God's Politics

God's Politics


Amy Ard: I’m Harboring an Undocumented Person

posted by gp_intern

It’ll feel good to get this off my chest: I’m harboring an undocumented person. Growing at the rate of half a pound each week, somewhere between my rib cage and my bladder, this interloper is preparing to make his/her grand entrance sometime in the next four to seven weeks – and for the life of me, I can’t figure out whether he or she is a true-blooded U.S. citizen.

Unlike many of our uninvited, hard-working guests currently in the United States, this little stowaway doesn’t have so much as a library card for documentation. And what about this meaningless “birth certificate” I’ll sign with the aid of my coyote (okay, midwife)? I’ve looked that document over, and as far as I can tell it doesn’t offer any guarantee that this new citizen will be productive, good looking, or give a hoot about U.S. foreign policy. Do we really want such an unpredictable kid running wild on the streets of Washington, D.C.?

So what exactly has this child done to deserve U.S. citizenship? Should he/she expect a free ride on the American Dream Expressway just for passing through the birth canal of a tax-paying, hard-working, U.S.-citizen mother? Talk about cheating the system! This small fry hasn’t paid one cent of taxes (and if I read the IRS materials correctly, I actually get to pay less when he/she hits the scene!), I’d be surprised if he/she can speak more than a few words of English within a year of arriving on U.S. soil, and instead of contributing to the U.S. economy this little person will just take, take, take.

Right now the U.S. Senate is working hard to hammer out the details of building big fences on the border (mostly concerning themselves with the one to the south) and finding ways to make immigrants pay for the great honor of picking tomatoes for our Big Macs and turning down the sheets at our Hilton Hotels. They’re suggesting that these workers pay $5,000 (over 20 percent of the average yearly salary for an agricultural worker) and return to their country of origin to get a nice stamp in a visa book before returning to pick up where they left off in those high-paying gigs.

What’s wrong with coming up with a way to make sure that those lucky enough to be born on U.S. soil actually deserve the benefits of citizenship that are so casually bestowed to them when they arrive, all wrinkled-up and screaming? If some folks are willing to walk across a burning desert with no money, little water, and no guarantee they’ll make it past some over-caffeinated Minuteman’s pickup truck, shouldn’t we ensure that those who make the comparatively easy trip down the birth canal work a little bit harder for their journey to citizenship?

Here’s my proposal: nobody gets automatic U.S. citizenship. Instead, we give ourselves some time to get to know these new recruits. How about instituting a review board for toddlers? For those who show anti-social tendencies (remember, we’ve grown terrorists here, too) we’ll go ahead and install some wiretaps and video-cams for closer observation. And imagine having all 12-year-olds pass an English language and citizenship test. Additionally, the $5,000 citizenship fee should be extended to all who wish to live and work in this great land. Or, better yet, we institute a progressive fee determined by an individual’s net worth. Rich kids will pay more. A large number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. currently pay taxes, so that’s no excuse for those of us born here – from here on out you pay your taxes and you pay for the unwarranted privilege of being born in Atlanta, Georgia, Granville, Ohio, Sacramento, California, etc. Fair is fair.

Oh, and these kids shouldn’t be allowed to vote until enough pollsters have been dispatched to figure out exactly which way they swing. If they promise to disrupt the balance of power, we won’t allow them in the voting booth. Our democracy depends on stability and predictability. Who knows what upstarts are being born right now?

As one or two country music musicians remind us: freedom isn’t free. And U.S. citizenship shouldn’t be either. A note to the little kick boxer in my belly – Immigration and Customs Enforcement may not be knocking down the door to our birthing room, but don’t think because you’re scheduled to be born on the 4th of July it means you deserve high-priced healthcare and the freedom to own a gun. Kid, you’re going to have to prove you deserved to be born here.


Amy Ard is the National Field Organizer for Sojourners/Call to Renewal.



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cs

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:06 pm


I understand satire, and see your argument. Nevertheless…. This is one of the most idiotic rants I have ever read, which is saying something. Citizenship by virtue of being born in a particular place has quite a historical record. To compare a fetus/baby growing within (I presume) a citizen mother and an illegal alien crossing a border against the laws of a sovereign state is quite a distance beyond “apples and oranges.” Good luck on your expected delivery. God bless.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:10 pm


Well, thanks to those who share your ideology, you also had full rights to kill the little feller before he ever reached the, um, border.Careful how you extrapolate your analogies, sister.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:42 pm


Good post. You have managed to get the chief necon p.o’d already.



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Don

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:46 pm


Good comment, Sarasota. And excellent satire, Amy. Not idotic at all for those with eyes to see and ears to hear. Peace,



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AAH

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:47 pm


It seems to me that the value of using analogies is to help approach an issue in a fresh way, to help people see similarities and differences between one person’s life and anothers. As the first two commenters have made mind-numbingly clear, it is a strategy that does not always work. It does require at least some openness and humility on the part of the reader. To me, some of what makes this latest blog post helpful and fresh is that it so effectively points out how privilege works…that it is often bestowed upon us without any work on our part. And that we will forgive our own for deserving so much while doing so little, but are quick to deny some others the same hospitality. Certainly there is a long history of granting citizenship by birth, but it is helpful to remember that citizenship by birth is a privilege, a privilege we continue to grant to children merely because they were born to immigrants (all of us) who made it here before them.And as the blog entry so pithily reminds us, many of the undocumented workers that are here have worked hard and risked much to have the privilege of just being here, to just work here at poverty wages. To not remind ourselves of that and demonstrate respect for that courage and work ethic, especially as we begin any discussion about the privilege of citizenship or residency, does violence to our own heritage and the American sense of identity that our children will hopefully be privileged enough to inherit.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:48 pm


Having spent a total of nearly two years in Africa, I have become very aware that I have had more than my share of wealth, opportunities, and resources simply by having been born white, male, and a U.S. citizen. During my first trip to Africa, I would fervently deny the implication that because I am a U.S. citizen I am wealthy. After a couple of months, my eyes were opened and I realized that in comparison to the standards of living of most of the African with whom I had contact, I am filthy rich. I believe that many U.S. citizens take the advantages we have by virtue of nothing more than our birth in this country for granted literally. When we were born here, we were granted with opportunities that most people on this planet will never have. I understand that as individuals and as a society we have worked hard to achieve our status, I m not denying that at all. I worked hard to save money to travel in Africa. I worked hard to save money to go to school so that I can go back to Africa and work in healthcare, but there are people who work as hard or harder than I ever will who will never have the opportunity to save money to travel outside of their own country or pursue an advanced education. IMO, the vision of many U.S. citizens does not extend beyond the borders of this country. I was 14 years old in 1977 when my parents moved my family to Tehran. As difficult as that time in our lives was, I gained a perspective of the world I never would have had otherwise, and I am grateful for it. I don t know how many times I ve seen someone post on this blog that Christians in this country are being persecuted by the media or by the left. Give me a break! Read Acts and tell me you ve suffered the kind of persecution that Saul inflicted on Christians, or that Paul suffered when he preached the Gospel. Understanding how the rest of the world views us would go a long way in allowing us to understand why some people feel hostility towards us. Peace!



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Wayne

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm


Amy You are wonderful. Don’t be surpirised that these few don’t see it, even Jesus had to demand that people listen and see.Congratulations on the soon to come immigrant! Kevin; I think it is you who should be care-ful.



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Jean

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:50 pm


Great article, Amy. You are stirring up people’s thinking, which is what we need.



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 8:59 pm


“Good comment, Sarasota. And excellent satire, Amy. Not idotic at all for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.” Essentially, what you have said is that it is effective satire for those who already agree with her general premise. That is not the same as excellent satire. Nobody who disagrees with the author will be moved by this, I assure you. Excellent satire is pointed, a hairs-breath from reality. However, this particular satire has a rather fuzzy target. Her point has merit to the extent that we consider the right to citizenship to be a moral judgment, when nobody has claimed that it is. Nobody has suggested that we tie citizenship to merit, and so this satire actually takes a swing at a strawman.



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Wolverine

posted May 17, 2007 at 9:24 pm


Hoo-boy, this is a total riot. Yup, life is unfair. Ms. Ard’s child will be born a US citizen while around the planet thousands upon thousands of little rug rats will grow up without that advantage. Life is so cruel. But there’s a solution: we build a really big military and conquer the world. That way every child can be born a US citizen! Laugh folks, I’m kidding. At least as much as Ms. Ard is. Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:44 pm


Hey Dick. Dick Cheney! Is that you impersonating Wolverine again?



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Sarasotakid

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:55 pm


I was impressed with the lesson in what good satire is. It certainly contributed to the discussion.Shame on you, Don, for calling it “good” satire without consulting the resident expert! It all goes to show that there are some here who major in the minors and who specialize in missing the point!



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kevin s.

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:01 pm


“It all goes to show that there are some here who major in the minors and who specialize in missing the point!” I spoke to both the quality of the satire and the point itself, not that the two aren’t related.



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Mike Hayes

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:01 pm


Excellent post, Amy! “…what makes this latest blog post helpful and fresh is that it so effectively points out how privilege works…that it is often bestowed upon us without any work on our part. And that we will forgive our own for deserving so much while doing so little, but are quick to deny some others the same hospitality…”. I wonder whether my dad’s grandparents would have been admitted if they would have had to meet the criteria in effect today… I think the basic requirement was that an immigrant at that time had to be free of communicable diseases… Excellent post, Amy!



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Jason Connolly

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:04 pm


There was point to the tripe?



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Wolverine

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:18 pm


Sarasotakid wrote: It all goes to show that there are some here who major in the minors and who specialize in missing the point! Yes, that’s a pretty good description of Ms. Ard: It ll feel good to get this off my chest: I m harboring an undocumented person. That’s a preferred dodge of the amnesty crowd: undocumented, as if the problem were all about misplaced papers and not illegal entry, and we regularly deported people who lost their driver’s licences. The fact is, Ms. Ard is here legally and therefore her baby is here legally. The paperwork can wait until after the baby is born. Dick Cheney (aka Wolverine)



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Jason Connolly

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:30 pm


It is posts like Amy that take away from the quality poverty related work that Sojourners does. Sojourners needs to stick to poverty issues. When Sojouorners branches into areas other than poverty it gets silly.



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jesse

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:42 pm


Question for Ard and the “pro-undocumented worker” crowd:Among the industrialized nations, is there a country that has an immigration policy you approve of?Because it sounds like the only policy you support is open borders. It’s also my understanding that the US’s laws are even softer than Mexico’s.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:42 pm


I fully understand the right wing’s wanting to call people illegal aliens with major emphasis on the word “illegal.” Since they are so “legalistic” they feel the need to dehmanize these people. All in the love of Christ, of course.



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jesse

posted May 17, 2007 at 11:56 pm


Sarasotakid, Is it dehumanizing to call law-breakers “criminals”? Is it dehumanizing when the Bible refers to “adulterers”? There are dozens of names for people that may be negative. But just because they are negative doesn’t mean they are dehumanizing.



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Ed

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:00 am


People who cannot make the connection between immigration reform and poverty are missing the point. When we pay people slave wages to do jobs that others can’t or won’t do, giving them no option but to live and work in unhealthy, dangerous conditions then we’re talking about poverty. Sojourners is addressing the issue of immiagration from the perspective of fighting poverty and should be applauded for that.



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cs

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:04 am


Sarasotakid, There is nothing “legalistic” about acknowledging reality. Those who cross the border of a sovereign nation, in violation of that nation’s laws, are committing an illegal act. People who are not citizens of a country are generally referred to as “aliens.” Hence, “illegal aliens.” It says nothing about their worth or dignity as humans. It says everything about whether or not they are in a particular nation by legal means. As far as the “love of Christ” and certain commenters’ references to analogies… Jesus lived in a nation occupied by a foreign power. He told a parable about foreign soldiers compelling, by legal means, the Jewish citizens to carry their stuff for 1 mile. He told them to exceed the legal requirement and carry it two. Wonder what application that particular parable would have to those advocating breaking the law on immigration issues?



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:16 am


“…those advocating breaking the law on immigration issues” Yawn. We’ve heard all this before. One more time.All together now… NOBODY What about compassion for desperate people who are just trying to earn a living?



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:16 am


Oops. Posted before I finished. I’ll try again! Peace,



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:18 am


“…those advocating breaking the law on immigration issues” Yawn. We’ve heard all this before. One more time.All together now… NOBODY IS ADVOCATING BREAKING IMMIGRATION LAWS. What we ARE advocating is CHANGING THE LAWS to recognize a painful reality for many individuals. What about compassion for desperate people who are just trying to earn a living? The Bible has a lot to say about loving our neighbors. The undocumented among us are the new Samaritans. Who are our neighbors, folks? Peace,



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Jason Connolly

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:20 am


I understand the link between immigration and poverty. The greater the number the immigrants, the more people living in poverty. Immigrants bring poverty. Why as a nation would we want to increase the number of people in poverty?



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:27 am


So lets just kick out all the aliens, even those with green cards and we’ll see an end to poverty!!! It’s true! They will have to pay thirty bucks an hour just to get workers at McDonalds. Whoohoo! Jason will be rich!



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:32 am


“Immigrants bring poverty.” Not true. Not true at all. Some immigrants have actually created jobs for native-born Americans. Just go to Silicon Valley and see how many high-tech companies are owned and/or managed by immigrants. Wayne, you need to study more about the issue. I suggest you go to the Sojo Web site and look up some of the links they have posted on this issue. Peace,



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Jason Connolly

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:36 am


I have no desire to be rich. I If McDonalds must pay $30/hour to retain workers than so be it. There is an obvious link between poverty and immigration status. Please stop with the personal attacks they’re silly.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:41 am


Oops again! Sorry, Wayne. I meant Jason. And I wasn’t attacking you personally, Jason. But you make an assertion that isn’t true. You claim an “obvious” link between poverty and immigration status. Mind if you share your source for that information? Don’t just make assertions unless you are prepared to back them up. Later,



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:45 am


Jason: Here is a link to some common untruths about immigrants. The source is the Catholic bishops’ campaign for immigration reform. Note the number of untrue myths that deal with economic issues. http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/myths.html Peace,



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Jason Connolly

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:47 am


Don,Please come to my fair city (Cathedral City, California) and you will see the link between immigration status and poverty. I known a fair amount of people who “no tengo papeles de immigracion” and they live in utter poverty. If you have immigrants with little formal education in their home country, who don’t speak the native tongue, you have poverty.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:49 am


Jason: Maybe some of what you observed is true in your own community. But before you make blanket statements, take a look at the larger picture. Take a look at the link I provided. Sources for their information is all documented. Later,



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:52 am


I have an excellent idea. I suggest Jason, Kevin, Moderatelad, cs, and lets not forget Donny, form an organization. We’ll call it the SPCA, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Americans. We’ll run ads on TV showing all of our sad faces because our unemployment rates are just over 4%, we have to pay $3.50 for gasoline and can’t find someone to carry our bags into the resort who speaks english very well. Every ad will end with “God Bless America, Land of the Free and Home of the brave.”



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J.K.

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:03 am


Despite the sanctimonious crowing of some of the commentators, there is nothing wrong, whatsoever, with being privileged. I don’t have issues with your views on immigration – it’s your logic. Either your saying that children should be like immigrants, or immigrants should be like children: if they make it here, they’re citizens. But there is no Biblical or logical defense of equality. Biblically speaking, children have a privileged position by virtue of being born in the right house. Or do you suppose that God was unfair when he saved the firstborn Israelites but slaughtered the Egyptians without even so much as a public warning? Rational and Godly mothers have always wanted the best for their children, because there is a bond of blood that is thicker than any other. Or do you fill your house with illegal immigrants? Would you donate a kidney to a stranger or your child? The sad thing is that you’re not so much raising the view of immigrants as you are disparaging children. Unless you’re just advocating open borders. What do you suppose the difference is between the US and Mexico, exactly? What would the US look like after 20 years of wide open borders? So if it’s not open borders, and not disparaging your children and treating your own blood like strangers, then what is it?



