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Becker on The (Fatally Weakened?) Case for Open Immigration:

Gary Becker: "Open immigration to America worked well during the 19th century because the government did very little for immigrants and their families. How immigrants voted after becoming citizens also mattered little because government decisions were not so important. With the growth of government during the past half century, neither of these conditions continues to hold, so the case for open immigration is fatally weakened." Hat tip: Mike Rappaport at the Right Coast. I would throw in the fact that the American establishment has a much weaker commitment to assimilation these days, that modern communcations allow immigrants to retain much stronger ties to their homelands, and that the courts require the government to allow dual citizenship. Also, if we're serious about preventing terrorist attacks in the U.S., wouldn't it make sense to ban immigration from the countries where terrorists are most likely to come from (e.g., Saudi Arabaia, home of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers?) Though not a panacea, it a lot cheaper both in terms of monetary costs and civil liberties than additional dubious homeland security initiatives. I'm generally pro-immigration and pro-immigrant, but I think there needs to be an intelligent, informed debate on American immigration policy, with the goal of replacing the haphazard mess we have now.

Edgar (mail):
Illegal immigration is a challenge to the liberal Nation State. Since I am strong believer in the independent Nation State I am in favor of stemming the tide of illegal immigration.
3.13.2006 1:01pm
RKV (mail):
The "intelligent, informed debate on American immigration policy" has already been held. The elites just didn't like the answer that the majority of Americans gave them - which was to drastically limit the number of immigrants by closing the borders. Politics has failed. See the Roper Poll quoted in the link from 2003 - http://www.npg.org/immpoll.html.
3.13.2006 1:02pm
Katherine:
Why is it that it's an article of faith among libertarians that capital should be able to flow freely across borders, but you don't much care whether people can?

I'm not supporting unlimited immigration. I just always wondered why the double standard.

The countries that support terrorism the most have a number of people who live there who are genuinely trying to flee in fear of their lives. You think we should close our borders to them? And are their lives really a cheap cost to civil liberties?

That's the trouble with so many self-described libertarians: you don't care about government harms in proportion to how much they hurt people. You care about them in proportion to how likely you, personally, are likely to be affected.
3.13.2006 1:10pm
frankcross (mail):
Most libertarians are pretty much open borders folks.

There are obviously some differences between capital and people moving, but the same principles that animate free capital generally animate free movement.

Opposition to immigration is foremost from paleocons and then from labor liberals.
3.13.2006 1:15pm
RKV (mail):
The citizens "own" our country and therefore should be able to control which non-citizens (non-owners) can come here. Same as you should be able to do with your own home/property.
3.13.2006 1:16pm
Jeek:
Katherine, the entire multi-billion population of the Third World could probably make a good case for coming here (economic and political distress). That doesn't mean we should let them. I don't see why "libertarian principles" should have to be a suicide pact.
3.13.2006 1:16pm
Michael O'D (mail) (www):
If we're to have an "intelligent, informed debate on American immigration policy," the first step is to stop accepting such preposterous and unsupported premises as Becker's view that in the 19th Century, "government decisions were not so important." I've never heard a Nobel laureate say anything that stupid before.
3.13.2006 1:20pm
Joel B. (mail):
I was thinking about immigration this morning actually as I read this passage in 2nd Samuel 17:

All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.

19 The king said to Ittai the Gittite, "Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner, an exile from your homeland. 20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wander about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your countrymen. May kindness and faithfulness be with you."

21 But Ittai replied to the king, "As surely as the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be."

22 David said to Ittai, "Go ahead, march on." So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.


I thought it was kind of an interesting contrast to the way immigration seems to be handled today. It seems like here we have an example of immigrants and an immigrant community assimilating into the culture and following unwaveringly after the king.

In our culture today, we should regard immigration as something very positive, but something as well that requires assimilation, the assumption of our cultural traditions, and our ways; instead, we've begun to regard immigration as very negative, and eschewed assimilation as "cultural imperialism."
3.13.2006 1:20pm
RKV (mail):
Immigration has come to be regarded as negative by the majority of Americans as the goal of assimilation has been abandoned. Or as Theodore Roosevelt put it in less politically correct times "Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
3.13.2006 1:27pm
Jim Hu:
Katherine,

Are you thinking of anyone specific? I agree with frankcross.

Note that there are a number of people who have self-described as libertarians who don't have a clue about what that means (I think Bill Maher used to call himself libertarian). Others lean libertarian but see places where the pure libertarian philosophy runs into hard problems in reality (I'd put myself in that camp). There's also the pragmatic point of view that even if the libertarian utopia would be better (not a given) with the world as we know it, piecemeal implementation of various libertarian ideas would make things worse.

I'm not sure what libertarianism has to do with the post, anyway. I read Becker as saying there are no good solutions, libertarian or otherwise.
3.13.2006 1:28pm
Freder Frederson (mail):
the first step is to stop accepting such preposterous and unsupported premises as Becker's view that in the 19th Century, "government decisions were not so important."

Yeah, I wonder what the Native American population of this country would think about that statement.
3.13.2006 1:28pm
Dustin R. Ridgeway (mail):
When I read this entry, I had to make sure I was really at the Volokh Conspiracy. I'm not objecting to Mr. Bernstein's position so much that his reasoning seems woefully incomplete and poorly thought.
3.13.2006 1:28pm
WB:
It's the musings of a blogger, not a policy paper for a think tank. Would you care to point out the "woeful incompleteness," or is it just easier to toss adjectives around? DB thinks that our immigration policy is a mess right now and could start changing for the better by establishing some goals. I must have missed the part where he said "and this is my airtight vision of an immigration policy for the rest of the 21st Century."
3.13.2006 1:34pm
Jeek:
The citizens "own" our country and therefore should be able to control which non-citizens (non-owners) can come here. Same as you should be able to do with your own home/property.

I'm thinking of the scene in Doctor Zhivago where he came home and found dozens of impoverished proles living in his mansion - "Yes, that would be more just". =)

Should we let the entire population of the Third World come here? Why yes, that would be more just...
3.13.2006 1:34pm
Houston Lawyer:
Modern communications technology actually speeds rather than retards assimilation. My grandparents, who were third or fourth generation Americans, spoke German as their first language and were required to take their confirmation classes in German. Family lore is that the German farmers learned English first from freed slaves.

From what I have observed here, where we have a huge influx of Spanish speaking immigrants, the second generation generally speaks English. I believe that the old country holds little allure to those born here and that Spanish TV and radio cater primarily to the first generation immigrants.

