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Report from 16th Street: Immigrants on the March

I just returned from watching the immigrant march along 16th Street in downtown Washington. About 14,000 marchers made the long walk from Meridian Hill Park to the Mall, where they are being joined by other supporters of expanded rights for illegal immigrants.

The crowd moved peacefully and happily through the downtown streets chanting, mainly in Spanish, and waving signs and flags. The national banners of El Salvador easily outnumbered the American flags, but some in the crowd chanted "USA, USA" while others went with "Si se puede," which means "Yes, we can." Traffic is being stopped to let the demonstrators move by, but the delays are not very long.

Many of the signs stuck to the more rights for immigrants theme and quite a few offered reminders that all Americans stem from immigrant stock. But some signs were more antagonistic, accusing Americans of purposely keeping illegal immigrants in limbo so as to be able to abuse them with low wages and lousy jobs.

The office workers gathered on the sidewalks to watch the crowd go by were generally quite supportive, applauding and cheering for the immigrants. I saw flags from El Salvador, Honduras, Bolivia, Puerto Rico and Mexico. A significant portion of the crowd carried printed signs distributed by labor groups such as the National Education Association, the service workers union, and the hotel workers union.

In all, it was a cheery gathering under gorgeous, clear skies, reminding all that demonstrations are indeed a spring sport.

By Marc Fisher |  April 10, 2006; 4:25 PM ET
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Comments

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If they feel that they are abused by low wages and lousy jobs, they are certainly free to go back to their native countries. When the Europeans came here years ago, they had the necessary paperwork and permission to do so. Don't come into this country with very little skills and expect high paying jobs.

Posted by: Lyn | April 11, 2006 9:08 AM

The illegal immigrants want more rights. The fact that the organizers had to remind them which country they are representing via flags says it all. What more rights do they want? Statehood for Mexico? It seems that nothing will be suitable until they have at least the status of Puerto Ricans.

There are areas of the US with unemployment. People from those areas can relocate. That is what people used to do. Eastern Europeans were recruited to work in steel mills by industry. All the tech business outsourced in India could have gone to Detroit. I saw a news broadcast about illegals working in the meat packing business [plant in a town near where I grew up]. Legals used to do that as well as work as painters.

There always have been migrant workers but we have not been a country which had a culture of peons performing every task at homes. I've known people who were overseas for business and had a household staff whereas in the US they had no one. Today many people in the DC area have housekeepers, weeders, etc. I've paid 2 college kids to weed for 1 day and to do the same job the landscaper sends 5 guys for 2 days. Look around Northern VA. How many junky strip malls and fast food restaurants do we need? Lots of these places could go out of business and never be missed except by the owner and the non_English speaking workers.

All of the illegals need somewhere to live and their children cost a great deal to educate. Property taxes pay the bulk of education costs and this is not like in the 1800's when the Irish came over en masse. They didn't get many freebies but were responsible for setting up the parochial school system that parallels public systems. I heard a plumber goes and picks up day laborers - just what we need unskilled labor doing plumbing.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2006 9:25 AM

What's next, burglers demonstrating for the freedom to burgle? Trespassers massing to demand the right to enter my home without permission? Cheaters demanding the right to cheat?

Si, se puede - buy forged identities

Si, se puede - lie on official documents

Si, se puede - take your job by undercutting your wages

Si, se puede - spit on your borders

Si, se puede - mock your law enforcement

Si, se puede - feel entitled to overcrowd your schools and hospitals.

Si, se puede - expect the law to be different for us than for others

Si, se puede - cheat those who play by the rules

Si, se puede - feel entitled to something we have no right to merely because we go to work everyday.

I hope they DO build a wall across the southern border, then you all will have to obey the law like the rest of us. You won't be able to push and shove ahead of those who come here legally. Jerks. You spit on the laws and rights our forefathers worked for and built. How DARE you expect us to welcome you, who despise the very foundation of this country...the law?!

Posted by: Oh Really | April 11, 2006 9:50 AM

I notice the caption on the photo of the protest includes "high school students on spring break." How cute- it makes it seem like they did not skip school for their prior protest. And then school busses were sent to retrieve them. Note the WP did not report on the stabbing by Edison HS protestors. What else happened there? How much in tax dollars were spent on the protests? As for repsecting when school is in session, Fairfax went to a Modifed Calendar at some schools because Hispanics in some countries traditonally have break in January not July. La di dah. Cut that item from the budget.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2006 10:26 AM

Our President and Senators are the ones to blame. The right thing to do at this juncture is to:

1)Immediately post US forces along the south west border to secure it.
2) Build an impenetrable wall along the smae span starting NOW!
3) FINE the corrupt big businesses and arrest their corporate leaders for hiring Illegals.
4) Arrest and deport all illegal immigrants - you can find them at the demonstrations carrying flags of other countries.
5) Establish, BY LAW, English as the national language. Correct all machines that read or say: "Press 1 for Spanish and 2 for English"

Write your Senators and demand they do the RIGHT thing - adopt the congressional bill with stronger amendments. Illegal immigration is WRONG!