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Jason Connolly

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:13 am


Wayne, I have an idea come to my house. You will see a gringo married to a Mexican, with Spanish language TV blaring in the background. Perhaps you might want to look at our family finances, to see how much money my wife and I send to help her family members in Mexico. I don’t need a silly lecture accusing me of racism.



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:30 am


Jason What do you want? Basically, been there, are there, done that, doing that, I am truly sorry you seem to resent it and I hope I am wrong here. I agree, you do not need a silly lecture. I would say you might try reading what Don suggested.



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:14 am


Jason, I’m not sure you do get the link. What school of economics leads you to believe that more labor = less wealth? Oh yeah, the faulty one that Sojourners buys into as well that seems to believe wealth is a static lump sum that must be divided — once you make that assumption, it makes sense that ten people must be poor for one person to be rich. Fortunately, wealth doesn’t work that way. It’s only the entitlement system that mandates more people, less wealth. “I known a fair amount of people who ‘no tengo papeles de immigracion’ and they live in utter poverty.” -Jason, for your presumption to be true, the illegals would have to be poorer here than they were, *or* they’d have to lower the wealth level of the people in Cathedral City. Is your family poorer because illegals live in your town? I doubt it. (you *might* be harmed by raised taxes, but that’s the system’s fault, not the illegals) I do support reforming immigration, laws, BTW. I tend to support an almost entirely open border (I don’t mind security checks though), provided that entitlement disappears first.



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cs

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:28 am


Nobody is advocating breaking immigration laws???? I thought a “beliefnet” board might be interested in truth and reality. The primary debate about immigration at this point is whether to provide amnesty to those who have already broken the law. Ask any lawyer whether changing a law affects those who have previously broken it. Generally speaking, laws in force at the time of the action are enforced. If the law is changed later, it usually affects those who act after its effective change. So, if the usual process is followed, changing the immigration laws should affect those coming over the border in the future. Are you advocating this? Or are you advocating removing legal consequences for those who have already broken the immigration laws on the books at this time? If you choose the second option, you are advocating the breaking of existing immigration law. Period. End of story.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:28 am


“Is it dehumanizing to call law-breakers “criminals”? Is it dehumanizing when the Bible refers to “adulterers”? There are dozens of names for people that may be negative. But just because they are negative doesn’t mean they are dehumanizing.” Yes it is dehumanizing and in many cases plainly inaccurate. A person who enters the country legally but overstays his or her visa has not broken any law. It is a civil violation. For those who enter illegally, they have committed a misdemeanor. The word criminal connotes some moral failure. The vast majority of these people are not moral failures. They are doing the necessary to take care of their families. They are following a greater law. The law of survival. Your bitterness and resentment are palpable. Your logic, reason and compassion are undetectable.



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:40 am


Sarasotakid wrote: Yes it is dehumanizing and in many cases plainly inaccurate. A person who enters the country legally but overstays his or her visa has not broken any law. It is a civil violation. For those who enter illegally, they have committed a misdemeanor. Time to address this little nugget. Kid presumes that, because the penalties for overstaying a visa or entering illegally are relatively modest, that these are not serious infractions. Of course, he neglects to mention that the law calls for deportation in both instances. The modest penalties are supposed to be in conjunction with removal from the country. Also: a misdemeanor is a crime, and depending on details can include a prison sentence. So while a foreigner who enters legally but then overstays his visa is not a criminal, a foreigner who sneaks across the border is. Wolverine



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:41 am


cs Beside Sarasotakid’s very relevant remarks why don’t you read Amy’s blog. 20% of anyone’s annual income is in no way amnesty. I suggest if you keep using that term you should be fined 20% of your income and see how you like my calling it amnesty! There is no amnesty! Anyone who uses the term is spreading lies!



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:51 am


Wolfie You advocate the use of dehumanizing terms like “illegal” but can’t stand being referred to in anyway that is negative. Then you wonder at the heat you get for your responses. People who commit minor crimes usually get fined. 2,500.00 to 5,000.00 is a prety steep fine. I submit it is high enough that you should call them “Madam” or “Sir”. 12,000,000 times $5,000.00 is how much? 60 billion is the correct answer. How much would you pay for the priviledge of being called such names? But your not mean spirited or heartless or callous or reptilian. Not you Wolfie.



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:21 am


Wayne wrote: There is no amnesty! Anyone who uses the term is spreading lies! Back in 1986, we gave legal status to persons who had been in the country on an, erm, unofficial basis, (is that okay?) for five years. Nearly everyone, including the plan’s supporters, called it an “amnesty”. I suggest that advocates of, uh, alternative immigration procedures, (any objections?) are so determined to erase the word “amnesty” from the debate is because their “alternative immigration procedure” is so similar to the “amnesty” that we’ve already granted. Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:52 am


According to Webster: “Amnesty” is the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals. According to Webster, “Pardon” is the excusing of an offense without exacting a penalty. So when the uncharitable neo-con reactionaries accuse those who advocate legalizing people after they have come out of the shadows and paid a significant fine, they are misusing the word “amnesty” because they know that the connotation is that someone is getting away with something without consequence. And when people get away with a wrong without consequences, that arouses a very negative reaction. When it all boils down to its most basic elements, certain neo-conservative reactionaries know that the present proposals are not an amnesty by the dictionary term. They fail to mention it though. What they are really looking at is the level of punishment. They will not be satisfied with anything short of the departure of undocumented (illegal) immigrants. It’s a question of law versus grace. Of being a Pharisee versus redemption. They diminish the human cost of mass deportation either out of cold indifference or spite. In so doing, they act in a distinctly unchristian manner.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:58 am


The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 was an “amnesty” because no fine or penalty was assessed for overstays. We erase amnesty from the debate because: 1) it is not factually correct (but what do you care about the facts?); and 2) because reactionary neo-cons have so misused the term to stir up a negative public reaction, we would be crazy to call it that. I propose we call it Redemptive Integration. We are taking people out of the shadows and giving them a shot of living the American dream. I’m proud of advocating such a policy and could not live with myself if I were so narrow and mean as to advocate mass deportations and the splitting up of families. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Peace.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:02 am


Sarasotakid: We seem to have circled this mountain before. It seems that those who understand don’t need us to tell them. Those who refuse to understand won’t, no matter what we tell them. It’s frustrating; you can see my frustration in the tone of some of my posts. What a shame that the political talking points of the “neo-con reactionaries” as you call them are taken for reality by some. Peace,



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:02 am


“Of course, he neglects to mention that the law calls for deportation in both instances.”No need to mention it. It is a well known fact. What you probably don’t realize, though, is that the courts have repeatedly classified deportation (officially called “removal proceedings” since 1996) proceedings as civil proceedings. Just another fact of which you most likely unaware. Not that the facts or compassion would matter to you anyway.



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:12 am


The proposed Senate bill seems to include the following. A total eight year probation,and a $5,000.00 fine, plus payment of any back taxes. Then another 5 year waiting period for citizenship, if desired, after a move back to the country of origen. Stricter border control measures, triggers that say we have secured the border and need the workers. All fees are applicable and mandatory on top of the fine. (Lou Dobbs is already calling it amnesty) Sarasotakid is there any other like offense that carries any where near this penalty? I am referring only to the fine and probation.



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:26 am


On the subject of deportation as part of immigration law, Sarasota Kid wrote: No need to mention it. It is a well known fact. What you probably don’t realize, though, is that the courts have repeatedly classified deportation (officially called “removal proceedings” since 1996) proceedings as civil proceedings. Okay, so deportation is a “civil proceeding”, which implies it is a minor thing, right? So why do you treat it as such an outrage? Wolverine



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jesse

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:59 am


Sarasotakid, Are you aware that “illegal immigrant” is the term used by the AP? This is common parlance. Why do you continue to insult those with whom you are debating? Have I insulted you at all?



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cs

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:15 am


Let’s look at this in a slightly different light, shall we? Over the past several years, several million people have entered our country in a manner which is not consistent with immigration law. Immigration law calls for them to be returned to their home country when discovered. As a nation, we have apparently lacked willingness (for one reason or another) to act in a manner consistent with these laws on a large scale. Now, in an attempt to address this issue, some are advocating for allowing them to remain in this country, on a path to citizenship which also includes financial penalties. Is there any chance that if and/or when significant numbers of these individuals are unwilling or unable to pay the financial costs, we will suddenly find the motivation to then deport them, when they have failed to comply with yet another legal obligation?



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squeaky

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:26 am


J.K wrote: “there is nothing wrong, whatsoever, with being privileged” Well–true. I dont think that was Amy’s point. Neuro-Nurse’s post gets the point across. Privilege is nothing more than an accident of birth. What should emphatically NOT come with that accident is a sense of entitlement, a sense that people born into impoverished circumstances are less than, a sense that people born into impoverished circumstances can just pull themselves up by their bootstraps because they have every opportunity that everyone else has. What SHOULD emphatically come with that accident is a sense of gratitude for the blessings received simply by being born into the right circumstances, and a sense that God gave us those blessings to use to help others. They are blessings not to be taken for granted but to be used to further His kingdom and help others do the same. The U.S. is seen as the land of opportunity, “the shining city of a hill.” We advertise it as such, and yet we are surprised that people want to live here? Immigration reform is exceedingly complex and there are no easy answers. But if we acknowledge that we were born into this prosperous nation for a reason, maybe we will use our blessings by having compassion for those who are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (as prescribed) and find a means of making those efforts not only viable but legal.



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squeaky

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:35 am


cs “Over the past several years, several million people have entered our country in a manner which is not consistent with immigration law.” Why do they come here? They come here because there is work. Why is there work? Because U.S. businesses employ them. Maybe if you don’t want illegal immigrants in this nation, the first step is to crack down on those who hire them. What are the economic implications of that, though? Suddenly, all these millions of jobs will be vacant. And those who will be called on to fill them (U.S. citizens) will not fill them because they are, for the most part, difficult jobs with long hours and substandard pay. So, in order to get those jobs filled, the employer then needs to pay the workers more, and those excess costs to the employers are reflected in–yup–higher costs for the goods that the employer is producing. Those who say illegal immigrants put a strain on our economy often fail to recognize this little excercise in cause and effect, and in so doing, also fail to recognize the complexity of these issues. I’m not arguing for opening the borders–I have no clue what the answer is (other than the economy of Mexico and South America improving), but please, try to look at all the sides of this complex issue. Without doing that, we will end up spending billions on bandaid solutions like building giant walls that almost certainly will do more harm than good.



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:33 am


“Despite the sanctimonious crowing” I have no idea what you mean…



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:40 am


“Suddenly, all these millions of jobs will be vacant. And those who will be called on to fill them (U.S. citizens) will not fill them because they are, for the most part, difficult jobs with long hours and substandard pay. ” Thank you for making the honest, sensible argument. The way I see it, there is no “win” here. Through a confluence of good intentions, corporate interests, and administrative failure, we did not enforce our very sensible laws.As a result, there will be suffering, whichever way you slice it. However, I think that the companies who will suddenly be without workers should bear an enormous part of the burden. They will be forced to hire workers at wages that are above market, as they will be forced to fill multiple openings simultaneously. Ultimately, I think this will benefit our economy, and will benefit those who have entered this country legally. In fact, it will allow us the means to provide more space for them. In the end, the companies that took advantage of a broken system, and those who have abided by the system will benefit. But that’s just me, and you know how I love HItler.



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HASH(0x11733348)

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:54 am


“(U.S. citizens) will not fill them because they are, for the most part, difficult jobs with long hours and substandard pay. ” No, U.S. citizens will not fill them because boomers are too old and x-ers are too educated to fill them. Americans are hard working people who have proven throughout our history to be willing do just about anything for work. Unauthorized labor fills a gap in our labor force that our native-born population cannot whether they want to or not. “…we did not enforce our very sensible laws” Since when did schizophrenically encouraging unauthorized immigration by rewarding the successful ones with jobs while simultaneously despising this labor force preventing them from participating fully in society equate to sensibility. Our “sensible” laws have allowed no legal means for our industry to access needed workers. You can talk about how generous this country is in allowing immigrants to come until you are blue in the face – the fact is we do not allow enough, or at least enough of the right kind of workers. This is why the 1986 Amnesty was a failure. It legalized the current population, yes, but did not allow for future labor flows into our low-skilled labor force. As has been stated, due to historically low unemployment and the above-mentioned labor gap, if we for instance begin paying lettuce pickers $50/hr we will merely have a labor shortage in another sector of the labor force. “I think that the companies who will suddenly be without workers should bear an enormous part of the burden.” This is either purposefully avoiding the reality or simply ignorant. The devastation caused by separating families PERMANENTLY is not comparable to financial hardship for industry. Families will be the ones to bear the enormous bulk of the burden if deportations (pure or through attrition) are our goal. This is the suffering that matters. And (as I said in the comments to Wallis vs. Dobbs) seems to be something you are fairly comfortable with. I ask again, “Where is that in scripture?”



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:03 pm


Okay, so deportation is a “civil proceeding”, which implies it is a minor thing, right? So why do you treat it as such an outrage? Because it will split families up and hurt people, which seems to matter precious little to the neo-conservative reactionaries. I made the distinction that it is a not a criminal proceeding because people need to know that since not only do the opponents of legalizing undocumented foreign nationals want to exact punitive retribution on them but they want to cast shame on them as if deportation were a criminal proceeding. I guess that that is how the game is played. First speak about the situation inaccurately, then get called on it, then exaggerate something else. It’s amazing what those with a judgmental attitude will do, but hey, you know only too well. You live it.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:09 pm


But if we acknowledge that we were born into this prosperous nation for a reason, maybe we will use our blessings by having compassion for those who are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps (as prescribed) and find a means of making those efforts not only viable but legal. squeaky Well stated, Squeaky. Not everybody is there yet.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:23 pm


We seem to have circled this mountain before. It seems that those who understand don’t need us to tell them. Those who refuse to understand won’t, no matter what we tell them. Don Thank you for those words of wisdom, Don. Have a great day.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 12:26 pm


“Are you aware that ‘illegal immigrant’ is the term used by the AP?” Maybe the AP does use the term “illegal immigrant.” I don’t know that for sure; I’ll have to check my AP style guide when I get to work this morning. But the INS, the arm of government that is in charge of enforcing immigration law, calls them “undocumented.” It would seem logical to think that the INS has more authority in this matter than the AP. At any rate, I prefer to use that term, not only because it is what those who enforce the laws in question call it, but also because it’s more accurate (i.e., they are living here without the proper documentation–”no tengo papeles de inmigraci n,” as one earlier post put it). It also has the advantage, from my point of view, of being less pejorative, though I have no doubt that the “neo-con reactionaries” would prefer a more pejorative term. Peace,



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jesse

posted May 18, 2007 at 1:18 pm


though I have no doubt that the “neo-con reactionaries” would prefer a more pejorative term. –I’m guessing your aware of the irony in your statement here.Look up any AP story on the bill yesterday. Check the NY Times, too.I think Wolverine’s take on undocumented v. illegal makes the most sense.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:07 pm


Don, In order for our arguments to make sense to the neo-conservative reactionaries, two essential elements are require. Both are missing from their analytical paradigm: 1) a clear grasp of the facts, and 2)Christ-like compassion. If either element is missing the result is…well, you have been around long enough to see the result.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:11 pm


Jesse: I will stay with the INS’s term, thank you. It’s certainly more descriptive. But maybe I’ll begin calling them neo-Samaritans. After all, those of you who insist that we must follow the letter of the law and deport each and every one of them (that is assuming we can locate and identify 12 million souls and have the logistical wherewithal to accomplish the deed) seem to feel about the same toward them as the Jews of Jesus’ time felt about the Samaritans. Jesus told the story of the Samaritan in answer to the question, “Who is my neighbor”? Who, indeed? Peace,



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:21 pm


“I’m guessing [you're] aware of the irony in your statement here.” Indeed I am. That’s why I put the term in quotes. Moreover, I was borrowing someone else’s usage. What non-pejorative term would you prefer that we use to identify those who insist on the letter of the law in disregard of the monstrous effect this would have on families that are only trying to eke out a living? Any ideas? Later,



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:22 pm


“…two essential elements are required. Both are missing from their analytical paradigm: 1) a clear grasp of the facts, and 2)Christ-like compassion.” Especially number 2. Peace,



