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Is Public Urination Free Speech?
Judicial Watch's Corruption Chronicles reports that illegal aliens won a big settlement in Mamaroneck, New York -- $550,000! -- thanks to White Plains federal judge Colleen McMahon:

A New York town will pay six illegal day laborers $550,000 and forbid its police department from checking suspects’ immigration status to settle a discrimination lawsuit that claims the men were harassed because they are Hispanic.

The case stems from a much-needed police crackdown on disruptive and violent loitering in a public park in Mamaroneck, a town of about 20,000 residents located some two dozen miles from New York City. Multiple complaints of hundreds of drunken men fighting, littering, urinating and defecating at the park’s makeshift day laborer hiring site led to police to shut it down.

A Latino rights group sued the town alleging that the illegal immigrants’ constitutional rights to assemble and exercise free speech were violated. The suit also accuses village officials of discriminating against the day laborers—all admitted illegal aliens who didn’t use their real name in court documents for fear of deportation---simply because they are Hispanic.

Mayor Philip Trifiletti, a defendant in the case, said he was simply taking a totally out of control situation and bringing it under control. “They were trashing our village and they were trashing our park,” the mayor said when the case went to court last year.

A White Plains federal judge named Colleen McMahon sided with the illegal immigrants ruling in November that police had deliberately harassed the day laborers because they were Hispanic. In her decision Judge McMahon actually wrote that “the fact that the day laborers were Latinos, and not whites, was, at least in part, a motivating factor in defendants' actions."

Hello? I don't see a lot of blond white guys who look like recent graduates of Princeton hustling gardening jobs in front of Home Depot...do you?

I don't know about you, but I want our laws on illegal immigration enforced, and I don't think people who broke the law should be rewarded with citizenship or anything but a big butt-kick out of our country if we find them. Furthermore, we have to stop rewarding people with citizenship simply by virtue of being born here -- which, yet again, not only rewards illegal immigration but encourages it.

Posted by aalkon at June 18, 2007 10:49 AM

Comments

I just love ironey and this case is ripe for it(no pun intended)

The ciy aught to make out the checks to the fake names the defendants used. And then make said defendents prove their fake identitys with legal documents to prove they are ineed who they claim to be.

Sad fact is money makes the world go round, perhaps if every city and state sued the federal government for reimbursent for the funds paid out to illegals via state and local government services, they would be more willing to address the problem

Posted by: lujlp at June 18, 2007 1:12 AM

"...Multiple complaints of hundreds of drunken men fighting, littering, urinating and defecating at the park’s makeshift day laborer hiring site led to police to shut it down..."

Cultural differences we're now expected to accommodate.

Some culture.

Posted by: Doobie at June 18, 2007 1:22 AM

hundreds of drunken men fighting, littering, urinating and defecating - whatever floats your boat.

Posted by: Norman at June 18, 2007 7:43 AM

Let me get this straight:

You are here ILLEGALLY.

You use a FAKE NAME IN COURT.

You WIN.

The end of our society has already come and gone.

Posted by: doombuggy at June 18, 2007 8:53 AM

Amy, you wouldn't be here yourself if a recent ancestor wasn't simply "born here." If you want some illumination rather than something to manufacture outrage about, I suggest you look at a few old newspapers and see the same outraged ranting leveled at your own ancestors: they were filthy, they were violent (see the "Molly Macguires"), they were uncouth and raucous, they took jobs from 'real' Americans. They came when it was easy for them to come- and now that we mnake it all but impossible, you criticize people who risk their lives seeking the same opportunities for thweir children that your own grandparents did- which is really so much hypocritical excuse making.

Posted by: Charlie at June 18, 2007 10:22 AM

Wow, I didn't peg you for a xenophobe.
Who should get citizenship, those who can pass an ideology test?
We'd be awfully short of University professors.

Posted by: newjonny at June 18, 2007 10:48 AM

And a number of rich people wouldn't be rich if their ancestors didn't have money. We have laws, and they need to be enforced and obeyed. There are people in this country, like a friend of mine, who go through the legal route to get citizenship. Why should we let all these people who broke the law cut in the line?

Moreover, what's wrong with us, as a country, looking for the best possible candidates for citizenship: Those with technical and other special knowhow? I think applying for citizenship in a given year should be like applying for a job. The best and brightest get entry.

Furthermore, while you seem to have a bird's-eye view into my family tree, my ancestors weren't filthy or violent, but hard-working and determined to learn English and assimilate. I come from Russian and German Jews. German Jews, especially, were hellbent on becoming mainstream Americans. Those who spoke German or Yiddish in America were frowned upon. As for taking jobs from "real Americans," one of my great grandfathers, who immigrated from Russia, collected metal scrap on the streets of Detroit, and sent his son to Wayne State where he became a doctor. My grandfather's daughter, my mother, was valedictorian of Mumford High and a high school English teacher. Her brother is a doctor. I'd say my family was a pretty good credit risk, immigrationally speaking.

Times have changed. I don't wish to pay for the health care of millions of illegal aliens, for example. I suppose you feel differently.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 10:56 AM

Wow, I didn't peg you for a xenophobe.
Who should get citizenship, those who can pass an ideology test?
We'd be awfully short of University professors.

Who said anything about an ideology test?

But what would be wrong with taking, say, a physicist from China over a manual laborer from elsewhere?

