Tea Party Says AG Soft on ‘Illegals' | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Tea Party Says AG Soft on ‘Illegals'

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Radio talk-show host Kim Wade and other conservative speakers criticized the federal government and state legislators for lobbying for votes among Hispanics.

At an immigration forum in Madison last night, state Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, attacked Attorney General Jim Hood for what she considers his unwillingness to enforce new state legislation that makes it illegal to employ undocumented residents.

"If E-verify (laws) had been implemented correctly, it would have worked, but we put it in the hands of the attorney general, and the attorney general has not done a very good job. As of this day, I don't know of one compliance (issue) or one thing publicly he's done. Maybe he's done something privately, but so far, I know of nothing," Currie said.

The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Senate Bill 2988, went into effect July 1, 2008. The law requires employers to authenticate the resident status of all employees through the federal database known as E-Verify. The law pertains to all Mississippi agencies and political subdivisions. It applied to all public contractors and private employers with 250 or more employees by July 2008, private employers with 100 or more employees by July 2009, private employers with 30 or more employees by 2010, and all will apply to all employers by July 2011.

The penalties for non-compliance include the cancellation of state contracts and ineligibility for future contracts for up to three years, and the possibility of the revocation of the employer's business license for up to one year.

The law, however, is much harsher on undocumented workers. An undocumented worker can receive a felony for accepting or performing employment for compensation. Upon conviction, a violator is subject to serve to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.

The law also presses a judge to consider all violators at risk of fleeing when determining bail.

Hood did not immediately return calls regarding Currie's accusation, but the law lists Hood's office as only one of five agencies in charge of enforcement, along with the Department of Employment Security, the Mississippi Tax Commission, the secretary of state and the Department of Human Services. All, including Hood's office, have the authority to seek penalties under the law and to bring charges for noncompliance against any employer or employee.

Republican Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann's office, which monitors state businesses, did not immediately return calls regarding how many actions his office had brought related to SB 2988 since the law's 2008 inception. Currie did not criticize Hosemann or any of the state agencies whose directors serve under Republican Gov. Haley Barbour.

The forum's speakers, including Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, conservative radio talk-show host and Mississippi Tea Party supporter Kim Wade, and Second Congressional District candidate Bill Marcy, a Republican, took turns complaining that the federal government, under Democratic leadership--like Democrat Hood--was not doing enough to enforce immigration laws, and restrict illegal immigration.
Wade said he believed the national and state political indifference toward immigration restriction stemmed from the mechanics of the democratic process.

"If it's all about compassion, why don't you step up ... and say 'we just want to work. We don't want to vote for anybody.' Do it like that. Because if the people who come into this country illegally say that, they'd find that they don't have as many supporters as they thought they had, because the supporters they have only want to get them to vote for them," Wade said.

Wade told the Jackson Free Press Monday that local and national Democrats ignored immigration restriction in an effort to lobby votes from the growing Hispanic community. He described political arguments against immigration restriction as "political gamesmanship," wherein immigrant advocates "can get their people in power who will vote for Democrats until perpetuity."

Attorney and tea party member Russ Latino told the crowd of about 250 at the public forum that he believed both Republicans and Democrats on the federal level had ignored "their constitutional duty to defend the border."

"This is a deliberate act," said Latino, a self-professed descendent of Italian immigrants. "What they see is a potential voting bloc of 13 million people, and they want that voting bloc, and instead of being driven by principle and the rule of law, they are driven by electoral greed."

Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance Executive Director Bill Chandler dismissed Wade's statement that newly nationalized Hispanics tended to vote Democrat.

"There's no telling how Latinos vote," Chandler said. "There's a wide variety of personalities in the community."

Chandler pointed out that many Hispanics immigrating to the country tend to be religious and socially conservative. "What they're using is a scare tactic to frighten white people into believing they're going to lose their country," he said.

Previous Comments

ID
158991
Comment

ok. so let me get this straight... it's unacceptable for taxpayer dollars to go to education or healthcare for illegal immigrants, but it's perfectly acceptable to pay for them to sit in jail for 5 years? [c]

Author
C Myers
Date
2010-08-03T13:28:16-06:00
ID
158993
Comment

Man, JFP hates it some Tea Party. It's almost gotten to a comical point. Does JFP ever run editorials/articles that maybe doesn't come from a progressive liberal point of view? I know, crazy idea to give a voice to someone that isn't a lap dog for the ACLU, but it's just a thought. Think of it as "Fresh Air" (see what I did there?) Anyways, it's y'alls paper, not mine. Enjoy your day.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2010-08-03T13:40:33-06:00
ID
158994
Comment

Note, all: Our news editor sent the above story out in the Daily with the wrong headline word in quotes, leaving the word "Illegals" without quotation marks. This is not a word the JFP would use to describe a group human beings, and it has now been corrected. We apologize for the error and to anyone who was offended by it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T13:44:33-06:00
ID
158998
Comment

Duh. Mississippi spends NEARLY $7,500 per pupil per school year on education -- but it ONLY costs a little over $18,000 per year (PDF) to incarcerate someone in the state (not including pre-trial & trial costs). You do the math. More jail TOTALLY makes sense. And what kind of a name is [c], anyway? Looks fern. You a fern-er?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-03T14:02:00-06:00
ID
158999
Comment

From the contents of this story, I guess I would be considered a "Legal".

Author
C Myers
Date
2010-08-03T14:05:29-06:00
ID
159000
Comment

Don't you just love when the word "progressive" is used in a negative way? 'Cause progress is just so bad...

