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June 06, 2010

Comments

So an allegedly legitimate public polling organization is asking people if they want to abolish the Constitution...

Or maybe the same organization was commissioned to do a poll on how many totally ignorant rubes they could find, to give La Sarah another set of tweeting points.

Get off my lawn moment: Maybe we really *were* better off when there were only three broadcast networks that committed actual, you know, journalism.

[/old guy rant]


efgoldman: "So an allegedly legitimate public polling organization is asking people if they want to abolish the Constitution..."

No they didn't ask that, why would they? To change the law we'd have to modify the constitution, you know, amend it... like we've done throughout our history.

And changing the law would be a good idea, don't you think? What objection could anyone have to stopping the automatic conferral of citizenship to non-citizens, legal or otherwise?

The majority of industrial nations in the world don't recognize Jus soli citizenship. It's an old-fashioned idea that no longer makes sense in the modern world. And we should change it here too


The majority of industrial nations in the world don't recognize Jus soli citizenship.

A lot depends on how you define majority, but most countries are moving to or have always had jus soli with specific restrictions. The UK, France and Germany are three. On the other hand, India has banned jus soli.

Furthermore, while US birthright extends thru one generation, so my children, born in Japan, received American citizenship, they can only pass it on to their children if they have resided in the US for at least 10 years, with 5 of those years being after the age of 14, presuming they continue to live overseas. In fact, the UK nationality laws are in some ways more liberal than US laws. Furthermore, many countries with jus sanguinis laws actually have very liberal naturalization policies if you have a residence card.

"And changing the law would be a good idea, don't you think? What objection could anyone have to stopping the automatic conferral of citizenship to non-citizens, legal or otherwise?"

Probably the same objection that the original authors of the 14th amendment had: That more arbitrary rules of citizenship are likely to marginalize the brown-skinned underclass, leaving them vulnerable to inhumane exploitation, and that such a system would be a stain on the soul of our nation.

Sorry, von, your first point is pointless. I knew perfectly well, without having read the Powerline column that "abolish birthright citizenship" meant abolish it for the children of non-citizens, and I suspect everyone else did too. (Would this mean we get to deport Michelle Malkin? It's an nill wind that blows no good.)

J. J. What objection could anyone have to stopping the automatic conferral of citizenship to non-citizens, legal or otherwise?

I think these guys would have no objection if you quit conferring automatic citizenship on all of these illegal immigrants. Exceptions could be made for those who were given no choice but to come, I daresay.

http://www.cartoonstock.com/newscartoons/cartoonists/jdi/lowres/jdin94l.jpg>

One could poll, whether a majority would like a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metic>Metic system to be introduced but my guess is that a majority would misunderstand the question and demand that inch, pound, and gallon stay.
---
There is a heated debate about citizenship and residence laws in Germany every few years (often before elections when the conservatives look at their bad poll numbers*) drifting into open racism sooner or later. A (unfortunately quite significant) part of the population dislikes foreign residents even with citizenship. On the other hand the EU treaties allow unrestricted mobility of EU citizens (and many of them are 'those' people). For many it is the main argument not to let Turkey into the EU** because then even more of 'them' would come.

*resulting in such nice things as the "Kinder statt Inder" signature collection campaign***. Typical citizen question: Where can I sign against foreigners?
**I say, let the Turks in and kick the Greeks out (that was my opinion even before the financial crisis)
***'children instead of Indians'= German women should bear more offspring instead of inviting/luring (highly qualified only) Indian guestworkers in with favorable treatment (Green Cards).

Jesurgislac, similar cartoons are used by German neonazis without any irony.

J.J.: And changing the law would be a good idea, don't you think? What objection could anyone have to stopping the automatic conferral of citizenship to non-citizens, legal or otherwise?

Are we still talking about newborn babies here? And if so, are you talking about all babies who are citizens from birth under the law as it stands, or only some of them?

If you're talking about only some babies, then you seem to think that some people are citizens when born, while others are not, but become citizens immediately. I object that this is not a coherent distinction.

If you're talking about all babies, the only alternative I can think of to having them automatically become citizens is to have some kind of application process. In which case I have a simple and reasonable objection: that it involves imposing additional bureaucracy with no clear benefit.

Rasmussen did publish a poll on Friday morning that found that 58 percent of voters opposed birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens; however, that's very different from saying that 58 percent of voters think that birthright citzenship should be abolished.

