God's Politics

God's Politics


Video: Jim Wallis on Jesus and Lou Dobbs

posted by gp_intern

At a press conference announcing Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Jim talked about “welcoming the stranger” and “the least of these.” Watch it:

See Jim and others respond to questions about the breadth of the campaign here. You can watch the entire press conference at Faith in Public Life. Jim’s remarks weren’t lost on Lou Dobbs, who aired this segment:



Advertisement
Comments read comments(217)
post a comment
Eric

posted May 8, 2007 at 6:47 pm


I think Dobbs is wrong to bring up the seperation of church and state. Seperation of church and state doesn’t mean people shouldn’t use religious arguments to advance political causes and it doesn’t mean religious leaders shouldn’t speak out on political issues. It simply means that there should be no state church. But I also think Wallis is wrong, again. He takes Jesus’ command to us as Christians to love thy neighbor and help the poor and oppressed and turns it around to use it as a commandment about how to run a state. The state is not who Jesus was talking to. He was talking to people, to us. He wasn’t giving advice on the best way for a government to run a country. If it were the case, we shouldn’t put anyone in jail because Jesus says we shouldn’t respond if someone does you harm. This is the main problem progressive Christians have when they get involved in politics.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 8, 2007 at 7:07 pm


With all due respect to Jim Wallis, the Catholic Bishops may be fairly conservative on the issues of abortion and gay marriage (the terrible twins) but on economics they haven’t been conservative in a long time if ever. It also appears to me that Wallis skips lightly past the main problem with immigration: over ten million illegal immigrants. The US already “welcomes the stranger” — we have always had one of the world’s most generous immigration laws and, as the son of an immigrant, I hope that never changes. But my folks played by the rules — found sponsorship in the US, filled out the paperwork, then learned English and became citizens. I don’t see why we can’t expect current immigrants to do the same thing. As for those “strangers among us” who fail to abide by laws that are more generous than the ones my family lived by, we should humanely and decently escort them across the border and invite them go through proper channels next time. Wolverine



report abuse
 

TLB

posted May 8, 2007 at 7:51 pm


I follow immigration very closely at the linked sites and a few more, and I can assure everyone that Wallis not only has no clue, the policies he supports will make things far worse. Wallis might want to consider the impact on his church when he’s eventually revealed to not be qualified to speak to this issue. Eventually someone somewhere is going to publicly ask him several very tough questions, and when his parishioners realize how wrong he is, I don’t think they’re going to trust him on other matters. A few points: – 10% of Mexico’s population (and IIRC 17% of their workforce) lives in the U.S. Is that healthy for Mexico? – Millions of people around the world will see the legalization Wallis supports as amnesty, and they’ll try to come here. That will lead to even more border deaths and even more mixed status families. Wallis pretends to oppose border deaths and deportations breaking up families, yet he supports policies that will make the situation worse. – Two 9/11 hijackers got VA driver’s licenses with the assistance of an illegal alien and the illegal immigration infrastructure. At least one other 9/11 hijacker used a bypass code designed for illegal aliens to get a CA license. The 9/11 Commission’s Staff Report had a whole chapter on how terrorists have gamed our immigration system. Yet, Wallis waves such concerns away with a tale about Mexican cleaning ladies. I urge his parishioners to get out there and ask him tough questions in a public setting, and then post those to blogs and youtube.



report abuse
 

sangerinde

posted May 8, 2007 at 7:55 pm


I’m grateful to Jim Wallis for posting the Lou Dobbs “reportage” on his press conference, as it was a shocking example of how media can distort a point of view. I heard Jim Wallis talk about compassion, welcome, and fixing a broken system. The reportage on the movement seemed to have an audio problem: the only word I could hear was “amnesty,” repeated over and over again. That having been said, Jim, you asked for it with your dig at the end. The whole movement will be the better for it if you can keep the vendetta under your hat.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 8, 2007 at 9:05 pm


Nobody opposes comprehensive immigration reform that I know of. However, if Wallis says that he does not support anarchy at our borders. What, then, is wrong with fences and increased security?If that isn’t welcoming the stranger, than what is welcoming the stranger? Permission to allow every illiegal immigrant in this nation to exist as a citizen? If walls and fences are a means to the end of preventing illegal immigration, then why are they forbidden in the Bible? Wallis fails to address any of the tough questions here, and therefore contributes nothing to the conversation. The jab against Dobbs is, well, not out of character.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 8, 2007 at 9:12 pm


Just watched the Dobbs piece. He asks those difficult questions that Wallis is unwilling to answer, as does everyone else in the piece.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 8, 2007 at 9:56 pm


Kevin: The reason walls and fences are not a good means of preventing undocumented migrants from entering the country is that they simply do not work. The only thing they do is make the desperate migrants try to take other, much more dangerous routes, which precipitates a humanitarian crisis as many die in the attempt. Since the first attempts at strengthening the border and adding to the border patrol were made (I think it was the early 1990s but may be wrong there), the numbers of illegal borders crossings have increased, and they continue to increase despite all the barriers, increase border patrols, etc. Check out this Web site and read the History section: http://www.nomoredeaths.org/ Further, many undocumented immigrants (about 1/3, I believe) do not enter the country illegally; they come in on a legal visa, such as a student or tourist visa, and simply don’t leave when they are supposed to. Increased border security won’t do anything to stop them. A better, more humane approach than simply arming the border and setting up barriers is needed. I think this is where Jim Wallis is coming from. As I posted elsewhere, only one long-term solution to this problem exists: improve the economies of the places the migrants are coming from, so they won’t be so desperate to leave home just to provide a decent living for their families. It’s the only real solution, and sure it’s a tall order. But our present trade and economic policies tend to lead in the opposite direction. Peace,



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:07 pm


“As I posted elsewhere, only one long-term solution to this problem exists: improve the economies of the places the migrants are coming from, so they won’t be so desperate to leave home just to provide a decent living for their families. It’s the only real solution, and sure it’s a tall order. But our present trade and economic policies tend to lead in the opposite direction.” That’s not feasible for a country that commonly elects socialist leaders. We can’t operate a number of economies at once, and we should not be responsible for taking care of illegal immigrant because of that fact.My point was not that fences and walls are the best way to keep out illegals, but that there presence has nothing to do with Wallis’ argument. If 1/3 of illegal immigrants are overstaying their visas, then we need increased enforcement to remove them. If companies are employing illegals, then we need more raids and deportations.The alternative is to craft amnesty legislation (or whatever you want to call it) and encourage many more millions to enter this country illegally. This is neither sustainable nor fair to taxpaying citizens. Platitudes and cheap shots do not change that fact, and Wallis ought to move beyond them.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:16 pm


i think lou & this lady on his show are doing a bait & swtich, saying 75% of christians support tougher enforcement. i am one of them!! but that does not mean i am against a broader approach that includes dealing humanely w/ folks who are alreay here. this seems like a no-brainer to me, let’s pass some immagration enforcement laws w/ some real teeth to them, adequately fund them, & let the folks who are here already illegally pay up for being here, but let’s don’t uproot them.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:21 pm


“That’s not feasible for a country that commonly elects socialist leaders. We can’t operate a number of economies at once, and we should not be responsible for taking care of illegal immigrant because of that fact.” This is a red herring, Kevin. I didn’t say WE should be responsible for building and managing the economies of Latin America; that’s why I called it a tall order. But we can help by developing trade and domestic economic policies that don’t exacerbate the problem, which is what some of our current policies do. But the fact reamains that we can’t really stop the migration so long as the economic disparity exists; the best we can hope to do is try to manage it in a relatively equitable way. That’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform. I’m not for blanket amnesty either. But some of the propsals I’ve heard about make a lot more sense than building barriers does. Later,



report abuse
 

God's Politics Moderator

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:27 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Courtesy and Respect: You agree that you will be courteous to every Beliefnet member, even those whose beliefs you think are false or objectionable. When debating, express your opinion about a person’s ideas, not about them personally. You agree not to make negative personal remarks about other Beliefnet members. You agree not to engage in derogatory name-calling, including calling anyone evil, a liar, Satanic, demonic, antichrist, a Nazi, or other inflammatory comparisons. Disruptive behavior: You agree not to disrupt or interfere with discussions, forums, or other community functions. Disruptive behavior may include creating a disproportionate number of posts or discussions to disrupt conversation; creating off-topic posts; making statements that are deliberately inflammatory; expanding a disagreement from one discussion to another; or any behavior that interferes with conversations or inhibits the ability of others to use and enjoy this website for its intended purposes. Vulgarity: You agree not to display words, information, or images that are vulgar, obscene, graphically violent, graphically sexual, harm minors in any way, exploit images of children, or are otherwise objectionable. Copying Content: Beliefnet discussions are intended for interactive conversation; members are encouraged to express their own ideas in their own words, not to parrot the words of others. You agree not to create posts that consist substantially of material copied from another source. Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com



report abuse
 

TLB

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:28 pm


kevin s.: the vast majority would oppose “comprehensive immigration reform” if they knew what was involved, and many people oppose it now. That phrase is a code word for a massive amnesty. Don doesn’t understand this issue very well. If we had a fifty foot high wall across the entire border, there would be very few deaths, because very few would try to cross. There are deaths because people try to cross, not because we have border defenses. They try to cross because they know they stand a good chance of a) making it over the border and b) being able to live here. If Wallis really wanted to stop border deaths, he’d support stringently enforcing our laws. That would send the message that there’s no reason to try to cross. As it is, he’s like someone who cuts holes in a fence surrounding a swimming pool, and those who oppose enforcement of our immigration laws are partly responsible for the deaths that occur. Wallis’ handlers might want to ponder what will happen when he’s eventually revealed to be the charlatan he is.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:33 pm


TLB: I would suggest that it is you, not me, who doesn’t understand the issue very well. We tend to forget that the notion of a sovereign nation with “secure” borders is a realtively recent innovation; for most of human history, migration has been the norm, not the exception. We aren’t going to stop the migration so long as the economic disparity exists. It’s that simple. Go ahead and build your ugly wall. It won’t stop folks from trying to come here, and more will die. I guarantee it. Later,



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 8, 2007 at 10:50 pm


“Go ahead and build your ugly wall. It won’t stop folks from trying to come here, and more will die. I guarantee it.” You have no means of guaranteeing it. If secure borders are a recent innovation, so be it. As a country, we need to be able to control the influx of people, lest we create a de facto slave state wherein workers are exploited. “We aren’t going to stop the migration so long as the economic disparity exists. It’s that simple.” So you are proposing an end to economic disparity? How do you propose that we do this? Obviously, you are opposed to free trade, so opening up our economy is not how we are going to get it done. What does the end to economic disparity look like? Regardless of what it looks like, there is not reason not to strengthen our border security. Regardless of what Jim Wallis et al… have to say about this issue, the major call for amnesty is coming from chambers of commerce. Companies have a source of exploitable, cheap labor, and they have no interest in ceasing to exploit it.



report abuse
 

squeaky

posted May 8, 2007 at 11:09 pm


A really good book on the issue is “Enrique’s Journey” but Sonia Nazario. I highly recommend it. It is an extremely complex issue, and even a cursory look at the pros and cons of illegal immigration shows that. There is much dispute about the economic advantage we have from all these workers doing jobs many people here don’t want to do, for cheaper, as well as the money they put into our economy. On the other side, many would argue that they drain the economy because we provide health care and education for them. There is both truth and falsehood in all the above stances, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg concerning the issue. I don’t believe there is a simple solution, but Don’s argument that the reason to come to the U.S. needs to disappear if we hope to have control over the situation is in truth the actual solution. But in nations that are not well developed economically, or that have a lot of corruption within their governments, this is not even close to a simple solution. I don’t advocate amnesty, but I would say that it at least needs to become easier for work visas to be obtained. I do think it is true that we need this work force. If we didn’t, employers wouldn’t so quickly hire illegals, and there certainly doesn’t seem to be much competition for their jobs from American citizens. If we suddenly lost them, it would definitely have an effect on our economy, and I doubt it would be a positive one.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 8, 2007 at 11:12 pm


if these folks who are here had citizenship there would be no exploiting labor because they would come out of the shadows & enforce their rights.



report abuse
 

jurisnaturalist

posted May 8, 2007 at 11:20 pm


Open the borders. Let them all in if they can pay their own way. But first, we will have to do away with all welfare programs which immigrants might exploit. As Milton Friedman said, “You cannot simultaneously have free immigration and a welfare state.” Wallis’ contradiction is that he wants both. What is just? Which is a higher good, a more essential mandate? Simply put, the Bible is to Jews, Christians, and anyone else who voluntarily chooses to abide by it. The peculiar ethic mandated by Christ is impossible for any unregenerated person to keep, and the redeemed are only able to keep it through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is cruel to foist upon an unbeliever an ethic which they cannot keep, and welcoming the stranger is outright foolishness apart from Christ.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 8, 2007 at 11:28 pm


Platitudes and cheap shots do not change that fact, and Wallis ought to move beyond them. kevin s.Kevin would you be willing to admit that Loud Dobbs takes a lot of cheap shots at others (which he does) or should we only apply this criteria to Jim Wallis?



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:24 am


I listened to what Jim Wallis said. It was by no means a cheap shot a Lou Dobbs. Mr. Dobbs has been outspoken in his anti-immigrant rant every evening on television. I don’t want to do a count-rant against Lou Dobbs but he was an avid supporter of H.R. 4437 which would have made aiding and abbetting illegal aliens a crime. And aiding and abetting in the context of H.R. 4437 would have been to offer any assistance (apart from emergency live-saving assistance) to illegal aliens. This would have meant that the high school girl who falls in love with her illegal alien boyfriend and marries and lives with him would have been guilty of a crime. It would have meant that if you give an illegal alien a ride in your car across town, you would have been guilty of a crime. Our country would have fundamentally changed and we would have been compelled by our government to treat illegal aliens like social outcasts.When the law passed the House, Lou Dobbs was highly supportive of it. So it was by no means a cheap shot for Jim to say that he followed Jesus Christ over Lou Dobbs. Lou Dobbs supported an utterly despicable law and he needs to be called on it. I join Jim Wallis saying that I choose Jesus Christ over Lou Dobbs as well.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:30 am


“I’m not for blanket amnesty either. But some of the propsals I’ve heard about make a lot more sense than building barriers does.” Maybe we can start with what you believe should be done, and how that differs from blanket amnesty.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:32 am


A little while ago, I posted a news item from the Newark Star-Ledger describing the arrest of several suspected terrorists, which was apparently taken down by the moderator. The quoted item was admittedly lengthy, and I suspect was removed on that grounds. I would question this decision on the part of the moderator, but it’s their forum. So be it. It is still pertinent to note, however, that half a dozen persons were arrested as part of a plot to attack a military base, and that of those arrested it appears that several were in this country illegally. I will repeat what I wrote earlier: the average Mexican housekeeper, as Wallis says, is not likely to turn into a suicide bomber, but that doesn’t mean that a chaotic bomber is not a source of danger. Wolverine



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:32 am


“Kevin would you be willing to admit that Loud Dobbs takes a lot of cheap shots at others (which he does) or should we only apply this criteria to Jim Wallis?” Oh yeah, totally. I’m no fan of Dobbs. But he was the recipient of a cheap shot.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:34 am


The citation by the Lou Dobbs report to Romans 13 (Christians must obey the law) is exactly the same citation that I heard the Nazis say to Bonhoeffer when they arrested him the movie I saw about his life.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:34 am


“The quoted item was admittedly lengthy, and I suspect was removed on that grounds. I would question this decision on the part of the moderator, but it’s their forum. So be it.” I’m actually for it. I’m much more interested in engaging the ideas than reading article after article back and forth. If there is a particularly pertinent link, post it, but the copying and pasting gets to be a bit much (and isn’t entirely legal).



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 1:18 am


D’oh! My last post was supposed to end: I will repeat what I wrote earlier: the average Mexican housekeeper, as Wallis says, is not likely to turn into a suicide bomber, but that doesn’t mean that a chaotic border is not a source of danger. Bombers are a danger whether chaotic or organized. I guess I’ve had enough for tonight. Wolverine



report abuse
 

ds0490

posted May 9, 2007 at 1:31 am


It’s interesting that almost all folks posting here are talking about fences, arming guards, and enforcing existing laws. Few mention the other side of the equation in the immigration problem: businesses that hire illegals. Recent raids of factories have rounded up dozens, perhaps hundreds of illegal workers. Have they resulted in any arrests of factory management for employing them? A comprehensive approach must deal with both the demand and the supply.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 1:40 am


Kevin Name one serious legislative proposal that contained anything like amnesty. Fines? yes. Back taxes? Yes. Amnesty? never heard of it. Wolverine When did your folks do this legal entry ? In the past immigration was far easier than it is today. that is at least part of the problem. People like lou Dobbs are fear mongerers and deserve every cheap shot they get and more. Show me one Christian way of dealing with the undocumented who are already here that does not include a means of legalizing them. I submit it cannot be done. Separation of church and state cannot mean I leave my values, my fellow man and My Lord out of the discussion simply because I am afraid of Osama and his minions. If I am first and foremost an American,or and Ethiopian for that matter, I am quite possibly not a Christian. Wayne



report abuse
 

Carl Copas

posted May 9, 2007 at 1:49 am


Walls have been tried before. Anyone ever heard of the Great Wall of China? It didn’t keep “the barbarians” out of the Middle Kingdom and a wall along the U.S. southern border won’t keep out people seeking economic opportunity for themselves and their families. Don is right. The only longterm solution is improved economies in Mexico and Central America. Maybe Calderon, the recently-elected president of Mexico who is not a socialist, can help improve things there. American-owned businesses in Mexico willing to pay a living wage wouldn’t hurt things either.



report abuse
 

TLB

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:13 am


Don: I’m not in favor of building a “wall”. As for the disparity pushing people here, of course it does. A similar disparity results in countries trying to grab territory from others, burglars going after your stereo, and so forth. That’s why countries mount defenses and why people have car alarms. It’s the government’s job to deal with the situation, and they have not. Sarasotakid’s understanding of HR4437 is faulty. Its provisions regarding assisting illegal aliens were not that much different from what we have now, and I’m not aware of any soup kitchens being busted under the current laws. And, HR4437′s provisions were designed to go after people smugglers. (Note: what he offered is a standard false talking point; even Mahony admitted that he exagerated about 4437). ds0490 offers another stock and false talking point, claiming that no one discusses fining employers. A little research would reveal that to be false. This talking point is almost always used by Dems when supporting illegal immigration. Wayne: politicians and others invent cute names for amnesty: “path to legalization”, etc. The Mexican government’s favorite term for it is “regularization”. The bottom line is that no matter what it’s called, it will be perceived as amnesty. All the millions of prospective illegal aliens in foreign countries will see it as amnesty; they’ll ignore the “tough” requirements like paying fines and concentrate on the prize: U.S. citizenship. Some people would walk through fire for that, yet Teddy Kennedy et al would give it away for a couple grand. Wayne says: “Show me one Christian way of dealing with the undocumented who are already here that does not include a means of legalizing them.” Force Mexico to deal with their own excess population rather than pushing them off on us. Start stringently enforcing the laws so as to encourage many to go home, and force Mexico to repatriate their citizens. It’s really not that difficult, and that’s the true humanitarian position. Wallis’ is the exact opposite. His plans will assist the corrupt Mexican oligarchy, hurt the U.S., and make the situation far worse.



