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The Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and Crime

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Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
Our work contracts out and we have to move on.
Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

–“Deportees”, Woody Guthrie

A little more then a month ago, I opened a post on immigration with the above quote from “Deportees” by Woody Guthrie. In that post I offered up as a solution to our countries’ illegal immigration problem that we soften our restrictions on legal immigration and increase the penalties for employers caught hiring people not allowed to work in our respective countries.

In that post I also pointed out that Canada the United States are populated by primarily immigrants whose families have been here at most four hundred years. While that may seem like a lot to some of you, comparatived to other countries, it’s a mere blink of the eye. So where we get our rightful indignation about people coming to “our” countries is beyond my comprehension.

Given the recent paranoia and xenophobia guiding the decision-making process of most western governments these days, it’s no surprise that most people’s solution to illegal immigration is to build the walls around our countries higher (a la Israel) and pull up the drawbridge. Before anyone gets hot under the collar I should point out that is the prevalent attitude through Europe as well as North America, so I’m not picking on anyone in particular, yet. Although since European countries lack the land mass available in North America they have the excuse of worrying about overcrowding to fall back on.

In Canada, our immigration policy is geared towards ensuring we only get those who are either guaranteed jobs, have money, or have family that are willing to sponsor them. We are no longer willing to take people on speculation as immigrants.

Of course they can apply as refugees, but since this involves offering some proof that their life is in jeopardy if they are to be returned to their home country, unless they are on a United Nation’s list of designated refugee countries, their chances are slim. How often if you’re fleeing for your life do you manage to obtain paperwork like warrants for your arrest, or signed affidavits from your torturer?

These opinions aside, the problem of illegal immigration is very real, especially for the border states in the southern U.S. With millions of people living in poverty either directly south of them in Mexico, or in Central and Northern South America, there is a never-ending supply of people desperate enough to try anything to improve their lot in life.

This includes paying out huge sums of money, or going into a form of indentured slavery, to a variety of unscrupulous people willing to prey on the misfortunes of others. Placing their lives in the hands of people who think of them as nothing more than cargo, they are packed into trucks, and sped across the desert in the dead of night in the hopes of outrunning border patrols and vanishing into the anonymity of big cities.

Here they live a kind of half life at the mercy of their “benefactors” who, with a phone call, could have them deported. They have traded abject poverty for a false hope and a dashed dream of prosperity. One nightmare is supplanted by another as they struggle to get by in an alien world, on subsistence wages and no hope of ever bettering themselves or their children.

Districts and counties throughout the border states are struggling to find solutions to the problems these smuggling rings are causing in their areas. One such attempt is the Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security and Crime. The conference is sponsored by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) and is open to law enforcement officials and the general public.

The Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security and Crime will discuss the problems related to illegal immigration and public safety and other related concerns critical to the citizens of this region. Conference aims as cited in their brochure

The brochure goes on to list the topics of discussion for the conference: effects of illegal immigration on state and communities, effects of illegal immigration on public safety, improving border security, employer sanctions – what is to be done, and that great catchall category of ‘many more’. I guess these topics make sense when one considers who’s hosting the event, but I wonder what they actually have to do with immigration policy.

The very title of the conference had filled me with misgivings, which increased when I read the topics for discussion. In fairness, I thought, the people organizing it are concerned with law enforcement, so their focus would be on the issues that most directly impact their office. It was only when I read through their list of highlighted speakers that I realized it was another attempt to sell the idea of fortress America to attendees.

From Congressman Tom Tancredo, pundit Mark Krikorian, and journalists John Leo, John Fund, and Stephen Moore to the minor speakers, they are all proponents of the ‘less equals more’ school of immigration. True, they have issued token invitations to two folks from dissenting camps, but they have yet to confirm. It will be interesting to see it they decide to show.

