Sep 26 2007

Immigration Issue Reverses Course, Myths Busted

Published by at 10:43 pm under All General Discussions,Illegal Immigration

The illegal immigragtion issue is shifting out from the far right. The idea of creating a guest worker program, along with a process of steps and fines for those here for a long time making a living and keeping their noses cleam to gain legal status (recall, it is not a felony to be hear without a visa, etc.) will be coming back in vogue. Actually, they never were out of vogue. A vocal minority on the right bluffed their way into making people believe a lot of myths about immigration while they denied their key issue was letting people stay and work who have been here for a while working without legal entry. They hide behind a lot of common sense, common ideas (english only, no violent criminals, etc) to distract or ignore they fact they will not address the existing population with anything less than removing them from the countrty (by force orginally, now by coersion, starvation (lack of work) you name it).

When they are honest they lose support. But you cannot maintain illusions for long, reality comes crashing through. And the truth is the immigration horror stories were not the full story. The full story is this vocal minority waged a campaign against a very large element of our society (yes, they are inside our society and exist). And the fantasies of being able to remove these people without consequences are now crashing down. First we see many localities reversing their programs to coerce or push the immigrants out – mainly because these programs worked and when the immigrants left the local economies tanked (duh!):

A little more than a year ago, the Township Committee in this faded factory town became the first municipality in New Jersey to enact legislation penalizing anyone who employed or rented to an illegal immigrant.

Within months, hundreds, if not thousands, of recent immigrants from Brazil and other Latin American countries had fled.

So last week, the town rescinded the ordinance, joining a small but growing list of municipalities nationwide that have begun rethinking such laws as their legal and economic consequences have become clearer.

“I don’t think people knew there would be such an economic burden,” said Mayor George Conard, who voted for the original ordinance. “A lot of people did not look three years out.”

There was never much thought surrounding this issue – just emotion. Or passion as one commentor wrote here. Passion doesn’t make a surgeon able to save a patient with massive brain injuries. Skill, careful thinking and weighing all the factors honestly make success possible. Passion is most famous for making babies (not a bad thing – just not how you want to make law).

The fact is we cannot displace that many people who are now an integral part of our community. And they are working to fight the changes, which will gain support as those changes create unintended consequences. The law is not in place to do what the far right want. And therefore the plans of the far right, shifting as they do to become more palatable in the surface, cannot ever be executed. It is not a felony to be here without permission. And the courts are starting to remind everyone the law is what it is.

In June, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against a housing ordinance in Farmers Branch, Tex., that would have imposed fines against landlords who rented to illegal immigrants. In July, the city of Valley Park, Mo., repealed a similar ordinance, after an earlier version was struck down by a state judge and a revision brought new challenges. A week later, a federal judge struck down ordinances in Hazleton, Pa., the first town to enact laws barring illegal immigrants from working or renting homes there.

I live in one of the epicenters of the immigration debate, and the reality is changing here as well. The dreaded day worker center that was set up to allow a place for workers to meet up with prospect, short term employers did what it was meant to do. It kept the day workers out of the center of town mingling at the 7-Eleven and the McDonalds, hanging out at night on the edges of Middle School grounds drinking. It did clean up the center of town. But now it too is being closed, with all the negative ramifications you would expect:

Herndon shuttered its publicly funded day-laborer hiring site yesterday in a publicized move to crack down on illegal immigration, but the controversy seemed likely to continue as dozens of workers marched about a mile and a half to a path beside a park, where they plan to renew their quest for jobs.

Town officials decided last week to close the 21-month-old center rather than comply with a court ruling that determined it must be open to all workers, including those in the country illegally. The ruling also struck down a 2005 town ordinance that barred workers from soliciting jobs on the street, an act that courts have generally upheld as a form of constitutionally protected speech.

The center was at the edge of town near an industrial area. The courts through out the laws barring people from roaming the streets to look for work (which makes sense if you stop a second and think about it). What was keeping them off the streets was the existence of the center. But if the center had to be neutral on illegal immigration, the amnesty hypochondriacs would rather the day workers wander the streets again. This is the same basic lack of thinking that allowed violent criminals to stay in the country so the Bush Bill would fail this year. It will create a backlash when the problem, which had disappeared from the town and school area while the center operated, comes roaring back.

And this town has a large LEGAL hispanic population who ARE part of this community. A respected and admired part – for the most part. They have their assimilation problems, we have ours. But the face being put forward now is the face of the good neighbor, which is making people re-think how harsh we want to be in dealing with this issue.

The folks that cried “wolf” will not be given the same credence the next time around. They have made things worse and recreated the same problems, or have done nothing but rage and try and pretend they are being reasonable when they clearly are not. There is no common ground – they will not compromise. They are not needed for progress. Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity now spend huge amounts of time on their radio shows trying to claim they are reasonable by discussing every butt-obvious issue (english as our language), while avoiding their push to empty the country of illegals, as if they can pretend to be reasonable. It is not working. The reason I know it is not working is they keep spending all their efforts trying to make it work.