Author
C Myers
Date
2010-08-03T14:13:22-06:00
ID
159001
Comment

Sadly, C Myers, the progressive movement and progress don't always go hand in hand.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2010-08-03T14:17:13-06:00
ID
159002
Comment

Also, since when is "illegals" an offensive term? For people that reside permanently in the USA, you are either a citizen, a legal immigrant (one who emigrated to our country via our laws), or an illegal immigrant (one who emigrated this country in spite of our laws). Next thing you know I won't be able to call a murderer a "criminal," lest his feelings get hurt.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2010-08-03T14:20:46-06:00
ID
159003
Comment

RobbieR, a good lesson to learn is that just because something isn't offensive to you personally, or that you don't understand it, doesn't mean it's not true. It's a term that is offensive to millions of people. You don't find it offensive, so it's not? Can you possibly see how absurd that is? I'm guessing not. But just because you don't see it doesn't mean the rest of us have to join you in that place where you exist.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T14:26:37-06:00
ID
159004
Comment

No, Donna, I understand the numbers game, and it can be played to no end. My point is, there are 12 million people in the country who aren't documented and don't pay taxes. Is their presence here legal or illegal? Are they or they not immigrants? Illegal immigrant is a basic phrase used by hundreds of millions of people across this country, so it's not like I just conjured up a point of view here. You have yet to explain how it's offensive other than "because other people find it offensive, so it must be"

Author
RobbieR
Date
2010-08-03T14:32:00-06:00
ID
159006
Comment

so Robbie, in your world, an entire article that states the case that Repubs are making against Dems for illegal immigration enforcement and only contains a few sentences at the end voicing rebuttal doesn't, as you put it, "give a voice to someone that isn't a lap dog for the ACLU..." do you actually want people to take you seriously?

Author
eyerah
Date
2010-08-03T14:37:57-06:00
ID
159008
Comment

Oh, and what eyerah said, Robbie. Did you even read the damn article?! Y'all's case is made there loud and clear, as it is daily in much of the state's media. Is your problem that you don't want any dissent out there to tea-party views? As for the tea party, when it starts loudly expelling racists and xenophobes, and stops spreading myths about immigration instead of dealing in facts, and stops trying to scare the dickens out of people about Latinos, then I personally might have more nice things to say about it. So far, though, it hasn't exactly put a great foot forward.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T14:43:05-06:00
ID
159009
Comment

eyerah, that whole first comment was tongue in cheek, evidenced by the "Fresh Air" comment. Catch up. My point is this: Immigration is a huge problem, and we have 12 million undocumented workers in the country as a result of not being proactive with our immigration policies. Not only that, but the Southwestern border is so porous that drug dealers, and migrant workers alike are using that dangerous territory to try to come into the country. A sheriff of AZ now has a 1 million dollar bounty on his head because he's simply doing his job. All that being said, the border needs to be secured, along with a plan for the 12 million currently in the country and with the future men and women that want to emigrate. What that plan is? I don't know, and I'm not sure anyone in Congress has a good idea either.

Author
RobbieR
Date
2010-08-03T14:44:59-06:00
ID
159010
Comment

Robbie, you don't mind citing/linking your source to your 12 million figure, do you? And if there is any context missing to your statement, go ahead and add that in, too, so we're all playing from the same factual deck. Go ahead and dig that stuff up, and then we'll talk some more.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T14:46:38-06:00
ID
159011
Comment

Donna: Center for Immigration Studies. 12.7 million in August 2007. Down to 11.5 million in 08. I'll see if I can find an even more updated figure, but that one was literally the first I came across. Difficult. I know. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/31/us/31immig.html?_r=1&partner=rssnyt

Author
RobbieR
Date
2010-08-03T14:52:10-06:00
ID
159012
Comment

White we're waiting for Robbie to "document" his numbers, here's some facts related to the current immigration hysteria, and journalistic ethics, to chew on. Pass it on, please: NAHJ Urges News Media to Stop Using Dehumanizing Terms When Covering Immigration: Under current U.S. immigration law, being an undocumented immigrant is not a crime, it is a civil violation. Furthermore, an estimated 40 percent of all undocumented people living in the U.S. are visa overstayers, meaning they did not illegally cross the U.S. border. and The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, with the support of the Asian American Journalists Association and the National Association of Black Journalists, has asked responsible journalists to stop using the term "illegals" as a noun, both because it has the grammatical quality of nails scratching on a chalkboard, and because it "crosses the line by criminalizing the person, not the action they are purported to have committed." Furthermore, the term "illegal immigrant" has the inaccurate connotation the sense of having entering the U.S. illegally, whereas an estimated 40% of undocumented immigrants entered legally and overstayed visas.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T14:58:12-06:00
ID
159013
Comment

More on the misuse of "illegals": The term "illegal" also feeds the mistaken impression that someone who is in the country without legal status has violated criminal law, rather than administrative law, and that they have no rights. Lawrence Downes, a member of the New York Times editorial board, writes, "People are often surprised to learn that illegal immigrants have rights. Really? Constitutional rights? But aren't they illegal? Of course they have rights: they have the presumption of innocence and the civil liberties that the Constitution wisely bestows on all people, not just citizens."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T14:59:27-06:00
ID
159015
Comment

But wait, Robbie, you're not done. If one of our reporters came to me with such scant info, I'd send him back to answer more questions. For one, how do those numbers break down? How many of those undocumented folks came here legally? (There's plenty of stuff out there to help on this front.) The second research point (based on your above statement) would be to figure out how many pay taxes (you say none). Beyond that, I would ask my reporter, what kinds of taxes? What is the economic pros and cons of documented workers? Break it down for me, and bring it back to me in context. You spent five minutes finding something that pleases you. We spend hours, days, even weeks and months on our research on difficult topics. So for a taste of how we do our work, why don't you go back and see what you find from primary sources. (NYT is a secondary source, BTW, if a pretty reputable one. So are pro- and anti-immigrant blogs, and FOX News.) Work a bit harder and let's get some real facts on this here table to discuss. We'll be here. Take your time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T15:11:26-06:00
ID
159016
Comment