Looking through the supplied .pdf files at their web site (see above), the brochure lists the credentials of each speaker, and it reads like a who’s who of conservative think tanks and pundits. That would all be well and good if they didn’t at another point say they were aiming at a fair and balanced presentation. When only two of about twelve speakers even appear to speak from another perspective, there will be nothing wide ranging about the expression of ideas.

This conference appears to be a means of further legitimizing one specific agenda: increasing the isolation of America from the rest of the world. You may think that is quite the leap of logic to see that in a local conference dealing with the issue of border jumpers. When taken in context with the rest of the current administration’s policies on homeland security, and measures restricting entry into the country based on place of origin, it becomes just another brick in the wall of siege mentality.

There is no denying that illegal immigration is a serious problem for the border states. Measures must be taken to stem the flow, but the level of hysteria being propagated by government officials at all levels seems to far exceed the extent of the problem.

Smugglers in human cargo should be sent away for life, any business found hiring illegal workers should be fined into bankruptcy, no matter what excuses they offer, and those measures should be coupled with a more open door policy for economic immigrants. Our countries were populated by people coming here to better themselves and persue the dream of escaping poverty after all, and what’s wrong with that?

Instead of throwing ourselves into fits of hysteria about people “stealing jobs” that nobody else wants, maybe we should be looking at ways in which we can capitalize on a willing and able labour force. Designate areas where people are needed, and tell immigrants that’s where they can go. If they are genuine in just wanting a chance to start fresh, they won’t care.

Take, for example, the case of the Vietnamese boat people who came over in the ’70s. They were settled in places completely foreign to most of them, hell, Texas is foreign to most people let alone those from central Asia (joking), and have just been grateful for the opportunity.

It’s not going to matter how hard you crack down on illegal immigrants if you don’t allow more people to enter. The conditions that cause people to risk so much for the chance to come to our supposed promised lands won’t have changed, so they will keep trying. If there is hope of another option, a legal one, don’t you think that most of them would rather go that route?

The Southwest Conference on Illegal Immigration, Border Security, and Crime will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Centre from November 3rd to 5th, 2005. You can register online at their Web site, where you can also find information about accommodations and transportation, or you can call Maricopa County Attorney’s Office at (602) 506-3536.

Ed/Pub:LisaM

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About Richard Marcus

Richard Marcus is the author of two books commissioned by Ulysses Press, "What Will Happen In Eragon IV?" (2009) and "The Unofficial Heroes Of Olympus Companion". Aside from Blogcritics his work has appeared around the world in publications like the German edition of Rolling Stone Magazine and the multilingual web site Qantara.de. He has been writing for Blogcritics.org since 2005 and has published around 1900 articles at the site.
  • http://jmaximus.blogspot.com John Bil

    Heres an idea, build a Berlin Wall on the border with Mexico. After a few illegals stepped on some land mines, it would stop overnight.

  • Les Slater

    gypsyman,

    I empathize with your concern and am glad you are putting forward your thinking along with some historical perspective.

    Fining employers out of business will not work. There really is no attempt, or will there be, to prevent undocumented workers from coming into this country. A substantial part of the economy depends on them.

    What we are witnessing instead is the brutalization of a layer of fellow workers from other countries. This brutality and harassment is to force this layer into a pariah status, where they have no rights, where they are at the mercy of the employers. The INS, or whatever it is called these days, is a tool used by the employers to keep these workers in line. The INS knows very well who these employers are and not only that they are employing these workers, but are paying them less than is legally required.

    These employers, collectively, and through their allies in the two parties, are what determines immigration policy and how it is enforced.

    These workers without papers are us and our future. Attacking them only weakens the rest of the workforce. We are always under threat that our job could be given to one of them.

    We should demand full rights for all workers, papers or not.

    The borders we now have are what isolates us. These borders are totally transparent to capital flows and to capitalists themselves. The borders are not in our interests. Abolish them, period.

    Les

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    “we soften our restrictions on legal immigration and increase the penalties for employers caught hiring people not allowed to work in our respective countries.”

