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August 19, 2010 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Immigration crackdown creates insecure communities. The Makers of DeportationNation have a new report out calling into question the idea behind Secure Communities. Meanwhile, more immigrants are deported under Obama than Bush.
posted by history is a weapon (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, that's depressing. Looks like these folks are working to do something about it in Arizona.
posted by aniola at 5:10 PM on August 19, 2010


The liberal says if you start deporting every undocumented worker you arrest, then undocumented workers will be afraid to talk to the police and their communities will be governed by gangs and criminals. The conservative says if you deport all the illegals then this won't be a problem since the illegals will go home. Guess which attitude would prevail in a popular referendum. Of course the sad reality is it would just drive illegals further underground. Can't risk you leaving the restaurant amigo you might get picked up by INS. Also I'll have your paycheck next week I promise. I sent some money to your mother for today. Oh and I'll have to raise the rent on the upstairs apartment again. Maybe you can pull an extra shift washing dishes to cover it.
posted by humanfont at 5:30 PM on August 19, 2010 [2 favorites]


If even Bush couldn't get any traction on an immigration compromise, do you have a chance with an Obama administration? they seem to have no will to address this, although there's a chance I'm missing a huge centrist push?
posted by shinybaum at 6:12 PM on August 19, 2010


history is a weapon: ore immigrants are deported under Obama than Bush.

Damn that's depressing. Somebody remind me again about Obama not being conservative?
posted by paisley henosis at 6:46 PM on August 19, 2010


Somebody remind me again about Obama not being conservative?

Obama's not conservative. He's a moderate who's being challenged by conservatives on a wedge issue in an off-cycle election year; see also Clinton and DADT.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:30 PM on August 19, 2010


Bush didn't need to deport anyone to win conservative votes; he was pretty much guaranteed them. Obama is basically guaranteed the liberal vote on similar grounds: "who else are you going to vote for?" And so he panders to the middle, which on this issue is anti-illegal-immigrant/pro-deportation.

Welcome to the two-party system.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:41 PM on August 19, 2010


Obama is basically guaranteed the liberal vote on similar grounds: "who else are you going to vote for?"

Which is why he's going to be impeached in 2011 -- because those he's counting on to vote for Democrats -- "who else are you going to vote for?" -- aren't even going to show up at the polls.

And the first order of business under the GOP congress will be impeachment. As will the last order of business.
posted by eriko at 8:42 PM on August 19, 2010


I don't understand this and I never have. The default liberal position is that people who entered the country illegally should just be allowed to stay here? Why? I consider myself to be a liberal, but this one never made any sense to me. If you're a non-citizen, you don't just get to decide that our immigration laws don't apply to you.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:14 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't understand this and I never have. The default liberal position is that people who entered the country illegally should just be allowed to stay here? Why? I consider myself to be a liberal, but this one never made any sense to me. If you're a non-citizen, you don't just get to decide that our immigration laws don't apply to you.

No, the default liberal position is more like "If you have an economy that's built around having super-cheap illegal labor, you don't blame the impoverished people who are trying to survive by taking those jobs. And once someone's part of your community, you don't exile them."

We caused illegal immigration. And when I say "we" I mean "those of us who enjoy cheap food, cheap construction, and many other very inexpensive goods and services." Why the hell should we punish people just trying to get by, for giving us what we want?

Also, it's almost impossible to actually locate and deport the entire undocumented population without turning the US into a "Papers please" police state, especially for people who are unfortunate enough to look, you know, kinda brownish. See: Arizona.
posted by Tomorrowful at 9:25 PM on August 19, 2010 [7 favorites]


1adam12: I think the short answer is that laws restricting immigration are daft, since immigration strengthens the country and restricting it weakens it. I think most people who oppose the criminalization and deportation of undocumented immigrants recognize that — the whole "nation of immigrants" idea runs deeper than it seems, I think. Well, that, and also there's a recognition of the humanity and general decency of the people caught up in the system.

