The politics of immigration

An illegal immigrant is headed home (Reuters)

Arizona’s tough new immigration law swiftly reconfigured the national political landscape in an already high-octane election year. It creates peril for Democrats and Republicans on a divisive issue with implications for national security, states rights and race.

Both parties are trying to figure out the next step, mindful not to enflame their electoral base or alienate independents over the estimated 12 million people living in the United States illegally. The last immigration debate — in 2007, it exposed divisions within each party — remains fresh in lawmakers’ minds.

It’s almost certain that neither Republicans nor Democrats wanted to have a fight over such a volatile issue just six months before congressional elections that will determine the balance of power in Washington.

Immigration touches every rung of American politics, from national security issues, like border control and terrorist profiling, to domestic affairs like education and health care. American cultural issues like race, class and language also are in play. And every level of government, from federal agencies in Washington to city councils in small communities, is trying to deal with immigration issues.

That means businesses, labor unions, religious groups and immigrant advocacy organizations all have a stake in the issue — and all are likely to hold candidates accountable for their positions this fall.

Republicans who have tried to make inroads with the fast-growing Hispanic population are wary of being portrayed as xenophobic. Democrats fear the characterization that they are weak on national security.

“This really sort of throws down the gauntlet for both parties,” said Catherine Lee, a Rutgers University sociology professor focused on immigration reform politics. She said it’s too early to say which party will benefit from immigration reform being out front. “That will depend on how the parties handle the issue and frame the debate going forward.”

Already, immigration is emerging as a major issue in a slew of Republican primaries, with House, Senate and gubernatorial candidates like Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer having to choose between a hard-line approach and a more middle-of-the-road solution. The GOP also now faces the sensitive task of figuring out how to appeal to its conservative base and libertarian-leaning tea party activists without further turning off Hispanics and other swing voters.

Brewer, in the midst of a tough Republican primary battle, signed a law requiring police to question people about their status if there’s reason to suspect they’re in the country illegally.

President Barack Obama, a Democrat, immediately instructed the Justice Department to examine the law he said threatens to “undermine basic notions of fairness” and pressed anew for immigration legislation, saying, “If we continue to fail to act at a federal level, we will continue to see misguided efforts opening up around the country.”

Protests erupted overnight and the political battle lines were quickly drawn.

Conservatives applauded the measure as necessary to stop a flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico. Liberals derided it as a threat to civil rights. The Catholic cardinal in Los Angeles compared the law’s rules to Nazism.

Since Brewer signed the measure from Arizona’s GOP-controlled legislature, Republicans and Democrats in Washington have largely focused on the process of taking up immigration reform and shied away from talking substance.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a tough re-election fight in Hispanic-heavy Nevada, swiftly renewed his promise to pursue immigration legislation even as the Senate works on measures on financial regulatory reform and climate change. That prompted GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who backs comprehensive immigration reform, to threaten to withhold his support for the climate bill if Senate Democrats opt to deal first with immigration.

“We have an enormous number of people who are in this country illegally,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. Still, he added, “It’s not a great time to take this issue up in Washington.”

But Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., called the Arizona law “outrageous” and said, “Before this even gets further out of hand, we’ve got to step up and do the job.”

Inroads Republicans made among Hispanics during George W. Bush‘s presidency were erased following the failed 2007 effort to overhaul the immigration system. Bush, a Texan who focused heavily on Hispanics, got 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2004. But Republican John McCain, whose presidential campaign was derailed in part because of his support for comprehensive immigration reform, got only 31 percent four years later.

For their part, Obama and Democrats who control Congress were all but forced by Brewer’s action to bring up immigration legislation sooner than expected. Hispanics will be closely watching to see if Obama delivers on his reform promise; passage could solidify their support for the Democratic Party.

Democrats will have to walk a fine line, appeasing liberals without angering others, including tea party activists and conservatives who put a high premium on states’ rights. And moderate Democrats in vulnerable states and districts will have to take sides, and could well thwart the White House to save their own jobs.

In this month’s Associated Press-GfK poll, 56 percent said immigration was important to them, but that issue ranked behind every other issue, including the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. Just one-third of those surveys approved of Obama’s handling of immigration; his standing on that issue has fallen by double digits in the past year.

