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Linda Chavez takes a page from Jesse Jackson
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Monday, June 11, 2007

In the debate over the immigration bill, one of Bush's allies that did some serious name-calling on the bill's opponents was Linda Chavez. Now that it looks like the bill has failed, I guess it's time to try to mend some fences. So we are treated to this from Linda (found via Bill Quick):
On reflection, I went too far. I blew off some steam and in the process offended some erstwhile allies. I should have been more careful in my wording and not tarred with such a broad brush. I should have been clearer that not everyone who opposes the Senate bill does so for illegitimate reasons.
This is a nice example of the "non-apology apology". Notice that she really doesn't say she did anything wrong - just that she was imprecise in her wording.

But then we get to the part that really irritated me:
What I should have said was that those in positions of influence, whether elected leaders or talk-show hosts, have a special responsibility not to inflame racial passions and animosities by appealing to the small minority of Americans who are motivated by bigotry. I should have emphasized that the exploitation of prejudice, even if it is not shared or intended, is a danger to conservatives and the Republican party — and we should explicitly disavow it.
That means she thinks she was right all along. The bill's opponents were, in her mind, "exploiting prejudice", even if it was "not intended".

So what the heck were opponents in "positions of influence" supposed to do? Change their minds about something just because there are some racist bigots out there who happen to feel the same way? Give in to the political elites to avoid the appearance of furthering racism, even if they didn't feel that way themselves and have no such intention?

That's ludicrous; it's a standard that gives our ideological enemies a veto over anything we might want to fight for. They can just cry "Hey, you're furthering racism! Even if you don't see it and didn't intend to do so, you still ought to do what I want, because by golly, you racist-furthering opponents are a danger!"

This kind of attitude was created on the left, and I hate to see it seep into the right as well. It's the idea that other people get to tell you what you're really thinking, and that their own perceptions matter more than your intent. And, since there's no limit to the ability for some to be offended (see the "niggardly" episode for an example), then admitting to this travesty of logic means surrendering to those for whom feelings matter more than facts and reason.

I have a hard time taking anyone seriously if they trot out the old non-apology apology. Embracing this pernicious idea that they get to decide what I'm thinking and why I'm thinking it is far worse.

 
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"...I should have emphasized that the exploitation of prejudice, even if it is not shared or intended, is a danger to conservatives and the Republican party - and we should explicitly disavow it...."

It is hard to disagree with her here. In fact, I wholeheartedly agree. Such panderers to bigotry should be tarred and feathered. Perhaps she could tell us just who these horrible people are, so that we may all disavow them and run them out of public life, back to the caves these troglodytes came from. I think, however, that I will not hold my breath until she actually names names. Talk is cheap. I think, though, that she could start by looking in a mirror.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"On reflection, I went too far. I blew off some steam and in the process offended some erstwhile allies. I should have been more careful in my wording and not tarred with such a broad brush. I should have been clearer that not everyone who opposes the Senate bill does so for illegitimate reasons."

This is a nice example of the "non-apology apology". Notice that she really doesn’t say she did anything wrong - just that she was imprecise in her wording.
Yes she did — she says she went too far, should not have tarred with such a broad brush, and was blowing off steam. I read that as saying "I got mad and went overboard and that was wrong."

I also think she and President Bush were right on this issue. There really is no alternative to some kind of guest worker program and "amnesty" unless one wants to try to start mass deportations. That won’t work. The debate got turned into one of emotion and abstract arguments about "not rewarding law breakers" and "enforce the laws" without thinking through the practical methods and costs. I listened to some of the talk radio, and it seemed to me a lot of them were running with this because it generated emotion (drives talk radio) and got people off the Iraq topic. There was more heat than light, and a tough compromise was rejected, leaving now nothing really in its place but a problem that isn’t being addressed.

(My blog entry for June 1 "Soundbite politics" goes into this).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Oh, I’ll add that I agree completely about how easily people get offended in our society (except it happens on both the left and right — from the right it gets worded as ’that’s blame America first’ or ’that’s not supporting the troops’ if people give a particular opinion). Being offended is chic, even though taking offense at something is a weakness, giving other people power over your emotions. Self-esteem isn’t even really self-esteem any more. Real self-esteem is rightful pride at being able to overcome obstacles and deal with life’s hurdles. It is built by life experience. Fake self-esteem comes from trying to protect people from any possible offense or negative reaction; it is built upon false praise, and results in a narcissism that gives way to self-doubt when real challenges arise. People protect themselves from that by "being offended."

We have a culture that lifts being offended from something that people should strive to overcome to a noble state of mind.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott Erb,

I don’t agree with your stance that there are no other alternatives except guest worker/amnesty or mass deportations. I think border security and going after employers that hire illegals will work in the long run. I’m sure we could debate this for hours, since both your beliefs and mine are based on speculation.

I could also debate your belief that talk radio (I’m assuming you mean right wing radio) is driven by emotion, but the point I want to make is different.

I don’t know if you believe that this coming huge demographic shift is good or bad, or what implications it will have for the country, but IMO, from what I have read in your postings, you seem to have a optimistic/idealist view of human nature. In other words, I think you believe that people are inherently good, and given the right opportunities and circumstances, they will tend to do the right thing. This is just my opinion of course.

This is line that divides us. I do not believe people are inherently good. I believe people have to work at being good, which is why I’m not so sure that this massive change is all that fantastic.

Maybe I’m a pessimist, but one of the things that life has taught me is this. People will congregate and work with those they have the most in common with.
I’ve never seen anything change this, and I believe that no amount of social engineering will turn this tide. I taught high school for 11 years, and no matter how much tolerance we taught, or how much politically correct curriculum I was forced to relate, the students still stuck with those they had the most in common with, And that included ethnicity and culture. They simply did not mix.

I pray that you are correct, and, as mentioned in another post that was addressed to me, that these things can be overcome by making demands such as learning English and other forms of assimilation.

