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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

A Day Without Illegals? Let's keep it going!

Is it merely coincidence that May 1st was also the annual celebration day of communism in the Soviet Union?

Silvio Canto, JR doesn't think so...

Michelle Malkin vents!

Our flag, our anthem and our country deserve better. .

Excerpt - " Anthem Of The Illegals

The current situation regarding Mexican Immigrants reminds me of so many marriages that I've witnessed go bad before they even made it to their first anniversary. You know what I'm talking about, we've all seen it; when one claims to love the other so much but can't wait to change everything about them. It's a train wreck in the making. The collective message from all the recent illegal immigrant rallies (funny how that word never makes it into the news telecasts) is "We love America! Now change your laws, tear down your borders, and change your language". They've even given us an example of what they want with the altering of our national anthem."


Immigration Agitiation

Excerpt - "But if illegal aliens all took the day off and were truly invisible for one day, there would be some plusses along with the mild inconveniences.

Hospital emergency rooms across the southwest would have about 20-percent fewer patients, and there would be 183,000 fewer people in Colorado without health insurance.

OBGYN wards in Denver would have 24-percent fewer deliveries and Los Angeles’s maternity-ward deliveries would drop by 40 percent and maternity billings to Medi-Cal would drop by 66 percent.

Youth gangs would see their membership drop by 50 percent in many states, and in Phoenix, child-molestation cases would drop by 34 percent and auto theft by 40 percent.

In Durango, Colorado, and the Four Corners area and the surrounding Indian reservations, the methamphetamine epidemic would slow for one day, as the 90 percent of that drug now being brought in from Mexico was held in Albuquerque and Farmington a few hours longer. According to the sheriff of La Plata County, Colorado, meth is now being brought in by ordinary illegal aliens as well as professional drug dealers. "


You know, in most of America it was like any other day. The major news media saw crowds in LA and Chicago but most cities just ran like any other day. I suspect 99% of the country would never have known anything was going on at all.

A day without illegal immigrants? Can we stretch that out to maybe 20-30 years to see if we can take it? Maybe even 50? Please? Really teach us a lesson!

But I can tell you what the lesson would be...Unemployment would go down, wages would go up, crime would go down, the cost of social services would go down and the immigrants would all be legal ones who truly wish to be part of this country.

23 comments:

The Ramblin Hillbilly said...

I see I am not alone in my stand against illegals! Keep it up.

The Ramblin Hillbilly

A Hermit said...

About that anthem thing...

Candidate Bush Would ‘Sing The Star-Spangled Banner in Spanish’ At Hispanic Festivals

Can you say "hypocrite?"

Immigration is a complex issue, the sort of knee jerk response on display here won't solve any of the attendat problems.
I have to admit, this isn't a subject I have a lot to say about, living north of 49, but the anti-immigrant side of the debate sounds dangerously xenophobic at times (like with this nonsense about the Spanish version of the anthem and the interest of racists in the issue as a recruiting tool.

I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but be careful about the rhetoric guys. You could find yourself lining up with some pretty unsavoury characters.

Middle_America said...

I agree, but I just don't see Congress doing anything about it.

A Hermit said...

Ya know, I'd kinda like to some actual statistics to back up the "gangs and unwed mothers' imagery presented in Tancredo's little hissy fit...He wouldn't just be pulling numbers out of thin air would he?

radar said...

A.N.S.W.E.R. and the Azlatan Nation were big promoters of the May 1st demonstrations. These are the guys that say "America is not a country, it is a continent."

Guess what? The United States of America IS a country and we need to defend our borders. This isn't a racial issue. It is a security issue, an economic issue, and it is approaching the status of a war. Mexico the nation is encouraging people to illegally come to the USA and send money back home. Now Mexico has legalized drugs like pot and cocaine. What do you think happens next?

I don't know Tancredo's sources for his statistics, but I have seen statistics like that bandied about and not just for Colorado and Los Angeles. New Mexico. Texas. Arizona. Entire states are looking at bankruptcy because of illegal aliens.

That so-called anthem was not just a Spanish rendition of the anthem. Nothing wrong with that. It was changing the anthem and adding words I don't agree with. No, we are NOT all Latinos. No, it is not wrong to have border guards.