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28 Responses to "The politics of immigration"

  1. Jeanjeanie  April 27, 2010 at 6:06 am

    Thank you Arizona, every state needs to follow your lead. If only California had been able to implement prop 187 it would not me in the shape it is in today. Something needs to be done and amnesty isn’t it. We were promised in 86 that the government would secure our border, enforce immigration law and that it would be the last amnesty. They lied and we’re not going to fall for another lie. Deport, deport, deport and them deport more. Enough is enough.

  2. keith  April 27, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I have absolutely NO doubt that the new Arizona immigration law WILL eventually be struck down as unconstitutional because, besides being blatantly racist, it attempts to usurp federal responsibilities under the US Constitution.

    However, that said, our absolutely arcane FEDERAL immigration laws ALSO need to be streamlined so as to help speed up the process of opening up our borders to LEGAL immigrants. Indeed, these so-called “illegal” immigrants’ only “crime” is that they want to become full-fledged participants in the American dream… a dream that the rest of us already share.

    We often tend to forget that, for most of our history, the United States of America has been a nation largely made up of immigrants. Indeed, if we all go back far enough, most of us have familial roots in some other country besides the USA.

    I also find it fascinating that the same people who keep harping about “illegal immigration” are often the same ones bitching and moaning about how our government is now spending us into oblivion.

    It seems to me a good way to start reversing our ballooning government deficits would be to start looking for innovative ways to turn all of these so-called “illegals” (again, whose only “crime” is that they want to live and work here just like the rest of us) into tax-paying US CITIZENS.

    And all that blather about them taking jobs away from other Americans is just more racist bigotry. The more people we have in our country, the more jobs are created to serve them, which, in turn, creates more tax revenues. A “rising tide lifts all boats”.

    But then again, when have innovative ideas for deficit reduction and job creation ever gotten in the way of racist bigotry?

    • Almandine  April 27, 2010 at 10:31 am

      Tell it to unemployed Americans.

    • woody188  April 27, 2010 at 2:38 pm

      I’m not sure you understand what bigotry means keith. Seems to me the bigoted thing to do would be to keep the current status quo and leave our borders open to all immigration. And we still have yet to see you cite which portions of the bill are racist. Which all points to the irrationality of your argument. States also have a right/responsibility to protect their citizens especially where the Feds have failed so miserably.

  3. b mcclellan  April 27, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Tell it to the Journeyman, plumber, welder, electrician etc. who has seen his wages halved or their job outsourced by bloodsucking corporatist policy.
    Policy that allows the untrained and illegal to underbid and flood the labor market with cheap tawdry products and construction practices.

    Guarding our workforce and their right to a fair and level playing field is not racist, nor is it bigotry. It’s called loyalty, that of which no illegal deserves.

  4. keith  April 27, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    Almandine wrote: “Tell it to unemployed Americans”,

    …which is simply more “the pie is only so big” thinking. My suggestion is that we start looking for ways to make the “pie” bigger.

    Americans are unemployed because, in many cases, they are paid not to. Indeed, many “illegals” are now taking jobs that many Americans don’t want. Such jobs are felt to be “beneath” most Americans and taking such low paying jobs would also offset their (much higher) monthly welfare checks.

    And many others are unemployed because our own federal government has been routinely giving tax incentives to employers for decades to move their jobs overseas.

    What’s more, “illegals” didn’t cause the economic collapse of 2008 that led to the recent huge spike in unemployment, either. It was the banks( and lack of government regulation and oversight) that were at the root of THAT particular debacle.

    In western cultures, a growing population stimulates job growth. And job growth begets tax receipts. Right now, most of the the money that “illegals” earn is never taxed and most of it goes back to Mexico. Any way you cut it, THAT’S NUTS!

    Like it or not, these people are HERE. And they will CONTINUE to “be here” because NO amount of so-called “border protection” is going to keep them out…not without turning our whole country into an armed camp.

    And, I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely NO desire to live in an armed camp!

    Once again, rather than trying (in vain) to keep these people out, I say let’s look for ways to make it easier for such people to become job-generating, tax-paying CITIZENS!

    • Almandine  April 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm

      As I said in another thread… you’re only looking for Dem votes.