Just a bit more for everyone to chew on: It is irresponsible journalism to use dehumanizing terminology that writers and editors well know creates a mistaken impression of an undocumented immigrants' criminal status and rights. It creates a hostile and dangerous climate that can lead to an increase in hate crimes and sets back the potential for a real discussion. "Illegals" is not a word that should be in the vocabulary of any responsible news source -- but I guess that wouldn't be a particularly accurate term for Fox News.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T15:15:04-06:00
ID
159017
Comment

It seems a bit disingenuous, Donna, to suddenly require your right-wing commenters to supply each post with the levels of research and fact-checking normally associated with professional journalists (as you pointed out yourself). You certainly haven't required this of your leftwing commenters in the past or currently, so far as I can see. It's only when someone dares to offer an opinion that falls outside what the JFP groupthink deems acceptable that these lofty standards are enforced.

Author
Mark Geoffriau
Date
2010-08-03T15:50:40-06:00
ID
159018
Comment

I am confused. The "Blacks's Law" dictionary, the supreme source for legal definitions, has a definiton for "illegal immigrant", so can't a non-journalist" like myself assume the term "illegal immigrant" is .....legal and valid? Or am I missing the boat entirely by referring to this "source document" at all?

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2010-08-03T15:53:41-06:00
ID
159019
Comment

Disingenuous, Mark? Really? We have a man, or several men, on here doing a quick Google to find anti-immigrant talking points to use to disparage millions of people about whom they know very little. They are also using information that is either blatantly inaccurate or so far out of context that it's laughable. So, yes, I damn well am going to ask them to do some homework and find out the facts for themselves. We can spend months, and do, factchecking all this political B.S., and people scome on here and post cherrypicked talking points as if they are gospel. These are people we're talking about, and if you're going to try to use my website to disparage them, you'd better damn well be able to back up what you say. I grew up listening to people disparage African Americans and many others based on half-baked bigotry, and you can whine until the cows come home that we're going to do it a different way here and now. In other words: Boyz, back up what you say or get lost on this one. Pure xenophobia is not welcome. If a single one of you would actually try to have an intelligent conversation about what immigration policy could and should be, please do. But lost the B.S. It won't fly here. Frank, I suspect you can find a dictionary with about every definition you could think of. But on this one, we're going to defer to (a) the minutae of what the laws say and (b) what ethical journalistic authorities advise. And for the record, I've seen "objective" definitions for various anti-black labels in dictionaries, and I don't adopt their usage, either.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T16:06:38-06:00
ID
159021
Comment

If you "journalists" insist on trying to nullify the term "illegal immigrant", I also propose that the term "journalist" be discounted as well. There are no nationally established and universally recognized and enforced code of ethics, training, "body of knowledge", testing requirements or certification process or professional licensing. In my opinion, until we separate the universal free speeech of all American's from the "professional work product" of a licensed "Journalist", the ills of our news infrastructure, so eloquently laid out by Donna Ladd in her "We Shall Overcome" opinion piece, the common man will denied a useful tool to weed out the facts from the opinions.

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2010-08-03T16:09:20-06:00
ID
159023
Comment

Thank you JFP for placing the term illegals in quotations. I will refrain from addressing the term's offensive nature. Rather, because this article seems to be addressing The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Senate Bill 2988, use of the term illegals would be inaccurate in that context. Unauthorized alien or unauthorized worker is a more precise description than the more common term ‘illegal alien’. ‘Illegal alien’ is usually used in reference to persons who enter the United States illegally. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) is broader, prohibiting the employment of at least four classes of non-citizens: (1) those who enter this country illegally; (2) those legally admitted to the United States, but not authorized to work; (3) those legally admitted to the United States and given work authorization, but whose work authorization has expired or been revoked; and (4) those legally admitted to the United States with limited authorization, but who seek employment in violation of that limited authorization. IRCA defines unauthorized alien as an alien either (1) not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or (2) not authorized to be employed within the United States. 8 C.F.R. § 274a.1(a). The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Senate Bill 2988, conforms to the federal definition of "unauthorized alien" as defined in Section 1324a(h)(3) of Title 8 of the United States Code. JFP, for more than offensive reasons, you have been responsible in using quotations when referring to illegals in the context of this article. Further, employers who would like more information regarding compliance with The Mississippi Employment Protection Act and/or federal work authorization standards may contact me at cguerrero@wellsmar.com Cristina Guerrero, Esq.

Author
cristyguerrero
Date
2010-08-03T16:12:00-06:00
ID
159025
Comment

My point is, there are 12 million people in the country who aren't documented and don't pay taxes. Yeah, this one is going to be really tough to find on the Google. Maybe if you blog it quickly, SEO your blog, submit to Google, wait a few days... ... because it's. just. not. true. Indeed, one study often cited was the 2006 Texas Comptrollers Report that showed a net benefit to the state of Texas from all the taxes collected -- sales, property and local income taxes -- Texas *made* $400 million off its undocumented workers in that year. Undocumented workers often use fake TIN or SSN numbers, and their employers withhold scads of payroll taxes that are a "windfall" for Social Security and Medicare. Call it a "tax" on opportunity. Is their presence here legal or illegal? Here's what's going to shock you, RobbieR. These terms are actually chosen by (and recommended for) journalists with some precision. Being "undocumented" does not necessarily mean that you (a.) didn't arrive here legally and/or (b.) are not here legally. Both of those are possible; undocumented workers are those who don't have the correct documentation to take a job, even if it's available to them and they're here on a visa or have overstayed a visa. The number of work permits issues in this country is utterly administrative; the only criminal penalties are imposed on the companies who hire undocumented workers. Are they or they not immigrants? An undocumented worker does not necessarily equal an "immigrant," as the term suggests someone who anticipates moving to and living in this country for a long duration, presumably permanently. Many undocumented workers are migrant workers who can't or don't get work permits based either on a lack of knowledge, an unwillingness to present themselves for work or quotas and rules currently on the books that limit their availability based on education, corporate sponsor or country of origin. Illegal immigrant is a basic phrase used by hundreds of millions of people across this country, so it's not like I just conjured up a point of view here. True, but that doesn't mean it's precise or descriptive. (And, for the record, "illegals" isn't even grammatical.)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-03T16:20:17-06:00
ID
159026
Comment