But after living on this planet for over 50 years, I’m just not so sure this is such a great idea and that it can happen. Actually, I’d bet my last $100.00 bill that this change in the country is going to divide us worse than anyone ever imagined. I would love to be wrong, but I just don’t think I am.

 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
There really is no alternative to some kind of guest worker program and "amnesty" unless one wants to try to start mass deportations. That won’t work.
Drivel. False dilemma. Strawman.

There most certainly are alternatives, first off - and second, the notion that "Mass Deportations" or "Roundups" won’t work is equally ridiculous.

Mass deportations could be done just fine - question there is (A) is it cost effective, and (B) do we want to take the PR hit for it? Hell, Adolf Hitler did plenty of roundups and deportations long prior to the computer age. The big problem is, even if we did pull up with busses in Mexico city saying "Take your trash back" instead of concentration camps, we’d still get tarred with that brush.

Identify why illegal aliens come here, and cut it off.

Enforce the existing laws. No handouts. No public money for illegals. Fine employers. Put a moratorium on consent agreements, and fine them. Fine an illegal? Deport them unless they are guilty of a felony - in which case jail them and then deport them once they have served their sentence.

And for pity’s sake, it is time to close the stupid "anchor baby" loophole - eoither end this practice, or tell them that their kids are welcome later - or have DCS take the kids. Hell, their parents are felons anyway.

It’s not that hard. And the problem won’t go away overnight. But once you make it clear that unless you knock on the door, wait to have it opened and be invited in, and step in over the "Welcome" mat you are UN-welcome, they will leave and the flow will dry up.

Your false dilemma occurs because of your - aqnd your opponent’s - insistance on an instant fix to the situation.
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
I don’t agree with your stance that there are no other alternatives except guest worker/amnesty or mass deportations. I think border security and going after employers that hire illegals will work in the long run. I’m sure we could debate this for hours, since both your beliefs and mine are based on speculation.
I think you’re right, actually — except I don’t think such a plan is feasible and workable without dealing with the current situation. IOW, do what Reagan tried to do in the eighties, only this time follow through.
I don’t know if you believe that this coming huge demographic shift is good or bad, or what implications it will have for the country, but IMO, from what I have read in your postings, you seem to have a optimistic/idealist view of human nature. In other words, I think you believe that people are inherently good, and given the right opportunities and circumstances, they will tend to do the right thing. This is just my opinion of course.

This is line that divides us. I do not believe people are inherently good. I believe people have to work at being good, which is why I’m not so sure that this massive change is all that fantastic.
In my experience I find most people to be at base good. Self-interested, but usually willing to help and not wanting to hurt. Yet I’ve read extensively about genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda and elsewhere. I think there is a dark side to our human nature that gets brought out often via ideologies, religions, or ethnic identification (not seeing the others as individuals like ourselves). In other words, people can be evil when they abstract/objectify other humans, usually with the aid of an ’ism’ or a faith (like the 9-11 attackers, blinded by Islamic extremism).

I also think you are right that humans tend to be with others like themselves. Cultures are based on shared values and understandings. If there is incoherence in a population (contested cultural beliefs, etc.) then conflict is more likely. So again, I agree that the changes could be very difficult to navigate. In my blog on June 6th I consider that, noting that my state is both one of the safest and least diverse. But even if immigration stopped today and even if somehow those illegally here went back (which is unlikely) we already have demographic trends that will change the nature of the country. So I see it as a difficult challenge that we have to find a way to make work, rather than something we can avoid. So I’d go with the President’s bill, work on integrating the hispanic community and focusing on teaching English and American values, and then having more strictly guarded borders and enforcement on employers who hire illegals. The second part didn’t happen with Reagan’s plan, which is why we’re where we’re at — it has to happen now or else Bush’s plan will flop too.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I am so sick of phoney apologies from the mouths of politicians.

A real apology has four parts:

1. Publicly admit you have done wrong
2. Express your remorse to those you have hurt
3. Attempt to make amends, if possible
4. Promise not to repeat your mistake

I’ll provide a personal example:

In 1998, I voted for Chuck Schumer to be a US Senator from New York state, an error I shall remember for the rest of my life. Please allow me to express my deepest regrets to the entire nation and to anyone, anywhere who has ever glanced at a television and seen Senator Schumer’s sniveling, smirking face over a bank of microphones. I apologize to everyone who has been hurt by the mindless, tactless, illogical decisions he made from the Patriot Act, to undermining the troops, to hamstringing the President in his conduct of the War in Iraq. Unfortunately, I cannot recast my vote. To ensure I will never again make this mistake, I have traded up from Senators Schumer and Clinton to Senators Sessions and Shelby. (I moved from the Peoples’ Republic of New York to Sweet Home Alabama.)

That, my friends, is an apology -

Arch
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
Gonzman, have you been reading my blog lately? We make almost the exact same points to counter Mr. Erbs nonsensical assertions.

Mr. Erb ... you don’t need to deport 12 million people! All you need to do is make it impossible for them to stay here of their own volition. No free services, no sending money by wire home to Mexico, no jobs without green cards, no free medical care, no anchor babies. You close the border and ENFORCE the present laws.

This is not immigrations - it’s INVASION. It has to be stopped.
 
Written By: Bruce
URL: http://brucesplace.net/wordpress
Mr. Erb ... you don’t need to deport 12 million people! All you need to do is make it impossible for them to stay here of their own volition. No free services, no sending money by wire home to Mexico, no jobs without green cards, no free medical care, no anchor babies. You close the border and ENFORCE the present laws.

This is not immigrations - it’s INVASION. It has to be stopped.
Using terms like "invasion" is the kind of appeal to emotion that I talked about. Most economists believe that immigration is one important reason why the US economy boomed in the 90s while other western economies stagnated. But your "plan" is unrealistic. It will never be done. You have to be pragmatic. The pragmatic solution is the President’s bill followed by strict enforcement.

