Amnesty For Gang Bangers? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Amnesty For Gang Bangers?

During the recent national debate over the since-failed Senate immigration bill, pundits like conservative talk-radio host Kim Wade misrepresented the compromise bill as an "amnesty" for illegal immigrants. Partly because of this misrepresentation, many American citizens disparaged undocumented immigrants like Guadalupe Silva who demanded both human rights and a recognition of their rebuilding efforts.

"The display of e-mails and faxes and all of that that inundated D.C. (during the debate) is representative of the strong thread of racism that exists in the U.S.," said Bill Chandler, executive director of Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance.

Framing the bill as "amnesty" may have been key in derailing the compromise bill, which included a provision for heads of households, after paying a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000, to return to their native countries and wait up to 13 years before potentially qualifying for U.S. citizenship.

"We impose trade policy on Mexico with the North American Free Trade Agreement and destroy those economies, and people come here. For the people waiting to come here, it's a 12-year wait. Then the people that are here, we send them back to wait another 12 years. Is that amnesty?" Chandler said.

Throughout Silva's interviews with the Jackson Free Press, the former principal from Peru meditated on the implication of an unresolved immigration bill. She has gleaned much of her information about the bill—as well as her legal rights as an undocumented laborer—by attending immigrant rights association meetings. At one point, she said that she didn't think she could stay in the U.S. if a bill did not pass. However, she says even the compromise bill would have left her with few options.

"The companies will pressure me more. If every undocumented worker has to pay $10,000, it will be like war. Many factories and companies will have to close. It would be chaos," she said.

"The greatest power in the world should give the example of democracy, in every sense of the world. For example, homosexuals and lesbians are persecuted very drastically in other countries, because they are very conservative. But here, no. For us, we came here to work. We don't want to be millionaires, but to be able to live. Why? Because we can't work in our home countries."

Silva said that she had been affected by the racial undertone of the immigration debate, which included such soliloquies as Wade's: "The first wave (of Latinos) that comes over, yes, they're hard workers—but when their cousins come over, the ones who are gang bangers, we're going to see a total breakdown of our society."

"I know that they are not all so, but I know there are racists—'rednecks,' as they say in Mississippi," Silva said. "They are very racist, and don't want us. But there is no such thing as pure blood. Everything is mixed. More than anything, we came to support the country with our shoulders and work."

Previous Comments

ID
81443
Comment

“I know that they are not all so, but I know there are racists—‘rednecks,’ as they say in Mississippi,” Silva said. “They are very racist, and don’t want us. But there is no such thing as pure blood." How is "redneck" not a racial slur?

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-18T20:04:12-06:00
ID
81444
Comment

If you aren't here LEGALLY, get out. Simple and to the point. If you're here legally, welcome - regardless of where you came from. Just follow the rules instead of the Rio Grand river.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T08:25:11-06:00
ID
81445
Comment

I guess we're back to that question that we raised some weeks back—how to define "legal"? Cubans = legal Peruvians = illegal I guess that's one way. Others?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T10:14:28-06:00
ID
81446
Comment

So you're all about following all the "rules" already on the books, eh, Jo-D? Does that apply to gay marriage?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T10:15:03-06:00
ID
81447
Comment

Unfortunately Donna, yes it does apply to gay marriage.. which is why we work to change the laws. SO smart alleck, until the laws are changed on how to be in this country legally, said rules apply. Next?

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T11:28:45-06:00
ID
81448
Comment

Define legal? Following the process for becoming a citizen or temporary worker - be it just to be here or as an asylum seeker from an oppressive country.. just simply follow the steps and paperwork instead of running across the border or floating here on a bath-tub raft. I mean, what's hard about "legally" ??

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T11:32:38-06:00
ID
81449
Comment

I agree. Why can they just not go through the proper channels, instead of sneaking in, then demanding that the law be changed?

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T12:10:44-06:00
ID
81450
Comment

"Redneck" is more of an ethnic than a racial slur, LawClerk. Jo-D, the question is, are our laws ethical? Are they practical? The reason why I believe gay marriage should be legal is because I believe that it is ultimately unethical for the government to adopt what is essentially a religious position on unions between consenting adults. The reason why Jim Crow was finally disbanded was because those laws were grossly unethical. But if we follow your reductive line of reasoning, them blacks shoulda just shut up and followed the law, eh? If we do not provide some pathway for the 12 million undocumented workers living in the U.S. to become citizens, we are no better than proponents of Jim Crow. After all, what are we to do otherwise? Deport 12 million people? The harm it would do is so horrifying it should not be given serious consideration by any American, apart from the fact that it is grossly impractical. Should these immigrants simply remain illegal? If a mother has worked in the U.S. for 15 years and has had two children here, meaning that those children are American citizens, is it ethical to deport that women and deprive her children of their mother? Is is practical? As for your comment Trust, it is not illegal immigrants who are pushing for the law to be changed. If it were, they would have no traction. It is the business community, who rely on these workers, and it is millions of citizens like me, who deplore the short-sighted nativism and right-wing electioneering that has turned this into a national crusade of xenophobia.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-19T12:50:41-06:00
ID
81451
Comment

Oh, I forgot to mention that LawCLerks' point is incredibly trivial. If one Latina makes one racial or ethnic slur, that means what? That it's OK? That they deserve the same in return? I've known several Mexicans who were racist toward Mayans. Does that mean it's OK to be racist against Mexicans?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-19T12:56:30-06:00
ID
81452
Comment

So let me get this straight, Brian. According to you, if you support immigration enforcement, you are a xenophobe?

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T12:57:24-06:00
ID
81453
Comment

Brian: Does it mean that we have to tolerate racial slurs from anyone? Wait, I know the answer to that one.

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-07-19T13:47:17-06:00
ID
81454
Comment

To answer Brian, the mother AND her 2 children should be deported. She shouldn't have been here in the first place to have 2 children. I don't agree with the "born here? you're a citizen!" to the extent it applies to illegal parents being here. If the parents came here and became LEGAL citizens by following the law, then their children have a birth-right as well. We can provide them "some pathway" by giving them 1 year to get legal. If not by then, get out and take your family with you.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T13:48:49-06:00
ID
81455
Comment

It's also true that she seemed to be using "redneck" to apply to people bigoted against Latinos—not all white people. The same people who don't like "redneck" used that way also don't like the word "bigot" or "racist" substituted, I've found. They just don't want it pointed out, and will do anything to change the subject. Personally, I am a redneck by birth—Scotch Irish from a trailer park in Neshoba County. I don't like it when someone assumes all whites are anything; however, I have no problem understanding the meaning of "redneck" behavior. I'm not offended by what she is saying.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T14:03:58-06:00
ID
81456
Comment

We can provide them "some pathway" by giving them 1 year to get legal. If not by then, get out and take your family with you. Pray tell...how would someone here illegally "get legal" in one year?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-19T14:05:40-06:00
ID
81457
Comment

SO smart alleck, until the laws are changed on how to be in this country legally, said rules apply. Nope, Jo-D, you can't slime out of this one by calling me a silly name. You're NOT arguing for changing the laws, or hadn't you noticed? And I have a funny feeling that you don't want homosexuals discriminated against, or hurt in any way, or to pay taxes without representation, or whatever, until those laws are changed -- as you seem to be arguing should be case with Latinos. And I would agree with you. I'm not even gay. Imagine. Some of y'all are not putting Mississippi's best foot forward here. And with members of marginalized groups making these kinds of comments, I feel like we dropped right into the middle of the sequel to "Crash." Deport 'em until the laws are changed to not deport 'em! Gay bash until the laws are changed to outlaw gay bashing! Folks, if you're not Native American, you really ought to use your brain and your heart a bit more often. Lord.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T14:08:46-06:00
ID
81458
Comment

And Brian's point is right on. The problem here is that the business community, too often, gets to dictate who gets to be legal and who isn't. Need labor cheaper than Americans will do? Bring 'em in! Don't need them any longer? Kick 'em out! There really is a special place in hell for people who use people for economic gain, and mistreat them when they're not needed. Even the Bible says so.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T14:12:27-06:00
ID
81459
Comment

I am all for immigrants coming to this country and working hard and building a new life for themselves. I just think it should be done in an orderly way, not being smuggled across the border and trying to get a job picking apples for less than minimum wage. I agree that there needs to be a speedier path for people who are just seeking basic labor in this country, both for their benefit and the benefit of industries that depend on that labor, but I do not think it should just come in blanket amnesty. I believe firmly that anyone, whether they are here illegally from Mexico, El Salvador, Sweden or any other country should not just be allowed to stay. They should have to go by the proper channels, otherwise borders and national sovereignty do not mean anything. Also, just a note. Donna, didn't you leave Mississippi in the early 80s for greener pastures and you've only been back here for about 5 years? Just asking.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T14:28:58-06:00
ID
81460
Comment

I agree that there needs to be a speedier path for people who are just seeking basic labor in this country, both for their benefit and the benefit of industries that depend on that labor, but I do not think it should just come in blanket amnesty. Who offered blanket amnesty?

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-19T14:39:15-06:00
ID
81461
Comment

st think it should be done in an orderly way, not being smuggled across the border and trying to get a job picking apples for less than minimum wage. Why do you think that happens? Also, just a note. Donna, didn't you leave Mississippi in the early 80s for greener pastures and you've only been back here for about 5 years? Just asking. I left in 1983, saying I would never come back because I was so disgusted by the racism and xenophobia I grew up around (then against blacks, Catholics, Jews and Choctaws mostly). I naively thought that Mississippi had the market cornered on bigotry. I found out that we don't—although, inevitably, the lower education and poverty levels, the more likely people are to look for other people to be better than. And the more homogenous the dominant culture, the more better they think they are than other people. I came back because I love the state and realized it's mine, too, to do and say as I will here—even if there are some loudmouths who think their ideas run the state (they don't). I also want to do my part to make my home state the best it can be. Native Mississippians can't do that by fleeing and staying away. Why do you ask?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T14:39:52-06:00
ID
81462
Comment

I second Todd's question: Who offered "blanket amnesty"?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T14:41:51-06:00
ID
81463
Comment

I'm still undecided on the Amnesty issue or so-called Immigration bill. And I ain't telling my reasons either. But I'm clear in my belief that we should all leave except the American Indians then let them decide who returns if anybody.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-07-19T14:49:51-06:00
ID
81464
Comment

I ask only because you invoke your roots a good bit.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T14:53:37-06:00
ID
81465
Comment

I think many people saw the bill as "Blanket Amnesty", and a gimme for business which imports cheap labor rather than pay honest wages and obey labor laws. Export Jobs and Import Illegals to work for cheap... how're the rest of us supposed to live again?

Author
Ironghost
Date
2007-07-19T14:55:18-06:00
ID
81466
Comment

Good point Ironghost.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T14:56:43-06:00
ID
81467
Comment

Ugh... Ok. Here's how I see it. I have no problem with immigration. In fact, let as many in as possible. From everywhere. But first... I WANT OUR BORDER SECURE. COMPLETELY. So, that NO ONE. FROM EITHER SIDE. Can get in. Comprende? Now, with that being said. It's not the immigrants that bother me. It's that we do not know who they are, their background, etc.... Seriously, what is it going to take for you to understand that *anyone* get through our borders, NORTH and SOUTH? We have a welfare state that is out of control, and sure... it attracts people. So, let's get rid of it. It's not Constitutional. And yeah, it is that easy. It's not the people coming over that "the xenophobes" have a problem with. It's the fact that they are getting social services that "the xenophobes" have to pay for, and the illegals aren't paying into. See? And as for the "trivial" comment earlier... It's not trivial Brian. If the tables were turned, ya'll would be in a tizzy about it. But, since it's against a white dude... No harm, no foul. When can we bury that word?

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-19T14:57:14-06:00
ID
81468
Comment

And as for the "trivial" comment earlier... It's not trivial Brian. If the tables were turned, ya'll would be in a tizzy about it. But, since it's against a white dude... No harm, no foul. When can we bury that word? You might need to take that up with Jeff Foxworthy. I think many people saw the bill as "Blanket Amnesty", and a gimme for business which imports cheap labor rather than pay honest wages and obey labor laws. Blanket amnesty is a massive fine and a return home for years of waiting? That's kinda the problem with those that opposed to this bill because it's "amnesty" -- it isn't. Export Jobs and Import Illegals to work for cheap... how're the rest of us supposed to live again? That's something to take up with the companies that hire illegals illegally because they don't want to pay people a working wage. As the gun folks like to say, I'd start by enforcing the laws on the books. ;-)

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-19T15:18:25-06:00
ID
81469
Comment

It's that we do not know who they are, their background, etc.... You know, Clerk, I hear that Timothy McVeigh was actually from Peru. I think many people saw the bill as "Blanket Amnesty", Why would they think that? Now, with all this talk of "secure" borders, I'm feeling a "bait and switch" coming on from the formerly xenophobe-sounding corner. I'm for "secure" borders, too. What does that have to do with deporting a hard-working Latino and her native-born children? Really, which issue do you prefer to discuss here? And, is no one here considering the possibility (er, certainty) that Big Business' poor treatment of their workers, of whatever stripe, is part of the damn problem? Think. It. Through.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:22:30-06:00
ID
81470
Comment

Ugh indeed.. Donna, I always find it amazing on this site that anyone who disagrees with you, is simply wrong or simply wronger. As a gay man, I'm forced to live by this country's rules until they are changed. I work to change them. So be it for aliens. People coming to this country illegally isn't in the same boat as me being gay. This isn't about an un-changeable phycical trait, such as color or sexual orientaion, Donna. It's about the millions of illegal people... and I'm not just talking about Mexicans.. I'm talking about EVERY one who is here illegally.. so first, stop making this a race issue - I simply do not CARE what nationality the person is.. if he or she is here illegally, get out. I agree with the Native American statement. NONE of us deserve to be here. But this isn't like we're a brand new country that just decided yesterday to take away the land from Native Americans and claim it for ourselves. We've been here for 200+ years. ILLEGALS HAVE NOT. I hate this country in the state it has gotten into over the last 15 years and I assure you, as soon as I am able to afford to do so, I'm out. And I also assure you that whatever country I decide to move to.. it will be done LEGALLY - by its laws and its paperwork. I promise not to sneak in and then demand that I be allowed to rape my new country's social system. I promise to work hard, and pay my new country's taxes instead of avoiding the nation's tax collecting arm via fake and forged documentation. I promise to spend my money in my new country instead of sending 50% to 90% back to some family member in my former country so it can be spent there instead of in the economy that's taking care of me.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T15:23:34-06:00
ID
81471
Comment

If the tables were turned, ya'll would be in a tizzy about it. How would one turn these particular tables? And I agree with Todd: Deport Jeff Foxworthy. The damn hater of all things redneck! But, since it's against a white dude... No harm, no foul. What white guy? Clerk, she didn't say, "LawClerk is a damn redneck." She called *bigots* "rednecks." You don't have to like it, but it not the same thing as calling black people n*ggers or Latins sp*cks. At least criticize what she did, not what some paranoid white dude thinks she did. When can we bury that word? As a card-carrying redneck, I refuse to allow my word to be buried, dude. As us next time.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:26:33-06:00
ID
81472
Comment

Donna, you are about as far from being a redneck as someone who lived in New York for over a decade then decides to slum it down south. Oh wait...

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T15:30:28-06:00
ID
81473
Comment

Jo-D, don't leave. Trust me. You're gonna want to stay. Things are going to get *very* interesting in the 2008 election. :) So McVeigh is from Peru? Um... ok. Thanks for that tidbit.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-19T15:31:26-06:00
ID
81474
Comment

No, Jo-D, people are "wrong" when they're wrong. Why are you complaining about being disagreed with? *That* particular trait of some of the posters here gets real old—the inevitable whine when someone dares challenge them. These are remarkable statements: As a gay man, I'm forced to live by this country's rules until they are changed. I work to change them. So be it for aliens. And you're right: "Aliens" (I've heard homosexuals called that, too, by the way) should go on back "home"—including, according to you, the ones born here—and work from there to change our laws. That makes perfect sense. People coming to this country illegally isn't in the same boat as me being gay. This isn't about an un-changeable phycical trait, such as color or sexual orientation, Donna. Funny, I've heard many black people say that being gay isn't the same thing as being black, which of course it's not. Persecution is persecution. Bigotry is bigotry. Rationalization is rationalization. "Other" is "other." I thought you told me once that you were married to a black man once. Am I mistaken? If so, how was that following the law until it is changed by all the law-abiding people such as yourself who do not, apparently, believe in challenging laws until they're changed. Why rush it, after all?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:33:57-06:00
ID
81475
Comment

(Clerk, be sure to recognize sarcasm when it walks up and pees on your ankle.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:35:14-06:00
ID
81476
Comment

So, Trust, what are you saying about rednecks, huh? That they/we can't pull them/ourselves up by their/our bootstraps and get an education? That they/we can't escape the trailer park? That they/we have to use the Sears catalog for TP our entire lives? That they don't let us leave the state? That we don't wear shoes? Why must you insult me and my people that way? I'm mortified. I happen to believe in the American dream. You?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:37:57-06:00
ID
81477
Comment

Funny, I've heard many black people say that being gay isn't the same thing as being black, which of course it's not. Funny: I've heard many gays saying its just like being black. And the blacks I know are offended by that.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T15:40:29-06:00
ID
81478
Comment

(I lived in NYC, North Dakota, D.C., Virginia, Nantucket and Colorado over that 18 years, Trust, and was a deejay in all those places—one reason I moved around, other than the desire to interact with many different kinds of people. I lived in Colorado Springs all told about the same amount of time that I lived in NYC, I think. And the majority of my 46 years has been spent in central Mississippi—in Philadelphia, where my people are from and buried in the red clay, in Starkville where I went to State, and right here in Jacktown. For what it's worth.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:46:15-06:00
ID
81479
Comment

That's true, Lady. That's my point. Or, one of them.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T15:48:50-06:00
ID
81480
Comment

Funny, I've heard many black people say that being gay isn't the same thing as being black, which of course it's not. Funny, I knew you were going to bring that up. What part of "un-changeable physical trait" didn't you understand? Blacks can't change their skin color and I can't change my sexual orientation. Illegal aliens CAN change their legal status... And you're right: "Aliens" (I've heard homosexuals called that, too, by the way) should go on back "home"—including, according to you, the ones born here—and work from there to change our laws. That makes perfect sense. Common sense should tell you that the laws don't need changing in the case of immigration.. they just need following. People are not prohibited from moving to the USA and becoming citizens. They just have to simply follow the process. Unfortunately, there is no in place process for gay people to follow to get married, not federally anyway. If I were in Massachusetts, then I'd be saying the same thing about Massachusetts gay couples wanting to marry: follow the Massachusetts process or don't marry. For places that have prohibitions on same-sex marriage (as I said, immigrants aren't prohibited from becoming a US citizen), those are the kinds of laws that need to be changed. You're talking apples and oranges here and it just don't work with me. Always first to toss up my sexuality as if it's your own weapon of mass destruction. I've laid it out as plainly as I can, the non-correlation between my sexual orientation and how there's no process for me and my rights and their being here in defiance of a system that allows them to be as long as they go through the proper procedures.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T15:49:02-06:00
ID
81481
Comment

Donna, I am merely saying that you seem to enjoy casting yourself as an redneck when it suits the purpose of being able to criticize Mississippi and Mississippians, by using the idea of "I'm one of you, too." My point is, your not a redneck and your pretty far from having any Southern identity. I am a life long Mississippian who has never run away from the state. I also grew up in a very, very poor and rural place and come from humble roots, but I do not use them to prop up myself.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T15:50:31-06:00
ID
81482
Comment

Jo-D, I don't have any stats to prove this, but I bet there are thousands of US citizens "raping our social system." We see it everyday. People faking disabilities to get a check. And of course, those among us who milk the welfare system for every "free" penny that is out there. I don't believe that immigrants (whether legal or not) are the downfall to our social systems. The people who are trying to have a better life shouldn't be "put out," the people who have the power to show them the right way, and decides not to because of personal gain, should be held accountable.