I wonder how Canadians would feel if about twelve million US citizens crossed the border and began using your hospital benefits and social services without contributing to the tax base? How would you like your unemployment rate to jump 3-4 points and your social support structure overtaxed to the breaking point so that your lawncare service costs ten bucks less each month?

Anonymous said...

"That so-called anthem was not just a Spanish rendition of the anthem. Nothing wrong with that. It was changing the anthem and adding words I don't agree with."


"English translation:
Verse 1
It's sunrise. Do you see by the light of the dawn
What we proudly hailed last nightfall?
Its stars, its stripes
yesterday streamed
above fierce combat
a symbol of victory
the glory of battle, the march toward liberty.
Throughout the night, they proclaimed: "We will defend it!"
Chorus
Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave
above the land of the free,
the sacred flag?
Verse 2
Its stars, its stripes,
Liberty, we are the same.
We are brothers in our anthem.
In fierce combat, a symbol of victory
the glory of battle,
(My people fight on)
the march toward liberty.
(The time has come to break the chains.)
Throughout the night they proclaimed: "We will defend it!"
Tell me! Does its starry beauty still wave
above the land of the free,
the sacred flag?"

Which words don't you agree with?

"No, we are NOT all Latinos. No, it is not wrong to have border guards."
I missed those bits. Must be the liberal translation . . .

Now, if we could just get an anthem that normal humans could sing . . .!

From Dave Neiwert:

. . . You see, to them, it doesn't matter that there have been other renditions of the National Anthem in other languages [including German, Yiddish, French, Polish, and Tagalog. For them, it's the same thing as those dirty Mexicans who were waving Mexican flags: they['re] polluting our culture. They're taking away our lily-white, English-speaking past and replacing it with a multilingual, multiracial present.

Some of this is plain old ignorant provincialism. Americans are the only people I know who are positively insulted when someone tries to speak to them in another language. And some of it, frankly, is latent white supremacism: the belief that "traditional" white culture is innately superior, and any dilution of it is a bad thing.

The overarching narrative, though, is fairly clear: Latinos are the problem, and they should be sent back to Mexico.

The reality is that much of the demographic change fueling this anger is occurring in places that, previously, have been homogeneous white communities: rural and suburban communities in the West and Midwest and South. The kinds of places where, only fifty years ago, it was not uncommon to encounter signs on the city borders reading: "Nigger, Don't Let the Sun Set on You Here." . . ."


Go read the rest.

My 2cents?

Lately I've been thinking how much the right (broadly defined) seems to stand for resentment, fear, anger and yesterday, the left (again, broadly defined) for hope, progress, practicality, and tomorrow.

It's kind of built in, true, but it's not always this striking.

-Dan S.

radar said...

Lately I've been thinking how much the right (broadly defined) seems to stand for resentment, fear, anger and yesterday, the left (again, broadly defined) for hope, progress, practicality, and tomorrow.

It's kind of built in, true, but it's not always this striking.



Oh, please! First, go watch the liberals at anti-war rallies and tell me how sweet they are. How about Code Pink? How darling is Cindy Sheehan? Note how lovely the crowds are in San Francisco on the liberal side no matter what the issue may be - gay marriage, war, Israel, abortion, you name it.

Are several million illegal aliens your idea of "hope" or "progress?" Having a border we cannot defend, this is progress?

Now, the anthem...

Dan, the lyrics you posted left out the rap parts where they complain about border guards and then at the end when it says "somos latinos."

Beyond that, it is not a translation of the "Star-Spangled Banner", it is a remake.

The tired move of playing the race card is typical of liberals. Quit hiding behind fake issues and deal with the facts. The nation of Mexico is encouraging their citizens to come here illegally in hopes they will send money back home. The Mexican economy is a disaster in part because of the graft and crime rampant in government.

Our country allows more legal immigration than any other nation in the world, by a huge margin. We are not selfish with the opportunity to live here. But millions of illegals choose to bypass the legal immigration methods and commit a crime by coming here. They do not get checked, we do not have a chance to be sure they are not career criminals or linked to terror groups.

Once the illegal aliens get here, they find spineless and wimpy liberals to make them into some kind of racial cause. Meanwhile, the more radical immigrants are here trying to, not become one of us, but to change the USA to something else.