      And it ain’t about pie… but tax dollars. California got $11B in the first stimulus bailout, which was the amount of tax dollars required to service their illegals – once. Much of their insolvency now is for that same reason.

      Our system of govt was designed from the start to benefit our people, not the hoards from abroad who infiltrate our borders illegally. We have laws on the books toward that end.

      Let’s reward legitimate immigrants and not criminals.

      • Keith  April 27, 2010 at 5:11 pm

        Certainly, criminals should NOT be welcome!

        But our mind-blowing pile of highly complex immigration laws do NOTHING but make it harder and harder for (as you say) “legitimate immigrants” to emigrate.

        And while we are all busy building fences and walls to keep people OUT, I think it is also important to realize that fences and walls are equally effective at keeping people IN. Any way you cut it, our southern border is looking more and more like an armed camp…. if not a gulag…. every day.

        I think it is also important to note how many CENTURIES we have been trying in this country (without any measurable degree of success) to stop illegal immigration by erecting more and more walls. Indeed, as Albert Einstein once noted, “Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.

        As I’ve said, most of these people are simply ordinary folk who just want to earn a living. The vast majority aren’t criminals. They have families to feed and children to raise just like the rest of us do. But our eye-watering pile of conflicting federal immigration laws are all designed to keep people OUT…not to welcome them with open arms.

        By contrast, while we here in the USA are all hard at work erecting ever-more ineffective walls to keep people out, our friends to the north (in Canada) are hard at work creating a growing MULTICULTURAL nation where most everyone seems to be getting along just fine. For example, for going on CENTURIES now, they’ve had an entire PROVINCE (Quebec) that embraces an entirely different culture (as well as an entirely different language…French) than the rest of the country. Indeed, most all Canadians regard Quebec as a nation within the larger country of Canada. BOTH French and English are formally recognized as official languages in Canada.

        But, what’s even MORE interesting is that there are now more people of Chinese heritage living in Canada than there are French. And, as of late, Canada has been streamlining its immigration laws and making it far EASIER for foreign nationals to become legally landed immigrants. These people eventually go on to become job creating, home-buying, tax-paying contributors to Canada’s (now booming), world-class economy. And throughout it all, Canada’s “sky” has yet to “fall”.

        Why can’t we do this in the United States? Why are our immigration laws all biased toward keeping people OUT rather than welcoming them in? WHAT ARE WE SO AFRAID OF?

        The more I read and hear the wails of protest against so-called “illegal” immigration in the United States, the more I become convinced that the issue has VERY little to do with employment or taking jobs away from Americans and EVERYTHING to do with perpetuating our own lingering bigotry and racism…. that is…to keep “their kind'” OUT.

        The bottom line here is that “illegal immigration” isn’t the problem. It’s a symptom. The PROBLEM is that our nation’s immigration laws are now so horribly complex and out of touch with modern reality as to be nothing but a systemically discriminatory barrier to entry for legitimate immigrants.

        And the last time I checked, systemic discrimination in government-administered, taxpayer supported regulatory programs was, itself, quite “illegal” here in the United States.

        Maybe it’s time we actually started living up to our “liberty and justice for all” dogma that we seem to have a penchant for pushing down everyone else’s throats in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

        Sadly, we have now become a nation that forces others to embrace everything that it is not, while at the same time condemning everything that it is.

        • Almandine  April 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm

          Got it. Immigration laws mean nothing to you, who would have a govt of men and not statutes. Anything goes, in the name of liberalism.

          • keith  April 28, 2010 at 8:55 am

            No, it’s not “anything goes”…. it’s called old immigration laws that have, themselves, now been run over by 21st Century reality.

            And, even some new ones (like this new state law in Arizona which attempts to usurp statutes that are CLEARLY the responsibility of the federal government and which is absolutely systemically discriminatory to boot) are coming into DIRECT conflict with other, equally binding, federal human rights and equal opportunity laws in our land.

            Indeed, for someone who seems to be overly hung up on “statutes”, it would appear that it is YOU who now believes that “anything goes”.

            That is, when it comes to keeping “them” out of our country at all costs, clearly, the ends MORE than justify the means.

