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Immigrants, Politics, Boycotts

Since I started in May reviewing comments from our readers, the battle over immigration is the subject that seems to draw the most venomous remarks with few rejoinders. It seems to me to be even more one-sided and toxic than the debate among our readers over the war in Iraq. The comments on three Washington area stories that converged today touch directly on the subject and underline the difficulties states and localities face when the federal government fails to find a federal solution to a federal problem.

First, Pamela Constable and Marcela Sanchez visited one of those unofficial job-hunting centers in Fairfax County and found that it's tougher for Latinos to get work and that what they do get is for less money. Meanwhile, in Frederick County, Md., Philip Rucker tells us that the governing board voted 3 to 2 to reject a proposal that would have denied public services including schooling to illegal immigrants. Finally, Cecilia Kang and Karin Brulliard report that a planned boycott called by Latinos to protest Prince William County Virginia's proposed crackdown on illegal immigrants appeared to have limited impact, with business as usual at construction sites, restaurants and retail stores.

The comments reflect anger for the simple reason that illegal immigrants are here illegally, fear that Real Americans are losing jobs because illegals will work for less, and a concern that Spanish is becoming a language that gets at least tacit governmental support in an English-speaking nation.

First the comments on the Day Laborers story.

maraalexander, responding to one person in the story who worried about losing employment and a mortgage, said, "...If you're here illegally, you have no right to be here. It follows that you have no right to jobs or mortgages either."

otiswaynehale wrote, "Send all that scab labor back where it came from. I feel their pain, but American labor first." rorschach added, "When I was a kid I used to mow my neighbors' lawns...But by the time I was about 14 the landscaping companies moved in and took all the jobs. I resented that. Mowing lawns used to be the job for young kids in jr. high and high school. So don't lie and say that no one would cut the grass if the illegals left."

Bob22003 said, "To the guy who is quoted as asking "What do we have to dream about now," try dreaming about obeying the law, like the rest of us do each and ever day to earn and keep our jobs."

And dogpatch asked, "When will the Washington Post and other left leaning news outlets come to admit that these people are here Illegally?...The tone of this article is one of hand-wringing. For God's sake, mow your own lawn!"

There was some sympathy for the situation in which illegals find themselves. RealChoices said, "The only real "crime" many of these guys committed is trying to earn a living to support their families... Contrary to the fiction peddled by the anti-immigrant crowd, wages wouldn't simply rise to a middle class level if all the illegals were gone. In some cases wages would be bid up, in other cases the jobs would just go away. Some lawns might not get mowed as frequently."

The action of the Frederick County board was not well received by many of our readers who comment, but there were also some expressions of support for the board's decision.

linguist64 wrote, "Frederick County, come on down! You're the winner of the local "Sanctuary County" award for our area! Congratulations!"

hyogo66 said, "Let me see if I understand this correctly, the taxpayer is footing the bill for Spanish/English interpreters for what purpose? To make the illegals feel more at home? Pathetic."

And superpatriot UnitedStatesofAmerica said, "I never needed illegal aliens to build houses or do anything else. I do need people to obey the law and prevent anarchy. If Fredrick and Maryland wants to be a sanctuary state and can get along without Federal tax dollars and Federal jobs, fine - all illegals can go there and start a new third world, slum/country."

But ivangroznii said, "Thank you, Frederick, for at least trying. If only Fairfax County would even consider this. If the Federal government won't enforce the law, I guess that leaves it to the states, counties and municipalities."

And oedrex1 said, "Human beings are human beings regardless of legal status. How many of your ancestors came to America legally, applying to the Native American tribes for their visas? Go back to Europe. Do not stop at home to collect your possessions. Get back on the boat. Racist jerks."

GoodAmerican observed that "No one should support or condone illegal immigration, but undocumented aliens did not create the problem. We did it in complicity with our Federal Government... There is no development anywhere in the Washington area that does not get build with over 50% of immigrant labor, much of it undocumented..."

That may be, but NPagliuca said, "I'm sure people will remember this on election day"

Finally, the comments on the Boycott that apparently fizzled.

islandhopper24 said, "Gee, they really showed us." And NorthernVirginian added, "It was a stupid idea, anyway."

