Monday, August 20, 2007

Illegal immigrant = runaway slave? Buuullshit.

You probably heard on the news about Elvira Arellano, the illegal immigrant who was deported to Mexico yesterday after a year of claiming “sanctuary” inside a Chicago church. (She got caught in L.A., where she’d come to publicize the pro-immigration cause.)

Well, the law is the law. The United States has a duty to control who migrates into this country. So I’m not shedding any tears for Elvira Arellano (who got booted out in 1997 and snuck back in again).

But I heard a sound bite on the radio this afternoon that made a couple of my orifices clench.

Juan Jose Gutierrez, of something called “Latino Movement USA,” said: “It seems to us that the mentality and behavior by law enforcement of the runaway slave is alive and well.”

Oh no he di-in’t. He did not compare illegal immigration to black slavery... did he?

Then I saw a wire-service report where Señor Gutierrez popped up again. “A small group of protesters and activists condemned the deportation, comparing it to returning a slave to his masters,” according to Reuters.

“ ‘The message we take from the federal government is that there will be no mercy toward the modern-day slaves that are the undocumented workers,’ said Juan Jose Gutierrez, coordinator of Latino Movement USA.”

Blink.

That’s what I can’t stand about the rhetoric of the hard left. It’s all about trying to manipulate people’s emotions. No clear-headed appeals to reason.

And make no mistake, Gutierrez is a hardcore revolutionary Marxist. I’ve downloaded a couple of his little speeches off the internets. His goal is to smash capitalism, so obviously he doesn’t want to strengthen America as it is; he wants to weaken it for the kill.

Hey, take your best shot, J.J. But don’t expect any black people to stand in solidarity with you on open immigration when you disrespect our struggle. Illegal immigration isn’t comparable to black slavery in any way.

One, nobody is dragging Mexicans here against their will. Two, no U.S. immigration official has lashed the bare back of any Mexican with a whip, as used to happen to “runaway slaves” who got caught. Three, Mexican workers get paid; they send billions of dollars per year back home to Mexico.

Gutierrez will use the deportation of Elvira Arellano to try to stoke up a couple of social-protest actions this coming fall. Whatever. I don’t care how he spends his time. I don’t care if he beats his meat to “The Bolivian Diary.”

I just say this: let’s treat our border like a border and build that fucking fence already. Those who wish to immigrate can line up in an orderly fashion and do it by the rules.

UPDATE (08/21/07): It had slipped by me that, even before Elvira Arellano got deported, her supporters were calling her “a Mexican Rosa Parks,” according to the L.A. Times. (Hat-tip: Sister Toldjah.)

The only positive thing about this is (as I mentioned in a comment), when it comes to social activism, the black civil-rights struggle is the gold standard for moral authority. When Latino activists invoke fugitive slaves or Sister Parks, they’re trying to cop some of that precious commodity.

To state the obvious: Rosa Parks was a citizen who defied an unjust law. Elvira Arellano is a non-citizen who defied a just law.

91 comments:

odocoileus said...

**But don’t expect any black people to stand in solidarity with you on immigration reform when you disrespect our struggle.**

Dude, the Congressional Black Caucus is pro-illegal right down the line. Their trifling asses want to hold on to their power in the Democratic party. They'll be the first to oppose building a fence.

But we've got to build the fence, and we've got to stop the mojados. No way around it.

I'm not exactly thrilled to be making common cause with the good people over at Amren and Vdare, but you do what you got to do.

SJ said...

I consider myself to be pretty liberal, but yeah illegal immigrants don't get a lot of sympathy from me either...I entered the country legally and it took me literally 2 years to get into this country...I should have just gone to Mexico and traveled through the border.

Comparing the whole ordeal to slavery was pretty low.

. said...

Woah! I didn't expect this suprisingly nativist post! I probably won't convince you to change your views about immigration by saying that the majority of people in this country are either immigrants or were brought here against their wills, that there's a long history of uneven enforcement of immigration policy (or of plain racist immigration policy) that favors certain ethnic groups over others, or by talking about the pressures that international trade agreements like NAFTA have put on poor people in Mexico, who, in some cases have no way to earn income in their own communities anymore, but I hope you'll think a little more about your position. I'll try to spend some time looking for some mainstream sources that come from a different perpsective.

As for the analogy to runaway slave laws - you're right. This was an innapropriate comparison. No question.

Andrew said...

I'm quite liberal on most subjects, but I have never understood the left's support of illegal immigration. It just seems so illogical to actively support the violation of United States law, while at the same time not believing the law to be unconstitutional.

John said...

A lot of people have a hard time with the fence because it is an ugly image in their mind. Listening to the dumbest people on their side of the argument doesn't make me want it more. Those statements were, indeed, buuullshit...making it clear what the "movement" is in Latino Movement USA.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Woah! I didn't expect this suprisingly nativist post!

Hey, Bay Radical. Hope I didn't make you choke on your cocoa. ;^D

I wouldn't call my post "nativist," as I wasn't talking about immigration per se, but illegal immigration. If you think only a nativist would desire laws to control the migratory flow -- and that those laws be enforced -- you're mistaken.

The "nation of immigrants" incantation also has nothing to do with the desirability of immigration control, because what we got now is chaos, plain and simple.

As for NAFTA... I thought that added jobs to the Mexican economy? What happened to all those maquiladoras?

If you and I were to hash this out over beers, the conversation would move past immigration, I suspect, and to "first principles." I'd love to here what you, as a proud radical, think about what rightists call "the national question" -- the moral authority of a state to establish criteria for citizenship.

My politics are still pretty lather-like. But I always thought that the so-called "compassionate" liberal response to the problem of illegal immigration -- such as putting water stations in the desert so migrants don't die of dehydration -- was wrongheaded because it only serves to encourage more such hazardous behavior.

SJ said...

I personally am opposed to the wall though...it is a colossal waste of money, won't cover the whole border, and it just signifies all things wrong, similar to the Berlin wall and the massive Apartheid wall in Israel/Palestine.

I am surprised the CBC is pro-illegal though. Don't illegals take away jobs from lower-class blacks?

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, you opened a Pandora's box on this one, buddy.

Let's start with one premise: when the issue of immigration comes up in the media now, it is ALWAYS about Spanish-speaking Indians returning to the land that was stolen from them.

But now that the Conquest is complete, the Conquerors have set rules in place for their return. And rules are rules.

It's just the rules aren't enforced evenly. European immigrants do NOT face the same hold ups in the system the Indians do.

And that may be because the volume of immigration is disproportionate. But when you decide to pass NAFTA, you gotta factor that into the immigration rules.

And it doesn't help that our trade and "foreign aid" policies have raped those economies' while our selected president sends out messages that there are jobs here that "Americans won't do."

Meanwhile, domestic jobs that supported the middle class get outsourced while those jobs that "Americans don't want to do," like slaughtering animals and picking crops, working in fast food joints, cleaning folks' houses, landscaping, construction, etc. get filled by the Indians whose middle class was already destroyed by our foreign economic and trade policy.

So what now? The American middle class gets distracted by immigrants who want what they had in their native lands.

The real enemy are corporate executives. They are responsible for this mess. Because immigration is tied to cheapening labor which fattens profits for these thieves.

Xenophobia is at its highest levels since the turn of the 20th century. That time also coincides with the Robber Baron era.

Thankfully, we had the Roosevelts at the helm of country leadership. Teddy Roosevelt led the way of regulating corporations that led to the end of the Robber Baron era. Franklin Roosevelt led the way with the New Deal that created a large middle class where Americans began to kick in for each other. The Civil Rights and Women's Lib movements opened it up for everybody.

The descendents of the Robber Barons couldn't stand it. They convinced Reagan and his cronies that de-regulation was the answer to open up the economy. Except the economy only got opened up for the Robber Barons. It closed for the rest of us. Now less than one percent of the population control 85% of our economy.

So while the "Runaway Slave" analogy was misplaced, it shouldn't distract us from the real issue: "privatization" which should go by its real name "corporate control with no government oversight." Because as long as that reality goes unchecked, we will fight for crumbs with not only each other but those from other countries wanting those crumbs.

A little stream of conscious contribution to the discussion. Let's keep it going.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, NAFTA, CAFTA, and other trade policies do NOT add jobs to those economies. Check Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins and Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast. You'll discover the real insidious nature of our trade policies after reading those books.

Bay Radical said...

Ya, over beers I'm sure we'd also tend to agree more than disagree (and eventually fall to out-of-tune renditions of early Beatles songs).

As a proud radical TM, I guess I'm not terribly concerned with what's legal and what's not - more with what's 'right' and what's 'wrong' (and of course, I sometimes forget that the world is more complicated than 'right' and 'wrong' but...) in my view, every human deserves a safe home, nutritious food, and access to disco. Seriously, in a world where there are people who really can't eat or feed their kids (and ya, my reading of the statistics says that NAFTA did more harm than good, lowering the quality of life even for Maquila workers (and now those jobs are going to China anyway)(and I'm speaking of someone who briefly lived in El Paso, and worked with pregnant women who worked in Maquilas and lived in shanties outside of Ciudad Juarez)(wait, I've lost track of what I'm saying with all these parenthesis!) Basically, what I'm trying to say is, that my (albeit radical left) position is that poor people in Mexico are made poorer by US foreign policy, and for that reason it feels particularly unconscionable to oppose immigration from Mexico, or quibble over the legality of the matter, when people are truly suffering.

As for your original post, the one parallel I think one could draw to fugitive slave laws here is that just because something is the law, that sure doesn't make it right!

Woah, I'm too underslept to keep filling up your comments page here, but thank you for keeping the discussions here civil and smart. I do love your blog, and appreciate you engaging about this stuff.

Thordaddy said...

Mr. Mills,

If we are to talk about "first principles" then such discussions should focus squarely on Mexico domestic and foreign policy. Make no mistake, if legal and illegal immigration didn't benefit the Mexican elite first and foremost then this current situation would be moot.

Deangelo,

I was under the impression that "Indians" didn't own land. In fact, "Indians" were known to frequently "steal" land from each other while slaughtering fellow "Indians" in the process. But if "stealing" land was wrong then then how is it "right" now? And what are "Indians" anyway? And speaking of "xenophobia," is that what we would find on Mexico's southern border guarded by the Mexican military?

minty said...

Amen!

I'd like to point out on particularly insidious side-effect of illegal immigration no-one talks about: the undermining of social welfare programs.

If millions of random people can just walk over the border to take advantage of expensive tax-payer funded programs, then why should John Q Citizen fund them? Hence, we have no universal health coverage, crumbling infrastructure, but millions of SUVs and gated communities.

As long as we have porous borders, it's every man for himself.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

thordaddy, don't play dumb. You, and everybody else, knows who I mean by "Indians." I'm certainly not talking about Europeans who "immigrated" to North, Central, and South America - regardless if those Europeans spoke Spanish, English, French, Dutch, German, Russian, Polish, Czech, whatever. So let's not play that game.

And you also know what I mean by "land stealing." Historically, this area of the world wasn't the Europeans' land. They were landlocked and fighting each other for territory before they immigrated here. And when they immigrated to America, they didn't try to fit in. They decided to take it over.

Now, if the Indians, or individuals indigenous to this land, had immigrationa laws, how do you think the English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, whoever, would have been identified? Possibly as "illegal immigrants?" "Terrorists" maybe? It wasn't like the Europeans were being friendly or cooperative when they "immigrated" to America. Should they have built fences around the borders of the Americas to keep the Europeans out?

Territory fighting is nothing new, but the Europeans took it to another level. Bush talks about "oceans no longer protect us." Tell that to the Indians.