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 2:49 pm


sarasotakid wrote: …people need to know that since not only do the opponents of legalizing undocumented foreign nationals want to exact punitive retribution on them but they want to cast shame on them as if deportation were a criminal proceeding. The “shame” is mostly in your head, kid. I’ve said before that our government is largely at fault for this situation. I’ve also stated that illegal immigrants who return home should not be denied entry if they apply to visit or immigrate legally. And while I can’t speak for all the neocon reactionary reptiles, I can’t think of anyone who has said anything different. Anyway, I’m going to ignore your posts for a little while, they consist largely of insults at this stage anyway. Instead, I’m going to address some of your frequently asserted but never really proved claims about the “inhumanity” of returning illegal immigrants to their countries of origin. Wolverine



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:18 pm


“I’m going to address some of your frequently asserted but never really proved claims about the “inhumanity” of returning illegal immigrants to their countries of origin.” I’m going to preempt this and ask a few questions myself. 1. If this policy is so ‘humane,’ why do you feel you have to defend it? 2. If we’re going to allow these deportees to apply for legal entry anyway, why go through all the logistical hassles (not to mention the expense) of sending them home in the first place? 3. Should our government be in the business of deliberately sundering families when the only “crime” committed is a misdemeanor not punishable by incarceration? 4. WWJD? (I know, you will tell me that’s an unfair question, especially since nobody in his day thought about such things as national borders and illegal entry.) But it’s still a good thing to ponder. Later,



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:19 pm


CLAIM I IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT WILL SEND MILLIONS OF IMMIGRANTS BACK TO LIVE IN WRETCHED POVERTY. But legalization advocates see no problem with assessing back taxes, fees and fines as high as $5,000 before illegal immigrants can apply for citizenship. The thing about retrograde economies is that money can be very hard to come by, but a little cash goes a long way. That same five grand would go a long way towards getting out of the barrio. I can’t speak for all illegal immigration opponents, but I’m not aware of any who advocate stripping illegal immigrants of their savings. COUNTERARGUMENT: The five grand is based on the newly legalized immigrant working legally and receiving at least minimum wage. RESPONSE: This means conceding that illegal immigrants are receiving substandard wages now. Can you guarantee that they will be able to hold on to those same jobs at higher wages, and with all the added costs of legal employment? (These include unemployment insurance, workers comp, overtime pay, and compliance with OSHA.) Keep in mind that legal (i.e. higher) wages are likely to draw US citizens out of the woodwork. COUNTERARGUMENT: Many illegal immigrants live a hand-to-mouth existence in the US and cannot save any significant amount of money. RESPONSE: In other words, they are desperately poor here too. COUNTERARGUMENT: Illegal immigrants send whatever money they can save to relatives in their native country. RESPONSE: With any luck, that means they have relatives who have used that money to escape extreme poverty. These relatives should be able and willing to return the favor and help their benefactors out when they return. Thoughtful responses may be replied to. Insults will either be ignored, or returned in kind, at my discretion. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:23 pm


Don wrote: If this policy is so ‘humane,’ why do you feel you have to defend it? Sarasota Kid wrote: In order for our arguments to make sense to the neo-conservative reactionaries, two essential elements are require. Both are missing from their analytical paradigm: 1) a clear grasp of the facts, and 2)Christ-like compassion. Does that answer your question? Wolverine



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:25 pm


Does that answer your question? No.



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:29 pm


That you need proof is perhaps proof enough. Anyway we now have a bill before the Senate which has doubled the fines, added triggers for security purposes, tightens employer sanctions for the hiring of undocumented workers, makes sure no one gets ahead of the “line” and beefs up border security. I am curious what the arguments will be against it. Lou Dobbs chirpped in before any of us had a chance to see it. My guess is it will be seen as not nearly harsh enough on the undocumented.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:36 pm


” That you need proof is perhaps proof enough.” Wayne, I assume you mean those who ask for proof that deporting undocumented migrants is inhumane is proof enough that it is. Am I correct?



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Eric

posted May 18, 2007 at 3:54 pm


Neoconservative reactionary has as much meaning in this debate as meany poo-poo head. It’s about as mature too.



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Ryan S

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:15 pm


You know the most frustrating thing about comments like those from “cs” and “Kevin s” (the first two posters) is that they show a typically short analytical mind. Yes history has often given people citizenship by virtue of birthplace…but if “cs” had read Amy’s blog closely he would realize that this was exactly what she was arguing against. simply repeating the point she is arguing against does nothing to refute her point: that the USA claims to be different from any other nation in the past and should act like it. “cs” then decides to claim this an apples and oranges analogy between babies born here and babies born abroad. it’s really not at all what she is arguing (read her arguments please!!). she is pointing out the absurdity of US citizens choosing who should be a US citizen…again because this is supposedly the land of the free…do the free have the right to decide who else can be free? seems a little hypocritical doesn’t it?? Then the kicker, to me: that the abortion issue is brought up for no good reason. It has nothing to do with this argument about immigration and cannot be applied. you can’t place an analogy upon and analogy and expect it to make much sense in the real world. take your analogy with Amy’s argument and abortion one step further and you see the silliness of bringing it up: if someone is coming into your land to hurt you or your loved ones whether intentionally or not would you not try to prevent them from coming in any way? we kill or jail terrorists for trying to destroy our country don’t we? What’s the difference between killing a child that ruins the health or life of the mother? do you see how aburd that sounds? you can analogize anything to make it sound semi coherent…but that does nothing to refute Amy’s point: the US is supposedly the land of the free why are we (the Free) deciding who has the right to be free with us? let’s keep the argument focused on the topic on the table and use our abilities of analysis to stick to the discussion at hand. argue with Amy’s argument not an unrelated side topic. throwing stones just to knock someone down doesn’t prove your point. it just proves you can’t debate.



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:22 pm


Okay Eric I’ll use it. I happen to like meany poo-poo head, it’s sort of succinct isn’t it. Yes Don If Wolfie can’t see the lack of humanity and he won’t see the inanity I think it’s proof enough. His last pretense at an argument is just as inane. Wolfie why don’t you just admit that all you really want, or what would at least make you happy, is for all “those” people to just go away.



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Donny

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:29 pm


This blog is a joke right? Amy, There is nothing inside of you. Just a mass of cells. That swelling stomach is not from a person inside of you. Just a growth.You may need to see a psychologist as it appears you are delusional.



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jesse

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:37 pm


Ryan S, Many of us agreed that Amy’s basic argument was just kind of silly, and we’ve moved past it. Citizenship is awarded by birth everywhere, and the US never claims to be different in this regard.You should at least be satisfied that we’re still discussing illegal immigration.



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 4:44 pm


Yes Donny (Ryan S.?) Please! Your giving all the meany poopoo heads a bad name!



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:04 pm


“I happen to like meany poo-poo head, it’s sort of succinct isn’t it.” I sort of like it, too. It’s easier to pronounce than “neo-conservative reactionary.” Moreover, the legalists haven’t yet told us what we should call them. ;-)



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:07 pm


We in the US take great pride in the fact that we are better, different, if you will. In this instance we never seem to get to the fact that it is ourselves we have to blame for this problem. Now we are going to enact a 60 billion dollar tax on the people we do blame. They happen to be poor. I am going to do all I can to see that this passes because it is probably our last chance to do something and at least stop the problem from getting worse. Still, it is a far cry from what the land of the free and the home of the brave should expect of itself. I was wrong about meanie poopoo head being succinct and it has just occurred to me that it isn’t very chic either, (I am just a child at heart). Can I suggest we go to the acronym MPPH’s?



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 5:35 pm


Don It has the added advantage of pointing out the inanity of our going over and over the same ground because the mpph’s keep asking the same questions, “Why is deportation so inhumane?”. Personally I think every Christian should be deported every once in a while. After all it is just like being a missionary.



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HASH(0x11752048)

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:01 pm


It is quite ironic that those here who want the US to welcome illegal immigrants are either unable or unwilling to show hospitality to people who expressing their disagreement, calling them names even though they have broken no laws. If this is how you treat those different from you….



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:06 pm


Hey, I’ll go! Send me to El Salvador. All tengo compa eros (I have friends there). Living outside the USA for a while gives one a very different perspective. It just might help the legalists (MPPH’s) learn just what kinds of desparate conditions the migrants are escaping from. If THAT doesn’t give them a heart for these folks, I suppose nothing would. Peace,



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Anonymous: First, it’s interesting to note that you wouldn’t identify yourelf. Second, if you have been arond here for a while, you would have noted the many times we have tried to extend hospitality to those with whom we disagree. Our efforts have not been reciprocated–instead, we have been misquoted and our arguments have been misconstrued. Further, if you can’t recognize our “namd-calling” as half-serious banter, you probably need to lighten up a bit. :-) Peace,



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cs

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:18 pm


“She is pointing out the absurdity of U.S. citizens choosing who should be a U.S. citizen.” Who should decide our country’s citizenship laws? The Mexican president? And I’m the one with “short analytical reasoning.” Sheesh.



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cs

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:20 pm


Oh, and by the way, it is possible to debate the points I raise without essentially saying I have to to dumb & heartless. Facts & reality are the best way to win debates.



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canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:33 pm


“…I have to to dumb & heartless.” I agree, you certainly sound very wise to me.



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Donny

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:36 pm


Anyone that thinks that progressives are not Marxists need to read Marx and the leaders of the soviet union. Progressives have fashioned the rope, tied the noose and are pulling it tight. Illegal aliens speaking a alien language and refusing to become Americans when the become “citizens” effectivley kills America. The United States anyway. Has anyone ever thought how racist it is to speak spanish only in the United States of America? It completely excludes millions of other citizens.Pure racism.



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canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 6:45 pm


“Has anyone ever thought how racist it is to speak spanish only in the United States of America?” Donny Has anyone ever thought how racist it is to to chase the North American Indian out of New England and ensconce them on reservations where they can do crafts and make trinkets?



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:14 pm


“You know the most frustrating thing about comments like those from “cs” and “Kevin s” (the first two posters) is that they show a typically short analytical mind.” How can one post show a typically anything?”Yes history has often given people citizenship by virtue of birthplace…but if “cs” had read Amy’s blog closely he would realize that this was exactly what she was arguing against.” While this is the conclusion one must draw from her satire, I don’t think this is her intended argument. It is a ridiculous point to advance, as it would entail the elimination of borders. That might sound nice to John Lennon, but in reality that would have some profoundly negative consequences. “simply repeating the point she is arguing against does nothing to refute her point: that the USA claims to be different from any other nation in the past and should act like it.” If we have no borders, then how can we have law? If we cannot have law, then what is there to differentiate our nation?”she is pointing out the absurdity of US citizens choosing who should be a US citizen…” Why is this absurd? We have to make some measure of choice, yes? If not, you are advancing a cause with which nobody heare (that I know of).”again because this is supposedly the land of the free…do the free have the right to decide who else can be free?” Criminals are not free. So, yes, we do have the right, at some level, to decide who can and cannot be free. You are making an error of category here by conflating two definitions of freedom. “seems a little hypocritical doesn’t it??” Nope. “Then the kicker, to me: that the abortion issue is brought up for no good reason.” I was being tongue-in-cheek. Do only those who agree with you have the right to be tongue-in-cheek? “you can’t place an analogy upon and analogy and expect it to make much sense in the real world.” How do you place an analogy upon an analogy? You are correct that her analogy cannot be consistently applied. “What’s the difference between killing a child that ruins the health or life of the mother? do you see how aburd that sounds?” So now you actually want to argue abortion? If so, I can’t let you of the hook with this disingenuous argument. A small percentage of abortion are related to preserving the life of the mother. “you can analogize anything to make it sound semi coherent..” Yep. “but that does nothing to refute Amy’s point: the US is supposedly the land of the free why are we (the Free) deciding who has the right to be free with us?” If you advocate an open-border policy, then I think the onus is on you to make the argument as to how this is tenable or desirable. “throwing stones just to knock someone down doesn’t prove your point. it just proves you can’t debate.” I would argue that I was using stones in response to stones, but now it is in your court. An open-border is untenable from a security, logistics, and economic standpoint. Our country cannot tolerate an influx of 500,000,000 people who (for the most part) cannot read or speak english. Therefore, we have to make some choices, otherwise we will cease to be the land of the free. Our freedom is assured by our laws. If you want a debate, start there, though I am not sure this is what Amy is advocating.



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:25 pm


The thing is, the Family Research Council, certainly no fan of illegal immigrants, had its members call up CNN not too long ago and protest the way Lou Dobbs treated Sojourners. Lou Dobbs, in case you hadn’t heard, is a leading opponent of amnesty. Now, I understand that this is an emotional issue, and I won’t pretend I’ve never put a snarky post up here. But when a guy who supports us on this issue challenged your right as Christians to speak on this issue, a lot of us went to bat for you. You might want to keep that in mind next time you call us “neocon reactionaries” or “reptiles” or “meany poo-poo heads”. Wolverine



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:29 pm


“Our country cannot tolerate an influx of 500,000,000 people who (for the most part) cannot read or speak english.Therefore, we have to make some choices, otherwise we will cease to be the land of the free.” Kevin have you been reading Goernor Law again? Many, in fact most nations exist with more than one language. It can be argued that they suffer from this but Belgians seem to do fine, as well as the Swiss, Great Britain, Canada, and yes the USA. As far as the idea that we cannot tollerate the influx of 500,000 well, I admit that I have a hard time thinking of you tolerating much, but the reality is we have “tolerated” over 24 times that number. There are 12 million undocumented here are there not? This is the same kind of overblown nonsense you have been spouting all along. Does that make you the president of the SPCA, or do you head up the Mpph’s? I hold these rights to be self evident, endowed upon me and you by my creator, not by our laws. Laws that exceed borders are alive and well today. Why should they cease because borders do? Why would the unnatural borders supercede God given laws? You have a very limited logic Kevin. I actually think you are much brighter than this.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 7:37 pm


“Anyway, I’m going to ignore your posts for a little while, they consist largely of insults at this stage anyway. Instead, I’m going to address some of your frequently asserted but never really proved claims about the “inhumanity” of returning illegal immigrants to their countries of origin.” Who says that God doesn’t answer prayers? There should be some good books laying around about the mass movement of unwanted peoples. Check the German section of your library for books from 1933-1945 period. I think that that was the hay day of scholarship on the subject.



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canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:04 pm


I’ve just learned that Donny is going to be replacing Jerry Falwell at both LU and TRBC. Can anyone validate this? Finally, a voice of reason!



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jesse

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:19 pm


Sarasotakid, Are you comparing Wolverine to the Nazis? Just checking.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:59 pm


“I’ve just learned that Donny is going to be replacing Jerry Falwell at both LU and TRBC.” canucklehead Actually, I think Donny will be joining the Westboro Baptist Church when they stage a protest at Falwell’s funeral.



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Ed

posted May 18, 2007 at 8:59 pm


One of the frustrating things about the conversations above is the assumption taht all immigrants are intent on crossing the borders and never leaving again. It’s as if we can’t imagine anyone NOT wanting to live in the United States once they get here. Some Mexicans, believe it or not, really want to be Mexican. Due to our foreign policy and our farm policy (the root causes of immigration have received scant attention in this comment forum) they are unable to live in the country they love and support thier families. Instead of growing thier own corn crops they come to the United State to help harvest ours(the US dumps all our excess, subsidized corn on Mexico making it more expensive to buy Mexican corn in Mexico than US corn). And then the US tells teh rest of the world that subsidies are unfair and continues to break all the WTO regulations. I read this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070518/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/mexico_immigrant_outrage and was struck by the following quote: Gilberto Escalante, a 41-year-old fisherman from Topolobampo in Sinaloa state, said the current guest worker program is better than the congressional plan because it gives Mexicans the option to freely enter and leave the U.S. while maintaining their lives in Mexico instead of forcing them to choose between the two countries. “We don’t want the house or the latest car in the U.S. We want to go and work so that our families can have a good life in Mexico,” said Escalante, who came to the industrial hub of Monterrey to apply for a visa to work on fish and shrimp boats off the coast of Mississippi.” Once we get to the root causes of immigration, the issue gets much tougher.



