At 05:35 PM 7/2/2007, you wrote:
>As the person on the List most qualified to address this issue, here
>are a few of my thoughts/observations:
Really? I'd be delighted to review your qualifications. If you'd be
so kind as to share them
>(1) There is a problem with drug smuggling over the border. Even
>prior to the existence of borders, smuggling has existed; it will
>always continue to exist, and, of course, must always be combated.
>(2) There is a problem with human smuggling over the border. Most
>migrants/immigrants don't come from border states, and so they're
>ignorant of the challenges the geography (as well as American laws)
>may present (the migrants/immigrants are often told that it's a 30
>minute walk to Tucson--it's about an hour by car). "Coyotes" charge
>them exorbitant fees, and then leave them to die in the desert if
>they can't keep up, or try to steal/kidnap the immigrants of other coyotes.
This is a problem, but I think you're generalizing here.
>(3) Many (most? dunno) illegal aliens are migrant workers. Most
>(all?) illegal aliens pay taxes.
Yes, provided that you are considering sales taxes, and you could
argue that they are indirectly paying property taxes through
rents. However, no small number of illegals are working under the
table and are not paying state and federal income taxes.
>(4) US businesses "depend on" migrant/immigrant laborers. Are the
>companies guilty of using illegal aliens to lower payrolls? Are
>Americans too yssup to do certain types of work? Both.
I would agree with both of the above statements. I would add that
there is a third guilty party: those consumers who get a great deal
from a contractor using illegal labor, and don't question it because
the price is so much lower.
>(5) Aliens are often trying to escape wretched conditions and make
>better lives for themselves. Or they're just trying to make better
>lives for themselves. An unreasonable goal?
Not at all. The difference today is this: there are many illegals
who have no interest in assimilating into the American culture, which
was the dream during earlier waves of (legal) immigration. No one
really expected Grandma and Grandpa to learn English, but fer damn
sure it was expected that the kids would learn it.
But you must also consider several other things. First, while
there's no doubt that the de-facto 'open border' policy is utilized
primarily by the people you cite, there is also no question that it's
used by ultra-violent gangs and that the lax enforcement makes it
easy for those who would do us harm to enter.
There are studies that
indicate that more Americans are killed every year by illegal
immigrants than have been killed during the Iraq war.
Yes, you can
argue that most of the 9/11 terrorists were here legally. So
what? Why would they bother to come legally when it's so easy to sneak in?
Finally, on this point, the US has proven time and time again to
enormously generous to countries in need. I'm not talking about the
government, which uses largesse as a political tool - I'm talking
about people like you and me who open our hearts and our wallets when
a disaster hits. Simply put: we cannot afford to solve all of the
world's misery. We should not be expected to.
>(6) Attitudes towards and laws regarding immigrants have always been
>racist. Whether the immigrants be German, Irish, Chinese, Polish,
>Italian, or Mexican.
Frankly, I find this insulting.
>(7) 30 years ago ketchup was the #1 condiment in America. Today it's
>salsa. The Editorial Swampmormon makes fajitas when he backpacks.
dude, what's that got to do with illegal immigration? Salsa tastes
better than ketchup.
>(8) White Americans historically present a great threat to the
>security of the father-...er, mother-...er, homeland.
Wow. You're gonna have to 'splain that one to me.
>(9) Canadians are probably more likely to steal high-paying jobs
>from Americans than Mexicans (based on anecdotal evidence. But
>who've stolen more comedic jobs from Americans, Canadians or Mexicans?)
I don't know what you're basing THAT statement on. Any Canadian
applying for a job in the US has to be granted clearance to do so, at
least in theory. Same as folks from south of the border. Having
hired foreign nationals in the past, I can tell you that the process
is a PITA but not as much of a PITA as hiring one without undergoing
>The general sum of my thought is that whatever problems we currently
>face regarding illegal aliens is, generally, less the fault of the
>aliens and more the result of poor policy and racism.
Again, I find the claim of racism insulting.
And the problems we
currently face, IMO, have more to do with lax to non-existant
enforcement of existing laws than poor policy.
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