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April 10 is Dirty Diaper day
March 26, 2006 1:20 PM   Subscribe

In the great olfactory tradition of stinky protests caregivers across America are text mobilizing themselves into action: "APRIL 10 IS DIRTY DIAPER DAY. ALL POLISH, RUSSIAN, FILIPONO (sic) AND OTHER CAREGIVERS IN THE U.S. ARE URGED TO TAKE A DAY OFF IN SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRATION REFORMS. REMEMBER TAKE A DAY OFF ON APRIL 10, DIRTY DIAPER DAY. YOUR FUTURE "DEPENDS" ON IT! (Entry #27 here). Yes, they are incensed!
posted by azul (69 comments total)

 
You heard it, Filiponos!
posted by baklavabaklava at 1:24 PM on March 26, 2006


Kazahk, Ukranian, and Thai caregivers are urged to ignore the protest.
posted by delmoi at 1:28 PM on March 26, 2006


If these people don't like our rules and laws, they are more than welcome to leave.
posted by keswick at 1:29 PM on March 26, 2006


But seriously that immigration law is just fucking crazy.

The whole immigration 'crisis' is just nonsense cooked up by a bunch of redneck racists.

Thank god the pro-immigration people are finally starting to get organized.
posted by delmoi at 1:30 PM on March 26, 2006


On the other hand, this sort of insanity should hopefully keep Mexican-Americans from voting for republicans.
posted by delmoi at 1:31 PM on March 26, 2006


Incensed.

lol
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:39 PM on March 26, 2006


I prefer blowjobs and steaks.
posted by bardic at 1:59 PM on March 26, 2006


While wearing Depends, of course.
posted by bardic at 2:09 PM on March 26, 2006


The best thing that could happen to resolve our asinine immigration laws, actually.

I've always thought the best cure for a bad law was rigorous enforcement.
posted by Richard Daly at 2:12 PM on March 26, 2006


So this is like, what, all the shoplifters getting together to protest sudden vigorous enforcement of laws against theft?

At any rate, with the demographic shift brought on by the boomer's retirement, we can expect a labor shortage soon that only appears to have three solutions - automation, offshoring and immigration. Of the three, immigration is the easiest to implement.
posted by gregor-e at 2:22 PM on March 26, 2006


Jesus. Every day here is dirty diaper day. If it isn't, we need to cut back on the rice cereal and add some mashed mangos to the menu.

/willfully obtuse
posted by bibliowench at 2:55 PM on March 26, 2006


Thing is, I bet a lot of the Russian, Thai, Polish, etc folks are actually here legally on some sort of visa. Dunno what this "Dirty Diaper Day" really has to do with the issue of illegal immigrants flooding across the border.

If every illegal immigrant packed up & left, there are a whole lot of us that would probably never notice.
posted by drstein at 3:19 PM on March 26, 2006


So this is like, what, all the shoplifters getting together to protest sudden vigorous enforcement of laws against theft?

Right, because being an illegal immegrant is just like being a shoplifter. They're stealing america from rightful americans? Is that what you think?

It's more like potsmokers protesting a new law that imposes a death penalty for marijuana posession.
posted by delmoi at 3:23 PM on March 26, 2006


Thing is, I bet a lot of the Russian, Thai, Polish, etc folks are actually here legally on some sort of visa. Dunno what this "Dirty Diaper Day" really has to do with the issue of illegal immigrants flooding across the border.

So what you're saying is because you bet that most of those people are here legaly, it makes no sense for them to get upset? Well, do you think it might be possible that you'd lose that bet?

Seriously, the ignorance in that sentence is truly astounding. There are people from many countries here illegally, not all poor Mexicans. In fact, there is a higher persistence of illegals with collage degrees and even graduate degrees then there are of American citizens.

The majority of mexicans are here legally. That dosn't mean they want to be harrassed and forced to show papers wherever they go, or have their friends and family members locked up and thrown out of the country.

Right now becoming a U.S. Citizen is a long process that involves a ton of paperwork. With this new law, a mistake on your paperwork (by you or by the government) would make you a felon, and thus ineligible to ever be a citizen.

Which is a good reason for all those poles, thais, and filipino's to worry.
posted by delmoi at 3:32 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: In fact, there is a higher persistence of illegals with collage degrees and even graduate degrees then there are of American citizens.

I find that extremely difficult to believe. You have a source for it?

I can't see employers hiring college graduates (and especially masters and doctorate holders) without at least putting forth some effort to avoid hiring illegals. They usually do background checks and education checks for people working in those positions, so I think they're be pretty likely to get caught if they tried to apply for normal positions. As for working off the books, it seems like those kinds of positions would be too high profile for businesses to get away with hiring people under the table. Plus, there are severe liability concerns with that, in any situation where a bad employee could endanger people (any medical/engineering field, for example.)
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:02 PM on March 26, 2006


"It's more like potsmokers protesting a new law that imposes a death penalty for marijuana posession."