Author
Melishia
Date
2007-07-19T16:00:49-06:00
ID
81483
Comment

What part of "un-changeable physical trait" didn't you understand? I didn't say I didn't understand it. I'm telling you that other people respond to your arguments about *your* persecution similarly to the way you respond to others about theirs. Common sense should tell you that the laws don't need changing in the case of immigration.. they just need following. That's what many people, who aren't gay, say about gay-marriage laws. Why on earth would "common sense" tell me that? I get the feeling most people here don't know what the laws and arguments are, and aren't (like "blanket amnesty"?). Besides, you just said above that "aliens" should go home and try to change the laws; now you're saying "common sense" says the laws shouldn't be changed. I'm a bit dizzy here trying to figure out what you are arguing, in fact, Jo-D. Do you know? Do you not understand that the *only* non-bigoted argument here to have is about the laws and the procedures and what they should be? If you're just throwing everything you can find at "aliens," don't blame us when people start thinking negative stuff about your intentions. No, Trust, I am a redneck. Ethnically speaking. Why do you want that taken from me because I'm not outraged at Silva's characterization of bigots as "rednecks." Truth is, many of my people have persecuted people of other races and ethnicities for a long time, usually because they allowed themselves to be cast against them in a silly game of "who's superior?" or "who got here first?" — a game actually played for the benefit of people who weren't giving us po' folk a damn thing in return for our loyalty and bigotry on their behalf. This history of bigotry is what has turned "redneck" into a negative word. Personally, I prefer to take it back rather than bury it, and show the world that not all rednecks believe the way that Silva think we do. The burden is on us to show it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T16:01:00-06:00
ID
81484
Comment

Matt, you sho nuff know how to get a hot one going. When I moved back here in 1992 I was disappointed I couldn't find any Mexican food after leaving Texas. I even asked myself "where are the Mexicans and other nationalities?" Then I said I bet they figure or know Misssissippi isn't ready for them yet. Then about 10 years later I started seeing Mexican restaurants popping up everywhere. I said Mississippi has changed and is now ready for prime time. Are we Americans really ready for or desirious of some more Mexicans, Black folks, other minorities or poor folks? Why are we so uncomfortable with other people competing for our space, jobs, lifestyles, good will, etc? This question is posed to all Americans regardless of race, background or national origin. Are we insecure, racist, zenophobic, selfish, surly, or so happy that we're not in the mood to risk change or challenge unless we vote for or ask for it,etc.?

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-07-19T16:02:54-06:00
ID
81485
Comment

I also grew up in a very, very poor and rural place and come from humble roots, but I do not use them to prop up myself. You just did, Trust. And that's your right. I'd proud of where I came from, and where I've come to. And I don't give a rat's a$$ whether you believe that it is possible, or ethical or something, for a Neshoba County redneck to get so uppity as to get a good education and—HEAVEN FORBID!!!—go off and live in Noo Yawk City for a few years. Get off your high horse. You don't own Mississippi, dude. And, boy, do I love saying "rat's a$$."

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T16:04:07-06:00
ID
81486
Comment

Donna, I'm not talking about redneck being a negative word. I'm just saying I don't think you are one. I don't doubt that you think you are, but your not. Its just what I think, as a real Mississippian.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T16:06:13-06:00
ID
81487
Comment

The people who are trying to have a better life shouldn't be "put out," Uh, yes, they should.. if they aren't here LEGALLY.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:08:36-06:00
ID
81488
Comment

Also, Ray, xenophobic, not zenophobic. I guess zenophobia is a fear of a greek philosopher.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T16:10:07-06:00
ID
81489
Comment

Trust you know I can't spell!!!

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-07-19T16:14:50-06:00
ID
81490
Comment

Its ok. My grammar and spelling is pretty rough.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T16:18:18-06:00
ID
81491
Comment

Y'all are an interesting rainbow coalition, let me tell you! Glad you can find something to agree on. ;-) Trust, you're hilarious. So how do you define "redneck"? Oh, I got it: Someone who agrees with and does not challenge Trust. (And I hate to tell you, but "Real Mississippian" has been watered down a bit due to its place on the top of Gannett's local outlet.) You really don't know that what you think about who is "real" only matters to you, do you? That's kind of the textbook definition of "privileged"—to go around declaring that you are a "real ___________" and others aren't. Why are you wasting life like that? Try spreading love, or handing out some loaves and fishes or something. It's a better use of your energy and humanity than going around setting up false competitions that only matter to you. Try mattering.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T16:18:54-06:00
ID
81492
Comment

Then should people be allowed to live together as a married couple would if they don't do it legally?

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:20:22-06:00
ID
81493
Comment

And I consider myself a real Mississippian, even though I'm not from here. I came here, went back to Kentucky for about a year, then realized I really missed here. I'm here by my choice, which makes me just as real Mississippi as anyone else. :) The definition of real Mississippian is hard to pin down.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:24:19-06:00
ID
81494
Comment

Donna, I didn't say for them to go back home and change the laws.. I said they should follow the laws until they are changed, or work for them to be changed.. as in, someone that's here legally work to change them. Sorry I wasn't as specific. I assumed you understood. Silly me. And you still missed what I said. Difference # 1: There is NO process for gay couples to get married in the US. Because there is NO process for gay couples to get married in the US, laws need to be changed. I am banned from marrying my partner. Immigrants are NOT banned from becoming LEGAL citizens. In fact, they are encouraged to do so. I'm not encouraged to marry. There IS a process for immigrants to become citizens. Because there IS a process for immigrants to become citizens, there is no laws that need to be changed let alone broken by them. No one is banning them from becoming citizens. In fact, it's encouraged by the simple fact that there are laws in place to help them become citizens. Do you know of any laws to help me get married? Do you not understand that the *only* non-bigoted argument here to have is about the laws and the procedures and what they should be? There you go again.. telling everyone else what's right and that's it, no matter what. No, the ONLY non-bigoted argument here is realizing that this isn't about bigotry. I didn't say anything about a particular race, other than when I said Native Americans own this land. In fact, I said I didn't care what country you came from. Do I need to further clarify that by saying I don't care what race you are as well? Do you understand THAT? Let me be clear: If you are here ILLEGALLY - as in you're here, undocumented, circumventing the laws and procedures that are here in the first place to help you be here LEGALLY, get out - and yes, take your children with you. Bring them back when you are LEGAL.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:24:26-06:00
ID
81495
Comment

Climbing to that moral high ground, eh Donna? A Real Mississippian to me is someone who doesn't run away from the state, then come back to try to be a big fish in a small pond.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-19T16:25:13-06:00
ID
81496
Comment

Then should people be allowed to live together as a married couple would if they don't do it legally? Lady, is there a law that bans living together? Then if so, I guess so. Mississippi's cohabitation law is specific to the sexes of the persons co-habitating. It's one of the few bright spots Mississippi gays have because it doesn't call us out in the law.. it says a man and woman co-habitating.. doesn't say same sex or man and man, woman and woman. Give it time though, I'm sure Sen. Nunnelee will change that.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:28:50-06:00
ID
81497
Comment

Beautifully answered, Jo-D.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:31:07-06:00
ID
81498
Comment

Jo-D, your logic still isn't working. Back away and think about it for a minute: You are mixing up two different arguments—that of whether the laws as they are make sense for everyone. If they do not, then all of us should be actively trying to change them. Then you seem to be purposefully dodging that question by saying that if they are illegal, they are illegal and should go back home, including the children born here, and wait around for people over here to change the laws. Why don't you just move to Massachusetts and get married? Why are you staying in a place that considers your partnership sinful, disgusting, alien, freakish and to many, even illegal? Why don't you go somewhere where you fit in better and wait for Mississippi to come around to your point of view. Because, I'm sure if all gay people were out of sight, out of mind, then Mississippians would very quickly embrace homosexuals and the idea of gay marriage because, you know, lack of contact helps heal all bigotry. Now, why don't we all get our heads out of the clouds and talk about the specifics of the law. What do you like about current immigration policies, Jo-D, and what do you think should be changed? Let's all start being specific, shall we?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T16:31:15-06:00
ID
81499
Comment

And I don't think Donna is trying to be a big fish in a small pond. She's trying to perform a service, which is getting the truth out there for those of us regular Joes to read. And Jackson is a small pond?

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:37:03-06:00
ID
81500
Comment

Jo-D, Where would I be able to email you at? And, can you keep my email confidential please? If so, I'd like to ask you a question! Sorry Ladd, didn't catch the sarcasm. I knew McVeigh was a citizen, just don't know *where* he's originally from. No biggie. Doesn't matter much where he's from I guess. And yeah, I know what you're getting at. That he was here legally, eh? Did you know that you can *gasp* STILL buy fertilizer?! It's not banned yet. Oooh... Anyways. I already told you specifics of the LAW. Build the fence. It's already the *law.* However, they haven't funded it yet. Hmm.... Before you can even talk about *anything* else, you MUST build the fence to secure the border. Why is that so hard to understand. It's like not having doors in your house. How are you going to know who is going in and out?

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-19T16:42:15-06:00
ID
81501
Comment

There IS a process for immigrants to become citizens. Because there IS a process for immigrants to become citizens, there is no laws that need to be changed let alone broken by them. No one is banning them from becoming citizens. In fact, it's encouraged by the simple fact that there are laws in place to help them become citizens. Do you know of any laws to help me get married? Couple of problems here. First, there are laws that effectively ban people from becoming citizens because they dictate whom we will allow in legally. You need to have special skills, family in this country, fit a diversity quotient or be granted asylum. It's not just a matter of going down to the Post Office in Matamoros and signing up for a visa and passport. Which leads to my second point...this thread is about the LEGISLATION that is CHANGING the law so that there would be a guest worker program that allows people to be here legally to work in industries that, presumably, require (or just WANT) these low-wage workers on a seasonal or temporary basis. Legislation changes laws, which is what you're arguing for, Jo-D, right? Let me be clear: If you are here ILLEGALLY - as in you're here, undocumented, circumventing the laws and procedures that are here in the first place to help you be here LEGALLY, get out - and yes, take your children with you. Bring them back when you are LEGAL. Incidentally, there is also a way to be here *legally* and not become a citizen. It seems like you're conflating the two, Jo-D. I don't think anyone has ever suggested some sort of instant citizenship, and certainly not for illegals. Hell, Craig Furgeson has his own late night talk show on CBS and he's still waiting years to get his citizenship. Frankly, I don't know if people are arguing this from a xenophobic level or just from a rhetorical level and not really dealing with what the legislation actually is. I suppose that's part and parcel of the talk radio world we live in -- it doesn't matter if it's true as long as it sells more Gold Bond Medicated Powder. And, actually, that's not to say I necessarily agree with the immigration legislation. I think what gets missed in it, however, is that "law and order" types calling this amnesty are utterly failing to castigate the corporations that are breaking the law left and right and up and down to employ these people. From Bush's point of view, he's actually trying to get those companies out of trouble, not the immigrants. I believe we should err toward allowing quite a bit of immigration, and I think we need to own up to the true affects that NAFTA is having on immigration and low-skill job opportunities throughout North America. I also think you've got to do what's practical in these cases, which is going to mean a combination, a compromise and some sort of way forward for both the companies that hire immigrants and the immigrants that come here seeking the work that is clearly made available to them.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-19T16:43:00-06:00
ID
81502
Comment

Stop putting words in my mouth.. I NEVER said anything close to "waiting around for people over here to change the laws". What I DID say was basically, DON'T WAIT, FILL OUT THE PAPERWORK, FOLLOW THE PROCESS, BECOME LEGAL! So you want specifics? OK.. Fill out the paperwork and come here LEGALLY. (duh) Instead of having spent $500 Billion on the war in Iraq and an additional $1 Billion a day in Iraq, that money would pay for alot of border security - including a wall from coast to coast, top and bottom, Canada and Mexico - and still have a few billion left over. No welfare services without proper I.D. No foodstamps, no WIC, no health care, no medicine, no business loan, nothing. Show proof you are here legally. If you can't, see ya! If you've been here a while already ILLEGALLY, once you become LEGAL, you pay an immigration tax for a number of years equal to the years you were here draining our tax base. This will be deducted from your paycheck, just like all the other taxes you were supposed to be paying but didn't so I had to. Specific enough for ya?

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:44:25-06:00
ID
81503
Comment

LawClerk.. jody**AT**equality.ms Posted it like that so spam bots don't bombard me. Remove the **AT** and replace with @

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:47:56-06:00
ID
81504
Comment

What if they are in the proper process to come here legally? Would that be a different story? Or not? I have no dog in this fight, really: I haven't made up my mind in either direction. I'm just weighing the answers.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:49:36-06:00
ID
81505
Comment

iTodd: I'm mostly referring to those, when I say LEGALLY, who are sneaking over the borders with no intention ever of returning to their home countries. The people sneaking in here to live here permanently, as if they were a citizen but really aren't.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:51:41-06:00
ID
81506
Comment

I addressed this above Lady, but I'll say it again: If they are already here, get the process going by being here legally via greencard/work visa and while you're here, get the process going of becoming a legal United States citizen. That's the way I see it. Following the process in place rather than sneaking in. If they are already in the legally defined process, great, thanks for following the process and welcome to America - the next China in terms of population numbers.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T16:54:59-06:00
ID
81507
Comment

My apolgies, Jo-D: I wasn't quite clear in my question. Do you thing immigrants who are using the correct legal process to become citizens but have not completed this process should be eligible for government assistance? You did make your answer quite clear, and I thank you for that. I was going in a little different direction, and didn't throw out the turn signal. :)

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:57:55-06:00
ID
81508
Comment

My apologies, Jo-D: I wasn't quite clear in my question. Do you thing immigrants who are using the correct legal process to become citizens but have not completed this process should be eligible for government assistance? You did make your answer quite clear, and I thank you for that. I was going in a little different direction, and didn't throw out the turn signal. :)

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:58:03-06:00
ID
81509
Comment

Sorry about the double post. Could somebody delete the first one? I spelled a word incorrectly. :)

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T16:59:09-06:00
ID
81510
Comment

I NEVER said anything close to "waiting around for people over here to change the laws". Earlier you said (after saying that all here "illegally" should be deported): I NEVER said anything close to "waiting around for people over here to change the laws". I didn't say for them to go back home and change the laws.. I said they should follow the laws until they are changed, or work for them to be changed.. as in, someone that's here legally work to change them. That sounds like you're saying people here illegally should (a) leave immediately and then (b) let people here fight to change the laws if they don't like them. Or something damn close to that. I think I'll bow out of our particular thread here, Jo-D; we seem to be chasing the same tail over and over again. I think we get your point: Send the "illegals" home now. Let's stipulate that and try to move this thread forward a bit. I'd really like to see more discussion of what is and should be legal, rather than just empty rhetoric about "being illegal." Martin Luther King committed "illegal" acts on a regular basis. The point then, as it should be now, was to discuss what was and should be legal, not just accept the status quo.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T17:05:59-06:00
ID
81511
Comment

As long as they are in the process, follows it through and it's documented, I don't see why not. But at the same time, paying taxes is a part of that process.. such taxes fund said government assistance and if you aren't paying your part, you don't deserve it. The reason I mention the tax issue is because, one would think, illegal aliens get paid in cash or their unethical employers simply just don't hold taxes out of their checks, claiming the alien is a "contract" employee and is responsible for his or her own taxes.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T17:08:24-06:00
ID
81512
Comment

No one is accepting the status quo Donna.. we're just tired of paying for the status quo. You asked for specifics: What do you like about current immigration policies, Jo-D, and what do you think should be changed? Let's all start being specific, shall we? ...and I gave them to you. Apparently that still isn't good enough so yeah, it's best you respond to others besides me since I can't give you what you want to hear. I'm not going to change my opinion and you aren't going to change yours. So, anyone else?

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T17:12:52-06:00
ID
81513
Comment

Jo-D, you've got mail.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-19T17:14:51-06:00
ID
81514
Comment

Y'all, I moved the Real Mississippian(TM) discussion to its own thread since it's OT for this immigration discussion. (Obviously it's borderline troll behavior to come in and challenge people's heritage, but I wanted to play with the topic a bit, so I put it in forums.) Please discuss Real Mississipian-ism there and immigration here. Gracias. (Translation for Real Mississippians: "Thawnk Yew!")

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-19T17:15:17-06:00
ID
81515
Comment

That's a lot of what happens in Kentucky with the tobacco farmers. They hire a lot of "contract" work, and pay "under the table" for it.

Author
Lady Havoc
Date
2007-07-19T17:18:40-06:00
ID
81516
Comment

Of interest, Jo-D: Here Illegally, Working Hard and Paying Taxes Adriana, 27; Ana, 27; Emilio, 48; and Polo, 52, are all illegal immigrants, denizens of one of the most easily overlooked corners of the nation's labor force and almost universally ignored by the workers, shoppers and students they clean up after. "It's like you are invisible," Adriana said. Invisible, perhaps, but not hidden. In contrast to the typical image of an illegal immigrant — paid in cash, working under the table for small-scale labor contractors on a California farm or a suburban construction site — a majority now work for mainstream companies, not fly-by-night operators, and are hired and paid like any other American worker. [...] More than half of the estimated seven million immigrants toiling illegally in the United States get a regular paycheck every week or two, experts say. At the end of the year they receive a W-2 form. Come April 15, many file income tax returns using special ID numbers issued by the Internal Revenue Service so foreigners can pay taxes. Some even get a refund check in the mail. And they are now present in low-skilled jobs across the country. Illegal immigrants account for 12 percent of workers in food preparation occupations, for instance, according to an analysis of census data by the Pew Hispanic Center. In total, they account for an estimated one in 20 workers in the United States. Jo-D, I just asked what you liked and disliked, specifically, about current immigration policy. I mean, that's what this article ostensibly was about.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-19T17:19:32-06:00
ID
81517
Comment

iTodd: I'm mostly referring to those, when I say LEGALLY, who are sneaking over the borders with no intention ever of returning to their home countries. The people sneaking in here to live here permanently, as if they were a citizen but really aren't. Jo-D...you're not tracking what I'm saying. You're essentially arguing for enforcement of the laws that are on the books regarding immigration. What the Bush Administration wants to do, is change those laws such that a "guest worker" status is conferred on people who were previously here illegally but who have gainful employment. (It's my contention that Bush wants to do that more in the interesting of the companies than the illegals.) Were such a program put in place, no doubt the workers would be taxed and the companies forced to withhold, etc. You argued earlier that if you don't like the fact that something is illegal, you change the law. That's what this is...it's changing the law, but not to grant "amnesty" or really any sort of fast-track citizenship, but largely to legalize a defacto business practice that is widespread in this country, while codifying ways to slow and control the practice.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-19T17:21:25-06:00
ID
81518
Comment

@iTodd: So then why is everyone on Trent Lott's back for voting against it?? Ok, let me put it like this.. if the law provides "guest worker" status, that means it's temporary and eventually they have to leave. The question is, will they? I doubt it. But I could be for it.. if they are in, or begin, the legal process for staying here and becoming a US citizen. If not, so sorry, see ya, take your children with ya.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T17:29:18-06:00
ID
81519
Comment

Birthright citizenship is a Supreme Court decision!!!!! Think about that for a minute. Seriously.

