Off Topic Messages

Katrina Aid for Illegal Immigrants?

Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:49 pm

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From the article below:
"What that suggests is that the federal government is prepared to serve some victims but not others," said Cecilia Muñoz, vice president for policy at the National Council of La Raza. "That sends a terrifying message to the larger community."

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Does the concept of citizenship mean anything to "The Race" and other Hispanic groups? I'm all for the Red Cross and Catholic Charities helping out (and I've contributed to both) but that's absurd. Good luck
to these people but citizens first. - G.N.

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For Illegal Immigrants, Some Aid Is Too Risky
Fears Abound as Government Won't Promise Immunity From Deportation


By Darryl Fears
Washington Post, Tuesday, September 20, 2005; A06

BATON ROUGE, La. -- The man who stood with his head bowed outside a cheap motel room here said his name is Almicar of Guatemala. He crept across the Mexican border into the United States a few years ago and since that time has found work as a painter in New Orleans.

But several weeks ago, Hurricane Katrina turned his world upside down along with everyone else's. Almicar, who gave only his first name for fear of being deported, said his situation is worse because he is an illegal immigrant. Since the storm hit, he has watched his neighbors at the motel call the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get money he will never see and food stamps that are forbidden to his family of five, and to seek jobs at the Social Security office, where he dares not show his face.

Almicar didn't speak a word of English, but his body language said it all. Eyes down, arms folded, back slumped, he had the visage of a defeated man.

"I'm afraid," he said in Spanish. His family's "situation is getting harder and harder. You don't know what to think, starting from zero again."

Much has been said about the suffering of the poor in New Orleans, but Latino civil rights advocates and relief workers say those troubled Americans are better off than immigrants who live in Gulf states illegally, working in restaurants, casinos, farms and construction.

Some have managed to get into shelters run by the Red Cross and Catholic Charities, which provide food and medical care, no questions asked. But when U.S. citizens in those shelters flock to cardboard tables where FEMA, Social Security and Internal Revenue Service agents sit, Latinos stay behind, watching from their cots, relief workers said.

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced that immigrants have no immunity from deportation when providing information required to receive federal aid.

"The administration's priority is to provide needed assistance: water, food, medical care, shelter," said Joanna Gonzalez, a DHS spokeswoman. "However, as we move forward with the response, we can't turn a blind eye to the law."

That point was driven home when two illegal immigrants, from Honduras and El Salvador, were taken into custody in West Virginia by state police after a military cargo plane carrying 305 evacuees arrived there Sept. 5. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials say the two, who are friends, were taken into custody after state police received a complaint that one had been accused of a sexual assault.

"What that suggests is that the federal government is prepared to serve some victims but not others," said Cecilia Muñoz, vice president for policy at the National Council of La Raza. "That sends a terrifying message to the larger community."

In his national address Thursday, President Bush read off a list of services that the estimated 40,000 Mexicans and 150,000 Hondurans who lived in the New Orleans area cannot get: checks from Social Security, mail delivery by the Postal Service, money to rent apartments and temporary trailer homes.

Opponents of illegal immigration, such as Numbers USA, have fought giving financial aid to illegal immigrants. On the other side, a group of U.S. senators including Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) urged DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff to issue a statement reassuring immigrants that they could come forward without fear of deportation.

"We are very concerned because they're afraid to ask for help," Brent A. Wilkes, executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said of illegal immigrants. "It's difficult to get word to them. They're in the dark much more so than other folks. They have a default position: to avoid authorities at all costs."

About 65 Latinos were staying at the $30-a-night motel where Almicar stood. Some were documented; many were not. A Guatemalan woman said she is consumed by worry and fear. She would not give her name, she said, because people would come to deport her.

What if my children get sick? she wondered. "I guess I will have to go to the hospital and take my chances," she said.

Her friend Merling Buchanan, a Tulane University master's student from Honduras who speaks English, is the eyes and ears to the world for several of the Peruvians, Guatemalans and Ecuadoreans living at the motel.

"Normally when I get up, there's always someone I need to take somewhere," said Buchanan, a naturalized citizen. On Monday, a friend from Guatemala wanted to speak with a caseworkerat Catholic Community Services.

"The lines are long, so I stay all day," she said. "There is a list, and people write their name. I was Number 102."

Days before, FEMA deposited $2,000 directly into her bank account, she said. At the cheap motel, that pittance seems like an embarrassment of riches.

