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  • Just a Minute, Man

       April 13, 2005

    Have you been following the Adventures of the Minutemen?

    No, me neither.

    But to catch everyone up, these are a bunch of people who have taken it upon themselves to patrol our southern border for a month so as to catch illegals sneaking through. Gotta love their initiative, if nothing else. And really, they have kind of a point. Immigration is one thing, but illegal immigration is something else. And if you live in Southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas you know firsthand what that something else often involves...crime.

    One of my friends in Arizona related an interesting story to me. She and her husband live in a somewhat out-of-the-way area, with plenty of land and not many neighbors. They are also fairly close to the border. After moving there they quickly learned to keep things locked up, as they had a tendency to disappear at night. But it was when she was home alone late one night and heard rustling in her kitchen that things started ratcheting up. When she went downstairs, lo and behold there were three men rummaging through her pantry. She screamed, told them to get the eff out, and punctuated that command by waving the business end of her Mossberg 12 gauge (what she jokingly referred to later as her "universal translator."). They skedaddled.

    When I asked her what the police did, she laughed at me. She said there was little point in calling the sheriff (note to self...when talking about a rural area, it's a sheriff), because at most the illegals would get a forty five minute ride to the border and dropped off...where they'd come across again once their ride disappeared behind the nearest hill. She then said something to me which is kind of disturbing, which I'll paraphrase:

    It's almost lawless out here. The law enforcement here is really sympathetic, but they figure there's nothing they can do. Even if they arrest every illegal they see, the legal system won't bother punishing them. The worst that could happen is they get deported immediately, but they'll just come back. Most of the time they're released and told to report to a deportation hearing. Big surprise they never show up. So we're on our own here. Everyone I know is just fed up with this, and it's only a matter of time before a private war starts down here.

    And I have to say, it's hard to fault her or her neighbors. She isn't talking about some border-crosser taking her job picking lettuce. She was actually quite clear about it. Instead she's fed up with the constant trespasses and theft and break-ins. When the subject of moving comes up, she grows stubborn. "We worked hard and sacrificed a lot for this place, and we aren't going to let anyone chase us off. This is our home. How can we leave? We aren't asking for anything unusual. Just for basic laws to be enforced."

    To me, that seems to be a reasonable attitude. And so were born the Minutemen. Taking their name from the militia of the Revolutionary War, they describe themselves as patriots who are going to do a job the Federal Government refuses to our borders. They point out that in the age of warring against terrorism, failing to secure that border is a serious problem. You hear all sorts of hyperbole following that...stories about suitcase nukes being carried into the country by terrorists and so on. While I think the basic point holds, I could do without the hysteria. Besides, I wouldn't want to be the guy lugging a nuclear device across a desert. But more to the point, I don't think it's unreasonable to expect our government to enforce laws...especially when those laws are so mundane as border protection. Hey, isn't that why we have government in the first place?!? Oddly, my friend is expected to turn the other cheek when her residence gets raided every night, but if she had shot one, two, or all three of those intruders she'd have to answer for it. Where do the illegals answer for their trespass? Do they?

    So there's a non-trivial amount of frustration brewing on our border over this...on both sides. And for the life of me, I can't figure out President Bush on this. Yeah, I understand some of the arguments floating out there. The illegals are coming here to do jobs Americans won't do. Hogwash. That kind of argument is condescending at best. Or there's the thought that with all that pressure on our border, not relieving it with "illegal-with-a-wink" immigration will force Mexico to do something more rash. It's an interesting point, but at the end of the day we're being coerced into something arguably against our best interests. In this day and age, having a border which is effectively unguarded is lunacy. Besides, what good is relieving that pressure when one of these days Americans in the area are going to get fed up and take matters into their own hands? From that perspective, it's hard to fault the Minutemen for standing up to it, even if some of the accompanying hyperbole is a bit over the top.

    OK, so I've fulfilled the Blogosphere Mandate for complaining. What to do about this problem?

    It isn't easy. We have to have the national will to actually enforce immigration laws, and I don't see that happening for a long time. Whenever proposals come along to double check citizenship status, you hear howls of outrage from the usual suspects. Cries of racism abound. Cries of it being too hard or too expensive follow. In fact, here in Virginia we just passed a law (effective Jan 1) which will prohibit illegal aliens in VA from receiving welfare benefits. The Fairfax County Board is opposed to this law. In other words, it's a county that is so destitute as to have to charge you for an ambulance ride, but they want to keep giving welfare benefits to people who are here illegally. Why? So we can have cheap lettuce? So our McDonald's hamburgers aren't too expensive? Isn't that a little shortsighted? And in the meantime we'll have the crime, the MS-13, the gangs hanging outside the 7-11, and the odd carjacking.

    Until our will changes, we can have all the laws we want and it won't matter a whit. Maybe, hopefully, the Minutemen are the first manifestation of this change of will.

    Posted by John Tant at April 13, 2005 07:26 AM

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    #  April 13th, 2005 7:54 AM      BVBigBro
    OK John, protecting your property is one thing but what do you propose the government do? Shoot people crossing the border? Incarcerate several million people? Erect a 2000 mile long wall?  
    #  April 13th, 2005 8:15 AM      JohnTant
    Shoot people crossing the border? No, and I don't think I ever suggested such a thing.

    A wall would be a good start. Increased border patrols would be helpful. And when illegals are caught here they should be vigorously prosecuted and deported. If that means we have to build prisons, why not? Either we're serious about this or we aren't.

    Right now, we aren't, and the numbers are reflecting that. When there's a severe consequence for illegally entering the contry, that serves as a deterrent.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 8:27 AM      countertop
    Great post John.

    First, I'd have to say that if I woke up and heard someone in my kitchen, were they have access to all sorts of lethal instruments, I doubt very much that they would be given the opportunity to return to the other side of the border. Of course, I am not out in the middle of nowhere like your friend is, so I don't know if she would be scared of reprisal attacks.

    The problem with Fairfax County is simple. The politicians are too scared of losing votes (though this strikes me as odd seeing as illegal aliens can't vote) but I think after Pete Wilson's very public failure in California dealing with illegal aliens (and the perpetual state of the California Republican party as a result) few politicians are brave enough to take the issue on head first. Ah-nold seems to be one of the few.

    BVBigBro - shooting illegals at the border might very well be a good start . . . or maybe just something slightly less final, post notices that illegal entrants will be shot on sight (and fire warning shots). I don't get why people seem shocked at this notion. There are tens of thousands of foreign nationals crossing our border illegally every year. While most are seeking nothing more than a better life (which we should be willing to assist them with), the fact is that many thousands are coming across with the intent to harm the American economy (and American citizens) through participation in terrorist operations, gangs, or just petty crime.

    If we made immigration easier for legitimate workers (meaning, we would actually let them in if there were jobs they could fill and they didn't have criminal records and pledged not to use our social services unless they became permanant citizens) they wouldn't need to cross illegally.