Consider: the President is not going to back down and support what you call for. He sticks with his choices, for better or worse. The Democratic Congress isn’t going to pass legislation calling for what you want. They will be in power at least through 2009, maybe longer. So for sure there will be no action like that you call for before 2009. That’s two years of the current non-policies in place with the problems getting harder to solve. The odds that in 2009 there will be a major political shift are meager. So you’ll be left with the emotionally satisfying pontifications about "make it impossible to stay here, stop the invasion" while nothing will be done to remedy the situation for a long, long time. That will actually make the problem harder to solve.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You have to be pragmatic. The pragmatic solution is the President’s bill followed by strict enforcement.
That’s being a fool, fool.

Where has the enforcement been of the laws already on the books?
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
The pragmatic solution is the President’s bill followed by strict enforcement.
Let’s assume that is the best course. Do you have a shred of assurance that the "strict enforcement" part will ever come to pass? I submit that recent history of immigration law says any new laws would almost certainly not be enforced to any reasonable measure.

So it appears that your position, in the pragmatic real world, boils down to legalizing several million people, followed by several million more being attracted by the prospect of their own eventual amnesty, or even amnesty on this round by cooking their documentation. Scott, is that the outcome you intent to support?

Because if it isn’t, it looks like you’re being a naive supporter of George Bush...
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Bills pass and the legislation is repealed (Prohibition?). So whether or not a bill is passed now by Congress, if one political party (Republican?) were to get on board with the simple, understandable appeal of Bill O’Reilly’s five point anti-immigration program, they can ride that issue into the White House. Mr. McQain’s early prediction that immigration will be the main issue in the Presidential election turns out to be spot on. How did he know that?
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
"That won’t work."

Maybe, maybe not. When was it ever tried? It certainly won’t work if it is never tried. But, as the judge said as he handed out the sentence of two consecutive 99 year terms in prison, "I know you can’t do it all, just do as much as you can". Sometimes it is the effort to attain a goal that is important, not the actual attainment. If we ever seriously attempt to remove all the illegals, and the number doesn’t decrease, then I may believe it won’t work.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Let’s assume that is the best course. Do you have a shred of assurance that the "strict enforcement" part will ever come to pass? I submit that recent history of immigration law says any new laws would almost certainly not be enforced to any reasonable measure.
Well, by that logic the only alternative is to do nothing, since nothing will be enforced. I can’t assure enforcement; but if nothing is done then the problem will get worse. So I’d give it a try — and use the political pressure now being taken to kill the bill to instead make sure that it works this time.

Though it is weird to be the one defending and praising the President while you all cut down his proposal. Maybe it’s opposites day.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Though it is weird to be the one defending and praising the President..."
This bill? Case closed.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
Gonzman, have you been reading my blog lately? We make almost the exact same points to counter Mr. Erbs nonsensical assertions.

No, but if you display such wisdom, I shall have to. :D
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://
Well, by that logic the only alternative is to do nothing, since nothing will be enforced.
Unfortunately, that is about right. One of the big reasons I don’t like the immigration reform bill is because "nothing" is a better option.

But, rosy optimist that I am, I hope that being denied the capability to pass the laws they wanted because of lack of trust on enforcement, the powers-that-be will then begin to take enforcement seriously and do something with the laws already on the book. This letter from a bunch of senators makes the same suggestion.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Though it is weird to be the one defending and praising the President while you all cut down his proposal.
Given your unerring support for anything that weakens the concept of the USA as a sovereign state, it is scarcely surprising that you are behind his proposal.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I don’t know, don’t anti-restrictionists have the right to be aggressive or pop off at the mouth? Last week I very politely commented on Quicks blog only to have immediately call me names, question my intelligence, call me more names and then declare himself the winner of our "debate" and either lock the thread or ban me to keep me from responding.

The fact is, the hyper-emotional reaction found all over the conservative blogosphere about Mexican immigration is the rule, not the exception, to the point where I’m reluctant to post any counter arguments on the subject on others’ sites for fear of losing all respect for them as I have for Mr. Quick. We’ve now got right-wing bloggers resorting to the hyperbole of Marxian class struggle for God’s sake. I don’t know whether it’s more depressing or embarrassing.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter Jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Well, by that logic the only alternative is to do nothing, since nothing will be enforced.
Start simple and work your way. Start enforcing the laws as the exist right now. Man, all my life I heard people say ’there ought to be a law’. And look what happened, there IS a law, a law for just about everything. Look at SOX. We needed a law to change how things were reported (supposedly) so our reps make a piece of trash like SOX, and ooops, lots of unintended consequences and a TON of cost. My default for just about everything these days is ’enforce the laws that are on the books!’

As for calling it an invasion, I am of the opinion it IS an invasion. 12 million illegal entrants is a larger invasion than any military has ever attempted.

And finally, if you want to get anywhere with immigration, you have to stop the flood. Just like when you have a leak in your house, you shut off the water, then worry about fixing the damage.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
To enforce all the laws you need to spend money and engage in activities that will yield considerable blow back. You have to ask is it worth it? The answers, and one I think that is good for the US, is that if we try to somehow enforce the law in a way that makes all illegals go back to Mexico, we’ll fail. It’s too expensive and will generate massive political opposition (it’s not feasible). The best way, I’m convinced, is to mix a kind of amnesty with real enforcement moving forward. I just don’t see anything else as politically feasible or worth the large cost it would take.

