So What’s To Be Done?

Due to events in Arizona whether we like it or not immigration reform has been pushed into the political forefront, in all candor I think it would have been better off for all parties concerned if this issue could have been delayed till after the mid-terms.  As the tragic oil spill  in the Gulf reminds us we often don’t get to pick and choose when it comes to matters like these. In all candor this is not an issue that stirs a lot of passion in me, I live in a neighborhood in NYC where whites make up 14% of the population, seeing people who don’t look like me is part of my world. Also as a New Yorker I understand and appreciate how an ever changing immigrant population keeps the city in a state of constant renewal and goes a long way in making New York what it is.

If it were up to me I’d say open the border and let whoever wants to come in come in, assuming of course they can pass a background/security background check, give them a work permit, and let them become part of the system. Alas many people, perhaps most don’t think like me and this being a democracy compromises will have to be made. Most of what I read coming out of Washington about the upcoming bill working it’s way around the senate strikes me as fairly reasonable however I don’t understand the “punitive” aspects of the bill. If my information is correct people who are currently undocumented would have to wait a staggering 12 years to be eligible to become citizens. For the life of me I don’t know what purpose making people wait even longer than normal serves, other than being punitive. The other aspects that strikes me as grossly unfair is making people pay a fine for being here illegally, like being an immigrant isn’t hard enough!

And finally, how do we control the border? I don’t want to engage in a debate as to whether or not we should be controlling the border at all. The truth of the matter is a fully open border would never get through the political process and all sovereign nations have the right to control their own border.

So folks, what do you think should be done?

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44 Comments

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44 responses to “So What’s To Be Done?

  1. TempeBev

    It’s a tough call, before or after the mid-term elections. However, this bill will become law in approx 85 days. Because of the stupidity in the wording, it is affecting not only Arizona’s economy but other states as well. Some may enact their own version which will compound how it effects the entire nation.

    I appreciate the fact that your passions are not aroused by this issue. However, mine are. This is my home state and to see articles such as Dooty’s from the previous thread, makes me even more upset.

    I don’t have an answer to “securing the border” – I think it’s an impossible feat. People don’t like the word “amnesty” but they don’t have an answer for what to do with the millions of illegals already here.

    If the politicians would care about people for once instead of their own government position and income from big business, maybe something could be done.

    I have sympathy for the oil spill situation and am sorry for the mess it will cause. At least BP is financially responsible. I guess we’ll see which issue is more important and who will benefit more from which one takes first place.

  2. I think securing the border is impossible, but I think our laws against illegal immigration should still be enforced stringently (in fact, I think that of all laws). However, I also happen to think that we make becoming a citizen too difficult, which leads to a lot of desirable citizens choosing the illegal route. We should encourage hard-working people to enter our country while discouraging lawbreakers.

    Thus, I think immigration reform needs to do two things: We need to make our illegal immigration laws enforceable, and we need to make it easier for law-abiders to become citizens.

    Being here illegally already should not entitle anyone to amnesty. After all, they’ve already broken at least one of our laws, and many of them have to break many more to remain under the radar. It’s just disrespectful, and I don’t think we need any more law-breakers in our country. However, because of circumstances, I don’t think it should be held against them if they do seek citizenship or residency.

    We do, however, need hard-working people to fill jobs that most privileged Americans don’t want. For that reason, I think anyone that can pass a background check and demonstrate that they can be self-sufficient in our country should be given at least probationary residency and a chance to prove themselves.

    If more people were encouraged to become legal residents, and if we can make being illegal less desirable, then our laws will be easier to enforce, America gets great people, law-breakers will stay out, and everyone wins (except the law-breakers, but they shouldn’t be our concern, anyway).

  3. Thanks for your input rightwing, don’t be a stranger, we need some sensible righties to ad to the dialog. I don’t think when discussing those who are currently here what’s the right or wrong thing to do gets us anyplace. They are here, and deporting them is just not possible.

