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Ronald Reagan on Immigration:

Conservative Republican have been outdoing each other in claiming the mantle of Ronald Reagan. Ironically, however, many conservatives are simultaneously outdoing each other in advocating immigration restriction - a stance Reagan would probably have abhorred.

As Reagan biographer Lou Cannon points out in this book (pg. 119), Reagan proposed a treaty allowing for full freedom of movement for all workers throughout North America in his November 1979 speech announcing his candidacy for the presidency. As early as 1952 - at a time when US immigration policy was still governed by the highly restrictive Immigration Act of 1924 - Reagan gave a speech embracing nearly unlimited immigration:

I . . . have thought of America as a place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land . . . [A]nd the price of admission was very simple . . . Any place in the world and any person from these places; any person with the courage, with the desire to tear up their roots, to strive for freedom, to attempt and dare to live in a strange and foreign place, to travel halfway across the world was welcome here . . . I believe that God in shedding his grace on this country has always in this divine scheme of things kept an eye on our land and guided it as a promised land for these people. (emphasis added).

Cannon, pg. 119.

Almost forty years later, in his January 1989 farewell message to the nation, Reagan struck a similar theme:

I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. (emphasis added)

In between, Reagan pushed for his 1979 North American accord proposal (which eventually became the NAFTA treaty), and signed the 1986 immigration reform law that amnestied almost 3 million illegal immigrants in exchange for relatively weak enforcement measures.

As his 1979 proposal and his support for the 1986 amnesty suggest, Reagan did not demonize illegal immigrants as all too many conservatives do today. He sought instead to enable them to legalize their status, and helped set many on the road to citizenship. In a 1977 radio address, he criticized "the illegal alien fuss" and suggested that illegal aliens may "actually [be] doing work our own people won't do."

While Reagan's rhetorical embrace of "anyone" who wants to come the US probably should be taken literally, it certainly indicates a generally positive attitude towards large-scale immigration from all parts of the world.

The fact that Reagan supported something does not by itself prove that it is right, or even that it is the right position for conservatives. Reagan certainly made his share of mistakes, such as the extremely grave error of trading arms for hostages with Iran. But as Cannon notes, Reagan's positive attitude towards immigration was not just an isolated issue position, but was integrally linked to his generally optimistic and open vision of America. I would add that it also drew on his understanding that America is not a zero-sum game between immigrants and natives - just as he also recognized that it is not a zero-sum game between the rich and the poor. Immigration could promote prosperity and advancement for both groups in much the same way that free trade benefits both Americans and foreigners. Reagan probably did not have a detailed understanding of the economics of comparative advantage which underpins this conclusion. But he surely understood it intuitively. Those who reject Reagan's position on immigration must, if they are to be consistent, also reject much of the rest of his approach to economic and social policy. Today's conservatives can argue for immigration restrictions if they so choose. But they should not claim the mantle of Reagan in doing so.

Jim FSU 1L (mail):
We have had the benefit of seeing that the rosy predictions of Reagan and friends regarding immigration were mistaken. I think a lot of people (laissez faire types especially) would favor unlimited immigration if we weren't already drowning in entitlements.

Thanks to a policy that largely ignores the financial viability of immigrants in favor of reuiniting families and protecting political persecutees, most immigrants lack financial resources or valuable skills and are a drain on the economy. Yes, the blame for this lies with various governmental interferences with the marketplace like minimum wage and the entitlement programs, but it doesnt change this reality. Either the entitlements or the illegals will have to go. Unfortunately, the truth is that the two are connected such that we will have to choose either both or neither.

All adding more unskilled immigrants (the vast majority now) does at this point is create a monstrous free rider problem. Due to their socio-economic status, we will be adding a huge number of people that pay very little into the system while benefitting disproportionately from the various "anti-poverty" programs, especially medicaid. This represents a both a huge financial burden and a huge pro-entitlement voting block.

This is not the path to victory.
5.25.2007 5:14am
Ilya Somin:
Either the entitlements or the illegals will have to go. Unfortunately, the truth is that the two are connected such that we will have to choose either both or neither.

Actually, under the 1996 welfare reform act, even legal immigrants are denied most welfare and entitlement benefits. Illegals have never been eligible for them.
5.25.2007 5:41am
Jim FSU 1L (mail):
But under a 1986 style amnesty, they would become citizens.

And even if we completely rule out any chance of aliens directly collecting benefits, what about the indirect ways such as emergency room visits and school enrollment? These create invisible costs that get passed on to the legitimate users of the system.
5.25.2007 5:55am
BBWatkins (mail):
While I would like to think that the sentiments of the first comment reflect being written by a 1L who has (what the post reveals as) a limited understanding of substantive immigration policy and its consequences, far too many educated people who have a thorough understanding of what is at stake hold this view as well.

Whatever happened to conservatism being about less government regulation? Aren't draconian border policies restrictive of the Horatio Alger line that conservatives are so fond of toeing? The whole thing smacks of racism. More sickening still are the intra-party attacks on conservatives like McCain who, being from a border state, realizes that criminalizing or otherwise vilifying immigrants is not the answer.

Unpersuasive though it may be to quote a band, as the White Stripes say, "Why don't you kick yourself out? You're an immigrant, too."
5.25.2007 6:55am
Cecilius:
While I would like to think that the sentiments of the third comment reflect being written by someone who has suffered a head injury, far too many educated people who have a thorough understanding of what is at stake routinely reply to serious and well put concerns over massive amnesty for illegal immigrants with empty cliches and accusations of racism.

Conservatives are certainly about less government, but have never been about no government, especially when it involves the control of borders. Nor is there anything conservative about lavishing entitlements on those who have broken our laws and will become a net drain on the country. How this "smacks of racism" is beyond my comprehension. Illegal immigrants from Russia are just as unwelcome (and just as eligible and enter through legal means) as those from Guatemala, Mali or Saudi Arabia. To reject "criminalizing" illegal immigrants (they are criminals by definition) or otherwise "vilifying [sic]" them (whatever that means - if criminals are not villains, than who is?) as not being "the answer" has all the vapidity of a bumper sticker but lacks the catchiness.

And in response to the purported wisdom of the thoughtful philosopher Jack White, yes, we are all a nation of immigrants, as we like to get nostalgic about our poor, illiterate relatives arriving on these shores with nothing but the will to work for a better life. Of course, this nostalgia usually involves our long lost relatives being processed through Ellis Island or some other port of legal entry. When was the last time you heard some guy on a bar stool get teary-eyed over his great-grandfather coming over from the old country, smuggled in on a container ship. Our relatives came here legally. We ask for nothing but the same from others seeking to start a life here.
5.25.2007 7:30am
Apollo (mail):
The enforcement measures of the 1986 immigration law may look "relatively weak" in hindsight, but at the time they were sold as being able to stop illegal immigration. That's how Reagan understood the law. To observe, twenty years later, that it didn't work so therefore Reagan couldn't have favored immigration restrictions is, I believe, a fallacy.

Now if you could find something from the Gipper ca. 1986 stating a belief that the enforcement measures were weak, your point would be much stronger. At the time, however, even Ted Kennedy was selling the enforcement measures as so strong that the 1986 amnesty would be a one-time thing.

I'm not sure why the conservative position on immigration seems so hard for otherwise intelligent people to understand. We ought to regulate who comes in and out of our country; not every foreigner is well-meaning, and if too many (of even the well-meaning ones) come at once, they will assimilate us instead of us assimilating them.

In the spirit of silly "if conservatives believe caricatured position x, they're hypocrites for not believing unrelated position y" statements: Whatever happened to liberalism being about more government regulation? They want to regulate the amount of water in my toilet, but when it comes to foreigners crossing the border it's anything goes!
5.25.2007 7:58am
A. Zarkov (mail):
I see nothing in those statements to indicate that RR would have approved of illegal immigration, or that he really believed in a borderless US. A country without borders is no country at all, but a patch of territory akin to Antarctica.

“Immigration could promote prosperity and advancement for both groups in much the same way that free trade benefits both Americans and foreigners.”


Free trade in goods is not the equivalent of unrestricted migration. Goods don’t have anchor babies. Goods don’t demand other goods be admitted, and goods don’t commit crimes. Goods don’t have to be educated. Approximately 27% of the inmates in our jails are illegal aliens.

Moreover free trade means exactly that—a symmetrical relationship. If another country refuses to admit our products and services then we don’t have a free trade relationship with it. Many other countries won’t accept migration from the US. For example Korea. If you call the Korean embassy, you will find they don’t have immigration to their country. You might get a temporary work permit, but you can’t move there and become a citizen.
5.25.2007 9:09am
JonC:
Apollo is correct; Reagan also supported the 1986 bill because he believed, wrongly, that it would secure the border. This NRO article includes an October 1986 entry from Reagan's newly released diaries:


Thursday, October 16
Al Simpson came by to see if he had my support. After 5 yrs. of trying (during which I’ve been on his side) the House finally passed his immigration bill. They have one or two amendments we could do without but even if the Sen. In conf. cannot get them out, I’ll sign. It’s high time we regained control of our borders and this bill will do this.
5.25.2007 9:13am
Hei Lun Chan (mail) (www):
Ilya: "Reagan did not demonize illegal immigrants as all too many conservatives do today."

4th comment: "The whole thing smacks of racism."

I thought it was conservatives who are doing the demonizing? Instead we have people who feel free to characterize others who disagree with them as bigots and racists.

Does not compute ... Does not compute ...
5.25.2007 9:16am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
A conservative position misrepresented. Wow. Never seen that before.

Reagan came from Hollywood. Before that, it was a difficult but traditional--traditionally difficult--life which included a college education. Hollywood, as some have noted, then was sweating bullets to portray a version of America which was as traditionally American, exaggeratedly traditionally American, as could possibly be managed. Reagan lived it as a child and young man, promoted it in his movies, and loved to see it.

It would be odd to think of Reagan approving of Balkanization as a social policy, as sneering at assimilation "to what? white picket fences? racism?" and if he thought of English-as-official regulations, it would probably have been sorrow that they were even necessary.

The plan to import permanent voting blocks and semi-autonomous ghettoes didn't figure in any of his speeches.
5.25.2007 9:24am
JOEL MACKEY:
This type of rhetoric is just the thing that sets so many blue collar Reagan supporters on edge.

First you want to color them as racists, or at best protectionists, then you want to speak as a holy preist, intoning the deity's true meaning from his plain words.

He said simply that if his city should need walls, it would have gates that were open to all. Now did he mean all as in every child rapist, meth smuggler, and non spanish speaker who came from a radical muslim country? No he did not, Reagan new there was evil in this world, and he knew that a city may need walls to protect itself against that evil.

No conservative that I have heard (I do not pay attention to Buchanan or those of his ilk) have spoken against allowing immigration to this country, but it should be regulated such that America can retain that which makes it America. It's immigration laws should be fair to those who follow them, they should be fair to the citizens who support the government through taxes, and it should not be manipulated by inside the beltway power brokers for political advantage.

So please spare us the hypocritical attitude regarding anti-ILLEGAL immigration conservatives and at least discuss the issue with some degree of intellectual honesty. I do not see all of these amnesty proponents willing to allow a flood of Indian doctors, engineers, or scientists in, only unskilled, uneducated immigrants are welcome eh?


Since when was it rascist to hate white male politicians who screw the citizenry for their own benefit?
5.25.2007 9:37am
A. Zarkov (mail):
BBWatkins:

“Whatever happened to conservatism being about less government regulation?”


Conservatism was never about complete lack of government regulation. Upholding the sovereignty of a nation is well within the legitimate functions of government.

“The whole thing smacks of racism.”


How is controlling your borders “racism?” In that case the whole world is racist.

“… intra-party attacks on conservatives like McCain who, being from a border state, realizes that criminalizing or otherwise vilifying immigrants is not the answer.”


McCain gets attacked on the issue of illegal, not legal immigration. Illegals criminalize themselves by unauthorized entry, by tax evasion and by identify theft. Illegals from Mexico (the source of most illegals) get vilified for contributing to crime. Their rate of murder, rape and robbery is three times the norm.

McCain gets attacked for making statements like “Americans wouldn’t pick crops even for $50 per hour. He gets attacked for being obnoxious to his fellow senators, like telling Senator Cornyn “fuck you,” or telling Romney to "get his small varmint gun and drive those Guatemalans off his lawn" McCain shows signs of personal instability and lack of anger control.
5.25.2007 9:37am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Sorry I messed up the first link, let's try the "fuck you" link again.
5.25.2007 9:44am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Even Buchanan doesn't advocate the complete end of legal immigration... he just says it should be controlled and limited to promote assimilation. This means diversifiying the nations we accept immigrants from, however, because once a critical mass comes from the same place (Mexico is obviously the problem), it becomes more difficult to absorb and assimilate the new arrivals.

He's not that scary... if you squint just right, you don't even notice the horns.
5.25.2007 10:24am
Michael A. Koenecke:
Something I've never been able to figure out: does ANY other industrialized nation in the world grant automatic citizenship to anyone who happens to be born on their soil? Wouldn't changing the rules so that only someone born here to a legal permanent resident is a citizen make a lot more sense and avoid a lot of problems?
5.25.2007 10:27am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Well in the course of all the blaming of illegal immigrants who come here after all just for decent jobs we forget that Reagan implemented policies (or at least started down the road) that guaranteed that more illegals would enter the country. Of course the number one problem is that Reagan help destroy private sector unions in this country, which allowed companies to hire more and more undocumented workers. Furthermore, although there was a lot of tough talk about sanctioning employers, enforcement of laws against hiring illegals has fallen by the wayside (although in the last year or two the Bush Administration has finally started to once again actually enforce immigration laws in the workplace).

But most importantly, as bad as "free trade" has been for this country, it has been even worse for certain segments of the poor countries it was supposed to help most, especially small farmers. With the influx of cheap American food and other agricultural products (which of course are always exempted from free trade agreements) small farmers are driven off the land and forced into factory work or driven to migrate to the U.S. to seek work. This is exactly what has happened in Mexico, made worse because the factories that sprang up along the border after the passage of NAFTA have now been mostly been shuttered as the jobs have moved to the even cheaper labor China.
5.25.2007 10:30am
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Wouldn't changing the rules so that only someone born here to a legal permanent resident is a citizen make a lot more sense and avoid a lot of problems?

It is not merely a matter of "changing the rules"; the right to citizenship to people born in this country is a constitutional one.
5.25.2007 10:32am
frankcross (mail):
Poor Reagan. Some conservatives throw him under the bus, some say he didn't mean what he said. Liberals task him for being conservative.

The facts, if you care about facts, are that illegal immigration and free trade has been great for America (look at our unemployment rate). They've also been great for other nations that try them (e.g., Ireland). And immigration will be increasingly vital to America as our demography ages. Better if legal, but if we don't sanction millions legally, illegal is better than nothing

Let me make clear that I'm not calling the anti-immigration folks racist, just nativist and oblivious to economic reality.
5.25.2007 10:36am
H. Tuttle:
Mr. Somin perpetuates the same fallacy that so many of the open-borders crowd push -- namely intentional and by design blurring the distinction between "legal" and "illegal" immigration. Very few conservatives are against legal immigration; at most we want to take a breather so that those already here can assimilate fully. But "illegal" immigration flies in the face of the follow the rules, law and order bedrock position so many on the right take, and the breadth of the fallacious "if A then B and surely C" reasoning put forth by supporters of illegals and illegal immigration is both maddening and mind-boggling. For counter-argument in a similar vein I find liberals support for illegal immigration is in inverse proportionate to their living distance from the local city core and whether their children attend public school, or not. The large number of the rest of us, who live with and encounter the direct, palpable and expensive effects of illegal immigration every day have a distinctly different view on the matter.
5.25.2007 10:43am
Michael A. Koenecke:
The Constitution IS the "rules." First, the Fourteenth Amendment was intended to make it clear that former slaves were all citizens. Second, it states that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," are citizens. It was not intended to make citizens out of children of visitors or illegal aliens.
The laws of this country are structured so as to discourage legal immigration and encourage illegal immigration, and chief among those laws is the strange concept that the best shortcut is to sneak across the border and have a baby at public expense. Another, of course, is the requirement that employers accept documents which are not "obviously" fraudulent, meaning that you would have to be an idiot to try to play by the rules, when for a relative pittance you can get forged documents at your local flea market and not have to trouble yourself with the IRS (or INS, for that matter). Bill Quick's latest essay at brings up the Prisoner's Dilemma, pointing out that not only the existing situation but the proposed "solution" reward lawbreakers and punish those who do not attempt to game the system.
Any real immigration reform should start by amending the Fourteenth Amendment by adding "to a legal permanent resident" after the words "United States" in the above-cited sentence.
5.25.2007 10:55am
M. Gross (mail):
Wouldn't changing the rules so that only someone born here to a legal permanent resident is a citizen make a lot more sense and avoid a lot of problems?

