In response to my article "US-Mexico wall proposal highlights bad government on both sides of the border", I got a rather interesting comment from one "Jimmy Lago" who used an e-mail address making it clear he is Mexican. (I won't post his e-mail address here, however.) It was fascinating in the sense that he again proved my point about how people simply don't listen to each other in the immigration debate. Most participants in the debate are so polarized that anyone talking about immigration must be either for it or against it, with no shades of gray allowed. Jimmy starts by saying that "the US stole more then 50% of Mexican terretory." (sic) So, we know where he's coming from. He then proceeds to imply that I somehow am anti-immigrant or against having "cheap labor out in the fields", both positions I trust I was clear about in the prior article: I'm for increased immigration and I love cheap labor. I simply oppose illegal immigration and the massive toll it takes on our society, not to mention the security risks. Jimmy really is the perfect charicature (almost too perfect) of his point of view, trying to argue about stolen land, "Native people", and racism rather than having any real argument against the wall or illegal immigration. Jimmy, if you're reading this, I love immigrants. America was built on immigration. I agree that many immigrants take jobs that Americans don't want. I didn't say the 9/11 terrorists came from Mexico, but there are many reports of Arabs coming into the US illegally through Mexico of late. As someone once said "a good wall makes a good neighbor". Let's increase the allowed legal immigration but use a good wall to prevent "coyotes" and terrorists from getting into the USA. And don't forget, immigration into the USA is an issue for Americans and the American government. It is NOT for Mexico to dictate how they want us to run our borders or our economy.


# The Freak on 12/30/05 at 07:53
I think it's time for me to weigh in. I'm an immigrant and, in fact, Ross first met me when I still had a heavy accent. Ross is not a racist. Ross and I hit it off playing chess and programming computers many more years ago than I care to remember. He's one of my best and closest friends. Each country has a duty to protect its borders. The wall might be a stupid way, but the US is a sovereign. The funniest thing about discussion of native people and stolen land, is that you can go back as long as you like. For instance, it turns out that before the people we refer to as "native Americans" crossed the land bridge, the Americas were populated by a Caucasic people. Mitochnodrial DNA records coupled with archeological finds show that the ancestors of current "native Americans" displaced and completely slaughtered this earlier group of "even earlier native Americans". So whose land is this really? At some point you have to give up on ancestral claims. All humanity flowed out of Africa and people piled upon people since then. Ancestral claims cannot be sustained by anybody. Get over it. A final point: illegal immigration demeans those of us who immigrated legally. F.
# Tired Immigrant on 12/30/05 at 08:03
Ross, You say you're for increased legal immigration. If so, the solution is easy: simply allow a legal wat for anyone who wants to come to the US and work to do so legally. Illegality is bad. Allowing people to flaunt the rule of law undermines the rule of law. However, sometimes -- immigration, minimum drinking ages, drug-laws -- the laws are so unfair and out of touch with reality that the thing that needs changing is not the level of enforcement, but the immoral law itself. So, don't hide behind a rule of law argument. As for the security thing: tyrants have used it for centuries to keep immoral laws on the books. The way to fight terrorism is to kill the terrorists, collateral damage and all. The border thing is a fig-leaf that people use to fool themselves that they are taking a step toward security. It is a rationalistic argument, completely unfounded in fact. The way one thinks about laws is the same way one thinks about scientific facts: examine reality. Examine Bin Laden, examine the 9/11 hijackers. Then, use that to figure out a way to thwart them. The rest is irrational fear based on figments ot the imagination.
# Lucy Stern on 12/30/05 at 13:41
Tired Immigrent - If someone wants to become legal to come over and work legally, then he needs to be ready to pay his share of the taxes immediately also.
# Lucy Stern on 12/30/05 at 13:43
Ross and other commentors - Check out this blog site for a similar story and then make a comment.
# Tired Immigrant on 03/26/06 at 05:50
Though it may seem counter-intuitive, open immigration is the only way to secure the border. Today, many american citizens ignore the undocumented status of aliens, becase they assume that those aliens are honest folk who simply want to make a living. If the US lets such folk in legally, with proper documentation, people would know that any other undocumented people are not kosher. Imagine that no honest person would want to cross into the US illegally. As a consequence, citizens would readily report the few crooks who do. The only way to make the border safe is to allow for a large amounts of well-controlled, legal immigration. The only other way I can think of is to make Mexico the 51st state, and then patrol their -- much shorter -- southern border. To my mind, the main change should be to grant amnesty to the 11 million Mexicans who are here, and then allow about 2 million to come over legally every year. The consequence of this will be to make the U.S. a safer place.