Thank you JFP for placing the term illegals in quotations. I will refrain from addressing the term's offensive nature. Rather, because this article seems to be addressing The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Senate Bill 2988, use of the term illegals would be inaccurate in that context. Unauthorized alien or unauthorized worker is a more precise description than the more common term ‘illegal alien’. ‘Illegal alien’ is usually used in reference to persons who enter the United States illegally. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA) is broader, prohibiting the employment of at least four classes of non-citizens: (1) those who enter this country illegally; (2) those legally admitted to the United States, but not authorized to work; (3) those legally admitted to the United States and given work authorization, but whose work authorization has expired or been revoked; and (4) those legally admitted to the United States with limited authorization, but who seek employment in violation of that limited authorization. IRCA defines unauthorized alien as an alien either (1) not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or (2) not authorized to be employed within the United States. 8 C.F.R. § 274a.1(a). The Mississippi Employment Protection Act, Senate Bill 2988, conforms to the federal definition of "unauthorized alien" as defined in Section 1324a(h)(3) of Title 8 of the United States Code. JFP, for more than offensive reasons, you have been responsible in using quotations when referring to illegals in the context of this article. Further, employers who would like more information regarding compliance with The Mississippi Employment Protection Act and/or federal work authorization verification standards may contact me at cguerrero@wellsmar.com Cristina Guerrero, Esq.

Author
cristyguerrero
Date
2010-08-03T16:23:15-06:00
ID
159027
Comment

I would guess the best source for the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. would be the webpage of the Dept. that handles immigration, instead of just doing a Google search. http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/statistics/publications/ois_ill_pe_2009.pdf DHS estimates that the unauthorized immigrant population living in the United States decreased to 10.8 million in January 2009 from 11.6 million in January 2008.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-03T16:25:40-06:00
ID
159029
Comment

@Mark "It seems a bit disingenuous, Donna, to suddenly require your right-wing commenters to supply each post with the levels of research and fact-checking normally associated with professional journalists (as you pointed out yourself)." Please check my thread about Constance McMillen where I was required by a "pro-Catholic" to document my assertion that Catholics were anti-gay. http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/itawamba_lesbian_teen_it_was_pretty_bad_072010/

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2010-08-03T16:28:34-06:00
ID
159030
Comment

So go get yourself a blog or newspaper and declare it nullifed, Frank. Thanks for posting, Cristina and Michael. I don't expect you to change, Bubba. That doesn't mean that other people don't need to know that your use of "criminal" is misleading and offensive.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-03T16:32:30-06:00
ID
159031
Comment

Correct me if I am wrong here, but: The voting argument (made by Kim Wade, in the article) is silly. Very silly. Illegal immigrants cannot vote. Nor can legal immigrants for that matter. Citizens can. I don't think there is a politician in office who actually thinks it is a good idea to let in a bunch of immigrants so that they can get more voters. Its a 7 year process, and everyone knows that no politician is capable of thinking more than 4 years into the future! Then a practical note on the voting bit, I was under the impression that many latinos were socially conservative. Has anyone bothered to check the voting records in states where there are large number of immigrants (legal or illegal). Are those states more liberal or conservative than expected? Because it may well be that republicans benefit from immigration, I just have not seen the data. And my own two cents on calling people "illegals" it is just too vague. There are a lot of things that are illegal in this country, which of those things do you have to do to get deemed an "illegal." It is kind of like broadly calling someone a criminal, it may be correct in some sense, but it doesn't give you any useful information. As for people who immigrated here outside of the legal immigration system, does anyone have a problem calling them "illegal immigrants"? Shortening it to "illegals" just makes it sound silly (are you going to call legal immigrants "legals"? because that makes them all sound like lawers, right?) (but that may be adding onto what @todd said about the grammatical correctness - maybe thats too picky though, our language is flexible). Though now i see what Cristina Guerrero, Esq. has posted, thank you for that definition. So the "unauthorized" to work includes people here legally, so that makes it just wrong. "Unauthorized" includes tourists and such. Tourism is generally considered a fairly legal activity in this country. Maybe we should call them "unauthorizeds" but now we are definitely grammatically incorrect. Also, big ups to the point about administrative law vs criminal law...

