Monday, March 13, 2006

Give them a piece of your mind

Tell Waffling Republicans: No Amnesty!
The Senate Judiciary Committee is now working on an immigration reform bill and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) has indicated he would like to bring it to the floor before the end of March.

The key question: Will the Senate approve an amnesty for illegal aliens.

Human Events has the complete list of Senators (with contact info) who have indicated they will not support amnesty, may support amnesty, or will not reply to the question of will you support a bill that legalizes current criminal aliens.

Read the list, contact the supporters to say "thanks", the wafflers to say "get on board" and the question dodgers to say" do your job moron."

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Last Friday's massive protest against HR 4437 shocked organizers and
politicians alike here in Chicago! The march (which was protested
by a newly-formed Illinois chapter of the Minutemen) was fairly well-
represented by local media though the really egregious parts of
HR4437 were diluted by the soundbyte-style of these broadcasts. This
is one of the better articles to emerge.

Saturday's Immigrant Rights March: Who kicked the sleeping giant?

* Joshua Hoyt, Illinois Coalition on Immigrant and Refugee Rights

It looks like someone went and kicked the sleeping giant.
On Friday, March 10, 2006 Chicago’s downtown was paralyzed by an
immigrant march estimated at more than 100,000 people. They carried
hand-lettered signs saying: “We are America,” “My Mexican immigrant
son died in Iraq,” “I’m a dishwasher—not a criminal,” and “Don’t
deport my parents.” The peaceful crowd stretched two and half miles,
from Union Park on the West Side to their destination in Federal
Plaza. No immigrant justice march like this has happened in Illinois
history since some 80,000 immigrants marched down State Street
demanding an 8-hour workday in 1886.

The Chicago march is part of a growing tsunami of immigrant protest
across the nation. Last week 5,000 Mexicans gathered in Oregon; on
Tuesday, March 6, some 30,000 Latinos from the Washington, D.C. area
rallied on the U.S. Capitol steps.

The marches are tied to the U.S. Senate debate on immigration reform
this month. The actions of the Senate are the last hope to win
reasonable and workable reforms. There is no doubt that any bill
reported out will include increased enforcement provisions. The
question is whether they will also include measures that reunite
divided immigrant families; create a guest worker program for the
nation’s future labor needs; and ­ most divisively ­ include an
eventual path to earned citizenship for the estimated 11 million
undocumented working and paying taxes in the U.S.

But the marchers are also protesting the harshly punitive enforcement
provisions of Rep. James Sensenbrenner’s (R-WI) HR 4437, an
“enforcement only” approach to immigration reform that was hurriedly
rammed through the House of Representatives just before Christmas.
This law makes the 11 million undocumented dishwashers and nannies
“aggravated criminal felons” and turns priests and nurses into
criminals for “aiding and abetting” the undocumented.

The Chicago march is the work of both emerging Mexican immigrant
leaders and also a crowning triumph for lifelong Mexican American
activists. But the Illinoisan who is most responsible for kicking the
sleeping giant, and who has the most to lose in the long term, was
not present.

Illinois Congressman and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert made a
decision last fall to use “illegal immigration” as the Republican
Party’s next emotionally charged wedge issue. The political
calculation is that the resentment and latent racism felt towards our
new Mexican neighbors can be demagogued for political advantage this
year, dividing the Democrats and keeping the House of Representatives
in Republican hands. Other political opportunists across the nation,
including perennial candidate Jim Oberweis in Illinois, have piled
on. If “gay marriage” worked in 2004, then why not “illegals” in ’06?

However, in what appears to be an entirely predictable example of the
law of unintended consequences, the immigrant communities in general
and the Mexican community in particular have declined to allow
themselves to be passive punching bags.

There are few communities in the U.S. that work harder at lower pay
and in worse conditions than the Mexican community. They do this by
and large with few complaints and in exchange for the promise that
their children might live better lives than they will. But it is also
a community with deep pride that does not appreciate having its hard
work being denigrated by being called criminals or terrorists. The
signs on Friday said it all: “We are America.”

The last big spasm of immigrant bashing was in California in the mid
1990’s by Governor Pete Wilson and Proposition 187. Mexican
immigrants responded by first marching, and then becoming citizens
and voting Democratic in record numbers.