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Wolverine

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:21 pm


Jesse, Are you kidding? Of course I’m being compared to the Nazis. It was just a matter of time. You’ve been hanging around here about as long as I have. What else did you expect? Reasoned debate based on facts and logic? Witty repartee? Nah, it’s Nazi this and Neocon that all topped off with meany poo-poo head. Lord have mercy. Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:37 pm


“What non-pejorative term would you prefer that we use to identify those who insist on the letter of the law in disregard of the monstrous effect this would have on families that are only trying to eke out a living?” Well, when you are making disingenuous arguments such as this, then you ought to use pejoratives. It identifies your arguments for what they are. I can scan past all the people lobbing the “ignorant” “republi-nazi” and “neo-con (this or that)” labels and address the people who are interested in having a debate instead of patting themselves on the back for their own righteousness.”Our efforts have not been reciprocated–instead, we have been misquoted and our arguments have been misconstrued. Further, if you can’t recognize our “namd-calling” as half-serious banter, you probably need to lighten up a bit.” It’s tough to take the name calling as half-serious banter from those who view the enforcement of immigration law as a step toward the Third Reich.



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:42 pm


“As far as the idea that we cannot tollerate the influx of 500,000 well, I admit that I have a hard time thinking of you tolerating much, but the reality is we have “tolerated” over 24 times that number” Um…. If you think that I would suggest that we couldn’t handle 1/2 million more immigrants, that shows you haven’t been making any effort to understand my point. You obviously aren’t reading my posts. “Sarasotakid, Are you comparing Wolverine to the Nazis? Just checking.” Half-seriously, of course. You need to lighten up. Geez, quit being such a Nazi.



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Erin

posted May 18, 2007 at 9:54 pm


So funny. I have been for some time torn about this issue. Seriously. This is a tough one. I see the idea of harboring the “alien” in our midst and caring for the poor. I also see the strain this could be on our economy and public services. What is the cost of building a fence? What is the cost of not enforcing the borders? The movie El Norte helped me to see “them” as less of the enemy/other and more as “what would I want if I were an immigrant”… but it is still a tough & complex issue!So… Amy, thanks for your wit on this subject!



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cs

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm


Yes, of course, it is “our farm policy” and “our foreign policy” that make it economically impossible for undocumented persons to remain in their own country and support themself. It has nothing to do with political corruption or economic decisions made by their own leaders. It’s all us Eeeevulll Americans economically forcing them to cross our borders illegally to work for “low” wages, which are several times greater than what they can make in their homeland. Open borders are the goal. No thanks.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:12 pm


kevin s., Wolverine, et al.,Do you know Godwin s Law? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_Law Reductio ad Hitlerum Peace!



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:14 pm


So sorry Wolfie, I take it back. I have a deal. You can earn amnesty for all those things you said and be fully reinstated as a non-reptilian if you write something positive on the proposed senate bill. It has one of your favorite subjects in it, a touch back provision, and believe it or not, I support it. Now that is a lot cheaper than 60 billion bucks or even 5,000.00. But 500,000,000? How could I have missed that? You really think we couldn’t do that? I was just proposing we let 100,000,000,000,000,000 with all my buddies the other day.



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Don

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:30 pm


cs, apparently you are fairly new here. Maybe you didn’t see my post on an earlier thread on this topic, where I discussed the endemic corruption in Latin America and how it prevents businesses there from putting down roots. We’ve also previously discussed government instability as a contributing factor. (It’s no accident that Costa Rica has the most robust economy in Central America; they also have had the most stable government.) And of course there’s the Latin American flirtation with various isms–fascism and socialism come to mind–with their dubious ecomomic results). Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that certain US trade and economic policies–such as farm subsidies and flaws in the free trade agreements–have exacerbated the poor economic conditions in Lat. Am. This isn’t America-bashing; it’s reality. So long as the enormous economic gulf exists between here and there, all the border security we can create will not stop the migration. In fact, over the last 20 years, despite an exponential multiplication of the border enforcement budget, at least a doubling in the number of Border Patrol agents, and new and “improved” enforcement strategies, the number of undocumented immigrants continues to increase. Are we advocating completely open borders? I’m not. Some others are, I believe. But what most of us want, rather than open borders, is an immigration policy that is enforceable, that recognizes the reality of economic conditions in Latin America, that gives people who want to work here and whose labor is needed the chance to come here and work legally, and that does not penalize family members of undocumented immigrants (many of whom are US citizens) by automatic deportation. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. For more information, I refer you to the Web site I mentioned earlier: http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/ Peace,



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:45 pm


Has anyone ever thought how racist it is to speak spanish only in the United States of America? It completely excludes millions of other citizens. Pure racism. Donny | 05.18.07 – 12:41 pm I think it s a pretty safe bet that you have ancestors who immigrated to this country who did not speak English. (as far as I know, all of my ancestors spoke Texan or Hillbilly or Spanish) Generally, immigrants to a country in which a language other than their native tongue is spoken continue to speak that language. Their children, who have more pressure on them to assimilate into the dominant culture, speak the language of their parents origin at home, and the language of the dominant culture outside of the home. Their children, the grandchildren of the original immigrants, are less likely to speak the language of their heritage. Having lived in two countries where I did not speak the language of the dominant culture, I can tell you, it ain t easy! It is isolating, and sometimes very frightening. I learned just enough Farsi and Amharic to get around. In a previous thread you expressed offense that Mexican-Americans have the audacity to display the Mexican flag in this country. Tell me, would you be so upset if your neighbors flew an Irish flag or an Italian flag? Have you ever been to Philadelphia? You ll find families there who have held on to their cultural heritage for centuries. (Did you ever see the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding ?) Finally, why are you so offended by immigrants speaking their native tongue in this country? Xenophobia? Or maybe it s just because it is inconvenient for you. I guarantee, it s more inconvenient for them than it is for you. Do not oppress an alien; you yourselves know how it feels to be aliens, because you were aliens in Egypt. Exodus 23:9 Well, maybe not you, but I do. Peace!



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Sarasotakid

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:47 pm


Are you comparing Wolverine to the Nazis? Just checking. jesseIt’s tough to take the name calling as half-serious banter from those who view the enforcement of immigration law as a step toward the Third Reich. kevin s. I never called either of you a Nazi nor would I. As for the policy of mass deportations which you so glibly think will be no problem…well…



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elmer gantry

posted May 18, 2007 at 10:55 pm


how about if we just call you “fat-head”?



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:00 pm


When I read all these otherizing terms, I never know where I fit. Could someone please label me with a slightly scandalous term? That way I ll know who I am and which box I should fit myself into. ;) — Wayne, Personally I think every Christian should be deported every once in a while. After all it is just like being a missionary. -HA! Well, it is what got Christianity out of Jerusalem, eh? — cs, Facts & reality are the best way to win debates. -Unfortunately that s rarely true. Having done the whole intercollegiate debate thing (quite well, I think), I ve found that confusion, misdirection, reorienting the topic, winning irrelevant points, and proving the other side wrong on an unrelated issue often win debates In other words, realigning facts and reality. The upside of having that experience is that it takes a proficient b——-ter to recognize one. I try to avoid the sleazy tactics, but sometimes I fall back into it, as I m sure many here can attest. — Donny, You can t make a 1-to-1 comparison between progressivism and Marxism, but I do agree (I m agreeing with Donny uh-oh) that the forefathers of progressivism as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Lenin, Mao, et al. A scary bunch with which to align oneself. Then again, neo-cons don t actually have any forefathers, even though they claim the name conservative. Unless you consider chopping a bunch of different influences up, tossing half the pieces into the trash, and then whirling the rest together. — Sarasota, There should be some good books laying around about the mass movement of unwanted peoples. Check the German section of your library for books from 1933-1945 period. I think that that was the hay day of scholarship on the subject. -Poor analogy. If we re talking mass deportation, you d be far better using the Ottoman Empire s interaction with subject nationalities as your model. And if you re set on making a genocide comparison, use the period of the Young Turks (culminating in 1915-1923). We like to talk about Hitler a lot, but the fact is that most genocides and mass murders of the last century resemble the Armenian genocide far more closely than the holocaust in Nazi Germany.



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Mark P

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:08 pm


My roommate and I have Irish, German, Greek, and Yemenee flags in our room. I lived six years in Germany; he lived nine years in Yemen, as well as a couple years in various other places (Cyprus, Egypt, somewhere else). One of my closest friends lived in Mexico in an Indian village near Chihuahua for six years, and is going to spend a year in Swaiziland starting in a couple weeks. Another close friend spent a year in Madagascar and Mozambique. Yet another lived in South Africa for twelve years (after eight years in the US he *just* got his green card). A mentor of mine just returned from a year in Iraq. Ameri-centrism is a sad and boring thing.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:11 pm


Hey Donny, If you d like to stop complaining about it and DO SOMETHING, you know, be part of the solution rather than part of the problem you ve identified, I know that a lot of churches that have ministries to teach English to immigrants. Or is that too Catholic for you?



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Canucklehead

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:21 pm


DO SOMETHING? See, there you go, N-N. God has revealed to me that what you’re subtly trying to do here – you papist, you – is install works righteousness onto this sacred blog. Yeah, well, I’m callin’ you on it, buddy! Right here, right now! We don’t have to do nothin’ tuh git saved – just beee-leeeeve in that – what is it, Donny? – that faith once for all delivered to the saints.* *and that ain’t yer Catholic variety, neither, pal.



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Wayne

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:24 pm


Mark P You are absolutely right. Wolverine I would like to ask you to honestly respond to my question on the proposed legislation in the Senate. Everything I said about it, I meant, even if my tongue was stuck in my cheek. Now is the time to find solutions to this problem. If we cannot do it now when will we?



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neuro_nurse

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:34 pm


that faith once for all delivered to the saints.* *and that ain’t yer Catholic variety, neither, pal. Canucklehead | 05.18.07 – 5:26 pm Yeah well, down here in New Orleans we ain t lost faith in dem Saints Who Dat?!



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Ryan S

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:46 pm


Another typical response from a short analysis. Good discussions require thorough thought. Kevin S ignores the point I am making as well while you anchor yourself within your own arbitrary borders.Please stop arguing to my particular points and look at the big picture that Amy (and I) are making. One can always quibble over detail. For example: Yes criminals in the US are not free. But they have made a conscious or subconscious decision to subvert the rules that keep our society free. Free persons have a right to defend their freedom don t they? We can discuss and disagree over how far those rights of defense go (and we do how many agree and disagree over the Patriot Act?). But Kevin S argument in this case is specious and does not apply to the concept we are trying to discuss: immigration. Immigrants come here not to be criminals but for a better life. We have every right in the world to monitor who comes in and leaves; no one should fear criminals or terrorists waltzing in and destroying our hard earned freedom. That why we have the FBI and police. But that is not what Amy is talking about! Stay on topic!!! People who come to this country in order to add to our concept of freedom should be welcome regardless. Immigration to the US has always had this basic principle at heart although it has often been hijacked by special interests, fear mongers and people who can t follow a consistent argument. But the principle Thomas Jefferson elicited: that people have certain inalienable rights was NOT limited to just US citizens, born and bred.So who are we, IF we believe in the US Constitution, to say that immigrants to this country have no right to the come here if they want to follow the rules we have laid out according to the Constitution? Why do we have a right to live here and they don t? If they think the Constitution is a powerful document of freedom for all mankind why shouldn t they be allowed to live here with us? If you can tell me a good reason that applies directly to the issue of why immigrants should not be allowed to come to this country if they fully intend to follow the rules we have set up by the Constitution, then we can have a good debate over Amy s article. The argument s Kevin S is putting out have next to nothing to do with the pros and cons of allowing honest hardworking people to move to our country.As an aside Kevin S discusses borders and how important they are to stability and law. I couldn t disagree more. While fences sometimes make good neighbors, international borders often make great enemies. Think of Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Serbia, Kosovo, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, USA, Mexico .and the list continues. All states who have fought or are fighting over borders. When in the history of man has a border remained unchanged? You could have lived in Alsace, France from 1860 until 1950 and have changed citizenship between French and German no less than 5 times! Who decides? The guy with the biggest gun or luckiest shot. The USA itself has never had the same borders. But what the US claims to be doing is trying to transcend that militaristic approach (although more in principle than in practice). That is what the Constitution of the US is for. It gives us a logic to follow to create freedom for any who live by the laws derived from the Constitution. (And you may have noticed that it has been quite successful in creating freedom, at least at home) Please excuse me while I make one more point about debate that Kevin S is missing: I stated that, “you can’t place an analogy upon an analogy and expect it to make much sense in the real world.” Kevin replied, How do you place an analogy upon an analogy? You are correct that her analogy cannot be consistently applied. Kevin S does not think the process through once more. Analogies make a great tool to make seemingly complex or distant issues more real. Thus Amy used her pregnancy to illustrate what she feels is the backwardness of tight immigration policy. It puts it in an interesting light that grabs our attention and starts a good conversation (as noted by the number of comments to Amy s article).What I was saying and Kevin S keeps missing is that you can t use another analogy as a means to refute hers because the analogy is not the argument!! Put another way: don t tear down the analogy, tear down the argument. The analogy is there to help the argument along not as the subject of the argument. If you want to debate her argument, talk about immigration not pregnancy or abortion (which have nothing to do with this discussion).I ll repeat myself for effect: let’s keep the argument focused on the topic on the table and use our abilities of analysis to stick to the discussion at hand. Argue with Amy’s argument not an unrelated side topic. Throwing stones just to knock someone down doesn’t prove your point. It just proves you can’t debate.



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kevin s.

posted May 18, 2007 at 11:52 pm


“I never called either of you a Nazi nor would I. As for the policy of mass deportations which you so glibly think will be no problem…well…’ I have said many times that there will be problems. No matter how you slice this issue, there will be problems, and people will get hurt. I think we’re honeslty at odds in terms of what we are trying to do here. I am trying to make my case, and you seem more interested in demonstrating what my beliefs say about me as a person. That discussion doesn’t interest me.”Yes, of course, it is “our farm policy” and “our foreign policy” that make it economically impossible for undocumented persons to remain in their own country and support themself.” Our farm policy does suck. I think Sojo could find bi-partisan support in condemning our nation’s ridiculous agricultural policy, which eschews the free market (not to mention common sense) in the name of preserving the family farm. However, I think the way to solve this is to work diligently in favor of domestic policy which does not incentivize illegal (and, ultimately, destructive) behavior.



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cs

posted May 19, 2007 at 12:06 am


Does the reference to inalienable rights (i.e., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) mean that one has a “right” to citizenship?



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HASH(0x1178140c)

posted May 19, 2007 at 2:09 am


“Does the reference to inalienable rights (i.e., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) mean that one has a ‘right’ to citizenship?” Nobody is saying it does. But at the same time, that isn’t saying it can never be offered. And if and when we do offer it, we normally attach certain conditions that need to be met before we grant it. In the present situation, for example, we could require a certain level of English proficiency (or at least progress in learning English) and a certain time period lived in the US legally before we would consider someone’s application for citizenship. We don’t have to make citizenship “automatic.” Not even for children born in the USA to legal “guest workers.” Later,



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Don

posted May 19, 2007 at 2:10 am


Oops. “Anonymous” above was I. D



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kevin s.

posted May 19, 2007 at 2:18 am


“Please stop arguing to my particular points” I’m about particulars. How do broader points play out in reality? Is there some grand, intangible conflict between being a free nation and making choices about citizenship? Not in any way that is really all that interesting to me. I don’t see the inherent conflict, which, if we are not discussing particulars, is all we have to discuss. “Immigrants come here not to be criminals but for a better life.” And many of those who cannot immigrate are denied the opportunity. Many who steal or defraud people do so in the pursuit of a better life. Many do not see themselves as criminals. I’m not saying that we should have limits on immigration because we need to keep out bad people. I’m saying we should have limits on immigration because to do otherwise will compromise everything that makes our country a desirable destination in the first place.That’s my broader argument, and you are not opting to contend with it.”But the principle Thomas Jefferson elicited: that people have certain inalienable rights was NOT limited to just US citizens, born and bred.” They have certain rights, not every right. Do you have any evidence that Jefferson considered the right to citizenship of the United States to be a universal inalienable right? “Why do we have a right to live here and they don t?” Because we were born here. I don’t have an inalienable right to live in Australia, however. In fact, I most certainly cannot live there. I don’t have a problem with this arrangement, or see any tension between freedom and the right to deny citizenship to foreigners. You obviously do, so the onus is on you to make this case. Simply saying what you believe over and over doesn’t get us anywhere.