    As for what to do with the folks already here, I think we should make them apply for immigration status and subject them to the same conditions we would to new immigrants. . . .and if they have jobs or employers who would sponsor them, then let them stay, however, if they are members of a street gang we throw them out.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 8:34 AM      countertop
    Eeer, I wish there was some edit feature available for comments (one of the lingering issues with blog posting).

    There should be a "however" statement linking my previous paragraph about firing warning shots and the paragraph on reform.

    To elaborate on the shooting people, that of course, should be a last option and only for those people who posed a real threat to either border patrol or the nation. I suspect most immigrants would not - though the coyotes who routinly shepard people across tend to be well known and well armed.

    What it comes down to though is a threat (of arrest, prosecution, etc) doesn't mean much if not backed up with real action and consequences. I think Rudy Guiliani discovered that - much to the surprise of most liberal New Yorkers - when he actually followed through on his threat to arrest the squeegie guys and subway turnstile hoppers and then discovered that crime drop precipitously throughout the city as a result.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 8:48 AM      BVBigBro
    Look, people commiting crimes in this country should be punished. If you want to deny benefits to non-citizens, that's cool too. Mexican nationals however, both legal and illegal, provide a tremendous amount of labor in this country. And no, there are not millions of Americans lining up to take their place.

    In addition, Mexicans are not a terrorist threat. Mexicans are not rying to sneak in to blow up the country. We are better served by the government spending terrorism money to keep out actual terrorists.

    Finally, many of the Mexicans I've worked with take some of their money back to Mexico. That contributes to Mexican development, and that in turn, is helping to create a Mexico where people have more opportunities, and that eventually will become a market for American goods and services.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:13 AM      KVBigSis
    BVLittleBro, that was a good post. I'd add more. If people are really serious about curbing the entry of illegal aliens from Mexico to the US, why not put the hurt on the companies that hire them? These companies profit from paying illegally low wages, no benefits, and no contributions to the US Social Security and Unemployment Compensation systems. Illegal aliens will keep crossing the border as long as the money's on this side. The way to stem the flow is to make the hiring of illegal aliens punitive to US businesses.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:22 AM      BVBigBro
    That's nice in theory KV, but many and maybe most illegals have some documentation, albeit often fake. If a guy has ID and a green card what do I do? If companies are responsible for investigating beyond basic documentation, they will just take the easy way out and not hire anyone who looks Mexican. I agree, Mexicans will come here as long as there is a financial benefit in doing so.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:32 AM      JohnTant
    BVBigBro, funny you should ask....

    In order to get a job here, you need a social security number. Many illegals have fake ones.

    However, there's a quick and easy way for employers to check the validity of's called Basic Pilot. The SSA has already implemented a voice system on a voluntary basis (information on how to do so is on their website), and Basic Pilot will make it electronic (here's the it will be easy for employers to quickly check even hundreds of numbers.

    Why not make that mandatory instead of voluntary? Without a valid SSN, illegals will find their job opportunities quickly drying up. And employers who employ people with a fake SSN can be prosecuted. Let's throw a few CEOs from some big agricultural conglomerates in jail (the Greenies ought to get behind that) and everyone else will start to fall in line. Corporate tax records can provide information for employer audits. Will it cost some tax dollars? Sure...but I'd rather pay for enforcement over Medicare bennies for an illegal and her anchor baby.

    I agree that this problem goes beyond tossing illegals back in the pond. We definitely need to remove incentives for them to cross the border, and I think Basic Pilot is a good way to start doing just that.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:33 AM      james
    countertop, see the general chat thread for more on the editing comments feature.

    john, great post, i've thought about this issue quite a bit in the past few months - it's a complex and multifaceted problem. just a few thoughts,

    1) i agree that people who burglarize houses should be thrown in jail or somehow punished. creating a system in which there is no disincentive to commit crime only breeds more crime, so the police approach that you describe is probably the absolute worst one we, as a nation, can take. i don't know what tools are available to law enforcement officers - if they have no recourse against illegal immigrant criminals other then deportation, then there is little they can do. perhaps we need new laws, etc.

    however, even if we stocked the toolbox to the gill, i doubt that would even begin to solve the problem, as i wouldnt think that the vast majority of illegals commit felony level crimes, though, and to that end,

    2) from a morality point of view, it seems particularly unjust to punish someone for simply crossing a border in seek of a better life. these people live in a place where there are no jobs. if they are lucky enough to find a job, it usually takes one whole day to earn what you can earn as an illegal in the US. I can't support jailing people that are simply trying to feed their families. In their shoes, I'd do the exact same thing.

    3) even if it was desireable to jail illegals simply for being illegals, it wouldn't be practical. i don't have any stats on this, but i'm guessing that many illegals have children. you certainly can't imprision an entire family, and you can't lock up a father and husband who is a family's source of income. the effects of breaking up thousands upon thousands of familiy units has to be far more costly, in the long run, and socially devastating than the alternative solutions.

    4) the main problem is that it's desireable to come to the US because mexico sucks. to combat illegal immigration we have to either a) make the US less desireable or b) make mexico suck less. building a big wall makes coming to the US less desireable, as it becomes harder to get here. threats of penalty such as locking up illegals make it less desireable, too, but people are already risking their lives to get here. unless it was a near certainty that they would be caught and punished severely, people will keep coming.

    i don't think that either of those is practical - we can't possibly secure a 2000 mile border to anything approaching a 100% effective rate, and we can't morally or socially impose severe punishment on illegals. (a probably effective policy: the US could adopt a policy that if you're found here, and you're illegal, we'll send the A-team out to decapitate your children. not desireable in the slightest.)

    5) the other option on this side, of course, is to make the US suck as much as mexico sucks, thus making it undesireable to come here. again, not a great option. (but, interesting, this will be the result that we eventually reach if nothing is done.)

    6) making mexico suck less is the option that is most interesting to me. (probably the least practical, too). life in mexico is hard b/c there is a culture of lawlessness and corruption. small businesses can't effectively operate in mexico because they don't have strong laws protecting capital investment. for that reason, the economy is terrible, which makes mexico sucky.

    the mexican government has to take steps to alleviate the culture of lawlessness and corruption that pervades the country. i know vincente fox tried and tried, but it seems that these things are easier said than done.

    perhaps it's a good idea for US and mexican govts to work with companies to encourage them to build "company towns" on the mexican side of the US border. these towns could have housing, good paying jobs, etc. and most importantly of all, a private security force protecting the town from thugs. a large factory could provide 1000+ jobs and a bustling service industry would spring up around it. the children of the workers would get educations, which is the first step towards solving this problem. it isnt going to happen overnight.

    mexicans love mexico. i think that they'd love to stay if there were adequate oportunities available. that is, after all, the secret of america's succeess - opportunity. the key has to be to help provide oppotunities to mexican citizens, not locking them up.
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:38 AM      james
    on the idea of getting tough on SSN enforcement - i don't think that stems the tide of illegals. i think the people still come, but instead of working, they steal my car.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:40 AM      BVBigBro

    1. Illegals can get perfectly valid SS numbers. All you need is the same fake papers you started with.

    2. Why send immigrants back to Mexico? This country is not remotely prepared for the consequences of sending Mexican nationals back home, and I have no problem with people coming here to work.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:51 AM      JohnTant
    The argument that because an illegal can possibly get a real SSN doesn't refute the argument that we ought to make it mandatory to check for fake ones.