Author
jrt
Date
2010-08-03T17:09:15-06:00
ID
159034
Comment

Correct me if I am wrong here, but: The voting argument (made by Kim Wade, in the article) is silly. Very silly. Illegal immigrants cannot vote. Nor can legal immigrants for that matter. Citizens can. I don't think there is a politician in office who actually thinks it is a good idea to let in a bunch of immigrants so that they can get more voters. Its a 7 year process, and everyone knows that no politician is capable of thinking more than 4 years into the future! Excellent point. On these issues, Wade seems to take it upon himself to attempt to shoehorn the ridiculous into a space where only the sublime will fit. That must be why his big offer from Fox News hasn't come through yet. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-03T18:24:04-06:00
ID
159035
Comment

And one more thing on that topic -- Wade's gaffe actually speaks to the issue of language in this discussion. By definition, someone who is not a *legal immigrant* cannot be expected to have voting rights anytime soon, if at all. Even a resident alien otherwise working toward citizenship has a hill to climb. So how can voting *possibly* be an issue? The only person that Wade could realistically have a problem with is someone with a legitimate path to citizenship... presumably a Bobby Jindal, Michelle Malkin or Arnold Schwarzenegger are the sort of people at the top of Wade's list. (The thing that's nice about radio is that it doesn't actually have to make sense, it just has to sound good to enough people to encourage the Gold Bond Medicated Powder commercials.) The same concern goes for so-called "anchor babies." As we've discussed here previously, a parent who has their child in the U.S. specifically to confer citizenship still has at least a (roughly) 25-30 year wait before it would benefit them and an 18-year wait before that U.S. citizen can take advantage of his or her rights. If the parent was not here legally, then the wait would be even longer, if ever. So what *are* the pressing issues? There are the issues, by and large, that are addressed in immigration reform proposals, both W. era and Obama era. But pledging fealty to some lost cause to rid the world of untaxed "illegals" or to ball yourself up over the coming invasion of "anchor babies" is, well... you give it a name. I'd start with "waste of time."

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-03T18:42:58-06:00
ID
159036
Comment

I would guess the best source for the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. would be the webpage of the Dept. that handles immigration, instead of just doing a Google search. (Bold emphasis mine...) Bubba... I downloaded that PDF and did a word search. The word "illegal" never appears in that document.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-03T18:54:35-06:00
ID
159038
Comment

I think Rep. Currie's attack on Hood reveals the political purpose of this debate for Republicans. It's a nativist dog whistle. That is, there may be legitimate questions about Hood's enforcement of state employment law, though I've seen no evidence to support such questions. The point is that attacking Hood also blows the whistle for those who have transferred their antipathy to blacks toward an antipathy to browns. We're talking about a state where only 2 percent of the population is even Latino. Are there several thousand unauthorized immigrants in Mississippi? Undoubtedly. Does that explain why the issue is preoccupying our politics? Obviously not.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2010-08-03T19:11:15-06:00
ID
159039
Comment

As an aside, please do watch this documentary about Lee Atwater, regardless of your politics. He's a tragic southern figure, and "a lot more fun" than Karl Rove.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2010-08-03T19:34:12-06:00
ID
159047
Comment

Todd- unauthorized immigrants are not here legallly. They are here in violation of immigration laws so they are illegal immimgrants. You can refer to them by what ever name you want, I will refer to them by what I believe they are.That's not going to change. So yes there are almost 12 million illegal immigrant in the U.S. according to HLS.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-03T23:32:06-06:00
ID
159048
Comment

Are y'all editing my comments to make me sound more sane?

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2010-08-04T00:04:09-06:00
ID
159049
Comment

I'm not really going to go too in depth with reform, legislation or he said she said. But I don't get what the uproar is about? Most of your immigrants that do come in this country, at least of south american (hispanic), african and asian persuasions are some of the hardest workers this country has ever had! In regards to the european immigrants it was the irish? But never the less, it just amazes me how people want to build a brick wall 30 stories high between the southern states and mexico - however american citizens hop their happy buts down to Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Acapulco, Puerto Vallarla, San Jose! Buying super duper vacation villas and mansions Oaxaca and Cabo San Lucas! So it's okay for us to go down there, but they can't come up here!? That's a backwards imperialistic mentality that the founders of this country was trying to run away from! I know I was speaking in general terms, but that's my tidbit on the matter.

Author
Duan C.
Date
2010-08-04T06:45:05-06:00
ID
159051
Comment

I think the important thing to remember here is that the people we are talking about are just people who want to support their families. They are not (in most cases) violent criminals intent on stealing the jobs of all Americans. They seek opportunities that are unavailable in their country. If I'm not mistaken, I believe this is how most of "us" ended up here.

Author
C Myers
Date
2010-08-04T08:27:04-06:00
ID
159052
Comment

Todd- unauthorized immigrants are not here legallly. They are here in violation of immigration laws so they are illegal immimgrants. You can refer to them by what ever name you want, I will refer to them by what I believe they are.That's not going to change. So yes there are almost 12 million illegal immigrant in the U.S. according to HLS. Thanks for proving the point. The idea is that we can't just base the words used in discussing this complex issue on "beliefs" but rather must consider the full context and be willing to take in new information. Hopefully others can now see that the JFP is interested in a greater level of precision in reporting this story for good reason... and I thank you for pointing out that the Department of Homeland Security appears to agree with us in the need to use precise language when it comes to immigration and resident alien issues in this country.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-04T08:30:42-06:00
ID
159055
Comment

Todd- Just wanted to point out "alien" is defined in the U.S.Code as "any person who is not a citizen or natural of the U.S" and "illegal alien" is used through out it. You can thank me later. Just answer me one question. Are not unauthorized immigrants,illegal aliens, undocument aliens or immigrants what ever anybody wants to call them here in violation of U.S. law? Just yes or no, No excuse for them,no bitching about terms,no nothing, Just a simple yes or no? Are they here in violation of the law and thus here illegally?