As for "xenophobia," please address American xenophobia before you get into Mexican xenophobia, unless you live in Mexico. Because American xenophobia is what I addressed.

Your statement about lack of Indian ownership versus Indian theft of land seems to be internally inconsistent and/or illogical. Before I can respond to that part of your statement, a bit of clarification might be helpful.

But to respond to the latter part of your paragraph, I never made the point that stealing land was right. I never made the point that Mexican immigrants were stealing anything. My point was that they are victims of exploitation. In fact, the whole point of my post was that the overwhelming majority of us are victims of multi-national corporate exploitation. My point was that demonizing Mexican, i.e. Spanish-speaking, immigrants is an easy out to a larger problem - one of which is, as Minty pointed out, includes the undermining of social welfare programs. We are being manipulated to feed on each other while the fat cats sit back and watch it happen.

I don't mean no harm, but I had to defend/clarify my post.

Rottin' in Denmark said...

Bay Radical says: "in my view, every human deserves a safe home, nutritious food, and access to disco."

As much as a I hate to be a spokesman for 'the left', which I don't exactly consider myself a part of, I think BR hits on the issue there. Just as we all agree that stealing should be illegal, even convicted felons should be treated fairly and humanely. It's true that sneaking into this country is illegal, and policies and practice should attempt to reduce the number of people who do that. It's also true, though, that most of the people who sneak into the U.S. have done so simply to work, and send home money to their families to make a better life. We shouldn't ignore illegal immigrants, or fully condone what they're doing, but we can at least treat them with dignity and be reasonable about forgiving the transgression of illegally immigrating in on the balance of what such immigrants have brought to this country since then.

I will say, though, that I'm getting of the argument 'all of our ancestors were immigrants, too', as if immigration in 2007 is comparable to immigration in 1947, or 1807. I think it's fair, to a certain extent, for a country to turn on and off the immigration faucet at times, as long as its done so humanely and non-punitively.

Immigration's totally one of those issues that we all agree on way more than we think we do.

S.O.L. said...

UBM said: That’s what I can’t stand about the rhetoric of the hard left. It’s all about trying to manipulate people’s emotions. No clear-headed appeals to reason.

You know this applies to most of the fringe sides of American politics (and often a lot in between). For example, the current President Bush has spent the last six years bolstering his post-9/11 programs by exploiting our fears about security.

Further, politics these days is often about selling a package, an emotion -- gay marriage is bad because it will lead to people marrying their dog!

It's not just the left, it's both sides -- and a lot of the middle, too.

Anonymous said...

A couple of points.
1) The "indians" that were living on this land before the Europeans arrived, for the most part did not believe that it is possible to own land. They felt that land belonged to everyone and no one. If it's not possible to own it, then it's also not possible to buy it, or STEAL it. And even if it were, I do not for one second share the Native Americans' belief that they have always been here. They too came here from somewhere else. And most likely took the land from someone else that was here first (Look into early Caucasion remains found on the North American continent)
2)It is not any more difficult for a Mexican to get into this country legally, than it is for a Russian (not counting the Jewish wave of the early 90's), Estonian, Hungarian, Dagestani, Lithuanian, Latvian, etc. Yes, I agree, that it might be easier for a Japanese person, or a British person to immigrate here legally. But you know why? Because those people for the most part don't immigrate here very often. America can't just be %20 descendents of European immigrants, and %80 Mexican. Then it will just be "Mexico II". And with the way reproduction rates are going, that's exactly what it's going to be in this country in just a few short decades.
3) I'm not right wing at all, I'm actually a leftist, but the arguments of the left reek of so much bullshit that I can't stand the smell anymore.

susie said...

If they are going to build the fence then they should also come down with a very hard hammer on all of those people that hire illegals and then pay them far less than a living wage which is where I think the allusion to slave labor comes from. I don't consider it moral but the comparison can't be made when there is choice involved.

The fence will be nothing more than a minor deterrant, especially since it's not going to be all that long.

Of course this opens up another can of worms full of economic repercussions but I'm just saying that fence isn't going to do a damn thing to stem unchecked immigration if they can still get jobs here.

They'll just walk a little further to go around or get killed trying to go under or over.

The thing that gets me is the effect this woman's choices will have on her child. He has all the rights of a US citizen but must now choose between those rights and being with his mother. This is yet one more incentive for people to come to this country illegaly.

The 14th amendment was a sort of amends to people who'd been born into slavery, but as you point out David they didn't sneak over the border, they were brought against their will and they are two distinctly different experiences.

Rottin' in Denmark said...

Really, anonymous?

You *really* believe that America is in danger of becoming 80% Mexican? Not 80% non-white, or 80% Hispanic-American, but 80% Mexican?

And that it'll be 'Mexico II' in 'a few short decades'?

According to the Census, the U.S. was 11.7 percent foreign-born in 2003. In spite of the hysteria about birth rates, reproduction tends to slow down considerably after one generation. I.e. just because Mexican immigrants have a birthrate of, for example, 4.5 (I don't know the actual numbers), their children tend to have birth rates comparable to the native population of similar economic status. This has been the phenomenon throughout US and European history. As immigrants assimilate, the birth rate drops.

It would be interesting to ask, though, how many Americans would be opposed to the idea of an 80% minority United States, say, 100 years down the line. Is there something about the racial makeup of America that's worth preserving?

Personally, I would have no problem with all the Americans of 2107 being the same tawny shade of HispAfriCaucAsian. At least then we could start looking for new reasons to dislike each other . . .

Blaark said...

Not to interrupt the armchair debate on illegal (i.e. Mexican) immigration, and not to discount the boneheaded political ploy of comparing expulsion with runaway slave laws, but this particular case seems to have been popularized in the press because it brings to issue the fact that Ms. Arrelano-Olayo has just been forcibly removed from her American child who is now left to be raised by a Chicago church... I'm sure that no one here could honestly claim that the immigration soap-box shouting-match is a simple black and white debate but it's curious that everyone's immediate impulse is to strip any individual context from this woman's situation (and at the same time kind of strip her individuality) and began gnashing their teeth citing generalities...

Undercover Black Man said...

... but it's curious that everyone's immediate impulse is to strip any individual context from this woman's situation (and at the same time kind of strip her individuality) and began gnashing their teeth citing generalities...

Thanks for commenting, blaark. What you call "generalities" I call "principles." We must govern ourselves according to principles so that when someone is caught stealing, for instance, we don't grind our gears worrying about why the person stole... because we've already established the principle that we're gonna punish people who do it so that more people won't do it.

Arellano had been ejected from this country already. She snuck back in and had a kid. That doesn't trump the principles of controlled immigration and vigorous law enforcement which are required if our society is to be more orderly and less chaotic.

She put her kid in that fix.

Blaark said...

UBM- I think that people tend to have principles which suffice as guidelines when looking at the TV static but which have to be adjusted as you focus on individual pixels... Laws are guidelines and as cases are brought forth the participants of the law try to work within said guidelines... Someone steals, we say it's wrong, but the punishment will be weighed in part on the motivations of that theft and aspects of the accused/guilty from their past... We (as a people) also make a lot of decisions about what to prosecute and what to let lie...

So with Arellano you look at the particulars... Yes, repeat 'offender' and yes, she's to blame for having the child while illegal... I'm not sure that her poor decision should really be the child's cross to bear but that's how it's going down... None of those things alter the fact that this is no longer just about her legal status anymore... What you're dealing with has changed and how it has to be dealt with changes accordingly...

Well, by my principles it would change accordingly but by bureaucratic standards and political trends of now I think it's gonna be more grandstanding and banner waving and a lot of lip-service about compassion, law, statistics, right and wrong...

Anonymous said...

Blaark,
Arellano has not been seperated from her child. As her child has a Mexican mother he is a Mexican national and her parental rights are recognized in Mexico, where she could quite easily live with him.

Being acquainted with many nativists I can say the issue here isn't race. Race is a proxy for culture and the two things that set people off about illegal (Mexican) immigration are language and culture. They are afraid of losing their language, which is a natural fear, although not one I sympathize with, and they are afraid that a corrupt and less individualist attitude towards civic responsibility (and indifference to education) will take hold.

One aspect of this that isn't brought up is class. We're not getting Mexico's best and brightest. We're not even getting an average representation of the Mexican population as a whole. We are, by and large, getting the under-educated working class that couldn't successfully agitate for political reform or find employment at home.

If English speaking Mexican doctors, lawyers, and engineers were streaming across the border, nobody would give a damn.

The other thing is Mexicans from 2 or 3 generations ago are integrating just fine, but those aren't the Mexicans people run into. It's hard to assimilate or become comfortable with the perceived assimilation, of a population whose most perceived segment is perpetually foreign and non-English speaking.

Undercover Black Man said...

One aspect of this that isn't brought up is class. We're not getting Mexico's best and brightest.

You're right, anon, and that's where my head is now... trying to get around the class thing. Which is why I'm looking back to the history of Reconstruction.

I wonder whether this sudden influx of poor Mexicans by the millions means we're actually importing a "peasant class" comparable in scale to the freed-slave population of, say, 1870. And as a large chunk of that freed-slave population never has "assimilated" into the cultural mainstream, I'm wondering whether we're allowing in another huge permanent underclass... which generations from now won't be well-assimilated.

America had to figure out what to do with several million newly minted black citizens. It shouldn't have to figure out what to do with 20 million illegal immigrants who wouldn't even be here if we got real about border enforcement, deportation and cracking down on employers (as S.O.L. rightly points out).

Purple Avenger said...

and it just signifies all things wrong, similar to the Berlin wall and the massive Apartheid wall in Israel/Palestine.

Yea, cutting down dramatically on suicide bombings was certainly the "wrong" thing for Israel to do.

If the splodydopes ever appear at YOUR local mall, I wonder how you'll be reacting then?

Anonymous said...

No doubt the 'slave-master' Hollywood celebrities living in their Malibu Mansions, or Haughty Hamptonites on vacation from their Manhattan Lofts will be rather put-off being outed out of the closet.

How will they ever manage to have their divine yoga time if they can't have their their illegal el cheapo workers claning up their slave-master's dirty a**es.

Mike J. said...

I don't agree with the slave comparison on it's face. We're all slaves to this system, however. So, I'll support the laws on the books and expect legal immigration, period. No problem with that.

But I'll also go against the current fascist grain in this country and try to see exactly why people will risk their lives to get here for an $8 an hour job which, by the way, probably makes sure the lettuce gets to your supermarket at a lower price (I know, we don't care how it gets there).

So, with NAFTA and "globalisation" in place and continuing the American hegemony over the brown people who comprise the majority of this hemisphere, their country's economies are forever being thrashed by the righteous US of A. No wonder they want an $8/hour job.

So, I'll support the laws concerning legal immigration. No problemo. But I will not be drawn into such a ridiculous state of mind where I see those people as my problem in dealing with the American economic system. Puhleeze. Wake up. Educate yourself. Your corporate elites create more problems in their cozy boardrooms on a daily basis, but, alas, that would be getting at a problem that really strikes at home. After all, where are you going to ship them to?

SJ said...

One aspect of this that isn't brought up is class.

Bingo...that is the main problem. If all the illegals were people with money, nobody would complain a bit.

memomachine said...

Hmmm.

@ DeAngelo Starnes

Utter nonsense. Mexico's economic problems are the result of the choices and laws passed by Mexico, and nothing more. I'll also point out the vast number of factories that exist in Mexico now that didn't before because of NAFTA.

Here's a clue: If NAFTA is such a bad deal then why did Mexico ratify it?