Funny thing, the people in border states of the Southwest are becoming less and less happy about illegal immmigration because their tax dollars are being sucked dry by people who do not belong here. In LA, the gangs are full of illegal aliens who are career criminals, making the city even more dangerous than it is now.

Yes, Dan, if you think higher crime and municipalities going bankrupt is "progress" then you are all for illegal aliens. If people chanting "we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us" is your idea of hope, happy are you!

If Arizona fearing that they will run out of funds for their social services is practical....

If a terrorist or two manage to cross through our now-leaky southern border and then blow up a few thousand of us, there is the liberal tomorrow.

Illegal aliens are ILLEGAL!
Have liberals decided that the rule of law does not apply to them? How about we decide not to worry about bank robbery and when your funds are cleaned out of the local bank you can simply smile with hope because this is progress, you are just being practical, and perhaps they will bring the money back tomorrow?

Wow.

Anonymous said...

When did I ever define liberals as lovely and sweet? Certainly some are (my wife, for example), but . . .

"Dan, the lyrics you posted left out the rap parts where they complain about border guards and then at the end when it says "somos latinos."

My stupid computer won't play any of the sound clips, except the partial hotair one, but by comparing Malkin's post with the Wikipedia Nuestro Himno, it would seem that the rap parts refer to a remix to be released in June, rather than the original version. If that's the case, the Chicago Tribune page she linked to (got her information from?) certainly does not make that clear.

The hotair soundclip does has 'somos Latinos, papa' at the end. It doesn't seem the worst thing in the world, unless "somos Latinos" and "somos Americanos" are mutually exclusive. Do you think that is the case?

As Wikipedia points out, the first verse differs from the 1919 U.S. Bureau of Ed. translation in only two ways: "replacement of "no veis" ("don't you see?") with "lo veis" ("do you see it?") and "Fulgor de cohetes, de bombas estruendo" ("the brilliance of rockets, the roar of bombs") with "Fulgor de la lucha, al paso de la libertad" ("the brilliance of struggle, in step with freedom")." The first is inconsequential. The second is less concretely militaristic, but also more to the point (although it loses something as well - it's more abstract, less visual and descriptive). As far as I can tell, they're not claiming to have produced an exact translation, but pretty much, as you say, a remake.

I'd be interested in knowing the reasons for the decision, but I would think this version is essentially true to the spirit - if not the letter - of the anthem.

You're certainly free to dislike both this and the ?remake (that is, the glaring attempt to cash in on the current fuss), although the latter is a legitimate political use.

"The tired move of playing the race card is typical of liberals."
We have to play the hand history and hysteria deals us. It's imposible (and dangerous) to ignore the fear, bigotry, and prejudice associated with this issue. Certainly there are many? advocates of immigration reform/border security are not motivated by this garbage, but it's out there strongly influencing the debate, and taking the opportunity not just to rear its ugly head but creep a little closer to the mainstream. I don't disagree with you on many (not all!) of the practical issues. I think illegal immigration is a real and difficult issue. I think we need better border security, and to know (and be able to choose) who is coming into the country. But while it's an important issue . . . well, it's like my veggie garden. I need to break up the soil in order to plant the seeds. However, in doing so, I'm bringing up and exposing to light all sorts of quick-growing seeds (=ideas), well adapted to disturbed soil (=controversy, concern, fear) that can quickly take root, crowding out and choking my vegetables. Similarly, for many people involved in this issue, reasonable concern (and less reasonable, but understandable nativistic upset) can provide fertile ground for this sort of rank growth to take root.

"Meanwhile, the more radical immigrants are here trying to, not become one of us, but to change the USA to something else. "

This charge has been leveled at pretty much every immigrant group from Irish Catholics to Polish Jews. And you know what? It's actually kind of true. All these groups have ended up changing the USA into something else - a stronger, richer, more diverse, more just society. The question is whether this time (unlike all the others) the result would be negative. (Not to mention that the radical ideas being referred to have virtually no support . . .)

"we didn't cross the border, the border crossed us"

You have to admit that historically they have a point (through not relevent here, it's especially strong in terms of Native American groups whose lands were divided by the border).