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kevin s.

posted May 19, 2007 at 2:18 am


I was cited by Haloscan for superfluous carriage returns… I continue… “If they think the Constitution is a powerful document of freedom for all mankind” All mankind? “If you can tell me a good reason that applies directly to the issue of why immigrants should not be allowed to come to this country if they fully intend to follow the rules we have set up by the Constitution, then we can have a good debate over Amy s article.” I mention above that the influx of 500,000,000 (not 500,000) would produce an immeasurable strain on our economy, our laws, etc…What if 150,000,000 muslim men and women wanted to enter our nation? What if they felt it important to impose Sharia law, and used their plurality to do so?That is extreme (and would be exceedingly unlikely, obviously) but it illustrates a point. We have certain inalienable rights, and a constitution that guarantees as much. It is certainly reasonable that a large number representing a certain culture could use our representative democracy to enact changes in that very democracy. That is one example among many. What would an influx of, say, 22,000,000 people to a small cache of urban areas do to law enforcement? How would we house them? What if they were unable to integrate into our society? How would we educate them?”As an aside Kevin S discusses borders and how important they are to stability and law. I couldn t disagree more.” OUR borders are important for stability and law. I am not interested in making a comprehensive argument for or against the existence of borders in general. By the way, I would note that you are alone in advocating open borders. If I assumed Amy of advocating open borders, I would be accused of offering an uncharitable reading of her satire. “(And you may have noticed that it has been quite successful in creating freedom, at least at home)” Yeah. Our country is awesome! Everyone should try. On this, we agree. “Thus Amy used her pregnancy to illustrate what she feels is the backwardness of tight immigration policy.” Duh. “It puts it in an interesting light that grabs our attention and starts a good conversation” This has actually been an utterly mediocre conversation. I have had good conversations about this issue. This is not that. “What I was saying and Kevin S keeps missing is that you can t use another analogy as a means to refute hers”Yeah, I got it. I wasn’t really intending my (admittedly snarky post) to be a comprehensive refutation of Amy’s central point. Usually, that is a given when one concedes that they are being tongue-in-cheek.”because the analogy is not the argument!! Put another way: don t tear down the analogy, tear down the argument.”Can’t I do both? Kidding. Actually, it is fair to extrapolate analogies, and I would argue that the less distance you can get out of an analogy, the less relevant it is. There might be a good counterargument here, however. “Argue with Amy’s argument”See, there is disagreement about what that argument is in the first place. You think she is advocating an open-border policy, and I don’t. At any rate, sorry I set you off with the abortion comment. I will concede that it does little to address the central question.



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Wolverine

posted May 19, 2007 at 5:01 pm


CLAIM II ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TAKE JOBS AMERICANS WILL NOT DO There is something rather disturbing about this particular argument, which is the implication that Americans are too good for certain types of work. No truly necessary work is demeaning in and of itself. That doesn’t make this argument totally false, but to the extent that this claim is true, the US would be better off minimizing the sense of entitlement among its own population to the extent that the list of “jobs Americans won’t do” is a fairly short one that does not require in excess of 10,000,000 immigrants to fill. Also, the fact that workers are needed to fill jobs should not be taken as a license to illegality or lax enforcement. Numerous opponents of illegal immigration are willing to consider a more open posture towards legal immigration. I am among them, and I believe Kevin S. has taken a similar stance. If we enforce the law and discover that doing so has a severe effect on our economy, Congress can always amend the law and even invite deportees to return. As mentioned earlier, many of the jobs that illegal immigrants take are on terms that violate the fair labor standards act and other workplace safety laws. It is very possible that many illegal immigrants work not at jobs Americans won’t do, but on terms Americans legally cannot accept. Recently a series of raids on meat processing plants resulted in the arrest of numerous illegal immigrants. Afterward the companys were deluged with applications from legal residents for the open positions. In the process, wages have been going up. COUTERARGUMENT: Even with the illegal immigrants, unemployment levels are low. RESPONSE: As a measurement of employment the unemployment rate is not without its weaknesses. “Discouraged workers” who have given up seeking work because they believe the effort is futile are not counted as part of the workforce. It is entirely conceivable that there is a cadre of low-skilled workers who have abandoned the regular job market because they find they are regularly undercut by illegal immigrants. The example of the meat processing industry gives some support to this theory. COUNTERARGUMENT: What you propose is essentially a big experiment with the US economy. RESPONSE: One could view enforcement that way. But then again we don’t really know what the effects will be of granting more-or-less permanent legal status to ten million illegal aliens either. That’s one of the negative effects of lax law enforcement: its so hard to get an accurate assessment of what economic conditions really are. We do know that there is a distinct likelihood that amnesty will merely attract more illegal aliens. This appears to have been the main effect of the 1986 amnesty. It is admittedly possible that strong enforcement will remove needed workers from the labor force and have a negative effect on the economy. If this proves to be the case, however, Congress can pass new legislation allowing more legal immigration and could even invite deportees to return. Reversing a strong enforcement policy would create much less hardship than withdrawing large numbers of visas or green cards, which we might be forced to do if the current amnesty program backfires severely. Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted May 19, 2007 at 6:31 pm


“”Does the reference to inalienable rights (i.e., life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) mean that one has a ‘right’ to citizenship?” Nobody is saying it does. ” Ryan S. above is saying that it does. I don’t know how to draw any other conclusion.



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Wolverine

posted May 19, 2007 at 6:35 pm


CLAIM III AMNESTY OPPONENTS ARE MOTIVATED LARGELY BY RACISM, WHILE AMNESTY SUPPORTERS ARE MOTIVATED ENTIRELY BY HUMANITARIANISM Certainly there is a racial and linguistic component to this debate and that should not be overlooked. But the category that matters, in the final analysis, is legal versus illegal. That has been the central distinction for nearly all amnesty critics. Very few conservatives that I am aware of wish to reduce legal immigration from Latin America. (The few that might are mostly on the Buchananite fringe) To the extent race affects the actual policies that we want to implement, the only immigrant group that is likely to be scrutinized is immigrants from Muslim countries. As far as the purity of heart of amnesty supporters, I am inclined to think that most are motivated by genuine concern for illegal immigrants, and I have stated before that there position is not an unreasonable one. But there are other, less savory aspects of illegal immigration that might be in play as well. Among some business groups, there is the potential to drive wages lower and even ignore labor law. And among liberals, there is the potential to change the electorate: “Somehow,” said a Democrat lawmaker who is trying to build Republican support, “we have to convince them that voting for comprehensive reform does not amount to ‘enfranchising their defeat,’ ” a reference to the likelihood that two of every three new Latino voters would cast Democratic ballots. “Our problem,” he admitted, “is that we are hoping that the legislation will build the Democratic electorate.”(“Border Politics,” National Journal, Feb. 10, 2007) Not all Sojourners writers are oblivious to this effect. As Amy Ard herself writes: Oh, and these kids shouldn t be allowed to vote until enough pollsters have been dispatched to figure out exactly which way they swing. If they promise to disrupt the balance of power, we won t allow them in the voting booth. Our democracy depends on stability and predictability. Who knows what upstarts are being born right now? Something tells me Ms. Ard would be less blithe about “disrupt[ing] the balance of power” if it were likely that the new voters were to swing the other way. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted May 19, 2007 at 6:37 pm


CLAIM III AMNESTY OPPONENTS ARE MOTIVATED LARGELY BY RACISM, WHILE AMNESTY SUPPORTERS ARE MOTIVATED ENTIRELY BY HUMANITARIANISM Certainly there is a racial and linguistic component to this debate and that should not be overlooked. But the category that matters, in the final analysis, is legal versus illegal. That has been the central distinction for nearly all amnesty critics. Very few conservatives that I am aware of wish to reduce legal immigration from Latin America. (The few that might are mostly on the Buchananite fringe) To the extent race affects the actual policies that we want to implement, the only immigrant group that is likely to be scrutinized is immigrants from Muslim countries. As far as the purity of heart of amnesty supporters, I am inclined to think that most are motivated by genuine concern for illegal immigrants, and I have stated before that there position is not an unreasonable one. But there are other, less savory aspects of illegal immigration that might be in play as well. Among some business groups, there is the potential to drive wages lower and even ignore labor law. And among liberals, there is the potential to change the electorate: “Somehow,” said a Democrat lawmaker who is trying to build Republican support, “we have to convince them that voting for comprehensive reform does not amount to ‘enfranchising their defeat,’ ” a reference to the likelihood that two of every three new Latino voters would cast Democratic ballots. “Our problem,” he admitted, “is that we are hoping that the legislation will build the Democratic electorate.”(“Border Politics,” National Journal, Feb. 10, 2007) Not all Sojourners writers are oblivious to this effect. As Amy Ard herself writes: Oh, and these kids shouldn t be allowed to vote until enough pollsters have been dispatched to figure out exactly which way they swing. If they promise to disrupt the balance of power, we won t allow them in the voting booth. Our democracy depends on stability and predictability. Who knows what upstarts are being born right now? Something tells me Ms. Ard would be less blithe about “disrupt[ing] the balance of power” if it were likely that the new voters were to swing the other way. Wolverine (Reposted to clear up formatting glitch. Note to webmaster: the “preview” function isn’t working)



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Sarasotakid

posted May 20, 2007 at 8:09 pm


AMNESTY OPPONENTS ARE MOTIVATED LARGELY BY RACISM, WHILE AMNESTY SUPPORTERS ARE MOTIVATED ENTIRELY BY HUMANITARIANISM Motives are rarely so clear-cut and pure. I don’t know if those who advocate mass deportations are racists. What I do know is that they advocate a heartless, graceless policy. “‘Somehow,’ said a Democrat lawmaker who is trying to build Republican support, “we have to convince them that voting for comprehensive reform does not amount to ‘enfranchising their defeat,’ ” a reference to the likelihood that two of every three new Latino voters would cast Democratic ballots. “Our problem,” he admitted, “is that we are hoping that the legislation will build the Democratic electorate.”(“Border Politics,” National Journal, Feb. 10, 2007)” That is one perspective. Bush made gains in garnering a much higher percentage of the Latino vote in 2004 because they’re social conservatives. By 2006, the Republicans had managed to alienate them with egregious, heartless proposals like HR 4437. The Latino vote is really up for grabs. As a former Republican, I always felt that having higher numbers of Hispanics in the US could really benefit the Republicans because of the social issues (abortion/gay rights) but of course if you advocate nasty reactionary policies that disproportionately impact one community, it is going to come back and bite you. Hence the 2006 elections.



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Wayne

posted May 21, 2007 at 3:20 am


Wolverine You make a lot of statements that you do not back up. Could you give us the info on the “deluge” of applicants? From what I have heard this particular company is now looking for a buyer and may relocate because of their increased costs. It was estimated that this one raid cost them millions, (i think the number was 60,000,000.00) “Recently a series of raids on meat processing plants resulted in the arrest of numerous illegal immigrants. Afterward the companys were deluged with applications from legal residents for the open positions. In the process, wages have been going up.” I don’t think this is nearly the whole story here. The following is from The LEDE in the NY times “When I visited the Swift plant in Marshalltown, Iowa, in March, many more American workers were applying for jobs on the line. Before the raids, applicants had been 90 percent Hispanic and 10 percent Caucasian, as Swift managers categorized jobseekers; by March applicants were 10 percent Hispanic and 90 percent Caucasian. But the American workers were not staying, and the turnover rate had soared from 30 percent to 114 percent. Swift s wages were attractive, but once American workers saw how hard and confining it is to sustain the pace of an assembly line day after day, they decided to look for other work.” So much for those Americans willing to work these jobs.Again I think your use of the term “Amnesty” is extrememly misleading at best! A person who commits a crime and then pays the penalty that the governing authority imposes upon them is NEVER said to have recieved amnesty.



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 4:58 pm


“Again I think your use of the term “Amnesty” is extrememly misleading at best! A person who commits a crime and then pays the penalty that the governing authority imposes upon them is NEVER said to have recieved amnesty.” They are not paying a penalty. They are paying an (albeit arbitrary) approximation of back taxes. There are plenty of references to amnesty in exchange for payment of debts. “So much for those Americans willing to work these jobs.” The reasons cited for their unwillingness to work were the relentless pace of the assembly line. Surely you are aware that meat processing plants exploit illegal workers by subjecting them to grueling work conditions. If you can’t find someone to work under those conditions, the company must improve them, pay even higher wages, or both.



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 5:11 pm


“if you advocate nasty reactionary policies that disproportionately impact one community, it is going to come back and bite you. Hence the 2006 elections.” It is more complicated than that. One of the reasons Republicans lost a couple of seats in 2006 was increased turnout among hispanics. However, stronger enforcement is a winng issue among the general populace.The President (and there are many ways in which the election was a referendum on Bush) happens to disagree with the majority on a major issue that would work in favor of Republicans. Further, many of the moderate Democrats who defeated incumbents actually moved to the right (or appeared to) of their opponents on the immigration issue. Many chastised Bush for not getting tough on immigration sooner.Back on topic, I would be interested in seeing some folks engage Wolverine’s arguments and counterarguments.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 6:47 pm


I have said many times that there will be problems. No matter how you slice this issue, there will be problems, and people will get hurt.I think we’re honeslty at odds in terms of what we are trying to do here. I am trying to make my case, and you seem more interested in demonstrating what my beliefs say about me as a person. That discussion doesn’t interest me. Kevin S. Translation: Tsk Tsk, families will be split, innocent children harmed and we will be inhumane but ah well, somebody must pay the price. Glad it’s not me. And by the way, when you point out the utter inhumanity of what I’m advocating, that reflects poorly on good old me so that discussion doesn’t interest me.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:06 pm


However, stronger enforcement is a winng issue among the general populace. Duh. But mass deportation is not. They are not paying a penalty. They are paying an (albeit arbitrary) approximation of back taxes.You assume undocumented aliens don’t pay taxes. A flawed and invalid assumption.



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Wayne

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:24 pm


Kevin It is not a back payment of taxes Kevin. The 5,000.00 is on top of all taxes and penalties. I wa srefuting Wolverines argument. He referred to this exact plant and company. He did so without looking up the whole truth or by only stating that part of the truth which supported his argument. That is typical of both of you, as you just did with the false claim that the fine is not a fine or a penalty. I seriously don’t think you are serious, just opinionated and irrational, despite your claim to logic. If you had ever been to a meat packing plant you would know it is not merely assembly line work but the entirety of the job. It stinks to high heaven. The one time I was at a swift plant I couldn’t smell anything but dead cows and their blood, urine, refuse etc. for three days after leaving there. I don’t think this could ever be eliminated, it is the job and, much like that of sewer workers, has to put up with. Point is the undocumented worked, these new hires that wolverine was touting don’t. It is really that simple, unless you still insist on believing your false argument. Kevin would like a job that pays well and doesn’t cause him to sweat, has good benefits and doesn’t require him to work with anyone who isn’t from this country. If any farmer in California could please respond I am sure he would negotiate a contract to work for you. You can reach him at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Americans.



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 7:28 pm


“Translation: Tsk Tsk, families will be split, innocent children harmed and we will be inhumane but ah well, somebody must pay the price.” Innocent children will be harmed either way. If we create policies that incentivize further illegal immigration, we will have a bigger problem on our hands. I’m advocating doing what is best in the long term rather than what feels good now. “And by the way, when you point out the utter inhumanity of what I’m advocating, that reflects poorly on good old me so that discussion doesn’t interest me.” I don’t think your comments reflect poorly on me at all. My point is that having a discussion in which someone is more interested in casting the other person in a negative light than actually debating the merits of their point is the stuff of schoolyards. Do what you will, but I’m not going to engage the discussion of whether I am inhumane, racist, or otherwise.



