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Immigration Roils Ohio Race

Ohio River Ramble

Jim VandeHei

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Jim VandeHei
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CINCINNATI -- You would think we are on the Rio Grande Ramble by the amount of talk about immigration problems in this big-city district (Ohio 1). Republican congressman Steve Chabot is running ads accusing 32-year-old Democratic candidate John Cranley of being too soft on illegal immigration. On Chabot's Web site, "stopping illegal immigration" is the first issue highlighted and detailed. It is often the first topic he talks about with voters, too. The city does not have an huge problem with illegal immigration, and its only border trouble is Covington, Kentucky, luring its big-spending residents to its cool string of bars and restaurants across the river.

But Chabot is using these ads to fire up conservative voters (they are ticked off about scandals and spending), spook voters and out put Cranley on the defensive. He has hit Cranley for favoring "amnesty," because the candidate voiced support for the Senate bill that provides illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, but does not requires them to first leave the country. The Chabot ads warn that Cranley's policy would make it easier for terrorists to enter the country. In other words, If Cranley wins, people could die seems to be the subtext.

The strategy must be working. Cranley just went up with a new ad, defending his policies and stating he is the tough-guy when it comes to cracking down on illegal immmigration. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME) is airing similar ads. In his campaign office -- its an old bank that he has rented for a cut rate this election -- Cranley said voters are very concerned about the issue. But, the fresh-faced Democrat says, they should be more worried about Chabot's inability to fix the problem in office.

The Cranley message is aimed at the district's large number of union members, who are fuming about illegal immigrants working for low wages. Cranley says Chabot has failed these workers by not cracking down on the employers who hire them.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  September 25, 2006; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  House , Ohio River Ramble  
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Comments

"I know that we have profited well from immigrants working for us."

This just about says it all, doesn't it? The purpose of the immigration laws of the United States is not to ensure that your company "profits well."

Posted by: Chupacabra | October 3, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I can tell you first hand how illegal immigration has affected lives, including mine. My family owns a tobacco/corn farm. We have honestly been able to profit greatly from the help of immigrants. Now, we go through certain organizations that allow for immigrants to come here to work. I can tell you that many of these immigrants have wives, children and parents all living in 1 home back in Mexico. They often work hard and send much of their money back home to help their families live and survive. They are good God fearing and hard working folks. Some of them bring their wives and kids along with them, but many of their families remain in Mexico. One thing I can say for them is that they do not mind work! Where you may have to pay an American much more money for working less hard in a tobacco or corn field, an immigrant will work more cheaply allowing both large and small farms more profits alike. This is especially productive for small farms. I know that we have profited well from immigrants working for us. After the tobacco season is over, many of them move south to pick Oranges in Florida. They continue working for their families survival, really. So I personally have profited from them. CAFTA has also been a great help to tobacco farmers, allowing us to obtain contracts from overseas boosting production and profits. Great piece of legislation.

On the flip side, it has hurt the "mill" industries. People who work in factories fear for their jobs. B/c of NAFTA, CAFTA and immigrants wanting those jobs. Not only now are jobs being shipped off to foreign nations, but hispanics are also competition for those jobs in the US. Factory workers feel they are getting the bum end of the deal on both ends.

I know how it affects me, I try to understand how it affects factory workers and how it affects the immigrants themselves and how badly they need these jobs for them and their family to survive and do well.

Honestly, I have concluded that factories are in the past primarily and our economy has moved into more of a service economy. I hate it for the factory workers, but I believe they are going to have to find a new line of work for the most part and move on into the 21st century to the new economy. I feel badly for them, but I think it's inevitable that this is the way of the future.

Posted by: reason | September 26, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

MikeB,
thanks for the comments...that's unfortunate that you have many patents but cannot find a job that pays enough. However, I know of many local engineering grads (white americans) who do just fine and whose companies benefit quite a bit from having foreign grads working for them.

As far as your assertion that these engineering grads from India and China having their education paid for in full, please show me a source if you want me to believe you. A few of them won scholarships sure, but that's probably a very small percentage of foreigners who are studying at our universities and making them better. The fact is, many people from India and China don't have the money required to study here and so they cannot. The seats here are highly competetive for them and so the ones who do end up coming here are generally extremely well qualified and either have money to finance their own education or they've done so well that they've won one of the extremely few scholarships available in their countries to travel to America and study here.

The universities do get get paid more to accept a foreign grad, sure. Conversely, however, from the point of view of the Indian or Chinese immigrant, the cost of coming to America is even higher for them than it is for a non-state resident, which seems a little unfair, especially since they're coming from countries where education costs like 95% less than what it costs here. You make the argument that foreigners are accepted into universities because they bring in more money because the universities charge more for them. Actually, the higher cost is a barrier for them to come here. Perhaps you would rather we lower the price and allow more of these qualified students to study. Let them compete on the same playing field with the same cost, and only take merit into consideration. Of course you wouldn't want this because it would mean that far more qualified foreign grads would come here and do far better than our local boys and girls.

