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once again, garrison keillor nails it - an albuquerque not animate be armada. — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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once again, garrison keillor nails it [Aug. 21st, 2007|02:03 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
"Most of the people who pick our beans and tomatoes are men and women forced to sneak across the border, and why? Because they're a security threat? No. So that we can get them cheap, that's why."

Think about that for a minute. Mexicans and other South Americans sneak into the United States, or die trying (literally) so that you can get cheap produce. And cheaper meat -- it's not even a secret that a lot of the workers at Iowa meat packing plants are illegal aliens.

On what sort of high moral ground does that put all the people who want to fence off the border, and ship all the illegals back to where they came from? "They broke the law, they deserve the consequences." If every illegal immigrant magically disappeared in a puff of smoke, not only would our cities look like they were on fire, the economy would grind to a halt.

I personally don't care if people come here illegally, and if any illegal immigrant wanted my help staying here I'd give it to them. There are laws, and there are Laws -- and the capital L laws -- succinctly captured in the Beatitudes, the Ten Commandments, and First Corinthians 13 -- say nothing about about borders or nations.

Fuck the border. Fuck Tom Tancredo and Lou Dobbs and the rest of those pasty-faced racist bastards.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: clobby
2007-08-21 07:24 pm (UTC)
I just think illegal immigrants should be sent back to their countries if they get caught doing something illegal here (and no, I don't mean just their presence in the country). If we had sent Jose Carranza back to his country after he committed his first crime, those three college-bound kids wouldn't have been executed in Newark the other week. Instead, we allowed this man to build an impressive rap sheet in America before he was able to cut these people's lives short.

That's the real issue.
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2007-08-21 07:37 pm (UTC)
People are regularly deported for committing crimes. Unfortunately, legal residents are regularly deported for committing non-violent crimes. While I agree that criminals here illegally should be deported, I don't think it would be good to end up deputizing every Barney Fucking Fife local cop to the the INS. They don't need any more reasons to harrass brown people.
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[User Picture]From: clobby
2007-08-21 07:44 pm (UTC)
Yes, but again it's a tragedy that a man who was here illegally and already accused of raping a girl from the ages 5-9 (Jose Padilla) wasn't extradited before he was able to shoot three kids in the head execution style. Why does he deserve the time and money of our justice system?
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[User Picture]From: clobby
2007-08-21 07:47 pm (UTC)
Jose Carranza--oops! I'm mixing up my lowlifes.
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[User Picture]From: wangenra
2007-08-21 11:51 pm (UTC)
I see this. We had a case recently where an illegal immigrant who had been arrested and jailed twice for DUI, ended up committing murder of a 15 year old girl. He was on the INS radar, but they hadn't done anything of a violent nature, or anything that was felonious, so he was never deported.

As an ESL (English as a second language) teacher, I have a majority population of Latino students, and while I cannot ask their legal status, I would guess that 95% of my students (or their parents)are illegal.

Most of my parents are incredibly hard working, fantastic people that have great values and morals. Many of them hold two full-time jobs, and a third part-time job so that they can make ends meet. Unfortunately, the lack of having a parental figure at home leads many of my students into issues like joining gangs. Regardless of this, I love working with my ELL kids-legal and illegal, especially my gang members. :)

With the job that I have, I personally think the more the merrier! The illegal immigrants ensure that I have job security. ;)
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2007-08-22 04:12 am (UTC)
I guess my other comment is this: Immigrants are NO more likely to commit crimes than citizens, and in fact they are less likely -- they want to stay out of trouble so they don't get deported.

Certainly I can see deporting people convicted of crimes as a good thing, but when someone brings up illegal immigrants, it's rather a red herring to talk about the criminals among them because they're as well or better behaved than those of us that we can't get rid of short of executing them.
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[User Picture]From: moog55
2007-08-22 05:20 am (UTC)
>I guess my other comment is this: Immigrants are NO >more likely to commit crimes than citizens, and in fact >they are less likely -- they want to stay out of >trouble so they don't get deported.

Wrong. Check your facts.

"The U.S. Justice Department estimated that 270,000 illegal immigrants served jail time nationally in 2003. Of those, 108,000 were in California. Some estimates show illegals now make up half of California's prison population, creating a massive criminal subculture that strains state budgets and creates a nightmare for local police forces."

"Citing an Urban Institute study, director of research for the Center for Immigration Studies Steven Camorata noted in 2004: "Roughly 17 percent of the prison population at the federal level are illegal aliens. That's a huge number since illegal aliens only account for about 3 percent of the total population."

Deport the fucking lowlife scumbags. We're a nation of immigrants, but my relatives and likely your relatives too came here legally by way of Ellis Island. My wife is an immigrant to this country that came here legally. We jumped through a few hoops, filled out some paperwork and she can live here now. Anyone is welcome by me to immigrate to this country so long as they do it legally like millions of other Americans have done.

Stop being an apologist for anyone that is a parasite on the necks of law-abiding, tax-paying *legal* Americans.

I'll gladly pay triple the price for my produce and meat. In the long run I'd be saving money.

Your "fuck the borders" attitude is really troubling. You seem to be concerned about higher food prices, and the economy grinding to a halt. The results of an open border policy would lead to consequences far graver than that. Be careful what you wish for.

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From: elkay
2007-08-22 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'll gladly pay triple the price for my produce and meat. In the long run I'd be saving money.