          • Almandine  April 28, 2010 at 9:13 am

            You’re right – it discriminates against illegals.

  5. Danny Adams  April 27, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Whether the bill is right or wrong is one issue, but I’ve met a few folks here in SW VA, and a lot in NoVA and D.C., who railed against illegal immigration…while employing illegal immigrants. It seems their so-called convictions failed when offered the chance to save money.

  6. Keith  April 28, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Indeed…a lot of this is ALSO about money…FEDERAL money. And, as it has oft been said, to get to the bottom of such things, one must “follow the money”.

    The USA has always had to have an “enemy” of some kind…a “boogieman” that was about to overrun our country with hoards of “them” at any moment. In fact, we are so paranoid about such things that we now devote fully 5% of our GDP to our nation’s military forces. Indeed, our military is probably one of only a handful of totally non-exportable industries our country has left.

    But, without an “enemy” of some sort to justify the continued expenditure of that kind of money into military manpower and equipment, a significant part of our country’s economy would totally evaporate. Talk about rising unemployment!

    And, as our made-up wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now starting to wind down (as we’ve apparently now killed all the “boogiemen” there), I read today where “Big Sis” Napolitano is poised to start sending US Military Predator Drones to the Texas-Mexico border to patrol for other such “boogiemen”, an action that is seemingly in DIRECT conflict with our nation’s Posse Comitatus Act.

    All of which makes me wonder whether the REAL fear of the feds in all this is that these “upstarts” in Arizona might be poised to seriously undermine their own, far larger and far more important military-industrial “empire”.

    For, without a continual “enemy” to wage war against, that “empire” will most certainly crumble.

  7. Keith  April 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    Almandine wrote: “You’re right – it discriminates against illegals.”

    But how about all those people who AREN’T “illegals” and who simply want to come into (or stay) in our country LEGALLY?

    What about those people who must endure year after year of seemingly endless bureaucratic gobbledygook and “red tape” just to get a visa to live and work in this country?

    One of the underlying precepts of law that our founding fathers wrote into our Constitution was the idea that we are innocent until proven guilty. Unfortunately, this new Arizona law has now very clearly turned that fundamental concept on its head.

    Indeed, that law now allows “law enforcement” to line people (that is, US citizens!) up against a wall simply because they may LOOK like an “illegal”. It allows them to assume that such US CITIZENS are all guilty and then to demand that such US CITIZENS prove otherwise. This is EXACTLY the way the Gestapo used to work in Nazi Germany when they rounded up people of the Jewish faith. How is what Arizona has now written into their state law any different?

    How would YOU feel being humiliated in such ways? Are YOU prepared to endure all manner of racial profiling by some law enforcement “goon squad” to prove YOU are in this country “legally” based SOLELY on what you look like? Are YOU freely willing to endure your neighbors, friends and/or co-workers being forced (by law) into “ratting” on you to the police or other so-called “law enforcement” agency simply because they THINK you are in this country illegally?

    One of our nation’s Founding Fathers (Benjamin Franklin) once said that, “They who would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

    Indeed, old Ben’s father emigrated from another country, too. And I often wonder whether his father (a British national) would have had to endure all manner of needless regulatory nonsense that immigrants have to endure today in order to live and work in this country.

    This is all nonsense that our government now ROUTINELY places in the way of ordinary people who simply want to live and work in our country…all in the name of some feel-good sense of “security’ that we’ve been continually spoon-fed by our government so as to justify their ever–more-powerful “military-industrial complex”.

    Somehow, I don’t think old Ben’s father had to justify his intent to live and work in this country to ANYONE. Rather (and just like today’s “illegals”) my hunch is that he “just showed up” on our shores and then went to work.

    And, thank goodness he did. And thank goodness HE wasn’t rounded up and deported back to England by some stupid “homeland security” goon squad of the day. Otherwise, old Ben might never have been born.

    And had old Ben never been born, WE might not now have a US Constitution for our country that clearly places the dignity and the freedom of the individual FAR ABOVE the interests of the State.

    Surely, and thanks to all of our highly paranoid “security” zealots in both Washington (and now Arizona), my hunch is that old Ben is most assuredly turning over in his grave.

    “Nuff said.