Posted by: Right and Wrong | April 11, 2006 10:58 AM

Lyn writes "When the Europeans came here years ago, they had the necessary paperwork and permission to do so." That's not necessarily true. The present-day immigration bureaucracy didn't exist until the late nineteenth or early twentieth century. By today's standards, the immigrant ancestors of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln would be illegals.
No one has a good count of illegal immigrants in the United States, but estimates run around eleven or twelve million. The cost of rounding them up, prosecuting them, and deporting them would be astronomical and would probably be about as effective as trying to beat back the tides. What programs would be cut to pay for such a program, or would this simply be another bill that conservatives could pass on to future generations, along with the cost of the war in Iraq, the cost of tax cuts for the wealthiest, and so on?
Perhaps, instead of "How can we get rid of them?" the question needs to be "How are we going to live with them?"

Posted by: dramst | April 11, 2006 11:46 AM

In your column of April 16,in the section where the readers exposed their comments, I noticed that all of them had an anti-immigrant position. I really don’t believe that all the American natives are in favor of the fascists resolutions taken by the congress (of course not of their members). A very distinguished news paper like “Washington Post” should present the comments anti or pro immigrants and not only one side of the coin.

Posted by: rafael triana | April 11, 2006 12:02 PM

I am not anti-immigrant ! I'm anti illegal immigrant ! We should keep a staunch position and not callously toss away citizenship rights to those who can bulk up enough numbers to justify their desires. As a matter of fact they should be SOLD citizenship at $100,000 per person or some figure calculated to show what the projected government cost is that they would burden as citizens ! And no one, no one, no one should come into this country without (1) speaking English - good enought to pass starndardized tests (2) embracing American culture. There is no need to come into America attempting to BRING your own culture. If you're so passionate about your culture, stay in your country with it !

Posted by: Homnoir | April 11, 2006 12:22 PM

What do you call 2 million people marching in the streets of American cities waving flags and speaking the language of foreign countries? A Foreign Army!

What do you call 12 million people doing the same? An Invasion!

People like Senator Kennedy and Arlen Specter say it’ll cost billions of dollars to send the invading Army home. A quick cost comparison of the tax dollars currently spent for support vs. deportation should serve to expose that lie. Let’s see …12 million people times $30000 per person per year = $360000000000. Hmm, Arlen, Ted - can you please spend my tax dollars on deportation of the invading army?

If you are a Gringo and enter Mexico illegally, YOU are a Felon! Let the law of reciprocation apply here. If you enter the US illegally, you are a felon and should be locked up and deported to a Mexican Prison. That’s the deal we should strike with Mexico for all the financial aid it currently receives from the U.S.

It’s time to stop the invasion – support the House plan and send the invaders home.

Posted by: Quid Pro Quo | April 11, 2006 12:53 PM

I am astounded by the hate that is expressed in this thread today. Where is all of this hate coming from inside of you all? Did your parents drop you on your head when you were kids? That might explain it. I am a white male. I love the Latinos and appreciate all that they contribute to our society. And do you know what? Eventually, they will prevail and will be given amnesty, thank goodness. If the GOP and Dems don't give amnesty because it is the right thing to do, then they will do it because it is the politically smart thing to do, given the growth of the Latino population. Keep 'em coming.

Posted by: Gringo | April 11, 2006 1:01 PM

If you are a citizen, by birth or through naturalization you are an American.

If you are here on a temporary visa, work visa or illegally you are not an American.

People are deliberatly trying to confuse the issue. The issue is illegal immigrattion period. The United States has laws concerning coming into the US to live and work. If you are willing to obey those laws and do what is asked of you by those laws, they you are welcome here and should be. If you are going to sneak across the border, and come into this country illegally then you are not welcome and should be sent back to the country that you came from, and not allowed to return.

Posted by: scooterSST | April 11, 2006 1:08 PM

How any I going to live with them? I will not hire them for any services that I may need, I will not attempt to decipher what they are saying, and I will not ruin the brakes on my car to avoid hitting them when they walk out in the road in front of me. Many of them do not even try to learn simple safety measures. The question is, what programs are going to be cut in order to give them welfare and living assistance. How much is already being spent on trying to control the MS13 gang. DEPORT THEM!!

Posted by: Lyn | April 11, 2006 1:09 PM

SI SE PUEDE
WE NEED EQUALRIGHTS CUZ WE ARE
ALL THE SAME

Posted by: cindy | April 11, 2006 1:54 PM

you know what, fuC* all off you gringos who cleans the bathrooms who does the dishes who cooks those cheesburgers your eating right now guess who that same person marching in the streets. ok you are right weare not americans neither were the black people that came from africa so they are now. we don't even want to stay here we just want to work.

Posted by: the mexican rider | April 11, 2006 1:54 PM

we don't want to stay here we just want a drivers license ooooookkkkkkkkkkkk !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

MAY iSt your going to have to clean your own bathrooms you are good luck because you are going to need it !!!!!!!111

Posted by: mexican 4 life | April 11, 2006 1:59 PM

1. The Africans (Africans is spelled with a capitol "A") was forced to come here. You were not forced to come here. You slithered across the border like a snake. Many Africans would like to have returned to Africa, but they had no means to do so.

2. I clean the bathrooms in my house myself. I don't want you in my house.

3. Can you not get a drivers license in Mexico? If we do give you a drivers licence, will you please drive back to Mexico!

4. The last two postings (the mexican rider and mexican 4 life) is vaguely comprehensible. Those posting shows little educational background so maybe you better stick to flipping those cheeseburgers (in Mexico).

