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Give me your tired, your poor,...

You all know about the famous poem by Emma Lazarus at the Statue of Liberty, that welcomes “tired” and “poor” immigrants of all sorts to America. Ever since the Statue and its message of welcome were placed in the harbor of New York, immigrants streamed to our shores, and then these immigrants built America and made it the great country of freedom and opportunity that it is. And now we are on the verge of throwing away the welcome mat with what politicians call “immigration reform.” This is a cold, terrible day.

Here is Emma Lazarus' famous poem:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she

With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This is what Lazarus said. This is what we all believed. This is what made all American citizens feel great about our country.

Now the talk is of "reform." Now we want to get rid of the "tired," the "poor" and the "huddled masses yearning to breath free." Now we want to shut the "golden door."

Both Republicans and Democrats are complicit in this sad "reform." Republicans in the House want to "welcome" immigrants with a wall, and should they cross the wall, they would be thrown in jail. Democrats are joining Republicans in the Senate in a so-called compromise: There would be 3 tiers of immigrants. Those here more than 5 years could eventually earn citizenship; those here between 2 and 5 years would have to leave the country and then return; and those here less than 2 years would be shipped back home.

Those here more than 2 years would be eligible to be "guest workers," another name for second-class citizens.

The Senate version of "reform" is a little better than the House version, but not by much. Democrats should not agree to it. They worry that if they vote for this "compromise" the House will restore the tough provisions in the conference, thus eliminating the "compromise." But they should not vote for it because it is a bad bill and it definitely does not uphold American values.

What a far cry from the promise of the Statue of Liberty.

Briefly, here is what I think should be in the bill:

  • An amnesty period of about 2 years for illegal immigrants and for employers of illegal immigrants
  • After the 2 year period, no guest workers
  • After the 2 year period, knowingly employing illegal aliens brings jail time
  • After the 2 year period, all illegal aliens are eligible to become citizens, provided they pass an English class and an American History class
  • Border patrols are beefed up
These are my ideas. They are not written in stone. However, whatever we do, let's not be mean. Let's act in the spirit of Emma Lazarus. Let's welcome to our shores the "tired," the "poor" and the "huddled masses yearning to be free."

Let your senators and representative know how you feel.

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 4, 2006 7:47 PM
Comments
Comment #145471

Please oh PLEASE oh please… someone help my State!

YOU MUST LISTEN TO THIS CRAP (commonly called a political ad) that is being run in district. You want to know how the hard core right feels about this issue?

http://vernonrobinson.com/media/miller_mariachi.mp3

(I’m serious - this is so far out there it’s beyond bizarre.)

Now, after you listen, can someone give me advise on how to handle this extreme sort of posturing?

Posted by: tony at May 4, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #145478

Tony,

Wow. the only thing he was not accused of is taking them to the abortion clinic.

As far as what to do…
You might try truth, that much smear and emotional pandering shows a lack of substance.

Posted by: Ted at May 4, 2006 8:35 PM
Comment #145479

“You might try truth, that much smear and emotional pandering shows a lack of substance.”

Ted,
Unfortunately, for some reason, conservatives are easily swayed by such nonsense.
Fear based culture on the right. Easy pikins for mongers.

Posted by: Norby at May 4, 2006 8:40 PM
Comment #145481

I was dumbfounded… the Mexican “whooping” and Mariachi music was just too (WAY TOO) much.

North Carolina does not need another dumb red neck to represent us, even if this dumb red neck is black.

Posted by: tony at May 4, 2006 8:42 PM
Comment #145483

Tony,

After listening to that ad (the most racist I’ve ever heard), the only thing you can do is to duct tape his mouth shut and then handcuff him so he can’t pull it off.

Posted by: tasch at May 4, 2006 8:50 PM
Comment #145486

Real close to that pretty lady with the torch there was a whole lot of second class citizen issues going on even back then.. we haven’t had “free” immigration since around 1855 “your tired, your poor.. ” were directed to ellis island for medical exams and processing. Where as the first and second class passengers passed thru the gates easily.

“The great steamship companies like White Star, Red Star, Cunard and Hamburg-America played a significant role in the history of Ellis Island and immigration in general. First and second class passengers who arrived in New York Harbor were not required to undergo the inspection process at Ellis Island. Instead, these passengers underwent a cursory inspection aboard ship; the theory being that if a person could afford to purchase a first or second class ticket, they were less likely to become a public charge in America due to medical or legal reasons. The Federal government felt that these more affluent passengers would not end up in institutions, hospitals or become a burden to the state. However, first and second class passengers were sent to Ellis Island for further inspection if they were sick or had legal problems.

This scenario was far different for “steerage” or third class passengers. These immigrants traveled in crowded and often unsanitary conditions near the bottom of steamships with few amenities, oftenspending up to two weeks seasick in their bunks during rough Atlantic Ocean crossings. Upon arrival in New York City, ships would dock at the Hudson or East River piers. First and second class passengers would disembark, pass through Customs at the piers and were free to enter the United States. The steerage and third class passengers were transported from the pier by ferry or barge to Ellis Island where everyone would undergo a medical and legal inspection.”

Ellis Island

Right now anyone can sneak across the border, weather responcible immigrant looking to better his life, drug addict, criminal, diseased or whatever.