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 8:32 pm


“It is not a back payment of taxes Kevin. The 5,000.00 is on top of all taxes and penalties.” They may obtain a Z visa for $1,000, not $5,000.”I wa srefuting Wolverines argument.” Not really. “That is typical of both of you, as you just did with the false claim that the fine is not a fine or a penalty” The intent of the penalty is to assuage the worries of those who are concerned that illegals have not paid their taxes, which they have not unless they have acquired a tax ID number (as some have). What I said was correct. “If you had ever been to a meat packing plant you would know it is not merely assembly line work but the entirety of the job.” I have been to one. Ugly work. But the ability to hire illegal workers has made it demonstrably worse. That said, it is not as though the meat packing industry cropped up only once illegal immigration began. People will work the job if the job pays enough to outweigh the nastiness of the work. “Point is the undocumented worked, these new hires that wolverine was touting don’t. It is really that simple, unless you still insist on believing your false argument.” My argument is that, without illegal immigration, quality and pay of work increase. Your example does nothing to address my argument. At all. “Kevin would like a job that pays well and doesn’t cause him to sweat, has good benefits and doesn’t require him to work with anyone who isn’t from this country.” I don’t know what the “anyone who isn’t from this country” deal is about, but yes, I want a job that pays well. Moreover, I want other Americans to have the same opportunity. If any farmer in California could please respond I am sure he would negotiate a contract to work for you. You can reach him at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Americans. “If any farmer in California could please respond I am sure he would negotiate a contract to work for you.” This little satirical deal your doing only makes sense if you presume that everyone in America has a white-collar job. When I was in college, if a farm were paying $18 an hour to work, I would have been all over it. They weren’t, and neither were any of the surrounding businesses. They paid about $5.50, because they could get away with it.



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HASH(0x117990f8)

posted May 21, 2007 at 8:44 pm


“Innocent children will be harmed either way. If we create policies that incentivize further illegal immigration, we will have a bigger problem on our hands. I’m advocating doing what is best in the long term rather than what feels good now.” You cannot prove that the current legalization plans will ‘incentivize’ illegal immigration. Actually the plan is to do the opposite: legalize current unauthorized populations (over time, with background checks, fines, paying of back taxes, English language requirements, etc.) while allowing future immigrants more options to migrate legally. As has been said, this was the fault with the 1986 Amnesty; it legalized current folks but did not allow for future legal flows of labor. What is best in the long-run is always hard to say. I could argue that allowing our country to maintain and access necessary workers so our economies can continue to grow is the best plan for the future. Many economists do in fact argue this. You continue to assume immigrants are a pure burden to our economy/society: this is a categorical myth.



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Wayne

posted May 21, 2007 at 9:02 pm


1. MYTH: This is amnesty.  FACT: Amnesty is the forgiveness of an offense without penalty. This proposal is not amnesty because illegal workers must acknowledge that they broke the law, pay a $1,000 fine, and undergo criminal background checks to obtain a Z visa granting temporary legal status.  FACT: To apply for a green card at a date years into the future, Z visa workers must wait in line behind those who applied lawfully, pay an additional $4,000 fine, complete accelerated English requirements, leave the U.S. and file their application in their home country, and demonstrate merit based on the skills and attributes they will bring to the United States.  FACT: Workers approved for Z visas will be given a temporary legal status, but they will not enjoy the full privileges of citizens or Legal Permanent Residents, such as welfare benefits and the ability to sponsor relatives abroad as immigrants. 2. MYTH: This proposal repeats the mistakes of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.  FACT: The 1986 Act failed because it provided amnesty for 3 million immigrants, did not adequately secure borders, did not include a workable employer verification system, and created no legal avenue to meet the labor needs of the American economy.  FACT: This proposal addresses every one of the shortcomings from 1986:  No Amnesty: Illegal workers must acknowledge that they broke the law and pay a fine to be eligible for a Z visa.  Border Security: Border security benchmarks must be met before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect. These triggers include: constructing 370 miles of fencing and 200 miles of vehicle barriers at the border and increasing the size of the Border Patrol to 18,000 agents.  Employer Verification System: An Employment Eligibility Verification System must be ready to process new hires before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect.  Temporary Worker Program: A temporary worker program will relieve pressure on the border and provide a lawful way to meet the needs of our economy.  FACT: The 1986 Act offered green cards after just 18 months, but under this proposal, green card applicants must meet a number of responsibilities something which will take most candidates more than a decade. 3. MYTH: The government will not and cannot meet its promise to crack down on the hiring of illegal workers.  FACT: Before the Z visa and temporary worker programs go into effect, an Employment Eligibility Verification System (EEVS) must be in place and ready to prevent unauthorized workers from obtaining jobs in the United States.  FACT: Employers will be required to verify the work eligibility of all employees using the EEVS, and all workers will be required to present stronger and more readily verifiable identification documents. Tough new anti-fraud measures will be implemented to restrict fraud and identity theft.  FACT: Employers who hire illegal workers will face stiff new criminal and civil penalties. For example, the maximum criminal penalty for a pattern or practice of hiring illegals will increase 25-fold, from $3,000 per alien to $75,000 per alien.



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HASH(0x1179cc34)

posted May 21, 2007 at 9:04 pm


“My argument is that, without illegal immigration, quality and pay of work increase. Your example does nothing to address my argument. At all.” Okay Mr. Irrefutable Argument dude. How about a memo written by a well-respected economist and signed by 500 of the leading economists and academics in the world (including a handful of Nobel Laureates) that says simply “…Confident predictions that immigrant inflows have depressed the wages and employment opportunities of U.S. workers, particularly of the less skilled, belie an unsettled and often unsupportive research base. The best available evidence does not support the view that large waves of immigrants in the past have had a detrimental effect on the labor market opportunities of natives, including the less skilled and minorities.” http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/kfiles/b1528893.html Have we finally, at long last, managed to tackle one of your unbearably brilliant arguments sufficiently?



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Wayne

posted May 21, 2007 at 9:05 pm


Kevin 1000.00 plus 4,000.00 equals 5,000.00 and that is on top of any taxes owed. Do you always just construe facts to fit your arguement?



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:15 pm


Do you always just construe facts to fit your arguement? WayneDon put it well. “Keving doesn’t argue fair.” Yep!



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Wolverine

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:22 pm


Wayne: I believe your “Myths and Facts” list came direct from the White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070518-4.html You should credit the source when making lengthy quotes. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:25 pm


Wayne: Kevin was exactly right: the “price tag” on the “Z” visa is $1,000. Applying for citizenship involves paying another fine of $4,000. Them’s the facts. There’s no “construing”. Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:30 pm


“As has been said, this was the fault with the 1986 Amnesty; it legalized current folks but did not allow for future legal flows of labor.” Moreso, the fault of the 1986 bill was a lack of enforcement. Allowing for future legal flows of labor will do little to curb illegal immigration if we are not serious about enforcement.”Kevin 1000.00 plus 4,000.00 equals 5,000.00 and that is on top of any taxes owed.” A Z Visa will cost $1,000, and will render unto the immigrant legal status. What if they opt not to pay $4,000 later? Do we engage in nazi-like behavior, splitting familites and committing atrocity??? Or do we do what we did last time and let them stay. “Okay Mr. Irrefutable Argument dude. How about a memo written by a well-respected economist and signed by 500 of the leading economists and academics in the world” I didn’t say my argument was irrefutable, I said that Wayne’s anecdote did nothing to refute it. The memo is more substantive. Though I’m tempted to simply cut and paste an article from another think-tank, I have a few points.1) It makes the same underlying assumption as those who advocate minimum-wage hikes, which is that our economy is impervious to changes in the workforce because of at-will employment.In other words, immigration can have NO effect whatsoever on worker conditions. This is akin to saying the we can raise the minimum wage to $75,000 per year. 2. My further point (which isn’t addressed by this memo) is that we will incentivize illegal immigration. The present bill requires people to offer proof that they have been in the country by Jan. 1 2007. You think people aren’t going to make a move between now and that time?3) The memo cites the example of South Florida, which (apparently… The reference is awfully vague) notes that employment rates for non-skilled employees was unaffected by the Mariel boatlift.This is a curious reference, given that that Miami was awash in cocaine at the time (which has the effect of bringing illicit funds and propping up the economy compared to other cities) and that the event is generally associated with other ills related to illegal immigration. 3) Most of this article deals with the importance of treating the workers fairly, with which I am not in disagreement. “Have we finally, at long last, managed to tackle one of your unbearably brilliant arguments sufficiently?” You have finally addressed them. But all you have done is cut and paste a link to an article at a progressive website.



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:31 pm


I would add that there was another cut and paste directly from the White House. This myth/fact has, itself, been myth/facted, but I am not into the ctrl-v wars.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:36 pm


Applying for citizenship involves paying another fine of $4,000. Them’s the facts. There’s no “construing”. Wolverine They are not getting citizenship for $4000! What are you talking about? The $1000 is the initial cost of the Z visa. It is good for four years. Then the principal applicant (head of household) pays $4000 for legal permanent resident status (not citizenship)which can only be processed after existing backlogs are cleared up.$4000 + $1,000 = $5,000. Those are the facts. Wayne is right. What’s wrong Wolvie? In addition to not minding splitting up families you don’t know how to distinguish between permanent resident status and citizenship. There’s a big difference. Glad we’re having an “informed” discussion.



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Wolverine

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:37 pm


A thought on the “is it amnesty?” question: I see the point of those who resent calling the current proposal an amnesty: there is a fine in lieu of deportation, and the fine is not an insignificant one. Still, the government is dropping the legally santioned process of deportation for those willing and able to pay. Perhaps we should call this an “indulgence”? Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm


A Z Visa will cost $1,000, and will render unto the immigrant legal status. What if they opt not to pay $4,000 later? Do we engage in nazi-like behavior, splitting familites and committing atrocity??? Or do we do what we did last time and let them stay. Kevin S. You don’t need to ask that rhetorical question. You would throw them out on their without even getting to that point.



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Wolverine

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:40 pm


Jeez Sarasotakid, you take one sentence out of context and rip me for it. That’s great argumentation there. You really ought to consider getting treatment for your short attention span. Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:41 pm


Perhaps we should call this an “indulgence”? WolverineSome of us call it being human.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:43 pm


Jeez Sarasotakid, you take one sentence out of context and rip me for it. That’s great argumentation there. Wolverine No. It wasn’t out of context. You simply did not know what you were talking about. I’ll get treatment for my short attention span if you get treatment for your ignorance.



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HASH(0x117ac2b0)

posted May 21, 2007 at 10:47 pm


“1) It makes the same underlying assumption as those who advocate minimum-wage hikes, which is that our economy is impervious to changes in the workforce because of at-will employment. In other words, immigration can have NO effect whatsoever on worker conditions. This is akin to saying the we can raise the minimum wage to $75,000 per year.” The underlying assumption I read is that immigrants create – they buy stuff, start stuff, and invent stuff. Due to this new energy we all benefit. I would love to read your ‘sources’; can you post them so we can learn from the people who study this stuff for a living? “Moreso, the fault of the 1986 bill was a lack of enforcement. Allowing for future legal flows of labor will do little to curb illegal immigration if we are not serious about enforcement.” This is a moot point. No one is advocating ‘open borders’ or limiting enforcement. But yes, allowing future legal immigration will curb illegal immigration, it is actually a necessity in securing our borders. “You have finally addressed them. But all you have done is cut and paste a link to an article at a progressive website. I would add that there was another cut and paste directly from the White House. This myth/fact has, itself, been myth/facted, but I am not into the ctrl-v wars.” The memo was written by professors. Yes, a website is linked for you to find the memo. The website did not write it obviously. You are very arrogant and I am a Macintosh guy, so I Apple-V, thank you.



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tnrn

posted May 21, 2007 at 11:07 pm


Just a quick jump into what seems to be the common constant arguing and re-stating of opposing stands taken on such divisive issues…it takes up a lot of time to read through it all… My thanks to Amy for her ‘tongue in cheek’ commentary. My opinions are pretty much aligned in the same direction, and so I not only enjoy and agree with her words, I also am surprised and amazed by those who take such an opposing stance. To Jason…one does not receive automatic citizenship when born in other countries. My own experience is with one grandchild born overseas and I have heard, (but have not researched) that such is uncommon. Time and an attempt to reduce redundancy here, I think, would be best achieved by saying that my opinions seem to be best stated by neuro nurse and the many others in their similar leaning posts. To neuro nurse: we seem to not only share many of the same opinions and ideals but similar professions (I am a neo/peds nurse) and travel history, as I was able to visit my son and family in Iran during their three year stay there…thank you for your thoughtful additions to this discussion. Just for the record, this middle class, white, middle aged, ‘born again’ evangelical protestant, (although from a Catholic family of origin), southerner (25yrs here makes it home I guess),sees this issue as: We’ve had ‘closed borders’ to the south only, immigration quotas etc. and such since I can remember. Our country’s law enforcement has also turned a blind eye to those who’ve been lured by the promise of higher wages in the U.S. for many decades. For those unable and unwilling to either pay high prices to ‘coyotes’ to manage their trip here or brave the dangerous trek, there have been many U.S. companies who have sent their trucks into Mexico to recruite workers and truck them into this country. I have seen this with my own eyes. The pickers (and their whole families), trucked into Northern Michigan when I was in nursing school there and who I met while assiting with a medical clinic…and more recently the industry initiated groups of undocumented workers brought to local packing plants and hotels here in middle Tennessee. As a nurse I encounter frequent difficulties with families who speak little English. However, in overseas travel I find it ‘human nature’ to wish to speak one’s native tongue whenever possible. There were English speaking westerners in Cairo that I met, who’d lived there for over two decades and who’d never learned more than 5 words of Arabic…my brother-in-law’s elder German family members in Colorado have never learned more than a few words of English, despite having lived here most of their lives..so the constant criticism of non-English speakers is one I feel is not so simple nor deserving. I suspect that many such criticizers have never really learned another language (other than the required high school ‘foreign language’ which is rarely remembered or used). Most immigrant relatives of mine (and many many others I suspect) did NOT learn English before or immediatly upon landing on these shores. In at least some of the truely bi-lingual areas of this country, where I have often worked (Houston and San Diego)I am amazed at the number of totally bi-lingual ‘fluent’ Spanish/English speakers…every restaurant and check out is manned by such, no matter their race. I think it’s easy to forget that a good chunk of the southwestern U.S. was an area won by war with Mexico and there are many generations of Spanish speakers who may (and usually) are bi-lingual but who may not feel that they ‘have’ to speak English just to make the majority Euro-desended citizens happy. Learning to speak more than one language seems to be more of a positive than a negative in most of Europe and Scandinavia, so I’m not sure why all the ranting on this issue. When traveling abroad, it’s obvious that English is not the dying language that other countries and cultures face…it’s becoming the dominant language and I for one, do not fear the possibility of it’s loss in this country. I’ve read (but don’t remember specific names) of recent budget cuts that have decreased dramatically the number of ESL classes that were designed for the home-bound women who typically are least likely to find time and resources to learn English while caring for their children. I don’t believe many, if any, of these peoples intended to be ‘illegal’. Many times a ‘law’ or ‘rule’ that is consistently ignored, eventually is removed from the books, such as many racially and anti-homosexual laws have been ignored and most erased in recent years. I think our border laws were too ignored for too long to keep lableing undocumented workers as ‘illegal’. I frequently drive over a posted speed limit…I might be justifiably ticketed for ‘driving at an illegal speed’ but local law enforcement commonly ignores me for more better use of their time…however, at those times, I too am ‘illegal’ as are the majority of drivers around me. Enough said, I’m sure that anyone interested gets my point by now… I do appreciate the input by those that take an opposite position on these issues. My opinions are formed mostly by my life experiences but it is only in hearing of the opinions of others that I’m able to understand their experiences and reactions too.



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quaaludes

posted May 21, 2007 at 11:17 pm


Fathead: “I personally would like to gloss over the particulars and keep on the big picture.” Nimrod: “I’m all about particulars.” Dillweed: “Hang on while I go cut-and-past another boring article.” Dimbulb: “I’m all about cut-and-paste.”



