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Immigration Issue Explodes [Updated]

Updated material and a round-up of responses to this sizzling topic are to be found at the bottom of this post.

Saturday saw the largest political demonstration in the history of Los Angeles, and one of the biggest in recent American history.immigration1.jpg A half-million people or more flooded two dozen blocks of downtown L.A. to give voice to some sort of rational, realistic immigration reform. For some months now I have been warning readers of this blog that the immigration issue would break wide open this season -- and here it is in full living color. Similar demonstrations the past couple of weeks drew a hundred thousand or more in Illinois, more than that in Denver and tens of thousands in Phoenix and other cities. Similar protests are scheduled through April 10 as the U.S. Senate begins formal debate on reform this coming Tuesday. If you have fallen behind in this story you can catch up by reading one of my overview stories here or here. I'm struck by several aspects of this story. Primarily by the way neither party can properly get a hold of this issue. Demographics and global economics are simply racing ahead of any practical political response. The Republicans are deeply divided over the issue. Even as the half-million or so were marching in the streets Saturday, President Bush was on the radio more or less endorsing the protestors' two key demands: that a legal channel be created for the immigration already happening and that some legal acknowledgement be given to the 12 million "illegals" already living here. Viva Bush! The Democrats are less divided and generally more inclined toward reform. But can you name even two prominent national Dmeocrats who have taken up this cause in a serious way? (One is Ted Kennedy who along with John McCain has co-authored the most sensible reform proposal currently under consideration). As I have argued previously, what we are currently experiencing is the greatest wave of cross-border migration in recorded history -- a virtual "exodus" of millions from a failed Mexican economy and into a country where the wage level is 10-20 times higher. Politicians can only come up with after-the-fact gestures but policy itself (and walls and fences) will do little to nothing to alter the flow. My otherwise smart guy friends, Mickey Kaus and Bill Bradley have surely gone off the deep end on this one. They both conjecture that these giant marches, full of Mexican flags and Mexicans chanting 'Mexico! Mexico!' are inviting a virulent nativist backlash. They point to increased voter turn-out in favor of the restrictive Prop 187 in California after a similar (and smaller) protest march in 1994. That was then. This is now. The current situation is not analagous to 1994. There is no hot-button ballot prop up for a vote this season. And the nativist backlash is already here. The media suck-up to the miniscule Minuteman show of a year ago established an ugly frame for the national debate. The House has already acted in a toxic manner when last December it passed an outrageous and impossible-to-implement measure that would make all illegals (and their employers) into felons. While that bill will not become law per se, the Senate is considering some measures almost as Neanderthal. It seems to me that when an entire population -- who, after all, cleans our offices, cuts our lawns, serves our food, makes our beds, tends to our children and pays taxes but gets no refunds-- is threatened with criminalization they have the right and necessity to politically mobilize. It's asking them a lot, don't you think, to remain silent and impassive as their arrest and deportation are actively being debated? One other point: the white backlash of 1994 was immediately followed by a counter-backlash. An enraged and energized Latino constituency accelerated its entrance into citizenship and onto the voter rolls and within four years it steamrollered the California GOP -- a flattening from which California Republicans may never recover. So while the grumbling Archie Bunkers might get their ya-yas all worked up by the Mexican flags flapping in Saturday's demos, you can be damn sure that the smarter among Republican strategists looked at the size of those protests with some trepidation. Many of those in the rally were legal, or have legal relatives or if illegal might soon be legal. And they just didn't look to be likely Republican voters. Bradley is one of the smartest analysts around when it comes to California state politics (and he's a good friend) but, I have to say his reaction to these marches border on the phantasmagorical. He went out of his way to title his report "The Pro-Illegal Immigration Rally in Los Angeles" and asks if it was "really necessary" to stage such a provocative rally. It's the wrong question, of course. This wasn't a staged campaign event or some tightly orchestrated TV photo op. While the demos certainly have leaders and organizers, and while the Mexican flags were certainly politically gratuitous, it seems quite obvious that when you bring out a half-million people you've tapped into something quite organic, some self-propelling force way beyond the control or shaping of a few professional organizers. So it hardly matters if it was necessary or not because --like illegal immigration itself-- it happened anyway. It was a rather natural reaction to the shut-the-borders demagogy that's been ventilating for the past couple of years. Another not so minor point. Bradley argues that these rallies "enable" people who have "broken the law" to continue breaking the law. Well, no, not exactly. People who have entered the U.S. improperly and who stay here have, in fact, not violated any criminal statutes but are instead in violation of civil codes-- even though they are commonly called "illegals." Any of these illegals, if arrested on immigration grounds, are not tried by a criminal court and are, in fact, denied standard due process. Bradley should spend a day in Federal Immigration Court and watch how these "illegals" are deported without as much as the right to a court-provided lawyer. As violators of civil codes, they are cast out and often their families are broken apart with no more process than the DMV revoking a driver's license. Indeed, these protests have been sparked to a great degree by the so-called Sensenbrenner bill that would in the future make the "illegals" really illegal by making them criminal felons. It's a distinction worth five or ten years in jail that Bradley is blurring. Bill, my friend, you've got it bass-ackwards. This was a rally in favor of legal immigration. It called precisely for a way for immigrants who are otherwise already absorbed into our economy and society to be granted the minimal status that they obviously merit. To defend illegal immigration no protest would be necessary -- you would need only defend the status quo. My arguments against the sort of simplistic and anachronostic mode of parsing this issue which we glimpse in Bradley's post is well explained in the articles I linked to above -- so no need to rehearse them here. What some people don't get is that we have already been cracking down on the border for more than a decade and there's a reason why it has so miserably failed. It's about as futile as engaging in prayer dances to stop earthquakes or invoke rain storms.

The only argument we -- as a nation of immigrants-- can make against the current migratory wave is that our grandparents and parents came here legally so why don't Jose and Maria do the same? Well, America of 2006 is not the America that my family came to in 1915 (and when they came they also pushed aside better-paid longer-term residents and citizens). Our work force is vastly older and immensely better educated and skilled than even fifty years ago. The industrial revolution which was roaring ahead a century ago has given way, unfortunately, to a service economy. Barring Mexicans from coming across the border is not going to magically re-open shuttered car and tractor factories. On the contrary, if you could even plausibly tamp down the inflow, you would only increase the out-migration of American business.

Our national economy easily absorbs and desperately needs about a million-and-a-half immigrant workers per year to grow and compete. We let a million of them come in legally. The other half million we make run and dart across the border at cost of great peril. Our reality has outstripped our laws -- and our way of framing the issue. In the end, it will make little difference who prevails in this year's debate as nothing will change on the ground -- backlash or not. It's a little like debating the tides. Meanwhile, someone throw my pal Bill Bradley a rope. He's waded in at high tide and has sunk in up to his neck.

UPDATE FOR MONDAY:

Welcome to the numerous readers coming in from linked blogs. There's been a lot of reaction to this story and to this posting. Here's some of it:

Bill Bradley responds. Sort of. He's been very insitent on telling us the obvious i.e. that political forces desirous of scapegoating immigrants will use the size and imagery of Saturday's rally to further scapegoat them. No doubt. I'll be interested to hear what Bill actually proposes as an immigration policy rather than simply telling immigrants it is counter-productive to protest their own proposed criminalization. When MLK convened a couple of hundred thousand "negroes" around the reflecting pool in 1962 it also energized his opposition while simultaneously marking the rising tide of a civil rights movement. That's the nature of politics: action -- reaction. It's not predetermined which side of the equation will eventually triumph. Just as an aside, you will remember that at the time American blacks were also "illegals" in many states-- barred and subject to prosecution for drinking out of the wrong fountain, trying to go to the wrong school etc. etc.

L.A.- based Republican political consultant and respected analyst Allan Hoffenblum has posted a note in the comments section below: "Marc, you got it right. The major differences between now and 1994? The increased voting/political power of Latinos, many more Republicans today understanding the significance of this AND George W. Bush is not acting like Pete Wilson." Allan's a smart guy -- not just because he agrees with me. But because he's one of the most honest and prescient political analysts to be found. He's got an uncanny record of accurate predictions.

I also got a note from James. K Galbraith, son of the legendary John Kenneth Galbraith and a celebrated economist in his own right. "I'm with you all the way on this one," he emailed me on Sunday. "Feel free to add me to your list of allies." Jamie wrote about all this quite eloquently for Salon back in 2004. He explained just what GW Bush had in mind when he proposed a "guest worker" program back then. Fortunately, Bush's orginal idea has been reworked and its more enlightened proponents are now using the term "guest worker" as merely a marker for a program that would go way beyond the onerous bracero schemes of the 50's and 60's.

One of my other pals, Tamar Jacoby, perfectly laid out what's right and what's wrong about "guest worker" in Sunday's Washington Post. The former deputy editor of the NY Times op-ed section, Tamar is now a fellow at the center-right Manhattan Institute and has become, without parallel, America's foremost advocate of sensible immigration reform. Go, Tamar!

On a related point: another blood-brother pal, Dan Kowalski, the Austin-based immigration lawyer and editor of Lexis' Bender's Immigration Bulletin, has also posted a comment pointing out one helluva detail. Some have tried to write off the Sensenbrenner Bill -- the putative target of Saturday's protest-- as purely symbolic, something that Bush himself doesn't support. Wrong. While it is, indeed, unlikely (though hardly impossible) that the Senate would ratify a similar measure, Kowalski provides the link reminding us that Bush did in fact endorse the Sensenbrenner hare-brainer of a bill.

A day late, The New York Times finally catches up on this past week's rallies which have "astonished" all observers. One tidbit that the NYT advances is the still fully-undisclosed role that the (conservative) National Hispanic Association of Evangelicals played in supporting and organizing many of these protests. Meeting behind the scenes with the Catholic establishment forged an unusual alliance between the two groups -- at least on this issue.

This just in... While our friend Bill Bradley has decided to punt on policy recommendations he has returned to his excellent reporting on California politics. He's got a gem about how clueless Democratic guberbnatorial challenger Phil Angelides is on this issue. Sensenbrenner? Guest Worker? Huh? Let me get staff on it right away. No hurry Phil... looks like you'll have plenty of time after November.

More to come on this story as it continues to develop. I have a long piece on the border and immigration coming out in the May issue of The Atlantic. It should be online a week from today.

428 Responses to “Immigration Issue Explodes [Updated]”

  1. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    Great post this time, Marc — except you don’t quite say how many immigrants are here legally in as much detail as I’d think would be excellent: “We let a million of them come in legally. The other half million we make run and dart across the border at cost of great peril.”

    How many are legally let in from Mexico each year?

    You also avoid the English language issue, which is the biggest cultural thing — lazy Americans don’t want to go into a shop in America where they don’t speak English.

    [Slovaks aren't happy going to Southern Slovakia and going into shops where they only speak Hungarian. Especially Slovaks from the north who never go into such shops.]

    The other real issues are how many, legally, and who pays for their services. I still think offering high priced tax loans is better than the bill you referred to. “Let the market decide” — where the politicians set a price, and see if that’s still too many or not enough. And then change.

  2. Erik Says:

    While it’s true that the protests are in fact rallying in favor of legalizing immigration that is currently illegal, if they instead involved gun nuts demonstrating in favor of legalizing currently illegal assault rifles me thinks the headline debate would get turned nicely upside-down.

    Meanwhile, Tom Gray, calling (Anglo) Americans or non-Magyar Slovaks “lazy” because they don’t want to go out of their way to learn a minority language simply goes against common sense. The U.S. is playing with fire by allowing a large minority population to exist that cannot meaningfully speak the effective national language – especially a minority population from a neighboring country that used to own large parts of the US, as Hungary used to own Slovakia.

  3. Cenizo in Austin Says:

    Another subtle, but important, Bradley error. Bradley asks, “Was this rally necessary to defeat a bill that George W. Bush does not support? ” On the contrary, when H.R. 4437 passed the House, Bush immediately “applauded” the House for passing a “reform” bill, official approval that still stands on the White House website here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2005/12/20051216-13.html

  4. rjf Says:

    Great post Marc. Unfortunately, see above posts, we seem to have pulled in the Samuel Huningtion crowd. Nothing like the old culturalist arguement that language dilution in the U.S. via an increased spanish speaking population will destroy “anglo traditions” like rational thought, education, and democracy; in generally all the Enlightenment values. the act of drawing a line around these values as the essential terrian of the anglo, it seems obvious, negates the entire idea of the Enlightenment; in affect creating an anti-enlightened State. As an educator- high school teacher- I have long supported making spanish a required class from 7th to 11th grade.

    If we could formalize immigration, part of the process would include mandated and free adult english education. These ideas would necessitate fairly large scale government funding so I am sure they will be regected by both the pure culture and free market crowd.

  5. Katie Says:

    a virtual “exodus” of millions from a failed Mexican economy

    Have activists given any thought on how facilitating the exodus of Mexico’s able-bodied youth deepens the failure of the Mexican economy and further entrenches poverty? (See Jay Root’s portrait of Mexico’s villages, “the export of human labor has been devastating.”)

    As far as nativist reaction, there’s the recent passage of Senate Bill 529, “Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act.” “Polls show that more than 80 percent of Georgians want the Legislature to deal with illegal immigration. ” (AJC)

    When I spoke on the phone last night with my mother in Houston, she commented on the demonstration in LA (uneasy about it) and she drew my attention to the Georgia legislation. She thinks it is unrealistic to believe that we can deport even a fraction of the 12,000,000 undocumented migrants but wants the exodus stopped. She firmly believes the presence of undocument migrant labor is depressing wages especially in the construction trade. As she leaves for work in the morning, Houstonian men are now standing along well traveled roads holding up signs seeking jobs in carpentry and plumbing. She thinks it’s a lie that the migrants take jobs Americans are unwilling to tackle.

  6. Alan Alexis Says:

    Enough Already!
    Marc,you and Bill have it wrong.
    See the MeCha And La Raza websites. Many illegals do not want to assimilate. The want “Mexico” to be here in America. Same Culture,Same Langauge,Same Everything. Only Difference… Free Benefits,and Much Higher wages.
    I am tired of the same old Nativist aruments.
    Try pulling the same stunts that the “immigration supporters” pull in Mexico.

    Try doing a google search for “Reconquista”
    Try reading what many people are saying in Spanish.
    Then tell me I am wrong.

  7. Test Says:

    “like rational thought, education, and democracy; in generally all the Enlightenment values.”

    This is funny, because since when have the Nazi Rednecks who make up the Minutemen movement been in favor of any of these things. One of the things those guys hate is the Enlightenment… as embodied in the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

    Huntington is interesting though.. he makes one very good point, which is that American Catholics have abandoned Catholicism and embraced the System (the very System that used to hate their Irish and Italian ancestors with the same ferocity as it hates Latin Americans now). It’s a very anti-Catholic book… and it is unfortunately true of many of my Catholic relatives, who are just as hate-filled toward their Mexican co-religionists as any fundamentalist.

  8. Mark A. York Says:

    There’s actually dissent over illegals in the hispanic community itself where they go for refuge so it’s not as cut and dry as portrayed. This is about jockeying for space and has nothing to do with race and religion. Those as always are just wallpaper.

  9. Bill Bradley Says:

    Marc, where would you like to go for your vacation?

  10. rjf Says:

    Test, I whole heartedly agree. My point was to expose ( like its not blatantly obvious) the BS that is implicit in the minutemen charade and Hintington thesis. The second you bracketed the pursuit of freedom and the U.S. declaration of Independence as essentially anglo you negate their entire meaning.

    The minutmen types I know are always the first to wipe the constitution out of their backpocket. All of these law and order types love to quote the texts; showing that memorization and comprehsion are two seperate mental functions.

  11. Art Wesley Says:

    For me,what this issue boils down to is whether or not we take an economic hit inthe near term by cracking down on illegal immigration or risk sovereignity issues in parts of the West and Southwest in a generation’s time. The McCain- Kennedy and Bush proposals if enacted into law will make this latter outcome, in all likelihood, inevitable because they are de facto open border policies.

  12. Bill Bradley’s NEW WEST NOTES » Blog Archive » Illegal Immigration Rally: Two Veteran Columnist/Bloggers Weigh In … Says:

    [...] … One agreeing with me that there just might be a backlash from this. And one old friend saying, rather emotionally, that there is no problem. [...]

  13. Rich Says:

    Marc, your point about our economy metamorphosizing from an industrial economy into a service economy is actually an argument for tighter immigration laws, particularly from the perspective of lower-middle and lower-income U.S. workers. As the higher-paying industrial jobs disappear, as more industries erase benefits and drop wages in competing with China and other increasingly industrial (but still cheap-labored) countries, there will be greater competition for non-exportable service jobs. So the upshot is that U.S. workers lose twice: cheap labor in other countries pressures wages to fall in globalized industries, and cheap domestic labor pressures wages to fall in domestic service industries. Plus, the kicker: Latin Americans with dual residency (if made ‘legal’ here) and homes in their native countries are able to maintain a higher standard of living by returning to a drastically more affordable economy whenever they wish. Lower-waged U.S.-born workers do not have that option.

    In sum, I think you’re unfairly simplifying the issue, and if I were cynical I might say that as a wealthy Woodland Hills professional it’s very easy for you to be so cavalier about allowing our labor pool swell–after all, your USC gig is unlikely to be usurped by a poor Mexican anytime soon. My uncle, however, who is an unskilled, low-IQ middle-aged man working in janitor jobs all his life, doesn’t have such a luxury.

    NB: As I’ve said before in these discussions, I’ve seen all sides of the immigration issue, worked for a Latino social service organization for several years, lived in Guatemala for two years, and have fought for economic justice both here and outside the U.S. So, “anti-immigrant” I am not.

  14. rosedog Says:

    Excellent and nuanced post, marc.

    About: “But can you name even two prominent national Dmeocrats who have taken up this cause in a serious way?”

    As you mention, Ted Kennedy is one.

    Barney Frank is the other one. I suppose one can argue that he’s not a big enough name. But he has put his Congressional ass on the line repeatedly with his attempts to pass versions of the Family Reunification Act, which would have softened the worst elements of the 1996 immigration law. Had 9/11 not occurred when it did he likely would have succeeded.

  15. Kit Stolz Says:

    No easy answers for this quiz, obviously, but what stands out to me is the total lack of faith the immigrant community (and their supporters, including the Catholic Church) has in the Bush administration. Bush and Rove want to reach out to immigrants for electoral reasons and are making noises that sound reasonable in headlines, but despite the fact that Bush did win over a decent percentage of the Hispanic vote in Texas, it’s obvious that he’s feared and hated in California today among immigrants. If this is true nationwide, he’s in even bigger trouble than it looks…and it’s not looking good.

  16. Mark A. York Says:

    http://tinyurl.com/gsos4

    What rich said. As more and more manufacturing jobs decline to offshore workers, the more we have living here for multiple generations from all races who will have to take them. We’re all in service industries. The lifeboat simply can’t absorb all who want to come. It’s a biological reality, that due to the great scientific ignorance on the whole, wiped out in part by sociology (more open to agendas) few care to address: overpopulation, destruction of land and so on. It is what it is irrespective of what one perceives.

  17. Mike Law Says:

    >> since when have the Nazi Rednecks who make up the Minutemen movement been in favor of any of these things

    How ignorant. Nice appeal to emotion.

    How about being resolute in saying: illegal immigration is illegal?
    How about being resolute in saying: employing illegal immigrants is illegal?

    We could provide amnesty for those already here, if only for logistical reasons… but we need to secure our border, if it is in our power to do so.

    Mexicans and Latinos do not deserve a free immigration pass. Nobody does.

  18. richard lo cicero Says:

    Marc on this issue I agree with Bill Bradley 100%. Those Mexican flags will feature promenently in GOP ads this fall as the Republicans will use “Border Security – Illegal Immigration” as the issue to save them from Iraq, Dubai. Abramoff, etc. Kevin Phillips, who knows a thing or two about politics, thinks that the great wave of recent immigration, legal or otherwise, need to slow so that we can take a breather to assimilate this new crowd just as we did earlier.

    Look, all this nonsense about the illegal immigrant doing essential work that Americans won’t is Chamber of Commerce/Farm Bureau balony. And Globalony at that. Just like NAFTA and WTO have benefited the consumer Marc! There is no job Americans won’t do if you pay them enough. And why should taxpayers have to subsidize employers with all kind of services that would be unnecessary if a living wage were payed workers. And the workers are ALWAYS going to be exploited since their status is dubious. A perfect “Reserve Army of the Unemployed” to use to depress wages in jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. So we bring the Third World Here.

    Of course the Sensenbrenner bill is atrocious. But it is there to win back GOP votes. The Bush bill is just as bad. “Guest Workers”? Can you say Bracero? Democrats shoukd call the Republican’s bluff. Lets increase enforcement of the laws prohibiting employers from hiring people with no documentation. It is a crime after all. And increase the penalties – fines, jail and confiscation of businesses ala the drug laws or the tax code. Get rid of the magnet and we don’t have to deport 11 million. And I am willing to consider those 11 million for residency with the type of conditions that Kennedy and McCain are talking about. Finally, and I’ve mentioned this before, a new deal with Mexico and Central America, to create the kind of development zones there that the EU used to raise the poorer parts of Europe. With real goals for Mexico – no excuses for the Mexican political class. Illegal Immigration has been a safety valve too long for them.

    Do I expect any of this? Nope. But Marc you have got to stop seeing this as a rerun of “Salt of the Earth”. Or stop ridiculing those who like Hugo Chavez or support Censure. Frankly they are on sturdier ground.

  19. Rich Says:

    rlc: Excellent points. Have missed your commenting around here–hope to see more of it.

  20. rosedog Says:

    Hey, RLC….as rich said, very nice to see you around. Your point of view is always a welcome one.

  21. Mark A. York Says:

    Definitely rlc. That’s the money post. Nicely done.

  22. Kathy Says:

    McCain and Kennedy are the best, practicable and realistic proposals!!!!

  23. IllegalImmigrationNews Says:

    I certainly hope that we won’t see the following if these illegal aliens don’t get what they want:

    immigration-issue-explodes-2
    immigration-issue-explodes-3
    immigration-issue-explodes-4

    Has anyone given any thought to what might happen if we don’t give these illegal aliens what they want?

    Will they riot?

    If we absolutely needed to deport even a million or two of our illegal aliens, what would happen?

    Isn’t this an extremely dangerous situation that reveals the absolute corruption of those who support illegal immigration?

    And, speaking of Georgia, the march there was organized by a former Mexican General Consul.

    Will Marc Cooper look into any other connections between the organizers of the other marches and the governments of Mexico, Ireland, and other countries?

    Will the Democratic Party support or oppose foreign government meddling in our internal politics and agitating their citizens in our country?

  24. Jim Rockford Says:

    Marc — you are absolutely wrong on this one.

    1. LA Rally was 20,000, not half a million. LA Times is as usual, wrong. CNN reports only 20K. I’ve seen the pictures, far less than people in the Rose Bowl for the National Championship.

    2. Identity politics is Identity Politics. “Viva Mexico” and Mexican Flags means illegal immigrants are asking for special group rights over every other group. If you are not Mexican you lose, and since nationally and in California Mexicans are sill a minority, the identity politics drive the Sensenbrenner Bill towards passage. If the demonstrations prove nothing else, it’s that working class Latinos (many of whom are not Mexican), African Americans, Asians, and Anglos are on the outside and will be shoved back in line. Mayor Tony’s attendance was a big red flag that Non-Mexicans get second-class treatment in his Admin.

    3. Illegal immigration creates winners and losers. Winners include employers with cheaper labor, and ethnic group leaders such as Mayor Tony. Losers include those who’s wages drop because of the influx of constantly exploited cheap labor, the pool growing constantly larger, until wages are equalized at Mexican standards of something like $1 per hour. [This is what you are arguing for Marc]

    4. Illegal immigration equals loss of sovereignty. Eventually the US will simply intervene in Mexico openly, if we are obliged to employ every Mexican (which is the demands of the demonstrators). That will lead inevitably to annexation of Mexico by force and running the former country as a dependent territory for a generation or five prior to statehood. Good Fences make Good Neigbors.

    5. Bradley and Kaus are right and you are wrong because you are drawing the wrong lessons from Prop 187. That measure passed by 67% of voters. Pete Wilson got elected on it. What killed the Republican Party was not “energizing Latino Voters” since Latino Voters did not increase much post 187 (about 4% increase IIRC). Instead what happened was the massive EXODUS post 1993 Clinton Defense cuts of all the Aerospace workers who were overwhelmingly white and Republican. To places like AZ, TX, NV, ID, UT, etc. Nationally the outcome of this is that Republicans stand up for the non-Mexican illegal immigrant throughout the Nation and Dems are pushing special privileges for Mexican illegal immigrants (who are not votes btw). Electoral wedge issue ala Pete Wilson.

    6. The felony provision of the Sensebrenner bill was stripped (sadly). I will note that Mexico treats it’s illegal immigrants from the South VERY harshly.

    7. Illegal immigration is a security hole for drug smuggling and terrorists.

    8. Twelve million illegals already depress wages; forty million (40% of Mexico’s 100 million people want to work in the US) promises exponentially lower wages. Unless action is taken NOW to restrict illegal immigration wages promise to plummet across the board.

    9. Pro-Illegal immigration is “conspicuous consumption” politics. “I’m so elite I’m not affected by it, that’s for stupid working men and women.” It’s about as fruitful as burning the Flag or Screenwriter Steven Gaghan pontificating about “Communism is the wave of the future” from his Malibu mansion.

    EVERY working class citizen and legal resident has a paycheck interest in keeping economic competition down and thus will support the Sensebrenner bill.

    Americans are very sympathetic to individuals arguing for a fair shake and equal treatment under the law. They largely reject the Volk Marxist argument of caste and special group rights for favored identity groups. Which these rallies are asking for.

    I personally believe Mexico (and the Philippines too) corrupt oligarchy and poverty are exacerbated and sustained by the remittance regimes. Cut it off and the people will demand an end to the corruption and violence and autocracy that keeps them in poverty. Good fences DO make good neighbors.