  4. dooty

    The immigration bill and the drug war are two separate issues. The immigration bill will not stop drug smuggling. Near as I can tell the violence that has happened on this side of the border and just over the other side of the fence is drug dealers fighting drug dealers. No doubt there are people that are not in the drug war that have gotten killed or hurt as a side effect of some crazy f’n drug smugglers as there are Border Patrol that have been killed or wounded also.

    I don’t know if there is anyway to stop the migration from Mexico to the US. If there was work that paid anything in Mexico maybe that would stop the people. I am pretty convinced that most Mexican in the US to work don’t particularly want to a.be US citizens or b.learn English. They just want to work to send money back to help their families. The Mexicans I have met work hard and risk going back to Mexico and coming across again maybe twice a year. I have driven several hundred miles to pick up a guy that worked his ass off for us but now he is dead. He got drunk one night and got into a fight and got beat up pretty bad and was afraid to go to the hospital for fear of being deported. He died in his bed where he lived.

    • dnd

      Doots,
      I agree that it will be impossible to stop the migration from Mexico as long as there’s no hope in Mexico.

      I disagree that Mexican immigrants don’t want to become US citizens or learn English. This is based in part on my anecdotal observations here in Colorado and the immigration of Polish, Irish, Italians, Chinese, Japanese etc in the early part of the last century. The first generation just wanted to send money home. The second generations wanted to bring family members over, though they still thought of themselves as Polish, Irish, Italians, Chinese, Japanese etc. The third generations thought of themselves as Americans with foreign lineage. Some of this may have to do with the unifying force of WWII. But we still see this with Vietnamese immigrants. But this may not be an accurate analogy, since the Mexicans were here first 😉

      And of course I think Brian is completely wrong that we need to open the doors to everyone. The US is full and quickly running out of resources (c.f., “The Tragedy of the Commons”). Plus ask any skilled laborer, like a carpenter, if they like the illegals driving wages down and are taking their jobs.

  5. Bev I guess I wasn’t very clear, the “papers please” law does inflame my passions, the influx of new people does not.

  6. eprof2

    As an “open border” advocate, I appreciate your perspective, Brian. Not only is NYC refreshed by the presence of immigrants but so too is the whole country. One of the many ironies in the current situation is that the baby boomers need immigrants to contribute to social security and future payments to the next generation of retirees. Without workers making payments into social security at a higher rate than today’s contributions, ss will be depleted faster than it already is as there are now only about 2-3 workers for each retiree. So, from just a selfish point of view, nativists should want more workers here to support them. This is a real catch-22!

  7. TempeBev

    Glad we’re both in agreement about the law.

  8. dooty

    I watched that yesterday and Brownie did sound “Insane”. ‘Course I always thought of him as insane anyway.

  9. nannymm

    That’s because he is insane, Doots. 🙂

  10. nannymm

    In a closed-door briefing for members of Congress, a senior BP executive conceded Tuesday that the ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico could conceivably spill as much as 60,000 barrels a day of oil, more than 10 times the estimate of the current flow.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/us/05spill.html?th&emc=th

  11. nannymm

    If we settle for just an incremental response to this crisis — a “Hey, that’s our democracy. What more can you expect?” — we’ll be sorry. You can’t fool Mother Nature. She knows when we’re just messing around. Mother Nature operates by her own iron laws. And if we violate them, there is no lobby or big donor to get us off the hook. No, what’s gone will be gone. What’s ruined will be ruined. What’s extinct will be extinct — and later, when we’re finally ready to stop messing around, it will be too late.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/05/opinion/05friedman.html?src=mv&ref=general

  12. Hey nanny how you feeling? All better I hope

  13. eprof2

    Brian, this being Cinco de Mayo, I had my “gringo manudo”: Oatmeal.

  14. red peppers, onions, & oatmeal?

  15. eprof2

    On a more serious note, the Tucson City Council voted, with only one no vote, to sue the state of Arizona and stop the new SB1070 law. The City Council of Phoenix, on the other hand, voted to block their mayor from suing to stop the “show me your papers” law. Another two cities, two views story.

