From Polls to the Issues: The Immigration Debate

Posted by Babs Chase
March 7, 2008
From Polls to the Issues: The Immigration Debate

Babs Chase serves as a Program Officer for the State Department's Foreign Press Center.

March 5, 2008

Since everyone has survived Super Tuesday #2, it is time to look at the issues behind the campaign. Some people weren’t too excited about our early morning departure the morning after the primary, but the briefings proved to be well worth the lack of sleep.

Bill Hammond, President and CEO, Texas Association of Business, welcomed the group to his office to talk about immigration from the business perspective. It was a fascinating discussion, similar to what discussions in the U.S. media currently are. He was intelligent and entertaining, captivating the group with his wit and frank logic.

The goal of the Texas Association of Business (TAB) is to create the best business environment possible for Texas companies. Immigration is critically important to them as it directly affects their members’ need for employees. Mr. Hammond shared with the group that he believed three key industries -- agriculture, construction and hospitality—are dependent on the immigrant workforce to do the jobs that not enough U.S. citizens will do. TAB aggressively campaigns for comprehensive immigration reform, and they are hopeful that all presidential candidates will recognize and fight for this crucial change. They argue that the U.S. government must raise the immigration limits to allow enough individuals to legally come into this country to fill the existing workforce requirements.

We met next with John Colyandro, Executive Director, Texas Conservative Coalition Institute, and State Representative Linda Harper-Brown, Vice Chairman, of the Texas Conservative Coalition to hear their perspective on immigration challenges. They also agree with comprehensive immigration reform and lament the burdensome, expensive process required for those legally entering the U.S. They see a need to close the border technologically as well as come down harder on employees or hire undocumented workers. Their largest concern is that those individuals who are voting illegally. They do not prefer amnesty. They pointed to specific countries where the immigration standards and penalties for those who abuse the system are much more stringent than ours.

All of our journalists seem fascinated with the current immigration discussions—they understand and can put a real face on the individuals trying to get a better life at whatever the skill level. One journalist asked what would happen to the U.S. without immigrants, quickly discovering that all the journalists in the group believe that it would be disastrous for the U.S. economy. Our South African reporter asked an interesting question—Why are we so worried about punishing those who break a law that so many agree is wrong? All of the journalists are looking forward to seeing the next piece of this debate in Laredo, but, they are also anxious to see how the new Administration will confront this issue.

Comments

Comments

Ronald
|
New York, USA
March 10, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

Immigration and the U.S. Economy:

If we rewind the tape on immigration to the U.S., we see that our nation was built by immigrants. If you visit Ellis Island in New York, you will see a range of anti-immigration propaganda which spares no group nor period of time in our history. America is a nation of immigrants, and we must treat all who hunger to join the American Family with respect and support. The U.S. economy has always thrived on the labor of immigrants, and we cannot export our work or deny our workers.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 8, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

How many journalists asked these questions:

Is Al Qaeda a subsidiary of Carlyle Group?

Carlyle seems to have more in common with Al Qaeda than the average company - they both survived from the ashes of BCCI.

Why are Arabs still attending US flight schools today?

Are there no flight schools in the middle east or Europe?

yonason
March 9, 2008

Yonason writes:

The only way to put "real faces" on the immigrants is to know exactly who they are. And the only way to do that is to regain control of our borders. Anything short of that is to court disaster, not avoid it, as we know from the terrorists and criminals who have entered already through the unguarded gates. Sure, America should welcome decent people who want to live by America's laws and become Americans; but to use that as an excuse for gross negligence, and virtually criminal mismanagement, is a sick joke for which we are already paying dearly. (...and that's just the tip of the iceberg.)

And, speaking of a sick joke, why do we tolerate the violent violation of our borders by the Mexican Army??!!

The ship is sinking, and those who are responsible for it's upkeep are telling the passengers why that's a "good thing," and how much fun they will have on their cruise.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 10, 2008

NB in Pakistan writes:

@ Zharkov in U.S.A., -- Mar-08 posting. Most Arabian countries buy American airplanes because Boeing is the best. Therefore, they have to come to America to get the training and FAA license. And yes, there aren't any flying schools in the Arabian countries.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 11, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

@ Ronald in New York -- Agree with your comment. In fact a study conducted by the Syrian Nationalist Party concluded that the United States would slowly regress to very low economic and social levels that, given existing socio-economic and political situation now existing and taking into account the spiraling 10 trillion debts, will be to the determent of America within the coming generation.

The two main reasons for this assured decline is lack of strong immigration policy that favor balancing out the humanitarian / family priorities with calculated numbers of skilled, talented and capital holding new immigrants that can positively contribute to the system while the other type of immigrants are acclimated, trained in language and skill to become productive. This will not allow the system to become negatively taxed and imbalanced to the point where is it now under, which is immigrants bashing.

