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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

THE YIN AND YANG OF IMMIGRATION

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Ruben Navarrette, Jr. always has something interesting to say about immigration and in a piece he's written for CNN, he's highlighted the contradiction in American's attitudes toward illegal immigration - we are against illegal immigration except to the extent we are not. Some of the places that are pushing the harshest anti-immigration laws seem to have the greatest dependence on those workers and their politicians are the most vocal in opposing any legislation to legalize the workers already here or push through a guest worker program.

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  1. hmm's Avatar
    What I do not like about Mr Navarrette is that he always goes for easy targets. Also his stories smell like he made them up. Of course I do not doubt the existence of "anties" who employ unauthorized immigrants for landscaping etc. But how on earth they learned of immigration status of their landscapers? There are lots of legal immigrants from Mexico who hardly speak any English, so I guess those "anties" simply asked: "hey man, are you illegal?" No, I do not believe Navarrette and frankly there are much more intellegent people writing on immigration issues.
  2. Another voice's Avatar
    One can question the writer of the article never the less he raises a good point about the duality of illegal immigration in the US. Everyone wants to beat up these immigrants yet we all benefit from their presence and hard labor. If you buy veggies is because they harvest them, if your office is clean is because they clean it, if you eat at a restaurant is because they cooked your food and are providing service, if you live in a new home there is probably some labor of these immigrants there and many other areas. The issue is there for sure.
  3. hmm's Avatar
    AV: I think it is quite common to use services of (or do business with) someone you dislike. People do this simply because no better alternative is available. So certainly "anties" have this "hate/love" relationship with unauthorized immigrants, but there is nothing ridiculous about their attitude. It is not unlike someone getting a divorce and living with a spouse in the meantime for economic reasons while helping each other to survive.

    So anyway, AV, I hear what you are saying but as usual there is much more to the story.
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    " I think it is quite common to use services of (or do business with) someone you dislike. "

    This one is very different - it is not about like or dislike, it is specifically about the reason why those immigrants are HERE. These people want immigrants OUT, they fight for NOT DOING ANY BUSINESS with them. Why don't they start with themselves? They specifically want Americans to do those jobs. No problem - get off your fat behind and mow that lawn!
  5. hmm's Avatar
    "No problem - get off your fat behind and mow that lawn!"

    I suppose you also suggest: don't go out to eat? do not stay at hotel? build your own house? Who knows perhaps part of the work is done by unauthorized immigrants. This is simply not practical, and therefore plain silly. Or maybe you suggest they should not hire any latino people at all since they might be illegal? Well, you surely know there are white unauthorized immigrants as well. How do people know who is legal? Even attorneys sometimes get confused. Remember the guy who worked near top of the republican party without EAD?

    The divorce analogy says it pefectly, I think: you want to ultimately live separately, but in the meantime you do not mind helping each other a bit (and indeed immigrants work and their employers do pay money when hiring someone, don't they?)

    Another good analogy is people who do not want to consume products produced with child labor. They want the government to keep track of who actually makes that T-shirt in Indonesia. The kid making the T-shirt may be actually lucky to have any job at all, but no, the US consumers know better.
  6. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    hmm, at the very least they may want to choose not to hire those who they think are illegal immigrants themselves, and then brag about it. They claim that nobody invited them into this country - well, look, their inviting them into their own homes every day themselves.
  7. hmm's Avatar
    Yes, there are people who practice what they preach. However, most of us mere mortals bow to reality and take every opportunity available. "Anties" are no exception which is why they hire based on worker's skill rather than on immigration status. And I can see and understand why they do that, just like I understand why unauthorized immigrants come here illegally. People are not perfect, and when you resort to "get off your fat behind", you sound no better than "anties" going crazy about "illegals". Anyway, have a good night.

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