Jan Brewer Jumps the Shark, Slides into Outright Prejudice

On this blog, over the last couple of months, I have presented a pretty clear set of facts showing that, with the possible exception of some rural border regions beset by drug gangs, the vast majority of Arizona has experienced rapidly falling crime rates, in fact crime rates falling much faster than in the rest of the country.  The crime rates of even our key border towns has remained flat.

What to make, then, of these statements by our governor.

Gov. Jan Brewer on Friday reiterated her assertion that the majority of illegal immigrants are coming to the United States for reasons other than work, saying most are committing crimes and being used as drug mules by the cartels.

Brewer's remarks are an expansion of comments she made last week during a televised debate between the four Republican gubernatorial candidates....

In the debate, Jette [a candidate running against Brewer] said that most people who cross illegally into Arizona are "just trying to feed their families." Brewer disputed that, saying, "They're coming here, and they're bringing drugs.

And they're doing drop houses, and they're extorting people and they're terrorizing the families." The governor, who has become a national media figure since signing Senate Bill 1070 into law on April 23, went further on Friday, saying that the "majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming (into) the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels."

When pressed, Brewer said that even those who do come to the United States looking for work are often ensnared by the cartels.

"They are accosted, and they become subjects of the drug cartels."

Estimates are that there are 8-12 million illegal immigrants in the US (Brewer's hispano-phobic allies would put the number much higher).  They are mostly all drug dealers and criminals?  Really?

I try really hard not to try to guess at what motivates folks I disagree with by assuming they are driven by something dark and evil, but how else in this case can one describe opinions like this so contrary to facts as anything other than prejudice against a particular ethnic group?

Just look at the actions of our governor and folks like Joe Arpaio.  If it really were the case that illegal immigrants are all criminals uninterested in legal work, then why is so much recent legislation aimed at business owners that hire illegal immigrants?  Or at day labor centers?  Why are all of Sheriff Joe's immigration sweeps raiding lawful businesses rather than, say, crack houses?  After all, if illegal immigrants are all just drug dealers not looking for real work, why spend so much time looking for them, uh, doing real work?

Postscript: If Brewer is in fact correct, then there is a dead easy solution for the illegal immigration problem -- legalize drugs.  She and I both agree that the worst criminal elements of illegal immigrants would be much less of a problem without the illegal drug trade.  The only difference is that I think that segment makes up less than 1% of the population of illegal immigrants, and she thinks its everyone.

Further, to the extent that some illegal immigrants just trying to support their families are "ensnared" by drug cartels (whatever that means) it is because of their immigration status.  Make them legal residents of the country, and no one has any particular leverage over them.

Note to Commenters: Many, many of you have disagreed with me vociferously on immigration.  Please, I would love to see reasoned comments defending Brewer, particularly with data.  In particular, please use the laws of supply and demand to explain how the majority of 8-12 million people are able to earn a living in the illegal drug trade in the southwest.  To help you out, there are about 6.6 million people in Arizona.  Based on national rates of 8% of over age 12 being users, about 500,000 of those are illegal drug users.  One estimate is that there are 500,000 illegal immigrants in Arizona.

Update: Are she and I living in the same state?

Arizona GOP Gov. Jan Brewer claimed recently that law enforcement has been finding beheaded bodies in the desert "” but local agencies say they've never encountered such a case.

"Our law enforcement agencies have found bodies in the desert either buried or just lying out there that have been beheaded," Brewer said Sunday, suggesting that the beheadings were part of increased violence along the border.

But medical examiners from six of Arizona's counties "” four of which border Mexico "” tell the Arizona Guardian that they've never encountered an immigration-related crime in which the victim's head was cut off.

  • http://joelgrus.com Joel

    I'm more sympathetic to the Arizona law than you are, but I also found this latest claim immediately outrageous.

    (And, like you, I have an almost visceral distaste for any policy that's rationalized as "necessary to fight the war on drugs." Maybe she got tired of support from libertarian open-border skeptics?)

  • Henry Bowman

    Where do you get the 8--12 million number? I've never seen one that low, though of course it might well be correct. It's really pretty hard to estimate the number reliably, for reasons that should be obvious.

    Unfortunately, the number of politicians who advocate legalizing drugs is tiny. The cops seem to be especially fond of the War of Drugs, as it provides them steady employment and lots of money, both legal and illegal. Gary Johnson was almost run out of New Mexico by the War Party Republican Party when he merely suggested decriminalizing drugs (and he waited until he was elected to a 2nd term to start discussing it).

    Brewer is of course wrong in her remarks. Initially it wasn't clear from the article that she actually said that the "majority" of illegals were in the drug trade, but the transcript shows that she actually did say that, though of course it could be incorrect.

    It is nonetheless true that if you do not control your borders, you do not have a country. Mexico is a failed state. I would much rather see U. S. efforts go towards improving its situation than wasting huge amounts of money in a pointless war in Afghanistan.

    I believe that Edward Abbey supposedly suggested that we should give every Mexican male an M16 and every female a large quantity of condoms. Then Mexico might stand a chance at turning around.

  • Rob

    While I think the governor's claim is an exaggeration at best, one of the interesting results of a restrictive immigration policy is that those with little or no respect for laws are much more likely to break immigration laws. In other words, the current policy discourages law abiding immigrants from crossing the boarder illegally. As a result, we are left with dispropotionately large number of immigrants who are more likely to commit crimes beyond crossing the boarder illegally.

    Some might say that legalizing all immigration or making immigration much easier are possible solutions. In a non-welfare state, this might be an option. But in reality, most illegal immigrants come to the US not only to find jobs, but to gain access to all the benefits that come with living in a welfare state, at little or no cost to themselves.

  • Michael

    The social conservative wing has been saying the same thing over and over for decades that they can get it out of their system.

    Bit 1 from Stossel.

    Bit 2 from Stossel.

  • Mark

    Her statement may be correct. I would guess most illegals coming over the border now are involved in the drug trade. I don't see how that relates to all the illegals already here.

  • Mark

    I also think it is a low blow calling people you disagree with Racist, it is just as bad as NAZI and does not add to the argument, just shows either intellectual dishonesty, or lack of critical thinking abilities, making one unable to formulate a real argument against a policy.

  • Stan

    "I would guess most illegals coming over the border now are involved in the drug trade."
    I seriously doubt that, but there's no way to prove it, unfortunately--because I'd be very interested.

    I'd like to see more legal immigration, i.e. allow significantly more skilled and even unskilled people in. Those willing to go through the process, even if made easier, are much more likely to be upstanding individuals. If you believe in free-market economics, I don't see how you can be against it.

    But frankly, the border will have to be secured, it is an inherent obligation of the state, one the citizens of border states expect, no matter the minimal amount of crime. Even if it weren't, it is a political reality open-border libertarians should deal with in a more constructive manner. We can support border security without agreeing with the hyperbole of the likes of Jan Brewer, because that is the only way we'll get a better, more free-market oriented immigration system.