I don't think having a 3rd-generation underclass would be a good idea. Would Mexico even take those people if we tried to deport them?
5.25.2007 10:58am
Michael A. Koenecke:
Drat it, adding that link didn't work. Bill Quick's essay may be found at http://www.ejectejecteject.com . As others have stated, I am all for liberalizing legal immigration. I do tend to believe that clamping down on employers is 3/4 of the battle, and have a hard time understanding why we cannot have some sort of verification available through the Social Security Administration. Again, compliance with the law is expensive and time-consuming, and it is way too easy to just fly under the IRS radar and 1099 everyone.
5.25.2007 11:03am
Tim Dowling (mail):
Fareed Zakaria recently made similar arguments about Reagan's stance on immigration. His piece includes this RR quote:

"It makes one wonder about the illegal-alien fuss. Are great numbers of our unemployed really victims of the illegal-alien invasion or are those illegal tourists actually doing work our own people won't do? One thing is certain in this hungry world: no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters."
5.25.2007 11:13am
frankcross (mail):
H.Tuttle, I live in Austin. Lots of immigrants, doubtless many illegal. And I think it's great for the city
5.25.2007 11:15am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Frankcross. What would be the disaster if they were all legal?
Is there some kind of frisson to seeing illegals? Are legals bourgeois and boooooring?
5.25.2007 11:29am
Michael A. Koenecke:
Nobody, other than perhaps Pat Buchanan, is claiming we should deport the millions of illegals already here. Close the border with real enforcement. Make employers verify the status of their employees via real identification procedures. Require people to prove their permanent residency status to do things like get driver's licenses and food stamps. Create a climate in which it is harder to be an illegal alien than it is to be a legal resident. Once this is accomplished and the flood of illegal immigrants slows to a trickle, THEN provide a REALISTIC way for long term residents to attain legal status.

Or someone explain to me exactly why we should think the current legislation will work any better than the "once and for all comprehensive reform" of 1986, where Congress really, truly, pinky-swore to close the border and fix the illegal immigrant problem.
5.25.2007 11:32am
Houston Lawyer:
Reagan's economic policies have resulted in the tripling of GDP, in current dollars, between 1986 and 2006. Prior to the 1986 Immigration Bill, employers did not have to verify that their employees were eligible to work in the US.

One of the things that most bothers those of us who aren't in favor of open borders is the lack of enforcement of current law. I have seen news reports in Houston of entire subdivisions under contruction being vacant of workers because of the rumor of an INS enforcement raid. I can't remember the last time I saw a framing or roofing crew that wasn't entirely manned by lean young men from origins south of the border.

I have no desire to attempt to send all of these hard working people back to where they came from. I am even in favor of granting them legal residency if they come out of the shadows and sign up for it. However, people who have broken our immigration laws shouldn't be rewarded with citizenship.

Many people who oppose illegal immigration would be OK with what I outlined above if we believed that our government would actually enforce the laws on immigration. No enforcement, no amnesty.
5.25.2007 11:34am
AppSocRes (mail):
What Reagan wanted and most current US citizens want is the assurance that every temporary or permanent immigrant to this country has been screened to ensure that s/he is healthy, law-abiding, and intends to contribute in a positive way to this country once within its borders. Beyond that most US citizens want non-citizen immigrants tracked so that those who do violate the conditions that they accepted upon entry can be removed from the country. In addition most citizens believe that applicants for citizenship or permanent residency should be screened so that only those who will wholeheartedly adopt the language and political culture of this country and enculturate their children with this language and these values may become citizens or permanent residents. Finally most citizens want to ensure that these principles are applied retroactively to all immigrants currently in the United States. If these principles were in place, I suspect that most citizens would embrace the policy of open borders.

Unfortunately, current and proposed legislation is in accord with none of these principles and is doomed to defeat unless undemocratically imposed. The citizens of this country recognize, even if its politicos and elites don't, that republics which cannot control their own borders are doomed. They intuit the lesson of the Roman Empire which fell only when it could no longer restrain the barbarians on its border.
5.25.2007 11:37am
...Max... (mail):
You'd think that measures intended to restrict illegal immigration should be paired, in the first place, with simplification of the legal immigration procedure and a drastic increase in quotas... say, by the estimated amount of illegals we strive to exclude. That seems to be a higher priority than amnesty of any kind and yet I don't often see it mentioned. The approach is "first we stop illegals and then maybe see about increasing the quotas". This (a) goes against the interest of pro-immigration blocks and (b) flies in the face of "anti-illegal, not anti-immigrant" image.
5.25.2007 11:44am
sbron:
"Reagan did not demonize illegal immigrants as all too many conservatives do today."

Most of the demonization seems to be coming from the
alliance of illegal immigrants and far-left organizations
such as ANSWER. Just do a search on youtube for "Maywood
Post Office" to see the Mexican flag being raised over
a US government building, and an angry, primarily Latino
crowd chanting "guero, guero, guero" repeatedly.

Anti-illegal immigration protestors are careful not to
engage in racial rhetoric -- it is the pro-illegals
who are demanding that whites go back to Europe, and
the return of the Southwest to Mexico. Again, just do
a quick web search for photos from the immigration rallies
to prove this.

You cannot understand the adverse impact of uncontrolled
immigration unless you have dealt personally with the
public education and health systems in a place like
Los Angeles. How many pro-amnesty folks have children
in private schools?
5.25.2007 11:48am
JB:
Republicanism, as it now stands, is a movement devoid of intellectualism. A combination of the success at emotional appeals of the last decade and a half, the strength of conservative Christians, the liberal academic bias, and the Bush Administration's alienating of smart, principled Conservatives has left the people who would appreciate Reagan's actual legacy on the sidelines.

Most Republicans who reach for Reagan's mandate are trying to claim the legacy of the last popular president not to have multiple sex scandals, not to demonstrate any actual affinity with his positions or actions.
5.25.2007 11:51am
sbron:
We also keep hearing about "grand compromises."
Would the left (including elements of both Democratic and
Republican parties) agree to the following compromise?

1. Amnesty for illegal immigrants similar to 1986.
2. Absolutely abolish bilingual education.
3. Abolish all ethnic and racial preferences (by strict
enforcement of Titles VI, VII of the Civil rights act.)
4. Establish government educational standards mandating
that public schools encourage assimilation. Do this by
eliminating ethnic studies courses and replacing with
courses on civics and patriotism.

If we can't agree on 2-4, then I believe no compromise
is possible.
5.25.2007 11:55am
DustyR (mail) (www):
Ilya: "Actually, under the 1996 welfare reform act, even legal immigrants are denied most welfare and entitlement benefits. Illegals have never been eligible for them." (5.25.2007 4:41am)

Actually, IIRC from the many notices received and paperwork signed for since 2003, legal immigrants are barred from all welfare and entitlement benefits until such time as they have 40 weeks full-time employment under their belt. That's from a Fiance visa, but it could be different for other immigrant classifications. There was also a provision that I swear to be financially responsible for a period of, I think, two years.
5.25.2007 12:03pm
ed o:
interesting to hear a law professor with all sorts of prestigious degrees spout off about not being eligible for welfare while ignoring the other social costs of illegal immigration-I suspect the professor isn't ignorant of these costs. why wouldn't he mention them?
5.25.2007 12:13pm
ed o:
in the real world away from campus, you have the illegal dad working under the table while illegal mom has a half dozen babies at public expense who do receive benefits. perhaps you could do some calculations on that cost to society
5.25.2007 12:15pm
Steve:
Approximately 27% of the inmates in our jails are illegal aliens.

Amazing to see someone cite such an obviously ludicrous statistic and not a soul speak up in disagreement.
5.25.2007 12:19pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
the strength of conservative Christians, the liberal academic bias, and the Bush Administration's alienating of smart, principled Conservatives has left the people who would appreciate Reagan's actual legacy on the sidelines.

I just can't believe the irony of this statement. Reagan is the one responsible for the current state of the party.
5.25.2007 12:31pm
ed o:
well, someone who is brilliant should be able to give an accurate figure rather than a sneer. what percentage of our prison population is illegal, oh sage? please break it down state by state as well as on a federal level. as all illegals are hardworking and doing the jobs americans won't do, the number should be "zero"
5.25.2007 12:32pm
Mark Field (mail):

You cannot understand the adverse impact of uncontrolled
immigration unless you have dealt personally with the
public education and health systems in a place like
Los Angeles. How many pro-amnesty folks have children
in private schools?


I do live in Los Angeles, my children did attend public schools (in fact, my older daughter now teaches at one), and I think I have just as good an understanding of the impact of undocumented immigrants as you do. I don't believe your views represent a majority in LA; not even close.

One thing which always strikes me about those wanting to seal off our borders is that they show no sense of long term benefits. The argument always takes place in the short term: immigrants don't contribute enough to our public services. While the evidence of this is mixed, the argument completely ignores the long term impact of immigration. The children of those immigrants become productive citizens. Their children become business and political leaders. That's been the story of immigration to this country since 1607.
5.25.2007 12:37pm
JB:
JF: Irony, yes, but true.

Ed O: How many of these illegals are imprisoned under unjust drug laws? I'd like to hear that too.
5.25.2007 12:37pm
frankcross (mail):
ed o, you seem to want to shift the burden of proof. If you do a little research, you will see that while illegals do impose government costs for healthcare, they more than pay for themselves with taxes. Marginalrevolution had some recent links.

And the Wall Street Journal recently reported data that showed that cities with more immigrants had much lower crime rates. I think the 27% figure may be accurate (but most of these people are jailed for being illegal immigrants not for any other crime).

I'm all for more legals -- but I don't see the anti-immigration people proposing a massive expansion in legal immigration. If they did, I'd be with them
5.25.2007 12:39pm
ed o:
if they're unjust, they are still our laws being broken by the uninvited guests who are not here to work but instead to be criminals. why should we want illegal alien drug dealers any more than citizen ones. by the way, a quick google showed that number might be conservative-I saw figures ranging up to a 1/3 of our federal prison population were from other countries with no tabs kept as to which were actually illegal. by the way, the interesting anecdotal evidence of progress is not matched by the statistics actually kept about the upward progress of the illegals-it's probably comforting but it's a fantasy just the same.
5.25.2007 12:43pm
JosephSlater (mail):
JB writes:

Most Republicans who reach for Reagan's mandate are trying to claim the legacy of the last popular president not to have multiple sex scandals, not to demonstrate any actual affinity with his positions or actions.

This is at least partly true, but I can't help commenting on the "not to have multiple sex scandals" caveat. Because, of course, Clinton was and is tremendously popular. More generally, there has been a consistent move among Republicans to quasi-deify Reagan (including, but not limited to naming everything they can in DC after him) because he was the only popular Republican President since, well, Eisenhower maybe, and if you don't count him. . . ?
5.25.2007 12:51pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
Most Republicans who reach for Reagan's mandate are trying to claim the legacy of the last popular president not to have multiple sex scandals

No sex scandals, just illegal gun and drug-running to Iran and Central America, supporting nun-raping death squads and funding and training Islamic terrorists (after all who do you think taught them how to bring down a helicopter with an RPG) in the name of fighting commies which eventually would lead to the emergence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Not to mention cutting and running from Beirut and unnecessarily invading Grenada to distract attention from the debacle of the Marine Barracks bombing.
5.25.2007 12:53pm
Montie (mail):

I do not see all of these amnesty proponents willing to allow a flood of Indian doctors, engineers, or scientists in, only unskilled, uneducated immigrants are welcome eh?


Exactly. What is even more bizzare is that you do not see many people on the Left making a big deal out of this? You would think that the Left's concerns about income inequality would be more central to the discussion. However, I have seen only a few people on the Left even mention it. Eric Alterman is one:

Why are lefties who complain about enforcement of the law so eager to ally themselves with exactly the same position embraced by the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal? And why do you think lawyers and doctors, for instance, are so good at getting laws written to prevent immigrants from employing their qualifications achieved abroad to compete with them here, while unskilled American workers must see their wages depressed by an overcrowded labor market? Once again, it's the wealthy who benefit from the exploitation in the current system and the poor who pay for it.
5.25.2007 1:04pm
Hans Gruber:
To liberatrians in favor of "open borders":

In dogmatically following your open borders, free labor agenda you're killing off any chance of expanding libertarian values. You're not just allowing workers to "move freely," you're importing future citizens. Voters. Voters who also happen to be tax liabilities. Brilliant idea!

As for Reagan, I don't particularly care what he thought about immigration, but let's be honest--he was talking about immigration. Today the situation, with such a large percentage of immigrants coming from one source, Mexico, the situation seems closer to colonization than assimilative immigration. The percentage of foreign born is now right around historical highs, and at least in the past we didn't have multiculturalism and bilingualism to contend with.

But we don't have to quess where this all will take us. Just take a look at California, a state that is hemorrhaging natives and is a good 20-30 years ahead of the nation as a whole. Is California an example of Reagan's "shining city on a hill"? It was. Once. Before all that wonderful immigration. That immigration that people just can't wait to move away from.
5.25.2007 1:15pm
Gregrrrr (mail):
Being against illegal immigration is not the same thing as being anti-immigration. Legal immigration needs to be easier. Illegal immigration needs to be very difficult. Why reward it?

There are millions of industrious and educated people in other countries (e.g., China and India) who would love to come here, contribute, assimilate, and join the American way of life. Even ignoring the normal anti-illegal immigration arguments (security threat, some percentage being criminals, emergency care and other costs, etc.), I'd prefer a policy that's fair and gives a shot (and a preference) to immigrants of any nationality, not just Mexicans who seem to benefit from being on our border. We should be able to have some say about who comes to our country, and I'd prefer to make things fair and equitable for immigrants of any nationality who truly want to become Americans and who aren't here just because of better wages.
5.25.2007 1:17pm
TJIT (mail):
I don't think this bill does what people are being told it does. The links below help show this pretty clearly.

There is another link at the first site below that will take you N.Z. Bear's online version of the draft immigration bill. That should be a good resource for the legal eagles on the thread.

Link to online version of the bill and Hugh Hewitt's legal analysis of it

First part of the analysis that is worth reading.

Reading The Fine Print, Part 1: Does The First Exception Swallow The Triggers Whole?
5.25.2007 1:28pm
Hans Gruber:
"And the Wall Street Journal recently reported data that showed that cities with more immigrants had much lower crime rates. I think the 27% figure may be accurate (but most of these people are jailed for being illegal immigrants not for any other crime)."

