Arizona vs. illegal aliens

Arizona has passed a law cracking down on illegal immigrants, seeking them out and sending them back.  Now the state  is being vilified, condemned by Democrats like President Obama as well as Republicans like Tom Ridge.  The state of California is threatening to boycott all Arizona products, though some states like Texas are reportedly considering similar action.  See, for example, Tom Ridge Criticizes Arizona Immigration Bill – ABC News and this.

What do you think?  Is the Arizona law needlessly heartless?  Or reasonably enforcing its borders, something the federal government should be doing so the state shouldn’t have to?

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About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Caleb

    Having spent a semester in former East Germany studying, this law reminds me a lot of the STASI (Staatsicherheitsdienst or State security service) tactics used by the Soviet puppet government to control their population. Obviously they couldn’t be Big Brother everywhere at once, so they employed or cajoled people on the street to serve by spying on their neighbors, at the same time hiring their neighbors to spy on them. It is estimated that at one point, 1 in 6 East Germans were spying on the other 5, creating the most effective and oppressive police state in human history. Their records are still being studied, and won’t be completely pieced together for another hundred years.

    Obviously this Arizona law is not so extreme, but after learning extensively about the STASI activity, I’d be leery of any policy that begins to encourage citizens to spy on one another. It’s just one step down a slippery slope…

  • Caleb

    Having spent a semester in former East Germany studying, this law reminds me a lot of the STASI (Staatsicherheitsdienst or State security service) tactics used by the Soviet puppet government to control their population. Obviously they couldn’t be Big Brother everywhere at once, so they employed or cajoled people on the street to serve by spying on their neighbors, at the same time hiring their neighbors to spy on them. It is estimated that at one point, 1 in 6 East Germans were spying on the other 5, creating the most effective and oppressive police state in human history. Their records are still being studied, and won’t be completely pieced together for another hundred years.

    Obviously this Arizona law is not so extreme, but after learning extensively about the STASI activity, I’d be leery of any policy that begins to encourage citizens to spy on one another. It’s just one step down a slippery slope…

  • http://www.johndcook.com/blog John

    We should debate whether to change our immigration laws but not whether to enforce them. It should not be controversial for a state to comply with federal law. Those who believe federal law is unjust should campaign to change it.

  • http://www.johndcook.com/blog John

    We should debate whether to change our immigration laws but not whether to enforce them. It should not be controversial for a state to comply with federal law. Those who believe federal law is unjust should campaign to change it.

  • Daniel Gorman

    I find it ironic that Bush and Obama administration officials are attacking the Arizona law when it was their inaction that exacerbated the illegal immigration problem.

    Illegal immigration continues because American politicians want it to continue. It keeps wages low. If politicians really wanted to end illegal immigration, they would pass a law mandating long prison sentences for people who hire illegal immigrants. However, politicians will do nothing that would actually end the flow of cheap labor into the U.S.

    Because of rising populist anger, the Arizona legislature passed a law that purports to deal with illegal immigration. It will be declared unconstitutional and illegal immigration will continue unabated.

  • Daniel Gorman

    I find it ironic that Bush and Obama administration officials are attacking the Arizona law when it was their inaction that exacerbated the illegal immigration problem.

    Illegal immigration continues because American politicians want it to continue. It keeps wages low. If politicians really wanted to end illegal immigration, they would pass a law mandating long prison sentences for people who hire illegal immigrants. However, politicians will do nothing that would actually end the flow of cheap labor into the U.S.

    Because of rising populist anger, the Arizona legislature passed a law that purports to deal with illegal immigration. It will be declared unconstitutional and illegal immigration will continue unabated.

  • Winston Smith

    Yes, illegal immigration is, well, illegal, but I agree with Caleb. This state law sets a precedent for American police to stop people on the street and ask them for “papiere, bitte, mein Herr” and detain them if they don’t have their internal passports.

    Police are authorized to stop those who look as if they might be illegal. Obviously this means Hispanics, although the police will probably have to bother a few Anglos just to avoid the inevitable accusations of racial profiling. (Maybe a Danish tourist enjoyed the Arizona sun so much that he overstayed his visa.)

    Soon we may see similar laws elsewhere in our country. One of the great things about America used to be that we weren’t a police state where you have to show your internal passport to the police on demand.

    First they came for the Hispanics in Arizona, and I did not speak up because I was a native-born Anglo in Virginia …

  • Winston Smith

    Yes, illegal immigration is, well, illegal, but I agree with Caleb. This state law sets a precedent for American police to stop people on the street and ask them for “papiere, bitte, mein Herr” and detain them if they don’t have their internal passports.

    Police are authorized to stop those who look as if they might be illegal. Obviously this means Hispanics, although the police will probably have to bother a few Anglos just to avoid the inevitable accusations of racial profiling. (Maybe a Danish tourist enjoyed the Arizona sun so much that he overstayed his visa.)

    Soon we may see similar laws elsewhere in our country. One of the great things about America used to be that we weren’t a police state where you have to show your internal passport to the police on demand.

    First they came for the Hispanics in Arizona, and I did not speak up because I was a native-born Anglo in Virginia …

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Winston and Caleb make good points about the dangers of these tactics. It’s sad that the refusal to enforce our borders has led lawmakers to resort to them. Stopping people and demanding their papers should never have been controversial at national borders. We would be a freer society if we had not allowed this massive illegal migration in the first place.

    The problem is, how else do you effectively enforce the law at this point? If there isn’t a good answer, the question then becomes whether the dangers are worth it. Unfortunately, rather than a legitimate cost-benefit analysis, I usually just see reflexive “of course not! We’re all immigrants anyway! You must be a bigot!” I’m not sure most people realize the danger to liberty of allowing a very large migration of people with a very different language and culture (and without any tradition of limited government) to exist within one’s borders, but Arizonans are beginning to discover the danger. Pluralism does not allow for a melting pot.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Winston and Caleb make good points about the dangers of these tactics. It’s sad that the refusal to enforce our borders has led lawmakers to resort to them. Stopping people and demanding their papers should never have been controversial at national borders. We would be a freer society if we had not allowed this massive illegal migration in the first place.

    The problem is, how else do you effectively enforce the law at this point? If there isn’t a good answer, the question then becomes whether the dangers are worth it. Unfortunately, rather than a legitimate cost-benefit analysis, I usually just see reflexive “of course not! We’re all immigrants anyway! You must be a bigot!” I’m not sure most people realize the danger to liberty of allowing a very large migration of people with a very different language and culture (and without any tradition of limited government) to exist within one’s borders, but Arizonans are beginning to discover the danger. Pluralism does not allow for a melting pot.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    This law does not allow random checks for documentation or to ‘just stop people on the street’ but makes a provision that if during the course of stops for traffic violations or the investigation of a crime, someone cannot produce a driver’s license, proper ID, car insurance, or in some cases a green card, they can investigate their innigration status and deport them if here illegally.

    I have always had to show my ID when pulled over by the police.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    This law does not allow random checks for documentation or to ‘just stop people on the street’ but makes a provision that if during the course of stops for traffic violations or the investigation of a crime, someone cannot produce a driver’s license, proper ID, car insurance, or in some cases a green card, they can investigate their innigration status and deport them if here illegally.

    I have always had to show my ID when pulled over by the police.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle
  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle
  • Matt

    To equate this Arizona law with the STASI is wildly overblown.

    Think about it: every time a cop makes a traffic stop, he asks for papers, and there is a stiff fine for not producing them. You can’t board a commercial airliner without ID. This hardly makes the US a totalitarian state.

  • Matt

    To equate this Arizona law with the STASI is wildly overblown.

    Think about it: every time a cop makes a traffic stop, he asks for papers, and there is a stiff fine for not producing them. You can’t board a commercial airliner without ID. This hardly makes the US a totalitarian state.

  • Carl Vehse

    With San Francisico politicrats threatening not to visit Arizona, there’s another incentive for Texas to pass similar legislation as Arizona did.

  • Carl Vehse

    With San Francisico politicrats threatening not to visit Arizona, there’s another incentive for Texas to pass similar legislation as Arizona did.

  • Manxman

    These illegals, by violating our immigration laws by the millions, are destroying America economically, culturally and politically. This is a matter of national survival, and I think this Arizona law, which make this specifically a state issue as opposed to pretending this is only a Federal issue, is a good first step in providing state law enforcement people with the tools they need to start rounding up and getting rid of the people who are destroying Arizona and America. It is a good start.

    This is a serious problem, and it requires painful measures to combat it. I hope Texas and the other border states adopt similar laws, as I think such a thing would inhibit the illegals from coming here in the first place.

  • Manxman

    These illegals, by violating our immigration laws by the millions, are destroying America economically, culturally and politically. This is a matter of national survival, and I think this Arizona law, which make this specifically a state issue as opposed to pretending this is only a Federal issue, is a good first step in providing state law enforcement people with the tools they need to start rounding up and getting rid of the people who are destroying Arizona and America. It is a good start.

    This is a serious problem, and it requires painful measures to combat it. I hope Texas and the other border states adopt similar laws, as I think such a thing would inhibit the illegals from coming here in the first place.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I think Caleb and others have been listening to people who haven’t actually bothered to read the law or otherwise educate themselves on what it says. What it allows; when you are legally stopped by an officer (no random stops because someone “looked Mexican”), and your drivers license/registration/etc.. is not in order, the officer then has the duty to make sure you’re here legally.

    No random stops, no Gestapo/Stasi/KGB tactics, definely no warrantless searches. Just good, basic police work. It’s a good law.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I think Caleb and others have been listening to people who haven’t actually bothered to read the law or otherwise educate themselves on what it says. What it allows; when you are legally stopped by an officer (no random stops because someone “looked Mexican”), and your drivers license/registration/etc.. is not in order, the officer then has the duty to make sure you’re here legally.

    No random stops, no Gestapo/Stasi/KGB tactics, definely no warrantless searches. Just good, basic police work. It’s a good law.

  • Kirk

    Matt and Patrick, I don’t think you’re quite getting what this law does. It makes being an illegal immigration a misdemeanor offense, thereby allowing police officers to stop individuals suspected of breaking that law. If an individual is stopped, asked for papers and fails to produce them, he can be arrested and held until such time as he can prove his legal status. Further more, citizens can sue the state government for failing to enforce this law, say, if they suspect their neighbors are here illegally and no cops have come by to question them. In my opinion, Caleb isn’t far off in his analysis.

    So, what you say is true, the cops just can’t ask someone for papers on the street. They have to be suspected of a crime. But, once this bill takes effect, the police will be able to question anyone they suspect of being illegal, as that has now become criminal. God help you if you’re a brown person that forgets your wallet one day. You could end up in cuffs of in a cell.

    From my perspective, this bill is unconstitutional (and frankly un-American) in two ways. First, and most obviously, is that it encourages profiling. What is the standard for suspicion of someone being an illegal? The color of their skin? Their haircut? How exactly do you determine that? The simple answer is that Hispanic people will be questioned simply because they are Hispanic. Second, there’s the issue of innocent until proven guilty. No longer are the police required to prove you are committing a crime. Citizens are required to present papers to prove that they’re not. An individual can actually be held in prison until someone can vouch for him. How does that stack up?

    The simple fact is that living in a free society subjects us to abuse. There will always be people that will use our freedom to their own advantage at our expense. To prevent this would mean sacrificing freedom and the values that we hold as being American. How Universal Healthcare represents the end of liberty and this doesn’t is beyond me.

  • Kirk

    Matt and Patrick, I don’t think you’re quite getting what this law does. It makes being an illegal immigration a misdemeanor offense, thereby allowing police officers to stop individuals suspected of breaking that law. If an individual is stopped, asked for papers and fails to produce them, he can be arrested and held until such time as he can prove his legal status. Further more, citizens can sue the state government for failing to enforce this law, say, if they suspect their neighbors are here illegally and no cops have come by to question them. In my opinion, Caleb isn’t far off in his analysis.

    So, what you say is true, the cops just can’t ask someone for papers on the street. They have to be suspected of a crime. But, once this bill takes effect, the police will be able to question anyone they suspect of being illegal, as that has now become criminal. God help you if you’re a brown person that forgets your wallet one day. You could end up in cuffs of in a cell.

    From my perspective, this bill is unconstitutional (and frankly un-American) in two ways. First, and most obviously, is that it encourages profiling. What is the standard for suspicion of someone being an illegal? The color of their skin? Their haircut? How exactly do you determine that? The simple answer is that Hispanic people will be questioned simply because they are Hispanic. Second, there’s the issue of innocent until proven guilty. No longer are the police required to prove you are committing a crime. Citizens are required to present papers to prove that they’re not. An individual can actually be held in prison until someone can vouch for him. How does that stack up?

    The simple fact is that living in a free society subjects us to abuse. There will always be people that will use our freedom to their own advantage at our expense. To prevent this would mean sacrificing freedom and the values that we hold as being American. How Universal Healthcare represents the end of liberty and this doesn’t is beyond me.

  • EconJeff

    I agree that the comparison to the STASI is overblown; the law does not allow random stops–they have to be part of lawful contact with an officer.

    My question is, why is it left to the officer’s discretion whether or not to do this? Why not just make it a routine check for all lawful contacts with the police (not including reporting crimes, etc.), regardless of whether the officer thinks the person is here illegally or not?

  • EconJeff

    I agree that the comparison to the STASI is overblown; the law does not allow random stops–they have to be part of lawful contact with an officer.

    My question is, why is it left to the officer’s discretion whether or not to do this? Why not just make it a routine check for all lawful contacts with the police (not including reporting crimes, etc.), regardless of whether the officer thinks the person is here illegally or not?

  • Kirk

    If anyone actually wants to read the legislation, it’s here:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/16/AzSB1070.pdf

  • Kirk

    If anyone actually wants to read the legislation, it’s here:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/16/AzSB1070.pdf

  • Manxman

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with profiling – it is a logical process of human reasoning to build profiles and patterns based on experience and info collected and then use those patterns to make decisions about the things you encounter in life.

    Think about it. How do police, as part of doing their job locate criminals – they collect info about the suspect and then, rather than wasting time questioning everybody, they question suspects who fit the pattern/profile based on info they have about the suspect. Profiling is, and ought to be a legitimate tool in how police do their jobs.

    If Latinos/Hispanics are the ones who fit the over-whelming majority of people who are breaking the US immigration laws, then it is perfectly appropriate and logical that police look first to those kind of people when the perform their law enforcement duties. If millions of Latinos/Hispanics are the ones committing these violations of our laws, then they ought to expect the treatment their particular group is getting.

    As for possible random stops to check for immigration status, there is really no difference between that and the cops doing random stops to catch drunks at sobriety checkpoints

  • Manxman

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with profiling – it is a logical process of human reasoning to build profiles and patterns based on experience and info collected and then use those patterns to make decisions about the things you encounter in life.

    Think about it. How do police, as part of doing their job locate criminals – they collect info about the suspect and then, rather than wasting time questioning everybody, they question suspects who fit the pattern/profile based on info they have about the suspect. Profiling is, and ought to be a legitimate tool in how police do their jobs.

    If Latinos/Hispanics are the ones who fit the over-whelming majority of people who are breaking the US immigration laws, then it is perfectly appropriate and logical that police look first to those kind of people when the perform their law enforcement duties. If millions of Latinos/Hispanics are the ones committing these violations of our laws, then they ought to expect the treatment their particular group is getting.

    As for possible random stops to check for immigration status, there is really no difference between that and the cops doing random stops to catch drunks at sobriety checkpoints

  • Carl Vehse

    Profiling is not unconstitutional. For example:

    I use profiling to distinguish the potential for illegal activitiy of a person with a gun and a uniform from that of a person with a gun and a mask.

    Pennsylvanians use profiling to distinguish Amish criminal gangs (by their getaway buggies) from ordinary criminal gangs.

  • Carl Vehse

    Profiling is not unconstitutional. For example:

    I use profiling to distinguish the potential for illegal activitiy of a person with a gun and a uniform from that of a person with a gun and a mask.

    Pennsylvanians use profiling to distinguish Amish criminal gangs (by their getaway buggies) from ordinary criminal gangs.

  • Kirk

    @15

    That’s easy for you say considering you’re not a Hispanic American citizen. You won’t have to worry about being stopped and questioned at every turn.

    And, for your information, investigation isn’t profiling. If you know a crime has been committed and a witness describes the perpetrator as a black man or an asian man, then yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to concentrate your efforts on looking for a black or asian man. If, however, a store is robbed and a police officer says to himself “well, 3 out of the last 5 robberies have been committed by black people, this one probably was to!” it’s profiling. Basically, it’s when you suspect that a particular race or gender is predisposed to committing crimes simply because they are of that race or gender.

    And your random stops equation has holes too. A police officer is required to ascertain my guilt of committing a DUI before he or she detains me (ie, I must fail some sort of sobriety test). Immigration status requires that a person prove their innocence by presenting papers that prove they are citizens.

  • Kirk

    @15

    That’s easy for you say considering you’re not a Hispanic American citizen. You won’t have to worry about being stopped and questioned at every turn.

    And, for your information, investigation isn’t profiling. If you know a crime has been committed and a witness describes the perpetrator as a black man or an asian man, then yes, it’s perfectly reasonable to concentrate your efforts on looking for a black or asian man. If, however, a store is robbed and a police officer says to himself “well, 3 out of the last 5 robberies have been committed by black people, this one probably was to!” it’s profiling. Basically, it’s when you suspect that a particular race or gender is predisposed to committing crimes simply because they are of that race or gender.

    And your random stops equation has holes too. A police officer is required to ascertain my guilt of committing a DUI before he or she detains me (ie, I must fail some sort of sobriety test). Immigration status requires that a person prove their innocence by presenting papers that prove they are citizens.

  • Caleb

    It was an overblown comparison, but I did say that it’s one step on a slippery slope, not the same thing. However, I think this law violates “innocent until proven guilty.”

    Here’s a scenario. A cop pulls over a car in Arizona. The driver appears to be a man of Mexican descent. How can you constitutionally justify the officer judging him on the basis of his looks and forcing him to prove that he’s a citizen? What if he is? How humiliating is that for him? Looking like a Mexican is not a crime, therefore searching a person without a warrant for being a Mexican violates his innocence, at least in my eyes. Illegal immigration is a problem, but adopting a police state mentality is not the way to go about this. Good intentions pave the way to…you know.

  • Caleb

    It was an overblown comparison, but I did say that it’s one step on a slippery slope, not the same thing. However, I think this law violates “innocent until proven guilty.”

    Here’s a scenario. A cop pulls over a car in Arizona. The driver appears to be a man of Mexican descent. How can you constitutionally justify the officer judging him on the basis of his looks and forcing him to prove that he’s a citizen? What if he is? How humiliating is that for him? Looking like a Mexican is not a crime, therefore searching a person without a warrant for being a Mexican violates his innocence, at least in my eyes. Illegal immigration is a problem, but adopting a police state mentality is not the way to go about this. Good intentions pave the way to…you know.

  • DonS

    Let us not forget that this Arizona law is born of utter frustration on the part of Arizona, because of the disparate impact illegal immigration has on its economy and public resources, as well as those of other border states. For totally political reasons, the federal government refuses to enforce its own immigration laws. But not only that, it also refuses to compensate border states for its own abject failings, and the financial impacts illegal immigration brings to those states’ prison, school, and health care systems.

    The Arizona law has been carefully drafted to ensure that people are not routinely harassed on the streets without cause. If someone gets pulled over for a traffic infraction and cannot produce a license, why should their legal status to be in this country not be checked? I don’t understand why that is an imposition. If they can produce a license, then no problem, unless the police have a reasonable suspicion (a defined legal term) that the license is fraudulent. Arizona and other border states should have every right to enforce the laws and to thereby protect their own economies and way of life.