  • skh.pcola

    Why put the onus of arguing from a position of reason solely on us? Your argument is based on nothing but emotional attachment to your own view of the illegal immigration epidemic. Your problem is that you feel morally superior to those of us that want to live in a nation of laws and have those laws enforced by those whose jobs it is to do so. I grok that you are a borderline anarchist and Libertarian, really, I do. I also understand that those two groups of people will never hold any considerable power, because just like progressive liberals, your cult bases its ideology on normative bullshit and unicorn farts. But thanks for playing your game of faux high-minded tolerance. You're the one on a crusade to prove something, so where's your evidence?

  • skh.pcola

    And, by the way, you apparently don't grasp the definition of "prejudice," but I suppose that you were trying to not use "racism," which is what you actually meant. Not to put words in your mouth, but "prejudice" isn't supported by your presentation of evidence.

  • Stan

    "Your argument is based on nothing but emotional attachment to your own view of the illegal immigration epidemic."

    While I disagree with Warren on border security, his position is based on libertarian/minarchist principles, not anarchism. And that is by far the most consistent and rational political philosophy, or in other words: there is no emotion.

    Why don't you try reading the blog before you stink up the comments.

  • Henry Bowman

    Mark is right: Brewer may well be prejudiced, but there is actually nothing in her statements to support that view, and I think you should be more careful with such statements. Last I checked, none of us could yet read other people's minds.

  • skh.pcola

    @Stan: "Minarchist?" Really? The term would imply minimal government focused on performing the enumerated duties documented in the Constitution. Warren's stance is advocating an abrogation of those obligations by supporting an unchecked de facto (and de jure, although anarchists would disagree) invasion of our nation. It is obvious from his frequent, wheedling screeds in favor of open borders that "minarchism" isn't his bag, but, rather, anarchism.

    But hey, I've been reading this blog for years and am well-informed about his usually cogent justifications for his opinions. But, hey, thanks for being such a pious, knee-jerk defender of his indefensible desire for anarchy. You've attempted the impossible and deserve credit for that.

  • Dr. T

    Warren Meyer, do you ever read the comments on your site? This will be the third time I have posted on this issue: The reason that crime rates have gotten lower in Arizona is because of the millions of non-criminal retirees who have moved to Arizona over the past twenty years. The annual numbers of crimes in Arizona increased by 5% between 2000 and 2009. The crime RATES were diluted by the addition of the millions of law-abiding Americans who moved to Arizona.

    Tucson is closer to the border than Phoenix, and it has experienced increased annual crime numbers that correlate with an influx of illegal immigrants who have ghettoized parts of the city, founded gangs (that led to rival gangs forming in adjacent neighborhoods) and drove up the crime rates and hospital trauma admissions. My brother is a chaplain at a Tucson hospital and a trauma counselor for the police and the sheriff's department. He tells me that illegal immigrant-related violent crimes have been increasing in number and severity for at least the past six years.

    I agree that the crime rates of illegal immigrants are not much different from the crime rates of American citizens who live under similar circumstances, but the claim that illegal immigrants have lower crime rates than American citizens or legal residents is false. They committed crimes to get here, they commit crimes to get work, and they enable crimes among their neighbors because their illegal status keeps them from reporting crimes or turning in criminals.

  • morganovich

    "And, by the way, you apparently don’t grasp the definition of “prejudice,” but I suppose that you were trying to not use “racism,” which is what you actually meant. Not to put words in your mouth, but “prejudice” isn’t supported by your presentation of evidence."

    that is a ludicrous and indefensible statement.

    prejudice literally means "pre-judge" or to judge before gathering facts.

    to call the majority of illegal immigrants drug mules in the absence of fact (and i have not seen anyone trot out any facts) is pretty much the definition of pre-judging a group. so, it seems an apt and correct use. vilification would be another good choice. whatever your view about immigration, illegal or otherwise, there is no logical, ethical, or moral grounds for making baseless and unsupported claims to attempt to bolster your case.

    warren is making the quite narrow argument that lying and inciting the mob because it supports your views is not an acceptable, and he's quite right.

    further, assuming that support of open borders is support for anarchy is an egregious logical fallacy. it's nothing of the sort. arguing that a law ought to be changed is not anarchy. it's the definition of working within a system. i see no arguments here for civil disobedience or the flouting of law, merely for the alteration of one. you may agree or disagree with his views on what the law should be, but screaming "anarchist" when someone is advocating changing a law is ludicrous. the rest of your bizarre accusations don't even make the rudiments of sense. by your logic, opposing the EPA's regulation of carbon is similarly a support of anarchy and the destruction of the biosphere. the parallel is quite exact - in both cases a one group of people demand the government take an action (immigration control or carbon regulation) that another group oppose because they believe that the cure is worse than the problem. note: this is an example, i do not believe that AGW is a serious threat or that the EPA ought to regulate carbon, so let's not get a global warming argument going here.

  • http://herdgadfly.blogspot.com/ gadfly

    So Warren starts with argument that crime statistics show that AZ lawbreaking is declining, inferring that that illegals from Mexico must therefore be more law abiding than legal residents of the state (and even our whole country).

    Someone on this blog has been arguing (maybe Dr, T)that reductions in crime are directly attributable to the grand influx of senior citizens into the Grand Canyon state. I am unsure if that is so, but it certainly has a ring of truth to it. The point is that Warren's background is attuned to false arguments among the AGW advocates who declare that CO2 is going up as a result of temperature increases instead of vice-versa ... but here he grabs the argument that suits his world view.

    Warren's insistence that the arguments must be viewed narrowly ... "everyman is entitled to work at a fair wage" and "immigrants are generally law-abiding" is misleading. Criminals are not entitled work of any kind in a civilized society and it is an undeniable fact that all 500,000 or so illegals in AZ are lawbreakers (every day) who have not been added to the crime rate statistics by law enforcement officials. Stealing from taxpayers by using or otherwise imposing upon free (to the taxpayer) public services and trespassing on hallowed ground are crimes that never cease by those who live in this country illegally.

    Those who want to turn their back on the problem are indeed inviting the anarchy that will surely result. This problem will eventually reach levels of unreasonable public protest as is happening in Greece this very day. So far it is unchecked and it certainly will shortly bring government destruction and anarchy to Greece. Time to wake up here before we have a similar problem for a different reason.

  • hanmeng

    @Mark:

    "I would guess most illegals coming over the border now are involved in the drug trade."

    As for me, I would guess most illegals coming over the border now are not involved in the drug trade.

    What's the use of guessing?

  • skh.pcola

    @morganovich

    Nice field of straw men you've erected in your rambling comment. I never said anything about opposing a law, which is acceptable and admirable. Probably 80% of all laws are unnecessary and serve to make us all criminals. Instead, what you are willfully ignoring is Warren's desire that existing laws not be enforced. There's a non-trivial difference betwixt those two. Clamoring for laws to be disobeyed is the basis of anarchy, whether those laws are anathema to your personal beliefs or not. The EPA's lack of the checks and balances of our political system makes anything decreed by those bureaucrats suspect, but has no bearing on the current discussion.

    If you (or Warren) want to contend that there is no higher incidence of crime among illegal immigrants, than so be it (although you'd likely be wrong). If you want to stretch Brewer's comments into an all-inclusive indictment of illegal immigrants, then that's something else. She said no such thing and for some of you to extrapolate her use of the generic "they're" into "all" is a move of desperation. Semantics aside, don't let ideological differences bias your rationality. Her meaning was clear to anybody who doesn't have an axe to grind and she isn't incorrect.