Author
LawClerk
Date
2007-07-19T20:20:59-06:00
ID
81520
Comment

Drop the gays! It has nothing to do with immigration unless we are talking about an American married overseas. Red herrings everywhere in this conversation. Gays, in and out of relationships, pay taxes... We actually OVERPAY taxes on everything from taxes to insurance. We deserve representation. Until illegals pay taxes or are part of a tax-based relationship, how can you seek representation or benefits of taxation?

Author
kaust
Date
2007-07-19T20:28:32-06:00
ID
81521
Comment

By the way, that comment is from activist gays that personally know illegals.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-07-19T20:56:33-06:00
ID
81522
Comment

;]

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-19T21:09:06-06:00
ID
81523
Comment

I think you missed the point, Knol. No one said the plight of immigrants is the exact same plight as that of gays, just like your issues aren't the exact same as those of black people. However, all struggles for freedom and respect tend to have a major point in common: the need to examine, and perhaps change, current laws. This story is about laws, and myths about them. Jo-D's response is just to enforce the laws as they exist first and foremost, seemingly, without understanding or deeper examination of them. That approach is tragic in any freedom struggle—whether the struggle for gay rights, black freedom or for immigrants. So, no, I won't be leaving an examples that make this much sense off the table. Also, an article right above points out that half of "illegals" in the U.S. do pay taxes. So that argument isn't nearly as strong as some people would like it to be.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T07:28:59-06:00
ID
81524
Comment

Isn't nearly as strong? OK, so then deport 6 million of them.. that's half of the 12 million number that was stated on here somewhere. Make a list of the 6 million that are paying taxes. Send them a letter telling them thanks, but you got X amount of time to become a citizen or you gotta go.. with your children. As for the other 6 million, if they aren't on that list, they - and their children if they got 'em - get immediate seats on a military transport plane back to their homeland. That flight would be much cheaper than what we're spending on them now. The truth is, the gay examples you've been using do NOT make this much sense.. they make no sense at all. But I digress.. because you're never wrong. ;]

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-20T08:36:42-06:00
ID
81525
Comment

@iTodd: So then why is everyone on Trent Lott's back for voting against it?? Ok, let me put it like this.. if the law provides "guest worker" status, that means it's temporary and eventually they have to leave. The idea behind the legislation is that creating guest worker status gets people to come in and register -- and encourages the companies to work with "newly legals" and stop working with "illegals." It's not a perfect solution, just a pragmatic solution. And to be brutally honest, I'm not sure I do support this legislation, but probably for reasons that differ from yours. I'm not sure we're taking things in the right direction by making it easier for these corporations to pay low wage workers legally. I'd prefer to see *some* intelligent discussion in this country about the employment of citizens in jobs that offer a living wage, dignity and less reliance on triage social services that is either part of or concurrent with a discussion that legalizes a low-cost immigrant workforce. The question is, will they? I doubt it. The idea would be that they're more likely to follow the rules if the rules offer some give and take. If there's *some* promise of one day becoming a citizen if you get yourself legal under the new system, then perhaps you're more likely to get legal. And, again, the more we convince US companies to work with guest workers instead of illegals, the less taxing the illegal problem will be on government resources. It's a supply and demand problem -- US companies are creating a demand for these workers and the supply is artificially constrained by their illegality. Were there legal guest worker solutions, then the demand could be met and everyone might have a little more dignity while we could spend fewer resources on fighting something that is artificially illegal. (There's a similar argument to be made against the drug war, FYI.) But I could be for it.. if they are in, or begin, the legal process for staying here and becoming a US citizen. If not, so sorry, see ya, take your children with ya. Actually, the way I understand it, the guest worker program would send them home after a while. I think what's most disappointing about this discussion is the fact that so many people somehow assume that the illegals come over a completely "mooch" off the system, when the fact is that the lion's share of Latino immigrants come and work very hard. That's why some more "liberal" minded people want them appreciated as simply the latest wave of immigrants who come to this country, work hard as part of the economy (they're a big part of the reason that your grocery store prices haven't shot up over the past 25 years) and eventually deserve some dignity in that process. Talk Radio and Talk Cable turn it into something much more base than that, IMHO.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-20T08:47:15-06:00
ID
81526
Comment

The truth is, the gay examples you've been using do NOT make this much sense.. they make no sense at all. I never used "gay examples." Are you even reading what I'm writing? How in hell would you know whether I'm right or wrong if you're not reading what I'm writing? And stop your whining, Jo-D. You clearly think you're right, too. It's juvenile to keep whining about someone disagreeing with you. Once again, and let me say it slowly: Whether you are talking about laws applying to black Americans, gays and lesbians, or immigrants, you need to define what the law is that you're talking about and whether it needs to be changed. Members of those groups, and others, do not want other people to make sweeping statements about "just follow the law," if they believe it hurts them. Therefore, members of those groups and all of us need to be willing to actually discuss, and know, the laws that we are urging unquestioned enforcement of. Does that spell the point out for you? So, it sounds like what you want the law to say, then, is that immigrants who aren't paying taxes should be deported, and that those who are should not be. Am I hearing you correctly? I'm still trying to get at how "illegal" should be defined here. You first said that all "illegals" should be deported; now it sounds like you're arguing for changing the law to say that "illegals" who pay taxes should not be deported. Are you starting to get glimmers at all about why it's vital to discuss what "illegal" means, regardless of what group you're talking about, before making sweeping statements about them?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T08:55:35-06:00
ID
81527
Comment

You first said that all "illegals" should be deported; now it sounds like you're arguing for changing the law to say that "illegals" who pay taxes should not be deported. No, it doesn't NOW sound like I'm arguing for changing the law to say that "illegals" who pay taxes should not be deported. My exact words: Make a list of the 6 million that are paying taxes. Send them a letter telling them thanks, but you got X amount of time to become a citizen or you gotta go.. with your children. That sure as hell doesn't say anything about changing laws to let the tax paying ones stay but does say you got to get legal through the process or get out with the 6 million that aren't paying taxes... so I haven't a clue what orifice you pulled that out of. And yes, you DID use gay examples. All from YOU: So you're all about following all the "rules" already on the books, eh, Jo-D? Does that apply to gay marriage? Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 11:15 am Deport 'em until the laws are changed to not deport 'em! Gay bash until the laws are changed to outlaw gay bashing! Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 3:08 pm Funny, I've heard many black people say that being gay isn't the same thing as being black, which of course it's not. Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 4:33 pm And you're right: "Aliens" (I've heard homosexuals called that, too, by the way) should go on back "home"—including, according to you, the ones born here—and work from there to change our laws. Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 4:33 pm I thought you told me once that you were married to a black man once. Am I mistaken? If so, how was that following the law until it is changed by all the law-abiding people such as yourself who do not, apparently, believe in challenging laws until they're changed. Why rush it, after all? Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 4:33 pm That's what many people, who aren't gay, say about gay-marriage laws. Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 5:01 pm Why don't you just move to Massachusetts and get married? Why are you staying in a place that considers your partnership sinful, disgusting, alien, freakish and to many, even illegal? Why don't you go somewhere where you fit in better and wait for Mississippi to come around to your point of view. Because, I'm sure if all gay people were out of sight, out of mind, then Mississippians would very quickly embrace homosexuals and the idea of gay marriage because, you know, lack of contact helps heal all bigotry. Posted by: ladd on Jul 19, 07 | 5:31 pm

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-20T09:19:58-06:00
ID
81528
Comment

Thanks, Jo-D, for all those posts. They show exactly what I'm saying: It is an example of how you should ALWAYS talk about what the law is, and should be, before you call for blanket enforcement. And gay marriage is a very good example of that, even if it makes you uncomfortable. So, yes, I will keep using it. As for the other point on "illegals," sigh. Before you were just calling for blanket deportment for "illegals"; now that you know that many of them do in fact pay in taxes, you are willing to give them wiggle room under the law, depending on whether or not they've paid taxes. Under your plan, it sounds like it would open the door for someone to (a) come in illegally, (b) get a job paying taxes and (c) then have six months to get legal because they paid taxes. I'm not saying that is a good or a bad idea, but it is quite different from your initial argument. And, I would add, a positive movement toward actually talking about the law rather than "deporting all the illegals now!"

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T09:33:49-06:00
ID
81529
Comment

Good Lord, I missed a lot. Jo-D, I want to point out that you keep talking about deporting the woman's children, but in my example, those children are U.S. citizens. Neither you nor anyone else has the right under any law to deport them because they were born on U.S. soil. You can only deport the mother. LawClerk, our "welfare state is out of control," is it? You really flashed your conservative undies with that one, considering that the U.S. has the most minimal welfare system in the industrialized world. That's probably a debate best left for elsewhere, but I would just nod to Donna's posts about how most illegal immigrants pay taxes. This area is heavily contested in research, as you might expect, but there are many studies that show that immigrants have a net positive effect on tax revenue. They are certainly helping to prop up the social security system, and they commit crimes at a lower rate than U.S. citizens, however many times Bill O beats the lynching drum because an illegal immigrant killed someone in a drunken driving accident. LawClerk, I think that the security argument is a smoke screen. After all, the only time al Qaeda tried to penetrate our borders was in 1999, and they tried to get in from Canada. Yet, no one talks seriously about building a wall in the north. Furthermore, it's really a block-headed approach to security, thinking that you're going to stop al Qaeda with a wall. Al Qaeda is virtually certain to enter the country the way they have in the past--using visas. Can you imagine a group of Arabs hanging out in Tijuana, trying to fit in while they hook up with a coyote to smuggle them across the border? That is a losing proposition compared to having an operative in Britain get a student visa and step off a flight in Newark. If al Qaeda were to try to get in from Mexico--and there is absolutely no evidence that they have--the way to stop them is with--wait for it--intelligence work. In other words, if a bunch of Arabs are hanging out in Tijuana, one hopes that those bumblers at the CIA might manage catch to wind of it. Even if there was a wall, why on Earth do you think it would stop sophisticated operatives, who would likely just smuggle themselves over the border in a truck or a small plane? After all, we've got millions of pounds of drugs coming into this country that way every year, and a wall wouldn't do anything to stop that traffic.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-20T12:50:55-06:00
ID
81530
Comment

Yeah, I know what the law is and know that anyone born here is automatically a US citizen. My argument was that should not be the law. If the parents were here illegally in the first place to have the children here, then the whole family should be sent back where they came from and no US citizenship status granted on the children because, technically, they were here illegally too.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-20T13:40:30-06:00
ID
81531
Comment

Can you imagine a group of Arabs hanging out in Tijuana, trying to fit in while they hook up with a coyote to smuggle them across the border? That's the funniest post I've seen in a while. Go, Brian. ;-) Could anyone tell when a wall has ever helped the "security" of a country, much less anything else?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T13:40:32-06:00
ID
81532
Comment

Yeah, I know what the law is and know that anyone born here is automatically a US citizen. My argument was that should not be the law. Oh, so now, Jo-D, you want to make laws tougher against immigrants, and deport people actually born in America. You are one slippery fella—as in all over the damn place. Whatever. I'm not even sure Rush would take you seriously at this point. With due respect.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T13:42:17-06:00
ID
81533
Comment

Not that I care whether or not Rush would take me seriously... It's not hard to understand.. here ILLEGALLY? Get out, and take your illegal children with you. Come back when you've followed the LEGAL process for being here.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-20T13:46:12-06:00
ID
81534
Comment

But the children are NOT illegal. Unless we put you and yours in charge. And you've already said that if you do sneak in and pay taxes, that you then should be able to become legal, right? What if you have a child here in the interim? Just helping you think through he finer points in your argument.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T14:05:57-06:00
ID
81535
Comment

I've tried to stay out of this discussion, but this is maddening. Jo-D, you appear to suggest that immigrants willingly remain illegal-- which, I'm sorry, is about the stupidest thing I've read on this thread. First of all, to propose sending 12, or 6, million people home on planes is impractical and, frankly, unintelligent. More to the point, you make it seem as though immigrants could simply check off a box and "start the process" of becoming legal. What the since-failed immigration bill proposed was for heads of households to pay a fine of up to $10,000 (which, as I've noted before, is just about impossible), then return home to their countries of origin for up to 13 years before being considered as a possible U.S. resident. Now, that bill failed, warts and all. So, as far as far as your "x amount of time" letter is concerned-- I really don't understand what you mean. Send a letter to every illegal immigrant and ask them to check a box (with an X perhaps) and "become legal?" Do you really think half would say, "Naw, I'd prefer to make a fortune by stealing Jo-D's taxes by cleaning up toxic debris at criminally low wages, just so I don't have to pay income taxes at the end of the year?" This arguments stinks of the "Why don't they learn English?" argument. Believe me, immigrants want to know English. Just like they want to be employed legally, and pay taxes, and have medical insurance. But because of the laws on the books, they are forced to live in fear, in workplaces where they are exploited, paid low wages and responsible for paying medical bills in cash (if they're not turned away). In fact, if anyone's stealing taxes (which illegal immigrants cannot claim as refunds), it's their employers-- which, interestingly enough, you acknowledge in your own post.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-20T14:38:06-06:00
ID
81536
Comment

Do you really think half would say, "Naw, I'd prefer to make a fortune by stealing Jo-D's taxes by cleaning up toxic debris at criminally low wages, just so I don't have to pay income taxes at the end of the year?" That one is funny, too. In a sad kind of way. Right on, Matt.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-20T15:17:33-06:00
ID
81537
Comment

Pay $10,000, leave, and see if they will let you back in? I would just stay illegal and hustle the best way I can. Lots of bad things can happen in 13 years including death. Didn't seem like a really generous bill or amnesty to me. My biggest reason for being undecided is I didn't know what the proposed bill was about. But I didn't want to tell anyone.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-07-20T16:25:28-06:00
ID
81538
Comment

Folks, morality aside (and I've written about that elsewhere), let's be realistic here: (1) We physically can't deport 12 million people. Period. Our criminal justice system isn't big enough. That's half the population of Iraq, for God's sake. (2) Undocumented immigrants are not going to pay $10,000 and spend 13 years in Mexico to get legal. Isn't going to happen. (1) and (2) being the case, the only realistic option is a more generous proposal. I mean, the first step in any decision-making progress should be to eliminate the options that are physically impossible to put into effect.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-20T21:44:10-06:00
ID
81539
Comment

Welcome back Tom. :]

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-20T21:57:11-06:00
ID
81540
Comment

Thanks, Jody. It's good to be back!

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-20T22:05:36-06:00
ID
81541
Comment

I think the first good step, Tom, is to start cracking down on the border itself. Sure, your can't physically deport 12 million people, but you sure as s*hit can increase the border patrol and get a damn wall up. Lets start physicially limiting the volume of people that enter the country illegally. Think about if you were in, say, Germany, for instance without the proper passport or documentation. They would eject your ass quicker than anything. Why should we be any different? Because extreme bleeding hearts like Donna Ladd "feel" the laws are unjust? Sovereign borders mean something. They stand for the demarcation line between one country and another and I'm all about enforcing those lines. I am also all about hard working people that want to come to the country, but people who want to do it through the proper channels.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-20T22:33:52-06:00
ID
81542
Comment

Trust, sure, let's construct a porous and easily circumvented 700-mile, $49 billion wall to cover random sections of a 2,000-mile border. What a great use of taxpayer funds! Seriously, Trust, if you're all about enforcing those lines I recommend doing a Peace Pilgrim style march from one end of the 2,000-mile border to the other, carrying a bullhorn and shouting "Don't cross! Don't cross!" It won't work, but then neither will the fence, and my suggestion is much cheaper.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T00:13:04-06:00
ID
81543
Comment

If a fence even stops 20%, that will still be 20% we don't have to worry about. Not to mention beefing up more security at the assigned crossings and more border patrols.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-21T00:57:43-06:00
ID
81544
Comment

So should I take this to mean that you're in the market for a used bullhorn?

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T03:26:57-06:00
ID
81545
Comment

I think a nice long, tall fence, a good bit of razor-wire and a well armed bunch of border agents speaks just a little bit louder than your little bullhorn, Tom. Cheers

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-21T04:22:39-06:00
ID
81546
Comment

Damn a fence, we need a new Berlin Wall coast to coast, along Canada and Mexico, staffed by sharpshooters and paid for by the 500 billion dollars already and 1 billion dollars a day currently we spent/are spending on Iraq/Afghanistan. All that money should be spent on our own problems.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T05:49:53-06:00
ID
81547
Comment

A NEW BERLIN WALL? What do you want this country to become? I am not a native Mississippian. Most of the people in this country are not Native Americans. Most of the people this immigration conversation is aimed at are Native Americans. Native North Americans whose ancestors may have fished the coast of Mississippi. Should they just stay at their home and slowly starve to death? The Federal Government is subsidizing our way of life by borrowing money from Mexico and you want us to shoot their citizens? What is wrong with this picture? I think that in search for the simple answer for very complex problems we have once again been sidetracked. How many trillions of dollars have been sent to the Middle East for oil? It's very easy to point to a powerless group of people and identify them as the enemy. They haven't done anything other than try to improve their life a little bit. Fighting terrorism is not an easy fight. We have to be patient vigil and focused. A wall will only give us a false sense of security. I won't live in a gated community and I don't want to live in a "walled" country. As a note, I worked in the in the Alfred P. Murrah building in OKC until Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990.

Author
Slider
Date
2007-07-21T07:25:19-06:00
ID
81548
Comment

Why not consider the root causes that result in the perceived need to build the fence/wall? Have we not learned whether it's Hadrian's Wall, the Berlin Wall on down to the de facto walls of railroad tracks and such that divide communities, those walls will be breached. You just can't build them high enough. Might I suggest that we consider the role of the United States in impoverishing those on the other side of the walls and our responsibility to make it right? Flame on . . .

Author
Robert Connolly
Date
2007-07-21T07:30:40-06:00
ID
81549
Comment

As a note, I worked in the in the Alfred P. Murrah building in OKC until Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990. Wow. A good reminder about the false security a "wall" would provide, eh? IMHO, the people who want walls scare me as much as the people they're trying to keep out. Walls will increase hatred of/in America and, thus, terrorism—including from within. Have we learned nothing from history?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T07:44:11-06:00
ID
81550
Comment

And, yes, please suggest it, Robert. I hear there's a special VIP room in heaven reserved for people who dared to suggest the idea of caring for the poor, and then got flamed for it.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T07:46:10-06:00
ID
81551
Comment

If their own country would care for their own poor, we wouldn't have to and we'd have a lot more less poor people here because hey, that money we spent on their poor has to go somewhere, right? I don't really want a "berlin wall" and I'm sorry no one saw the sarcasm in that statement... I just want people to come here legally, and people that defend the aliens to take off the rose colored lenses and see that the majority of aliens aren't supporting our country or tax base all the while taking advantage of our wholesale compassion where we give them free health care and food.. free to them but that you and I pay for via taxes.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T08:09:11-06:00
ID
81552
Comment

Jo-D - here's the deal, when other countries do start to care for their poor like Chavez in Venezuela, or Allende in Chile at the cost of corporate interests, the United States has this nasty habit of demonizing those folks and attempting to driving them from office, democratic elections or not . . . hate to sound so simplistically leftist, but that is the hard reality.

Author
Robert Connolly
Date
2007-07-21T08:20:17-06:00
ID
81553
Comment

see that the majority of aliens aren't supporting our country or tax base all the while taking advantage of our wholesale compassion where we give them free health care and food. Jo-D, there is information posted above that indicates that at least half of "illegals" are paying taxes. At least acknowledge that, even if it doesn't fit into your anti-immigrant rhetoric. And did you even read Matt's post above, which corrected many of your delusions? Then there is the issue of the conditions that our country's trade policies are creating elsewhere. Listen to the radio show from yesterday for more on that. With the tone, and unfactual rhetoric in many of your posts so far, Jo-D, how could anyone separate the "sarcasm" from what you actually believe? You've set your tone here; don't blame anybody else for believing that you actually believe what you're posting. And it's cheap to pretend that you were being sarcastic when people point out the actual facts to you, and you find yourself in a corner. No one's going to take you seriously if you keeping doing that.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T08:32:43-06:00
ID
81554
Comment

"What if you have a child here in the interim?" That's why they need to be kept out in the first place--so they don't come in here, start breeding, and have anchor babies.