    Yes yes yes yes!!! How hard is this???

  • Rick

    This issue is much more complicated than meets the eye, involves many aspects that few see, and is also misconstrued by those on both sides of the political spectrum to suit their own objectives.

    For the United States, the issue of illegal immigration is a huge problem, but is only symptomatic to the issues of national security, sovereignty, and the economy.

    To those who are pushing for the legalization of these people, they hide both their real agenda, and the other problems associated with massive illegal immigration.

    For those who are pushing for walls, many do not consider the human aspect, and the very real need for a certain amount of immigrant labor.

    The fact is that the United States has a genuine need for not only immigrants in the workforce for such laborious vocations such as agriculture, but in various fields that include technology and manufacturing. Many of the immigrants have a better work ethic than their American counterparts, and even expertise in some cases.

    Unfortunately, there is a negative aspect as well. Several American industries have pushed for a guest worker program such as the McCain/Kennedy bill so they can displace domestic employees in favor of much cheaper immigrant labor. The United States cannot sustain this without undermining the overall economy. These industries, who have all paid out millions to lobbyists, include trucking, manufacturing, food processing, construction and even the high tech industry. Even in New Orleans and other devastated parts of the country due to recent natural disasters, American workers are displaced by an influx of labor from Mexico after President Bush suspended rules that require prevailing wages to those foreign workers doing public jobs. Over half a million or more American workers are now being paid unemployment or receiving other forms of public support while they watch Mexican workers coming to do the jobs that many want, but cannot have.

    If this type of policy continues, how long will it be before American workers watch from the sidelines while foreign workers do all the work? Can any economy sustain itself by hiring foreign workers to support unemployed domestic workers?

    Since 9/11/01, over six thousand illegals with ties to terrorist countries have either been deported, captured trying to enter the country, or stopped before they could enter. Many of these have attempted to enter through the porous southern border. Most have been in possession of counterfeit identification that showed the possessors being Mexican. One said his name was Manuel Atta Alvarez. Apparently he could just not give up all personal identification. The man was from Syria, but the identification said he was from Oaxaca.

    There have also been an undisclosed amount of weapons and explosives confiscated by both the United States and Mexican governments. As the agendas of these governments can only be guessed at, one can only surmise why this is not public information, but the mainstream media outlets have been complicit in not reporting what they know and have documented.

    I have seen only one plan from a United States representative that really addresses the problems in a proper manner, and that is Tom Tancredo, the maverick Congressman from Colorado. He has been attacked by members of Congress, including those in his own party. He has even come under severe scrutiny from the White House in a scathing rebuke from Karl Rove.

    Tancredo’s plan is simple. Secure the borders first. Eliminate all non-immigrant work visa categories and replace them all with one visa program. Use the existing data bases for both employment of foreign workers, but also to set wages according to prevailing rates in different areas of the country and according to experience levels for different occupations. The plan requires a prospective employer to prove they actually have a real need for the guest worker before they can join the data base to be matched with an employee.

    For instance, a construction company in Massachusetts needs 50 new workers, and cannot find enough qualified workers in the area. The employer needs workers with at least five years experience in various positions, including framers, welders and finish carpentry. Lets say the average wages for all these positions in Massachusetts is $18.00/hour plus benefits.

    The employer must meet the requirements for hiring immigrant workers before he can be approved and entered into the existing national data base for obtaining guest workers. The guest worker must apply for the job from their own countries. After completing a background check, receiving a biometric identification card, the employees could be matched to the the employers.

    The employer must pay the prevailing wages and benefits to the guest worker, eliminating the incentive to displace a domestic worker.

    Violators would be fined severely, placed in jail, or both. The bill requires strict enforcement.

    I have not seen a perfect bill, but this one is probably as close as can be expected. No country can be expected to survive at this level of unchecked immigration.