  • mark

    @hanmeng

    You are right what is the use in guessing. Of course we have about 1000 words by Warren making the guess that the Gov, is prejudice. She might be more informed about the current crop of illegals than any of the rest of us are.

  • mark

    @hanmeg again.

    The reason I think the Governor of Arizona may be on to something is this. There has been a net exodus of illegal immigrants in parts of the US over the last two years, because our recession has caused jobs to dry up and better enforcement at various work places, like abattoirs, where the illegals were treated like slaves (yes beaten, underage, underpaid - and forced to buy from the manager of the pant)has caused hardship on illegals. We can also see that there are many fewer illegal crossings, as border guards have been able to catch maybe 1/3 of the illegals from a few ago.

    With fewer legit jobs available, the only large group of profitable jobs remaining are the illegal ones, where the players don't really care about the laws. So it makes sense that a much larger proportion of illegals crossing back and forth across the border are related to illegal industries.

    If the Gov said "all of them" are in illegal industries, I would say she misspoke, but if she said or meant the majority that are currently crossing are part of various illegal gangs, I would have to agree with her. It just makes sense. But lets not even try to figure it out, just call the Gov a prejudiced racist, and that is all the argument you need. No need to prove any points. It is the same argument Barney Frank used when people questioned his housing program circa 2005, your all racists.

  • dave smith

    Coyote asked for data, and the only person who remotely even tried to give data is very likely false. Someone said that millions of retirees had moved to Arizona.

    Arizona's population is 6.6 million. Only 13.3% of those people are retirement age (65+) compared to 12.8% in the US.

    If "millions" of retirees had moved to Arizona, they don't show up in the numbers.

  • Che is dead

    Mexican DTOs continue to represent the single greatest drug trafficking threat to the United States. Mexican DTOs, already the predominant wholesale suppliers of illicit drugs in the United States, are gaining even greater strength in eastern drug markets where Colombian DTO strength is diminishing.
    - DOJ Executive Summary 2009

    I really don't know if most of the illegal aliens crossing the Arizona border are carrying drugs for the cartels, and I don't care. They are here illegally and that's enough for me. As a previous commenter pointed out, if you really believe that the presence of a half-million Mexicans makes your state safer than pick your whiny "citizen-of-the-world" ass up and move it to Mexico where, as everyone knows, crime is unheard of. Why is it that all of you pseudo-libertarians never practice your commitment to "global citizenship" from Liberia, Myanmar or Cuba? Why is it that you are always advocating this crap while safely ensconced in a liberal western democracy?

    I try really hard not to try to guess at what motivates folks I disagree with by assuming they are driven by something dark and evil, but how else in this case can one describe opinions like this so contrary to facts as anything other than ... a hatred of this country, it's dominant ethnic groups and their culture, and your desire to see it destroyed and replaced by something else. This all consuming hatred allows you to see laws you disagree with as illegitimate and the enforcement of those laws as optional. You're not a libertarian, you're just another whiny little "anarchist" struggling with your inner child.

  • garyp

    Most of the illegals I have come in contact with are hardworking, seemingly decent people (I lived in Atlanta where virtually all the workers building houses in my neighborhood were almost certainly illegals, based on what friends in construction said and on what I observed).
    Friends owning rental property noted that the illegals were often good people that paid the rent but would sometimes leave behind drug debris and bullet holes in doors, etc.
    The Mexicans that come to America are often the ones with ambition and a desire to build a better life for their families (desirable and admirable traits). They do mix with (and co-operate with, and are preyed on by) criminals to cross the border illegally so I think the Gov's statement is defensible, if missing the main point.
    The real issue is not the motives or characters of the illegal immigrants. The real issue is the motives and characters of the people who have sworn to uphold the Constitution and enforce our nation's laws as written by our elected representatives.
    The current administration desperately wants to enable a huge new cohort of reliably Democrat voters to maintain power. They don't care if they must circumvent laws, encourage crime, or even destroy our nation to do it. We are ruled by a group of people whose only goal is holding onto power and who learned governance in one of the most corrupt cities in America. Our true problem is not the crimes of illegal immigrants (although that is a real problem) but the crimes of the people that have achieved power (mostly) illegally and intend to hold that power my whatever means is necessary. Illegal immigrants are just one more tool in that effort. We must not only control the borders but control voting fraud, government kickback fraud, govt union/government defrauding taxpayers, etc. We have a criminal governing class and we cannot deal with our border issues without dealing with our governance issues. (Please note that criminals in government is not a new issue but has gone from occassional to pervasive in the current administration. Links to groups like ACORN that are criminal enterprises are the norm, not the exception.)
    At least Gov Brewer wants to enforce some laws, that makes her a "stand up guy" in my book compared to most politicians.

  • morganovich

    shk-

    it is you who are setting up the straw man. where did you see warren say "existing laws should not be enforced"? you are making that up.

    where did he say that? i'm calling you out. prove what you say. where in the article above does warren argue for disobeying a law? (which, by the way, is still not anarchy, which is a system without laws. your grasp on political theory seems awfully tenuous)

    seeing the way you seem willing to support others who misrepresent facts to argue a point, perhaps i should be unsurprised that you engage in the same behavior.

    this is what brewer said:

    Question: You said that you believe that most illegal immigrants coming into the country were not doing it for work, but for other reasons. What was your basis for that?

    Answer: Well, we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now become drug mules. They're coming across our borders in huge numbers. The drug cartels have taken control of the immigration.

    So they are criminals. They're breaking the law when they are trespassing and they're criminals when they pack the marijuana and the drugs on their backs.

    Q: What about the folks ... they're just coming here to find jobs and for their families. Are you saying most of those people are drug mules?

    A: I believe today and in the circumstances that we are facing, that the majority of the illegal trespassers that are coming in the state of Arizona are under the direction and control of organized drug cartels, and they are bringing drugs in.

    so, your argument is that that is not a blanket indictment and preposterous overstatement and a deliberate attempt to shift the terms of the debate? "we all know that the majority of the people that are coming to Arizona and trespassing are now become drug mules" isn't a blanket indictment without a shred of proof? some, maybe, but "the majority"? you have to be kidding. millions upon millions of drug mules. right.

    what evidence do you have of such an extreme claim?

    you are making the classic blunder of the dogmatic - you are too attached to your viewpoint to disavow the comments of even an extremist from your camp who is clearly lying. that's pretty much the definition of prejudiced. you decide you opinion beforehand and support anyone who agrees even when they are out of line and ethically wrong. you back a clear lie that you cannot provide evidence to support and try to twist the argument from "most immigrants are drug mules" to "immigrants cause crime" in spite of the data that says otherwise because you know you cannot win the former argument. these are cheap rhetorical tricks and they won't work. you have now treed yourself supporting the unsupportable because your conviction makes you ignore facts (of which you have provided precisely zero).

    you can keep trying to twist this debate by claiming that people said what they didn't and didn't say what they did, but the facts are all there in the text and they show you to be lying.