  • DonS

    Let us not forget that this Arizona law is born of utter frustration on the part of Arizona, because of the disparate impact illegal immigration has on its economy and public resources, as well as those of other border states. For totally political reasons, the federal government refuses to enforce its own immigration laws. But not only that, it also refuses to compensate border states for its own abject failings, and the financial impacts illegal immigration brings to those states’ prison, school, and health care systems.

    The Arizona law has been carefully drafted to ensure that people are not routinely harassed on the streets without cause. If someone gets pulled over for a traffic infraction and cannot produce a license, why should their legal status to be in this country not be checked? I don’t understand why that is an imposition. If they can produce a license, then no problem, unless the police have a reasonable suspicion (a defined legal term) that the license is fraudulent. Arizona and other border states should have every right to enforce the laws and to thereby protect their own economies and way of life.

  • Kirk

    @DonS

    The failings of the Federal Government do not justify the passing of an unconstitutional law. And furthermore, this is more than an issue of checking on the status of a person who’s been stopped for committing an offense. A person can be stopped on suspicion that they are an illegal alien. There is no condition in the bill that says “if a person is questioned for committing a crime, then an officer may check their immigration status.” It says that an officer may make lawful contact with an individual and “attempt to determine the immigration status of the person” and “a law enforcement officer, without warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.” Namely, being here illegally. I’m not sure why this is hard to understand. If you are suspected of being an illegal, the police may stop you and arrest you if you can’t prove otherwise on the spot. That’s what this law does and that’s why it’s controversial.

  • Kirk

    @DonS

    The failings of the Federal Government do not justify the passing of an unconstitutional law. And furthermore, this is more than an issue of checking on the status of a person who’s been stopped for committing an offense. A person can be stopped on suspicion that they are an illegal alien. There is no condition in the bill that says “if a person is questioned for committing a crime, then an officer may check their immigration status.” It says that an officer may make lawful contact with an individual and “attempt to determine the immigration status of the person” and “a law enforcement officer, without warrant, may arrest a person if the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States.” Namely, being here illegally. I’m not sure why this is hard to understand. If you are suspected of being an illegal, the police may stop you and arrest you if you can’t prove otherwise on the spot. That’s what this law does and that’s why it’s controversial.

  • Manxman

    Kirk/Caleb

    In light of the damage being done to America and Arizona by Hispanic illegals, I could care less if they are embarrassed or humiliated by having to prove their citizenship status. The lawlessness of their particular group is creating the problem, and it is a simple fact of life that when lawlessness creates chaos, then government is forced to exercise force to maintain order. It’s a literal war down on our southern border. if you want to blame someone for our moving in the direction of a police state, blame the Hispanic illegals!

  • Manxman

    Kirk/Caleb

    In light of the damage being done to America and Arizona by Hispanic illegals, I could care less if they are embarrassed or humiliated by having to prove their citizenship status. The lawlessness of their particular group is creating the problem, and it is a simple fact of life that when lawlessness creates chaos, then government is forced to exercise force to maintain order. It’s a literal war down on our southern border. if you want to blame someone for our moving in the direction of a police state, blame the Hispanic illegals!

  • sg

    Read the law.

    It does not allow random checks. It allows enforcement. If you want to live in a country where law abiding citizens cower in fear while the “rights” of criminals are protected, then hey, there are plenty of them.

    The crime rate among illegal aliens is ten times that of the general population. These people are criminals. Also, every country in the world checks people to see if they are there legally. Don’t buy the hype. Would you be offended if they asked you for your passport if you were in a foreign country?

    Also what is the big punishment they get? Deportation. Hardly a human rights violation.

    Harassment? what showing ID? I have to show ID to cash a check.

  • sg

    Read the law.

    It does not allow random checks. It allows enforcement. If you want to live in a country where law abiding citizens cower in fear while the “rights” of criminals are protected, then hey, there are plenty of them.

    The crime rate among illegal aliens is ten times that of the general population. These people are criminals. Also, every country in the world checks people to see if they are there legally. Don’t buy the hype. Would you be offended if they asked you for your passport if you were in a foreign country?

    Also what is the big punishment they get? Deportation. Hardly a human rights violation.

    Harassment? what showing ID? I have to show ID to cash a check.

  • Carl Vehse

    Read the law.

    Good suggestion, sg! Here’s the text of the Arizona SB 1070 bill that has some people in such a dither.

  • Carl Vehse

    Read the law.

    Good suggestion, sg! Here’s the text of the Arizona SB 1070 bill that has some people in such a dither.

  • Joe

    Kirk – the law, be it a good idea or a terrible idea, is not unconstitutional. Innocent until proven guilty does not prevent a cop from arresting someone suspected of committing a crime. All people arrested for any crime have not been proven guilty. Innocent until proven guilty is what prevents the state from keeping you locked up indefinably without a trial.

    Profiling is also not unconstitutional. Again, it may not be the best way to investigate crime, but it is not unconstitutional. Cops can already stop anyone who they believe is engaged in criminal activity (reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot is how the Supreme Court phrased it) its called a Terry Stop. During that stop if they find evidence that supports their suspicion sufficient to raise it to the level of probable cause they can arrest. Now, it is possible that this law will be abused and that Hispanic looking folks will be stopped for no other reason than being brown. If that begins to happen on a regular basis a case may be made that the suspicion is not reasonable and then it could constitute an unreasonable seizure but it is not facially invalid.

  • Joe

    Kirk – the law, be it a good idea or a terrible idea, is not unconstitutional. Innocent until proven guilty does not prevent a cop from arresting someone suspected of committing a crime. All people arrested for any crime have not been proven guilty. Innocent until proven guilty is what prevents the state from keeping you locked up indefinably without a trial.

    Profiling is also not unconstitutional. Again, it may not be the best way to investigate crime, but it is not unconstitutional. Cops can already stop anyone who they believe is engaged in criminal activity (reasonable suspicion that crime is afoot is how the Supreme Court phrased it) its called a Terry Stop. During that stop if they find evidence that supports their suspicion sufficient to raise it to the level of probable cause they can arrest. Now, it is possible that this law will be abused and that Hispanic looking folks will be stopped for no other reason than being brown. If that begins to happen on a regular basis a case may be made that the suspicion is not reasonable and then it could constitute an unreasonable seizure but it is not facially invalid.

  • Kirk

    @21

    So, violating the highest law of the land will somehow restore national order and create a freer civil society? Am I missing something here?

    @22

    It’s not so much about the rights of the illegals, although I do think they deserve a higher consideration than most people on this blog are willing to give (they are human beings, after all), it’s about the rights out Hispanic American citizens. Believe it or not, there are brown people that are naturalized citizens of our country and they face discrimination and unlawful search under this law.

    And, yes, if I were visiting a free country, I’d be a little miffed if someone asked me for my passport outside of certain contexts (the airport, my hotel concierge, etc). But this isn’t about personal offense, this is about respecting the Constitution, which SB 1070 does not do.

  • Kirk

    @21

    So, violating the highest law of the land will somehow restore national order and create a freer civil society? Am I missing something here?

    @22

    It’s not so much about the rights of the illegals, although I do think they deserve a higher consideration than most people on this blog are willing to give (they are human beings, after all), it’s about the rights out Hispanic American citizens. Believe it or not, there are brown people that are naturalized citizens of our country and they face discrimination and unlawful search under this law.

    And, yes, if I were visiting a free country, I’d be a little miffed if someone asked me for my passport outside of certain contexts (the airport, my hotel concierge, etc). But this isn’t about personal offense, this is about respecting the Constitution, which SB 1070 does not do.

  • Caleb

    I have read the bill.

    I still hold that this becomes unconstitutional because the bill states:
    13-3883. Arrest by officer without warrant
    41 A. A peace officer may, without a warrant, MAY arrest a person if he
    42 THE OFFICER has probable cause to believe:
    43 1. A felony has been committed and probable cause to believe the
    44 person to be arrested has committed the felony.
    2. A misdemeanor has been committed in his THE OFFICER’S presence and
    2 probable cause to believe the person to be arrested has committed the
    3 offense.
    4 3. The person to be arrested has been involved in a traffic accident
    5 and violated any criminal section of title 28, and that such violation
    6 occurred prior to or immediately following such traffic accident.
    7 4. A misdemeanor or a petty offense has been committed and probable
    8 cause to believe the person to be arrested has committed the offense. A
    9 person arrested under this paragraph is eligible for release under section
    10 13-3903.
    11 5. THE PERSON TO BE ARRESTED HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT
    12 MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.

    What is the probably cause here? If a person commits a minor violation or traffic violation, the probably cause can only be that they look like somebody that officer considers an illegal immigrant. Biologically determined looks can not be probably cause, they simply can’t. That crosses the line into police state territory. I have no problem with shutting down illegal immigration, I realize that it causes great problems. Stop people at the border all you want, but this goes too far.

  • Caleb

    I have read the bill.

    I still hold that this becomes unconstitutional because the bill states:
    13-3883. Arrest by officer without warrant
    41 A. A peace officer may, without a warrant, MAY arrest a person if he
    42 THE OFFICER has probable cause to believe:
    43 1. A felony has been committed and probable cause to believe the
    44 person to be arrested has committed the felony.
    2. A misdemeanor has been committed in his THE OFFICER’S presence and
    2 probable cause to believe the person to be arrested has committed the
    3 offense.
    4 3. The person to be arrested has been involved in a traffic accident
    5 and violated any criminal section of title 28, and that such violation
    6 occurred prior to or immediately following such traffic accident.
    7 4. A misdemeanor or a petty offense has been committed and probable
    8 cause to believe the person to be arrested has committed the offense. A
    9 person arrested under this paragraph is eligible for release under section
    10 13-3903.
    11 5. THE PERSON TO BE ARRESTED HAS COMMITTED ANY PUBLIC OFFENSE THAT
    12 MAKES THE PERSON REMOVABLE FROM THE UNITED STATES.

    What is the probably cause here? If a person commits a minor violation or traffic violation, the probably cause can only be that they look like somebody that officer considers an illegal immigrant. Biologically determined looks can not be probably cause, they simply can’t. That crosses the line into police state territory. I have no problem with shutting down illegal immigration, I realize that it causes great problems. Stop people at the border all you want, but this goes too far.

  • Caleb

    Excuse me, *probable cause

  • Caleb

    Excuse me, *probable cause

  • Kirk

    @24

    It’s not a clear definition, to be sure, but this law allows an officer to hold someone based on no evidence other than that they can’t prove that they aren’t committing a crime. True, this does happen when a suspicious becomes reasonable, but it’s circular because the reasonable suspicion is based on the person not being able to prove they aren’t doing anything wrong. So, it’s a 14th Amendment issue, in my mind, as is racial profiling.

  • Kirk

    @24

    It’s not a clear definition, to be sure, but this law allows an officer to hold someone based on no evidence other than that they can’t prove that they aren’t committing a crime. True, this does happen when a suspicious becomes reasonable, but it’s circular because the reasonable suspicion is based on the person not being able to prove they aren’t doing anything wrong. So, it’s a 14th Amendment issue, in my mind, as is racial profiling.

  • Caleb

    Normally I vote quite conservatively, even on issues of illegal immigration, but this goes too far. This is draconian, police-state bullying, and although the problem is “frustrating,” and you “don’t care how embarrassing it is,” it’s a violation of human rights. Granted, illegals are not citizens, and they shouldn’t have citizens’ rights, but the United States is a free country, and the supreme law of the land is innocent until proven guilty. I’d like to think that a speck of human kindness would allow that to apply to everyone within it’s jurisdiction. If not, I may try becoming a police officer in Arizona so that I can start asking white people to prove that they’re citizens.

  • Caleb

    Normally I vote quite conservatively, even on issues of illegal immigration, but this goes too far. This is draconian, police-state bullying, and although the problem is “frustrating,” and you “don’t care how embarrassing it is,” it’s a violation of human rights. Granted, illegals are not citizens, and they shouldn’t have citizens’ rights, but the United States is a free country, and the supreme law of the land is innocent until proven guilty. I’d like to think that a speck of human kindness would allow that to apply to everyone within it’s jurisdiction. If not, I may try becoming a police officer in Arizona so that I can start asking white people to prove that they’re citizens.

  • http://www.derrickjeter.com Derrick Jeter
  • http://www.derrickjeter.com Derrick Jeter
  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I think that our experience and belief in human depravity cause us all to be a little nervous with this law. But we also need some perspective. There is a genuine drug WAR on the border, and not only are outlaws hiding out in the US, but American citizens are being kindnapped, transported across the border illegally, and murdered. Not to mention the tons of guns and drugs flowing both directions. I live in Texas, and have witnessed all of this. I think that in the mind of the citizens of AZ, this law is the lesser evil.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    I think that our experience and belief in human depravity cause us all to be a little nervous with this law. But we also need some perspective. There is a genuine drug WAR on the border, and not only are outlaws hiding out in the US, but American citizens are being kindnapped, transported across the border illegally, and murdered. Not to mention the tons of guns and drugs flowing both directions. I live in Texas, and have witnessed all of this. I think that in the mind of the citizens of AZ, this law is the lesser evil.

  • Richard

    I live in southern Arizona. A rancher was killed not so far from here recently by a border crosser. People here are fed up with illegal drug activity, which to a large extent is taking place across borders; and to some extent they are scared because the Federal Government has not fulfilled its duties to properly protect its citizens. I lived in Germany for a number of years–comparing this law to that of the East Germans is absolute nonsense. Get a grip.

  • Richard

    I live in southern Arizona. A rancher was killed not so far from here recently by a border crosser. People here are fed up with illegal drug activity, which to a large extent is taking place across borders; and to some extent they are scared because the Federal Government has not fulfilled its duties to properly protect its citizens. I lived in Germany for a number of years–comparing this law to that of the East Germans is absolute nonsense. Get a grip.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Caleb @ 29,

    Innocent until proven guilty is a principle for the courts, not for the police. Otherwise all arrests would be impossible until a trial had been completed.

  • http://wipfandstock.com/store/As_Though_It_Were_Actually_True_A_Christian_Apologetics_Primer Matt C.

    Caleb @ 29,

    Innocent until proven guilty is a principle for the courts, not for the police. Otherwise all arrests would be impossible until a trial had been completed.

  • Carl Vehse

    This law is not evil. It is not unconstitutional, no matter what the 0bamanites claim. It address a criminal issue that has long needed to be addressed. It enjoys the support of a majority of Americans. It is only embarrassing that Texas did not pass a similar law first.

  • Carl Vehse

    This law is not evil. It is not unconstitutional, no matter what the 0bamanites claim. It address a criminal issue that has long needed to be addressed. It enjoys the support of a majority of Americans. It is only embarrassing that Texas did not pass a similar law first.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Here is the thing, generally I empathize with the plight of illegal immigrants. I just do. I’m fairly certain that over the years I have worked with, ate with, drank with many a good man that did not have citizenship in this country. I think the grand majority of them are hard working, and the kind of people I would enjoy having as neighbors, and have enjoyed as neighbors.
    I think we need to seriously consider what is worse for our country, letting these people in, or stupid laws that make it all but impossible for them to become citizens, and therefore susceptible to exploitation by crooked business owners etc.
    But given the scope of the problem Arizona is dealing with, and I have family their, a brother who is a cop in Phoenix even, I think this is a reasonable course of action. It is not unconstitutional to ask someone to give their drivers license when they are pulled over for a traffic violation. Now if you have a cop that is routinely pulling over Hispanics, and never an Anglo, or African American etc. There is a problem there that needs to be addressed.
    But who isn’t asked for I.D when they are pulled over? Who doesn’t have to verify who they are when investigated for a crime? and if you can’t show identification of some sort, wouldn’t that give probable cause for one to believe you were here illegally?
    I so say though that we might actually look at the laws that make it so hard for these people to come and work.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Here is the thing, generally I empathize with the plight of illegal immigrants. I just do. I’m fairly certain that over the years I have worked with, ate with, drank with many a good man that did not have citizenship in this country. I think the grand majority of them are hard working, and the kind of people I would enjoy having as neighbors, and have enjoyed as neighbors.
    I think we need to seriously consider what is worse for our country, letting these people in, or stupid laws that make it all but impossible for them to become citizens, and therefore susceptible to exploitation by crooked business owners etc.
    But given the scope of the problem Arizona is dealing with, and I have family their, a brother who is a cop in Phoenix even, I think this is a reasonable course of action. It is not unconstitutional to ask someone to give their drivers license when they are pulled over for a traffic violation. Now if you have a cop that is routinely pulling over Hispanics, and never an Anglo, or African American etc. There is a problem there that needs to be addressed.
    But who isn’t asked for I.D when they are pulled over? Who doesn’t have to verify who they are when investigated for a crime? and if you can’t show identification of some sort, wouldn’t that give probable cause for one to believe you were here illegally?
    I so say though that we might actually look at the laws that make it so hard for these people to come and work.

  • Carl Vehse

    The new Arizona law is already having some good effects for Arizona.

    Over the next months, one should look for decreases in Arizona crime rates (and possible increases in adjacent states).

  • Carl Vehse

    The new Arizona law is already having some good effects for Arizona.

    Over the next months, one should look for decreases in Arizona crime rates (and possible increases in adjacent states).

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    richard @32,
    Right on. Only people that never crossed Check Point Charley to see that those borders were marked to keep people in, and have machine guns trained on you at five years old, could compare a law asking a traffic law violator to produce a Drivers License to that horror show that was East Germany.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    richard @32,
    Right on. Only people that never crossed Check Point Charley to see that those borders were marked to keep people in, and have machine guns trained on you at five years old, could compare a law asking a traffic law violator to produce a Drivers License to that horror show that was East Germany.

  • kerner

    I understand the frustrations of Arizonans, but consider the following. Say a crime is committed against one of us, and the only witnesses are illegals. Are they going to cooperate with the police, or fade into the woodwork? What if one of them is the victim of a crime, but that person is afraid to call the police for fear of being deported? Does that not encourage the illegal victim to take the law into his own hands? One of my biggest objections to this law is that it tends to put the illegals outside the law in ways that were not true before. It will make things worse, not better.

    Matt C. @5 say that many don’t realize the danger to liberty in allowing a large migration of people with a very different language and culture (and no tradition of limited government) to exist within one’s borders. That description fits the Irish, the Germans, the Poles, the Italians, the Jews, and just about all Eastern Europeans and Asians. The fact is that most immigrants come here seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. They may not fully understand why we have those things here when they first arrive. The solution is not to try to exclude them, but to accept them and teach them. Immigrants will never learn about liberty from people who treat them like the enemy. Immigrants WILL learn, however, about class warfare and ethnic group politics from the statists who promise to protect them from hostile “lovers of liberty”, who seem to believe that liberty is for the few. By deciding in advance that immigrants are the enemy and treating them as such, the prophecy becomes self-fulfilling.

  • kerner

    I understand the frustrations of Arizonans, but consider the following. Say a crime is committed against one of us, and the only witnesses are illegals. Are they going to cooperate with the police, or fade into the woodwork? What if one of them is the victim of a crime, but that person is afraid to call the police for fear of being deported? Does that not encourage the illegal victim to take the law into his own hands? One of my biggest objections to this law is that it tends to put the illegals outside the law in ways that were not true before. It will make things worse, not better.

    Matt C. @5 say that many don’t realize the danger to liberty in allowing a large migration of people with a very different language and culture (and no tradition of limited government) to exist within one’s borders. That description fits the Irish, the Germans, the Poles, the Italians, the Jews, and just about all Eastern Europeans and Asians. The fact is that most immigrants come here seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. They may not fully understand why we have those things here when they first arrive. The solution is not to try to exclude them, but to accept them and teach them. Immigrants will never learn about liberty from people who treat them like the enemy. Immigrants WILL learn, however, about class warfare and ethnic group politics from the statists who promise to protect them from hostile “lovers of liberty”, who seem to believe that liberty is for the few. By deciding in advance that immigrants are the enemy and treating them as such, the prophecy becomes self-fulfilling.