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:40 am


Yo, listen up there, my good Yankee pals. I think you guys need to do more of what was circulating on the top of Canadian newscasts/papers today. Last November in recognition of November 11 – Rememberance Day in Canada – seems a few of your lads from the Homeland Security Dept visited our fine land. In the course of their visit, they received some Canadian change (currency) including a 25cent piece with a red poppy on it that was released particularly for Rememberance Day celebrations. Seems your lads were convinced that, lo, verily and behold, must not this red spot contain some kind of transmitter potentially useful to Osama and the girls? So convinced were they that “out, damned spot, out” it must be, that they trod back south of the 49th whereupon they spent significant portions of your tax dollars conducting an investigation into this ominous surveillance being masterminded by seditious Canadians.An MSNBC story yesterday revealed that, alas, the Orwellian Canadian quarters were, well, er, uh, ahem, benign. So today, we Canucks are having a good chuckle about our ever vigilant cousins to the south. And, oh yeah, the investigation does help explain why Queen Elizabeth was strip-searched before she had dinner with W the other night. Perhaps Bob and Mike Ernesto who spotted the nasty quarters could be conscripted to head up the building of the 50 foot wall down by the bank of the Rio Grande.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:41 am


“Obviously, you are opposed to free trade, so opening up our economy is not how we are going to get it done.” Kevin, you put words in my mouth. Did I say anything whatsoever about free trade? NO! But once again, you jump to conclusions simply because I said that certain trade and economic policies of the US are exacerbating the desperate economic conditions in Latin America. Before you presume you know where I am coming from, I suggest you read up on the issues at hand. Learn about the impact of US agriculture policies on the campesinos in Mexico–how they can no longer sell their produce because their prices are undercut by US agribusiness. Just maybe their being forced off the land is one reason so many are desperate to come to the US to try and make a living. For once, Kevin, why don’t you try to see all sides of an issue without prejudging it by your ideological commitments. On another topic, my guess would be that the alleged terrorists mentioned in the article that was removed did not enter the country illegally, but were here illegally because they overstayed visas. I I haven’t heard that there’s a serious terrorist risk coming from the southern border, though I seem to recall reports of would-be terrorists trying to enter the US through Canada. Peace,



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:44 am


There was a post on here earlier (but now apparently has been removed) by TLB, I believe that states that I had exaggerated the negative provisions of HR 4437. That is simply untrue. Section 202 of HR 4437 provided an over-broad definition of alien smuggling and aiding and abetting that would have lent itself to just the scenario I described above.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:45 am


Apologies to Canucklehead for my last line above, but I was referring to the would-be Seattle bomb plot on New Years Day 2000. That wannabe terrorist came in from the north, I believe. D



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:46 am


TLB You and I cannot force Mexico to do anything, unless you mean we would let them out of those parts of NAFTA that have worsened their economy. They are here. The question is not what will be percieved but what will we do that could qualify as “caring” “helping” or dare I say it, loving, (not to mention solving the problem). So far all I hear from those opposed to the legalization of those already here, is fear based extremism that refuses to admit it is bigotry, pure and simple We do not need to fear people just because they speak spanish and do not yet share our cultural values, beyond the desire for the American dream. Nothing that these people have done is reason to fear and act hatefully toward them. In my opinion they should have been welcomed at the border, not forced through the desert anyway, but disagree if you will, solve the problem without legalizing them. Show us the way. Amnesty is amnesty. If we refuse to call penalizing someone “amnesty” then perhaps the “perception” would change. THERE IS NO PROPOSED AMNESTY!!! If you want to say there is because you are afraid of some future event that hasn’t happened and no one can say will happen, I am sorry, it is a lie and will always be a lie. 500,000 Mexican nationals came over our border in 2005. They found jobs. We are still here and doing fine by any and all standards. Why are we afraid of these people? It is time for a real answer to this problem. We need to stop scaring each other. those who are being hurt will not be helped by our fear and inaction. Manage the borders with a guest worker program. Check everyone coming over. Increase border security. Provide a way for the legalization of all who are here. Anyone who has committed a crime can and should be punished in a manner fit for the offense. I cannot remember a time someone paid a $2,000.00+ fine for the mere commision of a misdemeanor, much less having it then called amnesty.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 2:47 am


How many 9/11 terrorists came in illegally across the US/Mexico border? Answer: 0 That statistic is at about the same level as Bush’s approval ratings these days!



report abuse
 

canucklehead

posted May 9, 2007 at 3:01 am


Apologies to Canucklehead for my last line above, but I was referring to the would-be Seattle bomb plot on New Years Day 2000. That wannabe terrorist came in from the north, I believe. D Don | 05.08.07 – 8:50 pm | #No apologies necessary – you’re absolutely right. Ahmed Ressad (sp?) is thankfully doing time in an American jail, I believe…and it’s easy for us to forget that. On the other hand, Mahar Arar, a Syrian-Cdn (listed among 100 most influential in current TIME mag) who was deported to Syria from JFK (while on a business trip to the US) where he was imprisoned and tortured for months was subsequently cleared by an international investigation of any terrorist links.Nevertheless, the Bush admin refuses to remove his ban of travel to the U.S. and many, many Cdns are not happy about that. The point of my previous post re the ominous Cdn quarters was to underscore how absurd the terrorist witch-hunt has become in the eyes of many Cdns. Meanwhile, in a 5-star cave somewhere on the Afghan-Pakistan border…



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 3:01 am


Canucklehead: I saw the report about the coins and had a good chuckle over it myself. Of course the serious side is that while our overzealous security folks were fussing with this tempest in a teapot, some items of real concern might potentially have escaped their notice. Thanks,



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 3:08 am


Sarasotakid’s understanding of HR4437 is faulty. Its provisions regarding assisting illegal aliens were not that much different from what we have now, and I’m not aware of any soup kitchens being busted under the current laws. And, HR4437′s provisions were designed to go after people smugglers. (Note: what he offered is a standard false talking point; even Mahony admitted that he exagerated about 4437). TLB What are your credentials? Have you read the text of the law (I have). Have you studied law (I have). Have you studied or practiced immigration law specifically? (I have). I stand by my prior claim. I did not make it lightly. Did you actually do a study of the law or did you just pick up on some popular talking points handed out by the bill’s proponents? Yeah, I know it’s hard to conceive of anybody voting for such mean spirited legislation but they did. You accuse me of offering “a standard false talking point.” You are the one who did that and if you did it knowingly, you lied.



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 4:20 am


Nothing like taxes to change behavior, have aliens pay higher income taxes. Look at the positive effect tax breaks have on corporations.



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 4:28 am


“If Wallis really wanted to stop border deaths, he’d support stringently enforcing our laws. That would send the message that there’s no reason to try to cross.” We’ve sent more messages than you can count and nothing has changed.



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 4:40 am


“I will repeat what I wrote earlier: the average Mexican housekeeper, as Wallis says, is not likely to turn into a suicide bomber” Many immigrant groups have developed criminal elements that are very dangerous to society. If we don t integrate the current immigrants into society we will suffer again for discrimination.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:09 am


“For once, Kevin, why don’t you try to see all sides of an issue without prejudging it by your ideological commitments.” You said that our trade policies were to blame (among other things). Do you support the recent free trade agreements, or no? Tell me what you do think, and you won’t be misinterpreted. By which ideological commitment am I judging this issue? I think we should enforce the law. What is ideological about that? For the record, I oppose the administration AND big business on this issue.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:19 am


“Yeah, I know it’s hard to conceive of anybody voting for such mean spirited legislation but they did. You accuse me of offering “a standard false talking point.” You are the one who did that and if you did it knowingly, you lied.” The section you describe was intended to focus on smugglers. It has been argued that it was written so broadly that it could include soup kitchens, as well, though that certainly was not the intent of the law.Pro-legalization activists seized upon this particular provision to pretend as though this law was designed to crack down on Catholic charities. There are a number of laws that are defined broadly, but practiced in the the spirit of their true intent. In practice, how many soup kitchens have been raided?



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:50 am


Kevin In Arizona legislators are trying to enact a law that will make it a crime of trespassing to be in the state without documentation, in effect allowing our local police to enforce federal law. One major effect will be that women who are being abused and children who are being molested will not call on police for fear of being deported. This is not conjecture, it is logic. Our police are begging them not to do this but if the Governor vetoes the bill these same legislators promise it will be put on the ballot for the public to vote on. Our Sherriff Joe Arpaio is prosecuting the undocumented as co-conspirators with their coyotes for smuggling them into the country. Some cases have been won and some thrown out. Don’t tell me hr 4437 wasn’t worded broadly to allow for this. Sennsenbrenner is just another fear mongering fool and is very capable of doing just what Sarasotakid says. Things like this give credence to the idea that the bill was purposely worded so as to allow for just what you deny. All who work with the poor were afraid for good reason. The fact that the bill didn’t pass and therefore is not currently being used in soup kitchens means nothing. We may truly be at a crisis point this month. We need to get federal legislation that is both reasonable and humane. TLB If you think we can force Mexico to repatriate 10 to 12 million people you live in a dream world. If you call that a “Christian” response, it is a Nightmare. Wayne



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:31 am


There are a number of laws that are defined broadly, but practiced in the the spirit of their true intent. In practice, how many soup kitchens have been raided? kevin s. That argument holds no water whatsoever. It is a red herring. First, I am surprised that you, as a Conservative, would want to give government broad and sweeping powers. Second, anybody who knows anything about law knows that you do not write them broadly and then rely on the government to abide by the “spirit” of the law. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Third, the “spirit” behind 4437 was a mean, nasty desire to punish illegal immigrants. The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented links between the Tom Tancredo (the bill’s major sponsor) and others and extreme right wing hate groups: http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=93 So when you talk about the spirit of the law being respected, that argument has no foundation in fact. Finally when you cite the lack of raids on soup kitchens as evidence that this law isn’t so bad…uh, the law wasn’t enacted (hence your example is a false one and makes no sense). The only reason I brought up H.R. 4437 was to cite just how dangerous and mean-spirited some of the anti-immigration forces have become and how Lou Dobbs was almost giddy when House passed this piece of crap legislation that did not get through the Senate. Yeah, I know, Kevin, those darn facts just keep getting in the way of your clever arguments.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:38 am


If you think we can force Mexico to repatriate 10 to 12 million people you live in a dream world. If you call that a “Christian” response, it is a Nightmare. Wayne Well, maybe those would advocate such a policy would do it humanely, Wayne. They would tell those Mexicans that they love them. They would put an Army issue New Testament and Psalms in Spanish in their hands as they’re pushing them out the door (telling them of course not to let it hit them in the derriere as they’re leaving) and tell them that Jesus loves them.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:40 am


Many immigrant groups have developed criminal elements that are very dangerous to society. If we don t integrate the current immigrants into society we will suffer again for discrimination. butch You are right, Butch. Enforcement efforts needs to concentrate on removing criminal aliens from the country.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 12:04 pm


But my folks played by the rules — found sponsorship in the US, filled out the paperwork, then learned English and became citizens. I don’t see why we can’t expect current immigrants to do the same thing. Wolverine I understand the utter frustration, Wolverine, with the fact that illegal immigrants have broken the law. But are you at all willing to recognize that because of their poverty the US will not allow upwards of 90% of these illegal immigrants to come into the country legally and that it is the poverty that pushed them to break the law and come here anyway? If I were unable to provide for my family in Mexico and a better paying job were tempting me up north in the United States, wouldn’t a person be tempted to come here and almost remiss in not providing for his or her family by not coming here? I am not trying to say that we should take all of the overflow from other countries. But our government has been so bad in dealing with immigration that there have been two messages sent: 1) You cannot come, and to do so would be illegal (the articulated policy) and 2) If you can get past the border there is a job waiting for you up north and very little enforcement (the strongly implied real world message). I would agree that something has to be done with the border but I share Don’s concern that increasing numbers of people will die as they are diverted to more treacherous and rugged terrain. In my view, the solution has to have four elements: 1) Justice, fairness and equity toward those who are already here (some sort of earned legalization after payment of back taxes, fines, and an effort to integrate through a basic knowledge of English); 2) Strong workplace enforcement so that employers can easily ascertain who is and is not legally and employable and strong criminal fines and penalties for employers who break the law; 3) Border enforcement (although that is tough); and 4)Finding a way to help Mexico and other countries to develop and pay a livable wage to their workers (although how you do that is another tough question).



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 1:03 pm


“For once, Kevin, why don’t you try to see all sides of an issue without prejudging it by your ideological commitments.” “You said that our trade policies were to blame (among other things).” Not exactly, Kevin. I wrote that CERTAIN of our trade and economic policies HAVE CONTRIBUTED to the impoverishment of Latin America. That’s not quite the same thing as saying that our trade policies are to blame for their impoverishment. “Do you support the recent free trade agreements, or no? Tell me what you do think, and you won’t be misinterpreted.” The topic of this thread is immigration, not free trade agreements. I only brought up trade policies in connection with my argument that we can’t slow down the migration with physical barriers; in the long run we can’t slow it down until the Latin American economies improve. I was not making any kind of argument for or against any specific free trade agreement. Your misinterpretation didn’t come from anything I wrote; rather it came from your presumption that because I mentioned a problem with one aspect of a trade policy, I therefore must oppose free trade. But since you ask, no, I don’t oppose free trade, at least not in principle. But in order for free trade to be workable and equitable, the playing field has to be relatively level. And in the case of Latin America, the playing field isn’t always level because of the economic gulf between the two regions. Take that as you will; this isn’t the time or place to dig deeply into the pros and cons specific free trade arrangements. “By which ideological commitment am I judging this issue?” See above for an example of your prejudgment based on ideological presumptions. “I think we should enforce the law. What is ideological about that?” Nobody opposes enforcing the law. But the reason we’re having this debate; the whole reason Wallis, the Catholic bishops, and others are bringing up this topic; is that the laws as currently written are unenforceable and unworkable. “Comprehensive immigration reform” is not code language for amnesty, as someone else on this thread suggested; it means reforming the immigration laws so they are both enforceable and provide equitable treatment to all parties involved. I believe it means figuring out how to manage the migration that we cannot stop, unless and until economic conditions in Latin America improve. “For the record, I oppose the administration AND big business on this issue.” Well, this is about the only issue right now where I’m in agreement with President Bush–at least in principle I agree with his guest worker proposal. (But like Sarasota says in his #4 above, nobody’s quite sure how to do that.) Kevin, I’m really not trying to be hard on you; I’m just asking that you read more thoroughly before you respond, and that you not assume you know what someone has written because you’re evaluating it according to your own presuppositions. Later,



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 4:27 pm


sarasotakid, You’ve hit upon the one legitimate argument that is out there for amnesty: the fact that the US, by being so lax about enforcement for so long, basically invited illegal immigration. There is a lot of truth to that. But I’m not convinced that this “invitation” means that we are now obligated to offer amnesty. Rather, we are obligated to treat those here decently and humanely as we advise them that things have changed, the “invitation” is expiring, and it’s time for them to return home. That would translate into a gradual but steady ramping up of enforcement. It took many years for so many illegal immigrants to settle here, we should not expect them to all leave at once — for both humanitarian and law enforcement reasons. And in the future if they apply to visit or immigrate, their past illegal status should not be held against them. Wolverine



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 4:59 pm


“One major effect will be that women who are being abused and children who are being molested will not call on police for fear of being deported. This is not conjecture, it is logic.” It is conjecture. At any rate, illegal immigrants have every incentive not to report abuse as it is.



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:06 pm


Many immigrant groups have developed criminal elements that are very dangerous to society. If we don t integrate the current immigrants into society we will suffer again for discrimination. butch You are right, Butch. Enforcement efforts need to concentrate on removing criminal aliens from the country. SarasotakidThat is a point but not the big one. People who are here working need to live the American dream period. This point does not address illegals at all. Enforcement always focuses on criminals.If you want to send them back different question, amnesty different question.As long as they are living undercover there will develop serious crime. Children have been born here and are citizens and need school, etc, a life.



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:09 pm


Children have been born here and are citizens and need school, etc, a life. Without a life they will develop all manner of problems and we WILL have to deal with those problems.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:13 pm


butch, what in the world is your homepage you have linked up? i am afraid to click on it, especially from work!



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:19 pm


It was attached to me by someone else and I can’t get rid of it?



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:21 pm


Don’t click on it but I can’t remove it!



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:30 pm

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:38 pm


so have you clicked on it? i confess curiosity got the best of me right after i asked the question, but nothing showed up on my computer, we may have a filter that blocks such things or it may be that it is a dead link. in any event, i can appreciate the humor of the situation, especially since it’s not me that got tagged!