BurtReynolds said, "So it seems like the immigrants are the only ones who lost. Maybe some people didn't get their landscaping done today."

We'll conclude with an exchange between matt5 and bobbobcat. matt5 wrote, "I'm not hispanic. I'm a WASPy white guy. I'm boycotting Potomac Mills and Prince William until they take this thinly veiled jim crow law off their books..." To which bobbobcat replied, "...Spoken like someone living in a place devoid of illegals. Come live with me in Manassas Park for a week and experience life in a town that has been ransacked by illegals and we will see how long you keep spouting your nonsense. With any luck they will take over your neighborhood. I will pray for that to happen."

All comments on the Fairfax County day labor story are here.

All comments on the Frederick County board action are here.

All comments on the Prince William County boycott are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  October 10, 2007; 9:50 AM ET
Categories:  Illegal Immigrants  
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Next: Immigration and War

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Posted by: Alexander Mcgowan | November 27, 2007 5:02 AM | Report abuse

Humans Are People Too
by Christopher Jon Batis

To label, designate, view, consider, describe or otherwise regard any human being as illegal or alien is fundamentally, inherently, patently, basically, and vehemently offensive, disgusting, evil, abhorrent, humiliating, inhumane, oppressive, derisive, and completely, universally devoid of any possible recognition of the divine, corrupting of the spirit, and absent of any decency or morality, and defamatory of creation.

Do we really consider ourselves so distinct from one another to the manner in which we breathe, bleed, feel and occupy space on this planet and our place in the universe?

Is it so difficult to recognize in each other the divinity from which we all emanate?; that we are all drops from the same ocean?; that we are all running out of the precious time we all have on this plane of existence and chose to waste it in the futility of micro-detailing our differences, focusing on the banality of our external traits, concentrating on the irrelevance of our geographical origins when most of us love our children, long for purpose, and, at one point or another, will exhale one last time?

National sovereignty is important, but must we approach the issues of immigration with such personal anger and hatred toward one another? Can we not approach the issues of our nation with the dignity this country should be recognized for?

Surely, as Americans, as leaders of freedom, we can approach the issues that affect us with personal integrity, intelligent discourse, and respectful regard for all lives, foreign or domestic, with the same respect we demand for ourselves?

The jury is out. May the verdict be fitting of the fair, the just, and the pursuers of happiness.