Author
AnchorBaby
Date
2007-07-21T11:30:34-06:00
ID
81555
Comment

"Anchor babies??? You sound like a eugenicist. Icky.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T12:39:04-06:00
ID
81556
Comment

Wow. "Breeding anchor babies?" (Exterminator, you're really living up to your name, pal!) Building "Berlin walls" to keep out "aliens?" (A suggestion which, as Donna noted, fits the tone of Jo-D's rhetoric perfectly-- I don't care how "sarcastic" you thought you were being in making it. And you've slung the word "alien" with a particularly prideful jingoism, without even a hint of irony.) If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought I had just stumbled upon a hate group's discussion board. Or better yet, the editorial page of any country-- including our own-- that became obsessed with racist nationalism (we called it "manifest destiny") in the 20th century. It's 2007, folks. Someday, people are going to learn about the hatred you've espoused here. Hopefully, they'll learn to do better. By the way, it's refreshing to see a few new voices-- Robert Connolly, Tom Head, Slider, et al.-- who are actually contributing something beyond racism to this discussion. It's also good to see my colleagues with "extreme bleeding hearts" who are calling people out for saying horrible things, even if they think it's a joke. I'm exhausted wasting my time on such backwards thinking, when we could be having an intelligent discussion about international relations and immigration policy. But it needs to be recognized, and it's become a part of this story. One more example of the depths we have reached (I believe Kim Wade said something about Latinos contributing to a "breakdown of society?"): No welfare services without proper I.D. No foodstamps, no WIC, no health care, no medicine, no business loan, nothing. Show proof you are here legally. If you can't, see ya! Beyond the fact that few, if any, illegal immigrants enjoy such welfare services as it is (that was kind of the whole point of Silva's struggle after Katrina), do you honestly propose turning a sick man away-- because he came here to work, and help rebuild the Coast, and has developed a respiratory infection from the toxic waste he cleared (as Silva did)? Do you honestly propose turning a Hurricane Katrina disaster victim away, because he has no I.D.? (And, as my article shows, FEMA has acknowledged that border patrol agents might have, essentially, scared illegal immigrants out of emergency aid-- and, after a few weeks, all aid was cut off from them.) If so, Jo-D, how can you look at yourself in the mirror and call yourself anything better than the masterminds behind the Berlin Wall? Get out, and take your illegal children with you. You really ought to be ashamed of yourself.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-21T13:19:31-06:00
ID
81557
Comment

BTW, read this story for the link to eugenics in the national immigration debate.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-21T13:23:10-06:00
ID
81558
Comment

Those "anchor babies" are every bit as much American citizens as any of the rest of us. Thankfully, none of you get to vote on whether they share the same rights as the rest of us. They do. Any talk of deporting them is a waste of time, because it isn't going to happen.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-21T14:40:51-06:00
ID
81559
Comment

Matt, I find it amusing that you sling "racist" around "with a particularly prideful jingoism, without even a hint of irony." The people I know that are boldly against being overly sympathetic to people that knowingly entered this risky situation of being deported, don't really care about the race or nationality. Hell, the bulk of the illegal immigrants I know and have known realize the risk and vocally say, ;Oh, well..." So, there's the issue some have with being sympathetic to what boils down to these people being criminals. All (but children) chose to enter illegally. Some may deserve sympathy... They should apply for amnesty if their situation is so dire. For me, it's not about race -- at all. Hell, I personally have known Mexican and German people that could be deported tomorrow so I know immigration policies touch more than Mexico. If I went to Germany or Spain and fell off the grid to live illegally, how the hell could I demand special rights, sympathy or amnesty of any sort? I'd expect to be deported. So, it's hard for me to feel sympathy because I respect the laws of the nation I want to join as a citizen -- so I can be a citizen. Regardless, I keep seeing alot of attacks on the people that are against a liberal dose of sympathy for those that actively chose to circumvent our immigration laws. I see it. I see it in nearly every other post and I'm surprised the hurl of "liberal elitist" hasn't flown into this thread by a liberal or a conservative. At least the xenophobes, rednecks and racists are providing their own perceived solution [no matter how misled]. Where has another solution been presented? If you want people to understand this from a humanist perspective, a little more details and alot less jabs of "you're a racist and xenophobe" might make all the difference. Until then, I suspect a large portion of the people discussing this topic have few-to-no details on the legislation or your method of resolving what could already be a crisis. Tom took a stab by reducing the argument and ridding it of the potential for mass exodus and fines. So, how do you solve the problem? If a wall is bad... If deporting 12mil illegals is bad... If wanting individuals to follow our laws rather than circumvent them and seek sympathy is bad... How do you solve the problem of 12mil+ illegals in this country? It's easy to play the "you're wrong" and "you're a racist" game but that doesn't weight your argument that seems to be non-existent at the moment. The problem: 12mil+ undocumented, illegal humans have chosen to break our laws (reasons other than amnesty hold no value in this conversation). The legislation: Is anyone clear on it? If so, spell it out... Few-to-no real details of that knowledge have poured into the thread. I suspect the bulk of Americans have heard so many variations and revisions, it couldn't hurt to summarize it clearly (which was NOT done in this piece). The resolution:.... Something I've heard no one suggest except for the "racists" and "xenophobes." So, rather than slinging barbs and jabs of racism and xenophobia (what a way to make friends and allies!), why not present an alternate solution? It might be easier for others to grasp where you're coming from if they actually knew your perspective on the topic and not your judgments and perspectives on their ideas and their perspectives. ***Anecdote: While typing this, I called 5 friends of varying ages from CA to TX to NY and none knew the details of the legislation and all are voters between 25-45.

Author
kaust
Date
2007-07-21T15:11:48-06:00
ID
81560
Comment

Thanks for the kind words, Matt; I love your writing in this week's cover story. I gotta agree with Knol on rhetoric, though, and I'm speaking as one of the worst offenders. Organizing is when you get people you agree with together around the idea of doing something concrete; advocacy is when you get people who don't agree with you to either agree with you, or become less militant in their opposition; neither are amenable to a war dynamic. There are very few people we really want to put in the "go suck an egg" category. This is not to say that racism plays no role in the anti-immigration movement, of course, but I think the Southern Poverty Law Center, among others, has made a mistake by describing that entire movement in terms of racism and xenophobia because our attitude is going to be something very much like "I've exhausted wasting my time on such backwards thinking," and then there goes our opportunity to be good advocates. We need to realize that the difference between a natural-born citizen who strongly opposes generous citizenship initiatives and one who is willing to grudgingly those initiatives could be one Latino neighbor, a good twenty-minute conversation, or a very special episode of King of Queens. Or the cover story to this week's JFP, for that matter. Our objective should not be, IMHO, so much to bring people over to our side as it is to make the reasonableness of our position clear enough that it becomes both sympathetic and comprehensible, and therefore less threatening, to its opponents. As far as "anchor babies" is concerned, the term is based on the idea that if one is an undocumented immigrant who has a baby in the United States (who is, by virtue of being born here, a U.S. citizen), and the government is reticent to separate American citizens from their parents, then having a baby in this country "anchors" the parents here. I'm not crazy about the term because it depersonalizes the baby (the baby's interests being just as important to protect, if not more so, than those of the adults), but that's all it usually means. Citizenship for "anchor babies," in any case, cannot be revoked without a constitutional amendment passed by two-thirds of Congress and ratified by three-quarters of the states. It's hard to imagine a scenario where this would happen.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T15:52:52-06:00
ID
81561
Comment

"grudgingly those" --> "grudgingly tolerate those"

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T15:56:01-06:00
ID
81562
Comment

"...do you honestly propose turning a sick man away...Do you honestly propose turning a Hurricane Katrina disaster victim away, because he has no I.D.?...." Yes, if they're illegal aliens. "And, as my article shows, FEMA has acknowledged that border patrol agents might have, essentially, scared illegal immigrants out of emergency aid..." Good. Criminals should be scared of law enforcement. The presence of ICE agents should deter illegal aliens from being here. Let your heart bleed all you want for these poor, disadvantaged people. I have but one interest in this matter: protecting America's borders, language and culture. The welfare of these illegal aliens runs a very, very distant second.

Author
AnchorBaby
Date
2007-07-21T15:59:13-06:00
ID
81563
Comment

...and then there are people who say outrageous foolishness because they're trying to provoke a reaction, like this "exterminator" gentleman here. They're not really worth trying to dialogue with--not because they're too far gone, but because they're not taking the conversation seriously. They are as King Herod demanding miracles for their entertainment.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T16:21:51-06:00
ID
81564
Comment

Tom, I take protecting America's borders, language and culture VERY DAMN seriously. I'm not particularly interested in the reaction of anyone who disagrees with me about protecting America.

Author
AnchorBaby
Date
2007-07-21T16:28:27-06:00
ID
81565
Comment

If that were true, why would you be posting about it here?

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T16:30:46-06:00
ID
81566
Comment

Kaust, First of all, I have shared details and opinions about the proposed legislation in my story (see above sidebar), in this discussion and in multiple blog postings. This particular sidebar focused on the hottest topic of the bill-- the part that drove it, and the part that eventually brought it down-- the so-called "amnesty," which referred to an up-to $10,000 penalty and return to the head-of-household's country of origin for up to 13 years before potentially earning citizenship. In other blog posts and JFP editorials, I have focused on other aspects, such as an exanded guest worker program, a quick-fix response to "amnesty," one that currently exists, and which many have compared to modern-day slavery. (In it, "guest" laborers are contracted to single employers, who are in charge of their room and board. The "guest" laborers do not enjoy basic employment rights, such as the right to quit or change their place of employment. If they protest, they are often blacklisted. Also, these laborers cannot even entertain the possibilty of one day becoming a citizen. After their labor is expended, they are returned home. It goes without saying that within this program, exploitation is rampant. ) The response to these blog posts and stories has, at times, been quite vocal. I welcome your desire to see a discussion of the points of the legislation, but unfortunately this has only been one aspect of the discussion. Another, troubling, aspect has been an outpouring of hatred, much of which bears all noticeable signs of racism. Now, I would love to believe that everyone on this board who opposes illegal immigration merely respects above all else the "rule of law." Now, as Donna has pointed out repeatedly, saying someone is illegal-- so they should go-- is unproductive to this discussion. Many things are illegal that should not be: gay marriage and black voting rights are two examples that have been used. I have never seen so much hatred, based ostensibly on a law. "Go home and take your illegal children?" How about the namesake for this story, the quotation from Kim Wade-- who showed no political correctness in distinguishing Latinos from illegal immigrants when he said of Latinos: “The first wave (of Latinos) that comes over, yes, they’re hard workers—but when their cousins come over, the ones who are gang bangers, we’re going to see a total breakdown of our society.” Have you read my article that I've linked to above, about the ties between the national immigration debate and racism? It's not something I thought up, and replaced anti-immgrant with anti-Latino, accidentally. As far as solutions? Comprehensive immigration reform that takes into account, above all else, worker's rights-- and punishes exploitative employers and other agents, such as the coyotes who smuggle immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border, under extremely dangerous conditions, for high fees. A reevaluation of trade between U.S. and Latin America, and deciding whether we truly want a zone of free trade-- including many Latin American countries' most valuable asset, cheap labor-- in an open-market system. There are many alternate solutions to a wall, or massive deportation-- I'll be sure to track some that have been proposed. As for the 12 million illegal immigrants currently living in the U.S.-- I think that they should be accounted for, in a way that doesn't automatically insure their deportation. It is a shame that so many people live within the U.S. in constant fear-- and one of the immigration bill's strongest aspects was its willingness to offer a way out of the shadows. Now, we can't solve this problem by deporting all 12 million illegal immigrants-- because people will not come out of the shadows, no matter how much they are being exploited, if it means they will be sent home. A more reasonable solution might be a law requiring registration-- along with a reasonable (e.g. less than $10,000) fee, if no immigration papers exist, and a reasonable (e.g. less than 13-year) path to citizenship, in return. But, then again, I'm just a journalist. I'm trying to shed some light on problems, not offer up all the answers. Frankly, I see some of the language on this thread as a problem-- sorry if that doesn't make us friends.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-21T16:32:58-06:00
ID
81567
Comment

Tom, I appreciate your insight. I'd like to add that my comments here are, for the most part, direct responses to other bloggers and in no way an extension of my story. (Although, as Kaust noted, they do give some ideas about my own thinking, for whatever that's worth. And, as members of the alternative press, we recognize that personal opinions are not completely checked at the door when we put on a reporter's hat.) And Exterminator, you continue to astoud me. What you've proposed is absolutely inhuman.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-21T16:39:42-06:00
ID
81568
Comment

Matt, what is your nationality - and if it's American, what is your parents nationality? I'm curious. The name Saldaña seems obvious but I don't want to assume lest Queen Bee call me a racist for assuming - so I'm asking you directly.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T17:16:22-06:00
ID
81569
Comment

Jody, what's yours...?

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T17:32:35-06:00
ID
81570
Comment

Matt, thanks for the response. If more clarity and/or solutions were included in rebuttals, these discussions would probably have a different tone. I've seen alot of name calling and overall hostility with little approach to really discussing the issue (from all sides). As for the "path to citizenship" that you discussed, how do we, as a country, guarantee we won't see a massive influx of immigrants solely attempting to take advantage of what could be perceived as an easier method of gaining citizenship? I'm guessing the "amnesty", if you will, would be similar to the regular process? Why expedite citizenship for those that broke our laws vs those that are actively in the process of becoming a citizen? Two of my problems in this discussion are: 1) the active and willing criminal behavior of circumventing our policies by many that do not want citizenship on any level (I base this on several discussion with people that are here illegally); 2) the black market created by businesses and allowed by our government through a lack of policy enforcement. If our current policies were enforced, I can't help but feel those problems would systematically reduce. So, it becomes a matter of first enforcing our policies as a government and requiring that businesses follow the law (with extreme fines for breaking those policies).

Author
kaust
Date
2007-07-21T17:37:46-06:00
ID
81571
Comment

Matt, good post. I sent you a private email about the Kim Wade thing--I think it's very important to marginalize comments like that, Don Imus' statement about the Rutgers basketball team, etc. so that such rhetoric does not become socially acceptable. Of course opponents of the Imus rhetoric could have said "Oh, he's just saying what untold millions of people believe," and that would have given his comments more democratic power than they deserved. We should be just as hard, IMHO, on anti-Latino comments--talking about Latinos in general terms like that is racist, and has nothing to do with the immigration debate as three quarters of American Latinos are legal. GLAAD has done tremendous good over the past 20 years with respect to anti-gay rhetoric in the media; I'd like to see the same done with anti-Latino rhetoric, and I have a few ideas on how that can be done locally, and it wouldn't even be hard to do. Re long-term solutions, the largest unsecured border on Earth is the U.S.-Canadian border, and while several of the 9/11 hijackers crossed over from Canada none crossed over from Mexico, so from a national security perspective the Mexican border is not the one we should be concerned about. That said, I think the best solution to immigration is a bill that simultaneously grants amnesty and institutes employer sanctions: legalize the 12 million immigrants who are already here, but shut down the corporate worker exploitation machine at the same time. And we should absolutely not bring back the guest worker program, aka the Bracero Program; we already abolished slavery once in this country (twice if we grant amnesty). Cheers, TH

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T17:39:10-06:00
ID
81572
Comment

Most of the aliens merely want to come here for economic reasons, and live in enclaves as discrete minorities, and maintain their primary loyalty to another country. They prefer to come work a few months and take all their money back home with them before returning again. A never-ending cycle. And we don't need any "guest worker" programs. Unlike regular immigrants, guest workers are only allowed into their host country for a limited period of time and have no chance of ever becoming citizens. Guest workers are also typically the “guests” of some specific employer who's agreed to sponsor their stay in the United States. This leaves them unable to bargain credibly with their employers, start small businesses of their own, or even just take risks around the workplace that stand some chance of getting them fired. If you're an employer, this is ideal. You have an utterly captive work force, unable to negotiate with you or even really complain. A work force that's utterly under your thumb because you cannot only fire them but, in effect, have them deported. Needless to say, the prospects of such a work force unionizing are nil. Consequently, they have an even more negative impact on working-class wages than do regular immigrants. You can see, then, why this idea appeals to big business and, therefore, to the segments of the Republican Party that are more in hoc to their rich donors than to their nativist base voters. For Republicans, another appealing aspect of guest workers is that since they can't become citizens, they can't become Democratic-voting citizens the way most immigrants do. It isn’t hateful to call Mexico a third world nation. It isn’t hateful not to want to import the corruption, crime, poverty, and low education levels from the third world. Do I feel sorry for Mexico? Sure. Do I feel sorry enough for them to bring their problems here? No. That isn’t’ racist, it is simple common sense. In the nineteenth century, we attracted immigrants that had similar values and similar skill levels, at the very least into our nation. Sure there were cries against Germans, Irish, Italians, but their skill levels matched the needs of our nation, from raw labor to skilled labor, at the time. Right now, we have a 21st century nation, importing people with 19th century skills and education levels. Does that make any sense at all? Finally, to address the underlying moral problem with illegal labor. We don’t import these illegals because they work hard, but because they work cheap. The exploitation of these aliens is a moral problem. Feeling sorry for them, but exploiting them at the same time to save a buck so that your lawn is green, is in my book not only hateful, but sinful. Using these people for their cheap labor is corrosive to our national moral character.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T17:41:36-06:00
ID
81573
Comment

Jody, if you deleted the first, fifth, and sixth paragraphs, that would have been a beautiful post!