And really why don't you differentiate between the various Indian tribes? Because the Indian tribes of Mexico have NEVER had any claim to any portion of the US. Are you seriously trying to insinuate that the Indian tribes of the Yucatan have a claim on Cleveland?

Total nonsense.

The presence of illegal aliens will end when:

1. All deported illegals are given an automatic 40 year probation. If they're caught in the USA again, they automatically in violation of probation and must serve the remainder of their sentence in federal prison.

2. Charge the illegal alien's home country $250,000 per year for incarceration costs because that nation, in most cases Mexico, is working so hard to violate our borders.

3. Automatic forfeiture proceedings against any and all assets owned by an illegal alien upon conviction and deportation.

etc etc etc.

Here's another clue. The lowest estimate is that there are 50,000 illegal alien students in the University system attending school on federal grants and loans. At an average of $10,000 a year, and assuming 12 years of schooling, that comes out to $6,000,000,000 just in public education costs for just these 50,000 illegal aliens in our colleges.

That doesn't include the actual current costs to send them to college nor the costs associated with those that COULDN'T go to college because of these illegal aliens.

America's primary interest should be in fellow Americans.

And no. America is a nation of citizens. Not immigrants. As a first generation immigrant from South Korea I do not consider myself to be an immigrant. Why? Because I'm a naturalized citizen.

Gekkobear said...

"I didn't expect this suprisingly nativist post! I probably won't convince you to change your views about immigration by saying that the majority of people in this country are either immigrants or were brought here against their wills ... who, in some cases have no way to earn income in their own communities anymore"

Label your opponents... check.

Conflate and confuse illegal immigration with legal immigration... check

Play the pity card, explaining why laws need to be broken... check.

Ignore any concept of security... check.

Well, you've got the list there my friend. Good job.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

But I'll also go against the current fascist grain in this country and try to see exactly why people will risk their lives to get here for an $8 an hour job which, by the way, probably makes sure the lettuce gets to your supermarket at a lower price (I know, we don't care how it gets there).

Even more nonsense. Illegal alien labor does not significantly reduce costs for consumers. The example of lettuce is a prime example since illegal alien labor comprises about 30% of lettuce pickers. If this job were filled by American citizens the retail cost of lettuce would rise about $0.03.

And if the industry were given an incentive to use automation to pick the lettuce, as has happened with other fruits and vegetables where reliance on the crutch of illegal alien labor was eliminated, then the costs would probably drop by about the same amount.

Would I pay more for lettuce to rid the country of illegal aliens? You bet.

RightwingSparkle said...

Nice post. When I hear things like this I always think, "man,if I were black that would so tick me off." I think the same thing when I hear gay rights activists compare their "struggle" to the black man's struggle.

But like someone mentioned, the Congressional Black Caucus is pro-illegal. It seems whatever is the Democrat's cause must be theirs as well. It's quite frustrating for someone like me who grew up in the middle of the civil rights movement and wonder how the black community can be so one minded when it comes to politics.

Dougfp said...

The comparison between an illegal alien returned to Mexico and a runaway slave is ridiculous on its face, typical of the hysterical rhetoric on both extremes of this issue. It's why we can't reach a sensible compromise on a Guest Worker program.

But I wonder. When I pass Home Depot, I see dozens of Hispanic men, most undoubtedly illegal, standing around and hoping for work. I don't think I've ever seen a black or a white there. The unemployment rate among young black males approaches fifty percent. Why aren't they out there? Why aren't poor whites?

Maybe lettuce would only go up a few cents if we went all Lou Dobbs and kicked all the illegals out, but what about all the nannies, all the bus boys, all the dishwashers, all the cleaning women? Are you telling me there'd be no effect on the price of those things if "real" Americans did these jobs? Could we even find enough Americans to do these jobs?

Really, when you see a Mexican woman cleaning Rupert Murdoch's toilet for five bucks an hour, do you really have to ask who's exploiting whom?

Gekkobear said...

"it feels particularly unconscionable to oppose immigration from Mexico, or quibble over the legality of the matter, when people are truly suffering"

Says the person with a spare room full of the homeless I'm sure... right? Seeing as you have all this compassion for the suffering, surely you do more than simply post on blogs...

Or are you willing to lock your door at night, even when there are those truly suffering in society who could use a couch and a warm place to sleep?

If you never lock your door, let everyone in, and actually live this way; fine. If you lock your door to prevent criminal activity such as robbery by preventing non-approved people from entering your house; why do you not practice what you preach?

Now, limiting previous criminals from re-entry would be wrong; because as the correlary you'd have to control the border to say prevent convicted rapists from re-entering... and controlling the border is wrong.

Or after I broke your chairs, would you let me back in your house tomorrow so I could crash?

Either there need to be limits, and they need to be enforced and enforceable; or you end up with a situation that you have no possible way of controlling (what we have now).

But that's ok, I guess I'm just not sufficiently compassionate as to allow everyone in without any reservations, checks, processes, or controls. But are you, when you get to make the calls in your house?

SJ said...

"Here's another clue. The lowest estimate is that there are 50,000 illegal alien students in the University system attending school on federal grants and loans. At an average of $10,000 a year, and assuming 12 years of schooling, that comes out to $6,000,000,000 just in public education costs for just these 50,000 illegal aliens in our colleges."

Can you back that up please? I'm a foreign student in the US right now and I've never heard of public funding being provided to foreigners unless you are going for a PhD (which aren't federal grants or loans anyway). Foreign students can't apply for FAFSA, meaning no loans or grants for them.

Monica said...

The illegal immigration movement is going about this all wrong. They're acting as if being a citizen is a right, and I don't know any American who believes that. Instead they should be trying to get the US to allow more Mexicans come into the country LEGALLY.

Mike J. said...

Hey, Memomachine:

Poor folks' (re: often times immigrant labor in America) labor does reduce dem thar prices you pay in Walmart AND for those Chinese-made, lead-filled toys you play with everyday as well as that very same lettuce you devour monthly(psst, the same type of labor built America-you know, not having to pay wages to dem thar slaves wherein the earlier reference made some sense). Any reduction in price you will see won't be because the immigrants ain't a pickin'(maybe the CEO cuts you folks a break on his next yacht. I dunno.) And no one is forcing the lettuce growers nor you to use that immigrant labor in your home or business. Now, that said, I will report you once I discover your Anti-American activities in this regard, however. Be true.

Signed,

Your forever watchful citizen of my truly patriotic fellow citizens as deemed to me by the Patriot Act.

Peace.

Undercover Black Man said...

I think the same thing when I hear gay rights activists compare their "struggle" to the black man's struggle.

Thanks, rightwingsparkle. And welcome to you and all others who were pointed here by right-wing blogs.

As you point out, I have observed over the years how other political movements have tried to co-opt the language of the black civil-rights struggle. (I think the pro-life movement has done it as well, but I have no examples handy.)

I don't resent it per se, as what they're really trying to claim is the moral authority of the civil rights movements. And I think it's cool that, 50 years after Gov. Wallace blocked the schoolhouse door, the black freedom struggle in America is pretty much the accepted standard for moral authority vis-a-vis social activism.

Mike J. said...

Question:

Is it illegal immigrants who are THE cause of the problems of America (you know, crime, lack of bees, $600 iPhones, interleague play in beisbol, etc) or is it immigrants being used to take jobs that good American citizens would otherwise have? Or is it both?

I know of companies who rush to India at the drop of a hat to get engineers (and other places for other professionals such as Filipino nurses). And they have ways of making sure that YOU don't get that J-O-B. Remember, these are professionals with great paying jobs and fantastic career potential. To quote Memomachine (which I may never do again in my life so listen up), "America's primary interest should be in fellow Americans." So, why, oh why, for God's sake, aren't the Minutemen going after these Anti-American activities (like I don't know already)? Hmmm.....

Peace.

SJ said...

^ It's funny how only the most left-wing candidate you can think of (Congressman Dennis Kucinich) wants to take care of American workers first...he wants to end the H1-B visa program and curb outsourcing.

minty said...

Walls work. I am sickened by Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, who have been left to rot in their squalid, malnourished camps - but credit where credit is due. The Wall works.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_West_Bank_barrier#Effects_on_Israeli_security

"Israeli statistics indicate that the barrier has drastically reduced the number of Palestinian infiltrations and suicide bombings and other attacks on civilians in Israel and in Israeli settlements"

RightwingSparkle said...

Undercover Black Man,

(I think the pro-life movement has done it as well, but I have no examples handy.)

Well, I will supply you with you with one. Dred Scott said that black people were simply property. They were not even human. Hard to imagine our Supreme Court could look at a black man/woman and not see a HUMAN. That is the only similarity I see with the pro-life movement. Saying that an unborn child is not human or that there is not life there is just as ridiculous. But here we are.

It's not the struggle that's the same. It's the obvious fact that the value of human life exists in both cases.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, told ya you opened a Pandora's box. I refuse to get distracted by the issue. I stand by my point that corportization with virtually no government regulation is the problem. People wouldn't risk their lives for, on average, $8/hour jobs if those jobs weren't available. And whose responsible for making those jobs available?

It's a class issue to the extent that we're talking about two classes: the less than one percent and the rest of us. And the rest of us need to deal with that less than one percent if we want real change. A fence ain't gonna solve the problem because then what? You gonna deport the 22 million already here?

To be certain, NAFTA only benefitted the elite of Mexican society just as it did the elites here? Remember Ross Perot talking about that "sucking sound." It wasn't just jobs to Mexico though -it was also U.S. dollars.

mike j., you a funny dude. I dig it.

Undercover Black Man said...

DeAnge: Thanks for doing your part to set shit off in this thread! ;^)

You've obviously thought about this stuff on a deeper level than me, so I'm gonna have to take a rain check and deal with some of these macro issues at a later date.

But I do want to add one thing, and it ties in to Susie's comment about the fence doing no good.

You wrote: "A fence ain't gonna solve the problem because then what? You gonna deport the 22 million already here?"

Well, here's the thing: Without a fence, will we have another 20 million more to deal with in 2027? We gotta plug the hole in the boat before we worry about which direction we're sailing. Or something like that.

I think a great value of the fence is symbolic and psychological. It tells the Mexicans, "We're serious about this. This is our border. You come in on our terms, not your own." It also tells the American people: "We're serious about this. This is our border. It is worth defending. We have absolute moral authority to determine who migrates here, and we mustn't be ashamed that that means keeping some people out."

To those who see the fence as an ugly symbol, like the Berlin Wall... I think that if we got down to first principles, they don't place a high value of U.S. sovereignty... or even private property, period. Otherwise they wouldn't question the moral legitimacy of our acting to protect them.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

Dave, I consider you a friend so I disagree with respect.

The wall/fence as symbol is just as much a waste of our taxpayer money as the Iraq Invasion that continues to suppress the supply of oil causing record prices at the pump.

When our president sends out a message that there are jobs here "Americans won't do," his message is loud and clear to those who desire a shortcut to the immigration system. And he has spoken out of both sides of his mouth/neck on this issue. On one hand, he wants serfs, i.e. "guest worker," but then says we have to protect our border.

People breaking immigration rules has become chaotic. But it is symptomatic of a larger problem. Which is why I got "macro" on the issue. You see this dog chasing its tail debate on issues like this too many times - from so-called illegal immigration to affirmative action to subprime mortgages.

And too often, the debate devolves into a discussion about taking away the crumbs the people who are trying to come up scramble for. Too often we get distracted by the waving hand. Too often we miss the three card monte, "Here's an opportunity - oops there's too many of you guys wanting that, let me stop the game."

