Friday, August 19, 2005

Addressing the Illegal Problem

The declaration of a state of emergency by the governors of New Mexico & Arizona, both Democrats, speaks volumes of the extent to which this problem has ravaged our nation. The solution that many politicians, both Democrat & Republican, are proposing is that of guest worker programs. Yet polls show that a majority of the American public, including a sizable number of the native born Hispanic population, opposes the guest worker programs that our politicians favor.

Despite the cries that illegals contribute to the economy, the fact that tax payers have been forced to subsidize then in numerous ways, shows that they are drain on resources as well. The fact that many are failing to integrate into American society, by learning English & being good citizens, is another troubling factor. While no one can argue that the United States needs immigrants to stabilize our demographics, how we go about this should be addressed in a manner that is not only expedient, but in a way that will pave the way to making our country better, not worse. Here are a few of my thoughts of the subject.

1. All illegals, as the act of entering a country without permission is a crime, must be charged & deported. This will send the message that illegality will no longer be tolerated. As is, police cannot charge & deport illegals unless they have committed another offence, & in some instances are forbidden from asking the immigration status of even suspects. Police must be empowered to ask & verify the immigration status of all suspects & apprehend all illegals who are reported to them.

2. Illegals come to this country & stay due to the willingness of unscrupulous businesses to hire them. The criminality of hireing illegals should be strictly enforced with a large fine for each instance & jail time for repeat offenders. The INS & local police should be empowered & given the resources to investigate & prosecute all cases of illegal hirings that are reported to them.

The immigration status of children should be that of their parents.

3. As there is a need for additional labor & demographic stability, the number of legal immigrants allowed per year, must be increased. However, all those who wish to be eligible for these visas must have at least a basic knowledge of English. Upon two years of arrival, they must pass a language proficiency exam. Those who fail must return.

To oppose illegal immigration is not to oppose all immigration. It is to merely ask that there be controlled orderly immigration & that the immigrants who arrive be assimilated. The Denver Public Library has proposed to make seven of its branches "spanish focused". As Mauro E. Mujica of U.S. English said:

"I fail to see how an 'Official Spanish' Library will aid immigrants in learning English and becoming Americans," Mujica continued. "If anything, it will further the notion that Spanish-speaking immigrants can live in relative comfort without needing to learn our common language. If we are to successfully continue as a nation of immigrants, we cannot send an 'English Optional' message to any immigrant group."

In fact, those immigrants who do make a valuable contribution to their adopted countries are those who are willing to embrace the language & customs of their new country. Blogger Arthur Chrenkoff, an Australian of Polish origin, is a wonderful example. In response to this story, he had this to say:
Not for me to tell the beautiful Colorado how to run their things, but bilingualism annoys the hell out of me. And it's not because I don't like Spanish - or Polish for that matter - or because I like English better, but because in countries built by generations of migrants coming from everywhere around the world, the common language is one of the most important glues that bind us all together.
I came to Australia seventeen years ago, knowing maybe 50 English words. I did not expect any "Polish focused" institutions to keep me in a linguistic ghetto; I wanted to learn the language of the land so I could make the most of the opportunities that Australia could offer me. It's the love of books that got me where I am. I'm looking now at an old notebook, where I wrote down all the words that were new to me together with their translation and phonetic pronunciation. As a teenager, I was fascinated by the unexplained, and one of the first books in Australia that served as my English teacher was a children's book about monsters and legendary creatures. So I look at these words, which were once so new and so strange; "devour", "lair", "hump", "abominable", "ferocious"...
I don't quite agree with Mauro E. Mujica, chairman of the board of U.S. English, Inc., who said that "Denver's action is a dubious first in American history: a major U.S. city is creating a public institution that intentionally excludes native-born Americans," not only because you don't have to be a native-born American to feel excluded from a "non-English-first" facility, but because, even worse than excluding non-Spanish speakers, the brave new Denver libraries would perpetuate the exclusion of Spanish speakers from the mainstream of the American society by downplaying the need for linguistic integration.