  • Rita Stricker

    Brewer's comments are not an "exaggeration"; they are a lie. There's a huge difference. And when someone in a position to affect public opinion or policy lies, it's either personal prejudice or political expediency. Politicians, as a whole, are people who are willing to sacrifice the lives of others in order to further their own careers. They rarely let pesky things like truth or the public good get in the way of their own selfishness. Brewer may or may not be a bigot, but she most certainly is a liar.

    If our so-called "leaders" really really didn't want drugs smuggled into this country, they have the power, right now, to put the drug cartels out of business once and for all. The down side (and there's always a downside) would be restoring freedom to the once-proud "Land of the Free" and the chance that, minus our dirty ugly war, Mexico might actually be able to stabilize enough to keep her best and brightest at home and not dying in our deserts. Apparently these are sacrifices most Americans just aren't willing to make.

  • JP

    Jan Brewer, June 25th: "... the majority of illegal immigrants are coming to the United States for reasons other than work, saying most are committing crimes and being used as drug mules by the cartels."

    Warren Meyer, June 26th: "how else in this case can one describe opinions like this so contrary to facts as anything other than prejudice against a particular ethnic group?"

    Warren Meyer, June 18th: "... To the extent the rural [crime] numbers are driven by immigrants, my sense it is due to the violent well-armed drug gang flavor of immigrants."

    Warren Meyer, June 26th:

  • JP

    Sorry. Second Warren Meyer quote came on June 22, not June 18.

    http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2010/06/counter-point-on-arizona-crime.html

  • Ted Rado

    The basic problem is that the Fedral Government does not enforce the law. If the government has no intention of enforcing the immigration laws, they should be repealed. The present system of pretending to be trying to end illegal immigration when we are not makes a mockery of the whole legal system.

    This has nothing to do with Latinos, the need for workers, or any of the other arguments being put forward. Do whatever needs to be done (fences, arresting employers of illegals, etc.) to put an end to the border problem. A suitable guest worker program could then easily be devised. The Arizona government is simply doing what the Feds are supposed to do: enforce the law.

    Unfortunately, the discussion has degenerated into zealotry, namecalling, accusations of racism, etc., all of which does nothing to solve the problem, but simply upsets everyone. I'm beginning to believe that we, collectively as the US government, couldn't organize a two car parade and get it right.

  • L382guy

    Along with what appears to be a lot of other folks I find myself in almost total disagreement with you. I've lurked for quite a while first time commenter. Checking your "pretty clear set of facts" something seems amiss. Unless of course you are only an opinion blog. Then of course I can't factually disagree with you because your white is the next persons black. No harm no foul we agree to disagee. You seem though to be attempting to present a position bolstered in your opinion by a "rapidly" falling crime rate and the inherent goodness of folks just trying to get by as best they can. True enough but "rapidly" falling crime is a national trend. I'm failing to understand how that sets Arizona apart to the advantage of your argument. Unless of course all you are trying to do is illustrate the gross exageration of the Govenors remarks. I too believe that she factually misspoke. I will suggest however that you create a real or virtual crime rate chart for the following reason. Look at your chart and dump 500,000 more crimes on it and see if your perspective changes at all. It remains a crime to be in the US illeagaly regardless of ones' opinion as to whether or not it should be. It is a crime for a reason and has been since hector was a pup. Looonnng before this border issue. Don't recall the shrill hair pulling and whining until say 1990 or so? Myself I'd rather that national permitless open carry was the Law of the Land. Alas tis not. What I would do to those that would use their 2nd Amendment right in the commission of any crime, bad cops at the top of my list, is gist for another time. It is troubling to me that higher estimates of the numbers of illegals is "hispanophbic". Exactly who would the "hispanophobe" be? The researcher that compiled the numbers, the person that reported the number or anyone that believes the revised number? For puposes of this comment I am going with the presumption that you cannot possibly believe that. No rational person could. Massaging the numbers is of course likely by those with an agenda. Hint hint. I'm thinking that half a dozen or so non-partisan estimates solidly based on facts that you could independenly verify should be enough.
    I'll try a little test here to see if we can't get somewhat closer to the bone. I would like for you dissappear every single mexican/hispanic on the face of the earth. Replace every one of them with blond blue-eyed caucasians. Are you seriously suggesting that then the illeagle border crossings, the drugs, the killings, the literal occupation of soverign US territory by drug assasins and human trafficers and all of the attendant problems and the good people only trying to get by are any less criminal? Do you really think that there would be any less uproar, any less demand for the Federal Govt to its' damn job? If you think that then I proffer that you have found yourself among a very small minority. I'll tell you for myself and every single person I've ever talked to about illeagal immigrants and the immigration problems overall (Saudis, iranians, french, chinese, etc., etc.) that no single person ever voiced in my presence that the color of an immigrants skin had any thing to do with the real, rational reasons for knowing who is here. Color is a non-issue. Raceism is not a non-issue but to take the position that somehow the air would be sweeter and the crime less reprehensible if the perps were white, well that veers very closely to "jumpin the shark".
    I don't see any of my white, brown, or black brothers organizing a boat lift to Darfur, Somalia or the Congo. If they did you'd have a people on your hands that would work the fields for 10% of what hispanic farm workers would do it for and by God they'd kiss your feet and mean it and wash them with their tears of joy. Raceism? On whose part? Shaky ground, take care with the now wholey(sp?) ineffective race card. With my permission you can stick that where the tapeworms live. I have but then I'm a Saint among men. (and my farts smell of lavender and cats and dogs and Dallas cheerleaders each and every one tremble in anticipation of my arrival).
    We are occupied by God knows who or how many. Hell they know I'm here and everything about me. If we're going to play that game I want MY anonimity back. Lord, if I had all my taxes back I'd be swingin on the porch in Tortuga. Before we get too far along I'd like to address the good folks just trying to get by. They are doing no more than every single person on the face of the earth is trying to do and before you get too weepy give thanks that they are not trying to get into North Korea. Like every other person with any compassion at all I too feel their wishes and hopes. The inescapable problem is that it is literaly impossible to take every one. There ain't room or resources and we HAVE to know who we are inviting for a myriad of reasons soverign integrity being but one of them. Remember when we got hosed on the Mariel boatlift? Castro neglected to pass along the seemingly salient fact that he was emptying his prisons. But hell at least we knew how many we were getting. That genius act was vanishingly small compared to the southern border issue. You appear, just appear mind you that by your estimate (1%) which even you must admit was pulled out of thin air the 100,000 or so killers, rapists, drug runners and dealers, physcopaths and the like are somehow a fair price to pay to secure the non-existant rights of "the good folk". Well not for me Sparky not for me. We have more than enough wastes of air already. If your "good people" and they most assuredly are would simply deign to obey the laws of the country they have chosen as they would have to in every single country on the face of the earth PARTICULARLY Mexico (jail don't ya know)and I don't see the masses marching on Mexico city. Why is that do you think? Ya think that the Mexican Govt and every other Govt knows something we don't? Hell no they don't they just take care of business. Get your "good people" to obey the law and I'm all for it and problem partially solved. The more pressing issue is that pos in the White House that in eighteen months has proven that the only thing he knows how to run is his mouth. He is indisputedly holding you, me and every other american hostage soley for political gain. He and his minions have already said that immigation reform must be "comprehensive". Lib speak for "We'll protect your (note the "your" they sure aren't his and if they were his I will bet my Kentucky ass they'd be secured)borders after we have created (by your estimate) 10,000,000 more citizens" (read democratic voters) by the stroke of a pen. In some parallel universe that may make perfect sense. Not in this one. Further, as you must know, even if they pull it off they will not stop coming. Do you believe for a heartbeat that bammie will secure the border? If you do gimme some of what you're smokin. I need the trip.
    The border will not be secured until that waste of time is outa the loop. Really I wish he'd just go play golf, sing along with mccartney, party with fitycent in the situation room, make nice with the King of Saudia Arabia, practise his bow, shit anything just get the hell out of way. Whew, I needed that.
    There are probably hundreds of facets of this issue left to discuss. I'll leave you with this. It has been a while since I looked it up but you might look up how many relatives are coat-tailed for every legal immigrant. Might send your 8-10 million estimate into a more "whoa, wth" stratum. Sorry, one more thing. Is Phoenix still the kidnapp capitol of the nation? Last I heard it was but I don't get out much.