  • kerner

    I agree with Bror in that I believe the biggest problem, which this law does not solve, is that our immigration laws make it much too difficult for honest immigrants to come here legally. What we shoud do is increase the number of immigrants who can come here legally, and charge them a fee that is less that what they pay smugglers to sneak them in. The money we raise could then be used to perfect background checks and border patrolls and other enforcement. Enforcement should be concentrated on keeping out the criminal element that causes the problems, and we should leave alone those who merely want to work hard and make a better life for themselves. To do this, however, requires that it be “legal” for such people to immigrate to this country within a reasonable time. That is not the case under current law.

    As for the crime problems, these are mostly a product of the overly tight restrictions on immigration. During prohibition, beverage alcohol was “illegal”. But a lot of otherwise honest people maintained a demand for it. So, organized crime became part of the alcohol culture. Bootleggers were gangsters. Murders were committed. Police were corrupted. But it wasn’t the alcohol, per se, that attracted the gangsters. When alcohol was legalized, the gangsterism disappeared. The same was true when gambling and high interest loans were legalized. So if Arizonans are really serious about getting rid of criminal gangs, they should be pushing for increased legal immigration in a big way.

  • kerner

    I agree with Bror in that I believe the biggest problem, which this law does not solve, is that our immigration laws make it much too difficult for honest immigrants to come here legally. What we shoud do is increase the number of immigrants who can come here legally, and charge them a fee that is less that what they pay smugglers to sneak them in. The money we raise could then be used to perfect background checks and border patrolls and other enforcement. Enforcement should be concentrated on keeping out the criminal element that causes the problems, and we should leave alone those who merely want to work hard and make a better life for themselves. To do this, however, requires that it be “legal” for such people to immigrate to this country within a reasonable time. That is not the case under current law.

    As for the crime problems, these are mostly a product of the overly tight restrictions on immigration. During prohibition, beverage alcohol was “illegal”. But a lot of otherwise honest people maintained a demand for it. So, organized crime became part of the alcohol culture. Bootleggers were gangsters. Murders were committed. Police were corrupted. But it wasn’t the alcohol, per se, that attracted the gangsters. When alcohol was legalized, the gangsterism disappeared. The same was true when gambling and high interest loans were legalized. So if Arizonans are really serious about getting rid of criminal gangs, they should be pushing for increased legal immigration in a big way.

  • tonto2

    Those of you concerned about Arizona’s new immegration law should look at Mexico’s law. If you want to spend a long time in jail there just enter the country illegally. Usually they aim at Americans that enter, but not necessarily enter illegally.

    Perhaps we should just open our borders up to anyone that wants to come here. That way we would be considered tolerant, and a target. I have been to several foreign countries. I had to have an ID and had to show it whenever I was asked, even when checking into hotels . That is just the nature of being a foreigner.

  • tonto2

    Those of you concerned about Arizona’s new immegration law should look at Mexico’s law. If you want to spend a long time in jail there just enter the country illegally. Usually they aim at Americans that enter, but not necessarily enter illegally.

    Perhaps we should just open our borders up to anyone that wants to come here. That way we would be considered tolerant, and a target. I have been to several foreign countries. I had to have an ID and had to show it whenever I was asked, even when checking into hotels . That is just the nature of being a foreigner.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 38: Your hypo is exactly the one employed by Los Angeles back in the ’80′s when it instituted the notorious Special Order 40, which actually prohibits police from reporting even known illegals to federal authorities. This order applies even in the case of violent criminals! It is a horrible policy which has wrecked that fair city, and results in the state of California paying for the incarceration of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant criminals each year. It’s never been clear to me why we even have an immigration policy, when we refuse even to enforce it by at least ridding ourselves of those people who cannot obey the law, and worst yet, physically harm or steal from the people who belong here.

    Those of you who are piously protesting this reasonable measure, which Arizona has taken in its desperation, without even really understanding how it is going to be enforced — I sense that none of you live in or near a southern border state. You have no idea of the frustration and damage unchecked illegal immigration has caused in border states, not to mention the toxic and demagogic politics, like that which is presently raining down on Arizona for no reason other than that the Democrats want to exploit the issue to try to stem an electoral disaster in November. Let me ask you this. Are you willing to ante up your fair share of the estimated tens of billions of dollars in uncompensated costs the States of California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, among others, will incur this year for hosting their 10 million or so illegal immigrants? Kirk? Caleb? Kerner? If not, then I think fairness dictates that you give these states the opportunity to step in and do what the federal government refuses to do. Kirk, I’m a bit surprised that you are SO certain that the law is unconstitutional, because most people believe, at least, that it is a close question. Are you an expert in this area of constitutional law? Perhaps you could enlighten us regarding your certainty. It does not seem to be facially unconstitutional to me, because it requires a lawful contact between the police and the person being challenged. Existing law is clear that the standard of reasonable suspicion is not met simply through racial profiling, so police are not free to just stop “brown people” on the street and ask for papers. There needs to be something more — some other kind of suspected law breaking, which leads to a reasonable request for identification. And, if anyone, citizen or not, cannot produce identification upon request, in the case of a justified stop, the police have always had the right to issue a citation requiring that identification to be later produced. So, while it could potentially be unconstitutional, as applied, if the police are overzealous in enforcement, on its face, I don’t think it is. Additionally, since the state law merely authorizes state law enforcement officials to enforce existing federal law, I don’t think the issue of preemption, which deals with whether federal law trumps state law, necessarily applies. However, don’t worry Kirk. This issue will be litigated — the first suit was filed today. Why don’t you just wait and see how it plays out, rather than assuming the worst and inflaming the issue from your ivory tower somewhere in a non-border state?

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 38: Your hypo is exactly the one employed by Los Angeles back in the ’80′s when it instituted the notorious Special Order 40, which actually prohibits police from reporting even known illegals to federal authorities. This order applies even in the case of violent criminals! It is a horrible policy which has wrecked that fair city, and results in the state of California paying for the incarceration of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant criminals each year. It’s never been clear to me why we even have an immigration policy, when we refuse even to enforce it by at least ridding ourselves of those people who cannot obey the law, and worst yet, physically harm or steal from the people who belong here.

    Those of you who are piously protesting this reasonable measure, which Arizona has taken in its desperation, without even really understanding how it is going to be enforced — I sense that none of you live in or near a southern border state. You have no idea of the frustration and damage unchecked illegal immigration has caused in border states, not to mention the toxic and demagogic politics, like that which is presently raining down on Arizona for no reason other than that the Democrats want to exploit the issue to try to stem an electoral disaster in November. Let me ask you this. Are you willing to ante up your fair share of the estimated tens of billions of dollars in uncompensated costs the States of California, Arizona, Texas, and Florida, among others, will incur this year for hosting their 10 million or so illegal immigrants? Kirk? Caleb? Kerner? If not, then I think fairness dictates that you give these states the opportunity to step in and do what the federal government refuses to do. Kirk, I’m a bit surprised that you are SO certain that the law is unconstitutional, because most people believe, at least, that it is a close question. Are you an expert in this area of constitutional law? Perhaps you could enlighten us regarding your certainty. It does not seem to be facially unconstitutional to me, because it requires a lawful contact between the police and the person being challenged. Existing law is clear that the standard of reasonable suspicion is not met simply through racial profiling, so police are not free to just stop “brown people” on the street and ask for papers. There needs to be something more — some other kind of suspected law breaking, which leads to a reasonable request for identification. And, if anyone, citizen or not, cannot produce identification upon request, in the case of a justified stop, the police have always had the right to issue a citation requiring that identification to be later produced. So, while it could potentially be unconstitutional, as applied, if the police are overzealous in enforcement, on its face, I don’t think it is. Additionally, since the state law merely authorizes state law enforcement officials to enforce existing federal law, I don’t think the issue of preemption, which deals with whether federal law trumps state law, necessarily applies. However, don’t worry Kirk. This issue will be litigated — the first suit was filed today. Why don’t you just wait and see how it plays out, rather than assuming the worst and inflaming the issue from your ivory tower somewhere in a non-border state?

  • Joe

    The root problem is the incentives we have created. If we want to stop illegal immigration we need to make the costs of hiring an illegal so great that the jobs dry up. We would also have to reform our social safety net programs for the same reason. Personally, I think I would come here illegally if I were in their position – it is almost irrational not to.

    That said, it is a problem for us. It deforms the labor market and keeps unemployed people unemployed longer and thus increases the demand on unemployment, food stamps, welfare, housing subsidies etc. We need to address it. I am not a fan of how Arizona is going about it but I understand their frustration. I also think we need to overhaul our laws regarding legal immigration.

    We often here about jobs citizens and/or resident aliens won’t do. Thus, we need illegals to perform these jobs. That’s b.s., the truth is citizens and resident aliens won’t do those jobs at the current pay rate. Pay them more and they’d do. In Milwaukee, 50% of black men are unemployed, yet illegal aliens work in Wisconsin’s meat packing industry. This could be stopped by changing the cost/benefit analysis for hiring and the benefits would inure to all. I even believe that it would ultimately benefit the illegals. Mexico has the potential to have a strong economy. One of the biggest problems they have is that many of their hardest working and smartest folks (i.e. their potential small business class) have come here because the short term incentives make it rational. A generation or two of those people staying in Mexico and participating in their economy and thereby changing it has tremendous potential to stabilize that nation.

    All of this said, I think the conclusions that people are drawing that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional are not based on the current state of the law. They are based on a negative reaction to the substance of the law (one that I share).

    The reasonable suspicion may be there, you can’t assume it will just be based solely on skin color and more than I can say that it won’t. The law may prove to be unconstitutional as applied but it is not facially invalid. I don’t care how much you hate it; it just isn’t.

  • Joe

    The root problem is the incentives we have created. If we want to stop illegal immigration we need to make the costs of hiring an illegal so great that the jobs dry up. We would also have to reform our social safety net programs for the same reason. Personally, I think I would come here illegally if I were in their position – it is almost irrational not to.

    That said, it is a problem for us. It deforms the labor market and keeps unemployed people unemployed longer and thus increases the demand on unemployment, food stamps, welfare, housing subsidies etc. We need to address it. I am not a fan of how Arizona is going about it but I understand their frustration. I also think we need to overhaul our laws regarding legal immigration.

    We often here about jobs citizens and/or resident aliens won’t do. Thus, we need illegals to perform these jobs. That’s b.s., the truth is citizens and resident aliens won’t do those jobs at the current pay rate. Pay them more and they’d do. In Milwaukee, 50% of black men are unemployed, yet illegal aliens work in Wisconsin’s meat packing industry. This could be stopped by changing the cost/benefit analysis for hiring and the benefits would inure to all. I even believe that it would ultimately benefit the illegals. Mexico has the potential to have a strong economy. One of the biggest problems they have is that many of their hardest working and smartest folks (i.e. their potential small business class) have come here because the short term incentives make it rational. A generation or two of those people staying in Mexico and participating in their economy and thereby changing it has tremendous potential to stabilize that nation.

    All of this said, I think the conclusions that people are drawing that Arizona’s law is unconstitutional are not based on the current state of the law. They are based on a negative reaction to the substance of the law (one that I share).

    The reasonable suspicion may be there, you can’t assume it will just be based solely on skin color and more than I can say that it won’t. The law may prove to be unconstitutional as applied but it is not facially invalid. I don’t care how much you hate it; it just isn’t.

  • John C

    Mexico is a failed state. Politicians, police and army are corrupt. Civil institutions have collapsed. Until this problem is addressed it is difficult to see how the laws in Arizona will stop the movement of people seeking a better life.
    At some point, the US may have to consider sending in the troops. To stop the flow of money moving from north to south and into the banks of narco gangs, marijuana may have to legalised.
    Consider the criminal and terrorist implications of a lawless state sharing a border with the US.

  • John C

    Mexico is a failed state. Politicians, police and army are corrupt. Civil institutions have collapsed. Until this problem is addressed it is difficult to see how the laws in Arizona will stop the movement of people seeking a better life.
    At some point, the US may have to consider sending in the troops. To stop the flow of money moving from north to south and into the banks of narco gangs, marijuana may have to legalised.
    Consider the criminal and terrorist implications of a lawless state sharing a border with the US.

  • Kirk

    @Don,

    Even if this law is enforced within the context of separate violations, the bill still requires that officers have a “reasonable suspicion” before checking on an individual’s citizenship. Furthermore, should an officer inquire, the bill states that the person must be held until he can prove his citizenship. The question of what constitutes a “reasonable suspicion” still remains. If it’s based on race, it’s a violation of the 14th Amendment. I’d think that if the the person’s immigration status had nothing to do with the crime, it would also constitute an unreasonable search, also a violation of the 14th. The issue being litigated now is whether or not this law violates the Federal Government’s responsibility as sole arbiter immigration. There, it walks a fine line because it’s an issue of a state’s penal code, which places the question the exact jurisdiction. The question of 14th amendment violations will, I think, be assessed later when a direct violation occurs, ie an Arizonan is held for failing to present papers.

    Also, there are dozens of cities in the US that have a sanctuary clause, including Dallas, Austin, and San Diego, all fair cities relatively close to the borders. I wouldn’t say there’s a correlation between such ordinances and crime rates. I’m not terribly familiar with the history of LA, but I’d guess it had some other things going against it.

  • Kirk

    @Don,

    Even if this law is enforced within the context of separate violations, the bill still requires that officers have a “reasonable suspicion” before checking on an individual’s citizenship. Furthermore, should an officer inquire, the bill states that the person must be held until he can prove his citizenship. The question of what constitutes a “reasonable suspicion” still remains. If it’s based on race, it’s a violation of the 14th Amendment. I’d think that if the the person’s immigration status had nothing to do with the crime, it would also constitute an unreasonable search, also a violation of the 14th. The issue being litigated now is whether or not this law violates the Federal Government’s responsibility as sole arbiter immigration. There, it walks a fine line because it’s an issue of a state’s penal code, which places the question the exact jurisdiction. The question of 14th amendment violations will, I think, be assessed later when a direct violation occurs, ie an Arizonan is held for failing to present papers.

    Also, there are dozens of cities in the US that have a sanctuary clause, including Dallas, Austin, and San Diego, all fair cities relatively close to the borders. I wouldn’t say there’s a correlation between such ordinances and crime rates. I’m not terribly familiar with the history of LA, but I’d guess it had some other things going against it.

  • Kirk

    Oh, and as to my qualifications: none. But I did get a 99 in ConLaw at PHC ;-)

  • Kirk

    Oh, and as to my qualifications: none. But I did get a 99 in ConLaw at PHC ;-)

  • JB

    Kirk’s posts do a good job of describing the grave moral and constitutional defects of this law. For what it’s worth: I live in AZ, 40 miles from the Mexican border. I’m a lawyer. I’ve read the bill.
    My bishop firmly opposes the law; my sheriff will not enforce it.
    Thank God for both men.

    .

  • JB

    Kirk’s posts do a good job of describing the grave moral and constitutional defects of this law. For what it’s worth: I live in AZ, 40 miles from the Mexican border. I’m a lawyer. I’ve read the bill.
    My bishop firmly opposes the law; my sheriff will not enforce it.
    Thank God for both men.

    .

  • CRB

    What IS it that the illegals do not understand about the word,
    “Illegal”?! Of course, it could be that it’s not been explained
    to them in Spanish. But what’s Washington’s excuse, then?!
    It seems to me that if this unfortunate situation in Arizona
    continues to divide people, we may very well be headed for
    a time of social unrest that will exceed even the race riots
    of the late 60′s!

  • CRB

    What IS it that the illegals do not understand about the word,
    “Illegal”?! Of course, it could be that it’s not been explained
    to them in Spanish. But what’s Washington’s excuse, then?!
    It seems to me that if this unfortunate situation in Arizona
    continues to divide people, we may very well be headed for
    a time of social unrest that will exceed even the race riots
    of the late 60′s!

  • Anonymous

    Leviticus 19:33-34 (NIV)
    When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.

    Also see:

    Leviticus 19:33
    Exodus 22:21
    Exodus 23:9
    Deuteronomy 24:17-18
    Leviticus 19:9-10
    Deuteronomy 24:19-22
    Deuteronomy 10:18-19
    Hebrews 13:2

  • Anonymous

    Leviticus 19:33-34 (NIV)
    When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt.

    Also see:

    Leviticus 19:33
    Exodus 22:21
    Exodus 23:9
    Deuteronomy 24:17-18
    Leviticus 19:9-10
    Deuteronomy 24:19-22
    Deuteronomy 10:18-19
    Hebrews 13:2

  • DonS

    Kirk @ 44: Several observations:

    1) I notice that you ignored my request for funding for the impact of failed federal immigration policy on border states. So, if the federal government refuses to enf0rce its laws, and also refuses to permit the states to enforce them, does it (and you, as a federal taxpayer) have an obligation to fully mitigate for the resultant damages? And, if not, why not? Your arguments against Arizona’s law don’t have too much credibility when you are unwilling to bear the consequences for the failings of current federal law.

    2) I don’t understand your concern regarding reasonable suspicion, on its face. If you are stopped for a traffic violation, you will be asked for your driver’s license. If you produce it, no problem. If you can’t produce it, that is a further, more serious violation of the law. If you don’t have a believable explanation for why you cannot produce it, the police automatically have cause for reasonable suspicion, and you will be detained. This is true under existing law, whether you are white, yellow, brown, purple, or black. Again, as both Joe and I, and now you, agree, the law, in this respect, is NOT facially unconstitutional, which is why your blanket statement that it IS unconstitutional was so surprising, especially as one well educated in constitutional law by PHC :-). We will wait and see how it is enforced, and then will eventually find out if it is unconstitutional, as applied.

    3) In my mind, if there was ever a policy which is facially unconstitutional, it is the so-called “sanctuary” policy, wherein cities blatantly declare themselves exempt from application of controlling federal law. I’m not sure what your point is, as major cities enact many laws for political reasons that make no sense either economically or socially. This is definitely one of them.

  • DonS

    Kirk @ 44: Several observations:

    1) I notice that you ignored my request for funding for the impact of failed federal immigration policy on border states. So, if the federal government refuses to enf0rce its laws, and also refuses to permit the states to enforce them, does it (and you, as a federal taxpayer) have an obligation to fully mitigate for the resultant damages? And, if not, why not? Your arguments against Arizona’s law don’t have too much credibility when you are unwilling to bear the consequences for the failings of current federal law.

    2) I don’t understand your concern regarding reasonable suspicion, on its face. If you are stopped for a traffic violation, you will be asked for your driver’s license. If you produce it, no problem. If you can’t produce it, that is a further, more serious violation of the law. If you don’t have a believable explanation for why you cannot produce it, the police automatically have cause for reasonable suspicion, and you will be detained. This is true under existing law, whether you are white, yellow, brown, purple, or black. Again, as both Joe and I, and now you, agree, the law, in this respect, is NOT facially unconstitutional, which is why your blanket statement that it IS unconstitutional was so surprising, especially as one well educated in constitutional law by PHC :-). We will wait and see how it is enforced, and then will eventually find out if it is unconstitutional, as applied.

    3) In my mind, if there was ever a policy which is facially unconstitutional, it is the so-called “sanctuary” policy, wherein cities blatantly declare themselves exempt from application of controlling federal law. I’m not sure what your point is, as major cities enact many laws for political reasons that make no sense either economically or socially. This is definitely one of them.

  • Kirk

    1.) It’s a tough question. On the one hand, the Fed does need to fulfill its obligations. On the other hand, states don’t have the right to act unconstitutionally. I did a lot of border security analysis while I was at PHC, and it seems that with each ratcheting up of enforcement, immigration numbers only increased or simply moved to areas of weaker enforcement. So I tend to think that strict enforcement isn’t the real answer to the immigration issue. It’s almost an unstoppable tide that’s better harnessed than opposed. As to how that’s done, either through rates of legal immigration, guest worker programs, or development assistance to Mexico is something that I need to think more on. The point is, I’m not entirely sure if it’s an issue of shirked responsibility or failure of strategy. As to who bears the cost, I don’t think there’s an easy answer. I can’t think of anyone but the tax payer, but frankly they’ll be paying a price whether things continue as they are or if you increase enforcement (on the state level of the federal, it’s going to cost money).