Assimilation is the key to realizing the American dream & escaping the ethnic ghetto. Those who do make the effort to learn English, assimilate & become good members of the community should be granted green cards & be made eligible to citizenship. The American people are extremely tolerant & good-hearted people who readily welcome those who do not harm them.

4. Those who arrive on these worker visas must be initially sponsored by an employer who may hire immigrants by advertising for them, should they fail to hire an American citizen or green card holder for the position. However, the employer who does the hiring must accept the responsibility to teach the foreign employee not only the English language, but also the laws & regulations of America. The employer will also be held responsible for the additional costs in education & health care that their immigrant workers & their family members place on the economy.

Should a majority of a certain employer's immigrant employees fail the language proficiency exam, that employer should be barred from sponsoring more immigrants. The employer should also familiarize the immigrant workers with the local zoning laws, which bar over crowding & the attendant slummification it cause which lead to decreasing property values as well as ordinances against littering & unseemly public behavior. This will lead to employers aiding their immigrant employees in their efforts to learn English & integrate into American society.

4. In order to give employers incentives to hire Americans at reasonable wages rather than immigrants, those businesses whose percentage of citizen or green card holder employees to immigrant employees exceeds 10%, must pay a special tax for each additional 5% of immigrants hired.

One of the problems with basing immigration quotas on unemployment statistics is that often, the numbers used are state or nation ones. These numbers fail to take into account the particular circumstances of each locality. Thus, before an employer hires an immigrant worker, he/she should have to apply for a permit to do so from the local government. As it is local governments that must care for these new arrivals by providing their health care, education & attend to many of the problems they might cause, the federal government should cede part of its exclusive control of immigration to local governments.

Of course the greatest argument for hiring illegals thus far is the, 'they do the jobs that Americans won't' argument. However, as Linda Thom, who moved from California to Puget Sound, an area without a large illegal population shows, lack of illegals does not lead to economic collapse. The local economy structures it-self to allow self-sufficiency. One example she offers if that of her experience at the local car wash. Not only does she get the service she wants, but it is offered in a friendly & pleasant manner, & she saves money by having to tip a smaller number of employees:
Here, on this large island, Americans do jobs immigrants won’t do.
For example, I took my auto to the carwash last week. In the five years I have lived on Whidbey Island, I have never taken my car to get it washed but it was parked in the Vancouver, B.C., airport lot for three weeks and a seagull visited…I really didn’t want to deal with it.
Usually, I don’t wash my car as I live on a dirt road in a place where it rains a lot and the car is a late-model Oldsmobile that my husband says could pass for a CIA staff car.
Judging from the looks of local cars and the lack of carwash businesses, most other residents of Whidbey don’t wash their cars either.
I think there is only one auto-washing facility within 30 miles of my house and that’s where I went.
Two clean-cut, young, American men, Andrew and Jay, hosed off the car and helped get it on track for the machine and then they dried it when it emerged. There was a can for tips at the exit.
Contrast this with Santa Barbara, California, where there are probably ten to fifteen car washes and the owners are always getting busted for hiring illegal aliens. The workers speak Spanish and they swarm around the car and they all put out their hands for tips at the end.

The group that would be most adversely affected would be the upper middle class, which has gotten accustomed to having a bevy of servants at their disposal to perform nearly every domestic task for them. I doubt that having to vacuum ones house or mow ones lawn by ones-self will lead to devastating consequences.

She also mentions how the indiscriminate hiring of illegals has harmed mentally & physically impaired Americans by taking away the incentive for employers to accommodate these workers.

The ability to hire adult immigrants also impedes the ability of American teenagers to find part time & summer employment. This is no doubt partially behind the weakening of the work ethic of the younger generation, as well as the difficulties faced by those who wish to take a hiatus from academia by working due to their & a lack of job skills & employment history.

