Securing our borders, militia style
October 30, 2006 7:51 AM   Subscribe

Worried about that border fence? While you'd be in good company, it doesn't look like any money has been appropriated for this project. More worried about the fence not being built? That's ok, because enraged citizens are taking the task onto themselves.
posted by shownomercy (79 comments total)

 
"Over 1 Mile of Fencing Built!" for photos.
posted by shownomercy at 7:56 AM on October 30, 2006


The fences these people are putting up are a joke, but as long as they're done on private land it's fine with me.

The ironic thing, most of these people are upset with Kelo and the government coming in and taking people's land, but they have no problem doing it in order to sate their xenophobic fantasies.

Still, it's pretty helarious that the fact this is an 'unfunded mandate' came out before the election. These guys hate government already, and the fact that the goverment is republicans means they'll hate the republicans too. This could be really bad for republicans.
posted by delmoi at 8:01 AM on October 30, 2006


Ah, let 'em have their fun. As long as no one's looting the treasury or misappropriating public land for this, I don't see the harm. Certainly, it's not slowing anyone down, and if it makes them feel better for having tried, then why the hell not.
posted by chicobangs at 8:10 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


North & (most) South America should join Schengen^, or similar. People who have grown up in developed should be free to travel.

I suspect fewer mexican immigrants would stay if they could come & go easily, as aweful lot have plans back in Mexico once they earn some capital.
posted by jeffburdges at 8:21 AM on October 30, 2006


Enraged citizens. Awesome.

Americans, to your post hole diggers! Mexicans are to blame for all of your problems!
posted by psmealey at 8:27 AM on October 30, 2006


Can't even afford binoculars?


posted by public at 8:31 AM on October 30, 2006


I was reading a while back about the POW camp that the movie "The Great Escape" was based on. This camp had a series of fences, was paroled by Nazis with assault rifles, and was watched 24/7 by machine gun towers.

And yet, like most jails, people escaped.

Now....... Take away the towers, and the constant patrols, and the threat of punishment, and you have the proposed fences. Yeah....... That's gonna work.

Also - I live in San Diego, which has more fences than any other section of the border. We also have one of the largest populations of illegal immigrants.

I don't see how any reaction to such fences that didn't include pointing and laughing could be credible. Didn't we invent the scientific method a few millennia ago? How can people look at fences not working and decide to build more fences?

Meanwhile, it's easy to get documents and someone at the INS gets fired every time they raid a business.
posted by WoWgmr72 at 8:33 AM on October 30, 2006


I'm all for anyone doing anything militia-style, no matter how much I'm against a government doing the same thing with.

Still, their slogan should probably be "0.05% Complete and Going Strong" or maybe "Stopping Illegals from Stealing our Jobs with a Modicum of Barbed Wire".
posted by shownomercy at 8:39 AM on October 30, 2006


WoWgmr72: "Didn't we invent the scientific method a few millennia ago? How can people look at fences not working and decide to build more fences." and "I live in San Diego."

You're new to the US, right?
posted by mosessis at 8:39 AM on October 30, 2006


Q: How can people look at fences not working and decide to build more fences?

A: DEY TERK ARRR JERBS!!!
posted by psmealey at 8:53 AM on October 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


Mr. Asshat, tear down this fence!
posted by taosbat at 9:16 AM on October 30, 2006


Didn't we invent the scientific method a few millennia ago?

It's arguably only been refined to actual science in the 20th Century.

Still, regardless of when it was invented, its actual application remains rare when it comes to matters of public policy.

Something it shares in common with Christianity.
posted by namespan at 9:27 AM on October 30, 2006


The fence is a corrupt corporate supply-side bandaid for a conservative bystander society, offered in part because demand-side solutions have been demonized as direct government or big labor (despite being preventions that don't assume the longterm existence of the problem). If we just monitored permanent workplaces for documented labor as we do for safety violations, there would be no noticeable demand for it. Immigration as a border problem currently ranks as the biggest conservative fraud perpetrated on the US, but closely followed by the supply-side drug war and supply-side energy laws.
posted by Brian B. at 9:28 AM on October 30, 2006


Brian B. has it. Hey! You supply! Stop filling demand right now! We really mean it this time!

If you want to restrict illegal immigration in America, start fining companies 10% of their income every time they get caught hiring someone for less than minimum wage.
posted by vorfeed at 10:07 AM on October 30, 2006


I'm frankly more worried about the fence keeping me in the US, than the fence keeping others from coming in.

