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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:54 PM
Original message
Illegal Immigration?
What do we do about it? Is Amnesty a good plan, or does it send the wrong message? Should we start a massive crack down on illegals and deport them? Should we allow illegal immigrants to have drivers licenses? Vote? Has illegal immigration, and the resulting lower labor costs here in the US helped our economy, or taken away jobs from Americans? We often talk about this in my courses and it always opens up a heated debate, even among liberal progressives.
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well, the Mexican Govt. is producing a How-To Manual...
on how their citizens can sneak across our borders, so, I'd say it's a pretty big f'n problem.

Massive fence, troops on the border, I don't care, just find some solution that works to make our borders secure.
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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I tend to agree with you...
The Mexican government can not deal with their own people, so they encourage them to come to the US illegally. That is a problem. Its presenting a problem with healthcare costs as well, particularly along the border where hospitals are being forced to close because of the illegals crossing for free medical care. The result is the Americans in that area cant get care.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:02 PM
Response to Original message
3. I tend to be rather a hard-ass about it for the main reason that......
...millions of people have gone through the proper channels to gain citizenship in this country and to let others have a free ride is a slap in the face to those folks who have done the proper thing....
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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Exactly...
... it discounts the hard work of the LEGAL immigrants.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
15. It's a waste of time to complain about illegal immigrants
themselves. They are poor people from third world countries who come looking for a decent job. They aren't the problem - it's the corporations that employ them, get them to sign up for welfare, and use them to undermine legal immigrants and citizen's pay.

Complaining about the illegals is pointless - they don't have any power in the situation. You have to go after the big fish to make a difference.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
5. First, secure the borders
Don't allow any more immigrants. Grant a general amnesty to the ones that are here now, but deport the criminals.

The Democratic party should become the anti-immigration party. Right now, our immigration policies are *specifically designed* to lower wages in the US. That needs to stop.

When business needs cheap labor, we increase immigration, so when labor needs to restrict the supply, we should decrease immigration.
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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. The anti-immigration party...
... that would be great. I know plenty of moderates that would move to our party if that were the case.
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Pushed To The Left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. Sounds like a plan!
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #5
29. And just how do you propose we secure our borders?
big chain link fence? maybe electrified? or how about a draft to beef up our military so we can post armed guards at the border?

I just don't see how saying 'secure the borders' is a solution. It seems like a fairly difficult task to me.
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woodsprite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. We had a bunch of illegals
protesting in Wilmington, DE that they can't get drivers licenses and they have to drive to work. Oh, excuse me --- they're not "illegals" just "undocumented aliens". The Republican word for them.

EXCUSE ME!!!! They crossed the border illegally, they're working here illegally, and they want a drivers' license and all the perks that go with citizenship. I say finger print em, get a dna sample, photograph em and ship their sorry *ss back across the border. If they "want" to come in, do it the legal way.
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Placebo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. You said it.
:thumbsup:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:07 PM
Response to Reply #7
30. I take it you have never been in a car accident with an illegal
driving the other car. Without a driver's license, they can't get insurance. I had one hit me. Cost me a bundle because he wasn't insured. And my insurance company couldn't go after him because he was illegal and they couldn't find him.

Ever since then, I have been in favor of giving them driver's licenses just so they can buy insurance.
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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
9. Why no protests on this?
I sure wish this would become a key issue of protest. I know we have a lot going on right now, but I think its important and is not getting adequately addressed in the activist community. Here in Columbus, OH, I never see an anti-immigration protest.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #9
32. Maybe because it's racist??
These illegals cost us nothing compared to the benefits we gain from having them here. They work and pay taxes but don't even file tax returns to get refunds. They contribute to social security and you know they will never draw it. And they take jobs that our legal citizens don't want.

If you really want them to stop coming, take the jobs away. That's why they come. It's not for schools or health care or any other benefits. It is for the jobs our economy provides them. Crack down on the employers who hire them and they will stop coming.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #32
34. bullshit we don't want those jobs
"And they take jobs that our legal citizens don't want. "

Americans don't want to work for illegal immigrant wages, no, but we would love those jobs.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. I teach in a school that is 60% Hispanic
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 10:36 PM by proud2Blib
Do you know what kinds of jobs my Hispanic parents have?

assembly worker in a factory

day laborer on various construction crews

hotel maid

stocker after hours at retail stores

clean up office buildings after hours

clean up crew at auto repair business

car wash attendant

The employers in our community cannot fill these jobs. There were help wanted signs in nearly every store I shopped in during the Christmas season. Our society has created a service industry monster we cannot feed.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. what is wrong with being an assembly worker in a factory?
Hell unionized factory jobs pay pretty damn well. Hotel maid? Retail store stocker? office cleanup? What's the problem? I've done half these jobs myself. If they paid decent wages for these jobs, they would have no problem filling them. If they hire illegal immigrants instead, they should be sent to prison.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #36
40. unionized??
yeah, right

Nothing wrong with these jobs I can see but our natives aren't applying for them.