Right, because being an illegal immegrant is just like being a dopesmoker. Is that what you think?
posted by keswick at 4:09 PM on March 26, 2006


Mitrovarr, my personal experience with a few immigrants with degrees (legal or illegal) was that they tended not to be able to to work at the level of their qualifications. For example, my Czech friend (here legally) had an engineering doctorate, he was night cleanup for a convenience store.
posted by rollbiz at 4:14 PM on March 26, 2006


rollbiz: For example, my Czech friend (here legally) had an engineering doctorate, he was night cleanup for a convenience store.

Is the Czech economy in such totally horrible shape that he can do better here as a janitor than as an engineer in his home country? Or is he trying to immigrate here for another reason, and that's the best job he can find? I'm really surprised he can't do any better than that... if nothing else, you'd think they'd have him teaching community college or something, assuming his English is good.

I still doubt more illegals are educated than Americans. First of all, most of the poor countries that send the most immigrants here have relatively poor educational systems. Secondly, you'd really think they could do better in their home countries than working here in some crappy under-the-table job. It's different for legal aliens since they're usually trying to immigrate, and they are working toward a future goal of being able to work in a real job in their field, whereas the illegals are probably just going to keep working in poor jobs forever. Third, I think highly educated applicants have a much better shot at being able to immigrate legally.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:26 PM on March 26, 2006


"Depends"!! Ha! Ha!
posted by sidereal at 4:26 PM on March 26, 2006


I was not agreeing that more illegals are educated than Americans, in fact I doubt this and will continue to unless some proof is provided. I don't know exactly what was preventing him from getting a higher-end job but I can assure you it wasn't lack of effort. I think that in part at least the issue was that his degree was obtained in a country that at the time was in the midst of falling apart (Czechoslovakia).
posted by rollbiz at 4:50 PM on March 26, 2006


in other news, congress, after learning about our country's problem with horses running loose, passes a bill requiring all farmers to close their barn doors ...

meaning - it's too late ... amnesty or civil strife ... pick one
posted by pyramid termite at 4:58 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: It is like shoplifters getting together and protesting a change in the laws to make shoplifting a felony. The penalty may be disproportionate, but that doesn't alter the incongruity of criminals banding together to complain about it.

As for "stealing America", well, I have a great deal of admiration for people who are so strongly motivated to make a better life for themselves that they would risk arrest and venture into a land where language and customs are completely different (though, given American cultural hegemony, hardly unfamiliar), and make a successful life for themselves in their newly adopted homeland.

The problem I have is that our Mexican immigrant population in particular (legal and otherwise), simply aren't successful and aren't assimilating into the great melting pot. As evidence of lack of success, Mexican immigrants are a net fiscal burden on society, estimated by the National Research Council at $55,200 per Mexican immigrant in 2000. Large families and low education levels make for consistently low contribution to the tax base (in fact, in 1999, 41% of Mexican-immigrant-headed households paid $0 federal income tax). To argue that we have an obligation to maintain an increasingly large illegal population, with associated burdens on public services, when even the legal population of this group has not been successful here is ludicrous.
posted by gregor-e at 4:59 PM on March 26, 2006


I hire day laborers on a frequent basis, and I appreciate their willingness and availability to work for less than "standard pay." That said, they make far above minimum wage (for a skilled laborer I pay $100 per 8 hour shift). I've had conversations with day laborers, and the one's I've had convos with send the vast majority of their income back to their own countries... (working a sick, 7 day per week schedule is THEIR own choice.... but being able to send them = to $2,000 per week to their families is the reason to stay here) Sure... they lie, steal, cheat... but you get what you pay for... That said, you made a conscious, ADULT choice to come here... you don't like the way you're treated? LEAVE! Just be thankful you're not shot on sight for trying to cross the border like some other military organizations do...
posted by Debaser626 at 5:35 PM on March 26, 2006


As of last Friday, no more employer provided Kleenex at work. After Farmer Blow Friday the carpet will never be the same. 'Mark' your calendar... 31 March.
posted by buzzman at 5:55 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: You need to back up those statements with some reputable links. They smell a whole lot like you just pulled them out of your ass. I lived in Mexico, I've done day labor with Mexicans, I've worked warehouses alongside them. This is not a slight against the intelligence of an entire country and race of people, but the educational facilities are generally lacking. There are many, many fine schools (University of Mexico - Mexico City campus, anyone? World class school, that.) and extremely intelligent, passionate people in that country. But the infrastructure lags as far as modern, contemporary education is concerned.

But before my full reply, a disclaimer: I'm a fan of Mexico and it's culture, and the cultures of Latin countries in general. I do not support the Minutemen project. In absolutely no way do I think that all Mexicans and Latinos should go home. In no uncertain terms, I do not wish for Mexicans and Latinos to just "go away". I appreciate, value, and savor the cultural contributions these people have contributed to the global culture, and the culture of the US.

This whole issue is sticky. I'm on the fence about it, but I'm rapidly leaning towards tougher immigration standards.

Sure, Manifest Destiny and the American-Mexican war stole much of the Southwest from Mexico.

But on the other hand, illegal immigration is a problem. A serious problem, one that effects me directly on a day-in, day-out basis.

