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Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’


The whole argument is political correctness gone to the level of emotional coddling.

Look!  It’s this simple:

If I drive a vehicle and if I do not have insurance or a drivers license, I am still a “driver”.  However, I am an undocumented driver and am not driving legally.  If I am not driving legally, then I am driving illegally.  I am an illegal driver.

It doesn’t matter whether I’m a nice person or not, or whether I work, have children, or am a genius.  If I hit your car and damage it, no matter how nice I am, you will find my illegal status problematic.

If I immigrate to this country and reside here, and if I do not have the appropriate visa or whatever papers I need, I am still a resident–I am still an immigrant.  However, I am an undocumented immigrant and did not immigrate here legally.  If I did not immigrate legally, then I am an illegal immigrant.

For those who don’t like the word “illegal”, you should understand that it means that something is not within the scope of what the law allows or prescribes.  More simply, not in accordance with applicable laws.

We can try to make those who are here illegally feel less outside the law by simply calling them undocumented, but that does not change the law.  And we can try to make ourselves look more progressive, compassionate, and accepting.  But stupidly arguing that black is not black, and that white is not white–well, it makes the person look plain stupid.

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The US  Department of Justice has filed suit against the State of Arizona in an attempt to nullify the state’s law that allows local and state law enforcement agencies to question the legal status of an individual if there is reason to believe that the person is in the country illegally.

OK, so let’s play that again:  The US DOJ is suing Arizona for passing a state-level law that is designed to allow law enforcement officials to enforce the law of the land.

Wait, one more time:  President Obama has put his legal dogs out against Arizona for passing a law that if allowed to stand, will (1) alienate Hispanic voters, a recent source of Democrat power, (2) steal any thunder he may be looking for in championing immigration reform, (3) show him and his adminstration as being weak on border control and national security, and (4) lead to lost seats in November and eventually lead to his defeat in 2012.

To back his position, Obama claims that the Arizona law will lead to a less-safe populace because people will be reluctant to come forward and report crimes.  Translation:  Allowing people to be here illegally without a real risk of being identified and deported leads to an environment in which those same people feel safe about reporting crimes which they may fall victim to or witness. 

What this argument suggests is that the Obama Administration has no intention of enforcing immigration laws or at least, not in any meaningful way that touches the streets of our cities.  They are even planning on challenging an Arizona law that addresses employers’ responsibility to verify that a person is here legally and can work here legally.  So much for E-Verify!  (But that’s a Federal requirement—who needs a state law to further enforce it?)

The issue behind the suit is not whether the law is Constitutional with regard to individual rights, but whether or not the State of Arizona has overstepped its authority in passing a law that touches a Federal issue—immigration.  The real issue behind the suit is that the Democrats and Obama feel obliged to do SOMETHING prior to the November elections and to try to wrest back control of the immigration debate.

It’s a sad day in America when the President sics his dogs on a state in order to protect his power base.

Mr Obama, there are more people here in this country who voted for you than just Hispanics.  You owe them something too and protecting our borders and economy is chief among them.  Keep in mind that illegal immigrants are not just Mexican or Hispanic.  So when you throw open the gates in one area for one group, you really drop the gates for anyone and everyone to come into America and stay here unchallenged—because we all know how inept INS is these days!

And no, for the record—I did not vote for you.

MORE:

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/July/10-opa-776.html

http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/07/06/arizona.immigration.lawsuit/index.html

http://www.justice.gov/

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Jorge Ramos is a journalist and works for the Spanish-language news organization, Univision.  He was interviewed on NPR following President Obama’s decision to push for immigration reform.

According to Señor Ramos, the jobs held predominantly by immigrants, both legal and illegal, are jobs that Americans are not necessarily clamoring for.  It’s a sentiment expressed by former Mexican President Vicente Fox that got him in trouble a few years ago:

Vicente Fox

There is no doubt that Mexicans, filled with dignity, willingness and ability to work, are doing jobs that not even blacks want to do there in the United States.” (May 2005)

In his example, Jorge Ramos cited tomato and orange pickers, presumably referring to the high number of migrant farm workers in California.  He supports a path to citizenship which is pretty clearly based on the immigrants’ sense of entitlement.  What I hear in his words (and the words of others) is a philosophy that they were entitled to enter this country to seek a better life and that if they had to do so illegally, never mind that.  They’re here, they’re entitled to stay, and we should all get over it and make it happen for them.  It’s like saying robbing a bank is illegal but if you can make it out the bank without killing anyone or being killed, and you can make it back to your house with the loot, the police should let you keep the money and say “nice job!”  It’s literally a sense of “safe at home” being applied to crossing the Rio Grande.