Posted by: Lyn, | April 11, 2006 2:46 PM

Posted by: the mexican rider | April 11, 2006 01:54
"you know what, fuC* all off you gringos who cleans the bathrooms who does the dishes who cooks those cheesburgers your eating right now guess who that same person marching in the streets. ok you are right weare not americans neither were the black people that came from africa so they are now. we don't even want to stay here we just want to work."

THEN COME IN LEGALLY, that's all that anyone is asking, the United States has laws, follow them. If you come in illegally you spit on the country that you want to work in, and it's laws and history

Posted by: scooterSST | April 11, 2006 2:55 PM

I wonder where the editorof the blog is. The Mexican Rider cursed the people who oppose illegal immigration at 1:54 p.m. April 11, 2006. Does anyone think that the washingtonpost.com would not edit vulgar comments by opponents of the massive illegal immigration into the U.S.?

Posted by: metrobus57 | April 11, 2006 3:19 PM

Please Do not Compare Africans to Illegal Immigrants! That's an entirely different story.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 11, 2006 3:27 PM

metrobus57, I agree that there is no need for profanity. What needs to be said should be stated in a professional manner. Emotions can be properly stated if worded without profanity or threats.

Posted by: WB | April 11, 2006 3:32 PM

Homnoir writes:

"And no one, no one, no one should come into this country without (1) speaking English - good enought to pass starndardized tests"

Thanks for playing, Homnoir -- you've just been deported.

Posted by: irony is sweet | April 11, 2006 3:55 PM

First lets make a few things very clear.

America is a continent not a country, the United States is not the continent.

Illegal immigrants are not taking the jobs you want, the jobs you want are taken by the Vietnamese immigrants, the Indians and the other Europeans which by the way so stay here illegally way after their visas have expired, I have a few friends in that position.

Third, on what moral grounds do you stand to make judgment on who is legal or who is not.

From a Native American Perspective, I you are of European Descent you are and illegal immigrant and a descendant of people with genocidal tendencies.

Illegal was the acquisition of land by the firs Europeans to touch land in this our continent.

Terrorist and criminals were those to wiped out an estimated 30 million indigenous people who had been living here for thousands of years

The acquisition of land by the United Stated Government in the 1800 from an Illegitimate European president ruling Mexico was Illegal.

Mexican People are indigenous to this land; our ancient cultures still show remnants of influence stretching from Idaho to Honduras.

In this our land there were no borders before the European Invasion, the borders were created by the European invasion. You created the borders, you respect them.

If you want claim to the land, purchase it from the surviving Indigenous nations that survive.

Pay the rightful price for the land stolen from Mexico or return it. WE will make arrangements with the existing indigenous nations of the south west who in any case are related to the central Mexican nations too.

Last Year in Mexico alone 40,000 farmers lost their land to American Corporations, where do you think those farmers are going now. You guessed right.

Stop your corporations and your banks from driving farmers out of business, their greedy dealing don’t benefit you or us.

Most Mexicans are still under the assumption that we are here visitors as foreigners, but once we realize our ancestry and our claim to the land.

Then that is when you should feel afraid, for now we are just thankful to have jobs.

another thing, illegal immigrants do pay taxes because although they don’t have a legal SSN the tax payments still go to the IRS the only difference is we can't claim a return.

Think about it people.

You enjoy your dollar burgers at the local burger stand, your radishes cheap, your oranges; things are so cheap we throw away food.

Do you think anyone will be able to afford to give you these prices if they have to pay someone 10 dollars an hour?

Think people, Think.

Posted by: Native American | April 11, 2006 4:01 PM

Native American,

I agree that the government owes the Native American Tribes within the borders of the United States plenty, and I hope one day that they do. But the govenment, nor the citizens of the US owe anything to anyone outside of our borders.

People are considered illegal immigrants because they've broken the laws of the United States, they've come across our (your) borders without following the procedures set in place so that they may become productive law abinging citizens of the US.

Do you think that for one second if that next illegal happens to be a terrorist carrying a dirty bomb, or Anthrax, he's going to skip over the Native Americans, no he's not, you're a westerner just like the rest of us. He's as willing to kill you as he is to kill a white man.

These laws are in place to protect us, to protect you. Don't you think their would be more jobs for american citizens if their weren't 12 million illegals in the US.

Illegals should be taxed on their wages, whay should they be allowed to use resources for free that the rest of have to pay for?

Your friends who have broken the law by being in the country on expired visas should either have them extended, apply for citizenship or be deported and not allowed to return.


My point is this, if you're from another country and are willing to abide by the immigration laws of the US, then you should be welcomed. If not, stay where you are.

Posted by: scooterSST | April 11, 2006 4:51 PM

Wow, the fear here is palpable. So this is what happens when some folks feel they're losing a hold on a country they thought they owned when they never possessed it to begin with.

How can this be resolved?

1) The feds won't deport or jail 11 million people (roughly equivalent to every person in Ohio). Our jails are overcrowded now at 2 million. Not to mention, the political backlash from Latinos would be devastating to whichever party was seen as the bigger promoter of this move.

2) If wages must be raised to encourage citizens to take jobs now held by illegal immigrants, the shock to the economy will make rising energy costs comparatively tame.

3) If, as someone posted earlier, the economies of Mexico and central and South America are to be strengthened to stanch the flow of illegal immigrants from those nations, it's going to have to happen multilaterally, not unilaterally, and in a collaborative way. America's history in dealing with its hemispheric neighbors has been anything but multilateral (sometimes it's been at the point of a gun). The Bush administration has not done any serious policy work on the guest program for Mexican workers since Vicente Fox visited the week before 9/11.