    Huntington: he himself argues that rather than “Latinization” what will happen is Anglicization in nations like Mexico in particular which is already happening. That furthermore Latin American and Anglophone civilizations are not that different, and Latin American civilization because of autocracy is weaker culturally and will be absorbed sooner or later by the Anglophone civilization (how many second generation kids here speak Spanish?) However you can’t have special privileges for one group (Mexican illegal immigrants) and maintain a legal system that is based on individual not group rights. Inevitably Asians, Anglos, and other groups will also press “identity politics” and press for their group rights and you have disaster.

    I agree completely with RLC (except the very last Para and his characterization of the Sensenbrenner bill). I’ll add that Robert J. Samuelson describes the effect of the tomato canners when the Bracero program ended: they paid marginally more money in wages to US workers and automated. These are good things.

  25. Doc Says:

    “Every immigrant who comes here should be required within five years to learn English or leave the country.” — Theodore Roosevelt

    This country besides many other things is quite diverse. This actually brings an additional challenge to the government and to the people to keep the country united and stable.

    So I think it’s important that the people who come here assimilate and become Americans. Otherwise, the American society will crumble and fall apart.
    (Think of riots in Paris.)

    As a person who was born overseas, I should say that the people of this country are quite tolerant to each others’ differences and try to live together. You might not realize this, because you grew up in this society and take this for granted, but this tolerance is very very valuable.

    However, believe that the government and the people can still be more proactive in integrating newcomers into the society. Because otherwise (and this is what i observe) immigrants stick to themselves, americans stick to themselves, and we have a mosaic rather than a melting pot.

    For example, you can invite a foreign/immigrant friend to a Thanksgiving dinner. It might seem like a small thing to you, but it makes a big difference to the person.

    I hope it all makes sense.

  26. Doc Says:

    “People who have entered the U.S. improperly and who stay here have, in fact, not violated any criminal statutes but are instead in violation of civil codes– even though they are commonly called ‘illegals.’”

    Immigration and Nationality Act is a federal law. Every alien who crossed the border uninspected (i.e. without going through the customs) are unadmissible and I think deportable.

    Illegal aliens are breaking the federal law. Does it make them criminals? I don’t know.

  27. GregF Says:

    Mr. Rockford rightly makes the connection between the effects of economic policy/corruption in Mexico with the influx of Mexican workers. What he fails to recall is that the economy of our southern neighbor is the stepchild of NAFTA. The wide-open playing field sought by corporations has not created better conditions for workers in Mexico; in many cases it has actually worsened them. (No surprise there) Right now, the fat cats are two-timing both countries and getting away with it. Cheap immigrant labor keeps agribusiness happy here, while the lack of labor laws ensured by NAFTA (that’s POLICY, my friend, not corruption–unless you are arguing that the policy is in effect corrupt, in which case you’re largely correct) in Mexico keep stateside stockholders “lovin’ it”, as well. A nuevo Bracero program would only enshrine and legalize the status quo that US agribusiness enjoys now. They’re lovin’ that, too. What we need to realize is how OUR policies have helped create an economic context in Mexico that pushes ever more workers to seek, whether legally or illegally, money for their families on our side of the border. In fact, it’s less fences than it is enlightened economic policy which makes good neighbors. We ignore this at our peril.
    PS to Mr. Alexis, above: There are nut jobs of all political stripes on the net. Anybody can make a nifty website these days. The rantings of the “reconquista” fringe are just that. You could just as well argue that the Idaho militia boys and their adherents are going to take us over.

  28. Eleanore kjellberg Says:

    What the immigration issue does illustrates, is that the “war on terror” is nothing more than a bunch of “dog poop.”

    If there are as many as 12 million illegal immigrants, one in every 20 workers, and if 850,000 illegal immigrants arrive every year to the U.S., then one needs to ask what; the F___K is ”VIVA BUSH” doing about national security, besides giving non-bid war contracts to his friends?

  29. Bill Bradley Says:

    Illegal Immigration Rally: Two Veteran Columnist/Bloggers Weigh In …
    March 26th, 2006
    … One (Slate and New Republic veteran Mickey Kaus) agreeing with me that there just might be a backlash from this. And one old friend (Nation and LA Weekly veteran Marc Cooper) saying, rather emotionally, that there is no problem at all.

    What we have here is an enormous rally, the largest of many around the country, seeking to justify and in essence legalize what has been a massive wave of illegal immigration into this country. If there was someone joining the ralliers in downtown Los Angeles yesterday who does not support that massive wave of illegal immigration, that person was quite lost. But support for the illegal immigration was the minimum requirement for participation. There were also some who favor an open border, which would make what we have seen so far, controversial enough, seem small.

    I am no expert on immigration policy, nor on Latin America. But I have been participating in and analyzing California politics and Presidential politics for a few decades. Illegal immigration has been a significant factor in those politics for a long time. I first began writing about the potential impacts of illegal immigration on California politics in 1991. However one might wish it otherwise and rationalize it away, it is difficult to be a serious political analyst and not acknowledge the potentially significant impacts on, among other things, the California governor’s race, of such events. We saw it here in dramatic fashion in 1994, after all. Even the late Miguel Contreras, L.A.’s famous left-liberal labor chieftain, saw the danger and tried to persuade his protege Fabian Nunez not to participate.

    We’re not in the middle of a recession now but we are in the midst of a period of significant economic anxiety. Illegal immigration has rated consistently high on a list of concerns in public opinion polling, but it has not been a hot button issue. Events like yesterday’s can change that.

  30. bunkerbuster Says:

    Anyone has a natural right to seek the highest bidder for their labor.

    For a global free market to function effectively, it is essential that they be allowed to do so.

    At the moment, capital flows across borders more freely every day, while labor, the only asset of 90 percent of the world’s population, is highly restricted. This causes severe pricing distortions in the labor market, resulting in the perpetuation of pockets of poverty on both sides of the border.

    To anyone who understands why free market capitalism maximizes human freedom, dignity and wealth, it should be obvious that labor freedom must match capital freedom both as a human right and as a functional principle.

    As long as capital is free to cross the border, so should people be.

    Obviously, there is a need to transition to this kind of free market in labor, given the sweeping changes it brings to economies on both sides of the border. It can’t happen overnight.

    But the discussion should originate from a recognition that humans have an inherent right to bid their labor freely, regardless of nationality and policy should be aimed at guaranteeing that freedom to the extent that it is feasible.

  31. Rob Grocholski Says:

    Marc:

    Maybe there oughta be some sort of supera-Western Hemishere-common-citizenship thingy from Canada to Chile. I mean, heck, we passed NAFTA to streamline the promotion of trade & capital. Isn’t it a matter of time that the dog-gone humans and the labor part of free trade started getting international.

    Just a crazy little thought.

  32. Tonjia Says:

    Heres the rest of the story, by Jay Root, Knight Ridder Newspapers.

    “Heavy migration has all but emptied much of the Mexican countryside.”

    “Money sent back to Mexico from those working in the United States reached a record high last year, 20 BILLION, making remittances from migrants Mexico’s second largest source of income, surpassed only by oil exports.”

    “In five states, including Zacatecas, remittances from abroad now equal 100 per cent or more of the salaries generated locally.. In the state of Michoacan, money sent home from the United States is 182 percent of in-state incomes.”

    “The population drain is no secret in tiny Joaquin Amaro…there are nine times more people from this town living in Cicero, Ill. than in Jaoquin Amaro itself.”

    “The number of illegal immigrants estimated to be in the U.S. has grown by nearly 50 percent in the last six years, to 12 million, according to a report released this month by the Pew Hispanic Center.”

    “Narce Cardona Lopez, 28, said she was shocked when she went to the Zacatecas immigrant assistnace office recently for advice on how to take her 2 year old daughter who was born in the US, back to Oakland CA for treatment of a hip condition. She said the agency director told her to do like others before her have done: Hire a “coyote” or smuggler, sign up her US born kids for welfare in CA and have somebody send the money back here.”

    “The Foreign Affairs Ministry published a 32 page booklet, modeled after a popular comic book, titled “Guide for the Mexican Immigrant”, while counseling against an illegal crossing, gives advice on when to cross the desert, how to dress for a swim across the river and what to do when lost.”

    Immigrating into this country, is against the laws of this country, for a reason. That express reason, would be national security. People who immigrate illegally are law breakers and should suffer the consequences of their choice to break the law, just like drug dealers, tax evaders, and drunk drivers. They “have families” too. We do not fail to prosecute them simply because they have families that might be destroyed by their decision to break the law. They should have taken that into consideration, before they decided to break the law. So should illegals.

    This is not a question of compassion or human rights, it is a matter of law. We are free here, because we generally abide by the laws, that allow us to live and be free, and get along.

    As far as the comment “They are picking on the weakest link in society, which has built this country”, since when is Mexico the author and finisher of a government of the people for the people and by the people?

    “Everybody deserves the right to a better life” Then go back to your own country, and make it better. Hold rallies and demonstrations there, build up the piles of rubble you call towns, overthrow your government, established a constitution based on human rights, and THEN you WILL have the RIGHT to a better life.

    I have lived in New Mexico for eight years. We have a huge dairy industry here, supported almost exclusively by illegal aliens. They work 12 hour shifts, around the clock, for 50 to 60 dollars a day, depending on the dairy.

    I also work in construction. Every construction crew is primarily supported by illegals. They make $6 an hour on average.

    They are clean, hard working, polite, respectable people, the ones whom I have run into, but they are illegal. No one knows who they are, where they are, how many there are, or why they are here. It is a huge national security problem, in a time of war, a war of infiltration, no less. None of their labor supports our economy. It supports Mexicos economy.

    It is also illegal to aid harbor or abet illegal aliens. I support the laws of this great nation, which laws have given, and do give us the freedoms we enjoy.

    The attitude that we can be a free nation by becoming a lawless nation, and ignoring or changing the laws for any cause, is deeply disturbing to me.

    A criminal is a criminal. The message we are sending is that laws are meaningless, you don’t have to abide by them, they’re just suggestions. And much crime is committed by illegals. It takes a criminal to enter this country illegally, and then we are surprised at the criminal mentality they bring with them, and the crime that follows them.

    They have no business here. They are lawbreakers, who cannot respect the rule of a law abiding society. If they are concerned about their families being broken up, they are welcome to take their families back to Mexico with them, to help them rebuild the rubbles, hold rallies and demonstrations, and help in the building of The New Republic of Mexico.

    Other than that, my best suggestion is that we ANNEX Mexico, and make it part of the US, subject to all US laws. We could have a land run, just like they did in Oklahoma. There’s an idea.

  33. Doc Says:

    Rob Grocholsk and to all:

    There is a book “The Global Class War” by Jeff Faux, where he discusses the effects of NAFTA and globalization on the living standards in the USA.

    It explains many many things.

  34. bunkerbuster Says:

    Tonjia: what about the natural right of Mexicans to offer their labor to the highest bidder?

  35. Eleanore kjellberg Says:

    “For a global free market to function effectively, it is essential that they be allowed to do so”

    Bunkerbuster,

    The only thing free about free trade is “free labor”—globalization is intended to benefit the global elite not the workers.

    Globalization increases income and social disparities within and among nations.

    Globalization has exploited many, but it always protects those who own capital —it does not benefit wage earners who do not invest in this exploitation.

    Can there be economic justice, if the 200 richest people in the world, have a greater combined income than all of the other two billion people that occupy our planet; one might safely say, that there is a slight economic injustice.

    The American working-class resent the myth perpetuated by Bush, when he states that American workers won’t take the jobs that are taken by illegal immigrants.

    That is not true, Americans won’t allow themselves to be exploited, but they would take these same jobs, if they were compensated fairly.

    Another point of contention, is that the American working-class, feels that they are subsidizing corporate labor costs with their own tax dollars, when they see certain social benefits given to illegal immigrant families, such as: welfare, free education, free medical, housing assistance, etc. – benefits that corporations won’t provide.

    So the resentment is only natural, if you have a population who are forced to support those who will eagerly take their jobs at a devalued wage.

    Now if you’re an affluent LA housewife, who needs a housekeeper, laundress, cook and nanny to maintain your 6000 square foot abode “on the cheap”—you might have a slightly different take on this issue.

  36. Eleanore kjellberg Says:

    Doc–I read Faux’s book from cover to cover it was excellent!

  37. Mark A. York Says:

    “As long as capital is free to cross the border, so should people be.”

    False anaolgy. They can offer it to the highest bidder in any country where they are legal to work. Trouble is it is the lowest that they are competing for and the US worker by proxy.

  38. Mark A. York Says:

    Good points Eleanore. The Faux book looks good. I saw his talk on C-Span.

  39. HispanicTips - Hispanic-Latino news & commentary Says:

    Marc Cooper » Immigration Issue Explodes. Good Read…

    “Saturday saw the largest political demonstration in the history of Los Angeles, and one of the biggest in recent American history.immigration1.jpg
    A half-million people or more flooded two dozen blocks of downtown L.A. to give voice to some sort…

  40. Tonjia Says:

    Bunkbuster,

    I am no economics expert but this is what I see.

    Within my own country, which happens to be a capitalist country, as opposed to socialist or communist, I have the right to offer my labor to the highest bidder. One, because I am a citizen and legal resident, who can, by law, offer such services, legally. Two, it is a capitalist society, in which such action is acceptable, and encouraged, by laws that result in freedom, security, and prosperity.

    There is no such “natural” right, as you assume, except under law, and under government, in a capitalist society, within ones own economic system.

    It is these same laws, in THIS country, that have kept US free, kept US wealthy, and the greatest nation on earth, by NOT allowing such rights and such freedoms without citizenship in this country. Without a vested interest in the future of this land, as the land of the FREE.

    Any nation on earth is free to seek what we have acheived by modeling their nation after ours. By forming a nation and an economy based on the principals that have worked here and kept us free and prosperous. Why don’t they?

    Because it is not freedom that they love, it is the wealth that freedom produces. They desire the wealth, which is produced by freedom, at no cost to themselves, or their dictatorships, or human rights violations. They wish to practice oppression, subjegation, communism, socialism, etc., and at the same time benefit from the wealth produced by nations that are free. And they do this by coming into this country, and carrying that wealth home to their dictatorships, where they violate human rights and start hate america campaigns. Wealth without freedom, wealth without responsibility, wealth without creating, or producing anything. Wealth at the expense of the free, while they retain all that is counterproductive to wealth within their own societies.

    We are not helping the cause of human rights. We are enabling the continuance of regimes that violate human rights, by allowing them to share in the wealth of the free. It is not the natural order of things.

    The natural order of things, is that freedom brings wealth. We have proven it.

    If other peoples want what we have, LET FREEDOM RING in those nations, and they will have what we have.

    We gave blood for ours, what are they willing to give for theirs? Nothing. They are not interested in freedom, only in the wealth that it has produced, which can be used to propagate their own corrupt, totalitarian ways of thinking.

  41. Debra Says:

    You said that the rally was not staged. I’m sorry
    but it was on the spanish speaking radio stations
    all week. They were calling the people to come to
    the protest
    Debra

  42. Bill Bradley Says:

    Well, of course, rallies don’t simply happen. They are organized. They cost money to stage. People don’t know when and where to come through a process of osmosis. Let’s not be naive.

    I’m all for people demonstrating for whatever cause they support. What I question is not their right — even if a great many are not citizens of this country — to do so, but their wisdom in doing so.

  43. Marc Cooper Says:

    I’ll pass that along to the half-million who came out. Who knew so many could be so wrong? LOL!

  44. Rick Miller Says:

    You might be surprised to learn that Hispanics who did things the legal and right way are not so happy with the free pass so many liberals want to give to the new “immigrants” The fact that the US is not the same country as it was 50 or more years ago is meaningless. When we cease to be a nation of laws, and when we fail to enforce the laws we have, we begin to destroy one of the things that has made this country what it is. A beacon for law abiding, freedom loving people everywhere.

  45. justice Says:

    What is a citizenship? Who defines it?

    I say, those anti-immigrant racist can go back to Europe if they are not comfortable with non-white native people of Americas. White European came to this country illegally, this country was founded illegally against the will of its native citizens. And they called themselves “Pilgrims”. Yah pilgrims, rather butcher. Now they are not happy that others are coming here too. What a shitty attitude is that???

  46. Bill Bradley Says:

    Marc, as you know, the number of people who are politically unwise on any given issue far exceeds that number on a daily basis. LOL

    I am simply telling you, based on decades of combined experience at a senior level in presidential and gubernatorial campaigns and in analyzing such campaigns that yesterday’s rally tempts political fate.

    It is clearly not politically correct to point out this inconvenient fact, it is clearly not romantic to point out this inconvenient fact, it simply is.

  47. Kathy Says:

    The day before yesterday MSNBC had an article about the outbreak and worry of drug-resistent TB, largely carried by immigrants into this country. They may well be hard working, nice people who want to raise their families. But we don’t know who they are. We don’t know how many of them are sick or criminals. Legal immigrants have background and medical checks. Are all American’s supposed to risk their families to the diseases of the Third World? Further, there are a lot of Americans living in Mexico, they do not have the right to own property there, but illegals here are demanding that right? Frankly, we treat illegals better than they are treated by their own government.

  48. Marc Cooper Says:

    Bill.. I will be sure to mention your presidential credentials when I pass this info along.

    If you’re pointing out — with an excess of words– the simple fact that people who fear immigrants are now going to fear them more and that some politicians might capitalize on pics of Mexican flags etc.. I would say, duh.

    Of course. This is obvious. For every action there is a reaction. This march and the many others however are also in themselves a reaction to the nativist provocations of the last year — acts which have now worked themselves up the ladder and have been codified in a House bill.

    Does one agree that it would be more strategic to have not unfurled Mexican flags? I’d say so. It would also be more strategic if the Mexian immigrants spoke English, looked more Irish and instead whipped out green beer and Irish flags.

    But the world doesnt work that way.

    What’s missing so far from your inflated commentary on this subject is any hint of what policy changes you would actually support. So far your observations tell us nothing we didnt aleady know.

    The world is awaiting you senior presidential level advice. Andale!

  49. bunkerbuster Says:

    Tonjia writes: “There is no such “natural” right, as you assume, except under law, and under government, in a capitalist society, within ones own economic system.”

    The right is natural, the birthright of all humans. Laws are there to guarantee it. Few notions are more inimical to American values than the one that says the government originates human rights. They are inalienable and endowed by the creator. What part of that don’t you understand?

  50. Bill Bradley Says:

    Marc, sorry, nice try.

    You denied this obvious reality that you now seem to accept in your midnight post. You still don’t acknowledge the other half of it, that events like this can frighten the undecided.

    I’m a political analyst. I deal with the real world of electoral politics. It is not my job to advocate a solution to the illegal immigration crisis. A solution that will actually work in the real political world. I don’t have it. I don’t know that anyone does.

  51. justice Says:

    Kathy,
    As an native Indian, this is all I am going to say:
    The Founding Fathers/Mothers of the United States came here Illegally. If the children of those who came here illegally are to be punished, everyone, except us, is to be punished. If not, non-White, non-European has the equal right to come here.

  52. Allan Hoffenblum Says:

    Marc, you got it right. The major differences between now and 1994? The increased voting/political power of Latinos, many more Republicans today understanding the significance of this AND George W. Bush is not acting like Pete Wilson.

  53. Adam Says:

    Bill,
    in your original post at your blog, you said you were waiting for an informed discussion. Marc has authored several thoughtful articles on the subject. What do you think? That’s a legitimate question to ask you beyond your political read on the rally. Is he offering an informed discussion of the issue?

  54. Bill Bradley Says:

    We’ll see when he calms down, Adam.

    Allan Hoffenblum, see my report tomorrow morning for what is really happening.

  55. Doc Says:

    Rick Miller:

    “When we cease to be a nation of laws, and when we fail to enforce the laws we have, we begin to destroy one of the things that has made this country what it is. A beacon for law abiding, freedom loving people everywhere.”

    Exactly! this is another great thing about this country — people obey the law and they respect the law. And this is the reason #1 why I want to stay here.

  56. Kathy Says:

    Justice: The founding fathers did not come here illegally (since there really wasn’t a bordor then) and even native americans came here (thousands of years earlier). But 300 or so years back everyone was carrying disease. But now most first world nations have medical care. Mexico, while it has medical care for its affluent, is very lacking for its poor and then they come here which makes it our problem. It’s not really their fault but it’s not the fault of American citizens either. Still this is about security not punishment. By the way, I was born here too.

  57. Irwin Says:

    Ruben Navarette – who is a big time foe of unregulated immigration (and properly so) wrote a column about this issue today and basically endorsed the Spector approach plus some additional measures. I also think Allen Hoffenblum has it about right in terms of the politics.

    The Navarette approach is a path to citizenship for long timers with ties and additional conditions – but not blanket amnesty. It is politically sellable. In the Sacramento Valley the visible immigrant-foreign born communities are not Latinos – its Asians and Ukrainians so it’s not as Latino as elsewhere in California. It’s different up here because Hispanics are just part of the equation.

    The cultural solution to this issue will flow from two events: (i) economic developments in Latin America and declining Hispanic birth rates – both noted by Matthew Dowd and (ii) a greater degree of intermarriage along cultural lines.

    On the politics – the issue is can Bush get it done? In that regard he is relying to paraphrase Tennessee Williams the “good will of enemies”: (i) Arlen Spector – a son of Jewish immigrants – born in Kansas, (ii) John McCain who the GOP Establishment has demonized, and (iii) and most importantly the Great-Great grandson of Irish Immigrants and a member of the first family of the Democratic Party – I am of course referring to the Senior Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Teddy Kennedy.

    If I were a Republican who was thinking of a CA statewide run in 2008 or 2010, I would be paranoid about 500,000 persons in the street because most have kids or relatives who are citizens. On the other hand, the interim period is very uncertain. Of those 500,000 I can assure you that represents 2 million votes by the next remap – if not before.

    You are already hearing about the Republicans saying internally that they are likely to lose Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada in 2008 because of this if they are not careful.

    Therefore, I am waiting for Bush and Rove to come down like a ton of bricks on Frist and Sensenbrenner. The real issue is what happens when the Senate starts the debate tomorrow and Frist tries to bypass Judiciary. I see a Trent Lott play in the wings to do pay back.

    Bush has to hope that Teddy, Spector and McCain will work a deal. In sum, while there are massive short term Demo risks here, what is at stake is the long term future of the Republican Party and its fate lies in Teddy Kennedy’s hands.

  58. Doc Says:

    Tonjia,

    there are many laws that regulate employment of aliens. I can sent you the references, if you’d like. And these laws were passed to protect american workers, actually.

    Typically, an employer cannot hire a foreign national unless the employer has done the labor certification for the prospective employee. Two major points of labor certification:
    1. The employer will pay the same wage for the emloyee as she (employer) would pay a US citizen.
    2. Employer has to prove that there are no US citizen qualified and able to perfom this job.

  59. justice Says:

    Kathy,
    That’s exactly the point. There was no border. But now your forefathers fenced oround yourself and called it border only to prevent others like your own forefathers from coming here. It’s not only issue of US. It’s the case of many other places on this planet such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand etc, where White European forcefully stole the land of natives and claimed as their own. Who knows, if the new immigrants are allowed, they will build different types of America. Certainly, when the first Europeans came here, they too came with diseases, hungry, criminal background etc. In fact, first people who came to US or Australia were criminals kicked out of Europe as a death penalty to be lost and dead in the pacific and atlantic.

    The lesson to learn is to realize that human being are necessarily a mobile being and like any other living being, human move from less resourceful place to more resourceful place. Trying to stop such movement is anti-progress and racist.

  60. Bill Bradley Says:

    Doc, is that the way we think things happen in the fields? :)

    The United Farm Workers have been decimated by illegal immigration.

  61. Mark A. York Says:

    “In fact, first people who came to US or Australia were criminals kicked out of Europe as a death penalty to be lost and dead in the pacific and atlantic.”"

    Ah not exactly. See the Winthrop Fleet and the great migration of 1630-40. My family were not criminals. They wanted more room, and became share croppers at first. The statement is an overgeneralization fallacy.

  62. Bill Bradley Says:

    Oh, my God, I didn’t see that gem, Mark. My forebears didn’t come to America as criminals, either. Though they did come some time after that. Quite some time. Don’t they teach American history in school anymore?

    Yes, we are a nation of immigrants, etc. You know what, I am for the illegal immigrants. I think they should have drivers licenses. But I am very concerned that they are bungling the politics of this. And I do think it is perfectly obvious that there is a tipping point at which illegal immigration triggers a very counterproductive reaction. Not to mention the carrying capacity issue.

    It would be nice if everyone in the world could come to America if they wanted to. They can’t.

  63. Mark A. York Says:

    “I’ll pass that along to the half-million who came out. Who knew so many could be so wrong? LOL!”

    http://papyr.com/hypertextbooks/comp1/logic.htm#numerum

    That many people can indeed be both wrong and self-interested.

  64. Doc Says:

    Bill Bradley,

    no, of course not. but this is the way it is done in IT. and there are still people who find ways around the law.

    all this happens because someone benefits from it. there are many laws, but there is always a catch, as we all know …

  65. Bill Bradley Says:

    IT? You mean Information Technology?

    Not exactly one of the fields most prone to illegal immigration, is it?

  66. Bill Bradley Says:

    … I’m not referring to the fabrication end of it.

  67. justice Says:

    Well, “first people who came to US or Australia were criminals kicked out of Europe as a death penalty to be lost and dead in the pacific and atlantic” was a response to Kathy’s quote: “The day before yesterday MSNBC had an article about the outbreak and worry of drug-resistent TB, largely carried by immigrants into this country. They may well be hard working, nice people who want to raise their families. But we don’t know who they are. We don’t know how many of them are sick or criminals”.

    Not everyone who come here have disease. In fact if you go to any hospitals, the best doctors are immigrants, the best computer scientists including Einstine, are immigrants, the media moguls such as Murdoch “FoxTV owner” or many genius are immigrants. The real issue here seems to be color of the people, not the immigrant. Obviously, the anti-immigrants have no problem with immigrants of White Color, it seems.

  68. Mark A. York Says:

    Exactly Bill. I heartily agree with everything you’ve said here. I conside your work a damn fine example of real objectivity. Well done and a stellar journalistic role model.

    My people came in 1635 and had jack squat. Later, Alexander Hamilton saw to it they had less after five generations, prefering to pay foreign contributors to the revolutionary cause over local Americans at the time.

    http://www.genealogy.com/genealogy/users/y/o/r/Mark-a-York/index.html

  69. Mark A. York Says:

    Justice the real issue for YOU is color. To me it’s just an adaptive response to a local environment. The sun: Sol.