  • http://DennisLeeWilson.com Dennis Lee Wilson

    To Warren Meyer:

    I just discovered your blog thanks to a link from Strike the Root ( http://www.strike-the-root.com/jan-brewer-jumps-shark-slides-into-outright-prejudice ) and I am very impressed with what I have read, particularly this extremely insightful observation:

    “Just look at the actions of our governor and folks like Joe Arpaio. If it really were the case that illegal immigrants are all criminals uninterested in legal work, then why is so much recent legislation aimed at business owners that hire illegal immigrants? Or at day labor centers? Why are all of Sheriff Joe’s immigration sweeps raiding lawful businesses rather than, say, crack houses? After all, if illegal immigrants are all just drug dealers not looking for real work, why spend so much time looking for them, uh, doing real work?”

    I was also disappointed by some of the comments posted. Many exhibit old “arguments” that I have addressed and debunked in past articles of my own. I hope you will forgive what may appear to be self-serving links below, but if some of the commentators are serious about addressing the issues they raise, I know of no simpler way than linking.

    Best regards,
    Dennis Lee Wilson
    - - - - - -
    @Henry Bowman: “It is nonetheless true that if you do not control your borders, you do not have a country.”

    That assertion doesn’t bear up to the facts. In my 2007 article "Immigration control is UN-Constitutional!" ( http://tinyurl.com/yeyd7kq ) I include two brief historical accounts of immigration in this country. For the first 100 years after the Constitution was signed, there was no attempt to “control the borders”. Did we “not have a country” then?
    - - - - - -
    @Rob: “…most illegal immigrants come to the US not only to find jobs, but to gain access to all the benefits that come with living in a welfare state…”

    In my 2006 article “Ask the Right Question” (http://tinyurl.com/law9vz ) I addressed solutions to that issue. Further research also revealed that the Welfare system already has rules that only citizens can receive welfare, but that the Welfare supervisors violate the rules and do not require that Welfare dispensers confirm that the recipients are citizens. The SOLUTION to the welfare issue is to be found at the Welfare office, not by building an expensive walled border with armed guards.

    I also point out another problem with that viewpoint:

    Many individuals of our time maintain that we should not abolish immigration control until the immigrants have assimilated into our society.
    And further, that we should continue to deprive them of liberty until we have (somehow) abolished government welfare.
    Or that we should not abolish government until we have learned to live together without higher authority.

    These positions are worthy of the silly old fool, who resolved to AVOID the water until he had learned to swim.
    If men are to wait for liberty till they become wise and good in slavery they may indeed wait for ever.

    Paraphrased by Dennis Lee Wilson from ~ Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800–1859)
    - - - - - -
    @Stan: “But frankly, the border will have to be secured, it is an inherent obligation of the state”

    NO, IT IS NOT! And furthermore, immigration control was NOT AUTHORIZED by the Constitution. The Founding Fathers very obviously did NOT think it was an “inherent obligation” of any kind. Most of them WERE THEMSELVES either immigrants or second generation! Even 100 years later, the Statue of Liberty was erected to actually WELCOME immigrants. See "Immigration control is UN-Constitutional!" ( http://tinyurl.com/yeyd7kq ) cited earlier.

    The “better, more free-market oriented immigration system” of which you speak IS the open border system that the USA had for its first 100 years!
    - - - - - -
    @skh.pcola: “…those of us that want to live in a nation of laws and have those laws enforced by those whose jobs it is to do so.”
    @skh.pcola: “Clamoring for laws to be disobeyed is the basis of anarchy, whether those laws are anathema to your personal beliefs or not.”
    @Che is dead: “This all consuming hatred allows you to see laws you disagree with as illegitimate and the enforcement of those laws as optional.”
    @garyp: “The real issue is the motives and characters of the people who have sworn to uphold the Constitution and enforce our nation’s laws”
    @garyp: “At least Gov Brewer wants to enforce some laws…”
    @Ted Rado: “The basic problem is that the Fedral Government does not enforce the law.” “The Arizona government is simply doing what the Feds are supposed to do: enforce the law.”
    @L382guy: “It remains a crime to be in the US illeagaly regardless of ones’ opinion as to whether or not it should be.”

    The Constitution is SUPPOSED to be the supreme law of the land. "Immigration control is UN-Constitutional!" http://tinyurl.com/yeyd7kq
    That means that ALL the Federal “laws” regulating immigration are themselves ILLEGAL! If the Federal government is allowed to break "the law", where does that leave your “nation of laws” and what does it say about “those whose jobs it is to” enforce them—and those who WANT to enforce them? Are YOU willing to clamor for these illegal laws? Is it YOUR personal belief that these illegal laws should be obeyed? Is it a crime to ignore an illegal “law”? Even the Supreme Court (in the past) has ruled that an unconstitutional—and therefore illegal--law should be considered null and void on its face and from the time it was created.
    - - - - - -
    @ Dr. T: Your concern about crime rates and violence reminds me of what happened during the government’s Prohibition of Alcohol. If your concern is genuine (and I have no reason to expect otherwise), then you might consider our grandparents SOLUTION to their problems: REPEAL.

    BEFORE drugs were artificially made illegal there were no black markets in drugs, there were no drug lords and there were no gun fights over drug territories. And BEFORE the established border crossings were closed with armed guards— BEFORE unconstitutional “laws” were created making both travelers and travel “illegal” —there were no “illegal” immigrants or “illegal” migrant workers. And there were no trespassers over private lands and thru deserts because it was easier and safer to cross at the long established, public border crossings.

    Today’s problems are no different from the problems CREATED by the government’s Prohibition of Alcohol. And the ONLY solution that WILL work is the same one that DID work: REPEAL! I provide more detail in my article “PROHIBITION FAILED--AGAIN! What IS the Lesson of History?” at http://tinyurl.com/ProhibitionFailed-Again

    - - - - - -
    @morganovich: “…anarchy, which is a system without laws”

    This is the only flaw in an otherwise excellent post. Actually, anarchy is a system without RULERS. Chaos is a system without laws, and since the people in control of the Federal government ignore constitutional laws and write illegal “laws”, chaos is what we have now, both economically and politically.
    - - - - - -

  • Dr. T

    dave smith said: "Coyote asked for data, and the only person who remotely even tried to give data is very likely false. Someone said that millions of retirees had moved to Arizona.