To echo taosbat, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"
posted by Peter H at 10:13 AM on October 30, 2006


"Here we are in the midst of an economic mega-boom and we're building fences," said Laredo Mayor Raul Salinas. "What ridiculous symbolism. Here we are tearing walls down around the world and we're putting up walls."

The last part of that quote sums it up for me.

Meanwile, there's activity on the other border. We must respond to all of that smuggled back bacon. Or maybe these guys represent a threat to our liberties.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:14 AM on October 30, 2006


Yeah. GO Brian B. All those militia dudes should get out and start picking vegetables. Once the veggie picking jobs are all gone, there won't be anything for the Mexicans to do! That'll teach 'em!
posted by GuyZero at 10:21 AM on October 30, 2006


It's arguably only been refined to actual science in the 20th Century.

Eh, the term "scientist" was invented in the 1700s or something to refer to people who were scientists but not "Natural Philosophers"
posted by delmoi at 10:22 AM on October 30, 2006


Oh yeah, a fence on the Canadian border. Believe me, we'd love to have one.
posted by GuyZero at 10:23 AM on October 30, 2006


-Illegal immigrants use social services (welfare, medicare, etc.), emergency services (police, firefighters), hospital services, public schools, and infrastructure (buses, trains, lightrail) without paying for them. Our federal and state taxes go to fund these important programs, and illegal workers do not pay those taxes. An imbalance of 20 million people (and counting) using these without paying for them can not be sustained.

-Wage depression. The average salary for a meatpacker in 1980 (adjusted for inflation) was $19/hour. It is now $9/hr. This creates a much lower standard of living for American workers, and for Mexican immigrants. It's not fair to either of them, and it's only going to get worse the longer we let businesses get used to the guest-worker system.

-Loss of economic stimulation. The majority of the money that illegals make here in the U.S. does not go back into the economy, it is sent back to families in Mexico ($16.6 billion). That's a tremendous drain on the economy, and once again, can't be sustained.
posted by mikoroshi at 10:26 AM on October 30, 2006


Those are all valid concerns, mikoroshi. But *A FENCE* is the answer? 225 plus years of American democracy/public policy evolution, and the best we can come up with is a fence?
posted by psmealey at 10:32 AM on October 30, 2006


I only like the free market when I'm the one doing the exploitation, dammit!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:33 AM on October 30, 2006


what are the other options? amnesty? that's like sweeping it under the rug.
Some sort of visitor work card program? what could the incentive possibly be to sign up for that? "you sign up and we'll let you work but we'll tax you", doesn't sound appealing when you're already working tax free. one of the reasons illegal immigrants work for such "low" wages is that they aren't making all that much less, and sometimes more, than if they worked for normal wages and then paid state and federal taxes on them. there's no incentive for the illegal employer there either.
posted by mikoroshi at 10:43 AM on October 30, 2006


Our federal and state taxes go to fund these important programs, and illegal workers do not pay those taxes.

Because companies hire illegal workers and pay them off the books, with no records. Instead of a fence, if we had some kind of guest worker program that would enable us to tax these people then they would be contributing and if we had some means of forcing compliance by industry, such as fines for improper documentation and hiring, then we could eliminate unfair competitive advantage. But no, let's build a fence instead.
posted by spicynuts at 10:44 AM on October 30, 2006


They could probaby get the fence finished faster, cheaper, and better if they hired illegal aliens to build it.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:44 AM on October 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


This reminds me of a joke I heard recently:

So one day a preist and a rabbi are taking a walk when they come across a man building a meager fence in the middle of the desert. "What are you doing, young man?" the preist asks.

"I'm building a fence to keep the illegal immigrants out of our country so they don't steal our jobs!"

"You do realize that most illegal laborers are smuggled in by American businesses and those paid by them vs. actual 'border jumpers', right?" The rabbi inquires

"Hmm." The man says. "Looks like I'm gonna need some more barbed wire."

Then the preist says "Did you ever think that maybe the solution would be to enforce labor laws and encourage more rigorous inspections on American businesses, especially in the agricultural, textile and manufacturing fields, and eliminate the incentive for business to hire illegals, and ultimately decrease the appeal to Mexicans of coming into this country illegally?"

The man replies "Oh don't be silly, that would never work." and then resumes builidng his fence.

...

Yeah the punchline is this fucking country.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:47 AM on October 30, 2006 [3 favorites]


Some sort of visitor work card program? what could the incentive possibly be to sign up for that?