So before one can bash either party for the current ideas one must remember that this has been going on for 151 years at least now. There was never really a get in instantly card to enter this country in modern times.

Yes we are a country of immigrants,no denying that, BUT for the most part we came in thru the system and followed rules.

As for amnesty Myself i belive the writing is on the wall and if you employ illegals you should clean up shop before the hammer falls (but i also belive that is a comprimise point)

Guest workers I agree with, if they are documented and arrive and leave on time,recieve at least minium wage, pay taxes and keep their noses clean, I se no reason to disallow them.

To employ Illegals I’d say first offence fine equal to a normal legal persons year wage for the job, second offence jail time.

I don’t belive in rewarding bad behavior, no express line for illegals, they can get in line behind the ones that have applied legally. But I do agree with learning the language and our history.

I would also agree that a special ID card be made for guest workers.. with some sort of a gps identifiable chip embedded onto it and stressed that that card must be on their person at all times or they void their guest worker status ( and to track any down that overstay their guest time) also no drivers licenses issued to illegals the guest id card can be affixed if the test for driving has been completed, yes let them drive but not a state issued id card.

I do hope though that this issue lasts past election day and neither party sweeps it under the rug once the election is finished.. but time will tell


Posted by: RHancheck at May 4, 2006 9:07 PM
Comment #145497

I work with MEXICANS AMERICANS AND THEY ARE RUDE IF YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER ONE WILL COME UP AND START SPEAKING SPANISH I DO SPEAK SOME SPANISH AND CAN’T BELIVE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ME AND WHITES AND BLACKS. MOST ARE VERY RACEIST. If you don’t speake spanish good because you don’t have to listen to their stupidity

Posted by: gotn at May 4, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #145506

WE invited them in so that WE could get good labor for a limited wage. WE either benefited from the low wage labor…or, paid because of associated costs, i.e., welfare, health care, less job openings, etc. THEY only came to fill OUR desires. Don’t take this out on THEM. Hit them where it hurts the most…hit the employers, and hit them hard…the ‘problem’ will disappear.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 4, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #145510

Actually I remember a story about Illegal Imigrant, Came to Canada, they had to let him in, he came from the British empire. The USA didn’t let his kind in, everyone knew his kind were inferior. So he went west in Canada to the frontier and snuck across the border. The frontier was near Detroit at that time. He established a farm on land that good Americans could have used. His great grandson established Ford Motor Company. The man was Irish.

Remember, if you are Irish, there are pretty good odds that you could have illegal Immigrant blood in your family. I am part Irish, and so this includes me.

Posted by: Tynan at May 4, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #145512

Legal immigrants are welcome. If people want to come here through legal channels and become Americans I think that’s great.
If people want to come here and take advantage of our generosity and use our social services without assimilating they need to go home. Phttp://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/borderpatrol.asp

Posted by: traveller at May 4, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #145515

Immigration is a dynamic process. WE didn’t invite THEM. Nor did THEY come completely uninvited.

Immigration should serve the U.S. That should be our key consideration. So we should be allowing in more skilled and smart immigrants and fewer of those who are likely to become public charges or do things for us that we should do for ourselves.

We use cheap labor because we have cheap labor. W/o it we would adapt. For one thing, maybe we would get rid of those noisy leaf blowers and/or maybe we would mow our own lawns or get our kids to do a little more. Some of these really low level tasks need not be done by paid workers at all.

If you go into a McDonald’s near my house, it is staffed with immigrants. Such places used to be staffed by teenagers, who now spend their time hanging around or playing video games. People used to mow their own lawns and paint their own houses, or get friends and relatives to help. Cheap labor has corrupted us.

Posted by: Jack at May 4, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #145525

>>WE didn’t invite THEM. Nor did THEY come completely uninvited.
Posted by: Jack at May 4, 2006 10:31 PM

Wow! Wish I’d said that…what profundity.

They would not have come without an invitation. The lure was money…how did they know the money was available? They were INVITED. WE invited tham. Now, we are mad at them, because they answered our invitation. What is wrong with this picture?

Punish those who invited them, and they will go away…problem solved. How sweet it is…

Posted by: Marysdude at May 4, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #145532

Who is this “we”, Marys?

I would be happy to invite trained people. My county (Fairfax, VA) is one of the most diverse in the nation. The immigrants have been very good to us.

The guys pushing the leafblowers could stay whereever they came from. In fact, there are times I would pay them not to work.

In other words, keep the useful ones. I expect that will be most of them, but we owe them nothing in particular, just like they owe us nothing in particular except to follow our laws. If I moved to Mexico, I would expect to live by their laws.

BTW - you know it is Cinco de Mayo today. ON this day the Mexicans celebrate getting rid of Maximillian, who was installed by the French. The only reason they could pull this off is because the U.S. send Phil Sheridan to prowl the border so the French pulled out. They should thank us for that.

Posted by: Jack at May 4, 2006 11:23 PM
Comment #145535

Sorry about the Cinco de Mayo. I thought it was later. It will be Cinco de Mayo by the time most people read this.

