Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Caught in a bad place of our own making

When I started this new site I made a conscious decision to avoid most of the usual politics but for some reason, probably induced by the several beers I had tonight I decided to make an exception. Originally published on Sunday, May 21, 2006 at my old site. I figure I will piss off some but as usual along with many other issues there is nothing black and white here.

A lot has been written and talked about concerning the issue of illegal immigration and its affects, both good and bad, on the United States. By now the professional talking heads have talked to the point that they are blue in the face and a lot of people, like me, are dizzy from lies, half truths, and honest points that they have brought up.
My take on this is that this country has really placed itself into a box and there are no easy answers. All parties involved in this situation had better really think long and hard on how they precede before making this even worse. But as usual, political jackals have infected every position concerning the future of immigration in this country seeking to further their position at the expense of everyone else and the cost of this will be paid for by the country as a whole.
A great many wanting the illegal’s forcefully removed do not seem to understand that estimates say there are at least twelve million illegal aliens in this country. Can anyone really envision families being herded up and forced out of the country? Anyone remember how the Nazis herded up the Jews? And this is ignoring the fact that while the mom and dad might be in this country illegally any children they had while in this country are Americans. What do we do in those situations? Send mom and dad home but place their AMERICAN kids in foster care?

But on the other hand every country has the right to control who comes into its territory and uses its services. While many immigrant groups down play the issue the medical and social services of many border states are straining, at best, to keep up with the influx of the new population. Even here in South Carolina the rise of new immigrants to many areas has caused a huge increase in indigent care provided by hospitals. The cost of such care is passed along to those that can pay raising healthcare costs for all. A great many immigrates are hard working, law abiding people just looking for a better life but that just does not give them a right to walk into this country and demand benefits and services. And what about those individuals in other countries who legally apply and wait for their chance to come over here. And the one item that really bothers me is that some states give illegal aliens in state tuition to their colleges and universities. As a middle class family we will be hard pressed to make tuition for my son and daughter to the college my wife would like them to attend outside of South Carolina.
As far as the duel arguments about illegal’s either stealing jobs from Americans or doing the dirty, low paying jobs that keep the economy afloat I’m going to be infuriating to many and say that both happens. Cheap labor provided by illegal’s are bringing down the wages of construction and some technical service jobs that at one time did have decent wages. Of course, this dove tails back to the to business types, who without any pressure from organized labor are more than willing to take advantage of this cheap labor. My next door neighbor who a few years back owned a small lawn maintenance and irrigation pump repair business was forced out of business by bigger guys with cheaper labor. Because of this, his attitude toward this issue is far closer to wanting all illegal’s removed and given how his life was overturned I’m hard pressed to argue with him. This attitude is not limited to angry white guys, many African-Americans I work with feel that this cheaper labor is going to undercut many of the gains they have achieved.
The other half of this argument is also true. Riding past the several farms that still exist in my area at harvest time you will find only immigrant labor doing the very hard work so that cheap food makes it to Wal-Mart and then your table. The same can be said about many meat and poultry processing plants that allow the BurgerClown and clones to sell its wares. I almost would like to see the immigrant labor factor removed from the equation just to see the reaction of people as the cost of food goes through the roof because farms have to pay what those services should receive.

With both business and the politicians not interested in doing much beyond what it takes to protect their interests this problem is left to fester and be influenced by those who are mainly playing for power by dividing us along social and ethnic lines. Needless to say this is not a path to any real answers, just more anger and frustration which is the last thing this country needs right now.

I'm afraid that neither those who want the illegal’s removed or those that want an open border can have their way. While it will be a major pain in the ass, some sort of wall will have to be built to at least slow the flow of immigration into this country. The size, scope, and effectiveness of such a monument will no doubt be compared to the Berlin Wall and other infamous barriers but it can be done. I find the idea of building such a wall repulsive but we have to regain control of our borders which every country has a right to do. But to upset the other side there is no way to remove those illegal’s already living here so a liberal guest worker program is the only possible solution. Well, that is my input on a nasty problem that this country has put itself in.


Sanjay said...

Beach.. Very nice post man. You pretty much summed it all up correctly. I have similar opinions to what you talked about. As naturalized citizens we had to go thru all the steps, wait in line as they say, did it all by the book.

I wish they did this in 2 parts. The enforcement of our borders had to be the first step, the ways to do it as you say are debatable. But it has to be done.

I am not sure what the best way to deal with those here illegally is, but sending them back enmasse is just not simple.

I really don't know what the answer to this is but I am fraid Congress is going to get it all wrong.
Once again I loved reading your thoughts.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

Just thought I would let you know that I returned the favour.

When I think about those that say "Deport them all", I think about what Jon Stewart said on the Daily Show: "Imagine the Ilya Gonzales situation multiplied by 11 million?" (Paraphrased, and I think that was the name of the Cuban kid that was forcefully exiled in what looked like a military standoff at his USA home?)

I think the real wall that is needed is prison walls around the employers that hire them. They are promoting a trade in a kind of slave labour (IMHO).