It also means that teenagers have a great deal of unsupervised free time, which parents must fill with a medley of expensive & exhausting activities. Should the parents not be in a position to afford such things, the natural inclination of teenagers to become bored can easily lead to their becoming involved in undesirable activities & groups.

This also creates a problem for college students seeking summer & part time employment.

Dan Morgan, of No Speed Bumps, tells his experiences vacationing in an area without a large illegal population:
.....while on vacation, in the hotels we stayed in all of the maid staff and other help were white. The same was true of all of the restaurants we ate in, from the cooks, to the bus boys, to the grounds keepers. I felt like we were in a time machine and in a strange land.An interesting note about the maid staff at the hotels was the good cheer that they were in. They were constantly chatting among themselves and seemed very content as they went about their work. This reminded me that, yes, there is dignity to manual labor, and yes, white people can still do manual labor.

Not only can Americans still do manual labor, but they are also willing to do it. This will lead to our having a more balanced society in which all work will be valued & the gainfully employed imbued with a sense of dignity & all members of our society able to communicate with each other & make a positive contribution to society. The need to address the illegal issue is especially keen in light of our war with Islamic terrorists who have entered the United States via the Mexican border.

HAT TIP: La Shawn Barber, No Speed Bumps, Chrenkoff, American Housewife, Basil, Mudville

Update:A multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) brought in by illegals in California.
"Treatment for MDR-TB is very expensive -- ranging from $200,000 to $1.2 million per person, over an 18- to 24-month time period," said Dr. Reuben Granich, a lead investigator for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during a press conference in the District yesterday.
Illegal Crime Wave.
How racism in Mexico contributes to illegal immigration.
California urged to follow New Mexico & Arizona.
Illegals given a ranch as result of lawsuit claiming Minute Men "traumatized" them. On the politics behind it.
Tax payers of Hendorn Virginia forced to pay for facilities to house illegals. La Shawn covers this too.
Update II (8/22): Illegals & the drug trade.

This is such a difficult issue. I have no problem with immigrants as long as they enter legally.

More importantly, I want them to LEARN ENGLISH and assimilate into American Culture. No offense to Latin America or Mexico, but I want America to be America.


I want Americanism.

But, NY Girl, we do need this type of cheap labor. You are right that "American's can still do manual labor". And maybe American teenagers are having trouble finding work, but I kind-of doubt it.

You see, we are asking our children to go to college today, to learn about computers, about economics, about technology, etc.

We are increasingly NOT asking our children to become dishwashers, or labor workers. We need immigrant labor for this.

American children will increasingly find work in the service field and later in life in higher-skilled jobs. This is a good thing.

My beaf with immigrants is when they come in illegaly and refuse to assimilate in American culture.
I share your concerns Justin. I understand that we do need that additional labor, that is why in #3 I say, let's increase the number we let in legally.

However, as I too want them to assimilate & learn English, I would like for there to be a requirement that all immigrants who come for work, pass a language profficiency test after two years of living in the US.

As for teenagers, a summer job does not have to lead to a career in that feild. For a variety of reasons, some do not finish college or wish to go to college right out of high school, for them, there should be other options.

Of course, just because you do a labor job for a few years does not mean that you are conmened to do that for life. The beauty of the American higher education system is that it permits upward mobility at any time.
Well thought out and written. Most excellent
Yes, excellent post!
Considering I live in a town that has a large amount of illegals, I wholeheartedly agree with this post.

We have hundreds (if not thousands) who hang out on the street hoping to get day laborer jobs. This city was once the jewel of the area with a state of the art shopping mall that had people from all over the state coming to it, now the shopping center just across the block from some of this activity is closing down and the city is becoming a ghost town.

Add to that there has been a huge increase in gang activity in the city directly related to illegals and there is obviously a problem that needs to be addressed. I would be willing to bet a person running for Senator of this state would win overwhelmingly if he or she promised to crack down on these illegals.