When you drink your Dos XX, toast Phil Sheridan. He needs it, since he is none to popular around the Shenandoah. Little Phil burned everything and boasted that if a crow wanted to fly across the valley, he would have to bring rations.

Posted by: Jack at May 4, 2006 11:31 PM
Comment #145556

I see Sheridan knew how to deal with the real traitors and anti-Americans of this country. Way to go!!!

Posted by: Aldous at May 5, 2006 1:27 AM
Comment #145558


Jack: Sheridan is a hero in ohio, along with Grant and Sherman, three good ohio boys.

The other day, you posted that you were off to the woods. I tried to ask you if there were any morels growing in your neck of the woods but alas I have been kicked off the republican site again.

I don’t often agree with Jack, but I do on illegal immigrants.

I fear that the illegal immigrants will be the means by which we democrats snatch defeat from the arms of victory.

Posted by: jlw at May 5, 2006 1:51 AM
Comment #145562

“So we should be allowing in more skilled and smart immigrants “

Wow Jack, something we can totally agree on. It’s darn hard to find an American that knows where a Porter House steak leaves off and a T-Bone begins.

When was the last time you went to a medical specialist that spoke clear english?

The good old USA is falling behind in edumacation because we’ve become complacent and lazy. Now we must have someone to blame. Well, shit, we can’t blame the blacks anymore, let’s go after the Mexicans.

Most estimates I’ve read put Mexicans at about 56% of the “illegals”! That’s slightly more than half. So here’s a plan. Let’s put an INS officer on every street corner and he (or she) can check everyone’s ID. Not just the brown people, or the black people, but the white people and yellow people too!

Or we could just tatoo peoples arms so we’d know who belongs and who doesn’t. I think a nine digit number should suffice.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at May 5, 2006 2:01 AM
Comment #145566

jlw,

I haven’t been able to find one single morel (we call ‘em mushrooms)this season while everyone in my family keeps telling me how many POUNDS they’ve found. I’m from Lancaster, home of Willie T. Sherman, and I’ve toured his house, it’s pretty cool. Phil Sheridan was from right down the road in Somerset, where there’s a statue in his honor. I’ve never been to Grant’s hometown of Point Pleasant. Yes, three fine REPUBLICAN Ohioans. I couldn’t be prouder.

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Posted by: Duano at May 5, 2006 2:29 AM
Comment #145569
If Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals.

and

I work with MEXICANS AMERICANS AND THEY ARE RUDE IF YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER ONE WILL COME UP AND START SPEAKING SPANISH I DO SPEAK SOME SPANISH AND CAN’T BELIVE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ME AND WHITES AND BLACKS. MOST ARE VERY RACEIST. If you don’t speake spanish good because you don’t have to listen to their stupidity


Look Jack! It’s two more of your Intellectual Conservative friends come by for some Polite Discourse!

How proud you must be!

:o)

Posted by: Betty Burke at May 5, 2006 2:41 AM
Comment #145573

No amnesty!

With no jobs or welfare, the remaining illegal aliens will leave voluntarily. Allow 12 months for all illegal aliens to leave on their own, with their own property. Those wishing to immigrate to the U.S. must get in line behind those already seeking to immigrate legally.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 5, 2006 3:01 AM
Comment #145578

d.a.n:

Indeed. When Immigrants can no longer earn money in America, they will go home to earn no money there instead.

Posted by: Aldous at May 5, 2006 3:44 AM
Comment #145583

Jack,

Who is this “we”, Marys?

“We” are the people who buy cheap produce, eat cheap fast food, and otherwise support the “cheap labor” economy. You don’t have to ever see or talk to an illegal immigrant to support them. You and I do it every day.

The ugly truth is that most illegal immigrants who want to stay here will, no matter what legislation is passed. Finding them all and deporting them is just too difficult, and would require infringing too deeply upon the privacy of actual citizens to do so. So debating amnesty legislation is like debating whether we Congress should allow the sun to come up. Make any laws you want, but they won’t change reality.

But there are some things we CAN change. We can punish those who hire illegal labor. We can beef up the border to prevent more from coming over. And we can help Mexico build up their economy so that these people won’t be in such a hurry to leave.

But debating about what to do with those who are already here is pointless.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 5, 2006 8:05 AM
Comment #145587

Aldous

The Shenandoah was a part of Virginia with lots of Union loyalists. Sheridan didn’t differentiate. But that is the way war is sometimes. If Sherman, Sheridan and Grant had been using the politically correct rules we now love, Richmond would be the capital of the Confederacy today. War is all hell.

I am glad the south lost. The cause was fundamentally flawed, and it is pretty stupid for anyone to want to leave the United States, but that does not subtract from the respect I can have for the boys who fought with such tenacity and bravery, or the great men like Robert E. Lee, who at Appomattox asked his men to return to their homes and become good citizens of the United States.

Jlw

I don’t know from mushrooms. My grandfather never passed the skills, so I don’t seek out or eat things that may kill me.

Betty

I take credit or blame only for the things I write. On a blog, anyone can write anything. I am sure we get some right wing nuts, and I know we get some left wing radicals posing as right wing nuts.

You also don’t know if these guys are conservatives or Republicans. I know plenty of Dems who are not fond of immigrants, while the conservative WSJ has long championed them.