You suggest that India and China should build their own engineering schools? Well they do have their own schools as well. In 2004, 600,000 engineers graduated from China, 350,000 from India and only 70,000 from America. Source: http://blogs.chron.com/sciguy/archives/2005/10/more_signs_of_t.html

One of the problems now is that some of the top Indian and Chinese grads are preferring to stay in India and China rather than come to the U.S. for their education. This would further lower the relative quality of our engineering schools and companies. Most Indians students nowadays would prefer to study at the IITs in India than come to MIT or Cal-Tech, since IIT grads in recent years have headed up many of the top companies in the world (McKinsey, Cirrus, Vodafone, Sun etc.)

Our universities DO prefer local grads...that's why they make the cost so high for foreigners. It ensures that the ones who come over are extremely well qualified. These foreigners DO benefit our engineering companies by cutting cost and providing very good service at a time when our elementary and secondary schools are failing to prepare students for the rigors of engineering school. These foreigners, moreover, DO become good citizens. You suggest that I don't know anything about what I'm talking about. On the contrary, I'm the son of a high-skilled worker from India. He has done some really good research for American universities and companies while in this country, and I'm now a proud American and will be going to a top law school in the U.S. I hope, one day, to contribute a great deal to the U.S. in one way or another, and I'm pretty sure I will.

Posted by: V | September 26, 2006 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to watch the dialogue between F & B and MikeB. MikeB is actually affected by the problems caused by illegal aliens, while F &B seem comfortably removed, with the luxury of being able to debate the problem as a theoretical issue that does not actually affect their lives.

F&B, if you think your Jewish ancestors are the same as the Mexicans flooding over the border now, you're quite mistaken. And if you're gambling the future of the U.S. on such a Blank Slate theory of human nature, I suggest you read Steven Pinker's "The Blank Slate".

Posted by: Orkon | September 26, 2006 12:49 PM | Report abuse

There is a lot of emotion around this issue and a lot of overheated assertions unsupported by facts.

First of all - it is not possible to round up and deport 12 million people. The logistics would be staggering. There are not enough detention facilities to hold these people while their status is determined and their departure arranged. There are nowhere near enough INS personnel to handle such a task. I am a retired military officer with extensive experience in logistics and feeding and housing large numbers of people.

Secondly - far more illegals are paying taxes than people think. Companies like Wal-Mart do not have people on their payrolls unless they produce a social security number and payroll taxes are deducted. I know this from my restaurant business in Florida, we have some fast food outlets and about 210 employees at any one time. Let me emphasize that every single one produces a picture ID and a social security card. We collect and pay payroll taxes on each and every employee. Our turnover is very high - we distribute around 650 W-2's at the end of the year. Many of our employees are immigrants and I am pretty sure that some number might have been illegals based on inquiries from the Social Security Administration and other government agencies after people have left our employ. We have horrendous problems finding employees. Unemployment in NE Florida is almost non-existent. Even after a referendum raised the state minimum wage and indexed it to inflation, we have problems finding people to work in our restaurants. Incidentally, the main tax revenue source from individuals in Florida is the state and county sales taxes. Certainly legal and illegal immigrants pay these taxes every time they purchase taxable items. Let me also state unequivocally that these immigrants from Eastern Europe as well as Latin America, are extremely hard working.

Posted by: JimD in FL | September 26, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Democrat that use to work in construction. I've found that the wages were so stagnant because everyone was replacing Americans with cheap contractors of illegal's.

I personally will only vote for anyone that want's to stop depressing Americans wages.

Even if that does mean voting Republican. Even if they are lying, at least they are saying what I want to hear. Hell, Democrats are coming out for Massive guestworker programs and "Comprehensive" crap.

Amazing, Democrats use to be for the Working Class. Now they have sold us out to special interest groups that want open borders and massive guestworker plans.

Hello, is everyone on this board stupid? What happens when you flood a workforce with guestworkers? Wages come down.

Why the hell do you see the all these people teaming up..... its not because they are all friends...... Unions (More money from new unionized Mexican workers), Catholic Church (More money in their churches), Chamber of commerce (Cheaper workforce), All Democrats (Cheap Votes for the Welfare state) and half the Republicans (Money from big business in their campaigns) ........ Money, Money, Money, Money.

And the Middleclass gets it in the rear !

I never thought that the Democrats would sell us out for cheap votes.

I'm done with them and their Comprehensive mindset.

-dave

Posted by: Dave | September 26, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Five million of our older Americans have not signed up yet for their Medicare, Part D, drug plan--they are old and confused. We are not going to grant them an extension.

However, 12 million illegal aliens are in our country and we are going to allow them to stay, protest, procreate, receive support monies, attend schools, avoid paying income taxes, have our teachers take 300 hours of ESOL (English as a second language) training at our expense,
etc.

WE MUST REALLY DISLIKE OUR OLD PEOPLE! Or WE MUST REALLY LOVE TACOS!