Jobs are more scarce down here. A great deal of money is sucked out of the economy directly from taking wages and sending them out of the country. A great deal of resources are used in the form of overcrowded schools, hospitals, social aid programs, financial assistance and housing assistance. Rent prices skyrocket because of demand, and because immigrants are willing to live in (code-violating) overcrowded apartments and houses, which makes per-person costs lower, but single-unit apartment costs higher.

Severe and dramatic cultural and language differences that about many things can also strain and stress cities, tax public resources, especially when there's adamant resistance to integration into existing communities, as well as the problems of self-segregation dividing neighborhoods and cities.

More and more I'm of the mind that if anyone is in the country illegally, Latino or not, they shouldn't be able to get a bank account, a state ID card or driver's license, credit cards, and more. When you're an illegal immigrant, you're breaking the law.

That is rather cut and dry.

In my ideal (if fictional) world we'd live without borders, without war, without prejudice or racism, without authoritarian government, with effective and fulfilling self rule. We would need neither master nor slave. We could enjoy the multitude of shared benefits of multiculturalism, while still retaining whatever cultural and historic traits we desire.

But it's not an ideal world, and I've struggled to come to terms with this.
posted by loquacious at 6:24 PM on March 26, 2006


gregor-e: As evidence of lack of success, Mexican immigrants are a net fiscal burden on society, estimated by the National Research Council at $55,200 per Mexican immigrant in 2000.

Do you have a link for this? Here is a link to the nrc, and I can't find anything on the topic there.

The link you provided is to Mark Krikorian's right-wing think tank. He's slightly to the right of Ann Coulter on this topic. Here is an article from National Review, and here is an interview with Conservative Commentator and Bikini Supermodel Gabrielle Reilly.
posted by swell at 6:39 PM on March 26, 2006


AFAIK the ratio of people educated to university level amongst asylum seekers (a group distinct from illegal imigrants) is usually much higher than the general population in the UK. Illegal immigrants are much more difficult to get statistics on, because they are not usually able to trust anyone who may be trying to do research into their situation.
People who are educated to university level are more likely to leave their countries because they come from the middle class and therefore their family are more likely to have the money to get them out. Most people will be paying the cost of their trafficing for a long time (you are looking at US$10,000 to 20,000 generally). A proportion of the money that people send back is going to the trafficers. The trafficers are not usually very nice people and they know where your family lives.
The situation in California may be different with the labouring jobs as people can walk there from South America. Corporate greed, profit and weakened unions no doubt contribute to the situation.
posted by asok at 7:36 PM on March 26, 2006


When you're an illegal immigrant, you're breaking the law.

Breaking a civil law, not a criminal law.
posted by desuetude at 7:36 PM on March 26, 2006


I don't understand people who fear immigration. Illegal immigrants tend to have poor english skills, and generally get jobs that none of us want.

Or do you really want to risk death riding a bike in Manhattan traffic to deliver someone's pad thai?
posted by Afroblanco at 7:38 PM on March 26, 2006


The situation in California may be different with the labouring jobs as people can walk there from South America.

From where in South American can you walk to California? (Mexico is in North America.)
posted by desuetude at 7:39 PM on March 26, 2006


I don't understand people who fear immigration. Illegal immigrants tend to have poor english skills, and generally get jobs that none of us want.

It also can displace legal citizens that would do the job. It also fosters unsafe or illegal working conditions that any sane legal citizen would blow the whistle on. Tangentially, it also could be said that "these jobs that no one wants" lowers fair working wages for everyone across the board.

I do play a bit of Devil's advocate here. I can see both sides of the fence.

Or do you really want to risk death riding a bike in Manhattan traffic to deliver someone's pad thai?

Damn, I can get paid for riding my bike in traffic?

Oh, but not at a living wage, huh? What about unionization for couriers? What? Unionization would be nigh impossible because of... oh, illegal immigrants that would do the job for less then living wages, without complaining about abuses or unsafe working conditions for fear of deportation? Perhaps because they're also living on the cheap crammed 5 deep in a 1 bedroom apartment?

Again, I play Devil's Advocate. The argument is circular, and I'm not usually on this side of the argument.
posted by loquacious at 7:53 PM on March 26, 2006


Right, because being an illegal immegrant is just like being a dopesmoker. Is that what you think?

OK, keswick, I'll bite. How long do you think illegal immigrants should go to jail for the crime of entering the country?

Sure, Manifest Destiny and the American-Mexican war stole much of the Southwest from Mexico.

I'm not too torn up about it.
> After U.S. acquisition of Texas in 1845 and the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848, the estimated Mexican population of this broad territory was 82,500.
Put in perspective, that's about eight months' worth of the annual influx of legal immigrants (and a minuscule fraction of those who enter illegally every year, which is likely in the high six figures).

The big GOP talking point that they want everybody to swallow is that this bill is just about illegal immigrants. It doesn't just make being undocumented a felony -- it also criminalizes assistance of any kind to the undocumented. That provision alone is going to put many families with both legal and illegal immigrants in danger of committing deportable offenses just for helping their own family member. The felony provisions will make many immigration "errors" such as overstaying a visa the type of offense that will prevent someone from immigrating legally, forever. It's also going to retroactively make thousands -- tens? hundreds of thousands? -- of legal immigrants eligible for deportation due to minor offenses committed in the past.