    2.) I still hold that the sort enforcement that it implicitly requires is unconstitutional. I think it’s a serious 14th amendment issue, the mitigation of which will basically require a neutering of the bill because it will be constitutionally unenforceable

    3.) Off the cuff I actually agree, but I suppose it’s dependent on whether or not federal law actually requires localities to report to CBP. If not, then the law is just a political statement telling immigrants that they won’t be turned in if they’re caught. And yeah, the clauses were probably enacted for votes and nothing more.

  • Kirk

    1.) It’s a tough question. On the one hand, the Fed does need to fulfill its obligations. On the other hand, states don’t have the right to act unconstitutionally. I did a lot of border security analysis while I was at PHC, and it seems that with each ratcheting up of enforcement, immigration numbers only increased or simply moved to areas of weaker enforcement. So I tend to think that strict enforcement isn’t the real answer to the immigration issue. It’s almost an unstoppable tide that’s better harnessed than opposed. As to how that’s done, either through rates of legal immigration, guest worker programs, or development assistance to Mexico is something that I need to think more on. The point is, I’m not entirely sure if it’s an issue of shirked responsibility or failure of strategy. As to who bears the cost, I don’t think there’s an easy answer. I can’t think of anyone but the tax payer, but frankly they’ll be paying a price whether things continue as they are or if you increase enforcement (on the state level of the federal, it’s going to cost money).

    2.) I still hold that the sort enforcement that it implicitly requires is unconstitutional. I think it’s a serious 14th amendment issue, the mitigation of which will basically require a neutering of the bill because it will be constitutionally unenforceable

    3.) Off the cuff I actually agree, but I suppose it’s dependent on whether or not federal law actually requires localities to report to CBP. If not, then the law is just a political statement telling immigrants that they won’t be turned in if they’re caught. And yeah, the clauses were probably enacted for votes and nothing more.

  • Carl Vehse

    Anonymous, those verses apply to legal aliens living in this country, not to aliens who are breaking the law.

  • Carl Vehse

    Anonymous, those verses apply to legal aliens living in this country, not to aliens who are breaking the law.

  • Anonymous

    Prove it, Carl. The passages certainly don’t make the distinction.

  • Anonymous

    Prove it, Carl. The passages certainly don’t make the distinction.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’m with anonymous.

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    I’m with anonymous.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m far too late to this thread to want to engage what’s already been discussed, so I’ll mention something that I haven’t seen discussed much, which is the people hiring these illegal immigrants.

    I’m surprised to see so many “conservatives” discussing this issue and not mentioning the market forces at work here. There is a demand in the United States for cheap, illegal labor. Why don’t we try addressing that demand? Why aren’t the businesses that hire illegal immigrants being targeted? To pull a quote from a randomly-Googled article from the Internet (from 2006):

    Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

    (You’ll note that that date range includes both Democratic and Republican administrations, making this an issue that should seemingly be non-partisan, in a sense. What’s more, the business owners that hire illegal immigrants, though clearly in favor of lax immigration enforcement, do not always fall into the liberal/Democratic camp like you’d expect from that fact. There’s reason to believe that a former Republican senator owned a food processing company that hired illegal immigrants, for instance[1][2].)

    If there were serious crackdowns on employers hiring illegal immigrants, there’d be far fewer places for the illegal immigrants to work here. And cracking down on employers is easier and more effective than cracking down on their dozens or hundreds of potentially-illegal employees. Employers are already hooked into the legal system, in theory. And they tend not to pick up and run so easily. Why then all the focus on the supply side, as it were?

    [1]wweek.com/editorial/3444/11499/
    [2]wweek.com/editorial/3445/11539/

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I’m far too late to this thread to want to engage what’s already been discussed, so I’ll mention something that I haven’t seen discussed much, which is the people hiring these illegal immigrants.

    I’m surprised to see so many “conservatives” discussing this issue and not mentioning the market forces at work here. There is a demand in the United States for cheap, illegal labor. Why don’t we try addressing that demand? Why aren’t the businesses that hire illegal immigrants being targeted? To pull a quote from a randomly-Googled article from the Internet (from 2006):

    Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

    (You’ll note that that date range includes both Democratic and Republican administrations, making this an issue that should seemingly be non-partisan, in a sense. What’s more, the business owners that hire illegal immigrants, though clearly in favor of lax immigration enforcement, do not always fall into the liberal/Democratic camp like you’d expect from that fact. There’s reason to believe that a former Republican senator owned a food processing company that hired illegal immigrants, for instance[1][2].)

    If there were serious crackdowns on employers hiring illegal immigrants, there’d be far fewer places for the illegal immigrants to work here. And cracking down on employers is easier and more effective than cracking down on their dozens or hundreds of potentially-illegal employees. Employers are already hooked into the legal system, in theory. And they tend not to pick up and run so easily. Why then all the focus on the supply side, as it were?

    [1]wweek.com/editorial/3444/11499/
    [2]wweek.com/editorial/3445/11539/

  • Richard

    No, but you are taking the civil/judicial laws which applied to the theocracy of Israel and applying that to a different entity entirely–the kingdom of the left hand. That being said, we still should not be mistreating anyone–general rules of equity still apply.
    By the way–I’m an attorney in Arizona as well; the border is just 20 miles away.

  • Richard

    No, but you are taking the civil/judicial laws which applied to the theocracy of Israel and applying that to a different entity entirely–the kingdom of the left hand. That being said, we still should not be mistreating anyone–general rules of equity still apply.
    By the way–I’m an attorney in Arizona as well; the border is just 20 miles away.

  • Carl Vehse

    The enforcement of laws against illegal aliens (lawbreakers) violate none of these Scriptural passages and in fact, support these passages by helping to prevent the oppression, perversion of justice, and wrongdoing against legal aliens who are most often the victims of criminal activity by illegal aliens.

    There are other passages in Scripture about dealing with law breakers and with invaders, which is what illegal aliens are.

  • Carl Vehse

    The enforcement of laws against illegal aliens (lawbreakers) violate none of these Scriptural passages and in fact, support these passages by helping to prevent the oppression, perversion of justice, and wrongdoing against legal aliens who are most often the victims of criminal activity by illegal aliens.

    There are other passages in Scripture about dealing with law breakers and with invaders, which is what illegal aliens are.

  • DonS

    Kirk @ 50: Fair enough. On some things, we will agree to disagree, and acknowledge that these are difficult issues. That applies to your point 2), because I still think you are putting the cart before the horse and making an assumption about how the law will be enforced, before it is even in effect. How can you possibly know, as of yet, whether those challenged under the law will receive due process under the 14th Amendment? And, may I ask, how is Arizona’s enforcement of federal law any different than when federal officials occasionally enforce it? Or do you think the federal law underpinning AZ’s law is also unconstitutional?

    My primary objection is to the demagoguery and scapegoating that passes for discourse on this subject, on both sides. But, in this particular case, I think Arizona’s statute is measured and reasonable, and I appreciate what that state, battered by the illegal immigration problem, is doing to bring its pain to national attention. And I don’t much appreciate, on the other hand, the flippant and nasty racism charges that are being trumpeted by activists and the media, before it has even been seen how the law is going to be enforced. These activists at least have a moral obligation to engage and propose fair and reasonable solutions, rather than grandstanding and boycotting and accusing good people of being racists, without substance or support. I have no respect for that approach.

    As for enforcement, the problem has been an unwillingness to take serious measures within the country to follow up on those who get past the border. Inevitably, the problem you note is true, especially since our resolve to build a fence, even when it is authorized by statute, is apparently not so strong. We’ll never stop everyone at the border. So, how about at least cleaning out our jails of illegal immigrants and deporting those who have committed crimes? And how about regular raids on employers that are known to employ illegals? How about a more robust verification system that employers are required to use? We should re-visit the issue of birthright citizenship to eliminate that incentive for coming to the U.S., and to eliminate the conundrum that occurs when an illegal parent is detained, but has children who are U.S. citizens by birth. I think our enforcement problems are largely a problem of lack of will, rather than lack of ability to solve. One political party is afraid to tackle the problem, for fear of alienating certain voter classes, and the other political party openly exploits the issue for nakedly political purposes.

  • DonS

    Kirk @ 50: Fair enough. On some things, we will agree to disagree, and acknowledge that these are difficult issues. That applies to your point 2), because I still think you are putting the cart before the horse and making an assumption about how the law will be enforced, before it is even in effect. How can you possibly know, as of yet, whether those challenged under the law will receive due process under the 14th Amendment? And, may I ask, how is Arizona’s enforcement of federal law any different than when federal officials occasionally enforce it? Or do you think the federal law underpinning AZ’s law is also unconstitutional?

    My primary objection is to the demagoguery and scapegoating that passes for discourse on this subject, on both sides. But, in this particular case, I think Arizona’s statute is measured and reasonable, and I appreciate what that state, battered by the illegal immigration problem, is doing to bring its pain to national attention. And I don’t much appreciate, on the other hand, the flippant and nasty racism charges that are being trumpeted by activists and the media, before it has even been seen how the law is going to be enforced. These activists at least have a moral obligation to engage and propose fair and reasonable solutions, rather than grandstanding and boycotting and accusing good people of being racists, without substance or support. I have no respect for that approach.

    As for enforcement, the problem has been an unwillingness to take serious measures within the country to follow up on those who get past the border. Inevitably, the problem you note is true, especially since our resolve to build a fence, even when it is authorized by statute, is apparently not so strong. We’ll never stop everyone at the border. So, how about at least cleaning out our jails of illegal immigrants and deporting those who have committed crimes? And how about regular raids on employers that are known to employ illegals? How about a more robust verification system that employers are required to use? We should re-visit the issue of birthright citizenship to eliminate that incentive for coming to the U.S., and to eliminate the conundrum that occurs when an illegal parent is detained, but has children who are U.S. citizens by birth. I think our enforcement problems are largely a problem of lack of will, rather than lack of ability to solve. One political party is afraid to tackle the problem, for fear of alienating certain voter classes, and the other political party openly exploits the issue for nakedly political purposes.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 54: We cross-posted, but I think you will find that I addressed your very concern. I completely agree with you, and many Republicans are hypocritical on this issue because they want to hire cheap labor, not acknowledging the tremendous costs they are placing on our economy at large.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 54: We cross-posted, but I think you will find that I addressed your very concern. I completely agree with you, and many Republicans are hypocritical on this issue because they want to hire cheap labor, not acknowledging the tremendous costs they are placing on our economy at large.

  • Carl Vehse

    My bishop firmly opposes the law; my sheriff will not enforce it. Thank God for both men.

    Your bishop may oppose the law as long as he doesn’t violate the law. You need to get a better sheriff. Thank God for both men not being in Texas. We have enough problems with the liberal swill we have already.

  • Carl Vehse

    My bishop firmly opposes the law; my sheriff will not enforce it. Thank God for both men.

    Your bishop may oppose the law as long as he doesn’t violate the law. You need to get a better sheriff. Thank God for both men not being in Texas. We have enough problems with the liberal swill we have already.

  • JB

    “We should re-visit the issue of birthright citizenship …”

    I move that we start with yours, DonS.

  • JB

    “We should re-visit the issue of birthright citizenship …”

    I move that we start with yours, DonS.

  • DonS

    Anon @ 48: I agree that we shouldn’t mis-treat the strangers (aliens) among us. But, is enforcing the laws mistreatment? What about the command to love thy neighbor? What if the neighbor is a thief, a dishonest businessman, or a tax cheat? Should you turn him in, or would that act not be loving your neighbor? I guess, bottom line, is that I don’t understand what you are saying, or how broadly you want to read those scriptures.

  • DonS

    Anon @ 48: I agree that we shouldn’t mis-treat the strangers (aliens) among us. But, is enforcing the laws mistreatment? What about the command to love thy neighbor? What if the neighbor is a thief, a dishonest businessman, or a tax cheat? Should you turn him in, or would that act not be loving your neighbor? I guess, bottom line, is that I don’t understand what you are saying, or how broadly you want to read those scriptures.

  • Joe

    tODD – I agree with you; see my comment at 42. This is all about incentives and changing the cost/benefit analysis.

  • Joe

    tODD – I agree with you; see my comment at 42. This is all about incentives and changing the cost/benefit analysis.

  • DonS

    Ahh, JB, way to bring intelligent discussion to the fore. But, I was born to two U.S. citizens, you’ll be sorry to hear.

  • DonS

    Ahh, JB, way to bring intelligent discussion to the fore. But, I was born to two U.S. citizens, you’ll be sorry to hear.

  • CRB

    Here are some insights from a strictly political perspective:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson042810.html

  • CRB

    Here are some insights from a strictly political perspective:

    http://www.victorhanson.com/articles/hanson042810.html

  • JB

    DonS,
    I’m annoyed by your pompous sense of privilege.
    Go acquaint yourself with the 14th amendment.

  • JB

    DonS,
    I’m annoyed by your pompous sense of privilege.
    Go acquaint yourself with the 14th amendment.

  • DonS

    JB — I’m perfectly willing to accept criticism from someone who is man or woman enough to back it up and make a reasoned and supported argument. But, if you’re just going to take cheap personal shots, you are adding nothing to the discussion and the thread will be better off without your input.

  • DonS

    JB — I’m perfectly willing to accept criticism from someone who is man or woman enough to back it up and make a reasoned and supported argument. But, if you’re just going to take cheap personal shots, you are adding nothing to the discussion and the thread will be better off without your input.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@57), in addition to Constitutional concerns I would have about your suggestion that we “re-visit the issue of birthright citizenship to eliminate that incentive for coming to the U.S.,” I have to ask why you think making it harder for their children to become citizens will make things better. You’ll just create a permanent outcast caste, at least given how hard it currently is to become a legal citizen.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@57), in addition to Constitutional concerns I would have about your suggestion that we “re-visit the issue of birthright citizenship to eliminate that incentive for coming to the U.S.,” I have to ask why you think making it harder for their children to become citizens will make things better. You’ll just create a permanent outcast caste, at least given how hard it currently is to become a legal citizen.

  • sg

    @26

    Seriously,

    Hispanic Americans speak English and have ID, so it is not just how a person looks.

    It is the fact he has been stopped for some offense, then can’t produce ID, then can’t speak English, etc. etc.

  • sg

    @26

    Seriously,

    Hispanic Americans speak English and have ID, so it is not just how a person looks.

    It is the fact he has been stopped for some offense, then can’t produce ID, then can’t speak English, etc. etc.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 67: Well, I’m not necessarily advocating that we change the citizenship laws, just suggesting that we re-visit them and evaluate our priorities. I’ve read that some don’t think the constitution actually explicitly requires that all people born on U.S. soil become automatic citizens, and that a statutory change would be sufficient to potentially change the law in that area. If that turns out not to be true, then at the very least a constitutional amendment could do so.

    My major issue with illegal immigration is one of fairness. I have good friends who fought the good fight, long and hard, over decades, to earn the right to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. I guess I don’t understand why, just because a baby’s mother crawled through a tunnel and entered the country illegally, the baby is automatically a natural born citizen, having more rights than the legal immigrant who waited in line and did it the right way. It seems like the situation results in unjust fruits for a wrongful act.

    To your point about how it is so hard to become a naturalized citizen, I agree. Let’s crack down on illegal immigration and open up opportunities for easier legal immigration. I am all for that. It shouldn’t be so hard to become a legal U.S. resident, and ultimately a citizen, for those who are willing to enter legally and work hard. But I hate that the baby of the wrongdoer becomes an immediate legal natural born citizen, while the baby of the mom who did the right thing and obeyed the laws is still stuck in Mexico, with no hope of U.S. citizenship. I think that injustice should be re-visited.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 67: Well, I’m not necessarily advocating that we change the citizenship laws, just suggesting that we re-visit them and evaluate our priorities. I’ve read that some don’t think the constitution actually explicitly requires that all people born on U.S. soil become automatic citizens, and that a statutory change would be sufficient to potentially change the law in that area. If that turns out not to be true, then at the very least a constitutional amendment could do so.

    My major issue with illegal immigration is one of fairness. I have good friends who fought the good fight, long and hard, over decades, to earn the right to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S. I guess I don’t understand why, just because a baby’s mother crawled through a tunnel and entered the country illegally, the baby is automatically a natural born citizen, having more rights than the legal immigrant who waited in line and did it the right way. It seems like the situation results in unjust fruits for a wrongful act.

    To your point about how it is so hard to become a naturalized citizen, I agree. Let’s crack down on illegal immigration and open up opportunities for easier legal immigration. I am all for that. It shouldn’t be so hard to become a legal U.S. resident, and ultimately a citizen, for those who are willing to enter legally and work hard. But I hate that the baby of the wrongdoer becomes an immediate legal natural born citizen, while the baby of the mom who did the right thing and obeyed the laws is still stuck in Mexico, with no hope of U.S. citizenship. I think that injustice should be re-visited.

  • sg

    @todd

    ” You’ll just create a permanent outcast caste, at least given how hard it currently is to become a legal citizen.”

    No, you deport them and they fit in just fine in their home country. These are just regular folks in their home countries. They are not persecuted or abused in their home countries. Life there might not be as good, but sending them home is not a punishment.

  • sg

    @todd

    ” You’ll just create a permanent outcast caste, at least given how hard it currently is to become a legal citizen.”

    No, you deport them and they fit in just fine in their home country. These are just regular folks in their home countries. They are not persecuted or abused in their home countries. Life there might not be as good, but sending them home is not a punishment.

  • helen

    “Birthright” citizenship should be revisited. There is no reason to give a US birth certificate to a child whose home is in Mexico but whose mother was dumped in labor on the steps of a US hospital because they have to take her in. My aunt, an OB/GYN nurse told me this was going on in California during WW II. It hasn’t stopped.
    The taxpayers or the hospital foot the bill… and that’s one reason American health costs are so high.
    People with more income do it more elegantly; they rent an apt in Los Angeles for a month or two and use that as their “permanent” address. Either way collecting the birth certificate makes the child eligible to live in the states, or when s/he’s an adult, to come and bring relatives in.
    Last month I read a sob story about a man with citizen children who was up for deportation for breaking the law. He was stopped on the highway with a truck load of marijuana!
    NPR had an Arizonan on the other day who said that people were up in arms about the poor Hispanics, but actually they were catching a lot of illegal Chinese. Mexico is no longer just the source of illegals; it’s a conduit for the world.
    The United States is the ONLY country which allows its borders to be a sieve!
    We should make legal immigration more reasonable while cracking down hard on illegals. If a person is breaking the law by being here, how many other laws does he break?

    Full disclosure: My father was born in Denmark. His parents brought him to this country legally through Ellis Island when he was four months old. [BTW, we went from Detroit to Windsor, Ont. forty years later on a sightseeing trip and my grandfather was taken into the US border patrol office and cross examined because he didn't have citizenship papers with him.] Should we have been greatly offended? We weren’t.

  • helen

    “Birthright” citizenship should be revisited. There is no reason to give a US birth certificate to a child whose home is in Mexico but whose mother was dumped in labor on the steps of a US hospital because they have to take her in. My aunt, an OB/GYN nurse told me this was going on in California during WW II. It hasn’t stopped.
    The taxpayers or the hospital foot the bill… and that’s one reason American health costs are so high.
    People with more income do it more elegantly; they rent an apt in Los Angeles for a month or two and use that as their “permanent” address. Either way collecting the birth certificate makes the child eligible to live in the states, or when s/he’s an adult, to come and bring relatives in.
    Last month I read a sob story about a man with citizen children who was up for deportation for breaking the law. He was stopped on the highway with a truck load of marijuana!
    NPR had an Arizonan on the other day who said that people were up in arms about the poor Hispanics, but actually they were catching a lot of illegal Chinese. Mexico is no longer just the source of illegals; it’s a conduit for the world.
    The United States is the ONLY country which allows its borders to be a sieve!
    We should make legal immigration more reasonable while cracking down hard on illegals. If a person is breaking the law by being here, how many other laws does he break?