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T17:44:32-06:00
ID
81574
Comment

Tom: eh, I'm a mut.. part Italian, part Irish, part Native American, others... of course, we are all legal. ;]

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T17:45:05-06:00
ID
81575
Comment

I appreciate your interest, Jo-D. Nationality: I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil to two American citizens. I held dual Brazilian-U.S. citizenship until I was 18, when I became an American citizen. (I have lived in the U.S. since I was 2.) As far as my ethnicity, my father is a second-generation Mexican-American (so that makes me third-- and explains my name) and my mother is white (European descended American). I had an overwhelmingly "Anglo" upbringing, but identify as a Mexican-American.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-21T17:47:40-06:00
ID
81576
Comment

You were born in Brazil, are a U.S. citizen, but identify as a Mexican-American?? Interesting.. So it would be safe to say that based on this article you wrote, the other article you wrote Mal Tiempo, Buenas Caras (Bad Times, Good Faces), and that you self identify as a Mexican-American (even though you are at the least Brazillian-American and at the most just American), that you have a "dog in this race" for lack of better words? As in, carrying the torch for "your people"? And how long have you been at JFP? Just my curiosity you know... not trolling, although others would have you believe otherwise.. I'm genuninely curious. Thanks.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T17:55:01-06:00
ID
81577
Comment

For the record, as a human, I also have a dog in this race, for lack of better words. Matt, allow me. He's been at the JFP for six months as a visiting reporter. He's done an amazing job for us. One of the things I asked him to do is use his knowledge and understanding of immigration issues to help us challenge Mississippians to think about and get educated about these issues, rather than just repeat false, mindless and racist rhetoric. He's done an amazing job, and we will miss him when he leaves us. Any more JFP-related questions, Jo-D? I'm your woman.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T18:10:50-06:00
ID
81578
Comment

Oh, and yes, the JFP encourages people to write about issues close to their hearts and that they know something about. We even let black people write about "black" issues. And gays about "gay" issues. We're radical that way.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T18:12:13-06:00
ID
81579
Comment

Frankly, I see some of the language on this thread as a problem-- sorry if that doesn't make us friends. Hear, hear, Matt. I do, too. People I respect call out this kind of language; you have my blessing. (It is interesting to see some people here who, in the past, immediately jumped on people for being racist and prejudiced toward blacks and Arabs and homosexuals on this thread, instead, go after Matt for his "rhetoric" for calling out really hideous blanket statements by some posters. I mean, the "anchor babies" thing is one of the most horrifying things I've ever seen on this site. The immigration debate does bring interesting stuff out of everyone. There is some good stuff emerging here, however, even as the ugly problems are front and center. I don't have time to wade through it all this weekend, so I will ask trusted JFP folks who aren't posting on this thread much to e-mail me if you think the slurs really go over the line. I'm willing to give it some leeway to air out how bad it is and where hyprocrisies might lie, but I don't want this to make our readers too uncomfortable. So please let me know if there are posts I should closely consider for deletion.)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-21T18:23:46-06:00
ID
81580
Comment

Anyway, feel free to reply on your own accord Matt. Thanks.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T18:26:20-06:00
ID
81581
Comment

Jo-D, your suggestion hardly warranted my response. Though I appreciate your curiosity, what you said was absolutely offensive. Donna's reply is a necessary and accurate defense of not only one of her reporters but the JFP's integrity. (So, unless you think I'm avoiding your question: NO.) It's funny-- before I posted my reply to your question about my nationality (which you obviously hold in higher regard than my ethnicity-- thank you for molding my identity, BTW), I deleted the phrase: "Waiting for the bait and switch." Should've kept it in.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-21T18:33:43-06:00
ID
81582
Comment

Yeah, you should have, if for nothing else other than to prove once again that you would have been wrong, again, simply because I wasn't baiting and switching. It was genuine curiosity, as you'll see below.. but of course nothing is genuine and all is suspect and wrong in Queen Bee's eyes. My point was that you can't see this issue in an objective manner, since you are one of the aforementioned culture that this nationwide debate has centered around. Hell, I'm sadly guilty of the same lack of objectiveness when it comes to gay and lesbian issues. That's human nature and while you may verbally deny it, it's inherent and there. If you want to prove me otherwise, I look forward to your next story with real, illegal aliens - the 15 working at any local Mexican restaurant who will be gone and replaced with new faces in 6 months - to compliment this love story you wrote on behalf of poor Ms. Silva.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T18:50:29-06:00
ID
81583
Comment

Jody, and as a white person you're "objective" on this issue? Nobody is objective, but saying that Latinos shouldn't cover Latino civil rights issues because they're Latino is offensive. I would raise hell if someone criticized a JFP columnist for being gay and writing about gay issues--and I have to believe you would, too. We've been over this sort of thing before--like when you said the City with Soul campaign was offensive because it made this 73% black city look black--and I have to believe this sort of thing hurts your activism. I mean, does Equality Mississippi even have any non-white members? I've never met one.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T20:09:37-06:00
ID
81584
Comment

Wow, there are some strong arguments on this thread. I favor holding illegal immigrants accountable for their actions and in many cases deporting back to the country of orgin. There are a few situations where an illegal should be allowed to stay, but even then they should made to immediately follow the process to be come legal. A couple of things from this thread. The term "ancor babies" is what is and that's why it is used. The pro illegal crowd is quick to point out the law says that all babies born in American are automatically citizens and the law should be followed. However, the same crowd wants to change the laws when comes to deporting the illegals and holding them accountable. To me you can't just pick and choose the laws you like or the ones that help your case. Here is one for the anti illegal crowd. There are some cases where an illegal could remain here. I read about a case in PA i think where a soldier in Iraq in married to an illegal. If I remeber right it had something to do with her work visa running out and not being renewed. In a case like that we might want to look at putting her on the track to citizenship. I don't think she snuck into the country or anything like that and her husband is serving in the military.

Author
LakesideRes
Date
2007-07-21T20:30:23-06:00
ID
81585
Comment

The last paragraph of my previous post is a good example of ineffective advocacy. The first two were solid on their own; the third is a distraction and creates an ineffective in-group/out-group dynamic. Apologies to all.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-21T20:48:49-06:00
ID
81586
Comment

Not that I was speaking behalf of Equality Mississippi regarding immigration Tom, but yes, we do have non-white members. 2 of our board members are black and straight. I didn't say he shouldn't cover Latino civil rights.. I just said present both sides of the story.. just like we in gay activism do.. we don't deny the fact that there are some less than desirable gays in our community, unlike other culture groups.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-21T20:50:25-06:00
ID
81587
Comment

I have no idea how long it takes to apply to become a legal migrant worker or how much it costs, but something should be done to streamline the process by making it more affordable for genuine applicants while improving our ability to monitor their activities once inside the United States. It's vitally important to control our borders especially now and to know the complete backgrounds of the people entering our country.

Author
Jeff Lucas
Date
2007-07-21T21:28:01-06:00
ID
81588
Comment

I think I've learned more about the immigration debate in this thread than I have ever heard on the news. You were born in Brazil, are a U.S. citizen, but identify as a Mexican-American?? Interesting.. Dang, Matt. I thought if you were brown, you got to stick around. :-P I didn't say he shouldn't cover Latino civil rights.. I just said present both sides of the story.. just like we in gay activism do.. we don't deny the fact that there are some less than desirable gays in our community, unlike other culture groups. And which would those be? Don't want to misunderstand you.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-21T21:42:44-06:00
ID
81589
Comment

Lakeside, how is "anchor babies" the accepted term, if that's what you meant to write? At present, having children who are citizens is no guarantee at all against deportation. The suggestion that immigrants have babies simply to "game the system" is both absurd and offensive. It is absurd because that's not the way life or having babies works. It is offensive because it dehumanizes immigrants. The reason why it is consistent for "pro illegals," as you call us, to state that we should change the law on immigration but that children born in the U.S. will always be citizens is that the immigration law is just law. It can be changed through simple legislative action. By contrast, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution specifies that all persons born in the U.S. are automatically citizens. That simply is not going to change, so debating it seems pointless. Immigration law will almost certainly change, because both conservatives and liberals agree that the current system is undesirable.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T00:18:52-06:00
ID
81590
Comment

There's also a tactical problem with the phrase "anchor babies" that the nativist movement seems completely oblivious to, and that's that if you orient your policy around going after babies, you're not going to find a whole lot of backers. "Hey, yeah, let's take care of all those rotten babies!" isn't going to put crowds in the streets.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-22T00:31:08-06:00
ID
81591
Comment

Jo-D, part of what I find so exasperating about this argument is that people like yourself seem to have so little historical perspective. You write that there were "some cries" against Germans, Irish and Italians in the 19th century, but there were, in fact, huge nativist movements regarding those groups that dwarf the current outcry. The slurs made about those immigrants are virtually identical to the slurs made against Latino immigrants today. Nativists said those immigrants did not share our values, because they drank, they were lazy, they were Catholic, or they were given to socialism and atheism. (No one makes the latter accusation against Latinos today for obvious reasons.) Those groups simply would not learn English, and they clustered together in their enclaves in places like Chicago and New York. They had the temerity to consume media printed in their native tongues, and they insisted on celebrating strange, pagan holidays (like St. Patrick's Day, for instance). Also, they bred like rabbits and were indifferent to education. Now that Germans, Italians and Irish are fully integrated into American culture, those arguments seem ridiculous, just as similar arguments about Latinos will look ridiculous in 50 years. I have never seen any evidence whatsoever that Latinos are slower to learn English or likelier to cluster together in "enclaves" than previous immigrants, and I strongly suspect that the opposite is true. Every wave of immigration to the U.S. follows the same pattern. The first generation is slow to learn English, if they learn it at all. They tend to live together in poorer communities, which they can afford and where they can offer each other support. Their children, however, grow up speaking English and their parents' native tongue. They move up the labor and education ladders and move into more affluent, multi-ethnic neighborhoods. In a couple generations, they are indistinguishable from other Americans, except perhaps for retaining some enthusiasm for national sports or holidays, many of which become integrated into mainstream American culture. As a descendant of Irish and German immigrants, it bothers me that people like you echo the same sorts of arguments that were made against our ancestors with as little sense as nativists had in the 19th century. Latinos will be easy to integrate. They are, after all, Americans of European and native descent who are overwhelmingly Christian. Latinos have lived in the U.S. as American citizens since before we seized the West from Mexico, and they are fully integrated, which is why any talk of protecting American "culture and values" ala exterminator is simply ignorant. We have already sucked in holidays like Cinco de Mayo, and salsa is more popular than ketchup. Have American values suffered as a result? Why do you have so little faith in American culture? Why are we supposed to be alarmed? It just embarrasses me as an American that we have to go through this nonsense one more time. America has always been rejuvenated and reborn through its immigrants, but every 40 years or so, people have to freak out that these immigrants aren't like the ones who came before. These are the immigrants that are going to tear down our civilization. Somehow, I doubt it.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T01:09:12-06:00
ID
81592
Comment

Knol, here are some quick suggestions for alternatives to absolutely horrifying "solutions" like mass deportation: First, put illegal immigrants on the fast-track to gaining citizenship. You may not like rewarding "criminal" behavior (although undocumented workers are criminals in the same way that minors out after midnight are criminals--they have not been violent or stolen property, they just haven't followed "the rules"), but if we're serious about immigration reform, we need to be practical. The more we threaten undocumented workers with deportation, the easier we make it for employers to exploit them. That only drives up demand for illegal immigrants. Ironically, drives to deport illegal immigrants are likely to increase illegal immigration rather than decrease it. If the path to citizenship is too punitive (as it was in the failed immigration bill), illegal immigrants simply won't participate in the program. If we gave all illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens within five to seven years, they would sign up in droves. We can impose fees but they should be realistic. Putting undocumented workers on a fast track to citizenship would serve a number of important purposes. It would address security concerns by quickly documenting undocumented workers. It would also serve to get all workers onto the tax registries. Immigrants probably pay more in taxes than they receive in government services, but this would ensure that everyone is paying his or her fair share. It would also make it harder to exploit immigrants, which is the economic force that drives illegal immigration. We must enforce labor laws and raise the minimum wage. The reason why companies employ undocumented workers is that they can exploit those workers. They do not pay them legally required wages or benefits. They do not observe safety and environmental regulations. If we want to get serious about reducing illegal immigration, we should start imposing massive fines on employers that systematically exploit workers, not build a wall. Part of why it is wrong to punish illegal immigrants harshly now is that we have created the current system. The deal has been something like this: We will allow you, the illegal immigrant, to work in the U.S. even though you don't have a legal right to do so. In exchange, we will exploit you. We will make no effort to crack down on employers who violate the law, but we will occasionally round up some of you just so your existence remains precarious and you are willing to accept substandard wages and working conditions. If we enforced labor laws without regard to legal status, employers would no longer have an incentive to hire undocumented workers. After all, if you have to pay $8/hr to a dishwasher whether he is a white kid from the suburbs or a brown kid from Jalisco, would you hire the kid who speaks English or the kid who speaks Spanish? You might actually hire the kid who speaks Spanish if he is a harder worker, but the real reason why most companies hire the kid from Jalisco is that they pay him $4/hr, under the table. That is "sinful" and corrosive to our national character, as Jo-D wrote in one of his more enlightened moments. The reason why Republicans like Bush support "immigration reform" is precisely the opposite. They want companies to be able to continue to exploit workers. That hurts undocumented workers and American citizens alike because it drives down wages. It would cost money to enforce labor laws, but it would probably cost less than militarizing the border and building that idiotic wall. It would also have a positive effect on all workers, both documented and undocumented, because labor violations are epidemic in this country. It seems that we don't care about workers--legal or illegal--in this country unless they are professionals. America used to be the manufacturing capital of the world. Now, we are a country of lawyers and bankers. Far more blue-collar Americans have lost their jobs to legal globalization than to illegal labor. (Has anyone noticed that illegal immigration was virtually nonexistent when unions were strong?) The immigration dilemma is essentially a sideshow to this central crisis. If we do not do something to restore the lost American dream--affordable housing, education and health care plus fair wages and retirement benefits--then undocumented workers are going to be the least of our worries.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T02:34:57-06:00
ID
81593
Comment

Well said, Brian. I'd add something, but I think you said it all.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-22T03:00:30-06:00
ID
81594
Comment

Interesting fact I came across last night: In 1999 under Clinton, 2,800 illegal workers were arrested. Under Bush in 2003, only 445 arrests were made. Also: The former Immigration and Naturalization Service estimated that as of January 2000 the total unauthorized immigrant population residing in the United States was 7 million. This total includes those who entered the United States illegally and those who entered legally but overstayed their authorized period of stay. A more recent study estimated that there were about 10 million illegal aliens living in the United States as of March 2005. The study estimated that nearly 700,000 aliens entered the United States illegally or overstayed their authorized period of stay each year between 2000 and 2004. Some experts believe this is a overly conservative figure and that illegal immigrants number close to 20 million. Some illegal aliens in the United States have been arrested and incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails, adding to already overcrowded prisons and jails. On April 7, 2005, the US Justice Department issued a report on criminal aliens that were incarcerated in federal and state prisons and local jails. The report contained information on the number of criminal aliens incarcerated, their country of citizenship or country of birth, and the cost to incarcerate them. Congress also requested that the Government Accounting Office provide information on the criminal history of aliens incarcerated in federal and state prisons or local jails who had entered the country illegally. In the population study of 55,322 illegal aliens, researchers found that they were arrested at least a total of 459,614 times, averaging about 8 arrests per illegal alien. Nearly all had more than 1 arrest. Thirty-eight percent (about 21,000) had between 2 and 5 arrests, 32 percent (about 18,000) had between 6 and 10 arrests, and 26 percent (about 15,000) had 11 or more arrests. Most of the arrests occurred after 1990. They were arrested for a total of about 700,000 criminal offenses, averaging about 13 offenses per illegal alien. One arrest incident may include multiple offenses, a fact that explains why there are nearly one and half times more offenses than arrests. Almost all of these illegal aliens were arrested for more than 1 offense. Slightly more than half of the 55,322 illegal aliens had between 2 and 10 offenses. About 45 percent of all offenses were drug or immigration offenses. About 15 percent were property-related offenses such as burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and property damage. About 12 percent were for violent offenses such as murder, robbery, assault, and sex-related crimes. The balance was for such other offenses as traffic violations, including driving under the influence; fraud--including forgery and counterfeiting; weapons violations; and obstruction of justice. Eighty percent of all arrests occurred in three states--California, Texas, and Arizona. Specifically, about 58 percent of all arrests occurred in California, 14 percent in Texas, and 8 percent in Arizona. Sources: Government Accounting Office, US Department of Justice, National Security Institute.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T08:39:14-06:00
ID
81595
Comment

Jo-D, the next time the JFP does a feature story on gay folks, I'll be sure tell my writer to go find me a gay ax-murderer, or a NAMBLA board member, to tell the "other side" and make sure that the whole thing is balanced enough for your discriminating tastes. Or not.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T09:30:15-06:00
ID
81596
Comment

Jo-D, you're buying yourself deeper and deeper in a disturbing ditch. For instance: My point was that you can't see this issue in an objective manner, since you are one of the aforementioned culture that this nationwide debate has centered around. Hell, I'm sadly guilty of the same lack of objectiveness when it comes to gay and lesbian issues. That's human nature and while you may verbally deny it, it's inherent and there. So, are you really arguing with a straight face that a third-generation Latino who grew up in white suburbs, and has focused his studies and much of his travels on Latin American issues, cannot express, write or take part in a conversation about this country's immigration policies?!? Do you really, truly think that you are so privileged as a "white" American to be able to say that someone such as Matt should not participate in this discussion?!? This reeks of attitudes of the '60s toward black Americans -- that they were not qualified to speak on issues that pertained to them. They were left out of the conversation because white folks thought they had all the answers. And I remember people all around me saying, "If they don't like here, why don't blacks (or whatever label they chose) just go back to Africa!?!" Your contention competes with "anchor babies" as one of the more remarkable things anyone has ever said on this site. This is ignorant deja vu all over again. As Brian said so well, we just have to fight the same old xenophobic, holier-than-them crap every few decades. And some wonder why the teaching and understanding of full history is so important. And, I must say, I'm glad we're airing all this out publicly. Maybe it'll really sink in to people reading this how much work there is to do on this front. And why it is really tragic to see members of marginalized groups join the dominant culture (that would take away all their rights if they could) against members of other marginalized groups. As for what is "legal" and "illegal" and the idiotic, talk-radio phrase "pro-illegals"—I don't know what I think immigration policy should end up being, yet. I don't know enough to present a definitive plan to fix the problems that we now have in order for our country to be more humane, not pander to racists and xenophobes, help business and ensure that we continue being the free, diverse melting pot that makes us so special. However, I do know that people who say things like "build another Berlin wall" or deport the "anchor babies" are not the folks who are going to help us figure it out. They are, sadly, the people that so far are blocking us from getting to a point where we can have an intelligent discussion about it. I vote for having it anyway, and just letting those people whine about the fact that it's happening. Carry on.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T09:51:16-06:00
ID
81597
Comment

Once again, you're right and everyone else is wrong. When's the last time YOU offered any real, concrete suggestions/processes to deal with illegal immigration? All you're interested in, is tearing down anyone and everyone that has an opinion opposite of yours without offering any alternatives. So until YOU have ANYTHING to offer this discussion besides [email protected] and holier than thouness, piss off from me. Don't address me or any of my comments unless YOU YOURSELF have something to offer via solutions rather than venom! At least I've offered ideas and solutions. Face it Donna, you're not always right.. it's reality. At least in disagreeing with all that I've said, Brian, Matt and Tom have offered alternatives. You've offered absolutely NOTHING but b!tching and whining about how ludicrous (not the rapper!) and outrageous I and MY OPINIONS am/are. Stop pointing out everyone's faults, accept your own, and add something with content to this discussion besides your cheese-less whine!! Good day!