There's really no way to describe this bill as anything but completely fucking insane. The primary reason it's being pushed, even at the risk of a massive internal catfight, is that it's designated as this year's "gay marriage" -- the scare tactic that's going to bring people to the polls in November.

And no, loquacious, this is not the bill that's going to bring sanity to immigration, and magically eliminate the problem. As long as there's an economic incentive, that problem will exist, and despite the burdens to the economy you cite, the loss of undocumented workers (say, over a decade) is going to have profound and difficult to quantify effects on the US economy.

We're the only Western industrialized country, to date, that has not suffered economic dislocation due to an aging population that's having fewer kids. The main reason is a) illegal immigration and b) higher birthrates among recent immigrants (legal and illegal). To my mind, the risk of becoming Italy or Russia is a much worse fate we should be thanking our lucky stars we have so far avoided.
posted by dhartung at 8:04 PM on March 26, 2006


swell: Where one places Mark Kirkorian on the Red/Blue spectrum has little bearing on the accuracy of the numbers quoted by Steven A. Camarota, the author of the CIS article. It appears I didn't read the article carefully enough to notice the $55,200 net cost per Mexican immigrant is a number that was derived by the author from data published by the NRC, who in turn got it from the March 2000 "Current Population Survey" published by the US Census Bureau. Unfortunately, Mr. Camarota does not include specifics of his calculations, so it would take more effort than I care to invest to re-derive his $55,200 net cost for each immigrant.

Nevertheless, there are an abundance of statistics that demonstrate the failure of Mexican immigrants to succeed here. For example, consider this graph, also from the CIS article, that compares multiple generations of Mexican immigrant descendant's education, welfare use and poverty against that of US natives as a whole. Numbers as simple as these don't require derivation and are quite probably correct, even if they are published on a website that often takes positions you may not care for.
posted by gregor-e at 8:06 PM on March 26, 2006


dhartung: in answer to your question, i don't think they should go to jail, I think they should be deported. i don't want to have to pay for their three hots and a cot.
posted by keswick at 8:30 PM on March 26, 2006


And no, loquacious, this is not the bill that's going to bring sanity to immigration, and magically eliminate the problem.

Entirely true. I was just re-reading the thread and I noticed that I forgot or failed to indicate that I'm opposed to this bill. It criminalizes way too many people, and isn't even nearly sane.

I was merely attempting to give voice to the fact that at least one pretty hardcore leftist thinks that there may indeed be a real problem with illegal immigration - even if I'm still decidedly on the fence.

It's a difficult problem to research and find real facts on, much less grasp the real scope and spectrum of the issue entire.
posted by loquacious at 8:33 PM on March 26, 2006


More and more I'm of the mind that if anyone is in the country illegally, Latino or not, they shouldn't be able to get a bank account, a state ID card or driver's license, credit cards, and more. When you're an illegal immigrant, you're breaking the law.

Yeah sure, but you complain about poor Mexicans. Somehow I doubt you would support a law that would let any Mexican citizen travel and work freely in the US, the same way a Estonian can in France.

Here is an intresting article about illegal children who grow up in the US and attend collage. You can live your whole life here, go to collage and still be an illegal. The new law would make this girl a felon.

Right, because being an illegal immegrant is just like being a dopesmoker. Is that what you think?

No, illegals work a lot harder.

The problem I have is that our Mexican immigrant population in particular (legal and otherwise), simply aren't successful and aren't assimilating into the great melting pot. As evidence of lack of success, Mexican immigrants are a net fiscal burden on society, estimated by the National Research Council at $55,200 per Mexican immigrant in 2000.

Outright racism. Classy. (It's not the illegals, it's the Mexicans!) At least your honest.

I find that extremely difficult to believe. You have a source for it?

well this graphin this report shows that the immigrant education level exceeds that of native born citizens, but it does not break that down by legal and illegal. But keep in mind many students stay in the US after finishing collage here, and those people would be classed as illegal (and made felons)

I can't see employers hiring college graduates (and especially masters and doctorate holders) without at least putting forth some effort to avoid hiring illegals.

Well, it sounds like you've never had to find educated employees. The more you pay someone, the less you worry about things like that. They do drug tests at Wal-mart, not IBM.

I mean honestly, why would they care?
posted by delmoi at 9:10 PM on March 26, 2006


dhartung: in answer to your question, i don't think they should go to jail, I think they should be deported. i don't want to have to pay for their three hots and a cot.

I think you should be deported. Why not? I honestly can't think of any reason why you should get to stay here and they shouldn't. It's not like you've never broken a civil law, I'm sure.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 PM on March 26, 2006


"Seriously, the ignorance in that sentence is truly astounding. There are people from many countries here illegally, not all poor Mexicans. In fact, there is a higher persistence of illegals with collage degrees and even graduate degrees then there are of American citizens."

Looks like you're the ignorant one. I didn't even mention Mexicans (although they are certainly the guilty ones when it comes to the "let's jump the border!" game) - so, don't put words in my mouth. Asshat.