    Arizona’s population is 6.6 million. Only 13.3% of those people are retirement age (65+) compared to 12.8% in the US."

    Dave Smith obviously has no background in statistics or population studies: he uses partial data from a single point in time to incorrectly claim that my information is false.

    First, Arizona's 2010 population is estimated to be just over 7 million persons.(1) Second, my comment about millions of retirees moving to Arizona was for a twenty year period. Not all retirees are over 65. Many of the retirees who moved to Arizona since 1990 have died. Arizona's population is the fastest-growing of any state, and much of that growth is from sun-seeking older Americans.

    Arizona populations figures (2):
    1980: 2,733,100
    1990: 3,680,800
    2000: 5,045,300
    2010: 7,023,600 (1)
    Arizona population up by 3.3 million since 1990

    Estimated deaths in Arizona by decade (3):
    1990-1999: 1,500,000
    2000-2009: 2,800,000
    Total: 4.3 million Arizona deaths since 1990

    Estimated births in Arizona by decade (4):
    1990-1999: 760,000
    2000-2010: 960,000
    Total: 1.8 million Arizona births since 1990

    Thus, 2.5 million people in Arizona today came from other states or nations.

    It is apparent that with population rising by 3.3 million over the past 20 years, with deaths of 4.3 million (mostly elderly) over the same 20 years, and with births of only 1.8 million over the same 20 years, my claim that millions of retirees have moved to Arizona since 1990 is supported.

    (1) http://www.trueknowledge.com/q/arizona%27s_population_in_2010

    (2) http://www.azcommerce.com/doclib/econinfo/FILES/estimates1980_2008.xls

    (3) I estimated deaths by using Arizona's average death rates and average populations for the two decades. http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0110.pdf

    (4) I estimated births by using Arizona's average birth rates and average populations for the two decades. http://www.azdhs.gov/plan/report/ahs/ahs2000/t1b.htm and http://www.azdhs.gov/plan/report/ahs/ahs2008/t1b.htm

  • http://gmsplace.com/ John Moore

    Rather than debate any more on this, I believe Warren should explain his views on the nature of our constitutional republic, and how it is consistent with allowing non-citizens free access to our territory. Many commenters have objected to Warren's stance that America not control its borders, and those comments are substantive and demand a response.

    The utilitarian arguments about crime rates up or down, etc, detract from the fundamental ideological question of whether a democratic nation should control its borders.

  • http://herdgadfly.blogspot.com/ gadfly

    Thank you John Moore.

    Your focus on the real problem is much appreciated and it is right on target.

    Warren started the vitriol and now he needs to bring the subject to its logical conclusion by presenting his libertarian argument as to how this country can retain it's greatness when whole territories are being overrun by foreigners whose motives and allegiance are not attuned toward benefiting America ... and I truly don't want to listen to the "fortuitous accident of my birth in the U.S." argument.

  • morganovich

    jp-

    what it it you are attempting to demonstrate with those quotes?

  • bryan

    @garyp and everyone else espousing that view: I'm confused at how in one breath you can complain about the overtly criminal nature of much of the ruling class that writes our overly onerous laws, and in another breath say that, at least when it comes to immigration, we should follow the laws they write blindly and to the letter.
    Immigration laws are flouted, just like drug laws because the legislative branch still does not have the authority to overturn the laws of nature. Without a descending into a fascist police state, supply and demand will trump whatever the state or federal gov't does because there is no way to get people to act against their perceived best interests.

    @john moore: I agree entirely that the utilitarian arguments and crime statistics will always be unconvincing. They are both usually created as ammunition for an already "prejudiced" view rather honestly studied in a search for truth. I am prejudiced in favor of liberty, and I think Warren has already written a very nice explanation of his views (see the side bar). I would summarize: Who are you to tell me who i can hire in my private business, or to whom i may rent my private property?

    And also, I don't believe Warren ever said or suggested that illegal immigrants were some kind of super citizens that somehow magically lowered crime. He was just pointing to the fact that AZ's crime had fallen in recent years to debunk the myth of the "mexican crime wave". So you all can stop knocking down that strawman.

  • mark ii

    Like many problems, immigration is made more complicated by the terminology which lumps different process/phenomena together. Hence, to distinguish one form of immigration from the other we are required to use descriptive language that is not effective.

    WIth that in mind, we need to really look at "illegal" immigration in a different way. Most illegal immigration is actually a temporary search for work. People come over the legal border from Mexico and other Central American countries because there is a demand for their labor services that cannot be met from the the domestic workforce. The word, "immigration" should not even be used in this context because for the most part their intent is not to become citizens of their new country.

    THerefore, we need to look at this problem as a supply and demand of labor issue. And, in reality, that is were the politics get tricky. No US politician wants to deal with the political issue because there is almost no political solution that will not make everyone unhappy. For example, Big Labor does not like the competition so Democratic politicians clearly are not going to sponsor any type of reform that would allow millions of low paid workers to come to the US and compete with the labor unions, particularly in the construction fields.

    So, as an alternative, the politicians realize the necessity of the work force migration and tacitly allow it. But, by keeping these individuals "illegal", many problems are created. Most of the problems stem because the status of an illegal immigrant is uncertain, and in my opinion, the biggest issue from this unknown status is that children of illegal immigrants born in the United States become United States citizens. The reason for this is that when you have an unknown visa status, it is impossible to legally determine your country of jurisdiction.

    The real solution is to create enough temporary work visas as required. It would take millions of them. But, once we define the status of the temporary worker we can then define their "rights" in the United States and have a more orderly flow across the border. Until "illegal immigrants" have this visa status nothing can be done to address problems created by this flow of workers.

  • greg

    Mark II.....excellent point.

    When someone's argument boils down to "but it's illegal!!" then the response should be "ok, if that's the only hurdle, let's make it legal" Why no one is suggesting we streamline the LEGAL process of emmigrating here to get more people through, I don't know.

    As usual, the simplest solution is probably the best one.

  • http://stopthebreathing.blogtownhall.com/ astonerii

    mark ii:
    "a demand for their labor services that cannot be met from the the domestic workforce."
    Actually, the issue is that there is a demand for labor services that cannot be met from the domestic workforce at a specified wage. This is very different than your argument. Workers are a fungible item just like money is. If two industries have a need for workers, they will compete with each other in order to get the workers they need by changing the value of labor. Considering the fact that we have upwards of a real unemployment rate around 18% in this country today, labor is not the issue. Even before the downturn though, only about 75% of eligible workers were involved in the workforce.

    Just like many of your less than convincing rants intended to show that we need more immigration, such as filling in the need for labor with foreigners is not a zero sum argument (I disagree with this completely though), I would propose that having less than valuable jobs being moved to other countries is as much of a non zero sum argument as is the foreign labor you all so completely espouse. Unfortunately, people from vastly different cultures are not fungible, and thus, importing significant numbers of less valuable cultures than our own to work in our labor markets will have net negative impacts on this country and the people who own it, the citizens. Thus, I do not support unlimited immigration, I support limited immigration with emphasis on filling skilled labor positions while at the same time pushing for integration and assimilation into our culture.