And furthermore, they are bringing in diseases that we had previously stamped out here like tuberculosis and leprosy, except now they have come back as HIGHLY resistant to antibiotics (at least TB, not sure what kind of disease leprosy is - probably a virus. I should look it up).
You make a lot of very good, sensible points, particularly with respect to the need for assimilation.

Control and process is a key issue. Even if exactly the same number of immigrants came in from exactly the same countries, having it occur in a legal, orderly process would be a great improvement.
Leprosy (Hansen's disease) is caused by Mycobacterium Leprae.
Great post NY Girl. I agree with it all!

My family all live in Denver. My neices and nephews can't find a part time job. Go to a K-Mart and try to speak English to a worker there - you can't! I myself have done many a job that people are saying only immigrants do.

I'm all for legal immigration. ALL FOR IT! Illegal immigration? Get them out - get them out of our country now. Our borders must be secured. I can't imagine that immigrants who followed the law and did things properly feel good about a person who would so easily bypass the law.

I'm very upset about the border situation in the southwest. It is, apparently, illegal (a federal offense) to brandish a weapon to an illegal even if they are acting in a threatening way toward a US citizen. US citizens - whose private property is being invaded every day by illegals - are being told by our government that they are NOT ALLOWED to protect their own property. The MinuteMan project is helping to bring this insanity to light. Where the government refuses to act - the citizens must.

It is true that past legal immigrants insisted that their children learn English ASAP. It is what would help them to be successful in America.

I apologize for going so long. This was a very thoughtful post - as Abe said. Thank you.
Hi & welcome Abe, Engineer-poet & Monicar.

I am glad to see that I made it clear that I am not anti-legal immigration, just illegal immigration. Also, I support assimilation, namely, learning English.

As W.F. & Monicar mentioned, our current policies have led to once beautiful areas becoming slums & people being unable get a sales person who can speak English. Customer service is a thing of the past.

Monicar, you are right about people not being allowed to defend their private property. There was a recent law suite on the subject. I will post the link to that. And don't feel bad about long comments. I love thoughtful comments like yours; that's what makes blogging so much fun.

Engineer-poet, you are right about it not being Hanson's Desease, it is a drug resistant TB. I'll try to post a link for that too.
By the way, if anyone has not yet read Mark in Mexico's post, I highly recommend it.

He posted in the HaloScan comments, so others might have missed it.

I eventually just bit the bullet and eliminated the Blogger comments in favor of HaloScan. SeaWitch, like you, is trying to manage using both, with some difficulty.

If your main reason for using HaloScan is for Trackback, you can just use that. If you delete the HaloScan comments link from your template, they won't show up. You might want to move all the old ones to the Blogger comments in that case. (It's not as bad as it seems. You can copy and paste all comments from one post at one time.)

Haloscan to wordpress trackbacks aren't working..howver wordpress to haloscan works fine. I went ahead and tracked back to you NYgirl..:)

Thanks for the trackback either way,
Thanks HCS, you have such wonderful blogiquette :-)
if it was up to me, I'd take out the Haloscan comments, and just use the Blogger comments. when people are reading the page, it looks neater when the comments are inline. then again, it's your page, and I a lowly commenter.

I'm not much of a fan of Haloscan, but it does what I need it to. sorry the trackback deallie didn't work for you. then again, the only person who's been able to leave me a trackback was Jeff Harrell, so who knows what's up.

I went ahead and linked back to ya anyways.
Hi MacStansbury, the problem with that is then I won't have trackbacks. In fact if all comments are Haloscan you can ban spammer when you catch them.

It's really annoying & ugly, I know, but I'm kind of stuck with things as they are.

Now my recent Haloscan comments aren't showing up...Aaarrh!
Thanks for linking to me anyway. Another blogger to had pity on me & did the same :-)
speaking of people having pity...I think you've got more going on that you would lead us to believe.

but, you know, if you want to know how to make it look a little better...just drop me a line...
I'm with you on points one and two. Yes, all illegals should be charged and deported. However, as it stands, local police cannot charge or deport illegals. They have to get ICE to come pick them up, which almost never happens, or release them into the community unless they have committed additional felonies other than illegal entry.