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-04T09:24:48-06:00
ID
159059
Comment

From bubbaT: Todd- unauthorized immigrants are not here legallly. They are here in violation of immigration laws so they are illegal immimgrants. You can refer to them by what ever name you want, I will refer to them by what I believe they are.That's not going to change. So yes there are almost 12 million illegal immigrant in the U.S. according to HLS. and a definition from Cristina Guerrero, Esq.: (1) those who enter this country illegally; (2) those legally admitted to the United States, but not authorized to work; (3) those legally admitted to the United States and given work authorization, but whose work authorization has expired or been revoked; and (4) those legally admitted to the United States with limited authorization, but who seek employment in violation of that limited authorization. I think a slightly confusing bit is what people are saying is illegal. Generally, I thought people said "Illegal immigrant" to be those who entered the country illegally (you know, didn't stop off at a border and flash their passport). I thought the term "illegals" (whatever your opinion on that word) was referring to them. Now, Christina has made it clear that that is not the only group of people who is not allowed to work. There are plenty of people who do come perfectly legally, but are still not allowed to work. These people are "unauthorized to work" i suppose they may also be called "undocumented workers" because they have no documents showing they are allowed to work. So it should be clear that "undocumented workers" or "unauthorized immigrants" are not necessarily here illegally. It is only when those "undocumented workers" or "unauthorized immigrants" start working that someone has broken some law somewhere. "Illegal immigrants" or the group of people who entered the country illegally is separate. To call an "undocumented worker" or an "unauthorized immigrant" (sometimes called "tourists" or "visitors" or "foreign students") and "illegal immigrant" is simply wrong, as there is nothing illegal about them being here - they are simply not allowed to work. And, by the way, preventing anyone from coming over here to work is a very bad idea. The best and brightest from other countries come over here. Some of them start companies and employ americans, and make america known for innovation and power. A few immigrant founded american companies are Intel, Yahoo, Google, Sun Microsystems...

Author
jrt
Date
2010-08-04T09:39:53-06:00
ID
159064
Comment

So, it could be entirely possible that the workers who are rounded up in raids (like the one at Stix in Flowood a couple of years ago) are here legally, but not have the right work. Am I correct or is there more to that?

Author
golden eagle
Date
2010-08-04T10:25:23-06:00
ID
159065
Comment

jrt- I think everybody was fairly clear that tourist,visitor,students, immigrant workers with green cards, and other legal immigrants weren't included in illegal aliens or illegal immigrants talk from the start, at least I was.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-04T10:25:43-06:00
ID
159068
Comment

Golden- Your probably right there is more to it than that, I would think if they are here on any other visa,besides a work visa and working, they would be here illegally.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2010-08-04T10:44:48-06:00
ID
159070
Comment

I love that this thread is unfolding intelligently with a precise discussion of language and what words really mean. It's too easy to throw around labels without any sense of what you're talking about. Let's keep it up, JFP nation.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-04T10:50:02-06:00
ID
159072
Comment

@GoldenEagle So, it could be entirely possible that the workers who are rounded up in raids (like the one at Stix in Flowood a couple of years ago) are here legally, but not have the right work. Am I correct or is there more to that? Yes, that seems to be the case. I don't know the story behind those workers at Stix, but it could have been that they all drove across the border, had the mandatory chat with the border guards and were admitted into the country as tourists etc. They would be in the country perfectly legally, and I'm sure nobody is really complaining about that. It is that they took a job (when they were explicitly not allowed to) that is the problem. Or, they could have even had a work permit, and it simply expired!

Author
jrt
Date
2010-08-04T11:26:02-06:00
ID
159075
Comment

From what I remember about Stix, the fees for the workers had not been paid by employer. Stix had apparently recruited these people to work for them, but had not paid some sort of fee required by the government for bringing in immigrant labor. It sounded like the "illegals" in this case were simply duped and possibly victims of human trafficking. Note that both Stix and Howard Computers in Laurel, responsible for the biggest immigration raid in the history of the nation, are still in business. What sickens me about the the Republicans' position on immigration reform is that the stigmatize the dirt poor immigrants, but not the companies that exploit them. They get slaps on the wrist while the immigrants get charged with felonies and demonized as "illegals." If we are going to start throwing that word around, I'm calling any company that hires immigrant labor, which is ALL of them, "illegals" too. Their entire workforce should be charged with felonies for being accomplices.

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2010-08-04T12:07:15-06:00
ID
159077
Comment

I think the dialogue we are having on this thread is good. It allows the opposing and agreeing sides to air and test their ideas, facts and opinions.... sometimes without censorship. In reality we are having a pseudo Congressional hearing on the issue. I think that the Arizona law and the proposed Mississippi law and all of the lawsuits these laws will generate are good. These laws will help pressure Congress to solve the problem. This is democracy in action. Yes it’s messy and contentious and, many times seemingly unformulated but the system is designed to eventually get a solution, decision or legal revolution that addresses the problem as defined by the citizens. Call them inadmissible aliens, undocumented workers, illegal entrants, illegal immigration person, immigration violators, the people who fit these categories, all as defined by the INS, are a problem. Let's just look at one local problem undocumented workers create. They deflate the wages and take the jobs of legal residents. I am in the construction industry here in Jackson, Mississippi. Since the influx of undocument6ed workers I have seen wages in our industry deflated and a loss of jobs for persons previously employed in the industry as trades men and laborers. I see fewer people entering the trades as certification classes of the Associated Builders and Contractors as well as the Associated General Contractors are not as full as they once were with younger applicants. It's not that Mississippians won't do the jobs the undocumented workers do, it's that Mississippians won't do the jobs that the undocumented do at the deflated wages, benefits and rights the undocumented are willing to do them. You can blame it on unscrupulous businessmen, fine, but the solution to even those businessmen is by leveling the playing field and getting these workers documented with full rights and benefits! So let’s continue the process. Fight it out in the media, the blogs, at the T Party, at the polls, in the courts and in Congress. Let’s solve the problem. Or does anyone think this immigration mess is not a problem?

