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April 07, 2006

Illegal alien debate - respect and disrespect for Rule of Law, and costs to America beyond the tangibles

As the compromise between Senate and House on the bill ostensibly "handling" illegal immigration collapses, I want to revisit some of the arguments in this debate which I believe have a tendency to downplay the seriousness of illegal immigration.

Little Miss Attila points me to Steve Verdon who posits that illegal aliens are "no big deal" when their tangible cost to the USA is a mere fraction (.64% if we accept his figures) of the GDP. While I can accept his evaluation on the large scale, Steve ventures into bad faith dismissal of those that vigorously opposed illegal immigration as xenophobes.

In short, I see all this handwringing about the U.S. becoming part of Mexico as nothing more than misplaced priorities by people who seem deathly afraid of people who are different than them. The response to the charge of racism is often, “It isn’t racism! We just oppose illegal immigration. And the costs are real.” Sure the costs are real, but they are much smaller when compared to other issues such as Medicare funding. And sure illegal immigration isn’t a good thing, but instead suggest a guest worker program (i.e. make those illegal immigrants legla) and you still get the howling. So both objections, IMO, while technically true are just rhetoric to deflect criticism and hide the rather disquieting aspects of the illegal immigration movement.
Deliberately or not, Steve refuses to realize the .64% is not evenly distributed across the country. While Beaut, Montana businesses hire local teens, Southern California and the border areas of Arizona, Texas and New Mexico deal with huge numbers of workers willing to work under the table for cash. The costs to those areas, measured in local expenditures for schools, medical care, police enforcement, code enforcement, prices of housing will far outstrip the .64% that considers the country as a whole.

Recent illegals are coming in from tiny towns in Mexico where vaccinations and normative medical care is almost unknown. In Southern California we've experienced an uptick in TB and this year seeing a lot more whooping cough in ER's.

Whooping cough isn't reflected in Steve's .64% but it is a real cost to the people who have to deal with it.

I wonder if Steve realizes that in the California prison system we house approximately 15,000 illegal aliens? The costs associated with those 15,000 ($465 million/year) could easily fund a new public college.

There's also the intangibles that don't figure in Steve's .64%. Established, legal and several generational Hispanic families are assimilated into the larger American culture. They proudly hold and celebrate their cultural heritage (as do Italians, Irish or Germans). However we have witnessed in the last five to ten years a growing apartheid where newer illegals who have no stake or desire in being American isolate themselves while they exploit the community as hard and fast as they can.

I can't necessarily blame even these illegals for coming here. An almost hopelessly corrupt and arrogant Mexican government has practically driven them over the border in order to have an ever increasing cash flow back into their pockets. This is where I hold American employers of illegals much more culpable in the equation.

I will confess that some of my passion on this subject is driven by what I have grown up with and what I witness working within the judicial system. Add to that what my daughter in emergency medical services in an area with a large percentage of illegals shares with me.

Obviously Ronald Reagan's "one time amnesty" as a solution for illegals in the mid-80's hasn't worked. Mexicans cross the border with impunity while people here legally and working to have their own families work through the Byzantine immigration process are watching with growing anger the left-wing organized pro-illegal immigration marches. While AG believes our system is saying "Fuck you" to illegals who want to be legal, it is also the illegals saying "Sucker" to those who take the trouble to immigrate legally.

The "Jobs Americans won't do" canard is the most insulting of all. It's an excuse for employers exploiting desperate people.

Leonel Santos was working in Virginia when a New Orleans roofing contractor he knew from his hometown of San Francisco del Mezquital, in Mexico's Durango state, called. The contractor sent a car that picked up Santos and seven other workers in Virginia and North Carolina and brought them to New Orleans.

"We were packed like matchsticks," Santos said.

The group slept in a park for a month, showered with hoses and used bushes as toilets. By day they put blue tarps on roofs for a FEMA subcontractor.

"We ate once a day," Santos said. "We'd buy canned food from a store that had a few things for sale."

We have a choice to keep the US a first-world country or allow third-world enclaves while turning a blind eye to the longterm costs. :::cough::: Paris ghettos :::cough::::

An effective immigration policy must hinge on the successful completion of two points BEFORE even considering a "guest worker" program.

1 - Secure the borders.
2 - Target employers with criminal prosecution (to include jail, fines or forfeiture of the business).

If employers realize it is they, not their desperate employees that will suffer, cash jobs "no questions asked" will dry up.

When the Mexican government cannot shove their poor over the border, even as they protect their own, when they cannot count on a river of American cash flowing into their pockets, maybe Mexico, a country rich in resources and poor due to a culture of corruption, will change.

What do we "do" about the 11 million already in the US? Nothing at the present. When jobs are no longer available, many (those here less than five years) will leave. Then we can work on a way to have the rest, those that are here because they DO want to become American and have rejected the racist sentiments of La Raza, become American citizens.


Posted by Darleen at April 7, 2006 06:25 AM


"...[hide] the rather disquieting aspects of the illegal immigration movement."/

- The typical asshat strawman. Redefining Americans that find the totally out of control daily breaking of our immigration laws, as some sort of Neo sinister "movement".

- what total red harring bullshit.

