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Immigration Migration

The one topic that has consistently drawn more heated debate than the war in Iraq is illegal immigration, and our Readers Who Comment are at it again today. The discussion is about a report that hundreds of foreign-born families have pulled their children from Prince William County public schools and enrolled them in nearby Fairfax County, Arlington County and Alexandria. Amy Gardner tells us that this comes after Prince William began implementing rules to deny some services to illegal immigrants and require police to check the immigration status of crime suspects thought to be in the country illegally.

Opponents of the rules say even legal immigrants have left the county, fearing the climate there; supporters say the rules have done what they were supposed to do.

So far, officials tell Gardner, Fairfax and Arlington counties can absorb the influx; Prince William County officials say they will save $6 million in school costs as a result. But the longer-term picture is unclear. And as a Post editorial points out this morning, Prince William County has been slashing the high price of enforcing the new rules, which are expected to cost $26 million over the next five years.

This is playing out here and elsewhere because the federal government has punted on how to manage the illegal immigration issue, a federal problem impacting states and localities. The arguments in the comment string this morning reflect both compassion for the families affected and the bitterness many have that the battle over immigration even exists.

Just to set the tone of the conversation, we'll start with this exchange between vancouver199 and Scruffy 1970.

vancouver1999 wrote, "Hope PWC enjoys its backwards and backwoods policies which are hurting children and, more practically, driving money away from the county. Hope the pro-hate group people enjoy much larger real estate bills when Sergeant Stewart [Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large), chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and a strong supporter of the enforcement campaign] raises their taxes year after year after year to make up for lost business revenue."

Scruffy1970 responded, "You are absolutely wrong. I am White and I certainly don't like living with the dregs of society. PWC will become a great place to live and raise a family. These wetpeople have destroyed LA and the DC area is ten years behind that place unless all cities and counties adopt laws like PWC."

rscott251 said, "...I applaud Prince William and what they did. If Fairfax wants to accept them in their sactuary, good for them. But soon, taxpayers are going to get fed up with paying taxes to support the illegals. Why do you think Prince William made the push to begin with?..."

RegisUrgel wrote, "There isn't an "economic fence" to keep illegal immigrants out of PW county, like there is in Arlington or Alexandria, for example. Most illegal immigrants just can't afford to live in Arlington...In the short run, Arlington and Alexandria can easily absorb more school children, thanks to liberal high-income taxpayers in those counties. So Stewart shouldn't be holding his breath if he thinks Arlingon is going to pass any of his xenophobic legislation."

slim2 said, "Fairfax and Arlington both have a long history of embracing and coddling illegals, it's only "fair" their tax slaves shoulder more of the burden of supporting them, Prince William should now see some relief from escalating taxes for schools, jails and a real estate recovery from trashed neighborhoods."

VirginiaConservative wrote, "Hmmm, criminals fleeing the hostile environment of law enforcement. Whats next, a crack down on drug abuse causing junkies to flee?"

meredithand wrote:
If they are mixed-status families, and some of them are "legal", that must mean the others are.... ILLEGAL... Reform the system? Definitely. Reward law-breaking? NO!"

merganser said, "...What we are seeing shows that the entire state needs to adopt a uniform policy of enforcing the law and that when it is enforced, lawfulness can return."

gmu92 wrote, "...We'll see how liberal and open-minded you are when the house next to you has 25 day laborers guzzling Tecate, thumping Tejano music at 2AM, and peeing in the yard right in front of your kids. PWC is no longer a dumping ground for the corrupt system of illegal immigration. Thank you Mr. Stewart for being steadfast on this matter."

wahoo3 said, "I would prefer that the white trash who are filled with hate and constantly blame minorities for their own underachievement leave our counties while the hard-working folks stay."

RustNeverSleeps, warned, "21,000 ESOL's [English for speakers of other languages] in FFX. If 25% are illegal or US born to illegals that is costing FFX residents about $70M. Wait until next year's count."

asmith1 said, "Connolly [Gerald E. Connolly (D), chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors] ...would hope Fairfax County taxpayers can be duped to believe ESOL is the only expense illegal aliens and their anchor babies will incur... the only way the county can subsidize the lifestyle of illegal aliens flowing into Sanctuary Fairfax is to tax legal residents and cut their services more. But, that is what Connolly does best."

Joan850 said, "Wake up Fairfax County residents. We have an election coming up and the faster we rid ourselves of these democrats the better off we will be. Our budget suffers with extensive ESL, free medical care, food, housing, etc. We are paying for it and illegals are just enjoying the fruits of our taxes..."

seenitallnow1 wrote, "For too long the[y] worked in Fairfax and we in PWC bore their cost. Now we'll see how the people of Fairfax feel about illegal immigration when they have to pay for it, and when it makes their neighborhood what mine became in past years."

aldous, with tongue apparently in cheek, wrote, "Yup! Kick those illegals out! Enforce the borders! Some of them are terrorists!!!"

But gitarre said, "Love the bluster of the politicians in the surrounding sanctuaries ... but the smell of fear is palpable. The extra costs to their school systems is just a PART of what they will have to deal with... and privately, they know it. It will be especially comical if one day these sanctuary pols, after all their trash-talk about Chairman Stewart, are crying for aid from GOVERNOR Stewart."

jamalnasir_2000 asked, "How about crackng down on the busnesses that employ these llegals? Simple solution to all problems.....if they cant work they wont live here..."

johnkwhite1 wrote, "...People who want to work and live and pay taxes and send their kids to school for an education aren't a problem. Communist China and our trade policies are the problem."

Boogher suggested that "When all workers and families have a path to citizenship,they'll have 9 good ss numbers and pay billions more into social security and have car insurance. We'll all benefit. It's also the human thing to do..."

pedecini said, "Time to change the law that automatically makes you an American Citizen if you born here! That worked back in the day when people came here legally through Ellis Island...Time to put a stop to it!"

allie320 wrote. "As an Arlington resident, I welcome the influx of immigrants. Three generations ago, my Irish ancestors were treated with the same disdain that many people on this message board feel towards Latino immigrants. It is simply ignorant to repeat that cycle..."

Ali4 responded, "...It's not surprising you feel that way, Allie320, since Irish illegal aliens are a sizeable group AND also feel a sense of entitlement to ignore U.S. immigration laws because of their history here. They're so special, don't you know, that some of them were lobbying for a law to amnesty just them."

Last word goes to HillMan, who said, "...I agree that we need comprehensive immigration reform, but the cold fact remains: Americans simply won't do these jobs. Do you really think sweet little Tiffany or Brandon in PWC is going to do your landscaping work, or change beds in your hotels, or do the other myriad of crappy service jobs that are necessary?...Yet for our economy and our daily lives to continue as they are the jobs must be done."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  April 28, 2008; 9:30 AM ET
Categories:  Illegal Immigrants  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Blinders at Arlington Cemetery
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Ali replied, to my posting saying my posting`s body was unclear. My english lit professor always had a few red marks on my thesis papers too. Simply, this woman whom i have conversed with for a year now and have spent hundreds of dollars in phone bills wanted to travel to the states to meet me in person.Both of us have high phone bills. Her vacation begins May 6-29. i wanted to show her a good time in Louisville during the Derby.We actually had plans for mid April to mid May, but once she filed for a visa the appointment given was two months later, which meant changing her vacation dates. She got her vacation changed but now has no visa to visit. It seems crystal clear to me that a consulate would have no reason to deny a visa to a Doctor knowing she has one month remaining in her residency! Who in their right mind would get a visa to the US to start her career over again here? Do they have any idea how many years it takes to become a pysician? ( 8-12) Even if we married she would be deported until a K-1 visa was completed. All of her school and medical credentials are accreditted by the A.M.A. The sad thing is all the money she spent(approx. $300 equiv.)was a waste and is not reimbursed by the consulate! The US welcomes nationals on its web site but it appears as a license to steal from these people! Yes the residency program pays her but not a lot of money. A visa appointment costs about $151.00 plus a fee for the pin number to apply plus money for copies of all the papers a person needs to sit in front of a consulate.Plus two hours of travel to the consulate paying $8.00/ gal for gas. Being a doctor means having to have many more papers than say a person who works in a boutigue. She needed these papers for the consulate as well as the state board medical licensure branches. We had plans of introducing her to dept heads of nearby hospitals.
She told me that she was at the consulates office by 6:30 am in her capital city of Santo Domingo. Eight people in front of her were denied, she was #9 in a row of many. Lets say thats $300 multiplied by 9 plus the many more in that particular consulates office not to mention the hundreds of other consulates offices in several countries, of people, that are taking the correct avenue of visiting the US , but are denied after spending upwards of $200USD. These people are being robbed! At least i would feel robbed! How about you? She told me all her papers were in order and the consulate never even looked at them. " Sorry mame, you dont qualify for a visa"
The trip to Disney is a plan for 2009 pertaining to her whole extended family of which she is the only one with out a visa.