    The problem is not in legal immigration, but illegal immigration. I don’t know about you, but when I invite someone into my home, I open my front door. I do not sneak them in the back door under cover of darkness, nor do I put my guests in danger to come.

    No one but the extremists want to close the border, just secure them so everyone comes in legally, through the front door. Very few other countries in the world allow this, yet many other countries demand it of the United States. I would never go to a country and demand they abide by my rules. I am required to abide by theirs. Why should the United States be the exception?

  • WTF

    Doesn’t immigration law extend legal status to those escaping retribution or harm.

    It’s the illegal immigrants leaving countries with poor prospects of offering a wage which travel to countries with better alternatives, and it’s not just America.

    The solutions may seem easy, but the country is so polarized on this subject that it may be impossible to enact.

    The strain on social services and public institutions alone is mindboggling. Just look at local legal statute that exists in the wake of the illegal immigration boom (ex. Zoning laws which prohibit more than 1 family per household, or limit the amount of people sleeping in 1 room). For every action by illegals there seems to be an equal reaction by authorities based the demands of taxpaying citizens, special interest groups etc…

    As for the “we’re all immigrants” statement. I counter with, how long ago do you want to take that statement. The native populations of the American continent were immigrants too! The illegal’s are probably immigrant based from their countries of origin.

    Immigration law and procedures really do 1 thing. They screen criminals and lawbreakers. Immigration law used to screen disease, but that seems to have gone to PC junkyard. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sembalance of assurance regarding the immigrant if the process insured that a violent offender was not working here? I would. If we want to go overseas, we’re screened. Do you have a problem with that? Great masses of immigrant populations are often used as cover for drug operations and worse. Can law totally prevent those criminal activities from slipping through unnoticed? No. Should we completely stop the process on that note alone? No.

    So, I guess I’m missing the point. Do we need workers from other countries? Probably. No we need criminals (thieves, murderers, terrorists, smugglers) coming in without screening? No. What is the choice? Obviously it’s some sort of screening process. I’m for screening, I’m also for health screenings, drug screenings and any safeguard we can deploy to meet a certain standard of who crosses our borders. Furthermore, as a taxpaying citizen, I demand it.

  • http://www.nrlc.org/ Anthony Grande

    “For those who are pushing for walls, many do not consider the human aspect, and the very real need for a certain amount of immigrant labor.”

    They said the same thing about the abolishion of the slaves. It hurt us, but it was something we had to do.

    “Doesn’t immigration law extend legal status to those escaping retribution or harm.”

    Yes, like Christian Pakastanis who are in harm if they stay. But Mexicans and Central Americans don’t have the same excuse.

  • Rick

    Illegal immigration has become a genuine problem all over the world, especially in free countries. England, Germany, France, even countries like Malta and Austrailia have significant immigration problems.

    All of these countries have recognized the problem and are taking action to solve it. But, these same countries have criticized those in the United States who demand proactive action against the problem.

    Disease is also a real problem. Several diseases that have been effectively eliminated in the United States have been returned.

    Most countries require medical screening before entering. The United States does as well, but it is seldom enforced. This has resulted from a series of lawsuits by countries that require the same standards they sued to stop.

    For the life of me I do not understand why everyone in the world demands lower standards from the United States than they hold.

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    The braceros program actually worked. Unfortunately, there was enough abuse of the program that led directly to the situation we face today.

    The brunt of responsibility for the hiring of illegal immigrants lies squarely on the shoulders of those who hire illegal immigrants.

    The braceros program would be effective today, except there are far too many employers that would balk at the restrictions placed on them – fair wages, health care, and humane treatment, for example.

    It comes down to simple economics for the people doing the hiring. And, as long as the almighty dollar is the only consideration, we won’t be able to stop the practice.

  • Les Slater

    Comment 4 by Rick is thoroughly reactionary and utopian.