I don't know what the solution is. I don't condone rule-breaking because defending rule-breakers for a living has caused me to become greyer than I want to be at 43. I do know there is a pattern to these kinds of issues. And I think it's time we deal with these kinds of issues on a different level.

Which reminds me of a line from the movie JFK. Kevin Costner, as Jim Garrison, advises his team that, during the course of their investigation, they need to start looking at things on a different level, "the same level as the CIA." I feel that's what we need to do. Look at things on a higher level. Because it seems like we are playing checkers while the less than one percent motherfuckers are playing chess.

Thordaddy said...

deangelo says,

thordaddy, don't play dumb. You, and everybody else, knows who I mean by "Indians." I'm certainly not talking about Europeans who "immigrated" to North, Central, and South America - regardless if those Europeans spoke Spanish, English, French, Dutch, German, Russian, Polish, Czech, whatever. So let's not play that game.

I don't play dumb, but what I will do is hold you accountable for your phraseology. "Indians" is a Western invention that seeks to group disparate peoples based on a few basic characteristics such as skin color. Your attempt is to imply that these disparate groups are actually one victimized conglomerate. This is a false representation of history. Secondly, I and virtually everyone I know did not immigrate to this land. We are, in fact, the real native Americans.

And you also know what I mean by "land stealing." Historically, this area of the world wasn't the Europeans' land. They were landlocked and fighting each other for territory before they immigrated here. And when they immigrated to America, they didn't try to fit in. They decided to take it over.

This land called America wasn't "Indian" land either since such an entity did not exist at the time of European discovery. Again, on what basis was this land called America stolen from a non-existent entity?

Now, if the Indians, or individuals indigenous to this land, had immigrationa laws, how do you think the English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, whoever, would have been identified? Possibly as "illegal immigrants?" "Terrorists" maybe? It wasn't like the Europeans were being friendly or cooperative when they "immigrated" to America. Should they have built fences around the borders of the Americas to keep the Europeans out?

All these concepts are Western inventions not known to the tribes that you attempt to speak for. They did not build a wall because concepts like the nation-state and private property did not exist in "their" vocabulary. What did exist was basic survival instincts and the ability to roam to new parts of the land to either make allies or destroy enemies. "Stealing" land from others was a way of life for many. Also, I am indigenous to this land as is my entire family. Again, I am a true native American.

Territory fighting is nothing new, but the Europeans took it to another level. Bush talks about "oceans no longer protect us." Tell that to the Indians.

And what level would that be? We took terrority and created civilization and laws?

As for "xenophobia," please address American xenophobia before you get into Mexican xenophobia, unless you live in Mexico. Because American xenophobia is what I addressed.

So the American people let foreigners in by the millions while Mexico guards her southern border against the immigration of fellow Hispanics and America is "xenophobic?" You need to sell that tripe elsewhere.

Your statement about lack of Indian ownership versus Indian theft of land seems to be internally inconsistent and/or illogical. Before I can respond to that part of your statement, a bit of clarification might be helpful.

Your claim is that "Indian" land was stolen. But what exactly was owned in order to be stolen? And exactly what land are you speaking of? And if simply outfoxing and outnumbering one group and replacing it with another is stealing then I say we have a case of theft happening right before our eyes.

But to respond to the latter part of your paragraph, I never made the point that stealing land was right. I never made the point that Mexican immigrants were stealing anything. My point was that they are victims of exploitation. In fact, the whole point of my post was that the overwhelming majority of us are victims of multi-national corporate exploitation. My point was that demonizing Mexican, i.e. Spanish-speaking, immigrants is an easy out to a larger problem - one of which is, as Minty pointed out, includes the undermining of social welfare programs. We are being manipulated to feed on each other while the fat cats sit back and watch it happen.

Then it seems you should be railing against the main beneficiaries of this exploitation which is the Mexican elite. It's the 800-pound elephant that no one wants to acknowledge. It is, in fact, Mexican imperialism that is transpiring before our eyes.

Dougfp said...

I gotta go with DeAngelo...the big picture isn't a bunch of Mexicans sneaking over the border. That's what's meant to distract us.

dez said...

Well, here's the thing: Without a fence, will we have another 20 million more to deal with in 2027? We gotta plug the hole in the boat before we worry about which direction we're sailing. Or something like that.

Yabbut...the hole is "YAY" big and the plug is "yay" big. It's a stupid symbol that will waste money.

Besides which, what about our border with Canada? I am so sick of those Canucks coming here with their better hockey players and funnier comedians taking jobs away from God-fearing, *real* Amerikkkans.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ What's stupid about it as a symbol? An alligator-filled moat... now that would be stupid. But a fence? Anybody who owns property and wants to control who gets onto that property builds a fence. Why are people so profoundly upset by the idea of a fence? I don't get that.

Given the ridiculously out-of-control human migration that's taken place here in the last 20 years, I say again that building a fence would be psychologically healthy. It would demonstrate to us -- and to our southern neighbors -- that the border is something we take very seriously.

And what harm would it do?

dez said...

It would demonstrate to us -- and to our southern neighbors -- that the border is something we take very seriously.

But not so seriously that we'd put a fence along our *entire* border. The short fence would serve as yet another symbol of how half-assed America's been doing things during this administration.

Harm = the huge waste of taxpayer money that could be better spent elsewhere (such as bringing our troops home).

SJ said...

Secondly, I and virtually everyone I know did not immigrate to this land. We are, in fact, the real native Americans.

So like, you only know 5 or so people in this whole country?

Mike J. said...

Dougfp said...

"I gotta go with DeAngelo...the big picture isn't a bunch of Mexicans sneaking over the border. That's what's meant to distract us."

Exactly! When was immigration such a hot issue with Black folk trying to survive (and that's all it is folks) in America! Huh? Huh? It ain't never been. So here's a "hidden history" lesson for us all:

Rove and the RepubliKKKans had so much stuff that they had messed up and been caught doing leading into the last election that they had to create a so-called "wedge issue" (read: a racially/culturally charged issue) at the last minute and voila, "immigration is what's wrong with America", as well as gay marriage (puhleeze). But, to digress for a second, let's do give credit where it's due for it was a young RepubliKKKan named Lee Atwater who watched that "great" Democrat and Governor and Presidential candidate, George Wallace, get success with the tactic in the South 30+ years ago so he adopted it for the GOP. Anyway, so the following had nothing to do with what's wrong with America according to Rove and the gang of robbers/thieves during the last election: corporate malfeasance, lack of affordable healthcare, offshoring of jobs, deteriorating infrastructure, illegal/immoral war(s), inflation, further erosion in nationwide educational opps and standards for our young people. Yeah, right.

So the "hard-right" wants me now to get into some foolishness and believe that immigration and not $400 BILLION dollars (and counting) spent in Iraq to murder and please the Texas oil boyz is not a much more pressing and important issue? Whenever something like funding healthcare for underprivileged kidz(read 40% of America's children-a disgusting stat)arises, well, no $$$s are available for that. Oh , no, can't fund that for any number of illogical reasons. But let's go build a wall at the border? I'm on the floor laughing at that stupidity. Whew!

So stop, wake up, and stop drinking that bottled water-stuff ain't good for ya. We are losing our minds over immigration instead on concentrating on making our government accountable and workable for all citizens, not just the 1% who control the most wealth/power.

And DeAngelo Starnes, I'm 100% with you, sir. And I only kid because I care, Brother. You know, in the mold of Pryor, Mooney, Gregory, et al, my elders.

Peace.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

thordaddy, you're so lost in your small-minded rhetoric that it is hard to have constructive intelligent discourse with you. But I will try ...

Touche' on the Western-imposed (read European) term "Indian." At this point in time, it's a term of art. Like "Black" or "African" or "American." I plead guilty to being a "generalist." Point scored for you.

But as for you and most everybody descended from "immigrants" (un-shout-out to that "citizen" memomachine)...

Unless you can prove white people (or South Koreans - another un-shout-out) did NOT come here from another area of the world before the people we generalize as "Indians," I don't think you can credibly say that your presence in the place we now call the United States is "native." If we want to factor time into the equation, I'll give you that AFTER your admission that Europeans used "outfoxing" and force to take over this area of the world. (I'll give you "outfoxing" because takeover certainly didn't occur because of "outnumbering." You don't need to "outfox" when you "outnumber." Instead, you "overwhelm.") With all due respect, check your history books.

And as for "discovery," take your head outta those outdated textbooks. That's a supremacist notion. Ain't nothing "discovered" that was already there. There might be "enlightenment" to a new concept or to something that you didn't know about. But ain't too much shit "discovered."

I unwittingly gave you another point because, in a subsequent post, I acknowledged benefit to the Mexican elite. But "Mexican Imperialism?" Preach that to the 59 million that voted for Bush in the last election. Do you truly believe that "Mexican Imperialism" is responsible for Mexican citizens skirting American immigration rules? If that's the case, let's declare war. Cuz you giving these members of the Mexican underclass a lotta credit. Those're some baad muthafuckas, if that's the case. Maybe we use them to end this Iraq bullshit. Maybe we can use them to find and execute Osama bin Laden. Then maybe we could get this economy on track for me and you - unless you belong to that less than one percent.

I said I didn't mean no harm. but you gotta come a little more correct than that.

And in your next post, deal with multi-national corporate exploitation. Because that's my theme. Out-argue that, brotha, sista, or in-between.

DeAngelo Starnes said...

mike j. like a muthafucka. ^Amen to your last post.

Undercover Black Man said...

Mike J. wrote: "Whenever something like funding healthcare for underprivileged kidz(read 40% of America's children-a disgusting stat)arises, well, no $$$s are available for that."

So you're disgusted by the number of American children living in poverty... but have no problem with millions of poor immigrants sneaking into this country illegally?? How in hell is the large-scale illegal immigration of poor people going to help America deal with its own poor citizens?

I appreciate your comments, Mike, as I'm trying to figure all this out for myself. But let me put the question to you and DeAngelo like this... in direct ethnocentric terms:

Has the infusion of 10 million to 20 million illegal immigrants into this country since the '80s benefited the black working class?

Has it benefited the black poor?

Has it benefited the black middle class?

Would the arrival of another 20 million poor illegal immigrants in our lifetime benefit black people?

Or do you think it would have a neutral effect... not worth even us bothering to think about? (That's white-folks business...)

Thordaddy said...

deangelo,

Current evolutionary theory would put anyone in the North American terrority as originally descended from "immigrants." So if you want to fight that materialistic notion then go right ahead. In short, that means all "Indians" were immigrants in the most general use of the word in that "they" came from somewhere else.

Secondly, it defies comprehension to claim that I and the vast majority of Americans are not both indigenous and native to this land. To claim us immigrants is a distortion only a liberal could love.

Lastly, how can an economy that so woefully underperforms afford to bleed a half a million to a million able-bodied workers to America every year? I know that's rhetorical, but it makes the point. If Mexico was suffering from this mass migration to the north then they could stop it immiediately just as they do on their southern border. Not only do they not stop this mass migration, but they actively encourage it and anyone who claims that it is not the primary initiative of their domestic and foreign policy must then ask why they don't stop it?

And don't forget, Mexicans do the jobs they are qualified for and not the jobs Americans won't do. President Bush can take that liberal shibboleth and put it to sleep along with "we are a nation of immigrants." Both represent lies that are easily debunked by commonsense.

Anonymous said...

Hello blog members,

I ran across this blog while doing research on Mexico and her support of runaway slaves during the period after 1830 when Mexico abolished slavery.

I am disappointed that Black people with any social consciousness could take the positions I have been reading here. I looked up a reply I wrote to the editor of the Chicago Sun Times almost exactly a year ago in response to such views by a columnist on that paper's staff. It had to do with Elvira Arellano comparing herself with Rosa Parks. I searched it out and am posting it here because it seemed a fitting response to the views some people have on this subject.