The incentive would be obey the fucking law so we as a country get re-imbursed for the services you are using while we enjoy the fruits of your labor or get your ass shipped back. It's called enforcement. Maybe if we did some of that on the industry side instead of pretending it's the fault of the workers we'd have less of this problem.
posted by spicynuts at 10:51 AM on October 30, 2006


For what it's worth, Canada has a migrant worker program like the one you're describing. Not everyone loves it, but it does seem to fit the needs of the market - there simply aren't enough people available to pick all the produce during the short growing seasons in much of Canada. Workers in the program make about $8.30 CDN an hour.
posted by GuyZero at 10:54 AM on October 30, 2006


mikoroshi - I don't see much argument here for the idea that illegal immigration is a good thing. So I'm wondering if you have an argument you can attach to those rebuttals.

And if you feel this strongly about illegal immigration you should be very pissed off about this fence thing. It's basically your government giving you a pat on the head because they lack the will to address the problem directly.

Straight up - You don't need any fences at all if employers are even marginally worried about being fined for hiring illegal immigrants.
posted by WoWgmr72 at 10:56 AM on October 30, 2006


Former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY) recently gave an NPR interview on his 8-year failed effort beginning in the 1980's to get a national ID card and registry, and he said, flat out, that it was killed on the right at the grassroots level. Ironically, the same system could be used at airports today.
posted by Brian B. at 11:11 AM on October 30, 2006


Cool. They allow browsing of the images directory. All kinds of interesting stuff including receipts and online transaction reports.
posted by tippiedog at 11:18 AM on October 30, 2006


what could the incentive possibly be to sign up for that? "you sign up and we'll let you work but we'll tax you", doesn't sound appealing when you're already working tax free.

They're paying taxes already:
In 2003, $7.2 billion in taxes were credited to the [social security] trust fund based on wage items placed in the suspense file, according to Social Security Administration. This represented about 1.3 percent of total payroll taxes credited to the trust funds. The $7 billion amount has been holding relatively steady in recent years. cite
Now, they say a little further down that they don't know how much of that money came from illegal aliens, but it's clear that a large chunk certainly does. These people are already paying a great deal into our economy that they're never going to get back.
posted by willnot at 11:20 AM on October 30, 2006



The incentive would be obey the fucking law so we as a country get re-imbursed for the services you are using while we enjoy the fruits of your labor or get your ass shipped back.

yes, but where's the incentive to sign up when you're already using public systems for free?
i'm not saying the fence is the final solution, but there has to be a physical deterent that is then backed with more strict enforcment of the laws that are already in place, to which more manpower obviously needs to be allocated.
posted by mikoroshi at 11:27 AM on October 30, 2006


It is a myth that illegal aliens pay taxes. They usually get around it by declaring a large number of dependents, and when they do pay taxes legally with a tax number, they get them back. Then they draw services such as public education, which costs between 5-10K per child per year, and emergency healthcare. Estimated taxpayer cost per year for total immigration is between 11-22 Billion. This doesn't cover the cost to consumers of increasing demand on housing and decreasing wages.
posted by Brian B. at 11:35 AM on October 30, 2006


mikoroshi, A fence simply doesn't help. But just what how fast is stops if you just increase fines for businesses found employing illegals!

Fact is, buisnesses want the cheap labor provided by ilegal immigrants. So they buy the legislation making the use of illegal labor viable. And the same politicians talk about building a fence to keep the voters happy.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:47 AM on October 30, 2006


It is a myth that illegal aliens pay taxes. They usually get around it by declaring a large number of dependents, and when they do pay taxes legally with a tax number, they get them back. Then they draw services such as public education

I think you meant to say "It is a myth that US Corporations pay taxes. They usually get around it by declaring a large number of write offs, and when they do pay taxes legally (it is) with a biased tax code and cooked books" etc....
posted by Peter H at 11:47 AM on October 30, 2006


Number of dependents won't impact the amount you pay in social security taxes or in sales taxes. If there was an incentive to not lie (for instance the ability to work and live here for a time without fear of being kicked out), then it's likely they would be more honest about the other taxes as well.
posted by willnot at 11:49 AM on October 30, 2006


Brian B. writes "It is a myth that illegal aliens pay taxes."

Well, they certainly pay sales taxes. And property taxes (if they rent, their landlords pay property taxes). That's where a lot of funding for public education comes from...
posted by mr_roboto at 11:52 AM on October 30, 2006


Cool. They allow browsing of the images directory. All kinds of interesting stuff including receipts and online transaction reports.

wget'ting ask I type.
posted by MikeKD at 11:56 AM on October 30, 2006


yes, but where's the incentive to sign up when you're already using public systems for free?

