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On 7/2/07, Skip King <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> 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


I live  in Tucson; I studied US History; and my wife, with whom I
occasionally speak regarding her profession, is an historian who specializes
in Mexican-Americans.

>(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.
>
>
> Agreed.
>
>
> >(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.


See response to #1. But if you can provide evidence that (1) most illegal
aliens come from border states (eg, Sonora), (2) said majority are familiar
with the geography of southern Arizona, (3) human smugglers charge little or
nothing for their services, and (3) most of said smugglers don't leave
injured, tired, or otherwise lagging customers behind to whatever fate might
befall them (death or, if they're lucky, apprehension), I'll be glad to
revise my observation.

>(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.


I agree with all points.


>(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.


I absolutely agree with you.

>(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.


The same argument or variations thereof was used regarding German, Irish,
Chinese, Polish, and Italian immigrants. I doubt hard evidence would support
it for any immigrant group. I suspect the dream of most immigrants, legal
and illegal, not to mention most Americans, is to have the opportunity and
freedom to make better lives for themselves.

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.


Border enforcement is hardly lax, at least on the border with Mexico. Can it
be improved? Of course and it should be, but it's a nmad long border, over
incredibly rugged terrain.

  There are studies that
> indicate that more Americans are killed every year by illegal
> immigrants than have been killed during the Iraq war.


Citations? Never mind, that's a red-herring, anyways. More significant is,
what percentage of killings in the US are the result of illegal immigrants?
Is the fact that they're illegal immigrants the reason that the Americans
are killed? On another note, I wonder what percentage of illegal aliens are
killed by Americans?

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?


But I didn't make that argument.

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.


I'm not suggesting that we should solve the world's problems. I am observing
that a sensible immigration and guest/migrant worker policy would solve some
of our problems. And that, historically and presently, immigrants, illegal
and legal, make this country a better place more than they threaten our way
of life.

>(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.


Get over it. Racism, often/mostly unintentional, is a tenacious
characteristic of humanity/civilization. Just read your history (US and
world).

>(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.


Without Mexicans, legal and illegal, we'd still be limited to ketchup. Just
one example, simple but real, of how  we benefit from immigration (legal and
illegal); diversity permits a cultural give-and-take that enriches America.

>(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.


Sorry. Should have been that white Americans historically present a greater
terrorist threat to the US than Mexican immigrants. Think Timothy McVeigh,
think Ku Klux Klan, think Earth First!, etc.

>(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 process.


See: http://particle.physics.ucdavis.edu/Canadians/comedians.html. I found
this <http://www.latinostandup.com/pages/comedian.html>, but I don't
recognize any of the names and I don't find George Lopez funny. At the
University of Arizona, there are more History PhDs from Canada than from
Mexico. Like I said, anecdotal.

>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.


Again, read your history and get over it. Or remain insulted.

  And the problems we
> currently face, IMO, have more to do with lax to non-existant
> enforcement of existing laws than poor policy.


Workplace enforcement may be lax; I suspect that the illegal aliens suffer
more because of that than do Joe and Jane American. I could, I suppose, be
wrong.

Border enforcement down here is not lax but perhaps overwhelmed, and it can
and should be--intelligently--improved.

That being said, my learned observations are that, by and large, immigrants,
legal and illegal, tend to enrich America much more than they threaten it.
The problems that we face probably would be served best by trying to work
with those who seek to realize the American dream of making a better life
for themselves.

Or, what about letting the free market decide it all?




caveat lector

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