Mario Fletes, 31, a Honduran painter, said he is very frustrated, watching his wife and three sons worry.

"I went to get unemployment, and they said they couldn't process my Social Security number," which, he insisted, is legitimate. "I went to apply for food stamps. They told me to come back in two days. I went Thursday. I went Friday. Finally, they told me not to come back."

Wilkes said FEMA does not have enough Spanish-speaking officials to handle even those who work legally on farms, in hotels and in casinos.

But David Passey, a FEMA spokesman, disputed that. "We have Spanish-speaking operators on our registration phone lines," he said. "We understand the need to communicate with people in several different languages. If we have areas where we're lacking, advocacy groups can tell us. We're open to input."

Rony Reyes said his friends are almost out of money for the motel. Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge paid the motel manager about $200 to keep some under a roof for a week.

"Thank God for the church," he said. "We would be sleeping in the parking lot now, no doubt."

But others are helping.

In Mississippi, a group called Project Prep braved floodwaters in Biloxi to get aid to Latino migrant farmworkers and others who feared deportation, said John D. Arnold, the project's director and co-founder.

Jacob Prado, who is coordinating relief efforts for the Mexican Embassy, distributed cash and airline tickets in and around Biloxi to Mexican citizens wishing to return home, an embassy spokesman said.

In San Antonio, a convoy of 45 Mexican army vehicles rolled into the city with troops and mobile kitchens capable of feeding 14,000 people. Elsewhere in Texas, Catholic Charities of Galveston/Houston doled out $300,000 to immigrant families as of Friday -- about $25,000 a day, said Julissa Guerrero, the communications director.

"As quickly as the donations are coming in, they are going right back out," she said. "We are worried that people who are undocumented are falling through the cracks."

In Louisiana, Diane Chisholm, the director of migration and refugee services for Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge, said documented and undocumented Latinos have poured through the group's doors every day for a week.

"I can say it's been hundreds of people," Chisholm said Monday.

Almicar and other immigrants living at the motel in East Baton Rouge Parish were residents of Metairie, La., near the New Orleans airport.

On the Saturday before Katrina struck, Buchanan was doing the wash when the New Orleans mayor said on television, in English, "We're facing the storm most of us have feared."

She woke her sleeping husband, who snapped at her. "How are we going to go? We don't have money." He eventually agreed to go and borrowed money from a friend.

"Hispanic friends . . . followed us because they didn't know where to go," Buchanan said. "They followed us because we speak English."

They formed a caravan of five rickety cars, one of which broke down en route to Baton Rouge.

The men work where they can find it, usually in towns more than an hour away. It costs about $20 in gas per trip, eating into their pay of about $90 each.

Right now, Reyes said, work is worth the sacrifice. The motel rooms are too precious to give up.

"If you leave, there are three people waiting to take them," he said. "It's all we have right now."

Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:02 am

I think this stresses the need for people who wish to immigrate to the U.S. to act responsibly. They need to go through proper channels, like so many others do. It also reinforces the need for people arriving in this country to at least learn the basics of the English language if they want to make it easier on themselves in the long run.

I feel for these people, but they're not entitled to any type of public assistance, period. They came here illegally and now they will have to deal with the consequences of that action, whether that means going back to their original homeland or trying to start over again in the U.S.

Wed Sep 21, 2005 6:06 am

It is a very complicated issue. Those whose only offense is breaking the law by coming here to work are different in my eyes than those who come here to do us harm through violence, drug dealing, etc.

If private charities wish to donate to the illegals, so be it, but I agree that they should receive no government benefits. Trust me, no one will starve, there is help for everyone, but it is a matter of where the assistance should come from.

Let the fringe group La Raza take care of their own in Aztlan.

Wed Sep 21, 2005 7:01 am

I also agree that non-government organizations should help them.

So far as government assistance..... the US remains so duplicitous and conflicted in our mis/use of immigrants as labor resources that I'm uncomfortable banning all benefits. Folks who are employed and paying US taxes are IMO behaving honorably on a moral 'tit-for-tat' scale. I would be comfortable if taxpayers and their dependents received the basic disaster recovery recovery benefits. Beyond that I'm not sure.

Per the General Accounting Office, April 15 2004, the IRS had issued more than 7.4 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to people living and working illegally in the United States.