I don't think you are following my reasoning. If there was proper ENFORCEMENT at both the industry and worker levels, the incentive would be 'if you don't sign up you get your ass shipped home'. Like this: significant fine per individual violation to any company found to be hiring unregistered guest workers equals 'if you aren't registered we won't hire you' equals 'i can't get hired AT ALL without registering and if I am found I will be shipped home' equals incentive to register.
posted by spicynuts at 12:02 PM on October 30, 2006


They could probaby get the fence finished faster, cheaper, and better if they hired illegal aliens to build it.

I've been thinking the same way about port security.
posted by Cyrano at 12:12 PM on October 30, 2006


there simply aren't enough people available to pick all the produce during the short growing seasons in much of Canada

Translation: The producers aren't willing to pay market wages that would attract enough workers, so they get a government grant that allows them to avoid paying the wages the market requires to produce their goods.

IOW, Canadian citizens are being taxed to suppress wages.

Stopping illegal immigrants from crossing is impossible. Seriously reducing the number of illegal immigrants is easy -- nail the people who give them money for being here, namely, the producers who use them.

That's the fundamental problem. Illegal immigrants come here to work because they are paid to do so. Producers hire them because they can work the hell out of them, pay them little, and not worry about things like health or safety, because if the cheap immigrant starts to complain, a quick call to La Migra solves that little problem instantly.
posted by eriko at 12:14 PM on October 30, 2006


My own completely uniformed opinion. Self link. I'm not proud.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:20 PM on October 30, 2006


eriko writes "IOW, Canadian citizens are being taxed to suppress wages."

But those suppressed wages keep prices low. In effect, it's a transfer of wealth from the Canadian manual laborers to the Canadian middle class. It's entirely possible that, in the final economic analysis, the middle class is getting their money's worth for those higher taxes...
posted by mr_roboto at 12:33 PM on October 30, 2006


mikoroshi:

unsustainable?
clearly, it seems to be pretty sustainable, since it is the status quo.

however, since you are crying wolf, tell us, are you a trained economist? the statistics and interpretation you offer, those come from a trained economist?

please, enlighten us.
posted by mano at 12:36 PM on October 30, 2006


speaking of which, all you uncontrollable knee-jerk xenophobes seem to have no problem with foreign investment in the US.

as far as stocks go, foreign investment flows in us stocks are currently running at about 10x what americans invest. ouchie. i wonder why people in the rest of the world arent saying things like

"so much of the money that our citizens (france, germany, norway, saudi arabia) does not go back into our economy, but gets invested in the US economy."

oh wait, now i remember.... its because their heads arent stuck up their asses.

PS: interestingly enough, while foreigners invest all tons of $ in the US, american fund flows are overwhelmingly going overseas. i wonder why these minutemen arent trying to build a fence around JP morgan, after all, think of how many billions they are "draining from the US economy" by investing abroad.
posted by mano at 12:43 PM on October 30, 2006


They're building a fence on private land.

Hey, if it doesn't keep illegal aliens out, at the very least it oughta keep livestock IN. There's a bright side to this. :)
posted by drstein at 1:12 PM on October 30, 2006


Brian B. writes "It is a myth that illegal aliens pay taxes."

Well, they certainly pay sales taxes. And property taxes (if they rent, their landlords pay property taxes). That's where a lot of funding for public education comes from...

The implication I was responding to was income taxes, but you raised another point. Illegal families typically live in more crowded conditions, making their property taxes minimal, and then they wire much of their money back home, not spending all of it here--a condition on par with exporting the job itself. To complicate matters, their children are more numerous and illiterate in English, requiring added special education to teach bilingually. And the cost of law enforcement at the border and elsewhere takes care of any taxes they might generate.

There simply is no free lunch when it comes to thinking that importing poor and undereducated people will solve any problems. To consider that we also deny and expel highly educated and highly productive immigrants who do apply for citizenship means that the current policy is either insane, or a subsidized labor union busting scheme.
posted by Brian B. at 1:45 PM on October 30, 2006


mano
just because it has been happening for a while doesn't make it sustainable, the very fact that illegal immigration has been on the upswing over the last decade is what makes it unsustainable.
wanting to control immigration doesn't make anyone a xenophobe, it makes them a concerned citizen. save yer big words for the scrabble championship.
on preview, Brian B. said it better.
posted by mikoroshi at 1:59 PM on October 30, 2006


Ironically, the trend in hiring aliens for doing everything from construction to restaurant jobs, means that growers have a harder time finding migrant pickers. The growers also speculate that many migrants may be moving into higher-paying sectors like construction.
posted by Brian B. at 2:04 PM on October 30, 2006


Anytime someone brings up the issue of border security or immigration control the debate inevitably starts off with a pro-security/immigration post and a plethora of replies screaming "racism! xenophobia!"