Posted by: Jim V | September 26, 2006 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Still not sure why the only answer to illegal immigrants driving down wages or taking jobs is mass deportation and/or sealing off the border. I have yet to hear a response to my alternative: normalize such workers legal status, make minimum wage applicable to them, and then encourage unionization. Strikes me that that's both a more plausable and humane way to address the issue.

Posted by: Colin | September 26, 2006 9:37 AM | Report abuse

It is about time repubicans STOP playing kindergarten politics and understand immigration is NOT just about Mexican people or workers. Immigration whether legal or illegal is about EVERY race and people of the world living and investing in the USA.

Has the republican party ever heard of foreign investment? President Bush did say: "America is a nation of illegal immigrants"

Furthermore, the republicans have forgotten the racist blood-bath and murder of 50 million Native Indians and their criminal and illegal past of slavery and genocide. If republicans were honest they would repent and support comprehensive immigration reform with their Bible in hand.

There are NO discoverers or founding Fathers of America - this land existed well before the founding Fathers ever murdered and raped their way through. As for REAL Christians remember: THOU SHALT NOT KILL, AND THE EARTH IS THE LORDS AND THE FULNESS THEREOF.

Posted by: Joe700 | September 26, 2006 7:00 AM | Report abuse

This immigration thingy is a non-issue in my opinion and is only being used for the KKK voting bloc in the GOP party...Unfortunatly for chabot, those voters arent large enought to hand him a clear victory..Only redneck shows up to the poll for the purpose to vote for a candidate that would kick all mexicans out.

The sad thing with this immigration senate bill that GOP kkk voters do not understand is, the senate bill, whether you like it or not, will pass and be enacted...The only reason its not passed into law yet is because the GOP wants to use it as a wedge issue to bring to the poll, bigots that hates immigrants, but little do they know, thre's already a lame-duch session planned after the election and one of the bill they will try to pass is this exact senate bill that will put undocumneted immigrants into a path to citizenship..

sadly, those bigots are getting played and they need to understand that the business sector, which are the ones that puts money into GOP'ers pockets, wants this bill so they can keep their business running + the fact the Bush is endorsing the bill.

Posted by: Maria19rodriguez | September 25, 2006 9:21 PM | Report abuse

Everyone wondering when an intelligent dicussion of the illegal immigration situation might take place needs to watch Lou Dobbs on CNN for at least two weeks. He interviews people from both sides of the issue.

This issue is real and needs to be front and center for all of us, regardless of state.

Posted by: Carl | September 25, 2006 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Rick, you can tell an illegal immigrant on sight?

You should join the BCIS (USCIS, INS).

Posted by: roo | September 25, 2006 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Colin,

I don't have any specific numbers for you on how many Americans have lost jobs to illegal immigrants but simply use your common sense. Have you walked by a construction site lately or observed a team of landscapers? These jobs are being taken over consistently by illegal immigrants. They'll work for less and therefore they'll take the jobs from citizens. Then, those jobs turn into President Bush's "jobs that Americans won't do" because the employer can pay illegal immigrants half what they'd have to pay citizens. Statistics can be found on vdare.com, Peter Brimelow's "Alien Nation" and Pat Buchanan's latest "State of Emergency."

As for deportation, I agree that mass deportation is probably not feasible, but attrition is. If employers were punitively fined for hiring illegals, then they'd have a strong incentive not to. If illegals can't find jobs, they'll go home themselves. For this to work, there must be a corresponding elimination of public benefits for illegal immigrants so that there is absolutely no incentive to stay here.

No issue resonates greater with Americans than immigration. It doesn't poll as high as issues like Iraq or education only because people feel ashamed to tell pollsters that they're concerned about immigration, lest they appear "xenophobic" or "racist."

Posted by: Rick | September 25, 2006 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Yes, employers are a major part of the problem. Whether its IBM using contractors (none can speak english) for cleaning, the builders using them for construction, or fast food services. I support the effort to crack down on these crimmals - the employers

Posted by: dave | September 25, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

" Illegals work real hard -i see them every single day of the week, in my rural community where they toil in the fields. I really don't know what all the fuss is about. " This is such a narrow and naive view. Yes there are hard working illegals-if they aren't, they get fired and other illegals are willing to take their places. I guess you haven't thought about illegals not paying for medical care, overburden the schools, depressing wages for those americans that do not have college degrees, additional crime

Posted by: frank | September 25, 2006 8:15 PM | Report abuse

If you want to talk about illegal workers, you have to talk about who hires them. They wouldn't come here if there weren't jobs for them.

So the sensible thing, if you really want to accomplish someting, is to punish those who hire then. No matter who it is. Target Perdue Chicken, for one - huge employer of illegals. Or Walmart. Or your neighbor who has an illegal nanny or gardener or roofer or plumber.

It's silly to talk about building the great wall of china when enforcement of existing laws will do the job --it's just a matter of convincing people it's in their self-interest to pay more for the same job or goods. That's the real problem.