Hastert’s short-sighted strategy has gored the Republican business
community that understands our nation’s labor needs and energized a
national Roman Catholic immigrant justice campaign so muscular that
last week Cardinal Roger Mahoney of Los Angeles threatened massive
civil disobedience. But the anti-immigrant demagoguery has also
launched an unprecedented national political mobilization by the
Mexican and immigrant community. Oops!

A little noted fact from the ’04 presidential election was that
socially conservative immigrant Latinos were 40% more likely to vote
for President Bush than U.S. born Latinos. Now President Bush’s and
Karl Rove’s carefully crafted and successful Hispanic outreach
strategy is so much shredded lettuce.

What does this mean in Illinois? There are 348,000 legal immigrants
in Illinois currently eligible to become U.S. citizens. If a
substantial percentage of these folks now take the steps to become
U.S. citizens and the immigrant Latinos are cemented into the “Blue”
column of voters, it changes the political balance of power in
Illinois for the next generation. Regardless, any short-term
political gain to be made from the “Kick the illegals" strategy will
likely lead to disastrous long-term pain for the Republican Party.

And, as if the point needed further emphasis for Speaker Hastert
(whose district is now 25% Latino), flyers distributed at Friday’s
march announced ten upcoming workshops to assist immigrants become
citizens. Oh…and the motto of the march? “Hoy Marchamos! MaƱana
Votamos!” (“We March Today. Tomorrow we Vote!”)

-- Joshua Hoyt is the Executive Director of the Illinois Coalition
for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, a statewide organization committed
to the full participation of immigrant in civic life.

Anonymous said...

This entire situation of illegal immigrants over running our United States makes me very angry, as all of our elected croanies turn the other cheek and continue onward with their personnal self rightious ambitions to further thier own agenda. Its just recently been statistically proven that 1 in 5 workers in this country today are illegal, not "undocumented" as these hypocrits would hope you beleive. This entire mental illness of political correctness has went completely out of control and context. The leaders of this country need to take our security and financial ability to absorb this kind of influx much more seriously. It's the primary reason why todays healthcare is in such a crisis mode and hospitals around the country are closing up for good. You can only give so much for so long before it totally undermines your ability to provide anything. These "illegals" have been told once you get here, they cannot deny you anything, so they come in knowing how to use and abuse the system in place and go to town. "STOP THE INSANITY" !!!

el razonador said...

Anonymous -- Where did you read this statistically proven fact of 1 in 5? Given that over 143 million people are employed in the U.S. (http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t01.htm), that would mean nearly 30 million of them are illegal. There are barely 30 million people of Hispanic descent total who are employed, native- or foreign-born. So now they're all illegal? Somebody fed you a line.

Details, details...

Tim Lewis said...

Who says they're all Hispanic?

Now who's the racist?

el razonador said...

Well Tim...It's no secret. Over 50% of all undocumented in the U.S. are from Mexico, and Mexicans make up the lion's share of the U.S. Hispanic population (http://www.urban.org/uploadedPDF/1000587_undoc_immigrants_facts.pdf), so in such instances when one might want to call into a question a fabricated statistic such as the one offered by anon2, it is a useful proxy.

Anonymous said...

Illegal immigration wouldn't happen if not for illegal employers. We need to start a movement to make hiring illegal aliens a minimum manditory 10 years in jail. Stop being cowards about this. We need to step up and stop illegal employers.

Anonymous said...

HR 4437, Has a new law in it. This would require all employers to check immigration status, instead of the joke voluntary system now.
and it would increase the fines for Employers caught violating the law. Now if we can just get our Gov., Sect. of State and Attorney General to remember we live in America and we already have laws about immigration. Hmm they are all Democrats, interesting.
Wonder why Democrats get to break the law and make it worse for the elderly, young, disbaled and terminally ill that really need & deserve help. I feel a hell of a lot more sorry for them than people that snuck into my country, breaking the law.
ILLEGAL'S YOUR TIME IS ALMOST OVER. Go home peacefully or be forced! Again, it is your choice.
Take the great economic lesson's you learned while visiting us and take them home and prosper on your own.

Sue K. said...

RE: HR4437 and Employers hiring illegal aliens

Is the word "knowingly" used? If so, I believe that will be the loop-hole used when employers are caught hiring illegals. They will claim that they did not know they were hiring/employing illegals. That argument should not be allowed.