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T10:03:30-06:00
ID
81598
Comment

Once again, you're right and everyone else is wrong. What is up with this refrain, Jo-D? Everytime *I* challenge your interesting style of conversation, you turn it into this? Do you have a problem with women as well as Latinos? Dude, I'm going to express my opinion, and I'm going to moderate this site. I own it. So get over yourself with the baby-whines about that if you want to maintain the privilege to post here. The future is in your hands. When's the last time YOU offered any real, concrete suggestions/processes to deal with illegal immigration? Actually, Jo-D, should you read above, you will see that I said I don't know what the answers are, although I understand a lot of the questions. I want to hear from educated people on these issues, and form my opinions based on the (accurate) information I glean. I actually *know* that I'm not always right, and seek to learn on a regular basis from people who have more facts at their disposal than I do. I think it would kind of safe to stipulate here that no one is always right, and only a fool would think that. That is, I don't just throw a lot of stuff out that I don't know enough about. I listen, and read, and think, and moderate in order to keep the conversations on a certain intelligence level and keep them out of the trash dump. On this thread, you happen to be one of the main trash men and, thus, you are attacking me personally because I am trying to keep you, and thus the conversation, out of the dump. This happens; I've seen it a million times. That is, most of my presence on this thread has been as moderator to try to keep you and some others from completing dumping us into the deep end of a sh!t hole with the kinds of generalizations you've made about groups of people. My comments to you will change when you change the ad hominem, and generalizing (and worse) tone of your posts here, which do in fact violate our user agreement. I've let it go, though, because I believe that the myths that you hold dear are widespread (thanks to entertainment talk radio), and we need to discuss them publicly with people who know better. Right above, for instance, you told a part-Latino man that he should not be doing stories about Latino issues. That was a very foolish statement, and offensive. If you don't want me on your back, then why not think about what you're posting and try to be less personal and offensive. You could serve a good purpose here, and learn something, if you would check your arrogance and do some factchecking before posting. Oh, and be willing to ask sincere questions of people, like Matt and others, who clearly know things that you don't. That's how we all become more educated; it's certainly my favorite tactic. So please focus on your own behavior instead of complaining about that of the moderator. Obsessing over my responses is a waste of your time, I assure you. I'd like to allow you to keep posting, but I'm going to ask that you adhere to the User Agreement strickly going forward in order to do so.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T10:19:45-06:00
ID
81599
Comment

Gawd, now when the gay baiting don't work, you turn me into a woman hater?? You're impossible. And nothing I've done has violated the User Agreement, except in the ever-changing interpretation of said agreement as you see fit to interpret it. Indeed, you own the site and the paper, and have made sure to let everyone know it. Clue for you: We know it. And everyone knows that the only thing "free" about Jackson Free Press is that we don't have to drop some change in a coin-operated box to get a copy. No one has been a bigger vocal support of JFP than I have.. from the monster CL boxes to making sure every retail store I've managed, had a JFP stand. But you make it almost impossible to defend your dictatorship. Regardless, back to the issue at hand.. offer something here, of use, on this issue rather than the constant "you're wrong, I'm God!" and over analysis of my intentions rather than my opinions.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T10:46:34-06:00
ID
81600
Comment

"The suggestion that immigrants have babies simply to "game the system" is both absurd and offensive. It is absurd because that's not the way life or having babies works." So no one ever gets pregnant or impregnates someone in order to gain some type of advantage in life? This practice is not unique to immigration. Folks have been intentionally getting pregnant (or getting someone pregnant) since the beginning of time, in order to gain something. Brian, I'm also curious as to your experience regarding "the way life or having babies works." Do you have any babies, or are you just speculating about how "life or having babies works?"

Author
AnchorBaby
Date
2007-07-22T10:49:01-06:00
ID
81601
Comment

I didn't say you're a woman-hater, Jo-D, nor did I say you "hate" Latinos. You clearly, however, "have a problem with" Latin Americans. You don't even want one writing about immigration. That is something else. As for moi, I pointed out that your responses to me have a different tone than those to the men on the thread, who have challenged you just as strongly, sometimes stronger, than I have—and not just on your "opinions," but on your faulty facts and your disparagement of groups. The truth is, you have been shown to be "wrong" repeatedly on this site when it comes to statement of "facts," and it is my job, and that of others, to challenge those "facts." I realize you don't care to be challenged, but responding to me as you are now is not going to change anything here. I'm used to being disparaged in such ways; not everyone wants a strong woman in charge of a forum, or a newspaper. C'est la vie. I don't have to offer you anything in order to demand that you not disparage groups of people and engage in ad hominem fights on this site. Nothing. Again, as I have to say to everyone trolling on the site, the JFP is a private enterprise free of government and corporate influence, and it is distributed for free. We also offer you a free forum for discussion, as long as you do not abuse the privilege. That ball is in every user's court. I appreciate your support of the JFP. Likewise, the JFP has been supportive of causes dear to your heart and will continue to be, regardless of what names you call me. Our support of human dignity and rights for all groups has nothing to do with behavior on this thread. And I take very little personally, even (especially) the things that are meant to be. Life is too short, and there is too much to be done. I will trust that the tone, from this point, will change—whether or not you are agreeing or disagreeing with someone. Mine depends on yours. And there will not be any more comments such as these on this thread, from you, me or anyone else. Go start a forum thread if you want to talk about how "free" the JFP is, or how much I suck as a person and an editor and a dictator. From this second forward, this thread focuses exclusively on the immigration issue, and will adhere to the User Agreement. No more discussion or warnings. The Queen Bee has spoken. Buzzzz. Immigration policy, anyone?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T11:00:56-06:00
ID
81602
Comment

On the other hand, AnchorBaby, are you arguing that all, or most, Latinos in this country have babies in order to game the system? And don't try to play the you-don't-have-children-you-wouldn't-know game. Beyond offensive, there is nothing logical about that in this discussion.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T11:02:59-06:00
ID
81603
Comment

If I might go back a bit on this thread - the idea of mutual responsibility on this issue. I was listening to an NPR story just a bit ago: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12056295 and it hit on something that was in the back of my mind. The link is to a story of a family who tried to live without buying things in China for one year. Whether China or wherever is irrelevant, the point to the story was that they could not do it. What I take from that is in the United States we may complain about immigration issues but we sure do suck up the cheap goods produced in those countries. That is, we are more than happy to reap the benefits of those sweatshops abroad in the form of cheap goods here, but perish the thought if those foriegn producers venture onto our soil. A response might be that folks are here illegally, and are breaking the law. But we are still more than happy to reap the benefits of those who work under conditions that would violate U.S. laws in the form of labor standards to get cheap stuff - or put another way we want to play both sides of the fence. I am not terribly impressed with interpretations of what is legal and illegal - like my wife got stopped the other day for going 3 miles over a 35 m.p.h. speed limit yet Mr. Gonzalez, Bush, Cheney et al. are perfectly able to subvert the law by seemingly everyone's standards, conservative media pundits included. I have irritated more than one attorney by asking "Okay, level with me, court rulings are less about right and wrong but the relationship of forces." So in coming back to immigration issues, we can pass all the laws we want, build all the fences we want, and still completely ignore the realities of our global economies. This does not even touch the issues of morality - the old What Would (fill in your favoriet Deity) do? I am not impressed with the response that this is all fine and good but we got us a situation here that needs to be dealt with now. As a starting point, I firmly believe that we must lay all our cards on the table and not just argue for our own niche. Like on immigration, if we want to talk about 12 million illegals in this country, then we have to talk about legislation and practices that we impose on the very countries from where they came - practices that would be illegal here.

Author
Robert Connolly
Date
2007-07-22T11:05:58-06:00
ID
81604
Comment

And don't try to play the you-don't-have-children-you-wouldn't-know game. Beyond offensive, there is nothing logical about that in this discussion. Don't even let him make his point, and immediately tell him how wrong he is without him even having made a right or wrong point? Just cut him off quick like, eh? I think it's very logical in this particular discussion, considering that it's truth and fact. And no, it's not just an issue with Latinos. Anchor babies are an issue with any nationality of immigrants just as "Anchor Marriages" are. I happen to know personally a couple of "immigrants" who married a US citizen just to be here.. they don't live together, they don't have sex, they don't own property together.. they are just married for the sake of citizenship.. and yet gays are seeminly destroying the institution of marriage. Just like illegal aliens sneaking across the borders, these marraiges should be voided and said illegal alien sent packing as well as said US citizen conspiring to defraud should be punished.. but it's hard to prove "anchor marriages" so that's not going to happen.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T11:17:57-06:00
ID
81605
Comment

Jo-D, it's not logical in this discussion. Whether or not Brian has had children cannot, by very basic logic standards, tell us whether or not most, or all, Latin Americans are having "anchor babies" on purpose. Obviously, individuals can, and do, have babies for all sorts of reasons. But the point here is the use of generalizations toward entire groups of people. Surely, that part makes a degree of sense? Whether you or "anchor" has children is also irrelevant. And Brian was so right: This line of, inquiry, is so incredibly offensive that I can't believe it's happening. I apologize to any Latino reading this. Pray for us. This is a cycle that, sadly, must play out. Now, I am going to exercise the power of my beehive and announce that this thread is going to focus on immigration policy toward actual "illegal" immigrants, not on whether some of y'all believe that American babies should be deported.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T11:38:56-06:00
ID
81606
Comment

Not logical according to whom? You? And that automatically makes it not logical???? Impossible. ANY. WAY. There are at least three major problems with allowing illegal aliens to stay here. Number one, many Americans don't realize this, but there are countless millions of foreigners waiting patiently to enter the United States the right way. To allow the illegals who are already here to stay rewards lawbreakers and makes the people who respected our laws look like chumps. Number two, when you reward illegal behavior and treat people who obey the law like chumps, you can expect more lawbreaking. In other words, if we allow the illegals who are already here to stay here, we can expect another massive onslaught of illegals to enter our country because we'll have shown them that breaking our laws pays. Number three, if we give the illegal aliens who are already here free passes that allow them to continue working and create a guest worker program, there's a very real danger that what we'll end up with is a guest worker program AND massive numbers of illegals pouring into the country. The politicians in Washington have a heavy incentive to keep the flow of illegals going and they've lied before about crack downs on illegal immigration. We're still waiting on the fence to be built that was promised and passed in 2006! So, you can't simply take the Federal government's word for it when they say they're going to toughen up security in return for a guest worker program. Americans will only be able to believe it when it happens. Some people say that it's impossible to secure our border? Are they right? No, they're not. The reason why our borders are not secure today is because the border patrol has been dramatically underfunded, undermanned, and not given the technology they need to do their jobs. For example, we only have 11,000 border patrol agents working on both the US and Canadian border combined. On the other hand, New York City alone has 39,110 officers. How can anyone expect us to secure both our Northern and Southern borders with 1/3 of the personnel used to handle a single city? And here's an interesting tidbit I read this morning: More than 43% of Food Stamps are given to illegals 95% of murder warrants in Los Angeles are for illegals Less than 2% of illegals are picking crops, but 41% are on welfare More than 66% of births in California are to illegals on Medi-Cal, paid for by the US Taxpayer Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties in the US are illegals Nearly 39% of California students Grade 1 - 12 are illegals 75% of L.A.'s Most Wanted are illegals US companies using illegals in 2005 profited over $2.65 Trillion US Taxpayers are footing the bill for all illegal immigrants

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T12:11:17-06:00
ID
81607
Comment

Jo-D, do you mind sourcing your stats? Thanks

Author
Izzy
Date
2007-07-22T12:20:03-06:00
ID
81608
Comment

There's no one source.. they come from many different sources all reporting the same stats.. I'd imagine for direct source, they'd come from US Gov't, Californa Gov't., etc. I do know some are from Government Accounting Office, US Department of Justice, National Security Institute.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T12:24:33-06:00
ID
81609
Comment

No, it's just not logical that whether or not Brian has children can determine whether or not the majority of Latin American babies are so-called "anchor babies." I apologize that I am the conveyor of that fact, Jo-D, but it's still not logical. Did you paste all of those figures from the same source, or compile them yourself? If from the same source, link that source. If not, please supply individual sources for each statistic. A stat is only as good as its source, as everyone knows. Thanks.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T12:44:10-06:00
ID
81610
Comment

I'm particularly interested in the GAO report, Jo-D. Which one is that you're reading from? We'd all love to to the primary sources you're citing; please point us specifically to all the reports you're pulling from.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T12:50:21-06:00
ID
81611
Comment

And I told everyone where they could find them. It that's not good enough for her highness, delete the post.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T12:51:10-06:00
ID
81612
Comment

Maybe this will help: Truth or Fiction

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-22T12:54:16-06:00
ID
81613
Comment

You just posted a list of disparaging statistics about a group of people and are refusing to provide specific sources so people can look for themselves. Should we assume that, as we often see happen here, you just took that list of stats from an anti-immigration site and pasted them here without actually looking at the primary sources yourself? Or looking around to see if they've been fact-checked? That's not going to help your case a lot, if so. People here are smarter than that, Jo-D. Do us the honor of realizing that. Thanks for the link, L.W.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T13:01:58-06:00
ID
81614
Comment

You're welcome, Donna.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-22T13:07:12-06:00
ID
81615
Comment

I didn't get it from that site LW although as I said, the same stats are being reported by numerous sources so that's just one more with the same stats. Donna, you can assume whatever you wish since it's going to be right either way. I specifically stated I read it this morning and stated that the same figures are from different sources. It's not my job to open a Magnum PI investigation as to whether or not they are correct. That's YOUR job.. you are the reporter... err, sorry.. that's Matt's or Brian's or Adam's or Todd's job.. THEY is the reporters.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T13:12:23-06:00
ID
81616
Comment

Jo-D, 95 percent of murder warrants in L.A. are for illegals? Yeah. Um, we're gonna need to see a source on that, because I just have this feeling it is complete and utter bull shit. Why am I guessing that it's Bill O or some other distinguished Peabody winner? By the way, 55,000 illegal immigrants in prison equals less than one half of 1 percent of the total undocumented population. Are you trying to help our side? Illegal immigrants actually commit crimes at a lower rate than American citizens. Here's a source for you, along with an interview to help with interpreting the research. See how easy it is to source your arguments? Your turn. I know you sourced the 55,000 figure, but the rest of it is unsourced, so stop whining. As for myself, I don't have children yet, but I'll have to hold off on giving you my full reproductive credentials while I visit my newborn nephew and my sister for a Sunday barbecue. See, I haven't had kids, but I've heard of people who have. I even know some of them personally. If my credentials don't add up, is it going to undermine my argument that people generally do not have babies to annoy xenophobes, even those dastardly illegal immigrants? You really ought to choose your battles more carefully, because trying to corner me on whether or not I've had babies is infantile and self-defeating.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T13:12:47-06:00
ID
81617
Comment

And Jo-D, I have no desire to delete the post. It's useful to show how people construct their arguments on such issues. It's so useful to show why being gullible isn't going to help our country, or the people of the world.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T13:13:20-06:00
ID
81618
Comment

Jo-D, source your stats or zip it. No one is asking you to be Magnum PI. We're asking you to follow the rules of blog debate. Do it or get lost.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T13:13:49-06:00
ID
81619
Comment

Correction: THEY ARE the reporters. Had to correct that before I got called a racist for stereotypical ebonics.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T13:13:59-06:00
ID
81620
Comment

Brian, I'm not the one that asked if you had kids. I just merely defended the person that did ask you that.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T13:16:41-06:00
ID
81621
Comment

THEY is the reporters. They is some pretty good reporters, too, Jo-D, I'll tell you that. So you don't take personal responsibility for rumors you spread yourself? For using unfactual arguments to support your views? It's your job to just throw stuff out there disparaging entire groups of people, and then leave it to the reporters of the world to set the record straight? Interesting stance, especially for someone who runs an organization that fights myths spread by many of the same sources about another marginalized group of people. You'll note that we realize that you didn't get your stats from the site that L.W. linked it. If you take time to read it, it is actually stating that many of the anti-immigrant "statistics" are false. Please do us the honor of providing just one link to the source for the stats that you pasted, Jo-D. Otherwise, what Brian said.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T13:23:12-06:00
ID
81622
Comment

And Brian is right in his last post. I've been too lenient with you. Please provide the sources for those stats, which you clearly have unless you made them up yourself, in order to retain your posting privileges here. Otherwise, you are in clear violation of the User Agreement for (a) posting disparaging comments about groups of people with information that (b) you refuse to source. Cough it up, Jo-D. Show us your sources.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T13:25:38-06:00
ID
81623
Comment

(A refresher on our blog rules..)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T13:29:52-06:00
ID
81624
Comment

"And don't try to play the you-don't-have-children-you-wouldn't-know game. Beyond offensive, there is nothing logical about that in this discussion." I just wanted to know the basis for Brian's opinion that "it is absurd because that's not the way life or having babies works." Is that opinion based upon his experience or research, or did he just pull it out of his ass? That's all I was asking.

Author
AnchorBaby
Date
2007-07-22T13:57:13-06:00
ID
81625
Comment

Firstly, I haven't posted disparaging comments. That's simply a LIE but then again I must remember that you can change the definition of any word at your own discretion. As I said, they came from different places. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150638,00.html http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,150520,00.html http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,143433,00.html http://www.lapdonline.org/most_wanted http://www.manhattan-institute.org/html/mac_donald04-13-05.htm http://bordersense.com/legal_immigration_numbers.asp If you need the rest of them, i'll provide for your highness. Otherwise, YOU zip it.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T13:58:03-06:00
ID
81626
Comment

I have a question for Brian from a few post back. Are we just supposed to reward all illegals by putting them on the path to citizanship? Does it not matter that many snuck into the country by various illegal methods and have been a drain on our society. Just as we may not be able to deport all 12 million we shouldn't put all 12 million on the path either.

Author
LakesideRes
Date
2007-07-22T14:15:14-06:00
ID
81627
Comment

Thanks for the links, Jo-D. At first glance, they don't look like they are links to the primary sources you mentioned -- GAO, FBI, etc. They look like they are links to organizations that openly oppose immigration. I am going to assume that you do not have, nor have seen, the primary sources and, thus, have no idea what they actually say. And you do know the history and goals of the Manhattan Institute, I assume? Otherwise, I do not have to take your abuse and rudeness toward me in every single post because I ask you to back up these shocking (and in many cases) false accusations about "illegals." And if you don't know what "disparaging" means, I feel sorry for you. If people on here were posting made-up statistics about how many homosexuals were criminals, I have a feeling you would react negatively. As you should. You're not being treated here any differently than anyone who trolls as you have done.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T15:29:29-06:00
ID
81628
Comment

Maybe it's based on common sense, "anchor baby." (Nice going using a disparaging label for a whole group of children as your username. Is that a clever attempt to get around the User Agreement? Live and learn.) You still have the problem of illogic and irrelevance with your statement.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T15:32:28-06:00
ID
81629
Comment

Better Jo-D, but we still have some problems. Unless I missed it in your sources, you still have not sourced the following assertions: More than 43% of Food Stamps are given to illegals. Source? Less than 2% of illegals are picking crops, but 41% are on welfare. Source? More than 66% of births in California are to illegals on Medi-Cal, paid for by the US Taxpayer. Source? Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties in the US are illegals. Source? Nearly 39% of California students Grade 1 - 12 are illegals. Source? 75% of L.A.'s Most Wanted are illegals. Source? Your link to the LAPD most wanted homepage does not cut it, since I don't see any reference to your figure there. US companies using illegals in 2005 profited over $2.65 Trillion. Source? You actually misrepresented your own source on the L.A. homicide figures. You asserted that 95 percent of homicide warrants in L.A. in general are for illegal immigrants. MacDonald (your fifth source) asserted that 95 percent of all outstanding warrants in the first half of 2004 were for illegal immigrants. That's not at all the same thing, and even then, MacDonald does not source the figure. Considering that the Manhattan Institute is a well-known right-wing organization that is funded by organizations like the Scaife Foundations, which gave us the Arkansas Project and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, you'll understand if I'm a little leery of unsourced assertions from their fellows. As for bordersense, (your sixth source), they assert that their statistics come from "INS/FBI Statistical Reports," but they don't link to them. As someone who has some experience with FBI stats, I can tell you that they do not include "facts" like: "380,000 plus 'anchor babies' were born in the U.S. in 2005 to illegal alien parents." Is that an INS figure? A Census Bureau figure? I think I found the source for some of your unsourced stats here. Most of those figures are completely unsourced. Bordesense claims that some of the figures come from the L.A. Times, though they do not link to any articles. Has the L.A. Times actually reported 40 percent of workers in L.A. County--about 4 million people--do not pay taxes? I'll believe it when I see it. Bordersense is not a reputable source, especially when it does not even link to or cite at any length from the sources it claims. Sometimes it doesn't bother to claim any source at all. If that's the best you can do, you're wasting our time.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T16:19:31-06:00
ID
81630
Comment

Jody, bud, use your head: When did undocumented immigration increase the most? In the late 1990s and early 2000s. When was crime the lowest it had been for decades? In the late 1990s and early 2000s. So is there any national correlation between increased Mexican immigration and increased crime? Obviously not. In fact, if we were to go with the usual political approach of confusing correlation with causation, we'd attribute the reduction in crime to increased undocumented immigration and ask every single Mexican to move north.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-22T16:21:24-06:00
ID
81631
Comment

This is slightly off-topic, but let me use this opportunity to plug one of my all time favorite books: Farai Chideya's Don't Believe the Hype. It's technically about anti-black statistics rather than anti-Latino statistics (she should do a sequel), but it absolutely decimates the "clobber stats."

