Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Our southern border is a welcome mat, our citizens are simply doormats

From LGF

An illegal immigrant from Lebanon was sentenced Tuesday to 4 1/2 years in prison for conspiring to raise money for the Islamic militant group Hezbollah, which the United States has designated a terrorist group.

The government said Kourani paid a Mexican consular official in Beirut $3,000 for a visa to enter Mexico, then sneaked across the U.S.-Mexican border in 2001 and settled in Dearborn, the center of Michigan’s Arab-American community of about 300,000.

How many examples do the "we need the illegal aliens" crowd need before they get nervous? Even if we forget the law, the strawberries, the race card, and the fact that liberals don't want to have to mow their own damn lawns, can we at least recognize that our open borders are a security risk?


demographer said...

Daniel -- Immigration is not a partisan issue. Insofar as it is used by either party as a tool for partisan gain, the nation will continue to fail at devising sensible policy.

As a liberal/progressive, whatever label you want to apply, I take issue with the tenor in which the debate is engaged. I strongly believe that what lies at the heart of this resurgent nativism (the rhetoric of which, I might add, is not all that different from a century ago, when the nation was concerned with "coolie" labor) is ultimately a fear of those culturally different and of cultural change. On the flip side, I'm sure my sentiment comes across to you as just so much liberal playing of the race card. This debate is irrelevant when it comes to immigration, and I'm happy to agree to disagree so that the debate might reach a more constructive level.

My moral concerns over stigmatizing and scapegoating a population of predominantly dispossessed people, which, again, to you must have the hollow ring of bleeding-heart liberalism, are also besides the major point in the immigration issue.

My point is this: liberals are not to blame for the current state of immigration in this country. That liberals might take you to task on your rhetoric (just as you challenge liberal rhetoric), it is all rhetoric in the end, and does absolutely nothing to address the immigration issue, which I stress, is one of great complexity.

Liberals are not forcing multiculturalism upon you. Rather, it is the forces of globalization and the global political economy that has resulted in economic inequality on a massive scale, and is driving immigration to this country (and all other developed countries), and thus, naturally changing the sociolinguistic character of the U.S.

The last time I checked there was a Republican president and both the senate and house where run by Republican majorities. If you really believe that immigration is the source of all of the social problems that you claim it to be, stop blaming it on liberals. The heart of the current immigration-phenomenon transcends the American political debate into the realm of the global economic order. You should blame both parties for lacking the spine to nominate presidential candidates who aim to discuss the issue on a constructive level.

Anonymous said...

The liberal/progressive has made some good points. This is certainly a Democrat & Republician generated issue. It all started with Ted Kennedy/LBJ, Regan, Bush Sr., Clinton, and now the worst of all... El Presidente Jorge Bush.

I also believe that globalism is to blame for most of the current illegal alien invasion. If you take a look at the timeline the massive onrush of Mexicans begain around the same time NAFTA became a reality. If CAFTA also gets ratified we're doomed.

However, i disagree that illegal immigration is a complex problem. It's really very simple... so simple that even the average liberal/progressive can understand it. It's ILLEGAL... against the LAW, etc. Last time I looked we are a nation of laws, not immigrants. We should simply secure our borders with Mexico using our military might. Some Special Ops teams could secure that border in a week. Than we must DEPORT every last one of them that is here illegally, not give them amnesty.

I'll get off my soapbox now... but wasn't that simple, and not the least complex.

Dan J

demographer said...

Dan -- from a legal perspective, sure, illegal immigration is a simple problem of people entering the country illegally. However, if the borders were sealed, this would not change the fact that the global economy as it is currently structured requires flows of transnational migration--both of low-skilled labor to developed countries, and of high-skilled professionals from developed nations to the sites of multi-national companies that exist in developing nations--that demand greater numbers than our current immigration system allows. Sealing the border might stop illegal migration, but it won't address the consequences that such an event would have on the global economy.

For instance, U.S. politicians might be faced with this dilemma: if the border is sealed, and illegal migration is curtailed, this would appease certain groups of voters in the U.S., but developing nations might then demand for an increase in U.S. immigration quotas to continue the high-flows of their laborers (who again, are a source of major revenues through remittances), and if the U.S. does not conceed, the developing countries may exercise their sovereign right to ask said multinational corporation (likely based out of the US or Europe) to pack up and leave. Thus, U.S. policy makers face pressure from a new domestic source, corporate interests. From this perspective, I would say that politicians have bowed to corporate interests over those parts of the citizenry that feel the immigration situation is problematic.

I still see the feasibility of mass deportation as highly problematic, on another note. Oh, and the current wave of mass immigration pre-dates NAFTA. It started in 1965 when immigration restrictions were drastically loosened, and arguably, was intensified when Reagan granted amnesty to the undocumented in 1986.

Sailor Republica said...

Illegal immigration will lead to a total system meltdown within 7 years. Infrastructure will shut down, prices will rise to enormous rates, and it will end up taking the economy for a nosedive.

Both sides are at fault for it, but that does not matter anymore. Something needs to be done about it. What that is, ultimately, is up to the people to decide.

Liberals are not to blame, Leftists are. Leftists, Communists, Socialists, however...are.

demographer said...

Sailor Republica --

Would you mind expanding on your 7 year prophecy? Also, how, precisely, is that leftists, communists, and socialists are to blame for illegal immigration?

Sailor Republica said...

At the rate of immigration, at the current levels that illegals are moving, critical mass for health, police, and fire infrastructure will end up being overstressed, overworked, and eventually collapse.