    Another Phoenix politician, the State Superintendent of Schools, Tom Horne, who wants to be the next Attorney General of Arizona, has issued a memo to the Ajo School District (a small town near the Mexican border south of Phoenix) to return $1.2 million that he claims was spent on educating Mexican children.

    If that works, every school district in the state will have to return money to the state treasury.

    Horne is betting on his “being a tough law and order” guy will garner him votes in the primary.

  16. eprof2

    Nope, just plain ol’ oatmeal. When my family gets together for menudo (fifteen or twenty times a year, mostly for breakfast) I tell them I’m having “gringo menudo” as I don’t particularly care for the Mexican menudo — bad experience forty years ago still has me shying away. So, my wife eats my share. LOL!!

  17. nannymm

    Hey, Brian. I’m feeling better but not 100 per cent yet. Just got back from one doctor appointment but have another later this afternoon. Thank God I have good insurance!

    Bev and eProf, have either of you attended any of the protest rallies? I know there have been quite a few but we hear so little about them. A first hand account would be nice….

    Menudo is not one of my favorite foods, either. Just the smell of it cooking turns my stomach. But I love Mexican food in general and am looking forward to eating lots of it when I go to New Mexico this summer.

    So what’s next in Arizona? Are they going to stop treating undocumented workers and their families at the local hospitals? Are they going to demand that doctors and hospitals reimburse the state for funding, too? How far are they willing to go? And how much longer is the federal government going to sit back and do nothing to stop this insanity?

    On to another topic….
    I’m horrified about the situation in the Gulf, as I’m sure you all are, too. I think Obama needs to seriously re-think his plans to allow more off shore drilling, particularly in deep water. This accident has demonstrated quite clearly that it is not safe. I don’t care if a million of these wells have operated safely for years. It only takes one accident to cause immeasurable and irreversible damage as we are seeing now.

  18. dooty

    Obama needs to seriously re-think his plans to allow more off shore drilling, particularly in deep water.

    I bet this is “dead in the water” so to speak.

  19. Oh doots I think the days of off shore drilling leases being granted are behind us now.

  20. TempeBev

    Arizona – another point of view – simple and eloquent

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/desmond-tutu/arizona—-the-wrong-answ_b_557955.html

    Haven’t attended a protest rally yet.

  21. dog's eye view

    You are discussing a topic near and dear to my heart. But have no time to discuss at the moment.

    Happy Cinco de Mayo. Have a green chile and Cadillac Margarita kind of day.

    Welcome to rightwing whoever. I agreed with a lot of your points (on quick skim).

    eprof: have not read your marvelous post yesterday. Shall do so when time permits.

    Bev and eprof: was thinking of you while travelling the I-10. Road trip to Santa Fe last week with a friend. Wish so much there had been more time to stop in your vicinity! Spring had sprung; trip was beautiful and did see some snow. And an immigration protest. And the Arizona local news.

    nanny: glad to hear you are on the mend from whatever.

    doots, dnd, brian, tony, ap and anybody I’ve missed: hello! Have a good one and catch up with you later.

  22. TempeBev

    Glad to hear from you Dog!

  23. Bev what’s your feel for how people are reacting to all of this going on? I just don’t mean whether are for or against the law but how is everyone reacting to being in the national spot light?

  24. nannymm

    Hey, Dog! It’s good to see you. How’s life in sunny California?

  25. Sorry, off topic but you just have to read this post and watch the video.

    Cops raid house and shoot to pet dogs in front of seven year old child.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2010/05/05/i-hope-these-people-go-to-hell/

    I fully agree with the title of the post.

    Who says we don’t have a police state? My Uncle was a Chicago Police Officer for over thirty years and I know he would never have condoned this type of behavior.

    Like some of the comments left on the post I’m more afraid of the police then I am of a possible terrorist living next door to me.

    God Bless.

  26. nannymm

    This is an interesting take on Arizona’s new immigration law.