I cannot understand why people see immigration control as a xenophobic and racist stance. I, for one, have nothing against someone trying to legally immigrate into this country be they from Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe or otherwise.

People streaming across the border is a problem, as is the corporate practice of *hiring* illegals. Both issues need to be addressed in conjunction with one another.

Having lived in a European country with immigration issues right now (Spain), I can attest to the immense pain caused by rampant, unchecked immigration and the growing anger by the locals that threatens to boil over. Countries like France and Germany, with very large immigrant populations who have failed to assimilate into their host countries are displaying many of the same problems that we are encountering in the United States for the same reasons.

We would all love to think that open borders are a great thing, but below the surface of that great ideal is a very murky and dark emotion known as fear. When different people from different cultures with different values and norms begin to displace the native populations you are going to have problems.

The big failure here is that of leadership on the part of the Federal government. As I've said many times before: if the Feds don't implement some common sense policies to reduce tensions on the border, the citizens will. The building of a wall is tame considering what could be done.
posted by tgrundke at 2:22 PM on October 30, 2006


Anytime someone brings up the issue of border security or immigration control the debate inevitably starts off with someone talking about illegal immigrants as if they need to be controlled, like cockroaches or cattle, followed by people calling them on that kind of stance as being pretty hostile to a group of people who seem to really want to live here and maybe do some productive work.

I'm just saying.
posted by chicobangs at 2:57 PM on October 30, 2006


Brian B: the current policy is either insane, or a subsidized labor union busting scheme.

Either? Can't it be both?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:10 PM on October 30, 2006


Fear like, oh, maybe "an irrational fear of foreigners"?
posted by pompomtom at 4:46 PM on October 30, 2006


If you favor a guest worker program, would you then want to paths: one salary minimum for citizens, and another, at lower wages , for guest workers? The minimum as it is is horrible and has not been changed in ten years...so illegals are working for even less. As for fining those who hire illegals, how do you set about doing this? raid private homes and companies with search warrants? If you toss out a plan, at least tell us how it is to work.
posted by Postroad at 5:42 PM on October 30, 2006


700 miles of fence on a 6000 mile border. Huh.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 5:54 PM on October 30, 2006


OK Brian B, Mikoroshi let's talk about alternatives to your theoretical drain on society.

Currently the USCIS/ICE/CBP operate on a budget of around 11 billion dollars and estimate that they stop about 25% of illegal border crossings. In order to up the level of policing would require an exponential growth in funding. Even if it were an equal match between effeciency and funding (seen in soooo many Federal programs), to reach 100% would cost $44 billion not to mention the DHS would have to double its size if not more.

Sure, we could make a small portion of the costs back in USCIS fees, already sky high, but USCIS only accounts for about 10% of the funding needs.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:59 PM on October 30, 2006


mikoroshi:

by all means, dont let "big words", or reason, get in the way of an uninformed opinion.
posted by mano at 6:20 PM on October 30, 2006


I really wish we could still inline images because I'm itching to derail with this sweet ATV.
posted by heydanno at 6:57 PM on October 30, 2006


It is a myth that illegal aliens pay taxes. They usually get around it by declaring a large number of dependents, and when they do pay taxes legally with a tax number, they get them back. Then they draw services such as public education, which costs between 5-10K per child per year.

I always hear this but I don't get it... at what point does the illegal alien suddenly lack the birth certificates, drivers licenses, etc, needed to get tax benefits, public schooling, etc? Hell, I can't even get a goddamn post office box without needing two forms of government-issued ID.
posted by rolypolyman at 7:21 PM on October 30, 2006


Pollomacho wrote:
OK Brian B, Mikoroshi let's talk about alternatives to your theoretical drain on society.

Pollomacho, demand-side enforcement means to target the business demand for illegal labor, in order to quit chasing an illegal labor supply around the wilderness, only to give up when they get a job. Under any common sense demand-side proposal you could disband most of the border patrol and tear down all the fencing.

First, issue ID cards, as Sen. Alan Simpson's task force proposed, in order confirm hirable employees with a database at hiring. Next, fine any employer who pays employees under the table as tax fraud (beginning with government contractors and larger chains of business and repeat offenders). Notice that there is no need yet to discriminate on whether the person is a citizen or not. Third, exempt temporary labor, because temp work assumes that the job isn't stable and isn't an issue. This alone allows illegals to roam freely looking for work, but only a temporary type of work.

