A certain Daniel E. comments on my entry about illegals and California’s driver’s licenses. Daniel’s words are in yellow.
Why we are here. That is the big question. Whether immigrants are here, legally or illegally, there is a reason for it. I have embraced the U.S. as my home for the last 15 years, and I came here illegally. Do you know WHY? SURVIVAL.
Really? I thought it was to take jobs away from Americans, undermine the economy, and cast aspersions on the English-speaking populace.
And for those of you who need the clue, I was being facetious just now.
The United States has had a long history of intervention in many of our countries. Even today, American companies have established themselves in many of our countries, exploiting our people-paying less than $3 a day.
And they should thank us for that employment.
Let’s take Mexico by way of example. With respect to the $3.00 a day claim you make, I respond that you pulled that number out of your ass and it does not reflect reality.
“In December 1995 in Mexico City, the daily minimum wage stood at 20.15 new pesos, or US$2.70. . . In 1993 the government reported that 10 percent of workers earned less than the minimum wage, 34.7 percent made between one and two times the minimum wage, and 36.5 percent received between two and five times the minimum wage.”
I also dispute the claim that American companies seek out “poor” nations like Mexico to take advantage of low wages:
The reality is that companies are not just looking for low wages. Low productivity can too easily offset any cost advantage. When investing, they also look at things like taxes, government regulation, trade restrictions, access to consumers, ease of transportation and availability of raw materials. While they also look at wages, there simply is no evidence that this is the dominant factor in encouraging U.S. companies to invest abroad.”
American corporate investment in Mexico goes way beyond employing low-cost labor. The overall capital investment is good for Mexico’s economy, it’s good for the company’s revenue, it’s good for end consumers (cheaper products), and it’s good for the Mexicans that have steady jobs in safe workplaces with good wages.
Subcontracting to local Mexican companies is also pretty common, and in those cases the American partners usually train them in advanced production standards such as clean-rooms, assembly line efficiency, quality control, and other techniques. These are net benefits to the Mexican manufacturing sector.
People in our countries are still hungry.
Betcha it’s not the ones who are working for US companies.
The U.S. along with many of our countries have failed to implement other economic measures that would really prevent mass migrations.
And why are those migrations occurring? Because the countries of origin have shitty economies compared to the United States. It is not our fault that other countries have shitty economies. Mexico is a poor nation entirely as a result of its own bad economic policies, form of government, and failure to take proper advantage of existing natural resources. Between the oil (which, indeed, is so rich that people have accused the US of trying to take control of it), natural gas, and the minerals (silver predominantly, but also gold, copper, iron, lead, zinc, manganese, arsenic, tellurium, the highest quality amethysts and adamite in the world, opals, agate, and gypsum), Mexico should be one of the richest countries on earth. The fact that it is not has nothing to do with the United States.
If you want to stop a flood, does it make more sense to plug the drain or shut off the water at the source?
I say Our countries because we come from all across Latin America, from Mexico to Guatemala to Colombia and many others. These are poor countries. We come here to survive, not as terrorist or “free loaders.”
Many do come here for survival reasons. In fact I bet the majority of them do. But the population of “freeloaders” is apparently quite high:
Medical care, for example, provided to illegal immigrants at taxpayer expense: “The Regional Medical Center Hospital and Pioneers Memorial Hospital, both in El Centro, Calif., lost more than $1.5 million last year in their treatment of illegal immigrants. Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego was forced to close after losing more than $5 million a year in unreimbursed medical care, much of it for illegal immigrants.”
And that was just three hospitals.
As for services overall, illegal immigrants appear to account for about 38% of the total cost of services for the whole immigrant population.
It also seems that rather a large number of people getting the Tax ID numbers are not actually paying taxes:
“As of October 2002, over 5.5 million ITINs [Individual Tax Identification Number] had been issued. But, strangely, only 1.5 million tax returns actually were filed using the ITIN number. It is assumed that the people who applied for the ITIN and do not file taxes are using it as official U.S. government identification to obtain drivers licenses, bank accounts, and government services.
“This has resulted in an illegal population of nine million people 40 percent are visa overstayers and 60 percent crossed our borders without permission. Of the latter group, the vast majority are Mexicans.”
Gosh. Sounds like illegal activity to me.
I assure you that immigrants or I should say illegal immigrants. . .
The difference is extremely important, so don’t lump them together.
. . . contribute much much more in taxes to this country than any services claimed to be paid by our government.
That is a flat-out lie, although is commonly believed and broadly cited. Even Steven Camarota’s study showed this:
“the estimated life-time net fiscal drain (taxes paid minus services used) for the average adult Mexican immigrant is negative $55,200.”
Illegal immigrants, even if working illegally. . .
That would pretty much be by definition.
. . .still have deductions taken from their checks for federal and state taxes among others. Most immigrants never file income tax returns at the end of the year. Where do you think all that money goes? Uncle Sam’s pocket!
That’s true. So?
Do you think employers not know that hiring illegal immigrants is against the law? Why do they do it?
Partially because US law prevents employers from asking certain kinds of questions of potential employees, and thus are actually prohibited from finding out for sure.
Because they know who will do the work for minimum wages, sometimes even less; because you (citizens, “legal immigrants,” whites, “americans,” your fathers, mothers, uncles,etc.) will not take the work these immigrants perform. Will you pick up tomatoes and other crops in the field under the intense heat? Will you wash dishes in restaurants? In other words, will you really do the “dirty” work that most of these immigrants take?