Rob

I don’t advocate deporting masses of immigrants. I would like to control the borders better and I don’t believe anyone has a RIGHT to come to our country.

We should take in immigrants who are useful. I personally like the smart/stupid system. Let in the smart guys who will be assets; keep out the stupid ones who will be liabilities. I know that is easier said than done, but we could at least make it a goal. Countries like Canada and Australia do already.

My other point about cheap labor is we really don’t need so much of it. Americans WOULD do some jobs. Teenagers used to work in fast food. Now immigrants displace many. People would mow their own lawns if it wasn’t so cheap to pay someone to do it. And my bete noir the leaf blowers we could dispense will altogether.

We need some immigrants. We have more than we need and we have some with the wrong skill sets. If I had my way, I perhaps would not change the numbers of immigrants, but I would change their composition. Immigrants should be allowed in if they improve the U.S.; otherwise not. And everyone should learn English. It should be a source of shame to be in a place for more than a few years and not speak the language reasonably well. We should make no accommodations for non-English speakers except where we feel like it or can make money by doing it.

Posted by: Jack at May 5, 2006 9:38 AM
Comment #145588

You can’t deny that times have changed. Even ignoring the fact that America has always had a history of excluding some group of immigrants or another, it is clear that now more than ever there are legitimate reasons.

Of course, that isn’t really offering any solution (which I apologize for), it’s just my two cents.

Posted by: Zeek at May 5, 2006 9:42 AM
Comment #145591

gotn,

” work with MEXICANS AMERICANS AND THEY ARE RUDE IF YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ONE ANOTHER ONE WILL COME UP AND START SPEAKING SPANISH I DO SPEAK SOME SPANISH AND CAN’T BELIVE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ME AND WHITES AND BLACKS. MOST ARE VERY RACEIST. If you don’t speake spanish good because you don’t have to listen to their stupidity”

Well said. I am sorry you had to work with “MEXICANS AMERICANS”. I am also very sorry that those “RACIEST” people forced their “stupidity” on you.
Because I am a Latin American(Puerto Rican), sorry we can’t get thrown out, I would like to apologize, to not only you, but to all Americans on behalf of the “MEXICANS AMERICANS.”
By the way, did any of you notice that there were hundreds of different flags in the various marches and protests? Did you notice some of the illegals were white? I did. Who cares, it’s easy to put a Mexican face on the problem and blame them.
I cannot believe all of you will willingly allow yourselves to get distracted by the small, shiny object, that is immigration.
Your government is failing you. They are stealing from you. They have sentenced thousands of us to die in a war based on lies. They are secretly listening to you. They are ruining healthcare and the education system. They are creating a wealth disparity of historic proportions. They have turned your vote into a useless gesture. They belong to the military industrial complex, energy monopolies and pharmaceutical companies.
This is the biggest issue facing our nation?
This is how easy it is for them to distract you from the real problems this nation is facing?
It just goes to show that the racist in us, from time to time, dominates the American in us.
Build walls.Construct electrified fences. Will that erase government waste? Will it create transparency in our government?
Will it save lives in Iraq? Will it prevent us from invading Iran? Stop terrorism?
Will it drag our world reputations as hypocrites and bullies from the depths from which this administration has taken us?
Will it prevent our nation from torturing and keeping in indefinate detention thousands of people, based on race and religion?
All of you should think about what it is that you’re not discussing. You should not be placing the woes of this country on the backs of Mexicans.
Remember Hitler? He blamed the poverty connected to war reperations on the Jews.
Fences and walls.
I feel sorry for each and every one of you.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 5, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #145596

Andre,

Well said.

Jack,

You keep referring to “the language”. Last I checked, we have many languages in this country. In some communities in the U.S., Spanish is the dominant language. In others, English is dominant. When your ancestors came to this country (legally or not), did they abandon their language in favor of the native Apache or Navajo or whatever else was spoken here? If not, are you ready to correct their mistakes?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 5, 2006 10:31 AM
Comment #145598

Andre,
Aside from the troll, I see no one here opposed to LEGAL immigration, whats wrong with obeying the law?

I do see that you hate America thoguh, so why would you want any more to immigrate in if we are such a evil culture though. According to you America is an evil racist land with a opprerssive goverment, USUALLY People Emmigrate from those countries not immigrate to them at record numbers.

I do project great offence at your thoughts, So if i belive one should come into the country leagally, all of a sudden its a hitleresque mode of thought? Why is it expecting everyone in the country to obey the law racist? where is your base of thought for that? I know you are mad at the troll, and he should have a warning and the post removed…but myself i don’t take lightly being called a racist, or the hint of being called a Nazi. Myself, I feel sorry for you, for such a narrowminded attitude towards the rest of the country.

Posted by: RHancheck at May 5, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #145602

Rob,

I agree we need to pass a law making a official language of the country.

I find some amusement in you jumping on Jack for that even though Paul in his OP wanted that, so its easier to jump a red than to show disagreement to a blue (yep it’s an election year)


Posted by: RHancheck at May 5, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #145603


Duano: Yes, all three were republicans. But that was in the good old day’s when the republicans were the liberals. I’m the opposite, I live on the Ohio river up stream of Grants birth place and I have visited it.