You might ask why i dont fly there to see if i should begin the K-1 visa. I work in the home remodeling and building business. If you know anyone in that business you might have a good idea of what i am going through here in the US. I am staring at foreclosure and bankruptcy. I cant even sell the house and i am trying to give it away.

Posted by: steve | May 1, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Chairman Stewart should run for the governor's office! It's obvious the people currently in that realm have no ties to reality!

Tim Kaine should think twice if he thinks that his policies across the board will not be rescinded when a true leader takes over.... But at least he will have his special interest retirement packages lined up!

Posted by: Enough is Enough! | April 30, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

"Do you think a big fat pay increase would teach them some work ethic?"

I think a large number of EMPLOYERS need to learn not only ethics, but to follow the law. Kids learn from examples, and when employers abuse the law, as they do, then kids see a lousy example. Employers want illegal aliens because they get a cheap, captive workforce who can't really complain and doesn't have many alternatives for jobs. Treat 'em badly and there's not much they can do. Employers carry that same mentality over to American kids who work for them. The employer who expects a kid to work at the employer's convenience, for an hour or two here or there, as the EMPLOYER NEEDS THEM, for not enough to cover gas money. The employer who expects kids to "volunteer" to work after hours.

You might also note that WAL-MART is trying this with its ADULT employees, expecting them to work around the store's busy hours and go home otherwise. It wants a "part-time" workforce at its beck and call. The company also had problems with managers requiring workers to clock out and then remain working, so they wouldn't have to pay them overtime.

Posted by: Ali | April 30, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Are you cleaning up after the tourists and business travelers who feed your tax base? How ridiculous to compare the fact that you do your own housework to people who clean up after others."

Not ridiculous at all, considering many illegal aliens work as nannies, gardeners, cleaning ladies for INDIVIDUALS, not companies--and claim that they're raising our kids, cleaning our homes, so should receive amnesty. But for that matter, my nephew was a janitor at a hotel and my niece and her husband ran a restaurant. Cleaning up after others.

Posted by: Ali | April 30, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"There ARE jobs that kids won't do (pick tobacco, shovel manure, etc.) even if you paid them union wages to do so. Heck, they can hardly take a pause from their high school drama to bag my groceries. Do you think a big fat pay increase would teach them some work ethic?"

When my niece was a teenager a few years ago, SHE SHOVELED MANURE as part of her job working in a program for mentally challenged kids. She quit the job, not because of the shoveling, but because the organization started requiring its young employees to "volunteer" to work day-long events in return for a t-shirt.

Posted by: Ali | April 30, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"The hate filled people are in the minority. They cannot elect an anti-immigration politician worth a damn. The latest to loose was the racist Jim Oberweis in Illinois. In November a pro-immigration government would be elected at the federal level whether the antis like it or not. Make your choice: McCain, Obama or Hillary with an enhanced Democratic congress. It is the anti-immigration fanatics nightmare come true!"

Don't count on a Democratic Congress to pass amnesty. I'm a Democrat, oppose amnesty, and made that very clear to my Senators last year--Democrats. Guess what?
They don't want to lose their seats and know that many Democrats don't want amnesty or "guest worker" programs, either.
Then, too, any Democrat that gets into the White House will have to deal with our current economic woes. How do you figure they're going to explain giving amnesty to 20 million illegal aliens while millions of Americans are out of work, and none of us can afford tax increases to cover the social services and welfare legalized illegals would be eligible for?

Posted by: Ali | April 30, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse

**"Will your brother or niece go to Pennsylvania and pick tomatoes for $16.57... or just insist that if no human does it, there will be a magic machine inveneted to pluck the delicate fruit from their vines for us?"**

uh...that "magic machine" already exists and has been given "Historical Landmark" designation by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.

From the California Farm Bureau website -

"The UC-Blackwelder tomato harvester, developed at the University of California, Davis, in 1949, helped to usher in mechanization that proved vital in the growth of California's tomato-growing business. Partly because of this piece of equipment, California now produces 95 percent of the processing tomatoes grown in the United States."


"Nearly all of California's tomato crop was converted to machine harvest within about five years, Hartsough said. That kind of rapid change isn't the norm, he added, noting that the changeover occurred much more slowly in other parts of the country and the rest of the world."

"Not only did it (tomato harvesting) change rapidly in California, but the industry expanded here--essentially doubled in size. In the rest of the country, it kind of dropped down because they couldn't compete with the lower costs of harvesting here."

Heringer agreed, saying, "We just about conquered the whole tomato industry when we got those machines running in two or three years."


-- Now, maybe Pennsylvania tomato farmers are resistant to mechanization, but that's THEIR problem. (Non)apologists for illegal aliens like to trot out that old canard about how nothing will get done without hotels cleaned, no dishes washed, no lawns mowed...and no tomatos on the grocers shelves. Well, guess what? It's a lot of malarkey, smoke-n-mirrors, a strawman. Maybe the people HE knows wouldn't be willing to do real work for halfway decent wages, but I know folks in Podunk, Nowhere (that's my hometown...) that would LOVE to have a job that paid decently well. They'd even, you know...frame houses, pour concrete, put on siding and roofing, paint, cook, wait tables, clean offices and hotels, etc etc etc. After all, that's what they USED to do before the illegal population got so big.

Posted by: Rightous Indignation | April 30, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

The hate filled people are in the minority. They cannot elect an anti-immigration politician worth a damn. The latest to loose was the racist Jim Oberweis in Illinois. In November a pro-immigration government would be elected at the federal level whether the antis like it or not. Make your choice: McCain, Obama or Hillary with an enhanced Democratic congress. It is the anti-immigration fanatics nightmare come true!

Posted by: Chell | April 30, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

To 'Calm Down and Think' - Many of the Midwest Farming Migrant Labor Groups are made up of Legal H2A Seasonal Workers who run the big machines that migrate north planting and south harvesting crops. Too bad those who complain about the lack of seasonal labor do not tell the whole story. First, there is no mention of the fact that in years past the H2A Program promised an almost unlimited supply of Seasonal Workers for Farmers but because of the easy access to Illegal Immigrants not so many people used the program. Now that enforcement is happening and Illegal Immigration is being curtailed, the Democrat controlled Congress, in their infinite wisdom decided that they should not allow the expanded H2A Program to be renewed. Effectively they are holding hostage legal channels to get Seasonal Workers in order to try to force "comprehensive reform". Second, the H1B program has the same problem. Up until the Democrats took control of Congress, increases in the H1B Visa cap were routinely approved. But not now. So we get to hear Microsoft et al whine and suffer until "comprehensive reform" passes. Why has Congress decided to cut off legal means for people to come to the U.S. and work? Sounds a lot Illegal Immigrant supporters in Congress are the ones trying to break the system.

