of my own, America First. I’d choose a non-citizen over a citizen with your repugnant views any day of the week. You’re not really fooling anyone intelligent with your nativist crap. Have a shitty day.

  49. Once again, is it either name calling or violence that this site promotes or is it constructive ideas and free thought.

    “anonymous roofing contractor” has had the most impressive and insightful comments to this whole thread. It’s the other side explaining their side. Obviously he is personally affected by this and it’s great to have a discussion.

    I have spoken with numerous people affected by this topic financially (contractors, restaurants, hospitality industry), Mexicans, and my friends about the topic and while we can agree to disagree on some subjects, we can also have a respectful conversation.

    This is my first comments on the Reason site and if this is the way it is here than it most likely will be my last. If you want a legitimate conversation I’m all for it, but if you’re just going to call me names I can get that from my wife. 🙂

  50. Are you kidding me? I understand why they come. Employers must be held accountable. If they hire an Illegal, they pay the punishment and it needs to be steep.

    I’ll take that as your answer to my “…then what?” question.

    if as you say “welfare reform of 1996” accomplished much of what I had listed, then we need Welfare Reform 2008, because ’96 hasn’t seemed to work.

    Aside from welfare tied to anchor babies, what individualized welfare do illegal immigrants get?

  51. look, AF, if you were here actually wanting a discussion, that would be different. It’s obvious from your passive-aggressive “can’t we all just talk?” whining that you’re upset that we’re not all instantly jumping on the “anti-Mexican” bandwagon.

    But, what would you expect when you come on these boards and insult people out of the side of your mouth? And say things that sound racist?:

    I’m going to choose one of our own.

    those children born here under the ancient doctrine of “jus soli” ARE “our own”, but that’s not good enough for you, is it? You have to call them “anchor babies”…why not just call them citizens? It’s the law of the land, and nativists like yourself seem to love every citizenship law EXCEPT for that one.

    Until you quit calling legal, birthright citizenship Americans “anchor babies”, you’re going to sound like a racist and a bigot.

    Here’s the crux. If you want to have a discussion, answer this:

    Employers must be held accountable. If they hire an Illegal, they pay the punishment and it needs to be steep

    Why is that, AF? WTF business is it of yours who hires whom? If you’re not being harmed, MYOB.

  52. Mike

    To name a few: Free or low cost medical services, free or low cost public education and daycare, government subsidies on foods and services all takes from the US taxpayer, and once again this is abused by legal and non-legal individuals alike.

  53. AF, recommend you familiarize yourself with Thomas Knapp’s identification of Stockholm libertarians…you’re probably not even a libertarian, but I find it funny that you want free movement held hostage because of government welfare programs.

    Even funnier is that you admit that American citizens take advantage of these programs, but you’re only concerned with the Mexicans who do. I shouldn’t say “funny” because it’s obvious what your motivation is:

    I have spoken with numerous people affected by this topic financially (contractors, restaurants, hospitality industry), Mexicans, and my friends about the topic

    have you talked to any Canadians about the subject? You make your odious position all the more obvious by only focusing on ONE border of the United States, and not the other.

  54. Free or low cost medical services, free or low cost public education and daycare, government subsidies on foods and services

    Okay, we have education — forced by the government — and medical services — again forced by the government. But neither of these is individualized. They are not only paid for, but required, for public goods reasons. But neither of these is individualized: They are available to anyone of any status at any time without proof of anything.

    When I say “individualized welfare,” I mean welfare one needs to qualify for. You cite the wonderful catch-all “government subsidies on foods and services.” What exactly do you mean, and how do illegal immigrants qualify for it?

  55. There is no whining and if you don’t like what I have to say or don’t agree that’s your right. And a discussion, although you think I’m not open for one, even though I ask for one, is the only way to understand the other side. While I have my personal views am I not open to discuss this topic. Why else would I be here?

    As far as our latest citizens born of Mexican mothers here in our country, do you know how many crossed the border to have their children here in the US last year. CBS News with Katie Couric reported over 300,000 Mexican mothers crossed the border to have American citizens. Why? Why not be born in Mexico?

    I’m not being harmed physically, even up front financially, due to cheaper products, due to cheaper labor, but do we not have to pay for these individuals as taxpayers. If they were here legally, immigrated to this country, I would have no problem with them, they might not cost me as much, but employers lure Mexicans here for employment, and I understand why they come, but if you cut off the reason for them coming here, would you not cease the invasion.