Second, the United States relied since WWI on mass of new immigrants and world economies devastated by two World Wars and countless other mini wars, the immigrants helped the economy by the internal consumption and the world helped taking all the exports, grants and aid that were used to buy U.S. Products. Now, the U.S. is faced with a different world and world economies that have no need for what America is producing other than Boeing passenger Airliners. Even this in a decade will face stiff competition from Airbus and the new Russian designed fleets. Hence the U.S. has these massive trade imbalances with almost all trading partners and huge trade deficit that is draining the Dollar assets out of the U.S.

The United States survived by repatriating those Dollars by various Machiavellian schemes. But the world nations populace are now educated ( through the internet) and are forcing foreign governments to change policies in a way that is crushing these various U.S. plans, that is why the Dollar is on a continual spiral down in value, with no possible trend reversal in the future.

That is why now more than ever immigrants can become Americaãs salvation. A well balanced immigration policy that will include among the downtrodden and humanitarian immigrants other skilled, professional, talent and oneãs with capital that can cohesively acclimated and assimilated under a planned policy will thrive to become the internal consumers that will replace the external ones that are now having much better economic conditions, manufacturing and social systems than the United States have.

The United States is big country, you can Easley bring in additional hundred million immigrants into newly planned and built economic zones, balancing out immigrants with capital / business ventures with preferably export oriented production with skilled labor and family unifications. You do not need unskilled labor other than from Central America.

But donãt be too optimistic, the immigrant bashing is driven by a sinister plan to divert from other real issues of much greater importance to the public that are kept hush. So the drain will continue to oblivion with broke and saturated internal consumers, little, if any, export market, massive trade imbalance, bankrupt Social Security System, 10 trillions U.S. Public debt and growing ( not sure how this will ever be paid off), untold trillions in private debt, Iraq war costs and much more. America is run just like a Pyramid Scheme of the Seventies, it crashes when no more joining at the base, it keeps on running as long as the base growing.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 11, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

@ Zharkov & Yonason in AIPAC Republic -- Would you rather they learn to fly jets in flight schools in the Middle East, one that are run by Alciada-Alqaida perhaps, or come to the United States and get to know how nice Americans can be and likewise Americans get to know who Middle Easterners can be unlike what AIPAC and its media tells them they are.

By the way they really should not be attending flight schools in America, but explosive and demolition schools in Herzalia. This way they will learn about the effective use of Thermate. Dare the personal integrity of this web sensor to keep this comment posted.

Michael
|
Washington, USA
March 12, 2008

Michael in Washington writes:

It is a gross insult to the citizens of the U.S.A. to tell us that it is our duty to obey every freaking law and regulation that federal, state, and local governments impose on us but because Mexicans are poor because of Mexicos' corrupt government, its disfunctional economy, and the fact that the average Mexican woman had 7 children in the 1970s and 5 children in the 1980s (because of the Catholic churches' irresponsible procreative culture), that the Mexican's should get a free ride and violate every damn law on the books and if we deport them, they will just come back and there are too many of them here now so it would just be easier to give them amnesty.

The Bush administration has shirked its' obligation to the U.S. citizen to protect us from criminals, terrorists, and disease ridden people from other countries. We know for a fact that there are many Mexican politicians and American hispanic political activists who wish to flood Mexico's poor into this country into order to reconquer the American Southwest (Atzlan) in a defacto sense if not in a dejure sense. We are already seeing in California the creation of no-go zones for non-hispanics (similar to the no-go zones that Muslims have established in Europe) and the attempt by Mexican gangs to engage in ethnic cleansing of black Americans in Compton and South Central Los Angeles. Mexican illigals have set up crack houses and meth labs on Native American reservations because the FBI (which has responsibility to enforce federal law on NA reservations) has abandoned the NA reservations to fight the War on Terror. Tribal police do not have the authority to enforce federal drug laws. The Native peoples, who have been put through the proverbial ringer by our government and had $80 Billion in energy and mineral resource royalties stolen by the Interior Department, have been nearly destroyed by alcohol. This new Mexican fed drug surge will surely put the "coup de grace" to these hapless people.

The problem with nostalgia about the U.S.A. being a nation of immigrants is that with 307 million people today, we are reaching the limits of our water resources. In addition, the livability of many cities has been trashed not only because of development driven by business interests and immigration but also because of idiotic planning policies by local governments. Can you imagine what a bung-hole this country will become if we have a billion people living here? The reason there are "labor shortages" in this country is because business interests don't want to pay more than survival wages to workers if they can get away with it. This is our reward for listening to feminists and environmentalists who told us that it was irresponsible to have more than one or two children and that women should seek self-fulfillment through careerist aspirations. The Left has encouraged American and European women to engage in self-genocide against our future through birth control and abortion. The flood of humanity from poor, disease-ridden third world countries will rock us to our knees. The reason the FBI and BATF exist today was because of alcohol prohibition and because our government did not screen out criminal elements from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century immigration wave. The rich could have cared less about the consequences then since they could always afford their own private security and live in gated communities. Their attitude is no different today. The percentage of wealth held by the top 1% of wealth holders basically doubled from 10% to 20% after the mass wave of immigration from Europe. During the post-WWII era when Democrats had a pro-labor policy, that percentage fell to about 10% again by the early 1970s. Now, after the latest wave of mass immigration, that percentage is about 18%. A pro-immigrant policy is essentially a pro-business and anti-labor, anti-middle class policy.