Posted by: Norski | April 29, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"My nieces used to baby sit. Neither I nor my brothers' families have maids. All cleaning is done by US. That's how REAL people live..."

Are you cleaning up after the tourists and business travelers who feed your tax base? How ridiculous to compare the fact that you do your own housework to people who clean up after others.

Will your brother or niece go to Pennsylvania and pick tomatoes for $16.57... or just insist that if no human does it, there will be a magic machine inveneted to pluck the delicate fruit from their vines for us?

There ARE jobs that kids won't do (pick tobacco, shovel manure, etc.) even if you paid them union wages to do so. Heck, they can hardly take a pause from their high school drama to bag my groceries. Do you think a big fat pay increase would teach them some work ethic?

BTW - in my community, the school had enrolled children from biligual households who spoke perfect English in their special classes... because the SCHOOL GOT MORE $$ PER STUDENT. Now, who's ripping off whom?

Posted by: Beth | April 29, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

To Calm Down and Think: Now, you calm down and think. Think about the fact that we do have guest worker programs for seasonal agricultural workers (no caps) and for unskilled workers in other areas. Business hasn't used them, preferring to rely on illegal alien labor. The issue isn't the AVAILABILITY of labor, but the wages. As for shortages of labor, Prof. Martin at UC-Davis has noted that the US has been slower than much of the rest of the world to modernize and mechanize BECAUSE OF THE AVAILABILITY OF CHEAP ILLEGAL LABOR. Part of the reason workers are being kicked off farms in Mexico is mechanization.

As for fences, well, plenty of farmers and land owners aren't happy, either, about having illegal aliens trekking across their property, stealing, killing animals, disturbing wildlife and being general nuisances, not to mention the harm that tons upon tons of TRASH left by illegal aliens does to the environment.

Posted by: Ali | April 29, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

John wrote:" We need CIR Bill to fix the current situation, get all on the books, make them pay taxes. And, strongly enforce and secure our borders. Economy will boost as soon as they become legal, they will start spending here, paying fees, licences, buying cars/houses and all. This will save this country. As they are already here and making money. So, just by whinning won't do anything."

John, you idea of "compromise" sounds suspiciously like the 1986 amnesty. We were promised enforcement and it never materialized. Instead, we saw 3 million illegal aliens legalized and got a new crop of working poor welfare recipients and a new wave of illegal immigration by their friends and relatives wanting to get in on the next amnesty. Funny thing. No enforcement. Efforts at it were gutted, lobbied away by the same whiners in corporate America that we hear now. Illegal aliens, if amnestied yet again, would not pay taxes, but would likely be recipients of the earned income tax credit and eligible for other welfare programs and social services. They're among the working poor not because they're illegal but because they haven't the skills or the educations to do much better. The presence of millions of them guarantees that wages will be depressed not only for them but for Americans.

Posted by: Ali | April 29, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Steve wrote:"This foreigner I speak of is a respected physician in the last few months of a residency program. She has a son, a large family all of whom have a visa to visit and plans for a Disney trip next year. She has a vacation in May and wanted to meet me after one year of conversing on the phone and internet as well as meet hospital and board members to ascertain the opportunities of making a life here for her son, my children and me. Obviously, she would have to return to her country, her son, and her last month of a long residency program to complete the medical training as an Anesthesiologist. But she was denied."

Steve, the first part of your post doesn't jibe with the second. Was your friend intending to look for a job while she was here? Take medical boards? Or was she planning a simple trip to see you and Disneyland? From the sound of it, the consulate had reason to doubt her intent to return based on your first comments. You don't say what country your friend is from, but the rate of visa overstays for a country also makes a big difference in how many visas are issued and to whom.

Posted by: Ali | April 29, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Dan Griswold's column:"The fatal flaw of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was not that it offered legal status to workers already here but that it made no provision for future workers to enter legally."

Mr. Griswold's column has a huge OMISSION. Federal immigration law already focuses on FAMILY REUNIFICATION which provides hundreds of thousands of largely unskilled and uneducated workers each year. These people are sponsored by legalized illegal aliens or by skilled relatives who came under employment visas, but who are themselves less educated and skilled. For family reunification, we require that the sponsoring family member guarantee the income of the immigrants he or she is sponsoring.

Now, is Mr. Griswold suggesting that we eliminate family reunification (parents, brothers, sisters and their families) in order to replace them with unskilled employment based workers? And just who's going to guarantee that unskilled employment based immigrants would not be an economic burden to US taxpayers? Perhaps would-be employers should be required to post a VERY LARGE bond? Of course, how does one select "unskilled" workers who by definition have no particular skills or abilities to distinguish them? Chances are, we'd get back to family ties--Mr. Li sponsoring his relatives to work in his restaurant, etc.

Posted by: Ali | April 29, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

A first principle of civil society is that no one is to be permitted to obtain profit or advantage by wrongdoing which includes violating the law. An alien who entered this country without first obtaining lawful permission to do so violates 8 U.S.C. 1325 and is subject to criminal sanctions. Even an alien who entered lawfully is a wrongdoer if that person remained after visa expiration, though this is not a criminal offense. All of the amnesty (or whatever else it be labeled) proposals would permit the aliens who entered unlawfully or who stayed after visa expiration to remain in the US and enjoy its higher standard of living while those who obey the law, apply for a visa and await its issuance are not similarly treated, thus permitting the wrongdoer to profit as a result of wrongdoing.

Posted by: William Garland | April 29, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

HillMan, who said, "...I agree that we need comprehensive immigration reform, but the cold fact remains: Americans simply won't do these jobs. Do you really think sweet little Tiffany or Brandon in PWC is going to do your landscaping work, or change beds in your hotels, or do the other myriad of crappy service jobs that are necessary?...Yet for our economy and our daily lives to continue as they are the jobs must be done."

Hillman should try living in Middle America. You know, the Middle America that Obama doesn't get. Kids still do those dirty jobs, and so do some American adults. My brothers do their own yard work. My nephew has worked as a janitor.
My nieces used to baby sit. Neither I nor my brothers' families have maids. All cleaning is done by US. That's how REAL people live.

Posted by: Ali | April 29, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

We as Americans have always had the individual right to CHOOSE whether or not to celebrate and join in on the festivities of other cultures. But when millions of people choose to invade our country and attempt to replace our American culture with their own, disregarding our right to resent this outside culture being shoved in our faces every day by illegally waving their Mexican flag above our own, disregarding our language of English first, filling our prison system, overcrowding our schools, breaking our hospitals, stealing our identities, and arrogantly expecting us to learn Spanish in order to communicate with them.

Some pro-illegal invasion activists, including LaRaza and even Mexico's own President, call them "heroes" for risking their lives for a better life here in America. You illegal invaders are nothing to the Mexican government but a cash flow into their own pockets. I call them ALL COWARDS for not having the guts that we Americans have to stand up for our rights in our own country and to recognize a corrupt government and vote those out that work to destroy our culture and our soverignty.

Illegals will be marching again on May 1st costing towns thousands each in police protection and shops closing!

Posted by: DinTN | April 29, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Vozukl wrote: "Every year economic immigrants leave their farms in Mexico and make the journey north ward. There are many reasons why they come, legally or illegally."

So? Do we really care WHY a burglar takes up burglary? Why a mugger decides to mug, a fraudster decides to defraud? So what makes you think we should give a &*#@% about why illegals CHOOSE to break the law? It doesn't matter why they do it. They know what they do is criminal and that we have legal punishments for those actions.

The only ones whining that we don't have the right to enforce the law is the illegals. But then they don't seem to have much respect for the law anyway...ours OR theirs.

you also wrote: "the South western USA was part of Spain then of Mexico and then taken through the violence of war by the USA"

yeah, it WAS through violence that we aquired the southwest territory...MEXICAN violence, and had Santa Ana not chosen to invade Texas, maybe they'd hold those lands today. Had he not attacked us, we wouldn't have had to kick his @ss.