I believe people theoretically want to close the borders, but have no stomach for the nature of the law enforcement measures that would be required to effectively enforce the same.
3.13.2006 1:36pm
RKV (mail):
Well Jeek, is the /sarcasm tag missing or are you proposing letting "the entire population of the Third World come here?" That would certainly be less than "just" for those of us who have worked hard for what we have got.
3.13.2006 1:38pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
I'm sure it would be to David's relief, but the number of Saudis seeking to immigrate to the US has averaged less than a dozen per year over the past 20 years. They have mostly married Americans.

None of the 9/11 hijackers--Saudi or otherwise--seems to have applied to immigrate. They were in the US on visitor and student visas.
3.13.2006 1:43pm
RKV (mail):
The survey I referenced above at http://www.npg.org/immpoll.html. goes into some detail as to what kind of law enforcement Americans want in order to stop illegal immigration. I quote in part...


Americans support taking tough measures to halt illegal immigration, including:

· Mandatory detention and forfeiture of property, followed by deportation, for anyone here illegally (83%; 56% “strongly agree”)

Support remains solid, though declines somewhat, when instead of detention, illegal immigrants would face:

· A mandatory prison term and forfeiture of property, followed by deportation, for anyone here illegally (70%; 45% “strongly agree”)

Americans also agree that a “practical way” of halting illegal immigration would be to make penalties for illegal presence here so severe that no illegal immigrants would come here or remain here out of fear of being caught (63% agree, 42% agree “strongly”).
3.13.2006 1:48pm
Robert Cote (mail) (www):
Whooping Cough in California tripled last year and looks to triple again this year. The number of hospital emergency rooms closed is approaching 100 as reimbursement falls below 50% for uninsureds. The idea that cheaper strawberries in any way compensates for extra education and health and infrastructure and crime costs is laughable. Open borders worked fine when the nation needed labor and participation. There's nothing wrong or racist or anything sinister in responding to evolving national priorities. The idea of imposing burdens on the citizenry as an accomodation for noncitizens is antithetical to the function of government. The real tragedy of tolerating so much illegal immigration from a few places is what it does to the "donor" regions. Decanting the young, ambitious and most productive members of any society is a formula for disaster. For the sake of the least capable in the places that supply US illegal immagration we have a moral duty to prevent this dissolution of their values.
3.13.2006 1:49pm
DavidBernstein (mail):
John,

Ok, use Pakistan as the example then, and also consider whether it would meaningfully hurt the U.S. if it became very difficult for Yemenis or Saudis to travel here.
3.13.2006 1:49pm
frankcross (mail):
The claim about "not assimilating" is not well supported by the evidence. Immigrants are assimilating rapidly. I note the recent business report that Spanish language stations are now switching to more English language programming, because of market demands.

And there is some irony in this. Robert Cote is right that the biggest harm of immigration is to the countries left, which lose many of their best and brightest. Though he then contradicts by suggesting that this net benefit is somehow a burden to the US. It is the hardworking entrepreneurial types who immigrate. And that's why it benefits the US.
3.13.2006 1:58pm
alan (mail):


I think people sugar coat the tensions and problems of immigration in the 19th and early 20th century. The clamor against it was fierce, assimilation slower than now and eventually it resulted in severe laws.
3.13.2006 2:02pm
sbron:
Regarding assimilation, it is interesting that both
the "right" and "left" seem to oppose the Teddy Roosevelt
concept of the word. For example, it is not surprising
that the multicultural left supports bilingual education.
But Rod Paige (previous Education Secretary under Bush)
actually campaigned in Colorado against that state's
ballot initiative to ban bilingual teaching. (It's not
really bilingual anyway, as practiced in California schools it is monolingual Spanish instruction.)

The assimilation issue is at the heart of many citizens'
anger about illegal immigration. The question being
raised is whether we should exist as a nation at all.
The libertarian right
believes that the U.S. is merely a market and not
a nation with borders. The winners in this
global corporate Darwinist contest will live in
gated mansions overseeing a plantation
economy. The left sees unlimited
third-world immigration as a tool to finally destroy
what they perceive as a primarily white bourgeosie,
regardless of the economic consequences.
But the left forgets that third-world immigrants also
want the single family house and SUV that the former
condemns.

Immigration today is really
a war of the right and left elites against what
is left of the American middle class.
3.13.2006 2:07pm
nn (mail):
Frankly, no debate is possible unless you can show that the government is willing to credibly throw out illegal aliens.

You can redefine the rules. You can make legal immigration easier or better or what have you. But until you demonstrate a willingness and capacity to constrain illegal immigration severely, it's all academic. You're just arguing for show.

The elites have decided. They like the current system of more or less open borders with some slight inconvenience thrown in as a way of slowing things down a bit. Short of a loud and unambiguous revolution at the polls, no anti-illegal policy is viable.

Frankly, I think the only CREDIBLE policy that would do a little (stress on "little") good is to reform legal immigration so that it's easier for bright, well-trained individuals from friendly countries to enter while limiting those who are let in on the family reunification tracts or who come from terrorist producing territories.
3.13.2006 2:09pm
Robert Schwartz (mail):
Every time I worry about illegal immigrants to the US, I comfort myself by remembering that we could be getting the same kind of illegals that Europe gets. Viva Mexico!
3.13.2006 2:15pm
Gordo:
Robert Cote:

Open borders worked fine when the nation needed labor and participation. There's nothing wrong or racist or anything sinister in responding to evolving national priorities.

And your proof that we no longer need the labor? Our national unemployment rate, even during recessions, is very low by developed world standards. The illegal immigrants come here to meet a demand for their labor. This demand is there because American citizens won't do the work for the wages offered, either because it is too low paying, or because it is too tedious, or because it is too physically demanding. It's much more than "cheap strawberries;" the most pronounced effect that cheaper illegal immigrant labor has is probably on the price of houses (which in California would, believe it or not, be even higher without them).
3.13.2006 3:19pm
Gordo:
Believe it or not, our President actually has the best solution to this problem (more or less):

1. Police the borders more effectively.
2. Have a "guest worker" program to fill need for labor
3. Punish employers more thoroughly who hire illegal aliens instead of going through the guest worker program.

The far left doesn't agree with No. 1. The far right doesn't agree with No. 2. And no one seems to talk too much about No. 3, the left because it wants the workers here, the right because it wants to throw the aliens in jail, not their employers.