Why do you think self-interest is evil?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 11:00 AM

I repeat my mantra, make drugs legal.

Posted by: PurplePen at June 18, 2007 11:44 AM

"Wow, I didn't peg you for a xenophobe."

newjonny, did you mean Amy? One of the most cosmopolitan people on the planet? Someone who travels extensively and speaks highly of other countries, including, (shudder) France?

Why is there such a hurry to start name calling when someone speaks up even slightly against rampant illegal immigration?

Posted by: doombuggy at June 18, 2007 11:57 AM

Thanks, Doom. Of all the things to be accused of...I got out of Michigan post-haste and moved to New York and then Los Angeles, in part because I find it boring to be around a bunch of white Americans who all have exactly the same background. And come to think of it, I'm usually in France for a month about now, but I had to delay my trip because I've been working on a book. You can criticize me for many things, but xenophobia isn't one of them.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 12:17 PM

Exactly why I didn't peg you for a Xenophobe. I don't get the anti-immigrant feeling so many people have though.

New immigrants can't use welfare for at least five years, and the statistics bear that out. They come to work.

Self interest is exactly why I want open borders. Freedom is in your self interest, is it not? A single brilliant mind is worth a thousand free-loaders. The founder of Intel arrived here with $50 bucks in his pocket. Today, he would not be let in. And if you don't want free-loaders, repeal welfare, don't blame honest would-be citizens of wanting something for nothing.

We are not full - we can double US population to 600 million and we would have roughly the density of England. - another anti-immigrant canard

Why should we choose between a physicist and a manual laborer, why not take both? The manual laborer's children may be the next brilliant physicist.

Posted by: newjonny at June 18, 2007 12:39 PM

> those who can pass
> an ideology test?

That was a spectacularly weird blog comment. Summer's just ahead, but you're already a contender for Amy's Freakiest of 2007. Good luck! We'll all be watching!

(I actually agree more with you than with the tone of this particular post of Amy's, but that was still a goofy thing for you to say)

Posted by: Crid at June 18, 2007 1:16 PM

I don't agree with it either, but in the post Amy seems to content to refuse immigrants who desire to work here and additionally writes,

>>Furthermore, we have to stop rewarding people with citizenship simply by virtue of being born here

So you can't be a citizen if you want to come and work, and you can't be a citizen if you are born here.

What would you take from that? And really, what is wrong with an ideology test? For example "I agree to uphold the constitution of the US and declare loyalty to America." Would that be wrong?

Frankly, if you declared that, I'd give you a passport on entry.

Posted by: newjonny at June 18, 2007 2:01 PM

No, it was still really weird of you. Amy doesn't think criminal behavior should be grounds for citizenship... If that's 'ideological', pass me a little red card and teach me the salute.

Posted by: Crid at June 18, 2007 2:35 PM

Wanting to be in the US isn't criminal behavior, it is admirable and should be rewarded.

Posted by: newjonny at June 18, 2007 2:47 PM

Until the 1920's immigration was unlimited and it is well established immigration law rose out of xenophobia.

Why do you think inalienable rights should not apply to people who desperately want to live here? What right do you think you have to deny my renting my Danish friend Hans a room and giving him a job in my shop? How does that harm you?

Posted by: newjonny at June 18, 2007 3:02 PM

Wanting to be in the US isn't criminal behavior, it is admirable and should be rewarded.

Wanting a Rembrandt isn't criminal, either. Breaking into a museum and stealing one, however, will earn you some jail time, and rightfully so.

And Crid gets it exactly:

Amy doesn't think criminal behavior should be grounds for citizenship... If that's 'ideological', pass me a little red card and teach me the salute.

As a non-citizen, you have no right to live or work here, any more than I have a right to live, work, or even visit in France. My visiting there is at the discretion of the French government. Same goes here.

If Hans has a visa to be here, rent away! The moment Hans' visa expires, Hans should be given the boot back to Denmark. As for hiring Hans, Hans cannot work here without a work visa. Not legally. Likewise, I can't work in France without permission from the state. Again, at their discretion.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 3:10 PM

> Wanting to be in the US
> isn't criminal behavior,
> it is admirable

Only when lawfully pursued...

> and should be rewarded.

We should expect some value in return, because the public candy we provide is pretty sweet.

> Why do you think inalienable
> rights should not apply

Because they're not citizens. Liberals (especially of the sort who think adherence to any standard is a cancerous "ideology") are fond of assigning "rights" to people with childish abandon, not recognizing that rights are things that must be defended, often at great cost. The rest of the world is not the United States (as we're so scoldingly reminded during foreign policy debates. American rights are better than human rights, and you're a fool if you doubt it).

> Danish friend Hans

The personal isn't always so grandly political; your friendships just aren't that interesting.

In general, immigrants a century ago were eager to shed the characteristics of their nations of origin in order to pursue the American dream, beginning first with their own tongues. The immigrants under discussion today don't seem to think that's necessary. They'd be more likely to become the physicists of you dreams if they'd learn the goddamn language.

And at some point we've got to look beyond the fact that the United States is so fucking fabulous; why, after all these decades, is Mexico still so profoundly shitty? Read this (link via mattwelch.com):

http://narconews.com/Issue46/article2703.html

Posted by: Crid at June 18, 2007 3:24 PM

Groundbreaking stuff - straight from the Republican talkingpoints.

You don't care about what ought to be, and just hide behind what is?