I don't know how this is going to be resolved. But mass deportations, long walls/fences and criminalizing behavior is a short-term fix. Maybe it's time to consider building a closer alliance with Central and South America -- not just economically, but in terms of regional policy. Because as long as inequities exist, America will be a magnet for people who want to build a better life and will risk anything to get here. If you have nothing to lose, it's understandable why a wall or a fence or a law will never be a deterrent.

Posted by: slimboogie | April 11, 2006 5:17 PM

Lyn: "I will not ruin the brakes on my car to avoid hitting them when they walk out in the road in front of me."

Y'know, I'm at a loss to determine the level of hatred displayed by so many people on this issue. If somebody said that about *opossums* I wouldn't leave them alone with my kids; just how bent do you have to be to cheerfully volunteer that opinion about human beings? Do you support running over all non-violent offenders, or just non-white ones?

Posted by: cminus | April 11, 2006 5:46 PM

I am comletely shocked and appalled by the blatant racist hatred I have just read. If any of you even tried to understand the issue from the viewpoint of an immigrant(illegal or not), maybe you'd have an inkling of knowledge to then make an informed decision, but you don't. Whatever happend to "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you?!"
Although this nation promotes ideas such as "liberty and justice for all", we are a nation of hypocrites. Who is given access to these rights? WASP; White Anglo-Saxon Protestant. Historically, America has been a nation built upon exploitation and oppression. African Americans were brought over here on slave ships and forced to build our nation into what it is today and then denied access to the very society they built. Our forefathers were the terrorists who stole land from Native Americans along with Mexicans as well. Since when does genocide give us the right to claim citizenship?
Furthermore, these supposed laws that immigrants are supposed to abide by are so ludicrous and unfeasible that its no wonder they have to go through such "illegal" hardships to get here. Its a proven fact that most Americans couldn't even pass the citizenship tests if tested. It seems the immigration policy set up now is one based on luck and chance. Immigrants go through a great deal just to gain access to a better life. Is that not why Americans originally came over here in the first place? To escape persecution?
Another point I saw a lot of you bring up was the issue of "our" tax dollars being wasted. Why not put "our" tax dollars to proper use and stop squandering it all on pointless wars on "terrorism" in Iraq and further lining the pockets of the already rich and powerful upperclass?
However, if you really had your facts straight, you'd realize that they work just as hard, if not harder to get what meager earnings they make and yet they STILL pay taxes (w/out tax returns). Wasn't our slogan during the Revolutionary War "no taxation w/ out representation?"

Lady Liberty claims "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door." We as a nation pride ourselves on our supposed diversity and equality for all, yet we deny those vital rights to anyone who is different.
Who are we to determine who has access to the American Dream and who doesn't?

Justice or Just us?

Posted by: outraged | April 11, 2006 8:16 PM

cminus (your grade): I believe I included in my statement a concern regarding safety. How many times has someone of Latino decent walked (or riden a bicycle)directly into a lane of moving traffic and has gotten hit. Do they think that we can stop our vehicles immediately once they set foot onto the roadway? There has been many reports of Latinos stepping out into traffic with no regard to their own safety. Especially on highways. This is obviously not the type of living conditions they are used to AND they demand drivers licenses! My statement stands as originally posted. I have been to other countries and I know that as a guest in those countries, I need to know their rules. Oh, by the way, when I am in other countries, I am there LEGALLY!!

Posted by: Lyn | April 11, 2006 8:59 PM

One thing the immigration debate has done is highlight the racial divide in this country beyond even what I see, as a black person, on a daily basis. Yesterday, as I was walking to the daycare to pick up my daughter, a white man with Virginia tags rolled up to me and yelled at me and the group of latinos who were walking past me to head downtown to "go back to where we all came from" and called us "a bunch of n*****s and sp**s." It reminded me of what my granddaddy used to say; he said when the white man doesn't need you here anymore, he wants you to leave.

My husband, who is a U.S. citizen from El Salvador, gets called an "illegal" on a regular basis. Blacks complain that the latinos speak spanish; I only wish that my ancestors had been able to maintain the language that they first spoke when they were forced to come here; I admire anyone who willingly passes down their heritage to their children and encourage my husband to teach my daughter to speak Spanish.

There are so many hateful things going on now that I rarely even watch the news or want to read the paper because of the reminders of racism. I grew up in the District; I was five when Dr. King was assassinated. I thought that by the time my oldest daughter was an adult maybe people would have come a little further; she's now 20, and it looks like my 4-year-old will see the same things when she grows up, and so will her kids. All I can do is continue to teach my children to rise above the ignorance and stupidity.