This also answers the "impoverishing the homeland" issue, because the guest workers would remit their money home for use in, among other things, capital to promote entrereneurship, and would also eventually return home as well.
3.13.2006 3:24pm
Gordo:
And one of the untold stories about the immigrant waves of the past 30 years is the fact that immigrants are one of the prime factors in the revival of our cities, starting with the Big Apple itself (take a ride on the No. 7 subway line to Flushing and see for yourself).
3.13.2006 3:26pm
Chukuang:
The idea that present day immigrants, legal or illegal, are not assimilating the way earlier waves did just doesn't seem to be true in the US. Does anyone have A) a definition of "assimilation" under which this is meaningfully true and B) evidence? It seems to be the case that there are very few second generation immigrants in the US who, for example, don't speak English. First generation, yes, but that seems to be the same for my great-grandparents' generation of immigrants from Italy. For second generation Mexican and Chinese immigrants, fluent English is definitely the norm.

I would be amusing to see the reaction of people who favor immediate deportation of illegals to the economy that would result if they got their wish. Practically every agricultural product in the country would pretty quickly spike in price. And would we even be able to find people willing to do the work? Are there economic studies that show that illegal immigration is a net drain on the economy of, for example, California.
3.13.2006 3:26pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
"and that the courts require the government to allow dual citizenship."

I've never heard that before... do you have a case I could read? That seems like a clear Article I power to me...
3.13.2006 3:41pm
Anomolous (www):
Katherine wrote:

The countries that support terrorism the most have a number of people who live there who are genuinely trying to flee in fear of their lives. You think we should close our borders to them?


Well, I suppose you could make the case that by letting all the smart/motivated/self-reliant/best/brightest people move here, the home country gets increasingly worse.
3.13.2006 3:49pm
Mikeyes (mail):
Michael O'D sez:

" I've never heard a Nobel laureate say anything that stupid before."

I assume that is hyperbole. ;~)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
3.13.2006 4:03pm
Grover_Cleveland:

Daniel Chapman):
"and that the courts require the government to allow dual citizenship."

I've never heard that before... do you have a case I could read? That seems like a clear Article I power to me...


The reference is probably to Afroyim v. Rusk and its progeny. I think it's untrue to say that these cases force the government to allow dual citizenship in the case of naturalized US citizens who want to retain their old citizenship. The naturalization oath (which has never been invalidated by any court case) contains an explicit renunciation of any former allegiances. However the State Department has effectively decided to give up on enforcing it.
3.13.2006 4:06pm
Grover_Cleveland:

Daniel Chapman):
"and that the courts require the government to allow dual citizenship."

I've never heard that before... do you have a case I could read? That seems like a clear Article I power to me...


The reference is probably to Afroyim v. Rusk and its progeny. I think it's untrue to say that these cases force the government to allow dual citizenship in the case of naturalized US citizens who want to retain their old citizenship. The naturalization oath (which has never been invalidated by any court case) contains an explicit renunciation of any former allegiances. However the State Department has effectively decided to give up on enforcing it.
3.13.2006 4:07pm
Houston Lawyer:
I see quite a few beggars in my end of town. All of them appear to be Americans, born and raised. If you want to see young immigrants hanging out on the street, you go to the day laborer pickup area.

Right now we need a lot of manual labor to rebuild New Orleans. I'm betting that the new New Orleans won't be chocolate, but salsa.

I'm all in favor of limiting new immigration. I fear though that a policy of repatriation will be about as successful as the war on drugs has been.
3.13.2006 4:19pm
Daniel Chapman (mail):
Thanks a lot. It's no wonder we have such a hard time pounding out an immigration policy when the concept of citizenship has been diluted to this point. I wonder how much control over citizenship Congress has left these days...
3.13.2006 4:19pm
Bill (mail):
Becker is manifestly worried about immigrants voting patterns, but he ignores that illegal immigrants can't vote (though their kids will be able to). And why is he worried about their votes? Given that he does not say why he's so worried about immigrant voting, what should we assume is his concern?

He also supposes without evidence that immigrants' consumption of social services is more of a cost than their productivity is a benefit. (Also, what is the evidence that cutting off social services to immigrants would decrease illegal immigration substantially? If wages here are 5-10 times higher, then social services may just be icing on the cake.)

Relately, if we made low-skill immigrants legal instead of illegal (e.g. with huge numbers of visas) , we would be collecting more revenue from them, which might easily be greater than the additional social service outlays.

So it seems to come back to voting patterns of future immigrant citizens, which is an issue unrelated (or not problematically related) to the net benefits/costs of immigration in terms of social services.

I think Becker's reconstructed argument is confusing, undersupported, and perhaps even invalid!
3.13.2006 4:40pm
Brandonks (mail) (www):
Congress and the Bush Administration are way behind the curve on illegal immigration relative to the desires of the American people. It is time for some serious solutions.

The Scale of the Problem

America's illegal immigrant population grew by more than 500,000 last year and is now approaching 12 million. The flow from Mexico, which arrives predominantly by sneaking across the southwest border, has far outgrown that of any country, numbering about 6.2 million. About 2.5 million more are from the rest of Latin America, predominantly the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The remaining quarter is from nearly every other corner of the world, dominated by South and East Asia.

How Americans See It

A Quinnipiac University poll finds 88 percent of all poll respondents believe illegal immigration is a serious problem. "Red state, blue state and purple state voters agree: Illegal immigration is a serious problem.",said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

By 62 percent to 32 percent, voters oppose making it easier for undocumented immigrants to become citizens. And it said that by 72 percent to 25 percent, U.S. voters oppose giving undocumented immigrants driver's licenses. Nearly 40% of voters want the current levels of legal immigration reduced. By 84 percent to 14 percent, they favor requiring proof of legal residency to obtain government benefits.

What Needs to be Done

First, we need to get control of the borders. The goal should be zero illegal entries into this country. All other considerations for changes in immigration policy such as guest worker programs should be contingent on halting inflow first. Without border control, they are meaningless band aids that will make the situation worse.

Second, we need to deal with the 12 million illegals already in the country. Strong penalties should be imposed on employers for having illegals on the payroll. So called “safe haven” policies of municipalities must be abolished. INS funding should be dramatically increased to enforce laws already in place which are being ignored.

Third, after these measures are in place and functioning, a guest worker program should be instituted that is not a path to citizenship or permanent residency. Legal immigration processes should be improved for that purpose.