There is some evidence that suggests immigrants have a lower crime rate than natives of the same ethnicity. Lack of reporting could explain some of it (e.g. immigrants from countries where law enforcement cannot be trusted or illegals worried about being sent home). But let me concede that immigrants commit less crime than their children. Now, please explain to me why that's encouraging for the future of America, that each generation becomes successfully more crime prone? This is the same sort of obfuscation which is pulled with entitlements. The open borders cheerleaders prattle on about the lack of liability without factoring in the American citizen children the illegals have, which are fully entitled to the panoply of benefits any other American citizen can receive.
5.25.2007 1:28pm
TJIT (mail):
The US immigration system gives us the worst of both worlds. It harasses the daylights out of those who are trying to enter the country legally, and do high value work.

It tends to wink at those who illegally enter the US to do low value work.

If the comment made by Mark Steyn is accurate it neatly illustrates this problem.
Larry makes a good point about high-skilled workers being tied to individual employers. As I understand this new bill, a low-skilled illegal immigrant will have more employment mobility than a high-skilled legal immigrant - and his Z-1 visa will last a year longer the E2 Investor visa for foreigners who come here, start a US business and employ American citizens.

Hmm.
5.25.2007 1:31pm
neurodoc:
One thing is certain in this hungry world: no regulation or law should be allowed if it results in crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters

I too saw that in the in the Zarakia piece. Yeah right, our immigration policies should first and foremost ensure that no crops will rot in the fields for lack of harvesters. Personally, I feel strongly that this country would be much better off allowing in more of the highly educated and far fewer equipped only to do low-level manual labor, even if that does mean some crops rotting in the fields for lack of harvesters.

For me, Reagan's vacuities about immigration only bolster George Will's arguments on the subject.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
dyn/content/article/2007/05/23/AR2007052301417.html (for the link, drop the spaces)

rel="nofollow" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/23/AR2007052301417.html">
5.25.2007 1:34pm
neurodoc:
Help. Can someone please explain to me why I am not able to create links here, though I am using the "link" function and think I am following all the directions.
5.25.2007 1:37pm
TJIT (mail):
I have friends who have been trying to legally migrate into the US for 13 years so far.

I guess his mistake was

1. Being a highly educated professional
2. Following the rules

As someone who was a strong supporter of the 1986 amnesty program I can't help but notice every time the congress attempts to fix the "immigration problem" they always make it worse.

The 1986 amnesty agreement was supposed to fix the problem. As citizens we got three things out of the 1986 agreement.

1. A requirement to show ID to get a job.
2. A massive underground economy that forged documents required to get a job
3. Steadily increasing population of illegal aliens.

This bill will give us a requirement to

1. Have a national ID card
2. Show it in order to get work
3. I suspect it won't take long for the forgery proof national id card to get forged.

I suspect actually enforcing the regulations of the 1986 amnesty bill and slightly improving border security would eventually solve the problem through attrition via aging of the current population of illegal immigrants.
5.25.2007 1:40pm
NattyB:
Can somebody please elucidate the harm to our national interest in allowing a pathway to citizenship for the 11M+ Illegal's living in the United States?

I understand in the nominal sense, they are "illegal," but that is why Congress is addressing the matter (hence with a bill and a stroke of the pen, they're no longer illegal - which aught not effect the morality of the issue). As a moral sense, nobody is "illegal" and living in the United States without papers is no more morally wrong then allowing the free flow of goods without allowing the free flow of labor.

And the argument that, "they're cutting in line," is not true, because there is no line for non-skilled workers, only relatives, and if they're lucky.

I don't mean to be a smart-ass, I just want to know, what the harm would be to our economy and/or national interest, if we allowed a pathway to citizenship, conditioned on paying a fee, and learning english inter alia.

The only possible draw back I can think of, is that it would create incentives for even more illegals to come here in the short term and gain access to the pathway, but that could be off-set by sensible legislation (such as, only those who are here on date X and register for program Y by date Z are eligible for the favorable pathway to citizenship, all arriving afterwards have to go through a more cumbersome process).

It seems the debate is almost subsumed by heavy rhetoric on both extremes, and to the best that I can tell, in my life I have never been encumbered by illegal immigrants collectively or by an illegal immigrant individual. Most of the harm from individuals in my life, have come from friends, ex-girlfriends, professors, or really from myself; who were all US citizens.
5.25.2007 1:41pm
ed o:
please explain the economics of the tax paying illegal-he or she works at a low wage/low skill job with a minimal amount of taxes collected (assuming he or she is being paid above the table). in exchange, family members get free schooling and medical treatment. somehow, you argue that the tiny amount of taxes paid offsets the costs. you might want to tote up the costs for one hospitalization for a pregnancy and compare it to paying 1000 in taxes.
5.25.2007 1:49pm
Hans Gruber:
"It seems the debate is almost subsumed by heavy rhetoric on both extremes, and to the best that I can tell, in my life I have never been encumbered by illegal immigrants collectively or by an illegal immigrant individual. Most of the harm from individuals in my life, have come from friends, ex-girlfriends, professors, or really from myself; who were all US citizens."

LAWL
5.25.2007 1:49pm
Cornellian (mail):
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," are citizens. It was not intended to make citizens out of children of visitors or illegal aliens.

Hard to see how a child born in the US is not "subject to the jurisdiction thereof." To which laws are they immune? Do the local courts have no personal jurisdiction over the child? The text refers to the person born in the US being subject to the jurisdiction thereof, it doesn't say anything about whether the child's parents are subject to the jurisdiction thereof. I doubt the constitutionality of a law purporting to revoke the citizenship of a person born in the US on the grounds that the child's parents were here illegally. Of course, the fact that a person here illegally has a child who is a US citizen doesn't automatically entitle the person to remain here as a constitutional matter. That's an entirely separate issue.
5.25.2007 1:55pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

<blockquote>
Can somebody please elucidate the harm to our national interest in allowing a pathway to citizenship for the 11M+ Illegal's living in the United States?
</blockquote>

Sure.

1. Because it's not 11+ million. It's more like 30+ million.

The fact is that approx 1+ million illegals, according to the Border Patrol, sneak into the USA each year, not including those that come in using a valid tourist, business or student visa and then simply overstaying. This has been going on since at least the early 1990's. So, logically at least, it's frankly ridiculous to even consider the "11+ million" number.

2. The current amnesty will allow the chain immigration of spouses.

My assumption is that there are 30+ million illegal aliens in the US today of which 10 million or so are discrete family groups while the remainder of 20 million are single or married men with family living back home. Under this amnesty these Z-1 visa holders would be eligible to chain immigrate their spouses adding *another* 20+ million to the total resulting in 50+ million.

3. The current amnesty will allow the chain immigration of minor children either born or adopted.

Assume 20+ million Z-1/Z-2 couples with an average of 3 minor children, either born from the couple or adopted. That's not unreasonable is it? That would result in the inclusion through chain immigration of 60+ million minor children under the Z-3 visa program. All of whom would require public schooling and the additional expense of having to teach English to largely non-English speaking students, which will up the costs.

Currently there are approximately 50+ million students in the public school system across the country. At an average cost of $10,000 per student per year, this amounts to about $500 billion a year, every year. Adding 60+ million new students wouldn't just cost an additional $600 billion because the necessity of building new schools to house these students and the additional cost in teaching them English or having bilingual teachers or interpreters. So you could reasonably add a couple hundred billion more so we'll call it $800 billion added to the current $500 billion for an education cost of $1,300 billion per year, every year for the next couple decades.

4. There are zero ( 0 ) population limits on who can be included by this amnesty.

There is a date cutoff, which can be extraordinarily malleable, but no specific number. Which also means that there are no ceilings on how many people can become legal residents under this amnesty. If it's 50+ million, then it's 50+ million. If it's 150+ million, then it's 150+ million.

Should I continue?
5.25.2007 2:00pm
Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk (www):
Without offering an opinion pro or con on the proposed immigration reforms, I offer a few observations:

1. Professor Cross: You might well think illegal immigration is great for Austin, and for you it might be so. But what are the odds that a relatively privileged professor of law actually will bear the bulk of costs or burdens that opponents of the proposed immigration reform claim will result? Please note, professor, I do not intend this comment to be snide or insulting. I practice law here in Austin. So I might be lumped in the same general category. What I am really asking (and I am asking) is whether folks like you or me are likely to bear the brunt of problems allegedly associated with illegal immigration. For example, these illegal immigrants don't reside in the neighborhoods of the privileged; the children of illegal immigrants do not attend the schools reserved for the elite (whether public or private). On a far more marginal point, I have real doubts about the utility of Ireland as a model or comparator for U.S. immigration policy.

2. It probably is mistaken to think that this issue is completely divorced from issues of race/ethnicity. When it comes to illegal immigration, the real issue seems to be Mexican illegals. Since 9/11, folks also talk about border security in terms of national security; but, the general impression that I have is that those who oppose the proposed immigration reform usually are none too fond of the latest arrivals from Mexico in general. (Maybe this sentiment is not shared outside Texas?) But it also is uncharitable to just assume those opposed to immigration reform are racists. A lot of the animus directed against Mexican immigrants, illegal or otherwise, strikes me as being cultural in nature. There is a world of difference, for example, between Brownsville, Texas, and Austin, Texas, and it is not necessarily racist to prefer Austin. Worries about cultural friction and assimilation into the mainstream of American culture should not be out of bounds. Folks who are pro-immigration and support the proposed reforms would be better served by addressing these concerns on the merits rather than accusing opponents of just hating Mexicans.

3. Someone questioned a crime statistic offered above. I have not done a lot of research in this area, but I suspect the figure is not too outlandish, depending on what prison system you are looking at and what you think the statistic shows. For example, a 2005 GAO study did show that about 27% of the federal prison population is made up of "criminal aliens" and the report appears to at least suggest that the bulk of these are Mexican in origin. The term criminal alien includes non-citizens here legally as well as those here illegally. So it's not clear from the report what percentage are illegal immigrants. From a quick skim of the report, comparable statistics seem to be lacking for the states (at least in this report). No doubt it varies considerably depending on which state one is looking at. (If anyone thinks I am misreading the report, please do not hesitate to correct me.) Of course, what these statistics prove or do not prove is another matter. For example, how much of this 27% is made up of those convicted of an immigration offense, e.g., illegal reentry? And what percentage of those have prior U.S. criminal records? It seems to me we would need to know more about this 27% figure before drawing too many conclusions.
5.25.2007 2:02pm
MlR (mail):
Reagan wrote that he regretted signing the 1986 Amnesty bill.

Why wouldn't he? It didn't do what it claimed it would do.

Frankly, I think it is pathetic that you again slur the borders between legal and illegal immigration. After no doubt seeing the difference pointed out, it must be intention. Do you even recognize border? Or do they not even fit into your dogmatic libertarian ideology?

What do you think, hypothetically, if we stuck the entire population of Latin America into the United States tomorrow? Think it might hurt the country?

What do you know, borders might actually matter then.
5.25.2007 2:04pm
glangston (mail):
I believe my paper reported today that the average per pupil expenditure for public schooling was $8700 per year. Shouldn't employers of low wage illegal workers be paying this when their workers are sending their kids to public school here in the US?
5.25.2007 2:07pm
Greg D (mail):
I'm in favor of immigration.

I'm not, however, in favor of rewarding criminals while punishing the law abiding.

How many legal "immigrants" get kicked out of America each year (because their visa expired)? How many of them would have liked to stay, but weren't allowed to? How many of them just quietly left, like the good, law abiding people that they are?

Why are we saying to them "screw you, get out of here"? Especially, why are we saying that, while telling the illegal "immigrants" "hey, welcome!"?

Who adds more to America's economy: one legal immigrant, or one illegal one? I would bet just about anything it's the legal ones.

So why are we showing preference to the illegal ones?

What in the world is "Reaganesque", forward looking, optimistic, or even remotely intelligent about doing that?
5.25.2007 2:08pm
MlR (mail):
In the early 20th century, we did not even have an federal income tax, let alone a generous welfare system. What is more, heavy LEGAL immigration was followed by a 40 year closed gate to allow for integration.

The forces driving current illegal immigration, economic and political, have no cap. Businesses will still want illegal immigration (not legal immigration, and not protected guest workers) 10 years from now as well. The demands are limitless.

So too are the amount of people that would come here if they wanted to. This may grate on your emotional and ideological sensibilities, but it is also clearly unsupportable.
5.25.2007 2:09pm
MlR (mail):
wanted to

*are allowed to
5.25.2007 2:11pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

*Hard to see how a child born in the US is not "subject to the jurisdiction thereof."*

Because not everyone born in the USA is subject to the "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" such as foreign nationals within the US covered under diplomatic visas. Since the individuals covered by the diplomatic visa isn't actually "subject to the jurisdiction thereof" their children if born in the US aren't US citizens.

Another argument, an as IANAL I make no representation as to the validity of it, is that children of illegal aliens should be treated akin to the children of Native Americans.

Frankly this mess might precipitate a Constitutional Amendment to redefine birthright citizenship.
5.25.2007 2:14pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“And the Wall Street Journal recently reported data that showed that cities with more immigrants had much lower crime rates.”

You cannot conclude from that study, that immigrants have a low crime rate. What happened in those cities is that high crime Hispanic immigrants have replaced even higher crime rate blacks. The study’s authors forgot to point that out.
5.25.2007 2:28pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
It would be helpful if people like Ed would not make up wild stats. There are only 100-105 million people in Mexico. Yet 30 million immigrated since 1986? That is 1.5 million per year. I am sorry but it just is not credible.
5.25.2007 2:32pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

"It would be helpful if people like Ed would not make up wild stats. There are only 100-105 million people in Mexico. Yet 30 million immigrated since 1986? That is 1.5 million per year. I am sorry but it just is not credible."

Did I say "Mexico"? Did I infer at any time that the entire population of illegal aliens were Mexicans? Did I state categorically that any and all illegal aliens covered under the Z-1 visa would be Mexicans? Did I hop onto a soapbox and scream out "Mexico!!"? Did I state at any time that the Z visas were restricted to Mexicans? Was the noun "Mexico" used anywhere in my writing? Was the adjective "Mexican" used by me?

If not, and it is not, then you bloody well owe me an apology.
5.25.2007 2:34pm
IllegalImmigrationIntro (mail) (www):
Odd, about the only time I hear about "demonize illegal immigrants" is when I read false reports at ThinkProgress and other sites. Don't want to "scapegoat" anyone, do we?

And, any free movement would be disastrous, as the actions of the MexicanGovernment show as regards gaining PoliticalPower inside the U.S. via MexicanPartisans such as FabianNunez, maintaining constant contact with those behind the SenateAmnesty (Mexico said that a few days ago), having links to FarLeft organizations, having links to those who helped organize the IllegalImmigrationMarches, and on and on.

However, Reagan's dream might become a reality, considering the very powerful forces pushing for "NorthAmericanIntegration"/"NorthAmericanUnion", i.e., joining the U.S., Canada, and Mexico into one country: tinyurl.com/22o3w3
5.25.2007 2:47pm
Mark Field (mail):

But we don't have to quess where this all will take us. Just take a look at California, a state that is hemorrhaging natives and is a good 20-30 years ahead of the nation as a whole. Is California an example of Reagan's "shining city on a hill"? It was. Once. Before all that wonderful immigration. That immigration that people just can't wait to move away from.


Since the population of CA continues to increase, I can only assume that the word "people" in your last sentence means "the only people who really count, i.e., white people".


There are millions of industrious and educated people in other countries (e.g., China and India) who would love to come here, contribute, assimilate, and join the American way of life. Even ignoring the normal anti-illegal immigration arguments (security threat, some percentage being criminals, emergency care and other costs, etc.), I'd prefer a policy that's fair and gives a shot (and a preference) to immigrants of any nationality


I agree with this.
5.25.2007 3:02pm
NattyB:
Dear Ed,

I appreciate your effort to quantify just one aspect of the harm to our economy/national interest wrought by illegal immigrants.

Your post did raise a couple questions in my mind.

