Wednesday, May 17, 2006

And Now for Something Completely Different....

So –
What are your opinions on the 5 areas of change for the immigration reform?
Read Speech Here

1. Secure Our Borders

Some people have said that we can’t afford to send 6000 National Guardsmen down to help out the Border Patrol for a year, while new Border Patrol agents are being trained. Many People think that we are abusing the use of the National Guard and should be looking at the War in Iraq instead. Other people think that more Border Patrol agents won’t do any good – as the immigrants will still come over no matter what. So what is the solution?
I personally agree that our borders should be ‘under control’ as a way to correct this problem. I have heard far too many horror from immigrants and citizens about the border – and they need some serious attention. Are these viable solutions? I’d love to hear suggestions.

2. Create a Temporary Workers Program

With proper documentation, immigrants can come over to work in our country, pay taxes, and return to their homes after a certain number of years. I think this is a great idea. Supposedly this is how things USED to be a generation before now. The immigrants would come, work, and go home. Now the trend is to stay. I’ve heard this from multiple sources as to why these worker programs will not work. Many young people do not want to go back to Mexico – as they have started families here, or they would like to bring their families here for a chance of a better life. In my opinion, this lies partly to blame on Mexico itself (as we are mainly talking about our Southern border, though not ignoring ALL immigrant peoples). I think Mexico needs to step up and try to improve its economy, though I don’t pretend to know how.

3. We Need to Hold Employers Responsible

I agree with this whole heartedly. Although I know from experience that because it’s so easy to falsify documents and so hard to verify authentication, many employers will hire illegal immigrants, only to find out when the paper work comes back (after a month) that they are illegal. And then what happens when an employer finds out? They CAN’T fire that individual! No Guff!!!! They have to fire them just like a regular employee by writing them up, etc! So Frustrating! So I agree that the employers who DON’T care about this (which I have worked for some….) get harsh repercussions, as well as the federal government making it easier to verify immigration status. As far as a tamper proof card? I don’t know if that would work, seeing as how tons of immigrants already have illegal driver’s licenses….

4. Amnesty?

No way. I do agree that to just deport everyone is completely ridiculous – which is a lot of people’s opinions of what should happen. Some guy from the Minutemen down in New Mexico had some brilliant idea to give immigrants 6 months to liquidate all their assets, and turn themselves in for deportation. If they didn’t willingly turn themselves in, they would get deported and lose whatever assets he had to pay for the deportation process.
Get real people. Do you KNOW how many illegal immigrants there are? And what about the people from overseas? How much would THAT program cost? I say paying a heavy fine and starting at the back of the line for legalization is a great idea. Because really, what else can we do? The Border Patrol caught and returned 6 million people to their countries last year. Think of how many got through and are currently here if we are seriously deficient in patrolling our borders?
Wake up, duh.

5. Respect That America is a Melting Pot

I understand that a lot of people are prejudice of immigrants, but I hope it’s only because they aren’t here legally – not because of race. I think to most people, this last point was a no brainer. But I forget that there are MANY people out there that are blind to this easy point, even if they are Croatian, German, Spanish, Russian, African, etc. I think this was a good move on the speech writer’s part.

And lastly – What the hell kind of story did Bush talk about at the end? Guadalupe Denogean? If he were illegal, how did he get into the Marines? They didn’t let The Samurai into the Marines because he had a felony from making a bomb out of household parts. How did this guy get in? Am I missing something here?

This lies heavy on my heart, as most of you remember Abraham. He was a good person (even though he wanted me to quit my job and have his babies. No thanks, dood). But he was a very good man who came here illegally from Guatemala through the desert almost dying with some 15 year old girl he found along the 3 day trip across the border over his shoulder. She was laying abandoned dying of dehydration. His brother was caught and returned to Mexico 3 times after attempting the cross, and he was robbed by Coyotes 2ce. Each trip cost about $5000. THAT’S how desperate some people are. Where did he get the money? Abraham. He had been here for 5 years and saved his money like crazy, WHILE paying taxes under the false documents my old company provided for him. Think what you want about that. My old company was crap, but they paid their illegal employees REALLY well.

So what do you think about these solutions?


Aaron said...

The first three parts are absolutely necessary. In my opinion the measures aren't tough enough.