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 11:33 pm


“They are not getting citizenship for $4000! What are you talking about?” He didn’t say they were. He said they got it for an additional $4,000. Do you know what the word additional means?



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kevin s.

posted May 21, 2007 at 11:37 pm


“This is a moot point. No one is advocating ‘open borders’ or limiting enforcement.” No, but nobody is advocating increased enforcement. At least, not yet.”You are very arrogant and I am a Macintosh guy, so I Apple-V, thank you.” Pejorative in lieu of an argument. Typical of a Mac user.



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Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 12:38 am


Kevin, The hilarious thing is, in ripping on me, he essentially confirmed what you wrote originally: Kevin wrote: They may obtain a Z visa for $1,000, not $5,000. Then I wrote: Kevin was exactly right: the “price tag” on the “Z” visa is $1,000. Sarasotakid wrote: The $1000 is the initial cost of the Z visa. So, at least we all agree on something. Wolverine



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HASH(0x11786b34)

posted May 22, 2007 at 1:03 am


“No, but nobody is advocating increased enforcement. At least, not yet.” Are you even following the issue? Everybody from Tancredo to Kennedy has included billions of dollars for increased securing along the border, in the workplace, at your mom’s house, etc. in literally every single bill that has been proposed in either chamber the last two congressional sessions. Even though we have over 13,000 border agents along our Southern border and have tripled security spending over the last 10 years – still no one is debating spending even more resources to secure our border. I am not making the argument that there should be the debate, only saying that it is not currently debated. If that is all you want, you can rest assured you will get it if a reform package passes. Increased security is a given.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 22, 2007 at 2:05 am


Kevin,the hilarious thing is, in ripping on me, he essentially confirmed what you wrote originally: Kevin wrote: They may obtain a Z visa for $1,000, not $5,000. Wolverine The ultimate issue was the amount of fine they pay. It is $5K. Plus, the “additional” $4000 is for permanent residency, not citizenship. There is a big difference between the two statuses? Do you understand this distinction? It’s apparent that neither of you do. Well, that’s not unexpected.



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Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 3:59 am


I’ve had enough of back and forth with the immigration law experts at Sarasotakid & Wayne. It’s time for… CLAIM IV AMNESTY? WHAT AMNESTY? Well, there’s a case to be made that the latest proposal out of the Senate isn’t a full amnesty. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t share a lot of bad traits of amnesty. It’s pretty much accepted that the 1986 immigration “reform” was an amnesty, illegal immigrants who had been in the coutry for five years were eligible for legal status and eventually citizenship. That amnesty was a fiasco. The deal was supposed to be that in exchange for extending amnesty to some illegal aliens, the remainder would be returned home and the border would be tightened up. And here we are. In ’86 we had an estimated illegal alien population of three million. Now we have 12 million. The latest proposal is more complicated, as witnessed by the heated semantic argument that Kevin and I had with Sarasotakid and Wayne. The draft bill — we have yet to see final official language — is just under 400 pages. There is a fine of $1,000 that must be paid before one can receive a “Z” visa, and another fine of $4,000 (making a grand total of, yes, $5,000) that must be paid before an illegal immigrant receives a green card.So there is at least a measure of “punishment” that applies. But after paying the first fine the illegal immigrant is legally allowed to live and work in the US. This is a remarkable sort of punishment because it conveys a new legal right. Consider the example of the speeding ticket: typically paying a fine conveys no new legal rights. If a cop busts me for driving 80 in a 65 zone, and I pay the fine, I do not gain the right to drive 15 miles over posted speed limits. The only “right” I gain by paying the fine is to keep my drivers license. But by paying a $1,000 fine, an illegal immigrant gains the legal right to remain in and work in the US, under the Z visa. That’s a legal right the immigrant did not have before paying the fine. The Z visa is not permanent, but depending on how you read the bill* it can last as long as eight years, and can be renewed. Going back to our speeding anology, the Z visa is the equivalent of a license to speed. Not permanently, mind you — that takes another five grand — but for several years. The next time a cop pulls you over, you can tell him “sorry officer, I already paid my fine”. That may not quite count as amnesty, but it’s a pretty nice deal. And just as in 1986, the lenient treatment, in the form of the Z visa, opens up before stepped up enforcement. That’s the aspect that bothers me the most. Wolverine *I’ve heard different reports on how long a Z visa lasts — the draft legislation is a mess and as far as I know the final version isn’t available yet — but its length is measured in years, not months, and I’m pretty sure it can be renewed at least once.



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kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 4:06 am


“Are you even following the issue?” Yes. My mistake. The people who are supporting the present bill are not advocating enforcement. Obviously some people are supporting enforcement. I am supporting enforcement.”Even though we have over 13,000 border agents along our Southern border and have tripled security spending over the last 10 years – still no one is debating spending even more resources to secure our border.” So you are arguing that we have enough enforcement as it is, and yet people are still immigrating. This, if anything, certainly argues against amnesty. If we have been making every effort to stop illegal immigration, then this defangs the only ethical argument, which is that our lax immigration has allowed for the present situation, and that we have an ethical responsibility to provide the families who have taken advantage. So which is it?



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kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 4:13 am


“The ultimate issue was the amount of fine they pay. It is $5K. Plus, the “additional” $4000 is for permanent residency, not citizenship. There is a big difference between the two statuses? Do you understand this distinction? It’s apparent that neither of you do. Well, that’s not unexpected.” Right. There is a distinction. The $1,000 fine is distinct from the $4,000 green card application. You can’t just lump them together. That was the point. Can the insults.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 22, 2007 at 4:28 am


Can the insults. Just relating to you in the way you relate to others.



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Mark P

posted May 22, 2007 at 4:44 am


Sarasota, Even if kevin is sarcastic, cynical, condescending, and inflammatory, I think you’ve outstripped in the arena of personal attacks. And even *if* he set the tone, why would you stoop and play on the same level? Instead of interacting on continuously spiralling levels of pettiness, maybe we can set a tone of respect and stick to it even if others do not abide by the same? I know I’m guilty; I know I’m condescending and petty and manipulative with the best of them. That doesn’t mean we have to stay there.



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jd

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:04 am


Goodness, my little stowaways got citizenship without the benefit of even citizen parents, they just happened to be born here to people who were here with permission. Funny, good writing. Thanks!



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HASH(0x117bcf6c)

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:39 am


“Yes. My mistake. The people who are supporting the present bill are not advocating enforcement. Obviously some people are supporting enforcement. I am supporting enforcement.” Yes they are. Everyone is advocating enforcement. Ted Kennedy wants to spend billions of dollars more every year to secure our border. I understand you do as well. That is all you are really saying, you have not yet proposed a workable plan that will deal with the 12 million people already here in a humane, economically sensitive way. “So you are arguing that we have enough enforcement as it is, and yet people are still immigrating. This, if anything, certainly argues against amnesty. No, I said that despite the reality of our already increasing enforcement energy, people continue to enter illegally. I will accept that more enforcement is fine – allowing it be part of a comprehensive solution. The fact that people continue to migrate no matter how many walls, guns and soldiers we put up on the border does not argue against amnesty. That is ridiculous. What it tells me is that we have to find ways to let people migrate in a controlled fashion – so they don’t stoop to illegal means because one way or another they are getting here. “If we have been making every effort to stop illegal immigration, then this defangs the only ethical argument, which is that our lax immigration has allowed for the present situation, and that we have an ethical responsibility to provide the families who have taken advantage. So which is it?” Our lax enforcement has less to do with our border security mechanisms than it does with our economic needs.If we really wanted to keep the ‘illegals’ out we would have enforced the workplace as well. My point is not whether the U.S. truly tried to enforce policy, but merely stating the inadequacy of ‘enforcement-only’ strategies. Kevin S. & Wolverine – you seem to be economically sensitive people. Good conservatives – way to go on that by the way. It is trickling down to us on the bottom as we speak. But let me ask simply, if your argument is that the situation is messed up and somebody has got to take the hit this time be it the the undocumented or your grandkids – while I would definitely argue that this is a false option, we can easily have neither – how can we remove that many people from the labor force and continue to grow? More importantly, where in scripture can you justify the sacrificing of others for your own gain, especially when you are the one with the power? You do recognize that you (and I) are the powerful ones in this relationship with the undocumented? What does God say to those in power? What does he ask of them in their dealings with the poor? To keep the weak ones underfoot? To ask the poor to sacrifice further? I would love to hear your thoughts – and seriously Wolverine stop counterpointing the ‘Amnesty’ plan and propose something of your own. This is something neither of you are ready to do. I dare you to say you want to deport 12 million people. Double chili-cheese dog dare you…



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Sarasotakid

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:59 am


I know I’m guilty; I know I’m condescending and petty and manipulative with the best of them. That doesn’t mean we have to stay there. Mark PYou’re right.Yawn. This has become boring and useless. After all, I can’t change the fact that they want all those people deported. No further discussion is needed or merited.



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Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 3:15 pm


Sarasotakid, But we don’t necessarily want “all those people deported”. I certainly do not expect to see 12,000,000 people deported all at once — give me that option and I wouldn’t take it for humanitarian (yes, you read that right) and economic reasons. What we want is a set of rules under which illegal actions have consequences. Those consequences need not be especially draconian, but they should be significant enough to deter illegal immigration. Any rule in which the “consequences” of illegal immigration give illegal immigrants an advantage over other applicants for legal immigration is an invitation to more illegal immigration and should be avoided. The 1986 amnesty did this, and so would the current immigration bill. I think a gradual ramping up of enforcement, focused on employers as much as illegal aliens themselves, is the proper approach. I would prefer illegal immigrants return to their home countries on their own rather than be deported. Within bounds of reason I am quite comfortable allowing illegal aliens to choose when to leave on their own. I would be open to issuing a non-renewable visa, lasting six months to a year, to illegal immigrants in order to give them time to save up funds and land on their feet when they return to their home countries. Once there they should be allowed to apply for legal immigration without prejudice. Our goal is not so much to punish as to restore the status quo ante, so that the illegal immigrant is returned roughly to the position he or she had before illegally crossing the border. This strikes me as imminently fair and while I understand how a reasonable person might disagree with that conclusion, I find it difficult to fathom how this constitutes the sort of crime against humainty that would justify the furious condemnations that have been directed mine and Kevin’s way. Wolverine



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Don

posted May 22, 2007 at 5:59 pm


“So you are arguing that we have enough enforcement as it is, and yet people are still immigrating. This, if anything, certainly argues against amnesty.” No, it doesn’t. Rather, it’s an argument that increased enforcement won’t stem future migrations. It simply won’t work. More enforcement would just make it more likely that we will have an increasingly serious humanitarian crisis on the border as people take more and more risks in their attempts to come here. Only a more robust economy in Latin America will slow the migration down. Until that happens, we need to manage the migration in a humanitarian and equitable way by providing a way for people who want to come here and work with a legal way to do so. Border enforcement could then be concentrated on keeping truly dangerous people (i.e., criminals, terrorists) out. And, as has repeatedly been pointed out, what is currently being proposed is NOT amnesty. Not even close. A $5K fine (3-4 months wages) for legal residency status, with the applicant being required to leave the USA and apply from his/her home country, cannot be called amnesty by any reasonable definition or stretch of the imagination. Peace,



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Wayne

posted May 22, 2007 at 6:07 pm


Wolverine Don has a point. If all you want is to stop illegal entry and you think that some penalty will do that I would ask why is not the financial penalty proposed enough? Why make it harsher? What is gained? The Rule of law is satisfied why would you be? Why don’t you p[ropose some kind of intensive investigation of all employers from industries like Swift and prosecute them to the fullest extent? Wouldn’t that deter illegal entry? Why only punish the person who essentially wants work?



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quaaludes

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:02 pm


Fathead: “I love immigrants, just not the ones who come to the United States.” Dillweed: “NIMBY!!” Dogbreath: “I’m sure it says in Amos that we are to love the alien. Didn’t Pastor Lance say that?” Potatoears: “Just raise the minimum wage and STHU!!”



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kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:24 pm


“No, it doesn’t. Rather, it’s an argument that increased enforcement won’t stem future migrations. It simply won’t work.” Which is why deporation (either de facto or otherwise) is necessary. You concede that you do not want increased enforcement. Therefore, I am curious as to what you propose we do, short of opening our borders completely. If you are asking us to change our farm policy, I am open to that, but it will take years, if not decades to do so. Further, such changes will not be sufficient to reverse Mexico’s desperate economic situation. So you are proposing that we simply allow anyone who wished to live here to be allowed to do so. This is the intellectually honest pro-amnesty position, and will result in tens and tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions of immigrants) to come into our borders. That isn’t tenable.”And, as has repeatedly been pointed out, what is currently being proposed is NOT amnesty. Not even close.” It is certainly close.”A $5K fine (3-4 months wages) for legal residency status,” No, $1k will be required for legal residency status. $4k will be required for a green card. You are simply throwing these two together as though they are the same thing (and then, confoundedly, Sarasota is accusing us of same). “with the applicant being required to leave the USA and apply from his/her home country,” No. The applicant pays $1k, and may stay in the country legally. After a while, they may $4k for a green card. Supposedly, we are supposed to require them to leave in order for this to happen. But if enforcement is ineffective, how can we enforce that rule?Why wouldn’t they simply opt to return to illegal status, thereby joining the other millions of illegals who will have entered our country by that time? What are we going to do when they do precisely this? Start all over again?That’s the problem.



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kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 8:25 pm


“Why don’t you p[ropose some kind of intensive investigation of all employers from industries like Swift and prosecute them to the fullest extent? Wouldn’t that deter illegal entry? Why only punish the person who essentially wants work?” I’m all for it.



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Wolverine

posted May 22, 2007 at 9:02 pm


Kevin S. wrote: No. The applicant pays $1k, and may stay in the country legally. After a while, they may $4k for a green card. Supposedly, we are supposed to require them to leave in order for this to happen. But if enforcement is ineffective, how can we enforce that rule? As I understand it, the applicant is required to return to his or her home country to file these papers, but is allowed to return to the US immediately after doing so. Meanwhile his dependants can remain in the US the entire time. It’s entirely appropriate that this be called a “touchback” provision because the applicant may need do no more than “take a knee” in his own country. Wolverine



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Ryan S

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:40 pm


Now we have a debate! Great! I disagree 100% with this statement:I’m saying we should have limits on immigration because to do otherwise will compromise everything that makes our country a desirable destination in the first place. And to prove it you only have to look at your history books. This country was and is made by immigrants. Its success was and is because of population growth and economic drive for a better life. But to help show you the truth I can point you to some research that proves that new immigration is not a drag on society The Economist did a survey in 2000 on the pros and cons of immigration, to read it you must sign up or purchase unfortunately, but I bet your local library could supply it also: http://economist.com/surveys/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_NRJSGQ But for the real proof…in 1997 Congress commissioned a study to see how immigration has affected America as a whole. It was completed by the National Academy of Sciences. It concluded that immigration provided a net benefit to the American economy of around $10 billion annually. The NAS study looked mainly at the difference between the wages paid to immigrants and the value of the goods and services they produced and used. This means it dealt solely with first generation immigrants and only the easily measured numbers of immigration The study does not take into account the full benefits of importing people with different skills (think Indian engineers and computer scientists of whom we are sorely short on here) and the gains from a broader range of products and services not to mention the many businesses started by immigrants. Think about that and you ll see the benefit of immigrants.People who drop everything and come to a country with a different culture, language and outside of the traditional support network by definition must be entrepreneurial, bold and driven. Those are exactly the sort of people we should want to come here! Hard workers, creative thinkers, dynamic people looking to better their or their family s lives. Quite unlikely that the lazy will travel thousands of miles and take the risks to work here. How many of you would move to Germany or even Australia (where the language is the same) to live and work? Few because your life and family and career are here and the risks of living there are much greater with no family or friends to help you out in a pinch and the culture and language is foreign making it harder to create a network. So despite most fears immigrants are a net gain for the US. But then think about their children. 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants are always better integrated (if you like I can dig up the supporting documents on that but this fact has been noted often enough that I think it s unnecessary) and contribute even more to society. So no I do not think immigration is an inalienable right and I wasn t arguing that at all although an open immigration policy is the result of my view. I am stating that it seems very hypocritical that the current US citizens can say that they believe in the Constitution and Declaration of Independence: that all persons have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness but we (who are already here) can choose who can pursue it here in the USA. That just makes no sense. The only way it makes sense is if you can prove that the country is full and more people will damage our rights to life, liberty and happiness that is patently NOT true as noted by research by the NAS (referred to above).A well managed but open immigration policy is a welcome thing for economic reasons (prevent fraud and abusive practices) as well as security (keep the terrorists and criminals out or in jail). Closing the doors or lowering the number of immigrants even more only hurts the USA in the long term.What would you do with $10+ billion a year?