I just googled it, but according to the Pew Hispanic Center, there are now 12M illegal immigrants. The number 30M comes from the book Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America's Borders. Personally, I would trust the 12M number, since Pew, to the best of my knowledge, is non-partisan, and the Minute Men are advocates, so their number is more susceptible to bias.

But to address the substance of your post, even if there were 30M illegals, you express concern that they'll "chain" and then bring even more people. But isn't that something that could be addressed in legislation. Congress would have to do some fact finding (if they haven't already), and if there is indeed the concern that the illegals are gonna bring in their spouse, kids, dog, and in time the whole village, couldn't we condition legislation that does not allow those situations. Actually, isn't that one of the triumphs of this new immigration bill, that we're placing an emphasis on skills and down playing familial linkage? (mind you the biz community is pissed about that, b/c the gov't isn't in the one's who should determine what skills we need, it's the biz sector)

Addressing the economic aspect of your post:


Adding 60+ million new students wouldn't just cost an additional $600 billion because the necessity of building new schools to house these students and the additional cost in teaching them English or having bilingual teachers or interpreters. So you could reasonably add a couple hundred billion more so we'll call it $800 billion added to the current $500 billion for an education cost of $1,300 billion per year, every year for the next couple decades.



firstly, who do you think's gonna build those buildings?

I must say, the prospect of adding $1.3 trillion to our educational costs does seem a tad high, but I wonder, isn't there a trade off that is not being considered?

1. The economic benefits of having "these" people brought into the fold. Firstly if those without papers, could get papers, wouldn't we see a rise in tax returns. Secondly, aren't the illegal immigrants contributing to our economy right now? I know there are a lot of stereotypes about illegals, but lazy, is not one that I've heard. I doubt it's as high $1.3 trillion, but there is some sort of return.

2. Don't we want to educate the illegal immigrants? Don't call me johnny blue skies dreamer, but I mean, wouldn't we rather have illegals in schools, learning about America, English, our history and values. When I finished 8th grade, (and no, that wasn't the last grade i finished), was when I loved this country and our rich history the most. Hence, the oft heard complaint among those who have become disenchanted with American FP over the last few years, "I want to love this country like I did when I was a child." Well I submit, let's have them in school and pledge the flag.

2 points on why I'm so optomistic about illegal immigrants and providing a pathway to citizenship.

1. The dynamic of our economy. Our economy is the shit, straight up. Certain sectors lag (I'm originally from Detroit), like manufacturing it seems, but that's the beauty of the market. When Detroit's economy went south, I moved to an area which placed a premium on the skills I possess. We need non-skilled labor which the Illegals comprise a large segment. What's the right number? I don't know, but we certainly need a lot of them. Which leads me to my second point

2. We cannot deport all 12M of them. It's just not feasible, ask the business sector, they're in favor of them (albeit, they do some exploiting). If we deported all of them overnight, I wouldn't be able to eat at my favorite eatting spots, get my sheets changed at the hotel, and the cleaning service at my office we cease to exist. If all the jobs performed by illegals were performed by US citizens or existing permanent residents, the price of everything would sky rocket. While the $1.3 trillion per year education cost you proposed does seem a bit high, I submit to you, that there's a comparable diminution borne by us as consumers and savers (my money in the bank is worth more when inflation is low), by illegal immigrants acting as a bulwark against inflation (inflations still low and oil has doubled or nearly tripled in the past 6 years, the illegals must have a part in that).

In closing, the reason I think a lot of people call those in the anti-immigrant camp as racists is because those casting aspersions believe that the anti-immigration camp takes issue more with the cultural aspects then the econmic aspect. In particular, the sight of seeing an influx of western union's and taqueria's in one's neighborhood. I'm agnostic on that issue.

NattyB
5.25.2007 3:03pm
Buckland (mail):
There have been several statements here and elsewhere linking the current number of illegals to the 1986 reform bill. My guess is that the causation is pretty weak there. I would guess that the increases in immigration have 2 much stronger influences – relative economic strength and easier transportation.

In the last 20 years the US has had an economy that has grown very well. In contrast the Mexican economy has made occasional progress with occasional fits of recession coupled with devaluation of the peso. The rich getting richer is bound to attract citizens of areas where the local politicos just can’t get their economic house in order. And Mexico is a positive poster child of economic reform compared to the countries to it’s immediate South.

I talked to a business associate in Changchun, China, not far from the North Korean border a few weeks ago. He was talking about how much cheap labor comes available in that area because of the collapse of the NK economy. The relative riches in China are enough to bring border crossers despite it being one of the most guarded borders in the world. I’m not sure we could stop the traffic completely even if it were a top national priority.

Transportation advances in Mexico are another area that has aided illegals. Anybody who traveled in Northern Mexico in the 1970’s remembers the small roads, no intercity bus service, no businesses, and general lack of infrastructure that was present then. That has changed considerably. Some areas have highway systems that are pretty good now. Also bus and train service is readily available to most cities of Northern Mexico. These improvements are a result of NAFTA and the need to ship goods quickly. It also makes it easy for border crossers to get into position for the crossing with much less hassle.

So there was a change in immigration law in 1986 and there has been an increase in illegal immigration since then. However I’m not sure a credible causation link is there.
5.25.2007 3:11pm
rarango (mail):
NattyB makes an excellent point that opponents of illegal immigration have to address, imo: "The dynamic of our economy. Our economy is the shit, straight up." If there is any correlation at all, it appears that illegal immigration is positively correlated with overall economic growth. Stripping out the bogus arguments about the "clinton economy" and the "bush economy," the growth in our economy is almost asymptotic--yes there are minor downturns from time to time, but the overall trend line is up--way up.

I suspect were there a way to figure in the underground economy--and I stipulate that such an economy exists--that economy is really a net plus--yes, taxes arent generated by it directly--but overall it does intangible things like create job skills which eventually will be subsumed into the economy.

if I am correct in my thinking, and I may not be, the NET component of increase in economic growth from illegal immigration will be recouped later in the economic cycle.

Clearly there are other reasons, to oppose illegal immigration--but economic growth doesnt seem to be one of them to me.
5.25.2007 3:15pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
You cannot conclude from that study, that immigrants have a low crime rate. What happened in those cities is that high crime Hispanic immigrants have replaced even higher crime rate blacks. The study’s authors forgot to point that out.


It’s more insidious than that. Law enforcement does not routinely check the immigration status of offenders and many so-called “sanctuary cities” have laws forbidding the police from checking and reporting illegal aliens to immigration authorities. In which case it is unlikely that the “researchers” had any accurate data on the crime rate of immigration to begin with.

Oh and FYI, the FBI which tabulates national crime statistics for the Uniform Crime Reporting doesn’t have a “Hispanic” category. They’re counted as either White, Black, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Asian or Pacific Islander for arrests and White, Black, Unknown, or Other in the case of homicides. In which case any “study” that purports to compare those crime rates is going to be relying on how the offenders are classified locally which invites even further disparities.
5.25.2007 3:19pm
sbron:
"Since the population of CA continues to increase, I can only assume that the word "people" in your last sentence means "the only people who really count, i.e., white people".

This is the heart of the matter — a big driver of our current open borders policy is the belief that a nation with a white minority will magically become a more just society, in the context of the "social justice" taught in schools of education. Indeed, whites are not longer a majority in California, which personally by itself would be
neither good nor bad, if the majority of
immigrants were actually assimilating and succeeding educationally.

The problem with the Sontag/Wise/Ignatiev view that "abolishing the white race" leads to social justice, is that ethnic/racial conflict is universal around the world. Such conflicts are bloody and awful in societies without whites from Rwanda to Sri Lanka. Malaysia, Fiji, Indonesia, Bolivia, etc. all have ridiculous conflicts between groups that we would view as "people of color" and who should not be fighting against each other.

The real argument is about culture. Not all cultures are equal, and in fact "white anglo saxon" culture is not superior in every way to others. For example, the high school graduation rates in California are about 50% for
Latinos, 75% for whites and over 90% for Asians. Thus one can argue that educational values are superior among those of Asian ancestry in California compared with whites.
But too many immigrants, both legal and illegal, bring values that are damaging to our economy and social systems. An extreme case is the survey of American Muslims which revealed a 25% approval rating for suicide bombings in the
18-29 year old cohort. But Latino attitudes to education,
and in particular racial/ethnic chauvinism of the La Raza
variety are equally damaging to the U.S.

For a view on problems in Latino educational achievement, that you will not be taught in schools of education,
see

Herman Badillo, "One Nation, One Standard"

and

Ernest Caravantes, "Clipping their own wings, the
incompatibility between Latino culture and American education"
5.25.2007 3:21pm
ed o:
quite frankly, no, I don't want to pay for the education or health care of illegals. I don't want to pay for the problems of the screwed up countries they came from-selfishly, I would rather my tax dollars went to americans and secondly, they didn't ask. so, their lack of education and problems living in the "shadows" are their problem for coming here illegally. as to deportation, you say we can't do it-can't we try.
5.25.2007 3:23pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
"crime rate of immigration" should be "crime rate of immigrants"
5.25.2007 3:23pm
David Drake:
Jim FSU 1L said:
"Thanks to a policy that largely ignores the financial viability of immigrants in favor of reuiniting families and protecting political persecutees, most immigrants lack financial resources or valuable skills and are a drain on the economy."

This may be (and I have heard plenty of anecdotal evidence that it is) true for the LEGAL immigrants coming in under refugee and family-reunification provisions, but not, in my experience, with the illegal immigrants, who are here because there are jobs to do that others do not want to do (agriculture) or lack the skills to do (building trades). The problem in my view lies with our current immigration policy that does not address the serious shortage of workers in certain industries, which shortage creates a vacuum drawing workers into the U.S. even if they cannot get visas to work here legally.

I agree with the argument that illegal immigrants are jumping the line ahead of all those who have applied for legal admission and are still waiting. That to me is the main injustice of illegal immigration, not the hard-working people without "papers" here working hard.

The latest immigration proposal is a first step in the direction of shaping our immigration policy to our economic needs. It's not perfect, but it is far better than what we have today, and a realistic alternative to the two totally unrealistic extremes of "open borders" or of "seal the borders, round 'em all up, and send 'em all home."
5.25.2007 3:34pm
glangston (mail):
Sen. Jacob Howard, (who wrote the Fourteenth's Citizenship Clause) at his introduction of the clause to the US Senate. Note "natural law" meant simply that a child born of a German was a German citizen, no matter that his physical birth happened in some other land.

"[T]his amendment which I have offered is simply declaratory of what I regard as the law of the land already, that every person born within the limits of the United States, and subject to their jurisdiction, is by virtue of natural law and national law a citizen of the United States. This will not, of course, include persons born in the United States who are foreigners, aliens, who belong to the families of ambassadors or foreign ministers accredited to the Government of the United States, but will include every other class of persons."
5.25.2007 3:36pm
ed o:
is california the economic engine driving the nation-you have long time productive citizens leaving the State and being replaced by bottom of the barrel third worlders and somehow read that as dynamic? can't we give deportation a chance? as to assimilation, the groups driving the current amnesty push have names like "The Race"-do you imagine these racial supremacists somehow have the best interests of this country at heart?
5.25.2007 3:37pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“I just googled it, but according to the Pew Hispanic Center, there are now 12M illegal immigrants.” “…since Pew, to the best of my knowledge, is non-partisan…”

The Pew Hispanic Center is anything but non-partisan. While the founders The Pew Charitable Trust were quiet conservative people, current organization is solidly to the left. You can find details here.

Their estimates of the number of illegal aliens in the US come mainly from their senior research associate Jeffrey S. Passel. Passel was formally with the liberal Urban Institute. He estimates the number of illegal aliens (which he calls “unauthorized migrants”) resident in the US from Census Bureau’s Current Population survey by subtracting the legal foreign-born population from an estimate of the total foreign-born population as reported by the CPS. He has to make a correction in the CPS data for people who don’t correctly identify themselves. I have not seen the details of how he makes this crucial correction. Remember everything is an estimate, based on a sample, so errors are magnified when projecting to the whole population. Until I see the details I’m extremely skeptical of that figure of 12 million. It’s likely to be much higher.
5.25.2007 3:51pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Ed: An apology? Sure, why not.

I am sorry that I thought you were talking about mass Mexican immigration. Every one else here is, so I assumed you were. Let me rephrase:


It would be helpful if people like Ed would not make up wild stats. I am sorry but it just is not credible that 1.5 milion people have come each year since 1986. The 30 milion number is only from the fringe group known as the "Minutemen"



Better?
5.25.2007 3:54pm
Steve in CA (mail):
If there are really 30 million illegal immigrants, then 1 of every 10 Americans is an illegal immigrant. Thta's just ridiculous.
5.25.2007 4:12pm
rarango (mail):
Re percent of population who are illegal: We have census data for the denominator, but this assumes illegal immigrants are accounted for in that figure. Not sure if thats a good assumption. Similarly we have no real knowledge of the actual figure for the numerator either. Bottom line: we don't know (1) how many illegals there are anmd (2) what their percentage is of the population of the US.
5.25.2007 4:19pm
Mark Field (mail):

An extreme case is the survey of American Muslims which revealed a 25% approval rating for suicide bombings in the 18-29 year old cohort.


Not to sidetrack this discussion, but "Larger majorities of Iranians than Americans reject terrorist attacks against civilians, though both publics are quite opposed. Asked whether “bombing and other types of attacks intentionally aimed at civilians” can be justified often, sometimes, rarely or never, 80 percent of Iranians select never. Forty-six percent of Americans say such attacks can never be justified and 27 percent say they rarely can." Link.

I guess this does prove that not all cultures are equal.
5.25.2007 4:27pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
If there are really 30 million illegal immigrants, then 1 of every 10 Americans is an illegal immigrant. Thta's just ridiculous.


Yes it is indeed ridiculous since illegal aliens aren’t Americans.
5.25.2007 4:28pm
Hans Gruber:
"We need non-skilled labor which the Illegals comprise a large segment. What's the right number? I don't know, but we certainly need a lot of them."

If we "need" so many of them, why are their wages so low (and going lower)? The sectors most saturated with illegal workers are areas which have seen wages fall in the last 20 years (meat packing, construction, food service, etc). If there were a true economic shortage (i.e. we "needed" more unskilled workers), then we'd see wages RISE (and why is it a bad thing if our working class actually prosper?). Falling wages, on the other hand, are a sign of a surplus of workers. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF UNSKILLED LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES.

By importing millions of Mexican workers, we're effectively holding our economy back by making it reliant on cheap low-skilled labor rather than pushing what our technology and ingeniunity can do for us. If cheap labor was the secret to success, the American South would have prospered in comparison to the high wage Northern economy. And, hey, if Mexicans have a comparative advantage in growing lettuce, then let's trade them for it. It makes more sense to import the lettuce than it does to import Mexico.
5.25.2007 4:34pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ NattyB

1. "I just googled it, but according to the Pew Hispanic Center, there are now 12M illegal immigrants. The number 30M comes from the book Minutemen: ..."

I use the 30+ million number because the Border Patrol itself reports that approximately 1+ million illegal aliens cross our borders each year. This does *not* include those that enter the USA legally on a tourist, student or business visa and then refuse to leave.

I'd suggest that 21+ years of 1+ million border crossing illegal aliens, excluding visa holders who overstay, per year is sufficient cause to assume that the number in question is rather more than "12 million".

2. "But to address the substance of your post, even if there were 30M illegals, you express concern that they'll "chain" and then bring even more people."

I include it because *it is in the current amnesty bill*.

Z-1 visas can be awarded to any illegal with documentation, what a joke, showing residence prior to Jan 1, 2007.

Z-2 visa can be awarded to any *spouse* of a Z-1 visa holder.

Z-3 visas can be awarded to any *minor children* of a Z-1 or Z-2 visa holder. And that can include adopted children so it's perfectly permissible for John Doe Z-1 visa holder to bring his 3 kids, adopt his brother's 2 kids, his sister's 3 kids and the assorted 6 children his cousins want him to bring into the USA. Why? Free education, benefits and citizenship. Plus the law will probably be changed to make it easier for relatives to chain immigrate.