I have a friend who works for a lawn and garden retailer. They have their own farm where they grow the plants and trees they sell. Her boss sends buses to Mexico a couple times a year to import laborers - legally. He has an arrangement with an apartment complex near his farm where the laborers and their families stay. He used to hire college kids but as his business expanded, he couldn't find enough kids willing to work on his farm. (It is hard work.) He says that without busing in his workers, he would go out of business. So he has developed a huge enterprise. He even hires tutors to teach his staff to speak Spanish and the workers to speak English. And the families have organized a child care center at the apartment complex.

I can't criticize what this man is doing because he is doing it legally. He also tried to hire 'natives'.

I don't know what the answer is. But I teach the children of illegals in my community and I can assure you their parents are not criminals. They are hard working, family oriented people who just want to support their families. They take care of their property and have actually cleaned up our school community and made several neighborhoods a lot more liveable than they once were. They are very supportive of the school and they make their kids do their homework and behave at school. They NEVER complain and will do anything we ask. We have nearly 100% attendance at parent teacher conferences and any school event is standing room only.

They are good people. I think we should do what we can to let them stay here and make it easier for them to come here legally. They are not costing us a thing, but adding to the wonderful diversity of America. So yes, I find it racist and ignorant to say we need to close the borders or round them all up and send them back. Anyone who says that has not taken the time to get to know these people and see what an asset they are to our country.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. our natives aren't applying because they aren't PAYING
We're not going to work for free or close to free - we're not that desperate, yet.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #41
42. My friend's boss I told you about
pays better than minimum wage.
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Pushed To The Left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:16 PM
Response to Original message
10. Excellent question
I'm still trying to figure this out myself. I think the right-wing's dirty little secret is that they actually like illegal immigration. The goal of conservatism: cheap labor. Illegal immigration creates lots of cheap labor! The conservatives talk tough on immigration to energize their base to vote for them, but if you talk to any harcore anti-illegal immigration people they will tell you that Bush and many conservatives are weak on the issue.

I think the way to solve the problem is to either totally open the borders or totally seal the borders. That is probably the debate that needs to be had: open borders vs. closed borders. I also think this issue needs to become less racially charged and less melodramatic. We should not villify a whole group of people, even if they aren't here legally. Most of them are probably good people that want better for themselves and their families. However, I don't think it makes sense to say that it's not legal for somebody to be here, and then give them a driver's license. That definitely sends a mixed message.
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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. They only want them if they cant vote...
... if they were able to vote, they would vote Democrat. According to statistics anyways.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. The cons like it.
Cheap labor for picking crops, bussing dishes, construction work, baby sitting, house cleaning, etc. etc.

It benefits the rich.

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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
14. Until there's serious jail time for employers and diligent enforcement ...
... the borders are meaningless.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. serious jail time for employers and diligent enforcement.
Repubs and Dems talk and talk. Where's the action?
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Leilani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
17. This could be the sleeper issue in 2006
The politicians don't want to deal with the problem, but their constituents are mad as hell.

There's going to be some legislation coming up in the House. The Repubs are split. The Dems have been quiet.

It's time the Democratic Party spoke out on this issue.
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. yep, red state blue state, con or liberal
the vast majority of Americans are sick of what Corporate America is doing to our immigration policies.

If Dean came out strongly anti-immigration, not only would he win but we would win back Congress as well.
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Megawatt Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
19. Wow, I'm really surprised at the responses on this board
Sounds like working people are getting the message what an oversupply of labor does to wage rates. You're right - it's not right to demonize poor people coming here for a better life, but you can't ignore what the oversupply of unskilled labor does to wage rates. I don't buy the argument that illegals are essential because they are doing jobs Americans won't do - they are doing jobs Americans won't do for $5 an hour. Go up to North Dakota, South Dakota etc - guess what - you'll find American citizens (hardy Norwegian and Swedes) working construction, busing tables, waitressing, gardening etc.

There is no way we can send 10 million people back to their home countries, we should allow the ones here who want a citizenship track and have ties here to get paper - but we should then start doing HUNDREDS of raids on employers and start fining them until it hurts if they hire non-citizens or non-documented immigrants. Fine them until the costs of the fine outweighs the cost of hiring citizens and legal immigrants at livable wages.

The neo-con plan which has been acquiesced to by the Dem party is to outsource all manufacturing to third world slave labor so that we can all buy $59 DVD players and the jobs that can't be done overseas are done done at wages which reflect the oversupply of labor due illegal immigration. At one time in our history a hod carrier made enough to have a family and support a middle class lifestyle - try doing that today.