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:41 pm


I have said before that the ‘anchor baby’ issue needs to be dealt with and changed. (I believe it should be eliminated as other countries have done something simular) We need to be respectful to all immigrants – no argument with that. But we do not have to offer them citizenship.Sorry Mr. Wallis – our laws on immigration are not broken – it is just not politcally incorrect to enforce them. If we were a nation of laws in all areas – we would be a better nation.My forefathers came to this country and dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t’ to get here legally. Today’s immigrants should be required to do the same. Be Blessed – .



report abuse
 

Carl Copas

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:54 pm


Moderatelad, when did your forefathers come to this country? I’ve no idea of exact date of mine on either side of family, save that it was before the start of the 19th century.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 5:56 pm


mod, i don’t see what your forefathers did as advancing the issue anywhere. my great grandfather was a bank-robber, my dad a banker, go figure. what’s the hangup on a compromise that allows for enforcement w/ teeth going forward & allowing those who are here now to pay up some way & get to stay here as citizens? butch, your plight reminds me of the old email forward that had an attachment w/ instructions ‘this is funny, turn up your speakers because it’s hard to hear.’ then you comply & click on the attachment & somebody starts yelling from your speakers ‘hey, i’m looking at porn over here!’ & your screen flashes the same message accordingly.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:05 pm


Kevin Why do you think this is true? I have lived in the inner-city for twenty five years, worked with more immigrants than I can count. Never ran into what you are describing. But it seems the gist of your arguement would then be ” I don’t care about the civil rights of just any humans, only those born here, who speak english, and are more or less pale in skin tone.” Aren’t you the one who believes that immigration is not a racial issue? Do you also believe Justice is not a racial issue? I know many undocumented women who have endured the tragedy of rape or incest. They called the cops! I guarantee you if it meant their mother’s or siblings would be deported they would not have. Rapists on the streets do not make me feel safe. Hard working people who love their families do not frighten me. Usually your comments are better thought out. Wolverine If I put you in hock to the IRS and fined you 2,500.00 for your lack of sufficient American heritage, you being first Generation and all, would you consider that amnesty? There is no amnesty! There is no amnesty! There is no amnesty!!!!! Just because you persecute families in stages, “ramping up enforcement” as you termed doesn’t make it a good thing. These people have built a life here, they have children who were born here. Many of them came here at such a young age this is the only country they have ever known. Your “humanity” is intrinsically inhumane sir. There is no path way for them to apply for immigration status. Never has been. That is why they came here illegally, not because they disdained our laws. It is our immigration laws that are criminal in this case.



report abuse
 

HASH(0x117bc71c)

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:09 pm


Moderatelad, You are right that citizenship shouldn’t be offered immediately. Any guest worker policy we enact doesn’t automatically have to give citizenship to guest worker children just because they are born here. However, any equitable policy should hold out the possibility of citizenship for guest workers who choose it–they should have to be here a certain amount of time, demonstrate steady employment, take classes in US culture and history, and enroll in English courses. However, the current immigration laws ARE broken and they are not enforceable. We cannot prevent the illegal entries–we have seen a steady increase in illegal entries every year since stepped-up enforcement at the borders began some fifteen or so years ago. It has nothing to do with political correctness; it has everything to do with economically hurting people who will do anything, including risking their own lives, to try and get in so they can have a life for themselves and their families. Regarding your forebears, all documented immigrants currently have to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s, just like they did. The problem is that there aren’t enough legal channels for all the people who want to come here, and so they take desperate (and often illegal) measures to get here. Stepped-up enforcement of the current laws won’t change that. It will just drive them further underground and put their lives in even more danger. That is why we need to reform the immigration laws. They need to be made enforceable and reasonable. Peace,



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:17 pm


“That argument holds no water whatsoever. It is a red herring. First, I am surprised that you, as a Conservative, would want to give government broad and sweeping powers.” The government has a responsibility to enforce the law. I have no qualms with this. I am not a libertarian. “Second, anybody who knows anything about law knows that you do not write them broadly and then rely on the government to abide by the “spirit” of the law.” I agree that this is not the ideal. “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I suppose. Don’t know what that adds to this conversation. Seems like raiding soup kitchens would be lousy PR.”Third, the “spirit” behind 4437 was a mean, nasty desire to punish illegal immigrants. The Southern Poverty Law Center has documented links between the Tom Tancredo (the bill’s major sponsor) and others and extreme right wing hate groups:” Your link doesn’t work. I’m assuming this is some sort of “gotcha” story about a fundraiser at which Tancredo appeared. Either way, that does not speak to the efficacy, or even the intent, of the legislation. “So when you talk about the spirit of the law being respected, that argument has no foundation in fact.” Neither do the aspersions you cast upon the legislation. I am interested in whether the policy will work, not the number of separational degrees it has from the interests of this or that southern-supremacy group. “Finally when you cite the lack of raids on soup kitchens as evidence that this law isn’t so bad…” I didn’t say it wasn’t so bad. I think the law is good.”uh, the law wasn’t enacted (hence your example is a false one and makes no sense). The only reason I brought up H.R. 4437″ You are correct about this. My bad.”Yeah, I know, Kevin, those darn facts just keep getting in the way of your clever arguments.” You haven’t really introduced very much fact here. You insulted Dobbs, noted that supremacy groups support legislation that will crack down on illegal immigration (which proves nothing).



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:26 pm


A technical glitch failed to identify me as the “Anonymous” who posted ahead of Kevin. d



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:28 pm


“Not exactly, Kevin. I wrote that CERTAIN of our trade and economic policies HAVE CONTRIBUTED to the impoverishment of Latin America. That’s not quite the same thing as saying that our trade policies are to blame for their impoverishment.” What trade policies do you oppose? You have a tendency to be very vague. Hence the misinterpretation.”And in the case of Latin America, the playing field isn’t always level because of the economic gulf between the two regions. Take that as you will; this isn’t the time or place to dig deeply into the pros and cons specific free trade arrangements.” If changing our trade policy is necessary as part of an immigration plan, it is entirely relevant. You mentioned that our trade laws make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. If that is the case, you need to explain how, I would think. If you don’t, then you can hardly fault me for conjecture. “See above for an example of your prejudgment based on ideological presumptions.” I made a presumption about your view of free trade. You accused me of viewing this issue through the lens of MY ideological presumptions. I have not done that.””Comprehensive immigration reform” is not code language for amnesty, as someone else on this thread suggested; it means reforming the immigration laws so they are both enforceable and provide equitable treatment to all parties involved.” What do you propose? What do you think we should do? “I’m just asking that you read more thoroughly before you respond, and that you not assume you know what someone has written because you’re evaluating it according to your own presuppositions.” And, in turn, I am asking you to be more forthright with what you believe about an issue. I know quite a bit about what you oppose, but I have no idea what you stand for.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:31 pm


“What trade policies do you oppose? You have a tendency to be very vague. Hence the misinterpretation.” Kevin, you just proved you don’t read my postings very carefully. I gave a very specific example of a trade policy that is causing economic hardship in Mexico. Re-read my earlier post. “I made a presumption about your view of free trade. You accused me of viewing this issue through the lens of MY ideological presumptions. I have not done that.” You did indeed. Later,



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:35 pm


and so the conversation devolves…i think sometimes it’s just better to let it slide, ‘what we have here is failure to communicate. some men you just can’t reach…’ no amount of pointing things out is going to magically change things when the messenger has no interest in changing.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:36 pm


Wayne, No, I would not consider it “amnesty” if you were to put me in hock to the IRS and fine me 2,500.00 for your lack of sufficient American heritage. I would consider it a gross miscarriage of justice. That’s because I am legally an American citizen, as are my parents, who followed the law and were naturalized. If the law says: “do such and so and you are entitled to become a citizen” and I do what the law calls for then I am entitled to citizenship. If I flout that same law I am not entitled to citizenship, even if INS looks the other way the whole time. What I am entitled to in that case is: humane treatment in the event that INS changes course and starts enforcing the law again. No less, and no more. It seems to me that, before we can even debate immigration, we need a discussion of the importance of the rule of law. Wolverine



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:38 pm


“But it seems the gist of your arguement would then be ” I don’t care about the civil rights of just any humans, only those born here, who speak english, and are more or less pale in skin tone.”” Um, no… If you are using the logic that sexual assaults will not be reported because of enforcement efforts, then there should be little incentive to report as it is. The most humane way to deal with this is to augment and enforce existing laws and disincentivize illegal immigration.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:44 pm


“I gave a very specific example of a trade policy that is causing economic hardship in Mexico.” You spoke obliquely about the effects of agricultural polices on campesinos in Mexico. Which policy? If I am to figure out which one, I have to make a conjecture. If I make the wrong conjecture, you will play the “you are making assumptions” card.Why not just discuss the issue, instead of trying to turn this into a teachable moment, or whatever it is you are trying to do. If you are misinterpreted, clarify your stance instead of beating your chest.Someone above just stated that my belief must be that I only care about the civil rights of people with pale skin. I could have gone on and on about how awful it was. But who cares?



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:45 pm


well, i think we need to suspend the licenses of everyone in this country who has sped repeatedly. speeding is a crime, & repeated speeing will get your license suspended if you are caught. well, those of us out here who have sped repeatedly & have not been caught should be required to turn in our licenses & pay for every ticket we should have received but there wasn’t enforcement there to catch us for. we need better traffic enforcement laws as well, lots of people are killed every year because of vehicular negligence, this is a verifiable fact, & it is preventable. in fact, let’s put restricters on cars that limit them to w/in the speed limit for every given speed zone, or the very least have patrol cars every few miles. but still, all those who have sped more than a few times in our lives, we need to hand in our licenses, pay the tickets we should have gotten, & get in the back of the line at the dmv & wait our turn to get a new license.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:46 pm


The government has a responsibility to enforce the law. I have no qualms with this. I am not a libertarian. Kevin S. Yeah, Kevin your’re in good company with that rational- the Nazis used the same reasoning.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:50 pm


It seems to me that, before we can even debate immigration, we need a discussion of the importance of the rule of law.WolverineI’m all for it if you’ll be open to a discussion about Christian compassion.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:54 pm


Your link doesn’t work. I’m assuming this is some sort of “gotcha” story about a fundraiser at which Tancredo appeared. Either way, that does not speak to the efficacy, or even the intent, of the legislation. Kevin S. It certainly does. You may want to bury your head in sand but the fact that white supremecist groups are among the key supports of some of these politicians (Tancredo) but it is true. And well, the efficiency argument couldn’t be a bigger red herring. The trains ran on time in Italy in WWII (very efficient) but that does not address the question as to where they were going! But then again, it is clear that you really don’t care.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 6:58 pm


“You spoke obliquely about the effects of agricultural polices on campesinos in Mexico. Which policy? If I am to figure out which one, I have to make a conjecture. If I make the wrong conjecture, you will play the “you are making assumptions” card.” Well, Kevin, apparently there isn’t enough space here to give all the details you apparently require. But if you want to read more about this policy problem, go here: http://www.oxfam.org/en/files/pp030827_corn_dumping.pdf BTW, this is old news. And it used to be linked from the Sojo Web site, but I couldn’t find it there anymore. Peace,



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:09 pm


Wolverine Where did your parents come from? If it was from mexico they had to have an education and a skill that our laws stipulated we needed in order to get here. If they just wanted to come work for MCDonalds there would have been no i’s for them to dot or t’s for them to cross. Your statements go with the canard that these people somehow jumped ahead of the line and have hurt all those who came here legally. The need for their labor was here, the desire for them to work was here, the legal means to get here was not, and that remains the status quo. Having to deal with the IRS does not equate to amnesty. Paying a fine that may exceed ten percent of your annual earnings does not equate to amnesty. All of these things are in fact harsh penalties. In reality they are at best necessary evils in order to get some kind of immigration reform accomplished. It is because of unthinking mean spirited people that these penalties have been wrongly construed as such. My point is that if for any reason you incurred such a penalty you would never call it amnesty. Why do you insist on doing so with the undocumented. It seems the only thing that will make you happy is for all brown people to go, yet I am sure you do not think yourself a bigot. Your failure to see your real issue is very troubling. Kevin We had a seventeen year old honor roll highschool student picked up off the street and deported last month. They had committed no crime. They were brought here when they were an infant. Business owners have been deported, Home owners have been deported. Heads of families whose children are citizens have been deported. These are all first hand experiences, not hearsay. There is no way to justify any of these deportations except to defend bad laws. None of these people were criminals. All of them came here innocently except for our unfair laws. We are the criminals, they are the undocumented innocents. From the perspective of the innercity this is more like a long extended “Kristal Nacht” than an attempt to be just or safe.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:10 pm


“Well, Kevin, apparently there isn’t enough space here to give all the details you apparently require.” I could summarize. Farm subsidies have dropped the price of corn such that free trade w/r/t corn is impossible. These subsidies are putting people out of work and creating an incentive for illegal immigration. Was that so hard? This is not a trade issue, it is an issue of subsidies, which I oppose. However, while we work to end farm subsidies, price controls, and the like, we have a much broader problem, which is that Mexico sees our country as a source of revenue.Mexico actively encourages their population to cross the border. We need to send a stiff rebuke to that policy in the form of strict regulation and enforcement.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:17 pm


“This is not a trade issue, it is an issue of subsidies, which I oppose.” And I did say “trade and ECONOMIC policies” were exacerbating the economic problems in Lat. Am., didn’t I? It was you who focused on my use of the word “trade.” But I suppose my original statement was too vague, wasn’t it? Later,



report abuse
 

Carl Copas

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:28 pm


kevin s: “Mexico actively encourages their population to cross the border.” I was unaware of this. Does anyone know more about the issue? Is it Mexican government policy? Thanks in advance.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:50 pm


Carl Yes it is true. Why wouldn’t they since Kevins comments on trade and economic policies are also true. I still remember all the compplaints about how unfair NAFTA was to Americans. History has shown us who was really hurt, poor Mexican and hispanic farmers. they were forced to cease all farm subsidies while we were not. To make matters worse the price of tortillas has risen because overall Mexican corn production has fallen and our corn prices have risen do to ethanol consumption. All our Greening of America is causing this. We refuse to understand that when America sneezes the Western Hemishpere catches cold economically. Still we complain that somehow we are the ones being hurt. Now that we have to incur some very minor discomfort over undocumented workers because of NAFTA we are still crying. Meanwhile we hurt the poor worker who comes here in part to escape the problems we create. If it wasn’t so painful to watch it would be absurd comedy. In large part we caused this. Blaming Mexico for being backward or economically stupid is just scapegoating the real issues and denying our complicity. We can solve most of this by just reforming immigration policies. Most Latin Americans still love their country of origen and only want to come here for their immediate needs.



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:53 pm


Carl Copas | 05.09.07 – 11:59 am | #My Mom’s family – some came here as early as the 1820′s and as late as the 1915. My Dad’s side about 1890 to 1925+. The ones that came later had to have a sponser and papers etc. Be blessed – .



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 7:59 pm


Wayne wrote: It seems the only thing that will make you happy is for all brown people to go, yet I am sure you do not think yourself a bigot. Your failure to see your real issue is very troubling. I should be clearer here, I’m talking about my mom’s side of the family, but since you asked, they were ethnic Germans but they were citizens of Poland, and they were peasant farmers. But no, I don’t want to see all the brown people go away, just the ones that are here illegally. For that matter, the white people who are here illegally (there are more of those than you would think!) should be sent home as well. I wrote before that I think we should have a relatively generous immigration policy. I suppose I need to spell this out: that generosity is not limited to Europeans. Furthermore, I’ve made it clear that in the future we should not bar anyone from coming into this country because they had been here illegally in the past (on account of our having “invited” illegal immigration through lax enforcement of existing law) On matters of immigration law, I think we should have one, and we should enforce it. But since the word “amnesty” is being thrown around so much, I think we need to be more precise about how we use it: “amnesty” usually means we drop the penalties against someone on the condition that they correct the original wrong. For instance, a “tax amnesty” means that IRS will drop all the penalties against people who owe back taxes, under the condition that they pay the original tax bill. For illegal immigration, a proper amnesty would begin with the illegal immigrant returning to his or her country of origin, with the understanding that there will be no penalties for the time he or she spent illegally in the US. I would support such a policy. When someone steals something and is allowed to return it, “no questions asked”, that’s amnesty. When you allow someone to keep what they stole, that’s not amnesty, that’s condoning. So, properly speaking, I support amnesty for illegal immigration. You condone illegal immigration. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 8:02 pm


As far as the “work being here”, you realize that the main reason that employers make use of illegal limmigrants is that they are more likely to get away with labor law violations, pay sub-minimum wages, avoid unemployment and workers compensation, and income tax withholding. It’s not at all clear that Americans wouldn’t work many of these jobs if labor laws were enforced. Wolverine



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 9:02 pm


“For illegal immigration, a proper amnesty would begin with the illegal immigrant returning to his or her country of origin, with the understanding that there will be no penalties for the time he or she spent illegally in the US. I would support such a policy.” Again, as long as they leave, your not racist. And as long as the immigration laws reamin unchanged they won’t get back to their homes and families either, but you do want them penalized. I don’t find it amazing that you would support such a policy. I find it amazing that you call that amnesty. Would you like to also take over their homes and businesses? How about adopting their citizen children? Or would you want to enact laws that would reverse their legal status as well? I am sure glad your not a bigot. God help us if you were. “the main reason that employers make use of illegal immigrants is that they are more likely to get away with labor law violations, pay sub-minimum wages, avoid unemployment and workers compensation, and income tax withholding. It’s not at all clear that Americans wouldn’t work many of these jobs if labor laws were enforced.” What is unclear about it? I am sure there are violations but look at the whole story. Local federal buildings here were built with undocumented workers. This was not done because they were cheaper, government jobs have wage stipulations. At first it was mandated that everyone had to be legal, but the Feds relented when they realized they couldn’t man the job without them. (True story I know the contractors and was on the job sites often.) California Avacados went unpicked. Bell Pepper crops went unpicked. Peaches went unpicked,etal, despite the fact that they had bumper crops last year. Where were all those Americans looking for work? The demographic shift caused by the aging of the boomers means we have less people to do the work that our still growing economy calls for. We need them at least as much as they need us. But all the anti immigration people are just concerned about the rule of law right? I’m sorry but that’s just BS.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 9, 2007 at 9:08 pm


“But I suppose my original statement was too vague, wasn’t it?” For someone who is very sensitive to misinterpretation, yes.”It’s not at all clear that Americans wouldn’t work many of these jobs if labor laws were enforced.” Exactly. Employers would just have to pay more. Which they don’t want to do.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Wayne wrote: Again, as long as they leave, your not racist. I note that you did not include my discussion of illegal immigrants from Europe. “Illegal Immigrant” is a legal classification, not a racial one. Please try to keep that in mind. And as long as the immigration laws reamin unchanged they won’t get back to their homes and families either, but you do want them penalized. There are two huge problems with this. First, I never said that immigration law shouldn’t be changed. I merely said that, whatever it is, it should be enforced. I repeat: I support a relatively open immigration law. And I think that illegals who return to their home country voluntarily should not be penalized if they apply to visit or immigrate. One last point on penalties: if you steal someone’s baseball glove, and then you return it, whether because of your conscience or fear that you’ll be caught, that’s not a penalty, that’s just returning something that isn’t rightfully yours. I don’t find it amazing that you would support such a policy. I find it amazing that you call that amnesty. But we’ve offered exactly those sorts of terms to tax evaders: pay what you owed originally, and we’ll drop the penalties. And we called it a “tax amnesty”. What’s so amazing about that? Would you like to also take over their homes and businesses? How about adopting their citizen children? Wait a minute, I thought these were all desperate poor people taking jobs American’s don’t want. Now they own homes and businesses? As for the kids, this isn’t all that hard to figure out: you can leave them with citizen relatives, or take them with you until they are ready to return to the states. Lots of American citizens live overseas. Jeez, is that so hard? Or would you want to enact laws that would reverse their legal status as well? No, you do. You want to make that which was illegal legal. I am sure glad your not a bigot. God help us if you were. Thanks for noticing that I’m not a bigot. We’re making progress here. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Sven

posted May 9, 2007 at 9:53 pm


Although I too believe this country needs comprehensive immigration reform, I have to admit that it disturbs me the way Jim Wallis framed his argument at the CFCIR press conference. By making an appeal to lawmakers to pay heed to the “Leviticus immigration policy,” he seems to be stooping to the level of some of his political opponents. It seems perfectly acceptable to incorporate themes from one’s sacred texts or religious tradition to persuade your fellow adherents to embrace your views, but lobbying Congress to enact national immigration policy based an a few cherry-picked Bible verses strikes me as dangerous precedent. I am sure Rev. Wallis would (justifiably) cry foul if anyone proposed that the United States expand capital punishment on the basis of a “Leviticus homosexuality policy” or a “Leviticus policy on rebellious teenagers.”