Well, here is where I think Señor Jorge Ramos esta muy incorrecto:

1. Non-US citizens are not entitled to move to this country.  If that were so, I’m sure there would be thousands if not millions of poor and destitute, persecuted, and entrepreneurial spirits around the world who would love to be here tomorrow.  But because Mexico shares a largely indefensible border with the US—or perhaps because so much of our country used to belong to Mexico—there seems to be this idea that crossing the border into the US should be as casual as crossing a street.  Not so and the laws of this country prohibit that undocumented immigration.  Shame on illegals for feeling entitled, and shame on the Federal government for doing nothing to uphold the law of the land—except in those instances when it’s easier— or convenient—like holding a few hundred passengers on a plane on the tarmac because Customs and Immigration officials aren’t available.

2. Illegal immigrants need to acknowledge their illegal status and face the consequences under the law, whether there are 12 of them or 12 million of them.  The numbers should not sway the legal process but rather should intensify the need for a solution.

3. It may be so that immigrants take the low-paying and menial jobs that many Americans would not want.  But why is that?

a. For one, it’s because the jobs are low paying.  And the jobs are naturally low paying because of the low skill level required to accomplish the job—and because of the high numbers of eligible workers.

b. Being undocumented, illegal immigrants become easy targets for those who prey on the illegal labor pool for their own financial gain.  These business owners will pay the illegals lower-than-market wages because they can.  The exploited illegal has no choice but to accept whatever pay he or she gets and cannot go to the local labor office and complain.  Being illegal, they have no voice or advocate for higher wages or better conditions.

c. You should realize that once these workers become legalized (if and when), they no longer fall into the same cheap labor pool.  Because businesses cannot take advantage of them, they become less of a victim and are no longer attractive laborers.  If a business has to pay them minimum wage and/or provide benefits, there’s no advantage in hiring them over any other American who wants a job.  Their competitive advantage in that job is gone.

d. On the point of wages being higher if there were fewer available workers, it’s an economic fact that when demand is high and supply is low, the value of that supply goes up.  The more eligible workers there are in the illegal workforce, the lower their pay will be.  The fewer there are, the higher the demand and the higher their pay.  When pay for illegals achieves parity with pay for legals, the advantage is gone and the attraction for undocumented workers goes away with it.

e. In communities where immigrant labor is not rampant, businesses exist and employ non-immigrant labor in menial and low-paying jobs.  One cannot support an argument that Americans (by birth or naturalization) do not hold jobs as roofers, landscapers, cleaners, and pickers.  What can be supported is that businesses that use legal laborers have a financial disadvantage when competing with those that use illegal laborers to the point that they do suffer financially.  Illegal and undocumented workers DO hurt the American economy.   <STORY>

My position is that Jorge Ramos misunderstands something about the American economy and workforce dynamics.  Making the immigrants legal and trying to put them to work in the same jobs they’re in today is not realistic.  There’s a flaw in his logic that overlooks the economic differences and realities when employing documented and undocumented workers.

He might also enjoy reading The Grapes of Wrath.  Not that I did but then again I was in 9th grade at the time.  Anyway, he would do well to remember that there was a time in this country when the typical White American formed a good portion of the labor pool in migrant farming, yes, even in California.  I believe that if such jobs were once again available under good labor conditions including good wages, we’d see Americans happy to take them.  But in a depressed market where an illegal can come along and do it for half the money and be happy, why would business owners hire a documented worker with his/her high demands for good pay and fair treatment?

Illegal and undocumented workers DO hurt the American economy.

MORE:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128260043

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002278764_mexrace18.html

http://www.jmolds.k12.nf.ca/Web%20files/migrantfarmworkers.html

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Before people get bent out of shape over this new Arizona law, maybe they should read it.  Really!

I had lunch with a friend today and as we discussed it, we both had to admit not knowing what it really says.  Without that knowledge, we can only debate what we think it says or what we think it should/should not say.

As a service to those who like to debate intelligently, I’m providing a link to the bill.

What I find missing is any language that helps the reader understand how this law will be enforced.  If the method of enforcement means a “peace officer” can simply stand on a street corner and challenge passers-by, I have a problem with that.  If the enforcement is in conjunction with other activities such as a traffic stop, arrest, question for other matters, etc., then I don’t see a problem.

The difference between the two is a delicate balance between a  police state and law enforcement in America.  My vision follows the way in which states used to enforce seatbelt laws.  Officers could not stop you simply because of not wearing a seatbelt but could cite you if you were found to be in noncompliance during another stop.  That has changed in some states and one has to believe that the Arizona law may change one day as well.  If that happens, then I would certainly object but then again, I can’t believe law enforcement officials in Arizona really have the time or resources to enforce it at that level.

MORE:

http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf

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