    I’ve not only talked to Canadians about this topic, but Mexicans, Brazilians, Germans, Haitians, Irish, Greeks, and Italians about these topics.

    “you’re only concerned with the Mexicans who do” If you read my posts you’ll see that this is an incorrect statement on your part. I’m concerned about all of them, wouldn’t you be? Aren’t you?

    Mike, but isint children born here by Mexican mother automatically qualify them for these services. The baby and the mother get these services. I know it’s tied to the children and you’re asking about others, but to be honest, I don’t know off the top of my head. Maybe you can tell me, and if it’s none, I’d appreciate that knowledge as well.

    I thought I’d post this as well, Ron Paul said once,
    Illegal immigrants also place a tremendous strain on social entitlement programs. Under a proposed totalization agreement with Mexico, millions of illegal immigrants will qualify for Social Security and other programs – programs that already threaten financial ruin for America in the coming decades. Adding millions of foreign citizens to the Social Security, Medicare, and disability rolls will only hasten the inevitable day of reckoning.
    Economic considerations aside, we must address the cultural aspects of immigration. The vast majority of Americans welcome immigrants who want to come here, work hard, and build a better life. But we rightfully expect immigrants to show a sincere desire to become American citizens, speak English, and assimilate themselves culturally. All federal government business should be conducted in English. More importantly, we should expect immigrants to learn about and respect our political and legal traditions, which are rooted in liberty and constitutionally limited government.

    1. Why? Why not be born in Mexico?

      Medical tourism..

  56. but isint children born here by Mexican mother automatically qualify them for these services.

    Yes. Which is why I said above…

    I would say the big piece of welfare reform remaining is to disqualify citizen children of immigrants from government services that their parents don’t qualify for.

    …and…

    Aside from welfare tied to anchor babies, what individualized welfare do illegal immigrants get?

    I know it’s tied to the children and you’re asking about others, but to be honest, I don’t know off the top of my head.

    It’s none.

  57. but employers lure Mexicans here for employment, and I understand why they come, but if you cut off the reason for them coming here, would you not cease the invasion.

    Invasion? Do you really want to continue this conversation, or do you want me to laugh you off the board?

    The question to you is: WHY should I give a damn about this faux invasion, when it’s just poorer people trying to capture the American dream? Why do you care so much? You’ve just as much as admitted that it doesn’t affect you.

    300,000 Mexican mothers crossed the border to have American citizens. Why? Why not be born in Mexico?

    Because it’s better to be an American, maybe? Like it or lump it, jus soli is the law. Again, you only seemed concerned with Mexicans who do this.

    Another question, AF: Do you believe that I should be able to cross state border(s) to live and work where you live? If so, why do you feel that the line between Ohio and wherever you are, are somehow less important than the one between the United States and Mexico?

    After all, different states have different cultures as well, and I’m at a loss as to why you think there should be free movement of peaceful people across state lines but not country borders.

    Ron Paul said once

    Ron Paul is wrong on immigration.

  58. CBS News with Katie Couric reported over 300,000 Mexican mothers crossed the border to have American citizens.

    If I read my source correctly, this is not the number who crossed the border to have their children. This is the estimated total number of children born to illegal immigrants.

    Why? Why not be born in Mexico?

    Bluntly, because one cannot move freely between the US and Mexico. If one could, then illegal immigrants would be much more likely to leave their family in Mexico and work seasonally, the way they used to before the recent spate of immigration crackdowns.

    Also, if parents knew their children could move freely between the US and Mexico, they would be far less likely to feel the need to anchor the children’s citizenship in the US. They or their children could move to the US if and when they wanted at some later time — just as US citizens realize they don’t need to rush to California to have their children there since they or their children could go live and work there at any time.

  59. Wait until your child can’t get into the best daycare or school because you make too much to get assistance, but it’s crawling with non-english speaking children,

    I challenge you to come up with any elite institution (of any variety – education, healthcare, golf course) in this country that has more foreign nationals than US Citizens – or even a statisically significant # greater than the 10% or so they make up of the US population.

    The only thing I can think of is maybe some organizations in Hawaii which are Japanese only.