  8. Almandine  April 28, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Well keith, I’m glad you mostly got off the MIC conspiracy theory stuff…

    I’ve been wondering if you’ve actually read or otherwise gotten first hand info about what’s in the AZ law. I was just listening to a reading from the AZ law on public radio, and the important provisions in it reiterate federal immigration law directly. No draconian measures as you suggest, as the only difference from recent AZ immigration stance is the new authorities given to Arizona law enforcement. That was “law enforcement”. There was nothing in there about lining folks up against a wall. Nothing about bullwhips, chains, shackles, tasers, etc. Although, I must say, there was also a comparison of that law with current Mexican immigration statutes… FYI, don’t try to go there unannounced or uninvited, unless you have a couple of years to spend in jail. Their police are mandated to asses your immigration stautus, and even their citizens may arrest you and haul you into the local police station for questioning. (Yeah, I know, that crazy sovereignty stuff is one of the reasons their citizens want to come here!)

    Now as far as innocent until proven guilty, there are 2 points to be made: 1) our constitution and laws are written for our citizens, not foreign nationals – even those who make it into our country illegally. You seem to have a continuing problem knowing exactly which people are guaranteed rights by our constitution. 2) The very act of entering our country without following proper procedures makes them “criminals”… you know, someone who has committed a crime… in this case the crime of entering the US surreptitiously. Just wanting to be here is not enough.

    I mean, heck, I’d like to live in your house, eat your food, sleep in your bed, have you pay my doctor bills … should I just come on over, knock the door down and move on in? You know – I want to.

    Not up for that? Why?

    • Keith  April 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm

      Almandine wrote: “…our constitution and laws are written for our citizens, not foreign nationals – even those who make it into our country illegally. You seem to have a continuing problem knowing exactly which people are guaranteed rights by our constitution.”

      ————————-

      Not quite.

      In all but a handful of states, non-citizens are, by custom, extended main Bill of Rights protections. And, in all states, they theoretically have the same legal protection against criminal offense as citizens have.

      As far as statutes are concerned, there are federal laws and regulations as well as state regulations ( again that may vary from state to state), that protect ALL people (not just citizens) against basic criminal offenses.

      For example, it is just as illegal in the U.S. to steal from an alien (including an illegal alien) as it is to steal from a citizen. And an adult can be executed in many states for killing a non-citizen as well as a citizen. There are also specific statues that address the status and treatment of both legal and illegal aliens.

      Unfortunately, the fundamental problem in the United States regarding both legal and illegal aliens is one that has been typical throughout history. It’s that most people…even in modern so-called “advanced” societies…view outsiders and foreigners as people lessor than themselves.

      It’s called systemic discrimination. And, unfortunately, and despite numerous federal and state laws against such behavior, it is STILL an institutionalized part of our society here in the United States.

      Note for example, how the media in the U.S. treats the number of those killed and wounded in Iraq who are Americans compared to those who are not. There is little mention of the many thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of Iraqis and others whose lives have been utterly destroyed by this futile exercise in mindless stupidity. It would appear that the vast majority of Americans do not even care.

      Indeed, YOU have used the analogy that we must now prevent other people from “coming into our homes to take over”.

      What about the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children that WE’VE been routinely bombing into oblivion in far off places like Iraq and Afghanistan, all in the name of protecting OUR so-called “security”?

      What “guaranteed right” do WE have to force our own, home-grown version of “democracy” down other people’s throats at gunpoint? What did these (for the most part, totally innocent) people do to deserve OUR military “coming into their homes” to bomb both them (AND their homes) into oblivion? Don’t these people have a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, just like we do?

      And I suppose those of us who live here in the USA have ALSO now earned the “guaranteed right” to have our CIA, NSA and Homeland Security goon squads tap our phones without a warrant, strip search us at airports, sift through our electronic and other mail at will, monitor our Internet conversations and then throw those of us whom they (or their Homeland Security “thought police”) somehow deem are “against them” into jails (often in faraway lands) without due process (let alone any hope of a fair trial!) all in the name of “protecting” the rest of us from an enemy that our government…and their lies…helped create.