If you could repeal the immigration laws, would you? And why not - who or what are you scared of?

Posted by: newjonny at June 18, 2007 5:49 PM

Crid, I love you right now.

Newjonny - straight from the radical left talking points. We are all here because people in our past immigrated here at some point. No kidding. My grandparents came here in the fifties. Two suitcases. A 5 year old. No money.

They came here legally and had to go through extensive documentation and health checks. Once in they learned English at night at a local high school and my grandfather was a tradesman. Oma worked at a school cafeteria. They were hard workers and contributed to this country as best as they could and were able to get ahead. I respect people who want better things for themselves and their children and America is certainly a place where you can make your dreams come true.

No one here hates immigrants. So go ahead and get over it - such assumptions are bullshit and you know it. It's about waiting in line and following the rules. I don't get to piss in public and start a fight outside The Snug (local pub) and not expect one of the local officers to "take me in." That's just basic protocol. And I certainly agree with public pooping remaining firmly off limits. If I commit a crime I give my real name and show up in court. Why? Because I have to!! I don't give to take the good and leave the bad - there isn't a choice for citizens. Only non-citizens get to fuck around with the rules as they see fit. And they think that that's perfectly acceptable. That isn't a cultural value I want to see allowed here.

The level of immigration far exceeds a sustainable level - esp. when it's mostly illegal persons who are a net loss to our economy.

No one wants to stop all immigration. But for the sake of our economy and our national security (a whole big segue we're not actually discussing) it's necessary to know who is here, who is coming, who is leaving, how long they are here, if they're just here for fun or if they're here for school or work. Holy shit...I thought lefties LIKED government nosing into everyone's business?

P.S Do non-citizens get "constitutional rights?" How about a felony charge and automatic deportation...

Posted by: Gretchen at June 18, 2007 6:42 PM

What "ought to be"? From whose viewpoint? Based on what? The notion that you'd like Hans to become the instant Ramen noodles version of an American citizen?

It may come as a shock to you, but I have pretty strong values, and they aren't based in fear.

Why would I repeal the immigration laws? Have you considered the repercussions of that? For example -- one we're already paying through a number of orifices for:

http://www.parapundit.com/archives/001731.html

Non-citizens cost billions per year in uninsured health care.

If you'd like to put your earnings into paying the health care costs of illegals, have at it!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 7:02 PM

Groundbreaking stuff - straight from the Republican talkingpoints.

Oh, and P.S. I'm not a Republican. Not a Democrat either. But, sometimes the "talking points" of one side or another may contain a good idea. I'm for the side of enforcing the law, and not giving a bunch of people who broke it a free ride.

Furthermore, Crid made a great point about Mexico. Their country is connected to ours. They haven't exactly made a stunning success of the place. Why should we invite them with impunity into ours, when there may be better immigrants to fill the number we let in every year. And yes, there are limitations. Take the 10 Freeway at 6pm on a weekday, and the reason behind them might occur to you.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 7:07 PM

And Crid, thanks for that great Al G. link (narconews). He doesn't disappoint (I know him a little).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 7:22 PM

It is not xsenophobia to wish to exclude people from our nation who have stated they have no intention of ever assimilating to the culture. What is happening is nothing short of Mexican colonization.

My ancestors came here through means that were legal at the time, learned English, got jobs, and they didn't shit on the street and wake people up at all hours of the night with their blaring music.

We have, at present, 10% of the population of Mexico living illegally within our borders. It is estimated that 30 to 50 million will be here if the present boondoggle passes. At the high end, that's fully one half of the population of Mexico.

The problem is simply one of logistics and will. There's just no way to assimilate that many people, even if they WANT to assimilate. And when you take into account that organizations like Mecha and La Raza are actively encouraging Mexican immigrants to NOT assimilate, you have a recipe for instant Balkanization. Right now, there is one illegal Mexican for every thirty U.S. citizens. If they all bring their families up, that increases to one new immigrant for every 8 citizens. That is an immigration rate that is completely impossible.

So, newjonny, go ahead and launch all your lefty talking points at me. You'll find that all of them utterly fail to apply.

If the Democrats want all those voters so damn bad, why don't they just take the obvious step and annex Mexico?

Posted by: brian at June 18, 2007 9:03 PM

I'm just amazed that the courts are saying this town doesn't have the right to police itself. If the people causing the problem were white natives, I'm sure they would be allowed to. How is it not racism to say illegal immigrants don't have to obey the same laws everyone else does?

I don't have a problem in the world with legal immigrants. But I don't think it's fair that those who ignore the law to get here should reap benefits.

I know personal anecdotes don't count for much, but, well, it's all I've got. I'm in the middle of a high-risk pregnancy. My OB decided I should be seeing specialists, a neonatologist and a perinatologist. The nearest hospital with a high-risk department is 50 miles from me. Not too terribly far. But my OB couldn't get me in because the program was full. She told me the vast majority (she thought about 60-70%)of the present patients are ILLEGAL immigrants. So I get to go to the next nearest hospital with specialists, which is about 110 miles away.

So once or twice a week for the next 2.5 months I get to make a four hour round trip so I can see a specialist. I can't help being a little pissy about that, and more than a little worried. If the baby decides he's going to be born before the scheduled C-section, will there be room at my local(er) hospital? Or will I be in line behind someone who broke the law to be here?