They are mushrooms, but morels are the finest.
I found quite a few this year.

Betty: Intellectually you are right on this issue. But, politically you are dead wrong. Liberals can win a democratic primary any day of the week. But, to win a general election you have to put together a coalition. This fall the liberals are going to take that coalition for granted because Bush and the republicans have done such a poor job of governing and so many of them are corrupt.

For many years the democratic coalition was composed of liberals and blue collar workers. The democratic party could depend on those workers because the party defended their rights. Many of those workers are conservative on a lot of the issues. I think that this was reflected in the fact that many republican presidents have been elected when democrats controlled Congress. Aren’t you able to look into the future and see the republican propaganda ads this fall. Those terrorist loving, America hating, liberal democrats are going to give your job and your daughters to the illegal immigrants. It scares me to death that crap like that will work.

On my last job as a ironworker, I was a pariah to the American workers because I taught the illegals to work at one of the most physical most dangerous jobs in America. We Americans were loosing our jobs. Never the less, I was friends with many of the young Mexicans. My name is Geronimo and they all knew he was.

If you don’t know what many of these young Mexicans attitude towards Americans is then you haven’t spent any time working with them. You might assume that they are greatful to us for giving them a livelyhood. But I assure you that this is not the case with many of them. The two most common attitudes that i heard espoused was 1) Americans are stupid. When I would protest this assumption, they would say, you have to be stupid, you give us your jobs. 2) All American girls are whores. Again, when I would protest, they would say we all have young American girl friends and we have mucho fun with them, this is not allowed in Mexico. And they did!

Posted by: jlw at May 5, 2006 10:49 AM
Comment #145604

Andre,

I agree that people are missing the true problems in this country. But I’m glad to see the immigration “problem” come to light for one simple reason — the Democrats and Republicans don’t know what to do with it!

You see, most of the issues in this country divide well along party lines — abortion, gay rights, healthcare, education, free speech, gun control, etc. In each case, Ds and Rs split almost perfectly along the red/blue fence. Mavericks that cross that line are pushed into the shadows of their respective parties.

Immigration is different. Both parties have internal conflicts on the issue. Individual politicians from each party have declared positions on either side of the line, but the parties haven’t taken sides. Yet, on each side, you have people trying to blame the other party for the problem. It makes them both look stupid!

Ultimately, the immigration debate weakens the two-party system, and creates openings for third-party candidates, as well as for Ds and Rs that don’t “toe the party line” on other critical issues. I don’t know if anyone will actually take advantage of those openings, but every little bit helps.

(Of course, it was a similar “racist” issue that broke our country’s previous two-party system. The Democrat-Whig system broke down in the mid-1800s over the issue of slavery, which neither party took a clear side for or against. Hopefully we won’t have a civil war over this one….)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 5, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #145608

RHancheck,

To which law are you refering? The law that forbids American corporations from violating illegal hiring and minimum wage, and worker’s compensation laws? Why do you choose to focus on the victims rather than the vicitmizers?

In case you didn’t notice, he called himself a latin american. I guess he hates America so much that he adds that name to identify himself.

I’m Scottish,Irish, English/Welsh American myself. I’m not native American. I don’t recall when the Native Americans legalized my forefathers immigrants. When did they legalize yours?

Maybe some Americans like the fact that they can be critical of their government without some of us calling them unamerican. Some us actually like that part of being American. Why don’t you?

Posted by: gergle at May 5, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #145609

RHancheck,

I agree we need to pass a law making a official language of the country.

Well, to join you in your “us against them” mode, you better hurry up and pass that law during the window when YOUR language is dominant… otherwise, you may miss your chance.

I find some amusement in you jumping on Jack for that even though Paul in his OP wanted that, so its easier to jump a red than to show disagreement to a blue (yep it’s an election year)

I jumped on Jack because he was the latest to mention it. And I find it interesting that you assume I’m a Democrat (which I’m not). What exacly did I say to give you that impression? Did you assume that only a tree-hugging liberal would disagree with Jack, or did you have something more substantial to base that on? I’m curious….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 5, 2006 11:00 AM
Comment #145612

jlw,

I work in construction. I protest your characterization of illegals. Some do think that way. So do the whites and the blacks. I guess I could say that’s generally true of ironworkers couldn’t I? Of course, most construction workers NEVER B.S. in stereotypes, do they?

But then I would be kind of bigoted, like your post came off to me. If generalizations were always true, we wouldn’t ever need to know anyone as an individual now would we?

Posted by: gergle at May 5, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #145617

RHancheck,

I don’t recall saying that enforcing the immigration laws makes one a bigot. Please show where I said that. I’m pretty sure my post had to do with ignoring “REAL” issues and not getting caught up in the “WALL” and “FENCE” building rhetoric.
If you enforced the laws this would not be an issue for you or I to discuss. If businesses did not hire them, they would have little reason to be hear.
My question is why blame them?
I love America, but I don’t have to be a mindless sheep bending to the whims of America’s government to prove it.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 5, 2006 11:33 AM
Comment #145623

Rob

English is our language. We can impose our language on others in our country and we should. It is better for them and better for us. The Indians did not have much of an immigration policy and look what happened to them. Maybe we should take the lesson. Remeber the old saying, only a fool has to learn from his OWN mistakes.