    Full disclosure: My father was born in Denmark. His parents brought him to this country legally through Ellis Island when he was four months old. [BTW, we went from Detroit to Windsor, Ont. forty years later on a sightseeing trip and my grandfather was taken into the US border patrol office and cross examined because he didn't have citizenship papers with him.] Should we have been greatly offended? We weren’t.

  • DonS

    Thank you, Helen. Your comment illustrates my point perfectly, with vivid examples of the injustice involved.

  • DonS

    Thank you, Helen. Your comment illustrates my point perfectly, with vivid examples of the injustice involved.

  • sg

    “Immigrants WILL learn, however, about class warfare and ethnic group politics from the statists who promise to protect them from hostile “lovers of liberty”, who seem to believe that liberty is for the few.”

    @kerner

    Immigrants can stay in their home countries and fight and die for liberty for all in their own countries. That is what we did. Why is it our lot in life to fight and die for liberty for ourselves and our posterity only to have in taken from us by hostile and violent intruders who call us entitled and privileged. They can have all the entitlement and privilege they want as soon as they are willing to fight and die for it, not just steal it from those who have fought and died for it.

  • sg

    “Immigrants WILL learn, however, about class warfare and ethnic group politics from the statists who promise to protect them from hostile “lovers of liberty”, who seem to believe that liberty is for the few.”

    @kerner

    Immigrants can stay in their home countries and fight and die for liberty for all in their own countries. That is what we did. Why is it our lot in life to fight and die for liberty for ourselves and our posterity only to have in taken from us by hostile and violent intruders who call us entitled and privileged. They can have all the entitlement and privilege they want as soon as they are willing to fight and die for it, not just steal it from those who have fought and died for it.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the introduction to Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the 2003 pastoral statement from the Bishops’ Conferences of the U.S. and Mexico:

    We witness the human consequences of migration in the life of society every day.

    We witness the vulnerability of our people involved in all sides of the migration phenomenon, including families devastated by the loss of loved ones who have undertaken the migration journey and children left alone when parents are removed from them

    We observe the struggles of landowners and enforcement personnel who seek to preserve the common good without violating the dignity of the migrant.

    We share in the concern of religious and social service providers who, without violating civil law, attempt to respond to the migrant knocking at the door.

    Migrants and immigrants are in our parishes and in our communities.

    We see much injustice and violence against them and much suffering and despair among them because civil and Church structures are still inadequate to accommodate their basic needs.

    Many persons who seek to migrate are suffering, and, in some cases, tragically dying; human rights are abused; families are kept apart; and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain.

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the introduction to Strangers No Longer: Together on the Journey of Hope, the 2003 pastoral statement from the Bishops’ Conferences of the U.S. and Mexico:

    We witness the human consequences of migration in the life of society every day.

    We witness the vulnerability of our people involved in all sides of the migration phenomenon, including families devastated by the loss of loved ones who have undertaken the migration journey and children left alone when parents are removed from them

    We observe the struggles of landowners and enforcement personnel who seek to preserve the common good without violating the dignity of the migrant.

    We share in the concern of religious and social service providers who, without violating civil law, attempt to respond to the migrant knocking at the door.

    Migrants and immigrants are in our parishes and in our communities.

    We see much injustice and violence against them and much suffering and despair among them because civil and Church structures are still inadequate to accommodate their basic needs.

    Many persons who seek to migrate are suffering, and, in some cases, tragically dying; human rights are abused; families are kept apart; and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain.

  • sg

    “We see much injustice and violence against them and much suffering and despair among them because civil and Church structures are still inadequate to accommodate their basic needs.

    “Many persons who seek to migrate are suffering, and, in some cases, tragically dying; human rights are abused; families are kept apart; and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain.”

    However, many who come illegally are criminals and tragically killing American citizens. They have racist attitudes and are angry at Americans that don’t want them here. The blame for their predicament legitimately rests on those in their home countries who abuse them etc. not innocent American citizens.

  • sg

    “We see much injustice and violence against them and much suffering and despair among them because civil and Church structures are still inadequate to accommodate their basic needs.

    “Many persons who seek to migrate are suffering, and, in some cases, tragically dying; human rights are abused; families are kept apart; and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain.”

    However, many who come illegally are criminals and tragically killing American citizens. They have racist attitudes and are angry at Americans that don’t want them here. The blame for their predicament legitimately rests on those in their home countries who abuse them etc. not innocent American citizens.

  • Kirk

    @sg

    I hate to bring this up because it’s so obvious it’s almost cliched to say, but we are a nation of immigrants and we’ve come in ethnic wave after ethnic wave. The attitudes that you’re expressing towards Mexicans, that they’re malicious and virulent, are the same that the Anglos had against the Germans, and then the Germans had against the Polish, and then the Polish had against the Italians and so on and so forth. In each case, it was claimed that our society and way of life was at the mercy of the whatever type of immigrant was currently “assailing” our borders and some how we survived. I’d wager that in 40 years Mexican-Americans will be saying exactly the same thing about Thais or Latvians or Kosovars or whoever starts coming to our country next.

  • Kirk

    @sg

    I hate to bring this up because it’s so obvious it’s almost cliched to say, but we are a nation of immigrants and we’ve come in ethnic wave after ethnic wave. The attitudes that you’re expressing towards Mexicans, that they’re malicious and virulent, are the same that the Anglos had against the Germans, and then the Germans had against the Polish, and then the Polish had against the Italians and so on and so forth. In each case, it was claimed that our society and way of life was at the mercy of the whatever type of immigrant was currently “assailing” our borders and some how we survived. I’d wager that in 40 years Mexican-Americans will be saying exactly the same thing about Thais or Latvians or Kosovars or whoever starts coming to our country next.

  • JB

    “…and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain.” Boy, do they ever.

  • JB

    “…and racist and xenophobic attitudes remain.” Boy, do they ever.

  • Kirk

    @sq, further more your making a rabid generalization about the intentions of Mexican immigrants. Sure, some a criminals, but some natural born American citizens are criminals too. The fact that crime rates have dropped in the past 10 years and are still dropping today in spite of the illegals coming across our borders shows that most of them aren’t looking to rob or murder. Phoenix may night be a shining example of a crime free city, but its rates are still lower that Baltimore and Philadelphia and many other northern cities that are relatively untouched by Hispanic migration.

  • Kirk

    @sq, further more your making a rabid generalization about the intentions of Mexican immigrants. Sure, some a criminals, but some natural born American citizens are criminals too. The fact that crime rates have dropped in the past 10 years and are still dropping today in spite of the illegals coming across our borders shows that most of them aren’t looking to rob or murder. Phoenix may night be a shining example of a crime free city, but its rates are still lower that Baltimore and Philadelphia and many other northern cities that are relatively untouched by Hispanic migration.

  • Andrew

    “…any illegal immigrant they catch in Arizona, they should let him keep doing his job because he’s adding to the economy. For every one they catch, they should send one Goldman Sachs guy to Mexico.” Michael Moore on the Larry King show.

  • Andrew

    “…any illegal immigrant they catch in Arizona, they should let him keep doing his job because he’s adding to the economy. For every one they catch, they should send one Goldman Sachs guy to Mexico.” Michael Moore on the Larry King show.

  • kerner

    sg:

    “They (aliens) can have all the entitlement and priviledge they want as soon as they are willing to fight and die for it, not just steal it from those who have fought and died for it.”

    My oldest son fought for it in three tours in Iraq, and is still in the reserves. My oldest daughter fought for it in one tour in Iraq. My youngest son will go fight for it next month in Afghanistan. My younger brother, in 1984, actually DIED for it.

    But more to the point, my son in law, the son of an illegal immigrant who got amnesty in 1986, fought for it in one tour in Iraq, and one Marine “float” deployment, and continues to serve in the Air Force National Guard. Hispanics are the most highly decorated ethnic group in that U.S. Armed Services. Legal or otherwise, immigrants fight and die for liberty in the armed forces of this country all the time.

    What have YOU or your family done to fight for liberty? Can you honestly say you are a better man than they are, or that you have risked more for liberty than they have? I know I can’t.

    The biggest mistake that almost everyone makes in discussions like this one is to try to find a “one size fits all” characterization of immigrants. Immigrants are called either all hostile invaders, gangsters and thieves, or just one big group of wandering saints looking for a better life. Both characterizations are false. Illegal immigrants (actually, legal immigrants as well) include many individual examples of criminals and honest people, the predatory and the industrious, those who want to be like us and those who want to take advantage of us.

    The primary, perhaps the only major, thrust of our immigration policy should be to distinguish between the two, and admit those who want to be honest, industrious and part of our culture. This last doesn’t mean they should forget their ethnic heritage, but like the rest of us they eventually have to think of themselves as Americans first. But the first step to getting them to think of this country as their own is for us to think of them (in appropriate cases)as potential Americans, not barbarian invaders.

    Joe @42:

    You point out that it is advantageous for business to hire illegal immigrants, and call this the root problem. I think that the root problem is that it is illegal for businesses to hire the best workers they can find.

    You point out that there are many unemployed Americans, while illegal aliens are employed in the meat packing industry. The reason the meat companies hire immigrants is because, unlike American applicants, the immigrants will take these smelly disgusting jobs, and actually WORK HARD at them year in and year out. I know this will not be a popular opinion, but there is nothing about being born in America that entitles you to a good job in America. You have to compete for that job. And any non-disabled American who cannot out compete a bunch of uneducated, illiterate foreigners, who barely speak English, do not deserve jobs.

    This is equally true of the upper classes. Just because a well to do American kid goes to college (on mommy and daddy’s dime, or by borrowing megabucks) and spends his time partying and chasing girls, doesn’t mean he should be given a job over a foreign kid who studied hard, has a good work ethic, and can make money for the employer.

    To those of you who periodically bellyache about how our culture has become soft and decadent, I say this culture is in dire need of some new blood. The incoming competition will strengthen our country, be they military, business, or just hard working blue collar types. And they will force us natives to stay sharp or be passed by. That’s how this country has become strong, and that’s how it will remain strong.

    Again, I am not such a Pollyanna as to believe that all illegal immigrants are the people we want to admit. I AM saying that our policy should not be “send ‘em all back” or “let ‘em all stay”. Our policy should be to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • kerner

    sg:

    “They (aliens) can have all the entitlement and priviledge they want as soon as they are willing to fight and die for it, not just steal it from those who have fought and died for it.”

    My oldest son fought for it in three tours in Iraq, and is still in the reserves. My oldest daughter fought for it in one tour in Iraq. My youngest son will go fight for it next month in Afghanistan. My younger brother, in 1984, actually DIED for it.

    But more to the point, my son in law, the son of an illegal immigrant who got amnesty in 1986, fought for it in one tour in Iraq, and one Marine “float” deployment, and continues to serve in the Air Force National Guard. Hispanics are the most highly decorated ethnic group in that U.S. Armed Services. Legal or otherwise, immigrants fight and die for liberty in the armed forces of this country all the time.

    What have YOU or your family done to fight for liberty? Can you honestly say you are a better man than they are, or that you have risked more for liberty than they have? I know I can’t.

    The biggest mistake that almost everyone makes in discussions like this one is to try to find a “one size fits all” characterization of immigrants. Immigrants are called either all hostile invaders, gangsters and thieves, or just one big group of wandering saints looking for a better life. Both characterizations are false. Illegal immigrants (actually, legal immigrants as well) include many individual examples of criminals and honest people, the predatory and the industrious, those who want to be like us and those who want to take advantage of us.

    The primary, perhaps the only major, thrust of our immigration policy should be to distinguish between the two, and admit those who want to be honest, industrious and part of our culture. This last doesn’t mean they should forget their ethnic heritage, but like the rest of us they eventually have to think of themselves as Americans first. But the first step to getting them to think of this country as their own is for us to think of them (in appropriate cases)as potential Americans, not barbarian invaders.

    Joe @42:

    You point out that it is advantageous for business to hire illegal immigrants, and call this the root problem. I think that the root problem is that it is illegal for businesses to hire the best workers they can find.

    You point out that there are many unemployed Americans, while illegal aliens are employed in the meat packing industry. The reason the meat companies hire immigrants is because, unlike American applicants, the immigrants will take these smelly disgusting jobs, and actually WORK HARD at them year in and year out. I know this will not be a popular opinion, but there is nothing about being born in America that entitles you to a good job in America. You have to compete for that job. And any non-disabled American who cannot out compete a bunch of uneducated, illiterate foreigners, who barely speak English, do not deserve jobs.

    This is equally true of the upper classes. Just because a well to do American kid goes to college (on mommy and daddy’s dime, or by borrowing megabucks) and spends his time partying and chasing girls, doesn’t mean he should be given a job over a foreign kid who studied hard, has a good work ethic, and can make money for the employer.

    To those of you who periodically bellyache about how our culture has become soft and decadent, I say this culture is in dire need of some new blood. The incoming competition will strengthen our country, be they military, business, or just hard working blue collar types. And they will force us natives to stay sharp or be passed by. That’s how this country has become strong, and that’s how it will remain strong.

    Again, I am not such a Pollyanna as to believe that all illegal immigrants are the people we want to admit. I AM saying that our policy should not be “send ‘em all back” or “let ‘em all stay”. Our policy should be to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • utahrainbow

    There’s an interesting article from The American Conservative about immigrant crime rates that backs up what Kirk is saying in 78. The assumption that immigrants are more violent is not true. There are lots of charts and stats in the article.

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2010/mar/01/00022/

  • utahrainbow

    There’s an interesting article from The American Conservative about immigrant crime rates that backs up what Kirk is saying in 78. The assumption that immigrants are more violent is not true. There are lots of charts and stats in the article.

    http://www.amconmag.com/article/2010/mar/01/00022/

  • sg

    “The assumption that immigrants are more violent is not true.”

    Immigrants are not more violent.

    Illegal aliens are.

    Immigrants file their paperwork and wait.

    Illegal aliens don’t want to be tracked are frequently part of illegal activities. That is why they are tremendously overrepresented in prison.

  • sg

    “The assumption that immigrants are more violent is not true.”

    Immigrants are not more violent.

    Illegal aliens are.

    Immigrants file their paperwork and wait.

    Illegal aliens don’t want to be tracked are frequently part of illegal activities. That is why they are tremendously overrepresented in prison.

  • Carl Vehse

    All illegal aliens at any given time are committing at least one crime.

  • Carl Vehse

    All illegal aliens at any given time are committing at least one crime.

  • sg

    kerner,

    The men in my family served in the military. So yes. However as a female, I don’t feel obligated to serve personally.

    You missed the point of fighting and dying for liberty.

    The point is in this country and others, the citizens fought to change the government. The question is why people don’t want to change the governments in their home countries. If they have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t just be run to America. That can work for some, and immigration is fine, but it isn’t the whole answer.

  • sg

    kerner,

    The men in my family served in the military. So yes. However as a female, I don’t feel obligated to serve personally.

    You missed the point of fighting and dying for liberty.

    The point is in this country and others, the citizens fought to change the government. The question is why people don’t want to change the governments in their home countries. If they have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t just be run to America. That can work for some, and immigration is fine, but it isn’t the whole answer.

  • sg

    kerner,

    The men in my family served in the military. So yes. However as a female, I don’t feel obligated to serve personally.

    You missed the point of fighting and dying for liberty.

    The point is in this country and others, the citizens fought to change the government. The question is why people don’t want to change the governments in their home countries. If they have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t just be run to America. That can work for some, and immigration is fine, but it isn’t the whole answer.

    “I hate to bring this up because it’s so obvious it’s almost cliched to say, but we are a nation of immigrants and we’ve come in ethnic wave after ethnic wave. The attitudes that you’re expressing towards Mexicans, that they’re malicious and virulent,”

    Nice try. My grandma is Mexican.

    I am not talking about immigrants. I have plenty of immigrant friends and relatives.

    I am talking about illegal aliens.

    Two different groups.

  • sg

    kerner,

    The men in my family served in the military. So yes. However as a female, I don’t feel obligated to serve personally.

    You missed the point of fighting and dying for liberty.

    The point is in this country and others, the citizens fought to change the government. The question is why people don’t want to change the governments in their home countries. If they have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t just be run to America. That can work for some, and immigration is fine, but it isn’t the whole answer.

    “I hate to bring this up because it’s so obvious it’s almost cliched to say, but we are a nation of immigrants and we’ve come in ethnic wave after ethnic wave. The attitudes that you’re expressing towards Mexicans, that they’re malicious and virulent,”

    Nice try. My grandma is Mexican.

    I am not talking about immigrants. I have plenty of immigrant friends and relatives.

    I am talking about illegal aliens.

    Two different groups.

  • kerner

    sg: @84

    “If (aliens) have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t be to just run to America.”

    Well, running to America was the answer for the Pilgrims, and the Puritans, and the English Catholics who founded Maryland. It was the answer for the Irish living under Great Britain, and the Germans who refused to live under the Prussian Union, and for the Italians leaving as Italy was forming itself into a country, and for the Poles and Jews living under Czarist Russia. It was the answer for the Cubans in the 1960′s. Where did your ancestors come from, and why did they leave?

  • kerner

    sg: @84

    “If (aliens) have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t be to just run to America.”

    Well, running to America was the answer for the Pilgrims, and the Puritans, and the English Catholics who founded Maryland. It was the answer for the Irish living under Great Britain, and the Germans who refused to live under the Prussian Union, and for the Italians leaving as Italy was forming itself into a country, and for the Poles and Jews living under Czarist Russia. It was the answer for the Cubans in the 1960′s. Where did your ancestors come from, and why did they leave?

  • utahrainbow

    If you actually read the article, it examines violent crime rates in cities with a large illegal immigrant populations. You must be a fast reader, sg! I think I specified violent crime, Carl, @ 83.

  • utahrainbow

    If you actually read the article, it examines violent crime rates in cities with a large illegal immigrant populations. You must be a fast reader, sg! I think I specified violent crime, Carl, @ 83.

  • sg

    Are you arguing that the only option is to run?

  • sg

    Are you arguing that the only option is to run?

  • Andrew
  • Andrew
  • sg

    Utah, I read that article when it came out.

  • sg

    Utah, I read that article when it came out.

  • Carl Vehse

    All illegal aliens at any given time are committing at least one crime.

    I was referring to crime.

  • Carl Vehse

    All illegal aliens at any given time are committing at least one crime.

    I was referring to crime.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I wholeheartedly agree with Kerner @ #s 80 and 86.

    I’m from predominantly German stock, due to the Prussian Union. I’m still trying to figure out what in the heck that means for myself, culturally. Also in regards to American “Culture” (which Manxman thinks Mexican Illegals are ruining), I am most proud of the McGriddle (seriously, the sausage egg and cheese is one of my favorite morning indulgences). But from the fine Mexican Americans I know, I sure appreciate what these great people could bring to our U.S. culture, which could be a renewal of familial and personal loyalty and service.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I wholeheartedly agree with Kerner @ #s 80 and 86.

    I’m from predominantly German stock, due to the Prussian Union. I’m still trying to figure out what in the heck that means for myself, culturally. Also in regards to American “Culture” (which Manxman thinks Mexican Illegals are ruining), I am most proud of the McGriddle (seriously, the sausage egg and cheese is one of my favorite morning indulgences). But from the fine Mexican Americans I know, I sure appreciate what these great people could bring to our U.S. culture, which could be a renewal of familial and personal loyalty and service.