  70. Doc Says:

    Bill Bradley,

    Yes, Information Technology. No, it’s not prone to illegal immigration. I gave it just as an example how things work with the employment of aliens.

  71. Bill Bradley Says:

    Well, it is a good example of how things are supposed to work. My friend has a sister who was interested in legally emigrating to America. Her sister is an engineer. But even for her it looks to be a difficult prospect.

  72. rosedog Says:

    First of all, Bill, you lost me at hello when you chose to low-ball the number of marchers as being “between 100,000 and 500,000-plus participants, the latter estimate contained in a pro-rally article filed this afternoon in the Los Angeles Times…..”

    Um, no. Actually, the 500K plus estimate was made by that notoriously pro-illegal immigrant outfit, the LAPD. (You listening, Rockford? Fact checking is your friend. And, CNN didn’t report 20,000 marchers. )

    And while we’re on the subject, if the Times article is “pro-rally” what would a neutral article look like.

    Oh, right. I get it. Yours.

    Bill, you must feel so alone today in your clear-eyed perspective since, it seems that pro-illegals fever is running rife through the clueless media. My God, man, it’s even infected the normally conservative OC Register. (Which can only mean one thing: Crafty immigrants are slipping something in the water, the bastards! D’you think there’s such a thing as a Liberal roofie?)

    To wit, here’s what an obviously deluded OC Register reporter, wrote on the rally:

    “People waved the flags of the United States, Mexico, El Salvador. They chanted in Spanish, “Sí se puede,” meaning “Yes, we can,” and carried signs in English that ran the gamut from “We are not the enemy, we are part of the solution” to “‘Remember how wet your back was on the Mayflower.’
    “For many it was a family affair. Fathers held children in their arms, mothers inched strollers along. One little girl held a handmade sign that read, ‘I refuse to turn my grandparents in….’”
    The horror! The unwise-ness! The backlash!

    Look, I appreciate some of the issues you raise, and was intrigued by your [California Assembly Speaker] Fabian Nunez quote: “You know when we had the big march in L.A. against [the anti-illegal immigrant] Proposition 187 in ’94, Miguel [Contreras] tried to talk me out of it. ‘Are you guys crazy?’ he said. But I wanted to march.”

    But, here’s where we differ again: I didn’t draw at all the same meaning you did from Nunez’ statement.

    I took it to mean that back in ‘94—and yesterday—the masses of people, Fabio Nunez included, who marched against Prop 187 a dozen years ago, and yesterday against the Sensenbrenner bill, did so for reasons that were perhaps not immediately evident to a “political analyst” who deals “… with the real world of electoral politics…”

    In the end, after all the political pluses and minuses were catalogued and counted, they marched because they believed it was the right thing to do. And, y’know Bill? Sometimes that trumps everything.

  73. Bill Bradley Says:

    There are many ways to estimate a crowd. I know this as an old advance man. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know how big the crowd is. In LA, there is plenty of politics around the police. It’s one of the most highly politicized PDs in the country, as you may have heard. The Mayor was one of the principal speakers at the rally.

    The rest is your assertion based on your ideology.

  74. rosedog Says:

    Ooops. About that “alone” thing I mentioned to Bill… My bad. Lots of company here today.

  75. justice Says:

    Mark, the real issue related to Immigration is color or race. That’s the fact. By saying that, I am not labeling everyone that are colorless in the same group. I am not also advocating for the open border policy. The fact that person of color gets picked on even if he/she is native American really sucks. If that is not an indication of anti-immigrant attitude based on color, I don’t know what else.

  76. Paul Spirito Says:

    Has Marc Cooper made the argument that the regulation of borders must fail? Elsewhere, that is. He’ll forgive me if I’m suspicious of those claiming historic inevitability — from Marxists to neocons, the track record sucks.

    For example, has he dealt with the question of what would occur if illegal immigration is made a felony?

  77. Mark A. York Says:

    I think when one decides the other low-balled the size of a crowd the argument is lost, unless of course they low ball it as out of whack as Rockford’s. It looked like big crowd of people to me. And every damn one with a cross to bear of sort sort. Unless someone documents what I used to do in the movies here, [use 100 extras in the stands , move them around for the money shots and fill in the rest digitally or with cardboard cutouts: in any case I got paid!] this is a straw man.

  78. Robert Fiore Says:

    The biggest issue in immigration in my view is the downward pressure it puts on wages at the low end of the scale. You only have to compare custodial job wages in the Northeast and the Southwest to see the effect.

    Otherwise, if you want to look at it that way, it’s a fairly painless way for a rich country to share its wealth with a poor one.

  79. Mark A. York Says:

    Justice, no one is getting picked on because of race.

  80. Bill Bradley Says:

    Yes, actually, now that I think of it, I accurately reported that crowd estimates ranged from 100,000 to 500,000-plus.

    I really dislike it when people attempt to distort what I am saying. And I am not running for president of PC nation, a minority within a minority.

  81. Doc Says:

    Bill Bradley,

    Of course it is difficult. The immigration system is broken, and it is broken ON PURPOSE, as there are many many people who benefit from it: lawyers, so-called consulting firms (they hold your H1-B visa as a middle man), etc …
    And everbody has a share!

    Immigration to Canada and Australia is more streamlined, they use point system. You get your points for your qualifications, once you get score high enough, you qualify for legal permanent residence.

  82. Mark A. York Says:

    How would that point system work for day labor at gardening, lawn care and custodial work? Keeping in mind there is a union for the latter.

  83. Doc Says:

    Mark,

    As it is now say in Canada, it would not. Canada is interested in bringing highly skilled labor.

    In Australia you get extra points if your profession is in high demand. And they update list of such professions periodically.

  84. rosedog Says:

    Bill, reread what you wrote. I quoted you exactly and in context.

    And, I believe I read your intimation quite correctly…..as evidenced by your response when I mentioned the LAPD provenance of the half million figure.

    “In LA, there is plenty of politics around the police. It’s one of the most highly politicized PDs in the country, as you may have heard.”

    Oh, please.

    And, yes, of course, the rest of my post was based on my opinion. (Hmmmm. That might have been why I wrote much of it in the first person.) I’m commenting on a friend’s blog, for heaven’s sake, not reporting . But opinionated though I may be on this issue, it doesn’t cause me to tilt facts.

    Bill, I usually enjoy your political analysis even if I don’t always agree with it. This is one of those times I don’t agree. I’m with Marc: I think you got it wrong. But who’s to say for sure? We’ll only know once this whole, extremely complex issue plays out in the next weeks and years.

    Here’s the deal: I harped on the numbers for a reason, not because they’re important in and of themselves (Mark), but because your presentation of them suggested your own ideology from the get go.

  85. Paul Spirito Says:

    Why are there so many immigrants from Mexico and so few from Malawi and Niger, countries that have recently experienced famine? Why is a common border a moral imperative?

  86. Roger Mc Says:

    Let me get it right. The voters of this country should fear what people who are here illegally say? I think not. They can not vote and if the politicians in D.C. decide on catering to them then they will be the ones out on the street. We need to just close off the border and then decide on what course is best for those citizens of other nations that want to stay here. Some may choose to return home, some may want to stay with conditions that the voters place on them. Some may go even deeper into the underground economy but they may eventually be caught and returned to their home country. We in this country should not fear doing what is right and what is required everwhere else. When Marc casually says we can’t close down the borders that is just an untried claim. If we decide that is what we want then it can be done.

  87. Doc Says:

    I actually just realized something. Australia is a continental country, surrounded by water. Canada borders US. Neither of them faces the problem of aliens crossing the border…

  88. Bill Bradley Says:

    As I said, I don’t know how many people were there and neither do you. I don’t have an “ideology” about the numbers. I do have doubt about a report from a politicized PD regarding numbers addressed by their Mayor. LOL

    But let’s say there really were 500,000. That makes it even more of a red flag for many people, doesn’t it?

    Why, yes, it does.

  89. Bill Bradley Says:

    Incidentally, Mickey Kaus was there. He has been around many political events over the past few decades. He thought there were really more like 200,000 people there …

  90. reg Says:

    March 27, 2006
    Op-Ed Columnist
    North of the Border
    By PAUL KRUGMAN

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” wrote Emma Lazarus, in a poem that still puts a lump in my throat. I’m proud of America’s immigrant history, and grateful that the door was open when my grandparents fled Russia.

    In other words, I’m instinctively, emotionally pro-immigration. But a review of serious, nonpartisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration, and immigration from Mexico in particular. If people like me are going to respond effectively to anti-immigrant demagogues, we have to acknowledge those facts.

    First, the net benefits to the U.S. economy from immigration, aside from the large gains to the immigrants themselves, are small. Realistic estimates suggest that immigration since 1980 has raised the total income of native-born Americans by no more than a fraction of 1 percent.

    Second, while immigration may have raised overall income slightly, many of the worst-off native-born Americans are hurt by immigration — especially immigration from Mexico. Because Mexican immigrants have much less education than the average U.S. worker, they increase the supply of less-skilled labor, driving down the wages of the worst-paid Americans. The most authoritative recent study of this effect, by George Borjas and Lawrence Katz of Harvard, estimates that U.S. high school dropouts would earn as much as 8 percent more if it weren’t for Mexican immigration.

    That’s why it’s intellectually dishonest to say, as President Bush does, that immigrants do “jobs that Americans will not do.” The willingness of Americans to do a job depends on how much that job pays — and the reason some jobs pay too little to attract native-born Americans is competition from poorly paid immigrants.

    Finally, modern America is a welfare state, even if our social safety net has more holes in it than it should — and low-skill immigrants threaten to unravel that safety net.

    Basic decency requires that we provide immigrants, once they’re here, with essential health care, education for their children, and more. As the Swiss writer Max Frisch wrote about his own country’s experience with immigration, “We wanted a labor force, but human beings came.” Unfortunately, low-skill immigrants don’t pay enough taxes to cover the cost of the benefits they receive.

    Worse yet, immigration penalizes governments that act humanely. Immigrants are a much more serious fiscal problem in California than in Texas, which treats the poor and unlucky harshly, regardless of where they were born.

    We shouldn’t exaggerate these problems. Mexican immigration, says the Borjas-Katz study, has played only a “modest role” in growing U.S. inequality. And the political threat that low-skill immigration poses to the welfare state is more serious than the fiscal threat: the disastrous Medicare drug bill alone does far more to undermine the finances of our social insurance system than the whole burden of dealing with illegal immigrants.

    But modest problems are still real problems, and immigration is becoming a major political issue. What are we going to do about it?

    Realistically, we’ll need to reduce the inflow of low-skill immigrants. Mainly that means better controls on illegal immigration. But the harsh anti-immigration legislation passed by the House, which has led to huge protests — legislation that would, among other things, make it a criminal act to provide an illegal immigrant with medical care — is simply immoral.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Bush’s plan for a “guest worker” program is clearly designed by and for corporate interests, who’d love to have a low-wage work force that couldn’t vote. Not only is it deeply un-American; it does nothing to reduce the adverse effect of immigration on wages. And because guest workers would face the prospect of deportation after a few years, they would have no incentive to become integrated into our society.

    What about a guest-worker program that includes a clearer route to citizenship? I’d still be careful. Whatever the bill’s intentions, it could all too easily end up having the same effect as the Bush plan in practice — that is, it could create a permanent underclass of disenfranchised workers.

    We need to do something about immigration, and soon. But I’d rather see Congress fail to agree on anything this year than have it rush into ill-considered legislation that betrays our moral and democratic principles.

  91. rosedog Says:

    (sigh.) I didn’t say you had an ideological viewpoint of the numbers. I said your presentation of the numbers suggested an ideological stance on the demonstration, it’s meaning and it’s ultimate effect on the political landscape. (Or words to that effect.)

    “I really dislike it when people attempt to distort what I am saying.”

    Ditto.

    “I do have doubt about a report from a politicized PD regarding numbers addressed by their Mayor….”

    How is that hilarious? Let me count the ways.

    Well, at least we have Mikey Kaus.

    Okay, I’ve certainly pummeled this dead horse well past equine jerky.

    Reg….thanks for posting the Krugman column. It’s a good one.

  92. Bill Bradley Says:

    Nice parsing, Rosedog. You know what I said and what I meant.

    Now on to something serious. Mickey Kaus over at Slate has just noticed that the LA Times amended its original story on the rally — which mentioned marchers with American flags at the top and marchers with Mexican flags late in the piece — in an interesting way.

    Now the story doesn’t mention Mexican flags at all.

    http://www.slate.com/id/2138371/

  93. Virgil Johnson Says:

    All I can say is no human being is “illegal.” All politicians who want to insult the rights of these people will go the way of Pete Wilson when he ran for President in 1996. Latinos Unidos

  94. Jon Stewart Says:

    Tune in tomorrow night for a skit featuring the two Bills — Bratton and Bradley — debating Saturday’s crowd estimate. Winner gets a ride on George Putnam’s horsey.

  95. Bill Bradley Says:

    Unlike certain people, I say straight out what I don’t know. I don’t know how many people were there because I wasn’t there. You don’t know, either. That’s why you make a joke that you don’t quite understand. As an old advance man, I know there are many ways to play the crowd count game. Especially with one of the country’s most politicized PDs dealing with a rally featuring the Mayor. You do know there are negotiations in store.

    And, Virgil, it is not illegal to be a human being. It is, however, illegal to come to this country in violation of its immigration laws.

  96. Doug Says:

    Odd no mention here of the 100,000 plus criminals/year that enter from Mexico.

    Nor the fact that illegals are filling our prisons here in widely disproportionate numbers.

    No mention of the serious “Latino” Gang problems either.

    See no evil, but that doesn’t make it so.

  97. rosedog Says:

    Oh, for crying out loud, Bill, I report on the LAPD. You don’t. So stop lecturing me on this aspect of your numbers meme.

    Doug: “….Nor the fact that illegals are filling our prisons here in widely disproportionate numbers….” Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    All this has been discussed in great detail on another thread. Go to the Department of Justice website, read the actual figures on what percentage of those incarcerated in US prisons and jails are non-citizens. And please don’t spout any more of this nonsense until you’ve checked your facts in places other than on right-wing websites.

    FYI: Most “Latino” gang members, as you put it, are American citizens. As it happens, we imported our gang problem south of the border, most specifically to Central America, not the reverse.

  98. rosedog Says:

    PS: The Jon Stewart thing wasn’t me.

  99. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    I think it’s fair to say that treating “American” humans better, worse, or differently than treating “non-American” humans is essentially “racist” — though “American” is a citizenship, not exactly a race.

    The pure Libertarian would treat all humans equally — all with 0, zero, gov’t paid-for welfare benefits. In such a society, open immigration is both moral and fiscally easy. But if one wants to treat “our humans” (Americans), better than “their humans” (non-Americans), and most Americans do (like virtually all countries, and groups, and families, and political parties, and wolf packs, and ant colonies), than defining membership in the priviledged race/ class/ citizenship is an issue. One whose solution is inevitably exclusionist, that is, essentially racist.

    The racist Paul Krugman wants to keep Mexican humans really really poor, and out of America, supposedly to help the poor American humans. What he and the other economic argument anti-immigrants fail to mention, is that while there might be 1 million 5$/hr jobs, that in no way means there would be 1 million 8$/ jobs — and all economic history shows there would be far fewer; in fact, much less than $5 million/ hr on those jobs would be available, quite likely less than $4 million/hr — meaning some 500 000 jobs.

    I don’t see how it is in any way more moral to use gov’t force against non-American humans to go from 1 million very low paid jobs to 500 000 low paid jobs.

    But, um, isn’t this always what the Dem Party in the USA wants to do? How is this issue going to help the Dems — because pro- or anti- or more likely both immigration sides don’t like the US laws, or whatever Bush does (or fails to do)?

    The $20 billion being sent back to Mexico will soon be the target — if half of that was going to the US gov’t, like I suggested by giving non-American humans legal tax loans, there would be less anti-immigration feeling. If the poor Mexican sends most of his non-consumed cash to Wash DC instead of home, there would less desire of the poor Mexicans to leave Mexico.

    What would be really great is if the pro-Mexican folk would be advocating some kind of US “entrepreneur corps” of Americans to go start businesses in Mexico, to process food, make clothes, build houses (and safe drinking water!) — and demand a better domestic Mexican business environment. Maybe hire the returning “illegals” to work in Mexico, on Mexican products, for Mexicans. (Working for exports means the product leaves Mexico, and much of the cash goes to the factory owner of the capital.)

  100. Rich Says:

    Well, I’ve dutifully read through all 90+ posts, and I’ve yet to encounter any sort of response to the points raised by richard lo cicero, myself, reg, Mark York, and a few others who do not see a Chamber of Commerce-inspired “solution” as even remotely attempting to honestly assess the immigration problem from a domestic labor perspective. In short, I think Bill Bradley’s position is much closer to reality here.

    I’ll keep checking back, though.

  101. Dean's World Says:

    Immigration Politics…

    There were giant rallies in several parts of the nation this weekend, especially in California, with mostly-latino people protesting in favor of what they feel would be more reasonable immigration laws. Immigration is shaping up ……

  102. Outside The Beltway | OTB Says:

    Million Illegal Alien March…

    Saturday’s huge pro-illegal alien rallies around the country, which together had over nearly a million participants, has sparked a flurry of immigration stories in both the mainstream press and around the blogosphere.
    NYT reporter Nina Bernstein …

  103. Tonjia Says:

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    The blessings of liberty, and freedom, justice, and domestic tranquility are granted BY LAW to CITIZENS, the people of this nation, who support, uphold, and defend these laws, as law abiding citizens. It is their common agreement and support of these principals, by law, that create actual freedom, liberty, justice, domestic tranquility. Freedom is created by people who love this country, believe in its laws and its constitution, and willingly agree to abide by these laws, and defend them with their lives.

    No one, who is not a citizen of this nation, is by law, granted any rights under this law. It is our national law, by law, which grants men their inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. China has no such laws, and as a citizen of China, you are not entitled to life liberty and the pursuit of happines. Saudi Arabia has no such laws, and as a citizen of Saudi Arabia, you have no such inalienable rights.

    This is a great nation, because by law, it gives its citizens such rights. These rights come only in this country, by this law, to its citizens, who uphold, defend, and believe in these principals of freedom.

    This is not a global constitution, and these are not global laws, and no man is constrained to believe in or follow such laws, except citizens of this nation, who have chosen to support, uphold, and defend these laws, which allow and create freedom.

    To those who wish to embrace these ideals, and live in freedom, let them first prove their love of our laws, by going through our legal system and immigrating properly, by law, and pledging their allegiance to freedom, and the law, and the constitution.

    If not, we will become a nation filled with those who have no love for our laws, which laws CREATE the very freedom we enjoy.

    And this is what we are seeing. Arabs, who have no such ideologies, and no love or devotion for freedom, coming into countries and seeking to impose their own ideologies upon those who are free. Mexicans, who have no such ideologies, seeking to harvest the benifits of freedom without any regard or love for the very principals that create that freedom which they desire to enjoy. What these seek is not your freedom, but to be equal to you without having to abide by the same laws you abide by.

    Freedom shall not be had in a society who allows its laws to be commandeered by every seeker of prosperity, to its own benifit, without a love for the principals behind that propsperity.

    Citizenship is a requirement to enjoy the freedom of this country. It is unique above all countries in the freedoma and prosperity it enjoys, because we are committed to an ideology of freedom.

    Illegal aliens from any country have no such ideologies. If they did, they would not be here illegally, against the laws that create freedom for this nation.

    The nations of the world have no inalienable rights. Try sneaking into China illegally. Try exercising your freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia, try demonstrating against the government in Mexico. If we change our laws, to accomadate their ideologies, neither will we be left with any inalienable rights.

    They are using our own laws of freedom against us, as if they, as non citizens, can expect such rights, and be defended under such laws of freedom because somewhere, it has been lost that these laws are for citizens, who uphold, defend, support, and abide by these laws. These laws are not created for non citizens of the world. They are not created to defend and protect ideologies of dictatorship, censorship, totalitarianism, but the ideologies of freedom, granted and upheld by laws that uphold freedom.

    I repeat, Mexicans should be demonstrating against their own government, and advancing change, instead of illegally invading a foreign country and demanding that country to change, for them. It is insanity. Why are they not doing this? Why are they not effecting changes in their own country? So they can live there, in freedom and prosperity? Why?

  104. reg Says:

    The Manhattan Institute is “center-right” ? C’mon Marc…you know better than that. Manhattan is “libertarian-right”. You can call this hair-splitting, but you should know better. These folk have an annual “Hayek” lecture, launched Charles Murray, would like to see public shools dismantled and social security privatized. Their “City Journal” editor is Brian Anderson, originator of the “South Park Republicans” silliness. Manhattan Institute is cannier than most of her sister tanks on the right – not as overtly libertarian as Cato nor as repellently fusty as Heritage – but while more canny, it’s no more “center-right” than the rest of them. Their funding comes from the usual suspects – Scaife, Olin, Bradley, etc. with a big boost from board member Walter Wriston, who also has a lecture named after him. They’ve also given out their “Alexander Hamilton” Awards to such as crank WSJ op-editor Bob Bartley. To call these folks “center-right” is an obfuscation of a group that has an explicit ideology that isn’t even close to “centrist”. Unless the fact that they don’t bash gays is their key to the “center”. But to say they are “center-right” makes them sound like the GOP version of, say, The New America Foundation. Not even close…

    Here’s another piece by your “pal” – co-authored with that paragon of centrism, Grover Norquist.

    http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/opinion/13440000.htm

    Although it’s couched in the issue of GOP “unity”, this piece is explicitly corporatist in it’s perspective and speaks to the dependency of certain industries on illegal immigration. If you don’t think this is all about depressing wages and “opening the doors of opportunity” for exploitation, Grover’s got a plan to sell you that wil “save Social Security”.

  105. J Cummings Says:

    A position that hasn’t been argued is the position to the left of Cooper/McCain/Kennedy. This is to abolish the very notion of “borders.” McCain/Kennedy, while well intentioned, as noted by Cooper adds “strong enforcement mechanisms.” Instead of hat, the radical humanist position would be for free mobility of labor to follow capital. America CAN afford migrants AND CAN afford to pay them living wages. Redistribution is key here, with more progressive taxation allowing for public works and Keynesian solutions.

    Beyond all that, it is simply immoral to demarcate a line beyond which people have separate “rights.”

  106. Justice Says:

    How many American Army in Iraq has Iraqi visa to stay and work there? Let’s think the issue of immigration in perspective. Americans can invade someone’s country illegally and still be fine. But let’s assume that it happend the other way around. How would you feel if a quarter a million Iraqis came here to work or invade all of a sudden? Think from other’s shoes people!! Think about how Americans go to other countries and steal their resources if you feel so outrageous about poor people from other countries coming to this country to work peacefully and deligently. Who is wrong here???

  107. Bill Bradley Says:

    I have a new column up reporting with exclusive information on this issue and the California governor’s race. You’re in for a surprise or two.

    Incidentally, that Bush “endorsement” is not an endorsement. It’s pol speak, as Marc knows very well.

  108. EspiBlog Says:

    It’s very simple…

    1. Stop looking at it as a hatred, run the illegals out of town… Open borders, terrorists and all that Minuteman crap. Clear that fog that won’t let you think rationally and proceed to #2.

    2. Be a good Republican; think of all the money you’re missing… and go to #3

    3. Millions of “undocumented immigrants” are the heart of the engine that runs our country. They’re rebuilding New Orleans as we speak, in our neighborhoods immigrants represent 80% + of the workforce building our homes, 90% sowing our crops, cleaning our homes… including the all mighty White House… ohhhhh I forgot, Did I mention they are also fighting our fight in Iraq…? A minor detail that escapes many at hand. A recent NPR study shows this is fact… but let’s get back to the only thing those who want to deport everyone and close our borders understand… See… FAKE NUMBERS OR NOT… THEY ARE PAYING TAXES… (uhmmm… even more money…)

    4. Oh… did I mention they also have IRS numbers (you can get them with or without papers…. it’s a money thing, you know) So the IRS can collect taxes regardless (ummmm more… money)

    5. Talk about money… Have you heard the largest Spanish language Media conglomerate is up for sale…? 12 Billion is the price tag… Why? BECAUSE IMMIGRANTS SPENT BILLIONS IN OUR ECONOMY… Who do you think is the largest and perhaps most loyal consumer group in the US…? (tons of more money… )

    See, the fact is that the great majority of “undocumented immigrants” are already part of our society; they pay taxes and keep us in business.

    THE SOLUTION:

    THINK NOT BROWN, ILLEGALS… THINK GREEN… MONEY… My Minuteman, border closing, get the illegals out friends, most certainly understand that ?!?!

    “Oh… but we want them here… just get your papers and come on in…” Right… It takes 5-10-15-20 years plus to get a Visa… So what would you do if your family is starving to death… AND, THAT MY FRIENDS, IS THE PROBLEM; that is the kind of Immigration reform we need. Fix it, and we wouldn’t be talking. After all, if the IRS can give out numbers, just to collect their taxes… give undocumented legal status and driver’s licenses… REMEMBER… no matter, we still get to keep their money… It’s just a bit more balanced, don’t you think George ?

    By the way… How many undocumented immigrants work in your Texas ranches…??

  109. reg Says:

    If the United States has a demonstrable labor shortage, solve it by granting citizenship to some “X” number of additional applicants. Pragamatism, if not abstract “fairness” would dictate that illegal immigrants who are currently living here who have family ties – i.e. primarily children born in the U.S. – should be given first consideration. Exploitation of illegal labor has reached epidemic proportions in certain industries and they should be subject to greater regulation to put a stop to it. Illegal immigration is an invitation to exploitation and “guest worker” deals are just one short step behind in creating a workforce with different sets of rights – even at the starting gate.

    The level of bullshit involved in some of the argument around this is demonstrated most clearly by “Liberty Dad” calling Paul Krugman a racist. And I don’t really care how many people showed up at a pro-illegal immigration rally in L.A. That’s got all of the relevance of a “Free Elian” rally in Miami or a “pro-life” rally in Colorado Springs. Incidentally, I was embarrassed for Katrina van den Huevel on “This Week” when she opened her argument on this issue with the statement that “Illegal immigration is central to our economy. They mow suburban lawns and take care of the children.” It didn’t get any better… George Will actually had to make the argument that it depresses wages. How pathetic is that ? I wanted to strangle her.

