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Sunday, March 26, 2006

We're Here, We're Illegal, Get Used To It

Size of L.A. March Surprises Authorities
By PETER PRENGAMAN
Mar 26, 12:25 PM EST
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Thousands of immigration advocates marched through downtown Los Angeles in one of the largest demonstrations for any cause in recent U.S. history.

More than 500,000 protesters - demanding that Congress abandon attempts to make illegal immigration a felony and to build more walls along the border - surprised police who estimated the crowd size using aerial photographs and other techniques, police Cmdr. Louis Gray Jr. said.

Wearing white T-shirts to symbolize peace, the demonstrators chanted "Mexico!" "USA!" and "Si se puede," an old Mexican-American civil rights shout that means "Yes, we can."
Yes you can? Yes you can demonstrate. But what exactly is the message? That there are more than 11 million of you? That you can violate US immigration laws with impunity? That you can live off the generosity and under the protection of the stupid gringos while you wave Mexican flags in their faces?
"We construct your schools. We cook your food," rapper Jorge Ruiz said after performing at a Dallas rally that drew 1,500. "We are the motor of this nation, but people don't see us. Blacks and whites, they had their revolution. They had their Martin Luther King. Now it is time for us."
You crowd our schools. You clog our emergency rooms. You are only one component of the motor of this nation, and you are quite visible, especially lately. WTF does MLK have to do with any of this? Is that some kind of lame attempt to play the race card?
"Enough is enough of the xenophobic movement," said Norman Martinez, 63, who immigrated from Honduras as a child and marched in Los Angeles. "They are picking on the weakest link in society, which has built this country."
Let's get this straight. You leave your home, illegally enter another country, take credit for building it, and then call those who object xenophobes? Now that's cajones. Mui grande huevos. I say enough is enough of the alien scofflaw movement.

These cries of xenophobia and racism are meant to intimidate people into silence. There is clearly rational justification for opposing illegal immigration. The fact for instance that it is illegal. In the US if you don't like a law you can call your Congressman and convince him to change it. If you don't like your Congressman vote for another. And no, criminals generally don't get to vote, except in Vermont. The system is called constitutional democracy, and it's generally acknowledged to work better than mob rule. Demonstrating in the street is how things get decided in less stable countries, like France.

If there's an irrational position on this issue, one that literally taps into people's emotions rather than their their reason, it's the one that supports illegal immigration. It doesn't matter whether the motive is compassion or self interest. The compassionate ones want to fling open the borders because they see human beings suffering and they want to help. And they want everybody else to be compelled to help too. And that's where it goes over that little invisible line between harmless altruism and insidious collectivism.

Of course most religious leaders and certainly the majority of bleeding hearts and socialites have no socioeconomic agenda. They sure don't think of themselves as "collectivists". They just know it makes them feel good to feel bad for other people. But to paraphrase what they say in court, ignorance of history is no excuse. In evaluating his theories we have the advantage over Marx of more than a century of practical experience. Collectivism invariably requires centralization of control which invariably produces totalitarianism which invariably leads to widespread human suffering. Worse than the worst of the notorious Robber Baron excesses ever were. There is no better proof of the addictiveness and deranging effect of pure utopian thought than the fact that to this day so many "intellectuals" pine for just one more chance to get collectivism right. Fortunately they are in the minority, but unfortunately their audience is not. They prey on those who incorrectly reckon they have nothing to lose. Castro, for example, came to power as a champion of the people and has spent the decades since burning through the wealth he seized by pursing one idealistic collectivist scheme after another. Soft-headed sympathizers in the US swoon over Castro and his "paradise" even though there are shortages of just about everything and complaining or trying to get away will get you thrown in jail. The poor huddled masses of Central and South America are smarter than Marxist "intellectuals". Smart enough to steer clear of Cuba.