  • Dr. T

    dave smith said: "Coyote asked for data, and the only person who remotely even tried to give data is very likely false. Someone said that millions of retirees had moved to Arizona.

    Arizona’s population is 6.6 million. Only 13.3% of those people are retirement age (65+) compared to 12.8% in the US."

    Dave Smith obviously has no background in statistics or population studies: he uses partial data from a single point in time to incorrectly claim that my information is false.

    First, Arizona's 2010 population is estimated to be just over 7 million persons.(1) Second, my comment about millions of retirees moving to Arizona was for a twenty year period. Not all retirees are over 65. Many of the retirees who moved to Arizona since 1990 have died. Arizona's population is the fastest-growing of any state, and much of that growth is from sun-seeking older Americans.

    Arizona populations figures (2):
    1980: 2,733,100
    1990: 3,680,800
    2000: 5,045,300
    2010: 7,023,600 (1)
    Arizona population up by 3.3 million since 1990

    Estimated deaths in Arizona by decade (3):
    1990-1999: 1,500,000
    2000-2009: 2,800,000
    Total: 4.3 million Arizona deaths since 1990

    Estimated births in Arizona by decade (4):
    1990-1999: 760,000
    2000-2010: 960,000
    Total: 1.8 million Arizona births since 1990

    Thus, at a minimum, 2.5 million people in Arizona today came from other states or nations.

    With population rising by 3.3 million over the past 20 years, with deaths of 4.3 million (mostly elderly) over the same 20 years, and with births of only 1.8 million over the same 20 years, my claim that millions of retirees have moved to Arizona since 1990 is supported.

    Note: I use -dot- instead of “.” because real links prevented this from being posted yesterday.

    (1) www -dot- trueknowledge -dot- com/q/arizona%27s_population_in_2010

    (2) www -dot- azcommerce -dot- com/doclib/econinfo/FILES/estimates1980_2008.xls

    (3) I estimated deaths by using Arizona's average death rates and average populations for the two decades. www -dot- census -dot- gov/compendia/statab/2010/tables/10s0110.pdf

    (4) I estimated births by using Arizona's average birth rates and average populations for the two decades. www -dot- azdhs -dot- gov/plan/report/ahs/ahs2000/t1b.htm and www -dot- azdhs -dot- gov/plan/report/ahs/ahs2008/t1b.htm

  • mark ii

    " the issue is that there is a demand for labor services that cannot be met from the domestic workforce at a specified wage"

    Really? So, what would be the prevailing wage necessary for American workers, the "domestic" workforce, to become migrant farm labor following the harvests from state to state? The fact of the matter is that these agricultural enterprises would probably not be competitive in the world market without low cost Mexican labor.

    "I would propose that having less than valuable jobs being moved to other countries "

    Most of the jobs illegal immigrants perform in the United States are not mobile otherwise they would have been "outsourced" many years ago. Construction, domestic help, and minimum wage jobs are local activities. If it was efficient to have the drive in window order routed to New Dehli so that Dipunkar can handle the order we would have already done that.

    Agriculture can be "outsourced", but Americans are skeptical of having much of their agricultural production oursourced to other countries. Poultry processing and meat packing are other agricultural processes that Americans prefer to have done local so that it meats (get it) even a minimal standard of health and safety.

    And, I do not support "unlimited" immigration. But several millions of Mexicans come into the United States illegally every year. Why do they do this? To work. So, lets stop ignoring this, give them a work visa, let them come into the UNited States directly instead of the secretive ways they do, and control the "rights" they receive.

    One we make them "legal" we can have a political discussion on what they can do with a work visa. I for example, would restrict the work visa from ever becoming US citizens. If they want to become naturalized they need to get another visa for that.

  • ADiff

    Henry,

    What Ed Abbey said: "We've got an army, somewhere. Where ever it is, let's find it, bring it back here and put it on the border. Then let's give every [illegal immigrant] that crosses the border a rifle and point them back home. They know who their enemies are."

  • mark ii

    AS I have written on these comment pages earlier I think that the problem of illegal immigration is manageable. To fix the problem we should immediately create a process for these workers to go to a federal office to obtain a temporary work visa. They would pay a fee to obtain it and also provide verifiable information about their status. These visas would have an expiration date based on the current employment status. Other visas of lesser length could be provided for individuals that are looking for work.

    We can control the number of guest work visas readily as warranted by economic conditions, and create a process for workers to get such visas in their own country.

    From that point, we can now start controlling the borders. Anybody that is not coming into the country through a legitimate portal is a criminal and can be dealt with in that manner. Now, we have to sort through the criminals and the poor people coming to the US in search of jobs. Further, the rules of the temporary work visa can be pretty stringent and anyone not in compliance can more readily be deported, and with some degree of probability prevented from coming into the US again. Right now, anyone who is deported can just come back into the country the same way other people do.

    Further, as I hinted above, once these individual's status has been classified, i.e. temporary guest workers we can define the rules for these individuals. It is a political process and open to debate. As I stated above, two main properties of the temporary work visa would be that they cannot achieve citizenship directly from this visa and that children born in the United States of parents on a temporary guest visa would not become United States citizens. We can decide what government benefits these people would be "entitled" to in the debate. For example, I would support the education of the children of these workers but in a separate school. I would not allow them to be part of the government health care system, but they should be able to receive health care from emergency centers.

    But the main thing is to get these workers "documented" and define how long they can stay, etc. Then it is less of a "problem".

  • tehag

    "Jan Brewer Jumps the Shark, Slides into Outright Prejudice"

    I suppose next she'll become a Democrat. If she's a prejudiced racist, then she fits right in with the Sharpton-Wright-Obama-Jackson majoritarians. If their hatreds don't disqualify them, why should this disqualify her? That is, there is no shark to jump: the Democrat party from the President on down is more racist and prejudiced than Brewer, but I don't see impeachment proceedings or mass repudiations.

  • http://stopthebreathing.blogtownhall.com/ astonerii

    "One we make them “legal” we can have a political discussion on what they can do with a work visa. I for example, would restrict the work visa from ever becoming US citizens. If they want to become naturalized they need to get another visa for that."

    Once again the less than convincing arguments spew forth from the perpetually ignorant mind of pro immigration mark ii.

    A work visa holder does not translate into a citizen, but we will go ahead and let them turn in a work visa for another type. Um, please explain to me the basis of the extra step here, because I am not quite getting it, other than perhaps you think that a straw man argument with words such as "from ever becoming US citizens" is enough to persuade the well versed of us that oppose unlimited immigration. The term "Make them legal" must be some sort of code word which you mean that we should like them more because they were rewarded for their bad behavior? They broke our laws getting here and I do not think they should be rewarded any more than they already have been. I say make them leave is far superior to "make them legal"

    Your argument is that we cannot control the border until we increase the number of immigrants legally allowed to come to the country. Is this really the argument you are making? Seems to me that we could very easily control our border. A nice double walled fence with a road between would severely limit the options available for human, drug and arms smuggling. Workplace enforcement of employment would cut a significant part of the draw for the illegal aliens. If every single government agency required proof of citizenship and every lawful contact with police required a verification of legal residence even fewer illegal aliens would remain. At this point, when the number of illegal aliens is reduced to less than 5% of current numbers or even better I would be willing to talk about what you propose above.