Peter’s right about the emotion. Let’s look at this as a problem to be dealt with, one reflecting the realities of globalization and the strong labor market in the US. The emotion often sounds like fear — that somehow 12 million Mexicans as guest workers will bring down America’s economy and culture. Fear doesn’t usually yield good policy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
meagain!
And finally, if you want to get anywhere with immigration, you have to stop the flood. Just like when you have a leak in your house, you shut off the water, then worry about fixing the damage.
Oh good...where’s the tap? By all means, let’s turn that sucker off. It should only take a second, right?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
"The fact is, the hyper-emotional reaction found all over the conservative blogosphere about Mexican immigration is the rule, not the exception,"

Perhaps a good part of that emotion is anger against our "leaders" who have repeatedly lied to us, not the immigrants. But it is convenient to use that anger as confirmation of right-wing racism, xenophobia, etc.

" mix a kind of amnesty with real enforcement moving forward."

Except, of course, if that enforcement involves deporting illegal aliens which is, as we all know, impractical.

Chavez’s statement seems more of an explanation than an apology. She merely and understandably overreacted to attempts by some nameless and faceless bogeymen(who shall remain nameless because it is much more fun to boldly confront evil if the target can’t fight back) to incite racism and bigotry. It evokes memories of Flip Wilson’s character Geraldine who, when caught in some indiscretion, says "The Devil made me do it!". It isn’t really her fault, her intentions were good.(Mea Minima Culpa?)
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"Oh good...where’s the tap? By all means, let’s turn that sucker off. It should only take a second, right?"

From what I have read, in 1986 we had 3 million illegals, now, in 2007, we have 12 million. I would be happy if we took as long to reduce the number as we took to increase it. Let’s deport about 500,000 per year. That should do it. Would it be possible to deport another 500,000 per year? Just what is the magic number where impossibility starts?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
What would be the cost and logistics of "deporting 500,000 people a year." What would be the political ramifications? And, of course, is there a snowball’s chance in hell that this will be chosen given the current political situation?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Perhaps a good part of that emotion is anger against our "leaders" who have repeatedly lied to us, not the immigrants. But it is convenient to use that anger as confirmation of right-wing racism, xenophobia, etc.
Honestly, I don’t see any lie. Are you talking about George Bush? He’s been openly pro-immigration since he was governor here. What I see is a bunch of politicians willing to face facts where a bunch of their constituents won’t. They know that it is they who will be held responsible when farmers being frog-marched to prison become a nightly staple of the evening news. They understand that most of the 12 million here illegally are gainfully employed, i.e. creating wealth, and when that wealth is choked off, they will be held responsible by the very same bloggers currently screaming for them to choke it off!

What I also see is constant talk of "lies" and "betrayal" and a thousand other claims of victimization from the right. Yesterday I was called a "Jacobin" seeking to "disembowel America." Why? Because I mentioned Edmund Burke in an immigration discussion.

At best it’s special pleading, and at worst unhinged paranoia. The right needs to understand that it makes them look just as pathetic and unhinged as it makes the left appear when they resort to it.

yours/
peter.

 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
From what I have read, in 1986 we had 3 million illegals, now, in 2007, we have 12 million. I would be happy if we took as long to reduce the number as we took to increase it. Let’s deport about 500,000 per year. That should do it. Would it be possible to deport another 500,000 per year? Just what is the magic number where impossibility starts?
We’ll only find out by trying. But don’t kid yourself, it’s there. The law of diminishing returns doesn’t give immigration enforcement a magic pass. Which means that you might be ABLE to deport 500k the FIRST year, but to deport another 500k the next year will cost more. And after that, even more. Pretty soon you’re reviewing the records of every employee in the United States trying to find those with forged documents, and passing laws that make it more difficult and expensive to hire anyone in an effort to filter out the illegals. But there definitely is a point where the price of enforcement will climb too high to pay, while the effectiveness of such enforcment dwindles to nearly nothing. And all the while, provided we haven’t killed full employment in the US due to enforcement, people who want to come here to work will find the holes in the new system, and get better at forging documents, etc. etc. ad infinitum...

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
To enforce all the laws you need to spend money and engage in activities that will yield considerable blow back. You have to ask is it worth it?
Wow - you have to ask if it’s worth it to enforce all the laws? Thanks for making my point.

Oh good...where’s the tap? By all means, let’s turn that sucker off
Just cast your gaze south my friend. Cast your gaze south. Shut that flow off and then look around for any other leaks. Why is that so hard to see?
What would be the cost and logistics of "deporting 500,000 people a year." What would be the political ramifications?
Here’s a thought then, let’s just go to reciprocity. We find you here illegally, we’ll just do to you exactly what your mother country does to anyone caught there illegally. That ought to keep the Mexicans at home considering what they do to those crossing THEIR southern border... see here

To quote just a line from the article... "Last year Mexico deported over 200,000 Central Americans that were only traveling through with no intention of staying in Mexico on their way to the USA. Mexico deported more Central Americans than did the US Immigration Service. "

So the mexican gov’t can deport 200,000 a year who are only passing through, but we can’t deport any that intend to stay because we might look bad internationally?

Please -
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Just cast your gaze south my friend. Cast your gaze south. Shut that flow off and then look around for any other leaks. Why is that so hard to see?
Okay, lookin’ south. I see a 2000 mile border and two oceans. Where’s the tap that we can shut off with a flick of the wrist? And while you’re at it, could you point out the cocaine tap too?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter Jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
It seems to me like this debate comes down to two different sets of ideas.

One group believes/hopes that illegals will assimilate, and we have to give it a chance, since it is impractical to try and rid ourselves of their presence, and many do work and create wealth.

Another group believes illegals will never assimilate, because there’s really no need to. We will cater to them because of their numbers, and will end up with two distinct cultures and languages, neither having much in common with each other, and both eventually in conflict with each other.

I believe in the latter.
We pander to Spanish speaking people far more than any other people, if we pander to other groups at all.
Why learn English if you don’t have to? Just press 2 on your phone, or look for the signs in Spanish at all your local markets. No need to join in, we’ll cater to you. Don’t forget Univision, or Telemundo. They’ll give you all the information you need.