Instead they flock to the US and create a situation which very clearly contradicts and should greatly embarrass the negativist natives (and more than a few legal immigrants) who take every opportunity to point out how terrible the US is. Illegal immigrants often work very hard for low wages, but they quickly discover they don't have to. Health care and education are essentially free. An 800 square foot house is like a mansion - for all 10 occupants. The "taxes" they pay are mostly sales taxes. Which of course doesn't come close to covering the burden they and their dependents put on the roads and schools, never mind the hospitals. Car accident? Baby? Oops, no insurance. Obviously they don't want to give this up. The worst crime infested low rent neighborhood in the US is infinitely better than living in some shithole without running water and no TV outside Mexico City. Obviously. Because if it wasn't they'd head home.

Which is where self interest comes in. You'd think from all the one-sided slinging of ad hominems like "xenophobe" and "racist" that the only people who could possibly be motivated by fear and greed are the rich white gringos who want to stop illegal immigration. As if the greedy desire to keep something good or the fear of living in a shithole isn't universal. The US demonstrates the kind of wealth that can be created by the right combination of respect for freedom and rule of law. It is not immune to the effects of a breakdown in that balance.

Give us your tired and poor indeed, but please don't flood us with hordes of ingrates waving Mexican flags.
white

5 Comments:

Blogger flippityflopitty said...

An agreeing but less caustic response:

This is about ILLEGAL immigration. There is nothing xenophobic about it. Give us your tired and poor, but get in line.

Despite the obvious knocks on illegals (i.e., free ride ad hominem) - >90% of illegals are harder working and better acting than most US citizens.

But despite the sob stories people want to fall prey to - theyre ILLEGAL. They entered the country ILLEGALLY, they benefit from this ILLEGAL enterprise and they leave the wanna-be LEGAL immigrants waiting on line.

Any reference to MLK - keep in mind he was a US citizen not an ILLEGAL alien.

Come to this country LEGALLY and we can debate whether you deserve health care, schools, etc. and guess what - you will win the debate because most Americans though they fail to admit it are suckers at heart for rags to riches stories.

On the Vermont knock - they have their own illegal problem - all 2,500 of them:

http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=research_research8927

And yes, illegals cant vote either but they have lobbyists. But thats for another blog.

There is ongoing debate over what to do next. Why? WTF is the debate. Time for the feds to pony up and do their job. And if the feds dont, I support states and locals taking the ball.

Yet another reason to bring up the federal id card issue (c'mon state driver's licensing can qualify with very little additional effort) and even temporary work visas. And begin hammering businesses that hire illegals.

Yes, the beauracracy increase will be significant, the costs will be significant, the inconveniences at the border will be greater (really, how many americans actually leave the lower 48) but, how can this not be a priority?

You just did this blog because you know Im a hothead on this issue...

3/27/2006 07:47:00 AM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

Sorry to discomfort you with posts on which we generally agree. But I can see we disagree on some of the details.

For instance, you say II are harder working and better acting than US citizens. Nice sentiment, but the second half of your theory is demonstrably false: http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters0b9c

What drives me crazy is the irrational nonsense coming from the pro II side. Beyond the true ad hominems (eg. anti IIs are xenophobe racists) they claim II pay their way and that this country would come to a standstill without them. This may be the conventional wisdom because it has been repeated loudly and often enough, but that doesn't make it true. Undocumented unskilled workers do not pay a significant amount in taxes - because their pay is low and off the books. Duh. And their burden on the education, healthcare, and legal systems far exceed what little they do pay in taxes. This is a fact that contradicts their claims to the contrary, it is not ad hominem.

http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/immigrationnaturalizatio/a/caillegals.htm

If we deported all 11 million II tomorrow economically I expect it would at worst be a move sideways - some parts of the economy would benefit others would be hurt. At best it could be a big improvement. The pro II side obfuscates (by purposefully confusing legal and illegal immigration) and demogogues (with race baiting and class warfare) specifically to derail rational discussion, because they know they have no rational basis for an argument.

3/27/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Bilbo said...

Ad hominem was too strong a criticism. Rhetoric is better.