This is a horrendous nitpick; it's perfectly obvious what the writer's referring to. Further, "birthright citizenship" means "if you're born in the US, you're a citizen", and the proposed change would make this no longer true. So, in fact, "birthright citizenship" would have been abolished.
Analogy: "it's ridiculous to say that $PRESIDENT has abolished the right to trial by jury. He's only abolished it for suspected terrorists. That's very different." No it's not.


Jesurgislac, similar cartoons are used by German neonazis without any irony.

Really? Bleah.

I need more coffee.

Guys, don't respond to J.J. He's almost certainly Jay Jerome, who has been banned from here, and for very good reasons.

We share an extensive and more or less unenforceable border with a country that is much poorer than we are, and whose government in many areas contends with criminal drug cartels for legitimacy.

Folks from that country come here in large numbers because they can find work that pays better than what they can find at home. They find willing employers who are happy to take whatever risks come with breaking the law in order to reap the benefits of cheap labor. Kinda like offshoring your labor force, only without the long-distance phone charges.

"Anchor babies" are not the problem, and denying them citizenship is not going to be the solution.

Mexicans and South Americans don't come here for welfare. They come to work. We can say we hate them, but we're happy to have them watch our kids, serve our meals, mow our lawns, pick our crops, and clean our office buildings.

There are industries in this country that would be unsustainable as they are currently organized without cheap illegal labor.

The babies are not the problem. Our dependence on cheap labor, and the illegal status that keeps that labor cheap, is the problem. IMVHO.

I can't see that Jay has ever been banned, Phil.

Yes, but he was given a very stern warning, which I would guess is why he is trying to disguise his nick.

He's posted as "Jay Jerome" since then. No idea why he's changed his nick, really, nor am I interested enough to hazard a guess.

russell nails it:
There are industries in this country that would be unsustainable as they are currently organized without cheap illegal labor.

What is interesting is how Rasmussen -- which is only an "allegedly legitimate public polling organization", not an actually legitimate one -- does not ask anything about those illegal industries. This poll, and the whole debate over "anchor babies" etc, are a way to let people express their anxiety about immigration without thinking bad thoughts about their masters. They can direct all their energy to kicking the little guy, and not have to worry about the (more frightening and effective) effects of kicking the big guy.

It's in Freud, it's all in Freud. I hate Freud, especially when he's right.

von, seriously?

How, exactly, would changing the rules from "If you're born in US territory, or either of your parents is a US citizen." to "If either of your parents is a US citizen." not getting rid of a major part of birthright citizenship? One that's been a major part of US law for decades, if not longer, and involves the creation of some kind of government bureaucracy to check the citizenship of parents of children born in the US before giving citizenship to a newborn baby.

I thought conservatives said they were against changing traditions and creating extra rules and bureaucracies. (That's irony, yes, I know a great many are not actually sincere when they say that.)

we're happy to have them watch our kids, serve our meals, mow our lawns, pick our crops, and clean our office buildings

For certain values of "we", I'm sure that's true.

Our dependence on cheap labor, and the illegal status that keeps that labor cheap, is the problem.

Interesting parallel to pre-Civil-War South, there.

re Jes' cartoon:

American society was created by immigrants who basically said, "we're coming, we're staying, deal with it." One reason many Americans favor open immigration is that they know their ancestors used it, and it seems churlish to say "it was ok for grandpa, but not for *you*."

Immigration to North America has also characteristically been permanent. You (where by "you" I mean e.g. my Irish great-great grandparents, my German and Swedish great-grandparents, and my Irish grandmother) don't come here to make money and then go home, where the "real" civilization is; you come to stay, not intending to go back. That's why many liberals don't want "guest worker" programs -- we want the people who work here to *want* to live here, to be committed to this society as more than a source of money.

Our citizenship by fact of birth on American soil is in fact pretty generous by world standards. See especially Germany where there are multi-generational guest workers.

From a policy perspective, it is a good rule, it encourages ties to the US, it encourages permanent residence, it encourages immigration.

My first daughter was born in Germany, and is a US citizen with no German citizenship. My second daughter was born in NJ, and is not accepted as american in most other states (she is instead a Jersey Girl). The last two are both born in WA state, and seem fairly american, even though I am the grandson of an illegal immigrant. I doubt they would be challenged except in the deep South.