  • Cincinnatus

    Two Solutions:

    -Legalize and/or regulate most drugs

    -Eliminate the minimum wage

    I can guarantee you that our illegal immigration and border concerns would almost literally disappear. Of course, no one wants to discuss these alleged non-negotiables.

  • Cincinnatus

    Two Solutions:

    -Legalize and/or regulate most drugs

    -Eliminate the minimum wage

    I can guarantee you that our illegal immigration and border concerns would almost literally disappear. Of course, no one wants to discuss these alleged non-negotiables.

  • Joe

    Kerner – my point was many American businesses hire the illegals because they know that they will not file a wage claim. They could not hire an citizen or legal resident at the rates they pay in the meat packing plants without fear of reprisal. My dad worked in a meat packing plant for a while, the company paid him more then the illegal alien working along side him because they new the illegal would not file a complaint with the regulators or hire a lawyer. I am all for hiring the best worker at the market set wage but we don’t have a level playing field because by hiring an illegal the company can skirt the wage and hour laws that it has to follow when it hires a citizen or resident alien. This is not the free-market at work; constraints have been placed on the labor market that distort it.

    It is also not cost neutral to you and me. It ends up working as a subsidy for the employer. They hire the illegal at a below legal rate or force them to work overtime without paying time and a half, etc. The employer pockets the savings. At the same time, the unemployed citizen remains unemployed. He continues to draw welfare, food stamps, etc. We the tax payers pay for this. If the employer did not fire the illegal, he would pay a higher wage to the citizen or resident alien and the tax payer would have one less unemployed person to support through social welfare. I am all for reducing the regulations on the labor market and allowing the market to set wages, but as long as we have the regulatory scheme that is in place, employers will always have an incentive to hire illegals and it will cost us all.

  • Joe

    Kerner – my point was many American businesses hire the illegals because they know that they will not file a wage claim. They could not hire an citizen or legal resident at the rates they pay in the meat packing plants without fear of reprisal. My dad worked in a meat packing plant for a while, the company paid him more then the illegal alien working along side him because they new the illegal would not file a complaint with the regulators or hire a lawyer. I am all for hiring the best worker at the market set wage but we don’t have a level playing field because by hiring an illegal the company can skirt the wage and hour laws that it has to follow when it hires a citizen or resident alien. This is not the free-market at work; constraints have been placed on the labor market that distort it.

    It is also not cost neutral to you and me. It ends up working as a subsidy for the employer. They hire the illegal at a below legal rate or force them to work overtime without paying time and a half, etc. The employer pockets the savings. At the same time, the unemployed citizen remains unemployed. He continues to draw welfare, food stamps, etc. We the tax payers pay for this. If the employer did not fire the illegal, he would pay a higher wage to the citizen or resident alien and the tax payer would have one less unemployed person to support through social welfare. I am all for reducing the regulations on the labor market and allowing the market to set wages, but as long as we have the regulatory scheme that is in place, employers will always have an incentive to hire illegals and it will cost us all.

  • Joe

    “Of course, no one wants to discuss these alleged non-negotiables.”

    I’ll have that conversation – on both points.

  • Joe

    “Of course, no one wants to discuss these alleged non-negotiables.”

    I’ll have that conversation – on both points.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Joe also makes good points. I agree about the drug stuff with Cincinnatus, but I’m not sure about how getting rid of the minimum wage would help.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Joe also makes good points. I agree about the drug stuff with Cincinnatus, but I’m not sure about how getting rid of the minimum wage would help.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@69), I certainly agree with you about “fairness” — in a way. But, ignoring the question of children for a second, I wonder if you have considered how fair things are for the illegal immigrants. They were hired by a US employer, probably worked hard, possibly treated poorly, contributed to our economy, were not given the full rights, opportunities, and services that legal immigrants have, and their status can be revoked at any time. All this with, quite frequently, a wink and a nod from various levels of business and government. Is that fair, either?

    The way I see it, there are basically two immigration tracks here: a legal one and a de facto, illegal one. The first is, yes, difficult — too difficult — but is also less risky and comes with more benefits. So it’s more of a tradeoff than completely unfair to those seeking a legal route.

    As for the children of immigrants, I don’t see why we should punish a child for the sins of his parents. The child didn’t illegally cross the border — his parents did. Had that child been born to people who had not committed that particular crime, no one here would question that his being born in America would qualify him for citizenship. Your argument then becomes that it’s not merely a question of where you’re born, but who your parents are, as well. Perhaps people born of rape or incest should also not be given automatic citizenship? Wouldn’t want to reward those crimes, either, right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@69), I certainly agree with you about “fairness” — in a way. But, ignoring the question of children for a second, I wonder if you have considered how fair things are for the illegal immigrants. They were hired by a US employer, probably worked hard, possibly treated poorly, contributed to our economy, were not given the full rights, opportunities, and services that legal immigrants have, and their status can be revoked at any time. All this with, quite frequently, a wink and a nod from various levels of business and government. Is that fair, either?

    The way I see it, there are basically two immigration tracks here: a legal one and a de facto, illegal one. The first is, yes, difficult — too difficult — but is also less risky and comes with more benefits. So it’s more of a tradeoff than completely unfair to those seeking a legal route.

    As for the children of immigrants, I don’t see why we should punish a child for the sins of his parents. The child didn’t illegally cross the border — his parents did. Had that child been born to people who had not committed that particular crime, no one here would question that his being born in America would qualify him for citizenship. Your argument then becomes that it’s not merely a question of where you’re born, but who your parents are, as well. Perhaps people born of rape or incest should also not be given automatic citizenship? Wouldn’t want to reward those crimes, either, right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@69), I certainly agree with you about “fairness” — in a way. But, ignoring the question of children for a second, I wonder if you have considered how fair things are for the illegal immigr@nts. They were hired by a US employer, probably worked hard, possibly treated poorly, contributed to our economy, were not given the full rights, opportunities, and services that legal immigr@nts have, and their status can be revoked at any time. All this with, quite frequently, a wink and a nod from various levels of business and government. Is that fair, either?

    The way I see it, there are basically two immigration tracks here: a legal one and a de facto, illegal one. The first is, yes, difficult — too difficult — but is also less risky and comes with more benefits. So it’s more of a tradeoff than completely unfair to those seeking a legal route.

    As for the children of immigr@nts, I don’t see why we should punish a child for the sins of his parents. The child didn’t illegally cross the border — his parents did. Had that child been born to people who had not committed that particular crime, no one here would question that his being born in America would qualify him for citizenship. Your argument then becomes that it’s not merely a question of where you’re born, but who your parents are, as well. Perhaps people born of r@pe or ince$t should also not be given automatic citizenship? Wouldn’t want to reward those crimes, either, right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@69), I certainly agree with you about “fairness” — in a way. But, ignoring the question of children for a second, I wonder if you have considered how fair things are for the illegal immigr@nts. They were hired by a US employer, probably worked hard, possibly treated poorly, contributed to our economy, were not given the full rights, opportunities, and services that legal immigr@nts have, and their status can be revoked at any time. All this with, quite frequently, a wink and a nod from various levels of business and government. Is that fair, either?

    The way I see it, there are basically two immigration tracks here: a legal one and a de facto, illegal one. The first is, yes, difficult — too difficult — but is also less risky and comes with more benefits. So it’s more of a tradeoff than completely unfair to those seeking a legal route.

    As for the children of immigr@nts, I don’t see why we should punish a child for the sins of his parents. The child didn’t illegally cross the border — his parents did. Had that child been born to people who had not committed that particular crime, no one here would question that his being born in America would qualify him for citizenship. Your argument then becomes that it’s not merely a question of where you’re born, but who your parents are, as well. Perhaps people born of r@pe or ince$t should also not be given automatic citizenship? Wouldn’t want to reward those crimes, either, right?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Helen (@71), I find your health care argument here rather specious, but ignoring that, how can you seriously say “The United States is the ONLY country which allows its borders to be a sieve”? Many, many nations have serious issues with illegal immigration, including in Europe. You seem to be a fan of anecdotes, so I’ll note that in 2004 I traveled quite legally to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, without anyone once asking me for my passport. Caused quite a stir when I got to Estonia and the border guard wanted to know how the heck I’d gotten there without any stamps! And that was just me being a tourist!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Helen (@71), I find your health care argument here rather specious, but ignoring that, how can you seriously say “The United States is the ONLY country which allows its borders to be a sieve”? Many, many nations have serious issues with illegal immigration, including in Europe. You seem to be a fan of anecdotes, so I’ll note that in 2004 I traveled quite legally to Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland, without anyone once asking me for my passport. Caused quite a stir when I got to Estonia and the border guard wanted to know how the heck I’d gotten there without any stamps! And that was just me being a tourist!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@80), I really appreciate your comments in this thread, and they’re quite insightful, as usual. But I don’t think I agree — at least, not in full — with your statement that “The reason the meat companies hire immigrants is because, unlike American applicants, the immigrants will take these smelly disgusting jobs, and actually WORK HARD at them year in and year out.”

    That may be, though there are plenty of Americans who take equally smelly, disgusting jobs. There’s even a TV show about it. But they won’t take those jobs for less than minimum wage. Now, unless you’re going to argue that the meat companies pay the illegal immigrants the exact same wage that they’d pay legal workers, I think there’s more to it than “illegal immigrants do the work Americans refuse to”. It’s an economics thing. And many meat processors would rather save money and hire illegal immigrants, since the risk is, at present, quite low for them. That, I maintain, is the problem.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Kerner (@80), I really appreciate your comments in this thread, and they’re quite insightful, as usual. But I don’t think I agree — at least, not in full — with your statement that “The reason the meat companies hire immigrants is because, unlike American applicants, the immigrants will take these smelly disgusting jobs, and actually WORK HARD at them year in and year out.”

    That may be, though there are plenty of Americans who take equally smelly, disgusting jobs. There’s even a TV show about it. But they won’t take those jobs for less than minimum wage. Now, unless you’re going to argue that the meat companies pay the illegal immigrants the exact same wage that they’d pay legal workers, I think there’s more to it than “illegal immigrants do the work Americans refuse to”. It’s an economics thing. And many meat processors would rather save money and hire illegal immigrants, since the risk is, at present, quite low for them. That, I maintain, is the problem.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@85), the mere fact that you can apparently write, with the online equivalent of a straight face that “The question is why people don’t want to change the governments in their home countries. If they have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t just be run to America.” … boggles my mind. I’m left wondering, in light of Kerner’s comment (@86), if you’re merely deeply ignorant of American history, deeply ignorant of what’s going on in those countries where people come from, or perhaps both.

    “I have plenty of immigrant friends and relatives.” Then have them explain the idea to you.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@85), the mere fact that you can apparently write, with the online equivalent of a straight face that “The question is why people don’t want to change the governments in their home countries. If they have awful governments, they need to change it. The answer to bad government can’t just be run to America.” … boggles my mind. I’m left wondering, in light of Kerner’s comment (@86), if you’re merely deeply ignorant of American history, deeply ignorant of what’s going on in those countries where people come from, or perhaps both.

    “I have plenty of immigrant friends and relatives.” Then have them explain the idea to you.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@95: The minimum wage creates an inflated wage structure in the United States. As companies are required by law to pay wages approaching (as time passes) $10.00 per hour for even the most menial of jobs, it’s more difficult to blame them for “hiring” workers who are willing to labor for $4.00 per hour, and who don’t demand benefits packages. Not that benefits and comfortable wages are undesirable, but the minimum wage–in addition to raising prices and wages across the board in all sectors–creates a tremendous incentive for illegal immigration, because $4.00 is more than a person would make in Mexico, but it is far enough below the minimum wage for American companies to be willing to assume the risk of hiring and paying illegally. Like tODD, I think employers who hire illegals should face stiff(er) penalties, but such is to treat a symptom, rather than a root, of the problem. There will _always_ be those willing to hire cheap labor for the day. Would that such cheap labor could be legal. Of course, there are other concerns with abolishing the minimum wage, but in the realm of immigration, at least, its elimination would simultaneously eliminate a tremendous incentive to enter illegally–since that is precisely why the vast majority of Latinos cross the border outside legal channels.

    The rest of them enter as members of the drug-trafficking juggernaught. I find it difficult to disagree with the fact that legalizing certain drugs, at least, (even if they are still somewhat regulated) would do wonders to stifle the drug war and illegal immigration.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@95: The minimum wage creates an inflated wage structure in the United States. As companies are required by law to pay wages approaching (as time passes) $10.00 per hour for even the most menial of jobs, it’s more difficult to blame them for “hiring” workers who are willing to labor for $4.00 per hour, and who don’t demand benefits packages. Not that benefits and comfortable wages are undesirable, but the minimum wage–in addition to raising prices and wages across the board in all sectors–creates a tremendous incentive for illegal immigration, because $4.00 is more than a person would make in Mexico, but it is far enough below the minimum wage for American companies to be willing to assume the risk of hiring and paying illegally. Like tODD, I think employers who hire illegals should face stiff(er) penalties, but such is to treat a symptom, rather than a root, of the problem. There will _always_ be those willing to hire cheap labor for the day. Would that such cheap labor could be legal. Of course, there are other concerns with abolishing the minimum wage, but in the realm of immigration, at least, its elimination would simultaneously eliminate a tremendous incentive to enter illegally–since that is precisely why the vast majority of Latinos cross the border outside legal channels.

    The rest of them enter as members of the drug-trafficking juggernaught. I find it difficult to disagree with the fact that legalizing certain drugs, at least, (even if they are still somewhat regulated) would do wonders to stifle the drug war and illegal immigration.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 97: No, it is certainly not fair. Your comment “and their status can be revoked at any time” states the problem well. They have no status. Our government and certain businesses conspire, with their winks and nods, to not grant them any status. They are in limbo, not legal, but not quite illegal either, and they are used as pawns in a political game which is both evil and cruel.

    I am not a hardliner on the immigration issue. I love the Mexican people, and I well recognize the plight they are in because they live in a failed country. But I also appreciate the rule of law. We have laws on the books that are being despised and selectively ignored. Some who choose to respect them, as Christians should respect civil authority, are denied entry to the U.S. entirely, while others wait and struggle for decades for legal entry and residency. Many others circumvent these laws and jump the line by entering the country illegally, or overstaying their legal visas. The problem is worsened because it is know that we will periodically grant an amnesty to line jumpers, and that, if they can somehow enter the country illegally and have their baby here, the baby will be a U.S. citizen, guaranteed a better life opportunity than they could ever dream of. Those taking the legal route grow resentful, as do citizens who see all kinds of economic dislocations because of our government’s failure to confront and address these issues.

    What’s the solution? Well, first I think we need to re-consider the measures that give an unfair advantage to those who don’t follow the law. We need to control our borders with effective fencing and surveillance measures, and improve our employment verification procedures. Then, we need to enforce the laws against lawless employers. In the meantime, we need to actively seek out and deport illegals who have broken laws other than immigration laws. Regardless of how we feel about lawful illegals who are productively working in this country, we do not need illegal bad actors living here. We should all be able to agree on that.

    At the same time, we should greatly loosen our legal immigration procedures. Any one who passes a thorough background check, demonstrates a good work ethic, and is willing to assimilate into our culture and learn the English language should be able to enter and work here, subject to a period of probation. Were we to so loosen legal immigration standards, the illegal immigration problem would greatly diminish over time, and those who have struggled so mightily to enter the country legally would finally be rewarded rather than punished for their honesty and lawfulness.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 97: No, it is certainly not fair. Your comment “and their status can be revoked at any time” states the problem well. They have no status. Our government and certain businesses conspire, with their winks and nods, to not grant them any status. They are in limbo, not legal, but not quite illegal either, and they are used as pawns in a political game which is both evil and cruel.

    I am not a hardliner on the immigration issue. I love the Mexican people, and I well recognize the plight they are in because they live in a failed country. But I also appreciate the rule of law. We have laws on the books that are being despised and selectively ignored. Some who choose to respect them, as Christians should respect civil authority, are denied entry to the U.S. entirely, while others wait and struggle for decades for legal entry and residency. Many others circumvent these laws and jump the line by entering the country illegally, or overstaying their legal visas. The problem is worsened because it is know that we will periodically grant an amnesty to line jumpers, and that, if they can somehow enter the country illegally and have their baby here, the baby will be a U.S. citizen, guaranteed a better life opportunity than they could ever dream of. Those taking the legal route grow resentful, as do citizens who see all kinds of economic dislocations because of our government’s failure to confront and address these issues.

    What’s the solution? Well, first I think we need to re-consider the measures that give an unfair advantage to those who don’t follow the law. We need to control our borders with effective fencing and surveillance measures, and improve our employment verification procedures. Then, we need to enforce the laws against lawless employers. In the meantime, we need to actively seek out and deport illegals who have broken laws other than immigration laws. Regardless of how we feel about lawful illegals who are productively working in this country, we do not need illegal bad actors living here. We should all be able to agree on that.

    At the same time, we should greatly loosen our legal immigration procedures. Any one who passes a thorough background check, demonstrates a good work ethic, and is willing to assimilate into our culture and learn the English language should be able to enter and work here, subject to a period of probation. Were we to so loosen legal immigration standards, the illegal immigration problem would greatly diminish over time, and those who have struggled so mightily to enter the country legally would finally be rewarded rather than punished for their honesty and lawfulness.

  • kerner

    Maybe I am being somewhat naive about employers who hire illegals. The fact is, I haven’t been an employee since 1982, and I remember feeling exploited when I was one.

    I have run into numerous illegals in my professional life, but I never noticed that any of those who had jobs were getting paid less than their counterparts. Most of the industries that I am aware of exploiting workers exploit everybody. For example, the restaurant business routinely makes workers work longer than 8 hours without payinbg overtime, as my children (when they were in their teen years) could attest. I think I even had to do that when I was 16. On the other hand, I also remember taking a summer job at a chili processing plant in California and getting the union wage, but part way through the summer a number of mexican workers showed up for a few weeks, and I know they weren’t making as much. On yet another hand, my wife worked as a hotel desk clerk for awhile and she said the foreign maids worked harder than the American maids.

    A few years ago I heard a talk show caller claim to own a small construction company. He said he paid the same wage, $8.00/hour, to all entry level employees with no skills. Those with skills, or who acquired skills made more. But he claimed that $8.00 yielded a poor caliber of American worker, but a high caliber of Mexican worker. The remarkable thing, he said, was that when he (the owner) left a job site with Mexican workers, “they keep on workin’”.

    Anyway, I have to concede that one reason for hiring illegals is that they are easier to exploit. But, I would also argue that making their labor legal would reduce the exploitation at least somewhat. I also believe that another reason to want to hire immigrants is that they are often more competitive. I know that tends to reduce wages, but it also tends to reduce the prices of what they produce, so I am hard pressed to say that this doesn’t benefit the country as a whole.

    I guess I have to conclude that the fact or degree of exploitation varies from employer to employer. Like generalizations about immigrants and/or illegals, broad generalizations about their employers are misleading as well.

  • kerner

    Maybe I am being somewhat naive about employers who hire illegals. The fact is, I haven’t been an employee since 1982, and I remember feeling exploited when I was one.

    I have run into numerous illegals in my professional life, but I never noticed that any of those who had jobs were getting paid less than their counterparts. Most of the industries that I am aware of exploiting workers exploit everybody. For example, the restaurant business routinely makes workers work longer than 8 hours without payinbg overtime, as my children (when they were in their teen years) could attest. I think I even had to do that when I was 16. On the other hand, I also remember taking a summer job at a chili processing plant in California and getting the union wage, but part way through the summer a number of mexican workers showed up for a few weeks, and I know they weren’t making as much. On yet another hand, my wife worked as a hotel desk clerk for awhile and she said the foreign maids worked harder than the American maids.