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2010-08-04T12:27:39-06:00
ID
159078
Comment

Bubba: The term "illegal alien" is in U.S. code but it is not used "throughout"; I found it only in sections that refer to felony convictions of unauthorized aliens. I don't know if that particular use of "illegal alien" is by design or sloppiness; in sections where unauthorized aliens are defined the term "illegal" has yet to appear in my research. (I'm a layman, not an attorney, and could have missed something.) See below, the bolded "and" is my emphasis: An illegal alien referred to in subsection (a) of this section is any alien who is any alien convicted of a felony who is in the United States unlawfully and— (1) whose most recent entry into the United States was without inspection, or (2) whose most recent admission to the United States was as a nonimmigrant and— (A) whose period of authorized stay as a nonimmigrant expired, or (B) whose unlawful status was known to the Government, before the date of the commission of the crime for which the alien is convicted. You also wrote: Just answer me one question. Are not unauthorized immigrants,illegal aliens, undocument aliens or immigrants what ever anybody wants to call them here in violation of U.S. law? Yes, by definition, unauthorized aliens (immigrant or resident) are here in violation of U.S. law. Some temporarily (as they await a status change, for instance) -- some in situations where they deserve to be deported. That said: (a.) Not all unauthorized aliens entered the country illegally. (b.) Some undocumented workers are not unauthorized aliens. They may be here legally and not documented for work. And, yes, many did not *enter* the country legally, and that should certainly be cause for alarm. Everyone should enter the country legally (in my opinion) and our laws and enforcement should be set up to make that system make as much sense -- economically and humanely -- as possible. But that doesn't change the fact that the moniker "illegal alien" or "illegal immigrant" or "illegal" (in reference to a human being) is simply not the most precise term -- indeed, it's fraught. Nor are people unauthorized to be here properly called "criminals," since being here without proper authority is a civil offense, not a criminal one. If you get a parking ticket, are you a criminal? If you go to court with your contractor and the judgment goes against you, are you a criminal? That's not to say that unauthorized aliens and/or undocumented workers can't commit crimes or fraud -- they can. And for that they should be punished, deported or both. (Indeed, per U.S. code cited, you could argue that the moment an unauthorized alien is convicted of a felony he or she becomes an "illegal alien.") Again, immigration policy, border policy and job permitting are absolutely items that needs to be addresses with intelligent immigration reform. George W. Bush tried it and was shouted down by the right-wing of his own party; Obama has promised to, which is presumably what is leading to the current demagoguery. Intelligent discussion will require thoughtful use of language.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-04T12:38:31-06:00
ID
159079
Comment

@FrankMickens "Fight it out in the media, the blogs, at the T Party, at the polls, in the courts and in Congress." Heeeyah! Sorry. Had a Howard Dean moment...

Author
C Myers
Date
2010-08-04T12:39:16-06:00
ID
159080
Comment

I would guess the best source for the number of illegal aliens in the U.S. would be the webpage of the Dept. that handles immigration, instead of just doing a Google search. (Bold emphasis mine...) Bubba... I downloaded that PDF and did a word search. The word "illegal" never appears in that document. posted by Todd Stauffer on 08/03/10 at 06:54 PM Todd, Not to be argumentative but as a fellow journalist I went to the INS/DHS Website and did a search on the term "illegal immagrant"(sp) and got a response of over 4,000 documents containing the term including Public Laws and Congressional hearings. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5600b9f6b2899b1697849110543f6d1a/?searchQuery=illegal+immagrant&x=19&y=11&pp=1&vgnextoid=6b7389eef3d4b010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD# So I guess morally, personally, and perhaps pseudo-journalistically you and JFP can say the use of the term does not meet your standards, however the United States government, that writes the laws, thinks the term is AOK. Todd can we agreee that the current immigration mess is a problem and needs to be solved?

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2010-08-04T12:45:37-06:00
ID
159082
Comment

Frank: As a pseudo-journalistic "control" on your search, I turned to Google, where I put the phrase "Frank Mickens dated Justin Timberlake," without quotes, emulating the same searching tactic you had used. I got "about 1,870 results" on that search according to Google. I hope that doesn't mean what I think it means. :-) ... I have already said that immigration is an issue and I'm a believer in intelligent immigration reform. I also feel I've fully made my point about the labels used, what they mean, and how much they matter if you're going to have an intelligent debate.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-04T14:16:10-06:00
ID
159084
Comment

Frank, as a "fellow journalist," I'm guessing that you are aware that a primary, if not *the* primary, role of a journalistic organization is to watchdog the government and its practices. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you as a fellow journalist that we do not ask the government to develop our standards of reportage or use of language for us, although we are curious about how they go about it and why. Sometimes we agree; sometimes we don't (like during Jim Crow times). In other words, we will continue to follow the journalistic standards set by the better part of our industry for the use of disparaging terms for groups and races and nationalities, etc., of people, whether immigrant, citizen, black, Latino, red, yellow or purple. I suggest that you move on to another point, being that you're reaching troll proportions on this one.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-04T14:45:05-06:00
ID
159085
Comment