I think I like the US rule that no matter how you were born here, you are a citizen. I am, however, interested in LJ's point about how far the birthright goes: I am unaware of the 10 year rule for ex pat progeny to confer citizenship on their children.

Alan Scott:That more arbitrary rules of citizenship are likely to marginalize the brown-skinned underclass, leaving them vulnerable to inhumane exploitation, and that such a system would be a stain on the soul of our nation.

The 'brown-skinned underclass' of Americans are the ones most harmed by the unending proliferation of illegals across the Mexican border:
"Illegal immigration disproportionately and adversely affects the economic well-being of the most vulnerable and needy segment of the nation’s labor force: its low skilled workers (both those who are native-born and foreign-born)...Of the 50 million low skilled adults (those 25 years of age and over) in the civilian labor force in 2007, black Americans accounted for about 5.6 million of such workers (or about 10 percent of the total). These black American workers, however, had the highest unemployment rates of any of the four racial and ethnic groups for which the data was collected... Because most illegal immigrants overwhelmingly seek work in the low skilled labor market and because the black American labor force is so disproportionately concentrated in this same low wage sector, there is little doubt that there is significant overlap in competition for jobs in this sector of the labor market. Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major loser in this competition are low skilled black workers... "

Vernon Briggs, Jr., Emeritus Professor of Labor and Human Resource Economics at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

russell: "Mexicans and South Americans don't come here for welfare. They come to work."

They come for both... You think it's a surprise to them when they get here to learn they can get food stamps and welfare benefits and a myriad of other social service freebies? Just a eureka moment to the mothers of 70,000 anchor babies a year who end up in California hospitals that they're able to deliver those babies for free?

We understand people want to do what's in their own best interest, and in their kids best interest -- that's human nature -- and if the numbers of illegals swarming into this country daily wasn't as excessive as it has become over the past two decades, we might have been able to accommodate them -- but not in the numbers they've continued to pour across the Mexican border since the last Amnesty (which promised to control it, but obviously didn't), not to the tune of a billion dollars a year in welfare and food stamp allocations and other perks to illegals, just here in California alone. And that doesn't include the costs of those 70,000 a year anchor-baby births in California Hospitals, which Medicare pays for, but comes out of all our Federal taxes instead. Nor does it include another billion a year to house the 20,000 or so 'hard-working' illegal immigrants now in California jails and prisons --

We naturalized over a million immigrants in 2008.

Illegal immigrants net out to under a million a year, perhaps significantly less than a million a year.

By far, most folks that come here illegally come here to work. If we let them all in, we *might* double the number of people we allow in. Probably something less than that.

Why would that be a problem? The percentage of people in this country who were born elsewhere is historically high-ish, but is significantly short of its high water mark.

If people want to come here, work, raise their kids, and make a contribution, let them come. If there aren't enough jobs for them, they won't come. We see that happening already, lots of folks who are here legally and illegally are going back home, because there isn't as much work.

Let them come. Give them legal status and a reasonable path to citizenship. They will be able to work over the counter, pay taxes, buy homes, and participate fully in the society. Their employers will no longer have the lever of deportation to hold over their heads, and will have to pay them a fair wage.

The approach we have now isn't working, and isn't workable.

One data point to keep in mind when discussing this subject: The net economic impact of illegal immigration is just slightly positive for the U.S. economy. Thus every argument about welfare and handouts, as well as about the need for service sector workers and taxes paid, nets out to a slight plus. Let's not waste a lot of energy on the economic aspects. It's been hashed and rehashed and is well known.

jrudkis, in digging a bit deeper, I find that the law changed in 1986, so that children born to one US citizen and one alien parent only needs 5 years of residence, and only 2 years have to be after the age of 14. link here. Because the law depends on the year you were born, it is rather complicated.

Russell,

We naturalized over a million immigrants in 2008.

Illegal immigrants net out to under a million a year, perhaps significantly less than a million a year.

By far, most folks that come here illegally come here to work. If we let them all in, we *might* double the number of people we allow in. Probably something less than that.

I would suspect that we legally provide citizenship to a population that is better educated, and with fewer criminal behaviors, than the population that comes through illegally.


It is not simply that we would have twice as many people: it is that we no longer have control over who it is that comes.

Maybe it is reasonable to argue that the illegal population of immigrants is equal to the legal one...given that the legal population is controlled by federal employees, we might be better off with self selection.