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Posted by: Reuben Bush | November 20, 2007 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The argument about illegal immigration is most often clouded by ignorance and misinformation on both sides. So here are some facts for those of us who would like to have a reasoned discussion on this issue.
1) The only reason that there are illegal immigrants is that starting in the 1920's Americas immigration policies were changed by imposing quotas by country of origin. Before that time anyone who could get to America was allowed to stay legally.
2) Our current system imposes uniform quotas by country of origin so people from Mexico have the same number of legal slots available as people from Bhutan, Chad, Mongolia etc. This means that for certain countries that have high immigration rates (Mexico, Columbia, Guatemala, and so on you get the picture) the waiting lists for legal entry to the USA are many years long and in some cases decades long. The legal country based visas that are not used are not reallocated to those countries that have the longest waiting lists because no provisions were made in the law to reallocate them. This means that every year there are unused legal visas from some countries with low rates of immigration, while the waiting lists from countries with high rates of immigration grow longer each year.
3) Our current immigration system allocates the vast majority of visas to people who have relatives inside the USA. This is done for "family reunification" so if you already have relatives here your "line" is much shorter than if you don't. This is done within each countries quota of legal visas so the competition is within the quota for each country to secure the highest possible place in the "line" and having family inside the USA is a big advantage.
4) Of the approx. one million legal immigrants allowed to enter the USA each year there are only 5000 (yes five thousand) visas that can be granted for unskilled labor. The estimated 500,000 illegal immigrants that enter the USA each year overwhelmingly work in the unskilled labor portion of the American economy so there is a fundamental mismatch between the criteria used to grant legal entry to the USA and the needs of the American economy (ie. what Businesses need).
5) In the 50's The United States had a border control problem with vast numbers (for that time) of illegal immigrants coming into the USA from Mexico to work. The Braceros program was created to allow American businesses to find and legally employ the unskilled Mexican workers they needed. Within one year of implementation of the Braceros program the rate of illegal immigration from Mexico was reduced to almost zero and the border control problem vanished. The Braceros program was disbanded due to financial "irregularities" (primarily south of the border I have been informed) regarding trust funds set up to benefit the workers, but from the standpoint of American business, the workers, and reducing (actually virtually eliminating)illegal immigration to the USA the program worked very well.
6) It is a basic principal of economics that wherever unmet demand exists a supply will be created to fill it. This demand will be filled legally if it is allowed (made legal) and the obstructions to filling the demand are not so difficult that the use illegal means becomes preferable either through greater profitability or necessity. So regardless of what laws are passed there will always be illegal immigration wherever there is a mismatch between the demand for labor and the legally available supply. Bureaucratic inefficiencies can also divert otherwise legal actions into illegal channels so getting the process right is also important.
The conclusion that I have arrived at is that our current immigration system is the real problem and illegal immigration is the response on the part of American businesses and unskilled laborers to fill their economic needs by evading an unworkable system. Our immigration laws are fundamentally flawed and need to be completely overhauled to bring them in line with the needs of the American economy in the 21st century. A "bad" or unworkable law can most easily be identified by the compliance rate of the populations affected. If a law is being ignored or evaded by those affected then the people are "voting with their feet" and expressing their view that this particular law cannot be complied with for whatever reason. This means that the law (or how it is being implemented) needs to be changed or modified. The focus on how a person enters the USA (legal vs illegal) is only important because it indicates how well the new immigration laws we pass (in the future) correspond with the real world needs of the American economy.

Posted by: just the facts | October 15, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Look at this article, reams of words about illegals who believe in double digit families and not one word about OVERPOPULATION.

. . . Overpopulation, the unspeakable issue.

Posted by: Coldcomfort | October 15, 2007 5:25 AM | Report abuse

I have yet to see an article/column benefit analysis assessment on illegal immigration by anybody in political office or the press? Let the American people read the c0ld hard facts and decide.

Posted by: ghostcommander | October 13, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Feaver, have you considered doing a poll of WaPo commenters. It would be interesting to see how their attitudes compare with the nation at large.

Posted by: Interested Reader | October 13, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

The way I see it, we have two complementary issues ... or rather, two issues with complementary solutions ... these are the immigration and social security issues ... as far as the so-called economic experts tell us, social security will not be viable in a few decades (fill in whatever the correct time frame might be) ... one potential solution to solving this problem is to expand the tax base ... this is going to happen anyway because of simple supply-and-demand ... that is, companies will be hampered to provide goods/services without a reliable and stable labor pool ... the immigration quotas will be modified as a result of this labor demand ... just remember the tech-boom of a few years ago and the demand for H1-B visas by corporate (tech) America ... one can argue that qualification requirements will be tied to the increase allocation of visas in order to attract qualified workers ... however, the US will be competing with the rest of the industrialized world for the same qualified individuals from all these countries that are causing heartburn to so many ... the smart thing would be to preempt the problem and be proactive so that we don't end up trailing our competition ... one approach to killing two birds with one stone would be to implement an immigration policy that would provide incentives to illegal aliens to get training in service areas in which labor shortages are projected ... this approach could be extended to K-12 education ... for instance, families with children having exemplary academic records could qualify easily for residency leading to citizenship ... this may actually kill more than two birds with one stone ... consider for instance that school drop-out rate, teenage pregnancy, gang activity, and other socio-economic ills could be resolved simply by providing the incentive that good behavior, good citizenship would lead to the promised land ... trust me that this would be well-received by many undocumented families ... naturally, non-illegal aliens will have strong objections to the competition that these poor people from third world countries will impose on them ... my answer to them is simple; put up or shut up ... you either believe in the American concept of capitalism and open competition or you don't ... those that do not are perhaps the ones that should leave the US and perhaps go to a protectionist land (like France) ...