A good point. The societal costs of illegal immigration are maybe inestimable, but certainly there, and aren't made up by the cheap fruit and veg we get to buy.

I feel like people fail to sort out the emotional issues surrounding immigration from the sustainability of either a really hardline or 'fuck the borders' type policy. Of course no one wants to hear of salad pickers dying in a railway car or Africans being thrown off of boats in the Mediterranean, only to wash up as dead bodies in Spain. We have to address the issues that cause these problems and the issues that cause desperate, disillusioned people to arrive in a country illegally and feel that committing crimes are OK or that there's nothing worse that could happen to them that they haven't already endured.

On a more pesonal note, I've migrated twice (OK the first time someone else managed the paperwork for me) and worked the legal route for immigration in two first-world nations. It's not fun but not impossible either. I might become a dual-national in the next year, too!
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2007-08-22 02:58 pm (UTC)
> Wrong. Check your facts.

OK I went out on the Interweb and checked my facts, and I think that it's a much murkier picture than the one you substantiate by quoting from a Newsmax article. I'm willing to accept that I'm wrong, but it would take more time than I have to devote to the question to come up with a definitive answer.

Suffice it to say, for every right-wing site complaining about the illegal alien criminals, there's a pro-immigration site citing different statistics to prove the opposite point. I don't actually trust either source. California is a unique problem -- the gang culture there is the product of more factors than gardeners and construction workers sneaking across the border.

> Your "fuck the borders" attitude is really
> troubling. You seem to be concerned about
> higher food prices, and the economy grinding
> to a halt.

My concern is not for higher food prices. I would (and do) gladly pay more for food that was produced in a way where everyone in the supply chain is treated fairly. Whenever possible I buy locally grown, organic produce, for a variety of reasons.

The point I was trying to make was the disconnect between people banging the anti-immigration drum, and the lives of the people who come here illegally to work. They risk their lives for our lettuce and grapes. If there wasn't work they wouldn't come. Once they're here they're treated poorly. The fact that certain industries run almost entirely on illegal immigration hasn't been addressed. It's not clear who would do the jobs they do, if we sent them all home.

Do the math -- if all the illegal immigrants left, there aren't enough legal residents out of work to cover their jobs, since illegals comprise more than 4.5% of the work force. And, what percentage of those out of work would be willing or able to do those jobs?

It's just not a black and white issue. My personal sympathies are based on meeting and getting to know illegal immigrants, and seeing the shit they've gone through to take care of their families. There should be a safe, legal way for these workers to come to the US, and at this point there isn't.

There has to be some sort of sane immigration policy that keeps the country secure, allows in enough workers to do the work that needs doing, and isn't just another way to shit on brown people in the name of Free Market Capitalism. I'm open to suggestions.
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[User Picture]From: clobby
2007-08-22 03:10 pm (UTC)
Sorry, but your "locally grown produce" is likely also picked by illegal immigrants. I read an article this morning saying that although New York State is having another wonderful apple crop this year, they're afraid that they won't have the bodies to pick all the apples because the state is really cracking down on immigrants.
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[User Picture]From: angryrobot
2007-08-22 05:32 pm (UTC)
A real concern is how the US based worker-android MFRs are going to keep up with the smaller, more fuel efficient models the Japanese are rolling out.
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From: elkay
2007-08-21 08:55 pm (UTC)
It's funny isn't it, how people want cheap goods produced by illegal labor but don't want to face the reality of there being illegal immigrants?

We have that problem here, particularly with bagged/pre-cut/packaged vegetables. People just don't want to face how expensive everything was if it was made using legal labor. And then they don't want there to be immigrants either.

You can't have it both ways, people.
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[User Picture]From: dica
2007-08-22 04:22 am (UTC)
Sure you can! That's why China exists.
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[User Picture]From: optic
2007-08-22 05:26 pm (UTC)
why not just increase legal immigration? I like having a border (and, e.g. getting to decide which murderers and terrorists to keep outside it), I just think we should let more people across it (and remove the incentives for people to cross illegally, e.g. by cracking down on people who hire cheap illegal labor).

your position doesn't make any more sense than dobbs's, and it's just as racist -- he wants to kick out all the brown people, you want to keep them here in a shadow economy where we can pay them extra low wages.
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[User Picture]From: angryrobot
2007-08-22 05:29 pm (UTC)
I would like to subscribe to your quarterly mailer and would be interested in helping round up undesirables to work in the salt mines.
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[User Picture]From: optic
2007-08-22 05:31 pm (UTC)
oh theyre not undesirables. stupid sexy migrants
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[User Picture]From: chaircrusher
2007-08-22 05:33 pm (UTC)
Actually I agree with you 100%. I don't want to keep anyone here in a shadow economy, or pay them low wages, I just sympathize with their life and don't see how further abusing them does anyone any good.

Obviously my original post doesn't say exactly what I feel on the topic, because I didn't recognize my own feelings in what you and ptr took away from it.

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[User Picture]From: optic
2007-08-22 05:40 pm (UTC)
you don't agree with me 100%, since I think we should have a border and you don't. I think we should be trying to monitor who goes in and out, which would be easier if there weren't an industry devoted to sneaking people in and out. get rid of the jobs, make legal immigration easier, and that industry goes away.

anyway, your post perfectly conveys what you feel on the subject, which is that you own the moral high ground and people who disagree with you are evil bastards. what it doesn't clearly convey is what you think on the subject, if anything.
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