Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Protest is Not in Our Schedule

Half a million people in LA. Organizers had alerted the media to perhaps 100,000. 50,000 in Denver. 20,000 in Phoenix. But news coverage is sparse. Why? Unlike the Million Man March, this was not planned. Largely impromptu demonstrations attracted masses of angry people. Make it a felony to be in this country illegally? What have we come to??

The solution to illegal immigration is very easy. Throw in jail anyone who knowingly hires an illegal immigrant. Enforce that law. Make THAT a felony. They come here for jobs, nothing else. If jobs dry up, so will illlegal immigration. Believe me, if they threw all the farmers in the central valley and all the taco bell owners in jail (and yes, it would be all of them, make no mistake) for a minimum of 6 months for knowingly hiring illegals, there would be no more illegal immigration.

What is maddening is that the same people who vote for these punitive laws are the ones who hire illegal immigrants. I wager 80% of the people who hire illegal immigrants are conservative Republicans. Small businessmen and farmers. They want to keep the flow of illegals alive because they can mistreat them, pay them below the minimum, even stiff them on pay, then threaten to report them. This is just cruel, and I'm so happy that half a million of my fellow Angelenos have turned out to say "Enough is enough." It's worse that they are now planning to criminalize priests and social workers who try to help those in need, because of the immigration status of those people.

Stop criminalizing the workers who come here poor, desperate, but eager to work, and start punishing the employers who invite foreigners to break the law and come, employ them, then vote to make them criminals so they can control them.

Sadly, this will make hardly a ripple on the news, because the conservative media have no stomach for calling the Republicans on who they really are.

We all know people who are here in violation of one immigration statute or another. They come into our homes as friends and workers. I will not become a tool of the right wing. If this law passes, forbidding me from treating them as human beings, I will not obey.


Anonymous said...

Not only do these employers need the flow of workers to continue they need them to be "illegal." If these employers were confronted with a mass of legal migrant workers who had rights to organize and recourse to our worker protection laws, the employers would lose their subsidy.

I suggest that simultaneously demanding strict immigration laws and resisting their effective enforcement is central to the business plans of much of the ag, construction and hospitality industries.

Think of immigration laws (and their showy but lax enforcement) as a massive agricultural subsidy for the artificial desert agriculture of California.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Many Republicans complain that jobs are being shipped overseas. Well yes, because labor costs are lower. If Republicans want to go on bragging about all the "jobs" they are creating, then they need to keep allowing the illegal immigrants to take those meinal jobs that Americans won't take.

In the Central Valley, whites complain that "they want us to change our way of life. They come here and don't learn out langauge and they take advantages of our services."

Well, my standard response to this is, "Are you unemployed?" Them: No, but to get a job here now you have to speak Spanish. "Did you have to speak Spanish to get your job?" Suddenly the room gets quiet. My next question: "Do you want to pay $10 for a head of lettuce?" Them: No. they can do those jobs, but they shouldn't be allowed to do other jobs. "well, then you ahve already agreed then that they can be here. So what exactly is you beef?" Them: quiet. "Do you want to the social security checks to keep coming? Because without immigration, there is a negative birth rate in this country and some one has to pay your social security." Studdering. But. . . but . . . But . . . But there isn't enough room. "Really? I see pleanty of land that Farmers are selling to developers. I just drove over miles of land that is uninhabited except for cows and windmills. I wouldn't mind a little house out on some of that wide open land. There is pleanty of room. There are no buts?" Quiet. The logic won't matter, though. They want to resent someone and that is who they will resent. They need a scapegoat. That is what arguements about immigration and migration always boil down to.

These people risk their lives to come here. Do you think that if they had a choice they would get on the Train of Death? I say anyone who risks what these people risk to get here, gets to stay. They earned it. I was just born here. 

// posted by USwest

Dr. Strangelove said...

Here's my five-point plan to solve what I perceive to be the worst problems of illegal or undocumented immigration: the threat to national security, the competition with domestic labor (real or perceived), the Kafka-esque red tape of the INS that stops grandmothers from coming to live with their children, and the criminal exploitation of certain workers already here.