  110. reg Says:

    *A position that hasn’t been argued is the position to the left of Cooper/McCain/Kennedy. This is to abolish the very notion of “borders.”*

    Another position that hasn’t been argued is that we all sit in a circle and take Ecstasy.

  111. Papa Ray Says:

    Let me add my lone voice (well, those of my many friends also) to this malstrom of opinions and ideas.

    First, there is trouble, big trouble coming if we don’t control the INVASION of people coming into this country. We need to control it as we will never be able to stop it. We don’t want to stop it anyway, for various apparent reasons.

    I understand that most of this discussion is by those who are not affected on a daily basis by illegals coming over the borders. So this gives them the room and the attitude of being kind and wanting to follow the “American” way of being open to those that want to come into our country and stay here.

    But, I have to tell you that the reality of living in the middle of thousands of illegals for a couple of years would make a lot of these same people change their minds about illegals and what do do about them and how to do it.

    It’s kinda like someone who has never been in combat, just watched the newsreels and movies.

    Well, after getting shot at, blown up and scared to death, that person has a whole new perspective.

    But its just immaterial how we feel anyway, the pols will only apply makeup on the problems and do so in such a way as to assure their re-election.

    Meanwhile, those of us in the middle of this “cultural revolution” will just continue to try and survive and take care of our families.

    We never really expected any thing anyway.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

  112. Rich Says:

    I’ll see your purported “labor shortage”, reg, and raise you a “let the market work” rhetorical cry. Honestly, we see a relative housing shortage and what happens? Prices for homes rise exponentially. If there truly is a labor shortage in certain sectors, then let the price for this labor pool rise as well. Sounds like a sound market approach to me. If sometimes the swings of the market helps managers a bit more, then we shouldn’t impede the times when it helps laborers a bit more. Again, to all self-identified “free marketeers”: you can’t eat your cake and have it, too.

    But the ugly inside story that I’ve experienced firsthand is quite logical: undocumented labor serves as a means to avoid paying market price for domestic labor. It’s a black market, and against the law, although the Chamber of Commerce is more worried about music “piracy” than it is labor piracy. I’m not surprised here, because this is what I would expect from a profit-driven entity: profits come first, duh. I don’t begrudge them that, but, indeed, not when it breaks the law and hurts U.S. residents and workers.

  113. reg Says:

    Let me state for the record that I’m not a proponent of Sensenbrenner’s bill in so far as greater criminalization of illegals and potentially of social service workers is concerned, nor of a fence. The problem should be solved at the point it’s actually being generated – the workplace – with the focus on specific industries that have turned exploitation of illegal labor into a business plan. If the “van den Huevels” need somebody to mow their lawn or mind their children, I’m all for the “immigration police” keeping their sights on bigger fish. As for illegals “growing our economy”, I’m willing to live without the 99 Cent menu at Jack In The Box and pay more for produce so that the stoop labor that harvests it can have a living wage. At the risk of being relegated to the ranks of “racists” like Paul Krugman, I’m also increasingly frustrated by the prospect of dealing with folks in “mainstream” retail environments in malls and such who can’t comprehend conversational English related to the tasks or customer options involved in their job. I’ve come to consider this normal, and I think that’s nuts.

  114. reg Says:

    “I’ll see your purported “labor shortage”, reg, and raise you a “let the market work” rhetorical cry.”

    I don’t know that this is the case…just that if it is the case, illegal immigration isn’t the answer unless you subscribe to Hayekian “anything goes” capitalist ideology.

  115. J Cummings Says:

    Reg: The left should be visionary, not pragmatic. I don’t at all expect this idea to suddenly bear fruition..I just encourage people to adopt the “no one is illegal” credo adopted by Immigrants rights activists.

    Often so-called “pragmatic” solutions exarcerbate problems. For the same reason that no one who opposed the Iraq war should entertain “pragmatic” solutions that maintain occupation, but kinder and gentler, no one who truly respects immigrants and humanity should endorse “tough enforcement mechanisms.” Many, if not most of the migrants’ rights activists believe no one is illegal. No one, or very few marchers, were out there for “tough enforment mechanisms” along with a kinder gentler bracero program.

  116. Miss Scarlet Says:

    Otherwise, if you want to look at it that way, it’s a fairly painless way for a rich country to share its wealth with a poor one.

    There is no reason for Mexico to be a poor country. It’s rich in natural resources, cultural heritage and natural wonders. It has beautiful colonial cities and mile after mile of fabulous shoreline and beaches–a veritable tourist’s paradise. It also is awash in corruption and mismanagement. And lazy. Yes, lazy. As long as immigration to the “northern states”, legal and il-, remains one of Mexico’s biggest, most lucrative national products, neither the corrupt ruling class nor the exploited peasant class will gain the impetus required for a corrective course. We do Mexico no favors by continuing the status quo.

    Close the borders. Stop the flow. Then assess the situation as it exists without the constant flux. And get over this ridiculous notion that people who come here illegally, stay here illegally, work illegally and avail themselves of public and social services illegally occupy some nebulous state of non-criminal illegality that seems to have been designed just for them. By definition, one who breaks the law is a criminal. It should not matter that the criminal merely seeks a “better life”. Who the hell doesn’t seek a better life?!

    And, it’s hardly painless. It’s not even fairly painless.

  117. Dave Finnigan Says:

    As long as receiving countries are more attractive than sending countries migration will take place. This has been true since proto-Europeans left Africa, proto-Tahitians sailed from Asia, proto-Inuits trudged from Siberia, and proto-Americans sailed from Europe. However, there is a long term solution to immigration from countries like Mexico, Latin America and the Philippines. It is hinted at by Jim Rockford when he says:

    “4. Illegal immigration equals loss of sovereignty. Eventually the US will simply intervene in Mexico openly, if we are obliged to employ every Mexican (which is the demands of the demonstrators). That will lead inevitably to annexation of Mexico by force and running the former country as a dependent territory for a generation or five prior to statehood. Good Fences make Good Neigbors.”

    Perhaps we need a new focus for some thoughtful discussion, an idea outside the box. Will either party consider this idea for 2008 or beyond? Can it be refined by think tanks, or by university departments of political science and brought up for serious government and popular review?

    In the late 1960s when I lived in the Philippines there was a peoples’ movement reported to have over a million signatures on a petition titled “Philippine Statehood USA.” The proponents wanted to ask the US to permit the entire Philippines to eventually become a number of US states. Of course the Marcos regime outlawed that nascent political force as soon as martial law was declared, and the movement disappeared. But what a great idea they had.

    Europe is uniting. The ten new members of United Europe have economies that are about half as robust, on average, as the original members, but their inclusion in the European Union will strengthen that growing multi-national and multi-ethnic community and keep inevitable outsourcing of lower paid jobs within their large family. Meanwhile in Asia, China is peacefully consolidating its sphere of influence with the re-absorption of Hong Kong and overtures toward Taiwan and other neighbors. Before long Japan, South Korea, and reunited China will be outsourcing their labor-intensive industry to less wealthy and less developed countries in South Asia and Africa. Although fragmentation of the old Soviet Empire and Africa draws a great deal of attention, the long-term trend is being set by United Europe and re-uniting Asia. What are we doing to match this trend?

    We have tens of millions of neighbors in the Philippines, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, who want to immigrate to the US. Why not bring the US to them, by opening up our system and allowing countries to begin a long-term process leading to eventual application for American Statehood. Why stop at 50 states? Why not aim at 100? Mexico is already divided conveniently into 31 states, each of which could become a US state. The Philippines has 76 provinces, which could become US states. Neighbors as far away as Panama may get on the bandwagon and start working hard to meet a stringent list of requirements. Even our neighbors to the north might want to eventually unite with the rest of us in this new concept of a United States. United States of what? Not America, just United States.

    What would the requirements be for the established US government to consider the addition of the provinces of another country as new and equal states? My short list is as follows:

    1. A constitution that provides a functioning system of democratically elected government officials with working political parties and with legislative, judicial and executive branches at the national and state levels;
    2. Respect for law and a constitutionally established legal system based on equitable justice;
    3. Low levels of corruption within all branches and levels of the government including the police and military;
    4. Health care and medical systems established and functioning nationwide with infant mortality rates at a low level;
    5. Fertility rates at or around replacement level;
    6. Universal and compulsory free education through high school;
    7. Adherence to a Bill of Rights insuring freedom of speech, the press, religion, internal movement, and other basic liberties for all citizens regardless of race, creed, gender, or disability;
    8. A functioning stock market and accounting and banking systems which meet established international standards;
    9. A tax system that fairly and equitably collects revenue from all working citizens;
    10. Land reform where appropriate;
    11. Signatory to international copyright, trademark and patent agreements;
    12. Understanding of and efforts undertaken in the direction of solving problems of deforestation, resource depletion, water-source pollution, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem damage, depletion of fisheries, and global warming;
    13. Internet access nationwide;
    14. A freely held plebiscite on the issue of applying for US statehood, with over 2/3 of voters agreeing to the application.

    Once a country says that they want to begin the arduous process of becoming a part of the United States then we will help them to meet these requirements with consultants and through conferences bringing their people together with counterparts from the existing United States. Of course a portion of our foreign aid will be focused on these countries and on this process. Universities, NGOs, foundations, and government agencies can be of great assistance.

    Once we have opened our arms and welcomed one country, it may be that others will flock to meet the requirements and to join the growing community. Much of our out-sourcing will become “in-sourcing” and our economy and culture will be enriched by the many voices and the many ideas that become part of our spicy stew. Then we simply will be the United States, unlimited by any geographic designation, not an empire, but a country composed of equals living in parts of the United States, located all over the world. We will compete on an equal footing with United Europe and United Asia.

    Just as internal migration brings people from our rural and more impoverished areas to our cities, so we could expect some migration from the new hinterlands to the present US, but the long-term trade-off in terms of bringing labor and taxes in-house should more than offset any short-term disruptions to the system. Also many residents of the current US would undoubtedly move to less expensive states, possibly to help develop their economies, or for the tropical climate, or because their retirement dollars will go further than they would at home. People may feel much safer retiring to Mexican or Philippine states of the US knowing that the laws and police will protect them there just as they would in their home states. The sooner we start, the lower the fertility and the higher the per capita income of these new citizens, and the less eventual disruptions will be felt. At any rate it sure beats the current prospect of erecting fences along our southern border and erecting paper barriers to immigration while sending millions of jobs overseas.

    Can we talk?

  118. Justice Says:

    Papa Ray- I understand the condition that shaped attitude towards immigrants but you are missing a big picture- historical evolution. That is when the European came to this country, the natives felt the same way. But aren’t you happy that your ancestors came, and that now you can argue as if you are the native?? Watch in a hundred or so years, the people are up against now will just be like you- insecured, incompetent protectionist in a global free economy.

  119. Paul from Mpls Says:

    “The left should be visionary, not pragmatic.”

    If politics is a road, that’s a fork.

  120. reg Says:

    “And I don’t really care how many people showed up at a pro-illegal immigration rally in L.A.”

    I say that specifically because this has to be viewed through the lens of national politics – and from my perspective what makes sense strategically for a Democratic coalition that won’t be perceived in its essence as a coalition of minorities and liberals with a profound disconnect from the multi-ethnic American working class.

    J – “no one is illegal” happens not to be true. Unless you think you can erase national economies, citizenship, national politics, borders and cultures with wishing and hoping. “The left” is welcome to be visionary and not pragmatic. That’s why I’m not a member of “the left” by that definition. It’s not a political formation. It’s a therapeutic movement. Which is why my suggestion about sitting in a circle and taking Ecstasy wasn’t nearly as “parodistic” or far-fetched as I would wish.

    As for the Iraq war, I’m all for a “pragmatic solution” if anyone can come up with one at this late date. Fact is, nobody who’s dying in Iraq gives a shit what you or me thinks about the morality of the war if there’s no chance of impacting the debate over what happens next. For anyone to fetishize the “correctness” of their views disconnected from pragmatism is, frankly, a form of self-regard that we can’t afford outside of monasteries.

  121. Marc Cooper Says:

    Reg.. Im not here to defend the Manhattan Instititue…Call in right wing libertarian or anything else, I really dont care and it matters not to me. Im here to defend the person and the work of Tamar Jacoby. Her work on immigration is greatly admired from a spectrum of advocates from the labor left thru to the center right. The right wing hates her. As you may or may not know…. one’s association as a “fellow” with a given think tank can mean a variety of things. So calm down. Tamar’s a great person, a true liberal on immigration — more so than you on this issue.

  122. reg Says:

    Jacoby’s a “true liberal” in the same sense that Milton Friedman and the rest of the Hayek crowd are on this issue – and others. A faction of the “right” – social and cultural conservatives like Buchanan – may “hate” her on the question of immigraion. Another faction of the right – those who want to maximaly free capital – like Grover Norquist – adore her as much as you do.

    I’m calm. I’m also trying to be honest about who and what the advocacy groups are and what interests they represent.

    No, I’m not a “liberal” on this issue. Neither of the Van Den Heuvel stripe, nor the Hayekian.

  123. Doc Says:

    EspiBlog,

    “‘Oh… but we want them here… just get your papers and come on in…’ Right… It takes 5-10-15-20 years plus to get a Visa… So what would you do if your family is starving to death…”

    I was writing previously, the immigration system is broken and there are vested interests to KEEP it that way.

    However, government puts more money into it now and things are slowly improving.

  124. Mark A. York Says:

    “I harped on the numbers for a reason, not because they’re important in and of themselves (Mark), but because your presentation of them suggested your own ideology from the get go.”

    And you did so because the more there are the more justified your position rosedog. Look everyone knows how you think on this and it’s fairly typical of one with your political tendencies. The numbers area red herring. Bradley’s estimate is in the hundreds of thousands. You want 500 because seems to lend more credence to your belief that that all of these people want open borders. That’s not a poition I find valid but it is the view from that affected crowd. It still is Ad Numerum and thus fallacious. Doesn’t address merit in any way.

  125. Concertina Says:

    I say, those anti-immigrant racist can go back to Europe if they are not comfortable with non-white native people of Americas. White European came to this country illegally, this country was founded illegally against the will of its native citizens. And they called themselves “Pilgrims”. Yah pilgrims, rather butcher. Now they are not happy that others are coming here too. What a shitty attitude is that???

    And that is one of the most patently ridiculous statements made in this thread. How do you walk around with the size of that chip on your shoulder?

  126. Rich Says:

    Okay, it took me about two sentences to find a ridiculous and exasperating claim in Tamara’s article:

    “But among those who recognize the necessity of a continued flow of immigrants to do dirty, unskilled jobs that educated Americans increasingly no longer want to do, the mantra goes unquestioned: What’s needed is a guest worker program to deliver this labor in a timely, efficient way.”

    Absolutely wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. How long is it going to take to get people to stop making the dishonest claim that “Americans don’t want to do unskilled jobs”? That seals it for me–you do NOT know the underemployed and unskilled labor class in the U.S. if you make this remark. So if unskilled Americans don’t want to do unskilled jobs, please tell me–what do they want to do, exactly? In fact, relatively unskilled people like my uncle, who just pushes a broom, are quite desirous of their jobs, so long as it can pay their rent and food costs. No, Marc, if your friend makes bald-faced lies such as this you can defend her all you wish, but it goes nowhere with me, and it is ultimately an empty defense. And a dishonest one, too, for someone who commonly scorns “latte-liberals”.

  127. Mark A. York Says:

    “Think from other’s shoes people!! Think about how Americans go to other countries and steal their resources if you feel so outrageous about poor people from other countries coming to this country to work peacefully and deligently. Who is wrong here???”

    Their shoes were under the jack boot of one of their own tyrants as usual in these archaic countries. I was all for not helping them, thinking that maybe helping themselves would be a better way. No one is stealing resources. We buy them, but we happen to have quite bit of our own resources, yet foreign countries import our raw materials and the return the finsihed product back here for high prices, when they could have been made here in the firt place. Logs and Japan come to mind. You need to get out more as to not imply native american posters are raving loons. You are wrong. Period.

    Krugman gets it right.

  128. Rich Says:

    “The right wing hates her.”

    Marc, reg just said it for me, but you’re wrong here, as well. The Chamber of Commerce right wing (e.g., Norquist, and even GW Bush, though he’s good at playing the socially conservative good ol’ boy), for lack of a better qualifier, echoes her line word for word.

  129. Mark A. York Says:

    That’s right Rich. They hold high-level jobs in journalism, and thus wouldn’t know a low-skilled and blue collar labor pool if they fell in it.

  130. justice Says:

    Concertina- exactly it’s ridiculous when you are the victims, but makes lot of sense when you are the perpetrator- doesn’t it??

    Just remember that we are NOT the LAST Generation on this planet, and your attitude towards immigrants will be ridiculous in as little as half centuries later. Just think how Italians were treated in early 1900s and as late as 50s, and look now how their children now can claim as original as natives.

  131. reg Says:

    “I’m willing to live without the 99 Cent menu at Jack In The Box and pay more for produce so that the stoop labor that harvests it can have a living wage…(and) focus (regulation) on specific industries that have turned exploitation of illegal labor into a business plan.’

    When somebody from pro-corporate, Frederik Hayek-loving Manhattan Institute and an ally of Grover Norquist’s gets the prize for being “more liberal” on this issue than the (admitted) jerk who’s fumbling for some solution based on the perspective stated above, I guess I have to echo Marc above and agree “call it (what you will), I really don’t care, it matters not to me.”

  132. J Cummings Says:

    Reg –
    Its not a “fetishization” of correct views. It is an opposition to reformist “pragmatic” solutions that will inevitably backfire.

    To solidarize with a movement – in this case, the marchers across the country, should be to adopt their proposals, not to willy-nilly a solution satisfying to capital and protectionist labor elements. Rather it is to truly abolish borders. This is not therapeutic, this is elementary decency. This isn’t to say that pragmatism shouldn’t be applied case-by-case. This is to say, however, that forget the phrase “the left,” humans who understand uneven development should take a deeper look at what causes uneven development. To be visionary, thus, is to be pragmatic. Or as a man once sais in Switzerland “Be as radical as reality.”

    Once one enters into the pre-established terrain of the bourgeois mainstream debate “i.e. torture is wrong…no torture is right” or “the war was a mistake…no the war was right,’ one does not have the ability to enunciate the verbotten point of view. The war was not a mistake, it was illegal and criminal, and nothing short of troops out now is what is called for. Torture should not even be debated.

    I wrote on my blog that the only people who “get” immigration are the hardcore anti-immigration crowd and the “no one is illegal” crowd. Both understand that global capitalism is producing the issue. The Reformists believe that the system can be tinkered with, which may work on paper, but “on the ground,” will do nothing. The rejectionists want to shut down the border for economic purposes – wages, etc. while the “no one is illegal” crowd is also rooted in material factors. As is often the case, the liberal/reformist viewpoint is the one that denies reality.

    Finally, in terms of no one is illegal. No one IS illegal, in the eyes of the type of legal system we should be seeking to construct. Point by point, national economies are fading away. How nations deal with globalization varies – though neoliberalism has been discredited. A left victory in Mexico may facilitate less migration, since there will be a more just distribtion of wealth. Citizenship has become quite malleable and national politics conceptually no longer exists, esp. in the USA. Culture varies – SoCal has more in common with Mexico than it does with Iowa. Toronto is more like Chicago than it is like Thunder Bay or Sault St. Marie.

    Finally, borders will always be permeable. Why not just abolish them? (I know, I know, terrorists…but this is still what humanity should be aiming for)

  133. Paul Spirito Says:

    So, all mothers who breastfeed their own children are racists, and all property — which involves drawing lines, after all — is illegitmate.

    There is a moral and economic argument for the free flow of labor, but you ought to be honest about its consequence: the equalizing of incomes across the globe, which, in the short and medium runs, means the impoverishing of those in wealthy nations, the median global income amounting to poverty by wealthy-nation standards. That is, the American working and middle classes are an economic inefficiency, and ought to be understood as such by the people who compose them.

    Is there a property right in citizenship? Are wealthy nations wealthy by accident, or as a result of exploitation of poorer nations, or due to some superiority as a community — or, if all three, with which weights? This is an important question of principle for the moral argument. If there is a property right, then — inefficiency or no — there is a moral right to defend it.

  134. Rich Says:

    I know I’ve posted a lot, but I haven’t much these days, so… :)

    Quickly: a good example of the double-speak infesting this “debate” is when, on the one hand, we hear reports that since so many industries are being exported to other countries, it’s imperative that U.S. workers become more skilled. In other words, because semi-skilled industrial jobs are disappearing, U.S. workers are being lectured about adapting to a globalized economy and staying marketable by receiving new job training, returning to school, etc. In other words: U.S. workers, you’re too unskilled! Train thyselves! And now we’re supposed to conveniently forget this and suddenly believe that we have a SHORTAGE of unskilled workers–no, excuse me, a shortage of WILLING unskilled workers. Sorry, that’s a crock, and it insults all of us. There is NO shortage of unskilled labor. None. If you think otherwise, be prepared with facts and stats. Or, if you’re Woody, then it better be a damn convincing anecdote.

  135. KDaddy Says:

    “…But are there no inconveniences to be thrown into the scale against the advantage expected from a multiplication of numbers by the importation of foreigners?…They will bring with them the principles of the governments they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another…These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and render it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass.” – Thomas Jefferson, Notes on VirginiaL

    That’s what the protests looked like to me: incoherent, distracted masses. I’ve got my own plan that takes into account America’s real history of immigration:

    Enact a 10-year all-immigration time-out to put our borders back in orderForce attrition of the illegal alien population through employer prison sentences, corporate fines and forfeitures for illegal hiring practicesRamp up deportations over a five-year period to prod those who do not leave after the attrition plan has started the exodusRe-implement and get national buy-in for the strict assimilationist polices that worked in the first two-thirds of the last centuryEliminate the anchor baby loophole via Congressional actEliminate all government documents that are not written in english including voter materialsGet at least three-quarters of the states to implement official english language amendments to their own constitutions, then do it nationally if possibleWall off the border where feasible, use high tech to seal the remainderDeduct the estimated cost for healthcare, education, infrastructure, taxes, and wage deflation from federal aid to any nation that does not enact and enforce its own tough plan to keep its citizens from emigratingDeduct the estimated total social cost to age 18 for Anchor babies already born from federal aid to the home country of their parents

    There are 12 more points…

    It deeply bothers me that normally rational and quite intelligent Americans can come up with statements like “who’s going to pick the lettuce if we deport all the ‘undocumented immigrants,’ are you?” as some sort of be-all, end-all rebuttal to my desire for the repatriation-by-attrition of all illegal aliens. This nation is more than capable of making sure that every job gets done and every product gets made without resorting to tactics that solely enrich a thin sliver of elites. Those who fear the elimination of illegal aliens from our nation either harbor desires to increase the size of social-program-dependent minority populations or are driven by short-term profit demands rather than long-term vision.

    We’d all get a better bang for our buck from government if we prodded it into providing tax incentives to people and companies that invent new harvest technologies that require fewer but higher skilled “harvest technicians” as a replacement for stoop labor. Similarly, there is no reason why this nation, the one that has little robots running around on Mars, cannot devise mechanization processes for building construction or any other industrial application.

    With Western Civilization’s life spans being extended by medical progress, this culture is about to forego new opportunities to engage some of our wisest minds in productive activities solely because of short-sightedness and greed. Many of the next generation of our elders are sure to desire continued work. Shouldn’t our repsonsibility to them come first? Why should we choose the continued influx of low-skilled and poorly educated labor over the challenge and opportunity of creating new life-pathways for Americans?

    Those who cling to the position that there are “jobs that Americans won’t do” are either defeatist, elitist or harbor hidden agendas that will not benefit this nations legal citizens.

  136. rosedog Says:

    Bill: I’ll look for your new column. Am always all for being surprised.

    Reg: For whatever it’s worth, I spoke to Tamar J. and read lots of her stuff when I was researching immigration issues for my last LAT mag piece and found her, as Marc said, ultra progressive, and extremely well informed.

    BTW your circle and ecstasy post gave me my best, and much needed, coffee-spitting laugh of the morning.

  137. Concertina Says:

    Never fear, Justice. This now is the most patently ridiculous statement on the thread (in fact, it has ridiculous statements wrapped within ridiculous statements):

    A left victory in Mexico may facilitate less migration, since there will be a more just distribtion of wealth. [Maybe on Planet Zongo, pal.] Citizenship has become quite malleable and national politics conceptually no longer exists, esp. in the USA. Culture varies – SoCal has more in common with Mexico than it does with Iowa. Toronto is more like Chicago than it is like Thunder Bay or Sault St. Marie.

    Finally, borders will always be permeable. Why not just abolish them? (I know, I know, terrorists…but this is still what humanity should be aiming for).

    Or as a man once sais in Switzerland “Be as radical as reality.”

    The government of Switzerland has quite a pragmatic, if not radical, approach to immigration. As a result, immigrating to Switzerland is one of the toughest nuts to crack on the planet.

  138. Rich Says:

    rosedog, I’m wondering when it became “ultra progressive” to deny the existence of an unskilled non-immigrant U.S. labor class. I must’ve missed that meeting at the Huffington mansion.

  139. QuickRob - Not To Be Trusted » Marc on Mexico Says:

    [...] Marc Cooper continues his excellent coverage of the immigration debate, as well as all things Latin America, on his blog. Today’s article is on the Exploding Immigration Issue and is well worth the read if you haven’t been keeping up on this topic, as I haven’t. [...]

  140. J Cummings Says:

    The man in Switzerland that is referred to is Vladimir Lenin during his exile.

  141. mary Says:

    First of all let me tell you that I am proud to be an american!!!