I'm not saying turn away women in labor, but how about sending them back to their home country for treatment early on? Or prioritizing their prenatal care behind that of legal citizens at the very least?

Posted by: Kimberly at June 18, 2007 10:53 PM

I am against illegal immigration and would like the illegals that are here to be sent back. However I find the points people make about Mexican illegals to be because they are only observing the superficial characteristics of an immigrant community. Both sides are guilty of this, left and right. A common theme I hear from illegals is they wish they could go back to Mexico, and NOBODY ever mentions this. I havent read anyone, left or right, that has ever mentioned this lil' ol' thing I hear every fucking time I sit down and have a conversation with an illegal. And before anyone here says they dont assimilate, that's pure bullshit. If anything Latinas are accused of liking the white man & black man a lil' too much (I believe they make the largest group that is in mixed-race couples). In fact marrying a white American guy is seen as normal. Marrying outside your race is seen as normal to a Latino. Name another group that holds this view? Oh wow, middle class white Americans.

Mecha and La Raza have zero power in the illegal Mexican community brian. I know because I got kicked out of Mecha. Did you get kicked out of Mecha too or did you hear Dobbs predictable complaints about the organization? I lived several years in Mexico and you know who was encouraging people to come to the U.S.? The Mexican goverment and the U.S. goverment. I am sick of foreign policy made by people who have no understanding about the foreign nation they are dealing with. Neither conservatives nor liberals know how to handle the Mexican problem correctly. I think the points people make are idiotic on both sides. And by the way I have heard second generation Mexican-Americans say they would like Mexico annexed and made part of the U.S. because they are so ashamed of the progress Mexico has made. As a Latin American I have very little sympathy for this issue, because the U.S. has been a "Big Brother" to all Latin American nations. You know what is crazy? Living in Brazil I found out that nobody likes Mexicans for being too American. Living in the States I found out Americans dont like Mexicans for being too Mexican. Living in Mexico I found out Mexicans dont like Mexicans for being both too American and too Mexican. Jesus Christ I fucking hate people.

Posted by: PurplePen at June 18, 2007 11:22 PM

A common theme I hear from illegals is they wish they could go back to Mexico, and NOBODY ever mentions this.

Personally, I don't care whether they want to go to Mexico or to spend a weekend in the honeymoon suite at the Oahu Hilton. I am neither for nor against any particular group; merely against illegal immigration and for enforcing our laws. I do have to say that I resent the "press one for Spanish" (and I would resent it just the same if it were "press one for German" or "press one for Urdu"). I think we make it too easy for people not to assimilate.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 18, 2007 11:47 PM

"Personally, I don't care whether they want to go to Mexico or to spend a weekend in the honeymoon suite at the Oahu Hilton"

So you think the fact that they want to go back to Mexico would not serve the greater interest of enforcing our laws?

Posted by: PurplePen at June 19, 2007 12:00 AM

I think that's an anecdote some will find comforting, but nothing to base policy on. And even if a few very, very poor illegal immigrants want to go home south of the border, doesn't it seem a better deal, as long as we aren't enforcing our laws, to stick around in America for free health care and such?

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 19, 2007 12:09 AM

I am a big fan of immigration. I live in a part of the country that is chock-full of immigrants from everywhere, I like diversity of background and opinions, I enjoy the fact that I live in a society almost entirely made up of those from other countries and their descendents, etc. etc. etc. Immigration, yay! Let's expand the number of people legally allowed to immigrate, significantly.

What I do not like is the idea that we have laws, ANY laws, that people are outright breaking with impunity, and that such law-breaking is a potential threat to our safety. I'm a less-is-more gal when it comes to laws. If we have some on the books that we're not going to enforce in a serious way, then get rid of them or modify them. It's the same argument I make for why getting rid of the 55 mph speed limit on highways was a good idea. I don't like the precedent permitted lawbreaking sets where any laws are concerned - let's just say I do believe that everything is connected. And, while I can sympathize with the people who sneak over the border looking for a better life, were I running Al-Qaeda, I'd be sending people over the border with Mexico in absolute droves. I want to know who's coming into our country, and why, and I don't think this makes me a xenaphobe or a racist.

And I'll point out that I, personally, largely benefit from illegal immigration. My house came at a price that would make many of you weep. That house is cleaned for a price that you would not believe. Prices where I live are low. Part of the reason for all that is that I live in a town full of illegal immigrants in a state with a very low level of benefits. We do have the health-care system strain tradeoff, certainly, but where I live, effectively there is NO minimum wage, because you have thousands of illegal immigrants being paid off the books who are perfectly willing to accept less, which brings wages down for everyone - to the best of my knowledge, my cleaning woman is legal (I hire her through a service), but the wage she can charge for her service is depressed by the competition that she faces in the market.

Which is the side effect of rampant illegal immigration that I notice that many people get strangely quiet about...namely, the fact that, more and more, there really isn't a true minimum wage in this country, because there are too many people being paid under the table, and many legal workers won't be getting anything really above the minimum wage as a result. Were I a less charitable person, I would accuse some people of wanting to have their cake and eat it too - support strong minimum wage laws so that they can feel as though they're helping the poor, while at the same time ensuring that those laws won't really be all that powerful by acquiescing to illegal immigration. I don't think most people think about the situation in quite that complicated a way, but nevertheless, that's the end result of a certain set of beliefs.