Truth is, we easily defeated their invading army and ultimately ended up occupying their capital city and most of their miserable little country. Though it would have been well within our rights to keep ALL the land we occupied, we gave most of it them back them. The bits that we kept, we paid for in cold hard cash. And it cost millions more than we paid for the entire Louisiana Purchase.

It's always telling when pro-illegal people start whining about how that land was "stolen" so that they can justify the blatant law-breaking by hispanics. Sorry, but it wasn't "taken", it was sold off by the Mexicans themselves.

By the way, had we *not* purchased it from the Mexicans, we probably could have saved some cash by purchasing it from the French when THEY took over Mexico a few years later.

Posted by: Righteous Indignation | April 29, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Somebody mentioned their wasn't enough guest workers to harvest crops. Perhaps they should ask why farmers prefer just straight illegal labor...?

Rep. Raúl Grijalva says that farmers in Arizona are not planting sections of their fields out of fear that they won't have enough workers to harvest the crops. As a solution to this problem, Grijalva supports legislation by state Sen. Marsha Arzberger, D-Willcox, and state Rep. Bill Konopnicki, R-Safford, who represent agriculture-heavy districts, to create a state-sponsored guest-worker program. House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also wants to allow the influx of foreign nationals. Perhaps her main reason is because she needs swarms of cheap labor that she can exploit on her grape plantations in central California. She is also trying to gut the border fence. As if that was not enough the leading Democrats are have amended President Bushes fence law and underfunded it. Including to re-engineer the plans of Rep.Duncan Hunter (R-CA) for a two-tier fence. Currently we have a damn mess were instead of miles of border barrier, we have towers with inoperative camera, sensing equipment and millions of dollars in wasted taxpayers money. Duncan Hunters border fence in San Diego county, California had a 90% success rate of stopping drugs, white slavery and an illegal aliens easy path into America.

But why are these politicians and farmers opting for an Arizona guest-worker program when the federal government already has on?. It's called the H-2A visa program designed for U.S. companies hiring foreign workers to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Why do they want to set-up shop in Mexico? Here there are very few workers laws, safety measures and they can exploit the poor, cheap labor.

However in this nation this program has a number of advantages for employers, most notably the assurance of a legal, documented work force and the reduction of labor turnover with the resulting loss in productivity. No restrictions are made on the number of H-2A workers that are admitted yearly.

So why don't farmers like the program?

Maybe it's because they don't like the H-2A visa requirements intended to protect workers from exploitive working conditions. Or they don't like having to pay the same wages as comparable U.S. workers would have to be paid as determined by the Department of Labor.

Or they don't like having to provide the laborer with an earnings statement detailing the worker's total earnings, the hours of work offered and the hours actually worked. That they don't like having to provide housing to all H-2A workers, which must be inspected by the Department of Labor to assure minimum federal standards.

Or they don't like having to provide transportation to and from the guest worker's temporary home as well as transportation to the next work place when the contract is fulfilled. Or they don't care having to provide meals or facilities in which the workers can prepare food. Or they don't like having to provide worker's compensation insurance, nor do they have to provide health insurance. The taxpayers provide that as a free-be to pariah employers.

If farmers had to comply with the federally mandated requirements, it would defeat the advantages of hiring cheap illegal immigrant labor in the first place. What farmers really want is to legalize the on-demand hiring of the same cheap labor they have always hired, with the taxpayers footing the bill for workers' benefits like schooling for their young, including free meals under title 1. Free student books and other complimentary hand-outs, including free health care. Not forgetting that low wage earners can apply for food stamps, subsidized housing, baby sitters for their toddlers and many other benefits on the taxpayers dime.

That is why some politicians like Grijalva push for the H-2A visa program? Could it be that they want "temporary" to really be "permanent" -- advocating that in return for the "cheap" lettuce produced, temporary workers and their families deserve a path to permanent U.S. citizenship? Is this a way around immigration enforcement, like the federal SAVE ACT now pending.

What is certain is that neither the farmers nor the lawmakers are really interested in what is good for America -- and the U.S. citizen worker is in this nation. They have become the puppets of the special interest lobby.

We desperately need a federal mandated law such as the SAVE ACT(H.R.4088), so we can seal our borders, and fully restrict illegal immigration within the interior of America as well.

Posted by: Brittanicus | April 29, 2008 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I say we open Ellis Island again...What was good enough for my grand parents and my parents should be good enough for any immigrant wanting to come into the USA.
They had to wait their turn. The big difference is they stayed here rasied familys that all became American's. The illegal immigrants of today are here to send money to their family's (devalueing our dollar) and raping our way of life and our American system....

Posted by: Harry | April 29, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Feaver, you really should be more careful with your use of statistics. For costs of the program you use a five year figure of 26 million and for savings you use a one year figure of 6 million. You would be more clear and demonstrate that you were not biased in your reporting if you compared year on year figures rather than five year costs to one year benefits.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 29, 2008 5:26 AM | Report abuse

Immigrants do jobs americans wont do for minimum wage. Thats the truth. I have some young friends/relatives that couldn't get into college and they are having a really tough time because they can't hardly make over $10 an hour. I am in college now, but I once worked construction for $7 an hour right next to people who I wouldn't doubt were illegal. If it wasn't for illegal immigration, our poverty rate would probably be 5% because so all those people in poverty would be making higher wages. Its simple economics. If you decrease the supply of cheap labor and the demand stays about the same, the price will go up and they will make higher wages. Its that simple.

Posted by: ajs87 | April 29, 2008 4:19 AM | Report abuse

The word you're looking for is 'deport'. The powers-that-be need to firmly grasp their counterweights and do more law enforcement. Some improvements have been made but 1/2-donkeyed efforts, public corruption, and mealy-mouthed politics don't get the job done.

Buy 2 citizenships, get your third citizenship for just $19.95, now at Alberto's House O' Immigration!
Foxes guarding the henhouse, too. Reform, deport, stop pulling our chains with this one or at least save some money in there by just abolishing USCIS.

Posted by: Bert | April 29, 2008 1:52 AM | Report abuse

The basic facts in this situation are crystal clear. Mexico is ruled by an oligarchy consisting of a few hyper-wealthy families who do not want their extraordinarily luxurious life styles reduced by the kinds of political and economic reforms it would take to make Mexico a modern state that takes care of its citizens; such reforms, in fact, might topple them from power.

To reduce the chances of this revolution or even massive reforms taking place, the Mexican government makes every effort possible to reduce pressure for such changes by making it extraordinarily easy for those oppressed by the oligarchy to cross the Mexican border into the United States. Once across the boarder, we both care for them as their own government will not and the illegal aliens from Mexico get off the books jobs that still enable them to siphon off $25 billion a year for remittances to relative back in Mexico which further reduces the chances of real reform in Mexico. Because illegal aliens cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars each years in extra costs for health care, education, social services and law enforcement at the same time as they are extracting and remitting massive amounts of money from the U.S. economy they are a major net drain on our economy.

In addition to this net monetary drain on the U. S. economy, the provision of all of these services to illegal aliens and their families means that citizens and legal aliens are often either not getting the government services their taxes pay for or their access to such services is reduced or delayed.

Meanwhile, the same routes that facilitate massive numbers of illegal aliens crossing our boarders not only facilitate a large trade in prostitutes and counterfeit goods but also facilitate the transport of massive amounts of drugs from Mexico--which poison our citizens and destabilize our country--while again providing billions more in U.S. dollars to Mexican drug cartels--often indistinguishable from the Mexican government itself; bottom line, even more American money extracted from America to the benefit of Mexico.

All the while, mind you, Mexican officials--who tightly control their southern border with Guatemala, don't allow non-Mexicans to own land and pick up and harshly treat any illegals they find in Mexico, lecture the U.S. government about how inhospitable and bad we are for wanting to control our border.