    United States is made up of immigrants. So whats so wrong with the hispanics wanting to come over here. They are hard workers, they are not asking for anything. They work for what they have. I am a citizen of the United States, my family was born and raised in this country. My husband is a hispanic he came over from Mexico, we have three beautiful boys. All I want to say is the day my husband or his family is not welcome in this country and the United States decides to put up that fence and run the hispanic community out, is the day that my family will be moving to Mexico with my husband. I love this country, but if some of these senators gets there way, they will ruin the economy. Does people realize what would happen, if some of these bills are past. My three sons are citizens of the United States, but there dad is not. My sons has the blood of a illegal immigrant pulsing through there vains, so are they going to be deported?
    If it is up to some senators, they will take away some childrens birthright, just because there parents are illegal. So if that happens, what country are the children citizens in. If that bill is past to take the children that is born to “illegal immigrants” in the United States citizenship away, then who is to say that mine or yours or anyone born in the United States can have there birthright taken away from them. God bless america and all the hard workers of America.

  142. Papa Ray Says:

    justice, you made everything I said true by your reply. As I knew someone would.

    Here is something else by someone else that begs to differ with you and others that think like you.

    How older citizen might view illegals

    Conor Friedersdorf, Staff Writer
    San Bernardino County Sun

    Most older Americans talk politics different from their children and grandchildren.
    After seven or eight decades on this Earth, they’ve seen a lot, so their opinions are based on observations more than abstract arguments.

    A young man debating immigration will cite demographic facts and economic figures.

    “In California, population density is rising each year,” he might say. “If we liberalize our immigration laws the growth rate will only increase, and crime will increase with it.”

    An old man will offer an insight into human nature, or tell a story hoping to convey an underlying truth.

    “When I was young we used to hunt rabbits where that new tract is going up,” he might say. “Now there are so many people crowding together that there’s no room for a peaceful life. I’ve seen a lot of places where people are packed together. Every time they just got more crowded, covered in graffiti and run down.”

    Many Americans – older Americans particularly – have cultural concerns about immigration. After a lifetime observing this country, its culture, and its people, they find some changes today deeply troubling. They may join the conversation about how immigrants affect employment figures or how illegal immigration has taxed the Department of Homeland Security.

    Yet they’ve formed their opinions based on something more complex and intuitive. They take a lifetime of experiences, insights and observations. These coalesce into a worldview. That worldview affects their opinions on immigration; immigration affects their worldview, too.

    Whether they are right or wrong, anyone who hopes to win converts or fashion a compromise in the immigration debate must understand this cohort of older voters made uneasy by illegal immigration, and sometimes by legal immigration. too.

    That brings us to today’s “based-on-a-true-story” character: Harold is a white retiree who is kind to the Latina cashiers at the supermarket, loves his grandchildren profoundly and hates illegal immigration with a bitter passion. If you hooked him up to a truth machine and offered to put his grandkids through college in exchange for his blunt views on immigration here’s what he’d say:

    “All my life I worked hard for my family so that they’d have better than I did. My wife and I skipped vacations and drove used cars to start a college fund for our sons. We cleaned our own house and cut our own grass. We could’ve cut corners, cheated here and there on our taxes, but we played by the rules instead. We cut coupons. If an unexpected cost came up we went without something else. We did things by the book even when it didn’t seem fair.

    “We would’ve liked three kids, but we settled for two. It took a while to save enough to have our first child. As the second one got to school age he needed surgery that our insurance only covered half of, so we took out a loan and never did feel like we could afford a third child.”

    “Now I’ve got grandkids I’d like to help send to college. It costs more every year. Already I’ve had to put some of that money toward an emergency room visit for my wife. It didn’t used to cost so much, but they say the illegals don’t have medical insurance, so it drives up the cost for the rest of us.

    “That’s my beef with illegal immigration: It makes me think that those of us who play by the rules just keep getting screwed. We must’ve been chumps to plan and save for a family, when these illegals have three, four, five kids that they can’t afford. The kids get welfare too. So I missed out on trying for a girl so that I can pay for other people’s kids that they can’t afford?

    “Later these kids grow up and they want to go to college for free. They actually talk about that here: free tuition for illegal aliens! Are we a nation of laws or not? Do we want our grandkids growing up and seeing all around them that the way to get ahead is to break the rules? That’s what Mexico is. The police stop you for a traffic ticket, they’ll just take a bribe right there on the side of the road. Everything there is corrupt.

    “And we’re adding to it.

    “We’ve made it so the people who play by the rules and try to come here legally are still stuck in Tijuana. It’s the people who break the rules that get ahead. How long can we keep taking all the Mexicans who don’t mind breaking the law before we become more like Mexico?

    “Already we have these Mexican gangs, we have people working illegally, we have people buying fake documents, stealing people’s identities. We have signs in Spanish, stores where they only speak Spanish.

    “It’s got to stop or our country will end up as lawless and corrupt as their country. Old guys like me who played by the rules are going to die off. The young people will have learned all their lives that illegal isn’t bad, it’s OK. If you decide something is unfair, or you want a better life, just break the law, that’s the way to get ahead.

    “I’m glad I won’t be around to see it.”

    Do you think Harold has a point? Or is he mistaken? E-mail conor.friedersdorf@sbsun.com to express your opinion.

    Conor Friedersdorf manages The Sun’s blog on immigration issues. The blog, designed to provide a forum for opinions and information on immigration, is at http://www.beyondbordersblog.com.

    How older citizen might view illegals

    Conor Friedersdorf, Staff Writer
    San Bernardino County Sun

    Most older Americans talk politics different from their children and grandchildren.
    After seven or eight decades on this Earth, they’ve seen a lot, so their opinions are based on observations more than abstract arguments.

    A young man debating immigration will cite demographic facts and economic figures.

    “In California, population density is rising each year,” he might say. “If we liberalize our immigration laws the growth rate will only increase, and crime will increase with it.”

    An old man will offer an insight into human nature, or tell a story hoping to convey an underlying truth.

    “When I was young we used to hunt rabbits where that new tract is going up,” he might say. “Now there are so many people crowding together that there’s no room for a peaceful life. I’ve seen a lot of places where people are packed together. Every time they just got more crowded, covered in graffiti and run down.”

    Many Americans – older Americans particularly – have cultural concerns about immigration. After a lifetime observing this country, its culture, and its people, they find some changes today deeply troubling. They may join the conversation about how immigrants affect employment figures or how illegal immigration has taxed the Department of Homeland Security.

    Yet they’ve formed their opinions based on something more complex and intuitive. They take a lifetime of experiences, insights and observations. These coalesce into a worldview. That worldview affects their opinions on immigration; immigration affects their worldview, too.

    Whether they are right or wrong, anyone who hopes to win converts or fashion a compromise in the immigration debate must understand this cohort of older voters made uneasy by illegal immigration, and sometimes by legal immigration. too.

    That brings us to today’s “based-on-a-true-story” character: Harold is a white retiree who is kind to the Latina cashiers at the supermarket, loves his grandchildren profoundly and hates illegal immigration with a bitter passion. If you hooked him up to a truth machine and offered to put his grandkids through college in exchange for his blunt views on immigration here’s what he’d say:

    “All my life I worked hard for my family so that they’d have better than I did. My wife and I skipped vacations and drove used cars to start a college fund for our sons. We cleaned our own house and cut our own grass. We could’ve cut corners, cheated here and there on our taxes, but we played by the rules instead. We cut coupons. If an unexpected cost came up we went without something else. We did things by the book even when it didn’t seem fair.

    “We would’ve liked three kids, but we settled for two. It took a while to save enough to have our first child. As the second one got to school age he needed surgery that our insurance only covered half of, so we took out a loan and never did feel like we could afford a third child.”

    “Now I’ve got grandkids I’d like to help send to college. It costs more every year. Already I’ve had to put some of that money toward an emergency room visit for my wife. It didn’t used to cost so much, but they say the illegals don’t have medical insurance, so it drives up the cost for the rest of us.

    “That’s my beef with illegal immigration: It makes me think that those of us who play by the rules just keep getting screwed. We must’ve been chumps to plan and save for a family, when these illegals have three, four, five kids that they can’t afford. The kids get welfare too. So I missed out on trying for a girl so that I can pay for other people’s kids that they can’t afford?

    “Later these kids grow up and they want to go to college for free. They actually talk about that here: free tuition for illegal aliens! Are we a nation of laws or not? Do we want our grandkids growing up and seeing all around them that the way to get ahead is to break the rules? That’s what Mexico is. The police stop you for a traffic ticket, they’ll just take a bribe right there on the side of the road. Everything there is corrupt.

    “And we’re adding to it.

    “We’ve made it so the people who play by the rules and try to come here legally are still stuck in Tijuana. It’s the people who break the rules that get ahead. How long can we keep taking all the Mexicans who don’t mind breaking the law before we become more like Mexico?

    “Already we have these Mexican gangs, we have people working illegally, we have people buying fake documents, stealing people’s identities. We have signs in Spanish, stores where they only speak Spanish.

    “It’s got to stop or our country will end up as lawless and corrupt as their country. Old guys like me who played by the rules are going to die off. The young people will have learned all their lives that illegal isn’t bad, it’s OK. If you decide something is unfair, or you want a better life, just break the law, that’s the way to get ahead.

    “I’m glad I won’t be around to see it.”

    Do you think Harold has a point? Or is he mistaken? E-mail conor.friedersdorf@sbsun.com to express your opinion.

    Conor Friedersdorf manages The Sun’s blog on immigration issues. The blog, designed to provide a forum for opinions and information on immigration, is at http://www.beyondbordersblog.com.

    How older citizen might view illegals

    Conor Friedersdorf, Staff Writer
    San Bernardino County Sun

    Most older Americans talk politics different from their children and grandchildren.
    After seven or eight decades on this Earth, they’ve seen a lot, so their opinions are based on observations more than abstract arguments.

    A young man debating immigration will cite demographic facts and economic figures.

    “In California, population density is rising each year,” he might say. “If we liberalize our immigration laws the growth rate will only increase, and crime will increase with it.”

    An old man will offer an insight into human nature, or tell a story hoping to convey an underlying truth.

    “When I was young we used to hunt rabbits where that new tract is going up,” he might say. “Now there are so many people crowding together that there’s no room for a peaceful life. I’ve seen a lot of places where people are packed together. Every time they just got more crowded, covered in graffiti and run down.”

    Many Americans – older Americans particularly – have cultural concerns about immigration. After a lifetime observing this country, its culture, and its people, they find some changes today deeply troubling. They may join the conversation about how immigrants affect employment figures or how illegal immigration has taxed the Department of Homeland Security.

    Yet they’ve formed their opinions based on something more complex and intuitive. They take a lifetime of experiences, insights and observations. These coalesce into a worldview. That worldview affects their opinions on immigration; immigration affects their worldview, too.

    Whether they are right or wrong, anyone who hopes to win converts or fashion a compromise in the immigration debate must understand this cohort of older voters made uneasy by illegal immigration, and sometimes by legal immigration. too.

    That brings us to today’s “based-on-a-true-story” character: Harold is a white retiree who is kind to the Latina cashiers at the supermarket, loves his grandchildren profoundly and hates illegal immigration with a bitter passion. If you hooked him up to a truth machine and offered to put his grandkids through college in exchange for his blunt views on immigration here’s what he’d say:

    “All my life I worked hard for my family so that they’d have better than I did. My wife and I skipped vacations and drove used cars to start a college fund for our sons. We cleaned our own house and cut our own grass. We could’ve cut corners, cheated here and there on our taxes, but we played by the rules instead. We cut coupons. If an unexpected cost came up we went without something else. We did things by the book even when it didn’t seem fair.

    “We would’ve liked three kids, but we settled for two. It took a while to save enough to have our first child. As the second one got to school age he needed surgery that our insurance only covered half of, so we took out a loan and never did feel like we could afford a third child.”

    “Now I’ve got grandkids I’d like to help send to college. It costs more every year. Already I’ve had to put some of that money toward an emergency room visit for my wife. It didn’t used to cost so much, but they say the illegals don’t have medical insurance, so it drives up the cost for the rest of us.

    “That’s my beef with illegal immigration: It makes me think that those of us who play by the rules just keep getting screwed. We must’ve been chumps to plan and save for a family, when these illegals have three, four, five kids that they can’t afford. The kids get welfare too. So I missed out on trying for a girl so that I can pay for other people’s kids that they can’t afford?

    “Later these kids grow up and they want to go to college for free. They actually talk about that here: free tuition for illegal aliens! Are we a nation of laws or not? Do we want our grandkids growing up and seeing all around them that the way to get ahead is to break the rules? That’s what Mexico is. The police stop you for a traffic ticket, they’ll just take a bribe right there on the side of the road. Everything there is corrupt.

    “And we’re adding to it.

    “We’ve made it so the people who play by the rules and try to come here legally are still stuck in Tijuana. It’s the people who break the rules that get ahead. How long can we keep taking all the Mexicans who don’t mind breaking the law before we become more like Mexico?

    “Already we have these Mexican gangs, we have people working illegally, we have people buying fake documents, stealing people’s identities. We have signs in Spanish, stores where they only speak Spanish.

    “It’s got to stop or our country will end up as lawless and corrupt as their country. Old guys like me who played by the rules are going to die off. The young people will have learned all their lives that illegal isn’t bad, it’s OK. If you decide something is unfair, or you want a better life, just break the law, that’s the way to get ahead.

    “I’m glad I won’t be around to see it.”
    —————————————–

    For other opinions about illegals go here:

    http://www.langamp.com/borderblog/

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

  143. ShrinkWrapped Says:

    About the Children…

    Immigration reform and the benefits and dangers of immigration, especially from south of the border, has leaped into the spotlight. Bills in Congress designed to criminalize illegal immigrants vie with bills to create a guest worker program and allow i…

  144. John Davies Says:

    Marc-

    Suppose that you convinced me. Then if the low paid people of Mexico coming to the US is so good for the economy, why are we making them walk here?

    Shouldn’t we construct a fleet of moving vans and busses to get as many over the border as are willing to come to the US? Why are we using low-tech inefficient methods?

  145. Concertina Says:

    All I want to say is the day my husband or his family is not welcome in this country and the United States decides to put up that fence and run the hispanic community out, is the day that my family will be moving to Mexico with my husband.

    Buh-bye.

  146. Darius Lietuvis Says:

    There is so much discussions about illegals and the reforms that supposed to solve those problems. My question is “What about those who came here legally? Studied here, were offerd to stay and after their visa expired are forced to leave? I spent my last 10 years (1/3 of my life) in the US studying and working and now I have to leave the country because there is no path to the permament residency. I paid taxes, I bought a house, I’m married (not a citizen), in short this is where I live, this is the country that I love, this is the country that I respect but unfortunetely I’m forced to leave and start all over again or I can become illegal which would be easier then moving to the other side of pond. My point is that immigration is not just about illegals, the reforms should adress the needs of those who followed the rules and were honest. God bless America!

  147. justice Says:

    Concertina and Papa Ray- I am responding to you both at once because of the similarity in your attitude and opinion. Although I am not r interested in opinion per se, I feel the need to respond, partly because you both seem to be ignorant of how American policies make other countries poor and weaker- subsequantly creating wealth gap that forces poor to migrate to other countries. Mexico is basically a Banana republic of the US, with puppet government instituted there which deliberately keeps Mexico under poverty. Give me one American who well wishes Mexican or other nationals to be well off in their own country so that they don’t have to come here. Look at how many Amercans are scared or jealous that China is rising. If Americans are really well wishing, they should be happy that other countries are developing, that would ultimately reduce immigratin flow to this country. We don’t see European, Japanese or Australian wanting to come here. In fact they avoid America if they can.

  148. Mark A. York Says:

    Again no is able to acknowledge a biological carrying capacity issue except Bradley. Rich is spot on with the no skills angle paradox. Even if you have skills it still isn’t enough but I’m happy to hear the senate judiciary committee is focusing on goat-herders. They, apparently, need an extra two weeks to complete their gigs. Sheep are so much more coopertive, or so the Basques tell me.

  149. Mark A. York Says:

    “Give me one American who well wishes Mexican or other nationals to be well off in their own country so that they don’t have to come here”

    Done. I wish them well in shaking off the self-imposed shackles of their elected governments. May the force be with them. Viva Santa Ana.

  150. The WB42 5:30 Report With Doug Krile Says:

    They Protest. By The Hundreds of Thousands…

    Huge numbers in the immigration protests this weekend. Incredible. Do you think this kind of snuck up on some politicians?…

  151. tim Says:

    What all the geniuses on this thread who want the close the border fail to grasp is how big the border is and how much it will cost to “seal” it. It is approximately 2000 miles long. For some comparison, the border between South and North Korea is about 150 miles long. It keeps most of the 600,000+ strong ROK armed forces and the ~20,000 US forces to secure the border.

    Mexico is not “invading” with a military force. But the US-Mexico border is more than 10 times the length of the ROK/DPRK border, and some of it is wide open spaces, not the granite hills of Korea. Where would all the security forces come from? How much would it cost to build out all the security outposts? How would we pay for it in addition to the Katrina rebuild and Iraq war? California cannot even get federal funds to fix the levees, which are a pressing security issue, far cheaper than tightening the border controls.

    So perhaps the states are going to pool their money? Sure, the famously low-tax advocating states of Texas and Arizona are going to pay in? I doubt it.

    Pragmatism? Pragmatism is knowing the limits of government/military/police power and understanding that the coercive solution is not possible in this case.

    Get real folks.

  152. modestproposal Says:

    I love the fact that Bill Bradley decides the official crowd estimates from Saturday are wrong purely on the basis that he once worked on a presidential campaign — and a failed one at that.

    How about judging the crowds by actually being there? If Bill had any real political savvy, or for that matter basic journalistic nous, he might have taken the minimally onerous step of showing up at a major news event in the state he purports to cover for a living.

  153. Daniel Medley Says:

    This post is so misguided on so many levels, one of which is that we are a “nation of immigrants”. THAT is the egregious simplification that is bandied about so often in an attempt to rationalize the illegal action of coming into this country without proper authorization. You economic arguments; Our national economy easily absorbs and desperately needs about a million-and-a-half immigrant workers per year to grow and compete . . . is equally flawed. The argument is not too dissimilar from some of the arguments propagated by those who were in favor of slavery in the South. After all, that cheap labor in the form of slavery was necessary for the South to compete economically; or so goes the argument.

    Capitalism is the most viable socio/economic model in history but Capitalism can only be fully realized within a paradigm of supply and demand within sovereign borders; global economy be damned. The continued exploitation of illegal immigrants and so-called “worker visas” circumvents supply and demand by forcing workers to compete with those from third world nations effectively lowering the bar. There is no worker shortage in this country but, instead, a pay shortage. If employers cannot get legal Americans to do the “menial” labor that they depend on people from third world countries to do then they need to pay more.

    To simply change the law to accommodate illegal behavior is a slap in the face of those who have and continue to immigrate to this nation legally, and dilutes the “American Dream” at the same time.

  154. Rich Says:

    “If employers cannot get legal Americans to do the “menial” labor that they depend on people from third world countries to do then they need to pay more.”

    Thank you, Daniel. It deserved to be said (at least) twice. It’s at the heart of this issue.

  155. Tom Grey - Liberty Dad Says:

    Yep, pay more to far fewer workers: perhaps 30% more but only to half as many.

    So world unemployment goes up — but those who want higher wages for poor American humans don’t really care so much about poor non-Americans. Like most people in the world.

    But please don’t hypocritically try to say this is in any way morally superior to allowing really poor humans to actually work, peacefully and voluntarily, at the low paid jobs available.

    The failure of the workers’ movement has always been a failure to promote job growth by starting more firms and offering more jobs. Any who think poor people are paid too little are free, in America, to start a business and pay them more.

  156. Mary Says:

    To you Consertina, Grow up!!!

    I’m voicing my opinion because my family is in the middle of the situation. Why are you? You can just sit there and type what you want, but you and your family will not be effected by what happens.

    All I have to say is that your a cold hearted person. Your probably someone who only thinks of themselves.

    I’m not against the war in Iraq or the troops going over there to help out that country, but I say it wouldn’t hurt us to do the same for a country that has the same borders.

  157. Dan O Says:

    J Cummins:

    You rather prematurely put the headstone over the nation-state. It’s not going anywhere anytime soon, and will continue into the indefinite future as the basis for political organization; no matter what your vision is, you can count on it–just a pragmatic thought. And further, if the energy collapse happens as predicted, then the national economies that are about to “fade away” “point by point”, will not only become more national, they are likely to become regional and local once again.

    You posit a morality based on a universalist humanist creed, which is admirable (and in principle to be striven towards, and enshrined in law whenever possible), but in its utopian incarnation you advance it is bound to fail on, dare I say it, pragmatic gounds. How will this borderless Brook Farm operate? From where will authority flow from? Who will write laws? Who will police the place? How will we navigate in places like the suub-continent where there are regional actors with their own ideas about power, security and prestige? Do we have good historical example of mega-politial structures that actually operate effctively? These are not rhetorical questions.

    I guess I just keep finding your critique of liberals, reformers and pragmatists to be a dead-end and a dangerous one at that, since it relies on a utopian vision that always descends into tyranny. I’ll borrow from Rorty the concept of the liberal ironist who detests pain and humiliation, but who feels there is no ahistorical grounding for those beliefs that we can appeal to. I would much rather deal with the realities we have here and now, do the best we can, with the best and fairest principles we can adopt, while not pretending that History dictates we adopt a particular policy.

    And having lived in Minnesota, which is almost close enough to Iowa to see the corn, and now in SoCal, I’ll just say you’re grossly wrong; SoCal does not have more in common with Mexico than it does with Iowa. And the Toronto-Chicago, example is just an observation about the differences between towns and cities (both of them in countries that share a language and political lineage). What in the world is this supposed to demonstrate?

  158. Wall Street Cafe aka La Ventanita Says:

    Debating HR4437…

    This past weekend the nation was witness to massive demonstrations against HR4437 which seeks to make illegal aliens felons by making the illegal status a felony. The issue has divided political parties, has divided a nation, and has even divided the…..

  159. J Cummings Says:

    Dan O – good response – I have a large problem with Rorty (and pragmatism as a philosophical schol in general -, but at least its coherent.

    In terms of your second paragraph, I don’t think I have the space for an answer. I think Danielle Archibuggi and Richard Falk’s ideas are instructive on this one, along with Marx, Benjamin and Kant.

    In terms of Mega-Political systems, with reservations, I’ll cite the EU, at the very least has a parliamentary structure that is approaching supranationality, if not yet in praxis. Yes, there are plenty of problems in terms of protectionism between states – but its a young project – and I predict important in terms of vision. I also am very excited, yet guardedly optimistic as opposed to completely optimistic, about a United Latin America, and perhaps Africa. Nations would retain their specific characteristics, under the auspices of a global confederation. Nations would elect separate parliaments to both national and international government.

    If utopian visions end in tyranny, I’ll respond by citing Ho Chi Minh on the French Revolution and Gandhi on Western Civilization. The former said “Has it ended yet?” and the latter said “Its a good idea” Utopian visions are important – and people on the Rortyite “decent” left like R Jacoby agree with me on this one. Simply put, th
    e entire post-French Revolution enlightenment project is utopian.

    Perhaps I’m wrong about Socal, but living in Toronto, I find that Toronto – and rural/town based Southern Ontario has more in common with the Northern Midwest (due to geographical proximity) than with other parts of Canada – just as BC and Washington state are similiar.

  160. Tonjia Says:

    Dear Mexico,

    We sincerely apologize. We have come to the enlightened conclusion, the we have indeed, been RACIST.

    We have allowed 12 million Mexicans to illegally immigrate into this country. To drive on our roads, for free, attend our schools, for free, use our medical resources for free, and be clothed and fed, for free.

    We HAVE NOT allowed 12 million Chinese to illegally immigrate to flee communist supression, and live here for free. We HAVE NOT allowed 12 million Muslims to illegally immigrate to flee sharia law, and live here for free. We HAVE NOT allowed 12 million Africans to illegally immigrate to flee starvation, war, famine and aids, and live here for free. We have NOT allowed 12 million Cubans to illegally immigrate, to flee oppression, and live here for free.

    In the interest of not being racist, we have two choices. Send you home, and let you immigrate legally, like everybody else, or open our borders to 48 million more illegal immigrants, who will take your jobs, and make it impossible for you to get any health care or social services, as they will suck the systems you are on completely dry.

    You see, they will be sending about 80 billion dollars of the money which funds your stay here back to their own countries.

    You are right. There is absolutely no way we can in good conscience allow things to stay the way they are, because it is indeed, as you have pointed out, the height of racism, to allow you in, for free, and keep everybody else out.

    If things remain as they are, you can continue in good faith to call us racist, because we are.

  161. J Cummings Says:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/jacobs03272006.html

  162. Mark A. York Says:

    Straw man. Typical of the view from Petrolia an area where pot pipe production is a growing business.

  163. J Cummings Says:

    Pot pipe production should be a growing business. Aren’t you a capitalist…Did you read the entire interview?

  164. reg Says:

    So the author of “The Conservative Case for Bush’s Immigration Plan” in the February 28 issue of The Weekly Standard – and a host of other recent articles on immigration for the Standard, National Review and Wall Street Journal – is “ultra-progressive” ?

    I don’t really care about the labels on this issue – I’ve got more than a bit of sympathy for Pat Buchanan on this issue, but I’d be the last person to claim that his conservatism is “ultra-progressive.”

    Tamar Jacoby speaks for unbridled capital on this issue. I don’t say that because I know her or think she’s evil or think she’s nice or whatever – I say it because the WSJ op-eders, Manhattan’s libertarian free-market ideologues, The Weekly Standard and The National Review promote her and they obviously do it for a reason. If her position wasn’ aligned with the corporatist elite, she wouldn’t be one of their favored pundits. That’s not proof that she’s “wrong” per se – especially if your frame of reference is open borders and/or open markets (pretty much the same thing in reality, “immigration activists” of the left notwithstanding.) Just that she’s not part of any perspective that speaks to anything that has to do with my fundamental political values.

    J Cummings – you are operating from such a different worldview than I am that “you’re not even wrong”.

  165. reg Says:

    J – The French Revolution citation is, I believe, actually Chou En Lai. His line was “It’s too early to tell”. Frankly, I think that for either Ho or Chou – both of whom were arguably the “cream” of Stalinist “Marxism-Leninism”, but dedicated Stalinists nonetheless – that’s a pretty pathetic cop out.

  166. Eleanore kjellberg Says:

    “Just as an aside, you will remember that at the time American blacks were also “illegals” in many states– barred and subject to prosecution for drinking out of the wrong fountain, trying to go to the wrong school etc. etc.”