I have since done more research on the effects of NAFTA in this equation and found that in 2002, 600 Mexican peasants PER DAY were being forced off of their land due to the economic devastation caused by that "Fair Trade Agreement" that ruined their small farms and ranches.

I also found out that undocumented (as opposed to "illegal") immigration rose 80% in the 13 years since NAFTA went into effect. This is with only a few Mexican agricultural products tariffs' being removed for competition from the U.S. Next year around 20 agricultural products will be opened up for competition from the U.S. What do you think THAT will do to the fragile Mexican agricultural market? It doesn't take an economist to figure it out. Guess where those people will migrate to in search of work?

Mainstream views are designed to shape our opinions. Why do you think so many Americans STILL equate 911 with Iraq? Why do you think the racist talk show hosts get away with phrases like "EVERYBODY KNOWS" ....illegals are invading our country and stealing jobs and bring crime with them? "EVERYBODY KNOWS"....Arabs are out to destroy our democracy because they are jealous of our way of life? and so on and so on.

Finally, did you know that crossing the border "illegally" is a CIVIL offense, like a parking ticket or littering? That once inside the border everyone regardless of legal status is protected by the Constitution? This means the right to assemble, to speak out, to fight racial discrimination, etc. etc.

In order to carry out the plans that are in the works for the undocumented community it has become necessary to MAKE them appear to be criminals in the U.S. citizens' eyes. What is the equivalent to spitting on the sidewalk has been elevated to the ranks of a felony in the eyes of the American public. There is a reason for this, think about it!

And for those who fall for the "they are wasting away our tax dollars in services" argument, need to LOOK for the facts and not accept those that are handed to you Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage style.

Study after study has proved that undocumented immigrants contribute way more that they consume in public resources. Their presence has resulted in a positive cash flow to the public coffers and not the other way around. Don't be a chump and fall for the hype!

Please don't fall for this stuff. This is the true BULLSHIT!

So here goes.....

Tony Herrera
Unidos en Arizona
Organizers of the March 24th, 2006 march in Phoenix, AZ


Thu,24 Aug 2006 12:33:44 -0700 PDT)
From:therrera1550@yahoo.com
Subject:Elvira is no Rosa Parks?
To:marym@suntimes.com

Hello Mary,

I read your article about Elvira Arellano. I replied to the editor of the Sun Times Monday to a gentleman who aired the same view. I doubt it was published but want to send it to you in the hopes that you are actually open to that you may be wrong and lack the facts surrounding the plight of the undocumented in this country (or any country for that matter).

At one time segregation was "the law". The right to buy and sell human beings was "the law". Poll taxes were "the law". To help an escaped slave was a serious crime because it was "illegal".

Many whites paid with their lives to disobey the "law of the land" to come to the aid of their fellow human beings. Remember at that time it was "legal" to oppress another race? Need I go on?

Just because there is a law does not make it right, nor morally obligate the citizenry to obey it. Hasn't the civil rights movement taught you that?

You should realize that your words influence people and you need to be fair in your views. Your article once you get past the smoke and allusions of sympathizing with the plight of the undocumented, concludes what the racist right has been pushing to create hysteria among the citizens of this country that we are being "swarmed" with "illegals". Get them all out, now!

Thats the bottom line once all the nice words are moved aside. Your views coincide. If I were you, I would wonder how can that be?

Here goes, for whatever it is worth to you.

Tony Herrera


Dear SunTimes editors,

I want to respond to Mr. Timothy Thomas Jr. who feels so "incensed" that Elvira Arellano is compared to Rosa Parks. Precisely because you are a product of the 60's civil rights movement, YOU more than anyone should understand a fight for human rights when you see one.

When slavery was "The Law", your view would denounce those that fought to free them or aid them to escape their oppression. To claim that Elvira is here "illegally", therefore with no rights is to totally ignore the reality facing not only our country but those of the poor countries around the world and how they are intertwined with ours.

Mexico has lost 8 million farmers and farmworkers as a DIRECT result of NAFTA, the so-called "free trade agreement" that was supposed to enrich the trading parter. Has it? Hardly! Unable to compete with government subsidized U.S. goods dumped on the Mexican market, Mexico's agricultural infrastructure has been decimated and permanently demolished. Where do you think these people will go to escape hunger and slow death?

How can you ignore the cause and then blame the victims? You should make the extra effort to do a little independent research and find the facts, not just parrot the views spread by the mass media.

Did you know that Mexico opened her doors and provided sanctuary for escaping Black slaves during the period of slavery in the U.S.? They provided not only shelter, but land and financial aid and established whole colonies which still stand today.

Despite repeated efforts to put in place extradition treaties for their capture and return, Mexico refused on principle! What if Mexico had taken your stand? How many ex-slaves would have met their torture and deaths?

The undocumented community is an ally of the Black community. Don't spread views that divide us and would pit our communities against each other. Wake up and smell the coffee! Elvira is a hero and her plight and stand is spreading through our community like a wildfire. It is providing inspiration and hope to people who have very little and it will not be extinguished until there is justice!

Tony Herrrea
Phoenix, Az.

PS: want to know more? Visit "The African Presence in Mexico" being exhibited at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum at 1852 W. 19th Street in Chicago. (312) 738-1503. I guarantee you will never look at the Mexican community the same again.


Original editorial:

You are no Rosa Parks

As an African-American who is a product of the '60s civil rights movement, it incensed me to read that illegal immigrant activist Elvira Arellano is cloaking her unlawful behavior and comparing it to the stand Rosa Parks took during the Birmingham, Ala., bus boycott. The differences in the actions and backgrounds of the two women are glaring. Parks was a U.S. citizen whose rights under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution were violated and ultimately vindicated by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1956's Browder vs. Gayle case. On the other hand, Arellano's entire history with our country has been under the shroud of illegality: illegal entry, illegal documents (Social Security card) and now refusal to follow a court order to surrender herself and leave the country. Unlike Parks, there is no honor or dignity in the actions of Arellano. To mention her efforts in the same breath as the revered Parks is an insult to Parks' memory. To paraphrase vice presidential candidate Lloyd Bentsen, ''...Ms. Arellano, you are no Rosa Parks.''

Timothy Thomas Jr.

Undercover Black Man said...

Tony, thanks for adding to the conversation.

You wrote: "That once inside the border everyone regardless of legal status is protected by the Constitution? This means the right to assemble, to speak out, to fight racial discrimination, etc. etc."

But not the right to stay when ordered to leave.

You wrote: "Study after study has proved that undocumented immigrants contribute way more that they consume in public resources. Their presence has resulted in a positive cash flow to the public coffers and not the other way around."

Could you please tell me how much money is sent to Mexico each year by undocumented Mexican workers here in the U.S.?

Sean Spenn said...

deangelo:

Your answer to corporate greed is public regulation and intervention. Fine. I think greed is part of human nature, and as such we need a system which allow us to benefit from greed as much as possible, while trying to limit the damaging effects of it.
I'm not trying to defend corporations. I just want to point out that the only real victim in countries which go down the path of regulating, collectivizing, nationalizing the economy (the terms differ according to the latest fad but the principle is the same) is personal freedom.
At one level I find it sickening that a small percentage of a population own most of the resources in a society.
But on another level, to infringe on basic rights like ownership through regulation affects everyone in a society, not just the guys on top.
You can't have political freedom without economic freedom. And as history has shown time and again, giving absolute power over all the means of production to a State has far worse consequences than for instance a corporation achieving a monopoly within a specific market.
To put it in extremes, as you seem to do, I would rather have 5 families controlling society while competing against each other for more power, than 1 all-powerful state entity deciding what is beneficial to us all.
In such a place, where nobody can decide for themselves what is beneficial, everyone is unhappy and without hope, because everyone will feel that if they were only given a chance to do things their own way instead of being told what to do by a central authority, they could improve their lot.
I would also think that the best way to stem immigration from Mexico to the USA is to demand that Mexico liberalize their economy and start protecting property rights. The Mexican elites seem to be exporting their problems through migration, probably because they have an interest in not protectiong the economic rights of Mexican citizens.

P.S.: Sorry for the broken english, 2. language...

susie said...

Hey Dave -

I didn't mention deportation in my comment about the fence not working.

I said and still feel that the fence will not work because it will not be long enough. Congress has approved funding for a 370 mile fence the last I heard.

It will not work because there will still be jobs and until we severely punish people who hire illegals and make that a criminal act there will continue to be jobs.

And finally as long as the first section of the 14th amendment allows people born in the U.S. automatic citizenship they will continue to come and have children here who will be eligible for social services under their rights as a citizen.

Short fence - plentiful jobs - and citizenship for your children sounds like a good deal if you're sleeping in the dirt in El Salvador.

I've noticed that many people have talked about this as a "Mexico" issue. Mexico is the country they walk to and through, but they walk here from much further away than Mexico.

I am completely frustrated with the impact that unchecked immigration has on the quality of life in the U.S. and the point about the lack of assimilation makes me believe that if these people could stay in their own countries with their families and earn enough money to have a roof over their head and food on their tables they would.

I am curious to know how many of the commenters here actually know anyone who snuck over the border and sends money home to their families and lives here illegaly. I do because that's who has been cleaning the houses I grew up in here SoCal and that's who still cleans the houses of my friends and raises their children.

They're all quite wonderful people and while they might not obviously be "the best and brightest" as defined by the standards of this country, they are loving and honest and extremely resourceful.

That said I still vote for a full length fence, criminalization of hiring and get rid of automatic citizenship for babies born to illegal parents, but I would add that a guest worker program would also deal with the reality that most Americans won't lower themselves to pick crops or work as housekeepers and busboys for minimum wage.

Not while there's a welfare check to be collected.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Great post, Susie.

dez said...

And finally as long as the first section of the 14th amendment allows people born in the U.S. automatic citizenship they will continue to come and have children here who will be eligible for social services under their rights as a citizen.

I read an article recently about mainland Chinese women who sneak into Hong Kong to have children in order to give their children similar benefits. This kind of problem is not unique to the U.S.

Also, Susie, thanks for the comment about the illegal immigration populace not being solely Mexicans. I was working downtown during one of the big marches and we saw flags from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, to name but a few. It angers up my Latina blood when I see the illegal immigration problem reduced to a diatribe against Mexicans.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

1. I believe the latest law passed allowed for 700 miles of fence. Which of course is meaningless because a 700 mile fence covering a 2,000 mile border is fairly ridiculous.

2. BTW the 700 mile figure includes provisions for "virtual" fence. Basically a network of sensors, cameras and monitors. Which, funny enough uses common commercial wireless networking gear. So basically this "virtual" fence can be disrupted by anybody with a laptop and a radio transceiver.

3. There really needs to be serious reform in the legal immigration process. As it is it can take several years and over $5,000 to finally become a naturalized citizen. IMHO if you've applied to legally immigrate, fall under the quota (if any) and pass a background check then I'd say that you deserve a green card.

If after a couple years you can show that you've managed to deal adequately with and within American society then by all means it's time for naturalization and the oath.

*shrug* and if people want a fast-track for those with advanced degrees I wouldn't oppose it.

4. Agreed on a new Constitutional Amendment to modify the 14th Amendment. The number of anchor babies is frankly ridiculous.

5. "Study after study has proved that undocumented immigrants contribute way more that they consume in public resources. Their presence has resulted in a positive cash flow to the public coffers and not the other way around."