I would suspect that we legally provide citizenship to a population that is better educated, and with fewer criminal behaviors, than the population that comes through illegally.

Why would you suspect that? Do you have great confidence that a legal immigrant from Mexico with a long criminal record can't purchase a purging of his record in Mexico? Are we to believe that corruption magically ceases when it comes to verifying the criminal records of legal immigrants?

Given that illegal immigrants have a lower crime rate than demographically similar native born folks, I'm not seeing crime as a particularly good reason for harshing on them.

Why would you suspect that? Do you have great confidence that a legal immigrant from Mexico with a long criminal record can't purchase a purging of his record in Mexico? Are we to believe that corruption magically ceases when it comes to verifying the criminal records of legal immigrants?

Maybe it is reasonable to argue that the illegal population of immigrants is equal to the legal one...given that the legal population is controlled by federal employees, we might be better off with self selection.

Given that illegal immigrants have a lower crime rate than demographically similar native born folks, I'm not seeing crime as a particularly good reason for harshing on them.

If the only place you can inquire about legal status is Arizona, what is the basis of this statistic?

given that the legal population is controlled by federal employees

I'm not sure what you're saying here...do you mean than federal government employees like soldiers in the US Army are all incompetent? Or are you saying that they're all criminally unethical? Or what?

If the only place you can inquire about legal status is Arizona, what is the basis of this statistic?

First, there are a lot of people detained in the US for immigration violations. Some of them are even US citizens who can't convince a judge and risk getting "deported" to a country they've never been to. I actually know of one police officer who was picked up by immigration officers; they thought that his bad was a forgery. He languished in a prison with no way to contact anyone for a week before they bothered to check out his story. But hey! If you think that no can inquire about legal residency anywhere except in AZ, I guess that police officer was never detained and was never fired for skipping work for a week!

As for the stats, you could do worse than read this article in the American Conservative.

LJ,

Thanks. This is something that I find bizarre, because it seems like there are gradations on citizenship. My kids born in the US confer a different status of citizenship than those who are born overseas.

On the otherhand, it makes sense for a nation to require some connection to retain citizenship (as opposed to all "german descendants" having citizenship, but not Turks, or all jews having citizenship in Isreal based on religion.)

Group integrity is hard to maintain in a logical manner. But it is still important for borders of any sort.

I'm not sure what you're saying here...do you mean than federal government employees like soldiers in the US Army are all incompetent? Or are you saying that they're all criminally unethical? Or what?

Well, I said it twice, the first time you seem to have ignored it. I am noting that the argument that says government is bad at everything presumably includes immigration. Therefore, we might be better off with the self selection of illegals than those who are filtered through government systems (on average). And yes, I include soldiers. That does not mean that all are incompetent as you broadly interpreted, but does mean that there are likely systems in place that are inadequate.

First, there are a lot of people detained in the US for immigration violations.

Do your stats include them as criminals?

Either way, I am not convinced that "sanctuary cities" collect data on crime based on citizenship. Therefore, I don't think the meme that illegals are less likely to be criminals than citizens is accurate. (not to mention that most criminals prey on their own, so lots of illegal crime is probably not reported from fear).

"One data point to keep in mind when discussing this subject: The net economic impact of illegal immigration is just slightly positive for the U.S. economy."

Whereas, if they were immigrants chosen on the basis of their potential contribution to our economy, rather than their willingness to violate our borders, their net economic impact might be very much more positive. The choice isn't between illegal immigrants and nobody. It's between illegal immigrants, and the legal immigrants we're keeping out to make room for them.

The choice isn't between illegal immigrants and nobody. It's between illegal immigrants, and the legal immigrants we're keeping out to make room for them.

I'm working to be a more patient debater, Brett, so I was just wondering if you could explain this point. What it seems to say doesn't make a lick of sense to me, so I'm assuming that I just don't follow your point.

Correction to your correction...

Scott Rasmussen did not publish a poll that found that "58 percent of voters opposed birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens"

Scott Rasmussen did publish a poll that found that "58 percent of likely voters opposed birthright citizenship for children of illegal aliens"

Scott Rasmussen determines who is or is not likely to vote, in a manner Nate Silver finds questionable:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/search/label/rasmussen

I suspect if you polled people who actually voted in the last presidential election, you'd get a different result.

If you're an Egyptian and you marry an Israeli girl, you could lose your Egyptian citizenship.