Capice?

I'm not discussing what *might* be in the current amnesty bill. I'm discussing what **is** in the current amnesty bill. There is no theoretical involved here.

Similarly Hugo Chavez could use Venezuala's oil money to fund the migration of 10+ million Chavistas from Venezuala to say Oklahoma and to settle there. Given time the 10+ million Chavistas would become citizens, eligible to vote and could takeover the state government of Oklahoma. And there's absolutely *nothing* we could do about it because it is entirely allowed under the current amnesty.

3. "firstly, who do you think's gonna build those buildings?"

Firstly who do you think is going to *pay* for those buildings? Hmmmm?

Due to financial mismanagement and overly generous work contracts with public employees many cities and municipalities are living on borrowed time as their underfunded liabilities are starting to catch up with them. On top of which most Americans are living on credit and so have little "fat" available to provide for a critical situation like this. So the cities and towns are going to have to offer bonds in order to build these new schools which will be forced by the judiciary since it's a rare thing for a judge to rule against spending vast amounts of money on education.

Now imagine 50,000 cities and towns all offering school construction bonds at the same time. How about 500,000? How about 5,000,000? The municipal bond market can easily be saturated and so the rates these cities and towns will have to offer will absolutely beggar their residents. Now perhaps they'll scream at their respective states? Most states aren't operating with tens of billions in surpluses so some retrenchment will take place plus large scale tax increases. Which will do what to the economy? Then there's the states who will scream for help from the federal government, who will then have to either put out bonds, again, or pay for this in a saturated bond market.

Then there's the annual payroll, benefit and operating expenses. For many cities and towns the public education budget is the largest part followed by payroll, benefits and retirement plans. How will they pay for the expenses of having twice as many schools and teachers as they did before? And remember that most of the new students won't be fluent in English so there will be added expenses for bilingual teachers and interpreters. That doesn't include the costs involved in the massive competition for bilingual teachers and interpreters of course which will drive up costs across the board.

Consider Middletown, New Jersey. I use it because it's close to where I live and because it was an example I used in another argument. The effective property tax rate is 3.558%. The average home price for home sales in 2006 was $472,000. The *annual* property tax is about $16,500.

Now double it. Or triple it.

4. "I must say, the prospect of adding $1.3 trillion to our educational costs does seem a tad high, but I wonder, isn't there a trade off that is not being considered?"

Not adding $1,300 billion. The new total will be around $1,300 billion. $500 billion for the current number of students + $800 billion for the new students covered by the Z-3 visa or not covered by anything but still in this country.

There is no tradeoff. Ziltch. Zero. There is no positive from this. Why? Because how will the economy grow fast enough to deal with the millions of extra adults graduating, or not, from these school systems. If they get jobs, great! If they don't, then they could turn into a permanent underclass with all the problems attendant.

5. "The economic benefits of having "these" people brought into the fold. Firstly if those without papers, could get papers, wouldn't we see a rise in tax returns."

No. Because we have a "progressive" tax system that doesn't tax equally at all income levels. In fact at $14,000 a year gross income, particularly with dependents, the Earned Income Credit applies and you can get more money from the federal government than you put in.

6. "Secondly, aren't the illegal immigrants contributing to our economy right now? I know there are a lot of stereotypes about illegals, but lazy, is not one that I've heard. I doubt it's as high $1.3 trillion, but there is some sort of return."

If we assume 20 million Z-1 visa holders (adults) + 20 million Z-2 visa holders (spouses) all work and contribute $10,000 in taxes per year per person then they would generate about $400 billion in taxes.

7. "Don't we want to educate the illegal immigrants? Don't call me johnny blue skies dreamer, but I mean, wouldn't we rather have illegals in schools, learning about America, English, our history and values."

I'd rather be successful in instilling that education and those values into the children of citizens and legal aliens.

Once that job has been done to perfection, then you let me know.

8. "When I finished 8th grade, (and no, that wasn't the last grade i finished), was when I loved this country and our rich history the most. Hence, the oft heard complaint among those who have become disenchanted with American FP over the last few years, "I want to love this country like I did when I was a child." Well I submit, let's have them in school and pledge the flag."

And who says that their allegiance will be to the US? With the probable numbers it's entirely possible that entire cities or sections of states could be settled entirely by one group or another. With dual citizenship normal now and the ambiguous value of an American citizenship, where precisely would these newcomers place their allegiance?

Don't you remember the pro-illegal alien rallies where every flag in the world *except* America's was flown?

9. "The dynamic of our economy. Our economy is the shit, straight up."

Really? If this amnesty goes through then I'd suggest you'll be using the past tense rather than present.

10. "We cannot deport all 12M of them."

Sure we can. Through various enforcement programs life could be made so difficult for illegal aliens that they would leave. And this would be done at a sufficient rate that *legal* immigrants could take their place with no disruptions to the economy.

Frankly any statement that we cannot deport the illegal aliens is a bit deceptive.

11. "We need non-skilled labor which the Illegals comprise a large segment."

Why? Why do we need to import non-skilled labor when we've got millions of *legal* non-skilled labor here in the US?

Why can't we reform the legal immigration process so people who want to become Americans can take these jobs rather than people who're here for the money and the benefits and then planning on leaving.

12. "by illegal immigrants acting as a bulwark against inflation (inflations still low and oil has doubled or nearly tripled in the past 6 years, the illegals must have a part in that)."

I assume you'll want to revise that statement after reading my response.

13. "In closing, the reason I think a lot of people call those in the anti-immigrant camp as racists is because those casting aspersions believ"

They call us racists and other such names because they are intellecutally lazy and realize that any argument they put forth is either ridiculosu, sophist or utterly without foundation.
5.25.2007 4:47pm
Steve in CA (mail):
Look, the reason there aren't 30 million illegal immigrants, even though 1 million a year cross the border, is because many of those who cross go back. Many cross more than once in a year.

If you're going to make a crazy claim, like 30 million illegals in the country, the burden's on you to back it up, with more evidence than "Pew Center is a bunch of commies!"

I'm always amused when anti-immigrant types say they're only against *illegal* immigration. OK, then -- let's make it so more of our immigration is legal. Let's let anybody in who wants to come, except for people with criminal records or comminicable diseases, or who are on terrorist watch lists. Is that OK? If you said no, then you're not just against illegal immigration.
5.25.2007 5:04pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

"It would be helpful if people like Ed would not make up wild stats. I am sorry but it just is not credible that 1.5 milion people have come each year since 1986. The 30 milion number is only from the fringe group known as the "Minutemen" "

Really? Did you know that the single biggest cause of population loss in Mexico, as an example only, isn't death? It's Mexican citizens sneaking into America to the tune of about 600,000 a year.



And that is just Mexico and does not include legal visa holders who violate the terms of their visa and overstay. But what the hey. Facts? Who needs'em?
5.25.2007 5:10pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

Well there was a URL in there but it vanished.

Just google "mexico death emigration" and take the top entry.
5.25.2007 5:12pm
Jim FSU 1L (mail):
The current non-enforcement regime isn't much different in kind than the laws on the book, at least in terms of discriminating against skilled workers. The only real difference is that the current regime lets in a much heavier flood of unskilled workers than the unenforced laws would provide for (reuniting extended families, refugees, etc). I'm sorry for glossing over this.

I am mostly annoyed because unlike some here, I remember that the 1986 bill was promoted using nearly the same language as current bills. It promised harsh enforcement against employers and real control of the borders in return for a few minor concessions to the illegals already here. As other posters have pointed out, Reagan was deceived by this, just like everyone else. 20 years later, that enforcement is still non-existant and the flood of bodies continues. And people who observe this recurring disaster are called racists.
5.25.2007 5:36pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ Steve in CA

"Look, the reason there aren't 30 million illegal immigrants, even though 1 million a year cross the border, is because many of those who cross go back. Many cross more than once in a year. "

I'll repeat myself. The 1+ million crossing the border per year does not include legal visa holders that overstay their visas.

As for the return flow, that only amounts to about 250,000 a year and is *not* even semi-permanent. Instead what happens is that people cross the border going home to visit their families for a bit on the holidays and then they augment the inflow by returning to their jobs.
5.25.2007 5:42pm
Colin (mail):
As for the return flow, that only amounts to about 250,000 a year and is *not* even semi-permanent. Instead what happens is that people cross the border going home to visit their families for a bit on the holidays and then they augment the inflow by returning to their jobs.

Then you're counting the same person multiple times.
5.25.2007 5:46pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

How about this. A wager.

If this amnesty goes through as-is, and we can confer over the details and abort the wager if there is a significant difference, then I'm willing to wager.

For every single Z-1 visa awarded *over* 12 million I get $1

For every single Z-1 visa awarded *under* 30 million, I pay $1

The wager to take 10 years, 1 decade, from time of signing because the federal government moves like a turtle and these people will need sufficient time to process all the applications.

So if it's 20 million Z-1 in 10 years then I get $8 million, I pay $10 million.

If it's 30 million Z-1 in 10 years then I get $18 million, I pay $0.

If it's 50 million Z-1 visas in 10 years then I get $38 million, I pay $0.

Do I have a million? No not really. But it's an amusing thought isn't it? Just how certain are you of your numbers?

:)
5.25.2007 5:47pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ Colin

"Then you're counting the same person multiple times."

Nope.

C.f. "Really? Did you know that the single biggest cause of population loss in Mexico, as an example only, isn't death? It's Mexican citizens sneaking into America to the tune of about 600,000 a year. "

That's 600,000 a year, every year, who leave Mexico to live and work in the USA.

And doesn't count legal visa holders who illegally overstay their visas.
5.25.2007 5:49pm
...Max... (mail):
I'll ask again. Would it be reasonable to

a) Tighten the border (insert your favorite set of measures)

b) Effectively increase legal immigration to the level of current legal+illegal inflow. It will require streamlining the process because the backlogs at INS USCIS and DOL appear to be the primary bottleneck. Probably a hearty goodbye to the labor certification process will be required.

And, after accomplishing a+b, decide on the right mix of amnesty and deportation for the illegals already in the country?
5.25.2007 6:04pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
J.F. Thomas writes:


Wouldn't changing the rules so that only someone born here to a legal permanent resident is a citizen make a lot more sense and avoid a lot of problems?



It is not merely a matter of "changing the rules"; the right to citizenship to people born in this country is a constitutional one.
As usual, wrong. See U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark (1898). In that case, while Wong Kim Ark was declared to be a U.S. citizen, they also made it clear what "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof," means:

II. The fundamental principle of the common law with regard to English nationality was birth within the allegiance-also called 'ligealty,' 'obedience,' 'faith,' or 'power'-of the king. The principle embraced all persons born within the king's allegiance, and subject to his protection. Such allegiance and protection were mutual,-as expressed in the maxim, 'Protectio trahit subjectionem, et subjectio protectionem,'-and were not restricted to natural-born subjects and naturalized subjects, or to those who had taken an oath of allegiance; but were predicable of aliens in amity, so long as they were within the kingdom. Children, born in England, of such aliens, were therefore natural-born subjects. But the children, born within the realm, of foreign ambassadors, or the children of alien enemies, born during and within their hostile occupation of part of the king's dominions, were not natural-born subjects, because not born within the allegiance, the obedience, or the power, or, as would be said at this day, within the jurisdiction, of the king.
If children born to consular officials (who are at least legally in the country) are not automatically citizens, what are children born to illegal aliens? Yes, we have gone ahead and given them the benefit of the doubt, but it isn't clear to me that we are obligated to do so by the Fourteenth Amendment.
5.25.2007 6:43pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):
Hans Gruber writes:

If we "need" so many of them, why are their wages so low (and going lower)? The sectors most saturated with illegal workers are areas which have seen wages fall in the last 20 years (meat packing, construction, food service, etc). If there were a true economic shortage (i.e. we "needed" more unskilled workers), then we'd see wages RISE (and why is it a bad thing if our working class actually prosper?). Falling wages, on the other hand, are a sign of a surplus of workers. THERE IS NO SHORTAGE OF UNSKILLED LABOR IN THE UNITED STATES.
Yup. The illegal aliens coming from Mexico are disproportionately those who did not complete high school--and by driving down wages, they are driving down wages of American citizens and legal residents with limited job skills. And who are these unskilled American citizen laborers? Largely black Americans.

If Republicans were pushing this strategy of driving down wages for unskilled workers, and a strategy that effectively consigns large number of blacks to a life of dependency and poor wages, the Democrats would be screaming about racism and capitalist oppression.

By importing millions of Mexican workers, we're effectively holding our economy back by making it reliant on cheap low-skilled labor rather than pushing what our technology and ingeniunity can do for us.
Yup. The chronic shortage of labor in America before the steamship meant that Americans were among the most inventive mechanics in the world. Devices like the sewing machine, the mechanical reaper, the dramatic improvements in manufacturing technology that became known as the American system, were all driven by our chronic shortages of labor. There is no question in my mind that without a huge supply of cheap labor, Silicon Valley could build robotic pickers. What's required? Machine vision to look at the color of fruit; mechanical grabbers that are capable of determining how soft fruit is; this isn't a hopelessly difficult device to build.

How long after we get robotic fruit pickers will someone figure out how to make them clean bathrooms, and all the other unpleasant jobs that we right now have illegal aliens doing?
5.25.2007 6:54pm
NattyB:
Jeez Ed, you really get into this...

1. As to the number of illegals, i guess we'll leave it as a factual dispute, I'm not an expert, but I'm just gonna rely on, what I think, is the most accurate report. They're the experts on this, so I just have to go with them.

2.

I include it because *it is in the current amnesty bill*.


well, I think we're in agreement that the current amnesty bill is shit, from both sides. Who believes that someone's going to leave this country, every two years, or whatever it is, to get back in line.

As to:

Similarly Hugo Chavez could use Venezuala's oil money to fund the migration of 10+ million Chavistas from Venezuala to say Oklahoma and to settle there. Given time the 10+ million Chavistas would become citizens, eligible to vote and could takeover the state government of Oklahoma. And there's absolutely *nothing* we could do about it because it is entirely allowed under the current amnesty.


I really think that's not a rational possibility. People are firstly concerned, with providing for their families, getting a job, class mobility, ya know, the things that link us all as human beings. I think it's quite American-centric view, to think, that the whole world revolves around us, and that evil Chavez will send 10M Chavezistas to take over our country by immigration.

But in all seriousness, if indeed Chavez were to undertake such a proposition, I would not be concerned given the greatness of our country, the city on the hill, as one guy used to say. I submit, that if those 10M Venezuelans lived here for X years and jumped through the hoops for citizenship, that they would be seduced by the American way of life, and indeed, be Americans like you and I (albeit they might prefer salsa to ketchup, but whatever salsa's got flavor and ketchup is bland). Immigrants love this country, and for good reason, because life in America is better then most countries, including Venezuela. Just think about it, if you've been living here for X years, and jumped through the hoops to get citizenship, wouldn't you've developed some sort of emotional bond with your new home. Why the heck would you do Chavez's bidding when the things that effect your life the most take place in Oklahoma.

Furthermore, if these 10M Venezuelans brought their kids and raised them in Oklahoma, shit man, we'd just might see a resurgence in Sooner Football. (or baseball, venezuelans love baseball)

3 &4.

"firstly, who do you think's gonna build those buildings?"

Firstly who do you think is going to *pay* for those buildings? Hmmmm?

There is no tradeoff. Ziltch. Zero. There is no positive from this. Why? Because how will the economy grow fast enough to deal with the millions of extra adults graduating, or not, from these school systems. If they get jobs, great! If they don't, then they could turn into a permanent underclass with all the problems attendant.


I really don't know enough about the dynamics to submit an informed comment.