Posted by: GoCubs | October 12, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

The way I see it, we have two complementary issues ... or rather, two issues with complementary solutions ... these are the immigration and social security issues ... as far as the so-called economic experts tell us, social security will not be viable in a few decades (fill in whatever the correct time frame might be) ... one potential solution to solving this problem is to expand the tax base ... this is going to happen anyway because of simple supply-and-demand ... that is, companies will be hampered to provide goods/services without a reliable and stable labor pool ... the immigration quotas will be modified as a result of this labor demand ... just remember the tech-boom of a few years ago and the demand for H1-B visas by corporate (tech) America ... one can argue that qualification requirements will be tied to the increase allocation of visas in order to attract qualified workers ... however, the US will be competing with the rest of the industrialized world for the same qualified individuals from all these countries that are causing heartburn to so many ... the smart thing would be to preempt the problem and be proactive so that we don't end up trailing our competition ... one approach to killing two birds with one stone would be to implement an immigration policy that would provide incentives to illegal aliens to get training in service areas in which labor shortages are projected ... this approach could be extended to K-12 education ... for instance, families with children having exemplary academic records could qualify easily for residency leading to citizenship ... this may actually kill more than two birds with one stone ... consider for instance that school drop-out rate, teenage pregnancy, gang activity, and other socio-economic ills could be resolved simply by providing the incentive that good behavior, good citizenship would lead to the promised land ... trust me that this would be well-received by many undocumented families ... naturally, non-illegal aliens will have strong objections to the competition that these poor people from third world countries will impose on them ... my answer to them is simple; put up or shut up ... you either believe in the American concept of capitalism and open competition or you don't ... those that do not are perhaps the ones that should leave the US and perhaps go to a protectionist land (like France) ...

Posted by: GoCubs | October 12, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Harry,

Crazy I may be, but at least I'm not in the 535-member Capitol asylum where the immigration issue is either ignored or demagogued.

The book, thanks for asking, is doing OK. I wish the same could be said for the ideas, which boil down to establishing a legitimate way to work here, under our laws, that doesn't automatically lead to citizenship. Now there are a whole host of issues to be resolved there, and I suggest some.

What we can't do is just keep shouting at each other while the problem (and the opportunity that lies hidden in it) grows and festers.

Larry Blasko
Summit, NJ

Posted by: lgblasko | October 11, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I would be willing to bet that the most vituperative comments come from hate radio listeners. If you tune into some of those right-wing nut jobs, that's their angry topic du jour.

When will the cranks get original in this country?

Posted by: Hairy Reasoner | October 11, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Comments like those by oedrex1 crack me up. We took this country illegally from the indians so we have no room to talk. So,we should let the illegal immigrants take it over from us? Our ancesters did wrong 500 years ago so we should allow it to happen to us now? Illegal immigrants are as American as Apple Pie? (thanks Mr. Wuhl)

I don't buy it. The past doesn't justify the present. We can't control the past but we can control the present and affect the future.

Posted by: PoMo1 | October 11, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Larry Blasko
Summit, NJ

YOU GOTTA BE KRAZY, BY THE WAY HOW IS YOUR BOOK DOING?

Posted by: HARRY | October 11, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

1. Lawn Maintenance
2. Every Aspect of Your Built House including siding, roofing, painting, etc.
3. Trash Collection
4. Sewer and Drainage Work
5. Any Menial Job that no one else wants to do.

It would be a lot cheaper to pay ten % more for these services than the tax money and cost of housing criminals, health care, teachers, welfare and the cost of courts.

You need to move to Mexico if you want all this slave labor.

Posted by: Harry | October 11, 2007 1:06 AM | Report abuse

I say send every illegal immigrant back to where he/she (she and her baby) came from and let them wait in line like my grand-parents and mother had to do.

And no! I didn't speak Italian out side the house when I was growing up. My mother and aunt taught me to speak English because we were Americans than, not Italians.

It is a fact that our crime rate has increased, rapes, theft, murder and our jails are full of illegal immigrants.

You can not get in an Emergency clinic with out it being full of illegal immigrants, and the American Tax paying citizens are paying for their education, health care and giving them welfare checks.

I am tired of listening to the whining and BS that these immigrants are spewing, about America...