Syrian P.
|
Syria
March 12, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

Immigrant bashing clich... talking points might well be accepted by Fox news viewers, NYT, and AIPAC driven media, ignorant people basically. That is why the anti-immigrant campaign in the past won the day. They are the majority and backed by the brainwashing Jewish run media. The same identical talking points, item by item can be traced back to 1806 and on forward, they are just as nostalgic and very much out of date. All these points mentioned to support this anti immigrant policy are seriously flawed. Further, no solutions offered to the Imploding American economy, which is really the underlying factor in this anti- immigrant's attitude and is the back bone of the America progress.

If you noticed, it was the AIPAC media that peddled and promoted these negative feelings to immigrants, as a mean to direct the ignorant masses either deceptively or ignorantly to forwards the blames to all Social, Economic and Political problems in America on the immigrants and away from the real culprits. We tracked this campaign more than a decade ago, this is not all the sudden, but preplanned, tested and pulled off the shelf in the right time to use as cover. The ignorant masses picked it up and ran with it.

Yes, current immigration policies and practices are seriously flawed and outdated. But America can no longer expand outwardly and must expand inwardly or implode. But the points are taken into account. Notice we stated the need for a Planned Economic Zones and capital, talent and skilled immigrants. Not the minimum wage earner who will be living in slums taxing the social services, public services and reducing real estate value. We are suggesting immigrants with basic English Language skills, at least orally balanced with immigrants having capital and business plan that can support new arrivals, hebetating these new immigrant economic zones in area where there is sufficient water and power resources to set up a new frontiers in America in the wide open land. These economic zones setup in various region of the United States are sort of modern day frontier city or company town, using little public infrastructure and a modern one, such as satellite internet and cellular services. This is not Southern California or Vegas, where water, power, real estate all in critical conditions. These educated immigrants are not your drug addicts and habitual criminals. These are not your clich... laborers, but technically savvy entrepreneurs and technicians that can drive America into more competitive Global World Environment.

The commenter below asks can you imagine what a bung-hole this country will become if we have a billion people living here. DUUUUHH, IT IS ALREADY A BUNG-HOLE. That is the problem, so try to fix it and not implode your country in the process. It is obvious that those peddling this anti immigrant policy are clueless about America, its economy and future, but most likely they learn through having the kids read out about the issue from National Enquirer, People magazine, a Church pamphlet or the AIPAC circulars. These are the same repeated talking

Most of the absurd stats and comments are clichã points found on various shady websites that hold selfish or ethnocentric motives and agendas than a National one with a vision. They are of bygone era. Here is one for example: "A pro-immigrant policy is essentially a pro-business and anti-labor, anti-middle class policy..." Basically states that immigrants are nothing more than illiterate laborers that will work for cheap and lower the status of the Middle Class. In fact most immigrants ends up being part of the Middle and upper Classes of America and the one that fall into the lower class or lower are people who think and write like that.

Michael
|
Washington, USA
March 13, 2008

SNP, I am a college-educated (BA, Economics), middle class individual who believes that the best immigrants are people from East Asia who are the most assimilatable people in the world. I also think that Christians from East Africa and the Middle East who are being persecuted by Muslims are also pretty decent people. They do not have any designs on our territory and are willing to learn English and become loyal citizens of this country. The worst possible immigrants to any country are Muslims because their religion is a death cult and war religion whose mission statement for nearly 14 Centuries has been the subjugation of all mankind to their psychopathic god Sin (who they call Allah). The Mexicans have in many cases proven that they are just as racist as any white person. The hispanic college student group MECHA's motto is "for the race everything and for those outside the race nothing." The also have social service agencies for hispanics only called "El Centro De La Raza" (The center for the race). Can you imagine Eastern European immigrants setting up such a racist agency or a Eastern European immigrant college students forming such a student group? Those students would be expelled from our Universities without mercy but because Mexicans are non-white they are able to get away with it because of the double standard associated with political correctness.

It seems to me, SNP, that with your racist attitude toward Jews, your scatalogical ignorant rant below about this country imploding without dirt poor, illiterate Mexicans and
your inability to critique my previous post in a logical manner is a good reason why Syria is such a back-water nation and always will be if you are representative of the general population.