Tim Lewis said...

If they're undocumented...how do they know how many are here?

I think it may be more accurate than you want to believe.

el razonador said...

Perhaps one of you could set aside your bitterness over the fact that the undocumented are here illegally, as well as your proclivity to smear me as an illegal apologist and explain to me, cogently, the rationale behind this bill and why it is a better course of action than amnesty. In everything that I have read by its supporters, this critical piece of information is consistently left wanting.

So, the fact of the matter is that roughly 11 million reside here illegally. The available statistics and research indicates that they are employed at very high rates. It seems that regularizing this population (and by implication, their illegal employers) is the best course of action for the nation's interests. Tax revenue presently uncollected, could be gained. The slate could be wiped clean, and an effective employer enforcement mechnanism could be implemented. This leaves a small and deportable pool of deviants who are engaged in crime rather than upright economic activity, and could be removed from the country. Subsequently, effective border patrol and employer enforcement would ensure that unauthorized entry is kept at a minimum, post-amnesty.

This seems a pretty safe bet, and far less risky and expensive considering the alternative. Classifying the illegals as felons immediately excludes them from any formal participation in the economy or society. How much are you willing to wager that they will -- 11 million coethnics all in the same predicament, and with close ties to a huge group of legal kith and kin -- leave when the alternative in Mexico is still worse by comparison? I wouldn't be inclined to bet much. Likewise, the employer is faced with a choice as well, continue with my current workforce (now felons) and risk detection by the government, try to compete (sometimes globally) by hiring from the most expensive workforce on the face of the planet, or go out of business. This brings me to another concern. Passing a law that makes people felons becomes a farce if we don't have proper means to enforce it. Say that word catches on that the feds, states and locals are too administratively strapped (despite the massive growth in bureaucratic structure that is entailed in this law) to police a substantial portion of this large illegal economy, and the bulk of illegal hiring continues, or, being under the radar, grows?

All political considerations aside, from a purely economic, logistic and sociological point of view, it seems to be beyond any doubt which of the two options are more certain to succeed. Regularizing the illegals would bring immediate economic gain, and remove the outrageous cost coming with bureaucratic expansion necessitated by creating a population of 11 million unencarcerated and now anonymous felons.

HR4437 seems far less certain, other than that we can be sure it will cost a ton, but with no guarantee of success.

Thoughts?

el razonador said...

Think what you want Tim, but have you ever heard of a Census? It counts illegals too. I'm much more inclined to believe the estimates of government statisticians and demographers who have devised sophisticated methods for etimating this population, including the use of school enrollments, jobs reports, and consumption activites. At the very least, I'll take their estimate over a completely absurd number provided by an anonymous blogger.

Sue K. said...

OK, if we're going to do an amnesty, let's do it fairly. We will forgive the illegals being here, we will forgive all the criminals in jail and prison, we will forgive anyone who has ever been convicted of a crime or traffic infractions, we will forgive all the CEO's who robbed their companies blind and left the workers holding nothing, we will forgive all those who have overdue books from the library, we will forgive.........If we are going to forgive a select group of 11 million (give or take several million)illegal aliens, then let us not discriminate and forgive all who have commited a wrong. But then you are rewarding those who have broken the law(s) and slapping those of us who try to abide by the law in the face. I honestly don't see how our current administration can give amnesty to the millions and millions of illegals in the United States without having some type of uproar similiar to what we just had over the ports deal.

el razonador said...

Sue -- It seems that you utterly failed to address the content of my question.

If, in your litany of absurdisms, you imply that amnesty cannot be granted out of principle, this strikes me as a foolish act of cutting off the nation's nose to spite its face. Sometimes people forgive out of necessity becuase its the best solution for the long-term, such as one spouse who forgives another for cheating. I speculate that most Americans are more intellectually sophisticated than to go running off the slippery slope that you created in your response like so many uncritical sheep.

It would be great if you set your ideolgy aside for a second and address the practical content of this fair question I pose.

Tim Lewis said...

I couldn't read the "link" you provided from urban.org, as it went off the page. It doesn't matter anyway. When was the last census taken? 6 years ago? Look at the influx of illegal immigrants we've had since then.