    Illegal immigration is no accident. It is allowed, and encouraged, for a purpose. The employers that take advantage of it do not want to pay prevailing wages. As a matter of fact, most, if not all, employers do not want to pay anybody prevailing wages.

    For the past couple or so decades, the employing class has been on a tare to drive down all our wages, social benefits, and standard of living in general.

    None of the utopian reaction like ‘save U.S. jobs’ has worked nor will it ever work. The fear of illegal immigrants is essentially the same as the fear of Indian or Chinese workers.

    Solidarize with these workers, not the panicked, and increasingly reactionary, middle class.

  • Rick

    Reactionary? Hardly! However, this is better than resignation.

    The economic problems associated with massive illegal immigration are already having effect. California is spending almost ten percent of its budget on expenses directly related to illegal immigration. Arizona and New Mexico is not far behind. Most states have measurable expenses realted to the problems, estimated to be over $150 billion nationwide. And this does not even count lost income to American workers displaced by illegal labor, or the entry level jobs for young workers that no longer exist for them.

    Nothing here even addreses the root cause of the problem either. This is the governments of the countires who force their own people out of the countries they call home, and want to remain in. These governments count on the monies sent back to the homeland for a mjor part of their income, another economic loss to our country, and another problem largely overlooked by those in the mainstream media.

    Unfortunatly I do not have the time to thoriughly dissect the problem, but I have written reams of articles and studies associated with illegal immigration. I have studied the problem for years, including spending countless days with illegals in their own countries, crossing the deserts, in work camps and on job sites. I live among the illegals at least 1/3 of my time. I have gotten to know who these people are, why they come, what they really want and so much more.

    I have watched them live and die in circumstances most call vulger.

    I have studies every plan proposed by the legislators, even the two new ones by J.D. Hayworth and Ben Nelson. I have been in political studies for years, and very much in the middle of the political scene, albiet behind the scenes.

    This issue is largly hidden by our government, the Mexican government and other countries who ship illegals to the United States, and the mainstream media as a whole. It is my frustration at the entire thing that causes me to start speaking out in public. My eyes are not closed to the situation.

  • Les Slater

    > Reactionary? Hardly! However, this is better than resignation.

    What do you mean? Anything is better than resignation?

    > The economic problems associated with massive illegal immigration are already having effect. California is spending almost ten percent of its budget on expenses directly related to illegal immigration. Arizona and New Mexico is not far behind. Most states have measurable expenses realted to the problems, estimated to be over $150 billion nationwide. And this does not even count lost income to American workers displaced by illegal labor, or the entry level jobs for young workers that no longer exist for them.

    That’s quite a mouthful. Are you stating that the states, especially California, are subsidizing industry based on hiring non-documented workers? For what purpose?

    Are you concerned for the taxpayer? The worker? Neither runs the country. It is the employers that run the country. Might it not occur to you that the employers don’t see it from your perspective? What makes you think you might influence their laws or enforcement?

    > Nothing here even addreses the root cause of the problem either. This is the governments of the countires who force their own people out of the countries they call home, and want to remain in. These governments count on the monies sent back to the homeland for a mjor part of their income, another economic loss to our country, and another problem largely overlooked by those in the mainstream media.

    You got it totally backwards here. It is the employing class of the United States that forces market relations on these countries that destroy their ability to progress economically. More important is that these market relations destroy much of the infrastructure that allow for gainful employment of much of their population. The monies sent back pale by comparison to the wealth, including labor power, which is sucked from them.

    The deal is very profitable to the entire employing class. Not only do they pay a portion of the workforce illegal wages, but also depresses the earning power of the entire working class. It’s a big win for the employers.

    You may look at it from a different perspective but for sure your view has nothing to offer any worker, foreign or domestic, legal or without documentation.

  • Mo

    Rick-

    I find it interesting that you are a supposed expert on illegal immigration, but you support someone like Tancredo. Recent reports have proven that “tightening the borders” is not the end-all, be-all solution to illegal immigration. It has been proven that the border patrol has drastically increased border security over the last decade only to see a marked increase in illegal immigration.