Demand Effective Legislation

We need to hold politicians feet to the fire on the issue, with particular attention to the Senate which is currently in the process of drafting legislation. This is not the time for "feel good" legislation that actually does nothing. The Kennedy-McCain bill is softball fluff that will not solve the problem, as is Sen. Arlen Specter's bill that includes a guest-worker program. Liberals will be doing everything possible to gut any provisions of a bill that that might actually work. Hillary Clinton has already been using terms like "police state" for enforcement proposals.

We should have learned that enforcement needs to be the highest priority from the past “amnesty” programs, which contributed to getting us into this mess. Until we have an enforcement program that has proved to be working, we should not tolerate measures that just increase the numbers of illegals.

There will be a significant cost associated with accomplishing these goals, but they will be more than offset by the savings over what we are now paying. The estimated net cost of illegal immigration ranges between 130 billion to 400 billion annually. An effective approach to illegal immigration is critical to our economy and our security.

Demand Real Solutions on Illegal Immigration
3.13.2006 4:42pm
MikeWDC (mail):
As Houston Lawyer, Chukuang, and others have mentioned, the suggestion that immigrants are assimilating less isn't consistent with the experience of large, multi-generational immigrant communities.

I grew up in Miami. You have neighborhoods where you can hear nothing but Spanish, but these are for the recalcitrant few and for the continual stream of new immigrants, legal and illegal. Most immigrants do learn English, and you would be hard-pressed to find a child of immigrants who doesn't speak English fluently, probably without an accent. This is no different from Little Italy, Chinatowns, etc, of the past century. Which faced their own array of accusations, as everyone probably know.

It's the classic American immigrant process, which has already taken place for hispanic immigrants over several generations, and suggesting assimilation isn't happening happening--because of technology or whatever reason--is unfounded speculation.
3.13.2006 4:58pm
gab:
I believe the argument that "illegals take jobs American workers won't do" is a fallacy. The logic applied is that the work is too physically demanding, tedious, dirty, etc. for "Americans" to do, especially given the wages those jobs pay.

A very good case can be made that the reason the jobs pay too little is that there is a large underclass of people willing to do the work at the (low) market clearing wage.

Picking grapes is an example of this type of employ. Grape picking is dirty, hot, and physically difficult work, and it pays peanuts. Nobody wants to do this kind of work for the pay. However, it picking grapes paid $50 an hour, there would be a surplus of grape pickers. My point is, therefore, it's not the work - it's the payscale.
3.13.2006 5:34pm
gab:
Sorry. In the comment above, in the second to last sentence, "it" should be "if."
3.13.2006 5:36pm
RKV (mail):
gab, As someone who has personal experience picking grapes (5 harvests worth) I fully agree that its not the work, it is, in fact, the payscale. for my part, I have no problem paying more for food to employ Americans. I strongly suspect that we would also see improvemnents in our hospitals, schools and welfare costs resulting from an end to reliance on imported labor.
3.13.2006 6:40pm
frankcross (mail):
gab is right, but think about what it means. On the leading anti-immigration site, vdare, they just put up a post talking about how custodial work was really good paying employment before immigration.

However, should that be? Does it make sense to devote that much in terms of resources for custodial work, when immigrants are willing and able to do it for so much less? Is not the nation as a whole better off? And might not even many potential custodians be better off, developing other job skills?
3.13.2006 6:59pm
SenatorX (mail):
Forgive me for weighing in here if I say something ignorant but I consider myself a libertarian currently and I view the problem of "open borders" like this:

The economic libertarian view is that government’s role is to provide service in the realm of things that all but the most perverse citizens agree on. Street signs, weights and measures, etc. Also its role is to act in scenarios(as minimally as possible) where it can help provide competition with the goal of providing the most choices(freedom) for its citizens. So while a "free market" is desirable, it is only desirable so long as it provides an environment of competition to provide for the most possible needs/wants of the people that live under said state. This I think is where the "global economy" gambit currently fails the U.S. citizens, and after a while even the most dense feel they are not getting served by their government in this regard. Global free trade in this regard fails when few benefits reach the citizens.

Specifically when other governments act as "semi permeable membranes" and pass coercive laws that limit global free trade, as well when they do not pass labor laws similar to other countries in the market they prevent "healthy" competition. There is more to the trade equation than cheap goods. The average American thinks it is unfair that business can relocate labor to another location in order to play by different rules and thereby gain more profit. It's not really the business owners fault as they will follow the incentives that align with their goals. That the worker's government allows the business institution to do this at the expense of the citizen worker is what people are so mad about. The government seems skewed to favor the business over the worker in the employer/worker relationship(can anyone say lobbying?).

Just my simple perspective but I think this is where the "global free trade" fails and it is wrong to blame libertarianism for it. Economic libertarianism to me doesn't seem to mean absolute free movement of goods and people. It means the government can and should act in regards to providing the most choice(freedom) for its citizens. This freedom is best provided by the process of competition as opposed to central planning. Competition of employers for workers is important.

I think this also can be applied to immigration as well. It's not a matter of racism or nationalism for most Americans as it about labor. Most people have to spend the majority of their waking time working so they can get and keep the fruits of their labor(after the government takes its slice which they are well aware of) because they know they will be able to choose(or believe they can choose at least) what to do with it. All workers know that an employer will hire someone else for less if they can. I think it's the combination of outsourcing and hiring illegal immigrants that chaps the ass of most American workers. This leads to a somewhat valid prejudice against immigrants in general. Add this to what the Becker says in his first sentence "Open immigration to America worked well during the 19th century because the government did very little for immigrants and their families". I think he means that now we have a lot of socialist institutions or processes that makes the burden of immigration so much greater than in the past. The American workers know they pay the cost of supporting those "on the dole". Policies that reward the poor with tax money for having children for example do not help the situation at all. Or when you go to an emergency room that accepts indigents and though you have a PPO you have to wait many hours for treatment behind others that have not paid to the system.

I believe most American citizens(the ones that work at least) believe quite rightly that this is a problem where the government has failed them. I do NOT think this is BECAUSE of liberalism but rather because the principles OF economic libertarianism are/were not followed.