    The other irony is in my second hand experience, most daycare workers or other ‘child-care professionals’ were not born in the US. You ever hear of an Au Pair?

  60. “After all, different states have different cultures as well, and I’m at a loss as to why you think there should be free movement of peaceful people across state lines but not country borders.”

    Who said anything about not crossing borders? I welcome anyone traveling to come to the US, I’m talking about living somewhere, living in another country, not moving to another state or City within my own country,but becoming a burden of the state, living not visiting, not on a VISA either.

    I ask you to review Mexico’s policy on immigration. Is that fair? Not to PC America’s standards, but it’s their law and visitors and citizens are expected to abide those laws. Why is it that when it comes to America, we think laws can be bent or broken? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right? I would love to have Mexico’s immigration laws, at least there enforced.

    So are you for open borders, a North America Union between Canada, Mexico, and the USA?


    Bluntly, because one cannot move freely between the US and Mexico.”

    Why should you want to move freely, and by freely I think you mean daily. Because you can move freely. If I want to vacation in Mexico, can I not move freely down there. What need do Mexicans or Canadians not get from their own country that drives them to the US illegally? What makes them come here to live? And don’t say jobs, can’t Mexico afford them with jobs? If not, why not?

    And why do they have to “anchor” (you’re words) their children in the first place. Is Mexico so bad that they need to come here?

    Guys, I love Mexicans. This is not about Mexicans, hell it’s not a bout race, it’s about economics and I can’t force it on you nor will I. I have a very close friend who is Mexican and he feels the same way as I do and quite frankly is even more adamant than me about this issue.

    Seriously now, either you don’t mind paying taxes for illegal immigrants and legal citizens and their welfare and government assisted programs, you haven’t personally been effected yet, or you think it’s America’s job to support the world, outside of that I would like you to explain to me why it is, in your opinion, that we open the borders and allow for this mass migration north, all the while taking care of some and subsidizing others? Do you think we can afford it?

  61. What makes them come here to live?

    Jobs.

    And don’t say jobs

    Damn.

    Okay… Jobs that pay significantly better than those in their home country.

    Seriously now, either you don’t mind paying taxes for illegal immigrants and legal citizens and their welfare and government assisted programs, you haven’t personally been effected yet, or you think it’s America’s job to support the world,

    …or…

    1. you recognize the theory, empiricism, and history that say that, so long as they pay their own way, immigrants can only help the economy they immigrate into, or

    2. you actually include the staggering increase in the standard of living of immigrants in your moral calculations, or

    3. you actually believe that individuals have the same inalienable rights regardless of which side of a line on a map they were born, or

    All of the above.

  62. Kolohe,

    “I challenge you to come up with any elite institution”

    Who said anything about it having to be elite? If your child can’t get into a school period because a certain amount of minorities have to fill a quota but it’s your neighborhood school, but they want to bus your child to a lesser school. Do you think that’s fair? I know this is a larger issue than illegal migration, but is it fair to bus my child, hell to bus their child?

    And yes, there is a daycare here that costs $2000 a month (elite by my standards) and while I can’t afford it, when we visited, they informed us that they took government subsidies, (this was not a private school) and while we were there, numerous Mexicans who did not speak English (I know this because the greeter of the school tried to speak with them)came in. I asked about them and the lady at the counter informed me that the children were, citizens born to Mexican women (that’s for you Ayn) and on subsidies. Was that smart on her part to divulge that information, probably not, did she do it because of my race, maybe so, but that’s on her, not me.

    I don’t care if the childcare worker isn’t American by birth. If they are here legally or through a program as you suggest, that’s fine by me. I’m not a racist, a bigot, or an elitist, or a nativist as the board like to call me.

    You see my problem with this daycare thing is that I went to college, got a masters, then got a good job, make good money, but yet I can’t take my child to the school of my choice, I can’t afford it, and that part is fine, but when I asked why the school charges so much more than others, I’m told it’s to offset the government assistance programs. Is that fair? To some on this board yes, to me no?

    Wait to it personally effects you. That’s all I’m saying.

  63. 1. you recognize the theory, empiricism, and history that say that, so long as they pay their own way, immigrants can only help the economy they immigrate into, or

    Immigrants help!!! They pay their own way. I know this and welcome them, but illegal immigrants is what we are talking about , while they help some for some, they don’t always pay their own way, and this hurts the middle class and lower class

    2. you actually include the staggering increase in the standard of living of immigrants in your moral calculations, or

    Great for the immigrant, I hope they suceed, they only make us better. Again, we’re talking about illegal immigrants.