    Incidentally, why not require SSA to verify citizenship status before issuing a SSN? Fake papers can only go so far. So it takes a couple of days to get a SSN in questionable cases. Big Deal. ;) And if an illegal wants to steal a valid SSN, all it takes is a simple cross reference when the SS withholdings start coming in ("Hey, why is John Tant getting payments from Joe's Farm in Tehachapi when he's working in Washington DC?!?").

    I'm also not saying send all immigrants back to Mexico...just the illegal ones. It's that whole "illegal" part of the equation, after all. And as for consequences...what of the consequences of turning a blind eye to the whole thing?  
    #  April 13th, 2005 9:54 AM      BVBigBro
    But that' my question, what's the point. So we send all the illegals back to Mexico. What have we accomplished?  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:01 AM      JohnTant
    The mere existence of an enforcement effort helps provide a deterrent effect, at least on the margin.

    Or are you asking about what happens to the illegals once they're back in Mexico, presumably for good?

    #  April 13th, 2005 10:02 AM      BVBigBro
    No, I am asking what is the rationale for sending them back as opposed to letting them stay?  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:09 AM      JohnTant
    More on SSA enforcement efforts. They have been getting serious about catching people trying to get SSNs. According to their site, they now run all applications from foreign workers through Homeland Security.
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:12 AM      JohnTant
    BVBigBro, what's the rationale for letting them continue to break the law? Because you don't want to pay a lot for a head of lettuce? ;-)

    It's illegal. If they want to come here and work, let them come here legally. I have no problem with that. Does our immigration mechanism need some work? Sure, of course it does. But I don't think that excuses keeping the floodgates open, nor does the existence of inconvenience excuse anyone from breaking the law to get around it.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:14 AM      BVBigBro
    that's nice, but if my birth certificate says I was born in the USA what happens then? By computerizing this information, all you've done is created a nice repository for people interested in identity theft.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:19 AM      JohnTant
    Computerizing what information? What's not already computerized? And what's the argument here? That because some hypothetical someone might break into a database somewhere, efforts to enforce immigration laws are therefore unwise?

    On the birth certificate part, doesn't seem to me to be a much of a stretch to make a phone call and verify it.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:22 AM      countertop
    We've accomplished nothing by sending them back to Mexico, and as James points out, there is really little in the way of practicle choices for us. Hence my suggestion that we make legal immigration as easy as possible.

    Our economy is dependent upon the use of low paid workers from mexico and other nations and we are foolish to think otherwise. If we made the process of entering the United States for temporary employment easy and painless we would not only strengthen the U.S. economy but cut down on illegal immigration (thereby affording better control over who enters the country) and improve the mexican economy (trickle down economics) as well as our reputation.

    BVBigBro - I generally agree with you that most Mexicans are not a terror threat. However, illegal immigration through mexico is a viable and documented way for terrorists to enter the country. In addition, a significant number of gang members and other violent criminals routinly enter the country illegally through mexico and in fact, the coyote operations are mostly controlled by violent gangs (and the mexican police - sometimes working together). Also, remember that not all immigrants from mexico are mexicans. Many (most?) are traving through mexico from Honduras, Panama, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and other central and south american countries.

    I don' know where you live BVBigBro, but here in Northern Virginia and throughout the south and southwest, there is a significant problem with MS13 members - nearly all of whom flow into the country illegally from El Salvador by way of Mexico. Also, its worth pointing out that the present methamphetemine (sp?? Hillbilly heroin) rage sweeping rural america is in most part being organized by violent central american gangs (Latin Kings, MS13, etc) All of these gangs depend upon the waves of illegal immigrants to cover for their members. If we legitimized immigration (and have reasonable control over it) then it would be much easier to weed out the gang members who aren't allowed entry. We could either send them back home were they would likely be incarcerated or worse (but thats not really our problem) or incarcerate them here. Either way, we could control the problem.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:25 AM      JohnTant
    A thought...

    If illegals are here because they work much cheaper than the competition, why not remove the minimum wage?  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:33 AM      BVBigBro
    Illegals and legals are generally not here because they work so much cheaper, and they are generally not working for minumum wage. They do in fact fill jobs that other people don't want. Who do think comprises union laborers in the western third of the country? Who do think performs trades like carpentry and drywall in western USA?

    As far as meth, come on. Meth is made locally, and sold locally.

    Gangs should be cracked down on, but why single out Mexican gangs? I don't see a crackdown on our good old domestic gangs.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 10:42 AM      Laura
    A few Google searches turned this info up: Individual remittances back home to Mexico—nearly $10 billion annually—rank third behind tourism and oil export receipts as a major source of revenue. The Mexican economy is not nearly as bad as most people think.
    The Mexican economy achieved the following advances in 1998: • The economy grew by 4.6%. (The economy is expected to grow by 5% in 1999.) • Mexico exports exceeded $117 billion in 1998, a new record high. • Open unemployment fell to 3.1%. More than 1 million permanent new jobs were created in 1998. • Inflation climbed in 1998 to 18.6% from 15.7% in 1997. The target for 1999 is 13%. • International reserves jumped to over $30 billion at the end of 1998, up from $17.5 billion in 1996. • Mexico became the second largest trading partner for the U.S. (surpassing Japan). Despite post devaluation economic hardship, Mexico's economy remains quite diverse and fundamentally sound. Mining, manufacturing, petroleum (60 billion barrels in reserves!), electronics, textiles and tourism are all developed industries. In fact, Mexico produces more corn than India, more beer than Australia, more steel than Sweden, more glass than Austria, and more oil than the United Arab Emirates. Paradoxically, Mexico has more millionaires than Germany, yet half its population is supported by traditional low technology industry and agriculture.
    Mexico deported 147,000 illegal immigrants in all, some 20% more than in 2002. Here's a good article on Mexico's southern border. Mexico actively encourages people to illegally emigrate here because they feel entitled. This Zogby poll is a good illustration of that. Illegal immigration may get us cheap lettuce, but it's hurting us in unexpected ways. One example: Congressional Representation:
    As a result of the current incoherent system of allocating seats based on all persons counted in the Census, some Member of Congress represent many fewer U.S. citizens and permanent residents than others. Similarly, some states that have large numbers of illegal aliens and other non-citizens gain the advantage of additional representation in Congress at the expense of states that have fewer illegal aliens and non-citizens, since the total number in the House of Representatives is currently fixed by law at 435 members.
    I heard this guy on local talk radio a while back and he makes some very good arguments why illegal immigration is hurting us. If we need the cheap labor - an argument I do not concede - then we need to modify our existing laws to allow more immigration. But the current situation is intolerable; we are a nation of laws, and we must enforce them or change them.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 11:28 AM      JohnTant

    (Oh, boy...I'm doing quotes now. Argh!).