The border needs to be sealed. This is not a matter of racism or whatever, it is an issue of national security and economic viability. The absolute flood of foreign trespassers needs to be stopped, yesterday. Don't let anybody give you any monkeyshines about our forces being stretched thin, that argument shows peoples ignorance when it comes to our military. The border states have plenty of Guard troops to man the border without asking help from any neighboring state - nevermind the total amount of Guard troops in the country.

The temporary worker program is a cute little euphamism that namby-pamby liberals have used to disguise government subsidized foreign trespassing. They say that the workers go home after thier permit expires, but there's nothing there to enforce it. It's all about how the legislation makes conservatives happy that these workers are documented and they will have to go home eventually, but has no backbone to enforce it's own laws. Make no mistake about it, this is a backdoor to allow millions more trespassers into the country while still appearing to be 'tough on the border'.

The third point is the second most important part of the legislation. Employers who hire trespassers must be subject to harsh penalties for doing so. If there are no jobs for them, many trespassers won't leave their home.

Amnesty is absolutely ridiculous. I can't believe they're still talking about it.

Ok, now for the contentious point. America is what it is. We should not be making legislation today because we're guilty about what happened in the past. All Americans should have respect for all other Americans - no matter where they or their great grandparents came from. The word America is synonymous with immigration. Back in the old days immigrants would come here and assimilate to the existing culture. One reason the current crop of trespassers aren't getting any respect is because they're demanding that Americans assimilate to their culture.

Ok, let's get the record straight about who we're talking about. The people who are coming here are the people who can't/won't make it in their own country for whatever reason. Over 70% of them are Mexican. It appears that many of them are fleeing the law. That is probably why our federal prison population consists of 30% trespassers, while the general population consists of only about 1-5%. We are NOT talking about people who are fleeing oppressive cultures or politics, we are talking about poor, unsuccessful criminals. Mexico is using all of it's resources to export it's poverty and crime problem to the USA.

Cas, why didn't Abraham go through the proper channels to become an American citizen? It seems like it would've been much cheaper and would've involved a lot less risk.

Aaron said...

Cas. If you're willing to fight and die for the USA, they will let you be a Marine. The Marines don't care if you're a citizen or a toad, if you can pass all the tests, and you're Semper Fidelis, you can become a US Marine.

locomocos said...

well -
as you know the allowance of citizenship per year for unskilled workers TOTAL (including ALL peoples trying to come into the US) is only 5000 per year. The skilled worker alotment is only 600,000 - which is broken up into 3 parts where a a third is reserved for family members of new citizens. Read here for more details on this....
Now if you think about it, the southern border patrol returned 6 MILLION people last year back to Mexico (these are people from all over latin america, not just mexico). So - to go through the legal way to enter the country, you have to a. be a skilled, educated worker either sponsored by a legal family of the US, or an employer who can prove that you are VITAL to his company. So if you're an unskille worker who just wants to make $6 per hour as opposed to $6 per day - would you wait up to 10 years for a visa? This goes for work visas as well. They are attained anywhere from 2-5 years without sponsorship (and sometimes WITH sponsorship).

So - Abraham could not wait 2-10 years to come make a life for himself in the US, when you could just sell anything of value to pay a Coyote to dump you in within the borders of the US with 3 jugs of water, and $25 to your name. Don't forget the trek for most latin americans UP through Mexico - no easy feat.....
and as far as the criminals, only 20% of the immigrant population is 'reported' to be running from the law. sure there could be more, there could be less. We won't know until we start getting control of the borders and an accurate account of who is entering the country. I think it's a gross generalization to say that the majority of people entering are criminals. I think that sounds like "fear of the outsider" talk to me....

but i think your points are valid - and i know you know my opinion on the worker program....
But in light of the new info on legal immigration, does it make some sense as to why these desperate people choose to sneak over the border and risk death?

and as for the Marine dude - doesn't it is ask on most federal/government forms if you are a US Citizen? So did this guy just lie on his form and now it's okay? I understand army stuff - they just want bodies - but aren't we really talking about breaking the law to be in this country?

Aaron said...