# Rossputin [Member]   on 03/26/06 at 08:07
Tired, I agree with you that we should have more legal immigration, but it seems that's the end of our agreement. "Open immigration" at least implies letting in absolutely everyone, or at least everyone who is not a criminal. I think that goes too far. As I've said before, I don't consider us "citizens of the world" with every human having equal right to be anywhere or do anything. It may be just a lucky or unlucky accident of birth, but people are from where they're from and generally should make the best of their own country. Another country, for example the USA, should let them in primarily if it's in the USA's interest. Letting in immigrants just because they want to come in is a valid consideration, but not the first one and not one which overrides national security or other such critical issues. While many Americans do "assume that those aliens are honest folk who simply want to make a living", that assumption is getting challenged by some combination of the immigrants' own behavior and the way the media is covering the issue. Here are two examples from my area (Colorado): A story in the Rocky Mountain News from last weekend (March 22, 2006) about 4 traffic accidents on one day involving a total of 42 illegal immigrants!,1299,DRMN_15_4561124,00.html And the notorious case of Raul Gomez-Garcia, who killed an off-duty Denver police officer for not letting him into a private party. This story, also in the Rocky, discusses how the case has "turned up the heat on illegals.",1299,DRMN_15_4337141,00.html So, between dangerous and criminal behavior of illegal aliens, and the way the media is focusing on such things, more and more Americans are becoming suspicious and skeptical of the idea that those aliens are harmless under-the-radar additions to the work force. If you go with your suggestion that no honest person would want to cross into the US illegally, then instead of reaching your conclusion of essentially opening the border (which I think does not follow logically from your premise), you are really supporting the idea of a wall and an intensely-enforced border. In that case, anyone who is willing to take risk that much higher than the already high risk would seem more likely to be a criminal. Your idea to make Mexico the 51st state is obviously unrealistic, but it's also horribly misconceived. If you watch the behavior of Mexicans protesting against upcoming restrictions on government services and immigration reforms, or if you read any of the more aggressive hispanic immigrant organizations' writings, you come across a very strong current of belief that the southwestern US should be reclaimed as part of Mexico. There are overt statements by immigrants, hispanic organizations, and Mexican government officials that immigrants should de facto re-take that part of the US by overwhelming the "anglo" population with hispanic immigration. You might learn some things by reading two of my prior blog postings which you can get to with this link: This is a HUGE difference from prior waves of immigrants who, even if they didn't do a great job learning English, found it important for their children to get an education, learn English, become Americans first and maintain their ancestors' cultural heritage secondarily. Italian-Americans, for example, are generally very proud of their Italian heritage, but they are without a doubt Americans first. I have no interest in opening the borders to people whose original government is encouraging them to stay Mexican first, send their money to Mexico, vote in Mexico, and just bleed the US like a leech. Now I'm not saying the Mexicans are not valuable additions to our work force. They clearly are, and I would encourage more legal immigration, but combined with strong pressure on the Mexican government and the immigrants themselves regarding the loyalties of immigrants. I don't want people here permanently whose primary loyalty is to another country and who go out of their way not to integrate into American culture. Every other immigrant group for 200 years or more has been anxious and able to integrate to some degree. Just not the Mexicans. Until this changes, we should allow only temporary work status to them. Finally, amnesty is a HORRIBLE idea. All it does is encourage more people to come illegally under the supposition that there will be another amnesty later, so why bother going through the annoying and time-consuming and not-free legal process. Amnesty is a political non-starter so I'm not worried about it. This is obviously a very difficult issue to deal with because we already have so many illegals here. It's probably an unmanageably huge project to try to deport them, nor do I want to damage our labor market that way. We need to come up with a way that encourages them to register, to be allowed to be here for some time...but then to have to leave for some return for some sort of benefit that is enough to get them to go along with the plan. I don't have the answers, but I know the answers don't include taking on Mexico as another state or offering amnesty to all illegals already here. Thanks for writing. I'd be pleased to continue the debate with you. Ross
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