Posted by: Alice Thornton | April 11, 2006 10:29 PM

For some reason I am not surprice for the coments I have read today, as an Immigrant this is basicly what we deal with in our daily basis.
We may not be as perfect as you people exspect us to be but, we try to do our best to earn money, to help our families back home. And if we stand proud of our home land is because we left our countries because we needed to. Not because we just wanted to experienced some thing knew.
I guess those that hate immigrants. Never had any fanacial problem and be greatful.
If I was to continue making comments base on all of what I have read, I'll never end.
I just want to say thank you to all of those real Americans that believe in Justice for all the Latin American people.
and to all of the Latinos in USA and other places of the world '' SI SE PUEDE '' because God is our lawyer and there is nothing imppossibe for God.''GOD BLESS AMERICA"

Posted by: Latina and proud | April 11, 2006 11:07 PM

I'm just moved to quote the famous poem by Emma Lazarus that's on the plaque at the basis of the Statue of Liberty; it used to be memorized by all school children. It's meant to remind us to have tolerance for ALL PEOPLE who come to the U.S. in search of a better life:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Posted by: Alice Thornton | April 11, 2006 11:24 PM

c'mon people, the very idea of the United States simply flinging it's borders wide open and letting everyone in is ridiculous. I have no doubt that the majority of those who come across are decent hard working people looking for a better life, but that's why we have immigration laws, so that those people can gain access, while those who are criminals, or terrorists or just want a handout, are barred.

Do these laws need to be modified, maybe. (I was born in the States, I've seen the test I think I can pass it.) There has got to be a way to let those in who want to contribute and become productive in, without compromising border security.

Posted by: scootersst | April 12, 2006 10:58 AM

Response to Scooter SST

YOu are right scooter in one poing, "there are laws" but the laws are not mostly not to protect us, but rather to control us.

If there was a legal way to immigrate it would be am sure the preffered method of entry to the United States.

Let me explain to you how it works so that you understand and educate yourself before you and people like you make blanket statements based on ignorance.

1. There are no working visas offered currently for latin americans.

this are offered to Indians, Chinesse and other to take up the jobs that americans really do want, such as in technology, mathematics, bio chemistry, engineering etc.

2. In order to get a visa for entry from the united states one first needs to prove that that they have property or funds in a bank of 50,000.00 american dollars.

Do most amerians have 50,000.00 dollars in the bank?

Are Americans requiered to document such amounts when entering a foreign country, to work or to visit?


3. There is no legal way to enter the country unless yourself are citizen of the U.S and plant to legalize a wife or parents.

that i a long wait.


4. Illegal immigrants do pay taxes from their wages, because although ther SS is false, the taxes still make it to the IRS. AS i stated in my other post, the only difference in having a legal SS and a false one is that at the time of tax returns, pople who submited a false SS cannot possibly claim a return.

5. All employers are required to take an SS number, even when in is obvious that its false. this is their way of protecting themselves from being fined.
Cheching if an SS is valid is not required but an option.

Educate yourselves before you speak, in this mammer you will sound less racist.

Posted by: Native American | April 12, 2006 1:47 PM

Native American, you would sound more educated if you would proofread before you post.

Posted by: Lyn | April 12, 2006 2:07 PM

I know Lyn I am in a hurry.
now that I look at it, it's a bit embarrassing.

It's too late for regrets now.

Posted by: Native American | April 12, 2006 2:21 PM

Native American: Here's the VISA list from the INS, show me where it states

http://uscis.gov/graphics/services/visas.htm


1: No visas are offered to Latin Americans
2: That any visa costs $50,000, or any property or funding prerequisite
3: That citizenship in the US is a pre-requisite for obtaining a visa

I think you have this confused with the requirement to emmigrate from the US to Mexico, where you have to prove that you have 40,000 times the average wage in liquid assests if you plan to retire there or 400,000 times the average wage in liquid asssets if plan to move there and work.

"Educate yourselves before you speak." I would say the same to you

Posted by: scootersst | April 12, 2006 2:48 PM

First of all, we stole this land from Native Americans, so the "they broke the law" line rings a little hollow with me.

Basically, the whole opposition to granting full right to these people (and yes, they are people they live among you, they are our neighbors and, for the most part, none of them have ever done anything to you) is that they are here illegally. Lets get real.

Yes, they broke a law coming here. The law is on the books. But like laws against sodomy, we do not enforce it. That's not their fault, it is ours. If we wanted the law enforced, we should've elected representatives who would enforce it. We did'nt, they're now here, and it is too late to cry its illegal.

Every generation, there's a tax amnesty. No one cries about it's illegal then. Every few years, there's an amnesty on tickets. No one bitches about giving lawbreakers a break then. So spare me the I don't care about race, it's a matter of they broke the law.

It is about race. The face of the illegal immigrant is Hispanic, although there are lots of Poles, Irish, Russians and others. You come to this country from Cuba, you get in, no questions asked. Because of morality? No, politics; Cuban-Americans (most of whom, after the fall of Castro, were white and moneyed) had a good lobby. I dont hate, I'm just saying, stop with the hypocrisy.

These people who are so often demonized work hard, for low wages. They obey the law; they can't afford not to. They pay taxes. They are a lot more deserving of a break than your typical Halliburton or Enron executive (and, for the record, Im a Republican). In my book, you work hard, you deserve to be rewarded, not persecuted. Let them stay, let them become citizens. It seems to me that a privilege ought to go to those who really want it, instead of being wasted on so many who take it for granted. You make those people citizens, and their kids will be the best citizens of our country, because their parents will teach them to appreciate the sacrifice it took for them to be citizens.

Posted by: RML/DC | April 12, 2006 3:19 PM

Listen, what is on paper is different from the reality and the context. I know for a fact what I am sharing because I am an advocate for Indigenous people who were separated from their families by the unlawful and superficial border between the U.S and Mexico.