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-22T16:23:12-06:00
ID
81632
Comment

Those are MY primary sources, which is what you asked for. Sorry again, that they aren't good enough for you. Further, please stop throwing the User Agreement in everyone's face until you learn to follow said agreement as well. As it stands now, you are in violation of Ad hominem attacks (section 1), personal insults and belittling of other posters (section 5), repeating the same thing over and over again (section 8).

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T16:30:02-06:00
ID
81633
Comment

Jody, the only way they could be primary--i.e., firsthand--sources is if the people citing the unattributed statistics also made them up. Which is not improbable in some of these cases, actually. Re the User Agreement, when I debate people on my own sites I try not to bring up the User Agreement as part of the same conversation. It's a conflict of interest thing; you can't really moderate a discussion and participate in it at the same time without dominating it and creating an in-group/out-group dynamic based around who agrees with the moderator. Or at least I haven't figured out how to do that. Maybe other people have, and I'm just a little slow.

Author
Tom Head, Revised and Expanded Edition
Date
2007-07-22T16:38:11-06:00
ID
81634
Comment

Brian, from the link that L.W. posted earlier, it looks like most of those stats are unsubstantiated and comes from an "e-rumor" that claims, falsely, that they come from the NYT. "Anti-illegals," it seems, keep quoting from them and posting them around without factchecking. No, I don't think the FBI has the official phrase "anchor babies" in its reports. ;-) And I noticed the point about about the "outstanding warrants," too. There's a huge difference in all warrants and outstanding warrants, and there is a logic to warrants being outstanding because it's harder to find undocumented suspects. Heather MacDonald is a piece of work. She spoke to a class I was assist-teaching at Columbia, and the professor gave me her book, "The Burden of Bad Ideas," I think it's called. I truly thought I was going to learn something from her, but I couldn't get past the first few pages due to problems with logic and twisted arguments. There was no there there. As for the Manhattan Institute, they have historically been eugenical in focus. And I hope everyone understands that they are obsessed with race and ethnicity—they helped fund the faulty research behind the "Bell Curve" theories of black inferiority. They've tried to present a more respectable front in recent years, but it's not hard to get to their real agenda. Advice: Never use them as a source unless you're in a crowd that wants to be spoon-fed a bit of modern-day white supremacy. All this reminds me of those e-mails I get nearly daily from the John Birch Society, which is now obsessed with immigration more than black-v.-white, and use many of the same faulty and inhumane arguments we have seen here. It's really important to pay attention to the company you keep. I suppose it's possible that I agree with John Bircher on some stuff—hell, Jim Giles and I agree on tort reform—but if I was using the same arguments, I would feel the need to look very closely at the arguments to make sure there wasn't something I was missing. Yuck.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T16:40:21-06:00
ID
81635
Comment

Thanks Tom. At least you and I understand "primary". The fact is those sites, and others, were my sources. I was asked to provide my sources. I did so. They weren't good enough. I give up.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T16:41:14-06:00
ID
81636
Comment

Jo-D, you are posting here at my largesse and invitation. It is not up to you to explain to me the rules of engagement. It is up you to abide by them. This is, indeed, your last call on the trolling. You're going to run everybody off if I let this go many more rounds. And I'm not. Stay on issue, or get out. No more personal insults to me or anyone else. No whining about the way I run my paper or this site. Take it or leave.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T16:42:57-06:00
ID
81637
Comment

Jo-D, a "primary" source is where the information originated. You have not provided a primary source for your information that I've even seen. You've quoted "secondary" sources that have the same agenda you do. You can't determine the veracity of a "fact" from secondary sources. Again, if anyone wants to discuss the User Agreement, you can e-mail me directly. But we're five years into this successful site, and nothing is changing on our end. Feel free to post here if you abide by our rules. Otherwise, please leave.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T16:45:44-06:00
ID
81638
Comment

Donna, you've called me a pr!ck, a troll and belittled me to no end, violating your own User Agreement, & expect me not to call you out on it? It's up to you to follow the same rules you expect everyone else to follow, whether you own the site or not. I will stay on issue, and will provide no more personal insults as long as you do the same. You may dictate this site, but you do not dictate me or my fingers. Ban me, delete me, whatever you feel the need to do.. just know that I play by the rules when the rule writer plays by them too. You want a civil conversation? Explain to me, and others you've blasted, why we are wrong rather than attacking us and our opinions. Offer some intellectual theory and insight rather than void rhetoric. You and I could have a great, intellectual conversation if only it wasn't so one-sided.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T16:54:16-06:00
ID
81639
Comment

A primary source is where the info originated? My info originated from those sources I provided, therefore making them my primary source. Why's that so hard to understand??????????????????????????

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T16:55:36-06:00
ID
81640
Comment

They weren't good enough because they weren't real sources, Jo-D. Where were all those GAO reports and FBI stats we were promised? Try harder.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T16:58:12-06:00
ID
81641
Comment

Jo-D, step away from the keyboard and just read for a second. Here is an explanation of primary sources. You have cited e-rumors. (Tip of the hat to L.W. I didn't notice your link before.) It doesn't mean that you are wrong about immigration--though I think you are--but it does mean that the statistics you cited are worthless.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T17:01:24-06:00
ID
81642
Comment

Firstly Brian, I didn't promise anything. Secondly, I think the facts further up I presented as being from GAO/FBI were actually from another site that HAD the GAO/FBI attributed as its source.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T17:03:20-06:00
ID
81643
Comment

Also, Donna did not call you a "prick." When the moderator of a site warns you that you are trolling, that is not name calling. It does not violate the user agreement. Just take a few deep breaths and get back on topic, as promised.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T17:05:30-06:00
ID
81644
Comment

Jo-D, I'm trying to explain to you right here why your choice of statistics was unfortunate at best. I work in a business where we are trained and held to ethical standards in the use of sources—"primary," "secondary" and otherwise. A primary source is where the information came from originally. That is, if the FBI reported something, then the FBI is the primary source. If the L.A. Times reported what the FBI said, the Times is a secondary source under obligation to reveal the primary source. It is unethical for a secondary source to change what the primary source said, but it happens all the time. What Tom was saying above, I think you misunderstood. His point was, I believe, that if any of the sources you quoted made up the bad or unsubstantiated statistic, then it was certainly a primary source, but not necessarily one to be proud of. I agree with that. All throughout this, you have had a hissy fit, especially toward me, when we try to (a) point out when/how you're trolling for a fight and (b) when you use faulty information or state things that aren't true to back up your "anti-illegal" statements. I can't recall a time, yet, when you have said, "oh, let me go check my sources," as others here might do, or asked someone to explain something to you that you don't understand. You just lash out and get angry because you're challenged. I have, thus far, wasted a lot of time here trying to keep from suspending you by trying to point out what you're doing that is going to get you suspended if you keep doing them. I have done that under constant attack from you and all your sophomoric "your highness" statements and such. And I have said some things back to you, both in response to your personal comments and to what sound like egregious slurs about groups of people, that have been less than kind. But here's the thing: When someone comes on here and says the kinds of things that you do, all bets are off on the ways people respond to you. And I am kind of like an attorney dealing with a hostile witness in a courtroom: once someone stoops to the level that you have repeatedly, demanding no respect from listeners, I often will match your tone until you either change your tune or leave the site. And the problem with allowing someone who says the kinds of things you do to continue posting is exactly that you inevitably pull everyone into the same cesspool with you. And we do not offer this site as a free service in order to watch that happen. So. I will say again that my response is not up to you. Nor is it perfect. However, you will not continue to use my Web site as you have thus far on this thread. It is up to you to show enough class to stop the insults and the disparagement of groups of people, or to leave. I will not allow any more of these kinds of posts to appear from you.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T17:07:26-06:00
ID
81645
Comment

Actually, yes she did call me a pr!ck.. on another thread about the ACLU event that took place Friday night at 930 Blues Cafe in the Noise section. She went on to tell me she didn't "give two sh!ts about you personally". She has since deleted that whole thread.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T17:09:05-06:00
ID
81646
Comment

Jo-D, you wrote: I do know some are from Government Accounting Office, US Department of Justice, National Security Institute. I guess that wasn't a promise, but it turned out not to be true, either. You cited bad statistics and you got called on it. This should be a lesson to everyone to be careful about how you use sources on the Web. Don't just run out, do a Google search, and then copy and paste, because there is a very good chance it will blow up in your face. If your source does not link to primary sources, you should be very cautious.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T17:11:02-06:00
ID
81647
Comment

It says I know.. it didn't say I was providing links. And OK, I don't know for sure.. I only know they came from there because the articles I read said so. You're all right, I'm a bad poster and don't deserve my own opinion because apparently I broke some posting rule. Please forgive me and I will be taking all opinions I have left, back to WalMart for a refund.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T17:13:57-06:00
ID
81648
Comment

No, I didn't delete that thread. I deleted both your comments and mine that were not fit for print. I didn't call you a pr!ck, for the record, but I did say you were acting like one. Which you were. ;-) And it's funny that you're leaving off the first half of the sentence I wrote to you. It was: "That is, if you insist on trolling, I don't give two sh!ts about you personally." Uh, that's an important omission. I very soon will go through this thread and delete off-topic and personal comments as well. And I will no longer spar with you over the basics of posting here, Jo-D.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T17:19:39-06:00
ID
81649
Comment

Calling me one and saying i'm acting like one is the same thing, Donna. Funny you didn't delete that thread.. when I went to it, by clicking the link in the notification of new post email, the thread was empty.. no posts, no ACLU event story.. no nothing.

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T17:26:36-06:00
ID
81650
Comment

And here's your GAO link http://www.gao.gov/htext/d05646r.html

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T17:28:22-06:00
ID
81651
Comment

Please forgive me and I will be taking all opinions I have left, back to WalMart for a refund. You don't need to apologize for having an opinion, Jo-D. I think I'm speaking for Brian, and some others, too, when I suggest letting your gut opinion be a jumping-off point for more inquiry—rather than the only thing you will consider. Test your opinions. Look for facts. Think. Ask questions from people who know more about you on a particular topic. That's what the rest of us do. Most of us anyway. The opinions I fight the hardest for are the ones that are based on the most research and questioning of myself. For instance, I don't *know* what immigration policy should be, so I'm listening for ideas. But, meantime, I know that it shouldn't be based on inhumane ideas about "the other." I will never forget when I first moved to NYC and confronted a deep-seated prejudice I didn't know that I had. I moved onto the Lower East Side in a very Latino neighborhood—and quickly learned that I did not trust Latinos. At first, I hated their music, and believed that all the men were lurid because a few of them harassed me on the streets. This was hard for me to confront in myself because I prided myself on not having those kinds of prejudices. But I realized that I did, and I made a conscious effort to change and confront the dark recesses of my own heart and brain. And I got through it. Perhaps my effort to overcome this bigotry drives me now to call out the horrendous stereotyping I hear when the topic of immigration comes up. I am saddened, I mean really deeply depressed, that many people I respect in many ways are saying some of these things. But I also know what I had to do then, or I might be right there with you now. From the vitriol of many of these posts to the treatment of Matt on this thread and the other immigration thread that got ugly, I am seeing that this is an issue we have to confront asap. It is here and now, and in front of our faces. I'm not content to wait 40 years for "gradualism" to smooth all this out and for all of us to be ancient, saying, "Can you believe what we were saying back in '07 about Latinos?" No. If I mean a damn thing I have ever written on the subject of race relations, and gay rights, or any other human-rights issue, I am obligated to stand up now on this issue. This is a sword I will fall on because, if I don't, I don't mean a damn thing I have ever said about human rights and liberties for anybody.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T17:29:51-06:00
ID
81652
Comment

Calling me one and saying i'm acting like one is the same thing, Donna. No, it's not actually. We all, occasionally, act in ways that don't reflect who we are, or mean to be. We even talk about that in the blog rules. Re the ACLU thread; it's still there. It was an event thread, so it closes after the event is over. But I did delete the nasty comments--yours and my responses. It's not the first time I've deleted something I've said because it went too far. Now, Jo-D, please stop disrupting this thread with these personal asides. I am going to delete them later, as I said, but hijacking this thread to have personal battles is not fair to people like Robert Connolly, way up above, who is trying to have a serious conversation about issues actually related to immigration. I hate to do this, but after this post, any post not directly related to immigration will be deleted without further comment. Thank you for your cooperation.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T17:36:50-06:00
ID
81653
Comment

Here's a great site full of facts with "primary" sources! http://www.immigrationcounters.com/datasource.html And regarding "anchor babies": Babies born to illegal alien mothers within U.S. borders are called anchor babies because under the 1965 immigration Act, they act as an anchor that pulls the illegal alien mother and eventually a host of other relatives into permanent U.S. residency. (Jackpot babies is another term). In 1866, Senator Jacob Howard clearly spelled out the intent of the 14th Amendment by writing: "Every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons. It settles the great question of citizenship and removes all doubt as to what persons are or are not citizens of the United States. This has long been a great desideratum in the jurisprudence and legislation of this country." The phrase "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" was intended to exclude American-born persons from automatic citizenship whose allegiance to the United States was not complete. With illegal aliens who are unlawfully in the United States, their native country has a claim of allegiance on the child. Thus, the completeness of their allegiance to the United States is impaired, which therefore precludes automatic citizenship. The correct interpretation of the 14th Amendment is that an illegal alien mother is subject to the jurisdiction of her native country, as is her baby. From: http://www.cairco.org/issues/anchor_babies.html

Author
Jo-D
Date
2007-07-22T17:41:25-06:00
ID
81654
Comment

Yes Jo-D, that substantiates your earlier claim about prisoners, but none of the later, problematic claims. If you had looked for GAO sources on those, you wouldn't have found them and might not have hurt your argument by posting phony statistics.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T17:43:08-06:00
ID
81655
Comment

"Jackpot babies"? Jo-D, I have already said way up above that this thread is not to be used for discussion of deporting or otherwise disparaging American babies. I'm going to fall on my sword on this one, too. You have gone too far.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T17:49:15-06:00
ID
81656
Comment

What the he!! man?? I mean, there's just no pleaseing you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Firstly, it's not disparaging when quoting, especially from a source! You asked for sources, now when I give them, it's bad??!!! Yes, JACKPOT BABIES because that's what the SOURCE SAID, NOT ME!!!!!

Author
Jo-Dee
Date
2007-07-22T18:02:09-06:00
ID
81657
Comment

We're cross-posting a bit here. I assume you cited that page to back up your argument on "anchor babies." It goes without saying that one senator's account of an amendment's intent is less than definitive. Furthermore, your site complains that the Supreme Court interpreted the 14th Amendment in Afroyim v. Ruskas, as if that somehow makes the interpretation illegitimate. But that's why we have a Supreme Court. Furthermore, the court's interpretation of amendments changes with time. Earlier courts found that segregation of public schools was constitutional. In Brown v. Board of Education, the Supreme Court decided otherwise. The point remains that in order to change current law on citizenship for babies born on U.S. soil, the Supreme Court would have to reverse its precedent, which it is generally loathe to do, or we would have to pass a constitutional amendment, which is even less likely. As for your contention that the Immigration Act of 1965 somehow legitimizes the term "anchor baby," I can't seem to find the text online, but I doubt very much that it uses that term.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-22T18:02:29-06:00
ID
81658
Comment

Yeah, I think you could find a senator or two back in that day who weren't so hot on the Constitution applying to African Americans, either. Let's get our feet back down to earth, shall we? How about Robert Connolly's point above? Anyone?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-22T21:13:43-06:00
ID
81659
Comment

About to go night-night, but I did want to address this: I am not impressed with the response that this is all fine and good but we got us a situation here that needs to be dealt with now. As a starting point, I firmly believe that we must lay all our cards on the table and not just argue for our own niche. Like on immigration, if we want to talk about 12 million illegals in this country, then we have to talk about legislation and practices that we impose on the very countries from where they came - practices that would be illegal here. Robert, what are those legislation and practices? I would like to know more more about what the current immigration laws are so I can better understand why it takes so long for immigrants to become citizens. Todd brought up Craig Ferguson, and he's usually who I think about when someone brings up the immigration process. (I think he will finally become a citizen this year, I think.) There must be something that needs to be fixed so that people won't risk life and limb to get here.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-22T21:58:48-06:00
ID
81660
Comment

L.W. - my reference to "we" is the all inclusive U.S. "we" including government, broader public, and corporate interests. I am thinking very low level here of things such as wages, safety and health issues - in countries where there is no OSHA, minimum wage legislation and so forth. Within the focus of the immigration discussion, my point is that we in the United States will argue about protecting our borders, way of life, ad naseum - but not hold up those same standards for other countries. We are more than happy to see thier ways of life continue to erode for the sake of cheap electronics, Nikes, clothing and so forth. Or see items such as: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/20/1420235 that are not abnormal. I believe it is critically important that if we truly desire any long-term resolution of whatever conflict in interests exists, that we look at both sides of the equation. If the U.S. wants to be totally isolationist and build fences and walls, then those fences and walls should also keep out those cheap products produced in those foreign sweatshops. Mexico and Central America in particular have been the source of substantive amounts of U.S. corporate wealth. When folks such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela are democratically elected and begin to enact policies of sweeping reform that benefit a broader swath of the Venezuealn populations, then the U.S. on the one hand supports a coup to overthrow him, and when that ultimately fails, does all they can to demonize and destablize his rule. Chavez is no less a dictator than is George Bush. Think of this - in Nicaragua last year, Daniel Ortega had a strong chance of being elected president and the likes of Rumsfeld and North go to Nicaragua just prior to the election - in the case of North, to actively campaign for the opposition: http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,1930780,00.html or http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/26/1341242&mode=thread&tid=25 now can you imagine if Blair/Brown, Putin, etc. etc. came to the U.S. just prior to an election and began campaigning for a particular candidate? Why we would have our red, white, and blue sensibilities in quite an uproar. My sum on all this, we need to discuss immigration as part of a broader policy of interaction with the world at large and we need to discuss all ramificaitons of that interaction. Our current approach is ridiculously one-sided. We get into these messes for that reason. If we truly expect to resolve these conflicts long-term then we need to truly step back and take a look at the U.S. place and responsbility in the broader world - not soundbites and jingoism to get candidates through the next election cycle.

Author
Robert Connolly
Date
2007-07-23T06:17:49-06:00
ID
81661
Comment

Thank you, Robert. I've never looked at this issue that way before, and I was unaware of what was going on with the elections in Central America.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-23T06:36:39-06:00
ID
81662
Comment

I saw where someone mentioned Chavez. I don't see how he Bush can be compared to that guy. Also, some blame what the USA has done to other countries for their troubles. What about what these other countries are doing to themselves? Why does it always have to be our fault?

Author
LakesideRes
Date
2007-07-23T08:22:23-06:00
ID
81663
Comment

Also, some blame what the USA has done to other countries for their troubles. What about what these other countries are doing to themselves? Why does it always have to be our fault? Lakeside, could it be a combination of the two?

