Immigration Reform: Why We Need It, Why It Won't Happen

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, May 14, 2010.

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  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    We all know it's true.

    Illegal immigration is an economic issue.

    It drives down the cost of labor and services and hence the cost of many products as well. Large segments of our agricultural sector are more or less built from the ground up to require undocumented labor. Domestic help is to a huge extent illegal. Home child care, housekeeping services and gardening is extensively performed by illegal immigrant labor, as is home renovation and repair. Illegal labor pervades other sectors like restaurant and food service and so on.

    The net effect is that it drives down wages for unskilled and semi-skilled labor and to some extent for salary and wages up the chain of training and skills as well.

    As a brake on the cost of labor, it becomes a generalized brake on inflation and the cost of many consumer goods and services in the economy. Like the Wal-Mart effect, it has been a driver of consumer spending.

    Keep in mind that illegal immigrants are consumers too and contribute to the economy by spending much of what they earn in the economy. Illegal immigrant labor thus supports the jobs of U.S. citizens.

    Illegal immigration is a social infrastructure issue.

    Illegal immigration represent a burden on social services, on healthcare. It's also true that while many illegal immigrants don't pay income tax, many of them do end up paying social security/Medicare taxes that don't benefit them, and of course they pay sales taxes like everyone else.

    Illegal immigrants pose a burden on infrastructure - they put wear on roads and highways, they add to the burden of municipal services like water and sewage and the electrical grid, waste disposal.

    Illegal immigration is an environmental issue.

    The country that cannot control its population growth cannot control its environmental future.



    The bottom line is that nothing will be done about immigration because the middle class benefits from its effect on consumer prices for goods and services, while the upper classes directly benefit from the effect it has on suppressing the cost of labor. The only people who lose directly are lower income Americans whose wages are most affected by the low end price competition for their labor.

    Sorry, but we'll need a much worse recession than the one we're trying to recover from before anything significant happens on immigration reform.
  2. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    I'll go back to my home analogy. I'll welcome just about anyone into my home, if they just ring the doorbell, and identify themselves.
    So- I think we should make it easy to come to the U.S., assuming you are willing to come to the front door.
    My Step-Mother-in-law was just sworn in as a U.S citizen after being in the U.S. for the minimum time, taking classes, etc.

    I'd like every immigrant to have the same story.
    We should make it incredibly easy to come,work, and become a U.S. citizen.

    Historically the U.S. had some strange quotas set up, at one point we only let people in by percentages that match our current ethnic make up. So if the United States was 10% Asian we only let 10% of immigrants could be Asian.
    I think we can all agree it's good those days are over.

    So how exactly do we secure the border?

    About the border..
    The Wall part 1 clickie
    The Wall part 2 clickie
    ...very disappointing that they don't mention or discuss the Northern Border.



  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'm quickly becoming a loony populist reactionary on the issue. We need to close off our borders to immigration. We don't need any more people, and we never will. 300 million Americans is more than enough, probably at least 100 million too many based on our fundamental water resources and other issues of sustainability. We're not as far into local ecosystem overshoot as India and China and parts of Africa, but we're heading into deep trouble.

    If we want to limit our energy demand and the amount of fossil fuels we burn, nothing will do more toward that goal than limiting the size of our population. Limit the size of the population and certainly its growth rate and work toward greater efficiency and conservation and development and adoption of alternative energy.

    Our fundamental national interests and strategic energy policies cannot be separated from our immigration policies. I wouldn't seal off the border and start shooting people as a first step, but I would prepare the nation for that eventuality by upping the ante on illegal immigration in a step-by-step strategic way, with the end result being shoot to kill at the border if that is the only way to stop the flow of immigrants across it.
  4. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    When Prince William County in Virginia tried the same thing Arizona is doing, its economy collapsed. They ended up asking for immigrants to come back, reversing the hat in hand theme.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    KW, I know you do, and I know I am. I know what it means. I know how deeply illegal immigration is rigged into the economy. I get it. I see you edited your post, but I have a lot of respect for the integrity of your position on immigration, and I have supported the politics of that position my entire adult life, but still. Lifeboat U.S. is the wave of the future.
  6. Master_SweetPea Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 18, 2002
    star 4
    I see a huge separation of issues.
    One is immigration, the other is security.