      Sadly, our government keeps telling us that we are now safer because of what they’ve done. This, too, is a lie because, the only thing they’ve now accomplished has been to turn our once proud, free and WELCOMING nation into an armed camp…a country that now must be ruthlessly controlled by intimidation and fear using a 21st Century version of George Orwell’s “Big Brother” all so that they (and their fellow fat cat politicians) can stay in power.

      As I have said, thanks to the ongoing work of our self-serving, dirt-bag politicians, our once proud, welcoming, and most of all FREE United States of America has now become a nation that forces others (often at the point of a gun) to embrace everything that it is not, while at the same time condemning everything that it has become.

      • Carl Nemo  April 28, 2010 at 7:03 pm

        Truly a superb, spot-on post Keith… : )

        Carl Nemo **==

  9. Almandine  April 28, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    Let us be clear… the topic is immigration, not foreign military adventures, not who can steal from whom in the US, not what we do in foreign lands “at gunpoint”, not illegal surveillance of the masses, but illegal immigration.

    Get your mind wrapped around that and make a case. Otherwise, let’s just call it Christmas, if we can still utter that word.

    Do the math, Carl.

    • Carl Nemo  April 28, 2010 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Almandine,

      I’ve read the entire thread with comments from Woody, Bryan and yourself which have merit. I’m simply impressed with Keith’s informed, balanced rebuttals covering many aspects of this complex issue.

      The immigration problem could be summarily cleaned up if the U.S. set up an expeditious seasonal green card system where documented workers can enter the U.S. perform whatever jobs they are best suited for and the exit the country and come back the following year providing they haven’t committed any crimes. The fees should be reasonable and the process speedy and efficient. I’m also in tune with the idea of amnesty for those that have been in this country for at least five years and have committed no crimes etc. If they are working hard, paying their taxes and living responsibly then we might has well have them onboard. Besides the way this nation is founderinig we’ll need all possible hands on deck paying their fair share of taxes to keep the U.S. afloat including their payment to the SS Trust fund which is now moving into the “red ink” zone due to outlays being in excess of SS taxes.

      In past years I did all my landscaping, but in recently I have hired Hispanic landscaping companies to trim whatever hedges and trees I need groomed. I have 600 feet of mature arbor vitae and other hedges and trees that need grooming near the house proper. All I can say is they work in a cheerful efficient manner and get the job done for a reasonable price point. I’ve hired white guys to do the job and they’ve iinvariably turned out to be a bunch shufflebutts that I had to supervise in order to get the job done to my standards, but not so with the Hispanic laborers. They also have modern, state of the art gear, trailers and trucks to transport their equipment. Seemingly they are successful at what they do. I have no idea if they are illegal or not. They have business cards and are licensed and bonded too.

      I’ve watched documentaries such as “Food Inc.” which generally show only Hispanics working in massive food processing factories. The work is physically hard, dirty, bloody and no doubt hazardous. I don’t see any white people on the lines other than supervisors etc. In most cases they are exploited with the factories located in very poor counties in the U.S. The ‘illegals’ never know when they are going to be rounded up and snatched from their dwellings never to return without any due process. The factory owners don’t care because there’s always another “illegal” to exploit as a mere plug-in module. In fact, I urge people to watch the documentary “Food Inc.”. It will make a grown, caring man or woman cry for these people. I can also assure you, I’m not a knee jerk liberal.

      There has to be a solution to this problem, but simply doing mass roundups is not the answer especially without probable cause other than their skin color and they might be overheard speaking Spanish. I don’t want the U.S. to end up as in some nightmarish movie showing Germany in the 30’s with the police or Gestapo type entity demanding we show our “papers”.

      Carl Nemo **==

  10. Almandine  April 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Aw jeez, Carl… don’t play the Gestapo card.

    Like you, I’ve gotten to the point that manual lablr is tough. There are plenty of takers, not just mexicans. But, yeah, they’ll do heavy lifting if that’s what’s out there.

    My point is that it goes far beyond the convenience of cheap labor. CBO says it will take $30B initially to bring them all into the system, with welfare, medicaid, etc., to follow. Who knows what Obamacare will cost. The idea in 1986 was that all this amnesty would never have to happen again. Yawn…

    But… all that is beside the point. Nation of laws or men? As a submariner, you’d pick discipline and focus on serious outcomes, I’m thinking.