Eileen

Wed Sep 21, 2005 8:42 am

It's such hard topic ..


>>On the Saturday before Katrina struck, Buchanan was doing the wash when the New Orleans mayor said on television, in English, "We're facing the storm most of us have feared."

Yeah in English I wonder why !! It bothers me that some people don't make the effort to learn the language, not only that inquire that they are being spoken in their language. In my work place (High School) most of the parent students are Mexicans and when they come to the office or call on the phone, the first thing they say is Espanol !!! Espanol what??

I'm always thinking to ignore them and not to speak Spanish :oops:

Wed Sep 21, 2005 12:49 pm

As long as these "illegal" immigrants work for peanuts, they are no problem. But oh boy, once they dare to ask for help after disaster struck, all hell breaks lose. The same people that used to exploit them, now cry murder.
What a world.

Wed Sep 21, 2005 1:47 pm

Luuk wrote:As long as these "illegal" immigrants work for peanuts, they are no problem. But oh boy, once they dare to ask for help after disaster struck, all hell breaks lose. The same people that used to exploit them, now cry murder.
What a world.

They are supposed to work for peanut AND pay taxes, then not dare ask for help.

Eileen

Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:01 pm

Thanks for the responses, folks.

I don't think it's as simple as Luuk and Eileen make it. This is a issue
that divides many Republicans, from the free-market types who
in some ways don't believe in borders anyway, versus your mainline,
more tradional patriots who don't like to see breaking into the country
likened to jaywalking, so say nothing of the cultural and economic
effects of having surplus labor that depresses wages in some sectors,
as well as having post-9/11 fears of terrorist crossing the porous borders.
The latter issue is probably President Bush's greatest failure to
many of his supporters, next to his budget-busting and quagmire-like
war.

Likewise, Democrats are all over the map, with your traditonal types
being at odds with liberal / left-oriented ones who, like their corporate
counterparts, don't much like borders as well as Latino groups
that see this solely in terms of "helping their breathren." One almost
senses a closet attempt to change U.S. demographics quietly, which
is sure to create a balkanizing effect later on. It's a pity, as this
country used to be able to absorb many, many immigrants. Now we
pander to them based on a muddled sense of multiculturalism and
preveting "hurt feelings."

On Katrina, we can take comfort that charity groups will help, but to think
that the US government owes them benefits would imply that the battle
has been won by the "no-borders" crowd. It's not going to happen-
although nothing surprises me at this point.

As an immigrant, Francesc points out that not all immigrants equally
want to to learn English, the dominant language here -and the pathway to success. In terms of social policy, it is by no means reactionary to require
something of those who come here legally. Those who step in front of the line are, like it or not, criminals. It sounds harsh, but it's true.

I've waiting in INS (now CIS) lines myself with family members. There's
should be no excusing those who break into the country. I do, however,
understand that desperate people will do what they have to survive -especially when the Mexican government actually publishes a pamplet on now to slink into the USA...! Our current administration, with bi-partisan support (to say nothing of corporate dollars) wants amnesty for those
here already and to also watered-down citizenship procedures and worker
entry rules.

Some suspect that other elements of the GOP will make illegal immigration
a big issue in '06 and '08, something the Dems are too paralyzed to
address. Stay tuned.

Fri Sep 23, 2005 5:09 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I don't think it's as simple as Luuk and Eileen make it....

Greg, I'm not sure what you mean. Right now for X stated reasons I would feel comfortable with affected working taxpayers getting basic Katrina benefits. I'm not sure how that is 'more simple' than saying they shouldn't get benefits because of X reason.

Maybe I'm just tired. Sincerely confused though. Or both... We just had TORNADOS! and my power was out for 27 hours. That might be it. I was composing a fabulous post at the time too; now it's lost forever. ;)

Eileen

Fri Sep 23, 2005 10:06 pm

Eileen, first off, I'm sorry to hear about the tornadoes. Be well and come back here soon.

"Affected working taxpayers" is a phrase that technically could include
illegal immigrants, who actually at least pay sales taxes and I've
even heard that some file for their annual taxes in the hopes of getting a better deal later. That said, I think the distinction between legal and illegal immigrants is pretty clear. Those who "broke and entered" into the country in no way are eligble for offical governement benefits, although
private charities are helping all, which is admirable in its way and I don't
begrudge that.