But I would add, that it seems, that your line of argument is premised upon that the current illegal immigrants, if granted a pathway to citizenship, would lead to an increase of the US population by about 30-50M people because of family members subsequently brought to this country.

I don't know that to be the case. I am more concerned with the immediate impact of bringing the 12M (or 30M) as you say, who are already here, and bringing them out of the shadows.

Could you provide a link which substantiates the claim, that this immigration bill will directly/likely lead to 50M increase in our population? Because I would hope that the MSM and/or Congress would've talked about this at some point in the debate, right?

5 &6. Taxing the Illegals

the Earned Income Credit applies and you can get more money from the federal government than you put in.


So you're saying that we lose money in the end by having illegals? I really wish there was some source for this information. Because on one hand, by not having health insurance, we all in a way pay for their health insurance. So that sucks. But on the other hand, doesn't the work that illegals perform, count for something, in terms of contributing to the economy. If, illegals were coming here, collecting welfare checks, not working at all, and getting free healthcare, then yah, I'd probably be a little bit more jaded. But that, the best to my knowledge, is not the case.

Also, Illegal immigrants pay property tax when they rent, because the costs gets passed on to them from their landlords

7&8 educating the illegals.

I'd rather be successful in instilling that education and those values into the children of citizens and legal aliens.

Once that job has been done to perfection, then you let me know.

well if this pathway to citizenship goes through, they'd be legal aliens... and to the best of my knowledge, isn't it often the case, that the kids are the citizens because they were born here, and the parents aren't? Nevertheless, if (and this is premised on, if we can't deport all of them, which I know you dispute) we can't deport "them" I'd rather they be educated, then not. Not just from a moral stand point, but form a, as Economists like to say, Human Capital perspective. The more educated individuals we have in this country, the better the prospects for our economy.


And who says that their allegiance will be to the US? With the probable numbers it's entirely possible that entire cities or sections of states could be settled entirely by one group or another. With dual citizenship normal now and the ambiguous value of an American citizenship, where precisely would these newcomers place their allegiance?

Trust me man, immigrants develop an allegiance for this country. They may listen to reggaton, drive low-riders, and eat pupusa's (sorry for using the most generic stereotypes), but I think what is lost in that analysis, are immigrants' interest in passing on their cultural heritage (ok, low riders and reggaton don't count as cultural heritage, but you know what I mean).

Try to put yourself in the shoes of an immigrant, legal or otherwise. Your kids are growing up in the US, they are going to be Americans. My concern, would be, that my kids would lose our cultural heritage. My fear, is that my kids would grow up as Americans, and wouldn't know what it was like for me and our forebearers who grew up in the hard life in Nicaragua, Guadalajara, or even Warsaw. Think of Indian-Americans (you're in Jersey, so you probably know), they are SO concerned that their children will lose their heritage that they still sometimes have pseudo-arranged marriages.

Don't you remember the pro-illegal alien rallies where every flag in the world *except* America's was flown?

That is just factually inaccurate.

I live in DC, so the rallies last year were impossible to miss. I left work at the normal time, and I walked down 16th street and saw the procession. Out of curiousity, I was like, I'll see what this is about. So I walked with the group to the mall. I saw a handful of non-american flags, but I saw THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN FLAGS. It was amazing man, people drapping themselves in the flag, I got tears from seeing all these people who so desperately wanted to be American. It may be proud to be an American, it reminded, despite what the world seems to think, what makes America so great. The people at the immigration rallies weren't rally against the US, they were rallying to be included in the US. They want to be Americans.

9.

I wrote "The dynamic of our economy. Our economy is the shit, straight up."

Really? If this amnesty goes through then I'd suggest you'll be using the past tense rather than present.

If the amnesty goes through, it wouldn't change anything about the economy, because they're already here and for the most part working. The economy going to shit argument is premised on this 30-50M person immigration influx you argue will happen because of spouses and kids in the old country. I need to see some evidence before I can buy into that doomsday scenario.

10. We can't deport them all - oh yes we can argument.

I agree with you that it is feasibly possible. Difficult, but possible. But I ask you this question. Why hasn't it happened? Illegal immigrants don't vote. Even immigrants who get Perm Res status can't vote for a while. What I'm saying is, they're un/underrepresented in the political process so if they're such a drain on the economy, wouldn't this have happened? My suspicion, is that the business sector (who vote, in a campaign fundraising/lobbying sort of way) wants them here. That's just my suspicion.

And as an example, they deported a bunch of illegals working on building the underground monorail at Dulles airport last year (right now you have to take giant busses to your terminal). Because of concerns of identity fraud, which is bogus, b/c only a handful even had social security cards, so they were putting money into someone else's account. Nevertheless, the result was, it's going to take longer to build the monorail at a higher cost. Why should I subsidize that job, so Americans can do it, when it can be done cheaper otherwise. I'd rather an Illegal, who we can bring into the open legally, do that job, and put that money into R&D and investment so we can create more jobs for Americans.

11.

I wrote "We need non-skilled labor which the Illegals comprise a large segment."

Why? Why do we need to import non-skilled labor when we've got millions of *legal* non-skilled labor here in the US?

Why can't we reform the legal immigration process so people who want to become Americans can take these jobs rather than people who're here for the money and the benefits and then planning on leaving.


I'm referring to the jobs colorfully known as, the jobs that no American will take. You know the one's I'm referring to. No American wants to work at the slaughter house for the wages they're offering. No American is going to pick berries and get paid shit. No American is going to change my grandmother's diapers, with the pay they're offering. By raising the wages for those undesirable industries, which is what we'd have to do to get Americans to change old people's diapers, I'm in effect subsidizing jobs so we can have Americans do it. Isn't that what we do with the damn farmers?

But, I think, we're closer on this point then it might seem. Because I believe, the people who do these undesireable jobs want to be Americans. They want to stay. And do you wanna know why I think this. Because that is what they say.

There seems to be an inherent paradox in your position. Because on one hand, you're concerned that so many of these people are coming and are going to over populate the country and stay here and drain our social services. But on the other hand, you're concerned that they don't want to be Americans and that they just wanna that cash money, and then go back to their pueblo and be the big cheese.

Would your opinion change on the matter at all, if you believed that these people could want to be here, to stay? I know it's a hypo for you, but please do entertain.

as for Hans Gruber, the terrorist from Die Hard, our economic growth is not dependent upon unskilled workers, I think that certain sectors of our economy, it is more adventagous to have illegals doing it, then having americans do it for more money. I agree with Hans on the need to innovate and invest in technology, but c'mon Hans, don't you see. This is the classic globalization argument. By saving money on those sectors, the service industries and so forth, we're better able to invest in those sectors you identified as being so vital for growth. I want to pay as little as possible for lettuce, and if they're here, let them pick lettuce for cheap. Nobody born in America is going to pick lettuce.

but you answered my point for 12. which is, illegal immigrants have helped push inflation down, by keeping wages down in those sectors, we've made our other dollars more valuable (sucks for the american who wants to be a meat packer or work behind the counter at McDonalds), but I don't work in those industries, and don't you want to pay less for Micky D's? Like I'm supposed to sympathize that no american is willing to work at micky d's - in the major cities at least- b/c illegal immigrants keep wages down? talk about the world's smallest violin playing.

The jobs that are gone, are the highly paid manufacturing jobs. And that's a pity, but you know what, and this goes back to the dynamic economy argument, but the money we save on services (food, slaugher house, hotels, office cleaning), we are able to use towards investment and R &D. The economy finds a way, cash flows to the most profitable sectors, and that's innovation.

13. I don't think you're a racist, I think you're genuinely concerned about the direction this country's going, and you fear, that our way of life, and our standard of living are gonna go to shit, if certain things happen. Well I hope that's not the case. But I can see why some people think that you hold a position in part based on racist presumption. Because for those of us who don't see the economic harm in such stark terms, it's quite reasonable to think that it's the cultural aspects of immigrants that finds illegal immigrants so detestable. Like, when I was 15, I was a dishwasher at the local diner, me and like 6 dudes from Guadlajara, and they just shit on me in terms of work ethic and determination. And from that experience, I just have a hard time viewing immigrants and the immigrant experience in such a negative light.

And besides, when we refer to someone as "illegal" we in effect deny their dignity without meeting or knowing them. *sounding liberal alert* because I believe most illegals are here because they want to make a better life for their family and because they believe in the American Dream.

Ilya and Eugene I hate you guys because I've done this today instead of work on my write on for journal competition

nattyb
5.25.2007 7:06pm
Steve:
I seriously can't believe some people thought it was credible to think that 27% of all inmates in the U.S. are illegal immigrants. I think if you told these people that illegal immigrants eat 1 million American babies each year, they'd believe it.

According to the Department of Justice, "6.4% of State and Federal inmates at midyear 2005 were not U.S. citizens." Some number of those, obviously, would be legal residents or visitors, but it scarcely matters. One reason it's hard to debate this topic is because people are constantly throwing totally crazy numbers like 27% out there. Was that the same person who said there are at least 30 million illegal immigrants in the country today?
5.25.2007 8:22pm
Crackmonkeyjr (www):
Steve:
If in fact there are 30M illegal immigrants in the US and 6.4% of the prison population is made up of illegal immigrants (ignoring that this number is probably high because it includes legal immigrants and other non-citizens), that works out to illegal immigrants being incarcerated at less than 1/2 of the rate of US Citizens.

Based on that, we should probably be encouraging illegal immigration.
5.25.2007 9:05pm
Gordo:
Wow, Barry Goldwater would long ago been a left-wing apostate in today's Republican party.

Now Ronald Reagan would be too.
5.25.2007 10:18pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“I seriously can't believe some people thought it was credible to think that 27% of all inmates in the U.S. are illegal immigrants.”

The source of the 27% figure so widely quoted is evidently a 2005 report put out by the General Accounting Office, Report GAO-05-261 April 7, 2005. On page 2, it says:

"The percentage of all federal prisoners who are criminal aliens has remained the same over the last 3 years—about 27 percent. The majority of criminal aliens incarcerated at the end of calendar year 2004 were identified as citizens of
Mexico."
5.25.2007 10:35pm
Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk (www):
I think that the 27% figure is from a 2005 GAO study concerning the population of federal facilities. The DOJ statistics that Steve cites above indicate that non-citizens make up about 19% of all prisoners in federal custody. Given that the statistics are from roughly the same period, the discrepancy between the two figures is interesting. For its part, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons currently reports that between 20.8% and 26.5% of the federal population consists of non-citizens, depending on how you classify those whose citizenship is classified as "other/unknown."

Looking exclusively at the federal population probably is not helpful, inasmuch as a percentage of the non-citizens incarcerated in federal prisons is probably incarcerated for immigration-related offenses (e.g., illegal reentry). Thus, without knowing a lot more about the numbers we don't really know what the overall federal percentage, whatever it may be, means in terms of how much crime illegal immigrants commit.

That said, I'm not sure how useful it is to look at 6.4% figure that Steve highights either, because that figure appears to be devoted to all prisoners in the 50 state systems as well as the federal system. It might be more productive to focus on states with large populations of illegal immigrants (e.g., border states like California and Texas), if the goal is to to try and guesstimate what effect illegal immigration has in terms of crime.

Even if we focused on states with large percentages of illegal immigrants, I suspect we'd have to be a little cautious. The DOJ statistics highlighted by Steve indicate that 6% Texas's prison population consists of non-citizens. But there likely is some flexibility in that number. In the past, Texas has indicated that its count is not necessarily as accurate as it might be. But accepting the 6% figure, that would make about 1 out of every 17 Texas prisoners a non-citizen. California's percentage seems to be 1 in 10, if I am reading the DOJ numbers right.
5.25.2007 10:56pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Hmmmm.

If 600,000 Mexicans come across every year, then where do the extra 900,000 come from? Because to get to 30 million, you need 1 1/2 million each and every year since 1986. So, if they are not coming from Mexico, where are they coming from?
5.25.2007 11:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
“Looking exclusively at the federal population probably is not helpful, inasmuch as a percentage of the non-citizens incarcerated in federal prisons is probably incarcerated for immigration-related offenses (e.g., illegal reentry).”

According to the federal BOP report that “percentage” is 10.6%. Thus those criminal aliens in federal prison are not there primarily for immigration law violations. The major categories are drug and weapons offenses. No matter how you try to spin it, Hispanic immigrants are a crime problem for the US.
5.26.2007 12:20am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

"If 600,000 Mexicans come across every year, then where do the extra 900,000 come from? Because to get to 30 million, you need 1 1/2 million each and every year since 1986. So, if they are not coming from Mexico, where are they coming from?"

1. 380-400 other countries on planet Earth.

3,000 people from each of 400 countries. Not an impossible number is it?

2. Legal visa holders that violate the terms of their visa and choose to overstay.

Give you an example: H1-B visa is a work visa for professionals. The current limit is about 65,000 per year and they're good for 3 years. Then the employer can renew the visa for another 3 years. At the end of 6 years the H1-B visa expires.

Problem? Nobody really knows how many H1-B visa holders there are in the US because there's no tracking system in place nor is there a reporting system. So you can have a worker here on a H1-B visa, work for 2 years and quit. Nobody gets told. Nobody goes and verifies the person left the country.

Then there are student visas. Etc etc etc.

...

You really don't want to face even the possibility that the numbers you've been working from are completely wrong. Well then let's turn it around then.

You assume 12 million illegal aliens. Now show a reasonable logical proof that there could be only 12 million illegals. Because I don't see the numbers adding up. Even if we reduce the 600,000 Mexicans a year to 400,000 a year, assuming some increases, some decreases on an annual basis, after 21 years there are still 8.4 million. Divide the remainder 3.6 million by 21 equals about 17,000 per year.

So are you really trying to tell me that the rest of humanity, other than those from Mexico, contributes only 17,000 some odd illegal aliens per *year*?
5.26.2007 12:20am
PrestoPundit (mail):
Reagan must have lied to his diary. You might look up his diary entry on Alan Simpson, 1986.
5.26.2007 12:39am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ NattyB

1. "As to the number of illegals, i guess we'll leave it as a factual dispute, I'm not an expert, but I'm just gonna rely on, what I think, is the most accurate report. They're the experts on this, so I just have to go with them."

Sure. Just keep in mind that:

A. Nobody really knows.
B. The numbers simply do not add up.
C. If there are only 12 million illegal aliens total, including minor school-age children, then why are so many school districts showing disproportionate increases in the number of new students that cannot speak English?
D. The government isn't some monolithic thing. It's divided by factions. And it's entirely possible that a pro-illegal alien faction is undercounting as much as possible because there's a vast perceptual difference to voters between "only" 12 million and 30+ million.

2. "well, I think we're in agreement that the current amnesty bill is shit, from both sides. Who believes that someone's going to leave this country, every two years, or whatever it is, to get back in line."

*shrug* regardless. That is the crux of the debate. If the bill in question were one of border security and enforcement, this discussion wouldn't be taking place.

3. "I really think that's not a rational possibility. People are firstly concerned, with providing for their families, getting a job, class mobility, ya know, the things that link us all as human beings. I think it's quite American-centric view, to think, that the whole world revolves around us, and that evil Chavez will send 10M Chavezistas to take over our country by immigration."

You haven't been keeping track of Venezuala have you? The combination of silly economic policies, bad management and the influx of oil money has made life pretty miserable down there. Plus there isn't much in the way of a social net.

Besides. My scenario shows what is possible. Your rebuttal rests entirely on whether or not people down there think it's a good idea to live in America where there are a multitude of social programs, low inflation and available jobs vs Venezuala where supermarket chains stores have to be threatened with nationalization in order to stock chickens and you can go a week without seeing a single egg.

If someone were paying your bills and giving you free transport, which would you choose?

