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Illegal immigration musings--could there be any positive results?

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SujiwanKenobee Donating Member (208 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 10:53 AM
Original message
Illegal immigration musings--could there be any positive results?
Various posts on border vigilantee-ism and various effects of burgeoning population growth on job seekers and publically funded institutions urge me to ask this question.

I'll admit that I struggle with the immigration question overall--not just illegal . Part of it is that I can't emotionally resonate with any recent legal immigrants or even Ellis Island since both sides of my family came over with the Dutch and earliest English settlements--commonfolk farmers for the4 most part.
In research, I have seen concerns expressed in the past over the H1B visa issues and persons who train their replacements. It always seems to be business owners who were pushing for cap releases, not employees.

However, the illegal immigration issues trouble me more and I am conflicted on two fronts. One side argues that there is a real cost to unending movement over the borders just as if our birth rates were constantly increasing. People use up resources--resources are limited and cost energy to produce. Pretty simple.

Government funded services like schools are hit by higher enrollments and a need more more intensive outreach to bring student abilities up. I think some schools (CA) may be giving up since each wave reburies them and limited dollars only go so far.

Some people are being passed over for jobs, being stereotyped as "American workers" who ask for too much money or aren't "willing to work as hard or for long hours" in favor of new arrivals who find the situation better than what they left. Business owners can pay under the table. I think that some business owners manufacture these excuses so that they can justify to themselves that they are making the better business decision. In some cases they are wanting to maintain profit percentages and take no personal cuts in a tight market.

Source countries have no incentive to better conditions since they can use US (or other countries) as an escape valve. Money flows from the US back to the host country as the immigrants wire money back to support family.

The greater the numbers of, in our case, Hispanic speakers, the less need for assimilation since a few persons can be found to permanently translate for the rest of the group. Also, there is more looking back over the shoulder to the source country. I think I read about pressure from Mexico to issue visa's to illegals or something to that effect, as an example. Also, the constant contact enbaled by today's transportation network recruits more relatives, neighbors, whole towns to continue migrating since there is a support base ever enlarging. Groups bring their native grievances with them (gangs) or perhaps customs that challenge what we think being an American is about.

Bringing or hiring illegal workers to do jobs "no one else will take" (low wage) supposes that each worker will be content to stay working at that level for ever. Not that they will see other better opportunities (human nature) and seek those-thus requiring yet another person to fill that space while worker one remains in the country.

OK, that said, the OTHER side of me thinks that ultimately in the greater scale of things we are supposed to have open borders for the flow of people and ideas; that resources are not supposed to be squandered by the richest countries and that we have an obligation to help people out of misery. Never mind pursuing the "American Dream"--that's an expression of rampant materialism that can't be sustainable. Yet I don't think we are at a place where we have that kind of innate goodwill overall--on either side.

So, my question is, if we were to do nothing about our immigration problems--can anything positive result? Or will we become a country that is unrecognizable to its' founding precepts, rather reflecting alternate cultures for good or ill?
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idiosyncratic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:03 AM
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1. Recently I found a farm worker encampment
I was appalled at the way these men, more than likely illegal immigrants, were forced to live with no sanitation, no water, no roofs over their heads.

The farm, located in an exclusive area of San Diego county, and surrounded by new developments with $500,000+ homes, provided no housing for these men living beneath tarps out in the chapparal.

The work needs to be done on that farm, but it is obvious the farmer does not provide either a living wage, or housing, or transportation to and from decent housing.

As long as there are people from another country who will work like that, and live like that, and there are employers who are allowed to get away with it, illegal immigration will be part of our economy.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:10 AM
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2. I can tell you, from personal experience, that Co.'s DO take
advantage of lower paid foreign workers. As a Co. Director, I was interviewing for 3 MIS programmers. I was approached by the VP of Finance, 2 other Directors, and the Pres. of the Co, and told I should really consider hiring those employees from India or the UAE! Our cost of sponsorship would be negligible compared to how much we'd save in salary! "These people are willing to work for 1/4 of what anybody you'll find locally wants!"

I refused, and told them all that they were taking unfair advantage of the people whey wanted to "import"!

None of those guys were concerned about the kind of job that the potential employee would do! They didn't care that there might be a BIG communications problem! ALL they cared about was MONEY!

You are seeing that exact same thing today, in all businesses!

It's unfair to all employees!!!!
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