I've even heard that quite a few Mexicans are on their way to "help
rebuild" New Orleans. Here's hoping we give that work to out-of-work
Americans first.

I know it seems cold-hearted but I really don't think the USA need be
a candy store. Few other nations would tolerate such rampant illegal
immigration. Sadly, we are quite hypocritical about it or at least muddled.

I like your new disclaimer. bu the way. Awhile ago I saw one guy on the ELVIS SECONDTONONE site "borrowed" some of my comments at least once and posted them under his name. I was sorta flattered. :oops: But you're right...!

Sat Sep 24, 2005 2:09 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:"Affected working taxpayers" is a phrase that technically could include illegal immigrants, who actually at least pay sales taxes

Yes, I did mean for "affected working taxpayers" to include illegal immigrants, and was referencing (at least federal) income tax:
Eileen wrote:So far as government assistance..... the US remains so duplicitous and conflicted in our mis/use of immigrants as labor resources that I'm uncomfortable banning all benefits. Folks who are employed and paying US taxes are IMO behaving honorably on a moral 'tit-for-tat' scale. I would be comfortable if taxpayers and their dependents received the basic disaster recovery benefits. Beyond that I'm not sure.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote: I've even heard that some file for their annual taxes in the hopes of getting a better deal later.

My post wasn't entirely clear, however meant to indicate that such filing is required and official policy of our government.
Eileen wrote:Per the General Accounting Office, April 15 2004, the IRS had issued more than 7.4 million Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to people living and working illegally in the United States.

There has been a specific IRS process for this for almost a decade now - one of many signs (symptoms?) of the national conflict discussed in the thread.
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Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote: I know it seems cold-hearted but I really don't think the USA need be a candy store.

I agree that private charities will work hard at this and often more logically than some of our govt agencies. ! Your position makes sense to me, I can easily make a case for it. For me there were other criteria as my final barometer.
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Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I've even heard that quite a few Mexicans are on their way to "help rebuild" New Orleans. Here's hoping we give that work to out-of-work Americans first.

IMO the administration has so far chosen otherwise. I won't veer off here with details, suffice to say we have a clear track record on the companies being selected. This opinion piece on a broader topic implied something like the old WPA as a better choice and I tend to agree.

Skimming it again I notice the writer used the same phrase you did - "candy store". It's ironic that the certain overcharges, lobbying and broker fees involved in these contracts will dwarf whatever illegal immigrants might collect in disaster benefits. Candy store indeed :!:
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Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I like your new disclaimer. bu the way. Awhile ago I saw one guy on the ELVIS SECONDTONONE site "borrowed" some of my comments at least once and posted them under his name. I was sorta flattered. :oops: But you're right...!

Thank you. Well, don't assume your name is always overlooked when your comments are thusly "borrowed".

Eileen

Sun Sep 25, 2005 8:13 am

Eileen, I haven't seen the article you linked to (my connection is poor at the moment) and assure you the "candy store" reference was a coincidence,although it does have a meaning that many use in such instances. ( I'll check the links at a more sane hour...)

The Bush administration, which has cut the standard federal "Davis-Bacon" prevailing wages for construction workers to the chagrin of many in the area, not surprisingly also has used many "no-bid" contracts to reward political friends. None of this is too surprising - nor is their "what borders?" approach to immigration policy which also helps suppress wages
by allowing a ready source of illegal workers. They actually are quite
consistent in this.

But even the Bush administration knows that handing out benefits
to illegal aliens would backfire so surely they'll not let that happen, especially as the Red Cross and the Catholic Church is helping one and all, apparently. The uproar over the daily streaming over the border
again became a national issue this year so I can't see the GOP
being that foolhardy. The dirty secret is that both parties are rather
wed to the idea of a cheap pool of labor. Personally, I think it's an outrage.

Sadly, to say so immediately ensures that one is deemed a "racist" and "intolerant." Citizens opposed to our current lax border policy need to develop a language that addresses this familiar tactic. I actually think
defending- and rewarding- citizenship is a progressive goal that should be embraced by both parties.

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:25 am

Greg, pertinent to your comment about rebuilding. I've snipped lots out of this piece, available in full here.
============

September 25, 2005 latimes.com Commentary by Gregory Rodriguez

Latino immigrants, many of them here illegally, will rebuild the Gulf Coast -- and stay there.