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 10:11 pm


kevin s: “Mexico actively encourages their population to cross the border.” Carl, you asked for this to be substantiated. Well sadly enough, it is absolutely true. I have had reports of this from very wealthy Mexicans complaining that even the President of Mexico (former President Fox) encouraged it in a weekly address to the nation. That is disgusting.That does not cut for or against legalizing undocumented workers, though, in my opinion we’re still under an obligation to treat people humanely. It would, however, greatly affect how I deal with the government of Mexico, which instead of developing opportunities for its people sends them here.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 9, 2007 at 10:41 pm


Would you like to also take over their homes and businesses? How about adopting their citizen children? Wait a minute, I thought these were all desperate poor people taking jobs American’s don’t want. Now they own homes and businesses? Wolverine



report abuse
 

Jayson

posted May 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm


I posted the above blog entry in response to Dobbs’ article.



report abuse
 

Jayson

posted May 9, 2007 at 10:47 pm


Okay maybe not “above”, it’s my homepage link.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 9, 2007 at 10:51 pm


bunch of speeding hypocrites, the whole lot of us, we deserve to be punished! no takers, huh? oh well, my own self-loathing conscience must be the only one who sees the correlation, hence i am for better traffic enforcement, everyone paying some sort of fine, but getting to keep our licenses because man it sucks waiting in line at the dmv! i am trying to be consistent here on law-breaking, even if i need to pony up for it. :)



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:07 pm


sarasota kid, Not sure what the point of your last post was. My point was simply to point out the discrepancy between what wayne wrote and the typical rationale offered up by illegal immigration advoceates — that these are desperate people who take on poor jobs. My understanding — and if anyone has hard data showing something different I’d be interested in seeing it — is that relatively few illegals own their homes and even fewer operate substantial businesses on their own. Of course, with ten million here there are bound to be exceptions. The thing is, there’s nothing unprecedented here either. Foreigners own real estate and businesses in the US. I’m sure there’s some sort of arrangement that can be made here too. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:42 pm


nad2, Yes, traffic law enforcement is a mess too. And yes, I have taken advantage of it. But the thing is, if the local police were to crack down, they would be in their legal rights to do so and it would be my responsibility to slow down. As it is, traffic laws are enforced so irregularly that folks are likely to think they have been treated capriciously any time they get a ticket. As things stand now it’s perfectly understandable but it breeds cynicism and that’s bad. Here’s the thing: if the police did crack down on speeding, I can only get in trouble for the crap I do now. All the speeding I did before doesn’t matter, what matters is I slow down now. Likewise, a proper amnesty would allow illegal immigrants to go home without being punished for the years they were here illegally before the crackdown. Maybe you don’t really like that policy, but I honestly don’t see the outrageous injustice in it. Wolverine



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:43 pm


“As for the kids, this isn’t all that hard to figure out: you can leave them with citizen relatives, or take them with you until they are ready to return to the states. Lots of American citizens live overseas. Jeez, is that so hard?” Evidently you sure don’t think so. where did your folks come from? Are you sure your not just an alien? Did you leave you home world because its inhabitants were more heartless than you? You need real help. “Or would you want to enact laws that would reverse their legal status as well? No, you do. You want to make that which was illegal legal.” So its the law that’s important, not the unjust effect of the law. Now your just a character from Les Miserables. “Thanks for noticing that I’m not a bigot. We’re making progress here.” Well I am at least. I now know you might be an alien or somehow you lost your personality in an historical novel when you were young, which one of those is still a toss up, but I am sure your not a comedian.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 9, 2007 at 11:58 pm


Okay, you’ve got me. My mom immigrated from Europe, but my dad is from Vulcan. Which is why I’m able to use logic, unlike you emotional, irrational humans. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 12:10 am


Getting back to your point — to the extent that you had one — Inspector Javert sent men to prison. If I had my way we’d be sending illegal immigrants home, quite likely with some dollars in their pockets. Now obviously that’s not your preferred solution, but I fail to see how that’s such an outrage. Wolverine the Half-Vulcan



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 10, 2007 at 12:47 am


wolverine, thank you for your honest answer, but i think what you are advocating, folks leaving the country, is much more akin to the turning in your license & getting at the back of the line approach i came up w/ above. i see much less injustice in that than telling someone they have to leave the country, though it is a matter of degree (significant degree), not kind. i see injustice in uprooting people for their existence the same way you can see capriciousness & cynicism in traffic enforcement. i think most folks in this country agree that we need stronger enforcement of immigration rules, which i support as well (i am open to any # of solutions), but what is wrong w/ letting folks who are here stay here & pay something (even a big something) for citizenship rather than telling them to leave & come back? i don’t get the extra hurdle. on a pragmatic note, having dealt with the hispanic population in my community, i know there are many people who are distrustful of the law here. i bet (& from experience i don’t think this is an unreasonable assumption) that there will be many illegals who will say ‘leave the country to come back in? yeah right, that smells fishy, i bet i won’t be allowed back in, i think i’ll just stay here & take my chances.’ whereas i don’t think that is going to be a problem if you allow them to stay, get them in the system, & pay up for doing so. perhaps we aren’t that far apart on this issue, i just don’t see the need for an extra hurdle of leaving. is it your sense of the unearned privilege of the situation? i think we all have that (the unearned privilege, but not necessarily the sense of it).



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 10, 2007 at 12:50 am


‘from their existence’ above, not ‘for their existence’ mu bad.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted May 10, 2007 at 1:17 am


Christian first, American second. Oh and Lou Dobbs and the “respect the rule of law” argument is silly at its core, because it is precisely the rule of law that Jim Wallis et al are trying to change! But I echo the sentiments of the Catholic priest, if people insist on making ministry to undocumented workers against the law then I too will break those laws! As Christians we are told to follow the laws of the land but not at the expense of our Christian responsibilities toward others and toward God Almighty. After all it was this same principle that landed David in the Lion’s Den and the 3 Hebrew children into the furnace. I think we are really beginning to see our culture move against the church and I for one am anxious to see how we respond, I pray we respond well.



report abuse
 

payshun

posted May 10, 2007 at 1:38 am


Amnesty is the only real just policy especially for people that have been here for years and have made a life here. It’s just. Naturalizing them would go along way in helping us Americans to see other human beings as people instead of merely immigrants. We are talking about people’s lives here and they should have the right to decide for themselves how that should work. Considering our own history w/ immigration, rape and destruction you would think that we would want to not repeat the same mistakes that led to that in the first place. p



report abuse
 

payshun

posted May 10, 2007 at 1:39 am


Yah and I will be breaking those laws too. They are wrong and absolutely unjust. p



report abuse
 

Canucklehead

posted May 10, 2007 at 1:45 am


mmmmmmm, cool homepage, Butch



report abuse
 

Canucklehead

posted May 10, 2007 at 1:49 am


I have notified Donald Wildmon and the American Association for the Elimination of Anything Suggestive This Side of the Mississippi but North of the Chatahoochee Provided, Of Course, It Doesn’t Affect the Potato Crops in Plains, Georgia (AAEASTSMNCPOCDAPCPA)regarding butch’s (yeah, butch, all right) homepage. mmmmm, Bad butch.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:23 am


Wait a minute, I thought these were all desperate poor people taking jobs American’s don’t want. Now they own homes and businesses? Wolverine Answer the question, Wolvie! I don’t think you’d advocate expropriation “a la Nisei” (i.e. the way we took things away from some of the Japanese Americans in WWII). As for the kids, this isn’t all that hard to figure out: you can leave them with citizen relatives, or take them with you until they are ready to return to the states. Lots of American citizens live overseas. Jeez, is that so hard? Wolverine So much for supporting family values. Cause the separation of U.S. citizen children from their parents? Or in the alternative send birth right U.S. citizen children to live in some third world hovel? Have you ever walked in any of these Mexican shanty towns? Absolutely horrible. Electrical wires running on the ground, dangerous conditions, etc. Plus the parents would have such great employment opportunities.Do you have kids? Would you want that for them? I doubt it. I’m sure Jesus would be all for it. I would not level the charge of you being racist but it is clear that you are insensitive and glib. And as you would day, “Jeez” that is hard.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:31 am


Wolverine, Disregard my prior post where it tells you to answer the question about foreigners owning homes and businesses. I saw that you answered it. I don’t agree with the answer but it was answered. The part about uprooting the kids still stands.



report abuse
 

Carl Copas

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:31 am


Moderatelad, thanks for the info on your family immigration. Since i teach U.S. history i always find that to be interesting, esp. when discussing current immigration policy. May God bless you.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:40 am


but lobbying Congress to enact national immigration policy based an a few cherry-picked Bible verses strikes me as dangerous precedent. I am sure Rev. Wallis would (justifiably) cry foul if anyone proposed that the United States expand capital punishment on the basis of a “Leviticus homosexuality policy” or a “Leviticus policy on rebellious teenagers.” Sven Yeah, it kind of shoots the heck out of that sola scriptura thing doesn’t it?



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:43 am


Moderatelad, thanks for the info on your family immigration. Since i teach U.S. history i always find that to be interesting, esp. when discussing current immigration policy.Carl Copas When you’re teaching don’t forget to tell how honorable and wonderful Moderatelad’s ancestors were. After all they dotted their “i”s and crossed their “t”s before they came here. That stands in stark contrast to the less noble immigrant of today. Inspiring, simply inspiring.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:47 am


If these great grand sires of ours had to jump through the legal hoops, or faced the severe restrictions on immigration that exist today they would either have come illegally or perhaps have died. All this i dotting and T crossing is really too much. Our laws changed. They did not change for the better. Back in the day in California we never looked twice at the Migrant farm workers who came over the border illegally. Todays economic realities have brought us mass migration, 500,000 in 2005. Yet that number is still only 1/6th of one percent of our entire population. It is, practically speaking, miniscule. Yet today everyone is so concerned about these “horrible law breakers.” The only difference is they are not on the farm picking our veggies but in our cities, where we can see them. That is why I level the charge of racism. If they were content to pick our crops no one would care how many came.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 4:18 am


That is why I level the charge of racism. If they were content to pick our crops no one would care how many came. wayneWayne, I can certainly sympathize with you but I am not convinced that all who oppose legalization and humane treatment of undocumented immigrants are racists. I think that there is a great deal of fear and resistance to change. Also, an element of legalism is involved. I try to think of it the way I saw my Dad who is now deceased. He grew up at a time when the “N” word was acceptable and used it from time to time. However when he was in the presence of a person of color or it was a question of helping somebody out, he was there for others regardless of the color of their skin. So was my father hypocritical to use that word and not use in the presence of those whom he was disparaging? Most certainly. Was he a racist? I don’t think so because he did help others of all races. Was he ignorant? Absolutely. My prayer for those with opposing views on this issue is that they befriend an illegal immigrant or an illegal immigrant family. That they see the real life struggles that these people go through. And that they see that all these people want is the same things we all want- a better life for ourselves and our kids. Hell, I once represented an illegal Mexican immigrant in a South Texas jail who was being prosecuted for illegal entry. He cried because he felt so bad about breaking the law. But he was being led by a greater law- the need to provide for his family. If others could see this very human element, then maybe they would relent a bit. Peace.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:16 am


“That is why I level the charge of racism. If they were content to pick our crops no one would care how many came.” This is a strawman of your creation.



report abuse
 

HASH(0x11774248)

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:17 am


You all fling left and right arrows back and forth and never reach any agreement. Much ado going nowhere!



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:19 am


Sarasotakid Racism or prejudice is hatred or derision and unwarranted fear of people. It is the prejudging or grouping of people into catagories and negative stereo typing. You are right, meeting someone and understanding them can change their views but they must change from prejudicial to fair and unbiased. The opposite of racism is called reconciliation. Nothing spoken by those against immigration reform can equate to this. Racism spreads lies in order to promote fear and subjugate people. Racism sticks. I don’t see people calling for a wall on the Canadian border, or crying about the Irish who are here currently without legal status. It is not just a white desease. ironically only people of color seem to care much about those people of Asian descent who are here illegally. Anyone who can think of the separation of families as nothing more than a nuisance is not dealing with individuals but in masse has dehumanized people, using the lack of documents to mask the reality of their disdain for persons of a different culture. Quite honestly I don’t think the proper docs would matter much as they would still think of them as “wetbacks” or “Cholos.” Our hispanic brothers know this to be true. Your tale of the man in South Texas is far more the reality than most know. Unfortunately I think it is because they do not want to know. They would rather be afraid and act hatefully. Peace to you also



report abuse
 

butch

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:31 am


maybe that home page thing is gone?



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:38 am


“Racism or prejudice is hatred or derision and unwarranted fear of people.” Where is the evidence that we fear people? You have projected that upon us. While doing so is convenient for your worldview, it does not add to the credibility of that worldview. “It is the prejudging or grouping of people into catagories and negative stereo typing.” We aren’t prejudging. We are making assessment based on actions. For your assertion to be correct, those who pine for stricter enforcement would have to also want to curtail legal immigration. Actually, the standard would be much higher than even that. “Nothing spoken by those against immigration reform can equate to this.” Equate to what? “Racism sticks. I don’t see people calling for a wall on the Canadian border, or crying about the Irish who are here currently without legal status.” The perfectly plausible explanation for this is that more citizens illegally emigrate from Mexico than any other country. But yes, all illegal immigration should be equally opposed. “It is not just a white desease. ironically only people of color seem to care much about those people of Asian descent who are here illegally.” I disagree with this. For those communities that must deal with the problems, this is a major issue. “Anyone who can think of the separation of families as nothing more than a nuisance is not dealing with individuals but in masse has dehumanized people,” I’m not sure who you are referring to in this instance. Who said that separating families was merely a nuisance? That said, when it comes to formulating policy, people must be taken in aggregate, You could apply the same standard to nearly every law. “using the lack of documents to mask the reality of their disdain for persons of a different culture.” Again, you have chosen to project the viewpoint that is most favorable to your argument. You really have no way of knowing what realities might or might not be masked. “Quite honestly I don’t think the proper docs would matter much as they would still think of them as “wetbacks” or “Cholos.”” This doesn’t really have much to do with the discussion. “Unfortunately I think it is because they do not want to know. They would rather be afraid and act hatefully.” This short-circuits any reasonable argument. If we disagree with you, we are acting hatefully. Hate is defined as “disagreement with Wayne”. As such, the term loses all meaning, and you have reached an impasse of your own devising.



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted May 10, 2007 at 6:33 am


Sarasotakid | 05.09.07 – 8:48 pm | #Thanks for the sarcasum.Just for the record – I have worked twice with a former church to assist two families to immigrat here to the US. I helped them dot and cross also. later – (whatever %^&*) .



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 10, 2007 at 9:41 am


Kevin I can see that you do not like being called negative names, although you were not the direct target of my statement. For you to accuse anyone of a God complex because they state something which you disagree with is just tit for tat, or as you put it “an impasse of your own devising.”Kevin you asked; “Who said that separating families was merely a nuisance? here are the quotes; “the “invitation” is expiring, and it’s time for them to return home.” Moderatelad “As for the kids, this isn’t all that hard to figure out: you can leave them with citizen relatives, or take them with you until they are ready to return to the states. Lots of American citizens live overseas. Jeez, is that so hard?” Wolverine (Wolverine seems to think living overseas is somehow equal to living in a Mexico city slum with your American citizen babies. But heh, he did mention that we should be sure we were “humane” when we did this.) “Taking people in aggregate” If you mean all laws should apply fairly to all people, I would agree, with the caveate that a bad law is not made good just because we make sure everybody pays a penalty because of it. Our immigration laws are not broken, they are wrong. Defending a bad law is worse. Enforcing a bad law makes no sense whatsoever, if justice is important to you. Moderate lad- immigration laws are heavily weighted against uneducated and unskilled workers from Mexico. That is why they break our laws to get here. They have no other choice. There are no forms for them to fill out that would get them a visa unless sponsored by someone who is here already. To legally immigrate here from Mexico is almost impossible for people like these. The fact that you did a good thing twice in your life doesn’t change your attitude of indifference today. Jesus did not commend people for travleing the world over to make a convert, (I am sure they also thought this a good deed). I do not apologize for telling you what I think.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 12:17 pm


Thanks for the sarcasum. Moderalad Sorry, forgive the s-a-r-c-a-s-m.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 12:33 pm


Anyone who can think of the separation of families as nothing more than a nuisance is not dealing with individuals but in masse has dehumanized people…Wayne You are 100% right on that point, Wayne. That is very disturbing and they need to be called on it. If they say what they mean and mean what they say, then I fear that there is precious little we have in common and it would cause not to want to identify with them in any way. Where is the evidence that we fear people? You have projected that upon us. Kevin S. I doubt that. Your fear is pretty palpable, unless of course it is just racism. But then again, it could be xenophobia. Yeah xenophobia. I’ll give you the benefit of not using the “r” word.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 10, 2007 at 1:51 pm


Wayne, Kevin doesn’t argue fair. Get used to it if you’re going to post here. Sometimes I forget, then regret my memory lapse later. Peace,



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:27 pm


wayne | 05.10.07 – 3:46 am | #I do not apologize for telling you what I think. Don’t apologize – it is how you feel. We have laws and I don’t think that they are weighted against any one people group. So – we have standards for people that come in or they need a sponsor – that is what my relatives did back in the day to come to this country. You should look at some of the laws and restirctions that other countries have for immigration. We need to deal with the anchor baby issue as I believe that will come back to haunt our children. I am all for immigration – legal immigration. So I helped people come to the US and you seem to dismiss it as ‘so-what’. What have you done to help people come to our country – to legally come to our country. I and others did not just get them here and put them on assistance and tell them – God Bless You. We worked and getting them jobs – education for them and their children. Medical and dental that we paid for out of our own pockets. They now have jobs, purchased a house, their children have gone to university and have great jobs. Just for the record – we tried to something simular for people that are already here and need to understand the value of an education. Working so that you have an income and benefits etc. Didn’t work when you can get about 21,000 dollors for sitting on your backside and it is tax free.Later – .