I have no idea where the hell you came up with the big about degrees, but it sounds absolutely ridiculous.
posted by drstein at 9:15 PM on March 26, 2006


dhartung: We're the only Western industrialized country, to date, that has not suffered economic dislocation due to an aging population that's having fewer kids. The main reason is a) illegal immigration and b) higher birthrates among recent immigrants (legal and illegal). To my mind, the risk of becoming Italy or Russia is a much worse fate we should be thanking our lucky stars we have so far avoided.

But think about what you're saying, Dhartung; those countries are dealing with that because they've stopped their population growth, something we HAVE to do. The planet can't support an infinite number of people; even today's number may be beyond what it can handle indefinitely (oil, which can't last forever, sustains a lot of our agriculture.) Also, to a point, the less people there are, the nicer it is for everyone; more land, more space, and more resources per person.

The fact is, unless we want to breed ourselves to death or start making everyone die young, we HAVE to adapt to a population that is somewhat older. The sooner we do that, before the planet starts getting seriously depleted of resources and overpopulated, the better off things will be in the end. Those countries have the right idea; we are the ones who are doing things wrong. Immigration is all that keeps our population growing, and I personally think that is the single thing most wrong with it.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:15 PM on March 26, 2006


The CIS links to this article on the moonie times right on their front page. Hardly a bastion of credibility.
posted by delmoi at 9:16 PM on March 26, 2006


I think you should be deported. Why not? I honestly can't think of any reason why you should get to stay here and they shouldn't. It's not like you've never broken a civil law, I'm sure.

I was born here, asshat. Try to focus on the subject at hand.
posted by keswick at 9:17 PM on March 26, 2006


But think about what you're saying, Dhartung; those countries are dealing with that because they've stopped their population growth, something we HAVE to do. The planet can't support an infinite number of people

Bla bla bla. China has within 1% of the land mass of the US, and 1.2 billion people. The US is far, far from being overpopulated.
posted by delmoi at 9:18 PM on March 26, 2006


I was born here, asshat. Try to focus on the subject at hand.

That's what I assumed. I still don't see why that means you shouldn't be deported, anymore then anyone else. What about that girl in the article I linked too? She was brought here as a small child, went to highschool, and collage and graduated with a nursing degree. You think she should be charged with a felony and thrown out of the country. I ask, why do you think you should be allowed to stay?

Because you were squeezed out of a vagina in one place, and she was squeezed out of a vagina in another place? That really doesn't make very much sense to me.
posted by delmoi at 9:22 PM on March 26, 2006


Immigration is all that keeps our population growing, and I personally think that is the single thing most wrong with it.

it's not as if people are going to disappear off the face of the earth if they don't immigrate here ... they're still going to be somewhere, contributing to the world's population problem

many of the countries that you claim have the right idea have their own problems with immigration, don't they?

i feel a lot of loquacious' fence sitting on this issue ... except that seeing as we already have millions of illegal immigrants here that it's utterly impossible for us to root them out without causing a lot of social chaos in the process

500,000 people marched in l a over this issue ... it could be very serious if draconian measures are enforced ... people may not go quietly
posted by pyramid termite at 9:27 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: Well, it sounds like you've never had to find educated employees. The more you pay someone, the less you worry about things like that. They do drug tests at Wal-mart, not IBM.

I mean honestly, why would they care?


Oh, I don't think they do drug tests, but I guarantee you they go over your resume and qualifications with an atomic-sized tooth comb, and when your degree and all your references are from some other country, they're going to look real hard at your citizenship. Why should they?

-They want career employees who'll be around for years, not getting deported by the INS.
-Employees at that level are ambitious and devious and would not at all be above getting someone deported to eliminate their competition for a job.
-They have legal liability and an illegal immigrant employee would prove to a court that they had been negligent in their hiring practices.
-Most illegal immigrants are going to have degrees and quafications that are somewhat questionable, and will be impossible to background check.
-They can afford to hire Americans or legal immigrants and not have to deal with any of these problems.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:29 PM on March 26, 2006


It also can displace legal citizens that would do the job. It also fosters unsafe or illegal working conditions that any sane legal citizen would blow the whistle on. Tangentially, it also could be said that "these jobs that no one wants" lowers fair working wages for everyone across the board.

Damn, I can get paid for riding my bike in traffic?

Oh, but not at a living wage, huh? What about unionization for couriers? What? Unionization would be nigh impossible because of... oh, illegal immigrants that would do the job for less then living wages, without complaining about abuses or unsafe working conditions for fear of deportation? Perhaps because they're also living on the cheap crammed 5 deep in a 1 bedroom apartment?


(I know that you're against the bill loq, but you bring up some important points) so:

If people are crossing the border because there are jobs waiting for them at companies that are willing to pay them (b/c like you said, they can pay them below minimum wage and not have to worry about things like employee safety) wouldn't a better solution be to target companies and businesses hiring illegal immigrants and enact harsher penalties for doing so? If you make it so that it's easier for a place to hire legal workers, and a devastating if they are caught with illegal workers you eliminate a reason for people to cross the border illegally. It's certainly saner than the lunacy of this bill and would probably be easier to enforce.