As for Mexico, I can't help but think that, if the country's non-wealthy best and brightest couldn't easily leave for the U.S. and higher-paying jobs, that there long since would have been widespread agitation for true change, reform and improvement. Open borders serve as a safety valve for the country. I can't argue with people wanting to leave, just as I can't argue with people who want to pull their kids out of terrible public schools...but neither case is exactly good for the country/institution left behind. The woman profiled a few years ago in my local paper who had come to the U.S. illegally with her husband and was now raising her children alone as a widow and had somehow managed to buy a (run-down) house on a meager salary and raise her children well is, most definitely, glad that she doesn't have to stay in Mexico, where life is harder and more dangerous. If we could find a way for her to stay here without breaking the laws (perhaps she could teach a class to yuppies who want to buy more house than they could afford?) I think that would be a net benefit for the U.S. But it's a net negative for Mexico.

Posted by: marion at June 19, 2007 12:27 AM

"I think that's an anecdote some will find comforting, but nothing to base policy on. And even if a few very, very poor illegal immigrants want to go home south of the border, doesn't it seem a better deal, as long as we aren't enforcing our laws, to stick around in America for free health care and such?"

Most dont stick around because of free health care, free education etc (those are extra fringe benefits they dont think about when moving here), most stick around because of the under the table money. As time goes by, they just stick around because it's convenient. I think it's something great to base policy on, it means if most had a choice (which they dont because I know if I was in their position I would do the same thing) (and as someone who is not in their position I would enforce the law) they wouldnt leave Mexico in the first place. Most people like living where they originally came from, the few thrill seeking types looking for a change are rare. Most people would stick to their country of origin. I know Americans like to boast this is the greatest country in the world but it's not to everyone. The money is reallly good here and that's the only reason people come.

Posted by: PurplePen at June 19, 2007 12:48 AM

Here's the thing: the company I work for puts ads on the internet when it wants to hire new employees. They don't drive a van down to the park to pick from a group of drunken dudes littering an urinating. If we were serious about wanting to handle the illegal immigration problem, we'd crack down on companies that hire them. The immigrant population moves around, factories and farms just sit there. When they say that immigrants do jobs that Americans won't do, what they really mean is that they do jobs that Americans won't do without getting a decent wage and benefits. Companies hire illegals because they can pay them sub-minimum wages, and they can't complain about unlawful working conditions. Crack down on companies hiring them, and there will be less reason to come here.

Posted by: Jon Tyken at June 19, 2007 2:16 AM

> You don't care about what
> ought to be, and just hide
> behind what is?

That's the first time anyone in these comments has simply confessed that they were just dreaming out loud.

I hide behind what is, babe! That's me, cowering out here in the real world.

> straight from the Republican
> talkingpoints.

Lifelong registered Democrat, but thanks for asking.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 2:21 AM

Also...

> A common theme I hear from
> illegals is they wish they
> could go back to Mexico...

Well, they almost certainly could, you wanna know why they don't? Because Mexico sucks. It's corrupt and oppressive, and the little guy can't catch a break. And the innovative, entrepreneurial guy is just fucked from the word go...

> what are you scared of?

Becoming the de facto financial supporter of a huge, corrupt neighbor state where people born to poverty are condemned thereto evermore, as if they were slaves. In short, I'm afraid of what New Orleans will be like in about five years.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 2:32 AM

"Becoming the de facto financial supporter of a huge, corrupt neighbor state where people born to poverty are condemned thereto evermore, as if they were slaves."

Yup that's what I saw when living in Mexico. It's the reason I support making drugs legal then enforcing our immigration laws. I hate the indirect support the Mexican govt. receives. I hate alot of the Mexican culture I had to put up with. I mean shit I never had to deal with in the States. At the same time you can't take the money that illegals send to Mexico without giving an alternative income (i.e. drugs). Let's face it Latin America is not known as the bastion of innovation, our only hope has always been and continues to be narcotics.

Posted by: PurplePen at June 19, 2007 3:12 AM

I just don't believe it. The world just doesn't need inebriants so badly that the market can sustain a whole continent. Or two. Or three or however many imagine being supported by it. There's no reason the American miracle can't happen in the other America too, except for, y'know, culture.

But if you argued that the reason latin America sucks is because North Americans want it to be an keep it that way (through public policy and private shennanigans), I'm ready to listen to some conspiracy theories... Because at least then we can believe the conspiracy could be broken someday.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 3:27 AM

There are two big hunks of nonsense on this topic already: one specific, and one general.

The first and easiest one to dispose of it the "density of England" assertion. The British have been prevented from cutting trees for centuries because they would deforest their island; that's where the term, "windfall" came from. To claim that as a goal or ideal or measure of adequacy of any kind is just dumb.

The second thing is about "open borders".

We have what we do because of a Constitution and derived laws which count on the exercise of the responsibilities each citizen has. "Open borders" is simply code for "take, take, and take, the government will pay for it".

Citizenship is NOT merely the result of "being here". You want the American miracle to happen for you? Don't dismantle the America that was here before you immigrated!

Posted by: Radwaste at June 19, 2007 4:12 AM

Again, the statistics show they do not come here for welfare or healthcare. I'd also advocate repealing the entire welfare state. So don't give that as a point against for now.

Assume for a second they would not cost a dime and would actually be in your economic self interest.
And assume that with no welfare most must all integrate well and the second generation uses English as their first language.
Both of which I hold to be true.