    So essentially, I completely disagree.

    I'm for having the "legal ports of entry" ,as Drew calls them, completely open to anyone who wants to work and is not a carrier of a communicable disease. -That's the Immigration issue.

    I'm also for treating the border, well, like a border.
    Going back to the House analogy, If at 3AM, someone breaks a window and attempts to enter my home without any announcement, I will repel them with all force necessary.
    Perhaps this person only needed to use my phone to call AAA, well that's fine. Just ring the doorbell.

    So for security I think we should complete the wall, where possible, and post signs in English, Spanish, and French, clearly stating that climbing the fence is not a "legal port of entry". Rules of Engagement would be standard warning shot first, then use of force to repel invaders who are invading.

    At the same time there is no reason private businesses couldn't set up call boxes (foreign side) and offer taxi services (from areas along to border to the "legal ports of entry"). Large businesses might even set up clinics (foreign side) to put potential workers on the fast track to being an indentured employee.

  7. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Who's this 'we' you guys keep talking about?

    Oh, wait, I think I know... land of the free. Home of the brave!

    Are you guys talking about stopping ALL immigration or just illegal immigration?
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Master Master_SweetPea is I think far to the left of me on this issue. He wants a sealed off border enforced with a shoot to kill policy balanced with an extremely liberal and open legal immigration policy.

    I would like to permanently end all immigration to the U.S. by any means necessary, starting of course with any legal means that aren't actually crimes against humanity.
  9. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    ... and refugees or dissidents?
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
  11. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    What's the difference between people who come to the U.S. and burn fossil fuels here and people who burn them back in their home countries?

    Anyway, I heard from somewhere a while back that the only real way to end the illegal immigration problem is to fix Mexico. Once it's developed a thriving economy of its own and is no longer a poverty-stricken country overrun with drug cartels, then people won't have such a huge economic incentive to illegally cross the border to the U.S.
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm sorry, but you need to provide sources to back that up.

    Prince William County's economy hasn't collapsed, not by a long shot. In fact, they are still following their immigration program, as you can see in this recent Washington Post article.

    Yes, housing prices have dropped in Prince William County, but they have also dropped considerably in neighboring Fairfax County, which has absorbed most of the illegal immigrants who left Prince William County. For example, the house I recently bought in Fairfax County was assessed at $422,500 in 2007, the year that Prince William County's initiative started. This year, it was assessed for $259,770. That's a 39% drop in value. Prince William County has seen similar drops in land values over the same period of time. That decline is primarily caused by the housing bubble issues, not anything to do with immigration.

    So, where is your evidence that Prince William County's crackdown on illegal immigration caused its economy to collapse?

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    No, the way to fix the illegal immigrant problem is to realize we're human beings who have ranges of responses to problems between opening fire when something startles us and freezing in place trying to prevent anything from changing.

    Note the vaunted libertarian suggesting we only let people in matching our previous racial makeup. Gee I wonder if he's worried about losing white dominance. Note perennial apocalypse fanficiton writer Jabba noting how if we continue to let people into the country we will be destroyed. Not because white people will be over run in his case, but because large populations will cause everything to wear out and destroy they very environment itself!

    Note, in fact, that both are following different ideologies from the same zero sum argument. To whit, both are so desperately afraid of losing anything they seize up at any crisis and demand we all stop changing.

    It almost goes without saying they're absolutely wrong, but consider it said.

    Excise your overdeveloped amygdala and listen. They'll wear out roads! Yes, well, that's what they're there for. You don't build roads to not be used. You don't build them so people won't use them. Stop complaining when they use them increased economic activity=more revenue=ability to repair and construct. They use up healthcare. Our system of healthcare is bloody inefficient at coverage and you know it. Address the inefficiencies, stop blaming a tiny segment of the populace for any problems.