No the most well put together argument I know so I hope people will forgive me in favor of context...
3.13.2006 8:04pm
RKV (mail):
Frank, Regarding the opportunity costs of substituting low wage foreign labor for low wage American labor - do you believe that we could increase laborforce participation by eliminating (some/all) welfare payments? I do. That would a) save the taxpayers money and b) get welfare recipients off their butts and into the workplace where they can build skills and make contacts. As a MBA degreed native born American who worked his butt off to get through college and grad school (and then married into a grape farming family where my heavy equipment, welding and just plain labor skills were needed) I think that the notion that Americans "won't do the work" is absurd and self-defeating. Maybe the wage goes up, but the net benefit to our society goes up too.
3.13.2006 8:43pm
jskdn:
Votes mattered less because the absence of a welfare state removed the ability to vote for those who would redistribute income to those voters.

The elites don’t like the rest of the electorate’s view about illegal immigration, but what’s the theory of democracy that make them feel they should ignore it?

Assimilation worries aren’t the only reason for concern. In fact it could be considered assimilation to be indoctrinated into the multiculturalist, racial identity politics whose believers are strong advocates for illegal’s right to come here and have the rights of legal residents and citizens.

Labor shortages drives up its cost, encouraging efficiencies and innovation. The income gap that started in the 70’s reflects the change in immigration in the country. A better distribution of the fruits of the economy is better for democracy. I prefer that market forces do that rather than the socialist tendencies that are being pushed by many of the same leftists against controlling illegal immigration. Their plan is use such demographics to get the political power to enable their goal. It’s already happening in California even before they actually become voters because of districting. 19 of the 20 assembly districts with the lowest number of registered voters are Democrat and Speaker Nunez has far few voters in his than any other.

NN got it right. You can’t have a workable policy that goes against the understandable desire to come here unless you enforce it. The government of the elites wants illegal immigration and so has not enforced the law. The rule of law or consent of the governed means nothing to the open-border elites.

Immigration drives up the cost of housing because far more immigrants use housing than their contribution to building it. Without immigration driven population growth, we would only need to produce few houses outside of replacing worn out ones, to account for lower household sizes or increased ownership of second homes. Because people like new homes for their own sake, they would be built and the ones they left behind would keep housing prices low. In fact the recent Ottaviano-Peri report arguing that immigration produces gains used the increased price of housing as a gain. This is the typical amoral economist’s view as if real housing price gains for some didn’t have a corresponding cost to others.
3.13.2006 9:12pm
frankcross (mail):
I think every economist who has studied immigration has found a gain. Even George Borjas, who became renowned as the leading economist somewhat critical of immigration, found a material net gain from immigration.

The debate is way too binary, though. Totally uncontrolled illegal immigration could be a disaster. But so could zero illegal immigration under current legal limits, especially with our aging population. The debate is at the margins, and I suspect the current level is fairly reasonable for overall wellbeing
3.13.2006 9:56pm
RKV (mail):
Actually Frank your statement that "every" economist considers immigration a gain is incorrect - in fact, your position is just the opposite of the data. In summary: "Based on Census Bureau data, the study estimates that households headed by illegal aliens used $10 billion more in government services than they paid in taxes in 2002. These figures are only for the federal government; costs at the state and local level are also likely to be significant." Unsupported generalizations like yours are worthless. http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalrelease.html
3.13.2006 10:17pm
Gordo:
gab:

However, it picking grapes paid $50 an hour, there would be a surplus of grape pickers.

For a little while. Then the high price of grapes would result in crashing demand, resulting in a severe dimunition of the table grape, and perhaps the wine grape, industry.

I'm disappointed in the arguments made against immigrants from some on this thread. They are nothing less (or more) than the arguments that have been made by nativists throughout our history, starting with the "American" Party, led by ex-President Millard Fillmore, in the 1850's. They soon became popularly (and accurately) labeled the "Kno-Nothings."
3.13.2006 10:28pm
jvarisco:
The question is not if immigrants provide an economic gain. The fact is that they are here illegally, and breaking the law. If you want to both allow in lots of legal immigrants AND lower the minimum wage, then go right ahead. But until you do that, you have to enforce federal law.

It's also important to look at the lawlessness that exists on the border right now. A lot more than laborers comes across the border - in fact, it seems that the Mexican army is actually escorting drug runners. Stuff like this has to be stopped.
3.13.2006 10:31pm
Gordo:
If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1820 and your last name is Schmidt, your ancestors would have been bayoneted on the Fields of Flanders.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1845 and your last name is O'Brien, your ancestors would have starved to death in Ireland.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1880 and your last name is Horowitz, your ancestors would have been attacked in a pogrom. If they had survived this, they would have been exterminated in a Nazi death camp.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1890 and your last name is Tancredo (ha ha) your ancestors would have been killed by the Mafia in their Sicilian village.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1900 and your last name is Kurulewski, your ancestors would have been incinerated when the Nazis blew up Warsaw.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1910 and your last name is Chang, your ancestors would have been raped and killed in Nanking, or starved to death in the Great Leap Forward, or perished in a Cultural Revolution reeducation camp.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1920 and your last name is Kawasaki, your ancestors would have been incinerated in Tokyo or Hiroshima, or in a cave in Okinawa.

If FAIR had been in charge of immigration in 1960 and your last name is Gonzales, you would still be stuck in a hellhole nation called Cuba.

If FAIR gets control of immigration policy now? ...
3.13.2006 10:36pm
RKV (mail):
Well Gordo, Given that we overproduce food here in the US and that obsesity is endemic, a reduction in supply sounds like good policy to me. In any event, let the markets figure that stuff out. The demonstrated facts are that illegal immigration is, in net, harmful to the US and to our interests. I could point you to stories like the Mixtec Mexican who infected 20+ people with TB, or I could point out the relationship between gang activity, violence and drug trafficing. Bottom line is what Ronald Reagan said "A nation without borders is not a nation."
3.13.2006 10:41pm
RKV (mail):
Nice try Gordo, but what we need to focus on is not what is happening in other countries, but rather, what is happening here. The US is not the savior of the world and we don't owe everyone a home here. Period. Immigration policy should be in OUR best interests, not in the best interests of immigrants. As it stands now, we have a group of folks whose very first act on entering our country is to break our laws. Do we really want to adopt such as our countrymen? It isn't about their skin color or their religion - it's about their values and their lack or respect for our laws.
3.13.2006 10:46pm
MarkM:
The fact that someone quoted Teddy Roosevelt expressing concern about the necessity of assimilating immigrants should give one pause for thought. Roosevelt said this back in 1907 in order to oppose immigration from Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Mediterranean (and "enemy" countries). Of course, the descendants of those immigrants are today not very different from other Americans.
I have not seen any convincing evidence that we put less emphasis on assimilation today than Americans 100 years ago did. Without some kind of objective measure of assimilation, I don't see how one could even begin to make the case.
3.13.2006 10:53pm
MikeWDC (mail):

RKV: Gordo and most everyone else hasn't been talking about illegal immigrants, specifically, but immigration to the U.S. generally. (Blurring the two has its problems, but can be discussed.) If you want to talk about benefits to the U.S., you don't need to look further than Miami, a city that would not exist, and would not be a business hub of Latin America, without the Cuban-American population. And while I don't think highly of demagogic rhetoric, I think each of those other ethnic groups has made a small contributions to the United States over the years.