As for my Leftist/Socialist/Communist statement, all you need to do is look at the Motor Voter act and the amnesty acts that have been put forth in the past as well.

And for a kicker, illegal immigration is (if my memory serves me correctly) one of the 45 things needed to bring Red Communism to a nation, as stated in the 1919 Dusseldorf documents.

Hope that helps. BTW, hope the red diaper fits.

demographer said...

Sailor -- Do you have any of your own ideas, or do you just get on-line to regurgitate what you hear from Michael Savage because you prefer to throw around incendiary labels, rather than to engage in a productive critical discussion?

Do you have any sort of evidence or newspaper articles, or anything, which indicate that this collapse you speak of is now about 7 years away?

Further, please do enlighten me on this link between socialism and the motor voter act, and between illegal immigration, "red communism", and the dusseldorf documents.

Essentially, I'm just trying to figure out what in the hell you're talking about before I respond seriously to anything you say. Please articulate.

Daniel said...

An adult conversation here, I notice that there is less name calling since I was banned from BlueOregon and their patrons stopped coming to my blog so often... But anyways:

I absolutely blame both parties for this problem. I will single out el presidente Bush as a huge contributor to this problem. Where I differ from the liberal point of view is that this is the result of "globalization."

I don't believe that free trade with bordering countries has anything to do with an increase in lawbreakers violating our national sovereignty. I may borrow a cup of sugar from my neighbor and he may use my shovel but that doesn't result in me breaking into his house.

As Dan J said, this problem is so simple it is maddening. We do not lack the power or ability to stop illegal immigration, "we" just lack the political will.

As for the "problems" that the liberal/progressive worries about: bussinesses adapt. Capitalism, like nature, abhors a vacuum. If we deported every illegal alien tonight and the strawberry farmers had no one to pick their berries tommorow then someone would come up with a mechanized way of doing it. Or schoolkids would do it. Heck, I will make my kids do for the summer if they will change the labor laws. The void that created the need for illegal immigration in the first place was government trying to control the market with a high minimum wage.

The point is that the much touted "we need cheap labor" argument is rooted in the belief that capitalism doesn't work.

As for the collapse of our infrastructure, it will happen. Look at California schools, look at their jails. Illegal aliens are backrupting that state. (and they are working on Oregon) We can't afford to house these people in our prisons, to say nothing of the human cost to the victims of their crimes) and we can't afford to educate their children and pay for their health care.

Immigration is an American issue.

Demographer said...

Immigration is a global issue.

demographer said...

Such is the climate in the nation, and in this blog, that questioning capitalism immediately renders one a socialist and questioning the United States immediately renders one unamerican -- and these are about the most polite terms thrown around out there. Nonetheless, at risk of be labeled both (indeed I already have been designated Red, see Sailor's lucid writings above) I'll press on with some more questions that have not been addressed.

Daniel does capitalism in pure form give preference to one type of commodity over others? Does the invisible hand naturally wish to move goods and capital across national borders without restraint and regulation, but not labor? It seems that one could take the notion of "pure capitalism" to such an extreme that national borders appear to be utter nonsense.

No one has adressed the effects that sealing our border would have on Mexico, for starters. Say we just shut it down, and rigorously stick to the quotas specified in our most recent laws. Do we then tell Mexico to go screw herself, to develop jobs for her own people and to do so minus the remittances that drive their economy? Will we object to the ways in which they go about this (e.g. setting up state-owned industrial sectors, putting stiff regulations on in-flows of foreign goods and capital, etc)? Will we pay to prop up their government when they need to squelch a popular revolution mounted on the backs of malcontented workers? Or, will we allow a Castro or Guevarra to rise to power (oh, and by the way, you might want to cancel that annual trip to Puerto Vallarta)? And does this mean we'd get to do the missile crisis all over again but this time it's not Cuba and the USSR but Mexico and China?

Daniel, the capitalists (and I don't intend to use this term in a pejorative sense) that own the meat-packing plants, the carpet mills, the hotel chains, etc., do not seem to share your faith in the endless innovative ability of the market. But, I would advise that you work on convincing them, not me. They are the "we need immigrant labor" crowd that you obviously so despise, not me.

And your solution to a farmworker labor shortage is to have kids do the work? Are you sure you're not Lars Larson running a blog site under pseudonym? Hey, I wax nostalgic with the thought of the days where kids spent their days outside, learning the value of good honest work. But I think you're asking the country to revert back to something that is long gone. We have literally fattened ourselves on things that can be consumed cheaply. The identity of the country is wrapped so tightly with a notion of progress and generational success that by asking kids to do the work that their parents never did is actually to add a new message to national creed, one that American youth have never had to hear. Maybe it's time? Kids working in fields, perhaps re-developing a comittment to education and shunning the mass entertainment barrage to which they all seem addicted? Sounds downright revolutionary to me, Daniel. You had better watch yourself, as the nation no longer takes kindly to talk of revolution.

I also question the causal link you draw between the minimum wage and immigrant labor, as it completely ignores the fact that the country is getting older, and there are simply not enough bodies to fill jobs, especially low- and unskilled ones, needed to keep the economy moving. Japan, Germany, France, Italy, they all have the same problem, but somewhat more acutely with an older population than ours. Their immigration debates are as fierce as they are here.

Again, I stress, immigration is a global issue, and a complex one. If not, would someone please articulate for me how simple it is? Furthermore, I'd love to hear proposals for how we are going to deport those 5 million immigrants here illegally.

And, I should add that I appreciate the discussion, quite refreshing and rare to actually hash through some issues without all sides immediately employing empty rhetorical devices.