    Comparing institutionalized racism, suffered by African-Americans citizens “within their own” country, to preventing the further inundation of illegal immigrants, is not only nonsensical but insulting.

    “The continued exploitation of illegal immigrants and so-called “worker visas” circumvents supply and demand by forcing workers to compete with those from third world nations effectively lowering the bar. There is no worker shortage in this country but, instead, a pay shortage. If employers cannot get legal Americans to do the “menial” labor that they depend on people from third world countries to do then they need to pay more.”

    Yes, employers want it both ways, they want to devalue labor by hiring illegal immigrants, who are only to happy to take jobs at a non-living wage; and after labor is devalued, the issue of illegal immigration will be irrelevant—because the rate of ALL labor will have universally fallen—all Americans will then be forced to accept exploitative salaries.

    Today only 12 percent of all workers in the U.S. are unionized; without unions, there will be no effective organized force, powerful enough to negotiate salary and benefits for the working-class—these rights of negotiation will become as vestigial in nature as our own appendix—thanks to social Darwinism, a concept that is now being promoted and accepted by the liberal elite. Surely, they can find nannies who are not illegal immigrants to watch their children while they play tennis.

    The U.S. will eventually lose their middle-class and evolve into a very defined two class economic system ( very poor and extremely rich) ; becoming nothing more than another third world country, similar to the countries these illegal immigrants are fleeing from.

    It is interesting that the corporate ruling class are united with the so-called “good-intentioned” liberals to sell-out the American worker, in order to perpetuate an exploitative system, and are promoting their efforts by excusing those who disagree as being racist– the old fashion “race card” rears its ugly head again—if you disagree with workers being pitted against other workers, for the express purpose of devaluing wages, you are now considered a racist.

    I would say that by agreeing with this form of exploitation one becomes an enabler of the ruling class.

  167. Peter Rudholm Says:

    Large employers of undocumented workers have been able to have their cake and eat it too. Immigrants having to survive under the burden of illegal status is good for employers that want to pay less than minimum wages, no benefits, and impose harsh working conditions. As Marc Cooper said, it is interesting to see the business-minded conservatives pitted against the culturally-minded conservatives. With the prior traditionally empowering the latter, they are now getting bit in the rear by them. Now with rapid global changes, some Americans feel their culture is being threatened as even more people out of necessity cross our southern border. As the economic benefit of immigrant workers becomes harder and harder to ignore, I am wondering when people like the Minutemen will just fess up to their real fear, cultural change.

  168. Mark A. York Says:

    The only times I’ve had healthcare through work was through two unions. In both cases it was difficult to come up with enough hours to qualify. To illustrate this when Hillary Swank won the oscar, the role paid her $5000. It takes $7500 to qualify. She didn’t make it that year. There are thousands in that particular boat at SAG.

    http://washingtonmonthly.com/features/2006/0604.mcgray.html

    This is a good story on immigration. Reg you’re right on JC up here. He’s living under a whole separate paradighm. One toke over the line…

  169. reg Says:

    J – as an alternative to mining Lenin – of all failed ideologues – in your effort to be “as radical as reality”, I’d suggest that you give a shot to Michael “The Left Wing of The Possible” Harrington and Reinhold “Moral Man and Immoral Society” Niebuhr to help sort out what I would argue are substantive differences between “utopian” and “visionary”. Christopher Lasch wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Maybe you’ve been there and done that – just a thought from a cranky, modestly progressive pragmatist who generally finds “progress” a disappointment, “actually existing pragmatism” likely to be insulting to a sense of decency, and who would hate like hell to live in anybody’s “utopia”. As for the Enlightenment and associated projects being “utopian” I think you’re missing that there’s always been a split of approximately three ways on this – roughly between the conservative heirs of Edmund Burke who keep faith in elites, a very pragmatic idealism disposed toward empowering “the common man” that I would say is best exemplified by Thomas Paine and the children of Robespierre who would impose utopia, i.e. elites who claim to act as agents of an abstract “everyman”.

  170. The Pop View » Blog Archive » Viva La Raza Says:

    [...] Are you aware of the amazing stuff going on in L.A. in response to pending immigration legislation? Read Marc Cooper’s analysis and listen to this excellent radio report from hip-hop journalist Davey D, in which he talks to people on the street and plays applicable rap songs. [...]

  171. Irwin Says:

    Go to cnn.com: Teddy made the bill happen.

  172. Lamm said: Says:

    “Here is how they do it,” Lamm said:

    “First, to destroy America, turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country.” History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.’ Canada, Belgium, Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans.”

    Lamm went on: Second, to destroy America, “Invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

    Third, “We could make the United States an ‘Hispanic Quebec’ without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: ‘The apparent success of our own multiethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricity and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.’ Lamm said, “I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.”

    “Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high. school.”

    “My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of ‘Victimology.’ I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population.”

    “My sixth plan for America’s downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy, Persia, threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. E. Pluribus Unum — From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the ‘pluribus’. Instead of the ‘Unum,’ we will balkanize America as surely as Kosovo.”

    “Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits; make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’ I would find a word similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobe’ halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of ‘Victimology,’ I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America, it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.”

  173. Marc Cooper » Blog Archive » Breakthrough Says:

    [...] Immigration Issue Explodes [Updated] [...]

  174. NahnCee Says:

    To me, the issue on the illegals and where their loyalty lies will be whether they will stop sending money “back home”, and will start paying taxes here to support themselves. I really don’t see the outflow of American dollars stopping, so to me that means they’re more committed to their family back in Mexico or Guatemala or Costa Rica than they are to paying to repave the freeways here in Los Angeles. And I really resent having to carry them as a taxpayer and continue to pay for them to live free and prosper here, while they are sending money back to all the relatives back home, which also translates into supporting Vincente and third-world crooks like him.

  175. rosedog Says:

    Reg and Rich….. Based on what both of you have posted, I’m going to back peddle a little on Tamar Jacoby.

    In truth, I read her work and talked to her mainly about a particular slice of immigration policy—specifically the issues accruing around the subject of longtime legal non-citizen immigrants who had run afoul of the law, and were deported without remedy, even for comparatively minor infractions, often shattering families when those immigrants had citizen spouses and/or children. In that area I found her unusually sane, progressive, logical, nuanced, and informed.

    I can’t speak to her POV on most other aspects of immigration policy…..so I probably shouldn’t have generalized so quickly.

    One side note about Jacoby, maybe it was her mood during the times we spoke, but I did find her to have a bit of an I-get-it-and-you-don’t attitude that brooked very little challenge, even of the most minor sort. But, as I said, I may have simply caught her at particularly stressed moments.

  176. Marc Cooper Says:

    This thread has been fascinating, revealing and therefore somewhat depressing. What a spectacle it is to watch some of our more fervent liberals climb right into the bed with the racists — but of course in the name of defeding “the American worker!” Lovely! Wonderful! What an internationalist, global consciousness! What a sham!

    People who work in America ARE American workers.

    One other minor point that the left-of-center xenophobes have overlooked in their keyboard crusade to protect native… um I mean… American workers: in the last 10 years just about the ONLY workers in America who have mobilized to unionize, raise wages and win benefits are… drum roll…. immigrant workers… mostly illegals by the way. The only unions showing growth are service, health care, hotel and culinary workers and take it from me, folks, there aint an Irishman among them.

    Anyway.. I can’t say I’m shocked by some of the disgusting responses I’ve read here. Just depressed. Scared White People evidently come in a variety of political ideologies.

  177. J Cummings Says:

    My bad on the Chou En Lai. Neither Chou nor Ho were Stalinists. Leninist, yes. I no longer think the Leninist Vanguard model is applicable, but I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the October Revolution, that unfortunately, for Stalin’s perversion most Americans avoid.

    Lenin’s ideology was not a failure unless you believe that Russia would be better off under the Czar. Stalin perverted the Soviet Union, but under certain leaders tried to open up the system- and Gorbachev wanted to preserve it, which would have been a hell of a lot better than Yeltsin and Putin. The importance of Lenin is like that of Mazzini or Washington.

    The Parallax between Paine and Robespierre is not very large. I may be mistaken but I believe they were at the very least fellow travellers in some radical international circles of the time.

    I respect Neibuhr, though his theology was a bit off. Harrington was not much of a theorist, but a great writer – unfortunately he was very muddled about the New Left.

  178. Marc Cooper Says:

    Rosedog… hang on there. Dont be so quick to sell out Tamar. You were, indeed, wrong to have called her “ultra-progressive” because she’s not. Overall, she’s a moderate center-rightist.

    HOWEVER, she’s about the best there is on immigration. Fortunately people cannot always be pidgeonholed.

    I mean, with all due respect, lefty Eleanore K. writing above is –on immigration– a screaming reactionary.

    Life is complicated.

    Reg.. you are welcome to criticize Tamar all you want on her polcy proposals. But dont stoop to guilt be association. As you know, Pat Buchanan agrees with you on the war — doesnt make you a Buchananite(nevessarily).

  179. reg Says:

    “But don’t stoop to guilt be association.”

    I”m not stooping to anything, much less guilt by association – I’m just trying to place her in the political context where she actually exists. So you agree with Jacoby on immigration…doesn’t make you a free-market libertarian apologist (necessarily).

    As for people who don’t agree with you and Tamar and Milton Friedman and MECHA on this being “screaming reactionaries”, I think you forget your own admnition that life just might be complicated.

    J – “Neither Chou nor Ho were Stalinists…”

    You’re kidding, right ????

    “The Parallax between Paine and Robespierre is not very large”

    The only reason Paine escaped the guillotine (by a lucky accident and then several days) is because Robespierre – who sent him up and marked him for death – got overthrown and lost his head (arguably a redundancy) first. Paine was friends with Danton, who wasn’t so lucky. Paine’s worst crime, in Robespierre’s rather mad eyes, was arguing against capital punishment for Louis XIV – or anybody. Didn’t believe in it as a matter of principle.

  180. reg Says:

    “Lenin’s ideology was not a failure unless you believe that Russia would be better off under the Czar.”

    Lenin didn’t overthrow the Czar…he overthrew the Provisional Government of Kerensky.

  181. Mark A. York Says:

    Yeah I don’t consider wanting a reasonable policy “jumping in bed with racists.” I’m against mass unbridled propagation because it’s irresponsible and untenable economically and biologically. It’s time ethnic groups realize what it is they do when they have families they can’t support. The standard of living has declined and new exploitable huddled masses from impoverished devastated environments contributes to spreading that and not much else.

  182. Mark A. York Says:

    On unions who has undermined the vision of UFW more than illegal workers? Christ all they were left with was a vestage. With actual members it would be a solid footing, instead of being looted by the Chavez family. Exploitation spans ethnic groups since it’s a human fallibility. The enemy of the worker, is the scab who undercuts the standard. The result is a nation that is sub-standard. We’re just about there in that department.

  183. Bill Bradley Says:

    Say, “modestproposal” (i.e., fraud hiding behind a dumb handle), here is a suggestion for you. Know what you are talking about.

    You got it wrong on all scores, including your failure of basic reading comprehension. The number of campaigns, the type of campaigns, and, oh guess what, I am sure I work twice as hard as your intellectually torpid butt and was still doing my job covering the governor’s race, something you undoubtedly haven’t a clue about.

    Now I’ve wasted more time on you than you deserve from any serious person. Don’t you feel special?

    modestproposal Says:
    March 27th, 2006 at 12:39 pm
    I love the fact that Bill Bradley decides the official crowd estimates from Saturday are wrong purely on the basis that he once worked on a presidential campaign — and a failed one at that.

    How about judging the crowds by actually being there? If Bill had any real political savvy, or for that matter basic journalistic nous, he might have taken the minimally onerous step of showing up at a major news event in the state he purports to cover for a living.

  184. Bill Bradley Says:

    Marc, that is one of the weakest posts you have ever made. You lost the battle of opinion at my blog, of course. Now you have lost it at your own.

    Crying “racist” is one of the last refugees of the lost.

    >This thread has been fascinating, revealing and therefore somewhat depressing. What a spectacle it is to watch some of our more fervent liberals climb right into the bed with the racists — but of course in the name of defeding “the American worker!” Lovely! Wonderful! What an internationalist, global consciousness! What a sham!

    People who work in America ARE American workers.

    One other minor point that the left-of-center xenophobes have overlooked in their keyboard crusade to protect native… um I mean… American workers: in the last 10 years just about the ONLY workers in America who have mobilized to unionize, raise wages and win benefits are… drum roll…. immigrant workers… mostly illegals by the way. The only unions showing growth are service, health care, hotel and culinary workers and take it from me, folks, there aint an Irishman among them.

    Anyway.. I can’t say I’m shocked by some of the disgusting responses I’ve read here. Just depressed. Scared White People evidently come in a variety of political ideologies.

  185. Bill Bradley Says:

    Here is how stunningly euphemistic and intellectually lame some of the folks organizing that rally are …

    Taping Warren Olney’s Which Way, LA? radio show this afternoon, which was especially interesting for the top-rated Spanish language DJ who devoted many days of his show to drumming up the crowd for Saturday’s massive rally in downtown Los Angeles, I encountered a new euphemism for illegal immigration. A graduate student on the organizing committee of Saturday’s rally took exception to my use of the term, which is widely accepted outside the confines of the very politically correct left, saying it is designed to appeal “to the conservative base.” He also saw no potential backlash because, well, that wasn’t so clear. (As you might suppose, I’ve taken a scorching on a variety of left-wing web sites for my “nativism.” If they only knew.)

    The new term of choice for those who illegally enter the United States in their attempts to emigrate here?

    “Entry without permit.”

    Somehow, I don’t think that will catch on.

  186. Bill Bradley Says:

    I suppose I should the childish “modestproposal” something of a break for taking me to task for not attending the rally myself. Although he pretends to know a lot about me, he clearly does not know the most important thing with regard to his idiotic point.

    I live 400 miles away from Los Angeles.

    But you know, after being on a show this afternoon with some of the leaders in the ENTRY WITHOUT PERMIT MOVEMENT, it does not surprise me that some apologist for it here would not know the first thing that he is talking about.

  187. J Cummings Says:

    I may be wrong about Paine and Robespierre – my expertise is not that time period and it seemed like a sensible conjecture – but – this doesn’t detract from my point that at its core, the enlightenment was/is a utopian project. In terms of imposition versus adoption of enlightenment, its a false dichotomy. Creating a “better world” as most conservatives, let alone liberals or leftists believe they are doing, is at its core a utopian idea.

    And I have to come to Marc’s defense on the point of jumping into bed with racists. He isn’t reactionary here, even if “tough enforcement” is – I’ll just say reformist. Even if not intentionally racist, an anti-immigrant point of view is implicitly racist. There is no “pay shortage”- that is the leftism of fools. There are goddamned billionaires in the States. Tax em more, redistribute income.

  188. reg Says:

    “Scared White People”

    Oh pleeeeeze, Marc.

  189. Bill Bradley Says:

    Yes, “an anti-immigrant point of view is implicitly racist.”

    An anti-illegal immigrant point of view is not.

    Your failure to acknowledge the difference places you, quite ironically, on the same intellectual plane with the racists who fail to see the difference.

  190. rosedog Says:

    One more story to file in the Life Is Complicated category: if the thoughtful essayist whose work Eleanor posted on the newer thread is to be believed, undocumented immigrants are a serious threat to the livelihood of the working poor and to huge swathes of the nation’s blue collar workers. Yet, interestingly, one of the main organizers of Saturday’s march in LA was the County Federation of Labor, which—now that we’re on the subject of complicated—- is presently headed up by Maria Elena Durazo, Miguel Contreras’ widow, and a long time labor organizer in her own right. For those of you still trying to track the Russian novel-like characters in California politics, that would be the same Miguel Contreras who, according to Bill Bradley, told California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez not to march in the last immigration-related demonstration in 1994 because it would be politically unstrategic.

    I’m not drawing any conclusions here, just setting out on the table another couple of pieces of the intricate puzzle that is immigration policy in America.

  191. Marc Cooper Says:

    Rosedog: Well, this is something I have not reported on in the last few days. But it is of course a rather ironic fact. The County Federation of Labor and especially the service unions were –along with religious groups– the main organizers of the Saturday rally. Ive been privy to much of the detail as my daughter works for one of the unions full of all these law breakers!:) Fantastic that all these armchair liberals are denoucning the illegals in the name of unionized workers! LOL!

    I’ve decided to continue with my posting and to more or less ignore the commenters on this one… I dont get paid enough to engage such vast and overhwhelming ignorance and prejudice though I continue to be amazed by how much good old fashioned xenophobia we are finding now among the libs and lefties.

    Im wondering how many of these America First Liberals sneer and complain when they are served and tended to by this horde of illegals? Shouldnt they be turning in these law breakers so that honest and hard working American workers can take over the jobs of the busboys, waiters, laborers and sod carriers?? Are the complicit with the Capitalist Pig Employers and Pro-Illegal Alien Lobbies because of their silence and inaction????

    No, Reg, it’s not racism per se. It’s a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamic in play. You’re being overcome by events… but we love you anyway.

    To Bradley: Im a little surprised by the sheer depth of the hole ur digging urself in on this one… sounding more like some mad-as-hell suburban crank than a cool-headed analyst. Just for the hell of it… I will reveal that “modestproposal” is hardly someone who doesnt know what he’s talking about. WIthout compromising his privacy too much I will say only that he is a distiguished so cal-based journalist who very much does understand the situation and has written very convincingly on this and many many other subjects.

    Now.. get up from your couch… walk to the window… open it up and yell out loud: “__________________!!!” LOL

  192. reg Says:

    Although I have expressed pretty strong feelings about putting the squeeze on employers in certain sectors of the economy, I don’t believe for a minute that labor unions should attempt to be enforcers and the efforts to unionize illegals (Marc referred to some of the apparent success with this) should be their main response to the “facts on the ground”.

    This is complicated, emotional and really has some of the flavor of the Israeli-Palestine thing to it, where you find yourself juggling a version of what you ideally might think is right against two conflicting versions of reality each of which is fraught with the potential for both a certain amount of empathy and large helpings of self-serving bullshit.

    Krugman’s column came closest for me in trying to come to terms with the economic arguments and the practical situation on the ground. I will say this in the face of some of the charges thrown here – I have absolutely no shame about ascribing value to citizenship and believe forthrightly that there is no country in the world that does a better job of offering legal entry and opportunity to large numbers of people. I refuse to apologize for America’s imagined “racism” in the arena of immigration. There’s plenty of racism in this country, but to argue that America is systematically racist or unwelcoming to immigrants in the contemporary era and that our legal immigration policies aren’t one of the most successful, open and welcoming in the world is just a bunch of crap. It’s also not reasonable, IMHO, to deny that a country has a right to attempt to exercise some control over the numbers of immigrants who enter. I honestly don’t understand – outside of utopian dream-mongering or certain irresponsible business “imperatives” – what that’s about and why I’m a “racist” for asserting otherwise.

  193. reg Says:

    I have to say Marc, that you protest a bit too much in that last one…

    Also, we all know that unions can represent pretty damned narrow interests. That’s okay…they often don’t have a lot of choices, but let’s not idealize particular unions or even labor federations as the arbiters of perfect justice for “the working class”. They are, in fundamental ways, a mirror image of the world “created” by capital…and unfortunately it’s often a rather hazy and cracked mirror.

  194. Dan O Says:

    Cummings: “Creating a “better world” as most conservatives, let alone liberals or leftists believe they are doing, is at its core a utopian idea.”

    Come on Jordy, you know better than that. There is a huge difference between a reformer or a liberal, or even a radical and, for example, a Marxist who believes that the dictatorship of the proletariat is a step towards the apotheosis of history. You hardly need me to point this out to you. Anyone who believes in the perfectibility of people, government, politics, culture, etc. is a utopian as I see it, whether they lead from the left or the right. I happen to think these people and systems are usually dangerous, but I’ll leave that alone for now and say instead that this is not the definition of a reformer or a liberal. They are by their very nature not utopians. The first admonition in response to the dialectic is to be more modest in aim, less cock-sure, less of a total systematizer. But again, you know all of this.

  195. reg Says:

    Here are some figures from a Zogby poll of Californians on attitudes toward (legal and illegal) immigration that should put the “racism” and “nativism” line to rest, in that the results are all over the place; often surprising, unpredictable or counterintuitive and no ethnic group is free from significant concerns about the problems – or alleged problems – associated with immigration. I would also assert – strictly as my opinion on reflection of this survey – that the negativity toward legal immigration (consideration of a “moratorium” is due to the fact of so much illegal immigration, meaning that illegal immigration jeopardizes the status of legal immigrants more directly than anyone else:

    Reduced Tuition for Illegal Immigrants?
    Overall, nearly three-quarters of respondents oppose a law giving illegal immigrants reduced tuition to state colleges and universities.

    Whites (78%) and Asian Americans (65%) oppose such a law, as do Hispanics (55%) and African Americans (51%).

    American vs. Foreign workers?
    A clear majority agrees that employers should be required to certify that there are no American workers available for a job before an employer imports workers from overseas. Results show 68% agree, 27% disagree and 5% are unsure. Immigrants who have acquired U.S. citizenship are more in agreement (83% agree, 12% disagree) than those born a U.S. citizen (68% agree, 27% disagree).

    Moratorium on legal immigration?
    Results show that 43% of those surveyed believe a three-year moratorium, or authorized suspension of legal immigration, would be beneficial to the state, compared to 40% who say such a suspension will be harmful to the state. Another 16% are not sure.

    African Americans (65% beneficial, 24% harmful) support such a moratorium in much higher percentages than whites (44% beneficial, 38% harmful) and Hispanics (34% beneficial, 56% harmful).

    Slight differences in opinion are seen between U.S.-born citizens (44% beneficial, 40% harmful) and immigrants who have since acquired U.S. citizenship (40% beneficial, 46% harmful).

  196. Bill Bradley Says:

    You know, Marc, I do not appreciate the personal attacks, which you told me last night were just “fooling around.”

    Since then, I see you are here calling those who disagree with you “racists.” I should you take a very deep breath.

    Now, as to your specific point here.

    Why should I be embarrassed at taking umbrage with some fool who attacks me for not personally counting the number of people at that rally?

    Who pretends to know a lot about me but does not know the most pertinent fact behind his silly personal attack?

    Namely, that I live 400 miles away.

    I am perfectly fine with the idea that there were 500,000 people there. I don’t know that, I have well-founded doubts, there are credible lower estimates, including from others on today’s Which Way LA? show. But so what, let’s go with that.

    Whether there were 200,000 as Mickey Kaus who was there says, or 500,000, or 2 million, which I think Gil Cedillo said, it was big, really really really big.

    What I do not appreciate is some character hiding behind a fake handle calling me lazy for not flying down there to count a crowd.

    That is idiotic.

    I’m sure you agree, don’t you?

  197. Jon Stewart aka SCARED WHITE MAN Says:

    Let’s give Bill Bradley a break. Either the terrorists have finally found a way to contaminate the Sacramento water supply with some thought-depriving substance and we should send him a get-well card, or, maybe he’s onto some high-level fraud when it comes to LAPD crowd estimates. He reminds me of a good friend of mine, who is an associate of Pellicano’s. Let’s call him John Birch. Well, Birch took one look at the L.A. Times photo on Page 1 Sunday showing what appeared to be a sea of demonstrators surrounding City Hall. And he counted only 143 people. Yep, that seemed low to me, too. But then Birch pulled out his magnifying glass in his San Marino mansion and showed me how thousands of would-be humans in the photo are actually the dolls that scofflaws use in carpool lanes around Southern California. I would hope Bradley would use his blog to call for a Congressional investigation before Chief Bratton and Mayor Villaraigosa use these same tactics to inflate numbers at election time. Thank you, Mr. Bradley. Your decades-old experience on a failed presidential campaign could save L.A. And maybe bursting all these dolls will clear up traffic on our freeways, too.

  198. Bill Bradley Says:

    Yo, dude. Take a chill pill. It was a very big crowd, as I said from the beginning. You know nothing about me. What you think you know you get wrong. Yet you hide behind a fake handle or two so your credentials can’t be assessed.

    This is very childish.

  199. Bill Bradley Says:

    I do want to correct one misstatement on my part. The fellow who came up with the new euphism on Which Way, LA? today — which did not simply bemuse me — offered this as a substitute for the commonly accepted term for somone who attempts to enter the country illegally: “Entry without inspection.”

    Not “Entry without permit.”

    Now I suspect some will divine a malign intent in my mistaken substitution of the word “permit” for “inspection.”

    But most will not.

  200. Josh Legere Says:

    I happen to love seeing all these people on the street. The fact that Marshall High students marched by my office this morning gives me a good deal of hope for the future. The fact that these kids are mobilized about this important issue could be a good sign.

    Most migrant workers are living miserable lives so that the likes of Bill Bradley can enjoy a cheap latte in the morning. 11 people in a 2 bedroom apartment in Pico Union, come on… They ain’t getting rich. The American worker is the victim of much bigger forces, as is the Mexican worker that once worked at a factory that has gone to China.

    NOT 1 person got arrested. NOT 1 Starbucks window was smashed (unlike Seattle, mostly upper middle class white kids – BILL see what THEY do when they protest) and not 1 person was hurt. That is great! How can anyone shun that.

    I do sense a bit of while middle class resentment in all of this. Fear of falling…

  201. Josh Legere Says:

    Gosh… This thread is kind of disturbing. This issue seems to bring out the ape in all of us. Rumsfeld is right, the US gets a D for ideas.

  202. Bill Bradley Says:

    Congratulations on your jackass “contribution,” Mr. Legere.

    “Gosh, this thread is kind of disturbing. This issue seems to bring out the ape in all of us.” Indeed. Look in the mirror.

    Try to get this thought into your head. I am not against protest. I am concerned that protest creates unintended consequences, i.e., negative ramifications in politics.

    Is my point really so very difficult for you to grasp? “White middle class resentment” has nothing to do with it, fool.

  203. Augustus "King" White Says:

    This ego on steriods, otherwise known as Bill Bradley, just can’t get enough of himself. Am I the only one who noticed? He’s told us three times that he was a guest Monday on Which Way L.A. Very impressive, indeed. Bob Dornan must have been too busy counting dead Iraqi civilians in his sleep.