    Illegals and legals are generally not here because they work so much cheaper, and they are generally not working for minumum wage. They do in fact fill jobs that other people don't want. Who do think comprises union laborers in the western third of the country? Who do think performs trades like carpentry and drywall in western USA?

    So you're telling me that there are no US citizens who would want a carpentry job or a job putting up drywall?

    Saying there are jobs other people don't want is insulting in the extreme. And if there are...well, there's a free market solution that doesn't involve lawbreaking. Isn't that why we have wages here? If I can't get someone to clean a toilet at $4/day, I'll just have to pay more to incent someone to do it. In fact, reductio ad absurdum: if I could double my salary by working at a warehouse loading trailers, I think I'd do it in a nanosecond.

    Gangs should be cracked down on, but why single out Mexican gangs? I don't see a crackdown on our good old domestic gangs.

    Well, again I don't see that as an argument (because we don't severely crack down on the Crips, we should ignore MS-13?). But when it comes to gangs made up of illegals, cracking down on them becomes quite easy...we can deport them. Domestic gangs have their own issues and I agree they should be eradicated as well. However, I don't think first taking the steps one can most easily take equates to "singling out."  
    #  April 13th, 2005 11:37 AM      james
    hmmm, maybe we need some measure of "comment velocity," b/c i think that this thread is outpacing Laura's as far as # of comments per hour goes.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 11:42 AM      Laura
    James, good thing, too - this is more important. :-)  
    #  April 13th, 2005 12:34 PM      Laura
    Honestly there are a LOT of problems with illegal immigration as I see it. Aside from the rule of law not being observed, the increases in tuberculosis, polio, dengue, intestinal parasites and leprosy, and terror risks are just a few reasons to put a stop to it.

    Finally, there is this:
    The stated goal of a lot of people is to create an North American union along the lines of the EU, with one currency and open borders. Check out this post on the immigration blog for more details on this. Personally, I'm not interested in merging with Mexico and Canada. I don't see that the EU is that great a thing to begin with, and I want no part of having that here. Illegal immigration is (whether deliberately or not) serving to further that goal, and if that were the only reason to fight against it, that would be enough for me.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 1:13 PM      BVBigBro
    Yes John, that's exactly what I'm saying. Sorry, but in the Western USA in about five years worth of construction I've never worked with a non-Mexican union laborer. I will guesstimate about 1/3 of carpenters and close to 90% of drywallers (union) in the west are Mexican nationals. I worked in several jurisdictions in the 1990's where unions accepted everyone who applied for apprenticeship. These are union jobs, mind you.

    Your solution to simply pay more is nice, but works well only in fantasyland. Prices in many industries are not based on cost. Rather, the opposite is true; costs are based on price. I am estimating a hotel right now, I have only scanty drawings, but I already know what the price is. I don't know the costs. If the costs turn out to be higher, I have the choice of lowering the costs, or it will not be built.

    The result of limiting legal and illegal immigration is not wages going up a bit. It has the very real potential of introducing a large inflationary element into the economy while simultaneously reducing economic output. That would take us back to the great stagflationary days of Jimmy Carter.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 2:16 PM      JohnTant
    Well, I just have to disagree. I'm willing to bet real money that there are actual US citizens who would love to get a trade job such as carpentry. I wonder why they are passed over in favor of the illegals you allude to (remember, I'm talking about illegal immigrants on a work visa are a totally different issue). Could it be...they work cheaper? That they won't raise a stink with union leadership because to do so would jeopardize their job ("talk back one more time about your dues pal, and I'm calling DHS...."). Or how about so-called White Flight? I know White Flight in Southern California is a big problem...people moving out of the state simply because the illegals are creating such huge problems. If your pool is 90% foreign national, simply saying 90% of the people you work with is foreign isn't really a point. The point is what happened to the citizens who were in that pool.

    And if unions are accepting illegals, then they are certainly part of the problem.

    Your solution to simply pay more is nice, but works well only in fantasyland. Prices in many industries are not based on cost. Rather, the opposite is true; costs are based on price. I am estimating a hotel right now, I have only scanty drawings, but I already know what the price is. I don't know the costs. If the costs turn out to be higher, I have the choice of lowering the costs, or it will not be built.


    What we're talking about is a cost-side system shock. If no one can bring in the hotel at the desired price, then the price has to go up. It's basic economics. And if someone is quoting prices without having even a decent idea how the costs are going to fall in, then that's a bummer. But it's also one of the pitfalls of the free market.

    The result of limiting legal and illegal immigration is not wages going up a bit. It has the very real potential of introducing a large inflationary element into the economy while simultaneously reducing economic output. That would take us back to the great stagflationary days of Jimmy Carter.

    Again, I disagree. If the general price level increases, it's offset at least in part by savings from not providing services to illegals (as Fairfax County wants to keep doing) as well as general benefits such as my friend not worrying about illegals busting into her kitchen every night. And plus, your point about inflationary pressure might hold water if we were talking about a fixed money supply. As we have a very competent Federal Reserve, I think any inflationary pressures would be minimal.

    But on the larger issue, and one which goes back to my rhetorical in the the cheap lettuce really worth all the tradeoffs?  
    #  April 13th, 2005 2:34 PM      BVBigBro
    No John, a union wage is a union wage. They don't get paid by the union. They get paid by their employer. And no, prices do not simply rise when costs go up, work ceases to happen. This is the same kind of nonsense democrats talk every time they want a tax raise - the tax will simply be passed through to consumers. Yeah, right. As far as the federal reserve, it is limited to the ever so subtle measure of raising interests rates in one form or another. But that, in turn, discourages economic activity further. The fed, of course, has no power to produce workers. Take a look at unemployment levels, they are low, and have been for years.

    The price of said hotel will not rise. It will be built for a certain price or not be built at all. People don't quote final prices without knowing costs, but the costs don't determine the price. The price is determined by the consumer, who is indifferent to your costs.

    Lastly, immigrants biggest advantage is mobility. Immigrants, legal and illegal have no problem moving to where the jobs are.  
    #  April 13th, 2005 2:50 PM      BrianH
    Perhaps the solution is to allow easier immagration on temporary workers visas, provided they are properly documented and enforced. (IE: When you're visa's up, you go home.) No welfare benefits, nothing but emergency medical unless they pay for it, a tax ID number for collecting taxes, provide access to schools providing they pay tuition, etc.