But I agree with whoever said that this was a wedge issue for 06. And here was me thinking that it would be gay adoption.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:36 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: Bla bla bla. China has within 1% of the land mass of the US, and 1.2 billion people. The US is far, far from being overpopulated.

China can handle 1.2 billion people living like the Chinese, but it sure as hell couldn't handle 1.2 billion people living like Americans. We use a lot more land and resources than they do (and indeed most people in the world.) I'm not saying that's bad, but either eveyone needs to use a lot less or we have to keep the population down. I know which option I prefer.

Or, we can do it your way. Enjoy living like a Chinese peasant.

pyramid termite: it's not as if people are going to disappear off the face of the earth if they don't immigrate here ... they're still going to be somewhere, contributing to the world's population problem

Well, they won't be in this country, contributing to our personal overpopulation problem. That should leave large areas of our country unspoilt and pleasant. We can't do anything about themselves breeding themselves into a writhing heap in their countries, but nature can and will if they don't stop. The planet's going to tell them, very soon, that they either need to stop breeding or start dying, and personally, I want to be well away from those areas when the plagues and famines start to hit.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:36 PM on March 26, 2006


Oh, I don't think they do drug tests, but I guarantee you they go over your resume and qualifications with an atomic-sized tooth comb, and when your degree and all your references are from some other country, they're going to look real hard at your citizenship. Why should they?

Right, but what if your degree and recommendations are indigenous? It seems like half the students here at ISU are foreign, more so in science and engineering. If those people stay in the US after graduating they'll be illegal. Why would an employer care?
posted by delmoi at 9:44 PM on March 26, 2006


"leave large areas of our country unspoilt and pleasant"? "breeding themselves into a writhing heap"? Are you trying to sound like an excerpt for The Camp of the Saints or is this some internet sarcasm that I'm not picking up?

Besides, we seem to be doing a fine job spoiling large areas of our country without the aid illegal immigrants.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:46 PM on March 26, 2006


Well, they won't be in this country, contributing to our personal overpopulation problem. That should leave large areas of our country unspoilt and pleasant. We can't do anything about themselves breeding themselves into a writhing heap in their countries, but nature can and will if they don't stop. The planet's going to tell them, very soon, that they either need to stop breeding or start dying, and personally, I want to be well away from those areas when the plagues and famines start to hit.

Wow. You're like a crazy person.
posted by delmoi at 9:46 PM on March 26, 2006


excerpt *from* The Camp of the Saints that is.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:48 PM on March 26, 2006


i'd like to breed myself into a writhing heap ... would anyone like to help?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: Right, but what if your degree and recommendations are indigenous? It seems like half the students here at ISU are foreign, more so in science and engineering. If those people stay in the US after graduating they'll be illegal. Why would an employer care?

Well, the other reasons still hold (deportation, liability, visibility, and getting reported by competitors.) And I really don't think people educated here (and especially those with advanced degrees) have terribly hard times staying here legally. They're already educated, already had some sort of visa, and they are mostly reasonably wealthy; it's expensive to be a foreign student here. But even if so, I'm not so terribly concerned if they stay; it's the floods of uneducated, terribly poor immigrants that cause problems, not the relatively few educated ones.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:51 PM on March 26, 2006


i'd like to breed myself into a writhing heap ... would anyone like to help?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:48 PM PST on March 26


Sounds like something that results from a sexy game of twister PT.
posted by kosher_jenny at 9:53 PM on March 26, 2006


kosher_jenny: "leave large areas of our country unspoilt and pleasant"? "breeding themselves into a writhing heap"? Are you trying to sound like an excerpt for The Camp of the Saints or is this some internet sarcasm that I'm not picking up?

Well, I was being pretty silly, using excessively colorful imagery and such. I figured the half-joking tone would come across, but apparently I was wrong. Seriously, though, I do consider overpopulation to be one of the biggest problems facing the world, and letting large numbers of people flood in will only make it worse. There are all ready too many people here by my standards; there are very few natural areas left, many species nearly driven extinct, and lots of congested urban areas and sprawling suburbs.

People don't seem to understand that if they can just STOP BREEDING (or at least tone it down a little) we could have a much less polluted, much more spacious, much nicer planet in a couple of generations. The USA is not very overpopulated, really, but I don't want it to get any worse. I know China's situation is survivable, but I never want this country to be like that, and even they are freaking out over their situation (the one-child law and all that.)
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:57 PM on March 26, 2006


Again, the location of people dosn't change the global population.
posted by delmoi at 10:36 PM on March 26, 2006


Seriously, though, I do consider overpopulation to be one of the biggest problems facing the world, and letting large numbers of people flood in will only make it worse.

If people are flooding into the world, they're not people, they're ALIENS.
DEPORT ILLEGAL XENOMORPHS.
posted by 235w103 at 10:42 PM on March 26, 2006


delmoi: Again, the location of people dosn't change the global population.

No, but overpopulation is a global problem and a local problem. We can't stop people from breeding, but we can keep them out of our country, and thus avoid the part of the ecological damage that is local and the crowding.