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 2:53 pm


Wayne, Kevin doesn’t argue fair. Don You are right, Don. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed this. I am also glad that you are willing to call it what it is.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:00 pm


Anyone who can think of the separation of families as nothing more than a nuisance is not dealing with individuals but in masse has dehumanized people. Okay, time to back and fill a bit. When I wrote “Jeez, is that so hard”, that was a little flip on my part. But the point is, extended family is still family and while leaving kids with relatives can be a hard choice to make, it’s not unprecedented or outrageous. People make these kinds of decisions all the time. It’s not unheard of for parents with an unruly kid to send that kid to live with a relative way off in the sticks, for the purpose of getting them away from bad influences and giving them a chance to get their heads together. And parents who have legal problems or drug problems can be doing their kids a favor by sending them to live with relatives until they get their own acts together. And it’s not unheard of for a parent to have a kid live with a relative just to get him or her out of a bad school district and into a better one. Just a nuisance? No, but the point is, people do these things voluntarily all the time, and we have laws that allow for these things already on the books. Anyway Wayne slapped down the family separation problem as if it were this unsolveable problem or inhumane outrage. But it isn’t. So when I wrote: “Jeez, is that so hard”, I was looking at this from a public policy standpoint. This may strike many here as cold and calculating but you have to remember: we are debating public policy. And while illegal immigrants should be treated humanely, they are not the only people who matter. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:07 pm


We need to deal with the anchor baby issue as I believe that will come back to haunt our children. Moderatelad Yeah, we should disenfranchise the kids who were born here by removing birth right citizenship! So instead of having one underclass, we’ll have two! How nice. And we’ll do it in the name and love of Jesus! I and others did not just get them here and put them on assistance and tell them God bless you! Moderatelad We are not dismissive of your helping others. That is good. What we are dismissive of, is your presumption that undocumented immigrants get public assistance. Maybe if you knew the law, you would realize that any public assistance is limited to helping U.S. citizen children born to these people and at best it’s minimal. Here is an example. Preganant Mexicant woman is going to have a baby in the U.S. She gets prenatal care so that the baby does not have pregnancy/birth related problems that would cause that child to be a larger burden to society later on. When the baby is born and if the household income is too low, then the U.S. citizen baby is put on a public assistance grant and the amount paid to the family is much lower than would be paid to a family where everybody is a U.S. citizen. In essence just a fraction of what a family would normally get. It is certainly not anywhere near enough to live on and it does not incentivize women having babies. In many states (NJ for one) if another baby is born then the mother does not get an increased welfare grant for the second child because the state doesn’t want incentivize welfare families. But again, you have simply adopted a right wing talking point used to stir up anti-immigrant sentiment in spite of the facts. Typical.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:13 pm


Anyway Wayne slapped down the family separation problem as if it were this unsolveable problem or inhumane outrage. But it isn’t. So when I wrote: “Jeez, is that so hard”, I was looking at this from a public policy standpoint. This may strike many here as cold and calculating but you have to remember: we are debating public policy. And while illegal immigrants should be treated humanely, they are not the only people who matter. Wolverine It does not just “strike” me as being cold and calculating. It IS cold and calculating. The argument goes to the best interest of the US citizen kids, not the illegal alien. Got kids, Wolverine? If so: 1) Would you want them separated from you? 2) Would you want to take them to live in a third world hovel? And, yeah, “Jeez” a non flippant answer to both of those questions would be “no”.I worship a God who says “Mercy triumphs over judgment”. Do you?



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 3:25 pm


Sarasotakid asked three questions, all fair, but I hope he’ll understand if I give a more than a simple “yes or no” answer: Got kids, Wolverine? If so: 1) Would you want them separated from you? Not really, but I can certainly imagine scenarios where it would be in their best interest to live with their aunt for a while. And if any of those developed, I’d hope I’d have the courage to do what’s best for them. 2) Would you want to take them to live in a third world hovel? Again, not really, but missionaries overseas do more or less exactly that, and we hardly treat it as a tragedy or a form of child abuse. I worship a God who says “Mercy triumphs over judgment”. Do you? Yes, of course, but that doesn’t create an entitlement for citizenship to people who violate immigration law. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 10, 2007 at 4:00 pm


“Yes, of course, but that doesn’t create an entitlement for citizenship to people who violate immigration law.” Wolverine, I don’ think anyone’s trying to create an entitlement, whatever you mean by that. We’re just wrestling with reality, which is that out of economic desperation, people are moving here. They don’t have a legal way to come live here or most would do so. I don’t know anyone in this debate who’s arguing that lawbreakers are entitled to stay here just because they live here. We’re only saying that the current laws don’t mesh with the reality that real people are living under. And that makes the current laws unenforceable. And because of that, the laws need to be changed. If we had laws in place that were workable and relatively equitable, then we would be able to enforce them. And to begin making them workable and equitable, we have to find a way to deal fairly with those who are already here, regardless of the circumstances under which they arrived here. This isn’t an entitlement; it’s just a recognition of reality. A reality that isn’t going to change anytime soon, because of the economic crises in the nations where the migrants are arriving from. Peace,



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 4:22 pm


Now, sarasotakid, You may protest that my approach is cold and calculating, but you do not question that this is, at bottom, an argument about public policy. Which means, that we need to look at the big picture. This big picture includes not only 10 million illegal immigrants, but 300 million legal US citizens and several countries that have seen a decent sized chunk of their labor pool run off to the states. Now sympathy for the illegal immigrants, who were no doubt motivated by poverty and tempted by lax enforcement, is perfectly healthy, but we have to balance their interests against the interests of the US and the people who were left behind in their native countries. Mexico, I might point out, has a population of over 100 million. Now I won’t pretend omniscience, and there’s plenty to debate here, but I can say that balancing all of that is likely to require some serious thought, and perhaps even some cold calculation. And then acheiviing this balance is liable to require the writing of some sensible laws that will have to be enforced. Right now, it appears that what motivates most of the illegal immigration advocates here is the desire to see that illegal immigrants get exactly what they want without any consequences for their illegal actions. Now if it were really just a matter of the best interests of illegal immigrants versus the US, I could understand this mindset. Not agree mind you, but I could understand. Compared to much of the world we’re filthy rich. If any country can afford a massive influx of poor people from throughout the globe, it’s the good ‘ole US of A. But what I can’t fathom is the cavalier attitude towards the people left behind in Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and other countries. These nations are all losing a healthy chunk of their labor pool to the US. there are a lot of healthy, ambitious people who might be building businesses and homes in their native countries, but they aren’t because they’re in the US. Now there might be a case that this is in everyone’s best interest, including the folks they left behind. But nobody’s bothered to make this case. It’s like the entire left has forgotten these people exist. So go ahead and call me cold and calculating. There are worse things. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 10, 2007 at 4:39 pm


Who has forgotten those left behind in Latin America, Wolverine? Have you been to Latin America? You might be interested to know that a large percentage (25%? I forget the exact figures.) of El Salvador’s GNP comes from money sent home by Salvadorans living and working in the USA. It seems that they haven’t forgotten where they came from, and they certainly haven’t forgotten those they left behind. It’s probably the most efficient form of foreign aid that’s out there, too. Are you saying that these nations are losing the best and the brightest–the would-be entrepreneurs, business leaders, or academics? I don’t know that anyone’s studied that angle to know whether that kind of case could be made. You know what I think? I think your discussion of those ‘left behind’ in Lat. Am. is a red herring. It’s a diversion from the real issue: how to make our laws enforceable and at the same time treat those who are living here in an equitable and humane manner. Wolverine, I don’t really think you and Sarasota are that far apart. I’m wondering if you just have to mount a protest against his views to keep from losing your ‘conservative’ credentials. Later,



report abuse
 

moderatelad

posted May 10, 2007 at 4:48 pm


Sarasotakid | 05.10.07 – 9:12 am | #So instead of having one underclass, we’ll have two! How nice.No – if the parents are not citizens the child should be a citizen of the country that the parents are from. The day of babies automatically rec’g citizenship has past and is not needed. Many of the European countries have changed their laws and policies over the past few decades for many of the same reasons, and others. (health care – look at CA and what is happening there. They are going bankrupt as they have to treat people regardless if they are citizens or not and the hospitals and clinics can not afford to keep doing this and pay their staff.) Here is an example. Child is born here in the US and then returns to the country of their parents. At a later date they come to the US as they are a citizen. They then demand that their parents be allowed to enter because as a US citizen they can bring them here and they will be allow to be cared for at tax payer expense at elder-care or nursing home facilities. They are not contributed anything up to this time to the US but there is a lot that they can get free and we will foot the bill. We refused to allow those that we brought into the country to go on assistance. They had brought their mother with them and then put he into a serior high-rise so that she had her own place. We the tax payers footed her living costs as she had nothing but it was their own community of immigrants that made them bring her back home to live with them.It is more cost effective for us (the US) to work in their countries and help them make a better life for them there rather than bringing them here.Yes – Christ told us to be kind to the stranger and the foreigner, but he did not command us to grant them citizenship. Have a blessed day .



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm


Don, As for the concern about the folks who have been left behind in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and other countries: Well, maybe it is a red herring, and maybe it isn’t. The thing is, I’m a conservative and therefore presumably concerned only with visions of nationalistic glory. One poster is convinced that I simply do not care about people with brown skin. I would dipute that, but those are the standards that have been set. The left, however, professes profound concern about the “other”. Well, there are a hundred million “others” who live in Mexico, which has lost as much as ten percent of its labor force to the US. Maybe this is a bad thing, maybe its a good thing, but it’s certainly an important thing and I’m amazed that those who profess to care so much about the “other” spend so little time on it. Red herring? Maybe. But then again, I’m not supposed to care. What’s your excuse? Wolverine



report abuse
 

curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:48 pm


A point no one seems to be making… If the minimum wage were raised so that Americans were actually willing to take the (menial?) jobs that immigrants (both legal and illegal) take (chambermaids, cleaners, farm and general labour, etc.), then maybe there wouldn’t BE such a high demand for what is seen as “cheap” labour. Not a whole lot of WASP maids out there. Care to wonder WHY? IT is, after all, U.S. companies that are ‘hiring’ aliens in the first place. Maybe those corporations should take a good hard look in the mirror before erecting more walls to keep out the very people they hire.



report abuse
 

curiouser and curiouser...

posted May 10, 2007 at 5:50 pm


“I think Dobbs is wrong to bring up the seperation of church and state.” He only does it selectively. He’s never once, to my knowledge, decried the intrustion of the RRR churches into the affairs of the State (the names Falsewell, Dobson, Perkins, Robertson, Swaggart, etc. all come quickly to mind), specifically over the ‘threat’ of, say, equal treatment before the law for gay Americans.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 6:02 pm


curiouser: Among the reasons why illegal immigrant labor is so popular among US businesses is preciesly because they allow employers to avoid much of US labor law: worker safety, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, workers comp, all that disappears. I agree with you on Lou Dobbs and his “separation of church and state” bit though. That was ham-handed. I might disagree (okay, I disagree rather strongly) with what Wallis is saying but religious or not he has the right to say it. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 10, 2007 at 6:40 pm


Curiouser: “If the minimum wage were raised … Maybe those corporations should take a good hard look in the mirror before erecting more walls to keep out the very people they hire.” Good point. I wonder, though, whether employers who are willing *knowingly* to hire undocumented workers (and many that do are unaware they are undocumented–the black market for bogus IDs and “proofs of legal status” is thriving) are also willing to abide by the minimum-wage laws. Just a thought–



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 7:22 pm


“For you to accuse anyone of a God complex because they state something which you disagree with is just tit for tat, or as you put it “an impasse of your own devising.” God complex? You created a strawman and hacked it to pieces. This is troubling for your argument. If you oppose stricter enforcement solely on the basis that the desire for stricter enforcement is borne of racist tendencies, than your argument cannot counteract mine (or Wolverine’s, or Moderatelad’s). “(Wolverine seems to think living overseas is somehow equal to living in a Mexico city slum with your American citizen babies. But heh, he did mention that we should be sure we were “humane” when we did this.)” So nobody said that leaving your kids behind was a nuisance. I just wanted to be clear on that.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 7:29 pm


So nobody said that leaving your kids behind was a nuisance. I just wanted to be clear on that. kevin s.You have a unique talent for splitting words and ignoring concepts Kevin.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 7:29 pm


“I doubt that. Your fear is pretty palpable, unless of course it is just racism. But then again, it could be xenophobia. Yeah xenophobia. I’ll give you the benefit of not using the “r” word.” I have no qualms with legal immigration, or even increasing legal immigration. How is that a xenophobic position? I lived in a Hispanic neighborhood for three years, and still own a house in that neighborhood. How could I have managed that if I were xenophobic, or fearful? Your simply doling out insults in hopes that one will stick.”Wayne, Kevin doesn’t argue fair. Get used to it if you’re going to post here. Sometimes I forget, then regret my memory lapse later.” What a petty comment.”Wayne, Kevin doesn’t argue fair. Don You are right, Don. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has noticed this. I am also glad that you are willing to call it what it is.” Hmmm… I get called a racist. I deny the charge, and this is unfair somehow. Just want to make sure I have the ground rules down. If I start hurling insults along with my posts, will that put me on equal footing?



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 7:49 pm


“It does not just “strike” me as being cold and calculating. It IS cold and calculating. The argument goes to the best interest of the US citizen kids, not the illegal alien.” It is also in the best interests of those who apply to come here legally. If we extrapolate your “best interests” argument, then we must also provide for citizens of Mexico, and South America, and so on.We simply cannot do that. We can accommodate the entire planet with our resources. So, yes, we must have a cold and calculating policy that faciliatates legal immigration. Right now, we have a touchy-feely (and maddeningly inconsistent) policy that encourages people to break the law, and traps them in impoverished conditions.”You have a unique talent for splitting words and ignoring concepts Kevin.” Conceptually, nobody suggested anything close to the idea that leaving one’s children behind is a nuisance. The problem with debating immigration policy in any substantial way is that people are so eager to tether the opposition to this or that anchor. Those on the enforcement side (broadly speaking) want to cast the opposition as supporting lawlessness and anarchy, which is, at best, woefully incomplete. Those who favor amnesty or some form of legalization (again, broadly speaking) want to cast the opposition as racist or, more euphemistically, xenophobic. If you are spending more time articulating what the opposition believes, then you are simply arguing with yourself, and reinforcing your own presumptions. But that doesn’t get us any closer to determining what God’s Politics might be w/r/t this issue.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 10, 2007 at 11:03 pm


“We can accommodate the entire planet with our resources.” I should say we “canNOT” provide for the planet.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 10, 2007 at 11:13 pm


Kevin More and more we are a high-tech society. Demographics prove we need to import low skilled labor. Mexico s border represents the easiest way for low skilled labor to enter the country yet USCIS regulations make it almost impossible for them to do so. Why? We used to used their labor for over one hundred years with no complaint whatsoever, why the change? When we saw this mass migration happening why did we do nothing about it? Since by our inaction, we showed we didn t care, why should a poor man think it so wrong to cross illegally? Why is the focus of so many only the punishment of those who came here, and not our failure to manage our border? What is wrong with saying, We screwed up! We should have managed this better. We are probably going to have to absorb some of these people in order to make it right. ? Since not one Mexican or Latin American has blown us away, why are we so afraid of them?If homeland security is the issue, the Canadian border is even more porous and it is much safer to cross; Why only build one wall? Why does someone from a Northern border state like Sensenbrenner (sp?) not call for Canadian border security, instead of sponsoring HR4437?



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 10, 2007 at 11:16 pm


If you are spending more time articulating what the opposition believes, then you are simply arguing with yourself.kevin s.Not really. If we extrapolate your “best interests” argument, then we must also provide for citizens of Mexico, and South America, and so on. Kevin S. Not true. I was speaking of the best interests of US citizen children. Read the post. “You have a unique talent for splitting words and ignoring concepts Kevin.” Sarasota Conceptually, nobody suggested anything close to the idea that leaving one’s children behind is a nuisance. Kevin S. Again, untrue. Read Wolverine’s post. What a petty comment. Kevin S. No, but true.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 10, 2007 at 11:54 pm


Sarasotakid, The only thing I’ve written that would suggest that I consider family seperations a “nuisance” was the rather snarky “is that so difficult?”. Since then, I have explained what I meant by that comment at some length, and answered your questions about my own attitudes towards family separation. To summarize, I acknowledge it as a hardship, but also note that this is a hardship that some families take on willingly for a variety of reasons. I note that you do not even begin to discuss that. Do you deny that parents sometimes send children to live with relatives for extended periods? The question is not whether or not family separation is a hardship. The question is whether or not it is so great a hardship that we must condone illegal immigration in order to avoid it. And that question is based on the dubious presumption that the illegal immigrant’s home country is in such poor condition that it is unconscionable to ask an American citizen to live there with his or her family. It looks to me like you are trying to box us into legalizing illegal immigration with nothing but hot air. It’s going to take more than that. Wolverine



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 11, 2007 at 12:15 am


Wolverine We are talking about 12,000,000 people who would be potentially separated from their children. For how long? No one could possibly know. The fact that you still diminish this is amazing. It is a bad thing to say flippantly or any other way. It is a wrong idea. Equating missionary living quarters to the slums of Latin America is just another dense notion. there is no comparison. If the only way you can rationalize the evil inherent in your supposed answer is by calling them “flippant” or “snarky”, you are certainly coldhearted. Why in the world would I ever have thought you are a bigot?



report abuse
 

Payshun

posted May 11, 2007 at 3:15 am


Wayne, Great response. p



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 11, 2007 at 4:00 am


It looks to me like you are trying to box us into legalizing illegal immigration with nothing but hot air. It’s going to take more than that. WolverineBeliefnet rules state that I cannot call you un-Christian, Wolverine, so I won’t do that. Rather I will no longer call myself a Christian and will take any title but Christian. Keep the title. Because if getting the 12 million illegal immigrants out this country is so important to you that you would run over their U.S. citizen children, sending them to appalling living conditions or separating them from their families, I don’t want to be associated with that or bear the same title as one who would. So Wolverine keep the title. I’ll find another one. And if concern for innocent U.S. citizen children is hot air, I prefer to be full of hot air rather than the callous indifference you display.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 11, 2007 at 4:48 am


wolverine, you seem like a really decent person & i’m not sure you fully grasp the magnitude of what you are saying, or maybe i am misunderstanding what you are saying. sure folks send their kids away to live w/ relatives – by choice, & god don’t you know that is not an easy choice – to part w/ your own flesh that god put you here to protect. could you be the person who went door to door telling parents, millions of crying parents, it’s time to go, watching them leave kids behind by force. surely not everyone will have relatives to leave their kids w/, so they will have to live w/ strangers (or are you going to force other countries to do what you refuse to let us do – take on another country’s, ours specifically, citizens, the children born here?). another thing, what you are advocating will, thank god, NEVER happen, so maybe it’s easy to throw these stones. our collective conscience fortunately has more respect for human dignity (& a grasp on the logistical nightmare of moving 12 million people), regardless of nationality, than that. come on back down off that ledge man, let’s try to move toward something comprehensive, something that will encourage folks to join the system, to move past the status quo of living under the radar. you never answered my question from earlier, is it your sense of unearned privilege of the situation that keeps you from going for a path toward citizenship w/o breaking up families? or is it something else? are law enforcement & ‘policy’ more important than human dignity? shouldn’t they be designed to promote it?