    This would allow Mexican nationals to enter the US, work for a limited time and return to Mexico legally.

    This would allow US employers to have access to the low cost work force they claim they need.

    This would prevent the drain on public services from illegal aliens.

    This would make midnight runs through you're friend's kitchen less likely since those people would be able to enter legally at a real boarder crossing.

    This would allow law enforcement agencies a way of identifying foreign nationals.

    This would allow boarder patrol agents to assume that illegal crossings were for smuggling or other more serious reasons and take appropriate actions.

    The only objection I can see to such a plan is that the Unions would claim the Mexicans were taking their jobs. I think they're taking the jobs anyway now so why not make a way for it to be done legally.

    #  April 13th, 2005 4:55 PM      Laura
    If the illegals are union, then they are not low cost. They cost the same as every other worker.

    There are plenty of unemployed people in other parts of the country who would relocate for jobs. I knew a lot of people who found work in Florida when the oil industry crashed here in the 80s. Texas put billboards here in New Orleans to entice teachers to relocate for more money. And to tie welfare reform into this, there are a lot of young men in inner cities who would go to a work "boot camp" to learn construction skills, then relocate to where the jobs are. For union wages, yes indeed they'd do it.  
    #  April 14th, 2005 7:51 PM      Walleye
    Laura hit it on the nose with her last post. The only time I can see that we as a Nation are getting actual benefit from the illegal workforce is in agriculture. I am pretty confident that the average work "boot camp" grad is going to have little interest in milking cows, walking beans, hand harvesting fruits and vegetables, laying irrigation pipes, etc. I did a lot of that as a kid (and through college) but as a means to an alternate ends. The workforce required by California ag cannot be derived from the local high schools and the illegal workers are filling those jobs.

    Now, one could argue that these ag (and other undesirable) jobs could be filled by welfare recipiants who have not yet gotten training for something more enjoyable. I know, radical, cruel even...

    This is definitely a hard problem to solve simply. I would be in favor of granting work status to all current illegals who come forward and request it. Give them some sort of legal identification (heck, their very own SSN) and then start taxing them like the rest of us! Everyone who gets caught without their own verified SSN gets sent back across.

    Along with that, we need that wall mentioned earlier and maybe an electric fence for good measure (solar powered of course).

    The grand finale is to bill the Mexican federal government for all property loss (goods stolen, damages by uninsured motorists, etc.) caused by, and medical care given too their citizens while illegally in our country. Until we show the Mexican government that sending their population here to work is not an acceptable solution to their problems, they won't crack down on it like they have their own southern border.
    #  April 14th, 2005 8:53 PM      james
    walleye, i can't think of any country, except for maybe china, that prevents their own citizens from leaving the country. it's not mexico's duty to imprison its own citizens - in fact, if they started doing so, i'd be very, very concerned.  
    #  April 14th, 2005 9:02 PM      kris
    Actually, if they started doing so, we'd treat Mexicans the way we treat Cubans.  
    #  April 15th, 2005 2:45 PM      Walleye
    I'm more specifically interested in having the Mexican Gov't actually help stop illegal crossings, not close the border entirely. The only way to stop that type of activity is if the countries on both sides of teh border step up their prosecution of the crime. Besides, even the US prefers that its citizens enter and exit at official points of entry instead of wherever the feel like it. I'm not looking for Mexico to become a police state, I'm looking for Mexico to police its borders.  
    #  April 15th, 2005 3:01 PM      Laura
    Walleye, it'll never happen... they have no incentive to do it. Vincente Fox has stated publicly more than once that he wants the border gone, one currency, free migration throughout North America. The only change he will make is to speed up the flow of immigration.  
    #  April 15th, 2005 3:37 PM      Walleye
    Yeah, I know. I was more putting that out there regarding what I think ought to happen ,not what will happen. I'm a bit more pessimistic(sp?) about what I think will really happen with the southern border.  
    #  April 15th, 2005 5:40 PM      james
    walleye, why should mexico pay to enforce US immigration laws?

    let's say that you and I each own clubs next to each other, each with its own separate entrance but they also share an interior door between them. i.e. you can enter my club, party, then move into club walleye using the interior door, never having to step foot on the street.

    I come to you and say "walleye, people with red hair arent allowed in my club. i have a bouncer at my main door keeping them out, but i'd like for you to hire a bouncer, at your expense, to police the common door that we share to make sure that no redhairs pass from your club to mine."
    #  April 16th, 2005 12:43 AM      Walleye
    James, that is a valid point except that you are failing to post a bouncer on your side of the common door. You are asking me to foot the entire bill to keep redhairs out of your club while I'm asking Mexico to assist in keeping our common border secure for legal trade and legal immigration. Besides, if your club doesn't want redhairs, it is in my business' best interest to cater to them since in that locale, I have an exclusive market. Now if it turns out that they are not wanted in your bar because they pick figths, don't pay their tab, etc. then I'm likely to hire my own front door bouncer and stop them at the street as well...

    #  August 19th, 2005 12:29 PM      Justanothermexican
    I just need to say in plain ENGLISH.
    You name one person that is from this country? And by the way I know you would answer you are. But did your family come from here (nope.) Please do your research. Don't hate people we didn't choice to be born in USA or in a different country.
    Let people live thier life. They don't ask you to feed them, they don't ask you for rent money, So what is you point on Mexicans. Live your own life the way you wanted, if you want a better job etc look for it no one will give anything for free....
    And to your so call GANGS we has Mexicans have better things to do. And if Mexicans are in gangs that is thier choice. I bet in your so call White People have your own gangs like Minute Man. What is the difference?  
    #  August 19th, 2005 6:36 PM      Laura
    Let me say this in plain ENGLISH:

    It's not a matter of hate.

    Someone who breaks the law to come here is a CRIMINAL, no matter what country they came from.

    Unlike my ancestors, who did the right thing, stood in line, and met all the qualifications to become Americans. They were proud of being American and didn't use any hyphens or call themselves Irish, Spanish, or German (I have ancestors from all three countries), "JustanotherMEXICAN" if you want to live here, do it the right way, become a citizen and be proud to be AMERICAN.