What then would be your opposition to open immigration?

And as a postscript - why do you prefer some red neck mother with nine kids from four different fathers all take the welfare system to the shed instead of some non-citizen. Both violate your rights to keep your own income.

Posted by: newjonny at June 19, 2007 4:53 AM

"why do you prefer some red neck mother..."

No, I don't prefer the red neck mother over the illegal immigrant. We're trying to reduce the negatives that flow from both groups.

"We are not full - we can double US population to 600 million and we would have roughly the density of England."

So, when we reach this population level, can we then cut off illegal immigration? Or do we head for the pop density of Bangledesh? Then can we have the debate?

"A single brilliant mind is worth a thousand free-loaders."

I'm not sure we are getting this deal.

Posted by: doombuggy at June 19, 2007 5:52 AM

Again, the statistics show they do not come here for welfare or healthcare.

Immaterial. We're paying for them.

Assume for a second they would not cost a dime and would actually be in your economic self interest.

Assume that Jell-O can time-travel.

"A single brilliant mind is worth a thousand free-loaders."

Somehow, I don't think it's the physicists who are crawling over the border.

Furthermore, we aren't talking about welfare mothers or rednecks. Different discussion. You really need to bone up on debating techniques.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 19, 2007 6:19 AM

"If anything Latinas are accused of liking the white man & black man a lil' too much (I believe they make the largest group that is in mixed-race couples). In fact marrying a white American guy is seen as normal."

Incorrect. Asian-Americans are the minority that marry most outside their race, and if you think that it's considered normal in the culture, pick up an issue of Latina magazine. Puerto Rican women write in asking what to do about their family rejecting their Mexican boyfriend.

Posted by: Brenda at June 19, 2007 6:55 AM

Again, I don't care who wants to do whom, as long as they aren't illegally in our country while doing it. Is that really so hard to comprehend? We're running a country here, not a giant charity. If you want to funnel your earnings to illegal immigrants, fine by me. I give to a number of causes by choice, and I prefer to keep it that way. Beyond my charitable giving, there are far too many grubby hands on my tax dollars already, thank you, and I don't feel compelled to subsidize non-citizen illegals any more than I already am, thanks to lax enforcement of our laws and borders.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 19, 2007 7:03 AM

I guess people consistently don't like the examples I give. I'm just trying to throw concretes in there to consider. If you don't think the discussion is about red necks or a welfare mother, fine. Bad example.

And I'm not one for for grand debate techniques. I just think the anti-immigrant feeling we seem to have in the country is dead wrong. 10's of millions of law abiding people are under constant threat of arbitrary persecution. That is neither justice not in our own self interest in my opinion.

The point I was attempting to have you consider is this. Apart from the economic considerations, what then is your argument against immigration, without resorting to calling them illegal and saying they break the law.
And don't say they don't want to assimilate either, immigrants over the past 150 years have consistently taken one to two generations to assimilate, and statistics bear that out today.

Posted by: newjonny at June 19, 2007 9:30 AM

I guess people consistently don't like the examples I give

It's not personal, and your points are not well-supported. You instead talk about what "ought" to be. I think illegals "ought" to be deported. Unless I back that up, it's just a big text fart.

I'm on deadline now, and racing the clock. I'll let Crid or one of the others answer your question at the end and come back after I transmit my column.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 19, 2007 9:42 AM

> they do not come here
> for welfare or
> healthcare.

Nobody cares what's in their hearts (we take it as a matter of faith that the United States attracts the best of the best). But people get that care whether they "come here for" it or not.

> Both of which I
> hold to be true.

You do so baselessly. There is welfare of various stripes in place. The whole of American society is a more tightly integrated economic machine than it was in previous generations. Healthcare wasn't the burden to the public coffers that it was a hundred years ago: There wasn't nearly as much to be done for sick people as there is now.

An immigrant to New York City in 1900 wasn't going to enjoy a standard living much better than the one in his nation of origin. In fact, it was often quite a bit worse. And the social contact made no arrangements for helping him acclimate beyond giving his kids a school where they could learn English while the Irish kids beat the shit out of them. There was still plenty of incentive to assimilate. On the other hand, there was all kinds of opportunity here, and the government wasn't going to terrorize you, and you got to keep a lot more of your earnings.

I don't understand how people can think that within the borders of our country, there's no limit --none to the responpsibilities we have to make each other comfortable while asking no sacrifice. And yet overseas, our vendor nations should be allowed to savage each other (and threaten the rest of us) as vigorously as they like.

> why do you prefer some
> red neck mother with
> nine kids from four
> different fathers

Buttercup, what on Earth makes you think that we do? Have you ever read this blog before? How is it you've become convinced that your beliefs are sparkling new insights? Tell us more, this is fun.

> I guess people consistently
> don't like the examples I
> give. I'm just trying to
> throw concretes in there
> to consider.

These aren't examples, they're daydreams.

> I'm not one for for grand
> debate techniques.

Rationality is all we ask.

> the anti-immigrant feeling
> we seem to have in the
> country is dead wrong.

If the people we're discussing wanted to immigrate in the classical sense, no one would have any complaints. Too often they want to live here in poverty, returning their earnings to another nation, building nothing greater in their lives here for the benefit of the rest of us. That ain't immigration.

> Apart from the economic
> considerations,

We need not set those aside.