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 11, 2007 at 5:10 am


wolverine, i write my comments above out of respect because, while we probably disagree more than not, i can tell you usually have a thoughtful perspective on things, your post that opened the ‘end of the rel right’ post were some of the most thoughtful of everyone all month, but this thread just seems out of character.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 11, 2007 at 7:39 am


“Beliefnet rules state that I cannot call you un-Christian, Wolverine, so I won’t do that. Rather I will no longer call myself a Christian and will take any title but Christian. Keep the title.” Translation: I consider myself a Christian, and consider you not to be a Christian. “wolverine, you seem like a really decent person & i’m not sure you fully grasp the magnitude of what you are saying,” Wolverine. You are a really decent person. But you are also an idiot. Also, you are a bigot. Please cease to have an opinion, lest you lose your standing here. Thanks.Also, I was recently in Michigan for a funeral. I thought about connecting up for a beer, but I was busy with everything (you can read about it on my blog). At any rate, I’m sure I will be in MI in the future, and it would be fun to connect at some point. Keep that in your back pocket.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 11, 2007 at 12:37 pm


Translation: I consider myself a Christian, and consider you not to be a Christian. Kevin S. Actually, no, Kevin and I say the same to you. I would rather burn in hell than advocate the policy that you and Wolverine are advocating. The same applies to you when you talk about the “efficiency” of the law being the criteria by which you judge it. Some policies deserve zero tolerance in much the same way the Nuremberg laws deserved no tolerance. If we engage in mass deportations and separation of families, then we will resemble the very monsters we fought in WWII. You can sugar coat it any way you wish but that is what you’re advocating.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 11, 2007 at 4:10 pm


I really have a hard time figuring what to say at this point. Just a few days ago sarasotakid and I were laughing — it’s the Sarasota Kid, the rootinest, tootinest cowboy south of Tampa Bay! — and nad2, I can assure you that I haven’t changed all that much since I wrote that post on the Religious Right. I must confess to being taken aback by the sheer anger that has come out. I can understand the disagreement; you don’t want to break up families or push people back into slums. (I’m not convinced that the latter is going to happen very often, but is there even a point in trying to explain why?) The level of outrage is a total surprise to me. It really is. Kevin, I’d be happy to sit down for a couple beers next time you’re in the area. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Mario Ramos

posted May 11, 2007 at 4:51 pm


This is a good example of the need to end the current state of immigration prohibition. The system is broken which only benefits the criminals. To support the continuation of a broken systems does nothing for law and order. Support comprehensive immigration reform.



report abuse
 

can'twealljustgetalong

posted May 11, 2007 at 4:59 pm


I would more often read posts on this blog if a few of you regulars would just IM each other until you have something cogent to say together and then post that. Try it. You might learn more from each other and contribute more to the world by doins so.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 11, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Jen N

posted May 11, 2007 at 7:12 pm


I have never commented before, but I have always been thankful for Sojourners and Wallis’ witness, and so I feel compelled to comment now. I just have to ask…Jim, when did you make the switch from issues and truth to name calling? Why was the comment about Lou Dobbs necessary at all? Why can’t you just talk about how Jesus’ teaching and actions in the scriptures lead us to fight injustice and seek justice – that is enough. It doesn’t have to become a battle. People (Christians) on the other side of the issue are not going to be convinced when we engage in name calling and judging our brothers – but they just might be convinced by the pure truth of Jesus. I’m really disappointed that you are heading down this path – it can easily lead to the destruction of all you have worked to build for these many years.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 11, 2007 at 8:30 pm


Wolverine I do not know what to say to your surprise. My passion (anger) on this issue comes from years of working with the people we are talking about. Not just a few and not just every once in a while. The numbers of people who will be affected are quite large. It will happen far more often that you guess, but if it only happened 1000 times out of 12,000,000 it would be huge in its effect to those 1000. In just the last few months we have had a highschool honor roll student deported, a home owner,and another man who owns a business. That is only three people, not 1000. If you knew these people and how opposite they are to anything remotely like “illegal” or “alien” you would have the same reaction as I, or at least I would hope you would. Think about how you have minimized this situation. You cannot morally come up with answers like the one you have proposed and not be called for it.



report abuse
 

nad2

posted May 11, 2007 at 8:38 pm


kevin, you can be a real jerk. come get me beliefnet! if i continue to post here it will never again be in dialogue w/ you or in way in response to anything you have to say. i give up. i would encourage others who have been continuously misquoted, miscontrued, intentionally and repeatedly distorted & otherwise treated with utter contempt & lack of respect in framing of conversation to do the same. you are wasting your time, the good faith spirit of dialogue will never be reciprocated by him.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 11, 2007 at 8:41 pm


” The same applies to you when you talk about the “efficiency” of the law being the criteria by which you judge it.” Again, you are putting quotes around words I did not say, and pretending as though I said them. I really don’t get it. I never said that the efficiency of a law is the criteria by which I judge it, nor did I say anything close.”If we engage in mass deportations and separation of families, then we will resemble the very monsters we fought in WWII.” Um, I don’t think Hitler was principally known for deportations.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 11, 2007 at 9:10 pm


In just the last few months we have had a highschool honor roll student deported, a home owner,and another man who owns a business. That is only three people, not 1000. If you knew these people and how opposite they are to anything remotely like “illegal” or “alien” you would have the same reaction as I, or at least I would hope you would. My heart goes out to these people, and I hope they all land on their feet. But my head says we need to get control of the illegal immigrant problem, and the first step to doing that is to start enforcing the law. You gave me three examples. I’ll give you three examples, the Duka brothers of New Jersey, illegal immigrants who just a few days ago were arrested as part of a terror ring. By that measurement, we have 50% law-abiding people, 50% terrorists. Which illustrates why it is a mistake to generalize about 12,000,000 people based on our knowledge of six. Or three. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 11, 2007 at 9:15 pm


“If we engage in mass deportations and separation of families, then we will resemble the very monsters we fought in WWII.” Can I ask for a small favor? I know all you lefties think Kevin and I and the rest of us conservatives are all fascists, and I don’t mean to take away the fascist card, but could you at least mix it up a little bit, throw in something about Franco or Mussolini every now and then? Or how about Pinochet? He was pretty bad too. How would you feel if it was “Stalin this” and “Stalin that” all the time, as if Stalin was the only Marxist dictator who ever lived and Mao or Castro or Tito never existed. Wouldn’t that get monotonous? Thanks in advance, Wolverine



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 11, 2007 at 9:32 pm


And they both came over what border? Your fears are not a rationalization of your program of forced repatriation and seperation of families. Look we did not enforce the border. We played a sort of cat and mouse game, with catch and release. We were not serious about immigration and they knew it. So they played along.Now we are serious and people are getting hurt. What is worse is that we still don’t mean it. We still have American companies hiring and even importing low skilled labor illegally. We refuse to admit we are at fault or at least share in the blame. We only want to blame and punish the little guy. If we have to absorb 12,000,000 people our punishment will be small indeed. We need not feel like we got the bad end of that deal. As far as punishment of the undocumented goes, fines and back taxes are not small things and they are not amnesty. If you think that will encourage more to come, well if there are jobs, let them come legally. If there are no jobs, they won’t come. We now have a very bad situation and need to get a hold of it. National security is an issue. Secure the border and manage the need for low skilled labor. Provide legal means of entry and they won’t come illegally. Penalizing people who never intended to do anything more than work, is not an answer. If someone is here with bad intentions that is a security issue we will be dealing with for a long time. Using the example you cite as an excuse for inhumane treatment of 12,000,000 people is insane. You would be better using that to justify our treatment of muslims prisoners in Iraq. It didn’t work there and it doesn’t work here.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 11, 2007 at 9:35 pm


Excuse me I meant to address that to Stalin, or was it Mao you preferred? I of course would like to be referred to as “Che”.



report abuse
 

Canucklehead

posted May 12, 2007 at 2:34 am


Can I be Pierre?



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 12, 2007 at 3:15 am


I really appreciate the two you tube videos available right next to each other supplied on this site. If you haven’t yet viewed them both, please do. They point out very clearly where the two sides on this issue simply are not listening to each other and portray very clearly their entrenched natures. Both make very good points, and both exaggerate the positions the others are taking. For example, Mr. Wallace states that there is prejudice and hatred involved in the stance of those that argue against amnesty for illegal immigrants. Certainly there is, and as usual it has been inflamed by politicians wanting to garner superficial short term support. But, it is a characterization that I do not believe applies to most people concerned about the large influx of immigrants into this country. Because, as the Dobbs video points out, much of the argument against amnesty is spurred not by racism, but by the erosion of the American middle class, and the suffering of very many US citizens in the past couple of decades resulting from the sick trade and economic policies put in place by Neoconservatives, other elites and multi-national corporations that began in the Reagan administration and continues to this day. I personally have never heard the Christian community that Wallace represents address this aspect of the immigration issue at all, and without wanting to be opposed to a person and movement that I respect and appreciate greatly, have to say, that until they do, this issue is not going to be resolved in any positive way. Because when people’s concerns are ignored, those concerns are inflamed more. People do not like to be ignored, especially when what is being ignored is their pain. On the other hand, the Dobbs video revealed very clearly that they also misinterpret the Christian stance of comprehensive immigration reform. Mr. Dobbs sums up his video by stating that the liberal Christians want completely porous borders, which is not at all what comprehensive immigration reform supports. He also implies that these Christians, by stating that they will not follow a law that goes against their Christian mission, are disrespectful of the rule of law. After all, Christians have always been called to break unjust laws from the very beginning of Christianity, as Christianity itself was against the law. Comprehensive immigration reform purports that borders should have smart enforcement not only to control the people coming over, but also for security sake, and that that enforcement should be applied not only to the US/Mexican border, but also to the US/Canadian border, and to the ports. They also call for enforcement of just employment laws that require equal pay for immigrants as US citizens as well as equal employment protection laws. If such laws are enforced, most employers will just as likely hire US citizens as immigrants and the job market for immigrants will either dry up, or it will be shown that in some areas of this country immigrant employment really is necessary. Meanwhile, what I would like to see added to the comprehensive immigration reform movement is the addressing of the issue of the neo-conservative policies that have done so much damage to the middle and lower classes of third world nations and the US, which is quickly becoming a third world nation itself. That is a very real concern of mine. Now, that does not mean that I want to break solidarity with the poor here are from other nations.



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 12, 2007 at 4:03 am


I think I should have used the term neo-liberal economic policies in place of the term Neo-conservatives.



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 12, 2007 at 4:07 am


My apologies for the misspelling of Mr. Wallis’ name.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 4:39 am


Um, I don’t think Hitler was principally known for deportations. kevin s. Tell that to the people that got into the trains, genius.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 12, 2007 at 6:34 am


Sarasota Kid: I think you just proved Kevin’s point. You see, we can’t tell most of Hitler’s victims much of anything because they are dead. They are dead because Hitler didn’t have them deported, he had them killed. If they had been deported, we could talk to a lot of them because many of them would be alive, they’d just be living in some other country. At this point, I have to seriously wonder if you have any actual knowledge of who the Nazis were or what exactly they did. Or is “Nazi” just an epithet that you throw around because you hear a lot of other lefties use it? Wolverine



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 12, 2007 at 6:37 am


“Tell that to the people that got into the trains, genius.” It wasn’t the trains that were bothersome, in and of themselves. Nobody is proposing the execution of illegal immigrants. The ad Hitlerum argument officially stymies any reasonable debate, so there isn’t anywhere to go from here. I wouldn’t think a prominent attorney would have to resort to it, but perhaps this illustrates the inherent weakness of your argument.



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 12, 2007 at 6:37 am


Well, I have found that in fact something of the nature of looking into the root causes of migration has been added to the list for Comprehensive immigration reform. Here is a statement from The Christian Coalition for Immigration Reform and the statement I refer to is the last bulleted statement below: The current U.S. immigration system is broken and now is the time for a fair and compassionate solution. We think it is entirely possible to protect our borders while establishing a viable, humane, and realistic immigration system, one that is consistent with our American values and increases national security while protecting the livelihood of Americans. The biblical principles above call us to support comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes the following elements: Border enforcement and protection initiatives that are consistent with humanitarian values while allowing the authorities to enforce the law and implement American immigration policy; Reforms in our family-based immigration system that reduce the waiting time for separated families to be safely reunited and maintain the constitutionally guaranteed rights of birthright citizenship and the ability of immigrants to earn naturalization; An opportunity for all immigrant workers and their families already in the U.S. to come out of the shadows and pursue the option of an earned path towards permanent legal status and citizenship upon satisfaction of specific criteria; A viable guest worker program that creates legal avenues for workers and their families to enter our country and work in a safe, legal, and orderly manner with their rights and due process fully protected and provides an option for workers to maintain legal status independent of an employer sponsor; and A framework to examine and ascertain solutions to the root causes of migration, such as economic disparities between sending and receiving nations. Immigration reform that incorporates these elements, rejects anti-immigrant and nativist measures, and strengthens our American values will enrich the vitality of America and advance the common good. We stand together in calling upon President Bush and Congress to seek humane and holistic immigration reform within this legislative year. Sincerely, It can be found here: http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=action.display&item=CCIR_main



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 12, 2007 at 8:47 am


Thank you Danna



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 11:36 am


It wasn’t the trains that were bothersome, in and of themselves. Nobody is proposing the execution of illegal immigrants.The ad Hitlerum argument officially stymies any reasonable debate, so there isn’t anywhere to go from here. I wouldn’t think a prominent attorney would have to resort to it, but perhaps this illustrates the inherent weakness of your argument. kevin s. The original reference was to the Nuremberg laws, which basically outlawed people based on their status as part of an “undesirable group” and that was what I was referring to. There was no need to resort to some red herring argument because it was not a red herring. It was, and is true. But then again, it would not be beyond you to misrepresent my argument. After all I wasn’t the first one to observe that you don’t argue fair, although I wholeheartedly agreed with the comment. Thanks for referring to me as a prominent attorney. I am an attorney but I am not prominent. God has blessed me with the opportunity to get an education (law school, bar, etc.) and he has permitted me to see a lot of injustice so yeah, I do get outraged when I hear Christians propose policies that are going down the slippery slope to facism. That’s not say that all immigration restrictionist are facists. But the ones, like you, who would prefer to kick out 12 million people regardless of the human cost to countless U.S. citizen children are slip sldin’ away down that slope. But hey, I am sure it would be done in the spirt and love of Jesus, right?