    3. you actually believe that individuals have the same inalienable rights regardless of which side of a line on a map they were born

    Of course they have inalienable rights and they should be respected at all costs, and they can travel, they can move, they can apply for VISAS, worker programs, but can I go live in Mexico, just walk across the border and get a job, live, and get government assistance. The answer is no, why can’t I?

    Why shouldn’t I care about these issues because it effects everyone in this country?

    What makes them come here to live?

    Jobs.

    And don’t say jobs

    Damn.

    Okay… Jobs that pay significantly better than those in their home country.

    Very funny by the way. But why doesn’t their home country provide these jobs? And if we enforced regulations on current employers here, would they still come?

  64. illegal immigrants is what we are talking about , while they help some for some, they don’t always pay their own way, and this hurts the middle class and lower class

    Then argue to change the law so they pay their own way! We have already established that they don’t receive welfare except through their citizen children. Put those children on the welfare schedule of their parents, and you’re pretty much done.

    Great for the immigrant, I hope they suceed, they only make us better. Again, we’re talking about illegal immigrants.

    Whether the immigrant has or does not have a piece of paper from the government does not impact point #2. In fact, it does not impact any of the three points.

    Of course they have inalienable rights and they should be respected at all costs

    One of those inalienable rights is the right to travel freely without being detained and transported against one’s will. Another is the right to own property or reside wherever one can arrange mutually beneficial arrangement. A third is the right to work where one can arrange suitable employment.

    If those rights should be respected “at all costs,” you would be arguing as strongly as those on the free migration side that immigration in general should not be illegal.

    can I go live in Mexico, just walk across the border and get a job, live, and get government assistance. The answer is no, why can’t I?

    (Excepting the government assistance part…) Because Mexico, like the US, is a government that does not perfectly perform its principal purpose: to secure the inalienable rights of individuals.

  65. America First | April 23, 2008, 7:46pm | #

    “Who said anything about it having to be elite?”

    America First | April 23, 2008, 4:02pm | #

    Wait until your child can’t get into the best daycare or school because you make too much to get assistance, but it’s crawling with non-english speaking children,

    Something that is ‘the best’ is, by definition, elite.

  66. Then the school I mention is elite. Too me elite is maybe a nationally known school, not a the best school in town.

  67. You still didn’t answer the questions, other than point out that your definition and my definition of elite is different.

  68. Mike,

    While we can agree to disagree I’ve enjoyed our conversation.

    Inalienable rights are deserved. The right to live, with liberty, freedom of choice, freedom to travel, freedom to exist as you see fit, as long as it doesn’t effect or impose on anyone else, tramping on their own inalienable rights.

    It seems that we have been trampled on, and made to feel guilty for not wanting to be trampled on, and I’m tired of it.

    When it’s equal all the way around for everyone in this country, where my neighbor takes care of himself and I myself, maybe I’ll concede, but until then I’ll fight for law change and for the rights of fellow Americans…it’s the only action that we can do.

    I hope that others that may read this take something away from the conversation. People are too afraid to discuss these topics and allow themselves to see or at least hear the other side.

    America First in my eyes.

  69. America First | April 23, 2008, 8:01pm | #

    Great for the immigrant, I hope they suceed, they only make us better. Again, we’re talking about illegal immigrants.

    America First | April 23, 2008, 7:46pm | #

    If your child can’t get into a school period because a certain amount of minorities have to fill a quota but it’s your neighborhood school, but they want to bus your child to a lesser school.

  70. Inalienable rights are deserved.

    No, they aren’t. you’re entitled to them as a human being. I don’t know what entity you think should “test” for the “deservedness” of rights, but I’m terrified to find out.

    When it’s equal all the way around for everyone in this country, …maybe I’ll concede

    Stockholmism…color me shocked.

  71. Keep refusing to answer the questions and taking my comments out of context.

    Are not the rights, which are entitled when born,. I thought that was implied, common sense you know. I didn’t know things had to be spelled out here, and are they not deserved. Just because you have them, can a country not allow you to have them? Sure they can. Look around the world. So yes they are also deserved.