The law is the law. Since it is already in place, the responsibility lies on you to prove why amnesty is better than the current laws, not the other way around. You have to provide better reasons than "the slate will be wiped clean" in favor of providing amnesty. As sue k said so eloquently, it means we have to wipe everything clean. It also doesn't solve any problems. It only invalidates the whole point of having laws. Illegal immigrants will continue to invade and the problems it brings will only get worse unless something else (not amnesty) is done.

Besides, I don't have to prove anything to you, since you're an anonymous blogger (as you said).

el razonador said...

Tim -- There is also the current population survey, conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. Try this link:

http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/44.pdf

I didn't say I was trying to prove that amnesty is "better" than current laws. I'm merely asking for someone to explain to me why "felonizing" 11 million illegals and taking on the unwieldy task of enforcing this new group of felons is better than bringing them above boards, taxing their wages, and having more control over their activities in the social order.

Anonymous said...

Census does NOT count Illegals, they are fixing that in time for the next big count in 2010.
Pew research says 12.2 Mllion Illegal's. Bear-Stearns says 18-20 Million, with 5 million NOT paying taxes.
El...We tried this Amnesty stuff in 1986 and 7 times since. The result? More Illegal Immigration now, than ever in our history.
Rewarding criminal behavior creates more criminal behavior, ask Tennesee about their mess of giving license's to illegal aliens. Gee, they stopped this month.
Economics? replace that Illegal 5% of our workforce with Americans. American wages,benefits, healthcare, etc. The Mexicans can take all the lessons they learned here and apply them to Mexico. the World's 12th wealthiest Nation, with the World's 3rd Richest man.

Anonymous said...

LOOKS AS IF WE NEED SOME KIND OF REVOLUTION

el razonador said...

Anon -- 7 amnesties post-1986? Which ones?

The Census DOES pick up undocumented. The census undercount in 1990 was about 5% and they improved enormously in the 2000 Cenusus. Estimates of the 2000 population prior to the census were so low, because the Census did a better than expected job at counting illegals. This is well-documented; just a few links:

http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2001/cb01cn03.html

http://www.curp.neu.edu/sitearchive/spotlight.asp?id=1420

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/CENSUS2000/PDF/farley.pdf

Still, no serious address of the practical concerns in my question. Lots of ethically-charged rhetoric and ideology, but little in the way of sober analysis and facts.

To your "replace illegals with Americans" plan, I hesitate to point out the oft-mentioned notion that illegals do the dirty work that Americans don't want to do, as I know how quickly this draws boos and hisses from this crowd, despite the inability to provide any evidence otherwise. In his book "How the Other Half Works" (2003, UC Press), Roger Waldinger interviewed employers in Southern California. Few if any natives apply for these jobs, and in turn, the employers prefer immigrants, the fresher and more precarious in legal status, the better.

Sue K. said...

Excuse me for being absurd. Can you guarantee that if the 11 million (give or take a million or two) illegal aliens are granted amnesty that they will start doing things above board?? Why should they?? Can you guarantee that if the millions of illegal aliens are granted amnesty now that a few years down the road that another 11 million or so won't sneak in hoping to be granted amnesty? I'm sorry but I see it as a vicious cycle. One that needs to be stopped now. Secure our borders and enforce the laws we have.

el razonador said...

Sue -- I didn't call you absurd. I was just pointing out that some of your proposed legal changes post amnesty were absurd, and will not happen, even if an amnesty does.

How can I be sure that the newly regularized population would do things above boards? Right now, they are below the boards, under the radar so to speak. Research on undocumented groups unanimously finds that undocumented workers would rather be on the books, rather than operating clandestinely. I think it's a safer bet that they will continue to be productive citizens after being regularized rather than turning to some sort of deviant enterprise, than it is to say that felonizing them will urge them to return home.

Regarding failed amnesties, the only one I'm aware of in recent history is the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. Apparently anonymous knows of seven others, but isn't forthcoming with details. I can only speak to IRCA, as it's the only one I'm familiar with. It is considered a massive failure because, while tons of money was directed at border enforcement, little attention was paid to employers. They were merely threatened by the act, and reacting to this threat, large companies (like the ones contracted to clean up the Gulf Coast after Katrina) started working through sub-contractors to remove any liability from their companies. The feds obviously haven't gone after the subcontractors or recruiters either.