Stop right there. You’ve just begun using the word “immigrants” instead of “illegal immigrants”. Don’t mix them together. The difference is important and quite relevant to this argument.
And anyway, you make it sound like it’s a bad thing that these immigrants are getting employed. I thought that was a the point of immigration.
I don’t believe so. If it were not for immigrants, which really forms a significant part of the basis of the U.S. economy, this country would be in worse shape than it already is. The reality of immigrant life is that immigrants can’t wait (as someone mentioned earlier. WAIT to come legally. WAIT you SAY? Would you wait if you were starving?).
The INS is an extremely inefficient and schizoid organization. I do not deny this. There is no excuse for legalization to take 5-10 years, or more, during which time people live in a legal limbo. But that is an entirely separate issue from the one under discussion.
The forefathers of this country came here to escape the injustices of the British rule. The forefathers of this country came from an ocean away. But wait, the forefathers of this land were here before the forefathers of this country. Native AMERICANS were displaced; the conquest of the West came through non-sense ideas such as “manifest destiny.” Yes, California, Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada….. over half of the Mexican northern territory was unjustly lost to the U.S.
“Lost” implies that it belonged to Mexico at some point, which is not really the case, if you bother to investigate the history of Spanish colonization. Also, native Indian populations and the Spanish conquistadors are not the same. “Mexicans”, as a population, are a mixture of Spanish and native Indian blood in varying degrees.
The entire concept of America “stealing” land from Mexico is just silly, because the history is not that cut-and-dried, nor did it take place all at once in some kind of gargantuan battle.
And are you suggesting that the native Indians, on their own, would have attained a technological, industrial society of the same level as the current nations of America, Mexico, or Spain in the same amount of time? Obviously that didn’t happen.
I do not mean to alarm you my friends, but Hispanics/Latinos (words that the U.S. have made up to classify us immigrants from Latin America)
According to various Hispanic sources I have been able to find, Latin American immigrants seem to argue more among themselves about the correct use of these words than us white folks do.
The word Hispanic came about precisely due to the pressure and assistance of Latino advocacy groups as a way of defining specific South American and European populations from different areas. The US Census Bureau wanted to classify them for demographic purposes:
“The Oxford English Dictionary documents the word Hispanic to the 16th Century, when it referred to residents of the Iberian Peninsula who spoke either Spanish or Portuguese. The word first came into wide usage in the United States in the 1970s, largely through the efforts of the U.S. Census Bureau. Realizing that among the U.S. minorities it had seriously undercounted in the 1970 census were people of Latin-American extraction, the bureau (abetted by a number of well-intentioned Latino political advocacy groups) launched a campaign to help it get a better head count in 1980. Hispanic was the term for Puerto Rican émigrés in New York, Cuban refugees in South Florida, Mexican migrants in Los Angeles and the descendants of Spanish settlers in northern New Mexico.”
And the word Latino is not of American origin:
“Even the origins of the word Latino are controversial. The term dates to the 18th Century and the colonial rivalry between England and France. Its application to Latin Americans apparently originated in Napoleonic France and was used to differentiate the “Latin world (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and the many countries of Central America and South America, all of them predominantly Roman Catholic) from the English-speaking and largely Protestant world of Great Britain and its colonies in North America.”
Both quotes from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
. . .have become the largest minority of this country…Soon i assure you, maybe not within your lifetime, but your of your kids, we will no longer be a minority- we will in fact be the majority.
Politically speaking, maybe it is not possible for Mexicans to regain the territory that was stolen from them, but theoretically speaking, Mexicans and other groups will regain what once belonged to them. In the mean time, I can say thanks to this country I have survived. I as an immigrant feel a deep sense of gratitude for this country, for the many friends that I have made. I came here to work and be part of this “system” like many of my paisanos
You do realize that word originates from the Spanish invaders, right? 🙂
want to do. We are here to work, we are no terrorist. We are here, and here we will stay.
That’s perfectly okay with me, as long as you are a legal resident. You are a legal resident, right? No? Are you trying? As I have said, I don’t have a problem with people who want to come to America to work and become Americans. That’s what makes America great.
I Doubt there is anything that you could do to drive us out or keep us from coming. Do some research to see how much of our tax money is going to the border patrol, and ask yourself if it is effective? NO, it is not. The U.S. government knows they need immigrants, the Border Patrol is just a cover, to make people feel that “something is being done.” If it were in fact effective, they would completely stop immigrants from entering the U.S.
Yeah, I’m sure it would be practical to make a border guard stand at attention every hundred feet or so along the entire US/Mexican border, including the parts out to sea on each coast. *rolls eyes*
Anyway, you’re right that the Border Patrol is laughably inadequate. That does not, however, justify illegal entry into this country, nor does it change the basic principle of my argument.
Think people from Latin America risk their lives trying to cross the Arizona Desert or the Rio Grande, and yet you have terrorist coming in with “legal” visas and permits. Who is doing their job and who is not? We are just here to survive, that’s all.
You are, perhaps. But that is not true of all illegal immigrants, not just those from Mexico but a number of other countries. Again, it does not change the principle of my argument, and you fail to be persuasive.