Actually, I can’t see how Legal Immigrants who come here aren’t insulted by this.
If I was a legal immigrant not of Hispanic origin, I would want to know where the Japanese signs were, or the Russian signs, or the Swahili signs, or the Greek, German, French, or Vietnamese signs were, or what number on the phone do I press do get instructions in my native tongue. Is it we just cater to one "special" language group, and other immigrants, well, you’re just not that important?

Sorry folks, but I think were in for a h*ll of lot more trouble than some might think. Just my opinion of course.
 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
For assimilation you have to wait a generation. My Grandfather was from Germany. He fought for the US in WWI, and my father never learned German. Yet he was a Lutheran Minister who gave sermons in German for the large German population in first Minnesota then South Dakota who still primarily spoke German at home. There were also stores where German was the main language. But the children learned English, and the next generation had assimilated.

But this time it is a bit different. Assimilation won’t be simply becoming like America was; our culture is changing too because of migration. And, given that even if you could magically get rid of all the illegal immigrants the population of hispanic Americans is high and rising, we can’t prevent a shift in our culture. Whites will be less than 50% of the population sometime this century.

I can see how that can cause pessimism. Yet I believe the core ideals of this country are strong enough to handle such changes. What we have to do is avoid a "them vs. us" mentality.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Another group believes illegals will never assimilate, because there’s really no need to. We will cater to them because of their numbers, and will end up with two distinct cultures and languages, neither having much in common with each other, and both eventually in conflict with each other.
Except that there are already tens of millions of legal Latino Americans that speak English just fine and have assimilated just fine, like immigrants have been doing in our country for hundreds of years. So really, you need another argument.

Bush got 44% of the Latino vote for republicans in 2004, but that number was down again to 29% in 2006. There are about 13 million registered Latino voters in the US. I guess republicans aren’t going to be satisfied until they do to the Latino vote what they did to the African-American vote.

I hope you all like Democrats. A lot.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
Clearly not all laws are enforced. Here’s an analogy. If everyone drove the speed limit then traffic accidents would decrease. Should we enforce the law no matter what the cost? There are literally tens of millions of illegal drivers out there, flaunting the law (and, truth be told, I am one of them — quite consistently). No, of course not. The law is enforced, but the cost of trying to get every "illegal speeder" would not only be too high, but the political backlash too intense.

One can come up with nice "solutions" — treat them like their country treats illegals, deport 500,000 a year, etc. But we know that’s politically impossible until 2009 at the earliest, and probably not then. Moreoever, stating vague practices doesn’t really get into the cost, the tactics, the backlash, and the unexpected consequences. At the very least, one has to look at that realistically. At best there can be a kind of cosmetic change, reinforce security concerns, tie that to the guest worker program...but I can’t see any really practical program that much different than the President’s.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Honestly, I don’t see any lie."

Just off the top of my head, doesn’t the oath of office say something about "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,..."? Doesn’t that mean enforcing the laws?

" He’s been openly pro-immigration "

Gee, I thought the subject was ILLEGAL immigration. Was he openly for that, too?

"They understand that most of the 12 million here illegally are gainfully employed, i.e. creating wealth, and when that wealth is choked off, they will be held responsible by the very same bloggers currently screaming for them to choke it off!"

Fortunately, since it is impossible to deport them all(so I hear), that won’t come up.

"thousand other claims of victimization from the right"



Care to enumerate a hundred or so of them?

"Yesterday I was called a "Jacobin" seeking to "disembowel America."..."

And that is relevant because....? Are you looking for pity, or what?


"We’ll only find out by trying. But don’t kid yourself, it’s there. "

No sh**, Sherlock. The point is, let’s try. The only people who demand we get all 12 million are those opposed to the effort.

***************************
from meagain;

"Last year Mexico deported over 200,000 Central Americans that were only traveling through with no intention of staying in Mexico on their way to the USA"

If Mexico can deport 200,000, I don’t see why we can’t do two or three times as much.

******************
"Where’s the tap that we can shut off with a flick of the wrist?"

Why only a flick of the wrist? Who said it will be easy? Or cheap? Once again, it seems to me the opponents of deportation are the ones demanding the effort be easy, cheap, and perfect. Did I hear someone say strawman?

***************************
"I guess republicans aren’t going to be satisfied until they do to the Latino vote what they did to the African-American vote."

On behalf of Republicans, I would like to thank you for your concern for their welfare.

************************
"Clearly not all laws are enforced. Here’s an analogy...."

No, the laws are enforced, just not to the last jot and tittle. Again, why is it that the opponents of deporting illegals are the ones demanding perfection? There are so many strawmen here, it is a fire hazard.


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

If Mexico can deport 200,000, I don’t see why we can’t do two or three times as much.
Well, look into it, come up with a plan, figure out the costs and report back. It’s easy to pontificate from a soap box when it’s just vague abstractions. What exactly would it take, what would be the costs and what consequences would the move have? The stark reality of the details of the situation speak for the President’s plan. Those who say "more enforcement" or "mass deportations" don’t really get into the nitty gritty. That’s easy to do when one is on the outside able to talk in abstractions. Time magazine has an interesting take on this issue.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It’s easy to pontificate from a soap box when it’s just vague abstractions.
’how do we tell Scott he has no inner monologue?’

You of all people Scott. Come on. The point is that Mexico treats illegal entry as a serious offense and they round ’em up and ship ’em out. They then raise a stink when we talk about enforcing our laws, and go so far as to hand out booklets on crossing the desert safely. You want me to go check the costs? I don’t have time for that right now, but I’m gonna say that if Mexico can afford to round up and deport 200,000 a year, we can easily afford to do that X 5.

This is a case of a lot of hand wringing to little effect.