Nevermind the contribution that immigrants, legal and illegal, have made to the U.S. armed forces. Maybe we should not let legal or illegal immigrants join the military. Sounds logical.

And some Mexican guy infected 20 people with TB! Seal off the border!
3.13.2006 11:23pm
John Burgess (mail) (www):
David: If we excluded Yemenis, not much would happen. Excluding Saudis, though, might be more expensive. I note what the UAE is subtling threatening as a reaction to the DPW debacle (with a hint that the Saudis are also considering it) on my blog.

A simple little thing like redenominating the price of oil in Euros rather than Dollars would have a collosal effect on the US, all of it negative. Buying AirBus instead of Boeing, Dassault instead of Lockheed, would definitely be noticed.
3.13.2006 11:30pm
Katherine:
Even if illegal immigrants use more in government services than they contribute to the economy, it doesn't follow that zero illegal immigration are the best economic solution (and certainly not zero immigration), because enforcement is damn expensive. And there's some resource allocation that can only be explained by a desire to seem tough--way more popular to hire border patrols even if you're doing the pointless "catch and release things", and build jails when people realize how pointless it is to hire agents to hand people slips of paper, than to higher more immigration judges so cases are finished and there's more space in existing detention facilities.
3.14.2006 12:47am
Nathan Sharfi (www):
Quoth Katherine:


Why is it that it's an article of faith among libertarians that capital should be able to flow freely across borders, but you don't much care whether people can?

I'm not supporting unlimited immigration. I just always wondered why the double standard.


From what I gather, "let people exchange stuff, but not other people" isn't a particularly libertarian position; the Cato Institute has been part of the more-open-borders lobby for quite a while.

I distinguish between goods and people like this: My foreign-made T-shirts and electronic gizmos are both incapable of voting and incapable of creating more shirts and gizmos like them that are capable of voting. This makes admitting other people a more...uncertain proposition.
3.14.2006 4:17am
Len (mail):
Why is it that no one understands the real immigration problem? It's about government giving them other people's money. Government has no constitutional or moral right to do this. Stop the flow of money and you would have no BAD people coming in. They don't come here to work, they come for the freebies!
3.14.2006 9:37am
snoey (mail):
That's it Len - back then we didn't give them any money, just 160 acres if they were willing to farm it.

The Homestead act was only conditioned on intent to become a citizen.
3.14.2006 11:01am
jskdn:
Even if there is some gain from immigration, the distributional effects of that are, in my view, undesirable. The gains that may come from limiting the effect on government entitlement programs for illegals also go away with amnesty. In the largest of these, Social Security, low-wage workers who are a disproportionately immigrants, receive on average net lifetime transfers under the redistributionist nature of the program. After the last amnesty, the SSA “reconstructed” the illegal work histories of the amnestied for purposes of calculating benefits. Medicare, which will pass the cost of Social Security if trends continue, is an entitlement whose benefit is unrelated to how much you contributed in taxes and therefore is also redistribution to low-earners.

Downward compensation pressures lessen the likelihood that workers will receive medical insurance benefits and since people mostly get health care in this country when they need it, the cost of that becomes externalized.

To Katherine- The current cost of enforcement is better considered as the cost of political cover. The border game is just that. Border enforcement only works as part of a comprehensive enforcement regime that reduces the incentives for being in the country illegally. Workplace enforcement, which the government steadfastly refuses to do, is number one. But there is nothing wrong with denying access to all government benefits except emergency medical care, followed by deportation. If you read the establishment media, you would get the impression that there is something wrong about illegal immigrants being in fear. In my view, people should fear consequences for violating the law if we want those laws to be obeyed.

By the way the cost of the border fence is just not that great in the scope of things. It may even offset other enforcement costs and result in net savings. But if the government for the elites continues to encourage illegal immigration though a virtual interior amnesty excepting those who don’t get caught committing crimes or working in security related occupations, the fence’s value will be limited.
3.14.2006 11:07am
frankcross (mail):
RKV, your little attack was unsupported. I was referring to economists studies on the effect of immigration on the US economy. If you were familiar with the research, you would know that they all show a positive effect. Browse NBER if you have any doubt.

Your research, which has to do with government spending, has nothing to do with this point. Even if illegal immigrants were taking more in government benefits than they were paying in taxes, this would be entirely irrelevant to the broader point that they produce economic growth through efficiencies.
3.14.2006 12:32pm
RKV (mail):
Frank, My arguments are well supported and you referred to no specific studies when you made your generalization did you? I would not call that an attack - rather I showed that you did not backup what you said. The plain facts are that 1) a majority of Americans want reduced or no immigration (legal or otherwise) as stated in the opinion poll I quoted 2) our politicians want otherwise and will not take the necessary steps to do what a Americans want them to do. Costs and benefits aside, Americans want much less immigration than we have got. Should our government do what the people want or not?
3.14.2006 1:01pm
Gordo:
RKV: Frank wasn't arguing that the majority of Americans don't want immigrants. He wzs arguing that immigrants are good for the economy.

Is that the best argument you have?

"Despite the facts, despite the fact that America benefits from immigration, despite the fact that America has alwasy benefitted from immigration, despite the fact that most Americans are the progeny of immigrants whose presence here was opposed by previous generations of "Know-Nothings," --- a majority of Americans want reduced or no immigration.

A majority of Americans (apparently) want to eat 4,000 calories a day, sit on their butts, and become unhealthy lard buckets. So we should all just say, "whatever you want, folks?" Including our politicians?
3.14.2006 4:48pm
Nathan Sharfi (www):
Quoth Gordo:


"Despite the facts, despite the fact that America benefits from immigration, despite the fact that America has alwasy benefitted from immigration, despite the fact that most Americans are the progeny of immigrants whose presence here was opposed by previous generations of "Know-Nothings," --- a majority of Americans want reduced or no immigration.