    A few years ago I heard a talk show caller claim to own a small construction company. He said he paid the same wage, $8.00/hour, to all entry level employees with no skills. Those with skills, or who acquired skills made more. But he claimed that $8.00 yielded a poor caliber of American worker, but a high caliber of Mexican worker. The remarkable thing, he said, was that when he (the owner) left a job site with Mexican workers, “they keep on workin’”.

    Anyway, I have to concede that one reason for hiring illegals is that they are easier to exploit. But, I would also argue that making their labor legal would reduce the exploitation at least somewhat. I also believe that another reason to want to hire immigrants is that they are often more competitive. I know that tends to reduce wages, but it also tends to reduce the prices of what they produce, so I am hard pressed to say that this doesn’t benefit the country as a whole.

    I guess I have to conclude that the fact or degree of exploitation varies from employer to employer. Like generalizations about immigrants and/or illegals, broad generalizations about their employers are misleading as well.

  • kerner

    DonS @ 102:

    May I say that you have given a very good analysis and proposed a very sensible solution.

  • kerner

    DonS @ 102:

    May I say that you have given a very good analysis and proposed a very sensible solution.

  • Daniel Gorman

    If the flow of foreign workers was cut off, there would be no need for a minimum wage. Wages and fringe benefits would rise well above the current minimum wage level. That’s why corporations and union bosses favor continued illegal immigration even where all their workers and members are American citizens.

    Corporations favor depressed wages for obvious reasons. Union bosses favor depressed wages because low wages create a large pool of American workers who can be more easily organized into unions. As long as corporations and union bosses control both major political parties, there will be no effective control of foreign workers entering the country.

  • Daniel Gorman

    If the flow of foreign workers was cut off, there would be no need for a minimum wage. Wages and fringe benefits would rise well above the current minimum wage level. That’s why corporations and union bosses favor continued illegal immigration even where all their workers and members are American citizens.

    Corporations favor depressed wages for obvious reasons. Union bosses favor depressed wages because low wages create a large pool of American workers who can be more easily organized into unions. As long as corporations and union bosses control both major political parties, there will be no effective control of foreign workers entering the country.

  • Joe

    Cincy – I meant let’s have the conversation because I agree with you. Read my comments. I think we are largely on the same page. Let’s deregulate wages and (many) drugs. You don’t have to convince me. Prohibition turned whiskey into war and the prohibition on drugs is doing the same thing.

  • Joe

    Cincy – I meant let’s have the conversation because I agree with you. Read my comments. I think we are largely on the same page. Let’s deregulate wages and (many) drugs. You don’t have to convince me. Prohibition turned whiskey into war and the prohibition on drugs is doing the same thing.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@106: Right, I didn’t assume you disagreed with me; I was merely explaining my logic behind opposing the minimum wage in this case.

  • Cincinnatus

    Joe@106: Right, I didn’t assume you disagreed with me; I was merely explaining my logic behind opposing the minimum wage in this case.

  • sg

    “Well, running to America was the answer for the Pilgrims, and the Puritans, and the English Catholics who founded Maryland. It was the answer for the Irish living under Great Britain, and the Germans who refused to live under the Prussian Union, and for the Italians leaving as Italy was forming itself into a country, and for the Poles and Jews living under Czarist Russia.”

    Those people didn’t come for the welfare state.

    They came for the privilege of trying to make it against fairly bad odds of freezing/starving to death. Some of my forbears came from Norway and lived in a sod hut in North Dakota. A modern meat packing job and access to free health care is paradise compared to North Dakota homesteading in 1800′s. And yes health care is essentially free if you get the care before you have to pay for it.

    @todd,

    ” “I have plenty of immigrant friends and relatives.” Then have them explain the idea to you.”

    The point remains that they don’t want to put forth the effort to fix their own situation in their own countries. It can be done, because it has been done. However it is difficult and there is the risk it could cost many lives. Of course it is easier to come to America. It is pretty rude to say that someone is ignorant just because they don’t agree with you. Go ahead and tell me what you think I misunderstand. I am willing to consider other views without insulting those who hold them. I expect the same consideration.

  • sg

    “Well, running to America was the answer for the Pilgrims, and the Puritans, and the English Catholics who founded Maryland. It was the answer for the Irish living under Great Britain, and the Germans who refused to live under the Prussian Union, and for the Italians leaving as Italy was forming itself into a country, and for the Poles and Jews living under Czarist Russia.”

    Those people didn’t come for the welfare state.

    They came for the privilege of trying to make it against fairly bad odds of freezing/starving to death. Some of my forbears came from Norway and lived in a sod hut in North Dakota. A modern meat packing job and access to free health care is paradise compared to North Dakota homesteading in 1800′s. And yes health care is essentially free if you get the care before you have to pay for it.

    @todd,

    ” “I have plenty of immigrant friends and relatives.” Then have them explain the idea to you.”

    The point remains that they don’t want to put forth the effort to fix their own situation in their own countries. It can be done, because it has been done. However it is difficult and there is the risk it could cost many lives. Of course it is easier to come to America. It is pretty rude to say that someone is ignorant just because they don’t agree with you. Go ahead and tell me what you think I misunderstand. I am willing to consider other views without insulting those who hold them. I expect the same consideration.

  • sg

    “Anyway, I have to concede that one reason for hiring illegals is that they are easier to exploit. But, I would also argue that making their labor legal would reduce the exploitation at least somewhat. I also believe that another reason to want to hire immigrants is that they are often more competitive. I know that tends to reduce wages, but it also tends to reduce the prices of what they produce, so I am hard pressed to say that this doesn’t benefit the country as a whole.”

    This is all about extrinsic motivation for those with a high threshold for discomfort. The better you treat them, the less they will work. They are not intrinsically motivated. When they have to work or suffer extreme consequences, then they will work. If you make things better for them, they won’t. Intrinsically motivated people feel sorry for them and don’t understand why they won’t work as hard to keep moving up, but they won’t.

    Kids in school are the same way. Some have to be bribed to read a book. Others do their classwork as fast as they can so that they can read the extra book they brought with them. They will only stop reading if you take the books away and punish them.

  • sg

    “Anyway, I have to concede that one reason for hiring illegals is that they are easier to exploit. But, I would also argue that making their labor legal would reduce the exploitation at least somewhat. I also believe that another reason to want to hire immigrants is that they are often more competitive. I know that tends to reduce wages, but it also tends to reduce the prices of what they produce, so I am hard pressed to say that this doesn’t benefit the country as a whole.”

    This is all about extrinsic motivation for those with a high threshold for discomfort. The better you treat them, the less they will work. They are not intrinsically motivated. When they have to work or suffer extreme consequences, then they will work. If you make things better for them, they won’t. Intrinsically motivated people feel sorry for them and don’t understand why they won’t work as hard to keep moving up, but they won’t.

    Kids in school are the same way. Some have to be bribed to read a book. Others do their classwork as fast as they can so that they can read the extra book they brought with them. They will only stop reading if you take the books away and punish them.

  • ptl

    think of the law as a “kinder and gentler” version of Marshall Law, which is constitutional by the way, and may be up next if things don’t get better in that state :(

  • ptl

    think of the law as a “kinder and gentler” version of Marshall Law, which is constitutional by the way, and may be up next if things don’t get better in that state :(

  • JB

    This writer pretty much sums up the xenophobic crowd here.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/04/arizona-on-my-mind/39731/

    “I think that the people who supported this law are not overbothered because they’re not the legal citizens whose skin color just became ‘suspicious.’ … But I just can’t believe that they would think that this was a proportionate and sensible response to those concerns if they themselves risked being held in the pokey until the police could check their immigration status.

    “The reason this law passed is that the people who support it–the same people now claiming that this isn’t about racial profiling–know that it only applies to people who are poorer and darker skinned and probably speak with funny accents, anyway.

    “I’d be a lot more sympathetic to this law, in fact, if it required the police to check the immigration status of every single person they pulled over, without any gauzy ‘reason to believe’ fig leaf to cover up what’s really going on. Raise your hand if you think that law could have passed in Arizona.”

  • JB

    This writer pretty much sums up the xenophobic crowd here.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2010/04/arizona-on-my-mind/39731/

    “I think that the people who supported this law are not overbothered because they’re not the legal citizens whose skin color just became ‘suspicious.’ … But I just can’t believe that they would think that this was a proportionate and sensible response to those concerns if they themselves risked being held in the pokey until the police could check their immigration status.

    “The reason this law passed is that the people who support it–the same people now claiming that this isn’t about racial profiling–know that it only applies to people who are poorer and darker skinned and probably speak with funny accents, anyway.

    “I’d be a lot more sympathetic to this law, in fact, if it required the police to check the immigration status of every single person they pulled over, without any gauzy ‘reason to believe’ fig leaf to cover up what’s really going on. Raise your hand if you think that law could have passed in Arizona.”

  • ptl

    jb..don’t you mean the “law and order” crowd….nothing anyone has said could remotely be labeled as xenophobic, except by you, who apparently has the god-like ability to look into people’s hearts via their blog ramblings?

  • ptl

    jb..don’t you mean the “law and order” crowd….nothing anyone has said could remotely be labeled as xenophobic, except by you, who apparently has the god-like ability to look into people’s hearts via their blog ramblings?

  • JB

    ptl, you may want to look up the word “xenophobic” before you use it. But I could have added ‘white crowd.’

  • JB

    ptl, you may want to look up the word “xenophobic” before you use it. But I could have added ‘white crowd.’

  • ptl

    something wrong with the white crowd….guess a racist might think so :(

  • ptl

    something wrong with the white crowd….guess a racist might think so :(

  • JB

    ptl, the dictionary is organized alphabetically. Look up xenophobic.
    As for ‘white crowd,’ what did I say was wrong with them? But I’m not white, so you’ll have to excuse me for making you feel uncomfortable.

  • JB

    ptl, the dictionary is organized alphabetically. Look up xenophobic.
    As for ‘white crowd,’ what did I say was wrong with them? But I’m not white, so you’ll have to excuse me for making you feel uncomfortable.

  • sg

    JB,

    The law clearly prohibits what you claim. So go peddle your lies elsewhere. No one is xenophobic for expecting all who enter the country to do so legally. Every country does it including Latin American countries. They are all correct in doing so to protect their citizens from those who enter illegally.

    I the old days no one wanted to be called a slut. It was one of the very worst labels. Now people think they can slam folks by calling them racists. It is not going to work anymore.

  • sg

    JB,

    The law clearly prohibits what you claim. So go peddle your lies elsewhere. No one is xenophobic for expecting all who enter the country to do so legally. Every country does it including Latin American countries. They are all correct in doing so to protect their citizens from those who enter illegally.

    I the old days no one wanted to be called a slut. It was one of the very worst labels. Now people think they can slam folks by calling them racists. It is not going to work anymore.

  • JB

    sg,
    Whoa! Ptl is calling people ‘racist.’ not me. I said ‘xenophobic,’ with reference to the article at @112. What did that have to do with you?

  • JB

    sg,
    Whoa! Ptl is calling people ‘racist.’ not me. I said ‘xenophobic,’ with reference to the article at @112. What did that have to do with you?

  • ptl

    whoa jb! did i call anyone racist? i just said if someone has a problem with a crowd just because it’s white, then that sounds racist…would you agree? you brought it up in connection with xenophobic in the first place and said you may have well said white crowd….thought that implied the two were equivalent? so my question was just why would someone make that equivalency and is there something wrong with the white crowd? and then said what i said above, but never said anything about you….you insult me with my inferior use of words, but perhaps you may want to read things a bit more closely before you come to your conclusions. while we are at it, you assume in a comment above that you made me uncomfortable….where did i say that? you read that into my comments, as it seems to me you like to read into a lot of other comments too, unfortunately….but go back and really read it and you’ll see i never said anywhere i am uncomfortable, right? this is why i hate blogs so much sometimes and usually end up after something like this, going on leave for awhile….people constantly misread comments and put their own spin on everything, what a way to have a discussion :(

  • ptl

    whoa jb! did i call anyone racist? i just said if someone has a problem with a crowd just because it’s white, then that sounds racist…would you agree? you brought it up in connection with xenophobic in the first place and said you may have well said white crowd….thought that implied the two were equivalent? so my question was just why would someone make that equivalency and is there something wrong with the white crowd? and then said what i said above, but never said anything about you….you insult me with my inferior use of words, but perhaps you may want to read things a bit more closely before you come to your conclusions. while we are at it, you assume in a comment above that you made me uncomfortable….where did i say that? you read that into my comments, as it seems to me you like to read into a lot of other comments too, unfortunately….but go back and really read it and you’ll see i never said anywhere i am uncomfortable, right? this is why i hate blogs so much sometimes and usually end up after something like this, going on leave for awhile….people constantly misread comments and put their own spin on everything, what a way to have a discussion :(

  • kerner

    Look, I don’t know if I am going to change anyone’s mind at this point, but it’s kind of ridiculous to say “these people should enter legally” as if there were any reasonable possibility of them doing so.

    Read the State Department Visa Bulletin, which you can find here:

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4805.html

    As you can see, there is a 15-18 year wait for Mexicans in every family based visa category except one. Visas in the work based visa categories for professionals, skilled workers and other workers from Mexico are completely unavailable.

    Don’t you see why the attitude “just enforce the law”, is perceived as xenophobic to Hispanics? You may not mean it that way, but in effect you are just flipping them a big middle finger.

    I mean the conversation goes something like this:

    Mexican:
    I would like to enter the USA.

    You:
    Fine, welcome, but you have to enter legally.

    Mesican:
    OK, how do I sign up to do that.

    You:
    Welllll, you can’t. It’s illegal for all ordinary Mexicans to enter the United States. Even most of you with relatives here will have to wait 18 years.

    Mexican:
    So, there is no legal way for me to enter the USA. Why not? Don’t you like me?

    You:
    How dare you accuse me of not liking you. Just because the law totally excludes you and I refuse to consider changing the law, that doersn’t mean I don’t want you to enter.

    Mexican:
    But why won’t you consider changing the law?

    You:
    Because all illegals are just a bunch of welfare moochers who want to steal our heritage. And you will always be illegal, because I will never discuss any option that might make your entrance into the USA legal.

    Mexican:
    So, you really don’t like me.

    You:
    There you go again. calling me a xenophobe, and just because I support keeping and enforcing a law that keeps you completely away from me.

    I’m sorry folks, you just can’t take a position that makes it impossible for these people to enter legally, and then claim that you would be fine with them entering if they did so legally, and then expect anyone to believe that you don’t have something against them personally. You just can’t fool people with logic like that. Maybe you can fool yourselves, but not anybody else.

  • kerner

    Look, I don’t know if I am going to change anyone’s mind at this point, but it’s kind of ridiculous to say “these people should enter legally” as if there were any reasonable possibility of them doing so.

    Read the State Department Visa Bulletin, which you can find here:

    http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_4805.html

    As you can see, there is a 15-18 year wait for Mexicans in every family based visa category except one. Visas in the work based visa categories for professionals, skilled workers and other workers from Mexico are completely unavailable.

    Don’t you see why the attitude “just enforce the law”, is perceived as xenophobic to Hispanics? You may not mean it that way, but in effect you are just flipping them a big middle finger.

    I mean the conversation goes something like this:

    Mexican:
    I would like to enter the USA.

    You:
    Fine, welcome, but you have to enter legally.

    Mesican:
    OK, how do I sign up to do that.

    You:
    Welllll, you can’t. It’s illegal for all ordinary Mexicans to enter the United States. Even most of you with relatives here will have to wait 18 years.

    Mexican:
    So, there is no legal way for me to enter the USA. Why not? Don’t you like me?

    You:
    How dare you accuse me of not liking you. Just because the law totally excludes you and I refuse to consider changing the law, that doersn’t mean I don’t want you to enter.

    Mexican:
    But why won’t you consider changing the law?

    You:
    Because all illegals are just a bunch of welfare moochers who want to steal our heritage. And you will always be illegal, because I will never discuss any option that might make your entrance into the USA legal.

    Mexican:
    So, you really don’t like me.

    You:
    There you go again. calling me a xenophobe, and just because I support keeping and enforcing a law that keeps you completely away from me.

    I’m sorry folks, you just can’t take a position that makes it impossible for these people to enter legally, and then claim that you would be fine with them entering if they did so legally, and then expect anyone to believe that you don’t have something against them personally. You just can’t fool people with logic like that. Maybe you can fool yourselves, but not anybody else.

  • kerner

    sg @ 109

    So, your ancestors came from Norway and homesteaded in North Dakota?

    Well, why didn’t they just stay in Norway and fight for a system that would allow them to get some land there? Certainly there were plenty of chances to starve or freeze to death in Norway.

    Could it be that, under the Homestead Act, they got the land in North Dakota for free? Could it also be that there were NO restrictions on entering the USA until 1875? So, your ancentors came to the USA through a comepletely open border to take advantage of getting government land that was given to them by the taxpayers of this country for free? And you’re upset about immigration now?

  • kerner

    sg @ 109

    So, your ancestors came from Norway and homesteaded in North Dakota?

    Well, why didn’t they just stay in Norway and fight for a system that would allow them to get some land there? Certainly there were plenty of chances to starve or freeze to death in Norway.

    Could it be that, under the Homestead Act, they got the land in North Dakota for free? Could it also be that there were NO restrictions on entering the USA until 1875? So, your ancentors came to the USA through a comepletely open border to take advantage of getting government land that was given to them by the taxpayers of this country for free? And you’re upset about immigration now?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Aaaaand Kerner wins.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Aaaaand Kerner wins.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kerner is quite right, and his comment is a needed addition to this discussion.

    But I would hardly deem him the winner, because the illegal problem–and it is gigantic–yet exists, and amending the standards for legal immigration will not “solve” the problem that already exists, though it may keep it from growing.

  • Cincinnatus

    Kerner is quite right, and his comment is a needed addition to this discussion.

    But I would hardly deem him the winner, because the illegal problem–and it is gigantic–yet exists, and amending the standards for legal immigration will not “solve” the problem that already exists, though it may keep it from growing.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 120: You are right in identifying the problem, which is why I advocated earlier in the thread that we need to change our immigration laws to be more welcoming to those who have led a lawful life in their home countries, are hard-working, and who demonstrate a desire to assimilate into American culture and love the U.S., as our own ancestors all did when they came to this great melting pot decades or centuries ago.

    But, that desire to change the law should not translate into a present advocacy to simply ignore the laws that are currently on the books. Selective enforcement of duly enacted laws is a cancer which eventually will bring down a society. How do we decide which laws we are going to enforce and which ones we are not? Raw political power? Corruption? What is our moral standard, if not the rule of law? So, yes, as tODD says, you are a winner in identifying the problem, but if your solution is to continue with the status quo, I’ve got a big problem with that.

    Since 1952, our federal laws have required legal aliens to carry identification at all times. So asking someone to produce identification when they are stopped by authorities for other lawful reasons really is not a radical thing. For national security reasons, and for the safety of our citizens residing in border areas, it is important for us to know who is entering our country. We must protect our borders. Those who enter our country must do so by legal means. Yes, change the laws. Welcome immigrants. But, welcome them equally from all countries, not just from those who happen to share a border, or who are not separated from us by an ocean. Don’t disrespect those who are respecting our laws by going through the legal process, by allowing others to jump the line, and then, every 20 years or so, granting a blanket amnesty. When people believe that they are being unfairly treated or impacted by selective enforcement of the law, as both legal aliens and border state residents firmly believe today, they you have a recipe for the general breakdown of societal order and general lawlessness. As Christians, we should abhor the failure to respect civil authority, not celebrate it.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 120: You are right in identifying the problem, which is why I advocated earlier in the thread that we need to change our immigration laws to be more welcoming to those who have led a lawful life in their home countries, are hard-working, and who demonstrate a desire to assimilate into American culture and love the U.S., as our own ancestors all did when they came to this great melting pot decades or centuries ago.

