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Why Does the Subject of Illegal Immigration Bring out the Ugliness in People?(15 posts)

Why Does the Subject of Illegal Immigration Bring out the Ugliness in People?jtolleson
Oct 7, 2002 7:52 PM
Colorado is facing an English immersion ballot initiative that would pare down our existing bilingual education model. Fine. Reasonable minds can differ.

But why is it that the subject of illegal immigration brings out conversations so ugly I just have to turn off the radio/close up the letters to the editor/walk away from the water cooler? I mean, statements so awful (IMHO) that they would never be tolerated about any other group.

Illegals shouldn't have rights, 50 percent of them are criminal, they are ruining Colorado, they detest American culture (this statement made in an otherwise reasonably e-newsletter I get each month on politics). I've heard all that and more.

It gives me this deep pain in the middle of my chest that I can't explain.
because most peopleMJ
Oct 8, 2002 12:54 AM
are scared - and fear can be harnessed for power

there's an unspoken fear of the 'other' - it's almost racist but has different features when used in discussions about immigration

studies have consistently demonstrated that immigrants contribute more to an economy than they take away

of course the real irony is, particularly in the US, who exactly is the immigrant?
Simple, it's becauseEager Beagle
Oct 8, 2002 1:49 AM
the whole issue is mismanaged by @uck-witt politicans and the like untill the whole thing gets troublesome, then spills over into everyday lives, by which time it's too late to do anything without having to be radical, and that's guarantees to get 30% of folk's backs' up whatever the decision is.

This is not linked to your chest - that may be indegestion from thinking too hard near a meal :O buurp!
re: Why Does the Subject of Illegal Immigration Bring out the Ugliness in People?gregario
Oct 8, 2002 5:08 AM
I think the key word here is "illegal." I just don't get it when people talk about the rights of "Illegals", health care for "Illegals" and educating their kids. If they are ILLEGAL send them back to where they came from. End of discussion. What am I missing? If they are "illegal" they shouldn't be here at all.
re: Why Does the Subject of Illegal Immigration Bring out the Ugliness in People?BikeViking
Oct 8, 2002 6:18 AM
Agree country should be expected to open its borders, the immigration ahs to be controlled.

On the posisitve side of the issue, I have been seeing a lot more of (what I think are) Indian immigrants. They are all working hard and learning/speaking English. Those people are what make our country so great. But we do need to clamp down on the ILLEGALS. Mexico wants an open border with us, but treats Guatemalen (sp) border crossers far more harshly than we treat the illegal mexicans who cross into the US.
No country should be expected to open it's borders?TJeanloz
Oct 8, 2002 9:09 AM
This is the part of the issue that I don't understand. Why shouldn't we have an open border? What if there were a company in Mexico that wanted to hire you, and you wanted to work for them, but you couldn't, because Mexico wouldn't let you immigrate? Why should American jobs be reserved for people who, by luck of the draw, were born in the right place? I agree that there would be a social welfare problem - but we're just kidding ourselves, how can we say that American families deserve a safety net but others do not?

The question in my mind, is how long it will take for the world to be more unified - because what do national governments really do for us? I think we should look to the EU as an example of the early stages of unification, and open our borders to whomever wants to live here.
agreed :-0 nmMJ
Oct 8, 2002 9:12 AM
there's something to be said for an orderly fair processDougSloan
Oct 8, 2002 9:34 AM
I understand that it would be a good idea in general to allow anyone who wants to come here to do so. However, let's think about what would actually happen, and at least consider the probable consequences.

Let's say we open things wide up. People start flooding in. Do you have any doubt they would? These people need places to live, jobs, health care, food, etc. Do we have an infrastructure and tax base available to help them, at least until they can become established and productive? I sort of doubt it.

Second, if they acquire the right to vote, the existing voters' power becomes diluted, and no doubt some drastic changes would take place. Whether those changes would be good or bad, who knows. Nonetheless, changes would occur. Changes that occur too quickly can be uncomfortable, to say the least. What if five million Mexicans flood into California and vote a personal income tax increase of 50% and dramatically increase welfare and unemployment benefits. Could happen, at least to some degree.

Third, what makes this country this country would invariably change rather quickly. While we pride ourselves on being the melting pot and our immigration history, opening borders wide up would permit large numbers of people to flood in who no doubt have very different ideas about lots of things, ranging from religion to politics to civil rights (and not always more progressive, either). YOu want a bunch of Taliban running any jurisdiction the U.S.?

Fourth, there is something to be said for any process to be orderly and fair to all concerned. Opening the borders would generally not be perceived as either orderly or fair. You'd have riots on your hands. Unemployment would sky rocket. Taxes would be increased. All of our infrastructure would be challenged.

The concept is well intentioned, but I think the results would be very difficult to handle.