I am noting that the argument that says government is bad at everything presumably includes immigration.

Sorry, I didn't get the snark.

Do your stats include them as criminals?

Did you read the article?

Indeed, the overwhelming evidence is that Rasmussen is nothing more than fuel for the Fox/RNC right wing media machine.
Truth, reality, and representing the views of all Americans have no place in their sad, bigoted, ignorance-dominated(and celebrated)world.

The choice isn't between illegal immigrants and nobody. It's between illegal immigrants, and the legal immigrants we're keeping out to make room for them.

Keeping out legal immigrants is something nativist yahoos have historically favored. If Brett wants to expand the various quotas for legal immigration, he and I stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the battle against nativist yahooism.

Our only dispute might be over the details. What should be the yearly quota on immigrants from Ireland? Or Greece? Or Mexico?

I don't know what would happen if we lifted all restrictions on immigration from, say, Sweden. I doubt that we'd see a major influx of Swedes. (Actually, there are not enough Swedes to constitute a major influx anyway.) What we'd probably see is: not much change in legal immigration from Sweden, and not much change in illegal immigration from Mexico. Inviting in people who don't particularly care to immigrate is not very relevant to the question of what to do about people who desperately want to.

--TP

Turbulence,

Do your stats include them as criminals?

Did you read the article?

Sorry, I looked at it, and the "magazine" and discounted both. I can't claim to have fully read it.

Which doesn't mean that I could never read the publication, but what I have seen so far makes it not reliable. I appreciate your effort to find a publication that you think I would give creedence to, but I prefer cnn or bbc.

There is only one way to actually stem illegal immigration. Of course being as pro-corporate as the right wing are, despite that fact it truly is the only way to do it properly, they won't entertain it:
ENFORCE OUR LAWS. STRENGTHEN penalties against corporations who hire illegal immigrants. STRENGTHEN penalties against the filthy rich people who use illegal immigrants in their private gardens and as maids etc.

If you take away the reasons they come here, then 95% of illegal immigrants will not have the motivation in the first place. But that's just far too logical, and far too simple.
And, of course, we all know this. And it's yet another glaring clue that the hard right really don't have much of an issue with illegal immigrants - that's just a cover for their bigotry and fear of other cultures. These right wingers, despite reality(which very rarely suits their urges), need a long war to fight, and a cultural enemy to battle. It's their primary culture.
There is no 'crime wave' caused by illegal immigrants. The "anchor baby issue" is not a drain on America's resources. Almost every single thing the right are panicking about and making fascist laws about, are utter nonsense, invented by the Frank Luntz's of the world - and due to their bigotry and gullibility, and because they want it to be true, they believe all of it - despite the fact that there is no evidence that supports their reasons for essentially telling every Latino in America that they are suspects, they are not Americans, and that their culture is alien and has no place in American society. it's beyond repulsive, and we have seen it all before in 1930s Germany.

cinesimon,

If you take away the reasons they come here, then 95% of illegal immigrants will not have the motivation in the first place. But that's just far too logical, and far too simple.

95% sounds great. What is your basis for this?

russell, I think you (5:12 PM) summed up the situation beautifully.

The good news is, virtually nobody takes the position that the current system is working. The bad news is, opinions on how to improve it differ wildly. And the fact that some of the positions are rather obviously unworkable in the real world doesn't change the passion with which they are advanced. Makes achieving something better challenging.

"If Brett wants to expand the various quotas for legal immigration, he and I stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the battle against nativist yahooism."

Then I guess we're shoulder to shoulder, because I DO think the quotas should be expanded.

"Our only dispute might be over the details. What should be the yearly quota on immigrants from Ireland? Or Greece? Or Mexico?"

Why have quotas for particular countries? Set a fairly high threshold for entry qualifications, (English literacy, education, law abiding record, demonstrated valuable job skills...) and implement a lottery for those meeting the qualifications.

Why have quotas for particular countries? Set a fairly high threshold for entry qualifications, (English literacy, education, law abiding record, demonstrated valuable job skills...) and implement a lottery for those meeting the qualifications.