1. Lift immigration quotas. As we have done for most of U.S. history, let's allow anyone to come here who wants to be with their family or to work here (except of course for those with a criminal record, those who advocate violent overthrow of our government, etc.) This will be a huge step toward documenting and registering everyone who lives in this country--critical for national security. I also see it as an aspect of free trade: if goods and capital can cross borders freely, why not labor? Surely free market economics favors the unimpeded movement of all factors of production? No guest-worker programs, no second-class citizens: everyone is treated the same, with the full opportunities our grandparents had when they came here.

2. Criminalize illegal immigration. This includes hiring illegals, and otherwise aiding and abetting illegal immigration--and give the police the authority to demand citizenship papers in circumstances when they are currently allowed to ask for an ID. But please note--without #1, I would never accept #2. The point is, if #1 is accomplished, then I am OK with arresting and deporting those we have deemed unsuitable to enter the U.S., or those who refused to register themselves. (Overstaying a visa would be punishable by a civil fine for a few weeks slippage, and deportation if it's been more like a year--but it would neither be a felony nor an impediment to obtaining a future visa. We must not mistake honest erros and red tape for bad behavior.)

3. Enhanced, Properly-Focused Border Patrols. Some say we should put up a fence, and the Minutemen want to put vigilantes... but did you ever notice these are all about the Southern border? Those who care about security already understand taht the largest undefended border in the world is to the North, not the South. Furthermore, terrorists have already tried to come in through Canada. On security grounds, you'd need to build a wall against Canada first, and that's infeasible anyhow. The solution is to have enhanced border patrols on land and sea, at all points of the compass. The current border patrol focus on stopping economic migrants, rather than terrorists, is bad for security.

4. General amnesty. None of the precautions listed above will be effective if we do not offer general amnesty to the 12 million or so people already here illegally. The only sensible solution is a general amnesty: have them come in, surrender their false documents, prove their identities, and get real documents. Not only does this go a long way toward solving a huge security problem, but this underclass would then have the full protection of the law, to prevent exploitation. Furthermore, this would also alleviate the cut-rate competition they allegedly provide to domestic labor, since now everyone would play by the same rules.

5. English education. A massive, highly subsidized program to provide adult education in English to immigrants would help them integrate into the workforce. We should of course make every effort to help their children as well.

This just seems right to me. I am not afraid of immigration--it's what made our nation great. I am not afraid of the hispanic culture--and it's already here. It's already a thriving, wonderful part of the American tapestry, as the Chinese, Irish, Polish, etc. came before.

In the end, what I want is a welcome and safe society. And you don't get safety by turning us into Fortress America: that old folly never works. In truth, our most valuable resources in the fight against terrorism are the immigrant communities themselves. It's time we started treating those who wish to come to our home as friends, not enemies. As a nation of immigrants, any other course is unworthy.

Anonymous said...

I like it! 

// posted by USwest

Anonymous said...

I'd add

6) Give "illegal" immigrant collective bargaining rights and make it easier for them report employers for violating minimum wage, OSHA and EPA regulations.

Employers use their "illegal" status to get around these neccessary but costly regulations.  

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Dr. Strangelove said...

RxR... while I understand the spirit of your #6--and it makes sense in the current situation--if we *were* to fully implement #1 and #2, then #6 would not make sense.

Anonymous said...

Good point. I guess I'd say replace #2 with #6. Instead of criminalizing illegal immigration, we should criminalize the hiring of illegal immigrants AND the exploitation of illegal immigrants. That approach would have a more gentle effect on the immigrants themselves. They would gradually be weeded out of the labor market.

I thought of another thing. #7: End agricultural subsidies. Most of these illegal immigrants are ag workers from farms in Central America and Mexico that have been driven out of business by US ag products that are dumped on their markets at subsidized prices. Ending the subsidies here would allow these people to make a good living in their own home communities - reducing population pressure and budgetary pressure here and reducing poverty there. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

While it's kind of nice to blame Republicans entirely for this mess, the fact is that Democrats aren't really helping, in their current "let's not co-operate on anything, and blame the Republicans when it goes wrong" mode. Liberating, but childish.

Neither party will make any attempt to fix things, not even after some major city gets nuked or the Mexican Army invades San Antonio. Each party will wonder how they might possibly get votes out of the event-de-jour.

I personally won't complain, unless I don't get to watch South Park make fun of our collapse of society, like they did this week. Then I'll do something serious, like post an opinion!  

// posted by Stanley Kubrick Fan