Get them all the illegals the h-ll out of our country, let them come in legally.......

Posted by: Harry | October 11, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

The first fix was free -- we needed the labor in the 40s and 50s and the Braceros program filled the need.

Then, over the next five decades, the fix became less free as more and more illegals, obviously needing jobs and just as obviously not under the protection of our wage and hour laws filed the market for many industries - farming, construction, hospitality, landscaping, depressing wages in the process.

Now, the 12-14 million illegals, mostly from Mexico, are so entwined in our economy that we're hooked. The "Deport 'em All!" crown wants to quit cold turkey, and the "Kumbaya" crowd is looking for the next hit. Maybe there's a better way.

We need a plan to bring these folk into the light and into the system, but not necessarily on a path to citizenship. They won't work for less than the minimumn wage or longer than the laws allow if they are under the law's protection and can appeal to it without fear.

I suggested one such plan in my book "Opening the Borders," (Level 4 Press 2007) and there are others in other books.Mine and others could be workable plans.

The only plans that won't get the United States into a detox program for its dependence on illegal labor are those that demonize them for what amounts to ugly racial prejudice or seek to give them sainthood.

These immigrants are just like the rest of us -- most trying to get ahead in life, some criminals or low-lifes, all human.

I hope we can recognize that and move forward.

Larry Blasko
Summit, NJ

Posted by: Larry Blasko | October 11, 2007 12:53 AM | Report abuse

You wouldn't drain the basement of water until fix the leak..SO
Here is my perfect 10 point immigration bill:


(1) Close the borders so tight a cockroach couldn't get in without a passport

AND ONCE COMPLETELY CLOSED THEN

(2) Find and identify all illegals in this country by requiring them to turn themselves in.

(3) If illegals don't turn themselves in, and are caught, deport immediately with no chance of coming back as defined in (7)

(4) Deport all illegals without immediate family (father, mother, children, grandparents) in this country, gang members, or felons.

(5) Issue those remaining an ID, as defined in (8). No citizenship, except by normal means

(6) Require corporations that need additional labor to go to other countries and recruit them.

(7) If deported as a result of (4). Allow priority to be hired and come back to our country.

(8) Require that all foreign workers get a 2 year, tamper proof, id and are logged into a national DB

(9) Require corporations to pay at least minimum wages, medical, and education costs for foreign workers.

(10) Heavily fine any corporation that willingly hire workers without a card or with phoney SS # IDs.


This is far from perfect, but is better than anything I've seen so far

Posted by: TKH | October 10, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Reallly--You know, many of those jobs USED to pay very good wages when Americans did them. Still do, if they're unionized. No one really likes dirty jobs unless they're paid enough for them. Consider the example of the pro football player. Do you think he'd be out there in the cold and mud "playing" by almost getting killed or working out in the heat and humidity IF there weren't a big paycheck at the end of it?

Posted by: Ali | October 10, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Around--Since when is Hispanic or Latino a race? It's an ethnicity, and as such can be changed. Furthermore, as such it represents a desire NOT to assimilate, in that it's based on maintaining links to another culture and language. Census has institutionalized its use (under pressure from political groups that recognize the power of being a so-called minority) but still recognizes that Latinos can be of ANY race. I used to know a Brazilian of Japanese origin. Plenty of Arabs headed to Latin America at the same time my grandparents came here. And of course, there are WHITE Hispanics, such as Jorge Ramos and Ruben Navarrette.

Posted by: Ali | October 10, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Adil--YOu said, " "do you know who is controlling your country wealth and economy?" We sure do. Now, do you know who controls Mexico's wealth? The wealth of Latin America? (Mexico is home to the world's richest man, a Lebanese Mexican by the name of Carlos Slim. Latin America is home to a couple of dozen BILLIONAIRES.) For that matter, do you know who controls the wealth in your home country (or your ancestors, very likely somewhere in the Middle East)? The difference is, WE have the will to push back at the ballot box and by pressuring Congress, which is why the amnesty didn't pass and why the recent attempt at attaching the Dream Act to the DOD bill failed. We'll keep pushing back. Can you say the same about Mexicans, or Latins in their homelands, or your compatriots?