They're not breaking the law at all to be in the armed forces. It is their policy to accept non-citizens, and they accept thousands every year. It may ask if you're a citizen, but it's not a requirement to be a US Marine, Soldier, Sailor or Airman.

It is a gross generalization to say that the majority of people entering the country are criminals, and it's not true. It is true, however, that a very signifigant portion of the Mexicans who trespass are, in fact, criminals - do one degree or another. Most are poor.

I don't fault anybody for wanting to come to the USA illegally. This is the greatest nation in the history of the world. I don't fault them for trying to trespass. I would want to make more money if I were them too. That doesn't make it ok. If we were to open our borders to this kind of element, we would soon become economically insignifigant much like the Soviet Union did.

What we should do after we secure the border, deport the criminals, get a 'worker program' that works, and hold employers responsible is to help these third-world Latin American countries rid themselves of the corruption that is eating them alive and forcing their people to take desperate measures.

jason said...

1. Secure the borders. I'm all for it. I think sending guardsmen there is a good idea to at least partially fill the gap of policing the borders. I'm actually pretty hard-line on this one. I would like to see a wall built. Right now, our borders (including Canada) leak like a seive. It would be very easy for someone wishing to do harm to this country to come in from an outside country completely unnoticed. The question is how to build it so it is more or less immpenatrable. It would be pointless to build a wall that was easy to breach and in need of constant repairs. Unfortunately, I don't think this will be a viable option due to expense and "negative image". The idea of closing off our borders (and possibly limiting immigration) has been on my mind as an option since September 11th. America has enough people as it is, I say put up a big sign that says "closed for business". Yeah, I know, pretty harsh.

2. Temporary worker program. The big joke of this one is who would realistically want to go back home after establishing a life and family in the United States...damn few I imagine. There is no way this program would work, in actuality, it would just make it easier for people to come to America, work, and never become a citizen. I do like the idea that it would create a documented worker population that would be held accountable to pay taxes and to pay for their health care(my main two gripes with illegal immigration)

3. Holding employers responsible. Hell yes!!!! We should have been enforcing that much more strongly from the get go. Just like household pests, remove the "food" source, and they will go elsewhere. I imagine this will be a difficult aspect to monitor, but well worth it. Cassie, as far as when you say that employers can't fire immigrants after they find out they falsified their that true? If so, why can't they? That just sounds ridiculous. Is it so that the company doesn't get in trouble from hiring them in the first place? I would like to see something along the 3 strikes, you're out policy concerning employers. The first two times you are caught hiring illegals, you are heavily fined. The third time, you go to jail and your company assests are either sold to the highest bidder or sold and contributed to the tax base.

4. Amnesty. I'm actually on the fence on this one. While I don't like the idea of basically saying "we have laws, but you can go ahead and ignore them", I couldn't begin to fathom the cost of rounding up everyone that may be considered illegal and proving that they are. Also, it's a slap in the face of everyone that worked hard to come here through the legal channels. My idea would be to give these people a once in a lifetime opportunity to apply for some sort of "short cut" to citizenship, and the responsibility that entails. This would only apply for a given period of time. After that, it's fair game for deportation and/or imprisonment. This would have to be used in conjunction with a MAJOR fortification of the borders. We take care of who's already here the quickest and easiest way we can, while making it VERY hard for new people to get across the border. Again, the problem lies in how much of a bill are we willing to pay to shore up our borders.

My opinions stem from both an economic and social standpoint. Economically, I can't stand the fact that some illegals don't pay taxes, yet get free health care and education. I don't get a free ride...and nobody else should as well. Socially, I think anyone that comes to America should assimilate to our culture, not the other way around. I don't like the idea of vast amounts of money being spent to "Mexicanize" our society so that these people can function without having to try to change at all. Of course, maintain your heritage...that's fine...just learn to speak the damn language for god's sake! (when a foreigner comes to a hospital, it is mandated that they have access to a translator at all an incredible expense to the hospital, not the patient. Translators aren't cheap. So, it is feasible for a non-citizen that doesn't pay taxes to get state of the art medical treatment, food, medication, and a translator at no cost to them....doesn't sound too fair to the rest of us)

So, there it point of view. Sounds harsh, but it is what it is. Does that make me an unfeeling monster? I don't think so. I'm still for socialized medicine financed through sales tax. Actually, on another note, I'd like to see income tax abolished and just have a very high sales tax...that way if you choose to buy more expensive items, you get taxed more. On the surface it sounds pretty good. That way, everyone has to at least pay something.