    Whites are in gangs, as well as blacks, as well as mexicans. Since the primary defining characteristic of gangs is that they break the law, they're all criminals too. I'm all for letting people live their life, as long as they do so legally. Stop making excuses for law-breakers.  
    #  August 26th, 2005 8:15 PM      Cielo
    well first i am 16 and i am mexican.but was born here. well the people that are hating on mexican. you know what Fuck you. cuz if it was not for the mexicans the U.S would be poor. cuz the mexican are the one that do all the jobs that white, blacks , people don't want to do this what you are saying is bullshit. and if you got a promble fuck you . and if yo guys want tthe mexican to go back to mexico. well we will be happy to go back. but the US has to pay us all the money we did here. the house that we pay for all the shit and we would be happy to get the fuck out of here. i don't know why you guys are hating cuz the mexican are the one that should kick you guys out cuz this was all mexico land. well that all i hhave to say  
    #  August 26th, 2005 9:34 PM      Laura
    (yawn) learn to read, kid. Disagreement does not equal hate, and saying that illegals break the law by coming here illegally is simple fact. Don't like it? Tough.  
    #  August 27th, 2005 8:26 PM      Cielo
    well what ever you say laura. i have to ask what race are you. well like i said it hate. i don't care what you think. but you don't know how it feels to go to high school and be called a wetback or beaner. by another race. well back then i use to get mad when they use to call me a beaner or a wetback. but now i look at it like i don't care. cuz if you think about it white people, black people are wetbacks to. i don't know why are they just against mexican. the white and black people should be thankful for the mexican. not against them. thats what i think. and this is my freedom of speech. well laura i know how to read. and i think maybe you did not understand what i am saying. but i hope that you would get it now. well thats all i have to say  
    #  August 27th, 2005 8:57 PM      Laura
    I'm white. And when I was on welfare and living in an area where whites were the minority, I took some abuse for it, so I'm at least familiar with what you're talking about, and I AM sympathetic. But the president of Mexico has publicly stated that he would like to erase the border, and have one currency, to merge Mexico, the US and Canada the way the EU is set up. I'm against that. Mexico strongly protects it's southern border - and they have the right to! and I believe that the US should not have to apologize for doing exactly what Mexico is doing.

    I don't call Mexicans names, unless you think "illegal" is an insult - which it is not, it's simple fact, if they came here without following our immigration laws. Mexico is a rich country with a rich heritage and Mexicans have a lot to be proud of - the poverty there is mostly caused by corruption, which they should stay and fight. I am equally proud of my country, and I don't want it to drastically change into something like the EU. And all of this uncontrolled immigration and amnesties are setting us for exactly that.  
    #  August 27th, 2005 8:59 PM      Laura
    By the way, if you were born here, according to our laws you are an American, not a Mexican. Why don't you call yourself that?  
    #  August 27th, 2005 9:29 PM      Cielo
    yea i am a America. but i am 100% mexican. i don't think of my self as a america. like you said laura mexico is a rich county, but not all mexico. their is some poor place. which kid have to work. and their moms and das have to find a way so their kids don't have to work. so thats why we mexican come to the US. not cuz we like it . its cuz we have to. but what i have more is when they are saying that we are ytaking the jobs away from the whites. well if they don't have a job thats not are promble.  
    #  August 27th, 2005 9:41 PM      Cielo
    not only am i perfect
    i'm Mexican too  
    #  August 27th, 2005 9:53 PM      Laura
    Most of the reason there is so much poverty in Mexico is because of the corruption. I could say like you just did, "that's not my problem," but it IS my problem because Mexicans come here, live here, affect our society far beyond jobs, and don't become Americans. You live here with all the benefits of being American, but you don't assimilate into our culture the way all the previous groups who immigrated here did. You just proved my point, Cielo. Mexico will not allow me to come there illegally, go to school, get a college education, start a business or work for a Mexican business. I would be deported, I would not be permitted to receive any government benefits or anything either.

    Why would it be wrong for America to have the exact same policies for Mexicans, that Mexico has for Guatemalans and other illegals who come over Mexico's southern border?

    >not only am i perfect
    >i'm Mexican too

    But its your modesty that I admire about you the most.  
    #  August 28th, 2005 12:09 PM      Cielo
    well thanks  
    #  August 30th, 2005 6:38 PM      Cielo
    but what i don't get is why are there mintue man  
    #  August 30th, 2005 6:45 PM      Laura
    Mexico stations troops on it's southern border to keep illegal immigrants from central and south america out.

    The United States refuses to station troops; we have the border patrol which is vastly underfunded and ineffective, which is why thousands of illegals get in every day, and aside from Mexicans, many are from countries that sponsor terrorism. Since the government refuses to do the job, citizens are patrolling the border. When they see people illegally crossing the border, they use their cell phones to call the border patrol and tell them where it's happening. The local border patrol loves it, the office in Washington DC is furious. But, at least in certain sections, our southern border is as secure as Mexico's southern border.  
    #  August 30th, 2005 7:18 PM      Cielo
    well i think that they shouldn't do that. cuz they are wasting time. cuz sooner or later thay are going to come in to the U.S cuz ,my father tell me that sometimes they wait 2 mouths to cross the border. so they are just wasting money that we are paying don't you think. cuz my father came that way to the US but now he has papers. and also my mother. well i am not a shame to say that my mother and father are wetbacks.  
    #  August 30th, 2005 7:30 PM      Cielo
    #  August 30th, 2005 8:25 PM      Laura
    Cielo, I'm glad you dropped by and proved my points for me.  
    #  August 31st, 2005 6:42 PM      Cielo
    what i did i proved to you  
    #  September 10th, 2005 1:55 PM      Cielo
    mexico is helping the U.S alot huh . at this time of need  
    #  September 10th, 2005 5:06 PM      JohnTant
    Yes, their 44 trucks and 200 soldiers certainly mitigates the thousands upon thousands of illegals entering this country and absolutely makes up for my friend's house being burglarized.  
    #  September 10th, 2005 8:27 PM      mbrlr
    A great hue and cry over a problem that isn't a problem. We have always gone through "protect the borders" periods when it comes to immigration, but those periods always pass. In fifty years, Latinos will be near or over the 50% mark here (I've helped bring the numbers up on that) and everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. People will read about all these discussions and perceived difficulties and just look at each other and say, "No lo comprendo" and smile.

    We've always hyphenated ourselves and tried to distinguish one group from another. Even Southerner and Yankee are hyphenated discreetly (Southern Americans and Damned Yank...Northern Americans) and the Irish have hyphenated and the Germans have hyphenated and just about everyone here either has done so because of pride in their heritage or had an ancestor who did so until their group was accepted into the mix. Half of my children's heritage is Mexican and they will cherish that and you'd better believe they'll grow up aware of their heritage. If they choose to hyphenate themselves or make sure their Latino heritage is realized and acknowledged and not forgotten, more power to 'em. I just want my little anglatinos to grow up aware of all four sides of their heritage (Anglo, Mexican, Northern, Southern) and to take pride in them. That won't make them any less American. Heck, we've already hyphenated ourselves for most purposes by breaking the nation into 50 states. My being an Arkansan (or Arkansawyer -- we've wavered a bit on that over the years) doesn't take away from my being an American. Only in Texas is that sort of thing a problem.

    Many soldiers fighting and being killed in that damnable war, are of Mexican or Latino descent --- I believe some have died who had yet to attain citizenship --- and it doesn't take one thing away from their being American. It's just knowing who they are and what their heritage is and what they bring to our national mix. I'm not accusing anyone of this, but be aware that this sort of talk comes perilously close to the language used during the civil rights era. By whites. Many of whom wore pointed white hats.