None of my immigrant ancestors were English speakers. While it would have been kind of nice if I had continued to speak their languages (which ones?), I am really glad they didn’t have the political correctness in those days that would have relegated me to second-class citizen status in the name of protecting the phony boloney heritage of a place my ancestors thought was so bad they crossed an ocean to get away from it. I figure if someone risks his life swimming rivers and crossing deserts to get away from someplace, it cannot be that nice. That means that anyone who comes to the U.S. believes it is a better place for him than wherever he came from. Otherwise he is very stupid for leaving or lying. We should indulge neither his stupidity nor his mendacity.

I support legal immigration. Immigrants make lots of contributions to our society. But remember WHY we want immigrants to come and our policy goals become much clearer.

One more thing about languages. Few people can speak more than one foreign language well and most people cannot even do that unless they are in constant contact with it. I SPOKE at one time Polish, Portuguese, Norwegian and German. I don’t SPEAK them now because I don’t get to practice and frankly it is not worth the time to maintain them. People who blithely advocate we learn many languages have rarely invested the time it takes to do so. You are probably better off studying advanced math.

That is why it makes a lot more sense for people coming to the U.S. to learn English than for us to learn whatever it is they speak.

Posted by: Jack at May 5, 2006 11:44 AM
Comment #145629

Gergle: What’s your point. You say some, I say many. Neither means all. If you are suggesting that I am a biggot your wrong, unless you count rich men and those who hire illegals and claim that they are only taking jobs that Americans don’t want. I don’t blame the illegals. If the jobs were in Mexico, I would be an illegal to.

The point I was trying to get across is that democrats believe that truth will prevail. Where as the republicans know that propaganda works. See how many people listen to Fuzz Lintball and believe the crap that comes out of his mouth.

The voters are ready for change, but as I said, propaganda works at least on enough people to throw an election.

I doubt that any legislation on immigration passes before the election and I know damn well that a wall won’t be built before then. I also know that Carl Rove will use this issue and use it well. If you have seen the polls on illegal immigration then you should know why I am concerned.

Posted by: jlw at May 5, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #145638

Jack….I’m marking this day on the calendar.. ;) I actually agree with your first response. I’d only like to add that instead of inviting in smarter and more skilled workers, lets limit video and computer hours with our own kids….make them smarter and give them more skills. While flipping burgers may not land them in Forbes…it’s a baby step towards responsibility.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at May 5, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #145662

Jlw,

If that was your point, I still don’t get your post.

I agree bigoted, lying sacks of s*** will continue to be so. I’ve spoken to Republicans that even acknowledge that Bushco is a bunch of liars. Bush is trying not to alienate the Latino vote, but I think he’s probably lost it. I think the Dems just need to keep pointing that out, along with the betrayal of his own voting blocks.

Focus on healthcare, failed Iraq and Afghanistan, and inept/corruption reform are the Dems winning issues.

Focusing on the illegal hiring is another corruption/inept issue for the Dems.

The raid on IFCO was the first INS(ICE) raid I’ve seen since 1978 or 1979 in Texas.

Why do you need to characterize Mexicans as seeing Americans as stupid and easy? What has that got to do with your point?

Posted by: gergle at May 5, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #145671

gergle,

The Dems need to do more than focus on what the Republicans have done wrong. They need to provide an alternative. They need a solid platform that can stand on its own no matter what the Republicans do or did. “Bush sucks” may be true, but it wasn’t enough to get Kerry elected.

You can’t just show the other guy’s weaknesses; you have to show your strengths.

And, honestly, I don’t think Bush cares much about the latino vote, or any other vote for that matter, since he won’t be running in 2008.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 5, 2006 2:16 PM
Comment #145685

Jack,

One more thing about languages. Few people can speak more than one foreign language well and most people cannot even do that unless they are in constant contact with it.

So, if someone learns English and becomes an American citizen, but spends most of their time in hispanic communities speaking Spanish, as well as speaking Spanish at home, they could very easily forget most of their English. Should we kick them out then? Is it enough that they learned the language in the past, or should they be required to maintain fluency in it?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at May 5, 2006 3:08 PM
Comment #145724

“My other point about cheap labor is we really don⦣x20AC;™t need so much of it. Americans WOULD do some jobs. Teenagers used to work in fast food. Now immigrants displace many. People would mow their own lawns if it wasn’t so cheap to pay someone to do it. And my bete noir the leaf blowers we could dispense will altogether.”

Jack - now I know I may get my head chewed off for this by the blog, but how about giving these jobs to those who live off of Welfare? Not by taking away their benefits, but by making a condition that to keep receiving their benefits, they need to work say, 10-20 hours per week? This would satisfy the businesses that use illegal labor because they wouldn’t have to pay benefits, this would help the average citizen because not so much money would be going out of our pockets toward welfare (the benefits would decrease by how much they make at their job) and this would actually help those who are on welfare. I work for a social service agency that services the mentally ill. Most are dying to be able to get a job, but don’t for fear of losing their benefits. It would also force those who take advantage of our system to provide some responsibility for themselves. Obviously, it’s very over simplified here and I’m just giving an example, but it’s a win-win situation for all LEGAL CITIZENS.