And Peter Jackson, you say you see a border and two oceans. Which do you think has more traffic? Hmmmm???? I’m gonna say the border. How about we start there? And comparing illegal immigration to the cocaine trafficking problem is foolish and does not deserve comment.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The point is that Mexico treats illegal entry as a serious offense and they round ’em up and ship ’em out. They then raise a stink when we talk about enforcing our laws, and go so far as to hand out booklets on crossing the desert safely. You want me to go check the costs? I don’t have time for that right now, but I’m gonna say that if Mexico can afford to round up and deport 200,000 a year, we can easily afford to do that X 5.
I don’t think it’s as easy as saying "if Mexico does this, we can do this." The contexts are different; it’s a lot easier for Mexico. They are deporting people passing through to try to get to the US; they aren’t trying to root out people who are living there, in jobs, and spread out. You have to think of the cost, tactics, and political consequences. Politics is the art of the possible; idealistic notions of what should be in a perfect world are nice, but ultimately of limited value.

I do think we should enforce our laws, and the reason I like the President’s bill is that it recognizes of the reality that many people came in illegally being enticed by jobs and welcomed by employers, and are now embedded into our society in a way not easy to root out and which, if we tried would be expensive and carry political consequences. However, at the same time it also recognizes that this has to change, that both for national security reasons and economic reasons we can’t allow such an increase in illegal entry and employment.

Many say "laws aren’t being enforced, so they won’t," and that’s a fair concern. But trying to mix these two is our best chance. Bottom line: I guarantee you that you won’t see mass deportation, the cost and political consequences simply are too much. Moreover, despite the emotion this issue causes in a segment of the population, for most people it isn’t enough to shape their votes (though it will more deeply affect Hispanic voting). Given that, it’s best to adapt to the reality of the current situation, and then work to make sure that the problem of porous borders is stopped and a legal, fair system finally initiated.

This bill is a compromise that recognizes the reality of the current situation, and the need to stop ’business as usual.’ Businesses shouldn’t be enticing people to come over illegally, stopping that would do more than increasing security on the long border. Politics is the art of the possible.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The contexts are different; it’s a lot easier for Mexico. They are deporting people passing through to try to get to the US; they aren’t trying to root out people who are living there, in jobs, and spread out.
The context is only different because you are making it different. I am saying that we can start this whole thing by grabbing the people trying to cross the border and send them back. No new legislation needed. You are talking about the embedded population. Stop the flow of immigrants first. Once that is done, then I am all for going after businesses that employ illegals. Just those two steps would go a long way towards making Americans believe our elected officials believe in the rule of law. As for international political fallout? The easy answer is for Bush to say ’we allow X number of LEGAL immigrants per year into the US. We welcome all forms of LEGAL immigration. We are a nation of laws and will enforce those laws.’ Period.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
The context is only different because you are making it different.
I don’t have that power. But I guess we’re talking about two different things, I was thinking about trying to get rid of the 12 million here.

I am saying that we can start this whole thing by grabbing the people trying to cross the border and send them back. No new legislation needed.
Well of course we can do that.
You are talking about the embedded population. Stop the flow of immigrants first. Once that is done, then I am all for going after businesses that employ illegals.
I think it is better to do this as a package deal because: 1) it forces both sides to accept compromise, thus making it politically viable; 2) if it’s known that a guest worker program might come ’later’ after we start ’enforcing the laws now’ then there is a real incentive for people to try to cross to be here when that date is set. Assuming that it’ll take awhile to really beef up enforcement (we’re talking government bureaucracies here) we could see the problem actually get worse before it gets better; and 3) it makes it easier to get cooperation from Mexico; right now Mexico isn’t exactly doing a great job stopping their own people from crossing.

I suspect that a "enforce first" approach won’t work, and won’t get the kind of political backing a major change in immigration policy needs. I also don’t see why one thinks it needs separation — the two sides of the policy are complimentary not contradictory.
Just those two steps would go a long way towards making Americans believe our elected officials believe in the rule of law. As for international political fallout?
I’m not worried so much about international political fallout than the domestic viability of trying to separate the program. I just don’t think it will fly, it’ll get lost between rhetoric and political fights. One side blocks "amnesty," the other blocks "enforce first" and the problem grows. Only by linking them can you get a real bipartisan commitment to needed immigration reform.

We agree the current system isn’t working. I think without a compromise covering the interests of both sides of the debate the issue will simply fester and continue to give fodder to blogs and talk radio, but nothing will be done. I guess time will tell — if this compromise fails and you find an effective enforce first policy put in place any time in the near future, you’ll be proven right.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"It’s easy to pontificate from a soap box when it’s just vague abstractions."

Funny you should say that.

"What exactly would it take"
"Those who say "more enforcement" or "mass deportations" don’t really get into the nitty gritty"

I don’t know. How much would it take to fund the requirements of the current bill, which, if I recall correctly, also calls for increased resources for enforcement? Care to get into the nitty gritty on that?


"I don’t think it’s as easy as saying... "

Well, Duh. Of course it isn’t easy. What is? That does seem to be a requirement, however, of those who oppose enforcement.

" You have to think of the cost, tactics, and political consequences."

And what are the cost, tactics, and political consequences of any other course of action? I think we are beginning to see some of the political consequences.

"it’s best to adapt to the reality of the current situation, and then work to make sure that the problem of porous borders is stopped and a legal, fair system finally initiated."


I believe I havc heard something like that before; "When rape is inevitable, relax and enjoy it".

So what is your solution to the problem of porous borders? If I might make a suggestion-"Well, look into it, come up with a plan, figure out the costs and report back. It’s easy to pontificate from a soap box when it’s just vague abstractions."

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Just for the record, it should be noted that on this thread Professor Erb wrote 2,251 of the 6,828 words written or 33% (not counting the last 428 just added). I have two things to say about that.

One, if you add that total to the comments of the other lefties (I didn’t count them all as that raises the issue of who is leftist and who is not) it is clear that they are making a major effort to frame this issue here in a manner which leaves the leftist point of view as the only “reasonable” view. Those on the right "know what they know" and no doubt resent this framing and therefore remain more or less silent. Observe the thread with this in mind and see what you think.