NO MATTER WHAT ALL the politicians and activists want, African Americans and impoverished white Cajuns will not be first in line to rebuild the Katrina-ravaged Gulf Coast and New Orleans. Latino immigrants, many of them undocumented, will. And when they're done, they're going to stay, making New Orleans look like Los Angeles. It's the federal government that will have made the transformation possible, further exposing the hollowness of the immigration debate.

President Bush....suspended provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act.... And the Department of Homeland Security has temporarily suspended sanctioning employers who hire workers who cannot document their citizenship. The idea is to benefit Americans who may have lost everything in the hurricane, but the main effect will be to let contractors hire illegal immigrants.

Mexican and Central American laborers are already arriving in southeastern Louisiana. One construction firm based in Metairie, La., sent a foreman to Houston to round up 150 workers willing to do cleanup work for $15 an hour, more than twice their wages in Texas. The men - most of whom are undocumented, according to news accounts - live outside New Orleans in mobile homes without running water and electricity. The foreman expects them to stay "until there's no more work" but "there's going to be a lot of construction jobs for a really long time."

One recent poll of New Orleans evacuees living in Houston emergency shelters found that fewer than half intend to return home. In part, their places will be taken by the migrant workers. Former President Clinton recently hinted as much when he said New Orleans will be resettled with a different population.

Hurricane Andrew 1992 storm construction boom attracted large numbers of Latin American immigrants, who rebuilt towns such as Homestead, whose Latino population has increased by 50% since then.

U.S. construction firms have become increasingly reliant on Latino immigrant labor....40% of the workers who rebuilt the Pentagon after the 9/11 attack were Latino.

Reliance on immigrant labor to complete huge projects is part of U.S. history. ...Erie Canal...New York subway system...Chicago's street workers... transcontinental railroad...Texas expansion of agriculture...cotton farming...busted the prairie sod of North Dakota....

The major difference between then and now is that neither the American public nor the government will admit their dependence on a labor force that is heavily undocumented.

Last week, the White House said it will push its plan to allow illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to become legal guest workers. Good. Hurricane Katrina exposed the nation's black-white divide. Post-Katrina reconstruction will soon spotlight the hypocrisy of refusing to grant legal status to those who will rebuild the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.

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English speaking citizens sometimes tend to expect a bit more.... it can be so confusing, what with several layers of 'middlemen' taking a cut and all

Workers sent to Mississippi complain about conditions
12:55 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Associated Press

LAWRENCE, KS -- Two Lawrence residents who responded to a flier looking for workers to help with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief say they feel scammed.

Kalila Dalton, 20, and Chris Tucker, 23, joined several other friends who responded to the call for assistance. They were told they should expect to work at least 40 hours a week for at least six weeks, be paid $7.50 hourly, and be provided with bus transportation, meals and hotel accommodations.

Things didn't unfold how they expected.

Dalton and Tucker boarded school buses Sept. 2, but found out they were heading to Biloxi, Miss., not New Orleans. They pulled into a parking lot the next day and say they were told to take a two-hour nap on the pavement before reporting for duty.

Dalton and Tucker say they then were sent to work clearing debris at MGM Mirage's $800-million Beau Rivage casino. They say they were fed bologna sandwiches and Oreo cookies, told their work days would be up to 16 hours long and that they would be bused to a hotel two hours away where they could sleep for four hours before returning to work.

"I felt like we got scammed pretty good," Tucker said.

Tucker and Dalton wanted to leave but said they were told they could be shot by National Guardsmen enforcing martial law and that there was no transportation home.

"I just thought, `I've got to get out of here, even if it is hitchhiking or finding a bicycle,"' Tucker said.

Representatives for the companies in charge of the program were apologetic about conditions and confusion they said arose out of trying to deal with a disaster.

"We're certainly sorry that the people had a problem; we're certainly doing the best we can," said Teri Hill, a spokeswoman for BMS Catastrophe Inc., which is in charge of refurbishing the Beau Rivage. "It's a mess down there."

Mike Mansingh of One Source Staff and Labor, the Overland Park firm that recruited the workers, said work conditions were unexpectedly bad.

"Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong," Mansingh said. "Everybody made mistakes. It was a bad situation."

The day after Dalton and Tucker arrived, Mansingh arranged for a school bus to carry them home. The two said they felt sorry for the workers they left behind -- people they said were mostly poor, unemployed and often unable to speak English.

