Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Immigration, The Illegal Variation

I have this rather outspoken conservative uncle who is of the type to forward some of the more outrageous chain-emails, I'm sure if your on the net and have more than two friends you know what I'm talking about. I have this belief that the internet places the capacity to check the "facts" that someone tells you, if you are so compelled, at your fingertips and if you are going to even pretend to care as much as hitting your forward button you should at least take the 10 seconds it might take to validate the bogusness of such an email. So convenient is this ability that I have short patience for folks who forward things that are forwarded to them.

It is almost a responsibility as a "netizen" that you would do so, if you are capable. And by capable I mean grasping enough of a concept to be able to google it, I mean as long as you are connected to the internets and all that.

So I have made great sport out of responding to such "truth rogues" and like to point such people to sites like snopes.com and a personal favorite of mine BreakTheChain.org. Let me add at this time that I think snopes sucks because of that funky anti-copying script that they use to prevent being quoted and thwarting me in my quest to disprove stuff.

So anyways today the latest outrage was some snopes "verified" email about some dumbass flying a Mexican flag over an upside down American flag. And as I typically do I responded to it (with the ReplyAll button, and as always the names have been changed to protect the guilty):

Uncle Johnny,
Maybe we should approach the immigration problem in the same manner as we approach the drug problem. Heck, we could even combine the problems and just make illegal immigrants a Schedule One narcotic. Then we could start imprisoning all of the people who use them, in the same way we lock up pot smokers and drug addicts. Look at what a wonderful success that has been.
The only problem I see with that is that, like taxing the rich, is that it punishes success, as it would mostly target the owners of small and large businesses alike. Of course, since Democrats are usually unemployed and lazy, and just sit around waiting for their government checks, this solution would unfairly penalize Republicans, so it is probably a bad idea.
It was after all the liberal labor unions, with their pinko members expecting to have rights and decent pay, that probably drove them to hiring illegal immigrants in the first place. Once again, liberals are at the root of the problem as they are with any and all problems facing America today. Just ask Sean Hannity, or Ann Coulter, or Rush Limbaugh, or Micheal Savage, or Glen Beck, or Laura Ingraham or Neal Borsch or David Horowitz or any number of pundits who make a very good living by saying so.
But if we raise the minimum wage, oops, I mean get rid of illegal immigrants, then the cost of goods and services will rise for everyone and businesses will have to employ less people because they have to pay the workers that they are able to retain more. This means poor people have less opportunities for employment and the money they do manage to earn will not go as far as it once did.
I predict nothing will happen on this issue, not because of the some diabolical liberal plot to "redistribute" all that you have worked for, but because the people who hire illegals contribute more to campaign funds than the people who get fired up by some silly stunt a high school kid pulled off that got caught on camera (as the snopes link 'verifies'). Unfortunately, the primary tool of democracy in our nation has been transfered from the voting booth to the pocket book.

But what the heck, I can still play along and be "involved". Do you want to get even more fired up about illegal immigrants? Then watch this video of police beating a man for simply flipping off a bunch of protesters and then getting his face bloodied for it. Where is the ACLU fighting for HIS right to free speech? If this ticks YOU off, THEN PASS IT ON!
http://blog.t1production.com/illegals-cheer-as-police-beat-amnesty-protester


Trying to be a righteous conservative and not an American hating, terrorist comforting, illegal-amnestizing Democrat,
Me
Now I have this conservative cousin, with whom I have argued "Sure, we can just keep dumping carbon into the atmosphere forever and at an ever increasing rate and never suffer ill consequences from it, that makes sense", but whom is otherwise not a bad guy, responded to my little diatribe against his father:

Me,
I generally just sit back and laugh and the two of you going at it, and while I do agree that the power has moved from the voting booth to the pocket book, I have to point out that you only present one side of this story.

You are correct that labor costs will rise and the price of goods will rise, that will be a direct result of getting rid of illegal immigrants, but let’s not forget the costs associated with illegal immigrants in this country. Federally less than 1/2 of illegal immigrants contribute payroll taxes, this results in a cost of 10 billion dollars annually that exceeds their contribution. The largest costs are incurred by Medicaid, the treatment of uninsured, and participation in food assistance programs. Hmmmmm……wonder where the funding for these programs comes from.

Locally, and I can speak to this because North Carolina has had a 692% increase in illegal immigration in the last ten years, the largest of any state by 300%, our school system has been strained to the breaking point and our tax burden has increased. The next election will have a $642 million school bond on it and I will vote for it and pay for it because my kids go to school. Again, I wonder whose pocket this money is coming out of.

Let’s not forget that our country has a process for gaining LEGAL entry, and let’s not forget that we are speaking about ILLEGAL immigrants.
This is a perfect example of why sometimes the diatribes are worth it. To actually engage someone on the other side of the fence in a discussion. Oh, the novelty of it all. Here was my response:

John,
This is the kind of political letter that I do like to see in my inbox, one that provides facts and information, and advances the discussion. I used the "cost of goods" argument only because I could neatly coopt it from the Minimum Wage debate that went on a few months back. Using the words of pundits against them, if you will. I also deliberately left off the "associated costs", which I was aware of, in the argument as another nod to the Fox News school of journalism, as was presenting only one side of the story.
As a matter of fact, I don't really have much sympathy for illegal aliens. As you pointed out, I do think they drain our social services and, to quote our President, "take the jobs that Americans don't want to do" only because their presence depresses the wage market for that job. It is a lie that keeps being repeated. Even in the IT industry corporate interests clamor for more more H-1B visas to bring in Russians, Indians and Chinese people, not because they can't find the workers but because they don't want to pay what the market would demand.
I just get sickened to see this framed as an "us against the evil liberal democrats" problem, when there is plenty of blame to go around on both sides of the aisle. I would rather see the debate framed in the terms of a discussion such as this rather than in the inflammatory commentary to a photograph of the actions of a few misguided individuals. Much as I feel that any debate about the War in Iraq should not be centered around anything nut job Cindy Sheehan says or does.

As for North Carolina's appeal to illegal immigrants, it must just be a nicer place to be now that Jesse Helms is retired and locked up in a home.


And that was the immigration debate in my family.

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