Indigenous people such a as the Raramuri, the Yaqui, Tohono Odham, Pai Pay, Havasu Pay and many others who have relatives on this side of the border but can't get visas because they are poor. How do I know? Because my Parents are "law" abiding paying taxes working two shift so you can have your 12 dollar t shirts, living in a 2 bedroom house with 10 other Indians because the cost of living is so high and the wage so low.

It took my brother who had the misfortune of having been born on the other side with our relatives there, 15 years to be legalized. My brother who is a Native American person having to cross illegally in his own land, the land of his ancestors is truly illegal.

A border and laws pressed upon us by illegitimate Invaders from overseas, you tell me if your laws are just. Face it Mexicans are Indigenous to this lands, Native Americans and Mexicans share same ancestry, they have been coming and going for thousands of years, so now because yours genocidal forefather said so, its illegal now and they are terrorist? What a bunch or you know what.

Immigration laws sound good on paper but the fact is that it is not as simple as it looks.
Who in their right mind would risk their lives if there was a legal way to immigrate?

One thing I will agree with you and the KKK is that no one should come to this country or any country and become a gangster, to steal to be lazy citizen or not citizen, no one should be allowed to rape or molest or dirty the streets.

Should the border be reinforced? Yes not doubt. Will people still come, you bet ya, and there is no stopping human beings who have to feed their children, no way.

If Americans really wanted to solve the problem they you would look into the effect of the demise of Subsistence farming in Latin America during the 50’s and again in the 70’s encouraged by the U.S Gov. The World Bank and other American Financial institution under the pretext of World Market.

If you really wanted to make a change you would attack the roots of the problem and look deeper into the after effect of NAFTA, CAFTA and other Gov, endorsed programs which see to deepen the pockets of the ruling class in this country and exploit to the bone people here in the us and overseas.

Little by little everyone is becoming a neo slave, greed has no color preference, but it knows how to use it to divide and conquer.

Your immigrant forefathers are no different than these new one, they would have crossed illegally, the difference is that they came in a boat and there is an ocean between that boat and safe land. Don’t doubt for a second that if they could have landed in Canada or Mexico that they would have not come here “Illegally”.

The legality of labeling legal or illegal immigration has no moral value because I our book everyone with exemption of the African Americans are all illegal and invaders.

A nation founded in deceit, genocide and slavery has very little moral grounds to uphold laws against others.

Posted by: repply to Scooter sst | April 12, 2006 4:23 PM

To ScooterSSt

I appreciate your responses and I hope we can all grow from this. Every time, more and more I hear the so called "Latinos" talk about themselves as indigenous, which means that the claim to the land will be revived. It will already be incredibly difficult for the U.S to deport 12 million people can you imagine the pandemonium it that will create.

If that congressman would have not pushed the wrong buttons you would not have to worry about this issue of giving visas.

Now it’s not just a matter of stopping the racist bill, but now it’s about getting amnesty for all this people, it will not stop until this is done.

Seems that the poison turned against the snake.

Let's not forget that the African American is not very happy about the deal they have gotten.

The government is so weak at this point with the incredible debt "W" has racked up, no end to the war, Latin American waking up country by country, electing indigenous presidents who look out for the people rather than U.S corporation.

It is getting tough, and it will get tougher.

The gas prices are already going up again, Exxon won’t comply with Venezuela in the deal which will benefit the people of that country rather than the CEO.

With Iran becoming a target for the U.S

If you thought the Iraqis are wild, ohh let me tell you about the Iran people.

Those are some proud people; it won't be like kicking a skinny dog like in Afghanistan.

I pray that the U.S comes out of this one decade a somewhat healthy economy.

anyways my best wishes to all of us, I wish that our companies don’t replace us by operators from overseas and that we remain healthy and our gas does not become more expensive.

Posted by: Native American | April 12, 2006 4:44 PM

Native American,

I agree and I hope that somewhere there's comprimise, where those that are here, because it would sheer folly to try to capture and procecute 12 million people, can find a path to citizenship.

Many people have stated that the means to an end may be bring the rest of the continent up to the level that the US is. That also means comprimise and cooperation from the governments of Mexico and Central America. I'm not sure that they're willing to do that.

I wish that some people would see that just because I want resonable border security and immigration laws, doesn't make me a racist.

Show me a country without border control and I'll show you a country in chaos.

Aonaibh ri cheile (Gaelic: Unite Together)
scoooter

Posted by: scooterSST | April 12, 2006 5:31 PM

Does anyone remember when Bush tried to fix social security for the next generation? Some leadership! And now both he and Ted Kennedy, for sake of political short term votes, want to add 20 Million illegal immigrants to the social security system? The sons and daughters of all the legal immigrants who have abided for decades by the laws of this nation, are about to inherit a bankupt system thanks to idiotic politicians. Every blogger of this article has a myoptic view.

Think long term - after amnesty, why stop at violating immigration laws? "Laws are meant to be broken" is the message that's being sent to our children. Breaking any law will be acceptable after amnesty - no penalty. Drug smuggling, now routine across the Mexican border, will be the rule not the exception. That's why Afghanistan is steadily increasing their yield of poppies - there's a big hole in America's gateway. Of course, more than middle eastern poppies are likely easing through that hole too. It's time to fix it.

Twenty years from now, look back and ask yourselves, 'did I do the right thing for all the LEGAL generations who will inherit the results of my pro illegal immigration decision?'

Posted by: Math Man | April 13, 2006 9:02 AM

To Math Man.