Paul said...

Honestly, I think all the Native Americans should use their casino profits and deport the nearly 300 million remaining people in this country because they were the First "Americans" and this land rightfully "belongs" to them and not to the Spaniards, Irish, Mexicans, Germans, Pilgrims, Russian Jews, descendants of African slaves, Nips, Hmong refugees, Haitian boat people, Iranian political asylees, or any others. Case closed.

One more thing. Once you build a wall, it not only keeps people out, but symbolically keeps people in. United Statesians, driven by fear, are imprisoning themselves. It saddens me to see this happening to my country. "Ya Basta! Another world is possible!"

This and That said...

well said/written Paul!

Amber said...

I don't really feel like expressing my opinion on this, but if I had I would have agreed with Paul and would have mentioned the actual Americans and the Melting Pot that we cook in is burning over a fire built with their funeral pyres, but again I'm not really going to get into what I feel. The one thing in the comments that I had to respond to was the wall. If you're wanting to build a nice wall, go talk to the Chinese, another country full of freedom lovers, they might have some good tips, good thing they're on the most favored nations list and most of our junk is made by them. whew. The one really scary thing about a wall is that it can be used both ways, it can also keep people in, and I sure as fuck don't want a wall KEEPING me in this country, especially with the way it's going lately.

Aaron said...

Wow Amb-o, were you planning on walking across the desert to get to mexico? NOTHING IS KEEPING YOU IN THIS COUNTRY. All you have to do is walk across the border to mexico.

It's too bad the opposition has to make ridiculously irrelevant arguments about native americans. The two situations are not remotely similar in any way.

Throughout history, fixed fortifications have been a very effective method of defending territory. Although fortification lines don't tend to stop blitzkreiging german troops (just ask the french), they are very effective in blocking benign traffic (just ask the people of berlin).

Is it true that the open border crowd would have you believe that a fence would do more psychological damage to the American psyche than the economic and cultural damage the trespassers are inflicting? I've never heard a more ridiculous argument. To repeat: NOTHING IS KEEPING YOU IN THIS COUNTRY. Today you are freer than ever to move your ass to a third world country like Mexico and be happy for the rest of your life eating beans and rice.

Aaron said...

Paul, the thing you don't understand about the argument is that it's not about culture, or where these people came from, it's about an invasion of foreign trespassers that threaten the economic viability of our country.

There could be a flood of 6 foot tall, blonde, sweedish women coming across the border. If they were having the same effect, we'd have to build a wall to keep them out.

Amber said...

It's not as easy as you say, a-ron. Trust me, Dil. and I have looked into moving to Canada and it's not as simple as walking over. Of course this is saying that we'd do it legally. I'm not arguing with you, we have seen time and again how different our views are and to continue to argue would be inane at this point, hence my not REALLY saying what I think, which if you go back and read my comment I didn't really express any views on this subject.
as a side note - I SERIOUSLY fucking doubt you would build a wall to keep swedish babes out, why lie to us or yourself?

Paul said...

Aaron, I would have to totally have to disagree with you about this not being about culture. If this were happening with 6 foot tall, blonde people the same sort of political opportunistic "discussion" would not be happening now. And it is opportunistic because this discussion isn't about a pressing issue that needs to be solved right now. This sort of thing has been happening in this country for decades if no hundreds of years. This current debate is about political parties trying to energize their bases to gear up for an imminent election. And, unfortunately, people's lives are being messed with in the process. It is crude and crass politics. Very little more. Aaron, I think you and I should agree to disagree about this right now because neither I nor you will ever see eye to eye on this.

And, frankly, if we are going to reduce this argument to economics, I'd like to hear the person out there who is excited to spend billions of dollars on Federal programs getting rid of these people and then willing to pay $3.69 for a head of lettuce instead of $1.69 because people from the United States are not going to be willing to get paid by the bushel for such hard work. I've done it. I've picked chile along with my family on the weekends when I was teenager for extra money. And believe me there are few people in this country who'd be willing to do such back-breaking work for pittance.