Good borders make good neighbors. Correct relations with Mexico, yes, them walking all over us, no. Invited guests, yes, thieves and moochers who break into our home and steal our clothes and food and try to take our seat at our table, no.

Posted by: Dave | April 28, 2008 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Every year economic immigrants leave their farms in Mexico and make the journey north ward. There are many reasons why they come, legally or illegally. One of the biggest is that American owned multi-national agribusinesses like Monsanto now require that the seed sold to them (at very high prices) be genetically engineered. This is the same with hybrid seed plants which can not produce a plant the following year because the seeds produced by hybrid plants are sterile. Small farmers there cannot to pay high prices at no profit to them. Our big companies, especially huge agribusiness are especially involved in forcing small farmers out of business in both Mexico and the USA. Ask our own farmers about it. We must clean up our own act and stop huge multi-nationals from using their monopolies to do this to the small business farmers if we want to solve the illegal immigration problems we face.(Not to say anything about the outragous prices they charge us for food.) Did you know that many of the American twin plants operating in Mexico under NAFTA have abandoned Mexican Workers just as they did American workers to move on to lower wages in Central America, South America and the slave labor shops of Indo China? The domino effect continues its momentum driven by greed of the huge banks and wall street lawyers who support the multi-nationals. We need to unite with other working families in the USA and in Mexico to resolve these problems. Place blame where blame is due. Consider and think what is really happening. As a person of Mexican Heritage, from when the South western USA was part of Spain then of Mexico and then taken through the violence of war by the USA, I have a slightlly different perspective of the color BROWN. I am proud to say that my family was here in the early 1700s long before other European settlers came here. Regardless of what you call me, you can not change historical fact. My civil rights are as important as anyone elses. We are a mix between European Spaniard and Indian Americans!

Posted by: Vozukl | April 28, 2008 8:51 PM | Report abuse

I discussed Feaver's last attempts on this topic here:

How long do things like this take to put together, ten minutes? Maybe Feaver could try some value add for once.

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | April 28, 2008 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The Politicians like McCain, Obama & Hillary indeed most of the Democrats alone with the rest of the open Border pro-illegal Aliens supporters & the media false compassion for Illegal Aliens is sicking. This Nation has 47 millions citizens without medical insurance, Million of our elderly decide between food and medicine every day. Millions of American children live in poverty with no chance at the American dream. Our vets. return from the war that came about by lies from Politicians without proper medical care or treatment. Yet they shower rewards on the Illegal Aliens, free medical, free schooling for their many children, no reward is too great for the ones that break our laws, invaded this country and demand their rights.

The Politicians try to get the public to believe it is their great Compassion. Bull, it is the money they get from business from supplying them cheap labor paid for by the tax payers on the Republican side and the welfare votes on the Democrat side. If they really are Compassion and Caring there are Millions of American Citizens that have played by the rules, payed their taxes, obeyed the laws, fought the wars and built this Nation in great need, that the Politicians could use to show their Compassion but compassion for American citizens does not get either Money or Votes for our Corrupt/Lying Politicians.

Posted by: gary | April 28, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

To hear Democrats and Hispanic racists tell it, the 38 million or so criminals in America from Mexico and further points south are not "illegal aliens," but rather are undocumented lovers, students, philanthropists, poets, philosophers, artists, circus clowns, snake charmers, human rights activists, and other vital cogs in the American way of life.

According to deluded open borders nut cases, nary a terrorist or other manner of criminal is among the beloved 38 million. Each and every one is a noble and loving human, worthy of the highest form of respect that can be conferred on a stranger without knowing a damn thing about that stranger's medical, financial, criminal, or social background and history.
There is, they point out, no Spanish translation for the words Al-Quaeda. Not needed, you see, because terrorists are weeded out of Latino families at an early age. And raised to be members of MS-13 and other respectable Latino gangs, we might add!

So to the leftist and Hispanic racist mind set, the issue of illegal immigration is merely a Caucasian-inspired canard to keep brown people out of America. What is the fuss, they scream, over a simple piece of paper when human poverty and hunger need to be addressed?

Pope Benedict even joined the fray by lecturing American politicians about the awful consequences of separating families.

So, Your Holiness, why not counsel your flock of brown sheep to stay with their families in their home nations, instead of invading America and wrecking the aspirations of middle-class American citizen families?

In other words, if family is so damn important to Pancho, Pancho should not leave his family in Mexico to come here for food stamps and welfare!

To those already here and in a snit about leaving family, do us a favor: Take all your family, including anchor babies, with you back to Mexico! Keep that family together--just not here!

Pronto, if you please!

But to concede a point ever so slightly, I agree that illegal aliens deserve some form of American documentation. Specifically, a deportation order for each and every last one of the 38 million invaders!

Deportation orders are what illegals deserve and, when fully executed, will benefit America and the American people.

Posted by: bl | April 28, 2008 7:30 PM | Report abuse

In California, where I live, illegal immigrants can apply for health care through the state-financed program-- medical. They can go to public school. They can go to public universities and get the in-state tuition rates. They drive cars without licenses, thus contributing to high insurance rates, because, when they get into accidents, they have no insurance. Thus, all of our collective insurance rates go up. Moreover, you're starting to see the rise of illegal immigrant gangs turning formerly peaceful neighborhoods in LA County into war zones.
Despite the increase in illegal immigrant gang-related violence, the mayor is opposed and refuses to let the police inquire about immigration status of the gang members they arrest!

I do not understand this. If we want to curtail the number of illegal immigrants, why are we providing free school, cheap university, and free health care through government programs to people WHO DON'T PAY TAXES. We're creating a welfare state for illegal immigrants. We've got a big welcome sign on the door and saying come-on-in!

Second, I do not understand why the county of LA, which is facing this spike in gang violence is not allowed to ask about immigration status. If you're in this country illegally and killing people, you should be deported and sent to prison in your country of origin.

Someone explain the logic of these policies to me.

Posted by: Calicali | April 28, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Immigration concerns in our country can be partially caused by our own actions as a country totally unknown by the citizenry of the US. The majority of our attitudes are that if a person wants to make a life here in the US then let them go through the correct avenues to get here. Our states post a shortage of doctors and nurses, yet we turn them a way at our foreign consulates when they apply for a visa to visit. A visit visa to meet hospital dept. heads, state licensing boards, etc. The State Depts. web site looks nice, friendly, and welcoming to visitors from other countries. But the guidelines by which a foreigner gets a visa to the US can be expensive and heartbreaking. When a person has crossed all the t`s and doted the i`s, paid the fees and they are denied and given "You don't qualify, there is no guarantee sir or madam that you will return to your home country," as a reason.". Does a person purchase a flight ticket that includes a return flight not knowing if they will get the visa? Both expenses, obviously, are non-refundable. This foreigner I speak of is a respected physician in the last few months of a residency program. She has a son, a large family all of whom have a visa to visit and plans for a Disney trip next year. She has a vacation in May and wanted to meet me after one year of conversing on the phone and internet as well as meet hospital and board members to ascertain the opportunities of making a life here for her son, my children and me. Obviously, she would have to return to her country, her son, and her last month of a long residency program to complete the medical training as an Anesthesiologist. But she was denied.
Maybe these are the reasons why our U.S. Coast Guard spends so much time and tax revenue repatriating people from other countries. Possibly they have tried the correct avenues of visas but have been denied based on issues of not having enough money in their bank account, divorce, no children or lack of any hard visual reason to return to their native country. Or whatever the reason of the day is.
Obviously, we don't need more people here on government help. And since we continue to let all our jobs go to Mexico, China, India, not to mention our resources, we have an unemployment rate that is shameful when you look at all the jobs that have gone to other countries. Yes we need to protect our borders for numerous reasons. But when a person tries the correct way they are denied. We simply wanted to meet to see if we should continue talking. Thanks USCIS for nothing!
Upset in Indiana

Posted by: steve | April 28, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

It is just simple economics. There is opportunity in America and there isn't the same kind of opportunity elswhere in some parts of the world. America does need immigrants to keep their economy running whether be it legal or illegal? Both contribute to the American economy. If it weren't for the illegals building American homes, doing landscaping jobs, and serving you good foods in restaurants in a cheaper price, where some of the workers are exploited by the American citizens. The recession n America right now could have really been depression in America.