Posted by: drindl | September 25, 2006 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I live in NC, where the illegal immigration is so out of control. My wife is a nurse at a local hospital where 70% of births are by illegals (they become anchor babies). They do not pay - you pay as taxpayer and user of the hospitals. The schools are so overcrowded that they the are forcing year round at the schools (some of the schools are 50% latino). Some of you should watch Lou Dobbs sometimes to see how bad the problem is. I hope the country wakes up before it is too late.....

Posted by: frank | September 25, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Illegals work real hard -i see them every single day of the week, in my rural community where they toil in the fields. I really don't know what all the fuss is about.

Posted by: Pete | September 25, 2006 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Try living in California and your attitude illegal immigration will change quickly. I would gladly pay the $3 for a pear if it meant I did not have to pick up the tab for medical, education, housing, crime etc. There really is no good argument for not employing Americans first.
The situation in America is so bad we need to have a complete freeze for 10 years for ALL Immigration. We need to address the healthcare issue, employment , education and citizenship for all Americans before we bring yet another chair to an empty feast. As far as deporting the illegals already here...First, build the fence (across the entire border), then pay them to voluntarily leave, round up those who refuse to take the generous offer and deport then by any means necessary. And I do mean Illegals from France, Canada, China, Africa...you name it.

Any politician Dem or Rep who is soft on immigration does not deserve the support of the Amwrican working class. We are creating more "working poor" Americans every day we do not address this issue.

Posted by: TJFRMLA | September 25, 2006 7:37 PM | Report abuse

V syas -"....Those legal immigrants who come here to work for our engineering / software companies are keeping those companies at the top of their fields internationally DESPITE our country's lack of good engineering grads.."

bulls**t. Have you even been to an engineering school recently? Over half of the students are Indian and Chinese nationals, their tuition and fees paid for in full by their governments. Hey, it's a lot cheaper than building an engineering shcoll in their country! In *every* single case, a fully qualified U.S. student was turned down for a slot in the engineering school. Why? Becasue the school receive FOUR TIMES the tuition and fees for a non-resident student! That's why! It's a qucik and dirty way to make exrtra money, above and beyond the state budgetted amount. As for foreign nationals being better qualoified engineers, you also don't have the slightest idea of what you are talking about. I have more than 50 patents, everything from grocery store scanners to optical time domain instrumentation to RF wafer technology not peripheral patents, foundation patents! I invented the scanner scale. I invented the the algorithms used by virtually every scanner in the world today. I invented the OTDR algorithms being used. And I hold the basic wafer I.D. patent. You know what I do? I work aas a DBA, auditing medical records. I cannot get a job in high tech unless I want to work for the $30,000 a year made by the flood of Indian workers taking jobs from Amercian's. They ARE NOT doing new technology, either. They are merely cleaning up work done years ago by Amercian engineers and scientists. The last new "scanner" done was in 1994. Wafer technology hasn't progressed at all since 1998. And, those Indian and Chinese workers are stealing every technology design we have and reproducing them in their country..unless the U.S. company outsources the factory their first. Just one example. Boeing new contract about border security. ALL, as in every (*)&*@ line of code, is being written in India by Indian software workers, in Indian where 80% of our identity theft takes place, in India where an Indian engineer stole the design for the B2 bomber and sold it, in India where an H1-B worker stole the design and guidance system circuit board for the underwater anti-submarine missile resently tested by Iran. So, please excuse me for thinking that the only people who justify guest workers are guilty of treason at the very least.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2006 7:26 PM | Report abuse

for once, i would like to hear what an illegal alien has to say. just curious.

Posted by: keith | September 25, 2006 7:15 PM | Report abuse

for once, i would like to hear what an illegal alien has to say. just curious.

Posted by: wherearetheillegals | September 25, 2006 7:14 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, thank you for the reply to my post. I dont have time to respond in full, but I will make one point...

>>>I simply believe that the Party is afraid of offending the "Latino vote"

I have to disagree. I think it is more an issue of human kindness and an interest in addressing needs of people interested in living in freedom and economic opportunity. Let's face it, each one of us except those who came over on the Mayflo....... actually disregard even that. We are ALL immigrants. I am a 4th gen American. I am who I am b/c my Jewish ancestors came here looking for opportunity and freedom in any way possible. They found the tenements on the Lower East Side of NYC. 12 to a room. Multiple family residences. Just like Mexicans. There IS an answer. America CAN assume 12 million immigrants. Yes, they broke the law. Are they criminals, or is the law outdated? Lets look at the law. Change the law. Make this a country that once more calls for the tired the poor the huddled masses. It may sound trite in the 21st century, but that is the essence of what has made this country the beacon of freedom around the world. NOT the Tom Tancredos and the Karl Roves who would have us slitting each other's throats to make a whiter, more christian society. Please. That is not the America I live in, and not the America I would WANT to live in. Im sorry thats all I have time to post at the moment... thanks again for your thoughtful response to my post...