    And a wall across the border? Please. Let's do what the Soviets did...yeah, that'll work! Let's do what the Chinese did...great wall (*rimshot*), but it didn't work.

    Follow the European Union's model and help to bring Mexico within sight of the American/Canadian standards of living and the border won't be quite so open.

    As for the Minutemen, I assume the name springs from their marital or romantic relationships? They're a joke, but a dangerous one.

    Again, help bring Mexico up economically and the immigration, legal and illegal, will lessen. But don't view current levels as something that will destroy the country. People have been sneaking into the United States, even during the Ellis Island years, because they were desperate and wanted to better their condition and make their families safe and they have, as will Latinos, blend into our common culture. The idea of this contributing to an increase in gang culture or whatever the he** that argument was is nonsense.
    #  September 10th, 2005 8:53 PM      Laura
    If you go back and read my arguments on this topic and in other posts, crime and gang activity were never my focus. The fact is that America is rapidly becoming a less Anglo country. This is evidenced every time I call a large company (For English press 1) to the products I buy having English and Spanish labels, to your statement, "In fifty years, Latinos will be near or over the 50% mark here (I've helped bring the numbers up on that) and everyone will wonder what all the fuss was about. People will read about all these discussions and perceived difficulties and just look at each other and say, "No lo comprendo" and smile."

    If you don't see that this is a completely new development in the history of our country, and one that is radically changing it, then I must question your intelligence. No other group has impacted us as radically as Mexican citizens who mock our laws, come here and demand that we accomodate them by teaching in their language instead of them learning ours as every other group did before the 1960s, have ballots and government documents in more than one language, and on, and on... No other group that has come here in such numbers shares a border with us, and has leaders who openly declare they want that border erased and to turn this hemisphere into an EU construct. If you don't see how this will negatively affect our sovereignty, try reading up on the EU. EU involvement has not solved France's internal problems and a similar situation here will not solve Mexico's.

    A wall to keep people OUT is quite a different proposition than one designed to keep people in. I would have thought you had a better grasp on history than that.

    Latinos are *not* blending into our culture. A new culture is being formed, and we are losing part of our culture to accommodate that. If you were to say that these changes are for the better, we could have an honest and reasonable discussion about it. For you to basically deny they are happening, or deny their import, is disingenuous.  
    #  September 10th, 2005 8:56 PM      Laura
    By the way, every single change I've read suggested by people who want to strengthen our southern border, is being implemented by Mexico on IT'S southern border. Is it immoral or wrong for Mexico to deny poor Guatemalans the chance to have a better life?  
    #  September 11th, 2005 4:05 AM      mbrlr
    I beg to differ on the "they're not blending" argument. Yes, they are and in essentially the same way immigrants blended a century ago.

    As far as not learning English, the pattern has always been that the first generation hangs on to the language, the second generation is bilingual, and the third generation probably doesn't know much of the language. I hate to burst your bubble, but I have a bit of personal experience with the HHH (horrible hispanic horde) that you fear so and that old immigration generational pattern holds. My in-laws aren't that comfortable in English and their language is still overwhelmingly Spanish. Their children, including my wife who spent her first 4 years in Mexico, learned and spoke English just as you or I would and that's what they speak to everyone except their elders. The next generation, and that would include my kids and my nephew will speak English from the cradle onwards and have any Spanish they have mainly so they can talk to their grandparents. And their kids and their families will speak English and probably not know a word of Spanish.

    I'm sorry, Laura, but the arguments you've raised were raised over other groups as they fit into the American mosaic and those arguments don't fit the history or the reality. Are things now advertised in Spanish? Sure, just as we had things advertised in and aimed at our German population and other populations 100-150 years ago. That was deemed proof the Republic was in danger...was it? There was a time when everyone thought the Irish immigrants were going to destroy our nation and *they didn't*. Diversity within the American framework is the best thing we've got and fear of that diversity is the worst blot on our national conscience, especially because there's no real basis for it.

    BTW, the "no lo comprendo" bit was a joke. Pero es posible, no? Habla usted espanol? It's actually equal to English in New Mexico, I believe, by their constitution. I guess every state *except* New Mexico will join in the Great Wall crusade...will we give New Mexico back or just build its own little special wall to surround the state?

    Time for one of my boring deviations from the discussion --- the most interesting thing to me about the increase in our Latino population is that not everyone knows quite how to deal with them --- most Latinos are a combination of European and Native American, with a good chance of their also having Black ancestors or even Asian ancestors who traded with the Spanish in those times. They assess this multiple background history and generally think of themselves as neither White nor Black, but as "La Raza". They're quite satisfied with that and most I've talked to think the attempts to put them into one of our racial holes is amusing.

    Nonetheless, people in the US keep trying to peg them and put them in one of our familiar categories --- Whites in Central and South Arkansas tend to automatically think of Latinos as White folks with a permanent tan; I have a friend who just cannot accept the fact that my wife doesn't think of herself as White or that we want our kids to be aware of the cultural mix they're heir to. However, white people in Northwest Arkansas tend to view them as nonwhites in a particularly unpleasant way and lump Latinos in with Black people and that's not intended as a compliment. I think Black people in the South, and perhaps elsewhere, haven't quite figured out whether Latinos are to be viewed as potential allies or potential threats?

    Latinos aren't taking over our culture nor will they. They're adding to it. Americans whose family histories include Latin American folks will increase over the next 50 years, but so will intermarriage and acceptance by those who currently refuse to face reality.  
    #  September 11th, 2005 4:28 AM      mbrlr
    BTW, Laura, since I married one of those border-jumpers (they train 4 year olds to act as guides, you know --- it's all part of that pernicious plan) whose family came here to build a better life, I think I can comment on the "invasion" with some inside knowledge. I have to admit that her family did try to put a gang together, but nobody could think of a really good name and everybody differed on the gang just didn't work out.

    Look, my father-in-law came here to help his family, not to destroy our culture. My wife and all her siblings speak English. Her cousins (yep, other family members came, too) all speak English and all, just as she does, pay taxes. The folks you're so afraid of just want to be a part of who we are, not to destroy us. What in heaven's name has gotten you so upset about all this? Every single thing you've tried to raise as an argument is just nonsense. Except the bit about mocking our should have heard my mother-in-law talking about some of Rep. DeLay's babies!

    Do you like Alexander Hamilton? I figure he's a bit of an icon for y'all...he jumped ship to get to North America and I believe he did so without going through all the things even the British had in place to govern travel between and betwixt their colonies. We should have just tossed him back, shouldn't we? And those Pennsylvania Dutch, still speaking German! And those Indians we made citizens so we could draft them in World War I...well, some of them still speak their languages. Shame on them! Let's take away more reservation land and show them who's boss.