Posted by: lol | April 28, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I read that Mexico city with its 20 million
population can't process all of the sewage
and that farmers routinely irrigate crops
with water that is contaminated with sewage.
The city is one of the worst for air polution
and smog. It's slum area alone is supposed to
be over 4 million people which is larger than
almost all American cities.

Posted by: Phil | April 28, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

First, let us remember the "illegal" part of being an illegal immigrant. Most Americans don't seem to have problems with legal immigration, however it only seems fair to question the value of any additions to our country who already show no regard for it's laws upon arrival.

Second, it seems far too easily forgotten that one must be an U.S. citizen in order to warrant the rights afforded to a citizen. That should be the end of discussion.

Third, legal immigrants working alongside native born citizens have made this country what it is. We have thrived on the contributions of immigrants and will usually need them, though to varying degrees, throughout most sectors of our economy. The problem is that we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to those who enter illegally, ignore our laws and seek to subvert our culture and national values. We welcome those who follow the rules, learn the English language, and respect our sovereignty. As illegal immigrants, it is not only offensive but also ridiculous to ask for rights, which they have not earned.

Let's secure our borders by building the fence so we have an effective and controlled immigration system at the same time as we enforce our currently existing immigration laws. During this interval we encourage illegals to depart (attrition through enforcement). Once our borders are secured and we have a grip on a functional system of immigration, we move against those illegals that have refused to leave. We should never ever grant amnesty.

We tried 'comprehensive immigration reform' in 1986. We gave amnesty to 3 million illegal aliens in exchange for the government promising to secure the borders, conduct workplace enforcement and enforce immigration law. It didn't work because the government lied and did nothing other than process the amnesty paperwork. Due to that folly, we now have 20 Million or more illegal aliens here demanding amnesty. Don't you think it is far beyond time that we engage in Comprehensive Immigration ENFORCEMENT rather than Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

Posted by: zeezil | April 28, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Whether there's a "help wanted" sign at the border or not, they STILL have no right to take that job. THEY know that it's illegal to come here even IF some shady employer offers them work, but they just have no respect for the law, ours OR theirs.

If these (non)apologists for illegal aliens were HONEST, they'd admit that we have beaucoups of temporary agricultural worker programs RIGHT NOW that farmers refuse to use. Why? Because the paperwork needed to follow the rules is aggravating, the fees aren't cheap, and the programs require farmers to fulfill certain requirements that they don't have to worry about with illegal labor.

It's a sorry mess all the way around but I and millions of Americans just like me are NOT willing to sell "amnesty" to criminal aliens for a few thousand dollars, no matter HOW pitiful the illegals sob-story is or how loudly the scofflaw farmers wail.

Posted by: Rightous Indignation | April 28, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Have you seen that the latest public figure that is now pushing for the rights of illegal immigrants is no other than Jessie Jackson. He thinks that low skilled Blacks and Hispanics are the same. He fails to understand that his client group, low income black people, are really the ones who are being hurt by the waves of mostly illegal aliens from South of the Border.

Posted by: Bruce | April 28, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

My brother was willing to work in the service field (Janitor) for a fair wage. But they let him go and hired all immigrants. This was after they cut his pay in half to $6 an hour trying to force him to leave the job but he stood his ground and they finally fired him. Do the math that is $240 a week before taxes that is $12480 a year. He was the last one left. So this idea that Tiffany and Brandon will not want a job is complete nonsense that is used to try a justified the need for illegal immigrants. My brother has since moved to Winchester were he could fine companies that are willing to hire people that are here legally to work in the US.

Posted by: WinchesterBound | April 28, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Edweirdness - while you make some good points, I have to ask: have you been to any farms in North Dakota/No. Minnesota where my in-laws live? Like in many rural communities, the population does not support the need these farms face. Right or wrong, migrant workers are a necessary fact of life. Farmers in this region haven't met these desperate job-seeking American citizens you refer to despite their efforts to recruit workers. Great time to be a farmer? I'll be sure to tell my brother-in-law and his neighbors that times never have been better.

As you point out, the only reason that many of these farmers are in business is because of the farm bills that we, as taxpayers, pay for. And farms are still going out of business anyway causing competition to go down, and costs to go up. Many of them have jumped on the biofuel bandwagon, because it's the only way they can make ends. As they discontinue crops, we will and are already relying on more imports like soybeans from Brazil. Did I say food prices will be going up?

Talk to a USDA employee sometime - I live with one. Again - Any immigration reform needs to address these seasonal needs of the American farmer.

Posted by: Calm Down and Think | April 28, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

We need to keep our hateful speeches on the side, and resolve this issue. We all need a compromising solution. We need CIR Bill to fix the current situation, get all on the books, make them pay taxes. And, strongly enforce and secure our borders. Economy will boost as soon as they become legal, they will start spending here, paying fees, licences, buying cars/houses and all. This will save this country. As they are already here and making money. So, just by whinning won't do anything. We need a bill which can solve this big mess and can make new strict laws to secure our border. For the last time we have to go thru with this to avoid future problems.

Posted by: John | April 28, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Some inconvenient facts (Mexico's statistics were simply the most readily available, so I chose them):

Mexico has the 12th. largest GDP on the planet, with only a third the population of the United States.

Mexico has an unemployment rate of 3.6%, while the unemployment rate in the United States is 4.8% (of a population 3 times larger than Mexico).

Population living below the poverty line in Mexico, 13.8%, the population living below the poverty line in the United States 12.0%.

Posted by: edweirdness | April 28, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Calm down and think:

American farmers experienced the highest level of productivity ever this year! Far from "crops rotting in the fields" as the result of "lack of workers", American farmers are increasingly turning to mechanized forms of harvesting, and to higher profit margin specialty crops and "organic" production methods.

Arguably, today is the best time ever to be a farmer, and if the massive farm bill passes, definitely so. One need look no farther than the dumpster behind any grocery store, restaurant, school, hospital or military facility to realize that we throw away more produce than we consume.

Indeed, America exports more food than we import and far more than we consume. One true point of concern is the effect that mass immigration (legal as well as illegal) is having on the avilability and expense of farm land and green space.

Overpopulation, congestion, urban sprawl, crime, pollution, lack of affordable housing, overcrowded schools and emergency rooms, diminishing resources, depressed wages, increased tax burdens, the balkanization of our communities and the overall decline in quality of life, are all the result of unconstrained immigration.

Too many people competing for limited resources has never been considered sound economic, environmental, social or cultural policy.

American's once held all the jobs that employers now assert American's won't do. American employers have forgotten how to recruit, retain and compete for the workers they need. Farmers are no different than other businesses. The objective remains to buy cheap and sell dear, and I doubt you'll find any employer who would suggest that constraining business to compete" for American workers is unfair. However; most of them would still prefer not to have to compete for workers!