Your line of reasoning (in "despite the fact that America has alwasy [sic] benefitted from immigration") sounds something like this:


  • I didn't die yesterday.

  • I didn't die the day before yesterday.

  • In fact, I haven't died yet.

  • Therefore, I won't die tomorrow.



Such a train of thought may work for teenagers who think they're invincible, but it doesn't translate into immigration policy very well, as the current immigration policy may (I think it is, at any rate) be a bad idea.

Also...can anyone explain why, in evaluating immigration-reform proposals, people ought to consider how many generations ago the proposer, or his family, came to America? Also, has anyone used this criterion for any reason other than to reject arguments for more-closed borders?
3.14.2006 5:48pm
RKV (mail):
Gordo, You are wrong on so many levels its hard to know where to start. Simply put, you are saying that our politicians should ignore majority opinion when setting policy on immigration. Not a good idea. That's kind of thinking is what they have in Cuba, Iran and China, Gordo.
3.14.2006 6:03pm
Jose (mail):
So many JEWS sure seem to hate us Hispanics.

Michael Savage (Hate Radio)

Steve Levy ( Long Island)

Dan Stein ("FAIR")

Ira Melhman ("FAIR")

Judge Seidman (FLA)

Bill Handel (KFI- Hate Radio)

Rich Lowry (National Review)

Robert Samuelson (Newsweek)

Etc.

Yet, jews get all upset over an obsure blog called 'Voz de Aztlan" run by one Ernesto Cienfuegos, go figure.

One thing is clear, the jews sure seem to HATE us...thus, inevitably, they will sow the seeds of HATRED against themselves amongst us Hispanics.

Frankly, I am starting to HATE them already myself!!

Too bad Hitler didn't FINISH the job! Then, us Hispanics could be spared the HATRED direct at us from so many freakin jews!!

I sure won't shed ANY tears the day Iran or someone elese NUKES ISRAEL!

GOOD RIDDANECE!

Within a generation, much less 2, we will have the political clout with which to CONFRONT these jews who seem to despise us with such passion!
3.14.2006 7:14pm
eh (mail):
"weaker commitment to assimilation"

This is no doubt true; e.g. as evidence you have the fact that even ballots are routinely printed in languages other than English, even though only citizens are supposed to vote, and knowledge of English is (nominally) a requirement for citizenship.

But "assimlation", however you want to define it, isn't everything, depending on how politcally incorrect you are willing to be...

It is a fact that IQ is a very good predictor of future success in life: the higher IQ you have, the more likely you are to do well in school, get a good job, etc.

It is also a fact that different population groups have different average IQ scores: Whites score significantly better than Hispanics. The evidence that this gap is substantially genetic is growing; the evidence that it is partly 'cultural' and environmental has been acknowledged for some time. But the recent trend seems to favor genetics as the primary determinant.

So even if the millions of Hispanics now coming to America manage to 'assimilate', in the future they are likely to go on to form, for the most part, an ethnically distinct underclass; already you see some evidence of this.

For any society, such a situation is almost the very definition of social pathology.

After finally grappling with this issue regarding Blacks in the '60s, it seems we are importing the same problem again via Hispanic immigration.

Assimilation or not.

Is that wise?

In the past, most immigrants to America were Whites from Europe -- people with very similar average IQs.

So despite big media propaganda, "diversity" is a big problem for democratic, egalitarian, competitive societies like those of the West.

BTW, certain Asians have the highest average IQ, which is one reason there are more Asians than Whites attending UCLA, even though Asians make up less than 20% of California's population. But don't hold your breath waiting for this gross disproportionality to be reported as a problem.
3.15.2006 8:38am
Daniel Chapman (mail):
And my guess is that jose thinks WE'RE racist...
3.15.2006 10:05am
M.E.Butler (mail):
Thanks Gordo, for the laugh out loud reference to Tom Tancredo! Made my morning.
3.15.2006 10:54am
Gordo:
Jose is an idiot. A racist idiot.

But I would suggest you look closely at "eh"'s comments as well. Look at his talk of "ethnically distinct underclass," "low IQ," and "social pathology."

You know what, "eh?" Go back and look at what people were saying about Italian immigrants 100 years ago or so. It will sound familiar.

And, Nathan Sharfi, "those who don't learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." The past has taught us that immigrants revitalize this country. Unless we screw up, the future will bring the same result.
3.15.2006 1:38pm
SenatorX (mail):
Hello Jose,
Would you mind being a little more specific? Why EXACTLY do you believe the Jews are "hating" the Hispanics? Are you sure you speak for all Hispanics?

You make a good case for why a pure democracy would be undesirable though and that’s a contribution at least. Also with what you said don't you think you're pretty much asking Jews to think(let me use a metaphor): Oil money is to Islam what Welfare(?) is to Hispanics?

I know that is a touchy thing to say but you make the point that in a generation(or less) "you" will have the political clout to "confront" the Jews. I think it's clear you mean power by voting because of population and since I fail to see any special quality about Hispanics over all the other "races"(lets say they all have fairly equal genetic chances at social success for the argument), and so while you don't mean money power you DO mean out breeding by numbers. By this then you mean populating beyond your ability to bear the cost of providing for your children?

So you mean welfare, or MY tax money as I am a Caucasian, middle class, atheist, and laborer. Please tell me this isn't your argument. "The Jews" don't even have to respond to your attack. You trip over your own feet getting out of the gate...
3.15.2006 1:40pm
Gordo:
The whole immigration debate is starting to remind me of the free trade/protectionism debate. A whole slew of Americans look at the surface of an issue, and refuse to acknowledge both the mountains of academic evidence and the mountains of past hsitorical evidence that contradict their beliefs.

The question then arises - why do otherwise intelligent Americans do this?

The answer? Racism or nativism, take your pick.
3.15.2006 1:53pm
Gordo:
Or maybe xenophobia.
3.15.2006 1:58pm
jvarisco:
Jose is trying something call satire. It's actually a fun rhetorical device.

Gordo, in a democracy, the majority get to decide policy issues. Get over it. I like think I am pretty intelligent. I look at the surface; people are BREAKING FEDERAL LAW. There's no reason to go further. After we enforce our laws, then you can argue for more legal immigration. But not until then.
3.15.2006 2:00pm
Jose (mail):
Senator;

Given the level of invective and vitriol spewed against Hisapnic ppl on a DAILY basis by the ppl I listed, how can I come to any other conclusion?