I was a bit punchy when I typed out that 'liberals are happy sparkly people and conservatives are gloomy bad men' bit, but it's fairly accurate on every scale, from small to large. Take the anthem. Besides the obvious moneymaking bit, we'll tend to see it as a expression of patriotism, as a way for immigrants to express respect and affection for their adopted country in their mother tongue (and while I think learning English is important, both practically and symbolically, you try getting into language classes with two jobs and kids!) It's also has been swept up in a political conflict - which is also very American.

The other folks are all angry and up in arms, and treat it as an outrage, a threat. What, is our nation so fragile that this imperils it?

Now take immigration (and make no mistake, for many (not all!) people the illegal part is just an in, just a convenient rallying point). We tend to see this more as a source of strength, as a compliment (at least on our economic success), as an opportunity. Some of the other folks - not all, but they're there - tend to see this again as a threat, less a chance to get new ideas, new words, new foods, new people and more an attack on traditional ways. (We're also more practical realistic, so we tend to realize that the economic imbalance between the US and Mexico means that people are going to head north and that, not imaginary schemes of conquest or carefully planned demographic assaults, is the underlying issue that needs to be addressed.)

Or take illegal immigration. Again, we're the practical ones, so many of us realize that there are real issues of security, economics, exploitation, etc. But we also see growing communities, people who have worked hard at making a life here, families, etc. Both empathy and practicality leads us to seek some way of resolving the issue without uprooting millions of people. Many of the other guys seem to primarily see boogymen, scary people, vermin.

"Our country allows more legal immigration than any other nation in the world, by a huge margin."
Overall numbers, I have no doubt. We are, after all, a pretty big and (looking at humans alone) fairly open country. Per capita? I'm not saying it isn't, but am genuinely curious. After all, people pretty consistantly wildy overstate what percentage we're giving in humanitarian aid - I wonder if this is a similar kind of thing. It does seem reasonable, though.

"Have liberals decided that the rule of law does not apply to them?"
Have you ever broken the law, Radar?

-Dan S.

A Hermit said...

The Pledge of Allegiance Other Translations

Spanish:

"Yo prometo lealtad a la bandera
de los estados Unidos de America,
y a la Republica que representa,
una Nacion bajo Dios,
entera,
con libertad y justicia para todos."

German:

"Ich gelobe Treue auf die Fahne der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, auf die Republik, die eine Nation unter Gott ist, vereinigt durch Freiheit und Gerechtigkeit fur alle."

French:

"J´engage ma fidelité au drapeau des États-Unis d´Amérique et à la République qu'il répresente, une nation sous Dieu, indivisible, avec liberté et justice pour tous."

A Hermit said...

Like I said, I'm not saying there isn't a problem, but xenophobic lashing out at Hispanics isn't a solution. Given past history Hispanic citizens of the US are understandably nervous when they hear people referring to immigrants as "rats" or comparing them to cancerous growths (as Radar has done here on his blog in the past).

Mexican Repatriation from the United States, 1929-1939

"The problem with the exodus is that it involved "legal and illegal immigrants temporary workers and permanent residents, U.S. citizens and aliens," and it was carried out through a variety of methods, "including deportation, persuasion, coaxing, incentive, and unauthorized coercion."

What history can tell us about anti-immigrant zeal

"...up to 60 percent of those forcibly stampeded across the border, some on locked trains, were U.S. citizens. So-called "repatriations," at least in those instances, were actually illegal forced removals from a homeland."

There is a dangerous thread of racism running through this issue; best to be aware of it, remeber you are dealing with human beings looking for a better life, not with "rats" or "vermin" and try to find real-world, workable solutions. Fences and deportations are the stuff of fantasy.

A Hermit said...

"I don't know Tancredo's sources for his statistics, but I have seen statistics like that bandied about and not just for Colorado and Los Angeles. New Mexico. Texas. Arizona. Entire states are looking at bankruptcy because of illegal aliens."

I've seen all kinds of things "bandied about"; I prefer actual documentation on an issue like this.

IMMIGRANTS AND PUBLIC SECTOR IMPACTS

"Contrary to the public's perception, when all levels of government are considered together, immigrants generate significantly more in taxes paid than they cost in services received. This surplus is unevenly distributed among different levels of government, however, with immigrants (and natives) generating a net surplus to the federal government, but a net cost to some states and most localities."