4. "I submit, that if those 10M Venezuelans lived here for X years and jumped through the hoops for citizenship"

A. You assume there will be "hoops".
B. You assume there will be gratitude on their part when they are rabid socialists who blame America for the fact that there aren't any chickens in the supermarkets.
C. You assume that there will be time for assimilation.
D. You assume that only Hugo Chavez could or would be willing to do this. China could drop 200+ million new "immigrants" on the USA without missing them. In fact by transporting the poorest and uneducated Chinese citizens to the US it would be possible to improve China's economy and destroy America's.

In history colonization, if successful in planting a beachhead, has always destroyed the native culture and way of life. The Z visa program, and similar ilk, are a terrific means of doing this.

5. "But I would add, that it seems, that your line of argument is premised upon that the current illegal immigrants, if granted a pathway to citizenship, would lead to an increase of the US population by about 30-50M people because of family members subsequently brought to this country."

Absolutely not.

Why? Because *citizenship* is not necessary. The Z visas are not citizenship but they do grant the ability to chain immigrate a spouse and all minor children.

Actually that's incorrect. The current bill not only allows the above but for a period of 7 years it also allows nearly unrestrained chain immigration of *all* family members. But for the sake of a conservative argument I've left them out. If you include them the total numbers begin to exceed 150+ million.

6. "Could you provide a link which substantiates the claim, that this immigration bill will directly/likely lead to 50M increase in our population? Because I would hope that the MSM and/or Congress would've talked about this at some point in the debate, right?"

*shrug* it's right in the bill itself. Z-1 visas are for current illegal aliens. Z-2 visas are for spouses. Z-3 visas are for minor children. There are no limits, no numbers or restrictions. The US government has 24 hours to find a reason to deny the Z visa otherwise they are granted *automatically*. Etc, etc, etc.

As for a link. *shrug* I'd really suggest Google. Consider that I'm a hardline ultra-conservative. Some sources that I'd consider ok might not pass the smell test for you.

7. "But on the other hand, doesn't the work that illegals perform, count for something, in terms of contributing to the economy."

Not really. Because this is work that could be done by nonworking teenagers and unskilled adults that dropped out of school.

8. "Also, Illegal immigrants pay property tax when they rent, because the costs gets passed on to them from their landlords"

Which is almost meaningless because it's a standard tactic for illegals to pack rented homes with as many bodies as can be fit in. Which means the number of people that may use or need to use available social services will greatly outclass any amount of property taxes paid.

9. "well if this pathway to citizenship goes through, they'd be legal aliens"

Not necessarily. Quite a few illegal aliens prefer to earn money here and then take their earnings back to their home country and open a business there. But in the interim they can certainly use our educational system to educate their kids for free.

I'll point out the purpose of public education is to educate American citizens.

10. "Not just from a moral stand point, but form a, as Economists like to say, Human Capital perspective."

That assumes that they will actually end up contributing rather than simply continuing to take.

11. "Trust me man, immigrants develop an allegiance for this country."

I am an immigrant. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and got adopted and brought into the US and naturalized in 1972.

12. "I live in DC, so the rallies last year were impossible to miss."

Those rallies were *after* the organizers realized what a PR disaster it was to fly all of those foreign flags.

13. "If the amnesty goes through, it wouldn't change anything about the economy, because they're already here and for the most part working."

You're not taking into account the millions of additional aliens that'll come in through this amnesty.

14. "I agree with you that it is feasibly possible. Difficult, but possible. But I ask you this question. Why hasn't it happened?"

Because businesses like paying lousy salaries.

Educate yourself. Read up on the history of industrialization in Russia. It's pretty damning.

15. "Illegal immigrants don't vote."

Wrong. Illegal aliens have been caught voting. There's a recent case in Texas.

16. "Because of concerns of identity fraud, which is bogus, b/c only a handful even had social security cards, so they were putting money into someone else's account."

Your SS benefits are calculated on the last few years of employment. If you've worked hard as a professional, earned good money and then retired having calculated what your benefits would be like then having an illegal alien use your SSN to earn $7 an hour will damage your benefits structure because instead of having the high wage job as your last employment it will now be a $7 an hour job.

And yes it takes months if not years to get this straightened out because you have to prove that you weren't the person being employed.

Plus it can also cause you problems with the IRS since you will now appear, assuming the illegal alien income is reported, that you are earning money without either paying taxes on it or reporting it. Remember that taxes withheld does not equal taxes required to be paid.

17. "I'm referring to the jobs colorfully known as, the jobs that no American will take."

Considering the vast majority of such jobs are held by Americans, I think you'll want to reconsider that statement.

18. "But, I think, we're closer on this point then it might seem. Because I believe, the people who do these undesireable jobs want to be Americans. They want to stay. And do you wanna know why I think this. Because that is what they say."

No actually quite a few say that do NOT want to become citizens and that they are here only to earn enough money to either support their families back home or start a business there.

19. "Would your opinion change on the matter at all, if you believed that these people could want to be here, to stay? I know it's a hypo for you, but please do entertain."

No. Why? Because there are 6+ million people waiting in line for a chance to become an American. And anybody who is willing to deal with the idiotic bureaucracy that we've got dealing with immigration is someone who definitely wants to become an American.

And I'll point out for you that you are dangerously close to making some false assumptions. I am most assuredly not one to take being called a racist or any such thing lying down.

20. "I think that certain sectors of our economy, it is more adventagous to have illegals doing it, then having americans do it for more money."

If you really believe that then you're also of the opinion that *YOUR* job should be treated likewise. If it's advantageous for someone else to lose their job, then there cannot be any objection to your losing yours. And with technology improvements that's entirely possible.

21. "but you answered my point for 12. which is, illegal immigrants have helped push inflation down, by keeping wages down in those sectors, we've made our other dollars more valuable"

Except they have also increased inflation by increasing the fiscal demand on local, state and federal governments. Remember everyone has to pay taxes and tax increases add to inflation.

22. "The jobs that are gone, are the highly paid manufacturing jobs."

Wrong. Plenty of high tech jobs have also disappeared. Computer development is being done in India. Radiology analysis is being done in the Phillipines. Even legal research is now being offshored to India.

The only jobs that cannot be offshored are those that require a physical presence here in the USA. And *those* jobs are now up for grabs to non-citizens with this bill.

23. "I don't think you're a racist, I think you're genuinely concerned about the direction this country's going, and you fear, that our way of life, and our standard of living are gonna go to shit, if certain things happen."

Well that's something.

Here's the deal. Once this bill goes through into law, it cannot be undone. So you, not just I, are taking the chance that this will work out. If it doesn't, America dies. Because America isn't just a place, it's a culture. And anyone who has studied past colonizations can tell you that cultures are fragile. They seem insurmountable because you're looking at it from close up. But they're not.

I'm sure the Native Americans upon seeing a white man for the first time would never have imagined the result.

24. "And besides, when we refer to someone as "illegal" we in effect deny their dignity without meeting or knowing them."

There is no intrinsic dignity in humanity. The steady state of humanity is barbarism.

25. "*sounding liberal alert* because I believe most illegals are here because they want to make a better life for their family and because they believe in the American Dream."

And they don't particularly give a damn how much it costs anybody else as long as they get theirs.

And that's not an attitude that I'd want legitimized.
5.26.2007 1:20am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ NattyB

Z visa analysis

This is the best overall analysis I've found. But again I'm a hardline ultra-conservative.

The only thing is that he doesn't cover the Z-2 visas or the Z-3 visas. What I know I've picked up from reading the specific text and blogging. But I'll try to find a concise reading of these two specific issues.
5.26.2007 1:45am
Hans Gruber:
"The more educated individuals we have in this country, the better the prospects for our economy."

If you really believe this, then you should oppose massive unskilled immigration from Mexico. More than half of current Mexican immigrants don't even have a high school education. The drop out rate in cities like LA exceeds 50%. At least for the forseeable future, the result of massive unskilled immigration from Latin America will most definitely not be more educated individuals in this country. The mean education level (and with it the mean IQ) will, ceteris paribus, fall so long as we follow your advice of open borders and non-enforcement of immigration law.

As far as amnesty, I could live with it, at least for families with one or more American citizen child. But the cycle of lying to the American people about immigration and our borders must end FIRST. That's my precondition for accepting any sort of amnesty. Legal immigration among the unskilled should also be cut (ironically, this is the best thing for recent immigrants, as new immigrants are their closest competititors, I guess that makes me sort of pro-immigrant?). I would accept amnesty of some of the illegal population if we got control of our borders. I don't necessarily mean a fence. IMO, the best way to prevent settlement of illegal aliens in the interior is to vigorously enforce the law against employers. We could do a MUCH better job with this as it is today, but to do an excellent job would require a difficult to forge national ID card. You don't like the fence? Fine, give me several billion dollars a year to actually enforce immigration law combined with a national ID. That's better than a fence. Much better.
5.26.2007 2:24am
Guest12345:
I seriously can't believe some people thought it was credible to think that 27% of all inmates in the U.S. are illegal immigrants. I think if you told these people that illegal immigrants eat 1 million American babies each year, they'd believe it.


I don't know why people are getting hung up on what percentage of inmates are illegal immigrants. I can tell you with precision and complete confidence the percentage of illegal immigrants who are criminals: 100%.

Something I'm curious about, is why doesn't the INS or DHS or somebody just DNA sample every immigrant they deport and give them a note to the effect of "if you ever return we will incarcerate you for life." Or some other suitably grim punitive measure.

I fully support jailing CEO, company presidents, and small business owners who employ illegal immigrants, but employers of illegal immigrants are a completely secondary issue. Anyone who raises it is just obfuscating the situation. No one ever suggests we turn a blind eye to thieves because there are fences who buy stolen goods. (Or... child pornographers because there are pedophiles who pay them for their work.)

For those who want to cry racism, have you visited the country where most of the US's illegal immigrants are coming from? It's in desperate need of a civil rights movement.
5.26.2007 3:22am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Two items:

Does anybody believe the absolute garbage about jumping through hoops when it comes from a pro-massive-immigration proponent? They're against hoops, too, no matter how stoutly they claim it in order to mollify us nativist/racist/ morons.

And does anybody believe those proponents when they talk about strict enforcement?

Yeah. Me either.
5.26.2007 10:47am
David Maquera (mail) (www):
The same arguments made today against facilitating the legalization of the present illegal aliens, clearly reflect the same nativist sentiments that were adamantly opposed to the Catholic immigrants of the 19th century.

On a different note, I daresay that the present arguments against allowing the illegal aliens to stay are the same arguments the Mexican government in the 1840s could have made against the Americans who began settling what is today Southwest United States but in the 19th century was Northern Mexico.

Thankfully, in both instances, the case against the illegal aliens lost. As a result, the United States grew into an economic and military superpower strong enough to defeat Nazi Germany and Communist Russia in the 20th century.

There is plenty of room left in this nation for the illegal aliens. I submit they may be a burden at the outset, but the benefits conferred by their descendents upon this nation will more than outweigh the burden of any possible cost imposed by their immigrant forebears.

Since I am now on my way to church, I cannot help but quote the following from the Bible: "The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God." Leviticus 19:34.
5.26.2007 11:36am
Bob from Ohio (mail):
Hmmm.

380-400 other countries on planet Earth.


At the risk of another 2000+ word comment, that illustrates the make it up and hope it sticks attitude I initially objected to.

There are 192 countries in the UN. Add in a few non-member states, you get in the low 200s at best. Not anywhere near 380. Even the odd count in the Wikipedia entry only lists 245 and that includes some stange categories.

I don't know if there are 10 or 12 or 15 million but there is no way it is 30 million or anywhere close.
5.26.2007 11:58am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

"I don't know if there are 10 or 12 or 15 million but there is no way it is 30 million or anywhere close."

*shrug* you're also not taking into account that America also has reciprocal treaties with other countries so that visas aren't required for travel. You show up, you go through customs and nobody ever goes and looks for you if you decide to stay.

And really. It doesn't matter one bit if the number of illegals is currently 30 million or will be 30 million under this amnesty bill. Because of the requirement that INS must offer a Z visa application to any illegal that requests it *and* offer legal, paid by taxpayers, help in filling it out and submitting the paperwork. And because of the incredibly lax requirements, a signed affidavit by anybody not a blood relative for example, for inclusion in this amnesty.

It's really just irrelevant whether or not you believe that there are 30 million in this country. It's even more irrelevant whether or not there are currently 30 million or more in this country. Because of all these factors there will be at least 30 million, and very likely far more, primary Z-1 visa holders. The more Z-1 visa holders the more Z-2 spouse, Z-3 minor children and other relatives that will be chain immigrated.

And also I'd suggest keeping in mind that Z-visas, according to the current bill, are awarded *automatically* unless the government can do it's background check within *24 hours* and find a reason to deny the Z visa.
5.26.2007 1:56pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

"There are 192 countries in the UN. Add in a few non-member states, you get in the low 200s at best. Not anywhere near 380. Even the odd count in the Wikipedia entry only lists 245 and that includes some stange categories. "

*shrug* that's ok then. Just double the number per country per year. We're not talking about migrations involving millions of people from all over the world each and every single year. We're talking about the movement of a relative handful on an annual basis.
5.26.2007 2:07pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmm.

@ Bob from Ohio

Snopes

"A recent patient survey indicated that 70 percent of the women who gave birth at Parkland in the first three months of 2006 were illegal immigrants.' Crikey, that's 11,200 anchor babies born every year just in Dallas. According to the article, the hospital spent $70.7 million delivering 15,938 babies in 2004 but managed to end up with almost $8 million dollars in surplus funding. Medicaid kicked in $34.5 million, Dallas County taxpayers kicked in $31.3 million and the feds tossed in another $9.5 million."

...

"As if that isn't annoying enough, the illegal immigrant patients are actually complaining about hospital staff not speaking Spanish. In this AP story, the author speaks with a woman who is upset that she had to translate comments from the hospital staff into Spanish for her husband. The doctor was trying to explain the situation to the family and the mother was forced to translate for her husband who only spoke Spanish. This was apparently a great injustice to her."

Well?
5.26.2007 2:49pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
"If 600,000 Mexicans come across every year, then where do the extra 900,000 come from? Because to get to 30 million, you need 1 1/2 million each and every year since 1986. So, if they are not coming from Mexico, where are they coming from?"

1. 380-400 other countries on planet Earth.

3,000 people from each of 400 countries. Not an impossible number is it?
Ed, you might not be the brightest guy, but you made me laugh. Not only are you inventing millions of illegal aliens without any evidence, but just to justify such an absurdity, you're inventing hundreds of countries. (Of which many would have negative (!) populations, if 3000 people emigrated from them to us every year.)
5.26.2007 6:57pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
*shrug* you're also not taking into account that America also has reciprocal treaties with other countries so that visas aren't required for travel. You show up, you go through customs and nobody ever goes and looks for you if you decide to stay.
Ed, the participants in the Visa Waiver Program are:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

(Canada is a separate category.) Do you think there are millions of illegal immigrants coming from Japan and Denmark to the U.S.? (Or are all the imaginary countries you invented also particpants in the VWP?)
5.26.2007 7:10pm
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

@ David M. Nieporent

"Ed, you might not be the brightest guy, but you made me laugh. Not only are you inventing millions of illegal aliens without any evidence, but just to justify such an absurdity, you're inventing hundreds of countries. (Of which many would have negative (!) populations, if 3000 people emigrated from them to us every year.)"

Well I'm glad I've amused the local village idiot then. If nothing else that's always a bonus. But hey, that's harsh. Perhaps you're not the local village idiot but rather the regional one. That's a step up eh?

But here's a question for you. If you're going to accept the 12 million figure, then why? Let's see the logic underpinning that. Because as far as I can see, it's just all a wild ass guess.