    And you know what I meant about “equality” each paying their own way, not me, not the government, and not the rest of the hard working Americans that pay taxes supporting this group through our government regulated taxes. When each man is held accountable for their own way. Trust me, it’s not going to happen. That was sarcasm my friend, I didn’t know I had to explain that either.

    Colored me shocked sir, with your lack, once again of a discussion, of not answering my questions, as I have yours, and of scraping together two out of context quotes to try and make some kind of argument. Talk about one sided. I hope one day you can drop that elicit attitude and come down so the rest of us can talk about issues that plague this country.

    Thank you for “the discussion”. It’s obvious what the motives are here. Enjoy your day.

    America First and goodnight.

  72. Reading some of the ridiculous posts on this site (defending illegals) just re-enforces my opinion that most Libratarians are elitist morons.

    BTW, If you think people have inalienable rights than your have led a sheltered life. Try visiting a few non Eurpoean countries.

  73. Are not the rights, which are entitled when born,. I thought that was implied, common sense you know. I didn’t know things had to be spelled out here, and are they not deserved. Just because you have them, can a country not allow you to have them? Sure they can. Look around the world. So yes they are also deserved.

    You may not realize it, but you are engaged in a normative discussion: How should government behave, not how does government behave. Telling us that other countries don’t protect individual rights is hardly an argument for whether the US should.

    But it really is unclear what you mean by “inalienable rights are deserved.”

  74. Reading some of the ridiculous posts on this site (defending illegals) just re-enforces my opinion that most Libratarians are elitist morons.

    Libertarian elitist morons founded the country that you are so busy defending against pretended invasions.

  75. please retire the “but Americans won’t work those jobs, anyway” canard or better off just stick it up your ass b/c it’s totally a lie from the chamber of commerce. Happy Farms was busted for hiring undocumented workers and paid a $590,000 civil penalty and fine in 2007 (this is in Franklin County, Missouri). Documents revealed by ICE’s raid included over fifty job applications received by the company BY AMERICAN CITIZENS. Americans were willing to pick apples. The apple picking company just wasn’t willing to hire them, because they would insist that worker safety laws were followed, they wouldn’t tolerate sexual harassment, they wouldn’t be cowtowed into not reporting a work comp claim, etc. However, out of status workers WOULD put pu with such things. Black wages have been dessimated by mexican workers.

    If one day we all saw yellow buses full of illegal immigrants heading south, you know what we’d see back at home? help wanted signs. and jobs with living wages, and benefits.

    Please spare me the “breaking up families” whine. Since when has the gov’t gave a shit about breaking up families? People who go to prison for drugs lose their kids every day in every state. Yeah, you and your family are in a bad way now that Dad’s been deported, but didn’t dad kind of know that was coming some day, yet he took the risk? and keep the family in tact by all moving to Mexico, isn’t that an option?

  76. As a “restrictionist” who wants something done about illegal immigration , I am offended by Bush , Chertoff , The LA Times , etc…

    We have lost the country already and you open borders advocates are not smart enough to see it.

    1 out of 4 children under age 5 are Hispanic.

    30 % of the welfare receipients in the U.S. are in California. Does this bear any connection to having 3 to 4 million illegal aliens , mostly Hispanic , in California?

    According to the UCLA Chicano center :

    1.) 6% of 1st generation Mexicans vote Republican.
    2.) 17% of “3rd” generation Mexicans vote for Republicans.

    So, if there are 7 million illegal alien Mexicans in the U.S. , the Democrats are going to get 6.5 million new voters if there is another amnesty.

    Don’t tell me that we don’t have a right to be concerned about all of these issues.

    Also, it doesn’t matter if illegal aliens commit more or less crime than natives.

    What matter is that they are committing “incremental ” crime that would not exist if they weren’t here.

    Jamiel Shaw would almost surely be alive today if the police were serious about illegal immigration.

    You open borders people have blood on your hands because you accept , condone , rationalize , and facilitate illegal immigration in order to improve your political fortunes.

  77. No I don’t think white workers will take back breaking jobs for min. wage.
    O.K. say you do bring up the pay, how much do you thing those green veggies will cost you ?

  78. Gee, I wonder where all those “MADE IN USA” products went ??

  79. Damn it, I click a link to a back article and forget I’m reading an old article and start commenting.

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