Does this include the massive amounts spent on educating the illegal alien children of illegal alien parents? At an average cost of $10,000 per year, and a 12 year cost of $120,000, for public education I'd suggest that the above statement is very suspect.

Particularly since there are a number of studies by the Heritage Foundation that shows the opposite.

memomachine said...

Hmmmmm.

re: guest workers

Frankly I'd rather accept illegal aliens as they are rather than any kind of "guest worker" program. Seriously. Most guest worker programs seem little more than a modern form of indentured servitude.

Some of the ideas put forth about guest worker programs include:
A. exemption from minimum wage laws.

B. requiring that guest workers can only be hired from outside the country, thereby locking in guest workers with their current employers.

C. and other proposals that, IMHO, are direct heirs of the old "company store" tactics.

I personally don't want guest workers. What I want are people to legally immigrate. And no not every illegal alien is a naturalized citizen in disguise. Quite a few illegal aliens want to get as much money as they can and then leave for their home country.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Undercover Black Man

Has the infusion of 10 million to 20 million illegal immigrants into this country since the '80s benefited the black working class?

(Thanks for the opportunity to have my say, even if nobody seems to agree with me. I don't want to clutter up your blog so I'll leave this as my last response for the day.)

1. Illegal aliens have had a direct detrimental effect on black workers.

Actually this doesn't apply just to black workers but to all citizen workers. Illegal alien workers exert a downward pressure on wages. This happens at any time when there is more available labor than there are jobs (c.f. Grapes of Wrath). In areas where illegal alien labor is not a serious issue, such as computer programming, then there is little if any effect. In jobs where there is vastly increased competition, such as in the construction industry, not being an illegal alien or not being fluent in Spanish can prevent hiring of otherwise well qualified workers.

2. Amnesty for illegal aliens will dilute or completely eliminate black political power.

Currently black political power is based on many blacks voting as a relatively unified block. And this residual power will continue as long as black voters continue to maintain a relatively high percentage of all voters. However any significant amnesty for illegal aliens would result in the dilution or elimination of black political power as it would render it worthless. An example is the recently defeated Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill that offered several types of legal visas. A Z-1 visa would apply to anyone living in the USA before 1/1/2007, but would require only a notarized letter from a non-blood relative to "prove". A Z-2 visa would apply to any spouse of a Z-1 visa holder. A Z-3 visa would apply to any child belonging to either the Z-1 or Z-2 visa holders. A Y-1 visa would apply to any parent of either a Z-1 or Z-2 visa holder.

So a single illegal alien family could be legalized resulting in:
Z-1: 1 person (primary)
Z-2: 1 person (spouse)
Z-3: 3 children (for argument purposes)
Y-1: 4 parents (for argument purposes)

Total: 9 people.

Now assume 10 years have passed and this family has fully completed the process of legalization and that the children have grown up and there have been no deaths or births. This means that there are 9 voters now in this family alone. There are, supposedly, only 12 million potential Z-1 visa holders, but I think it's rather closer to 20-30 million, but we'll use a smaller number. We'll assume that only 10 million will take this route so there will be 10 million * 9 family members so an average of 90+ million new voters most of whom will be hispanic. Combined with the current hispanic voters that'll result in a voting block of more than 100+ million voters.

Which quite frankly makes the black voter almost irrelevant. And that's only if there are 10-12 million illegals. If there are 20-30 million, as I suspect, then you can pretty much double it to 180+ million + the current hispanic voters.

(note I don't limit any of the numbers because the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill didn't have any limits itself)

3. Ascendence of illegal alien gangs has resulted in the ethnic cleansing of black neighborhoods.

Sorry to say this but this is very true. The recent shootings in Newark, NJ, are possibly an example of this. I read accounts of black neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area being slowly emptied and replaced by hispanic illegal alien gangs. There is perhaps no bad blood between American hispanics and blacks. That however doesn't mean that illegal aliens from other countries with other viewpoints will suddenly adopt the same values.

4. Wide availability of illegal alien labor badly damages labor by black youth.

The bottommost and usually easiest rung of the labor ladder is occupied by unskilled labor. What used to be was that unskilled teenagers could ascend this bottom rung by hiring onto jobs that would end up teaching these teenagers good work habits along with basic skills and an entrance into their labor career. But I find it increasingly difficult to find teenagers with jobs that don't require a command of fluent English. When I was a kid I used to do lawncare as my source of money but now that industry is almost completely dominated by illegal aliens. Growing older I worked with my uncles and local builders on roofing and other construction work. But now many construction crews are dominated by Spanish speaking illegal aliens. And one test for being hired is fluency in Spanish which can be a significant bar for unskilled teenagers.

This is perhaps the worst kind of damage since the lack of opportunity at the teenager point will have follow-on and cascade effects later on.

...

*shrug* I doubt it matters all that much but I'm a hard-line conservative so YMMV.

Frankly I think it was a lot easier to succeed when I was younger because all I had to do then was compete with other Americans. Now you have to compete with every other person on the planet.

Mike J. said...

Hafa Adai UBM,

Let's set a couple of things straight here, okay? Yes, I am DISGUSTED by poverty here or anywhere else as my good Brother Dr. King was as well. Injustice here or there is an affront to justice anywhere. You know, Dr. King's next level of engagement, economic justice. So, how do you feel about poverty and economic justice? I could not tell from your response to my feelings about it.

"... but have no problem with millions of poor immigrants sneaking into this country illegally??"

Do not ascribe any false statements to me on the web or anywhere else, okay? In my first post I adamantly stated (twice no less)that I supported legal immigration, or did you not read that? Or did that FACT not conveniently fit the misconstruction you needed to set out in your post? I see, when we set out for the "hard right" gotta go all the way, huh? Stop it. Just stop it.

"... in direct ethnocentric terms:"

Wow, that's an interesting way to put things. Hmmm I could say....never mind. Anywhoo, UBM, I am not going to make immigrants the root cause of America's problems. I outlined in an earlier post many of those same problems (to wit I will add global warming, outlandish reliance on petroleum, etc). And immigrants are NOT the central point of what's wrong with Black America either so I will not play the "blame the weaker sister" game and ascribe any parts of my future successes (yep, I will succeed for that's my mindset) to an "immigrant class" of people. I mean are you serious? Is that really your mindset? Is that how you view yourself or Black America, as devastated by McDonalds' workers? By lettuce pickers? Huh? Again, THE Black Political Agenda before its political/corporate annihilation during the past 2 generations- no wars, support the infrastructure starting with living wage jobs and education, equal access to all people, etc, etc. And no bombing and killing over 1,000,000 Iraqis to date, stealing the public tax coffers dry, setting up the corporate benefactors of thuggery/ thievery, etc. Immigration as THE issue of America? You guys will buy anything but my money is still in my pocket because ain't nothing changed my core agenda.

My immigrant Brothers and Sisters (and they are just that)need to "come into the USA economic system" legally, you know like the way the corporations are doing to get rid of your jobs by bringing in professionals and outsourcing jobs to far-away places. Looking at this critical issue, my good Brother, we have an "immigration" issue that I CAN discuss ad nauseum. I believe they call it "globalisation". So, if we can send our good paying jobs overseas I GUESS we should at the same time (and legally) allow in poor folks to work at below living wage jobs. You know, one job in another one out (sort of like poker).

But an issue that is curious to me was raised by this thread. The Black American (Mis)Leadership's pitiful response to this generation's Gettysburg, Hurricane Katrina and the Black citizens of New Orleans struggles, was dwarfed by the MILLIONS of Latinos who rallied for their cause. And, lo and behold, the Spanish-speaking media was there to cover it. Why was our response so lacking in comparison to their response to a threat to their community? And, here it comes so buckle up, is this what you fear, a Spanish-speaking America? That is organized and gets things done for themselves? After all, the Spanish started the annihilation of indigenous peoples that led to this glorious state of America that I am sure all of you on the right are signing up to fight for in Iraq (and Iran, and Syria, and North Korea, and the North Pole, etc etc,etc,....).

Peace

Mike J. said...

Memomachine,

Since labels are so hard for me to understand, could you describe what you mean by "conservative". It meant something very different to me as a child in the Southern USA than what it means now. Oh, if you are wondering, I consider myself a "citizen". Glad to explain if needed.

Peace.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ I am not going to make immigrants the root cause of America's problems.

Who said it was the root cause, Mike? But it is a problem, and it's a problem we can do something about. By securing our borders.

And since you're all for legal immigration, securing our borders should be cool with you.

Your laundry list of far-left slogans and battle chants brings us back to first principles. I believe in national sovereignty. And I believe the U.S. has a duty to meet the needs of its citizens first... and not to feed, clothe, house and employ every poor person on Earth.

SJ said...

Let me just point out that there are illegals who never had to cross the border. These are mostly Europeans/Africans/Asians, who come here on a visit visa and never go back...this was happening more and more during the 70s/80s but has been sort of curbed now since it is so hard to get a visa now.

That Indian/Pakistani guy at your local store? He may very well be an illegal.

Anonymous said...

This is my second and last post. I would love to philosophize with some of you about the merits or drawbacks of "illegals" in the country or whether we should secure our borders first and then deal with them, etc. etc. but the fact is that we are in a fight for our lives here that goes way beyond the Latino community whose undocumented component makes up the majority of undocumented workforce in the US.

What most of you fail to realize is that we are being set up by a well crafted, well financed plan to use us as the scapegoats for America's ills. Got a crime problem? Its the illegals! Got a drain on the public coffers? Its the illegals! More dope in your community? Its the illegals! Is your garbage being pilfered? Its the illegals! Is your dishwasher leaving spots on the glasses? Its the illegals! Need I go on?

For those of you who do not know, there is a ten year plan crafted by DHS called "Endgame". It was written in 2003 and is four years into its implementation. It is a plan designed to wipe every undocumented man, woman and child off of the face of the U.S. map. It is available on our web site: www.unidosenarizona.org.

What makes this a horror story is that the same mechanism that is being implemented against the "illegals" is actually a form of population control that will and is being implemented on the general population under the guise of "national security". And you know what? The majority of the fools who hear this drumbeat are actually buy into it, like the comments I am reading on this blog.

For example: the verification system that is being put into place for employment is to keep "illegals" from holding a job here. Know what? EVERYONE WILL HAVE TO HAVE THEIR SS NUMBER CHECKED! IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE ON A POLITICAL BLACK LIST, YOU WON'T GET A JOB!

EVEN IF YOU WERE BORN HERE AND YOUR ANCESTORS WERE THE OWNERS OF ONE OF THE FIRST PLANTATIONS IN THE ORIGINAL COLONIES OR YOUR ANCESTOR WAS ONE OF THEIR FIRST SLAVES THAT TOOK THEIR FREEDOM BY CHOKING HIS ASS AND ESCAPING NORTH! IT WON'T MATTER!

This is what has happened to hundreds of Americans that find out they are on such a list when they go to the airport to board a plane. "Sorry Mr. so and so, you are on a restricted no-fly list and we cannot let you board the plane". "If you have a problem with that you can take it up with Mr. DHS over there, it is out of my hands".

You don't think it is true?

Make an issue of it (like insisting to find out WHY you are on such a list) at the airport and you will find your ass in jail, no specific charges against you, unable to contact a lawyer, and if you do, no access to the accusers and they can throw away the key. Right now! Right here!

Think I'm lying?

AND YOUR TALKING ABOUT "WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR BORDERS"? YOU NEED TO PROTECT YOUR ASS FROM THOSE WHO ARE INSIDE THESE BORDERS! Don't be a fool!