Basically, in this case the law is dumb and bad and should be opposed.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:39 PM on August 19, 2010


Yeah, the reason you don't see anyone proposing making it easier to immigrate as a solution to illegals is because the conservative position is anti-immigration, full stop.
posted by breath at 10:23 PM on August 19, 2010 [3 favorites]


To say the conservative position is anti-immigration is utterly bullshit. They are anti legal immigration. They are quite happy to have illegal immigration, as it keeps those brown people easier to control, and provides grounds to dispose of deport anyone making a fuss, such as about working conditions or rates of pay.
posted by Goofyy at 11:17 PM on August 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


To say the conservative position is anti-immigration is utterly bullshit. They are anti legal immigration. They are quite happy to have illegal immigration, as it keeps those brown people easier to control, and provides grounds to dispose of deport anyone making a fuss, such as about working conditions or rates of pay.

What an utterly bullshit statement. The "conservatives" aren't the ones that don't think they're capable of becoming legal citizens.
posted by deep thought sunstar at 11:48 PM on August 19, 2010


I didn't realize your conservatives admired the French so much.
posted by adamvasco at 12:15 AM on August 20, 2010


Whose conservatives?
posted by deep thought sunstar at 12:25 AM on August 20, 2010


The "conservatives" aren't the ones that don't think they're capable of becoming legal citizens.

I can't understand this. Can you clarify a bit? There are conservatives who support open borders and amnesty for current illegals, but they do seem to rely on a more kindly-stated version of Goofyy's point.
posted by mediareport at 5:34 AM on August 20, 2010


I'm tired of commentary on this subject from those whose jobs would never be impacted by a flood of people who'll work for lower wages and salaries. Maybe journalists and academics should face a tide of BBC-trained producers and Oxford dons who'll work for minimum wage or less.
posted by Ideefixe at 10:06 AM on August 20, 2010


Ideefixe, the flip-side to your comment is the ruthless exploitation of many of these workers by employers who abuse them, often to the point of slavery-like conditions. Are you tired of that, too? That they find themselves facing those conditions with no legal recourse whatsoever is hardly reason to attack them. If anything, we should be working to help them get better wages for the shitty work they do - and, yes, that few other legal citizens seem to want.
posted by mediareport at 3:18 PM on August 20, 2010


since immigration strengthens the country and restricting it weakens it

Um, I'm going to have to go out on a limb and disagree there, at least if that's being put out as some sort of always-true, universal truth. A slack labor market is about the most socially corrosive thing imaginable. I don't see any way to avoid such a surplus without restrictions on immigration, unless we're going to effectively force the U.S. to undertake a full-employment-for-the-world policy. (Which is ridiculous, as it would require the U.S. to assert even more control than it already does over the economies of other states.)

The economic conditions which allowed us to have low unemployment and also have what amounted to an open-borders policy where we "brownsourced" unpleasant jobs to a revolving-door underclass rather than pay market wages were a sham. It was the seamy underbelly of the "knowledge economy" fantasy, and it was never real.

The jobs currently performed, in large part, by illegal laborers for sub-minimum wages, like picking fruit or tarring roofs or slaughtering cattle or any number of other less-than-pleasant jobs, ought to be filled by people making far more than minimum wage (to make up for the unpleasantness), and paid for by a commensurate rise in the price of various goods. But in order to make that happen, the near-infinite supply of labor needs to go away or at least be sharply curtailed.

On one hand, yes immigration is a good thing and healthy economies are always in need of people with in-demand skills who are at the top of their game. But on the other hand, there are a huge number of under/unemployed people in the U.S. right now, or people in industries that have questionable futures ahead and may need to transition. We have a lot of things that we need to do in terms of getting our house in order before we can continue playing temp agency to the Western Hemisphere. The alternative — and we are already part of the way there — is the creation of a class of structurally unemployed, embittered non-workers who will take out their anger (sometimes via the political system, sometimes directly) by directing it at immigrants, and in the long run that is worse for everyone.

The best thing we can do for immigration, in terms of creating a high quality of life for everyone who does get in, may well be to restrict it; if we don't, and unemployment stays high and wages stay low, I can imagine things getting very ugly. At the end of the day, I would rather live in a society with tightly managed immigration than one with high unemployment, violent xenophobia, and constant nativist-immigrant tensions, and that's pretty much where I see the U.S. heading if we don't get the domestic blue-collar economy back on a sustainable track.
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:30 PM on August 22, 2010


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