On your first link, I did refer to 90% of the II - that leaves close to 1 million undesirables in my book. Granted, 10% of US citizens arent in prison - its less than 1% (at a cool 2 million not including the 100k II). But according to the prison statistics II are less than 1% of their total populationas well:

http://usgovinfo.about.com/cs/censusstatistic/a/aaprisonpop.htm

Statistics confusion aside - its still a shitload of people we dont need to feed.

On the second link, harder working shouldnt be confused with income and taxpayer potential. This gets to the heart of the conservative corporate whores and the liberal whiners. II do the grunt work behind the scenes. They are the best workers in my industry (hazmat), they do the cleaning, cooking and what I find personally upsetting the child rearing (Im guilty of this as well although my 2 nannies had legal status) - and aside from hazmat work they are paid the least. In essence they represent the underclass at best and a cheap labor resource at worst (liberal whiners say slave labor).

I agree with your "true" ad hominem statement because II is a market convenience. They are largely ignored except during election campaign season because they provide what we want at below cost.

Deportation of all. Although desirable - probably messy and unrealistic. The first consideration I would make is to state if you are illegal you will be deported when found. Secondly, I support the idea of temporary visas but I would limit them to 1 year and make them renewable - forcing II to register every year and keeping tabs on them (a whole new "parole officer" program - make Barbie Boxer proud!). As part of the registration they get probed, poked, prodded, DNA tested, fingerprinted, etc. - price for crossing the border amigo. They can then register for legal residence and eventual naturalization on a first come first serve basis (with all the legal immigrant comrades overseas). During this process I would allow some of the sob stories to influence the process (i.e., II parents bring their minor age children across the border 20 years ago - now 28 looking for legal status - he deserves a break; his parents on the other hand knew what they were doing can sit in limbo). As part of this package I would make damn sure each one of them had ID cards, SS# and paid taxes. I would require them to record every single employer they work for and audit each one of them. I would then make crystal f'in clear that any deviation from these requirements means ZZZZZip - off to the russian front...

As far as prisoners go, I would love to deport but they will end up in our streets a week later. We need to come up with a program where we can get reimbursed from their country of origin (or hold back aid since we dish so goddam much of it out). Then again maybe we can garnish II wages to pay for the prisoners.

3/27/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tanstaafl said...

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/pjim03.txt

"Overall, 6.6% of State and Federal inmates at midyear 2003 were not U.S. citizens. The noncitizen prisoner population increased between 1998 and 1999, and since then has remained nearly stable, changing about 2% between midyear 1999 and midyear 2003. At midyear 2003, 34,456 Federal inmates were noncitizens, representing over 20% of all prisoners in Federal custody. California (18,559), Texas (8,702), New York (8,370), Florida (4,739), and Arizona (3,670) held almost 80% of all noncitizens confined in State prison. Noncitizen prisoners accounted for over 10% of the prison populations of California, New York, Arizona, and Nevada."

Now unless the DOJ is lying the facts are that the prison population is disproportionately non-citizens.

You seem to buy the "cheap labor" canard. II labor is only cheap for employers. You can argue that it helps them keep prices down, but for the rest of us the costs of II exceed the savings. II is an externality.

"Externalities are important in economics because they may lead to economic inefficiency. Because the producers of externalities do not have an incentive to take into account the effect of their actions on others, the outcome will be inefficient."

3/28/2006 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger flippityflopitty said...

II is definitely a losing proposition financially. The only gainers are small local businessmen and if you believe the loopy left the "trickle up" economics theory that the big corps are saving on the low cost provided by subcontractors with II.

Joe taxpayer pay going in and going out - no savings there.

The prison issue is semantics. The increase in non-citizen populations is greater but appears to be statistically a low steady rise. We are still talking about the same % of bad apples (citizen and non-citizen alike).

The only way to fix the problem is through enforcement and no one in Congress (or the Admins for the last 20 years)has the balls to pony up the dough to make it happen.

4/12/2006 06:20:00 AM  

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