  • http://freedomactionnow.wordpress.com ZZMike

    Forget the numbers. Illegal is illegal. Millions have come here since the 1800s, most through Ellis Island. They ran the gauntlet, paid their dues, became citizens.

    To suddenly declare that anybody who walks across the border is now a citizen (collect green card, collect food stamps, collect welfare) dishonors those millions.

    It's also the case that no economy can withstand the influx of millions of low-wage, low-educated workers. Just look at the cities and towns that are going bankrupt. Look at the hospitals and emergency rooms that have closed.

    Why should we be the only country on Earth who has no limit to the number of illegal immigrants?

    Greg asked: "When someone’s argument boils down to “but it’s illegal!!” then the response should be “ok, if that’s the only hurdle, let’s make it legal” Why no one is suggesting we streamline the LEGAL process of emmigrating here to get more people through, I don’t know."

    See above.

  • http://CoyoteBlog Cilla Mitchell, Galveston Texas

    I was under the impression that this site was for readers who are fed up with the Dem/Libertarian/Liberal spin on issues. After reading this article, I have determined I am on some Liberal's site. I am with Ms. Brewer on this fight. This fight is a fight to uphold the Constitution. No more, no less. If we do not have the right to do this, we no longer have the foundations that made up this great country, which now is circling the drain.

  • greg

    zzmike,
    I find it hard to believe that adding workers (whether they are low-wage, low-educated or not) will cause cities to go bankrupt and hospitals to close. I'm not saying these problems don't exist, but are they primarily caused by having too many people in the city? Do you have any evidence that points in this direction?

    It strikes me as the zero-sum fallacy that has always plauged economists.

    ****************************************
    Both my wife and I work in the food processing business up here in central PA (lots of apple orchards). As an HR manager, she will attest to the fact that she constantly struggles to find workers on a daily basis. And these are jobs are at min wage or slightly higher. Anytime I hear someone talking about immigrants taking their jobs, I should give them her number. She's always looking!

  • bryan

    astonerii, why don't you leave it to others to decide who's arguments are convincing. I for one find Markii's a lot more coherent than yours.
    Do you really think a big enough wall is going to stop the flow of people and drugs? You live in a fantasy land, the border is 2000 miles long and it is crossed legally 250 million times every year. Even if you could lock that down (which you can't) and search every vehicle, there are also coast lines, airplanes... you want to see palestine-esque tunnels? Like I said before, it's a supply/demand issue, we can either have the drugs and labor supplied legally by legalizing drugs and allowing more immigrant labor. Or we can continue with the absurd policies we have in place.
    You might like your fantasy land, but shouting down anyone who disagrees with you as an unlimited immigration supporter is not very convincing.

  • bryan

    greg, good point. And I would add, it is both high tax policies that drive people out and profligate spending that cause cities and states to go broke, not attracting more people and the businesses they work at and patronize. (texas vs michigan)
    Also, it is not just agricultural jobs that we need more low skilled labor for. There is plenty of manufacturing here that rely on low cost immigrant labor, and we can not ship those jobs to china without also shipping out the jobs of the engineers, supervisors, managers and other supporting staff. You think our economy is bad now, just wait until every company must pay even an entry level assembler the $15/hr that most native born citizens demand as their birth right.

  • http://stopthebreathing.blogtownhall.com/ astonerii

    bryan:

    Thanks for joining the conversation. I would recommend that you try to keep up with the conversation though before spouting out untruths in your attempt to convince others of falsehoods.

    Yes, the border is about 2000 miles long, and no, I did not say the double walled fence would stop all the problems. I said it would cut them significantly. You talk about tunnels, but there are ways to stop those tunnels, they are called seismographs and they can detect the act of tunneling, pinpoint the location, and tunnels take a long time to construct and almost no time at all to collapse.

    It is a supply/demand issue. Workplace enforcement would cut the demand significantly as well as the fence cutting crossing options. True about the coast lines, but your really going to imagine a world where the United States of America cannot keep its skies safe from unauthorized airplane visits? As for the coastlines, need breeds innovation and innovation will lead to new technologies for scanning our coastlines for unauthorized shipping.

    Does a door lock prevent theft? No? Why is your house locked then? Does the requirement for a key to start a car prevent auto thefts? No? So what is the point of adding to the cost of the car by putting key actuated ignitions in cars? Just because something is not 100% effective does not mean that it is not worth the effort.

    Get the number of illegal aliens in this country to less than .3% of the total population of the United States of America and I will be willing to discuss your ideas. Until then, I oppose any legality moves for the current batch of illegal aliens.

  • mark ii

    "I say make them leave is far superior to “make them legal”"

    I see. So, you believe that tracking down millions of people, detaining them, giving them due process, and then deporting them is "far superior" to what I have outlined? Some poor slob is trying to find work to support his family and you find it far superior to treat him as a criminal? If he tries to flee from the arresting officers are you going to use deadly force? And, once we have deported all of these millions, how do you prevent them from just sneaking beack across the border?

    "A work visa holder does not translate into a citizen, but we will go ahead and let them turn in a work visa for another type. Um, please explain to me the basis of the extra step here"

    The basis of the extra step is that we already have established processes for immigration and naturalization. To be able to become a citizen of the United States, any immigrant must follow those already established steps. IF we created a new work visa, we are recognizing that the holders of that form of visa is only in the United States to work. They are citizens under the jurisdiction of their home country. If they want to become naturalized citizens then they need to restart their visa applications to the established method. Very easy to understand and only someone with their head in the sand unwilling to listen to other's views cannot understand it.

    "eems to me that we could very easily control our border. A nice double walled fence with a road between would severely limit the options available for human, drug and arms smuggling"

    THe only way to stop the flow of human traffic over our border with Mexico would be to use lethal force. The concepts of a wall are just ignorant. All creating a wall does is waste money on something the illegals will just knock over, scale, kick in, or tunnel under. One TV news show hired a bunch of illegal immigrants to construct a section of wall to the specifications of the border "fence". Took them all day to build. Then they asked two of them to go over it. No problem. Two of them to go through it. No problem. And two of them to go under it. No problem. Unless you want to put up armed towers across the entire border, and use force when necessary, nothing will stop these people from entering the country.

    "Your argument is that we cannot control the border until we increase the number of immigrants legally allowed to come to the country"

    Essentially, yes. RIght now we have millions of people wandering into the country without any control or documentation. If we created enough work visas to cover the economic needs then we can let these guest workers enter the country legally. Then they will come in through proper checkpoints, their entry can be noted and monitored, and any violations of the visa rules can be dealt with. We can also more readily prevent law violators from entering the country because they would no longer be eligible for the work visas.

    And, anybody who is sneaking across the border is a definable law breaker. We can then utilize our resources to stop them, rather than running around trying to prevent someone from working a low end, miserable job, for low pay, that Americans will not work.

    I do not advocate "just making them legal". The number of work visas needs to be controlled to economic conditions. BUt, they would number in the millions and would be fairly easy to get.

    But if you have a better solution than mine I would like to hear it. So far, you have only advocated a mass deportation program that clearly is not going to happen, would be impossible to implement, and would cost tens of billions of dollars.