Two, Professor Erb obviously feels that he has achieved Objective Number One for a propagandist: Gain acceptance as a reasonable voice capable of appreciating all sides.
He is now making an aggressive effort to frame issues to best showcase his agenda. Examine his comments. Any sign of the old American “Can do”? Quite the opposite, wouldn’t you say?

“ We just cannot do this job of deporting folks, it’s just too... hard. In fact, we shouldn’t even try. There is something wrong with you for even wanting to do that.*” is more like it.

[Insert small speech about “Freedom of Speech in America” here]

Nevertheless, you see in this thread the carefully constructed presentation of an academically-trained propagandist and you should appreciate the art; hopefully without being gulled by it.

*Not an actual quote.
 
Written By: Robert Fulton
URL: http://
"I suspect that a "enforce first" approach won’t work, and won’t get the kind of political backing a major change in immigration policy needs."

So actually enforcing current law is a major change in policy?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Yes, timactual. It’s like the speeding analogy. Let’s say you had a friend killed by a speeder. You say "how could it be that so many people are ignoring the speed limit, we need to enforce that law." The response (leaving aside the question of whether speed limits should exist or at what level) would be "we can’t stop all speeding, to do so we’d have to have a massive increase in state troopers and shift from more pressing tasks. So to get a policy that actually enforces the speed limit you’d need political will to spend a lot of money, risk getting people angry, and increase taxes. Enforcing the existing speeding laws completely would be a change in policy.

We do enforce laws on illegal immigration, but we only catch a fraction of those breaking them, as with speeding. To increase that you need a massive investment, and you need political will and support.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
To Robert: Leftist point of view? Sir, I am defending the immigration policy of President George W. Bush, Republican. Is he a leftist?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
timactual!
Just off the top of my head, doesn’t the oath of office say something about "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States,..."? Doesn’t that mean enforcing the laws?
This criticism could be leveled by anyone that dislikes any social outcome that occurs under any president. Is it a legitimate gripe? Maybe. Is it evidence of a lie? I hope not, or else our nation is forever doomed to be led by a succession of liars into perpetuity.
Care to enumerate a hundred or so of them?
Go to Google and type in ’immigration betrayal’ and enjoy the tightie-rightie goodness. A hundred or so? You can find a hundred or so on Malkin’s site alone.
Gee, I thought the subject was ILLEGAL immigration. Was he openly for that, too?
Tim, this is a policy discussion, a discussion of what the law should be. I’m sure Bush would agree with you that laws should be enforced, but in a discussion of what the law should be, it’s beside the point. But it does bring up a question. Do you believe there is such a thing as an unenforcable law, or do you think any law is enforcable merely because it’s a law? I bet you and Bush would agree on that one too. Tim, I submit to you that well-intentioned people can disagree without one of them being venal or otherwise having bad intentions.
If Mexico can deport 200,000, I don’t see why we can’t do two or three times as much.
Last year we processed almost six times that number. But as you correctly pointed out in another thread, that effort is insufficient compared to the number of Mexicans attempting illegal entry. Not to mention that I doubt Mexico’s 200,000 apprehensions represents represents anything more than a fraction of the numbers that actually crossed their southern border, and it’s also fair to note that Mexico’s southern border is considerably shorter than our southern border with Mexico. There’s a really big difference between characterizing our border patrol efforts as insufficient and non-existent or criminally non-esistent.
Why only a flick of the wrist? Who said it will be easy? Or cheap? Once again, it seems to me the opponents of deportation are the ones demanding the effort be easy, cheap, and perfect. Did I hear someone say strawman?
Actually, we’re questioning whether it is possible, and if so, whether it is in the best interest of the United States to do so, both points directly implied in the "enforcement first" demand, and therefore speaks directly to your argument. That you find this difficult to defend doesn’t make it a "straw man."
On behalf of Republicans, I would like to thank you for your concern for their welfare.
My concern is for the nation under generations of Democratic rule. As you may have noticed, that didn’t work out so well last time. Still, for what it’s worth, you’re welcome.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com

meagain!
And Peter Jackson, you say you see a border and two oceans. Which do you think has more traffic? Hmmmm???? I’m gonna say the border. How about we start there? And comparing illegal immigration to the cocaine trafficking problem is foolish and does not deserve comment.
My point is, as I suspect you understand but refuse to acknowledge, is that there is no "tap" we can turn off. All analogies break down at some point, and this is where your plumbing leak analogy breaks down. A more accurate analogy is that of a dam being overwhelmed by a flooded reservoir. To save the dam and everything on the other side, you have to open the floodgates and let off the pressure to the point where the dam is no longer being crested, even if the amount of water let through the floodgates is more than you would like, because the disruption caused by the diverted water is under control and miniscule compared to what would happen if the dam failed... like our border is failing now.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com

Sorry timactual, forgot this one:
Fortunately, since it is impossible to deport them all(so I hear), that won’t come up.
The economic disruption won’t be caused by any success in reducing the total number of illegal workers, but rather by the enforcement effort itself. When you get busted by INS with 100 illegals picking your bell peppers, The thousand other illegals crossing the border that day aren’t going to magically appear in your fields. Your crop is going to rot in place despite of the fact that there are actually more illegals in the US that evening than there were that morning.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
A more accurate analogy is that of a dam being overwhelmed by a flooded reservoir.
I like the visual your analogy paints (it gets the point across) but I disagree with the assessment that you can not stop (or at least SIGNIFICANTLY reduce) the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border. Put the right number of people on border patrol, and set up some type of rail line back to the heart of Mexico. It would quickly become more trouble than it is worth for the immigrants.