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kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:46 pm


“It’s entirely appropriate that this be called a “touchback” provision because the applicant may need do no more than “take a knee” in his own country.” Well at least we’re inconveniencing them.



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kevin s.

posted May 22, 2007 at 10:54 pm


“The Economist did a survey in 2000 on the pros and cons of immigration,” I doubt The Economist is an advocate of unlimited immigration. I am not opposed to immigration, but I am opposed to an open border.”How many of you would move to Germany or even Australia (where the language is the same) to live and work?” I would love to move to Australia. At any rate, I have no doubt that the folks coming across the border are enthusiastic. I also know that a large number of them do not speak English, and virtually all of them are unskilled. The statistics on illegal immigration are not as rosy as the studies you cite. Further, the implications of an open-border policy have yet to be measured (although the present amnesty bill does sort of function as a retro-active open-border policy).If we open our borders to everyone who wishes to come, we could be home to hundreds of millions of new immigrants. There is not a study you can cite that suggests this would be sustainable from a logistical, economic, or democratic perspective. You just want us to take a guess, and hope that we’ll be okay. That is not how i want our policymkaers making decisions. Measured immigration, combined with real enforcement against illegal immigrantion, is the way to do that.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:24 am


But we don’t necessarily want “all those people deported”. I certainly do not expect to see 12,000,000 people deported all at once — give me that option and I wouldn’t take it for humanitarian (yes, you read that right) and economic reasons. That’s progress. What you advocate later is attrition and that certainly is not what I was decrying. What I did go ape sh*t over was some who defended HR 4437- the House bill that would have greatly expanded “aiding and abetting” definition and made unlawful presence a felony. The argument has been dismissed as far-fetched but that measure would have made the United States go down the path of totalitarianism. I’m not exaggerating. If that was taken as insinuating that supporters of that measure were taking us down the slippery slope toward totalitarianism (reductio ad Hitlerium), I was willing to be accused of that. Frankly 4437 scared be bejesus out of me, not only because of its effect on foreign nationals but because it would have affected how we relate to those around us who are foreign born. Areas where I see common ground: 1) The need for enforcement. Employers who break the law need to have criminal sanctions levied against them and face (in actuality, not just on the books) serious time for breaking the law.2) We can’t let this happen again. Whatever the outcome of this current round of immigration reform, our politicians need to come up with a workable plan that won’t land us in this mess again in 20 years. Areas to possibly investigate: Instead of giving the undocumented aliens a “path to citizenship”, why not give them a green card that can never be changed to citizen and can never be used to bring family members over? After all, we let them get away with being here, presumably, but we don’t have to give them the whole bag of rights. Moreover, if they are found to have illegally procured the entry of their family members from abroad, they would be deportable. That way we could say we’re not kicking you out but you’re not getting plenary rights either because of what you did whereas those who played by the rules have the possibility of one day becoming citizens. That way you’re not splitting these people up from their US born kids and if they commit a crime they could be easily deportable as non-citizen. Any thoughts on that? I would be interested in your views, Kevin and Wolverine.



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HASH(0x117cf254)

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:37 am


“If we open our borders to everyone who wishes to come, we could be home to hundreds of millions of new immigrants.” And they will all have gazillions of millions of anchor babies who will team up and become super-illegals that will make us eat burritos and watch tele-novelas until we actually like them. Before you know it we will be catholic, peace-loving, mary-worshiping, liberals!!!!???? I know you are like the most logical guy around who has no emotion whatsoever and definitely no prejudice about this issue or ‘those people’ but can you stop and hear yourself for a minute? Hundreds of millions of illegals invading our country, taking our jobs, our land and our women?!?! Take a moment and read this. It was very helpful for me… http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=533



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Wayne

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:45 pm


kevin and wolverine Take more than a moment to read what anon suggests.Statements like those quoted by anon sure make it look like you are trying to spread fear.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 23, 2007 at 2:57 pm


Wayne, I am just wondering if there is any common ground whatsoever here. We’ll see.



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Wolverine

posted May 23, 2007 at 3:38 pm


Wayne, Do you really expect me to take those comments seriously? And we were so close to turning this into a constructive conversation. Oh well, taking these point by point: I like burritos but I’ve finally managed to lose some weight and eating too many of them would ruin that. Tele-novelas are okay by me. My sister is a huge fan of “Ugly Betty” and the concept of a series with a story arc has been around in sci-fi (Babylon 5, Deep Space Nine, and now Battlestar Galactica) for years. Catholic? Guilty as charged: I’m a to-the-bones Protestant. Peace Loving? I’m not completely sold on that. Latin America has given us narco terrorism, the Sendero Luminoso, Che Guevera, the Soccer War, and several assorted guerilla movements and death squads. Mary Worshipping? As a Protestant (see above), I’m aware that Catholics don’t actually worship Mary. It can be hard to tell the difference sometimes, and I obviously disagree on the Immaculate Conception, but Catholicism doesn’t freak me out anywhere near as much as Wahhabi Islam. Liberals? Well, you got me there. But then again, maybe that’s why you’re so gung-ho to see so many naturalized: it would make your political agenda so much easier to enact. Taking our jobs? My job is not the sort that’s going to be taken by an illegal immigrant. Not unless he has a law degree from a top twenty law school, or something comparable. Our Land? That’s the least of our worries. It’s a big country. There’s lots of land. Our women? Hey, as long as they bring some of their own to share I’m okay with that. Wolverine



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Wolverine

posted May 23, 2007 at 4:39 pm


I went through all that to get to something else: this really is about rule of law and maintaining public order, the core purposes of government. This isn’t about race, and only tangentially about culture or religion. To the extent that this is about partisan politics, your hands are no cleaner than ours. Yes, I’m aware that “law and order” has been used as a stand in for racism. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar and sometimes “law and order” just means “law and order”. Wolverine



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Wayne

posted May 23, 2007 at 5:28 pm


Wolverine I am a little confused. Are you mistakenly referring to me instead of anon? It was the Myth of scarcity article that I thought you should read. I know all about cigars. It is statements like the following I think are absurd and may in fact be evil as they invoke unreasonable fear. “If we open our borders to everyone who wishes to come, we could be home to hundreds of millions of new immigrants.” 20 plus years of basically unregulated immigration have not gotten us anywhere near that number and I doubt 20 more years of regulated immigration will do it. I think we all agree that the borders need to be secured. I think we all agree that the rule of law is important. I think we disagree with what to do with 12 million people. Some want to punish to an extent that I think is abhorant. The punishment that has already been endured when added to the additional fines seems to me to be sufficient. The idea that additional punishment is required to stem the flow on immigration is just wrong. The border is our responsibility to protect. We did not do that. What is our punishment? Why is the richest country to ever exist so afraid of poor people? All of these questions do not mean we should have open borders. I just think we screwed up and we are going to bear much of the burden of correcting our mistakes. Others will have to pay fines for theirs. The immigrants disrespect for our laws was spurred by need. Our disrespect for our own law was spurred by complacency and greed. Who should be punished the most? How would the rule of law be most effectively observed? I do not have a law degree so you will have to instruct me on this.



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Wolverine

posted May 23, 2007 at 6:31 pm


Wayne, Well, you might want to be a little more specific, especially when making references to anonymous posters, but anyway. As for the hundreds of millions of illegal immigrants, I’ll admit that’s a bit farfetched, but the underlying point is sound: the number of illegal aliens is growing and if we screw up immigration “reform” we’re liable to have even more. Back in 1986 there were three million and that was a scandal. We offered what was frankly called an amnesty with the understanding that this would be followed up with tougher enforcement. Now we have twelve million. You see where this is going, don’t you? I’ll admit a hundred million illegal immigrants isn’t very likely, but fifty million in 20 years isn’t out of the realm of possibility if we screw this up badly enough. Meanwhile, social services and local law enforcement are starting to strain with the 12 million we have now. I have heard your claims that you want to see stronger enforcement, but you cannot tolerate enforcement unless we start off by making as many as 12,000,000 exceptions. As the saying goes, “What you do speaks so loud I can’t hear what you say.” We’ve already made 3,000,000 exceptions not all that long ago. If I were contemplating illegal immigration, this bill could very well encourage me. I’d be very tempted to think: “Well they say they’re going to crack down, but they’ve said that before and didn’t. The pattern’s been set and if it holds they won’t be looking for me all that hard. It’s just a matter of hanging in there until they offer me a visa and maybe citizenship. As I said before, enforcement doesn’t necessarily mean mass deportations. It should be focused more on employers more than it has been so far. But we want enforcement, done humanely and firmly. We’ve been burned on this once and we are determined not to be burned again. Once we have enforcement, then we can talk about allowing more immigrants and temporary workers. Wolverine



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Wayne

posted May 23, 2007 at 7:05 pm


I hear your fears about enforcement. Why indeed should we trust when it has been screwed up so badly? I would think a more appropriate measure would be for all the energy used by groups like the minute men be better spent making sure these new enforcement policies were in fact maintained. It was our lack of doing anything like that which caused this problem. You didn’t address my last few questions as to our exacting some penalty for our complacency. It still seems to me that your ideas put the entire onus on the immigrant and never admits to our own guilt as a nation. If the rule of law is important, and it is, then I would think it should work both ways.The 1986 amnesty bill of the past is certainly part of this problem, but it cannot be used to justify unwarranted fears.As to your lesser number of future immigrants; in the past, immigrants came and then left. Why should we suppose that would not be the case in the future? Why do you think immigrants would only come to stay? It seems equally logical to think over all numbers of long term immigration could in fact go down. Watching the Senate debate this morning I would say I am impressed, for the most part, with the logic of this new bill. I hope this time we can get something that is both fair and reflects the rule of law.



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Ryan S

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:07 pm


Come on Kevin s you are back to the same old trick. Argue to the central point! No body cares what the Economist thinks about immigration and no one cares if you d like to live in Australia or not! Those points were illustrative! The point I am making is that the Economist and the NAS did the research that proves that we should work for a sensible immigration policy with rules that allow in good hardworking people and aim to keep troublemakers out.You are back to trying to refute my details and distorting my argument while avoiding the facts of the main argument which you appear to agree with. This is how debate works and compromise is found: you agree on the general principle and then, confident in the knowledge that you have the same goals, you work out the details. Unfortunately most people in this world haven t taken the time to learn the rules for effective debate and discussion, preferring instead to score on pointless details that are only peripherally related to the main argument. Ok first of all a little lesson: If you are going to refute someone s research you had better back it up with research of your own. Where are these so called statistics on illegal immigration that are not as rosy as the studies I cite? I ll never believe you unless you can find some that refute the Economist and the NAR. Two quite reliable sources. Second, NOBODY is arguing for unfettered totally open borders. That s just STUPID. NOBODY is arguing for guessing in immigration policy. You aren t reading the argument or arguing to the concept.Let me try to spell it out in simple words:A well managed but immigration policy that allows more people in is a welcome thing for economic reasons (prevent fraud and abusive practices) as well as security (keep the terrorists and criminals out or in jail). Closing the doors or lowering the number of immigrants even more only hurts the USA economically in the long term.



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HASH(0x117ddb7c)

posted May 27, 2007 at 1:21 am


Ha, ha very funny, but makes absolutely no sense. Couldn’t agree more with your first poster. The injustice of communities that have become unlivable due to gangs and crime,of some (not all) receiving free programs and services, paid for by taxpayers that are denied to citizens who need them, because incomes of illegals are inverifiable, of children forced to go to segregated schools where they often are the lone child in a class who speaks english, closed hospitals, emergency rooms and health clinics…these things are REAL, they are not a joke. You are lucky if you’re able to live and raise your child without worrying about this, but most of us living in the southwest have had to deal with this daily, and watch it worsen for the past 10 years or more,



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Ryan S

posted May 31, 2007 at 7:56 pm


What do gangs and crime have to do with immigration policy?! Yes some gangs are foreign. Yes some criminals are immigrants. But where is the link that makes this significant?Poor, uneducated white people are just as likely to be criminals as poor unedcated, Mexicans or blacks. The trouble is we have a more concentrated system of poor blacks and Mexicans than whites. Thus we have your so called “REAL” problem. Anonymous, like most of the arguments i hear against immigration, you aren’t using logic but emotion and anecdotal evidence.That is the sort of thought that leads to mistaken policy and, often, also to bigotry and racism. Look at the facts and use your critical thinking skills: poverty and lack of education is the problem, NOT immigrants, not blacks, not poor white people. Before you draw specious (and just plain ignorant) arguments into the debate find some research to back up your claims.



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wayne

posted June 1, 2007 at 6:39 pm


Anon You also seem to think that anyone who does not speak English is an undocumented immigrant. It isn’t true!As Ryan S. points out, in the Southwest, and everywhere else in this great country, there are Suburban gangs made entirely of white kids. They sell drugs, do “drive bys” steal, even murder, and the children of white wealthy, middle class Americans have to go to school with them, but they do speak English. It is constantly amazing to me that we white, dominate culture, people act like we were the ones being hurt all the time! We all need to Grow up! As Americans we have it made in comparison to so many others in the world. The only attitude we have a right to demonstrate is one thankfulness and appreciation, if not acceptance and charity. The border is ours. We own it! We did not protect it. We therefore created the problem. Our great economy entices poor people to come here. Somehow that has become something we need to feel cheated for and have to protect at all costs. Having the opportunity to share the wealth accorded to us is not a bad thing. Doing so with a degree of care is logical. Hating others for wanting what we have, and then coming here in the only way we allowed for them to do so, is just plain wrong! If you just want to hate some people that is your choice. It is a free country. Blaming others for your problems is also your choice and we are all held responsible for our choices.Our problems were not caused by poor Hispanic people. We are the responsible party and we carry the “burden” of being the richest, most powerful people on Earth. (Oh, poor us!) But all any one can hear is us complain and blame the poor! This attitude is quite frankly, disgusting!



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Hank

posted November 14, 2007 at 8:15 pm


Hmm.
If only all people were as trustworthy or innocent as Amy Ard’s citizen to be,we would not need border security or laws for illegals or non US citizens.
Many people,including criminals,drug lords and their workers jump the border to escape the laws in their own country to come here and benefit.Laws here in USA are not enforced and border security agents are put in jail for shooting(not killing) drug smugglers.What is fair about that?
Not all people are honest and willing to work to have a better life.There are many that do cross illegally and send money back to family in the country they came from,but there are also many that are willing to benefit from nieve people that will help anyone they see as needy.
I wish all people were honest and giving but they are not.Stop living in a dream world and ranting about how you wish all people could be treated.
Laws are made to protect honest people from dishonest people willing to do anything to work outside the law.Walls only keep out the poorest of people,the drug smugglers,thieves,rapists and killers pay people to get over the border or under it.How many people get killed or raped a year by undocumented workers?You probably could not come up with a factual number,because they have no legal name or document to put on file?I would like to understand why an illegal hispanic citizen in calif. would say proudly that some American citizen said “WE like you Hispanics alot better than the blacks as workers now” He took it as a compliment,I took it as an insult to him,hispanics and blacks (african americans).That was on CNN last year when people were waving mexican flags and burning american flags at same time in Calif.Nice to see how they want our USA money and at same time burn our flag. …I wish you and your undocumented citizen to be a well and prosperous life.Your here legally and getting paid to give your opinion…and as a Legal US citizen I have the right to agree or disagree with you. :)
Btw: Our border laws are still not enforced,so why worry about it?You can’t make someone pay $5000 or let alone $5 if you can’t find them or do not have the will to do so.The rich will always look for ways to exploit the poor,illegals or legal citizens.



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posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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