Frankly there are so many loopholes in the current amnesty bill that it really doesn't matter if there are 30+ million now because there most definitely will be at least 30+ million before it's hardly even begun.
5.26.2007 10:30pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera: Your comments are in block quotes.
The same arguments made today against facilitating the legalization of the present illegal aliens, clearly reflect the same nativist sentiments that were adamantly opposed to the Catholic immigrants of the 19th century.
There are significant differences between the 19th century immigration and todays immigration. The most significant one is the existence of a cradle to grave welfare state in the United States.

The failure of supporters of this bill to respond to the many substantive arguments against it is telling. Apparently they don't care to argue on facts so they charge racism rather then learn about the bill and argue on the facts.
On a different note, I daresay that the present arguments against allowing the illegal aliens to stay are the same arguments the Mexican government in the 1840s could have made against the Americans who began settling what is today Southwest United States but in the 19th century was Northern Mexico.
So how did that work out for Mexico? I kid, I kid, but I just can't help myself.
5.26.2007 11:11pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera: Your comments are in block quotes.
There is plenty of room left in this nation for the illegal aliens. I submit they may be a burden at the outset, but the benefits conferred by their descendents upon this nation will more than outweigh the burden of any possible cost imposed by their immigrant forebears.
That statement is flatly wrong. Instead of throwing bromides why don't you put a little effort into educating yourself and take alook at some of the economic studies.


Current legislative proposals that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants and increase future low-skill immi­gration would represent the largest expansion of the welfare state in 30 years. Such proposals would increase poverty in the U.S. in the short and long term and dramatically increase the burden on U.S. taxpayers.
5.26.2007 11:26pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
TJIT, your quip regarding 19th century immigration of American settlers to Northern Mexico/Southwest United States in fact did ultimately benefit Mexico in the long run (although the government decried the loss of its territory in the 1840s) because one hundred years thereafter the United States was able to leverage its resources to play a major role in defeating Nazi Germany -- an outcome that every single person living today regardless of race or nationality can be grateful for, including Mexicans.
5.27.2007 9:55am
David Maquera (mail) (www):
Also TJIT, Rector's study is clearly flawed. First, the life expectancy of (illegal) immigrants is materially lower than the average U.S. citizen. This is due in great part to the immigrant's poor healthcare in the country of origin. What Rector's study overlooks is that legalization of the (illegal) immigrants will 1) lead to an increase of contributions to Social Security and Medicare while 2) a greater proportion of today's (illegal) immigrants will NOT live long enough to draw on Social Security or Medicare benefits. Case in point, my mother passed away in her mid-sixties a few days before retirement so she never drew from Social Security although she paid into the system since 1960. (Note: neither of my parents were illegal immigrants but I share this personal story to make my point.)

Second, Rector's study only focuses on the impact of (illegal) immigrants on government expenditures. The Rector study fails (although it probably never intended to) take into account the impact of (illegal) immigrants on non-government expenditures. For example, the small farm sector would cease to exist without the cheap labor of the (illegal) immigrants, which would drive up the cost you pay for your groceries.

Third, if you solely focus on economic considerations, then perhaps you can make a valid argument against legalization of the (illegal) immigrants. However, decisions should not always be driven by economic considerations. Otherwise, you can (mis)use economic studies to support some rather immoral positions such as abortion, slavery, etc.

Finally, Rector's study focuses on only the (illegal) immigrants and does not even attempt to take into account the increasing education level and household wealth of the second or third generation immigrants who will come after the current first generation of (illegal) immigrants. I could bore you to tears about my family's transition over a 40-year period from its dirt poor status as Andean peasants to highly educated professionals with six-figure household incomes. Frankly, my immediate concern is that the next generation in my family will take their comfortable lifestyle for granted and forget their family's humble origins but such concern is a luxury that my parents could never have imagined.

The fact of the matter is, TJIT, that you and like-minded individuals are just afraid of change and prefer the status quo. Personally, my immediate family became naturalized U.S. Citizens decades ago (except for me since I was the only one born here) so I don't have a dog in this fight regarding (illegal) immigrants. However, I prefer change and I don't like the status quo and I think legalizing the (illegal) immigrants will ultimately benefit this nation in the long run -- perhaps now immediately but in the decades and centuries to come.
5.27.2007 10:25am
A. Zarkov (mail):
David Maquera:

“Also TJIT, Rector's study is clearly flawed. First, the life expectancy of (illegal) immigrants is materially lower than the average U.S. citizen.”


How do you know that? Since the majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic, we should look at their life expectancy. Table C from a census report shows that Hispanic men have a life expectancy at birth that’s 2.4 years greater than white men and 3.1 years greater than the total population. The disparity for women is ever more, 3.1 and 4.0 years respectively. Of course it’s life expectancy at age 65 that really counts for social security, but why should the disparity reverse? It’s also possible that illegal Hispanic immigrants are somehow different than population in the census labeled Hispanic. It’s very hard to get specific data on illegal immigrants per se. But you need to provide some kind of proof to dispel the notion that you are simply making up facts.
5.27.2007 12:51pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
David Maquera:

“For example, the small farm sector would cease to exist without the cheap labor of the (illegal) immigrants, which would drive up the cost you pay for your groceries.”

You don’t know that. Labor costs could even go down if machines took over. In any case, most of us would prefer to pay more for some of our groceries than much more in taxes. Even better, the immigrants could simply stay in Mexico and pick the crops there for export. We could then convert the land used for hand-picked crops to a crop that can be harvested by machine. In any case, we always win by having the immigrants not come at all.
5.27.2007 12:59pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
David Maquera:

“However, decisions should not always be driven by economic considerations.”

Exactly. We should we make the US more like Mexico without an economic benefit?

“Finally, Rector's study focuses on only the (illegal) immigrants and does not even attempt to take into account the increasing education level and household wealth of the second or third generation immigrants who will come after the current first generation of (illegal) immigrants.”

There’s no evidence of an increasing education level for the children and grandchildren of dominant illegal immigration group—Hispanics. Why not take more Chinese who have an average IQ of about 105 instead of Hispanics who have an average IQ of about 90? That’s a one standard deviation difference, the same as the black-white gap. Since college admission tests, like the SAT and graduate school admission tests like the LSAT (for law) are heavily g loaded, (see Jensen’s book The g Factor), Chinese immigrants are far more likely to experience increasing education level and household wealth generation.
5.27.2007 1:19pm
Milhouse (www):
How many illegal aliens end up in jail for other crimes? It depends where. But in LA County, where there are a lot of illegals, 20% of the criminals in jail are illegal aliens. That's 34K people a year who first break into the USA and then go on to commit other crimes, of the sort that get them arrested, in one county alone.
5.27.2007 3:54pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera in block quotes
Also TJIT, Rector's study is clearly flawed. First, the life expectancy of (illegal) immigrants is materially lower than the average U.S. citizen. This is due in great part to the immigrant's poor healthcare in the country of origin.

What Rector's study overlooks is that legalization of the (illegal) immigrants will 1) lead to an increase of contributions to Social Security and Medicare while 2) a greater proportion of today's (illegal) immigrants will NOT live long enough to draw on Social Security or Medicare benefits.
Your statement does not account for these items

1. Substantial amounts of money can be spent on end of life critical care regardless of what age it occurs at.
2. Many people will be eligible for medicaid before age 65.
3. Cost of indigent care provided by emergency rooms.
4. First generation immigrants earn 40 % less then US residents and will be limited in their ability to contribute to Social Security and Medicare.
5.27.2007 10:00pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera in block quotes
Second, Rector's study only focuses on the impact of (illegal) immigrants on government expenditures. The Rector study fails (although it probably never intended to) take into account the impact of (illegal) immigrants on non-government expenditures. For example, the small farm sector would cease to exist without the cheap labor of the (illegal) immigrants, which would drive up the cost you pay for your groceries.
Labor is tiny portion of the total cost of food products.

If a 40 percent farm-worker wage increase were fully passed on to consumers, and if there were no farm productivity improvements in response to higher farm wages, the 5-6 cent farm labor cost of a pound of apples or a head of lettuce would rise to 7-8 cents, and the retail price would rise from $1 to $1.02-$1.03.
5.27.2007 10:04pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera in block quotes
Third, if you solely focus on economic considerations, then perhaps you can make a valid argument against legalization of the (illegal) immigrants. However, decisions should not always be driven by economic considerations. Otherwise, you can (mis)use economic studies to support some rather immoral positions such as abortion, slavery, etc.
It can be easily argued that unfettered amnesty for illegal immigrants is immoral.

It damages the economic prospects of poor legal us residents by effectively blocking their access to the start of the economic ladder.

Amnesty moves people who broke the law in front people who followed the rules and are legally trying to become citizens. In fact the proposed amnesty treats those who broke the law better then those who followed it. Do you think that is moral?

H1-B visas are what people who come to the US legally get.

Derb—Here's a quick comparison of the provisions that matter to me:

1. H1-B: 6 years max, with option for green card (several year wait).
Z-visa: can remain in U.S. indefinitely, just have to renew every 4 years; also path to citizenship.

2. H1-B: tied to one employer, must obtain new visa if change jobs.
Z-visa: fully transferable (essentially, a renewable green card).

3. H1-B: Must pay taxes (I've paid six figures in two years).
Z-visa: Tax amnesty for all unpaid taxes.

Which status would you rather have?
5.27.2007 10:15pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera in block quotes
The fact of the matter is, TJIT, that you and like-minded individuals are just afraid of change and prefer the status quo.
Dave don't try to make a living reading minds because you aren't any good at it.

My biggest dislike of this bill is how poorly it treats foreign national who followed the law and are trying to either work in the US or become citizens.

I have noticed that every time we try and improve the "status quo" with amnesty we make things worse. Apparently you prefer to cling to platitudes and ignore what has happened with previous amnesties.

I supported the 1986 amnesty bill and thought it was a good idea. It promised improved border security and restricted employment to legal residents only. This was to turn off the driver for illegal immigration jobs provided. What we got was

1. No change in border security.

2. The process for verification of employee eligibility for work was rapidly rendered ineffective by fraudulent employment documents.

3. The Justice department accelarated this process by lodging discrimination lawsuits against employers who were diligent about checking documentation to ensure accuracy and detect fraud.


The same promises are being made with this bill. Past history clearly shows these promises are not trustworthy.
5.27.2007 10:30pm
TJIT (mail):
Interesting article in the Washington Post about the agency that is supposed to process all of the visa applications under the current amnesty bill. It looks like it simply is not capable of doing what it will have to do for this proposed amnesty to works as advertised.

Instead, they say, Congress must change how it funds the 16,000-worker agency and provide tough oversight if the agency is to move past its legacy of shoddy service, years-long delays and susceptibility to fraud. Liberals and conservatives say relying on user fees to upgrade the agency is a recipe for disaster.
5.28.2007 3:11pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
A. Zarkov, below for your reference is additional information pertaining to Table C:


Problems With Race and Hispanic Origin Mortality Rates

There are well-known difficulties in calculating accurate mortality rates for some race and Hispanic origin groups in current or past years, including both the 1990 primary base years and the 1996 to 1998 secondary base years. The numerators and denominators of the ASDRs come from different sources, and they differ in important ways. Some of these differences include 1) how race and ethnicity is reported and classified (being self-reported in the census, but not self-reported on death certificates) 2) how missing data are handled, and 3) how responses such as "other race" are handled. Thus, there is inconsistent reporting of race and ethnicity between the two data sources--death records and census records. There is convincing evidence that the ASDRs for some race and ethnic groups, as currently measured, are underestimated. One study that compared race and ethnic identification on CPS surveys with those of death certificates suggests that API death rates could be underestimated by 12 percent, and by 25 percent for American Indians.34 35 However, we do not yet know of an adequate way to adjust our race and ethnic mortality rates, and correction factors are not available at this time. We currently use the existing data until we have a stronger basis for making adjustments.
5.28.2007 5:18pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
TJIT, your position fails to take into account the following items:

1. Immigrants, legal or otherwise, may choose to forego end of life critical care as I have because of a preference to not burden surviving family members with outstanding medical bills;

2. While many immigrants, legal or otherwise, will qualify for Medicaid prior to age 65, there are also many immigrants, legal or otherwise, who will never need Medicaid such as my family (thanks be to God);

3. While the cost of indigent care provided by emergency rooms is a valid concern, so also is the concern regarding the looming shortage in medical care personnel which immigrants, legal or otherwise, will be more than happy to train for if provided the opportunity (not handouts);

4. While first generation immigrants may initially earn less than US citizens from the outset, this gap narrows with each passing year. Furthermore, it is a known fact that the birthrate among US citizens declines after several generations. Coupled with the fact that people are living longer and hence we have a looming Social Security crisis whereby there are fewer workers per retiree with each passing generation. However, the birthrate among immigrants, legal or otherwise, is typically higher and the immigrants are also younger so facilitating the legalization of immigrants will actually help alleviate the problem of having too few workers per retiree.
5.28.2007 5:33pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
Also TJIT, I have never argued for unfettered amnesty for illegal aliens and quite frankly, I don't recall any politician today calling for unfettered amnesty. The current bill may facilitate amnesty for the illegal aliens but there are a lot of strings attached and some costly ones at that. Coupling the adjective "unfettered" with amnesty is quite frankly intellectually dishonest on your part.
5.28.2007 5:36pm
David Maquera (mail) (www):
In addition, TJIT, I don't pretend to read minds but I can certainly read between your lines, which leads me to conclude "that you and like-minded individuals are just afraid of change and prefer the status quo."

That said, I agree with your sentiments that failure to implement strict border controls subsequent to the 1986 bill constitutes a broken promise and I applaud those those who actually get around to keeping that promise via the current "amnesty" bill. As for the Justice Department lodging discrimination lawsuits against those employers you alluded to, please provide me with the citation and/or case number and federal court so I can review via PACER. Thank you.
5.28.2007 5:46pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
David Maquera:

The qualifications about Table C don’t change my rebuttal to your claim that “… First, the life expectancy of (illegal) immigrants is materially lower than the average U.S. citizen.” At worst we don’t know, and what evidence we have seems to indicate the very opposite.
5.29.2007 12:19am
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera,

You are rightfully proud of your families achievements and the contribution they have made since coming to the US. Please don't make the mistake of looking at the good job your family of legal immigrants has done and automatically assume illegal immigrants will behave the same way.

I have shown that

1. This bill favors immigrants who will use more resources then they contribute.

2. It continues to treat educated professionals from foreign countries who try and move to the US badly.

3. The government agencies that are supposed to process the applications for Z visas are not capable of doing this.

4. Lack of staff and funding assures us that the enforcement provisions of this amnesty will never be effectively implemented

I have provided links to analysis that supports the above statements. Many of these analysis point out further problems with the current bill.

You have responded with bromides and personal insults. Bromides and personal insults are entertaining but they are not an argument.
5.29.2007 3:06pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera in block quotes
The current bill may facilitate amnesty for the illegal aliens but there are a lot of strings attached and some costly ones at that. Coupling the adjective "unfettered" with amnesty is quite frankly intellectually dishonest on your part.
Every twenty years congress passes a law that gives amnesty to every illegal immigrant currently in the country. That can only be described as one thing unfettered amnesty.

That said, I agree with your sentiments that failure to implement strict border controls subsequent to the 1986 bill constitutes a broken promise and I applaud those those who actually get around to keeping that promise via the current "amnesty" bill.
It takes an entertaining amount of gullibility to believe that promise. My previous links showed why the enforcement and border control provisions of this bill are a sham that is doomed to failure.

This why opponents of this bill want to see clear progress on the enforcement before amnesty is considered.
5.29.2007 3:23pm
TJIT (mail):
David Maquera,

You might find the link below to be interesting reading. It is a review by an attorney of the proposed legislation and the many, many, flaws in the proposed amnesty.

There are so many problems with this bill that it should not be introduced in the Senate absent a period of open hearings on it and the solicitation of expert opinion from various analysts across the ideological spectrum.
5.29.2007 3:44pm