Our community is on the one hand the testing ground for these plans and policies and on the other the victims of a plan to move the immigrant workforce from a position of equals to that of temporary laborer that will be disposed of when they are no longer needed. We refer to them as "disposable" workers. NO longer will immigrant workers be allowed to migrate here with full visas. They will be here for a temporary stay, period.

In his state of the economy report of 2005, Bush reported that by the year 2015 to 2020, the US workforce will have stopped reproducing itself in the numbers needed to maintain the demands of industry as older workers leave the workforce. He concluded on the absolute need for immigrant labor (and his guest worker program of course).

This is not only true for the US, It is happening in all of the Western countries. The idea of "guest workers" is a product of the global economy being spearheaded by guess who? Global and American corporations who have no allegiance to any country but want and are getting access to any country they want to do what they want in it.

ON a global scale there are already agreements in place to control the movement of immigrant labor through "guest worker" programs. I pulled a number of documents off of the United Nations web site, specifically off of the GATTS sections. Thats "General Agreements on Trade and Tariffs".

It is no accident that all of the proposed immigration bills contained at their heart, "guest worker" programs. That is the plan, it is a done deal.

How about this for a prediction? The current DHS enforcement of at the workplace via the "no match" letters will force employers to act as immigration agents by firing workers who do not pass the verification system by checking their SSN.

This will throw hundreds of thousands and probably millions out of work, artificially creating a "labor shortage".

The plan will be for the adminstration to "solve" this man made crisis by passing an emergency law permitting the mass importation of "temporary workers" to fill the places of those who have been displace by the enforcement measures. Create a problem, then solve it.

See? What they couldn't pass through the senate floor, they will get through the back door. Hey, that rhymes!

The various parts of the puzzle are already put into place.

NAFTA has led to extreme pollution in Mexico, has lowered their labor standards, has eliminated what was once communal lands and privatized it (as a condition of the treaty). Their natural resources are now up for sale. The latest news is that PEMEX (Mexico's nationalized oil industry) is up to be privatized and guess who is number ONE in line for it? Yeah, good old Halliburton!

A scandal has spread throughout Mexico about how their new president won the election by extreme fraud. That is not the scandal as the entire nation watched and saw it happen (Bush style). What is the scandal is that the voting machine company is tied to Halliburton who was responsible for tabulating and recording the votes and the word is that Halliburton intervened to put Calderon into the presidency so they can get their payback. We shall see shortly if this is true. Watch for PEMEX on the news or financial news channels and find out.

IS this deja vu or what?

And you whine when their workers, without jobs, no land, reduced wages WHICH WERE SHITTY TO BEGIN WITH, lakes and rivers dried up and horribly polluted, denied their political power through their vote, migrate north to find work only to find that some asshole set the limit on the visas so that you are number 400,000 on it and a 25 years wait to get in and you have no way to support yourself in the meantime?

"I am not against immigration, I am against ILLEGAL immigration". ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FUCKING MIND?

NAFTA has allowed unrestricted capital to enter Mexico to invest and buy up natural resources, yet when that country's workforce is displaced as a result, it is not allowed to flow in the other direction. In other words, I can invest in your country (with devastating results to you), but your "human capital" when displaced, can't come into mine.
Does that sound very democratic and free market like? Hardly!

DO YOU REALIZE THAT THIS IS HAPPENING? DO YOU SUPPORT THIS POLICY? AND IF YOU DO, THEN SHUT THE FUCK UP WHEN THE VERY PEOPLE WHOSE LIVES HAVE BEEN DEVASTATED BY YOUR COUNTRY CROSS YOUR BORDERS AND SEEK ONLY TO STAY ALIVE AND HOPE TO OFFER SOMETHING BETTER TO THEIR CHILDREN!

IF YOU DON'T SUPPORT THIS SCENARIO, THEN STOP TAKING IT OUT ON THE VICTIMS, TAKE IT OUT ON THE PERPETRATORS! DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT BEFORE IT GETS OUT OF HAND!

I am dumb founded that when I posted a strategic aspect of this equation that causes illegal migration, NO ONE, NOT ONE PERSON disputed my argument. YOU SIMPLY IGNORED WITH BULLSHIT LIKE "I am for immigration, but LEGAL immigration" what a bunch of petty assed whiney aruguments. Deal with the basics. Deal with the causes and THEN and ONLY THEN open your mouth and take a stand, on principle, on facts, not on bullshit "how much are they costing us in education, blah blah blah".

Did any of you know that there is an artificial limit of something in the order of 20,000 LEGAL visas allowed for Mexico for example? Who the hell invented that number when the annual US demand for labor is at LEAST 200,00 TO 400,00 workers A YEAR!

What this means is that there is NO SUCH THING AS A "GET IN LINE AND GET A LEGAL VISA". It doesn't exist. There is at least a TEN YEAR WAITING LIST TO GET INTO THE US LEGALLY TO WORK HERE. DOES ANYONE KNOW THIS? IS IT PUBLICIZED? DOES ANYONE CARE TO DO THE RESEARCH TO EDUCATE THEMSELVES ON THIS REALITY?

"I'm for legal immigration, let them come here legally" What a bunch of crap. And what? Have them die of hunger or watch their kids waste away due to trade policies and artificial visa restrictions we have imposed? Don't buy it! Don't become a stooge for Michael Savage because if you believe this stuff, thats what you have become, I shit you not!

Don't believe me? Do the research and then look me up and we'll talk some more. therrera@unidosenarizona.org.

Finally, let me say that at the root of the plight of the undocumented is the basic issue of civil and human rights. The right to live, to education, to health care, to a roof over your head, to be able to travel without restriction and to work, the right to be treated equally, etc. This is what was at the heart of the Black civil rights movement.

I know, I was there. I came of age during that period and learned by the example set by my Black brothers (and sisters) who taught me what was right from what was wrong. And what they showed me made me reflect on our own community and what we were also facing and it became as clear as day what had to change.

And do you think that there weren't assholes during that period who would say shit to belittle that fight? Shit like "negroes want a handout", "they don't want to work" "they are all thugs and hoodlums" "they should stop whining and lift themselves up by their bootstraps", "they should just wait their turn", "they like living the way they do, their happy", and so on and so on and so on.

And when their leaders spoke out, their words would be twisted and the American people lied to to maintain the status quo.

And these are the same level of bullshit arguments that are being leveled at the undocumented.

Let me say that the Latino community, the undocumented in particular is a boiling cauldron right now as I speak. It is an entire community that has and is reaching its limit. There is only so much repression that a people can stand.

If you can only imagine what it feels like to know that you may not make it home after a hard days work. That your children will be at school waiting for you, but you won't make it. You may never see them again as without any arrangements beforehand, the state will turn them into foster kids.

Your home that you worked and sweated blood for will be lost because there will be no one to make the payment or your family will get evicted and thrown into the street because the rent was not paid because you no longer have income because you are in a detention center, on a bus headed for the border or already dumped at one of the border towns.

If you are unfortunate and happen to be a teenager or young adult whose parents brought you here as a baby with them when they crossed illegally, you are still an "illegal alien" and you will be dumped in your birth country despite the fact that you may not speak the language, have no family there, no resources, know nothing of that country because for all intents and purposes THIS IS YOUR COUNTRY NOT THAT ONE!

Right now, entire families have been split apart. Babies are without their mothers, fathers without their children and wives. And this country promotes "family values"?

Property is lost, savings unable to be accessed, cars left in the street or impounded, businesses suddenly with no owner. Just like that, from one moment to the next their lives are turned totally upside down and destroyed the moment the dreaded ICE has them in their grasp.

Is THIS what you advocate? THIS is the best solution you can find? THIS is what your values are about?

Thats what hurts me the most. To know that people whose existence today was the product of life and death struggles to overcome oppression, segregation and the denial of their MOST BASIC RIGHTS AND NEEDS, today throw it all out the window when it comes to the "illegals" who are dragging "our" country "down the tubes".

I hope you wake up before its too late. We are the new "Jews" of this millenium and the mechanism that is in motion is following the same path as did Germany, detention centers and all!

On September 3rd, Arizona's immigrant community is preparing for a week "without a Mexican". It will be the first time such activity has been seen in the US since the days of the depression. Not even during the great civil rights struggles has there been actions that will rival the scale of what will come. I am sad that it has had to come to this, but each of us must make our own choices and follow what they know is right.

If you are in any way influenced by the same struggles as I was, you will stop the bullshit, whiney assed attitudes, do the research so that your blog can become a weapon for what is truth and principled. One that upholds the values that so many great leaders paid for with their lives to pass on to us a heritage that will not let us stand by and watch these things happen without saying a word or taking the right stand.

What we are witnessing now is the calm before the storm as an entire people are being forced to fight for their very existence and lives.

Will you take the right stand? or will you join the chorus and jump on the bandwagon with those whose hearts are filled with hate and could give a shit about you or your community but will sure as hell use you. And then turn on your ass!

I think I've had enough. I hope you get the drift!

Tony

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Will you take the right stand? or will you join the chorus and jump on the bandwagon with those whose hearts are filled with hate and could give a shit about you or your community but will sure as hell use you. And then turn on your ass!

Tony and Mike J. provide excellent illustration of why I'm turned off to the hard left. The bullying tactics, the emotionalized language, bizarre appeals to fear (concentration camps??), mawkish appeals to sympathy... all of which camaflouge their underlying, unspoken principle: SMASH CAPITALISM!!

Tony basically argues that anyone and everyone born in Mexico has a right to live and work in the United States. And if you dare to argue that they don't have such a right, then you're a fool, a whining stooge, and you're pissing on Dr. King's grave.

I'm sorry to lose Tony as a commenter... but if he can't deal with me having a different point of view than his, I get it: "Class struggle uber alles."

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Mike J.

Since labels are so hard for me to understand, could you describe what you mean by "conservative". It meant something very different to me as a child in the Southern USA than what it means now. Oh, if you are wondering, I consider myself a "citizen". Glad to explain if needed.

*shrug* sure thing.

I am a conservative.

So what precisely does that mean? In short it means that my political ideology is oriented towards conserving all of the best parts of America for future generations.

I'm a fiscal conservative because few problems have been solved by simply throwing money at it. And because Americans are far better off with a government that serves the people rather than a government that commands them.

I'm socially conservative because I firmly believe in the Law of Unintended Consequences, which is IMHO a real bitch. Often times people do things that seem logical and sensible but that later on turn out to have such unintended consequences that ends up being far worse than anybody has imagined.

I.e. body piercing that looks good on a 18 year old probably won't look so hot on a 55 year old. When that tattoo of a bald eagle ends up looking like a bald turkey some people might wish they hadn't made that decision.

Does that help?

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Mike J.

(to wit I will add global warming, outlandish reliance on petroleum, etc)

Sorry to go off on a tangent but ...

1. Global Warming is nonsense.

Sure the globe may be warming, or it may be cooling, but none of this has anything to do with humanity. Over the course of human evolution the planet's overall temperature has risen and fallen a dozen degrees or more, all without any impact by humanity.

Consider the Medieval Warm period where Greenland was a lovely forested wilderness. Or the Little Ice Age where Europeans starved because they couldn't get crops to grow because it was so cold.

Sorry man but there is no basis to support the idea that humanity has any impact, positive or negative, on global temperatures. This is one ride that we can neither get off or slow down and the people who are trying their best to convince you of it's truth all have ulterior motives.

Heck. Research scientists need Ferraris too eh?

2. We rely on oil because there is no other alternative.

Ethanol is a joke and ethanol from corn is an insulting joke. It takes almost a gallon of gasoline to make a gallon of ethanol from corn, and the ethanol has 1/2 the power of a gallon of gasoline.