A bit to pessimisticczardonic
Oct 8, 2002 10:23 AM
It seems like some kind of equilibrium would be reached before our country went into a downward spiral. Most people that come here come because of the availability of jobs and places to live. If opportunities here dried up, they would stay home with their families. Of course, there will always be those fleeing from war or persecution who will come no matter what. Do we really want to turn them away?

Personally, I think that changes have already occured, and immigrants are our best chance to repeal those changes for the better. Your example of Mexicans flooding into CA and messing with the tax laws is rather ironic considering the measures to disenfranchise immigrants that were passed by the current voters. This country was built by people determined to make a better life for themselves and their family. Citizens or not, I think this attitude is best represented by the immigrant who spends every nickel he has and risks his life to come here and build something for his family. Immigrants have always brought different ideas about religion, politics and civil rights, and this has never posed a threat. Those that are truly opposed to our system (e.g. the Taliban) don't want to come here. Almost invariably, it is the laws against immigration that have posed the threat to the American way.

The idea that these people are coming here to live on the dole and increase our tax burden are lies used by xenophobes to push emotional buttons on otherwise reasonable citizens. Statistics show that immigrants contribute more than they take.
Would you pay the college of a kid that is not yours?Bruno
Oct 8, 2002 10:03 AM
Why should American jobs be reserved for people who, by luck of the draw, were born in the right place?

Because the parents and grand parents of those people worked hard to make this place the 'right' place.

BTW, if a company in Mexico or the US wants to hire there are legal ways to immigrate.
I do every day...TJeanloz
Oct 8, 2002 10:09 AM
America's public universities, funded by her taxpayers, pays for kids that are not my own to go to college. You don't really think a year of education at the University of Colorado costs the $2,000 they charge?

And your ancestry argument holds no sway with me - one of this country's founding principles is that people don't have rights of birth. It shouldn't matter who your parents were. It should matter who you are.
ugliness in generalDougSloan
Oct 8, 2002 6:53 AM
I don't understand ugliness in general with respect to public issues. I suppose it's just passion that gets out of control, as the people feel out of control. You see this on all sides of many issues, to some extent. Whether it be IMF, wars, immigration, or hanging chads.

Yes, all people are entitled to certain basic human rights. However, I would think that almost by definition illegal immigrants are not entitled to political or economic rights while here. Not something I'll get all worked up about, though.

There may well be pragmatic solution to these issues, too; for example, does bilingual education actually help or hurt the development of foreign born students? It may be more of a scientific than political issue.

Don't let the nuts get you down. I know you are a deep and caring person, but you can't assume the burden of worrying about everyone else or every issue. There will always be nuts of one flavor or another who make life unpleasant for everyone else. Life it too short to let them get to you.

ugliness in generalJon Billheimer
Oct 8, 2002 7:54 AM
On the emotional side of the ledger I think there are two things happening. One, our instinctive territoriality which makes us comfortable with out own clan, but reflexively hostile to outsiders. The second thing about illegals is the issue of perceived fairness. This is a constant issue in Canada because of the perception--partially true--that many people use our lax immigration laws and refugee protocol to gain entry into the country. People who do so then are guaranteed about five years of procedural steps while being placed on welfare, sent to English or French classes, etc., etc. There have been some high profile political criminals who have been able to exploit the system for the benefit of themselves and their families. These publicized stories give legitimate, productive immigrants a bad image with the public.
re: your deep painStarliner
Oct 8, 2002 8:53 AM
I would say the deep pain you can't explain is sourced at your fourth chakra, aka the heart chakra.

To me, this subject is loosely analogous (sp?) to a line outside a restroom at a baseball game. Everybody has need for relief, and wants to do it as quickly as they can and get back to watch the game. But, due to the limited number of toilets, an informal understanding has developed among everybody that the toilets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and hence, an orderly line of people waiting for their turn has developed.

If somebody were to come along and take cuts, those behind would be very, very upset, and a lynch-mob situation would be a likely result.

With the illegal immigration issue, I think many people have a feeling of being cheated out of their tax dollars when they see who they think are illegals paying for groceries with food stamps, etc. People who otherwise would seem to be racially tolerant get surprisingly vocal with their resistance to, as they see, our society being overly benevolent to people who haven't paid their dues, so to speak.
Take a look at CA and TXAugust West
Oct 8, 2002 12:26 PM
If you want to see what immigration does look at the border. Texas and California are two of the prosperous states in the union. There wouldn't be half the money in either of them if there weren't cheap labor. I hate to break it to you, the migrants and aliens aren't ruining Colorado. I was born there 35 years ago and they were already there before me. It's the legal immigrants driving up land values and pricing Colorado of the market for Coloradans. Let the Mexicans in kkep the Americans out if you want to save your state from being "ruined". Personally I say let them all in.