Who is in charge of this?? Feds?


jrudkis, for goodness' sake grow up.
The 95% was not a literal number.
I doubt you weren't aware of that: your facetiousness is sadly typical of debates within America: rather than having an honest conversation, so many of you shut it down with nonsense like yours.
If you seriously weren't aware that the number was not meant to be taken literally, then your capacity for grasping big picture issues is not very good - to put it mildly.

jrudkis said: "Who is in charge of this?? Feds?"
Who would you like it to be? right wing politicians? Liberty University?

jrudkis, for goodness' sake grow up.
The 95% was not a literal number.

You must be new here. Everything at Obsid... is accurate, or challenged.

So, I doubt you will find support for your position that numbers were not meant to be taken literally. Big pictures have real numbers to support them.

It is not simply that we would have twice as many people: it is that we no longer have control over who it is that comes.

As I understand it, we currently put a cap on legal admissions to the US. My suggestion is that the cap is too low.

Raising the cap will not give us any less control over who comes in and who doesn't. We don't have a whole lot of control now, we would have no less.

What raising the cap would do would be to recognize, and legitimize, the fact that lots of people from this hemisphere want to come here to work and live.

In a nutshell, it would be bringing public policy in line with the tangible reality.

As an alternative, we could stamp our feet and hold our breath until we turn blue. Our choice.

The current policy favors folks who (a) have family here now, (b) have skills we want to bring into the country, (c) are trying to escape persecution, or (d) are demographically underrepresented in the current US population.

That doesn't really do much for Mexicans or South Americans. My second suggestion is to rework the immigration policy so that folks who (e) want to come here to live, work, and raise their families here are also included in the mix.

My opinion on all of this is inevitably influenced by my own family history, which includes folks who came here as indentured servants, and as dirt-poor non-English-speaking garlic-eating folks whose only available career choice was, literally, digging ditches.

They came, they stayed, they raised their families here, and we all have made our contribution since then.

If folks want to come here to live, work, raise their families, and make their contribution, we should let them in. That's how the rest of us got here.

There's room for them, and they will bring a lot to the nation.

My two cents.

"Why have quotas for particular countries? Set a fairly high threshold for entry qualifications, (English literacy, education, law abiding record, demonstrated valuable job skills...) and implement a lottery for those meeting the qualifications." ~Brett

Sounds good. But why bother to have a lottery? The more people like that we can get the better! We don't need a higher cap; we need NO cap. (Or does someone think that there are so many highly qualified people yearning to come here that we will be overwhelmed? Me, I just can't see a problem there.)

Set a fairly high threshold for entry qualifications, (English literacy, education, law abiding record, demonstrated valuable job skills...) and implement a lottery for those meeting the qualifications.

Well, that sounds like a great plan for restricting legal immigration to Australian engineers who never had a speeding ticket but don't like kangaroos. There must be dozens and dozens of those.

The richest man I know personally is a Greek immigrant who came to the US with no money, no education, no particular skills of the kind you can list in a little box on a consular form. He still doesn't speak English that fluently. He started a small chain of fast food restaurants and branched out to commercial real estate. He "created jobs" for a fair number of good old Americans with twice his education but only a fraction of his initiative and enterprise. I can't see how he would have qualified for Brett's lottery -- unless he had made his fortune in Greece first and then applied to enter the US.

It doesn't matter how high you set the quota for "desirable" immigrants. "Desirable" people are not clamoring to leave their homelands. Educated, English-speaking professionals generally have it pretty good in their own countries. Sure, lots of them are attracted to America, just as lots of poor, uneducated people are NOT. The point is that "lots" is a very relative term.

The US was built by poor uneducated immigrants, not rich educated ones -- partly because the former were much more numerous than the latter.

--TP

Immigrants, both legal and not, tend to be young, highly self motivated, adventurous, hard working, hold traditional values wrt families and religion, and law-abiding.

Their youth offsets our "aging workforce" (cf. debates about solvency of Social Security), they work and pay taxes. Those here illegally also pay taxes (sales taxes, property taxes when renting, tolls, FICA, etc.).

Keeping them out distorts the free market for labor (economic theory, which see).

Conservatives, who claim to be hard headed realists who extol high moral virtue, individualism, and free markets, hate them.

Go figure.

I'm with Russell.

It is manifestly hilarious to listen to our farm community whine about the "labor shortage" they experience. In my state (Washington) the fruit, hops, and asparagus growers in the Yakima Valley carp every year about the lack of people willing to uproot themselves, move to a new community, perform physically demanding labor, learn a trade that has little, if any, career ladder, and be shown the door when the crops are in (3-4 months out of the year)--for, get this, the opportunity to make (if you're good at it) $16/hour with no benefits, no retirement.