Posted by: Ali | October 10, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Doug, Why is it that you and the Post always seem to conflate "illegal alien" and "Latino", as the authors of this piece do and as you're doing in your comments on it. You make it sound (purposefully?) as if all illegal aliens are Latinos and all Latinos are illegal, which of course, is not true. If you MUST write about illegal aliens, how about writing about the many Chinese, Polish, Irish, and other assorted ethnc groups. And I know that the Post likes to use the term "immigrant" to represent both legal immigrants and illegal aliens, but this very PC choice is dishonest. The essence of illegal immigration, in fact.

Posted by: maraalexander | October 10, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

I salute for the big heart that Americans have to let needy peoply from abroad to intrigrate in their country for well being. These foreign workers are not asking for a place to work in govenment offices, politics, or white collar jobs but just a odd job they are asking for. I understand that they need to learn english but this will come slowly as if someone will ask the americans to learn chineese quickly!
These barriers were never a big issues before until recently. I will ask one question to those who do not like illegal people, "do you know who is controlling your country wealth and economy?" Of course you don't care because they are very strong lobby and they can buy any thing and can spend on anything and anywhere like foreign aid, arms or to real extend control the US senate. Who care, illegal immigrants are easy target!

Posted by: adil shamsuddin | October 10, 2007 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Xenophobe ! Racist ! These are always the come backs of people who have no rational arguments FOR illegal immigartion.

If anything, most who oppose illegal immigration are Protectionists. If you say you aren't, you are lying and I can prove it.

If there are 2 burglars and one is breaking into my house and one is breaking into yours, whose house will you protect first. I doubt you'll ignore the peril of your own family and come help me first.

America is my house and the American people or my family. Regardless of their race, creed, culture, if they are American citizens I will fight to protect them first.

Millions of Americans over the years have fought and died in wars to protect America and its people. Yes, we have protected other people also, but that was not the overriding cause. In my mind to say we should help people from other countries before we protect our own is treasonous.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 10, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the comments reflect anger for the simple reason that the Washington Post stories about illegal immigration are so one-sided. The Post sprinkles pity on these lawbreakers in almost every story while not bothering to acknowledge how much they cost the community.

How about a story that profiles five illegal immigrants who arrived here in the past three years? Be sure to tell us how much they paid in federal and state income taxes each year. No need to give their full names, just their first names will do. Let the readers judge whether their contributions outweigh the value of the government-provided services that they consume.

Posted by: Disguisted Reader | October 10, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I think that most people truly underestimate the value that immigrants, illegal or legal represent in our economy.

All the people that proclaim, "Send them home!", etc really should take a look at the services that they enjoy on the backs of the disenfranchised. Some examples:

1. Lawn Maintenance
2. Every Aspect of Your Built House including siding, roofing, painting, etc.
3. Trash Collection
4. Sewer and Drainage Work
5. Any Menial Job that no one else wants to do.

When reading the article today, you can clearly see how little that these folks are being paid. While I am not insensitive to the morality of these issues, I think a greater concern would be if these folks were not there to maintain our economy.

If you are willing to agree with sending the illegals home, then you must agree with the likely economic impact, which will be at a minimum a 10% increase in the cost of all the things listed above.

Posted by: Realllly | October 10, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

RealChoices works for Montgomery County Government and is affiliated with CASA De Maryland. She is well known to many bloggers who have confirmed her identity through blog logs. No surprise that her posts are so sympathetic to illegal aliens.

Posted by: Not RealChoices | October 10, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

And to E. Cook - who says African Americans have a monopoly on experiencing "REAL" racism???

Just because you belong to a minority group does not excuse you from being racist yourself!

Posted by: around | October 10, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

When will the Post put a stop to the comment boards for the immigration stories? All it does is stand as a showcase for ignorant idiots who like to take their lunch breaks to rant and rave nonsense.

PLEASE REMOVE THE COMMENT BOARDS FOR IMMIGRATION STORIES. It does absolutely nothing to further the debate and just sits there as a melting pot of venomous, irrational hatred.