Stop the hiring and the illegals will not come anymore, and all of the citizen's, and legal immigrants, wages will rise in every job affected. Which will in turn affect the wages of other jobs.

As for the 12 to 20 million that are here? (I have read wide ranging estimates on the numbers) What can we do but give them amnesty without starting a little war in this country. We have to think about the security issue that is already upon us.

But you are 100% right, nobody is going to be happy with any of the possible solutions. Those are mine, and I bet they would piss off many people. lol

Vigilante said...

Beach, like every other American, I have a lot to say on this topic. For reasons of focus, I have hesitated to bring it up again on my blog. If you don't mind, may I hold forth on yours? (You know you can turn me off like a spigot whenever you feel it's time to move on. If you play it right & let me run my mouth, you may not have to write another post for weeks!)

Vigilante said...

The very first question I want to ask you and your readers is basically one of economics.

What do you think would happen if we could shut down the southern border: zero crossings of illegal immigrants, indefinitely. What would gradually happen to our economy? Would demand for goods and services (now provided by migrants) slowly and eventually drive those wages up in scale? Would more people have to clean their own houses, mow their own yards, etc.? Would high school kids and college kids have more jobs in the summer? Would families have to sacrifice more of their discretionary time to take care of their infirm elders?

(These are more than rhetorical questions. I truly don't know the answers. And if you can answer these, I have even more.)

Beach Bum said...

I have some ideas about that Vigil and will get back on them later, probally late tomorrow, at work about go off lunch and its going to be a busy next couple of days with stuff going on both here and at the house. In other words, no real fun this weekend.

Beach Bum said...

I've got to be quick both Spoilboy who has several friends over and Dragonwife who has devolved into a Neander this evening are being a pain.
Basically, if all the illegals were sent home I believe there would be a massive quick increase in the cost of items and services that needed illegal works to produce or provide.
I heard some report several months ago after Bush started a token increase in enforcement of the border resulted in California farmers complaining that some crops were not being harvested due to lack of workers. And no, I do not see American teenagers taking the place of during harvesting to pay for college or fun items. Paying a decent wage to people to harvest crops would result in many people taking up what my grandparents did every summer until they got to old, namely planting a large garden and canning them to off set the cost of food through the winter. But they had access to a large amount of land back then to plant their garden (and cheap grandkid labor) and while I could do the same thing due to friends I just don't see other more urbanized types being able. Damnit, got to run being overrun by Taco Bell excited 10 year olds wanting to see a movie, can't think with these kids.

Vigilante said...

So, you are going to see demographic changes (given absolute control of borders), with there being greater linkage between urban and rural communities?

Keshi said...

good write-up!


MadMike said...

It is not practical to send the illegals home. They are here because we allowed them, by our own lack of competence in securing the borders, to enter the United States. While I do not like the idea of supporting them I can see no alternative. We created this monster and now we have to figure out how to tame it before it devours us all. Like Beach and some of you I have mixed emotions about a wall. As one who traveled to Berlin in the early 70's I will never forget the site of that forbidding wall and the watchtowers manned by East German Vopos. It was an intimidating sight and one I will never forget.

Beach Bum said...

Finally I can sit down without being pestered allowing me to collect my meager thoughts.

CM1 is right, employers who hire illegals should be charged and prosecuted. And as he wrote with no illegals to exploit wages would have to increase so that goods and services once provided by illegals would at some point begin to come from legal immigrants and citizens. Yes, with cheap labor gone the consumer will have to get hit with the increase.

As in my very scrambled response to Vigil's questions I do see a huge increase in prices for food items if some sort of effective restrictions are put in place on illegal labor I will find some humor in how many will complain about the increase in the cost of food even though they bitched about the illegals living in this country. More than likely other "simple" services such as house keeping and cheap childcare will disappear. In all this I am sure of one thing, the whining would be very loud.

Mike is also right in that the illegals here will not be going anywhere. But some sort control of the border will have to be reestablished. Medical and social services are being pushed to the breaking point in many places hurting American citizens. And while the greatest bulk of illegals are lawful people just looking for a better life once a law had been broken the book needs to be thrown very heavily at them.
Mike, while I did not make it to Berlin I did get to see the East/West German border complete with an appearance of East German troops armed with Ak's watching us from a rather short distance. I was on a REFORGER in 1987 with the 4th ID when it was still at Fort Carson, Colorado.

Vigilante said...

I am really curious about the slow evolutionary economic changes wrought by a sudden closing of the border, assuming the latter was possible. I can't accept out of hand that raising wages for manual labor or entry jobs will be harmful to society in the long run. Might harm the economy in certain sectors in the short term, but it might be beneficial to society in the long run.

Vigilante said...

Before this great topic slides to the bottom of the heap, let me light this match:

I would prefer to have the wall built (note- doesn't have to fence in the entire border, just the parts that geography favors as tolerable passing points) to Gestapo-like raids of businesses, arresting brown-skins. That, to me, smacks me in the face like the iron fist of fascism.

Anonymous said...

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