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:02 pm


The ad Hitlerum argument officially stymies any reasonable debate, so there isn’t anywhere to go from here. I wouldn’t think a prominent attorney would have to resort to it, but perhaps this illustrates the inherent weakness of your argument. kevin s.The argument stands. The original argument had to do with HR 4437 being compared to the Nuremberg laws. Like the Nuremeberg laws, HR 4437 picked on a particular group of people. Hence the utter outrage that anyone would advocate the mass deportation of 12 million people. Even if you do not care about the 12 million people, which obviously you do not, you are dismissive of any reasoned argument about the impact that that such measures would have on countless U.S. citizen children. To me, that goes against any reasonable Christian ethic. You will certainly argue that HR4437 takes measures against people who have broken the law by being here illegally and you would be right. But it would also punish people who associate with illegal immigrants, such as the bride who marries an undocumented immigrant, people who receive undocumented immigrants in their homes, etc. You have stated that even though the law was broadly drafted, if enacted it would be enforced in the spirit in which it was enacted. That is very dangerous thinking. I have seen enough abuses of power by both Democrats and Republicans to know that we do not want to give any leader on either side of the aisle that much power. The impact on American society would be astoundingly negative. We pride oursleves on being a free and open society. HR 4437 would make us a society of spies. HR 4437 is being rolled into this whole discussion of deporting 12 to 20 million people because it was a centerpiece of immigration legislation in 2005 and passed the House with a sizeable margin. Moreover it would take a draconian measure such as 4437 to effectuate the departure of so many people. I did not call you or Wolverine nazis or facists. I don’t believe that you are. My perception is that you both hold in high regard the rule of law, which can be very good. But I do believe that you are being unreasonably dismissive of arguments about the impact on families and especially children born here. If there is anything I think we have in common, it is that we believe the system is broken. You have stated that you believe in legal immigration. I believe both of you. But when I see a law (4437) that could lead to disastrous consequences, I will call it what it is. If you write a post that appears to support the measure and you feel that you’re being called a Nazi or Facist by implication, I cannot help that. The same goes for the arguments about mass deportations. I find it ironic that you would be so worried about a reasonalbe debate because your stance and manner of interacting with people on this blog has been anything but reasonable. If I were the only one to say that, then you could dismiss it as mere rant. A number of people, most of whom have been much more circumspect in the way they have written have made the same observation. Don has said that you don’t argue fair. So dismiss me as unreasonable if you want to. It does not undermine what others have said.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 1:12 pm


“If we engage in mass deportations and separation of families, then we will resemble the very monsters we fought in WWII.” Sarasotakid At this point, I have to seriously wonder if you have any actual knowledge of who the Nazis were or what exactly they did. Or is “Nazi” just an epithet that you throw around because you hear a lot of other lefties use it? Wolverine Read what I said to Kevin above. I never called you or Kevin a Nazi. I did say that certain measures, which both of you seem to be advocating would be heading down that path. Act as offended as you wish but the point remains the same. I have to seriously wonder if you have any actual knowledge of who the Nazis were or what exactly they did. Wolverine I would ask the same of you. Sadly enough I do know a bit about it. I know that Hitler did not come out one day and fully implement his program. He did it incrementally. So while deportation is not killing people, the massive deportation of 12 to 20 million people is heading down that slippery slope. Accept or reject my argument (and you will surely reject it), it is valid and I stand behind it. That anybody would be for such a thing and be dismissive of the humanitarian argment on behalf of the US citizen kids who would be caught up in such a disastrous policy bespeaks volumes about the manner in which you see fit to treat people.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 2:19 pm


The ad Hitlerum argument officially stymies any reasonable debate, so there isn’t anywhere to go from here. I wouldn’t think a prominent attorney would have to resort to it, but perhaps this illustrates the inherent weakness of your argument. kevin s.The argument stands. The original argument had to do with HR 4437 being compared to the Nuremberg laws. Like the Nuremeberg laws, HR 4437 picked on a particular group of people. Hence the utter outrage that anyone would advocate the mass deportation of 12 million people. Even if you do not care about the 12 million people, which obviously you do not, you are dismissive of any reasoned argument about the impact that that such measures would have on countless U.S. citizen children. To me, that goes against any reasonable Christian ethic. You will certainly argue that HR4437 takes measures against people who have broken the law by being here illegally and you would be right. But it would also punish people who associate with illegal immigrants, such as the bride who marries an undocumented immigrant, people who receive undocumented immigrants in their homes, etc. You have stated that even though the law was broadly drafted, if enacted it would be enforced in the spirit in which it was enacted. That is very dangerous thinking. I have seen enough abuses of power by both Democrats and Republicans to know that we do not want to give any leader on either side of the aisle that much power. The impact on American society would be astoundingly negative. We pride oursleves on being a free and open society. HR 4437 would make us a society of spies. HR 4437 is being rolled into this whole discussion of deporting 12 to 20 million people because it was a centerpiece of immigration legislation in 2005 and passed the House with a sizeable margin. Moreover it would take a draconian measure such as 4437 to effectuate the departure of so many people. I did not call you or Wolverine nazis or facists. I don’t believe that you are. My perception is that you both hold in high regard the rule of law, which can be very good. But I do believe that you are being unreasonably dismissive of arguments about the impact on families and especially children born here. If there is anything I think we have in common, it is that we believe the system is broken. You have stated that you believe in legal immigration. I believe both of you. But when I see a law (4437) that could lead to disastrous consequences, I will call it what it is. If you write a post that appears to support the measure and you feel that you’re being called a Nazi or Facist by implication, I cannot help that. The same goes for the arguments about mass deportations. I find it ironic that you would be so worried about a reasonalbe debate because your stance and manner of interacting with people on this blog has been anything but reasonable. If I were the only one to say that, then you could dismiss it as mere rant. A number of people, most of whom have been much more circumspect in the way they have written have made the same observation. Don has said that you don’t argue fair. So dismiss me as unreasonable if you want to. It does not undermine what others have said. If we engage in mass deportations and separation of families, then we will resemble the very monsters we fought in WWII.” Sarasotakid At this point, I have to seriously wonder if you have any actual knowledge of who the Nazis were or what exactly they did. Or is “Nazi” just an epithet that you throw around because you hear a lot of other lefties use it? Wolverine Read what I said to Kevin above. I never called you or Kevin a Nazi. I did say that certain measures, which both of you seem to be advocating would be heading down that path. Act as offended as you wish but the point remains the same.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 2:26 pm


Sorry all for the repeated posts. When I came back to the site, the first ones had been taken down so I rewrote them and reposted them.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 12, 2007 at 2:44 pm


Thanks, Sarasota, for obviously sacrificing your sleep ;-) to construct such a well-reasoned and well-argued discussion. I’d love to have more writers like you in my classes. Peace,



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 12, 2007 at 3:10 pm


Sarasotakid, where did all your postings go? D



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 12, 2007 at 3:10 pm


They keep appearing and disappearing.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 3:15 pm


I don’t know, Don. Contact me at jgmartin82@hotmail.com



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 12, 2007 at 9:07 pm


Like I said, once the Hitler card is evoked, there isn’t really anything else to say. It’s apples and oranges in so many ways. Deporting people to their country of origin is by no means necessarily a step toward fascism. Accompanying any such policy with an increase in the number of immigrants who are allowed to enter the country legally runs rather counter to Hitler’s policy.Further, we are not limiting the rights of any race of people who are here legally. One who has legally immigrated has access to the full compliment of services available. In many regions, they even receive special assistance for housing, education etc… Your argument fails on order of magnitude.



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 12, 2007 at 9:27 pm


Kevin S. wrote: …perhaps this illustrates the inherent weakness of your argument. The funny thing is, their argument isn’t all that weak. What’s really weak is the rhetorical limb that sarasota kid and the rest of them wind up crawling out on because they can’t acknowledge that this is something other than an open-and-shut case. It is undeniably true that the US brought a lot of this on itself by being so lax for so long about enforcing immigration law. And if we start enforcing the law now, we are liable to be sending some decent people back to live in some pretty crummy conditions. Now I don’t think that gets them all the way to where they want to go, but I can see how a reasonable, well-meaning person can conclude that some sort of legalization is the best and most fair course to take. But apparently sarasota kid and others simply cannot comprehend that others might draw different conclusions for valid reasons like the rule of law or protecting the interests of unskilled workers in the US or even (and I’m really amazed by the extent to which this has been blown off) the long-term health of Mexican society. And now we get this “Nazi! Nazi!” crapola. Yeah, I know sarasotakid isn’t actually calling us Nazis, but he keeps making the comparison and every time he does it’s a stretch. The Nazis did a lot of things, many of them are still done by political movements to this day. The Nazis made films to spread their message, but that doesn’t mean you can just turn around and say “See! Al Gore is just like Leni Riefenstahl! I told you he was up to no good!” Anyway, I think I’m going to drop this thread too, and I doubt I’m going to say much on the “Wallis vs. Dobbs II” thread either. Right now there’s no room for reasonable debate or compromise, and that’s sad. Wolverine



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 12, 2007 at 9:56 pm


Wayne, You’re welcome, but I’m not sure what exactly you are thanking me for: my recognition that there is at least some movement in the direction of finding the root cause, or the original essay? I simply wish that the negative rhetoric towards those that are saying–look, Americans are suffering to–would stop coming from the direction of those interested in helping immigrants. Also I would like for it to be possible to address the fact that the more people that are here, the lower our ability to take care of our families is. Right now 18,000 people die a year at least, due to lack of health care access in the United States. The schools are rediculously inadequate–Mexico’s are much better–not that everybody is given the chance to go there though. We spent more last year than we earned, because the cost of living and our wages don’t match. Should Christians not be concerned about that pain? But the way Wallis puts it we are being narrow minded if we peep up about those issues. But I certainly don’t think that we should be blaming undocumented immigrants for the problem. More likely than not their economic situation is worse than most Americans, and that is the push they have to get here. It is the fact that we the people have handed our reigns over to some grabby, greedy, controlling, power hungry SOBs. And boy are they royally screwing us. Now, when will Wallis and other Christian leaders point directly to the neo-liberal economic policies that impoverish people in all nations, so that, yes, we can address the root cause of massive migration. I suspect tha Mr. Wallis is living quite comfortably himself in Middle class America, and is not really getting into the stories of people who have left that comfortable living and are now scraping to make ends meet, so he thinks that we are an afluent society still, when in fact we are not anymore.On another subject, Lou Dobb’s bit about Seperation of Church and State was the most rediculouse statement, but unfortunately there are many people that apparently don’t even get a little bit about what that doctrin is. It is about controlling government power, not people’s free exercise of their political wills. The US government is sanctioned from establishing a state religion or from prohibiting the free exercise of their chosen religion or lack there of. It has nothing to do with the free exercise of political will weather one have a faith or not.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 11:25 pm


Your argument fails on order of magnitude. kevin s. I guess your opinion would matter if I respected it.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 12, 2007 at 11:55 pm


I simply wish that the negative rhetoric towards those that are saying–look, Americans are suffering to–Danna I sympathize with your position. Just a week ago, my wife was fired from a tempoary job where illegal aliens were given preference over her. It taken every bit of moral strength NOT to call the immigration authorities on the employer. We would gladly report the employer but for the undocumented immigrants who may be seized and face deportation.I believe that this unregulated flow of undocumented workers is having an negative impact on lower paying jobs. It must stop. How do you do that? My previous posts make it clear that I do not believe that we should not deport these people. Give them some sort of legal status so that they can become free agents and negotiate higher salaries and better working conditions. Right now, they’re beholden to employers who hire them. If you don’t want to give the full permanent residency rights, fine. Give them a resident status that can never lead to citizenship or allows them bring in other family members who are abroad. But do not force the separation of U.S. citizen kids from their foreign national parents or force those U.S. citizen kids to go live in a third world hovel. Then have a rigourous employment enforcement system so that employers who employ undocumented immigrants are convicted as criminals. For the system to work, you may need to implement a tamper-proof, machine readable card that interfaces with the immigration authorities showing that people have the right to work. No card no work. It would be a national i.d. card. Civil libertarians and ACLU types would be appalled at the suggestion but in a post 9/11 world, we simply need to know who is who and their status here. Then you have the problem of the continuing influx of undocumented workers. Have a mechanism for a well controlled inflow of workers. Again this system will have to be well defined and regulated by government to ensure that these immigrants are not adversely affecting the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. U.S. citizens and legal residents get priority in jobs. If you cut the availability of illegally procurable jobs here and provide a mechanism for the economy’s need for foreign workers in well defined sectors, that will go a long way to ending the disorder on the border. You can try to reinforce the border, but I fear that it is too long and pourous to be very effectively patrolled. Finally, help the other countries to develop. NAFTA has decimated the rural Mexican econnomy. We need to reexamine this whole free trade/neo-liberal (laissez-faire) policy. Where it is doing harm, it must be revised. Maybe we should opt for a Mexico/Central America free trade zone until they can develop and industrialize to a level where their wages are not so disparate from ours and then take further steps to integrate their economy with ours. Our polices must be just and compassionate. We must respect our history as a compassionate nation and protect our own citizens at the same time. Just some thoughts.



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 13, 2007 at 1:44 am


Danna I was thanking you for both and for the rest of the information you provided.Obviously we have our problems here, but as Americans we should realize that though they are important they are not excuses for us to act only in our self interest. I would wish we could admit our national responsibility and guilt in this matter. Instead we just look at those who have been hurt and blame immigrants for it. All the while our federal policies and inaction are the real culprits.The fear that is used to misdirect our national anger is classic. “Make everybody afraid of the foriegner and they won’t blame us.” As long as we are paralyzed by this false fear of the immigrant the problem will be unaswered. It seems to me that as long as we fail to identify the fear for what it is, a form of prejudice which is based on lies and half truths, the paralysis will just continue. The only ones who benefit from this paralysis are the employer who has been able to cheat his labor pool, and extremist groups which are experiencing a rebirth in their enrollment, (look up facts on KKK rebirth nationwide). Today the word Bigot, or racist is becoming the “N” word for white people. We don’t live in mostly white enclaves because we are prejudiced. We make our decisions based on other things like schools, or the appearance of security. Meanwhile the public school system is resegregating (see The Harvard civil rights project, “Are we Losing the Dream”) and of course the church is stil the most segregated club in America. I am sure much of what I have written has offended. In part it was my intention.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 13, 2007 at 4:47 am


“It is undeniably true that the US brought a lot of this on itself by being so lax for so long about enforcing immigration law. And if we start enforcing the law now, we are liable to be sending some decent people back to live in some pretty crummy conditions.” There are two strains of argument here. There is the pragmatic argument, which is that we have fostered a whole entire economy in which illegal immigrants and business have benefitted. This is the argument you are addressing. This is the argument advanced by the Bush administration, Chamber of Commerce, and others. I find it unpersuasive, but not without merit.The other argument conflates stricter enforcement with racism. In this narrative, our treatment of illegals is an extension of our respect for other cultures. This argument is very weak (or at least as it has been articulated here). It is impossible to argue this without resorting to the fallacy of association. “Anyway, I think I’m going to drop this thread too, and I doubt I’m going to say much on the “Wallis vs. Dobbs II” thread either. Right now there’s no room for reasonable debate or compromise, and that’s sad.” I am a bit surprised that this issue yielded such an uninteresting conversation. Given that Bush is siding with the political left on this one (as well as business interests), I would have thought that some of the shades of gray could have shone. Oh well…



report abuse
 

Payshun

posted May 13, 2007 at 10:34 am


Kevin, What’s grey about your position? You want stricter enforcement of the laws even if that means splitting up families. Am I right about that? p



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 13, 2007 at 12:56 pm


“Bush is siding with the political left…” Sigh. Why does every issue have to be boxed into a left vs. right frame? Isn’t it just possible that compassionate, fair, equitable, and just downright decent treatment of migrants and their families (both documented and undocumented) transcends these inane labels we keep throwing on things? Isn’t it possible that we could have a discussion of how best to handle the immigration problem without resorting to using politicizing, divisive name calling? Isn’t it possible? Or am I dreaming? Peace,



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 13, 2007 at 1:04 pm


One more. Isn’t it possible that President Bush isn’t *siding* with anyone politically on this issue? Isn’t it possible that he’s merely following his conscience and knows that what he proposes is the right thing to do? As the former governor of a border state, he just might have some insight into the difficulties caused by our current immigration laws, both for enforcement side and for equitable treatment of those who desire to work in the USA. Once again, isn’t it just possible? Peace,



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 13, 2007 at 3:56 pm


Kevin and Wolverine I asked many questions days ago that you ignored. If you had answered them you could have defended yourself against the charge of racially motivated thinking. (I am trying to be nicer). Growing up in California from that fifties I was always around migrant workers. (They weren’t “illegals” in those days for some reason). No one, except Caesar Chavez, had much of a problem with them. The difference today is that they are not just in the orchards, farms and dairies, and the numbers have vastly increased. Now I know those are big differences but the fact that, in these numbers, and now out in the open so to speak, they are changing more than just demographics is key. Local cultures are being effected. In one town in South Carolina the population was roughly 50% African American and 50% white. It is now 33% Hispanic, 33%White and 33% African American. To deny that there would be a large racially motivated reaction to this is to deny our historical roots. To deny that you and I are not affected in our thinking by racism is to do the same. When you then propose or defend solutions that would attack ethnic families with what I can only call callous indifference you should not be surprized that some one charges you with racism. After all if you walks like one and you talks like one, you probably is one. So much for shades of grey



report abuse
 

Wolverine

posted May 13, 2007 at 4:42 pm


If you had answered them you could have defended yourself against the charge of racially motivated thinking. Wayne, I’ve come to understand that there are two groups of people that it is pointless to argue with: bigots, and people who are inclined to think anyone who disagrees with them is a bigot. Have a nice day. Wolverine



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 13, 2007 at 5:22 pm


I know Wolfie. You’re just like Fox news, “Fair and Balanced”. I hope you have a nice day too.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 13, 2007 at 6:48 pm


“What’s grey about your position? You want stricter enforcement of the laws even if that means splitting up families. Am I right about that?” Correct. My point was that there are a number of tacts toward this issue which transcend political lines, so I am surprised that this post garnered such barky responses.That said, I am never surprised by the charge of racism. Neither am I offended by it. “Isn’t it possible that President Bush isn’t *siding* with anyone politically on this issue? Isn’t it possible that he’s merely following his conscience and knows that what he proposes is the right thing to do?” I agree. By “siding”, I simply meant that he agreed with the political left (broadly defined) on this issue.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 13, 2007 at 9:22 pm


It’s funny how those who would support the most appalling and tragic of policies,namely breaking up families, act like the offended ones. Truly pathetic but not deserving of pity.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 13, 2007 at 10:24 pm


The alternative is to simply encourage everyone to have children as quickly as possible in our country. the point is that we have to find a way to deal with this situation.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 13, 2007 at 11:01 pm


Indeed, we have to find a way to deal with the situation. Is breaking up families a valid way to do it? That is the question. I think any honest Christian response would have to say that is NOT the way. There must be a better way. We cannot break families apart just to appease the law as currently written. I fully agree with Sarasota: this approach is appalling, it’s tragic, and it has no legitimacy from any kind of Christian perspective. Peace,



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 13, 2007 at 11:58 pm


“I fully agree with Sarasota: this approach is appalling, it’s tragic, and it has no legitimacy from any kind of Christian perspective.” The other option is sending the entire family back. The parents then have the choice of leaving with their children or finding other arrangements. If that sounds heartless, then recognizet that, as it stands, you are favoring the family that came here illegally over the families that come through legal means. If we grant amnesty in these instances, we MUST find way to curb illegal immigration in the future lest we face the same dilemma again. However, the same people proposing amnesty oppose strict enforcement.There is no solution that does not end with people being hurt. Such is the problem when other countries are led by inept governments.