Later in the article, this interesting note:

"since the majority of illegal immigrants are not clandestine entrants across the southern border, but visa overstayers, increased border enforcement will clearly be insufficient to stop illegal immigration."

So much for the fence..


Undocumented Mexican Immigrants and the Earnings of Other Workers in the United States


"The statistically significant effects of undocumented Mexicans on the earnings of other groups are positive, but of slight magnitude."

Since crime rates are steadily falling and I keep hearing from the right wingers how fgreat the economy is I have to wonder just how bad the migrant problem really is...

A Documented Hermt

Anonymous said...

I would like to invite the 'Documented Hermt' to join me in the real world. The economy is getting better?! Are you kidding me?! Crime is on the decline?! It has been proven time and time again that illegal immigration in fact brings down the pay of workers. The only people experiencing an increase in pay are the business owners who get to pocket the money saved by hiring illegals at lower wages. This causes an even larger rift between the 'haves' and 'have-nots'. In other words 'the rich get richer and the poor get poorer'. Illegal immigrants are criminals by definition alone. They have broken the law! This whole situation brings to mind a grandma who was arrested for a bank robbery she pulled off in order to put food on the table and pay her bills. She might have done it for good reasons, but the fact is she broke the law and was subsequently arrested and jailed. Saying that they just want to provide a good life for their family does not justify breaking the law. Especially when you take into consideration all of the people who emigrated legally. That is just insulting to those abiding by the law, period.

A Hermit said...

"The economy is getting better?! Are you kidding me?!"

That's what the Bush administration keeps telling us. (I agree it's not true, by the way, but instead of scapegoating immigrants I prefer to lay the blame where it belongs; at the feet of the greedy corporate execs and the Washington politicians who sell their services to them.)


"It has been proven time and time again that illegal immigration in fact brings down the pay of workers."

Back it up. I gave you links to academic studies supporting my arguments; if you have an issue with their methodology please be specific.

A Demanding Hermit

Anonymous said...

A Demanding Hermit Said:
"Back it up. I gave you links to academic studies supporting my arguments; if you have an issue with their methodology please be specific."

How about the Center for Immigration Studies? Is that specific enough?:
http://www.cis.org/articles/2006/back206.html

Or how about my own personal experience? After my husband's place of employment was taken over by a corporation, they slowly started bringing in illegals. Over a five year period, my husband's hours and subsequent pay declined by over 40%. Meanwhile they expected him to 'instruct' these illegals over the phone from home (off the clock of course) on how to do the jobs.

Anonymous said...

A Demanding Hermit said:
"I gave you links to academic studies supporting my arguments"..

Did you notice that those links you supplied were dated almost 20 years ago before illegal immigration estimates quadrupled?

I think you will find my supporting information to be much more updated.

Anonymous said...

A Documented Hermit said:
""The statistically significant effects of undocumented Mexicans on the earnings of other groups are positive, but of slight magnitude.""

Did it ever occur to you that they were not talking about the earnings of peers working the same jobs, but of those who are doing the hiring?

Anonymous said...

A Hermit said:
"What history can tell us about anti-immigrant zeal

"...up to 60 percent of those forcibly stampeded across the border, some on locked trains, were U.S. citizens. So-called "repatriations," at least in those instances, were actually illegal forced removals from a homeland.""

That is typical spin put on the subject to detract from the real issue - ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.
Forcing illegals to be removed would be sending them back to their homeland. Wanting enforcement of current laws and expecting immigrants to obey those laws has nothing to do with discrimination or repatriation that took place almost 70 years ago. Quit trying to blow smoke and stick to the issue.

A Hermit said...

Oh, I don't think calling attention to historical precedent is "blowing smoke"; and anyway you're missing the point. I keep saying there are real problems here, and they need to be dealt with, but getting all sniffy about someone singing a song in the "wrong" language falls directly into the same category as those forced deportations in the past; you're attacking the innocent along with the guilty.

I also haven't seen anyone explain how you're going to identify, round up and deport 11 milion (or 8 million, or 20 million depending on whose numbers you believe) people and depoting them, in many cases separating families. It's all well and good to demand it be done, but what's the plan, exactly?