    But, that desire to change the law should not translate into a present advocacy to simply ignore the laws that are currently on the books. Selective enforcement of duly enacted laws is a cancer which eventually will bring down a society. How do we decide which laws we are going to enforce and which ones we are not? Raw political power? Corruption? What is our moral standard, if not the rule of law? So, yes, as tODD says, you are a winner in identifying the problem, but if your solution is to continue with the status quo, I’ve got a big problem with that.

    Since 1952, our federal laws have required legal aliens to carry identification at all times. So asking someone to produce identification when they are stopped by authorities for other lawful reasons really is not a radical thing. For national security reasons, and for the safety of our citizens residing in border areas, it is important for us to know who is entering our country. We must protect our borders. Those who enter our country must do so by legal means. Yes, change the laws. Welcome immigrants. But, welcome them equally from all countries, not just from those who happen to share a border, or who are not separated from us by an ocean. Don’t disrespect those who are respecting our laws by going through the legal process, by allowing others to jump the line, and then, every 20 years or so, granting a blanket amnesty. When people believe that they are being unfairly treated or impacted by selective enforcement of the law, as both legal aliens and border state residents firmly believe today, they you have a recipe for the general breakdown of societal order and general lawlessness. As Christians, we should abhor the failure to respect civil authority, not celebrate it.

  • kerner

    DonS:

    Basicly, I agree with you. If we believe in a government of laws, and I know you do, then we must want the law to be respected. My only addition to that is to say that the way to make the laws respected is to make them respectable.

    The laws need to be changed. But some conservatives want to take the “enforcement first” route. This is a little like saying, in 1932, “Sure, we’ll consider repealing prohibition, but first everbody has to stop drinking.” It sounds good, but it isn’t practical. If conservatives really want to solve the problem of illegal immigration, we have to change the laws now. Once there are legal ways to immigrate, illegal immigration will drop off considerably. We can then find some way to punish those who have already entered illegally short of deporting them, if they have been otherwise law abiding.

    It isn’t really a change, but legal immigrants should not be entitled to welfare. They need to be sponsored.

  • kerner

    DonS:

    Basicly, I agree with you. If we believe in a government of laws, and I know you do, then we must want the law to be respected. My only addition to that is to say that the way to make the laws respected is to make them respectable.

    The laws need to be changed. But some conservatives want to take the “enforcement first” route. This is a little like saying, in 1932, “Sure, we’ll consider repealing prohibition, but first everbody has to stop drinking.” It sounds good, but it isn’t practical. If conservatives really want to solve the problem of illegal immigration, we have to change the laws now. Once there are legal ways to immigrate, illegal immigration will drop off considerably. We can then find some way to punish those who have already entered illegally short of deporting them, if they have been otherwise law abiding.

    It isn’t really a change, but legal immigrants should not be entitled to welfare. They need to be sponsored.

  • kerner

    Another thing I just don’t understand is the way conservative Christians (some of whom don’t even want to answer questions for the census) are eager to force every American citizen to have a biometric, tamper proof, Social security card if he or she wants to have a job. I mean why stop there? Why not go the whole way to a number tatooed on the forehead and right hand, without which no one can buy or sell (Rev 13: 16-17)? That’ll sure keep the aliens out.

  • kerner

    Another thing I just don’t understand is the way conservative Christians (some of whom don’t even want to answer questions for the census) are eager to force every American citizen to have a biometric, tamper proof, Social security card if he or she wants to have a job. I mean why stop there? Why not go the whole way to a number tatooed on the forehead and right hand, without which no one can buy or sell (Rev 13: 16-17)? That’ll sure keep the aliens out.

  • DonS

    Kerner — I concur with you that we are in basic agreement. The biometric identity card is a loser that I would never support. If we were not such a welfare state, the impact on border states would be a lot less, and that would alleviate a lot of the concerns of residents of those states. And it is unreasonable to expect all of the already resident illegal aliens to be dealt with before moving on to a thoughtful and thorough revision of our immigration laws.

    However, I do think people will withhold their support of immigration law reform, and rightfully so, until they see a government that is committed to at least a serious attempt to enforce our current laws. We need to have a secure border, and an effective fence, for the purpose of national security and the safety of our border residents. We need to have a serious effort to enforce our employment laws. We need to streamline things for the existing legal immigrants already in the pipeline and make them feel better about their decision to obey the laws. At that point, people like myself will be open to a thorough revision of the laws to open up our borders on a fair and equitable basis, without burdening our social safety net infrastructure, as well as to provide a path to legal residency for current illegal residents who have clean, productive records.

  • DonS

    Kerner — I concur with you that we are in basic agreement. The biometric identity card is a loser that I would never support. If we were not such a welfare state, the impact on border states would be a lot less, and that would alleviate a lot of the concerns of residents of those states. And it is unreasonable to expect all of the already resident illegal aliens to be dealt with before moving on to a thoughtful and thorough revision of our immigration laws.

    However, I do think people will withhold their support of immigration law reform, and rightfully so, until they see a government that is committed to at least a serious attempt to enforce our current laws. We need to have a secure border, and an effective fence, for the purpose of national security and the safety of our border residents. We need to have a serious effort to enforce our employment laws. We need to streamline things for the existing legal immigrants already in the pipeline and make them feel better about their decision to obey the laws. At that point, people like myself will be open to a thorough revision of the laws to open up our borders on a fair and equitable basis, without burdening our social safety net infrastructure, as well as to provide a path to legal residency for current illegal residents who have clean, productive records.

  • kerner

    DonS:

    Maybe this is my anti-big government paranoia showing, but I am really deeply concerned about this biometric card. All the “enforcement first”, AND the “comprehensive” reform plans include this biometric card. The justification is always to make “a serious effort to enforce our employment laws”.

    Whether we mean to be doing so or not, we are about to develop a system in which every man woman, and child in this country will need a federal permit to work. No federal permit, no one can hire you; it will be a federal crime to hire anyone, even citizens, if the applicant doesn’t have a federal work permit.

    I really, really, fear the fact that we are about to give the federal government that kind of power. I realize we have been giving the government that kind of power by degrees for awhile now, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.

    It drives me crazy that conservatives, even small government conservatives, are falling for this. If you asked the average tea party guy, “Do you favor having the federal government forbidding employers to hire, or employees to work, unless the employee has been issued a federal work permit?”, I’d bet my bottom dollar that they would almost all say, “no.” They would scream “unconstitutional!” at the tops of their lungs. But ask the same demographic about “serious enforcement of our employment laws” in the context of illegal immigration, and they will hand the feds that power without batting an eye.

    Don, we SHOULDN’T HAVE that kind of employment law. With the possible exception of child labor laws, it should NEVER be illegal to employ someone or to work. It shouldn’t be the employer’s responsibility to try to figure out where his employees are coming from. It shouldn’t be the government’s business who I work for or who I hire. I know this makes it harder to deal with the problem of illegal aliens, but nobody ever gives up their freedom for nothing. They always trade their freedom for something they want. In this case, we are trading our own freedom to work and support our families in the name of border security. I hope it will be worth it, but I believe future generations will regret this.

    Incidentally, you are absolutely right when you say we should develop a tax structure not based on income, so the government would have no excuse to be be interfering in our economic life as much as it does.

  • kerner

    DonS:

    Maybe this is my anti-big government paranoia showing, but I am really deeply concerned about this biometric card. All the “enforcement first”, AND the “comprehensive” reform plans include this biometric card. The justification is always to make “a serious effort to enforce our employment laws”.

    Whether we mean to be doing so or not, we are about to develop a system in which every man woman, and child in this country will need a federal permit to work. No federal permit, no one can hire you; it will be a federal crime to hire anyone, even citizens, if the applicant doesn’t have a federal work permit.

    I really, really, fear the fact that we are about to give the federal government that kind of power. I realize we have been giving the government that kind of power by degrees for awhile now, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.

    It drives me crazy that conservatives, even small government conservatives, are falling for this. If you asked the average tea party guy, “Do you favor having the federal government forbidding employers to hire, or employees to work, unless the employee has been issued a federal work permit?”, I’d bet my bottom dollar that they would almost all say, “no.” They would scream “unconstitutional!” at the tops of their lungs. But ask the same demographic about “serious enforcement of our employment laws” in the context of illegal immigration, and they will hand the feds that power without batting an eye.

    Don, we SHOULDN’T HAVE that kind of employment law. With the possible exception of child labor laws, it should NEVER be illegal to employ someone or to work. It shouldn’t be the employer’s responsibility to try to figure out where his employees are coming from. It shouldn’t be the government’s business who I work for or who I hire. I know this makes it harder to deal with the problem of illegal aliens, but nobody ever gives up their freedom for nothing. They always trade their freedom for something they want. In this case, we are trading our own freedom to work and support our families in the name of border security. I hope it will be worth it, but I believe future generations will regret this.

    Incidentally, you are absolutely right when you say we should develop a tax structure not based on income, so the government would have no excuse to be be interfering in our economic life as much as it does.

  • DonS

    Kerner: I think we are kindred spirits in many ways, and I definitely sympathize with your thoughts in post 128. No American citizen should have to carry a biometric identity card, or any kind of national identity card, for that matter. I’m not sure I would extend that to aliens, as they, by definition, do not enjoy all of the rights and privileges reserved for citizens. There is a national security interest in making sure that aliens legally residing in our country are here for the purposes stated in their application for residency, for example. We should have been tracking those here in the country, allegedly on tourist or student visas, and ultimately responsible for murdering 3,000 innocent people on 9/11, a lot more closely than we were. Visa overstays are one of our biggest immigration problems.

    The federal government has limited responsibilities, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, but one of its preeminent ones is to defend the nation from external threats. This, by definition, includes infiltration by those who mean us harm. So, I don’t believe it is beyond the pale for the federal government to use employment as a means of keeping track of non-citizens. I also believe that the intersection of non-citizens with other government agencies in the routine course of their business should not be presumed to be immune from review as to their immigration status. We’ll just have to disagree with this one.

    The other issue related to employment, of course, is FICA and Medicare. You and I would probably agree that the federal government has no business running either of these programs — I don’t see how they possibly fall within the limited duties of the federal government under the Constitution. But, that battle was fought and/or conceded before we were born. Since those programs are in place, and you and I as taxpayers are responsible for them, it seems as if the federal government needs to monitor employment at least for the purpose of preserving the integrity of these programs against fraud and abuse. Should the day come when we have the chance to eradicate these programs, I will gladly do so, and alleviate this intrusion on our freedom.

    May we both live to see the day when the yoke of the intrusive income tax is lifted from our shoulders, and we become a much freer nation as a result.

  • DonS

    Kerner: I think we are kindred spirits in many ways, and I definitely sympathize with your thoughts in post 128. No American citizen should have to carry a biometric identity card, or any kind of national identity card, for that matter. I’m not sure I would extend that to aliens, as they, by definition, do not enjoy all of the rights and privileges reserved for citizens. There is a national security interest in making sure that aliens legally residing in our country are here for the purposes stated in their application for residency, for example. We should have been tracking those here in the country, allegedly on tourist or student visas, and ultimately responsible for murdering 3,000 innocent people on 9/11, a lot more closely than we were. Visa overstays are one of our biggest immigration problems.

    The federal government has limited responsibilities, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution, but one of its preeminent ones is to defend the nation from external threats. This, by definition, includes infiltration by those who mean us harm. So, I don’t believe it is beyond the pale for the federal government to use employment as a means of keeping track of non-citizens. I also believe that the intersection of non-citizens with other government agencies in the routine course of their business should not be presumed to be immune from review as to their immigration status. We’ll just have to disagree with this one.

    The other issue related to employment, of course, is FICA and Medicare. You and I would probably agree that the federal government has no business running either of these programs — I don’t see how they possibly fall within the limited duties of the federal government under the Constitution. But, that battle was fought and/or conceded before we were born. Since those programs are in place, and you and I as taxpayers are responsible for them, it seems as if the federal government needs to monitor employment at least for the purpose of preserving the integrity of these programs against fraud and abuse. Should the day come when we have the chance to eradicate these programs, I will gladly do so, and alleviate this intrusion on our freedom.

    May we both live to see the day when the yoke of the intrusive income tax is lifted from our shoulders, and we become a much freer nation as a result.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@129), explain to me how this will work. You think “no American citizen should have to carry a biometric identity card”, but you seem to think that (legal) aliens should, for the purposes of identifying them as legal with regards to employment. Okay. Now, think this through. A person goes to an employer who is hiring. The employer says, “Great! I need to know if you’re a citizen or not, though. If you’re not, I need to see your biometric identity card. If you are, I need to see [something that satisfies the I-9 requirements].” Well, if he’s a legal employer, he does. But the very problem is that some employers haven’t been fulfilling their obligations as they currently stand. How will requiring further documents make things any better? Why wouldn’t the employer just ignore those rules as well? And even if he doesn’t, why wouldn’t an illegal immigrant try to present himself as a citizen, with forged I-9-compliant documents?

    If we’re going to require biometric ID cards for some, they’ll only work if we require them for all (and with further intrusive government oversight), is what I’m saying.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Don (@129), explain to me how this will work. You think “no American citizen should have to carry a biometric identity card”, but you seem to think that (legal) aliens should, for the purposes of identifying them as legal with regards to employment. Okay. Now, think this through. A person goes to an employer who is hiring. The employer says, “Great! I need to know if you’re a citizen or not, though. If you’re not, I need to see your biometric identity card. If you are, I need to see [something that satisfies the I-9 requirements].” Well, if he’s a legal employer, he does. But the very problem is that some employers haven’t been fulfilling their obligations as they currently stand. How will requiring further documents make things any better? Why wouldn’t the employer just ignore those rules as well? And even if he doesn’t, why wouldn’t an illegal immigrant try to present himself as a citizen, with forged I-9-compliant documents?

    If we’re going to require biometric ID cards for some, they’ll only work if we require them for all (and with further intrusive government oversight), is what I’m saying.

  • DonS

    tODD: I’m not advocating biometric identity cards for anyone. I think it is beyond the scope of this thread or my expertise to design an effective system for tracking aliens. I was merely explaining to Kerner where I disagree with them — in the event that the federal government believed that such identity cards would further its ability to effectively monitor the aliens residing in the U.S., for national security purposes, then I believe the Constitution permits it to issue and require aliens to carry such cards. On the other hand, I can see no constitutional authority for the federal government to require U.S. citizens to have such cards.

  • DonS

    tODD: I’m not advocating biometric identity cards for anyone. I think it is beyond the scope of this thread or my expertise to design an effective system for tracking aliens. I was merely explaining to Kerner where I disagree with them — in the event that the federal government believed that such identity cards would further its ability to effectively monitor the aliens residing in the U.S., for national security purposes, then I believe the Constitution permits it to issue and require aliens to carry such cards. On the other hand, I can see no constitutional authority for the federal government to require U.S. citizens to have such cards.

  • kerner

    tODD@130:

    You hit the crux of my problem with this issue.

    I agree with Don that we should be tracking aliens in this country. All permanent resident aliens are required to have a biometric card issued to them by the government. This is appropriate and meets Don’s concern about security and the feds’ duty to protect us from foreign threats.

    I am beginning to think we should be doing the same for short term entries (students, tourists, etc.) because it is such a common practice for aliens who are admitted on a short term basis to overstay. New technology is making biometrics easier.

    But you, tODD, are right when you say that requiring employers to check for work authorizations for aliens will logically require all workers, citizens and aliens alike, to have nationally recognised ids and work permits.

    I, when faced with a choice between requiring national id and work authorization and abandonning the whole concept of using the immigration laws to restrict the labor pool and requiring employers to be the de facto enforcers of the immigration laws, am coming down on the side of the latter.

    I don’t think that the purpose of immigration laws should be to protect American workers from competition. For one thing, the global economy being what it is, I don’t think it’s possible. Americans already compete with foreign workers because so many jobs can be moved overseas. For another, I think that competition is a positive force that should not be restricted (at least not much).

    And, I definitely reject the idea that employers should be regulated as to whom they can hire, or that employers should be transformed into government agents enforcing federal laws.

    Right now aliens with temporary visas are inspected at the border, but there is no system to track them once they enter or make sure they leave on time. We keep track of the event when they “check in”, but not when they “check out”, nor much of anything in between. I think keeping track of aliens is what we need to be doing, not worrying about whether they work while they are here.

    Don, if you have a suggestion as to how we can enforce immigration laws that restrict employment without subjecting Americans to a national id and work permit system, I’m all ears. We are definitely kindred spirits in many ways, and I always value your comments. I just see principles we both seem to value coming into conflict on this issue, and I don’t see how we resolve the conflict without eliminating or fundamentally changing the philosophy behind restricting an alien’s ability to work.

  • kerner

    tODD@130:

    You hit the crux of my problem with this issue.

    I agree with Don that we should be tracking aliens in this country. All permanent resident aliens are required to have a biometric card issued to them by the government. This is appropriate and meets Don’s concern about security and the feds’ duty to protect us from foreign threats.

    I am beginning to think we should be doing the same for short term entries (students, tourists, etc.) because it is such a common practice for aliens who are admitted on a short term basis to overstay. New technology is making biometrics easier.

    But you, tODD, are right when you say that requiring employers to check for work authorizations for aliens will logically require all workers, citizens and aliens alike, to have nationally recognised ids and work permits.

    I, when faced with a choice between requiring national id and work authorization and abandonning the whole concept of using the immigration laws to restrict the labor pool and requiring employers to be the de facto enforcers of the immigration laws, am coming down on the side of the latter.

    I don’t think that the purpose of immigration laws should be to protect American workers from competition. For one thing, the global economy being what it is, I don’t think it’s possible. Americans already compete with foreign workers because so many jobs can be moved overseas. For another, I think that competition is a positive force that should not be restricted (at least not much).

    And, I definitely reject the idea that employers should be regulated as to whom they can hire, or that employers should be transformed into government agents enforcing federal laws.

    Right now aliens with temporary visas are inspected at the border, but there is no system to track them once they enter or make sure they leave on time. We keep track of the event when they “check in”, but not when they “check out”, nor much of anything in between. I think keeping track of aliens is what we need to be doing, not worrying about whether they work while they are here.

    Don, if you have a suggestion as to how we can enforce immigration laws that restrict employment without subjecting Americans to a national id and work permit system, I’m all ears. We are definitely kindred spirits in many ways, and I always value your comments. I just see principles we both seem to value coming into conflict on this issue, and I don’t see how we resolve the conflict without eliminating or fundamentally changing the philosophy behind restricting an alien’s ability to work.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 132: Well, I don’t have any particularly bright ideas on the issue. I think the E-Verify concept is a good one that needs to be perfected by improving the database. Primarily, undocumented aliens obtain employment from honest employers by obtaining falsified Social Security numbers. If employers are able to run these numbers through E-Verify and quickly determine those numbers which are not genuine, this would be a considerable help to the system, without being unduly intrusive to citizens. The issue is having a truly reliable database, and establishing reasonable measures for promptly and accurately resolving discrepancies without undue inconvenience to either employee or employer while the resolution is completed.

  • DonS

    Kerner @ 132: Well, I don’t have any particularly bright ideas on the issue. I think the E-Verify concept is a good one that needs to be perfected by improving the database. Primarily, undocumented aliens obtain employment from honest employers by obtaining falsified Social Security numbers. If employers are able to run these numbers through E-Verify and quickly determine those numbers which are not genuine, this would be a considerable help to the system, without being unduly intrusive to citizens. The issue is having a truly reliable database, and establishing reasonable measures for promptly and accurately resolving discrepancies without undue inconvenience to either employee or employer while the resolution is completed.

  • Carl Vehse

    Clinton-appointed judge, Susan Bolton, has issued a temporary injunction against enforcing the enforcement parts of the Arizona law.

  • Carl Vehse

    Clinton-appointed judge, Susan Bolton, has issued a temporary injunction against enforcing the enforcement parts of the Arizona law.


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