If democrats got on this issue they would win 60% of the vote EVERYWHERE. You just have to have a thick enough skin to listen to everyone call you a racist because you want your immigration laws respected just like every other nation on Earth insists.

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ret5hd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:24 PM
Response to Original message
20. michael savage was covering this just the other day...
and rush and hannity and...
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Megawatt Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. That's weird
I would think those corporate whores would love the cheap labor. Lots of cheap labor insures a faster race to the bottom. That's why the pubs won't do jack shit about illegal immigration - not really sure why dems won't.
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outrage Donating Member (74 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. ..not weird at all really...
I would think those corporate whores would love the cheap labor. Lots of cheap labor insures a faster race to the bottom. That's why the pubs won't do jack shit about illegal immigration - not really sure why dems won't...



Same reason the Republicans won't, some would say. Both parties are corporate whores to an extent. I say offer the illegals citizenship in exchange for something like a year of military service or something. If they don't want to do that, they can go to jail or get the hell out.

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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. Whose side where they on?
Where they pro-illegal's like the administration?
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Senator Lamb Donating Member (492 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:23 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Dems to embrace this issue
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 09:24 PM by Senator Lamb
Immigration is fine and should be encouraged but the porus borders and massive flow of illegals and has got to be confronted. ironically it has always been the right wing that has traditonally been concerned about this issue, but business and corporate interests have made this administration look a different way. what business and corporate interests really want is the erosion of borders with cheap labor, this hurts mexican and american workers. i believe this wedge issue of immigration can bring some paleocons and common sense/traditional republicans over to our side if we as a party make a strong policy on this issue. i thought this was a big mistake of kerry and could have helped him better in the border states.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Even my most fervent con "friends" have picked up
on this issue.

Sensible immigration policies are fine. I'm married to a non-citizen who is here legally, working and paying taxes.

I'll bet if one could monitor how the rich neo-cons daily hire illegal workers to look after their kids, do the housework, remodel the casa, etc. it would boggle the mind.

The Repubs. I've talked to about this agree with me, but when I ask them what they think about the * administrations policy on it, I never get a good answer (not even a "talking point" answer.)
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InvisibleBallots Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. don't forget - Walmart was just caught hiring thousands of illegals
they actually kept them hidden somewhere and had them cleaning the stores at night. Some low level contractor was given a slap on the wrist, and probably some janitor were deported.

Meanwhile, this crook Lee Scott walks around free as a bird:


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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. How about Jail.. for those who Hire illegals
throw them in and strip them of their valuables. Simple solution. The rest is mop up
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TheEconomist Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. I agree...
... isnt it illegal to hire illegals now? Why isnt that law enforced?
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. why? because of California wineries and Nalbandian Bros vegetables
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 10:16 PM by mitchtv
and Iowa meat packers and Rich republican wives need help in the home. You know however, the wet dream of Pubs is to have wages so low they can afford English speaking domestics
they need to be carted off to jail immediately like drunk drivers and then have to pay and pay again to get out. a second offense should cost the business. the same should be done to polluters,
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Darranar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 10:15 PM
Response to Original message
31. Why should we do anything about it?
If you want to find someone to blame for labor problems, blame the people in charge, not poverty-stricken people desperately searching for jobs in order to feed their families.

If we REALLY want to stop it, maybe we should try to improve conditions in the places from which illegal immigrants come, instead of maintaining the current US policy: exploiting their workers and preventing any progress that would hurt the interests of multinational corporations.
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Megawatt Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:38 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. Hey , I'm all for that
I said we shouldn't demonize them. But I'm not prepared to watch my wages drive down in a race to the bottom so that rich white people (nmany of them corporate dems) on the west side of LA can have gardeners.

I will gladly fight for other countries to stop exploiting their workers. The best way to do that is to not allow multinationals the right to sell foreign produced goods in this country unless they are paying their workers $20 an hour. If they pay their workers $20 an hour and have comparable environmental laws, then they can sell as much as they want here , tariff free.

It's time for democrats to start adopting an American worker first policy along with an isolationist foreign policy.

But something tells me that the neo cons and neo libs who brought us NAFTA and free trade with China won't let that happen.
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Jack_DeLeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:33 PM
Response to Original message
37. I dont think illegal immigration from Mexcio is a big problem...
infact I think the sooner we merge our two countries the better.

The border will be alot easier to enforce when its down in the yucatan area.
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Megawatt Donating Member (118 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:40 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. I think they are still a little steamed about when we merged
with Utah, New Mexico, Calif etc.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:14 AM
Response to Reply #37
43. ROFLMAO
:toast:
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