The above enforcement is self-funding. and eliminates the current trend of hiring anyone with a badly photocopied SS card and phony birth certificate. I would add that all state governments already raid businesses looking for uncertified food handlers. Imagine, if you can, the hypocrisy in letting them off as illegal hires after erecting a fence.

As for your opinions about the cost to society, this is not disputed by anyone. The feds don't care as much because local governments pay for it, and local governments are easily induced by the profiteers. I also find it rather stupid to bother to round up tourists or migrant labor who are in any country if they aren't taking any jobs and they pay their way--people can travel, and let anyone live here if they can without working. This is about the labor market, money and jobs, and the tax and benefit status of citizenship. There is no principle at stake in excluding aliens otherwise. Anyone who confuses this with racism are of the same mind, whether pro- or con-. Not you of course.
posted by Brian B. at 7:25 PM on October 30, 2006


They're building these fences about thirty or forty years too late. The invasion has already happened. Texas and southern California and Florida and pretty much every state of the union south of Kentucky is crawling with hispanics.

Oh? You say you're from the northern region and there's hispanics up there too? Oh really?

Let them build their fucking wall. Let them bury their heads in the sand. Let them breed with each other. Just do me one favor: STOP VOTING THESE FUCKING STUPID IGNORANT ASSHOLES INTO PUBLIC OFFICE! I'd be ever so grateful. While you're at it, tell the religious extremists of this world (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Rastafarian, etc.) to go to hell for me, willya? Gee, thanks.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:37 PM on October 30, 2006


border fence people have two main arguments (not mutually exclusive)...

a) illegally entered mexicans are ruining the country economically, because they drain our resources.
b) illegally entered mexicans are ruining the country culturally, because they are mexicans and we dont like their kind.

if its (a)... well, do some simple math. II = "illegal imigrants". (cost of II before solution - benefit of II before solution - cost of "solution" - cost of II after solution + benefit of II after solution). if this number is reasonably positive, then you have a reason to talk.

but border fencers dont really manage to constrain their debate to a logical examination of (a). mostly because thgey would lose pretty bad. debate doesnt center on what their proposed solution costs, instead they take for granted that we absolutely have to stop them illegal immigrants, cuz these mexicans are just ruining the economy.... they frame the debate as an economic concern when it comes to the toll illegal immigrants take, yet they dont talk about the costs of their own proposed "solutions".

anyway, just observing the interaction, their appeal doesnt is not a genuine economic appeal, since (a) is taken for granted and no cost-benefit analysis is seriously undertaken...

that leaves the conclusion that (b) - xenophobia, racism, chauvinism, retardation... is what motivates these people and what fills the vast empty spaces to bridge the gaps in this reasoning.
posted by mano at 8:27 PM on October 30, 2006


the way you know that economics isnt a concern for these retards:

where do they ever talk about the benefits of illegal immigration? where do they ever offer projections for the cost and effectiveness of their "solutions"?
posted by mano at 8:29 PM on October 30, 2006


Pollomacho, demand-side enforcement means to target the business demand for illegal labor, in order to quit chasing an illegal labor supply around the wilderness, only to give up when they get a job.

The federal government does not "quit" after undocumented aliens get jobs. This is simply a myth. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent each year rounding up hundreds of thousands of these people. I do agree, however, that they do not spend nearly as much time going after employers.

Fines require enforcement and sucessful prosecution. That requires an enormous police force and a larger legal system. Even if the employer has committed tax fraud, discovering it, proving it, enforcing it, prosecuting it and convicting it all costs money. Many employers are not actually committing tax fraud in the first place. Many forms of employment are vague and unpoliceable. An exclusion of temporary migrant workers, the obscure of these employment types, leaves these populations open to even further exploitation.

Unfortunately the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program database is a terrible failure at current rates of use. Adding many times more stress is not going to make these problems better.

As for your opinions about the cost to society, this is not disputed by anyone.

No, actually, this is disputed by quite a number of people. The cost to society of excluding populations from healthcare and education are far greater than a dollar amount placed upon them. But regarding simple economics, the fact is that these populations do add money back into the economy. They have to eat, they have to have shelter, they are not naked. Not to mention the fact that companies like phone providers and Western Union reap massive benefits from this population maintaining ties to their home countries.