Posted by: Lisa C. at May 5, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #145745

Rob

I would assume that someone in the U.S. would have sufficient opportunities to speak English even if he lived in a Hispanic community. If he does not want to, it is his shame and it should be his cost.

The problem I have with current immigration is actually more related to the nanny state. In 1906, if you came to America and didn’t learn English, it was entirely your problem. Now it has become mine, since we have to have documents in other languages etc. I don’t care what people do, if they don’t bother others. I don’t care if the Amish want to speak German because they don’t demand anything. If immigrants want to keep whatever language they have, great, but don’t REQUIRE others to adapt.

Posted by: Jack at May 5, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #145769

Speaking another language is mostly a matter of keeping in practice. We all learned some other language in school, but if we did not practice it we probably forgot most of it. The only problem that I have with Spanish is learning a third variation of latin words already known in French and Italian. I still do not know why cheese is Queso in Spanish, but fromage in French and formaggio in Italian. Is May the month for cheese in Italy?

///Historical accuracy alert///

Ellis Island opened about 1892. There were many other ports of entry for immigrants, including SanFrancisco, New Orleans, and Tampa, in parts of the country not usually thought of as centers for immigration. Boston was a major point of entry for illegal immigrants until fairly recently, but they came mostly from Ireland, and nobody cared.

Posted by: ohrealy at May 5, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #145792

I have noticed over the years that one of the cheif weapons in the culture wars is semantics. Illegal aliens of undocumented workers/immigrants? just an observation…

My main point is that in order to work on a problem, folks have to first define and analize it. I will offer no solutions for now, only the beginnings of an analysis.

There are several interralated problems here:

1. Our border is so long and sparsely patrolled that anyone with determination can cross it. I am talking about the whole border—Atlantic, Pacific, Canadian and Mexican. If the land routes are closed, then all viable sea routes must be closed as well, or the effort is wasted.

2. Illegal crossings, while risky, are easier and faster than legal immigration. The embassies in Central and South America haven’t the staff, the procedures nor the will to handle more than a trickle of immigration.

3. There is little disincentive to cross illegally. Once here, the illegals can find jobs, housing (of sorts), and phony documents. They also have limited access to social and medical services.

4. There is little disincentive for employers to hire americans who expect such things as a 40 hour work week, a living wage, vacation, sick time, health insurance… all the things that workers have won over the last century but which create an everwhelming temptation to hire illegals, who will work long hours for short wages and expect no benefits at all.

5. This situation has been alowed to continue for so long that there are too many illegals to deal with in the punitive ways that some advocate. Denied jobs, enough of them sould turn to crime to make the problem worse instead of better. Denying social and medical benefits might also create greater problems than the savings would justify. Rounding them up and sending them “home” is apt to be so difficult as to approach imposibility and cost enough to rebuild New Orleans several times over.

6. Many of the illegals have children who are citizens.

7. The lack of a valid driver’s license does not stop illegals from driving, often in unregistered, uninspected, uninsured vehicles, resulting in increased uninsured motorist claims.

These problems need to be analized before solutions can be devised. I would suggest that in doing so, we leave our passions and prejudices at the door and bring our minds to the table and put them to work. This useless bickering between people defending one ideology or the other may be fun, but it accomplishes nothing.

Posted by: Andy at May 5, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #145832

This country has gone to hell, I don’t no if either party has a will or a way to turn it around.The American worker yes the working class that pays out the in taxes has no say in what goes on in washington bills are passed to screw us over the most. we need fair tax lets pay as we spend and that will make the same for the illeagles to pay for the food stamps that so many are dependent on.

Posted by: gotn at May 6, 2006 1:24 AM
Comment #145847

Don’t jump the fence an come here telling us you want your rights. If they came here one by one then we should send them back one by one. We should charge politicians with treason for not protecting the American people and our borders. You can’t go to any country including Mexico an demand rights,if you are not a citizen. We have to many unemployed people in this country who have topped looking for jobs because of this illegal employment of forein workers. We bring in forein workers and we out source millions of jobs. Its time for the American people to boycot businesses and politicians that sell us out. Lets vote in November to clear house of any politician that pads his pocket with big business money. The Republicans have destroyed our country,and the Democrats are everything for every body.

Posted by: James at May 6, 2006 4:38 AM
Comment #145848

Andy, I agree that border enforcement is much more difficult than most people are willing to admit.

The tacit approval of “illegals” as a de facto laissez faire policy is the biggest problem. Going after the employers is a much more practical and fair tactic.

jlw, I’m not all that sure you have to establish strengths per se. What were Bush’s strength’s? He had minimal government experience. The Republicans won on the basis of Democrats failures, Anti Clintonism, and cynically tacit classism and racism combined with pac money and media echo chambers. While I would never advocate using racism as Dem strategy, a straight talking “cowboy” is what the Dems need. A Beacon Hill elite won’t cut it. While I personally like Howard Dean, I recognize he’s not the image needed. Too much caffiene in his system.

Posted by: gergle at May 6, 2006 5:33 AM
Comment #145870

Orealey

Almost none of us learned a language in school. We studied one and learned enough to ask for the train station.