IMAGINE if there was such a list of Hispanics spewing hate against JEWS? I mean, look at the stink they raise against Ernesto Cienfuegos 'Voz de Aztlan" website. I agree that Cienfuegos is a kook btw.

I gave a list of the jews that spew invective against us pretty much on a DAILY basis.

I would add to my list;

Dennis Prager (KABC HATE RADIO)

Mike Medved (HATE Radio)

David Frum (Neo Con HATE monger)

In addition to the previous list of;

Michael Savage (Hate Radio)

Steve Levy ( Long Island)

Dan Stein ("FAIR")

Ira Melhman ("FAIR")

Judge Seidman (FLA)

Bill Handel (KFI- Hate Radio)

Rich Lowry (National Review)

Robert Samuelson (Newsweek)

And thats just off the top of my head.

"I think it's clear you mean power by voting because of population and since I fail to see any special quality about Hispanics over all the other "races"(lets say they all have fairly equal genetic chances at social success for the argument), and so while you don't mean money power you DO mean out breeding by numbers."

Yup, thats exactly what I mean. You are correct. Within a generation, we will have the the NUMBERS to become the LAWMAKERS in many states. I think political clout will precede economic clout. And when we do have the NUMBERS, we will have the means with which to defend ourselves against those that hate us so passionately...whatever their backround may be.


OBVIOUSLY I speak for myself and not all hispanics....DUH!

Your welfare analogy is fallacious because its NOT as if Hispanics don't contribute to the tax base.

Bottom line; With so many JEWS spewing so much HATRED against Hispanics on a DAILY BASIS (i.e. Michael Savage, Bill Handel, Dennnis Prager, Michael Medved, etc), what other conclusion should I arrive at other these ppl REALLY hate us....jsut as they say they do DAILY!

That said, they will only sow the seeds of HATRED against themselves in the long run.

Dan Chapman; Should I take those jews I listed at their word then? I mean, they most CERTAINLY hate us passionately. Are they lying then? What am I SUPPOSED to think when Dennis Prager spews HATE against us, almost daily?

eh; I am a UCLA graduate fyi.
3.16.2006 12:22am
Jose (mail):
One last thing senator;

Spare me your BS about costing you ANYTHING. Even if this were true, which is debateable, remember that you 'caucasions' (which I assume means whites, I say assume because India Indians are caucasion too) STOLE EVERYTHING in the FIRST PLACE!

I mean, remember the RED INDIANS?

Thus, CRY ME A RIVER over your perception that we are somehow stealing of taking from you!

And finally, if you don't like the changing demographic mix of California, the US southwest, or the USA in general, maybe you should GO BACK TO EUROPE where you can around all 'caucasions' like yourself.

I anticipate you will say, well, the, you go back to Mexico. Well, let me remind that I AM in Mexico...California!

Get it?

REMEMBER THE ALAMO!
3.16.2006 12:38am
Gordo:
Don't know if Jose is an idiot or just spoofing.

But anyway, by the time Mexican-Americans become a political majority in California they will be just like the Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans before them. And some of their politicians will undoubtedly follow the path of Italian-American Tom Tancredo and start spouting demagoguery about the next wave of immigrants.

So I don't think us (non-Hispanic) white folk, whether Christian or Jewish, have much to worry about.
3.16.2006 1:39pm
msk (mail):
Loosely connected thoughts: Many members of Congress are gentlemen/lady farmers. When the crop ripens, they may have only a 3-week harvest, once a year. Until the automotive age, farmers relied on people within walking distance or wagonloads of day laborers from the nearest towns. Maybe workforce linkages could somewhat stabilize demands for short-term temporary workers using multiple busy seasons (some industry, some ag jobs).

The "jobs Americans just won't do" are aka "women's work" : i.e., low-paying (regardless of other rewards). Sewer inspector is a sought-after job if it rates union pay, good benefits, and safety guidelines. The U.S. is a "buy respect with your paycheck" society, and it doesn't help to have pundits sneering at housekeepers, nannies, or anyone, on a penny-by-penny rating scale.

Pre-1970, daily papers divided ads into "Help Wanted, Male" pages, "Help Wanted, Female," and subsections headed "Help Wanted, Black." We need to be careful not to let younger members of Congress think too long in terms of "Help Wanted, Mexican," or "Help Wanted, Non-Union," or any other exclusionary categories. We never want certain jobs done by one ethnic group only because they have driven out all others.

We have the power to gradually redesign the world of work to stabilize that ever-lasting need for part-time, temporary, or semi-skilled workers. Plenty of teens and retirees are happy to pick up 12 hours a week, or 12 weeks a year helping to cover rushes. Have you thought about making your business or your community more "year'round" -- before you change immigration laws?

Haven't we always heard that business leaders move faster and get better results than government? I'm not suggesting strawberry pickers could all do tax accounting each winter, but a goal of several seasonal occupations might wake us up to possibilities we've ignored.

Our farms must have workers ready, but Farm Owners with their noses to the grindstones, coping with crises, may not have looked at all creative solutions now available.

Sort of like the three great reasons for becoming a teacher (June, July &August), haven't you ever wished you could earn a living through a business that's busy less than nine months a year? Select-season-plans tailoring some businesses to industry/climate/workforce options might protect the economic health of farming states.

We'll never have one immigration law we could write on a post card, but whether an immigrant needs a job -- and what kind -- is a reasonable question.
3.16.2006 2:13pm
Big Bill (mail):
Gordo sez:
"But anyway, by the time Mexican-Americans become a political majority in California they will be just like the Irish-Americans and Italian-Americans before them. And some of their politicians will undoubtedly follow the path of Italian-American Tom Tancredo and start spouting demagoguery about the next wave of immigrants.

So I don't think us (non-Hispanic) white folk, whether Christian or Jewish, have much to worry about."

Pace Mr. Gordo, the day honest Israel throws its doors open to Mexicans wanting to immigrate and do the work Israeli Jews "just don't want to do", is the day I say we throw open America's doors.

Mexicans are no more American than Noachide goyim are Jews.

We have to keep Mexicans out of America for the same reasons Jews have to keep the goyim out of Israel: intermarriage, cultural degradation, and eventually ethnic destruction. Or, "the demographic problem" as Jews (but apparently not Americans) get to call it.

As a great American general said when he was almost overrun: "Nuts!".

Kahane Chai!
3.17.2006 12:00pm