> what then is your argument
> against immigration

They pursue it halfheartedly, willfully removing far more value from our culture than they bring.

> immigrants over the past
> 150 years have consistently

If these worked as hard to assimilate as those did, no one would complain... When they do, no one does.

Amy lied: It's personal. Trying to give up coffee here... It's important to jumpstart the morning CNS with a jolt of irritation. Muchos gracias, young fella.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 10:20 AM

Wow Crid, you generally have more than sarcasm to offer.

In response to my stating the fact that immigrants come here to work, not for healthcare. (and welfare which they can't claim for 5 years)

>You do so baselessly.

No so, check out Linda Chavez's Jun 5 WSJ piece.

"Mexican-born men, for example, had higher labor force participation than native-born male workers, 88% compared with 83%, and lower unemployment rates than native workers, 4.4%
compared with 5.1%, in 2006. Labor force participation rates of illegal aliens are higher yet, a whopping 94%."

"English is the preferred language of virtually all U.S.-born Hispanics; according to a study by the Pew Hispanic Center, indeed, 78% of third-generation Hispanics cannot speak Spanish at
all. Even in Southern California, an area with the largest population of Spanish speakers in the nation, 96% of third-generation Mexican Americans prefer to speak English at home."

"A 2006 Commerce Department study reported that Hispanics are opening businesses at a rate three times faster than the national average."

So your comment demanding we set aside fallacious economic scare-mongering
>> Apart from the economic
>> considerations,

>We need not set those aside.

Is disingenous, for without pretending they leech off of us and calling them illegal you seemingly have no other answer to why they should not be allowed in.

I can't see any other reason apart from xenophobia, as they are an economic benefit and they are actively assimilating.

Posted by: newjonny at June 19, 2007 11:19 AM

Crid - I'd be interested to see how you'd handle "Degsme" on this thread: http://fray.slate.com/discuss/forums/2025/ShowForum.aspx?ArticleID=2168060

The article is rather stupid in my opinion... and I simply didn't have the energy to argue with this person. Take a look, let me know what you think if you have time!

Posted by: Gretchen at June 19, 2007 11:20 AM

"...economic benefit and they are actively assimilating."

Did you not read the orig post by Amy above? There are people defecating, pissing and brawling in a public park and the police have "no authority" to do anything about it. They aren't allowed to do their job...and if they try to stop this unacceptable behavior they are labeled as "racist." I know for a FACT that if I were caught doing the same thing I would get into trouble with the law!

This isn't an isolated issue, either. I would never suggest that all illegal immigrants support such shenanigans but shouldn't the ones who do be punished (given the boot)? Selectivity is not racist - barring persons from gaining citizenship who have proven themselves to be a potential behavioral problem is not an evil, nationalistic idea! It says "Criminals need not apply"...not "Latinos need not apply." We have enough criminals running around, no need to add more!

Posted by: Gretchen at June 19, 2007 11:38 AM

Much repeating below... You can't seem to take a point.

> immigrants come here to
> work, not for healthcare.

They get the healthcare, and so many other blessings of our society whether they come here for them or not. Got it? Yes, the United States is a great place to make money. It's also a great place to invest and grow a business, but not enough of them are doing that.

> (and welfare which they
> can't claim for 5 years)

You keep saying "welfare" as if there was this one office that cuts checks to poor people, and I keep talking about all the other blessings of our infrastructure. Firefighters come to mind because we lost nine in the Carolinas this morning. But there are roads and bridges and schools and hospitals and groceries and morgues and water treatment and all these other things that need to be paid for when they wear out.

> lower unemployment rates
> than native workers, 4.4%

Yes; they take jobs.

> "English is the preferred
> language of virtually all
> U.S.-born Hispanics

Immigrants are who we're talking about. We don't want to wait three generations for this to pay off. The top-rated broadcast outlets in LA have been spanish-speaking for nearly a decade, and this offends me. They're nowhere near as profitable as the English-speaking ones, and that offends me much, much more.

> opening businesses at a
> rate three times faster
> than the national average.

Taxpaying, registered enterprises? Is selling fruit on the on ramp "opening a business"? Are the profits staying here and benefiting the community?

> without pretending they
> leech off of us

Care to guess how much money gets wired south every day?

> and calling them illegal

Little Jonny, they are in fact illegal... By definition that's who we're talking about.

> you seemingly have no
> other answer to why they
> should not be allowed in.

Would you like to hear it for a fifth time? They aren't assimilating fast enough. Aside from all the other dislocations (which aren't trivial), I think this means they're a net drag on our economy. And they're one that strengthens corruption in other nations, so they're a moral burden as well. They're smearing that border. I think too many of them want this to be as casual, unregulated and lawless an environment as Mexico (etc.), but one in which it just happens that you can make money. It's a contradiction in terms.

I hate slave labor. If people of any background or potential --including witless, illiterate mutes-- want to move here and commit to making more of their lives in the United States, no one's going to argue, OK? But that means that if you work here, you do everything: Taxes, social security, health insurance, school board meetings, the whole kit 'n kaboodle.

> I can't see any other
> reason apart from
> xenophobia

This is how we know you're a young guy... Everything that you see as wrong with the world is in the cold heart of a grownup.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 12:09 PM

Gretchen - I only read a few of them, but he repeated uses one argument that I spotted as bogus pretty quickly: That since many social services are funded by "sales and property" taxes, undocumented workers are supporting these services as much as normal citizens.