    The 1996 legislation that put the 3/10 bar into place ended circular migration of immigrants and forced them to remain once they got here, sending for their families and setting roots in the U.S. This is a prime example where enforcement back-fired. Instead of coming across during a certain argricultural season, making money then returning home to their families…these migrants now come to stay.

    This is not to say there shouldn’t be border enforcement, no one wants our country to be a free-for-all for terrorism, drugs and gun smuggling. But enforcement is not the answer to the problem but one step in the solution.

    As for the “burden” that all tax payers associate with illegal immigration – untold billions of dollars come from these immigrants. That’s right, billions. The majority of illegal immigrants work under fake documents, they pay taxes that they will never collect on and they pay into social security and medicare. Not to mention basic sales tax they pay everyday like you and I. There is absolutely no way to determine how much they contribute vs. how much they “drain.” So it is a baseless argument, but good for media hype to scare your average tax payer.

    I’m glad you are so close with illegal immigrants and that you can somehow feel their pain. But I am married to one. Not a man who snuck across the border in the middle of the night, but one who came to America on a legitimate work visa and whom overstayed that visa while we tried to negotiate the impossible maze of U.S. Immigration. He is not able to adjust on his specific visa and he is not able to return home to set things straight or he will be barred from the U.S. for 10 years for his overstay.

    What is needed in this country is a (gasp) compassionate immigration system that understands that people are not going to stop trying to come here as long as poverty and persecution exist in other parts of the world. They will not stop trying to come realize the American dream and nor should they. A system that allows people to come and make a new life as my grandparents did through Ellis Island, will not fail. If legal immigration was attainable, then illegal immigration would be a thing of the past.

    As for health and criminal screenings that others have mentioned – they are a requirement for all visa holders. And they are strict. If you want those who came here w/out a screening to come of the shadows and get screened then don’t support a lunatic like Tancredo who’s “deportation only” solution for illegal immigration will drive these people further into the shadows, thus creating a security issue that will not be remedied.

  • robert

    hey, not to put anybody down but desperate people do desperate things and not everyone coming over is all nice and friendly…had three robbers one week in my city? won’t speak to you in walmart…gangs…i agree that people are generalized too much into a catagory, but with that said, who gonna pay for this here wave of immigration…didn’t a group of mexicans declare los angeles a mexican city…try this in europe…lol , you’ll find yourself being deported…or worse.everyone wants to be here,yes yes. i hate to see the look of disappointment on mexican faces as i pass by on my junky bicycle…everyone wants what they want and they want it five minutes ago!!! i have my eye on canada and mexico…once everyone comes here, i will move to your country. the cries of boo hoo from the mexican government is beyond me…can anyone read? can you? do you know how currupt they are? well, my momma told me your friends pull you up or down…due south, this one. btw, i pay out of my pocket for medicine and health care because i’m on disability…so if you think paying $1.00 last year and $13.49 sometimes this year…you really need to ask yourself what your feeling will be when it’s your cash paying the way for immigration…[i am talking about the phasing out of my health insurance to pay for immigrants, north carolina medicaid] look it up…=[] p.s. i only make these comments because i am very rascist and in no way affected by documentaries on the ms13 street gang, the gang grafitti covering my city and my fear of being robbed…no, it’s all in my mind…these fears, i’m just being selfish…why should america always help other countries…the world doesn’t like america, that’s fair enough…but true/false//did the russian and mexican and other countries governments not suck their own countries dry of cash and then let the people suffer? why should i expect america will not now be sucked dry.poor hungry people are not friendly, not in a country where grown men shoot kids cause they got bad memories…i’m going to go cover my self with dirt…your house is my old house