Yes, employers who knowingly hire illegals should be fined. Under the Bush administration, there have been virtually ZERO such cases; this president has had a horrible record, even compared to Clinton, on this issue.

And yes, the status of a child born here should not ever be established by birth. It must be established by the citizenship of the child's parents (actually, the mother, but that's another discussion). The 14th Amendment has been so abused on this point, when Congress should long ago have enacted legislation - as it was supposed to - to set practice in line with the intent of those who drafted the Amendment.

You lost me a bit on point three. Who says "there is a need for additional labor?" Is it the farmers, who haven't had to invest in research and development of new harvesting technology and innovation for more than 40 years now because we've imported wage deflaters? Manufacturers? Oh, those jobs are all in China now. Walmart? McDonalds? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce? Anyone who speaks and cares for the interests of America first? Who? I haven't seen or heard of one non-self-serving, America-first group or company advocate a "need" for imported cheap labor. Ever.

Quite frankly, we'd better stop thinking we need "help" from anyone who isn't an American. I shudder to think what my "golden years" will be like if America contains a majority or strong plurality of second and third generation offspring of the third world.

Assimilation IS the key to all of this. But the only peoples this nation has ever successfully assimilated were Europeans and their descendants. The immigration patterns of the last 40 years, since the 1965 Teddy Kennedy "reforms," have been an aberration.

For a little history on it, please read Robert Locke:
Robert Locke

Too many Americans have "20-20 hindsight" on this issue that only extends to the time they were about 10 years old, if that. Prior to today, the greatest number of foreign born ever here at one time was 13 million, in 1910. Today we have 30 - 45 million foreign born residents. Prior to today, the peak percentage of foreign born residents we've had was 14.8%. Today we're at 11% and climbing fast. Prior to today, we had no social safety net for immigrants; between one-quarter and one-third of our new arrivals did not stay. Today we have this huge honkin' socialist safety net and almost zero new arrivals leave.

Need I get into a discussion of the comparable birth rates between the United States and Europe circa 1910 vs. the United States and Mexico circa 2005?
Katie's Dad, I simply added number three as a concession to all the experts who say we need additional labor. I am skeptical of the claim my-self. But since I am not an economist, I didn't wish to argue that point. I added the part about local control of immigration to sort of counter that. This way, if an employer wants to sponsor foreign workers, he has to get the permisson of the people of the town or village in question.

Your point about the impact of the safety net is a good one which I forgot. Thanks for mentioning that, you're a trove of information :)
"While no one can argue that the United States needs immigrants to stabilize our demographics..."???
I can argue with that statement.
We are a nation of some 300 million immigrants founded over 200 years ago. The entire nation is comprised of people who were originally in another land.
So, why do we need constant immigration to "stabilize" a nation of original immigrants?
The other side of the coin is the assumption that without immigration, our country will "DE-stabilize" right? Explain please...
How will keeping a study influx of immigration stabilize a nation that everyday has science & technology taking away basic jobs while the majority of Americans get more educated?
It would seem that eventually you would create a huge class warfare between the recent immigrants without much education, language or job skills who are unemployed or not earning enough to survive and basically living off the backs of the established classes who would simply grow to resent these newer immigrants who are unprepared to adapt or contribute to America.
Anyways, great article otherwise. But neither do I agree with or understand you assertion about "stabilization" or the lack there of.
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You see I've just started out learning Spanish. I think I've found a pretty good method, but I'm constantly trying to learn more - faster - and improve. I can't wait to get over to Panama. Already made contact with a few hot Latina chicks. Looks VERY promising. Just got to improve on the Spanish :o)

If you'd like to keep an eye on my progress and perhaps provide some helpful advice, everyone's welcome. Please just surf over to Learn Spanish for Love. I look forward to meeting you.

Hasta luego!
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