    “……. an explanation, at least in part, for the immigration bill: the state’s 1998 “Clean Elections” law. The measure, adopted in response to a corruption scandal, is one of the most far-reaching public financing laws in the nation.
    And, as it turned out, a law pushed by “good government” types, primarily Democrats, ended up benefiting conservative Republicans who quickly figured out that the Clean Elections money could be used to take on Chamber of Commerce-type Republicans.
    …..the “unintended consequence is that it has empowered conservatives.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/04/AR2010050404054.html?wpisrc=nl_politics

  27. TempeBev

    That’s hard to answer – I was at a party with a legal Italian immigrant. She was totally for the bill. She obviously has a different perspective. Most of my friends share the feeling of embarrassment for the state and the problems it is causing with all the publicity. My dtr from Utah emailed me with “Go Los Suns.” (She also says Bob Bennett is going to lose because he is not conservative enough.) My British son-in-law emailed and said: “Apparently the Suns are playing basketball tonight with Los Suns shirts to protest the recent anti-immigrant legislation passed by the AZ legislature which has been condemned at least all around Europe, making the state take over from past holders of the ‘represents bigoted Americans” title.

    So, it all depends on whom you talk with. The local newspaper, AZ Republic is very critical about the law. Others support it. It just reminds everyone that AZ was the last to support the MLK holiday because of the bigoted legislature. The states image has gone down the drain.

  28. tonyb39

    Hi all.
    Dog, so glad you checked in.I just don’t know what my opinion is on the threads topic,other than i don’t want to hurt Mexican or Latino people when we really entice them to come here.I also have fears of my own regarding my own cleaning business.A year ago a woman from California was asking us for a bid on a cleaning job for her parents,we bid low for this area because they were elderly and in real bad shape,plus we had other clients next door.The woman thought we were to high based upon what she paid in California,when i point blank asked her if her cleaners were legal,she said she didn’t know,oh ya she knew..They worked for a third of what we do,wtf,how could we stay in business??Selfish thinking maybe, yet i don’t blame anyone who comes here,like i said ,don’t know what the answer is to the immigration problem..

    • dnd

      KO having Suckling on falsifying and dissing SoI Salazar was reprehensible. Particularly on Cinco de Mayo. Salazar is the best SOI we’ve had in a long,long time.

      KO is becoming the Glenn Beck of MSNBC. Sad.

  29. nannymm

    You lost me, dnd…..

  30. I didn’t see KO tonight, but you standing up for your homie d is cute as hell!

  31. “This remark is the equivalent of using the ‘n’ word. It shows contempt for middle America, expressed knowingly, contemptuously, on purpose, and with a smirk. It is indefensible to use this word. The president knows what it means, and his people know what it means. The public thought we reached a new low of incivility during the Clinton administration. Well, the Obama administration has just outdone them,” ATR president Grover Norquist tells Inside the Beltway.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/may/05/strong-brew/

  32. eprof2

    Nanny, no, I haven’t participated in any protest activities — as yet. My heart is with the protesters but my aging body and mind say “you did all of your protesting in your first life in the 1960’s and 1970’s.” I know that’s a cop-out but it’s the truth. So, I put pen to paper — word processing to 1’s and 0’s instead.

    Life is about the same here right now. A lot of folks are talking about the new law and some are very angry on both sides of the issue. I think, however, that the majority are waiting to see how the legal battles will go in the next 6-8 weeks before the implementation dates.

    Interestingly, the sports world may have more to do with the outcome than the rest of society inasmuch as so many baseball, basketball, football, boxers, college and even soccer players, many of them minorities, are starting to speak out against this law as they know it will be used against them first.

    Stay tuned.

  33. dooty

    eprof2 and Dnd,

    and anyone else interested in ethnic studies. I found an interesting website that has a lot of films that have been made possible by Arhoolie Foundation. I was interesting in The New Lost City Ramblers an old time band from the late 50s and thru the 60s. Pete Seeger’s half brother Mike Seeger was a founding member. The other members were Tom Paley and John Cohen and Tracy Schwartz. I believe all but Mike Seeger are still alive and occasionally still preforming music.

    http://arhoolie.org/index.html

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