Border enforcement is effective. Operations Gatekeeper and Hold the Line in the early 1990s effectively diverted flows from San Diego and El Paso into the desert. Increased border enforcement can ensure that illegal flows are reduced, and rigorous workplace enforcement can ensure that the incentives for illegals are eliminated here.

Scottiebill said...

Sue is right on the money here, in saying that if we forgive the illegals of their criminality, then we by definition must forgive the real citizens of their wrong-doings. And, Sue, you left out tax cheats in your litany of wrong-doers to be forgiven. What is good for the goose is also good for the gander. As usual, razonador is standing by his left-wing liberal biases in being an advocate for the illegal aliens. I'll bet if Teddy the K and Guillermo Bradbury were to read some of his stuff, they would offer him a job catering to the illegals at their "carousels of crime". He could go there and pat them on the butt and tell them what good people they are for being here illegally. But, I guess that's alright because , like anonymous, he gives a f___!

Anonymous said...

7 Amnesties? go to; www.numbersusa.com
left side, click on Amnesty button

el razonador said...

Scottiebill: more smear, and more fluff. That you can't answer the meat of my question--How is felonizing 11 million illegals a safer course for the country than an amnesty-coupled with employer enforcement?--strongly suggests that you don't have much in the way of an answer. Apparently nobody does, which makes me very suspicious of it. Why should I support such a bill that seems doomed to fail? This is not a political question. It's a logistic and economic one, it would be so refreshing if someone could just attempt an answer without all the mudslinging bs and personal attacks. C'mon, help me out here.

el razonador said...

Anon-thanks for pointing those out to me. I've never heard of them, and I've done a substantial bit of reading on the topic. I'll suspend judgment on them until I do some more research, I'm not inclined to take numbersusa's word for it.

I notice that one is a lawsuit blaming improper adminsitration of IRCA, so not technically an amnesty. Two are refugee acts: Do you want the US to stop accepting refugees now as well?

My question still stands unanswered though. Anyone care to answer?

Oh, and Scottiebill, did you notice that after the IRCA amnesty (besides failing to enforce employers) no murderers or rapists or tax evaders or anyone else got out of jail? Wouldn't happen this time, as throughout the course of human history, society has displayed tremeendously consistent levels of discretion, which you claim would suddenly disappear. Such a response is argumentatively absurd, and a clear cover for lack of a stronger counterpoint.

Tim Lewis said...

Your question has been answered, you just don't want to hear it. However, your question is flawed to begin with.

Employers aren't enforcing the laws now because that's not their job. What makes you think they'll start after this? Stricter enforcement of what we've got now, including penatlies for both employers AND the immigrants themselves is the only thing that will solve this. This is the problem with this liberal mindset. It excuses illegal behavior and doesn't make people responsible for their actions.

You can stop trying to call people out when you can't even show us who you really are.

el razonador said...

Tim if my question's been answered could you summarize it for me -- How is it a surer bet to felonize 11 million illegals and hope they go home than to bring them above boards where they are on the radar? That's the question. As far as I know mass deportation is beyond feasibility. I won't support a law until someone shows it's enforceable.

As for the employers, they're not the ones that enforce the law, the government is. Right now, they're not doing it, and amnesty or no amnesty, that's a must. A system like the one Germany has would work well, completely computerized, employers can check legal status at no cost (and it's the law to do so, and they police employers).

What the hell are you talking about: show you who I really am? What, do you have to meet me for coffee before you'll consider answering a simple question? Geez.

Anonymous said...

sensenbrenner bill is to harsh on these people. The immigration reform should forgive the illegal immigrants and have them pay a $2000 fine.

Scottiebill said...

Tim Lewis and Razonador: Why are you using the word "undocumented" to describe the illegal aliens? That usage is tantamount to giving them some sort of elevated status in our society.

If you were to rob a bank at gunpoint, would you consider that an "undocumented withdrawal"? I'm pretty sure that the FBI would not consider it as such.

It is the same thing! Illegal immigration into the U.S. and bank robbery are both federal crimes. It seeems that some people have trouble with that concept.

Scottiebill said...

Razonador: These illegals "felonized" themselves when they came across our borders illegally. Apparently you are having a problem with that fact. They are illegal aliens. They are felons under the laws of the U.S. Yet you and many others seem to want to side with illegality. This is called aiding and abetting criminal behavior, also a crime. Maybe not directly, but it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

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