 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
My point is, as I suspect you understand but refuse to acknowledge, is that there is no "tap" we can turn off.
No one is suggesting that it will ’turn off’ anything. The point is to change what is going on from a flood to a trickle.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Peter,

Except that there are already tens of millions of legal Latino Americans that speak English just fine and have assimilated just fine, like immigrants have been doing in our country for hundreds of years. So really, you need another argument.

Nope, I don’t need another argument. This one works just fine.
First, I’m talking about illegals, not legals.

Second, tell me about all the Wal-Marts, Lowes, Banks, And other major shopping venues the "immigrants" had back then that catered to them only, and on a national level, not just some local area.
Tell me how the "press one for English, two for Spanish" was done for the other "immgrants",
Tell me how the Univision and Telemundo stations were done for the other "immigrants",
Lets not forget the Spanish speaking radio stations, and every other message that says you don’t have to speak English or assimilate.

Did the other "immigrants" have these types of advantages? If so, I stand corrected, but to me, this is different. We don’t cater to other immigrants like we do to the Spanish speaking. You are in essence telling them that they are a special group.

I think this will affect our country in a negative way, and I think it’s worth trying to stop it. Will my way of thinking lose? Probably, But I still think it’s the right thing to try to do.

As for liking the Democrats a lot, well, the way I look at it, if this influx isn’t stopped and controlled, the Republicans are toast anyway.


 
Written By: autot
URL: http://
Autot: in the past there were Chinatowns, little Italy, I gave the example of my Grandfather giving Lutheran sermons in German in communities with German stores and where German was the primary language. The key is that the children get educated in English and recognize that English is the key to success. It’s generational. I have no problem with signs and things in Spanish — ironically other countries often have English options for a variety of services because of how prevalent knowledge of English is for people from a lot of places. American tourists expect that they’ll be able to find English speakers helping them when they need something at a store or train station.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I like the visual your analogy paints (it gets the point across) but I disagree with the assessment that you can not stop (or at least SIGNIFICANTLY reduce) the flow of illegal immigrants across our southern border. Put the right number of people on border patrol, and set up some type of rail line back to the heart of Mexico. It would quickly become more trouble than it is worth for the immigrants.
I have no idea how many we can stop. But to your and McQ’s point I can only point out a few things until I can find a statistical overlay of illegal entry vs. job growth vs. the relative value of a dollar in Mexico vs. a dollar in the US. over the last 20 years. =8^0

First, from the 1986 law to present we’ve seen expenditure on border security double several times (we spent less than .5 billion a year on border security in 1988!). Over the same period of time we’ve seen the number of illegals explode. From 1994-2004 we saw 12.5% job growth. Immigrants, legal and illegal, took up around 40% of that job growth.

A very rough look at this situation shows a negative correlation with enforcement spending and a positive correlation with US job growth. Now we all know that correlation doesn’t prove causation, and there are other factors involved, such as relative wage levels, the exchange rate for dollars and pesos vis-a-vis inflation in Mexico—stuff like that, but it still doesn’t look too good for enforcement.

And although there is certainly a noted difference in between smuggling white powder and human beings, our experience in the war on drugs should be instructive here, if only for its demonstration of the awesome power of supply and demand. We’ve spent billion after billion after billion, have over a million people jailed for drug crimes alone, yet drugs are everywhere (even inside of our prisons!) and cheaper now than they’ve ever been. And guess what? The UN estimates worldwide drug trade to amount to about $200 billion a year. That’s right, about half of what Exxon made last year. I know $200 billion is a lot of money, but compared to the disruption it produces and the amount of resources spent internationally combatting drug trafficking and consumption, $200 billion doesn’t seem like much. As I said, witness the awesome power of supply and demand.

I personally believe, based on the numbers the Border Patrol is already producing, that we’re already relatively close to the point of diminishing returns: the cost per apprehension of border jumpers has gone up from about $100/per in the mid-eighties to over $1700/per today. Walmart, Tyson, etc., those guys were the low-hanging fruit and they’ve already been picked. From now on we’re going to only occasionally find a big corporate employer hiring illegals. To expand enforcement we are going to have to go after the small business sector more and more. WalMart can pay an $11 million fine with the loose change found in the Walton family couch, but Mom & Pop Drycleaners? They’re f*cked. And really, where’s the benefit for us in putting small businesses like this out of business?

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com

autot!
Second, tell me about all the Wal-Marts, Lowes, Banks, And other major shopping venues the "immigrants" had back then that catered to them only, and on a national level, not just some local area.
Tell me how the "press one for English, two for Spanish" was done for the other "immgrants",
Tell me how the Univision and Telemundo stations were done for the other "immigrants",
Lets not forget the Spanish speaking radio stations, and every other message that says you don’t have to speak English or assimilate.
Oh dude—get over it. The bathroom fan I installed the other day had instructions in eight languages. Imported Canadian products have had French labeling for decades. Most of what you complain of is today simply due to globalization. Half the Spanish you see you’d still see if there wasn’t a single Mexican here.

As far as dialing one for English goes, there weren’t automated phone trees when all the Italians and Eastern European Jews coming over in the early 20th century, but I bet there were Italian signs and Yiddish signs and Chinese signs and German signs aplenty. Hell, in Alaska there are signs in Tlinget and they’re native Americans. So what?

I just don’t understand why you’re so offended. It’s not like there’s any law saying stores have to post signs in Spanish. They’re just trying to cater to their Spanish speaking customers is all. Most stores I’d imagine try to cater to ALL of their customers. If you, as an English speaking customer, are offended, then you should go tell the management of the store. Just choose your words carefully so they don’t think you’re a crank.

yours/
peter.

 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
It’s not like there’s any law saying stores have to post signs in Spanish.
It’s not the stores Peter, though it would help force assimilation if the did not bend so much, it’s about legal documents, federal forms, election ballots, etc. We segueing down another path of discussion which is ’make English the official language of the US’.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://

 
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