Posted by: edweirdness | April 28, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

How simplicist, how trite, how typical of a knee jerk bleeding heart apologist. Look, by the lastest estimates there are 30 million illegals in this country. These are, to be sure, desperately poor people, here to take any job they can get to deed their family. The result of these masses of desparately poor, is that they COMPETE with American workers for jobs, bidding down wages and benefits. The results FOR AMERICAN WORKERS has been the dangerous collapse of those wages and benefits, increased poverty, broken families, crime, an unavoidable increase in the suicide rate, health problems, and much much worse. Now, blaming the illegals is for their plight is clearly stupid. Likewise, blaming private industry for hiring cheap, albeit illegal, labor is evidently perfectly okay with the writer of this column. However, none of this wpould exist if the illegals weren't here. The ONLY option we have is to emulate Europe - actively seek out illegal immigrants, imprison them for up to 18 months, and ship them out. Deny any and all ilegals immigrants and social service, deny their children schooling, denying the family any medical assistance, and bring the 14th Amendment before the Supreme Court for clarification. It was passed during Reconstruction to grant citizenship to the children of former slaves. It was never intended to grant citizenship to the children of illegal immigrants - and their is language in that amnedment that is often overlooked, that can be interpreted to mean exactly that. This country, corporations, and empty headed leftists, all owe the citizens of this country jobs, owe their children an education, owe them health care, and a shot at the Amercian dream. We owe NOTHING to illegal immigrants nor to their children. Deport them, make life a living hell here for them, force them go home or forceably return them home. ALl of this is what is done in Eruope, everywhere else in this world, it's time we emulate them.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | April 28, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Undocumented workers built Prince William County. They added a lot of value to that jurisdiction. This country would strangle in its own spit if it wasn't for the sweat and toil of people who risk a lot to come here. It's time to give them a legal right to be here and continue supporting the value-added that this country produces.

Posted by: chambedr | April 28, 2008 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: T.MILLER | April 28, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

1) Dave - 12 welders is one thing - it's another when farmers must rely on migrant workers at harvest time. Crops are being left to literally rot because farmers cannot get the help. You want those Americans who decide to work these fields (they don't) to get a fair wage? Well be sure to suck it up at the grocery store, because prices will get even higher. The simple truth - again - is this: Americans

All this during a growing food shortage too. What a wonderful policy.

2) The fence - think about your property. Now think about a fence going right through your back yard. Perhaps right up to your house. Perhaps the government will just take it (eminent domain). This is what law-abiding American citizens are facing down along the border - land that has been in families for generations will be taken in one of the biggest federal government land grabs in history. Property was one of the most important items in our Founding documents, and this wall makes mockery of it.

A fence will not solve this problem. Period.

Benjamin Franklin said - Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. Immigration reform can and will work if our political leaders actually take a stand. Let our nation of laws lead the way - not hysterical people.

Posted by: Calm Down and Think | April 28, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Truth - It is funny how the Cato Institute analysis ignores one simple fact - that we have not been at anything approaching full employment since the 1960's. It is only if you ignore that fact that the Cato Institute analysis makes sense. Add to that the fact that today our Unemployment Statistics ignore the unemployed who want to work but have not looked for a job in the last four WEEKS and the Cato analysis falls flat on its face. Per the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 12.2 million Americans are looking for work. Per recently released Social Security Administration data about 7.2 million Illegal Immigrants are working. So in fact Illegal Immigrants HAVE pushed Citizens and Legal Residents into the ranks of the Unemployed. And if you look back over the last two decades this has always been true. So the concept that Illegal Immigrants do work Americans will not do is incorrect. The concept that we need the workers who come here illegally is also not true. The million or so Legal Immigrants per year that we currently let in are enough to meet our job growth needs. The current system gives priorities to workers in areas with labor shortages, like Nursing. As a result, those who come illegally are predominantly in areas where we have many unemployed, looking for work. And the surveys show that the Illegal Workers are in fact depressing wages. In many cases this wage depression pushes wages below that paid by unemployment and welfare. So it would seem that Cato likes to adjust the analysis to fit the conclusion.

Posted by: Norski | April 28, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Last time I checked we were living in America. Land of the brave, home of the free. To bad the only FREE are the ones that souldn't be here. Why are Americans supose to change our ways to accomidate these people. We now have to look at everything with two languages. Our Children are being taught SPANISH, not because they want to but because they have to. I'm sorry but don't you think that maybe that should be reversed. If you go to another country to live you should learn that language. I'm glad we only have people from Mexico coming into this country. Oh wait a minute, we don't. We have people coming from all over the world to live here. So why are we only changing for one and not all the others. Makes you wonder a little. I quess the numbers don't lie. It is long over due for a big change in this country. Clean house so to speak or maybe just maybe the American people will finally say enough is enough and will start doing the job of cleaning house them selves. Either way something needs to be done.

Posted by: Paul | April 28, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Bush quote," jobs Americans won't do..?"
How come then that 12 illegal aliens got arrested in a Newport News shipyard. They were working as welders and earning $28.00 an hour.

So that for a start is a bunch of garbage? Thousands of American workers, who have that skill would be only to happy, to be earning that wage.

Posted by: Dave | April 28, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

We should not restrain any of our law enforcement, from questioning anybody about their immigration status. I Oklahoma, they are beginning to win the illegal immigration invasion battle.


As reported in the London, British media and other national papers around the world. A very high profile article appears in the London Telegraph, UK media. It's so embarrassing that the US press is so liberally biased in it's reporting, that they never offer an open book to reader. Most of the time you getter better researched and unsuppressed reporting from foreign sources.

'Unemployment rates are have dramatically risen across the United States, except in Oklahoma. That state is experiencing the most dramatic reduction in unemployment since 2007, an improvement many in Oklahoma attribute to the passage last year by the state legislature of a strong predator employment sanctions law.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday reported unemployment in Oklahoma had fallen to 3.1 percent in March, down from 4 percent in March last year, while unemployment nationwide was 5.1 percent, up from 4.4 percent in March last year.

"Oklahoma is no longer 'OK' for illegal aliens," said State Rep. Randy Terrill, who sponsored House Bill 1804 which passed by overwhelming majorities last year in both the House (84-14) and Senate (41-6) of the Oklahoma Legislature.

"The bottom line is illegal aliens will not come here if there are no jobs waiting for them," Terrill said. "They will not stay here if there is no government handouts, and they certainly won't stay here if they know that if they ever encounter our state and local law enforcement officers, they will be physically detained until (ICE) arrives.

States like California need to take notice that they had a $9 billion budget meltdown, according to California Assemblywoman Mimi Walters, a Republican from Oceanside

Now you can read the disturbing details in the new 70-page document called "The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Immigration" by Edwin S. Rubenstein ( A Manhattan Institute adjunct academic with a mile-long scholarly resume, he has been doing financial analysis ever since he directed the studies of government waste for the Grace Commission of 1984.

Keep calling your Congressmen today, and demand they co-author The Federal SAVE ACT (H.R. 4088). Toll free at 1-877-851-6437 and 1-866-220-0044 & 1-202-224-3121 AND REGISTER YOUR OUTRAGE.

Also petition to build the border fence as originally planned at grassfire.

Please copy and paste and distribute freely.

Posted by: Brittanicus | April 28, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse


so you've got random people sneaking into your home, sleeping in your bed, eating your food AND using your money? sounds like you need a home security system.

Posted by: NoVA resident | April 28, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I find it amazing that there was even one comment supporting illegal immigration. And even those that I found are emotional arguments that make no logical or pragmatic sense.
There were many other excellent comments to the previous story that were written better than what we find in the WP. They should be ashamed of themselves - making it sound as if pro-illegal immigration supporters made up more than a few of the responses.
We all agree that all people should be treated humanely. But that does not mean illegal immigrants shouldn't go home or be hunted down like an animal when they refuse to do so. We are giving them a chance to leave with their dignity instead being uprooted forcibly. If they stay - they know it's gonna get harder and harder - not a smart move if you have kids.
Illegal aliens should go home and fight to improve conditions in their own countries -we did and still do.