OK, maybe I was flip with Frank; to be fair I went to USCIS, where I re-entered his search, with two differences: (a.) I spelled "immigrant" correctly and (b.) I put the search terms in quotes so that you don't simply get every document that has the term "illegal" and the term "immigrant" in it somewhere. That nets 116 results, which nearly all of you (aside from the most implacable trolls) would probably be willing to admit is fewer than the 4807 results that Frank's search claims. Looking through those documents I see testimony, handbooks, position papers, overviews, papers submitted by think-tanks, etc. Some use the term "illegal immigrant" -- some the term "illegal immigration." Nowhere in my skimming did I see documents that appear to conflate unauthorized aliens and undocumented workers. Likewise, I see no actually U.S. Code quoted in these results that would legitimately lead directly to the conclusion that the "US Government, that writes the laws" is "AOK" with the term "illegal immigrant" being used without precision. Which is the only thing I'm arguing for. And I'm pretty comfortable in that position. According to what I've discovered (so far) about U.S. code, the term "illegal alien" can be found in Section 8 and is defined as someone who is unauthorized to be here AND who is convicted of a felony; in practice, the term "illegal immigrant" is used frequently to refer to someone who entered the country without checking in with U.S. authorities. (If someone finds that in U.S. Code I'll be interested to see the reference. I certainly could have missed it.) While such a person could also be an undocumented worker, they're not the same thing. That's why the precision is so useful.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-04T15:08:49-06:00
ID
159102
Comment

I give up. I don't care about politics anymore. Both the Republicans and the Democrats (mainly the Republicans) are digging their own graves. I'm just going to let them, turn off the tv, and talk to girls.

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2010-08-04T21:28:03-06:00
ID
159137
Comment

Todd, Please read my earlier comments (posted by FrankMickens on 08/04/10 at 12:27 PM) where I abdicated that whatever you call the individuals who represent the immigration "problem" is okay with me. My point in that same post was askiing if anyone on this site thinks we have a "problem" in Mississippi and Jackson. Since we can't sue, legislate a solution as JFP Nation, what are our personal experiences with the "problem", or do we even have a "problem"? In reviewing this thread, I find the current "journalistic" dabate on the "precision of our language" to be a red herring, diverting us from the real issue of whether or not we have a problem and are we able and willing to address the issue. The Tea Party is doing their thing, and all I can see JFP Nation doing is criticizing the lack of "precision in language" in the debate. Todd, fellow journalist, I would appreciate it if you refrain from intimating that I date Justin Timberlake (smile). Also I never used a "google" data search, I ran the same search you did with the quotes and corrected spelling and got practically the same results I had previously. Please post the link (like I did) where you got your reduced number of hits...no, never mind, that's really not that important. So JFP nation are we going to continue sitting back and just criticizing the do'er's (Tea Party) or are we going to, or what are we already doing to, either counter the T'ers or at least move the immigration issue to a higher level. Please consider my reference to "we" as an acknowledgemnt that as a combined JFP Nation population, there probably is someone in an organization that is in fact addressing the immigration issue/problem/delimma/debate..etc. Please spare me; this is not a personal criticissm of Donna, Todd the JFP, or the JFP nation (as I call you guys/gals/men/ladies/persons/souls/spirits..etc.). If I can't guarantee "precision" I can at least attempt inclusiveness (smile).

Author
FrankMickens
Date
2010-08-05T18:05:36-06:00
ID
159142
Comment

Frank, it's Tea Party types and the right-wing base of the G-O-P that is *blocking* reasonable immigration reform and has been blocking it since the bi-partisan efforts during the George W. Bush administration. Their word: Amnesty. {shudder} The third rail of wing-nut politics. Whatever you think of the language discussion, it's important to be talking about the right people if you want to figure out what the "problem" (your word) is. Remember the scientific method? We've got to DEFINE THE PROBLEM and, that's not happening, IMHO, on a national scale right now, particularly in places like Arizona, on the Glenn Beck show or wherever else people are consuming their misinformation. If people spend so much time on the "other" that they start lumping too many folks into the "problem" then their solution is gonna look a little too 1950s Mississippi for my taste. As for what the "JFP nation" is doing, I know what I'm doing -- advocating for an intelligent, informed debate that can lead to viable solutions. I hope others feel comfortable joining in!

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2010-08-05T18:29:39-06:00
ID
159144
Comment

Frank, I really can't stomach your brand of sarcasm, so I'm bowing out of further conversations with you. Later.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2010-08-05T18:36:23-06:00
ID
159159
Comment

Frank Mickens said "Todd, fellow journalist,..." implying that he's a journalist. Frank's a "journalist?" For "who?" "He" sure does use a lot of "quotation marks" to be a "journalist." What "journalism school" do they "teach" that "writing" style at?

Author
DrumminD21311
Date
2010-08-05T20:59:38-06:00
ID
159194
Comment

[QUOTE]What sickens me about the the Republicans' position on immigration reform is that the stigmatize the dirt poor immigrants, but not the companies that exploit them. They get slaps on the wrist while the immigrants get charged with felonies and demonized as "illegals." If we are going to start throwing that word around, I'm calling any company that hires immigrant labor, which is ALL of them, "illegals" too. Their entire workforce should be charged with felonies for being accomplices. [/QUOTE]I partially agree with this, and seems like it's also far more cost effective. Kill the magnet that is drawing them here by cracking down on employers who engage in *loose* hiring of immigrants. When the government starts hitting big employers with heavy fines, they and others will think twice before they do that again. When the word gets out back home, it may also make other potential border crossers think twice. The government needs to hit the small businesses and individuals too; nail a few people who have the nannies and gardeners with questionable papers and you will see a massive self deportation of illegals because no one will take the risk to hire them.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2010-08-09T12:57:24-06:00
ID
159257
Comment

A new study from the Pew Hispanic Center seems to cut the "anchor baby" argument off at the knees. The thing that has most astonished me about this argument is that the right never presents any evidence of any kind that immigrants actually do come here to have babies. They take it as a self-proving proposition. Now, this study finds that 80 percent of undocumented women who have babies have been here for at least a year. More than half of them have been here for at least five years. Note that this does not in any way prove that 20 percent of undocumented women come here only to have babies. But it does provide strong evidence that "anchor babies" are not a major factor in illegal immigration. It is merely an ugly fantasy of those on the right.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2010-08-11T14:46:02-06:00

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