    Large populations destroy the environment. Yes, and they'd be even larger in their home countries because you know how education and availability of prophylactics lowers birthrates, but you don't care because you're just so afraid.

    Peas continuing assault on logic has already been dealt with, but I'm simply agog to hear more about how in the novel freehold the planet government invented by a libertarian fluffing off his mental hard on totally killed people who tried to enter illegally.

    Go, on, tell me more.

    Lets continue his silly little thought process though. If a nation is a house, surely you can shoot anyone breaking in! But what if you invite them in and then they try and rape your bread box? Well you can shoot them then too. So obviously by the same logic if anyone is breaking the law inside the country they can be shot out of hand.

    Libertarian [face_flag]

    Or do we admit there is the concept of threat? I brought this up in the last thread. His response? Spanish flu.

    That's right Spanish flu. No he isn't racist. Sure it possibly started in the far east, probably spread from Kansas in the US, and clearly became widespread thanks to soldiers in Europe traveling at the end of the First World War, but it's the Spanish flu you see, s clearly Hispanic immigrants are a threat.

    Not racism, but willful bloody minded ignorance acts as a nice replacement.

    Spanish flu. What a way to wrap ignorance and fear and dismissal of others as human beings in a simple phrase.
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Anyway, I heard from somewhere a while back that the only real way to end the illegal immigration problem is to fix Mexico. Once it's developed a thriving economy of its own and is no longer a poverty-stricken country overrun with drug cartels, then people won't have such a huge economic incentive to illegally cross the border to the U.S.

    Or, conversely, we continue our trend of dismantling the middle class in the U.S., also reducing the economic incentives to cross. At that point we really will be competing with illegals for jobs, and people will take the competition a lot more seriously.
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    What's the difference between people who come to the U.S. and burn fossil fuels here and people who burn them back in their home countries?

    Energy independence. Within 12 years, the global market for oil essentially disappears. We will be left with whatever oil resources we can create ourselves or whatever oil resources we can capture through invasion and occupation of foreign countries.

    You should prepare yourselves for the way this will be expressed through domestic policy. Immigration "reform" in the form of a brutal crackdown will be the inevitable result.
    I'll cop to the desperate fear. But I'm interested in approaching the problem proactively, and I'm trying to develop a consistent policy framework given the assumption of all my apocalyptic fan fiction coming true. Or most of it. Or even some of it.
  16. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    The first step in any immigration reform process should be to give back Aztlan.
  17. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Aztlan is a myth. The "territories" stolen from Mexico were Mexican territories, not states and sparsely populated ones at best. You might as well argue we should give Florida back to Spain. There's no inherent national tie of the South Western United States with Mexico.

    Edit// I hope you take no offense to the term apocalypse fan fiction, it seemed appropriate. Unfortunately "the world is ending" is not a stable basis for any policy since any policy must be long term in it's sight. There is no long term apocalypse planning since the very concept of an apocalypse removes the fundamental foundation of social order for any policy.
  18. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    More realistically, in return for a closed border, I'd support giving back to Mexico California, Nevada, Utah and the parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming ceded over to us in the The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Does anyone think that wouldn't be fair?

    farraday, I don't really believe the world is coming to an end, just Western civilization.
  19. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    I swear you guys are just trolling me now. Where's E_S with the camera?

    Edit// Oh so social organization will survive the collapse of western Civilization and not need to be rebuilt anew? When you're talking about absolute collapse in the short term, the concept of public policy has no meaning. To even argue it is almost literally rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. I realize you firmly believe the ship is sinking, but stopping to argue over patterns makes it seem like you're not really aware of the actual implications of your belief.
  20. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    I'm pretty sure that no one has suggested we stop all immigration, but like virtually every other country--the United States needs to secure its borders and enforce the law when it comes to illegal immigration.