Same thing to 235w103; we can't stop overpopulation on a global level through immigration control, but we can stop it on a local level. Our birthrates are just about at replacement.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:11 PM on March 26, 2006


Jesus Christ, delmoi. You get shrill much?

Yeah sure, but you complain about poor Mexicans. Somehow I doubt you would support a law that would let any Mexican citizen travel and work freely in the US, the same way a Estonian can in France.

Well, that's a rather broad question. Let me answer it by stating clearly that I support the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In general, I do support the legalization of immigration. But when you legally emigrate/immigrate to the United States, there's a certain amount of education and integration that happens.

And I think that there should be more of that education and integration.

Without that education, integration doesn't happen so much. We end up with impoverished, self-segregated or forcefully-segregated ghettos.

France is *extremely* strict about illegal immigration. Perhaps you should research the laws and tactics they use to deal with it. They hunt down and deport illegal immigrants much more readily and reliably then the US does. The government of France has nearly zero tolerance for illegal immigration.

Likewise, so does the Netherlands, and a number of other European countries. But they also have immigration laws that, though may be as tough or tougher, are relatively sane, and also require a certain amount of education on the cultural differences. There was just an article recently about the Netherlands' practice of educating immigrants about casual European public nudity, as well as homosexuality. Why? To attempt protect the core values of tolerance that a country like the Netherlands enjoys.

Now, let me attempt to frame this issue in a perspective that perhaps you'll understand better:

There is evidence and discussion that illegal Mexican and Latino immigrants helped Bush win the Presidential Office. Twice. Many voting illegally. Reacting to the "threat" of gay marriage with Catholic morals, mostly. Reacting to the "threat" of the Pro-Choice movement with Catholic, Pro-Life morals, as well.

Didn't it ever strike you as odd that there were "VIVA BUSH" stickers everywhere during the last election? What the hell does some dumb Texan redneck care about a bunch of emigrant Mexicans and Latinos? What could he possibly offer them but good old Patriarchal values and chicken-hawk machismo? What, you think they voted for him for his compassionate views on immigration, social justice, public assistance and educational policy?

So it stands to reason that it might be entirely possible that illegal immigration is about a lot more than simply financial, employment or public resources.

It might be entirely possible that it could also be about cultural integration and the cultural values of those that are here legitimately, and the concern that they're being drowned out and shoved to the wayside by a segment of the population here illegally that does indeed have a lesser legal right to assert and shape those values and policies, and a lesser legal right to democratically vote and decide on those issues.

I'm all for immigration. I'm all for multiculturalism and polyglottism. I honestly and sincerely believe that our differences do make us stronger. But there's a right way to do it, and a wrong way.

And frankly, delmoi, your profile page says you live in fuckin' Iowa. I grew up in Los Angeles. As a pasty, moon-pale white nerd boy. I've lived in the ghettos in East Los Angeles, in Santa Ana, in a number of predominantly Latino, immigrant heavy districts. I don't feel that you have any sort of grasp of how destructive illegal immigration has been to Los Angeles. How overburdened the schools and hospitals are, how heavily taxed the public resources are.

While the multiculturalism is undeniably fantastic and pricelessly valuable, the grip of organized crime, of gangs, of cultural differences regarding housing, the environment, of intolerances to race and sexuality have transformed the face of Southern California in such a drastic way it often feels like it's ready to burst apart at the seams at the slightest provocation.

And my feelings about this have nothing to do with race or skin color. If you think I feel that, you obviously haven't read what I'm saying. As a youth, I lived in a small town in Mexico for 6 months building simple houses for people who lived in mud and stick houses. I cherish and appreciate a great deal of Latino culture, from facets as erudite as the writing of Pablo Neruda and the paintings of Diego Rivera and Sergio O'Cadiz, to as simple as enjoying fresh homemade tamales and empanadas bought from from quasi-illicit door-to-door sidewalk vendors.

I would feel the same way - frustrated and even frightened - if the majority of the problems that I've personally seen and have been personally effected by were being created by Russian illegal immigrants, or Arabic, or even the British.

It has nothing to do with race, and everything to do with the illegal over-burdening of an already taxed and underfunded system.

And, yes, I would like nothing more then to see less money spent on the bloody industry of warfare and paranoia, and more money spent on helping anyone we can. It kind of comes down to: "I'm willing and ready to share, but please don't steal."
posted by loquacious at 11:43 PM on March 26, 2006


As a native and current Angeleno, let me just say that anyone who hasn't actually witnessed the demographic and cultural change of this region over the past 20 years shouldn't be convinced of what they think the effects of this change has been or will be until they’ve actually lived in it.