You want a concentration camp in your back yard? There's no other way to do what you're suggesting, I'm afraid.

Anonymous said...

"Or how about my own personal experience? After my husband's place of employment was taken over by a corporation, they slowly started bringing in illegals. Over a five year period, my husband's hours and subsequent pay declined by over 40%. Meanwhile they expected him to 'instruct' these illegals over the phone from home (off the clock of course) on how to do the jobs."

Here you point out who is directly responsible - not illegal immigrants (they're only trying to make some (little) money for themselves and often their families) but the corporation that choose to reduce costs by hiring them, and cutting your husbands pay, while increasing his responsibilities in a particularly invasive way. Immigration - legal and illegal - is simply a tiny part of a biggert picture. That's the concerted effort by corporations over the last few decades to increase profits by lowering our standard of living, whether by hiring illegal immigrants, outsourcing, downsizing, dropping benefits, lobbying against minimum wage increases and more effective labor and safety laws, etc., etc., etc. This applies across the board, from low-wage workers at Walmart being locked in at night and being paid so little as to qualify for government assistance to white collar workers seeing benefits and pay stagnate even as they work harder and harder (often off the clock) cover the workload of 'rightsized' former co-workers. Even if a company wants to do right, competition from such businesses often forces them to adopt the same tactics.

Besides the obvious costs, this takes a toll on family life: parents who can't be around for their children because they're working two shifts, families where both parents work not out of choice but necessity, with little money to afford quality daycare, white collar employees whose home life is merely an extension of their office, because if they stop to spend more than a little time with their family, they might be the next to go . . . and so on and on.

If this is an issue of concern for you, then I hope you will be supporting Democratic candidates in the '06 and '08 elections. They're certainly not perfect, and you don't have to agree with everything they say (I certainly don't!) but if you want to help working families and help rein in corporations (even slightly) they're the only viable option. Take a real close look - who supports minimum wage increases? Better labor and worker protection laws Legislation that would require businesses to be more family-friendly?

On the other hand, the Bush administration gutted the Fair Labor Standard Act, making countless lower-middle class workers ineligible for overtime pay, and has supported a guest worker program that would supply industries with a safe, legal supply of (presumably) lower-paid workers imported from abroad. More broadly, the Republican Party is beholden to big business and the very wealthy, and has acted appropriately. Remember the tax cuts? Disproportionately for the very, very wealthy - we're not talking six or even seven digit incomes here, it's a whole new ballgame. Or take the estate tax, cleverly relabled the 'death tax' because, hey, estates makes one think of enormous houses on rolling lawns, but death comes for everybody, right? You're not going to be hit with the estate tax. No one you know is, unless you generally associate with people who have assets in the multiple millions and up. In fact, the campaign against it, it turns out, has been led by "18 super-wealthy families . . worth a total of $185.5 billion [who stand to get] a windfall of $71.6 billion, [including] the families behind Wal-Mart, Gallo wine, Campbell’s soup, and Mars Inc., maker of M&Ms. Collectively, the list includes the first- and third-largest privately held companies in the United States, the richest family in Alabama and the world’s largest retailer."

(This link also gives the percentage of estates that will owe any estate taxes this year. Guess what it is, then go click and check it out.)

Democrats will raise taxes? Sure. Mostly on the very wealthy and on large corporations, which is why these groups tend to frantically fund attempts to defeat them. Meanwhile, Republicans will tell you that they're cutting your taxes, snip a hundred or so off (not saying it doesn't help, true), and then go on to lavish the magic tax-cutting scissors on the big donors. Then we pay, both by having the tax burden shift increasingly on our shoulders, and by a reduction or loss of various government services (want to take your child to the library? sorry, it's only open two days a week. financial aid for college? sorry, not so much.)

Many people who more or less realize this continue voting for such policies because, it seems, they've convinced they're going to be rich one day. But they're not, not like these people - who are increasingly born to it a la Paris Hilton, in a throwback to the robber baron era, where Vanderbilts and others established dynasties and built enormous manorial homes. Meanwhile, such policies make it less likely that they ever will move up into reasonable security (even affluence). Want social mobility? Vote Democratic.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

I apologize for the missing punctuation (and in some cases, missing words) - this just gets me riled up.