Western Union alone reported over a billion dollars in revenue in the last quarter from transaction fees and foreign exchange fees (revenues up 12%!!). They also estimate they will pay $121 million in taxes on those earnings.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:45 PM on October 30, 2006


Pollomacho, illegals are everywhere in the US, working in the open, and nobody does anything. They have fake ID's. The verification of citizens for welfare is a failure? My point exactly. Wait you provided more:

Western Union alone reported over a billion dollars in revenue in the last quarter from transaction fees and foreign exchange fees (revenues up 12%!!). They also estimate they will pay $121 million in taxes on those earnings.

This is a blundering admission on your part. That means the US is bleeding billions of dollars, which is wired somewhere else instead of spent here as you would have us suppose. It's a disgrace. You think that Western Union catching a small fee on its way out of town is evidence of productivity? Simple economics aside indeed!
posted by Brian B. at 10:26 PM on October 30, 2006


the way you know that economics isnt a concern for these retards: where do they ever talk about the benefits of illegal immigration? where do they ever offer projections for the cost and effectiveness of their "solutions"?

Uh, because there isn't any benefit these days, and it wouldn't be the burden of those opposed to argue both sides anyway if they believed that the negative far outweighed any benefits, as we should assume in good faith. Furthermore, the costs and effectiveness of a solution is hypothetically assumed to be optimized.

In case you don't know this, nobody here needs to convince you of a reason or seek your permission to try to keep waves of non-citizens out of their country. To the contrary. It is not a policy--hence illegal. Maybe they have other visions and plans. Maybe they want less population. Maybe they don't like the exploitation of labor in their own country. Maybe they want Chinese or Indians instead.
posted by Brian B. at 11:11 PM on October 30, 2006


taosbat wins.
posted by NewBornHippy at 1:33 AM on October 31, 2006


Pollomacho, illegals are everywhere in the US, working in the open, and nobody does anything. They have fake ID's. The verification of citizens for welfare is a failure?

Prove it. How do you verify that the ID's are fake? Well, I'll tell you. State, local and federal agencies use a program called SAVE to verify if people from other countries are legal because they do not have the authority to determine a persons immigration status on their own. SAVE however does not work very well, as a matter of fact it sucks. SAVE is also supposed to be used to determine if a kid can go to school or a person can get a drivers licence and, yes, if someone can get welfare.

Next, how do you go about having a reason to approach a random person on the street and ask them for a nationally verifiable ID? Are they committing an obvious crime by working in public? Do we just stop all the dark people? Do we set up random ID checks in all cities and make everyone carry a national ID card? Who does the checking? Do we exponentially grow federal law enforcement agencies so that there are ICE officers in every community on patrol performing random National ID checks on all hispanics? What if the database that verifies ID sucks (as it currently does)?

I also find nothing disgraceful about people spending money as they see fit. I suppose Western Union's exorbitant transaction fees are a bit disgraceful, perhaps those wishing to wire money elsewhere should just place their cash in an envelope and mail it, of course then the US wouldn't get the tax benefits from Western Union. Still these people eat, the food does not come from their home countries. They wear clothes, bought at places like Wal-Mart, though I suppose the clothes are made in China. They live in shelters and pay rents and mortgages.

Their families back home buy food, that food is from where? Yeah, since the US is the bread basket of the Western Hemisphere the corn in their tortillas, yeah it comes from Iowa.

So what would happen if the money these foreigners spend on food didn't come from their relatives wiring it to them from the US? Well they might become hungry since they don't have the resources to supply their own food, that is a good formula for instability. In order to promote stability in the region the US likes to provide aid. This aid comes from tax dollars. This keeps the communists and such from taking over and making things generally unpleasant for us in Latin America.

Another solution for Latin Americans that are hungry is to grow and sell drugs that they sell to US teenagers. So Juan Valdez doesn't pick grapes in Cali-fornia he picks coca in Cali, Colombia.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:47 AM on October 31, 2006


tgrundke, the U.S.'s supposed immigration problems are nothing like Europe's. (I'm a U.S. sotherner living in France so I've seen both).

Europe consists of small socialist countries who social structure assumes cultural homogeneity. Of course they can't handle immigration well!! Nor should they if they value their existing culture. By Europe's standard, the U.S. doesn't even have a culture!

Europe should:
1) shutdown *all* migration from Africa & the Mid East, while allowing limited immigration from China & South America, as well as North America.
2) adopt aggressive integration measures: require language progress as a condtion of continued residency, tax non-native food stuffs, revoke all religious worker visas, ban religious schools, and ban the hijab in schools.
3) greatly increase fines for companies found employing illegals
4) declare the Canary islands outside Shengian & talk the Spanish & Italians into patrolling their boarders

Otoh, virtually all North & South American countires, including the U.S., should allow people who speak the local langauge, i.e. English in the U.S. and Spanish in Mexico, to enter & work freely.