If you cannot give a lecture and participate in a seminar on a reasonably complex but maybe familar subject, you really cannot speak a language. If you cannot understand a newspaper article w/o refering to a dictionary all the time, you can’t read it.

We give ourselves way too much credit. Luckily for us, English is the world language and we can get by most places in the world knowing only English.

Foreigners must learn English to do business worldwide. We already speak it, which is lucky.

Posted by: Jack at May 6, 2006 10:45 AM
Comment #145914
We give ourselves way too much credit. Luckily for us, English is the world language and we can get by most places in the world knowing only English.

Foreigners must learn English to do business worldwide. We already speak it, which is lucky.

It will be interesting to see if and how this changes as China continues its rise towards being the next world power. Have you noticed the huge increase in Chinese language learning that has been taking place in this country?

Posted by: Charles Wager at May 6, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #146026

Illegal immigrants may ask for legalization, but they should not demand it as a right, since they are here illegally and have broken many laws in the process (employment, ID, insurance, etc). Remember, they put themselves in this situation. If the illegals want to ask for legalization, then they should do it the right way and with proper respect to the country and to its citizens. There request should be considered mainly on the basis forgiveness and compansion. To those applicable illegals that is, not to the criminals or the freeloaders. It’s like someone who settled on your ranch and use your facilities without your permission, and should not demand the right to stay there and say, I have trimmed some bushes and cleared some cow dung for you while I’m here. Again, their request should be considered, no gurantees. If we were to grant any legalization, then we must also secure our border. The Amnesty of 86 without securing the border was a total failure. It only axacerbated the problem much worse. What ever the case might be, the border needs to be secure. Otherwise, we might as well tell everyone they can come in as they pleased, and we have 100 million more undocumented in no time. Any country with the enormous inflows of illegals would want to control it. Realistically, we just cannot except everyone who wants to come here. By the way, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol representing freedom, not legal or illegal immigration. However, legal immigration is fine since this is what the country have allowed and have control.

Posted by: Troy at May 7, 2006 2:01 PM
Comment #146031

Personally, I don’t think granting a general sweeping amnesty would help in any case, such as in ‘86. On a limited, case by case situation, maybe. A general amnesty would provide a poweful magnet to attract more illegals and further burden border enforcement. Also, trying to securing the border is not enough. We need to also eliminate/trim the incentives (employment, education, health care, etc).

Posted by: Troy at May 7, 2006 2:29 PM
Comment #184757

People who think we need open borders, and who think we should grant amnesty to 12+ million illegal aliens, who will bring over 100 million family members, are not thinking about our wildlife at all, not thinking about our beautiful country at all. Every day I pine for the land and the wildlife that used to be before people fleeing the cities bought homes that developers built (and keep on building) after cutting down forests, plowing up meadows, filling in streams, paving over everything. Our wildlife, including beautiful songbirds, who have lost their rest areas on their long journeys, are disappearing. There are 6.5 billion people in the world. When will you say ENOUGH!..when our groundwater is all poisoned? When half of our native species are gone? When 3/4 of our native species are gone? When??????

Posted by: Carl at September 28, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #236355

while i do find your thoughts interesting i would like to point out that when you are refering to the immigrants we are welcoming with a wall those immigrants are illegal. However when Lazarus wrote this poetry she wrote it to the immigrants that were legal!! i agree with you what makes America, America is the melting pot of cultures only brought about by immigration i just think those immigrants should be legal!!

Posted by: Hannah Hume at October 17, 2007 9:47 PM
Comment #289621

lol.

we didnt believe that retard.

the french inscribed it on a statue and gave it too us. we didnt choose it, and we dont want lots of tired and poor people. never did.

our country was built by our founding fathers and other LEGAL immegrants, you know, people smart enough to fill out the simple paperwork. the so called immigration reform has nothing to do with actual immigrants, just people who snuck into oiur country and have been free loading hear commiting crimes, doing drugs, and not paying taxes like everyone else does.

Posted by: dillon at October 22, 2009 11:38 PM
Comment #316613

Legal immigration is not as easy as some may think. If it was so why do you think people would reccur to the dangerous and illegal way? People who come to the United States do so to try to have a better life. They do not come here to steal anything, they actually work to get stuff. Most work in horrible conditions. Working 12 to 16 hour shifts, getting paid less than min. wage, no health care, no insurance, no vacations, no sick days. They do the hard jobs (physical).
The immigrants who came to the United States in the beginning were mostly poor, tired people, trying to work for a better tomorrow. How different is that from todays immigrants? Why do we have to be so selfish as to go to great extremes of insulting people who want to better rhemselves? Some don’t realize why people come to the US they never had a safe home, enough food, healthy water supply, many probably never had electricity… One should learn to be respectful, to care for one another, one shouldn’t hate others, one shouln’t stereotype people, one should learn to appreciate other cultures, learn to open one’s mind to the knowledge of the world. Just stop hating stop… just be grateful for what you have not what you don’t have let others be… let yourself be without hurting others… LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE… One must be in peace with oneself to be in peace with the world… Learn to forgive and the doors of eternity will be open to you…

Posted by: Jaclyn at January 9, 2011 9:17 PM
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