Posted by: F&B | September 25, 2006 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Mike B,
When describing legal immigrant guest workers, why put the word legal in quotes? Are you implying that they should not be welcomed here and that we should close off our borders completely? Those legal immigrants who come here to work for our engineering / software companies are keeping those companies at the top of their fields internationally DESPITE our country's lack of good engineering grads. Those '20%' of U.S. citizens with engineering degrees who are out of work (i'd like to see a source for that number) are out of work not only because they are costly, but because their skills are laughable in comparison with the relatively smaller number of foreign grads who come over here. The foreign grads become legal immigrants who contribute to our economy by paying taxes as well as by improving their companies' productivity. Moreover, in time those legal immigrants become good citizens who often raise their kids to work hard just like they did and as a result improve the quality of the successive generation's graduates. Just look at the demographics of many top American universities today as evidence of disproportionately high representation by the children of legal immigrant skilled workers. They give the companies a lot more bang for the buck and generally assimilate quite well into the country and become just as 'American' as anyone else here, as successive generations of American immigrants have been doing for centuries.

Posted by: V | September 25, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

illegal mexicans take work from americans every day.they work at half the going rate and half the quality.i've worked next to them for the last 15 years and have been in a 1,000 new homes the illegals built cheap and fast.framing out of square,out of plumb and out of level causes cracks in foundations and walls,doors and windows not to operate correctly.the next phenomana we'll see is the lowering of resale prices in homes 5-10 yrs. old in the 200,00 to 700.000 price range.

Posted by: mark | September 25, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

illegal mexicans take work from americans every day.they work at half the going rate and half the quality.i've worked next to them for the last 15 years and have been in a 1,000 new homes the illegals built cheap and fast.framing out of square,out of plumb and out of level causes cracks in foundations and walls,doors and windows not to operate correctly.the next phenomana we'll see is the lowering of resale prices in homes 5-10 yrs. old in the 200,00 to 700.000 price range.

Posted by: mark | September 25, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

illegal mexicans take work from americans every day.they work at half the going rate and half the quality.i've worked next to them for the last 15 years and have been in a 1,000 new homes the illegals built cheap and fast.framing out of square,out of plumb and out of level causes cracks in foundations and walls,doors and windows not to operate correctly.the next phenomana we'll see is the lowering of resale prices in homes 5-10 yrs. old in the 200,00 to 700.000 price range.

Posted by: mark | September 25, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

illegal mexicans take work from americans every day.they work at half the going rate and half the quality.i've worked next to them for the last 15 years and have been in a 1,000 new homes the illegals built cheap and fast.framing out of square,out of plumb and out of level causes cracks in foundations and walls,doors and windows not to operate correctly.the next phenomana we'll see is the lowering of resale prices in homes 5-10 yrs. old in the 200,00 to 700.000 price range.

Posted by: mark | September 25, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

illegal mexicans take work from americans every day.they work at half the going rate and half the quality.i've worked next to them for the last 15 years and have been in a 1,000 new homes the illegals built cheap and fast.framing out of square,out of plumb and out of level causes cracks in foundations and walls,doors and windows not to operate correctly.the next phenomana we'll see is the lowering of resale prices in homes 5-10 yrs. old in the 200,00 to 700.000 price range.

Posted by: mark | September 25, 2006 6:48 PM | Report abuse

illegal mexicans take work from americans every day.they work at half the going rate and half the quality.i've worked next to them for the last 15 years and have been in a 1,000 new homes the illegals built cheap and fast.framing out of square,out of plumb and out of level causes cracks in foundations and walls,doors and windows not to operate correctly.the next phenomana we'll see is the lowering of resale prices in homes 5-10 yrs. old in the 200,00 to 700.000 price range.

Posted by: mark | September 25, 2006 6:48 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - I understand that this issue is something you feel passionately about and I certainly respect both your view and your passion. That being said, I am still somewhat befuddled by your response to my earlier question - and it really was a question. Specifically, if the PROBLEM is that illegal immigrants are taking jobs and deflating wages, then why is mass deportation the only acceptable response? It strikes me that legalizing such individual's status, making minimum wage (or something similar) applicable to those folks, and then working to unionize them would actually be a more effective way of combatting the problems you cite.

Now, maybe I'm missing something but I honestly fail to grasp how any of the solutions I've posited make me anti-worker. The reason I am a Democrat is b/c that has always been the party that stands with the workers, consumers, and middle class, so I take these issues very seriously. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like anyone on either side does a very good job of discussing the merits of immigration reform b/c it arouses such passions. I wish that it really was possible to have that discussion somewhere, even if only on a WAPO blog. :) God knows that debate won't EVER happen in the US Senate.

KOZ -- Good post by you as well. One of the reasons you frustrate me is that when you do refrain from bashing everyone you can make some very intelligent observations. Not ones I agree with generally, but intelligent nonetheless. I imagine, however, that my clarification regarding immigration (unionize, make minimum wage apply) will put us back on opposite sides of the fence. Such is life I suppose.