(And yes, I realize the irony of posting a comment about deleting the "comments" section)

Posted by: around | October 10, 2007 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Has anybody taken the time to ask the thousands of people who have been waiting in line to become citizens if millons of people cut in front of you? Try that logic on I-95 and see where that gets you. It leads to lawless driving and a heated enivroment where people could get hurt or worse. So explain to me again how being in the country ilegally helps. Also I am an African American so the next time I here the term racist to explain the illegals problems I'm going to tear into the next person I see. Don't you dare jump on the back of my people who experienced real racism. You are only using the term to get away with law breaking!!!!!

Posted by: E Cook | October 10, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm glad SOMEBODY noticed the toxic spew that passes for commenting on this issue. Some of these comments are so vile I wouldn't have published them back in the days when I worked for a pre-Internet newspaper. And ALL of them would have had to be SIGNED with the commenter's legal name.

Posted by: A Grrl | October 10, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

President Bush, Senator Kennedy and all those who so adamantly support the so call "Immigration Bill" only talk about the needs of the 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country. They forget to mention all the good things this bill is going to do for the American people....Because there ARE NO benifits for us. Our government doesn't seem to care about the burden this bill will place on the hard working American Middle Class.

This bill ignores Americans citizens, legal immigrants, and those who have stood in line for so long to become Americans citizens. The supporters do not mention that this bill will mean lower wages for those hard working, poor, Americans who have to survive on minimum wages now AND the increases in the cost of heath care, education, social security, and the welfare programs we Americans now have to pay for. The retirement benifits alone are estimated to cost $2.5 trillion.

The illegal Alien issue transcends party lines and is not a Right Issue, Left issue, or a "how to do it best" political issue. It deals with fundamental changes to the very fabric of our society, which most Americans feel will be forever detrimental to our country. LEGAL Immigration provides a pool of new blood. The assimilation of a MEASURED NUMBER of immigrants is good and has helped to revitalize our society time and time again, but the SATURATION of our country by any one foreign ethnic group has the potential of creating two distinct and separate cultures in America, turning our melting pot into a boiling pot.

I am truely sorry for poor Latinos who have to leave their home just to survive. The Mexican government is screwed up and corrupt, but that is not our fault. Why should "I", or any other American, have to pay for it. Our government constantly panders to Mexico's bad behavior and refuses to make them responsible for their own people, while our government makes it OUR responsibility. THAT AIN'T RIGHT !

Im tired of having to pay for everyone else's problems. We have so many things here at home we could use the money for. Congress is squandering our hard earned tax dollars on pet projects such as the "bridge to nowhere" and all the other pork barrel projects that they can add to legislation in midnight sessions, when no one is looking.

We have a $9 TRILLION debt and it continues to rise daily. We can not afford Congress's lavish spending anymore. Our country is on the way to bankruptcy and most people don't even know it. Congress continues to borrow and spend on a "national credit card" that they seem to think will never have to be repaid. Communist China and other Asian countries own us and OUR Congress doesn't seem to care. Who the hell do these guys work for? I feel as if we are being raped by our own government.

The American public has become complacent because preceding administrations were at least competent enough to not put the well being of our nation at risk. Most Americans go about their daily lives unaware of the jepordy our country is in. This administration and the preceding Congress changed that. I just hope its not to late for Congress and the NEXT president to actually do something decent for OUR country and OUR people.

There are many reasons the President and Congress have such low approval ratings, but The primary reason is that Americans are tired of them caring more about everyone else than they do about us. We are just a cash cow for their pet projects. They continue to put their own well being and prospects for reelection ahead of our nations interest.

Bush and Congress are hopelessly out of touch with the American people and continue to screw us time and time again for the sake of corporate earnings, lobbyist favors, or to grease there own pockets, and reellection funds.

The only time our President or legislators pay any lip service whatsoever to OUR needs is when it's time to get reelected, but the only thing they EVER really give us is more debt and unfulfilled promises.

Posted by: TKH | October 10, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Apt summary of the comments of the American public. Listen to us. Our representatives need to REPRESENT us and our desires. Illegals go home!

Posted by: stegman | October 10, 2007 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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