    Building a wall isn't just silly, it's...damned stupid. It would further deflate our image across the world for *no* legitimate reason other than nameless unreasoning fear and it would fail. Latino immigrants, just as most (not all immigrants learned English --- I'm still mad about those Pennsylvania Dutch. I'm just really afraid they'll destroy our national unity) immigrants have in the past, will learn and use English and their contribution will enrich our culture, not harm it. That's what my wife and her siblings did and that's what most of these folks are going to do.

    #  September 11th, 2005 4:56 AM      mbrlr
    As a last comment (and yes, to that person in the back, that means I'll finally shut up), do a search to find out what INS or whatever they're called now did in Arkadelphia, Arkansas recently and tell me if you think that was the way to go about this "toss 'em out and build a wall" scheme. Just curious.  
    #  September 11th, 2005 9:58 AM      Laura
    You can beg to differ all you like; it doesn't make you correct. You have offered no evidence to the contrary other than what goes on in your own family. I don't care who you're married to, the facts speak for themselves. Language is one side of this issue, and it is a problematic one. On the one hand you say, no lo comprendo was a joke; sure, I agree that es posible. But 2 short sentences later you say that "it's actually equal to English in New Mexico." Hmmm... thanks for proving my point.

    There are other evidences of Mexican immigrants in particular not assimilating that have been stated on Dummocrats, linked to on Dummocrats. I started to go through and give your comments a thorough fisking, and then figured why bother? You didn't read them then, or at least acknowledge them. There are links in quite a few comments of this topic that prove conclusively that Mexican illegal immigration is a special problem, unheard of in the history of our country, and causing problems far beyond language. Over $10 billion leaving our economy each year, huge increases in tuberculosis, polio, dengue, intestinal parasites and leprosy, sovereignty issues, nearly 100 hospitals in CA closing because they can't handle the financial burden of illegals' health care, depressed wages in areas with high illegal immigrant population, the huge burden on our criminal system by illegals who commit felony crimes while here. All incontrovertible fact, which you refuse to address. Not some nebulous fear; these are facts. You don't like the evidence that has been presented? Refute it. But stop pretending it doesn't exist.

    Interesting that you talk about "La Raza" - as it happens I'm familiar with the term. I'm also familiar with a rather vocal and growing group who identify themselves as La Raza, who openly state they intend to take over and basically make a new country. Not assimilate. Undo 1848. They have the right to work to achieve that goal; I have the right to fight against it.

    I'm curious, since you're on the "inside" why the only way Mexicans believe they can have a better life is to come here. I've said it before, Mexico is a rich country with a rich heritage. There is nothing unfixably wrong with Mexico, it is a wealthy country. Do you deny it? My studies lead me to believe that the number one problem is the mordida and general culture of corruption, and the business climate. So is there some reason why Mexicans cannot make Mexico more to their liking? The US is NOT their only option. Furthermore you completely disregarded the fact that Mexico is itself doing on its southern border what I would like to see done here - why the hypocritical double standard? If it's wrong for us, it's wrong for them.

    I understand that you have a personal investment in this issue. My first post here, about compassionate conservatism and the welfare system was based on my personal experiences on welfare. I thought my case was unusual; the comments in my post and the subsequent one actually proved it is not; a good example of anecdotes not being indicative of reality. What goes on in your family does not change the facts listed above.  
    #  September 12th, 2005 7:06 PM      Cielo
    EDIT by JAMES:

    I'll summarize.

    he said: I AM A FOOL.

    and won't be back.  
    #  October 20th, 2005 9:29 AM      Justanothermexican
    My comments will apply to whom ever.
    frist comment is that probably 10-20 percent of mexicans ask for WELFARE. So that gives them the most respect. Who wouldn't want to think the way a Latino thinks. For example if you don't known we buy items that we can afford with (cash) not credit cards. Americans just keep on buying want they can afford even their under garments and super market food is on credit. Another example I want to share is that I saw a American lady buying food at super market with a credit card, I was think poor lady she can't afford want she's going to eat. But than I was going out to parking lot saw her loading her food in a HUMMER. That just proves that you Americans want to show that you are someone, when you can even afford any of those items.  
    #  October 20th, 2005 9:44 AM      BrianH
    Are you saying that the 10-20% of Mexicans who ask for welfare get the most respect? That's the way your first few comments read, but from the rest of your post I don't think that's what you meant.

    I think your saying that:

    1. Mexicans in general are hard working, (ONLY 10-20% ask for welfare compared to higher numbers in other groups?).

    That has been my experience too. If you look at our complaints, it isn't against people who come here legally (or are born here) and want to work. The complaints are against people who come here illegally or come here only to live off welfare. I suspect you are also against illegal activity and people living off the hard work of others.

    2. Mexicans in general don't spend money they don't have.
    Again, that has also been my experience. And I agree we Americans spend too much on credit.

    But that lady at the super market MAY have been using a debit card rather than a credit card. They look exactly alike but are completely different actions. A debit card would access a bank account in which that lady had the money to pay for her groceries. It's just like writing a check. She has the money, but instead of carrying cash she'll use the card. I prefer cash myself.
    #  October 20th, 2005 9:56 AM      james
    "Another example I want to share is that I saw a American lady buying food at super market with a credit card, I was think poor lady she can't afford want she's going to eat"

    dont misunderstand credit cards - i for one buy everything on my credit card. EVERYTHING. even if it costs only $4.

    my visa rewards card give me 5% back on gas, groceries, and drugs, and 1% back on anything else.

    if my bill at the grocery store is $100, i can pay cash and fork over $100, or use my visa, pay $100, and get a $5 back. $95 total. why wouldn't I use the card?

    on the same card, if gas is $3.00 a gallon, using the card makes it only $2.85 a gallon. again, why wouldn't i use the card?

    similarly, my discover card gives me 5% back on restaurant purchases.

    only suckers are still paying with cash these days. :)  
    #  October 24th, 2005 11:56 AM      Justanothermexican
    Sorry that I explained it incorrect.
    I know the difference. between credit card/ debt card, and that one you sign the other you just type your pin.....
    And to you example you said you save on anything you purchase. What does that prove to you...that you are starving for money? Plus don't you paid interest a month? And isn’t that promotion just for people like you to believe you are getting money back from the bank… Which you most likely aren’t… You are just making another bank rich. Not you ..
    #  October 24th, 2005 1:21 PM      BVBigBro
    No, if you pay off the credit card every month, you pay no interest. All Discover Cards pay you back a percentage on everything, as well as a higher percentage on certain items.

    As for "cash is for suckers", a savvy buyer can sometimes get discounts for cash purchases instead of using the credit card.  
    #  December 1st, 2005 10:12 AM      mbrlr
    But Laura, my perception is that what you're saying is based on emotion --- "they don't speak my language and we're being invaded!" --- not the facts. And New Mexico, btw, has been officially bilingual since it entered the Union almost 100 years ago. The sky hasn't fallen yet.  



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