Posted by: MJB44 | April 28, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The problem with implementing comprehensive, is that there is no way to enforce it. If you say "Ok, everybody who is here ilegally, come forward and pay fines, taxes and learn English. Then get into line to earn citizenship." Ok lets be realistic, lets say of of the 12 millon ilegally here, 10 millon take you up on the offer,what the heck do you do about the 2 millon who pretty much say screw you? Do you go after them? We have already been told that we can not round up all the illegals. If we start going after them, the left will go oh you evil right wingers, how dare you go after the illegals who broke the law to get here and then shunned the immigration reform. How do you enforce it? No matter if your on the right, left or stuck in the middle, we need enforcement first. We need a secure border, and I don't mean some virtual fence that can't even stop virtual people. Also we have something called the National Guard and we need to use them. When units have thier 2 weeks a year service, we need to rotate them along the border. For people who say we can't possibly have armed forces on the border, then fine,during a patrol of 5 guards, have 4 unarmed but for god sakes, have at least one armed to protect the others who are not armed.Unless you are somebody that believes that drug runners and certain illegals just don't carry weapons. Its time for the U.S. to get real.

Posted by: fbullock | April 28, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Most of these posts are nonsensical. Here's one that really got me:

"cold fact remains: Americans simply won't do these jobs. "

Well, another cold hard fact is that my brother (born in New York) is a landscaper. So, obviously that statement is flat out wrong. A more correct answer would be that American's demand more pay for jobs that illegal immigrants are willing to work for less. Many businesses want this because it's cheaper on two fronts 1. lower wages and 2. they don't need to pay for worker's comp. insurance. If a business can't survive without underpaying their employees then they don't deserve to be in business.

It seems to me that a number of things could be done to humanly solve the problem. The first step would to implement no-match letters and crack down on business for employing illegals. The next step would be to create a visa system without a path to citizenship (they can wait in line like everyone else) that would allow them to work in the US in certain sectors like agriculture. I think that most of the illegals just want an income larger than the one they can receive in Mexico and not citizenship (hence the plethora of Mexican flags during the first immigration march). ICE should be beefed up to enforce current and future immigration laws.

A way to create jobs in Mexico is to tax companies that import from China for the inspections that are required to verify the quality of said imports. Those higher taxes will do two things, protect the US consumer from unregulated manufacturers in China and will make it more desirable for US companies to manufacture in Mexico instead due to cheaper costs. Manufacturing in Mexico might also be more environmentally friendly since Mexico is much closer than China.

Posted by: Rich | April 28, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I am proud to live and have been educated in Virginia, I am proud of our nation, and I am proud of our nation's history as the "shining city on the Hill." But after reading so many hate-filled, bitter e-mails, it reminds me that the social changes and gains Americans were once proud are being forgotten. It's such a shame, and it's really frightening too.

I think students of history would be interested in comparing the vitriolic fear-mongering common in many of the e-mails with much of the rhetoric in Europe in the 1930s before the Second World War. It's always easy to pick on those who do not have the resources to fight back, regardless of their "legal status."

And by the way, people, calling others names when they disagree with you and yelling loudly doesn't make you right: it just makes you sound angry and afraid...not much above the mental level of a herd of stampeding cattle. I think the great men who wrote the Federalist papers would nod to each other and say: "You see, this, the tyranny of the majority, is what we feared the most." (By the way, the people who wrote the Federalist papers weren't a bunch of "liberal losers": they were guys like Madison and Hamilton!)

Go ahead and yell at me and call me names. Go ahead and show your anger by impugning my integrity. But when reason gives way to hatred and bigotry, and when "respectable" newspapers and politicians give ear to hatred and bigotry, it's the beginning of the end of civilization, which depends on compromise and reasoned discourse to continue to function. God gave us big brains; why not use them instead of resorting to our baser impulses?

Posted by: oldtownwest | April 28, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

It's so funny to see how supporters of illegal immigration use the same tactics to skew the debate. They use the word "xenophobic." They use "immigrant" instead of illegal immigrant." They claim U.S. citizens won't cut grass or make beds thus we must allow 20 million illegals stay. These pro-illegal supporters miss the mark by a mile. They get crushed in this debate over and over and over again - yet they keep up their ignorant name calling arguments. I can't wait to sneak into their homes, sleep in their rooms, eat their food, use their money, and call them xenophobes when they tell me to leave. Fair is Fair!

Posted by: IllegalsLose | April 28, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Daniel Griswold: Immigration law should reflect our dynamic labor market

12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, April 27, 2008

Daniel Griswold is director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington. His writings on immigration can be found at; e-mail him at

Among its many virtues, America is a nation where laws are generally reasonable, respected and impartially enforced. A glaring exception is immigration.

Today an estimated 12 million people live in the U.S. without authorization, 1.6 million in Texas alone, and that number grows every year. Many Americans understandably want the rule of law restored to a system where law-breaking has become the norm.

The fundamental choice before us is whether we redouble our efforts to enforce existing immigration law, whatever the cost, or whether we change the law to match the reality of a dynamic society and labor market.

Low-skilled immigrants cross the Mexican border illegally or overstay their visas for a simple reason: There are jobs waiting here for them to fill, especially in Texas and other, faster growing states. Each year our economy creates hundreds of thousands of net new jobs - in such sectors as retail, cleaning, food preparation, construction and tourism - that require only short-term, on-the-job training.

At the same time, the supply of Americans who have traditionally filled many of those jobs - those without a high school diploma - continues to shrink. Their numbers have declined by 4.6 million in the past decade, as the typical American worker becomes older and better educated.

Yet our system offers no legal channel for anywhere near a sufficient number of peaceful, hardworking immigrants to legally enter the United States even temporarily to fill this growing gap. The predictable result is illegal immigration

In response, we can spend billions more to beef up border patrols. We can erect hundreds of miles of ugly fence slicing through private property along the Rio Grande. We can raid more discount stores and chicken-processing plants from coast to coast. We can require all Americans to carry a national ID card and seek approval from a government computer before starting a new job.

Or we can change our immigration law to more closely conform to how millions of normal people actually live.

Crossing an international border to support your family and pursue dreams of a better life is not an inherently criminal act like rape or robbery. If it were, then most of us descend from criminals. As the people of Texas know well, the large majority of illegal immigrants are not bad people. They are people who value family, faith and hard work trying to live within a bad system.

When large numbers of otherwise decent people routinely violate a law, the law itself is probably the problem. To argue that illegal immigration is bad merely because it is illegal avoids the threshold question of whether we should prohibit this kind of immigration in the first place.

We've faced this choice on immigration before. In the early 1950s, federal agents were making a million arrests a year along the Mexican border. In response, Congress ramped up enforcement, but it also dramatically increased the number of visas available through the Bracero guest worker program. As a result, apprehensions at the border dropped 95 percent. By changing the law, we transformed an illegal inflow of workers into a legal flow.

For those workers already in the United States illegally, we can avoid "amnesty" and still offer a pathway out of the underground economy. Newly legalized workers can be assessed fines and back taxes and serve probation befitting the misdemeanor they've committed. They can be required to take their place at the back of the line should they eventually apply for permanent residency.

The fatal flaw of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act was not that it offered legal status to workers already here but that it made no provision for future workers to enter legally.

Immigration is not the only area of American life where a misguided law has collided with reality. In the 1920s and '30s, Prohibition turned millions of otherwise law-abiding Americans into lawbreakers and spawned an underworld of moon-shining, boot-legging and related criminal activity. (Sound familiar?) We eventually made the right choice to tax and regulate alcohol rather than prohibit it.

In the 19th century, America's frontier was settled largely by illegal squatters. In his influential book on property rights, The Mystery of Capital, economist Hernando de Soto describes how these so-called extralegals began to farm, mine and otherwise improve land to which they did not have strict legal title. After failed attempts by the authorities to destroy their cabins and evict them, federal and state officials finally recognized reality, changed the laws, declared amnesty and issued legal documents conferring title to the land the settlers had improved.

As Mr. de Soto wisely concluded: "The law must be compatible with how people actually arrange their lives." That must be a guiding principle when Congress returns to the important task of fixing our immigration laws.

Daniel Griswold is director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington. His writings on immigration can be found at; e-mail him at

Posted by: Truth | April 28, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

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