This strikes me as unlikely in many respects. First I haven't seen the spreadsheets that actually link that new defibrillator in the cardiac unit at Westside General to my purchase of a head of iceberg at Ralphs last week. I just don't know that it's true.

Secondly, if undocumented workers own a lot of real estate, which is what I assume he meant by "property", then we're in a heap of shit anyway.

Thirdly, undocumented workers are almost by definition poor. They're not paying a lot of these taxes because they're not buying lots of stuff, and certainly not paying their way by buying tacos and beer. We want them to sign up for the American Dream, get edjumicated and get rich, just like other people. Then we can tax the shit out of them, just like other people.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 12:21 PM


>Yes; they take jobs.
Which is in our interest - just not the guy that must go learn something else. It's the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - not the right to a job not to be taken by a lower cost worker. Are you against company outsourcing too? Learn some economics.

>Are the profits staying here and benefiting the community?
I don't care - I'm not a socialist.

>Care to guess how much money gets wired south every day?
Again, why do you care what they spend money on, unless you are a jingoist and would also institute currrency controls to "fix" that problem.

>Would you like to hear it for a fifth time? They aren't assimilating fast enough.
For you

>I think too many of them want this to be as casual, unregulated and lawless an environment as Mexico (etc.), but one in which it just happens that you can make money. It's a contradiction in terms.

It's your contradiction. They come to get away from the lawlessness - which by protecting property rights, allows them to *earn* money in the US. That is the overwhelming reason they come, rule of law and *private property rights.

Posted by: newjonny at June 19, 2007 12:45 PM

newjonny you are a moron, I raley see eye to eye with Crid on anything but ont this subject he is dead on and you are being a shmuck.

Remember the rally they had last year in pheonix thousands of people waving th MEXICAN flag while demanding rights for people illegally squating in AMERICA? Not ten miles from where I live a child of immigrants revoved the american flag from the high school flag pole and replaced it with a mexican flag.
I may not be americas biggest fan, and I certainly hate what I see as a imperialist expasion in to other countries spheres of infulenece but this is OUR country, our rules go here and within our own boardeds we say what goes on - and the people coming over here illegally refuse to abide by those rules. Do you know how often there are shoot outs in pheonix as coyotes fight each other over human cargo?

Have you ever seen a buetiful neiborhood transformed into a gangland junkyard by illegal alein gang members forcing everyone else out?

Have you ever seen the effect cooking meth has on chldren who live near drug houses?

Personally I think we need to expand the number of people allowed to immegrate each year, but that is no excuse for people to come here illegally - perhaps if they were willing to stand up for them selves in their own country they wouldnt have to flee it. The only reason their country is full of corroption is because they allow it to happen, and as Crid said they are not asslimitating so they allow the same corruption to form in their communities in our country.

If theynwant in thats great, but the ends never justify the means - if they want in they need to do it leglly

Posted by: lujlp at June 19, 2007 3:32 PM

> I don't care - I'm not
> a socialist.

So there's no limit to the flow of value you're willing to watch flow into other nations' economies?

> unless you are a
> jingoist

Again with the name calling... Are you new to political discussion? You're toolkit seems a little random.

> For you

Correct! Very good. That's my appraisal. Glad you got that. We can tell that the whole 'dialectic' thing is finally starting to jell for you.

> That is the overwhelming
> reason they come, rule
> of law

So why shouldn't Amy insist they observe some?

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2007 3:59 PM

Crid, you're beautiful.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 19, 2007 4:50 PM

Amy, I loves a good pissing match! (I love a bad pissing match.)

You have a shade different opinion than Johnny about this issue. I have a third posture. For this, you and I get called xenophobes, ideology-testers, Republicans, fearful ("scared"), anti-immigrant, unjust, disingenuous, and scare-mongering. Some of those things are about the shittiest things you can call someone. What accounts for the overheated rhetoric?

Youth. Maybe this is a person who thinks you're just like his oppressive Mom, and I'm like his controlling Dad, so this is just misdirected differentiation. (God only know what he thinks of the president.... Any president.) The breakaway from from parents is the only drama in human life that could require this kind of reflex. Hell, refugees in flight from tyrants don't bother writing things like that.

Posted by: Crid at June 20, 2007 1:06 AM

I called you maybe two of those "shittiest" words. You must not get out much if that is so, being so old and cynical in your old folks home. ha ha
Republican - was the talking sheets
Unjust - is the treatment honest immigrants receive from selective enforcement.
Scare mongering - are the incorrect economic pronouncements that say people coming here to work harm us.
etc.

But I guess you just skim and then piss away.
Since you and Amy are generally pro individual rights, I thought I'd give a shot at extending those inalienable rights to non-citizens as the principle would seem to demand - attempting to put aside what seems to be simply a false economic argument.
No luck

regards,

Posted by: newjonny at June 20, 2007 5:41 AM

What rights? when is gathering to fight and piss in public a right?

Posted by: lujlp at June 20, 2007 5:49 AM

Cut your hair, get a job

Posted by: Crid at June 20, 2007 10:29 AM

"Cut your hair, get a job"

Crid, you really shouldn't make pregnant women laugh that hard. I could have had an embarrassing accident.

Posted by: Kimberly at June 20, 2007 6:49 PM

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