Europe & the U.S. will never have the same immigration issues since they don't have the same cultural goals.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:00 AM on October 31, 2006


"Countries like France and Germany, with very large immigrant populations who have failed to assimilate into their host countries are displaying many of the same problems that we are encountering in the United States for the same reasons."

Yeah the same thing happened when we let the Irish into the US, Things havn't been the same since we let the fucking Mics into this country.
posted by afu at 4:04 AM on October 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


tax non-native food stuffs

Like potatoes, tomatoes, chocolate?

Europe should suck up the consequences of its colonial past, which paid for its marvelous cultural homogeneity. Karma's a bitch, right?
posted by signal at 4:25 AM on October 31, 2006


Past colonialism is irrelevant, its about present economics & culture.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:43 AM on October 31, 2006


This is a blundering admission on your part. That means the US is bleeding billions of dollars, which is wired somewhere else instead of spent here as you would have us suppose. It's a disgrace. You think that Western Union catching a small fee on its way out of town is evidence of productivity? Simple economics aside indeed!
posted by Brian B. at 10:26 PM PST on October 30


There's only so much money to go around! One day we'll wake up and it'll all be gone! Once it leaves the country it'll never come back! Oh lord!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 5:59 AM on October 31, 2006


Past colonialism is most definitely not irrelevant, as it's the cause of the present economics and culture, and of the immigration 'problem' and its resultant xenophobic backlash.
posted by signal at 6:29 AM on October 31, 2006


wow. this argument is missing the point. brian and affiliated dumbkoffs:

1) if you think "illegal" immigrants sending money abroad "bleeds the US economy", you are out to lunch. workers are hired to do a job because it creates profits for the employer. employers are not charities. in other words, if an illegal immigrant is making $, that usually means their american employers are making $ as well. and thats even before the immigrant decides how to spend the money. so, while theres a million other reasons why your economic 'analysis' falls flat on its face, this one in particular is so blatant as to suggest that you don't understand the rudimentary basics of business or economy.

2) if someone who earns a dollar wants to send it somewhere, that is their right. the money one earns is theirs to do with what you want, there are no restrictions that say the $ you earn in a country has to be spent there. and if those restrictions were commonplace, the US (not mexico) would be fucked, which brings us to the next point.

3) if you think the US economy is bleeding money, you have ZERO understanding of economics. period. the US economy sops up money like a sponge. its called the current account deficit. look it up.
posted by mano at 7:31 AM on October 31, 2006


No the immigration exists for more recent economic reasons.

Its also stupid to caricaturize the anti-migration possition as xenophobic. True xenophobes like Jean-Marie Le Pen^ consistently oppose real integrative measures, including the French headscarf ban^. People like Le Pen have remained political outcasts.

Europe has no problems with immigrants from Eastern Europe, South America, and China. Such immigrants integrate quite effectively. Problms only occur when immigrant communities want isolation.

I'm not completely sure why the U.S. doesn't have this problem, but I suspect its where the immigrant communities settle and fewer immigrant who wish isolation, and that the U.S. just simply doesn't expect people to integrate.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:38 AM on October 31, 2006


Another solution for Latin Americans that are hungry is to grow and sell drugs that they sell to US teenagers. So Juan Valdez doesn't pick grapes in Cali-fornia he picks coca in Cali, Colombia.

Pollomacho, you speak about some of these people as though they are a threat to our safety. I guess I'll take your word for it then. By the way, fake ID's is how they get the job at places like Olive Garden in the first place. If you didn't already know this, then you don't admit a problem, just a giant bureaucratic mistake. Let's assume the problem like before. Illegal immigration not only decreases wages for the same job and increases housing costs, but sends the money somewhere else to be spent against our economic interests, as you have proven.

Mano, it is not their right to send money abroad if they have no right to earn it legally. Not sure how you use the terms "illegal" and "right" in the same argument. The US is very serious about such terms having somewhat built a working legal system around them. Some countries even restrict the flow of money leaving the country for sound economic reasons. If you think it is good that the US is exporting money from illegal hires, then you aren't watching American news and economic commentary. Furthermore, American employers are the minority, and if they make money on the deal which is sent out of country, then that only explains why everyone else is getting screwed, not how anyone else is prospering by it.
posted by Brian B. at 8:35 AM on October 31, 2006


Some countries even restrict the flow of money leaving the country for sound economic reasons.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:39 AM on October 31, 2006


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