Posted by: Colin | September 25, 2006 6:41 PM | Report abuse

F&B - I was attempting to put this issue in a context that working class people understand. I'm a liberal and a Democrat and not a racist, either. I simply believe that the Party is afraid of offending the "Latino vote" based on the loud proclamation of certain segments of the Latino community that represent the intersts of those illegals over those of Amercian workers. They will, of course, attempt to put this issue in racial terms because they cannot win if the issue is put in terms of Amercian's loosing jobs. And, common wisdon aside, we most certainly CAN round up and deport the millions of illegal here now. But, I don't think we need to. If we simply change the laws to make it extemely painful to emply illegals of any sort and force the government to check the identification provided to employers to weed out identity theft, we can force illegals to leave. At the same time, we really do need to cut off the automatic citizenship route to children born to illegals. The 15th Amendment has been miss-used (it was passed after the civil war to explicitly grant citizenship to the children of slaves and expressly forbids granting citizenship to the children of those here illegally, if that constitute a felon...hence the big fight over whether being here illegally are breaking the law or not). I personally thik we ought to go ahead and actively seek out illegals and deport them. There are far too many Amercian's living on the edge of poverty and it is only getting worse. The answer is to let them have the jobs our economy creates, rather than allowing illegals (and legals!) to take them.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2006 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Ok ok, MikeB, I hear you loud and clear. First things first, I have always been a Dem and will always BE a Dem.

Now, I dont claim to know everything about the workforce. Do you? Did you even bother to read the article I posted? Is it a piece of garbage? Do you think that the American agricultural industry thinks it's a piece of garbage? Or do you only care about the construction industry? These are complex issues, so you cant pick and choose one industry versus another, but you must look at illegal immigration on a comprehensive basis.

Also, I might add, you say that 12 million Americans have lost their jobs to the Mexicans. I will believe you if you can show me a legitimate source that indicates that. I am suspicious b/c there are supposedly a TOTAL of ~12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. Rationally, you cannot tell me that EVERY SINGLE ONE of those men and women (and children) are taking jobs away from Americans. Mathematically it doesnt add up.

But, I'll give. You are right. Even half that number or 1/3 constitutes a large problem. But you must agree that deporting every illegal is not only not feasable, but it is not a practical solution either by any means. Comprehensive reform is necessary, not - as I said - paranoia and racially-motivated fear mongering. And im not calling you a racist, but you must admit that there are certainly some who view this issue through an anti-Mexican prism based on cultural and racial differences.

Posted by: F&B | September 25, 2006 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Those who support illegal immigrants living in this country should always remember that they are breaking out laws. Those who hire them are breaking our laws. AND not only are they breaking the law, those who call themselves Christian should remember Paul's letter to Titus where he reminds all Christians to obey all the laws that govern the place where they live. That would mean illegal immigrants and those who help them are not obeying Christian law, either. They are here at great cost to our country and our education system is failing because of them. They are the biggest threat we have ever faced. It is economic terrorism at its worst. We do not need them. They are not 'only doing jobs that American citizens will not do" That is a myth. Illegal immigrants are doing jobs that American citizens are not hired to do because the other workers don't speak English. These are no minimum wage jobs - They are 30 dollar per hour jobs. Americans would be glad to be hired to do those jobs.

Posted by: jdemund | September 25, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

See how easy it is! F&B has already proudly stoofd up and said "I'm ant-labor!". F&B has made it clear that they value illegals over American workers and American families being able to feed themselves. ANd F&B will, by god, will simply toss out some piece of garbage about illegals actually helping the U.S economy - and please don't tell that to the 12 or so million American's who have lost their jobs to illegals and never mind that the whole notion of that is so counter-common sense it defies sanity - et's just toss it out there. And, if someone challenges it, lets demand that they proove it! F&B you are exactly the sort of person we Democarts *want* to become Republican's....or Naderites, same thing. Go away.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

See how easy it is! F&B has already proudly stoofd up and said "I'm ant-labor!". F&B has made it clear that they value illegals over American workers and American families being able to feed themselves. ANd F&B will, by god, will simply toss out some piece of garbage about illegals actually helping the U.S economy - and please don't tell that to the 12 or so million American's who have lost their jobs to illegals and never mind that the whole notion of that is so counter-common sense it defies sanity - et's just toss it out there. And, if someone challenges it, lets demand that they proove it! F&B you are exactly the sort of person we Democarts *want* to become Republican's....or Baderites, same thing. Go away.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2006 5:56 PM | Report abuse

>>>you may like cheap lawn mowing

Zouk, if you think this issue is based on Mexicans mowing people's lawns and odd-jobs, you are grossly misinformed. Please read the above article for a CLEAR an indusputable example of how Mexican people add to the US workforce in meaningful and substantial ways.