  • Nancy

    That they’re desperate is of no concern to us. Lots of people are desperate, but that doesn’t give them the “right” to enter illegally or stay illegally. They have no rights, and should have no rights, and frankly they’re damned lucky we don’t just declare it open season, shoot to kill on every single one. These vermin are so low even their own governments have no use for them. They have no skills, no education, and no prospect of gaining any. They’re the output of those bottom feeders who breed endlessly & uncontrolledly. In any event there is NO reason why the US should have to have them thrust upon us by their governments who are unable & unwilling to handle the problem of this excess population of undesirables themselves, and NO reason why we should be expected to take care of or provide for them, here or not. And if they come here & end up living a worse fate, good. Perhaps it’ll get back to the vermin back home & deter them from trying to come as well.

  • Clavos

    Nancy #14,

    My comments to follow apply only to the Mexican immigrants, not the other nationalities I know you have in the DC area–I’m not qualified to talk about them.

    You say:

    These vermin are so low even their own governments have no use for them.

    Their own government (or society, actually) has no WORK for them–it’s the main reason they come here: for the work. Their government is not forcing them to come here, though I’m sure it’s not unhappy to see them leave; it relieves pressure in Mexico, and those who work are sending home money of a magnitude second only to oil exports as a source for foreign income for Mexico.

    They have no skills, no education, and no prospect of gaining any.

    Actually, many DO have skills. One of the complaints from other commenters here on BC is that they are displacing native workers in skilled and semi-skilled jobs such as construction, in some areas. In Florida, many DO work in construction, but they’re not displacing natives, because there are still jobs going begging, despite the influx of foreign workers.

    This is one reason why I think that a properly crafted guest worker program should include a provision for determining WHERE guest workers would come to seek work, rather than leave it up to them to saturate some areas (CA) while jobs are open in others (FL).

    In any event there is NO reason why the US should have to have them thrust upon us by their governments who are unable & unwilling to handle the problem of this excess population of undesirables themselves

    Again, in the case of Mexico, you are correct in saying the Mexican government is unable to fix its economy well enough to provide work for these people, but incorrect in assuming that it is forcing them to come here–no force is necessary: they can SEE that there’s more work (at higher pay) here, and that’s enough for them to come on their own.

    And finally, I’m surprised that, as a self-styled “lefty”, as you’ve posted on other threads, you could even THINK, much less say, something as inhumane as this:

    They have no rights, and should have no rights, and frankly they’re damned lucky we don’t just declare it open season, shoot to kill on every single one.

  • Nancy

    Clavos, ol’ buddy, on the matter of illegals of ANY provence I’m to the right of genghis khan. I don’t care if they’re from El Salvador or Edinburgh. It’s that they’re ILLEGAL.

    My positions on various issues go issue by issue, generally, & not by party line, altho they do tend to cluster to the left of center lately, but with me that’s never a given. For example, I’m to the right on finance & gov’t spending, too – one reason BushCo sends me gibbering. You just haven’t had opportunity to see me talk about much else than BushCo on this blogsite.

  • Lawrence

    Richard Marcus –

    Your quote:
    “There is no denying that illegal immigration is a serious problem for the border states. Measures must be taken to stem the flow, but the level of hysteria being propagated by government officials at all levels seems to far exceed the extent of the problem.”

    This way off base. Most politicians are either actively pro-illegal immigration or indifferent, at least in New Mexico.

    Gov. Bill Richardson flip-flops from declaring a state of emergency on the border, to promoting illegal immigration. I think he has Presidential aspirations and is courting the Hispanic (including illegal) votes.

    The Mayor of the largest city in the state Albuquerque, Martin Chavez, recently attended a living wage rally and diverted it into a pro-illegal immigration rally; all the while wearing a red Che Guevara beenie.

    A few years ago politicians in Santa Fe, the Capitol city, declared the city a “Sanctuary City” and it is overwhelmed by illegal residents.

    Very few politicians across the country are really actively trying to get control of illegal immigration, and many, especially in California are actively trying to fight for more.

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