    I think it's fair to say that illegal immigrant labor is similar to slave labor, quite frankly. Yes they get paid, but there's virtually no protection for them under the law. The fact that many illegal immigrants are currently working is a problem that has been allowed to happen by a government that hasn't been doing it's job very well.

    According to The Center for Immigration Studies (2004): "Households headed by illegal aliens imposed more than $26.3 billion in costs on the federal government in 2002 and paid only $16 billion in taxes, creating a net fiscal deficit of almost $10.4 billion, or $2,700 per illegal household."

    It would most definitely have economic impacts if the problem were dealt with head-on, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be dealt with. The United States is a country of laws, and they need to be upheld. Furthermore, I think it's somewhat immoral to allow it to continue to happen given the conditions that many illegal immigrants work under with virtually no protection, and the thousands of people who attempt to get into this country legally each year. Not to mention the number of illegal aliens that work in this country only to return to their own repeatedly (holding no allegiance or obligation to the U.S. whatsoever and putting a strain on the system). It's also a problem for schools aside from possible job opportunities for legal citizens (despite how bad you think the jobs are). Enrolled illegal students take up slots that legal students (perhaps aliens with a student visa for example) would otherwise fill.

    Aside from all this, the issue is not just illegal immigration/illegal aliens. The reason why that is such a problem in the first place, is because of poor border security--which goes beyond just illegal immigration/travel. It's a major source for drug operations in the country as well as a general security risk. Armed militias working for Drug Cartels have actually crossed over into the United States, executed people in their homes, and fended off the police (because they were better armed). One such group was made up of former Mexican soldiers for hire, which was sort of a problem for local law enforcement to deal with. Aside from the drug issue, any number of individuals from numerous countries could easily infiltrate the country through the southern border (including many with criminal records).

    I don't think the recent Arizona law is going to solve the problem (and it might still be ruled as unconstitutional because it gives the State the power to do the Federal government's job), but it might serve as a deterrent to those who are thinking about coming here illegally (although, probably not much of a deterrent to the drug traders). This is why the federal government needs to take action and do what it's supposed to do, which is first and foremost, secure the border. This being virtually the only super-power in the world, it's amazing that it can't secure it's own borders (not to mention the amount we spend on defense each year...it's absurd).

    Secondly, I don't understand what's so difficult about congress reforming the legal immigration process, because as it stands, it's a nightmare to get through (and might be another driving factor behind why people come to the country illegally when they feel that desperate to get in).

    As for illegal immigrants/aliens already in the country, I think they need to be treated fairly--and that means that they are subject to the law like everyone else. It's unfortunate when someone breaks the law, and they get caught (if it seems like a desperate mistake or they only did it because blah blah blah), but th
  21. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    So Jabba, slight flaw in your plan.

    It's known that the big portion of science and engineering grad students come from outside the US. Closing the border off to them will cause the United States to lower the number of able scientists and engineers. There'll be less professors (who are generally required to have grad degrees) and thus less classes, meaning an overall smaller population of scientists and engineers in the US, which will drastically effect our scientific and technological growth.


    FAIL.
  22. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    Wait, but are all those grad students here illegally? I'm confused. When did someone say to close the border?
  23. farraday Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 7
    Jabba : "I would like to permanently end all immigration to the U.S. by any means necessary..."
  24. Asterix_of_Gaul Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2007
    star 5
    Ok...

    Well, I...really? Sad puppies :(

    EDIT: I stick by wanting to secure the border, but don't really support shooting people who come near the "tree house" unless of course, it needs to be done, which ultimately lands on the discretion of the officer/border patrol unit...but I generally don't like shooting people. Course, I don't support execution either...sigh.
  25. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    We'll have to make do with our own scientists and engineers. Maybe that will give us an incentive to improve our K-12 public education system to the level that more than 40% of us believe evolution is true.

    EDIT: I could probably be talked into some kind of Guest Worker program that would let people come here legally, train, work for a few years, then go home. Particularly if it were reciprocal with a partner nation like China.
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