For example, from the NYT link:

"""As they sum up this season's losses, estimated to be at least $10 million for California pear farmers alone, growers in the state mainly blame Republican lawmakers in Washington for stalling immigration legislation that would have addressed the shortage by authorizing a guest-worker program for agriculture. Many growers, a dependably Republican group, said they felt betrayed.

"After a while, you get done being sad and start being really angry," said Toni Scully, a lifelong Republican whose family owns a pear-packing operation in Lake County. "The Republicans have given us a lot of lip service, and our crops are hanging on the trees rotting." """

We need practical solutions, not fear-mongering from Washington D.C.

Posted by: F&B | September 25, 2006 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Melt, Colin - Unfortunately I *AM* from "that crowd". I worled constrction growing up and most of my family still are, or WOULD BE, in construction if it weren't for the fact that over half of construction jobs are taken by illegals these days. Our here, you cannot get a job as a roofer, a painter, a dry waller, a framing carpenter, a concret worker or brick layer, even an elctrician or plumber. Virtually all of those jobs are paid under the table to illegals. What was formerly a $12 to $20 an hour job you could feed a family on is now $6 to $8 an hour, paid under the table. Same thing for jobs as a ranch hand, a commercial fisheman, a nursy worker, even the local RV manufacturer gets busted about once a month for hundreds of illegals working the assembly lines. Ever one of those jobs pays about half of what they paid just 6 years ago... And most of the "new" workers get NO benefits whatsoever. "Legal" immigrant "guest workers" on L1 and H1-B visa programs, take up about 1/3 of our engineering jobs and have depressed wages by the same amount or more. At the same time, 20% of U.S. citizens with engineering degrees are out of work. This is silly. It is absurd. And it ought to make be flat out furious. I DO b;lame the millions of illegals and would deny their children citizenship and schooling and, if they are caught, I would take every cent they have and show them the border. We cannot afford to be "nice". It wont make the problem go away. Make coming here illegally a hell on earth, make it COST, and they wont be so carefree about coming. Bust companies, like the local RV manufacturer, and flat out bankrupt them - $10,000 a day per worker or more - and they wont even consider hiring an illegal. Even the excuse used by companies, false identification, is directly tracable to our insane immigration policies. Eighty percent of the stolen i.d. comes from data banks in India. That informaion is traded world wide and Mexico is the chief purchaser of that. Stop outsourcing, stop guest workers, and stop illegals and you will go a long ways towards making this country safer and people a lot more secure. I've got one question for ANY Democrat - Are you pro or anti American worker? If you support amnesty or you support any sort of a "path to citizenship", if you support legalizing any of those millions of illegals already here, YOU ARE ANTI-WORKER and I think you ought to just be proud of that and stand up loudly and let the Amercian people and voters know that stance. I don't give a rats behind of you claim you are being PC, or simply care to admit that you care more about illegals than you care about American working class people. But, if that is your stance, stand up and proclaim it...and we shall see just how long the Democratic Party survives.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

>>>(1) exactly how illegal immigration is such a big problem, and/or

I have never seen proof anywhere that Mexicans are taking jobs that whites or blacks "will not take". I think the whole issue is based on racially-motivated paranoia - and particularly that disseminated by the R's best tactics: a nationwide disinformation campaign to provoke a political response from "the base."

Nevermind the fact that Mexicans benefit the economy (particularly in agriculture) in ways that the public is typically not aware.

This is a great article for those interested in this issue:

Pickers Are Few, and Growers Blame Congress
By JULIA PRESTON
Published: September 22, 2006

Stepped-up border enforcement kept many illegal Mexican migrant workers out of California this year, farmers and labor contractors said, putting new strains on the state's shrinking seasonal farm labor force.

Labor shortages have also been reported by apple growers in Washington and upstate New York. Growers have gone from frustrated to furious with Congress, which has all but given up on passing legislation this year to create an agricultural guest-worker program.

Last week, 300 growers representing every major agricultural state rallied on the front lawn of the Capitol carrying baskets of fruit to express their ire.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/22/washington/22growers.html

>>>(2) HOW we're supposed to actually ship this people out of the country

Im-possible.

Posted by: F&B | September 25, 2006 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I tend to agree with you on this issue and you have a well written post. but the other side thinks that a law is being broken and it is harming us. is that not so? supply and demand would dictate that more workers (illegal) would drive the price down. you may like cheap lawn mowing but there is an American who would do it for double what you are paying now. what ever happened to neighborhood kids? this country has made decided choices about the price of consumer goods and it has driven our lifestyle up. Even the guys who are getting in at the bottom of the economic ladder have plenty to look forward to, despite the initial imbalance. Just how much skill does it take to mow a lawn? the Forbes 400 had all billionaires, mostly self-made. the American dream - as opposed to Europe where it is all old money only. why do you think they are pouring in here. we love this place.
As far as shipping them out, you do it as you catch them, same as bank robbers. you won't catch them all the first day. the same thing was said a while ago about prisons - before more were built. this particular issue does not ring true with me but it does with lots and lots of people and that is a really good thing about representative democracy. It seems some of the pols have listened to their constituents for a change.