report abuse
 

Don

posted May 14, 2007 at 12:21 am


The other option is sending the whole family back? That’s absolute and unmitigated nonsense. And it’s also cruel and heartless in the extreme. Not a Christian virtue at all. Let’s find a way to allow them to stay that accounts and compensates for the illegal entry. That’s the only just, reasonable, and practical solution. If that’s favoring them over those who came here legally, so be it. Morally, it’s the only action that’s justifiable. Then let’s reform the laws so that people who want to come here and work can do so legally. That will help curb illegal migration in the short term. Then let’s begin dealing with those economic and trade policies of ours that aren’t helping the economic situations in Lat. Am. That will help curb the migration pressure in the long term. Those are the only reasonable, practical, and moral solutions. The proposal to sever undocumented migrants from their families is morally bankrupt and has no place whatever in Christian thinking. Peace,



report abuse
 

wayne

posted May 14, 2007 at 12:33 am


“If we grant amnesty in these instances, we MUST find way to curb illegal immigration in the future lest we face the same dilemma again. However, the same people proposing amnesty oppose strict enforcement.”I don’t oppose strict enforcement. It was our non-enforcement that created this mess! That much is undeniable. Since we are the ones responsible for that lack of enforcement I do not see why those who have made their homes here are the only ones to be penalized and castigated. I am not against the levying of fines and paying back taxes either. I just think it reprehensible to fine a poor man and then pretend it is some kind of amnesty. That has always been a tactic the extremists have used to put the kibosh on any reform and to justify outright persecution of these poor workers. That is also undeniable.Kevin you always say your not against immigration, just illegal immigration, but then you talk of “curbs”. Why do you not advocate the management of our labor need and the legalization of those who can meet it? It always makes you sound like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.We issued 1 million visas per year for the last two years. Each year 1.5 million people came, the majority of which found employment even though the political environment was/is increasingly negative. This third undeniable fact would seem to prove that we need to increase legal immigration, not curb it.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 14, 2007 at 2:00 am


The proponents of an equitable legalization program understand that enforcement is paramount. They are acutely aware that any change in the immigration law will be a process of negotiation and give and take. To characterize legalization proponents as against the rule of law or enforcement is clearly inaccurate.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 14, 2007 at 2:34 am


Those are the only reasonable, practical, and moral solutions. The proposal to sever undocumented migrants from their families is morally bankrupt and has no place whatever in Christian thinking. Don Don, you are absolutely right. Peace.



report abuse
 

Payshun

posted May 14, 2007 at 4:44 am


No Kevin, You misunderstand not favoring just forgiving. If you call forgiveness for breaking a law favoring that’s on you. I am saying that legal or illegal they are here and we have a chance to honor that or not. My position is that we should honor it and grant them amnesty especially in cases where they have been here for years. p



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 14, 2007 at 6:02 am


“The other option is sending the whole family back? That’s absolute and unmitigated nonsense. And it’s also cruel and heartless in the extreme. Not a Christian virtue at all.” Again, assuming that we have certain capactiy for immigrants in this country, this would be a choice between legal and illegal immigrants. Someone is going to have to stay in Mexico (or et al…) You do not have a way around this. “Let’s find a way to allow them to stay that accounts and compensates for the illegal entry. That’s the only just, reasonable, and practical solution. If that’s favoring them over those who came here legally, so be it. ” It’s also favoring them over those who are staying in their native country. That may be practical, but it certainly isn’t just. Neither does it set a good precedent down the road.”Then let’s begin dealing with those economic and trade policies of ours that aren’t helping the economic situations in Lat. Am. That will help curb the migration pressure in the long term.” Eliminate farm subsidies, and strenghten border patrols exponentially. Then we can talk about amnesty, is that what you are proposing? Now you are talking like a Republican. However, if you are blaming the economic ruin south of the border on American trade policy, you aren’t contending with reality. We can’t fix the economies Latin America, no matter how we try, and I can’t imagine you would want us too. We still have a responsibility to curb illegal immigration.



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 14, 2007 at 6:11 am


” Since we are the ones responsible for that lack of enforcement I do not see why those who have made their homes here are the only ones to be penalized and castigated.” We have done a lousy job of enforcing our laws. That is true. However, they were, in fact, our laws. We do have every right to enforce them. We do not owe citizenship to anybody who has not earned it through legal means. “I am not against the levying of fines and paying back taxes either. ” I should note that Butch had a point that stuck with me. He said that immigrants should pay higher tax rates, or something similar. This might be an avenue worth exploring from a practicality standpoint, though one could argue that this too in simply another step in a symbolic Nazi death march. “Why do you not advocate the management of our labor need and the legalization of those who can meet it? It always makes you sound like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth. ” I don’t understand. Are you saying that it is untenable to oppose continued illegal immigration while supporting legal immigration? That doesn’t make sense.



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted May 14, 2007 at 9:23 am


Kevin Those who are here are one problem. Those who may want to come is another. You seem to want to link them, or that is my best guess anyway. Allow a way for those here to become legal. We are not going to expel 12 million people and their legal children. Any thing along those lines will never make it through congress. If it does it won’t make it past a veto. On top of that it just isn’t right. Secure the borders and enact a guest worker program. Manage the need for labor and the supply. That is what a good businessman does. The rule of law will be honored. The future will be secured as best it can. “Are you saying that it is untenable to oppose continued illegal immigration while supporting legal immigration? That doesn’t make sense.” I think it doesn’t make sense for you to say your for legal immigration if all you really want to do is curb it. The way you have stated your opinion leaves me with the strong sense that is actually your goal. The word “manage” allows for immigration to go up when the need for additional labor exists and for it to go down if it isn’t needed. It means we have to do what we have failed at till now, securing the border. In fairness I think it must be recognized that both the Mexican and the Canadian borders would have to be addressed. As it is the quota system that USCIS now uses doesn’t do anything like this. It sets limits based purely on other agendas and ignores, for the most part, labor needs. those areas of their programs that do address those needs are pretty fixed in total numbers and catagories. The fact that their quotas for the coming year are usually full well before that year is upon us speaks to the inadequacy.



report abuse
 

Sarasotakid

posted May 14, 2007 at 3:21 pm


Having immigrants pay higher tax rates simply because they are immigrants would probably run afoul of the equal protection clause. However having people who did break the law by overstaying pay back taxes and significant fines would most likely be reasonable and acceptable to progressives and conservatives (at least those Conservatives who don’t see the only solution as being to throw them all out) alike. In my opinion, the Conservatives have won the part of the debate that says that we need border security and we need to fix the system so that this does not happen again. I don’t think that the American people want to see Amnesty III, the sequel in 25 years nor should they have to. Our politicians need to get off their duffs and find a suitable solution that balances justice and mercy and if they cannot do that then we need to start looking at electing somebody else.



report abuse
 

Payshun

posted May 14, 2007 at 5:35 pm


I don’t agree. It is just. Not only from the fact that most of these people pay into a system that they don’t get many benefits from. Not only that but by naturalizing them it cuts out the exploitation that they would face in the job force… It would also go along way in helping to unite families. I worked w/ Mexican American community in immigration, tutoring and teaching kids… There is a divide growing between kids and parents about what it means to be an American, speaking english… American culture can do things to actually back up and support traditional values all the while helping the poor to achieve their own goals. For me that’s just.p



report abuse
 

kevin s.

posted May 14, 2007 at 6:14 pm


“I think it doesn’t make sense for you to say your for legal immigration if all you really want to do is curb it. The way you have stated your opinion leaves me with the strong sense that is actually your goal.” I said I wanted to curb illegal immigration. If you have the strong sense that I meant that I want to curb legal immigration, this is another example of your tendency toward crafting straw men.



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted May 14, 2007 at 7:15 pm


I know what you said. I was trying to get you to see what you sound like. I do not want you to clarify it again. It is your emphasis that I was pointing to you that is confusing.Why not instead talk of managing the border since we can see that at the moment we still need immigrants here. The problem is that we won’t let them come. Curbing illegal immigration is a given and by the way, it is working. The Border Patrol estimates it is down by up to 30%, or at least arrests are. Meanwhile California’s vegetable crops went largely unpicked.



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 16, 2007 at 3:24 am


Wayne “The fear that is used to misdirect our national anger is classic. “Make everybody afraid of the foriegner and they won’t blame us.” As long as we are paralyzed by this false fear of the immigrant the problem will be unaswered.” Yes, but isn’t the root of that fear anger. You say yourself that it is. I would like to see the air taken out of the sails of that fear by addressing the anger directly and honestly. Should we not be angry with the employers that take advantage of undocumented workers for their lower wages as well as their vulnerability and ease of exploitation? Should we not be angry with those that have created trade policies that left labor and small farmers off the table? I would like to see people recognize that their self-interests have some commonality. I believe that most Americans are in the same boat as most Mexicans. I would like for us to go from there. Anyway, peace. No offense here. Sarasotakid, I like your solutions, but I too am a little wary of a national id. I would hope that some kind of cross check system where employers would have to check with SS to see if the id is correct, and then SS check their system to see if that same person isn’t actually already employeed somewhere else simultaneously. Something like that.



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted May 16, 2007 at 11:51 pm


Danna You said the following and I do not know if you will read this but… “Yes, but isn’t the root of that fear anger. Should we not be angry with the employers that take advantage of undocumented workers for their lower wages as well as their vulnerability and ease of exploitation? Should we not be angry with those that have created trade policies that left labor and small farmers off the table?” I do not think the fear I was talking about is caused by anger. I think it is the other way around. To be angry at those you mentioned is proper and well earned. It is this misdirected anger at the immigrant which I was referring to and that I believe is caused by fear of the alien, and fear of change. If we were to soley direct our anger at those who have hired illegally and profited from this unfairly, that would be a good thing. What is being proposed as a way to address these employers in Arizona is merely part of the larger scheme to fight a war of attrition with the immigrant and that is unfair. Again, tighten the regulations on hiring and do a better job of securing the border, but you cannot do either of these without somehow legalizing those who are already here, and providing legal means of immigration for those who might come in the future.That is, unless you just want them to go home or stay a perpetual underclass. If we do the security and hiring things only we will in effect just a create a race of helots for all of us rich North Americans to abuse for our gain and comfort.



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 17, 2007 at 4:03 pm


Wayne, It took me a little bit to get back to this thread, and I wasn’t sure that you would respond to me, but I’ve been checking to see if anymore comments were added to the total. I don’t think you are getting my point. I think those that are here should be legalized–mostly. they need to come out of hiding and they need to have full rights in the work place and elsewhere. However, I am a bit frieghtened of the sheer numbers of people that would come over if families too were allowed over, though I also have compassion for the families and am somewhat torn as a result. I also realize that immigrants have a tendency to be more entreprenurial and also create jobs. That is good, except that sustainability in terms of environmental issues is virtually never looked at in new start up businesses. However, I am definetly convinced that the number of jobs that are being created currently by immigrants are not as great as the number of jobs whose wages are reducing due to the great number of employees available with more immigrants here. That is a real and legitimate concern of mine. This conflict in my compassions is why I am motivated to understand the root causes of the issue, and promote addressing those. Back when the bill that would punish churches and individuals for helping undocumented immigrants with imprisonment was up, I began doing as much research as I had time to do, and quickly discovered that NAFTA had a great deal to do with the sudden increase in immigration that began in the mid 90′s. It was poorly designed and severely mis-characterized. All that it promised was never possible, except for profits for big industry. It and other international trade agreements like it are designed primarily to profit big trans-national businesses at the dier expense of anybody else. We saw the Mexican farmers put out of business as a result of it, and, sadly a loss of centuries of culture around the cultivation of corn. We also saw displaced rural people run to the border for slave wage jobs just south of our border, where surviving was really a challange, to no concern of their employers. Profit has become a scapegoat for violent and destructive behavior. Because it is the main purpose (the end–you might say) of most large corporate enterprises by law, than anything goes; if it is profitable than it is okay. As a result of this warped ethos, oppression of people through wage reduction mechanisms is justified, and those creating such policies feel completely vindicated because they believe they are doing right by their God. However, for the most part I don’t think they have realized that they have replaced their God with Profit. So now there is this big divide between liberals on how to “reform” immigration. While I have come to the conclusion that the problem is not immigration; the problem is too much power in the hands of oligarchical forces that transcend national barriers that have reduced human-beings to sheer numbers so that they do not have to experience empathy or a disruption in conscience. Thus, we have the creation of the trade policies such as NAFTA and CAFTA as well as WTO. People in the US are feeling very angry about the loss of the quality of life they once had. Politicians, as they have done for centuries, as well as their radio pundits, are using that anger energy by re-directing it towards immigrants, and keeping it far from its true source. They are unleashing a super dangerouse force by doing so. That scares me too! I do not want to see racial hatred increased. It is an insidious force. It can be ingited easily, as I am sure you are aware of in the horrid wars that happened in Africa in the previouse decade (Somalia, I think?). So I would like for the anger that Americans feel to be honestly addressed. Some one get up and say directly–The trade agreements are causing pain in people’s lives resulting in displacement of people from their homes and movements into countries with more wealth, causing pain there as well. That corporations should be held accountable for all of their costs, including those that they have traditionally not taken into account such as, cultural and community destruction and environmental and health impacts. They should be required to provide fair employee compensation (such as living wages inclucing benefits)–trans-nationally. I know that a lot of Americans are also invested in these very companies. It is my opinion that they need to check their conscience there too, and not let their tradition of retirement funds be divorced from their values–period. Money making should not be a seperate activity from any other life activity–values wise. Profit should be a means, not an end. In that same accord investment should be a means to expressing a value or meaning and the profit not an end in and of itself. This ethos is driving the destruction of all of humanity. It needs to be stopped.



report abuse
 

Wayne

posted May 17, 2007 at 7:27 pm


Danna I think we are in complete agreement as to the cause of the problem. I even agree with your solution as far as it goes. My only difference is to the immediate or first move we take to solve the real problem. Today there are many who are hurt or have had to go through significant negative consequences of this mass migration. Along Arizona’s border there are many who have abandoned their homes out of fear and whose property has been damaged. I am sure there has been some drop in wages and or job opportunities, though here in Arizona that has not been the case. I know someone could come up with an anecdote or two to refute that but over all our employment statistics are good.That being said, I work with the poor here and in the neighborhood in which we focus most of our energy unemployment is very high, as much as 20%, (Arizonas unemployment rate is less than the national average). This is not due to immigration but larger social factors like drug abuse and its negative effects on families and children. I think sometimes the loss of job opportunities is again misdirected and blamed on immigration. This is another scapegoat tactic. It is not something that is said by those in this high unemployment area who are without jobs though as drug addicts don’t have a political voice to say things like this. It is used by politicians who take a heavy handed approach to the issue. In other words I think much of the job loss situation here is again just a smoke screen for prejudice and oppression. (I cannot speak for where you live) I have spent a lot of time with our legislature and have heard them blame immigrants for crystal meth production in AZ as well as many stories of Korans being found strewn throughout our deserts, (supposedly left behind by wandering terrorists). It is an urban legend. Muslims would die before doing such a thing. As far as the meth charge goes it is also ludicrous. No one would oppose using the Border Guard to stop drug smuggling and if we had a reasonable immigration policy none of these immigrants would be wandering through the deserts. They use these stories to justify their draconian answers. When you point out the severe negatives these answers would entail they answer with something like “if your going to make omlettes you have to break a few eggs” It is very scary! People are talking of going underground, storing food and building “railroads”. Many who work with the poor are preparing for possible jail time. This may seem like paranoia but it is generated by the extreme hatred and fear expressed by those in power. Meanwhile business, through the Chamber of Commerce, opposes all anti immigration legislation, yet fails to support any positive moves. They say it is because they fear incurring anger from their customers. We are stuck between a rock and a hard spot here, and I suspect it is much the same elsewhere. Business wants laborers. People want things to stay the same and are afraid of change. Those who have lost jobs are angry. Many of our leaders are just using the issues to divide and conquer. Most of the immigrants we work with are very much like US citizens in regards to work ethic, desire to get ahead, and being self sufficient, responsible people. It is one of the reasons people hire them. They show up for work and they work hard. In AZ at least, low wages do not really figure in as the labor need is large enough that they can actually demand wages that are fair by our standards.



report abuse
 

Danna

posted May 17, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Hi Wayne. I think we are in large part in agreement. I have experience with some immigrants too. I understand the way they are scapegoated. There is a lot of pain to go around right now. Even though it seems like wage pressure is not happening in your area, if you look on a long term basis, you will probably see that there has been. For example: here in the 80′s, construction workers were unionized. They made living wages. Certain construction jobs could not be done by non-union workers. All construction sites had unionized workers on them. But now, most construction workers are immigrants making around $8.00 an hour or less–not enough to raise a family on. That is not the only industry. Just recently, oil drillers have started hiring undocumented workers. The immigrant’s wages are the same as US citizen workers, however, the employers in this case don’t pay taxes or unemployment on them, and thus save quite a bit of money. Now it is very difficult to get a job on an oil rig if you are a citizen or documented immigrant. There are other industries too that have been affected. I am not blaming immigrants for that situation though. As I have stated, it is the trade agreements that I blame. And behind that the raising up of profit as a force that must be worshiped–that can do no wrong. And behind that the corporate elite in this country and throughout the world, that not only own and/or direct those companies, but that also lead nations, and create governmental policies by buying politicians. But perhaps those last two should be switched. Either way, those are the root causes I see. You might look at the history of the neighborhood you work in if you haven’t already, and see if the drug abuse situation didn’t go up sometime when some employer in the area exited for cheaper labor somewhere else, perhaps the border, or some industry union was broken, etc. There are many possibilities of course. Here we have quite a bit of a drug problem too. Though, employment is also good here, however, high employment doesn’t mean that people are employeed in living wage jobs. Most jobs are in the service sector and pay meager wages. Unless they choose to work two or more jobs people are supplementing their job incomes with drug sales, and or residential robbery, which is very high. I understand that immigrants are just regular people trying to make the best life they can for themselves, and many are just trying to basically make it–maybe with hope that someday they can make it better. A lot are, I realize. I certainly agree with you that our political and economic leaders are using the issues to divide and conquer us, which is why I want us to come togather and recognize that we are all in the same boat. I even hate to get into the class war talk, because I dislike characterizing people in groups, however, the more I look into these matters, it appears that a class war has been waging, only with one class not knowing it, and thus seriously losing the conflict. I watched The first and last episode of The Bleak House which was aired on PBS the last 4 weeks. It’s a Charles Dickens novel. Wow, how familiar things seemed to today, to the Robber Baron age depicted in the story. One situation was a child, whose father had died leaving her with the responsibility of her younger siblings, yet she was only 11 or so. I have heard of such things happening now too. The desperation in the criminals was also familiar. They lose all sense of morality, because morality is an impediment to making a living, meager or otherwise. Healthcare was familiar too. The doctor willing to serve the poor could not cover his costs, and had to leave and get a salaried job. Do you know that Doctors that serve medicare and medicaid patient’s are often going bankrupt these days? Things are getting a bit bleak I would say, for a lot of people. Anyway, I commend your working with the poor. That can be very real work, but also very frustrating. Peace and grace to you.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting God's Politics. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

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 »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.