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-23T08:39:23-06:00
ID
81664
Comment

Good point, L.W. It's seldom as seldom as this side or that one, black or white, them or us. Maybe looking for fault *is* the problem, rather than looking for solutions that all can contribute to.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-23T09:24:43-06:00
ID
81665
Comment

While we're on the issue of immigration, I never understood why immigrants--legal or illegal--have been refered to as aliens. When I think of aliens, I think of little green men from outer space.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2007-07-23T09:42:11-06:00
ID
81666
Comment

Robert, you make an excellent point. In the case of José Bacallao's country of origin, Cuba-- the U.S. took on Cuba's own War of Independence, which became part of the "Spanish-American War." Cuban troops were not even allowed to march through the streets of Santiago when the U.S. "liberated" Cuba from Spain--an important historical detail not forgotten by Cubans. The U.S. had enormous influence on all of Cuba's presidents through Fulgencio Batista-- the last Cuban president before the Revolution of 1959-- and, through the Platt Amendment, maintained the privilege to intervene in any of Cuba's national affairs and foreign relations, in addition to operating a naval base in Guantánamo Bay. When Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, the historical precedence of American influence helped secure his grip on power. Today, the American embargo continues to legitimize Castro's rule, positioning him as the leader of a country held down by Yankee imperialism. Because of policies such as the embargo-- an outdated and ineffective act of agression (which has no equivalent in other countries with human rights abuses, such as our major trading partner, China)-- Castro's rhetoric is, in fact, accurate. LaeksideRes asks, "Why does it always have to be our fault?" It doesn't. We could easily end the embargo, and we could easily stop interfering in democratic elections. Sep. 11, 1973: We orchestrated the shelling of democratically-elected Salvador Allende's president's palace in Chile, who was replaced with the ruthless, and bloody dictator Augusto Pinochet. That was 35 years ago, and has had an enormous impact on human rights and democracy in Latin America. The Cuban embargo still persists and, as Connolly pointed out, the blatant interference in Nicaragua's elections happened just last election cycle. (Ortega has since been elected.) We may forget them, but Latin America doesn't. One cannot directly correlate the shelling of a president's palace in Chile to a Peruvian's decision to enter the U.S. illegally. But, these actions have lasting impacts. They cannot be ignored in any immigration discussion. Thanks, Robert, for bringing some of these issues to the table to help complete the picture.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-23T10:05:00-06:00
ID
81667
Comment

Lakeside, it doesn't always have to be our fault except when it is our fault. That is to say, we are not responsible for every problem in Latin America, but we should take responsibility for our actions. Unfortunately, most Americans seem to have no idea what we've done in Latin America in the last century. Look, for instance, at a country like Guatemala. At the end of World War II, a leader named Juan José Arévalo Bermejo tried to set up New Deal-type programs to alleviate his country's crushing poverty. He was no more a communist than was FDR, but nevertheless, in 1954, the CIA overthrew his democratically elected successor Jacobo Arbenz when he passed a law that would have taken land from the United Fruit Company (Chiquita Bananas) and redistributed it to local farmers. United Fruit had essentially seized the land in the first place and controlled most of the best land in the country, while native farmers lived in abject poverty. Thirty-five years of brutal civil war followed our intervention. None of that history is contested. The CIA has admitted that it engineered the Guatemalan coup, which ended that country's best chance for taking care of its own people. That was not, by any means, the last American intervention in either that country or the region. So when we talk about illegal-immigrant Guatemalans living in the U.S. today, we're just big babies about it if we don't acknowledge the large role our own policies have played in screwing up their own country. It's like going up to a man and stabbing him in the knee. A few years later, he curses you for his limp, and you say, "Why does everything always have to be my fault?" That does not absolve Latin Americans or their governments from all responsibility for their problems today, and there is something to be said for getting beyond history to work on solutions. After all, acknowledging our role will not boost those countries' GDPs. But it's a very privileged, historically ignorant attitude to act like we had nothing to do with the problems Latin America suffers from today, and acknowledging our own role is, to be frank, part of the solution. After all, if you think that Central American countries are just naturally prone to instability and corruption, it's easy to write them off, because they brought it on themselves, right? It's the same attitude so many people take toward Africa today, as if the European powers did not carve up the continent, create artificial countries, rape them of their natural resources without pouring anything back into development, and then run off to leave a devastated continent just forty years ago. Why can't those people get it together, huh? Well, it takes some time to recover from the apocalypse. If you'd like to learn more about the history of American intervention in just about every country in Central America, I highly recommend Inevitable Revolutions by Walter Le Faber.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-23T16:06:18-06:00
ID
81668
Comment

But it's a very privileged, historically ignorant attitude to act like we had nothing to do with the problems Latin America suffers from today, and acknowledging our own role is, to be frank, part of the solution. After all, if you think that Central American countries are just naturally prone to instability and corruption, it's easy to write them off, because they brought it on themselves, right? Guess Iraq will be in that number in a few decades, huh? It's the same attitude so many people take toward Africa today, as if the European powers did not carve up the continent, create artificial countries, rape them of their natural resources without pouring anything back into development, and then run off to leave a devastated continent just forty years ago. Why can't those people get it together, huh? Well, it takes some time to recover from the apocalypse. Ain't that the truth, Ruth? It also wasn't that long ago when the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, either.

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-23T19:25:03-06:00
ID
81669
Comment

Here is another example of U.S. involvement in a country that we take strong issues with on immigration: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=07/07/23/141241 I am not a Haiti expert. However, asuming the validity of even a portion of the reporting of the kidnapping of Aristide, and assuming that the accounting of more distant Haitian history is even close to being accurate, then I can comfortably conclude that regarding Haiti, we in the United States, need to also consider cleaning up our side of the street. I want to comment on the angst expressed by some in this thread about the perception that folks too often dump only on the U.S. role and ignore the government role in the other country in the equation (e.g., Mexico, Chile, Guat, etc. etc.). Here is something I have come to believe in more at the age of 55 as a white male. Since I was a youth, I was active in a wide range of civil rights type movements. I have also had the opportunity over the past 20 or so years to participate in Habitat and medical missions, work related, and just vacationing in several countries including Honduras, Mexico, Gautemala, Turkey, Panama, and Eduador. I learned that regardless of who is in the White House or the equivelant in other countries, I have disproportionately benefited from my position in the United States. I notice this in something as simple as working with the Hondurans on the cinder block house construction crew in Los Naranjos Honduras who pull the nails out of the concrete forms for re-use a second, third, or fourth time. As a white male in this country, I can recall how some 30 years ago I was hired as a machine operator at a factory in Minnesota and the foreman joked "yeah it was either hire you or a Redskin." That list goes on and on. I am not interested in wearing sackcloth and being the guilty white male liberal. I think that is a complete refusal to take responsibility, to just bemoan the inequality, and is really just a sort of holier than egoism. However, I am most definitely interested in taking responsibility for cleaning up my side of the street as a very start. Therefore, on immigration, any position I take on the subject must take into account considering what is my responsibilty to those immigrants not just from a humanistic perspective, but also from the perspective of one living in the United States who benefits from the cheap goods those people produce in their home country and when working in this country. I need to be as responsive to those human needs as my own. End of rambling

Author
Robert Connolly
Date
2007-07-24T07:13:55-06:00
ID
81670
Comment

L.W., I couldn't agree more: It also wasn't that long ago when the Civil Rights Act was signed into law, either. It baffles and hurts me that people think African Americans have an equal shot at success in our country. Even if we set aside racism today, how can folks in Mississippi pretend to forget that African Americans in their 50s today could not go to college, at least not locally? The vast majority of African Americans attending college in Mississippi today are the first generation in their families to pursue higher education, and it's not because their parents didn't work hard. Add in racism in hiring, housing, law enforcement and access to credit, and it's a miracle the African American community has recovered as much as it has.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-24T13:09:48-06:00
ID
81671
Comment

There is no miracle about how far black people have come in the United States. It took hard work and dedication. I believe in the same thing for incoming immigrants from Mexico and other Hispanic countries. Hard work and going through the LEGAL channels.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T13:29:42-06:00
ID
81672
Comment

Therefore, on immigration, any position I take on the subject must take into account considering what is my responsibilty to those immigrants not just from a humanistic perspective, but also from the perspective of one living in the United States who benefits from the cheap goods those people produce in their home country and when working in this country. I need to be as responsive to those human needs as my own. Can I get an AMEN? Thank you, Robert, for saying exactly what's in my heart. Let them throw bricks at us for caring about other people.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T13:30:48-06:00
ID
81673
Comment

There is no miracle about how far black people have come in the United States. It took hard work and dedication. I believe in the same thing for incoming immigrants from Mexico and other Hispanic countries. Hard work and going through the LEGAL channels. Except that black freedom didn't have a chance in hell until bad law was *changed.* You just can't leave that little detail out. Folks, you can't logically talk about about what immigration laws should be if you want to keep falling back on what's already "legal" and "illegal." That doesn't make a lick o' sense. It was illegal for African Americans to much of anything until we changed those laws. And that's when equality and progress started coming about—not before. Let's keep that horse out in front of the cart where he belongs.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T13:39:41-06:00
ID
81674
Comment

Legal is coming into the United States through the proper channels, such as oh, I don't know...applying for citizenship, getting a work visa, a green card.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T13:43:39-06:00
ID
81675
Comment

But, it's not that simple, and that's why we're having an immigration policy discussion—i.e. what should the law be? Now we've come full circle. Back in the '60s, the "proper channels" for blacks to vote was paying a poll tax and answering "literacy" questions like "how many bubbles are in a bar of soap?" That was "the law," and the "legal" and "proper" way to vote. Except that it wasn't.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T13:55:58-06:00
ID
81676
Comment

And, oh boy, how many teaspoons of water is in the Mississippi river? I know all my relatives got that one right.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-07-24T14:01:00-06:00
ID
81677
Comment

Thank you, Robert, for saying exactly what's in my heart. Let them throw bricks at us for caring about other people. I agree. You know how I feel about brick throwing. :-)

Author
LatashaWillis
Date
2007-07-24T14:08:25-06:00
ID
81678
Comment

But it was a "legal" question, Ray, you know. Your people should have gone through the proper channels on their way to peace, prosperity and equality.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T14:11:49-06:00
ID
81679
Comment

How is applying for a green card, work visa, or applying for citizenship the same as a poll tax or answering how many teaspoons are in the Mississippi river? I have several friends that came to this country from different parts of the world and came in legally.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T14:20:50-06:00
ID
81680
Comment

Where did your friends come from, Trust? Any from Mexico?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T14:23:29-06:00
ID
81681
Comment

According to my great uncles and aunts they went back to school, had sleepovers at church, the men had drunkfests, and they all prayed, et al, trying to answer that teaspoon question right. They went as far as paying a Chinese arithematic experts for help answering the question. Even after discovering the true and correct answer, the mean-ass registrant person still wouldn't let them cast a vote. I have no idea what should be in any such bill. I'm pondering the matter though for ideas.

Author
Ray Carter
Date
2007-07-24T14:23:42-06:00
ID
81682
Comment

My friends are from Venezuela and Yugoslavia. Two very large families who immigrated to the United States in the 1980s. It was hard and they had to work hard. Now, both the parents and the children have recieved college educations and have become United States citizens.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T14:28:16-06:00
ID
81683
Comment

It sounds like they followed the American dream. That's wonderful. I welcome them. Have you ever discussed the pros and cons of current immigration policy with them? Have they suggested any particular changes? Or, do they think it is perfect as is? And consistent?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T14:31:59-06:00
ID
81684
Comment

It's interesting, Trust, that you narrowly define "legal" as the method of entry into this country. It bears note that slavery was the "legal" method of entry for the majority of African-Americans in the 18th and 19th Centuries. In the failed senate immigration bill, a guest worker program -- which many have called modern-day slavery -- was the proposed "proper channel" for bringing future immigrant labor into the U.S. We are condemned to repeat history if the only thing we have respect for is the rules on the books.

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-24T14:37:20-06:00
ID
81685
Comment

I just think the analogies are bad. Slavery is somehow comparable to the work visas, green cards, or the application for American citizenship? Or its like a poll tax? Legal, in the context of the immigration debate, is narrowly defined to the entry process. Either 1)your here legally, or 2)your not. As for discussing the immigration debate with my friends from Yugoslavia and Venezuela, they and their families, are much more conservative than I. Especially my friend's grandfather from Yugoslavia. They view it in the context of how hard it was for them to get into this country and do not appreciate people who waltz over an unguarded border. My friend and his family from Yugoslavia came to the United States to escape a civil war, a war where they lost several family members. Just getting to this country was a massive struggle and are now proud to be here.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T14:46:47-06:00
ID
81686
Comment

You haven't explained *why* the analogies are bad, Trust. Legal, in the context of voting in the 60s, was narrowly defined to whether or not the person trying to vote did the thing asked of them (whether it was fair or not). Are we really talking about people who "waltz" over borders? Truly? To others who know more about this than I: Do immigrants from Yugoslavia face the same rules as people from Mexico?

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T15:17:31-06:00
ID
81687
Comment

People from Mexico facing rules? When you get pack a backpack and hike so many miles over an unprotected section of the border between Mexico and the United States, there doesn't seem to be any rules Mexicans are facing. Also, I'd say its just a weeeee little bit harder to get from Yugoslavia to the United States. There is an ocean in the way, so walking over the border is out. Ok, maybe waltz is a little bit lazy of a word. How about hike? That work for you? As for why an analogy between slavery and applying for United States citizenship, applying for a work visa or a greencard is an extremely bad analogy, do you really want me to do that one ladd? Slavery and trying to get American citizenship or the right to work in this country are incredibly, massively, different things. They are the ultimate apples and oranges. More like apples and granite rocks. No, actually they are more like apples and a 1974 Ford Pinto. Thats how different they are, ergo, the analogy is bad. Just bad. Very bad.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T15:27:16-06:00
ID
81688
Comment

What I'm asking is whether current laws treat all people the same? I'm not asking about how they're breaking the law. Keep that cart in place now. Actually, Trust, you're skipping over (ignoring?) the arguments about why it's a good analogy. You're not going to make it not be one by declaring that it's not. That makes as much sense as you getting to pick who is, and isn't, a "Real Mississippian."™

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T15:43:12-06:00
ID
81689
Comment

Well, Donna, if you cannot understand why an analogy between slavery and current immigration laws are not a good analogy, I think you might need to read a little more. Slavery had to do with involuntary servitude. Immigration has to do with leaving a country and coming to another. I understand that people are still bought and sold and brought to other countries to be used as sweatshop workers and sex workers, but then that would constitute slavery, not immigration as we are discussing in this debate. I am talking about people who come here without any United States issued documentation enabling them to work here. Slavery- involuntary servitude enforced upon people Immigration- leaving one country and coming to another Two different things. Also, your still not a real Mississippian. A New Yorker, yes.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T15:55:18-06:00
ID
81690
Comment

Actually, I think you missed the finer points of the analogies as presented, Trust. (Surprise.) Why don't you read up above again, and address what Matt and I actually wrote? I'm convinced you're capable of that. OK, maybe not. But you can convince me. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T16:12:13-06:00
ID
81691
Comment

Oh Donna. I doubt anyone could ever convince you of anything, considering your right all the time. I think you should read up more on analogies then work on a good one for your stance in the immigration debate. I know you can. Suprise me.

Author
Trust
Date
2007-07-24T16:26:50-06:00
ID
81692
Comment

Trust, if you had read what I wrote, you'd see that I compared one method of legal immigration, the guest worker program, with slavery. It is called "modern-day" slavery because it is not chattel slavery, nor is it involuntary. But if your meals and shelter at the end of the day depend on performing hard manual labor for a single employer-- whom you cannot leave, no matter how much he abuses your labor-- then that is certainly analogous to aspects of slavery as we knew it in the 18th and 19th centuries. As for the legal argument: slavery: poll tax: immigration policy legal in 1847: legal in 1947: legal in 2007 If it's legal, it's legal, it's legal. Right?

Author
msaldana
Date
2007-07-24T16:51:25-06:00
ID
81693
Comment

Oh Donna. I doubt anyone could ever convince you of anything, considering your right all the time. Wonk, wonk. The question is still on the table, Trust.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2007-07-24T17:02:34-06:00
ID
81694
Comment

Trust would be slightly more impressive if s/he learned the difference between your and you're.

Author
kate
Date
2007-07-24T18:43:19-06:00
ID
81695
Comment

It is called "modern-day" slavery because it is not chattel slavery, nor is it involuntary. Hmmmmm . . . this should thus be properly referenced as "voluntary slavery," then? Quite interesting, in an odd way. Some people choose to enter into a slave and master arrangement, is this correct? Well. People do not always choose with proper piety. Such as it is.

Author
Socrates
Date
2007-07-24T18:46:41-06:00
ID
81696
Comment

Hmmmmm . . . this should thus be properly referenced as "voluntary slavery," then? Quite interesting, in an odd way. Some people choose to enter into a slave and master arrangement, is this correct? Indentured servitude was a common practice up until the early 1800s for European immigrants who "voluntarily" (often to get out of prison, including debtor's prison) sold themselves into labor for a (theoretically) set period of time in order to buy their way to the New World and, ultimately, gain a chance at a better lot in life. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indentured_servitude (I was fascinated to learn, incidentally, that indentured servants were counted in the Constitution as full people for representation purposes, although clearly they couldn't vote until freed. No doubt, as the Wikipedia page says, they existing on a "free to non-free" continuum somewhere between free Europeans and African/West Indian slaves.) While certainly not the same as chattel slavery, there's an argument to be made that some of the ways in which illegal immigrants are handled in U.S. society today is a sort of "modern-day indentured servitude." Such a situation is made possible, in part, by the current state of U.S. laws that make it nearly impossible for people of certain national origin and education levels to enter the country legally, even though there is considerably demand for their labor and their proximity to our country's border makes entering it and participating in that market demand a rewarding (if harrowing) option.

Author
Todd Stauffer
Date
2007-07-24T23:30:01-06:00
ID
81697
Comment

Trust, trash-talking Donna all the time is a cowardly way to avoid engaging the argument, and it becomes just a tad bit tiresome the fiftieth time. Snide comments about "reading more" and such are a waste of our time. The reason why slavery cannot be legal, legitimately, is that it is a gross violation of inalienable human rights. Now, is our current immigration policy as ghastly as slavery? Clearly, it is not, but then that's not the reason why anyone was making the analogy. The question is whether current immigration law violates inalienable human rights. That is to say, is it moral? Does it satisfy the criteria by which we determine that a law is just? Is the law legitimate, or should it be changed? I guess you keep evading that question because you think that our current law is perfectly reasonable. Is that it, or do you really not understand the question?

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-25T01:14:48-06:00
ID
81698
Comment

By the way, the reason why some of us have brought up such analogies is because your side of the argument has this dogged, know-nothing attitude. But it's illegal, you keep insisting. We think the law is counter-productive, impractical and immoral. But it's illegal, you respond.

Author
Brian C Johnson
Date
2007-07-25T01:18:26-06:00
ID
81699
Comment

Matt's example (was that a syllogism?) on what is legal through time is a very helpful way of looking at the issue. That kicked off a thought I have had in the past . . . I was raised a Roman Catholic and it was illegal (a mortal sin) to eat meat on Friday. At some point that changed. So I wondered . . . did God then let all those people out of jail in hell when the law changed? or what kind of God would condemn people to eternal damnation for eating meat on Friday during the 1950s by the 1980s say " oh . . . nevermind." I was listening to a talk on pluralism this morning by Diana L. Eck: http://www.holycommunion.org/OurSpeakerOnline.htm that addresses operating within the global ecnomy. She also references the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that she said was enacted during the period and with the impetus of open housing, civil and voting rights legislation. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_and_Nationality_Act_of_1965 Eck heads up the Pluralism Project with a very informative web link: http://www.pluralism.org/

Author
Robert Connolly
Date
2007-07-25T06:52:39-06:00

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