You want a concentration camp in your back yard?

C'mon, Hermit, we wouldn't gas 'em or work 'em to death! They would be internment camps! And I'm sure companies who got the no-bid (or otherwise shady) contracts will do everything by the book . . .

-Dan S.

A Hermit said...

Great comments anonymous Dan...

More on the reiability of alleged "statistics" about the effects of illegal immigration at Dave Neiwert's excellent blog

Neiwert also points us to this little bit of fascist fun (and no, fascist is not a word I toss around lightly, but if it walks, talks and shoots like one...). This is the kind of thing I'm talking about.

A Hermit said...

Intersting article here

U.S. Immigration Debate Is a Road Well Traveled

"...Until 1918, the United States did not require passports; the term "illegal immigrant" had no meaning. New arrivals were required only to prove their identity and find a relative or friend who could vouch for them.

Customs agents kept an eye out for lunatics and the infirm (and after 1905, for anarchists). Ninety-eight percent of the immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island were admitted to the United States, and 78 percent spent less than eight hours on the island. (The Mexico-United States border then was unguarded and freely crossed in either direction.) "Shipping companies did the health inspections in Europe because they didn't want to be stuck taking someone back," said Nancy Foner, a sociology professor at Hunter College and author of "From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration." "Eventually they introduced a literacy test," she added, "but it was in the immigrant's own language, not English..."

Anonymous said...

"Nancy Foner . . . author of "From Ellis Island to JFK: New York's Two Great Waves of Immigration"

's a good book . . .

Of course, people being people, the upper classes began to get freaked out, terrified that the huddled masses represented a biocultural threat to their position. There were, of course, genuine issues over how America and the immigrants would shape each other, but at root was not just class but almost an existential anxiety, as the social groups that had maintained long term dominance, and those who had came more recently to power, felt their grip on the world shifting as economic currents changed and as the country started heading towards an relatively more democratic and diverse future. See for example, the frantic attempts to keep Jews out of the Ivies, etc. One day if you all are good I'l tell you how the turn of the century construction of the Bronx Zoo related to class anxieties and immigration worries . . . But for now, a little trip down memory lane:

"The sheer number of new arrivals troubled many U.S. citizens. In the late 1870's, the annual average number of immigrants fell just short of 150,000. By the turn of the century, that number had increased to almost 800,000, and in 1907 it passed 11/4 million. As the numbers of immigrants increased, eugenicists allied themselves with other interest groups to provide biological arguments to support immigration restriction. . . .

. . . In 1920, [Eugenics Records Office worker] Laughlin appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Immigration and Naturalization. Using data for the U.S. Census Bureau and a survey of the number of foreign-born persons in jails, prisons and reformatories, he argued that the "American" gene pool was being polluted by a rising tide of intellectually and morally defective immigrants – primarily from eastern and southern Europe. Sympathetic to Laughlin's message, Committee Chairman Albert Johnson of Washington State appointed Laughlin as "expert eugenics agent."

In this capacity, Laughlin conducted research from 1921 to 1931. He took a fact-finding trip to Europe, used free postage to conduct large-scale surveys of charitable institutions and mental hospitals, and had his results published by the Government Printing Office. His research culminated in his 1924 testimony to Congress in support of a eugenically-crafted immigration restriction bill. The Eugenics Research Association displayed a chart beneath the Rotunda of the Capitol building in Washington showing the cost to taxpayers of supporting Laughlin's "social inadequates."

The resulting law, the Immigration Restriction Act of 1924, was designed consciously to halt the immigration of supposedly "dysgenic" Italians and eastern European Jews, whose numbers had mushroomed during the period from 1900 to 1920. The method was simply to scale the number of immigrants from each country in proportion to their percentage of the U.S. population in the 1890 census – when northern and western Europeans were the dominant immigrants. Under the new law, the quota of southern and eastern Europeans was reduced from 45% to 15%. The 1924 Act ended the greatest era of immigration in U.S. history.

Upon signing the Act, President Calvin Coolidge commented, "America must remain American." This phrase would become the rallying cry of anti-immigration sentiment until after World War II. The eugenic intent of the 1924 law and the quota system it established remained in place until they were repealed by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.


-Dan S., "intellectually and morally defective"