  204. Bill Bradley Says:

    I think you are the same guy with multiple handles and nothing better to do than act like a child. Go to sleep. Which Way LA is a nice show but my point, as you must know, in referencing it is not to brag about being on it, which is not a big deal, but to reference actual information.

    Try to grasp that.

  205. J Cummings Says:

    to Dan O who knows my name somehow:

    Not all Marxists believe in the dictatorship of the proletariat. In fact, that optic has run its course, as has the vanguard party. Reformists and Liberals obviously have a better society in mind, and while they on principle don’t think about “perfection” they still srive for improvement, hence utopian thinking.
    I know I’ve read even Richard Rorty and other “pragmatic” decent leftists make this point.

    As someone who greatly respects the somewhat “conservative” marxism of W Benjamin and the Frankfurt School, I’m not a systemizer…far from it, and agree with you on that point.

  206. reg Says:

    Bill, I’ve now come to the conclusion that – although I’m not a racist per se – my inner ape just needs to stop asking questions that remain unanswered about the actual effects of illegal immigration on wages, schools and social services, accept that “real liberals” recognize The Nation’s swimming pools need to be cleaned by somebody, and that the libertarian Manhattan Institute offers up the best thinking on immigration policy available. I mean, if you’re familiar with Tamar Jacoby it’s clear she “gets it” that Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele and, of course, J.C. Watts are the guys with answers to the problems faced by African-Americans, so why should I suspect that she’s got a right-wing agenda when it comes to immigration ? It’s time to abandon my confusion on this issue, go order one of those notoriously cheap lattes at Starbucks and quit upsetting the delicate sensibilities of those white folks who are unfettered by the petty resentments and racial anxiety of an embittered middle class who “fear falling” because illegal immigrants are going to replace them by…uh…mowing their lawns and tending their kids…or something. Anyway, with John McCain and Teddy Kennedy on the job, I’m sure we’ll soon be ending the current hypocrisy.

  207. reg Says:

    J – I have to give you credit for continuing to hammer at the same argument (pragmatists are utopian) even if it’s been refuted and makes no sense.

  208. modestproposal Says:

    A brief and very possibly unnecessary answer to Bill Bradley, who doesn’t deserve the attention but has the unique ability to piss me off –

    First, living 400 miles away is not in and of itself an excuse for not attending last Saturday’s rally. (And, just fyi, I was aware you lived in or around Sacramento.) Politicians and journalists commute from Sac to LA all the time, because they consider it their job to do so. I know students who drove up from LA to Oakland for the night for last week’s UCLA-Gonzaga game and then came straight back to sit a final exam. They did it because, in their own way, they thought it was important.

    Secondly, regardless of where you were during the demo, the first rule of journalism is to report what you know, not speculate on what you don’t. If you weren’t there, you are simply unqualified to comment on the accuracy of the police figures and expect to be taken seriously.

    As for your attacks on me for my online monicker — my identity, like Rosedog’s, is an open secret at this blog. Like Rosedog, I’m a professional journalist. As a professional journalist, I find you a complete joke.

  209. Mark A. York Says:

    Hey Bill he called me a member of the KKK for not signing on to his claim that the “browning of LA is better than the racist past when Yorty ran the place. Forgot Tom Bradley though. I guess we can see who gets the journalist positions in town. Complete joke indeed. I know who rosedog is, but this turkey I’m not inside enough to know. Why in hell would I want to?

  210. reg Says:

    Glad that the abundance of professional journalists here has elevated discourse above the kind of cranky crap I generally post.

  211. Bill Bradley Says:

    Illegal Immigration: Schwarzenegger Takes A Crack At A Policy
    March 28th, 2006
    Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger didn’t have answers on policy toward illegal immigration before Saturday’s massive rally in downtown Los Angeles. It remains to be seen if he has them now. But he does have a start.

    In an op-ed piece for today’s Los Angeles Times, the moderate Republican who is himself California’s most famous immigrant lays out what might best be described as an approach to a policy.

    “First, immigration is about our security,” Schwarzenegger writes. “The first order of business for the federal government is to secure our borders. And Washington simply must do a better job of it. We learned on 9/11 that not all those who cross our borders want to share in the American dream. A few want to replace it with a nightmare.”

    In case you hadn’t gotten the message about who the governor says is responsible for ensuring what he describes as his top priority, he goes on to say that “Congress must strengthen our borders.”

    So far, he has no state role in immigration security. And the particulars of the federal role are quite unclear. Should border security be heavily beefed up in the form of the Border Patrol or other security forces, as U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein has suggested? Should there be a fence or wall, as called for in other proposals, including the Sensenbrenner bill currently at issue in Congress? The governor doesn’t say.

    In any event, it’s a far cry from the hurried comments in favor of the irresponsible “Minutemen” movement that landed him in hot water last year.

    “Criminalizing immigrants for coming here is a slogan, not a solution,” writes the former action superstar, placing himself in opposition to the core notion of the bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. “Instead, I urge Congress to get tough on those illegal immigrants who are a danger to society,” referring to people who commit crimes while in the country illegally, urging their immediate deportation.

    “Second, immigration is about our economy,” states the pro-business politician. “The freest nation in the world, and the freest economy in history, depend on a free flow of people,” a phrase which might be misinterpreted. “Immigrants are here to work and contribute. I support efforts to ensure that our businesses have the workers they need and that immigrants are treated with the respect they deserve. We should pass a common-sense temporary worker program so that every person in our nation is documented.”

    Schwarzenegger thus places himself in favor of a guest worker program. Yet he leaves the particulars, its duration, its parameters, for another time.

    He then comes out against a blanket amnesty program: “We can embrace the immigrant without endorsing illegal immigration.”

    “Granting citizenship to people who are here illegally,” the governor says, “is not just amnesty … it’s anarchy. We are a country of immigrants, yes. But we are also a nation of laws. People who want to be citizens will want to do it the right way.” Again leaving the particulars of how a citizenship program might be structured for another time.

    Schwarzenegger then comes out for what what is commonly called “mainstreaming.” With a positive spin rather than any denunciation of unassimilated enclaves.

    “Finally,” he writes, “immigration is about our values. Too often the debate centers on what immigrants owe us. Too seldom do we ask what we owe them. Above all, we owe it to our country and our immigrants to share our values. We should talk about our history, our institutions and our beliefs. We should assimilate immigrants into the mainstream. We want immigrants to not just live in America but to live as Americans.”

    It will be interesting to see how Arnold fleshes this out in the midst of an election year. He and his people know that his doing away with the very unpopular drivers licenses for illegal immigrants bill signed by then Governor Gray Davis was one of his most popular acts as governor in 2003 and now. They also know that a latter day version of 1994’s Proposition 187 ballot measure taking away key education and health services would likely pass this year as well, although the long-term effect for the Republican Party with Latino voters, the largest growing voting constituency, would likely be catastrophic.

    But in any event, Schwarzenegger, who acknowledges voting for Prop 187 in 1994, no longer supports it, memorably declaring a year before he ran for governor — when the recall was on no one’s mind — in a 2002 appearance at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco that he “would never stand in the way of a child going to school.”

    What Schwarzenegger has laid out this morning will not satisfy the very politically correct left, whose overzealous members bridle at great length at the very use of the commonly accepted term “illegal immigration.”

    It certainly won’t be welcomed by advocates of a de facto open border policy. Nor will it satisfy the hardcore zealots on the other end of the spectrum, who seek to demonize illegal immigrants, to bizarrely turn the act of wanting a better life and the willingness to work for it into a serious criminal act worthy of felony sanctions. But it may, for all its incompleteness, mark a good starting point, especially for Republicans.

  212. Bill Bradley Says:

    So, sport, what’s your name? You write real tuff — and dumb — hiding behind your little fake handle.

    Tell me your name now or pipe down.

    >modestproposal Says:
    March 28th, 2006 at 7:58 am
    A brief and very possibly unnecessary answer to Bill Bradley, who doesn’t deserve the attention but has the unique ability to piss me off –

    First, living 400 miles away is not in and of itself an excuse for not attending last Saturday’s rally. (And, just fyi, I was aware you lived in or around Sacramento.) Politicians and journalists commute from Sac to LA all the time, because they consider it their job to do so. I know students who drove up from LA to Oakland for the night for last week’s UCLA-Gonzaga game and then came straight back to sit a final exam. They did it because, in their own way, they thought it was important.

    Secondly, regardless of where you were during the demo, the first rule of journalism is to report what you know, not speculate on what you don’t. If you weren’t there, you are simply unqualified to comment on the accuracy of the police figures and expect to be taken seriously.

    As for your attacks on me for my online monicker — my identity, like Rosedog’s, is an open secret at this blog. Like Rosedog, I’m a professional journalist. As a professional journalist, I find you a complete joke.

  213. Bill Bradley Says:

    Mark and reg, journalism is not infrequently a dodge for some people to nurse their pet peeves and pretend to be active in society.

    I allow people on my blog to use handles — some of which are actually quite amusing — because some of them are high-powered politicoes with something to lose. But if any of them were to engage in silly and gratuituous personal attacks, I would put a stop to it, no matter how valuable a source they may be to me. Fortunately, I’ve had to do nothing more than issue a few gentle reminders because these people, who regularly engage in serious professional combat, know how to be cool.

  214. Mark A. York Says:

    Concur with reg and Krugman, and Bradley’s point is buried in this bias by millions hypothesis. Talk about losing sight of the ball. The crowd was big organized by special interest groups and wil make Democrats look like they support breaking the law. A problem? Gee ya think in Ohio? That’s his point as I see it. This thread is about an appeal to emotion by ethnocentric sympathizers. To them it is about race and not much else as Krugman showed with the numbers analysis.

  215. Just Questions Says:

    Is it possible for a newspaper to print the ACTUAL immigration policy of this country so we know what to reference this story too?

    Are there quotas and what is the ratio of llegals to the actual quota? If there are quotas are the quotas meant to maintain diversity or just an attempt at fairness?

    Is it possible to adjust the quota to reflect the illegal immigration in an attempt to maintain diversity and fairness?

    What will the Latino Caucus do with their power to control California in the coming years?

    What is their voting record to this point, who are they, what do they stand for, and what new laws will they write?

  216. Mark A. York Says:

    I know it is Bill. The real problem comes when the journalist is too close to the story. You can be “in” it in a gonzo sort of way, way without being an advocate for one side due to personal connections. I think those show here. Glaringly so. That’s not the sort of journalism I was trained to do at Cal State.

  217. modestproposal Says:

    Bill says: “[J]ournalism is not infrequently a dodge for some people to nurse their pet peeves and pretend to be active in society.”

    Speak for yourself, brother.

    My attacks weren’t silly, gratuitous and personal. They were about your credibility in making an entirely unfounded claim about protest numbers in LA last Saturday.

    The personal attacks — words like puerile, foolish, idiotic — were directed at me from you, not the other way around.

    As to my identity, just type “modestproposal” on Marc’s search function and it pops right up.

  218. Mark A. York Says:

    Just questions:

    http://uscis.gov/lpBin/lpext.dll/inserts/slb/slb-1/slb-20?f=templates&fn=document-frame.htm#slb-act

  219. Bill Bradley Says:

    Well, modestproposal who refuses to identify him/herself … I would invite you to invest in a reading comprehension course.

    I claimed nothing about the number of participants at the rally. I presented the range of credible estimates, and correctly noted that PD estimates the nation over — like all estimates, actually — have their suspect nature.

    But since I don’t subscribe to your narrow little view of the world, you have chosen to conflate this into a silly personal attack. I think you’ve gotten quite enough attention from me.

    Your refusal to identify yourself, coupled with your insistence that you are upholding the values of being a “professional journalist” in doing so, makes you out to be as you are.

  220. Bill Bradley Says:

    Incidentally, never heard of you.

    Maybe it’s a conspiracy.

  221. Mark A. York Says:

    I hadn’t either, but in the guest post Michael Balter couldn’t decide if he was saying Rove is running the reconstruction of NO or the PR campaign? MP’s thesis was a complete break up of NO and the city would be sold off to cronies in Idaho. Uh huh it’s clear now and Balter made a good point; a very telling one from an advocacy standpoint. Conspracy is a theme I’m detecting from what I’ve seen. Is why-war.com neutral?

  222. Bill Bradley Says:

    Oh, and finally, my “professional journalist” friend, I was not lounging at home during this historic event. I was in another city, where, admittedly among other things, I was gathering unique information for my work regarding the California governor’s race. A much more valuable use of my time than being part of a giant crowd. The size of which lots of people can estimate and lots of people have.

    I’m sure if I had been there and honestly estimated the crowd at 400,000 rather than 500,000, someone like you would still have attacked me as a racist or what have you. Or a member of a conspiracy

  223. Josh Legere Says:

    Bill – For gods sake. Get a hold of yourself. If anyone is a “fool” or a “jackass,” it is you.

    You are coming off like a hack on this thread. I say this as someone that has read your work in the past. Insulting everyone around you will not work. Maybe you have seen your day…

    I am not a big fan of protest myself, especially the anti-war movment. But this protest is different and I have heard very little backlash. Either way, this population is going to assert itself.

  224. Bill Bradley Says:

    Mr. Legere, you are digging yourself deeper.

  225. Bill Bradley Says:

    Mark, I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Some of the stuff here goes into what could be described as very specialized fields.

  226. rosedog Says:

    Hey, reg and Mark A…. what’s with the attacks on me and Modest Proposal? You happen to agree with Bradley, I don’t. So what? Modest Proposal simply took issue with Bradley’s ongoing yammering about crowd size and police conspiracies which continued long after I chased my inner adolescent away from the keyboard and tried end the spitting contest on a civil tone.

    Yes, yes, I admit I started the spitting contest. I did so after Bradley started the My-Credentials-Are-Bigger-Than-Yours-Are nonsense with Marc, which got on my nerves. So I went to his blog, read his post on the demonstration, and suggested in a comment that he was writing with a strong bias as evidenced by the way he chose to present the crowd estimates printed in the LA Times, as if the Times was cooking numbers, when in fact they were not the LA Times numbers at all, but were those of the LAPD, which is notoriously conservative in terms of crowd estimates, and were the same numbers that everyone from CNN to the Orange County Register was using. And, once again, this was NEVER ABOUT THE NUMBERS. It was about BIAS IN THE GUISE OF NEUTRALITY. Then when challenged, Bill begin with his Bratton-Villaraigosa conspiracy thing, which is….in a word…..laughable. When called on this silliness he trotted out the I-HAVE-SECRET -KNOWLEDGE-ABOUT-THE-COPS-AND-THE-MAYOR- THAT-YOU-DON’T horseshit.

    As if.

    After I few more volleys I decided to grow up—at least at my end—and made an effort to dial it back a bit. To no avail. Bill kept going.

    So enter Modest Proposal, who took Bradley to task rather….well….modestly. Bradley responded with a personal attack….and the beat went on from there.

    And so now you guys get into the middle of it with vague professional attacks MP and me? What’s that about?

    PS: If y’all don’t recognize modest proposal’s real name, you need to get out more. A LOT more.

  227. Mark A. York Says:

    The post where the indentity of MP is revealed. Specialized is the nature of some of these angles.

  228. Mark A. York Says:

    I didn’t buy the numbers fiasco and called it a red herring. between 200 and 500,000 works for me. Who cares? Tavis Smiley said if the LA Times printed it as 500 it’s probably a million. Whatever that meant. I said I know who you are, but I don’t see how that’s a slam. MP has called me racist in the past and I resent it. Advocate journalists advocate. Does border justice fellow mean no borders are necessary?

  229. rosedog Says:

    I just reread my post…and saw my absurdly long, run-on sentence. Oh, well. Sorry about that. (I hate it when I get up on my high horse, and then proceed to knock myself off with no aide from anyone else.)

    Time to stop blogging and go back to work.

    (Hi Josh.)

  230. rosedog Says:

    “aid” not “aide” Sheesh.

  231. Bill Bradley Says:

    I’m sure he is famous to a small number of people, “rosedog.” I’ve never heard of him. He is not involved in the electoral politics I write about.

    Thanks, incidentally for another example of distorted thinking and writing in the politics of personal attack. I am in the middle of doing real work, so I’ll address only your foundational distortion.

    > I did so after Bradley started the My-Credentials-Are-Bigger-Than-Yours-Are nonsense with Marc

    WRONG. My good friend Marc, in his middle of a Saturday night whatever of a mood, wrote in an extremely condescending manner about my supposed lack of qualifications to write about immigration in politics — which I was doing both as a columnist and a political advisor years before I met him — and wrote a bunch of other stuff about me I consider less than serious. Much of which he has now reversed himself on.

    So it goes.

  232. reg Says:

    “Hey, reg and Mark A…. what’s with the attacks on me and Modest Proposal?”

    Rosedog…I didn’t have you in mind at all…just couldn’t help myself watching two “pros” go at like that, when I’m usually the one who drags discourse into the dirt. It was a joke…

    More than anything else I hate it when I’m reduced to saying “It was a joke”. I don’t understand how comedian’s egos survive the inevitable lean years. It would help mine a lot if two professional comedians showed up on this thread and started accusing each other of not being funny.

  233. rosedog Says:

    One more thing. Mark. You aren’t reading my posts very carefully. No reason you need to, of course—-unless you take issue with them, in which case I’d really prefer you quarreled with what I actually said—rather than some strange conflation of your thoughts and mine.

  234. modestproposal Says:

    Thanks for the backup, Rosedog. Fyi Mark doesn’t read my posts carefully either.

    Reg — re your remark that you’re usually the one to lower the tone on this blog — we all thought we’d give you the day off. Didn’t we, guys?

  235. rosedog Says:

    Reg…. I promised myself I wouldn’t reply again to anyone no matter what….. But it seems I lied to myself (again).

    Thanks for the clarification. I need the occasional reality check.

    Hope life is good at your end of the world.

    It’s a nice rainy day here in Topanga. The LA schools are on lockdown….but I hear a lot [

  236. reg Says:

    Thanks…and it looks like the folks on the thread that followed this one are in the process of extending my vacation indefinitely.

  237. rosedog Says:

    [Hmmm. The blog program edited my above post. Coincidence???? I don't THINK so!]

    As I was saying…..

    The LA schools are on lockdown….but I hear a lot [

  238. reg Says:

    Ooops…that last bit was supposed to tag directly to “modestproposal”.

    Rain reigns here as well. It’s interesting that while we had a downtown SF demo yesterday, this issue appears far less volatile here – nothing happening with the schools, etc. Guess the Bay Area really is a sleepy burg compared to L.A.

  239. rosedog Says:

    Oh, forget it.

    Time for me to get back to the deadline that I’m clearly avoiding.

    PS: Hi Andrew.

  240. reg Says:

    NSA interference…

    I’m out of here.

  241. reg Says:

    Okay I lied too…one more shot.

    “PS: Hi Andrew”

    Wait a minute…you don’t mean Andrew Gumbel….that FORIEGNER !!!!!

  242. Mark A. York Says:

    I understand the obscure interpretation with the numbers game. Do I have to agree with it? I’ve read the posts accurately. Bradley’s point seemed fair to me but he got piled on. There’s a theme here and it’s ideologically driven.

  243. modestproposal Says:

    Oh Reg, you’ve rumbled me good and proper.

    Not only am I a foreigner; not only am I surreptitiously working towards a foreign takeover of the United States in revenge for… you, know, 1776 and all that; not only am I ideologically driven in my dark, conspiratorial challenge to the good, virtuous Mr Bradley who only wants to cut the official LA protest numbers by a modest little 80 per cent (at the most!) based on his effortlessly superior vantage point 400 miles away, where he also happens to be far too busy with important matters of state to bother himself with the details of the subjects he addresses….

    I am also personally responsible for the very British rain being dumped on both LA and the Bay Area today. Oh yes, indeed-y.

    Sneaky, huh?

  244. Mark A. York Says:

    And the “professional” journalists bicker on.

  245. Bill Bradley Says:

    Nutty.

    >who only wants to cut the official LA protest numbers by a modest little 80 per cent (at the most!) based on his effortlessly superior vantage point 400 miles away, where he also happens to be far too busy with important matters of state to bother himself with the details of the subjects he addresses….

  246. Josh Legere Says:

    All this talk of credentials is a little embarrasing. Most of you are left of center. Guess what, you have nothing to brag about. That is unless you are secretly working for corporate America or the right.

    The reality is that the protest happened and was not sanctified by ANY of you, supportive or not. That says something about the utility of left of center thinkers these days. Maybe all that reporting and analysis is NOT that valuable after all. My guess is that the 500,000 people (or 200,000) are not readers or progressive mags or blogs. Maybe you all are out of touch.

    My guess is that all of you have benefited greatly from the meritocracy and resent a populist insurgent movement that does not abide by your wisdom. Or maybe just maybe, this protest proves how useless professional liberals and radicals have become. The intentions of those on the streets are ALL that matters right now and they are righteous. Put the egos in check (especially you Bill) a bit. Your opinions and cherished analysis might be self-gratifying, but in reality might not be all that valuable outside of your sewing circle…

  247. Rich Says:

    “Anyway.. I can’t say I’m shocked by some of the disgusting responses I’ve read here. Just depressed. Scared White People evidently come in a variety of political ideologies.”

    Except I’m black, Cooper. Any more incorrect calls you care to make while you’re on such a roll?

  248. Rich Says:

    “My guess is that all of you have benefited greatly from the meritocracy and resent a populist insurgent movement that does not abide by your wisdom.”

    Legere, go back and read my posts if you want to understand what I’m talking about. You sound very young and ignorant, particularly from all of your hipster bemoaning. Try leaving your L.A. enclave for awhile and grow the hell up.

  249. DJ Says:

    Has anyone mentioned the fact that if we were to “get rid” of all the illegal immigrants, we’d all be paying 5 dollars for an orange?

    Also… to support that the real issue is, in fact, color. No one seems to care if anyone that is white enters the country… europe… canada… australia…

  250. Rich Says:

    “I continue to be amazed by how much good old fashioned xenophobia we are finding now among the libs and lefties”

    Cooper, I challenge you to respond to one damn comment I have made. I am black. I have worked with Latino immigrants of all colors. You can continue to simplify this issue and demonize those of us who do not as “racists” and “xenophobes”, which, if taken as an ad hominem, is absolutely fucking ridiculous in my case. So, blowing aside your insulting and anger-provoking ad homina, I invite you to be a fucking man and respond decently.

  251. Marc Cooper Says:

    Rich: I’ll be happy to respond. Learning that you are black would cause me to respond the same way that Tommie Lee Jones did in The Fugitive when Harrison Ford said he was innocent: “I don’t care.”

    You simply prove that underneath our respective skins we are more similar than disimilar. In this case, that white people do not have the monopoly on being wrong.

    I don’t know you from Adam (or Eve). I am sure you are not a racist nor a xenophobe. That’s good to know. You are, wrong, however on this issue.

    If you want to hurl four letter words me it’s unlikely you’ll get much more of a response than this. I hope Im “man” enough to satisfay your challenge, but rather lenghty, written and published arguments on the issue of immigration are readily available for all to see. You can hardly accuse me of cowering.

  252. Rich Says:

    Marc, thanks for the reply. Being called “wrong” I can handle; “racist”/”xenophobe” just pissed me off, not so much for any personal reasons, but because it was the dagger of delegitmization, and a proverbial slap in the face. And my anger stems from seeing this debate take shape with near-complete dismissal of points brought up by myself, reg, Mark York, and a few others on this thread.

    Although, to be honest, i think maybe a little personalization is in order. What I mean by that is I find it abhorrent that it’s assumed anyone not in complete favor of a guest worker program is either a racist rube or huddled in a “sewing circle”–especially when the reality is more likely the opposite: sewing circle latte liberals teaming with rich white business owners against racist rubes and poor non-immigrants. I’ve mentioned my uncle to give a concrete anecdotal example, Marc, hopefully to remind people that, goddammit, there are real people who suffer when service job wages are yanked to the bottom. So can we please consider the fact that having some control of the labor pool might actually be a worthwhile pursuit?

    One more thing. I was in the airport today reading a leftover USA Today, and I tell you it took only ten minutes to find an example of that economy doublespeak I referred to above.

    Article 1, explaining why immigrant labor is needed: “Gary Roden of Dallas, former national president of the Asssociated Builders and Contractors… says the building trades are ‘in drastic need’ of carpenters, plumbers and heating and air-conditioning technicians. He blames a society that favors white-collar professions on the lack of American workers in these trades. ‘School counselors and parents feel like their kids are failures if they don’t go to college’, he says.”

    Article 2, explaining why the structural shift in manufacturing means blue-collar jobs are disappearing in the U.S.: “‘The world is not the same as it used to be’, says John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm. ‘Companies pay for skills in an era where brains are more important than brawn, and the forces of automation, globalization, deregulation, and competition have changed what this kind of work is worth in the world.’”

    So let’s see, society needs to encourage brawn jobs, because we have a shortage–bring in the immigrants! Er, wait, society needs to encourage more brain jobs–let go of your GM job and go back to school (and in the meantime we’ll just hand out a few more thousand H-1B visas, since we’ve got such a brain drain here).

    Marc, and anyone else, is it hard to see this soberly? Outsourcing jobs, insourcing labor, are simply means that businesses have of keeping labor costs low. That’s not the only issue at play here, but it is the ONLY reason why the Chamber of Commerce is on board with any type of guest worker program. And I firmly believe it is not right to support such an effort–at least not without some huge bargaining. But to ignore the issue, Marc? Come on. I know you believe that legalizing undocumented workers will be a boost to unionization (I believe you’re right, incidentally), but how much, in the long run? I know you’re a busy guy, and so I don’t expect you to respond to these questions here. I’ll read your Atlantic article, and, in response, annoy everyone with my future blatherings. :)

  253. reg Says:

    “I am sure you are not a racist nor a xenophobe.”

    Then why have you been contending that’s what motivates the “libs and lefties” here to take a position that industries that routinely employ illegal immigrants in large numbers need more regulation and that labor markets shouldn’t be laissez faire. That’s the entirety of my “conservatism” on this issue, – not building a fence, not arresting nurses, not deporting families – yet you have the nerve to imply “xenephobia” on my side of the argument and that Tamar Fucking Jacoby, is “more liberal” on the question of handing corporations and agribusiness what they desire as regards depressed labor markets than I am.

    What a joke…

  254. Mark A. York Says:

    I think the disclosure backs reg’s comment up quite nicely.