"I can lose this job and it's OK," Dalton said. "I can leave, but not all of those people could."

Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:39 am

Eileen,
It's funny as I was just kvetching about that LA Times op-ed piece
earlier today to a colleague. While it's a nice review of American immigration history,
Mr. Rodriguez "conveniently" blurs the distinction between legal and illegal
immigration.


As someone who knows quite a bit about the construction
sector of the economy, I assure you that that American workers are ready and willing to rebuild the gulf area - and those citizens who need apprenticeship training are being recruited currently. Between the President
getting rid of the federal prevailing wage for Katrina projects (it's an "emergency"), there's already an assumption on the conservative
right - and PC left- that it's somehow a good thing to have illegal
foreigners come here to "rebuild" (read:"undercut" American workers).

We can look forward to a Balkan / Quebec-style environment by 2050
due to the liberal notion that illegal aliens are merely "undocumented."

There's nothing progressive about that.

Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:48 am

Agree Greg - I have absolutely no doubt there are ready and able American workers, including many folks still in shelters.

Rather than a 'convenient blurring', I suspect Mr. Rodriguez, if given unlimited column space, would be capable of writing an article documenting the history of the various immigrant populations (how they came to be here) and the politics behind US Visa handouts (or lack of) to each group. It's just a hunch. ;)

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote: there's already an assumption on the conservative right - and PC left- that it's somehow a good thing to have illegal foreigners come here to "rebuild" (read:"undercut" American workers).

We can look forward to a Balkan / Quebec-style environment by 2050
due to the liberal notion that illegal aliens are merely "undocumented."

I would enjoy more expansive statements in place of unsupported assumptions and labeled positions without context....conservative right, PC left, liberal notion.... Not to be personal Greg, you aren't out on any limb doing it and tough to avoid sometimes. It's common and overused and IMO misused to where it's meaningless and often doesn't match what I read and hear.

I recently had an experience with a close acquaintance/kinda friend.... told him about a stand I'd taken with a business. He said, "see that's why I like you - label would never notice that! Those label think stereotype, it's just all their label sh*t."

Course had he asked, I would have said I'm a fairly solid label and my general belief in label theory is exactly WHY I reject stereotype and took that particular stand. Certainly not the first time that's happened either, and given how few OT posts I've written it's happened more than a lot on this board too.

Eileen

Fri Sep 30, 2005 5:05 am

Eileen, I'm under no illusions about how past immigration policy was used as a source of cheap labor, but I do wonder if it's automatically the same thing. We've discouraged enthnocentrism (rightly) but today are told that illegally crossing the border is akin to jay-walking. It's just not so, and it's an insult to may of us who come from immigrant stock that played by the rules so to speak. Why must we be compelled to defend those who,well,
are literally "illegal immigrants" or "aliens"? Absorbing third-world labor is a short-term fix that has severe long and short-term ramifications, to be charitable.

And Labels do matter. Objective reality, as nearly as we can decribe it, does matter.

Labels can also trivialize and as well as silence. But let's not muddy the
waters.

The U.S. has enough problems (and I mean that as someone sympathetic
to goals of national healthcare of some kind, good schools, and some
other "liberal" notions - without blindly taking on foreign nationals
merely because a sense of univeral brotherhood and a fear of being,
well, "labeled" "intolerant."

And I'm also aware that President Clinton (along with the GOP) championed NAFTA which devastated the domestic rural market of farm villages -resulting in today's "day laborers" coming soon to a suburb near you.

There's something gloriously sane in pushing the English language
in hindsight - and in the future. It has historically seved to unify
a multilingual, multicultural US made up the Chinese, German, Chinese,
Jewish, Italian, Norwegian, etc. Today we face that same "problem,"
only the Hispanics ("Latinos" or what have you) are somehow given
a free reign due to their greater numbers, in part illegally gained. Seeing
how we "enable" Spanish-speakers today by placing no real "burden" on them
to learn the native language, I feel we are "killing with our kindness."
It does the newly-arrived Latino to be "enriched" by being encouraged
to cling to Spanish.


When we see a similar leg-up (so to speak) for
Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Guyanese,etc, then we may see how we have to address the problem of acculturation and "E Pluribus Unum,"
of which we're sorely lacking today.

Citizenship and "Americanism" (to use a term out of the 1920s) need
not be regressive. Will Democrats ever get that again? I'm doubtful.