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Right-Wing Immigration plan = a Police State -- Is That What Those Supposed Freedom Lovers Want?

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:13 AM
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Right-Wing Immigration plan = a Police State -- Is That What Those Supposed Freedom Lovers Want?
AlterNet / By Joshua Holland

The Right-Wing Hardliner Immigration Approach Would Create a Police State -- Is That What Those Supposed Freedom Lovers Want?
Immigration in America would take a disastrous course if the 'enforcement only' crowd kept getting its way. And Americans would have to suffer for it.

August 11, 2010 |

Last year, the federal government filed more charges for immigration violations than all other crimes and misdemeanors combined -- it charged more people for breaking our immigration laws than it charged drug traffickers, bank robbers, counterfeiters and everything else under the sun. Yet right-wing lawmakers and pundits who oppose a comprehensive re-think of our immigration system continue to insist the opposite is true: that the government is just sitting on its hands.

Its really a lie of epic proportion, a distortion so great that it turns reality on its head. Yet immigration hardliners in the Congress and their lickspittles in the right-wing media have used it to convince a sizable chunk of the population that the federal government refuses, or at least has shown little zeal, to enforce the law. A Google search for federal government won't enforce immigration laws returns 25 million hits; the narrative is often used to justify harsh local ordinances like Arizonas draconian SB 1070.

The government's preferred approach -- which in the real world has been tried and proven to be a complete disaster -- is to address the problem by demanding more and more law enforcement while otherwise maintaining an almost universally loathed status quo. The strategy is known as enforcement-only.

In reality, the federal government wastes an enormous and ever-increasing amount of resources -- completely disproportional to the seriousness of the offense -- trying to enforce our immigration laws within a deeply flawed system, and it has had no appreciable impact on the size of the undocumented population. Thats because unlawful immigration to the United States is a structural issue. We have a system that allows high-skilled tech workers from India to migrate legally, but not uneducated agricultural workers from Mexico. Our southern border is one of the longest in the world; and it divides two economies with the greatest differential in wealth on the planet. ..............(more)

The complete piece is at: /

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OmahaBlueDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:51 AM
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1. There's a huge disconnect over the word "Freedom"
When a Democrat or a Green speaks of "freedom," we're talking about personal liberty. We're generally thinking of our rights of free speech, unfettered travel, a media relatively free of interference from the government, and our freedoms of association.

To most Republicans I meet, "freedom" is an economic concept. The personal liberties, excepting gun ownership and religon, are unimportant to them. They see freedom as the right to run a business with minimal interference from the government, and the ability to rise (in economic terms) as high as you can.

One of the ironies that struck me with this debate was the 2004 Kerry/Bush debates. I can't find a transcript, but Bush was asked about immigration, and talked about (paraphrasing from memory) "no man in Matamoros worth is salt wouldn't leave his 85 cent an hour job and try coming north to make a better life for himself and his family." In many respects, the ambitions and aspirations of these would-be Americans seem to fit with the Republican view of freedom being a principally economic concept.

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DBoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:42 AM
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3. I've seen "libertarians" refer to mainline China as "free"
because employers are "free" to treat their workers however they wish without the "tyranny" of union contracts and government regulation

This is their explanation as to why jobs are being exported to China - they have a "free" system and we don't

It is a sad world when people argue that the largest police state on the planet is "free"
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sinkingfeeling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:28 AM
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2. When you believe in the original Constitution, you know it was written only for white, land owning
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 08:28 AM by sinkingfeeling
men and so there is no conflict with a police state to handle everyone else.
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