Nobody
|
Pakistan
March 13, 2008

@ Unnamed posting of Mar-13.
The word Islam itself means peace. I believe that one should also make onself aware of the real world in addition to studying course books, that's what I call education.

Zharkov
|
United States
March 14, 2008

Bank robbers rob banks to have a better life. Hitler invaded Poland so Germans could have a better life. Congressmen take bribes so they can have a better life, and prisoners escape from prison to have a better life.

None of these crimes can be excused by "having a better life", and so it is astonishing that illegal entry into the United States to have a better life is even relevant to the immigration debate. Is there any other crime that would be excused if the criminal merely wanted a better life?

Are you agreeable to my burglarizing your home and occupying it if my purpose was to remodel the home to my liking and "have a better life"? If I bring all of my relatives into your home, would you accept the burglary as necessary to improve the country?

People who deliberately confuse illegal immigration with legal immigration and argue that both are acceptable, are, in essence, arguing that burglary and robbery are acceptable if done for the right reasons, such as, it's OK to rob a bank, if the robber needs money for a new car, or tuition for college. It's OK to invade another country if all you want to do is ignore its laws and earn tax-free money sent back to your relatives. It's OK to cheat the residents of that nation by taking up space in their universities, taking their jobs, their pensions, and their health care, without their consent. It's acceptable to become a criminal then, because everyone else is doing it too. This anti-American population has no regard for laws or Americans, for that matter. When gangs of them roam the neighborhoods, spray painting their symbols on your homes and businesses, they are telling you to leave their country, because as far as they are concerned, it isn't America anymore. It is their country now, and they want to have a better life without your laws to hinder them.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
March 15, 2008

The USA is a product of immigrants.

We can't have a double standard, based on social,
economic or political factors.

Murat
|
Turkey
March 17, 2008

In my point of view, immigraion is primarily an economic issue for the US and should thus be considered with a focus on economic matters. With such a focus, necessary regulations regarding national security, cultural interaction, adaptation, etc. should be carried out by the US Government, of course.

If you take the immigration issue with a focus on nationality, ethnicity or religion and make discriminating regulations based on these factors, this would be contradictory with the founding principles and the foundation process of the US itself. Moreover, this would be as much a dangerous and wrong approach as some radical US enemy's approach that is taking the US and all Americans as the devil. Legal and objectively regulated immigration among countries will help us achieve more stable economies and a peaceful world where people from different nations know each other better and live in mutual respect.

yonason
March 18, 2008

SLIGHT OF MIND

... or, More than meets the eye?

Apparently, in a recent meeting at State as reported here, on the topic of free trade in our neck of the weeds, one of the presentations made several points, one of which was the importance of "Open Borders"...

"Open Borders– to facilitate the free movement of labor to markets where employment opportunities are available.

The discussion pointed out the SPP trilateral working groups and the Transatlantic Economic Council were being supported by top-level Cabinet officers and the heads of state in both the EU and in North America.

Progress in EU-U.S. regulatory integration was noted in financial market coordination, investment rule cohesion, trade security measures and efforts undertaken recently to preserve intellectual property rights.

Before the meeting began, concerns were raised informally by participants worried that the Ohio Democratic Party primary had prompted both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to talk of renegotiating NAFTA.

Participants at the State Department meeting pointed out U.S. political candidates could be expected to argue "protectionist themes opposed to global economic integration" as a tactic, without necessarily being committed to taking aggressive steps once in office."

That could explain all the foot-dragging on improved border security, and lack of accountability for negligence in enforcing current law - it's just not consistant with the higher priority projects.

All our arguments that it's not in America's interest fall on deaf ears, because America's "interests" as percieved by them aren't the same as they are by us. We, and our concerns, are as irrelevant as the America we once knew will become once it follows the EU in it's slide into oblivion.

Talk about voters being disenfranchized!

Zharkov
|
United States
March 18, 2008

Arguing "protectionist themes opposed to global economic integration" as a tactic, without necessarily being committed to taking aggressive steps once in office", is what real Texans call by its correct name, lying.

When elected officials and their appointees lie to the American public about SPP and the secret goal of destroying America's borders and sovereignty to form a North American Union which will eventually link to the EU under a global government, they no longer have any right to call themselves "Americans".

Their continuing efforts to destroy America is the reason why Mr. Bush has only a 29% approval rating, and Congress remains below 20%. Nobody seems able to convince them to stop violating their oath of office. Nothing in the US Constitution gives the federal government the power to surrender America to foreign interests or refuse to enforce immigration law.

Ronald
|
New York, USA
March 21, 2008

Ronald in New York writes:

The immigration backlash is cotempraneous with the Bush Presidency...

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
March 24, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

The lamp of liberty and the golden door of opportunity is what makes America what it is.

What is inscribed upon the statue of liberty is not just good policy, it represents hope for the human condition.

.

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