  255. reg Says:

    Great reply, Rich.

  256. Mark A. York Says:

    Ditto. It’s been a pleasure being “wrong” with you erudite gentlemen.

  257. Bill Bradley Says:

    Mr. Legere, a term I now use advisedly given your evident immaturity, you need to grow up and understand that you don’t insult people without getting slapped back down. I’m doing it much more nicely than others you will encounter in your journey through life. With some of them, outside the safe confines of a PC chat board, you will find you are attempting to walk with with your legs left behind.

    Now seriously, piss off. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

    >Put the egos in check (especially you Bill) a bit. Your opinions and cherished analysis might be self-gratifying, but in reality might not be all that valuable outside of your sewing circle…

  258. Bill Bradley Says:

    Marc, my great friend, you need a vacation. You and I both know this.

    >Rich: I’ll be happy to respond. Learning that you are black would cause me to respond the same way that Tommie Lee Jones did in The Fugitive when Harrison Ford said he was innocent: “I don’t care.”

  259. Marc Cooper Says:

    Reg… Tamar is a friend and is an extremely sweet, generous and gentle person. Can you find it in yourself to disagree with someone without having to call them names?

  260. Marc Cooper Says:

    Bill, my greater friend, you’d have a lot more credibility on this issue if you had had the good sense to at least tell everyone what sort of immigration policy you’d like to see.

    So far, you net contribution to this discussion has been to point out that Mexicans holding Mexican flgas is gonna piss off people who dont like illegal Mexicans being here. Yes. That is true.

  261. reg Says:

    I don’t know Jacoby and have no interest in her personal qualities one way or the other, but when someone from the Manhattan Institute is being touted as a “liberal”, they are indeed What-Fucking-Liberal ?

    I hear Charles Murray is also a real pussycat…

  262. reg Says:

    On a less grating note, your guy Mathews has been on fire in recent days…he’s like a dog with a bone and his bone right now is the deceptive aspects of the runup to the war. Had a great interview with Phillipe Sands and he’s generally been very tough on the dubious rationales for the war. Looks like he’s finally fed up. (Hope he’s not just following the polls.)

  263. Josh Legere Says:

    Bill – Read your language on this thread, hardly an example of maturity. Your tough guy talk is especially funny given that you write about politics! You are not a boxer, or a gardener for that matter. Not exactly “work.” You are pretty much a dandy old chap.

    You have to realize, as painful as it might be, that writers like you are nothing more than entertainment for liberals. You are not engaging in serious analysis that is changing any public policy. All the slaps on the back by your colleagues aside, I am sure that the Astrology page on the LA Weekly site gets 10 times more hits than one of your stories. I am also willing to bet that MOST readers of the Weekly are more excited about Cobra Snake than something you have written on California politics. Your articles do not fit in all that well with the “fashion week” issue. Ironically, many “illegal” immigrants are making those fashions.

    It might be hard for you to realize this but with all of the bumbling of Bush, a Dem still could not win even today. Not even Gary. For god’s sake, Arnold got elected in California! An action star! What does that say about the Dems that are listening to your astute analysis?

    And you are wrong again on this matter. All the Fox News style bragging and bullying is not going to help you. Like most liberals, you have NO solution to the immigration issue. Your theory about the backlash is way off. I heard 2 deejays on 97.1 (not exactly liberal) supporting the walk outs and the protest. You are on the wrong side of history.

    About pissing off, same to you pal…

  264. reg Says:

    Maybe I’m incredibly stupid, but who’s “Gary” ?

  265. Bill Bradley Says:

    California Leaders Stymied By Illegal Immigration
    March 29th, 2006
    For at least part of Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (D-Los Angeles) seemed to be in the cockpit of history.

    After being one of the few major politicians to address Gran Marcha, Saturday’s massive demonstration in downtown Los Angeles against a draconian federal crackdown on illegal immigration — which Nunez said he had expected to draw 100,000 participants but which actually drew many times that — the speaker flew to Washington to help the push for a new immigration law. There he met with the California Congressional delegation, Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and Mexican Ambassador to the United States Carlos de Icaza, and joined with Senators Ted Kennedy and John McCain to push their bill that would create a new guest worker program and allow an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. to become illegal immigrants.

    During a round of Capitol Hill meetings and conversations Tuesday that Nunez strategist Steve Maviglio described as “very exciting” in a cell phone conversation with a notable hubbub in the background, the speaker pushed for a version of the bill. On Monday, in the wake of major demonstrations on behalf of illegal immigrants around the country, the Senate Judiciary Committee had passed a bill to the liking of Kennedy, McCain, and their allies. Feinstein, who had previously opposed it, came out for a guest worker program.

    But later on Tuesday, progress stalled. Divided Republicans, who control the Senate, delayed moving the bill forward. Most Republicans on the committee had voted against the bill. They want strong border security provisions in any immigration overhaul.

    And another major wrinkle emerged, that should not surprise knowledgeable political observers. The nation’s top labor leader came out against a guest worker program.

    ”Guest worker programs are a bad idea and harm all workers,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in a statement. ”They cast workers into a perennial second-class status, and unfairly put their fates into their employers’ hands.”

    Back in California, other top state leaders were stymied by the politics of illegal immigration.

    State Treasurer Phil Angelides, the longtime Democratic frontrunner for governor, had declined to answer questions about his views on illegal immigration just the day before Gran Marcha. But his caution availed him not at all yesterday, when he took a pounding on San Francisco liberal KGO radio host Ronn Owens’ show. His biggest problem? Illegal immigration. The host and his callers went after the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s previously established position that illegal immigrants living in California be able to pay the lower in-state tuition if they attend California State University or University of California campuses. Out-of-state students who are citizens have to pay much higher fees.

    And Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declined to go beyond his Los Angeles Times op-ed piece yesterday on the matter. Some Republicans had suggested that he turn his scheduled speech to the Bay Area Council on his administration’s economic accomplishments and the unveiling of a state web site portal for businesses seeking to expand to California into an address on illegal immigration.

    “He can strike while the iron is hot and be a national leader on this issue today,” said one. But the newly cautious former action superstar stuck to his script and in the end only took a question on illegal immigration in the question and answer session after his speech. There he mostly repeated phrases from his op-ed piece.

    It seems clear that at this moment, even California’s top elected officials are finding it difficult to lead on this highly complex and contentious issue.

  266. Bill Bradley Says:

    Marc, my old friend, I only have to go back a few days to show how you are once again trying to distort the reality of what you said. It’s not very candid.

    You foolishly attacked me for saying what you now say is obvious. ROTFL Also, as I have told you, you are not going to succeed in confusing the issue by badgering me into putting out an immigration policy. People want my opinion on a number of things, the only one who wants my opinion on that is you.

    Marc Cooper » Blog Archive » Immigration Issue Explodes Says:
    March 26th, 2006 at 12:30 am e
    […] My otherwise smart guy friends, Mickey Kaus and Bill Bradley have surely gone off the deep end on this one. They both conjecture that these giant marches, full of Mexican flags and Mexicans chanting ‘Mexico! Mexico!’ are inviting a virulent nativist backlash.

  267. Bill Bradley Says:

    To the very young (it’s all relative) Josh Legere — I don’t get my style from the media. You don’t know what you are talking about. To cite only two mistakes of yours.

    A. You don’t know what side of history I’m on. Pointing out the possibility of a backlash is irrelevant to your foolish assertion.
    B. Arnold Schwarzenegger is a friend of mine. I wasn’t upset at all about his election. Which you would know if you knew the first thing about me. Which you obviously don’t.

    Now go ponder another dippy conspiracy theory.

  268. Josh Legere Says:

    “Arnold Schwarzenegger is a friend of mine. I wasn’t upset at all about his election.”

    More bragging. Not helping your cause…

    I have conspiracy theory at all. Your work has no value, that is not conspiracy…

  269. Bill Bradley Says:

    You’re such a foolish foil. You simply don’t get it. You write out of a perfect ignorance.

  270. Marc Cooper Says:

    Bill Bradley: Oh no, don’t confuse me with people who want your opinion on this matter. It’s clear you have neitehr followed the debate for the last 5 years, seen it from the Mexican side of the optic, nor thought it out very much at all. You hav a parochial view limited to the effect this will have on Calif state politics — which after all is your speciality. I only said you would have more credibility if you could formulate an alternate policy.

    I didn’t attack you in my original post. I made fun of your naive scolding. There’s a difference.

    The attack came from you: besmirching a half million people as “pro-illegal” and having an Orange County hissy fit over some Mexican flags.Please.

  271. Bill Bradley Says:

    You know, Marc, the problem with the Internet is you can now have emotional outbursts — and get locked in to them through stubbornness — in public.

    Your endless distortions and pointless emotionalisms may constitute an impressive temper tantrum, but your political analysis is weak.

  272. Bill Bradley Says:

    And of course you are again ignoring what stares you in the face.

    You quite foolishly ripped me for what you now — doing a totally unadmitted and embarrassing 180 — say is obvious. It’s amusing.

    Marc Cooper » Blog Archive » Immigration Issue Explodes Says:
    March 26th, 2006 at 12:30 am e
    […] My otherwise smart guy friends, Mickey Kaus and Bill Bradley have surely gone off the deep end on this one. They both conjecture that these giant marches, full of Mexican flags and Mexicans chanting ‘Mexico! Mexico!’ are inviting a virulent nativist backlash.

  273. Bill Bradley Says:

    So, Marc, as a champion of labor, explain the opposition to your advocacy journalism point of view of the AFL-CIO, which you know, I reported in the course of following Fabian Nunez’s adventure in Washington.

  274. Bill Bradley Says:

    Still no answers from my flip-flopping friend.

  275. Bill Bradley Says:

    How about that? Still no answers.

  276. Doc Says:

    Darius Lietuvis,

    I am totally with you. Why do you have to leave your country? does NIW or something else apply to you?

  277. -cant say- Says:

    yea my school is walking out too n protest but there are cops n such ALL OVER the school guarding the school, but the school officer isnt looking at the camera so we r gonna go protest n i think everyone hsould too

  278. deskmerc.com Says:

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  279. patrick neid Says:

    if i were king for a day…………

    dear senator,

    i commend you for taking the immigration issue head on. however, i must say i think politicans complicate the issue by trying to cover too many constituent agendas. sometimes simplicity is actually the real solution. occam’s razor. in fact, the “rant” below that i left on a web site on march 17th is, i believe, the only remedy to a perplexing problem. in fact, if you analyze every provision of the house and senate bills they have no chance of enforcement without tearing this country apart. actually, they have no chance whatever the penalties. Barbara Jordan”s immigration report should be our lesson. please remember that at the time this was written it was directed at other comment posters, not you sir. it follows below:

    —– go after the companies that employ the illegals? send the illegals back? penalize the ones that stay?

    we are all dreaming. i have lived in california for 30 years. thousands, and i mean thousands, of small businesses hire and use millions of illegals everyday. trust me, short of a new black booted gestapo they are staying employed. any law passed to enforce some sort of penalty will probably never make it out of the court system. think prop 187 etc. so stop pulling your own chain thinking some legislation out of washington is going to change anything on the ground.
    send them back? assuming we could get the authority to do it (this too will sit in the courts until we are the new, new mexico) the police, national guard or military etc will not do it short of becoming some new SS. even the criminals that we should be deporting will just walk back in led by their favorite coyote for $3,000 unless we have a fence from san diego to brownsville.
    10-15 million well organized people-and they are very organized, are staying. so get over it. part of the solution is to stop adding to the size of the group. we have to build a fence before we contemplate any other measures. don’t listen to anyone who says fences do not work. they have other agendas they are not willing to discuss. ie vincente fox, among others, is against the fence
    .
    15 million illegals are easy to assimilate over twenty years–and guess what, despite the headlines, they want to be assimilated. but it can only work if no more are added to the mix. the folks that think the 15 million illegals are going anywhere are simply delusional. we let them in and now they are here for good. there are no laws, past , current or in the future that are going to change that. no doubt, there will be folks who get on soapboxes and pretend to write new legislation to solve the problem. the sooner we all act like adults and realists the sooner this divisive issue can be put behind us. do any of you actually think that the illegals are going to be rounded up and sent back to mexico etc? do you think funding is going to be cut to cities who harbor them? you have to be kidding. the bong smoke is clouding your vision.
    the absolute best that we can accomplish within current law is to build a fence so the problem doesn’t get any bigger. a fence is cheaper and more efficient than salaried border patrols in the long run. this fence may work.

    http://www.weneedafence.com/images/Fence_Idea.jpg

    after that, then we can deport the bad guys during a 10-year green card period on the way to their citizenship. that’s right, their citizenship. 15 million people are not going to continue to live here as second class illegals forever without bringing the whole country down. why? because as certain as the sun comes up in the morning, 15 million will be 30 million in 25 years without a fence. we need to get our arms around these kinds of numbers. when barbara jordon put her immigration committee together in 1990 there were two million illegals. we need to seal the border and make them citizens just like the irish, italians, germans, jews etc who came before them. the fact that they got here illegally is irrelevant. they are here, get over it. they are not going to sign up for any two step convoluted green card, maybe you will- maybe you won’t, get at the end of the line samba dance. we are not going to collect any back taxes based on real/imaginary cash transactions from folks who have barely two nickels to rub together. it will cost more to collect it. the hatred and resentment it will engender will be long lasting –not to mention the crime and violence. we might be able to get a very small citizenship fee. that will pay for the fence.

    there are no good choices just hard ones. but again, to repeat, the illegals are not going anywhere. the protest march is just the beginning. 15 million organized people are not going to leave because we tell them to. you are right about the current legislation being proposed–they won’t sign up as expected. why? because its just more BS. however, they will sign up for a clear, one-step, green card path to citizenship. because, despite the flags we saw, that is what they want. they are no different than previous legal immigrants. if the irish etc could have walked across the border they would have. so stop pissing and moaning. the federal government and states left the border wide open and millions walked across it. duh!

    i’ll make a prediction. if a secure fence is not erected at this time we will have this cicrle jerk again in twenty years and the number then will be 30 million along with their 25 million children who will be citizens. then the problem will be this

    http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4786/105/1600/Aztlan.jpg

    not because of some dark conspiracy but because of differing birthrates. we need to start seeing the world as it is, not as we hope it would be.

    riddle me this………

    who broke the bigger law? the folks who risked life and limb to get here or the politicians/bureaucrats who failed to enforce the state and federal laws to protect and seal the borders? conference after conference, committee after committee since the 70′s recommended closing the border with a fence. it was left open. we need to get past this “illegal” designation. they are here and they are staying. no amount of convoluted gestapo, stalinist, nativist jib jab is going to change that. remember, 15 million are really over 40 million when you throw in their supporters and the larger hispanic community in general. start getting serious. the idea that the newly unemployed “illegals” you would create, with these new ridiculous remedies, are going to go home in numbers is absurd. the part we are not getting is this– it’s their country now. millions of them already have their own small businesses, families, homes etc.

    crack down on the people that hire them? again we are just not getting it. we are cutting our nose off to spite our face. when i read the suggestions/solutions i feel like i’m with a group that is being held up at gun point and we are asking the perp if the gun is registered. lets try to get the weathervanes in washington to do at least one thing first–SEAL THE BORDER. after that we will work on the rest.

    just remember this at all times–if you were them–young, poor and starving for a life– you would have crossed the border if it was left open. we caused this problem. we left the border wide open with a huge 2000-mile long honey-pot on the other side. i’m honest enough to admit it, i would have pushed you out of the way as i scrambled across! please at least look at this petition.

    http://www.weneedafence.com/petition.asp

    here’s the real pathetic reality—virtually every congressman/woman and the president are against sealing the border. they are more worried about our image with the world, mexico and imaginary votes they may or may not get. they fudge the debate with economic/impact studies that look good but mean nothing. it is all props. read the fine print in the bills being considered. so, you still think we are going to start solving the illegal immigrant problem inside the US while we can’t rally the consensus to close the border where the illegals enter? put down the bong, you’ve had one hit too many.

    and finally to the race baiters……

    the “fence” sole purpose for existence is to secure the border from illegal immigration from primarily latin america. the fact that latin america is hispanic is strictly a coincidence. if canada was a third world country i would propose the same fence. for two hundred years we controlled immigration with quotas per immigrant group. i believe jimmy carter was the moron who changed this. the chief reason for quotas was for assimilation purposes–language, culture etc…. as stated earlier mexico encourages illegal immigration as an outlet so as to avoid the hard choices that it should be making to rectify a pathetic economic model it inherited from the spanish. there is a reason that english speaking colonies/nations have done better than spanish or french. every time you seduce a young hispanic to flee his country you further enslave the tens of millions they leave behind.

    we have to frame this discussion within the bounds of what we can do, not what you would like to do. modern america is a very complicated legal system etc…. using existing ‘green card’ laws that have already been vetted combined with our existing right to build the fence, will put an immediate end to most of the problem. the fact that it may aid and abet the war on terror is a bonus. after that we can go through the psychic trauma and emotional healing of all the why’s, wherefore’s and finger pointing that always comes when we recognize WE PERSONALLY CREATED THIS PROBLEM — the “illegals” are only the symptom.

  280. Michael Crisman Says:

    “Oppinions on the issue”
    Heres an interesting solution to this sick problem.
    * The Sick Problem*
    - Politicians no onger listening to the majority -
    The minorities small percentage vote has now overshadowed the majority vote because the politicians need to pay attention to every vote they can get.
    By paying so much attention to the growing Mexican / American vote, and all the other special interst and minority issues, the politicians are no longer paying attention to the polling opinions of the majority.

    * The Interesting Solution*
    Someone could run for political office on the platform that they would create a website that is heavily promoted so that everyone knows it’s there.
    The current issues will be fairly pointed out on that website. The public would vote on the issues and the politician who runs the site would commit to voting the majority every time. His opinion is no longer promoted as important. It’s what the majority wants that’s important.
    This way we could get back to a democracy run by the true majority rather than this sick new system that’s manipulated daily by all the special interest groups.

    Care to back me for office?
    :-)

    Michael Crisman
    Sacramento, Ca.
    Greatestfinds7@comcast.net

  281. Kmareka.com » Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Cheap Labor Says:

    [...] There has been an overwhelming amount written on the liberal blogs about immigration since the March rally in Los Angeles where lots of people showed up. The numbers at that rally are actually one source of much discussion on the blogs, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to half a million. The fact that many Mexican flags were waved at that rally is also a source of much discussion, since some claim it will result in a reactionary backlash against Mexican immigrants, while others regard it as a great sign of cultural solidarity and strength. [...]

  282. Kristin Says:

    So…. I would like to know 3 reasons why some people are pro-illegal immigrants and 3 reasons why people are anti-illegal immigrants.
    I have been reading all of this STUFF with numbers but no real bottom liners.

  283. Doc Says:

    Patrick Neid:

    I think you are looking in the face of reality. you can’t control or know who’s in your house unless you control the door.

    ultimately, all this issue is a matter of power. who has more power — 11-15M illegal aliens or the federal government?

    To deport all the illegals — I am confident they can do that. It will cost ALOT, but they can do it. But I do not think it is humane to deport people who assimilated and consider US their home country.

    To let them all stay — means to show the weakness of the federal government. But it is kind to the illegals.

    What Bush proposes and senators try to accomplish is the only way out of this dilemma. And it is a humane way too. And it makes this country more secure too.

    Look at the compromise the senators came up with, and you will see that this is actually a very reasonable solution. But I agree, the border must be closed. Otherwise, all these efforts are in vain.

  284. dirty Says:

    beaners

  285. dirty Says:

    send the beaners back to mexico their crowding california and costing too much money!!!!!!!!!

  286. dirty Says:

    jk!!! i love mexicans!!! mmm. . . CORONA is the shiit!!! my brother in law and nephew are mexican. im not racist. i think we should just take over mexico’s corrupt government cuz that’s why their suffering. if we helped their country then we wouldn’t have to worry about immigration. we already helped iraq, so y cant we help mexico. !Viva La Mexico!

  287. dirty Says:

    just let them come to America and stop being so greedy!!!! Some Americans are just too greedy!!! think bout it. . .America is a MELTING POT!!! immigration is how our country was formed. The only real Americans are the Indians and they shared their resources with new immigrants and we treated them like shiit cuz they were different.

  288. dirty Says:

    letz all just smoke some bud and be happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OH YEA, and some of those girl immigrants are pretty fine.

  289. Krystal Says:

    I believe that there should be fines for being here illegally and that a lot of them are here for the right reasons, such as work and money for their families. We are spending a tremendous amount of money to educate, and provide healthcare for somebody who isn’t even a legal resident of our country. It costs us roughly 11 billion dollars to provide education to illegal immigrants. It is not fair that we are paying taxes for them to receive all of our countries benefits for free. I believe that if we build a wall then that would cut down our expenses on illegal immigrants. The illegal immigrants that have been here for many years and have not committed any crimes should be allowed to apply for citizenship, but should still have to pay fines, as well as back taxes, and learning how to speak English. Any of them that have caused any kind of trouble should be deported. It will cost America a lot of money, but in the long run it will save us even more because we will no longer have to provide them with free education, healthcare, or social services, which cost a lot more than a one way ticket home.

  290. bobolama Says:

    it is a simple thing to solve the problem of mexico,and mexicans. it is the way we have solved this problem in the past,and it will solve it simply now.

    make mexico,part of the the united states,add them as a state. this way they can live and work where they wish,but they have to pay state and federal taxes like everyone else. they will be no more making money here and running back to mexico to spend it there for more to come here.
    they will have the same benefits,as all citzens,and all of the the problems. they will have to pay the same as all of US citzens do. solve the problem now!! offer mexico state-hood,if they do not want it,block all borders for good.
    if they want to work here they have to stay here,or in mexico,as a state of the united states of america. and sing the national anthem in english!!

  291. mycatholicblog Says:

    Does the US immigration controversy masks Catholic issues?…

    Seize the Dei , published by Patrick Coffin, wrote of the immigration protests, "
    The disgusting spectacle, which seems to grow daily…" Further in his comments he says, "By refusing to acknowledge the simple distinction between ill…

  292. Does the US immigration controversy mask Catholic issues? » mycatholicblog Says:

    [...] Immigration Issue Explodes [Updated]  [...]

  293. mycatholicblog Says:

    Looking to the Bible for guidance on the immigration issue…

    The following is a quote from the bible that may be good for us to reflect on when it comes to the immigration issue. I have underlined what may be particularly relevant. From the book of Mathew Chapter 25:

    31 “When the Son of Man comes in hi…

  294. Ed Watters Says:

    Marc, you’re a shrewd observer on so many issues, but when it comes to immigration you’ve got your head up you bass ackwards.

    So, “our national economy deperately needs”
    one and a half million” new immigrants per year. When did you become a spokesperson for the US Chamber of Commerce?

    To use phrases such as “easily absorbs”, you have to overlook/ignore such issues as downward pressure on working-class wages,
    upward pressure on housing costs, over-crowding of schools, severe economic strain on existing health and social service systems etc…

    You are cheerleading for the men in suits whose desire for an unrestricted flow of cheap labor northward and manufacturing jobs southward trumps any working-class quality of life issues here in Southern California.

    The planned de-evolution of L.A. (and in a few decades the remainder of the Country) into a third-world economy is not inevitable. You write of the change from a manufacturing to a service economy as if it were also inevitable.

    These are not acts of God.

  295. Jesse Says:

    hahaha the bickering here is too funny. as an UNDOCUMENTED immigrant who was brought here without a choice at the young age of 7, all i have to say is that the march in LA was the most invigorating experience i have ever been through. like someone mentioned earlier, we were there to protest the sensenbrenner bill and to make public our plea for a means to becoming “legal.” i traveled more than eight hours by night to get there in time for the march and i traveled with a group of about 60 people: eight US citizens to every one undocumented. so, if anyone wonders why people care about what these “illegals” are demanding, realize that it is because the majority of the protesters are voting citizens. it’s legal citizens who are against HR 4437–social workers, church leaders, doctors, and family of undocumented citizens who took the time that day to make their voices heard. and perhaps there are special-interest groups who are being given credit for all of this, but make no mistake, this was organized by the people, for the people. i am NOT for a guest worker program. i recognize that a guest worker program is just another term for legalized slavery. people like me–people who have assimilated into this culture, have learned the language, have played by the rules, and have even been assigned individual tax payer numbers by the government–have been asking for years to be given the privilege of becoming legal. we simply want to be recognized by this government as functioning and productive members of its society. it is ignorant to ask, “why don’t they go to their own country and protest?” any of you seen the documentary, The Fourth World War? there has been and continues to be plenty of protesting in other countries, as well. but the protesters who protest in the US, protest here because this is our home. this is where we grew up. this is where we went to school. this is where we paid taxes. this is where we learned about washington, lincoln, jefferson, and roosevelt, but were never taught about benito juarez or lazaro cardenas. mexican flags? what about the hundreds of thousands of american flags? the puerto rican, cuban, chinese, japanese, and russian flags? i would be willing to bet the numbers were nowhere close to 500,000. it was 2x that number, at least. the 500,000 number was posted at 8:00 am that day. the march didn’t even start until 10:00 am and as we made our way through more than 20 blocks, the people kept joining the march. the city even had to open up side streets to make room for the marchers. when i left at 3 in the afternoon, there were people still at the starting point trying to make the walk. wall or no wall, immigration reform or none, we will continue to live here as we have been for more than 20 years. we will continue to fight the stereotype that we are criminals. we will continue to be resourceful and make do with what we have. we will continue to volunteer at schools and churches and if we are denied legalization, we will continue to take below minimum wage jobs because that is all this country will allow for us to take. those worried about the wages being low for all workers should join the struggle and demand legalization for undocumented citizens. once we are legal, we will be able to demand higher wages just like those with ‘rights.’ until then, this country will continue to exploit us as undocumented workers and continue to exploit its ‘legal’ workers, as well. oh, the privelege of having been born in the U.S. imagine that any one of you could easily have been born elsewhere.

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  316. disturbmind Says:

    If the anti-immigrant crowd were really concerned about the economy, they would target social spending; not hard-working immigrants. I say, Get rid of social programs and open the border. An economy can’t have too many hard-working people.IMO

    I heard the next season of 30 Days show will deal with this same topic. http://www.fxnetworks.com/30days/

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