Math man if you do your math, which you probably have not. If you become legal, you pay taxes right, just like everyone else, so, I still don't understand how is it that legalizing 12 million people will ruin the already broken Social Security System. Illegal immigrants already pay taxes thereby providing economical support for the SSS they rarely use.

Here is an article for you reinforcing my point.

http://www.nysun.com/article/30872


Now is regards to drugs, do you know what drug is the most addictive right now? Right up there with Heroin? Its a drug called crystal meth. It is creating an epidemic throughout the Western states and now moving to the eastern states. The raw matter used to make this drug is in cold medicines. Our government has refused to alter or control the supply of this material taking the side of the pharmaceutical corporations.

If you really cared about the future you would have already looked into this issue rather than be ranting about some non issue.

When it comes to drugs, you know very well that white America loves them particularly.

As long as there is a demand, there will be a supplier. Control the Borders yes, but these will not stop your kid from using drugs.

Here a good documentary.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/meth/view/

Posted by: REAL MATH | April 13, 2006 12:21 PM

If you think that most illegal immigrants are paying social security and income taxes you would be mistaken. The fact is that most, if not paid in cash which is not declared, are paid as "Independent contractors" and no taxes are taken out. The identification numbers used are usually fraudulent SSN's or ITINs. Most of the documents contain phony addresses as well. Working in a small city in Ohio, we lost thousands of dollars in taxes to these illegal imigrants.

Another thing to consider is that most of the money that these illegal immigrants earn does not add to the economy, it is repatriated to the home country, therefore harming the economy even further.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 13, 2006 1:38 PM

I took honors English in high school, volunteered over 3000 hours to my community by the time I was 20, got a 4.03 GPA in high school... Whatever monies I earn, I declare when filing time comes around... I've lived in the US for well over a decade now and I'm still and illegal alien. I'm considered a model member of society by my peers and those who know me.

What can I do? I did not "bring myself" to this country; my parents did. I do best with what I have and try to give what I can to others. What's a person like me supposed to do?

My parents are now legal aliens... My family is here now...

On another topic, legalizing millions of undocumented people will only bring prosperity to this country, I believe. Of all the foreign-born workers in the US, 30% is unauthorized to work; that's about 6.4 million workers (as of March 2004 -figures by the Congressional Budget Office). For all of those that like numbers, on an average contribution in taxes of $2000 per year, that's 12.8 trillion dollars per year in taxes...

This is by far a complex issue and everyone's opinion WILL NOT be pleased. In my case, I've lived in the US over half my life; I would like to remain here because this is where my family is. As of now, I cannot work legally; I'm not even supposed to have a driver's license in most places, nor can I apply to a college loan.

Thanks for the time to read and I hope more ideas get put in motion so that fair and sensible solutions can implemented.

Posted by: AV | April 13, 2006 3:07 PM

The perfect opportunity squandered...

All the criminals together in one place. They should have been rounded up & deported.

Posted by: Registered Voter | April 14, 2006 10:51 AM

The Math Man envisions a new approach - a standard American business model solution to the illegal immigration problem – a buy out! Current costs for illegals now run the American taxpayer about $30,000 per year per person – i.e.. free education and free medical. A more affordable fix is to use our tax dollars to pay every illegal immigrant $5,000 to go home voluntarily. The Government could even kick in one-way air fair – commercial too.

The illegal immigrant downsizing plan would be fair to illegals and, while objectionable to many Americans, cheaper and fairer to the public in the long run. Five grand, tax free, in one lump sum would be easier to accept for many, far less mean spirited than criminalization, and go a long way in Mexico. Then, we citizens could build a wall across the southwest border without any dissent - aside from Bush and Kennedy.

This is a doable plan. Illegals show up at the airport, get a check, board a plane and leave. They can then file for citizenship properly. We might even have some Al Qaeda terrorists go home under those terms. On the other hand, it might not be enough for MS13 gang members.

Politicians and big business have raked the American public for too long. It’s time for them to fix the mess they made by not enforcing immigration laws over the years. If they can’t get real, maybe they can try being creative. Remember, 9/11 was an immigration problem. We should have cleaned house and built a wall then.

Posted by: Math Man | April 14, 2006 11:17 AM

I have a better Idea for all you Illegal immigrants.

All of you, go back to Europe where you came from.

This is our land, it was our before you came and it is ours now.

Get used to it, we are not leaving!!!

You have done a great service to the immigrant community by showing your true colors.

Racism is still so rampant, but of course how could we forget that jim crow was a reality just a few decades ago.

Unfortunately you have waken up the giant, I wish that the Gov would try to round up 11 million people.

It would be civil war. WE ARE FROM HERE,LAND OF OUR ANCESTERS, THIS IS MORE OUR LAND THAN IT IS YOURS, WE BUILT IT, WE ARE THE BACK THAT SUSTAINS IT.

Posted by: Ignorance Monitor | April 14, 2006 2:26 PM

Lyn is correct to point out the differences between the tide of European immigration so many years ago, and this current invasion from Mexico. The two are very different. There is an ocean between North America and Europe. It was hard to get here.

"By today's standards, the immigrant ancestors of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln would be illegals." One of the more specious arguments I've heard.

Rounding them up and deporting them doesn't have to be done all at once. But it has to be begun. And without a wall and beefed up border security, you're right, that would be a waste of time and money.