- I'm betting "Steve" doesn't have to wake up each morning and find his garbage cans strewn all over the yard, or illegals sleeping behind his garage, or knocking over the corner 7/11. Just a guess. Most of the jackasses that talk this way about the severe problems with illegals, have no clue about what they're talking about. Its generally just "anti-Conservative" raving and idiotarian leftist justification as usual.

Posted by: Big Bang Hunter at April 8, 2006 11:47 PM

It's all economics Mz Darleen, most Americans won't do the jobs the illegals will.

About all we can do now is fortify the border and process those now here in some sort of amnesty program.

Economics tends to trump politics every time.

Posted by: Carl W. Goss at April 9, 2006 06:30 AM


That is false. Demonstrively so.

Just WHO do you think was doing those jobs American were not doing before the huge influx of illegal aliens? Who were the busboys, the ditch diggers, agricultural workers?

Teens and America's unskilled.

But as you can read from my linked article, in New Orleans alone Americans WOULD be doing the jobs of cleaning, rebuilding etc but they certainly might balk at doing it under the conditions that desparate men from a third world country are willing to put up with.

Posted by: Darleen at April 9, 2006 06:43 AM

It's all economics, Mr. Carl, Sir.

Those who can get away with it hire illegals, pay them substandard wages and have them work in substandard conditions that Americans wouldn't (and shouldn't) put up with.

And they can get away with it because government programs (i.e., the American taxpayer) pick up the slack for them, by providing benefits. There's no such thing as a free lunch, Mr. Carl, sir; all the money we're supposedly saving on that "cheap" help comes out of our hide in taxes, and in social problems such as increased crime, an exploding prison population and hospitals collapsing because they're expected to give illegals free medical care.

(Not to mention the societal cost of importing a great many people into the country whose primary loyalty isn't to America but to Mexico, and who hate Americans because they aren't part of "La Raza", the race).

And, as Darleen points out, Americans did do those jobs, before there was the great flood of illegal immigration, and would probably do them again, if the flow were slowed.

Posted by: TalkinKamel at April 10, 2006 07:57 AM

It is anti-conservative knee-jerking, Steve. It's also the fact that, in Liberal theology, Hispanics have ascended to untouchable, never-to-be-criticized status, just like Moslems. If you say anything that could possibly be construed as negative about any Hispanic movement, even very racist ones such as La Raza, or if you sugget that Mexico should try getting its act together, instead of dumping all its poor people here, you will be branded as "racist".

Even worse, they will call you "mean-spirited".

Posted by: TalkinKamel at April 10, 2006 08:00 AM

In the US it's mostly economics. In Mexico, it's partly political,partly economc.

Mexico gains when it exports its unemployed.

Illegals in the US tend to send money back to Mexico to support their families.

The Mexican authorities have nothing to gain by stopping immigration outward to the US.

In fact, they tacitly encourage it.

And of course, under the 14th Amendment children of illegals are automatically US citizens. Deportation then becomes doubly hard.

The politicians in Washington can't reach a consensus on this issue.

Which makes me think that maybe a political union between the US and Mexico might be a good idea.

Mexico as the 51st State.

Stranger things have happened.

After centuries of warfare the nations of Europe have come together; why not the nations of North America?

Posted by: Carl W. Goss at April 10, 2006 08:41 AM

UH, Carl, who's going to be in charge of the combined Mexican-American states? The US, or the corrupt and inefficent government of Mexico, which is so inept it can't even feed its own people, or control the vast amount of corruption within it?

Do we really want Vicente Fox and his gang helping to call the shots in the USA? Do we really want our country to be run like Mexico? (i.e., corruptly and incompetently). And isn't the burden on the US taxpayer already heavy enough? Can we really support ALL Mexico's poor, whose care, feeding, etc. would certainly be dumped on the US in the event of such a "merger" of countries.

Posted by: TalkinKamel at April 10, 2006 12:04 PM

No, Kamel, Mexico would be the 51st state. No different from the current state of New Mexico.

But, yes, I don't see it happening anytime soon.

Posted by: Carl W. Goss at April 10, 2006 10:09 PM

51st State is the only way I could see Mexico aligning itself with the United States. But do you really think the Mecha people, and the La Raza people and the people who daydream about lost "Aztlan" really want to join up with America? Sounds more like they want America to become greater Mexico, and for us "Europeans" to go back to our respective "European" homelands.

And do you really think Vicente Fox and the corrupt Mexican government would go quietly, and (gasp, shudder) actually find real jobs, and cheerfully resign their cushy positions so the USA could take over?

Like you, I don't see Mexico as 51st state happening any time soon---and, given the state of Mexico today, I'm glad. (More trouble than it's worth---don't think they're ready to become Americans yet; lots of them don't even want to become Americans even when they're actually living here.)

Posted by: TalkinKamel at April 11, 2006 08:15 AM

I think people here are concatonating two different groups: young lefty radical Latinos (here legally) who like to be part of the "brown pride" movement, and people who can't make a living in Latin America and come here to work their asses off--and generally don't give a damn about politics, though I'm sure they'd love it if Mexico would get its political/economic act together, so they wouldn't have to risk their lives and come here to support their relatives.

You people are aware that 75% of illegal immigrants pay taxes, right?

Posted by: Attila Girl at April 13, 2006 10:53 PM