  11. Carl Nemo  April 28, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    “But… all that is beside the point. Nation of laws or men? As a submariner, you’d pick discipline and focus on serious outcomes, I’m thinking.” …extract from reply

    Maybe as I age I’m getting to be a “softy”, then too the USS America is a surface vessel; ie., a cruise ship with 300 million route step passengers including ‘illegals’ onboard all with personal issues ranging from hangnails to unemployment, to insolvency, then bankrutpcy which is a far cry from commanding or manning a sub with nominally 140 crew members and 15 officers.

    ***

    Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none. … William Shakespeare

    ***

    Carl Nemo **==

  12. Almandine  April 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    I see you’re ready for mutiny.

    • Carl Nemo  April 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm

      Surely not at the cruise ship level… : ))

      Nemo **==

  13. Carl Nemo  April 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    “Aw jeez, Carl… don’t play the Gestapo card.” …extract from reply

    I thought your comment deserved a thoughtful reply concerning the consequences of not challenging the Constitutionality of how undocumented Hispanics and others are treated and our responsibility to them as possibly ourselves with a government possibly running amok against its citizens under the pretense of national purity.

    *****

    When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a communist.

    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I remained silent;
    I was not a social democrat.

    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a trade unionist.

    When they came for the Jews,
    I remained silent;
    I wasn’t a Jew.

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.

    … Friedrich Niemöller

    *****

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Niem%C3%B6ller

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Almandine  April 28, 2010 at 10:15 pm

      I don’t get it.

      • Carl Nemo  April 28, 2010 at 10:40 pm

        This post was germaine to my earlier post commentary…

        “There has to be a solution to this problem, but simply doing mass roundups is not the answer especially without probable cause other than their skin color and they might be overheard speaking Spanish. I don’t want the U.S. to end up as in some nightmarish movie showing Germany in the 30’s with the police or Gestapo type entity demanding we show our “papers”. ” …extract from post

        Your reply…

        “Aw jeez, Carl… don’t play the Gestapo card.”

        I’m surprised that I have connect the dots my friend in thought… : )

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Keith  April 29, 2010 at 8:24 am

          Interesting reading, all.

          Clearly, this country has a truly MASSIVE immigration “problem”. But, as I’ve said, undocumented “illegals” are a SYMPTOM, not the problem.

          The root problem, as I see it, is a patchwork of horrifically isolationist immigration laws that are clearly out of touch with modern reality. And passing ever-more systemically discriminatory (spelled racist) laws that do absolutely NOTHING but trample all over people’s basic human rights is absolutely NOT a solution.

          What’s more, we here in the United States of America had better start getting used to the fact that our penchant for telling the rest of the world what to do (often at the point of a gun) from our arrogant, self-made “bully pulpit” no longer works.

          The truth is that we are no longer “king of the hill”. As a result, we had better start looking for ways to start GETTING ALONG with the rest of the world community by treating others in the world as equals rather than as sub-humans. Otherwise, we face continued ridicule and further isolation from the mainstream of humanity.

          We are already drowning in tens of trillions of dollars of government red ink, our country’s credit rating is tanking, and our jobs are increasingly being sent overseas where others are now doing what we here USED to do…build quality products for the rest of the world’s consumers.

          What’s more, our reputation among nations is increasingly that of an arrogant (not to mention horrifically spoiled) “bully” of 300 million people who still think they have the God-given right drop bombs on other sovereign nations in increasingly futile attempts to force those nations into doing things “our way”.

          The truth is that our planet is becoming increasingly interconnected both socially and economically. Isolating ourselves behind walls of guns, concrete, barbed wire and spy cameras (not to mention clearly racist immigration laws that only highlight our blatant hypocrisy and bigotry) WILL eventually come back to haunt us both economically and socially.

          In many ways, we have already earned the reputation as that of an increasingly isolated, “pariah”…a nation that is no longer worthy of respect, let alone investment capital. But, without those other nations continually underwriting our truly MASSIVE government debt load, our nation (with along with all of our guns, barbed wire, concrete walls, spy cameras AND our “illegals”) goes right down the crapper.

          • Almandine  April 29, 2010 at 9:05 am

            Quoth the raven…

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