The old addage about “cutting off your nose to spite your face” is quote appropriate on this matter. We cannot excise 12-20 million people from our country and not pay a huge penalty. And if we do it through harsh coersion, then we will also rent this country’s soul apart. Some people do not have the ability to understand this. OK, color blind people cannot grasp “blue”. That doesn’t mean we all work to remove color from the world to satisfy the color blind by making us all see things their way. The steam is fading on this issue. The cries of “wolf” have lost all their potency. Those making the cries have lost their credibility. And no one wants to pay the price those who are crying ‘wolf” demand any way.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Immigration Issue Reverses Course, Myths Busted”

  1. Terrye says:

    I saw this over at the Anchoress.

    On the endless go-rounds about illegal immigration I wrote a while back:

    What if it’s all an illusion, just like the Cinco de Mayo “nationwide protests” by Hispanics was an ‘06 (election year) illusion that had nothing behind it in ‘07 (no elections). What if everyone is being played a little bit, here, being prompted to emotional reactionaryism as a means of reaching into and infecting those Americans of good-will who until the “flashpoint” and the sudden hue-and-cry couldn’t be moved to hate? Moved to grousing, yes, but never before moved to real, unadulterated hate?

    Illusionists are clever sorts – they are specialists at making us look at one thing, and convincing us that we know what we are seeing, while they are actually doing something else, entirely. It’s called “misdirection.”

    What if the illegal immigration flashpoint was never about immigration at all, but about getting people stirred to “hate.” Who would do that, you ask? Think about it. Who and what does hate serve? What happens to the soul of a nation, when “hate” is the overpowering force driving a majority of people – it doesn’t matter which “side.”

    It did not escape my notice that the “spontaneous” demonstrations by Mexican-flag-waving, sign carrying La Raza groupies who were all over the streets in May of 2006 were curiously absent in May of 2007. Back when the conservatives were freaking out by the images of discontented Latinos demanding “the return” of their country, etc, all that radical claptrap, I recall a few blogs remarking on the astonishing number of Mexican flags (scroll down) and wondering who had underwritten them.

    Some on the blogs were saying, “this is not real, it’s illusion, it is political theater…pay no attention and go look for the man behind the curtains – THAT is the reality.” I’d assumed that A.N.S.W.E.R was the underwriter of those demonstrations and parades. Turns out it was, according to this article, George Soros.

    Didn’t the mainstream media report that 2006’s vast immigration rallies across the country began as a spontaneous uprising of 2 million angry Mexican-flag waving illegal immigrants demanding U.S. citizenship in Los Angeles, egged on only by a local Spanish-language radio announcer?

    Turns out that wasn’t what happened, either. Soros’ OSI had money-muscle there, too, through its $17 million Justice Fund. The fund lists 19 projects in 2006. One was vaguely described involvement in the immigration rallies. Another project funded illegal immigrant activist groups for subsequent court cases.

    So what looked like a wildfire grassroots movement really was a manipulation from OSI’s glassy Manhattan offices. The public had no way of knowing until the release of OSI’s 2006 annual report.

  2. stevevvs says:

    You should give serious consideration to running for the open Senate Seat in your state. Run as an Independent who is Pro War and Pro Alien. If the Supreme Court rules that no ID is needed to cast votes in 08, you just might win.
    Rather than continuing to beat a dead Horse, hop on a live one, and run! I’m serious. You could at least run for City Counsel or State Senate, or perhaps a U.S. House Seat.

    Give it some serious thought.

  3. Mike M. says:

    I disagree, AJ, at least in part.

    The immigration issue really breaks down into three separate issues.

    First is border security. This has people furious…because our political leaders are utterly unwilling to secure the border. They seem to WANT a constant influx of illegals. Quite possibly as a cheap supply of domestic and sweatshop labor.

    Second is what to do with illegals currently in the country. Right now, there are a lot of folks who want a strict expulsion policy – and some who don’t.

    Third is the degree to which immigrants, legal and illegal, are to have access to the welfare system.

    My own opinion? Secure the border, and not with a “virtual fence” sham. Build a proper Barrier Wall. Because the Barrier Wall creates political trade space. THEN you can offer illegals a period to turn themselves in (with serious penalties if they don’t), followed by an option to either pay a stiff fine and remain in the United States, or 60 days to wind up their affairs and leave the country (with serious penalties if they do neither).

    But the Barrier Wall comes first. It’s the sine qua non for any further negoiations.

  4. The Macker says:

    The French built the Maginot Line, thinking it would “buy them time.”

    “Supply and demand” will remain operative in our free economy and the solution will be to match the two and ensure the quality of the “supply.”