Yet these same folks will scoff at liberals for their "ignorance of economics".

Go figure.

jrudkis said: "Who is in charge of this?? Feds?"
Who would you like it to be? right wing politicians? Liberty University?

Well, that is the point, right? If you are a right winger, you don't think the government can do anything well. Presumably, that includes identifying quality immigrants, and holding a lottery for said immigrants.

Tony P.,

Conservatives would have you think that, with our comparatively low taxes (esp. for the rich) that filthy rich Europeans would be beating down our doors to move here and escape the shackles of evil socialism.

That they do not makes mockery of our sacred free markets.

Something should be done about this....perhaps a new tax break.

"It doesn't matter how high you set the quota for "desirable" immigrants. "Desirable" people are not clamoring to leave their homelands." ~Tony P

Actually, they are. Every year, lots of citizens of foreign countries complete their education here. Which certainly meets the "well educated" criteria. But, even though they would like to stay, are forced to return home.

The ones who get lucky, and contrive to stay, go on to do little things like founding Google. How many more would do similar things, if we could bring ourselves to let them stay, too?

I can't believe what I'm reading here. Almost every poster appears to favor no national borders or citizenship, just let everyone go live where they want.

Our country has over 300 million people and our coasts are clogged as it is. My great-grandparents came from Italy through Ellis Island. I am sick of people making excuses for those that come here illegally. The 1986 law promised amnesty in exchange for deporting and stopping illegal immigration. We got the amnesty for those who came before 1982, but no enforcement.

Birthright citizenship is being abused by illegal immigrants. If parents are here illegally, the granting automatic citizenship to offspring is like benefitting from crime. And that is wrong

Illegal Immigrants Bringing Disease and Crime To Our Shores

Illegal immigrants are bringing new and exotic diseases to the American Continent. Additionally, legal residents often have little or no immunity to the diseases these immigrants are bringing.

In addition to disease, these immigrants are taking jobs and land from native born citizens, and are blamed for the introduction of gun crime to many areas. While generally illiterate, most make no effort to learn the native language here. Many also maintain allegiance to foreign leaders, represent violent and oppressive religions, and have no interest nor understanding about protecting the environment.

In addition to smallpox, plague, and flu, all of which have already infected out much of the native population, the new immigrants are bringing drugs such as alcohol and tea that are capturing and destroying generations of the native population.

Conservative groups are calling for a restoration of the borders, and have organized into vigilante bands to send all Europeans back to their homes.

World News Daily Dateline, 1693...

jrudkis: re, World News Daily Dateline, 1693...

It's no wonder you don't get it, you're stuck in a time warp, 300+ years in the past... This isn't 1693, or 1910, or even 1986, the year we passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which granted amnesty to nearly 2.7 million undocumented immigrants, a law that was supposed to stop the influx of mostly-Mexican illegals, and which of course did exactly the opposite -- turning the Southwest and especially California into a suburb of Tijuana where Spanish will soon be the majority language spoken by the inhabitants and we'll have to prensa dos to hablar en English on the phone...

Bye Bye American Pie, Hola Panadería Mexicano.

Hola Panadería Mexicano

Mmmm, tasty tasty Astlan

Oh, the irony!

link

Legacy of Conquest, by Patricia Nelson Limerick.

The number of times I've mentioned this book is roughly equivalent to the number of times this subject has come up on this blog.

chmood said it best last fall.

I realize that disguising of the name was less for us and more for him- when he writes under his real name, he can't stop himself from spewing racist babble.

...he can't stop himself from spewing racist babble.

Which, apparently, is not worthy of banning. We'll just have to hope that JJ says something anti-semitic or insults somebody's patriotism (ZOMG!!1)

Birthright citizenship simply means that one acquired citizenship by being born within US jurisdiction (or in most cases, to US parents).

Not exactly. Birthright citizenship means citizenship by right of birth, either by virtue of birth in the country, by blood, or in virtue of any other thing. The right doesn't propose to eliminate birthright citizenship by virtue of blood. It proposes to burden the children of undocumented immigrants with a hereditary legal taint. This would make American citizenship much less a civic matter & much more a matter of blood.

Birthright citizenship by blood is being abused by the mouth-beathing descendants of Mediterranean peasants who immigrated here before the legal/illegal distinction was introduced into US nationality law, & are now grasping for a justification of their feeble tribalist resentments.