Here's a little personal anecdote of what illegal immigration has meant to me:

My wife legally immigrated to the U.S. from Japan about 10 years ago. She worked very hard learning to speak and write in English fluently after arriving here, and worked her way through graduate school after we were married (I was on a bare sustenance postdoctoral salary at the time). She now works full-time as a prenatal genetic counselor for a large health care company that is now requiring her to take Spanish classes three nights per week while she works her 50-60 hour-per-week job, so that she can provide prenatal counseling for their many immigrant clients who can speak only Spanish. She says that, at a minimum, three-quarters of these people are here illegally and that the cost of virtually all of the services the company provides for them are borne by the state of California. To me that is an utterly absurd situation: my wife coming to this country through normal, legal channels; her becoming a fluent speaker of our language, working through graduate school to become a genetic counselor; then, while putting in very long hours working as a genetic counselor, to be required to put in an additional 10-15 hours per week to learn Spanish so that the company she works for can get MediCal money from the state by taking illegal immigrant clients who themselves most likely pay very little to the state in taxes! And then the children of those people automatically become citizens! The company loves it. They get more money and more patients who'll undergo any genetic test you suggest to them, and no defaults, since it's all on the state's tab. And they're not very likely to sue for malpractice, since A) they're illegal and B) they almost never have a level of education beyond middle school and therefore have little if any grasp of medical genetics.

She was originally hired because the company thought her ability to speak Japanese would be useful in getting them more Japanese clients. Since then, the company has almost completely dropped that idea and is now forcing her to learn Spanish since that's where the pregnant women and easy money are.

Loquacious, I didn't know you were a fellow pasty white former resident of Santa Ana. I don't miss that place at all, but it was good to experience living there, I suppose. The last thing I'd want for other parts of Southern California is replication of the Santa Ana experience.
posted by shoos at 12:47 AM on March 27, 2006


delmoi, in a thread about a month ago you commented,

It really amazes me how people who believe we should enforce our borders seem to have no idea how much actual economic damage that would case, far, far beyond the actual cost to enforce (which is a lot)

and I asked on what sources of information you based that robust claim. Since you might have missed my question there, could I ask you that one again?
posted by shoos at 12:58 AM on March 27, 2006


I also ask this question. I am open and willing to be educated.
posted by loquacious at 1:31 AM on March 27, 2006


What about people who were brought to the US as children? Did they conciously committ any crime? Why should they be punished for something which was done to/for them? They should at least be given the chance to apply for residency like any non-citizen, without their illegal status being held against them.

That said, the best solution seems to target people and companies which hire illegal immigrants, particularly if they do not follow labour laws regarding wages and safety. Otherwise you just keep going after the symptoms, not the cause of the problem.
posted by jb at 3:57 AM on March 27, 2006


The symptoms? You might look into the fact that there is a very steep gradient in per capita income at the U.S.'s southern border. I'm sure Canadians would love to hire millions of Americans at $4/hour to do their crap work, and Canadian companies to espouse the virtue of the "humble American worker" while they toil away for the companies' benefit. The reason that doesn't happen, Julie, is not because those potential employers don't exist, it is because Americans don't need to go to Canada to make $4/hour. Mexico is economically in shambles. That's the cause.
posted by shoos at 4:57 AM on March 27, 2006


For a country of immigrants, Americans sure are a bunch of fucking assholes about immigration.

disgusted.
posted by teece at 7:52 AM on March 27, 2006


I guess we're out of a delmoi followup today?
posted by shoos at 7:15 PM on March 27, 2006


teece, that was excellently put. Indeed, it was an analysis that demonstrates a profound understanding of the complex array of effects of illegal immigration on our country.
posted by shoos at 8:16 PM on March 27, 2006


shoos - I'm sort of confused, because as far as I know, American minimum wage is in places about $4 USD / hour, whereas illegal workers in the US are paid far, far less than that, eg picking tomatoes. (Heck, legal fruit pickers in Canada make less than $4).

Of course Mexico is poorer than the US, and wages are lower. I don't know about the Mexican economy, but that does not automatically mean that their economy is in "shambles". Wages are lower in Canada and New Zealand, both of which are lovely places to live. And, of course, many illegal immigrants in Canada come from the PRC, where the economy is booming and lauded by pundits all over the world. Booming on slave labour and the stealing of farmers' land, but booming.

The fact is that like prostitution, illegal immigration is driven as much by the demand in the goal country as it is by need among the immigrants. Clamping down on individual immigrants would just lead to other people coming to take their places. Clamping down on the people and businesses who abuse the situation the most - those who pay low wages and break labour laws - would reduce the demand for illegal labour altogether. If you can't save money hiring an illegal immigrant, then there will be fewer people hiring illegal immigrants and less reason for people to fight to come through here.

Also, like I said, I don't know much about Mexico's economy, but I do know about their environment, and Mexico's economy might be doing a bit better if the US would stop starving the northern farmers for water. It's a lot more complicated than "we good economy, deserve riches, they bad, pooh pooh on them". They also might do better if the US weren't denuding them of some of their labour.

teece - yes, very well put. (not sarcastic)

Off topic: shoos - Please do not refer to me by my first name as I do not know who you are and I find it rude. My first name and my email are both private, revealed only to metafilter members. I have a metafilter name you can use if you wish to refer to me. I would have contacted you by email, but you do not have any listed.
posted by jb at 12:39 AM on March 28, 2006


jesus freaking christ
posted by shoos at 2:48 PM on March 28, 2006


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