President Fox is getting away with murder at our expense. It's a certainty al-qaeda has used the southern border to stroll in while we were squabbling over telephone surveillance and confiscating nail clippers at airports. And the immense numbers of poor, desperate people in a small time frame is killing us. Certainly we should always be welcoming to immigrants. We always will be with or without a wall. If this keeps up this will be a country nobody in their right mind would want to live in -- forget about immigrate to.

Posted by: Margot | May 1, 2006 1:02 PM

Ignorance Monitor forgets in his chest-beating April 14 comments where he claims this country belongs to Mexico by ancestral right, that the Spanish conquistadors he's so proud to have descended from conducted a lengthy campaign of vicious, bloody slaughter to steal the land he so righteously claims as his from the only group that can legitimately make that claim.

Posted by: John | May 1, 2006 1:11 PM

To John,

John, Spanihs conquistadors were also illegals, slave owners and well as genocidal maniacs. No concious Mexican is proud of having their blood running throuhg their blood, if any.

This land does not belong to Mexico, it belongs to the descendats of the original people who inhavit this land.

We have always been here, it belongs to us, because we are the original inhavitants fo this land. Culturaly, lenguisticaly, geneticaly and economicaly we have always been in contact.

Before your immigrant grandparents, we were here, we are here and we will always be here in our sacred land.

If you dont like how this place is run, go back to europe.

Posted by: Ignorance Monitor | May 1, 2006 6:50 PM

"We have always been here, it belongs to us, because we are the original inhavitants fo this land. Culturaly, lenguisticaly, geneticaly and economicaly we have always been in contact.

Before your immigrant grandparents, we were here, we are here and we will always be here in our sacred land.

If you dont like how this place is run, go back to europe.
"

IM,

Your argument doesn't make sense yes the Native American do have a claim to the US, but those people are the Navaho, Cherokee, Sioux, Iroquois, Onandaga, Seminole etc. Not the Aztec, Toltec, Mayan or any of the central american people, they never crossed the Rio Grande. You have no claim. Your hijacking my Cherokee ancestors issues as your own the same way that Al-Queda tryed to hijack the Palenstinian issue.

If your going to be angry, be angry at Vincente Fox for not trying to raise the standard of living in Mexico. For not working with the US on imigration issues, for allowing your people to be kidnapped and dragged across the border to work in sweat shops and as prostitutes.

Be angry at the central america leaders who turn a blind eye to this problem, while taking bribes from drug cartels instead of trying to bring their people out of poverty.

Be angry at the drug cartels who make your people slaves to harvest their product.

Don't be angry at the United States, who's trying to help you have a better life if you follow the rules

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2006 10:06 AM

"We have always been here, it belongs to us, because we are the original inhavitants fo this land. Culturaly, lenguisticaly, geneticaly and economicaly we have always been in contact.

Before your immigrant grandparents, we were here, we are here and we will always be here in our sacred land.

If you dont like how this place is run, go back to europe.
"

IM,

Your argument doesn't make sense yes the Native American do have a claim to the US, but those people are the Navaho, Cherokee, Sioux, Iroquois, Onandaga, Seminole etc. Not the Aztec, Toltec, Mayan or any of the central american people, they never crossed the Rio Grande. You have no claim. Your hijacking my Cherokee ancestors issues as your own the same way that Al-Queda tryed to hijack the Palenstinian issue.

If your going to be angry, be angry at Vincente Fox for not trying to raise the standard of living in Mexico. For not working with the US on imigration issues, for allowing your people to be kidnapped and dragged across the border to work in sweat shops and as prostitutes.

Be angry at the central america leaders who turn a blind eye to this problem, while taking bribes from drug cartels instead of trying to bring their people out of poverty.

Be angry at the drug cartels who make your people slaves to harvest their product.

Don't be angry at the United States, who's trying to help you have a better life if you follow the rules

Posted by: scooterSST | May 2, 2006 10:06 AM

Illegal immigrants leech from this country: no taxes since they get paid in cash; burden our schools; overcrowd our hospitals; and send most of their mone home.

Get rid of them.

BTW - on this point:

>>1. There are no working visas offered currently for latin americans.

this are offered to Indians, Chinesse and other to take up the jobs that americans really do want, such as in technology, mathematics, bio chemistry, engineering etc.<<

We're not just gonna give you something for nothing. This only goes to show that Latinos don't have anything of value to contribute. So stop demanding for more stuff than what you got here already. You already got enough without any job skills or education. For God's sake, you don't even speak English most of times!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 10, 2006 1:30 PM

Pro LEGAL immigration does not, let me repeat D-O-E-S N-O-T equal racism.
As an African-American woman, as college educated African-American, whose father became a Naturalized Citizen during WWII, I know racism. My dad immigrated LEGALLY and paid for his citizenship with his military service.

To those supporting "Rights for Illegal Immigrants" I ask this:
How many Americans and/or legal immigrants are opening the doors to their homes and offering life-long shelter, food and free health care to ILLEGAL immigrants, at YOUR expense? Are you? Will you? Why not?

According to a published report the cost of health care for ILLEGAL immigrants is estimated to be approximately two billion dollars annually.

It is easy to argue about the war in Iraq, the specifics of who are indigenous people or the fact that Europeans established borders. All of the aforementioned very well is accurate, however we live in the here and now.

An ILLEGAL immigrant from Mexico who's in the U.S. ought to treated the same as an ILLEGAL American in Mexico. Quid pro quo.

Posted by: Gail | May 17, 2006 1:35 PM

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