Birthright citizenship by blood is being abused by the mouth-beathing descendants of Mediterranean peasants who immigrated here before the legal/illegal distinction was introduced into US nationality law, & are now grasping for a justification of their feeble tribalist resentments.

Which Mediterranean peasants would those be? Are you suggesting that the anti-immigrant feeling we're seeing now is disproportionately (or even significantly at all) coming from Italian-Americans, Greek-Amerians, etc., whose ancestors came to the US before quotas were introduced? If so, I'd love to see some evidence.

Or in other words, what are you talking about?

He's an idiot and doesn't know what he's talking about.

You don't know what you're talking about either when you describe the anger most Americans are expressing as 'anti-immigrant' feelings -- we're protesting dysfunctional immigration policies that have allowed disproportionately high numbers of Spanish speaking illegals (mostly Mexican citizens)to cross our southern border without permission. All of the reputable polls -- I repeat ALL, show that majorities of Americans favor the continuation of controlled, legal immigration into this country...

I repeat ALL, show that majorities of Americans favor the continuation of controlled, legal immigration into this country...

Really? You mean, most people don't want either to stop immigration completely or just let anyone at all come into the country without any process whatsoever? Wow, that's so suprising.

...we're protesting...

Did that mouse get back into your pocket again?

or surprising

"Did that mouse get back into your pocket again? "

No.. Is that flashlight beam still passing uninhibited from your left ear through your right ear?

Is that flashlight beam still passing uninhibited from your left ear through your right ear?

Yeah, 'cause I wrote the mouse thing because you used "we," you know, like you were some sort of spokesperson or something when you're really not, and then, um, you wrote the flashlight thing because I wrote, um... er, let's see... well, I guess not because I wrote anything in particular, just 'cause I'm, like, so stupid, right? That's some funny stuff you got there, JJ. Can you put "DY-NO-MIIITE!" in your next comment?

(I really thought this sort of thing was beneath me. I guess I'm just too weak.)

By 'we', JJ meant him and Hilary...

Birthright citizenship by blood is being abused by the mouth-beathing descendants of Mediterranean peasants who immigrated here before the legal/illegal distinction was introduced into US nationality law

actually, the majority of them are probably more-related to the people who were here millennia before anyone from the Mediterranean region knew about it. pilgrim.

HSH: (I really thought this sort of thing was beneath me. I guess I'm just too weak.)

Join Non-Responders Anonymous. Take it one day at a time.

Join Non-Responders Anonymous. Take it one day at a time.

NRA, yeah. :)

Maybe you'd rather give yourself the challenge of reading and then not responding, and if so more power to you, you're a better [whatever] than I. But lately cleek's pie filter concept has been providing me with the means to stick around -- blissfully Jay Jerome-free since last fall, blissfully....well, let's just say Jay and his company in the pie deserve each other.

hairshirthedonist: "I wrote the mouse thing because you used "we," you know, like you were some sort of spokesperson or something when you're really not.."

But I am a spokesperson, one of the few on this site, to reflect the opinions and voice the attitudes of the 'overwhelming majority of Americans' who think the country needs more stringent enforcement of the the immigration laws.

see here

So, JanieM, I guess I have a lot of 'company in the pie' ... An American Pie comprised of more then half of our citizens -- and yes, you're right, I'm proud to say we deserve each other --

But I am a spokesperson, one of the few on this site, to reflect the opinions and voice the attitudes of the 'overwhelming majority of Americans'

And self-appointed, too!

That's a heavy responsibility, dude. Hope it doesn't keep you up at night.

"And self-appointed, too!"

Oh, right -- I forgot you need a Politically Correct Permit to post here...

And no, I don't sleep well at night: the cacophony of distorted shrieks from yahoos on the left and bozos on the right makes it hard for those of us (the MAJORITY) in the center to rest our weary heads....

I know I should not FTT, but the exact center of a spectrum (or a normal distribution) would actually represent very few people (1? 0?) while nearly everyone would be to the left or right of it. Conversely, saying that in football most sacks occur in the "center" of the field (ie the middle 100 yds) would be technically true, but not specific enough to be helpful to a debate about offense. You're being vague, J.J., which is no crime but makes it very difficult to tell what you're even saying , let alone falsify it (assess its truth).

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