For ethanol to be useful it has to be produced from cellulose or waste products. Anything else and it's little more than farming subsidies.

Hydrogen is a great idea, but it's almost impossible to store in a moving vehicle and it takes quite a bit of energy to produce.

Nuclear would be a good idea for powering cities if the environmental lobby would let it happen. (c.f. Law of Unintended Consequences)

Dougp said...

I love people like Memomachine. Their training in science is the C they got in high school chemistry, but they know more about global warming than the National Academy of Science.

But hey...he heard it on Rush Limbaugh!

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Dougp

I love people like Memomachine. Their training in science is the C they got in high school chemistry, but they know more about global warming than the National Academy of Science. But hey...he heard it on Rush Limbaugh!

1. I love liberals. They talk a lot about acceptance and not judging people but in reality they're little more than Archie Bunkers in Birkenstocks.

2. I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh. He repeats himself many times, repeats the same mantras endlessly and there's about 40 minutes of commercials per half-hour.

*shrug* besides it was Rush Limbaugh who said that Bush was "more conservative than he gets credit for" or to that effect. IMHO any pundit who pushed the idea that Bush was a conservative is someone who has lost credibility in my opinion.

3. Like I said before perhaps the globe is warming. Or perhaps it is cooling. Whichever it is nothing humanity can do will affect it.

Look it's a simple expression of energy. How much energy does humanity control vs the energy implicit in weather. A single hurricane expends more energy in two days that all of humanity uses in a year.

Another point is that, as far as greenhouse effects are concerned, carbon dioxide is almost worthless as it requires enormously more than what we have today. And no I'm not talking a fraction of one percent more in atmosphere composition. We're talking several percentages points. And we're a very long way from that.

Even then you're going to have to explain both the Medieval Warming period and the Little Ice Age, both of which occurred prior to the Industrial Age and both of which also encompassed several plagues that severely reduced existing European populations.

Even if I were to accept that pre-Industrial humanity could violently affect the weather I could hardly be expected to accept that pre-Industrial humanity utterly devastated by the Black Death could do so.

The entire basis for Global Warming rests entirely on extremely flawed computer models incapable of actually accurately modeling *historical* weather patterns, let alone future weather patterns, eager con-men, manipulative politicians and activists and research scientists unwilling to give up the gravy train.

Seriously. If you gave a scientist $10 million to study global warming do you really expect that scientist to come back and tell you that he owes you a refund because it's all bunk? Some might. But others would tell you that it's an extremely dangerous situation that can only be resolved by the application of more money.

Global warming blamed on humanity is a bad joke.

The reality is that the Sun is a variable star that varies it's output over time in a cyclical fashion. Additionally the distance between the Earth and the Sun isn't set in stone, people tend to forget this. Instead this distance does vary as the Earth's orbit isn't a perfect circle no matter how it's depicted in illustrations.

So you have a combination of several important factors. How much energy, and cosmic rays, is the Sun producing. How far the Earth is from the Sun. Perhaps how much volcanic activity there is as volcanoes produce more greenhouse gases than all of humanity does. The combination of these most likely determines how much water vapor there is in the atmosphere, as water condenses around dust particles thrown up by volcanoes, which determines how much of the Sun's energy is reflected into space.

Again. This is a ride that humanity is on, that it cannot as yet affect.

And I'll note one other thing. I'm a conservative yes. But I'm also one of the people here who hasn't disparaged anybody else.

Dougfp said...

I notice you didn't challenge my assertion that the sum of your background in science is some high school chemistry.

Wonder why that is?

memomachine said...

Hmmm.

@ Dougfp

I notice you didn't challenge my assertion that the sum of your background in science is some high school chemistry. Wonder why that is?

Why?

1. I discounted it as utterly worthless argument.

2. It's partially true. I have no formal education beyond high school, and even then I never finished. However I am largely self-taught.

3. Again it's an utterly worthless argument. My credentials are irrelevant, my arguments are irrefutable.

But hey, if it makes you all weak in the knees, go right ahead with the whatever it is that you're trying to imply.

4. If it's that important to you, then by all means please produce whatever scientific credentials you have and please show why they're relevant.

*shrug* entirely up to you. I really couldn't care less.

Dougfp said...

Oh, high school! I take everything back. Please forgive me.

Dog of Justice said...

As a fellow conservative who agrees with many of your other statements, I do have to say you're adopting the wrong perspective w.r.t. global warming, memomachine.

Current atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are, in fact, pretty much unprecedented in human history. It is plausible that this is having an impact. While many are inclined to overstate the impact for political reasons, your unjustified absolute denial makes those hypocrites look good.

The liberals' real error is in their retarded approach to the question, what do we do about global warming if we really are causing it? The best solutions (and, for that matter, probably the only practical ones, given that China and India are unlikely to cut their carbon emissions short of a catastrophic world war) will almost certainly be highly technical in nature, without requiring personal sacrifices. Anyone who insists such sacrifices are necessary instead of advocating research into technical solutions is someone who I will probably never take seriously, at least if they don't immediately change their mind when I point out their obvious error.

Thordaddy said...

If we are to believe in the notion of man-made global warming, i.e., increased production of CO2 emissions, then it seems clear that mass migration from Third-World countries to the First World countries is a leading contributor of such CO2 emissions.

In fact, environmentalists should be at the forefront in advocating against both legal and illegal immigration into all Western countries.

dez said...

^So illegal aliens are causing global warming? Curse them!

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Dougfp

Oh, high school! I take everything back. Please forgive me.

Lol.

*shrug* Like I said, I'm largely self-taught. Like I taught myself z80, and then 8080, assembler when I was 13 and wrote a Point of Sale system and sold it to all the local vendors. I've been programming computers pretty much ever since with a short break when I enlisted in the Marines.

So you can insinuate that I'm ignorant or what have you all you like. Whether or not that amuses you to do so is irrelevant since, as I pointed out before, you have yet to address any single specific point or assertion I made.

And as an aside: I've worked with a lot of college graduates. Nice people generally, but the crap they learn in school often enough is exactly that. Crap.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Dog of Justice

As a fellow conservative who agrees with many of your other statements, I do have to say you're adopting the wrong perspective w.r.t. global warming, memomachine. ...

1. Current carbon dioxide levels may be higher than past readings, but really what kind of data points are we talking about here? How long have they be recording this data? What? 50 years? 60? Such a limited set of data isn't something that I'd spend $ trillions of dollars on.

Fact is that methane is 32x as effective as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas. Water vapor, in the form of clouds, is over 100x as effective. What helps the formation of clouds? Dust particles around which water can form droplets. The biggest source of dust in the mid to upper atmosphere? Volcanoes.

Sorry man still not buying it.

2. But it isn't "unjustified denial". I have justified it in a myriad of ways. What has NOT been justified is the change from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change". Wonder why the wonks have stopped with the former and are changing to the latter?

Because the science for global warming is decaying at a rapid rate. Again. The primary basis for global warming are computer models that are completely incapable of predicting *past historical weather patterns*.

I.e. if you put in the weather as it was 10 years ago and run it, they go haywire in less than 10 years and you end up with crap like Manhattan under 5' of water.

So I'm not all that trusting of computer models that are so incompetent that they cannot predict past weather.

3. "will almost certainly be highly technical in nature, without requiring personal sacrifices"

And how is that different from what's going on right now?

Are you sacrificing? I'm not. And yet the USA's carbon dioxide output has risen only by 2.5% compared to over 3.5% for the EU.

4. The thing to consider is this:

A. If the Earth warms up, will that hurt me?

B. If the Earth cooles down, will that hurt me?

The answer to "A" is a qualified "no" in case there are some minor shifts in weather patterns mostly due to the availability of rainwater.

The answer to "B" is an unqualified "YES". Why? Because you cannot grow crops in the snow. A slight change in the temperature *downward* will have the potential for completely devastating the agricultural industry of any particular nation or continent. If the temperature of the American midwest drops by a significant amount then someone, somewhere, in the world is going to starve.

And that danger quite frankly is far more likely than euphemistic "global warming" or the even more vague "climate change". So while people are worried about putting too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere the real worry in 20 years might be not putting *enough*.

Again the most sensible theory is based on the cyclical nature of the Sun, which may be even more strangely cyclical than we know. Currently the amount of neutrinos captured from the Sun is much less than what it should be. This might indicate that the Sun's fusion might not be "on" all the time but rather operates cyclically as well.

Frankly quite a few people are worried the Sun will enter into a low-energy state over the next 10-20 years. If so then the amount of energy absorbed by the Earth may be seriously reduced which could result in a cooling planet.

The downside is that we don't know. And honestly even if we did, I seriously doubt there's anything that we could do about it because the amounts, in energy and mass, are far too massive for humanity to have any worthwhile effect.

Dougfp said...

Memomachine...

You're awfully touchy for a guy making an "irrefutable" argument.

For the record, I was not disaparaging your education level. Many intelligent people never finished high school and went on to do great things. You may well be one of them.

What I was disparaging was your arrogance in thinking even the most highly read layman has standing to criticize Nobel Prize winning scientists. Your opinion on global warming (to me at least) is as significant as your opinion on brain surgery.

But we live in an age in which ideology trumps science, so I'm not surprised.

However, in the interest of making this exchange a little less hostile...I got a C MINUS in high school chemistry!

Take care...

peg man said...

Hey UBM, that thing you said about the Far Left being to emotional rings true. I'm a pretty liberal brother myself that reads the Nation, but I cringes at the site on any of their articles on illegal immigration, they are so badly researched and errorenous, and pull out the "put apon hard worker" trope so much I barely can read half way through before I want to burn my eyes with paint thinner! In one article one editor they have the nerve to compare illegal aliens to slaves, which reveals themselves for the closet racist limousine liberals he is.

Undercover Black Man said...

Thanks for the comment, Peg Man. Welcome to my blog.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

@ Dougfp

What I was disparaging was your arrogance in thinking even the most highly read layman has standing to criticize Nobel Prize winning scientists. Your opinion on global warming (to me at least) is as significant as your opinion on brain surgery.

1. Really? So your answer then is what? Kowtow to scientists?

Sorry but I disagree with you. I can criticize scientists, Nobel Prize winning or not, when I see them pushing a lot of BS. The problem today, as it has always been, is that many scientists are highly political and often use their science as a club in political forays.

Additionally it's very common for scientists to use and abuse their science in order to gain funding. And let's face it. There are many sources of funding for Global Warming studies and with limited oversight or even goals. If you're trying to cure cancer then you've got a lot of work ahead of you.

Study Global Warming? What is there really?

2. As for my being "touchy", I'd suggest you re-read your words. That's why I'm "touchy".

3. If you really believe in this Global Warming nonsense then that's up to you. But frankly there's no reasonable science behind it. There's just a lot of political nonsense.

Anonymous said...

what is wrong with you ubm--what makes you think you are so much better? you have the views of a racist and of someone that is very ignorant and narrow-minded. Just looking out for your own mentality...

Anonymous said...

We need workers for blue-collar jobs. The answer is simple. A temp work visa program. No families, just workers (male or female). You don't need special consideration or citizenship to work, just a visa.

If you want to be a citizen go about it they way everyone else does.

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Mexican said...

shut the f up you don't know nothing about the struggle Mexicans have to deal with yeah blacks had it bad i respect that but their is no reason for you to hate on Mexicans so deal with your own problems and stop talking all this in better words nonsense and problem starters.

Raul Mireles said...

ok to all you dumb people out there that don't know the history Mexicans owned most of this country so really who belongs here more. and yeah we where removed and got the land stolen from us but we are not hear talking smack about you. dude you should hate the people who enslaved you instead of people suffering to survive.