Posted by: kingofzouk | September 25, 2006 5:41 PM | Report abuse

'But Chabot is using these ads to fire up conservative voters (they are ticked off about scandals and spending)'

This is what I find amazing. They're ticked off about one thing, and they're so simple all you have to do to get their vote is to divert their little minds onto an entirely unrelated issue?

No wonder republicans love their base. They are apparently the most easily duped fools in the universe.

Posted by: drindl | September 25, 2006 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Certainly the Republicans are again the only party with ideas, it is just that their ideas, and their candidates, stink.

Sadly, have to agree with you there.

Posted by: drindl | September 25, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the previous comment. Certainly the Republicans are again the only party with ideas, it is just that their ideas, and their candidates, stink.

Posted by: Bill | September 25, 2006 5:05 PM | Report abuse

This does not accurately, or at least not fully, represent the position of labor unions in the Cincinnati area. SEIU and the Carpenters Union, to name a few, have been very vocal and active in the Cincinnati area in pressing for comprehensive immigration reform as opposed to purely punitive and ultimately ineffective measures.

Undocumented immigrants are not driving down wages. Predatory hiring practices on the part of unscrupulous employers who are, as they always have been, willing to pit one community against another are driving down wages. Most labor leaders realize this, including labor leaders in Cincinnati.

The election year demagoguery of BOTH candidates in the OH 1st is a terrible dissapointment. Whoever Cranley thinks immigrant-bashing is going to help him with, I strongly suspect it won't be with many union members.

Posted by: Union in Cinti | September 25, 2006 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Jeez, MikeB. Confiscate all their property too? That's kind of harsh. That aside, when I was in high school, I knew lots of american guys who did construction and landscaping (I hung out with a real high-brow crowd). You don't ever seem to see americans doing that kind of work anymore. So, I think there must be some merit to the taking jobs from american's argument.

Posted by: Melt | September 25, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Good column, Jim. Captures the news dispassionately and critically while not being suckered by the candidate's sales pitches.

"The city does not have an huge problem with illegal immigration, and its only border trouble is Covington, Kentucky, luring its big-spending residents to its cool string of bars and restaurants across the river. But Chabot is using these ads to fire up conservative voters (they are ticked off about scandals and spending), spook voters and out put Cranley on the defensive."

This is bathos. If the conservative voters are ticked off about scandals and spending I can't help but point out that immigration is an entirely separate issue. I could rephrase that to say "conservatives are upset because Chabot is not acting like a conservative. In non-response, Chabot is taking a leaf from Karl Rove in appealing to the bigot vote by raising the spectre of illegal immigration even though Cincinnati is about 1,600 miles away from the Mexican border. Polls indicate, however, that conservatives are swallowing this line of transparent BS hook, line and sinker."

Unfortunately, the MSM cannot write something with that much truth in it.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | September 25, 2006 4:44 PM | Report abuse

People have to represent their constituents, so I don't have any particular problem with the Democrat in this race taking the stance he has on immigration. That being said, I have to admit I still don't understand the huge focus on this issue. I greatly respect MikeB, but following this issue I have yet to see any persuasive evidence indicating that illegal immigrants either (1) have a net negative effect on our economy, or (2) actually take jobs away from American workers in the aggregate. Finally, even assuming that illegal immigration IS a big problem - and maybe it is and I've just missed how - I am baffled as to HOW we're supposed to simply deport millions of people who we currently can't even begin to locate.

If anyone can explain to me either (1) exactly how illegal immigration is such a big problem, and/or (2) HOW we're supposed to actually ship this people out of the country I'd be interested to hear about it. And FYI, I'm a HUGE labor supporter and sympathetic to the argument that illegal labor hurts US workers. I just don't understand how "sealing the borders" addresses that issue more effectively than unionizing illegal workers and making the minimum wage applicable to them as well, after formalizing their work status.

Posted by: Colin | September 25, 2006 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Good! It'd about time politician's started to note that this is THE issue with voters. I'm a Democrat and I want Democartic candidates to take note that, although we want out if Iraq, we need a national health insurance program, and we need to increase taxes on the wealthy, without a job, none of these has any meaning. Illegal's steals millions of joobs from American workers and dpress wages and benefits for those with jobs. We want them OUT-DEPORTED and we want the borders locked up tight. No amnesty. Punish employers and individuals who hire them and confiscate EVERYTHING and ANYTHING they accumulate here. Make it unattractive to illegally come here. This isn't a racial issue, this is a WORKER issue. If the DNC will not stand up for AMERICAN WORKERS, it has no use whatsoever.

Posted by: MikeB | September 25, 2006 3:53 PM | Report abuse

AFSCME stands for the AMERICAN Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- not Associated.

Posted by: Drake | September 25, 2006 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like Chabot doesn't REALLY need border patrol agents, what he needs are some bouncers to protect the state border at Covington.

Posted by: JEP | September 25, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

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